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the case against Ron Paul

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Lonecowboy

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Tam- this might answer a few of you concerns

Ron Paul is persona non grata among establishment Republicans and other party loyalists — including and especially those in the mainstream “conservative” media.

On its face, the very idea that any self-professed lover of liberty should have anything but the utmost respect and admiration for Paul strikes us as a paradox of the first order. After all, to hear Republicans tell it, liberty consists in just those things — “limited government,” personal and fiscal responsibility, the U.S. Constitution, etc. — of which Paul has proven himself as adamant and impassioned a proponent as any. And yet, these very same Republicans deride him as a “nut,” a “fraud,” and, in some instances, a “racist,” an “anti-Semite,” and even an America-hater. Paul, they say, is no real conservative, for he befriends 9/11 “truthers” and “neo-Nazis.”

Occasionally, Paul’s GOP detractors suspend their efforts to assassinate his character by speaking to the substance of his positions on the issues. However, no sooner do they suspend their campaign of besmirching his person than one fallacy gives way to another as the ad hominem attack is replaced by the straw man fallacy. Whether through inadvertence or a genuine lack of understanding, it is never Paul’s actual views that they engage but their blatant misrepresentations of them.

Domestic Policy

Take Paul’s position on our drug policy. His critics argue that he favors the legalization of recreational drugs. They are mistaken. What Paul favors is an end to the federal government’s ban on drug usage for recreational purposes. That is, he believes that whether drugs should be legal or not is a question that properly, constitutionally, belongs to the states to address. If the residents of a state decide that they would prefer to maintain the current policy of the federal government, then so be it; they have the right, as far as Congressman Paul is concerned, to make that decision.

As far as his positions on marriage, prostitution, gambling, and virtually every other issue go, his reasoning is identical to that which informs his perspective on drug policy: it is the individual states, not the federal government, that the Constitution entrusts with the authority to settle these matters. Thus, Paul argues for the dismantling, not of all laws governing such activities, but of all federal laws designed to do so.

Paul’s Republican critics would be well served to attend to the Paul Derangement Syndrome that has overtaken them. You see, if Paul can be said to affirm the legalization of drugs and prostitution because of his stance that these are “states’ rights” issues, then, by parity of reasoning, every other self-proclaimed “pro-life” Republican who insists upon making abortion a “states’ rights” issue stands convicted of fraudulence, for they expose themselves as proponents of abortion.

That Paul is as strong and consistent a foe of abortion no one who knows of his record as an obstetrician would think to deny. This is telling, for it suggests that the distortions of his viewpoints spring not from ignorance, but bad faith. Anyone doubting this should just bear the following consideration in mind: Because Paul thinks that drug usage, prostitution, and gambling are matters with respect to which the federal government hasn’t the constitutional authority to speak, his objectors don’t hesitate to conclude that he champions their legalization. Yet when he makes the same claim about the federal government’s role vis-à-vis abortion — that is, when he makes the same exact claim that they do about this issue — his fellow Republicans do not so much as remotely suggest that he advocates the legalization of abortion. In convicting Paul of this, they would just as quickly condemn themselves. So maybe, just maybe, they do understand his positions on these other issues but refuse to justly characterize them.

Foreign Policy

It is really Paul’s position on foreign policy that incenses his critics to no end. As everyone knows, Ron Paul staunchly opposes what he refers to as “militarism,” a doctrine — sometimes euphemistically described by its apologists as “American Exceptionalism” — that calls for America to essentially “police” the globe against “human rights” violators or, what amounts to the same thing, the enemies of “democracy.” Since this enterprise has, within the last decade, been prosecuted in the name of combating Islamic terror, it is principally Paul’s objections against the assumptions, implications, and tactics of “the War on Terror” that have earned him both the contempt and fear of his competitors.

To begin with, Paul emphatically rejects the proposition — treated as an axiom by the Republican Party — that Muslims hate us because of our liberties and freedoms. Rather, it is a hyper-aggressive American foreign policy, he insists, with its occupation of and sanctions and wars against Islamic lands, that accounts for the rage that culminated in the attacks of 9/11.

For this position, Rick Santorum and legions of other representatives of the GOP establishment have blasted Paul for “blaming America” for the attacks. There are, though, at a minimum, three fatal problems with their approach.

First, an understanding of an agent’s action need not involve praise or blame. Descriptive statements are distinct from prescriptive statements: Just because something is such and such a way doesn’t necessarily mean that it ought to be that way, and just because one thinks that such and such is this way doesn’t mean that he either approves or disapproves of it. In our daily lives, most of us have no difficulty grasping this simple conceptual distinction between, on the one hand, explanation, and, on the other, justification. For some reason, a little elementary logic of this kind manages to elude Paul’s Republican rivals when it comes to his stance on the motivations informing those Muslims who want us dead.

Second, from Osama bin Laden to the 9/11 commission, from former CIA agents who spent decades in the Middle East to political science professor Robert Pape who, to date, has conducted the most extensive research into the reasons underlying Islamic terror, there is no short supply of authoritative sources from which Paul can readily draw in substantiating his position on the 9/11 attacks.

Finally, let us say for argument’s sake that Paul did intend to blame the U.S. government for inviting the 9/11 attacks. That the government is not equivalent to the United States should be obvious to any and every lover of liberty. If, by ascribing blame to the government, Paul can be said to be ascribing blame to America, then whenever any other Republican holds the government accountable for objectionable policies or outcomes — something that occurs incessantly — they too must be held to be “blaming” America.

As it stands, Republicans do themselves no service in conflating the federal government with the country itself. In hurling this bogus charge against Paul, they only contribute further to the growing perception among both the base of their party as well as independents that all of their talk of “limited government” and the like is just that: talk.

Iran

Paul has also taken considerable heat for failing to react with the same hysteria that the public has come to expect from Republicans when the subject of a nuclear-armed Iran arises. Now, few of us, including Paul, no doubt, want for Iran to be armed, and few of us, including Paul, support the Iranian regime. Yet none of this is in the least bit relevant to the question regarding how America should proceed in preventing a determined Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry.

Paul recognizes that such preventive efforts must consist of actions that can only result in death and destruction: Whether America imposes sanctions or engages in military action of one kind or another, innocent Iranian (and possibly American) lives will be extinguished by our attempt to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear energy. He also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world.

But if, as his Republican nemeses hold, Paul’s perspective on this matter is so unacceptable, then how is their view any better? On the one hand, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is one that they resolutely refuse to entertain: It is imperative that we prevent this state of affairs from materializing, they swear. However, on the other hand, not only have we long known that Iran was pursuing nuclear power, it began to expedite its pursuit during the Bush administration.

And yet, to date, no action has been taken to deter it. Moreover, no concrete action to impede its efforts has even been seriously proposed.

“Racism” and “Anti-Semitism”

I usually refuse to dignify accusations of “racism,” “anti-Semitism,” and the like with a response, but they warrant some mention in connection with this defense of Ron Paul.

Paul favors the elimination of all “foreign aid.” Because Israel is among the nations of the world to which the United States supplies financial assistance, some, like David Horowitz, have charged Paul with being “anti-Semitic.”

It is strange indeed that those who never tire of lamenting the ills afflicted by the Welfare State against black Americans and others at home should find fault with a man who seeks only to liberate Israel (and every other country) from the oppressive burdens of the American Welfare State abroad. Paul is actually a friend to Israel inasmuch as he wants for it to be able to give unabashed expression to its sovereignty — something that will be forever impossible as long as it remains dependent upon America.

Yet it is Paul’s detractors who want to maintain Israel’s dependence upon America who claim the moral high ground. It is they who are supposed to be the best friends of Israeli Jews.

As for the charge of “racism,” the widely respected black thinker Thomas Sowell is among many who have long noted that, whether measured in terms of street violence or rates of incarceration, the federal government’s “War on Drugs” has had incalculable deleterious effects on black America. Paul has labored indefatigably to end this war. His accusers want to continue waging it. And it is his critics, not Paul, who insist upon displacing, injuring, and killing untold numbers of non-white peoples (Middle Eastern Muslims) through “the War on Terror” or George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda.” Paul not only wants to end the wars, at considerable cost to his presidential campaign and his popularity among the fellow members of his party, he has spared no occasion to articulate to audiences an understanding of the terrorists’ motives that counters the conventional Republican account that reduces the Islamic terrorist to an embodiment of raw, undifferentiated irrationality. For this, this “racist” has been accused of “blaming America.”

It is one thing to disagree with Congressman Paul. It is another thing to throw one baseless allegation after the other against him.


http://thenewamerican.com/opinion/jack-kerwick/9097-the-case-against-ron-paul-is-defeated
 

Steve

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Iran

Paul has also taken considerable heat for failing to react with the same hysteria that the public has come to expect from Republicans when the subject of a nuclear-armed Iran arises. Now, few of us, including Paul, no doubt, want for Iran to be armed, and few of us, including Paul, support the Iranian regime. Yet none of this is in the least bit relevant to the question regarding how America should proceed in preventing a determined Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry.

Paul recognizes that such preventive efforts must consist of actions that can only result in death and destruction: Whether America imposes sanctions or engages in military action of one kind or another, innocent Iranian (and possibly American) lives will be extinguished by our attempt to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear energy. He also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world.

But if, as his Republican nemeses hold, Paul’s perspective on this matter is so unacceptable, then how is their view any better? On the one hand, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is one that they resolutely refuse to entertain: It is imperative that we prevent this state of affairs from materializing, they swear. However, on the other hand, not only have we long known that Iran was pursuing nuclear power, it began to expedite its pursuit during the Bush administration.

And yet, to date, no action has been taken to deter it. Moreover, no concrete action to impede its efforts has even been seriously proposed.

Bush took the situation seriously lacked credible backing after Iraq, Obama has pretty much ignored Iran only to see them escalate their hostility towards the US

so how would the Iranians react to a total Paul cave in? more assassination plots on US soil?

how does hat hep our security?
 

Lonecowboy

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Steve said:
Iran

Paul has also taken considerable heat for failing to react with the same hysteria that the public has come to expect from Republicans when the subject of a nuclear-armed Iran arises. Now, few of us, including Paul, no doubt, want for Iran to be armed, and few of us, including Paul, support the Iranian regime. Yet none of this is in the least bit relevant to the question regarding how America should proceed in preventing a determined Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry.

Paul recognizes that such preventive efforts must consist of actions that can only result in death and destruction: Whether America imposes sanctions or engages in military action of one kind or another, innocent Iranian (and possibly American) lives will be extinguished by our attempt to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear energy. He also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world.

But if, as his Republican nemeses hold, Paul’s perspective on this matter is so unacceptable, then how is their view any better? On the one hand, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is one that they resolutely refuse to entertain: It is imperative that we prevent this state of affairs from materializing, they swear. However, on the other hand, not only have we long known that Iran was pursuing nuclear power, it began to expedite its pursuit during the Bush administration.

And yet, to date, no action has been taken to deter it. Moreover, no concrete action to impede its efforts has even been seriously proposed.

Bush took the situation seriously lacked credible backing after Iraq, Obama has pretty much ignored Iran only to see them escalate their hostility towards the US

so how would the Iranians react to a total Paul cave in? more assassination plots on US soil?

how does hat hep our security?


No one has a crystal ball to answer those questions, but the reality is still this:
[
b]He ( Ron Paul)also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world. [/b]

Ron is also very adamant about securing OUR border. will that stop all assasination plots on US soil? probably not.

I know one thing I would resent very much some other government telling me how to live my life and forcing their ideas upon me- I would fight them tooth and nail on it. Kind of like the UN. Why should other countries be any different to US involvement where it is not asked for or needed? Does the average Iranian want us involved in their lives any more that I want them involved in mine? I think we need to get our financial house in order, secure our borders, and get our resources prepared for an actual threat before we start chasing precieved threats.
 

Larrry

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He ( Ron Paul)also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world.

So we go along with the status quo and let the military fall into complete ruin. There are vasts and I emphasize vast sums of money spent in the federal government that could be dedicated to the military. We must do this before we are terrorized to death and then we fall because we can't defend ourselves. The military is one of the very last things that should be squandered on various social and pet projects, etc.

If the military is in as bad a shape as Paul says then he is only capitulating to the enemies of the US. He should be saying that we need to build or military defenses. But what is he doing, for one capitualting to Iran etc.
 

Larrry

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10 most outrageous ways government wastes your money
ByKathy Kristof .5 Comments
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Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK (AP)
(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY Why are Americans averse to tax hikes? Besides the obvious reluctance to pay more, there's Senator Tom Coburn's "Waste Book," a compendium of 100 idiotic ways the federal government frittered away our tax dollars in 2011.



Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, says the unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects in the book, released today, add up to an astounding $6.5 billion. To be sure, getting rid of these projects would barely put a dent in the $1 trillion-plus budget deficit. But it might give taxpayers a bit more faith that our money wasn't being thrown away.

While Congress debated whether they could save money by closing loopholes in the Byzantine tax system, about $1 billion in tax credits for energy efficient home improvements were paid to people who didn't own homes, Coburn says.

Remember Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere?" It was never built. But the government spent more than $1 million in 2011 paying people to "promote" it. While Congress debated whether to freeze salaries of current workers, some $120 million in retirement and disability benefits were paid to federal employees who were already dead.

The government funds programs to promote video games, chocolate, and to revamp a scuba-diver's web site. Some of these projects might have merit, Coburn says. But they're certainly not national priorities in an age when burgeoning deficits threaten to shutter the federal government.

"During the past 12 months, politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government's out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need," Coburn said in a prepared statement. "Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion."

There are 100 projects in the book. Here are some that I considered the most outrageous -- but, frankly, its tough to choose. To see the whole listing, check out Coburn's 2011 Waste Book.

$30 million to help Pakistani Mango farmers: This was part of a four-year, $90 million effort to boost hiring and sales among Pakistani businesses funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

$765,828 for pancakes: Federal funding went to the Anacostia Economic Development Corp to build an International House of Pancake franchise (and train its workers) in an "underserved community." The underserved community, however, turned out to the a toney area of Washington D.C. - Columbia Heights, which is termed "one of Washington's more desirable neighborhoods."

$120 million in retirement and disability benefits to federal employees who have died: The Inspector General for the U.S. Office of Personnel management found that "the amount of post-death improper payments is consistently $100 million - $150 million annually, totaling over $601 million in the last five years."

$652,740 to create an Oklahoma "visitor's center": The scenic highway that runs from Talihina, Oklahoma to Mena, Ark., already has three visitor's centers, but this federal grant would create a fourth. The abandoned rock house that the government proposes to turn into a new visitor's center will cost more than 14 times the median value of a home in the area. That would be bad enough, but the Talimena Drive area is in good shape, while the rest of eastern Oklahoma's roads could use some serious attention. The area ranks 8th in the nation for its number of "structurally deficient" bridges.

$113,277 for video games: The International Center for the History of Electronic Games got the money to conduct a detailed conservation survey of video games.

$484,000 for pizza: A private developer was giving federal grant money to build Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, an Arlington, Tx., outlet known for its tongue-in-cheek references to drug and hippie culture.

$100,000 for a celebrity chef show in Indonesia: The Washington State Fruit Commission asked for the grant to help promote their fruit and cooking recipes in "an emerging market." Can you spell "Boondoggle?"

$10 million for Pakistani Sesame Street: We must really love the Pakistanis. We must have a close and trusting relationship with the country that somehow managed to miss the fact that Osama bin Laden was living within spitting distance of a Pakistani military base for years. Because, after funding the Pakistani Mango growers, the government felt it needed to spend some time and money remaking big bird and the other Sesame Street characters into a show called "SimSim Humara" for the Pakistani market.

$550,000 for "Rockin' the Kremlin: A documentary on how rock and roll contributed to the end of the cold war.

$702,558 to bring television to Vietnamese villages: No, it wasn't just for the sitcoms. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University wanted to know how television affects family formation and reproductive health. So where better to study the problem than 14 remote Vietnamese villages, where the government paid to bring the t.v.s and gas generators, because, of course, these villages also don't have electric power?

The full listing of 100 outrageous ways the federal government wasted your tax dollars in 2011 can be found here. But Coburn rightly notes in a preamble to his report that the biggest waste of our money may be on Congress itself, which recently recorded a 9% approval rating - the lowest in history. The fact that some member of Congress had to propose (and convince colleagues to approve) these projects gives a glimpse into why.

"The year 2011 will be remembered as a period of unrest as outraged Americans of all political stripes...took to the streets in anger and disgust with the direction of our nation," Coburn writes. "As you look at these examples, regardless of your personal political persuasion, ask yourself: Would you agree with Washington that these projects represent national priorities or would you agree that these reflect the wasteful spending habits that threaten to bankrupt the future of the American Dream?"

More on MoneyWatch
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505144_162-57345686/10-most-outrageous-ways-government-wastes-your-money/
 

Lonecowboy

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Larrry said:
He ( Ron Paul)also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world.

So we go along with the status quo and let the military fall into complete ruin. There are vasts and I emphasize vast sums of money spent in the federal government that could be dedicated to the military. We must do this before we are terrorized to death and then we fall because we can't defend ourselves. The military is one of the very last things that should be squandered on various social and pet projects, etc.

If the military is in as bad a shape as Paul says then he is only capitulating to the enemies of the US. He should be saying that we need to build or military defenses. But what is he doing, for one capitualting to Iran etc.

I think the status quo is to keep borrow and spending money we don't have to finance "wars" we don't need. I agree that we need a very well funded military- national defense is one of the few enumerated powers our Constitution gives the federal govt. I agree our military is the last place we should cut- but I would rather see a scaled down- well funded and equipped military than a "we go totally broke and can afford nothing at all"- I believe we are in dire financial straights and life as we have known it is going to stop- I would rather have a well planned slow down than a forced chaos which is where I see us headed if we don't take a proactive approach soon.
 

Larrry

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Lonecowboy said:
Larrry said:
He ( Ron Paul)also recognizes that our military, already stretched to the snapping point, simply cannot afford (by any conceivable measure) to involve itself in but another “foreign entanglement,” especially in the Islamic world.

So we go along with the status quo and let the military fall into complete ruin. There are vasts and I emphasize vast sums of money spent in the federal government that could be dedicated to the military. We must do this before we are terrorized to death and then we fall because we can't defend ourselves. The military is one of the very last things that should be squandered on various social and pet projects, etc.

If the military is in as bad a shape as Paul says then he is only capitulating to the enemies of the US. He should be saying that we need to build or military defenses. But what is he doing, for one capitualting to Iran etc.

I think the status quo is to keep borrow and spending money we don't have to finance "wars" we don't need. I agree that we need a very well funded military- national defense is one of the few enumerated powers our Constitution gives the federal govt. I agree our military is the last place we should cut- but I would rather see a scaled down- well funded and equipped military than a "we go totally broke and can afford nothing at all"- I believe we are in dire financial straights and life as we have known it is going to stop- I would rather have a well planned slow down than a forced chaos which is where I see us headed if we don't take a proactive approach soon.

I can't argue that. The status quo of the spending not allowed by our Constitution has got to stop.
 

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