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« Bend Over, America, and Smile for Some 527 Lubricant | Main | Merry Chri... Happy Holi... -- Just have a good, safe, and uncomplicated one »

December 24, 2007

Comments

Alexia

You did nothing to convince me that Paul's knowledge of history is lesser than yours.

Again, every country in the world managed to end slavery, but we couldn't?

And if you did give up on small government, preferring nonsensical, inefficient and a corrupt federal system, then you should at least have an obligation to amend the Constitution.

Simplicity is beautiful. Things are only complicated if you make them that way.

This country was built by people who wanted the freedom to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Socialism belongs in Europe.

beamer

a good deal more sharing of the fruits of labor occurs in europe than here..Alexia, do not speak for the working class.

Jane Hawes

You've got it right, and Paul has it wrong. As a Civil War buff, I've seen all the arguments before. What Paul forgets - or never knew - is that Lincoln also wanted to free the slaves gradually, by buying them from their owners at government expense. And it would have cost less money and fewer lives to do it that way. But the slaveowners wouldn't go for it, and - like it or not - slavery was protected under the Constitution. Lincoln didn't have the power to force slaveowners to give up their "property."

You are also right to say that unfettered "states' rights" would end the country as we know it. There was fear of that at the time of the Civil War, too. People could see the balkanization of the region coming (although they didn't use that term at the time). The triumph of the Confederacy would have brought permanent instability and an end to constitutional government.

In any case, the Confederacy shot first, so the whole notion of Lincoln being the one to go to war is simply false.

Ron Paul needs to learn some history.

rhys

"And what was that intent? The absolute supremacy of constitutional rule -- meaning the peaceful deference to majority rule." -p m carpenter

Abe Lincoln destroyed a Constitutional Republic to uphold the tyranny of the majority. The Constitution protects minority rights, yet the north violated minority rights by not allowing the People, through the Agents - the States, to have an equal say in what constituted a breach of contract. If only the Federal government may rule on the Constitution, then the other party in the contract, the People, might as well not have a contract. It was exactly the destruction of minority rights in favor of the tyanny of the majority that destroyed the intent of the Constitution.

"Resolved - that the several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principles of unlimited submission to their general government, but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of Amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving each state to itself the residuary mass of right to their own self government. And that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.

"Now to this compact each state acceded as a state and is an integral party, its co-states forming as to itself the other party, that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself since that would have made its discretion and not the Constitution the measure of its powers. But that, as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge of itself as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress." -Thomas Jefferson

PG Bowden

P.M.—I share your cognitive dissonance when it comes to Ron Paul. I’m a liberal Democrat who has flirted with him a bit—chiefly because of his defense of the civil rights of U.S. detainees (and thus all human beings) and the recognition that we are no longer a republic but an empire. He is also the only candidate I hear talking about the devaluation of the dollar—so I believe that whatever his shortcomings (and there are many), his is a very important voice that resonates with millions of Americans who had forgotten what real republicanism was supposed to be (not that I’d ever vote for one).

The problem with Paul is that he’s a strict constitutionalist alright, the 1787 version, when there were only 13 states. His entire philosophy, if one takes notice, is based on the 10th Amendment: that all powers not specifically delegated to the federal government shall revert to the states; except now there are 50 states instead of 13 so the whole premise of that amendment is certainly more complicated now than it was at the time.

Your point about meat inspection is a case in point and I’ll take it a bit further. Here is a question for Ron Paul’s America: What if the U.S. abolished all federal meat inspectors and left it to the states to inspect meat as they saw fit, ala Douglass’ 1854 Popular Sovereignty vision. What if, say, Illinois, put a high priority on meat inspections and soon was considered to have the safest meat in the country, while Mississippi had a governor who got kickbacks from the meat industry and decided his state didn’t need meat inspections. Now, that should be perfectly constitutional in Ron Paul’s America. If you want safe meat, move to Illinois. Want an abortion? Drive to the nearest state that offers them. That may well have been what the founders intended, who knows. It’s hard to say what the Founders would write with an opportunity for a do-over. But honestly, that’s not really the America I want to live in because it’s too Balkanized and inherently unfair to the poorest among us, who may not have the means to simply drive 500 miles or more for whatever reason a state dictates in order to fulfill basic needs or get a safe hamburger. And this analogy is only a microcosm of what Paul’s vision would entail (I lack the time and space for a complete discussion).

I want to just briefly comment on the Civil War thing because I believe there is some merit to a couple of points Paul makes. It is a historical fact that the North was hammering the South with high tariffs preceding the war, which caused great animosity in the South towards the North. Add that to the fact that the North was not about to buy slaves into freedom because to do so would be to pay southerners to do what they should be compelled by their conscience to do anyway; thus, a moral indictment on their culture, and indeed, their manhood. Along with the extreme tariffs, you have the powder keg that the North was willingly filling with gunpowder. (This does not absolve the South of its complicity in any way, it’s just that the victors wrote the textbooks and I’m not sure the North’s complicity for war is emphasized properly)

I do not believe Lincoln WANTED war; I believe he thought we must HAVE war to define our nation’s value’s and its commitment to the Constitution. The alternative would be to have a thousand mile border with a new country (the Confederacy) which had antipathy and animosity towards the U.S. which would put them at odds for years, if not decades to come. A true slow bleed if there ever was one. My understanding is that Lincoln waited for the South to fire first and then did what he knew must be done all along. He had the complete blessing of a myriad of economic and social interests who thought the South deserved a nice humiliating lesson for their evil deeds. And perhaps the North was right and on the side of God in this instance, but Paul is simply asking if God’s will had to be implemented at the tip of a sword rather than a dollar bill to buy the slaves into freedom. And as for the correct answer, only God knows how that would have changed history.

Anyway, a lot of it’s hypothetical reasoning on my part, but I wanted to weigh in.

Paul’s candidacy is good for America because at least he’s forcing America to take part in a desperately needed civics lesson if nothing else.

Hotrod

PM,
Bullseye!!! Ron Paul is truly an enigma. He gets the creeping Fascism argument in regard to civil liberties, but would let the corporations rule supreme economically, which is totally in line with Fascism. Interesting position, is it not?

Dieter Heymann, Houston, USA

Sure, the war began with an attack on a Union fort. That should not have come as a surprise to Lincoln. After all, the fort controlled the entrance to a Confederate port. Although history does not "work" that way, it would be interesting to speculate what would have happened if Lincoln had ordered the removal of all Union troops from Sumter the day after the CSA seceded. Would the Confederates then have attacked the Union elsewhere? Would the Union have attacked the Confederates? It seems rather useless to aver that the Union was attacked by the CSA. The situation was a powder keg and the first attack could well have come from the Union armies.
Of course the basic reason for the war was what the "Southerners" paranoically perceived as the impending abolition of slavery by "Northerners" like Lincoln. Why did they fail to believe Lincoln's policy of only keeping slavery in bounds but not ending it? DuBois has argued that the slave economy needed a big increase in arable land because of the inflated price of slaves. No additional land meant the death for the slave-based economy. Did Lincoln know this? Karl Schurz, an adviser of Lincoln, almost certainly knew. Once again, it is too simplistic to aver that Lincoln did not want to abolish slavery.
Lincoln's original plan for the slaves was not to buy their freedom and then allow them to settle in the USA but to ship them all to Africa. I believe that it was his Secretary of State who pointed out that the total of US merchant shipping could just keep up with the birth rate of blacks.
I think that Paul has a valid point but that his defense of that point is weak.

Kevin Schmdt, Ojai CA

Here is what you can ask a Ron Paul supporter to shut him up:

Why doesn't Ron Paul support Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach dick Cheney?

Also, if Ron Paul is so principled, then why doesn't he leave the corrupt Bush enabling GOP?

Finally, if Ron Paul is such a big advocate of a smaller government, then why does he pursue earmarks and pork for his district?

ras

Ron Paul explained: Psalms 100

bruiser

"Simplicity is beautiful. Things are only complicated if you make them that way."

Uh, Alexia? Fifty states opened up to the influence of corporate lobbyists to determine the state of health care, prescription drugs, food safety, pollution, energy policy etc. hardly sounds simple. Are you sure your way doesn't make things more complicated than when some federal guidelines are in place?

Think about it, it that's not too complicated.

enzo

I must explore the Civil War History more deeply.

Still, we must recognize that the nation was reacting to several technological changes - steamships, railroads, the cotton gin, mass produced guns and interchangeable parts / industrialization.

There were also tensions about the nature of money, whether it would be cheap/paper or expensive/gold, tensions between agrarian and industry and banking interests NE versus Dixie.

Ron Paul is *very* interested in this controversy over paper fiat currency that is only backed by future taxes/debt, and our attenuating control over petro-dollars -- the dollar backed by cheap Saudi Crude in exchange for being our protectorate.

Northerners were getting wealthy from wage slavery, and Southern Gentry was not just wealthy, but leisurely from slavery. Meanwhile the old South was providing for more care for the slaves (since they were investments), than the Irish got in northern ghettos, where they lived in fetid and fatal conditions. Wealthy Northerners were willing to kill off a generation of Southern whites who were willing to die to save their way of life.

Let's take a look at what did happen after the war. The Gilded Age, fueled by Robber Barons consolidating banking, transportation, production and industrialization. The increased power of corporations, such as no longer needing to be recertified regularly, the spread of wage slavery, and the institutionalization of Jim Crow in which Blacks were effectively disenfranchised, and many were stuck in indentured servitude as sharecroppers...

Also the Federal Government became the rule, and the 'States' being like different countries or states, largely became meaningless.

Heck, politically, the South won the war. Beyond Reconstruction, you can't seem to win the Presidency since 1964 without the South -- the only two Democrats to do so since 1964 were Southerners, one an evangelical, and the other a quasi-preacher with sins, confessions, redemptions.

I don't understand how if friends, lovers or spouses have a partner that wants to leave the relationship how that is not perfectly ok. It seems like a unanimous requirement. In fact, using force to keep a partner in a relationship is coercion, stalkerish, and creepy.

Clearly, interests in the North were going to see big profits from pulling this country together into a production and consumption organism, one that could take over the entire swath of the continent, and maybe even a bit of the southern hemisphere as well.

What is so manifest about manifest destiny?

Had the South and the North parted ways peacefully, there would be no USA hegemony, and we wouldn't have our bases in 130 countries. We'd likely have cheap healthcare and college education with all this extra money.

Perhaps the South would have moved to the Caribbean and the upper part of South American. I'd prefer Houstonian-Louisianan-Alabaman-
Florida politics and corruption foisted on the Caribbean than on my country. And I prefer it to the kind of corrupt culture that the Spanish engendered.

Either way, slavery would have withered away due to economic forces, just as it did in the Caribbean. It is more efficient and profitable to have tenant farmers and wage slaves that you don't have to feed and clothe and pay for.

Probably the West would have been carved up between Mexico, Canada-Britain, and Russia. Today's USA mainland would have been at least three nations, not strong enough to take on Europe in 20-40 years.

Yet, there would be a lot more people in the North and the South, avoiding the Civil War carnage, and avoiding the destruction.

Ron Paul may not be the greatest historian but he tends towards the underlying truth that the Federal Government is too big, vast and powerful, that we are not following the Constitution, and that our economy is built on a house of cards that works for a few at the expense and risk of many.

Paul Revere

All excellent comments: IF NOTHING ELSE, I ENJOY THE RON PAUL DIALOGUE. Good point: if Ron Paul is strict constitutionist, why hasn't he spoken out about the perdition of our government by this administration; especially the impeachment of Benedict Arnold?

Jasko

The war between the states was a pramatic solution to an economic imbalance. The slavery issue was only a polarizing wedge used by the government. The fedral government had to evolve. Speciation does not always end in sucsess. The primacy of corporations will be the terminus of a free republic. Ron Paul if elected will preside over this inevitability. The end result will depend on the compliance or resistance of people.

Rampaging Manatee

I agree with Dr. Paul.

Armando

It isn't exactly correct to believe that Ron Paul would have the country run by corporation at his election. This man is constantly defending against such.

When points are made about Ron Paul deregulating and sending us into corporate hell, people aren't giving him appropriate credit.

It's easy to say that he will feed corporate fascism because he's a republican, but that's an uneducated assumption. The government might regulate against corporations, but it also does plentiful harm through numerous programs that GIVE MONEY to particularly powerful financial recipients. I would recommend that people read at http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul-arch.html

There are examples (such as the article titled "No Corporate Welfare") in which Ron Paul's opinion is shown to be very much against the domination of the markets and the country by rich companies, special interest groups, etc. So, this stuff about the man letting "the corporations rule supreme economically, which is totally in line with Fascism," (as said by hotrod above) is speculative nonsense.


I'd also like to answer the questions of another poster, meant to "shut up" a Ron Paul supporter.

1. Why doesn't Ron Paul support Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach dick Cheney?

To be clear, he doesn't outright OPPOSE impeachment, but chose not to support the bill. Remember that Impeachment is a legal device and it is not necessarily equal to moral integrity. This impeachment bill was discussed for only a few hours, which is not, I trust, the appropriate method taken when the House votes on it, because Ron Paul actually stated clearly why he voted the way he did. Here is an excerpt:

'Mr. Speaker, I rise, reluctantly, in favor of the motion to table House Resolution 799, Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors, and in favor of referring that resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for full consideration. I voted to table this resolution not because I do not share the gentleman from Ohio's desire to hold those responsible for the Iraqi debacle accountable; but rather, because I strongly believe that we must follow established protocol in matters of such importance. During my entire time in Congress, I have been outspoken in my opposition to war with Iraq and Iran. I have warned my colleagues and the administration against marching toward war in numerous speeches over the years, and I have voted against every appropriation to continue the war on Iraq.'

You can read the rest here: http://www.ronpaullibrary.org


2. Also, if Ron Paul is so principled, then why doesn't he leave the corrupt Bush enabling GOP?

Because, as he's stated many times, he feels he is a truer representative of the Republican party than the other guys are. With how many statements he has made, and how readily available they are, it seems silly to suggest that he supports the "corrupt Bush enabling" types. Just read his stuff at the library linked above.

3. Finally, if Ron Paul is such a big advocate of a smaller government, then why does he pursue earmarks and pork for his district?

The spending covered in this attempt at a smear is Federal money, true, but it is not "pork", per se. I'm not the expert on this, but I've read that this is money paid through taxes that has already been budgeted and cannot be issued back through refunds to taxpayers. It either gets used for the benefit of Dr. Paul's constituents, or it gets eaten by the government some other way. Besides, the money was being used to improve local infrastructure not to wage war or pay off other countries. this man returns the unused portion of his office budget back to the government every year! He's not going to let anyone buy him.


So there. Three answers to these so important questions, which needed to be answered before Dr. Paul was a respected candidate. It really didn't take that long to look this stuff up guys, use the INTERNET and THINK FOR YOURSELVES!!!! That's what I did, and I went from an undecided democrat who thought that Ron Paul was a little nutty to a whole-hearted supporter, once I read enough about him.

Sheryl

Re: Civil War. Unless you concur that reading HISTORICAL accounts on the war (like "The Real Lincoln" by Thomas DiLorenzo)are beneath you, like the newscasters on "The Morning Joe" infered in their show a few days ago, it might be worth your while. Unfortunately for all of us, government schools do not accurately teach history. As other writers have indicated, the Civil War was NOT about slavery. It was about forcing the Southern states to stay as part of the UNITED States, an early example of our government at its tyrannical best. For those of you who have not viewed "The Morning Joe", Dr. Paul points out that Lincoln refused signoff on a Constitutional Amendment introduced to ban slavery. He also stated clearly, as did Congress, that he didn't particularly care about slavery one way or the other.

Also, to clarify "earmarks": (
1) A chunk of money has been collected via TAXES
2) A bill is introduced in Congress, who has to vote on two things:
(a) should we spend the money?
(b) if so, how?
3) Paul is a Congressional REPRESENTATIVE. His job is to REPRESENT his district.
4) People in each district make requests for money so that THEIR taxes come back to THEIR district - SEE 2B.
5) Paul is obligated to put in their requests because he is their REPRESENTATIVE.
6) If a spending bill is passed, the money is apportioned via the "earmarks" - SEE 2B.
7) If you do not put in for any "earmarks", the ALREADY ALLOTTED money is spent elsewhere - SEE 2B.
8) Paul votes AGAINST the bill introduced to spend the money, because he does not approve of spending it - SEE 2A.
9) HOWEVER, if the bill IS passed, then Paul's constituents deserve a part of that money to be spent on THEIR projects, since they PAID TAXES to accumulate the money in the first place.

Regarding the "corrupt GOP", and whether it violates Paul's principles to stay in it: We have a two party system. Period. BOTH parties are corrupt. I can rant equally on misdeeds of each - ignoring the "pants down" part of the Clinton presidency, which was no one's business to begin with, shall we discuss Kosovo, NAFTA (hey, my job went elsewhere!), or "We will find the people who did this (fill in atrocity here) and make them sorry"? I could also ask "If Kucinich is so pure, why is he aligning with a corrupt Dem party instead of running Independent?" Same reason. We have a TWO PARTY system. Indpendents, Constitutionalists, and Libertarians are excluded.

It is time to stop throwing stones. Ignore the MSM. If you are responsible enough to cast your vote, you need to be responsible enough to go to each and every candidate's site and LOOK AT THEIR PLATFORM. Not just the ones you think you might LIKE to support, ALL OF THEM. Then go back and look at their voting record if they have held public office. Read what they have written, including explanations of why they have voted a particular way. See if anyone owns them. WHEN IT COMES TO HOW THEY WILL SPEND YOUR MONEY, check out opensecrets.org . See if they are managing their campaign finances sanely. Do they have debt? Are they paying their bills?

I have faith in ALL of you as fellow Americans, even the people whose positions I vehemently disagree with. We all want to do what is best for ourselves and our country. Open and rational discussion leads to new ideas and creativity.

For example - when candidates discuss the "terrible problem of the uninsured", implying that those individuals are either too poor or too irresponsible to obtain health insurance, who brings up the fact that probably an enormous number of them are UNINSURABLE? Hmmmm. Yes, if you are > 20-lbs overweight (according to INSURANCE charts), have diabetes, heart problems, hypertension, sleep apnea, asthma ... YOU ARE UNINSURABLE AT ANY PRICE. I have a health insurance license. About 50% of the people who try to buy insurance are turned down ... I am diabetic and would DEARLY LOVE to see John Edwards try to garnish my wages to pay for health insurance that I cannot obtain, LOL!

Armando

Thank you for clarifying how the system works, I'm not a hardcore C-SPAN fan, and haven't picked up on the definition of the process otherwise.

Also, I too would like to comment on the Civil War.

My roommate and I were talking about the civil War the other day, and in our discussion we led each other to certain epiphanies about it.

The Civil War is an extremely unique conflict.

My roommate was defending the rights of the South against the unconstitutional methods of the North to push the slavery issue, but the reasoning felt incomplete. I couldn't quite defend the Federal Government's actions as holy and correct, either.

We came to realize that the unique nature of the slavery issue itself is something that (we imagine) cannot be replicated, because it's particular conflict could be defended by varying interpretations of the constitution.

The north could defend their going to war with the south based on the idea that if slavery would be unconstitutional, and many northerners were adopting an abolitionist mindset, they could not let the south get away with perpetuating the exploitation of men through slavery, thus the Feds had a moral responsibility granted by the constitution to enforce that these men should be free men. Both sides were accusing each other of being monsters and standing in the way of liberty. I'm sure the ideologies existed somewhere in the public, at least, if not in spoken word of politicians.

I'm not a civil war buff, just a philosopher.

Zee

PGBowden,

Maybe you should do some homework instead of "flirting" with the likes of Ron Paul.

"He is also the only candidate I hear talking about the devaluation of the dollar.."

Give me an effin' break. He also predicted the impending demise and takeover of the dollar over 30 years ago, so he is of the same ilk as the NAU and amero nutcases...and he was completely wrong, eh?

There's no way to "shut up" Ron Paul defenders. Could you "shut up" Freepers? There's no need to shut them up, either...we'll always have fruitcakes with holed up with their guns in the backwoods ranting against the "gummint." Oh....except when it suits them to have the gummint shove their worldview down your throat.

So it is with Paul. He supports *changing* the Constitution to declaring a fetus...hell, a ZYGOTE...a "person." So if you have a womb ---or if your a person who cares that a woman not the GUMMINT can decide what to do with her own womb --- you have no business "flirting" with, or supporting in any way, Ron Paul.

enzo

I must explore the Civil War History more deeply.

Still, we must recognize that the nation was reacting to several technological changes - steamships, railroads, the cotton gin, mass produced guns and interchangeable parts / industrialization.

There were also tensions about the nature of money, whether it would be cheap/paper or expensive/gold, tensions between agrarian and industry and banking interests NE versus Dixie.

Ron Paul is *very* interested in this controversy over paper fiat currency that is only backed by future taxes/debt, and our attenuating control over petro-dollars -- the dollar backed by cheap Saudi Crude in exchange for being our protectorate.

Northerners were getting wealthy from wage slavery, and Southern Gentry was not just wealthy, but leisurely from slavery. Meanwhile the old South was providing for more care for the slaves (since they were investments), than the Irish got in northern ghettos, where they lived in fetid and fatal conditions. Wealthy Northerners were willing to kill off a generation of Southern whites who were willing to die to save their way of life.

Let's take a look at what did happen after the war. The Gilded Age, fueled by Robber Barons consolidating banking, transportation, production and industrialization. The increased power of corporations, such as no longer needing to be recertified regularly, the spread of wage slavery, and the institutionalization of Jim Crow in which Blacks were effectively disenfranchised, and many were stuck in indentured servitude as sharecroppers...

Also the Federal Government became the rule, and the 'States' being like different countries or states, largely became meaningless.

Heck, politically, the South won the war. Beyond Reconstruction, you can't seem to win the Presidency since 1964 without the South -- the only two Democrats to do so since 1964 were Southerners, one an evangelical, and the other a quasi-preacher with sins, confessions, redemptions.

I don't understand how if friends, lovers or spouses have a partner that wants to leave the relationship how that is not perfectly ok. It seems like a unanimous requirement. In fact, using force to keep a partner in a relationship is coercion, stalkerish, and creepy.

Clearly, interests in the North were going to see big profits from pulling this country together into a production and consumption organism, one that could take over the entire swath of the continent, and maybe even a bit of the southern hemisphere as well.

What is so manifest about manifest destiny?

Had the South and the North parted ways peacefully, there would be no USA hegemony, and we wouldn't have our bases in 130 countries. We'd likely have cheap healthcare and college education with all this extra money.

Perhaps the South would have moved to the Caribbean and the upper part of South American. I'd prefer Houstonian-Louisianan-Alabaman-
Florida politics and corruption foisted on the Caribbean than on my country. And I prefer it to the kind of corrupt culture that the Spanish engendered.

Either way, slavery would have withered away due to economic forces, just as it did in the Caribbean. It is more efficient and profitable to have tenant farmers and wage slaves that you don't have to feed and clothe and pay for.

Probably the West would have been carved up between Mexico, Canada-Britain, and Russia. Today's USA mainland would have been at least three nations, not strong enough to take on Europe in 20-40 years.

Yet, there would be a lot more people in the North and the South, avoiding the Civil War carnage, and avoiding the destruction.

Ron Paul may not be the greatest historian but he tends towards the underlying truth that the Federal Government is too big, vast and powerful, that we are not following the Constitution, and that our economy is built on a house of cards that works for a few at the expense and risk of many.

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