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Ron Paul’s Libertarian Paradise

Ron Paul is the fact of batshit. Seriously, this is not a well man. If you weren’t sure that he was out of his ever loving mind before, allow me to present the latest evidence to you.

Ron Paul decided to offer up his criticism on how the ebola epidemic is being handled by President Obama, and then shared his solution. I do want to take a moment to say this; to his credit, Ron Paul actually presented his solution. This is the step that his republican brethren generally don’t trouble themselves with. Now back to his solution. If you’re not already giggling, it’s because you haven’t yet figured out that this is going exactly where you think it’s going. There’s so much batshit here, that I’m going to have to take it one piece at a time. From his Ron Paul "institute" website:

The people of Liberia and other countries would be better off if the US government left them alone. Leave it to private citizens to invest in African business and trade with the African people. Private investment and trade would help these countries develop thriving free-market economies capable of sustaining a modern healthcare infrastructure.

YAY libertarian paradise! The beauty of libertarian paradise is that it always soldiers on, like an unstoppable, unkillable  cockroach. It doesn’t need facts, historical precedent, or even a shred of evidence to support it’s ideas. It only needs other libertarian rubes to advance its fantastical ideas by throwing up websites to peddle its crazy. Because as libertarians all know, if it’s on the internet, it’s true and valid. Oh and also, everyone except other libertarians are lying to them. If their "point" is up at Mises or the Ron Paul site, it becomes a "source" for them. They basically create a circle jerk of unproven and unprovable ideas, and think that they’re really clever because the guy holding his dick across from them agrees with their argument.

Ron Paul’s belief that the free market will cure ebola is exactly that; it’s made up, not based in fact, and he serves as the guy with his dick in his hand that all other libertarians will point to and proclaim, "AHA!"

The free market has never cured a disease. In fact, the last disease that we cured was polio. The cure for polio was discovered by Doctor Jonas Salk, whose research was funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. If you haven’t guessed already, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis was a nonprofit organization created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is now known as The March Of Dimes. Nonprofit, PEH! Oh, but it gets worse for libertarian paradise. Doctor Salk didn’t patent his vaccine. He gave up an estimated seven billion dollars by not patenting the vaccine, in order to get it distributed around the world as quickly as possible. Socialist scum!

For anyone keeping score, the board looks like this;

  • Socialism – 1
  • Libertarianism – 0

Oh Ron Paul and his laser focus will never be affected by history and empirical evidence. No, he jerks himself onward and upward so that jerks across from him can point to him for validation. But he’s not done jerking his "solution" for us. Again from his site;

Legitimate concerns about protecting airline passengers from those with Ebola or other infectious diseases can best be addressed by returning responsibility for passenger safety to the airlines. After all, private airlines have a greater incentive than does government to protect their passengers from contagious diseases. They can do so while providing a safe means of travel for those seeking medical treatment in the United States. This would remove the incentive to lie about exposure to the virus among those seeking to come here for treatment.

Do I even need to unpack that? Private airlines have a greater incentive than does government to protect their passengers from contagious diseases? Are you shitting me? Private airlines don’t even have an incentive to deliver a travel experience that isn’t absolutely fucking miserable. There’s no incentive to transport me from one destination to another in anything other than the fetal position (with my knees at my chest), but they’re going to set up ebola screening stations? We don’t have a choice but to do business with airlines that treat us like crap and they know it. What universe is Ron Paul living in?

Then he goes on to explain how the Firestone Tire company eradicated ebola in their little corner of Liberia;

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company has successfully contained the spread of Ebola among 80,000 people living in Harbel, the Liberian town housing employees of Firestone’s Liberian plant and their families. In March, after the wife of a Firestone employee developed Ebola symptoms, Firestone constructed its own treatment center and implemented a program of quarantine and treatment. Firestone has successfully kept the Ebola virus from spreading among its employees. As of this writing, there are only three Ebola patients at Firestone’s treatment facility.

Firestone’s success in containing Ebola shows that, far from justifying new state action, the Ebola crises demonstrates that individuals acting in the free market can do a better job of containing Ebola than can governments. The Ebola crisis is also another example of how US foreign aid harms the very people we are claiming to help. Limiting government at home and abroad is the best way to protect health and freedom.

Guess what, Ron? The government of Senegal also eradicated their one case of ebola. But that’s not convenient to Ron Paul’s magical free market ideology, so we’ll point to one instance where one company participated (no evidence that they didn’t get government aid) in one instance of containing one case of one outbreak. No need to provide other examples, because we have the one, and that allows us to ignore all of the other times that governments and governments alone have contained and eradicated disease.

Isn’t libertarian paradise grand?I actually have more respect for teabaggers than I do for libertarians. At least teabaggers don’t bother telling themselves they’re smarter than other people. When asked why they supported Sarah Palin, most of them answered with, "Because she’s just like me. Just an ordinary person." They didn’t bother constructing the circle jerk first. I find that infinitely less annoying than libertarian paradise.        

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Libertarian; So Full Of Shit

We’re all familiar with the basic ideas behind libertarianism. They really boil down to two words; freedom and responsibility. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? It sounds great, until you grow up and experience life. But I’m not going to take apart the ideology again (see my past posts).

In this post, I’m going to point out how libertarians are massively full of shit, particularly when it comes to the “responsibility” part of their equation. Let me begin with the granddaddy of all libertarians; their messiah, Ron Paul. We’re all familiar with his incredibly racist newsletters (if you’re not, click here). You know, the ones that bore his name, but that he didn’t write and had no idea how they happened, even though they helped raise enough money to get him out of 3/4 of a million dollars worth of debt in the 80s? How a “responsible” person racks up that kind of debt (it would be equivalent to around $2 million today), I don’t know, but I digress. So the newsletters wrote themselves and had the happy side effect of paying Paul’s bills? Really? What happened to taking responsibility? When your name appears on something, isn’t it purely your responsibility? Not when you’re the grand poobah of libertarianism, apparently. I can’t tell you how many times a libertarian has replied to my posts about the newsletters by using the “it wasn’t his fault” defense.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we saw the grand poobah’s miscreant son follow in his father’s footsteps. Rand Paul was caught plagiarising lots of shit. What did Mr Freedom and Responsibility do? Did he take responsibility and apologize profusely? Not even remotely. He blamed the media who exposed him, calling them “hacks and haters”. I couldn’t help but notice that he never called them liars. Even he couldn’t, with a straight face, say they were lying. No, they were hacks and haters for telling the truth. He still hasn’t really taken responsibility for his own actions. Responsibility is the annoying and inconvenient half of the libertarian formula. And how did libertarians react to this information about their demigod? They mostly obfuscated by pointing at someone else, who they claim did something worse. When they addressed what he did, they dismissed it as a “footnoting” problem.

Now we have another asshat libertarian who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a story on Mark Patterson. He’s a state representative in Idaho who was pissed that conceal/ carry application was denied because he failed to disclose a rape conviction that was on his record. It was a conviction because he plead guilty. This guy is a staunch libertarian acolyte of the grand poobah, so you would naturally expect that he would apologize for not disclosing the rape conviction, take responsibility for it, and move on his merry way, right? You won’t be shocked to hear that he didn’t do that. In the (now) libertarian tradition, he didn’t take any responsibility for the fraudulent application, claiming that the Men in Black guys erased his memory, or something. Maddow did a segment on this asshat last night. She turned up another rape trial (no conviction that time) and a whole bunch of other gratuitous lying. In addition to dodging that whole responsibility thing by claiming amnesia, this libertarian acolyte decided to follow the grand poobah and his miscreant son’s path by attacking the sheriff who denied him the permit. He’s rantings include claiming, “[the sheriff] ….a bare-knuckled campaign to intimidate me from serving the people of Idaho.” So the sheriff is trying to intimidate you by denying you a permit that you’re not legally entitled to have because of what you admitted you did? I Googled, and Googled, and Googled, but I never managed to find the part of his statement wherein he took responsibility for what he did.

I’m starting to see an epidemic among libertarians. One in which they cast off the “responsibility” part of libertarianism whenever it becomes inconvenient for them. Now keep in mind that this is a group of people who love to point the finger of hypocrisy at everyone else. Let me be clear, I’m not accusing all libertarians of being full of shit. But I am accusing all libertarians who support the Pauls, and anyone who behaves the way they do of being full of shit. If you support and bolster people who champion libertarianism without taking responsibility for themselves, you’re full of shit.

And you’re seriously undermining your ideology. You are why libertarianism is a joke that I thoroughly enjoy mocking mercilessly.  And you know what? When I point at you and laugh, it’s not my fault. I take no responsibility (you should all appreciate that). It’s your fault for not making an effort to be less full of shit and less laughable. Seriously, you should focus making the case for why your ideology is so brilliant, instead of constantly demonstrating you’re full of shit. Take responsibility for yourself. Hold your leaders responsible for what they’ve done, and show me why you have it right, and I have it wrong. But until you do that; I laugh, oh how I laugh!

 

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Vice President Rand Paul?

No, I’m not crazy.Okay, maybe I’m slightly crazy but let me make my case. I haven’t commented on the republican primaries because I haven’t found them to be all that interesting. Romney is going to be the nominee. Romney was always going to be the nominee. None of the drama that ensues along the way, was every going to be memorable in a long lasting way.

The primaries weren’t interesting to me until now. They got interesting when Newt reverted back to the Newt we all know and loathe. But that alone didn’t do it. The emergence of the old, loathsome Newt combined with an infusion of $5 million dollars (to help him amplify his hatefulness) is what has peaked my interest. Newt is determined to implement a scorched earth campaign on Romney. He’s going to leave Mitt as bloody and bruised as his funds will allow.

Here’s why that’s interesting; republican primaries are not set up as “winner take all” elections. So if a candidate wins the primary in a state with 39% of the vote, they don’t get all of the delegates for that state. They get a percentage of delegates that is roughly proportionate to the percentage they won the state by. If Mitt Romney keeps “winning” each state by getting less than 50% of the votes, he won’t have 51% of the delegates and will not be the nominee. He would have to go to one of the other candidates that have the percentage of delegates that he needs to broker some kind of deal with them, in exchange for giving him their delegates.

We can safely assume that Santorum, Perry, and Huntsman will be out after South Carolina. I have a feeling that Paul is staying in until the end, which makes Gingrich the determining factor in Romney’s fate. If Gingrich can hang in until super Tuesday, he sets up Ron Paul as the “king maker” that Romney will have to deal with to get the delegates he needs to be the nominee. That’s a big “if”. Right now, Gingrich’s campaign is being fueled by one single donor that, thanks to citizen’s united, stuffed his PAC with $5 million dollars. $5 million goes a long way in South Carolina because it’s such a small media market with relatively cheap air time. If he can’t get more money, he won’t make it beyond South Carolina. But if Gingrich makes it to super Tuesday, he will be siphoning those votes away from Romney. If Paul can keep getting 20% – 25%, that puts Romney at less that 50% in a lot of primaries.

Gingrich won’t make it all the way to the end for a couple of reasons. First off, his vitriol and arrogance will most definitely gaffe him out of the race. Secondly, he’s going to need several fairy Godmothers to “PAC” him $500 million dollars. Before citizen’s united, that would have been impossible. As it stands now, he has a small chance. He’s also got the party elders gunning for him, so he won’t be raising any funds through traditional means. Karl Rove seems to be on a war path against Gingrich.

So if all of that happens (I’m not saying it’s likely, but this is fun!), then Ron Paul ends up with the delegates that Romney needs. These deals are obviously usually centered around getting the Vice Presidential slot. I don’t believe that Ron Paul has the slightest interest in being the VP on the ticket. Plus, he’s older than god. I don’t think that reminiscing about his play dates with Jesus are going to play well with voters.

No, he’s going to deal for his miscreant son that no one likes. Hence, my theory that Vice President Rand Paul may be an ugly, ugly reality we may face just as we’re feeling safe that the republican car has passed us by.

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The Apple Did Not Fall Far From The Tree

I’m referring to Rand Paul. It’s barely been thirty six hours since he won the republican primary for the open senate seat in Kentucky. Since his victory, he’s said some things that make him seem a little bit racist.

Before I can share my opinions on Rand, I must first begin with Ron Paul. I do have to preface all of this by telling you that I do not believe in blaming the son for the sins of the father. I believe that doing so is unfair, and generally unfounded. When I bring up Ron Paul, I do so because I believe that it’s important to understand the ideology under which Rand Paul was raised.

Ron Paul first registered on my radar during the first debate for the republican primary in 2008. It became very clear in the first ten minutes of that debate, that Ron Paul was not your typical republican. He said a lot of things that made sense. I felt as if he was the republican counterpart to Dennis Kucinich in that, he was a conservative truth teller, impervious to party talking points and corporate interests. There were many points in which I vehemently disagreed with Ron Paul, but I definitely felt that he merited a closer look.

So I started to do some research. A few hours into my research, I came across the newsletters that Ron Paul published monthly from 1978 to 1999. I found this article about the newsletters from a January 2008 story in the New Republic. Let me short hand the article for you with some quotes from the newsletters;


“opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions,”

“if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be,”

He claimed that black representative Barbara Jordan is “the archetypical half-educated victimologist” whose “race and sex protect her from criticism.”

“Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day”

One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” and “Lazyopolis” were better alternatives.

But don’t worry blacks, you’re not alone in Ron Paul’s world of the unworthy;

In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.”

In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

“Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”

Feeling left out, Jews? Don’t worry;

A 1987 issue of Paul’s Investment Letter called Israel “an aggressive, national socialist state,”

Of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a newsletter said, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.”

I could go on and on, but you get the point. Being the skeptic that I am, I had to assume that the reporter on the New Republic story might have had an axe to grind with Ron Paul so I kept looking until I found actual copies of the newsletters. You can look at them here, here, and you can download one here.

I don’t want to keep going on and on about Ron because this post is about Rand, but if you want to know more about how Ron reacted to these revelations, just Google “Ron Paul” + newsletters.

Back to Rand. Here’s an interview that he did with Rachel Maddow last night;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_FDPZJlaOc[/youtube]

And here’s part 2;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS_qya7w0hs[/youtube]

A few things struck me about Rand after having watched this interview.

The first thing is Paul’s cowardice. He lacks the courage of his convictions. If you truly believe something, it’s presumably because you think that your belief is the right thing. If that’s the case, there should be no need to evade directly answering questions about what you believe. The way he evaded answering the question tells me that he KNOWS that his views should be suppressed. If you know that you’re right or righteous, there’s no reason to obfuscate. You should believe that your correctness has the power to persuade others.

The next thing that struck me is his intellectual dishonesty in the gun example he brought up. A gun is something that you CARRY. You have the option of leaving it at home, and doing so won’t prevent you from going to a lunch counter.  You can’t leave your “blackness” home. It’s WHAT you are, not what you do. That equivocation was absurd.

There was also a comment on Wednesday. A reporter asked Rand if he was concerned that holding his victory party at a private country club would “send mixed messages”. Rand responded by saying, ““I think at one time people used to think of golf and golf courses and golf clubs as being exclusive. But I think in recent years now you see a lot of people playing golf. I think Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that in the sense that he’s brought golf to a lot of the cities and to city youth, and so no, I don’t think it’s nearly as exclusive as people once considered it to be.”

I thought that it was a little bit unusual that he interpreted the question to be about race. My interpretation would have been that the question was about populism, since he ran as an allegedly populist tea party candidate. The mixed message lies in having your victory party in a venue that appears to be elitist.

I am not a person that feels comfortable labeling people as racists. I have lived in the most liberal parts of this country so racism is not a natural concept for me to wrap my mind around. So when Rand made the Tiger Woods comment, I didn’t jump to a racist conclusion even though I knew how he was raised. I was not willing to combine a seemingly innocuous comment with the sins of the father to conclude that Rand Paul has racist views. When I look at the Maddow interview and silo it apart from everything else, my inclination is to view his comments as staunchly libertarian rather than inherently bigoted. His platform is after all, one of libertarianism.

But when I put the totality of the information about Rand Paul together, I can’t avoid the conclusion that he is a racist.

Here’s the problem with racism today; it’s subtle because it isn’t tolerated in mainstream society anymore. Overt racism isn’t socially acceptable anymore so racists have to go undercover. They have to be subtle. A great example of this is the birthers. Clinging onto the belief that our black president wasn’t born in America, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, is just a subtle way of saying that he’s not one of us.

I really resisted concluding that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to Rand Paul, but I can’t avoid it any longer.

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Bitchy Dictionary

Every time I have a conversation with a republican, I’m struck by the fact that we don’t appear to be speaking the same language. This makes the conversation much more cumbersome than it needs to be because I find myself in the position of having to combine a history lesson with a lesson on what English words mean. So I’ve concluded that it’s about time to publish a dictionary that may be useful in any political debate, since I can’t be the only person running into this language barrier. I would first like to start with defining what I like to call "Bitchy’s Words". REPUBLICAN – A person that still approves of George W Bush, happily voted for McCain, fell in love with Sarah Palin, and believes everything that John Boehner tells them. These people are batshit crazy. They have no use for facts and they exist in some bizarre alternate reality. They cannot and should not be spoken to under any circumstances. Do NOT bother using this dictionary on them, as they won’t understand the big words. CONSERVATIVE – A person that believes in small government and fiscal responsibility, REALLY believes it. They believe in fiscal responsibility when it comes to matters of spending on social programs OR defense programs. They believe in small government when it applies ALL matters including; reproductive rights, federal taxes, states’ rights, gun rights, and a myriad of other issues. This is a person that hasn’t had a party that they can believe in for nearly 40 years. They used to identify themselves as republicans, but were forced out of the republican party due to ideological differences. Conservatives generally refer to themselves as independents, members of the Ron Paul revolution, and in some instances, tea partiers. These are people that can be reasoned with! You may engage them in productive conversation. Minds may not be changed, but meaningful ideas will be shared. DEMOCRAT – These are people that inexplicably believe that the democratic party is the party that stands up for the people. They are happy with all of their democratic leaders, and are happy to accept incompetence as an excuse for why their democratic representatives haven’t delivered any legislation that actually improves their lives. Unlike republicans, democrats don’t necessarily buy the entire democratic party package, but are easily placated with implausible excuses for why their legislators can’t deliver on promises that are made. PROGRESSIVE – (Sometimes also referred to as socialist or liberal). This is a person is a sunny optimist that believes in 2 basic concepts; good government can be achieved, and we are only as strong as the weakest among us. Progressives generally like to take wholistic approaches to problem solving and aren’t afraid of sweeping change. Progressives believe in creating a society where each citizen has the same opportunities for success. Progressives identify themselves with democrats but are so unsatisfied with the party that they are actively working on changing it, which is why the current Chief of Staff to the President refers to them as "retards". TEA PARTIERS – The original modern day tea partiers were known as libertarians. They were disciples of Ron Paul that would if given a choice, dismantle the government entirely. They are proponents of privatizing everything from the postal service, to the FDA, to fire departments and police forces. Tea partiers have morphed into ignorant racists, easily duped into protesting against their own best interests by Dick Army. You cannot communicate with these people since they don’t even have a clue as to why they’re protesting, or who paid for the bus to get them to the protest. LIBERTARIANS – These are people that have no use for government. They believe in "shrinking government down so that it fits in a bathtub". A true libertarian would allow government to exist only for the purposes of defense. Libertarianism sounds cute in theory but it’s a unicorn, in that there has never been a country governed by this particular tenet. Libertarians generally cling onto their beliefs, despite being unable to come up with an example of a successful libertarian government. I can think of an example; Somalia. Okay, now on to the English dictionary. SOCIALISM – A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. This is closely related to (but not the same as) communism. An example of a socialist program in the US would be the veteran’s administration. This is a government run, government dispensed system of delivering health care to veterans. Everyone involved in dispensing health care through the VA receives a paycheck from the government. This includes doctors, nurses, administrators, etc. FASCISM – A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. Fascism is a system of governance in which the lines between government and corporation are nonexistent. Nazi Germany is a great example of fascism because the state, military, and commerce were all under the dictatorial rule of one body. THEOCRASY – A governmental system ruled by religious tenets. The Vatican is an example of a theocrasy. If Al Qaeda had a country, they would be considered a theocrasy. Okay now that we have the words, let’s practice using them properly! Ready? A socialist government takeover of health care could be accomplished by extending the the VA system to all Americans. This would be socialist because physicians, nurses, and administrators would all be receiving paychecks from the government, which would have total control over the dispensation of health care in America. A system in which the government creates a marketplace of private insurance companies that must adhere to specific regulations  in order to participate is NOT socialism because the insurance is not dispensed by the government. Doctors and their practices would not be taken over by the government since they would be paid through a private insurance system. Fascists would NEVER advocate for a socialist program because a socialist program would eliminate corporate entities entirely. Fascists want to CONTROL commerce, not decimate it. An "islamofascist" is a person that can’t exist because an Islamic extremist is driven by theocratic beliefs, thereby making them anathema to fascists, who believe in a corporate takeover of governance. Now that we have a mutually understood vocabulary, I hope that we can all go forth and have more productive political discourse. I hope you all find this helpful!

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