Tag Archives | Libertarianism

Rand Paul’s Endorsement of Mitt Romney

Via Media Roots: In a surprising turn of events last Thursday, Senator Rand Paul came out on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News to make a special announcement: his endorsement for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The announcement was a blow to the Ron Paul liberty movement who are still rallying for Ron Paul until the very end of the game. Despite his statement of concession in a recent newsletter, many die hard Ron Paul fans are still hoping that there's a chance for him to win the nomination with unbound delegates in Tampa. But what does it say when his own son comes out to endorse his rival? Many are theorizing that the endorsement signifies Rand Paul "selling out" to the war mongering establishment that has worked to shut out his father's libertarian ideals for so long. Others are stating that it's simply a political strategy to bring the liberty ideas into the mainstream. I explore the issue in three segments below for RT TV, all with varying guest opinions and theories:
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Gary Johnson: ‘Politics Be Damned’ Running to Win As Libertarian Presidential Candidate (Video)

Reports Alicia M. Cohn on The Hill:
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said Tuesday night that he is running as a third-party candidate because he has a message to convey: "Politics be damned." "The 'pie in the sky' notion" is to win the race, Johnson told The Daily Show. He also noted that he'll appear on ballots alongside President Obama and Mitt Romney in all 50 states in November. "Lots of opportunity to change the world a little bit," he said, describing his campaign. "I have seen nothing but increased crowds, increased appetite for what I have to say." Comedy Central host Jon Stewart described being a libertarian as two halves of a friendship necklace — half Republican, half Democrat, according to the policies that traditionally appeal to each part — coming together to make a whole heart. Johnson agreed.
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Ron Paul Going Full Force to Republican National Convention (Video)

Via RT:
Ron Paul is the candidate that continues to be ignored by the mainstream media, but he is still in the game. The Texas congressman and his supporters continue to push towards the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, but many doubt Paul's delegate strategy will give him the GOP nod. So what can we expect from Paul at the RNC? Brian Doherty, senior editor at Reason.com, joins us with more on Paul's new strategy heading to the RNC.
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Ron Paul Halts Presidential Race, But Not His Quest for Liberty

Hard-core Ron Paulers probably won’t like the criticism in the later part of this article, and it’s hard to disagree with the economics of his campaign presented here, but the tone of the article starts out surprising warm from someone in the mainstream media. As Andrew Rosenthal writes in the New York Times:

Ron Paul announced today that he will no longer spend campaign money to compete in states that have not yet voted, which is probably wise. Mr. Paul has spent around $34 million so far to accumulate 104 delegates. That’s $326,923 and change per delegate.

So, I thought, he’s dropping out. Or at least “suspending” his bid, a semantic difference that allows politicians to go on raising money while not actually doing any campaign work. But no, Mr. Paul said in an email to supporters that he will continue accumulating delegates to the Republican National Convention in August.

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Save the Cato Institute, Save the World?

CatoJustin Logan writes at Foreign Policy:

Why do think tanks exist? Are they really, as the common phrase goes, “universities without students?” Are they just places where aspiring government officials can do the spadework for their next run at being appointed deputy secretary of something or other? Or perhaps they’ve stepped into the void created by what some have termed the “cult of irrelevance” in the academy, which used to be a source of advice about public policy but has become too abstruse and method-intensive to be of much use to harried policymakers?

I’ve had ample reason to ponder the subject, considering that the think tank at which I work, the Cato Institute, is currently defending itself from a hostile takeover attempt by Charles and David Koch, two billionaire industrialists who are intensely involved in partisan politics. (For those who don’t know, Cato’s mission is to “increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace.” This libertarian orientation frequently puts us at odds with both political parties.)

Here’s the quick and dirty on what’s happening.

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The U.S. Government Is Committed to Keeping the Drug Market As Dangerous As Possible

Online DrugsJacob Sullum writes on Reason:

Yesterday the Justice Department unsealed an indictment that charges eight men from three countries with running “a sophisticated online drug marketplace that sold everything from marijuana to mescaline to some 3,000 people around the world,” AP reports:

“The Farmer’s Market”…allowed suppliers of drugs—including LSD, Ecstasy and ketamine—to anonymously sell their wares online. They hooked up with buyers in 34 countries and accepted various forms of payment, including cash, Western Union and PayPal transactions, the indictment claims….

The market “provided a controlled substances storefront, order forms, online forums, customer service, and payment methods for the different sources of supply” and charged the suppliers a commission based upon the value of the order, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

“For customers, the operators screened all sources of supply and guaranteed delivery of the illegal drugs,” the statement said …. The marketplace allegedly used the Tor network, which spreads website and email communications through a volunteer network of servers around the world in order to mask Internet address information…”

Read More: Reason

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Political Metastasis

RepublicratJulian Sanchez writes on his blog:

Browsing a conservative news site the other day, I was struck by the sheer oddness of that familiar genre of political commentary that treats liberals and conservatives, not just as groups of people with systematic disagreements on policy questions, but as something like distinct subspecies of humanity. The piece that triggered this was something along the lines of “Five Reasons Liberals Are Awful People,” and it had almost nothing to do with any concrete policy question, or ultimately even the broad-brush contours of liberal political thought: It was a string of assertions about broad types of character flaws purportedly shared by liberals, of which their policy views were only a symptom. The same day, I chanced across a piece by Chris Mooney—based on his new book The Republican Brain—making a similar sort of argument from the other side by drawing on recent social science.

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Let’s Be Clear, Ron Paul Fucking Sucks. Here Are 20 Reasons Why

RonPaul5-19-07ATX-a-2661Before admirers of Representative Paul go crazy, I didn’t write this post (or the headline) and I don’t endorse it (neither does disinformation), but I am interested in your well argued debate as to whether or not the little red umbrella author is right about any (or all?) of his points:

Every single one of the candidates currently running for the Republican nomination is a walking disaster. But one of them, Texas congressman Ron Paul, seems to be getting a disturbing amount of support from liberals. Mostly that’s because his nut-job libertarian views happen to not sound so nutty on a handful of issues. He wants to end the War on Drugs. He is against the death penalty. He would not support a constitutional ban on gay marriage. He was opposed to the War in Iraq and wants to end all American military intervention abroad. All of that sounds pretty good to us left-wing types — downright refreshing coming from a Republican.

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Why Libertarians Must Deny the Effects of Pollution

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

Matt Bruenig writes on his blog:

George Monbiot had an article in the Guardian on Monday about bastardised libertarianism and its inability to understand the real freedoms being fought for by environmentalists and social justice advocates. However, Monbiot’s treatment of environmentalism’s threat to libertarianism was a bit sloppy. He got sucked into the negative freedom and positive freedom debate, and although he worked his way to the correct conclusion ultimately, I felt like the clarity was lacking.

So I want to explain more clearly just how much environmentalists stick in the side of libertarian ideology. First, consider what libertarians of the sort Monbiot criticizes are really about philosophically: they favor a procedural justice account of the world based heavily on property rights. This is the newest face of libertarianism. Gone is the appeal to utility and desert. The modern libertarians try to prop up their political ideas almost solely through a rigid formalism of property rights.

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