Tag Archives | Libertarianism

Ron Paul and Right Wing Extremists: It’s Complicated

Lew Rockwell. Photo: Mises Institute

Lew Rockwell. Photo: Mises Institute

Now that Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy is undeniably viable, no stone can go unturned in the effort to paint him as an extremist. Jim Rutenberg and Serge F. Kovalesky for the New York Times:

The American Free Press, which markets books like “The Invention of the Jewish People” and “March of the Titans: A History of the White Race,” is urging its subscribers to help it send hundreds of copies of Ron Paul’s collected speeches to voters in New Hampshire. The book, it promises, will “Help Dr. Ron Paul Win the G.O.P. Nomination in 2012!”

Don Black, director of the white nationalist Web site Stormfront, said in an interview that several dozen of his members were volunteering for Mr. Paul’s presidential campaign, and a site forum titled “Why is Ron Paul such a favorite here?” has no fewer than 24 pages of comments.

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Ron Paul’s Campaign Mastermind Died Of Pneumonia, Penniless And Uninsured

ronpaulkentsnyder1In an arresting moment at Monday’s Republican presidential debate, Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul about the hypothetical case of an uninsured young man who needs medical care, and whether “society should just let him die.” The debate audience cheered in approval, and Paul more or less agreed.

Gawker writes that the question wasn’t so hypothetical. Kent Snyder is credited with convincing Paul to run for president, and served brilliantly as his campaign manager, raising an astonishing $19.5 million. In 2008, just two weeks after the campaign ended, Snyder died at age 49 from pneumonia. He did not receive insurance through Paul, and was unable to afford it on his own due to a preexisting medical condition. His death left his mother with $400,000 in medical bills. (She is now in debt.) Say what you will, but he exemplified the free-market libertarian principles that he worked for while healthy:

After Snyder’s death, Paul posted a message to the website for his Campaign for Liberty — a pre-Tea Party organization which served Paul as both presidential marketing tool and platform to promote his non-interventionist, free market ideals.

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Internet Billionaire Wants to Create ‘Libertarian’ Islands

Freedom IslandVia the NY Daily News:

Peter Thiel has made his fortune by being part of the next big thing: He was a co-founder of Paypal and one of the early investors of Facebook. But a new Details profile sums up his new plans: “Forget startup companies. The next frontier is startup countries.”

Thiel has donated $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, the brainchild of Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer and grandson of economist Milton Friedman. Here’s the gist: creation of libertarian, sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters and free from the laws and moral codes of any other country.

Plans for the prototype include a movable, diesel-powered 12,000-ton structure that could house 270 residents. The goal would be to eventually link hundreds of the structures together. Friedman’s timeline is to launch offices off San Francisco next year, get a full-time settlement within seven years and eventually diplomatic recognition from the UN.

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Is Ron Paul the Only Republican Candidate Who Could Beat Obama?

Paul vs ObamaThe times they are a-changin’ via Rasmussen Reports:

Congressman Ron Paul may be a long shot to win the Republican presidential nomination, but he runs competitively with President Obama right now.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Paul picking up 37% of the vote, while the president earns 41%. The Texas congressman joins Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry as candidates within hailing distance of the president at this time.

Rudy Giuliani is another potential candidate who is considered a long shot for the nomination but is competitive with the president. The former mayor of New York City trails Obama by five, 44% to 39%.

But the real story in the numbers is that the president continues to earn between 41% and 49% of the vote no matter which Republican is mentioned as a potential opponent. This suggests that the race remains a referendum on the incumbent more than anything else.

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How Ayn Rand Ruined My Childhood

ayn-rand-cigaretteIn keeping with the Ayn Rand ruins everything meme in honor of the release of Atlas Shrugged: The Movie, enjoy a blackly amusing recollection of what can happen when your Rand-obsessed parent attempts to raise you by the dictates of Objectivist philosophy. (Big mistake!) Alyssa Bereznak writes in Salon:

It was odd growing up in an objectivist house. My father reserved long weekends to attend Ayn Rand Institute conferences held in Orange County, California. He would return with a tan and a pile of new reading material for my brother and me. While other kids my age were going to Bible study, I took evening classes from the institute via phone. (I half-listened while clicking through lolcat photos.)

“We were wondering if you would petition to be emancipated,” he said in his lawyer voice. “What does that mean?” I asked, picking at the mauve paint on my hands. I later discovered that for most kids, declaring emancipation is an extreme measure — something you do if your parents are crack addicts or deadbeats.

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How Ayn Rand Tanked The Economy

Screen-shot-2011-04-11-at-9.46.35-PM-e1302612380309Ayn Rand was a godawful writer, and in ironic fashion her philosophy failed disastrously in her personal life. Yet decades after her death, her work’s destructive influence has never been stronger. The Awl rips apart the “Objectivist” doctrine championed by Rand and one of her most adoring disciples, former Fed chief Alan Greenspan:

That pill-popping, boy-crazy nincompoop Ayn Rand has got a lot to answer for. Indeed, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that we owe at least part of the recent economic crisis to her and her philosophy of Objectivism, since former Fed chief Alan Greenspan was a lifelong disciple of both.

The two first met in the ’50s. Back then, a gang of acolytes, calling themselves the Collective, used to gather at Rand’s apartment on East 36th Street every Saturday night so they could tell each other how smart they all were. Along came Greenspan one evening, shy and somber.

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Congress Refuses an Article V Convention — Has Our Government Been Hijacked?

Signing of the Constitution. Painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

Signing of the Constitution. Painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

Article V is the only part of the US Constitution that tells how we can change the Constitution. The states, not Congress, propose amendments at an Article V Convention. An Article V Symposium was held at Cooley Law School on September 17, 2010 in Lansing, Michigan. Bill Walker, cofounder of Friends of the Article V Convention, shared how he filed two federal lawsuits stating that Congress was obligated to call an Article V Convention. The latter lawsuit (Walker v. the Members of Congress in 2004) was appealed to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declared, as it had in three other separate decisions, that Congress must call for an Article V Convention. But Congress has simply refused in violation of the US Constitution.

To listen to Bill Walker’s speech and to the other scholars at the symposium, who all argue that we should want, not fear, an Article V Convention, click on this link.… Read the rest

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Ron Paul, Suddenly In The Mainstream

Ron PaulWhen Republican Congressman Ron Paul, tagged ‘Dr.No’ inside the Beltway in reference to his consistent “No” votes to any legislation he deems unconstitutional, is the subject of a fawning front page profile in the New York Times, you know that the political mood of America has changed direction:

As virtually all of Washington was declaring WikiLeaks’s disclosures of secret diplomatic cables an act of treason, Representative Ron Paul was applauding the organization for exposing the United States’ “delusional foreign policy.”

For this, the conservative blog RedState dubbed him “Al Qaeda’s favorite member of Congress.”

It was hardly the first time that Mr. Paul had marched to his own beat. During his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, he was best remembered for declaring in a debate that the 9/11 attacks were the Muslim world’s response to American military intervention around the globe. A fellow candidate, former Mayor Rudolph W.

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