Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yoga with Tara Stiles, Ford Model

This week: Yoga for the Feet

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Interview with Bob Murphy: An explanation of the FED, Monetary Policy, and Inflation

A great interview by Scott Horton of Bob Murphy author of the book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism

Find out why we don't really have a "free market" money system. Also, an explanation of the subprime mortgage crisis. An overview of the Federal Reserve System (and how it steals the wealth of the poor and the middle class, yet doesn't affect the young, rich, and ridiculously handsome people like me). Plus why stagflation is a very real possibility for the future of our country (which should be placed squarely at the feet of W and a complicit Congress).

Pilfered from Lew Rockwell

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Reason Mag: Live blogging the Debate

David Weigel was on fire:

8:30: Huckabee's big ideas sound awfully stupid when they're pitched back to him. His super-awesome mega-highway 3000 will save America because people will use their tax rebates to shop more while getting 32 extra minutes to cuddle their kids. Then he dashes it all and admits it was a huge pander. "I said that when I was in Florida. Today, we might look at a Western highway!"

8:57: Future questions from Anderson Cooper: "Is Iraq better off than it was eight years ago? Is CNN's prime time lineup better off than it was eight years ago?" (Remember Aaron Brown with that finger on the side of his cheek thing?)

9:11: What had Ron Paul been doing during the eternal Romney-McCain smackdown? Apparently, injecting steroids. "They're arguing technicalities of a policy they already agree with!" He's collected, pissed off, and there's no Rudy Giuliani to tell him to shut up. (Even though Rudy left the race his presence is still felt, check the timestamp! OK, that's creepy)

Check out all of the entries here

Also, check out the story of Ryan Frederick, it's heartbreaking

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Simi Valley Debate Clips

Pilfered from Mr. Chubbs at Liberty Maven and the Ron Paul Forums:

Q1 - Are we better off?

Q2 - States Rights and a plea to answer previous question (not given)

Q3 - On Huckabee's Highway as economic stimulus

Q4 - On Appointing Justice O'Conner

Q5 - On McCain's 100 Years in Iraq statement (He hit this one out of the park and made McCain squirm)

Q6 - Leadership Capability(An excellent response on the true role of the President, for that matter for the the Federal goverment)

Q7 - Would Reagan Endorse You?


CNN Post Debate Interview (video starts about 30 seconds in, I'll put up another copy when I find it):

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McCain wins Florida

and eliminates Rudy in the process. The "Final Four" comes down to McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and Ron Paul.

Here's an interesting take from James Ostrowski via Lew Rockwell:

McCain was civil to all his opponents tonight except one: Ron Paul. That was the tip-off that this is now a two-man race. Ron Paul got 60,000 votes tonight in Florida even though there has been a media blackout of his campaign since three days before Iowa.

We are already being told that McCain is a lock; it's all over. That's the conventional wisdom and anything else is just wishful Paulian thinking. But, as with all my prognostications this year and last--including that Rudy had "zero chance" to win when he was leading the polls by 14%--my analysis is based on facts. Such as: John McCain has only eight percent of the delegates he needs. And: McCain is a deeply flawed candidate who remains unpopular with the Republican base.

That last sentence rings true. I know I can't vote for him.

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Mitt Romney has Good Listening Skills

While McCain, the soon to be departed Giuliani, and Huckabee have always been easy to dismiss as serious contenders for my vote for various reasons (too statist, too crooked, too much of a nanny stater, respectively). Mitt Romney, like Fred Thompson, got a second look from me a while back. Mainly because I wasn't too familiar with him and he did have a trackrecord of turning around enterprises that were failures (the SLC Olympics comes to mind).

I did have a little bit of sympathy for Mitt for the attacks that he had to endure because of his religion. However, this is the second high visibility time that Mitt has done the bob and weave when asked a direct question that you could tell he was unprepared for and it shows. The first time was here.

At issue this time is the income tax. Talk radio show host Mark Larson out of Tampa interviews Mitt and asks him to consider the "one tax" which is a value added tax on M1, so transactions at all levels whether it's a company that purchases huge volumes like say Walmart or Staples, or it's individuals who are at the 7-11 buying those nasty hot dogs that have been sitting all day under the heat lamps, the transaction is charged at 1 percent. It's an interesting concept and would definitely be an improvement over the current income tax. But an even better proposal would be to scrap the income tax and really shrink the size of the federal government. It's OK if the government at the state level expanded, if that happened, you could always move to another state while staying in the US.

Anyway, I get the feeling upon listening to the interview a second time, that Mitt didn't hear the part about "transactions at all levels" maybe the interviewer could have hit that point harder but I doubt it. You can listen to the whole Mitt interview here. However, I like the youtube version because Larson talks a little more about the interview during his next segment.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

FISA and Telecom immunity

I have to give credit where credit is due. The left is always harping on the erosion of civil liberties in this country and on this I agree with them. Chris Dodd and his stand on telecom immunity which is 100% correct (pilfered from the commie pinko socialists at Openleft):

Few things are more detrimental to this country than the erosion of and attack on the civil liberties we enjoy. This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; this is an American issue. If after debate, the Senate appears ready to pass legislation granting telecom providers retroactive immunity I will use any and all legislative tools at my disposal, including a filibuster, to prevent this deeply flawed bill from becoming law. More and more, Americans are rejecting the false choice that has come to define this administration: security or liberty, but never, ever both. For all those who have stood with me throughout this fight, I pledge, once more, to stand up for you.

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A Good Interpretation of McCain's Answer to Dr. Pauls question on Economics

Pilfered from HotAir

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

GOP Debate: Snoozapalooza

Not very exciting tonight, but here are Dr. Paul's questions and answers courtesy of LibertyMaven and Ron Paul Forums (UPDATED Question 6 Link):

Q1: Economy

Q2: Taxes/Economy

Q3: Iraq

Q4: Ron questions McCain on Financial Working Group (it shows that McCain really doesn't know anything about economics) But to be fair, Ron's question was probably a little too esoteric for general audiences.

Q5: Social Security (good one)

Q6: Third Party and Republicanism (THIS WAS GOOD)
[UPDATED] Muchos Gracias to Mr. Chubbs at Liberty Maven

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The Prescription for Prosperity

Ron Paul released his plan today. I'll have more on Dr. Paul's economic plan later, but suffice it to say there's a part in there that gets rid of the income tax and the IRS. The highlights of his tax proposals are pasted below (green emphasis is mine). You can read the whole thing here.

  • Eliminate Taxes on Dividends and Savings. The basis of capitalism is savings, and Americans who do so should be rewarded.
    • Pass HJ Res. 23 to encourage savings over consumption.

  • Repeal the Death Tax. Attacking small businesses and breaking up family farms smothers growth and kills jobs.
    • Pass H.R. 2734 to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

  • Cut Taxes for Working Seniors. Grandmothers and grandfathers working to make ends meet should keep all the fruits of their labor.
    • Pass H.R. 191 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits.

  • Eliminate Taxes on Social Security Benefits. That money belongs to seniors, not the government. They paid into the system for a lifetime, and they should be free to spend every penny as they see fit.
    • Pass H.R. 192 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits.

  • Accelerate Depreciation on Investment. We need to help companies grow and create jobs.
    • Pass H.R. 4995 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce corporate marginal income tax rates.

  • Eliminate Taxes on Capital Gains. Investment should be embraced and rewarded.
    • Pass H.J. Res 23 (The “Liberty Amendment”), proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to abolishing personal income, estate, and gift taxes and prohibiting the United States Government from engaging in business in competition with its citizens.

  • Eliminate Taxes on Tips.The single parents and working students who earn their income chiefly through tips deserve to keep all of their money. This tax on "estimated income" is unfair and should be ended.
    • Pass H.R. 3664 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that tips shall not be subject to income or employment taxes.

  • Support the Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act. Working families who lost their homes should not be punished a second time with a big IRS bill.
    • Pass H.R. 1876 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from the gross income of individual taxpayers discharges of indebtedness attributable to certain forgiven residential mortgage obligations.

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Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul: A Video Comparison

I've been waiting for something like this to appear on the tubes, it's pretty good:

CMStrapz has the first of a multi-part opinion piece on Reagan that is a good counterpoint to how he campaigned and the platform he ran on versus how he governed (the Department of Education is still around?)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bill Clinton: Screw It, I'm Running For President

From the Onion:

"My fellow Americans, I am sick and tired of not being president," said Clinton, introducing his wife at a "Hillary '08" rally. "For seven agonizing years, I have sat idly by as others experienced the joys of campaigning, debating, and interacting with the people of this great nation, and I simply cannot take it anymore. I have to be president again. I have to."

In a show of respect, Clinton then completed his introduction of Hillary Clinton, calling her a "wonderful wife and worthy political adversary," and warmly shook her hand as she approached the podium. A clearly shocked Mrs. Clinton got halfway through her speech about the nation's obligation to its children before walking briskly offstage.

The whole thing is Onion quality and hits the right tone as far a political reporting goes. Good for a chuckle.

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Ron Paul Linkorama

Dr. Paul was making the media rounds today and had a great interview on Glenn Becks radio show talking specifically about the economy. The audio is here, and a trancript of the interview is here.

He also made an appearance on Neal Cavuto (starts about 2 minutes in):

as well as on MSNBC:

He also called into a New Jersey radio station to and spent a few minutes talking about Murray Sabrin, who is running for the Senate seat as a "Ron Paul Republican" you can listen to that here

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Yoga with Tara Stiles a Ford Model

This week: Adding binding variations to poses

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ron Paul Gets the Gold in Louisiana?

National Review gave a little taste of what transpired tonight:

Finally, there's Ron Paul, and he's well, being Ron Paul. He had 600 people show up at a rally yesterday in a bad part of Baton Rouge and was met with rousing applause. How many of the Paul people have actually gone to the work of registering as Republicans, and then will turn around and show up tonight will be determined, but still, Paul could surprise here. After all, he came in a strong second in a similar situation in Nevada last Saturday.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE: Just spoke with somebody on the ground in Louisiana, and caucus turnout is heavy all over the state. Romney and Paul supporters appear to be the most vocal and visible thus far.

And here is an interesting first hand account from a Mike Huckabee supporter:
I just got back your right, the Ron people had the whole delegate slate full (15) in district 7 they also had the alt. delegates full, and they auto. won them because no other candidate applyed for them. Anyway i voted the 2 huckabee delegates and threw the rest of my votes away(you get 15). Most of the people there were for RP or Mccain, Mccain also filled up the slate. Thats 21 delegates that will be voted on...
And based on other accounts I've read, it looks like Ron Paul could get a huge number of those 21 delegates. On top of which, there is also a primary election on February 9th which can determine where the remaining 20 delegates from Louisiana go.

If the winner of the primary wins by 50% or over, the 20 will go to him. Or, if a candidate doesn't take it with 50%, the 21 delegates from the caucus will vote for another 20 delegates.

Official word for caucus results should be available tomorrow.

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Why Shouldn't Bush tell Israel What's What?

Over at the Hill Chronicles Layla writes this:

Bush has vowed to return to Israel in May to check if the government there is listening and heeding his threats, warnings, and implementing his plans - plans for a nation that he is not the leader of. Bush told the Kenesset to heed to the plan and stick by Olmert and help him to achieve the two state solution.

Who in the hell does Bush think he is? No one died and named him god. The one and only G-d, which is the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were bequeath the land by G-d and told to never divide this land or woe to the man that does.

If you read the comments, then you will see that I take issue with the premise of Layla's reasoning:

Don’t you think that since we give them aid we should have a say in what Israel and the other Middle East countries do?

That’s what our foreign policy is, we give aid to those governments and in exchange for that aid we get a say in how those governments conduct themselves. Period. Right?

She responded:
Maximus Israel is very capable of taking care of itself. Their economy is not based on oil, but based on technology and medicine. Per captia Israel is the fourth richest nation in the world.

Talk to me!

I wrote back:
I don’t disagree with you, I guess my point is, if we send taxpayer dollars to Israel, we should get a say in what and how they run things over there.
Why shouldn't Bush go over there expecting Israel to bend to our wishes? It's my tax dollars that are going over there, I should be able to go over there and declare a national holiday there if I want to.

The fact of the matter is, we give 3 times the amount of aid to Israel's Arab neighbors than we do to Israel herself (and it's not like we don't expect the Arab states to do our bidding). If we stopped all foreign aid then Israel still comes out ahead. I'm so friggin brilliant.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Jane Roe has an Announcement to Make

Jane Roe, the "Roe" in Roe vs. Wade, and whose real name is Norma Leah McCorvey, will be making an announcement tomorrow. From National Review:

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, January 22 – the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision – Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will hold a press conference with pro-life activist Norma Leah McCorvey. McCorvey, who runs Crossing over Ministry, is "Jane Roe" of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

What/Who: Announcement by Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") and Congressman Ron Paul

Is the announcement that Ms. McCorvey will endorse Dr. Paul? I guess we'll have to tune in tomorrow to find out.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Handwriting is on the Wall

The press is starting to see realize what a central banking system actually does to money. It devalues it, encourages and enables government largess and malinvestment, it exaggerates business cycles:

So why have investors been abandoning conventional assets, such as government bonds and stakes in blue-chip businesses, in favour of a metal that appears to offer no reward for holding it? The answer, I'm afraid, is crumbling faith in the world's central banks, and in particular the US Federal Reserve, where the presses have been working overtime.

Some argue that the soaring gold price has been driven by temporary anxiety over global instability. The metal is a safe haven in troubled times. But answer me this: when was the last time the world felt like a cosy hideaway? Ever since mankind turned up, Planet Earth has never been a safe place.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a more muscular Iran and the unpredictability of Moscow are contributing to nervousness. But what's really upsetting investors is the speed at which money is being printed by governments, especially America's, that cannot face the problem of funding wild expenditure plans solely from reserves or taxation.
The whole article is here and is a great summary of why everyone should be pissed off that the government is stealing your nest egg at the rate of 10% per year and why England, after a 100 year absence, is going to surpass America in standard of living.

One thing that should not be forgotten is that up until 1913, this country didn't even have a Federal Reserve Bank. We didn't have an income tax either. In fact, if we got rid of the income tax, and replaced it with nothing, spending levels would drop to those of 10 years ago. Didn't we have enough government back in 1998?

Pilfered from Lew Rockwell

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The Crossed Pond: Primary Rundown

One thing I know for sure after today's voting:

On the Dems side, John Edwards should pack it up. It's down to Obama and Hillary with Hillary a little ahead on the momentum.

Today's primary contests in Nevada and South Carolina courtesy of Brad at The Crossed Pond:

For the Republicans, Nevada was weirdly uncontested, so Romney gets crowing rights and an impression of continued viability basically handed to him by his opponents. I think part of what has left this Republican field so wide open is the terror of ALL the candidate to even compete in states that aren’t already in their pocket. So they essentially get divvied up before voting even begins. The only people even appearing to run national campaigns at this point are McCain and Huckabee, which is why they’re winning. In any event, Romney gets a boost and said impression of continued viability from Nevada, enough so that he can probably count on being the third man in the race going into February 5th.
The whole analysis is here

What is missing in most of the MSM and the Pajamas Media Blogosphere coverage that Brad does talk about is Ron Paul's second place showing in Nevada and the demographics that go along with it:
It’s a little unfair for people to mitigate the showing by saying the rest of the candidates didn’t campaign there, as it’s not like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, or Fred Thompson are nobodies that have to shake a lot of hands to be viable anywhere. Ron legitimately beat them here, and now HE gets to remind dismissive interviewers that he has beaten at least once every candidate in this race, and along with a national 4th place showing, has a small but existent cache of delegates (actually, there are a lot of reports coming out from Nevada that Ron may have actually done a lot better with the delegates than with the preference polling, and though it’s not being reported, he could well walk away with half of the delegates out of Nevada, which remember has more than South Carolina; it could turn out that Ron Paul comes in third today on the delegate count), and that his support isn’t large, but it’s not shallow or regional either.

That said, it also indicates that even in a field which his opponents very publicly pass on, Ron can’t break to 20%, meaning he’s running less against his opponents than against his own glass ceiling. Of course the flipside of that is even WITH his opponents in the race he STILL gets comparable results, which is interesting in its own right. In any case, he comes out of Nevada with an underreported silver medal that nevertheless gives him bragging rights and a bit of righteous credibility from now on. His campaign is legitimately more viable than Fred Thompson’s, John Edwards’, and, I would argue, Rudy Giuliani. Which is not to say Paul is particularly viable (he’s not, for the nomination), but he is JUST as viable as those other guys.

The cross-tabs are interesting also. Ron won—outright won—the independent vote (only 12% in this race), which is what pushed him past McCain (who is no slouch among independents). The only other demographic he outright carried was those who identify as having no religion. But most interesting to me is he continues to get about 20% of the under-30 vote in every single voting state, which is providing him his engine of vote-getting. When a party that is having a lot of problems staying viable in the face of shifting demographics, and which is in large part bleeding potential support, in particular younger voters, having this fly on the wall candidate who is nevertheless able to mobilize the youth of the GOP in a way nobody else this cycle is ought to be something the Republican party pays attention to.

Could Dr. Paul be the only man who can save America the party? The GOP has been in freefall since it became the party of big government and foreign interventionism. All of the other candidates (save Fred!) have nothing to offer but more of the same. McCain, Romney, and Huckabee offer nothing but a 3rd term for Bush IMO. Ron Paul and to a limited extent Fred have a fundamentally different message than the "heroic conservatism" garbage of the others. But Thompson is most likely out with a poor 3rd place showing in SC.

Other thoughts:

What will be interesting to see is who bails out on the race because of money. Fundraising comes into play with Florida and Uber-Tuesday coming up. Pretty much all of the GOP (except Romney) are going to have to pick and choose where to campaign.

Will the history of the winner of South Carolina winning the GOP nomination hold? For all that is holy in this world I hope not. I don't know what I'm going to do if McCain gets the nomination. I can't vote for him.

Rudy is still in this race, isn't he? He is going to look like either a genius or the biggest dope if Florida doesn't come through for him. According to the NYT article linked above, he's running short on cash also. Where the heck did all his money go? It doesn't seem like he's been campaigning anywhere.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

80's video flashback

I wake up to this song every morning:

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A Lawnmower DUI

Pilfered from Gorillamask:

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

It Has Come to This

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment to the the Constitution

When people think of the First Amendment, many think of the freedom to have and speak your opinion or the freedom to worship as you like. If you ask some more knowledgeable people out there, you might even get someone to tell you about your right to associate with whom you please. How all of that translates into crucifixes dipped in urine, or the ACLU stopping a prayer by players before a football game is something to be saved for a different post.

What is obvious to me is that the First Amendment was designed to specify and preserve actions that individuals may participate in which do not necessarily have the interests of the State in mind. In fact, I would say that the First Amendment is geared to preserve and protect activities that are critical of the government itself. That's why stuff like McCain-Feingold is such a POS piece of unconstitutional legislation and John McCain should be run out of office for that. The fact that he's even in the running for President is quite distressing to me.

Getting back to my point, a press that isn't just a mouthpiece for the government shouldn't have to worry about retribution if it publishes pieces that are critical of the government. Or me as an individual shouldn't have to worry about what church I go to (and what morals it may instill in me, like big government is evil) or with whom I choose to associate with ( supermodels, Constitution freaks and computer nerds).

But what about that last clause of the Amendment? If read devoid of all the other distinct clauses, it says "Congress shall make no law respecting the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" Which I translate as: a group of citizens has a problem with the government; it wants the government to address or respond to that problem.

A response of substance from the government to the "petition" isn't just implied but obligatory and should be obvious. You would think.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Alessandra Ambrosio is Pregnant

I've been away from my computer today and haven't had chance to post that much. But the news that supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio is "with child" comes as a surprise to me. Brendan over at WWTD broke the news via Page Six:

Victoria's Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio won't be strutting down the runway in her skivvies anytime soon. The Brazilian beauty, 26, is pregnant with her first child. "She's a few months along," said our insider. Ambrosio is thrilled, she told pals at a weekend party at the Hollywood Hills house of her boyfriend, Jamie Mazur.
All I gotta say is, based on my experience with "hot" chicks and supermodels (which is pretty much limited to what I've seen on Nip/Tuck and Michael Bay movies). I wouldn't be that thrilled if I were boyfriend Jamie Mazur. You're talking about a woman who is at the height of her powers, she's young, gorgeous, and has a job that pays a lot of money and requires tons of travel and time away from home. So imagine how often she gets hit on by dudes (especially ridiculously charming, handsome and wealthy dudes like me) and chicks even. Got it? Now multiply that number by 100 and you get the idea of how many opportunities she's going to have to "test the limits of the expectation of privacy".

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Weekly Buchanan: Subprime Nation

UPDATE - It looks like the Asian Markets are starting to feel the effects of recession fears in the United States - Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index is down 4 percent.

Pat is on fire this week:

Since it began to give credit ratings to nations in 1917, Moody's has rated the United States triple-A. U.S. Treasury bonds have been seen as the most secure investment on earth. When crises erupt, nervous money seeks out the world's great safe harbor, the United States. That reputation is now in peril.

Last week, Moody's warned that if the United States fails to rein in the soaring cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the nation's credit rating will be down-graded within a decade.

Our political parties seem oblivious. Republicans, save Ron Paul, are all promising to expand the U.S. military and maintain all of our worldwide commitments to defend and subsidize scores of nations.

It's not that they are oblivious Pat. It's that their world view is such that preserving and strengthening the status quo can only involve the continual expansion of government. Even among the GOP candidates, except for Paul and Fred (to a much lesser degree), the idea of reducing bureaucratic interventionism is remarkably absent in word (McCain, Huckabee) and deed (Huckabee, Romney, and Rudy).

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Bring on the Brokered Convention!

Conservative Belle has some interesting bits about the GOP imposed penalties from states holding their primaries early:

Many states have rebelled against the RNC rules and scheduled their primary elections earlier this year - Florida being one of them. The committee members warned them months ago not to do this as they may lose their delegates at the national convention. I was told last night that the final decision will be made this week. While the Republican National Committee voted 121-9 to impose the penalties and remove half of their delegates, Chairman Mike Duncan does have the power to overrule that decision. He has indicated he will not do that. There is still a possibility that all or none of them will count, and some states have indicated they bring litigation against the RNC if only half of their delegates are counted, regardless.
Read the rest here

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Red State Update: The Musical!

Pretty good for a chuckle:

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Yoga with Tara Stiles, Ford Model

It's 2008 and Tara Stiles is back with a new yoga video. This week: Hips

check out Miss Stiles myspace:

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Nino Brown says F*** You to the IRS

Well, that's what Nino Brown would have said, if he were a real person. It turns out that Wesley Snipes is facing income tax charges of some sort. The fact that the amounts in dispute are huge and Snipes is a well known personality gives a lot of publicity to another issue that (like the idea of getting rid of the central bank) comes across as crackpot at first blush (which shows how far we've fallen as a country, since the United States is a country born from a tax rebellion) but if you actually look at it shows what a ripoff the income tax is.

Anyway, I've always thought that the income tax is one of the most arbitrary and destructive force to the principles of our country that has ever rolled down the pike. It's invasive and punitive and should be one of the first things that should be eliminated as soon as possible. The way that the income tax is enforced requires its citizens to put aside ideas such as the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment (those inalienable rights get tossed aside when money is concerned).

I remember when I was in eighth grade looking for books to read at the public library and coming across a book called "The Federal Mafia" by Irwin Schiff. That book gave me one of the first exposures to what the ideals are that this country was founded on and how the income tax perverts or ignores those ideals. I've exchanged correspondence with him a few times (it's not like he's going anywhere) and he's still pretty sharp and still fighting to get rid of the income tax.

For a great read about the abuses of the IRS, the late Senator William Roth (creator of the Roth IRA) wrote a book a number of years ago called "The Power to Destroy".

Or there is a film by the late Aaron Russo called "Freedom to Fascism" that shows what exactly how the income tax came about:

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Friday, January 11, 2008

The Case for Ron Paul: Can You Make It?

An interesting question. The whole post by Ace is here. It's a good perspective of where "compassionate conservatism" is today.

So I took the parameters of Ace's post on good faith and posted this comment (what a friggin mistake that was). I actually think I'm stupider for making the attempt:

124 Ace-

Tying the dollar to something like gold doesn't have to be done overnight, in fact it wouldn't be something that would make sense. But something that Dr. Paul advocates is FA Hayeks idea of restructuring the laws so that competition isn't just the province of the wealthy and supermodels.

The fact of the matter is inflation, contrary to government claims, is running at 10-13 percent. Which means that people who are on fixed incomes like old people who get cost of living increases of 2-3 percent are losing ground.
Which of course prompted this response from someone named "Nom de blog":
131 "The fact of the matter is inflation, contrary to government claims, is running at 10-13 percent." -- Randolphus Maximus above @ 124 (Is this another erg posting?)

I'm pretty sure that is a conspiracy theory.
So of course I had to respond:
136 Nom de Blog-

Not at all, just look at the price of oil, gold, and nearly everything else in terms of dollars. The dollar has lost 30-35 percent of it's purchasing power since 2001 and the reason that oil and gold are reaching record highs in terms of dollars is not just because of demand from the Chinese. It's because inflation in this country is running higher than the 3-4 percent the government is claiming. That's all.

And in case FY, NQ is code for something EAD, MF
and he wrote back:
139 Randolphus Maximus,
I don't debate people without them at least first displaying some level of knowledge about basics. Since you have not displayed anything but addle-brained spittle-spewing silliness, the only thing you'll get from me is mockery. I'm sure it won't matter to you because you're in on the secret that nobody else knows about the "REAL INFLATION RATE" because of all the "INTERNATIONAL MONEY MEN" who are using the black muscle to move in on you. (Since you're an Herr Doktor supporter I'm sure you understand the need for inappropriate capitalization and code language.)

And the fact that you don't get the AoSHQ mailer doesn't excuse you not knowing an inside joke.

Oh, wait. Yes it does. You're new around here because you're a Paulbot who has, because you know the secrets that others don't, come to defend Herr Doktor since critiques of his idea of TRUTH, LIBERTY and the ORIGINAL INTENT of the CONSTITUTION are offered. And right on cue you start speaking of things about which you know little if anything.

Now, get me a juice box. Grape, if you please.
And when you come back from the fridge I'd like you to dance a jig -- but not in front of the TV.
Notice that the person trying so hard to bring up "conspiracy theories" is the Nom de Retard. So of course I responded:
146 Nom de blog-

In case you haven't been paying attention, gold is hitting record highs in terms of dollars per ounce and just like oil has been hitting records in pp barrel in terms of dollars, if you think it's completely because of the demand of other countries, maybe you don't understand basic economics. If your idea of inflation is limited to "prices go up" then yeah, there is book by Thomas Sowell called Basic Economics that you might want to check out.

And I've been lurking around here long enough that if you want to play the absolute moral authority card go ahead.
And he wrote back:

147 " is hitting record highs in terms of dollars per ounce..."
-- RM @ 146 above

Are you adjusting that for your 13% inflation rate. Because if you are gold is nowhere near a record. Do you realize that your last two comments are directly contradictory.

Oh, that's right. You're an ignorant Paulbot and you're supposed to be dancing. Dance faster, with your small brain.
To which I wrote:
152 Nom de blog-

Why don't you give me your definition of inflation and I'll tell you where you are wrong. It's not contradictory at all.
And he wrote back:
154 You're not dancing fast enough.
Dance faster.

Gold is at an all time high.
Inflation is 13%.
These statements aren't contradictory.

You know, come to think of it, that's a pretty fine tap dance around sense. Gregory Hines would be impressed.
Then I said:
156 Nom-

"record highs" is what I wrote; "Gold is at an all time high." is how you translated it.

Come on, do you want to talk about monetary policy or not?
Then he said:
159 I suppose a record high is any high that gets recorded.
That's a very lame dance.

Impress me with your knowledge of finance. Please. I'm a bit down right now and nothing beats a good chuckle for a pick-me-up.

Of course I fell for the serious discussion ploy:
161 Nom-

I'm not asking this to goof on you, seriously, do you know what inflation is? And do you know what money is?

I should have known better:
163 RM,
You're not dancing quickly enough.
You've offered nothing of substance.
Self-contradictory flimflam hardly counts as a substantive point.

Dance, monkey, dance. (ed. isn't that racist?)
My response:
164 Thought so
And that's the level of discourse in the comments section of Ace's blog.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Maybe they don't have the internet in NC

And there goes my theory that all DMV employees are worthless and spend all their time on the internet. If I see this thing on ebay I'm going to have to put a bid on it.

Pilfered from Jalopnik via Gorillamask

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Leave Ron Paul Alone!

This was good for a chuckle:

I pilfered it from Ace of Spades:

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Glenn Beck and the Real Story

I've got to admit, Glenn Beck reminds me of early Bill O'Reilly. Before O'Reilly (and Fox News for that matter) became such an unwatchable, ego-maniacal blowhard, he would have interesting guests and ask good tough questions without injecting too much of his opinion. It's what made him a star.

I haven't watched him for years but watching this interview of Glenn Beck and him talking about the dire financial straits our country is in reminds me what I used to really like about Bill:

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Moneyweek: A Gold Standard One Way or Another

The idea of tying our money system to a commodity will gain ground as people begin to realize that inflation isn't the 2-3 percent that the government is claiming, the fact of the matter is, it's closer to 10-12 percent (shhh, don't let anyone know until I move my 3 leperchauns and their gold out from the basement). With people abandoning the dollar as the reserve currency of the world, China may be the logical choice for those with means to move their assets. Particularly if they tie their money to gold:

Asia has the "second mover advantage" of being privy to all the Western World's mistakes. They are able to see where profligacy and runaway entitlement programs have led. Their top-down orientation will enable them to rein in expensive entitlement programs or, better yet, curtail young ones before they grow bigger. Not being as mentally and emotionally tied to the workings of empire and the capitalist welfare mentality, Asia will successfully cut the cord faster. In doing so, Asia will also rely on its citizens' natural propensity to trust precious metals and hoard them as a store of value in the first place.

Last but not least, Asia's relative lack of capital market structure - its underdeveloped backbone of lending networks - will make a de facto gold standard that much more attractive. By going straight to gold, Asians get the "trust" that is already built into the metal...they can skip all the financial engineering, or get to working it in later.

While Keynesians see the rise of gold as temporary - and will continue to assert their naysayer views as gold rises further - it will soon come to light that the 'world reserve currency' idea was the temporary thing, an anachronism of the industrial age.

The whole thing is here.

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Ron Paul is a Nazi-loving, Race-baiting, Homophobic, Card Carrying JBS'er who Eats Babies (as all JBS cranks are Wont To Do)

Seriously, that's what I heard.

The New Republic's James Kirchick made a name for himself yesterday, what that name is has yet to be determined. What can be said is that a careful reading of the article published yesterday and his subsequent appearance plugging that article yesterday on Tucker's show (click here to watch) revealed nothing more than politics as usual. It surprises me not at all that the piece came out the day of the NH primary, that the "evidence" wasn't available at the time the article was published, but came along later in the day. What does surprise me is that the blogosphere and the MSM are raising this issue of the newsletters as if it were new.

As someone who has spent the past 9 months devouring everything that Dr. Paul has written, watching or listening to every speech and interview available online (trust me there's plenty) and comparing them to the language that is used in the offending newsletters it becomes clear there are more than enough distinctions in tone and style that Dr. Paul's explanation holds water. Does it excuse the fact that those words bear his name? Not at all, in fact a legitimate criticism can be made that his lack of oversight may reflect his executive management skills.

Looked at in another way, given the fact that Ron Paul isn't afraid to say what he thinks and his views haven't changed in nearly 30 years, why wouldn't he just come out when asked and say "I think black people are inferior" or "I hate gays" or "I eat babies". It's because if you examine his philosophy and his record it's just not true. The belief in and respect for individual rights precludes him from having any other position than what he's been talking about for the past 3 decades.

Hmm...I wonder if I can hire Kirchick to write a piece about Huckabee.

For a well-articulated dissection of the Kirchick piece click here.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Laura Ingraham interviews Ron Paul

The title of this youtube is "Ron Paul kicks Laura Ingraham's Ass". I wouldn't go as far as to say that; but Dr. Paul did prove his point umm, forcefully. I actually think Laura did a good job, I'm wondering where part 1 is?

UPDATE: found the whole interview here

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Howard Stern talks about RP and Fred Thompson

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The Early Results in NH are in: McCain and Obama win

From ABC:

Residents of two tiny towns stayed up late to give Barack Obama and John McCain early victories in the New Hampshire presidential primary.

Voters in two small New Hampshire villages, Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, cast the initial ballots just after midnight Tuesday.

In Hart's Location, Democrat Obama received nine votes, Hillary Rodham Clinton received three and John Edwards received one. On the Republican side, McCain received six, Mike Huckabee received five, Ron Paul received four and Mitt Romney one.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Leno irked RP wasn't on Fox Forum?

Ron Paul was on Jay Leno's show tonight talking about the Fox News forum snub:

Part II:

Jay was really annoyed with Ron Paul's exclusion: to Dr. Paul "Shouldn't you be kicking somebody's ass?" lol

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American Conservative Mag: The Paleocon Dilemma

There did really used to be a wing of the Republican Party that hates the idea of meddling in other countries affairs:

Ron Paul isn’t just running for president. The antiwar 10-term congressman from Texas hopes that as titular head of the Republican Party, he can nudge the Right in a less interventionist direction, both at home and abroad. In fact, reviving an older, less reflexively hawkish conservatism may even be a more important motivation for Paul’s long-shot campaign than actually capturing the GOP nomination.

There’s just one problem: the movement Paul is trying to lead, or at least influence, is filled with people who think he is some kind of crazed left-wing radical. The popular conservative website has effectively banned Paul supporters from signing up as commenters and promoting their candidate, partly on the grounds that such people are liberal Democrats merely pretending to be Republicans. founder Jim Robinson, whose website was once more open to constitutionalists than Republican boosters, asserted that “Paul equals Hillary on the War.” National Review senior editor Richard Brookhiser has opined that Paul backers are “wicked idiots.”

The whole piece is here.

(pilfered from Red State Eclectic)

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Frank Luntz Recycles

Fox News pollster Frank Luntz (F*** you Frank, this is classic) and his undecided New Hampshire voters back post debate a few months back:

Skip ahead to the 3:42 mark if you don't want to watch the whole thing (pay attention
to the guy with the glasses and the gray beard):

Now here's a clip from last nights post Fox News Forum show with, once again Frank Luntz (pay attention to the guy with glasses and the gray beard about the 1:37 mark):

It looks like its the same guy, not that that's a big deal. But, it's interesting to note just the same. Especially in the context of the Penn and Teller piece.

Pilfered from Laura at Red State Eclectic

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So that's what SWAT Teams are Good For

Worldnetdaily has the story:

Nearly a dozen members of a police SWAT team in western Colorado punched a hole in the front door and invaded a family's home with guns drawn, demanding that an 11-year-old boy who had had an accidental fall accompany them to the hospital, on the order of Garfield County Magistrate Lain Leoniak.
The only thing that would have made this story more realistic would have been if they had busted down the door of the house and Daisy was on the other side of it in some really short shorts and the SWAT guys got distracted so them Duke boys were able to get away in the General Lee and make it back to Uncle Jesse's farm. Yeeeeehawwwww!

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Yeah, the Blimp is cool

Ron Paul has a blimp, a crap load of youtubes, blogs (even this one) and forums dedicated to him, but I don't even think any candidate running right now for the Presidency has not one but two different internet radio stations dedicated to Ron Paul programming 24/7:

Ron Paul Radio and Ron Paul Revolution Radio

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Inflation and Our Money Supply

I've had a couple of people email me about inflation and our money supply and asking me how come a guy as ridiculously handsome and charming as me can be such a kook when it comes to the dollar. (Kerri, this means you)

Well, needless to say, the headlines about the declining dollar keep piling up and things are looking to get much worse in 2008. England is looking to surpass us in standard of living for the first time since the 19th Century. Anyway, here is a good explanation of the money system and why inflation isn't just rising prices (which is what most people think it is). It does get a little X-fileish in explaining how the Federal Reserve Bank system was formed but it's the simplest explanation I've found as well.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

I wonder when this flatscreen is coming out

Over at gizmodo, there's a flat screen demo from Pioneer called "Kuro" and it's 9millimeters thin! I usually don't do posts on technology, but that is pretty friggin awesome. But I'm gonna wait for screens to get so thin that I can fold them like map and stick em in the glovebox. Where do the cords go?

More pics here

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The Fox News Forum

I didn't watch the Fox News Forum sans Ron Paul, but Conservative Belle and Strapz live-blogged it. Click here and here for their reactions.

My boy spent some of the 20 million that his supporters raised last quarter and bought an hour of New Hampshire TV time to get his positions out there. I'm posting the youtube version in 2 parts:

Barry Goldwater Jr. makes an appearance (he's campaigning with Dr. Paul in New Hampshire) a and watching RP talk about economics and the Fed and taxes reminds me again how many levels above the other candidates he's thinking.

Part Deuce

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Jackie and Dunlap on the ABC Debate

Pilfered from Red State Eclectic:

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The Old Right Conservatives

Over at PearlMississsippiCPA, a blogger named John lays out the case for Old Right Conservatism:

From the founding of our Republic until 1931, state government spending was TWICE the amount of Federal government spending (except for war). The Feds were rarely involved in controlling the economy and sending troops overseas. Until 1917, all of our wars were fought on the North American continent. And with the exception of the War of Northern Aggression ("Civil War" to you Yanks.), there was no military draft. Indeed, Old Right Conservatism was the ruling belief. It is hard to believe that until 1901 all drugs were legal and until 1934 marijuana was legal...

Be sure to read the whole thing here.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

The Iowa Caucus

UPDATE: I'm a little late on this but the NH GOP pulled their sponsorship of the debate on FOX yesterday. As far as I know, there has not been any formal explanation of RP's exclusion other than "there was no room at the inn" but whatever. Dr. Paul bought an hour of TV time during FOX's forum and is having his own townhall which you can watch here.

It was Huck's night, he had a huge victory over Romney anyway you spin it. The battle really was for 3rd place. Fred! and John McCain ended up in a virtual tie at 13 percent and my boy hit 10 percent, within striking distance of 3rd place. Good enough in a state that loves government subsidies for ethanol and is socially conservative. Next stop New Hampshire. Speaking of which, CNN has an interesting piece about the Fox News forum that Ron Paul has been excluded from on Sunday. Turns out that the NHGOP is threatening to pull its sponsorship of the forum because Ron Paul has been excluded:

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Louisiana Attorney says F*** You to the IRS

The federal income tax is one of the most heinous, oppressive, criminal, and arbitrary exercises in government abuse that has ever come down the pike. I'm just waiting for the day that everyone decides they've had enough and we junk that thing and NEVER let it come back. I'm kidding myself, we're going to have another depression before that happens. But there are people who are fighting to end it on many different fronts.

Tommy Cryer is a highly respected Louisiana attorney who actually took the time to read the tax code and came to the conclusion that there is no law that requires most people to file a tax return and there is no law that makes anyone liable for the income tax. The IRS didn't take too kindly to that and charged him with tax evasion. Well, he was acquitted and now he's suing the agents who allegedly repeatedly disclosed information about him that is protected under federal law.

Good for him. I hope that he wins and ruins the lives of those agents. The end.

Oh yeah, here's the article that has the whole story.

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I'd be interested in hearing the whole song

From YBNBY: Sweet Child O' Mine - the Indian Version, sounds kind of funny, but I kind of dug it.

Here's the original:

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Cabinet Wish List

I pilfered this idea from Ron Simpson over at Cluttered Eclectic Mind. Here's mine, which has a lot of similarities to Ron's-

President-Ron Paul
Secretary of Defense-General Petreaus
Secretary of State - Condoleeza Rice
Attorney General- Judge Andrew Napolitano (until one of the SCOTUS spots opens up, then he gets that nomination)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs- Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States Army. (if there were one department that I wouldn't ever have a problem with growing, it would be this one)
Secretary of the Treasury - Alan Greenspan (he's an expert on hard money and would be needed in the transition to eliminating the Federal Reserve system)
Secretary of the Interior - position eliminated and department gutted
Secretary of Education -position eliminated and department gutted
Homeland Security - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Energy - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Housing and Urban Development - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Health and Human Services - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Labor -position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Transportation - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Agriculture - position eliminated and department gutted

Well, now that I look at it, I guess it's really not at all like Ron's list.

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HR 1955: The Bill about Nothing?

HR 1955 is officially titled: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. It was voted on in Congress and passed overwhelmingly 404-6. So why can't a reporter get anyone who voted for it to talk about it on the record? 404 members of Congress and not one of them is willing to grab a microphone and say why it's necessary to have such legislation?

From the article:

“Violent radicalization,” one of the threats the bill seeks to curb, is defined there as “the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically-based violence to advance political, religious or social change.”

Acts of violence are already illegal, whether stemming from extreme beliefs or not. But “adopting” or “promoting” beliefs is supposed to be covered by the first amendment, which Kucinich said “protects freedom of speech, which should also include freedom of thought — thought usually precedes speech, unless you’re talking about Washington — this undercuts the first amendment, [because] lines like ‘ideologically based’ … says government should police ideas, not conduct.”

The whole article is here (with an oversized picture of Dennis Kucinich to go with it, you've been warned).

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Observations from New Hampshire

Over at the Crossed Pond, there is great post about Ron Paul's campaign from the grassroots level:

New Hampshire at this time of year is already thick with political signage for all candidates, mostly lots of small yard signs on road medians and in front of most of the houses (I see a lot of McCain and Obama). The difference is, for every single road sign of EVERY candidate, there is a small group of 2-3 Ron Paul supporters holding a 15 foot sign.
Read the whole piece here.

New Hampshire is fertile ground for Ron Paul. He has a very good chance of winning the state outright. But if he places outside of the top tier, I don't anticipate him dropping out of the race, he already has enough funding to get through to Super Tuesday.

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Third Reich to Fortune 500

Cracked magazine has 5 popular brands that the Nazis gave us:

Already today you've used at least one product from a company that, at one time, worked for the Nazis. Now, in the name of not getting sued, we'd like to make it clear that we're not accusing any of the below companies of still being in bed with the Third Reich. All of them, to our knowledge, have long disavowed Hitler's regime as being both monstrous and no longer profitable.
IBM made their list:
You're probably thinking, "Wait a minute. IBM was American! The closest America ever got to the Nazis was when Indiana Jones wore that uniform as a disguise in Raiders of the Lost Ark!"

Actually, prior to the war, American business took what can be generously described as a morally ambivalent stance on the whole Hitler thing. American groups, such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institute, directly funded Nazi eugenics projects in the early '30s (where the goal was to find ways to breed a master race). Of course, once the war started, most American businesses cut ties with Hitler. IBM, on the other hand, decided to stick around and see where he was going with this whole final solution thing.

Pilfered from Gorillamask

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

At What Cost?

CMStrapz, occasional contributer here at the RogueNation, after launching his own blog and taking a brief absence, has a couple of posts up on who he is supporting for President and who he is not. Click here to see his endorsement. Conservative Belle also has her endorsement posted as well. I would consider their pick to be mine if Ron Paul wasn't in the race.

What I would like to address in this post is Ron Paul and foreign policy. CB and Strapz have concerns about whether Dr. Paul's philosophy of nonintervention in dealing with other countries is the proper course for us. I'll let Strapz make the argument against Ron Paul:

I have felt that the largest external threat to this country is from Islamic fascism, a philosophy that advocates the killing (or conversion) of innocents in order to further its religio-political goals. In typical libertarian fashion, Dr. Paul has essentially refused to condemn this philosophy as evil, and has instead engaged in a blame-the-victim mentality, by alleging that the foreign policy of the United States, specifically its intervention in Middle Eastern politics, is to blame for attacks on civilians throughout the world and on US soil. This position is in complete contrast to several hundred years of history, dating back to the invasion of Spain by the Moors in 711 (lasting until 1492). The list of current world conflicts at Wikipedia shows that nearly all are a result of militant Islamists either not getting along with their neighbors or going to war against their own country. Surely, these cannot possibly all be the result of American foreign policy.
Where Islamic Fascism is a reality that must be dealt with, the question is, has the way that we have conducted ourselves been effective in dealing with that threat, and at what price?

More on that later, but first off, I think "blame America first" is about as accurate a description of Ron Paul's foreign policy philosophy as Kanye West saying "George Bush hates black people" on the government's failure during Hurricane Katrina. While both make good sound bites, they aren't really descriptive for either situation and they don't have a grain of truth to them.

A foreign policy of nonintervention basically means that we don't act like it's high school when we deal with other countries. We treat all countries consistently. Which would mean having the discipline of NOT interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Also it would mean having the discipline of trading with all countries that want to trade with us (and yes, sanctions are a form of internal meddling in other countries affairs. Which is not to say that private citizens shouldn't be able to choose with whom to do business with or not.) Non-intervention means also keeping up a strong defense by keeping its military strong and its citizens armed.

Is there an example of nonintervention like this in modern times? Yes, if you look at Switzerland in the middle of the last century. That country faced a threat from the most modern war machine to exist at the time, Nazi Germany. Hitler did not invade Switzerland because he knew that to do that his army would face certain defeat.

But the real danger to us is not Islamic Fascism, it is economic collapse. All empires collapse not from conquering opposing armies, but from insolvency. The USSR was a prime example. They overextended themselves with entitlements at home and maintaining an empire abroad and the Soviet Union ended when the bills came due.

Social Security, Medicare, our trillion dollar a year foreign policy of interventionism. The bills are going to come due and unless drastic action takes place soon, misery and depression are going to follow.

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Ron Paul Linkorama

I've been away from my blog for the past couple of days but I'm back, Happy New Year Everyone!

It's the day before the Iowa caucus and all the energy and time and effort that the Ron Paul campaign and Ron Paul supporters have expended the past 9 months should result in a respectable result tomorrow. Do I think that Ron Paul will place first? That's a long shot, I would say maybe 3rd. But New Hampshire? He'll probably win there, with momentum going into South Carolina and Nevada and Florida.

All of the candidates were available for one last media blitz before tomorrow and here's Dr. Paul's appearances (which I unabashedly pilfered from either Laura over at RedstateEclectic or Lew Rockwell:

On Hannity's radio show (a pretty decent interview)
On MSNBC this morning
With Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Situation Room:

Also, The New Republic published a good piece not on Ron Paul, but on the supporters who are campaigning for him in Iowa:

...if the candidates were judged by the quality of their young supporters, I would now be voting for Ron Paul. Beyond just being polite, the Paul volunteers have an incredible passion for the technical mechanics of the American constitution and body of laws.
The whole article is here.

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