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Ron Paul Approved of Newsletter Copy?

The Washington Post has a long piece about Ron Paul’s now-infamous newsletters, which contained lots of racist and just plain insane rantings, and quotes several sources who suggest that Paul approved the newsletters before they went out and made a deliberate decision to put more extreme content in it for financial reasons.

It begins with a woman who used to work for Paul and still supports him saying that he approved every newsletter before it went out:

The Republican presidential candidate has denied writing inflammatory passages in the pamphlets from the 1990s and said recently that he did not read them at the time or for years afterward. Numerous colleagues said he does not hold racist views.

But people close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman’s.

And then an anonymous source saying that Paul made a decision to include that material:

A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.

“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’ …

At the time, Paul’s investment letter was languishing. According to the person involved with his businesses, Paul and others hit upon a solution: to “morph” the content to capi­tal­ize on a growing fear among some on the political right about the nation’s changing demographics and threats to economic liberty.

And a prominent natural ally who seems to back up that charge:

Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said he met Paul for lunch during this period and the two discussed direct-mail solicitations, which Paul was sending out to interest people in his newsletters. They agreed that “people who have extreme views” were more likely than others to respond.

Crane said Paul reported getting his best response when he used a mailing list from the now-defunct newspaper Spotlight, which was widely considered anti-Semitic and racist.

And another former associate by name:

Paul “had to walk a very fine line,’’ said Eric Dondero Rittberg, a former longtime Paul aide who says Paul allowed the controversial material in his newsletter as a way to make money. Dondero Rittberg said he witnessed Paul proofing, editing and signing off on his newsletters in the mid-1990s.

“The real big money came from some of that racially tinged stuff, but he also had to keep his libertarian supporters, and they weren’t at all comfortable with that,’’ he said.

The article also suggests that this strategy worked:

It is unclear precisely how much money Paul made from his newsletters, but during the years he was publishing them, he reduced his debts and substantially increased his net worth, according to his congressional and presidential disclosure reports.

In 1984, he reported debt of up to $765,000, most of which was gone by 1995, when he reported a net worth of up to $3.3 million. Last year, he reported a net worth of up to $5.2 million.

The last part is the most suspect part of the article. There may well be other reasons why Paul’s financial situation improved. It would certainly help to know how many subscribers there were to the newsletters over the years. If there’s a big bump in the number of subscribers after 1992 or so, that would be a stronger piece of evidence. It would take 10,000 subscribers to make a million dollars a year on the newsletter, only part of which would be profit. So it would take a lot more subscribers than I imagine he had to explain the jump in income. We just don’t have enough information, and probably can’t have it, in order to substantiate the last part.

Comments

  1. Ace of Sevens says

    So Ron Paul isn’t a racist. He was trying to fleece the racists. The more useless crap he sold them, the less money the had to spend on accelerants and rope. He was doing black people a great service.

  2. says

    There may well be other reasons why Paul’s financial situation improved.

    Yeah, there might have been some other totally different con-game or witless-protection program that we don’t know about.

    If he made that money, or any fraction thereof, by making something useful, I’m sure he’d be bragging about it now.

  3. Larry says

    He’s either a actual racist or a con man. Possibly both.

    Whatever he is, he shouldn’t be allowed any role in the government, let alone be president.

  4. marcus says

    I have no trouble believing that Ron Paul knew of or approved most of the content of these newsletters. Whatever the amount he approved or didn’t, however, is moot. He was responsible for every fucking word of it since “It was his newsletter, and it was under his name…” as his employee pointed out above. The rules on planet Wingnuttia must be very different from the rules here.

  5. eric says

    I think its almost more disturbing that he’s a mercenary racist rather than an ideoligical one. The latter is at least predictable. With the former, you never know what group he might attack next just to make a buck (or vote).

  6. Ichthyic says

    Oh see, now all this doesn’t mean Paul is racist, no!

    …all it means is that he ENABLES racism.

    which is, of course, just as bad, if not arguably worse.

    so, if there are any Paul supporters about:

    your candidate SOLD OUT YOUR VALUES, and the entire civil rights movement, for a few extra bucks from extremists.

    huzzah?

  7. KG says

    I’m really not quite sure that #1 is satire (I don’t know Ace of Sevens). I can well imagine glibertarians making precisely that argument in defence of their hero, and even being able to believe it.

  8. F says

    I don’t know that libertarians would make the argument that newsletter subscriptions were meant to absorb disposable income that would otherwise be spent on the murder kits of racists.

  9. Andrew Woods says

    Oh for chrissakes, of course he knew what was in his own newsletter. He was already a national politician and the newsletter is self-titled. So if he wasn’t a racist (or pretending to be) then he was/is a bumbling imbecile.

  10. says

    If Paul’s defense that he was in the other side of the country during all of this is true, it still says something about his leadership skills. You really can’t leave things on autopilot like that, especially when your name is involved.

  11. says

    I look forward to the day when President Ron Paul launches nuclear weapons at some unsuspecting country, but it’s not his fault because someone underneath him did it without his knowledge.

  12. says

    “The last part is the most suspect part of the article. There may well be other reasons why Paul’s financial situation improved.”

    Maybe. But if Ron Paul took his own economic predictions seriously, he would have had all his money in gold and underground bunkers and would have seen the value of both deteriorate substantially during that period.

  13. dingojack says

    “… I’m Ron Paul and I approve this message*”.
    *( except if it coms around and bites me in the ass, making look like a vile, oppotunist, racist wack-a-loon, in that case I was on the other side of the country, I didn’t read it, an underling did it, the car ran ouuta gas, the dog ate my homework, the devil made me do it, I knew nothing, noth-thing!)

    :/ Dingo

  14. Stevarious says

    “It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,” said the person

    So…. he’s a republican? This is some big revelation?

  15. briank says

    I am very disappointed by the comments I have read here so far.

    Here is a link to a better investigation on the Ron Paul Newsletter fiasco than what the mainstream media reported, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGH77lZsglU&feature=player_embedded

    Is Ron Paul rascist? Don’t know. Don’t care. I care about his track record in Congress. Yes, he voted against the Civil Rights Act, but he gave reasons why he did not support it and those are good enough reasons in my mind. Why did Obama sign the NDAA on Dec 31st? He had reasons not to, yet still signed it. I would have supported Obama much more if he had refused to sign it, even though paychecks would have been delayed reaching our military and their families.

    What candidate are you hoping to vote for in 2012? Last I saw, we didn’t have any candidate who espouses protecting our civil rights, governmental transperancy, climate change, evolution, separation of church and state, anti-corpocracy, etc.

    Ron Paul has voted against entitlements more than any other living member of Congress that I am aware of. He spoke out against the War in Iraq, against the Patriot Act, and the NDAA clause. He is the only presidential candidate to speak out against things AND propose legislation against the NDAA. Do any of the above commentators seriously think that Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum would make better contenders?

    Ron Paul ran for president as a third party candidate in 2008. I personally think that we need to break the two party system. Does anyone have any ideas how we can go about doing that? Methinks that promoting a previous third party candidate is a good step.

    I am also all in favor of state rights. We have fifty different states (51 if you throw in Puerto Rico), each with a different government. We should be running fifty different sociological experiments to try and find the closest thing we can to a sustainable utopian society. The Feds are there to protect our borders and make sure that our Bill of Rights (and other Constitutionally-granted rights) are not trampled on.

    I am in favor of small government. When you give someone power over you, how do you plan to ensure that it is not abused? Look at the Patriot Act, look at the NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, the Research Works Act, etc. Big government is used against us all the time!!! Sure your current president might be trusted with the power the NDAA granted him, but what about the next one?

    Small Government keeps it from becoming the bully.

    So, is Ron Paul a bully? Don’t know, don’t care. I look at his voting record, I look at his rationale for his decisions and platform. He’s the best of the crop this election year. Instead of just supporting the corrupted status quo, how about we try something a little different? People say they want change, then just vote for the same thing as always.

  16. dingojack says

    Ah “State’s rights”, and we all know what that means boys and girls, don’t we?
    :/ Dingo

  17. Ace of Sevens says

    @18: That’s the problem. State’s rights and civil rights are mutually exclusive. If the state has the right to, for instance, peer into people’s bedrooms and punish them if they don’t like what they see (See Ron Paul’s article about Lawrence v. Texas), then people have no real rights against government intrusion. Saying the feds have to respect our rights but the states don’t is a fancy way of saying we have no rights.

  18. dingojack says

    This whole issue (IMHO) demonstrates Ron Paul’s absolute adherence to one of the Libertarian tenets: ‘No Care. No Responsibility’.
    Dingo

  19. briank says

    Ace of Sevens,
    It is my understanding that the States have to respect the rights granted us by the Constitution.

    I notice that the article you mention is from his famed newsletters. Did you click on the link in my post and watch the video? Ron Paul has disavowed those newsletters. He’s not doing a non-denial denial, he’s flat out stating those were not his words.

    When I’ve actually read/heard Ron Paul on those issues, he wants government out of the marriage business and he has not actually said any anti-homosexual remarks.

    Still, go ahead… I’m sure that Santorum or Gingrich is far less homophobic than Ron Paul.

  20. dingojack says

    From what I’ve read Ron has been offering more excuses than than Jake Blues gave to his fiancee. Evidently for him, ‘the buck stops everywhere but here’.
    Dingo

  21. dingojack says

    OBTW – The issue isn’t homophobia of any of the Republican candidates* it’s about ‘can you trust this candidate to take responsibility for his own screw-ups’?
    Dingo
    —–
    * so stop trying to shift the focus faster than Ron trys to shift the blame

  22. briank says

    Dingojack,
    “it’s about ‘can you trust this candidate to take responsibility for his own screw-ups’?”

    Okay. Ron Paul disavowed those newsletters and comments, but admits that he is at fault for not policing his newsletters more closely. If he was speaking the truth, that he did not write/endorse those comments, then what would you have him say?

    How do you jibe those few newsletters (& the one with the most rascist comments having a byline by another man) with Ron Paul’s stated stances on marijuana legalization & the death penalty and how they unfairly target African-Americans?

    Still, maybe I’m the one off-target here. Please list some of these “excuses” you’ve been hearing him give. I’ve only heard the disavowal.

  23. Ace of Sevens says

    @briank: Not according to Ron Paul. See the We the People Act he keeps trying to introduce. He says the incorporation doctrine is “phony” and the Bill of Rights affects the federal government only and the states can have an official religion or otherwise do what they like if they have the votes.

    I should also point out he didn’t vote against the Civil Rights Act. He wasn’t elected to Congress until 15 years after it passed. He’s only expressed opposition to it.

    Here’s his article about Lawrence v. Texas. This isn’t from his infamous newsletters. It’s from his friend Lew Rockwell’s website. (Granted, Lew Rockwell likely wrote the offending newsletters.) If he’s disavowed responsibility, I’d like a link.

    This article was written in 2003. The newsletters controversy broke in 1996 and they had been out of publication at least since then.

    A lot of Ron Paul supports are very fond of an imaginary Ron Paul, who’s against government wealth re-distribution and wars and for the inalienable property rights of individuals and is generally a libertarian. However, this is wishful thinking or projection of assumptions about Libertarians. Ron Paul is actually for a minimal federal government, but a massive expansion in state power by removing all federal checks on it. He supported the Kelo decision on the grounds the federal government has no authority to stop abuses of state power.

    Incorporation is the legal basis of the vast majority of civil rights desicions from the last century. He’s will to gut it based on some neo-Confederate ideals. He’s no Libertarian by my definition, just another conspiracy theorist who hates the fed.

  24. Ace of Sevens says

    How do you jibe those few newsletters (& the one with the most rascist comments having a byline by another man) with Ron Paul’s stated stances on marijuana legalization & the death penalty and how they unfairly target African-Americans?

    I would say Ron Paul doesn’t oppose the death penalty or the war on drugs. He opposes the federal death penalty and the federal war on drugs and that his concerns about racism are just a sales tactic, not his actual motives. The federal government has executed 3 people since the death penalty was re-instated, so this is a fairly useless position. Ending the war on drugs would certainly help minorities in California, Oregon, Nevada and some of the other sane states, but not help much in the places where racial disparities are the biggest problem if the state could just lock people up and they couldn’t appeal to the federal government that their rights were being violated. Ron Paul’s actual motive here is his general opposition to the federal government doing anything.

  25. Michael Heath says

    briank writes:

    Is Ron Paul rascist? Don’t know. Don’t care.

    I care, a lot. Anyone who argues in support of the DofI and the U.S. Constitution and the underlying principles regarding the equal protection and exercise of rights along with individual liberty should damn well care, otherwise they’re lying hypocrites or deluded sheep.

    brianK writes:

    I care about [Rep. Ron Paul’s] track record in Congress. Yes, he voted against the Civil Rights Act, but he gave reasons why he did not support it and those are good enough reasons in my mind.

    His reasons were good? Really? When a black person sought access to a good or service, let’s say gasoline at a gas station miles fom another one, and the racist operator of that gas station refused that black person service simply because they’re black; Rep. Paul supports law enforcement called to the scene to resolve the dispute defend the racist operator’s right denying the black person their right to service.

    In this real-life case of which side government power should be deployed to defend a right competing with another, which is the exact type of issue the Civil Rights legislation partly addressed, Rep. Paul still sides with government power defending the right of racists who wished to ostracize black people. At the expense of those black people being able to equally exercise their rights to goods and services. Paul advocated that government power be used to maintain blacks at a class level beneath that of whites because that’s what racists wanted. Paul prefers racists’ right to be bigots over black people’s right to exercise their rights and have their rights defended by government equal to white people. That’s a perfectly illustrative aspect of racism in action. It’s far more evil than some yokel who hurls slurs at black people, because Rep. Paul wants power well beyond his own personal power, the immense power of the government, to come down and crush black people – to the point they can’t even access the same goods and services as we whites enjoy, which also effectively marginalized their ability and right to travel back in the Jim Crow days and prior.

    I won’t be reading your posts further unless you directly respond with what I’ve written here. Especially since what I quote here is merely the first three sentences of what you’ve posted. I can’t imagine it gets more coherent or compelling.

  26. dingojack says

    BrianK asks: ‘what would I have Ron say’?

    ‘That I was on the other side of the country and that I never had a direct hand in writing them is absolutely no excuse for the racist comments published in my newsletter.
    As the publisher of this newsletter I am ultimately responsible for it’s content. I take the full weight of that responsibility and offer a heartfelt and humble apology for publishing such racist remarks.
    Let the chips fall where they may.’

    That would be a good start.

    Although I’m sure others could do much, much better than I.

    Dingo

  27. says

    Ah “State’s rights”, and we all know what that means boys and girls, don’t we?
    :/ Dingo

    Indeed, the stench is detectable clear around the other side of the planet. When a politician talks states rights, there is a particular kind of mind they are always speaking to, and those who deny that usually have that particular kind of mind.

    I go back to my own days with the Libertarians in the 80s and my departure from the party. Nobody in the Libertarian Party back then was confused about Ron Paul’s friendly relations with vile bigots. Absolutely nobody. It’s amazing to see history so thoroughly erased. I don’t know if Paul is a bigot today, but I know he was an old-fashioned Texas bigot back then. His adolescent robot army is as clueless about the man’s history as is Andrew Sullivan, who at least has the excuse that the American South that some of us knew well in the 1960s is for Sullivan an intellectual idea rather than something palpable and real. Paul knew those people and that’s who he was speaking to in those newsletters. For Christsakes, does anyone really believe that Lew Rockwell quoted gynecology journals?

    Here’s Steven Chapman, who also departed from the Libertarians in the 1980s:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-22/news/chi-ron-pauls-racist-newsletters-20111222_1_ron-paul-newsletters-libertarian-party-nominee

  28. says

    briank:

    I am very disappointed by the comments I have read here so far.

    You should do what I do. Read Brayton’s posts (which are normally informative and amusing), and generally try to ignore the pseudo-intellectual drivel from the howling mob at the bottom of the page that believes its own self-affirming groupthink amounts to successful independent thought.

    What candidate are you hoping to vote for in 2012?

    You notice no one answers that one, right? They’re all waiting for Ed to announce who he supports so that they can all cover down, tell him how right he is, and pretend they all supported that candidate all along.

    If you’re looking for honest dialogue, I’d suggest avoiding the comments section. But between you and I, you have made some good points. Ron Paul may or may not be the perfect candidate… but there is no acceptable alternative.

  29. dingojack says

    Kacy – Personally, I’d prefer the flawed Julia Gillard to the seriously crazy Tony Abbot. How about you, or are you waiting to which way your fellow Paulbots jump?
    @@
    Dingo

  30. says

    “Ron Paul ran for president as a third party candidate in 2008.”

    No he did not. A couple of weirdo third parties adopted him as their nominee, but Paul did not seek their nomination or run a campaign.

  31. says

    You notice no one answers that one, right? They’re all waiting for Ed to announce who he supports so that they can all cover down, tell him how right he is, and pretend they all supported that candidate all along.

    Oh FFS, have you ever bothered reading this blog at all? Ed has on multiple occasions said the candidate he will most likely support is Gary Johnson if he runs as a Libertarian. As far as I can tell, all of none of his regular commenters, who are mostly vocal Obama supporters, agree with him on this.

    But let’s not let facts disturb you as you bask in the glow of your imagined superior independent thinking. You seem to be having far too good a time stroking yourself.

  32. Ace of Sevens says

    I’d ad the imaginary Ron Paul is pretty ,uch Gary John. It depends on 3rd party nominations and how Obama is looking in my state, but I’ll likely vote for Rocky Johnson based on a Wikipedia skimming.

  33. Ace of Sevens says

    Retrying: I’d add the imaginary Ron Paul is pretty much Gary Johnson. It depends on 3rd party nominations and how Obama is looking in my state, but I’ll likely vote for Rocky Johnson based on a Wikipedia skimming.

  34. says

    try to ignore the pseudo-intellectual drivel from the howling mob at the bottom of the page

    They’re all waiting for Ed to announce who he supports so that they can all cover down, tell him how right he is,

    So you know exactly what we’re going to do, and you learned to predict our actions by ignoring what we say?

    Wow. So what am I having for lunch tomorrow?

  35. briank says

    DingoJack,
    “Libertarian tenets: ‘No Care. No Responsibility’.”
    Bullshit. I am primarily a Libertarian and I’ve worked in inner-city emergency rooms all over the United States. I’ve volunteered my time in soup kitchens and health clinics. I’ve donated cold-hard cash for charities. Do I care? YES. I just don’t trust the government to spend my money in effective ways. Before I was a nurse, I had a job as a bureaucrat handling Federal Grants at the municipal level. I saw how each level of government took out “administrative fees” and how badly it was all run. I saw how feel-good social programs don’t help anywhere near as much as fiscal liberals tout. I’ve also worked with non-profits that have to compete for contributions and they do a much better job in their targeted market.

    As to your RP apology statement, okay… I could get behind that. Still, his disavowal is good enough for me at this point. I’m curious, how did you react when you heard about Obama’s church and his comments supporting their rascist-spewing Reverend? Personally, I gave Obama the benefit of the doubt in that little bruhaha. If you did there, why not RP now?

    Ace of Sevens,
    LIkewise, I am against a strong central government. Why do you want a strong federal government instead of strong state governments? Aren’t you worried about abuses of power? Personally, I am. A lot. Why shouldn’t a state govern/regulate more instead of the feds? The closer the government is to the people, the more transparent and accessible it is.

    Michael Heath,
    If an owner of a gas station bans a minority, then the minority should speak up. I would not utilize a private company that discriminates and 99% of the people I personally know wouldn’t. A man who owns his own business and has to worry about losing customers has an incentive to change his views. My problem would be with zoning laws that unfairly protect a disciminating/exclusive business by not allowing in competing inclusive businesses.

    Everyone, I’m curious… what damage has Ron Paul done as a member of Congress to our country? What rascist bills did he propose and support? The President does not propose legislation, what damage would he do that couldn’t be controlled by Congress and the Supreme Court? Do you think he’s try and institute slavery again or invade Africa?!? I’m amazed at some of the things that people speak out against him for… without offering up a better alternative out of our current list of candidates.

  36. briank says

    Feralboy12, “So you know exactly what we’re going to do, and you learned to predict our actions by ignoring what we say? Wow. So what am I having for lunch tomorrow?”
    Well, not exactly. Merely taking acquired information via the CIQ app on your phone in combination collected information from Google, Facebook, etc… and making predictions based on that. So, according to the Freedom of Information Act tipsheets on you, probably a Wendy’s chili and single. http://www.feminisnt.com/2012/highlights-from-my-bizarre-fbi-file-and-how-to-foia-your-own/

    Ace of Sevens,
    Thanks for providing some links for me to peruse. I’m glad to see you’re considering voting for a third party candidate. Although I am registered for one of the Big Two, I almost always vote third party.

  37. dingojack says

    ‘No care, no responsibility’ – exhibit one: the issue at hand.
    Exhibit two – oooh just about everything else that Libertarians claim.
    You distrust the Federal Gov’t, but the State Gov’t, well, they just hand out puppies and rainbows, they can’t help it!
    @@
    Dingo

  38. Ace of Sevens says

    Ace of Sevens,
    LIkewise, I am against a strong central government. Why do you want a strong federal government instead of strong state governments? Aren’t you worried about abuses of power? Personally, I am. A lot. Why shouldn’t a state govern/regulate more instead of the feds? The closer the government is to the people, the more transparent and accessible it is.

    I can see why you might speculate this, but there is actual evidence. Was it local government or the feds that got bought off by Al Capone, that brought us Jim Crow, that let KKK lynch mobs off the hook, that has pushed a huge racial disparity in death penalty cases, etc? Regardless of speculation, the most egregious civil rights violations in US history are mostly the provenance of the states. The Federal government tends to fall under more scrutiny because of its larger jurisdiction. It also means there are more competing interests whereas a major employer or a popular prejudice can trump the law in a small town.

    Everyone, I’m curious… what damage has Ron Paul done as a member of Congress to our country? What rascist bills did he propose and support? The President does not propose legislation, what damage would he do that couldn’t be controlled by Congress and the Supreme Court? Do you think he’s try and institute slavery again or invade Africa?!? I’m amazed at some of the things that people speak out against him for… without offering up a better alternative out of our current list of candidates.

    He hasn’t managed to do much damage on account of having no legislative accomplishments, but if you are looking for racist bills, look up the We the People Act, which bans civil rights claims against local governments, then look up what sorts of cases lead to civil rights cases against local governments.

  39. briank says

    Ace of Sevens,
    Thanks for pointing out the We The People Act. That’s what I really needed to see. Damn. Now I’m all depressed. We don’t have a chance of having a decent President in 2012. They’ve all been either bought and sold or can’t be trusted with our freedoms.

    Fvck.

    Now I’m really depressed.

  40. briank says

    Dingo-dude,
    ‘No care, no responsibility’ – exhibit one: the issue at hand.
    Exhibit two – oooh just about everything else that Libertarians claim.
    You distrust the Federal Gov’t, but the State Gov’t, well, they just hand out puppies and rainbows, they can’t help it!
    @@
    Dingo

    I guess you felt like you could ignore what I wrote in response. That’s fine. I can ignore you too. :)

  41. dingojack says

    We all vote for the least worst canidata. Welcome to the wonderful world of realpolitik.
    Dingo

  42. dingojack says

    I haven’t ignored it, rather, I’ve kept the issue at hand front-and-centre.
    Have you given a reason why a local or state government is intrisically more trust-worthy than a federal one?
    Dingo

  43. dingojack says

    BTW – concerning the whole Rev. Wright thing (not that my opinion has much weight) was Obama responsible for publishing or deseminating Wright’s views?
    What exactly were Wright’s views?
    Dingo

  44. briank says

    Ace of Sevens,
    Thanks again for your comments. I’m not saying that State governments are bastions of freedom. I’m saying that we can hold them accountable more easily than the feds. Tuskagee syphilis experiments. The 1950’s radiation experiments on private citizens in New York, Canada, and Las Vegas. MK Ultra. The detention of Japanese-Americans. The torture of prisoners of war, etc… have you ever actually personally met any of your Senators or Members of Congress? I’ve met ‘em at the state, but never at the federal level.

    The way I see it, the more power you give something, the less control you really have over it. The Federal government is no longer responding to us. It is a Corpocracy.

    Personally, I think diversity is of utmost importance. By having a diverse ecosystem of ideas/systems, and then selecting for the end criteria we want, we can hopefully craft a better society. Fifty different small scale socio-ecological experiments is better than one huge one.

    I think we need the Federal Government to protect our borders and us from bullies… while not becoming a bully itself. The bigger the government, the easier it is for corruption to sneak in.

  45. says

    Everyone, I’m curious… what damage has Ron Paul done as a member of Congress to our country? What rascist bills did he propose and support? The President does not propose legislation, what damage would he do that couldn’t be controlled by Congress and the Supreme Court?

    First, the president does indeed propose legislation. Among other things, the president is required to submit a budget to Congress, and of course he has veto power. Second, if you’re relying on the Congress and Supreme Court to put a stop to the president, this is a sure sign that you’ve got the wrong president. Granted, every president may occasionally overstep his bounds, but if a would-be president’s basic agenda could never get past the other two branches of government, this means he’s an extremist and likely an agent of chaos. Third, the question about the damage that Ron Paul has done can easily be turned around: what good has he done? He’s a fringe Congressman from a safe district that doesn’t get along with his party’s leadership. Hence, he’s a total non-entity. He can stick to “principle” and issue his protest votes precisely because nothing he ever does matters. I will stick to the totality of his politics and his professed belief system (racist newsletters included) in judging whether I would want him leading this country as opposed to his irrelevant Congressional career.

  46. Nemo says

    briank:

    My problem would be with zoning laws that unfairly protect a disciminating/exclusive business by not allowing in competing inclusive businesses.

    And what if there aren’t competing inclusive businesses? What if everyone in a certain area who has sufficient capital to start a competing business is also a racist, or prefers to go along with a racist majority?

    The free market doesn’t solve all problems.

  47. says

    “I’m not saying that State governments are bastions of freedom. I’m saying that we can hold them accountable more easily than the feds.”

    This seems to be a common article of faith among the libertarian set, but there’s little reason to believe it’s true. State and local governments are prone to corruption and special interest capture to a degree that the federal government is not. (See, for example, Bell, CA.) For whatever reason, smaller size and provincialism tends to be related to less accountability, not more.

    Also, I would not bring up past instances of institutionalized racism as an example of why state governments are better than the feds, unless you somehow think slavery and segregation were ended by the states. Japanese internment, for example, was overwhelmingly advocated by western state governments who would have done far worse things had they the authority.

  48. skemono says

    Everyone, I’m curious… what damage has Ron Paul done as a member of Congress to our country?

    Not much if any that I’m aware of, but that only speaks to how ineffectual he’s been.

    What rascist bills did he propose and support?

    Old Orcinus post: Ron Paul’s record in Congress.

  49. Ichthyic says

    The President does not propose legislation, what damage would he do that couldn’t be controlled by Congress and the Supreme Court?

    well, with that as an argument, what GOOD could he possibly do?

    thanks for letting us know there is absolutely no point in voting for Ron Paul.

  50. Ichthyic says

    I’m saying that we can hold them accountable more easily than the feds.

    Who’s “we”, paleface?

  51. Ichthyic says

    So you know exactly what we’re going to do, and you learned to predict our actions by ignoring what we say?

    Wow. So what am I having for lunch tomorrow?

    I’m gonna guess… spam.

    ;)

  52. Ichthyic says

    Is Ron Paul rascist? Don’t know. Don’t care.

    Should I read your opinions?

    don’t know, don’t care.

  53. jjgdenisrobert says

    @briank and all the other Ronbots here:

    The only thing that makes the States respect the Constitution is the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment is why the tenther argument fails (and why Ron Paul is utterly wrong), since the parts of the 10th amendment they cite has been superceded by the 14th. So says every decision of the Supreme Court since the 14th was ratified.

    But then, Ron Paul acts half the time as if the 14th amendment didn’t exist, by making the tenther argument, and half the time he actively agitates for the full repeal of that amendment. Without the 14th amendment, the States have the right to do any damn thing they want, INCLUDING SETTING UP A THEOCRACY. Utah and Texas would establish State religions the day after the 14th amendment is repealed, and Ron Paul would be right there cheering the Texas Governor as he signs the bill into law.

    Ron Paul is probably the most ANTI-Constitution candidate in the race. Gingrich willfully ignores it, which is bad enough. But Ron Paul actively works for the abolition of the US Constitution, which is dangerously close to treason.

  54. d cwilson says

    I’m sure that Santorum or Gingrich is far less homophobic than Ron Paul.

    You didn’t see the movie, Bruno, did you?

    As for the “states rights” issue, despite what Ron Paul has told you, we are not a loose confederation of 50 independent nations. We are one nation. That question was settled about 150 years ago. This is what Paul and his cult followers boil down to: A desire to refight the Civil War.

    And if you think states are bastions of civil rights where the people can more easily hold them accountable Think again.

  55. dingojack says

    d cwilson – Hate to ruin your final rhetorical flourish but…
    your link doesn’t work.
    :( Dingo

  56. says

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I have no home internet connection for the next week or so and thus have limited access to this fine blog and others like it.

    briank and KKKrazzeKacy:

    Others have debunked your ridiculous assertions well enough that all I can really is a hearty, “Fuck you and your fucking lying racist piece of shit hypocrite candidate, Ron Paul, you fucking fuckers.

  57. JustaTech says

    I’m going to vote for Obama, because at least at this point he hasn’t said that the government (fed or state) should be in charge of one set of my internal organs, unlike most of the other candidates.

    And I’m not going to vote for Ron Paul because while I agree with some of his ideas, I find pretty much all of the rest of them somewhere between abhorent and hopelessly naive (hello, I know the FDA needs work, but I’d still like to have someone testing my drugs because the market “correcting” for a drug that kills doesn’t help me once I’m dead).

    So yeah, the racist stuff is just icing on the cake.

  58. briank says

    AreaMan,
    Yes, the President does propose a budget. That was actually a point in favor of RP (IMHO). I think we do need to pull out of our Empire-mode.

    As to electing someone who has to be reigned in by the SCOTUS and Congress… yes, I think that could be a preferable candidate. The current status quo is entirely corrupt. I would endorse someone to “shake things up”. Change=conflict. If you’re going to vote for someone who works perfectly well with the other branches, you’re not going to see any true reforms. Now before anyone jumps on me, if you look back in my comments, you would see that I dropped support of Ron Paul after hearing about the “We the People Act”.

    As to state rights, if you read my earlier posts, I was not advocating elimination of the federal government. I said at least twice above that I think the federal level is there to guard our borders and protect our constitutional civil rights (including from attack at the state/local levels).

    democommie,
    Others have debunked your ridiculous assertions well enough that all I can really is a hearty, “Fuck you and your fucking lying racist piece of shit hypocrite candidate, Ron Paul, you fucking fuckers.
    Wow, do you french kiss your mother with that mouth? I bet you do.
    Ichthyic,
    Who’s we paleface?
    Who are you calling a paleface? Presuming little shits, aren’t you. I wasn’t going to respond to either of you, just put you both on ignore… but I wanted to jab you back a little for a specific reason. If you actually read my posts, you would have seen that I changed my position after Ace of Sevens was kind enough to tell me about the “We the People Act”. You see, civil dialogue actually does help to change minds, whereas being a shit just puts a person on the defensive and makes it harder to see reason. That’s why I am responding now. I want you to see how it feels to be insulted. Are you going to drop the argument because I had previously admitted my stance was wrong, or are you going to try and continue to pick a fight cause you’re angry, hurt and defensive? If you want to change people’s minds, try education. You can be a little shit if you want, but you’re not going to achieve much other than increase hostilities between factions.

  59. mithrandir says

    If you’re looking for honest dialogue, I’d suggest avoiding the comments section. But between you and I, you have made some good points. Ron Paul may or may not be the perfect candidate… but there is no acceptable alternative.

    In other words, when it comes to civil liberties, there is no acceptable candidate for President.

    If, instead, you want the least bad candidate for civil liberties, that’s clearly Barack Obama.

  60. ewanmacdonald says

    briank:

    From a former libertarian to a current one, it’s not Ichthyic’s job to educate you. You’re supposedly big on personal responsibility, so why not take ownership of your own ideas?

  61. briank says

    ewanmacdonald,
    From a former libertarian to a current one, it’s not Ichthyic’s job to educate you. You’re supposedly big on personal responsibility, so why not take ownership of your own ideas?

    You’re right, it is not his job to educate me. I never said it was. I said that if he wished to change people’s minds, he should try education. I do take ownership of my ideas. I changed my views when I found that I was in error and stated so, what more should I do?

    Mithrandir,
    if, instead, you want the least bad candidate for civil liberties, that’s clearly Barack Obama.
    Sorry, but I disagree. I don’t know for sure yet, but I will probably support a third party candidate. Obama signed the NDAA. His administration has been anything BUT transparent and most certainly has not defended our civil liberties. In my eyes, he has been bought and sold just like the Republican candidates. Both political parties were corrupted a long time ago.

    Before anyone says that I am throwing my vote away by voting for a third party candidate, I would say that not voting would be doing that. If you want to change things, how do you propose to do it?

  62. mithrandir says

    Sorry, but I disagree. I don’t know for sure yet, but I will probably support a third party candidate.

    That’s fine – but I have no idea who’s running for Libertarian or Green Party nominations this year (not that I’m claiming that the Green Party is any good from your perspective), and I was only speaking of people who I’m aware of. And my point is that for all Obama’s faults on civil liberties (and there are many – NDAA being the most egregious, but there are plenty of other examples), everyone else, including Ron Paul, is worse when you look at the whole picture. Ron Paul is great when it comes to getting the federal government out of our lives, but he loses all the ground back when he advocates letting state governments take all that right back.

    There’s a reason why I called Obama “least bad” rather than “best” – “best” implies being tolerable. It’s very much a matter of the lesser of evils, and I’ll respect your decision not to vote for any amount of evil. Just don’t delude yourself about Ron Paul’s evil level, that’s all.

  63. Scott Simmons says

    I just realized–this year’s Presidential candidates are all characters from Blazing Saddles
    Starring:
    Barack Obama as Cleavon Little as Sheriff Bart
    Ron Paul as Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr
    Rick Perry as Mel Brooks as Governor William J. Lepetomane
    Newt Gingrich as Slim Pickens as Taggart
    Mitt Romney as John Hillerman as Howard Johnson

    Huh.

  64. iangould says

    if Ron Paul sold his newsletter on the basis that it was his personal perspective on investing and politics and permitted articles under his by-line to run in it and is now claiming that he had effectively no involvment whatsover in its production, is he potentially guilt of fraud or misrepresentation?

  65. Michael Heath says

    brianK writes:

    I care about [Rep. Ron Paul’s] track record in Congress. Yes, he voted against the Civil Rights Act, but he gave reasons why he did not support it and those are good enough reasons in my mind.

    My response @ 28:

    His reasons were good? Really? When a black person sought access to a good or service, let’s say gasoline at a gas station miles fom another one, and the racist operator of that gas station refused that black person service simply because they’re black; Rep. Paul supports law enforcement called to the scene to resolve the dispute defend the racist operator’s right denying the black person their right to service. [@ 28 I elaborate more on Paul promoting the abuse of government power to deny blacks their equal rights, the fact competing rights were/are in play on this matter where Paul argues government power should protect the bigots at the expense of blacks’ equal rights.]

    brianK writes:

    If an owner of a gas station bans a minority, then the minority should speak up. I would not utilize a private company that discriminates and 99% of the people I personally know wouldn’t. A man who owns his own business and has to worry about losing customers has an incentive to change his views. My problem would be with zoning laws that unfairly protect a disciminating/exclusive business by not allowing in competing inclusive businesses.

    Are you avoiding our history our ignorant of it? The minority did speak up. Blacks, liberals and non-conservatives, and a relative handful of conservatives, joined together and passed the Civil Rights Act to end such racial discrimination. They did this at the federal level because the Constitution obligates the federal government to defend our equal rights and Ron Paul’s revered states using state power to abuse blacks remained solidly in favor of denying blacks their equal rights and instead promoted state power be used to defend bigots discriminating against blacks. That racist and unconstitutional position is one Ron Paul and his son Rand still hold.

    Your claiming “99% of the people you know” rings both false and impossible to empirically validate, and therefore serves as a convenient avoidance tactic. Avoidance, denialism, along with logical and rhetorical fallacies do not serve one well in this forum. As a a real estate developer who regularly deals with zoning laws, your last point is incoherent within a constitutional context and I think another red herring to avoid confronting the fact that Ron Paul advocates government power be deployed to defend the rights of bigot to deny blacks their right to access goods and services equal to whites.

    I’m not surprised you failed miserably to directly confront and defend Ron Paul’s position. That’s because the only defense requires the defender to argue on the behalf of racism and argue the Constitution should be amended rather to defend racism rather than be employed to protect the equal rights of blacks. As I stated earlier, your position is demonstrably racist, in spite of your ludicrous claim, “99% of the people you know”.

    You brought up the argument Ron Paul gave “good reasons” to oppose the Civil Rights Act where those reasons “are good enough” for you. I brought up the most repugnant of those reasons he opposes the Civil Rights Act. Since you brought it up, I’d like for you to actually defend Paul by making an argument as I requested the first time @ 28. So far you’ve failed miserably by avoiding the core factors involved in taking a position on this issue, which isn’t merely a hypothetical. This lack of access to goods and services caused the suffering of millions of blacks for more than seventy-five years after the Civil War.

    So, what are the good reasons for government power to deny blacks equal rights to goods and services and instead employ that power to defend the right of bigots to deny them those services? Or do you concede that Ron Paul’s position is indefensible, that you’re merely another standard-issue Ron Paul fanboy whose clueless about history, the Constitution, and the fact Ron Paul is merely a particularly good actor when he falsely claims fealty to individual liberty and the Constitution – that you now realize he doesn’t? There’s only a couple of options available here since the matter is so cut and dry. Whose rights should government power protect when called because a bigoted owner orders blacks off his property simply because they’re black and seeking the same goods and services whites do? Who should law enforcement defend at the other’s expense? Ron and Rand Paul both argue the bigots’ rights should be protected. What say you?

  66. ewanmacdonald says

    It is precisely this paradox – the supposed defender of the individual defending coercive illiberal power when it suits him (and it usually is a him) – that finally turned me away from libertarianism. I don’t even say “but I share some of their ideas” anymore. They share mine. They share some of the good parts of the classical-liberal consensus. But they are (as I was) woefully defective, politically and morally, on others.

  67. says

    Is Ron Paul rascist? Don’t know. Don’t care.

    That’s probably because you’re a racist yourself, and don’t give a shit about anyone who doesn’t look like you. And since you don’t care about an issue that’s so important to huge numbers of people (yes, including whites), there’s no reason for us to give a shit about you.

    I care about his track record in Congress.

    Thanks for admitting how much observable reality you have to ignore just to pretend Ron Paul is even worth talking about. Grow up two decades and come back when you’re ready to talk about the whole of reality, not just the bits that fit your prejudices.

  68. says

    briankkklown:

    As I type this I notice two things, almost simultaneously. My laptop is at 11% power and I will be dead to the intertoobz in a matter of moments. Also, too, I am eating the most delicious mediterranean fish stew that I’ve ever had. It would be a shame to ruin what has been a perfect repast with senseless bickering about a braindead, lying fuckbag like Ron Paul with one of his lying fuckbag bots. Do go fuck yourself up the ass with stout pressure treated 4 x 4.

    P.S. my sainted mother, you fucking cumstain, has been dead for 12 years and, no, I never did engage in the sort of incestuous relationshiop which must be second nature to a pervert like yourself.

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