Talking Heads: Quit Calling Ron Paul an Isolationist

Just because he doesn’t want to bomb other countries. Just because you don’t want a ‘World’ government, a centralized control system that takes away the liberties of the individual, doesn’t make one “Isolationist.” He wants to be friends with other countries, trade with them, visit them, have them visit us, respect their sovereignty. That’s the opposite of “Isolationist”! That’s engaging the rest of the World in friendly, sincere way. And not wanting to be some kind of control freak of a country which in essence is no different from bigotry and Imperialism.

“Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn’t come on your property and break your windows” -Chris Lyspooner

Will Democracy Kill the Iowa Caucuses?

Do words and principles matter?

I saw a headline on Drudge this morning entitled “Iowa Gov: Ignore Paul Win.” which links to a Politico article entitled “Will Ron Paul kill Caucuses?”
So, does the Iowa governor decide who the nominee is? Or is this a democracy? The caption of the photo says, “GOP elites in Iowa are worried about the ramifications of a Ron Paul victory there. | AP Photo”
What are they worried about? That democracy may prevail? The jist of the article is that a Ron Paul victory there would discredit Iowa as a whole, and especially as the “lead off” state in the Primaries.
So let me get this straight: They’re worried about their status as being a lead off state, but what is the point of being a lead off state if you’re not allowed to have a choice of whom to vote?

Would you rather be the lead off state in a totalitarian regime or the last state in a true democracy?

Would you rather be the lead off state in a Propaganda machine, or the last state in a country that values real principles over sound bites?

Is Ron Paul an ‘Isolationist’?

Towards the end of the article, Politico makes the statement “Paul’s isolationist foreign policy views came to the fore at the Sioux City forum.”
That really caught my ire. Because rather Democrat or Republican, the Establishment seems to label anyone who doesn’t want to use force or “bully” the rest of the World an “Isolationist.”
Is that their definition of Isolationism: Not using force to coerce the rest of the World? Respecting other countries’ sovereignty, treating them as equals? Wanting to be friends and have free trade?
That’s the opposite of isolationism. That’s having the rest of the World really respect you and your principles.

In short, if Ron Paul, or anyone else, doesn’t win in a fair and free election, that’s fine with me. But if people don’t vote for who they want, and instead only vote for their leaders, whether in the media or political establishment, “ordain” or “nominate” then how is that a democracy? If someone says to themselves, “I’m not voting for him because they say he can’t win” how is that a democracy?

Update: 12/27/11:  I saw this article today come through my Facebook feed:

Ron Paul building a solid Michigan base

Encouraging title and article, but also what caught my eye as it relates to this post is the first replier to the article said this to the author: “Ms. Schultz, please learn the difference between non-interventionist and isolationist; Ron Paul is the former. He’s the opposite of isolationist.”

I was glad to see someone shared and understood my same view that I wrote above, i.e., not only is he not an ‘isolationist’ he’s the opposite! More likely to earn us goodwill around the World. Amazing what some principles can do.

I replied to him:  “Exactly. The press seem to think not wanting to attack another country or otherwise manipulate them with money or threats to do our bidding is “isolationist.” Being friendly with other nations, which is what Paul wants, treating them respectfully, respecting their sovereignty, and otherwise ‘engaging’ them as equals and partners, instead of places that are somehow ‘beneath’ us is the opposite of ‘Isolationist’ and might actually garner some real respect. As well as being the moral thing to do.”

There is a Time For the Fed to Create Liquidity

Maybe the only thing I disagree with Ron Paul about, is that there is a time when the Fed should create liquidity, and that time is when, like in the 90’s due to the Internet and Communications revolution, there is a period of incredible growth. A growing economy needs liquidity like a growing body needs food.

The problem is, that it’s exactly during periods of growth that the Fed turns the spicket off and starves a growing economy of the liquidity it needs. This is one of the major reasons that Web 1.0 crashed.

And then during times of recession like the past few years the Fed does the opposite. It adds liquidity, which causes inflation and “stag-flation.”

This is why we don’t need so much a “Gold Standard” in as much as we need a “De-Facto” Gold standard, meaning Gold should be used as the barometer for when liquidity should be injected and or  “mopped up.”

Using the price of Gold as a barometer, the Fed, or whoever directs monetary policy, should keep the price of Gold in a tight trading range by adding liquidity when the price of gold dips below a certain target, and mopping up liquidity when the price of gold rises above the target.

This does two virtuous things: It gives a growing economy the right amount of liquidity it needs to sustain, and it also permanently ends inflation and deflation.

Other than that I totally agree with Dr. Paul that the Fed, as it acts now, should be ended, or given the tight mandate of using a Gold barometer for monetary policy.

The Only Part of the Equation that Ron Paul is Missing

Ron Paul is correct that gold is important. It’s very important. The only part of the equation that Ron Paul is missing is the demand for money. Inflation is caused by two factors: how much money is printed and how much demand there is for money (growth increases the demand) If you had enough growth it would soak up the excess liquidity and there wouldn’t be inflation.

The reason Gold is so important to this picture is because it’s intrinsic value (for a variety of factors) is the most resistant or stable to economic or political factors. So what we need is not necessarily a “Gold Standard” but rather a de facto gold standard that uses the price of gold to indicate how much cash to print. In another words, the Fed’s policy should be to keep gold in a very tight trading range. When the price of gold goes above that range, that indicates that there is more cash in the system than the system can handle or demands (like now!) and the fed should sell bonds to soak it up. If and when the price of Gold goes below the target, that’s when they should print, because that indicates the economy is demanding more liquidity.

When the fed does the opposite, which it usually does, because it ignores the gold signal, then you get the worst of both worlds: too much liquidity and no demand for it, which equals “stagflation”

Growth is stimulated through fiscal policy (lower taxes, regulation) and inflation could be controlled through a correct monetary policy, which would be to target gold. So there is no reason at all for inflation, even during tough economic times. You can’t print your way to prosperity. You have to increase productivity and add real value.

A “De Facto” gold standard would not deprive the economy of the liquidity it needs to grow, as the the opponents of such a policy argue as a scare tactic against it. Instead, it would give the economy exactly the amount of liquidity it needs to grow without any inflation. So, in a sense we could get rid of the Fed, or at least downsize it. (No more billion dollar Fed buildings needed!) Because basically it would only take one guy and a computer to effectively execute and maintain such a monetary policy.

In Defense of Rand Paul

“He who is forced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” – Deepak Chopra

I’m sure you know the back story: Last week, Rand Paul, son of Congressman Ron Paul (R) Texas, won the Republican nomination for Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The day after his victory, his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, announced on “Hardball” that one of the reasons voters should consider him “out there” or “extreme”, I can’t remember Chris Matthews’ exact words, but you know the typical descriptions of Libertarians: “Wacky, Looney, Tea-baggers, etc.” designed not to intelligently debate them, but to label them in order not to have to have the debate itself.  Conway stated, for one reason, is that Paul wanted to repeal the 1964 Civil Rights Act, implying in its entirety. You can imagine all the hairs on the back of Matthews’ standing up. Later that night, on the “Rachel Maddow Show” is when the real firestorm or controversy began. Paul was on the show being interviewed and pressed on this exact question. He explained that his position was that 9 of the 10 sections of the law he agreed with, but the aspect that delt with private businesses, he was against. The red boiled to Maddow’s face.

“Are you saying that businesses should be allowed to not serve black people if they so chose?”

Mr. Paul tried to explain his position in a philosophical context, demonstrating for instance the idea that if we think of private businesses as “public” spaces that the proprietor of said establishment would not have the right to ban guns.

Ms. Maddow would have none of it. She was out for blood.

“Just answer the question, yes or no.”

Mr. Paul was flustered. He knew that by giving a simple answer of “Yes” that a piece of video tape a few seconds long would be produced in order to smear him and possibly destroy his campaign completely. Why? Because answering that question “Yes” without explaining the philosophical context for your reasoning would automatically label him as a racist. Loaded sound bites like these, whether text or video, are like reflexes in the brain. They automatically fire. They are like branding a cattle. They stick for life.

Blood Ms. Maddow did draw. She definitely left him mumbling and stumbling. To say he didn’t handle it well is an understatement, but by know means a death blow, because he did emphasize his reasoning, that he was definitely not a racist, nor would support such a business personally. While she won the debate and definitely drew blood, he definitely didn’t come off as the typical politician, seeming like a puppet. He definitely came off, if stumbling on PR Grades, as someone who was authentic and thoughtful. I don’t think anyone watching it, even an African American, would truly think Paul is a racist, though it was clear it was Ms Maddow’s intent to brand him this way.

I would like to argue that Mr. Paul is right and that Ms. Maddow and her ilke are wrong with two main points.

  1. That the point is moot.

While Mr. Paul did say he “philosophically” disagreed with the commerce section of the Civil Right’s Act, he did say he clearly had no intention of repealing and that was not part of his platform. His thoughts and point of view were simply to display his overall philosophy. Opponents argue that it is impossible to separate his position on this topic as a demonstration of his philosophy from the danger that he would actually repeal the law, assuming he had such power, and bring back segregation to the country. But this is simply not true. For one, no one could ever have the power to over turn the Civil Rights Act. It would entail overturning the whole law, which no one is for, or could ever have the political will to do so. Overhauling such a law would be a mammoth undertaking: the commerce clause has already been decided in the courts, and no one want to change it because the facts of America today are that no one’s interested in going back to the way it was. We don’t want discrimination based on race even in private business, and the facts of America today is that by and large we don’t have that. Now whether that fact is because of the law itself, or that time and the country have simply moved past it naturally might be up to debate. But no one’s really interested in it. We’ve arrived at the place we wanted. Does it matter now whether it was by boat, train, or plane? No matter how you slice, dice, or cut it, the point of the specific law is history and moot. Mr. Paul clearly demonstrated that he and any reasonable person understood it to be that way. Ms. Maddow, if anything, demonstrated she did not. And I would argue that anyone who thought the point of the specific legislation itself wasn’t moot at this point in time would be the one who is “looney” or “extreme.”

2.  One can use a moot point to make a broader philosophical argument

Just because a specific action in the past today is moot, doesn’t mean the action itself can’t be used to make a broader philosophical point, and that philosophical point of view from Mr. Paul’s perspective is this: Freedom is the highest value in our country. Why? Well, I won’t pretend to get in the founder’s head or hearts, but if I were guessing I would say this: In psychology there is the tenant that every brain has a light and dark or “shadow” side. But in order to quell or not let the “dark” side display itself in public, one must somehow find a way, not to exorcise the dark side (that only makes it grow) but somehow ritualistically acknowledge and honor the “shadow” in a private way. It is found that if the shadow side of our nature is honored in a private way, it will tend not to display itself in a public way. For the subconscious knows no difference in “private” or “public” and it’s energy is released with any kind of sincere acknowledgement. Freedom is chosen as the highest value of society for precisely this same reason: a population that is forced in behaving in a way that is deemed socially acceptable, (instead of “choosing” to behave in that way), is a population whose dark side, shadow, and resentment grows, along with its corruption. Instead, a population that has private freedom, has a sacred space in order to deal effectively with their shadow energies, and in turn gives birth to more energy for good in the public arena. A society that chooses to do good, instead of being forced to do good, is the kind of transcendent society that the founders, I believe, had set as a goal, and freedom is its sole and primary driving force. The Founders in their day had seen bad and mediocre societies come and go, but they wanted to build the platform which would foster not just good, but a great society, and the solution they found was a very illuminated one, and as all such solutions are, a very ironic and paradoxical one: the secret to harnessing the greatest amount and best energies of an individual in the service of his society, was not to control him, but instead to free him.

Related Outside of this Blog:

New York Sun – “Rand Paul & the Constitution” May 21, 2010

Advice from the Better Business Bureau concerning the 2010 Census


 

2010 Census

 

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the county. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

 

The big question is – how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:

 

If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home.

 

Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census.

 

 

 

REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ASK, YOU REALLY ONLY NEED TO TELL THEM HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE AT YOUR ADDRESS.

 

While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION. The Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Anyone asking for that information is NOT with the Census Bureau.

 

AND REMEMBER, THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THIS INFORMATION.

No Acorn worker should approach you saying he/she is with the Census Bureau.

 

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home.  However, the Census Bureau will NOT contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.

 

Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit www.bbb.org

Posted via email from stephenpickering’s posterous