Mother Jones on Ron Paul on Hemp and Government

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) talks to proggy Mother Jones about prog-approved legalization of hemp, and other stuff. Excerpts:

MJ: Hemp is a natural, eco-friendly fiber with a wide range of industrial uses, none of which involve getting high. So why has Congress been treating it like an illegal drug?

Ron Paul: Because they don't have any common sense and they don't know what they are talking about and it's sort of an hysterical reaction to the drug war. If they had any sense at all they would just legalize it like it was for most of our history. So it is rather bizarre....

MJ: Your son, the freshman senator Rand Paul, also supports legalizing hemp. But why don't more of his colleagues in the Tea Party Caucus, which is supposed to stand for getting government out of the way of economic growth?

RP: I think they are intimidated because they've built up this idea that it's related to drugs. I mean, it was a consequence of the drug war that this happened. But it just doesn't make any sense. So I don't know. I do my best. I introduced legislation. We talk about it a lot. And it would be an economic benefit to all of us to have it. Why should we allow products to be made in Canada and then we buy the products made out of hemp and they come back into the United States?....

MJ: Libertarians don't always agree with progressives, but there's more overlap than many people realize. Where else do you think that both groups can work together to get things done in Congress this year?

RP: I think I probably have more allies from the progressive side when we talk about how to get the budget under control. In spite of the image of most progressives—and there are some who don't really worry about the deficit—but there are some serious-minded progressives who would like to cut back and pay the bills. And where we agree on that is the foreign adventurism....

As a libertarian, I don't endorse philosophically the many domestic programs and I'm willing to work on a transition. So I say: Let's cut the unnecessary wars. Let's cut the foreign aid. Let's cut all the empire building which costs trillions of dollars and maybe we could tide ourselves over. But for some conservatives to start tinkering with the budget with health care or education for the poor, that doesn't make any political sense to me.

And the heart of America's current political difficulties:

The bigger problem is the difficulty in shifting gears. Some people say all you have to do is deal with waste and fraud. Well, we have to deal with much bigger things than that. We have to deal with the philosophy of government, the role of government in a free society. The Constitution gave us a pretty good outline. And there is no respect for the Constitution. Cutting things out now is practically impossible because even though a lot more people want the cuts, there's an even larger number that don't want their special programs cut.

I write about Ron Paul frequently.

[Hat tip: Josh Harkinson]

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  • ||

    Libertarians don't always agree with progressives, but there's more overlap than many people realize.

    And so the "libergressive" was born.

  • Law Student||

    Aggressive wine and fertility?

  • Chef||

    Quiet children! Stand back and watch the beauty of nature unfold before your eyes.

  • ||

    Protarian?

  • ||

  • Sudden||

    Proleratian?!?!

  • Sudden||

    wow, didn't realize how much I fucked up my Marxist rhetoric...

    proletarian.

  • Almanian||

    Prograrian?

    Or is that someone who was a Bob Probert fan when he played with the Red Wings?

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Probert was the Flyers' punching bag.

  • ||

    No, that's a progressive agrarian.

  • Rich||

    ProLib?

    Naaah.

  • ||

    I am deeply offended.

  • Rich||

    Naaah.

  • buttinski||

    "libergressive"...
    How is this different from "Liberaltarian"?
    In any case, I doubt it will go anywhere. Both progs and a lot of libertarians have no ability to listen to anyone who doesn't agree with them 100 percent of the time. "Fascists!" cry the progs. "Statists!" respond the libertarians.

  • yonemoto||

    Hey now, I've got a >50% rule. If you're more than 50% you get to be called "Statist!"

    If you're less than 50%, you get to be called "proto-statist" (without the exclamation point!). Don't deride us for your inability to discern nuance.

  • buttinski||

    "Don't deride us for your inability to understand nuance."

    If only more were so nuanced. But if you read any of the posts on liberaltarianism or any possible alliances between liberals and libertarians what you mostly get is outright hostility around these parts; someone says they like the libertarian position on social issues, greatly reducing state power, but if they say they still see a role for the state concerning air pollution, you see a lot of shouts of 'statist!' indicating complete hostility to any possible building on the fact some common interests are shared.

  • ||

    I don't agree with RP on everything but he is one of the few members of Congress with any common sense or intellectual integrity. We need more like him.

  • Edwin||

    the growing of hemp is illegal because it would interfere with the feds' drug interdiction methods where they use satellite imaging to find the specific tint of green that marijuana fields make

    not saying I agree that growing hemp should be illegal, but it's far from nonsensical. You'd think that as a Rep Ron Paul might care to actually know the facts, especially if he's going to comment on them

  • ||

    Yes, take the DEA's word for it. You are such a fucking dipshit.

  • Matrix||

    hemp was illegal before they used satellite tracking. Besides, that is a completely asinine reason to ban a perfectly harmless and beneficial substance... because it looks like something else on satellite imaging.

  • Edwin||

    I wasn't speaking as to whether it's a good idea, I was just saying it's far from nonsensical.

  • ||

    Just because there's a grammatically correct argument to be made for something doesn't mean it's not nonsense. And as pointed out above, the hemp ban predates satellite imaging, so the reason you give is not even possible.

  • Edwin||

    the current justification can't currently be used even though it's valid?

  • ||

    It's funny, Edwin, I googled "marijuana satellite green tint" and none of the links on the first page had anything to do with your so-called "justification" for the hemp ban. This thread comes up on the second page, but other than that none of those links has anything to do with it either.

    So either it's a top-secret policy you just leaked, or you're making shit up.

  • Sudden||

    Moreover, the original ban on industrial hemp was largely sponsored and paid for by the DuPont family, who bought off FDR to criminalize hemp, because hemp was a cheaper and better alternative to their synthetic fibers.

  • Edwin||

    I've heard these conspiracy theories with papaer and William Randolph Hearst. Problem is, in both cases hemp is not a good substitute.

    Hemp was made illegal because of a mix of hysteria and a small dose of xenophobia (the mexicans smoked it) and the moregeneral understanding of the problem of vice in the human condition that most people have. See: reefer madness.
    So on the one hand there are a lot of good reasons for society to take legalization STEPS, especially with marijuana, but on the other hand if you guys ever want that to happen you have to admit that vice is a problem in the human condition that can have huge effects on individuals, and it does indeed affect the public in general (no man is an island), and that full-on legalization (i.e., even ads are legal and een selling to kids is legal) probably isn't a good idea.

    You know instead of being asses, putting your fingers in your ears and somping your feet and screaming "NO! NO! NO! I OWN MY BODY! INITIATION OF FORCE! INITIATION OF FORCE!" and writing books about how heroin addicts are just fine and can be productive members of society.

  • Ray Pew||

    So on the one hand there are a lot of good reasons for society to take legalization STEPS, especially with marijuana, but on the other hand if you guys ever want that to happen you have to admit that vice is a problem in the human condition that can have huge effects on individuals, and it does indeed affect the public in general (no man is an island), and that full-on legalization (i.e., even ads are legal and een selling to kids is legal) probably isn't a good idea.

    Who has claimed that vice is not a human condition? Who has claimed that drug use doesn't cause considerable harm to users? That would be no one, correct?

    You know instead of being asses, putting your fingers in your ears and somping your feet and screaming "NO! NO! NO! I OWN MY BODY! INITIATION OF FORCE! INITIATION OF FORCE!" and writing books about how heroin addicts are just fine and can be productive members of society.

    Why? Are those claims false?

  • Sudden||

    I think a lot of us are a little more pragmatic than you imagine. Maybe some of the comments on here don't reflect that, but I'd say most libertarian leaning people would be happy with incremental steps towards our first principles than the continued march away from them entirely. I try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but admittedly, there are times where things that seem "good" are deceptively packaged.

    That said, I'll be the first to recognize that vice is a pernicious thing, and that merely something should be legal does not mean it is advisable. And to be honest, I find that most of the people who celebrate and advocate marijuana usage, not just legalization, come at it from a much more decidedly progressive frame.

  • Edwin||

    the editor of this very magazine wrote a book where he expects us to believe that a heroin addict is just fine in her life and can easily be a productive member of society.

    Proposition 18 easily could have had stronger wording protecting the absolute right of the employer to fire pot-smokers (the wording was "where it affects job performance"), and affirmations that sale to the underaged will and should remain illegal, ads should be limited, etc.
    And then the proponents could have stressed that along with the violence-lowering affects of legalization

  • ||

    In a society where heroin was legal, why couldn't a heroin addict be just as much a productive member of society as a caffeine addict or a nicotine addict?

    The current difference between those addictions is that consuming caffeine and nicotine are relatively inexpensive and don't turn one into a criminal.

  • Edwin||

    So it's only the price and criminality that give heroin addicts difficulties? Not that whole severe physical dependence on something that knocks them out for an hour or two?

    See what I'm talking about libertarians being silly and not making a serious case to the public?

  • ||

    Proposition 18 easily could have had stronger wording protecting the absolute right of the employer to fire pot-smokers (the wording was "where it affects job performance"), and affirmations that sale to the underaged will and should remain illegal, ads should be limited, etc.

    It did reaffirm that sales to minors would not be authorized by Prop 18. Also, the legislature could restrict advertisements for pot just like it restricts advertisement for other legal products. Also, the employment language is extremely broad -- the chances of your employer knowing about your pot usage and not being able to come up with a work-related reason for firing you are practically zero.

    And of course, all of those changes could have been made and it still wouldn't have kept your left-wing pals in California newsrooms, Sacramento, and in the White House from fighting against it with their campaign of misinformation.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Hemp was made illegal because of a mix of hysteria and a small dose of xenophobia (the mexicans smoked it) and the moregeneral understanding of the problem of vice in the human condition that most people have. See: reefer madness.

    Come on, Edwin, you're so close. Just go ahead a pull out the oldies but goldies of your Prohibitionist forebearers. Here, I'll even start you off:

    "Marihuana influences negroes to look at white people in the eye step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice." -Hearst

    "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men." -Harry J. Anslinger

    “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.” -Harry J. Anslinger

    "...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races." -Harry J. Anslinger

    Come on, Edwin, don't fight your feelings. A little racist paternalism never hurt anybody. Except when it did.

  • alan||

    If you fill one half of a pool with ink, and the other half of the pool with water, and remove the barrier, they will eventually mix to the point where the water and ink will not separate out borrowing any externalities no matter the amount of time that passes. This is in accord with the second law of thermodynamics and illustrates that time moves forward. You are thinking time moves in cycles of symptomatic correlation. That dirty hippie logic is just an illusion created by the circumstances of being on a planet with seasonal changes where cyclical astronomical phenomenon can be observed. You simple primitive folk need to learn to understand this so you can properly communicate with the rest of us.

  • Stoner||

    woah

  • alan||

    Blech, 'barring', not 'borrowing'. Homophones are getting especially kinky these days. Curse you Ghost of W B Yeats!

  • Attila the Huh||

    Huh?

  • alan||

    It's bad enough to be shitting all over creation with homophones, but slant rhyme homophones! Only explanation for that degree of lameness is being possessed by one of the worst poets in the English language.

  • alan||

    Oh, and referencing an earlier thread where it was speculated what the Westboro Babtist think about the sinfulness of homophones.

  • alan||

    Westboro Babtist

    Yoinks! The cult of Barbra is now exposed!

  • Law Student||

    Hemp has been illegal since before they started using those methods. Well before. Edwin might care to actually know the facts.

  • Edwin||

    OK... I didn't know that. I made a mistake. I'm willing to admit that.

    When was the last time even one libertarian ever actually admitted a mistake?

  • ||

    Libertarians don't make mistakes because we don't have the political quality to mess up in the first place.

    Being politically ineffective = no mistakes!

  • Michael||

    Why would we need to do that?

  • ||

    Drink!

  • Married Libertarian||

    When was the last time even one libertarian ever actually admitted a mistake?

    "Are you serious?"

  • ||

    That's a little beyond a mistake -- you made up an entire line of argument from whole cloth and insulted Rep Paul for not knowing your made-up "facts".

  • Edwin||

    no I read that once, the thing about satellite imaging. Why don't you try looking it up?

    the ban on hemp isn't nonsensical and you know it. You might think it shouldn't be policy but that doesn't mean there's absolutely no logical reason for it from some political viewpoint.

    In other words, adults understand that different people have different opinions and ideas

  • The Gobbler||

    "no I read that once, the thing about satellite imaging. Why don't you try looking it up?"

    Weed comes in sundry colors.

  • ||

    Other than this thread, none of the links on the first two pages of google for "marijuana satellite green tint" has anything to do with your supposed justification.

    Maybe it was a dream you had, like the one about toastfucking.

  • Stoner||

    psst.. you're doing it again

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You might think it shouldn't be policy but that doesn't mean there's absolutely no logical reason for it from some political viewpoint.

    Some drug warrior somewhere thinks it should be illegal therefore it is logical. That's really your argument?

    Go fuck a razor blade laden pussy.

  • ||

    When was the last time you admitted that the meme of "libertarians don't admit mistakes" is retarded? What you really mean is "libertarians won't agree with me that libertarianism is wrong."

  • Edwin||

    no... it's juyst true that yopu guys never STFU even when you're clearly wrong or out of your element.

    for example I've repeatedly explained that your obsession with legislative regulation and immediate preference for the judicial system is extremely misguided, even by libertarian standards. I help run a business, and I'm telling you I much prefer filling out paper work and paying for permits over the unpredictability and tens upon tens of thousands dollars that court cases cost (again - you guys keep saying there should be no regulations just courts).
    And yes, in the context of common law and liability, the regulations do shield me from/replace the court system to a large extent. Regulations in general are often even written deliberately in this manner - like you always say, industry groups try to protect themselves. Well, we who actually practice industry loathe the courts and much prefer papaer work and permits.

  • ||

    no... it's juyst true that yopu guys never STFU even when you're clearly wrong or out of your element.

    Thank you for proving what I said above.

    I help run a business, and I'm telling you I much prefer filling out paper work and paying for permits over the unpredictability and tens upon tens of thousands dollars that court cases cost (again - you guys keep saying there should be no regulations just courts).

    What cases would you incur if there were no regulations on your business? Also, note that you are arguing that nothing else about the system would change if we implemented libertarian reforms. These reforms would drastically change so much about government and how it functions that it is futile to say, "this would be expensive." Also note that any possible financial imposition to you is not a justification for forcing others to abide by and suffer under those regulations.

    And yes, in the context of common law and liability, the regulations do shield me from/replace the court system to a large extent. Regulations in general are often even written deliberately in this manner - like you always say, industry groups try to protect themselves. Well, we who actually practice industry loathe the courts and much prefer papaer work and permits.

    Yes, you prefer regulations, and the companies that helped create those regulations certainly prefer regulations, but I fail to see how this is supposed to convince any libertarian of your position. There are certainly other businesses that are being forced to comply to these regulations to their detriment. If not, there would be no reason to have the regulation in the first place as all companies would follow it in their own self interest. That certain companies prefer regulations over justice is in fact the point of the libertarian argument.

  • Edwin||

    You'd have to change common law itself, and I don't know how you could even do that

    You libertarians love to sell yourselves as saviors of industry and business, but your preference of the court system would demolish industry in our litigious society and breed even worse rent-seeking

    How about you try running a business first, and THEN talk about how policy would affect business?

  • Edwin||

    if the entire ICC codebook were gone, it would be up to non-professional judges and juries, who are easily bribed, to completely re-make it from scratch. But every single little element of it would have to be decided through case after case

    It would take decades and tens of millions of dollars from the construction/homebuilding/engineering industries in litigation costs just for a thorough code book to be "re-made" if you will
    And that doesn't even address the HUGE effects that UNPREDICTABILITY would have on business/investment

    BUSINESSES AND INVESTMENT DON'T RUN ON SOME ASSHOLE'S ESOTERIC CONCEPT OF FREEDOM, THEY RUN ON CONSISTENCY AND PREDICTABILITY

    with a pre-codified building code, I know exactly how my actions will be treated under the law. This is a big deal.

  • ||

    Allow me to defend Edwin a bit. So, the "reason" hemp was made illegal could not have been satellite imaging. That does not necessarily mean that satellite imaging might not be a good "reason" to "keep" hemp illegal. I'm just talking about the argument now. Not for it of course. It is stupid, as is keeping marijuana illegal ridiculous.

  • ||

    Edwin is just making it up. Other than this thread there's no references on the web to his theory.

  • sevo||

    "When was the last time even one libertarian ever actually admitted a mistake?"
    Me, and hour ago, two thread over.

  • Whappan?||

    Also, this contradicts the most basic libertarian principles. Libertarians know nobody has all the answers, therefore everyone should be as free as possible to live their lives and run their businesses etc. as freely as possible...because nobody has a monopoly on what's "right" or "correct."
    Since this is a Ron Paul thread, how many times has he said things like "I have no idea how to run the economy, nobody does, it's too complex." Because we acknowledge our own limitations and fallibility, we don't want to impose our values, choices and tastes on others by force.

  • ||

    ^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^

    EVERY SINGLE liberal I know is willing to accept an authoritarian state simply because they are convinced that their solutions are right

  • ||

    And, of course, we all agree that the government should throw away billions of dollars and ruin countless lives over a fucking plant. For God's sake, the argument is don't interfere with one idiocy because it might interfere with another.

  • General Dynamics||

    Remember those pot tracking satelittes represent billions of dollars and thoudands of American jobs.
    Now let's discuss our prototype orbital anti pot laser...

  • General Dynamics||

    (formerly the orbital anti-communist missile laser)

  • ||

    I thought we rebranded that sucker as an orbital anti-illegal immigrant laser...

  • O Letmee||

    Nuke those plants from orbit.

    It's the only way to be sure.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    Poison ivy is a plant, but no one in their right mind thinks it should be legal.

  • tmp1701||

    Wat

  • ||

    *golf clap*

  • Excellent point, Hobie.||

    Besides, it itches!

  • Rich||

    Excellent spoof.

  • ||

    It would be legal, but they need to be able to detect poison sumac from its purple tint on satellite images.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But for some conservatives to start tinkering with the budget with health care or education for the poor, that doesn't make any political sense to me.

    What does this sentence mean? Is the congressman saying he wants to start with changing foreign policy as means of getting the budget under control? Is he discounting domestic policies as significant costs? Or am I reading this incorrectly?

  • Matrix||

    Well, they are like drugs, and people would need to be weened off of them over time instead of a complete elimination all of a sudden. Also, you have so many people exploiting those resources and are voters, that it would politically hurt politicians who tried to cut those programs.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I think he is saying if Republicans were serious about the budget, they would try to make cuts in areas where they would find agreement with Democrats, which is military spending. That is more politically feasible than getting Democrats to agree to make cuts in their favorite welfare programs.

  • Michael||

    I'd bet that if you pressed them long enough about it most Democrats would admit that they're not exactly hip to the whole military spending cuts thing either. Foreign adventurism seems pretty bi-partisan and even Democrats know that it can't happen without lots of cash.

  • Rich||

    This. IIRC, Team Blue has gotten us, um, entangled a few times.

  • yonemoto||

    A few? Try almost every.

  • ||

    We've already seen how Democrats react to defense cuts. Their reactions to the early 90s base closures should have revealed once and for all how empty all their posturing is.

    Nanny Feinstein turned into freakin' Slade Gorton at the first mention of closing any bases in California.

  • Jim||

    And yet to this day, long-time officers in the army absolutely hate Clinton for "gutting" the military.

  • Zeb||

    Thats true, but there was still plenty of gear for foreign adventurism when the military budget was half what it is now.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    What Ron Paul means is that we can't precipitously end all our domestic welfare and social security programs - they would need to be wound down gradually, simply to give all the people who have learned and been encouraged to become dependent on them time to be weaned off of the dole with minimal harm or breakdown of social cohesion. After all, if we were somehow able to entirely shut down Welfare, Medicaid, and Social Security tomorrow, who could doubt there would be rioting in the streets? On the other hand, we can end our seemingly interminable attempts at nation-building, wars of occupation, and large, expensive foreign military garrisons quite quickly with relatively little harm to us as a nation.

    Therefore, he would cut foreign spending dramatically and quickly, and use the savings to help pay for our expensive domestic entitlements programs to keep them from collapsing for the decade or more it would take to gradually unwind and reduce them. It's really a very sound strategy, and takes into the account the lessons of Burkean conservatism. It goes to show that Ron's serious about effecting systemic change, and isn't just issuing soundbites.

  • yonemoto||

    come on now. Let's be real. As much as I love the guy, Ron Paul is just issuing soundbites, even though it is a really sound strategy.

  • ||

    I see a lot of those dope-smoker types sleeping in the Wisconsin capital. I think it really hurts the legalization effort. Some of those guys look like the anarchist types, actually a lot look like the anarchist types. Looks like they don't shave and take a bath very often either.

  • ||

    I'm sure you're intimately familiar with poor personal hygiene.

    Mac: (slow-dancing with Charlie) I do not even understand the smell coming from your body, dude.

    Charlie: Oh, my God, dude. Relax, dude. I forgot to put on deodorant, OK?

    Mac: I have never once, never once seen you wear deodorant, Charlie. Never once.

    Charlie: Yeah, well, you've never once seen me wash my testicles either, but that doesn't mean I don't do it every Friday.

  •  ||

    That is so funny.

  • ||

    It's Pat!!

    Also, no mention of Radley in your post?

  • Jack On||

    And what, precisely, is the problem with being an anarchist? There are plenty of well-groomed anarchists over at Mises.org who I'm sure could give you good debate.

    I'll not rely on how clean or well-dressed someone is when considering their ideas. I think Patrick Henry had the clap.

  • Edwin||

    they should come up with some way for hemp to be legally grown in America, it does have a lot of uses and makes a nice cash crop
    The nuts are especially tasty; it's not the crap you buy at whole foods, those are hulled, but the whole nuts. They're about the size of mung beans and roasted are really delicious and make a nice popping crunch - in Farci they're called "shahdoonay"

  • ||

    You're gonna love my nuts.

  • Mac||

    Did you wash them?

  • fish||

    Nope...roasted and salted.

  • ||

    I can think of a very simple way to grow hemp legally in America. Legalize it! Have the hemp-detecting satellites do something else useless like measure global warming.

  • Edwin||

    I would imagine that a bill that could actually get passed would involve something less than full legalization - maybe it would need registering of the fields and their locations, and/or affirmation of the right of local police to view the fields, etc.

    oh wait a minute, you're libertarian, you don't care about actually doing anything in the real world, it's all about the giant philosophical circle-jerk for you guys where you self-righteously tell each other and everybody else how morally pure you are. My mistake.

  • ||

    Uh, no. I'm despised by many on this board for trying to be practical (and several would dispute the libertarian label as well).

    In any case, I think you seriously underestimate the feasibility of legalizing hemp. Heck, full-blown legalization of marijuana itself has significant support -- not enough to repeal CSA, but certainly enough to make hemp not the third-rail it once was.

  • Edwin||

    isn't that what I just said?

    Hell it IS legal in California. A $100 ticket is pretty affordable, considering you only have a CHANCE of getting caught

  • Edwin||

    the thing is, I know libertarian-minded people are going to fuck it up somehow, like they already did with Proposition 18.

    For one thing, any legalization effort will have to be for california (a huge state chock full of people), or otherwise be a multiple-state regional effort, to properly see the actual effects of legalization. One state alone legalizing will get filled quickly with the most addicted, and make the problem look way worse to the voting public. This is what happened ion Switzerkland

  • mad libertarian guy||

    There are people "addicted" to weed?

    I call bullshit.

  • ||

    Aw, shucks. (Simpers, lowers head, twists right foot inward.)

  • Robert||

    Simple, yes, but what I think the previous poster is looking for is not so much simple as easy. And obviously it's not easy!

  • Zeb||

    The drug warriors should love hemp. Large scale hemp farming would make it very difficult to grow marijuana outdoors in many places.

  • ||

    but there are some serious-minded progressives who would like to cut back and pay the bills.

    Such as? And increasing taxes on the productive does not count as "cutting back".

  • Tony||

    increasing taxes on the productive

    No we just want to raise taxes on the parasites.

  • Matrix||

    Oh, like all those people on welfare? No need to raise their taxes. Just cut their welfare.

  • Proud Union Member||

    You shut the fuck up, now, you libertarian nazi. We know 'parasite' is a code word with your kind for the poor and working class.

  • Proud Union Member||

    Sorry, my slip. You meant the real parasites.

  • Slug DeThug||

    +12

  • ||

    No we just want to raise taxes on the parasites.

    Got it, you are neither serious minded nor are you suggesting cutting back. Someone else care to name these serious-minded people and tell me what are they proposing be cut?

  • Tony||

    I'm totally serious about objecting to calling people "productive" just because they make a lot of money.

  • Proud Union Member||

    Right on, brother! Fortunes are not made they are stolen.

  • Proud Union Member||

    Again, sorry about that misunderstanding earlier.

  • ||

    I'm totally serious about objecting to calling people "productive" just because they make a lot of money.

    Other than you who called "people who make a lot of money" productive? And when it comes time to implement your progressive plan of cutting back by increasing taxes on the non-productive who make a lot of money how will you distinguish them from the productive who make a lot of money?

    Still looking for the mythical serious progressive who wants to "cut back".

  • Tony||

    how will you distinguish them from the productive who make a lot of money?

    Since I don't formulate my tax policy preferences based on my moral judgment of people, I don't have to.

  • ||

    4:06 p.m.

    No we just want to raise taxes on the parasites.

    5:08 p.m.

    I don't formulate my tax policy preferences based on my moral judgment of people

    Bravo!

  • Tony||

    But not because they are parasites. Because they have all the money.

  • ||

    Moron.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Because they have all the money.


    Thieves think like that.

    No wonder.

  • ||

    Assuming they're making that money in free exchange, there must be a lot of people who like what they produce.

    Now, a public school principal taking in $200K per annum for the great service of mindlessly applying zero tolerance policies, that might be a different story.

  • ||

    I'm totally serious about objecting to calling people "productive" just because they make a lot of money.

    So you would also object to calling people who make alot of money "parasites," right?

  • Edwin||

    he's not wrong. I'm pretty sure Einstein wasn't all that rich, certainly at least not compared to the people he wants to raise taxes on

    there's also artists and writers, and politically active people

    there's lots of ways you can become "productive" form a societal-good standpoint without making a lot of money

  • ||

    Logic 101, Edwin. You need to repeat it. The following statements are not equivalent:

    If an organism is a whale, then it is a mammal.

    If an organism is a mammal, then it is a whale.

  • Edwin||

    So Madoff was productive?

  • ||

    Fraud is not free exchange.

    Bye bye Edwin, I'm not talking to you again.

  • Edwin||

    you're not getting that "productive" is a value-based word, and he might be talking on the net effects of the person on society.

    I'll bet there are some rich crack dealers...

  • Really?||

    Tony circa 1984 is a dumb Tony.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    No we just want to raise taxes on the parasites.


    You want to raise taxes on bureaucrats?

  • Jeff P.||

    "prog-approved"

    Specifically In The Wake of Poesidon and Return of Giant Hogweed...

  • ||

    I'd say Tarkus, South Side Of The Sky, and A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers, but I won't pass up good KC or Peter Gabriel-era Genesis...

  • Tony||

    This is the most sense I've ever heard Rep. Paul make.

  • Colin||

    +1

    I think this is first time I've ever agreed with one of your posts. :)

  • ||

    I suspect you have not been paying very much, un-agenda driven attention.

  • Colin||

    Run, Ron, Run.

  • yonemoto||

    he better run. Sayin things like that is just a bullet magnet.

  • Paul||

    Why should we allow products to be made in Canada and then we buy the products made out of hemp and they come back into the United States?....

    Canadians... I knew it...

  • Matrix||

    ... with their beady little eyes and flapping heads!

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    Eh!!! Settle down, buddy!

  • Phillip||

    I'm not your buddy, guy.

  • Terrance||

    And I'm not YOUR buddy any more, buddy!

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    I'm not you guy, friend.

    This could go on all day.

  • Special Sauce||

    Uncle Fuckers!

  • ||

    And their warm smoothies and donuts with every meal. And ketchup on everything. Canadians!!!1!11!

  • Teenage Girl||

    warm smoothies

    Eewww!!

  • ||

    And ketchup on everything.

    Especially on ice cream.

    And the Christmas turkey.

  • Whappan?||

    Except fries. They put VINEGAR! on fries!1111!11!1111!!!!

  • ||

    Canadians... I knew it...

    *chortles*

    (Politely, of course!)

  • ||

    What, no spittle-flecked "Ron Pual as a RAAACIST!" rants?

  • The Other Kevin||

    Hang on, it's still early.

  • fish||

    As soon as he's done blowing Jamie Kirchik.

  • ||

    Ironically, it's Ron Paul's foreign policy views -- where he agrees with die-hard liberals -- that got him in hot water with Kirchik to begin with.

  • fish||

    Yeah but it was Kirchik who dredged up the anti-semite/racist bilge during the last election.

  • Almanian||

    Now that you say that...not that I want to summon demons or anything....but where's Max been lately?

  • chef||

    Unibrow shaving accident.

  • Rich||

    I thought he waxed stupid.

  • fish||

    He peed on the carpet one too many times and Old Mexican had him put down.

  • Rich||

    OM, confirm/deny?

  • Sobchek Security||

    That rug really tied the room together dude.

  • SIV||

    Where's Timothy Sandefur when you need him?

  • Tim||

    Has Operation Libyan Freedom begun yet?

  • Bono & Robert Redford||

    Unfortunately, no. Apparently the international community is going to stand by with water while Africa burns.

  • Ken E.||

    “I write about Ron Paul frequently.”

    Did you write about this?

  • B Cause||

    Ron Paul (R-TX) has just introduced an amendment to end all U.S. aid to Israel.

    No soup for you!!

  • Warty||

    Like I noted in the other thread, there are some magnificent comments over there.

    gbuddha2012 Today 06:49 AM
    If the Paul's are for it then it ain't good for anyone... libertarian/conservatism first goal is to keep us strung out on cable/cheetos/weed. No conspiracy theory... just common sense

  • marlok||

    That's the funniest thing I've read all day.

    Thanks for that treat.

  • ||

    "But for some conservatives to start tinkering with the budget with health care or education for the poor, that doesn't make any political sense to me."

    i am all for cutting defense, but defense is more important than "education for the poor" and "health care". defense should be a much larger proportion of the budget than it is now. it's just that the budget should also be many times smaller. but defense comes first, and "education for the poor" comes pretty much last in terms of *government* priorities. hopefully, rand paul understands this because i am really getting tired of ron paul's brown-nosing to progressives.

  • ||

    I think he's saying that if conservatives really want to cut the deficit, they should work on areas where Dems also support cuts first, and only then move on to areas where there are going to be fights with the left. Notice he said it didn't make "political sense" to demand cuts to things that have little chance of being cut first.

  • Sudden||

    Maybe, and I also get the idea that he is trying to gain allies with people not ordinarily prone to libertarian tendencies as well. But it still strikes me as a bit disingenious given that Medicare and SS are the two biggest fiscal clusterfucks and that no meaningful attempts to balance the budget are worth a damn if they don't address those two. Defense cuts can and should be on the table as well, but I'd think that any Republican serious about making defense cuts is best off holding those cards as leverage for getting meaningful entitlement reform.

  • ||

    Democrats would prefer to have no cuts to defense or entitlements rather than cuts to all of them. They're not going to compromise -- the only way we're going to cut entitlements, given the current crop of Democrats, is to ram the cuts through. And there aren't enough GOPers who support such cuts to make that even a possibility.

    Bad news is, entitlements aren't going to be cut until the entire fiscal system collapses.

    Good news is, they'll probably get cut soon anyway.

    OK, that's not really good news, but I try.

  • marlok||

    If domestic spending is going to be cut in some bipartison agreement, it seems like Republicans allowing for military cuts isn't gonna bridge the gap. The Democrats are hungry for a tax hike, and they want Republicans to endorse higher taxes and thereby forfeit one of the main reasons people vote for them.

    The Dems new talking point about "comprehensive" reform is code for adding tax hikes.

  • SupeRrich||

  • SupeRrich||

  • Tony||

    Class warfare class warfare! LALALALALALA

  • Ray||

    Can we get please get this asshole in front of Obama and let him absolutely crush the debate with common sense? It would be amazing.

  • Reality||

    No.

  • Barack Obama||

    Hope and change, and hopey changitude. Also, racism. I win.

  • Edwin||

    Would you like a smoke and a pancake?

  • Tony||

    In order to get the legalization agenda on the national radar, we're gonna have to have a Congress that feels compelled to care about the drug war's victims.

    Do Republicans care about addicts? Do they care about prisoners? Do they care about poor people? Do they care about future entrepreneurs?

    Of course not. They care about the corporate status quo and making it even more status quoer. Those of you inclined to pragmatically side with the GOP because they talk about small government need to get it out of your heads that the GOP actually cares about small government. It's total, 100% rhetoric for them, in the service of an agenda that has nothing to do with small government. Yes, I know a lot of you are aware of this. So if you care more about actually making society a better place, more than shoveling more money into the pockets of millionaires, the only political coalition that has a chance of ending the drug war is between libertarians and liberals.

  • fish||

    Oh my god.....you're almost flirting with sanity here. But the "relationship" is doomed to never be consumated.

  • RyanXXX||

    What you say about the GOP is true. They are completely enslaved to Big Business, Big War, and the National Security State.

    But you seem willfully blind to the fact that most elected Democrats are just as anti-drug as the GOP. You also neglect to mention the Democrats' own allegiances, which are to Wall Street (though not big business as a whole), Big Labor, Big War, and the National Security state.

    Name me a Democrat other than Kucinich who goes nearly as far as Ron Paul concerning ending the War on Drugs?

  • ||

    Bernie Sanders is pretty good on drug issues.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He's an independent, although he caucuses with Democrats.

  • ||

    Ah, that's right.

  • Tony||

    Yes, the line between liberal and corporate whore is somewhere in the democratic party.

  • ||

    ^^^Thi..... oh wait, you were being sarcastic weren't you.

  • Whappan?||

    Actually, Barney Frank is decent on the drug war.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So if you care more about actually making society a better place, more than shoveling more money into the pockets of millionaires[...]


    You think the two are mutually exclusive?

  • MNG||

    Tony

    I largely agree, but I think liberals need to clean their own house too. Most liberals oppose many facets of the WOD yet the elected Dems do very little. A liberal 'tea party' movement would be appropriate to make the party more aligned with that sentiment. It could also be sold as helpful re: our fiscal crisis (if it were legal and taxed, and it might provide legit jobs, but far more importantly we could cut back on many of the WOD related expenses).

  • ||

    A liberal tea party is gonna be tough since the Democratic Party's entrenched interests literally can't afford to be shut out of power. What's happening now in WI is what that leads to. They will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to bring down their high-ranking Democrat benefactors from within.

    Now, there are interests in the GOP that depend on a place at the government trough, but they aren't nearly as dominant, and weren't able to save their guys in the 2010 primaries. Libertarians and social conservatives really don't have much stake in keeping the GOP in power.

  • -||

    "Liberal tea party" is an oxymoron. Anyone here remember Air America? How did that work out? "Liberals" are out of ideas. They are intellectually bankrupt. The best thing they can come up with in 2011 is a reverse-engineered labor movement? Wow.

  • Tony||

    Ya I dont know what the pathway would be, it's just one of those issues that takes leadership. It can't just be people easily pigeonholed as stoners advocating. I think maybe it has to be a president willing to put it on the agenda.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You mean like a president who celebrates his pot smoking in his autobiography?

    Oh wait, THAT guy is busy locking people up and funneling even more cash in to the drug war machine, willingly locking people up for doing what he thought was a great time in his youth.

  • Tony||

    If it weren't for the culture of hysteria over drugs created by Mrs. Reagan maybe the political environment would be more amenable to reform (Obama never gets too far ahead of political reality.

    Okay it wasn't all her fault. Plenty of dems are complicit.

  • ||

    Ya know, even though it was laughably simplistic, I never minded Nancy's "just say no" campaign. See, it's persuasion. If it had ended there, it would have been preachy but fine. Now her husband's staff was another matter...

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...far more importantly we could cut back on many of the WOD related expenses...

    Far more importantly, it would free from prison people who haven't violated the rights of others.

  • ||

    haha a liberal freedom movement haha

    sign seen at minges little party haha:

    "Every potsmoker you let out of jail is a union job lost" haha

    haha minge and the other 3 dems that believe in legalization can get together in his mom's basement and have a 'tea party' haha

    haha warmonger haha

  • Tman||

    What is the current relevant federal case law that maintained the right of the federal government to regulate Cannabis under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich

    Which SCOTUS judges ruled in favor of the right of the federal government to regulate Cannabis under the Interstate Commerce Clause maintaining Cannabis under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act?

    Hint: it wasn't the conservative ones.

  • Tony||

    I think the decision was correct, even though I'm very much against federal prohibition. I prefer the interpretations of the commerce clause that case set forth. I just think congress needs to alter its drug policy.

  • Tman||

    Fuck you Nanny-stater.

    Filburn and Raich were horrible liberty destroying SCOTUS cases that expanded the power of government beyond the limited and enumerated powers specified in the constitution.

    Nothing congress does will matter until they overturn these prior precedents, because no president -from either party- is going to sign in to law anything remotely resembling decriminalization. Even Obama stated he would never do it.

    Thankfully, Judge Vinson's ruling on Obamacare, and the following tantrum by the justice department has fast tracked the biggest challenge to the ICC in years, and hopefully SCOTUS will revisit both Filburn and Raich.

    Also, I want a pony.

  • Tony||

    Thomas seems to actually give voice to de-prohibition in his dissent, when he notes that the founders would find criminalization unthinkable.

    My worry is exactly the problem I have with all libertarians. With the social liberal stuff I have to get oligarchy too. I dont suppose you guys would just give up your silly, nonempirical economic bullshit and focus on stuff like this, would you?

  • ||

    Don't try to explain away your democracy fetish, Tony.

    Shit, you'd walk yourself into the oven if 50.00001% of voters thought it'd be a good idea.

    Also, I'd be interested in knowing the specifics of a libertarian oligarchy(e.g. mechanisms and types of oppression etc.).

  • ||

    Shit, you'd walk yourself into the oven if 50.00001% of voters thought it'd be a good idea.

    Dude, we need to do a poll. Can we include his H&R commenting history or will that make it a push-poll?

  • Tony||

    capitol l I do not have a democracy fetish. I'm actually rather an elitist. I just think democracy is a good starting place. And preferable to benevolent libertarian despotism.

  • ||

    No, I'm not willing to accede to the liberal belief that you should be totally free to do as you please with your mouth and veins and genitalia, but then as soon as you make money or (God forbid!) employ someone you become the government's bitch.

  • Tony||

    No, I'm not willing to accede to the liberal belief that you should be totally free to do as you please with your mouth and veins and genitalia, but then as soon as you make money or (God forbid!) employ someone you become the government's bitch.

    Instead of being the government's bitch if you're anyone but the supperrich? You don't get a third choice, so make your alliances where they will accomplish something.

    The rich and corporations, perhaps even capitalism itself, will survive Democrats, I promise. How will the world's largest prison population do under Republicans? How will the poor and the addicted?

    You are sacrificing a lot by being the intellectual core of Republicans. That would be the intellectual core of people who believe in Jesus and his pet dinosaur, by the way.

  • ||

    I find your elucidation into the mechanisms of oppression that would occur in libertarian oligarchy lacking.

  • ||

    Tony I can't tell if this was an attempt at some kind of logical argument or a joke. Intellectual core of Republicans? What made you so stupid?

  • lol||

    What made you so stupid?

  • Robert||

    Why would the Tea Party Caucus even be thinking about hemp? That's gotta be way down their list of concerns. Does Mother Jones have evidence this caucus actively opposes legal hemp? I bet they haven't said a peep about it.

  • Nike Dunk Shoes||

    thanks

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