Set Your TiVos to "Stun"

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At some time maybe around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. EDT today, I'm scheduled to make an appearance on CNN talking about Ron Paul's old newsletters. It's an edited piece, not a panel bull session, so my 15 minutes will probably end up as 30 seconds max. UPDATE: Or maybe not! If it ever runs, please someone drop a line.

Speaking of newsletters, former reason editor Virginia Postrel had this to say today:

Thanks to The New Republic, libertarians who weren't paying attention in the 1990s, don't read Texas Monthly, and didn't do their candidate research have now discovered that Ron Paul said–or, more likely, allowed to be said in his name (probably by Lew Rockwell)–nasty things in his newsletters. Much reaction can be found at Hit & Run, as well as Andrew Sullivan's blog and The Volokh Conspiracy. The disclosures are not news to me, nor is the Paul campaign's dismissive reaction a surprise. When you give your political heart to a guy who spends so much time worrying about international bankers, you're not going to get a tolerant cosmopolitan.

NEXT: We're Not in L.A. Anymore, Toto

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  1. If I’m a libertarian, and even after this Ron Paul mess (which disappoints me), I STILL don’t think it means I just fell off a turnip truck, does that mean I am even dumber than Virginia thinks I am?

  2. shit. I guess we can try it again in about eight – twelve years, given the inflationary recession ahead. let’s find someone squeeky f***ing clean. at the least maybe he has encouraged some like minded (policy wise, not on race) people to get involve and maybe even run in the future.

  3. What’s the thing about Lee Rockwell? Anybody know if he has some weird positions?

  4. “Tolerant cosmopolitan”? What the frak does that have to do with libertarianism?

  5. “Tolerant cosmopolitan”? What the frak does that have to do with libertarianism?

    To some, it has everything to do with libertarianism.

    To some others, not so much. (They’re the problem….)

  6. I don’t understand the last sentence in the Ms. Postrel’s quote. Why shouldn’t we be worried about bankers who have a disproportionate amount of power? Also, me knowing a couple of dozen bankers automatically makes more cosmopolitan? Or is the implication of this sentence that only city folk should only be allowed into the Libertarian movement?

    Regards,
    TDL

  7. I believe the implication is that “international bankers” is a code word for “Jews”.

  8. For those with low reading skills, “tolerant cosmopolitan” = urban bullshitter.

  9. It’s good to finally here some libertarians speak out against Paul. While he certainly has some positive positions (smaller government supporter and all), he’s ultimately doomed to do more harm than good. Libertarianism is tarred with a false association with Lyndon LaRouche. A real association with Paul and his repulsive and racist views (and it doesn’t matter if he didn’t author the pieces in the newsletter — that he allowed it in his name is bad enough) is far more damaging.

  10. Postrel of course supported the Iraq war. I guess that is all we need to know what this ‘tolerant cosmopolitanism’ amounts to.

    These ‘beltway’ libertarians just need to admit that they are really neocons.

  11. Of course, smearing in code would be something I’d expect Reason to oppose, but I guess I’m wrong.

    And, I keep coming back to this interview with the TNR author, specifically the first part where he puts a happy face on some interesting groups:

    youtube.com/watch?v=Whqtv9D9g-Y

    Not to get all conspiracy theory and all, but see also what the author says about DR in the article, and see his advocate article, and see also this:

    youtube.com/watch?v=wo5qNtflqV0

  12. What’s the thing about Rockwell? Anybody know if he has some weird positions?

    He always was pretty paranoid.

  13. Yes, many who complain about “international bankers” are, indeed, targeting Jews, and the horror of the “international Jewish Conspiracy.” I have heard this many a time from those on the self-described “partiot” end of the right-wing spectrum, and from a few people tangential to libertarianism. These people generally despise libertarians for being so soft on Jews and ignorant of “what’s really going on.” I was always thankful for their willingness to distance themselves from us.

    Alas, it was to them that Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell were trying to appeal (in part) in their Paleo Turn, right after the first Ron Paul fiasco of 1988. Even before then they had begun using terms like “bankster” to appeal to the far right cranks.

    Remember, the Paleo Turn was an attempt to egg on hate towards the underclass as part of a class war that would (golly gee whiz, really?) overthrow the state.

    I thought then and think now that libertarianism is not a philosophy of hate, and can’t succeed as such. So I was not surprised by the failure of the Paleo Turn, or by the recent brouhaha over the Ron Paul newsletters.

    Read them. You can see that they are the Paleolibertarian movement in Beta version. The general level of nastiness there is preparation for the general level of nastiness that bubbled forth amongs the paleos in the ’90s. This didn’t go very far, of course. But it was ugly, it was pretty obvious, and it is a sad part of the history not only of Ron Paul, but also of the late Murray Rothbard, who sullied himself in hatemongering before he died.

    Cosmopolitans accept differences, and don’t mire themselves in talking about the badnesses of a few cultural groups. They stick to principles, are mostly indifferent to the foibles of others, and, in so doing, let civilization keep rumbling along.

    The Paleo Turn was a failed attempt to try revolution using an anti-cosmopolitan mindset. It was doomed from the start.

  14. Libertarianism might want to think long and hard before it weds itself to goofball Austrian Gold Standard economics. There is nothing necessarily anti-freedom about a floating currency. Further, on the list of economic sins of the current government, the existence of the FED and the lack of a gold standard, even if you buy all that loopy stuff is like 1 millionth on the list. How about worrying about reducing taxes and regulation and making the federal government something less than 18% of the GNP before we get ambitious and shut down the FED? If the Libertarians would run a candidate who said,

    1. I am going to lower your taxes
    2. I am going to stop the government from telling you how to live
    3. I am going to government spending so that every year it is a smaller percentage of GDP than the year before
    4. I am going get the federal government out of as many sectors of the economy as I possibly can
    5. I am going to stop wasting time and money throwing people in jail over drugs.

    And dropped all the dopey gold standard crap, they might get somewhere.

  15. When I was young, I thought gin was awful. Now I don’t.

    Things change.

  16. Ron Paul isn’t so much a libertarian as a cranky old man. His political opinions seem to dovetail perfectly with everybody’s 70-year-old uncle: get the gubmint off my back, those bankers just must be screwing me, and why the hell should I have to push 1 for English?

  17. “Tolerant cosmopolitan”? What the frak does that have to do with libertarianism?

    Think of it as Cato Institute vs. Mountain Dougie.

  18. Just a wild guess here, but for the amount of gold the federal government actually holds wouldn’t converting all of the current wealth of the country into so-called ‘gold backed currency’ make each dollar worth, maybe, about one atom of gold?

  19. I miss Harry Browne… (sigh)

  20. There has always been a cultural divide amoung libertarians just as there is amoung the left, liberals and conservatives — however the cultural divide doesn’t necessarily tell you what positions people hold, just who you are more likely to hang out with — I’d throw myself into the “cosmo lib” side of the argument but have always been anti-war and found Postrel to be rather repugnant when talking about anything other than libertarian advances in type font empowerment for door to door maids and what not. And I still gladly support Ron Paul and will vote for the guy but find Lew Rockwell and most his site to be backwards, paranoid and not serving the advancement of liberty.

  21. But Jim, “cosmopolitan” is another code word for “Jew”!

    I don’t know why the furor is worse now on Hit & Run than when it was brought up about 7 months ago. Is it going to increase in virulence every time another publication rehashes it, as seems to be the case when a cold virus is passaged thru young children?

  22. Pat Robertson backs Giuliani. Robertson famously wrote a book claiming that the Illuminati and Freemasons rule the world. Have we heard any outrage cosmopolitan denounce Rudy as a Nazi for this? Of course not! Rudy is an establishment candidate. He can get away with whatever he likes.

    ‘Cosmopolitans accept differences, and don’t mire themselves in talking about the badnesses of a few cultural groups. ‘

    In Virginia Postrel’s case too, they like preemptive wars against Arabs too. Real cosmo.

  23. It implies a double-standard: because libertarians are in the minority, they must behave more wisely than everybody else. Republican and Democrat voters being irrationally exuberant is expected, but libertarians… I admit that I have been deluded by Paul’s candidacy–but I am human: when a moment appeared in which my politics might be regarded seriously–even if represented by a dubious character–I leapt onto the bandwagon. Live and learn–but to be derided as exceptionally ignorant or pathological should not be tolerated.

  24. Or maybe 1 oz vodka, 1/2 oz triple sec, 1/2 oz Rose’s? lime juice, 1/2 oz cranberry juice vs. Natty Light.

  25. Yes, yes, however, “turnip truck” is still funny. Maybe Gillespie-era Reasonoids ride a shorter bus than those of the Postrel era? Just a theory. Carry on.

  26. “Just a wild guess here, but for the amount of gold the federal government actually holds wouldn’t converting all of the current wealth of the country into so-called ‘gold backed currency’ make each dollar worth, maybe, about one atom of gold?”

    Not exactly. It would drasticlly reduce the amount of currency available and keep the government from making more to stimulate the economy. The government literally could no longer print its own money. It would have to mine it. The economic dislocations associated with a switch to a gold standard would be to say the least significant, which is why it will never happen and libertarians would do well to stop yammering about it.

  27. He always was pretty paranoid.

    That was funny.

  28. “When you vote for a guy who spends so much time worrying about international bankers, you’re not going to get a tolerant cosmopolitan.”

    You’re anti-semite!

    No, YOU’RE an anti-semite!

    No, YOU’RE an anti-semite!

    No, YOU’RE an anti-semite!

    No, YOU’RE an anti-semite!

    No, YOU’RE an anti-semite!

    No, YOU’RE an anti-semite!

    etc.

  29. I think the problem with the currency isn’t so much that it isn’t backed by gold(or silver), but that it isn’t back by gold(or silver) AND only backed by faith in the State to pay it’s debts and nothing more. private competing currencies please. preferably backed by more than faith in the issuer.

  30. Not exactly. It would drasticlly reduce the amount of currency available and keep the government from making more to stimulate the economy. The government literally could no longer print its own money. It would have to mine it.

    Actually, they would have to declare each “dollar” as worth some amount of gold. If they stick to that amount, then you are correct. If they “re-index” the dollar against a different amount of gold then that is a whole different deal.

  31. twv, I recall one of Roy Childs’s last quips — that Murray Rothbard should run for mayor of New York City: “He’ll get the Jewish vote because he’s Jewish, and the black vote because he’s anti-semitic.”

  32. I was against this latest war, too, and still find the pro-war libertarians amazingly naive. Postrel included.

    But some anti-war libs seem naive to me, too. I have a hard time condemning World War II, no matter how much deceit led up to it. Further, I side with Ron Paul that attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan was a good idea. (Though I still don’t understand why this wasn’t done under a declaration of war, and don’t understand why Ron only talked about such a declaration regarding Iraq.)

    I’ve long had this theory that libertarians need EXTREMELY SMART advocates up front. But so far, our smart guys and gals stay in the background, especially in politics. Maybe there’s a reason for this, and the required level of sophistication to handle most objections to rolling back the state won’t be found in people that voters would feel comfortable voting for.

    So we are left with nice guys, not geniuses. Like Ron Paul.

    He’s still the only one of the Rs and Ds who I’d vote for, failings and all.

  33. From NRO’s The Corner:

    ” Ron Paul’s Newsletter [Rick Brookhiser]

    If you live in Further Right World, you may well believe that the Constitution was a kind of NATO between the states. I think that is demonstrably wrong, but it is an honorable view (Jefferson, in some moods, professed it).

    Close by that view is the view that the slave power was the historic defender of liberty, which I think is both wrong and wicked (Jefferson, in his old age, found himself driven to it).

    Many inhabitants of Further Right World are also gold bugs. That may be a mistaken belief, but again it is honorable. Gold buggery goes off the rails when it breeds an unhealthy suspicion of central banks. (“The necessary secrecy of [bankers’] transactions gives unlimited scope to imagination to infer that something is, or may be wrong”-Alexander Hamilton, “Report on a National Bank,” 1790). I was startled, the first time I read Lysander Spooner-and if you have spent any time in Further Right World, you will know exactly who that is-to find a little blast at the Rothschilds.

    Ron Paul clearly holds the honorable views mentioned above, and everyone who knows him testifies that he does not hold the wicked ones. But it requires eternal vigilance in Further Right World to keep the two apart, and he has not exercised it.”

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/

  34. The war in Iraq has caused hippy anti-war libertarians to somehow decide that their future lies with peleocon parnoids. It was always an odd mariage to say the least. At some point, the war is going to end and the hippies are going to wake up the next morning after going on their anti-war bender in bed with one ugly broad.

  35. Ron Paul is far too threating to rich white guys to ever get elected. Being called a racist will be the least of his problems.

  36. John, so the Ron Paul / paleo ghostwriter newsletter flap calls Austrian economics into question?

    Far as I can tell, Ludwig von Mises wasn’t one of the possible ghostwriters.

    Good points otherwise.

  37. That Roy Childs quip was worth the whole scandal, frankly. Thanks, Robert!

  38. twv,
    That is a thoughtful, quick recount. That is the kind of assessment that I would like to see more of instead of the reflexive evil “beltway libertarians” vs. neo-conferderates vs. “cultural libertarians” vs. Objectivists vs. (enter name of anyone you want here.) Yet, I think too many of the personalities involved with this movement (whatever you want to call it) are too busy battling over the limelight. Too much he said, she said. I have to imagine the infighting is taking an increasing toll on existing and future donors (I know one donor who is getting tired of it!)

    John,
    If you accept the tenets of free market capitalism how could you be so dismissive of criticism to a central planning committee such as the Fed? Too many critics get caught up on gold (simply because gold has been the default currency for 5000 years of human history.) In a sophisticated and complex economy like ours a stable (market created) medium of exchange, unit of account, as well as an interest rate that allows for the accurate calculation of a hurdle rate for investment is critical. Money doesn’t need to be gold, it just has to be determined by the market place.

    Regards,
    TDL

  39. Shane,

    Please don’t come to me for your next hybrid muscle car. I accept payment only in US dollars, not some paper printed off of a computer on an obscure island. I do not accept critters either. Just US Federal Reserve Notes or verified checks, or maybe an old-school HEMI ‘Cuda 🙂

  40. “Actually, they would have to declare each “dollar” as worth some amount of gold. If they stick to that amount, then you are correct. If they “re-index” the dollar against a different amount of gold then that is a whole different deal.”

    That is a good point Guy. I had forgotten about re-indexing which puts lie to the whole idea that the gold standard ensures the value of the currency, since there is nothing to stop the government from devalueing a gold based currency by re-indexing it.

  41. Right on, John.

    I hate all that gold talk. Nobody holds cash anyway, they hold capital investments in stocks, bonds, and other deposits in financial institutions. We have a better system than a gold standard – we have a “whatever you want” standard. You can put all your capital investments into gold if you want, or pharmaceuticals, or Chinese real estate or whatever you want. Thanks to technology, these are converted into cash so quickly that most people essentially consider them cash nowadays. You can choose to hold your wealth as Federal Reserve Notes if you want, but I think the vast majority of Americans don’t do that – and it doesn’t really matter if they know or don’t know WHY they don’t hold many Fed Notes.

  42. David @4:22,

    since when does Lysander Spooner(an individual anarchist and abolitionist) have anything to do with the far-right?

    And the Consitution wasn’t a “kind of NATO between the States” until Lincoln? What history book is he reading from?

  43. the required level of sophistication to handle most objections to rolling back the state won’t be found in people that voters would feel comfortable voting for.

    Is there something intrinsic to being smart that produces discomfort??

  44. Yeah, the return to the gold standard never struck me as being all that relevant. I don’t really care how the national dollar is backed if I no longer have to pay a penny of taxes denominated in it.

    Much better would be to permit free banking anyway, rather than enforcing a single national currency and fighting about it’s backing.

  45. All fiat currencies have, at some point, been worth nothing.

    Gold has never been worth nothing.

  46. That is a good point Guy. I had forgotten about re-indexing which puts lie to the whole idea that the gold standard ensures the value of the currency, since there is nothing to stop the government from devalueing a gold based currency by re-indexing it.

    Yeah, but the Congress has to vote for that re-indexing. It’s like voting for raising taxes; Congress can do it, but it’s unpopular.

  47. I don’t know why the furor is worse now on Hit & Run than when it was brought up about 7 months ago.

    Perhaps it is faulty recall on my part, but what was brought up seven months ago was one article in one edition of the newsletter. As of yesterday, we are talking about several articles over several years.

  48. Guy Montag- Laugh if you want, but it’s worked before. Politicians shouldn’t have anything to do with the economy or the currency, too much power in limited hands.

  49. “Money doesn’t need to be gold, it just has to be determined by the market place.”

    I can’t argue with that. And the number one duty of a central bank and or government is to ensure that the value of the dollar remains stable, neither too much inflation or deflation. But, a floating currency does let the market work it out. Right now, the US is running a big current accounts deficit, so the dollar is falling like a rock. As a result, things in the US are cheap and the current accounts deficit is falling which will eventually bring the value of the dollar back up and achieve some equilibrium. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

  50. I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with the Lew Rockwell crowd (though I think it’s unfair to say he’s the author of the newsletters before seeing any actual evidence), but that’s not to say I think Virginia Postrel and her vapid “dynamism” is any better. As has been mentioned, she endorsed the Iraq war, and I haven’t heard her apologize for it since. To her and the CATO crowd, libertarians should talk about things like school vouchers and cutting the estate tax, not uncomfortable things like opposing American imperialism (that won’t get you invited to any Republican cocktail parties, that’s for sure).

    And just because Ron Paul might have some personal failings, that doesn’t make his critique of the Federal Reserve and American monetary policy any less vailid. F.A. Hayek endorsed the idea of competing legal currencies, but I guess we’re supposed to be better off ignoring things like that because it may currently be unpopular amongst Postrel’s “cosmopolitan” crowd.

  51. I’ve long had this theory that libertarians need EXTREMELY SMART advocates up front.

    That means people with IQ’s over 130 which puts them so far away from the norm that people feel uneasy about them. In fact, that’s been the exact problem for libertarians.

    What libertarians need is someone EXTREMELY AVERAGE. Why do you think Reagan appealed to so many?

  52. Pat Robertson backs Giuliani. Robertson famously wrote a book claiming that the Illuminati and Freemasons rule the world. Have we heard any outrage cosmopolitan denounce Rudy as a Nazi for this? Of course not! Rudy is an establishment candidate. He can get away with whatever he likes.

    Of course Robertson didn’t publish his views anonymously in a newsletter titled “The Giuliani Report.”

    On the other hand, Ron Paul never had cops under his chain of command bugger a perp with a broomstick while yelling “It’s Paul Time!” Racist actions speak louder than words.

  53. I leapt onto the bandwagon. Live and learn–but to be derided as exceptionally ignorant or pathological should not be tolerated.

    Good point. Assuming you are a fairly normal person, who has a life, and don’t dedicate every hour of your time to following every bit of libertarian insider gossip, it’s understandable that you were enthusiastic about the things Ron Paul is saying now, and didn’t know about his history.

  54. Perhaps it is faulty recall on my part, but what was brought up seven months ago was one article in one edition of the newsletter. As of yesterday, we are talking about several articles over several years.

    That would make a difference to me. My assumption that the amount of material was the same then shows that even with the inordinate amount of time I’m spending on this stuff, I’m still letting people pre-digest a lot for me.

  55. but so far, our smart guys and gals stay in the background, especially in politics. Maybe there’s a reason for this.

    Libertarians despise government – why would we want it to be our job when we can blog instead?

  56. When I was young, I thought gin was awful. Now I don’t.

    Thanks TPG!

  57. Remember, the Paleo Turn was an attempt to egg on hate towards the underclass as part of a class war that would (golly gee whiz, really?) overthrow the state.

    Actually, the paleo turn was an attempt to create a populist front against statist elites. To the extent that there was a class element involved, the target was actually a segment of the rich.

  58. Shane,

    Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

    Ask Mr. Brookhiser.

    http://www.richardbrookhiser.com/

  59. What libertarians need is someone EXTREMELY AVERAGE.

    haven’t met one yet, i keep running into nerds and rednecks or sometimes even people who are a little of both(hello), but average?

  60. Been a while since VP graced the pages of her old alma mater. But today is a fine day to hear from the old boss.

    I respect VP (more than you might imagine), but here’s the thing, when Daily Kos made the unsubstantiated allegations I searched the internet for hours and there wasn’t a single source document presented on any site that claimed the allegations were true. If that makes me a dumb ass, so be it. But of all those who claim to have known all along, and VP probably did since she was living in Dallas, I suspect that very few knew the reality. Not unless they lived in Texas or subscribed to the RP newsletters. At that point RP was a long ago phenom and a has-been.

    It doesn’t have anything to do with paying attention. Otherwise the Reason staff wouldn’t be peddling backwards en masse. They’da broke the story in the first place.

    Jesus Chrysler.

  61. Mr. X,

    Yeah, but the Congress has to vote for that re-indexing. It’s like voting for raising taxes; Congress can do it, but it’s unpopular.

    Actually, the Congress now votes on the debt ceiling, which is a (very) rough equivilant to reindexing.

    Shane,

    I am not laughing at the barterors, I am just making my side of the transaction clear as to what payment I accept and examples of what I do not.

    Now, when you find a 1970 ‘Cuda convertable to trade me for a 2008 resto-mod hybrid just let me know and we can avoid all of that dirty fiat money.

  62. Lincoln says: Ron Paul is far too threating to rich white guys to ever get elected. Being called a racist will be the least of his problems.

    Leaving aside the card playing, for some reason or other, Reason has completely ignored that side of this story. Not too many people seem to be interested in the TNR piece’s backstory. It’s possible to oppose both Paul and what seem to be the unseemly underpinnings of the TNR piece, but apparently doing that is beyond Reason’s grasp.

  63. Now, when you find a 1970 ‘Cuda convertable to trade me for a 2008 resto-mod hybrid just let me know and we can avoid all of that dirty fiat money.

    deal. barter works best for me personally, trouble is carry all those chickens around in my wallet.

    seriously though, props to liberty dollars, private currencies work if you can keep them accountable.

  64. By the way, am I the only person who admires the work (generally) done by Cato, Reason, AND Mises.org?

    Every week, if not every day, I turn to each of these sites. Mises.org alone is to be commended for its publication of hard-to-find classics. Cato does some great policy work, and gets mainstream and even centrist people to consider and debate libertarian ideas. And Reason, of course, is a magazine that keeps getting better and better.

    Whatever indiscretions and follies may have occurred in each of these organization’s past lives (and there are embarrassments aplenty for all, I’m sure), today these three “poles” of the libertarian movement offer quite a lot of information and analysis as well as theory and fun.

  65. Question regarding the National Review excerpt above: I consider myself to be one of those hippy antiwar people first, libertarian second (though obviously they’re perfectly compatible)… but is liking Lysander Spooner, a 19th century abolitionist and anarchist, supposed to mark me as some sort of “far right” paleo? I don’t know, but I thought the whole vehement anti-slavery thing was pretty progressive for its time… can someone enlighten me?

  66. What evidence you or Vagina Postrel have that Lew wrote the offensive comments?

    Racists claim that all members of a certain race are stupid or ugly or evil. You fuckers are even worse. Some people of every race are evil. So racists are right 1% of the time. You idiots have no evidence that Rockwell wrote anything of the sort. Put up or fucking shut up.

  67. The AntiHumanist,
    I couldn’t say it better myself.

    John,
    I agree with you in the intermediate term, but I am not as certain about the longer term picture of the $. Also, the equilibrium point might be significantly lower than anyone might realize (except for perma-bears of course.) Although I’ll say you make a good point about focusing in on tax and spending reductions and keep the more arcane monetary policy on the back burner.

    Regards,
    TDL

  68. VP headline wins the thread:

    Libertarians Fall Off Turnip Truck

    I don’t agree but I am still LOL

  69. It doesn’t have anything to do with paying attention. Otherwise the Reason staff wouldn’t be peddling backwards en masse. They’da broke the story in the first place.

    Does it? Jesse Walker already gave his response to that general question, but I’d like to hear what the rest of the Reasonoids have to say to Postrel’s claim that, essentially, everybody with a brain already knew this.

  70. twv,
    I do too.

  71. Go Lew Rockwell! Go Mises.org. Shut up hippy wimps!

  72. Id post this on Postrel’s site, but no posting available.

    Hey Virginia, werent Ron Pauls’ mentors Rothbard, Mises, and Friedman “Cosmopolitan” in your sense of the word?

  73. John:

    Your first post is spot on.

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/124309.html#876069

    It’s maddening that Paul (or any major Libertarian candidate) can’t seem to enthusiastically embrace the elements of libertarianism that resonate positively with so many people: Lower my taxes, control spending and keep the government out of my hair as much as possible. Your suggested five-part platform is lucid, pragmatic and, most importantly, accessible. Paul could’ve finished third in NH if he ran on it.

    I get so frustrated with the wonky tangents that confuse (or worse, alienate) disgruntled voters looking for alternatives to the blues and reds. The gold standard? The constitutionality of forced private-sector integration in the Civil Rights Act of 1964? They warrant academic discussion, but are these really the issues libertarians expect to invite and energize people?

  74. I take that back, VP was still in LA at the time the offensive newsletters were circulated. But she was paying attention.

  75. …is liking Lysander Spooner, a 19th century abolitionist and anarchist, supposed to mark me as some sort of “far right” paleo?

    Huh? How’d he get dragged into this? Did I miss something?

  76. It won’t be too long before all transactions are electronic. It will be important to prevent terrorist, drug dealers, and other bad guys from making cash transaction. It will be global credits.

    Get with the program! 😉

  77. TDL,

    In my opinion the dollar is backed by the productivity of the American economy. The more the government meddles with that the worse things get. No gold standard is going to save you if you tax and regulate your economy to death and it is not that hard to run a floating currency if you have a dynamic powerful economy.

  78. I’m half kidding.

  79. BakedPenguin (wonderful name, btw) —

    Rick Brookhiser at National Review wrote: “Many inhabitants of Further Right World are also gold bugs. That may be a mistaken belief, but again it is honorable. Gold buggery goes off the rails when it breeds an unhealthy suspicion of central banks. (“The necessary secrecy of [bankers’] transactions gives unlimited scope to imagination to infer that something is, or may be wrong”-Alexander Hamilton, “Report on a National Bank,” 1790). I was startled, the first time I read Lysander Spooner-and if you have spent any time in Further Right World, you will know exactly who that is-to find a little blast at the Rothschilds.

    I wrote a major paper in college critiquing the concept of a social contract that drew heavily on Spooner’s “No Treason” writings, and now I’m wondering if that’s supposed to make me a denizen of “Far Right World”…

  80. They warrant academic discussion, but are these really the issues libertarians expect to invite and energize people?

    It’s Badnarik all over again, except this time it’s the gold standard instead of ID cards, and we actually had an audience for a moment.

  81. It’s still Daylight Savings Time? Does that mean that I missed it as of this post?

  82. John,
    I agree with you there. Although I’m increasingly concerned about having an accurate hurdle rate (which is driven by interest rates.) A sharp yield curve might distort the picture at both ends of the curve and make it hard for entrepreneurs and business people to make accurate investment decisions. Then again I am talking my booking since I am coming closing to the funding cycle of a start-up.

    Regards,
    TDL

  83. “booking” should read “book”

  84. The most important place to eradicate racism is in the law.

    The dreaded racist-next-door is not the guy you need to worry about. If some person is a racist, you can hate them if you want, but who cares becuase it’s their loss really.

    The thing about racism is, it’s economically degenerate and will eventually fade into an impoverished demise over the course of generations. This you can bet on.

    But when the system of LAW that binds us all is racist, well… we can expect that system to drag us all down with it to a likewise impoverished demise.

    I don’t really care if Ron Paul once-upon-a-time, being a younger and less wise man than he is today, hadn’t yet realized the perils of racism. Clearly he’s learned something and his more mature politics are not racist today. That’s far better than I would say for any of the other candidates.

  85. ‘To her and the CATO crowd, libertarians should talk about things like school vouchers and cutting the estate tax’

    With all due respect, Cato et al have been doing that for years. They have barely a thing to show for it. For all their elitism and cosmopolitanism, the Washington elite don’t listen to them. When offered to choose between school choice and No Child Behind for example, the Washington power elite will always pick the latter. CATO are naive if they believe they will ever influence the Washington elite on anything but trivialities.

    Any successful libertarian movement would need a substantial populist element to it. Paul may have failed, but I’ll give him his due for trying. CATO/Postrel/beltway gang will never achieve this.

  86. so, like, um, how about that NH voting fraud?

  87. Without speaking in code, let me add one item to John’s list of “sensible libertarian” positions above:

    1. I am going to lower your taxes
    2. I am going to stop the government from telling you how to live
    3. I am going to government spending so that every year it is a smaller percentage of GDP than the year before
    4. I am going get the federal government out of as many sectors of the economy as I possibly can
    5. I am going to stop wasting time and money throwing people in jail over drugs.
    6. I am going to renounce the use of economic sanctions and embargoes and maintain open diplomatic relations with all nations.

    Note that there’s nothing pacifist, isolationist or even idealist about that statement. I would add something to the effect of reducing our global military footprint and stepping back from the World Police role, but I think anybody who calls themself a libertarian can agree on the items in #6. Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas, even if they go well beyond what many libertarians can stomach, are a huge part of his campaign’s success, and his strongest appeal to me personally.

  88. Whatever one’s feelings regarding Paul were or are, and I am just rephrasing what some others have said, this has done irreparable damage to Libertarianism. Living in LA, I feel like an outcast already just having the views I do. Now, the false associations most left-wingers and progressives etc. harbored toward us will be cemented existentially. I feel like the momentum towards having some semblance of acceptance in mainstream civil society has been abruptly halted and turned backwards. I do consider myself a conservative by the same token as my libertarianism, as Reagan put it that conservatism’s heart is libertarian, though conservatism has also been sullied by the reign of the neocons and the social-religious zealots.

    I am also not alone in saying that the best way to revive the ideas of liberty (social AND economic) is to have a liberal in the white house. I say this not out of idealogical attachment, but out of the fact that more perversion of the principles of libertarianism is the last thing we need to advance those principles. Better yet to start fresh and give those principles time once more to ferment in the collective subconscious. I feel we’ve reached a moment similar to the McCarthy days, dark ones for conservatism indeed.

  89. I was against this latest war, too, and still find the pro-war libertarians amazingly naive. Postrel included.

    But some anti-war libs seem naive to me, too. I have a hard time condemning World War II, no matter how much deceit led up to it. Further, I side with Ron Paul that attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan was a good idea. (Though I still don’t understand why this wasn’t done under a declaration of war, and don’t understand why Ron only talked about such a declaration regarding Iraq.)

    That’s because WWII is never discussed in context. Seriously it isn’t, and I’ve had many a warmonger try to trap me on the WWII issue.

    But when I tell them that WWII started in 1914 (which it did) and that the USA had no business in the 1914 war, they realize two things. First they realize I’m right, second they realise they don’t know history.

  90. Perhaps it is faulty recall on my part, but what was brought up seven months ago was one article in one edition of the newsletter. As of yesterday, we are talking about several articles over several years.

    That would make a difference to me. My assumption that the amount of material was the same then shows that even with the inordinate amount of time I’m spending on this stuff, I’m still letting people pre-digest a lot for me.

    Same here.Before the Christmas break, I spent August to December working my ass off. I figured if there was much substance to the matter beyond some off colored remarks from a staffer whom Paul fired then it would have came to light before the day of the freaking New Hamshire primary.

    Thanks Reason (though looking back at the Weigel article there were plenty of lines to be read between). As for Postrel, brrrrr, nobody likes a snooty, I told you so.

  91. I get so frustrated with the wonky tangents that confuse (or worse, alienate) disgruntled voters looking for alternatives to the blues and reds. The gold standard? The constitutionality of forced private-sector integration in the Civil Rights Act of 1964? They warrant academic discussion, but are these really the issues libertarians expect to invite and energize people?

    *sigh*

    Wanting and expecting are separate, and it’s easy to get carried away, especially when you think you hear sensible things from a politician.

    I know, I know…

    *sigh*

  92. Temporary k, agree on the foreign policy world police stuff!!!!!

    What a waste of money! Spending trillions, to cause trillions upon trillions more in damage. Sickening madness.

  93. To some, it has everything to do with libertarianism.

    This must be my slow day, because I still don’t get it. The “tolerant” I can understand, and it’s necessary for libertarianism. But “cosmopolitan”? Hillary Clinton is a tolerant cosmopolitan. Rudy Giuliani is a tolerant cosmopolitan. Barack Obama is a tolerant cosmopolitan. How are any of them remotely libertarian?

  94. charlie – ah, thanks. I’d consider the source on that one. Apparently he hasn’t noticed that Spooner has a few fans in “Far Left World,” as well. Or else, he has noticed it, but didn’t want to mention it, because it would mess up his theme.

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas, even if they go well beyond what many libertarians can stomach, are a huge part of his campaign’s success, and his strongest appeal to me personally.

    Agreed. And bringing back soldiers from all those far-flung bases would save the taxpayers an asswad of cash.

  95. WTF?

    93 comments and no one has said “reason was so much better when Postrel was the editor” ?!?

    I, for one, am disappointed…

  96. For all those bemoaning the great fall of libertarianism I ask, “have you considered another word?”

    I mean, it’s just a label, and a pretty clunky and dorky-sounding one at that. It also hasn’t exactly caught fire amongst the American public, so why the focus on the supposed harm Ron Paul may or may not do to the “libertarian” movement?

    I think we can all continue to argue in favor of libertarian ideas whether we call it “radical decentralism” or “neo-whateverthefuck-ism.

  97. temp K,

    I don’t think many people care about economic embargos and diplomatic relations one way or another. Outside of lefties who love Castro and the exile community, who gets that upset about the Cuban embargo? Not many people. I think you could make more of a populist appeal by criticizing the US’s role as world policeman. But, the problem is that Ron Paul did it all wrong. He did it as “we keep doing these awful things and the world hates us for it”. The people who beleive that are not going to generally be lefties who are not going to buy into small government. The people who will buy into the small government roll, generally are very patriotic and will not listen to that kind of criticism. His message should have been “rouble doesn’t make trouble. I am not going to spend one American life rebuilding anyone’s country and if any country attacks America I am going to bomb them into the stone age, achieve complete victory and go home. In the mean time I am not going to spend billions of dollars defending Europe, Taiwan and South Korea when they won’t spend an equal amount to defend themselves.” That message would resonate with a lot of people.

  98. There’s a “double standard” because we claim to be principled. Bill at least winked when he uttered “I didn’t inhale.”

  99. “Tolerant cosmopolitan”? What the frak does that have to do with libertarianism?”

    Inasfar as modern (and specifically, American) libertarianism is a continuation of the classical liberal tradition: everything. Inasfar as modern American libertarianism is a newfangled theory that is all about rationalistically deriving the whole of political morality from two or three hifalutin’ metaphysical axioms: not necessarily a whole lot. I blame Ayn Rand for having done so much to promote the
    rationalist school. Virginia Postrel represents the tradition of Popper and Hayek; her book The Future and its Enemies is something Hayek might have written if he had been a talented and experienced American journalist rather than a talented and experienced Austrian academic, and the title is of course a reference to Popper.

    Anyhow, the classical liberal tradition is quintessentially tolerant and cosmopolitan. It has been the philosophy of meritocratic merchants seeking to overthrow the entrenched privilege of French aristocrats and Prussian bureaucrats in favor of peaceful voluntary interaction without regard to rank or creed or other such bullshit. In that sense, it is illiberal to see the world as an assortment of groups, nations, genders, ranks, classes, ethnicities, whose interests are irrevocably opposed and who must fight the class struggle or win the war or kill the Jews or keep the uppity Negroes in their place or whatever. Instead, it proposes to stop fighting already and start trading and otherwise cooperating peacefully. That might sound like starry-eyed idealism, but in the cases where people have believed in it sufficiently to give it a try, the results have traditionally been outright amazing.

    As you can see, this is a very different approach to political philosophy from “you see, the Nature of Man is such that he has a Right to Own his Body, and therefore …” (cut 200 pages of questionable metaphysics) “abolish the IRS!”

    But in a sense, it is every bit as libertarian, or at least classically liberal, and often leads to similar conclusions.

  100. There are 4.18 x 10^24 atoms of gold in a single ounce.

    So, I’m not thinking a dollar would be backed by an atom of gold.

  101. Sorry, that’s actually 8.67 x 10^22 atoms of gold per ounce. Multiplication and division is hard…

  102. ‘In that sense, it is illiberal to see the world as an assortment of groups, nations, genders, ranks, classes, ethnicities, whose interests are irrevocably opposed and who must fight the class struggle or win the war or kill the Jews or keep the uppity Negroes in their place or whatever.’

    This is true. But then why do so many of these ‘tolerant’ cosmos really have it in for Arabs?

  103. It’s kind of interesting to see how some people seem eager to see Dr. Paul hang for this. There’s no point in going over all the specifics here — we all know he didn’t write the stuff or edit the newsletters, but that he should have been much more careful with what was going on under his name. It’s just unfortunate that someone who has otherwise lived such a clean life — delivered more than 4,000 babies, worked in inner city hospitals, served in Air Force, married to one woman for 50 years, tireless defender of liberty and the Constitution — has to have his name dragged through the mud just when he was finally getting the recognition he deserved after laboring for years in relative obscurity. And the fact that some people here are ready to toss Paul overboard so quickly and show so little appreciation to him is disgraceful.

  104. 93 comments and no one has said “reason was so much better when Postrel was the editor” ?!?

    Exactly the opposite is true in my view. There was a degree ball dropping in this matter by the current Reason staff, but I don’t miss the Postrel era in the least. To much gate keeping, and fear mongering against the yokels that make up the American landscape made the magazine almost establishmentarian.

  105. “This is true. But then why do so many of these ‘tolerant’ cosmos really have it in for Arabs?”

    First, they don’t have it in for Arabs. They have it in for radical Islamists who definitely seem to have it in for the Cosmopolitans and every one else for that matter. Second, there is nothing unlibertarian about fighting against forces of extreme illiberty.

  106. They never should have taken us off the muscle-car standard.

  107. Anybody know WHEN Paul fired Rockwell?

  108. joe,
    I disagree, emphatically! The big Caddy standard is where it’s at.

    Regards,
    TDL

  109. Snoop Dogg should be the LP’s presidential candidate

    – Heavily invested in gold
    – Proud owner of multiple firearms
    – Liberal stance on personal lifestyle choices
    – Opposed to the drug war
    – Against the militarization of police forces
    – Pro-choice
    – Generally suspicious of any governmental authority

  110. CATO are naive if they believe they will ever influence the Washington elite

    They don’t want to influence it. They want to be invited to brunch with it.

    Disdain for us unbrunchable bumpkins is the central plank of Postrel/Cato “libertarianism.”

  111. What bothers me with NOT having a commodity-backed currency is that the value of the dollar currently represents the US debt, the faith in the people and government to pay it back, further backed backed by the strength of our military.

    Since the faith in US government is decreasing domestically and internationally, and our military is stretched thin (though we still have a butt-load of nukes), having a faith-based currency seems like a bad idea in the near-term.

    Now if we can only restore faith in the government, then we wouldn’t need a gold standard. But that reminds me of the typical na?ve Democrat argument that if only we elected competent officials, big government would be competent.

    Though I lean more towards a “let the market decide” currency. Could be gold or belly lint. A central-planning agency like the Federal Reserve in charge of currency makes me uncomfortable.

  112. ‘First, they don’t have it in for Arabs. They have it in for radical Islamists who definitely seem to have it in for the Cosmopolitans and every one else for that matter. Second, there is nothing unlibertarian about fighting against forces of extreme illiberty.’

    Yeh nothing ‘unlibertarian’ about a decade of sanctions, tens of thousands of dead civilians, $500 billion and rising of taxpayers money pissed down the drain, crackdowns on civil liberties,and so on.

    Great going warmongers.

  113. Mankind will not be crucified on a Coup de Ville!

  114. ‘They don’t want to influence it. They want to be invited to brunch with it.

    Disdain for us unbrunchable bumpkins is the central plank of Postrel/Cato “libertarianism.”‘

    I stand corrected.

  115. John:
    I am not going to spend one American life rebuilding anyone’s country and if any country attacks America I am going to bomb them into the stone age, achieve complete victory and go home. In the mean time I am not going to spend billions of dollars defending Europe, Taiwan and South Korea when they won’t spend an equal amount to defend themselves.

    I agree with this as a policy and especially as rhetoric for a US presidential election. I tried to limit my addition to one sentence, but this would have been the second one. Opposition to sanctions and other forms of economic bullying – especially in Iraq throughout the 90s – is more widespread than I think you realize, and I think emphasizing it brings in a lot of the independent, even left-leaning voters that have made the rEVOLution so surprising, but that stance does need to be paired with a convincing “strong defense” posture to be most effective.

  116. joe,
    I think you just won the thread. Then again I am no authority on such things!

    Regards,
    TDL

  117. Second, there is nothing unlibertarian about fighting against forces of extreme illiberty.

    Translate: fighting against those Arabs who wont bow down before their masters and accept the satraps we assign them.

  118. I second that, Joe won it.

  119. Now, alan, you know the warmongers wait for a semi-plausible reason to believe they’ve got it coming first.

  120. “To much gate keeping, and fear mongering against the yokels that make up the American landscape made the magazine almost establishmentarian.”

    It is completely establishmentarian now. The entire staff lives in either DC or LA. What position do they embrace that is not DC establishment or at least acceptable to the establishment? Legalize drugs? PHHT. There is nothing radical or subversive about saying that at a good DC cocktail party. Anti Iraq War? Oh that is a courageous and unpopular stance among Washington Journalists? Fuck the police? Never heard that before. Open Borders, that is wildly radical and unpopular among the Washington establishment.

    Not that here are not plenty of very un PC libertarian positions out there. There are. Gun rights, objection to affirmative action, Men’s rights and reforming our outrageous divorce and child support laws, workplace censorship and things like sexual harassment law, censorship and indoctrination on college campuses to just name a few.

    But none of those issues seem to be very important to the Reason Staff. I read hit and run every day and you rarely see posts on those issues. You mostly see posts on issues where the libertarian position is at least palatable to your typical lefty journalist in Washington.

    Basically the Reason staff has no balls and are too worried about offending their friends and collegues in the media to run a really subversive magazine.

  121. The muscle car standard is pretty damn funny Joe.

  122. Brandy,

    Will Wilkinson recently quoted Mises over at his blog, in a discussion about the “ultimate liberal aim.” It might help shed some light on the role of cosmopolitanism in libertarianism.

    In “Liberalism,” Mises wrote:

    “The starting point of liberal thought is the recognition of the value and importance of human cooperation, and the whole policy and program of liberalism is designed to serve the purpose of maintaining the existing state of mutual cooperation among the members of the human race and of extending it still further. The ultimate ideal envisioned by liberalism is the perfect cooperation of all mankind, taking place peacefully and without friction. Liberal thinking always has the whole of humanity in view and not just parts. It does not stop at limited groups; it does not end at the border of the village, of the province, of the nation, or of the continent. Its thinking is cosmopolitan and ecumenical: it takes in all men and the whole world. Liberalism is, in this sense, humanism; and the liberal, a citizen of the world, a cosmopolite.”

  123. That must be why they seem so willing to dump Paul overboard so quickly.

  124. “Translate: fighting against those Arabs who wont bow down before their masters and accept the satraps we assign them.”

    WTF? You people are moonbats.

  125. ‘Translate: fighting against those Arabs who wont bow down before their masters and accept the satraps we assign them.’

    Yeh this kind of liberal interventionism boils down to sending Americans to die and taxpayers money to be spent to prop up the Saudis and Kuwaiti regimes.

  126. The Paul campaign didn’t fall apart because of these newsletters.

    To the extent that it has fallen apart, it’s because the campaign misidentified the issues that had made it catch fire with a part of the electorate, and conducted a campaign appropriate to Paul’s Congressional district but not to an insurgency against the Republican party establishment.

    Exit polls from NH show that McCain trounced Paul among voters who wanted an Iraq withdrawal. 49% of the people who voted in the NH primary said that anger at the Bush administration motivated their vote to some extent – and Paul got 8% of the vote.

    It stupefies me that Paul wasted money on anti-immigration ads and anti-abortion infomercials and the rest of it. He needed to campaign as the conscience of the Republican party on the war, on spending, on civil liberties, and on accountability for the various scandals of the Bush administration. Full stop. Had he done that, he would have been more successful. Had he done that, he would have essentially been campaigning on a “redemption for Republicans” platform, and he could have snuck his own redemption in there somewhere at the margins.

    It’s too late now. The campaign remained convinced that the way to win was to pretend to be just another Republican. That may work in Texas, but it won’t work anywhere else.

  127. I think we have to put things in perspective. This story isn’t “damaging” to the libertarian movement. What a delusional notion. The media doesn’t even care about this. Drudge dropped it after 5 minutes and this is the only place that is giving the incident a thorough treatment. I think that’s because what these newsletters highlight is, as has been mentioned, the cultural divide among libertarians and two sects that, though they have pretty much the same views, don’t much like each other. I’m not invested in the culture wars. I read Lew Rockwell and Reason. Reason is better written. Some of the posters on Lew are borderline hacks. But Lew’s site sometimes brings a passion that Reason’s “too cool for school” attitude doesn’t. Both are important and we as libertarians need to start practicing what we preach and start being more tolerant of each other. The guy in Montana with the shotgun and bible in hand has just as much right to be a libertarian as the hipster in DC shopping at Whole Foods. The reason Ron has had so much success is that he’s so darn nice and tolerant that he appeals to Alex Jone’s audience just as much as Reason’s. Ron has made clear he didn’t write the tracts in question nor are they are part of his beliefs. He’s taken moral responsibility nonetheless because they were in a newsletter bearing his name. What more can the guy do? This is ancient history. We should be the ones leading the charge to move on, not the ones beating a dead horse that not even the MSM seems all that interested in.

  128. Second, there is nothing unlibertarian about fighting against forces of extreme illiberty.

    Except that of the times we’ve done that [say 5 or 6 times] our record’s just not that good.

    WWI – The side we fought against wasn’t that much less liberal than the side we fought for. And the outcomes attained in 1919 didn’t do much to serve liberty, either.

    WWII – The good one. Put a check in the “fighting illiberty” column.

    Korea – The government we defended was autocratic and dictatorial for decades after the war.

    Viet Nam – A complete antiliberty clusterfuck.

    Gulf War 1 – fought on behalf of monarchies, but not so bad an outcome otherwise.

    Iraq War – A complete antiliberty clusterfuck.

    With a success rate like this, eventually you might want to start to conclude that maybe there’s something about wars – particularly wars of occupation – that makes them questionable weapons for advancing liberty.

  129. amen, Fluffy.

  130. Uhhh, did anyone here watch Matt on CNN (the actual point of this thread), and if so, what was said?

  131. Fluffy,
    Agree with you to some extent, but Monday morning quarterbacking is easy. The campaign was trying to “mainstream” themselves to primary voters in an attempt to win. Hopefully the back to back 10% showings demonstrate to the campaign that a change in tact is warranted. Mainstreaming isn’t working, so they might as well use the rest of the campaign money to talk about the stuff Paul really believes.

  132. ha! for both posts

  133. Damn right, FDS. They should go over the falls in a barrel now.

    Frankly, if they do that, they probably won’t run out of money because they’ll just get more.

    Paul’s personality isn’t suited to it very well, but the campaign has to go into “J’ACCUSE!!!” mode. That would get a whole lot of dispirited, alienated supporters to open their wallets again.

  134. “There is nothing necessarily anti-freedom about a floating currency”

    Aside from the state forcing us to accept it in payment of debts and outlawing competing currencies, and charging capital gains tax on conversions between the fiat currency and specie, you mean?

    No, no impact on freedom at all. no, sir.

    -jcr

  135. Ben,

    I don’t think he’s been on yet.

  136. ‘WWII – The good one. Put a check in the “fighting illiberty” column.’

    I’d agree. It should be recalled though that war was as much a victory for Soviet communism as it was for the west.

  137. “Mike Laursen | January 9, 2008, 4:29pm | #

    I don’t know why the furor is worse now on Hit & Run than when it was brought up about 7 months ago.

    Perhaps it is faulty recall on my part, but what was brought up seven months ago was one article in one edition of the newsletter. As of yesterday, we are talking about several articles over several years.”

    Yup. Until recently, it appeared the hubbub was about a single issue of the newsletter. Now, it appears the racism/anti-semitism/general wackiness was a general, on-going thing in these newsletters. I used to defend Paul, even at places like Daily Kos. I’m not sure I can any more.

  138. How much coverage did Reason give these newsletters when they were originally published? Am I mistaken to believe they were published while Postrel was editor at Reason? If so, I’d like to know why she thinks I didn’t do candidate research if she chose to ignore Mr. Paul while she was editor of Reason?

  139. “Much better would be to permit free banking anyway, rather than enforcing a single national currency and fighting about it’s backing.”

    That’s exactly what RP has proposed. The constitution doesn’t place any restrictions on private parties trading in banana leaves or monopoly money if they care to; it just prohibits the government from establishing paper as legal tender.

    -jcr

  140. Jesse Walker already gave his response to that general question, but I’d like to hear what the rest of the Reasonoids have to say to Postrel’s claim that, essentially, everybody with a brain already knew this.

    I guess I never claimed to have a brain? More to the point, I wasn’t spending the 1990s enmeshed in the world of libertarian publishing (newsletters or magazines); I was editing newspapers in Central Europe. Many movement people of whom most here know well I’ve never heard of, let alone known who was ghost-writing their investment newsletters.

  141. You idiots have no evidence that Rockwell wrote anything of the sort. Put up or fucking shut up.

    Well, there’s this from a thread yesterday:

    Eric Dondero | January 8, 2008, 8:42pm | #
    The ghost writer was 80% Lew Rockwell.

    There were a few others like Gary North from time to time. And even some super RP insiders like Nadia Hayes, Jean McCiver and Marc Elam contributed, and also did some heavy editing out of the Nasa Blvd. 1 office in South Houston and Elam’s office on Fuqua.

    But I’d say 80% Rockwell.

    When I say Rockwell, that also included his interns and helpers like Jeff Tucker, Mark Thornton, and such.

    But I remember the faxes of the Newsletter drafts always came from Lew.

    and this:

    Eric Dondero | January 8, 2008, 9:29pm | #
    On Lew Rockwell, please note that Rockwell is explicitly identified as “Ron Paul’s longtime ghost writer” in the 1988 post-Election November issue of American Libertarian. AL existed for 5 years. It was edited by former LP News Editor Mike Holmes of Houston.

    The phrase appears on page 2, in a front page article about Nadia Hayes and the Embezzlement scandal that engulfed Ron Paul and the Libertarian Presidential campaign the last few weeks of Election ’88.

    Now I’m not vouching for the accuracy or reliability of the source (and I utterly disagree with his support of Giuliani and any contention that Giuliani is any kind of libertarian) but he cites a publication that is easily verifiable and it is consistent with what others are saying so I’d say that counts as “some” credible evidence.

  142. The entire staff lives in either DC or LA.

    Except for Jacob Sullum (Dallas), designer Barb Burch (Phoenix), Ron Bailey (Virginia, in a not-just-across-the-river way), Jeff Taylor (God knows where), Mike Alissi (Connecticut somewhere) and one-half of Nick Gillespie (Ohio), you might be onto something.

    Not that here are not plenty of very un PC libertarian positions out there. There are. Gun rights,

    Can I interest you in our August 2007 cover story? Maybe May 2005?

    Men’s rights and reforming our outrageous divorce and child support laws

    Maybe you’ll find this piece interesting?

  143. When you give your political heart to a guy who spends so much time worrying about international bankers, you’re not going to get a tolerant cosmopolitan.

    Huh?

    I would rather think of myself as a tolerant hick (although being a hick and liking to think of myself as one are different things)…and what the fuck are international bankers? I don’t like the world bank does that mean I worry about international bankers? I think not.

  144. It should be recalled though that war was as much a victory for Soviet communism as it was for the west.

    True, but looking at a map, every country that came under the rule of Soviet communism would have been under the Nazi boot absent the war (eastern Europe), while a number of areas that were liberated and allowed to enjoy democracy (Greece, Italy, France, the Low Countries, West Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Norway) would have been consigned to fascism.

  145. “Yup. Until recently, it appeared the hubbub was about a single issue of the newsletter. Now, it appears the racism/anti-semitism/general wackiness was a general, on-going thing in these newsletters.”

    I agree, and I am a little disappointed that the reason staff didn’t dig into this and reveal the extent of it sooner. Don’t drink- I am NOT going to cancel my subscription. This is just a little bit of constructive criticism.

  146. I believe the implication is that “international bankers” is a code word for “Jews”.

    I thought “Neo-con” was code for “Jews”…you cosmopolitans confuse me.

  147. Virginia Postrel gets uppity about Ron Paul not being cosmopolitan. Ron meanwhile has the courage to stand up before audiences of Bush loyalists to point out that US foreign policy sows the seeds of hatred in the Middle East. He tells Cubans in Florida that the embargo needs to end. He squares up to Bernanke in Congressional committee. I know who I respect more.

  148. Virginia Postrel gets uppity about Ron Paul not being cosmopolitan. Ron meanwhile has the courage to stand up before audiences of Bush loyalists to point out that US foreign policy sows the seeds of hatred in the Middle East. He tells Cubans in Florida that the embargo needs to end. He squares up to Bernanke in Congressional committee. I know who I respect more.

    Mohyonahan (or how ever you spell it) got bared from North Korea.

    Ya that has nothing to do with anything, i just think it is way cool.

  149. soooo………
    did the piece not air????? I must of missed it

  150. ‘I thought “Neo-con” was code for “Jews”…you cosmopolitans confuse me.’

    Yes one minute you are a racist for being antiwar, next you are a Jew hater for denouncing fiat currency. Sure love these cosmo slanderers!

  151. Hasn’t run yet, apparently….

  152. Mankind will not be crucified on a Coup de Ville!

    You’d talk different if a ’59 Caddy backing down a blind alley had impaled you on one of those bullet taillights.

  153. 1. I am going to lower your taxes
    2. I am going to stop the government from telling you how to live
    3. I am going to government spending so that every year it is a smaller percentage of GDP than the year before
    4. I am going get the federal government out of as many sectors of the economy as I possibly can
    5. I am going to stop wasting time and money throwing people in jail over drugs.

    Can I agree with John that this is a good message and better then the gold standard message but not prescribe to the theory that being anti-fed makes you an anti-Semite?

    Or would I stop being a tolerant cosmopolitan?

  154. I imagine I would talk differently. Sort of all wheezy-like.

  155. Let’s assume Ron Paul is a bigot (something I don’t believe for a second). What happened to the libertarian principle that you could hold any prejudice you wanted as long as you didn’t act in a coercive manner towards others — no matter what their race? Are you saying that if he hates Jews, and many Jews are bankers, that it’s coercive to eliminate fiat currency? Seems a stretch to me.

    I miss the days when Reason was run by Bob Poole….

  156. Set Your TiVos to “Stun”

    Someone watches The Venture Bros.

    Gonna watch this… “solo a mano”?

  157. but also of the late Murray Rothbard, who sullied himself in hatemongering before he died.

    That was just gas.

  158. I frequent mises.org often and there is nothing more than academic work. If libertarians are going to reject mises, bastiat and that line of economics, you may as well align yourself with chomsky and work towards libertarian socialism because if we don’t win the inflation argument every other gain of the libertarian is moot and will eventually be taken back by the state.
    Here are the recent controversial blog posts at mises institute

    The Payday Interest Rate Controversy by Jim Fedako

    Greenspan gets it? by Max Raskin

    Hayek on the Paradox of Saving by Robert Blumen

    Mozilla: Meet Sarbanes-Oxley (and Henry Blodget) by Karen De Coster

    Taxes and the Public Servants by Jim Fedako

    Last Knight Live Blog 18 – Kraus by Wladimir Kraus

    Stockpiles and Speculators by Robert Murphy

    Oliva on Objectivists and “Second-hand
    Property Rights” by Stephan Kinsella

    More from an Old Friend (Book) by N. Joseph Potts

    Human Society, by Ludwig von Mises by Weekend Edition

  159. Matt,

    You should have shown them your boobs.

  160. Are you saying that if he hates Jews, and many Jews are bankers, that it’s coercive to eliminate fiat currency? Seems a stretch to me.

    The reality is it taints the message, and you’re done in modern politics.

    It’s a bit like saying (forgive me) that Hitler’s complaints and distrust of capitalism could be separated from his hatred of the Jews.

    Hitler’s distaste of capitalism came from the fact that capitalism and international finance was seen as something uniquely Jewish.

  161. and one-half of Nick Gillespie (Ohio), you might be onto something.

    Which half?

  162. I would rather think of myself as a tolerant hick

    Personally, I see myself rather as a bit of an intolerant cosmopolitan.

  163. Great, now EVERYONE is talking in code.

    Am I the last one who just speaks plain English?

  164. I don’t recall a single case of Ron Paul using the term “international bankers.” Since she claims otherwise, Postrel has an obligation to provide a source. Otherwise, it is just a smear. Paul has attacked a national central bank, the Federal Reserve, but, unlike the current adminstration, has opposed the use of this central bank to manipulate credit to exploit other countries.

  165. Am I the last one who just speaks plain English?

    Si.

  166. I’d like to know why Lew Rockwell is refusing to speak up at all. people are pointing fingers at him, but he says not a single word in his defense. If indeed he is the author of those tracts and he knows that Ron’s campaign is suffering for it, why won’t he defend his friend and mentor? WHY???

  167. In November 1994, Murray Rothbard dismissed Reason magazine as ‘a relatively affluent but excruciatingly boring magazine based in Santa Monica, California’. Was too young myself to know, but from what I’ve read by Postrel, I’m sure he was right.

  168. John sez:

    Not that here are not plenty of very un PC libertarian positions out there. There are. Gun rights,

    Matt Welch replies:

    Can I interest you in our August 2007 cover story? Maybe May 2005?

    Matt FTW! That’s some serious pwnage!

  169. My problem is the word “cosmopolitan”. The word itself is elitist. If you’re not a cosmopolitan, then you must be a provincial (and all the negative connotations that implies to those inside the beltway). Let me clarify by using synonyms from the dictionary, so that you can see how awful Postrel’s definition of libertarianism sounds:

    Libertarians are “tolerant sophisticates”.
    Libertarians are “tolerant jet-setters”.
    Libertarians are “tolerant metropolitans”.

    If Paulites such as myself are not true libertarians, then we must be the antonyms of cosmopolitan. Ms. Postrel is calling us provincials, bumpkins, hicks, rustics, and yokels. Despite the fact that Ron Paul continually stresses the importance of friendship and trade with all nations, he’s still considered by the Beltway Libertarians to be a country hick unable to see beyond his township limits.

  170. Lew Rockwell’s silence may be an indication of his guilt. If he is responsible for those newsletters then it also helps to explain Paul’s unwillingness to name the author. They still have pretty close ties- Rockwell even wrote the forward to his latest book.

  171. Ok, yeah, what… Brandybuck said.

  172. I think it’s his views on immigration that trigger the country bumpkin stuff. He seems pretty xenophobic, and the “sovereignty” talk, and the paranoia about a highway from Mexico to Canada doesn’t seem very cosmo.

    And the LRC folks really are “hicks, rustics, and yokels.” They still support the Confederacy…

  173. For those with low reading skills, “tolerant cosmopolitan” = urban bullshitter.

    PWNED!

  174. The reality is it taints the message, and you’re done in modern politics.

    OK, then criticize Paul’s political savvy or his laissez-faire management style (odd for libertarians to attack, but fair enough, I suppose), but implying his supporters are somehow unsophisticated seems absurd — especially from other self-professed libertarians.

    I far more tend to suspect this is all about the libertarian tradition of attacking the biggest fish in the pond and opposing anything that might expand the size of the pond. It’s far easier to maintain a big-fish status when the pond stays small.

  175. ‘I think it’s his views on immigration that trigger the country bumpkin stuff. He seems pretty xenophobic, and the “sovereignty” talk, and the paranoia about a highway from Mexico to Canada doesn’t seem very cosmo.’

    Yet cosmos like Postrel supported mass murder of Iraqis. How open-minded! How Multicultural! How politically correct!

  176. Yo, I like the “Yeah, well, YOU supported the Iraq War!” line as much as the next guy, but it really is a dodge.

    He seems pretty xenophobic, and the “sovereignty” talk, and the paranoia about a highway from Mexico to Canada doesn’t seem very cosmo.

    How about that ad that promised “no visas for students from terrorist nations.” Entire nations of people are terrorists, right down to each particular individual, so that we need only know what nation one is from to determine that one is a security threat?

    That’s some pretty collectivist thinking right there.

  177. Virginia Postrel = Eric Dondero

  178. Two gun stories in two years Matt. Wow, I am impressed. Give me a break. Name me any issue the Reason staff actually disagrees about? There is not one bomb thrower in the bunch. For example, who among the Reason staff is in any way religous or takes an active interest in Religous freedom issues or if nothing else just to poke Bailey in the eye once in a while? Where the hell is it written that no creationist could ever be a libertarian or object to drug policies or support a small government. Since when does being a libertarian mean you must be a secular athiest? Libertarians get kicked around a lot for being libertines instead of libertarians but there isn’t one true libertine on the staff. Where is the guy who supports polygomy? Where is the guy who actually does drugs rathe than just rights about them and pretends to have once seen them in college? All of you lined up against the Iraq War like a scene out of 1984, how about someone who takes an interventionist view of things? How about somoene who follows the outragous decisions of employtment discrimination and family courts in this country like Balko follows swat teams. Hell I don’t know somethign anything. Anything different from the party line that you all adhere to now. I can imagine the Reason editorial meetings.

    Welch – Gee Ron that was a great article you wrote on those evil fundees destroying science

    Bailey – Thanks Welch. I am just trying to keep up wiht you and your article on McCain wanting to take over the world and did you see Jessee’s article on how they are over sentencing drug offenders?

    Do you guys ever argue about anything? Is there anyone who doesn’t fit the mold or have a thought on one issue that differs from the group? Maybe you do, but it sure doesn’t come out in the magazine or the blog.

    Read the comments to Hit and Run. It is pretty raucous and generally pretty well thought out but nobody agrees on much of anything. You would think a libertarian magazine would be the most racous and free thinking kind of magazine. Instead, Reason is completely dogmatic and predictable. Libertarianism means you are free to think and believe whatever the hell you want. If you want to believe that we all came from aliens in the moon or that people should have three wives, you can do that. Yet you guys never seem to want to use that freedom you claim to value so much.

  179. Yes, Rockwell wrote it. It was an open secret at the time the newsletter came out. He and Blumert were the “associates” in “Ron Paul & Associates” the publishers. But Paul knew. He had to. He signed some of the dam stuff and his office produced it. In addition it went on for years.

    And some people were trying to expose the Rockwell connections to fringe groups. See Rightwatch.tblog.com. While the site seem to have had a formatting problem recently articles there go back three years talking about this. Tom Palmer has written about this on his blog for years and the Rockwellians spend a lot of time attacking and smearing him because of it.

  180. If you can’t win a debate with someone, you can always call them a racist instead. It’s a quick and easy way to attack a messenger when you can’t attack their message. It worked pretty good with Pat Buchanan as well.

    I got some more dirt on Ron Paul though:

    http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/ron.htm

    It should go pretty good with the accusation that Ron Paul speaks in code and that he’s a “transmitter”.

  181. “Yet cosmos like Postrel supported mass murder of Iraqis. How open-minded! How Multicultural! How politically correct!”

    Paul would have traded with and engaged in full diplomatic relations with people like Saddam and Pol Pot and anyone other mass killer in the world and done nothing to stop them killing millions. If it had been up to Paul, Milosovic would still run Serbia, Huisain would still run Iraq, Kim Jong Ill would be a respected and full member of the international community and anyone else for that matter. Paul loves freedom as long as it doesn’t require any sacrifice on his part and he still free to get rich off of the blood money of mass muderers by doing business with them.. He is a tower of morality that Paul.

  182. Cosmopolitan is a mighty fine drink, but that’s as close as I ever associate with that word. I prefer to be eclectic in my tastes and culture.

    Have cold pizza for breakfast, hummus and stuffed grape leaves for lunch and a wonderful Mexican dish for dinner. I have Slayer and Ravi Shankar in my CD collection, enjoy trips to the Natural History Museum and then check out a goth club in Hollywood. The Creature from The Black Lagoon, Death Race 2000, Rosemary’s Baby and Gandhi are my ideas of good cinema.

    Magazines? Reason, Savage Tattoo, Liberty, Rue Morgue & Marquis rock my world.

    Cosmopolitan? Why limit ones self?

  183. Since when am *I* morally obligated to defend trade sanctions ans military action against foreign despots and dictators? Why should MY hard earned money be stolen for those purposes? I like global free markets and cultural exchange, but in the end, I am an American and frankly, the interests of America come first to me since this is where I live, work and play.

  184. The reality is it taints the message, and you’re done in modern politics.

    OK, then criticize Paul’s political savvy or his laissez-faire management style (odd for libertarians to attack, but fair enough, I suppose), but implying his supporters are somehow unsophisticated seems absurd

    Let me be more clear. A candidate may have some good ideas mixed with bad ones. But once you hold a racist (or are perceived to hold a racist) view, you’re done in modern politics.

    Mike Huckabee believes in a national sales tax. A national sales tax is one of the best ideas for federal income tax reform ever.

    It removes the immoral underpinnings of an income tax: the government knowing and tracking how and who you associate with, what your profession is etc.

    It is perfectly capable of being fashioned in a non-regressive way.

    It is more resistant to policy tampering by hyperactive pols: have kids! Here’s a tax break.

    It’s a universally existing tax that’s already tested and collected at the point of transaction. Ie, most merchants are already tooled for dealing with this tax.

    It’s directly tied to transactions in the economy.

    It’s difficult to dodge. Drug dealers with no “income” still pay tax when they buy the Escalade and snake-skin ankle boots.

    It’s an automatic luxury tax– people buying expensive items pay more.

    Mike Huckabee is a creepy religious fundamentalist. So I would never vote for him, even though I love his national sales tax idea. His message is tainted. He’s done.

  185. _Where the hell is it written that no creationist could ever be a libertarian or object to drug policies or support a small government._

    Speaking as a creationist who objects to drug policies and favors a small government …. I agree.

    There’s been a lot of bashing of Lew Rockwell here, much of it probably justified, but I enjoy reading some of the articles on his site as well as Reason. The content is more “raucus and free thinking,” as you put it. Having said that, I wish he would’ve toned down the bile if he is really the one who ghostwrote those articles. He should also publically own up to it.

  186. Except for Jacob Sullum (Dallas), designer Barb Burch (Phoenix), Ron Bailey (Virginia, in a not-just-across-the-river way), Jeff Taylor (God knows where), Mike Alissi (Connecticut somewhere) and one-half of Nick Gillespie (Ohio), you might be onto something.

    Hey! Baltimore isn’t a suburb of DC yet, though there are some real estate agents up here who prefer to obscure that fact.

  187. Shouldn’t all this stuff help win the REPUBLICAN primary???

    Look at Mike Huckabee. He’s even more fringe and crazier than the worst accusations against Ron Paul, and yet he’s got a good, if not the best, shot at winning the nomination.

  188. Hey! Baltimore isn’t a suburb of DC yet,

    An editing mistake! I swear!

  189. Out of curiosity — for all those dumping Ron Paul into the shark-infested waters — who are you now planning on voting for?

    All I see for alternatives are big-time statists with an R or D after their name, or LP party candidates who’ll get 0.5% of the vote, or staying home and sulking.

    Seriously, if any of you have a better idea than voting for Ron Paul, I’d like to hear it, because all the alternatives seem to be much the worse of about a dozen evils.

  190. Libertarians are “tolerant metropolitanssexuals”.

    There, I fixed that for you.

  191. ‘Paul would have traded with and engaged in full diplomatic relations with people like Saddam and Pol Pot and anyone other mass killer in the world and done nothing to stop them killing millions. If it had been up to Paul, Milosovic would still run Serbia, Huisain would still run Iraq, Kim Jong Ill would be a respected and full member of the international community and anyone else for that matter. Paul loves freedom as long as it doesn’t require any sacrifice on his part and he still free to get rich off of the blood money of mass muderers by doing business with them.. He is a tower of morality that Paul.’

    Am I to assume that you yourself have volunteered to go on the neocon crusade to democratise the Muslim world? Or do you feel good that you can cheer on the troops from the comfort of your TV on Fox? The joys of being an elitist cosmopolitan. You get to start the wars, cheer on the wars, while getting some other sucker to do all the killing for you!

  192. Two gun stories in two years Matt. Wow, I am impressed. Give me a break.

    In the time I’ve been here, Reason has invariably run more than one gun story every year. We regularly cover the ins and outs of gun issues here on Hit & Run. Jacob frequently covers it in his column.

    Name me any issue the Reason staff actually disagrees about?

    Intellectual property, foreign policy, the death penalty, abortion.

    who among the Reason staff is in any way religous

    Dave is a Christian (Baptist, I think) and Jacob is an observant Jew, or at least he takes off all the Jewish holidays. There may be others.

    Where is the guy who supports polygomy?

    I’m pretty sure Jacob wrote a piece defending polygamists’ rights at one point.

    Where is the guy who actually does drugs rathe than just rights about them and pretends to have once seen them in college?

    More than one Reasoner has experimented with illegal drugs.

    All of you lined up against the Iraq War like a scene out of 1984, how about someone who takes an interventionist view of things?

    That would be Ron Bailey (though he’s turned against the Iraq war). Also Michael Young and, when he was around, Chuck Freund.

    I can imagine the Reason editorial meetings.

    I’m sure you can imagine a lot, John.

  193. OK, then criticize Paul’s political savvy or his laissez-faire management style (odd for libertarians to attack, but fair enough, I suppose)

    Banged Turnip wins the thread! Heck, that handle alone should win the thread — or be the name of a heavy metal band.

  194. but from what I’ve read by Postrel, I’m sure he was right.

    Nah. Reason has always been a good magazine (opinions may vary) and still is.

  195. Carrying on the grand tradition of libertarians hating every other libertarian.

  196. I think the bottom line is that Ron Paul expected to lose all along, was kinda taken by surprise by the success he got, and ran campaign ads that would help him get reelected to Congress rather than get a few percentage points more towards a losing presidential run. He, in other words, behaved in a rational, self-interested way, which last I checked wasn’t considered a bad way for libertarians to behave — and may explain the stunning electoral success we’ve achieved.

    Herding cats, indeed. ;(

  197. It’s difficult to dodge.

    That IS NOT a selling point. 🙂

  198. Bingo.

    Bingo! As I’ve said a half dozen times lately, we is cannibals. If this was St Hill, Rudy, or Huck, the wagons would be circled, the Gatling guns would be roaring, and the denial and spin machines would be dialed in to the redline.

  199. John, just type “For a magazine called Reason…” and get it over with so we can all drink.

  200. It worked pretty good with Pat Buchanan as well.

    *Points* HA-HA!

  201. Jesse beat me to it, but I don’t want to believe that my 20 minutes were wasted, so….

    Two gun stories in two years Matt. Wow, I am impressed.

    You’re not impressed, you’re shifting the goalposts of your original question, which I answered. Also, you happen to be wrong — that’s two covers in two years. There is a handy search function on this site that will show you many more stories than that from 2007, and far more than our comments-functionality allows….

    Name me any issue the Reason staff actually disagrees about?

    It’s actually hard to name an issue that the whole staff agrees on.

    For example, who among the Reason staff is in any way religous or takes an active interest in Religous freedom issues

    How about the people who thought a July 2007 cover story praising religious fundamentalists was a good idea? How about a managing editor who celebrates the capitalistic innovations of U.S. religion? Or an editor in chief who defends religion in American history to Bill Moyers? I won’t peek into the confessional booths of my colleagues, but there are multiple faiths and lack-thereofs represented, and I for one married a Catholic.

    Where the hell is it written that no creationist could ever be a libertarian or object to drug policies or support a small government.

    Not — ever, I don’t think — in the pages of reason magazine.

    Libertarians get kicked around a lot for being libertines instead of libertarians but there isn’t one true libertine on the staff.

    Who’s the one being intolerant here? Not to mention omniscient?

    Where is the guy who actually does drugs rathe than just rights about them and pretends to have once seen them in college?

    Dude, I saw them WAY more than once in college. And several of our staff members break the drug laws more than once a year.

    All of you lined up against the Iraq War like a scene out of 1984, how about someone who takes an interventionist view of things?

    I never did line up against the Iraq War, to my regret, and I have supported U.S. military interventions on multiple occasions (for instance in the Balkans). Moynihan and Bailey are hawkier than me, probably, and there may be others.

    Hell I don’t know somethign anything.

    You will get no argument from me.

    Do you guys ever argue about anything?

    Yes.

    Is there anyone who doesn’t fit the mold or have a thought on one issue that differs from the group? Maybe you do, but it sure doesn’t come out in the magazine or the blog.

    In the magazine and the site we have certainly aired our differences from time to time, on issues ranging from the war to presidential politics to this whole newsletters flap. But we made a conscious decision years ago to avoid turning the blog into a public, first-name-only bullshitting session among the staff. I think that decision was wise.

    Yet you guys never seem to want to use that freedom you claim to value so much.

    That, and quite a few of your other criticisms, are interesting food for thought. Thanks!

  202. I imagine the reason Lew isn’t saying anything about this is that saying stuff isn’t going to help Paul. He and Paul are longtime associates, friends, and he’s a huge booster to the campaign, so if this crap bothers you, knowing for sure he wrote it isn’t going to improve the situation now is it?

    Best thing politically is to make a statement and let it die (which it seems to have done other than here at Reason). The only plausible reason to revisit the issue is the fear it could surface again in the general election. But Paul isn’t going to win the primary so that’s moot. Paul is expanding, energizing, and organizing the freedom base. And 4 years from now someone else can ride in with Paul’s endorsement and use the movement built this year to actually be competitive. Maybe somebody like Andrew Napolitano who has all the charismatic campaign skills Paul lacks but doesn’t have any of Paul’s links to the survivalist/gold bug crowd.

  203. FD&S: Would Rockwell acknowledging he wrote the pieces give lie to Ron’s claim to have fired the author?

    Was he ever fired?

  204. An editing mistake

    This place is going downhill. That stuff never happened when Nick was in charge.

  205. Hahahaha, I love this place 🙂

    Also I think that the reason editors are using this opportunity to make a principled stand saying that racism has no place in the modern libertarian movement.

    And honestly, I think sacrificing the support of Stormfront-like groups is probably worth it in the long run. Libertarianism will never attract people when we have baggage like that.

  206. The Stormfront guys are NOT libertarian.

    Drink!

  207. Seriously, if any of you have a better idea than voting for Ron Paul, I’d like to hear it

    How about drilling holes in your head and filling them with hot sand?

  208. Ben,

    I’m not really sure Paul ever said he “fired” the person. I’ve heard other people say that, but given the arrangement of the newsletter, which seemed to be more of a simple business partnership in which Paul just had a minority interest for allowing them to use his name and making occasional contributions, would he even have had the authority to “fire” somebody? I would think Lew probably made the calls on who got to do the writing as well as the editing. My worry is people seem to be treating this thing as if it was a professional organization. This was a bunch of guys in a fringe political movement sending out a little read newsletter to people on survivalist/gold bug lists in an attempt to make a few bucks. There is no way you can spin this that isn’t going to make Paul look bad in one way or the other, so best not to even try imo. Thankfully most people seem not to care.

  209. John | January 9, 2008, 5:26pm | #
    “Translate: fighting against those Arabs who wont bow down before their masters and accept the satraps we assign them.”

    WTF? You people are moonbats.

    ‘Moonbat’ means nothing to me as an insult, but in using it you say plenty about yourself.

  210. You know what bothers me more than the newsletters? How about the straight line from the Libertarian party? They believe that (1)Anyone, including children, should be able to work any job they choose. Fair enough. They also advocate (2) legalizing prostitution. OK. By themselves those are not bad. But couldn’t one then come to the conclusion that they advocate that children be allowed to work as prostitutes, or even in porn? That’s more bothersome than some redneck racist crap, IMO.

  211. Ron Paul Reasonoids ride the short bus. So who is the next Quixotic savior?
    Who is next in line? Anyone? Don’t be shy. Speak up.

  212. Sage: such creative interpretation of the LP’s old platform is why one has seen NAMBLA members present at party conventions in past years.

  213. Gene, that’s from their current plank.

  214. The Stormfront guys are NOT libertarian.

    Exactly. Perhaps this whole controversy is a good thing. I have long been bothered by the loose association of racists and Nazi-sympathizers have had with this movement. For Christ sake: I saw Mein Kamph being sold by a vendor at the 1994 California LP convention! he was also pushing copies of The Spotlight. Some of us banded together to move his booth far away from the other vendors, so as to minimize his association with us. If I had my way, the man would have been booted out.

    Drink!

    After the events of this week, I don’t think I need any more excuse to drink! : )

  215. The Ron Paul campaign built the biggest focus group in the world and chose to ignore it as the primaries approached. The first ad raised howls of protest from RP supporters, they knew what attracted them.

    It happens a lot with libertarians, the get the idea they have a shot and start getting all strategic like the big guys…and it never works.

    The anti-immigration ad reeked of manipulation, Americans are tiring of that.

    The Ron Paul campaign staff veered off the course of its original success.

    I perused the Mercury News today and there was no indication that Ron Paul even existed…just like it has been since the Nov. 5 money bomb.

    Libertarians are worried about being tainted by this newsletter crap, hah, the MSM has been tainting Ron Paul with the ‘libertarian’ appellation.

    Don’t you know? We aren’t serious. Politics is a serious game and we don’t play it serious. Not like the big guys. They’ve got it all sewed up and they really don’t have to worry about us.

  216. Sage: Uh…my bad. I had dropped out of LP activity for the past 3 years and honestly, I haven’t read the platform lately. I thought the platform purge a few years ago pretty much removed anything remotely controversial. Guess I’ll have to actually read the damned thing.

  217. I was canvasing on Sunday and one woman told me she wanted change, everything changed.

    When I suggested Ron Paul, she told me “He’s too libertarian.”

  218. Don’t bother, Gene. My problem is not that they advocate those separately (same as me) but they don’t disadvocate (yeah, I know) those together. And to me, that’s pretty significant.

  219. The establishment will always elect their man. Whether they have to smear good people, skew opinion polls, rig elections, or cause unfortunate “accidents,” it matters not.

    Prepare, folks. The revolution cometh.

  220. I’ve read Mein Kampf, Gene. OK, I’ve read 2/3 of Mein Kampf.

    Mein Kampf is the most boring work of literature I have ever encountered in my life. You’d think it would provide at least some visceral thrill of the forbidden, but no. It’s like reading a software manual written by a racist narcissist who smoked meth, got talkative, and wants to tell you about his childhood.

    People ask, “Why didn’t the world see what was coming, when Hitler laid out his plans in Mein Kampf?”

    I’ll tell you why: because nobody finished reading it.

  221. As a Ron Paul campaign contributor and supporter, I’m disappointed. Bitterly disappointed.

    I’m disappointed, first of at all, with Paul himself. I don’t doubt he’s a basically decent, good, and honorable man. However, he must be totally clueless if he didn’t see that this moment of truth would eventually arrive, particularly as his candidacy drew record crowds and raised record money. And his “non-response response” is absolute, complete, total and utter nonsense. I couldn’t care less about TNR and all of the anti-Paul fanatics; his supporters — those of us who donated and volunteered — deserved better from him. Where was his much-ballyhooed “speaking truth to power” when we needed it most?

    I’m disappointed, secondly, by Paul’s campaign staff. Even if the candidate himself was deluded about this issue, he was very poorly served by those around him, who never developed any kind of believable, intelligent, and thorough response. The fact that they attempted to prevent Reason from interviewing him about it was ridiculous.

    Finally, I’m disappointed with Burt Blumert and Lew Rockwell, who apparently used Paul’s good name to make money for themselves with their stupid newsletters and filled them chock-full of absurdities and bigotries. And now neither one of them will come forward and stand behind Paul, revealing exactly who wrote the offensive portions of the newsletter.

    Could that be because Rockwell doesn’t want to have the arguments of those within the libertarian movement who think he plays footsie with Klansmen, Nazis, and others on the far right side of the fringe confirmed? His silence on this matter, apart from dishonestly attacking the messenger, speaks volumes.

    At this point, my only concern is that Paul (for all of his faults and mistakes) and the movement that coalesced around him not go down in political history as simply a racist who was followed by a bunch of bigots. He’s not going to win the nomination of the Libertarian Party, much less the Republican…what is to be lost from full disclosure?

    I also think a lot of Paul supporters owe an apology to Eric Dondero. We may continue to disagree with Mr. Dondero on the Iraq War, but it is clear that he has been fair and honest in his criticisms of his former employer. If Mr. Dondero was simply a disgrunted employee who wanted to hurt Paul, he would not have spoken up in confirmation of the fact that the newsletters were written by others.

  222. And honestly, I think sacrificing the support of Stormfront-like groups is probably worth it in the long run. Libertarianism will never attract people when we have baggage like that.

    Stormfront isn’t and never has been libertarian “baggage”. If stormfront gloms onto one libertarian candidate because that one candidate is sweet on the gold standard, or some such thing that happens to intersect with whackos who wring hands over the Jewish Banking Conspiracy, then while it’s unfortunate, it’s meaningless in the bigger picture.

    It’s a bit like accusing Democrats of being terrorists because they and Islamic fundamentalists don’t like “globalization”.

  223. People ask, “Why didn’t the world see what was coming, when Hitler laid out his plans in Mein Kampf?”

    I’ll tell you why: because nobody finished reading it.

    Props, joe. I’m totally with you on this one. No one saw it coming, because no one cared.

  224. Thanks TPG!

    No problem. Also, I used to hate tomatoes when I was younger. Now I don’t.

  225. If I had my way, the man would have been booted out.
    If a man can sell Mein Kampf at a LP party convention, there is something seriously wrong with the LP convention rules / organizers.

  226. If a man can sell Mein Kampf at a LP party convention, there is something seriously wrong with the LP convention rules / organizers.

    Yeah, those crazy LP’ers. They’ll let people say anything. What’s next, some kind of law guaranteeing freedom of speech? Guns?

    Who knows. Maybe the constitution is a suicide pact…

  227. @Paul
    If you don’t like the rules, you can always start a libertarian party which does allow for the sale of Mein Kampf at its party convention. This has all to do with freedom of association, and little to do with freedom of speech.

  228. You want to find out just some of the weird things that spew out of the Lew Rockwell Machine? According to “Outside” above, “Tom Palmer has written about this on his blog for years and the Rockwellians spend a lot of time attacking and smearing him because of it”.

    You can find a lot of the discussions at Palmer’s blog category of The Fever Swamp
    http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/cat_the_fever_swamp.php

    Check out the back and forth on the comments for each entry. They’re a lot like the outpouring of invective from the Rockwell camp every time they’ve been criticized at Reason, The New Republic, and elsewhere.

    What Palmer revealed about Rockwell over the past half dozen years is enough to make you gag: racism, twisted anti-Americanism, cultism, and more.

  229. For all those bemoaning the great fall of libertarianism I ask, “have you considered another word?”

    Yes, some libertarians have tried to come up with a new label for themselves. It’s harder than you may think to come up with something catchy.

    Other libertarians will fight to the death over the word, “libertarian”. They either have too much invested in it, or they just like to argue.

    It’s interesting how quickly “cosmopolitan” has been spreading on this blog in the last couple of days. There doesn’t seem to be much reference to the idea before an article that was written last month calling the Cato folks “cosmopolitan”. It’s an interesting label, but already some here are trying to paint it as being inseparably tied to being pro-Iraq War.

  230. I also think a lot of Paul supporters owe an apology to Eric Dondero. We may continue to disagree with Mr. Dondero on the Iraq War, but it is clear that he has been fair and honest in his criticisms of his former employer.

    Not quite. The enemy of my no-longer-friend is not always my friend. From what I know of Dondero, he wasn’t raising the alarm about this ugliness. He was complaining about Paul’s anti-war stance, mostly.

    I may be wrong on that. It may be that in some other forum he was in fact out in front of this, raising the alarm about a pattern of nutty articles long before anybody else. However, in his visits to this forum his chief pre-occupation was Ron Paul’s war stance. I judge Dondero on how he acted in going over that issue. He doesn’t get automatic props just because he was critical of Paul from early on. It depends on the substance of those criticisms.

  231. thoreau PhD:

    The enemy of my no-longer-friend is not always my friend.

    Whatdya mean “my no-longer-friend”? Dr Paul didn’t even write the rude stuff. You’re kidding, right?

  232. Matt:

    When you give your political heart to a guy who spends so much time worrying about international bankers, you’re not going to get a tolerant cosmopolitan.

    Matt, WTF??

    Ron Paul didn’t write the racist crap. And given that international bankers have often been in league with government force (IMF, World Bank), worrying about them is a quite libertarian thing to do. (Separating them from the government force is an even more libertarian thing to do)

    Dr Paul’s vision is to allow capitalism to spread us, our products, and our ideas all over the globe making friends everywhere. That sounds pretty cosmo to me.

    A share of Ron Paul’s political message, both explicit and implicit, is the advocacy and fostering of tolerance.

    If you were kidding, I it’s funny. If you weren’t, I it’s unfair.

    .

  233. …Shoulda been: “If you were kidding, I think it’s funny. If you weren’t, I think it’s unfair.”

    (Guess I shoulda included the Preview button in one of my New Year’s resolutions.)

  234. thoreau,

    Thanks. I’ll read em tomorrow cuz I’m sleepy and I wanna crash now.

  235. Matt,

    Whatever you meant, I’m glad you’re back at Reason.

  236. You are of course, very wrong on that Thoreau. One need only check the recent archives of my blog over at http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com. We’ve been running a regular series on Paul’s ties to Radical Groups and how that would damage the libertarian movement called “Libertarian movement blasts from the pasts…” At LR.

    They featured Rockwell, and some of his more outlandish statements from old newsletters.

    I think you owe me an apology.

    I’d prefer it in person (over phone). You can call me on my cell at 832-896-9505.

  237. BTW, something that hasn’t come out yet, which has shocked me, is David Macko.

    Macko is a local Libertarian Party official in Ohio; OH County LP Chairman – I believe in the Akron area? He’s been under investigation by the OH LP for ties to Nazi groups for the last year.

    Macko is a regular on Libertarian boards – Yahoo Libertarian, Yahoo Libertarian Republican, Yahoo Cal-Libs.

    He is perhaps the single most diehard Ron Paul supporter in the entire country.

    Well, Macko is a Holocaust denier and is on the Defense Committee for some guy in Austria who was convicted recently of being a Nazi.

    Macko is so out there, that he was actually kicked out of the Western PA Chapter of the John Birch Society.

    Seems Macko was showing up to meetings and handing out Nazi pamphlets to the Birchers. They quickly showed him the door and told him never to come back.

    But the Libertarian Party still tolerates him in their ranks. To my knowledge, Mackos has still not been asked to resign as local LP Chairman.

  238. Go back to blowing Giuliani Dondero.

  239. Andrew, I’m very heartend by your comments. Thank you.

    Note, we may not be as far off on the Iraq War as you may think. I’ve been saying for months now, since September, it’s time for Bush to start brining the troops home.

    Our difference is on how they come home. Anti-War Libertarians want to paint them as “disgraced occupiers.”

    Pro-Defense libertarians see them as Liberators, who have won a glorious victory. And Bush and the Republican Party deserve great credit for a masterful Military achievement.

    If Anti-War Libertarians continue to hold the former position, there will never be any chance for reconcilliation with us Pro-Defense libertarians.

  240. I think you just need to call yourself a neocon and be done with it.

  241. if it weren’t so tragic, it would be hilarious that so many here are so quick to have a go at Lew Rockwell and the folk at LvMI. can one rule out plain jealousy? ie, Paul’s platform is Austrian economics and real freedom from the federal government — something those DC-libertarians (and supporters) seem to get muddled over from time to time.

    i’m not a cultural conservative by any means, but i’d side with Lew et al over Reason/Cato any day. what a sad few days for the libertarian movement. but the funny thing is, in fact, that Paul genuinely brings together people from all cultural persuasions. the libertines here (some of whom i have great respect for) are choosing to abandon the revolution at this most critical time, and it will only be your loss. i urge you to rethink your reactions.

  242. Eric,

    there is a difference between painting the troops as disgraced occupiers, and asserting that your government are disgraced occupiers. how can you fail to see this?

  243. Rick Barton — Thanks for the nice words, and the passage in question was written by Virginia Postrel.

  244. Eric Dondero:

    We’ve been running a regular series on Paul’s ties to Radical Groups…

    All your stuff that I’ve read about these “ties” is far more shocked than it is shocking. None of your examples is significant and some of them are ridiculous.

    You should be ashamed of much of what’s on your site. It’s like a melding of National Enquirer and Fox.

    Lastly, your site claims to be in favor of all things American. I must remind you that intolerance of criticism directed at the government is quite un-American. President Reagan would have told you that. Your jingoism has no place in the libertarian/conservative movement. BTW, Ron Paul’s positions in Reagan’s campaigns is a real tie that you seem to have neglected.

  245. Eric Dondero-

    Your main preoccupation on this forum has been the war, and you’ve acted like an utter loon on that point.

  246. “WWII – The good one. Put a check in the “fighting illiberty” column.”

    Out of context, and ignoring the Soviet victory in Eastern Europe, it is indeed a check.

    In context, the 20th Century war, 1914-1989, it wasn’t much of a victory for anybody. just remember that WWII started in 1914.

  247. “Our difference is on how they come home. Anti-War Libertarians want to paint them as “disgraced occupiers.”

    Pro-Defense libertarians see them as Liberators, who have won a glorious victory. And Bush and the Republican Party deserve great credit for a masterful Military achievement. ”

    You contradict yourself Dondero. How can anti-war pro-defense libertarians hold both those views at the same time. I think you’re talking about pro-defense versus pro-war.

  248. This has all to do with freedom of association, and little to do with freedom of speech.

    Jerry, I know. My attempt at subtle humor must have failed…miserably.

  249. Eric, I propose a deal. Get them out FAST, and we’ll call it a “Glorious Victory.”

  250. Open Letter To Lew Rockwell
    January 12, 2008

    Dear Lew,

    You have now had three opportunities – 1996, 2001, and 2008 – to prove that you are a friend of Ron Paul and freedom, and you have failed to do so each time.

    This week, for the third time, the puerile, racist, and completely un-Pauline comments that all informed people say you have caused to appear in Ron’s newsletters over the course of several years have become an issue in his campaign. This time the stakes are even higher than before. He is seeking nationwide office, the Republican nomination for President, and his campaign is attracting millions of supporters, not tens of thousands.

    Three times you have failed to come forward and admit responsibility for and complicity in the scandals. You have allowed Ron to twist slowly in the wind. Because of your silence, Ron has been forced to issue repeated statements of denial, to answer repeated questions in multiple interviews, and to be embarrassed on national television. Your callous disregard for both Ron and his millions of supporters is unconscionable.

    If you were Dr. Paul’s friend, or a friend of freedom, as you pretend to be, by now you would have stepped forward, assumed responsibility for those asinine and harmful comments, resigned from any connection to Ron or his campaign, and relieved Ron of the burden of having to repeatedly deny the charges of racism. But you have not done so, and so the scandal continues to detract from Ron’s message.

    You know as well as I do that Ron does not have a racist bone in his body, yet those racist remarks went out under his name, not yours. Pretty clever. But now it’s time to man up, Lew. Admit your role, and exonerate Ron. You should have done it years ago.

    John Robbins, Ph.D.
    Chief of Staff
    Dr. Ron Paul, 1981-1985

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