Third Parties

The Radical Center

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Ron Paul's press conference today has been taking a beating in the Hit & Run comment threads, mostly from people who can't see the point in appearing with non-libertarians like Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, and Chuck Baldwin. I'm more impressed that Paul managed to get two of the most prominent left-wing figures in the country to declare that "there should be no increase in the national debt" and to attack the Fed's "arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests." (Though I suppose they might still favor the power to create money and credit out of thin air if it's not done behind closed doors or for the benefit of commercial interests.)

More important, I appreciate the small-pieces-lightly-joined nature of the lineup, especially when you focus not on the figures who took the stage but on their jumbled bands of supporters, a collection of dissatisfied outsiders who aren't necessarily committed to a particular political outlook but are searching for an alternative to the status quo, mixing and matching all sorts of ideas in the process. I saw a similar potpourri when I covered the fractious Reform Party a decade ago, but because this loose coalition formed around Ron Paul rather than Ross Perot, its inclinations are much more libertarian.

Anthony Gregory reacts enthusiastically to the occasion:

I've dreamed of this: The good leftists and good rightists all agreeing on gutting the empire, dismantling the national security state and ratcheting back the profligate corporatism. Anti-Fed and anti-war, a wonderful, cross-spectrum, short-term American populist program that would do away with the worst of the national leviathan.

And how wonderful that Ron Paul is in the middle, the true moderate.

I doubt anything concrete will come out of this press conference (other than the damage to Bob Barr among what ought to be his strongest supporters). But the event reflects something interesting and valuable that's happening out there in the ideological long tail, a collection of conversations that cross the ordinary political lines. In essence, two leftists and a paleocon just held a press conference to say, "We're listening to the libertarian." They did this because actual leftists and actual paleocons are listening to libertarians. And even third-party candidates—or some of them, anyway—have sharp enough political instincts to respond to their constituencies.

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  1. What the hell was Bob Barr thinking? I’m struggling to comprehend what exactly made him think this would play to his favor.

    A lot of his criticisms of Paul are right. Paul *has* failed to provide the coherent sense of his direction that his movement desperately needs. But any legitimate points Barr might have had are totally buried by the contemptible way he acted today.

  2. Bob Barr should have shown up at this event. Any time he can share a photo op with Ron Paul, he should. Those are the easiest votes he’ll get.

    But, I’m still planning on voting for Barr, because really: Obama? McCain? McKinney? Nader? I’d have to be fucking insane to vote for these folks with my political beliefs.

    Dunno about Baldwin — mebbe he might get my vote — any party with Constitution in its name can’t be all bad.

  3. “Dunno about Baldwin — mebbe he might get my vote — any party with Constitution in its name can’t be all bad.”

    Read their platform. It’s a party of theocracy and bigotry.

  4. I all honesty, I don’t think McKinney is smart enough to understand budget problems, but her voters are not smart enough to know the difference either.

    But it is worthy to know, that even though we disagree on the solution, we agree there is a problem, A VERY BIG ONE. Bringing issues to the table is better than not mentioning it at all. Giving bad solutions which can hurt in the long run at least allows people to see it’s been dealt with.

    In other words, nothing was wasted, every bit helps. It’s those who give up that can’t make things happen.

    In conclusion, I will still encourage voting away from the 2 parties to show them that issues matter and elections DON’T.

  5. Yes, it’s good that people like McKinney and Nader are realizing that our huge debt is a problem and that the Federal Reserve system shouldn’t just print money out of thin air.

    I’ve always admired Nader for standing up to the status quo.

    But I’m skeptical that their solutions would be reasonable… higher taxation, for example, would likely be their answer and that sort of thought plays into the hands of the current legislators who would probably want to do the same.

  6. prolefeed,

    Concerning Baldwin, a prior thread has a discussion betwixt myself and Andy Craig about his [Baldwin’s] party:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/128719.html#1078417

  7. My state won’t let me decide between Barr and Baldwin – I can only vote for Barr. While I think that, since it’s up to the state legislatures under the U.S. Constitution to decide how Presidential electors shall be appointed, and since the legislature could have totally bypassed the voters and chosen the electors itself, then I respect the legislature’s power to limit my choices in this manner. I just wished they’d passed a more liberal law.

    Since I can’t vote for Baldwin, I’m stuck with Barr. If they were both options, I would love to hear a debate between before making up my mind. I envy those who have the choice.

  8. As a Paul supporter I hate to say it, but this proves that Paul is a terrible politician. He’s a man of principle though, and a great community organizer, which is a very presidential quality. As for Bob Barr, he is doing his best to make me regret the money I sent him. I guess I will hold my nose and vote Republican this year. Whether that means Barr or McCain, I dont know.

  9. wow…someone refers to ralph nader and cynthia mckinney as “good leftists”…with a straight face i wonder? let’s just have a big old party, invite dennis kucinich and reverend wright and have michael moore film it all.

  10. It is still a free country; you are not required to vote. I recommend taking advantage of this fundamental natural right.

  11. Paul’s message: It doesn’t matter which third party candidate you vote for, just don’t vote for the STATISTS.

    Seems pretty clear to me.

    He gets to 1) Show he is a loyal Republican who really was about reform 2) Show his wide base of malcontents that there are four choices, one for Constitutionalists, one for Truthers, one for anti-Establishmentarians for anti-Establishmentarianism sake, and one for Libertarians 3) hedge his ruination on a capaign bet i.e. Nader kills Obama or Barr(or Baldwin or both) kills McCain 4) claim credit for swaying the election (which no one will give him?)

  12. Nader:

    Nader/Gonzalez favors a Canadian-style, private delivery, free choice of hospital and doctor, public health insurance system.

    McKinney:

    If in fact there is a program to deny black people in this country from selecting their own leaders, then there not only should be reparations, but we are dealing with genocide.

    Baldwin:

    Homosexualists will continue to dominate both major parties and we will continue to be subjected to Larry Craig-type scandals. One would think that, sooner or later, the American people would have enough.

    Y’know, the more I think about it, the more Barr comes out of this whole thing on top. Once the anti-Barr Paulistinian blowback dust settles, I wonder if Ron Paul and co. will finally realize he’s been played by these nutjobs agreeing to sign his soon-to-be-forgotten four-point statement just to get a few seconds of free PR.

    Sad, actually…

  13. Wow! A Reason writer with some imagination. Thanks for the piece Jesse. It just goes to show you haven’t been affected by the sensitivities of the Orange Line Cosmos.

  14. The military isn’t the leviathan – the real leviathan is land use policy. I’m talking about the really boring shit – zoning, minimum parking regulations, impervious surface regulations, roads, and highways.

  15. Yes, I have to agree. Jesse demonstrates some political aptitude in this post that is not typically seen at Reason. Maybe there is yet hope for a recovery (both for the country and for Reason).

  16. I think this is very good overall. I’ve always thought it’d be smarter to reach out to the other people in this country who think for themselves rather than to Jimmy Outsourced from Union Rust Belt, Kentucky. In fact, I’d much rather talk to a raving, radical socialist than some democrat suffering from a terminal case of relaxed-dude syndrome. Plus, you really can’t underestimate how well-reasoned Ron Paul is. I actually trust that this man is doing this in my best interest. And, even though it’s about RP – I can’t believe I just said that about a politician.

  17. I’m left anti-authoritarian. I don’t like the free market fundamentalism of right libertarians. I don’t subscribe to the belief that markets magically fix everything rather than create monopolies and drive Gilded Age levels of inequality that make any claims about concerns for liberty dubious, at best.

    Still, there are things that Ron Paul and even quasi-Libertarians like Bob Barr are bringing to the table that I can agree with – more so than I can with the major parties who look like different versions of the same thing, only with different rhetoric.

    I voted for Kucinich in the primaries, and I might vote for Barr in the general. I’d only suggest helping people like Jimmy figure out that we have more similarities than differences, particularly if you consider the “two-party” alternative – and we all need all the help we can get.

  18. Anyone who wants to see exactly how dumb Paultards are should check out Digg threads like this. Do a find for LonewackoDotCom. My top-level comment currently has -46 diggs, despite the fact that I’m trying to help them by telling them how they could succeed.

    I really can’t express just how dumb and worthless Paultards are.

  19. srjenkins,

    You do understand than there are countries in this world where, say, half the population might not even know the earth is round, right? You understand that poverty in *this* country can mean digital cable and a car, right?

    Just wondering.

  20. Markets don’t fix anything, markets are. Monopolies are created by those wishing to subvert markets.

    But aside from that I understand why a left anti-authoritarian would visit this blogsot, though I still scratch my head at why joe does.

    My advice, rage against the machine. You’ll serve your purposes and you’ll serve most of ours.

  21. Mad Max: Started reading through the Constitution Party platform, and it could easily double for the Mormon Party platform, if such existed. While these folks are a considerable improvement over Republicans, and a group that should be considered valuable allies of libertarians, they’re not actual libertarians. I think I met some of these folks at a Ron Paul meetup — nice people, people I enjoyed hanging out with.

    But I’m voting for Bob Barr. LP -> CP.

  22. “In fact, I’d much rather talk to a raving, radical socialist than some democrat suffering from a terminal case of relaxed-dude syndrome.”

    No you wouldn’t.

  23. Barr’s running on a Dixiecrat “States Rights” platform. It may be federalist, but it sure isn’t libertarian.

    Barr was a jackass as an elected official, and he’s continuing his ways as the Libertarian nominee. I knew the instant he jumped onto the LNC that he’d be the Presidential nominee the next time around. He denied it to the rafters, but he couldn’t resist the opportunity to be the big fish in our small pond.

    I’m ashamed to have him as the nominee of my party, and there’s no way I can vote for him – or any of the other candidates running for President.

    (The last time I had to resort to a write-in vote was in 1984, when I cast my vote for Bill the Cat of the Meadow Party.)

  24. “I’m left anti-authoritarian. I don’t like the free market fundamentalism of right libertarians. I don’t subscribe to the belief that markets magically fix everything rather than create monopolies and drive Gilded Age levels of inequality that make any claims about concerns for liberty dubious, at best.”

    I’m glad I found you, brother.

  25. I just spent 3 months living in Kolkata, a place with many people living in crushing poverty most Americans have never dreamt of. And while I can agree that poverty can be relative based on the society you live in – someone paying for digital cable and a car isn’t living in poverty, even in the United States. And if you think it is, you should visit some of those other countries you refer to (or inner cities if that is too far) and see how the other half lives.

  26. I am now convinced that Ron Paul is a total idiot. When is he going to learn that appearing at events with nut cases like Cynthia McKinney and Jesse Ventura does not help your standing amongst average Americans?
    And when you refer to “two of the most prominent left-wing figures in the country”, who exactly are you talking about? I can understand Ralph Nader, but referring to either Cynthia McKinney or Chuck Baldwin as one of the most prominent left-wingers in the country is hyperbole that would make Andrew Sullivan blush.

  27. I’m voting write-in for the retarded baby.

  28. Famous Mortimer, thanks. I just took a look at a few of your postings at this site, and think brother is quite appropriate. Besides, anyone who thinks Colbert deserves some kind of sainthood, quotes “Capitalism is a great economic model, but it makes a shitty religion,” and would choose homelessness over IT work is alright in my book.

  29. I don’t like the free market fundamentalism of right libertarians. I don’t subscribe to the belief that markets magically fix everything rather than create monopolies and drive Gilded Age levels of inequality that make any claims about concerns for liberty dubious, at best.

    I’m in the same boat, but I reject the anarchist fundamentalism of the left, which assumes that if we disembowel power it will go away. No — we need to use power responsibly, not try to run away from it. Good comments otherwise though.

    Also excellent comments from Mr. Walker. Which would you prefer, America: a good politician, who is defined by being able to pander and compromise, or an honest leader? Ron Paul is the latter. Right and left aren’t as far away as we think, when we filter out the extremists, the irrational, and the pointless.

  30. Potential Third Party voters are obsessing about what non-Third-Party voters are thinking right now- which is nothing but adulation for the candidate they intend to vote for.

    When the non-Third Party voter’s candidate loses (one of them will), they rush to blame the third party candidate.

    That’s when you’ll be heard. Yes amongst the cacaphony. But there isn’t another way except sedation…

  31. No need to disembowel power, just check it. Jesus Christ! Did I just invent an idea???

  32. What about the “leaguer of non-voters” Dr. Paul mentioned?
    The Constitution says:

    “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    The meaning of this is simply We, the people of the United States, acting freely and voluntarily as individuals, consent and agree that we will cooperate with each other in sustaining such a government as is provided for in this Constitution.

    The necessity for the consent of “the people” is implied in this declaration. The whole authority of the Constitution rests upon it. If they did not consent, it was of no validity. Of course it had no validity, except as between those who actually consented. No one’s consent could be presumed against him, without his actual consent being given, any more than in the case of any other contract to pay money, or render service. And to make it binding upon any one, his signature, or other positive evidence of consent, was as necessary as in the case of any other-contract. If the instrument meant to say that any of “the people of the United States” would be bound by it, who [*4] did not consent, it was a usurpation and a lie. The most that can be inferred from the form, “We, the people,” is, that the instrument offered membership to all “the people of the United States;” leaving it for them to accept or refuse it, at their pleasure.

    The agreement is a simple one, like any other agreement. It is the same as one that should say: We, the people of the town of A—–, agree to sustain a church, a school, a hospital, or a theatre, for ourselves and our children.

    Such an agreement clearly could have no validity, except as between those who actually consented to it. If a portion only of “the people of the town of A—–,” should assent to this contract, and should then proceed to compel contributions of money or service from those who had not consented, they would be mere robbers; and would deserve to be treated as such.

    Neither the conduct nor the rights of these signers would be improved at all by their saying to the dissenters: We offer you equal rights with ourselves, in the benefits of the church, school, hospital, or theatre, which we propose to establish, and equal voice in the control of it. It would be a sufficient answer for the others to say: We want no share in the benefits, and no voice in the control, of your institution; and will do nothing to support it.

    The number who actually consented to the Constitution of the United States, at the first, was very small. Considered as the act of the whole people, the adoption of the Constitution was the merest farce and imposture, binding upon nobody.

    The women, children, and blacks, of course, were not asked to give their consent. In addition to this, there were, in nearly or quite all the States, property qualifications that excluded probable one half, two thirds, or perhaps even three fourths, of the white male adults from the right of suffrage. And of those who were allowed that right, we know not how many exercised it.

    Furthermore, those who originally agreed to the Constitution, could thereby bind nobody that should come after them. They could contract for nobody but themselves. They had no more [*5] natural right or power to make political contracts, binding upon succeeding generations, than they had to make marriage or business contracts binding upon them.

    Still further. Even those who actually voted for the adoption of the Constitution, did not pledge their faith for any specific time; since no specific time was named, in the Constitution, during which the association should continue. It was, therefore, merely an association during pleasure; even as between the original parties to it. Still less, if possible, has it been any thing more than a merely voluntary association, during pleasure, between the succeeding generations, who have never gone through, as their fathers did, with so much even as any outward formality of adopting it, or of pledging their faith to support it. Such portions of them as pleased, and as the States permitted to vote, have only done enough, by voting and paying taxes, (and unlawfully and tyrannically extorting taxes from others,) to keep the government in operation for the time being. And this, in the view of the Constitution, they have done voluntarily, and because it was for their interest, or pleasure, and not because they were under any pledge or obligation to do it. Any one man, or any number of men, have had a perfect right, at any time, to refuse his or their further support; and nobody could rightfully object to his or their withdrawal.

    There is no escape from these conclusions, if we say that the adoption of the Constitution was the act of the people, as individuals, and not of the States, as States. On the other hand, if we say that the adoption was the act of the States, as States, it necessarily follows that they had the right to secede at pleasure, inasmuch as they engaged for no specific time.

    The consent, therefore, that has been given, whether by individuals, or by the States, has been, at most, only a consent for the time being; not an engagement for the future. In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a [*6] man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, be finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot — which is a mere substitute for a bullet — because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.

    Doubtless the most miserable of men, under the most oppressive government in the world, if allowed the ballot, would use it, if they could see any chance of thereby ameliorating their condition. But it would not therefore be a legitimate inference that the government itself, that crushes them, was one which they had voluntarily set up, or ever consented to.

    Therefore a man’s voting under the Constitution of the United States, is not to be taken as evidence that he ever freely assented to the Constitution, even for the time being. Consequently we have no proof that any very large portion, even of the actual [*7] voters of the United States, ever really and voluntarily consented to the Constitution, even for the time being. Nor can we ever have such proof, until every man is left perfectly free to consent, or not, without thereby subjecting himself or his property to injury or trespass from others.-Lysander Spooner

  33. …we need to use power responsibly…

    If “we” and “responsibly” means the democratic involvement of everyone in the decisions that effect them and widely distributed local power – in other words “anarchy”, then we agree.

  34. Do you want to break through the party system or do you just want to add a few (L)s next to the (R)s and (D)s sittin’ at the State of the Union? Common cause should be made where it can be made.

  35. You can’t have opportunity without inequality. I’d rather have opportunity, rather than a system which kept things equal at the cost of the ability to move outside your class.

    That’s the end state of any system which seeks to eliminate inequality, because with humans you cannot make everyone equal without having some people be more “equal”, and the system induces drag against people shifting roles (for good or ill).

  36. FRUITION.

    nader paul kucinich gravel
    mckinney ventura
    perot charts
    rage

    Right now it’s time to;
    Right now it’s time to;
    Kick out the jams “Brothers & Sisters”

  37. “I guess I will hold my nose and vote Republican this year. Whether that means Barr or McCain, I dont know.”

    I’m considering that new “Boston Tea Party” thing, if only because the media’s trying to ignore them. Voting for them would be voting for the libertarian faction of the Libertarian Party, which would tell them “fuck you” in just the right way, while also voting *against* all the other candidates who need to be voted-against this time. Barr & Root just act too damn nutty, and I can’t in good conscience vote for the statist or the socialist. Sigh.

    I’ll agree that it’s interesting that a nutcase like Cynthia & a far-lefty like Nader have the capacity to think about what the Fed does, but MUST Ron Paul appear with those 2 now??!? And if so, why the hell refuse to appear on the Howard Stern show back during your campaign, despite HUGE potential free publicity, Ron? Dumb. Very, very dumb.

  38. I think Barr comes out the better for NOT showing up. Cynthia McCkinney is a nutjob. Anyone who seeks to align themselves with her likes cannot claim to represent true American values. She loathes this country and as a former resident of her Congressional district, she is what is wrong with the left. I now understand Paul a bit more – what a waste…

  39. “Inequality.” That word is one of those words that has the tendency to speak volumes about someone. I know a left winger who once said: “That ‘everyone was created equal’ shit is bull shit- what about people born retarded?” Here’s the thing – first of all, that’s not what was meant, second of all, shut the fuck up. Everyone sympathizes with your motives, with your sense of fairness and charity. Those of us who actually believe in the system that put your computer screen in front of you right now don’t ignore the plight of the less fortunate. Let’s just get that straight right now. Our contention is that there are ways to handle that. As a minarchist libertarian, I wouldn’t even be opposed to forms of wellfare for people with organic brain damage or down syndrome or whatever who have no one else. No respectable libertarian is blind to the realities of this world and to the reality that charity and empathy are hardwired into every person. We just think that the shitty government doesn’t have to be the conduit through which this charity is funneled. There is private charity, and it works. Wallmart was helping out after Katrina much faster than FEMA was. So, please, shut the fuck up about inequality – we all get it. It’s just that we live in America, where inequality is like less of a problem than anywhere else. Poverty is the natural state of the world – you are born naked, without anything. Look at the U.S.; we have all but conquered that state that for much of history has been such a looming and dangerous presence. So, I ask you please, leave the inequality talk for discussions about slavery and apartheid not for modern day America.

  40. They did this because actual leftists and actual paleocons are listening to libertarians.

    If Ron Paul has so much influence, then his endorsement of Rep. Don Young is even more unforgivable. Screw him.

  41. Just because the ACLU will defend the constitutional rights of white supremacists doesn’t mean they agree with their politics. Right now the two parties secure power not by offering the people a better choice but instead by erecting legal obstacles to other parties/candidates that are not applied equally to the incumbent parties. Protecting the greens’ and theocrats’ right to make their voices heard and court voters without discrimination is a blow struck for political freedom, not necessarily for their ideas. More to the point, it’s the right thing to do.

  42. I just spent 3 months living in Kolkata…

    Oh yes, but the people of Kolkata are protected from “free market fundamentalism” by their Marxist benefactors who no one will ever mistake for “right libertarians.”

    Oh wait, most of the rest of India is growing in prosperity as they adopt market reforms while Kolkata and the rest of West Bengal remain mired in grinding poverty.

    But it’s because of overpopulation and capitalist colonial exploitation not the Marxist dicks in charge.

  43. Bob Barr blew it by not showing up, and comes off as a real dick for holding a press conference just down the hall immediately afterwards.

    Yet another example that people can point to about how libertarians can third parties can’t get along with themselves, let alone anyone else…

  44. libertarians AND third parties

  45. I say that any movement is a sign of life.

  46. See Dana Milbank’s coverage in the Washington Post (link embedded in my name above):

    Third-Party Candidates Choose Clown Makeup Over Pig Lipstick

    “But as soon as Paul reached out to apply the Revlon to the snout, Barr went hog-wild, turning the gathering into a barnyard brawl.”

    “Thus did the short-lived third-party unity movement of 2008 go in the trough.

    It was an opportunity squandered, for the two major parties were busy yesterday demonstrating why an alternative to Democrats and Republicans is so desperately needed.”

  47. @nonPaulogist

    What about the “leaguer of non-voters” Dr. Paul mentioned? The Constitution says:

    Reality check: No-one in any society is forced to accept the rules of said society if they disagree with them. *(with the exception of those who live in an authoritarian state which will not permit it’s inhabitants to leave)

    It’s called voting with your feet. The States ratified the constitution, and by staying put, all people who remained in said State tacitly agreed with the ratification.

    The fact that we don’t reaffirm our constitution on some arbitrary time cycle means nothing. Like it or not, if you are born into a group, you become a member of that group by default, and the Constitution is certainly not automatically invalidated for each successive generation.

    Once you reach adulthood (or sooner, hell, run away and join the circus), if you find you cannot reconcile yourself to that group’s rules, then feel free to find greener pastures–or–work within the system and convince an adequate majority of the group to change the rules.

  48. Paul’s message: It doesn’t matter which third party candidate you vote for, just don’t vote for the STATISTS.

    That would be somewhat inconsistent with sharing a stage with people whose uses for the Total State know no bounds.

    I think this just confirms the suspicion that Dr. Paul, whatever his many virtues, is at root a crank, whose number 1 issue is central banking.

    Now, I bow to no one in my belief that commerce, and therefor banking and the money supply, is the most important global issue, but I just can’t believe that, of all the manifest problems and abuses of our government, the very first and most important one we need to address is the Federal Reserve system.

  49. Readers should be aware that Dana Milbank is an enrolled member of Skull & Bones and is thus forsworn from any allegiance to any state, alliance of states, or the States united. The fraternal nature of Skull & Bones descends from a German group with a name that translates as “The Brotherhood of Death,” and the secretive society has a special number.

    That is 322 or ’32, number 2,’ which refers to the founding of Skull & Bones in 1832 by two wealthy New England men who had spent a year abroad in their studies. They came back to Yale infused with a special affection for the Brotherhood and infected both Yale and our country with its murderous and villainous dogma. That the S.S. in Hitlerian times used the Totenkopf or Death’s Head symbol for their own identifier tells us volumes about The Order of Skull & Bones, whose members are wholly obsessed with time and with death.

    Bonesmen give each other grandfather clocks as gifts as special times, and the clock itself is usually set at 12:40 upon presentation.

    What that means, exactly, is still mysterious.

    Whatever D. Milbank does in journalism, he is always advancing the vile agenda of Bonesmen.

    And yes, for fifty years or more, Bonesmen held the skull of Apache war chief Geronimo as a prize from one of their grave-robbing stints.

    Prescott S. Bush was the fellow who helped rob that fearless Apache leader’s burial site.

  50. Show of hands, please? Is Mr. Green’s post intended to be humorous, or does it only come off that way?

  51. I’m beginning to think that I need to avoid the comments section of any thread that mentions Ron Paul. Curse you Google News Search!

  52. “It’s called voting with your feet. The States ratified the constitution, and by staying put, all people who remained in said State tacitly agreed with the ratification.”

    That’s a load of horse shit. The government didn’t grant my citizenship. It recognized it. If the social contract is not valid (and it isn’t) then I can’t escape anyway without being forced to deal with another illegitimate government in the place I move to.

    I have as much right to live where I was born as the “Love it or leave it” types.

    Imagine you have three people on a desert island, and they are fishing to survive. If two of them decide to beat up the third and take all his fish, is that okay?” “What if they vote and the two vote in favour of taking his fish?” “Okay. What if they are ten on the island, and they decide that one guy should give up his fish to feed some other guys, and if he doesn’t they’ll beat him up?” “Okay. What if they are a hundred?” “What if they are a thousand people on the island? Is it okay now to beat some of them up and take their fish? Is it morally right?” “What if they are a million?” “Well, that’s what the state does today with millions of people. Just because there are more people around does not make it right to steal and jail people for refusing to follow the state’s laws.

  53. “The fact that we don’t reaffirm our constitution on some arbitrary time cycle means nothing. Like it or not, if you are born into a group, you become a member of that group by default, and the Constitution is certainly not automatically invalidated for each successive generation.”

    I wasn’t just born into a group. I was forced to go through twelve years of government indoctrination schools, with the preacher telling me to “render unto Caesar” on Sundays.
    Chances are you went through a similar process and it has colored your thinking.

    The problem with the love it or leave it argument is that it assumes precisely what it must prove, I.E. that the state legitimately owns or controls the entire territory (and all that is within it, including the people themselves) to begin with. This places a massive burden of proof on the statist.

    There are only two basic options: (1) one can aknowledge self-ownership and that your home or land is yours, and hence you should be able to disassociate from the government while still keeping your home or (2) dive head first into the absurdity of demonstrating that the government homesteaded or voluntarily exchanged for the entire territory, despite the fact that such a land monopoly is based on a combination of land theft, blatantly long-term absentee ownership (even by Rothbardian property standards) and barriers to entry to what truly is unused/unowned land.

    Also, the love it or leave it argument is disingenous in that you are not truly being given a meaningful option between staying and going off to live without a state, since what we are really talking about here is the “choice” between different states (territorial monopolies); which still once again assumes the legitimacy of these other territorial monopolies. The love it or leave it argument does nothing to establish legitimacy, it merely assumes it. Hence, the whole thing begs the fundamental questions of legitimacy.

  54. Let’s be honest for a second. If you had to sign a contract saying that you approve of everything the United States government does, and pledge to give up to half your income to it, would you do it? Especially if you had local alternatives? Probably not!

    You probably only vote or participate in politics because you believe things can be changed. But that’s what everyone thinks, even your opponents. Can you imagine how much time and resources are wasted in political activism and election campaigns? All of it based on protecting a fraud.

    What contract binds you to obey and finance the War on Drugs, gun control, the welfare state, the EPA, the FDA, public schools, or taxation itself? What contract have you signed that requires you to surrender up to half your income every year in exchange for these things? None.

    And it won’t work to simply say that “you live here, therefore you consent.” You do not fall under a legal contract just because you’re in one place or another. That’s simply not how contracts are made. Also, being somewhere definitely does not mean you agree with whatever happens in that place. If you go to a man’s home, and you see him beating his wife, you wouldn’t feel less scandalized if he told you “you came here, so you consent to everything I do.” That’s nonsense! Finally, the argument assumes that the government owns all the land. If that’s true, then there’s no freedom at all, and we might as well live in a Communist country.

  55. If I was being robbed in the middle of a park I normally go to, should I not go to that park again, or should the robber not have assaulted me?

  56. Richard C. Green I’m actually glad to know that Dana Milbank of The Washington Post was in skull in bones. This makes it fairly easy to understand why he would make light of the 3rd parties while not even mentioning the topic of the press conference….attacking the CPD and the two tightly controlled way that issues are presented to the public.

  57. “invite dennis kucinich and reverend wright and have michael moore film it all.”

    They are all more libertarian than the status quo.

  58. From Rothbard’s The Ethics of liberty:

    the State is a coercive criminal organization that subsists by a regularized large-scale system of taxation-theft, and which gets away with it by engineering the support of the majority (not, again, of everyone) through securing an alliance with a group of opinion-moulding intellectuals whom it rewards with a share in its power and pelf. But there is another vital aspect of the State that needs to be considered. There is one critical argument for the State that now comes into view: namely, the implicit argument that the State apparatus really and properly owns the territorial area over which it claims jurisdiction. The State, in short, arrogates to itself a monopoly of force, of ultimate decision-making power, over a given territorial area-larger or smaller depending on historical conditions, and on how much it has been able to wrest from other States. If the State may be said to properly own its territory, then it is proper for it to make rules for anyone who presumes to live in that area. It can legitimately seize or control private property because there is no private property in its area, because it really owns the entire land surface. So long as the State permits its subjects to leave its territory, then, it can be said to act as does any other owner who sets down rules for people living on his property. (This seems to be the only justification for the crude slogan, “America, love it or leave it!,” as well as the enormous emphasis generally placed on an individual’s right to emigrate from a country.)

    Have I made my point yet? I could go on and on about how contracts, social or otherwise, are not valid unless all parties bound by them consent to them, how coercion renders them invalid, how how government schools and truancy laws are a form of coercion and how minors can’t legally make binding agreements anyway.

  59. I agree that Barr missed a great opportunity and tarnished his own reputation.

    An earlier poster in this thread was dead-on: the point of the gathering was to show support of and dedication to the ideas agreed upon, including Paul’s 4 specific points, and the general notion that our electoral process should be more open and inclusive. It was therefore necessary that the participants come from all points in a wide ideological spectrum. There was no shame in sharing the stage with the candidate of a “small-fry” party, or a communist, or even a hard-line fascist. There was no need to repudiate one’s own beliefs or party. The message that would have been sent loudly, were all invitees in attendance, would have been this: “We may all disagree with each other, but under the skin, we are all Americans and we want what is best for our country, including our points of agreement.”

    Refusing to participate because of not wanting to share a stage with one person or another strikes at the heart of the whole event, which is to demonstrate that the worst of enemies can pull together when the ideas are correct and the cause is just. Barr has said often enough that the liberty movement owes a great debt to Dr. Paul. Barr must acknowledge that Paul has been the de facto “leader” of the movement, as indicated, for example, by the latter’s aggregate vote count and amazing fundraising performance during the primary election season. So why couldn’t Barr let Paul be the lead statesman on this occasion? Why did he instead hold a separate press conference, publicizing his offer to Paul? From here, it appears as if Barr was trying to mark his territory and establish dominance, spoiling Ron Paul’s “statesman moment” and alienating many. If those were not his aims, then he has a lot of explaining to do.

  60. Sigh. If only they’d chosen Dr. Ruwart. Then all we’d have to deal with is the child-porn accusation/distortion, instead of all this. Even Ruwart as VP might have had a sanity-inducing effect on Barr, just as Root appears to egg him on. Oh well.

  61. Barr, who is former CIA, couldn’t have done more to divide and marginalize the movement if he tried. Barr is usually not this stupid, so it starts to look like an intentional derailing by someone who didn’t really convert from his earlier statism.

  62. All politicians mean to do good and state their intentions truthfully. Dishonesty is not possible unless you are a conspiracy theorist. Everything is a accident.

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