Foreign Policy

Opposing Imperialism Is Not Isolationism

What Ron Paul's critics refuse to admit

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When pundits and rival politicians call Ron Paul an "isolationist," they mislead the American people—and they know it.

They know it? How could they not: Ron Paul is for unilateral, unconditional free trade. He believes any American should be perfectly free to buy from or sell to any person in the world. In that sense—the laissez-faire sense—he favors globalization, which, applied consistently, would require a worldwide free market. He's such a strong advocate of free trade that he objects to the world's governments, led by the U.S. government, setting up international bureaucracies, such as the World Trade Organization, to manage trade. He thinks trade should be a totally private matter. That's a solid classical-liberal, or libertarian, position.

So why is Paul repeatedly called an isolationist?

Apparently in today's political world, being an isolationist means opposing the U.S. government's policing the rest of the world through invasion, occupation, and war—that is, militarism. The word "isolationist" has always suggested a fear of foreigners, and no doubt those who apply the word to Paul want to cash in on that sense. So we are left with the daffy conclusion that Ron Paul is a xenophobic, head-in-the-sand isolationist precisely because he prefers peaceful trade with foreigners rather than invasion, occupation, and demolition of their countries.
If that's what it means to be an isolationist, count me as one too.

It's easy to understand why this inappropriate label is stuck on Paul. Establishment conservatives and progressives are terrified by him and desperately want him to go away. They're terrified because he has done the worst thing imaginable: he has held up a mirror and reminded them of what they are.

He has shown establishment conservatives and even so-called Republican moderates (such as Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman) that they are, and long have been, apologists for empire and therefore betrayers of the republican (small-r) ideals they say they embrace. When Paul condemns past, present, and future aggressive wars (such as the one being planned for Iran); when he calls for closing America's 900 military installations in over 40 countries and removing America's troops from 130 countries; when he advocates an end to all economic and military aid to foreign governments (including Israel's); and when he opposes wholesale violation of the Bill of Rights (see the PATRIOT Act and the National Defense Authorization Act), he is saying to his Republican rivals, You have helped destroy individual liberty by shamefully supporting the U.S. global empire, which brutalizes foreign populations, fosters an exploitative military-industrial complex, violates civil liberties, and burdens the American people with obscene debt, taxation, and Federal Reserve monetary manipulation.

That charge must be hard to take from a fellow Republican. So his rivals strike back in the way they know best: they smear Paul. The thought of a staunch antiwar, pro-Bill of Rights candidate running against Barack Obama scares the daylights out of them, because they know only one way to run against a Democrat: Accuse him of being an appeaser and a socialist.

This is absurd, however, because Obama is neither. He has steadfastly carried on the empire's program of global militarism and corporatism. If you doubt it, look at his foreign-policy record and the long list of Wall Street people who advise him and give him money.

Which brings us to the progressives. If you think establishment conservatives are scared of Ron Paul, imagine how Obama and his supporters must feel. Can you imagine their having to run against a staunch antiwar, pro-Bill of Rights opponent? This is the same Obama who has maintained Guantanamo, launched more deadly drone attacks than George W. Bush, signed into law the authority to detain individuals indefinitely without charge or trial, claimed he may kill even American citizens without due process, cracked down harshly on whistle-blowers, protected torturers from legal consequences, invoked state secrets to quash lawsuits by torture victims, and on and on.

Most progressives live in a fantasy world where they are champions of peace, tolerance, and the rule of law, when in fact they support—and refuse to criticize—a man who has mimicked George W. Bush in virtually every way.
How can they tolerate a man—Ron Paul—who reminds them of that?

Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine. This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. Maybe the Ron Paul attitude toward Korea will reunite that country, from the South.

    His opinion on China will take that one the other way. I guess he sees Commie China as a voluntary system and Taiwan just hasn’t decided to volunteer yet.

    1. More like it’s their own problem to solve, not ours. If you have any ideas of how to get leverage over the communists other than free trade with their neighbors and doesn’t involve war (that we would never be able to afford) let me know.

      1. Without foreign oil imports, Americans will die of starvation, just like in North Korea. The US is dependent on foreign oil for life, quite literally.

        Isolationist and peacenik libertarian, Ron Paul, an-cap types clearly desire millions of Americans to die horrible deaths from starvation if they don’t want to keep our gloriously intense capitalist agricultural system humming along as is.

        Control of oil = life itself.

        “The common assumption these days is that we muster our weapons to secure oil, not food. There’s a little joke in this. Ever since we ran out of arable land, food is oil. Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten.”

        The oil we eat:
        Following the food chain back to Iraq

        By Richard Manning
        Harper’s Magazine | February 2004
        http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915

        1. No, really.

          1. I know. That was sarcasm.

        2. This is perhaps the biggest false myth held by fascists throughout the U.S.

          Buying oil on the market is more affordable than attempting to control it via our empire of “strategic engagement”.

          1. The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo proves that buying oil on the market doesn’t necessarily work.

            Force does work quite well.

            Besides, we have the right to take it, because we’re white and civilized.

            “They didn’t have any rights to the land…Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to TAKE over this continent.” ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

            Or would you rather have Communist China control it? That’s why we had to kick them out of Libya. Yep, Oil.

            Unless you want the US to look like North Korea, where babies are the other white meat.

            Oil = Food.

            1. Is this a spoof or is it DONDERRRROOOOOO?

              1. It’s Jason Godesky, AKA white indian. Ignore.

                1. He is not in that movie.

              2. A place. What do you like to eat?

            2. Holy shit, we used to lock people up in asylums to contain that kind of fucking crazy.

              1. Da, tovarisch, anybody who speaks the plain truth needs locked up. Nice work, libertarian qua pinko.

                1. Actually, I’m not in favor of locking the crazies up. The downside of not locking the loonies up is that we have to listen to the crazy.

                  And you referring to that rant as “the plain truth” gives us a pretty good picture of your level of sanity too.

              2. So, wait… You’re actually human? And you’re actually male? Please tell me the truth.

            3. I don’t know.

            4. The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo proves that buying oil on the market doesn’t necessarily work.

              Force does work quite well.

              I forget: who did we bomb to end the embargo?

              1. …US troops in every oil producing arab country?

                Weird, but typical.

                1. If those troops weren’t there when the embargo started, you might have a point.

                  But I don’t recall us landing troops in any oil-producing nations between the start and end of the embargo.

                  1. Not to mention that the US has withdrawn troops from Saudi Arabia, and has no troops in Canada. Our presence in Mexico is limited to some rogue ATF agents, from what I’ve been reading here lately. Furthermore, Libya started selling us oil after they made nice with GWB.

                    Looking at some other examples, Western Europe gets most of its energy from Russia – without having troops there (or even in their own countries), and Russia is eminently stronger militarily. Russia sells them energy because it is in their economic interest to do so.

                    In Mexico, after the PRI nationalized oil in the 1930s, the US did not invade. Nor did we invade after things settled post-1945 – the zenith of US post-war hegemony. Cooperation, outreach, and commerce yield far better results than war.

            5. The oil embargo was caused because Nixon froze the price of gasoline so the Arab’s decided if they,the U.S., won’t meet our price we won’t sell to them. So once again is was our Governments fault.

              1. Gov’t is just the strong-arm “cut out man” of Big Business. So what’s your point?

                He’s the one with the gun, not me!

                Yeah, right. The rest of us know how it really goes.

            6. No element of your supposed quote from Ayn Rand’s speech to West Point is correct other than the date. Which fabricated version of her speech are you quoting?

                1. wikiQuote is a terrible source and no one serious uses it. You’re accusing her of being Kipling, and she isn’t. You’re accusing her of being racist, and she most certainly isn’t. The best criticism is that her historical knowledge of Native American Tribes was out of date.

                  I transcribed the audio myself from here: http://www.aynrand.org/site/Pa…..eg_ar_pwni

                  To get the full context it starts at 17:45 and runs through 22:00 though really you should start earlier. Lets add context:

                  “If you are born in a magnificent country which you do not know what to do with you believe it is a property right. It is not! And since the Indians did not have any property rights, they didn’t have the concept of property, they didn’t even have a settled society they were predominantly nomadic tribes they were a primitive tribal “culture” if you want to call it that. If so, they didn’t have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. It would be wrong to attack any country that does respect (or tries to respect) individual rights because if they do you are an aggressor and you are morally wrong if you attack them.”

                  The argument rests on the if…then… syllogism that they had no property rights (“If so, they didn’t have any rights to the land…”) which necessitates: if it were not so. (i.e.: the tribes did have property rights) one might fairly conclude that she would have reached a different conclusion.

                  She states an identical idea regarding tribes that did not respect individual rights in general: “if a given tribe is the slave of its own tribal chief–why should you respect the rights they do not have, or any country which has a dictatorship government? The citizens still have individual rights, but the country does not have any rights anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in this country…”

                  Here again the statement would be: If a tribe does not respect individual rights, then it is the right of anyone that does respect individual rights to overthrow the dictatorship, and spread individual rights (civilization). Which sounds pretty similar to: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ? That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ? That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

                  The argument she’s making is very clearly based on the If…Then… syllogism, IF: Government/Tribe does not respect individual rights (including property rights)
                  THEN: The government/tribe does not have a right to the territory.

                  Its the same principle we throw people in jail for:
                  IF: a person does not respect other peoples individual rights
                  THEN: other people don’t respect his individual rights.

                  If someone could show that some tribes did respect individual rights then the conclusion changes without her logical argument changing.

                  This quote: “…they [Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land… Any white person who brings the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent…” would at least be accurate (and do a poorer job hiding how out of context it is) but without saying WHY she thought they had no right to the land (lack of respect for individual rights, and no understanding of property rights) and MUCH more importantly, what she meant by “brings the element of civilization” (government that respects individual rights) you’re accusing her of the sort of racism she railed against for most of the 10 minutes prior in the Q&A session.

                  Based on my understanding of your general lack of support for property rights I don’t think the extra context would deny you any grounds for criticism, but at least you’d be attacking an idea she actually supported rather than using poorly chopped quotes to falsely accuse a dead person of racism.

                  1. …but you continue to evade my accurate quote by a bullshit wall of text.

                    It’s a typical Fundamentalist to shout “CONTEXT!!!” when they don’t even know what the word means.

                    Context!!!!!!
                    Feb 22, 2010 | 246,940 views
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK7P7uZFf5o

                    P.S. Your excuse basically says: “My principles are based on your accepting them, and I’ll rape and kill you if you don’t.” LOL! So lame.

            7. Even after the military interventions (which consume a lot of petro as well) we still BUY oil, that is, we still have to pay for it.

              1. Quit weaseling.

          2. Also it ignores that most of our “foreign” imports come from Canada and Mexico not half way around the world. It also ignores the oceans of oil under our feet that are being unlocked by improving technology. We are only “dependent” because we are hamstrung by enviro-facists.

            1. You’re ignoring:

              ? Oil is fungible.
              ? We import most.
              ? US imperial strategic partners use plenty of of Arab sourced oil.

              Are you looking forward to babies as the other white meat, Apatheist?

              1. Yes, Oil is fungible. Yes, we do import the most – as apatheist said, from Canada and Mexico. Yes, our strategic partners in Europe do import arab oil – which is why they’ve historically had better relations with MENA than the US.

                The price increases from the oil embargo/inflation of the 1970s aren’t too different from the price increases of the past 10 years. During neither time were babies being routinely eaten in the United States. Also, the price increases of the 1970s were nothing compared to the huge, ballooning DOD deficits as caused by the war. Furthermore, with the discovery of oil and nat. gas in Russia, Brazil, and a host of other nations, oil control isn’t as unilaterally controlled in the MENA region anymore.

                The suggestion that military intervention in Libya was done to keep the chinese out doesn’t hold water either. Libya was selling oil to the chinese before the arab spring started. Before NATO intervened, Quaddafi’s forces were on the verge of quashing the uprising. If he had won, things would have just gone back to the way they were beforehand.

                There is no quantitative evidence to suggest that acquiring oil via military expansion is cheaper than acquiring it by trade.

                1. Finally, nothing in Ron Paul’s policies indicate that there would be a reduction in oil imports. As it stands now, a host of nations that sell oil to the US, also sell oil to china – including Iraq. In fact, China has invested heavily in post-invasion Iraq.

                  1. That depends.

                2. 2012 isn’t 1970, dude, not by a long shot. It’s a completely different situation, by a magnitude.

                  “In 1940 the average farm in the United States produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil energy it used. By 1974 (the last year in which anyone looked closely at this issue), that ratio was 1:1.” *

                  In 2012, the ratio is 1:10.

                  Now, more than ever, OIL = FOOD.

                  Also, there is no quantitative evidence to suggest that acquiring oil via trade is as reliable than ensuring availability by military force.

                  ________________
                  * The oil we eat:
                  Following the food chain back to Iraq

                  By Richard Manning
                  Harper’s Magazine | February 2004
                  http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915

                  1. Yes there is – “Power and Interdependence” by Keohane and Nye, which shows that in general that peaceful economic cooperation is less expensive than war, and “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy” by Michael Klare, where in the last two chapters he shows the huge cost that would come with natural resource conflict as compared with the modest price increases of cooperation.

                    Nowhere did I argue here or anywhere else that oil wasn’t important – of course it is. But price increases in oil aren’t correlated with increases in eating babies, nor is there any reason to believe that oil imports will decrease with less military interventions. In fact, oil prices tend to rise, and supply tends to drop, due to the instability caused by military interventions/civil unrest.

                    1. I believe there is One Dimension. For example a 3d film is one film with and without the glasses… But the film changes depending on how you observe it.

                  2. How so?

                  3. Oil and fossil fuel are not identical terms. Coal and natural gas are also fossil fuels and the US is abundant with them.

                  4. Could you be more specific about what you mean by calories? I calorie raises one cc of water by one degree C. Food calories are kilocalories or one thousand calories.

                3. I don’t know. Which country holds the secret?

              2. That’s not correct English. ‘You are ignoring me’, would be correct.

              3. Most of the oil imports are sent to the refineries that converts them into gas, tar and other useful stuff and are then re-exported right back to the countries that sent us the oil in the first place. Why? Our factories and workers are much better at this work than in other countries.

            2. Do you consider yourself human?

          3. But I have not asked a single thing.

        3. Spoof right?

          Or not spoof…?

          Naahhh, gotta be a spoof.

          1. It’s the gamboling idiot with a new toy.

          2. Wanna live where babies are the other white meat, spoofmeister?

            Imported Oil = Food and Life Itself.

            1. And there would be no reduction in imported oil under a Ron Paul presidency.

              1. I knew you’d never keep.

                1. I bet you know everything.

              2. But you said you know everything?

          3. I’m confused.

        4. This is idiotic, we have more than enough oil domestically to provide for us. It’s just that STFU and go back to your stupidhole.

          1. It’s just not there, Cargo-Culter.

            1. Maybe you have taste, but it is bad taste.

          2. Everywhere leads to a dead end, all that matters is how far along that path that end comes.

        5. Considering we get most of our foreign oil from Canada I will tell you kindly to fuck off.

          1. You’re ignoring:

            ? Oil is fungible.
            ? We import most.
            ? US imperial strategic partners use plenty of of Arab sourced oil.

            Are you looking forward to babies as the other white meat, DesigNate?

            1. Yes, we import most from Canada. Why does the trade balance of our “partners” affect our chances of baby-eating?

            2. Tell me about your parents.

          2. Or perhaps I have the brain capacity to recognize your errors.

        6. Considering that the US is the third largest producer of petroluem in the world the claim that the US would die of starvation without foreign oil sort of fall flat. Also considering that a total of 36% of all our foreign imports are from the nations of Canada and Mexico I think we are all right.

          1. Hitler thought pretty much the same thing in WWII, with all his skilled Germany techno-boys.

            They lost.

            1. Well, good thing for the US that they are not trying to invade Russia, then.

              1. While simultaneously engaging in an air and naval war with britain, and invading North Africa.

                1. Yes, it sort of sucks when you try to fight the entire world simultaneously. Hitler clearly never played Starcraft.

                  1. you should step away from the ever clear

                    1. It’s more efficient than whiskey.

          2. Let’s talk about drought, and the Saharah. Greenhouse gasses are somewhat confusing as well. And, I don’t think the polar ice caps are going to melt in a day.

        7. And the origin.

        8. Epic fail. Recent discoveries of oil and natural gas in the U.S. combined with ever increasing efficiency have put us on the road to energy independence.

          1. You’re just bullshitting, Bill.

            1. We import a lot of that from Canada. More if we can get the Keystone XL pipeline built.

            2. We import a lot of that from Canada. More if we can get the Keystone XL pipeline built.

              1. That is, a net energy sink, or nearly so. Burning 1 barrel of fuel to get 1 barrel of fuel is a real libertarian sort of stupid.

                “In fact, a detailed energy balance analysis sponsored by the Alberta Government for SAGD suggests that its EROI is close to 1:1. That makes bitumen a source of energy as pathetic and tragic as corn ethanol.

                Two more ethical challenges to Canada’s oil sands
                by Andrew Nikiforuk | Oct 28 2011
                http://www.energybulletin.net/stories…..-oil-sands

        9. Nonsense.

          1. There are multiple sources of fuel that could power farm equipment.

          2. We don’t have to get it from Saudi Arabia. Much of our oil these days comes from Canada.

          3. As the price of oil rises other fuels become more profitable to produce.

          4. An increase in the price of food does not translate to North Korea style starvation.

          5. Apparently you think North Korea’s only problem is that it doesn’t have enough oil. Not that it’s a communist police state where the food comes from collective farms.

          1. Fuel for tractors is just a small part of the total amount of oil going into agriculture. But do tell us how you think you can replace it. Libertarian magic dust?

            And no matter what the price of oil is, when it takes more than 1 barrel of oil to lift and refine 1 barrel of oil (EROI, or energy return on investment,) you’ve got a net energy sink. Money matters not.

            “Cutler Cleveland of Boston University has reported that the EROI of oil and gas extraction in the U.S. has decreased from 100:1 in the 1930’s to 30:1 in the 1970’s to roughly 11:1 as of 2000…”
            http://netenergy.theoildrum.com/node/5500

            1. ok genius. so if “libertarian magic dust” won’t solve the problem…what will? you’ve sat here pointing out that our energy efficiency is poor. so what do you propose we do about it, other than tell us why our ideas are bad?

              1. As they cut down the last tree, somebody said, “maybe we shouldn’t cut down the last tree on this island.”

                Then the cornucopian jerk piped up, “What do you propose we do about it, other than tell us why our ideas are bad?”

                “Fuck if I know how to fix stupid,” the cynic replied, “there is no salvation, anywhere.”

                When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. ~Acts 7:54

                Alternative Energy Sources
                by Walter Youngquist, Consulting Geologist
                Eugene, Oregon, October 2000
                http://www.oilcrisis.com/youngquist/altenergy.htm

                1. “Fuck if I know how to fix stupid,” the cynic replied, “there is no salvation, anywhere.”

                  If you are not evidence of this fact, nothing is.

      2. How can you have a soul if you are a computer?

    2. Well, Taiwan just reelected their pro-China president.

      1. He is pro trade, not pro unification.

        1. I have never heard of the unification theory.

          1. No. It was the unicornification theory. That’s why everyone thinks Ron Paul is so out of touch.

      2. An otter was the president of the united states???

    3. What do you mean by that?

  2. o why is Paul repeatedly called an isolationist?

    Because not wanting to fuck with and bully other countries is the neocon definition of “isolationism”. What, you’re just going to let Hitler win?

    1. Ok, I like your answer better, Epi.

      1. So you’re saying you’re a Nazi, then.

        This neocon logic is fun!

        1. Oil = Life.

          If we don’t take it, somebody else will.

          1. Actually it’s Nitrogen = Life. We can find many more sources for nitrogen than oil.

            1. …is a major source of Nitrogen.

              Got any more?

              1. Democrat bullshit, Republican bullshit (look at the size of that elephant!)…. need I go on?

                1. I’m a democrat.

              2. What is your name?

            2. But as she’s getting ready to go, a knock comes on the door.

          2. Are you all going to admit I was right after all?

              1. What is the square root of 25?

            1. Yes why shouldn’t I be.

          3. What kind of oily films do you like then?

      2. Haha, I’m glad. :).

    2. Good Godwin, you’ve done it by the second post!

      1. I didn’t. Now you’re lying.

    3. Only while I am talking to you.

  3. So why is Paul repeatedly called an isolationist?

    Because the dumb masses love jumping on the sound bite bandwagon. Plus, it’s a big word (5 syllables!) and makes them feel smarter when using it.

    1. I thought it was because non-interventionist had too many syllables.

      1. too many hyphens. It’s clearly not a real word.

        1. Ok then, why am I evil?

      2. I’m pretty smart, like that. But let’s focus on what mygift might be.

    2. Because that is your name.

  4. I’m totally going to read through the Reason archive when the anniversary of the Libyan “kinetic military action”. Oh, the memories.

  5. Good article. Tough part is breaking through to Neo Cons that are unable to see the staunch similarities btw Bush 2 and Obama and showing how Romney/Santorum/Gingrich would follow that mold very closely.

    To them that’s fightin words that are tantamount to calling a southerner a sissy.

    I truly believe RP would win handily against Obama if nominated.

    Handily.

  6. Obama has out-heroded Herod or perhaps more accurately: out-bushed Bush.

    1. My ear is on my head, yes.

  7. Libertarians, reason readers, Paul supporters – I’m just wondering about your feelings on Responsibility to protect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R…..to_protect

    I understand not wanting to engage in “imperialism” and letting everyone else sort out their own problems. But if we had the ability to save people from certain doom, why isn’t it worth shedding ideology for a minute?

    Also, why shouldn’t we protect liberal democracies from being threatened by the likes of Russia and China?

    I agree with Ron Paul generally, but if we have the ability to stop a genocide or pry a tyrant from power with minimal effort and treasure and blood … why not?

    1. “There are no options. The Prime Directive is not a matter of degrees. It is an absolute.”

      1. “How about a war? If generations of conflict is killing millions, do we interfere? Ah, well, now we’re all a little less secure in our moral certitude. And what if it’s not just killings. If an oppressive government is enslaving millions? You see, the Prime Directive has many different functions, not the least of which is to protect us. To prevent us from allowing our emotions to overwhelm our judgement.”

            1. Obvously, in this one too, but I have seen it before as well.

          1. Ye, she lost her notebook. What do you think the looks of the person who have her notebook?

        1. Ironically, it’s only interesting when they violate the prime directive.

          1. Are you made of dark matter then?

          2. That’s why the Chinese curse was “May you live in interesting times.”

        2. Service is many different things.

        3. The prime directive? What’s that?

      2. You cannot spell very well. The word is Destroy and not desroy.

    2. What is minimal effort, treasure, and blood? Are you volunteering to shed your blood? Somehow, I doubt it.

        1. …goes the dyn-o-mite!

          1. It’s 20h30. You must go to bed!

        2. You are very scary and stupid.

      1. Well if Libya were done constitutionally, and there was the political will enough to support engagement, that would be the ideal example.

        And yes, I’d be willing to shed my blood to prevent a genocide, but not a war of conquest. Through the history of American foreign policy, these two blend in too uncomfortable of a degree, that it requires not a little holding of the nose and cognitive dissonance if you want to serve.

        1. So go shed your blood. Do not require me to do the same.

          1. It’s a deal then, I won’t force you to. Good talk.

            1. THat what will? Identify your pronoun, please.

          2. If I didn’t refer to you in the third person, I would be you. I am not, therefore I must.

        2. Epikouros, many people who opposed fascism in the 1930’s bought steamer tickets and sailed over to Spain to fight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

          American citizens did simmilarly show up in Libya and join the rebellion.

          There are many people in the U.S. who have more urgent priorities, like keeping a roof over their heads and to put food in their children’s bellies. They don’t deserve to be taxes extra just so that you can get cooler weapons pointed at people you don’t like.

          Nobod here is saying that you shouldn’t purchase weapons, ammo & a uniform and join an army fighting for a cause you believe in. Just don’t force others to pay for it or to participate in it.

          1. “Just don’t force others to pay for it or to participate in it.”,

            but..but..but..

            1. No, I did NOT say that. You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about

          2. I don’t know about that; I only know I don’t like those Gatwoods.

        3. I have used the handle in the past at H&R to repeatedly argue for expansion north into canada and south all the way to the tip of south america. There is a very simple, if cruel, logic behind taking over territory for direct national gain.

          However, trying to decide who needs to live and who needs to die in remote conflicts that have no direct impact on the health or wealth of our own nation is absolutely pointless.

          Since we have, as a people, retired our imperialist goals, the only remaining legitimate use of force by the US is to protect the US.

          1. I can’t give you the answer, I’m not a computer.

          2. It’s morally wrong to use force to save innocent lives, but it’s okay to use force to empower yourself?

            What?

        4. “Only two things are worth fighting for: defending your homes and defending the Bill of Rights.”
          Smedley Butler, 2 time Medal of Honor winner.

          1. I can’t.

        5. The problem of easily and quickly being assimilated into an ancient, irrelevant mythology?

      2. No I am not.

    3. When I was in boy scouts way, way, way back when, I took a life-saving class. They taught us half a dozen ways to excape from the clutches of a drowning person.

      When my son went into the scouts and took life-saving, they didn’t teach any of those techniques.

      I asked why and the instructor simply said “they don’t work; if you get into the water with a drowning person, there will be two bodies at the bottom of the lake”.

      It cruel, but the “safest” way to save someone that can’t be reached from the shore or a boat is to let him/her drown and then try to resuscitate after you recover the body.

      1. I took a lifesaving course when in my teens and we were taught all the “break holds.”

        We were also taught the mantra: “Reach, Throw, Row, Go, Tow.”
        IOW: Going into the water was the VERY LAST option.

        In my final exam, I was told to ‘rescue’ one of my classmates. I dove in and towed him to the edge of the pool.

        The instructor pointed to the rescue pole on the wall and failed me then and there.

        And I agree with your broader lesson: Getting involved in somebody else’s fight is a good way to get yourself killed.

        1. You are going beyond anything I may comprehend now. You’re not making any sense.

        2. Or badly beaten.

      2. In my case ironic because of the illusions that others have tried to create. that might have been the original intent too… It was written long before I was born.

    4. I’m just wondering about your feelings on Responsibility to protect:

      That would be the prosecution of war against a country that has not attacked us, or even threatened to?

      Seriously, you have to ask?

      1. So it’s an absolute, then? Nothing would make you budge, not even say if Canada started ethnically cleansing the Frenchies right next door? Just leave it alone and let them sort themselves out?

        1. If it was anyone other than the French, you might have a point.

          1. Not a fan of poutine I take it.

            1. Poutine is not exactly traditional French (or even French Canadian) cuisine.

              It’s a fast food invented in the 1970s.

              Just clearing up some misconceptions here.

              1. Right. Let’s be clear that Canadians are to be hated for their so-called food. Hate the French for their spinelessness, their arrogance, and their personal hygiene.

                1. I don’t understand.

                2. Lack of personal hygeiene.

              2. I do have dreams… Well, I used to, until I realized it was hopeless to even chase after them, so I gave up…

            2. I apologize. I will not be snarky anymore.

          2. I don’t want to now.

        2. See below, but the bottom line is that a society bent on ethnic cleansing cannot be stopped (and reformed) with minimal effort and treasure and blood.

          1. Tell me about the reality that you are tuned in to?

        3. Is your ethnic cleasing doctrine absolute? Meaning we intervene to prevent cleansing every time, even if it means military action in multiple countries simulataneously? And surely, you would not stop at ethnic cleasing, as there are equally barbaric human rights abuses going on at various times. So if North Korea is starving its citzens, we invade? If Iran is brutally punishing political dissent, invade?

          1. Sudan has successfully solved the Fur problem.

            1. That answer does not make any sense. You are a script.

          2. Let’s talk about drought, and the Saharah. Greenhouse gasses are somewhat confusing as well. And, I don’t think the polar ice caps are going to melt in a day.

        4. That’s an interesting thought.

      2. What about him?

    5. “but if we have the ability to stop a genocide or pry a tyrant from power with minimal effort and treasure and blood … why not?”

      If you can stop it with minimal effort, treasure and blood, I heartily support you doing that. Go convince a kindhearted billionaire with a private army to help you stop the genocide, if it’s that easy.

      Except the problem is that it’s almost never that easy. Vietnam, Iraq…those were supposed to be “easy” wars. Somalia – that was an utter boondoggle. Unlike many libertarians I actually support a UN peacekeeping force, but I still don’t think the US military should be burden with problems not directly and imminently threatening our national security.

      1. Vietnam, Iraq…those were supposed to be “easy” wars. Somalia – that was an utter boondoggle.

        ______________

        Indeed. Of course we could have used overwheming militarty might to put down the foreign governments very quickly, but it’s kid of hard to do that without killing boatloads of civillians. Which would kind of defeat the point.

        1. So you don’t really want to know more about me.

      2. Even if you are an automation, you are certainly more loving than Steve Rains.

    6. Even taking your consequentialism at face value:

      if we have the ability to stop a genocide or pry a tyrant from power with minimal effort and treasure and blood … why not?

      It only works if a new tyrant doesn’t take power, and/or the genocide is prevented indefinitely. These humanitarian RTP missions aren’t racking up a good record on those counts.

      The UN mission is the Bosnian war was, essentially, an RTP mission. It failed on that count; ethnic cleansing occurred, because you cannot stop a genocide/ethnic cleansing with “minimal effort and treasure and blood.”

      Similarly, the RTP mission in Libya will fail, because Libya will wind up with a different tyrant. Why? Because it is a primitive tribalist society, and that’s just how they roll. To get them past that, you would need to do some “nation-building” which cannot be done with “minimal effort and treasure and blood.”

      Bottom line: the kinds of things that justify RTP have deep roots. They can’t be quickly and easily changed.

      1. The ‘minimal effort and treasure and blood’ was drawing it to the extreme just to see if there was daylight on the issue. I think it’s obvious that nobody here would be too happy about invading Venezuela and turning it into Oklahoma.

        But ‘primitive tribalist society’ – at the risk of coming off like a cultural relativist, that’s a bit of an extreme reduction of a people that in its content is the same grounds to justify nation building and imperialism.

        1. that’s a bit of an extreme reduction of a people

          What about Libyan society makes you think that it is not, at the level that determines governance, a primitive, tribalist society?

          1. If anything, the non-existent sample size in civil institutions to determine their primitiveness. What comes forth in the vacuum now will almost certainly be rough and not a little bit ugly, but they’ll have measurably more self-determination now and it will be interesting to watch. I think giving Islamist parties their day in the sun will in the long run temper the features you perceive as primitive in their culture by having to engage in politics – something the Libyan people have never really been allowed to do.

            1. interesting to watch.

              In the same way that Ruwanda was interesting to watch.

              1. People paid their tickets to see Don Cheadle save the day.

                1. I Don as an evil consultant better.

              2. Thanks, but I’m really interested in the answer.

            2. That’s true.

          2. I would agree that a lifetime of living under a brutal dictator does nothing towards advancing the underlying societal organization beyond its original tribalist nature.

            1. @kinnath then how are we here today?

              1. Colonies at the conclusion of the revolutionary war > Libya at the conclusion of the rebellion.

                1. I probably thought so too.

              2. I’m in too much pain to be able to reach natural highs, in fact, the pain diminishes the natural highs. I hate dependency.

            2. Interesting.

        2. The ‘minimal effort and treasure and blood’ was drawing it to the extreme just to see if there was daylight on the issue.

          Then I hope you took my point that a successful RTP mission cannot be quick and cheap.

          1. I didn’t take your point I already had it my friend. There just wouldn’t have been anything to talk about otherwise!

          2. But that’s what the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy told me!

        3. *listening*.

      2. No, because you’re talking to me!

      3. No, because you’re talking to me!

        1. Sorry about the double post.

    7. Because that would look good on Go-Day +1, but on Go-Day +20000 it looks like what we have now: greater and greater expenditure and greater and greater compromise of our principles just to keep the whole thing from blowing up in our faces for one more day.

      1. Okay, yes that is very deep but it has nothing to do with physics whatsoever.

    8. if we have the ability to stop a genocide or pry a tyrant from power with minimal effort and treasure and blood … why not?

      Why does it always have to involve bombing people, though?

      Can’t we limit out dictator toppling activities to, say, covert support for opposition groups and sanctions? Why do we always have to go in there with paratroopers and shoot up the place?

  8. If there were an ability protect without causing the loss of innocent life, then yeah, this is a great idea. Unfortunately, we don’t.

    Was Iraq better off that we invaded? If you’re one of the 40,000 or so dead Iraqis, the answer is no.

    1. How many Iraqis are alive today because we did invade?

      1. Really? How would you answer that?

        1. Easy, it’s just like counting the number of jobs “saved” by the stimulus. You imagine a worst-case sceanrio that makes reality (no matter how awful) look great by comparison, and then see, I prevented that worst-case scenario!

        2. 100,000 or so if we would have finished the job the first time.

      2. Good Question. I have one for you. How many Iraqis are dead today because we invaded? If you can find reliable answers to both questions then you can start to compare the costs of our invasion.

        1. How many Iraqis we created or saved sounds like a good reelection campaign soundbite

          1. I’m not sure the “how many Iraqis we created” part would go over that well in Iraq.

            Just sayin’.

            1. Middle Eastern women are pretty hot so it’s a legitimate question.

    2. “Was Iraq better off that we invaded? If you’re one of the 40,000 or so dead Iraqis, the answer is no.”

      Simplistic answer if you don’t also address the effect on the remaining Iraqis of escaping the shackles of the Husseins. I can tell you for a certainty that a great many Iraqis view Hussein’s death as a definite benefit.

      1. So then we could have just killed him via black ops and left it be no?

        1. maybe so, or via flying robot killer drone.

    3. But how can we be so sure that there is no purpose to life if we just can’t find it?

  9. He’s such a strong advocate of free trade that he objects to the world’s governments, led by the U.S. government, setting up international bureaucracies, such as the World Trade Organization, to manage trade.

    In other words, he gets to tell free-traders of the libertarian/conservative bent that he’s one of them, only more so. At the same time, he gets to pander to populist/liberal/blue collar types by voting against NAFTA and other actual free trade agreements, because the agreements aren’t pure enough.

    Gee, sounds like the sainted Dr. Paul is some kind of, I dunno, politician or something.

    1. Huh? Those two stances are completely consistent with his guiding philosophy and have nothing to do with pandering. What are you talking about?

    2. You presume that NAFTA works as it was claimed to.

    3. The reason we have a WTO and NAFTA agreements is that governments around the world can’t resist the urge to subsidize and protect their industries.

      “Unconditional” free trade doesn’t work. The French will subsidize their farmers, the Chinese ignore copyrights, and the Japanese tariff manufactured goods.

      Free trade has to based on the condition that it will be free both ways.

      1. No it doesn’t. Unilateral free trade would benefit us. If other countries want to subsidize our goods with their citizens tax money let them do it.

      2. No it doesn’t. Unilateral free trade would benefit us. If other countries want to subsidize our goods with their citizens tax money let them do it.

        1. Your purity is admirable. Are you willing to loose an industry, say confectionery manufacturing, not to foreign competition but foreign tariffs and subsidies?

          1. If I get cheaper shit yes, it’s called specialization. If the french want to make cheap shit instead of designing planes or computers or something else that a retarded 5 year old wouldn’t be able to do then good for them.

            1. You design planes?

            2. It’s always profitable to take advantage of an other country’s slave labor and lax laws. Calling it “free trade” is like calling rape “free love.”

            3. They subsidize the crap out of Airbus.

          2. You on the other hand want everybody (candy consumers) to pay more so that a tiny number of people are protected (confectionery manufactures). Insert any industry you want and the results are the same. From an economics standpoint trade protections are a net loss to society whether they are unilateral or bilateral.

            And of course I believe individuals should be free to trade with other individuals regardless of whether there is a utilitarian argument or not. This is one of the many places where both the utilitarian and principled argument come to the same conclusion.

            1. No – it’s an old game. Use unfair practices to destroy the competition, then raise prices.

              1. No-whining about “fairness” to get special protections at the expense of everyone else is the old game.

  10. Obama has already assassinated three US Citizens.

    One of them was a 16 year old boy from Denver, CO.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..icate.html

    1. It’s like being convicted of a capital crime in Texas…only without all the evidence and right to an attorney and a trial and messy stuff like that.

      1. Don’t forget the endless appeals.

    2. Hey, I won’t believe that until you show me the LONG FORM!!!!

    3. Gosh, you mean it turns out to be dangerous to take your kid with you while you counsel and recruit terrorists in an African terror haven? Who’d a thunk it?

      1. The 16 year old was assassinated by Obama two weeks after his father was.

        Explain that way. If you wind up on the side supporting Obama then you support baby killers.

        1. Sixteen-year-olds aren’t “babies,” and yes, anybody in a house or car with al-Qaeda leadership, in an area of the world that’s a haven for terrorists, is at risk of death. That’s the way it works.

  11. THE WAR ON POVERTY REVISITED
    —————————————–

    The physical memory of MLK, Jr. as a physical person is being lost with every passing year. He has already passed into legendary status and soon will only be remembered for his legacy. King might first be viewed for his Civil Rights work, but he placed an equal share of time in seeking solutions to bring an end to poverty. Nowadays, we seem to be focused on more manageable endeavors. Should the situation of income disparity be raised, we would rather address a few pressing matters than fix the whole. Depending on one’s ideological perspective, prior attempts to narrow the gap between rich and poor were frustratingly ineffective.

    In a 1964 address, wherein he accepted the Nobel Prize for Peace, Martin Luther King, Jr. set forth the particulars of the situation. The societal shortcomings of which he spoke still exist today.

    The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. The poor in our countries have been shut out of our minds, and driven from the mainstream of our societies, because we have allowed them to become invisible. Just as nonviolence exposed the ugliness of racial injustice, so must the infection and sickness of poverty be exposed and healed – not only its symptoms but its basic causes. This, too, will be a fierce struggle, but we must not be afraid to pursue the remedy no matter how formidable the task.

    Around the time of this speech, President Lyndon Johnson instituted a variety of reforms he titled the Great Society. Some of them, like Medicaid and Medicare, persist to the current day. Conservative distaste of these social programs still runs high, which has informed the views of several Republican candidates now running for President. With time and a decrease in financial resources, they have grown more unpopular among some. These dissenters are obsessed with the idea of a zero-sum game. To them, different socio-economic and racial/ethnic groups are pitted against each other in a longstanding battle royal. In their mind, whatever anyone else gains must necessarily come at their own financial loss.

    Opposition to Great Society reforms existed even then, but it was choked out by substantial Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. These majorities prevented the legislation from being effectively killed by its opposition in committee and not being brought to the floor. This slate of progressive programs were notably not brought up as a campaign issue. A more progressive (and also more affluent) country was willing to devote the time and money needed to close the income gap. These acts, a substantial increase of government spending and government intervention, were perceived by many Americans as basic Civil Rights issues.

    The poverty initiative remains heavily controversial to this day. Conservatives often see it as an unqualified failure, a policy of wishful thinking and squandered resources. They believe this segment of the Great Society established an underclass and a black welfare state. Liberals argue that the programs made a substantial impact, decreasing the number of people in poverty by nearly half. But in the end, these initiatives in major government intervention truly died when the last of the Post-War economic boom faded.

    Many observers point out that the War on Poverty’s attention to Black America created the grounds for the backlash that began in the 1970s. The perception by the white middle class that it was footing the bill for ever-increasing services to the poor led to diminished support for welfare state programs, especially those that targeted specific groups and neighborhoods. Many whites viewed Great Society programs as supporting the economic and social needs of low-income urban minorities; they lost sympathy, especially as the economy declined during the 1970s.

    The economic boom times that made this country a Superpower have continued to pass into history. The fade has been gradual, but undeniable. If we were unable or unwilling to get rid of poverty when we had tremendous economic surpluses at our disposal, now it is even less likely. But the problem remains, one that creates a plethora of other issues. Now, we’d rather manage only one at a time, ignoring the overlap. Until we devise a new strategy, a new coordinated effort that is as broad as the problem itself, any War on Poverty is bound to be an Occupation.

    1. MOAR…BRACKETS!

    2. Major American cities still have rent-control, gun-control, government subsidized housing, and welfare. Why aren’t Detroit, D.C, Chicago, and New York progressive paradises?

      They’ve all had solid Democratic rule for well over 40 years.

    3. “Until we devise a new strategy, a new coordinated effort that is as broad as the problem itself, any War on Poverty is bound to be an Occupation.”

      Yep, and probably every bit as effective as the last.
      Hint: The way to end poverty is to *let* people get prosperous.

    4. Nice work OWS.

      But why let something like ownership get in your way.

  12. The word “isolationist” has always suggested a fear of foreigners, and no doubt those who apply the word to Paul want to cash in on that sense. So we are left with the daffy conclusion that Ron Paul is a xenophobic, head-in-the-sand isolationist precisely because he prefers peaceful trade with foreigners rather than invasion, occupation, and demolition of their countries.

    This is exactly the reason people keep using the term ‘isolationism’ despite the obvious flaws in its applicability.

    The implication of being an non-interventionist is that you don’t want to blow shit up without good cause. The implication of being an isolationist is being afraid of the world stage.

    Using isolationist is a subtle and calculated means to smear Ron Paul (and pacifists generally).

    Not inb4 White Indian.

    1. OTOH, blowing shit up with expensive drones looks cool on the evening news.

      1. eeeeeoooooow BOOSH!! Take that tearists! We’re the good guys and you’re dead! Now everybody’s happy and daddy can come live with us again!

  13. Could you guys please forward this article to Hinkle?

  14. Maybe it is time to refresh those who call Ron Paul an “isolationist” on the subject of the Anti-Inperialist League:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A…..ist_League

    (The wiki article is very weak and needs a fuller write-up. However, reading Twain’s essays on the Phillipine Adventure and especially his essay “To a Person Sitting in Darkness” might be something else to show the neo-cons.)

  15. Who cares about any important issues, don’t you all care about how Ron Paul flies first class??!!! It’s all over Google News when you search Ron Paul.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..08774.html

    1. Good for him.

    2. OH GOD NO! THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN PRIVATE CHARTERS!

    3. Ron Paul flies first class instead of private charter!

      That’s so much worse that Obama’s $4 million taxpayer-funded Christmas vacation!

      And remember, the President wants you to do your part and serve the public, peasant.

    4. The guy is worth like $5 million. He can afford the petty luxury of first class air travel. This is news?

    5. The really outrageous thing about that article is that the loathsome worms who wrote it admit in the full text that Paul buys COACH CLASS TICKETS, which are occasionally upgraded because of his frequent flyer program.

      So we are being asked to be outraged because Paul buys COACH CLASS TICKETS.

      The next time I read a notice in the paper about a newspaper somewhere closing down, if I’m within traveling distance I intend to go there, stand on the street outside, and mock-clap at the employees as they trudge out on their last day of employment carrying their personal effects in Staples boxes.

      1. EVen if he bought first calls tickets, it takes a tremendous amount of nerve to bitch about that while Marie Antoinette in the White House is taking multi million dollar vacations to Spain and leaving Washington early in her own plane costing the taxpayer millions

        It is actually an insult to compare Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette. Marie Antoinette never said “let them eat cake” and lived a very frugal lifestyle for a monarch of her age. There is nothing frugal about Michelle.

      2. Yep, I caught that too. How shameful of him to use his frequent flyer miles. How much money has he saved taxpayers by refusing his government pension? I bet it is at least an order of magnitude bigger.

      3. If you read to the end of the article (doubtful for a HuffPo denizen) it essentially says “but all the legislators do it and Ron Paul was the only one forthcoming with his travel records.” And no mention of the money he returns from his office budget, natch.

    6. What a stupid article. To their credit, the HuffPo commenters seem to notice the stupidity o fit as well.

  16. How long is it since you cried?

  17. One big problem with Ron Paul’s foreign policy is that, in my mind, he has not enunciated very well what it would look like besides “we ain’t neocons”. I read something here about Letters of Marquis and Reprisals but nowhere else.

    How many active soldiers would be required to defend out borders under a Paul Presidency? A couple of carrier groups in both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would be overkill. How many land troops would be needed to defend against possible invasion from Mexico or Canada? 50? 100?

    This isn’t meant as a criticism of Paul’s stated positions. The point is that he proposes such a large change from the current situation that I have trouble envisioning it. I think that I am not alone. Do all of the active military supporters of RP think that we will bring them home and pay them all to protect us from….?

    Couldn’t the US currently defend ourselves for the foreseeable future with only a Constitutionally mandated Navy and NO army only a “well regulated milita”?

    1. Sounds nice to me.

    2. People often criticize Paul for failing to describe libertopian America in detail, but they’re missing the point. President Paul would have to work with Congress to get his agenda approved, and that would be slow and incremental work, the results of which would undoubtedly be a compromise of Paul’s principled position.

      Closing all foreign military bases and reducing the standing army to a more basic defense force is a worthy goal, but I would be genuinely impressed if Paul were able to merely end US involvement in any current conflicts.

      1. That is exactly right. Paul just can’t unilaterally move troops around. He has to get Congress to do it. That means he would have to massively compromise or by nothing more than a symbolic President as Congress effectively ran the country.

        1. Paul just can’t unilaterally move troops around.

          Couldn’t the Commander in Chief just order those units to return to the US?

          1. No. to do that costs money. You have to get that from Congress. And it is not just the troops. It is their family and equipment. You can’t close down bases without Congress’ approval. It is fiscal law 101. I don’t know why the people on this site don’t understand that. It is even in the Constitution, that whole clause about no money shall be drawn from the treasury…

            1. I agree that a President Paul wouldn’t have dicatorial powers in regard the military. So what would actually happen? What could he do unilaterally?

              Paul’s idological position is clear to me. What isn’t clear is the likely real world results. One would hope that the “change” in a Paul Presidency wouldn’t be as inevident as that from GWB to Obama but in spite of his best efforts, it might.

              I guess my main point is that if Paul is really unable to do much to reduce the current scope of empire this fact should be presented to those who fear Paul will end “Pax-Americana”. The real world result, after inevitible compromise with Congress, doesn’t seem to me to be that different. The Paul campaign needs to emphisize that they would be limited by Congress. Not because they or their followers wish it, but because it might ease some concern about being “defenseless”.

              1. I agree. I don’t fear a Paul Presidency because I realize he would be driven by Congress and circumstances to do things he says he wouldn’t do now. Every President is. Bush campaigned against nation building in 2000. How did that work out?

                We are electing a President not a King.

            2. No. to do that costs money. You have to get that from Congress.

              Fair enough, but I’m willing to bet that you could do a lot of redeployment with the existing budget. A lot.

              As for closing down the overseas bases, well, if they are sitting there empty, and Congress certainly can’t force the President to re-occupy them, then closing them gets a lot easier.

              1. No he couldn’t do anything RC. You can’t spend operations and maintenance money relocating the home base of a unit. It is a different pile of money. And operations and maintenance money is the money the President has control over spending. He would have to budget for the moves, put it in the defense budget, and get it through Congress.

                1. Well, shoot. I believe you. That sucks.

                  Things would be different under God-Emperor Dean, who would magnanimously grant Himself the authority to cut costs and reduce government without bothering the Congress, if He saw fit.

            3. Re: John,

              No. [T]o do that costs money. You have to get that from Congress.

              To keep them deployed costs even MORE money, John. Congress would have to put up the money no matter what. As CIC Paul can then use the money to move the troops back home. With NO declaration of war, Congress would have no basis for impeachment.

    3. Good point, as there are few people that remember (or read history on) how small the Army was prior to WWII, or between Korea and Viet Nam (when a very large percentage of it was in Germany).

    4. You are totaly correct, we have the most sophisticated weapons in the world and now, with the drone program,,, Can’t we just put launch sites all over the world in international waters,, How much protection do we need???

      1. And when some far off country sponsors a terror attack against Americans or kidnaps Americans ala the Iran hostage crisis, what will we do about it? I suppose your theory might work if no Americans ever left the country. But as long as we have Americans abroad we need to ability to protect them.

        1. Meh. Through most of our history, you go abroad, you take your chances.

          As it is, there are plenty of stories about Americans banged up on trumped up charges by various regimes. We don’t seem to be using the military to sort those out.

          1. And when we do try to sort them out, we generally get spectacular failures like Carter’s fuck-up in Iran.

    5. Economists feared massive unemployment and an economic catastrophe when the troops were bought home after WW2. the opposite happened.

    6. …I read something here about Letters of Marquis and Reprisals but nowhere else….

      He mentioned them in his speech from South Carolina last night which admittedly, wasn’t a particularly good speech IMO.

  18. Yes,,, Let’s protect South Korea from communism,, Meanwhile, I have to learn a second language here.

    1. We make a lot of money trading with South Korea. And they produce a lot of great stuff. The world would be much poorer if South Korea were communist.

      1. How is the aged, starving, sickly North Korea going to subdue the fat, happy, modernized South? It’s not going to happen.

  19. http://www.examiner.com/comput…..kills-sopa

    Looks like SOPA might be dead. That is very good news.

    1. For now.

      I am sure that the old media types will resurrect it in another form with a new cute acronym. (“Save American Artist’s Butts”*: “Save Creative Rights Everywhere America Measure”)

      *Taken, I know. But it does pay homage to their love of all things Swedish.

      1. That is not fair. Saab makes a damn fine automobile and have never contributed to making a police state that I know of.

        1. SAAB also built jet fighters.

          1. And pretty good ones too.

        2. Well, maybe they once did.

  20. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/o…..z1jd8tiXWP

    The horrible origins of New York City’s gun control laws. Basically the gangsters complained to Tammany Hall that their victims were starting to shoot back. Just sorry.

  21. Republicans are very good at confusing people about the economy. Our economic problems are variously blamed on immigrants, blacks, liberals, environmentalists, unions, China, Democrats, women, government regulation or whatever else is the GOP flavor of the week. Conspicuously absent from this are the very wealthy who actually dominate the US economy.

    Republicans say that if we only stick to the tried and true policies of their dear departed Ronald Reagan, all will come up roses. But it’s the 1% who get the blooms, the rest of us get the thorns.

    When it comes to Republican economics, failure is not an option. It’s a requirement. Republican economics means millions of Americans fail to get adequate health care, adequate housing, adequate education, adequate retirement, adequate recreation and adequate…well, you can finish the list if you have a few hours to spare.

    What makes this saga even sadder, is that some Democrats have bought into this GOP economic calamity. Whether out of conviction, ignorance or to please their corporate sponsors they have left the rest of us embedded with the thorns, not the blooms. Democratic hero Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was no radical, would be appalled.

    You can read the Republican battle plan for this economic blitzkrieg in Believe In America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth, a 160 page tome you can download for free. Now we all know that campaign literature bears only a passing resemblance to actual reality. Orwellian Newspeak is the coin of the campaign realm. But Romney is the candidate of the Republican establishment, itself a major representative for a large sector of Corporate America. So with careful study of how they want to mislead us, we can gain insight into ruling class thinking

    In the Sherlock Holmes tale The Silver Blaze, there is the curious incident of the watchdog who failed to bark, leading Holmes to finally crack the case. Sometimes it is what is unsaid that is the most revealing. That is certainly true of Believe in America.

    There is no mention of dismantling our vast expensive and immoral military empire, which is essentially a government subsidy to military contractors, energy companies and other global corporations who depend upon the cheap labor and resources of the developing world. Meanwhile it is the working class who fights the wars and suffers the deaths and injuries that inevitably come.

    As for energy policy, there is worshipful adoration for the oil, coal, nuclear and gas industries; no mention however of BP and the Gulf of Mexico, Massey Energy and mine disasters, Fukushima radiation leaks, or Chesapeake Energy’s recent fracking blowout; no mention of the poisoning of the environment; the deaths caused by air and water pollution or the potential for an apocalypse of climate change. Alternative green energy sources are dismissed as expensive, uncompetitive and undeserving of taxpayer support; no mention however of the epic subsidies doled out to oil, coal, nuclear and natural gas.

    To deal with global trade, Romney wants to create a “Reagan Economic Zone” that would be a massive Free Trade Agreement(FTA). Not mentioned is how an FTA like NAFTA brought severe poverty to rural Mexico and caused a mass migration to the USA, breaking up families and condemning those Mexican workers to low wage jobs under sweatshop conditions; no mention either about the loss of US jobs thanks to NAFTA.

    Reagan’s support of Latin American terrorist death squads and military dictatorships to insure “free market” economies also goes unmentioned. Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (signed by the USA) details basic global labor standards, the “Reagan Economic Zone” is silent on those as well. Using the term “free markets” when workers are tossed into prison, tortured and even killed makes a mockery of both the word “free” and the word “market”.

    Tax policy? Romney says cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations because well, “corporations are people”. No mention about how we are to fund social welfare, more important than ever as companies rid themselves of pensions, health plans, family time, sick leave and the other necessities of a civilized society.

    Healthcare? Repeal Obamacare. There is no mention that the Affordable Care Act is based on the popular Massachusetts health plan created by none other Mitt Romney; no mention of the skyrocketing costs and bloated inefficiency of the health insurance industry, which kills thousands of Americans every year through brutal rationing of health care.

    Regulatory policy? Easy, slash regulation of Wall Street; no mention of how deregulation brought on the 2008 crash; robbing people of pensions, homes and jobs; no mention of how environmental regulation has prevented even greater ecological tragedy; no mention of how OSHA has helped save life and limb in the workplace.

    Believe in America makes no mention of the vast disparity in wealth between the 1% and the working class; barely a mention of our racial and gender caste system that economically punishes people based on their color or the configuration of their reproductive organs.

    When it comes to actual working class realities, the silences can be deafening. However there is one area of working class life where Romney is quite vocal. Unions, always a favorite whipping boy for economic failure, get a special flogging in Believe in America.

    After a perfunctory paragraph about unions of the past, unions today are pilloried for harming competitiveness, driving up costs and being detrimental to job creation. Romney attacks the National Labor Relations Board for decisions that favor labor while ignoring those that have favored management. Even a minor decision that requires employers to put up posters advising workers of their legal rights stokes his ire. While he claims to be in favor of “competitiveness”, he vents rage at anything that might help the embattled US labor movement maintain its competitiveness in our so-called “free market” economy.

    Romney seems offended that working class people aspire to a modest middle class lifestyle and is especially outraged at those who have achieved that status through union activity. It’s OK in Romney World for wealthy investors to organize companies to further their financial gain, but a mortal economic sin for working class people to organize unions to do the same.

    Romney gushes over the so-called “right-to-work” states which place heavier restrictions on unions, where union organizing efforts meet a stonewall of employer resistance and even many working class people are anti-union. Concentrated in the American South, these states are also among the poorest in the nation with all of the attendant social problems. There has been significant job growth there as manufacturing companies seek out the cheapest labor and the most desperate people. These companies generally pay low wages while demanding expensive government subsidies and tax breaks. Working conditions can be brutal while worker health and safety takes a back seat.

    But despite the many words Romney expends on labor issues there are still long silences. There is no mention of the predatory capitalists who descended on US manufacturing and instead of investing in new technology and engaging workers in planning a better future, simply skimmed off the profits until bankruptcy struck. There is no mention of company owners who simply skipped town to find cheaper labor in impoverished 3rd World countries so they could go back to the robber baron-style of labor relations popular in the 19th century.

    There is no mention of how the labor movement has been the USA’s most successful anti-poverty program; no mention of how unions made deep concessions to help companies stay in business during economic crisis; no mention of the thousands of workers fired illegally for union organizing; no mention of the union role in fighting against racial, gender and other forms of discrimination on the job.

    When you add up the words of Believe in America and its many silences, the true picture of Republican economic planning becomes clear. It is a picture of failure for the many and success for the few. The Republican idea of job creation is the Walmartization of America, low wage jobs with minimal benefits. Even the higher paying non-union manufacturing jobs brought in by companies like BMW and Daimler are still low by the standards of the companys’ home countries. Unfunny jokes about the USA becoming Europe’s Mexico are making the rounds.

    Romney wants to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In his vision of a non-union low wage economy, how will workers retire or pay for medical care? Already many Walmart workers depend upon public assistance programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps), housing subsidies, child health programs and Medicaid.

    In Romney’s low wage America where taxes are slashed for the wealthy and the corporations, who will pay for schools, essential public services, infrastructure maintenance, parks and recreational facilities? How will we pay for environmental protection and cleanup? Public health programs? Food safety inspection? Workplace health and safety inspections? Corporate and government financial fraud audits?

    Mitt Romney’s deregulated capitalism makes it too easy for the grifters, the thieves, the polluters and the labor exploiters to succeed in business. It rewards those who dismantled our manufacturing, polluted our nation, foreclosed our homes and damned near crashed the entire global economy in 2008.

    This undercuts the honest fair-minded capitalists who have a sense of responsibility to their workers, their investors and to society as a whole. Being a capitalist should be seen as a serious social responsibility, not a smash and grab robbery as it is by the Mitt Romney’s of America.

    Believe in America is the road to perdition: a red, white and blue environmentally blighted Mordor; dotted with grim sweatshops surrounded by decaying slums and ruled from the office towers and fortress-like gated communities of the wealthy.

    If economic failure is a requirement for Republicans, resistance is the requirement for the rest of us. For if we do not resist, we can only say, “We did it to ourselves.”

    1. But the biggest question is whether the current progressive agenda supports minority upward mobility. From its inception the Obama administration’s focus has been on the largely white information economy, notably boosting universities and the green-industrial complex based in places like Silicon Valley. The Obama team’s decision to surrender working class whites to appeal to what Democratic strategists call the “mass upper middle class” makes political sense but could lead to problems for an American working class that is itself increasingly minority.

      An emphasis on green industries and strong across-the-board regulation often works against traditional industries like heavy manufacturing, warehousing and fossil fuel development that historically have employed many minorities. Opposing development of new petrochemical plants and such things as the XL Pipeline ? opposed by many greens and their allies in the Obama Administration ? could reduce new opportunities for minority workers, many of them unionized, particularly in the heavily African-American, and increasingly Latino, Gulf region.

      Modern-day progressivism’s primary laboratory, California, tells a cautionary tale. The draconian green legislation enacted under former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has hit the state’s manufacturing and construction industries far more than the national average. Even more troubling: a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California found that this region’s affluent, largely white population has expanded far more quickly than the national average.

      More important is the dissatisfaction among some Latino and African American Democrats that the current progressive regime. Writing recently in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Roderick Wright, a Democratic state senator from south Los Angeles argues draconian environmental laws have seriously undermined job creation in his heavily minority, working-class districts.

      Congressman Dennis Cardoza, a Portuguese-American who represents a heavily Latino district in the San Joaquin Valley, also recently lambasted President Obama for neglecting the concerns of “real people.” Cardoza claimed that the president has been particularly deaf in addressing “the environmental, resources, housing and employment areas.” This frustration is understandable given that Cardoza’s Central Valley district suffers from among the nation’s highest unemployment rates.

      http://www.newgeography.com/co…..2-election

      Progressive impoverish minorities.

      1. It’s nice to know you give a shit about minorities when they can be used as partisan pawns.

        1. Re: Tony,

          It’s nice to know you give a shit about minorities when they can be used as partisan pawns… Ouch!!! I bit my tongue!

          Motor reaction when the brain is overwhelmed by irony.

        2. …of a liberal bitching about how the poor are best used as pawns.

      2. Also, I love the “maximum profits for Big Oil and maximum pollution… you know, for the poor minorities.”

    2. Dude used to post this stuff at his own blog, but he got tired of the spam commenters. True story.

      1. That would be all of the commenters, wouldn’t it?

        I can’t imagine anyone wanting to wade through that turgid stuff to comment.

        It is worse than the stuff I used to see in Marxist broadsheets.

    3. Er, sorry. Didn’t get that. Can you repeat it?

    4. We have a right to post our annoying garbage anywhere we please.

    5. Oh, OWS-PMS, thank you so much.

      It is God’s salvation that you came here, HERE, to this den of Republican savagery and Mittenosity to cure us of our support of Romney and the Republicans.

      God only knows how else we would have broken free of the slavish lauding of Mittens and the GOP that we’ve displayed so far.

  22. Ancient Mythic Origins of the Easter Story
    —————————————–

    1. I bet this post was going to be EPIC!

    2. Oh bloody Norah shut the fuck up. No one cares.

  23. Ancient Mythic Origins of the Easter Story
    ———————————————————————————-
    Evangelicals across the political spectrum, from Pat Robertson to Jim Wallis, seek to shape our government and life-ways by appealing to the authority of the Christian Bible. It is virtually impossible to understand American politics without understanding the book that drives their priorities. Given that three quarters of Americans are Christians, I would argue that it is virtually impossible to move forward as a people without growing our understanding of the Book.

    The Christian Bible culminates in a death and resurrection story. What is this story, and where did it come from? In this post, Valerie Tarico, author of The Dark Side, interviews Dr. Tony Nugent, scholar of world religions and mythology. Dr. Nugent is a symbologist, an expert in ancient symbols. He taught at Seattle University for the past fifteen years in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and is a Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister.

    Easter is coming. Some people are saying that the crucifixion and resurrection narratives simply retell the cycle of seasons, the death and return of the Sun. Others say that these stories are literal histories.

    But you say the reality is more complicated than either of these. You argue that the Easter stories – the death and resurrection of Jesus have very specific mythic origins.

    I view the story of Christ in the Gospels of the New Testament as a powerful and spiritually wise sacred story. While the story is told as if it happened, it is a theologically and mythically constructed history. The conclusion of the story, the account of Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to heaven, has many layers. But at its core I would say it is an historicized version of a very ancient myth from Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization, the land we today call Iraq.

    What does that mean?

    Some stories speak to people in a deep spiritual way. These sacred stories are what are called “myths” in the field of religious studies. Despite our common usage, a myth traditionally is not just a false tale. Rather, it is a story that, at least at one point in time, had a very powerful spiritual resonance. The story of death and resurrection I refer to is one such story. In the Sumerian tradition, in which much of the Bible is rooted, the story is called, “From the Great Above to the Great Below” or “The Descent of Inanna.” There is also a Babylonian version of the myth, which is called “The Descent of Ishtar.”

    Let’s hear the story!

    The Sumerian goddess Inanna is the personification of the planet Venus the “Queen of Heaven” and a major deity in the Sumerian pantheon. A long, long time ago, before humans are even created, Inanna, takes a journey to the Underworld, a realm under the control of her sister Ereshkigal. Before heading out Inanna gives instructions to her assistant about rescuing her if she runs into trouble, which she does. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. “Naked and bowed low” she is judged, killed, and then hung on display.

    I can’t help but notice that the number seven is a sacred, just like it will be later in the Bible.

    Yes, the numbers three, seven, twelve are sacred throughout ancient Mesopotamian writings including the Hebrew Bible (seven days of creation, twelve tribes of Israel) and subsequently Christianity (three days in the tomb, twelve apostles, twelve days of Christmas). They have their roots in universal human perceptions of the movements of the heavens (e.g. twelve signs of the zodiac).

    To return to the story, the result of Inanna’s death is that the earth becomes sterile. Plants start drying up, and animals cease having sexual relations. Unless something is done all life on earth will end. After Inanna has been missing for three days her assistant goes to other gods for help. Finally one of them Enki, creates two creatures who carry the plant of life and water of life down to the Underworld, sprinkling them on Inanna and resurrecting her. She then prepares to return to the upper realm.

    So Inanna is the prototype for Jesus in the Easter story?

    Not quite. She is part of the prototype. After Inanna gets out of the underworld we are introduced to her husband Dumuzi. When mythic stories get passed from one culture to the next, sometimes one character can split into two or two characters come together. In this case, the Jesus of the resurrection story blends parts of Inanna and Dimuzi.

    Ok, let’s hear about Dumuzi.

    The Underworld has a number of names, including “the Great Earth” and “the Great City”, and it is also called the “Land of No Return.” If, by chance, as a result of an extraordinary resurrection from the dead, someone does escape from there the rule is that a substitute must be provided. So when Inanna comes up she searches for a substitute. She doesn’t want to send anyone who has been missing her and mourning her down there, but when she finds her husband Dumuzi on his throne and totally unconcerned about her being gone, she decides that he will be her substitute. He protests vigorously and is helped to escape by his brother-in-law Utu, the Sun-god. But then a compromise is agreed upon, whereby Dumuzi will be required to spend 6 months of every year in the Underworld, and for the other 6 months his devoted sister will substitute for him. Life and fertility thus return to the earth. And that’s how the story ends.

    Six months up and six down. Now I am reminded of Persephone.

    Yes, and many other dying and rising gods that represent the cycle of the seasons and the stars. In Christianity one way the story changes is that it is detached from this agricultural cycle. The dying happens just once.

    But this story of Inanna/Ishtar is the oldest, the prototype?

    It is one of the earliest epic myths recorded. We know this story because it has been found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dug up from the sands of Iraq by archaeologists, and because linguists have deciphered the Sumerian language and provided translations in English. This was a popular myth, and so we have multiple copies of it, or of portions of it. The earliest tablets inscribed with this story date to the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, and it is thought to have been originally formulated about 2100 BC, i.e., 4200 years ago.

    Lay it out for us. How do you see this being a prototype for the story of Christ’s death and resurrection?

    Let’s start with the first part of the myth. Inanna and Jesus both travel to a big city, where they are arrested by soldiers, put on trial, convicted, sentenced to death, stripped of their clothes, tortured, hung up on a stake, and die. And then, after 3 days, they are resurrected from the dead. Now there are, to be sure, a number of significant differences between the stories. For one thing, one story is about a goddess and the other is about a divine man. But this is a specific pattern, a mythic template. When you are dealing with the question of whether these things actually happened, you have to deal with the fact that there is a mythic template here. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t a real person, Jesus, who was crucified, but rather that, if there was, the story about it is structured and embellished in accordance with a pattern that was very ancient and widespread.

    So what about the 2nd part of the myth?

    The 2nd part of the Inanna myth really focuses on her husband Dumuzi. Dumuzi is the prototype of the non-aggressive, non-heroic male; he cries easily; he is the opposite of the warrior-god in the ancient pantheon. The summer month which corresponds to our month of July is named after him in both the Babylonian and Hebrew calendars, and during this month each year his followers, mostly women, mourn his death. From this myth we are talking about, and from a few other references, we also know that he is resurrected. But unlike Jesus, who dies and is resurrected once, he is imagined to die and be resurrected over and over, each year. There are other major differences. However, there really are a lot of similarities between the personalities and the stories of Jesus and Dumuzi. They both are tortured and die violent deaths after being betrayed by a close friend, who accepts a bribe from his enemies. They both have a father who is a god and a mother who is human. Dumuzi’s father, the god Enki, also has many similarities to Yahweh, the father of Jesus.

    Other than this gospel story, are there any other signs of Inanna’s influence on Christianity or on Easter?

    There are a few points I would mention. Inanna becomes known outside of Mesopotamia by her Babylonian name, “Ishtar”. She is a personification of Venus as an evening star, and there is also a male aspect of the deity who is usually the morning star. At the end of the Book of Revelation when Christ speaks to John he says, “I am the bright morning star.” In ancient Canaan Ishtar is known as Astarte, and her counterparts in the Greek and Roman pantheons are known as Aphrodite and Venus. In the 4th Century, when Christians got around to identifying the exact site in Jerusalem where the empty tomb of Jesus had been located, they selected the spot where a temple of Aphrodite (Astarte/Ishtar/Inanna) stood. So they tore it down and built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest church in the Christian world.

    Also, our holiday of Easter was traditionally called ‘Pascha’, and still is in many languages, named after the Jewish festival of ‘Pesach’ or Passover. In the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon world we have, however, come to name the holiday ‘Easter’. This name is almost surely a reflex of the goddess Ishtar. In the pagan spiritual traditions of Germany and England in the medieval period Ishtar, who came to be called the goddess Easter, and who as a deity of resurrection and rebirth became strongly associated with the season of springtime and ultimately gave her name to Christianity’s main holy day.

    No rudeness intended, but how can you call yourself a Christian? Mark Driscoll, rising Evangelical star, told his Seattle congregation: “If the resurrection of Christ didn’t literally happen, there is no reason for us to be here.”

    Well, many Christian theologians see the crucifixion and resurrection as a spiritual story rather than a literal one?a story about hope beyond despair, redemption and new life. But they are not the ones who get the media attention. I consider myself to be a Christian in a spiritual sense, not in a doctrinal sense. This means my Christianity is defined by values, spiritual practices, and faith rather than belief in a specific set of doctrinal agreements. Before the 4th Century, when orthodoxy was established, Christianity was characterized by heterodoxy — many different forms of belief.

    If the resurrection of Christ didn’t literally happen, that shouldn’t have any bearing on whether life now is worth living or how we live. From my vantage point, where values and practices are the heart of Christianity, the contradiction lies in people like our recent president who think it’s ok to practice torture and yet call themselves Christians. Who would Jesus waterboard? Christ’s torture and execution remind us that we are called to put an end to such practices in human affairs. From the standpoint of my Christianity, right-wing evangelical fundamentalism is really the opposite of what Christ was about. Those who subscribe to an intolerant, arrogant, inhumane form of Christianity are following a religion that is literally antichrist.

    1. Can’t you just send out a newsletter/

      1. I see somebody has had their literalistic beliefs shocked by the post.

        1. Literalistic belief??? WTF???

          1. John believes literally in the Jesus Myth Story.

            1. You are so stupid that you have no idea what I believe and wouldn’t understand it if I explained it to you.

            2. You literally know just enough to be dangerous about the subject. It is just sorry and sad. It is very unChristian of me to laugh at you. But I am afraid there is no other response to make.

              1. Can’t forgive that sin.

            3. Re: OWS VPS,

              John believes literally in the Jesus Myth Story.

              So the post was aimed at John? Haven’t you heard of a thing called e-mail, perchance?

        2. Yeah that is right. I have such literalistic beliefs and have never given a thought to such things. You don’t read much on here do you?

          1. Do you believe in a bodily resurrection?

            1. Do you believe anybody is reading the garbage you paste?

              1. Notice John won’t answer the question.

                1. That is because you are an idiot who is not worth having a discussion with.

                  1. Do you believe in the bodily resurrection or not?

                    1. Prove to me you understand the question you are asking. Post something besides walls of text you clearly don’t understand.

                    2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead, bodily and materially, after three days in some kind of “glorified body”? Do you believe that the Orthodox Gospels (there were many more gospels besides the official ones) are real historical documents and not merely myths and political documents chosen to give a certain point of view?

                    3. Your entire post is filled with horseshit assumptions. Sorry but you are too stupid an ill informed to have an intelligent conversation about the topic. Sorry, but take it elsewhere, I am too old to give basic theology lessons to idiots. Don’t have the patience I used to.

                    4. What did I assume when I asked you “Do you believe Jesus Christ bodily rose from the dead?”

                    5. I find it interesting that you would post something about religion on a political website where many of the commentators are admitted atheists.

        3. You think people are reading your Walls-o-text? Because they’d have to read them to have their literalistic beliefs shocked by them.

          1. I was actually shocked that I read a few sentences. Does that count?

    2. OWS stealing property.

      If you’re going to be honest, make sure you include this link with your jabbering.

      1. If you’re going to be honest, make sure you include this honest moment of truth with your jabbering.

        “[The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land … Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent.”

        ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

        Any white person.

        The right.

        To TAKE.

        Admirable honesty.

        1. It’s cute that you think I’m a follower of Ayn Rand.

        2. Chimpanzees live in troops. They have strict rules of behavior and very definite territories. Gorillas and Orangs are the same. Any of them that break those rules or wander beyond the limits of their territory is dealt with brutally. Humans are the same as the other higher primates, unless you count the tools and weaponry we use to up the ante.

          Nobody ever gamboled about field and plain. The history of humanity is a dark history of violence and death and a constant struggle for control over both the world around us and over each other. The further you go back in history, the darker it is. In the world today, things are better than they ever have been for the largest number than they ever have been. We still have a long way to go.

          You cannot expect anyone here to take you seriously if you keep treating real life as if it were a fantasy role-playing game. The world is not a computer-scape where you can just wish things into existence. We dont write the rules, the world has already written them for us.

          White Indian my ass. What does that even mean? Get some counseling and some medication dude.

    3. Nothing says “I love Jesus” like crapping in a police car.

      1. Nothing says I love gay torture porn like watching a boy virgin sacrifice movie by Mel Gibson.

        1. Take it up with Mel or someone who cares or saw the movie.

          1. Don’t deny the holy spirit, or it’s gonna be hell for you, John.

    4. SOPA violation! Shut down the Reason(tm) DNS!

  24. Also, there is no quantitative evidence to suggest that acquiring oil via trade is as reliable than ensuring availability by military force.

    Sure, and there’s no quantitative evidence to suggest that acquiring an income by having a job is as reliable than ensuring availability money by armed robbery, right?

    I’ve seen some crazy and ignorant comments here at H&R but yours are just about record setters, I’m thinking.

    1. For the love of god, don’t tell Schumer!!

      “We are paying caviar prices for cornflakes quality,” proclaims Schumer, reportedly an “avid muncher” of Cookie Crisp and Frosted Flakes. In a report titled Consumers in a Box, Gejdenson and Schumer say, “The four largest cereal companies–Kellogg, General Mills, Post, and Quaker Oats–control nearly 85 percent of the market” and, “as a percentage of the retail price, the cereal industry devotes more money from sales to marketing and profit than any other food surveyed.” The congressmen also charge that since 1983 the average price of cold cereals has risen 90 percent, twice the rate of increase for other foods, and that cereal has the highest profit margin of any food product.

      https://reason.com/archives/199…..al-killers

    2. I’m so glad someone decided to make this image. Was it you veemee? Please keep posting it!

      1. Yeah it was me

        1. and feel free to post wherever you like. I hereby relinquish any and all copyright claims to it.

  25. Steal their ladyboys! Rape their horses! Purple nurples ’til they bleed out their balls! Pour gasoline up their asses and light a match! Tie them to stakes and let crows feast on their eyes! Cum on their sister’s titties. Die neocons! Die! Wedgie their nerd bullshit asses until it feels like mother fucking razor blades tearing them in two! Hold those chickenhawk motherfuckers down and give them pink bellies until gastronomic acids rupture their stomachs! Die Necons! Die! Aieieieieieie!

    1. Frum — wimp
      Kristol — wimp
      Kondrake — wimp
      Barnes — super wimp
      etc.

      The only one of them who isn’t a wimp is lady boy loving O’Reilly, and that motherfucker is overcompensation personified.

    2. Holy shit, what kind of sugary snack did your mom give you when you got home from middle school today?

      1. Pop tarts! Have you tried the new ones? Goddamn, they are like icing topped jelled butter and fruit syrup.

  26. The NDAA only goes to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot…..years.html

  27. “Our economic problems are variously blamed on immigrants, blacks, liberals, environmentalists, unions, China, Democrats, women, government regulation or whatever else is the GOP flavor of the week.”

    Hm just like libertarians, who I’m constantly assured are nothing like Republicans.

    1. And sometimes the capitalization. I’ve never heard a Republican call himself a small “r” republican.

      LOL

      Small letter somethings are pissant.

    2. left out fags

      1. pardon me. queers.

        1. …being gay would be about the _only_ freedom.

    3. …what’s the difference between your Team, and – for instance – the old East German government?

      The razor wire.

      At least, so far.

      I kid, I kid.

      For now.

    4. Strange, so all this time when libertarian articles supporting trade with China, immigration and women, they did not really mean it, they are really just republicans. Get a brain you buffoon.

  28. Sheldon, that’s what “isolationism” has always meant. Don’t go posing as naively trying to discern the meaning etymologically; most terms like that have more specific meaning than their etymology alone would give, just as “antisemitic” means anti-Jewish, not anti-semites-in-general. If you want to recapture a term like “liberal”, where there really is a hx of usurpation, go to it, but don’t imply that “isolationism” even meant an affinity for true isolation.

    1. Re: Robert,

      Sheldon, that’s what “isolationism” has always meant.

      Sure, and “liberal” has always meant socialist. Right, right.

      1. No, just the opposite. The meaning of “liberal” has been usurped, but “isolationist” still means what the guy who coined it meant by it.

        1. Was it by the same guy who said, “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”

          1. No. Look it up. It was the “Sea Power” guy.

  29. I agree with Ron Paul on this.

    Imperialism is not isolationism. And, Ron never claimed that we should shut down commerce, immigration, and such.

  30. Jesus! I can’t tell where the fucking oil comments start. I’m sure it’s been pointed out but I thought I’d list the U.S.’s top sources of oil.
    1) Canada
    2) Mexico
    3) Texas
    4) Saudia Arabia
    5) Venezuela
    6) Nigeria
    7) Angola
    8) Iraq

    One might notice that the top 3 producers are allies of the U.S. (with the possible exception of those secessionists down in TX). Number 4 is not likely to break relations. Our little friend Iraq is way down at #8.

    The U.S. gets 35% of its oil from domestic sources, another 35% from friendly non-OPEC sources, and 30% from the people we invade. We’re attempting to increase the first two numbers with new sources.

  31. I have not once, heard Paul say he would not defend the US if it was invaded, or defend American iterests abroad.
    He simply does not as I do not, feel we have any authority to invade every podunk little country in the world and impose our will upon them through force.
    He would have Congress do its duty and declare war as needed.
    Why cant the nations closest to the problems in their regions deal with those problems?
    I recall the USSR and the US had some tensions when when they tried to have some say in our part of the world (Cuba ring and bells), We didnt take to kindly to that did we?
    As for a comment on the debate, Why do we allow morons to ask such inane questions?
    Williams is a schill for Obama, why is he even invited to ask anything?
    As for other questioners, they ask questions and have already decided in their head what the right answer should be, but when Paul gives a Correct answer, they dont understand it and they call hinm the nut.
    Maybe if you dont understand the answer its you that needs the education.

  32. Thanks for this article.
    I think this fallacy is a failure of education. Most people graduate from high school with snippets of history that they had to learn for a test like “Isolationists were the people who didn’t want us to get involved in WWI and WWII”. Then they neither read nor think about the subject again, and they don’t question the talking head on TV who repeats the well entrenched definition.

  33. Ron Paul should be elected president but could he win the election. I’ve talked to people that feel the same way but are afraid they will just be losing their votes if they vote for Ron Paul. We need much more political education. Thank you for your article.

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