John McCain

Ron Paul: Bankruptcy is Economic Stimulus

March 24th, 2009 12:07 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Big Government, congress, Economics, Election, Federal Reserve, John McCain, Liberty, Money, national debt, Obama, Politics, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

Leave it to Ron Paul to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and focus attention on what’s really important.  It’s clear that all the ruckus regarding the AIG bonuses is nothing more than a misdirection from the critical issues.  It reminds me of the debates last fall, when Obama and McCain argued over $18 million in earmarks when neither had a negative word to say about the $700 billion bailout bill being bandied about Congress.

So in today’s Texas Straight Talk, Ron Paul’s weekly column, he is right on target:

The distraction on Capitol Hill this week has to do with the jackpot bonuses that executives at AIG recently received. The argument is over a relative drop in the bucket. The total amount of bonuses given out was $165 million. The government has put $170 billion into AIG so far. Many now are demanding we get this money back. We ought to be spending our time and effort doing something more worthwhile, like figuring out how the Federal Reserve is handling the trillions of dollars they are creating and pumping into the economy, and how that is affecting the purchasing power of dollars in your pocket.

The big mistake was appropriating the TARP funds in the first place. A Johnny-come-lately bill of attainder won’t stop the spending epidemic. This whole situation is a perfect demonstration of why “doing nothing” and letting failing companies fail would have been much better than sinking valuable money and resources into them. [Continue]

Ron Paul: The Enemy of Neo-Conservatism

January 7th, 2009 2:48 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress, Constitution, Economics, Foreign Policy, Free Market, John McCain, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Neo-con, Obama, Politics, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, War  |  1

Ron Paul has an uncanny and effortless way of making neo-conservative Republicans’ heads explode. He merely tells the truth. The modern day Republicans are desperate for an answer to “The Obama Effect” but they dare not climb up Ron Paul’s liberty tree to get there. Instead they dream the impossible dream.

They dream that they can somehow keep one hand in the neo-con cookie jar while the other hand waves over the Constitution. When Dr. Ron Paul comes along and tells them its time to amputate the gangrene neo-conservatism they dart out of the office crying like babies. One would think they would get the hint with their string of losses the past few years. Their latest and ultimate loss came this week when Al “Dog-gone it! People like me!” Franken was declared the winner over Norm Coleman in the hotly contested Minnesota Senate race.

Read More »

Barack Obama: Alexander Hamilton Lives On

November 13th, 2008 3:48 pm  |  by  |  Published in Andrew Napolitano, Banking, Big Government, congress, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Education, Federal Reserve, Free Market, government spending, John McCain, law, Liberty, Money, national debt, Obama, Politics, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Taxes, Thomas Dilorenzo  |  1

One of Liberty Maven’s (soon-to-be) Liberty Heroes, Thomas DiLorenzo, was interviewed by columnist Ilana Mercer. DiLorenzo, who recently wrote Hamilton’s Curse, discusses at length Hamilton’s strong desire for mercantilism in this country, and throws the stated desires of Obama and McCain into the mix for comparison purposes.

Obama is a slick politician, so I expect him to continue to administer the neo-mercantilist, Hamiltonian empire that has been built up by both parties over the decades, with all of its schemes for corporate welfare for defense contractors, investment bankers and myriad other politically active businesses which, in turn, provide financial support for the regime. But Obama is also a hardcore leftist who spent his earlier career working with some of the craziest socialists in America, groups like ACORN, who advocated such things as kicking doctors off the boards of hospitals and replacing them with “the poor,” and Soviet-style nationalization of the energy and health care industries.

As for McCain, DiLorenzo says, in part:

Read More »

Not Your usual Post-election Commentary, and Ron Paul’s “American Freedom Agenda Act”

November 6th, 2008 11:42 am  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Constitution, Debt,, Economics, Election, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, government spending, John McCain, Liberty, Money, national debt, Obama, Politics, REAL ID, Ron Paul, Taxes, War  |  1

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” — William Shakespeare

Subject: Not your usual post-election commentary

The media describes every election as historic, the most important in a generation, etc. When the voting is done they tell us a new era has dawned, that things will change, that nothing will ever be the same, blah, blah, blah.

One aspect of these claims is true, this time. It is both historic and meaningful that the United States has elected its first African-American president. We applaud and celebrate this. We think the significance of this event transcends mere symbolism. Otherwise, the election was what all other elections have been . . .

” . . . a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Can we support this harsh assessment? Consider . . .

The election thoroughly repudiated the Republican Party. They lost the White House in a landslide, and got clobbered in Congressional races. We might assume from this, if elections really produced change, that many Republican policies of the last eight years will be reversed. We predict that almost none of them will be.

The Republicans were responsible for . . .

Read More »

Find Your Ron Paul Replacement: Nolan Chart The 2008 Candidates

November 4th, 2008 4:47 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Bob Barr, Commentary, Constitution, Election, John McCain, Libertarianism, Liberty, Obama, Politics, Polling, Ron Paul, Socialism  |  6 Responses

Who gets your vote now that Ron Paul is no longer on the ballot in most states? Liberty Maven’s newest contributing author, Mark Keller charts the candidates on the Nolan Chart to help you decide.

Some people seem to always vote for the candidate from their chosen party.  Others vote for whomever they believe to be the “lesser of two evils”.  I, personally, am a great advocate of voting on principle ― voting for the person who most aligns with your views, no matter their party or chance of winning.  Determining who that candidate is takes a good deal of research.  Detailed analysis of a candidate’s positions on a wide variety of issues is highly important.  But when you’re slogging through so much information, it can be hard to compare the different people running for office.  How much are these two guys alike?  Exactly how authoritarian is this person’s viewpoint?

And that’s where fun stuff like graphs and quizzes come into play.  A great way of displaying how a certain political philosophy fits into the spectrum of thought is by means of the Nolan Chart.  This is a square (or diamond-shaped) diagram, with a coordinate system charting varying amounts of economic and personal freedom.  With the four corners mapped to the extremes of libertarian (absolute freedom), conservative (economic freedom, but government regulation of personal lives), statist or authoritarian (absolute government control), and liberal (personal freedom, economic regulation) viewpoints, any person or candidate’s beliefs can be pretty well reduced to a point on the graph.

An excellent way of figuring out where you (or the candidate you’re considering) fits on the spectrum, is by means of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.  In it, you indicate whether you agree with ten statements about economic and personal freedom, and then are shown where your views fit on the Nolan Chart.  It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s pretty accurate.

I got the idea, a few days ago, to try to figure out what answers the six major presidential candidates would give, if they took the quiz.  So, after a lot of research and discussion, I took the quiz for each one of them, and put all their scores together on a single graph, for easy comparison, as you can see in the image above.

The findings were kind of surprising.  I would have expected Chuck Baldwin to be closer to the conservative part of the chart, and I didn’t think Bob Barr would be quite so libertarian.  Nor did I realize how nearly identical McKinney and Nader were on everything!  But McCain and Obama both are, predictably, found in the statist quadrant.  Now this isn’t a completely comprehensive score (there are, after all, only ten questions), so there’s a little room for error.  And there’s no indication of their views on foreign policy, for example.  But you can check the data for each candidate, yourself, at the bottom of this post, where I’ve got an explanation on why I gave them the answer I did on each question.

I doubt anyone will be changing their mind on who to vote for, this late in the season (today, is, after all, election day), but this info should, at least, give you something to think about.  And if, in fact, you haven’t voted yet and are still undecided, taking the quiz and comparing your score to the candidates might be helpful.

I’ll leave you with this quote from John Quincy Adams:

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone; and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

And now, get out and hit the polls!

Read More »

Blind Allegiance is the Mother of Tyranny, Not Patriotism

November 3rd, 2008 2:17 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, History, John McCain, Liberty, Philosophy, Politics  |  Comments Off

The title of this blog entry was taken directly from an amazing article by R. Lee Wrights on the subject of “Patriotism versus Nationalism” in which he dispels the myth that true patriotism means blind allegiance to one’s leaders.  Here’s a snippet from the article:

I saw the following quote in a letter to the editor of a newspaper in a southwestern town:

“In time of war, patriots throw their politics aside and stand behind their leaders, because there can be only allegiance to their country….”

With this one simple statement the writer, who claims to be a patriot, gives carte blanche to whoever owns the government to act with impunity in a blatant display of nationalism. A true patriot would never make such a statement, much less write about it in her/his local newspaper. It is this very attitude that has allowed dictators to rise throughout history and massacre untold millions whether it has been in the name of the Fatherland, or the Motherland, or the Homeland. This false-patriotic philosophy dictates that in times of war it is the citizens’ duty to support their leaders regardless of how evil or pure their intentions may be. As the Little Rascals would say, “What a bunch of hooey!” I am sorry, but I just cannot accept that as a proper definition of patriotism. Blind allegiance is the mother of tyranny, not patriotism.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.”

- Albert Einstein

Now that I think of it, this bring into question McCain’s creepy “Country First” campaign slogan, doesn’t it?  It’s eerily reminiscent of the Nazi slogan “Deutschland Uber Alles” in the 1930′s and early 40′s.

Read R. Lee Wrights’ article here.

Bob Barr Winning Limited Government Conservative Votes

October 31st, 2008 4:32 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Big Government, Bob Barr, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Debt, Election, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Free Market, government spending, Individual Responsibility, John McCain, Libertarianism, Liberty, Philosophy, Politics, Taxes  |  Comments Off

There is a particularly good Bob Barr endorsement article from Andrew B. Lohse in The Dartmouth Review. Lohse happens to be in a family of conservative Republicans and worries what reactions his family members will have to his choice of Bob Barr. His piece reads like an endorsement for Barr from a conservative Republican perspective… because… well that’s exactly what it is.

This is a fine example of how Bob Barr can win the votes of those disgruntled lifetime GOP’ers.

I have a problem. I’m voting for a third party candidate—Bob Barr. Barr is the Libertarian presidential candidate. My parents, glaring speechlessly and wondering what happened to the young Republican who cried when Bob Dole lost in ‘96, tell me I’m throwing my vote away. I haven’t even made this confession yet to my grandfather, a lifelong “common sense” Republican, but I shudder to think what he’ll say. My other grandfather also cried when Clinton won in ‘96, so he might understand why I’m voting for the man who tried to send “42” back to Arkansas.

This election season, Obamamania is feverishly hot; news stories of women fainting at rallies, pious displays of Obama as the Messiah, and even Obama’s own claims to “stop the sea’s rise” allude to the fact that the Democratic party is obsessively consumed by the cult of personality erected around “The One.” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he tells crowds of supporters.

For the GOP, a party I no longer identify with, there is much less excitement. McCain’s not exactly electrifying, and the hype around Sarah Palin has fizzled out. But what’s worse is that the Republican ticket is confirming what the Bush II presidency already established: that to be a Republican these days is to be something different than a conservative.

So to other disaffected conservatives disgusted by the bailout, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, excessive spending, and the Federal Government running roughshod over the states, I offer you an impractical alternative: vote for Bob Barr.

Somewhat ironically (because it comes from a “conservative”) Lohse covers one of Barr’s painful negatives in the eyes of many libertarian voters: His votes for the Patriot Act and for the Iraq War authorization.

However, even the rare principled politician like Barr can be deceived. In the first Bush term he voted for both the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, two votes he describes as his biggest regrets. In his own words, “My vote to authorize the war was a mistake, and I realize it now. The administration gave inaccurate, unsound intelligence. I voted to depose Saddam Hussein—the Bush administration used that resolution for a multi-year occupation of Iraq. Unlike McCain, I don’t appreciate the fact that the administration did a bait and switch; but that bait and switch doesn’t seem to bother him.”

If you know someone weighing a vote for either John McCain or Bob Barr this article could sway them to the Barr side.

Economic Illiteracy in Government

October 30th, 2008 5:04 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Economics, Free Market, government spending, jobs, John McCain, Liberty, Money, Obama, Politics, Taxes  |  Comments Off

The more I listen to politicians running for office pandering to the masses about “fixing” the economy and “creating” jobs, the more I think we ought to make it mandatory that all candidates have at least a rudimentary understanding of basic economic principles. Considering that no third-party candidate has any chance of winning, we’re going to get stuck with either McCain or Obama.   But both seem to be completely economically illiterate.

At the Independent Institute, Art Carden discusses this issue:

Barack Obama is campaigning for president under the slogan “Change We Need.” Unfortunately, many of his economic policy proposals would move us in exactly the wrong direction. As of this writing it appears that Senator Obama will be the next president of the United States. We can move forward by looking at the implications of some of his economic policy proposals.

Consider first the issue of trade. One of the fundamental principles of economics is that there are gains from exchange. During the third presidential debate, Senator Obama said that he believes in free trade but then proposed a slate of caveats and provisos that would undermine the principles of free trade. On the surface, environmental protection and labor standards sound noble, but they actually harm the desperately poor by artificially raising the cost of employing them and effectively legislating them out of the international marketplace. Restrictions on trade provide a short-run windfall for unionized American workers—a powerful Obama constituency—but this windfall comes at the expense of other Americans who have to pay higher prices and at the expense of poor people around the world who are then barred from the market.

Carden then goes on to discuss Obama’s ideas regarding NAFTA, the idea of “creating jobs”, unions, and the minimum wage.

Read the rest of the article here.

John McCain, Socialist

October 30th, 2008 1:38 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, Election, Federal Reserve, fisa, foreign aid, Foreign Policy, Free Market, government spending, John McCain, Liberty, Money, national debt, Neo-con, Obama, Objectivism, Politics, Social Security, Socialism, Taxes, War  |  Comments Off

It’s quite amusing (if not nauseating) to hear McCain and Palin calling Obama a socialist at every turn if you pay the slightest attention to the ideas McCain embraces.  A nice little article at successfully reams McCain for his hypocrisy:

The word “socialism” can mean many things to many people, anything from Western European style social welfare to state ownership of the means of production to the New Deal or the Great Society or a wide range of other usages. I’ll let those who know (or at least claim to know) more about the real meaning of the word have the debate over which usage is proper (mostly because I hate debates over whether somebody is using a politically-charged word correctly). Instead, I’ll engage the McCain rhetoric on its own terms.

McCain, just like Obama, believes that taxes should be levied for the purpose of funding social programs that redistribute income downwards. (We’ll leave aside, for the moment, the fact that both of them also believe that taxes should be levied for the purpose of funding a bloated military-industrial complex and other things that redistribute at least some of the income upward.) McCain and Obama may envision different forms and scopes for those programs, and those differences may or may not have profound consequences in practice. However, the McCain rhetoric is being employed to argue that just about any downward redistribution is a type of socialism. If it is (at least in McCain’s usage of the term) then McCain is a socialist. Maybe not as much of a socialist as Obama (we’ll leave aside welfare for the rich, for the moment) but a socialist nonetheless.

Read the rest here.

Ron Paul on Rachel Maddow Hammering Obama and McCain

October 29th, 2008 11:58 pm  |  by  |  Published in ballot access, Election, Foreign Policy, Free Market, John McCain, Liberty, Media, Obama, Ron Paul  |  1

Ron Paul appeared on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow tonight. He again answered the question about running as an Independent or Third Party candidate with the ballot access spending and marginalization arguments. What Paul doesn’t seem to realize is that his own candidacy on a Third Party/Independent ticket could have been a status quo breaker with the support he had.

He then has some strong words for Maddow’s liberal ears as he attacks Obama and McCain saying they both have the same ideas on foreign policy and monetary policy.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video