The problem with “Progressives”

September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I read an article in the Huffington Post this morning called “Ron Paul’s good old days” by some doctor/bleeding heart named Bob Crittenden. He flat out claims that Ron Paul is “wrong” about medicine before the federal government created Medicare and Medicaid. According to Dr. Crittenden, before Medicare, there were crumbling churches filled to the brim with “writhing” elderly who were frequently “talking to themselves”. Then came God’s gift to American society, Medicare, which swooped down from heaven, grabbed all the poor and elderly, and saved them from the torturous hell that is private charity.

Thank God for Medicare. I mean, who would’ve guessed that the federal government could prevent old people from mumbling themselves to sleep. Hallelujah!

As if his word wasn’t enough to convince you of the perils of private charity, Dr. Crittenden actually looked for a second opinion(indeed!)!

I asked James Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, whether his 33,000 congregations could step up and fill that gap. His reply? “A great many of these churches struggle simply to pay the health care premiums of the pastor. It is inconceivable that local churches in the United States could possibly cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. They do not do so now and could not do so if the Medicare program were terminated.”

 

Well that settles it. Socialized healthcare for all. If James Winkler says so, then it must be. Never mind the fact that health care premiums are so high because of government involvement.

Finally, the good Dr. Crittenden leaves us with the most damning evidence of all:

So, can and would churches care for everyone who fell through the cracks now — like Ron Paul’s own campaign manager who had the bad fortune to have a pre-existing condition and, therefore, was unable to buy affordable insurance. He had to raise $400,000 to cover the cost of his care

Wow, Ron Paul, what a hypocrite he is. Doesn’t he realize that high insurance costs kill people? What a heartless, old fashioned, and immoral man.

In all seriousness, this just goes to show the incredible amount of arrogance that these so called “progressives” espouse. Everything about progressivism strikes me as arrogant. I mean, what a pompous name for any ideology. How does one define “progressive”? Don’t libertarians and conservatives  consider their own ideas a “progressive”? Essentially, the term “progressive” insinuates that if I believe in free markets and individual liberty as the guide to societal progress, then I must be , by definition, regressive.

These so called progressives fall victim to the myth “if government doesn’t do it, no one will”. This entire concept makes no sense– and obviously, the facts tell us the contrary is true. When you get down to it, progressives are nothing more than individuals who feel so strongly about helping the needy, that they throw reason out the window and ignore the idea that anyone besides the state could provide for those in need. This is the essential difference between a libertarian and a liberal. Both groups care for the needy and hope to provide the most for every individual, but the progressives take the reactionary, and seemingly obvious stance that the state must provide these services. On the other hand, libertarians look harder. They see the same issue, but they strive to find the real solution.

A couple weeks back at the Republican presidential debates at the Reagan Library, Ron Paul made a pretty strong point:

“We talk so much about the Obama mandate which is very important, but what about Medicare, isn’t that a mandate? Everything we do is a mandate.”

Like usual, Ron was dead on. Libertarians don’t oppose government help merely because it’s inefficient and almost never does what it intended. Libertarians oppose government action because, by it’s very nature, the state must use force to justify the means by which it enacts any policy. In other words– there is no choice. In theory, I could care less if a large swath of the American public wants to waste it’s time on some ponzi scheme like social security–just leave me out. But of course, such systems would never work without a government mandate. The coercive force of government monopoly is always justified by so called progressives by using arbitrary terms like “the public good.”

In the end, central planning of any industry will always fail, and “socialization” always inevitably requires such planning. But hey, anything for the “good of the people”, right?

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Charles Krauthammer: “This is not a libertarian country”

September 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

A while back, Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer was asked to explain why Ron Paul was essentially being ignored by the media, despite his strong showing at the Iowa straw poll. His response is interesting.

“Ron Paul is not going to be president of the United States. A libertarian is not going to be elected. We are not a libertarian country.”

His answer is rather telling. In fact, like many other statements we hear from the media, it raises more questions than it answers. Primarily; If the U.S isn’t a “libertarian” country, then what type of country are we? Who decides this? What gave these individuals the right to make this decision for millions of Americans?

Obviously, these are questions that Krauthammer couldn’t answer with any type of sincerity on national television. Still, his point is well taken. Essentially, Krauthammer is correctly claiming that most of Ron Paul’s ideas are foriegn to a large percentage of Americans– and hence, they would never accept such ideas. So logically, it’s the media’s job to keep such ideas from the American public. You know, for their own good.

The so-called “gatekeepers” of the major American media are doing their job. That is, to sustain the status quo in this country. Granted, this isn’t some grand conspiracy, it’s just a by product of a somewhat oligarchic mainstream media. There’s only so many sources that mainstream Americans go to in search of everyday news. Frankly, if it weren’t for the internet, Ron Paul wouldn’t have anywhere near the following he now has(think Gary Johnson lite).

This is the next great movement in human society. The internet has opened up so many new portals for communication, and states across the globe can’t regulate it fast enough(a good example can be found here).

Of course, there are certain “interests” in this country that have a vested interest in preventing the ideas of liberty from reaching average citizens. But to chalk up every negative statement from the media as part of some complex conspiracy is a bit much. It’s actually simpler than that.

The multiple interests who oppose Ron Paul’s policies, whatever their reason, are all competing for the most influence in this country whether it’s in the form of legislation, the media, etc. Obviously, these groups aren’t solely fighting against Ron Paul. It just happens that Dr. Paul’s ideas threaten many of the major interests that have taken root in the United States. Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post can be bought off just as easily as any politician. And because all of these media outlets tend to repeat each other, all it takes is a single article or negative news piece in a major publication,and it will be in every other news outlet in the nation.

That’s a simple explanation for the many misleading(or flat out wrong) labels that the media has given Ron Paul(the whole isolationist label can probably be explained by this phenomena. Because, you know, anyone who is opposed to invading any nation that could pose a threat and believes that having over 800 military bases across the globe is unsustainable must be an isolationist.)

The good news is, for the first time in a long time, Krauthammer and his ilk are losing this battle. The ideas of liberty have already permeated the American public, whether they enjoy it or not. And ultimately, it’s the people who decide what type of country they live in, not the high and mighty Pulitzer prize-winning political pundits.

War with Pakistan?

September 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

In my free time I update a Microsoft world file were I “jot” down some of my thoughts on recent world news(economic, political, or otherwise). It’s sort of a way for me to vent, while at the same time it gives me the chance to catalog my thoughts and predictions– that way I can look back and see how right I was. 😉 (just kidding…sort of.)

I’ve been keeping up this “diary” of sorts for about the past year or so. Admittedly, I have sort of forgotten about it since mid July. That is, until I  read the news this morning and was reminded of some old posts I had made.

According to Admiral Micheal Mullen, Pakistan “backed” the attacks on the U.S embassy in Kabul. To anyone who knows the first damned this about the relationship between the Pakistani ISI and the U.S CIA, this comes as no surprise. What is frightening, however, is the idea that the United States might use this public accusation as a means to begin a new war in another Middle Eastern state. Obviously, the Department of Defense and it’s rubber stamp in the executive branch will start a war wherever and whenever it likes, but accusations such as these– as true as they may be– are nothing more than a way to drum up public support for another war(something that may prove more challenging than “they” would like).

According to Reuters,

Admiral Mike Mullen said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) played a role in the September 13 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, supporting militants known as the Haqqani network.

That network, he said, is a “veritable arm” of the ISI.

The embassy attack was the latest in a series of violent episodes that were a blow to U.S. efforts to bring the Afghan war to a peaceful close.

I especially love the last part.

Here’s my little blurb, back on Monday, May 2nd, 2011:

Well, I thought I would update. Turns out, the United States just killed Osama Bin Laden. The media has been all over it. From corny college kids waving American flags in front of the white house to a mind numbing amount of articles recounting Semptember 11th. You name it, they’ve run it.

The next step? War in Pakistan(were Bin Laden was found). I’m not sure, but when I read the Cleveland Plain Dealer and I see articles titled:

“Iraq War veteran bracing for retaliation in wake of bin Laden death”

Then I know something is up. If you search “Pakistan Retaliation” on google news, there are approximately 2700 results within the past 24 hours. CBS News, The Gaurdian, Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News, Reuters, etc. Every major news papers is warning of a retaliation.

When I said “retaliation”, I’m not sure if I meant from the United States(as a means to “get back” at Pakistan for allegedly harboring Bin Laden) or from Pakistan(due to the U.S’ “secret” mission to allegedly kill Bin Laden). Either way, the media was bracing us for some sort of violence, which will probably happen soon enough(likely after the presidential election…that is, assuming Ron Paul isn’t elected 🙂 ).

Regardless of whether or not war actually occurs, this situation arouses more questions than it answers; why are we sending billions of dollars of aid to Pakistan every year if some of our highest ranking military members are convinced that it’s clandestine agency is working against the U.S? Why are we wasting time fighting a war in the desert where there never was a significant terrorist threat(that is, until our intervention created one)? Finally, why is it that a 21 year old engineering student who reads Google news in his free time can see through this bullshit, but the majority of the American people can not?

Questions that might never be answered, unfortunately.

Oh well. Tomorrow is Friday. I might go downtown after work if the weather isn’t shitty(which is unlikely). If anyone located in a warm climate is looking for an intelligent, young  engineer, please feel free to contact me. 🙂

Great Ron Paul video!

September 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just watched this great video. I hope this will help some of Ron Paul’s supporters see the entire message. I’ve noticed that many people on the Ron Paul forums latch on to his “constitutional” conservatism, but refuse to accept that his real views are a bit deeper than that.

I don’t really care if Ron Paul gets elected president. I’m more interested in seeing thousands(perhaps tens of thousands) of people introduced to the idea of liberty via Ron’s campaign. I get the feeling that’s his motive as well.

I look at it this way–if Ron Paul is elected president, it’s because Americans have finally embraced the concept of liberty…and that’s fine by me. 🙂

I’ve been pretty busy working at my new co-op position, reading, and of course, following Ron Paul on the internet. I plan on posting an update sometime tomorrow. At least, that’s the plan. 🙂

My poltical history: Part II

September 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Here’s the second installment of my political “history”. The short version, of course. 🙂 You can check out the original post here.

My last couple years of high school, I ended up focusing on school, the college search, and all of the other things they tell you to do when you’re seventeen years old.  Ron Paul was put on the back burner for a couple years.

Then, sometime last fall, a Ron Paul fan page that I had “liked” on Facebook a while back posted a video from the 2007 Republican presidential debates. Just out of pure coincidence, it happened to be a compilation of all the other Republican nominees laughing and smirking while Ron was trying to make sensible comments about America’s foreign policy. I’m not sure why, but this seriously irritated me. I began questioning the status quo in this country. If a guy like Ron Paul is basically laughed off the stage for making common sense observations about the US government’s foreign policy, just how ass backwards is the rest of our political system?

In search of the truth, I found the answers to the above questions. Until Ron Paul and other real conservatives(or at least those individuals who resemble conservativism more than the phonies at Fox News) enlightened me, I never knew that it was conservative to be anti-war. I never knew that 9/11 was a direct result of our foreign policy. Things like this are never talked about on Fox News. Things like this are never talked about anywhere in the mainstream media.

I had been duped. The good news was, I now knew the truth. I quickly began to educate myself on Ron Paul’s other positions–I bought a few of his books. I read books that he added to the “Suggested reading list” in the back of his books. I loved all of it. This new perspective that people like Ron Paul, Tom Woods, Jack Hunter, and others provided, has changed the way I look at the world.

I also took Ron Paul’s advice in his book End The Fed and visited the Mises community online. Reading the Mises forums eventually became a daily routine of mine. I would look forward to coming back from class and browsing the forums. It was the Mises forums that eventually helped bring me a step further toward the obvious logical conclusions that one must make in order to fully embrace the principles of liberty.

At this point, I’m still struggling intellectually with voluntaryism. At the very least, I embrace minarchy. But I can’t seem to loose my grip on what Rothbard referred to as a “religious” need for a central body of coercion.

I have a strong feeling that there are hundreds(if not, thousands) of young people facing the same quandary; that is, the ability to see where logic will lead, but the inability to embrace what seems like common sense.

I hope to update this blog soon(maybe tonight). After watching the “Tea Party Republican” debate, I’m eager to answer a few questions that seem to keep arising in my mind.

My political history: Part I

September 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

I figured that the best way to start off this new blog would be to post a history of my political past. If this blog is going to be a way to document the ongoing political and intellectual transformation that I’m undergoing, it’s probably best to give some background as to where I’m coming from. Here’s a brief look into my belief system before Ron Paul, as well how I ended up becoming a Paul ‘fan’.

I didn’t care about politics until I took an AP government course my junior year of high school. I would routinely do well on all of the exams, and I began to realize that I was somewhat interested in the subject.

Here’s where it gets confusing:

At the beginning of my high school government class, I took some online test that was supposed to tell me where I was on the political spectrum. I guess they purposely did this before you actually learned anything to find out how you would “naturally” answer. Looking back now, it mostly turned into a barometer of how well you’ve been indoctrinated by the public school system and the American media. Turns out, I was good little sheeple; my results came back as “Liberal”. They ask questions that would lead any unassuming and uneducated individual(like myself at 16) into answering in favor or government support. Things like “do you support government protection of the national parks” etc, etc. How could any average 16 year old with no political education besides “obey your overlords” logically disagree with the loving, caring, state and it’s wondrous national parks?

In all seriousness, I’m really glad that I took that class. It gave me the opportunity to learn how the political system works and what all the silly little titles mean(or at least what they were supposed to mean) before I ever formed my own opinions.

So I walked away from that class with a basic understanding of the political structure in the U.S. Once I reached that point, I decided that I wanted to form my own opinions. So I did what every other American does to form their opinions–I turned on the television. Boy, was that a mistake.

Like many 40-50 year old white men, my dad was a “Fox News” kind of guy. I’ve always looked up to my dad, so Fox News was the first place I went to “form my opinions”(okay, honestly, I didn’t really turn the television on thinking ‘alright…who am I going to repeat today?’ But that’s essentially what it turned into).

After a few weeks on a steady Fox News diet, I was already apart of their little “no spin zone”. I would come home from class and watch Niel Cavuto, Glenn Beck, and Mr. Master of the prime-time himself, Bill O’Reilly. Yup, I had it figured out–the rest of the media…literally, everyone else on television– was a raging liberal who had it out for those ‘conservative’ dieties at Fox News. Get this– I even bought two Bill O’Reilly books. And read them.

Please excuse me while I go take a shower.

My short escapade into the land of neocons and hell bent social conservatives was destined to be short lived. One day while I was driving home, I drove past a guy holding up a sign at a busy intersection that read something along the lines of: “Ron Paul for President: Legalize it”. I laughed out loud and thought to myself: There is no WAY someone is running for president and wants to legalize pot– that’s awesome!

With a thought process like this, one could see how my days spent reading Bill O’Reilly books were going to come to an end eventually.

A new blog?

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve decided to create a new “political” blog, if for no other reason than to be able to look back in a few years and track how my world view has shifted overtime. Although that sounds like an odd reason, I think that my situation is rather unique. Here it goes:

Over the past year or so, I’ve essentially reevaluated my entire world view. This is due in large part(actually, almost entirely) to the words of one man– Ron Paul. To make it short, I get the feeling that I’m not the only person he’s affected in such a strong manner, and I’d like to start documenting my ongoing intellectual ‘transition’ from a rather hawkish, contemporary American conservative to a more libertarian, voluntaryist, uh…well, I’m not exactly sure what to call myself at this very moment… 🙂

I get the feeling that there’s a considerable slice of people from the ages of 18 to 26 that are experiencing the same “transition” that I am. Granted, other Ron Paul followers might have come from a different end of the political/intellectual spectrum, but what difference does that make if we’re all headed toward the same logical conclusions?

I plan on updating this blog fairly regularly. Hopefully it will eventually become a resource to not just myself, but the countless others that Dr. Paul has reached.

Just remember this; as we make our way through the sometimes daunting forest of liberty in search of truth, let the flame of the grassroots lead us to our final destination–wherever that may be.

Where Am I?

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