Links for January 2, 2012: Ron Paul newsletters, smears; Gary Johnson switches to Libertarian; others….

December 31, 2011
  1. An infamous newsletter.

    The paleo strategy, as laid out here by Rockwell, was clearly designed to create a libertarian-conservative fusion exactly along the lines Jacob lays out in his post. It was about appealing to the worst instincts of working/middle class conservative whites by creating the only anti-left fusion possible with the demise of socialism: one built on cultural issues. With everyone broadly agreeing that the market had won, how could you hold together a coalition that opposed the left? Oppose them on the culture. If you read Rockwell’s manifesto through those eyes, you can see the “logic” of the strategy. And it doesn’t take a PhD in Rhetoric to see how that strategy would lead to the racism and other ugliness of newsletters at the center of this week’s debates.

    An eye opening expose from Steve Horwitz at Bleeding Heart Libertarians. It’s all news to me, and it explains so much: Just as the memories of past indiscretions were fading, the infamous Ron Paul newsletter controversy arrives like a rotting ghost ship to disembark its regrettable cargo of base cultural pandering and other brain-eating zombies. Sikha Dalmia at Reason follows up. Ron Paul should confront the past. He might be able to salvage his campaign if only he were up front about this ill-considered and long abandoned political strategy of playing on middle America’s latent bigotry and fears. The truth, I think, is the only thing that could set him free.

  2. Lamenting that mainstream intellectuals and opinion leaders were too invested in the status quo to be brought around to a libertarian view, Rothbard pointed to David Duke and Joseph McCarthy as models for an “Outreach to the Rednecks,” which would fashion a broad libertarian/paleoconservative coalition by targeting the disaffected working and middle classes. Paul’s inner circle learned between his congressional stints that “the wilder they got, the more bombastic they got with it, the more the checks came in. You think the newsletters were bad? The fundraising letters were just insane from that period.”

    An earlier reason piece that I missed in 2008. I can almost imagine some people almost forgiving Ron Paul for playing politics in a political world–but nobody who actually thinks Paul is an actual bigot will forgive him for being a bigot. Ron Paul should come clean. The truth will set you free, Ron. Just do it.

  3. Thomas E. Woods, Jr. reacts to the newsletters with a dose of common sense. Which will you weigh more heavily: twenty-year-old dead words on a page, or the positively destructive policies that the other candidates now proudly support? Tom also offers a short list of further reading. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for October 24, 2011: Money in politics a feature, not a bug; Immigrants and jobs: don’t hate; Gary Johnson ignored; others….

October 22, 2011
  1. Money in politics: That’s not a bug. That’s a feature. (Aside, the excellent tunage is Hans Zimmer’s Time, from the Inception soundtrack)

  2. A government that can make or break great fortunes invites a bruising and wasteful competition for its favor. It cannot be surprising, then, that those with the most — thus most to lose — assiduously seek favor from the state.

    This is why the often heard Occupy Wall Street demand to get money out of politics will never happen. Politicians will be bought so long as they are for sale.

  3. TV commercial that aired during one of the Republican primary debates turned my stomach. Rather than hiding passively-aggressively behind “numbers” and “levels”, these scared, sad people should be a little more direct. They should look potential immigrants in the eye and say: “You are not welcome here. If you come near our borders, we will release the hounds and they will tear you apart.”

    Immigrants are not just employment black holes that come here to suck up jobs. Immigrants also demand goods and services, so jobs are created to accommodate them. In the end, they cause no net change in unemployment.

  4. Let Ben Powell explain.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for Monday, September 26, 2011: Gary Johnson Debates; Gibson Guitars Raided; Wall Street Occupied.

September 24, 2011
  1. For the record, he always was a real candidate.

    I think the biggest threat to our national security is that we’re bankrupt.” (We’re not, technically, but this a nice line to co-opt from the Tea Party.)

    When will the government be “technically bankrupt”? When it files for bankruptcy with itself? Anyway, it’s good to see Gary Johnson getting some press and some airtime. The best line, by the way, was: “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this president.” Rush Limbaugh apparently said it first.


  2. [Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency,] defends the Lacey Act and the government’s efforts to enforce it. “Nobody here wants this law to founder on unintended consequences,” she says. “Because ultimately everybody understands that the intent here is to reduce illegal logging and send a signal to the markets that you’ve got to be asking questions and sourcing wood in a responsible way.”

    What constitutes that responsible way may only become clear when the government finally charges Gibson and the company gets the day in court it says it wants so badly.

    Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz claims he the Indian government certified that his wood was harvested legitimately. This did not stop a U.S. government raid. I can understand the people’s desire to protect certain species of things, but at what cost? Raiding without charging? Is this legitimate governance?

    A short lesson on how to think like a libertarian: Whenever you see government environmental regulations designed to prevent some thing or other from going extinct, think: “tragedy of the commons”. Why is this Indian wood being plundered? Could either private ownership or better enforcement of private property rights encourage people to steward the sources of this type of wood better? More research is due.

  3. Don’t let the title fool you: Tamar Gendler rains on Robert Nozick’s parade. I kind of lost interest at “suppose each of us starts out with the same amount of money.” I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposed to glean from thought experiments that begin with such bizarre suppositions. She might as well have begun, “Suppose each of us starts out with our own flying, wish-granting luck dragon.” Wellll, OK!?! So we all start out with the same amount of money. And a luck dragon. What now?  Read the rest of this entry »


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