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 July 6, 2010: Kagan on Corporate Speech, an Easter Egg in the Health Care Bill, Knocking “Deficit Hawks”, others….

July 4, 2010
  1. Elena Kagan: How hard will she fight corporate free speech? (Photo: Doc Searls)

    An attorney’s job is to be a zealous advocate for her client. I becomes a sort of theater of the absurd. It does not necessarily follow that she will retain this mentality on the bench. On the other hand, perhaps it is not so wise to turn someone who has built a career arguing on behalf of the government into a Supreme Court Justice. Habits are sometimes hard to break. Contrast with Ralph Nader’s 36 Questions for Elena Kagan, wherein the author’s first ten questions attempt to gauge Kagan’s support for free corporate speech, seemingly unawares of her very office’s zealous efforts to limit it.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were one of many Easter eggs hidden in this bill that the American people did not bargain for. That’s generally how sprawling legislation works, is it not?

  3. The FAA has granted the company an extra 110 pounds to the LSA limit of 1,320 pounds maximum takeoff weight. Terrafugia says this will allow the extra safety equipment and a still allow the airplane to compete with other LSA aircraft in terms of range and the amount of payload it can carry.

    Kudos to the FAA for getting out of the way of progress. Read the rest of this entry »