The Senate is going to vote today on CISPA, legislation that is remarkably similar to SOPA.  SOPA was heavily protested on the Internet, but I’ve barely heard a peep about this thing.  It has already passed through the House.  If you haven’t already done so, call the switchboard at Capitol Hill or shoot an angry email to your senators.  (You know you weren’t doing anything at work anyway, right?)  Keep the Internet free!


Alex Jones vs. Piers Morgan

I’m sure many of you know that Alex Jones was invited onto the Piers Morgan Show to debate the Brit over his anti-gun stance.  Alex has started a petition to deport Piers, which I think is a bit ridiculous, all things considered.  I’m obviously pro-gun ownership, but there are better ways to get the message across than by screaming at people.

I enjoy Alex Jones for the entertainment value.  He has some valid points, and he seems to be committed the cause, but yelling in people’s faces isn’t usually the thing that changes their mind.  Rational debate backed up by cold, hard facts is far more likely to change minds, and even then, sometimes people just don’t want to listen.  There’s a great quote about open minds and a good many of them needing to be closed for repairs.

My gut reaction to this is that Alex was invited on to make the rest of us Second Amendment fighters look like utter nutcases.  There is nothing that those who would take our guns away would like better than to convince the public that we’re all dangerous whackjobs who shouldn’t be allowed to have a goldfish, let alone an AK-47.  Anyone who knows anything about the anti-establishment movements knows that Alex Jones is one of its most vocal spokesmen.  Unfortunately, Alex Jones often sounds like he’s a bit off the rails, and he could very well be, honestly.  I find his rants entertaining, but I don’t take everything he says seriously.  He has good guests from time to time, but his propensity to interrupt them, rant, rave, yell, and get off-topic don’t make him sound like an intellectual of any sort; they may him sound like a nutter who figured out how to operate radio broadcasting equipment.

In the eyes of the mainstream American public, this does the liberty movement no favors.  It discredits the lot of us, whether that’s a fair judgment to levy or not.  The fact is that people who don’t have gobs of time to research the liberty movement are going to think that most of us are unhinged, and that is not going to make people feel comfortable about the notion of us having guns.  Frankly, they will probably think that we’re the ones who run up in some public place and start shooting, even though that’s not the case.

Honestly, I’m sort of disappointed that Alex went on that show.  He knows how he is.  Did he really think that he was doing us any favors by getting up in Piers’ face and screaming at him?  It was painful to watch.  My husband and I had to turn it off.  I would really like someone to debate Piers Morgan on this issue, but I’d like it to be someone like Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell, or Ben Swann – someone who can keep their s**t together, make valid points, and not make the lot of us sound like loonies.

As for deporting Piers Morgan, well, who cares?  Everyone in this country, citizen or no, is entitled to his/her opinion.  I think he’s completely wrong, but I don’t think that his opinions are a reason to send him packing back to Old Blighty.  Frankly, he’s just another socialist, anti-gun, pro-fiat money blowhard.  I know that calling him names doesn’t make me right, but the facts are out there.  Britain has five times the amount of violent crime per 100,000 people that the US does.  Lack of guns has not made England safe, believe me.  My husband is English, and he has plenty of gnarly stories about knife crime, chavs, kids on street corners beating up old people, and honor killings.  England is not a safe place, no matter what Piers says.

In any case, I really hope that next time someone from the liberty movement gets invited to speak on a national program, he/she makes a better showing than Alex Jones did.  I don’t necessarily think Alex is dumb, but he sure did play into the hands of anti-gun lobbyists on that one.  We need calm, collected, well read, intelligent folks in the public arena, not loose cannons who are more prone to name calling than straight talk.  I think it’s a valuable lesson to be learned for the rest of us, too.  If someone engages you in debate, or if you choose to engage someone else, for God’s sake, make an intelligent argument instead of just getting angry and losing it.  We aren’t winning any points by allowing emotions to overrun our rational minds.

The Gun Debate

As all of you readers are no doubt aware, since Sandy Hook the news has been alight with pundits and policy makers sounding off about the right to bear arms.  As is generally the case for me, I don’t pay much mind to the media, which isn’t too difficult when you’re living abroad.  My Facebook newsfeed, however, has been rife with commentary about guns and gun ownership, and most of the comments have generally been against.  Granted, most of my friends from university are progressive and have never fired a gun in their lives.  Most of them are totally in favor of the bill that Dianne Feinstein is proposing.  I doubt that I need to tell you this, but I’m against any form of gun control whatsoever.

In the first place, crooks are always going to find a way to get guns.  I know that this argument is oft-repeated, but it’s true.  Crazy people will find ways to do crazy things.  To me, it makes zero sense to prevent everyone from having guns because of the actions of a very select minority.  Some people abuse animals.  Does that mean that nobody should have the right to own a dog or cat?  Some people overeat.  Does that mean that we shouldn’t allow anyone the choice of buying super sized McDonald’s meals or 7-Eleven Big Gulps?  Oh, wait…

The point behind this argument is that people who follow the rule of law will continue to follow it.  Most people have no desire to hurt others.  Those few individuals who do have a desire to hurt large groups of people will find a way to do so.  And if memory serves, the biggest school massacre in the US took place in Michigan and involved explosives.  Food for thought.

Pro-gun control advocates are often quick to cite the fact that the US has the highest murder rate in the Western world, and they link this to the fact that we are allowed to own guns.  Interestingly, in the 60s and 70s, Canadians owned twice as many guns per household as the US, and yet the murder rate in the US was over two times that of Canada.  This statistic alone would suggest that perhaps guns themselves are not the problem but, wonder of wonders, it’s a societal problem.  One would expect that, the more firearms present in a country, the higher the murder rate.  This mantra is repeated over and over ad nauseum by those who are in favor of gun control, but history shows us that this simply isn’t true.

Unfortunately, a good number of people in this country don’t fully understand why we have the right to bear arms and what that means in relationship to the Constitution and our rights not only as US citizens but as members of the human race.  I have yet to meet a true libertarian who didn’t believe in natural rights.  If you believe in natural rights, you most likely recognize property ownership as the basis of society, which is also the basis for wanting peace.  If you believe that one person does not have the right to deny another individual of his or her property, this will necessarily extend to their person.  That is, you may not kill or injure another person without just cause, as this deprives that person of the basic thing that they own – their body.

Some will argue that there are other ways to protect oneself, one’s family, and one’s material property.  I argue that if someone is going to come up in my house with an illegally-gotten gun, I damn sure don’t want to be bringing a knife to a gunfight.  I don’t want to be that woman trapped in a dark parking lot with an ill-intentioned assailant on my tail and nothing to defend myself with save my bare hands.  I’m not interested in becoming a statistic.  I am not okay with someone coming into my home with the intent to rob me and kill or injure my family.  I believe that I have the basic right to defend myself by whatever means I see fit, and I don’t believe that the government has the right to tell me that I can’t do that.  Is the government going to come and defend me and mine in the middle of the night?

The other major issue at stake that I have seen a depressing number of people laugh about is the notion that we don’t need guns to protect ourselves from the government.  One of my former professors, for whom I have deep respect and admiration, posted a ridiculous statement that Americans have never needed to use guns to protect themselves from their government and therefore didn’t need guns at all.  There are plenty of examples of the government infringing on the people’s rights, but the honest truth is that a disarmed populace is ripe for tyranny.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at these examples.

The Ottoman Turks disarmed from 1915 to 1917.  After disarming the population, somewhere between one and one and a half million Armenians were slaughtered.

The Soviet Union went through a gun control process from 1929 to 1945.  Afterwards, over 20 million people were killed as a result of Stalinist brutality.

Nazi Germany disarmed the entirety of its occupied territory, and approximately 20 million people were killed.

Nationalist China removed guns from the picture, and approximately 10 million of its people died afterwards.  Red China continued this trend from 1949 on through the 60s, and an additional 20-35 million perished.

Guatemala began disarming its citizens in the 1960s, and anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 Mayan Indians were slaughtered.

Uganda disarmed its citizens beginning in 1971.  Approximately 300,000 Christians were murdered.

Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge killed over 2 million of its citizens from 1975 to 1979.  I have visited Cambodia and been to the Killing Fields and S-21, and I will attest to the fact that the massacre of the Cambodian people is something really horrifying to learn about.

In 1994 in Rwanda, 800,000 Tutsi people were murdered after gun control was introduced.


These examples are all from the last century.  If someone says, “That’s history, and it can’t happen here,” they’re living in a fantasy.  It can happen, and it does happen.  Firearms are often the only thing keeping a tyrannical government at bay.  In my opinion, the American people are harassed enough as it is.  We are made to go through X-Ray scans at the airport or face invasive pat-downs in airports.  Our president has the authority to essentially issue death warrants.  Thanks to the Patriot Act, there are a number of horrible violations of citizens’ rights, include wiretaps and warrantless searches.  The Constitution legally guaranteed that none of these things would happen, and yet our legislators have chosen time and again to ignore the highest law of this land and run roughshod over it.

Do I really think that the US government would massacre its people?  I say nothing is outside the realm of possibility.  If someone thinks the US government is incapable of such things, well, visit the reservations and talk to the Native American people.  See how disarmament turned out for them.  I think, given the right circumstances, tyranny will run rife, and it doesn’t matter if you think you’re invincible; the fact is that, in this day and age, when the government can decide who political dissidents and terrorists are based on completely arbitrary guidelines, nobody is safe.

My final thought on gun control is that there shouldn’t be any.  Arm every man and woman in the country.  Teach the kids gun safety.  The police shouldn’t be the only ones who have guns.  Look at what happened to the student protestors in California when the police had mace and they didn’t.  Would you really want to be unarmed around armed cops?

The bottom line is that you and I and every other person in America has the right to protect themselves.  We have that right irrespective of where the threat comes from: stranger, neighbor, government, or otherwise.  I will not give up my right to bear arms without a serious fight, and I think if the US government thinks that Americans are just going to hand over their guns and call it a day, they have another thing coming.  I have only one thing to say to someone who tries to come into my house to tell me that I am no longer able to defend my family as I see fit: Molon labe.  


A Long Hiatus

Hello, folks!  It has been way too long!  I didn’t even cover the election – not that the lack of choices on the menu needed much covering.  Once the RNC came to a close and Ron Paul had effectively gotten the shaft from the Republican Party, I sort of tuned things out.  I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true.  Listening to Romney and Obama pretend to be different was alternately infuriating and boring, if such emotions are possible to entertain at the same time.  Perhaps “boredom” is the wrong word.  “Contempt-inducing” might be a better expression.  Suffice it to say that I didn’t care to listen to their ineffectual drivel.

I have my own big news, however.  My husband and I welcomed our daughter, Brett Ashley Derbyshire, into the world on November 1st.  It was a bit of a hard road towards the end.  I developed preeclampsia and had to be admitted to a top-level research hospital out of town.  Don’t worry – the baby and I are happy and healthy!  We got great care from great doctors, and we couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.  Of course, since arriving home with our bouncing baby Brett, life has been a bit hectic, to say the least!  I’ve just started sleep training her – yes, it’s controversial, and no, I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it – and we are all finally enjoying actual sleep, which is a Godsend.  The whole family is happier, and I feel like I can actually be a sensitive, caring parent now.

Anyway, I’m on maternity leave, and I’m trying to get back abreast of what’s going on in politics.  Best I can tell, John Boehner has just alienated the libertarian arm of the Republican Party by ousting Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp, Walter Jones, and David Schweikert from the House Budget and Banking Committees.  (You can read more about that here at Business Insider.)   Everyone is freaking out about the “fiscal cliff” that, in my opinion, we drove off of like Thelma and Louise quite some time ago.  Ron Paul is heading out of Congress for good and all, much to my and most other libertarians’ chagrin.  Rand Paul, if the gossip is true, is trying to court Israel and set himself up for a presidential run in 2016.  Mitt Romney, predictably, has already faded into relative obscurity.  Why couldn’t he have taken Obama and 99% of Washington with him?

For my part, I’ve found myself treading water somewhat in the post Ron Paul Revolution vacuum.  As much as I hate to admit it, it seems like we’ve been left without a rallying point.  Rand, in my estimation, doesn’t fit the bill, at least for me.  I like Gary Johnson and threw him my vote in the election, but I don’t think he’s the new libertarian light.  I don’t think we have that light emerging yet, but I’m still confident that someone will come, in time.  So many have been drawn back to the traditional liberal ideals and Austrian economics that one can’t help but think that one of these young guns will emerge as the new leader of the movement.  That’s my great hope, in any case.

I don’t have any particular news to write about tonight, as I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things post-baby, but I was very much heartened by a friend’s blog yesterday.  This particular friend was, as far as I understood, generally progressive.  She studied economics at the University of Minnesota.  I naturally assumed that she must be a Keynesian lover of all things Krugman-related, but it doesn’t necessarily appear to be so.  She posted a great little Christmas video yesterday about the fallacies of spending ourselves into prosperity.  Dear readers, I enjoyed it, and I hope you will, too.  So let’s kick off the holiday season with a bit of Keynes bashing – always sure to perk up one’s Grinch-like spirits!

Who Will Be the Next Ron Paul?

I’ve admittedly stayed away from covering or even really thinking about the GOP convention.  If I’m being totally honest, I was sort of hoping that about half of more of the GOP would be swept away by Hurricane Isaac, but alas, that didn’t happen.  Oh well.  I’m not really sure why I avoided it, except that I think I finally succeeded in burning myself out on politics.  After all of the GOP shenanigans and the treachery and the drama, I think perhaps I just needed a break from it.  I guess I should have tried to endure a bit longer, for now that the proper election season is upon us, I care even less, probably because I see no important differences between the two front runners.

I would, however, like to talk a bit about what happened to Ron Paul and his supporters at the convention.  Much like I suspected, the GOP got up to its usual trickery, and the Romney campaign successfully whined and moaned and complained and generally carried on like a spoiled brat until the GOP gave in and didn’t allow many of the Paul delegates to be seated.  Maine, in particular, got the short end of the stick, and reports have it that Governor LePage, himself a delegate and GOP member, was not best pleased by this turn of events.  In a nutshell, the Romney campaign and apparently the GOP were so scared that Ron Paul might actually make it onto the ballot that they changed the rules of the game at the eleventh hour to disbar him from being in the running.  Are people seriously considering these goons to run the country?  Is that really who want in charge – a guy who can’t take it on the chin when he loses a mere five states to people that are supposed to be nothing more than insane rabble rousers?  Really?  If they really believed that, you’d think they’d be better sports about it, wouldn’t you?  (Note that I don’t think Obama is any better than Romney, so don’t go thinking I’m at all sympathetic towards him.)

In any event, Ron Paul was shut out from a speaking engagement, although Senator Rand Paul was given a keynote slot on Thursday.  I have neither listened to the speech nor read a transcript from it, but I understand he did a passable job of walking the line between bowing to Romney and giving the old school Paul supporters some of what they wanted to hear.  I’m fairly skeptical of Paul, Jr. at this point and wonder who he’s really pandering to – us or them?  And I think I’m within my rights to have an “us vs. them” mentality right now.

From some reports I’ve heard, Romney’s lot would have given Dr. Paul the Elder a speaking spot, providing that he would allow the Romney campaign to vet his remarks and also give Romney a full endorsement.  Dr. Paul declined, and at the end of the convention, essentially denounced (renounced?) the Republican Party.  I was not surprised that he wouldn’t bow to Romney’s desires, but I have to admit that, given the goings-on with Rand’s endorsement a few months back, I was a bit more surprised that he completely washed his hands of the GOP.  It seemed so much that Ron Paul’s strategy had been to infiltrate the GOP.  Perhaps he finally decided that he’d had enough of having it all thrown back in his face?  Perhaps, like so many with strong beliefs, he will continue on as a free agent, someone who believes what he believes without paying any lip service to any other group or individual, save those he has already vetted as worthwhile.  Perhaps that is for the best.

I think a serious question on everyone’s mind now is, “Who is the next Ron Paul?”  The short answer for now is that there is no next Ron Paul.  Truly, he is one of a kind.  He has done more for the liberty movement than anyone since Goldwater, and I think it could be argued that Paul has done more.  Paul has awakened so many to a different mode of thinking, but I do think that perhaps some of those seeds he has sown will takes years if not in some cases decades to bear fruit.  A good number of his supporters are young, and it may be some time before they find themselves in positions to take over as the new authority.  I could be wrong, but I suspect that’s how some of it may play out.

In a nutshell, I don’t see anyone on the horizon, at the moment, who will be the new “it guy” or “it gal.”   Gary Johnson is a great candidate, but he’s not Ron Paul.  Rand, in my mind, certainly hasn’t satisfied the requirements as yet.  He has a long way to go to prove himself, and I have this feeling that he won’t.  Prove me wrong, Rand.  I’m unaware of any especially prominent figures in the more extreme sections of the libertarian movement that are in the notion to put their necks out for political office.  Forgive me if those sounds snooty, but it seems like most of them are more intellectually oriented, rather than politically oriented or motivated.  That isn’t to say that they don’t care about politics, but they seem more focused on education and publishing work of their own, rather than becoming entangled in the cesspool that is Washington skullduggery.

With those factors in mind, the truth is that we don’t know who the next Ron Paul will be.  He or she may be a long time coming.  They may show up as soon as a year or two from now.  But one thing is for certain: I don’t think that person is on the radar yet.  And isn’t that an exciting prospect, really?  Who is the next Ron Paul?  That person could be reading this article right now.  It could be you.  It could be me.  It could be your neighbor.  It could be a guy immigrating from Mexico.  It could be a single mother working a low-paying job and putting herself through school.  It could be absolutely any of us.  I think that Dr. Paul has inspired enough people that there will be fresh air breathing life into what was once considered an outmoded and stagnant movement.

I don’t know what direction the movement is going to take.  I don’t know if it will reform under the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, or an entirely new party.  I do not think that it will come from the GOP.  I think real innovation will come from without, and I think that’s where the movement is headed – outward bound.  I do know that the fight is not over, and that we need to continue working towards greater goals.  I do hope that some of us are able to take significant roles in local and state politics.  Initiating change at a local level is our best bet right now.  And you never know where that could lead a hard-working person.  He or she might just become the next Gary Johnson, Murray Rothbard, or Ron Paul.

But we need people to get involved.  The movement shouldn’t die just because Ron Paul is retiring from the public eye.  Remember, he was once a normal guy like the rest of us – just a doctor with a big family who believed in a cause.  He fought a long time to get where he is now, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only person who could do it or will do it.  It behooves me as much as anyone else to heed the words that we have to become the change that we wish to see in the world.  

And with that thought, I’ll leave you all with a last question: Where is your vote going, fellow libertarians?  Are you going Johnson, writing in Paul, or are some of you voting Romney out of hatred for Obama?  I know people who are doing any of the three.  I’m certainly not casting a vote to Romney.  I don’t care if it is “throwing my vote away.”  A vote for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, and I refuse to condone it.  I’m leaning towards Johnson, but it is damn hard for me not to vote Paul.


The Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare or; How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Love Totalitarianism

If I wasn’t pregnant, this would definitely be a night or two that involved a glass of whiskey.  The Supreme Court has ruled the individual mandate of Obamacare is constitutional.  I guess five justices bought into the last-minute argument that the $1,900-per-year penalty is a tax.  Because we don’t have enough of those to go around.  I’m sure that a good portion of the progressives I know are going to be throwing a party tonight.

Here’s the issue.  Constitutionally, Congress isn’t allowed to tell you what you will and will not buy.  It’s that simple.  You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to understand this stuff.  Does that sound like it’s throwing shade at the five justices who voted in favor of the mandate?  It is, and it should be.  They have no more respect for the Constitution than I do for communists.  (That’s very little, not that I needed to tell you.)  To me, it takes nothing less than audacity to think that a penalty “tax” for not purchasing something doesn’t count as regulating individual commerce.  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and the words “tax” and “penalty” are practically interchangeable to me.

As an expat, what I’m concerned most about right now is the possibility that I will be forced to pay this penalty, in spite of the fact that I’ve lived outside the US for over three years.  I have full coverage health insurance where I am now.  The original version of Obamacare mandated that even expats living outside the US take out a US health insurance policy or face the penalty, as it as called every day prior to the Supreme Court hearings.  Supposedly it was left out of the final draft, but frankly, I haven’t read the final draft, and if the Supreme Court is willing to rule that Congress can effectively tell me what I must and must not buy, then I wouldn’t put it past them to shove the penalty down my throat.

Do you want to know how much $1,900 is to me?  It’s almost a month’s salary, and from that salary, I already pay into my health insurance plan over here, as well as my state pension.  I also have to report my earnings to the IRS, which it doesn’t tax, since I’m obviously not a high earner.  I also pay property taxes to the state of Illinois, which went up this year in the spite of the fact that my property value has plummeted since 2008, and I couldn’t get rid of that land if I wanted to.  And I’d love to.  If anyone wants to buy some prime development land in a nice, upscale subdivision, feel free to email me!  But the point that I’m making is that it goads me – nay, pisses me off – that I am expected to pay rent on my own property, a portion of my earnings to the government as though I have no right to them in the first place, and perhaps even a penalty for being satisfied with my out-of-country health care plan.

I am a sovereign individual, as is everyone else who reads this post and everyone who doesn’t.  You owe the government nothing.  You have the right to keep every penny of what you’ve earned, and they have no right to take it from you.  The very notion of income taxes rests on the idea that the government owns your earnings, and they may redistribute them as they see fit.  This is legalized plunder.  Call it any other name – remember the rose – but it still has the same stench of theft.

Let it be said that I love my country.  I really do.  I ache for the wilderness and the spread of the North American continent.  The prairie is in my veins, much as the bored, fed up teenager in me hates to admit it.  But I do so very much hate our government right now.  They would take everything from us, if they thought they could get away with it, and we are heading increasingly in that direction.  There is more freedom and prosperity in other nations than in the US, and that is the honest truth.  The ideals of the constitutional republic, much as it saddens me to think this, seem to be alive only in the hearts and minds of a committed few, and some of them are getting the hell out of Dodge.  I think any truly honest libertarian would vow allegiance to himself and the principles of freedom long before he or she would ever vow allegiance to a morally and financially bankrupted government.  I am teetering tonight on that point myself.  As much as it pains me to say this, my mind is turning towards the idea of getting out for good, in spite of the 15% escape tax and wondering where I would go from there.

Times like this, I think of Daniel Day-Lewis in his role as Hawkeye in Last of the Mohicans.  He is a man doesn’t consider himself subject to much of anything, and he refuses to live by another’s leave.  He is speaking frankly and yet eloquently about freedom, and if the absence of control by another is true freedom, it is no longer to be found in the US, the land which once so jealously guarded its freedom.  I hope things will change.  I really do.  There are a lot of people out there who are working towards it, but sometimes it seems like one step forward and two steps back.

I hope we will eventually see Obamacare repealed, but the blackguard cynic in me suspects that at least some parts of it will survive in the US tax code and health care Goliath that already give us so much headache.  Maybe I’m wrong.  But I doubt it.

Ron and Rand Finally Speak Out

After over a week of near-silence from the Paul campaign since Rand’s endorsement of Mitt Romney.  Rand appeared on Peter Schiff’s radio show to explain his endorsement of Romney.  Ron made a video to talk to the supporters about the convention and the platform.  Frankly, it was nice to hear from Ron, since it feels like he’s been MIA, although people in the campaign have said that he’s exhausted and needed a break.  That’s understandable, since campaigning gets incredibly grueling, even for a younger man, but it would have been nice to see a video before now.

Let’s start with Schiff’s interview with Senator Paul.  He essentially explained what I, at least, have already known: the Pauls’ long-standing plan has been to infiltrate and change the Republican party from within.  I’m not sure how I feel about the senator’s reasoning, since he seems to be saying, alternately, that the endorsement of Romney means very little, but also that it signals that he’s willing to work with Romney on certain things.  He does explain that sometimes you can work with folks on certain things, even if you don’t agree with them on everything.  I understand that point quite well, but I still fail to see, if the endorsement is essentially toothless, how it can carry any real meaning, in terms of willingness to work with someone, president or otherwise.

But again, I should express that I understand the rationale behind what has been said and done here.  That’s not to say that I agree with it, because I’m not entirely sure that I do.  Part of me still believes that true change is only going to come from without.  But I could be wrong about that.  Goodness knows I’ve been wrong before.  I’m not, however, going to spew vitriol at Senator Paul for his decision.  I get why he did what he did, and for the record, I do think that he has a better record than most any other senator in Washington, although I still don’t get why he supported the NDAA.  Oh well.  He is absolutely right about one thing: you’ll never agree with anyone 100% of the time.  And wouldn’t it be dreadfully boring if we did?

As always, Dr Paul’s video sat better with me.  In spite of his “aw, shucks” demeanor, Paul the Elder has always held more appeal for me than his son.  It’s good to see him back.  He mostly talks about the convention.  He points out some things that Santorum has said about those “Paul people” and how we want to influence the platform.  Honestly, what in the world does one undertake a campaign for, if not to attempt to get elected and wield some influence?  I suppose there’s money… And power.  Anyway, I can’t stand Santorum or his questionable fashion sense.  In any case, Dr. Paul also talks about standing firm about policies he wants to see given attention, but also maintains that we don’t need to start any fistfights.

I agree with that 110%.  I don’t think anyone needs to start any fistfights, but I do think that anyone going to the convention better be ready to hold his/her ground.  I don’t think Paul supporters will have a hard time doing that, but we certainly don’t want to turn into wilting flowers now.  The people who are going to the convention have fought hard for their seats, and they deserve their voice.  Very rarely do I think violence solves anything, but I think a good, spirited debate is a healthy thing.

I’m still wrestling inside with the Pauls’ ideas about change from within the party, though.  Part of me believes that real change and new ideas will only come from outside the party, and then I think that must be where we belong.  But then again, another part of me concedes the idea that there doesn’t seem to be room for more than two parties in our current system.  With that being the sad truth of the matter, how does one realistically expect to make change happen from the outside?  Do we not end up just sounding like shrill outsiders with no chance for support from within?  It’s a confounding issue, and I know it’s not only a problem for me.  Do I stick with Paul and write him in come November, or do I go Libertarian and vote Johnson?  I respect Johnson very much as a man of character, and I respect his record and ideas, as well.  What to do, what to do…

I would certainly welcome others’ ideas about this particular predicament and what their plans are for the election season.  I’m still weighing my options, but I will say that I support Dr. Paul and his platform, and I most certainly support each and every Paul delegate who worked his/her butt off to get that spot on the convention floor.  And if Rick Santorum doesn’t like what you have to say, well, I’d consider that a compliment!

Wanna watch Ron and Rand back in action?  Check out the videos below, courtesy of Ron Paul Flix!

Ron Paul Announces Rally June 15th

Rand Paul Explains Himself on Peter Schiff

Tom Woods on the Pauls and Romney

I respect Tom Woods’ opinion.  The guy has been close in the liberty movement for a long time.  He’s a good writer, and the man knows whereof he speaks.  I posted the video earlier featuring Woods making hints about there being problems in the Paul campaign.  Well, he doesn’t make too many bones about it here.

This video was just released in the last 24 hours or so, and it’s a pretty blunt but fair open letter plea and critique.  It is addressed to Dr. Paul, but I think there are a lot of us in the movement that agree 200% with everything Woods is saying here.  The more I read about the management of the campaign, the more convinced I am that something is not right here.  I think Woods is calling it spot-on on all counts.  Please take four minutes of your time and watch this video, and then if you can, repost it somewhere or send it to other folks in the movement.

Tom Woods on Rand Paul’s Romney Endorsement


It would appear that Tom Woods has taken this video down from his collection on YouTube the day after its original posting.  He popped up soon thereafter to explain this action.  He says in the video that he doesn’t believe Ron Paul will ever endorse Mitt Romney, which is my feeling at this point, too.  Anyway, if you’re still interested, have a gander.  I know it’s old news, but it’s still pertinent to the convention.

Tom Woods Doesn’t Think Ron Paul Will Endorse Romney

Former Paul Staffer on the Campaign + Tom Woods’ Take on Jesse Benton

Whew.  I know that I promised an economics-oriented article, but there is so much talk and analysis swirling about the Paul campaign and Rand’s endorsement of Romney that I feel like I owe it at least one more post.  There is a lot of information floating around and coming out about the Paul campaign – not Paul himself – and how things have potentially not been right with the campaign, perhaps from the get-go.  I really hope that that scenario does not turn out to be the case, but man…!

Adam Kokesh has had a really interesting interview with former Paul staffer Penny Freeman, and it is somewhat revealing – and emotional.  She has not participated directly in this campaign, as she felt Ron Paul was not really in it to win it, so to speak.  She also gives some additional credence to the notion that there has been an “iron curtain” around Paul, imposed by Jesse Benton.  It’s not a secret to anyone in the know that Adam Kokesh and Jesse Benton don’t have any love lost for each other, but Freeman does bring up some interesting points, and they are points that I have heard mentioned before.  This is a long interview, but it’s really informative and interesting, and anyone really interested in what or who has been involved in the campaign ought to see it.  This lady seems very articulate and genuine.

Adam Kokesh Interviews Former Paul Staffer Penny Freeman

In a nutshell, the word on the street is that Jesse Benton has been heavily influenced by a guy named Trygve Olson.  (That name just gets me every time I type it.)  Olson has been known for his career as, essentially, a guy who comes in and co-opts political movements.  And he was sent by Mitch McConnell to the Rand Paul campaign back in 2010.  I can’t believe this escaped my conspiracy radar, but here it is.  Benton ran Rand’s Senate campaign, and apparently has been taking cues from Olson all throughout this election season.  Not brilliant.  Tom Woods, a notable chap in the liberty movement, to be certain, has also come out and said that people in the Paul campaign rebuked his advice early on, at which point Woods threw up his hands and said to heck with it, then.

It is truly unfortunate if the campaign really wasn’t in it to win it.  That would be incredibly disheartening for long-time Paul fans, myself included, but perhaps more importantly, if Ron Paul himself actually knew what was going on and has made himself richer for all of this… It would be seriously disillusioning for a lot of people.  I really hope and pray that this is not the case.  Nonetheless, if it proves to be true in any way, it will be a hard-learned lesson to the liberty movement, but a good one: No one is infallible, even the best of men and the greatest leaders.  We must be our own leaders.

While I must admit that I have my worries about the movement fracturing, I do think that the true followers of liberty will find their feet – probably quicker than most believe.  This has always been a grassroots movement, and it will remain one.  Perhaps the outcome of this will be to create change on a local level.  Get involved.  Do your own education.  National campaigns are hard to control.  It’s far easier to influence things on a smaller level, but the change that comes from them is no less important.

I will say that I really hope that Ron has been as insulated from all of this as some would claim.  I really do.  I hope that Kokesh is right about Jesse Benton & Co. basically preventing anyone from the “old school” from influencing him.  That said, after all of this, I’m feeling slightly less charitable, shall we say, and I’m more willing to believe the worst.  So with that in mind, I’m going to maintain a healthy sense of skepticism on all fronts.

I’m going to reiterate though, that I really hope that none of you will lose faith in the message and the movement.  We are strong, and the message is the right one at the right time.  As I said, we are all only human.  We are flawed.  The message isn’t.  It would do all of us good to remember that, even when it seems the chips are down.  And I probably shouldn’t do this, but if any of you are convention delegates, well… Give’em hell.  Behave yourselves, my hindquarters!  Some gal whose name escapes me once said that well-behaved women seldom make history.  I think the same could generally be claimed for most folks.  So forget the official line.  Stand up for what you believe in.

Here’s some additional info I’ve been scrounging up about Trygve Olson.  

“BBC News Reports on IRI Program in Belarus” 

Stanford Report on Trygve Olson (circa 2006)

“Belarus Dissidents Get Foreign Help” – BBC

“Can Ron Paul Be Tamed?” – Justin Raimondo,

Official End of the Paul Campaign and Disappointment in the Liberty Movement

Whew, there’s a lot going on in the blogosphere.  For those of you who haven’t been keeping up on the recent Republican campaign developments, Ron Paul has conceded that he cannot win the nomination.  It seems that perhaps more shocking than this announcement is the fact that Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son and one of the Kentucky senators, has come out and endorsed Mitt Romney.  I think that, more than anything else at the moment, has really thrown the liberty movement for a serious loop.

Lew Rockwell gave an interview on Russia Today (RT) that gave his take on things.  Of course, anyone who knows anything about Rockwell knows that he has long been involved with the liberty movement and with Ron Paul personally.  He used to be Paul’s campaign manager, way back in the day. He has, shall we say, a far more cynical voice and outlook than Ron has.  Lew explained what he thinks is going on with the campaign, and he stated that he didn’t think that Ron would be endorsing Romney.

While I have to concede that my post about it being some sort of strategy was me perhaps living in, as my husband would put it, “sweet cuckoo land,” it’s hard to admit that something you’ve fought incredibly hard to see through is over.  It’s always hard to know what to do when a chapter in your crusade reaches an inevitable conclusion.  Of course I’m disappointed by the way things turned out.  We were all hoping for a bigger slice of the pie, of course.  I must admit though, that I am incredibly disappointed by Rand’s endorsement of Romney.

In my mind, I had thought that perhaps Rand might act as a suitable replacement for Ron in 2016.  As Rockwell mentioned though and as I am now beginning to see, Rand is not Ron, and we cannot expect the same things of him, particularly in regards to foreign policy.  Of course, it is irrational and silly to think that the pup will be a copy of his father, but it’s disappointing to find out that someone you’d hoped would be a major voice for libertarianism is just a conservative, after all.  That’s not to downplay the fact that Paul the younger has been successful so far in Congress.  He is continuing the fight to audit the Fed and to pass other measures of which I wholeheartedly approve.  That said, he’s not a libertarian, nor does he pretend to be one.  For that reason, I guess I’m as disappointed as some of the other libertarians splattered across the Internet.

I haven’t decided who will be getting my vote in November, but I’ve been leaning towards Johnson for some time now.  I hate to say that, because I’ve been a hardcore Paul supporter for years and years now.  I still am.  I’m a Ron Paul supporter.  I think Johnson is good news, though I don’t necessarily agree with everything the Libertarian Party puts out there.  I sort of hate to admit that the Rand endorsement has left such a bad taste in my mouth, but it has.  It makes me feel like I need to get back to my old libertarian (with a lowercase l) roots.

I think one thing that we all need to take away from it, however, is that a big part of this revolution was accomplished through educating people.  I certainly think that there will be a lull in enthusiasm, but I think (I hope) that it will be temporary.  Ideas are powerful, and once you understand the guiding principles behind libertarianism and Austrian economics, it’s hard to go back.  People aren’t just going to forget what they’ve learned.  The recession is far from over, and the need to fight tyranny doesn’t end with Ron Paul’s campaign and political career.  Perhaps one of the most important results of this campaign, which I think Paul understood very well, was that the messages of liberty resonated the most with young people – young people who are angry, motivated, and who will continue to work towards freedom and limited government in important ways.

So rather than going away with a sour taste in my mouth and a feeling of being defeated, I’m determined to come away from this feeling that we have just closed a chapter in a long book detailing the struggle for liberty.  The battle is over, but the war?  Far from it.  We have come out of this with greater strength in numbers and more people who are dedicated to the fight.  That is Ron Paul’s legacy, and what a legacy it is.  I don’t think a politician has accomplished something like this since Goldwater, and I think the Paul liberty movement is arguably much stronger and comes at a moment in history when we need it most.

With those thoughts in mind, I encourage my readers not to feel angry or discouraged by the outcome of this campaign cycle.  Although we have not gained the presidency, we have not lost the war of ideals.  We will continue to educate and fight for our principles.  I would also like to add that I have learned another valuable lesson about politics: Don’t always buy into your own, optimistic spin.  Keep it real, and make sure that you’re always assessing the situation as objectively as possible.  Hard to do, when you’re so emotionally involved in something, but for next time, I’m going to do my best to keep my thinking hat on, so to speak.

Fight on, fellow libertarians!  I’ll be back soon with some stuff from Mises about the continuing bailouts and the next phase of the recession.  I’m thinking it’s due about 2015… Stay tuned!

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