Wednesday, July 31, 2013
A. Barton Hinkle Points Out Why Chris Christie's Argument Against Rand Paul and Libertarianism Makes No Sense
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
"My counsel is really simple," Murray said. "It is that 'We the Republicans,' I want them to say, 'We the Republicans are in favor of people being free to live their lives as they see fit; we're in favor of enterprise where people can start business easily, where they are not hounded by these volumes of regulations; we want opportunity; and we are also against this collusive capitalism whereby the government and business sort of collaborate with each other, with sort of patting each other's back. I want a Republican Party that is enthusiastically, aggressively in favor of liberty, opportunity and enterprise."
Murray then explained how he had been impressed with Paul when he heard him speak and found that he was in agreement with the junior senator from Kentucky.
"I was actually around Rand Paul a few weeks ago and listened to him," he continued. "I listened to him talk for about 20, 25 minutes and I said to myself, 'You know, I can't think of a single thing he has said that I don't agree with.' My views and Rand Paul's are real, real close and much closer than my views are to Gov. Christie's."
Monday, July 29, 2013
Rand Paul Correctly Calls Peter King and Chris Christie the Types of Republicans That Are Bankrupting Our Government
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday hit back at Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) after their criticisms of him over national security, saying that their spending policies did more to harm the country...."They're precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their 'gimme, gimme, gimme —give me all my Sandy money now,'" Paul said at a fundraiser on Sunday according to the Associated Press.
Friday, July 26, 2013
I'm truly sorry for your loss. I know the family members of people who died on 9/11 have a wide range of ideas about how America ought to deal with the threat of future terrorism. I won't presume anything about you except that you hate terrorism. So do I. It injures and kills innocents. And it attempts to use successful murders to terrorize even the people who aren't killed. Terrorists frighten societies into compromising their values in ways they never would but for terrorism.
That is a primary terrorist goal.
The core American values of 1776 and 1789 that I've studied and loved since I was a child don't permit us to torture other humans, to use drones to target and kill people whose identities we don't even know, or to spy on the private communications of hundreds of millions of innocents. If it wasn't for Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers we wouldn't permit any of those things.
So I can't help but feel that Al Qaeda succeeded in changing us -- that the terrorists won a small victory. But the victory won't last. Even as America has beefed up security at its airports and harbors, even as its airline passengers stand ready to fight off any attempted hijacking, even as our spy agencies infiltrate Al Qaeda and our FBI preempts plots with good, old-fashioned police work, civil libertarians are fighting to reestablish core Constitutional protections and values.
Those fights can both be won.
We're fighting to make sure that being safer from terrorism doesn't come at the cost of liberty or justice, and sending a message to all those who'd try to change us by making us afraid: you will fail.
Bush and Obama have betrayed fear through the immoral policies they've adopted.
And Gov. Christie has just embraced the counterterrorism strategy of George W. Bush, a man whose fearfulness after 9/11 impaired his capacity for good judgment: due in part to fear of being attacked again, he launched a war against Iraq that killed many more Americans than 9/11. As it turns out, the threat Iraq posed was far less than what he led Americans to believe it was.
Christie has also embraced the strategy of Barack Obama, who would have us believe that staying safe from terrorism requires a surveillance state the country got along without for all its history -- that to stay safe from terrorism, Americans must let him monitor all of our phone calls and more, and that debate about these policies isn't even permissible, they must be kept secret.
Sitting before you, I won't exploit the memory of your loved one by pretending I oppose these policies on their behalf, or on yours. I will only say that no free society can totally eliminate the risk of terrorism, that nearly everyone who died on 9/11 loved America and the liberties it afforded, and that fighting for the full array of liberties that they enjoyed and loved before 9/11 does not in any way dishonor their memory -- it honors the freedom that I love as much as they did.
I'm sorry again for your loss, and I regret that Gov. Christie dragged you into this. Without invoking your suffering, his arguments aren't compelling enough to persuade a majority that he's correct.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Sounds like something Rand Paul would agree with 100%. So why did he get 4 Pinocchios again? Maybe Glenn Kessler needs to complete his "fact checking" before writing hit pieces in the future.This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
Even as the neoconservatives are busy trying to stamp out Paul's brand of foreign policy, however, Paul is engaging in a concerted outreach to them. After Paul won his primary, he spoke with a group of GOP foreign policy hands at a meeting organized by the Foreign Policy Initiative that included Senor, Bill Kristol, Jamie Fly, and Tom Donnelly. Senor met with Paul again before the Israel trip, and the two discussed Senor's book on the Israeli economy. Elliott Abrams, a former George W. Bush administration official who is now a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has met with Paul twice, forty-five minutes each time, talking mostly about the Middle East. He found Paul willing to listen and argue. There are two possible explanations for Paul's discussions with neoconservatives, Abrams said. "One is purely political—that is, like the trip to Israel, it is a part of creating a better image of himself as someone who listens to everyone and who is just seeking as many opinions as he can get. The other theory is that he's actually interested in seeing what we think."
Thursday, July 11, 2013
'We are very pleased to have Rabbi Rand Paul here," the senator's host, Richard Roberts, said as two dozen religious Jews sat down to lunch in Roberts's home in Lakewood, N.J.
"Senator, we have 6,500 men studying here," Roberts continued, referring to Lakewood's Beth Midrash Govoha, one of the largest rabbinical schools in the world. "Can you get me one or two Jews from Kentucky learning here?"
It was a sunny day in mid June and Paul had come to Lakewood, one of the nation's hubs of Orthodox Judaism, direct from Kentucky before returning to Washington, D.C. In the Orthodox community, Roberts, who last August sold his pharmaceutical company for $800 million, is a good friend to have. "If [Paul] has Dr. Roberts backing him, that is a great imprimatur for everybody in the community here," Rabbi Zisha Novoseller tells me. "These are movers and shakers in the audience here and he is looking for us to spread the gospel."
He says he's on a "speaking tour," taking the GOP message to new venues, and he faults Republicans for failing to do even a little of this. "Half of it is showing up" in minority communities, he told reporters on a May swing through Iowa, "and I don't think we've been showing up and asking."
His pitch isn't solely rhetorical, though. Paul has a legislative pitch tailored to minorities as well. He is planning to pursue legal action against the National Security Agency for what he considers a vast overreach of its surveillance powers and tells those assembled in Lakewood that "Jews should be very concerned about due process and liberty," and that "blacks should be too." In his remarks at Howard University, he railed against mandatory minimum sentencing for drug use, which many say disproportionately impacts African Americans and Hispanics. At times, he's gone further and argued that he doesn't believe people should be jailed for nonviolent drug crimes. "Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use," Paul told Fox News. "It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky. But a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don't get lucky."
Among the Orthodox in Lakewood, the senator has found a receptive audience. "I think that for politicians in general, certainly for higher office, including a president, the No. 1 thing we're looking for is integrity, somebody who's real," Roberts says. "He's real, he's authentic."
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
As a conservative I have little use for Obama's politics, but as an American and more specifically a Southerner, I think I can understand the excitement, particularly in the black community. Listening to urban radio this week, black nightclubs advertised Obama inauguration parties and drink specials. A black-themed clothing store in downtown Charleston advertised deals on suits for Obama's swearing in. It could be said these folks are just being smart capitalists, and they are, but I don't remember these businesses offering any Bush inauguration specials.
The first black American president likely represents many different things to many different black Americans. But much of the joy I see in my black neighbors and friends, seems to be a sense that a new level of respect, perhaps the greatest respect, has now been paid to them by their nation.
Oh boy, what a monster right? So what if he hates Abraham Lincoln? There are many legitimate reasons to. Or is being an actual iconoclast not allowed nowadays?
I used to be a fan of Commentary and the folks who write for it (Alana Goodman wrote for it and is clearly still close with the people there and the alums like Jen Rubin). But I've noticed that they have focused a bit too much energy in destroying Republicans they don't like lately. Also, they've become really petty. Today, after making a comment about Alana Goodman and what she was trying to do Jack Hunter, I got called an ass by John Podhoretz (editor of Commentary) and then not only unfollowed but blocked as well. Never at any time did I insult him or anything. How disappointing.
These people are really making me regret my libertarian neocon moniker.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The 20-something me would consider the 30-something me a bleeding-heart liberal. Though I still hate political correctness, I no longer find it valuable to attack PC by charging off in the opposite direction, making insensitive remarks that even if right in fact were so wrong in form. I'm not the first political pundit to use excessive hyperbole. I might be one of the few to admit being embarrassed about it.
This embarrassment is particularly true concerning my own region, the South, where slavery, segregation, and institutional racism left a heavy mark. I still detest those on the left and right who exploit racial tension for their own purposes. But I detest even more the inhumanity suffered by African-Americans in our early and later history. T.S. Eliot said, "humankind cannot bear too much reality," and it is impossible for those of us living in the new millennium to comprehend that absolute horror of being treated like chattel by your fellow man, or being terrorized by your neighbors, because of the color of your skin.
Books, memorials, and museums will never be able to adequately convey such tragedy, at least not in any manner remotely comparable to the pain of those who lived it.
There have been instances during the gay-rights movement that arguably could be compared to the black civil rights struggle, like the Stonewall riots of the 1960s or Matthew Shepard murder in 1998. Suicides and other problems related to public attitudes about homosexuality have also unquestionably been a horrible ordeal. Still, with the possible exception of the mistreatment of Native Americans, there has been nothing quite like the systematic exploitation and institutional degradation experienced by earlier black Americans.
My purpose here is not to belittle the fight for gay marriage, only to note that those who keep attempting to draw a reasonable comparison to the struggle of African-Americans are in many ways belittling the black experience in the United States.
Monday, July 8, 2013
In Egypt, protest is met with tear gas, manufactured in America and paid for with American taxes. When Egyptians protest, they protest against their government and also America for subsidizing that government.
American tax dollars flow no matter which despot rules.
Mr. Mubarak abused his citizens and his own power, yet we gave him billions of dollars and advanced weaponry, including F-16 jets. Mr. Mubarak would eventually use those jets to intimidate the protesters who would eventually end his regime.
But worse, due to our aid and support, Egyptians see Mr. Morsi and America as the same.
Some American politicians never know when to say no. Three prominent interventionists called for arming Moammar Gadhafi the year before they called for arming the Libyan Islamists rebels who overthrew Gadhafi. Which Islamic rebels killed the American ambassador? No one seems to know and no one has been brought to justice. Often, today's "rebels" can become tomorrow's tyrants, and vice versa.
Persistent and perpetual intervention inevitably leads to American dollars flowing to despots.
How does it look to the world when we celebrate independence and freedom in our own country while aiding and abetting dictators and despots who deny liberty to their own people?
Now, Mr. Morsi has been ousted due to massive protests — and we subsidized his government the entire time he was in power.
In all likelihood, we will continue to finance the military junta that replaces him.
Why? To what end?
People must fight for their own freedom. We fought for it in our own country, even as we see today's government so often betraying the Founders' vision. We see people fighting for freedom in other countries, even as US interventions work to stifle their efforts.