New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things

Hello TAC. I haven’t been posting here as often as I once was since a) I wanted to get a new blog up and running and b) I am also going to be writing for Catholic Stand, and my first piece is appearing tomorrow.

My new blog is called “Liberty & Dignity.” It is not an explicitly Catholic blog, but it is devoted to a natural law/rights version of libertarianism called “paleo-libertarianism.” I distinguish paleo-libertarianism from other kinds of libertarianism in the following way: the paleo brand explicitly recognizes that liberty is a historical and cultural product as much as it is an abstract ideal, that it requires certain institutional prerequisites and supports, and that taken out of its proper context – like anything else – it can self-destruct. It is close to but not identical with paleo-conservatism.

My first article for Catholic Stand will explain how I believe all of this as a Catholic.

Now, onto the Ron Paul business. Obviously I don’t agree with many of the comments left on Paul Zummo’s post about Ron Paul being an inherently malicious person. At the same time, I found his comments to be wildly inappropriate and politically destructive, much like Todd Akin’s rape comments. His subsequent statements on his Facebook page really didn’t improve the situation either.

I am not too happy with his son either, for much different reasons, but you can read my blog to learn more about that.

Here at TAC and Catholic Stand I am going to continue focusing on the two issues that pose the greatest threat to religious liberty in our time: the HHS mandate and the “marriage equality” movement. I expect it will also be necessary to continue defending free markets and private property as our social democratic government continues its assault on both. Many Catholics still believe that they have a religious obligation to support a welfare state and open borders. These beliefs are toxic even if well-intended.

Well, that’s all for now. Let the comments roll.

38 Responses to New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things

  • I preface my comment by noting that I am not an American (although I do live in the United States). That may matter, as I may lack some of the context that another might consider a prerequisite to having an opinion on this matter.

    I am one of those who does admire Ron Paul. In theory, I need not endorse everything a candidate does in order to admire him or her for it is the character of a person, to me, that is more important than the specific views he or she holds (although I don’t want to belittle the relation between the two). Persons may disagree, but I believe Ron Paul is a person of decency and courage.

    Having said this, it is hard not to join those citing the inappropriateness of his reaction. Integrity is not itself evidenced in having consistency, which people often credit to the former Congressman, but rather in having the courage, I think, to reverse oneself when brought before a wrong committed.

    I, for one, will be interested to see how this story develops.

    KW.

  • Ron Paul was too clever by half. Being one of the few politicians left whose thinking is marked by logical clarity instead of bathos or chicanery, it is obvous that he thought he was making a brilliant point, by pointing out the analogy between the proverbial person, armed with a hammer who thinks that every problem is nail, and a soldier who thinks that every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose in the range. He was of course insensitive to the dead, but Twitter is a format that positively thrives on stupid thoughts and should therefore be avoided by everyone but twits.

  • Ron Paul’s latest outburst reaffirms what I have always believed about him: that he is a heartless, cruel, and mean spirited nut job, For you to liken his using the tragic murder of an American hero as a pretext to launch another crazy tirade to Todd Akin’s remarks, which were poorly stated at worst, is reprehensible, but not surprising.

  • Reprehensible?

    I find your use of the word reprehensible to be reprehensible, not to mention idiotic – but that isn’t surprising either.

    Todd Akin’s remarks were politically stupid. So were Ron Paul’s. Both were attempting to make a semi-valid point and failed miserably. The comments have that much in common. If you are so over-emotionally hysterical and sensitive that you can’t see that, well, you have my pity. I hope you find the help you need to deal with that.

  • I hope you find the help you need to deal with that.

    Take a chill pill, Bonchamps.

  • Ron Paul’s comments were merely politically stupid? You do a much better job making my case than I ever could.

  • Paleo-libertarian? As if we needed another flavor of libertarian? Good luck with that.

  • Ron Paul has a history of saying stupid things. Akin?

  • Ok.

    Paul Z: I’ll “chill out” (by which I presume you mean, act sufficiently docile) when I’m dead. Until then, I’ll stay warm.

    Greg: I never said the word “merely.” You dishonestly put that word in my mouth. This is a pattern with you. You should work on that.

    JL: lol

    J. Christian: Paleo-libertarianism already existed. It wasn’t widely known, and still isn’t. Maybe I can do something about that. One popular paleo-libertarian is Ilana Mercer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilana_Mercer

    I’d argue that Ron Paul is more or less a paleo-libertarian, though he doesn’t use that label.

    Kyle: Sure, if you oppose his politics, I’m sure most things he says sound “stupid” to you. This comment, however, sounded stupid even to many of us who don’t typically and reflexively think the things he says are stupid.

    And yes… um… Akin. It was stupid on that level. It alienated potential supporters.

    Is it so hard to understand how these comments have similar consequences? Is this really a difficult concept?

  • Bonchamps:

    I didn’t quote you when I used the word “merely”. It was a characterization (and I think an accurate one) of your description of Ron Paul’s remarks. I thought the absence of quotation marks in conjunction with the context of your remarks made that sufficiently clear. But apparently not. In any event, no dishonesty on my part.

  • No dishonesty?

    You are imputing dishonorable motivations to me without sufficient evidence.

    Your characterization isn’t accurate.

    If you weren’t being dishonest, you were being thoughtless. I won’t hold my breath waiting for a retraction.

  • I mean, its not enough that I think the comments were ill-considered and insensitive. No. I have to hate Ron Paul as much as you do, or I am as hateful and demented as you wrongly assume Ron Paul to be.

    I think I’ll turn down the invitation to the warped and unjust reality you inhabit.

  • Bonchamps:

    Was Ron Paul’s statement regarding Chris Kyle’s murder worse than Todd Akin’s remarks or weren’t they?

  • What do you mean by “worse”, and why does it even matter? Why are you determined to quantify this?

    I’m not bringing them up to compare their content, but rather their effects. The effects are similar. I don’t know if they are quantitatively identical. I don’t think such a thing is even measurable. In both cases you have a political movement that will suffer to some unknowable but definite degree because of one man’s thoughtless remarks. That’s the point. Why in the heck you would attribute bad motives to me for making this point is beyond me. It strikes me as demented.

    You want to know what I think about the content? I think it was an extremely callous way to make a point, and I don’t even agree with the point he was making. I don’t believe Kyle “lived by the sword” like some kind of mercenary, the quotation was inapplicable. Was this “worse” than what Akin said? Objectively, maybe. Subjectively, I don’t think either man intended to harm or offend anyone. Both remarks were thoughtless.

    I’m not wound up about the content. And it doesn’t have a single thing to do with Ron Paul’s views nor does it tarnish the valuable service that he himself has provided this country. It was one stupid comment. To defend the comment or to savagely and eternally condemn the man who made it are equally stupid and risible extremes.

  • In an objective comparison, there is no maybe about the fact that Dr Paul’s callous remark (to use your own word) is far worse than Akin’s. Akin’s comments, while clumsily stated and partially correct in terms of the facts, were not callous. The idea that you are more concerned about the political effect than the content is disturbing. This has everything to do with what he thinks. This not just one stupid comment. This is the same Ron Paul who not only equated our going into Pakistan to kill bin Laden without notifying them to China killing a Chinese dissident on our soil. He also equated our invasion
    of Iraq with China invading us in the 2008 GOP debate. To say this has nothing to with his views is utter nonsense.

    Oh, I do not hate Ron Paul nor have I ever urged you to do so either. I stand by my characterization of him in my first comment on this thread. But I don’t hate him. I dislike him but I don’t hate him.

  • I’ll “chill out” (by which I presume you mean, act sufficiently docile)

    I mean not imputing mental illness to people who disagree with you.

  • Ron Paul was too clever by half. Being one of the few politicians left whose thinking is marked by logical clarity instead of bathos or chicanery, it is obvous that he thought he was making a brilliant point, by pointing out the analogy between the proverbial person, armed with a hammer who thinks that every problem is nail, and a soldier who thinks that every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose in the range. He was of course insensitive to the dead, but Twitter is a format that positively thrives on stupid thoughts and should therefore be avoided by everyone but twits.

    Educate me, Ivan. What indication is there that the deceased thought “every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose on the range”? How does Dr. Paul, who has a 35 year history of promoting crank monetary schemes and fancies that the dispositions and behavior of the government of Iran is perfectly reasonable because we pass (contextually modest, one might note) subsidies to Israel manifest ‘logical clarity’? Are you saying the logically clear Dr. Paul is a twit because he makes use of twitter?

  • Ron Paul’s latest outburst reaffirms what I have always believed about him: that he is a heartless, cruel, and mean spirited nut job

    How about “silly crank so consumed with his hobby horses that his assessment of just about everything is hopelessly reductionist”?

  • Paul Z,

    Are your blinders so thick that you really believe that Greg was merely “disagreeing” with me in some sort of gentleman’s dispute?

    I love disagreement. I crave it. I hunger for it.

    What I don’t love or tolerate is people questioning my motives and calling me “reprehensible” for not making the exact point they would have made or would like to see made and for assuming I wouldn’t make it. That IS demented.

  • Greg,

    You are way more invested in this than I am. I don’t crucify people over irresponsible public remarks. I look at their entire record. Even if you add in a few other questionable Ron Paul statements, there are still thousands of statements that are right on the money as far as I am concerned.

    And I happen to agree with some of those other comments. I DO believe that the government’s (not “our” – I had nothing to do with it) invasion of Iraq was an aggressive, immoral and possibly criminal enterprise. The only error in comparing it to China is that China hasn’t launched an aggressive invasion of another country, unless you count the thrashing it gave Vietnam in 1979 (and that was only in response to Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which at least happened on China’s borders and therefore posed a plausible national security threat).

  • What I don’t love or tolerate is people questioning my motives and calling me “reprehensible” for not making the exact point they would have made or would like to see made and for assuming I wouldn’t make it. That IS demented.

    It’s not demented. It’s a different tack than perhaps I would have taken, but it was an opinion.

    Look, I respect your opinions and I’m glad that you haven’t attempted to defend the indefensible. But you need to stop treating every comment criticizing you as a personal attack. So I repeat, chill.

  • I love disagreement. I crave it. I hunger for it.

    Is that why you stuck me on moderation?

    I DO believe that the government’s (not “our” – I had nothing to do with it) invasion of Iraq was an aggressive, immoral and possibly criminal enterprise. The only error in comparing it to China is that China hasn’t launched an aggressive invasion of another country, unless you count the thrashing it gave Vietnam in 1979 (and that was only in response to Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which at least happened on China’s borders and therefore posed a plausible national security threat).

    I think China sending hundreds of thousands of troops across the Yalu River in 1951 constitutes something in the category ‘aggressive’.

    As for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it is non-sequitur to refer to ‘criminal’ enterprises where there is no penal code. That aside, the President faced real decisions in a context of uncertainty of both situation and outcome. You can remove the sanctions (and allow Iraq to rebuild its WMD capacity), you can leave the sanctions on (which Big Consciences assured us were causing hundreds of thousands of excess deaths a year), or you can eject the government. Not too many pleasant options.

  • Paul,

    When someone says that something I did was “reprehensible”, I take it as a personal attack. I guess that’s just nuts.

  • As for this,

    “Is that why you stuck me on moderation?”

    You don’t want me to list the reasons why I stuck you on moderation.

  • Bonchamps:

    Once again you do exactly what you accusse me of doing. i never ever called you reprehensible. I called you likening Ron Paul’s despicable attack on the late Chris Kyle (and yes he was attacking Kyle not just the war fought in) with Todd Akin’s innocuouos by camparison remarks reprehensible. And it is. Sorry you don’t like it. But I guess ther truth hurts.

  • Oh, and by the way, I also find the fact the fact that you don’t seem to be too disturbed by Ron Paul’s remarks reprehensible. Here is a man you think highly of making a statement that is basically a verbal spit on the grave of a man who put his life on the line for this country, has not retracted such remarks. And it doesn’t disturb you? What else do you call that?

  • I call it a personal attack.

    I really couldn’t care less what you think of me or anything else. I just object to Paul Z’s strange idea that what you are doing isn’t a personal attack.

    I told you what I thought of Ron Paul’s comments. If that isn’t good enough, fine. I’ll be “reprehensible” in your eyes. See if I lose any sleep over it.

  • Oh, and…

    ” i never ever called you reprehensible. ”

    I never said you called me reprehensible. Well, at least not before. I said:

    “When someone says that something I did was “reprehensible”, I take it as a personal attack.”

    For the record, I see it as a distinction without a difference.

  • Ok, I srand corrected. But yes what you did in downplaying Ron Paul’s remarks with the Akin comparison is reprehensible!!

  • I shall probably regret this comment, nevertheless…

    First, most TAC contributors (not all) use their real names, thereby taking personal responsibility and accountability for what they write (whether here at TAC or over at the Catholic Stand or on their own personal blogs), and a fair number of commenters do as well. In fact, even in the case of those who may use pseudonyms, it is easy to find out who they really are. They have no need to keep their identities secret, except in this case. (NOTE: Because I don’t wish to debate an undebatable person, I am maintaining my anonymity in the same way as the author of this blog post maintains his – fair is fair.)

    Second, the type of personal animosity given against detractors in the com box for his own post by a TAC contributor is rare, and it denigrates the reputation of TAC as a blog with a higher standard or quality than that. Perhaps one does not crave debate or disagreement as one claims, except when one can demonstrate one’s victory against those whose manipulation of logic is not nearly as adept or deft as one’s own, thereby raising into public acclaim one’s own intellectual brilliance.

    Third, there are those who under the banner of libertarianism act as though they can reject authority, particularly when that authority does not agree with their preconceived notions to which they hold an almost infantile fist-grasp. They almost seem to feel as though their intellectual brilliance in one or two areas, or their ability to trip others up in logic-debates automatically carries over into other areas, entitling and authorizing them to determine what sources of knowledge are valid in fields where they have never worked nor possess any expertise, and to force that determination on others through ridicule and personal accusation.

    Fourth, I won’t respond to debating this comment. I know where the conversation will go. Personal liberty means accountability, responsibility and respect for authority. Frankly, I am disgusted with the arrogance and disdain for others that is so typical of many (not all) hard-core libertarians I meet.

  • Well, that’s quite an indictment, isn’t it? We could have had this discussion in private, but if you want to air it all out here, that’s fine with me. I know exactly who you are by your email address, by the way, a regular and frequent poster whom everyone will know when we get to the one and only topic you know anything about.

    First, I don’t use a pseudonym because I want to hide my real name from people like you. It is for professional reasons. You want to know my identity, I’ll be happy to tell you who I am and where I live, and where I go for walks, and where you can find me if you want to say things like this to my face.

    Secondly, TAC is free to give me the boot any time. I’m not going to retract my policy of reacting to personal, petty, childish nonsense directed against me in exactly the way it deserves to be reacted to. Perhaps “one” doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about when making assumptions about the personal motivations of “another.”

    Third, I know exactly who you are. I never made any claim to expertise about nuclear power. I mentioned something about nuclear reactors and something about depleted uranium once or twice in passing, providing links to people who ARE experts to support my brief comments – something every blogger does. This caused you to flip out and write a com-box treatise to cover-up your own intellectual insecurities, practically the equivalent of waving your arms and shouting “look at me, look at me, I know things too! I know things too!” You take every opportunity you can get to bring your professional knowledge of nuclear energy into a conversation, even when it has nothing to do with the conversation for the same pathetic reasons. You practically invented out of thin air – “lied” is usually the applicable word though I’m not sure when it is clearly the product of some kind of deep mental distress – the claim that Ron Paul has a problem with nuclear energy when the man has never said a word against it, or if he has, you certainly didn’t provide it. For what? So you could bring the only topic you have a passing knowledge of into a discussion?

    You admitted to me countless times that you don’t know much about political philosophy, that you admired what I had to say on several topics. Were you lying then too? Now I’m “infantile”? Moreover, you count your professional experience in the field of nuclear energy as the reason why you know so much about it. I teach political science for a living. And I DON’T go into “other areas.” I DO link to the claims of experts in their fields. Or are you the highest authority? I wasn’t aware everyone at Fukushima and everyone who studies DU reports directly to you. I’m so glad I know that now.

    Fourth, I’m not disgusted, but rather amused that you took the time to write all this.

  • Is it wrong that I feel sufficiently entertained by all of this?

  • Not at all. I’m entertained by it myself. It’s so absurd and ridiculous that it can only be entertaining.

  • Third, I know exactly who you are.

  • Well, I’m glad to see you branching out Art. For a while I thought the only movie you’d ever seen was Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    Still, the only thing funny about your post is that you think it’s funny, when it is as bizarrely out of place as your Spicoli references.

  • I’m taking an editorial prerogative and closing this thread.

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