Friday, January 11, 2008

More Unsolicited Advice For Ron Paul

Keep apologizing. Please- do everything you can to renounce the racist and homophobic views put forward on your old (circa 1992) newsletters.

The attacks on you have been numerous. They probably hurt you in New Hampshire. If you don't make strong statements, they are going to continue to hurt you within the offended groups.

I am glad you made this statement, which was published by CNN:
"Libertarians are incapable of being a racist, because racism is a collectivist idea."

That's important to me, because nationally visible libertarians are few. When Ron Paul, most-visible libertarian is seen as a racist or homophobe, then libertarianism is liable to be seen as racist or homophobic.

So, keep distancing yourself from these writings. You would do even better if you identified who wrote them. There is fair criticism about not identifying the writer, if not you. Check out what Alex Blaze had to say, on, a top gay issues website:
But still, laziness isn't a good quality in a president. If he didn't have time to edit a newsletter with his name in huge letters across the top, or at least read it before it went out and make sure that the "Ron Paul column" was something he'd agree with, then he should have stopped publishing.
Until the writer is identified by you, those who were hurt by the comments on your newsletter are going to continue to sling arrows and mud your way. It distracts from your very worthy message of liberty, and worse- makes people equate liberty with racism or homophobia, which of course is patently wrong. It's a huge disservice to liberty and the libertarian movement, but if the primary evidence they have are these news items about the 'racist and homophobic writings of Ron Paul', then what else are they to think?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

American Sound Money Problems, In Lego

This sums it up very nicely. For those not interested in watching the whole thing, shame on you... but I'll give you a spoiler, below.

"How in the world can we expect to solve the problems of inflation... with more inflation?"
-Ron Paul

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Unsolicited Advice For Ron Paul

I'm glad I never had to endure a primary election as a candidate, where you battle with those within your party, splitting hairs while making the case for yourself, often with negativity coming through in the process of showing difference.

But I'm a Libertarian, and the differences between one LP candidate and another generally comes down to nuance. Not so in the Republican primary. Ron Paul is vastly different from the rest of the field, which does only separate by nuance.

I'm not just talking the war. Paul stands alone as one who would shrink the size, scope, and cost of government. Huckabee and Romney have raised taxes as governors. Thompson and McCain have voted for outrageous spending.

So, Dr. Paul, I have some unsolicited advice for you: Promote your ecomonic points first and foremost, even to the near exclusion of everything else.

Why? First off, you have to win the GOP nomination. It's just too much to ask of the Republican base, the people who are voting delegates, to go from supporting George Bush through this misguided war to taking the opposite position. If the war remains your #1 issue, you cannot win the nomination. Yes, you've been invoking Bush's campaign stances on foreign relations circa 2000, but it scarcely makes the 6+ years since 9/11/2001 vanish.

Give these folks a chance to save face. If you make the Republican base remember the fiscal conservatism of their increasingly distant past, you could well win the darned thing. None of the other Republicans sounds even remotely like a fiscal conservative, and when comparing their records to yours, most of them look like Karl Marx. You are making great points about the need for sound money. Americans who hate facts and study scoff at the gold standard and discussions of anti-inflationary monetary policy, but it's hard for anyone to deny being worried about the fact that the US dollar is weaker than the Canadian dollar.

That point alone sets you up for winning the election post-nomination. There isn't a single other candidate who has been talking about sound money, and it is becoming evident to absolutely everybody that our economy is beginning to ring the bowl. Every candidate who has voted for massive spending and borrowing- which is to say, everyone else- is guilty of causing the problem. They are guilty of making the US dollar weaker than the Euro, and weaker than the Canadian dollar.

You will not alienate your supporters by talking up fiscal policy. Indeed, that's why many of us support you, and give you these increasingly worthless greenbacks.

You have to win the nomination. Iraq is a losing issue strategically, at least right now. Go with your suprior fiscal policies.

Monday, January 07, 2008

People In Glass Houses...

While Ron Paul was being excluded by Fox News from their GOP candidate roundtable, CNN was interviewing him. Here is what was easily the most amusing comment that Wolf Blitzer referred to, with regards to Paul's chances. It was a quote from the Campaign Manager of a former presidential candidate:
"Ron Paul's only option is to buy as many flat screen TVs as he can, put 'Ron Paul' bumper stickers on them, and hand them out to voters in New Hampshire. I just don't see where he goes... He will probably be the only presidential candidate ever to have a surplus when he drops out, because he has an incredible amount of money and no campaign strategy to win."

So, this came from Bill Clinton's campaign manager? Or George W. Bush's? No, this came from Scott Reed- the manager of Bob Dole's LOSING campaign.

Ron Paul was much too nice in dealing with this goofiness, saying what he plans to do. I would have dismissed the credibility of the quote out of hand, and chatised Blitzer for pulling up something so irrelevant, from someone so without credibility. Link to the CNN video. The quote is about 6 minutes in.
Hooray, Hockey!

I've signed up to play in an 'old fart' league at my neighborhood rink. The games start this Sunday.

I'm very excited! I love hockey. I love playing the game, and besides- I really need the exercise. There's about three inches on the waist I'd like to part with, and competitive skating can really burn it off.

This league is different in that it not only has coaches, but it includes instruction. I'm looking forward to that part of the league, because I need all the practice I can get on stick-handling and puck control, and skating. Mainly, I can skate like a demon up ice, but I have trouble stopping. If I get the puck, I'm an accurate passer and shooter, but a defender who is aggressive with me will throw me off.
Biometrics Are Useful?

Civil libertarians have been tepidly questioning the great increase in funding to the various surveillance methods available to FBI and police at the various levels. It is justified as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks: Identify people and keep track of them, and terror can be prevented.

The Cato Daily Podcast from January 4, 2007 features Jim Harper of the Cato Institute, and a 9-minute discussion of biometrics. Cato Podcast archives. Key quote from Harper, at 7:06:

We thought somehow identity was going to protect us from future terrorists. In fact, terrorism makes use of surprise, not anonymity.
So, are we wasting a lot of money? Seems like it, if only from a practical standpoint. Add the civil libertarian angle...