From Ron Paul, 6/25/11:
From Ron Paul, 6/25/11:
Violence begets violence and evil begets evil. From Lucy Steigerwald at antiwar.com:
A February NBC news poll reveals some dramatic diversity within the minds of Donald Trump’s America. The topics covered are varied, and include Americans’ current feelings about Russia, and their worries over a future major war (56 percent are very or somewhat worried). One other question caught my eye, however, and that was a choice of two statements, asking respondents to pick the one closer to what they believe. They were “using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism” or “relying too much on military force creates hatred that leads to more terrorism.” Surprisingly, the split was nearly even, but the latter won out 49 percent to 47.
Depending how a poll is phrased, you can get a large number of people to agree to all sorts of things, some of which are awful. However, that NBC bothered to ask about this, and that it rang true for so many people feels new and strange for those of us who grew up with the war on terror, and who have been accused more than once of condoning terrorism because we wished to explain its motivations.
Blowback is a CIA term that former Rep. Ron Paul tried his best to popularize as an explanation for terrorist attacks, and other forms of violence. Fittingly, it was first used in a 1954 CIA document about the consequences of the British and US-backed 1953 Iranian coup (the consequences being, well, everything that happened in Iran after 1953).
Outside of certain circles, “blowback” and Paul himself were relatively unknown until, during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Texas Congressman went up against former New York Mayor and 9/11-panderer Rudy Giuliani over why those attacks happened.
To continue reading: Believing That War Has Consequences
Former Ayn Rand acolyte and gold standard proponent Alan Greenspan is a mess of contradictions. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As John Rubino eloquently puts it, “when the history of these times is written, former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan will be one of the major villains, but also one of the greatest mysteries. This is so because he has, in effect, been three different people.” Greenspan started his public life brilliantly, as a libertarian thinker who said some compelling and accurate things about gold and its role in the world. An example from 1966: “This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
Yet everything changed a few decades later when Greenspan was put in charge of the Federal Reserve in the late 1980s, instead of applying the above wisdom, for example by limiting the bank’s interference in the private sector and letting market forces determine winners and losers, he did a full 180, intervening in every crisis, creating new currency with abandon, and generally behaving like his old ideological enemies, the Keynesians. Predictably, debt soared during his long tenure.
Along the way he was also instrumental in preventing regulation of credit default swaps and other derivatives that nearly blew up the system in 2008. His view of those instruments:
The reason that growth has continued despite adversity, or perhaps because of it, is that these new financial instruments are an increasingly important vehicle for unbundling risks. These instruments enhance the ability to differentiate risk and allocate it to those investors most able and willing to take it. This unbundling improves the ability of the market to engender a set of product and asset prices far more calibrated to the value preferences of consumers than was possible before derivative markets were developed. The product and asset price signals enable entrepreneurs to finely allocate real capital facilities to produce those goods and services most valued by consumers, a process that has undoubtedly improved national productivity growth and standards of living.
To continue reading: Alan Greenspan: Ron Paul Was Right About The Gold Standard
It’s about time. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Seemingly following the proposals of Bill Clinton (and Ron Paul), The Washington Post reports that a leaked document shows the Trump administration is planning to crackdown on current, and would-be, immigrants who are likely to require public assistance.
After Bill Clinton received a standing ovation for suggesting crackdown on immigrant welfare…
“We are a nation of immigrants.. but we are a nation of laws”
“Our nation is rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country…
Illegal immigrants take jobs from citizens or legal immigrants, they impose burdens on our taxpayers…
That is why we are doubling the number of border guards, deporting more illegal immigrants than ever before, cracking down on illegal hiring, barring benefits to illegal aliens, and we will do more to speed the deportation of illegal immigrants arrest for crimes…
It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws that has occurred in the last few years.. and we must do more to stop it.”
And following Ron Paul’s advice this week that the solution to really addressing the problem of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and the threat of cross-border terrorism is clear:
Remove the welfare magnet that attracts so many to cross the border illegally, stop the 25 year US war in the Middle East, and end the drug war that incentivizes smugglers to cross the border.
The various taxpayer-funded programs that benefit illegal immigrants in the United States, such as direct financial transfers, medical benefits, food assistance, and education, cost an estimated $100 billion dollars per year. That is a significant burden on citizens and legal residents. The promise of free money, free food, free education, and free medical care if you cross the border illegally is a powerful incentive for people to do so. It especially makes no sense for the United States government to provide these services to those who are not in the US legally.
To continue reading: Leaked Executive Order Reveals Trump Crackdown On Immigrant Welfare
There is a vast disparity between what the US spends on defending itself, and its total spending on the military and the intelligence services. Ron Paul explains the difference at ronpaulinstitute.org:
In a disturbing indication of how difficult it would be to bring military spending in line with actual threats overseas, House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R – TX) told President Obama last week that his war funding request of $11.6 billion for the rest of the year was far too low. That figure for the last two months of 2016 is larger than Spain’s budget for the entire year! And this is just a “war-fighting” supplemental, not actual “defense” spending! More US troops are being sent to Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and the supplemental request is a way to pay for them without falling afoul of the “sequestration” limits.
The question is whether this increase in US military activity and spending overseas actually keeps us safer, or whether it simply keeps the deep state and the military-industrial complex alive and well-funded.
Unfortunately many Americans confuse defense spending with military spending. The two terms are used almost interchangeably. But there is a huge difference. I have always said that I wouldn’t cut anything from the defense budget. We need a robust defense of the United States and it would be foolish to believe that we have no enemies or potential enemies.
The military budget is something very different from the defense budget. The military budget is the money spent each year not to defend the United States, but to enrich the military-industrial complex, benefit special interests, regime-change countries overseas, maintain a global US military empire, and provide defense to favored allies. The military budget for the United States is larger than the combined military spending budget of the next seven or so countries down the line.
To get the military budget in line with our real defense needs would require a focus on our actual interests and a dramatic decrease in spending. The spending follows the policy, and the policy right now reflects the neocon and media propaganda that we must run the rest of the world or there will be total chaos. This is sometimes called “American exceptionalism,” but it is far from a “pro-American” approach.
Do we really need to continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars manipulating elections overseas? Destabilizing governments that do not do as Washington tells them? Rewarding those who follow Washington’s orders with massive aid and weapons sales? Do we need to continue the endless war in Afghanistan even as we discover that Saudi Arabia had far more to do with 9/11 than the Taliban we have been fighting for a decade and a half? Do we really need 800 US military bases in more than 70 countries overseas? Do we need to continue to serve as the military protection force for our wealthy NATO partners even though they are more than capable of defending themselves? Do we need our CIA to continue to provoke revolutions like in Ukraine or armed insurgencies like in Syria?
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then I am afraid we should prepare for economic collapse in very short order. Then, with our economy in ruins, we will face the wrath of those countries overseas which have been in the crosshairs of our interventionist foreign policy. If the answer is no, then we must work to convince our countrymen to reject the idea of Empire and embrace the United States as a constitutional republic that no longer goes abroad seeking monsters to slay. The choice is ours.
Most Americans want a less interventionist foreign policy. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
I have said throughout this presidential campaign that it doesn’t matter much which candidate wins. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are authoritarians and neither can be expected to roll back the leviathan state that destroys our civil liberties at home while destroying our economy and security with endless wars overseas. Candidates do not matter all that much, despite what the media would have us believe. Ideas do matter, however. And regardless of which of these candidates is elected, the battle of ideas now becomes critical.
The day after the election is our time to really focus our efforts on making the case for a peaceful foreign policy and the prosperity it will bring. While we may not have much to cheer in Tuesday’s successful candidate, we have learned a good deal about the state of the nation from the campaigns. From the surprising success of the insurgent Bernie Sanders to a Donald Trump campaign that broke all the mainstream Republican Party rules – and may have broken the Republican Party itself – what we now understand more clearly than ever is that the American people are fed up with politics as usual. And more importantly they are fed up with the same tired old policies.
Last month a fascinating poll was conducted by the Center for the National Interest and the Charles Koch Institute. A broad ranging 1,000 Americans were asked a series of questions about US foreign policy and the 15 year “war on terror.” You might think that after a decade and a half, trillions of dollars, and thousands of lives lost, Americans might take a more positive view of this massive effort to “rid the world of evil-doers,” as then-president George W. Bush promised. But the poll found that only 14 percent of Americans believe US foreign policy has made them more safe! More than 50 percent of those polled said the next US president should use less force overseas, and 80 percent said the president must get authorization from Congress before taking the country to war.
These results should make us very optimistic about our movement, as it shows that we are rapidly approaching the “critical mass” where new ideas will triumph over the armies of the status quo.
We know those in Washington with a vested interest in maintaining a US empire overseas will fight to the end to keep the financial gravy train flowing. The neocons and the liberal interventionists will continue to preach that we must run the world or everything will fall to ruin. But this election and many recent polls demonstrate that their time has passed. They may not know it yet, but their failures are too obvious and Americans are sick of paying for them.
What is to be done? We must continue to educate ourselves and others. We must resist those who are preaching “interventionism-lite” and calling it a real alternative. Claiming we must protect our “interests” overseas really means using the US military to benefit special interests. That is not what the military is for. We must stick to our non-interventionist guns. No more regime change. No more covert destabilization programs overseas. A solid defense budget, not an imperial military budget. US troops home now. End US military action in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and so on. Just come home.
Americans want change, no matter who wins. We need to be ready to provide that alternative.
Ron Paul told the truth when he was in the House of Representatives, and now that’s he’s retired from
beating his head against a wall, representing his constituents, he is even more honest. From Carey Wedler at thenatimedia.org:
(ANTIMEDIA) Former congressman Ron Paul is outspoken. When he retired from Congress, he called lawmakers psychopathic authoritarians to their faces. He’s also called Donald Trump an authoritarian and asserted Hillary Clinton could have run as a Republican. And just last week, Paul took aim at the foundational structure of American ‘democracy.’
In a recent episode of his web show, the Liberty Report, Ron Paul discussed the Department of Homeland Security’s decision last month to take a more active role in U.S. elections. Secretary Jeh Johnson said he was “considering whether elections should be classified as ‘critical infrastructure,’ affording them the same kinds of enhanced protections that the banking system and the electrical grid receive,” POLITICO reported.
The potential move came on the heels of the notorious DNC leak in July, which exposed intentions within the Democratic Party to manipulate the primary race against Senator Bernie Sanders. Politicians and the media quickly blamed the hack on Russia, failing to cite conclusive proof of their allegations yet spawning the narrative that the Kremlin and other foreign threats could compromise U.S. elections.
On his show, Paul took issue with the notion that the Department of Homeland Security, an agency riddled with incompetence and failed objectives — case in point, the TSA — is capable of securing U.S. elections.
Speaking on DHS’s decision to become more involved in the process following the DNC hack, Ron Paul offered a scathing indictment of the federal organization, arguing it will capitalize on troubling events to seize power:
“They may have false flags and they may do a lot of things, but no matter how an emergency comes up, they’re going to make use of it. And the use of it isn’t to say ‘Hey, how are we going to protect the American people?’ Are they worrying, when they talk about doing something about rigged elections, [that] the votes are counted? No, they’re making sure that the votes aren’t counted and they’re irrelevant and the government has all this power.”
Ron Paul speaks about rigged elections from personal experience. In 2012, when he ran for president within the Republican Party, he was silenced by the media and the political establishment. Primaries and caucuses in Maine and other states showed irregularities, and at more than one caucus event, the lights were simply turned off when Paul supporters stood up to Republican leadership. At another caucus, police assaulted and arrested them.
“The elections don’t matter. This is a ritual that we go through,” Paul observed last week. Instead, he referenced a seemingly omnipotent power much more influential than the ‘will of the people.’
“My belief is that the control is the Deep State, and people have to realize that,” he said.
Michael Lofgren, a former Republican congressional aide, has written extensively on the Deep State and describes it as “a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.”
To continue reading: Ron Paul: Vote All You Want, the Secret Government Won’t Change