[The original video disappeared, but you can still find the interview here.] (If you watched to the very end, answer this question: Do you really think Larry Kudlow is a friend of Rand Paul’s? When was the last time Larry called Rand to help work through a personal problem or go fishing? That’s another technique (more…)
I met Rich Clarke at a Ron Paul event in 2012 when he was working hard to get Ron Paul votes in the Republican Presidential Primary. He has since gone The Full Rothbard (as reason‘s Katherine Mangu-Ward would say). He sent me this, his “coming out” video, and I enjoyed it immensely. I love that (more…)
There is something wrong and we all know it.
What do I think it is? I think it is that power is concentrated in the hands of those with different goals from the people from whom that power derives. I call the top of the pyramid “the power elite” and the source of the power “the sovereign citizen,” but whatever you call it, you have probably noticed the disconnect between our agents, the government we pay for and which acts in our name, and our wishes – better reflected in campaign promises than legislation.
But what can we do? I always answer this question in the same way: Start by not talking yourself out of the truth.
During the last presidential primary season, I advocated for Ron Paul. I didn’t stump for him – I’m an anarcho-capitalist and have no hope for coercive monopoly government no matter who holds the top title – but I do respect Ron Paul and supported him. In response to my suggestion that people actually vote for him, I got two arguments:
Thanks to Doug, a listener and big supporter of the show, I can share the answer to the question I asked Rand Paul a few years back: Is Ron Paul an anarcho-capitalist? Here’s Ron in his own words talking to Tom Woods (though if you have the time you might want to watch the video (more…)
Here is the short video called The Program that I mentioned on air. William Binney quit the NSA shortly after 9/11 when the US turned its spyware on its own citizens. Binney’s story dovetails with the Wired article on the huge Utah data center that has the capacity to hold 100 years of the world’s (more…)
“I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out the plain truth of things. The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people worldwide, is to pursue the cause of liberty. If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout (more…)
Whenever I ask myself, “What were the Republicans thinking?” I find the answer in the immortal collection of essays by Irving Kristol, Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea. In that book, Kristol lays out his grand plan for how the Republicans can truly achieve immense power in the United States, but that to do so will mean abandoning principles of fiscal conservatism and balanced budgets and embracing the “conservative welfare state.” Kristol further instructs that in matters of economics and foreign policy, the people aren’t to be listened to (as democratically elected politicians sometimes mistakenly believe), rather they are to be led because they are ignorant of these matters and they know it. In addition, Kristol and his associates guided the New Right to create a budget crisis by implementing socialist policies to compete with those of the left and to use this crisis to force the public to choose between traditional socialism and market-based social engineering. Well, the people have chosen: If you’re going to have a welfare state, let the left run it–after all, you can’t beat a guy at his own game.
The pundits on all sides will talk about this election as being a choice between right and left, speculating, “Was Romney too far to the right?” Or, “Was Romney not ‘right’ enough?” But “the right” as it is now defined comes with all sorts of baggage that is both inconsistent with the founders’ principles (to which the right pays much lip service) and irrelevant to national politics (or at least should be). The right has become the right side of the left: a quasi-market-based philosophy promising more efficiently to achieve the-all-things-to-all-people government at the core of liberal philosophy. But what makes the Republican Party “too right” to the pundits is that it couples this “conservative welfare state” with federal attempts to control people’s behavior at home and the shape of the world outside its borders. Regardless of the labels, from top to bottom, the right now merely offers a different flavor of statism from the left’s, not an alternative to statism itself. What’s worse is that while not providing an alternative to statism, the New Right purposely displaces those who would.
Romney is competitive–he likes to win. Obama is egotistical–he likes to be admired. That’s why when these two go at it, Romney has a lightness about him–to him it’s a game. Obama on the other hand is pissed–to him it’s personal.
This was obvious from the first minutes of the first debate. Obama seemed to seethe at Romney. Not only that, but Obama actually seemed kind of depressed and has ever since. I think part of why he hates Romney and seems so put out by debating him is that Romney and this whole tough campaign have triggered an identity crisis in Obama.
This is the sink or swim moment Obama never had. I’ve had my own, so I recognize the signs. It happened to me when I had to learn the difference between school and work. I was always lucky enough to get standardized test scores that would make a tiger mom weep, but when I finally got to the big leagues–my rude awakening being a summer internship at a bulge bracket investment bank’s mergers and acquisitions group–it became clear to me that coasting through multiple choice questions while the clock panicked my peers was not enough to succeed in the real world. Hard work, knowledge, skills, experience and instincts were giving my co-workers advantages over me and I was getting a run for my money. I caught on pretty quickly that I had to change my game, but the experience was intense and painful.
I see reflections of this same kind of pain washing over Obama’s face every time he’s in a room with Romney. I’m not suggesting that Obama coasted through life on his ability to take standardized tests–he has never given me reason to believe he was as brainy as the media made him out to be. No, I believe Obama’s advantage was more akin to George W. Bush’s: connections that gave him both position and protection. Obama’s stepfather was a liaison between the Indonesian government and big oil, Obama’s mother worked for Tim Geithner’s father at the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, and Obama himself went to an elite private high school in Hawaii, just to name a few.
In reflecting on Paul Krugman’s seemingly 100% record of supporting state intervention as exemplified in my last post, I recall having formerly wondered why economists overwhelmingly support State-based economic views and rarely support free market views.
Everyone is abuzz with Romney’s “bold choice” of running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Every bobble head with a press badge is telling us that the Tea Party and Ron Paul supporters should be psyched because, to borrow a phrase from Harry Reid: “The word is out!” Ryan’s a libertarian!
What else could he be? Ryan quotes Austrian economists and loves Ayn Rand – he must be a libertarian! And anyway, everyone says he is: Forbes calls Ryan “Ron Paul-esque,” the Financial Times calls him “a conservative of the libertarian kind,” and New York Magazine calls him “Your Annoying Libertarian Ex-Boyfriend.” He even has a libertarian-sounding name for crying out loud: Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan…it just flows! As a matter of fact, someone said to me yesterday that Ron Paul was Romney’s running mate—true story! I mean those two are practically interchangeable!
What was that? You’re not so sure? Oh come now, don’t be such a purist, and don’t you dare let those nagging doubts about Ryan’s voting record bubble up to the top of your brain. And of all things, please don’t fall for it when Democratic operatives say things like, “while he may be a devotee of Ayn Rand, he has voted more like a Republican hack than a revolutionary,” or “Paul Ryan Record Shows He Could Be Running Mate of Obama.” Libertarians really do need to be more pragmatic.
Sure, Ryan denies being a libertarian