Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Problem with My “Crazy Uncle Ron”

Part 1 – Foreign Policy

The problem with my crazy uncle is that he, actually, isn’t crazy at all.

 He gets a lot of criticism from the MSM, his coworkers and the general population for a host of things, but I think first and foremost is his clear polar-opposite ideals concerning foreign policy. I think there is a plethora of disinformation, political opposition, ignorance and just plain confusion, propagated and perpetuated largely by the media and the American people’s penchant for believing everything they see and hear on TV regarding his views.

 I understand where the confusion comes from, but at the same time I do not understand where the confusion comes from. Let’s look at it from a completely objective perspective. Let’s just pretend for a brief moment that I do not support Dr. Paul, but I am trying to determine if he really is off-base with his positions. I have heard a lot about this guy running for president and I want to see what his deal is.

 So what exactly is/are his foreign policy position(s)?

  1. We do not give aid to any foreign nation unless the people have given their approval and the house has voted for it. (Natural disasters, Humanitarian efforts)
  2. We refrain from intervening in the day to day business of foreign governments.
  3. We refrain from intervening in wars, whether they are internal of external, unless those wars directly affect American interests, or the safety and security of the American people.
  4. We do not go to war unless attacked; waging only just wars and not wars of aggression.
  5. We do not go to war unless we follow the law of our land and declare the war.
  6. We outline a specific set of goals and parameters that we hope to achieve via military action.
  7. We establish a set of accomplishments that will allow us to determine if and when victory has been achieved.
  8. We do not rebuild those nations we have made war upon.
  9. We do not rebuild nations that our allies have made war upon.
  10. We do not build any nation other than our own, especially through means of violence, coercion or bribery.
  11. We come home after we achieve victory.

Those 11 points are very cut, dried and simplistic in view. Objectively, I would even say that they are akin to the “Golden Rule”.

 We have rules, policies and laws regarding bullying in schools, but yet it seems we are completely apathetic with respect to bullying internationally. If you walk around punching and kicking people just because they disagree with you, sooner or later you will find yourself back into a corner by a very angry mob. In simplistic; it’s the law of nature and that’s just the way it is.

 On the surface, I am starting to think that Ron Paul is actually not all that crazy after all. His foreign policy stances are, in fact, reasonable and logical. But, I am still not convinced that I can vote for the guy…after all, the MSM seems to have it out for him. I want to look at each point a little closer and maybe ask a few reasonable questions about each one.

We do not give aid to any foreign nation unless the people have given their approval and the house has voted for it. (Natural disasters, Humanitarian efforts)

 Ok, I get that. I think America and her people have enough troubles at home, fiscally and morally, and we have a greater need to keep as much money as we can here in the states. It stands to reason that if we stop sending billions to other countries, that we may even be able to pay down the debt, or lower taxes. Both of those are good, in my opinion.

 However, I don’t want to cause any problems with struggling nations that need this money to stave off terrorists and dictatorships.

 I am trying to justify this rationality, but I have read more than a few articles and consumed information from other sources that are at odds with this logic. We gave the Pakistani government money and they were harboring Osama! We gave Egypt money and now look at them. We gave Libya money and look at them too. The list goes on and it seems the deeper I dig, the more the case for foreign aid becomes a fallacy.

 I am also finding out that the money we give to these governments rarely makes it down to the people. So the humanitarian argument has to be thrown out. So I guess, after all, we probably shouldn’t be taxing the American people to send money to foreign governments, because in the end, it doesn’t do any good. I mean if we gave one billion to a nation of 300 million, they should each receive something like three thousand dollars, but I don’t think they do. It seems to me like the government is keeping it and doing something other than helping its people.

 Hell, I’d like to have that three thousand, that’s ¾ of my sons’ yearly tuition.

We refrain from intervening in the day to day business of foreign governments.

 Well yeah, I can’t see how any rational, logical, thinking or responsible person would disagree with this. I don’t think we would like it if Russia said we couldn’t build TV’s because China needs the work and money. I think we would tell Russia to take a walk.

We refrain from intervening in wars, whether they are internal of external, unless those wars directly affect American interests, or the safety and security of the American people.

This one is also pretty reasonable and logical. If they haven’t bombed us or our property in their or any other country, we should let them sort out their own affairs. I mean, if I see two men fighting in the street, I’m not going to go and break it up. Why would I? I don’t know why they are fighting and quite frankly, it’s none of my business. They’re grown men, it’s their business. As long as they don’t get too close to my property or family, I have no interest in it, other than entertainment.

We do not go to war unless attacked; waging only just wars and not wars of aggression.

 Again, from a rational, logical perspective, I see no issue with this. I’m an adult and as an adult I understand the concept of self defense versus aggression and offense.

 If some stranger walked up to me and said, “Hey, I think I might want to punch you in the face.” I wouldn’t automatically punch him in his face, just to prevent him from punching me in my face. That’s kind of dumb.

 I might say something to the effect of; I have no issue with him and ask why he’d want to punch me. Then I’d tell him that it would not be the smartest thing to do on his part. I would try to understand his problem and get out of the situation, if possible. If not, I would ask him if he wants to go home, or to the hospital.

 It’s kind of stupid to think that it’s okay to punch a guy because he threw some words at me. I would like to think that I’m better than that and that I have better control of my emotions. It’s one thing to throw words, but throwing punches is another issue.

We do not go to war unless we follow the law of our land and declare the war.

Well, yeah I get this one too. After all, we are supposed to be a nation of laws and the supreme law of the land states that the congress, and only the congress, has the power to declare wars. It’s kind of silly to argue that we couldn’t declare the war because it would take too long, or that we had to wait until the congress was back in session. No, actually we have provision for that. Congress can be called back for emergencies and in this day and age of technology and instant gratification, they could have a declaration typed up and ready for a vote in an hour.

 The other argument, that a declaration is not needed is also a bit silly and ridiculous. The president can authorize military action in an emergency, but beyond that he has no power to declare and wage war. The war needs to be declared so everyone knows what enemy we are fighting and why. That’s fairly simple.

We outline a specific set of goals and parameters that we hope to achieve via military action.

Duh. Who doesn’t like goals? There is nothing wrong with setting goals. They help to keep the action on task and serve as morale boosting milestones. I think everyone on earth has at least one goal.

We establish a set of accomplishments that will allow us to determine if and when victory has been achieved.

Yes, again with the goals. I mean, seriously, how could we possibly tell if we have won, if we don’t even know what we are fighting for? We knew we had to kill Hitler. We knew we had to depose or kill the emperor. Kill the army to get to the leaders…simple, yet effective.

What was the purpose of the Korean War?

Look at Vietnam; why the hell were we there? What were we supposed to do? What kind of victory were we looking for?

I don’t even want to talk about the fiascos in the Middle East. Talk about a clear as mud set of goals and mission objectives. Kill all terrorists. Yes, that’s awesome! Umm…who exactly are the terrorists then?

We do not rebuild those nations we have made war upon.
We do not rebuild nations that our allies have made war upon.
We do not build any nation other than our own through means of violence, coercion or bribery.

We can lump all these together into the same category, because, in reality, they are all the same category.

 Looking at this from a layman’s perspective, from a guy that has no college education and from a guy that has only recently (last few years) started looking into this stuff, the idea of foreign nation building, is completely ridiculous, immoral, asinine, insulting, degrading, tyrannical, stupid, wasteful of lives, time and money and to put it simply, a fucking farce.

We have roads, bridges, schools, and buildings falling apart here.
We have thousands upon thousands of homeless people here.
We have families that are struggling to make ends meet here.
We have children that are born into and perpetuate poverty here.
We have people starving and eating out of trash cans here.
This sad, pathetic list goes on and on…

 The daily cost of the Iraq war is around 720 million dollars. Let’s assume that a small fraction of that daily money is for the rebuilding of that nation’s infrastructure- 20 million.

 For twenty million dollars we could pay the mortgages on one hundred, 200 thousand dollar homes – every day! Now multiply that by 30, now by 365. We could rebuild one bridge, fix countless roads, build new schools and hire more teachers and so many other things here, in America.

 What really makes me sick and pisses me off about this whole nation-building fiasco is this: We invade countries for whatever reason, then we bomb the hell out of them and destroy their infrastructure, then we borrow money from the Federal Reserve, the taxpayers and China to pay private companies hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild the shit that we blew up….in another country!

 Me thinks we should just stop blowing shit up and start taking care of America and Americans. Rebuild this nation first.

We come home after we achieve victory.

Hell yes we should come home. Why would we keep them their? We have already completed all mission objectives. We have smashed the enemy and their ability to make war. We have waged war unequivocally and set an example of our might and dedication. We don’t need to waste our soldier’s time by keeping them in-country. They have already won and they deserve some rest, relaxation and time with their friends and families.

 Let’s let them cool off over there for a month or so, and then let’s bring them home to cool off for another month, and then they can go on their merry way with the gratitude and respect of the American people for a job well done.

 Keeping them around for years to “keep the peace” and “protect American interests” is a pile of malarkey. What interest should we have in a country that has attacked us and has been destroyed in retaliation? Should we build an embassy there? Hell no, if they want to be friends again let them take the first step and build the embassy for us.

 To be completely honest, I would feel much safer knowing there were a couple hundred thousand trained soldiers walking around the cities and towns of America.

 I have a few soldiers in my group of friends and family. Some of them are older and some of them are around my age, but all of them seem to agree on one thing, “I did my job, now I want to go home and see my family. I want a hamburger and French fries.” I think they have earned it.

  After looking at all this, asking myself question after question and trying to find a reasonable and logical example – any example or reason for that matter – to be at odds with Ron Paul’s foreign policy…I just can’t. I mean I really can’t do it. It just makes sense to me and I think when you look at all the questions, then answer them truthfully with fact based arguments, you really won’t have any reason to not support them either.

 So, in summation, my “crazy uncle Ron”, gets my vote on foreign policy as I just cannot rationalize any other perspective.

In Liberty,
 Richard Camacho

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Anti-Paul Thesis and Rebuttal

 Over the last few years that I have supported, Ron Paul, his Presidential campaigns, and the intellectual R3volution he champions, I have heard many, many arguments against the man. The arguments range from personal character attacks to incredulity concerning his positions on liberty, sound money, foreign policy and the current state of American affairs.

 With a revolution of any kind, there will always be skeptics and there will always be those that oppose and seek to undermine the movement. A violent revolution will experience a decreased amount of verbal and written attack, since it is the nature of violence to dispense with the opposition.

 But with a peaceful or intellectual revolution, the opposition must either use covert means of subjugation, propaganda and ignorance or violence. But the use of violence can have a detrimental effect on the opposition and succeed in undermining any argument of justification they may have for using such violence. Knowing this, opposing forces will oftentimes resort to violence only as a means of a last resort.

 Instead it will, most often, use propaganda and ignorance as a means of deflection and subjugation. Relying on the unwillingness or apathy of a population to spread or at least no discriminate against its purposes. An obfuscation or misrepresentation of the fact surrounding any circumstance, position or event can be an effective tool in combating any resistance or ideology.

 Inveigle, Obfuscate, Divide, Marginalize, Ignore, Vilify, Distort and Corrupt.

 “Lack of interest in anything, or the absence of any wish to do anything”

“Lack of knowledge or education, unawareness of something, often of something important.”

 Below you will find a list of commonly heard arguments, attacks and statements associated with the rejection of Paul and his ideas.

First and foremost:

 “I like Ron Paul, but his foreign policy is crazy."

 Ron Paul merely advocates a non-interventionist foreign policy with respect to the affairs of sovereign nations. He does not want to police the world and he does not want our sons and daughters dying in needless wars. This is a huge issue, especially in today’s world, but it is a relatively simple issue.

 Ron Paul and the majority of his supporters believe that we should not engage in nation building and that we should not seek to undermine or influence the government of nations in the world. We should be friendly to all nations, promote trade and diplomacy, but that we should not involve ourselves in the business of other nations as far as it does not concern or jeopardize American lives or interests.

 Astonishingly enough, this is the same foreign policy that the framers of the Constitution and the founders of this country adopted and promoted. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both said that America should trade with all nations, but avoid entering into an alliance with any, that we should promote American ideals of peace, liberty and prosperity throughout the world, through diplomacy and example.

"He wants to gut the military and leave America open to attack from terrorists.”

 Just for one minute, imagine how safe we, as Americans and as a country would be, if we brought all of our soldiers home. If we let them keep their rifles and side arms and spread them around the country. There truly would be a rifle behind every blade of grass. No terrorist would ever think of coming to our home land to attack us and no nation would try to invade America.

 Ron Paul’s campaign does, in fact, receive more in active military donations than all other republican candidates combined. I believe it is also just over twice the amount that Obama has received. You can’t have a crazy foreign policy and receive that kind of money from soldiers.

I could dedicate this entire article to this one topic, but I want to cover some other issues. This article delves a little into the effects of our foreign policy and how it affects, not only American citizens, but also our soldiers and the citizens of other nations.

“Ron Paul is a racist."

   If Paul really is a racist, let me just say, that I have never, ever-heard one racist comment uttered from his mouth and I have never read anything that could be construed as racist written by him. I have watch hundreds of videos of campaign stumps, debates, interviews, and commercials, none of which contain anything racist-with or without an undertone.

 I have read one of his books (I need to buckle down and buy the others), many of his statements and a plethora of supporter statements as well as information contained on his campaign website. All again, lacking any and all racial inferences.

 I will admit though, he, like any and all other candidates does have some prejudice people that support him. There are some angry white people that donate to him, but I am just as sure there are some angry black, brown, yellow, pink and purple people that support and contribute to him as well. Hell there may even be some with polka-dots too!

 Just because you have a supporter that espouses certain positions, does not necessarily mean that you agree with those positions. In Paul’s case, he stands on principles that are the exact opposite to the ideas of racial subjugation and segregation.

 The very promotion of individualism, freedom, whether economic or social and premise of limited government is the antithesis of prejudice and bigotry. You cannot, I repeat, cannot believe in the idea of individual liberty and also harbor feelings of racial inferiority. It just doesn’t work that way.

 The individualist sees all persons as a singularity in a collective world. The individual is his or her own master and as such are responsible for their own thoughts, behavior and actions. An individualist cannot ever merge the two ideas of individualism and collectivism, because one is most clearly a detriment to the other. In simple, they are mutually exclusive to one another.

 A collective is comprised of individuals, yes, but it is the individual that gives power to the collective. So a person may be part of a group, but the group may not necessarily be a part of the person.

"He wrote bad things about blacks and Hispanics in his newsletter years ago."

 As to the newsletter writings, yes, the paper may have been in Ron Paul’s name, but he did in fact not write the articles. When the articles in point were written Ron Paul was back practicing medicine, traveling and giving speeches. He was no longer a decision make within the paper, was not the editor, nor did he read the articles until years later.

 The article with the racial over tones was written by a man named James B. Powell as reported by Ben Swann of FOX 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can read the facts concerning those newsletters here and here.

"He said he wouldn’t have voted for the Civil Rights Act and that businesses should be allowed to discriminate.”

 As for the Civil Rights Act, at first I had a hard time wrapping my head around his position. I do admit, when I first heard the statement, I did not agree with him. Then again, I heard the statement from a talking head on TV and didn’t research it for a few weeks.

 I agree with the premise of, “Why would anyone be against the civil rights of another person?” I agree, whole heartedly I do. However, I have researched and read and watched and thought long and hard on this position. After a few months I can say that I now, do agree with Dr. Paul.

 Why? Because just because it is your right, does not make it right. Your rights end where mine begin. That’s why.

 There are two ideas behind not supporting the Civil Rights Act.

One: Private property.
Two: The Inalienable rights of man.

 A restaurant is a business that is owned, usually solely, by one person. As such it is his property and patrons enjoy the privilege of dining and purchasing his products. A common misconception surrounds this issue and lends to the ignorance of private property and its usage.

 No person, regardless of status or law, has the right to trespass on another’s private property. The right of way concerning private property is granted solely, by willful permission of the owner(s). There are some exceptions to this rule, but they surround the issue of access to public waterways that existed prior to the property becoming private.

 Any person or government that would seek to force an owner of private property to use or allow to be used, that property in a manner that is against what he desires, whether by violence or threat of violence, is both morally and philosophically wrong. In the eyes of millions of private property owners, as well as the framers, they are legally wrong as well.

 If I should choose to not allow black people into my house, there is nothing the government can do about it, because, it is private property. Why should it be any different for a store, restaurant or any other business owned and operated as private property? The products I buy are mine. I bought them with my money, made through the sweat of my labor, store them on my property, that was also bought with my money and I do not have to sell them to anyone that I do not wish to sell them to.

 You do not have a right to purchase products. You have an opportunity to exchange your money or the product of your labor for something of equal or lesser value. These exchanges have been taking place for thousands of years and will continue to take place for many more. A purchase is merely the agreement between two or more individuals to exchange one thing of value fro another thing of value.

 You cannot force someone to sell you something, especially if the product is of their own labor. If a business owner does not like a person because of the color of their skin, he then has every right to refuse to service or sell products to that person.

 A person does not have a right to walk into a diner, sit down and purchase food, unless that diner is owned by the people of the state. A person has an invitation, based on a mutual understanding that he or she may enter into a business for the purposes of purchasing products and services. An invitation is a request and conveyed permissive to attend an event. It is not a right, it is a privilege and as such, it can be revoked by the grantor. Think about birthday parties, if I do not invite you, you have no right to show up at my house and join the party. I have every right to ask you to leave, and then apply force to make you leave if you do not do so willingly.

 You do not have the inalienable right to buy food from a diner, or chips from the corner store. You don’t, you really don’t. That right did not come with the package.

Besides, why in the hell would you want to sit next to a bunch of bigoted morons let alone give them your hard earned money? Yes, I love sitting next to people that hate and want to kill me because the government says I can.

“He would deregulate the banking industry and let them take over the country. He is for big business because he wants to remove all the regulations that protect us.”

 Ugh…yes, this is a real statement, I have rebutted it before. I can’t believe I am even going to lend credence to this ridiculously idiotic statement but here goes.

 Ron Paul is not for big business, he is for business period. We live in a day when small businesses face a mountain of paper work that has to be completed. Businesses have to file for permits, pay fees to god knows how many different county, city, state and federal agencies before they are even approved to operate. Assuming they are approved, then they have to deal with regulation upon regulation once they are up and running.

 The company that I work for has staff that only deals with government regulations. They learn new regulations, and make sure we are complying with existing regulations. It’s a huge waste of time and money especially when some of these regulations are duplicated at various levels. Now, I work for a multi-billion dollar global company and I have a hard time wading through all of the ridiculous regulations, rules and policies that affect my day-to-day duties. I spent three hours one day just figuring out, how to figure out, to whom I could and could not export. Then I still had to find out if I could.

 Contrary to popular belief, deregulation is not a bad thing. It has been vilified in recent years over the housing debacle and subsequent debt defaults, bailouts and a bunch of other stuff. Here's the thing, the problem is not a lack of regulation, it is a problem of a poorly calibrated moral compass. It is a problem of a moral hazard created by the Federal Reserve banks and bolstered by the federal government.

 If the system had been allowed to work properly, that is, if there had been no bailout, then some very large companies would have defaulted, declared bankruptcy and then restructured. The companies would not have gone away, well...not all of them and tens of thousands of people would not have lost their jobs. A few hundred maybe, but certainly not anywhere near the numbers we were told by the MSM.

 The debt would have been liquidated immediately and we would be well on our way, if not fully into, a recovery. The problem is; the federal government stymied the checks and balances within the system when they chose to authorize the Federal Reserve Bank to issue the bailout monies. That, not only prolonged the slump, but it has allowed the debt to stay on the books, inflated the monetary base and pissed off the American people.

 Lack of regulations is what the market needs to work and thrive. What we see and work with today, are not the free markets of capitalism, but a perverted mutation called crony capitalism. In this market, the regulations only help to aid the favored companies while hindering or altogether preventing small or start up businesses from thriving.

Oh yeah, one other point: Ron Paul has no issue with states creating and implementing regulations on businesses that operate within their borders. So, to anyone that says, thinks or hopes that regulations will go completely away in a Paul administration, it's not going to happen. What will happen is the federal government will start minding its own business in this land and around the world.

"He wants to get rid of the income tax and the IRS. He's crazy; we can't run the country without taxes!"

 Hell yes he wants to get rid of the unconstitutional, illegal, fraud of an income tax. Myself and millions of other Americans are all for it. Honestly, I would think you were crazy if you said you wanted to keep it. Here is why and how it can work.

Everyone these days is talking about the economy and jobs, or the lack thereof. How do we fix that? How about a gigantic, permanent stimulus package? However, this isn't for the banksters, this is for us, the 99%.

 Imagine if every person in America suddenly had 18-38% more money in their pocket to spend. You talk about a boom. There would be a boom the likes of which America and the world has never seen. Companies would grow, small businesses would pop up left and right, jobs would be plentiful and the pay would be great too. The standard of living for all working Americans would increase and the economy would thrive.

We would see all kinds of new technology, innovations and infrastructure projects and renovations would be off the hook. American would once again, become that shinning city on a hill where gold is tripped over in the streets and people have so much money there mattresses would be ten feet high! You want jobs. There are your jobs. You want retirement security. Here it is. It can work and we can have it. Don't let anyone tell you that we need the income tax to make this country work, that's a pure 100% bull hockey lie. Don't believe me, then answer this; how did America survive for 137 years without it? She thrived.

Now, why should we get rid of the IRS and income tax? Well the short answer is because we don't owe anything to the federal government. There is no authority for it in the constitution. It was snuck in during a treasonous vote and there is a question of whether or not it has been ratified correctly.

 The long of it, not one single red cent of your stolen tax dollars goes to support, fund, repair, reduce or otherwise benefit you. One hundred percent of the tax money collected goes to pay the interest on the money that is charged by the Federal Reserve for the privilege of using and printing The United States Dollar. Look into the Grace Commission that Reagan convened.

Still think we need it? I call BS.

I may add to this later as I hear or remember more of the asinine statements people and the media make towards and against Ron Paul's positions and statements, but for now, this is all.

 In closing, I just want to say that if your sole provider for news and information is the TV or radio, you are indeed mislead and misinformed. I challenge all who read this to check these facts and research the candidates for yourselves. Do not take my word for it concerning Ron Paul; after all, I am a little biased.

I can't help it; I'm totally digging the idea of Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness.

In Liberty,
 Richard R. Camacho