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Usually it's his cartoons that are spot-on....

This time it's a note that hits exactly my feelings about Ron Paul.

you're all familiar with the broken clock that is right twice a day. ron paul is like a strange broken clock that is right 23 hours a day. then you get to some foreign policy midnight, and in stead of chiming, it barks and smears itself with poo.
Yes. Exactly.

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Ding! Winnar!
Of course, it must be said that this is approximately 22 hours per day better than the current Congress [current referring to the last n decades, not just this administration], which is in general a complete trainwreck but occasionally manages to get something right by sheer accident due to inability to completely defeat the laws of probability.
I agree.

If the winning trifecta is "social liberalism/fiscal conservatism/peace through superior firepower," then modern Democrats at least have the "social liberalism" piece right, though nothing else. Modern Republican leadership has the "peace through superior firepower" piece right, though nothing else. If Ron Paul gets the "fiscal conservatism" piece right and then is just barely libertarian enough to leave social liberals alone, then yeah, he's automatically better than any of the other options, regardless of how badly he sucks on an absolute scale.

Saying "he's better than the sixteen candidates that were on my state's ballot in the last election" may be damning with faint praise, but it's more praise than those sixteen deserved.
Bad foreign policy can easily destroy everything else. Almost as easily as bad fiscal policy. Maybe easier.
I agree. Are you a registered Republican? If so, wake me up when you manage to nominate someone who believes in peace through superior firepower and fiscal conservatism, and I'll go vote for him. In the meantime, we see what ignoring the latter for too many years has done, now, don't we?


so bankrupting ourselves through fighting multiple unwinnable wars is good foreign policy?

Hell, it will at least be entertaining. If you ever wondered what was going through the Athenians mind when they attacked Sicily, we're about to live through something just as idiotic.

Hey, let's spend 3 trillion dollars to fight maybe a few thousand terrorists, but lets make sure to cause enough collateral damage to ensure that no matter how many we kill there will still be a few thousand more we need to fight. How many alqaeda #2's have we killed or captured so far, like 6?

Personally I'm just embarrassed at how this is going to look in the history books.

You're like the Colorado Springs city government, turning off street lights because of a budget deficit. It isn't the cost of street lights that's bankrupting them. Cities have had streetlights since before the invention of electric lights, and managed to stay solvent. No, it's all the new benefits being added for our civil servants masters that are driving them into the hole.

A few little wars (and yes, these are little wars) are not bankrupting the U.S. The U.S. has been fighting wars since its inception, including against a native insurgency, and a bloody civil war. We could stop the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in their tracks tomorrow, and Social Security and Medicare/caid would still bankrupt us.

If you're just against war, have the courage of your convictions, step up and say, "I don't like war." It's a perfectly respectable position, with a long history. No need to be shy about it. Don't try to dress it up as fiscal responsibility. That's just dishonest and weak. If you're too ashamed of your own opinion to promote it honestly, why would anyone else want to adopt it?


Because I'm not anti-war (in general), I'm anti-robbery. Obviously I'm against all those social programs too, but didn't think I'd have to justify that.

How do you support your pro robbery position? I mean if the war is really in my interest, why would I have to be forced to support it financially? Are there no historical cases of people volunteering to fight and pay for war when the cause is just?

Man is a social animal and will always have to live within a social structure, particularly once they get over the tribal limit. That social structure will consume a certain amount of time and effort and resources. It is no different than the necessity to devote time and effort and resources to securing food, water, and shelter. However much we'd rather avoid it, that's no argument against working to put roofs over our heads. This is our nature, this is our environment, this is what we have to do to live and thrive.

This offends anarcho-libertarians in the same way that human self-interest offends communists. Tough shit. Both philosophies are based on false premises and false views of human nature. I no more feel the need to justify "robbery" to an anarcho-libertarian than I feel the need to justify private property to a commie, or agriculture to a breatharian. When you choose to fight nature, nature's gonna' win.


Then simply point me to some rational argument against anarcho-libertarianism, I'm perfectly happy to do the hard work.


wrong, apparently you don't understand what anarcho-libertarianism is all about. I'm disappointed, I was hoping to learn something new today.

anarcho-libertarianism is not about having no laws or social structure. It is about having society with laws that protect individuals from aggression. Obviously Somalia would not be an example of that.

Obviously Somalia would not be an example of that.


So what would be an example of that? No theory, real world, demonstrable, with some history to it?


There is none.
And you're going to get the money to enforce those laws how, exactly? Voluntary donations?



Wow, assertions are easy. I guess supporting them is also easy for me, since I can point to every civilization ever as an example. Sucks to be you though.
Hey thanks. You're even responding with the points I wanted to make.

There is a happy medium between "society is everything, the individual is nothing", and "the individual is everything, society is nothing." Finding out where that lies is the trick. I think a high degree of individual liberty works better than the alternative, but I also know that many of the things we prize as individual rights are actually a creation of the collective. Without general respect for things like property deeds, you don't own it unless you can carry it at a dead run, and sleep with one eye open. I support a certain level of social structure because it enhances individual liberty.
I'm anti-robbery.

Ah. Is Paul?

Cause, last I checked, he wasn't "anti-robbery". He was just going to insist on robbing you *at a different point*


he's far closer than most. I could live with his system even if it wasn't perfectly libertarian.
But he's not.

That's what you're missing. He's declaring that he's not going to rob you - and then he robs you. Same deal. Tax is a tax is a tax.

Now, if you want to make the argument that his tax system is better, or promotes growth or - any sort of thing like that, that is arguable.

But you made the flat out statement that Paul's "anti-robbery". And he's not.


He's read the same books I have, I think I know what he believes in. I have total faith in him as president. Taxation would be far less oppressive than it is today.

If he suddenly turned into every other politician upon gaining office he would have a real revolution on his hands.
I have total faith in him as president.

Well, just so we're talking religious faith.

Taxation would be far less oppressive than it is today.

Hallelujah! Preach it!

And don't forget all the pot when he legalizes drugs! (Or at least orders the DEA to stop arresting all the people growing/smuggling/smoking drugs.)

If he suddenly turned into every other politician upon gaining office he would have a real revolution on his hands.

Right! Because those Stoners would, totally, like... hey, man, that bites. Damn. I thought he was different. Pass that over, I'm bummed.

You're not even noticing where he's already like every other politician (and he's in elected office). Why would that change because he got elected President?

U.S. foreign policy over the last century has defeated Fascism and Communism, built the Panama canal, and created one of the best object lessons in the difference between governments on the Korean peninsula. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but name one other nation's foreign policy that's been as successful and lead to as much quality of life increase for so many people. Including yours, as I've pointed out repeatedly.

Not without frailty and failure, to be sure.

I started to say "Not exactly saints"... But on the other hand, what saints can you point to with such concrete *successes*? (Even if we'll take the Catholic church's beatification at face values.)

As Kevin quoted today:

When soldiers from any other army, even our allies, entered a town, the people hid in the cellars. When Americans came in, even into German towns, it meant smiles, chocolate bars and C-rations. -- Stephen Ambrose
Hakmal said the standard response goes something like, "The Americans are here to help our country function again. They don't want to stay. They want to help, then leave. You should help, too."

Then the shooting starts.

Eric S. Raymond put it well once:
I was traveling in Europe a few years back, and some Euroleftie began blathering in my presence about America's desire to rule the world. "Nonsense," I told him. "You've misunderstood the American character. We're instinctive isolationists at bottom. We don't want to rule the world — we want to be able to ignore it."

But we've learned that we can't just ignore it and it'll ignore us.

And so far, we've been unwilling to invest in the national resource exploitation to successfully shutter ourselves from anywhere outside the country (or hemisphere at worst.) Because deep down, most people understand what that isolation will really mean, and that our isolation will last only a short time - unless we're militant and aggressively protect the isolation. And perhaps not then.


" our isolation will last only a short time - unless we're militant and aggressively protect the isolation"

How has Switzerland managed without military bases all over the world?
By relying on countries that have military bases all over the world. The fact that you don't personally need to be a cop is not a disproof of the necessity of cops.


really, that's what kept them out of WWI and WWII?
No, that was mainly making nice with the Nazis top guys, and buying military hardware from Germany.
This made me laugh out loud, by the way.
Ditto. :)
Yep, it's epic.


That's QotD for 3/2 at TSM. Thanks!
...which is why we need to put 200 clones of him in the House, 40 or so in the Senate, and keep the original out of the White House. :)