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RSDavis
11-19-2007, 12:30 PM
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Ron Paul Roundup (11-19-07)
by RS Davis (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=194780914&blogID=330034714&Mytoken=4065BFF8-2CB4-4397-A1E7F49D7F6A0CB922188792)


Hello Freedomphiles! Let's start off today's Roundup with another story about the Liberty Dollar Raid. I had mentioned on Saturday that I am concerned that this may turn into a treason charge, because the things outlined in the FBI's affadavit are not counterfietting claims, but claims that the goal of the Liberty Dollar was to take down the Fed and destroy American fiat currency. This makes me very nervous.

Nobody other than me, it seems, shares this concern, but Walt Theissen of The Nolan Chart gets to the heart (http://www.nolanchart.com/article294.html)of the US Mint's claims, which may be different than the FBI case:

The Mint's website includes the following commentary on the Liberty Dollar:

"However, under the Constitution ( Article I, section 8, clause 5 ), Congress has the exclusive [my emphasis] power to coin money of the United States and to regulate its value."

The arrogance of this statement is quite shocking when one actually reads Article I, Section 8, Clause 5, which states:

"The Congress shall have Power...To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"

Nowhere in that clause is there a single reference to an exclusive power held by Congress. Rather it is a delegated, non-exclusive power. And as the 10th Amendment to the Constitution makes quite clear:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Thus, there is no Constitutional authority for the U.S. Mint's claim. In fact, their claim should be taken to be yet another usurpation of power that the Constitution does not grant to either the Congress or to the Mint itself. This is one of the clearest power grabs that the Federal Government has taken in modern times beyond what the Constitution permits. It is a naked abuse of power, and the director of the U.S. Mint should be called before the American people to explain and justify his clear violation of that sacred document_ The Mint's claims are a serious threat to the liberties of all the American people, and not just the owners of NORFED, Inc.

But the Mint doesn't stop there. They go on to say the following:

"By statute ( 31 U.S.C. § 5112(a) ), Congress specifies the coins that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to mint and issue and requires the Secretary to carry out these duties at the United States Mint (31 U.S.C. § 5131). Accordingly, the United States Mint is the only entity in the United States with the lawful authority to mint and issue legal tender United States coins."

But a quick check of both of those sections cited under the U.S. Code again show no exclusive authority as claimed by the Mint. Rather, they are a directive to the Mint to carry out the authority that is designated the Mint by the Congress, as authorized by the Constitution.

It isn't until the Mint's article arrives at the following paragraph that the Mint's position is finally made crystal clear.

"Under 18 U.S.C. § 486, it is a Federal crime to utter or pass, or attempt to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver intended for use as current money except as authorized by law."

The link to that section of the Code says:

"Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money, whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

This is the crux of the Mint's claim. Congress itself usurped power beyond its Constitutional authority many years ago when it codified this law. Additionally, the Mint article states:

"Prosecutors with the Department of Justice have determined that the use of these gold and silver NORFED 'Liberty Dollar' medallions as circulating money is a Federal crime."

This makes clear what Bernard NotHaus, the Founder of NORFED, meant when the New York Times quoted him as saying after the raid:

"They're running scared right now and they had to do something. I'm volunteering to meet the agents and get arrested so we can thrash this out in court.''

While I have no specific access to NotHaus's legal team, it doesn't take Johnnie Cochran to deduce what NotHaus's argument in court is going to be. It seems highly likely that they are going to argue that 18 U.S.C. § 486 is an unconstitutional power grab by the U.S. Congress.

In the meantime, though, proving once again that value and price are subjective, the Liberty Dollar profits are going through the roof (http://www.nolanchart.com/article296.html):

The Ron Paul Liberty gold dollar was advertised at a price of $1,000 each. Each coin contained one troy ounce (one-twelfth of a pound) of pure gold. The New York spot price for gold yesterday (Nov. 16) at the close was $785. The starting price for the coin at Ebay was $800. You would have a guaranteed loss of $200, had you had just one bidder. But the price didn't stay there. This evening (Nov. 17 7:45 p.m. EST), the bid was $1,800, plus $19.10 shipping. That's an amazingly good return--80% in one week. That item is available for bid for the next 3 days and 15 hours. It could go a lot higher.

The silver coin is also one troy ounce. It was advertised at $45 for the first few, and $55 for subsequent numbered copies. The spot closing price for silver yesterday was $14.43. The lead coin is $308.92 plus $5 shipping. It has about an hour to go. The next three coins average $251 plus shipping and will close in the next five hours. So you'd get back at least five times what you paid for it.

The market for the silver coin is more fluid than for gold. I see only one gold coin for sale, while there are 20 silver coins (not including the "buy it now") that are available within the next 10 days. Perhaps it's due to the lower entry level? For one gold coin at $1000, you could have bought 18 coins at the $55 dollar price.

I didn't see a market for the $1 copper coins. I guess they're still $1.

In other news, prisonplanet.com is reporting (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2007/161107_beck_smears.htm) that CNN has been hammered by complaints about Glenn Beck calling Paulites terrorists. I wonder if any of you followed the link I provided and sent in your own letters.

Complaints and demands for a retraction and an apology are flooding CNN today after Neo-Con host Glenn Beck and ex-Marxist David Horowitz smeared Ron Paul supporters, libertarians and the anti-war left as terrorist sympathizers and inferred that the U.S. military should be used to silence them, parroting a talking point that traces back to a September 2006 White House directive.

This is part of an ongoing propaganda assault which has also been mimicked by other anti-American Neo-Con talking heads like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.

Beck opened up his show segment by inferring that the U.S. military should be used to silence domestic dissent against the war, claiming that those he would later identify as Ron Paul supporters, libertarians and the anti-war left and link with terrorists, were a "physical threat."

"When you enlist in the U.S. military, you have take an oath that says you're gonna support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies - foreign and domestic - we talk a lot on this program about the foreign threats - maybe we should spend some time tonight on the domestic one....the physical threat may be developing domestically as well," said Beck.

Beck then goes on to make the absurd insinuation that Ron Paul supporters are a terrorist threat because they are causing disenfranchisement with the government. His evidence? The November 5th donation drive coincided with a 400-year-old piece of British history and Guy Fawkes plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

If you'd like to see the video of Glenn Beck's smear attack, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg8M2JBIoqo

The Gazette Online has a piece (http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071117/IOWACAUCUS/711170040/1011/IOWACAUCUS) about Ron Paul, and his surprising support:

He was "a bit cynical" in the early days of his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He didn't think there were enough people who shared his belief in personal liberty to build a national campaign.

However, Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas since 1976, found people who shared his beliefs had been "hanging around, waiting for an opportunity, disgusted with all the other options," he told more than 100 people at Kirkwood Community College before speaking at a tailgate rally before the University of Iowa football game.

Paul, 72, also found that young people, like his Kirkwood campus director, freshman Devin Wiese, who had never heard that message found that it made sense and joined the campaign.

Wiese, a freshman from Eldridge, was attracted to Paul because of his support for civil liberties, his stance on financial security issues and because he challenged the idea that the war in Iraq is being fought because of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on this country and weapons of mass destruction.

Paul's opposition to the Iraq war — he and former Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa City were the only two Republicans to vote against authorizing military action there — has been an "attention-getter" for the campaign, Paul said.

"It's time to come home from Iraq, time to end the war," Paul said, adding that the troops should be brought home in months, not years.

"He's inspiring," said Patrick Lausen of Cedar Rapids, who saw Paul for the first time Saturday, although he's been following the Paul campaign on the Internet. "He has a great message — lower taxes, for example — about helping out the middle-class."

The Washington Times is reporting (http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071119/NATION/111190062/1001) that in the case of Ron Paul, politics do certainly make for strange bedfellows:

They are crusty Iowa farmers enticed by doing away with the income tax, libertarian-minded college students in heavy-metal band T-shirts, antiwar Republicans looking for a champion, and folks worried about the Federal Reserve Board and paper money.

They say they are the disaffected in politics, and this year they are finding a political home with Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas who is shaking up the Republican presidential contest with phenomenal fundraising and the potential to convert that into enough votes to be a spoiler come January.

Even without the fife-and-drum players, they are the loudest of crowds. Even without the "Don't Tread on Me" flags and cloak-and-mask movie costumes, they are the most colorful. And Mr. Paul's supporters certainly are the most suspicious of the political process.

The latest endorsement for the Ron Paul campaign comes from New Jersey assemblyman Michael J Doherty. USADaily caught up with him to ask (http://www.usadaily.com/article.cfm?articleID=167697) him why:

Question: Assemblyman Doherty, last weekend you stood before 5,000 people at a rally in Philadelphia and endorsed Ron Paul for president. Most of your fellow Republicans have endorsed Rudy Giuliani.

Why did you endorse Ron Paul for president?

I see our country at a crossroads and believe we have to make some significant changes. Our monetary policy is a disaster. If we do not take a new approach, the United States government will eventually be bankrupt. The inflationary result of our irresponsible monetary policy is eroding the savings of each and every American. Ron Paul is the only candidate who is addressing this significant issue.

TheDay.com out of Connecticut has a piece (http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=d6c75503-39b4-4376-ba89-24c9e2069156) on Ron Paul and what they percieve to be the meaning of his surprising support:

Pundits are speculating about the reasons behind the vast support for Ron Paul's campaign for the U.S. presidency. Deductions I've read about the campaign's impressive $4.3 million dollar online fundraising by donations from 38,000 Americans in a 24-hour period, seem to miss the obvious point. It's more than just widespread disapproval of our current government and the Iraq War. There have been "protest candidates" before, but few have had Paul's success. It's the man and his message. And many who have heard it are convinced.

First, consider that Paul's average donation on Nov. 5 was $103, more than twice as high as his average donation, and that the "money bomb" event was organized independently from his campaign. Paul's supporters are individuals. They are not the weapons industry, corporations, special-interest groups, or anyone else seeking favor or privilege.

Paul's supporters want honesty, openness, fairness, equality, prosperity and peace, not to mention our inalienable individual rights back. And they want America to stop meddling in the affairs of other peoples. This a bottom-up, grass-roots movement. And, it is coming on like gangbusters, a fact that concerns those who love power and authority.

AFP also has an article (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iAGl04zfENnYFMtXZ_fvt9Ao6pXQ) on Paul:

Of the 16 presidential candidates from both parties, Paul, 72, has made his mark as the most radical and unorthodox.

A conservative libertarian, he defies convention and all that defines the political mainstream. The former obstetrician supports the decriminalization of marijuana and expresses tolerance for same-sex unions but fiercely opposes abortion.

Insisting on a strict interpretation of the US Constitution, he cites the Second Amendment's right to bear arms in opposing any ban on gun ownership, while rejecting the idea of the United States as the world's policeman.

Representing his Texas district in Congress since 1976, Paul was one of two Republican lawmakers who voted against the war in Iraq.

On foreign policy, the former reservist in the US Air Force calls for reviving the principle of non-intervention as espoused by the founding fathers of the United States, which he sometimes calls an "empire" like anti-globalization leftists.

During his campaign events, he cites his role model Thomas Jefferson, the third American president who warned: "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none."

NewsChannel5 out of Nashville reported (http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=7377298) on some Paul supporters who were circulating a petition:

Saturday, a petition signing for the Presidential candidate at the Poplar House restaurant in Spring Hill.

Campaign officials encouraged registered voters to sign a petition, for the delegates to the Republican National Convention for Ron Paul. Those who weren't registered to vote, also got a chance to sign up.

Man, Ron Paul supporters are everywhere, from massive 5000 strong rallies to little bake sales to a couple of folks outside a restraunt with a pen and a clipboard.

Even, apparently, in Korea. According to LewRockwell.com, he won (http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/016972.html) the straw poll in Seoul:

Writes George Whitfield: "I am pleased to report that Congressman Ron Paul won the straw poll last night (Nov. 17th, 2007) in Seoul at the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the Republicans Abroad Korea. Dr. Paul won with 50 percent, beating Rudy Giuliani, who garnered 23 percent of the vote.

American Chronicle's Josh Hardy is asking (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=43209), "Is Ron Paul revolutionary or just more of the status-quo?"

That said, if he beats the odds, which I read are 8-1 in Vegas, and wins the presidency, just how committed will he be to the small-government libertarianism he espouses? While he is stellar compared to his colleagues, can you really call yourself a champion of smaller government when your votes would increase non-discretionary government spending by nearly $74 billion, according to a National Taxpayers Union vote tally done on the 109th Congress? Not only that, his recent record in fighting government pork-spending is actually quite poor, scoring only 32% in the Club For Growth's 2007 RePORK Card. He uses good old-fashioned political doublespeak to explain his record on earmarks, claiming he is only trying to give back what the government takes from his district, but in the end he votes against the spending. That's like helping someone load a gun, then voicing opposition when the gun is fired.

I disagree. I think it is more like trying to stop a robber when he is robbing you, but then not being so stupid as to refuse when he offers a little of his booty back.

The Dallas Morning News is writing (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/national/stories/DN-paul_17nat.ART.State.Edition1.372eea6.html) about Dr Paul's fundraising successes, and the possibility of December 16th making them look like downright failures:

Riding the strength of his zealous supporters, his campaign pulled in more than $4.2 million in a Web-based fundraiser Nov. 5, breaking the single-day GOP record.

That record may not stand for long. Dr. Paul's backers plan a fundraising blitz Dec. 16 with a goal of $10 million – $100 donations from 100,000 people – in commemoration of the Boston Tea Party, which helped spark the American Revolution.

Dr. Paul wants a similar seismic change in today's society.

"The message of freedom is powerful," said Jesse Benton, spokesman for Dr. Paul's campaign. "It's unifying. People are getting our message at a time when the government is moving away from personal freedoms."

Larry Fester at USADaily calls (http://www.usadaily.com/article.cfm?articleID=166992) the mainstream candidates the "fringe candidates:"

Some of the critics of Paul's foreign policy haven't even ruled out a preemptive tactical nuclear strike against Iran. Paul said to USA Daily, "I believe we can restore such cooperation with Iran through diplomacy, trade, and travel, rather than threatening a nuclear strike."

Paul continued, "We need to re-open the doors to diplomacy with Iran, by removing sanctions and actually talking with them—as we did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. President Reagan was "the Great Communicator," and we need to hearken back to his policy of communication to prevent war with Iran or any other country that seeks to obtain nuclear weapons."

One of Ron Paul's chief rivals, Rudy Giuliani, said that he wanted to get tough with Russia and expand NATO into Eastern Europe, Australia, and Japan.

Ron Paul commented to USA Daily that "Our foreign policy seems to be focused on provoking Russia rather than seeking friendly and mutually-beneficial relations. The United States has troops stationed in a ring around Russia and regularly interferes in the internal affairs of the new states of the former Soviet Union."

Ron Paul then went on to say, "There is no reason for a "new Cold War" with Russia, and the foreign policy I intend to pursue as president – peaceful relations, engagement, and trade – will greatly improve US/Russia relations."

Dan Fejes of OpEdNews.com is also looking (http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_dan_feje_071117_the_ron_paul_cure.htm) at the Republican party and wondering how "the party of principle" has gotten to where it is, trading a love of small government and individual liberty for gutless political expediency and welfare/warfare neoconservatism:

It wasn't too long ago that the right loved to mention how they were the ones with ideas and all liberals had to offer was obstructionism. During the Social Security debate in 2005 it seemed to reach its apogee. Now that all they have to offer is their own obstructionism the crowing has tapered off quite a bit. The ideas they are left with run the spectrum from being pro war to being pro torture (hat tip Glenn Greenwald). They have no claim to fiscal discipline: A Republican President and Congress inherited a budget surplus and turned it into a massive deficit. They have no small-government credibility: Spending exploded, pork barrel projects went through the roof and they created the biggest entitlement program since Medicare. They have no respect for parliamentary norms and traditions: The vote that made the prescription drug benefit a law was an appalling spectacle. Conservatives approved of all of this. They may have clucked a little here and there but for all intents and purposes they went along. We saw during the immigration debate how forceful they can be when they want to.

National Review Online's Mona Charen has put Paul in her sights and fired a shit-bomb (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MmU0ZDFhYjIxM2VlMTEzMjkyY2ZiNDA3Y2RiZmU1YTc=)at him:

Ron Paul is the favorite candidate of a number of racist, neo-Nazi and conspiracist websites. While Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of cranks and kooks, he can disavow their support and return their checks. He received $500 from Don Black, the proprietor of Stormfront.org and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He has not yet returned it.

Moreover, Paul seems to be playing a sly game with his conspiracy-minded fans. He does not explicitly endorse the crazier theories out there, but he hints at dark forces in the U.S. government threatening our liberties, he inveighs against the "neo-cons" (shorthand for Jews in some circles) and he gives aid and comfort to the paranoid by appearing on their favorite radio shows.

No, Ron Paul is not my candidate. Not for president. He might make a dandy new leader for the Branch Davidians.

And saving me the hassle, the brilliant Radley Balko, writer for reason and my ultimate political man-crush, has debunked (http://www.theagitator.com/archives/028347.php028347) the entire piece on his Agitator blog:

This is the most common criticism of Paul floating around the web right now. I wonder, does anyone really think $500 will make Paul adopt Stormfront-approved public policy? The Paul campaign's position is, if people like Black are stupid enough to give him their money, the campaign is more than happy to take it.

Would I give the check back? Probably. But Paul's campaign convincingly explains that once you start screening donations for ideology, you risk giving the implication that you then do agree or endorse the positions of those people who send the checks you don't return. Paul's a huge underdog. I don't see anything offensive about his campaign's position: We'll take money from anyone. Again, it's not as if there's any reason to think that the guy is going to be influenced by campaign contributions from shady sources. He has spent his entire political career taking unpopular positions that would've sunk most candidates for federal office. Appeasing campaign donors--or anyone or anything other than his own conscience--isn't a high priority for him.

Moreover, Paul seems to be playing a sly game with his conspiracy-minded fans. He does not explicitly endorse the crazier theories out there...

Sorta' like the ol' "Southern Strategy," in which Charen's beloved Republicans used code words to win support from southern racists throughout the 1980s, no?

...but he hints at dark forces in the U.S. government threatening our liberties...

Um, what country has Charen been living in the last 20 years? I don't know what "dark" means, but there are forces out there threatening our civil liberties. See the way the drug war has eviscerated the Bill of Rights. See White House claims that it can search the records of American citizens without a warrant or judicial review, arrest them, deny them access to a lawyer, detain them indefinitely without trial, torture them, and the threaten to arrest and charge with treason any journalist who dares to write about it. One needn't be a Truther, a Birchite, or a Stormfronter to be disturbed by all of this. There are plenty of honest conservatives bothered by it, too.

...he inveighs against the "neo-cons" (shorthand for Jews in some circles) ...

Can we retire this cheap smear? Question for Charen: Do you believe Ron Paul hates Jews? If so, say so. Stop with the insulting insinuation.

"Neocon" is the name for a particular brand of big government, aggressive-foreign-policy conservatism that morphed from New Deal liberalism. Equating it with the word with "Jew" is a cheap, slimy ploy by some neocons to insulate themselves from criticism. It's akin to likening any criticism with Israel with anti-Semitism. There are Jewish neocons. There are many more extremely influential neocons who aren't Jewish. There are Jews who loathe neocons. Criticizing neo-con policy is not criticizing Jews. It is amusing, though, to watch the right play the group victim card.

No, Ron Paul is not my candidate. Not for president. He might make a dandy new leader for the Branch Davidians.

Ah, an inspired rhetorical flourish to end the column. In a single sentence, Charen manages to both equate Ron Paul with a pederastic cult leader and belittle the senseless slaughter of 79 people, including 21 children.

I happen to think Ron Paul is the best candidate running. But I'll be the first concede that there are legitimate issues on which to criticize him. But that would require actually addressing his policy positions and his rationale for taking them. It's quite a bit easier to cough up 650 words of ad hominem attack and call it a column.

Follow the link and read the whole thing. It's brilliant. And while you're at it, if you are any good at YouTube videos, I have a great idea for a campaign spot for the contest I spoke of yesterday. Get in touch with me if you are interested.

http://www.brendangates.com/forumlogo.jpg

JoshLowry
11-19-2007, 12:51 PM
Great write up.

The $1 copper ron paul dollars are actually going for $60 bucks. They were only able to ship out a few orders of the copper dollars.

RSDavis
11-19-2007, 01:32 PM
Great write up.

The $1 copper ron paul dollars are actually going for $60 bucks. They were only able to ship out a few orders of the copper dollars.

Nice. Do you think this is going to go down as a counterfietting charge or a treason charge? (THAT'S what should have been my poll. Oh well...)

- R