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RSDavis
12-07-2007, 01:22 PM
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Ron Paul Roundup (12-07-07)
by RS Davis (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=194780914&blogID=335830343&Mytoken=FD4D6741-687B-49DB-B727D209731C4EE039382097)


Hello Freedomphiles! Let's start off today's Roundup with the news about the Ron Paul Blimp idea. Apparently, they need your help to make it a reality. James Pindell of The Boston Globe reports (http://www.boston.com/news/local/politics/primarysource/2007/12/get_ready_bosto.html), apparently while simultaneously scratching his head and smiling bemusedly:

Some supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul want to celebrate their "Ron Paul Revolution" by engaging in a major online fund-raising day on Dec. 16, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This comes of the heals of their most successful fund-raising day ever in early November where they pulled in $4.3 million.

While there will be no physical fund-raising event in Boston, supporters are trying to raise enough money to, get this, fly a blimp from New Jersey to Boston for the big day. To make this happen they figure they'll need to raise $200,000 by tomorrow night.

I can't complain. I'm amused by the idea, too. I say, what the hell - the blimp isn't gonna hurt his chances, so why not? It might even help - I've been wrong before. Only twice, though.

Here's the vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41S_kjin4pg

Remember yesterday's Roundup when Ron Paul joked about the FEC cracking down on the grassroots campaign? Well, Brian Doherty over at the nigh-invulnerable reason magazine has found this article (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1207/7245.html)from Politico, where Kenneth P Vogel has examined the Ron Paul blimp idea, and what the FEC could do about it:

[The blimp] tests the reach of campaign finance rules by employing an innovative funding structure that could expose a new way to pour largely unregulated money into politics. If the model is successful, hypothetically it could allow a media consultant to produce slick attack ads and — without ever disclosing how much was raised or spent — solicit millions from "sponsors" to air the ads in key states.....

...As for the money floating the blimp, [Jerry] Collette and [former FEC chair Brad] Smith [the effort's legal advisor] have developed a detailed business plan carefully structured to avoid Byzantine campaign finance laws...

...Instead of soliciting donations like a PAC or a campaign or a non-profit political group, Liberty says it's "selling political advertisements that you can sponsor."

(...)

Things could get a little tricky, though, since payments of more than $250 to fund the blimp likely will be considered "independent expenditures" that require detailed FEC disclosure reports from Liberty's customers...

...It will automatically produce independent expenditure forms for customers to print, sign and mail, which Collette predicted they'd do because "word has gotten out that this is going to bury the FEC in paperwork for the cost of stamp."

National Post has a piece (http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2007/12/06/149371.aspx)on the NAFTA Superhighway that has many of you with your panties in a bunch:

Many believe the transcontinental corridor is a myth, yet there are many Americans, such as Republican darkhorse candidate Ron Paul, who believe this is a road of the devil--a four-football-field-wide path to American self-destruction that will welcome millions of illegal immigrants. Well, now, Mr. Paul, might think he has some real fodder. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation web site uses the exact phrase, showing a thoroughfare that begins in Manitoba and drops all the way down to West Texas.

When initially reached for comment, ministry communications director Jerry Bellikka said, "Where's the secret agenda if it's on a government web site? He added that the controversy is a "pretty good example of political rhetoric getting twisted out of shape."

I want to spend a few minutes on this, for those of you who'd like to know. There is nothing wrong with this highway in and of itself. There are definite problems with NAFTA, but none of them have to do with increased trade from our neighbors to the north and south. That is a good thing, hands down.

But what it has caused is a lot more traffic, particularly through Texas, as import shipping has doubled (https://www.reason.com/news/show/122632.html) since NAFTA:

The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement has doubled U.S.-Mexico trade, three-fourths of which flows through Texas. And the movement of goods through the state is expected to increase exponentially in the near future as Asia routes more exports through the newly expanded Panama Canal.

This highway would do a lot to ease that burden and unclog Texas highways for regular commuters. So, in and of itself, this highway is a good thing.

Where the real concern comes in is in the form of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), which is a forum where they discuss trade issues, immigration, and terrorism prevention. This is not dangerous in and of itself, either.

But what we need to be wary of is the SPP getting regulatory power. It's bad enough that our government passes laws through unelected beuracrats in the guise of "regulation," but if a foriegn body is doing it, it not only hurts our system of representative legislation, but it damages our sovreignty.

This is the problem I have with the UN, NATO, the WTO, and the International Criminal Court. They damage our sovreignty by abrogating our rights to non-American entities. And largely, they provide no benefit to Americans.

So, don't fear the expanded highway. Don't fear the SPP. But be on guard for legislators willing to sell us out to foriegn governing bodies.

Let's move on, shall we? Do you remember the history lesson I gave to McCain (not that he read it!) on military adventurism in WWI and WWII? Well, according to The Washington Post, Ron Paul agrees (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/12/06/a_history_lesson_with_dr_paul.html)with me, as all wise people should:

Asked what he made of John McCain's comments at last week's GOP debate comparing Paul's opposition to the war in Iraq to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, Paul let loose, saying that McCain was "confused historically."

"People in the 1930s who didn't want war didn't cause World War II. I think Hitler caused the war, not the Americans who argued for a pro-American foreign policy," he said.

"I don't think [McCain] understands the difference between isolationism and non-intervention. How can he condemn it if the Founders believed in it? George Washington, Jefferson, this was their strong advice."

Paul concluded with this zinger, saying with a smile and a shrug that he was "not too surprised" by McCain's invocation of Hitler: "I think he's angry and emotional. I think he sees his campaign coming to an end and is sort of striking out."

This next bit is one of my favorite things in this entire Roundup, because it reveals the character of Ron Paul, who is unwilling to go against his live-and-let-live libertarian ethos, even when it would score him political points. Andrew Sullivan gets the scoop (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/12/ron-paul-on-mit.html):

"We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for American values and traditions before they are washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. I have never been one who is particularly comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena, and I find the pandering that typically occurs in the election season to be distasteful.

Our nation was founded to be a place where religion is freely practiced and differences are tolerated and respected. I come to my faith through Jesus Christ and have accepted him as my personal savior. At the same time, I have worked tirelessly to defend and restore individual rights and religious freedom for all Americans.

The recent attacks and insinuations, both direct and subtle, that Gov. Romney may be less fit to serve as president of our United States because of his faith fly in the face of everything America stands for. Gov. Romney should be judged fairly, on his record and his character, not on the church he attends."

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is writing (http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2007/12/06/PAULMONEY_1207.html)about us, and the decentralized nature of the Paul campaign:

The cash flow is almost entirely driven by Paul supporters, who have set up Web sites for the fund-raising, organized door-to-door canvassing, and formed more than 1,300 neighborhood "Meet-up" groups through the Internet — all with little or no direction from the official campaign.

In short, the 72-year-old obstetrician-lawmaker who says the nation should return to the modest government envisioned by the 18th century Founding Fathers, has inspired a movement for the online, logged-in 21st century.

Other campaigns have used the tools of the Internet as a way to mobilize massive numbers of donors. "Ron Paul was able to take it to the next level," said Alan Rosenblatt, associate director of online advocacy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning research and policy group.

Paul's "bottom up" organization — built and run by the grass roots and supported by thousands of small donations — has succeeded by tapping into issues that people care about, such as lower taxes and "getting the government out of my life," Rosenblatt said.

On The Nolan Chart, Christine Smith is wondering (http://www.nolanchart.com/article384.html)why Ron Paul left the Libertarian Party, and if she should do the same:

Why did Ron Paul leave the LP as a means to advance liberty as a candidate? I'm asking this of myself over and over. Is the reason because he saw the LP as a futile path? A waste of his time and energy? No place for an individual who really wants to be part of achieving liberty in America now? For myself, as someone who is devoted to advancing liberty and sharing libertarianism, I am having serious doubts as to whether the LP deserves individuals willing to give of themselves so selflessly. Perhaps Ron Paul's experiences brought him to such a point and decision. I know my experiences with the LP are pointing that way.

Every several days, it seems I learn of yet another individual I respect who has left the LP, and always for reasons I now more completely understand than ever before.

They are individuals who achieve progress in advocating liberty. They are the truest libertarians I have ever met. And they left the LP.

Hang in there, Christine. There may be a few maverick libertarian Republicans and Democrats out there, but there is also strength in numbers. Those parties have abandoned the ideals of limited government and personal freedom, so I have no time for them. Stick with the LP, and be a part of something.

The Nation has published an article (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071224/hayes)highlighting the difference between the Cato libertarians and the Mises libertarians:

The division between paleolibertarians, centered around the Mises Institute, and cosmopolitan libertarians, centered around Cato, is also a case of "culture clash," according to Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com and prominent member of the Mises set. "There's the populist wing of the libertarian movement, and then there's the Washington crowd that's still trying to sell libertarianism, or their version of it, to elites. These people want to go along and get along. As long as they can abort their babies and sodomize each other and take as many drugs as they want to, they are happy. They don't care who is being killed in Iraq and how many Iraqis are dying. That's their hierarchy of values."

As you can tell, there's no love lost between the two camps. One DC-based libertarian--who asked not to be named because he "would like to avoid getting endless 2 am calls from nuts yelling at me for not agreeing with the gold standard"--told me he thinks Rockwell is "one of the most loathsome people ever to set foot on this continent."

But nothing breeds harmony like success, and the Paul bandwagon is now getting big enough for both the Hatfields and the McCoys to get on board. "Our readership is very enthusiastic," says Nick Gillespie, editor of the DC-based magazine Reason. A few months ago Reason published an article titled "Is He Good for the Libertarians?" That no longer seems an open question. "On basic fundamental issues he speaks strongly for libertarians, regardless of the flavoring," says Gillespie, who recently co-wrote a pro-Paul op-ed in the Washington Post.

I think it is overly-simplistic. I find good in both groups, and our differences are primarily economic. I think the Austrians over at Mises and Rockwell are a bit too anarchistic, and the Chicagoans over at Cato are a bit too eager to meddle in the economy.

But we all want small government and individual liberty. When compared with the other political ideologies out there, there is way more that unites us than divides us.

And finally, over at The Price of Liberty, Emiliano Antunez is examining (http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/07/12/03/antunez.htm)the treatment - particularly the loony pejoratives - used to describe us and Paul:

Let me get a few things out of the way first. I will be voting for Ron Paul in the Florida primary scheduled for January 29th. I do not wear a tinfoil hat (though I occasionally sport a Panama hat). I do not wear a Guy Fawkes mask (though I have a Nixon one in my attic). I am not a white supremacist (I don' t even dress my bed with white sheets). I am not a pimp (though I have been jokingly called a loan shark), nor am I a conspiracy theory buff (I don't subscribe to any organized religion). But since I insist on voting for Ron Paul, I must have some sort of mental or social shortcoming, otherwise how could I fit in with the "mainstream media's" caricature of a "Paulestinian", " Paultard", "Paulpot" or "MoRon".

The supporters of ten term Republican Congressman Paul aren't the only ones being referred to in a less than flattering manner in the press. The press has used words like kooky, crazy, quirky, eccentric, insane, crank, loony and weird to describe the candidate himself. This is mostly due to Ron Paul's insistence that the United States Government abide by the Constitution and that the US return to a sound money policy. His campaign has also been referred to as "quixotic" a term rarely if ever used to describe the Brownback, Tancredo, Huckabee or Hunter campaigns (or lack thereof).

So then, who has really drunk the Kool Aid - the Paul supporters or the rest of the electorate? Perhaps we should take a closer look at Ron Paul and the rest of the candidates in order to determine who's really "lost their marbles."

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

parke
12-07-2007, 01:43 PM
Supporting Dr. Paul's bid for President has been nothing short of incredibly inspiring to my life. I feel fortunate to have the chance to vote for such an honest man..

RTsquared
12-07-2007, 01:45 PM
I'm against the NAFTA land-grab...er...superhighway for different reasons. One is that it's an abuse of eminent domain - the guv'ment is taking private lands for public use, then turning them over to a private company to build a road. Secondly, the private company that is proposing to build the road is lining the pockets of Ghouliani and Governor Goodhair. This whole thing does NOT pass the smell test for me, and I doubt it ever will.

Fyretrohl
12-07-2007, 02:07 PM
Thirdly, what I have read, has been inteneded to allow Mexican trucks straight through on the HighSpeedLane. If they want to build a new super conductor for US companies to pick up goods at the border and speed them through the next border...GOOD FOR THE US. If they want to bypass our borders???

RSDavis
12-07-2007, 02:58 PM
I'm against the NAFTA land-grab...er...superhighway for different reasons. One is that it's an abuse of eminent domain - the guv'ment is taking private lands for public use, then turning them over to a private company to build a road. Secondly, the private company that is proposing to build the road is lining the pockets of Ghouliani and Governor Goodhair. This whole thing does NOT pass the smell test for me, and I doubt it ever will.

Private companies always build our roads, and eminent domain was intended for this exact thing. Are the private companies going to be running the road and charging tolls or something?

- Rick

RTsquared
12-07-2007, 03:27 PM
Private companies always build our roads, and eminent domain was intended for this exact thing. Are the private companies going to be running the road and charging tolls or something?

- Rick

Precisely. Cintra (a Spanish firm) is trying to get the contract and build the road in exchange for the right to collect tolls on it for the next 50 (!) years.

Also, as far as I can tell, this was a no-bid process - and Governor Goodhair is getting kickbacks from Cintra.

Wanna know more? Take a look at Impeach Perry. (http://www.impeachperry.com)

I would so buy one of their bumper stickers if I wasn't trying to play nice with the GOP right now.

RSDavis
12-07-2007, 04:40 PM
Precisely. Cintra (a Spanish firm) is trying to get the contract and build the road in exchange for the right to collect tolls on it for the next 50 (!) years.

Also, as far as I can tell, this was a no-bid process - and Governor Goodhair is getting kickbacks from Cintra.

Wanna know more? Take a look at Impeach Perry. (http://www.impeachperry.com)

I would so buy one of their bumper stickers if I wasn't trying to play nice with the GOP right now.

But Cintra is going to be on the Mexico side. What business is it of ours to dictate to Mexico who will build it, and how their end of the highway is to be built?

- Rick

LoveLiberty
12-07-2007, 05:12 PM
But Cintra is going to be on the Mexico side. What business is it of ours to dictate to Mexico who will build it, and how their end of the highway is to be built?

- Rick

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=15682


The Comprehensive Development Agreement called for Cintra-Zachry to provide private investment of $6 billion "to fully design, construct and operate a four-lane 316 mile toll road between Dallas and San Antonio for up to 50 years as the initial segment of TTC-35." For this, Cintra-Zachry paid Texas $1.2 billion for the long-term right to build and operate the initial segment as a toll facility.

RTsquared
12-07-2007, 06:08 PM
But Cintra is going to be on the Mexico side. What business is it of ours to dictate to Mexico who will build it, and how their end of the highway is to be built?

- Rick

No...not Mexican...Spanish...as in the folks on the Iberian Peninsula. And Cintra has an agreement (if not a contract) to build the toll road in Texas.

RSDavis
12-07-2007, 06:27 PM
You're right. I was slightly off on that. Here are the details:

Texas awarded a planning contract in 2005 for the first phase of the corridor to Cintra, a Spanish multinational company, and its San Antonio partner, Zachry Construction. (Cintra also won a $1.3-billion contract last year to build a 40-mile extension of Highway 130, a state toll road connecting Austin to San Antonio that was conceived separately from the corridor, although conspiracy activists claim otherwise.) The first 600-mile section, planned to include such features as tollways, freight-rail and truck-only lanes, will run parallel to the cramped, north-south Interstate 35 from the border town of Laredo to Oklahoma. Construction contracts for that portion haven't been awarded.

The second phase of the corridor, whose planning contract has yet to be handed out, would build a similar highway from the western edge of the Mexico border to east Texas. This might one day link to a separate, federally initiated eight-state expansion of Interstate 69, which currently runs between Port Huron, Mich., and Indianapolis. (https://www.reason.com/news/show/122632.html)

Oddball
12-07-2007, 06:35 PM
This crap is like communized medical care.....If they don't get it all today, they'll keep trying to get it piecemeal.

RockHoward
12-08-2007, 08:17 AM
There were three "bids" and I was the first private citizen to procure copies of them. The two losing bids were pretty perfunctory and yet the state of Texas paid these two bidders a very healthy chunk of change just for making the bids. The winning bid was from a company that had previously built a grand total of 60 miles of road which was a miniscule amount of experience for a project designed to traverse the entire state. The bid included high speed rail, embedded areas for businesses such as motels and gas stations, fences that would cause local traffic diversions of up to 40 additional miles for some round trips, and on and on. It turned out to be completely unrealistic and has been highly modified but still, to this day, represents a huge burden on rural Texans.

Fortunately the word got out and our elected representatives responded by passing 20 or so bills to slow down or stop this abomination. However Governor Perry stepped in and vetoed practically all of these bills. The upshot is that the Department of Transportation is now accelerating their efforts to complete contracts before the Texas legislature gets back into session in 2010. The good folks at http://corridorwatch.org keep on top if this issue and is worth a bookmark.

RTsquared
12-08-2007, 09:43 AM
There were three "bids" and I was the first private citizen to procure copies of them. The two losing bids were pretty perfunctory and yet the state of Texas paid these two bidders a very healthy chunk of change just for making the bids. The winning bid was from a company that had previously built a grand total of 60 miles of road which was a miniscule amount of experience for a project designed to traverse the entire state. The bid included high speed rail, embedded areas for businesses such as motels and gas stations, fences that would cause local traffic diversions of up to 40 additional miles for some round trips, and on and on. It turned out to be completely unrealistic and has been highly modified but still, to this day, represents a huge burden on rural Texans.

Fortunately the word got out and our elected representatives responded by passing 20 or so bills to slow down or stop this abomination. However Governor Perry stepped in and vetoed practically all of these bills. The upshot is that the Department of Transportation is now accelerating their efforts to complete contracts before the Texas legislature gets back into session in 2010. The good folks at http://corridorwatch.org keep on top if this issue and is worth a bookmark.

Thanks for the additional insight into this travesty. I also appreciate all your efforts to keep this sham from becoming reality.

ursamajor
12-08-2007, 12:28 PM
I'm against the NAFTA land-grab...er...superhighway for different reasons. One is that it's an abuse of eminent domain - the guv'ment is taking private lands for public use, then turning them over to a private company to build a road. Secondly, the private company that is proposing to build the road is lining the pockets of Ghouliani and Governor Goodhair. This whole thing does NOT pass the smell test for me, and I doubt it ever will.

My problem with the super-highway is from architecture/city-planning concerns. Highways are some of the most dangerous, counter productive developments in our modern world. It is a chicken-egg with the automobile, but the difference is that I do not believe the automobile is inherently bad. Highways allow for the continued spread and sprawl of cheap, consuming and ill-produced housing, meant to fall down in twenty years, and drawing federal subsidies for everything from plumbing to (in hillary's new world - ethernet). they are terribly dangerous for individuals driving on them. and there is, of course, the ever present eminent domain. do i use highways? from time to time. but i feel terrible about it everytime.