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Old 09-15-2011   #1
Golden, Colorado
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Ron Paul Booed at Debates

Did anyone catch Santorum try to pull a Gulianni by admonishing Ron Paul for saying 9/11 was the result of blow-back? The tea-party crowd booed him. I thought people who believed that we were attacked only because we were "free and prosperous" and that the attacks had nothing to do with our disastrous foreign policy were limited to the idiot Americans who would vote for someone like Gulianni. The boos caught me by surprise.

So is Ron Paul wrong? Or is the tea-party now made of idiot Americans who would vote for someone like Santorum and Gulianni?

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Old 09-15-2011   #2
Golden, Colorado
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I just don't see anything here that I disagree with. This is who we need as president. No one but Ron Paul is saying this. Certainly not "Sure let's invade Libya too" Obama.

Ron Paul: The Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear bomb on August 29, 1949, leading to the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, shared by both the USA and the Soviets. The unwritten agreement by the two super powers deterred nuclear war with an implied threat to blow up the world, if need be, to defend each of their interests.
I well remember the Cuban missile crises of October 1962, having been drafted into the military at that time. Mutually Assured Destruction had significant meaning to the whole world during this period. This crisis, along with the escalating ill-advised Vietnam War, made me very much aware of the problems the world faced during the five years I served as a USAF flight surgeon.
It was with great pleasure and hope that I observed the collapse of the Soviet Empire between 1989 and 1991. This breakup verified the early predictions by the free market economists, like Ludwig Von Mises, that communism would self-destruct because of the deeply flawed economic theories embedded in socialism. Our nukes were never needed because ideas are more powerful than the Weapons of War.
Many Americans at the time were boldly hopeful that we would benefit from a generous peace dividend. Sadly, it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity wasted. There was to be no “beating their swords into plowshares,” even though history shows that without weapons and war there’s more food and prosperity for the people. Unfortunately, our leaders decided on another course that served the special interests who benefit from constant wars and the arbitrary rearrangement of national borders for control of national resources.
Instead of a peace dividend from ending the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction, US leaders opted for a foreign policy of American world domination as its sole super power. It was all in the spirit of Woodrow Wilson’s idealistic goal of “making the world safe for democracy” by pursuing a war to end all wars.
The mantra became that American exceptionalism morally required us to spread our dominance world-wide by force. US world dominance, by whatever means, became our new bipartisan foreign policy. There was to be no peace dividend, though our enemies were virtually non-existent.
In many ways America had been “exceptional” but in an opposite manner from the neo-con driven foreign policy of the last 20 years. If America indeed has something good to offer the cause of peace, prosperity, and liberty it must be spread through persuasion and by example; not by intimidation, bribes and war.
Maintaining world domination is based on an intellectually and financially bankrupt idea that generates dependency, war, loss of civil liberties, inflation and debt, all of which contribute to our economic crisis.
Saddest of all, this policy of American domination and exceptionalism has allowed us to become an aggressor nation, supporting pre-emptive war, covert destabilization, foreign occupations, nation building, torture and assassinations. This policy has generated hatred toward Americans and provides the incentive for almost all of the suicide attacks against us and our allies.
To continue to believe the fiction that the militants hate us for our freedoms and wealth may even result in more attacks against us — that is, unless our national bankruptcy brings us to our knees and forces us to bring our troops home.
Expanding our foreign military intervention overseas as a cure for the attacks against us, tragically, only guarantees even more attacks. We must someday wake up, be honest with ourselves, and reject the notion that we’re spreading freedom and America’s goodness around the world. We cannot justify our policy by claiming our mission is to secure American freedoms and protect our Constitution. That is not believable. This policy is doomed to fail on all fronts.
The policy of Mutually Assured Destruction has been gone now for 20 years, and that is good.
The policy of American domination of the world, as nation builder-in-chief and policeman of the world, has failed and must be abandoned—if not as a moral imperative, then certainly out of economic necessity.
My humble suggestion is to replace it with a policy of Mutually Assured Respect. This requires no money and no weapons industry, or other special interests demanding huge war profits or other advantages.
This requires simply tolerance of others cultures and their social and religious values, and the giving up of all use of force to occupy or control other countries and their national resources. Many who disagree choose to grossly distort the basic principles shared by the world’s great religions: the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, and the cause of peace. Religions all too often are distorted and used to justify the violence engaged in for arbitrary power.

A policy of Mutually Assured Respect would result in the U.S.:
  • Treating other nations exactly as we expect others to treat us.
  • Offering friendship with all who seek it.
  • Participating in trade with all who are willing.
  • Refusing to threaten, bribe or occupy any other nation.
Seeking an honest system of commodity money that no single country can manipulate for a trade advantage. Without this, currency manipulation becomes a tool of protectionism and prompts retaliation with tariffs and various regulations. This policy, when it persists, is dangerous and frequently leads to real wars.
Mutually Assured Respect offers a policy of respect, trade and friendship and rejects threats, sanctions and occupations.
This is the only practical way to promote peace, harmony and economic well-being to the maximum number of people in the world.
Mutually Assured Respect may not be perfect but far better than Mutually Assured Destruction or unilateral American dominance.

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Old 09-15-2011   #3
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I don't think there's any secret that the Tea Party - or whatever contingent of corporate / neoconservative interests we could conjure up to represent that term- started out by co-opting legitimate Libertarian ideals without ever bothering to comprehend them. That was not by accident, either.

In fact, it's imperative that the average joe specifically not understand the basis for someone like Ron Paul's platform, precisely because it's much easier to reduce the message to slogans ("Smaller government now!") to shift the power. Of course, once that average voter decides that it's either not in their best interests (vis a vis medicare / SS, and they realize they're 50 years old with no savings to pay for their own retirement); or that truly reducing government requires a massive pullback of global military adventures (and cutting the military is un'merrkin), they find themselves drawn to the sloganeers.....while the original messenger (Paul) is cast as the kook in the room because he actually says what he means.

I'm not a Ron Paul guy, but I can appreciate the fact that the guy is sincere in his beliefs (his son is an entirely different story). What Ron Paul is saying about this particular issue (global military interventionism) is spot-on. But it's in the wrong venue; because he's providing a sound Libertarian value statement in an arena of the post-Libertarian "Tea Party" version of the GOP. Which, of course, is the same GOP it's always been - just using whatever levers of anger they can pull in the current climate.

Did anyone read this article?

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

Related quote therein:
While the me-too Democrats have set a horrible example of keeping up with the Joneses with respect to waging wars, they can never match GOP stalwarts such as John McCain or Lindsey Graham in their sheer, libidinous enthusiasm for invading other countries. McCain wanted to mix it up with Russia - a nuclear-armed state - during the latter's conflict with Georgia in 2008 (remember? - "we are all Georgians now," a slogan that did not, fortunately, catch on), while Graham has been persistently agitating for attacks on Iran and intervention in Syria. And these are not fringe elements of the party; they are the leading "defense experts," who always get tapped for the Sunday talk shows. About a month before Republicans began holding a gun to the head of the credit markets to get trillions of dollars of cuts, these same Republicans passed a defense appropriations bill that increased spending by $17 billion over the prior year's defense appropriation. To borrow Chris Hedges' formulation [9], war is the force that gives meaning to their lives.

A cynic might conclude that this militaristic enthusiasm is no more complicated than the fact that Pentagon contractors spread a lot of bribery money around Capitol Hill. That is true, but there is more to it than that. It is not necessarily even the fact that members of Congress feel they are protecting constituents' jobs. The wildly uneven concentration of defense contracts and military bases nationally means that some areas, like Washington, DC, and San Diego, are heavily dependent on Department of Defense (DOD) spending. But there are many more areas of the country whose net balance is negative: the citizenry pays more in taxes to support the Pentagon than it receives back in local contracts.

And the economic justification for Pentagon spending is even more fallacious when one considers that the $700 billion annual DOD budget creates comparatively few jobs. The days of Rosie the Riveter are long gone; most weapons projects now require very little touch labor. Instead, a disproportionate share is siphoned off into high-cost research and development (from which the civilian economy benefits little); exorbitant management expenditures, overhead and out-and-out padding; and, of course, the money that flows back into the coffers of political campaigns. A million dollars appropriated for highway construction would create two to three times as many jobs as a million dollars appropriated for Pentagon weapons procurement, so the jobs argument is ultimately specious.

Take away the cash nexus and there still remains a psychological predisposition toward war and militarism on the part of the GOP. This undoubtedly arises from a neurotic need to demonstrate toughness and dovetails perfectly with the belligerent tough-guy pose one constantly hears on right-wing talk radio. Militarism springs from the same psychological deficit that requires an endless series of enemies, both foreign and domestic.

The results of the last decade of unbridled militarism and the Democrats' cowardly refusal to reverse it[4], have been disastrous both strategically and fiscally. It has made the United States less prosperous, less secure and less free. Unfortunately, the militarism and the promiscuous intervention it gives rise to are only likely to abate when the Treasury is exhausted, just as it happened to the Dutch Republic and the British Empire.
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Old 09-15-2011   #4
Denver, Colorado
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Yeah, it blows that the honest guys like Paul,Sanders,Nader, and Kucinich, get marginalized. Aside from the third paragraph- blanket mischaracterizations of socialism and the causes of the Soviets fall - he is right on.Oh and lauding the Austrian School in the current financial crisis/result of those type ideas?? er and his views on trade policies/protectionism,still he is mostly right and an honorable man,imo.

Dead on El Flaco
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Old 09-16-2011   #5
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Well, he was cheered by the same crowd for saying he'd let the 30 yr old w/o health insurance die, so it all evens out in the end.
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 09-16-2011   #6
Golden, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Roy View Post
Well, he was cheered by the same crowd for saying he'd let the 30 yr old w/o health insurance die, so it all evens out in the end.
Typical libtard hearing what they want to hear and assuming that if the government doesn't take care of them, no one will. Show me the section of the transcript where he says "I would let them die". I believe what he said was there are options other than a nanny state.
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Old 09-17-2011   #7
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All states, including even Texas, Alabama, & Alaska, have laws that say if you enter an emergency room, you have to be treated regardless of ability to pay.

If you don't have insurace, you can try to ride it out, but the fallback is to go to the emergency room.

This policy has a lot of ramifications.
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Old 09-17-2011   #8
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The ramifications are that 55% of ER visits go unpaid, and the average visit is around $1500 for folks under 65 (that's just stabilization; not counting follow up care/surgeries).

Ron Paul did not say "Let him die" - several members of the audience did. Here's the transcript:
(MODERATOR WOLF) BLITZER: You're a physician, Ron Paul, so you're a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question: A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?

(TEXAS U.S. REP RON) PAUL: Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.

BLITZER: Well, what do you want?

PAUL: But what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major medical policy, but not be forced --

BLITZER: But he doesn't have that. He doesn't have it, and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?

PAUL: That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody –

BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

PAUL: And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests. It kowtows to the insurance companies and the drug companies, and then on top of that, you have the inflation. The inflation devalues the dollar, we have lack of competition. There's no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. And we should actually legalize alternative health care, allow people to practice what they want.
Which, of course, is pretty standard Libertarian dogma. When it comes to real people who find themselves uninsured (or, more commonly, underinsured), the burden is far more than community and friends can absorb. Ask the family of Kent Snyder, Paul's former campaign manager, who died of pneumonia shortly after Paul's 2008 presidential bid. From the Kansas City Star:
He was uninsured, his sister Michelle Caskey said, because a pre-existing condition made the premiums too expensive. “I don’t think he would ever have realized he’d be in the hospital this long,” she said.
After his death, his mother was sent a $400,000 hospital bill. In the last 3 years Snyder's community and charities have managed to raise less than $35,000 to cover these expenses. No word on what's Paul's contribution was. There was some discussion that it was Snyder's decision for the campaign to decline to offer health insurance to its employees, but I can't find confirmation on that.

And that highlights the fallacy in Paul's proposed solution. In theory, Libertarian doctrine would be great. (In theory, so would Communism too). From a practical perspective, of, course, the days of the 1960's are long gone. No degree of competition is going to make a cancer drug much cheaper than it is today. The $10K dose of chemo that took 15 years to develop & test will not become $500. That just will not happen; not safely, anyway. You remove the FDA and there will always be a profit motive to get a drug to market quicker, and you had better hope that an Avandia-like scenario misses you when you need a diabetes drug.

If we eliminate all or most of the bureaucracy (safety nets) that consume such a large portion of our taxes, what's the most extreme outcome we think we can get from all that increased competition? Maybe a 50% reduction in medical costs? Well, let assume that's even possible; and our tax rates are cut 40% because those programs are no longer mandated. Are we now going to assume that the average American will voluntarily donate 20% of their incomes to charity to cover those costs to strangers? Of course they won't - they might like to, or intend to, but there will always be expenses within their own families that take priority over strangers.

I mean, honestly, Bruno - if that were to happen, can you really see yourself voluntarily cutting 20% out of every paycheck for people you don't know, who for whatever reason couldn't buy the Cadillac private insurance plan? I can honestly say that I would have a really hard time choosing 20% to a catholic medical charity versus an emergency medical fund for my kids. It just would not happen - I'd like to think I would try to hit 10% to charity under that scenario. That's selfish, but realistic. I would put my own extended family first (which, by US standards, is wealthier than 90% of the rest of working America). What would be the best per capita voluntary donation average we could expect from the general public? Four percent? That's not going to cut it. At that point, the question "Should we let him die" would have to be pointedly, and tragically, answered.
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Old 09-17-2011   #9
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Interesting that Paul's former campaign manager defaulted on a $400,000 emergency room bill. He didn't get insurance because it was too expensive because of pre-existing conditions. This seems to undercut Paul's message that our health care system is fine and people should just take responsibilty.

The same Republicans who say people should solve their own health care problems, they also say we should have a compassionate society that treats people with dignity.
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Old 09-17-2011   #10
Golden, Colorado
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You are correct, in todays situation, charities probably won't be the answer for the uninsured 30-year old. But, that is because healthcare costs are out of control. You can't take one part of a libertarian philosophy and expect it to work in the context of a socialist system. Health care costs are so high because our system is socialized via insurance. And it's going to get worse with Obamacare. No one cares what their medical treatment costs because they don't have to pay for it, they just pay premiums (or taxes). If someone else is paying the bill, the bill will always be too high. In the 60's there was a doctor patient relationship without government interference that kept costs within the bounds of what individuals could afford. This also meant that when someone found themselves not able to afford treatment, it was not cost prohibitive for charities, friends and families to make up the difference. Government interference and tying healthcare to employment screwed that all up. With the expectation that the government will take care of everyone and the taxes that go along with that, there is less impetus to donate to charities today as well i.e. "Why should I donate to charities to care for those who can't afford healthcare when I'm already paying taxes to do that?" If the government wasn't mixed up in it, and people only carried low-cost catastrophic insurance, healthcare costs would be lower, taxes would be lower, donations to charities would be higher, and we wouldn't have this mess. Also, people have to understand that just because there is a life-saving treatment that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, doesn't mean you have a right to it anymore than you have a right to drive a Bentley and have a 100 foot yacht. Some people are going to be able to afford it and some people won't. That's life (or in some cases, death).

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