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Sunday, May 20, 2007

book review: bully boy

I recently finished reading Bully Boy, by Jim Powell. It's the third president bashing book by Mr. Powell and the second one I've read. As a biography of Teddy Roosevelt, it's very weak, but as a libertarian survey of that era, it's worth a read. The main problem with the book is that the author spends pages upon pages describing the history of something (like railroads) with little reference to Teddy and then adds a few paragraphs describing Teddy's statist involvement.

There is also a major gap in the narrative. The author barely mentions Roosevelt's failed run for President in 1912, surely one of the most destructive acts of his egotistical life. Roosevelt's third party run allowed Woodrow Wilson to get into office and eventually drag America into World War I, with disastrous consequences for the twentieth century.

The other major flaw is the attempt to pin so much blame on one man. In the last chapter, Powell details much of the loss of freedom in the twentieth century and traces the beginning back to Teddy himself. Isn't it a bit of a stretch to blame TR for legislation in the fifties and sixties that gave more power to the FDA?

All in all, I give the book a thumbs up, a worthy addition to any libertarian's bookshelf. The Progressive era is one that deserves more scrutiny and this book is a good intro even if it is not a great bio of Teddy Roosevelt.

it's ok to blame america for 9/11, as long as you support the war

Over at Liberty Belles, Anastasia puzzles over conservative hypocrisy:
When the Reverend Falwell got up on his bully pulpit to blame gays, People for the American Way, the ACLU, and secularists for bringing the terrorists’ wrath upon the United States, he was in essence blaming Americans for causing 9/11. . . And yet, very few of the Republicans’ core demographic spoke out against Falwell’s traitorous cowardice. Ann Coulter even published a glowing column in Human Events a few days ago celebrating Falwell’s life and defending his invective as pious patriotism.

Yet when Ron Paul dared to suggest that our actions in the Middle East have consequences and that the terrorist attacks cannot be viewed in a vacuum independent of the last 50 years of American foreign policy, he was immediately shouted down.
The answer is simple, my dear! Ron Paul opposes war and the state, Falwell embraces both.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

karen kwiatkowski: ron paul rocks!

Karen Kwiatkowski has a very good piece entitled Ron Paul Rocks! up on LRC this weekend. Her feelings about Dr. Paul and his campaign are very similar to my own. Excerpt:
...I am pleased to be humbled by each new day of the Ron Paul campaign – to witness the raw power of ideas and debate – after such a long hiatus of ideas and debate from the American political game.

The Greek concept of happiness, eudaimonia, keeps coming to mind whenever I think of Ron Paul as President. It is about faithful and right action, not human exultation or social extremes. It is about the happy and fulfilling marriage of knowledge and virtue. It is about reality over fantasy, faith over existentialism, doing good over doing evil.

In other words, Ron Paul rocks!

the whore is in denial of her fate

Check out this outrage from MSNBC.

The latest version of their bi-weekly Republican presidential candidate rankings shows Ron Paul "last" and 12th in terms of electability, including 2 undeclared candidates (Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich). Under Ron Paul's description they simply state "Just please stop e-mailing us. Thanks."

Those poor media whores, their condition is terminal but they just can't seem to progress from the "denial" stage to "acceptance". Perhaps another few thousand e-mails in support of Ron Paul will do them some good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ron paul wins debate! hannity's an idiot!

Ron Paul clearly won this second round of debates. Yes, he could have been a bit smoother, but the truth trumps all. As for Sean Hannity, no matter how many times he utters his vacuous phrase "Ron Paul did not win this debate", the fact is, Ron Paul won this debate, and Hannity can't stand it! The neocons are reduced to childish contradiction, since they have no actual arguments to offer. How pathetic (and predictable).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

the evil rick perry admits defeat

The Texas governor and apparent agent of Merck admits defeat on his plan to force Texas schoolgirls to receive Merck's Gardasil HPV vaccine. No, he doesn't admit he was wrong, just that he can't beat the legislature with a veto.
AUSTIN (Reuters) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Tuesday he is backing down in his effort to require that pre-teen girls be vaccinated against a virus known to cause cervical cancer after the state's legislature overturned his order.

The February order would have made Texas the first U.S. state to require that girls receive the Merck & Co. Inc.'s vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) so they can enroll in sixth grade, when most students are 11 or 12 years old. But social conservatives opposed it, saying it would lead to sexual promiscuity.

The Republican-majority Texas Legislature passed a bill last month contravening the order by preventing the vaccination program for at least four years. Several other states are also considering requiring the vaccine.

Perry announced on Tuesday he would not to veto that bill, meaning it will become law. Perry said a veto was futile because the legislature would vote to override it. He blasted the legislature for its decision...
Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, May 04, 2007

on ron paul's performance in the republican debate

Well, overall I am happy. I think Dr. Paul was able to get his message across, and now a lot more people know who he is and what he stands for. I think he is in a good position going into the next debate, however...

I think he really needs to find a way to connect with the average American voter a bit more. I'm afraid Joe Sixpack was probably a little confused when Dr. Paul talked about the "inflation tax", even though it was an excellent point. I'm sure Paul would do much better in a debate with fewer candidates where he had more time to elaborate on his points, but all the other candidates face the same problem and some of them were able to do a much better job. Mitt Romney, although full of shit on many of the issues, always seemed to be able to smoothly get his points across in the allotted time. (What kind of name is "Mitt", anyway?)

I also believe that Dr. Paul would be able to reach more people if he came across a bit more optimistic. Frankly, he comes across a little on the angry side. True, I'm the same way if not more so, but I'm not running for President!

We have a rare and historic opportunity to actually advance a heroic, freedom-loving candidate through this ridiculous nomination thing, so we can't afford to blow it! Hopefully Dr. Paul will get a little bit of coaching to smooth out the rough edges before the next round.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

go ron go!

As I write this, Ron Paul's smiling mug is up on the Drudge Report - probably the most exposure he's ever received. Good luck to you sir in tonight's debate - knock'em dead!