June 21, 2011
How Ron Paul and Barack Obama represents a return to old Republicans and Democrats

   

It’s interesting to think about the shift of foreign policy perspectives among Republicans and Democrats represents a return to the historical perspective towards war by both political parties.

Woodrow Wilson (D) and Barack Obama (D)

"The U.S. Constitution prevents the government from meeting the country’s needs by enumerating rights that the government may not infringe." -Woodrow Wilson

"How is the schoolmaster, the nation, to know which boy needs the whipping? … The "literary theory" of checks and balances is simply a consistent account of what our Constitution makers tried to do; and those checks and balances have proved mischievous just to the extent which they have succeeded in establishing themselves." -Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson created the Federal Reserve and the Federal Income Tax.  He also pushed a globalist foreign policy and famously viewed the Constitution as an impediment.  Is there another politician that resembles him?  Barack Obama comes to mind for me.

For the vast majority of the history of the Democratic party, they were hawkish.  The U.S. joined WWI because of Woodrow Wilson (D), they got involved in WWII because of FDR (D).  People notoriously forget that the Vietnam war was escalated and started by Lyndon B. Johnson (D).  Or the Korean War was pushed by Harry Truman (D).  Up until the Iraq wars (by the Bush’s), all major U.S. wars were started by Democrats.

Robert Taft (R) and Ron Paul (R)

From 1947 to 1949, when the Republicans controlled the Senate, Taft was his party’s leading voice in domestic policy. He was reluctant to support farm subsidies, a position that hurt the GOP in rural areas (especially in the Midwest) in the 1948 elections…. In terms of foreign policy he was non-interventionist and did not see Stalin’s Soviet Union  as a major threat. Nor did he pay much attention to internal Communism. The true danger, he believed, was big government and runaway spending. He supported the Truman Doctrine, reluctantly approved the Marshall Plan, and opposed NATO as unnecessary and provocative to the Soviets. He took the lead among Republicans in condemning President Harry S Truman’s handling of the Korean War and questioning the constitutionality  of the war itself, saying: “My conclusion, therefore, is that in the case of Korea, where a war was already under way, we had no right to send troops to a nation, with whom we had no treaty, to defend it against attack by another nation, no matter how unprincipled that aggression might be, unless the whole matter was submitted to Congress and a declaration of war or some other direct authority obtained.” - Robert Taft

Robert Taft was against big government and runaway government spending.  He was less concerned about personal beliefs of other people (such as communism) unlike Nixon (who in this historical perspective would represent George W. Bush).  Senator Taft was against what he felt was an illegal war in Korea.  He was a strict believer in the constitution.  Robert Taft never became president although he was highly influential in shaping the Republican parties ideals.  Does he remind you of someone?  To me, Ron Paul comes straight to mind.

Like Robert Taft, Ron Paul might not ever be elected president, but he can still be highly influential in shaping the party ideologically.  Dwight Eisenhower eventually took the GOP nomination over Taft as a counter to Taft’s non-interventionist beliefs, but by the time Eisenhower left he is famously quoted as saying, “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” Eisenhower essentially came to agree with Robert Taft’s beliefs.

In the GOP primary debates, candidates Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachman famously pivoted and indicated support for military withdrawal after hearing the audience applause from Ron Paul speaking about bringing back all the troops home immediately.  More GOP politicians are following Ron Paul’s political beliefs (like Taft) and abandoning George W. Bush (who is like Nixon in this comparison).  If there is a transformation within the GOP, it can be summarized as a Taft-like figure (Ron Paul) reshaping the the party away from a Nixon-like figure (W).

There was a long period of time when the Republicans were the Doves and the Democrats were the Hawks.  The Republican party logic was that resources spent on global initiatives (such as war) were better spent to improve the lives of Americans domestically.  As such, war was a waste on the grounds that the money was better spent on America.  The party logic from the Democrats side was that America is responsible for the well being of others and it is our duty to intervene overseas.  Now there was a switch with Nixon and the Bush’s, with the GOP becoming the hawks, but now it looks like that changing once again.


A decade ago, my U.S. History and European History teacher in high school kept saying that history was cyclical.  It is interesting to view real-time how true he was as political perspectives towards war are switching back for the two major American political parties.

In the bottom left is a picture of Robert Taft, interesting to see how even his hair cut resembles Ron Paul.

 

June 15, 2011
"Not quite. I served five years in the military. I’ve had a little experience. I’ve spent a little time over in the Pakistan / Afghanistan area, as well as Iran. But I wouldn’t wait for my generals. I’m the commander in chief. I make the decisions. I tell the generals what to do. I’d bring them home as quickly as possible. And I would get them out of Iraq as well. And I wouldn’t start a war in Libya. I’d quit bombing Yemen. And I’d quit bombing Pakistan. I’d start taking care of people here at home because we could save hundreds of billions of dollars. - Ron Paul"

Ron Paul response at the CNN NH Debate prefaced by the following:

ROMNEY: I think we’ve learned some important lessons in our experience in Afghanistan. I want those troops to come home based upon not politics, not based upon economics, but instead based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals. […]

KING: Congressman Paul, do you agree with that decision?

May 22, 2011

evilteabagger:

Senator Rand Paul on Obama’s Violation of the War Powers Act

Obama had time to go to the U.N., he had time to go the Arab league, but he can’t be bothered to follow United States law and go in front of the United States Congress to have a formal vote on the Libyan war.

(Source: antigovernmentextremist)

May 21, 2011
Are newspapers less trustworthy than blogs? Just look at the coverage on Obama’s war on Libya

I get all of my news online now a days and pretty much ignore most newspapers.

The argument justifying newspapers (and traditional media outlets) curative power and influence is the perception that they are somehow more trustworthy.  But is this really the case?  Let’s examine the coverage on the United States’s war with Libya.

President Obama told a bipartisan group of members of Congress today that he expects the U.S. would be actively involved in any military action against Libya for “days, not weeks,” after which he said the U.S. would take more of a supporting role, sources tell ABC News.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/libya-crisis-obama-moammar-gadhafi-ultimatum/story?id=13164938

Well, it’s been two months later and I’ve seen minimal critique by any major U.S. news outlets about the fact that the U.S. is still involved in the war on Libya or that Obama misled us all about the duration of this conflict.  It’s not just an issue about Obama lying about the length of the conflict, its the fact the law is being ignored and this sets a precedent of executive powers as well.  On the Washington Post’s front page you’ll see this:

From the looks of the front page, you wouldn’t realize at all that Obama is essentially ignoring the law (War Powers resolution).  The United States is now in a illegal war and none of the major publications (Washington Post, LA Times, New York Times) think its a big deal.  If you check the front page of the other newspapers you’ll find a similar trend.  In fact, you can see the actual print front page of every newspaper at http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/

Let me tell you in advance what you won’t find, central coverage making a big deal of about an illegal war on Libya.  Why is this important?  Well, for years, we we’re seeing news coverage about the War on Iraq daily. In fact, news about war protestors would be front page news, but that was a war that was declared legally and voted on by Congress. The major newspapers managed to give front page coverage to Cindy Sheehan and random editorials about Iraq for years. Obama is blatantly breaking the law with his illegal war, yet what do hear?  Nothing.

Regardless of whether you support the war on Libya or against it, you have to admit that the hypocrisy shown by major U.S. papers and traditional media outlets is astounding.  Is the fact that the illegal war being ignored related to the fact that many members of traditional media are in love with Obama?  Probably.  So if they are biased, what reason is there to trust them any more than a blog?  None.

What’s the point of all this?  Just to note that as a platform, blogs can significantly better, especially if you are reading the right ones.

March 20, 2011

The video portrays a different perspective on the Libya conflict by U.S. congressman Ron Paul.  It’s also a great example of why social media can be significantly more powerful and useful relative to communicating through traditional media outlets.

Among the key thoughts:

  • Enforcement of a no fly zone is an act of war
  • War is something congress must approve of, which it wasn’t done in the most recent conflict in Libya
  • Regardless of whether the UK or France heads the conflict efforts from a publicity standpoint, the United States is going to be expending the most resources in the conflict
  • The United States is going to bear the brunt of the financial drain of any conflict in Libya and will also be responsible if things go wrong at the end of the day
  • Given the current economic situation, engaging in a war in Libya is unwise

The progression of thoughts communicated by Ron Paul is logical, but it is long.  It isn’t something that can be expressed in six to nine words.  That’s why Paul was weaker in the past nationally in my opinion.  He liked to explain how he reached his conclusions, which required a preface / background.  The media rarely showed his thoughts in their entirety, which led to attribution of mostly incomplete thoughts.

Utilizing new media platforms like youtube, Paul can deliver perspectives without being misquoted.  He can also avoid quotations from being taken out of context.  This is especially important for Ron Paul as his thoughts are typically not among those commonly quoted.  Using social media, Paul has been able to avoid pitfalls with traditional media outlets that occurred in the past.

Paul’s lesson can be adapted in other avenues.  For any person (or entity) that is seeking to communicate a relatively longer statement, youtube (and other video platforms like vimeo) serves as a great method of communicating.  This is as opposed to twitter, which is better served for shorter soundbites.  A social media platform allows a person (or entity) to communicate a more in-depth message directly to its constituency without a third party (such as a media outlet) distorting the message (regardless of whether the distortion was on purpose or inadvertent).  You can communicate any idea you want in its entirety. Old media didn’t allow that.  That’s why old media is dying and new media is thriving as a communication medium.

March 19, 2011
langer:

Exactly eight years ago today another war was started.

langer:

Exactly eight years ago today another war was started.

(Source: langer)

March 19, 2011
I saw this telling tweet a moment ago.
This might not end well…  another war in conjunction with quantitative easing should lead to more inflation.  On the other end, this is good news for the gold bugs as inflationary pressures grow (even more) - leading to capital flight from dollar and to a relatively safer gold. 
Bad news for the average person though, as higher inflation should lead to increasing commodity prices across the spectrum.

I saw this telling tweet a moment ago.

This might not end well…  another war in conjunction with quantitative easing should lead to more inflation.  On the other end, this is good news for the gold bugs as inflationary pressures grow (even more) - leading to capital flight from dollar and to a relatively safer gold. 

Bad news for the average person though, as higher inflation should lead to increasing commodity prices across the spectrum.