Monday, February 22, 2010

Oogabooga Tweedles

Those folks who are or lean libertarian seem to believe Ron Paul has a shot for the 2012 presidential candidacy. Whut? The man, if he won, would be 78 when sworn into office. Sure, there are many vibrant active near-octogenarian elderly out there, but they're not applying for the most powerful and stressful job on the planet.

Paul introduced term limits which I believe in but that has went nowhere of course.

He served in congress from 1976 to 1984 and again from 1996 to present, and has run for president a couple or three times. He claims that "By abolishing extravagant perks like the lucrative congressional pension plan, we will remove the incentives for people to make a career out of elected office." That hasn't stopped Paul from making a career out of elected office ... although admirably he does refuse the pension plan and other perks. On the other hand, has Paul changed anything in the D.C. machine? I don't think so.

Ultra rightwingers support Paul, as do many on the "left," because of Paul's noninterventionist policies, return to the gold standard, abolish the income tax, etc., and in his heydays Paul stood for abolishing the FBI and CIA. He once called Reagan a failure but sorta back paddled on that because of all the Reagan love-festers. Paul also is one of those who encourages "fear the government" propaganda. Odd sometimes where the right and left meet up and agree.

Off topic a bit, but Peter Schwartz, a "scenario planner" has 4 possible scenarios for the future of the US:
1. Collapse. Occurs after a long series of catastrophes, i.e. natural disasters, pandemic nuclear war, any catastrophe that breeds internal division and bungled government response (i.e. Katrina). Or Zimbabwe sized corruption, "a succession of executives who pilfer the national treasury and refuse to hold free elections."
2. Friendly breakup. The country dissolves peacefully because the overhead of running a large nation becomes unmanageable. Schwartz likens this to the breakup of the Soviet Union, a case where the cost of holding the country together proved too great and the advantages too small.
3. Global governance. The national government declines in importance relative to the world community. US importance will be maintained as long as the welfare state continues to extend well beyond our borders - we will cut welfare at home before cutting foreign nations off the dole.
4. Global conquest. "The final scenario and the grimmest of all: A figure described variously as a "global Napoleon," "a much more empowered Hitler," and "a super-Mao" conquers America and the rest of the world via brute force. This idea, which Schwartz classifies as the least likely of the four, leads us to debate whether it's harder to subjugate the world than it used to be—Schwartz believes it is, as there are "more people with military competence spread across the world." That's followed by a discussion of the best method to exercise dominion over the globe. "I think the way you conquer the world these days is from space," he says. "You can put weapons up there and shut down the world."

Personally, I think we may be at the Zimbabwe level. Our execs just hide it better and convinced us elections are "free," that somehow electing tweedledee or tweedledum makes a huge difference.

As for global governance, just looking at the current global leaders tells us how much fun that will be.

I can't see the "friendly breakup" - the Confederacy tried that, although that might be the least painful future for the US. We could all live in the state that caters to our particularly dogma. I find that most interesting, just to see which states attract which ideology, as they do to some extent already. I have seen folks relocate based on a State's acceptance of homoseuxality, based on welfare benefits, based on climate, cost of living, a sparse population, or the right to openly or conceal/carry. My silly hope is, in the event of a friendly breakup, that at least one state would attract the smart people.

Schwartz classifies global conquest by some unknown force as the least likely scenario but personally I think it may be the most likely future. And the new space age Napoleon won't be us, at least not with Obama's space funding which is nothing more than billions to "entice" private companies to build craft to ferry astronauts to the space station and a "flexible path" for other space exploration ... i.e. more treasury theft and graft for nothing to little in return (the 9.1 billion spent on the Bush return-to-the-moon project is gone/wasted folks).

Paul hits a few things right on the mark: "The use of the welfare state to cement popular support for the incumbent government remains intact. As a United States congressman, I regularly see how prevalent the welfare state mentality is among elected officials who use the tool of redistribution as a means to "buying votes" with the taxpayers' own money." Or "... if you think the financial crisis is bad and the financial system isn't working, wait until you find out when the dollar doesn't work." He advocates complete withdrawal from the United Nations, free market enterprise without government regulation, opposes tax funded NASA, etc. etc.

Honestly, if I thought Dr. Paul could accomplish even half of his proposals, I would support him as the next tweedle-in-chief, but I would also stock the cellar with beans and ammo. When you cut off the milk flowing from the world's biggest teat you have to expect a lot of chaos.


Anonymous said...

Ron Paul fell from my graces when he introduced his 9/11 bill to resurrect Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and give the president authority to act rather than congress.

Paul's "revolution" seemed an attempt to prove something to his peers - otherwise he wouldn't have played by their rules, up to and including the point at which his presidential campaign war chest was converted into a him-praisin' PAC.


Kate-A said...

I'm not sure Letters for terrorists/piracy would be any worse than the mercenaries/contractors and wars we're paying for now.

But does seem to be Paul grandstanding for his peers. Maybe to help his son Rand's bid in KY, who is also a doctor turned polcat - with the uncanny ability to diagnose problems and provide cures. My grandchildren may someday debate the Dr. Rand Paul "revolution."

Ron Paul is to the Republicans what Dennis Kucinich is to the Democrats.

Who needs royal families - we have our own oligarchs ... in politics, business, entertainment ...

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