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Ron Paul, Soothsayer-in-chief
January 24, 2012 12:27 PM   Subscribe

On April 24 2002, Ron Paul made an address to the House on his predictions on the results of US domestic and foreign policies, ending with "I have no timetable for these predictions, but just in case, keep them around and look at them in five to ten years. Let's hope and pray I am wrong on all counts. If so, I will be very pleased." Spoiler: he is probably not pleased.
posted by ricochet biscuit (163 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Still think he's crazy?

Yes?
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on January 24, 2012 [54 favorites]


Has he got around to launching that blimp yet?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:32 PM on January 24, 2012


Ron Paul is like Nostradamus for college kids... the soundtrack to that YT video made me weep.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:32 PM on January 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


I like the YouTube clips of him which have overlays saying things like "this doesn't mean he's racist! he actually means something totally non racist! Google it!".
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on January 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm vaguely surprised that Metafilter hasn't lauded Rand Paul as a brilliant provocateur and defender of the rights of man for being pissy with the TSA and holding a bunch of people up.
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


One major thing he got wrong was that he predicted interest rates would be very high, when in fact just the opposite has happened.

In any case, he was right about the dangers of American imperialism, but that doesn't mean he's right about much of anything else (e.g. abortion, gay rights, universal health care, the gold standard, the Federal Reserve, the income tax).
posted by jedicus at 12:35 PM on January 24, 2012 [19 favorites]


Artw: Rand Paul is all about keeping the agents of the government from touching men's junk, but women's junk is totally the property of the state, up to and including forced vaginal penetration before a woman can engage in a legal transaction of money for services.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:38 PM on January 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Rand Paul as a brilliant provocateur and defender of the rights of man for being pissy with the TSA and holding a bunch of people up.

A stopped clock is right twice a day, and one that runs backwards even more often than that.

It's still stupid, though.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:39 PM on January 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


Let's not forget that Ron Paul has also correctly predicted 7 of the last 2 recessions.
posted by Jairus at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2012 [120 favorites]


I'm vaguely surprised that Metafilter hasn't lauded Rand Paul as a brilliant provocateur and defender of the rights of man for being pissy with the TSA and holding a bunch of people up.

OK: I laud Rand Paul for making the point. I don't in general particularly support his positions, but like him, I'd prefer to see the TSA cut by 90%, and senators making points is the only thing that may help prevent it from growing year by year.
posted by tyllwin at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rand Paul is all about keeping the agents of the government from touching men's junk, but women's junk is totally the property of the state, up to and including forced vaginal penetration before a woman can engage in a legal transaction of money for services.

Yeah, I can't believe ANYONE still keeps their checking account with Bank of America.

Wait, is that not what we were talking about?
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:41 PM on January 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ron Paul is not the Washington figure you need to worry about.
posted by Trurl at 12:42 PM on January 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


I predicted the housing crash in... I dunno, 1999? Noisily. It was my go-to rant in my late teens and early twenties: "Why the hell doesn't anybody want to live in the houses that're already here? Why are the building all those damned developments outside of town when nobody from here wants to live here in five years? How the hell did [person with notoriously bad finances] get a mortgage? This is all going to go to hell in a handbasket." Some stuff was pretty obvious with a general application of some common sense. A lot more stuff could have at least been a pretty solid guess if you'd done an reading. That doesn't mean I'm necessarily a good person to listen to about any other prediction or policy analysis I make.
posted by gracedissolved at 12:44 PM on January 24, 2012 [23 favorites]


I'd prefer to see the TSA cut by 90%, and senators making points is the only thing that may help prevent it from growing year by year

If he and his Tea Party coterie put half as much effort into shutting down the TSA as it has into shutting down Planned Parenthood and PBS, they'd garner a lot more respect from me as a politician intent on "changing the system".
posted by dave78981 at 12:44 PM on January 24, 2012 [27 favorites]


LOL at using the "Interest rates have no where to go but up" headline to against Paul talking about high interest rates.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:45 PM on January 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Mmmmm.....soothy.
posted by spicynuts at 12:45 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are we talking about Ron Paul or Rand Paul? Because they're different kinds of bizarre freakazoids, and it won't do us good to get them confused.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:45 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've re-evaluated Mr. Paul recently. He's still awful about a lot of things, but he does get a few things right and honestly he gets more right than I had given him credit for. And did you see that batting stance?

But don't get me wrong: I'd still sooner vote for fucking Strawberry Shortcake.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:46 PM on January 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


The usual Ron Paul: smart analysis (and he was certainly not the only one making these predictions) with important exceptions -- interest rates, Arab Spring is certainly not Islamic fundamentalism taking over, and the huge growth in government spending and the deficit was driven by George W. Bush at the very time Paul was "predicting" it -- but the last person you'd want solving national and international problems. Well, one of the last people.
posted by bearwife at 12:46 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of those points aren't directly true, more like tangentially true, and more than once he contradicted himself. Liberals will enjoy a bigger welfare state? Ha. Then he says, correctly, that Americans will become poorer.

Ron Paul does have a lot of good points, and, as a liberal, I agree with about 30% of what he says. The other 70%, like his flat out racist rhetoric, is anathema to me.
posted by zardoz at 12:46 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: A stopped clock is right twice a day, and one that runs backwards even more often than that.

It's still stupid, though
I was going to comment in more depth on this thread, but your idle comment has completely derailed my brain into solving the problem for "How often is a backwards clock correct?".
posted by hincandenza at 12:47 PM on January 24, 2012 [34 favorites]


What's behind the liberal lust for Ron Paul?
posted by Artw at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was going to comment in more depth on this thread, but your idle comment has completely derailed my brain into solving the problem for "How often is a backwards clock correct?".

If there both going the same normal clock speed, also twice a day (For example, 12:00PM and 6:00PM)
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:49 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


they're, sigh
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:49 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


And did you see that batting stance? But don't get me wrong: I'd still sooner vote for fucking Darryl Strawberry Shortcake.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:50 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's behind the liberal lust for Ron Paul?

A desire for peace, perhaps.
posted by Trurl at 12:51 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]



If there both going the same normal clock speed, also twice a day (For example, 12:00PM and 6:00PM)


Wouldn't it be 4 times a day; that is, every six hours instead of every twelve hours?
posted by TedW at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


OMG he's fucking Nostradumbass!

Incidentally:

Sanctions imposed on Iran is not an "oil boycott" (like the 1970's energy crisis).

The Gaza humanitarian flotilla was Turkish, with mostly westerners on board, bringing aid, not "Arab Muslim" revenge, nor was it a unification of "Arab Muslims that have fought against each other."

The Arab Spring does not equate a takeover by Islamic Fundamentalists.

Russia and China didn't grab any land in Central Asia.

Intrest rates haven't been that bad, nor has the dollar failed.

The rest were "predictions" a ten year old could have made. Somehow I don't think I'm quite as awed as the poster thought I would be.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:53 PM on January 24, 2012 [30 favorites]


I was going to comment in more depth on this thread, but your idle comment has completely derailed my brain into solving the problem for "How often is a backwards clock correct?"

I think it's four times per day: at midnight; 6am; noon, and 6pm.
posted by gauche at 12:53 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Predicting disaster is always easier than changing the short-term profit incentive structure that leads to bad long-term outcomes. I bet even while gracedissolved was predicting the housing crash a few local developers were making money hand over foot on those developments.

What contractor is going to tell a developer: "no no, don't pay me lots of money to build a new subdivison here, it would make way more sense to pay me far less money to do some minor rennovations to existing infrastructure over there."

What local official was going to risk losing their job by campaigning against a small group of motivated, weathy, developers? Let it be the next guy's problem. "No room in the schools? Not enough sewer capacity? Whatever, those problems won't hit home for at least 4 years, I get to say I'm employing x number of people now!"

Incentives!

Obviously specifics vary from case to case, and I'm not trying to assign bad intent. Just saying that people respond to incentives.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:53 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


On the subject of Ron Paul, Ta-Nehisi Coates has been examining Ron Paul's statements about the causes and alleged avoidability of the Civil War, and dismantles it. 1, 2.
posted by ambrosia at 12:54 PM on January 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


Just in case you forgot, here's twenty reasons Ron Paul still fucking sucks.
posted by dave78981 at 12:54 PM on January 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


When George W. Bush was elected, I somewhat facetiously predicted that we'd either start a land war in Asia, or revert to bimetalism.

We started two land wars in Asia, and the clock is still ticking on bimetalism. Google Ron Paul
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:54 PM on January 24, 2012


Ron Paul is not the Washington figure you need to worry about.

This, I agree with, mostly because his chances of executing his programs are about the same as mine. But if his chances were ever good, then I would worry.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:55 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Strawberry Shortcake was awesome, and so were her little scented friends.
posted by cashman at 12:56 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seems somehow ironic that the video's creator decided to use the Inception soundtrack.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 12:57 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


2bucksplus: If there both going the same normal clock speed, also twice a day (For example, 12:00PM and 6:00PM.
No, because it's not a 24-hour clock, it's a 12-hour clock, that's why they say a broken clock is right twice a day, at say 6:17 am and 6:17 pm.

But it wasn't hard to figure out just after I typed that; I think the answer should be 4 times. Let's say both our regular and our backwards clock starts at 12am, so both are right. They now start moving in opposite directions, so in 6 hours they are both at 6 (one being effectively 6am, then one being 6pm), and in 6 more hours they are at 12am/pm, then 6pm/6am, then 12am/pm to restart the next day.
posted by hincandenza at 12:57 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Text of Predictions speech

On the Housing Bubble (2002)

Collection of speeches and essays

-----

Liberals will enjoy a bigger welfare state? Ha.

Has the welfare state shrunk in the last 10 years? It might not be what liberals had in mind, but there's also been plenty of corporate welfare.
posted by BigSky at 12:58 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


2bucks... 0:00 counts, too... so that makes 3 times. (you were right) but if miscalibrated... well, it's never right... even by a second.

oh, about Paul... did you hang around for the superimposed Paul sitting in the Oval Office at the very end?
posted by quanta and qualia at 12:59 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Strawberry Shortcake was awesome, and so were her little scented friends.

Darryl wasn't addicted, he just really loved the way cocaine smelled!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:00 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


lol... hincandenza... you're right.... four times... i somehow forgot 6pm.
posted by quanta and qualia at 1:01 PM on January 24, 2012


Everyone's right about the clock thing. I'm sorry for letting you all down.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:02 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I posted this image on Twitter, a German Ron Paul fan first called me "spic"(?) and then asked if I was circumcised. Just saying.
posted by Legomancer at 1:03 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think the answer should be 4 times. Let's say both our regular and our backwards clock starts at 12am, so both are right. They now start moving in opposite directions, so in 6 hours they are both at 6 (one being effectively 6am, then one being 6pm), and in 6 more hours they are at 12am/pm, then 6pm/6am, then 12am/pm to restart the next day.

Right, and the best part is that the faster you run it backwards - the more broken you make it - the more often it is correct. But it will always be reliably useless.

And so it is with the Pauls.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:03 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Somehow I don't think I'm quite as awed as the poster thought I would be.

Speaking as the poster, I'd just as soon you not go visiting my intentions. I was not planning to make anyone be all like OMG!!!! with this (as a damned foreigner, I don't even have a dog in this fight). I just thought it was interesting to see a (then-marginal, later more prominent) public figure making some predictions with a decent hit-and-miss ratio, and his supporters spinning some of the strikeouts into over-the-fence home runs.

Still: totally worth it for the backwards clock metaphor derail.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:06 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I, like most people in the computer age, operate on 24 hour digital clock. How many times does that make Mr. Paul's 19th century ideas right now?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:07 PM on January 24, 2012


gauche: "I was going to comment in more depth on this thread, but your idle comment has completely derailed my brain into solving the problem for "How often is a backwards clock correct?"

I think it's four times per day: at midnight; 6am; noon, and 6pm.
"

Are we talking simultaneous-4-day-rotation timecube or the other kind?
posted by symbioid at 1:08 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Somehow I don't think I'm quite as awed as the poster thought I would be.

Speaking as the poster, I'd just as soon you not go visiting my intentions.


I really meant the YouTube poster. I should have specified.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:08 PM on January 24, 2012


From the video's info:

For more information visit the following websites:

http://www.RonPaul.com
http://Store.RonPaul.com
...


lots of good info in that second link.
posted by jermsplan at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2012


I really meant the YouTube poster. I should have specified.

Got it. Thanks.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2012


I don't get it. These predictions are mostly wrong, and some of them are insanely wrong. I mean, this was a speech given in the lead-up to the Iraq war, and the predictions are largely predicated on the idea that: "The United States, with Tony Blair as head cheerleader, will attack Iraq without proper authority, and a major war, the largest since World War II, will result."

The US invasion of Iraq was not by any measure the largest war since WWII. It did not lead to reinstatement of the draft, or indictments in the ICC, or an OPEC boycott, or hyperinflation.

This is his core thesis, and he was wrong about it.

The Iraq invasion was still an awful idea, though.

Right, and the best part is that the faster you run it backwards - the more broken you make it - the more often it is correct. But it will always be reliably useless.

Ah... this makes the problem a little more interesting. How often is a backwards-running clock correct if it is running at a rate other than 1 sec/sec. In the limiting case where it's running infinitely fast (i.e. it reports every possible time in an instant), it can be perceived as being "always" correct. This is a trivial case, though, I think. Is it obvious that it will be correct more often than 4 times/day for other rates?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:12 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why are we talking about clocks and Rand Paul? I propose these as better topics:

- Was the ability to make these predictions somehow contingent upon or a result of Ron Paul's political philosophy?
- Does the degree of accuracy of these predictions tell us anything useful about the appropriateness of that political philosophy in the present moment?
- Is it true that the outcomes he was "right" about could have been avoided through US policy changes? E.g. in 2002, could the 07/08-present recession have been prevented, or merely rescheduled?
- Are all of the outcomes he predicted actually negative?
posted by intendedeffect at 1:12 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


then asked if I was circumcised. Just saying.

If you weren't, and you wanted to be, I'll bet he could recommend a doctor who likes to cut out the fat!
posted by octobersurprise at 1:13 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


All the Palestine jibberjabber was pretty distracting so I just found a link to "Time" by Hans Zimmer and it was pretty satisfying.
posted by nanojath at 1:15 PM on January 24, 2012


German Ron Paul fans? What, why?
posted by ignignokt at 1:15 PM on January 24, 2012


As others have noticed the Arab Spring movements were not primarily undertaken by Islamic fundamentalists as this video suggests. The character of the new governments are still in transition however, so he still has time to be partially right. Islamists make up the largest political parties in Egypt and Tunisia today. Whether they are "Islamic fundamentalists" is up for debate, but they are fundamentally Islamic at least.

As one miffed liberal Tunisian cartoonist sees it, elections look a bit like this.
posted by Winnemac at 1:15 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's behind the liberal lust for Ron Paul?

What liberal lust? I am a liberal, I have many liberal friends, and none that I know of have any positive feelings for Ron Paul other than, "Well, he was right about the war, anyway". The Facebook friends I have who are all up in Ron's business are not at all the people who I would describe as liberal. More the, "I'm going to pledge money to PBS so I get the card with the percentage off of goods and services at these fine retailers, but I'm never going to pay!" stripe of libertaria. True story.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:16 PM on January 24, 2012


Still think he's crazy?

"Freedom of one's body does not extend to abortion. The bible makes it very clear that a fetus is endowed by God with unalienable rights and therefore should be protected ... the secular-left in no way have moral authority on this issue."

"Well, first i thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter," he said. "I think it's a theory...the theory of evolution and I don't accept it as a theory. But I think the creator that i know, you know created us, every one of us and created the universe and the precise time and manner and all. I just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side."

Yeah, I think he's a disgraceful religious fruitloop, thanks.
posted by Decani at 1:17 PM on January 24, 2012 [15 favorites]


OK, so he was right about some - though many of them were fairly predictable (invasion of Iraq, civil liberties); wrong about others - some of them stupid (a draft? really? why?). But some of them don't even make sense, taken independently:

"The leaders of whichever side loses the war will be hauled into and tried before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. The United States will not officially lose the war, but neither will we win. Our military and political leaders will not be tried by the International Criminal Court. "

So......no-one will be tried by the ICC?

And he's saying that inflation would make the deficit worse, when it would do the opposite.
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:18 PM on January 24, 2012


I am a liberal, I have many liberal friends, and none that I know of have any positive feelings for Ron Paul other than, "Well, he was right about the war, anyway".

I know a few liberals who like Ron Paul. Sadly, this is 100% correlated with them being anti-vaxers. Guh.
posted by ambrosia at 1:19 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Legomancer, your image should be captioned THE GUN IS GOOD.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:19 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


On November 4, 2009, Ron Paul gave a half-assed interview on Fox News where he said: "You know, the greatest hoax I think that has been around in many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming. You notice they don't call it global warming anymore. It's weather control."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:22 PM on January 24, 2012


At 1:20 also predicts that people will ignore the UN's warnings. That's because Ron Paul told us they were evil. Or is the one world government also a stopped clock?
posted by Gary at 1:25 PM on January 24, 2012


I am a liberal, I have many liberal friends, and none that I know of have any positive feelings for Ron Paul other than, "Well, he was right about the war, anyway".

Drug war too. Other than that, yeah.

On May 3, 2007, Ron Paul said, "I think the creator that I know, you know… created us, every one of us and created the universe and the precise time and manner… and all. I just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:27 PM on January 24, 2012


Well, he got the Iraq war right--but that was a pretty easy call at that point. On almost everything else (other than stuff no one could have failed to call--e.g., the UN being ignored re Israel) he's dead wrong. Hyperinflation? No. Massing increases in the welfare state? It is to laugh. Huge increases in military spending? You'd have thought that was a gimme, but actually not. Gold replacing paper as a currency? The gold bug thing is pure greater-fool speculation.

It's hilarious that someone would post this farrago of nonsense as proof of Rand's powers of prognostication.
posted by yoink at 1:28 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


oops
posted by mrgrimm at 1:28 PM on January 24, 2012


end the war on drugs
posted by mrgrimm at 1:29 PM on January 24, 2012


Somebody point me at the insightfulness and perspicacity. I'm totally missing it here.
posted by edheil at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2012


This needs to go viral....please share everywhere! ... Stooge.
posted by crunchland at 1:32 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Matt Stoller: Why Ron Paul Challenges Liberals
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:33 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's behind the liberal lust for Ron Paul?

I don't lust for him. But I compare him to, say, Rick Perry. And all of the bad stuff about Ron Paul, his racism, his climate denial, and general desire to return society to a state of nature? I think that's true of Perry as well. Either a Perry or a Paul is held back, not by his own positions, but by Democrats and Independents. So it ends up that I agree with Perry maybe 10% of the time and with Paul maybe 30% of the time. So sure, I like him better than Perry.

And what's interesting is the 20% where I agree with Paul, and not with Perry? It's all in the area where Obama and Perry do agree. That 20% Ron Paul is my only loud voice. So sure, I'll try and show Paul a a little love to try and promote those ideas more.

But put a gun to my head and make me choose a President, between Romney and Paul? Sorry, Ron, I'd choose Romney.
posted by tyllwin at 1:36 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there's this perception that Ron Paul believes in peace. Ron Paul just doesn't want to pay for a national army with his tax dollars. He's not a pacifist, he's a miser.

So yeah, on one hand, Paul wants to lower the deficit by cutting military spending. Great. On the other hand, he doesn't see any value in spending his money to protect my land, when he's got enough money to protect his land all by himself.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on January 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


crunchland: This needs to go viral....please share everywhere! ... Stooge.

Well, we did our part, apparently.
posted by gilrain at 1:37 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there's this perception that Ron Paul believes in peace. Ron Paul just doesn't want to pay for a national army with his tax dollars. He's not a pacifist, he's a miser.

This is completely wrong. He believes in defense spending...to defend the nation. What he isn't into is military spending to grow empire. If that makes him a miser, then I am with him 100%.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:42 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd still sooner vote for fucking Strawberry Shortcake.

You are a total sicko. She's obviously underage.
posted by The Bellman at 1:44 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


So clearly Ron Paul is a 'glass half full' kind of a guy.
posted by crunchland at 1:46 PM on January 24, 2012


Presumably he believes in states having the right to go to war with other states.
posted by Artw at 1:46 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


He predicted the 2003 invasion of Iraq in 2002? OMG!
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:48 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


What he isn't into is military spending to grow empire.

...or to save lives in cases of ethnic or political cleansing.

He sees this as "growing the empire." I think reasonable people can disagree with this assesment.
posted by muddgirl at 1:49 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Which hell does he think Fidel Castro is going to?
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Well, he was right about the war, anyway".

So was I. It wasn't exactly an MENSA entry exam.
posted by spaltavian at 1:53 PM on January 24, 2012 [15 favorites]


I think we've had enough Ron Paul threads now. Shouldn't we stop?
posted by zomg at 1:53 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can see why he's running as a republican, what with that inability to see the world in more than black and white ....
posted by onesidys at 1:53 PM on January 24, 2012


I am always wondering what is really so magical about states. Do counties, townships and shires have not the right of self determination? If Kings county produces, by the sweat of our brow, wealth, should it be plundered by leeches in Albany? It is time for each Municipality to stand forth, and say "This will not stand" and set their own community standards. THe era of big state governmet is over!
posted by Ad hominem at 1:54 PM on January 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


What's behind the liberal lust for Ron Paul?

I am liberal but I lack lust for him; I likewise lament being late for the golden era of Lyndon LaRouche.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:54 PM on January 24, 2012


I think out of the current crop of runner Ron Paul makes me the most pissed off. He is the Intelligent Design in the Evolution vs Creation wars. A glass-full of jackass no matter how you look at it.

It is like people hear 'cut defense spending' and the rest of the brain shuts off. I, too, am all for cutting defense spending. But you know when that comes at the cost of blatant institutionalized homophobia, racism, abelism, sexism, isolationistism, anti-science, I... I gotta take a pass of thinking he is anything but just another fucking entitled asshole who took one to many blows to the head.
posted by edgeways at 1:55 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


A stopped clock is right twice a day

cron paul:
0 */12 * * * /home/rEVOLution/doomsay.pl

and one that runs backwards even more often than that.

The really interesting and totally quip-ruining corollary is that a clock that runs very close to perfectly correctly is consequently right only once in a very very long time. And a clock that runs one million times too fast is right a tremendous number of times a day in terms of raw number of moments-of-crossing-a-threshold-of-synchronicity while still being wrong basically all the time if you sum up moments of synchronicity-or-not over smaller and smaller intervals of time.

In summary: harmonic differentials and calculus limits don't make for very reliable metaphors beyond the base case, and everybody has digital clock radios or little clock readouts in the corner of their phones anyway.
posted by cortex at 1:57 PM on January 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


The State level appears to be chosen as it's the perfect level of granularity for fucking crazy shit. Go finer and you might get pockets of liberal sanity messing up your grand project to construct the Confederate States of Biblestan.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


A stopped clock is right twice a day, and one that runs backwards even more often than that.

And it is always at the same time, namely 4:20.
posted by y2karl at 1:58 PM on January 24, 2012


I'd still sooner vote for fucking Strawberry Shortcake.

You are a total sicko. She's obviously underage.


Strawberry Shortcake was designed in 1977, which makes her 35, the minimum age required for Presidential candidacy. Plus, she's got that youthful look that the kids love, she's a lock for the suburban 18-24 demo.
posted by Errant at 2:01 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sorry to lurch back to the whole stopped vs. backwards clock thing, but I've managed to get Wolfram Alpha to draw pretty pictures and I thought I'd share them:

The blue line is a normal running clock, and each intersection with the purple line is when they show the same time: (Depending on when you start the clock running backwards the agreements will happen at different times of the day. It's easier to see them if they don't happen at 12:00.)
posted by benito.strauss at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


How many times a day is the Backwards Clock wrong?
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on January 24, 2012


Hang a backwards clock on the back wall of the bathroom, so you can see it in the mirror while doing mirror-related things.
posted by and for no one at 2:05 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you have a backwards running clock you just have to re number the face backwards. Simple.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:05 PM on January 24, 2012


What's wrong with Strawberry Shortcake? Applejack isn't even running this year after the Iowa and NH primaries cheat the Pony Party out of ballot access.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:06 PM on January 24, 2012


ASK JEEVES RICK SANTORUM
posted by flarbuse at 2:07 PM on January 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


GOOGLE SANTORUM -FROTH
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Wow, that actually mostly works for the top couple of search results)
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on January 24, 2012


GOOGLE NO STRADAMUS
posted by chavenet at 2:10 PM on January 24, 2012


Umm, even googling "Rick Santorum" doesn't yield the correct frothy results.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:11 PM on January 24, 2012


The correct link comes in 3rd if you add the rick.

It is a sad day that ceaseless results manipulation has brought us to this point.
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I predicted the housing crash in... I dunno, 1999?

You were way late to the game. Like, I dunno, 15 years late? Back then, Ron Paul was too busy writing his racist, crackpot newsletters to notice the Savings & Loan Crisis, the billions of dollars of bailouts, and the crash in the housing market.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:33 PM on January 24, 2012


Many may not agree with Ron Paul, but he's principled, honest, and consistent with his ideas and actions. He was completely right that the US foreign policy of 2002 would lead to a quagmire of war, enormous spending, debt, and a much worse realpolitik situation.

The shame of today's political environment is the polarization that leads to either "he's crazy" or "he's great" with no room in the middle.

You can disagree with a person's positions on issues and still respect the individual as a thoughtful person doing what they believe is right. You can even respect some of their ideas and disagree with other of their ideas.

Personally, I believe his ideas on foreign policy are far better than President Obama's or any of the other GOP candidates. He's completely right about the Patriot Act being unconstitutional. However, I do disagree with his economic policy since I'm a Keynesian, but we should be able to discuss economics without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

The Vice-President has the ability to discuss things this way, too bad so many can't.

Politics is the art of compromise and a good compromise leaves no one happy but is often better than sticking to a pure ideology.

Of course, this is Metafilter, so everyone has to show how self-righteous they are when discussing politics.
posted by Argyle at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


He was completely right that the US foreign policy of 2002 would lead to a quagmire of war, enormous spending, debt, and a much worse realpolitik situation.

So was every progressive blogger in the entire blogosphere. Should we elect Amanda Marcotte to be president?

Many may not agree with Ron Paul, but he's principled, honest, and consistent with his ideas and actions.

I honestly used to believe this, until he absolutely refused to confront the issue of his past racist publications. They were written in the first person and signed with his name, and yet he claims that he did not write them nor did he have any editorial role in their creation. That's not principled, honest, or consistent.

If he had the principle to say, "Yes, I wrote those. I was wrong," or even "Yes, I wrote those, and I still believe them," then I would still agree with you.
posted by muddgirl at 2:54 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Christian Science Monitor has a very neutral timeline of Paul's claims about the newsletters, which did not have a byline but were published under his masthead in the first person. So I suppose the other option is that he's a principled, honest idiot.
posted by muddgirl at 3:05 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Regarding Clocks Running Backwards...

AHEM.

AHEM. (my previous secret identity; and yes, I was wrong about there being "no peril in ignoring" the Tea Party Movement - my clock was an hour behind due to Daylight Savings at the time)

Anyway, since "All posts are © their original authors" here, I am hereby enforcing my copyright and sending you all Cease & Desist orders as soon as my lawyer stops laughing.

---

As for Ron Paul's predictions, does it count that he predicted the Housing Bubble while he was wholeheartedly supporting the Financial Deregulation that was its most significant cause?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul regularly talks about the evils of "special interests." And often attacks his rivals of profiting from them.

Now... who are Paul's political contributors? FEC link. Well they include Insurance companies, Banking, Health care, Financial Services, Alcohol companies, Telecommunications, major Hotels, Chemical companies, Pro-Life, Gun organizations, Realtors really seem to like him,...

But you know ...NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE REFORM OF MARIJUANA LAWS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE... so it must be all ok.

Principled, my ass.
posted by edgeways at 3:09 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


So what you're saying, oneswellfoop, is that you were right twice?
posted by benito.strauss at 3:12 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, this is Metafilter, so everyone has to show how self-righteous they are when discussing politics.

...and in this very comment you came so close to not doing so.
posted by dirtdirt at 3:13 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hang a backwards clock on the back wall of the bathroom, so you can see it in the mirror while doing mirror-related things.

This is the stopped-clock-is-right-adage equivalent of keeping the guy who's always wrong on staff so you can do the opposite of whatever he says.
posted by gauche at 3:14 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Incidentally Paul's big "never voted for an earmark" schtick is all a big political con job. It's true he hasn't. However he actively puts earmarks into the budget.. quite a lot of them actually. But them votes against the appropriations bill itself.
posted by edgeways at 3:17 PM on January 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well as long as he consistently puts in earmarks and then votes against the whole bill, we should admire him for that.
posted by muddgirl at 3:23 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't really think there's really too much debate around here about the problems that Ron Paul has correctly identified.

However, have you seen his solutions to those problems? Fix the housing bubble by abandoning the idea of money entirely? That's crazy and untenable.

Also, consider that a hypothetical President Paul would have very few allies in the legislature, and would be virtually unable to push through any sort of meaningful policy changes (apart from what could be accomplished with the veto pen). His views drastically differ from those of about 95% of the legislature.

If we want to swoon about Ron Paul's good ideas, we shouldn't focus on electing Ron Paul as president. That won't do anybody any good, even if you did happen to agree with some of his crazier stances. Instead, we should focus on finding other candidates who similarly align with those good ideas, and get those people voted into the legislature where they can have a real impact.
posted by schmod at 3:30 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The shame of today's political environment is the polarization that leads to either "he's crazy" or "he's great" with no room in the middle.

Yes. You hear lots of complaining about a refusal to listen or compromise with political opponents. And then in conversations like this one we get comments like "how someone arrives at their beliefs is as important as the beliefs themselves". Well if they not only have to share your views on the issues but also have their positions for the same reasons, i.e. you share the same presuppositions, then you're talking about your fellow party members and them alone. Later on perhaps we'll hear more about this failure to work with others, but when it comes down to it most people don't want to compromise. Not even when it means potentially avoiding a war, or stopping the erosion of our civil liberties.

-----

Ron Paul regularly talks about the evils of "special interests." And often attacks his rivals of profiting from them.

Now... who are Paul's political contributors? FEC link. Well they include Insurance companies, Banking, Health care, Financial Services, Alcohol companies, Telecommunications, major Hotels, Chemical companies, Pro-Life, Gun organizations, Realtors really seem to like him,...

But you know ...NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE REFORM OF MARIJUANA LAWS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE... so it must be all ok.

Principled, my ass.


Political contributors? This is where you're attacking him? Seriously?

Take a look. There's no need for me to point to anything, the difference is too stark.

Ron Paul 2012

Mitt Romney 2012

Barack Obama 2012

Barack Obama 2008
posted by BigSky at 3:38 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's behind the liberal lust for Ron Paul?

It's not lust for Ron Paul. For the hundredth time on here. How many times does this need to be repeated?

If Paul won the Republican primary, and it was Ron Paul vs. President Obama, we would finally have a serious national conversation about drug reform, about our abundantly racist drug laws, even if Paul himself is a racist. It's an issue the other Republicans won't touch, and Obama just laughs about.

We would get some actual sane talk about Iran. His comment about applying the Golden Rule actually got booed during the last Republican debate. That's crazy.

Many of the Democrats on here made the excuse that the only reason Obama signed the NDAA is because touching Defense is indefensible. Paul actually challenges that, and we'd have some discussion about that. Something progressives and liberals used to care about.

Now, if it's Gringrich, for the next year all we're going to hear about is open marriages, infidelity and nothing of substance. Abortions, family values. Bullshit we already know about and isn't going to change. Obama's not going to suddenly become anti-choice.

If it's Romney, it will be muddled bullshit about the economy. Taxes this, taxes that. There might be some talk about the massive inequality, but both Obama and Romney are going to benefit from Citizens United.

Santorum? More family values bullshit. Snickers on the media about Googling it. Yeah, we get it.

Do the progressives on here really want Paul to win in 2012? No, but they've seen Obama vote against us on NDAA, PATRIOT Act, drug reform,

Just yesterday the Justice Department charged the whistleblower who brought to our attention the torture that the CIA was engaging in. We've still to see any charges against the actual torturers.

So yeah, that's why some of us "lust for Ron Paul", because even if his reasons are wrong, even if his views on abortion and other things are wrong, his message on civil liberties are not only popular, but they are continually shrugged of by the Democrats and media. And we're not going to get that discussion with any of the other candidates.


Essentially it comes down to this: to get Romney/Santorum/Gringrich voters Obama needs to go to the right. To get Paul voters, Obama ironically needs to go to the left. Or what at one time was considered the left.
posted by formless at 3:40 PM on January 24, 2012 [17 favorites]


Political contributors? This is where you're attacking him? Seriously?

If the issue is special interests, then yes, this is a valid line of criticism. If Paul is against special interests, then he should return their money. End of story.

It so happens that Obama should do the same thing. "But everyone does it" or "you have to do it to get elected" is not a principled defence of any action.
posted by muddgirl at 3:41 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gringrich? Yeah, that should be Gingrich. Although I like the idea of a horrible monster called a Grin-grich that parents scare their kids to bed with.
posted by formless at 3:47 PM on January 24, 2012


Political contributors? This is where you're attacking him? Seriously?

No, that is not where I am attaching him. I am attaching him for saying one thing but doing/benefiting from the same thing. The fact that he may not be pulling in the same amount of $ as those other folks? Is because he is a third tier candidate. Not because he is magically more principled then they are.
posted by edgeways at 3:53 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


He was completely right that the US foreign policy of 2002 would lead to a quagmire of war, enormous spending, debt, and a much worse realpolitik situation.

An isolationist will always agree with you when you think a non-defensive military action is unjust and will always disagree with you when you think it's justified. Similarly an anti-tax, small-government crank will always agree with you when you think a government program is wasteful or a government action amounts to unconstitutional or simply undesirable overreach. What matters is the rationale, not the fact that you occasionally agree about specific policy objectives.
posted by yoink at 3:59 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Comparing Islamic political parties to Islamic fundamentalists is like comparing helmut kohl with rick perry
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:06 PM on January 24, 2012


German Ron Paul fans? What, why?

Nostalgia?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:18 PM on January 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


No, that is not where I am attaching him. I am attaching him for saying one thing but doing/benefiting from the same thing. The fact that he may not be pulling in the same amount of $ as those other folks? Is because he is a third tier candidate. Not because he is magically more principled then they are.

You're making a misleading argument.

Ron Paul is against any regulation of campaign finance. Given this, there is nothing hypocritical about his accepting donations from anyone.

The criticisms of his opponents is about their willingness to adjust their positions to court more donations, and then change them again when it's no longer politically convenient, e.g. Newt Gingrich. The massive campaign donations from special interests to the other candidates is highly suggestive of their willingness to trade favors for cash. On the other hand, Paul's consistency over the last 30 years is also highly suggestive of his willingness to "go along to get along", i.e. not very. And that's why such a large portion of his war chest comes from independent voters making small donations.

As for your earlier criticism about earmarks, that's a misleading argument as well. This is part of a congressman's job. They might not want a bridge built in Alaska, but if Congress is bound and determined to put one there, then some of the resources may as well be purchased from their district. If they didn't do it, they would be failing their constituents.
posted by BigSky at 4:18 PM on January 24, 2012


If Paul won the Republican primary, and it was Ron Paul vs. President Obama, we would finally have a serious national conversation about drug reform, about our abundantly racist drug laws, even if Paul himself is a racist

Assuming Ron Paul won the primary we would never get to that conversation. The issue isn't a priority for Paul compared to the Federal Reserve and monetary policy.

Obama isn't going to get the Paul voters. They are political unobtanium. Also courting them would upset the rest of his political coalition.
posted by humanfont at 4:20 PM on January 24, 2012


Decani, that Ron Paul abortion quote you cited was made up.
posted by Dasein at 4:34 PM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think so BigSky.

1. Paul has is pretty vocal to his opposition to "special interests."

Special Interests are in control of the Presidency ...
We're Dangerous to the Special Interests and the Big Spenders
"The world's politicians, special interests, and financiers all love fiat money"
Bailout Unconstitutional, Special Interests Forced Bill Through Congress

Yet he is fine in receiving campaign donations from "Special Interests". He says one thing but acts the other way. Special Interests are bad when my foes get them, but good when I get them. Again the amount is less of a concern than the act "We're just haggling over the price" after all.

2. Earmarks.. You know what? I am actually fine with most earmarks that get proposed. I DON'T CARE that Paul gets earmarks into the spending bills. I DO CARE that he tootles around saying I've never voted for an earmark, saying one thing, while he inserts them all the time. He is trying to have his cake and eat it too. Ooh look at me I'm fiscally conservative never voted for an earmark, but he inserts them into legislation that he knows will get passed. That? That is political bullshit. That is worthy of the most Machiavellian SOB that has ever served in Congress.

HE
IS
A
HYPOCRITE
posted by edgeways at 4:37 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. "Special interests are in control of the Presidency..." this means the President has sold influence. That's the criticism. Read the link I posted above. It's not that he's fine receiving but no one else is, it's that he's not changing his positions for campaign donations.

2. But he hasn't voted for an earmark. This is true. If he didn't fight to make sure his district is getting some of the money while everyone in Congress is chasing after the money then he couldn't get elected. What a convenient line of attack for his opponents. On the other hand, if a sizable portion of Congress followed his example, none of the earmarks would pass and you would see a sharp decrease in spending. There's nothing inconsistent about that, it is fiscally prudent behavior.
posted by BigSky at 4:55 PM on January 24, 2012


It's a great game to play, conjugating adjectives:

I am prudent.
You are inconsistent.
He is a hypocrite.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:30 PM on January 24, 2012


Why is Crazy Ron Paul a worse option than a candidate you find out later is doing crazy stuff?

Anybody know what Joe Biden has been up to over the past, oh, six months?
posted by rhizome at 5:40 PM on January 24, 2012


Assuming Ron Paul won the primary we would never get to that conversation. The issue isn't a priority for Paul compared to the Federal Reserve and monetary policy.

That would be a really strange election strategy, and also go against his current campaigning. Almost every interview I've seen with him, he brings up drug reform. He knows its a big draw for the youth vote that provides a large part of his constituency. Even if his true priority is abolishing the Fed, every interview and speech from the Daily Show to the Republican debates the issues I brought up up thread were focused on by him.

Obama isn't going to get the Paul voters. They are political unobtanium.

Speaking of the youth vote. Unobtanium? People like myself, who were tearing up at the outpouring of hope and optimism after the 2008 election? Yeah, naive perhaps, but I don't think we're unobtanium. There's a large group of people dissatisfied with the current status quo, who have voiced support for some of Paul's policies. It's honestly a big part of the reason we keep having this thread over and over. And again, because this disclaimer seems to be needed everytime, voicing support for some of his policies doesn't automatically mean all Paul supporters want to control a woman's right to choose, or abolish the Civil Rights Act.

Also courting them would upset the rest of his political coalition.

This could very well be true.

In that case, if it's true that introducing drug reform and prison reform, reducing defense spending and focusing on protecting citizen's civil liberties is upsetting to his political coalition, then it's obvious just petitioning Obama via the standard means of letter writing and email campaigns won't work. It seems some opponent is going to be needed to move him to support those issues.

And honestly, I'm ok with upsetting his political coalition a little bit.
posted by formless at 5:47 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


2. But he hasn't voted for an earmark. This is true. If he didn't fight to make sure his district is getting some of the money while everyone in Congress is chasing after the money then he couldn't get elected. What a convenient line of attack for his opponents. On the other hand, if a sizable portion of Congress followed his example, none of the earmarks would pass and you would see a sharp decrease in spending. There's nothing inconsistent about that, it is fiscally prudent behavior.

If a sizable portion of Congress followed his example, the money wouldn't get back to Paul's district, the people would vote Paul out of office, and we'd return to the former situation.

I'm impressed that you can find a way for it not to be hypocritical to rail against government earmarks and to simultaneously stake one's political survival on making sure that they get passed.
posted by yoink at 5:48 PM on January 24, 2012


NOT INSANE
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:51 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


If a sizable portion of Congress followed his example, the money wouldn't get back to Paul's district, the people would vote Paul out of office, and we'd return to the former situation.

Uh, no. It's part of a congressman's job to get a share of the money spent. You would have less overall spending with a majority following his lead, so all the districts would be getting fewer dollars from the federal government. With relative parity in federal dollars per district, no one would think he was failing at his job of bringing some federal money home.

I'm impressed that you can find a way for it not to be hypocritical to rail against government earmarks and to simultaneously stake one's political survival on making sure that they get passed.

Jeepers, that's interesting. Ron Paul has been working for a few decades to reduce government spending. Apparently the only way he can do this with any integrity in some people's eyes, is by putting the burden first and foremost on his own district by declining to earmark any funds for their district. How then could he or any fiscal conservative hold office? If that's the only way to behave with integrity, then you have inescapable, implicit collusion amongst all the Congressmen to spend as liberally as whatever sense of shame they possess allows, so they can all then bring some dollars home. Now that's pretty much how they already behave, but it isn't the only option. What I find interesting is that you apparently think this is something other than cheap, transparent rhetoric.
posted by BigSky at 7:13 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


And again, because this disclaimer seems to be needed everytime, voicing support for some of his policies doesn't automatically mean all Paul supporters want to control a woman's right to choose, or abolish the Civil Rights Act.

If you're supporting Paul, you're supporting Paul. In other words, civil rights for straight white males, and everyone else- gays, women, people of color- get thrown under the bus.
posted by happyroach at 7:23 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile in the real world Obama maintains a 69% support in young voters. Mot of his drop off is frustration over the economy.
posted by humanfont at 7:32 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently the only way he can do this with any integrity in some people's eyes, is by putting the burden first and foremost on his own district by declining to earmark any funds for their district.

Well, I'm not saying what Paul should or shouldn't do, but I will point out that for a few decades now representatives of Paul's own party have been happy to criticize anyone who wants a more equalitarian society for not living in a box on the street. John Edwards' house was too big. John Kerry's wife was too rich. The Kennedys were just too damn rich, period. Now all those criticisms might be valid; I'm not saying they are or they aren't. Just maybe St Francis of Assisi is the only one who truly can call for economic justice. But if that's true then it isn't unreasonable to believe that Ron Paul should starve the beast in his own district first.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:44 PM on January 24, 2012


Well, I'm not saying what Paul should or shouldn't do, but I will point out that for a few decades now representatives of Paul's own party have been happy to criticize anyone who wants a more equalitarian society for not living in a box on the street.

That's a reasonable comparison, but I don't think those criticisms are valid. I have a number of relatives who are at least upper middle class, and out and out socialists. If they don't whine about taxes and are not particularly invested in acquiring status symbols then I see little disparity between their life and their politics.

But that all said, I don't think the Republicans point to these folks' wealth in order to label them hypocrites. Sure, they're not above using the term, but the more frequent dig is that they're out of touch elites to whom the salt of the earth, commoner just can not relate. It's less about their having the moral failing of hypocrisy, than portraying them as not-like-you.
posted by BigSky at 8:29 PM on January 24, 2012


And again, because this disclaimer seems to be needed everytime, voicing support for some of his policies doesn't automatically mean all Paul supporters want to control a woman's right to choose, or abolish the Civil Rights Act.

This goes two ways, you know. Supporting Obama doesn't mean his supporters are against civil liberties or drug law reform, either. But to invert Glenn Greenwald, Paul supporters should have to confront the fact that Paul doesn't respect a lot of civil rights, and indeed borrows a lot of his language--foremost among those being "state's rights"--from rhetoric that has been used to oppress essentially every member of American society except middle- and upper-class white men. He doesn't really care if Mississipi passes voting ID laws aimed specifically at blacks, or Arizona wants "papers please" just because someone looks Hispanic, or if Maine doesn't want to allow people to marry their same-sex partner, or if Kansas doesn't think women have the right to control their body. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that he wouldn't mind indefinite detention if it was done by a state under the guise of things like immigration. After all, I've yet to hear his spirited attacks on SB1070.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:39 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Arab Spring does not equate a takeover by Islamic Fundamentalists.

No it doesn't. The American/European reaction to the Arab Spring however seems to be to arm/fund Islamic fundamentalists. The basic message being "you don't want our dictators, your only other option are the fundamentalists." Must be easier to control than taking their chances on democracy. The violence in Libya can't be categorized as "Arab Spring" can it? The ongoing violence in Syria? [Which is getting more and more fundamentalist tinged - and now with recent reports of arms and fighters from Libya]

We shouldn't be conflating Islamic parties with terrorists or fundamentalists, but we also shouldn't be blind to the fact that most of these people are fundamentalists. These are not the modernizers the region needs. These are not the people that were hoped for. And these are not the representatives that so many protesters died for.

Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party wins historic poll

Egypt election: results show Islamists taking two thirds of seats

Islamists exerting increasing control at Yemen protest camp

Jordan’s Islamists regain key asset

Syria: 'Islamist group' behind deadly blast in Damascus

Sorry for the derail.
posted by xqwzts at 2:33 AM on January 25, 2012


Can you corroborate this assertion that "The American/European reaction to the Arab Spring however seems to be to arm/fund Islamic fundamentalists", xqwzts? Do you links actually show this?
posted by jeffburdges at 3:33 AM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm always baffled when people cite Ron Paul's "honesty" and the "strength of his convictions" as that which is of primary importance. I mean, yes, those are important - provided I can agree with those convictions. "But he's really sincere about his slash-and-burn policy informed by religious fundamentalism" isn't really very reassuring.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:48 AM on January 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


There isn't any risk that Ron Paul will be elected president because Obama has treated Wall St., Defense contractors, etc. quite well and Ron Paul might not do so. We simply want the Obama vs. Paul debates to include Obama's real failings.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:58 AM on January 25, 2012


There isn't any risk that Ron Paul will be elected president because Obama has treated Wall St., Defense contractors, etc. quite well and Ron Paul might not do so. We simply want the Obama vs. Paul debates to include Obama's real failings.

And Ron Paul has and would continue to treat the religious wackjobs and racists pretty well, but by all means let's focus on Obama's failings and dream of the hypothetical (and largely mythological positions within) Paul presidency
posted by zombieflanders at 7:21 AM on January 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seems to me that the way Obama would defeat Paul is not to move back to the left, but rather to move even more rightward on defense issues to capture both center-left and center-right independents (and probably some center-right Republicans). In a campaign against Paul, Obama's continuing civil rights violations become 'strong moves to protect national security.' Obama would defend the war on drugs as protecting our nation's children (or whatever). All it takes is a couple declarations by Paul that, say, assassinating bin Laden was an act of war, or rescuing American citizens from pirates is a violation of Somali sovereignty for Obama to become the darling of the center-right.

Not really the kind of election I'm looking for, but I can see why this would be attractive to people who perceive Obama's first 3 years as a betrayal. (For clarity: I didn't vote for Obama in the first place so I can't really muster up many feelings about his presidency beyond 'the more things change...').

Besides that, Paul's policies aren't too different from, say, Gingrich's - deregulation, elimination of taxes, elimination of social protections against poverty, etc.
posted by muddgirl at 7:23 AM on January 25, 2012


because Obama has treated Wall St., Defense contractors, etc. quite well and Ron Paul might not do so.

Besides a general air of "let's tear everything down and see what happens," what on Earth has Ron Paul ever said or done to suggest that he, a libertarian's libertarian, would somehow be a foe of the financial or munitions industries? Ron Paul wants to drastically reduce the power and size of the federal government; he's certainly not going to give it the authority to regulate two of the most powerful industries in the world. That's ludicrous on its face.

Apparently the only way he can do this with any integrity in some people's eyes, is by putting the burden first and foremost on his own district by declining to earmark any funds for their district. How then could he or any fiscal conservative hold office?

It is a mystery. If Ron Paul's district (or that of any so-called fiscal conservative) keeps electing him to earmark funds for them, despite his professed opposition to them, then that strongly suggests to me that maybe people don't want such a small government after all, regardless of the kinds of mouth music they like to hear.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:34 AM on January 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ok, guessing that uneasy peace will come to the mideast is a gimme. I could have told you this.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:04 AM on January 25, 2012


Heh, best YouTube comment:

"Ron Paul is 'predicting' policies and events that were already laid out or unravelling, these statements are not prophecy - just reiterations. This video is an appeal to emotion, a blunt fallacy; nice background music by the way lmao."
posted by clvrmnky at 10:09 AM on January 25, 2012


If Ron Paul's district (or that of any so-called fiscal conservative) keeps electing him to earmark funds for them, despite his professed opposition to them, then that strongly suggests to me that maybe people don't want such a small government after all, regardless of the kinds of mouth music they like to hear.

This makes it sound like he's being elected primarily to earmark funds for his district. Perhaps he is, but I think you're overstating the case. Maybe they elected him to push for smaller government and since that probably won't happen over night, make sure the district receives its share of federal funds, which do after all come in part from the district's tax dollars. Isn't this the more plausible scenario?
posted by BigSky at 10:52 AM on January 25, 2012


Isn't this the more plausible scenario?

Absent more information, the most plausible scenario is that they want plenty of earmarks for the district and stories about smaller government.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:21 AM on January 25, 2012


There isn't any risk that Ron Paul will be elected president because Obama has treated Wall St., Defense contractors, etc. quite well and Ron Paul might not do so. We simply want the Obama vs. Paul debates to include Obama's real failings.

Actually, government according to Paulite philosophy is pretty much exactly what Wall St. wants. The only reason they don't give him all that much money is because they know he's not a serious contender for President.

And, of course, the reason that Paul gets to be the darling of those who want someone who speaks out without fear or favor is precisely because he has absolutely no interest in genuinely trying to become President. He has pretty much no interest, even, in being an effective politician (other than in the little games he has to play to keep his constituents happy). He just wants to be a gadfly who gets his name in the newspapers a lot.

The fantasy represented by people like Paul is utterly corrosive to effective governance. Politics is about reconciling competing interest groups in such a way as to avoid as many bad outcomes as possible and arrive at as many good outcomes as possible. Good politicians have never, ever, in the history of the world, been steadfast, deontological ideologues who scorn the very idea of compromise. The only people who can afford to scorn the idea of compromise are autocratic tyrants who can kill anyone who opposes them.

The hilarious thing is that we can always see the fault in that dream in the other side. We see the foolishness of the Tea Party republicans seeking a politician who will resolutely insist on giving them everything their little hearts desire and we say to ourselves "why would they pick someone who is just going to lose--meaning they'll get nothing of what they want--when they could pick someone who might win and might give them 70% of what they want?" But when it happens on our side, suddenly we can't see the rationality of that math. We denounce Ben Nelson, for example, and say we'd rather lose his senate seat altogether--thus ensuring that we get 0 votes in favor of causes we care about from that seat--than tolerate his apostasy--despite the fact that more often than not he did, in fact, vote with his Democratic colleagues.

The other interesting thing is how we lose this partisan blindness when we look backwards in time--and amazingly quickly. I can never believe the number of progressives I've heard who speak nostalgically about the Clinton presidency when Clinton was loathed by the Metafilter-types of the period (his assault on the welfare state becomes a pardonable foible--Obama's massive extension of it via Obamacare is still seen as a desperate betrayal because it didn't include a public option that every single study at the time told us would make virtually no difference to the effectiveness of the program). LBJ is now (rightly) revered by the left for the progressive civil rights and other legislation he got through Congress and that whole Vietnam War unpleasantness is mostly just seen as an odd aberration. And again, if there had been a Metafilter in the 60s, it would have been wall to wall denunciations of LBJ. We hear no end of praise of FDR and tsk-tsking about how Obama has failed to live up to his example. Japanese internment camps, anyone? Complete inaction on civil rights--one of the crying injustices of the day? Hell, does anyone other than Southern recidivist nutjobs not revere Lincoln these days? Was there any cause of more moral urgency in Lincoln's own estimation than slavery? And yet Lincoln was elected on the explicit promise--which he tried honestly and urgently to keep--that he would accept the continuation of Southern slavery as the price of keeping the union together.

If your criterion for "good leader" is "somebody who's not a craven temporizer like that wuss Lincoln" then you're effectively saying that you refuse to participate in the political process at all until such time as you wake up in heaven surrounded by angels.
posted by yoink at 11:39 AM on January 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Why is Crazy Ron Paul a worse option than a candidate you find out later is doing crazy stuff?

Anybody know what Joe Biden has been up to over the past, oh, six months?


Given my paper money just worked well enough to buy me an iced tea, yeah, whatever it is, it's better than Crazy Ron Paul.
posted by Amanojaku at 4:46 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that the fears of the muslim brotherhood turning Egypt into Iran II are pretty overblown. Most of the fear mongering about Islamic Fundamentalism is coming from Egyptian Generals and their buddies who don't want to end up on the gallows.
posted by humanfont at 6:33 PM on January 25, 2012


Why is Crazy Ron Paul a worse option than a candidate you find out later is doing crazy stuff?

Do you apply this interesting heuristic to the rest of your life? "Sure my boss is crazy, but he's not as crazy as the one I might have had!" or "Yes, my wife is insane, but at least she's not like my normal-looking ex. Who knows what her problem was!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:10 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread makes me wish I wasn't a liberal.
posted by melt away at 3:43 AM on January 26, 2012


Rand Paul is all about keeping the agents of the government from touching men's junk, but women's junk is totally the property of the state, up to and including forced vaginal penetration before a woman can engage in a legal transaction of money for services.

rmd1023, could you explain WTF you're referring to here? Is this a drastic rewording of "he opposes abortion except in cases of rape"? Because, if it is, it's bizarrely misleading, suggesting Paul opposes the rights of women to purchase haircuts and snow removal.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:25 AM on January 26, 2012


Why is Crazy Ron Paul a worse option than a candidate you find out later is doing crazy stuff?

Anybody know what Joe Biden has been up to over the past, oh, six months?

Oh, presiding over the Senate as President, attending functions that are White-House-worthy when the POTUS is too busy to make it, supporting Obama's policies behind the scenes with congressmen, ... you know, fulfilling the duties of the VPOTUS.

Crazy stuff indeed, rhizome. Surely his time would be more sanely spent hawking wars, shouting obscenities at people who oppose him, and drunkenly shooting friends in the face, like some previous attention-whore VPs have done.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:30 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: A stopped clock is right twice a day, and one that runs backwards even more often than that.

This is a case of the more general statement of "any two clocks that are not moving at exactly the same rate will periodically coincide, assuming constant rotational speeds."

For all practical purposes aside from reporting "true" time, the problem is effectively the same as a single clock which rotates at the combined speed of the two clocks, repeatedly pointing to the same hour-minute-second combination with a frequency of
(F1-F2)
where F1 and F2 are expressed in [revolutions/12-hr period], so that a "perfect" clock would have Fp=1, a stopped clock Fs=0, and a perfectly reversed clock Fr=-1.

From here, it is plain that the number of times per day any non-perfect clock (F=Fnp) is right (i.e., coincident with a perfect clock) is given by
2*(Fnp-1).

It is interesting to note that, outside of purely mathematical hypotheticals, all existing clocks are imperfect, and thus the above equation also shows that stopped clocks are, in fact, "right" more often than nearly-perfect clocks.

--

This analogy aside, Ron Paul is still a racist, homophobic, misogynist, with bizarre economic theories that not supported by any significant number of economists.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:56 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


IAmBroom: Specifically, a new Texas law that *requires* that a doctor perform an ultrasound on a woman before she can have an abortion. This kind of ultrasound often requires it be done as a vaginal ultrasound rather than just the 'slide a wand around on slimed up belly skin' variety.

It is not an opt-out procedure - it is a requirement before a woman can have a totally legal abortion. This procedure is an administrative requirement, *not* a medically necessary requirement and is yet another law designed to force women to be aware that the procedure will remove an actual embryo or fetus and not, like, a misplaced cabbage, in the hopes that the woman will look at the gray on black image of something that could be a tadpole and say "Oh, nevermind the circumstances that are leading me to choose abortion, let's continue the pregnancy"

So, yeah, state-mandated unnecessary vaginal ultrasound before abortion sure as fuck sounds like "forced vaginal penetration before a woman can engage in a legal transaction of money for services" to me.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:50 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Details on the law in question.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:53 AM on January 26, 2012


Thanks for de-obscuring that, rmd1023.

However, since Ron Paul serves in TX, and Rand Paul in KY, I think your paragraph about this TX law is still in error:

Artw: Rand Paul is all about keeping the agents of the government from touching men's junk, but women's junk is totally the property of the state, up to and including forced vaginal penetration before a woman can engage in a legal transaction of money for services.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:39 PM on January 26, 2012


Rand Paul was on his way to an anti-abortion rally when he had his tiff with the TSA. Which makes it kind of ironic that he was so upset that the government didn't keep their laws off his body.

I'm thought (although I can't find it offhand - I'll look later and cite if I find it) that I read a piece about his tiff with the TSA that specifically mentioned that he approved of the recent bit of Texas legislation, but it's possible I conflated him and his equally anti-choice father. If so, apologies for misleading. It may be that Rand doesn't explicitly believe in forced vaginal penetration, and just wants the state to engage in forced childbearing even in the case of risk to the health of the mother.

Rand Paul is certainly on the record as supporting 'life begins at conception' laws and other laws that limit a woman's access to abortion unless the woman's life is in danger. (note: not risk of major health problems, only risk of death.) He also wants to change things so that the 14th amendment to the US constitution does include protection for fetuses but does not include birthright citizenship for anyone born on US soil. So, even if I conflated him with Ron, my actual intent remains to say "fuck him" for thinking that the state should keep their hands off his junk but that the power of the state should be free to get all up in my lady-junk business.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:29 PM on January 26, 2012


Then, it's ironic that you questioned whether we were discussing Ron or Rand Paul in this thread, since you continue to take it off the OP topic (Ron) to discuss Rand.

Maybe you could start another FPP about him, instead.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:58 PM on January 26, 2012


I wasn't questioning who we were discussing. There was a pre-existing derail about Rand, and I (unfortunately) continued the derail.

Moving it back to Ron Paul, he was actually the first presidential candidate I voted for (I lived in MA and knew Dukakis was going to take the state so I was looking to support a 3rd party candidate to get some 3rd party diversity in there), but I was very disappointed when he started wandering off into racist conspiracy land in the 1990's. Or maybe he was always there but I hadn't noticed it until then because he wasn't as loud about it and there wasn't as much weird-assed conspiracy stuff on USENET until then. ("THE UN IS SETTING UP SALT MINES UNDER DETROIT AS CONCENTRATION CAMPS FOR PATRIOTS WHO RESIST THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT" etc.)

He is one of those busted clock people whose stuff I read and have moments of "yeah, I agree with that" surrounded by hours of "wait, he said *what*?"

As for this set of predictions, the stuff he was correct about doesn't seem that out there as far as "who could've expected this?!" I'd be more impressed if he was railing about the Bush administration's Unary Executive Theory back before 9/11/01, for instance, or something else from a time when the writing wasn't already on the wall for a lot of folks to read.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:38 PM on January 26, 2012


Video of Rand Paul's TSA. Such a scene has not been witnessed since the Spanish inquisition. They told him to sit in a chair. Then they went over and got a supervisor. Then they escorted him back through security.
posted by humanfont at 11:29 AM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


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