Steve G.

Lew Rockwell on Jimmy Carter

In Libertarian, Libertarian Politics on July 11, 2008 at 10:12 pm

“Jimmy deregulated trucking and air travel, ended temperature fascism, abolished two federal agencies, and was opposed by the evil Teddy Kennedy for renomination for not being socialist enough. Carter still teaches Sunday school every week, and is an actual peacemaker. The election of Reagan was a huge step down.

But Lew, don’t you know that Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms defeated Communism? That’s what “Libertarian” Bob Barr says. How dare you sow seeds of disunity within the libertarian movement, Lew!

  1. Jimmy also taught us how to mispronounce “Zbigniew Brzezinski” in so many interesting ways, something that I’ll forever be grateful for.

  2. I would like to know how to mispronounce it myself, since I cannot even begin to make an attempt.

  3. Libertarians for Carter? I’m learning something new every day.

  4. Carter reinstated draft registration, a terrible crime:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-214.html

    This is the danger when you play the this-jerk-is-better-than-that-jerk game.

  5. Thank you, Susan. Odd having LP’ers complimenting a president.

  6. I don’t think so. Some jerks are easily less jerky than others — and they are always the ones historians labels as the “worst,” while the “great” presidents are actually the most evil.

    Carter, Coolidge, and Harding are considered three of the worst presidents of the 20th century, and they are actually the three “least bad.” That he is attacked non-stop by the neocon/liberal consensus is noteworthy.

    If you read the rest of the Rockwell entry:

    Writes Charles Featherstone: “I downloaded an episode of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater last night. It’s something I used to listen to a lot when I was a child, curled up with my radio in bed, and Jennifer and I have been doing this a lot lately.

    “Most of the shows have the commercials and news edited out, but not last night. The episode was from 1978, and the three top news items on the CBS radio news that hour were the Senate preparing to block a proposal by the Carter administration to close 20 U.S. military bases, including Ft. Dix, (Sen. John Tower condemned the proposal as weakening US defenses), another Carter administration proposal to withdraw all US troops from South Korea (also condemned by legislators, and some defense expert said South Korea was too weak to defend itself) and the Senate debating (and very opposed to) Carter’s proposed $25 billion tax cut.

    “It was just interesting to hear.”

  7. I understand Harding and Coolidge, but I’ve heard nothing but bad things about Carter (my dad being a Reaganite).

  8. Mike – In addition to what Lew Rockwell said in favor of him, Carter is also responsible for the fact that our monetary system is still, for the moment, in existence. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing might be debatable, but if not for his appointment of Paul Volker to the Fed — whom arch-inflationist Reagan tried to illegally get rid of because Volker was too hawkish on inflation, I think the dollar would have gone to zero in the early 80s.

    There, maybe Barr can credit monetary fascist Volker (and Carter) for defeating communism — he had a lot more to do with it than Reagan or Helms!

  9. I agree with Susan that Jimmy Carter was not a principled libertarian. And I was involved in the committee against registration and the draft in response to Carter’s idiocy. I should note that Reagan promised to end registration and disband the selective service, but he did not.

    In one of the world’s more interesting ironies, I know a libertarian activist in Missouri who serves on the draft board there. He is also a former Marine. So very likely nobody knows that he’s willing to vote for a deferment for anyone who asks.

  10. Did not mean to imply that Carter was a “principled libertarian” just that he was the “least bad” since Coolidge, and yet the neocons demonize him as a “weak” president. At the end of the day, at least he had some things to put in the “good” column. And honestly, on the list of statist crimes, how bad is draft registration, really? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Carter got us into any military squabbles — that makes him unlike all presidents since and almost all since Hoover.

  11. GE:

    What do you call the mess we’re in today int he Middle East? The whole thing is predicated on our determination to uphold the “Carter Doctrine”.

    The Carter Doctrine was the final straw for me, after Carter’s reinstatement of draft registration. From that time on, I always refered to myself as a Libertarian, rather than a libertarian leaning democrat.

    Oh yeah. The “Carter Doctrine” made the Persian Gulf a territory of the US.

    PEACE
    Steve

  12. Steve if I remember my history correctly it was FDR who told Ibn Saud that the U.S. would defend his country, one Saudi Arabia. That predated Carter by a few years. Not to suggset that things could not have been done differently.

    MHW

  13. As far as violations of my freedom and privacy go, yes, I would say the laws regarding mandatory registration for selective service were pretty egregious. How do you feel about a national database of adult males? How about denying financial aid to students not in that database? How is that substantively different from a national identity program, other than being limited to men? I don’t think I have a moral obligation to give the government anything, not even my name.

    Selective service and draft registration are indentured servitude at best, slavery at worst. Compulsory registration leads to compulsory service.

  14. Jim Davidson – All good points. Of course, I’d like to see financial aid abolished, and I rejected it on my second tour of university duty. How is registration more egregious than the SSN system? Just asking. How many Americans did Carter send to their deaths? How money foreigners did he directly kill? Compare his body count to the other presidents.

    Steve Linnabary – I don’t think this blame can be all, or even most (or anywhere close) put at Carter’s feet. The mess in Iran is the fault of Eisenhower and the CIA.

    All Lew Rockwell is saying is that Carter was better than Reagan.

    All I’m saying is that Carter was better than McKinley, TR, Taft (that could be kinda close), Wilson, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II.

    The neocons don’t hate him for the Carter Doctrine or for selective service. They hate him because he isn’t owned by Israel.

  15. Well, when I was issued my socialist insecurity card, way back in the dark ages – my father signed me up before I was 12, so I didn’t get a choice – it said that the number was not to be used for identification. I gather they don’t say those words now, of course.

    I think a number of Americans were killed in the desert crash of the team trying to rescue the hostages in Tehran. And, of course, the only real answer for any president is “we’ll only know after the national archives are fully opened.” In the case of another notorious world-spanning empire, the Soviet Union, that only happened after the fall of the ruling party. We may never know how many Americans were sent to their deaths by Carter.

    I do think your point about Coolidge is a good one. He is one of my “best of a bad lot” candidates for “best president in history” for a pair of books I’ve been writing. I have a metric based on USA military deaths, civilian deaths, foreign military deaths, foreign civilian deaths, economic difficulties, scandals, and corruption. Based on my original weighting, FDR ended up the worst in history with Lincoln a close second. If you weight American deaths as much more important than foreign, the two switch places. Other bad presidents include McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and the Bushes.

  16. “We may never know how many Americans were sent to their deaths by Carter.”

    Okay, but I can bet you it was significantly fewer than those sent to their deaths by McKinley, Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush.

    Sounds like we are on the same page, although using a non-scientific metric, I would put Lincoln as the worst, followed by Wilson, and then FDR.

    In my mind there is only one president I would give a “good” rating to: Grover Cleveland. The rest are varying levels of bad, with Coolidge perhaps being the only one to receive a passing grade.

  17. Who can possibly win this argument, folks?
    Sounds like your chasing yourselves around a table that isn’t there.

  18. I would give an excellent rating to Thomas Jefferson. Under his government, most Americans had no contact with the national government unless they went to the post office.

  19. No way. Jefferson was a horrible president. He was far from Jeffersonian!

    He unconstitutionally purchased Louisiana — he admitted himself it was unconstitutional.

    He placed that huge embargo that almost led New England to secede. The outrage this provoked helped, in small part, set the stage for the War Between the States. This embargo was a special interest play to benefit the South, with whom I mostly side in that later conflict.

    Jefferson definitely gets an “F” in my book as president (just like all but another 3 or so presidents).

  20. Jefferson A+ in general political philosophy

    F as president.

  21. Mike Theo – Just a discussion. There doesn’t have to be a winner.

  22. Hard to say nowadays what constitutes a discussion and argument. The times they are a changing.

    Or they have changed, and I’m a little slow on the uptake.

  23. Believe it or not, there are ethical things which are good choices and also unconstitutional. Not many. And the over-arching difficulty of expanding government should give everyone pause. But the Louisiana Purchase was a brilliant idea, even though it had to be sneaked in under the “treaties modify the constitution” clause.

    There’s simply no doubt that buying the continent was smart. It removed the French as potential political adversaries. It gave millions of Americans an open frontier to which they could WALK from their unpleasant jobs in Boston and New York. It gave hundreds of thousands of slaves more territory into which to escape. It was a great blessing for a great many people.

    Wouldn’t things have gone better if New England states had seceded? They threatened secession over the Louisiana purchase, as well. Jefferson would have been happy to let them go, compared to Jackson who threatened to send the army to South Carolina during the nullification crisis. And we all know what Lincoln did to a million thirty thousand Americans in uniform and about four million civilians.

    The embargo was a response to British acts of war on the high seas, certainly it didn’t work. But, lots of presidents have tried to avoid war with economic sanctions. The proximate cause of the embargo act, passed by Congress by the way, not just an executive order, was “the British warship Leopard fired on the American naval frigate Chesapeake, killing three Americans, when the ship refused boarding orders.” See source site below. Jefferson was smart enough to end the embargo of all Europe, and limit it to France and Britain in the non-intercourse act of 1808, his last year as president. Obviously, his work to avoid war ultimately didn’t work, since Madison ended up fighting the War of 1812 – with Napoleon handily out of the way losing his army in Russia.

    I do note “Accordingly, he reduced, though not substantially, the 316 employees subject to presidential appointment while leaving intact most of the nation’s 700 clerks and 3,000 postal workers. The Army was cut to two regiments, one infantry and one artillery (3,500 total), with similar reductions in the Navy. He pressured Congress to abolish the direct tax of 1798 and to repeal the Alien and Sedition Acts, which were still in operation. To emphasize his opposition to the acts, Jefferson personally pardoned the ten victims of those laws who were still in prison. Even after paying $15 million in cash for the Louisiana Purchase (see Foreign Affairs section), the national debt fell from $80 million to $57 million during his two years of service.” http://millercenter.org/academic/americanpresident/jefferson/essays/biography/4

    Only minor skirmishes, mostly to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean. Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark with gifts, including beautiful medallions, for the Indian nations they encountered.

    It seems to me that Jefferson should not be vilified for keeping the country out of a war with Britain. The War of 1812 proved devastating enough when it did happen, with years more time to prepare defenses and recruit militia. I hesitate to imagine what would have happened had the British invaded in 1808. Among other significant issues, Andrew Jackson who brought victory in the battle of New Orleans, would have been younger, and perhaps as less capable commander.

    I also think very highly of Jefferson’s role in the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, his Summary View of the Rights of British America, his bill on religious tolerance in Virginia, his opposition to the central bank concept, his views on carrying arms expressed in many letters, and his two inaugural addresses. You might want to read more of his writings while president, as they are among some of the most brilliant work from the era.

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Jefferson on Virginia

    “Still one thing more, fellow-citizens–a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.” Jefferson’s first inaugural address

  24. G.E.
    If not for the Louisiana Purchase, I’d be in French Territory right now (pending one didn’t conquer the other).🙂

  25. It can never be ethical to betray an oath of office — such a betrayal is fraud, i.e. the initiation of force. The president is supposed to execute the law within the Constitution, not act as benevolent dictator.

    Louisiana Purchase = imperialism. How many Indians were murdered to make way for the settling of this land? Millions? With the purchase, Jefferson killed the Republic. The American Empire was now too big to remain a Republic.

    Jefferson kept us out of no wars — an embargo is an act of war.

    Writings, though important, are not as important as actions. Jefferson’s actions were those of an imperialist, not a Jeffersonian.

    Yes, it would have been great if every state seceded at any time, but New England didn’t, and as a result, the tensions helped (in small part) create the bloody War Between the States.

    I consider myself an Austro-Jeffersonian, but the Jeffersonian part has to do with Jefferson’s philosophy of government before and after his presidency, not during.

  26. Mr. Davidson – Do you agree that Grover Cleveland is #1 (and #2 if his non-consecutive presidencies count separately!)

  27. It occured to me that I should clarify my perspective: I am not saying that Jimmy Carter was less bad than Jefferson, even as presidents. I’m saying Carter was a distant third least-bad in the 20th century, which, with the exception of Lincoln and Polk, saw all of the truly truly bad presidents.

    I give Cleveland an A, Coolidge a C, Harding a D-. I’m not sure about Franklin and Pierce, who are viciously maligned by mainstream historians and, therefore, were likely not that bad. Same for Andrew Johnson. How about Monroe, Jim? Where does he rank? His eponymous Doctrine was odious, but I think he was the only Anti-Federalist president.

  28. Who cares whether Jimmy Carter is “less bad” than Reagan?

    It’s a bit like arguing that ingesting trans fats is less toxic than ingesting deuterium. It doesn’t matter, because both in sufficient quantities will kill you.

  29. GE, I don’t agree that Cleveland was the greatest, no. Coolidge might have been. I’ll get back to you on it some time, possibly before my books are published.

    Do you think the Louisiana Purchase of territory from France was accomplished by treaty? I think it was. Which gives it this constitutional basis. “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land” see article six. That is, after all, the same clause used to start the drug war – there is a narcotics trafficking treaty from the late 1920s, I think. (You might want to check who was president when that crap was signed and ratified.)

    Brian Miller, do you have any idea of how much deuterium you ingest in every gallon of water? Any idea how much it would take to kill you? Trans fats are arguably carcinogenic. Deuterium’s only problem is radioactive decay. I would love to see your analysis on these two items.

  30. Come to think of it, you would probably drown in the deuterium before the radiation killed you.

  31. Coolidge was not an activist president, and that alone ranks him among the best/least-bad. However, we could have used some Jacksonian activism on his part, as he could have strangled the Fed in its crib. He let the good times roll as the Fed flooded the nation and world in easy money, and thus set the stage for the Depression.

    Cleveland was the model executive. He was also the only explicitly “classical liberal” president. Take a look at the Gold Democrat (Bourbon Democrat) platform some time. Cleveland was an outspoken proponent of constitutionalism, anti-imperialism, free trade, and gold. Even though Lysander Spooner thought he sucked.

  32. The Constitution does not authorize the acquisition of new treaties. Jefferson himself admitted that the Purchase was probably unconstitutional.

  33. The constitution authorises any treaty signed by the president with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. I don’t like the enormous elasticity implicit in this power, especially if you look at its abuses under, say, Truman. But, it is in there.

    Jefferson expressed doubt about the constitutionality of the Purchase, but never about it being the right thing to do.

    If you believe that the French would not have butchered the Indians if it had remained their territory, you are welcome to that belief. I’m not sure how you’d go about substantiating it, though. Might look at the native of “First Nations” population of Quebec for example. I think about 1.5% of the population are identifiably native. Many are in the far north where the Inuit hang out when they aren’t running Nunavut.

  34. If Indians are going to be butchered, I’d prefer it not to be my government doing the butchering.

    I also think that America outgrew its ability to function as a Republic when Jefferson made the Purchase.

    Again, I think violating a sworn oath of office is abuse of power, and I refuse to believe that a politician can ever “do the right thing” when operating outside of his duly delegated powers. George W. Bush thinks all of the crimes he commits are “the right thing to do.”

  35. Recommended reading: Ain’t My American by Bill Kauffman

  36. “But the Louisiana Purchase was a brilliant idea…”

    Yowza.

    It certainly wouldn’t have gotten him the nomination of the BTP.

    My favorite prez: Wm Henry Harrison. Long inaugural speech followed by a rapid and unpleasant death. Very karmic. From WP: “Harrison died of septicemia, complicated by pneumonia and jaundice, thirty-one days into his term – the briefest presidency in the history of the office.”

  37. Crual and unusual, Susan.

  38. If Grover Cleveland were elected today, my bet is he wouldn’t last as long as Ol’ Tippecanoe before the neocon/liberals assassinated him.

  39. Much to be said for a short presidency. I think Gerald Ford is second after Wm Henry Harrison? (But he should have had Nixon tried for treason and executed, not pardoned him.)

    My position is the Louisiana Purchase was a treaty, so it is not a violation of the constitution, nor Jefferson’s oath of office. You could look it up. It is certainly one of the best available uses of money the gov’t had at the time. Having a frontier proves to be very important, as Frederick Jackson Turner was at some lengths to point out in 1893 or so.

    America outgrew its ability to function as a republic in 1787, which is why its original republic form of government was replaced by a quasi-republic which led to the Whiskey Rebellion. Arguably the last vestiges of the old republic were swept away in 1861.

  40. The power to acquire new territories is not enumerated among the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution. The power to make treaties does not extend to that which is not otherwise authorized. Under the logic you’re employing, it would be legitimate for the U.S. to enter into a treaty that did virtually anything, since very few things are expressly prohibited by the Constitution.

    It’s interesting that you find this within the federal government’s power, but Jefferson himself did not. Ain’t My America page 17. What’s more, Jefferson actually considered forwarding an amendment to grant this power, but thought better of it, fearing it would be defeated.

    “The less that’s said about this constitutional difficulty, the better,” said Jefferson.

    After re-reading the passages in Ain’t My America, I’m retracting my statements that the Louisiana Purchase played a “small role” in setting the stage for the War Between the States. I think it played a critical role, and without it, I think it’s reasonable to believe no such war would have taken place.

    You are obviously a very learned man, so I mean no offense when I say this, but I think you might be letting your admiration of Jefferson the political philosophe unduly color your opinion of Jefferson the president.

  41. Gerald Ford was an arch-inflationist moron.

  42. “The power to make treaties does not extend to that which is not otherwise authorized.”

    That is an excellent argument, but it is not one that has ever been made by the supreme court. Under your theory, there would be no authority to enter into the narcotics trafficking treaties which set the drug war in motion.

    It is an interesting question whether acquiring territory by treaty is valid, since nearly every treaty with the Indian nations makes some reference to territory. You may recall that the supreme court reviewed a treaty with the Seminoles before Andrew Jackson cleared them out of Florida. Evidently the supremes upheld the treaty limiting the territorial claims over Florida to those established in treaty. You could look it up.

    One of the earlier acquisitions of territory by the young country is the Ohio territory, granted to the USA by Britain in 1783, presumably Peace of Paris stuff. So how did the USA acquire that territory if not by treaty? The Paris Treaty grants fishing rights to the USA and there is no constitutional authority for the gov’t to establish fishing rights, is there?

    The Treaty of Madrid, aka Pinckney’s treaty, 1795, put Chickasaw and Choctaw land in what is now Georgia into the territory of the USA. I mention this treaty because it was entered after the constitution was ratified. If it had not been entered by Spain and the USA, the Spanish possession of Florida would extend north to the present location of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

    In short, I think you are completely cracked about acquiring territory. And, you are completely correct that the treaty power allows the national government to do anything. If you look at the treaties the gov’t has entered, it has done nearly everything with them. And they are a part of the supreme law of the land, it says so right there in the constitution.

    I realise it is unpopular with liberty enthusiasts to suppose that the constitution may be abridged without amendment, but the treaty power does exactly that thing. I think the other major elastic clause, the commerce clause (regulate interstate commerce) is similarly insane, but it is IN THE CONSTITUTION. I didn’t put it there, and I object to the way it is used, and in my view, abused, but it is there.

    Among other things, Andrew Davis of the Libertarian Party used the commerce clause to justify having the federal government spend more money combating child porn. I kid you not. On a phone call with me earlier this year, the kid insisted that the gov’t can do anything in the name of regulating interstate commerce.

    The embargo was not an act of war, it was a response to an act of war. I think it would have been completely justified to go to war with Britain over the firing by the HMS Leopard on the USS Chesapeake, and the boarding of that naval vessel for purpose of impressing Americans into the British navy. So, I think you are completely crazed about Jefferson.

    He was a brilliant man, he was an excellent leader, he undid many of the truly evil things about the Federalists who had preceded him, he reduced the national budget, made freedom possible to millions of Americans who pulled up stakes and headed West, and did many other important things.

    Your idea that if the country’s size couldn’t change there would not have been a war for Southern Independence pre-supposes that the northerners would have stopped their aggression in a balanced Senate. They would have continued to grow more rapidly in population, as hungry for people as their factories were. So the House would have been overwhelmingly northern. And all budget bills originate in the House.

    The main Southern complaint, which spurred the Nullification crisis, every “great compromise” on admitting new states, and the war for Southern Independence itself, was the tariff. The tariff, a constitutional power, placed the burden on paying for gov’t on the South, which bought the imported goods and paid the tariff. The trade war response of other countries fell mostly on the agricultural exports, notably cotton, of the South. The economic causes of the war would not have been resolved by an unchanging border.

    In short, I think Jefferson’s misgivings are a red herring. He wasn’t the first president to expand the territory of the country, Washington was. He wasn’t the last. He was one of the few who were aware of the difficulties inherent in an unlimited treaty power.

  43. We’ll have to agree to disagree. Again, I’m sure you have hundreds of books on your “to-read” list, but I think you should check out Kauffman’s Ain’t My America. If I’m “cracked,” then so was Jefferson, his opponents, and Kauffman.

  44. GE, a lawfully enacted treaty cannot, for that reason alone, be unconstitutional:

    U.S. Constitution; Article VI.; Clause2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    This is the reason why all treaties should be carefully vetted in The Senate. They can lawfully strip away sovereignty. They cannot however, be unconstitutional, as long as they were assented to by 2/3 of the Senators voting.

    Please do not intimate otherwise.

  45. pdsa – So the government is empowered to do anything, so long as it does so within the confines of a treaty?

    NO.

    And Jefferson (and his opponents) knew it.

    If you were right, then why did Jefferson talk about a constitutional amendment to grant that power?

    YOU ARE WRONG, pdsa. Quit while you’re ahead.

  46. Paul considers Calvin Coolidge to be the best president and mentioned Reagan also admired him a lot. I would say Reagan himself had very good ideas and on the right track. He was personally also for the “gold standard”, in any case a move away from the fiat system, but some of his advisers guided him in the wrong way.

    The coalition between fiscal, social and “military” conservatives don’t seem to be an effective coalition and fundamentally broken. The military conservatives can be mostly equated with the hawks, gained more prominence with Bush 1 and even more with Bush 2.

    You need to build a coalition in order to win elections, but it must be a coalition that can work in the same direction. A coalition based on Paul’s platform between fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, constitutionalists, “green conservatives” etc. seems like a winning possibility for the future….if the GOP does not move in this direction in say the next 1-2 years, a new “Jeffersonian Republican” party should probably be formed, also to contest the 2010 elections.

    I do not entirely agree with Lew’s statement. Carter was very much an economic and political interventionist, he proposed and instigated sanctions against a few countries. Reagan very much had the better policy, of course with flaws, which he admitted (like with Lebanon). Reagan bragged that the US did not nation-building, in opposition to communists. Communism would not have imploded by itself….perhaps eventually, but in general I have to say if it was not for Reagan’s and Helms’s strong action against communism, it may well have succeeded with it revolutions in a few strategic countries in the 1980’s, including South Africa. ANd with SA’s mineral wealth and strategic position, the USSR would have had the financial means to last much much longer. So I have to agree with Barr’s assessment on Helms. This does not mean one would agree with everything Helm’s said or did. No politician is ever perfect and everybody makes mistakes. One should just be open to see and admit them, very much like Reagan (with lebanon) and very unlike George Bush and John McCain, who still defends their Iraq invasion policy, even if they knew there were no WMD.
    Everybody should remember during the buildup of the invasion, the US military exhibited the biggest bomb, what it called the “mother of all bombs”, e.g. a WMD in extremo. If the Iraq invasion was not so tragic, these remarks – along with those ordering Saddam to leave his country within 48 hours are as funny and ironical as can be.

    McCain will grow the govt. even more, with his govt. sanction (not private company organized) “green plan” and Obama will rake up the deficit even much more. The Fed would have to print 50 B for his “global poverty act” alone and then also think about his bail-out of home-owners and other promises of bail-out. This would mean the USD would be sinking even further and inflation skyrocket. Oh, McCain said interest rates should be at 0%!

  47. So the government is empowered to do anything, so long as it does so within the confines of a treaty?

    It’s what the Constitution says, is it not? I did not write it, but can understand why it was enacted. It was to enable methods for getting around unforeseen difficulties when dealing with foreign governments. No one anticipated that it would be used improperly, because of the super-majoritarian Senate vote attached to treaties.

    This still does not change the fact that lawfully enacted treaties are “The Supreme Law Of The Land”. Don’t play reconstructionism games around me. The States’ Right at issue in the Civil War, was the right to possess human beings as chattel. It was an odious, evil thing, and needed to be eliminated. It was the cause for the 13th and 14th Amendments being enacted. This is why your vaunted “Republic” had to be castrated. Don’t blame Jefferson.

  48. pdsa: The power to enact treaties only goes as far as the other enumerated powers allow it. You are wrong. Jefferson was right when he acknowledged his actions as unconstitutional. Your childish, neocon view of the War to Prevent Southern Independence is pathetic.

    Stefan: I’m really very surprised that Paul would not recognize Grover Cleveland as being vastly superior to Fed-loving Coolidge. Of course Reagan loved Cal — he was an inflationist, much like the greatest inflationist ever, Reagan.

  49. Carter was the first President I ever voted for (yeah, I know, I’m really showing my age with that admission, LOL). His presidency had flaws, obviously, but I still admire him because he is a great humanitarian.

  50. Yes. The notion that it is pointless to understand history or to differentiate between the criminality of presidential administrations is the same ignorant, un-nuanced reasoning of the Bush administration. It’s the same reasoning that says there’s no difference between stealing a pen from your local bank, and raping and murdering a pack of Girl Scouts.

  51. G.E I am not going to defend Reagan, but how is it that he is the greatest inflationist ever? Please explain.

    MHW

  52. This info from the Minneapolis Fed gives the rate of inflation from 1800 till present. LPHQ needs to have posters of this graphed to show the decline in the dollar over the years, but what is interesting that most people don’t realize is that the dollar basically maintained it’s value over some 150 years.

    http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/data/us/calc/hist1800.cfm

  53. MHW – Carter appointed Volcker as head of the Fed. Volcker took the hard steps necessary to get inflation under control, against Reagan’s wishes. He was at the forefront of the inflationary “supply-side” economics. As soon as Volcker was done, he appointed hardcore inflationist Alan Greenspan to chair the Fed. Reagan blew the deficit beyond any previous levels, setting forth the inflation that is about to make itself known as we enter the next Great Depression.

  54. G.E. I have to disagree. While the spending under Regan was a mess the presnt inflation probably stems from the Bush War. Not that it was even close to mild before. Any inflation is bad for the currency, but I just don’t think we can any more blame Reagan than anyone else. They are all ignorant of history.

    MHW

  55. Spending cannot cause inflation. Only monetary expansion can. The greatest monetary expansion occurred under Reagan and his appointee at the Fed, Greenspan. There are trillions of dollars in foreign banks that were produced under Reagan. The chickens are about to come home to roost.

  56. GE;
    Have a bit of originalism then:

    § 1832. In regard to treaties, there is equal reason, why they should be held, when made, to be the supreme law of the land. It is to be considered, that treaties constitute solemn compacts of binding obligation among nations; and unless they are scrupulously obeyed, and enforced, no foreign nation would consent to negotiate with us; or if it did, any want of strict fidelity on our part in the discharge of the treaty stipulations would be visited by reprisals, or war. It is, therefore, indispensable, that they should have the obligation and force of a law, that they may be executed by the judicial power, and be obeyed like other laws. This will not prevent them from being cancelled or abrogated by the nation upon grave and suitable occasions; for it will not be disputed, that they are subject to the legislative power, and may be repealed, like other laws, at its pleasure; or they may be varied by new treaties. Still, while they do subsist, they ought to have a positive binding efficacy as laws upon all the states, and all the citizens of the states. The peace of the nation, and its good faith, and moral dignity, indispensably require, that all state laws should be subjected to their supremacy. The difference between considering them as laws, and considering them as executory, or executed contracts, is exceedingly important in the actual administration of public justice. If they are supreme laws, courts of justice will enforce them directly in all cases, to which they can be judicially applied, in opposition to all state laws, as we all know was done in the case of the British debts secured by the treaty of 1783, after the constitution was adopted. If they are deemed but solemn compacts, promissory in their nature and obligation, courts of justice may be embarrassed in enforcing them, and may be compelled to leave the redress to be administered through other departments of the government. It is notorious, that treaty stipulations (especially those of the treaty of peace of 1783) were grossly disregarded by the states under the confederation. They were deemed by the states, not as laws, but like requisitions, of mere moral obligation, and dependent upon the good will of the states for their execution. Congress, indeed, remonstrated against this construction, as unfounded in principle and justice. But their voice was not heard. Power and right were separated; the argument was all on one side; but the power was on the other. It was probably to obviate this very difficulty, that this clause was inserted in the constitution; and it would redound to the immortal honour of its authors, if it had done no more, than thus to bring treaties within the sanctuary of justice, as laws of supreme obligation. There are, indeed, still cases, in which courts of justice can administer no effectual redress; as when the terms of a stipulation import a contract, when either of the parties engages to perform a particular act the treaty addresses itself to the political, and not to the judicial, department; and the legislature must execute the contract, before it can become a rule for the courts.

    Joseph Story, “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States”, 1833; § 1832

    See Also:
    Alexander Hamilton, “The Federalist No. 33-Concerning the General Power of Taxation (continued)
    John Jay, “The Federalist No. 64-The Powers of the Senate

  57. Deficit spending involves printing money, since the deficit has to be made up in some fashion. Typically the money is borrowed, so it is Treasury bills of credit which are emitted. Obviously not a power granted under the constitution.

    I had tried to make a point earlier today about the Louisiana Purchase. In making this treaty with France, and in reducing the number of people working for the government, Jefferson increased vastly the size of the country without increasing the size of the gov’t. Thereby he created an enormous opportunity for ordinary people to get further away from gov’t at all levels. I believe this was an enormous blessing, a reduction in the size and scope of gov’t at all levels, and if the privatising of that land had been continued, the circle of felicities would be complete.

  58. I had tried to make a point earlier today about the Louisiana Purchase. In making this treaty with France, and in reducing the number of people working for the government, Jefferson increased vastly the size of the country without increasing the size of the gov’t. Thereby he created an enormous opportunity for ordinary people to get further away from gov’t at all levels.

    Eh? Buying the land didn’t bring it into existence. Frankly, as a settler, I might very well have preferred the over-the-ocean French gov’t to the through-the-woods American one.

  59. I didn’t say he created the land, Susan. I said he created an opportunity. Perhaps you should read for comprehension before you spitefully criticise what I wrote.

    I suppose that you don’t mind occupying land owned by someone else, or trespassing on their property, but rather a large number of people wanted some way to acquire land for yourself. I’m sure you are against the westward expansion of the country. But, like most of what passes for people living on the eastern seaboard, or states adjacent to that ocean, your ideas really don’t make sense to me. I don’t like you easterners, your ideas on government, your tendency to criticise everyone West of the Appalachians, your willingness to live where guns are banned, where the government of your state taxes your income, and where socialists thrive.

  60. Deficit spending need not involve printing money. Deficit spending can be funded by existing savings.

    If excess money is printed, monetary inflation occurs no matter how it is spent or by whom.

    Inflationary deficit spending is impossible without the engine of inflation — i.e. a fiat-money central bank.

    Deficit spending with commodity money could absolutely take place from time to time, just not as a sustained program.

  61. I find it remarkably queer that Jim Davidson, a hardcore libertarian moreso even than myself, is siding with the statists in a 200+-year old debate.

  62. I didn’t say he created the land, Susan. I said he created an opportunity. Perhaps you should read for comprehension before you spitefully criticise what I wrote.

    I read what you wrote carefully, and there was no spite intended in my reply. I am just not convinced that the purchase created an opportunity; in fact I wonder if it didn’t act more to stifle an opportunity for people to live without (as much) government.

    I suppose that you don’t mind occupying land owned by someone else, or trespassing on their property, but rather a large number of people wanted some way to acquire land for yourself.

    surely you’re not suggesting that a settler in the territory was ‘trespassing’ on Napoleon’s property? The land was not rightfully owned by the government of France or Napoleon in the first place to my way of thinking, so the idea of purchasing it from him strikes me as a bit farcical. I’d be just as happy to live on land claimed by one would-be emperor as another.

    I’m sure you are against the westward expansion of the country.

    Yes. Ab.sol.fucking.lutely. That is, if by ‘the country’, you mean the United States. I would not have been at all opposed to the idea of the westward expansion of *people*.

    It’s clear to me, though, that you’re more up on this than I am, so I am interested in your arguments. Or I was until I read this:

    But, like most of what passes for people living on the eastern seaboard, or states adjacent to that ocean, your ideas really don’t make sense to me.

    Nice collectivist thinking there. Shall I criticize you for your ‘willingness to live’ in an empire-nation? Perhaps you should applaud easterners for daring to live in a less-free place who are working to reverse that trend.

  63. I’m sure you are against the westward expansion of the country.

    Yes, I do support the BTP platform. Are you going to endorse me?

  64. Oh, c’mon, manifest destiny is fun. We still haven’t fulfilled it and annexed all other North American countries.

    Let’s start with Canada.

  65. GE: Interesting comments. Well, I am no expert on Reagan, but one has to consider that Reagan as well as Greenspan was originally very much for a gold standard, and I am sure you would agree a commodity based currency is very much an enemy of high inflation. You remeber during the last GOP primary debate at the Reagan Library Paul mentioned that Reagan was for the gold standard. And he has said the same of Greenspan. It seems to me that it was both Reagan’s and Greenspan’s view, but they were in the minority and had to accept the majority view? In the case of Greenspan he may have changed his view. It is interesting, Paul recently asked Volcker (who backs Obama) about his personal feeling about a gold standard and also the Fed. It seems that Volcker himself also very much was (and is?) sceptical of a fiat currency and the problems it provided.

    In his 1964 speech as governor during Goldwater’s nomination speech, Reagan very much criticized not only the Vietnam war, but also the devaluing of the USD etc. During that time it was 45cents in a dollar compared to 1:1 in 1912/1915? Now we are at 0.03 or 0,04 USD ! How fare it has grown!

    Bernanke clearly want to build on Greenspan’s policy, but he seems to be even more reckless than Greenspan.

    Paul’s remarks on Coolidge and Reagan he made during a radio interview with Mike Church last year:



    You would really enjoy all the detailed views on this show.
    He liked John Adams from the Founding fathers, and also a parts of Hamilton and Jefferson and the anti-federalists.

  66. GE: Paul’s remark on Coolidge was at the end of part 1 of the three parts. I listened to it again and must qualify that the questionw as who was his favorite president between, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. Paul responded he would have to go with Coolidge, and that his friend Reagan also liked Coolidge.

    Listening and reading to reaction on a few issues, I do detect some difference between Paul and Rockwell. Lew is more an activist and tend to be highly critical and sometimes jump to a conclusion, where more than one can be made. The truth is often complicated and can be distorted with simplistic remarks. Paul is more thoughtful and responsible and differentiated than Lew Rockwell IMHO.

    Furthermore: have you heard the IMF want to investigate the Federal Reserve?
    There are conspiracies that Kennedy was murdered because he wanted to get rid of the Fed? One wonders whether Reagan had the same intention, but was refrained from doing it and persuaded by Bush 1 and co? He should never have appointed Bush 1 as VP (as he also promised to not do). That was perhaps one of his biggest mistakes. Reagan, like Paul, was viewed as very much “very conservative”, a more “Goldwater Republican”, while Bush represented the “Rockefeller Republicans”. Reagan probably wanted party unity, but one wonders whether it would have been better had he nominated someone else.
    Reagan won with support by the “religious right”, which (pro-choice) Goldwater despised.

  67. So Ron Paul was asked, Who was better: The worst president of all time, the biggest inflationist of all time, or a non-activist president? Anyone with an ounce of libertarian blood would answer Coolidge. I think Coolidge might have been the #2 best/least-bad president, but he is a distant second to Cleveland.

    I agree with your assessment of the differences between Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul and fear that I am more Rockwell in nature than Paul, but wish I were the other way!

    I’ve heard the Kennedy assassination theory, RE: the Fed and the silver certificates. I think that’s slightly plausible. I’ve also heard that Reagan was shot for setting up the Gold Commission, of which Ron Paul was a leader. I don’t find that plausible at all, because Reagan was a supply-side inflationist who wanted to remove inflation-hawk Volcker from the Fed.

    I have not heard about the IMF wanting to investigate the Fed. Do you have more info on this? Believe it or not, the IMF is probably less corrupt and evil than the Fed! As Jim Rogers points out, the Fed is the worst central bank of any of the major nations’ central banks, by far.

  68. Susan, I don’t believe you when you say you support our platform. I believe you would rather spend your money being a member of a party that betrays your principles. I believe you would rather stay in a party that is running a racist for president than stop paying dues to people who have used your money to make sure he got the nomination.

    I was not aware that you are running for public office.

    I was aware that you were running for the LP’s national committee, and I not only endorsed your candidacy, but encouraged delegates in Denver to vote for you. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and I’ve made some big ones.

    Surely you aren’t going to expect me to believe that you haven’t made spiteful comments about me on your personally censored list. I’m sure you will make spiteful comments about me wherever you are able.

    With regard to owning property, it is a longstanding difficulty that in the absence of national sovereignty over a territory, property claims have been hard to establish or maintain. Rather a large number of efforts to create new countries, to create artificial islands, to occupy or privatise existing structures, to take possession of asteroids, have been started. I have been involved in a great many of them. I have keenly observed many others. I have not encountered any success in this area to report.

    In Jefferson’s time the established and effective way to gain ownership of property was to buy it from a government. Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory resulted in the private ownership of millions of acres by Americans from all walks of life. Essentially all of those people would have been unwilling to live under French dominion – the population growth of New Orleans speaks directly to this point. Essentially all of those people would have been unwilling to take the risk of occupying territory without a claim of national sovereignty.

    The small number of land owners in territories of disputed national sovereignty is, I think, very revealing of how people of that time viewed such matters. Take a look at the long, tedious, and largely fruitless history of the Republic of Indian Stream.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Indian_Stream

    People may be stupid in their choices of convention. There is an enormous amount of evidence for this point. Nevertheless, national sovereignty is a longstanding convention for private property ownership. Investors for extra-national property concepts are few and rare. The success of such schemes is notably absent. I would dearly love to find a way to develop success in such an area, of course.

    I don’t admire you for choosing to live in a socialist state. Again, you are paying taxes for socialist policies with which you don’t agree. There are many and varied states in the USA, and many and varied countries on the planet, which don’t engage in the kind of ruthless statism and brutal totalitarianism with which North Carolinians seem comfortable. You have choices in homes. Just as you have a choice in political parties. There is a classic business school text “On the Folly of Rewarding for A while Seeking B,” or words to that effect. You might look for it. But you probably won’t.

  69. With particular regard to my choice of home within the USA, there are a number of people I’ve met over the years who, for reasons of their own, continue to work for government in various branches and various places. I have been informed by several independent sources that I’m on the not-to-fly list. I’ve also been told by two sources that if I were to attempt to leave the country, I would be stopped at the border to Mexico. I have been stopped at the border to Canada and denied entry.

    I am currently using sophisticated crypto-routing technology to mask my whereabouts. A search of the logs of this site should reveal that I’m in Germany or Holland, though I have not had that pleasure in many years.

    My chosen home states of Texas and Wyoming do not impose income taxes. New Hampshire, I’m told, has neither an income tax, nor a sales tax. Though, to get bourbon, you would have to go to a state-owned liquor store.

  70. Brian, Canada is one of those smaller and less well funded empires that is very likely to disintegrate over the coming years. It has already started that process, in part, through the interesting grant of sovereignty to Nunavut. I suspect that most Canadians, and all of the First Nations peoples in that part of the world, have more than enough sense not to seek admission into the USA should they find themselves in, say, a sovereign and independent Alberta.

    Most of the First Nations peoples of Canada have never had a comprehensive treaty with the Canadian government, nor with the British, and only in a few cases with the French. I have worked with a number of clan groups seeking to re-assert their aboriginal sovereignty. Not much to report so far, except to note that the Coast Salish word for “tax collector” is also their word for “thief.”

  71. Susan, I don’t believe you when you say you support our platform. I believe you would rather spend your money being a member of a party that betrays your principles. I believe you would rather stay in a party that is running a racist for president than stop paying dues to people who have used your money to make sure he got the nomination.

    Is this belief about just me personally, or is this a generalized comment for anyone who continues to work within the LP?

    I was not aware that you are running for public office.

    NC State House District 38.

    Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory resulted in the private ownership of millions of acres by Americans from all walks of life. Essentially all of those people would have been unwilling to live under French dominion – the population growth of New Orleans speaks directly to this point. Essentially all of those people would have been unwilling to take the risk of occupying territory without a claim of national sovereignty.

    Interesting points, but I’m not convinced that your assertions of ‘essentially all’ are really so, or that even if that were the case that provided justification for huge US government territorial expansion.

    The small number of land owners in territories of disputed national sovereignty is, I think, very revealing of how people of that time viewed such matters. Take a look at the long, tedious, and largely fruitless history of the Republic of Indian Stream.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Indian_Stream

    Interesting; I had never come across that story before. However, I think the issues with “territories of disputed national sovereignty” are more about having conflicting claims by two illegitimate empires, and being fought over by those powers. Still I fail to see how that provides a justification for land-grabbing by government. I suppose the governments of India and Pakistan both think they are trying to ‘protect’ the people of Kashmir.

    Surely you aren’t going to expect me to believe that you haven’t made spiteful comments about me on your personally censored list.

    Actually, I made disparaging – not spiteful – comments about your lack of maturity and your rudeness.

    Again, you are paying taxes for socialist policies with which you don’t agree.

    Yes, I am. This is MY home, and for now I am content with my decision to stay here and pay the protection money while I do what I can to improve the situation. I respect those who leave, but I hope I never come to the point of reviling those who choose not to.

    I am currently using sophisticated crypto-routing technology to mask my whereabouts.

    This is starting to sound a bit Milnes-esque.

  72. G.E. write: “Reagan blew the deficit beyond any previous levels, setting forth the inflation that is about to make itself known as we enter the next Great Depression.” And then “Spending cannot cause inflation.”

    You seem to be saying contradictory things here.

    While I don’t seek to challenge you it might be worth remembering that Nixon closed the gold window and established the wage and price controls. That along with the cost of the Vietnam War started us down the path of inflation that later had to be dealt with.

  73. Jim – Tax and booze situation in NH, for what it’s worth, with comparison to Taxachusetts to the south…

    No Sales Tax
    No State Income Tax (and usually a rapid exit from public office for proposing either)
    A very high property tax, including a “view tax” if you are unfortunate enough to live on property with a scenic view… They also have high meals taxes in restaraunts, hotel occupancy taxes, and assorted less obvious taxes.

    Mass. has both sales and state income taxes, and fairly high property taxes (slightly limited by the prop 2.5 referendum of many years ago) Overall the property tax in NH causes the NH tax bite to be only slightly less than in MA. Worst of both worlds is the poor folks that live in NH and work in MA.

    It is interesting to look at the business distribution near the border… All the retail stores (w/ exception of MA sales tax exempt grocery and clothing stores) are north of the border, with lots of restaraunts south of the border. Most infamous is the “Pheasant Lane Mall” which is ON the border – with retail stores in NH, and parking lot in MA…

    On booze, in MA essentially all forms are only sold in privately owned liquor stores. In NH, beer and wine are sold in many (most?) grocery and convenience stores, but for hard stuff you have to go to a state owned store, of which there are relatively few once you get away from the MA/NH border (the NH gov’t is NOT as dumb as some…) However, even though the NH liquor tax rate is nominally higher than in MA, booze is MUCH cheaper in NH than it is in MA – it is cheaper to buy *retail* in NH than *wholesale* in MA – and the NH stores offer an EXCELLENT selection, better than most MA stores. Typically you will save about $5 / bottle or more on a fifth of your favorite hard stuff. (beer and wine are comparable in cost)

    Bottom line,

    The NH liquor stores are one of the few cases I can think of where a gov’t protected monopoly actually helps the consumer… If you go to an NH store near the border, you will usually see more MA car plates than NH ones.

    ART
    (Who frequently goes north for the 5% shopping discount…)

  74. G.E. Says:
    July 14, 2008 at 6:33 am

    I’ve also heard that Reagan was shot for setting up the Gold Commission, of which Ron Paul was a leader. I don’t find that plausible at all, because Reagan was a supply-side inflationist who wanted to remove inflation-hawk Volcker from the Fed.

    Reagan was shot in March 1981, barely two months after his inauguration.
    At the time, (I believe he was already in place), Reagan’s budget director was David Stockman, who (if you read his book you’d know) said in “The Triumph of Politics” that a gold standard was necessary to curb inflation (this is paraphrasing).

    I believe that in the earliest time of the Reagan administration, there was a fairly strong free market/hands off approach to the economy, with the gold standard being seriously considered as a necessity to stop the inflationary nature of the Fed. Obviously, statist influences won out, with Stockman being forced out for his hard money advocacy.

  75. Before anyone jumps all over me for my previous “fairly strong free market/hands off” comment, I am not inferring that Reagan was a laissez-faire advocate. However, his initial approach, evidenced by his choosing and staffing his administration with fairly hard-line economic free market types” . . . David Stockman, Martin Anderson and others, was “fairly” free market in nature.

    BTW, I am not a Reagan enthusiast, as his stances became more statist as his presidency proceeded. I also didn’t vote for Reagan.

  76. MHW – You’re right. That was contradictory. But at least one of my points is correct!🙂

  77. Okay G.E. which on is it that is correct. You choose!😉

    MHW

  78. Oopsie! that should be which one, not which on. But you knew that didn’t you.

    MW

  79. Ms. Hogarth asks, “Is this belief about just me personally, or is this a generalized comment for anyone who continues to work within the LP?”

    Obviously it is not a comment about Tom Knapp, who continues to work within the LP, though I have heard he is withholding his dues from that tainted organisation. I can see from Tom’s web sites for his campaign for vice president, and for his campaign for Congress, that he is sincerely interested in the positions, that he has publicly stated positions on the issues of concern to his prospective constituents, and that his positions are consistent with the platform he wrote for the Boston Tea Party.

    In your case, I have had trouble even finding a page about your campaign. Todd Andrew Barnett finally hunted one down, on the North Carolina LP web site, and it says very little. The site indicates the office you are seeking, in the North Carolina statehouse, it says how to get in touch with you, but it says nothing about what you would do if elected. It neglects to mention any of the issues of the day. It does not connect to a campaign web site. It appears, to me, as though you agreed to let your name be listed as a candidate as though it accomplishes something for the LP to have one more person on the ballot there.

    Todd forwarded to me some comments you made to him in which you expressed irritation about his concerns with Bob Barr’s candidacy. I’m not really sure why you want the Boston Tea Party’s endorsement. But, if you want it, making disparaging remarks about me and telling Todd you find him irritating doesn’t seem an especially clever way to go about enlisting our support.

    On the Louisiana Purchase issue, expanding the territory while shrinking the number of people working in the government functioned as reducing the scope of government on a government functionaries per square mile basis. It doesn’t really matter if you and others with your narrow minded parochial views of westward expansion like the Louisiana Purchase or feel it justified. It is done.

    I know quite a few people who live in Kashmir, and, yes, I believe both the government of India and the government of Pakistan view their territorial claims as defending the interests of people of widely differing religious views in that territory. I don’t know anyone who agrees with either set of claims. However, if you are looking for the source of difficulty with Kashmir, it is found in Britain. The British were notorious for drawing lines on maps of other people’s countries and creating imperial possessions, crown “protectorates” and colonies where they should not have been sticking their noses. On many occasions, those noses were duly shot off, with much rejoicing.

    I think it is rude of you to make disparaging remarks about me when I presented to your lpradicals list an idea about a strategy for improving the LP. So far, you and your radical friends have gotten quite a few people elected to the LNC, but you have failed to fix the problems with the national party. If the platform evisceration in 2006 were not evidence enough, the nomination of Bob Barr and the extremely nasty things the national staff published about Mary Ruwart should be enough to point out that your strategies have failed.

    For daring to criticise the party you are trying to improve, for daring to express concerns about the party organisation, you have allowed me to be disparaged by members of your list, you have disparaged me yourself, you have published to your list false and misleading statements utterly misrepresenting my comments, claiming in one instance that I was attacking Angela Keaton and Mary Ruwart in whose defense I was rising, and you have, of course, failed utterly to allow me an opportunity to defend myself against these scurrilous outrages. You don’t want me to say anything in my defense on your list because you don’t want my ideas to have any currency with the members of your list. Yet, you want my help gaining the endorsement of the Boston Tea Party.

    I have difficulty with your absence of a campaign. All the other people we’ve endorsed so far have gone to some trouble to have web sites characterising their views on the issues. You are either too lazy or too tired or too burnt out to do so. Which makes it hard for me to see cheapening the endorsement we’ve given others who have worked hard on their campaigns. What do I say to Phil Rhodes if we endorse you? “Oh, gosh, Phil, you didn’t have to actually campaign, or work on a web page, or present your views on the issues, we endorsed Hogarth’s candidacy and she had done nothing to convince the voters of her smaller government views”?? To endorse your campaign of emptiness after we’ve endorsed his committed, sincere, and effort-filled campaign would cheapen our endorsement of him.

    You are welcome to believe any nasty, hate-filled thing you wish about where I live and why. I’ve stopped visiting North Carolina, largely because of the large number of socialists and small number of, in my experience, polly-anna-ish libertarians I’ve encountered there. Phil Rhodes’s campaign suggests that there are one or two bright spots in the state, and I’m very optimistic about Isaiah Simpson’s efforts to build us a state affiliate for BTP there. But you have done nothing to encourage me to think well of you, of your state, of your candidacy, or of your opinions.

  80. GE, I notice that you quote a number of arch-nationalists in your support for treaty power limitations. Joseph Story? Alexander Hamilton? John Jay? If these are men you admire for their views on a smaller government, I have to wonder very much why that would be.

  81. Arthur, I see no reason to be placed in the position of defending Taxachusetts, so I won’t.

    I don’t mind if you go to New Hampshire and cause the taxpayers of that state to subsidise your cost of alcohol. It is completely okay with me, just as Milton Friedman pointed out in the 1970s in his television show that I am better off buying goods from countries where the government is subsidising the price I pay. Free trade is the good policy. I note that while you are in NH you can also buy some fireworks. Though, I gather, you have to be somewhat circumspect driving back into Taxachusetts, what with the highway patrol there illegal stopping and illegal searching vehicles in their fascist, jack booted, thuggish way.

  82. Jim – Of course I generally side with the Jeffersonians and the South. But in this case, it was the New Englanders and the Federalists who were in the right. Jefferson got in power and he and the Jeffersonians began acting like Federalists!

    Free trade IS the good policy. Not embargoes which are an act of war.

    I find it odd that you’re arguing for MORE government power here. I’m for limiting all government power, including the power to make treaties. But I don’t have to be. The Constitution says what it means and means what it says. Jefferson himself knew it.

    To the defenders of the Great Imperialist Purchase, why did Jefferson himself push for a constitutional amendment to grant the government that power, if the government already had it?

    If annexing the Louisiana territory (and slaughtering the “savages” who occupied the land) was a good idea, why not annex all of Latin America and the Caribbean, or for that matter, the Middle East, etc.?

  83. MHW – Only the central bank can cause inflation. Reagan’s deficits, by themselves, were not inflationary — the way that they were funded was. But actually, Reagan’s deficits were funded more with foreign investment (foreign nations buying our debt) than monetary expansion. Nevertheless, he HATED inflation-hawk Volcker (tried to have him removed) and loved and appointed inflation queen Greenspan. Reagan should have appointed Murray Rothbard to chair the Fed. I’m sure Murray would have done as Jim Rogers recently said he would do: Abolish the Fed and resign.

  84. GE, why do you blame Jefferson for an act of war when his embargo was a response to the British navy firing on an American naval vessel and killing Americans? Are you sincerely saying that you think Jefferson was to blame for the war of 1812? Or are you just some sort of Tory British sympathiser? I’m baffled.

    Given that, in the event, the USA lost the War of 1812, sued for peace, and only pulled the appearance of victory out after the peace treaty was signed with Jackson’s victory in New Orleans, what is wrong with you, man? Not fighting the war in 1807 was clearly the sensible thing to do. If you are unwilling to accept Jefferson’s approach to responding to an overt act of war by Britain in killing American sailors at sea, what do you think he should have done?

    Jefferson had doubts about many of his own actions. In the end, he never did push for a constitutional amendment on the Purchase.

    My position is for less government per square mile. Jefferson accomplished that goal by increasing the square miles and reducing the number of people in government.

    I have spent a great deal of time since 1991 looking for a free country, looking for effective ways to start new countries, and looking for ways to gain property without buying it within a nation state that encumbers every purchase with property taxes and other obligations. If you run across a way for the average man or woman to buy land without national sovereignty being involved, please let me know about it. I am following Patri Friedman’s work on Seasteading with great interest, but have not come to any firm conclusions about it.

  85. Todd forwarded to me some comments you made to him in which you expressed irritation about his concerns with Bob Barr’s candidacy.

    I am glad this came up. I was not irritated with Todd’s ‘concerns’ about Barr; I was irritated by what I perceived as mockery or gloating. A few evenings ago, I was writing and Todd popped up to say something. Todd, who has always had some new enthusiasm to share.

    Here’s the entire exchange, wretched spelling and all:

    12:40 AM Todd: Just so you know….
    Your presidential candidate is a racist-supporting fascist…
    lol
    12:41 AM me: thanks, Todd
    now go away
    Todd: Susan, why are you attacking me? I’m just stating a fact.
    12:42 AM me: Sorry, tooo; but I’mnot in the mood forgloating
    Todd: I’m sorry if I upset you.
    me: upset = toostrong
    12:43 AM more like iritate
    Todd: I irritated you?
    12:44 AM Ok, I’ll go away
    Sorry to be a bane to you
    Adios

    I am happy to clear the air. I was sad, in retrospect, to have been short with Todd, but I was vexed beyond belief and his comment was the unlucky straw on the camel’s back. HAVING Barr as a candidate is bad enough. Having Barr as a candidate and having comrades leave the Party is worse. Having Barr as a candidate, having comrades leave the Party and then having those comrades “LOL” at this sad-ass state of affairs (and Todd was not the first even that particular day) just struck me as a bit overwhelming.

    I have always wished the BTP well, and have said I would watch its development with interest. When the BTP attracts a poor candidate – and it will – I will commiserate with my comrades there, and hope I am not so heartless as to pop into their evening relaxation/labors with a reminder of the particular candidate and *laugh* at their misfortune.

    your narrow minded parochial views of westward expansion

    My view on expansion is that it should be accomplished by individuals, not governments.

    However, if you are looking for the source of difficulty with Kashmir, it is found in Britain.

    We are in complete agreement here. The source was the British government. The govs of India and Pakistan merely continue to do what government does best – take a bad situation and make it worse.

    I think it is rude of you to make disparaging remarks about me when I presented to your lpradicals list an idea about a strategy for improving the LP.

    Ah. You were just trying to improve the LP when you joined a list of people whose goal is the strengthen the LP *from within* and immediately made your first post a suggestion that the best way to help the LP was to abandon it? Then when I (privately and politely) suggested this might not be the best way to introduce yourself to the group, you reacted rudely to me, and when your post was published and someone asked a simple question you excoriated him without reason and condemned entire groups of people on hearsay.

    I, rude? I certainly have been, and will no doubt slip again. But I urge you to examine yourself for this trait that you see so easily in others, as it is my experience that we are more apt to see faults in others that we suffer from ourselves.

    I have difficulty with your absence of a campaign. All the other people we’ve endorsed so far have gone to some trouble to have web sites characterising their views on the issues…. To endorse your campaign of emptiness after we’ve endorsed his committed, sincere, and effort-filled campaign would cheapen our endorsement of him.

    This is perfectly understandable. If I had known that a website was part of the criteria, I would have waited until after the launch to apply. Instead, I asked and accepted Knapp’s explanation of the process, which didn’t mention a website. I thought that perhaps you might have some direct questions for me. Perhaps this will encourage your exec committee to sit down and somewhat formalize the endorsement criteria and process.

    You are welcome to believe any nasty, hate-filled thing you wish about where I live and why.

    ??? I don’t even know where you live. I don’t know why you live there, and I certainly don’t have any nasty or hate-filled thoughts about it. You indicated a set of assumptions about folks in eastern states, and I merely pointed out that we all live under the yoke of government to some degree.

    But you have done nothing to encourage me to think well of you, of your state, of your candidacy, or of your opinions.

    Hokay. Whatever.

  86. @ Reagan and the Gold standard.

    From page 421 of Robert Novak’s autobiography The Prince of Darkness (on gold): He states;
    I asked Reagan: “What ever happened to the gold standard? I thought you supported it.”
    “Well,” the president began and then paused (a ploy he frequently used to collect his thoughts), “I still do support the gold standard, but–“At that point, Reagan was interrupted by his chief of staff. “Now, Mr. President,” said Don Regan, “we don’t want to get bogged down talking about the gold standard.”
    “You see?” the president said to me, with palms uplifted in mock futility. “They just won’t let me have my way.”
    Don Regan former CEO of Merrill Lynch

    There were many Friedmanites on Reagan’s gold commission, which did not want a return tot he gold standard. That was about 9 years after Nixon got the US off the gold standard. It would have been easier to implement then, than now, some four decades later. One needs an “interim” solution as Ron Paul is suggestion with the legalization of competing currencies.
    Must the USD only crash totally before people are looking for an end to the fiat money? Anyhow, McCain or Obama would not end the fiat system and none of them would probably appoint Paul to any position…
    Jim Rogers has said that the Fed would probably have to dissolve in the next few years. I heard him mention on a radio interview with Scott Horton (in 2005 I think) that a return to the gold standard now would be not feasible and upset the system. The problem is so much money has been printed and there is only a limit to gold. One would probably have to look at a basket of commodities to restrict the money printing system.
    In any case, it is now in debate again due to the Paul campaign…and very good that he stayed in the GOP and can continue with the debate in congress. One just wishes there were other congressmen that understood something about the monetary policy to support Paul, like Murray Sabrin. The CFL should organise a comprehensive discussion symposium/conference and establish a think-tank, or expand the Mises institute.

  87. Jim Davidson wrote:

    In one of the world’s more interesting ironies, I know a libertarian activist in Missouri who serves on the draft board there. He is also a former Marine. So very likely nobody knows that he’s willing to vote for a deferment for anyone who asks.

    I’d be very surprised if they don’t know that about Tom Knapp. It’s not as if he makes a secret of it, after all.

  88. Jim: You said…
    “I don’t mind if you go to New Hampshire and cause the taxpayers of that state to subsidise your cost of alcohol. It is completely okay with me, just as Milton Friedman pointed out in the 1970s in his television show that I am better off buying goods from countries where the government is subsidising the price I pay. Free trade is the good policy. ”

    While I agree, I’m actually not being subsidized by the NH taxpayers when I buy booze in NH – instead I’m making a significant contribution to the NH tax take… I don’t know the exact numbers, but my understanding is that the NH liquor tax is HIGHER than the Mass. tax – however they end up with a lower cost per bottle because you don’t pay for the profit margin of the privately owned store on top of the tax (They presumably also get better quantity discounts since the entire state is one purchasing unit.) Obviously NH looses some of it’s tax take in paying the costs of operating the stores, but it is definitely a profitable business for the NH state gov’t.

    It isn’t terribly Libertarian, but the NH government is VERY aware of their comparative tax advantage, and is very eager to encourage (and take the money of) out of state shoppers. I don’t know just what their budget breakdown is, but I strongly suspect that a sizeable part of it comes from out of state shoppers, directly or indirectly.

    ART

  89. ENM, I would be very surprised if they do. They stopped asking questions after he said he was a Marine.

  90. Ms. Hogarth, I didn’t say that everyone has to abandon the LP. I don’t know if you ever posted any of my follow-up comments, but I won’t bother your list again. Censorship, however well meaning, is idiotic.

    Yes, I was posting to your list about a strategy that may work better at improving the LP than anything your group has come up with so far. I understand that you don’t want those people to have the benefit of the ideas I was offering. Which is why I’m not on your list any longer.

    I think you were rude, and still are. Like most people who are oppressed minorities, you tend to lash out at people who would otherwise be allies.

    And like most LP party loyalists, you are fixated on sticking with a party which has abandoned you. You didn’t change your strongly held principles, but the LP abandoned those principles in 2006, and nominated a candidate who utterly lacks them in 2008. The LP is now and always has been a tool, the entire effectiveness of which can be measured by how much liberty it brings. Like a knife that has a ragged edge from being abused for too long, it may not be possible to return the tool to effective us. In which case it is well that there are other knives in the drawer.

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