Enter your email address to subscribe to Irregular Times and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 221 other subscribers

Irregular Times Newsletters

Click here to subscribe to any or all of our six topical e-mail newsletters:
  1. Social Movement Actions,
  2. Credulity and Faith,
  3. Election News,
  4. This Week in Congress,
  5. Tech Dispatch and
  6. our latest Political Stickers and Such

Contact Us

We can be contacted via retorts@irregulartimes.com

Audit the Audit the Fed Tshirt

When it comes to attacks on the Constitution, Ron Paul is all about the money this year. For the 2008 election, he tried triangulating with libertarian Republicans and liberal Democrats by criticizing the abuses of civil liberties under George W. Bush. That didn’t work out for him so well.

So, Congressman Paul has turned back to Texas politics. For his 2010 re-election campaign, in which he faces a tough Republican primary battle against Jeff Cherry. So, Paul is working to appeal to a purely Republican base now, libertarian and non-libertarian alike.

Ron Paul is no longer criticizing unconstitutional civil rights abuses, though many of those are continuing under Barack Obama, and others are being justified and defended by Congress. He’s fallen silent on those issues, silently accepting attacks against constitutional rights when they come to human rights. Those are, after all, not big campaign issues in Ron Paul’s home district in Texas.

audit the fed ron paul shirtInstead, Ron Paul has embraced whole hog the Republican anti-Socialist crusade of 2009. Representative Paul is aiming for Republican votes to help him fend off Jeff Cherry by resorting to the most base aspect of libertarian politics: The screech that Big Government is taking your money.

(Like most libertarians, Ron Paul never mentions the part about government giving you back your services and your infrastructure in return for that money.)

This year, Ron Paul is leaving higher ideals, and just promising to help people to keep a tight grip on what’s theirs. Thus, Ron Paul’s signature campaign is to audit the Federal Reserve, and then destroy it. That sounds ridiculous, and it is, but this is what Ron Paul himself proposes, in his own words: “Audit the Fed, Then End It!”

To support Ron Paul’s anti-Fed campaign, Paul’s supporters are selling the Audit the Fed tshirt you see here.

It seems like a populist message, on the face of it, and I have some sympathy for the motivation of people who want to give more scrutiny to the various forms of the government’s financial bailouts. There’s been waste. There’s been corruption. There’s been backward thinking…

… in the Federal Reserve, yes, but what I’m talking about is in the production of that Ron Paul tshirt. In order to understand the full implications of Ron Paul’s new money-only libertarianism, we need to consider where Paul’s Audit the Fed t-shirt comes from.

That tshirt is sold through Zazzle. Zazzle sells many kinds of tshirts. Some of them are made ethically, here in the USA. Others, on the other hand, are made in overseas sweatshops using outsourced labor where workers and their communities are abused. Often, in these outsourced garment contractors’ operations, people are paid a pittance, exposed to dangerous working conditions, and the surrounding area is contaminated with toxins. Money from the enterprise is often siphoned off to support autocratic governments or whatever corrupt warlord controls the area.

In order to support Ron Paul’s crusade against the Federal Reserve, Paul’s supporters are selling the Zazzle tshirts that are made by contractors with a history of sweatshop conditions. The shirt sold on RonPaul.com is not one made in the USA under ethical conditions.

That Ron Paul’s supporters are selling such products, made in questionable circumstances, says a lot about the discrepancy between what libertarianism promises and what it would actually deliver. Libertarian politicians like Ron Paul say that their anti-regulation, free-for-all policies would benefit average working people, but the truth is that those policies would strip away the protections that give working people a fair shake.

Here in the USA, it’s government regulations that prevent American workers from having to work in sweatshops, and provide at least some minimal protection to communities from toxic industrial wastes. The free market solutions Ron Paul is pushing don’t provide those protections. The free market doesn’t respect the rights of the average individual. Ron Paul’s libertarianism would take the sweatshop conditions in which RonPaul.com tshirts are made overseas, and recreate them right here in the USA.

I’m not supporting Jeff Cherry’s campaign. Cherry is as rotten as Ron Paul, only in a traditional Republican way.

My concern is to warn people who have supported Ron Paul, to begin to cast a critical eye at the reality behind the libertarian utopian promises. Look at what libertarians actually do. Look at their economic relationships with the companies that provide products and services to support Ron Paul. What you’ll find is that, underneath the populist veneer, there’s a current of economic exploitation.

74 comments to Audit the Audit the Fed Tshirt

  • qs

    Well we can have open-banking, closed-banking, or fractional reserve banking. The first two are actually very similar, but why are you in favor the third option?

    We had open and closed systems prior to the last 100 years, and they worked great.

    Also from a liberal perspective, the government never would have had the money or the political will to fight the wars of the last century if it had not been for its ability to implement a hidden tax.

    Being against government control is not the worst thing in the world.

    Also I think this “trianglulation” you talked about worked pretty well. I heard that Bush still had a 68% approval in Paul’s district in 2008, and Paul was campaigning against pretty much every issue that Bush supported yet Paul still won his seat with around 70% of the vote in 2008.

    • But, qs, that’s a different approach than what Ron Paul is taking this year. This year, Ron Paul is working on economic deregulation without attending to preservation of civil liberties. That’s a pretty troubling combination, don’t you think?

      I’m not against anything so vague as “government control”. It all depends upon what’s being controlled and under what circumstances. For instance, I’m very much in support of government control of convicted murderers who have been found guilty through due process of law.

      The government bad approach to politics is too simplistic for me to support.

  • qs

    Also I think you fail to grasp the Libertarian agenda when you criticize the whole not appreciating “infrastructure” thing.

    The goal is to destroy the Federal Government and restore State sovereignty, which means decentralized power and no empire. Destroying State government is more just of an afterthought.

    I’ve always though a true libertarian president could do a lot to maintain decentralized power. Even more important than destroying the Federal government is the concept of destroying world government. Right now we still have competition between governments so if one is poorly managed, people can still flee countries. Granted there are huge barriers to this: language, culture, family ties, etc so it’s not as easy to switch as you would think but the option is still there if you absolutely have to. Government can exploit its people and grow endlessly, but even though the tyranny of the majority can vote for big government and liberalism, people can as a last resort vote with their feet.

    A Libertarian president could pull out of NAFTA, the WTO, the U.S., pull out of some international treaties, withdrawal all the U.S. military bases, etc, and a lot of this could be done without congress since the president decides foreign policy.

    • qs, that’s not a coherent ideology. After all, once the US government would be destroyed, then there would really just be a bunch of smaller nations, each with centralized power of their own.

      This states’ rights approach is an historical artifact of the days of slavery and a political tool for opposing the Constitution, which protects liberty for all states.

      I find it remarkable that you are ignoring, qs, the central point of the article – that Ron Paul’s free market campaign uses abusive labor conditions as a fundraising tool.

      • qs

        Ya, the slavery thing complicates things, but you’re the concept of decentralized government is still important regardless of whether the south was evil.

        Ideally property would be like a sovereign country that you get to control for the most part. Decentralization at its core is individual control, but if not individual then at least local or state control.

        Also I believe Ancient Ireland had the best system ever devised. All government was voluntary. If you didn’t like your government, you could form your own, form your own with a group, join a different existing government etc without even changing geographical location. There were thousands of governments all going at once so it survived very peacefully for thousands of years.

        This is kind of what the U.S. had going early on where you could switch states if one was terrible. So ya you had to change geographical locations, but also you could easily hide you money from one state by keeping it in multiple states.

        Now we just have a gigantic government that will never stop growing and which controls all the states. So you can still switch countries, but it’s much more difficult to switch countries than it was to switch states back in the day.

        Nonetheless, I think humanity should be happy they can still switch countries if one is bad so I’ve always been distrustful of these world organizations that seek to implement similar policy in multiple countries.

        • Once again, you’re choosing to pretend that the sweatshop conditions Ron Paul is exploiting don’t exist. Why?

          You’re continuing to make the same mistake – supposing that government in smaller nations is somehow less centralized than it is in larger nations. History is full of small nations with centralized governments.

          As for the states’ rights association with attacks against civil liberties, it goes way past slavery. The doctrine is used to this day to push for state laws that violate citizens’ constitutional rights.

          • Thesweatshopargument?

            The mistake you continue to make is assuming that not buying shirts made from a sweatshop actually help any of the laborers who are there. What you think they’ll be happy? “Finally! They stopped buying our shirts! Now we can go back to…..not eating?”

            All of you people who hate sweatshops so much- go start your own t-shirt factory and offer better wages and conditions for all the workers. That way the sweatshops that you don’t like will close because all their workers will come to you. But will this ever happen? Of course not. Are any of you going to help any of the poor workers once their sweatshop is closed from your boycotts? Of course not. Your “compassion” was never really there.

  • qs

    I also object to the federal government controlling the judiciary because they get unilateral control of the contract. If you hire someone to mow your grass, and he never showed up, but he gets control of interpretation, then he can do whatever he wants. He could say well I stepped on it so it’s been mowed.

    So the States need to reject the Supreme Court’s authority on these matters and get a 50% interpretation at least.

    The difference is that the Federal Government has all the guns so its hard for states to have much actual say.

  • qs

    Show me where that shirt is for sale. the link I mean.

  • qs

    Is Ron Paul the one actually selling the shirt? Somehow I have my doubts.

  • Lancealotlink

    Clifford T- shirts are you kidding me! Is this the best you can do to try to soil Dr. Paul with. Yuo Libs are really scrapping the bottum of the barrel on this one.You say these T shirts could supposedly be made overseas.Clifford have you checked your closet lately have you verified where all your wallmart bought T shirts are made.When you can verify where all your clothes in your closet then get back with me. And by the way Mr “Chpt.7″ Cherry hasnt a chance in hell of beating the Good Doctor.

  • David

    To preface, I’m not a limited government Libertarian, but even I can see that Ron Paul is being perfectly consistent. Libertarians do not oppose the use of cheap labor. I am assuming you believe in the liberal idea of a Living Wage. Am I assuming too much?

    If you do believe in a Living Wage, then you fail to understand the other position, namely that Ought Presupposes Can. You can have a Living Wage, but go into it with your eyes wide open, that it will create a permanent class of unemployed, as it has in every country where you find rigid Minimum Wage Laws. So a Living Wage works against the progressive ideal of Social Justice and Full Employment. If you OUGHT to do something, it means that you FIRST investigated whether you actually CAN do something. Unfortunately, economic investigation has shown that Living Wage laws are far worse than having no minimum wage, and that using ‘sweatshop’ labor to make Ron Paul’s T-Shirts improves the livelihoods of the people involved. If the laborers didn’t think it would make them better off, they wouldn’t enter into the transaction.

    From here, you can read this essay by Professor Steve Horwitz:
    http://myslu.stlawu.edu/~shorwitz/mackay06.htm

    I hope you will at least give it a read and try to refute it, rather than attempting to paint Ron Paul as a hypocrite. He certainly supports the voluntary exchange with low skilled workers, as do I. If you can refute Horwitz (and the most widely understood concept in economics is that minimum wage laws increase unemployment), then I will be forced to reconsider.

    David

    • David, Zazzle and its contractors CAN pay more for the labor to make their tshirts. They choose not to, so as to increase its profits. The low prices supported by Zazzle in turn support the prices charged by RonPaul.com, which support their fundraising efforts. Could these companies pay a dollar more per tshirt to support better conditions? Of course they could. These shirts have a markup of several dollars beyond production and shipping costs. They choose not to, and Ron Paul involves himself in this rotten condition.

      Your professor’s argument is morally akin to the argument used by slavery apologists who said that, if plantations didn’t give slaves work, then the slaves would have no one to give them food, and so it was better that the slaves had food and place to eat than to be homeless and starve to death. It’s a ridiculous argument that assumes that tshirt retailers and tshirt buyers cannot afford to pay the small amount more that could be used to elevate workers out of sweatshops.

      • Thesweatshopargument?

        If you assume to know their production/shipping costs and think its so simple, then why don’t you get some like-minded individuals together to start a new factory that improves worker conditions in foreign countries? You’ll close those badly managed sweatshops because their workers will flock to you easily since you’re paying much higher wages. This is a much more productive way of changing these people’s lives for the better instead of boycotting which only leads to WORSE conditions for those workers. Well?

        • Jim

          Well, golly, if I had about 500 million dollars, or knew 500 people with a million dollars, I might just do that.

          Returning to Reality Land, we here at Irregular Times have made the decision to work with garment manufacturers who have a transparent respect for workers’ rights and who pay them a wage on which they can live. That’s our choice given the means we have available to us.

          • qs

            What constitutes workers rights? Allowing them organize? That’s not an unreasonable demand in my opinion.

            I just don’t like the premise that supporting free trade means you support sweat shops. It reminds me of those debates on the news where they present the person with a ticking time bomb scenario of a nuclear bomb that the terrorist has and he gets to choose if he’s tortured or not.

            No one has explicitly stated this all-or-none-viewpoint but just in case its implied…

            • The trouble with the international market in labor is that it’s profoundly underregulated. Specifics can be debated, but I hope you could agree, for instance, that employing children as workers for 12 hours a day in unsafe conditions where they’re beaten and given a pittance, if any money at all, is unacceptable. That’s the kind of thing that has been found, time and time again, in overseas factories producing garments for the USA.

              It’s not just an issue of a living wage.

              • stefan

                Nope, the problem with world trade is that it is overregulated. The US and Europe are subsidizing local products and with protectionism hurting poor African countries with the export of agricultural products for instance. They do not want foreign aid (which mostly lands in the coffers of the governing corrupt elite in any case), but rather freedom to trade and compete. They can compete with lower prices. You on the other hand would argue because African people earn much less compared to US standards, that there is exploitation and therefore one should not buy such products, e.g. denying African products and farmers from overseas trade and expansion possibilities form which most in Africa would profit. It is not only an economic argument, it is a moral one as well.
                So we do not live in a perfect world, but I know with greater Chinese prosperity through free trade, they earn more and can afford their workers greater salaries and more freedom. Compare China to India during the past few decades and you will know what positive impact less regulation and more capitalism has had (I am referring to China, not the world’s biggest democracy and bureaucracy, India).

  • David

    You wrote the first paragraph because you’ve never read anything on Marginal Utility, another of the more easily understood economic concepts that progressives ignore.

    Your second paragraph is a Strawman. There is no correlation here. The slaves were forced to work. The people making Ron Paul’s T-Shirt were not.

    You’re going to have to actually open and read an econ book before I’ll carry on this discussion.

    I’m just pointing out that Ron Paul is being perfectly consistent. Now you understand that he’s not.

    I’ll leave you to huff and puff and wax philosophical.

    David

    • David, I could easily say that you’re going to need to open a book on ethics before this discussion makes sense. In reality, though, a good discussion is held by people who are willing to discuss the content of the issues at hand, rather than just saying that there are academics somewhere else who have written things that everyone needs to read before they can discuss the issues.

      You CHOOSE not to discuss these issues directly.

      Your comment on slavery falls prey to the fallacy of considering slavery a fully separate condition from other labor relationships. There’s no strawman in the argument I used. There were people who made that argument I cited, in order to justify slavery, and I find a great deal of similarity in your justification for absurdly low wages and abusive working conditions.

      You’re also failing, David, to address Ron Paul’s remarkable surrender to take on the serious civil liberties issues that are continuing under Barack Obama. Ron Paul made a lot of campaign promises on those issues last year. Why has he decided not to take action, or even talk about them, now, David?

      Is there another book I need to open before I’m allowed to ask that question?

      Run away, if you’d rather not deal with these things that make you uncomfortable.

      • Thesweatshopargument?

        “Your comment on slavery falls prey to the fallacy of considering slavery a fully separate condition from other labor relationships.”

        There’s a huge difference between slavery and other labor relationships- how it is a fallacy to consider it a seperate condition when someone CAPTURES you and forces you to work. Compared to if someone offer’s you a job which you can either take or refuse? One is coercion the other is voluntary. If a factory owner walks up to you and says “Hey I can pay you $20 a day to do this job”- and you say yes, how is that slavery? Seems like you think all labor relationships are slavery.

  • Audi

    Listen – you’re entire rant is about to be blown out of the water…

    FROM THE RONPAUL.COM WEBSITE – THE ONE YOU CLAIM IS RON PAUL’S WEBSITE:

    *Disclaimer: The RonPaul.com website is maintained by independent grassroots supporters and is not paid for, affiliated with, or endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul.*
    http://www.ronpaul.com/misc/contact/

    There you have it folks. End of discussion.

    I expect a retraction of this blog post, jclifford. Next time check your facts before you go spewing lies.

    • Audi, you’re right that Ron Paul is not directly behind that web site. Ron Paul’s supporters are. I missed that small disclaimer at the bottom of the page. I’ve changed the article to reflect that.

      However, the essential point stands.

      1. Ron Paul has flipped his rhetoric from defending civil liberties to supporting Republican and libertarian rants that they don’t want the government taking their money.
      2. Ron Paul’s libertarian supporters sell stuff made in sweatshops, giving yet another example of their ideology’s troubling link to economic exploitation.

      This kind of economic exploitation by libertarians is rampant. Ron Paul’s own web site links to the Campaign for Liberty, an organization he is officially affiliated with, which sells t-shirts, and those tshirts appear not to be made in the USA. Are they certified sweatshop-free? Not that I see. And, how about that ten-dollar tshirt sold at the Ron Paul for Congress web site? Sweatshop-free, don’t bet on it.

      Ron Paul has a history of selling shirts made in sweatshops to support his campaign. See here and here.

      I happily make a retraction on the smaller point of who precisely is running that website RonPaul.com. Your leap to reject the entire context of this article, however, is premature. Ron Paul is, and has been, linked with sweatshop labor for his fundraising activities.

  • Sleep Dog

    Hey, I have an idea, let’s *NOT* audit the Fed and just *ASS*U*ME* that we are not being robbed blind by the banksters Wall St./D.C. crime syndicate. Sure, and if my house gets robbed due to the increase in crime from a failing economy, I’ll duck under the covers and pretend the perps *WON’T* come upstairs looking for valuables, etc., or much worse.

    I have a job for this guy, find a t-shirt manufacturer that conforms to his ideals and have shirts printed up depicting ostriches with their heads in the sand, caption “I BELIEVE GEITHNER”. At least he’ll be contributing to the benefit of workers worldwide.

    But here’s the rub, he would have to use his *OWN* money instead of taxpayer dollars. Oh well, seemed like a good idea but I’m sure this is a deal killer for any redistributionist worth their salt.

    • Actually, there are tshirt manufacturers that pay their employees decently, and don’t beat them, and don’t use child laborers, and don’t spew poisons into the environment. If you want to see one at work, go take a look at Skreened.

      You’re associating criticism of Ron Paul with mindless acceptance of the Obama Administration and its economic policies. If you bothered to actually read Irregular Times, instead of just skimming, you’d see that we’ve been quite critical in that regard.

      The unwillingness of Ron Paul’s supporters to grapple with their hero’s abandonment of the defense of civil liberties issues suggests a kind of all-or-nothing mentality that won’t admit to any errors on Paul’s part at all.

  • aj

    It would be so nice if people were truly educated on all sides of the issue before they took a stand, but that takes a lot of work, and that’s something most people don’t want to do anymore.

  • billy

    “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  • PJ Mcflur

    Ron Paul is a free market guy that focuses a free United States. I could care less where the shirt is made as long as I can buy it.

    Do you shop at WalMart? Target? Matter of fact, using your logic, I shouldnt purchase anything made in China. Was the shirt printed in China or just the bare shirt? I find your argument very weak.

    THEY are taking our money. THEY are inflating our money.
    THEY are giving away billions of ours to foriegn banks and governments
    THEY created endless wars
    THEY created the Patriot Act
    …Paul did not. He voted against all of that garbage and more.

    And finally, what bad could possibly come out of learning where the money the Fed prints goes?

    • I’m sorry that you don’t care whether child labor is being used to produce items to support Ron Paul’s political career. I do care about these things. That’s why I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, and I support enterprises such as Skreened and American Apparel.

      People like David who say that tshirt manufacturers can’t treat their workers with humanity just aren’t doing their homework.

      • Thesweatshopargument?

        Do you understand why child labor comes about? It is because the families they’re a part of are so poor that without their children also working their other choice is starvation. People like you support the closing of places that will hire younger kids so that the end up with nothing and starve. I don’t see you giving them any money to replace their lost wages. Also not all child labor is “evil”- apprentices are common- you learn skills when you’re young and then you move up.

      • Weenis

        It should be noted that Ron Paul supporters do sell shirts on skreened.
        http://skreened.com/ethandavis/

        Of course, as we’ve already learned, this blogger is more interested in making sweeping claims and dragging names into issues where they don’t belong.

    • Greg

      Ah, we get to the heart of the Libertarian philosophy: I don’t care….as long as my needs are met, what happens to others is not my problem.

      I feel so bad for these empty people.

      • Thesweatshopargument?

        lol no- the libertarion philosophy is that if you care about what happens to others- GO AND HELP THEM YOURSELF. Why don’t you guys get together and open up a factory that pays these workers better wages in better conditions if you’re so concerned? Because you don’t really care yourself. Your solution is “Don’t buy from them”- so you close the sweatshop and the employees of that sweatshop now starve. Good job.

  • Suzy

    I think it’s inspiring that libertarian ideas of any kind are being referred to “populist”, rather than the usual radical or extremist labels usually applied.

  • Jb

    If the author of this article paid a little more attention to Dr Paul over the past few months, he would’ve noted the dozens of interviews of Dr. Paul speaking out against the drug war and its attacks on civil liberties as well as torture and the expanding war in the middle east, esp the new ‘Af-Pak” war. His consistent views have been well received on Air America and other ‘leftist’ outlets where he is typically the lone, credible voice on the issues listed above.

  • qs

    I don’t think low wages necessarily mean it’s a sweatshop, but they can. Wages are REALLY low in the third world pretty much no matter what. Certainly we don’t want to fund a particularly abusive company, but I think some of this discussion has to have an edge of reality to the fact that the third world countries are terrible places to begin with.

    I obviously don’t support “sweat shops”, but I do think free-trade is a good way to raise the standard of living in these countries even if it means Americans are getting cheap goods at times.

    I’ve always assumed it’s normally their government doing it to their people. Rarely do people get a good government that let’s humanity rise out of its government-led oppression.

  • ent

    JClifford, I cannot find in your original post where you establish that Ron Paul is against civil liberties of Americans.

  • qs

    This Jeff Cherry guy is a nightmare by the way. You should see his youtube videos. He’s as dense as a rock.

    Someone made a 16 reasons why you should vote for Jeff Cherry thread a while back on ronpaulforums that was funny.

    Also I really felt like I was reading the Onion when I took a look at Jeff Cherry’s website blog, and I’m not exaggerating. If Jeff Cherry gets elected we should all just stop voting period and adopt the Libertarian mantra of “Voting is for suckas” mantra.

  • ent

    O shit…Jeff Cherry has a new website that looks nicer.
    I wanna find his old cheeseball website with corny editorials because that one easier to write off.

    This website looks more respectable somehow.

  • Mr. Republican

    What a load of crap. You have no idea what you are talking about

  • Thesweatshopargument?

    That’s a pretty poor argument-”This shirt wasn’t made in the USA so it was made by slaves so you guys are bad”. First of all- most of these places overseas where there ARE sweatshops- the people working there are only guilty of working hard. They move from their tough rural lives to factories so they can earn wages higher than everywhere else in the country. But people like you continue to insult them Remember, $12 a day doesn’t sound like a lot here- but overseas it can buy you 2 weeks of groceries. Your argument was made with absolutely no research- no logic- and just hoping that everyone thinks that sweatshops are evil just like you. You haven’t shown us any Zazza related factories, their conditions, or how the workers at those factories began to work there. How about instead of insulting hard-working foreigners who made those t-shirts- you work hard yourself and provide us some real value instead of the garbage you just wrote.

  • stefan

    Hoq can you say Ron Paul does not address civil liberties anymore? Total nonsense, he mentions this often. Obviously the main threat now is on economic liberties, which is not unrelated to civil liberties as well. Have you noticed how he attacked the drug war and the Obama administration’s raid on medical marjuana in CA? Have you noticed he sponsored a bill about industrial hemp, etc? JClifford, maybe you should rather lobby your Democratic congressmen to co-sponsor the industrial hemp bill for instance. Barney Frank is also sponsoring the bill.

  • Sleep Dog

    Ron Paul’s HR 1207 is about auditing the Federal Reserve, not t-shirt manufacturers. Geithner is relevant to the discussion because he’s currently the alpha mail in the Wall St./DC crime syndicate, precipitating HR 1207.

    Ron Paul has not abandoned championing civil liberties, rather, he has found a greater way to champion them by his attempt to smash the federal reserve, which underwrites all the immoral acts of government that have impugned the civil liberties of people everywhere in the 20th century and today, by inflating and debasing our currency.

    I’m not basing anything on the Obama admin, I’m basing my comments on your blog posting. Deal with it.

    • Sleep Dog, destroying a democratically established government in order to correct a few of the many things it does is a clumsy, traumatic tactic. If Ron Paul really wants to destroy the Federal Reserve in order to end unfair military trials for prisoners at Guantanamo, then that’s like shooting someone in the head in order to end their headaches. He’s a physician. He ought to know better.

      • qs

        Why not have a democratically elected “World Government” and then claim it has the right to exist and the right to a monopoly of force because it was “Democratically elected?”

        If Ron Paul really intends to destroy the Federal Government, then that would be one giant leap ahead in my opinion towards decentralized power, which is the ultimate goal of libertarianism.

  • stefan

    Of course industrial hemp can be a prime civil liberty and farmer right issue alone, but Paul addresses several other things as well. Mind you, everyone should focus on certain issues with an interview and speech. Have you really listened to his speeches this year? Then you will know he addressed civil liberties issues still.

    Paul has also mentioned the issue of military conscription, a key threat to civil liberties by Rahm Emanuel and the Obama administration. And what about the also civil liberty abuse by sending more troops to Afghanistan? Paul has criticized this move by Obama to start wars and kill innocent Pakistanis with drones strongly, for moral reasons.

    While we are at the issue of industrial hemp. Do you realize that one can also make Tshirts from it, in the US? One can make vehicle for green cars from it, certain food types and many more. It will provide an economic boost and create jobs, yet you seem to not be interested in the economic and civil liberty aspects of it and want to make as if it is ridiculous. Do you research, and don’t resort to “emotional” arguments, like some liberals do. Rather be an open minded rational classical liberal.

    • Stefan, your definition of “civil liberty” is, I think, a bit too broad. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the specific right of growing industrial hemp. There are aspects of the Constitution, however, that give the right of protection from search and seizure, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and a right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury of peers. That specific enumeration of rights puts those issues into the category of civil liberties.

      I’m not opposed to industrial hemp, though I suspect that claims for its benefits may be overblown. But, that’s not the point. Congress has the specific power granted in the Constitution of regulating interstate commerce and acting for the general welfare. That makes industrial hemp not a constitutional issue in the way that torture, arbitrary imprisonment and unjust trials are.

      The concept of economic liberty requires a big stretch. We don’t have a constitutional right to do whatever we want to make money and keep it.

      Military conscription, I could categorize as a civil liberties issue. Sending more troops to Afghanistan isn’t – though I’m opposed to that too. Being specific with our use of terms is important.

      • qs

        The Constitution is a negative rights document or at least it was originally intended to be so meaning that it pronounced what the government had the so called “right” to do, although I think it’s silly that we let them do anything, but if it’s not in there, then the government doesn’t have so called right to regulate it.

        I don’t think the Constitution should apply to people who didn’t sign it though really.

  • stefan

    correction “in itself” instead of “alone”.

  • Ole Hickory

    LOL!!! T-SHIRTS???!!!!….I mean….wait a minute…..T-shirts?…Really??? LOL….Man, that is one heck of an opposing viewpoint you’ve got there. I guess us liberty loving patriots are doing better than I thought, if THAT’s all the they’ve got to attack the good doctor. Ah…*smiling widely*

    • No, O.H., that’s not “all”. Seems like you’re rather hoping it’s “all” about Ron Paul. There’s plenty more, though, if you search back through the archives of Irregular Times.

      Why must there be this Ron Paul worship? Why not more critical support of a politician some may judge to be simply, realistically better than the alternative? This irrational attitude that Ron Paul can do no wrong invites criticism.

  • stefan

    I agree being specific with terms and ideas is important. Also with the raising of an issue like hemp where you say you “suspect” the benefits may be overblown. Have you done any research on it? Common, get real, be specific and show actual proof if you wan to make such statements. Otherwise rather say that is an issue I do not know much about, it sounds interesting and should be further explored. BTW: the first model T Ford was made of hemp. Especially greens are so much about environmental-friendliness. Well, hemp is environmental-friendly, cheaper than steel and one can also produce vehicles much cheaper and thus provide more jobs and contribute to innovation and rebuild the car industry!

    There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the right to drink alcohol as well, not only hemp. Does this mean alchohol should not be used, if you want to be consistent in your argumentation? The constitution is minimalist,, in order to allow many individual liberties and/or for it to be regulated by the states.

    “We don’t have a constitutional right to do whatever we want to make money and keep it”.
    So what is the constitutional right to make with our money? To give a huge percentage of that to the state to fight illegal and immoral wars and expand an empire overseas? The cost of local service is really minor compared to the cost of maintaining and expanding an international empire. Obama increased the defense budget by 9% and Paul critisized this vehemently, as well as the sanctions against Cuba or other countries.

    You are worried about Chinese companies making some money with free trade, though govt. managed to a certain extent. Why don’t you complain about the 1/2 million Iraqi’s that dies because of sanctions under the Clinton administration, or currently the Cubans that all suffer from sanctions under how many administrations, including the Obama one.

    Are you aware that various factories in China had to close down. Now f the people cannot work for 1 USD a day, you say it is better that they lose their job because of the US refusing to import T-shirts made in China? What human and moral compassing is that?

    BTW: I noticed you have implicitly admitted that Paul does address the issue of civil liberties also in this year. Paul never triangulates, he preaches the same message to every sort of audience, and does focus on some concrete issues to make the point and illustrate his freedom philosophy and the inconsistency of many conservatives and liberals.

  • qs

    J. Clifford,

    Lock clockwork, Ron Paul answers your call to speak out.

    Ron Paul demands that Obama close GITMO and reiterates opposition to Obama’s military tribunals.

    So this thread is now mute.

  • qs

    This thread is like the batman signal thread. Ask and ye shall receive.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/20/glenn-beck-sub-holds-sane_n_206056.html

  • Anonymous

    Paul’s house speech tonight was awesome too. I’d love to see any of the other congressman speak like this.

    Ron Paul: Current Conditions or Just a Bad Dream 05/19/2009

  • From Zazzle:

    “We support American companies and products by using a large selection of apparel from US vendors – American Apparel, Anvil, Bella, Gildan, Port Authority, and Hanes. We ask our vendors for assurances that all products we use are produced through worldwide industry-standard labor practices. If we receive any information to the contrary, we will investigate that seriously and ensure that Zazzle products are produced with a high standard of ethics and corporate responsibility. All Zazzle production is done right here in the United States.”

    The truth is you never know where something comes from unless you made/grew/found it yourself, but Zazzle claims to be vigilant on this matter. I advise making an argument against Ron Paul with something that’s more fact and less unsupported crazy-talk.

    • Jim

      Read that carefully. US vendors are not U.S. producers, and Zazzle asks for assurances, not documentation. These are loopholes big enough to drive a truck through. The apparel industry has some mighty skillful truck drivers.

    • Crazy talk doesn’t pay attention to the details. So, pay attention to the details, Lin, and think critically. Zazzle offers shirts that are made by American Apparel, with guaranteed ethical production, and also offers shirts made by contractors that work for the other corporations. Those contractors have shirts manufactured in foreign countries, and have long histories of association with sweatshop conditions.

      Zazzle has asked the corporations have used sweatshops, and the corporations have said, “gosh, no, none that we know of”. Zazzle then has said, “Okay.”

      If you really think that just asking a corporation whether its products are associated with anything less than ethical, just consider how long the tobacco companies kept telling people that there was nothing unhealthy about smoking cigarettes.

      Out of these companies, only American Apparel has a reputable claim to be sweatshop-free. RonPaul.com could have chosen to sell through Zazzle only on American Apparel, and yet chose not to. Sorry that interferes with your Paulist worship, but that’s how it is.

      • Thanks for proving that jumping to conclusions is easier than debating fact. I didn’t know a thing about Ron Paul until late last year and I’m not a fan. Just pointing out your faulty “journalism.” (Oh, and Ron Paul isn’t behind the T-shirt site – but you knew that already.)

        As I said, there’s no real way to know where anything comes from. Who assembled your computer? Who made the circuit boards in it or the solder that holds it all together? How old are they? When’s the last time they took a break or ate a meal? Unless you plan on taking “organic” to a whole new level, you’ll be hard-pressed to say with complete certainty that the products you purchase come from countries that always utilize sound employment policies across the board – even if they guarantee it. We don’t even have that guarantee on American soil…!

        I agree that self-policing agencies often don’t function honestly, so I guess you’re furious that the government is essentially running banking and auto companies, right? Or that the same folks who will be benefiting most from certain legislation are the ones advising the legislators? No, I’m not going to cite anything here – do a Google search: try “cap-and-trade” with “GE.”

        I thought you folks might have decent liberal blog here, but time and again, I find otherwise. I won’t be back, and I’m sure it’s “good riddance.”

        • Talk about jumping to conclusions! Yes, Lin, there ARE ways to know where many things come from. For example, American Apparel shirts are made in the United States and there are many lines of evidence to support that fact. RonPaul.com could have chosen to sell only shirts it knew were made in America and only shirts that it knew were free of sweatshop labor. But, RonPaul.com chose not to do that.

  • qs

    Krugman advocated a created of a housing bubble in 2002.

    Dubya’s Double Dip?
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: Friday, August 2, 2002

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/027541.html

    Writes the future Nobel laureate in the NY Times, August 2, 2002: “To fight this recession the Fed needs…soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. [So] Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.” (Thanks to Travis)

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>