MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Rand Paul’

Rand Paul, Ron Wyden Want To End Endless National Emergencies

Posted by M. C. on February 28, 2021

Have you heard about the newest national emergency?

No, not the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent national emergency was declared just two weeks ago—when President Joe Biden granted himself emergency powers to freeze the property and assets of individuals and businesses connected to Myanmar’s military, following an attempted coup in the southeast Asian country.

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Rand Paul vs. Rachel Levine: Do You Support Government Overriding Parental Consent On Puberty Blockers?

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2021

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/02/25/rand_paul_vs_rachel_levine_do_you_support_government_overriding_parental_consent_on_puberty_blockers.html

Pennsylvania’s Finest

Posted By Ian Schwartz

Sen. Rand Paul took on Dr. Rachel Levine, President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of health, at Thursday’s confirmation hearing on genital mutilation and her position on government resources overriding parental consent on transgender medical methods such as puberty blockers.

“The question is a very specific one, should minors be making these momentous decisions,” Paul said. “For most of the history of medicine, we wouldn’t let you have a cut sewn up in the ER, but you are willing to let a minor take things that prevent their puberty, and you think they get that back.”

“You give a woman testosterone enough that she grows a beard, do you think she’s going to go back looking like a woman when you stop the testosterone? You have permanently changed them,” he said.

Levine responded to Paul’s questions with a standard response on how nuanced transgender medicine is.

“Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field, and if confirmed to the position of assistant secretary of health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and to talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexity of this field,” Levine said.

Levine, a transgender woman, was the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and managed the commonwealth’s COVID crisis.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Genital mutilation has been nearly universally condemned. Genital mutilation has been condemned by the WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund. According to the WHO, genital mutilation is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. Genital mutilation is considered particularly egregious, because as the WHO notes, it is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.

Most genital mutilation is not typically performed by force. But as WHO notes that by social convention, social norm, the social pressure to conform, to do what others do and have been doing as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community.

American culture is down normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics. Dr. Levine, you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia.

Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics. The American College of Pediatricians reports that 80 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children with gender dysphoria will experience resolution by late adolescence, if not exposed to medical intervention and social affirmation. Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life changing decision as changing one’s sex?

DR. RACHEL LEVINE: Well, Senator, thank you for your interest in this question. Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I will look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.

PAUL: The specific question was about minors. Let’s be a little more specific since you evaded the question. Do you support the government intervening to override the parents’ consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia? You have said that you’re willing to accelerate the protocols for street kids. I’m alarmed that poor kids with no parents who are homeless and distraught, you would just go through this and allow that to happen to a minor.

I would hope that you would have compassion for Kira Belle (PH), who’s a 23 year old girl who was confused with her identity. At 14 she read on the Internet about something about transsexuals. She thought, well, maybe that’s what I am. She ended up getting these puberty blockers, cross sex hormones. She had her breasts amputated. But here’s what ultimately she says now. And this is a very insightful from decision from someone who made a mistake, but was led to believe this was a good thing by the medical community.

“I made a brash decision as a teenager, as a lot of teenagers do. Trying to find competence and happiness, except now the rest of my life will be negatively affected,” she said, adding that the medicalized gender transitioning was a very temporary, superficial fix for a very complex identity issue.

What I am alarmed that is that you are not willing to say absolutely minors shouldn’t be making decisions to amputate their breasts or to amputate their genitalia. For most of our history, we have believed that minors don’t have full rights and that parents need to be involved, so I am alarmed that you won’t say with certainty that minors should not have the ability to make the decision to take hormones that will affect them for the rest of their life. Will you make a more firm decision on whether or not minors should be involved in these decisions?

LEVINE: Senator, transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field, and if confirmed to the position of assistant secretary of health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and to talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexity of this field.

PAUL: Let it go into the record that the witness refused to answer the question. The question is a very specific one, should minors be making these momentous decisions. For most of the history of medicine, we wouldn’t let you have a cut sewn up in the ER, but you are willing to let a minor take things that prevent their puberty, and you think they get that back.

You give a woman testosterone enough that she grows a beard, do you think she’s going to go back looking like a woman when you stop the testosterone? You have permanently changed them. Infertility is another problem. None of these drugs have been approved for this. They are all being used off-label. I find it ironic that the left that went nuts over hydroxychloroquine being used possibly for COVID are not alarmed that these hormones are being used off-label. There is no long-term studies; we don’t know what happens to them.

We do know that there are dozens and dozens of people who have been through this who–who regret that this happened and a permanent change happened to them, and you know if you’ve ever been around children, 14-year-olds can’t make this decision. In the gender dysphoria clinic in England, 10 percent of the kids are between the ages of 3 and 10. We should be outraged that someone is talking to a 3-year-old about changing their sex. I can’t vote for you if you can’t (INAUDIBLE)–

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): Thank you so much, Senator Paul. Senator Levine, thank you for answering the question. I will turn to Senator Baldwin.

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Is the Establishment Still Terrified of Trump? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2021

For the odds are slim at best that Trump would or could, at 78, win the nomination and the presidency a second time, as Grover Cleveland did in 1892.

Yet, a fearful establishment does not want to take the chance.

For all the babbling about “democracy” we have heard in recent days, the establishment wants to eliminate the possibility that the people could rise up, and, horror of horrors, elect Trump once more.

You can smell the fear.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/01/patrick-j-buchanan/is-the-establishment-still-terrified-of-trump/

As soon as the Senate received the lone article of impeachment accusing President Donald Trump of “incitement of insurrection” in the Jan. 6 mob assault on the Capitol, Rand Paul rose to object.

The Senate, he said, has no right to try a private citizen, which Trump now is. Thus, what we are about to do is flatly unconstitutional.

Forty-five of 50 Republican members agreed with Paul’s motion.

“This vote indicates it’s over. The trial is all over,” said Paul. “If you voted that (the Senate trial is) … unconstitutional, how in the world would you ever vote to convict somebody for this?”

Consistency says you would not.

Susan Collins of Maine, one of five Republicans who voted against Paul’s motion, agreed that the vote portends the final vote on conviction.

“Do the math,” Collins said. “It’s extraordinarily unlikely the president will be convicted.”

Rand Paul may have just derailed the second impeachment of Donald Trump.

Chief Justice John Roberts, the constitutional officer designated to preside over Senate impeachment trials, has said he will not preside over this latest trial of the ex-president. With Roberts seeing no constitutional duty, and declining the honor, his replacement as the presiding officer will be Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the longest-serving Democrat and the president pro tempore of the Senate.

But Leahy is viscerally hostile to Trump and one of a Democratic bloc that voted twice last January to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors. How will it look to the world if this partisan is installed as both judge and juror at the trial of his political enemy?

Welcome to Zimbabwe.

Does the liberal establishment, now back in power and controlling the House, Senate and presidency, not see how this is all going to look in the history books, generations hence?

Blinded by hatred of Trump, enraged by the mob that stormed the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi’s House, in a rush to judgment, without hearing a single Trump witness and without letting his lawyer offer a defense, impeached, i.e., indicted, Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”

But how could Trump have incited the riot and the attack on the Capitol when the mob swept up the stairs before Trump finished speaking a mile away? And he would end his rally remarks by urging the crowd to march to the Hill “peacefully and patriotically.”

We have subsequently learned that plans and plots were being hatched days before the assault on the Capitol began.

Was the Trump White House, or Trump, privy to those plots?

In August 1974, it was a near certainty that the House would vote to impeach Richard Nixon. But after the president resigned, the House did not impeach, and Ford pardoned Nixon so the country could move on.

The rage of the establishment at being deprived of its revenge against Nixon who had turned the Silent Majority against it, not unlike today, knew no bounds. And, though history has vindicated Ford, his pardon of Nixon precipitated a plunge in his poll numbers.

Half a century on, however, history says Ford did the right thing.

Why then are the Democrats continuing with this exercise in vengeance?

They want Trump convicted so that he will be prohibited from ever again holding public office. The establishment fears that Trump could make a comeback, win the Republican primaries in 2024, become the nominee, and return in triumph as president.

They are determined to abort that possibility. Many openly admit it.

What does that say about the liberal establishment’s love of democracy when they would disqualify, in advance, the largest vote-getter their opposition party ever had, out of fear he might come back to win the presidency as he did in 2016?

“Trust the people!” was a campaign slogan made famous by George Wallace. Our national establishment prattles endlessly on about its devotion to democracy, but it does not trust the people.

But the establishment is going to pay a price for trying to squeeze the last ounces of juice out of this rotting fruit. President Joe Biden’s call to unity are being drowned out by Democratic howls for a trial, conviction and banishment.

This effort to convict and disqualify Trump from running again tells us more about the people behind it than it does about Trump.

For the odds are slim at best that Trump would or could, at 78, win the nomination and the presidency a second time, as Grover Cleveland did in 1892.

Yet, a fearful establishment does not want to take the chance.

For all the babbling about “democracy” we have heard in recent days, the establishment wants to eliminate the possibility that the people could rise up, and, horror of horrors, elect Trump once more.

You can smell the fear.

The Best of Patrick J. Buchanan Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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As the Republic Dies the Next Generation Must Rise

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2020

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/12/16/republic-dies-next-generation-must-rise-gabbard-paul/

Author: Tom Luongo

The first rule of screenwriting, or in fact any fiction writing, is, “Conflict doesn’t create character, it reveals it.” People are who they are and we only find out what they are made of when tested to their limit.

This is the essence of all good storytelling — create characters who rise to be role models for us as we navigate our way through a Universe hostile to our very existence.

While I hesitate to ascribe such noble ideas as ‘character’ to any politician there are a few out there who have shown great potential. I’ve written about all of them at various times in the past few years.

Matteo Salvini in Italy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russian President Vladmir Putin, Nigel Farage in the UK and even a flawed figure like Donald Trump are all examples of men who history will remember as having stood up when needed.

At times each of them tried to move heaven and earth to stop the degradation of society, culture and the human condition in the face of an implacable enemy – communist ideologues bent on forcing humanity into submission to their will.

But with the Supreme Court abdicating its primary responsibility under the Constitution last week citing itself in an unconstitutional ruling from 1925 (H/T Martin Armstrong for this) means it is over for Trump and the U.S. to stop the final transformation of the U.S. into an oligarchy in reality if not in spirit.

There is no mechanism for states to redress grievances of any import now. What was left of the compact between equal sovereign states died with a whimper in the halls of the SCOTUS and to thunderous applause by the BlueCheckMarked Sneetches on Twitter.

This means that a stolen election will in all probability stand up come Inauguration Day. The entrenched oligarchy has won this round.

Fine. But it doesn’t mean the efforts of the men I just listed will have been in vain. In fact, quite the opposite.

Because what it has done is revealed the character of everyone involved. What they do next now that they have the power they’ve always craved to transform America will determine what people who have principles other than raw power will do.

We’re beginning to see that response form up. This election isn’t over but the positioning for the future a post-republic America has already begun.

🌺

Since election day Tulsi Gabbard, a tweener between Gen-X and a Millennial, has been a non-stop source of, admittedly, Quixotic bills to put paid her insurgent campaign in the Democratic primaries as someone interested in fixing real foundational problems with the country and the bipartisan corruption in Washington.

She continues to reach across party lines introducing legislation which form the basis for a populist election strategy targeting the 2022 and 2024 elections.

From whistleblower protection to repealing Section 230 of the CDA to the bill in the tweet above co-sponsored with libertarian Thomas Massie, Gabbard is an example of what the future holds for the political future once this meta-stable, oligarchic rule-by-men period of America is over.

It’s clear that Gabbard wants no part of being a part of the Democratic Party that’s in power now. That’s why she didn’t run for re-election and I suspect these moves are all laying the groundwork for a return to politics in 2024 as an independent or Sanders-like outsider.

I’ve been writing for years now that our problems stem from an unwillingness of the older generations of politicians to give up power. If anything, they persist because they are owned by the forces that put them there in the first place to pull off this betrayal of the people that has been in the works for decades.

And they will stay in place until they are no longer needed. Just ask Diane Feinstein who is now being sacrificed to make way for the transition team to finish the job she started.

I always saw Trump as Gen-X’s moment to pull a Ronald Reagan and say, “Mr. Trump, tear down this Swamp!” but the real story is that Gen-X is allowing Obama to do that tearing down and hand what’s left back to the old monied elites.

The fight now is between the cross-currents within Gen-X. Equal parts commie and libertarian the one uniting principle is a desire to reform the old order.

It is my read that people like Gabbard, Massie, Sen. Rand Paul and a few others see the problem. Gabbard’s a leftist, but she’s no doctrinaire commie. That makes her and interesting pivot figure around which a coalition to retake control or build back better the U.S. can be formed. This will be necessary once Obama’s incoming crew of vandals overreaches and are thrown out on their asses.

Regardless of the outcome in the coming months and years the changing of the guard is close at hand. Post-Trump America will look very different than pre-Trump. Trump was the apotheosis of the Boomers.

His legacy will be forcing the Deep State into the open, bringing the fight against them out of the shadows.

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

Make no mistake, there will be violence. It is inevitable because the people who voted for Trump will not be placated with UBI or settle down as their voices are silenced.

The fraudsters will forever be looking over their shoulders, lashing out at minor opposition as traitors who need to be put down.

Here we are presented with a staged picture with three white privilege guys straight out of central casting for the latest Obama-produced ‘documentary’ on equality coming to Netflix in the spring.

This is your “Unity” agenda from the most statist of state house organs, NPR, the echo chamber of choice for the low-information ‘informed’ shitlib. This is the face of the Biden/Harris administration.

This is just the beginning of what we can look forward to when the GOP loses both seats in the Georgia run-off and the Democrats, despite historically-low support and engagement with actual voters, run the table.

Once ensconced they will persecute their political enemies in ways only Alex Jones has contemplated to this point. And it will be this escalation that will reveal the quality of the character of these next-generation politicians.

They will have the choice, leader of men or cowards. The republic we’ve known is dead. Maybe that’s a good thing. But what comes after won’t be up to the people who just destroyed it. That job is the next generation’s job. Their moment is coming in the next couple of years. They will have to be ready.

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Sen. Rand Paul Rails Covid-19 Stimulus Relief Package in Senate Floor Speech

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2020

When this money hits the ground see what happens to inflation.

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States must take the lead to get U.S. out of pointless and endless wars

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2020

With America’s armed forces soon to fall under the control of a Congress that will, in all likelihood, do everything they can to keep our troops overseas, it’s time for the states to step up. This is why I will soon be filing the Defend the Guard Act in South Carolina, a bill that would allow the governor to withhold national guard troops from being brought under federal control.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/dec/14/states-must-take-the-lead-to-get-us-out-of-pointle/

By Stewart Jones

While President Trump was negotiating yet another peace agreement this week — this time between Israel and Morocco — his enemies beat the drums of war in their ongoing effort to overthrow the America First foreign policy.

It’s sad that throughout the entirety of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the swamp has worked around the clock to dismantle his efforts toward peace. Even worse, with the passage of the disastrous, $740.5 billion 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it appears the neocons and pro-war left will soon regain the levers of federal power, plunging America into another four years of stupid, pointless, endless wars abroad.

With America’s armed forces soon to fall under the control of a Congress that will, in all likelihood, do everything they can to keep our troops overseas, it’s time for the states to step up. This is why I will soon be filing the Defend the Guard Act in South Carolina, a bill that would allow the governor to withhold national guard troops from being brought under federal control.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, was one of the precious few voices of reason in the congressional vote on the NDAA. In his speech before the Senate, he said, “They believe that a president has the power to go to war anywhere anytime, but when a president tries to remove troops, they say ‘Oh no no. What we really want are 535 generals in Congress to tell him he can’t leave a war.’” Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican, also took to Twitter to criticize the bill, writing, “This NDAA bill contains specific language to make it harder for the president to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.”

But heroes of liberty like Mr. Paul and Mr. Massie cannot fight this issue alone. Without reinforcements from elected officials across the board and a powerful grassroots movement to end America’s military expeditionalism, our efforts will never amount to anything beyond empty rhetoric.



In 1950, my grandfather was drafted into the Korean conflict. I grew up hearing stories of courage and sacrifice. The problem with American involvement in Korea was that it didn’t follow a declaration of war, but a U.N. decision to get the U.S. to intervene.

Undeclared war — something with which our country has become painfully familiar over the last half-century — plunges our country into foreign quagmires based on the whims of politicians, rather than American interests.

In Article I of the United States Constitution, Congress is given the authority to declare war; history shows that this check on war is critical to the survival of our republic. The Founders repeatedly warned of the dangers of excessive foreign intervention, having studied the fall of countless republics into entangled empires. 

In Thomas Jefferson’s 1801 address to Congress, he said that the key to preserving our republic was “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.” In 1795, James Madison said that “of all enemies to public liberty war, is perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” Mr. Trump has tried to follow this advice and our country has seen the benefits of peace and commerce in recent years.

The pressure needed to apply to Washington if we are to see this objective through will not generate itself; it will have to emanate from leaders from across the country who are sick of seeing brave American service men and women shipped overseas with no objective, no plan, and no exit strategy. As I file the Defend the Guard Act in South Carolina, I call on state legislators elsewhere to do the same in their legislatures.

• Stewart Jones is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

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Rand Paul Is Right about the Nazis and Socialism | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 18, 2020

https://mises.org/wire/rand-paul-right-about-nazis-and-socialism?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=ae1f73d0a3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_02_06_25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-ae1f73d0a3-228343965

David Gordon

In “No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists,” which appeared online in Jacobin, the philosopher Scott Sehon makes a surprising claim. In the course of criticizing some remarks by Senator Rand Paul, Sehon says,

Paul seems to quote the mid-century economist Ludwig von Mises:

Under national socialism there was, as Mises put it, “a superficial system of private ownership…[sic] but the Nazis exerted unlimited, central control of all economic decisions.” With profit and production dictated by the state, industry worked the same as if the government had confiscated all the means of production, making economic prediction and calculation impossible.…

It turns out that Paul’s most clear assertion about Nazi control of the economy was, apparently, just something that the senator made up and falsely attributed to Ludwig von Mises.

Had Sehon looked into Mises’s views more carefully, he would have found that Mises did indeed believe that Nazism was a form of socialism, marked by state direction of the economy rather than collective ownership. In Omnipotent Government (p. 56), Mises says,

The German and the Russian systems of socialism have in common the fact that the government has full control of the means of production. It decides what shall be produced and how. It allots to each individual a share of consumer’s goods for his consumption….The German pattern differs from the Russian one in that it (seemingly and nominally) maintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs but only shop managers (Betriebsführer)….The government, not the consumers, directs production. This is socialism in the outward guise of capitalism. Some labels of capitalistic market economy are retained but they mean something entirely different from what they mean in a genuine market economy.

Sehon says that this view is false and cites an article I have not yet been able to gain access to that argues that business under the Nazis retained a large degree of autonomy. But in his well-received book The Wages of Destruction (2007), the historian Adam Tooze says this: “The German economy, like any modern economy, could not do without imports of food and raw materials. To pay for these it needed to export. And if this flow of goods was obstructed by protectionism and beggar-my-neighbour devaluations, this left Germany no option but to resort to ever greater state control of imports and exports, which in turn necessitated a range of other interventions” (p. 113). This is exactly Mises’s point. Interventionist measures in the free market such as price control fail to achieve their purpose. This leads the government to add more interventionist measures in an effort to remedy the situation, and continuing this process can quickly lead to socialism.

This is what happened under the Nazis. Businesses that were reluctant to follow the plans of the new order had to be forced into line. One law allowed the government to impose compulsory cartels. By 1936, the Four Year Plan, headed by Hermann Goering, had changed the nature of the German economy. “On 18 October [1936] Goering was given Hitler’s formal authorization as general plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. On the following days he presented decrees empowering him to take responsibility for virtually every aspect of economic policy, including control of the business media” (Tooze 2007, pp. 223–24).

Sehon says that there were socialists in the Nazi party, principally Gregor Strasser and his brother Otto, but that their influence ended when Hitler purged this wing of the party in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. (By the way, Otto was more of a socialist than his brother Gregor, and the latter repudiated his brother’s views as too radical.) This is not entirely accurate. What it ignores is that Josef Goebbels, the influential minister of propaganda, held strongly socialist views despite his personal enmity for Strasser.

According to George Watson,

On 16 June 1941, five days before Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, Goebbels exulted, in the privacy of his diary, in the victory over Bolshevism that he believed would quickly follow. There would be no restoration of the tsars, he remarked to himself, after Russia had been conquered. But Jewish Bolshevism would be uprooted in Russia and “real socialism” planted in its place – “Der echte Sozialismus“. Goebbels was a liar, to be sure, but no one can explain why he would lie to his diaries. And to the end of his days he believed that socialism was what National Socialism was about.

In his article, Sehon criticizes Watson extensively for relying on a book by Otto Wagener, a Nazi who was removed from his position of authority in 1932, but he does not mention Watson’s quotation from Goebbels’s diary.

Goebbels was by no means alone among the Nazis holding power in his radical opinions. Ferdinand Zimmerman, who worked as an important economic planner for the Nazis, had been before their rise to power a contributor under the pen name Ferdinand Fried to the journal Die Tat, edited by Hans Zehrer, and a leading member of a group of nationalist intellectuals known as the Tatkreis. Fried strongly opposed capitalism, analyzing it in almost Marxist terms.

Wilhelm Roepke wrote a devastating contemporary criticism of Fried, now available in translation in his Against the Tide (Regnery, 1969). One of the best scholarly accounts of Fried’s views, which includes some discussion of his activities under the Nazi regime, is in Walter Struve’s Elites against Democracy: Leadership Ideals in Bourgeois Political Thought in Germany, 1890–1933  (Princeton University Press, 1973).

Sehon makes another misleading point in his article. He says,

Paul’s argument here goes from the undeniable premise that the Nazis had “socialist” as part of their name to the conclusion that the Nazis were, in fact, socialists. For that inference to work, Paul needs an intermediate premise like the following: If an organization has an adjective in their name, then the organization is correctly described by that adjective.

But if Senator Paul really believed this, then he would be forced to conclude that communist East Germany and present-day North Korea count as democracies, for the German Democratic Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea both have the adjective “Democratic” as part of their name.

Sehon is right that the word “socialist” does not by itself tell us much, but unfortunately it does not occur to him to investigate what the Nazis meant by this word and why they used it. Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Thomas Massie, Ron Wyden Join Forces To Unplug the President’s ‘Internet Kill Switch’ – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on September 29, 2020

https://reason.com/2020/09/25/rand-paul-tulsi-gabbard-thomas-massie-ron-wyden-join-forces-to-unplug-the-presidents-internet-kill-switch/

Civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress have joined forces to call for canceling a little-known executive power.

Sens. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), Ron Wyden (D–Ore), and Gary Peters (D–Mich.), along with Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) and Thomas Massie (R–Ky.), introduced bills this week to abolish the so-called “internet kill switch”—a sweeping emergency executive authority over communications technology that predates World War II.

“No president from either party should have the sole power to shut down or take control of the internet or any other of our communication channels during an emergency,” Paul argued in a statement announcing the Unplug the Internet Kill Switch Act.

The bill aims to revoke Section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934. When that law was passed, there was no internet. But the broad language included in Section 706 means that it could be invoked today to give a president “nearly unchallenged authority to restrict access to the internet, conduct email surveillance, control computer systems, and cell phones,” Gabbard explained in her statement on the bill.

It’s even worse than that. As Michael Socolow wrote in Reason last year, the law is so broad that it effectively gives the president the ability to commandeer any electronic device that emits radiofrequency transmissions. These days, Socolow noted, that includes “everything from your implanted heart device to the blow dryer for your hair. It includes your electric exercise equipment, any smart device (such as a digital washing machine), and your laptop—basically everything in your house that has electricity running through it.”

Since the United States is technically engaged in 35 ongoing “national emergencies“—thanks in large part to an executive branch that has stripped those words of their meaning—we should probably be grateful that President Donald Trump hasn’t yet reached for this power. He’s already invoked Cold War–era laws to impose greater executive control over global commerce in the name of “national security” and has declared illegal immigration to be a national emergency as a political maneuver to redirect funding for a border wall.

Like many presidents before him, Trump seems willing to use whatever powers Congress has foolishly granted to the executive branch to the fullest extent. Congress should claw back what it can.

“With so many Americans relying on the internet to do everything from online banking to telehealth to education, it’s essential that federal law reflect today’s digital world, not the analog world of World War II,” Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice, a nonprofit that advocates for a free and open internet, tells Reason.

How much the federal government could actually do to shut down the internet remains a subject of debate. The very nature of the net—a diffuse network of interconnected computers and servers—makes it virtually impossible for the government to flip a literal on/off switch or push a stereotypical big red button to cut off all Americans.

 

But the Department of Homeland Security does have protocols for shutting down wireless networks during an emergency, which the agency argues could be used to stop a terrorist from detonating a remote bomb. Given that authoritarian leaders in other countries have shut down wide swaths of internet access during periods of unrest, it’s not unfathomable that something similar could happen here.

“When governments around the world turn off internet access, they do significant harm to their national economies and their citizens’ civil rights,” Massie noted in a statement.

In the midst of an election season in which partisan lines have grown more rigid than ever and when neither major political party seems all that interested in pro-freedom policies, this team-up of libertarian-friendly lawmakers is a little heartwarming. Gabbard, Massie, Paul, and Wyden may not find many allies in Congress on this issue—and, indeed, they don’t always agree with one another—but this is one of those issues that might not seem to matter much until suddenly it really does. It’s better not to wait for that moment.

“The internet,” Wyden declared in a statement, “is far too essential to nearly every part of our democratic system—everything from work, to school and free speech—for any president to have unilateral power to turn it off.”

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At the RNC, Rand Paul Is Right About the Need To End Wars, but Trump Hasn’t Ended Any – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on September 4, 2020

Trump even vetoed a bill that would stop him from military action in Iran without congressional approval.

https://reason.com/2020/08/25/at-the-rnc-rand-paul-is-right-about-the-need-to-end-war-but-trump-hasnt-ended-any/

Tonight Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) spoke on behalf of President Donald Trump’s reelection. His remarks were heavily influenced by Paul’s own longstanding positions against excessive foreign military interventions, but only loosely tied to Trump’s actual record.

“I flew with him to Dover Air Force Base to honor two soldiers whose remains were coming home from Afghanistan,” Paul said. “I will never forget that evening. I can tell you the president not only felt the pain of these families but the president is committed to ending this war.

“President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home.”

You all may remember that Barack Obama ran for president also promising to end our overseas wars, and it did not happen.

As we approach the end of Trump’s first term, we cannot help but notice that the president has not, in fact, ended any wars and has in fact risked escalation of military engagement between the United States and Iran when he approved the drone-strike assassination of an Iranian general.

It’s true that Trump is promising to bring thousands of troops home from Afghanistan, and that’s wonderful, assuming it all happens and he completes the pullout. The Trump administration is, in reality, resisting any and all attempts by Congress to rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that previously gave President George W. Bush permission to wage war against Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his speech, Paul railed against Biden for supporting this war. But when Congress, in a rare act of bipartisanship, passed a resolution stopping the president in engaging in any further military action against Iran without congressional approval, Trump vetoed it. Paul voted for this resolution and has consistently voted to rescind the AUMF.

And despite Paul’s attempts to insist tonight that Biden and the Democrats will continue overseas wars or start new ones, the congressional record shows that in reality, Democrats have been joining with Paul, agreeing with him in votes to bring the troops back home. It’s actually the White House and hawks within the Republican Party who have really been standing in the way.

Now both the Democratic Party 2020 platform and Trump’s 50-point plan for his second term promise, yet again, to end the wars and bring the troops home. For those who truly oppose foreign military intervention, the appropriate way to look at Trump’s first term is not unlike Obama’s. This promise has not been kept.

Watch more about Trump’s failed promises to end war:

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The anti-war wing of both parties is dead

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2020

Each candidate has duly recited his lines about ending endless wars and can truthfully point to his opponent’s failure to do likewise. And whoever takes office in January can continue exactly that failure, probably without much political consequence. He can deplore his bombs and drop them too. Americans will remain preoccupied with more immediate domestic concerns; Washington will stay stuck in its interventionist consensus; and those endless wars will live up to their name.

https://news.yahoo.com/anti-war-wing-both-parties-195532097.html

Bonnie Kristian

Elect Joe Biden, former (Republican) Secretary of State Colin Powell said in his Democratic National Convention appearance Tuesday night, and he’ll “restore America’s leadership in the world.”

Powell’s comments were followed by a video touting Biden’s friendship with the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), another heavyweight GOP hawk. Meanwhile, there’s a pro-Biden super PAC of George W. Bush administration alumni, and Biden has racked up support from a who’s who of neoconservatives (Bill Kristol, Max Boot, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin), as commentators left and right have observed.

These alignments highlight an increasingly undeniable fact of American politics in 2020: The anti-war wing of both major parties is dead. Your presidential choice is between war and war. There’s no faction of Republicans or Democrats which combines real power with a durable, principled interest in turning American foreign policy away from global empire.

That’s not to say no one in major-party politics diverges from Washington’s standard-issue military interventionism. There’s Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenging Trump administration officials in Senate hearings and seeking to counter Trump’s more hawkish influences on the links. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has pushed for the U.S. to exit Yemen’s civil war and has slammed the administration’s January dalliance with executive warfare against Iran. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tries every year to rein in abuses of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has spent decades in lonely opposition to military adventurism. As a Democratic presidential candidate this past year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was more interested in peace than the party establishment which has now twice rejected him as their standard-bearer.

I don’t mean to discount the good work of these and other comparatively anti-war legislators. It is not without effect. There’s some evidence, for example, that Paul steered Trump toward decreasing the U.S. military footprint in Syria. But neither should their ability to retain office confuse us into thinking they have more control over American foreign policy than they do.

The reality is these officials and anyone who agrees with them have little meaningful power on this issue — occasional influence, perhaps, but certainly not power than can be reliably wielded. Paul’s golf course chats with Trump may eke a win from time to time, but this is a lucky backchannel that can be dammed at any moment. It has no formal, institutional authority. This week’s handwringing at Foreign Policy about the supposed ascendancy of “isolationism” on left and right alike is absurd, the foreign policy version of Tucker Carlson’s bizarre claim of libertarian dominance of Washington. The main voices advocating greater restraint in American foreign affairs are not isolationist, and though they kick up quite a ruckus, they have little to no say over actual policy direction. How can anyone look at half a dozen wars and think we have an isolationism problem?

The Trump vs. Biden race only underlines this state of affairs. Neither will give us a foreign policy that can even plausibly be caricatured as isolationism, Trump’s inane protectionism notwithstanding.

The president pays occasional lip service to ending “endless wars” and prioritizing diplomacy (“the greatest deals,” in his parlance), but his better impulses are constantly overcome by his selfishness, short attention span, stupid militarism, and choice of counsel like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump has brought us closer to open conflict with China, squandered his chance for productive negotiations with North Korea, exacerbated tensions with Iran, and repeatedly recommitted to enabling Saudi war crimes. What few good foreign policy ideas he hits upon are almost always happenstance byproducts of service to his own political fortunes. He has yet to end a single war.

Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, are more conventional liberal interventionists than Trump, but the crucial assumption of intervention is same. There are a few points for war critics to like here, including Biden’s vehement opposition to the Obama-era surge in Afghanistan, Harris’s objection to U.S. involvement in Yemen, and their plan to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Biden pledges he’ll “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East,” but, like Trump, lacks a specific plan to do so. Biden has no apparent interest in Pentagon cuts, has hired some markedly hawkish advisers (are all those neocons going to stick around, too?), and is trying to out-hawk Trump on China. Certainly with Biden we can expect more multilateral diplomacy and fewer reckless tweets, but there’s little reason to think he’ll break the broader foreign policy patterns of the past 20 years.

From a purely political perspective, what’s curious about all this is the mutual foregoing of potential electoral gain. Restraint rhetoric is consistently popular — our last three presidents all campaigned on it to some degree — and public opinion is on a years-long trend toward wanting a smaller U.S. military role abroad, one more tailored to defending U.S. interests, narrowly conceived. You’d think one party or the other would espy an opportunity here.

Or perhaps both already have. Each candidate has duly recited his lines about ending endless wars and can truthfully point to his opponent’s failure to do likewise. And whoever takes office in January can continue exactly that failure, probably without much political consequence. He can deplore his bombs and drop them too. Americans will remain preoccupied with more immediate domestic concerns; Washington will stay stuck in its interventionist consensus; and those endless wars will live up to their name.

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