Remember, Remember! and Don’t Forget: Just Who is Co-Opting the Liberty Movement?

Remember, Remember! and Don’t Forget: Just Who is Co-Opting the Liberty Movement?.

“Remember, remember

The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”

That was technically yesterday (Mountain Standard Time), though I when I started this piece I hadn’t gone to bed yet. Today is officially election day. This post is intended to bring a few things to everyone’s attention. Many people already know these things. Some don’t. Either way, as usual, I will put a little of my own spin on it.

First on the election.

On the presidential elections (I still have not voted yet today, but I think I will make it to the polls before they close), voting doesn’t really effect the election outcome unless you are in a battleground state. So I hope most people will be voting their consciences. Voting, however, does send a message, and that message for each voting block is the same REGARDLESS of the outcome. What I mean by this is, if you support someone but vote for someone else, odds are that not only will that vote have no effect on the outcome (unless, as I said, it is a tight race) in terms of who the next president is, but you are also keeping people from knowing what you truly believe. Voting to send a message therefore has much more of an impact than voting to put someone in power.

And now, the rest of the post on ongoing and attempted takeovers of the liberty movement by 1) Occupy Wall Street (this was only a minor and unintended offense on their part), 2) the rank and file of the Tea Party (originally a good thing, but now more or less synonymous with the GOP), and 3) the Kochtopus (who in my conspiratorial mind own Jesse Benton, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and a good portion of many Republican, Tea Party, and Libertarian groups, organizations, and individuals, though I do not allege that everyone employed are receiving funds from the Koch Brothers is automatically a blind tool).

407 years ago this night was the Gun Powder plot where a group of English Catholics attempted to Assassinate James I of England. All religious considerations aside (I am not a Catholic), it was an act against oppression and thus a tradition has come down to us today, mainly in England, to celebrate the anniversary. I won’t go into any details about how the Fifth of November, AKA Guy Fawkes Day is traditionally celebrated, but I do want to call attention to the man it was named after. But not the historical man because that is fairly boring. It is to the fictionalized, mythologized, romanticized, and later Hollywoodified version that I will point you. Guy Fawkes is a Robin Hood-like hero in these later accounts, and much the same he has captured many hearts and minds. Like Robin of Loxley, he stands against the existing order, the status quo, and evades the unjust authorities, but perhaps unlike him, the whole idea of tyranny. What more could I ask for?

We’ve all seen the Guy Fawkes masks, the ones that come from the movie V for Vendetta. The first people that used them as activists, perhaps to the surprise of many, were in fact Ron Paul supporters. Not the hackers group Anonymous, and not the Occupy Wall Street movement. Just like with the Tea Party movement.

Speaking of Anonymous, Guy Fawkes, and Ron Paul, check out this “leak” and the video below.

https://cdn.anonfiles.com/1351956247586.pdf

Ron Paul raised $4.3 Million on Guy Fawkes Day in 2007. Why a similar money bomb didn’t occur in 2011 is probably due to former Campaign Manager Jesse Benton’s fear and loathing of anything resembling disorder or fringe or passion.

Most Ron Paul supporters had their suspicions of Jesse Benton. Some smelled a rat early on. Other reserved judgement until it was too late.

Adam Kokesh was one in the former category. [Warning: Foul Language!]

He regarded Jesse Benton and Campaign for Liberty (under Benton’s leadership at the time) with disdain from early one, at first for what seemed to be personal reasons, but later what turned out to be a dead-on instinct.

This all reminds me of an historical episode that occurred between another Jesse Benton, and a man who might be considered Ron Paul’s role model against the Central Bank, President Andrew Jackson.

Campaign for Liberty was perhaps the first real Tea Party organization, although in a sense Dick Armey’s Freedom Works (2004), the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (2004) Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform 1985), and the Koch Brothers’ Citizens for a Sounds Economy (1984) all deserve honorable mention.

Even Murray Rothbard can be said to have had a role, albeit a small one.

The New Boston Tea Party – Murray Rothbard

And speaking of Murray Rothbard and the Kochtopus, I suggest you read some of these links I have done many hours worth of research looking for. I have read a number of them myself. There is some really juicy stuff in there. And it should be required reading for any liberty minded person worried about the corrupting influences to be found in politics, even in the libertarian movement. I don’t know entirely what to make of it all other than that the Koch brothers have done many great deeds for which they should be praised, but all for what appear to be the wrong reasons, reasons, which have also caused them to do a great deal of  more sinister things. Perhaps enough to outshine their more praiseworthy endeavors. They are corporate fascists and elitists no less than George Soros and Warren Buffet. They just have a different strategy. Perhaps the most clever and dangerous.

1969

Libertarian Cover for the Corporate State by Murray N. Rothbard

1980

The Clark Campaign: Never Again by Murray N. Rothbard

1981

http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_01-04.pdf

Konkin on Libertarian Strategy – Murray N. Rothbard – Mises Daily

Samuel Edward Konkin III “Reply to Rothbard”

http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_06-07.pdf

1993

WHY THE PRO-NAFTA HYSTERIA?

May 28, 2007

Conference on Austrian Economics and the Firm « Organizations and Markets

March 25, 2008

How Libertarian Is the Kochtopus? « LewRockwell.com Blog

April 22, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard by David Gordon

May 12, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard, Part II by David Gordon

October 22, 2008

The Board Game of Libertarian Public Policy

January 2, 2009

Tyler Cowen: Statist, anti-Rothbardian agent of the Kochtopus | TIME.com

March 2, 2009

The Kochtopus and Power « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 6, 2009

‘Libertarian’ Hero « LewRockwell.com Blog

August 28, 2009

Cowenian Second-Bestism Smackdown

Good for Pete Boettke « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 30, 2010

Koch Brothers Fund Trey Grayson’s Campaign « LewRockwell.com Blog

re: Koch Brothers Finance Trey Grayson’s Campaign « LewRockwell.com Blog

April 22, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard by David Gordon

April 16, 2008

‘Reason’-Funder To Host Cheney « LewRockwell.com Blog

August 4, 2010

Radical Roots of Libertarianism by Samuel E. Konkin III | JustLive

August 30, 2010

The Billionaire Koch Brothers’ War Against Obama : The New Yorker

In Defense of the Kochtopus by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

August 31, 2010

Austrians Again « LewRockwell.com Blog

September 3, 2010

David Koch Attacks Alan Grayson « LewRockwell.com Blog

September 15, 2010

“Who’s Funding This?!”

October 25, 2010

Good for the Cato Institute « LewRockwell.com Blog

November 24, 2010

Liberty Central: Repo’d by the Koch brothers? | Smart v. Stupid

November 26, 2010

Libertarians Against the Regime by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

January 26, 2011

Koch Brothers Feel the Heat In DC, as Broad Coalition Readies Creative Action to Quarantine the Billionaires Gathering in California Desert | Alternet

January 27, 2011

‘Koch Brothers Trot Out Ed Meese To Defend Them’ « LewRockwell.com Blog

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Koch Brothers Trot Out Ed Meese to Defend Them

Koch conference under scrutiny – Kenneth P. Vogel and Simmi Aujla – POLITICO.com

February 2, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Koch Brothers Hire Arnold Schwarzenegger’s PR Operative

February 3, 2011

More Adventures With the Kochs « LewRockwell.com Blog

February 6, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Americans for [Koch] Prosperity

February 9, 2011

Monetary Policy Hearing Today: Ron Paul Versus the Kochtopus | Next New Deal

February 24, 2011

Why the Evil Koch Brothers Must Be Stopped: They Support Drug Legalization, Gay Marriage, Reduced Defense Spending | Peace . Gold . Liberty

February 26, 2011

Wisconsin, Reason, and the National Conversation

March 2, 2011

On Koch Supported Herman Cain by Robert Wenzel

The Koch Bros. Love Herman Cain & Hate Ron Paul | Peace . Gold . Liberty

March 10, 2011

Murray Rothbard on the Kochtopus by David Gordon

April 22, 2011

Gary Johnson: Caveat Emptor by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

May 6, 2011

The Proto-Koch « LewRockwell.com Blog

May 9, 2011

Utah Court Strikes Blow for Free Speech, Dismisses Trademark and CFAA Claims Against Political Activists | Electronic Frontier Foundation

July 3, 2011

The Caravan Keeps Rolling « LewRockwell.com Blog

Their Master’s Voice | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

July 8, 2011

Koch Brothers to Democrats: Stop Asking us For Money

July 22, 2011

Koch Bros. for Higher Taxes (on Their Competitors) | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

July 25, 2011

Do the Koch Bros. Own Bachmann, Too? | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

September 6, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: HOT: Mother Jones Releases Secret Koch Brothers Tapes

September 29, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Oh Geez, Charles Koch Advised Friedrich Hayek to Sign Up for Social Security

October 3, 2011

Update: Austrian economics program denied at Loyola New Orleans

October 13, 2011

Could a Tea Party Occupy Wall Street? by Addison Wiggin

November 6, 2011

That 3rd Koch Brother | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

November 16, 2011

MF Global and the Koch Bros. « LewRockwell.com Blog

January 1, 2012

From Vienna With Love: The Kochtopus Warms Up to Ron Paul

January 31, 2012

What’s wrong with the Cato institute? | Peace . Gold . Liberty

February 16, 2012

“History of the Libertarian Movement” by Samuel Edward Konkin III | Left-Liberty.net

March 1, 2012

Kochs launch court fight over Cato – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com

Koch Brothers sue Cato Institute, president – Think Tanked – The Washington Post

Cato says Koch engaged in “a hostile takeover” of the think tank – Think Tanked – The Washington Post

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Billionaire Koch Brothers Sic Super Lawyer on Widow

Koch Bros. Sue Ed Crane, Cato Institute « LewRockwell.com Blog

The Kochs vs. Cato : The New Yorker

March 2, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Will Lew Rockwell Show at the Next Meeting of the Cato Board?

The Volokh Conspiracy » Koch v. Cato

The Cato Putsch | The American Conservative

March 3, 2012

‘Cato Putsch’? « LewRockwell.com Blog

Brad DeLong: Ed Crane and the Cato Institute vs. the Kochtopus!

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Beltarians versus WaPoists on Koch-Cato

The Volokh Conspiracy » Koch v. Cato — A View from Cato

March 4, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Murray Rothbard Haunts Koch-Cato from the Grave

Justin Raimondo on the Latest Cato Broadside « LewRockwell.com Blog

Bob Wenzel on the Lineage of the Cato Shares « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 5, 2012

Libertarian Ed Crane Decides to Act Like a Liberal. Will It Destroy the Cato Institute? | RedState

Koch Brothers, Worth $50 Billion, Sue Widow Over $16.00 of Nonprofit’s Stock » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

What Goes Around Comes Around by Skip Oliva

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: What It Takes to Get Big Support from the Koch Brothers

CATO: From Libertarian to Republican? | The American Conservative

March 6, 2012

Is It Charles Koch’s Moral Duty . . . « LewRockwell.com Blog

Charles Koch Makes a Good Point by Thomas DiLorenzo

Cato and the Kochs | The Moral Sciences Club | Big Think

March 7, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Where’s LewRockwell.com?

March 8, 2012

Charles Koch: I Am Not Backing Down « LewRockwell.com Blog

Koch vs. Cato — A Guest Post by Brink Lindsey | Bleeding Heart Libertarians

The Battle for Cato « ThinkMarkets

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: MIT Prof: The Kochs Will Not Takeover the World

March 12, 2012

Cato’s Amazing Hypocrisy as It Battles the Kochtopus » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

March 19, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: For the Neocons, It’s Crane over Koch

March 22, 2012

Robert Lawson on Koch ‘n Cato « LewRockwell.com Blog

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: David Koch Gives Ed Crane an Employment Review

March 26, 2012

Family Feud | The Weekly Standard

April 11, 2012

Judge Napolitano Visits Cato

April 16, 2012

The Libertarian Challenge to Charles Murray’s Position on Property Rights and Homesteading by Walter Block

April 20, 2012

Digging the Hole Deeper « LewRockwell.com Blog

Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth | The Nation

April 24, 2012

How Not To Change America’s Politics: Set Up a Public Policy Think Tank by Gary North

April 27, 2012

The Think-Tank Mentality by Skip Oliva

July 7, 2012

» Lessons from the UVA, Cato Wars Kleptarchy

August 17, 2012

The Paul Ryan Selection: The Koch Brothers Get Their Man – Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

August 30, 2012

Plutocrat David Koch Not a Libertarian « LewRockwell.com Blog

Two Additional Links I can’t put in the chronology:

Kochtopus

Interview With Samuel Edward Konkin III

One of the most interesting things (and there were many) I garnered from reading these is the Kochtopus’ love for Central Banking, despite their roots in Austrian Economics. Evokes memories of Alan Greenspan. And why the Koch Brothers put stock in Herman Cain. And why Rick Perry was derided by so-called conservatives when he called Ben Bernanke a traitor. And why their oh so brief ally Ron Paul is so hated by them and theirs anymore.

And it reminds me further of several graphics I have seen floating around on the various End the Fed sites and blogs. A stream of consciousness post like this would be seriously remiss without tying everything together with a few related images.

Do I need to spell out the connection?

Hydra/Kraken/Squid/Octopus/Kochtopus/Leviathon/Federal Government/Federal Reserve/National Bank/Petrodollar/Koch Industries/Corporations/Military Industrial Complex/Fascism Hello?!?!

Please don’t think I’m going all occult on you or anything (I do admit that I came across some pretty dubious sites looking for some of these images). I just really like mythology and history and metaphors and analogies.

Who and What I am Voting for (and against) in Montana Tomorrow.

Who and What I am Voting for (and against) in Montana Tomorrow.

already posted about some of the federal and state level candidates I will NOT be voting for tomorrow. I did not cover all of them though, just the worst offenders. So in addition to saying who I WILL be voting for, there are additional rationales for other not previously mentioned that I am not voting for. So here’s what my ballot will look like tomorrow:

President: Write in Ron Paul.

Vice President: Write in Andrew Napolitano.

Senator: Write in Dennis Teske.

Congressman: Write in Vincent Melkus.

Governor: Write in Bob Fanning or Ken Miller.

Secretary of State: Write in Drew Turiano, who said he would refuse to certify Max Baucus in 2014. Not Republican Brad Johnson, who is otherwise decent but refuses to apply the Montana Constitution to Senator Max Baucus, who has violated it in regards to term limits. But at one time I considered Libertarian Roger Roots (most Montana Libertarians are questionable, but Mr. Roots was someone I trusted for a long time.

Attorney General: Vote for Republican Tim Fox. The only other person running is a Democrat and Tim’s opponent in the GOP primary was nothing special.

State Auditor: Vote for Republican Derek Skees.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Vote for Republican Sandy Welch, even though it would be more satisfactory to write a note saying “abolish the public school system!”

Public Service Commissioner: Vote for Republican Kirk Bushman.

Clerk of the Supreme Court: Vote for Libertarian Mike Fellows. There is no Republican running, only a Democrat.

Supreme Court Justice #5: It is hard to pin these people down on the issues, so I may just write in a random name or pick Ed Sheehy instead of Laurie McKinnon. I did vote for Sheehy in the Primary after all.

Supreme Court Justice #6: Vote NO to retain him. No particular reason.

District Court Judge, District 13, Department 1: Vote NO to retain her. No particular reason.

District Court Judge, District 13, Department 2: Vote YES to retain him. We know him personally, which is the reason. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Nepotism.

District Court Judge, District 13, Department 3: Vote YES to retain her. She presided over a case my Dad was involved in and even though all that legal business can be annoying, expensive, and time-consuming, she handled the case well.

Clerk of District Court: Vote for Republican Kristie Lee Boelter.

County Commissioner District #3: Vote for Republican Joan Micheletti.

County Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor: Vote for Republican Jeff Martin. He is the only person running anyways.

I am just going to vote straight down the Republican ticket for State Senator District 22, State Representative District 44.

As for ballot issues I will vote:

FOR denying certain state services to illegal aliens. I don’t even think hardly any legal residents or citizens should get most state services. Voting FOR will save money.

FOR prohibiting the state or federal government from mandating the purchase of health insurance or imposing penalties for decisions related to purchasing health insurance. Voting FOR will save money.

FOR Senate Bill 423, a bill which repeals I-148 and enacts a new medical marijuana program. This one basically makes it easier for people who can prove they need it as medicine to get it, and harder for people who don’t need it. I am for full drug legalization on the national level, but for now at least am content let some of them to be prohibited and/or strictly regulated at the state level. Whether the FOR or AGAINST prevails, medical marijuana will still be in effect, just differently. My Dad voted AGAINST this, but he now says he wish he voted FOR it. Voting FOR may actually cost more than voting AGAINST, so that was something to consider.

FOR charging Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, with implementing a policy that corporations are NOT human beings with constitutional rights. This one is a touchy issue. On the one hand, a corporation is simply a voluntary group of individuals who ARE entitled to the freedom to associate, the freedom of speech, as well as a whole host of unremunerated freedoms loosely outlined in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. But on the other hand corporations are state sponsored, state protected entities that are already “entitled” to more benefits than actual breathing human citizens are. Until there is full equality (i.e., a corporation can be thrown in jail if it commits the same crimes as an actual person, there are no tax loopholes on the federal, state, or any other level, etc.), I do not feel that these otherwise tolerable entities have human rights. Dad voted AGAINST this but I am voting FOR it. Voting FOR does not seem to have any financial effect on the average Montanan or Montana tax revenue. But it will help to keep politicians from lining their pockets. Besides, this is not all that is at stake. In theory, this is a states’ rights issue and Montana, for right or for wrong, is standing up to the corrupt Supreme Court of the United States, who (I just gotta get my digs in) are total scumbags.

Who I am NOT Voting for in Montana Tomorrow and Why.

Who I am NOT Voting for in Montana Tomorrow and Why.

There was a man who wrote Will DesChamps, Chairman of the Montana Republican Party, reprimanding him for not keeping his promise to see that Ron Paul got at least as many delegates (in this case 3 to 4 delegates, but ended up being zero) as would be reflected by the percentage (14.4%) of people that voted for him on June 5 in the Montana Republican Primary.

Chairman DesChamps accused the man of being a liar. I don’t know whether the one broke his promise or the other lied, but what I do know is that something Will said about the reason Ron Paul and his supporters were not entitled to have a say in the GOP was that Ron Paul tried to get elected on the Constitution Party ticket in 2008, which is contrary to fact.

So it is Will that is the liar. Ron Paul NEVER tried to be elected on the Constitution Party ticket. The Constitution Party drafted him without his consent. He was flattered but asked to be taken off their ticket. Based on the statement Will made in regards to this, I would say he is ill-informed, bitter against Ron Paul from the start, or both.

So let me issue an ultimatum to this Chairman of the Montana Grand Old Party. Let me tell him that if he does not value my vote, that his pure and sacred party, united in its treachery, shall not have it, nor shall any of his disgusting cronies, who are either warmongers, corrupt, or sleazy.

Dennis Rehberg won’t get my vote in his Senate race against Jon Tester. He voted for NDAA and the Patriot Act. He didn’t use his clout in the Montana GOP to keep 14.4 percent of the Republican Primary voters from being disenfranchised. I will be writing in Dennis Teske, a Constitution-minded Republican. Ron and Rand both endorsed Denny Rehberg, which is fine by me, I just don’t care to myself. Not that it really matters. And of course Jon Tester is a dirt bag. We all know that. Libertarian Dan Cox appears to be a stealth leftist, or at the very least not picky about who he pals around with.

Steve Daines seems to me a typical politician. A “family values” Republican who, given the timing of his campaign, appears to have been handpicked by Rehberg. He, nor anyone else, including the ones who trip all over themselves saying that Ron Paul is a personal friend, also did not use his clout in the Montana GOP to keep 14.4 percent of the Republican Primary voters from being disenfranchised. I will be writing in Vincent Melkus, who is a Marine in his twenties living in Hardin. I won’t be voting for either the Democrat Kim Gillan or the Libertarian David Kaiser. Kaiser is pro-abortion and does not want to cut defense at all.

Anyone that gives Newt Gingrich (who was charging the US taxpayer $40,000 a day in secret service detail while running for President, and was for a time, maybe still is, on Mitt Romney’s payroll) the time of day will also not be getting my vote. Rick Hill can kiss my vote goodbye. And given that he also did not use his clout in the Montana GOP to keep 17 percent of the Republican Primary voters from being disenfranchised, I will be writing in Bob Fanning*. Fanning was the only man in the GOP gubernatorial debate willing to stand up to Rick Hill on every issue. If my voting for him contributes to Steve Bullock, another verifiable scumbag, winning, so be it. Did I mention that Rick Hill is a wife-cheating name-dropping career politician? Mr. Fanning was the only Republican governor candidate who did not endorse Rick Hill. If Ken Miller hadn’t have endorsed Rick Hill I might have considered writing him instead. Libertarian Ron Vandevender was briefly tempting, but upon further research I found he was hard to pin down on several issues. And if his association with any of the other Montana Libertarians here listed is any indicator at all, I would probably find much fault with him.

And Romney, apart from being a progressive, a crony capitalist, and a shill, is also clearly an imbecile. He could have picked Ron Paul as his Vice President, Andrew Napolitano as his Attorney General, Justin Raimondo as his Secretary of Defense, Eric Peters as his Secretary of Transportation, Gary North as his Secretary of the Treasury, Thomas Woods as his Secretary of State, Lew Rockwell as his Chief of Ctaff, and Robert Wenzel as his Federal Reserve Chairman, and I still wouldn’t vote for him. I will be writing in good old Ron Paul. Barack Obama is obviously not getting my vote, and after much serious deliberation neither is Libertarian Gary Johnson or Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode.

This nation can’t be fixed until the GOP is history. I won’t miss it. Founded by protectionists, mercantilists, corporate lobbyists, central banksters, and an assortment of socialists, it was rotten from day one. It is one of the most depraved, greedy, and bloodthirsty organizations in US history. There have been several good men in the party, so I have no problem supporting individual candidates therein. Politics makes strange bedfellows, after all. For example there are a few district/county/municipal level Republicans (and one Libertarian) I am still voting for.

For more good reasons not to vote Republican this year, I suggest reading this letter to the editor by an indirect acquaintance of mine as a start, and then moving on to this blog post by Doug Wead.

*For the record, I have personal reasons why I should not vote for Robert Fanning. But I am not an Community Organizer or a Feminist so I am willing to look past them in the political arena.

It’s All A Game Anyways

It’s All A Game Anyways.

I hereby endorse (not that it is worth much) anyone but Obama and Romney. It really doesn’t matter who the person is that one uses to fill in that blank, because they are not going to win even under favorable circumstances. The same goes for if one chooses to leave it blank. All votes, or non-votes, that are rooted in the dictates of one’s conscience and principles are of equal validity. The only truly wasted vote is a conscious decision for one or the other of these two fascists for exactly that reason: a fascist is a fascist by any other name, Republican or Democrat. Of these vote-wasters, only those that decide at the last second for whom, of the two fascists, to pull the lever are wasting to a smaller degree, because it is only worth the time they spent thinking about it. Only of the others, who actually spent time, perhaps months, years even, rationalizing away the fascist qualities of one or the other major candidate, can it be said that their vote was a complete and total waste. These people are the most blatant fools in an electoral system which happens to be jam-packed with them.

But I am not here to castigate sheep (though there is more of that below) or take a look at the similarities between Obama and Romney, because these have been done all too often almost anywhere you care to look in the libertarian blogosphere, ad nauseam. Besides, once we throw out every position Romney has or has had contradicting or contradicted by another position he has or has had, there is nothing left for us to look at. It’s not even comparing apples (Obama) and oranges (Romney) anymore, because all we are left with is the rotten, worm-eaten apple. What I am going to do is get into the more pragmatic side of things, having already accepted the premise that Romney and Obama are the same, though I am sure that this too has been done before.

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

If Obama gets reelected, it’s four more years of Democratic fascism until we have another chance, perhaps an even better one than in 2012, to put a principled leader in the White House. But given the GOP’s track record and the LP’s lack of influence, I wouldn’t count on it.

If Romney gets elected, it’s four to eight more years of Republican fascism, which will then be followed by another four to eight years of Democratic fascism. Those arguing to elect Romney because we can’t handle four more years of tyranny are essentially arguing for eight to sixteen more instead.

BEGINNER’S LUCK

There is little doubt in my mind that whomever the next president is, he will be unable (and in most cases unwilling) to prevent the impending fiscal and monetary collapse. If it is a Democratic president, more ammo for Republicans, be they genuine conservatives or corrupt establishmentarians. And if it is a Republican president, more ammo for the “progressive” Democrats who brought us Obama in the wake of Bush’s (whether it is directly attributable to him or not) housing bubble collapse and subsequent recession.

This latter scenario would not be so much a problem if the Republican that got in there actually did the right things before taking the heat for the collapse he did not cause. But such is not the case with a Romney presidency.

Whereas a Ron Paul presidency, or even a Newt “fundamental, but sleazy” Gingrich, Rick “uhhh…uhhh” Perry, Michelle “gives me a migraine” Bachmann, or Herman “would you like to pay for that pizza with fractional reserve fiat monopoly notes…okay, that will be $9.99” Cain presidency*, given the right context and the right pressures and the right advisors would still get the blame, but might at least have done something right in the meantime. Regardless, these latter four Republican’s foreign policies would be enough to make me sit the election out were any one of them to be the nominee. Which brings us back to Romney.

UPPING THE ANTE

Romney’s foreign policy will likely be worse (though substantially the same) than Obama’s. Not just because almost every new president is automatically worse in every sphere or endeavor than the last, regardless of what they truly say or believe or attempt to do, but because he is, by his own admission, very hawkish. He has been critical of Obama where the president is deemed weak on foreign policy and has even praised Obama on the rare occasion in which the president is seen as doing things the proper neocon way.

BLIND BET

There are those out there that AGREE that Romney and Obama are virtually the same on their policies. I mean besides George Soros, the socialism-supporting crony-capitalist who endorsed them both. They tend to go with Romney because “at least he is not a radical”. And what in the hell is that even supposed to mean? I’ll tell you what it means.

They want an acquisitive, confused liar to take away their liberties more than they do an ideological, narcissistic liar, which really is no more than a matter of taste. They would rather be stabbed in the back in the dead of night than face a frontal attack in broad daylight that is at least defensible against. They want to vote for the guy they feel less threatened by, for reasons that are not sound, so that they can sit back and pretend everything is fine for another four years. They are not emotionally or mentally stable enough to follow their own conscience and judgement. They can’t handle short term deprivation for long term yield. A confusing mixture of subjectivity, fear, laziness, self-doubt, and low impulse control. That’s what it means!

*Sorry, Rick Santorum, your forehead is just too shiny to ever be president.

Brokered Convention, Vote Of No Confidence

Brokered Convention, Vote Of No Confidence.

It seems that Willard Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party nominee. The RNC and GOP establishment have too much to lose, have spent too much time and money and favors, to allow any other outcome, barring some sort of miracle. The Paul Ryan pick was meant to shave off as many libertarian-leaning Republican voters as possible, in spite of the fact that Ryan, by and large, is either a phony or a lightweight.

Romney’s hard delegate total is 1463. He has a plurality in 43 states. For Santorum it is 234 and 6. For Paul it is 122 and 3. For Gingrich it is 137 and 2. 1144 delegates are needed to win the nomination and five states are needed to be entered into nomination. Romney and possibly Santorum will be nominated because they have the required plurality in at least five states. If just 320 of Romney’s delegates decide not to vote for him, a brokered convention is guaranteed. 320 seems like a lot. But think about it: how many of those are not Romney supporters? Its only 22 percent of the total. And if only two states that give a plurality to someone besides Paul cooperate with with the three Paul plurality states, Paul’s name could be entered into nomination, in spite of the RNC’s efforts to destroy Ron Paul’s pluralities in Maine and Louisiana, which border on the criminal.

But here are some factors that could turn things around. But because most of them are long shots, they probably won’t. Besides, not all of them are compatible with all of the others.

1. No delegates are bound. While, technically each state Republican Party can make its delegates sign pieces of paper promising to vote for Mitt Romney, these “contracts” are not necessarily enforceable in Tampa. And even if they are somehow punishable under state law in the home state of the delegates, I can’t imagine the legal ramifications being all that great. Furthermore, Federal law, RNC rules, and the courts forbid compelling people to vote for a candidate, although once again, there may be ramifications such as getting kicked out of the GOP or being discredited and then replaced with more “cooperative” alternate delegates.

2. Some of Romney’s delegates and possibly some of the alternates are in fact Ron Paul supporters. Some or all of these may have been required to promise to vote for Romney, but once again, there are loopholes that could get them out of doing so without getting punished too bad.

3. I suspect that most of these Ron Paul supporters, whether they are “bound” to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum, would be willing to not vote for whom they are “bound” even if the consequences are great.

4. Gingrich and Santorum delegates are still to vote for Gingrich and Santorum, unless they are released. If they are released, most of those that aren’t closet Paul supporters will probably vote for Romney. But there is hope: many non-Paul supporters, particularly in the Santorum camp, dislike Romney almost as much as the Paul folks do.

5. There are 100-200 delegates still in play, depending on which count you use. They are not “bound” to anyone yet. These delegates could change any number of things, for better or for worse.

6. A brokered convention will not hurt the GOP’s chances in November, which at the moment, are dismal. It will, however, hurt Mitt Romney and the establishment. And frankly, they deserve it. Party unity is all fine and good, but who says a brokered convention precludes an eventual outcome that is even more united behind a candidate? No one but those who actually like Romney and think he can win should be wary of the prospect of a brokered convention.

7. Rand Paul is still on the inside. I have always wondered why he endorsed Romney when he did. His father was still in the race, still picking up delegates. Why not wait until after Romney is actually the nominee? He promised, when running for office in Kentucky that he would support the 2012 GOP nominee, and it seems he kept his promise. Not to mention that his endorsement gave the Paul folks at least some leverage that they otherwise wouldn’t have. But until Romney is actually the nominee, Rand Paul is free to renege without actually breaking his original promise. This could come in the form of a vote of no confidence. If Rand and perhaps others (Maine Governor Paul LePage, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, perhaps) were to rescind their endorsements at a crucial point (for Rand, this could be his floor speech), it could spell disaster for the establishment and Romney-Ryan. But not necessarily for the GOP’s chances in November.

8. Even if they are unable to command enough of the vote to deny Romney the nomination, those few anti-Romney delegates and alternates at the convention, were they to stage a walkout before the first ballot, could ruin the convention. Especially if they are enough to destroy the quorum.

9. Ron Paul may yet be recognized as having a plurality in five states, in which case, his name could be put to nomination. While the vote for him may pale in comparison to the vote for Romney, his name being available for the first round of voting could deny Romney more votes than he would otherwise be denied. On the other had, the Contests Committee has decided to strip Paul of his plurality in two of five states. The Credentials Committee has upheld one of these. But who knows, maybe something will happen. Maybe someone has an ace up their sleeve. Maybe enough Romney delegates will be replaced by Paul alternates to give him a plurality in five states. Maybe there is some way  some Gingrich and Santorum voters will nominate Paul so as to give him the plurality. If I am correct, you don’t actually have to have won delegates, and they don’t actually have to be your supporters to nominate you. If the majority of delegates from just two of Gingrich and Santorum’s combined plurality-states decide to nominate Paul, it could give Paul the five states needed. Maybe with the right amount of stalling and maneuvering something will happen. Unfortunately, this may not work with the above mentioned walkout.

10. But what about a walkout after Romney wins the nomination? This may seem to be in poor sport, but it might just send the right messages to the right people at the right time. I don’t know what would result from it, but I doubt it would be nothing.

11. Romney needs Ron Paul’s endorsement more than anyone else’s if he is to win in November. Grover Norquist, for one, has said as much. But the establishment, were they to admit this, would have to make some serious, and I mean serious, concessions. This is not going to happen, of course. Not the least of reasons being that the establishment may not even want to win in November. Certainly not at the price of limiting their interventionism, mercantilism, monetarism, and corporativism. So Romney will not get the Ron Paul endorsement, and as a consequence will be that much less likely to defeat Obama in November. Of course, Romney might lose even with the Ron Paul endorsement, because, other factors aside, many Paul supporters would still not vote for Romney.

12. Some elements of the establishment may actually want a brokered convention. Romney is like that. I would have cold feet too. But if it happens, they might not be able to control it. Which is why they will stay in the mainstream fold until they are given more reason to despise Romney (a vote of no confidence by some key endorsers might do the trick) or expect someone else of their liking will pick up the pieces.

Of course, this is mostly just fantasy. But the Paul people have pulled off some astonishing feats in the past. Why underestimate them now?

I Proudly Voted For Ron Paul Today

I Proudly Voted For Ron Paul Today.

Today, at around 3:45 PM, MDT, I voted for Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul on the June 5th Montana Primary Ballot, at Lockwood School in Billings, Yellowstone County. My dad voted for him absentee last month. My mom and sister voted for him earlier today. One of my friends voted for him yesterday, and some of my other friends will be voting for him this evening.

The Primary in Montana, at least in regards to Republican Presidential candidates, is a preference poll. It is essentially meaningless. There is no proportional allocation, and no relation to the June 14 Convention/Caucus. But a show of support is still necessary. Ron Paul got 21% of the vote on June 3, 2008 to McCain’s 76%. I suspect Paul will have a similar showing this go-around, though still a second-place finish. Unlike in 2008, however, there are four people on the ballot (Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul). With any luck, this will hurt Romney’s percentage more than it does Paul’s.

Romney took all 25 delegates last time. That is because the Caucus took place in February before he dropped out. This time, the Caucus is after the Primary. Paul might well get more delegates than Romney. I personally know a few people that are Precinct Committee Members and Ron Paul supporters. There is a chance that the Paul grassroots have or will soon take over the GOP in Montana, at least in certain counties (Yellowstone being one of them).

Regardless of what happens, I will be voting for Paul in November, as the Republican Nominee (a very long shot), as a Third Party Candidate, or as a write-in candidate.

If Paul is the Nominee, I have little doubt that he could win. If Romney is the nominee, I have little doubt he will lose. If Romney is defeated by Obama under those circumstances, Ron Paul will be vindicated. If Romney defeats Obama under those circumstances, Paul will still be vindicated because Romney’s first four years would be little better than Obama’s second four, and a potential eight years of Romney would be significantly worse than mere four more years of Obama. This vindication will be a source of a pride, if nothing else, to me and other Paul supporters.

Assuming Romney is the GOP pick, I commend all of those that intend to write-in Ron Paul, write-in Mickey Mouse, vote for Gary Johnson, vote for Virgil Goode, vote for a number of other third-party candidates, or simply stay home. Some would say that such division is not good within the Liberty movement. This view is naive because it assumes a third party candidacy or one of its variants will serve any purposes other than to protest the two establishment candidates or deny one of those two victory. In my view, a Third Party will never win without the implosion of one of the two major parties. The Whigs needed the Federalist Party to implode, the Republicans needed the Whig Party to implode, and uppercase/lowercase libertarians will need either the Republicans or Democrats to go the way of the dodo.

Some (Josh Tolley being one) have said that the GOP could (at least temporarily) implode at the Convention if all delegates bound to/free to support Paul, and Paul-supporting delegates bound to others, alternates included, refuse to go along with anyone other than Ron Paul on all RNC ballots, even to the point of boycotting the entire convention if necessary. Of course, this would require the numbers to be in our favor (because “uncooperative” delegates can be replaced by alternates), and a concerted, coordinated, consensual effort on the part of these delegates.

I seriously doubt this will happen. There are just too many variables. But having many variables is not necessarily in Romney’s favor, either.

For the record, there are no likely concessions that Romney could make that will make me vote for him in the General election. He could make Rand Paul his VP and Ron Paul Treasury Secretary, and I still won’t vote for him. Romney would have to literally morph into Paul, and convince me of his sincerity, before I would even consider such a move. If a candidate is not for Ending the Wars, effectively Ending the Fed (either through abolishment or currency competition), Repealing the Sixteenth Amendment, and getting out of the UN, he will NEVER get my vote. If he is not trustworthy and sincere, even where he is wrong, he will NEVER get my vote. I guard it jealously. I suspect that if all Americans, from all parts of the political spectrum, did this, rather than act in an expedient manner, this country would be far better off.

Ron Paul 2012!