I got an email from Rand Paul* (not really him, but one of his PACs) today. I didn’t bother to read it. The subject was “The Supreme Court is Wrong.” As much as I would like to believe this, the more I think it over, the more I disagree. The Supreme Court is right. Not morally, ethically, or even Constitutionally** right. But right in its interpretation of ObamaCare (thank you Mitt Romney), or more specifically the Individual Mandate (thank you Newt Gingrich and Hillary Clinton), as a tax.

It is really quite easy to come to this conclusion. Even so, I was somewhat shocked when I did.

Consider the income tax. It is nothing if not a mandate to not earn money. Or a sales tax. It is a mandate to not purchase things in the above board manner prescribed by the tax collectors. How about inflation, the hidden tax? It is a mandate to not save. And when the people don’t comply with these mandates, when they earn too much money, when they make purchases, when they save and invest, they are fined and it is merely dubbed taxation. I don’t see why the same could not be said of any tariff, duty, impost, excise, levy, or frankly, regulation (I think the Austrian and Chicago Schools both agree that this is a tax).

So you see, the Individual Mandate is as legitimate as any other tax. Inasmuch as the principle of taxation is legitimate, that is. The Court could no more strike it down than it could any other aspect of the tax code or regulatory regime.

*I have heard all the apologies and I have heard all the theories, and have even had a few of my own, and no matter which one(s) you pick, I still deduce that the man is a veritable reprobate.

**There are a few modern day Anti-Federalists (Gary North, Bill Buppert, Scott Lazarowitz, Gary Barnett, Eduardo Rivera, Doug Casey, Ron Holland, Ryan McMaken, Laurence Vance, Brian McCandliss, Manuel Lora, Michael Rozeff, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Tom Mullen) who would argue that any kind of taxation or regulation is within Congress’ purview, especially when looking at, though not approving of, the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause.


You have heard it said something to the effect of, “Romney is far from my fist choice. He is a progressive. He is an elitist. He is authoritarian. If Obama wasn’t the alternative, I would probably just stay home. But the reason conservatives, and anyone that wants to get rid of Obama, should hold their nose and vote for Romney is that he will appoint conservatives to the courts to counterbalance the depraved leftists and weak moderates that are now the majority. That is the reason to always vote for the lesser of two evils. For, even if they turn out to be as bad as or worse than the Democrat, their court appointees will more than cancel out the Presidents misdeeds.”

I have seen/heard this logic often. My argument against it was merely a matter of degree before. But now it is one of principle. Before this ruling, my take was, “Sure, the court appointees will be a good thing, but they won’t be enough to cancel out the bad.” Now, since I have learned how much of a fraud Chief Justice Roberts is, my view has become more, “The appointees and their actions will be a net loss, and will add to the President’s tyrannies and inadequacies rather than subtract.”

Just another reason to NOT vote for Mitt Romney where a reason to vote for him supposedly existed before.

I am not saying Mitt Romney won’t, if elected, appoint some decent people. I am simply saying that I am done trusting so-called “conservative” appointees where I once held out hope.

Real Isolationism: Part Five

Real Isolationism: Part Five.

Isolationism, Noninterventionism, and Interventionism are three relatively broad terms used, sometimes accurately, to describe foreign policy ideas in the United States of America. Isolationism and Noninterventionism are the two most often confused, and under the blanket term, Isolationism, are said to be the cause of a number of tragedies America has faced over the years, most notably World War II. This of course, is largely false. In the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, there were some hardcore “Isolationists” to be sure, who refused to get along with other nations, or accommodate them even slightly. But such persons were never in the majority in power and influence. And there were also your Noninterventionists of many stripes (ranging from those who favored a loose-knit “league of nations” or even a world court to those who favored more traditional relationships with other nations, which also is the Constitutional view). But for the most part, on both sides of the aisle, you had your Interventionists (who today are composed mostly of pragmatists/realists, neoconservatives/idealists, and special interests/war profiteers).

You had your Wilson/FDR/Truman Democrats and your TR/Dewey/Eisenhower Republicans. These were the ones pushing for both World Wars, the downright vengeful Treaty of Versailles, the unamended Covenant for the League of Nations, NATO, and the UN. Last time I checked it was the Interventionists that succeeded in getting their ideas pushed through, which then failed to accomplish the great deeds used to justify their respective ratifications or initiations. Peace in Our Time? Nope. War to end all wars? Nope. World safe for democracy? Nope. Nothing to fear but fear Itself? Nope. Rendezvous with destiny? You betcha!

[This may seem out of place, but I though I should mention it as another ill-effect of interventionist minded policy: There is even a theory that the Federal Reserve System (1913) was created 1) to pay off England’s war debts in WWI (1915), and 2) appear to lesson the tax-burden associated with going to war, so as to make any future wars less unpopular with the taxpayer. No war can last long or have meaningful impact if those funding it refuse to continue doing so. But I don’t like to delve too much into conspiracy, so I will leave it at that.]

In this piece, number five of my series, which has thus far been slow-going and casual, I intend to examine the three broad schools of foreign policy in regards to diplomacy and its effects and purposes, and compare them in a similar manner to that in my pieces on immigration and travel. So, without further ado, I give you…


Pure Isolationism: Peace can be attained by cutting off all ties with other nations and their agents. Because foreigners are different, their goals are not our goals. Therefore, diplomacy will inevitably result in compromise of our values and our resources. This is true whether we send our agents or entertain theirs. Even where a conflict can be averted or alleviated to the benefit of both sides, diplomacy represents compromise and weakness. The nation will be tainted as a result, and likely singled out to be destroyed or taken advantage of.

Pure Noninterventionism: Diplomacy should be used to further our interests insomuch as they do not compromise our principles, our sovereignty, our liberty, or our security. Peace can best be achieved through “honest friendship with all nations and entangling alliances with none”. Conflict (and its cause, entanglement) should be avoided at all costs. If one arises, undue, drastic measures should not be taken during or after it. Relations should be normalized as quickly as possible. We should not act arrogantly or unilaterally. Where such action may work in limited cases, at specific times, against certain targets, the result will likely be cost prohibitive and dangerous, to the aggressor and victim both, in relations with other nations or the nation in question in the future.

Pure Interventionism: Aggressive actions, including war or the threat of war, can work as well or better than mere diplomacy in furthering the interests of America and in preserving our status as the world’s lone superpower. Security and military strength are the chief sources of peace, even if other nations, and the rights of our own citizens, have to suffer for it. Whether a nation invades, bombs, threatens to invade or bomb, is capable of invading or bombing, or will be capable of such sometime in the future, that nation must be either made into a military ally or attacked, even preemptively. The deciding factors as to which should be 1) how much more our interests could be furthered under one scenario than the other, and 2) how culturally similar or different they are to us. France, for example, is one nation that is positive on both criteria, and Iran is one that is negative on both criteria.

While “peace through strength” is an axiom all should cherish, the nature of that “strength” is different in each of the above camps. The isolationist seeks peace through the strength of ignorance and the interventionist seeks peace through the strength of hubris. It is the noninterventionist that seeks true peace through the strengths of forbearance and charity.

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!