In 1991, James Davison Hunter, Professor of Religion, Culture and Social Theory at the University of Virginia, coined the term “Culture War” to describe a polarization of American public opinion on a number of issues, including abortion, homosexuality and the role of the church in state affairs. Hunter described a clash between progressivism and orthodoxy, which has been reinterpreted by some like Bill O’Reilly as a clash between “traditional” and “secular-progressive” philosophy. Others, like Pat Buchanan, have similarly chimed in on the issue.
Whether such a war between Red and Blue exists in the United States is the subject of much debate. What should not be the subject of this debate is the role that government has to play in the struggle. Let us ask our founders what they envisioned for our county. We can begin with John Adams:
We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.
All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. Confucius, Zo- roaster, Socrates, Mahomet, not to mention authorities really sacred, have agreed in this.
If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?
Adams clearly thinks the goal of government is to pursue the greatest good to secure the maximum happiness for its citizenry. This utilitarian stance can be found throughout his writings, and in the writings of other founders. How might we best achieve this happiness? It is clear. Foremost, Jefferson believed in the right to bear arms:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
The founders’ libertarian values are expressed in the nation’s Constitution, a document which declares as sacred certain freedoms from the power and control of the government. George Washington wrote:
The Citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole Lords and Proprietors of a vast tract of Continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the World, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, are now, by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute Freedom and Independency; They are from this period to be considered as the Actors on a most conspicuous Theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designated by Providence, for the display of human greatness and felicity; Here they are not only surrounded with every thing which can contribute to the completion of private and domestic enjoyment, but Heaven has crowned all its other blessings, by giving a fairer opportunity for political happiness than any other Nation has ever been favored with. Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly, than a recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances under which our Republic assumed its rank among the Nations. The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of Mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind after social happiness have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages, and Legislators, through a long succession [of] years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our Forms of Government, the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had a meliorating influence on Mankind and increased the blessings of Society; At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be compleatly Free and Happy, the fault will be entirely their own.
Liberty in the American tradition is decidedly negative; negative liberty is the freedom from compulsion from an outside source whereas positive liberty is freedom obtained through intervention. Our government has no need to inflict liberty upon us. Liberty is the state of men who are free from the interference of the government. Except in such cases as when men wish to steal liberty from each other through violence, the government has no cause to interfere. In a state in which the government restricts its powers to the enforcement of property rights and the rights of every person to live free from violence, men achieve maximum freedom and thereby the maximum capacity to pursue their own happiness.
Ron Paul, scholar of Austrian school economics and libertarian political philosophy, affirms the intent of our Founders in his campaign for the Presidency:
As election time nears, we are bombarded with political ads and speeches by candidates telling us their great plans for running the country. At the end of the recent presidential debate, for example, the Democratic nominee recited a litany of supposed cures for nearly everything that ails us, beginning each sentence with the phrase “I have a plan…”
The problem is that government is not supposed to plan our lives or run the country; we are supposed to be free. That our public discourse strays so far from this principle is an unhappy sign of our times. Those who believe in limited constitutional government should worry every time a politician says, “I have a plan.”
One thing is certain: those who worked and voted for less government, the very foot soldiers in the conservative revolution, have been deceived. Today, the ideal of limited government has been abandoned by the GOP, and real conservatives find their views no longer matter.
Our founding fathers had a clear vision when they left us a Republic at the end of the 18th century. And now, it is incumbent upon all Americans that we remember the lesson they taught over 200 years ago. Namely, the greatest gift we can give to the American people this new year is their very birthright, the gift of freedom. And, in order to do that it is imperative that we restore our government to the constitutional republic of limited federal powers it was designed to be. History has taught and retaught one clear lesson: namely, that it is impossible to reconcile a free citizenry with a concentrated and centralized government.
That we will once again see a rebirth of the spirit of our founders is my wish and prayer for our nation in this most holy of holiday seasons. Merry Christmas.
As we gather for this holiday season with our friends and family, reflect on the freedoms our Founders believed sacred. Soon after the holiday season, Republicans will gather in their caucuses to decide who will be the best champion for conservatism and limited government in the Presidential race in 2008. No one has defended freedom more ardently and with more vigor than Ron Paul, and that is why Ron Paul appeals to true conservatives.
And who exactly has a chance of beating Hillary or Barack?
His advantage is clear:
And it’s the whole country, not just a few spammers:
It’s not just Internet traffic either! Dr. Paul’s advantage is clear. Check out Ron Paul’s Meetup Map:
versus the contenders:
The Ron Paul 2008 campaign is currently having a fundraising contest between the meetup groups. While we don’t know how much money has been raised total, or how much each group has raised, we can take a pretty good guess.
Here is the only data available: http://ronpaul2008.com/meetup/standings.
In order to estimate how much these groups have raised, we need some sort of baseline. And one group is likely to provide it: The South-central Minnesota Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group, who only have 5 people, the bare minimum to win the 2nd part of the contest, most money raised per group member. Since the minimum is 5 people @ $11,500, we’ll assume that this was their plan, and that is how much money they have raised.
So below you can see the chart with the top 25 meetup group fundraisiers and how far behind they are. But we’ve added a column on the right to estimate the total money raised per group, based on the Owatonn, MN group.
Once you use the baseline and how far behind or in front of other groups Owatonna is, we can estimate that the top 25 groups have raised at least $315,460.
Now it is very likely that they raised far more then that. Owatonna members could have kept their numbers at 5, but gotten a spouse to donate money on their behalf in order to push their donations/member ratio even higher. And I know for a fact that other groups have done this same exact thing.
So how far does the rabbit hole go? We’ve only been able to estimate the top 25 groups, and at present there are 806 TOTAL Ron Paul meetup groups. How much did those groups raise? Estimates here are more unreliable, but if you take a look at the graph below, you can start to form a mental picture.
If you extend the trendline, it appears that Donations/group start to flatten out around $7500, and if that holds even into the mid hundred meetup groups, the campaign will have raised a staggering amount of cash. Better yet, there are still 3 days left in the contest, and the groups at the top are desperately contacting their membership base urging ever increasing amounts of donations, in an effort to get Ron Paul to their city.
We’d be interested to hear of any other statistical analysis done based on this data.
What a great time we had in San Antonio last weekend. An enthusiastic bunch of Texans thronged the Alamo for a rally, and then there was a fundraising dinner at an historic museum. More than a thousand people attended one or the other.
San Antonio is a military town. Indeed, I served there myself in the Air Force, and lots of soldiers and airmen came up to offer their support. Some were Iraq veterans, some were headed there, and all supported getting us out.
As I told the crowd, with our non-interventionist foreign policy, there would be 3,600 young Americans still alive, and 25,000 more not badly wounded. It got the biggest response of the evening.
Then a 14-year-old girl told me she was helping the campaign so her daddy, a soldier, would not have to go to Iraq. I told her there are many thousands of us working to that exact end, to keep him and all the others safe. What an outrage that we are accused of not supporting the troops. What a scam when the warmongers claim to be pro-soldier.
Lots of military people turned out to be aware that our campaign got more donations from soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines than any other. Funny, that made a big impression in Congress too. Many of my colleagues were amazed and encouraged that you can be against this unconstitutional and disastrous war, and get military support.
This weekend I meet with family, high-school classmates, and local friends and supporters in Pittsburgh. We are really looking forward to it!
Then its a full week in Iowa. On Sunday, theres the ABC debate, and next weekend is the Ames straw poll. Other campaigns seem to be pulling back, to try to lower expectations. We are stepping things up, with more staff, another office, and a significant TV and radio buy. This all costs a lot of money, of course, as does our continuing work in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Arizona, and other states.
But I have been thrilled by the support among Iowa Republicans for our issueson the war, on pro-life, on fiscal conservatism. This is fertile territory for us. Now we just have to work harder than our opponents at recruiting supporters, organizing them, and getting them to the straw poll.
Some media have hinted that a good showing by our campaign would be a bombshell. I dont make predictions, but I am cautiously optimistic about our chances. However, I very much need your help.
We got a lot of good publicity earlier about our prudence in spending. Indeed, I treat every donation with care, since it comes from a good American who shares our hope for the future, and who had to work hard to earn that money.
But all that publicity about our non-spendthrift ways had a blowback effect, if you will excuse the expression. It made some people feel the campaign did not need support, right at the very time we especially need it.
Stand with me in Iowa. I very much need your support. Please, send the most generous donation (<a href=”https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/” mce_href=”https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/”>https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/</a>) you can, as soon as you can.
July 17, 2007
What a day and half in northern California! On Friday, my first appointment was at 6:00 am, and my day ended at 11:00 pm. I did radio and tv interviews in San Francisco, followed by a meeting with the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle. The questions were tough but fair: my favorite! Meanwhile, more and more interview requests pour into the campaign. There is a real hunger for our ideas, even in the mainstream media. The message of liberty is popular!
Then I headed for Google, one of Americas great businesses. Some of the young stars who populate that company took me on a tour of a firm that seemed like a university student union. I saw where everyone works, eats, and exercises. Next I did a political YouTube interview with questions submitted from the web. I was told that never had Google, in the entire history of this series, received the sheer number of questions that it had for my interview. People care about freedom.
Then I spent an hour answering questions from Google employees, crowded into a large room with overflow rooms overflowing too. Next was fascinating briefing from some of the technical heads of Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Apps, and other extraordinary innovations. Then there was a press conference for the media gathered in a company courtyard, and then a fundraising reception that a group of Google employees had organized off-site. In the evening there was another successful fundraiser.
Saturday morning was the Silicon Valley Meetup in a park right next to Google. A huge and enthusiastic crowd was there to hear about our ideas, and the diversity was astounding. There were bikers in leather and hippies, young parents and grandparents, high-tech workers and business owners, and so many young Americans.
I talked about all our ideas: marching out of Iraq just as we marched in; no more meddling in the Middle East; bringing the troops home, from hundreds of expensive bases all over the world, so that we could have the money we need for the transition to freedom in social programs, and to abolish the personal income tax and the IRS. They are not compatible with a free society.
In a Ron Paul administration, we would also repeal the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act, restore habeas corpus and stop the spying on Americans. No more eavesdropping on our emails and bank accounts, our phone calls, home and businesses. No national ID — just the bracing freedom of the Constitution.
We must have sound money, and not a giant counterfeiting machine called the Federal Reserve that causes recessions and inflation. We must have private property rights, with no pollution or other attacks on property. We should enforce the Second Amendment, and all the Bill of Rights. We can have privacy for us, not secrecy for a corrupt bureaucracy.
It is all within our grasp, the restoration of the republic and our sovereignty — no UN, no North American Union, no Nafta, no WTO, no World Bank, no IMF. Just federalism, free enterprise, peace, prosperity, and the kind of future we all want for our families, ourselves, and our fellow Americans.
The dream can be a reality. You can help make it so. Please: make your most generous donation to this effort for America’s future (https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/). Instead of wars and inflation and spying and poverty, we can have peace and freedom and the blessings for our children and grandchildren of doing better than we have, of secure retirements and childhoods. No more theft — of our savings or our liberty.
Please — give to this campaign, for all our futures.
I’ve been paying a LOT of attention recently to the Federal Election Commission’s Report of Receipts and Disbursements for the current candidates for President of the United States. What has become apparent to me as I sift through the data is that they reveal a high degree of corruption. I would like to compare the candidates using some mathematical analysis based on employer contributions. I hope to derive a “corruption quotient” (CQ) by revealing the percentage of each candidates contributions that are in some way illicit.
To do this is a simple matter. I will take the number of campaign dollars received by each candidate for which no employer was reported. If this was a simple matter of some private donors failing to fill out a form properly or choosing to omit their employer, the rate should be at least approximately the same for each candidate. But as we will see, this is not how it turns out at all.
To derive a final “corruption quotient,” I will divide the number of “no employer was supplied” dollars and divide it by that candidate’s total received funds for the quarter. This will tell us what portion of each candidate’s funds require such secrecy that the donor must remain anonymous. The breakdown is as follows:
CLINTON <– (These are hyperlinks to the FEC website campaign profiles)
$2,125,251.11 / $27,021,358.06 = 7.8%
$11,645,363.26 / $33,120,439.80 = 35.1%
$3,347,317.66 / $9,097,494.93 = 36.8%
$2,667,131.75 / $17,599,291.85 = 15.2%
$2,207,402.39 / $11,591,043.81 = 23.6%
$2,740,696.85 / $20,997,715.31 = 13.1%
An astounding level of corruption from all of the front-runners. Even Clinton’s 7.8% leaves me feeling slightly queasy. But there’s no such thing as an honest politician, and this is to be expected, right? I mean, who could possibly set a better example than Hillary Clinton? Your answer is right here:
$1100.00 / $2,369,452.95 = 0.00046%
Not one percent. Not one tenth of one percent. Not one hundredth of one percent. An astounding four and a half THOUSANDTHS of a percent. How often do you get to use the word thousandth? Thank you, Dr. Paul, for giving me the opportunity to use one of the only two words in the English language containing the string “dth.”
But as I compiled these data I thought to myself, perhaps there’s a scale bias occurring? Maybe these kind of tremendous numbers only occur when you start talking about total contributions of a scale that only the front-runners show? To test this theory, I calculated the “corruption quotient” of the Senator from my home state, Senator Joe Biden, who happens also to be a Presidential candidate. Here’s what I found:
$138,476.67 / $2,451,179.70 = 0.06%
Okay, sure, it’s not measured in the THOUSANDTHS of a percent, but at least he’s under one percent, right? He may be 130.5 times more corrupt than Ron Paul, but at least he’s well below Billary Clinton. Perhaps it is just a matter of scale, to some degree, since Biden ranks so far below the front-runners as well in CQ.
But no, wait! Behold:
$654,337.15 / $1,425,766.58 = 45.9%
Brownback! How COULD you? Nearly half of your campaign contributions don’t list an employer? So much for the theory that proportion doesn’t hold in this calculation.
Ron Paul is a staunch defender of American liberty, a bulwark against the corruption that plagues Washington, and perhaps our last chance to save our government from the poisonous involvement of special interests and political action committees.
Hans Rosling, one of the foremost minds in statistics and medicine, shows us an incredible presentation about the transforming power of capitalism in the world of public health and debunks the myths of the “third world” and the aid flow between the rich and the poor. With profound evidence of the driving power of the middle class in changing the way the world works, Hans Rosling leaves no room for cynicism about the growth of world markets and the profound effect these markets have on improving the lives not only of Westerners, but of people everywhere.
The way Hans dances around the screen, sending data bubbles flying through time and across axes makes him look less like a scholar, and more like a
marvel madman genius WIZARD. This truly has to be seen to be believed!
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Hans Rosling’s blog can be found here.
5 days ago my post referenced the number of Ron Paul supporters who were members of Meetup groups similar to our Meetup group in Delaware. In the past five days, the number of supporters has climbed from 20,303 to 22,447, a 5-day increase of 2,144. I showed you a map that looked something like the following:
Go ahead and click on the map to be taken to the site I snagged it from so you can see what the current numbers look like.
After running an exponential regression based on the average increase in rate of growth per half hour, it becomes clear that by December 19th, 2007, Ron Paul’s Meetup membership will be 259,582,280 people, or in other words, roughly 85% of the American population.
“You don’t reach perfection in freedom — but you don’t reach perfection in socialism either.” — Ron Paul
Ron Paul appeared on July 14th, 2007 before an overflowing room of Google employees and delivered a STUNNING interview following what can only be described as a profound ovation. Ron Paul enumerates his stances on the supremacy of the Constitution (calling it the best Constitution ever written), the irrationality of the US foreign policy of “nation building” and the inevitable failure of the US if it continues to police the world.
Paul spends a good amount of time talking about problems with NAFTA and the problems of government-imposed tariffs (which he calls a tax on the poor) and government management of trade economics. He compares economic voluntarism to sexual and interpersonal voluntarism, enumerating for the first time that this author has seen his stance that gay marriage should be honored as a form of voluntarism (“whatever you’d like to call it,” says Paul).
Citing Houston as an example of a city constructed without zoning laws, Ron Paul sounds more Libertarian in this interview than I have ever seen. Ron Paul supports the 2nd Amendment fiercely, saying that gun laws most strongly hurt inner-city minorities who aren’t allowed to defend themselves, and further says that gun deregulation may well have prevented 9/11, since terrorists might have thought twice about hijacking a plane with armed citizens on it.
Paul would like to slash the defense budget to about 1/3 of the level it is at now, but only because he’d like to do away with the military-industrial complex. He would like the taxes for national defense to come from a UNIFORM tariff (not a specialized tariff), eliminating the income tax and thereby freeing American citizens from having their lives “owned by the government.”
If you really care about people, says Paul, it’s capitalism that eliminates famine and poverty. Paul blames the dissolution of charity healthcare and the rise of university costs on government intervention. Paul attacks America’s currency policy, essentially calling our current prosperity an illusion created by a constant flow of lending from China and Japan — lending which *will* run out and bring our country to its knees if we do not return to basing our currency on a gold standard or some other form of hard assets.
In response to a question about requiring collective action to protect the environment, Paul calls environmental destruction a failure on the part of the government’s role in protecting private property (and thereby allowing companies to destroy rivers with toxic dumping). Paul supports local city ordinances to protect individuals from environmental damages just like local noise pollution laws with the advent of the automobile. He finds significant flaws with environmental lobbies which become entities that begin to live for themselves and fund bureaucrats and lose their purpose. Paul advocates for environmental groups to behave like consumer groups, advocating for environmental reform by reporting on companies that commit environmental atrocities to remove popular support for those companies (instead of relying on an administrative bureaucracy which is, by nature, inefficient).
Ron Paul goes on to answer a number of questions about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, illegal immigration, his campaign strategy, and the American defense of Taiwan, and the rights of pharmacists to deny birth control on religious grounds, the decriminalization of marijuana, and opening up medical care without licensure. Ron Paul is written a check by a Google employee *on the spot* during his interview — do you see that happening for other candidates? No, you don’t.
- The Culture War: Hands Off, Government
- Freedom is Still Popular! (And moreso than ever!)
- Top 25 Ron Paul Groups Alone Raise at least $315,000 in 10 Days
- Freedom’s Popularity
- Ron Paul on Iowa, the Military, and His Chances
- Ron Paul Releases Best Letter Yet
- The Corruption is Positively Disgusting
- The Transformative Power of Capitalism
- Ron Paul Is Guaranteed Victory in 2008
- Google Ovates Ron Paul
- Military Favors Ron Paul Over McCain
- It Just Might Make You Cry