Liberty vs. Leviathan

Chronicling Liberty's battle against Leviathan

Bearing false witness

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.  Exodus 20:16

It’s no secret that Rick Santorum is trying to win the social conservative voting bloc. It’s also no secret that he realizes Ron Paul stands in his way and thus has to be neutralized.  One of the recent tactics Santorum has employed in this quest is the classic ploy of distorting an opponent’s record.

Last week we saw that Santorum was unequivocally wrong when he stated that Paul “…doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion on a federal level…”  To paraphrase Reagan, “Well, he’s done it again.”  In the recent South Carolina GOP CNN Debate Santorum claimed that Paul’s pro-life voting record, as scored by the National Right to Life Committee, was 50 percent, no better than Harry Reid’s.

From the debate:

Congressman Paul has a National Right to Life voting record of 50 percent, which is pretty much what Harry Reid’s National Right to Life voting record is. So for — to go out and say that, you know, you’re someone who stands up for the right to life, you repeatedly vote against bills on a federal level to promote the right to life, and you say that this is an individual personal decision or state decision. Life should be protected, and you should have the willingness to stand up on a federal level and any level of government and protect what our — excuse me — what our declaration protects, which is the right of our Creator to life, and that is a federal issue, not a state issue.

You can hear it in this video at the 1:50 mark:

.

Fifty percent didn’t sound right so I did a little checking.  Here are the NRLC scores of Paul and Santorum for all the Congressional sessions for which NRLC has scores.  (For the sake of argument let’s assume the NLRC score is the standard for evaluating a person’s commitment to the pro-life cause, I don’t, but we’ll assume it).

Congressional Paul Santorum
Session Score % Votes Score % Votes
105   (1997) 95 20 100 15
106   (1999) 75 19 / 20 100 9
107   (2001) 81 16 100 2 / 3
108   (2003) 72 11 100 11
109   (2005) 55 9 / 11 100 4
110   (2007) 80 5 / 7 x x
111   (2009) 100 5 / 6 x x
112   (2011) 100 6 / 7 x x

Here are a few things to notice:

  • The only time Paul had a score near 50 was six or seven years ago during the 109th Session.
  • Paul has received a score of 100 for the current session and the previous session.
  • Except for the 108th Session Paul cast  more votes than Santorum in each session thus more opportunity to cast a vote deemed unfriendly to NRLC.
  • Santorum has had no votes since 2006.  That’s because he was not re-elected, many believe due to his support of abortion proponent Arlen Specter in Specter’s 2004 campaign.

Now, let’s look at that 109th Session score in detail.  First the number itself then how it was calculated.

Why did Santorum cite 50 percent and not 55?  I’m willing to give Santorum the benefit of the doubt and chalk the inaccuracy up to sloppy rounding or poor prep from his aides.  He can not, however, be excused for citing this score from three sessions ago while omitting Paul’s 100 percent score from the current and previous sessions.   Pointing out that Paul had this rating in 2006 would have been fair.  Attributing this score to Paul today is not.  It’s a blatant misrepresentation of fact and Santorum is wrong to try to get by with it.

Even if Santorum is wrong in citing this score as a current score, through the eyes of a social conservative it still doesn’t look good for Paul to have such a low score smack in the middle of all the others.  So why is it so low?

Let’s break down the votes NRLC tracked during the 109th Session.  Representatives were tracked and scored on eleven votes during the session.  Paul did not vote on two of those, voted “with” the NRLC on five and “against” the NRLC on 4, thus the 55 percent (5/9 = .55)

So what were those issues upon which Paul voted “against” the NRLC?  Using the NRLC score card numbering system Paul voted “against” the NRLC on votes 2, 3, 4 and 10.  Each of these votes was on either the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act or an amendment to this bill.  (In short, the bill made a federal crime of an adult transporting a minor across state lines in order to procure an abortion and avoid state laws requiring parental participation in an abortion decision.)

This reveals at least two flaws in using a political action committee’s evaluation of a candidate when making decisions about who to support.

First, Paul was penalized for voting several times on the same bill.  If tracked by bill Paul would have had a score of  80 (4 bills “with” and 1 “against”).

Second, the NRLC scoring system only takes into account the vote, not the reasoning behind the vote.  With just a little effort one learns that Paul thought the intent of the bill was “laudable” but also flawed and unconstitutional:

Mr. Speaker, in the name of a truly laudable cause (preventing abortion and protecting parental rights), today the Congress could potentially move our Nation one step closer to a national police state by further expanding the list of Federal crimes and usurping power from the States to adequately address the issue of parental rights and family law…

…Should parents be involved in decisions regarding the health of their children? Absolutely. Should the law respect parents’ rights to not have their children taken across State lines for contemptible purposes? Absolutely. Can a State pass an enforceable statute to prohibit taking minors across State lines to avoid laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions? Absolutely. But when asked if there exists constitutional authority for the Federal criminalizing of just such an action the answer is absolutely not.

This federalizing may have the effect of nationalizing a law with criminal penalties which may be less than those desired by some States. To the extent the Federal and State laws could co-exist, the necessity for a Federal law is undermined and an important bill of rights protection is virtually obliterated. Concurrent jurisdiction crimes erode the right of citizens to be free of double jeopardy.

So in this case, Paul supported the intentions behind the bill, but he disagreed with the method being proposed to bring those intentions to life.  And his disagreement was based on the Constitution and the oath he took to uphold the Constitution, not on his allegiance to a PAC or party.

One final point.  To compare Paul’s 55 percent score with Harry Reid’s 50 percent is disingenuous.  Reid cast four votes.  Two of those were “with” the NRLC, the two votes he cast for the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, the act that Paul warned would increase the scope of the Federal government.  Reid voted “against” the NRLC on the same issues Paul voted “with” the NRLC, the ones that would have authorized funding to pro-abortion organizations.  The common theme in Reid’s vote is an increase in the scope of government.  The theme in Paul’s votes is one of keeping the scope of government contained within the confines of the Constitution.

When one looks beyond the sound bites, it’s easy to see that Ron Paul is a pro-life candidate.  The disagreement Santorum and the NLRC have with Paul is not based on differing views on the sanctity of life and the evil of abortion.  The disagreement is based on their differing views on strategy and on the role a Constitutionally constrained Federal government has in making laws restricting abortion.  Santorum should admit as much, acknowledge that Paul is pro-life (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 among others) and stop bearing false witness.

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Under the bus

From Politico this weekend we’re informed that Rick Santorum says Ron Paul does not stand for life:

[Paul] doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion on a federal level because he doesn’t think the federal government should be involved in restricting abortion…Well, that’s just wrong! The bottom line is that we need to have restrictions on abortion.

Santorum must have a bad memory at best, or be lying at worst.  For in 2003, despite his misgivings, Paul voted “Yea”  on HR 760 and “Yea” again on S3, the Santorum sponsored Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

And what were Paul’s misgivings?  There were two and they were big.  Both can be found in his remarks from the House floor but I’ll let him summarize here.  The bill…

  1. “…inadvertently justifies federal government intervention into every medical procedure…”
  2. “…ingrains the principles of Roe v. Wade into our justice system, rather than refutes them as it should.”

So despite his reservations, Paul voted for a bill that Santorum sponsored in order to save a life thus disproving Santorum’s claim that “…[Paul] doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion…”

Paul made clear then as he does today, Santorum and all the other progressive GOP candidates seek to use the unconstitutional power of the federal government for their own causes.  Paul, and Paul alone, is the true conservative, seeking to preserve the constitutional republic our founders entrusted to us.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Romney for Paul?

Can’t resist pointing out that Romney has unwittingly implied he could support Ron Paul in 2012.  Or, maybe he’s finally seen the light.

…I’m inclined to make sure there is somebody in the race who understand[s] how the economy works…

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Your dollar

David Breuhan, money manager and author of Spread the Wealth, reminds us in “An Appeal to Reason” of the detriments and immorality of the inflation created by the policies of the Federal Reserve:

Since 1913, it has engaged in a deliberate policy of inflation- an expansion of the money supply that has resulted in precipitously rising prices. Inflation benefits debtors at the expense of creditors. It benefits those with market power who have the ability to increase prices without losing market share. Inflation destroys real capital and overstates profits. It encourages speculation and spending, at the expense of prudence and savings. Inflation discourages ownership and fosters renting, depriving people of private property and liberty. It hurts those on fixed incomes, especially the poor and middle class…

…There is no historical evidence that a nation which relies on the excess creation of money will benefit from long term prosperity. In actuality, the opposite occurs.

… and calls for Congressional action to

  • stop the Fed’s purchasing of Treasury debt
  • prohibit the Fed from setting interest rates
  • eliminate the Fed’s ability to implement inflationary policies

I have my doubts that this will occur but it would be a great first step that has been made more possible by the recent appointment of Ron Paul as Chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

LOL

Too busy to post but too good to pass up.

From the crack ups at CNBC…

…Ron Paul…doesn’t even have a basic understanding of fundamental economics…

(HT to Lew Rockwell)

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Democracy

In the forward to The People’s Pottage, Garet Garrett points out the semantic changes of words such as freedom and sovereignty that occurred during the two decades prior to his writing.  After the recent Obama commencement address at the University of Michigan, we could add republic and democracy to his list.  For while in his introductory remarks the president recalled the often told story of Ben Franklin after the Constitutional Convention responding to an inquirer that we had a republic if we can keep it, he then proceeded to give his view of what is needed to preserve our “democracy” not our republic.  As Franklin said though, a republic is what our founders left us, not a democracy.  Democracy, with all of its failings, is what the founders warned against and what’s been forced on us as our republic has been destroyed.

Now that Michigan graduates have heard Obama’s recipe for preservation they would do well to review Ron Paul‘s speech from 2003 based on the same Franklin story – Sorry Mr. Franklin, “We’re All Democrats Now”.  Rather than lauding democracy, Paul points out its perils and calls for the restoration of our republic.

Here’s a few of democracy’s traits left unstated by Obama:

Democracy…

  • consumes wealth
  • leads to tyranny
  • encourages the use of political money to buy influence
  • endorses special interest interventionism, inflationism and corporatism
  • brings about currency debasement

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Insidious Inflation

In an essay published in 1942, Ludwig von Mises laments the public’s “widespread ignorance” of the social implications of inflation then proceeds to define and describe what those implications are. He explains the harm visited on creditors and points out that all of us, in one way or another, are creditors. He discusses the advantages and pitfalls of different hedging strategies. Moral and political effects are examined as are the downfalls of using inflation, as opposed to taxation, for government funding. All of these points are presented after describing three assumptions he makes of his readers; three assumptions that form the foundation of his discussion. The first being, that “everybody knows that inflation consists of a large increase in the available quantity of money and money substitutes such as bank credits.”  Secondly, that “everybody…knows that a general rise of prices and wages is the unavoidable and inescapable result of inflation.”  And finally, that “most people realize that when inflation is going on price control is a quite ineffective method of controlling prices and wages; at best, it is a temporary expedient to break or postpone the force of inflationary effects.”  The point to note is that Mises assumed the reader understood the definition of inflation; its genesis – an increase in the quantity of money; its effects – an increase in prices; and what would not work to squelch it – price controls.

Less than nine years later, Mises spoke out against the temptation and trend of governments to use inflation as a means of funding government expenditures. Contrary to his essay just described, he no longer assumed that the public knew the correct and traditional definition of inflation, in fact, quite the opposite. He states, “What makes it possible for a government to increase its funds by inflation is the ignorance of the public. The people must ignore the fact that the government has chosen inflation as a fiscal system and plans to go on with inflation endlessly. It must ascribe the general rise in prices to other causes than to the policy of the government and must assume that prices will drop again in a not-too-distant future.”  From this we see that in the span of less than nine years, Mises’s observation is that where in 1942 the public knew inflation was an increase in the money supply, in 1951 it did not; where in 1942 the public knew that price increases where the result of inflation, in 1951 it did not; and where in 1942 the public knew that in an inflation prices would continue to rise, in 1951 it did not. In fact, the assumption was that, somehow, prices would soon drop.

At the end of his talk, Mises takes time to warn of a “…reprehensible, even dangerous, semantic confusion…” that has overtaken the use of the word “inflation”. No longer do people use it to refer to the increase in the quantity of money, but rather it is used to describe the consequence of inflation, the rise of prices. This confusion thus leads to an atmosphere where one is not able to discuss the cause of the rise in prices as there is no longer a term to describe the cause of the rise in prices.  Since it can not be discussed it can not be fought and those who claim to be fighting it, the government, are merely posing as inflation warriors, all the while only fighting the symptoms of inflation, not attacking “…the root of the evil”.

Ron Paul is not one who has been fooled.  In a statement given on the the House floor last year, Paul clearly strikes at ‘”the root of the evil” and makes clear to all who will hear the fate that awaits those who live in an inflationary economy:

…Inflation facilitates deficits, needless wars and excessive welfare spending.

Debasing a currency is counterfeiting. It steals value from every dollar earned or saved. It robs the people and makes them poorer. It is the enemy of the working man. Inflation is the most vicious and regressive of all forms of taxation. It transfers wealth from the middle-class to the privileged rich. The economic chaos that results from a policy of central bank inflation inevitably leads to political instability and violence. It’s an ancient tool of all authoritarians. Inflating is never a benefit to freedom loving people. It destroys prosperity and feeds the fires of war. It is responsible for recessions and depressions. It’s deceptive, addictive and causes delusions of grandeur with regards to wealth and knowledge. Wealth cannot be achieved by creating money by fiat. It instead destroys wealth and it rewards the special interests…

Inflation has been used to pay for all wars and empires. And they all end badly. Inflationism and corporatism engenders protectionism and trade wars. It prompts scapegoating: blaming foreigners, illegal immigrants, ethnic minorities, and too often freedom itself for the predictable events and suffering that result.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

Debauchery

Came across this gem in my reading this weekend…

Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become “profiteers,” who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right.  There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.

If you’ re guessing Ron Paul or some Tea Party “nut” you’d be wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Principles and Pragmatics

Giuliani et al. challenged Ron Paul last year when he mentioned blowback.  One from the inside and in the know confirms Paul’s view.  (HT to LewRockwell blog).

Torture and abuse are against my moral fabric. The cliche still bears repeating: Such outrages are inconsistent with American principles. And then there’s the pragmatic side: Torture and abuse cost American lives.

[snip]

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq...It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.

[snip]

Americans, including officers like myself, must fight to protect our values not only from al-Qaeda but also from those within our own country who would erode them.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Paul’s Call

Ron Paul flips on its head the question of the day for the GOP

… many are asking: What is the future of the Republican Party? But that is the wrong question. The proper question should be: Where is our country heading?

laments the change…

… the change offered was no change at all, only a change in the engineer of a runaway train.

warns (as he always has) of what’s to come…

…Today though, time moves more quickly. Opportunities will arise. The one thing for certain is that in the next four years we will not see the Republic restored. Instead the need for it will be greater than ever…

To ignore the political struggle and only “hope for the best” is pure folly. The march toward a dictatorial powerful state is now in double time.

and calls on lovers of liberty to save the republic…

…Opportunity abounds for anyone who can present the case for common sense in fiscal affairs, for protection of civil liberties here at home, and avoiding the senseless foreign entanglements which have bogged us down for decades and contributed so significantly to our fiscal and budgetary crisis…

…All those who care — and especially those who understand the stakes involved — have an ominous responsibility to energetically get involved in the battle of survival for a free and prosperous America.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives