Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Hagelian Dilemma

Pat Buchanan, an ardent opponent of the neocons, has endorsed Obama's pick Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. But Ron Paul will not go so far, and seems to imply that the enemy of the neocons--Chuck Hagel--is not necessarily Dr. Paul's friend.

Hagel has shown some admirable willingness to advise caution overseas. He is seen as unenthusiastic over the prospects of a US war on Iran, which is certainly to be welcomed. But let us not forget that he did vote for the war against Iraq, he has expressed support for multi-lateral sanctions on Iran, and last year he wrote in the Washington Post that, on Iran, he supports “keeping all options on the table, including the use of military force.” Nevertheless because he does represent a more moderate voice in foreign policy than the neo-conservatives can tolerate, they are dragging his name through the mud. In choosing Hagel, then, we can hope the president is signaling that he will pursue a less aggressive foreign policy in his second term. But we cannot count on it.
This is a confusing issue because although Hagel may not be a Paul Wolfowitz-like neocon, he certainly is not on board with an ideal Paulesque/Buchananite noninterventionist foreign policy. Should someone vote against Hagel for being too pro-war? or vote for him to stick it to the neocons? Is Hagel as good as it gets in terms of aversion to war with Iran? It seems Ron Paul doesn't trust Hagel to avoid war but Buchanan does.
Paul gained his nickname "Dr. No" by holding every vote to a strict standard. This standard includes an opposition to militarism abroad. But holding to this standard may force Obama to nominate someone more pro-war than Hagel. This dilemma gets to the heart of politics as to whether compromise is ever justified.

Finally, the sad fact is that neocons and Ron Paul alike oppose Hagel for opposite reasons. Politics makes strange vote coalitions.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In Defense of Alex Jones

Disclaimer: The Nothington Post staff does not subscribe to any of Alex Jones's conspiracy theories, nor his sensationalism, celebrity worship, and other errors.

Jones was uncomposed and overly boistrous in his debate with Piers Morgan on gun rights. People say that he made liberty people look bad. Indeed, maybe he did. Many conspiracy theorists theorize that he is a double agent who is trying to make liberty people look bad. But it seems Jones's conduct during the debate was a manifestation of his spark plug personality and not deliberate sabotage. That same fiery temperment has made him famous and has also drawn many people to liberty philosophy. Even if he isn't a calm debater, people need to remember the good that he has done.

It's a fact that many Ron Paul supporters found the liberty movement through Alex Jones. Moreover, Jones always supports honest, anti-establishment, pro-freedom candidates like Debra Medina and Kurt Haskell. Despite his conspiracy stigma, Jones has the largest following in the liberty movement, with many fans not totally on board with liberty as well. The worst side effect of his conspiracies may be an overexuberant distrust of government among his followers, but consequently, no Alex Jones supporter could be found to be the chump of a cynical politician.

It's funny because even conspiracy people are developing conspiracies against Jones, saying that because he doesn't tout their worldview enough, he is an agent for the Illuminati or something. But even if this is somehow true, which it isn't, Jones has brought so many people to be "awake", as they call it, that the Illuminati or whoever would have to be totally stupid for sponsoring him.

Jones has a lot of legitimate information on his show that the rest of the media ignores. For example, Jones covers the Bilderberg meeting, an important meeting of world elites that the cowardly mainstream media ignores for fear of being called conspiracy theorists. Like the G20 or any gathering of world leaders, Bilderberg deserves attention, and Jones has nothing to lose in covering it.

In sum, Jones makes valuable contributions to journalism and the liberty movement despite his regrettable conspiracies.
We initally gave as an example of the mainstream media ignoring Michigan's law that oppresses small hog farmers at the behest of big agra, and related that Jones had covered it. But we subsequently found an ABC News article about it, so we were wrong that the media ignored it. However, one could say that major media outlets did not cover it enough. If they had publicized it like they did the Trayvon Martin case, then Michigan probably wouldn't have any problems now with oppressive farm laws.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gun Grabbers Use Propaganda Not Reason

Gun grabbers such as the ponytail man waste no time in using recent news of mass shootings as propaganda to fit their preconceived agenda of taking people's guns. They justify exploiting news of murders for political gain by saying that "if this particular gun control law were in place, fewer or no people would have died," and then they act as though those people who would oppose such laws somehow endorse the murders. If gun grabbers are going to throw the first punch, pro-gun people have a right to respond.

First of all, the gun grabbers are selling snake oil. They do not know for sure that the laws they propose would prevent murders. If clip sizes are reduced, then a killer could bring additional clips. If quotas are put on clips, a killer could bring an additional weapon. Economics tells us that there are substitute goods that can be used in place of goods to fulfill the same purpose, so even if all guns are successfully banned, alternative weapons and methods of killing would be sought by killers. If a killer wants to kill a certain number of people, he can find ways to circumvent bans.

It'd be one thing to introduce statistics on gun deaths in the US and and to estimate how many lives a proposed law might save. But in that case, the law would be somewhat testable, and if it failed to reduce deaths, then the gun grabber would look bad. To escape potential statistical scrutiny, gun grabbers opt to play on people's emotions by using news events of mass shootings or shootings involving famous people. You get the idea from these media propagandists that ordinary people who are shot individually elicit no need for anti-gun laws, as if their deaths are less important. Indeed, they are less important to the gun grabber, because they are not as useful in drumming up support for anti-gun legislation.

To answer the question as to whether people "need" to own high powered guns, I quote Sidney Painter in his book on French Chivalry: "Until the non-noble class obtained wealth, leisure, or a cheap, easily used, and effective weapon, the position of the feudal aristocracy was perfectly secure" (page 3). Notice that maintaining feudal aristocracy is partly reliant on the rulers (or government) possessing far superior weaponry to the commoners. The founding fathers wanted to make sure common people could defend themselves against, say, indian raids instead of being helplessly reliant on the government to protect them. Thus, the power structure would be unlike a feudal system in which only rulers could offer sufficient protection. In a land of liberty, commoners deserve to have effective weapons. These weapons should be as potentially effective in defense as the most effective weapon possessed by government agents who deal with similar threats. But because gun grabbers promote government coercion and not liberty, they see no need to support the right to own high powered firearms for people without government-granted status.