“The gold standard is to economics what the flat earth theory is to astronomy: something that may have seemed to make sense back when people didn’t know any better but is ridiculous to suggest today.” – Dr. Russ Anderson
“Ron Paul is saying: ‘Let’s make everything simple again. . . If we had a gold standard, we wouldn’t need complex monetary policy. But how do we get from here to there? There might not be a way. It is just nostalgia for a time that never really existed.” – Dr. Vincent Reinhart, American Enterprise Institute Continue reading
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, holds a copy of his “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal. The $6.2 trillion reduction was defeated in the Senate earlier today.
The Senate today defeated the Ryan budget on a 57 to 40 vote. The “Path to Prosperity” deficit reduction plan had earlier passed the House and it would have reduced the deficit by $6.2 trillion over a decade. The most controversial part of the Ryan plan involved Medicare. Continue reading
I am a conservative Republican who enthusiastically wants my party to win, but I am an American first. That is why I cannot ignore the clear and present danger the Ron Paul Revolution presents to our national security. Republicans made a mistake in 2008 by ignoring the Ron Paul challenge. Their response was understandable because everyone knew the Congressman would not win. He failed in every primary and did not carry one county. His own Congressional District rejected him. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani forcefully answered him in some of the debates, but the general policy was to smile at the Texan because the GOP did not want to alienate his libertarian supporters.
This attitude could be repeated in 2012, but it would be a mistake because over the past four years Ron Paul has been triumphant. Ron Paul will not win the 2012 GOP nomination. He knows that and we know that. The Ron Paul Revolution is not about the nomination. Its goal is fundamentally changing the Republican Party, and they have had considerable success.view Why am I focusing on Rep. Ron Paul Mike Chumbley of Salem, Oregon writes: “Is bashing Ron Paul in every post what I can expect in the future? Paul has no chance of election so why not move on to meatier issues?” You can expect far more Ron Paul criticism from me in the future. I have only just begun. I am a Republican and a conservative, but I am an American first. I want Republicans to win but I cannot ignore a clear and present danger to our national security. When confronted with such an obvious threat I cannot look the other way even if it results in a gain for my political party. Continue reading
David Bahnsen of Newport Beach, California is a Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley, and also serves on the Board of Advisors of the California Recovery Project with Dr. Arthur Laffer. Bahnsen has abandoned his earlier support of the Ron Paul crusade, and now describes himself as an “economically literate Republican.” He wrote the recent article “The Undiscerning and Dangerous Appreciation of Ron Paul.” Continue reading
“The Constitution gives Congress the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal when a precise declaration of war is impossible due to the vagueness of the enemy. . . Pirates were the terrorists in the days of our founders and held no allegiance to any nation – the same as the terrorists of today. Our wise founders left us with the solution where mercenaries could be hired and given the authority to hunt down and bring terrorists to justice.” – Congressman Ron Paul
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) believes it was wrong to use Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden. He says it was “absolutely not necessary,” and falsely claims it cost $1 trillion to kill the al-Qaeda leader. He arrived at that figure by adding up all military expenses related to terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Paul says his plan would have accomplished the same goal for only $500 million.
The Congressman also does not approve of the war on terrorism and his solution is to stop using the U.S. military because it so expensive.
Paul believes we could capture or kill all of the terrorists by bringing back an ancient custom known as Letters of Marque and Reprisal.
They would offer a cash bounty for every terrorist killed or captured. There is nothing wrong with offering large rewards for prominent individuals such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar.
Rewards should continue to be offered, but no one has collected the bounty for bin Laden. That is not too surprising because private individuals do not have the resources of a government which allows the use of technology such as satellites and drones.
There are many problems with what Congressman Paul is proposing. Letters of Marque and Reprisal have not been used in the U.S. since 1815, and they were outlawed by the 1856 Treaty of Paris which ended the Crimean War.
No government uses these Letters today, but Paul foolishly says allowing their use would save taxpayers enormous amounts of money. Instead of using the U.S. military, he wants to outsource major portions of the war on terror to privateers. Since 2002, Paul has continually introduced legislation calling for the revival of these Letters, but no lawmaker has co-sponsored the legislation.
Were Letters of Marque and Reprisal Successful in Stopping the Pirate Problem?
No. Pirates were a problem during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These letters authorized privateers but this only made the situation worse. Privateers such as “Captain” William Kidd ended up switching sides and becoming famous pirates. Ample evidence of this is provided in Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns by Janice Thompson. The pirate problem was not solved until governments became involved.
Why Did The U.S. Government Use Letters of Marque and Reprisal?
The U.S. Navy lost 24 ships during the Revolutionary War and at one time it was reduced to just two vessels. When the Navy was restored following the war of 1812, the privateers were no longer necessary.
What Are The Problem Areas?
- What would happen if American privateers were captured or killed by terrorists? Would the U.S. military have to rescue them or avenge their deaths?
- The privateers would be paid only after they turned over evidence which would primarily be dead bodies. The detainees at Guantanamo have proven to be a major headache for the government. With dead bodies being turned over the possibility of innocent people being killed inorder to collect a bounty would be high.
- Privateers backfired on the British in the War of 1812. The final engagement was the Battle of New Orleans. The British privateers switched sides and provided General Andrew Jackson’s forces with the intelligence they needed to secure a stunning victory.
- That was a long time ago but problems remains today. The Blackwater security firm should not be described as privateers. They are civilians who had previously been part of the U.S. special forces. They were not paid a bounty for killing terrorists. They were a private security firm which proved to be an enormous embarrassment for the U.S. government when they were found guilty of killing 17 innocent civilians. The firm was permanently barred by the Iraqi government and the public relations damage for America was huge.
- There are bounty hunters in the United States but they are looking for a specific individual. In the war on terror we do not know the identity of enemy combatants.
Ron Paul wants private citizens to operate as privateers in areas such as Somalia and Kandahar, Afghanistan. It would be similar to vigilantism. There are excellent reasons why the United States abandoned Letters of Marque and Reprisal in 1815, and you can always count on Ron Paul and the libertarians to come up with the worst possible solution to any problem.
ANSWER: After a 1946 plane crash in Beverly Hills, Howard Hughes went into seclusion. He recovered from his injuries but had a long term addiction to pain killers. For the next three decades he was well known for his refusal to meet with anyone.
The top executives of his major companies (Hughes Aircraft, RKO, TWA and the Hughes Medical Center) never met him. Hughes owned seven casinos in Las Vegas and had over 8000 employees in the state, but despite repeated demands, he refused to meet with the Nevada Gaming Commission. He finally left Nevada after five years to avoid them. Continue reading
Editorial Note: John W. Grigsby of Hillsboro, Virginia is a self-described “long time libertarian activist, formerly a ‘liberal’ one.” He is founder of the Northern Virginia Tea Party and says his mission is to “replace the GOP establishment .” He is a vigorous supporter of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Grigsby says the Texas Congressman “is imperfect, like all people, but Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are my two top choices, and I’m grateful for them.” Continue reading
Last night’s Washington Ballet was jammed with spectacular women and the people watching was excellent. They always has the best parties. A young woman at my table essentially called me grandpa, but I deserve it. I am 30 years her senior and act 50 years older. Continue reading
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) is announcing his retirement today, which means the awful Russ Feingold could come back to inflict more damage on our national security. Continue reading
Nancy Pelosi was thrilled to learn that “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” will return on June 20th. Olbermann was fired by MSNBC and will now be the star of Al Gore’s Current TV.
The House Committee on Global Warming and the cap and trade national energy tax both died last year. They bit the dust along with the Democratic Congress, but environmental activists have not abandoned their job killing agenda. They have just shifted their focus. The Green Lobby has no hope for any legislative victory in the House of Representatives, so their attention is now focused on the Obama administration.
- The President needs environmental support for his re-election, but these activists and campaign donors have a steep price. They want 1000 additions to the endangered species list this year alone. They are aggressively promoting this on Current TV’s “Green News” where they are repeating numerous falsehoods from the left wing Center for Biological Diversity.
- The damage to the job market and the American economy has already been enormous. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost by environmental activism without the introduction of any new species. In recent years we have seen:
- The listing of the northern spotted owl has killed the entire timber industry in much of the West, especially in northern California and Oregon.
- The Mexican spotted owl has killed the timber industry in New Mexico and Arizona.
- The two inch delta smelt fish of the San Joaquin Valley is responsible for killing 27,000 jobs. Prior to the delta smelt crisis, the San Joaquin Valley was the source of 80 percent of our nation’s vegetables. Now many of those vegetable farms are gone. Bankruptcy is rampant throughout the valley. America has been forced to import food from countries that spray pesticides we outlaw.
- When the Coho salmon was listed farmers in the Klamath Basin of Oregon were forced into bankruptcy because of the prohibitions placed on their water use.
- The same thing happened in the Methow Valley of Washington. To protect the Methow salmon, farmers and property owners lost the use of their water. They had to endure egregious stream buffers to protect the salmon.
- The court case over whether hydroelectric dam operators in Washington and Oregon have done enough to protect the salmon has cost billions of dollars, and it is not over.
- The gray wolf was listed by the Fish and Wildlife Service as endangered, and it has killed agriculture and mining jobs throughout the West.
The endangered species list has already resulted in fewer jobs, bigger government deficits, a greater cost of vegetables and an unsafe food supply. Now they want to immediately add 1000 more species to it.