Ron Paul: For a stronger, whiter America

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Nov 15, 2007.


Considering the Ron Paul presidential run ....

  1. That's it. I'm done with Ron Paul's sinking ship.

    6 vote(s)
  2. That's it. I'm jumping on the Ron Paul express!

    1 vote(s)
  3. I supported him before; I don't see how this changes anything.

    10 vote(s)
  4. I opposed him before; ______ (fill in the blank)

    6 vote(s)
  5. Other; _____ (fill in the blank)

    7 vote(s)
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Watson's remarks cost him his job, and sparked a discussion about his legacy. I'm sorry people haven't been hard enough on him to satisfy you, but I don't think a dottering old man in the twilight of a brilliant and oft-controversial career is a fair comparison to a politician who primary appeal is to selfishness.

    • • •​

    In General

    One of the problems with the idea of returning certain power to the states is the Fourteenth Amendment, which drives States' Rights activists nuts. The Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was applied in Loving v. Virginia, which used that portion of the Constitution to strike down anti-miscegenation laws at all levels. Once the state-level decision to strike anti-miscegenation on Constitutional grounds was affirmed, that outcome was extended to the nation because all people are entitled to equal protection under the law. Coming from Virginia should not mean you have fewer civil rights than someone from California.

    This could become an issue in extracting the federal government from education. Consider what a lack of federal standards could mean. Let's consider students applying to to a prestigious public school like U-Mich or Berkley. What constitutes equal protection? States like California, New York, and Washington will have different—e.g., higher—standards than, say, Texas or Kansas. Should a bright student from Topeka be refused entry to a good school because his state set lower educational standards? It's not the student's fault that his family lives in Kansas. It's not the student's fault that people who came before him set lower standards.

    Should, then, California or Michigan, for instance, be required to lower their standards to admit students from Kansas? Should a renowned research school like the University of Washington alter its standards to accommodate young "scientists" who adhere to young-earth creationism? Should good social studies programs (e.g. Univ. of New Mexico, Univ. of Wisconsin) alter their criteria in order to accommodate Lone Star (Texas) social studies?

    Or should nobody have to adjust anything? This presents a long-term challenge that would see students from states with lower academic standards unable to compete at more prestigious universities.

    In the 1990s, a citizens' group in Oregon put an anti-gay measure on the ballot that, if enacted, would have dictated such sweeping policy in the public education system that the medical schools would have been obliged to teach religion instead of science. Would you hire a doctor certified by a standard specifically designed to promote religious supremacy and superstition?

    Comparatively, even if the kid from Texas ends up going to college in Texas, how long before those degrees are viewed as inferior? It's not exactly fair that people should work their asses off for a degree that is not only useless in the marketplace, but also in the knowledge it signifies.

    Paul's poor standing cannot be blamed on partisan shennanigans alone. Most Americans, it seems, would rather not reach back centuries. The frontier mentality has some romantic appeal, but most folks seem to prefer modernity.
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  3. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    But you're talking as if this doesn't happen already. Different high schools in different parts of the city have different standards. So if you end up going to an inferior high school, your chances of going to a good college are lower than someone who went to a more prestigious one. What's the difference? At least with the DoE out of the way, the states could focus their energy and funds on their own schools and demographics which they undoubtedly know better than someone at the federal level.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Different process. At least as things are, a little good faith is really all that's necessary. Okay, a big freakin' truckload of good faith.

    And that's hard enough to get. Condemning the future for the satisfaction of the present is a difficult platform to sell. There are plenty of ways to condemn the future without being so forward about it, or proud of it. This will be a hurdle for Paul to overcome.
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  7. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    Condemning the future? do realize that the removal of the DoE is supposed to be an improvement right? Or is it just a thick layer of sarcasm I'm unable to see through?
  8. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    I opposed him before; with good reason. The man is a nut - at one time he says that corporations have too much of a hold on the political process and on government, but at the same time he advocates dissolving every regulatory body that exists.

    He's right that it's a shame that the FDA is so deeply in the pharmaceutical industry's pocket, but somehow I think there's a better solution than dissolving the FDA - If the problem is that the agency isn't doing it's job, then simply getting rid of it sure as hell isn't going to make things better, it just opens the door for Corporations to provide (or not) their own oversight.

    Aside from that he uses the constitution as if it's a buzz word which somehow supports all of his policies, when in fact this could not be farther from the truth. Remember, right in the preamble it states that part of the government's job is to promote the general welfare. His wank-off libritarian fantasies run contrary to the idea of a society where people help one another, and the government at least makes some attempt to safeguard it's citizens quality of life.

    That being said he's the only republican on the right side of any of the major issues, so I guess I can see how some uninformed people would fall for him.
  9. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    Uuum slight difference between ********** and the NAACP - the NAACP doesn't make the case that blacks are perfect and should rightly drive all other races out of the country, or commit acts of violence against whites. Nor do they idolize long dead genocidal dictators.

    Not really on equal footing there. I won't say anything about LaRaza though because I don't know a ton about them, but I have heard some unflattering rumors.
  10. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    The people who support him does say something about his appeal and the message he puts out. I think it's an entirely valid point to bring up.
  11. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    To Ron Paul's credit, at least he actually stands for the things that Republicans and talk-radio listeners still shout stupidly whenever they come across (oh no) a liberal. I guess it's harder to get all self righteous about Autocracy, Jingoism and NASCAR for all.
  12. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    Only if, after failing to gain the RNC's endorsement as their official candidate, he decides to run as an independent (or with the backing of some other party).
  13. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    Actually yes, it did effect him rather greatly, several signing destinations were canceled and he was fired from his administration position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He is currently regarded within the scientific community as a man of some accomplishment who's gone senile in his old age.
  14. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    Destroying the department of education is only an improvement insofar as allowing schools to teach intelligent design and "flat earth theory" is a good idea - or insofar as divesting in the public education system is a good idea, or insofar as the state trying to make it easier for home schooling to be the accepted standard (a policy which is right up there on Ron Paul's own website) is a good idea.

    In other words it's just a bad idea.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Oh, yeah. I'm aware of what I'm supposed to believe about it. I also know that throwing out federal standards is fine if we wish the United States to go from one society to fifty. Once upon a time, we were "these" United States. But we have built most of our progress as "the" United States. Like it or not, we're in this together.

    Fixing the standards so they work is one thing. Throwing out any and all standards, in this case, is a really bad idea. It might sound appealing to some right now, but it's more likely than not to be disastrous in the future.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I've heard Ron Paul speak and have even met him--back in the days when he could afford to identify himself as a Libertarian. He is no racist.

    The Libertarian Party attracts all the fringe groups because we oppose the government's ever-increasing control over our lives. That brings in the religious wackos, the gun nuts and the racists, and they've always been our cross to bear. Since we're opposed to Affirmative Discrimination the racists love us--but so do the more thoughtful leaders of the minority communities because they understand that being treated like beloved but incompetent little pets does not work to their benefit in the long run. We're also opposed to the nationalization of the charity industry and its subsidization out of tax money and the racists love us for that--and again so do the more thoughtful leaders of the minority communities because the bureaucratic welfare rules have created an entire multi-generational class of people who don't even know how to operate an alarm clock and who don't keep adult males in their homes because it disqualifies them from welfare.

    The Libertarian Party operates on a shoestring budget--as the largest "third party" in America it still only has about 200,000 registered voters. So its press releases and other publications are more than a little lacking in editorial judgment. The small-l libertarian movement is no better off: other than its flagship Reason magazine, its reading material is full of poorly-researched articles, inflammatory opinions, and ads desperately begging for college kids to to editorial work.

    Ron Paul had to re-register as a Republican many years ago in order to keep his seat as a Congressman from Texas during the Bush Dynasty.

    I will vote for him. Not because he has any chance of winning. But because strong showings by third party candidates scare the Republocrats into getting more in touch with their constituents. The American Communist Party never won a major office. But they won enough local elections at the local level for the Republocrats to take notice of a new sense of community and entitlement that was sweeping the nation. Within 25 years, the entire 1929 Communist Party platform had been adopted by both branches of the Republocrat Party. Entire economic sectors had been effectively nationalized: charity, energy, transportation. It was Eisenhower--a Republican--who completed the job of nationalizing the medical and education sectors, by establishing the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

    It is the Libertarian Party who is responsible for the power shift in the Senate. The Republican incumbent in Montana lost the 2006 election because the Libertarian candidate made a strong showing. Montana has fewer than a million people so something like this can happen there. Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate, is widely credited for throwing the 2000 presidential election to Bush. The Green Party tends to attract Democrats who are disgusted with their party's caving in to corporate lobbyists. The Libertarian Party, in rural areas like Montana, tends to attract disillusioned Republicans who are disgusted with high taxes and preemptive wars; in urban areas it's a little more likely to attract disillusioned Democrats who are disgusted with the disastrous second-order effects of Affirmative Discrimination and the War on Drugs.
  17. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    Taken from from a fellow RP supporter who expresses the reasons why Paul disapproves of the FDA far better than I could:

    With respect to showing people why having the FDA is more harmful than good, I typically use the following examples:

    (1) It is likely that more than a million people have died merely by the delay resulting from the FDA's approval process. The Abigail Alliance For Better Access To Developmental Drugs calculated the number of deaths that occurred multiplied by the success rate of the drugs that eventually were approved to treat them for just 12 different drugs, and the most conservative estimate of the number of deaths resulting from the approval delay was 520,000. More reasonable estimates that include some drugs that are even today not approved (such as Provenge for prostate cancer) make the one million number a safe bet. More info:

    (2) At least 10 times as many children have been born with birth defects as a result of the FDA's delay in allowing the advertising of folic acid's benefits for pregnant women than the total number of birth defects resulting from drugs that caused them (such as Thalidomide). More info:

    (3) We will never know the number of drugs that haven't been developed because of the enormous cost associated with the FDA's regulations, and big pharmaceutical companies actually benefit from these regulations, as they force many small developers to sell great ideas to them since only the biggest companies can afford the cost of compliance.

    As for what will replace the FDA:

    (1) Reputation - A reputation for safe and effective drugs is worth billions of dollars to a pharmaceutical company. They have an overwhelming incentive to guarantee the safety of their medications: the loss of that reputation could well result in the total failure of the business. Unlike government agencies, businesses are always in danger of bankruptcy (note that FDA failures cost the FDA and its staff nothing, or even result in budget increases for the department).

    (2) Independent testing - Prior to the FDA, both the American Medical Association and Consumers' Research (publishers of Consumer Reports) did independent testing, and leading magazines published results and warnings. There would be a strong demand for such certification in the absence of the false safety provided by the FDA approval process. Note that electrical appliance safety is not a government function, even though electrocution and other hazards have always been major risks. Why not? Because Underwriter Labs, a private service, was developed and charges product manufacturers for the essential "UL" Listing on electrical appliances. No reputable store will sell products that aren't UL approved, even though no government agency is involved. Also note that Kosher certification is a private function, and many people use it now, both for religious reasons and because of the prohibitions on animal cruelty involved in the Kosher designation. In the age of the Internet, independent information about medical product safety will quickly become standard with the abolition of the FDA, and FDA regulations are today prohibiting such alternative information in many cases due to draconian advertising rules.

    (3) Liability - Eliminating the FDA doesn't mean the elimination of legal liability for drug manufacturers and distributors: it only means removal of the enormous regulatory delays, prior restraint, and advertising prohibitions. Companies will still be liable for damages resulting from harmful products.

    More info:

    This is Dr. Mary Ruwart's chapter entitled Protecting Ourselves to Death from her terrific book on libertarianism: Healing Our World. I strongly suggest the current version for people who want solid arguments on all of the major issues that come up when defending libertarianism (note, however, that Dr. Ruwart is a more consistent libertarian than Dr. Paul, so her views will differ from his on a few matters, although they will only make it even easier to defend Paul's more limited version of libertarian ideas).

    An entire copy of Dr. Ruwart's 1993 version of the book is actually online for free at:

    I would suggest, though, that someone who is looking for an up-to-date book with tons of quotes and references on every major issue will find it useful to purchase the current version of the book. Amazon link:

    Once again, Dr. Ruwart is a total libertarian, and Dr. Paul's views will differ on a few of the issues, but he really doesn't have a current book of his own that covers all of the issues in this kind of detail, and those wanting to be solid spokesperson's for Ron Paul will find that the arguments available are really helpful.

    I should note that Dr. Paul himself has offered effusive praise for Dr. Ruwart's book, and his praise is on the back cover of the current version of the book.

    Additionally, as long as I'm mentioning books, Harry Browne, (who ran twice for as the LP presidential candidate after Ron Paul did) wrote a book with lots of one-liner responses on libertarian issues, and it is available through Amazon at:

    Paul supporters should go to his official site for his positions to note a few different views from Browne, but will find a treasure trove of one-liners in Browne's book that will be useful in defending Paul's views on almost every key issue related to a presidential race. The book has 16 great 30-second soundbites JUST on the FDA.

    Once again, Dr. Paul has personally praised this book, and actually wrote the foreword to it.

    I hope my answer is helpful, and not too much overkill. Take what's useful and ignore the rest.
  18. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    In Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.,, it was the courts that forbade intelligent design from being taught in public schools, not the DoE. And Paul isn't pushing for home schooling to be a standard, he's pushing for alternatives to be available for parents who're dissatisfied with public schooling by providing those who seek non-public schooling with tax credits. This includes home schooling, private schools and religious schools.

    In other words, give me something more here.
  19. maxg Registered Senior Member

    That pretty much ignores the damage done by the massive number of ineffective or dangerous drugs that would be used as well. Call me back when your study actually takes that into effect.

    Sorry but the FDA in no way banned Folic Acid. People could still use it and could still hear the opinions of people saying they should use it. So banning the FDA would have somehow have made the then non-existant agency advertise the benefits of Folic Acid?

    Maybe you should just look at the number of effective drugs developed in countries that did not have as strict an oversight. Any major ones come to mind?

    I appreciate some of Paul's positions but eliminating the FDA is not one of them.
  20. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    I'm not as informed as I'd like to be on the FDA as I am on other departments that Paul wants to cut, which is why I let someone else's comments try and explain Paul's disapproval of it. As I personally don't have a stance on it, I've invited the original author of the post to come by and try to reply to your rebuttal.

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  21. moementum7 ~^~You First~^~ Registered Senior Member

    I disagree.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I think that's actually beside the point. Maybe if you'd paid attention to my discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment and education instead of looking for the quickest, most convenient route available, you would realize that what Mystech is describing is a potential result of leaving educational standards purely at the state level.

    Additionally, I dislike Paul's proposition that since agencies are corrupted or inefficient, we should just give over to the presumption of Original Sin (people are evil and corrupt) and throw out the whole operation. It seems more worthwhile, to me, to start demanding some integrity of ourselves and our neighbors. Would you, or Dr. Paul, argue that since there are some corrupt police officers, we should get rid of law enforcement?
  23. antboy Registered Senior Member

    Re: FDA

    At ashura's request, I am offering some responses to the challenges to an FDA post I made on another forum that ashura copied to this forum without my knowledge. Unfortunately, I do not have time to remain in this discussion, so this will have to be my only response here. My original is posted under ashura's name along with many links, and I've quoted only the challenges to make this more readable. I am not permitted to include links in my message by rules of the forum, as I am a new poster on this forum, but have mentioned a couple here with changes so they won't work as links directly (change xxx to www, of course).

    >That pretty much ignores the damage done by the massive number of ineffective or dangerous drugs that would be used as well. Call me back when your study actually takes that into effect.

    It is typical in a discussion for the party MAKING a claim to provide evidence to support it, rather than demanding that someone else do it. Where are the studies to support the claim that there would be a "massive number" of ineffective or dangerous drugs? Further, this wasn't my study, but peer reviewed work by researchers in the field. There are no studies I can cite that support the view that the FDA has stopped large numbers of dangerous drugs from reaching the market, and those who hold this view ought to have the burden of proving it in the light of the clear evidence of deaths from regulatory delays.

    I doubt such studies will be forthcoming. Since the number of deaths from adverse reactions to medications has not fallen since the creation of the FDA, nor since the 1962 Kefauver amendment massively increased its power, nor is it lower in the US than in other industrialized countries with less restrictive regulation, it is reasonable to conclude that any hypothetical reduction in the number of deaths from adverse reactions to drugs is relatively small. In fact, thalidomide remains the only documented case involving a drug available in other countries but blocked by the FDA that resulted in severe harm or death to more than a few hundred people, as far as I know. If we take the thalidomide horror and double it, and assume all the harm caused was equivalent to death, then a generous assumption might be that the FDA regulations could have resulted in protection from premature death of 30,000 people in total. This would certainly be considered significant if it could be demonstrated, although it hasn't been, and I'm just being generous for the sake of making a point.

    The point? Measured against the rather straightforward and uncontroversial evidence in the studies I cited that FDA delays of lifesaving drugs have resulted in the premature death of at least 1,000,000 Americans, the possibility that these same regulations might have also prevented 30,000 premature deaths is cold comfort. If preventing 30,000 deaths is a good enough reason to have an FDA, causing 1,000,000 deaths is more than enough reason to consider its existence a monstrous outrage. At the very least, it deserves more than a condescending dismissal of the evidence provided.

    > Sorry but the FDA in no way banned Folic Acid. People could still use it and could still hear the opinions of people saying they should use it. So banning the FDA would have somehow have made the then non-existant agency advertise the benefits of Folic Acid?

    Well, since I never said the FDA banned Folic Acid, I'm not sure how that part of this response is relevant. What I said is that the FDA prohibited the advertising of the benefits of Folic Acid in reducing birth defects, and that is absolutely true. The fact that people who don't sell Folic Acid are permitted to express their opinion doesn't change that: when the manufacturer of a product is forbidden from advertising its benefits, that will reduce the use of the product. Advertising a product increases its sales. This is such an obvious point that I can't believe it is being disputed.

    Another MAJOR example was the long delay in FDA approval of advertising of the heart disease reduction benefits of an aspirin regimine. In addition to the links I provided in my original message, here is another link on the topic of off-label prescribing, and the manner in which the FDA has interfered with the advertising of benefits.

    Assessing the FDA via the Anomaly of Off-Label Drug Prescribing by Alexander Tabarrok:

    I should also note, even though it wasn't in my original comments, that the FDA HAS actually banned the import of some products because they contain folic acid. But my point was about the advertising prohibition. The research suggests that more children were born with spina bifida because of this advertising probibition than were born with birth defects resulting from thalidomide, and if the latter is worthy of attention, so is the former.

    > Maybe you should just look at the number of effective drugs developed in countries that did not have as strict an oversight. Any major ones come to mind?

    If a drug cannot be sold in the most profitable market in the world, its likelihood of being developed will decrease regardless of the country in which the scientists are located. So this challenge is a non sequitur.

    Even so, most Asian countries permit several herbal and similar remedies that are not approved in the US, and given the significantly greater longevity in these countries, it is clear that their less restrictive standards have not been, on net, negative, and may be positive. We also know that longevity in the US is, surprisingly, not longer than most other industrialized nations with less restrictive drug laws. As noted earlier, Americans do not benefit from fewer adverse drug reaction deaths than other countries (obviously, Vioxx happened even WITH FDA approval, and adverse reactions will always exist: there is little evidence that prior restraint and long delays in approval have had a meaningful impact one way or the other).

    Again, though, we will never know what lifesaving drugs the world would have today if the most profitable market in the world were not so expensive to enter. I have no way of knowing if my wife's multiple sclerosis might have been cured already in the absence of these extraordinary costs and draconian regulatory burdens. Yes, it is speculation, but quite reasonable in the light of the facts.

    > I appreciate some of Paul's positions but eliminating the FDA is not one of them.

    I'm glad you find some of his positions worthy, and you have the right to your opinion on the FDA: I would say that Dr. Paul's viewpoint on this topic is evidence of his clarity of thought, professional experience in the field, and reliance on scientific evidence, and next to his advocacy of a non-interventionist foreign policy has the potential to save more lives than any other proposal he has made. A million premature deaths is an extraordinary price to pay for an agency whose only major success, thalidomide, is dwarfed by the measurable lives destroyed by its delays.

    If the citations I made in my first posting are too long to read, here is a much shorter one by Dr. Ruwart (who, like Dr. Paul, has professional credentials in this area along with citations of evidence to support her conclusions).

    Death by Regulation: The Price we Pay for the FDA by Dr. Mary Ruwart

    I hope that people will be open-minded enough to read this piece, and remember that pharmaceutical companies already have an enormous incentive not to kill their customers, as I cited in my original post. I won't repeat those arguments or citations, as those who failed to read them are no more likely to do so by being harangued.

    I joined the forum to post this response and defend my original comments that were copied over here. I don't have time to pursue this discussion, and hope I have provided enough so that interested readers will see the strength of the position. At least, I hope they will recognize that Dr. Paul's proposal is worthy of active debate, and that those who disagree ought to offer some evidence of their own.

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