Paul gets big audience for cut-government talk

DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel—Ron Paul’s $50,000 fee for speaking Tuesday evening at Colorado Mesa University was paid by Dean Van Gundy, whose family operated a recycling and salvaging business for decades in downtown Grand Junction. Paul, a three-time contender for the Republican presidential nomination, said the greater danger for Americans is the loss of their liberties at home, rather than the danger of threats from abroad.

The only way to rein in the federal debt and excessive programs such as domestic surveillance is to revert to constitutional principles, former Congressman Ron Paul told more than 1,200 people on Tuesday.

Paul spoke to the overflow audience in the Colorado Mesa University Center about liberty and paring back government.

No progress can be made on either front, Paul said, “until you have a revolutionary spirit to redefine the role of government.”

That won’t be easy, Paul said, but noted he was encouraged in meeting 15-year-olds “who know more about the Federal Reserve than most congressmen.”

The appearance of the three-time candidate for the GOP nomination for president came courtesy of Dean Van Gundy, who paid Paul’s $50,000 speaking fee.

Van Gundy, whose family operated a recycling and salvaging business for decades in downtown Grand Junction, said his contribution was a payback to the community for those years of business.

“Ron Paul is the man,” Van Gundy said.

Paul took out after the Federal Reserve, war in the Middle East, surveillance by the National Security Agency, the Affordable Care Act and other topics in a speech lasting more than an hour.

“The last 12 years have not been good for our liberties here at home,” he said, telling the audience, “Don’t sweat the foreign danger.”

Greater peril lies in an out-of-control government that used the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to push through the Patriot Act and other measures.

“I voted against that monstrosity,” he said of the Patriot Act.

Public apprehension of bombing Syria suggest that there is a change in the offing on foreign adventures, Paul said, but more needs to be done to contain federal power.

“Our foreign policy is a complete failure,” Paul said. “We have to go back to the Constitution and seek the advice of the founders.”

The Constitution was written to constrain the federal government on foreign and domestic matters, he said, noting that domestic policies have the effect of insulating people from the consequences of their own choices.

“If you mess up and drink too much alcohol,” Paul said, “you don’t have the right to go to Obamacare and get it taken care of.”

Battles between civic and economic freedoms that divide the country are misplaced, he said, as they are all bound together.

“We should defend liberty,” Paul said. “Then maybe we would be exceptional.”


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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As Gary Harmon’s reports – “Paul gets big audience for cut-government talk” – Ron Paul’s local audience was predictably enthralled by his simplistic-as-usual incoherence.

Paul’s references to “constitutional principles” beg the question of what those principles are and appeals to those who deem government action they don’t like “unconstitutional”.

Thus, by endorsing “states rights” and the threat of secession, and by citing the 9th and 10th Amendments, Paul reverts to the Articles of Confederation – not the stronger federal government established by our actual Constitution—and ignores the collectivist purposes prioritized in its Preamble (which eloquently “defines the role of government”).

Likewise, Paul evades Article III – which delegates to federal courts (not libertarians) exclusive authority to definitively declare what is “constitutional” – or not.

Paul’s critique of the Federal Reserve relies on the long-discredited monetary theories of the “Austrian School” of economics, but properly focuses attention on the “Feds” failure to prevent the Financial Collapse in late 2008.

Paul voted for the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” in 2001, but admirably voted against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.

While Paul’s notion of “civil liberties” enables him to properly criticize NSA surveillance programs, his devotion to “private property rights” (including the right to discriminate)  induces him to consider both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and, of course, “affirmative action”) and most environmental laws “unconstitutional” (which explains his authoring an overtly racist newsletter, about which he later prevaricated).  Thus, Paul’s selective version of our Constitution conveniently omits both the “Privileges and Immunities Clause” in Article IV, Section 2, and the Fourteenth Amendment.

As revealed during the Republican primaries in 2012 and reconfirmed yesterday, Paul’s libertarian “alternative” to “ObamaCare” is to allow the uninsured and/or un-wealthy to die outside emergency rooms – the ultimate expression of “personal responsibility”.

I believe the community owes Dean Van Gundy a big “Thank you!” for bringing Ron Paul into town to speak. I attended the “free” event, and would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Dean for ponying up the $50,000.
Being a non-gullible person who, when it comes to politics and government, is constantly mindful of the old “follow the money” axiom, I had wondered where the money to put on the event came from. I was pretty sure it would not have been the local duopoly establishment.
There were a few noteworthy things that got left out of Gary Harmon’s story — probably due to the limited number of column inches available.
Two speakers plus the MC preceded Paul. The crowd booed at the mention of Steve King’s name and cheered at the mention of Jared Wright’s name. The crowd also cheered at the idea of electing a local sheriff who would vigorously defend the Constitution — not merely what the judicial hierarchy says is the Constitution — against unconstitutional repression of the local citizenry by federal law enforcement.
There was thunderous applause when Paul talked of abolishing the Fed, but arguably the biggest applause (complete with visceral hooting) of the evening came at his mention of abolishing the IRS.
As I watched Paul speak, thin and energetic, but definitely getting older (who isn’t), I couldn’t help thinking this was about “star power” and “feeling good”. (There is something cathartic about being at a large gathering of like-minded people.)
While gatherings and demonstrations make us feel good, and they might even be necessary to create solidarity, they are far from enough. The corrupt fascistic power mongers, from local to global, couldn’t really care less, because nothing REAL happens. They continue their corruption unabated.
The public has to become educated as to the actual mechanics of the corruption — and the identities of the individuals responsible. That will take the “boots on the ground” political troops to get the word out to the local electorate about which specific establishment politicians need to be removed from office for which specific corrupt deeds and backroom deals — not an easy job when the evildoers’ friends, families and allies all join forces with the MSM to demonize (and vote against) any effective dissenters.
I left the meeting glad that the crowd was feeling good, but mindful that the real solution is purely individual. We have to find ways to use technology and the Internet to live in ways that make Big Brother irrelevant. And don’t forget to vote with your “dollars”. Get out of debt ASAP. Live within your means. Grow your own food (the most defiant thing you can do). Boycott any and all who support Big Brother in any way.
That’s why it’s called a Culture WAR for the soul of America.

I see good old “liberal”, Bill Hugenberg, posted his comment before I did.
To Hugenberg’s credit, his blather actually does serve a purpose of sort. It serves as a prototypical demonstration of liberals’ pompous ignorance. And for me, personally, it is always amusing to watch a person who so self-evidently knows so little about the law try to talk as if he was competent to speak on that subject.
Hugenberg, in his usual wannabe-clever “liberal” style, demonized Paul’s speech as “simplistic-as-usual incoherence.” Then he completely embarrasses himself by saying “Likewise, Paul evades Article III – which delegates to federal courts (not libertarians) exclusive authority to definitively declare what is “constitutional” – or not.” Art. III provably does NOT do that.
Libs like Hugenberg seem genetically incapable of learning intellectual lessons, but I thought it would be an appropriate rebuttal to post a transcription I made of constitutional law professor Edwin Vieira’s — (Vieira has four degrees from Harvard, including a law degree and a PhD in chemistry) — remarks during a speech he made at Faneuil Hall on Dec 14, 2008. Those remarks say all that need be said about Hugenberg’s self-perceived-as “vast knowledge” in the law.
“Well, it’s really a historical point that for a very long time, law was taught out of essentially textbooks. These were written by some expert in the field, and he would cover a whole subject.
“Blackstone, Sir William Blackstone, wrote a set called ‘Commentaries on the Laws of England’, which was exactly that: deciding what the laws of England were, and essentially his interpretation of them. That was the most popular law book in the American colonies before the War of Independence.
“Subsequent to the War of Independence, a number of commentaries, specifically on the constitution were written. Chancellor Kent of New York wrote one. Justice [Joseph] Story, who served on the court with John Marshall wrote another, probably the best known, and, in a sense, perhaps the best of all of them. And we’ve seen some in more recent times, even written by professors in modern law schools.
“But in the late 1800s there developed a new philosophy of teaching law: not out of these textbooks that would systematically go through, line by line, clause by clause, article by article, the Constitution of the United States, reciting history and analyzing what the terminology meant and how it applied, but teaching according to what was called the ‘case method’. And the case method was to read decisions of the courts on the meaning of this [holding up a copy of the U.S. Constitution] document.”

DR. EDWIN VIEIRA (continued):
“Well the grave difficulty in that method from a scientific point of view is that whereas the constitution can neither be right nor wrong – it simply IS – a decision of a judge can be right, or it can be wrong. So, attempting to determine what the constitution means by reading a decision of the judge has the problem exactly backwards: you determine whether the decision of the judge is valid by understanding the constitution.
“I’ve always looked at this as not a ... as a method for a better grasp of the meaning of laws, but it was intellectual imperialism on behalf of the legal intelligentsia. Because the legal intelligentsia would then become the ones through whose interpretation of the law we would know what it was, instead of knowing it by reading it ourselves.
“And by the time I went to Harvard Law School, which was in the 1970s, everything was being taught by the case method, including constitutional law. They had these books called ‘case books’, and they were full of excerpts from [U.S] Supreme Court opinions, and you were to read these and somehow intuit from this, rightly or wrongly, what the constitution meant.
“And the premise of that whole structure was that what the [U.S.] Supreme Court said (emphasis added) was the constitution. Fascinating thought. Because as I remember reading the constitution – we never read it in class by the [way] – one thing I felt was fascinating. [It was a] course in constitutional law, and the first meeting the professor did not say, ‘Well I want you to come back on Wednesday having actually read the constitution so we’ll all know what we’re talking about.’ [Audience laughter]
“All right, now that’s usually not the scientific way to approach any kind of problem, so there was probably some other agenda built in there. But the last time I read the constitution, which was, what, a few seconds ago, how does it start? ‘We the judges?’ ‘We the law professors?’ No! It’s ‘we the people.’ And there’s a presumption built into that statement that we the people are capable of understanding this document [holding up a copy of the constitution] if we the people are the ones who ordained and established it.
And we do not need its meaning to be translated for us by some elitist group that has set itself up for that purpose. [Audience applause]
“And with all due deference to Cambridge, you do not need four Harvard degrees to understand that – or even one. A spoonful of common sense tells you that simply by looking at this document [places hand on copy of constitution]. But I think if you want to study it from that perspective, you probably don’t want to go to any of the big name law schools in the country today. [Audience applause]”

I’ll finish my final point despite an old saying I love: “Never argue with fools because they will reduce you to their level and beat you with experience.” I say that not to ridicule Bill Hugenberg’s basic humanity, but his pseudo-intellectual wannabe-clever liberal snark that I find so regularly slapping me in the face whenever I read the Sentinel online.
The insurmountable core problem with leftist/collectivist ideology is that it is inherently in direct conflict with the most basic characteristics of empirically observable human behavior. Collectivism necessarily requires herd/government coercion/violence to control “The Other”, when the individual human critter inconveniently (for libs) just happens to have been created — (or “evolved” if our atheist friends prefer that word) — with a survival need for individual self-ownership and self- determination. It is a logically self-evident fact that Control over The Other and individual self-ownership are irreconcilable.
Ron Paul has — as have I — studied the so-called Austrian economists, the most notable of whom are Ludwig von Mises (“Human Action”, “Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis”), Frédéric Bastiat (“The Law”, “Economic Sophisms”), Friedrich Hayek (“The Road To Serfdom”) and, Murray Rothbard (“Man, Economy and State”, and “The Ethics of Liberty”) who led him to his current libertarian philosophy.
Hugenberg simply dismisses these philosophical giants (whose briefcases he is intellectually unworthy to carry) out of hand with the phrase, “the long-discredited monetary theories of the ‘Austrian School’ of economics”. Long discredited by whom, and in what specific logic-related ways? Or just because a herd of ignoramuses are addicted to voting to steal the “other guy’s” labor?
It’s a reasonable guess to assume Hugenberg, unlike Ron Paul has never studied the work of the aforementioned Austrian economists. If he had, it’s difficult to understand how he could simply dismiss them so cavalierly.
Never forget: “politics” = manipulation and deception.  “Politics” = person or group A trying to persuade person or group B to obey the will of A. That is why “politicians” are by definition professionally skilled manipulators/deceivers.
What I really hate about politics is that so many leftists’ snarky ad hominem style of liberal debate and commentary can actually find some traction with freebie-addicted low-information readers, and that can extrapolate over to the voting booth. That means somebody with at least a modicum of common sense needs to expose the illogic and ignorance. It gives me no joy whenever that task happens to fall to me.
Real intellectuals, Left, Right, or in between, don’t use those tactics. They prefer studying and discussing actual facts and ideas. I wish Bill Hugenberg would do that. If he did, I might offer to buy him a beer sometime.

John Wilkenson is at it again—but this time convincingly proves my points.

Thus, even if Wilksenson himself is a “non-gullible person”, it should be obvious – given the reported “applause lines” – that the audience was replete with attendees who gullibly accept Ron Paul’s abbreviated and selective version of our Constitution as “gospel”.

Thus, the phrase “vigorously defend the Constitution” presumably endorses the County Sheriffs’ aborted participation in litigation challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s recently gun laws.  Diehard proponents of such views will likely regard those gun laws as “unconstitutional” even if the U.S. Supreme Court decides otherwise.
Likewise, by deprecating “merely what the judicial hierarchy says is the Constitution”, Wilkenson personally embraces Ron Paul’s selective version – which wholly ignores the authority delegated to the federal courts to decide what is and what is not constitutional.

Wilkenson forgets that the core purpose of any constitution – including our own—is to structure how to make political decisions.  Indeed, the Founders voluntarily substituted legislative votes, executive decisions, and judicial rulings for force of arms.  Contrary to Wilkenson’s later assertion, they were not “coerced” into a “collectivist” government.

Thus, Article III, Section 1, of our actual Constitution expressly vests “the judicial Power of the United States . . . in one Supreme Court” and expressly authorizes Congress to constitutionally create the very “judicial hierarchy” that Wilkenson disparages, while Article III, Section 2, extends that judicial power “to all cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution” and/or “the laws of the United States.”

Thus, while Wilkenson is “provably” correct in implying that the text of the Constitution does not explicitly state (as I did) that the federal courts have “exclusive authority to definitively declare what is ‘constitutional’ – or not”, that obviously literal common sense interpretation has remained free of credible challenge since Marbury v. Madison (1803) – which unambiguously articulated the Supreme Court’s authority to “say what the law is”. 

Wilkenson’s tortured argument also proves two more relevant points.  First, Wilkenson essentially concedes that the Constitution is not self-explanatory, and therefore requires occasional interpretation – if only as to what is “constitutional”.  Logically, as between the Congress (which presumably believes that all its enactments are consitutional), the President (who is sworn to uphold the Constitution, notwithstanding his/her veto power and/or “signing statements”), and the Judiciary, 210 years of experience confirm that the Supreme Court remains the most reliable – even if imperfect – final arbiter.

Second (to continue), Wilkenson “completely embarrasses himself by saying” falsely that “Article III provably does NOT do that” – when it clearly does.  Even though we know that the Supreme Court isn’t infallible, we also trust that relying on the judgment of at least five Justices is preferable to inviting the anarchy of 310 misguided Libertarians – much less of 310 million citizens with limited exposure to legal reasoning and history.

Consequently, Wilkenson’s use of the phrase “unconstitutional repression of the local citizenry by federal law enforcement” is pure polemic, and inherently nonsensical absent objective evidence of such “repression” – rather than merely subjective resentment of the Constitutions’s “Supremacy Clause” (Article VI, Clause 2), which expressly subordinates State judges, laws, and constitutions to federal law as “the Law of the Land”.

During 22 years in Congress, Ron Paul introduced 620 pieces of legislation – but only one (1) was enacted into law.  Thus, Paul’s peers regarded his prolific pronouncements as empty rhetoric.

Likewise, Paul’s inane proposal to “abolish the IRS” is similarly disingenuous.  Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution expressly grants Congress “the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises . . .”.  The Sixteenth Amendment made the income tax constitutional.  Thus, whatever you call it, the constitution authorizes the maintenance of whatever-named government bureaucracy is required to implement those provisions.

Paul would purportedly fund the entire federal government using only excise taxes and tariffs (which would still require some government agency to collect and administer that “internal revenue”), regardless of the adequacy of such revenue to fund governmental functions.  While Paul would reduce those government functions to match revenues, the Constitution expressly allows Congress to raise the revenues necessary to achieve the purposes articulated in its Preamble. 

Wilkenson’s reliance on dubious authority is also revealing.  Academically qualified as he may be, Edwin Vieira Jr. remains a darling among anti-tax conspiracy theorists – many of whom have ended-up in federal prison for criminal tax evasion.  As revealed in Wilkenson’s lengthy quotation, Viera propounds an “evengelical” view of the law and the Constitution – meaning that, just like the Bible, anyone can read the Constitution and achieve an accurate understanding of its meaning, with no need for judges (or priests).

Fortunately, most public policy disputes occur well withing the defined boundaries of the Constitution.  That allows charlatans like Ron Paul (and Wilkenson?) to merely assert that a (proposed) law is “unconstitutional” – for no other reason than because they say it is.  However, intellectually honest discourse demands more.  Wilkenson does not.

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