A wolf in sheep’s clothing… Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky)

After observing several interviews with Senator Rand Paul, it has become apparent to me that he is willing to go as far as using his father’s name, as well as the principles that his father believed as a member of the Libertarian Party, to gain political power. As you may know, Mr. Paul is running under the title of Libertarian Republican.

While this may sound like an oxymoron to those who know bullshit when they see it, this can actually be the demise of the Libertarian party before it even has a chance to become what it stands for; “… to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by: functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements…” (LP News, “The Purpose of the Libertarian Party”).

The Libertarian Party needs to stand up and speak out against Mr. Paul and let him know that it is not alright to drag the Libertarian name through the dirt in order to gain votes.

According to a September-October 2013 survey conducted by the Public Research Institute, 22 percent of Americans now lean Libertarian. This may be because they don’t agree with the socially conservative right or with the fiscally liberal left. Either way, the numbers show more and more voters lean Libertarian.

The problem?  Mr. Paul’s insistence that he embraces the Libertarian cause, to the contrary of many of his spoken words and personal beliefs, taints the Libertarian party’s image and may negatively impact true Libertarians across the electoral circuit.

Mr. Paul has said that he is a Republican “with a twist”. “… but truthfully Mr. Paul, you are going to have to do something different than the cookie cutter Republican.

“I am offering something different and the Libertarian twist to that I think has appealed to both ethnic minorities as well as the youth and independents. It’s really a message that gets beyond just our hardcore Republican but it’s not antithetical to what a hardcore Republican stands for. It is enough of a twist that i think it has a chance to resonate in areas where we have not done very well.(2013 interview on “Uncommon Knowledge”).”

In the same interview, he is quoted as saying, “I am 100% pro-life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.” To explain this in the interview, he uses a few incidences by sick human beings who took the life of actual flesh and bone newborns. Upon further inspection of the numbers, as laid out by the Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html), one percent of all abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later. Only 11% of all abortion clinics even offer the service at 24 weeks. As of 2006, 88% of all abortions occurred in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

He opposed same sex marriage stating, “I believe in the historical definition of marriage. That being said…I’m not for limiting contracts between adults.” He basically bats this question away by saying it should be up to the state to decide. Should it not be up to the individual to decide whether or not they would like to be married? Shouldn’t the government just get out of marriage all together? Does a Libertarian not believe the proper role of Government is to protect against assault, theft, and foreign attacks?

If Mr. Paul continues to exploit what the Libertarian name has to offer, we need to hold him accountable and call him out, when necessary, so he may not ruin it for true Libertarian candidates. Further, it would demonstrate to all Libertarian candidates that if they choose to run under the Libertarian Party platform – that platform means something – and all candidates will be put under a microscope because we are sick of being lied to and value our liberty.

McCain clumsily chides Rand Paul over filibuster, questions

predator-firing-missile4A day after Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan, Arizona Senator John McCain felt it necessary to criticize Paul’s questions of Brennan and accused the junior Senator of political stunts.

The most confusing part of McCain’s criticisms came when he accused Rand Paul of being uninformed on the matter of U.S. use of drones over our homeland.  “He needs to know what he’s talking about,” McCain spat.

Which begs the obvious question: which one of Paul’s questions gave McCain the impression that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about?  Paul pressed Brennan on the government’s use of drones within the United States and demanded an answer to the constitutionality of using drones to kill U.S. citizens at home.  Brennan, of course, did not give a straight answer.  While saying the possibility of using drones to attack U.S. citizens is unlikely, the government has been careful to leave the door open to drone use in grave matters of national security, like the September 11th attacks.

Rand Paul wants to know if the use of drones, especially for non-combatants in the U.S., is constitutional to Mr. Brennan.  Brennan is up for a vote to be the CIA’s next director, and accordingly, I would think such questioning is not only appropriate, but necessary, before leading one of the United States’ more secretive and protected intelligence agencies.

McCain’s confusing critique of Paul continued.  “What we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those who say the rules of the Senate are being abused,” he said.

Okay, Mr. McCain – what rule did Rand Paul break or abuse in filibustering Mr. Brennan?  Filibustering has been a part of American politics for decades and stands as a perfectly reasonable means to protest the appointment of government officials and/or demand answers from them.  This has been used countless times in the past and will continue to be used in the future.

What is your real problem with Paul, Mr. McCain?  Your clumsy critique of the Senator seems forced and contrived.  You managed to provide absolutely no specific information to backup your criticism of Paul, only a shallow school yard comment about Paul not knowing what he’s talking about and an implication that concerns over the random killing of Americans on U.S. soil are unfounded.

Is ensuring our appointed officials answer a direct question regarding the constitutionality of the surveillance of the American people inappropriate?  Perhaps you believe government officials such as Brennan, and maybe yourself as well, are above question?  Isn’t the possibility of using drones to surveil and potentially kill American citizens on our own soil worth the extra night of questioning and a filibuster?  As an elected official, you should be asking these very same questions, Senator.  Our government should never, under any circumstances, go unchecked or unquestioned.  Even if you personally do not believe the government would commit such an atrocity, Brennan is being considered for a position that comes with power that would allow for such an action.

But I suppose that when you are in that government, it is less of a worry.

Or, maybe this issue is not of any real importance to you, and anyone who dares question the motives of the United States government or its appointed officials must not know what they are talking about.  After all, the government has a stellar record of self-governance and ethical behavior, right?  There is no need for such uninformed questions.  There is no basis to be concerned over the government’s ability to watch the American people and take action against those they deem to be “enemy combatants” without any kind of trial or hearing.

The possibility does not exist, so let’s not even ask.

Just a couple hours ago, Attorney General Eric Holder responded to Paul’s question asking whether the President has the authority to kill U.S. citizens in a non-combative situation.  The answer, simply, is “no”.  Paul said he’s satisfied with that answer in an interview with CNN, although he wishes the White  House would have responded a month ago when the question was initially asked.

2012 brings big debt and fewer liberties to Americans

rules_1668_1668The year 2012 saw tremendous encroachments into the freedoms and liberties of the American people, and few of our Congressional representatives stood in the way of such abuses of power.  From taxing internet purchases to allowing the government to throw people in jail based on “secret” evidence of terrorism, this year marks another elimination of freedoms and liberties in the United States.

A couple things did increase, though: our national debt and the number of well-paid federal government workers.

The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) not only gave the government the authority to continue expensive and never-ending wars overseas, but it also gives Washington far reaching powers to imprison American citizens for the mere suspicion of terrorism.

“This bill takes away [the right to a trial] and says that if someone thinks you’re dangerous, we will hold you without a trial. It’s an abomination,” remarked Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who argued fiercely against the inclusion of the indefinite detention provision within the NDAA.  Paul cited Japanese internment camps as historical evidence that government cannot be trusted with powers that rely on behind-closed-doors “secret” evidence against the American people.

The United States’ punitive system of taxation is forcing companies to funnel millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts.  Facebook, in fact, has funneled nearly a half billion to Cayman Island banks.  The U.S. government’s continued insistence to punish success in the United States has once again prompted companies in 2012 to take their financial business elsewhere.

At the state level, an estimated 225,000 wealthy residents have fled California to escape its tax structure.  This year, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown successfully pushed through tax increases that make Californians the highest taxed citizens in the country as the state’s deficits skyrocket to nearly $30 billion.  Taxing the rich never works, and as reported on the Small Government Times before, ends up sending your wealthier taxpayers running for the hills.

How about that U.S. Postal Service?  This year marked the first year that the government distribution service defaulted as the organization continues to leak money.  Daily, the Postal Service is losing about $25 million.  The financial hemorrhaging is preventing the service from paying current and future retiree benefits, roughly $5.5 billion in 2011 and 2012.

The number of federal workers, along with their salaries, have seen dramatic increases in the last several years.  According to public record, over 500,000 federal government workers earn more than $100,000 a year (an increase of 10% since 2006) and average nearly twice the private sector in annual salaries.  In fact, 77,000 federal workers make more than state governors.  Despite economic uncertainty for the majority of the American people, more than half of those in Congress are millionaires.  Several calculate their wealth easily in the hundreds of millions.

More than 40,000 state laws took effect this year, ranging from a higher minimum wage for several states, fining bus and truck drivers for talking on their cell phones while driving and a variety of regulations on concussions suffered while playing sports.  Some states made it a requirement that larger businesses use the E-Verify system to confirm the legality of its workers.  California gave illegals brought to the United States as infants access to the same statewide scholarships that legal students enjoy.  Other states are requiring school and city coaches to bench younger players when they are believed to have suffered a concussion.  Seat belts laws, inclusion of gay and lesbian studies in school curriculum and requiring state licensing to perform abortions all helped to increase the number of laws and regulations offered in this country.

The U.S.’s national debt has skyrocketed passed $16 trillion, an increase of a whopping $5 trillion since Barack Obama took office.

Elections have consequences, ladies and gentlemen.  Stay vigilant.