“The only thing I have to add to that debate is this: both sides are right. Not in a the-truth-lies-somewhere-in-between sort of way. Nor in a can’t-we-all-get-along sort of way. No, both sides are right in the sense that I laid out above: Ron Paul is unacceptable, and it’s unacceptable that we don’t have someone on the left who is raising the issues of imperialism, war and peace, and civil liberties in as visible and forceful a way.”
Cory Robin, “Ron Paul has two problems…” (via zeitvox)
Also read this,
Even people, no, especially people who focus on Paul’s position on the drug war should think about the perils of his federalism. There are 2 million people in prison in this country. At most 10 percent of them are in federal prisons; the rest are in state and local prisons. If Paul ended the drug war, maybe 1/2 of those in federal prison would be released. Definitely a step, but it has to be weighed against his radical embrace of whatever it is that states and local governments do.
Paul is a distinctively American type of libertarian: one that doesn’t have a critique of the state so much as a critique of the federal government. That’s a very different kettle of fish. I think libertarianism is problematic enough—in that it ignores the whole realm of social domination (or thinks that realm is entirely dependent upon or a function of the existence of the state or thinks that it can be remedied by the persuasive and individual actions of a few good souls)—but a states-rights-based libertarianism is a social disaster.
So that’s his problem.
Our problem—and again by “our” I mean a left that’s social democratic (or welfare state liberal or economically progressive or whatever the hell you want to call it) and anti-imperial—is that we don’t really have a vigorous national spokesperson for the issues of war and peace, an end to empire, a challenge to Israel, and so forth, that Paul has in fact been articulating. The source of Paul’s positions on these issues are not the same as ours (again more reason not to give him our support). But he is talking about these issues, often in surprisingly blunt and challenging terms. Would that we had someone on our side who could make the case against an American empire, or American supremacy, in such a pungent way.
Underreported Stories of 2011
Yesterday, Current started a series of the 5 Underreported Stories of 2011. The first one was about child homelessness rates in the U.S.
Today’s story is how the U.S. military is propagating pro-U.S propaganda around the world through deceptive social media tactics.
The Guardian reports:
the U.S. military awarded a $2.76 million contract to Ntrepid, a California corporation, to develop software that will create fake personas (sock puppets) to try to influence dialogue among online denizens while propagating American propaganda (though after the Guardian’s article published, military officials told them these fake personas will not be on Twitter or Facebook).
Click through to read the rest of the entry, as well as links to other publications who covered this. Unless you’re a military agent trolling social networks. Then you can just skip this post.
Dream Jobs: “a military agent trolling social networks.” Let’s face it, the trolling you’re doing right now is probably nothing like the trolling you could do with military hardware. Is your disdain for the military-industrial complex greater than your love for trolling, and the potential to earn a living wage with full benefits? [Please don’t answer this question.]
“Sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military”? That will be a surprise to the men and women, of every orientation, who love, marry, and become parents while serving. We have an all-volunteer military whose health relies on its strong ties to civilian life — not a praetorian guard of eunuchs. Does Santorum think that “the military” is a collection of battle scenes in an action movie? Surely not; his father worked for the Veterans Administration, and so he must know better. He also ought to know that there is no “special privilege” here, just the possibility of serving without the special obligation of lying, and the same knowledge other soldiers have that the person they love most might be able to be handed a folded flag if they die. Or is the word “gay” so strong for Santorum that it blotted out the word “soldier”
“The USA should invade the USA and win the hearts and minds of the population by building roads, bridges, and putting locals to work.”
— Paul Myers (via whiporwill) Except that they don’t put many locals to work and they auction off natural resources to private companies, even as a joke this is naively optimistic.