Ron Paul rocks them in debate.

Missed this one but was alerted to it by Angry Exile, who saw it on Trooper Thompson’s blog, where its pointed out that the media seems to have missed it..
Ron performs well under quite aggressive questioning. If he doesn’t get the nomination, perhaps he would be a better Secretary of the Treasury than the current one.

Update: This now seems to play after reloading it.

Trooper also gives links to CNBC cancelling its poll when Ron was well ahead, and how the Guardian avoided mentioning him by name.

All small government people should be outraged at the manipulation of the electoral process by media organizations. The manner in which Governor Gary Johnson has been excluded from the process is bizarre and disgusting. It appears that the ‘mainstream’ press are determined to create a contest between Romney and Obama.

The libertarian party that roared.

The first paragraph of the article quoted below, which disparages a ‘libertarian political party which represents just 12 per cent of voters and barely 0.2 per cent of the eurozone’s voters’ reminds me of the old movie, “The Mouse that roared,” in which a mini principality goes to war with the US and through a series of unlikely events, wins.

The world is becoming used to the daily round of news of European nations in financial crisis, Greece being the current centre of attention.  There are constant updates on efforts by the more solvent members of the Euro zone to prop up failing members in exchange for financial reforms.  Meanwhile, long-suffering taxpayers are becoming increasingly outraged.

A current effort to expand the European Financial Stability Facility to 440 billion Euros has been blocked temporally by tiny Slovakia.  The ruling coalition there failed to approve the measure when the libertarian orientated Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) Party, voted it down.  The measure is expected to pass with the support of the opposition, probably requiring an early election as a condition.

This should give heart to angry voters across Germany, France, and the rest of Europe: Continue reading


There is a country in Europe with a federal income tax rate of 1.2% and free trade, recognition of same-sex unions and yet no anti-discrimination legislation, people can own handguns for self-defence, welfare is done at a local level, their leader believes the State should just concentrate on the rule of law and foreign affairs, citizens can veto any piece of legislation with a referendum, local autonomy is so extensive that a local community (about 3000 people) have the freedom to vote themselves independent at any time, there is no standing army, they refuse to join the EU, and have a GDP/person of $134,392. Welcome to the Principality of Liechtenstein — libertarian wonderland.

Lords of Poverty

I’ve just finished Graham Hancock‘s 1989 classic “Lords of Poverty” and recommend it to anybody interested in the working of the international aid bureaucracy. Hancock is scathing in his assessment of international aid agencies such as the United Nations, bilateral aid agencies (eg US AID), development banks (eg World Bank), and the IMF, and concludes that they haven’t just made a few unfortunate mistakes but they are irredeemably broken and need to be abandoned.

I found a few of his examples to be overly harsh, but found his thesis to be generally persuasive. Instead of trying to review his themes, I think it best to provide some extended quotes, and then encourage you to read the rest…

“This is how the game works: public money levied in taxes from the poor of the rich countries is transferred in the form of ‘foreign aid’ to the rich in the poor countries; the rich in the poor countries then hand it back for safe-keeping to the rich in the rich countries. The real trick, throughout this cycle of expropriation, is to maintain the pretence that it is the poor in poor countries who are being helped all along. The winner is the player who manages to keep a straight face while building up a billion-dollar bank account”

….. Continue reading

American politics: GOP nomination

America is more than a year away from their 2012 Presidential election, but things are already heating up. The “Grand Old Party” (GOP) of the Republicans are starting their process of picking their Presidential candidate to take on Obama, and as yet it is still a very open race. One interesting element of this nomination race is that there is growing strength among the non-establishment “outsider” candidates. It is still more likely that a “mainstream” candidate (Romney, Pawlenty, Huntsman, Perry) will win, but the “outsiders” (Bachmann, Paul, Cain, Palin) are all within striking distance.

So with only a little bit of poetic licence, I will run through the candidates in pairs… matching an “insider” and an “outsider” together for each category.

FrontrunnersMitt Romney (establishment) v Michele Bachmann (outsider). Romney has been leading in all major polls since the start of the race, but many consider him to be a soft leader who is in front mostly on name-recognition. He was a contender in the 2008 nomination race before losing out to John McCain. Bachmann has been the outsider who has caught the most momentum in recent weeks, leading the polls in some states (all important Iowa) and second in others (New Hampshire). The problem with Romney is his history of supporting a health mandate and seemingly changing his opinions to suit the circumstances. Bachmann is considered more of a conviction and “tea party” politician, but lacks the experience and as a “mini-Palin” has occasionally suffered from “foot-in-mouth” disease. She’s free-market and socially conservative.

Just behindRick Perry (establishment) v Ron Paul (outsider). Rick Perry hasn’t entered the race yet, but if/when he does he will automatically be in the mix as he is already polling at or above 10%. In some ways he is a cross between Romney & Bachmann… with the experience and credibility of Romney but with some of the conservative convictions of Bachmann. He has previously voiced sympathy with the “independent Texas” movement, but some question whether America is ready for another Texan governor (following Dubya). On the other side is libertarian favourite Ron Paul who has consistently been coming in near the top of the polls (around 10%) and came in second in fund-raising so far. The principled doctor now has a more professional campaign, but he is still being over-looked by many in the media.

Continue reading