26 July 2007

I'm rooting for the underdog, now. Heretofore I had largely scoffed at the Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, the dreamboat of angry libertarians, and considered him with sympathy but with realistic doubt. But now, reading more on his views, I figure if there is any time a pragmatic conservative can afford the luxury of rooting for the unwinnable ideal, it is a year before the primaries. So, I'm officially a Ron Paul backer. Here is the Wikipedia spiel about his views:

Ron Paul's political positions are largely in line with his stance as a libertarian. He claims to be a Constitutionalist and a non-interventionist. He is an advocate of free trade, fewer taxes, smaller government, and strong national sovereignty.

Paul supports reduced government spending and reduced taxes. As congressman, he has never voted to raise taxes or to approve an unbalanced budget and has also called for the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the federal income tax. Paul has been named "The Taxpayer's Best Friend" by the National Taxpayers Union every year he has been in Congress.

Paul also supports the U.S. converting to a free market health care system and increasing competition and thus opposes centralized universal health care. Paul is pro-life, yet most recently got a 65% pro-choice score from NARAL. Paul opposes "federal efforts to redefine marriage as something other than a union between one man and one woman" and has stated that he "would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act" if he had been in Congress at the time." In addition, Paul has asserted that he does not think there should be any federal control over education and education should be handled at a local and state level. Paul opposes illegal immigration, voted "yes" on the Secure Fence Act of 2006, and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Paul supports a non-interventionist foreign policy and opposes foreign aid. He is the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. Paul voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force which resulted in the War in Afghanistan in 2001, but suggested alternatives including giving the president authority to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

I probably differ with him on foreign policy in some aspects, but I like his principled adherence to unpopular views. Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War and Ron Paul did not. How crazy is that?

Also, has anyone else noticed the bountiful presence of Ron Paul yard signs? It's only because it takes an angry libertarian nutjob to be riled up enough a year and a half before an election to put out a yard sign.

Last point on Ron Paul: I may be the only one that thinks this, but there is a somewhat porn-star like ring to the name. It may be "Ron", which makes me think of "Ron Burgundy", and it might be the first name for a last name. But definitely not as bookish or twerpy as "Newt". Newt used to be my front-runner but his personal history makes me trust him very, very little.

I watched "V for Vendetta" last night, motivated by its inclusion of the comic genius Stephen Fry, who managed not to ratchet up the gayness to Pride Parade level, thankfully. It was an OK movie, but a predictable "comic book" movie. The same cheesy action, dialogue, and stilted acting we expect from comic book movies. And it was quite silly with its over-reaching attempts to repaint "1984" in the context of the Patriot Act, basically manifesting itself as a typical leftist fantasy dreamworld. It had some interesting observations (don't quite remember them, tellingly) but all in all its parables would only have any meaning to those that already were predisposed to their message. So people who believe that Bill Kristol is coming in jackboots tomorrow to kick down the doors of loving, sweet, innocent gay people to cart them off to government camps to be terminated will find this movie to be a moving piece full of truth and wisdom, whereas to me, it's a fantasy designed to cater to activists with overactive imaginations. The final fight scene with the knives...pure dreamworld stuff. The idea that someone would absorb somewhere probably around 50+ full-powered pistol rounds in the torso, no matter with what sort of vest, and still be able to move at all (or even survive) is kind of laughable, and as the case showed the suspect was not stopped by shots to center mass, all trained policemen would know to retrain their aim on the head. The "Mozambique Drill" it is called, and it is commonly practiced: two to COM (center of mass) and one to the head. I know, I know, it's a comic book, and comic book heroes cannot be killed by bullets, they always fight in slow motion, and they die slowly in the arms of the heroine. Sorry, I shouldn't be so nitpicky.

Lastly, I was listening to some music this morning and I remembered the profound influence on me of the track "N.S.U." on the album "Live Cream". Not a great song persay, but as a bassist I remember the moment, listening to the track, that I kind of realized what it was about. Jack Bruce is awesome, and I had forgotten how awesome.


Anonymous said...

People are starting to realize not only that Ron Paul can win, but that he will win. Bigtime.

Debtoneufer said...

We should change the word nitpicky to NICpicky!

Matt said...

My appreciation for Cream skyrocketed the other day when I heard White Room for what must have been the millionth time, but this time I really heard it. And then I paid attention to who wrote it, and realized what all the fuss was about.