August 25, 2019

Disarm the police, not the citizens

TAMPA, February 7, 2013 ― First, the good news. The five-year-old boy kidnapped by a deranged man in Alabama has been rescued unharmed. He is with his family and reportedly “seems to be acting normally.”

The bad news is that some media seem to be using this incident to justify the ongoing militarization of domestic police forces.

“Military tactics, equipment helped authorities end Alabama hostage standoff,” reads today’s Fox News headline. The article describes how law enforcement responded to the hostage situation with what has become the new normal in the former land of the free. They mobilized paramilitary forces to deal with the situation just as an occupying army would deal with “counterinsurgency.”

According to the article, “In many ways, the scene resembled more of a wartime situation than a domestic crime scene as civilian law enforcement relied heavily on military tactics and equipment to end the six-day ordeal.”

Yes, every response by law enforcement seems to resemble a wartime situation these days, something one would think that Americans would be concerned about. Yet, for a nation that was born with a suspicion of standing armies and that wouldn’t tolerate the existence of one during peacetime, virtually no one objects to the increasingly aggressive tactics of local, state and federal police, often acting jointly to address routine local crimes.

One can already imagine the response by apologists for the all-powerful state. “If that’s what it takes to keep our children safe, then it’s worth it.”

It’s hard not to assume that the author of the article intends for the reader to draw that preposterous inference. It supposes a cause and effect relationship between the militarization of domestic police and the rescue of the child that does not exist.

Read the rest of the article at Communities@ Washington Times…

Why can’t Romney win delegates like Ron Paul?

TAMPA, May 10, 2012 – With his wins in Maine and Nevada last weekend and imminent wins at state conventions in six more states, it appears that some of us were correct when we said over a month ago that rumors of Ron Paul’s campaign demise were greatly exaggerated.

The media continues to insinuate that there is not only something underhanded about Paul’s strategy, but something fundamentally wrong with what Politico describes as “the country’s cumbersome and arcane system for nominating presidential candidates.” According to this narrative, Paul’s supporters are “undermining democracy” by using said “arcane rules” to nullify the wishes of the electorate.

One could argue that Paul’s strategy is perfectly legitimate and that the process is deliberately set up the way it is to ensure that only informed and committed voters become delegates and choose the nominee. It is a republican rather than a democratic electoral process.

This process doesn’t disenfranchise anyone because everyone has an equal opportunity to become a delegate. The rules are not “arcane.” Arcane means that the information is only available to some people. The rules for how one can become a delegate and how the nominee is chosen are published on the Republican Party website in each state and are equally available to everyone.

That brings us to the real question, representing the other side of all of the passive-aggressive attacks on Paul’s strategy and the nominating process itself.

Why can’t Romney simply employ the same strategy as Ron Paul? Why can’t he win delegate majorities in states where he won the popular vote?

Continue at Communities @ Washington Times…

Washington Times Communities link no longer active. Here is a recovered segment from quotation in Reason:

As far as I know, no one has conducted a poll of primary or caucus voters asking them why they did not participate in the delegate selection process. That means that one can only speculate as to why people who support Romney in the popular vote don’t tend to go on to become delegates…

for the most part, one need only be registered to vote in the primary or caucus. In some states, one must be a registered Republican to participate in the popular vote. In others, Democrats and independents can participate.

If one meets those minimal qualifications, one may cast a vote in the primary or caucus. One does not have to be informed on the issues or even know who is running. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all or even most participants in popular votes are uninformed. However, there is no requirement that they are informed and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that this may be a problem.

For example, a CNN poll following the 2008 Republican primary found that John McCain had strong support from voters who said that they disapproved of the Iraq War, even though McCain had recently said that it would be fine with him if the U.S. stayed in Iraq for a hundred years. Were these voters unaware of McCain’s position?…

This could never happen in the delegate selection process. By the time that a candidate for the RNC delegation has participated in the local caucus, the district or county conventions, and finally the state convention, he not only knows who all of the candidates are but can likely recite their policy positions. He’s heard them over and over during that process…

Delegates are also required to be more committed to their candidates than primary voters. Those local, district, county and state conventions aren’t exactly exciting. In fact, they’re downright boring…

So, Romney does overwhelmingly better in contests that don’t require the participants to be informed on the issues or even know all of the candidates….All they have to do is register and make a 15-minute commitment to pull a lever behind a curtain.

Ron Paul does overwhelmingly better in contests that require delegates to commit months of their time to the process, to hear the arguments of the other candidates ad nauseum and make arguments for their own candidate in return, and sometimes even form coalitions with the delegates supporting other candidates in order to achieve common goals.

 

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

The media just won’t let up on Ron Paul

TAMPA, May 8, 2012 – It’s official. Ron Paul has won two states. He’s probably going to win more.

In response, most media outlets have chosen to ramp up their passive-aggressive attacks on Paul’s campaign.

Ever since he announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for president back in 2007, Ron Paul has been covered like no other major party candidate in U.S. history.

Let’s review:

During his previous campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination, the media largely pretended he wasn’t running at all. When he was covered, virtually every article or segment described him as a “gadfly” and his campaign as “quixotic.” Even before the first debate was held, we were assured at least twice in every news piece that Paul “had little chance of winning the nomination.”

At the start of this election cycle, the gadfly’s quixotic campaign was covered in much the same manner. Admittedly, the insinuations that Paul’s views were “fringe” or “crazy” had diminished. It’s hard to call someone crazy after all of his economic predictions come true and all of the predictions of his opponents prove wrong.

Continue at Communities @ Washington Times…