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Category Archives: Ron Paul

Would There Even Be an Alt-Right If the Libertarians Led by Ron Paul Hadn’t Paved the Way? – AlterNet

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:34 am

Photo Credit: Christopher Halloran /

Last December as the smoke was clearing from the electoral explosion and many of us were still shell-shocked and wandering around blindly searching for emotional shelter, Salons Matthew Sheffieldwrote a series of articlesabout the rise of the alt-right. The movement had been discussed during the campaign, of course. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton even gave a big speech about it. Trumps campaign strategist and chiefconsigliere, Steve Bannon the once and future executive editor of Breitbart News had even bragged that his operation was the platform of the alt-right just a few months earlier. But after the election there was more interest than ever in this emerging political movement.

Its an interesting story about a group of non-interventionist right-wingers who came together in the middle of the last decade in search of solidarity in their antipathy toward the Bush administrations wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a motley group of conservatives, white nationalists and libertarians that broke apart almost as soon as they came together. The more clever among them saw the potential for this new brand and began to market themselves as the alt-right and it eventually morphed into what it is today. The series is a good read and explains that the alt-right really was a discrete new movement within the far right wing and not simply a clever renaming of racist and Nazi groups.

This week conservative writer Matt Lewis of the Daily Beast, a Trump critic,wrote a pieceabout the libertarian influence on the alt-right and suggested that libertarians work harder to distance themselves from this now-infamous movement. He points out that former Rep. Ron Pauls presidential campaigns were a nexus of what became alt-right activism. Sheffield had written about that too:

Pretty much all of the top personalities at the Right Stuff, a neo-Nazi troll mecca, started off as conventional libertarians and Paul supporters, according to the sites creator, an anonymous man who goes by the name Mike Enoch.

We were all libertarians back in the day. I mean, everybody knows this,he said on an alt-right podcast last month.

It wasnt just obscure neo-Nazi trolls. Virtually all the prominent figures in or around the alt-right movement, excepting sympathizers and fellow travelers like Bannon and Donald Trump himself, were Paul supporters:Richard Spencer,Paul Gottfried,Jared Taylor,Milo Yiannopoulosand Alex Jones. (The latter two deny being part of the alt-right, but have unquestionably contributed to its rise in prominence.) Pauls online support formed the basis for what would become the online alt-right, the beating heart of the new movement.

In fact, Ron Paul then a Texas congressman and the father of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the original alt-right candidate, long before Donald Trump came along. Paul was also, by far, the most popular libertarian in America.

Those of us observing the Paul phenomenon and libertarianism from the left always found it curious in this regard. Pauls racism was simply undeniable.It was documented for decades. He hid behind the states rights argument, as pro-Confederate racists have always done, but it was never very convincing. If you are a principled libertarian who believes in small government and inalienable individual rights, what difference does it make whether a federal or state government is the instrument of oppression?

Most of us thought a lot of Pauls appeal, especially to young white males, came down to a loathing for the uptight religious conservatism of the GOP, along with Pauls endorsement of drug legalization. That made some sense. Why would all these young dudes care about the capital gains tax?

And lets face facts, it wasnt just libertarians who could be dazzled by Pauls iconoclasm.There were plenty of progressives drawn to his isolationist stance as well.But as it turns out, among that group of Atlas Shrugged fans and stoners were a whole lot of white supremacists, all of whom abandoned Ron Pauls son Rand in 2016 when Donald Trump came along and spoke directly to their hearts and minds.

Is there something about libertarianism that attracts white supremacists? It seems unlikely except to the extent that it was a handy way to argue against federal civil rights laws, something that both Paulpreandfilsendorsed during their careers, legitimizing that point of view as a libertarian principle. (In fairness, Rand Paul has tried to pursue more progressive racial policies in recent years which may also have helped drive away his dads supporters.) Other than that, though, it seems to me that libertarianism has simply been a way station for young and angry white males as they awaited theirGod Emperor, as they call Trump on the wildly popular alt-right site, r/The_Donald.

Still, libertarians do have something to answer for. While principled libertarianslike Cathy Youngcertainly condemned the racism in their ranks at the time, others who supported Ron Paul failed to properly condemn the rank bigotry undergirding the Paul philosophy.

Lewiss Daily Beast piece certainly provoked some reaction among libertarians. Nick Gillespie at Reasonobjectedto the characterization of libertarianism as a pipeline to the alt-right, writing that the alt-right and Trumpism, too, to the extent that it has any coherence is an explicit rejection of foundational libertarian beliefs in free trade and free migration along with experiments in living that make a mess of rigid categories that appeal to racists, sexists, protectionists, and other reactionaries. So he rejects calls to purge libertarianism of alt-righters since he believes they were never really libertarians in the first place.

Gillespie does, however, agree that libertarian true believers should call out such people wherever we find them espousing their anti-modern, tribalistic, anti-individualistic, and anti-freedom agenda. (It would have been easy to include racist in that list but, being generous, perhaps he meant it to fall under the term tribalistic.)

Meanwhile, over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler addresses some libertariansmisplaced affinity for the Confederacy,a phenomenon I must admit I didnt know existed. Evidently,there really are libertarianswho take the side of the secessionists, supposedly on the basis of tariffs and Abraham Lincolns allegedly monstrous record on civil liberties. Adler patiently explains why this is all nonsense and wrote, Libertarianism may not be responsible for the alt-right, but its fair to ask whether enough libertarians have done enough to fight it within their own ranks.

Good for these prominent libertarians for being willing to confront the currents of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia that at the very least have contaminated their movement. We await the same honest self-appraisal from the conservative movement and Republican leaders as a whole.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

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Would There Even Be an Alt-Right If the Libertarians Led by Ron Paul Hadn't Paved the Way? - AlterNet

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Libertarians wrestle with the alt-right – Washington Post

Posted: at 3:34 am

Christopher Cantwell, the self-described anti-Semite and alt-right activist who starred in a viral Vice News documentary about the deadly protests in Charlottesville, isfacing three charges based on his conduct.

Unlike some of the other marchers, Cantwell was no stranger to confrontations with authority. In New Hampshire, his sudden fame startled libertarianswho had known Cantwell as a busy, talkative but increasingly extreme anti-government activist. In 2012, he arrived in the state as a vocal supporter of Ron Pauls 2012 presidential campaign, and as a critic of the police a hot issue in Keene, a college town in western New Hampshire with a robust libertarian population. During the Obama years, he had changed.

Until the last year or two of his life, hed been a libertarian activist with no known racist streak, wrote Ian Freeman, a radio host and commentator in the Free Keene movement, in a post last week. A couple of years ago, he began down this road to his current skinhead-racist form and once that happened, we had to dump him as a co-host of my radio show,Free Talk Live. As libertarians, we believe in the individual and dont see people as groups based on color, gender, or religion. Chris now only sees the group rather than the individual. Hes one of the few people who has turned away from the libertarian message after having embraced it.

But in Cantwells own words, he had come to racism and anti-Semitism through libertarianism not by abandoning it. Cantwells story is one of several that have made libertarians ask fresh questions about the turns that their movement took in the Obama years, as Pauls two Republican bids for president consolidated everyone from anti-government voluntaryists to racist conspiracy theorists into one roiling campaign.

Ive been concerned about some libertarians trending alt-right, because these hard alt-right proto-fascists and neo-Nazis have been trolling libertarians for years, said the libertarian writer Jeffrey Tucker, who has written extensively about the racist threat to the movement. Theyre doing to libertarianism what they did to Pepe the frog, or Taylor Swift to co-opt it. They know that no normal American is going to rally around the Nazi flag, so theyre taking ours.

One person was killed and 19 were injured amid protests of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. Here's how the city became the scene of violence. (Elyse Samuels,Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)

But as Cantwell himself pointed out, a debate about racism and racisms political utility had been taking place among libertarians for decades. Ron Paul first ran for president in 1988, drawing media attention but bringing his Libertarian Party less than 1 percent of the vote. In the wake of that defeat, the libertarian thinker Murray Rothbard argued that the movement needed to take a page from the campaigns of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Libertarians, stuck in a losing effort to win yuppies, needed to realize the potency of an appeal to white working-class voters, one that explained how shrinking the state would mean fewer benefits devolved topeople not like them.

The proper strategy of libertarians and paleos is a strategy of right-wing populism, that is: to expose and denounce this unholy alliance, and to call for getting this preppie underclass-liberal media alliance off the backs of the rest of us: the middle and working classes, Rothbard wrote.

In an essay published at his personal website last week, Cantwell cited Rothbard as one of the thinkers who had moved him from generic anti-state activism toward racism.

What I realized in the course of my inquiries, is that the people everyone called racists werent claiming that race was a reliable way of judging individuals. They were only observing demographic trends, and hate was not the focus of their efforts. They were trying to reduce the amount of conflict and violence in their society, and they figured out that discrimination based on ethnic categories was an efficient method of accomplishing this goal.

That seemed to coincide well with my libertarianism. Libertarians also want to reduce conflict over scarce resources. In libertarian philosophy, nobody ought to be compelled to associate with anyone else. People should be free to exercise complete control over their own person and property. If blacks are committing crimes, or Jews are spreading communism, discriminating against them is the right of any property owner.

Mainstream libertarians were worried about the spread of ideas like that. Pauls campaigns, which some cosmopolitan libertarians viewed skeptically, took their philosophy to new heights of political support. It also, indisputably, won the support of some white supremacists. In 2007, as Paul was rising in polls for what had been a quixotic presidential bid, he appeared as a guest speaker for the Robert Taft Club, led by Richard Spencer the same Richard Spencer who, after the 2008 election, coined the term alt-right.

This year, when Spencer was invited to talk to some attendees ofthe International Students for Liberty conference, Jeffrey Tucker confronted him in an exchange filmed from several angles and shared by alt-right activists who thought that Spencer got the better of it. I used to read your articles, Spencer said, mockingly, while Tucker accused him of trying to troll the conference.

The confrontation had been a long time coming. In 2014, Tucker had written an essay against what he called libertarian brutalism, defining it as an anti-liberal tendency that grew out of a perversion of libertarian principles.

The brutalists are technically correct that liberty also protects the right to be a complete jerk and the right to hate, but such impulses do not flow from the long history of the liberal idea, he wrote. As regards race and sex, for example, the liberation of women and minority populations from arbitrary rule has been a great achievement of this tradition. To continue to assert the right to turn back the clock in your private and commercial life gives an impression of the ideology that is uprooted from this history, as if these victories for human dignity have nothing whatever to do with the ideological needs of today.

One of Tuckers criticsat the timewas Christopher Cantwell. What we brutalists are saying is, egalitarianism is not the means or end of libertarianism, and saying otherwise in hopes of attracting Democrats into our ranks is illusory, he wrote. When you repeat statist race propaganda, do you grow our ranks? No. You simply distract from the point that race is irrelevant.

Three years later, having substantially changed his views on race, Cantwell would turn himself in to police after bragging about his actions at a rally organized by racists.

Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union, told attendees at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 23 that members of the alt-right are "anti-Semites, they are racists, they are sexists." (The Washington Post)

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Ron Paul: Stocks may get chopped in half within a year, but …

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Last month, libertarian and multiple campaigner for president Ron Paul made headlines with his gloomy prediction that the stock market, plagued by an overrated recovery for the U.S. economy, could plunge 25% by October.

Obviously, not much in the way of positive news has come along since then to change his views. In fact, he just took his bearish outlook up a few notches.

A 50% pullback is conceivable, he told CNBC, earning our call of the day. I dont believe its 10 years off. I dont even believe its a year off.

That kind of damage would bring the S&P SPX, +0.99% down to 1,212 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.90% to 10,837.

But Paul isnt jumping on the increasingly crowded anti-Trump bandwagon, as least as the president pertains to whats happening in the stock market.

Its all man-made. Its not the fault of Donald Trump in the last week, he said. If the market crashes tomorrow and we have a great depression, he didnt do it in six months. It took more like six or 10 years to cause all these problems.

Nothing so dire as yet, but stocks have been getting beaten up a bit lately, especially the Nasdaq COMP, +1.36% , which has dropped four straight weeks. The Dow and the S&P are in the midst of two-week losing streaks.

As for Trump, here he is relishing the job:

Another losing stretch for the major indexes could be in the works, if the premarket action is any indication. Not much green so far. Futures for the Dow YMU7, -0.16% and the S&P ESU7, -0.19% are slightly lower this morning, following a mixed session in Asia ADOW, -0.05% Europe SXXP, +0.83% is also off to a sluggish start. See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action

So, when does bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.59% become a key part of your diversification strategy? If youre lucky, it already has.

As you can see from this chart by Grayscale, just a small piece of the crypto market can make a massive difference in your returns. At least over the past year, in which bitcoin and other digital currencies have gone nuts.

This illustration is part of a package of 26 charts compiled by Real Vision called, Killer charts from the smartest investor.

Read: Bitcoin $25,000? More proof of the crypto bubble.

The removal of Bannon is the end of even a facade of populism. This is now the Goldman GS, +1.26% Presidency with a thin-skinned, unthinking authoritarian as a figurehead Michael Krieger of the Liberty Blitzkrieg blog.

Also, this just in: The L.A. Times is NOT a big Trump fan.

30% Thats how many customers are now using the Starbucks SBUX, +2.45% app to pay for their orders. The coffee sellers huge success with its mobile approach has Silicon Valley taking notice. Read more from Barrons.

Ubers search for a replacement for CEO Travis Kalanick has led to former General GE, +0.45% Chairman Jeff Immelt, who has emerged as the front-runner candidate, according to numerous sources cited by Recode.

Teslas TSLA, +1.03% Elon Musk and 115 other tech leaders are sounding the alarm on autonomous weapons and urging the U.N. to take action.

Sempra Energy SRE, -0.10% reached a whopping $9.45 billion deal to buy Texas utility Oncor Electric Delivery Co. Oncors parent is the bankrupt Energy Future Holdings Corp., and rumors have been flying for months over who might buy the unit.

French oil giant Total TOT, +1.41% FP, +1.50% has agreed to buy Danish conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maersks AMKBY, +2.11% MAERSKB, +2.35% oil unit in a $7.45 billion deal, the latest sign activity is returning to the sector following crudes three-year slump.

Fiat Chrysler FCAU, +0.22% FCA, +0.26% looks set for an up day after Chinas Great Wall Motor Co. 2333, +1.61% reportedly expressed interest in buying the Italian-American car maker.

Not much on the docket in terms of data today, though the Chicago Fed National Activity Index hits at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The reports that will draw the most attention will be released midweek, when well get a look at new and existing home sales.

The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium starts Thursday and lasts for three days. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is slated to speak at the event on Friday.

Once you try an electric bike, itll be hard to go back.

Another show business legend passes.

What is Amazon AMZN, +1.43% really?

Trumps day of doom for national monuments is almost here.

Ticket demand for the upcoming Mayweather-McGregor tussle isnt exactly living up to all the hype. Still, they arent cheap.

Are you ready for some serious traffic? Or potentially severely damaging your eyes? Heres what you need to know about todays big eclipse.

Need to Know starts early and is updated until the opening bell, but sign up here to get it delivered once to your email box. Be sure to check the Need to Know item. The emailed version will be sent out at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern.

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‘Recipe for disaster’: Ron Paul to RT about Trump’s Afghanistan policy turn – RT

Posted: at 11:28 pm

US President Donald Trumps plans to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan risk alienating his base and are unlikely to win him any favor with the Washington establishment, says a prominent former member of Congress.

In an interview with RT, former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul questioned Trumps contradictory approach to foreign policy.

Even if he flip-flops and goes along with the neocons, which it looks like he has, hes not going to win them over. The people who support McCain and Graham and Rubio arent going to support him, Paul told RT, naming the senators from Arizona, South Carolina and Florida known for being foreign policy hawks. I think he loses in a political way, he loses some of the support from his base.

Trumps decision to drop the Mother of all Bombs on suspected Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants operating in Afghanistan in April has already undermined support he may have garnered among independents and libertarians. His current U-turn, however, may prove to be the straw that broke the camels back for many of his supporters - and wont win Trump any friends among his critics, Paul said.

Theres a lot of foreign anger directed toward us [But] Americans dont lie awake at night fearing that someone from Afghanistan will come and kill them It hasnt been happening, isnt going to happen, Paul added.

In addition, Trumps repeated criticism of the US militarys Middle Eastern misadventures under both the Obama and Bush administrations are now coming back to haunt him, as he struggles to tease out an effective strategy for Afghanistan with his national security advisor, General H.R. McMaster.

His goal isnt to get it done inside six months or a year; hes planning to be there for the long-term. He wants to increase the troop levels, and he will, but we dont know exactly [by how much], Paul told RT.

Paul believes that rather than adopt the hands-on approach promised by candidate Trump, the president will outsource the majority of the decision-making to his generals.

It sounds to me like even he wants to give away some of his authority and say some of the generals are in charge. Let them make all the decisions, Paul warned, calling it a a recipe for disaster.

Generals are trained to kill people and Trump says we should be killing more people in Afghanistan, the former congressman from Texas said, adding that it may be more a case of business-as-usual rather than the art of the deal.

I dont think theres anything new. The words are a little different - he says hes not into nation-building - but that was a pretense anyway; how many nations have we really built or improved? Paul said. Weve torn nations apart. He changes the words and makes it sound like the world will come apart if we dont continue to be the worlds policeman.

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‘Neocon Lies’: Ron Paul Claims Iraq War Created Al Qaeda – Mediaite

Posted: at 11:28 pm

Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul is taking a healthy online flogging for his tweet about the origins of terror group Al-Qaeda.

Remember, the libertarian firebrand wrote as he watched President Donald TrumpsMonday night speech on Afghanistan, there was no al-Qaeda until our foolish invasion of Iraq based on neocon lies.

Paul has long been critical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, spearheaded by the hegemony-fetishists in President George W. Bushs administration.

But Pauls latest critique of the war contains a glaring factual error: Al-Qaeda existed long before 2003 (Remember, Ron: the group orchestrated the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that supposedly justified the invasion of Iraq)

Osama bin Ladenactuallyformed the terrorist organization, dubbed Al-Qaeda, in 1988 during the Soviet War in Afghanistan a conflict between Soviet armies and the U.S.-backed Afghan mujahideen.

The group was created by bin Laden and other prominent members of the mujahideen, who would go on to conduct a number of terror attacks around the world in the 1990s, with the successful attack on New Yorks World Trade Center coming in 2001 followed swiftly by the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after the countrys Taliban regime failed to hand over bin Laden.

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Trump Backs a Surge into Afghanistan He’s Unfit to Lead – The Atlantic

Posted: at 11:27 pm

Is the war in Afghanistan winnable? I fear not, under any commander in chief. I suspect withdrawal in the very near future would be the best course among a set of bad options.

If the U.S. is going to surge more troops into its longest war, however, doing so under Donald Trump is folly. And the brave men and women who volunteered for the U.S. military deserve better. It is hard to imagine a commander in chief less suited to succeed. That is partly due to his dearth of experience; partly due to the chaotic atmosphere he brings to the executive branch; partly due to the extreme divisions in our polity that he stokes and exacerbates; and partly due to his belief that it is okay to issue changes in military policy via Twitter before telling the Pentagon.

But the biggest reason Trump is unfit to command U.S. forces in Afghanistan is his repeated, public insistence that the war there is an idiotic waste, that we should withdraw, that the billions spent there would be better spent rebuilding our country, and that additional lives lost are lives wasted.

The troops who will keep risking their lives in Afghanistan know their commander in chiefs history. Six years ago, Trump started tweeting about Americas longest war:

Four days later he repeated himself:

That autumn he called for a change in Americas spending priorities:

And he reiterated his position in the spring of 2012:

He argued that the war was disadvantaging America relative to a geopolitical rival:

He called the war effort a total disaster:

He called the war a "complete waste":

He declared that the cost in American lives was too great:

He noted another batch of casualties:

At the end of 2012 he issued another call for withdrawal:

At the beginning of 2013 he kept up the pressure:

We're wasting American lives and billions of dollars, he complained:

Use the money on domestic infrastructure instead, he urged:

He characterized American lives lost in the conflict as "wasted":

He asserted that some of the money the U.S. sends there winds up in the hands of our enemies:

Those who wanted the U.S. to stay there through 2024 are very stupid, he said:

That November he repeated several of his arguments for withdrawal:

He touted withdrawal again in the fall of 2014:

That December he complained that Obama was keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another year:

In December 2015 he restated his position:

No one with a record of public statements like that is the ideal commander in chief to double down on the war in question, especially when he just campaigned and won office by promising withdrawal from abroad. Imagine that winning the Afghan war would require tens of thousands of additional troops, tens of billions of additional dollars, and five additional years. Could the guy elected after those tweets rally a nation to meet that burden? If the going gets tough, will he really stick with the position that the generals advising him pressured him to take rather than reverting to what he said for years?

Trump attempted to address his change of opinion in his address to the nation on Monday:

But Americans have come to know the different modes of Trump. On subjects that he actually cares about, the ones he returns to again and again, he riffs freely and exudes passionate intensity. No one doubts that Trump will keep reminding us of his election victory; his contempt for undocumented immigrants; and his hatred of the media.

On Monday, America got the other Trump, who mechanically reads speeches written in a voice not his own, showing neither passion nor conviction. He did note the contradiction between his long record of statements calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan and the policy of escalation that he grudgingly intends to pursue as president.

He did give plausible reasons for changing his mind.

But no American can be confident that Trump will provide steady leadership on matters of war. His initial instinct was withdrawal. And his behavior to date suggests that he usually reverts to instinct; that many now advising him will soon resign or be fired; that his attention will wander; that he may change course on an impulse at any moment, if only to show that hes in charge, perhaps even tweeting that impulse before telling the Pentagon; and that even if he stays the course, he is likely to do more to rally Americans against Mika Brzezinski or The New York Times than the Taliban.

This has been many months in the making, Kellyanne Conway told The Washington Post. The hallmark of leadership is a deliberative process, not an impulsive reaction, and that is precisely the protocol he followed here. But winning a war requires a White House to sustain a deliberative process, and avoid impulsive mistakes, for many months or even years on end. When has Trump ever done that?

If Americans thought they were electing a president who would extend rather than end the Afghan war, it isnt at all clear that they wouldve voted for Trump in the same numbersnot only because they are war weary, but because they know on some level that Trump is not the commander in chief you want when the nation is at war. All things considered, he is unusually unsuited to preside over a successful escalation. And if Trump fails for that reason, the loss of American soldiers will be on the hands of every member of Congress who quietly believes that he is unfit to be commander in chiefthat his unfitness is likely to get more soldiers killedbut who says nothing and does nothing save hoping he resigns.

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Ron Paul: 50% stock market plunge ‘conceivable,’ but it’s not President Trump’s fault – CNBC

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Ron Paul's sell-off prediction just got more severe.

The former Republican Congressman from Texas believes escalating dysfunction in Washington will create even more pain for Wall Street.

"A 50 percent pullback is conceivable," Paul said on "Futures Now" recently. "I don't believe it's ten years off. I don't even believe it's a year off. "

According to his calculations, it would cut the S&P 500 Index in half, to 1212, and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average would collapse to 10,837.

Paul noted that there's a lot of chaos in Washington right now, with an "unpredictable president" and those who are inclined to "tear him apart" but if the market takes that big of a tumble, he doesn't see it as Trump's fault.

"It's all man-made. It's not the fault of Donald Trump in the last week. If the market crashes tomorrow and we have a great depression, he didn't do it in six months. It took more like six or ten years to cause all these problems that we're facing," he said.

What's more, it would come at the expense of businesses who are counting on reforms such as tax cuts and fewer regulations, according to Paul.

Paul, who is also known for his presidential runs, originally made his case for a somewhat more benign 25 percent downturn on June 29 on "Futures Now." He argued Wall Street is overestimating the strength of the economy, and the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long. He said the situation for stocks could turn ugly as soon as October.

Stocks will try to bounce back on Monday from multiple losing weeks in a row. The Nasdaq just saw its fourth consecutive week of losses. Meanwhile, the Dow & S&P 500's losing streak now sits at two weeks.

If Paul's vision is right, the damage is bound to worsen.

"I see the foundation of our system built on sand, and a big wind comes along to blow it down," Paul said.

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‘He was radicalized online’: Nephew of white nationalist speaks – CNN International

Posted: August 16, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Tefft was identified as a marcher in the weekend's violent alt-right demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, early on and was publicly disavowed by his family in a letter to the newspaper in Fargo, North Dakota.

"I wanted to talk about how we think that he was radicalized online," Scott told anchor Chris Cuomo.

Scott continued, "Back in 2008, 2009, he was like pretty much anybody else in the family: He was a feminist, he was a progressive, he was a vegetarian. But around the time of Ron Paul's presidential campaign back in 2012, he started spending a lot of time on these sort of fringe Internet spaces like 4chan and getting all of his news from like, Infowars, and other places like that."

It all happened "behind our backs," Scott said. The family didn't notice anything was going on until Tefft showed up to a family gathering "ranting about the Jews" and identifying himself as a fascist, the nephew said.

Scott told Cuomo: "I feel that as a society, we need to be talking about this phenomenon of young, white, asocial men who are going into these Internet spaces and they are becoming radicalized, often without their family's knowledge."

"It bears, frankly, a scary resemblance to the recruiting tactics of terrorist groups like ISIL," Scott concluded.

CNN has tried to reach Tefft several times without success.

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Trump can’t be serious about attacking Venezuela – Times-Enterprise

Posted: August 15, 2017 at 11:43 am

There is something unsettling about how President Trump has surrounded himself with generals. From his defense secretary to his national security advisor to his White House chief of staff, Trump looks to senior military officers to fill key positions that have been customarily filled by civilians. Hes surrounded by generals and threatens war at the drop of a hat.

President Trump began last week by threatening fire and fury on North Korea. He continued through the week claiming, falsely, that Iran is violating the terms of the nuclear deal. He finally ended the week by threatening a U.S. military attack on Venezuela.

He told reporters on Friday that, We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary. We have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying.

Venezuelas defense minister called Trumps threat an act of craziness.

Even more worrisome, when Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro tried to call President Trump for clarification he was refused. The White House stated that discussions with the Venezuelan president could only take place once democracy was restored in the country. Does that mean President Trump is moving toward declaring Maduro no longer the legitimate president of Venezuela? Is Trump taking a page from Obamas failed regime change policy for Syria and declaring that Maduro must go?

The current unrest in Venezuela is related to the economic shortcomings of that countrys centrally-planned economy. The 20th century has shown us very clearly that state control over an economy leads to mismanagement, mal-investment, massive shortages, and finally economic collapse. That is why those of us who advocate free market economics constantly warn that U.S. government intervention in our own economy is leading us toward a similar financial crisis.

But there is another factor in the unrest in Venezuela. For many years the United States government, through the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. government-funded NGOs, have been trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government. They almost succeeded in 2002, when then-president Hugo Chavez was briefly driven from office. Washington has spent millions trying to manipulate Venezuelas elections and overturn the results. U.S. policy is to create unrest and then use that unrest as a pretext for U.S. intervention.

Military officers play an important role in defending the United States. Their job is to fight and win wars. But the White House is becoming the war house and the president seems to see war as a first solution rather than a last resort. His threats of military action against a Venezuela that neither threatens nor could threaten the United States suggests a shocking lack of judgment.

Congress should take President Trumps threats seriously. In the 1980s, when President Reagan was determined to overthrow the Nicaraguan government using a proxy army, Congress passed a series of amendments, named after their author, Rep. Edward Boland (D-MA), to prohibit the president from using funds it appropriated to do so. Congress should make it clear in a similar manner that absent a Venezuelan attack on the United States, President Trump would be committing a serious crime in ignoring the Constitution were he to follow through with his threats. Maybe they should call it the Were Not The Worlds Policeman act.

Former congressman Ron Paul is the founder and chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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Trump can't be serious about attacking Venezuela - Times-Enterprise

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Libertarian Republicans seek Rand Paul reinforcements – Washington Examiner

Posted: August 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Austin Petersen is trying to pull off a difficult task: doubling the number of libertarian-leaning Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was re-elected just last year with 57.3 percent of the vote in a mostly quiet election cycle for Republicans inspired by his father's two GOP presidential campaigns. He is so far the only one to make it into the upper chamber.

"Libertarians have a messaging problem, not an ideas problem," said Petersen, 36. Ambitious and energetic, he is running for Senate in Missouri, a state President Trump carried by nearly 19 points in November, hoping to win the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Maine state Sen. Eric Brakey, 29, is running on a similar platform to become the Republican challenger to Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. "He's much less of a Bernie Sanders independent and much more of a Hillary Clinton corporatist type who hands out favors to big-government cronies," Brakey said of his would-be opponent.

"Angus King has been around in politics in the state for as long as I've been alive," said Brakey. "There's a big opportunity here in the state of Maine for us to pick up this U.S. Senate seat."

Both Petersen and Brakey plan to run to the right of the Democrats on fiscal issues while expanding the Republican coalition by hitting their opponents on criminal justice reform and corporate welfare.

"Conservatism runs deep in both parties here," said Petersen. "Even the Democrats in Missouri are very strongly traditional on issues like abortion and gun rights." Yet he believes he could do better appealing to African-American voters in places like St. Louis County, where criminal justice issues boiled over in Ferguson, than more conventional Republicans. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., squeaked through to another term by three points last year even as Trump was winning the state handily.

"I see this in my own state senate races," said Brakey. "A constitutionalist, libertarian message can appeal to the very strong conservative base of the Republican Party while also appealing to independents and even socially liberal voters."

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, is the most established figure who is popular with the libertarian wing of the party who will try his hand at a statewide race next year. Labrador, a Freedom Caucus member, announced in May that he is running for governor. "Idaho needs a proven conservative leader who will stand against the special interests and politicians that have picked the winners and losers in our state Capitol for too long," he said in a statement.

Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul served 12 terms in the House as a Republican, most of them in obscurity, before becoming a national political figure with his 2008 presidential bid. He ran a second time in 2012, nearly doubling his raw primary vote total to more than 2 million and finishing in the top three in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

That was good enough to get other like-minded candidates to run as Republicans on platforms that included opposing the Iraq war, ending the Federal Reserve and making deep cuts to federal spending. Paul's son Rand was first elected to the Senate in the Tea Party wave of 2010. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., won his House seat that same year. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., joined them in 2012.

Since those quick early victories, the momentum has stalled. The elder Paul retired from Congress. His son was believed to have a legitimate chance of capturing the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, but saw Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and even the populist upstart Trump steal some of his base. The younger Paul dropped out after a disappointing finish in Iowa, a state where his father's supporters briefly captured the party leadership and won him a majority of the unbound delegates four years earlier.

Petersen has picked an easy general election target in McCaskill, who is widely considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2018. "You could beat her just by calling her Obama's senator or Hillary's senator," said Jeff Roe, a Missouri-based Republican strategist. When one pollster tested several potential GOP candidates against McCaskill, Roe said, "Everyone beat her."

But you can't make it to the general without winning the primary first, which will be no easy feat. Republican insiders consider Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who opened an exploratory committee earlier this month, the overwhelming favorite. The national party and conservative outside groups are prepared to devote considerable resources to supporting Hawley.

If anyone is able to put a roadblock in the way of Hawley's nomination, Republicans familiar with the race expect it will be Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt, who garnered national interest himself. Petersen may not even have the libertarian wing all to himself as state Rep. Paul Curtman, a 2012 Ron Paul endorser, launched an exploratory committee in July.

Petersen sought the Libertarian Party presidential nomination last year, winning praise for his strong stand against abortion from conservatives seeking an alternative to Trump. The eventual nominee, Gary Johnson, and his running mate, William Weld, both former Republican governors, supported abortion rights.

King is at present heavily favored for re-election in Maine. There has been persistent speculation about whether Gov. Paul LePage will enter the race on the Republican side.

"The Rand Pauls of the world, when they come along, great," said Cliff Maloney, president of Young Americans for Liberty. "But we need to start building a bench at the local level."

The focus on national races has obscured some libertarian Republican successes in local contests, Maloney said, such as the mayor's offices in Aberdeen, Md., and Ocean Springs, Mississippi. "There's a big difference in perception between running as local schmuck versus local mayor," he added. "It's really about having credibility."

"Everyone starts as a guy in the community," said Brakey. "But it's a lot easier to run for mayor, or run for state senator and try to prove yourself before you run for Congress. People take you a lot more seriously."

The libertarian message for government may apply to politics too. "It's better," he said, "to start small."

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