Tag Archives: Ron Paul

I already wrote about crazy racist things that Ron Paul allowed to be published under his name

The other day, Tim Faust posted to facebook an article from Vice Magazine about some new, old news. Did you know that Ron Paul used to have lots of various publications printed under his name? And did you know that these publications used to be filled with awful, racist screeds attacking Martin Luther King Jr and black people in general?

Well, you would totally know that if you had read the Rice Thresher Backpage in January 2008. Because I totally wrote about it then. (pdf: thresher backpage ron paul racist)

So many great quotes were published under Ron Paul’s name. One of my favorites was about how Dr. King was “not only a world-class adulterer” but “also seduced underage girls and boys.”

The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him many years before.

And we are supposed to honor this “Christian minister” and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?”

George Washington owned slaves.

But anyways, letting such (assumedly non-satirical) language be published in one’s own newsletter should probably disqualify someone from running for president for one of three reasons. As Mobutu Sese Seko states in “RON PAUL: REACTIONARY RACIST LEPRECHAUN

There’s no way Paul could have been ignorant of the content in an 8-12 page newsletters published under his name for over ten years. Paul supporters face three losing propositions:

-He lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.

-He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.

-He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.

These are some pretty hard hits against Ron Paul, but Ron Paul supporters don’t fall easily.

For example, when I wrote about Ron Paul’s racist newsletters, I did so on the satirical Backpage. But that didn’t stop Ron Paul supporters from writing letters expressing their indignation about such awful reporting in the not-news section.

To the editor:

I was surprised when I found an entire page in the latest Thresher devoted to attacking my favorite presidential candidate (“Backpage,” Jan. 18). Published were some grainy photos intended to attack the character of Dr. Ron Paul, a ten-term congressman.

If the author spent more than two minutes researching the subject, he would know that someone else had written the texts in question, yet Paul still took moral responsibility for not keeping tabs over the content. This issue was discussed and buried as irrelevant over a decade ago, but is now being dug up as the only way to attack a man who has gained the grass-roots support of millions across the country.

I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago, who has the largest number of contributions from blacks among all the Republicans, who consistently has spoken against all forms of institutionalized discrimination.

The larger problem is the journalistic dishonesty on the part of the editors. Yellow journalism labeled as satire still serves to exploit and sensationalize. Knowingly publishing false statements using the name of Rice University is a violation of the trust placed in the editors by the student body. In addition, attacking the many students who support Paul, implicitly accusing them of “racism by proxy,” should not be allowed to stand.

If our newspaper editors want to print personal attacks, let them do it under their own names, not under the banner of the university.

Of course, it was irrelevant a decade ago because Ron Paul wasn’t running for president a decade ago. And, despite magically turning pointing out racism into a crime worse than actual racism… well… as Tim Faust responded to Alice Townes: “Gurrrrrl, you don’t *need* to be clever when the source material is so rich.”

If you want to see the real racist, look in the mirror!

One can at least try to respect the intellectual consistency if the articles were about Gerrymandering problems that arise out of the Voting Rights Act, or unintended consequences of legislating racial integration, or funny third thing. But when there is a pattern of ad hominem attacks on civil rights leaders, and black people in general, well, I don’t need to think of a way to end this sentence.

Then again, as the letter asserted, “I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago.” But as Seko asserts, this is the least of Paul’s issues. Paul may express some positions appealing to many voters, beyond the insanity of deflationary gold standard policies or entirely eliminating the Federal Reserve. But his justification for these positions  isn’t exactly the same as voters’.

Liberals cheer his opposition to America’s wars, but his isn’t a moral choice so much as it is an echo of George Washington’s injunction against “foreign entanglements.” Further, while Ronald isn’t down with wars that cost money and expand federal power, he’s totally fine with the government making a buck from other people’s wars: He was the only member of congress to vote against the Darfur Divestment Act, which proposed the radical idea of prohibiting the American government from investing in businesses fueling a fucking genocide.

Of course, this justification leads to crazy votes and policies about which casual Paul supporters don’t really know and serious supporters don’t really advertise.

Independents sick of the government’s invasions of privacy celebrate Paul’s veneration of the Constitution, but that veneration is as convenient as Bush and Obama’s. Paul has repeatedly submitted the “We the People Act” to Congress, whose provisions remove Supreme Court review of First Amendment cases. If a state chose to criminalize being Muslim, citizens would have no federal redress. If a state chose to criminalize birth control, the penumbras of individual protections of privacy as explicated by William O. Douglas would disappear.

But nobody wants to hear that stuff. Government non-interference is sexy when it’s sold to you as, “Ron Paul opposes the War on Drugs.” What isn’t mentioned is that he has no problem with the concept of 50 individual state wars on drugs, and deregulating evidently stops when it comes to uterine production—he’s OK withvoting for federal partial birth abortion bans, for instance.

The way to fix the 21st century is to return to the values and socioeconomic order of the 14th. After you gut the FDA, you can even literally bring back the plague, which shouldn’t affect the rich people in Congress. They’ll be able to afford all the colloidal silver they can drink.

 Now, the super Paul supporters will just claim that this is out of some severe adherence to the plain language of the Constitution, as if that justifies the effects. But Paul doesn’t even like the Constitution. He likes his own crazy imaginary version of the Constitution:

His Constitution would also be a lot slimmer. He subscribes to the notion that the FourteenthSixteenth, andSeventeenth amendments are invalid or must be repealed. So long, income tax, but also so long to voting for senators yourselves. And if you don’t like foreign brown people, Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act means you won’t have to share a dinner table with them for their last meal before they join 10 million other human beings in railcars, calling at all points south.

And in my view, the Constitution should have an extra amendment that forces the states to enforce the calling of “shotgun” when sitting in a car.

Of course, none of this is news. Ron Paul has had these political positions for a while. But opposing the drug war or supporting legalization of marijuana fit better into headlines than the underlying policies that lead to them.

But as the Republican primary continues, with primary voters more fickle than a gaggle of high school girls over the latest school hottie, Ron Paul has been the Justin Beiber with nearly religious support from a tight group of dedicated fans.

So these proclaimed buried issues are going to be readdressed on the national stage. And the world needs to know that I already did that in 2008 in the made-up joke section of a small college newspaper.

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A hint of sanity at Occupy Houston

Yesterday was Occupy Houston’s first big march. Of course, I wonder why they chose Thursday morning, when potential supporters were at work. But whatever. So while I missed the march from Market Square to Chase Bank, I was able to meet up with the protest at City Hall. Admittedly, protesting City Hall doesn’t seem to make much sense. Local government isn’t really the problem here. However, City Hall does have a big grassy field in front of it, which does have a history of letting people sleep there. So it makes sense from that perspective.

So anyways, Dean and I took in the sights and signs. Dishearteningly, the first thing I saw was a group of protesters holding Ron Paul 2012 and End the Fed signs.

As Dean and I walked around, the crazy continued to stand out from the crowd. For example, there was the woman with the anti-contrails t-shirt. Because airplanes are spraying chemicals, rather than condensation.

And what's the deal with government conspiracy airline food?

This walking (sitting) cliche was one among many. Of course, the best was the Ayn Rand guy. Imagine to yourself, but for a brief moment, what your average Ayn Rand believer looks like. (Alan Greenspan doesn’t count.) Because he was there!

No one was listening to this guy self-wank it

It does seem someone contradictory for this true Ubermench to be espousing utter and complete selfishness and self-interest among a crowd condemning corporate greed, but maybe that’s the point? Maybe he was trying to convert people? Alas, I didn’t ask. #worldsworstjournalist

Indeed, the Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, anti-federal government pro-annoying theme wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of Alan Moore fans.

I mean, I liked that movie, too. But I'm not going to shave my head and makeout with Mila Kunis

And if I knew wearing my League of Extraordinary Gentlemen shirt would make a difference, I would have bought one.

Amongst the crazy crowds, however, were the signs. Which were all lying in front of City Hall. I assume that after the march through downtown, people put all their signs in front of City Hall because they’re too tired to carry them or for aesthetic purposes or something.

However, it was these signs that had the most cohesive message. Most related to government putting interests of the top 1% ahead of he other 99%. Some were about student debt. Others were about unemployment. A few were about tax rates and sources of the national debt. But the overall sense was one of, well, sanity at least.

For people who are confused about the purpose of the protests, this sums it up pretty well

This was my favorite:

I guess the job isn't copy editor

I tried to provide my own little contribution by fixing the sign.

Were, not was. It takes the subjunctive.

Anyways, the point was clearer at this expression of Occupy Houston. People are mad that the wealthy have undue influence in government and policy. People think that hard work and education should mean a well paying job. This shouldn’t be controversial. This should just be.

I’m just not sure why we’re protesting it in front of City Hall.

But when I think about it, City Hall is a good place to have a protest about government and societal priorities. Just look at it.

Beautiful building

Houston City Hall is constructed of impressive stone work and beautiful carvings that usher back to great moments of history, commanding respect and communicating dignity. We should be willing to spend money on government structures and programs that work. And City Hall works great at serving as a seat of power, at least symbolically. I’ve yet to work inside. Unfortunately, it is covered in dirt and schmutz. Too bad we can’t pay people to keep it clean.

Anyways, some people actually slept in front of City Hall overnight. We’ll see how long this lasts, and how long I have to walk down to City Hall to take my lunch.

But I would prefer that we make the necessary policy changes sooner rather than later.

Also, forgive student debt and consumer debt in a one time Jubilee Year? (Funny note: That was my Torah portion at my bar mitzvah.)

Another successful Houston Free Press Summerfest

 

This past weekend was this year’s Free Press Summerfest. While not as fantastic as last year (who can compete with The Flaming Lips and Girl Talk?) it was still an overall fantastic time.

Intro

The night before, @gunsandtacos made the joke that if you want to bring alcohol into the concert, which was not allowed, then just smuggle it via your bloodstream instead of pay out the $5 for shitty beer. I made a lawyer joke that they could search your circulatory system, via Schmerber v. California.

Summer Law rules supreme in Summerfest, so sayeth the Lawgiver!

The first day I most staked out to the left of the main stage in front of the volleyball court. An actual game started up, which was pretty neat.

Music sucks, lets play volleyball

Also, I just got Hipstamatic...

People watching

The spot in front of the volleyball court was a rather fine choice. From there I got to see the main stage, but also a water balloon fight and some guy juggling. It was a whole song and dance show.

Whammy! Boffo! Water balloons!

Hey Mr. Juggler way to juggle, but the juggle-os are at the other music festival.

Also, the view of downtown was just fantastic, as usual…

That is where oil comes from.

Of course, the greatest sight from our wonderful spot was that of a woman in a bright pink dress with a Confederate Flag tattoo on her leg. I couldn’t get a picture, but you can use your imagination.

I also did spy Aang, who was apparently either music bending, earth bending, or on drugs. It was hard to get a good shot of him, because he was moving so much. I should have let out a yip-yip.

Secret tunnel! Secret tunnel! Secret secret secret secret tunnel!!!

There was also some guy with a Ron Paul 2012 sign. It looked exactly how you would expect.

Save it for the Rush concert...

There was some dudebro(?)hippy guy with a pink sign saying something about how there were too many fucking hipsters at summerfest. But what exactly was anyone expecting? Also, you say that like it is a bad thing.

There are Hipsters Everywhere (?)

Most preposterous of all the people watching, besides the ugmo pda cutsie high school couples who were taking far too great advantage of this hand holding opportunity, was the mom (?) with like a 2-4 year old kid at the Weezer show later Sunday night.

Best/worst mom ever?

But who am I to judge?

Bands

Summerfest had some surprise hits, I have to say. The first day was basically dominated by Big Boi and Bun B on the hot, hot stage. I don’t know which moment was better, when Bun B asked for pot from Rice students in the audience, or when they played Bombs over Baghdad.

Hey, remember when TV and radio stations put out guidelines discouraging playing certain songs during wartime? That was weird…

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were not as good as I wanted them to be. I guess Doo Wop does not lend itself well  to music festival atmosphere and dynamics. However, I was thoroughly impressed by the Dap Kings ability to wear shark skin suits in weather that was hotter than a junebug’s asscrack in July.

Seriously, we were sweating more than a longtailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Over at the Super Happy Fun Land stage, the Protomen were dressed as robots and appropriately sang songs about/from Megaman. Having never really played Megaman, I imagined that all the songs were about Zelda instead.

To get on stage they had to fight a guy who could shoot tornados from his hands. We later saw this man in X-Men: First Class

Appropriately, Dan and I got comic/video game character popsicles after the Protomen show.

I had a Ninja Turtle but ate it all, including the gumball eyes, before we sat back down.

In the meantime, Limb was apparently booed off the main stage. However, Beirut came out of nowhere the first day to be the awesome, brassy relaxing show that everyone needed.

Ween closed up with a set that appropriately fulfilled their description as being “all over the place.” It is difficult to put a label on their cosmic sound, but I do wish I had been dancing closer to the stage.

However, the highlight of their cosmic performance was a cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance.

Day 2 saw a switch from hiphop to festival dance with Yeasayer (which I listened to from the shade of a tree). Yeasayer probably wished they could have been there too, considering comments like: “This is the hottest I’ve ever been in my life.”

Indeed, according to my twitter feed, I was having a heatstroke as well.

However, about 5 collective rains cooled the place down to the extent where one could join the masses of youth in front of the main stage to watch Chromeo. While some of my peers may denigrate Chromeo as a mere Daft Punk Lite, I have to say that sometimes you want whole milk, and sometimes you want skim. And dang if the Chromeo crowd wasn’t reveling in a sea of skim. Really, Chromeo looked like they were having the time of their life up there, which made it all the more fun for all of us watching.

However, I skipped out early on Chromeo, and missed Harry and the Potters entirely, to watch Neon Indian. My face melted and also we found a bag of pot that someone had dropped in the grass, which was one of the best parts of the Neon Indian show. Not the pot, the grass. Rather than the dirt and dust of the main stage, Neon Indian performed in front of a grassy field.

There is little in life more glorious than lying in grass recently cooled by a light rain and embracing the tectonic sounds of Texas chillwave band. Of course, I got up to dance.

However, once dancefest just led to another, as Cut Copy pasted a dance beat in our collective hearts.

Of course, the big shebang was Weezer, which caused a collective flashback among the thousands of attendees, screaming lyrics like they were driving home from high school on a Friday afternoon as if this alt-rock band was at one point a teenybopper 104 KRBE hit, which it somehow was.

Also, has anyone else noticed that the Weezer logo looks just like the Wonder Woman logo?

Weezer

Wonder Woman

And also the Whataburger logo?

Whataburger

And the whole thing ended with fireworks. Which was great because, first, fireworks are awesome. Secondly, during the Cut Copy show, we watched as guys in golf carts on the other side of the bayou were giving onlookers the ‘ol 23 skidoo. At first, we thought it was because they didn’t want people listening to the music without having paid for a ticket. In actuality, it was so they wouldn’t get blown up by the fireworks.

In an old movie, this would mean someone just did it. In Mulan, it is how Mulan defeated the Huns.

Overall, fantastic time.

Side Quests

There were two sidequests to Summerfest. First was seeing X-Men: First Class after the first day of summerfest. Did you know that Mutants prevented nuclear war at the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Adlai Stevenson was a mutant! I guess Wolverine was trying to do to Jean Grey what Eisenhower has been doing to this nation.

Second was the grandest of sidequests. We stopped at CVS on Holcomb and Greenbriar to get money from the Chase ATM. After making a few witty retorts about the ‘collectable’ kids sunglasses (Collect them all and save them for 10 years, when they’ll be worth millions. I don’t think that will work, remember Beanie Babies? No, not as collectables. Save them as plastic. After peak oil, the plastic in those glasses will be worth millions!) we headed out to get in the car. Suddenly, a rather cute young woman holding a clipboard tried to get our attention from across the sweltering parking lot.

She maybe kinda looked something like this? Except she had Princess Leia hair. Not the buns, the braids

Yeah, like that.

“Excuse me.”

I had no idea what she wanted, but I assumed it was some sort of political thing, or she wanted a signature, or needed money, or whatever.

Apparently, as she explained, she had missed her bus and was late to church, and wanted us to give her a ride.

Personally, due to a upbringing nourished on children’s television and PSAs, I am suspicious of all strangers. However, good deeds are important and it wasn’t like we were in a rush. Mentally communicating, I yielded the decision to Dan, considering it was his car.

She opened to back seat to the car, and moved some of the trash out of the way so she could have a place to sit. As she slid over a cardboard box and a bunch of papers, it was probably at that point at which she realized that if she was going to rob us, that we had nothing of value worth robbing. It was also at that point that if she was worried about us raping her or robbing from her, that we were far too awkward to attempt anything of the sort.

Anyways, we drove her down Holcomb to the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, or as I refer to it: Ghost Jesus!

Jesus can shoot lightning from his hands.

At night, the lighting upon the Jesus statue casts a shadow on the giant cross in front of the building, making it look like Ghost Jesus!

Anyways, as we approached, I made a comment that dear friend Andrew Brantley’s family used to belong there but they moved because of “the pastor or deacon or whatever it is called…. priest, right? Priest.”

My Christ-o-fumbling was instantly followed by mysterious woman whose name we never asked inquiring as to whether we were Christian.

[beat]

No, we’re Jewish.

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “Shalom”

You know when people try to speak Spanish with way too much emphasis on the accent, so rather than sounding accurate it sounds like they’re trying way too hard?

Imagine that, except the person had never heard Hebrew before.

“Uh… yeah.”

So as we dropped her off outside the church, our passenger took the culture clash to its next level.

“Thank you! Wait, how do you say thank you in Hebrew?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know Hebrew.”

“Uh… toda raba, I think? Is that it?”

“Well toda raba. Again said with hilarious overemphasis on sounds that I don’t think actually exist in the words.

I suppose that ancient Greek and Roman myths are filled with stories of Gods and Goddesses dressing up as random travelers to test mortals. On the other hand, pornos often begin exactly in this manner, with a random girl walking up to two guys, asking for a “ride to church.”

Anyways, that was summerfest.

Next year at summerfest