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States and states

This piece, about how people are moving from states in the USA governed according to lefty principles, towards states governed by somewhat less lefty principles, reminded me of this piece I recently did here, about people moving from country to country in the world. As in the world as a whole, so in the USA.

Come the next round of elections, the numbers of Americans on the move, and the unmistakable direction in which they are moving, will be hard for the lefties to explain away.

In the emerging presidential campaign, it’s easy to see a version of these questions dominating the debate. Why should anyone choose to endorse liberal, Democratic policies when a single year (2009-10) saw 880,000 residents packing up their belongings to place Barack Obama’s Illinois in their rear-view mirror, while 782,000 new arrivals helped drive the robust economy in Rick Perry’s Texas?

California, so the piece says, lost two million people in the years 2009 and 2010. The promised land no more, it would seem.

I’d be interested to hear what American readers make of Governor Rick Perry. Will I like him, as and when I learn more about him? I’ve read people saying that Perry sounds too much like President Bush Junior. But I’m thinking that people are in the mood to listen to what is actually being said, next time around, rather than fussing about the mere manner in which it is said. Or is that being too optimistic?

52 comments to States and states

  • Darrell

    Californians and east coast libs, fleeing the messes they’d made of their own states, moved to Colorado and turned it from red to blue. “Don’t Californicate Colorado” bumperstickers were popular 35 years ago; it has since happened.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    FWIW, I dislike Perry’s face (Quote attributed to Lincoln: “Any man over the age of forty is responsible for his own face.”) He smiles too much.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    surprisingly enough, you can have ‘good’ lefties! The Hawke and Keating governments were responsible, even though left-wing, governments in Australia, which opened us up to the world, and has helped to give us an above-average economy! Ms. gillard, the current leader, is now trying to go back to the days of union militancy. She would be a ‘bad’ leftie.
    What you need is a state constitution set up so government schemes have to be self-funding, or something. Any ideas?

  • David Gillies

    I know a lot of expat Yanks (since I’m an expat and I don’t live in the US, it’s a given.) This cohort is generally pretty Lefty. They were over the moon when Obama was elected, most of ’em. Today? Haven’t heard a good word about him in months. My American co-workers despise him. It’s rather tragic, really. Obama’s election was meant to show how far society had ventured beyond the colour bar. It did, to an extent. It also seemed to show that the US electorate was willing to vote into office a stuttering, vain, preening, intellectually-vapid failure with no discernible public accomplishment other than his pigmentation.

  • James Waterton

    Nuke Grey: I think both men would be more than a bit unhappy to be described as ‘lefties’.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    James- they joined the Labor party! They were not drunk! They knew what they were doing! Or were they right-wingers planted in the labor party (which embraced socialism at that time), with the plan to turn it into a surrogate pro-business party?

  • Nico

    I think you’ll like Perry. He’s not perfect, but he’ll do, and in many ways he’s superior to the other candidates.

    First, his strengths: no, he’s not at all like Bush (Perry vetos legislation!!), and yes, he can communicate very well and can think on his feet, and he exudes confidence and strength like none since Reagan. Plus, he’s willing to buck the system and say things that I find quite pleasing, but which managed badly would sink his campaign — and yet he manages just fine. For example, he said, of New York’s gay marriage law, [paraphrase] that if you like the 10th Amendment, then you’ll leave them alone. OTOH, he had to atone with the religious right for that statement by then claiming to support an amendment to ban gay marriage (but we all know that such an amendment has almost no chance of passing anytime soon, and soon enough we’ll all move on). And he just took on Social Security by calling it a ponzi scheme, and by bringing up the subject of life expectancy and setting the retirement age accordingly (plus means testing). Wow!!! If he says these things now and fails to implode, well, he’s it. Oh, and he has a lot of political experience to back him up (never lost a race for public office, and won eleven so far).

    The bad things about Perry are not terrible, in my book. He pushed for a system of toll roads, for example. But libertarians and conservatives both should welcome toll roads if they work well enough (i.e., not like the Garden State Parkway used to, but with modern wireless tags). Indeed, there are some toll roads in TX now, and they are a breeze (I mean the toll payment aspect, though they’re also a breeze in that they are new and properly sized, for now). The other two examples of Perry badness are: a) the franchise tax, which is a sort of backdoor corporate income tax (not really, but it’s not a good tax, and an income tax would be preferable to it!), but thankfully it’s relatively low; b) his attempt to make the HPV vaccine a requirement for girls in middle school. I don’t object to (b) at all, at least not on the grounds that the religious wing of the party has used. That is, I don’t think the HPV vaccine would have encouraged promiscuity nor an earlier start to teen sex activity (we had our daughter vaccinated against HPV at 12, so I walk this talk). There is a question of any new vaccine’s safety, and I thought it was a bit early to be requiring this vaccine (plus, as long as women get yearly pap smears the health issue is quite manageable, and not so expensive that he could not have waited a bit longer).

    Perhaps the most negative thing about Perry is the aura of crony capitalism in the toll roads and HPV vaccine cases, but I don’t really know if his pushing those ideas really had anything to do with contacts/friendships with or being bought by the companies involved in those cases.

    I wouldn’t make much of his warning to Bernanke about not printing more money. He was speaking to a very small crowd and may not have realized that many others would see video of that quip, but now he knows and won’t slip again. (Besides, it’s good to warn Bernanke, though I’m afraid that he’ll have little choice but to accommodate current U.S. fiscal policy.)

    My money is on Perry.

  • joe

    I think you might like Gov. Perry on the economic front and generally his Constitutional interpretation is right or consistent with my tastes. He is, however, a Texan. A real West Texan, not the simulacrum that Dubya was. He’s a Southern Baptist and hence talks about God and Jesus quite a bit, even in scenarios where the topic’s applicability seems strained. He’s an Aggie–the A&M, land-grant college of Texas (as an alumnus once explained it to me on a train: “There two schools in Texas, son: Kindergarten and A&M, aight?”).

    I saw him struggle with a simple conversation on the Daily Show a few months back. That didn’t inspire any great faith, but he seems to have governed Texas with a degree of success and he checks most of the boxes of my ideological list: smaller government, lower taxes, encouraging noises about the 10th Amendment and a roll-back of the regulations from the growing administrative state.

    He seems less wooden than Romney or Huntsman, less frenzied than Bachmann, more viable than Gingrich and has more experienced than the other current candidates.What that means for the long run? Dunno. We’ll see.

  • James Waterton

    In Hawkie and Keato’s day, the ALP was not a left-wing party. Even now, there are plenty of big government conservatives in powerful positions in that party.

  • Ian F4

    Me and the kids were discussing examples of an oxymoron the other day, and “lefty principles” is one I wish I’d thought of.

  • William H Stoddard

    I mentioned Rick Perry lately in a conversation with my girlfriend’s brother and his wife, two deeply Christian conservative Republicans who moved from California to Texas many years ago to raise their family. They were both appalled, and claimed that Perry is widely disliked in Texas; they said, in fact, that the only good thing about his becoming president would be that he wouldn’t be the governor of Texas any longer. So at least some Texan Republicans don’t like him. I don’t know how representative their opinion of him is.

  • mose jefferson

    Before you get too excited by the state migration trends, heed the warning of Colorado and my own Oregon: Lefties may flee their broken states, but they don’t seem to be so quick to leave behind their failed political ideologies. Oregon has seen a major demographic shift in the last few decades as lefties from California and Michigan have flocked to Portland, the new San Francisco. To say Oregon has gone from right to left would be an understatement. Oregon is now among the economically challenged states. The great liberal migration is more of a virus than a sea change.

  • I take the point about migrations bringing with them the bad ideas that caused them. Something very similar applies with Islam. Muslims flee badly governed Islamic countries, to countries like mine, bringing with them all manner of Islamic nonsense, which makes my country less good.

    However, the original point stands, that who is migrating from where to where is a powerful argument in favour of some arrangements, and against others. My posting was not so much about what effect these migrations with have on their destinations, more on what effect they might have on the next round of elections, in the form of a lesson that onlookers to the migrations, and at least some of the participants, might be persuaded to learn.

    I have this picture of a crowd of honest workers being chased hither and thither by a crowd of robbers who cannot exist without people to rob, in a never ending misery-go-round.

  • bradley13

    “Lefties may flee their broken states, but they don’t seem to be so quick to leave behind their failed political ideologies.”

    Just because California ran out of money? Well, hey, the new State still has plenty. Let’s start all over again, spending other people’s money.

    What’s missing is direct feedback – maybe whoever voted for the social and environmental crap in California should only be allowed to move after emptying their personal saving and pension funds to pay for it all…

  • Jay

    As a libertarian-leaning conservative from North Carolina, I don’t have high hopes for Gov. Perry. He seems to be more of a populist. He is very sensitive to the Tea party zeitgeist here in the States, and jumped in front of the parade early enough to appear to be a leader of it. I get the impression that there may have been significant cronyism in his administration. He would be light-years better than Obama, but we could do better. I only hope that if he gets elected, he will truly push power back to the States, and maybe abolish a few federal departments/agencies.

  • the other rob

    In our part of Texas he’s known as “Governor Goodhair”. TX was one of the last states to abandon the spoils system and Perry is very much from that tradition (as is Obama, oddly enough). Cronyism, eminent domain abuse and a lot of talk about states’ rights but he’s happy to throw them under a bus when the hardcore religious right tells him to. Reason has published a number of articles looking into the man.

    In the end, he’s just another career politician. If we have to have one of those I’d much prefer Gary Johnson who, in his two terms as governor of New Mexico, vetoed more legislation than all the other governors put together signed.

  • frankania

    Rick Perry? Huntsman? etc.? What about RON PAUL?
    Why do people ignore him? He is the best candidate I have EVER seen for prez, and I am 71 years old.

    By the way, I voted with my feet in 1988 and enjoy living in central Mexico running several businesses and enjoying the perfect climate and low-cost life.

  • Sunfish

    Why not Ron Paul?

    Because he’s a delusional liar.

    Hand-picked by Randi Rhoads on Err America, last time around. Not that I’m suggesting judging people by their friends or anything.

    And then there was his famous statement on the origin of the chemical weapons used by Saddam Hussein on the Kurds: “We gave them the gas.”

    As the chemicals in question were in fact made in Iraq, on equipment imported mainly from West Germany, and this was widely known at the time that Paul ran his mouth, he is either too stupid to live, or he is a liar.

    Which is it, frankania?

  • Russ

    Texan here, of the “Oh, Ron Paul, SO close, I wish you weren’t insane” variety. LOTS of Texans can’t stand Perry. I’m one of them.

    Mostly, I don’t like him because he’s a dyed-in-the-wool classic politician, and because Texas Baptists with their strong (albeit not universal, I must be careful here) anti-science tendencies tend to irritate me on general principles. And I have no idea whether Perry really HAS any principles beyond his own success. Doesn’t seem so.

    That said, however, Perry is effective and could give a rat’s ass whethere people like him, so long as he wins. And he DOES win, consistently. He is a master of the classic “pick a fight” method of politics, and will take a controversial line and then rope-a-dope people when they freak out and over-react. Sort of a hick Vetinari, if you will. I may not *like* Perry, but the last thing I would *ever* do is underestimate him — he’d eat me alive five seconds after I thought I’d won.

  • Paul Marks

    As others have said.

    People moving to smaller govenrment States is fine – unless they take their big government ideas with them.

    And the people who moved from Mass to New Hamphire sometimes do.

    And the people who move from California to Colorado (and other States) normally do.

    They are like a demented plague.

    “We really hate what has been happening here lately let us move somewhere else. Now we are in this new place let us copy the recent policies of California….”

    Rick Perry.

    Very different from Bush – and the Bush people (such as Karl Rove) hate his guts (sorry want to offer “friendly advice”).


    Read his book “Fed Up”.

    Does not matter if he actually read it or not – everyone (including enemies) agree he believes the stuff in it, and that is the important thing.

    The book can be read in a couple of hours.

    Basically not totally sound on State level government (from a libertarian point of view), but sound on the Federal governement.

    In that he really does want to roll back the Federal government – which he regards as STRUCTURALLY no good for most things (not just a question of the wrong people being in charge).

    The Federal government is too big, is getting even bigger, and should be radically smaller (in size and scope).

    The face of Perry….

    As the dear sweet people over at “Stormfront” have noted he does not look “Ayrian” “Nordic” (or whatever).

    Actually there is a lot of his great grandfather in that face.

    Yes – he is part “native American”.

    Or (to use the old language) he is a “throw back” to “Indian stock”.

    So what?

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – a lot of Texans smile and laugh a lot.

    “Texas” means friendly.

  • Rick

    Add The Granite State to the list. A formerly solid Red state, New Hampshire has seen enough immigration from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts to actually start electing a few Democrats.

  • Richard Thomas

    Nuke, the problem with requiring government depts to be self-funding is that you must give them the mechanism to collect that funding. It all goes very predictably downhill from there.

  • It took me a moment there to realise “Perry” was not PdH!!!

    “I dislike his face”… ????

  • Tim Carpenter

    Yes, it will be most confusing here if (Rick) Perry does make it to the White House.

    Last time I looked, I liked the look of Gary Johnson. Does he have any chance of making any dent on the election? Any opinions about him?

    I have found the comments – pro, con and in between – on (Rick) Perry very informative.

  • Kim du Toit

    I like Rick Perry; I like him a lot. Understand that the TexGov is not a strong political office — he shares many duties with the Lt.Gov., for one thing — and he’s constitutionally restrained in many other areas as well.

    BUT: he is an avowed capitalist, and he favors business over the typical Lefty high-tax loony-Green philosophy. People absolutely HATE him in Austin, because Austin is known as “Little Moscow” to the test of Texas — so that should give you an idea right there.

    Texas also has a lot of Ron Paul-luvvies, so they hate him too, because he generally tries to follow policies that work, as opposed to being a doctrinaire anything. When he does try the Big Government thing, and meets resistance, he backs off.

    The compulsory HPV vaccination initiative is an example — but it was driven by the fact that at the time, adolescent HPV rates were soaring in Texas, and as TexGov, Perry wanted to do something about it. May have been an extreme measure, but at least it got people talking about the issue — our HPV rates have dropped a lot since then. Also, I should point out that among Perry’s fiercest opponents on the compulsory vaccination issue were the usual crowd of medicinal Luddites who are against ANY form of prophylactic vaccination, as well as the loony Christian evangelicals who oppose same because the body is Christ’s vessel or some such crap. (So much for him being in the pocket of the evangelicals, by the way — long after he knew about their resistance, he continued to push for the program.)

    Believe me, the Loony Left (Austin division) has been trying to pin him down forever, and have failed every time.

    As for Perry being stupid (the usual Lefty smear tactic against conservatives): the U.S. Armed Forces does not allow stupid people to fly their expensive aircraft, particularly (as with Perry’s C-130) when the aircraft is carrying valuable personnel and cargo.

    From my perspective, I like him. I think he’s a decent man with a good track record who supports most of the things that I support. Speaking of which, Perry carries a gun, and can often be seen practising with it at the local range just outside downtown Austin. No security guards, either, although that’s probably changed now that he’s running for POTUS.

    He’s not just a good candidate against a loser like Obama; he’d be a good candidate against ANY of the current mob of Democrats.

    Speaking of which, a lot has been made of the fact that Perry was once a Democrat. Here’s the background: MOST of Texas was once Democrat (a hangover dating back to the Civil War). But they were conservative Democrats, not your San Francisco/New York kind; and when times changed, the Democrat Party changed (i.e. they went over to the Loony Left side) and Texas districts that were once solidly Democrat are now soldly Republican, even though the voters are more or less the same conservative people. A huge number of erstwhile Democrat politicians (not just Perry) changed party affiliation as well, because over time, the Republican Party represented their values better than did, say, John Kerry or Dianne Feinstein.

    Most importantly, Perry believes in the Tenth Amendment, and is against an all-powerful and intrusive federal government. When he’s POTUS, look for quite a few vetoes on legislation which furthers the encroachment of the federal government on the rights of the states. THAT, by the way, is what has got the Lefties so panicked about Perry, because they can see that their decades-long program of creating a strong central government is about to end — and President Rick Perry would be right at the forefront of that reversal.

    One last thought: I read in some Brit rag that Perry “would veto any state income tax legislation.” Well, no doubt he would if he could, but the reason why Texas has no personal income tax has nothing to to with Perry or any other governor. Texas has never had a state income tax, is constitutionally forbidden from having one, and in order for us to get one, it would have to take the form of a constitutional amendment making it through a 2/3 majority each in both the state House and Senate, AND a 51% popular vote. In other words: ain’t gonna happen. Last time they tried it (under a liberal-for-Texas legislature back in the 1970s), I think the popular vote was something like 65% against, and the resulting bloodbath at the next election polls saw most of the supporters being replaced. They haven’t bothered since, nor will they anytime soon.

    Just my $0.02, derived after living here for nearly ten years, and having studied the political scene here all that time.

  • jdm

    Thanks, Kim, that was helpful.

  • Laird

    Yes, Kim, I appreciate that, too. I don’t really know enough about Perry to make an informed judgment, but your insight is useful. Especially about things like that HPV vaccination issue. I’ve read a few screeds about that, and sort of came away with the impression that he might have been in the pocket of the drug companies or something. That’s not your take, it appears. His Evangelicalism is a turn-off for me, too, but realistically as President it wouldn’t really matter much except for the annoyance factor. Small price, I guess.

    And wouldn’t it be fun to have a POTUS who carried his own weapon, not relying solely upon the Secret Service? That almost determines it for me, right there.

    Incidentally, that “Democrat-to-Republican” thing is true across the south in general. It’s certainly the case here in South Carolina. After Reconstruction no one would even consider having an “R” by his name, but they were (and are) conservative. That all changed in the 80’s and 90’s (although there is still a large RINO component about which one needs to be wary).

  • I am a Colorado resident, and love it here. It has a great climate, thin population, and a good mix of conservative and liberal elements, though, certainly the extremes of both elements are truly dingbat.

    My state is like catnip for Californians fleeing the economic effects of their Socialist Paradise. And no, they do not drop their bad voting habits when they move in, either. I am now resolved to ask every idiot who wants to be charitable with MY money if they are a refugee from California, and if so, why is that, exactly?

    As for Perry, its been said already. He isnt perfect, but appears to be the most electable of the pathetic bunch. I am more concerned about his lack of respect for Eminent Domain than his willingness to force-vaccinate the citizens, but I believe HE believes his noises about the 10th Amendment, and who is even talking like that these days?

    As for being a Texan, that is a feature, not a bug.

  • jsallison

    I suspect the secret service would be highly encouraging to Pres Perry to leave the piece at home being the control freaks they tend, rightly, to be.

  • Termite

    jallison wrote”I suspect the secret service would be highly encouraging to Pres Perry to leave the piece at home being the control freaks they tend, rightly, to be.
    IIRC, one of Rick Perry’s nicknames is or was “sixshooter and a suit”. Offhand, I can’t recall any laws that prohibit the POTUS from packing in the United States. Several former POTUS carried pistols at times during their tenur. I THINK Ronald Reagan had a Walther PPK that he kept in the White House, and Nancy had a .25 acp.

    And to KdT: Good to read your posts again, Kim. Clear and straight to the point as usual.

  • steve

    As best I can tell their seems to be several requirements for the succesful Republican nominee that have been around since I was politically aware. (about Carter)

    1.) Be for big military budgets.
    2.) Be for limited government.
    3.) Be for reducing the deficit.
    4.) Don’t piss off the religious right.
    5.) Be for maintaining Social Security and Medicaid.
    6.) Be against raising taxes.

    These things are currently advocated by every single Republican Candidate except the two obvious libertarians. They aren’t really Republicans anyway just a new form of RINO. I think their popularity may grow with time. But, I currently think they amount to less than 10% of republicans. Enough to effect the Republican talking points (“I read Mises on the beach”) but not enough to win outright.

    In practice, any politician will have to throw several of these things under the bus. They are mutually exclusive. The best the winning candidate can hope for is to avoid the blame for which points he jettisons. Bush for example picked 2 and 3 to jettison. Reagan 3 and 6.

    It is my belief that Romney would pick 2, and either 3 or 6 to jettison. (He is practically a democrat in my eyes.) I don’t currently have an opinion about which points Perry would pick to jettison. Actually reducing the deficit is the perrenial favorite, but I think America will be in a world of hurt if that issue isn’t addressed soon.

    Personally, I want 2 and 3 to happen and I don’t really care what else gets run over. I would vote for one of the libertarians but paradoxically I don’t think they can get the Republican nomination let alone win the national election primarily because they are being honest about jettisoning 1 and 5.

    Yes, I am saying that given the current state of American politics a politician running for president MUST lie to win not just that most politicians lie.

    So, maybe some of you Texans can enlighten me. Which points is Perry lying about.

  • Paul Marks

    Kim is correct.

    Perry is about as good as can be hoped for (sorry people neither Ron Paul or Gary Johnson have a chance). He is certainly not perfect at State level (witness his support for compulsory vaccination, and his support for a railroad scheme that would have involved taking land by force – both plans quite rightly defeated), but he generally has a good record as a Governor (and for someone to make no blunders over almost eleven years is not likely).

    What is important (as Rick Perry is running for Federal office) is his record on the functions of the Federal government.

    That is clear – it is not contested by his friends or his foes. It is not just a matter of his book “Fed Up”, it is a record of many years.

    Rick Perry really will work to roll back the Federal government – so if people want that…….

    Kim is also right about Constitutional research – something the “intellectual and cultural elite” (as the media and academia think of themselves) seem incapable of doing.

    Just one example – the endless attacks on Perry for not pardening this or that person facing the death penality.

    Texas is not California – so knowledge of the law gained by watching Hollywood movies is not very useful in a Texan context.

    A Governor of Texas has no power to just telephone and arbitrarily parden people found guilty by the courts.

    Although explaining this to the “elite” (including Harvard law professors – those revered plagiarists, see Jack Cashill’s “Hoodwinked” about them) appears to be impossible.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Rick Perry really will work to roll back the Federal government…

    Posted by Paul Marks at August 31, 2011 07:48 AM

    Maybe. If his principled objection to it turns out not to be just unhappiness with any government that he’s not at the top of. He hasn’t been exactly bashful about using government power in Texas.

    Well, if he’s the nominee I’ll vote for him – hell, I’d vote for Christine O’Donnell to get Obama out of office – but let’s not fall into the error of thinking that the enemy of my enemy is – necessarily – my friend.

  • coniston

    Point of info: the vaccination had a very easy opt out. All you had to say is “I opt out for my kid”. Very simple form.

    I have mixed reactions for the medical reason cited above but also see the point as those most in danger of getting HPV will generally not have parents who will take steps to protect them. Would have objected much more strenuously had the opt out not been available and simple to do.

  • Russ

    Yeah. As a guy who *doesn’t* like Perry, I’d still have to agree with Kim’s assessment — Perry would be *very* effective. Perry will tend to advance many conservative/libertarian positions, being both more pragmatic and politically-astute than Paul would be.

    I actually thought the HPV thing was pretty well-considered, but my libertarianism willingly founders on the shoals of mandatory vaccination, which I’ve always tended to support.

  • Laird

    Apparently Kinky Friedman (Texas iconoclast, former gubernatorial opponent of Perry, generally somewhat leftist, and overall interesting character) has more-or-less endorsed Perry. I came across this interview with him about that, which I found interesting. I share it FWIW.

  • Subotai Bahadur

    I am not a Perry supporter, other than enjoying his yanking the enemy’s chain effectively, and not against him. I want the field to prove itself, and it is far from complete as of yet. Speaking as a Coloradan and not a Texan; from the outside it looks like this:

    The Trans-Texas corridor got caught up in both a fear of excessive use of eminent domain to seize land for private profit [not unreasonable after the Kelo decision] and concern for any further dissolving of our border with Mexico. I suspect that it could have been handled better, but it was not.

    As far as the effects of the influx of Californians [and to think that we used to worry about all the Texans coming in!]; yes they brought their love of collectivist coercion. But the situation was made worse by a Colorado Republican Party leadership which, unlike the Republican base here, would fit in well with the ineffective California Republican Party. Their greatest goal is to collaborate with Democrats in raising taxes and increasing government control. They share the Democrats’ hatred of Conservatives; and have let their attempts to purge Conservatives and the TEA Party allow them to deliberately yield the governorship and both US Senate seats to the Democrats rather than let a Conservative win. It is no accident that every successful effort to control taxes and limit government has had to take place via the initiative process over the objections of both the Democrats and the Republicans. The recent “holiday” on our Taxpayer Bill of Rights was supported by the Republicans, as is the current effort to overturn it completely.

    Liberty faces a two front war in Colorado.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • Kim du Toit

    By the way, the Californians who settled in Austin from about 1985 – 2005 were/are absolutely DETESTED by the local Austin Lefties. Why? The Californians are “too conservative” (compared to the local Lefties).

    I kid you not. I read it on some Lefty blog a few years back, and all the commenters agreed.

  • Kim du Toit

    Oh, and by the way: the POTUS can carry a gun anywhere the hell he wants, anywhere in the world. In the U.S., he’s the highest federal law-enforcement officer in the land, so he can carry in any state or jurisdiction without fear of breaking any law.

    As for the rest of the world, as the nation’s chief diplomat (according to the U.S. Constitution), he is afforded diplomatic privilege and can carry a gun anywhere he wants, yeah even unto Buckingham Palace if he so wishes. By the way, this is not unprecedented; the terrorist Yasser Arafat, as titular head of the Palestinian government, was able to carry his holstered pistol into the White House to meet with (I think) Bill Clinton, over the protests of the Secret Service.

    Which leads me to the last point. The SecServ is notoriously twitchy about anyone carrying a gun except themselves, but in the case of POTUS, that’s just too damn bad. They cannot order the President to do anything, and if the President wants to carry a gun, and indeed to use it in a dangerous situation, they just have to shut up and deal with it. Their procedures and protocols do not take precedence over the chain of command, much as they’d probably like them to. They can only “recommend” or even “strongly recommend” a course of action — but if the President chooses not to accept their recommendation, they have no authority to force him to do so.

  • frak

    Kim du Toit,

    the POTUS can carry a gun anywhere the hell he wants, anywhere in the world. In the U.S., he’s the highest federal law-enforcement officer in the land, so he can carry in any state or jurisdiction without fear of breaking any law.

    You seem to imply that as the chief law enforcement officer, the POTUS is above the law, but the POTUS is not above the law. As a republic, the USA is supposed to be governed by the Constitution and laws passed in accordance with the Constitution. The POTUS can’t break the laws (in theory).

    But even in reality, the POTUS isn’t the de facto ruler. Law enforcers are, umm, irrelevant. The law promulgators are rather more relevant. The President is, effectively, both, but the true sovereign in the USSA is the Supreme Court. In theory, of course, the Constitution is supposed to be the sovereign, but that’s not the case in reality.

    BTW, I read your blog when I was a wee lad back when it was public. Very good stuff.

  • frak

    Paul Marks,

    Rick Perry really will work to roll back the Federal government

    Under a Perry administration, nothing major will change. The rot and decay and debt and spending and massive federal government will continue to grow at a slightly slower pace, but the direction will not change even with a GOP controlled House and Senate.

    I hope Perry becomes the next POTUS. Firstly, because it would be damn entertaining to watch the Left have temper tantrums.

    Secondly because I am repulsed by Mittens and B Hussein.

    And thirdly because it will take a President who calls Social Security unconstitutional, threatens secession, attacks the New Deal on moral grounds, and calls Bernanke treasonous to betray the Tea Party as President for Tea Partiers to realize that they cannot win with 3 of the 4 boxes.

    The sooner they realize this the better. I can see it already: “Et tu, Rick?”

  • frak


    As the chemicals in question were in fact made in Iraq, on equipment imported mainly from West Germany, and this was widely known at the time that Paul ran his mouth, he is either too stupid to live, or he is a liar.

    Which is it, frankania?

    I could actually do the research to see if, in fact, Paul said this and if, in fact, he was wrong. But lets assume the worst – Ron Paul deliberately lied.

    This would be the first example I’ve ever encountered that would suggest that Ron Paul is a politician like Mittens and B Hussein and Rick Peewee and the rest of them.

    Look, Ron Paul will not be elected President of the United States because this nation is far too gone and because Ron Paul is far too principled. He appears insane to you because you are foolish enough to think that Ron Paul is actually trying to become President.

    Ron Paul is creating political space on the right. This is something that the universities, media, and courts do for the Left by design. If it weren’t for Ron Paul, there would be no Tea Party and the top GOP contender wouldn’t have the political incentive to call Bernanke a traitor.

    You want a GOP of John McCains, Arlen Specters, and Lindsey Grahams? Get rid of Ron Paul. With him you get Rand Pauls, Jim DeMints, and Mike Lees.

    BTW, 500 years from now historians will look back on the USSA and consider the view that occupying foreign nations for decades, constructing military bases in almost every country on earth, and fixing foreign elections contribute to a wee bit of hostility to BE INSANE.

    Also, the idea that we have to cut military spending to have a chance of of slowing the rate of increase of deficit financed spending is literally ridiculous. Historians 500 years from now will know that the decline and fall of the USSA was due to spending too few federal reserve notes and invading far too few foreign nations.

    But you know this already. Because, Sunfish, you are sane.

  • Paul Marks

    frac – I do not believe that Ron Paul is an evil man.

    But I do believe that he has Rothbardians whispering poison in his ear – and has had this problem for many years.

    A man does not have to be a liar – if liars constantly tell him things (and he believes some of them).

    I do not expect him (at his age) to finally break with the Rothbardians now.

    The failure of President Perry.

    Perfectly possible – I am a “half empty” man, I EXPECT things (and people) to fail, at least in political matters.

    But I am also willing to give people a chance.

    I take people at their word – only when they have broken their word do I turn against them.

    If whoever is elected in Novermber 2012 fails to roll back the Federal government, that is it for the United States, and (perhaps) for the West generally.

    But human beings will still survive, just as they survived during the Dark Age.

    Indeed in isolated areas of Europe (such as Ireland before the comming of the Vikings) new developments in civilization occured.

    Even in the American context……

    Some States will break away from the dying Empire – they may either form a Constitutional Convention (if two thirds of the States agree) or forget about “the United States” totally, and become independent.

    “But Paul there will be war and chaos”.

    Of course there will be – but not everywhere and all the time.

    For example, I do not see Mexican (or Chinese or….) death legions, turning up in North or South Dakota. And I do not expect to see Civil War in such places either.

    But I do expect good things from his son – Rand Paul.

  • Paul Marks

    My last line should (of course) have been higher up the comment.

  • Kim du Toit


    I wasn’t suggesting that POTUS is above the law. But the City of Chicago can’t start arresting FBI agents for carrying their guns in the city (carrying of guns being illegal in the People’s Soviet of Chicago), because the result would be a shit-storm og the proverbial Biblicals.

    The POTUS is not above the law at all, but federal law clearly states that federal law enforcement officers can carry a gun pretty much anywhere in these United States without penalty — courtrooms, schools, hispitals, wherever. And as federal law is supreme over state law (by dint of the Constitution), it’s a moot issue. POTUS is the top federal law enforcement officer in the nation; ergo, he can carry a gun anywhere.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    To balance my comments about Robert Hawke being a benign socialist, he was also someone who wanted Australia to become a Republic (shudder! no queen’s Birthdays!), and he wanted to abolish our six states and one territory, leaving just lots of small, local councils, and one all-powerful Federal government. Now part of that I can agree with- but we should emasculate the Fed first, then weaken the states, and build up the counties into canton-like places.

  • Daveon

    I merely invite the denizens of this blog to look at his actual economic record and, in particular the debt per person ratio he’ll be leaving should he become president.

    He’ll do great.

  • steve

    “Ron Paul is creating political space on the right.”


    Ron Paul seems to be changing the debate more and more every day. First one candidate then the next says things that are clearly aimed at libertarians. I can hardly wait for tomorows debate to see who panders to me next. (It’s just soo novel)

    I believe it is not just the policies he is proposing but how he is justifying them. His arguments almost always include moral arguments.

    For too long Republicans (except for the religious right) have simply been conceding the moral high ground to the left. It is hard to generate real enthusiasm when your position amounts to “Yeah ok, but not soo much.”

  • Ron Paul seems to be changing the debate more and more every day.

    I think I can agree with that observation. However, it has nothing whatsoever to do with him being fit to be President (let alone him having a chance to become one).

  • Paul Marks

    Yes, for example, for many years Ron Paul has been attacking the Federal Reserve system.

    The media (including, at times, Fox News) has mocked Ron Paul – but they have mocked the man, not his arguments (because the arguments can not be refuted).

    This leave the people having a negative view of Ron Paul – but an increasingly positive view of his ideas (without even remembering they are his ideas). The media (with the exception of Fox News this time) have been using the same tactics against the Tea Party movement.

    Endless vicious mockery and lying attacks (“racists” and so on) against Tea Party people, have had an effect – most people now have a negative view of Tea Party people (back in 2009 most people had a positive view of Tea Party people).

    However, the ideas of Tea Party people (the vital needs to reduce government spending) can not be rationally opposed by the elite (the media, academia – and so on) so their attacks on Tea Party IDEAS fall flat – so the establishment elite concentrate on lying personal smears and other attacks (which they, quite rightly, believe have more of an effect).

    But this means that when someone uses Tea Party IDEAS (“we must drastically cut government spending”) whilst NOT identifiying themselves as a Tea Party person – they (to the utter horror of the establishment elite) get wide support.

    That is the problem of “playing the man, not the ball” the establishment are so obsessed with tripping people up and then kicking them in the head as they lay on the ground (“racist, racist, racist”) – that they do not notice the ball rolling into the back of the net.

    It is the same with Ron Paul and the Federal Reserve (and so on).

    Endless attacks on Ron Paul – but his message (in policy terms) spreads, and is taken up by others.

    For example, when Rick Perry attacked the Federal Reseve the establishement confidentally expected his campaign to blow up – indeed the establishment elite spread what Perry said (thinking people would be horrified by it).

    But Perry’s campaign did not blow up – in fact he replaced “Mitt” Romney as the front runner in the Republican campaign.

    Because the establishment elite had made a fundemetnal mistake.

    They misunderstood the negative view of the public towards Ron Paul, with a negative view of his IDEAS.

    Just as they confuse a negative public view of Tea Party people (a negative view created by an intense campaign of lies, smears and disinformation against Tea Party people – as people) with a negative view of Tea Party IDEAS (drastically reduce government spending).

    So someone who takes up the ideas of Ron Paul and of the Tea Party movement without taking up these NAMES is very dangerious – very dangerious for the establishment-elite (of the education system, media, and even many in the financial elite).