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After all, he did name his son “Rand”

[This post was written by reader and regular commenter David Freeman]

Ron Paul’s anti-militaristic stance has led many naive, often young, progressives to think he is somehow different, more thoughtful than other wing-nuts.

His performance in the last two debates should clear up that confusion. He, along with the other candidates, said nothing when the crowd cheered the deplorable record of executions under Perry. Again, in the next debate, nothing was said about blood lust shouted from the despicable audience. No, Paul doubled down with his ruthless Randian vision of every man for himself so cruelly and falsely tempered by the ludicrous claim that churches and communities would step up to help the uninsured. Would Paul and his friends step up? How can we know? Well, it turns out Ron Paul was presented with the opportunity to test his thesis just 3 years ago, and he came up short. On June, 26, 2008 Kent Snyder, Paul’s campaign manager and the man who invented the money bombs that made Paul’s campaign possible, died penniless, uninsured with $400,000 in medical expenses. The charity campaign initiated to help Snyder’s family with this crushing debt only managed to raise less than $35,000. I guess Snyder wasn’t worth so much to Paul once he was dead. Details at

Further evidence of Ron Paul’s heartless ignorance is found in his statements on famine in Africa. See:

Perhaps Paul’s free market vision of liberty for the rich and freedom to suffer for everyone else will ease the worries of Claudia Rendon who lost her job when she took time off to donate a kidney to her son. She can be proud of her sacrifice to the libertarian god of the invisible hand so that business owners can be free switch workers at their own convenience. See

Whether he is heartless or simply lost in an ideological dreamworld, Ron Paul does not deserve the respect he often receives from pundits and ingenuous youths.



  1. oregonbird wrote:

    I can’t find the humor anymore. I know three people who chose suicide, when their only other choice was the street. Older and middle-aged people, who had worked, saved, had insurance and a home all their lives. My nephew can’t finish college – the funding disappeared, he can’t get married until he and his girlfriend find jobs… And whether Obama stays in office, or one of these madmen take over, the poor, working class and middle class will continue to be ignored, and continue dying. Have you seen the ERs? There is no medical care left for us, even at our most desperate.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 2:29 am | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    So “maybe” Ron Paul is not charitable, and does not care about needy. So there could be heartless people out there who do not want to help the poor and needy, but there are others who do care and are already doing such work. So voting Ron Paul makes sense to me, I want to be charitable as I want without government dictating me, and I do not want to force others to be charitable. Because in turn if I force them to do something they do not like, they can force me to do something that I do not like. Solution? Vote Ron Paul

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink
  3. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    You think if we eliminated all social safety nets, there is enough charity to prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of adults and children?

    If so, you are crazy. And if Ron Paul thinks that, he’s crazy too.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink
  4. H. Rider Haggard wrote:

    Well hey, speaking of the “invisible hand”, it’s interesting to have a searchable copy of Adam Smith’s “An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations”.

    Search for “labor”? Nothing. Search for “worker”? Nothing.

    But he has this to say in his sole reference to an “invisible hand”:

    “As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed,neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. …”

    As we can see, Smith was anti-free-trade. But the “invisible hand” was certainly not an iron-clad admonition, rather a mere observation that self-interest does “NOT ALWAYS” make society worse.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IMO Ron Paul’s view is no where near main stream, it’s a very small slice of the voting public. Some of his ideas are worth consideration, but most fall to the ridiculus.

    On the women who lost her job after donating a kidney to her son, she has been rehired.
    This is not a story of an evil business owner which is political spin. It’s a people story.

    This women had an unusual string of significant circumstances. She had used all her vacation time off to care for a dying mother, then her father died and then her son needed a kidney transplant and asked for a leave of absence. The small company she worked for had less then 50 employees and I know it’s difficult for some of them to handle an extended loss. The FMLA does not cover small businesses with less then 50 employees. That was a managerial decision that I’m sure they didn’t like making, but must have thought was their best course of action at the time. And it shows as they have reversed their decision and did the morally right thing. As i understand the owner was not aware of the managers actions and has since called Rendon. Legally, they were within their rights, but managers make mistakes, people make mistakes and thats what the media is for. To put sunlight on issues and try to get things right. Thanks FOX for breaking this story.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Hey, in an unrelated event guess what? In my state they have been putting up bill boards (at taxpayer expense) saying that my state “gets it” because collectively we have bought 7 million CFLs. (The new flourescent light bulbs that save money).

    The Irony – every single one is made in china. They got to love us. Also, the unintended consequence is they all contain mercury, Yeah. So everytime someone throws one away it goes in a ….. landfill and gets buried in the ground, or alley way, or carpet if it breaks. Genius.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    No, the real irony is that this whole mercury thing has gotten way more milage than it deserves. Yes, all fluorescent lights (including CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury. But switching to CFLs actually significantly reduces the amount of mercury we are exposed to because burning coal to produce all the electricity for incandescent lights releases far more mercury than CFLs ever will. If every single CFL is trashed and broken at the end of its life rather than recycled, CFLs would still emit less than one quarter the amount of mercury as incandescent lights.


    (and stop watching Fox News!)

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK – Regulators in some states seem to also spread the fear. I didn’t find that article on FOX. Stop assuming, because you know what that does.

    But, my main point was the jobs and how our government just doesn’t get it and neither do you apparantly. CFLs are a great idea, save money, save the environment, unemploy some americans as the unintended side effect. Have you been to a store lately like a Home Depot? It’s hard to find stuff “Made in America” Have you shopped for clothes? Thats an even tougher assignment to find a USA sticker. That’s whats ailing our economy more then anything. Other then “some” IT and high tech moost of what we buy is made “anywhere else”. But no one gets it, or cares as long as their political goals are furthered.
    POTUS wants companies to hire more workers. To do what? Stock Chinese made CFLs on our store shelves?

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  9. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    CFL’s unemploy Americans?

    CFL mercury somehow different than flourescent lightbulb mercury which has been in homes for years and years and years and years and…?

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Yes 1032 – we manufacture, or did, many FLs (long tubes, GE was big in that), but when we mandated a few years back that all incandescents will be phased out and CFLs will replace them, no business was making them here. China was already, and they can make them way cheaper then us. So now all CFLs are made in China and hence we inadvertently shut down our light bulb industry here and exported it over there.

    The CFL mercury is no different just less of it in them vs FLs, but there are more of the little ones.
    After this occured 1 chinese businessman came to the US and had picked out a sight in VA that he wanted to build a CFL plant, figuring Americans would be willing to pay alittle more for US made bulbs. He asked the gov for some seed money (12 million I believe) and was turned down. He went back to China and opened up another plant their instead.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink
  11. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    All incandescents aren’t being phased out. I suggest you be more amenable to IK’s “stop watching Fox News” suggestion.

    But, even if they were, your statement still makes no sense. I can go to walmart and find a variety of things that are made in China. By your logic, I could then say that:

    Clothes unemploy Americans.
    Toys unemploy Americans.
    Lawn spreaders unemploy Americans.

    ad infinitum

    You are right, the CFL mercury is not a bit different than the flourecent tubes that have been in both of my houses (my current one has roughly 5 or 6 fixtures, so 10 or 12 tubes). More of the smaller ones, sure. I could also argue that they are harder to break than long tubes. But this is a stupid argument because mercury has been in houses FOREVER in flourescent lightbulbs. The only reason the right is pissed about them is because they save energy, and anything that saves energy is bad.

    Or maybe they just like to have lightbulb breaking parties on weekends and this puts a damper on that…?

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  12. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Perhaps I’m misunderstood. CFLs don’t in and of themselves unemploy Americans, thats silly. And I did not get that from FOX. I can’t watch them any more then I can watch MSNBC, which I recommend you and IK do )~

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  13. David Freeman wrote:

    There was no mandate “that all incandescents will be phased out and CFLs will replace them”. The legislation, which was passed in the Bush administration, requires light bulb manufacturers to improve efficiency by 25%. Joseph Higbee, speaking for the electrical manufacturers association, says “Unfortunately people do not yet understand this lighting transition, and mistakenly think they won’t be able to buy incandescent light bulbs. This misinformation has been promoted by a number of media outlets. Incandescent light bulbs are not being banned, and the new federal energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs do not mandate the use of CFLs. My hope is that the media can help the American people understand the energy-efficient lighting options available, as opposed to furthering misconceptions.” –

    I think Republicans are even more responsible than the media for the disinformation on bulbs.

    There are all sorts of exemptions for specialty bulbs such as 3-way, plant lights and even chandeliers. All this hubbub is mainly about Republicans seeing yet another way to bash Obama even when he is continuing Bush policies.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink
  14. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Well David according to the far right wing and republican paper called the Washington Post;
    “What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014.”

    Sounds like those darn republicans have taken over everything. Jeez did you and IK drink some kind of conspiracy elixer today or what.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  15. Arthanyel wrote:

    PSGT – there are plenty of newer, more energy efficient incadescent bulbs on the market – I just bought some this weekend. A specific plant that made old bulbs may have been closed rather than modernized to produce new ones, but new ones are easily available.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  16. David Freeman wrote:

    The article refers exclusively to “ordinary incandescents” and even then uses the qualifier “essentially”. Never said no companies were harmed. There will be losers as well as winners as we move into a more energy efficient future. Our government and we as consumers should work to make sure the local winners offset the losers. The government can change tax policies to favor manufacturing of the new technologies in the US and we consumers should select from US made bulbs and yes they are out there.

    I stand by my statement “this hubbub is mainly about Republicans seeing yet another way to bash Obama” as accurate and conspiracy koolaid free. There is some rational discussion on this issue by Democrats and Republicans alike but the rending of garments, hairpulling and disinformation is pretty one-sided.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink
  17. starluna wrote:

    I read about this earlier today. I’m a little concerned that the family may have been illegally saddled with this debt. While widows can be held responsible for debts incurred by a spouse after death, generally other family members cannot. Unless the mother somehow signed onto to that financial obligation, I am not aware of any legally supportable argument that would require a mother of an adult to be responsible for his/her debts. Snyder’s estate may be responsible. But even if the mother is the executor of the estate, she is not personally obligated to pay his debts out of her own pocket.

    I’ve seen credit card companies try this as well. Most people don’t know that they are not obligated to pay for another family member’s debt.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
  18. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Whoa – did i miss something Starluna 🙂

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  19. Laurie wrote:

    I’m old enough to remember when religions/churches followed the teaching of the man that they profess to follow and actually used a large percentage of the money tithed to them to help the poor and needy.
    Now I see huge, beautiful church buildings all over the place.
    I guess once the government started assistance programs, the churches figured they needn’t pay so much attention to that man and his words.
    Now it seems that the government can no longer carry the burden (for a wide variety of reasons) and I am left to wonder if there is anyone who will reach out.

    (I will give props to the Salvation Army. They still seem to follow the old-school philosophy of “I am my brother’s keeper”.)

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  20. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Laurie – you opened a huge can of worms on that one.

    From one I’ve seen there are many good folk who give back to their communities and the US people are still huge providers of aid and money, although it’s mostly to other countries. I guess thats partly due to Gov assistance, but there are alot of church groups that still try to help in their communities. On the other hand there are many non profit abuses by organizations and people who exist to enrich themselves while hiding under the disguise of a humanitarian organization. I like the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) because it lists thousand of charities and also how much of their donations actually go to the cause they support. It’s helpful in knowing what percent of your money will actually get to those its intended for.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink
  21. David Freeman wrote:

    PSGT and I often respectfully disagree but we certainly are in sync about CFC. It provides a great service to help us make intelligent donations.

    CFC also recommends the following charity rating agencies:
    Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (
    Standards of Excellence Institute (
    American Institute of Philanthropy ( )
    Charity Navigator (

    I found very easy to use.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink
  22. starluna wrote:

    If you read the linked article about Kent Snyder, it reports that the hospital sent Snyder’s bill to his mom. The family and close friends had been trying to raise money to pay it off. To the extent that this is true, I believe that the hospital is illegally trying to get a debt paid off.

    Of course, I suppose this is consistent with Rand’s extreme version of libertarianism. If you aren’t smart enough to know what you are legally obligated not to pay of your adult children’s debts, then that’s your own damn fault.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  23. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Thanks for the back up David – all excellent resources.

    Starluna- what you’ve said is exactly what I thought to be true. It’s possible they turned the matter over to a collection agency and they scared the family into trying to pay. Debt cannot be assigned to other family members unless they had in effect co-signed or been the custodian as in a minor child, but you would know better then I on those matters.
    I don’t believe it should be every man for himself and it seems the hardline libertarians are heading that way. yes we need to instill self reliance and the empowerment to control ones destiny, but we are all subject to chance and thats where government or the collective citizenry should be there to help.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    Adam Smith was against tradesmen meeting and setting prices, tusts, monopolies, his invisable hand was more akin to farmers deciding between corn or soy beans.

    Medical- give everyone medicare, there are so many holes in it that the insurance companies will servive.

    As for lightbulbs, so much time and effort wasted argueing over “piggy tail” light bulbs when the future is LEDs

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
  25. Rob wrote:

    I wonder, what is more progressive?

    A president who hates social safety nets, but can’t stop them without congressional approval, but who also hates our massive war machine, which he CAN stop any time he likes as commander in chief?

    Or one that loves our safety nets, but can’t do anything about that by himself, but that does little to address that massive murder machine we call our military, which he can?

    If the democrats are likely to hold even one branch of congress as a check on his crazy, I could make a case that Ron paul would be a better choice than Obama for president for the next 4 years.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  26. Hassan wrote:

    Liberals (Democrats, not all) hate Ron Paul the most, as he reminds them how they were anti-war when Bush was in charge and now support the war president as he is theirs.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink
  27. vegas710 wrote:

    I don’t know a single Dem (real, not a politician) who supports the wars. Not a one.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  28. David Freeman wrote:

    HASSAN – Hate isn’t exactly the feeling I have for Ron Paul … it’s closer to disgust with the Ayn Randian ethos. As for “the most”, I’d have to say Perry and Bachmann are both worse than Paul.

    Progressives often talk about the problem of “low-information voters”. We usually are thinking of naive people who have been tricked by ideologically driven leaders and pseudonews organizations into voting against their own interests. One of the reasons I wrote this post is because the “low-information” response is NOT restricted to conservatives. I have talked with many cultural liberals who are very sympathetic to Ron Paul and do not understand how radical his ideas beyond opposing wars are.

    VEGAS – As far as I know, none of my Dem friends support the wars either. However, there are a lot of differences in their opinions about how fast we can get out. Some say just pick up our guns and go, some feel a responsibility to exit carefully so as to minimize transitional problems for the people who remain, especially women. I am very torn by this issue myself.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  29. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Rob – “that massive murder machine we call our military.”


    I least Soldiers like myself know how you really feel. It’s a shame because I thought that misguided mentality died out with the Vietnam era war protesters.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  30. vegas710 wrote:

    Absolutely, David. My only point was that support for the war among Dem voters didn’t change when Obama took office, as Hassan claimed.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  31. David Freeman wrote:

    PSGT – I can’t speak for anyone else, but I do believe the semantics of anti-war expression can be quite treacherous. I won’t touch “murder machine” but I do sometimes use “war machine” as shorthand for the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned against. One difficulty in protesting the war machine is differentiating that from protesting against soldiers. In the hyperemotional Vietnam protests this was often confused. I’m one of those Vietnam protestors that haven’t died off but I assure you that among my friends then (including disillusioned vets), we considered our soldiers to be victims of the war rather than villains. This is a nuance that media largely ignored.

    I believe opponents of war today are usually more sensitive to this distinction but it’s still hard to communicate opposition to war as distinct from opposition and disrespect to soldiers.

    Whether we agree with a particular war or not, this is still our military providing a critical service to our nation. I believe that a soldier who dies in service during a war I oppose deserves as much respect as any soldier in any war. We are “We the People” even when we do not agree, and our military is serving “we the people” in every action. That is a noble thing regardless of any disagreements among us.

    Thank you for your service to an ideal which is more important than the politics of the moment.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink
  32. Iron Knee wrote:

    David, I too am torn by whether we should just pull out quickly from Iraq (and other wars) or pull out slowly as to not leave a power vacuum and other problems. However, some of the same arguments were made about the Vietnam, but history shows that the main problem with our eventual quick retreat was that we didn’t do it earlier.

    I also strongly agree with you that there is a necessary distinction between being against a war and respecting our soldiers. This discussion has been made more difficult by things like the abuses at Abu Ghraib. I feel that it is no disrespect to our soldiers to hold them to high standards. A war that can’t be fought without committing major war crimes probably should not be fought.

    By the way, it is great to see your posting creating such an interesting discussion here. Good work!

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  33. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Thanks David and IK. I have stated on numerous occasions that I’d be in favor of ending the 2 wars, now 3. I even think we can pull back many of the troops we have stationed around the world. Our advances in aerial surveillance and superiority in weaponry has IMO decreased the need for large monitoring forces like we still maintain in Germany and Korea.
    Further IMO, the result in Afghanistan will be the same, whether we stay 5 more years of leave this year. The Taliban will return to power, the are very similar in mentality to the North Vietnamese. Iraq is different and I believe they will remain stable if Iran does not interfere.

    I feel it is my duty to call out poorly chosen wording and attack language that can be contrued as anti-soldier. No Soldier gets to pick the fight he’s sent to, it is however true that we have volunteered to be available. Protest against war is OK and healthy IMO, but protesting against the individual is not. What I find most troubling about the whole protest process of these wars is the subdued tone now compared to when Bush was in office. It feels as if its political and not fundamental and if that is the case then I have no tolerance for the protesters.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 6:36 am | Permalink
  34. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    My opinion about that is that it is a different country. Where we were a prosperous nation playing world police, now we have a wrecked economy and terribly high unemployment. I don’t necessarily think it is a political thing, I think that the nature of the discussion have changed…thanks mostly to Republicans pushing austerity, which for some reason does not include the wars.

    Playing for the other side for a moment, I do think that soldiers (and to a lesser degree, policemen) are put on a pedestal that they do not necessarily deserve. I’m not talking about the call to sacrifice. It’s like, the deadbeat burnout that barely graduated from high school joins the military, and suddenly he’s a patriotic saint. Well, maybe…or maybe he just needed a job and that’s the only one he saw.

    More importantly, this causes us to gloss over some of the poorest behaving members of the military. Those who engage in evil and horrific acts are given a pass because, hey, they are soldiers.

    I have great respect for those who serve. However, I’ve also been on base with freshly graduated marines. They are some of the rudest, most vulgar people you will ever meet. We went to a local mall and I was embarrassed to walk around with them talking like they did, around elderly people and children.

    I guess my point is, I agree with the mentality of “hate the war, not the soldier,” but there is a real danger when we start idolizing military men and women simply because they joined. This is fuel to the engines of the war machine to become world police.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink
  35. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think it is only natural that the anti-war protests were louder against Dubya. After all, he’s the one who got us into Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes, Obama got us into Libya, but I think that is working out slightly better, and we have no troops on the ground there. Even so, there have been protests.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink