Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ Category

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Gary Johnson on FOX News’s Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano

In 2010 elections,Economy,Federal Reserve,Gary Johnson,GOP,Government spending,Inflation,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul on May 11, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson joins Judge Andrew Napolitano on FOX News’s Freedom Watch to discuss such issues as the economy, government spending, Ron Paul, the state of the GOP, the Federal Reserve, inflation, the 2010 elections, and his Our America Initiative.

http://tinyurl.com/2ermt8a

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Gary Johnson on FOX News’s Hannity Show

In Abortion,Barack Obama,Drug reform,Economy,Education,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul,Taxes,Tea Party on May 8, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson joins Sean Hannity on FOX News to talk about the Tea Party movement, the GOP, the economy, government spending, education, abortion, taxes, Barack Obama, drug law reform, foreign policy, his mantle as the “new Ron Paul,” his Our America Initiative, and the 2012 presidential election.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSsW4abdPg0
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zXaPIc5bMc

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Salon.com: Gary Johnson, the most interesting Republican you’ve never heard of

In Abortion,Barack Obama,Cultural issues,Deficit,Drug reform,Economy,Entitlements,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Immigration,Our America,Ron Paul,Taxes,Tea Party on May 5, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Salon.com did a piece on Gary Johnson recently called “The most interesting Republican you’ve never heard of,” where they talked about his views on drug law reform, abortion, foreign policy, cultural issues, immigration, his views of Barack Obama and the Tea Party movement, the state of the GOP, the economy, government spending, deficits, taxes, entitlements, his Our America Initiative, his similarities to Ron Paul, and the possibility of a 2012 presidential run.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/05/05/gary_johnson_most_interesting_republican

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Gary Johnson on the Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC 93.9 FM

In Deficit,Drug reform,Economy,Entitlements,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Immigration,Inflation,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul,Taxes,Tea Party on April 29, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson joins WSJ columnist Ralph Gardner Jr., NYC’s new Taxi Commissioner David Yassky, and environmental journalist Andrew Revkin to speak with Brian Lehrer on WNYC 93.9 FM about such issues as immigration, drug law reform, government spending, the economy, the deficit, inflation, entitlements, taxes, foreign policy, his mantle as the “next Ron Paul,” the Tea Party movement, his Our America Initiative, and the 2012 presidential election.

http://audio.wnyc.org/bl/bl042910epod.mp3

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Gary Johnson on The Fairness Doctrine Radio Show, WDIS AM 1170

In Abortion,Civil liberties,Deficit,Drug reform,Economy,Entitlements,Federal Reserve,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Immigration,Inflation,Interviews,Judiciary,Our America,Ron Paul,Taxes on April 27, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson joins The Fairness Doctrine, WDIS AM 1170 to speak about such issues as the economy, government spending, entitlements, the deficit, inflation, the Federal Reserve, taxes, drug law reform, civil liberties, abortion, judicial nominations, foriegn policy, immigration, Ron Paul, his Our America Initiative, and the 2012 presidential election.  (Warning: The audio quality on this radio recording is not terrific.)

http://www.archive.org/download/TheFairnessDoctrine-April2010_297/F.d.April27Hour1.mp3

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Gary Johnson on the Jason Lewis Show, KTLK-FM

In Abortion,Barack Obama,Deficit,Drug reform,Economy,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Immigration,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul,Tea Party on April 24, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson speaks out on KTLK FM’s Jason Lewis Show, on such issues as foreign policy, drug policy reform, the economy, government spending, the deficit, immigration, abortion, Barack Obama, the state of the GOP, the Tea Party movement, his gubernatorial experience, his Our America Initiative, and the 2012 presidential election. (Gary Johnson comes on at the 19 minute mark.)

http://podcast.com/episode/54892381/203109/?cp=1125

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Gary Johnson interview at SRLC Media Filing Center

In Barack Obama,Economy,Education,Federal Reserve,Foreign policy,Free trade,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul on April 9, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson gives another great interview at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.  He talks about his Our America Initiative, his admiration for Ron Paul, the economy, free trade, the Federal Reserve, government spending, education, foreign policy, and the 2012 election.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/04/09/srlc-interview-gov-gary-johnson/

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews Eric Larson, candidate for State Representative, Michigan-72

In Economy,GOP,Government spending,Health care,Important Voices,Interviews,Ron Paul,Taxes on April 8, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #26 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday and every Thursday, so check back often!

———–

Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Eric Larson.  Eric graduated from the University of Michigan Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Science and Engineering in nuclear engineering. He then attended the University of Iowa College of Medicine where he earned his M.D. and then anesthesiology specialty training certification. Eric and his wife Marcy settled in West Michigan to raise their family and practice medicine. Eric is an anesthesiologist who works throughout the Grand Rapids metro area. They live in Cascade with their three wonderful children. Eric is now running for State Representative in Michigan’s 72nd district.

Josiah Schmidt: What compelled you to enter elective politics?

Eric Larson: I entered elective politics out of a deep concern for my state’s economy and poor decisions made in state government. I am concerned that my children won’t have the same opportunities that I did and want to do what I can to turn our state around.

Josiah Schmidt: What issues are most important to Michiganders?

Eric Larson: The most important issues to Michiganders are obviously the economy and unemployment situation. Michigan is near the bottom of personal income growth, employment, and job/business creation nationwide. Many of these problems were at least facilitated in part by bad state government policies and these need to be corrected.

Josiah Schmidt: What do you offer that your opponents do not?’

Eric Larson: I believe that I am the best qualified candidate for the state house of representatives because I have proven a commitment to individual liberty. Also, as a physician I have specialized knowledge in health care issues that will be useful in dealing with the state budget which is dominated by health care costs.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

Eric Larson: I suppose my liberty positions evolved over time. It began probably with Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand. I then read more from liberty/freedom authors like Hayek, von Mises, and the writings in Reason magazine. I’ve been influenced by people like Stossel and Napolitano and then contemporary politicians like Jefferson, Ron Paul and Czech president Klaus.

Josiah Schmidt: What is the first thing you will do as a State Representative?

Eric Larson: As state representative my first goal is to reverse a lot of the wrong-headed economic policies enacted by the state government. Elimination of targeted tax cuts through the MEDC/MEGA (which is just another derivation of command and control economic policy). Implementation of a right-to-work state so that workers are not compelled to join a union to work. Improve government transparency by forcing all units of government to ‘open the books’ and keep my votes online and interactive with my constituents.

Josiah Schmidt: Which area of government spending would you most like to cut?

Eric Larson: I am most interested in addressing the out of control spending for state workers. They are our employees yet while we continue to take pay cuts they receive pay increases and get benefits outside of what is attainable in the private sector. We must get this pay in line before we create a dangerous situation with two classes of citizens: government workers and the taxpayers.

Josiah Schmidt: What will you do to help bring jobs and businesses back to Michigan?

Eric Larson: Basically, we need to create incentives to organically grow jobs by improving the labor market by making Michigan a right-to-work state and decrease business taxes (cut the MBT and property taxes). Also, ending the MEDC/MEGA and bad programs like the film incentive subsidy.

Josiah Schmidt: How should the state of Michigan respond to the passage of Obamacare?

Eric Larson: The state of Michigan should respond by passing HCR Z which prevents any Michigan citizen from being compelled to purchase health insurance. The rest will rely on education at the state level where we need to inform people of the very dangerous implications of the bill. If the people of Michigan resist the bill either in implementing it or participating in it they will effectively negate its effect.

Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Eric Larson: I would like to extend my thanks to you to give me this opportunity to give your readers a glimpse into my campaign. Our district already has a great liberty minded representative, Justin Amash, who has served as an inspiration to me in what can be accomplished as a principled person in Lansing. He’s leaving office to run for Congress and I hope to follow the precendence that he has set with transparency and standing true to the message of individual liberty.

Josiah Schmidt: Where can people go to find out more about you and contribute to your campaign?

Eric Larson: People can visit my website at www.ericlarson2010.com and sign up for email alerts or volunteer (even if they are out of state we could use their help on the phones around the primary in late July). You can also donate to the campaign there online or get the address for checks. I’m on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Larson/237929759141 or on twitter at http://twitter.com/EricLLarson.

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews Floy Lilley, libertarian audio book narrator

In Economy,Environment,Federal Reserve,Foreign policy,GOP,Important Voices,Interviews,Ron Paul,Tea Party on April 5, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #25 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday and every Thursday, so check back often!

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Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Floy Lilley.  Floy is a libertarian writer, audio book narrator, entrepreneur, and a veteran of UN Climate Change conferences (more than twenty, in fact).  Floy lives in Auburn, Alabama (where she works with the Ludwig von Mises Institute) and often contributes to Mises.org and LewRockwell.com.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

Floy Lilley: I had a strong work ethic at home with parents and family that read and gave me an environment of self-worth and responsibility, even though my Dad was a career Navy officer. He did, after retirement, feel that his state life had been one of deceit.  I held my first good private sector job at thirteen and have worked ever since. When I first read Atlas Shrugged at seventeen I owned it in every way. Thereafter I called my philosophical bent Objectivism, but was not a Randian. A small group of us studied every newsletter that Rand published and I read everything she wrote.

I met F.A. Hayek in 1973 and read his work. I devoured Reed’s FEE publications. I contributed heavily to the successful creation and growth of both new and established private businesses. I was part of the entrepreneurial force. I met Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, and Burt Blumert in the eighties and began reading their work. In law, my interest was on property rights. Bastiat’s book was a favorite. For a privately-funded university Chair of Free Enterprise, I delivered speeches nationally on the piecemeal plunder of private property rights that I witnessed. I worked to pass Private Property Acts in the separate states. I have been a watchdog to the actions of the United Nations that seek the establishment of global government and the destruction of private property, individual sovereignty, natural law, individual rights, sound money and all wealth-creating elements of free societies. Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s work in the nineties shifted me solidly into anarcho-capitalist ranks.

Today, the work I do is the work I have loved my whole life – spreading the remarkable ideas of liberty in all possible formats. Ideas do have consequences. Marx and Keynes have ruled way too many generations.
 
Josiah Schmidt: What are your top three favorite books?

Floy Lilley: Atlas Shrugged (1957) by Ayn Rand, The Law (1850) by Frederic Bastiat, and Democracy: The God That Failed (2001) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Josiah Schmidt: Who do you think is the most underrated and underestimated libertarian writer of all time?

Floy Lilley: Algernon Sidney. He is so underrated and underestimated that he is virtually unknown. He wrote Discourses Concerning Government. The Crown killed him in 1683. Along with John Locke and Trenchard and Gordon of Cato’s Letters, Sidney was, according to Murray N. Rothbard, one of the three most cited and quoted theorists developing libertarian thought in America. Sidney stresses the right of revolution.

“To Sidney, revolution and freedom were closely linked. Whenever people’s liberties were threatened or invaded, they had the right, nay the duty, to rebel. Everyone might legitimately slay a tyrant, and there is much justification for defending the rights of individuals against tyranny.” p.188 Conceived in Liberty, Vol II.

Sidney’s analysis of individual reason influenced Anne Hutchinson’s lone pioneering in philosophical anarchism.

Josiah Schmidt: What do you think is the significance of the burgeoning “Tea Party” movement?

Floy Lilley: I share Laurence Vance’s assessment that Tea Party people are sincere and teachable, while still not being reliable and consistent advocates of liberty.

Were the movement to galvanize, it would probably supplant the Republican Party, as Gerald Celente has predicted it will in 2012. That would be good for liberty if it were to be a substantive change rather than simply a switch in the faces of the ruling class.

Josiah Schmidt: In your opinion, what is the biggest, looming, unseen threat to our freedom today?

Floy Lilley: The state itself is the grand seen threat to our freedom. Within that public monster grows the threat that works diligently to remain off radar – the monopoly cartel which is our monetary system.

Since there is no political freedom possible until there is first economic freedom, the monopoly cartel that seized our money, banking and credit system in 1913 remains the chief obstacle to individual liberty and to a free society in our country.

To expose this core threat is pure radicalism. Few groups outside the Austrian economists and Ron Paulians have gained the knowledge and have had the courage to consistently work at informing others about the enslaving role of the Federal Reserve as our central bank. It is past time to separate money and the state.

Josiah Schmidt: How did Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign change America?

Floy Lilley: For the first time in eighty-five years the existence and authority of the central bank is questioned. Paul’s campaign has contained substance that has always been considered the third rail of politics. His courageous convictions alone earn respect and allegiance. But, as vibrant as Paul’s message is, it is the technological medium’s response to that message that has changed American politics. Grassroots have become grass digits. Decentralized internet communication has dented the highly controlled mass media messages. Hierarchies quake.

Josiah Schmidt: In a few sentences, how might the free market handle anthropogenic global warming (assuming it’s true, just for the sake of argument) better than the State?

Floy Lilley: Nature’s Law is mutate, migrate, adapt, or die. Adaption, innovation and resilience are natural characteristics of free societies, not states. Whatever the crisis might be, the flexible and innovative responses of entrepreneurs will always beat the bureauclerosis of a state. The only free society on the planet today is the internet. Earthweb by Marc Stiegler (1999 – Baen) is the way the free market handles catastrophic events. I think it is our future networked intelligence. But then, I never do see people as bellies, but as minds.

Josiah Schmidt: Who do you think was the most competent (or should I say, the least incompetent) United States President in our nation’s history?

Floy Lilley: Harding. Jim Powell’s article on him makes a full case. Less government in business and a non-interventionist foreign policy endear his actions to me. Harding recognized the crucial importance of encouraging investment essential for growth and jobs. ‘We need vastly more freedom than we do regulation,’ he said.

Josiah Schmidt: What advice would you give to libertarians reading this interview?

Floy Lilley: Those of us who love and live liberty do not have plans for others lives. We want others to keep their hands out of our pockets and to mind their own business.

Political movements require leaders and youth. It is always a delicate act to lead without controlling. There was a stretch of time when President Paul seemed a possibility. Burt Blumert was the first to remind us that were Paul elected, we would have to get busy with impeachment proceedings, it being impossible for any human to resist such seduction of the power in being the Chief Executive.

Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Floy Lilley: Did you know that in England libertarians were first known as Levellers?  Or, that a general Hudson River uprising was the Levellers’ Uprising of 1766? Because I voice recorded all four volumes of it, I am here to tell you that Conceived In Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard is the most amazing libertarian historical effort in which a libertarian lens is held up to colonial America. Rothbard clearly saw the play between social forces and state forces during our Nation’s formation. You can download the PDFs freely, or the MP3 audios freely from our open site Mises.org. No permissions needed to reprint or copy. Now that’s the libertarian way.

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews Karen Kwiatkowski, ret. USAF Lt. Col.

In Economy,Foreign policy,GOP,Important Voices,Interviews,Ron Paul on March 11, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #18 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday and every Thursday, so check back often!

———–

Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Karen Kwiatkowski.  Karen is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and a variety of roles for the National Security Agency. Since retiring, she has become a noted critic of the U.S. government’s involvement in Iraq. Kwiatkowski is primarily known for her insider essays which denounce a corrupting political influence on the course of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Lt. Col. Kwiatkowski has an MA in Government from Harvard University and an MS in Science Management from the University of Alaska. She has a PhD in World Politics from The Catholic University of America.  She has also published two books about U.S. policy towards Africa: African Crisis Response Initiative: Past Present and Future and Expeditionary Air Operations in Africa: Challenges and Solutions.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

Karen Kwiatkowski: I was raised in a home that valued Goldwater conservatism.  We all thought Reagan was the promised Goldwater presidency, but I gradually came to see the state itself as the enemy of freedom. I read Ayn Rand’s novels in 1990, a few years later joined the Libertarian Party and shortly thereafter discovered LewRockwell.com.  I adhere to a Rothbardian view, and hold to a anti-state, pro-market, and anti-war perspective–something that puts me at odds with the present-day Libertarian Party to some extent.  But what I discovered is what many people and philosophers have discovered over many centuries–liberty is the natural productive and peaceful state of man, and the enemy of that liberty is the state, in all of its various political forms.  

Josiah Schmidt: As a retired USAF Lt. Col. with experience in the Pentagon and the NSA, how much do you think the government is overreacting to the “threat” from Iran?

Karen Kwiatkowski: Washington, and the Pentagon to a lesser extent, wants to maintain and extend U.S. military/economic influence throughout the Middle East.  Overstating and creatively defining a “threat” to the United States by Iran is part of a political agenda, pushed by neoconservatives as well as conservatives and liberals who care or depend upon the petrodollar-based financial sector.  There is also a military/Pentagon planning agenda, one based on justifying and strengthening the rationale for our overextended military, already ensconced in several locations around Iran.  Throughout the Middle East (Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia,  Yemen, Oman, Turkey, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc) the U.S. has created a post Cold War system of US basing and deployment that is similar in relative cost to what we maintained in Germany, Italy, and Japan after World War II.  Yet, there is no substantial public justification for this present-day security apparatus, as there was in the years after WWII, with the apparent rise of nuclear-capable communism in China and the USSR.  Instead of anti-communism, our global military posture is explained to Americans as being about the Carter Doctrine, free flow of oil, and defense of nuclear-armed Israel. None of these reasons are compelling to the average American–hence threats of Islamic terror and WMD must be heavily cultivated and promulgated.  Iran as a “threat” is part of this political and military-justification agenda, and nothing more.  Using the same arguments as being put forth for Iran as a WMD and Islamic “threat,” we should be far more frightened of our ostensible ally Pakistan, or even Israel’s warlike Likud Party–but these are usually not mentioned as threats to the United States or her interests.   

Josiah Schmidt: Do you think that pro-war neoconservatives really believe their own rhetoric? 

Karen Kwiatkowski: I certainly do not know.  Some neoconservatives are devoted Zionists (Jewish as well as Christian), desiring a permanent religious state in the land of Israel, as geographically large and militarily powerful as it can possibly be.  These neoconservatives believe deeply in the righteousness of the general cause of an expanded and supreme Israel in the Middle East – and support US policies that may assist in that direction. This belief, like most cherished beliefs, is emotional and hence not subject to logic or susceptible to being altered by actual facts.  However, many leading neoconservatives are not devoted Christians or Jews, but rather just politicians and political beneficiaries.  They advocate what most Americans see as an expensive, unwise, and ultimately doomed US military and political presence in the Middle East for reasons other than the advertised “fear of terror” or forced changes to the American way of life that might come from the Middle East.  For this group, I think it is about maintaining political relevance at home, making money through investments benefitted by US policy, and to some extent, seeking to change the nature of domestic American politics to ensure that the United States continues to spend lots of money overseas and on security establishments–again, pocketbook issues for so many neoconservatives and others.  For this latter group, the rhetoric is just a means to an end.

Josiah Schmidt: What kind of corruption and misinformation did you witness in the run-up to the Iraq War?

Karen Kwiatkowski: I’ve written on that in detail at The American Conservative back in Dec 2003 and elsewhere. Basically, actual intelligence as well as false intelligence gained from friends who had not been correctly vetted by the CIA (Chalabi, Curve Ball et. al.) was used by non-intelligence policy apparatchiks in OSD (Feith et. al.) in conjunction with the staffs of certain members of Congress and the Vice President’s office to justify what we know today to be an illegal war of aggression on Iraq.  The intelligence system and the system of public information was perverted, successfully perverted, to produce popular opinion and political will in the Congress to go along with the toppling of our former man in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein.  Lies were told, and repeated, and the source of those lies was not measured intelligence, but factoids taken out of context, as well as actual fabrications.  This information was poured out to the public in presidential speeches, mainstream media articles and exposes, and DoD policy documents.  I worked for one of the main offices in the Pentagon that was pushing out the politicized factoids, and witnessed what the Office of Special Plans was doing within and outside of the Pentagon.   Basically I saw up close what government does best–lying boldly, broadly and with confidence. 

Josiah Schmidt: Do you think this kind of dishonesty in government was a Bush administration problem, or is it part of a broader problem with the way government is structured?

Karen Kwiatkowski: This dishonesty is part and parcel of the state–a parasitic yet powerfully institutionalized minority existing off the acquiesence and ignorance of those who actually live productive and peaceful lives.  I think every government lies, creatively, actively and often aggressively.  Think of FDR or LBJ.  The image put forth of the Kennedy administration–all love and light,  a stark contrast to the reality.  It is interesting that in the age of the Internet and recording technology in everyone’s hands that modern American governments, as seen in the Bush and and Obama administrations, are as successful in lying about domestic and foreign policy as they are.  It is not a part of the way government is structured, nor was it native or unique to the Bush administration.  But it is related to the way states attempt to survive, and do survive.  Interestingly, the internet is causing average people to realize that it is correct to doubt what our government and its mainstream media says, and to grant the state with the basest and most self-serviong of motives, be it in war, taxation, jobs programs and bailouts.  Americans in general have become reluctantly aware that the state is the enemy of progress, and it is the center of dangerous kinds of financial and moral corruption.   But you really could not design a government form that would be immune–our own Constitution, if followed to the letter, is extremely good.  But of course, it is not followed in the least bit.  If it were adhered to as the top level law of the nation, Washington, DC would still be a poorly funded ceremonial capital and real power in this country would be found in widely distributed and variable form.  We would all be wealthier and freer, our politicians and their hangers-on poorer and more constrained, under a Constitutional system.

Josiah Schmidt: What is the future of the American government’s involvement in the Middle East, in your opinion?

Karen Kwiatkowski: Ultimately, it will disappear, much as the British and the Ottoman Empire’s influence disappeared.  In the near term, I think US involvement will continue, remain complex, complicated, and largely unquestioned by the political mainstream.  At some point, we will be unable to fund our adventures in the Middle East, and a domestic political and economic collapse at home will make whatever we are doing in the name of the US in the Middle East irrelevant.  Those making money over there in security and diplomatic ventures may change hats, and employers, much as Blackwater and the Houston based defense constructors and contractors have shifted to focus on more domestic US security and prison work as they see the unsustainability of profits in the Middle East.   In fact, Halliburton moved their headquarters to Dubai a  few years ago, and Blackwater changed its name to Xe and has shifted focus to include more clients and wider definitions of security services.  As the petro-dollar morphs  into a petro-basket that emphasizes non-dollar currencies, the benefit and consequences of US manipulation of the Middle East become increasingly counterproductive and less interesting to those who shape American foreign policy.  Angry populist domesticism will reign, defunding the empire even as it brings our door-kicking and urban warfare skilled military home.

Josiah Schmidt: Ron Paul gained attention in 2008 for attracting more support from men and women in uniform than any other presidential candidate.  Why did you support Ron Paul that year?

Karen Kwiatkowski: He was the only honest politician in the field, and his brand of peaceful libertarianism and old style conservatism (the Old Right), I believe is the only answer if this country is to long survive.  We the people will survive no matter what — but under the philosophy and political leadership of a Ron Paul, we might transition back to Constitutionalism in a more ordered, safe and productive way.

Josiah Schmidt: What can we, as private citizens, do to help end the wars?

Karen Kwiatkowski: Stop paying for them, stop sending our children to fight them, stop glorifying the militaristic state, stop supporting the troops, and try to learn a little history so we won’t be so susceptible to state fear-mongering.  These wars are a waste and counterproductive, and they eventually will end, whereupon we will regret, like we always do, that they didn’t end sooner.   The most important thing is to clearly oppose them in our own minds, and the rest will follow in our lives and politics.

Josiah Schmidt: What advice would you give to libertarians who are in or are about to join the US armed services?

Karen Kwiatkowski: My first reaction is to say “Don’t do it.”  However, the military does in fact create libertarians where they didn’t exist before, as average good Americans in the military witness lies, waste, and corruption of the Constitution in the name of national defense.  Learning how to use weapons is an exceptional skill that Americans should have, and some enlistees will be able to learn this in the military.  Traveling around the world is often thought-provoking for young people, and they learn for the first time to question the way they thought things had to be.   Exposure to other Americans who may think differently from you, and networking widely is another aspect of the military that could be beneficial for our country’s future survival.  As gangs go, the military is not the worst gang available.  But overall, I discourage people from joining any gang at all–instead I’d advise learning skills and creating habits that are independent of the state, and truly productive.  Certainly, no young person should be told that they are defending freedom by joining the military–that is the last thing they will be doing in the current era.

Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Karen Kwiatkowski: It may sound as if I am negative on the future of our country and on politics–but in fact I am only negative on the future of the state.  For mainly financial reasons, the American state is in its death throes–but like any creature, this is when the state is at its most desperate and most dangerous.    Politics to me is nothing more than human community, on a larger scale.  If our politicians are wise, humble, and peace loving, if they are willing to be bound by law (the Constitution), then to that extent, we should support them in and out of office.  To the extent that our politicians are unwise, arrogant, war-loving and unwilling to be bound by law, we should get rid of them, and certainly we should actively oppose and disobey them until we can vote them out.  If they cannot be voted out (and so many cannot) they should be publicly condemned, disregarded and their power minimized–our consent must be actively withheld.  Americans are not well-trained in how to actively withhold our consent, how to nullify bad government–but this is something we need to learn, and practice daily. 

Josiah Schmidt: Agreed.  Thank you very much for answering our questions, Karen.

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