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Monthly Archives: February 2008

We now know that Prince Harry is serving with the British military in Afghanistan. I happened to be watching CNN this afternoon when some of their talking heads were questioning whether or not it was a good idea for the media to make this information available to the general public. They also revealed that up to this point the media had cooperated with the British government and kept Harry’s whereabouts a secret. Just after that moment the hilarity really began for me. CNN’S commentators began to wonder, if in light of the Prince Harry deal between the media and the government, viewers may wonder if governments and major media outlets are in collusion to keep certain stories away from the general public. WHAT!! You’re kidding, right?!?! That would never happen. Certainly not in “free” countries such as the U.S. and England.

At this point I think it’s safe to say that every Ron Paul supporter who happened to be watching CNN at that time would have said “well, duh!!” in unison. If you are a regular viewer of one of the major network news programs, a reader of mainstream newspapers, or a mainstream talk radio listener, one year into Dr. Paul’s presidential campaign, you may still not have heard of him. Does anyone really think that’s a coincidence? Just take media super mogul Rupert Murdoch for example. You can read about his various political connections here, here, and here. And check out these statistics for many other mainstream media outlets here and here. I’ll spoil the suspense and just inform you now that none of these media types are really all that fond of politicians like Ron Paul. I know, that’s a shock. But why would they give any quality airtime to someone who refuses to be bribed, anyway? That Ron Paul just doesn’t understand how splendid corporatism can be!

It should be so painfully obvious to anyone who observes politics objectively  that the mainstream media is owned by the sweethearts of Washington D.C. There is simply no room for an outsider like Ron Paul in their quid pro quo world.

And yet we are supposed to wonder if the government and the media work together to mold the “news” to their mutual liking. What we should be wondering is if there is, in fact, any time when the government and the media aren’t working together to cover up and distort stories.

Here we are in the post 9/11 world. It’s a frightening world we are told. It’s one that’s veritably bursting at the seams with armies of bearded Islamic fundamentalists who are jealous of our freedom to listen to bad pop music and shop at the mall. Sacrifices must be made, they say, to ensure that the U.S. remains free. Many of our freedoms must be curtailed in the name of safety and security. But, rest assured, once the Feds wrangle up all of those mean terrorists, everything will be back to normal. Or maybe not. Maybe our current state of affairs is the “new normal.” That seems to be the sentiment of Mr. Dick Cheney. As we see here, shortly after the 9/11 attacks he commented that,” Many of the steps we have now been forced to take will become permanent in American life, part of a ‘new normalcy’ that reflects ‘an understanding of the world as it is.’” Not exactly an uplifting appraisal of the situation there. And certainly the future sounds grim. According to the Vice President we have nothing to look forward to in America but a police state.

Well, I’ve spent the last ten years working at the Pittsburgh International Airport. And I can tell you that the police state in existence at the airport these days serves as a constant reminder that our freedoms are really just one more terrorist attack away from being dealt their death blows. Everyday I hear the announcement informing me that the Homeland Security threat level has been raised to orange. I am told to be aware of the increased threat and report any suspicious behavior to any airport employee, police officer, or TSA representative. Just in case anyone is not familiar with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) they are part of the Bush created abomination known as the Department of Homeland Security. They are in charge of airport security. Completely. Yes, how strange, the small government conservative George W. Bush nationalized airport security. Next thing you know his administration will spend 5 times as much money as the “liberal” Clinton administration. What? That’s already happened? Well, how about that?

Returning to police state U.S.A., why is it that ordinary Americans should be forced to relinquish ANY of their freedoms to remain safe? Ordinary Americans did not carry out the attacks on 9/11. So why are ordinary Americans treated like criminals in airports? Ordinary Americans had nothing to do with any alleged plot to sneak liquid explosives onto jets. So why is it that ordinary Americans can no longer bring their bottles of water through the security checkpoint. I will never forget that day in August, 2006 when the news of the “plot” resulted in the government mandated trashing of perfectly fine bottles of water, expensive makeup, toiletries, and anything that was liquid. An acquaintance of mine had to discard his gel insoles. I was horrified as I saw this happening. These people spent their hard earned money on all of these items and because it was “reported” that some people in England had concocted a liquid explosive plot, the government goons in their TSA uniforms were ordered to confiscate the private property of innocent Americans. And what’s even worse is that none of the TSA employees seemed to have any compunction about what they were doing. Most were merely drones carrying out the orders of their superiors. But some of them even seemed energized by their new expanded authority.

Why can’t more people see where this is leading? Every “attempted” attack will result in a greater loss of liberties. And thanks to the unceasing efforts of George W. Bush to terrorize the country, an actual attack could result in a declaration of Martial Law.

Just think. How much sense does this make? We are told we should give up our freedoms in order to protect them. How will the punishment of innocent Americans for the actions of terrorists lead to the end of the U.S.A.’s problem with terrorism?

But wait. Then again, on the other hand, maybe it will. Maybe our government really doesn’t need an expensive and deadly War On Terror. The dreaded “Islamofascists” hate us for our freedoms, right? So perhaps it could all be done on the cheap by simply taking away all of our freedoms which are so despised by those “Islamofascists.” Yeah, what am I complaining about? Sounds like we’re on the right track after all.

The President of the United States of America is arguably the most powerful person in the entire world. When I talk to friends, coworkers, or just some random people I happen to meet most of them seem to believe this is true. More importantly, most of them never question whether or not having such power vested in one person is really such a great idea. They usually agree that because the President possesses so much power we need to have a President who is of superb moral character, virtuous in every way, and is also a strong “leader of the ‘free world'” who will never rest until everyone, everywhere can enjoy the wondrous fruits of social democracy. And if that democracy has to be delivered through the barrel of a gun, that’s alright. Just slap the “humanitarian” label on the mission and everything will be just grand.

Regrettably,  the level of Presidential power is rarely debated, just the qualities of the prospective grabbers of that power. And since we are now in a Presidential election year, we are reminded incessantly by CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and just about every newspaper about the importance of this election. We simply do not see this kind of fervor for any other election. Local elections? Who cares? Just tell me about the Presidential race. After all, that’s the person who’s going to take over as supreme ruler of the planet. Why does this NOT strike people as being horribly wrong? Well, basically because most people have been conditioned to believe that the President of the U.S.A. is the utmost in politicians. The person who becomes President has reached the big leagues. He or she has won the American Idol of politics. I suppose I could write various analogies forever, but you see where I’m going with this. In schools, especially public schools, we are taught to revere the President. We are taught that even if we disagree vehemently with the actions of the President, we should respect him or her simply because he or she holds the office of President. Is this NOT how a dictator’s subjects are supposed to behave?

And what are we creating in this country if not a dictatorship? Even our elected representatives in Congress have abrogated their responsibilities. The Constitution states clearly that the power to declare war is vested in the Congress, and still the President has been given free rein to attack any locale on the globe whenever he or she fancies some nice war making. Furthermore, no one seems to care about Presidential signing statements which really amount to the President saying, “this bill is nice and all, but this part, this part and this part over here won’t apply to me.” And not to be forgotten, of course, is the unitary executive theory which has been put into practice by numerous U.S. Presidents through the years. However, the big prize goes to none other than George W. Bush. Here’s a little gem from wikipedia:

“President Bush has applied the theory of the “unitary executive” in a wide range of substantive issues, often issuing signing statements detailing how the executive branch will construe legislation. President Bush issued at least 435 signing statements in his first term alone – more than the combined number issued by all previous US presidents. From President Monroe’s administration (1817-25) to the Carter administration (1977-81), the executive branch issued a total of 75 signing statements to protect presidential prerogatives. From Reagan’s administration through Clinton’s, the total number of signing statements ever issued, by all presidents, rose to a total 322.”

All hail the Decider in Chief!

And just for some fun here’s the Declaration of Independence. Notice all of the reasons why the King of England was so unpopular at that time. You’ll find that many of them are the same reasons why various “Kings of America” should have been dethroned over the years.

By now we all are well aware of the crisis in the subprime housing market. Much blame for the mess has predictably been placed on unscrupulous lenders. When do we ever hear that our government may have actually caused the problem? Of course, we just don’t hear that. After all, protocol requires that we blame the private sector for all of society’s problems. To remedy those ills we are told that we need more government regulation of those greedy, blood sucking capitalists lurking everywhere in the business world.

No one ever seems to mention legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which made it mandatory for lenders to issue loans to subprime borrowers. Tom DiLorenzo has written an excellent article on the effects of the CRA here.

In the midst of all of this fallout Democrat wunderkind Barack Obama has been calling for more government regulation to rein in loose lending practices. This seems to be just a tad disingenuous of Mr. Obama, as he has recently been endorsed by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Here’s an excerpt from DiLorenzo’s article that explains how the ACORN doesn’t fall far from the CRA tree:

So-called “community groups” like ACORN benefit themselves from the CRA through a process that sounds like legalized extortion. The CRA is enforced by four federal government bureaucracies: the Fed, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The law is set up so that any bank merger, branch expansion, or new branch creation can be postponed or prohibited by any of these four bureaucracies if a CRA “protest” is issued by a “community group.” This can cost banks great sums of money, and the “community groups” understand this perfectly well. It is their leverage. They use this leverage to get the banks to give them millions of dollars as well as promising to make a certain amount of bad loans in their communities.

Are we actually supposed to believe that ACORN would endorse Obama if they believed he was going to put an end to the “lending practices” that have been so lucrative for them?

But what of Mr. O’s challenger, the incorrigible Mrs. Clinton? Well, naturally she understands that it’s standard procedure for a government person to blame the market for every problem we encounter in this country, so that’s what she does regarding the subprime mortgage situation. She criticizes unfair lending practices and talks about holding lenders and brokers accountable in her speech before the National Community Reinvestment Coalition(NCRC). By the way the NCRC offers this explanation of what it is, and what it does:

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is a national not-for-profit with over 800 membership organizations with constituents in every state in the country. The Coalition has spearheaded a proactive community reinvestment movement with the goal of ending discriminatory banking practices and increasing the flow of private capital and credit into traditionally underserved communities. (emphasis added)

UPDATE: I must thank a reader of this post for pointing out that the NCRC does NOT state that they increase the flow of private capital and credit into “undeserving” communities. Unfortunately, I missed the letter “r” that actually made that word “under-served.” Sorry about that.

This, of course, is not to say that I now find the NCRC more palatable. Since the gist of this post was mainly to highlight the disruptive nature of government regulation like the CRA, I should mention that the NCRC has called for the strengthening of the CRA. At the same time, however, the NCRC has also called for more accountability within the banking industry. But herein lies the problem.  The CRA that is so strongly supported by the NCRC forces banks to be accountable ONLY to federal regulatory agencies, NOT the people who are trying to procure a loan.

I must admit that I had my doubts when I learned that Ron Paul was going to campaign for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Yes, I was well aware that he had been elected as a member of the GOP every time he ran for Congress but, this was the presidency. In Congress Dr. Paul and his message can be swept under the rug, so to speak. For example, note what time it is as he is introduced before giving this speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. And as we all know Dr. Paul actually takes his oath to obey the Constitution seriously, making him very unpopular with the neoconservatives who have hijacked the Republican party. On this topic I highly recommend a book by one of the most influential libertarians of all time, Murray Rothbard. It is entitled The Betrayal of The American Right and can be read online here.

As for yours truly, well, I felt betrayed by the Republican party in the Fall of 2005 and changed my voter’s registration to Libertarian. I was very enthusiastic for several months and believed that joining a “third party” was absolutely the correct thing to do. But one thought was nagging me. It occurred to me that if the goal of the Libertarian party (LP) was to swell its ranks and become a “big tent” party, then it would inevitably end up just like the Democrat and Republican monstrosities. And surely, I believed, to make that happen, the very principles on which the Libertarian party was founded would be severely compromised. Well, it appears my concerns were well founded as the Libertarian party decided to gut its platform at the 2006 national convention. From that point on I identified myself as a “small ‘l’ libertarian,” meaning I really wanted nothing to do with the national party, but still considered myself a libertarian. I’m actually kind of glad that the LP took the actions they did a couple of years ago. I learned a very valuable lesson from it. I learned that political parties are essentially meaningless . Political principles, however, are vital. And the more I read the writings of Ron Paul, the more I realized that he was a man who was unwavering in his commitment to the principles of liberty. He emphasized free trade with ALL nations, while opposing government managed trade agreements such as NAFTA, that masquerade as free trade . He underscored the importance of civil liberties in a free republic. He denounced aggressive war as the greatest enemy of liberty. He advocated drastically smaller, constitutionally limited government. AND, he was a Republican. Sure, he ran as the Libertarian candidate for president in 1988, but he was out of Congress at that time. The point is, I saw that Ron Paul was a genuine “Republican.” He favored a return to the old American Republic of the Founders.

All of a sudden it made perfect sense that he was running for president as a Republican. Furthermore, Dr. Paul is well aware of the fact that our electoral system is biased against third party candidates. And if you think the media coverage of his campaign for president has been alternately appalling and non-existent, you are correct. BUT, running as a third party candidate, or independent, he would have received practically NO mainstream media coverage at all.

At this point I think Ron Paul chose an excellent strategy. He has used the established system to speak out against that very same system. And although this strategy may not have resulted in as many votes for Dr Paul as we all would have liked, it made many media types and politicians realize that there exists a large, rather young contingent of voters who are just beginning to understand how severely their government is ripping them off everyday.

The mainstream media will continue to ignore him but, Ron Paul’s campaign has injected a large dose of principle back into politics . He has shown all of us just how important it is to place commitment to principle far above loyalty to members of “the party.”

The Free Online Dictionary defines the word “patriot” as “one who loves and defends his or her country. It also lists these related words: “flag-waver,” “hundred- percenter,” “jingoist,” “patrioteer,” and “chauvinist.” All five of these terms are defined as being traits of one who is “an extremely bellicose nationalist.” It’s obvious that there exists a significant difference in meaning between “patriot” and all of the other words. Yet in today’s parlance the term “patriot” is used to describe someone who is precisely “an extremely bellicose nationalist.” Sure, everyone is welcome to criticize some aspect of the American political scene. But when the chips are down, say, in a time of war, (and when are we NOT at war in this country?) we are told to set aside our differences when it comes to domestic matters, and rally behind the president, the flag, and the unquestionably virtuous nature of that one indispensable beacon of democracy, the U.S. of A.

Naturally there are various apparatchiks of the State positioned strategically in the media to reinforce the belief that it is not enough for a “patriot” to love his or her country. He or she, in fact, must love the government and its wars as well. Commentators such as Rush Limbaugh fit the “state apparatchik” description perfectly. You see, as far as Limbaugh is concerned, if you happen to be anti-war, you just aren’t a genuine American. Even if you are a soldier who speaks out against the war in Iraq after serving there, the esteemed Bush administration shill, Mr. Ditto himself, will call you a phony.

But, of course the fun doesn’t stop there. You may actually subscribe to this far fetched theory that our government is actually supposed to represent the will of the people. Well, you may be surprised to learn that sometimes the people just have to concede that they just aren’t as informed as their governmental superiors. At such a time, the people need to realize that they should not question their representatives’ actions. You and I simply need to understand that the members of the government have our best interests in mind whenever they make any decision involving foreign policy and war. According to Limbaugh the anti-war Americans just aren’t well enough informed. And naturally the government can’t tell the American people all the facts because during a war that type of divulgence would surely undermine the war effort. Just have a gander at part of this transcript from 2006 when Limbaugh interviewed ex Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

LIMBAUGH: Well it’s got to be tough, I would imagine. Because, I’m aware of it and I try to share with my audience as often as possible that people like you and the President know far more than the public knows about any number of events, simply because it’s not possible for the information that you learn to be shared nor should most of it. And yet, that would have to force you at some point to say, you know, we do have an anti-war crowd and they’re loud and they’re being affected by our enemy, but the American people – some of them just don’t know what we know and you have to stick with what you think is right. That’s where the whole democratic process I would think becomes challenging for you because you have to make judgment. Do we do what’s right, or do we listen to the people? (Emphasis added)

I don’t know about you, but Limbaugh’s comments are nothing short of breathtaking to me. In those italicized and bold typed words we can read a more or less straight forward call for dictatorship. Yet this is the same man who is revered on the website fansofrush.com for being one of “the greatest U.S. patriots of all time.”

Well, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t call him a “patriot,” but he sure does seem to fit the description of “an extremely bellicose nationalist.” Just take a look at what he has said about war protest groups:

If they were for peace, they would give every dollar they raise to the U.S. defense department because it’s the U.S. defense department that keeps the peace and liberates the oppressed in the world and gives them the opportunity to have freedom, which is what we want for Iraq. It’s beyond me how anybody can look at these protesters and call them anything other than what they are: anti-American, anti-capitalist, pro Marxists and communists.” – Rush Limbaugh

I apologize for any discomfort you may be feeling after reading Mr. Limbaugh’s comments. I’m feeling a little queasy myself.

It’s no secret that governments love wars. After all, stating that you are “at war” against “something” seems to imply that you are somehow more serious about it. Plus it’s just so American, isn’t it? I mean Americans don’t mess around, right? We kick ass, and take no guff from any miscreant, foreign OR domestic!

In our culture we have romanticized and glorified war. On the other hand we have demonized entrepreneurship. The business man who simply wants to make money by providing people with the items we need for everyday life, as well as the various luxury items we all enjoy, is viewed as a scoundrel. He is greedy and selfish, driven only by that most evil of evils ; the profit motive. I think it’s high time we had “Entrepreneur Day” to celebrate all of the people who have brought us our televisions, DVD players, Ipods, cars, dishwashers, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, light bulbs, and on and on. How much would you enjoy your life without all of the fabulous “stuff” made possible by various entrepreneurs?

But anyway, back to the matter of what so many people consider to be the TRULY noble pursuits ; government wars. I say we just end them. How about that? Let’s end the Iraq war. It’s all based on lies anyway. It’s unconstitutional. We have no idea what “victory” in this war would even look like. And just how many Iraqis do we have to kill before they are “liberated” anyway?

While we’re at it let’s end the Afghanistan war. Yes, that war that everyone seems to have forgotten about. After that we could scrap the entire war on terror. Terrorism is a tactic. And you can’t wage war on a tactic.

Next up, and joined at the proverbial hip with the aforementioned war on terror would be our government’s war on civil liberties. We could repeal egregious legislation like The Patriot Act, and The Military Commissions Act. The government’s duty is to defend and protect the liberty of its people, not to defend and protect the secrecy of the government at the peoples’ expense.

Alright, so we’re on a roll here. Let’s see, what’s next? How about ending the War on Poverty. After all it is really nothing more than a war ON the impoverished, making them dependent on government. Here’s a wild and crazy idea. How about we just let people keep the fruits of their labor, and end the war on personal earnings, otherwise known as the income tax. Funny, but when politicians belch forth all of their platitudes about helping the poor they NEVER suggest that perhaps, just perhaps poor people could get richer if they were allowed to keep everything they earn.

But, wait, we’re not done yet! The next governmental scourge to be eradicated would be The War on Drugs. Its accomplishments include a monumental wasting of money, and the imprisonment of thousands of non violent drug “offenders.” In fact, with the help of the War on Drugs a new record high for America’s prison population was set recently. And yet the drug problem continues unabated.  I think we can safely call that a dubious honor, no?

So there you have it. Our government’s wars are costly, deadly, and ultimately pointless. So let’s put them out of their misery. Let’s end ALL government wars.

Everyone knows the Republican nomination is going to John McCain. So why is that Ron Paul guy still running? CNN wanted to know, so they spoke to Dr. Paul about it. Certainly many people all over the country have been wondering why the Texas Congressman presses on in the face of certain defeat. These people, however, simply do not get it. Ron Paul’s campaign may have begun about one year ago. But it was never going to end in 2008. Let’s face it. The higher up one climbs on the political ladder the more corruption one encounters. The higher the stakes in any given election, the more the system is rigged to favor the sweethearts of the establishment. Ron Paul knows this, and so do all of us who are such fervent supporters of him. We knew all along that this was first and foremost an ideological battle. We knew that change doesn’t just miraculously appear out of thin air when a certain politician wins an election. And that is just about all the American political system is at this point. It’s all about winning elections at any cost. Anyone who had the stomach to endure the vacuous rhetoric spewing from the mouths of most candidates in the so called debates knows all too well that real, substantive political discussion simply does not happen here.

Instead of the truth we get the same old bromides about being all things to all people. You want an end to terrorism? No problem. You want an end to poverty? No sweat. You want great paying jobs for everyone and their uncles? We’ve got you covered. You want free medical care? Step right up. You want accountability in Washington? Absolutely. Consider it done. What? You say that’s going to be awfully expensive? Balderdash!!! We’ve got printing presses that’ll take care of that little problem as fast as you can say “Bernanke.”

So why is Ron Paul still running? Well,  as he states in this video, there is a vital choice to be made at this point. Do we give up now, and throw away all of the great work we’ve done over the past year? Or do we carry on, understanding that our movement will amount to nothing if we just let it expire in 2008? Dr. Paul is choosing the latter option. And so must we. Yes, the people to whom politics is only about winning the current election will scoff at us. But we have something they simply cannot understand. We have hope for the future. We realize, as Murray Rothbard did, that although the present may be bleak, the future is something about which we should be optimistic.

Ron Paul’s campaign is inspiring thousands of young Americans to become active in politics. Not because they want to perpetuate our corrupt political and economic systems, but, because they want to restore the Republic, the Constitution, and liberty. It is certainly not an easy task. But it is a worthwhile task. After all, wouldn’t it be great to get rid of  government that is full of empty promises and deception, and replace it with one that simply offers freedom? Talk about a rhetorical question! As for me,  I’ve never been as enthusiastic about politics as I am now. And I have Ron Paul to thank for that. We all do.

I, for one, will not let this great effort end in 2008. I’m sure thousands more “Ron Paul Republicans” feel exactly as I do.

Long live the rEVOLution!

All of us out here in the land of the sheep have been hearing for months about this great agent of political change named Barack Obama. Especially on matters of war and peace, Obama has been portrayed as the “real” anti-war candidate of the “real” anti-war party. Sure we know he is opposed to the war in Iraq, but let’s remember that he is, after all, a Democrat. The war being waged in Iraq is a Republican war. And we must not forget about loyalty to “the Party.” I mean, war and peace are important, but Party unity trumps all other concerns when it comes to politics. Think back to the 1990’s and Clinton’s incursion into Kosovo. Which party was critical of war then? Remember, it was war making controlled by Democrats so naturally the Republicans opposed it. In Washington D.C. there is hardly any opposition to war that is rooted in true anti-war principles. Instead we have politicians being anti-war when it’s convenient. If they believe taking up a pro-war position will help to secure votes and advance their dreams of increased political power and stature, then, by all means, they will adopt a suitably pro-war position. Likewise, if the political winds are indicating that a politician who espouses an anti-war position will see his or her level of political clout rise more expeditiously than that of the pro-war politician, then strike up the band and start singing “give peace a chance.”

Unfortunately, the two candidates in this year’s presidential contest who maintain a principled aversion to war, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, are relegated to the sidelines while the poseurs duke it out on center stage.

Alright, so we know about Obama’s position on Iraq. But, what’s his approach to Pakistan? In this excellent you tube clip we see and hear that Obama is not quite the anti-war candidate he’s cracked up to be. He more or less states that our troops are just in the wrong place. According to him they don’t necessarily need to come home. They just need to be shifted to other places in the Middle East, like Pakistan. And when Obama speaks about terrorists plotting to strike America again, we are subjected to a level of fearmongering that’s worthy of the most bellicose neocons.

In short, the anointed prince of change does not really oppose the war on terror. He just doesn’t approve of the way the Bush administration is fighting it. He, on the other hand, is going to do whatever it takes. He’ll get tough with those towel heads in the right places!

And if he receives his party’s nomination, and goes on to become president, I can’t wait to see all of the anti-Iraq war Democrats stop on a dime and support whatever military adventure Mr. Obama has up his sleeve. After all, we must remember that loyalty to “the Party” is priority number one.

Yellow ribbon magnets remind us to “support the troops.” Politicians remind us to “support the troops.” Talking heads on television and radio remind us to “support the troops.” But, remember, we live in the Orwellian States of America. Here “support the troops” usually means to be in favor of keeping them at war in many far flung countries all over the world. “Support,” these days, means we want our soldiers to keep fighting and dying for the lies of our government. In a sense, it could be argued that in our own little version of “newspeak,” sentencing the troops to death in an Iraqi civil war equals “support” of those troops. If one so much as WHISPERS that maybe the troops should just come home, then one had better be prepared to be peppered with various epithets including, “cut and runner,” “terrorist appeaser,” “anti-American,” and “anti-semitic.” And just for good measure we’ll tack on one of the pro-war crowds’ absolute favorites: the war detractor will be lumped in with the “blame America first” types.

But here’s a question not too many people seem to be asking. Which candidate for president do the TROOPS support? Which candidate would THEY prefer to have as their commander-in-chief? And at this point I think a little digression is in order. The president of the United States is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He (or she, heaven forbid) is NOT commander-in-chief of the American people. Our culture has become so militarized that many of us seem to have forgotten this point.

Returning to our question of which candidate the troops support, the answer may surprise many people. For none other than anti-war Republican Ron Paul has received more donations from active members of the military than all other candidates, Democrat and Republican COMBINED.

Here are the numbers: I omitted Mitt Romney since he is no longer in the running. With him included Paul’s numbers are ALMOST as much as both parties’ candidates combined.

According to the FEC Q4 :

Ron Paul: 1160 $249k
John McCain: 438 $83k
Mike Huckabee: 126 $37k
Barack Obama: 443 $76k
Hillary Clinton: 154 $41k

Some parts of the mainstream media are even picking up on this fact as we can see on this CNN piece. So perhaps our military men and women don’t want to be globe girdling police officers. Maybe, just maybe they enlisted to defend OUR country, NOT Iraq, or any other place. Could it be that the neocons are wrong again? Well, why not? They were wrong BEFORE the Iraq war with their predictions that this little endeavor would be all sweetness and light.

And so here we are. Instead of that sweetness and light that was forecast, we are nearly five years into darkness and death. Many members of the armed forces have spoken with their wallets. And surely much to the neocons chagrin, they support the candidate who believes they should just come home.