Friday, August 26, 2011

Who is Paul Treanor anyway?

I found Paul Treanor while trying to find critiques of Libertarianism. This was at the time when Ron Paul's face was plastering the internet on both sides of the issue. That makes sense since Libertarians aren't sure either!

I liked it when one Ron Paul supporter decried his opponents as Libertarians!

Which leads to the fact that I have always had a dislike for Libertarianism which has been made stronger since there is no real definition of the ideology: it can range from minarchist to openly anarchist. Of course, this is a right wing anarchy where large corporations can dump toxins into the drinking water in order to sell bottled water. These are the folks who will keep you perpetually in debt in the name of a free market.

This diversity of libertarian viewpoints can make it quite difficult to have a coherent discussion about it, because an argument that is valid for or against one type of libertarianism may not apply to other types.

It is very hard to find any literature about libertarianism that was NOT written by its advocates. This isolation from normal political discourse makes it difficult to evaluate libertarian claims without much more research or analysis than most of us have time.

Many libertarian arguments are like fundamentalist arguments: they depend upon restricting your attention to a very narrow field so that you will not notice that they fail outside of that field. For example, fundamentalists like to restrict the argument to the bible. Libertarians like to restrict the argument to their notions of economics, justice, history, and rights and their misrepresentations of government and contracts.

Widen the scope, and their questionable assumptions leap into view. Why should I accept that "right" as a given? Is that a fact around the world, not just in the US? Are there counter examples for that idea? Are libertarians serving their own class interest only? Is that economic argument complete, or are there other critical factors or strategies which have been omitted? When they make a historical argument, can we find current real-world counterexamples? If we adopt this libertarian policy, there will be benefits: but what will the disadvantages be? Are libertarians reinventing what we already have, only without safeguards?

Interesting that this subject is now turning toward rights, especially since Paul Treanor's comments on rights form a basis for my comments in my Rights post. Indeed, most of the libertarian concepts are bastard progeny of the arguments that led to the American War for Independence: in particular the concept of government by consent. Despite propaganda to the contrary, that is not a conservative idea, but a liberal one. Conservativism, by its nature believes in slow and calculated change rather than a radical shakeup of the system.

Anyway, I find Paul Treanor to be interesting from a myriad of reasons especially since we share an interest in Urban, environment, planning. Besides, I like the way the man thinks.

To bad he is next to impossible to locate!


  1. Laci The Dog:

    I guess this will be a two or three parter.:)

    I spend a fair amount, okay, an inordinate amount, of time at this blog--

    I posted the following comment there about an hour ago.



    "September 21, 2005

    Washington, DC: Congressman Ron Paul has joined Texas Governor Rick Perry in requesting a federal state of emergency declaration for the entire state of Texas. Under a federal declaration of emergency, federal assistance in many forms becomes available to the people of Texas. This assistance includes Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, SBA disaster loans, and USDA loans, in addition to assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security in general.

    President Bush declared the emergency today, pledging a stepped-up federal response to what may be the biggest Hurricane ever to hit Texas.

    Paul, in a letter to the president, stressed that all 254 counties in Texas likely will be affected by the hurricane, causing the displacement of thousands or even millions of citizens. Galveston and Brazoria counties in particular may be hard hit, and will need the coordination of federal, state, and local disaster services to ensure the fastest possible recovery."

    is from here (

    It seems a bit of a departure in both tone and content from this rant:

    "Responding to Katrina

    by Ron Paul

    Texans and all Americans have responded wonderfully to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, opening their wallets and their homes to help displaced victims. Private donations already have topped $600 million. This outpouring shows there is hope for rebuilding and breathing life back into New Orleans and other destroyed communities, if the American entrepreneurial spirit is permitted to operate freely.

    When it comes to government relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Congress must be very careful with the nearly $52 billion dollars approved last week — almost all of which goes to FEMA. The original $10 billion authorized by Congress for hurricane relief was spent in a matter of days, and there is every indication that FEMA is nothing but a bureaucratic black hole that spends money without the slightest accountability. Any federal aid should be distributed as directly as possible to local communities, rather than through wasteful middlemen like FEMA. We cannot let the Katrina tragedy blind us to fiscal realities, namely the staggering budget deficits and national debt that threaten to devastate our economy.

    Why does Congress assume that the best approach is simply to write a huge check to FEMA, the very government agency that failed so spectacularly? This does not make sense. We have all seen the numerous articles detailing the seemingly inexcusable mistakes FEMA made — before and after the hurricane. Yet in typical fashion, Congress seems to think that the best way to fix the mess is to throw money at the very government agency that failed. We should not be rewarding failure.

  2. Considering the demonstrated ineptitude of government on both the federal and state level in this disaster, the people affected by the hurricane and subsequent flood would no doubt be better off if relief money simply was sent directly to them or to community organizations dedicated to clean-up and reconstruction. Indeed, we have seen numerous troubling examples of private organizations and individuals attempting to help their fellow Americans in so many ways over the last ten days, only to be turned back by FEMA or held up for days by government red tape. We have seen in previous disasters how individuals and non-governmental organizations were often among the first to pitch in and help their neighbors and fellow citizens. Now, FEMA is sending these good Samaritans a troubling message: stay away, let us handle it.

    The examples of FEMA blocking relief efforts are numerous: Wal-Mart trucks containing water and supplies were turned away; the Coast Guard was prevented from delivering diesel fuel; a 600-bed Navy hospital was left unused; firefighters were ordered away from flood sites; donated generators were refused; and rescue attempts by private citizens were rebuffed. Is FEMA really an agency that should be given another $50 billion?

    In several disasters that have befallen my Gulf Coast district, my constituents have told me many times that they prefer to rebuild and recover without the help of federal agencies like FEMA, which so often impose their own bureaucratic solutions on the owners of private property.

    Once again the federal government is attempting to impose a top-down solution to the disaster. No one questions where this $52 billion will come from. The answer, of course, is that the federal government simply is going to print the money. There will be no reductions in federal spending elsewhere to free up this disaster aid. Rather, the money will come from a printing press. The economic devastation created by such a reckless approach may well be even more wide-reaching than the disaster this bill is meant to repair.

    We should consider more constructive ways to help New Orleans and the other affected areas recover from this tragedy. There are numerous approaches, such as the creation of tax-free enterprise zones, which would attract private capital to the area and result in a much quicker and more responsive recovery. Katrina's victims and the rest of the country deserve a more sustainable and financially rational approach than simply printing and spending money.

    September 13, 2005

    Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas"


    Apprarently a lot can happen in EIGHT FUCKING DAYS.

    A man of principle, indeed.

    Posted by: democommie | August 27, 2011 6:31 AM


    Sorry for it's lengthiness but I felt it was important to simply let Paul's own words prove what a hypocrite he actually is.

    My experience with people who say that they are Libertarians is that they usually want to do away with costly, wasteful programs like education, healthcare, social welfare and other programs that only benefit the "parasites" who suck the gummint teat, while making sure that constitutionally sound gummint programs like favorable regulation, infrastructure for commerce and such--and of course cops and military are funded as much as possible.

    That characterization IS broad brush (and quite tarry, if I am being candid) but I don't meet many, if any, self-professed Libertarians who do not pretty much toe that particular line.

    Property is sacrosanct in the minds of the Libertarian, more sacred than justice, mercy or humanity it seems. That is just fucking sad.

    I think that if THEY are being candid, a lot of Libertarians would admit to yearning for the time when the Magna Carta was signed and the lesser nobles (that would be them) got the superclass to lay off of them and let them just fuck their serfs in peace.

  3. I was impressed by an interview on Friday with the governor of North Carolina, smart woman.

    She had indicated how very efficient, effective, and professionally competent the FEMA response was in North Carolina.

    She particularly took time to emphasize how very much improved that the response was now that FEMA was under the directions of professionals who knew what they were doing.

    You know, unlike that last guy who put the head of the Arabian Horse organization in charge, 'Brownie'.

    Apparently the Texas governor was not very good at coordinating with the President from Texas.

    My personal opinion, that they are both stupid AND arrogant AND didn't give a rats ass about anyone but their few wealthy corporate buddies had something to do with that fact.

    Give credit where credit is due; the Obama administration is getting praise for their response to THIS hurricaine.

  4. Some of those Libertarians are real extremists. The only extremists I like are gun control extremists because I'm not one and they make me look good.