Ron Paul On The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Fred Stopsky

Fred Stopsky

by Fred Stopsky
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Fred’s blog
December 28, 2007

There is an old American folk song entitled, “On The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” The gist of the song is that on the Big Rock Candy Mountain, “the cops all have wooden legs” and there is peace, happiness, and plenty of food for everyone. After reading responses to my recent comments about Ron Paul I get the impression he believes there once was a Big Rock Candy Mountain until evil big government came along. He believes that once upon a time, before evil government, free independent men ran their property as they desired, and there was freedom and liberty in this nation. After reading Paul and those who support him, the kindest words I can express is that he represents the traditional conservative big business male white Anglo Saxon Protestant perspective. Let’s look at the record:

1. Between 1865-1940 about 5,000 people were lynched in America of whom 4,000 were black skinned, about four hundred Asians, and the rest whites including a few Jews. These people were killed by mobs of angry white people, not by government. The largest one day lynching occurred in March, 1891 when 11 Italians were lynched in New Orleans by a mob. In other words, the lack of Federal government action allowed local white mobs to lynch people and it was a rare occurrence if anyone was arrested, let alone convicted by Paul’s beloved local government.

2. Ron Paul’s beloved STATE GOVERNMENTS passed segregation laws. Black skinned people in the “good old days” were denied entry to state universities, to state medical and law schools. It was action by the US Supreme Court and Federal legislation that ended segregation.

3. In the Big Rock Candy Mountain days, women lacked the right to vote, were denied employment opportunities and it was illegal for them to control their own bodies. It took Federal Constitutional changes and laws to end that situation.

4. I continually receive comments about “my rights,” “my property,” and so on. African Americans, Jews, Italians, Irish Catholics, etc.. paid taxes that provided you police and fire and health services for your “property.” They fought and died for this nation. So, listen Mr. Bigot, if you want to use our highways, our police, our fire department, if you wish to be certain food you eat is safe, if you want to use government developed Internet services, then you have no right to deny equality to all citizens of this nation.

I could go on ripping to pieces the lack of logic and historical background of comments I received, but you either got my point or it is hopeless. I received one comment from a person who in the same piece called me: a Communist, a Neo-Conservative, a Jewish Radical, a supporter of bankers and corporate interests, and God knows what else. How do I explain to this ignorant person that Neo-Conservatives were originally liberals who felt other liberals were too easy going with Communists and broke away. In other words, Neo-Conservatives are virulent anti-Communists! Why would bankers and Communists be allies!!! By the way, the “Communist” writing these words volunteered to fight in the American army during the Korean War when the enemy was Communism!!

I am throwing out a challenge to Ron Paul supporters.

1. Identify the time period in American history in which you believe people had greater freedom than today.

2. Define and explain IN DETAIL what you mean by “Individual Freedom.”

3. Present evidence that State governments in American history have been more supportive of individual freedom than the Federal government. I will help you out. During the Progressive Movement several states such as Wisconsin, and Minnesota and Wyoming did sponsor several reform pieces of legislation. But, fellows, you have one big problem when you discuss southern states.

Good news from Great Britain. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labor Party is rebelling against his “anti-terror plan” to extend to 48 days the time when a suspect can be held without charges being levied. Enough Labor Party MPs have deserted him because they are tired of the erosion of civil liberties which have occurred since 9/11. Who knows, maybe some day the Democratic Party will get some backbone and fight to defend our civil liberties against the tyranny of “anti-terrorism” fear mongering rhetoric.

I assume everyone read about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Bush is now out on a limb. He placed all his bets on the incompetent President Musharraf who is now the object of hatred in his own country since most people blame him for the killing. We may well witness complete chaos envelop Pakistan if next week’s election results in a triumph for the Musharraf party.

Did you read that touching story about Barack Obama and the veteran? In Iowa, he teasingly asked a man to pose a tough question. The man rose and explained he was a military veteran and described the fight he had to get medical care after his discharge. The man began to cry and Barack went to him and gave him a hug and promised if elected president he would fight for proper health benefits for our veterans. Somehow, I just don’t see Hillary going over and giving the hug or getting emotional. A great leader knows when to allow his/her feelings to show, she guards them too much. By the way, the media has completely ignored the terrific job done by this Democratic Congress to back veteran rights and improved medical care.

Ah the media. All we here is about the success of the famous surge. I was reading the Iraqi newspaper, Azzaman which describes complete chaos in Basra. The police have essentially abandoned control over the city to militia groups. They can not even halt the killing of over 40 women who were slain by fundamentalists because they wore “improper clothing.” Gen. Jaleel al-Shuwaili, head of the police says his police are “powerless.” I guess the surge troops will head on down south to Basra.

Another poke at the American media. If a Muslim terrorist blows up someone, it is front page news. Yesterday, I reported the peace and quiet and protection for Christians in Indonesia that was ignored. On Christmas eve in the Indian state of Orissa, mobs of Hindus destroyed 12 churches and beat up dozens of Christians. Will Rush Limbaugh now tell his audience about Hindu terrorists? Like hell he will, as long as he can keep up the drum beat that all Muslims are to be suspected.

Senator Joseph Lieberman has come out for John McCain. As you recall Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination in Connecticut for the senate and ran as an independent. He promised Democrats that he would work with Democrats if elected. He undoubtedly is the most fervent supporter of George Bush’s war on terror and the Iraq War. Lieberman has completely misunderstood how best he can support Israel. Instead of working for a two nation solution and exerting pressure on Israel’s leaders to compromise, he supports all Israel government policies. Now, he is going to help Republican McCain by appealing to the religious right who like Lieberman for backing Bush. Sorry, John, I don’t think Joe will help you at all. He is a washed up figure who has lost the respect of senatorial colleagues and of most people in his own state.

A good piece of news from the Middle East is a proposal by Egypt’s President Mubarak. He offered to mediate between Israel and Syria. His proposal makes sense. Mubarak suggests that Israel would abandon the Golan Heights(israel forces seized the mountainous area of the Golan Heights during the 1967 war) and over a ten year period gradually withdraw. He offered to place Egyptian troops to help monitor the situation as well as urging UN forces to help out. This is a sensible compromise.

Interesting Headlines:

China, China Daily: “Dog Could Now Become Panda Savior”
I don’t know if the Pope is going to go for this dog-panda fooling around, sounds like bestiality to me.

Kuwait, Gulf Times: “No Relief In Sight For Visually Impaired Voters In Pakistan”
Nor is there for people who can see, hear or smell.

Himalayan Times: “Angela Joie Rubs Caviar Into Her Skin”
Only Angela could get the Himalayans stirred up over caviar.

Nepal, Nepalnews.com: “Guilty Should Be Punished”
Oh yeh, when do white collar criminals ever really do jail time?

Bahrain, Bahrain Tribune: “Youth Hurt As He Hits Lamppost”
Not a damn word about the feelings of the lamppost!

Before concluding, let me reiterate one thought. I have never questioned the integrity or honesty or patriotism of Ron Paul. I have never demonized him or insulted him in any manner. I was raised in the south Bronx where people argued for hours, then went to a movie together. I believe in free speech and my right to disagree with someone. I find most sad that some– not all– Ron Paul supporters resort to vituperation and questioning the loyalty or patriotism of those who disagree with Mr. Paul. I disagree with the ideas of Ron Paul, that’s all.

Peace and Love

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9 thoughts on “Ron Paul On The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Fred Stopsky

  1. 4000 peope lynched. Lets assume they were all lynched by local government. And that they were all innocent. Now how many people were killed by the federal govenment 1860 -1945? And lets assume 90% of our soldiers and the soldiers on the other side were not innocent. Hmmm.

    Yea, your right I cheated a little on the years.

  2. “Between 1865-1940 about 5,000 people were lynched in America…”
    During the same period of time Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Chiang, and Leopold II had each killed millions of the same people they were ruling.

    Do you believe that because we live in a democracy an omnipotent leader would somehow be a benevolent one? You are the utopian, not Paul.

    All government is evil and democracy is no exception (actually it sets a pretty good paradigm).

  3. Fred, libertarianism is the theory that all human beings are self-owners. Never in history has this right been fully realized. We do not hark back to some grand era although freedom has often declined as history has “progressed.” We criticize those episodes without glorifying the past. We are forward-looking and Ron has said that.

  4. “1. Identify the time period in American history in which you believe people had greater freedom than today.” -Fred Stopsky

    I think that the years following the Revolutionary War, after Britian had capitulated, Americans had a greater degree of freedom than today. In fact, it was this freedom which attracted so many political and religious dissedents to our young country. When the Quakers were abused in MA by the Puritans and Calvinists, they moved to PA. When the Mormons were abused, they moved to UT. The Federal government was very weak, and while some States were oppresive (MA had a church tax) some states were very free. MO was the gateway to the west and was really a trading post. There is less and less of the freedom we had then because there is less and less opportunity to escape into the wilderness. This is the reason why it is so critical that the Constitution be strictly upheld.

    “2. Define and explain IN DETAIL what you mean by “Individual Freedom.”” -Fred Stopsky

    Individual freedom is the degree to which one is able to act in accordance with one’s natural or God given rights to self-determination. It is not a natual or God given right to violate another’s property. So, when I talk about individual freedom, I am really talking about the ability to be secure in my body and property. The extent to which my body or property is aggressed against, is the extent to which I am not free. A just government would not impose upon my freedom, because I have personally consented to its use of my property in exchange for the benefits of government. To this claim I would add that individual freedom entails the unlimited right to discriminate in my use of my own property. Which is to say, no entity or organization, in a free society, can appropriate my body, work, or person without my consent. As such, only capitalism and a true Constitutional Federal Republic that recognizes the right to secession and unassailable private property rights is congruent with individual freedom.

    “3. Present evidence that State governments in American history have been more supportive of individual freedom than the Federal government. I will help you out. During the Progressive Movement several states such as Wisconsin, and Minnesota and Wyoming did sponsor several reform pieces of legislation. But, fellows, you have one big problem when you discuss southern states.” -Fred Stopsky

    Well, the Federal government really wasn’t conceived to rule the people directly, but to govern the contract between the sovereign states of the Union, so as it was intended, the Federal government was not instituted to compete with the states for the responsibility to rule the people, but that flew out the window with Lincoln’s unConstitutional attack on the South and the unConstitutional adoption of the 14th Amendment.

    But if I could just adopt the rules of any State at the Federal level, we would have a greater degree of freedom under the government of the “Equality State” WY than uder our current Federal government. Their state motto is ‘the equality state”. They were the first state that allowed women to vote, and slavery was never legal there.

    Unlike the Federal government, Wyoming does not levy an individual or corporate income tax. In addition, Wyoming does not assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Wyoming has a state sales tax of 4%. Food for human consumption is not subject to sales tax.

    All property tax is based on the assessed value of the property and Wyoming’s Department of Revenue’s Ad Valorem Tax Division supports, trains, and guides local government agencies in the uniform assessment, valuation and taxation of locally assessed property. With very few exceptions, state law limits the property tax rate for all governmental purposes.

    Personal property held for personal use is tax-exempt. Inventory if held for resale, pollution control equipment, cash, accounts receivable, stocks and bonds are also exempt. Other exemptions include property used for religious, educational, charitable, fraternal, benevolent and government purposes and improvements for handicapped access. Minerals are exempt from property tax but companies must pay a gross products tax and a severance tax when produced. Underground mining equipment is tax exempt.

    Wyoming does not collect inheritance taxes. Because of the phase-out of the federal estate tax credit, Wyoming’s estate tax is not imposed on estates of persons who died in 2005. There is limited estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

  5. Mandating people treat each other equally sounds tempting, but it involves the government in thoughtcrime. Tyrannical laws are always implemented along such lines, a big huge precedent rapped in a tempting situation. Appeal to your higher mind, and reject the case for the precedent.

  6. I dont know what this guy is tripping on. RP’s CONSISTENT statements declare that the ROLE of government is TO PROTECT AND DEFEND LIBERTY/FREEDOM.

    This guys socalism-defensiveness has him twitching at the prospect of RP’s world, and has him fallaciously attacking RP’s ideals of GOVERNING happening at the LOCAL (bottom-up, decentralized) level instead of the FEDERAL level (top-down, central planning aka soviet union in its logical climax; contradiction of the word “federation”), as if the concept is one in the same as a federation-based government that protects liberties and violations of rights.

    I’m really starting to frown with these absurd hitpieces you’ve been posting lately.

    I challenge you to watch and then repost PBS’s “Commanding Heights”, Mike Badnarik’s “Constitution Class” and JBS’s “Overview of America” videos, and any sound criticisms you may have, if possible, and if you have rational/journalistic/freedom-fighter integrity. They’re all on Google Video.

  7. I’m a Ron Paul supporter and after just briefing your article, I will attempt a quick response, off the top of my head, to your 3 questions.

    1. Wild Wild west was apparently a free time – yahoo!

    My grandparents lived during the turn of the century… totally uncumbered by federal government – taxes, farm regulations, schooling for their children, travel, religion…they weren’t even that affected by the great depression.
    Pretty darn happy people (I’m sure you would attempt to convince them they were actually miserable)

    2. A discussion of individual versus collective freedoms is not possible here…..which is actually the point of your questioning. However, a short definition would be that individual freedoms provide the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence. The Bill of Rights protects each and every individual…not collective groups.
    Sorta the opposite of welfare states or socialism.

    3. It’s not about what states have or have not done in the past. State’s rights are about keeping the decision making closest to the people being represented rather than in the hands of some distant, impersonal entity.
    The southern states can vote how they choose. If one doesn’t like it…move west…or north..and vice versa.
    People would end up in areas most condusive to their personal philosophies

    And as far as “everybody’s” taxes providing me with
    police protection…
    You mean like in Katrina? I’ll protect myself thank you.
    Fire department? Too far away…that’s why I carry personal insurance.
    Roads? I drive a four-wheeler…I can go where I please.
    In my state the prisoners used to keep our road system…worked great…no taxes.
    And please…food control???… I’m a teacher and we aren’t allowed to have salt & pepper at school…this Nanny State is getting totally absurd.
    Forget taxes…give me freedom.

    “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head while I’m having my morning coffee.

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