Chad Perrin: SOB

24 January 2008

NPR is not immune

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 05:55

I’m sure, by now, you’ve heard about how Ron Paul is getting shut out of mainstream media mentions. One of the most egregious examples was when Ron Paul took second place in the Nevada primaries — and none of the mainstream media outlets said anything about it. They’ll talk about who came in fourth in most primaries — but not who came in second, if it’s Ron Paul.

My SigO has been listening to NPR for about a month now on her way to and from work every day. She has a commute that takes more than half an hour each way. Conservatively, she must have listened to about 20 hours of NPR lately.

Of course, there’s more Democrat material on NPR than Republican material, for obvious reasons (NPR’s well-known left-leaning bias), but they talk about the Republican side of things often enough that disturbing trends are unavoidably obvious. In this case, the trend she has noticed is primarily that Ron Paul is almost never mentioned. In fact, Ron Paul has been mentioned exactly twice.

The first time, it was when the host of All Things Considered (Michele Norris) read some of the letters they get from listeners. Someone wrote a letter to them commenting on the fact that they utterly fail to mention Ron Paul, ever, at all. It was pretty critical and, from what the SigO can tell, accurate.

The second time, it was when . . . drumroll please . . . the host of All Things Considered read some of the letters they got from listeners today. She read one that commented on how Ron Paul is getting blacked out in the media in general, and on NPR in particular. Ms. Norris commented that they had received many letters to this effect. Then, having said that, she considered the matter closed and moved on to other matters.

The impression the SigO got is that they seem to be intentionally rubbing in the fact that they’re ignoring Ron Paul. Somehow, I’m not surprised.

Add NPR to the list, along with Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and everyone else in the “short tail” of the mainstream media news sources.

8 Comments

  1. I really am not sure why Ron Paul seems to be getting ignored by everytone. Personally, if I found more of the libertarian stance to my taste (not even enough to call myself “libertarian”, just more than I agree with now!), I would most likely vote for him. He has an honesty that I like. I would much rather have an honest president who has clearly reasoned out his stances (even if I disagree with them) then someone who sounds like they want what I do, and seems to make decisions for no sane reason.

    J.Ja

    Comment by Justin James — 24 January 2008 @ 09:18

  2. What do you find objectionable about the Paul campaign’s platform? What are some of the things you’re looking for in a candidate? I’m curious.

    Comment by apotheon — 24 January 2008 @ 11:50

  3. I’d just like to see him get a lot more air time. There are a lot of yard signs and bumper stickers (and even what I’ve termed a Ron Paul truck (with signs around the bed and bumper stickers all along the back) in my area.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 25 January 2008 @ 06:46

  4. Well, the biggest issue is that not with Ron Paul, it’s with the Libertarian stance in general. About half of that stance, I really like. The other half of it, I really do not. The twin issues of taxes and health care (they really do go hand in hand, looking at my pay stub they diminish my income by well over 30%) are where I have the biggest objection. I also dislike his position on immigration.

    For me, the concept of “fairness” is not always synonymous with “right”, which is a huge disconnect. The Libertarian position appears to be that “fair” is a good that trumps goods that I personally feel are more important than “fair”. Another disagreement is over the idea of “fair” in and of itself. What exactly is “fair”? I think most of us agree it means “even” or “balanced” or “equitable”. But again, “what is fair?”

    One of the central tenets of my conception of “fair” is that none of us are responsible for who our parents are and their actions and behavior, and the resulting genetic mix that we have. That is my fundamental objection to things like racism, “religion-ism”, homophobia, and so on. People have no control over the color of their skin, the religous beleifs they were brought up with, what country they were born in, and so on, and cannot change them (or in the case or religious beleifs, it can be incredibly difficult to chngethem, when it is possible).

    A second principle of mine is that I am not a good person if I care more for myself than for others. There is a lot more to the beleif than that, but that is a good summary of it. I spend a lot of my energy trying to help others, often at a great personal expense of time, energy, and sometimes financial and other resources. I beleif that the intense focus on “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours” led me down some pretty bad paths, both in terms of my behavior and my thinking and emtional state of mine throughout my past. When in that mindset, “what’s mine” all too often expands to include “what could be mine.” Pretty sick, isn’t it? So for me, a life of trying rigorously to help others, even when I do not feel like it, is important to me.

    And finally, I beleive that it is only right that the government “behave” in a way that would be legal and right for me to behave.

    These principles are where I draw poltical conclusions from. The Libertarian stances, despite being well argued and reasoned, all too often have underlying assumptions (primarily in the definition of “fair”) that contradict my personal beleifs. That’s why I must disagree with them, while respecting them all the same. It’s also why I agree so much with Ron Paul; where our underlying assumptions are the same, we agree not just in the end decision, but how we got there.

    J.Ja

    Comment by Justin James — 25 January 2008 @ 09:23

  5. re: tax and healthcare

    The rising costs in healthcare are a result of the encroaching anticompetitive influence of Medicare and Medicaid from the bottom and corporate liability legislation influence from the top squeezing middle-class health insurance in the middle. Considering a strong libertarian influence in government would alleviate much of this pressure, I don’t see how that’s a problem.

    Even more mystifying to me is how you look at out-of-control taxation and its negative effect on your life, and find yourself at odds with libertarian ideas. At least the complex economics of the matter might account for your hesitancy about libertarian ideas about healthcare, since it’s easy to buy into the left-wing fiction that there’s such a thing as “free” healthcare, but if taxes are squeezing you I have no idea how you think lower taxes would hurt you.

    re: fairness

    The Libertarian position appears to be that “fair” is a good that trumps goods that I personally feel are more important than “fair”.

    I have no idea whence you come to that conclusion. The whole libertarian platform is one of principle, and not any attempt to make things “fair” by cutting off the tops of anyone that juts up too far into the realm of success. In fact, one of the biggest complaints libertarians get from Democrats amounts to the idea that libertarians are so concerned with doing what’s right that they ignore left-wing ideas of what’s “fair”.

    “Fair” at the expense of “right” sounds like strong affirmative action policy, for instance, whereas the libertarian stance is that freedom of association trumps affirmative action hiring requirements. It also sounds like redistribution of wealth according to some top-down authoritarian economic management scheme, rather than utilizing market forces as natural wealth production incentive and distributor as libertarians are prone to do (because it works and doesn’t involve violating anyone’s rights).

    One of the central tenets of my conception of “fair” is that none of us are responsible for who our parents are and their actions and behavior, and the resulting genetic mix that we have. That is my fundamental objection to things like racism, “religion-ism”, homophobia, and so on.

    That sounds very libertarian to me. Meanwhile, the left-wing (perhaps you’re confusing “libertarian” with the modern usage of “liberal”) notion is generally that white anglo-saxon protestant male guilt is hereditary. Things like racism, religious bigotry, and homosexual bigotry are fundamentally incompatible with a libertarian ethic, whereas left-wing and right-wing political impulses are not only compatible with various forms of bigotry, but seem almost to mandate some forms of bigotry, depending on which theories of left- and right-wing politics you hold dear.

    re: charity

    I beleif that the intense focus on “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours” led me down some pretty bad paths, both in terms of my behavior and my thinking and emtional state of mine throughout my past.

    That’s not the end of the line for most libertarians, any more than it is for most Republicans or Democrats. The idea is not so much “what’s mine is mine” as it is “I have no right to take what does not belong to me.” You have every right to give freely of what is yours, but you have no right to give what does not belong to you.

    If you want a real-world example of how more libertarian-leaning people compare to Republicans and Democrats in general, you have no further to look than the Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul’s supporters, for the most part, believe that Ron Paul is the right person for everyone. As a result, people are giving to his campaign out of their own pockets, in record numbers. The Ron Paul campaign actually made a record-breaking six million dollars in donations in one day, primarily from individual voters giving their own money to what they believed was right, good, and ultimately in the best interest of every US citizen. His campaign’s average donation is something like $150. Look, by contrast, at the campaigns of candidates like Hillary Clinton and John McCain, mostly funded by a combination of special interest groups, corporate lobbies, public funds taken from tax money, and dirty tricks like McCain using lists of his contributors’ personal contact information as collateral on a campaign finance loan (where, if he defaults, those lists become spammers’ property).

    If you want to see a bunch of people who really believe in what they say they believe, and are willing to give of themselves for what they believe to be good, you could do far worse than to look at libertarians. Meanwhile, Democrats — the supposed paragons of selfless service — spend all their political efforts trying to get government to take money without permission to fund what they claim is “right”. How difficult is it to be “good” with someone else’s money?

    re: government

    And finally, I beleive that it is only right that the government “behave” in a way that would be legal and right for me to behave.

    . . . and those are the most libertarian-leaning words I’ve ever seen from you. It’s one of the most libertarian-leaning statements I’ve ever seen anywhere, from anyone.

    conclusion

    The Libertarian stances, despite being well argued and reasoned, all too often have underlying assumptions (primarily in the definition of “fair”) that contradict my personal beleifs.

    Judging by what you’ve said here, I can only assume that your impression of libertarian principles is completely mistaken.

    Comment by apotheon — 25 January 2008 @ 04:23

  6. It is quite ironic that I have 1.5 kVa worth of UPS on the server 12 feet away from my desktop, but my desktop is plugged into a $3 power strip. I lost power aftewr about 2 hours worth of typing on the subject here. Of course, Web browsers don’t do “autosave” (when will I learn?) which even more ironically is one of my biggest faults with the concept of Web applications, they are complete fault intolerant on the client end since the Web author has no capacity to account for or handle failure of any type, and the client has no knowledge of how to safely or accurately handle it either.

    In any event, I will respond to this, I have not forgotten it. :) Just probably later tonight, or possibly tomorrow.

    J.Ja

    Comment by Justin James — 27 January 2008 @ 12:17

  7. That’s another benefit of using the View Source With extension (that I mentioned in TR discussion) — with Vim set as my editor via that Firefox extension, I benefit from the fact that Vim keeps a regularly updated “swap” file. It goes away when you close Vim, but if the system dies in mid-edit the file persists and you can recover the changes to the file as of the last time the “swap” file was created. For instance, if I’m editing a file called foo.txt but haven’t saved changes to the foo.txt file saved on the HDD, I’m still relatively safe because of regular updates while Vim is open of a file called foo.txt.swp.

    Of course, if your hard drive crashes, filesystem gets corrupted, et cetera, even that may be lost — but autosaves for other applications don’t help that, anyway. It may be worth looking into.

    This is all based on behavior on Unix-like systems (both BSD Unix and Linux-based systems), of course. I haven’t used gVim on MS Windows enough to know whether it does the same thing there.

    Comment by apotheon — 27 January 2008 @ 05:28

  8. VIM for Win32 behaves similarly.

    I don’t have much time atm to respond to the other comments, although they are much worth commenting on. I do suggest that J.Ja read The Ethics of Liberty by Murray Rothbard and pay particular attention to the section on Crusoe Ethics.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 29 January 2008 @ 10:28

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