Monday, January 30, 2012

Habyarimana Case Discussed On Many Blogs

Habyarimana case is still on the minds of many in the Rwandan blogosphere and others.

For those who want to read the Bruguière report on Habyarimana's assassination again.
Bernard Lugan on Habyarimana's assassination and the recent news concerning the export report, downoad it here, ordered by Trevidic.
Recent articles on Habyarimana's assassination and the new technical report by Victor Tobler in Slate  by Stephen Smith in Liberation, by Julie Owono on Aljazeera and by Francois Soudan in Jeune Afrique. Jambonews wrote an article about it on january 20th. 
In the meantime the RPF is stepping up it's propaganda assault against  blogger and perceived opponent Jean-Marie Ndagijimana 

PR efforts meticulously dissected by digitaldjeli surrounding the release of this technical report.

Filip Reyntjens, professeur à l'Université d'Anvers et auteur de Rwanda gave his views january 31.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Herenmuiterij En Volksopstand In Gereformeerd Nederland

In een reactie op Berkelaar's column op , schrijft ND hoofdredacteur Bergwerff:
"Maar in aanleg was er religieus geweld aan twee kanten. Dat had deels ook een sociologische achtergrond. De afgescheiden traditie had modern positivistische trekken. Daarin was ze kind van haar tijd. Er zat iets van geestelijk negentiende-eeuws maakbaarheidsdenken in, iets van dopers activisme. Rechte lijnen trekken, heldere grenzen stellen, gaan voor het ideaal, hoorden daarbij. Tonen van besef van gebrokenheid en onvermogen klonken minder luid. Geen ‘halven’, maar ‘helen’, dat had Christus’ kerk in de traditie van Kuyper en Schilder nodig"
populaire stelling waarbij Kuyper en Schilder geslachtofferd worden ten gunste van bevindelijkheid en "diepe geloofsherkenning". Wat mij betreft een doodlopende (snel)weg richting oppervlakkig moralisme en zoetsappig middenklasse geloof. Ongetwijfeld, Kuyper en Schilder prikkelden en daagden volk en de hoge heren uit. De spanning die zich manifesteerde in de gereformeerde zuil sinds de democratiseringsbeweging aan het eind van de 19de en begin 20ste eeuw is ook in andere delen van de samenleving zichtbaar geworden. Zowel in Nederland als daar buiten. In zekere zin kun je scheuring van 44 en de jaren zestig daarom zien als het omgekeerde van de "herenmuyterij" binnen de ARP. De synode (44) en de muitende Heren vertegenwoordigden in beide gevallen de gemakzucht.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

War On Minorities & The Police State

Jeffrey Tucker interviews Daniel D'Amico, assistant professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and discusses Dan's ongoing research on the economics of crime and punishment.

A great interviw that explains how Ron Paul's version of libertarianism could help fight the police state and the incarceration of minorities. Very instructive video to understand how the police state is ennemy number one of minorities in the US.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Congolese say South Africa’s Congolese immigrant sweep targeted anti-Kabila refugees

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila shook hands with South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma in Lumumbashi, the capital of Congo’s Katanga Province, on June 21, 2011, five months before Congo’s presidential and parliamentary elections. On Nov. 12, five months later and only two weeks before the election, Zuma witnessed as the energy ministers of South Africa and the DRC inked the two countries’ hydroelectricity deal in Johannesburg. In December, in his capacity as chair of the Southern African Development Community organ on politics, defense and security cooperation, Zuma declared that Kabila’s re-election was valid, even though the EU, the Carter Center, the International Crisis Group and Congo’s Catholic Church had all declared it massively fraudulent.
Read more at Congolese say South Africa’s Congolese immigrant sweep targeted anti-Kabila refugees, San Francisco Bay View Newspaper.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Someone Greater Then Jonas Is Here

We read in Matthew 21 an example of crowdsourcing:
"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them, and bring them to Me. 3“And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them".
Could we call the numerous references to old testament texts also crowdsourcing? It reminds me of how Google calculates authority by evaluating the links to a certain texts. It would be interesting to have a bible online that had all the (internal )linking between the new and the old testament integrated. How would search engines deal with that? The way search engines calculate authority is an interesting principle to apply to the bible.

In Matthew 12 Jesus compares himself to Jonas. A reference which reminds us of the references made elsewhere to Abraham, Moses, Salomo and the temple. A claim to greater authority based on all these different people who link to him. Jesus at the heart of a collaborative project that goes back to Abraham.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Spokesperson For Things Nobody Wants To Talk About

Toronto based artist and historian Monika Berenyi met Ron Paul in june and gave her impressions:
"I believe firmly we are going to look back on this epoch in history and we are going to try to understand ... his ability to be the spokesperson for things that nobody else seems to want to talk about."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Best Case For Ron Paul Ever

Communitarians Tony Blair & Eric Cantor Meet

Yesterday House Majority leader Eric Cantor met a communitarian politican from Europe: Tony Blair. When is the GOP base going to vote these communitarians out of office?
Let's not forget Brad Dayspring, Cantor's spokesperson who dismissed Ron Paul's win of the CPAC strawpoll in 2010.

Cameron, Huckabee and Santorum apparently are part of this same communitarian line of thinking.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Will Nevada's Casino Owner Take Down Mitt Romney?

Stewart J. Lawrence has written a great article on the dynamics of the Republican race Is Mitt Romney's campaign about to go south? In which he mentions Sheldon Adelson from Nevada:
A key factor in the Gingrich rebound was the decision by a prominent Nevada casino owner, Sheldon Adelson, to donate $5 million to Gingrich's Super PAC to wage his South Carolina campaign. Gingrich originally requested $20 million, and he may well get the balance if he scores a big win on Saturday. And if that happens, all bets are off in the next GOP primary in Florida scheduled for January 31.

Lumumba is an idea

Lumumba is an idea  (Link to

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rwanda will never be the same, after Victoire Ingabire’s return

Dutch Christian Conservatives Dominated By Communitarianism

Hans Bleker, the former Chairman of Dutch Christian Democrats CDA, claimed in an interview with influential Dutch weekly Elsevier that:
"immigrants and their children are closely alied to Christian democrats because of their communitarian ideas and that the party should not propose or support cuts to the development aid budget"
Some, like @kustawbessems, see this as an attempt to become party leader by playing nice to the current party leadership that claims to want to pull the party to the left. It's amazing how Christian Democrats have the nerve to present communitarianism as an ideology that could attract immigrants to the party. As I have argued time and time again, communitarianism is responsable for the rise of xenophobic anti-immigration and anti-immigrant sentiments inside Dutch society. It's emphasis on judeo-christian values was aimed at co-opting anti-muslim sentiments. This strategy was the basis of Balkenende's electoral victories.

The Dooyeweerd school of philosophy plays an important part in shaping the ideological direction of Christian Democrats and their two parties inside the Netherlands: CDA & ChristenUnie. Professor Roel Kuiper is deeply involved in this school of thought and Senator for the ChristenUnie. Both on immigration and integration the Dooyeweerd school has aligned itself with communitarian prime-minister Jan-Peter Balkenende. The reaction to Obama quoting  Psalm 46 spoke volumes. Obama was obviously playing out his strategy to win over the communitarian vote when his press secretary wrote this 9/11 release:
"The President chose a scripture which he believed was most appropriate -- he believed it was particularly appropriate to use -- to read scripture this morning. And he chose a passage that talks of persevering through very difficult challenges and emerging from those challenges stronger."
Jan-Peter Balkenende quote on 9/11:
"Bitter experience has taught us how fundamental our values are and how great the mission they represent" 
In stark contrast to what Dutch Reformed Professor Ad de Bruijne wrote concerning 9/11:
"sign on the wall, which points to the reality that God's severe judgment over the western world is inevitable"
Just read the blog by Denny Burk, associate professor of biblical studies at Boyce College to understand that communitarianism has taken over the evangelical wing of the GOP.  To claim, as Denny Burk implies, that Abraham Kuyper would have been a compassionate conservative today is cynical.  However, Christian Democrat Hans Bleker took it to another level of cynism to claim communitarianism to be attractive to immigrants. Abraham Kuyper and his struggle for democratic development should be understood as an ideological answer to European conservatism, French revolution liberalism and communism, not a movement to impose "Christian values" on the rest of the population. Abraham Kuyper challenged both the conservative elite in his own party (and beyond) AND the disenfranchised reformed masses which created his path to victory in a a world dominated by easy solutions (communism, national-socialism).
On both sides of the Atlantic communitarians have virtually taken over the major parties, Democrats and Republicans in the US, social- and christian democratic parties in Europe.
Hostility towards big government was traditionally an important part of reformed Christian politics in the Netherlands. I could dig up examples of resistance against the US (after the second world war), the EU and communism. Will Senator Jim DeMint's vote against indefinete detention be the turning point away from this dead end street of communitarianism among Christian conservatives? Muslims like Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison's father and Muslim immigrants in the US are coalescing around Ron Paul precisely because he fights this narrative of foreign interventionism and judeo-christian superiority complex.
51% of hispanics's have a favorable opinion of Ron Paul against 25% of Mitt Romney. Muslims say Ron Paul is their kind of Republican. The reality behind those numbers hasn't yet fully sunk in with Christian conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic. It's a vote of no confidence against communitarian panderers like Marvin Olasky, D.C. Innes and Michael Gerson. Abraham Kuyper would turn in his grave if he knew communitarians claimed to be his heirs. Or as pastor baptist Voddie Baucham states: The President is not “Pastor in Chief.”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dick Armey: More Military Spending Does Not Necessarily Make Us Safer

This week Dick Armey, who In his early years in Congress was influenced by Libertarian Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, came to the defense of Ron Paul:
 An unfortunate stigma still exists that those who propose reasonable military spending cuts do not support the troops. But that’s far from the truth.

No one wants to jeopardize our national security or purposely put our troops in harm’s way. The reality is that more military spending does not necessarily make us safer. A lot of items in the Department of Defense budget have nothing to do with defending our nation.
He has been critical of Christians and Big Government in 2006:
"There was a day when social conservatives were united with economic conservatives in the belief that small, limited government was not only good for our economy and the prosperity of American families, but essential to protect traditional family values. We all fought for a limited federal government -- a government that had the decency to respect the American people by staying out of their lives. Small government meant that all Christians could practice their faith as they saw fit. Big government violates those rights by meddling in our lives, misusing our hard-earned money, and dictating cultural norms to us. We were and are rightly outraged when government imposes wrong-headed values through its monopoly of schools, government-funded "art," and taxpayer funded "family planning."
Listen Dick Armey speak on The Ideas and Impact of F. A. Hayek:
"Hayek’s Austrian roots and his relationship to such thinkers as Mill, Marx, Keynes, and Popper. Bruce Caldwell, editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek traces the complex evolution of Hayek’s thought—and the evolution of Austrian economics—and places Hayek in a broader intellectual context. His book has been called “the best book in economics of 2003"
Austrian contributions to mainstream economic thought include involvement in the development of marginalism Sounds like a topic uncle Ron would jump on!!!

update: A video in which Mitt Romney claims cutting military spending is identical to making America a far weaker nation.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched

Media and establishment are allready busy counting their chickens while Ron Paul is surging to 20  +11 in South Carolina ( 29 -2 25 +1), some examples:

David Frum Let Ron Paul Speak at the Tampa Convention?

Ross Douthat The Silver Medalists

David Grant Why Ron Paul won't go rogue on the Republican Party

The latest attack line, since the thirteenth floor and the newsletters failed is the claim that Ron is actually running for Rand in 2016, if we should believe David Grant and Ross Douthat and many others, as George Bennet writes in The Ledger:
"Many politics watchers speculate Paul would not buck the GOP because he doesn't want to jeopardize the future prospects of his son, Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul."
I do agree that Rand Paul plays an important role in Ron Paul's campaign, but not in the selfish way suggested by these "many politics watchers". In an earlier excellent blogpost by Ross Douthat (june 2011) : Rand and Rubio, Ross contrasts Rand and Rubio on foreign policy which is central to Ron's campaign. One important fact in that blogpost is essential here:
A recent Pew poll found that the share of conservative Republicans agreeing that the U.S. should “pay less attention to problems overseas” has risen from 36 percent in 2004 to 55 percent today.
Ron Paul's surge in South Carolina is not accidental. This race is far from over!
Exclusive: Top S.C. Tea Party Senator Tom Davis To Endorse Paul . Allthough  Charles Krauthammer ends with the lame Rand Paul conspiracy theory (popping up everywhere), he does seem to look for a pragmatic solution:
The Republican convention could conceivably feature a major address by Paul calling for the abolition of the Fed, FEMA and the CIA; American withdrawal from everywhere; acquiescence to the Iranian bomb — and perhaps even Paul's opposition to a border fence lest it be used to keep Americans in. Not exactly the steady, measured, reassuring message a Republican convention might wish to convey. For libertarianism, however, it would be a historic moment: mainstream recognition at last.
America Smell The Coffee

Santorum Sexist Campaign in Iowa

Dick Armey joins Ron Paul on Foreign Policy

Jack Hunter discussing campaign with Judge Napolitano

Polling ignoring 29% black vote in South Carolina?

In a December survey from Public Policy Polling, 51% of Hispanics said they saw Paul in a favorable light, compared to 25% for Romney. Nevada has 26% Hispanics

DeWayne Wickham column: GOP candidate Ron Paul says 'true racism' exists in nation's judicial system

EPP is considering nominating Donald Tusk to be the next president of the European Commission !!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Breakfast With Ron Paul

Great stories during breakfast with Ron Paul.
The religious right won't unite behind Rick Santorum, so much is clear (even among those who don't give Ron Paul's campaign a prayer). Senator Jim DeMint, who represents both Christian right and the tea party made it clear yesterday that the GOP should embrace the message of Ron Paul. He also thinks Mitt Romney will probably win South Carolina, but at the same time it becomes clear from his words, "I feel good about our top-folks in the race" ,that he considers this from now on a two man race. Ron Paul rose to second place (17 % against Mitt's 27%) in the last national poll before the first in the nation primary. Revolution Pac: "Ron Paul seals position as Romney Alternative". Mitt Romney will have to listen carefully to the words of political marketing specialist Jim DeMint if he wants to remain a viable and credible national election candidate for the Presidency. Laura Ingraham's asks her followers/listeners on facebook what do conservatives and the GOP have to learn from Ron Paul? Conservatives who dismiss Ron Paul destroy the Party's future. Judge Napolitano sums up the race sofar with Republican political strategist Jack Burkman. 
Update: Judge Napolitano asks Ron Paul to respond to Jim DeMint's words. Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican strategist who was National Campaign Director for the Reagan-Bush '84 campaign, winning 49 of 50 states and who ran Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign and Michele Bachmann's for awhile in 2011, said Paul needs to know he is being heard. Tony Fratto, Republican consultant and former deputy spokesman for President George W. Bush:
"It's really important for whomever the Republican nominee is ... to treat the Ron Paul constituency with respect, to not be dismissive, to appreciate their energy and enthusiasm,"
Jim DeMint's words are making waves across the newsmedia!

Ron Paul's speech after his second place finish in New Hampshire

Laura Beyne Miss Belgium 2012

Flemmish newspaper Het Belang van Limburg dubbed Laura allready the perfect compro-miss This "Belgo-Congolese" citizen (her mother is from Congo) lives in Brussels and is neither from Wallonie, nor from Flandre. She speaks perfect Dutch, French and English.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Compassionate Conservatism Is Dead

Yesterday Godfather of compassionate conservatism Marvin Olasky, in his role of undertaker, declared compassionate conservatism mostly dead. My reaction:

To put communities at the heart of the political project of the Republican party wasn’t a very succesfull idea to put it midly. In no time the Republican party and the country got confinded to a narrative of the superiority of western judeo-christian values and a Jacobinist foreign policy inspired by the french revolution. Off course we can appreciate the values and successes of America’s past, of our community and our family. But at the same time we should not limit ourselves to that. A succesfull political narrative should help citizens move beyond that. Something like what Kennedy did in his Berlin speech. Identify with the community “Ich bin ein Berliner”, but at the same time inspired and encourage them to look beyond themselves, their community, their city, the wall!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Tragedy Of American Compassion & Misplaced Arrogance

Allthough Ron Paul's senior advisor Doug Wead might have been the first to use the phrase compassionate conservatism, it's the communitarian coalition behind George W. Bush that gave the phrase it's meaning. A quote by former Dutch prime-minister Jan-Peter Balkenende last october at Calvin Theological Seminary, where he received the Bavinck Prize(!) is a short definition of compassionate conservatism:
"Bitter experience has taught us how fundamental our values are and how great the mission they represent"
Bitter experience, really? Balkenende used 9/11 to lead his Christian democrats out of the political wilderness. A narrative that claimed superiority for western judeo-christian values was the basis for his electoral success. Rick Santorum's comments during the Republican debates betray the same strategy. Instead of denouncing this travesty of Christian political engagement, both Marvin Olasky and Michael Gerson focus all their energy on sinking the lone principled voice of reason and humility in this debate: Ron Paul.

The preaching and spreading of western values and the foreign policy it engenders has it's roots in the French revolution, as French President Nicholas Sarkozy reminded us on the anniversary of 9/11 last year. 

However the narrative of "fear God and honor the king" that summarizes calvinist political engagement places our values, our different cultures, our government and also the dangers we face in this world in a different context. A context compassionate conservatives fail to fully appreciate. To paraphrase St. Paul: You foolish compassionate conservatives! Who has bewitched you? After beginning with compassion, are you now trying to attain your goal by arrogance?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jack Bauer Endorses Ron Paul

Ron Paul Campaign Rally New Hampshire
Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden unit for the CIA, endorses Ron Paul:
"The best choice for their children, grandchildren, and country clearly lies in the Founder’s foreign-policy wisdom and Dr. Paul’s sturdy advocacy and promised application thereof."
The head of the Israeli intelligence, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, agrees with Ron Paul on potential nuclear Iran, in addition Vali Nasr, a highly respected expert on the Middle East, agrees with Ron Paul on Iran as the Atlantic's Robert Wright reports:
"The good news is that Nasr thinks war can be averted. The bad news is that to accomplish this America and other Western powers need to "imagine how the situation looks from Tehran"--not exactly a favorite pastime among American politicians these days."
Finally US Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said on Fox last week:
 “I think Ron Paul’s perspective or policy on Iran is probably the most accurate of the current GOP candidates” 
While Romney is playing the Huntsman card, the battle for the "compassionate conservative" voting block between the surging Doug Wead camp and the (communitarian) Marvin Olasky camp is in full swing. Also Ron Paul directly adresses compassionate conservatives in the ABC/Yahoo debate last night (9:00) in a claim that hasn't been analyzed much yet, but that sheds light on his definition of the word libertarian (as opposed to french-revolution liberalism):
"one of my heroes is Martin Luther King because he practiced the libertarian principle of peacefull resistance and peacefull civil disobedience as Rosa Parks did"
Judge Napolitano gives us his view on US politics and Ron Paul. Ron Paul's views on slavery and the constitution are also instructive in this context, explained in this excellent interview at (0:32:15). The mood, as described by Jake Morphonios ,surrounding Ron Paul's campaign reminds me a lot of the movie with Christopher Walken: Deer Hunter. I noticed this before.

 However this weekend Olasky's camp scored a major victory with the endorsement by Mr. Bean of Rick Santorum (see video below).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why Huntsman Is Still Running Against Ron Paul

Someone is playing games on Youtube, and they’ve managed to fool an awful lot of people – mostly “reporters” and bloggers who hate Ron Paul – into falling for one of the more transparent hoaxes of this election season.

Jon Huntsman's  persistence in New Hampshire could be part of Mitt Romney's strategy.

Jon Huntsman's campaign objective is certainly not to win the GOP nomination. Let's hope these tactics boomerang.

Dailypaul has a somewhat similar analysis:
I suspect that the Romney Campaign--perhaps working in coordination with the Huntsman campaign--is likely the source of this false flag attack.

Blogpost on this interesting topic.

Are polls giving Romney a huge lead wrong?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Will Ron Paul Engage Evangelical America

Allthough I was disappointed that I lost a few bucks on intrade, I'm actuallly not sure winning Iowa would have helped Ron Paul that much. It's the ability to formulate an alternative to the prevaling communitarian narrative among Christian-conservatives that focuses entirely on values that will decide these elections. Communitarianism has undermined the grassroot appeal of most mainstream political parties over the last two decades. In particular Christian Democracy. Dutch prime-minister Balkenende used Amitai Etzioni's communitarian values rhetoric to forge an alliance between anti-muslim & the old christian democratic base. When the media attacks Ron Paul on some nasty quotes in the Ron Paul newsletters years back, he should point to the anti-immigrant and anti-muslim politicial parties that have mushroomed due to this communitarian judeo-christian values narrative.

Only if Ron Paul can formulate in a speech directed at social conservatives across the US a clear alternative to communitarism, will he be able to win. The alternative should not just be about the economy but also adress the way he sees the relationship between Christian faith and politics. A speech that would resonate with those who have listend to the libertarian sounding speeches of Kennedy "Ich bin ein Berliner", Martin Luther King "quest for peace" or Aldous Huxley's quote in "Devils of Loudun": "Civilization demands from the individual devoted self-identification with the highest of human causes. But if this self-identification with what is human is not accompanied by a conscious and consistent effort to achieve upward self-transcendence into the universal life of the Spirit, the goods achieved will allways be mingled with counterbalancing evils"

A speech that would answer those who still believe Ron Paul panders to extremists, lunatics and racists. A speech that would link foreign policy with his unwillingness to just praise Americans. A speech that would also move the debate on foreign policy away from the eternal Israel versus the dangerous Islamic world narrative.

Many specialists believe we haven't had clear focus in our foreign policy since the end of the cold war which led to the blind support of undemocratic revolutionaries across Africa, in particular Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame and the idolisation of Mandela. As a Dutch reformed who has read Kuyper & Schilder and Groen van Prinsterer, I am attracted to Ron Paul's strong anti-(French) revolutionary position on democracy promotion abroad. A position that has the potential to win over many social conservative Evangelicals if emphasized more. Foreign policy is more then a discussion on the Islamic republic Iran and it's potential quest for nuclear warheads.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Belgium-Congolese Spring Prepared At Brussels Seafood Restaurant

The protests against Belgian diplomatic support for Kabila that took place in Ixelles have taken their toll on local bussinesses. Brahim Ammih, a fellow Dutch citizen living in Brussels, the owner of the small and friendly (priced!) seafood restaurant Poissonnerie Ammih explained how the usual clients stayed away during those weeks of unrest.

But since last week Ixelles seems back to normal again. Still, Belgian Congolese citizens are searching for ways to get their voice heard. Waving NVA flags could be the battle cry for Belgo-Congolese to finally demand their place in the public sphere and public debate in Belgian politics. How to move beyond the politics of appointing Belgo-Congolese individuals to co-opt the community. To reach out to society at large and to build bridges to other communities and minorities in the Belgian capital and Belgian society as a whole. Initiatives like Jambonews and, just recently started, Ingeta are signs of a larger movement.

The elections in Congo have led to lively debate on Congolese politics and Belgian diplomacy online. Together with @negmatic and other active new media users  from the diverse Brussels tweetosphere we decided to take this online discussion on politics, citizenship and activism OFFLINE AS WELL ll and met at this small seafood restaurant Poissonnerie Ammih on the outskirts of Matonge in Ixelles in the waning days of 2011. Dark cloudy skies outside, vivid debate and concern among the participants inside.

The political clout of Belgian Congolese is like Kamerhe's sleeping Elephant. Once it decides to get out of it's letargic sleep it could change the Belgian landscape for ever.  The "elections" in november have definetly changed something. The protests in the streets and the life debate among the Congolese diaspora in Brussels and beyond won't be the last we have heard from this new emerging force in Belgian politics.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ron Paul's Amazing Resilience

After coming in third, it's amazing how strong Ron Paul looks and sounds. He knows what he is doing and where he wants to go.

Ron Paul: The die has been cast

Jesse Benton explaining Ron Paul's strategy:

It's doown to the wire for Ron Paul. We are in it for the long haul. Interview with Ron Paul's campaign manager Jesse Benton explains once again why Ron Paul is the best choice for anyone who doesn't want either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to win in 2012.

Pictures from the campaign trail in Iowa. At a crowded Ron Paul ralleigh in Desmoines Iowa.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ron Paul recommends a more humble U.S. foreign policy

Michael Gerson, Ron Paul & Congo: Putting The Horse Behind The Cart

Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson claimed months ago that more government is the solution to eastern Congo:
"In America, we are engaged in a debate about the size and role of government. But eastern Congo demonstrates the consequences of government’s absence. A state of nature — even an Eden of bougainvillea and natural wealth — is ruled by the most ruthless. Resources become a curse, propping up corrupt elites. Houses are surrounded by barbed wire, potholes consume the streets, the electricity flickers and helplessness becomes a habit.
Eastern Congo is both a tragedy and a lesson in political philosophy. Human beings need bread and justice and freedom. And all are made possible by orderly, responsible government. "
A clear attempt to attack Ron Paul (his video's on  this sunday two days before the Iowa Caucuses through the link) and at the same time a clear distortion of the causes of the problems in eastern Congo. Today Michael Gerson followed up on this piece on Congo:
"Paul's conception of liberty is not the same as Lincoln's - which is not a condemnation of Lincoln. Paul's view would have freed African-Americans from the statism of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. It would have freed the occupants of concentration camps from their dependency on liberating armies. And it would free the Republican Party from any claim to conscience or power."
Which reminded me of two things. First, Martin Luther King placed the battle for civil rights in a larger context of democratic development worldwide:
 "In one sense the civil rights movement in the United States is a special American phenomenon which must be understood in the light of American history and dealt with in terms of the American situation. But on another and more important level, what is happening in the United States today is a relatively small part of a world development."
How is supporting undemocratic bloodsoaked dictators like Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame in central Africa (for well over a decade) in line with Martin Luther King's position?  How is helping Paul Kagame rig elections in 2010 and giving diplomatic cover for the recent election rigging in Congo in line with Martin Luther King's above stated views? Liberty and democracy was central in speeches by Kennedy and Reagan. What has happened to political parties in the US and Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall?

My theory, since the fall of the Berlin wall the ennemy of liberty has become much stronger and smarter. Instead of a visible iron curtain, the ennemy of freedom and liberty is now within our own countries, our own political parties: communitarism. Gerson believes communitarianism to be the only valid form of Christian political engagement, amazing. Offcourse you can put on your communitarian goggles and claim Francis Schaeffer, Martin Luther King, Klaas Schilder, Dooyeweerd or Abraham Kuyper to all be communitarians. As @AriMelber observes in Iowa, evangelicals love Ron Paul:
"Paul is winning the libertarian primary and getting a decent look in the conservative primary. "
Olasky and Gerson have lost grip on the conservative Christian vote which they held hostage for over a decade with their communitarian heuristic.

Secondly, Gerson's piece reminded me of Mike Huckabee's words in 2008 concerning Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the video below:
"As most of you know I had the extraordinary privilege of being a part of the service honoring Dr. King today. And it was a magnificient tribute to one of the greatest leaders of our country and really of all time. I was asked before we went into the ceremony why I was there. What did I think Dr. King's particular contribution was. And I reminded the questioner that it was not the government, unfortunately, that really led the civil rights movement and opened up doors of opportunity, It was Dr. King who from his position of courage and moral character and his convictions as one who believed that this was a right versus wrong issue based on his own personal convictions that came from his minsitry and his life. He led and government had to follow. And had he not led, I'm not sure government would have ever gotten the message."
Gerson puts the horse behind the cart!