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KeyserSoze

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2011, 08:46:22 PM »

It is great that we have the DB National Forest as our playground, but honestly what is more important is that our country finds a way to get our spending under control by making major spending cuts to tackle a major debt.  It's a matter of priorities.  I visit private property all the time to go caving and hiking and I enjoy it just fine.  It is hard sometimes to get permission from private landowners currently because of liability concerns, however that is something that could also be remedied by libertarian ideals wishing to limit lawsuits.

I think we would be fine with private land owners controlling the land anyway.  There are great reasons to support private ownership besides the obvious point that private companies are more fiscally efficient.  Under private ownership the land would not be subject to blanket rules and restrictions imposed by government bureaucracy; such as with the cave closures we are experiencing currently.  These lands could open up to many more activities I'm interested in that the government would currently never stand for, such as rappelling and rock climbing at Mammoth Cave NP, mountain biking in the RRG, or hang gliding at Yosemite NP.

On a caving forum I visit there is a topic currently discussing how the government in Georgia started charging fees to use their "public" WMA lands.  Somebody made the point that when the lands were owned by logging companies they had access for free and were able to drive directly to cave entrances.  When the government takes over the land they closed the access roads and started charging fees.  It is now a 1.5 hour hike to Ellisons Cave strait up the mountain side.  So how long before they start charging an entrance fee for the RRG?  It might as well be owned by a private company.
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Drift Woody

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2011, 11:50:38 AM »

KeyserSoze,
Would you like the private ownership of RRG adhere to Libertarian principles, or should the government still have some power over how the land is managed and what it is used for?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 12:15:28 PM by Drift Woody »
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KeyserSoze

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 10:23:51 PM »

One option would be to sell the land with conservation easements, which would put restrictions on the use of the land for the future.  Another option would be to simply keep the land government owned and allow sections to be controlled by volunteer groups that would manage areas individually and decide how their section could be used.  An example of this currently is the group Friends of Muir Valley, a group that helps manage and upkeep a private rock climbing and nature preserve near the RRG.  They do a great job up-keeping the trails and such.
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Drift Woody

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2011, 01:16:15 PM »

Your 2nd option does not entail private ownership while your first option would deter private investors from buying the land in the first place, so the land would still be publicly owned with government rules in place.
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2011, 10:29:29 PM »

      Anybody on here ever heard of or read the US Constitution? Anyone know anything about economics or history and how nations have bankrupted themselves with their fiscal policy? Is it the opinion of some people on here that it is okay to live in a police state as long as they can go to the Red River Gorge?
      When I made my original post, I had just watched one of the republican candidates get knocked of his perch (Perry) and another rise to the top (Cain). I thought, gee, its as if they are thowing them up one at a time to see what kind of poularity they can generate. If they aren't good in front of a camera, or have skeletons in their closet, they'll fall and someone else will be waiting in the wings to take his/her place. Which brought me to Ron Paul. He's never going to be the frontrunner if things are left to the media. Paul's following is not like Howard Dean's from a few years ago. When Dean faltered, his following left him. Ron Paul's will not, IMO. That is when I posted the question about the Federal departments he wanted to cut. That is when a reply was made about bumper stickers, then I replied to that, then things took off in a different direction.
      I have noticed Ron Paul bumper stickers on cars at the Gorge, Cumberland Gap, and a lot of other places like that. I can't speak for every driver, but I would say that they like our parks, and forests, etc., but they like freedom more. And they don't like an enormous government that can't balance a budget that is leaving a mess for their granchildren's grandchildren to pay for. I would guess they don't like this new health care law that Congress didn't take the time to read before they passed it. And they are worried for the future of this country. And they are tired of the same crap from both sides.
      Ron Paul believes the Constitution  should be law of the land. He wants to end the Fed, he wants our troops home, he wants sound money, he wants the government to be small. I have not seen it on his site or the site of the Libertarian Partry, but my guess is he would be in favor of privatizing federal lands, but I'm not sure.  But, he isn't running for King, he's running for President. And he'd need to get the approval of Congress before he could do anything.
      A National park System was probably the last thing on our framer's mind when they drew up our Constitution. But they knew the new country wouldn't exist in a vacuum, so they included a 'necessary and proper' clause within the Constitution to cover future issues not specifically dealt with in the Bill of rights or the Constitution itself.                                       Cont'd



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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2011, 06:03:39 PM »

      The Framers also inserted a process to amend the Constitution if the situation of the day required it.
      In my opinion, I believe we SHOULD have national parks, forest, wilderness area, wetlands, etc., ideally operated by the federal government and not by a private company. Just like states have state parks and state forests, and cities have municipal parks, some places are so special and the intrinsic value are so great, and often cover more than one state, that they should be set aside and operated by the federal government for the enjoyment of everyone. One fear I have, and I would hope everyone would, is the path to financial oblivion that we are on. Look at Greece recently, and just this week Italy. These countries are virtually bankrupt. When will Italy sell off the Coliseum to find money to meet its financial obligations? When will Greece sell off the Parthenon to meet its loan bailout payments? Could this happen here? Absolutely.
      Our nation may recieve another downgrade in its credit rating soon. The Fed will probably do QE3 not too long after, flooding the money supply with more dollars, leading to inflation. What happens to the states? They can't print money. How will they operate? Only fifteen states are running a surplus currently. What happens when more end up like California? What's going to happen to the state parks they plan to close? What will hapen to Hocking Hills if Ohio goes insolvent? Would they sell it off to raise money? It is certainly a posiblility.
      We need to get back to sound money. We need to get back to Constitutional government. Or we'll lose more than just our parks. 
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Drift Woody

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2011, 02:19:01 PM »

roadkill, on what basis do you think we're heading towards a police state?

I understand your concerns about our national debt and budget deficts, but you didn't explain how one leads to the other. Eliminating major departments of the federal government as Ron Paul suggests is an extremely radical solution to a problem that was caused by entirely different factors. Let's remember that 10 short years ago we had large budget surpluses that were projected to pay down our national debt within our lifetimes.

What happened during the last decade to change all that? The only federal bureacrcy created since then is the Dept of Homeland Security, and the only major increase to social programs was the prescription drug bill that costs much more than it should because Big Pharm made sure that lower prices couldn't be negotiated.

But those two changes weren't the biggest drivers of deficits. We've spent most of the last decade engaged in two prolonged wars/counter-insurgencies/nation-building projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike previous wars throughout our history, no additional funds were raised to pay for it. Instead, large tax cuts primarily benefitting the wealthy accounts for a big chunk of budget shortfalls.

Another huge factor is the financial crash caused by the packaging of toxic loans to be sold as investments. This resulted in a severe devaluation of the biggest assets of most Americans -- their homes and 401k retirement plans. Millions of jobs were lost, increasing the need for safety nets like unemployment compensation while at the same time reducing revenue even further. Most economists agree in a situiation like this government stimulus is needed to boost the economy. This was done and the economy stopped its freefall, but it added to the deficit and was insufficient to get the economy back to where it was before.

This debt wasn't caused by the departments Ron Paul wants to cut, and eliminating the Interior Dept and the Environmental Protection Agency will undo generations of efforts to preserve areas like Red River Gorge. It will also result in more poisons in our air, land, and water. Polluting industries will not police themselves; they have always sought to externalize their costs as much as possible by using the environment as their waste dump.

I agree with Ron Paul we need to end these unnecessary wars and cut military spending, but we also need to end the unnecessary tax cuts. The rich are richer than they've ever been and corporations are sitting on record profits, but these "job creators" aren't creating jobs because trickle-down economics will not work and never has.
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2011, 05:09:42 PM »

Driftwoody,
      This is sort of off topic, but you wanted to know why I as well as a lot of people think we're headed toward a police state, well, you mentioned it in your second paragraph, The Dept. of Homeland Security. You know, how they monitor sites like Flickr (c'mon, Flickr???), the TSA checkpoints for semis on interstates in Tennessee and Texas right now, but I'm sure they will be in all 50 eventually. This healthcare law, which if it goes into effect and people try not to purchase health coverage, they get fined at first, and then I would assume jail time comes eventually. The crap associated with flying somewhere. Before my time, in the late 1960's and even in the early 1970's, there were several domestic hijackings of airplanes, the most infamous incident being D. B. Cooper. There were hijackings in the 1980's, the Lockerbie incedent comes to mind.  But yet there wasn't anyone suggesting TSA agents patting people down everytime they flew somewhere. The public wouldn't have stood for it. How long before the government tells you you HAVE to have an IRA or a 401K?
      This isn't a forum to debate tax cuts, trickle down economics (even though Clinton adhered to it), all the smoke and mirrors that went on ten or so years ago (look out, Newt's in the lead,  God help us all), prescriptions for seniors, how I think 401k plans and IRAs are a sham to make bankers rich or any of that stuff.
      To make a long story short, we have been off the gold standard since 1971. In other words, money is created out of thin air, nothing is required to back it. As a result, printing presses have been running full throttle, and we have inflation, combined with a destorted economy because of government programs. That last part after the comma is another debate, inflation is a fact. From your previous posts, I am guessing you are in favor of  domestic government spending, but if the government is so good an honest with the people, why do they lie about inflation? Do you realize they don't include food when they calculate inflation? The one commodity everyone needs.
      Through inflation, they have wiped out the middle class, not tax cuts for the wealthy, not other factors like some claim. Inflation has also been used to finance unneccessary wars. If the Fed does a QE3, which I say will happen in the first part of 2012, inflation will increase further. States and municipalities will have to either raise taxes, borrow money, or cut services to continue to operate.    cont'd
     
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2011, 05:49:08 PM »

      States can't print money. So when they get in the shape CA is in, what will happen? They'll begin to sell off state owned assets. To whom? Either private companies or foreign governments. By the way, its not like taxes are low in CA and regulation is non existent. And they are closing state parks because they don't have the money to operate them. Eventually, the federal government will end up the same way. As soon as other nations refuse to take our currency, interest rates will rise, (they have been at record low levels for several years now), borrowing costs will go up for everyone including states and municipalities, then decisions will have to be made, how much and what to cut or sell off.
      Paul is the only candidate who talks of sound money and ending the Fed. He knows how the monetary system works. The other candidates either don't understand, and if they don't, that should disqualify them, or they are crooks in it for themselves. I have my own opinion as to which category each fall into.
      We can debate every other topic, like what the role of government  should be, taxes, etc., but if we don't have sound money, we're screwed. Look at what happened to other nations throughout history that destroyed themselves through inflation. They don't exist, except in history books.
      And on a side note, but related, I am not in favor of cutting the EPA. I believe that only the federal government can protect the environment. However, I do see Paul's point. If you get regulations legislated, companies will meet the guidelines. But what if the guidelines aren't stringent enough? People who suffer adverse conditions because of pollution, have no recourse against the companies so long as the companies were following the law. 
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2011, 09:05:09 PM »

    -A few more notes on previous posts. Trekker brought up an interesting point about Breaks Interstate Park being in two states. So, what if Virginia goes bankrupt and Kentucky does not or vice versa. Would the other state take over operation of the entire park? Can states acquire property in other states? What are the legalities?

   - Its been a long time since I've been in the Snowball Room in Mammoth Cave. You mean there isn't a Starbucks in there already?

   - As far as entrance fees to the Gorge, if that happened, would everyone here get that mad? I'm just wondering, because most, I believe, National Parks charge entrance fees, and a lot of state parks throughout the country do as well. Valley of Fire in NV, Custer in SD, and Clifty Falls in IN are three that I've been to. And they are all publicly owned.
     
   - Speaking to what Keysersoze said, as far as private ownership of lands, there are more instances besides Crazy Horse Monument in SD. Ted Turner is or was the largest private landowner in the U.S. There are plenty of places on private property here in KY that are neat to visit. Caves, waterfalls, there are a lot of arches on private property. I think we all know about the DVD's that mention them.
 
   Cheesey, where was your passion when Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae execs got huge bonuses recently, after those companies recieved huge bailouts? Or when other companies got bailed out a few years ago? Or when it becomes known that members of Congress are allowed to do insider trading when if any ordinary citizen did, they would go to jail?   
   
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Drift Woody

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2011, 09:19:58 PM »

The idea that more stringent federal environmental regulations may be necessary is incompatable with Ron Paul's desire to eliminate the EPA. If regulations need to be improved, there is a process in place for that: it's called representative democracy. Informed citizens elect representatives and a president to represent their interests, which includes protecting public health by keeping toxins out of the environment. Unfortunately, this process is subverted when politicians are dependent on large sums of cash from special interests to get elected. The recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision equating money with free speech is a step towards plutocracy.

Libertarianism is fine in theory and I agree with Ron Paul on some things (especially curbing militarism) but in economic matters it ignores the power of concentrated wealth. It is just as unworkable at one extreme of the spectrum as communism has proven to be at the other. Some may call a return to the gold standard "sound money" but it belongs to a time in the past when wars were launched for gold. Nailing a country's wealth to a mineral resource with limited intrinsic value and limited supply that is susceptible to hoarding and speculation would be regress, not progress.

I agree our civil liberties have been compromised by the national security state for a very long time and more so recently with the "Patriot Act," the Dept of Homeland Security, and the so-called "war on terror." I don't think the Affordable Care Act (health insurance mandate) is a "police state" measure, though I have little regard for the legislation. I think 50 million uninsured Americans is a shameful situation that needs to be remedied, but a mandate to purchase insurance from private corporations is far from the best solution (I favor a Single Payer system).

This discussion has branched out into topics beyond what may have been originally intended, but they are all interrelated. I joined the discussion because I am adamantly opposed to reversing generations of efforts to establish parks and protect wilderness areas as a solution to budget deficits caused by other factors. The idea that landscapes like Red River Gorge should be privately owned may be in keeping with Ron Paul's libertarianism, but it would a disaster for outdoor lovers like us and for the preservation of these environments for future generations. Private investors would expect returns on their investments, and if they truly own the land they could do with it what they please. Clearcutting the forests and extracting any mineral wealth (with minimal clean-up) would yield the biggest profits, whereas maintining it for recreational visitors would require commercialization and high user fees.

I think Ron Paul is more honest and more consistent in adhering to his ideology than the other candidates, but I think his ideology is impractical and would be very destructive.
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2011, 10:15:42 PM »

Driftwoody,
     I couldn't agree with you more about our civil liberties being compromised and everything being interrelated that has been brought up in this discussion. But on other things, we disagree.
     In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was passed. Four years later we entered a European War that we had no business being involved. We had loaned Great Britain ten times what we'd loaned Germany, so guess which side we entered on. In 1929, we entered the Great Depression. We had never had a Depression like that, because we didn't have the Fed. All of FDR's stimulus programs did NOTHING to help get us out of the Depression. The Fed had contracted the money supply. When we entered WWII, money entered the system, and America was put back to work manufacturing armaments for the war effort. After the war enden, the world went back on the gold standard with the Bretton-Woods Agreement.  Then in 1971, Nixon took us off the gold standard and the dollar has lost 80% of its value since. It has lost around 99% since 1913. The Fed has never been audited. The Fed only began testifying before Congress in the 1970's.
     Try something. Look at a twenty dollar bill and then look at a one dollar bill. What makes the twenty worth more than the one? they both are made of 75% cotton and 25% linen. They both have approximately the same amount of ink. Again, there are many examples of great nations that have bankrupted themselves by way of inflation. If we keep going down this path, we're going to lose everything anyway. And if I were a betting man, and our federal government had ran out of buildings or roads to sell amnd decided to sell some land, places here in the eastern US would probably be the first sold. Hope it never comes to that. 
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2011, 12:56:13 PM »

  I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around (the banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.             

  --Thomas Jefferson


    But hey, nothing could ever happen to the national parks or forests, right? The banks, in their benevolence, would certainly preserve them, right?
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Drift Woody

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2011, 06:30:31 PM »

The banks would no more preserve our national parks and forests than any other private owners seeking profit.

Just one more reason why those who want to privatize everything and dismantle government (Ron Paul for example) are, at best, terribly misguided.
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roadkill

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Re: Ron Paul
« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2011, 07:59:52 PM »

Driftwoody,
    I can't say for certain RP would want to privatize federal lands. But he is not in favor of dismantling government. He wants Constitutional government. He believes the government oversteps it's bounds in too many areas. He wants sound currency. He wants to end the Fed. He predicted what would happen with real estate a few years ago. He is right about inflation. And you are right about the banks not preserving our parks and forests. But if we continue down this road much further, they are going to take them, along with everything else. Look at the people who just took over in Greece and Italy.
    Perhaps people who follow Keynesian economics (like our leaders in washington) and an interventionist foreign policy (like our leaders in Washington) are terribly misguided (wait, they aren't. They are being guided by the banks and military industrial complex).
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