Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”     Frederick Bastiat

October 29, 2007

Ron Paul And Alex Jones: A Partial Clarification

by Doug Mataconis

In a post that generated much heated comment, co-contributor Kevin Boyd noted the questions that had been raised over the weekend about a $ 1,300 payment from Ron Paul’s Presidential Campaign to a person who appeared to be Alex Jones of the so-called 9/11 Truthers.

It seems that those questions have been answered:

The “payment” to Jones (and yes, it is that same Jones) was not a payment at all, but a partial refund of Jones’s $2,300 contribution. It is clearly marked as such, if you look in the right place on the electronic FEC forms. Paul’s spokesman said he put a line in to the campaign treasurer when he noticed it being discussed on the blogosphere, but that’s the answer he’s going to get.

And that’s from the conspirators against our freedoms guys at NRO’s The Corner.

As the linked blogger notes, it still raises the question of why the campaign is accepting contributions from a guy like Jones but that is not quite as serious as the implication raised by the initial FEC report that Jones was performing services of some kind for the campaign.

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32 Comments

  1. [...] a partial clarification over at The Liberty Papers.   [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Ron Paul And Alex Jones, Part II — October 29, 2007 @ 3:34 pm
  2. National Review lied their country into a war of aggression; their critiques are just elaborate defenses for Treason.

    Comment by C Bowen — October 29, 2007 @ 3:40 pm
  3. it still raises the question of why the campaign is accepting contributions from a guy like Jones

    Why would they not accept Jones’s contribution? Has he committed a crime of some sort?

    Look, the guy may have silly views, but he’s still a citizen in good standing and if he wants to give money to the Paul campaign, good for him and for them. Why should they decline it?

    Comment by David M — October 29, 2007 @ 4:15 pm
  4. The initial FEC report didn’t say service, it said disbursement. The blogger, and then the next blogger kept adding “service” on their own. And here is a dollar amount of all the contribution refunds.
    http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2007/Q3/C00432914.html
    I don’t know why this is so hard to understand, it’s junk reporting, smear attempts. Very blatantly, don’t act innocent. Alex Jones even said today, he just over-contribute. He already gave months ago, then tried to give 2300 more, but that put him over since, as mentioned already contributed, went over the limit. Apparently a bunch of others did too. All of you people attempting this are weak, feeble and at this point strong evidence suggests, stupid.

    Comment by Fritz — October 29, 2007 @ 4:20 pm
  5. Jones is a harmless screwball, no doubt like many contributors to all the other candidates. Take his money.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — October 29, 2007 @ 4:23 pm
  6. National Review is part of the corrupt system.

    Mataconis, you can’t be this thick.

    Hey Doug, just curious: as an alleged Ron Paul supporter and ostensibly libertarian blogger, when do you plan to discuss Ron Paul’s major plans for bringing this country back from bankruptcy, destruction of civil liberties, and endless war?

    You know: eliminating the Federal Reserve, eliminating the IRS, cutting spending massively, etc.?

    Or do you plan to harp on neocon-blogosphere minutiae continuously because you know Ron Paul is winning the intellectual debate?

    Your true colors are showing, neocon Mataconis. In fact, they’ve been showing since early summer.

    Ron Paul’s campaign have caused the mask to slip on a lot of poseurs, both individuals and institutions — like National Review and the Club for Growth. And Doug Mataconis.

    All of the above are shills for a corrupt, collapsing system.

    Comment by Buckwheat — October 29, 2007 @ 4:23 pm
  7. Buckwheat,

    If we’re talking about whose thick, do you even realize that it was NRO that pointed out that the other right-wing bloggers were wrong ?

    Yea, posers like Cato, who’ve actually accomplished stuff right ? And I’ve met the people at Cato personally several times over the years, trust me….they are hard-core, they just realize you aren’t going to accomplish anything by pretending that everything can change overnight.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 29, 2007 @ 4:28 pm
  8. Logical Reasoning is Essential for Free Society… because if we lose our ability to make logical arguments, we lose our capacity for civil discourse, which can easily lead to verbal and physical violence. And finally, when violence replaces civil discourse, we end up with tyranny.

    Fallacies of relevance:
    Certainly one of the most common types of fallacy in op-ed writing consists in drawing conclusions from reasons that are not logically relevant. The reasons, however, seem to be psychologically or, we might add, politically relevant to the conclusion being drawn. At bottom it is a strategy of distraction or diversion. There are several different types.

    1. Ad hominem (against the person): attacking the person making an argument rather than the argument or position the person is supporting.
    2. Ad hominem circumstantial: claiming that one only holds an opposing position because of vanity, self-interest, or other similar causes of bias.
    3. Ad hominem tu quoque (against the person, “you too”): challenging an opponent’s argument on grounds of hypocrisy.
    4. Argumentum ad populum (appeal to the people): the direct or indirect appeal to the perceptions or impressions of a group of people as support for the truth of one’s conclusion.
    5. Straw man: attacking a diminished or absurdly weak version of an opponent’s argument and claiming victory over his real argument.
    6. Red Herring: distracting the reader or listener with an argument against a related, but essentially different, argument.
    7. Ignoratio elenchi (missing the point): drawing an allarmingly extreme conclusion from premises which would support a different or more moderate one.
    8. Accident: applying a general rule to a case to which the rule should not apply.
    9. Ad baculum: threatening directly or indirectly an opponent in order to get her or him to affirm your conclusion.

    Fallacies of induction:
    As common as fallacies of relevance, fallacies of induction (or fallacies of weak induction, fallacies of insufficient evidence) take various forms.

    1. Argumentum ad verecundiam (Appeal to unqualified authority): Appeal to an overtly biased or otherwise unqualified person in support of one’s argument.
    2. Oversimplified cause: Underestimating the complexity of causes that bring about some event or fact by selectively picking out one of them and asserting that it is the only or the most important cause.
    3. Post hoc ergo propter hoc: claiming that simply because one fact follows another that the preceding event or fact is the cause.
    4. Non causa pro causa: claiming that two events or facts are causally linked simply by virtue of correlation.
    5. Slippery slope: alleging that accepting the conclusion of an opponent’s argument will invariably lead to an increasing series of dastardly consequences.
    6. Weak analogy: overstating the importance of similarities between two otherwise different events, a claiming a likeness between two circumstances or events which does not hold.
    7. Hasty generalization: drawing a conclusion from an inadequate or unrepresentative sample.
    8. Argumentum ad ignorantiam: claiming that the absence of a clear answer to a question implies either an affirmative or negative answer (and not simply ignorance about the right answer)

    Fallacies of ambiguity

    1. Equivocation: drawing an inference on the basis of an incorrect semantic analysis of a term.
    2. Composition: reasoning from the characteristics of the parts to the characteristics of the whole.
    3. Division: reasoning from the characteristics of the whole to the characteristics of the constituent parts.
    4. Petitio Principii (begging the question): assuming the conclusion to be demonstrated as one of the premises.
    5. False Dichotomy or False Dilemma: arguing that only two alternatives are possible, and concluding that since one is untenable, the other must be correct.
    6. Amphiboly: drawing an inference on the basis of an incorrect grammatical analysis.

    Comment by Douglas — October 29, 2007 @ 4:31 pm
  9. One question: if it was a partial refund, why was it partial and not full?

    I’m not ragging on the Paul HQ here, but what gives?

    Other than that, it’s just another molehill that Paul opposers are trying to juice up on steroids to make it appear to be a mountain, bigger than it actually is, which is nothing.

    Comment by Tannim — October 29, 2007 @ 4:43 pm
  10. Well, if it’s an over-donation, then my question is answered.

    That and it’s more proof that campaign finance laws are more trouble than their unconstitutional worthlessness…

    Comment by Tannim — October 29, 2007 @ 4:45 pm
  11. Yes Mataconis, they pointed out that the other bloggers were wrong — and then spent a few more paragraphs on Alex Jones anyway. Go do a search on National Review for “Ron Paul” — you find little in the way of substance, mostly ignorage and ridicule. But whatever — do an alexa comparison of nationalreveiw.com against thisnovember5th.com and you’ll see how irrelevant Warmonger Review has become.

    Which is precisely what I meant about slipping masks.

    Comment by Buckwheat — October 29, 2007 @ 4:48 pm
  12. Although I think Alex Jones can be out there on some issues.. I do accuse him of making people think outside the box. Rupert Murdock and Fox on the other hand, hand feeds his sheep with lies and half truths an is somehow heralded as a legitimate Journalism. Needless to say..

    Ron Paul 2008

    Comment by Bob — October 29, 2007 @ 4:55 pm
  13. Buckwheat,

    I think you may have put in a typo when doing your alexa search. NR has thisnovember5th.com beat, even at its peak yesterday.

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?site0=thisnovember5th.com&site1=nationalreview.com&y=r&z=3&h=300&w=610&range=1m&size=Medium&url=winamp.com

    Comment by Brian T. Traylor — October 29, 2007 @ 5:01 pm
  14. Yeah Brian, but not by much, and National Review is a 54-yr-old “prestige publication” funded by CIA money and a proud member of the media echo chamber…while thisnovember5th.com was started by 2 college kids 9 days ago.

    Comment by Buckwheat — October 29, 2007 @ 5:03 pm
  15. Why should all the fringe guys get off without donating? I would like to have an extra night out but I have to do my duty and help get this man elected. Take their money, they aren’t being fully represented anyway.

    Comment by PC — October 29, 2007 @ 5:04 pm
  16. What if Ron Paul received a donation from someone that works at Fox News?
    Should he give the money back because he doesn’t agree with all of the Fox Newscasters’ opinions?

    Comment by William — October 29, 2007 @ 5:21 pm
  17. Ron Paul’s enemies are probably salivating from this. It makes it easier for them to discredit his ideas and reinforce the fairytale that Muslims hate us for our freedoms not our policy.

    Heck even the opportunist at Fox News figured this out.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,299817,00.html

    The media tries to frame what Ron Paul says in a way to make him sound like a truther. They are waiting for him to slip so they can have the golden soundbite which to destroy his campaign along with the ideas he brought to the table.

    Comment by uhm — October 29, 2007 @ 5:21 pm
  18. My gosh, the levels people will stoop to to destroy the underdog. If he’s so freakin crazy, don’t ya think we can work that out for ourselves? You treat us like idiots, but we’re done with your spoon fed BS!

    It’s crap like this from jerks like you that have made me decide to support Ron Paul.

    Comment by Israel — October 29, 2007 @ 5:46 pm
  19. No doubt about Doug, your Ron Paul stories are simply used to increase daily web traffic. Another snoozer.

    Comment by GeneG — October 29, 2007 @ 6:05 pm
  20. Doug “Yea, posers like Cato, who’ve actually accomplished stuff right ? And I’ve met the people at Cato personally several times over the years, trust me….they are hard-core…”

    Hard core, yep and that’s why Rupert Murdoch is the CATO advisory board? Murdoch is supporting Sen. Clinton by the way…it’s good for Fox News ratings and his bird cage liner sales.

    Comment by GeneG — October 29, 2007 @ 6:09 pm
  21. Doug Mataconis praising Cato, National Review and the Club for Growth is like Charles Krauthammer praising Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz.

    Comment by Buckwheat — October 29, 2007 @ 6:37 pm
  22. BIGGER NEWS STORY: Goldman Sachs donating hundreds of thousands to several “top tier” candidate campaigns. Now, why would Sachs be so interested in purchasing a president?

    Comment by Henry Kissinger — October 29, 2007 @ 7:16 pm
  23. Henry –

    Yup. Go to opensecrets.org and see how many of Giuliani’s donations are in $2,300 shots from the financial and legal sectors.

    This is simply legalized corruption, pay for play, banana republic campaigning. It’s disgusting.

    Comment by Buckwheat — October 29, 2007 @ 8:06 pm
  24. Hey Buckwheat,

    Did you intend to coin a new word?

    -ignorage-

    Is that when one ignorantly rages against someone / something?

    Just curious.

    I agree with your larger point: This whole sorry mess has exposed a lot of true colors. Here, as well as at Stato Cato.

    Doug M.:
    The whole reason we are assuming overt malice instead of honest mistake on your (et alia) part is that you have been doing the same thing with Dr. Paul. This is Emmanuel Kant’s justice applied to the blogoshpere.

    The first thing you (et alia) assumed is that the Ron Paul campaign had hired Alex Jones or was somehow supporting him. Despite continued reminders such as Douglas has given above, that guilt by association is fallacious reasoning – you continue to engage in it in regards to Don Black, Stormfront, and just now with Alex Jones.

    it still raises the question of why the campaign is accepting contributions from a guy like Jones

    Get this, and get this good: Ron Paul doesn’t support the people who contribute to him, the people who contribute, support Dr. Paul.

    I fervently hope that every single Neo-nazi, Skinhead, KKK member and Holocaust denier donates the maximum amount to Dr. Paul’s campaign, waves signs, and votes for him in the primary and the general election.

    Better the support should go to Ron Paul, who is not a racist, than to John “Toilet” Bowles, (the Nazi party candidate for president) who is.

    To paraphrase Jesus: It isn’t what goes into a political campaign that’s important, it’s what comes out.

    Later.

    Comment by Kevin Houston — October 29, 2007 @ 8:08 pm
  25. “ignorage-

    Is that when one ignorantly rages against someone / something?”

    If you’d Googled what I’ve Googled, you’d wonder, too.

    Lawyers.com helps as well.

    Comment by Buckwheat — October 29, 2007 @ 8:41 pm
  26. Buckwheat,

    Yawn

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 29, 2007 @ 9:01 pm
  27. Kevin,

    Sometimes, you’re judged by the company you attract.

    It happens a lot in politics actually.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 29, 2007 @ 9:02 pm
  28. Doug,

    “keeping company” is not the same as someone else saying “I like you”.

    “Keeping company” implies a reciprocal relationship. What you and all the other Neocon rabble have been doing is taking various one-way relationships and trying to pass them off as two-way relationships.

    So if I can get Charles Manson to endorse Fred Thompson, will that taint Freddie in your eyes?

    Comment by Kevin Houston — October 29, 2007 @ 9:37 pm
  29. Kevin,

    Freddie is already tainted in my eyes

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 29, 2007 @ 9:38 pm
  30. So insert the name of whatever candidate you are supporting. My point is independent of the specific candidate.

    If one-way endorsements can taint a candidate, then there should be a booming business for low-lives of all varieties to “endorse” the candidate they least support so as to taint them. If not for their own twisted purposes, then for fun and profit. I can just see it now. Rosie O’Doughnut can put her Republican endorsement on Ebay for the highest bidder and donate the proceeds to code pink.

    Feh

    Comment by Kevin Houston — October 29, 2007 @ 10:15 pm
  31. Kevin Houston wrote:

    Get this, and get this good: Ron Paul doesn’t support the people who contribute to him, the people who contribute, support Dr. Paul.

    I agree completely. Whether proposed by Doug, or anyone else, I reject Guilt by Association reasoning.

    Doug Mataconis wrote:

    Sometimes, you’re judged by the company you attract.

    It happens a lot in politics actually.

    There are a lot of ignorant ways to view events. Should we validate them, or repudiate them? I’m sure many voters will choose based on Paul’s hair cut, voice timbre, astrological sign, or tie color. Rational people should reject irrational judgments, not encourage them.

    Here’s an association that isn’t a fallacy: Agreeing with simpleton associations has the danger of making one look like a simpleton.

    As I posted in another thread:

    Ron Paul’s 20 years of documented consistent rational governmental philosophy is far more important than identifying unpopular people who support him.

    Comment by Akston — October 29, 2007 @ 11:52 pm
  32. Doug,

    I don’t want to overdue it here, but I just wanted to compliment you again on being very patient with some real fools.

    I disagree with you frequently, but your commentary is always worthwhile.

    I’d fully support a ban on Buckwheat.

    -Chad

    Comment by Chad — October 30, 2007 @ 9:33 am

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