As the World Turns…so does Rand Paul. Join us this week, as we look back at the most recent Randings.
#HackForRand Hackathon Hosted in San Francisco to Combat Spying (During Gay Pride Week)
Timing wasn’t on the side of Rand Paul’s chief technology officer, Ron Schnell, when he hosted Rand’s first ever “Hackathon,” which also toted the hashtag #HackForRand this past weekend. For those of you living in a hole during the past week, it has been a momentous few days for the gay community, what with the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a right that must be respected regardless of the state one lives in.
Rand was conspicuously silent following the announcement (more on that later), instead having his team host this interesting event, which was adversely affected by the gay pride events ongoing in San Francisco, a city many consider the gay capital of the world.
His presidential campaign had organized what is known in tech circles as a hackathon — basically, an all-night software-writing orgy — with a political twist. The campaign had challenged the programmers, grouped in competing teams, to make software applications for “protecting liberty and privacy.” The winning team would get to meet Paul. The top two would get copies of the Constitution, signed by the libertarian-leaning senator.
The Rand Paul for President campaign cared a lot about this hackathon. Ron Schnell, the campaign’s recently hired chief technology officer, told BuzzFeed News it was “a good starting point to ramp up to the most tech-savvy campaign in history,” and that it was “pretty much the first thing I started working on” after joining the campaign in May.
The event drew about 25 programmers with many lost to the pride parade and related traffic or other reasons from the 100 that RSVP’d. The result of the event was also underwhelming, with the programs created being centered more on political activity and campaign assistance than liberty. That being said, it’s a novel concept, even if it was terribly (if unintentionally) timed.
BuzzFeed and others did cover the event though, and that in itself is still aiding the cause of fighting against government spying and infractions against liberty, thus it gets a…
Rand Says Clintons “Incarcerated a Generation of Black Men” & Mass Incarceration is New “Jim Crow”
I won’t lie to you – there is almost nothing Rand Paul can say that’s negative about Bill and Hillary Clinton that I won’t agree with and be a fan of, and last week’s statements during his appearance on the “Wiklow Majority” on Sirius XM are no different, especially when pointing out the damage the Clintons have inflicted on black America.
From the Washington Post:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that Bill and Hillary Clinton were “proud” to be in power at a time when legions of young black men were put in prison as part of the war on drugs.
“Bill Clinton presided over the incarceration of an entire generation of young black men,” Paul, a GOP presidential candidate, said Thursday on “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM. Young black men, Paul said, are being put in jail “at a rate never before seen in history” because of the war on drugs.
“Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, they were all proud to do this, but now that I’ve been speaking out and saying that mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, now all the sudden the Clintons are saying now we’re going to be back on the other side of this issue now,” he said.
As I point out in my “Good, Bad & Liberty” breakdown of Hillary, this isn’t the only topic the Clintons have switched sides on to be politically correct in 2015. Gay marriage is another issue where both Bill & Hillary were adamantly opposed before it was convenient to side with the new majority.
The issues of criminal justice reform, the War on Drugs and mass incarceration are some of Rand’s strongest, and true differentiators that separate him from the field. His work in those arenas is unparalleled thus far, and anything he does to point out the failings of the current system, the inequality of drug laws and the political chameleon act of the Clintons will always result in his getting rave reviews.
Regarding his calling mass incarceration the new “Jim Crow”…I don’t have a problem with this comparison either. When you take into account that it’s a government system that unfairly (even if unofficially) targets black Americans, jails them and then eliminates their ability to vote, as they are now felons, the comparison has merit.
Paul Calls For Government to “Get Out of Marriage”
In a Time op-ed on Monday, Rand made some interesting points in regards to the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling. And this time, he didn’t put his foot in his mouth or make a “one sentence earlier” statement. As I previously mentioned, some pundits and publications were pointing out Rand’s silence after the initial ruling, but considering this well composed piece, it seems that Rand did the right thing by waiting to share his thoughts.
In a nutshell, Rand’s piece covers a lot of ground, beginning with the fact that the Constitution doesn’t even touch on marriage rights, because it was A: not something government should be involved with, and B: what he calls a “local” issue.
I can’t say I agree wholeheartedly that it’s “local” but I do agree that the government has no place being involved in what should be a private matter between two people, and naturally the authors of the Constitution wouldn’t think this would even fall under the purview of a government created to protect personal liberty.
Some statements sampled from Rand’s longer op-ed in Time:
Those who disagree with the recent Supreme Court ruling argue that the court should not overturn the will of legislative majorities. Those who favor the Supreme Court ruling argue that the 14th Amendment protects rights from legislative majorities.
Do consenting adults have a right to contract with other consenting adults? Supporters of the Supreme Court’s decision argue yes but they argue no when it comes to economic liberties, like contracts regarding wages.
This is an excellent point to bring to the forefront, especially considering the unsustainable minimum wage laws that have passed in places like California, which will hit an economy and small business killing $15 an hour in a few short years. He continues…
I acknowledge the right to contract in all economic and personal spheres, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a danger that a government that involves itself in every nook and cranny of our lives won’t now enforce definitions that conflict with sincerely felt religious convictions of others.
Some have argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling will now involve the police power of the state in churches, church schools, church hospitals.
This may well become the next step, and I for one will stand ready to resist any intrusion of government into the religious sphere.
Justice Clarence Thomas is correct in his dissent when he says: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”
The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.
Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.
Rand’s solution, which is to enable private contracts between two people, is an excellent and logical. There will be some difficulties extracting marriage from government, as it’s so ingrained, but in no way impossible or implausible.
The Current “Paulus-Minus” Tally:
73 Pauluses / 24 Minuses / 4 Push
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