Saturday, December 29, 2007

Carnation Killer

Now on national news the awful murder of 6 that happened on Christmas Eve is being referred to as the Carnation Killings and the murderers as the Carnation Killers.

I grew up near Carnation and at one time my family's mailing address was in Carnation. I eventually went to high school there. I've never thought much of the town frankly but it didn't deserve this distinction.

One of my early memories was of a high school girl in the Carnation area being murdered and taken from the place she was babysitting. The guy that did it was a guy that my sister went to high school with and always described as kind of "weird and scary." I was always a bit more fearful of being in Carnation as a kid because I assumed it was completely lawless. Eventually in high school I had less fear and contributed to some degree with my own style of lawlessness.

Just thought I'd give another angle to this that you couldn't possibly read anywhere else.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Season Medicated Blogpost

I can't sleep...cold medicine does two things to me. Makes me too sleepy to be functional and too awake to get a rested sleep. My cold started when my family left on Christmas...I think my niece ended up getting me sick...not sure.

I watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special a few times (on DVD) and I think Charles Schultz took a swipe at psychiatry. Lucy wanted to label Charlie Brown's fears instead of help him with it. I've not really paid attention to that scene before.

Bhutto is dead and Pakistan is under a military dictator that possesses nuclear weapons...but at least they're our allies in the war on terror.

It snowed on Christmas Day here.

I saw a guy that looked like a guy who used to be on TV...in something that wasn't very popular and not a main character. Never make the mistake of trying to explain that to someone. If they're nice they'll humor you and try to figure out what you're saying when in fact you don't even know what you're saying...and if they're not nice, well...everyone knows where that goes.

My dad got pissed at me one time because my socks were all messed up. He told me when I get new socks I should always wear each one on the same foot...essentially making a left footed sock and a right footed sock. This way they'd retain the same shape and fit better. I had this practice for a long time and my ex-wife mocked me endlessly about it. Last year I stopped the practice because I thought it was silly and then saw that my socks were really messed up again...so about two months ago I started again. This time I took a brand new package of socks and marked them with an "L" and an "R" to get them straight. Before I used to just eyeball them and always thought I knew which was which but I've come to find out that I probably was always doing it wrong. If I try to figure it out by looking without looking at the laundry pen marked letter...I'm wrong more than 50% of the time. I actually used to get frustrated that my socks were not matched properly and in reality they probably were. This no doubt contributed to a failed marriage...that...and that guy she was dating while we were married.

I'm going back to bed now.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Meaningless issues

While your dollar is tanking and our federal bankers in China continue to bankroll a war almost no one wants us in anymore, these are the issues that we're supposed to be concerned about:

Mitt Romney is Mormon. (confirmed)

Hillary is a woman. (allegedly)

Mike Huckabee doesn't have a theology degree. (confirmed)

John McCain has a bad temper. (allegedly)

Barak Obama is black. (This is mostly confirmed)

Rudy Guliani likes to fool around. (confirmed)

John Edwards pays alot of money for haircuts. (confirmed)

Dennis Kucinich saw a UFO. (confirmed)

Fred Thompson... nevermind...nobody cares.

Will Ron Paul run 3rd party?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Questions, questions.

I get a great deal of email and I respond to most of it but some of it I don't get to. In this post I'll try to answer questions asked and leave many of them without sufficient context.

Q: Did you see the girl buttrocket video I sent?

A: These videos never cease to make me laugh. The best part is where they're so surprised at the discomfort from the wick sparks...then the rocket fires and you wonder how much burnt hair and time spent explaining to an emergency room nurse followed.

Q: Do you think it was necessary for Romney to explain the role of his faith?

A: Only if he wants to be elected, otherwise no.

Q: How is your book coming along?

A: Work on the book is at a complete stop. Honestly I went to no less than 5 funerals since May...I've been writing but nothing that belongs in a light-hearted book. Sorry, I just haven't been ready yet.

Q: Where did you travel for Thanksgiving? Did you fly?

A: Spokane, Washington. No.

Q: You should do a post on police tazering.

A: I'm enraged everytime I see a person tasered because they didn't sign a traffic ticket or didn't calm down when a policeman is screaming at them to CALM DOWN and the only person in the video that isn't calm is the cop. I have a sad feeling that these types of documented incidents are going to lead to cops getting hurt or worse.

Q: What do you think will happen with the Ron Paul Revolution after 2008 has gone and someone else is president?

A: That's an excellent question. I see it breaking off in a few different directions. I see the Libertarian Party getting back the strength it had about 25 years ago. I see a more bold anti-establishment neo-anarchism coming. I see most of the people just dropping out again and staying cynical. As for me...not much will change...I've been writing about Ron Paul on my blog since it started three years ago...I'm the trend setter here.

Q: Got any plans for the holidays?

A: Trying to keep my family from being a huge source of disappointment.

New post coming soon!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Okay, I get it now

I always wondered why so many Americans seem off the deep end about world politics and the environment but I get it now. I saw ABC News on television this weekend. You have to understand that in general I haven't watched network news on television in perhaps about 7 or 8 years.

ABC News did a story about how global warming (of which the United States is the greatest contributor to) will find itself drawn into international wars because of lack of normal rainfall in areas of the world map where warlords will take over.

Also, because of global warming, there will be great loss of life and unrest in places like Bangladesh which reportedly has a population half of the United States neatly packaged in a country the size of Iowa.

You don't have to know a great deal about history to know this exaggerated report is wrong. All you really need is a memory. Back in 1972, former Beatle guitarist George Harrison held a benefit concert for Bangladesh.


Bangladesh was a country just ravished by a Typhoon that made what happened in New Orleans look like what happens in a public restroom when the toilet is clogged from a homeless person that ate too much beef and cheese at the shelter.

What is astounding to me is that in my short lifetime Bangladesh has been overrun by flooding at least twice killing about a half-million people. George Harrison's concert for Bangladesh was going on while ecologists were still promising us another ice age because we used aerosol deodorant. I'm not joking.

Bangladesh came about in 1947 after being neglected by both India and West Pakistan. Before being given the name of Bangladesh it was always called "Ya know that crappy place down south where it always floods?"

I doubt global warming has much to do with the problems of Bangladesh and I doubt the United States needs to send troops to places in the world that have an occasional drought... like say... Ethiopia where the people have only known global warming their whole existence.

So I get it now. Most of you are misinformed and have weird ideas about global politics because you watch ABC News. I can only wonder what they'll be reporting when I tune-in again in another 8 years.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

John McCain - Stick a fork in him

Last night's GOP debate was pretty funny. Most telling was John McCain's attack of Ron Paul and actually seeing Ron Paul fight back. McCain was surely trying to attack Paul in an effort to win back "most-favored-maverick" status among those in New Hampshire but while Paul fought back against McCain, the good doctor launched a few attacks of his own at the man also known as "Senator Whats-up-with-your-face?"

McCain stated in the debate that they had all "...gone to Washington to change Washington but Washington changed us." Ron Paul quoted McCain and said, "That statement does not apply to me." Zing! McCain is done. In one statement those in New Hampshire saw McCain as the establishment insider that he is against Ron Paul who has been unswayed by the DC politics as usual. McCain has already been dipping in New Hampshire as Ron Paul's traditional polling numbers have climbed.

Hopefully this is the beginnings to an end of the miserable political legacy of John McCain. For Arizona the man who replaced Barry Goldwater in the Senate has been a downgrade for sure.

Best line from the debate was from Huckabee about capital punishment and "What would Jesus do?" Huck's answer: “Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office,’’ Huckabee said. “That's what Jesus would do.’’

Based on last night's debate a Rudy/Huckabee ticket seems likely in my view.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I'm traveling a bit...should be different. We'll see.

I obviously have low expectations of this holiday.

Take care,
-t

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My 2007 Reading List

My goal is to read three fiction books a year. I started late this year but I'm half done with my three books.

Books I've read or started in 2007

Fiction:

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff - Done.
Old School by Tobias Wolff - Half Done.
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham - On my nightstand...I read the jacket blurb.

Non-Fiction:

Creeds of the Churches Third Edition, Edited by John H. Leith - I've read most or all of the 730 pages.

The Law by Frederic Bastiat- Done.

For 2008 I'm flirting with the idea of tackling Atlas Shrugged. It's kind of too long for me and I'm not sure I can tolerate Rand's nonsensical objectivist bull crap for that many pages but I may take a stab at it. Maybe The Fountainhead is shorter.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Keep in mind that I read fiction as a discipline rather than pure enjoyment because I have a considerable reading disability. The shorter the book is the greater chance I have of completing it. Anything over 350 pages will probably require you reading it to me. Please post suggestions if you have any.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pakistan - The new Iran

In 1953 the United States backed a coup to install the Shah in place of Mohammad Mosaddeq who was the democratically elected leader. In the long memories of Iranians this caused a great resentment among their people. When the Shah was eventually overthrown the U.S. Embassy went down with it and the story of the hostages began.

Now the U.S. has backed another coup leader in President Gen. Pervez Musharraf even though he is not wanted by the people of Pakistan. When he is eventually overthrown we should expect an increasing resentment from their people against the United Stated because of our intervening foreign policy. And oh by the way...Osama Bin Laden is hiding out in Pakistan...and oh by the way again...they have a nuclear weapon.

Our policy is right now creating the very Iran we're afraid that could emerge...except it's in Pakistan.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

9/11 conspiracies and other junk I don't believe

9/11 was an inside job - I distrust government but not because they're trying to hide the truth about major plots. I distrust them because they try to hide things like how much they pay for hammers and what elected officials were doing in Minneapolis airport restrooms. Government is not able to pull off anything properly when it tries. To believe this 9/11 was an inside job I have to believe that the same government that is in charge of Social Security can pull off what happened that day. I don't buy it.

Any non-Warren Commission plot to kill Kennedy - I think Oswald acted alone. End of story.

FDR Invited the attacks by Japan - He may have expected a declaration of war but I do not believe he had prior knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Why do we take tragedies in this country and blame the people we elect...just to reelected them again?

The Lunar Landing was fake - Just kidding of course it was fake.

Gerald Ford was a space alien - This one I'm completely tired of. It is a well-established fact that Gerald Ford was not and had never been a space alien. He was a robot manufactured in a secret government laboratory.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trick or Treater Update

On Halloween 51 trick or treaters came to my door. I awarded a few of them and they will get a mention in this post.

Most Original: A giant homemade iPod. This kid was also the first trick or treater. I told him if he came with iTunes I'd kick him off my porch because iTunes sucks.

Most Entertaining: Three kids came to my door. I could identify two of their costumes but not the third. I asked the third kid, "What are you?" His buddy answered before he could with "He's a fat kid." This comment earned him a punch to the stomach. I laughed and gave them lots of the best candy for entertaining me.

Laziest Costume - The hobo. There's always at least one hobo. It requires nothing except a dirty face and your dad's old work clothes. I reward this classic half-ass attempt at a costume with good candy every year.

Pillowcasers - I had 11 of them this year. They're usually age 12-14 and are hanging on to the last year they can go trick or treating. Their costumes are lame if they even have one. Instead of a bag they bring a pillowcase and load up on as much candy as possible. They arrive at your door out of breath because they're hitting as many doors as possible. I pity them and give them good candy...as they are the most likely to egg my house.

Lamest Costume that actually took time to make - Unicorn...holy crap I couldn't believe my eyes. What a dumb costume! Here have some circus peanuts and get off my property lamer!

Weirdest Store-bought Costume - Engineer. Hardhat, vest, et al. I asked him what kind of engineer he was...his reply? "I don't know." Here have some bulk candy I found under the couch cushions.

Now with Halloween out of the way I can concentrate on Guy Fawkes day!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The folly of nation building

I was just reading a quote by this guy who used to be governor of Texas about a decade ago. I don't know who this guy is but he seems pretty sharp. Here he is quoted about how he didn't support nation building in Somalia but supported the original mission to remove their dictator. He didn't like how the mission changed from removing a dictator to something ridiculous like nation building. Where is this guy now when we need him?

Somalia Started off as a humanitarian mission and then changed into a nation-building mission, and that's where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed and, as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow a dictator that's in our -- when it's in our best interests. But in this case, it was a nation-building exercise. And the same with Haiti, I wouldn't have supported, either.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Democrat Debate

I really really enjoyed this debate. It was filled with some great exchanges and offered far more differing opinions on subjects than I suspected.

Here is a summary of what I learned:

They all love force. Every problem that was the subject of a question was answered with phrases like "we need to deal with" "we need to do something about" "we need to give" I did finally hear one of the candidates use the F-word to describe their policy. Keep in mind that what George Washington wrote about government was true --Government is force.

Joe Biden is pretty funny.

Hillary is the frontrunner for a reason.

Holy Crap! Dennis Kucinich saw a UFO not too awfully far from where I live!!!

Chris Dodd opened his mouth and made sense.

Bill Richardson is posturing for a VP position.

Apparently Barak Obama is black.

John Edwards was talking about two Americas again. I want to live in whichever America has a decent chance of him not being president.

Hillary likes the idea of three different types of driver's license. One that you can use at airports as photo ID, another that you can use to just drive your car, and one other that allows cops to know it's okay to use a stun gun on you.

You used to have to enter into discussions with government-program-loving-Democrats about the unintended consequences of their well-intended ideas but now you can win simply with one statement: WE'RE BROKE. Blame Bush, blame Reagan, blame Ford, blame whoever you want...it doesn't change what's true. The money is gone.

The next president whoever it is does not need to be looking for ways to spend money. This country needs bi-partisan cuts and sound currency before we'll ever be able to call ourselves prosperous again.

Oh, and one more thing: Kucinich is a space alien.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The problem with property taxes

I live in a county that is mail ballot only. Currently my ballot has not been opened and it sits on my kitchen counter. On it contains a proposed state constitutional amendment to allow School District Levies to pass with simple majority rather than the strong majority of 60%.

Who could be against that? I mean everyone I work with is going to vote for it because they support local schools and thinks it's very unfair and undemocratic for, let's say, 53% of people to approve a levy yet still have it fail. Who could be against that? Well, me for starters.

Here though is something to consider. The taxes for school levies are based upon a percentage of assessed land value and paid only by land owners. If you live in the school district and don't own land you are still eligible to vote yes or no on the tax. More to the point, someone can vote to impose a tax on their neighbor but not on themselves. This fact alone will cause me to vote NO on it. As a product of public schools I have since decided to not be a consumer of it later in life. After leaving a public high school...I did not take a tax payer subsidized loan for college and I did not go to a state school. Basically I paid my own way completely.

I don't think having a 60% majority is a perfect answer but it does actually address the flawed premise and allows for a 10% buffer to protect the fewer voters who are actually going to be imposed with the tax. I'd prefer that schools were paid for with some other means though I must confess I don't have any concrete ideas. Having read our state constitution one of its few enumerated responsibilities is to provide "ample funding" for schools. Maybe the need for local school levies was never intended by the people who founded our dumb state.

Maybe we'll eventually get away from the idea of taxing people simply because they own something...like a place to live. Looks like tonight I'm going to be voting NO on lots of stuff.

Remember to vote in your own upcoming elections.

Monday, October 22, 2007

You see...there's this tape.

I have two very close friends. One I've known since 1984 and the other since around 1989. The most important events of my life in the last 20 years have had these two nearby. We're close in that we have this loose brotherhood. Less like Stand By Me and far from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants...but more like a sequel to Animal House that was never made...we know each other so well that we don't require catching up on each other's lives over a cup of some hot international coffees.

I introduced these two guys to each other which brings me to the topic. You see...there's this tape. To conceal their identities I'll give them Animal House nicknames. Otter and I worked together and were responsible for writing this column in the company newsletter that went out monthly. We worked for a very large family owned company. To get ideas for our column we decided to tape record ourselves talking while at his apartment. On this night I brought Bluto over and this is where they met.

The tape ended up having things on it that went far beyond just ideas for a column but Bluto and Otter got along great and exchanged rude barbs back and forth over the course of an evening that also involved completely finishing roughly a case and a half of the best beer that pre-21 year olds could afford. In other words the tape is a train wreck. Maybe more like a train hauling lots of beer going over a tall trestle that is booby trapped with dynamite. As the train comes off the track it lands on an elementary school killing everything in its wake and leaving the remains soaked with the smell of beer. It was that kind of evening...and much of the audio was captured.

At the end of the evening (that trailed into the morning) I popped the cassette into my pocket. Later when the question of the where the tape ended up they were both relatively relieved that I was in possession of it. I was voted the least likely to use it to exploit the others.

Preserving the audio has been important for me because it is the first moment where our lives collided. So for reasons of sentiment I wish to have this audio live on for a few more decades. This means of course performing an analog to digital conversion. As I mentioned that I'm going to do that my motivation has been called into question as Otter thinks I'll release it to the press when he runs for office. Bluto thinks the whole thing is funny and would also like to see it released to further embarass Otter.

Personally I think that most of it isn't that humorous and the humor doesn't translate too well to the mainstream. I'd compare it to watching David Hasselhoff eating a hamburger while hammered. Fascinating yes, but also pathetic at the same time.

So that said...who wants to hear a clip of it?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

When you run for president and no one cares.

Senator Sam Brownback ends his bid for the presidency tomorrow...and no one cares.

Well, I shouldn't say no one does because I do. In the GOP debates Brownback always took the full allotment of his time. He needed to take all of the time given to him because he never really said anything in his answers. This time could've been used by someone who would actually give an answer...namely Dr. Paul.


A perfect example of a Brownback answer comes from an early debate. The question was whether it was right for President Bush to open dialogue with Iran. Check this out:

"But I think we have to at times talk with them in different situations. Like, before we went into Afghanistan, we talked with Iran. It wasn't we were negotiating. We didn't open up formal diplomatic relations and we shouldn't. Iran is the lead sponsor of terrorism. On Iraq, I think we need to talk with them."

I didn't just pick a goofy quote here and exploit him as a goofball either. Many of his quotes from debates are far worse than this. During the debate hosted by Morgan State University (traditionally black as they describe themselves) he stated that he relates more to black people because he's actually spent a night in jail. In attempt to top all his other efforts to be crazier than an outhouse rat he said he secured Federal funds (read: your money) to build a black culture museum. The audience stared at the stage in disbelief...I was on the floor in front of my TV holding my gut from laughter.

I've supported Libertarian presidential candidates who have drawn bigger crowds than Brownback. I know how a perfectly competent person can look dumb while under the national microscope so I won't be too hard on him. I think the shameful part of his candidacy is he didn't bring anything to the table. He offered nothing that couldn't be found in at least three other candidates (except for being Roman Catholic which I believe only Rudy can also claim).

One area where Brownback should be applauded before he leaves the national stage: His campaign was not in debt. Donate the rest of it to that museum Sam...and thanks for the laughs.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Ad Council


When I'm at work I usually listen to about one hour of radio broadcasts streamed online during the day. If a commercial spot hasn't been sold on line it is usually replaced with a public service announcement (PSA) in place of a commercial. Just this morning I've heard PSA's that have promoted the following issues:

--The benefits of Fatherhood
--Being a friend to someone who has a mental disorder
--Reducing Gun Violence
--Americans need to save money from their paychecks



Obviously the founding fathers approved of the use of taking money from the productivity of every citizen of every state so that some positive, good message could be directed at a few citizens.



The earliest PSA was found in the Federalist Papers and was performed as a skit on the streets of all major cities. Below is an excerpt from those original transcripts:

Young lad - Hello, father!

Father - Good day to you son. Have you finished cleaning the rifles?

Young lad - Yes, father I have. I have a question though.

Father - What is your question my boy?

Young lad - Why must we kill the British Regulars to be free?

Father - It is because they are the force of arms by which King George wishes to take our property and the fruit of our labor without proper parliamentary representation.

Young lad - You're right father. I am ashamed for doubting you.

Father - Always remember the rhyme I've taught you son.

Young lad - Yes, father. If they march in red, by night they're dead!

Father - You're a fine boy!

Narrator - This message brought to you as a public service reminder from the Continental Congress who unlike King George, takes your money to protect you from yourself.

Ad Council parody ads are courtesy of Chickenhead.com. It's off-color humor so if you're offended easily don't go there please.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend Summary

Went with family up to Victoria, British Columbia which is at the most southwestern point of Canada on Vancouver Island. Basically you can throw a rock to it from Seattle...if you can throw a rock about 70 miles.

If you ever get the chance to go to any museums in either Britain or Canada I can't recommend it enough. I've been to tons of museums here in the USA including many in Washington DC and in general our museums are ass.

We saw the traveling Titanic exhibit at the Royal British Columbia Museum and it was well done. Aside from the temporary attraction of Titanic there were the normal exhibits showcasing life in British Columbia from the first peoples to the eventual settlers...and finally to the handful of people that live there now and the culture they have created.

Victoria is a uniquely British city and has architecture and culture which you'd easily find in London. I browsed lots of shops though didn't purchase much. I did come away with a new hat which I like very much. I may post a photo of me in it if there is demand otherwise I'll just save it for me.

Perhaps the greatest surprise of the trip was walking several blocks to Christ Church Cathedral which presides over the diocese of Columbia within the Anglican Church of Canada.

I have great appreciation for the Anglican liturgy because of its poetic beauty and powerful hymns. The Anglicans had a head start on doing orthodox-ish rite in English so the liturgy they have created is far superior to the eventual Vatican II liturgy which seems to make no Roman Catholic happy. (I fully realize most of you have no idea what I'm talking about)

The service was wonderful and I stayed and met several who were in attendance who obviously knew I came all the way from the far off world of Seattle. I think they knew I was visiting because there were not many in attendance who were under the age of 55. That is a reality within the Anglican Church in Canada.

After church it was off to a shoe store, the mall, and a pretty cool candy store...then a nap on the boat ride home. On the way home I had the song "Let's go to Canada" in my mind from the Ska band Five Iron Frenzy. One verse goes:

They've got trees, and mooses, and sled dogs,
Lots of lumber, and lumberjacks, and logs!
We all think it's kind of a drag,
That you have to go there to get milk in a bag.
They say "eh?" instead of "what?" or "duh?"
That's the mighty power of Canada.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

How the Iraq War makes us less safe - Exhibit A

Iraq just announced it has negotiated a 100 million dollar military arms deal with China. The result is that China will quickly produce the arms and light military equipment and be paid in cash.

Also because we have no money to fight the war, we have financed it through treasury bonds which have been purchased by China as reserve currency. The result is that China will quickly receive a 'surge' in more cash.

Unlike the Soviets that had isolated themselves from the world while their economy crumbled, China actually profits from our very own military aggressiveness. We actually end up financing the major Chinese military build up that the Pentagon claims is such a threat to our security. For you Republicans out there I'll put it even more simply: In the end our own military adventurism is financing the very army that stands as the greatest threat against us.

With this in mind, I don't see how any credible politician or military leader can claim we are safer for our presence in the middle east.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

2006 Election Turning out better than anyone could imagine

I was on record that the best thing we could hope for in the 2006 election was that Democrats would be elected and the sweet taste of refreshing gridlock would follow.

Boy howdy, has that come true. Here has been the legacy of the new congress:

1. Legislation to make medals to honor Rosa Parks.

2. Resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh.

3. A brand new budget fight!

4. OMG! A Veto!

In other words nothing has been accomplished. No dumb ideas on public funded healthcare. No ridiculous plans to expand programs. Now if we can just get the troops home we can all stand as one united country in the wake of a do-nothing government.

That would be a dream come true. God Bless America.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Last Night's Presidential Forum

A Summary:

Brownback used many words to answer questions and I can't recall a single one of them.

Alan Keyes is black.

Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo...the room seemed colder when they spoke.

Huckabee thinks there's more crime in inner cities because of drug and alcohol problems. Nice Mike.

Ron Paul correctly pointed out that prohibition is not only unwise but unfairly prosecuted against minorities in our justice system. I was not surprised that Ron Paul had the loudest cheers throughout the whole evening from an audience that has probably never cast a vote for a Republican.

Romney, Thompson, Rudy and McCain didn't show up because of a mix of excuses offered that ranged from scheduling conflicts to fear of an inhospitable atmosphere at this traditionally Black College. In my view the forum was a model of civility and all those involved operated within a very high standard of decorum. America needs more forums like this one.

Huckabee is so dumb, I'm not sure he'd be that great of a pastor let alone president.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Non-Medicated Free Association

I headed to downtown Seattle to see Ron Paul and there were lots of Paul supporters down there. I ate at a downtown mall food court and sat next to three people who looked like they were out for a night on the town. Turns out they were Paul supporters as well and were all lifetime Democrats. I spoke with the older woman (probably in her late 60's) and she was hoping to get a copy of Ron Paul's latest book signed. As it turned out the group was pretty normal looking and present were many local mainstream Republicans who I will not identify here.

I recently spoke with someone close to the national campaign and suggested the campaign insist that Rudy and Mitt have their microphones killed while Ron Paul speaks in the next debate. Their childish antics of chuckling, coughing, and making noises during his small time to talk should not be allowed.

Lately I've been amused by the movie Dazed and Confused. I did not count this movie as one that influenced my life because it came out too late though it does make me long for the 70's again. And why I'm not sure. My personal view of drug abuse in particular is one of near zero tolerance. None of my friends take drugs and if they do they know better than to do it around me. It was true even when I played in a band and it is true now. I should point out that in my youth I drank like a thing that drinks alot (choosing fish was too obvious...c'mon)

Went to a high school football game the other night as well. The coach of the home team had just died of cancer and there was a time to honor him and celebrate his life. It's amazing how a community can better express itself just prior to 48 hard-fought minutes on the gridiron. Nice to see the country still has testosterone.

Mike Huckabee is a dolt.

Fred Thompson is an empty shirt if I ever saw one. I used to be optimistic at one point about Republicans that talked about smaller government but now I just feel lied to.

I've often said that LBJ was the worst president in my lifetime and now I know why. He thought that expanding a foreign war and expanding the entitlements here at home would be a good idea and it ended up ushering in a decade of poverty (the 70's). This "Guns and Butter" philosophy is the same prescribed by our current joke of a president and they're both from Texas. LBJ and Dubya are the worst presidents in my lifetime though Bush wins out because he inflicted his damage for two terms.

A friend told me that he discovered a photo of a young woman celebrity that she had taken for her boyfriend yet it magically became available worldwide. The photo was described as the young gal standing in her bedroom with no clothes on. My buddy showed it to another friend and his friend said, "She has a really nice bedroom."

I rode my motorcycle over to Grump's house on what will probably be the last acceptable weather day to do so. He mocked my bike only a little. He'll have Ron Paul yard sign magically appear in his yard.

I learned awhile ago that someone I work with is pregnant. I'm pretty excited for her because I know she'll be a great mom and the world needs more great moms.

I'm trying to come up with an alternate story for what I do for a living. What I do is hard to describe and would only inflict painful boredom on anyone who I attempt to explain it to. I'm thinking of just calling myself a "drifter." and when they ask questions I'll just quote lyrics from the song King of the Road.

There are no homos in Iran in case you didn't know.

Answers to emails I've been flooded with over the last two weeks:

No, I've already met Ron Paul and I just left him alone.

Yes, I was going to go to Uganda this year but will go next year instead.

Good point, but see my Huckabee statement above.

No, I knew the original band members were not together since two of them are DEAD! DUH.

Yes, she does have a nice bedroom...I agree.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Post Soon

I've been exceedingly busy the last couple of weeks and haven't had time to put words together. I've had a few emails asking me about the Ron Paul visit to Seattle and others asking about different current events...I'll do a digest post similar to my medicated blog posts but this one will be chemical free.

Talk to you soon,
-t

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

1964 Revisited

An excellent excerpt from Reagan's Rendezvous with Destiny speech in support of Goldwater in 1964. Wouldn't it be great to have a party that still believed in this?

Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to." In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down--up to a man's age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order--or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course...

...You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.


I've been pretty busy this week but I'll write to report on the Ron Paul festivities I'll be attending as Dr. Paul visits the Puget Sound area this week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aaron Russo Passes

Another great libertarian died this year. Aaron was a promoter for Bette Midler and produced The Rose and Trading Places but I don't hold any of that against him. He is credited as being the one who brought Led Zeppelin to the United States and from the entertainment standpoint...that's how I wish to remember him.

Later in his life he became a great advocate for liberty and energized the LP with his candidacy narrowly losing the nomination in 2004.

Rest in Peace Aaron.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Associated Press is Dumb.

Found this story yesterday and couldn't believe it. Tried to show it to a friend and they said the story was gone. I still had it on my screen so I took a screenshot of it.



Click on the photo to see the larger image.

The text briefly tells the story of an Iraqi woman who claims two bullets hit her house following a raid by coalition forces. The elderly woman is clearly not a terrorist so the subtext is the injustice of the military exercise. The story attempts to take a cheapshot at the military by showing an elderly Iraqi woman who has been victimized by our troops as our uncaring soldiers recklessly perform raids in and unjust and illegal war.

Now I'm against the war as much as anyone but this story is over-the-top. They at least had the decency to pull the story immediately but I caught them anyway. Notice that the bullets being held by the woman in the photo have never been fired from a gun. So how did they hit her house? Did a coalition soldier throw them at her house? Maybe he was just throwing her some ammunition so she could defend herself.

This story tells me a few things about the Associated Press:

The Associated Press does not check their stories for accuracy. (duh)

No one at the Associated Press has ever owned a gun.

The Associated Press is Dumb.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Can Ron Paul save the marriage?

Since the 2000 general elections, many in the GOP have been frustrated, and at times, very angry at libertarians and in particular with the Libertarian Party. In my own state the Chairman of the local GOP was quoted several times blaming Senator Slade Gorton's loss to Democrat Maria Cantwell on Libertarians.

The GOP head was quoted as saying:

The GOP's Vance theorized that "most people who vote for Libertarians or Greens or any third party candidate are people who hate Democrats and Republicans and are looking for a third party candidate. But I've always thought that in a really close race like Slade Gorton's (2000) race, yes, Libertarians beat us (Republicans). (Credit to the Seattle PI who can count me among the informed citizenry now)


Vance may have been correct in this case as Republican Slade Gorton lost by 2,229 votes while Libertarian Jeff Jared earned 64,734 votes. For the record I voted for Jared and if he had not appeared on the ballot, I would've written myself in or perhaps my cat as "Chairman Meow." (credit to PJ O'Rourke)

Ryan Sager even wrote a book recently entitled The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle to Control the Republican Party. The title of the book is generous to libertarians as they are not nearly powerful enough to battle for control of either the GOP or the Democrat party.

I have heard many on the right chastise libertarians for leaving the marriage and starting a new life as a third party. It's not just pure libertarians that moved out and didn't leave a forwarding address. The spirit-filled paleo-conservatives in the Constitution party have gone too. Among activists these two segments represent about a million voters nationwide which is a considerable voting block considering the narrow margin of victory in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. The only two groups remaining comfortably within the GOP are the Rockefeller Republicans and the Religious Right but even their relationship together is strained as they both rally around the troops to save their union.

Since 1996 in my state alone the GOP has blamed one Senate seat and one Congressional seat on the presence of the Libertarians and Constitution parties. Their claim is that there is room for them in the big tent of the Republican party and there's no need for infighting to result in electing Democrats. In other words: Things will be different if you just move back in with me and the kids, darlin'.

The Ron Paul candidacy has shed some light on what that reception might look like. The state GOP in Iowa not only made sure Ron Paul wasn't invited to a major forum but treated his supporters like outsiders in the Iowa Straw Poll. The straw poll itself is nothing more than a fundraising scheme for the local party where each candidate must buy-in to participate. Paul's candidacy not only bought-in but brought many people who would normally not attend a GOP event. But was there room in the big tent after all?

Polling was done among the leadership of the Iowa GOP to predict the outcome of the Straw Poll. As the chart shows below (credit Yahoo news) they just may have let their own bias impact their predictions unless they seriously thought not a single Ron Paul supporter was going to show up to the straw poll.



The media wing of the GOP (also known as Fox News) in a fair and balanced way decided to report Paul's 5th place finish with 9% in this way:



During the Straw Poll the emcee of the event was Laura Ingraham. While Ron Paul supporters marched in to the arena quite loudly she interrupted her own introduction to quip, "The inmates have left the asylum." For anyone who has listened to her radio show (and I have and usually find her quite funny) you'd know that she meant nothing by the comment but I doubt supporters of Mitt or Rudy would ever be compared to insane people.

So at a party fundraiser which was supposed to attract activists, the grassroots candidate and his supporters were seen as the crazy ones and the candidate who paid for bus rides for his supporter and fed them lunch (essentially buying their votes) was considered to be the celebrated champion of the party establishment. Even Reason magazine observed that the Paul supporters were treated as if they had "pissed in the collective punchbowl."

It may come down to Dr. Ron Paul to save the marriage. If as his support grows he is treated with respect as an activist candidate who tried to steer the direction of his party to save it. If he is continued to be marginalized and his army of supporters cast aside as irrelevant, the marriage will be lost. At that point the only hope of staying together is if the disaffected groups succumb to battered voter syndrome...hoping that if they keep going back eventually things will be different.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Worthless Dollar (UPDATED)

Update: The Fed pumped 35 billion dollars into our monetary system in what is called "liquidity" but to the average Joe it should be known as PRINTING MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR. Seems that the stock market wasn't going to do very well since many banks were taking it in the shorts with all of their sub-prime home lending. So instead of Wall Street actually assuming the risk for their stupidity, you paid for it with a devalued dollar. This monetary system is unsustainable.

Found this quote today in the China Daily:

He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, went even further today, letting it be known that Beijing had the power to set off a dollar collapse if it choose to do so.

"China has accumulated a large sum of US dollars. Such a big sum, of which a considerable portion is in US treasury bonds, contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency. Russia, Switzerland, and several other countries have reduced the their dollar holdings.

"China is unlikely to follow suit as long as the yuan's exchange rate is stable against the dollar. The Chinese central bank will be forced to sell dollars once the yuan appreciated dramatically, which might lead to a mass depreciation of the dollar," he told China Daily.


While the other presidential candidates are spending time establishing whether they're pro-life or pro-choice or if 'don't ask don't tell' is a good policy...we have other nations who are not exactly friendly to us deciding whether or not our money should be worth anything.


It goes without saying that the only candidate on top of this issue is...you guessed it...

...Ron Paul.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rude is rude.

Last night I went to a bookstore to pick up...you guessed it...A BOOK! I go to bookstores every so often but usually they're a source of frustration. Some of you know, as I have mentioned before, that I have a reading disability. I never check books out of the library because I wouldn't be able to read them without having to check them out several times in a row. That is more of a hassle than it is worth to me.

When I'm in a bookstore I find myself bombarded with letters, different print, and oceans of words. Even looking for a specific book on a shelf can be a problem and it's not too uncommon for me to be found just wandering around trying to find my way.

I found myself in the non-fiction area that was crowded with people and among them was a person in a wheelchair. Some other bookstore customers were very rudely stepping around and in front of this person in the wheelchair like they were furniture. This always angers me as I've always been extra-sensitive to the needs of those with physical limitations. To expand on this with even more boring personal trivia, my mother had polio as a child and has always been greatly limited in regard to mobility. Growing up this made me always aware of people and their handicaps but not in ways you may expect. Most handicapped people adapt fine and ask very little from anyone else except the normal amount of respect earned to another human being.

Once the area had cleared of people I knew I needed to ask for help to find my way around the bookstore. I didn't feel like approaching any of the rude people so I just asked the person in the wheelchair.

"Can you help me? I'm trying to find the autobiographies." I leaned in a bit toward her so she could hear me.

"They're probably with the rest of the biographies." She rolled her eyes as if my question was the dumbest one she had heard all day.

"Yeah, okay. I appreciate your help." I walked away and realized that she was probably the rudest of all the rude people around me. Part of not pandering to the handicapped is allowing them the humanity of being jerks.

Beyond that there is the less-obvious observation that while I was willing to consider her own physical defects she wasn't willing to consider a defect of my own over which I have no power. I stayed polite to her anyway, not because she deserved it but instead because my normal operating procedure is to be exceedingly cordial in public. (Unless I'm in Wisconsin...but perhaps a story for another day) I guess rude is rude and it doesn't matter if there are wheels attached to the chair you park your butt in or not.

I did finally find my book. I wandered over to the cashier and paid for it. Leaving the bookstore I was approached by a skateboarder wanting some coins and a Lyndon LaRouche supporter wanting me to take a periodical. I left them both empty-handed.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Funny Expressions

An expression that has made my mind wander in thought lately is one I often use to describe someone venturing into something new where the consequences and troubles are not yet known.

"It's the pioneers that take the arrows."

The funny part about this statement is that while the pioneers take the arrows, it's those that come after the pioneers who no longer have to take the arrows because apparently the arrow slinging folk either are out of arrows or are all dead...or have since opened casinos.

Maybe "trailblazing" is a better term.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Security Moms and Black Helicopters

Recently I had a discussion with a group of libertarians that was for me very frustrating. In the case of many in the conversation it was clear that their isolation from reality had led to what I call the "Dungeons and Dragons view of politics." In this group a sub-discussion had broken out about whether Ron Paul was a libertarian or merely a paleoconservative.

Even after this more discussions broke out with each person involved announcing what particular subsidiary of libertine thought of which they considered themselves a part. In other words some were Orcs, some were Rogues, and still others Paladins. These discussions can often be normals in certain circles of libertarians. But much like D&D weirdos all I can do is restrain myself from starting a punchfest. Now I know how my dad felt when he talked to John Birchers.

The New York Times magazine is doing a piece this Sunday on Ron Paul of which most I've already read in advance. It paints a view that Ron's supporters are basically a loosely organized group of the people and views I described in the previous paragraph. Whackos. Fringe.

I'm in partial agreement with this notion of the whacko support but this oversimplification is even a stretch for the New York Times. Like all groups of Americans, they are more complex than they appear and with Ron Paul's supporters it goes far beyond Federal Reserve conspiracies, black helicopters, and one world government.

That said, it really bothers me what is considered mainstream thought among "normal" citizens when it comes to political thought. I remember during the 2004 race when "security moms" were seen as a segment society that both Bush and Kerry had to win. It was seen as important and normal for both of these candidates to use rhetoric to simply make these "security moms" feel better. Whoever had the plan that made them feel secure would get their vote.

So while there are real problems in this country that need to be discussed, it's the "whackos" that dare to address them while the "normal" citizens simply want to feel secure.

Whacko subjects:

Sound Money
Unmanageable domestic obligations (entitlements)
Unfairness of the Income Tax
International military intervention
The failed war on drugs

Normal Subjects:

Flag burning
Minimum wage
Which government managed health care plan is best?
Are you pro-choice or pro-life?
Same sex marriage

You'll notice that in large part the "normal subjects" are matters that don't impact the average person's life but are instead simple enough for everyone to have an opinion. These subjects serve as distractions and enrage your everyday sensibilities. They know you care deeply about these subjects personally so they'll talk about them even though these politicians can do little to make a substantive difference regarding them.

This coming year politicians will be spending millions of dollars doing polling to find out what angers you, scares you, or makes you feel insecure so they will know how to scare you with ghost stories about their opponent. While all this is going on, the whackos will be discussing real political subjects between games of D&D and World of Warcraft.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My favorite drifter

A year ago I got off my motorcycle and was getting ready to go into a grocery store when I was approached by a drifter. This drifter was in his early 20's and was soft spoken and had what seemed like a pretty gentle spirit.

"Can you help me?" he asked. I asked him what he needed help with. I'm not against helping anyone in need.

"My girlfriend and I are homeless and she's sick." A reasonable enough request really though you'll have to pardon me, I'm a bit of a skeptic.

I asked him where his girlfriend was and he told me they were staying in a motel off of Highway 99. The next thing I wanted to know was what was wrong with her.

"Uh, I don't know." He replied. This was not the answer I was looking for but one I half expected.

So I spoke plainly to him:

"Look dude, maybe I can help you but you have to cut the bullshit for a minute, okay?" He nodded and said he would.

He then told me that he and his girlfriend were homeless and had a lot of problems and all he needed was cash. I asked him if he planned to buy drugs with it. He said he did not do drugs. I told him it was too bad because I had some and was willing to give them to him. (a complete lie) He then sounded interested all of a sudden. So while I had his attention I gave him some advice.

I told him that I had problems and I had money. I asked him why my problems hadn't gone away...after all I had a bank account. He thought about it and said "I guess everyone has problems."

I told him I wasn't going to give him money because it wouldn't solve his problems and it wouldn't solve mine. He then stood there waiting for me to give him drugs (that I didn't have) and I finally said, "You're not getting any drugs either, not from me." He respectfully walked away and thanked me for my time. This man was probably the coolest transient I've met.

Just last week I ran into him again in front of the same store and this time he was with his girlfriend. He was asking shoppers for money and then he saw me.

"I'm sorry to bug you again but could you help us." He obviously remembered me from a year ago. Here we both were again. Not much had changed apparently in either of our lives. He was still trying to score some cash for a bag and I was still buying corndogs at the grocery deli.

I told him that I really didn't feel like giving him any money as I didn't think it would solve any of his troubles. "That's what he told me last time. " He said leaning toward his girlfriend. He clearly remembered what I told him. He thanked me and took off.

Last night I was taking boxes of books to a used bookstore in another town and trading them in for store credit. When I came out of the store there was my favorite homeless guy. He came up to me to bum cash and finally recognized me.

"Why do I keep running into you?" He asked.

"Maybe I'm someone you should really listen to." I told him.

"I know." He chuckled a little bit and walked off. He passed by several other people without bumming.

Next time I see him I'll probably just punch him.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pop Music Planet Savers

I thought about a long blog for this but I can't even justify expelling the energy from my fingers to do it.

I saw the video of Madonna (fake guitar playing and all) yelling at the crowd:

"Jump up and down if you want to save the planet! C'mon you mother****ers!"

I'm embarassed for her and everyone else who was associated with it.

To quote Dr. Evil from the first Austin Powers movie:

"There's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

From the Low Hanging Fruit Department

Presidential Candidates In First Ever Gay Debate

365Gay.com reports that "For the first time the leading candidates for the presidency will hold a televised debate devoted solely to LGBT issues. "

I'm confused. All the presidential debates so far already seemed pretty gay to me.

(badooom tshhhh!)

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Enjoy the buffet and please everyone tip your wait staff.

Good night!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ron Paul Revolution

In February I mentioned that Ron Paul was running for president. Since then I've resisted blogging about his campaign until it was justifiably newsworthy. On a daily basis I bore Grump with details about Paul's campaign and he is a good sport letting me vent my enthusiasm and has only told me to shut up a dozen times or so. Up to now Ron Paul's campaign has been growing but only now would I consider it truly newsworthy.

Ron Paul's videos on YouTube were being viewed more than any other candidate and he had more friends on his MySpace page than any other GOP candidate. These two facts withstanding everyone was still pretty sure that this obscure, unheard of Congressman from Texas did not have any true supporters with blood in their veins.

During the first three debates the host networks held unscientific polls in different ways and Ron Paul won all three. This was dismissed as "trickery" by all three networks claiming that Ron Paul's internet support consisted merely of phantoms in an echo chamber. In other words nothing that would impact the real world or would make an impact in the GOP primaries. Ron Paul's libertarian views were all that were necessary to push him off to the fringe and he would bow out quickly as a footnote in the race.

Only that didn't happen.

What happened instead was that Ron Paul arrived at the 3rd debate in New Hampshire to find that hundreds of his supporters carrying signs (from a local Ron Paul organization unaffiliated with the campaign) had come out in force to support the candidate. CNN and others didn't know what to make of disproportionate amount of support shown for Dr. Paul outside the hall where the debate was held.


Because Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate against the war in Iraq (and has been from the beginning) many in the party have tried to remove him from future events and forums. The chairman of the GOP in Michigan started an online petition to have Ron Paul removed from future debates that did manage about one hundred signatures. A counter-petition was started to expose this party officer that collected over 14,000 signatures in 24 hours. The chairman also mentioned that the phone lines at the GOP office in Michigan were overwhelmed and eventually shut down (as well as their email server) and he stopped answering his cell phone and home phone. Apparently the internet phantoms were angered.

Then in June phantom supporters were contacting the Ron Paul campaign and asked why Dr. Paul was not attending a candidate forum hosted by Iowans for Tax Relief and Iowa Christian Alliance. The campaign was initially convinced that they had misplaced the invitation so calls went out to the host organizations to let them know that Dr. Paul was interested in coming. This is when it became known that Ron Paul was deliberately not invited. The reason cited was that he did not have a significant amount of organization in Iowa to be considered a viable candidate.

In response to this the Ron Paul campaign organized a rally to celebrate "Life and Liberty" in the convention room next door to the candidate forum. They worked quickly because they only had one week to put the event together. What resulted was a packed room of over 1000 people. (which outdrew the original candidate forum) In fact the video at this link shows in a humerous way how much larger Ron Paul's footprint was in that convention center.

Finally the biggest news to date was broken this weekend by ABC News as Ron Paul released his fundraising figures for this last quarter and it was reported that Ron Paul now has more cash-on-hand than John McCain (around 2.5 million dollars on hand). McCain will eventually supplement his campaign with federal money (read: YOUR MONEY WHETHER YOU SUPPORT HIM OR NOT) but Dr. Paul's fundraising has come primarily from individuals as he has already indicated predictably that he will not take federal money for his campaign even though election laws allow it.

Eventually the number of candidates will dwindle from the ten major candidates to just a few. Those like Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback will eventually drop out to allign themselves with a winner in order to preserve a cabinet post or perhaps invest in some political capital for themselves later. None of these candidates have a groundswell of support and none of them will shape the views of the party in the years to come. Supporting Ron Paul may not produce him as the nominee but you may end up with a new political base in America that believes that the federal government has no role in your wallet, your bedroom, or the internal affairs of other nations. That in my opinion is what his candidacy will do...give true hope for America.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Like Cinco de Mayo the use of '4th of July' as the colloquial substitute for the holiday has seen the meaning watered down. How much though I'm not able to tell.

Independence Day is my favorite holiday without exception. In my town I get up and go see the kids parade followed by the grand parade and then I go watch a pretty fair Revolutionary War reenactment at a local park. Where I live (Greater Seattle Metropolitan area) people still understand what Independence Day is...to some degree. I'd imagine in the heartland this is even more true.

An example of misunderstanding Independence Day on a smaller scale come from when I remember hearing Rosie O'Donnel speak about the 2nd amendment. Before you read further don't think this is just some right-wing target practice on an overweight, lesbian blowhard...not everything Rosie says is insane.

Rosie said that she felt the 2nd Amendment wasn't really a right but instead was written for colonial times so that patriots could use their arms to protect themselves from the British. The quote is below:


"I think the Second Amendment is in the Constitution so that we can have muskets when the British people come over in 1800."
One of my great problems with this understanding of the 2nd Amendment is that it is a fundamental misunderstanding of the war for independence. When colonists took up arms against the British, they were taking up arms against their own country, not foreign occupiers. The war was against an unjust government that had placed taxes and restrictions on their lives without the proper representation in parliament to have their grievances heard. When these acts of tyranny were placed on the 13 colonies only force would result. Whether it be force from the government to collect taxes and enforce restrictions or force on the part of the colonists to throw back the oppression.

I could bore you with tons of quotes from the Federalist Papers on the original intent of the 2nd amendment. The consensus among the founding fathers was that the protection of free individuals was their own responsibility. This protection was against any government that raised a standing militia against its people.

Incidentally if you remember the Clinton administration's liberal use of standing militias against the people (DEA, ATF, NSA, et al) you'll understand the proper use of the 2nd amendment.

The misunderstanding of this amendment and many others comes from a misunderstanding of Independence Day. When we call it the 4th of July I wonder how much of the meaning is lost over time to newer generations responsible for upholding the freedoms we are supposedly guaranteed. I quote the late Harry Browne:

Most of us care only about the rights and freedoms that affect our own lives. People who don’t own guns can easily believe that reducing gun ownership will save lives without inconveniencing them in any way. Politicians are particularly prone to this attitude. Most of them work in buildings with heavy security; many of them have armed chauffeurs and armed escorts. So they don’t feel imposed upon when restrictive gun laws prevent average citizens from defending themselves.

All of our rights come with risks and when abused can cause serious problems. In the long run protecting all of our rights (even the ones we aren't' currently using) will protect the ones we use and protect our liberty. So let the 4th of July come and go but celebrate Independence everyday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A dumb school logo

Tomorrow night I'm attending a high school commencement exercise also popularly known as a graduation. I happen to like graduation ceremonies and always have. I like the sense of achievement that is celebrated but I also know that just about everything that is achieved in high school means nothing. Even as I look back on my own high school graduation I'm able to remember many great memories and consider it a worthwhile moment in my life.


Anyway this graduation is at Arlington High School. Arlington is a small town north of Seattle along the freeway. When I looked at the logo of the school on the invitation I couldn't help but think I'd seen it before. It looked far too familiar to be merely a logo of an obscure high school.

I did some thinking and then discovered where I remember it. Below is the school's logo.

I'd like to add that the mascot of 'Eagle' is the most used mascot in the United States and isn't very original. I would go so far to call this logo lame but there is at least one corporation in the United States that makes a great deal of money from this logo. Below is their version.


This logo is of course the one used by Anheuser-Busch Companies known primarily for Budweiser Beer. The similarities are impossible to ignore.

I have some suggestions for the school to use their logo as an opportunity to get rid of their lame nickname and replace it with something more appropriate for their brand identity.

1. Arlington - The Cool, Refreshing High School

2. Arlington - The King of Schools

3. Arlington - When you've said lame mascot, you've said it all.

4. Arlington - Waaaazuuuuup? Doin' my homework...reading a book...

Before you email me and complain that I'm endorsing beer drinking in a post related to a high school I'd like to point out that I didn't choose the similar logo. I didn't pick their lame mascot. I didn't say anyone under the age of 21 should drink beer let alone Budweiser. Keep it in perspective please.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Normal updates coming

I won't go into too many details about the slowdown in updates except to say that I've been to four funerals in seven weeks. This is a unique time in my life that requires careful reflection and blogging updates have come slowly as a result.

Thank you for understanding.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One year ago

It was one year ago today that my family was struck with some tragedy. My niece's husband was killed when he was the victim of a hit and run. His body was found at the end of the street where they lived as he was walking home from a nearby restaurant/bar. He was celebrating after having just received a raise from work.

Here is an update on what has gone on over the last year:

The guy who did it plead guilty and the judge gave him the maximum sentence without time served. He's likely to see jail for around four years.

Every other week I've noticed the local news report of someone killed or injured due to a hit and run. I'm angered that the laws in my state and around the nation focus attention on what people do to themselves rather than on what people do to each other.

My niece has had ups and downs but I would summarize that this year has been difficult for her and she has not always adjusted well. She hides alot of sadness sometimes.

My grandniece is doing great and is a wonderful little girl. Her big challenges are a bit ahead of her yet.

Two days after it all happened I made a call out on my main website and this blog for people to help. She had a great deal of bills to pay and the young couple were only getting started in life. They were living with my sister to get on their feet financially and had some savings though not enough to cover immediate costs.

My niece began receiving checks, gifts, and notes of encouragement from all over the country and a few from other countries as far as New Zealand. Several thousand dollars rolled in because of your loving kindness. The bills did get paid and while the checks have been cashed I know she was strengthened by the cards and letters that she received.

Just about a month ago I was dealt with another blow as a guy I've known for about 11 years was killed in a freak accident that involved wheels from a tractor trailer coming off and crushing the side of the van where he was sitting. He left behind his wife and four month old daughter in a profoundly sad and similar situation. After hearing of this my niece wanted the address of the widow to pay forward a tiny bit of the incredible generosity you all extended to her.

I know this blog is a place for my stupid commentary, bunker ramblings, and political thoughts from a classical liberal perspective. I share odd facts, weird dreams, thoughts on holidays and use the word 'ass' to describe things. But when I took a minute to offer a chance to help I was overwhelmed by your response.

When I started this blog I only wanted to keep an active place to write everyday or as often as possible but I have received far more than I had bargained for. You all have my sincere thanks for visiting, reading and participating.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Illegal Immigrants and the Original American Dream

Lots of talking about immigration this week. I've heard the following statement more than a few times in the last few days:

No one is suggesting we can deport 12 million people. We need to get them a legal status so they can pay taxes and be documented.


Wait a minute. Are you telling me that 12 million people came here from another country and were willing to cross the desert just to be able to work even without a social safety net?

I have an idea:

Instead of documenting illegal immigrants why not make the rest of us more like THEM? I'd like to be an undocumented American. Perhaps if I could become a Mexican citizen I could come here illegally and actually live the original American dream.

Think about that the next time your local politican goes on and on about building a wall to keep them out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The wayward GOP

The recent reaction to Ron Paul's candidacy within the GOP has very shown very clearly that what Democrats have been saying about the party is quite true.

Since the 2nd debate the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party started a petition to the RNC to have Ron Paul removed from future debates. The Chairman withdrew his petition because he had about 14 signatures all while a petition to keep Ron Paul in the debates had about 12,000 early this afternoon.

I really resist trying to make this blog about Ron Paul but you have to admit it's very telling. Ron is considered to be too 'out of step' with Republicans but in the current crowd I would imagine Barry Goldwater would be considered too out of mainstream.

My parents were Goldwater Republicans. They took me to their Republican club meetings when I was little and talking politics is like speaking a second language to me. I know what Republicans used to be.

For Republicans to support the top 3 candidates this is what Republicans must force themselves to believe:


Reducing the size of government is not important.

Abortion is suddenly a tricky subject.

The Federal Government holds the primary responsibility for
education.

As a nation, we have a moral obligation to force democracy on
other nations.

Osama Bin Laden hates us because we're free, except when we were helping him fight the Soviets...we were free then but he didn't realize it or something...not sure on this one.

Printing money and selling it off as reserve currency to China just to pay the bills of our overextended government is not only normal but a great idea.

Marriage between a man and a woman is constitutionally protected or at least should be.


The party has lost its way and to any of you that read this blog and call yourself a Republican you must really understand this. It's important now that you nominate someone who actually believes the principles you wish to support...win or lose.

Only in this way will the GOP build a base that will once again throw off the corrupt Country Club Rockefeller Republican types...just like Goldwater did in '64.

GOP Fun Fact: Not convinced that the Republican Party needs new blood? Since 1952 (with the exception of 1964) every Republican presidential ticket contained either a Nixon, Dole or Bush.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

GOP Debate - Part 2

Wow! This one wasn't nearly as nice.

I love how the Democrats wouldn't go on Fox News because they thought it was biased while at the same time the Republicans went on MSNBC to have a debate moderated by a former democrat Speaker of the House chief of staff. That was fair and balanced I guess?

So in the so-called friendly confines of the Fox News Channel this debate got feisty. Hell, even Rudy got all over Ron Paul for suggesting that Al Qaeda attacked us because of our involvement in the Middle East. Funny, I remember Bin Laden saying exactly that...I guess Rudy think he's lying and the real reason he attacked us is because the former mayor of New York dressed in drag. Who knew?

Chris Wallace even told the candidates several times that they weren't answering the questions. I thought the questions were very pointed and forced the candidates to take real positions on what were mostly stupid subjects that don't really impact most Americans.

As usual, Ron Paul was the only one correct on the issue of Iraq...but I'm not fair and balanced.

My declared winner: Rudy

Best one-liner: Huckabee's comment on Congress spending money "like John Edwards at a beauty parlor."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hippies

I grew up in a very small town. The year I was in first grade my town's population was well below 500 people. Normally people have the idea that I grew up as a backwater hillbilly and while that is true to some degree, the town near my home was not a hick town.

My town had more art galleries than taverns and was often frequented by hippies. It's like after Woodstock many hippies moved off-the-grid into my dumb town. They were always flashing the peace sign and trying to hitch a ride. My dad was always tolerant of them but scorned them privately under his breath.

I always rooted for the hippy. I think somewhere in my mind I always saw them as victims. As if checking out mentally meant that they were running from something terrible in their lives. As a child I could never wrap my head around it except to muster pity. Their lifestyle seemed free but I could never bring myself to consider them to be an enlightened bunch. As an adult I see them much the same way but I have a quiet admiration for them anyway.

I remember picking up a hippy several years ago. It was a gal who was, as she described it, heading to a clothes optional campground to worship the moon. She invited me along though I politely declined. I know many of you are thinking that this paragraph should've begun with "Dear Penthouse" but there's nothing particularly sexy about hippies or moon worship.

I know for me the movie Forrest Gump became a favorite because of my connection to hippies. Next time you see this movie look at it again from my view: A total moron exposes these people for what they truly are --dirty, shameful idealist simpletons. But...I still root for them anyway.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

France - If only we were as sophisticated

Back in 2004 I remember listening on NPR (ugh, yes sometimes I do listen) how France was particularly irritated with us after our country reelected George W. Bush. I remember reading other articles about how their reaction was not only disappointment but also contempt for our collective stupidity. How were we so dumb to elect this man? I partially agree, but only to the point that in both cases his opponent was also an idiot.

In 2000 I voted for Harry Browne and in 2004 Michael Badnarik who I believed would've been far better choices however not perfect ones (at least in Badnarik's case). Some of you who voted for Kerry were VERY upset but limited your grief to merely savoring liberal political cartoons and talking around the water cooler about how dumb Bush was.

Now France has elected a new president and has for the short term rejected a Socialist leader. Their reaction was to be upset and then have some riots too. The country that presumes to lecture us about our lack of sophistication and dim-witted voting has shown they neither have the capability or capacity to take the election results and the peaceful transition of power with any grace. I think in this example my dear French friends, we have surpassed you in sophistication.

I'm not going any further on this and be seen as piling on France. Why we aren't good friends with this country is beyond me. They helped us in the American Revolution and we in turn helped them in both world wars. We should be friends and friends that trade freely.

I'm glad that the new president of France wants to be friends with us. I only hope we return the sentiment.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

GOP Debate

This is a summary of most of the field:

Iran - Huge threat. Holy Cow! We gotta do something!

Iraq - The war was mismanaged but we're not against mismanaging it a little more in a different way.

Gay people - They can be fired for being gay...at least in Wisconsin.

Abortion Summary - I was pro-choice now I'm pro-life but I'm okay with the states making whatever decision they want to make even if I personally would make another choice because I'm against choice.

Evolution - Sure why not, but I still believe in God...but that won't impact my policy decisions unless it does.

Monetary Policy - (crickets)

Would you pardon Scooter Libby? - Who is this Scooter Libby you speak of?

What's the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim - Rudy nailed this question and impressed both people still watching at this point.

Ron Paul's summary - Against the war in Iraq, Iran is not really a threat, our bad foreign policy forces us into debt, our debt forces us into bad monetary policy, our bad monetary policy forces us to keep our poorest Americans poor. Also he said he would never interfere with habeas corpus to which most Americans probably mumbled, "What the hell did he say?" Ron needs to remember that he needs to dumb it down for the GOP audience; he's not speaking in front of the LP.

My overall thoughts - I liked this debate as much as I enjoyed the Democrat debate. The GOP debate was more civil. Also, calling it a debate isn't as accurate than calling it a style-points contest on a 10-way press conference. I rooted for Ron Paul but it was obvious to anyone watching that Rudy and Mitt probably did the best. Worst performance was Tommy Thompson though I will say that if the debate was a brawl...Tommy would've won hands down.

Anyone else have thoughts on what they saw or sound bites they heard later?

Monday, April 30, 2007

A song from the greatest generation

Listen, little lady, it's the order of the day,
Issued by the highest of authority;
Fellows in the service simply can't be turned away,
You know that defense must get priority.
So, if you're patriotic'lly inclined,
Heed the call to arms, and keep this thought in mind:

You can't say, "No," to a soldier,
A sailor or a handsome marine;
No, you can't say, "No," if he wants to dance,
If he's gonna fight, he's got a right to romance;
So, get out your lipstick and powder,
Be beautiful and dutiful, too.
If he's not your type, then it's still o-kay,
You can always kiss him in a sisterly way;
Oh, you can't say, "No," No, you gotta give in,
If you want him to win for you.

You can't say, "No," to a soldier,
A sailor or a handsome marine;
No, you can't say, "No," if he wants to dance,
If he's gonna fight, he's got a right to romance;
So, get out your lipstick and powder,
Be beautiful and dutiful, too.
If he says it's cold on those submarines,
You can knit a sweater, but that's not what he means;
Oh, you can't say, "No," No, no, no, no, no, no;
No, they're not made of tin,
So, you better give in
If you want him to win for you.

My jaw dropped as I played this song (now on CD) in my car stereo. No wonder everyone tried to enlist in those days.

Monkeys flinging poo

Actually I wanted to title this post "Why our monetary system hurts the poor the most" but it wasn't nearly as exciting...but I'll try to work in monkeys flinging their excrement into this post anyway.

The Republican Party should be absolutely ashamed of their legacy since Bush has become elected. Even from the field of candidates looking to get into the White House I've not found much disgust from what has happened over the last eight years.

Our monetary policy is the worst part of this legacy and as a result it has hurt our poorest citizens the most. Bush will tell you that he helped the poor the most by reducing what was a 15% marginal taxation rate to 10% and has kept inflation under control. But there's a huge flaw to this logic.

The budget has bloated completely out of control so that spending (both discretionary and non-discretionary) has increased beyond that of the Clinton administration and rivals the pace of LBJ. This remains a fact while the Iraq War stays completely off budget as some sort of supplemental budget (like a new credit card you don't have to pay off for a few years)

While we're increasing monetary supply to help pay for these annual deficits, this new money ends up in the hands of banks and corporations first while its relative value is high. By the time it gets into the wallets and purses of citizens it now reflects the buying power of a fully devalued dollar. The statistic that inflation is kept under control does not reflect the buying power of the federal reserve currency that continues to drop and fails to compete internationally.

The government can do much more for the poor than to throw out more programs like monkeys flinging poo (I told you I'd get to it eventually). The federal government could reduce spending and reduce the need to overextend our monetary system. This would increase the buying power of poor individuals and make the small amount of money they possess go further. It would also help senior citizens who live off of pensions and social security. These people don't need more programs, they need a federal government who cares about the value of money they already possess.

The next president (Democrat or Republican) must be one who understands sound fiscal policies that protect our monetary supply. Selling off our Federal Reserve debt to China (our current method of financing our debt) is not a long term solution and one that will eventually threaten our national security far more than Mexicans crossing our southern border or insurgents in Baghdad.

Side note: I'm feeling better now as the antibiotics seemed to have found the problem in my lungs and solved it. Thank you for the many well-wishers. Let's hope for fewer medicated blog posts in the coming months and weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Medicated Blog Post #6

This one won't ramble because I'm exceedingly tired. I'm on antibiotics right now fighting bronchitis and I have enough energy for only a single paragraph. The blood bank called the other night and wanted me to donate blood. I responded with, "my own blood?" After 2 seconds of silence she said, "uh...yes." Check back next week.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My run-in with a guy from the P-I

Today I went to the Puyallup Spring Fair. It's a springtime family even that is held about 50 miles south of where I live in a town called Puyallup (say PEW-AL-UP).

I came upon an exhibit for the Seattle P-I. If you've lived in this area the "P-I" is one of the two lame newspapers in this area more formally known as the Post-Intelligencer. It is owned by the Hearst Corporation. Though it's one of the northwest's oldest newspapers it hasn't been a viable newspaper since I was in elementary school. To explain it further they have a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Seattle Times (the other lame paper in town) which enables them to stay in business. This JOA is basically code for "we'll keep your irrelevant publication alive and barely breathing by taking over everything except your editorial board." The editorial board of the P-I is so left-of-center that it makes the New York Times board look like Fox News.



I love belittling the P-I at every chance I get. So when the guy at the booth asked me if I took the paper I just had to have a little fun. I told him I didn't and I couldn't believe what he said next:

"Are you against knowledge? Do you like being mediocre and not knowing what's going on in the world?" I was stunned. This guy wanted a war of wits and I was in a mood.

I said, "I thought the P-I only printed a paper on Tuesdays."

"That's my point you don't know much about what's going on in your community; we're a daily newspaper." He continued his lecture about how much smarter he is.

I said, "I thought you guys were bought out by the Seattle Weekly." I admit this was a cheapshot and was clearly intended to make fun of him. In fact the Seattle Weekly is a tabloid style weekly that covers mostly local issues from a socio/political opinion journal style and has its last several pages devoted to escort service ads.

"Well, there you go again, spouting your ignorance." The guy shot back.

Finally I told him I was joking because he got a bit out of control. I told him I knew they were owned by Hearst and pretty much everything I just shared with you in the first paragraph. I didn't see the need to press him since he was obviously agitated but this didn't stop the guy from insulting me more.

"Not taking the paper is like accepting you don't want to know what's going on in the world and you just want to settle on being ignorant everyday. Why would you want to live like that?"

I told him that it was that type of arrogance which is leading people to find other types of information sources and the very reason why he probably won't have a job in the next couple of years.

This is probably where it went bad.

"Come say to my face that I won't have a job next year!" He stood up. He's about six foot and large...I'd guess his genealogy traces to the Pacific Islands...don't know for sure...probably ignorance from not reading the P-I but anyway. Anyway he's bigger than me but he wouldn't be the biggest guy I've Sunday-punched out of necessity.

So I said to him, "Lucky you work for the paper you can start scanning the want-ads now." He pretty much berated me for the next three minutes while I asked for his business card which he wouldn't give me. I sent a few more cheapshots his way and he continued to call me stupid for not taking the paper.

I know his first name and I could call the newspaper and make a complaint about the unprofessional behavior of their employee but to be honest what's the point? Only Grump and a handful of other Puget Sound area people actually read the P-I and his behavior, while unbelievably stupid, is predictable and normal among lefty Seattleites. I don't claim to be a victim here...in any way...I meant to mess with him but before I could even get started he started insulting me because I told him I didn't take a newspaper. I was surprised at the level this guy was willing to escalate rhetoric (not to mention trying to physically intimidate me) when his job is to convince people to take a dying newspaper. Believe me when they print their last edition (which won't be too far into the future) I'll buy it and use it as toilet paper.

So there you have it. Some guy at the Seattle P-I thinks I'm ignorant because their useless newspaper doesn't land on my front porch every morning. Yeah, I'm the ignorant one.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Alec Baldwin's rant

Alec Baldwin calls his 11 or 12 year old daughter (apparently he wasn't sure which in the voicemail) and lets her have it. Apparently he has been trying to setup times to talk and she turns off her phone. He is pretty angry in the voice mail and does do some name calling (which made me feel uneasy) but more importantly he says he's going to fly out to where she is for the day to "straighten her out" which didn't sound violent at all but rather and angry parent wanting to do some parenting.

I know that he'll take a lot of crap for this angry call which was never meant for public consumption (after all, none of us are at our best when we're angry at family) but I'm glad he cares enough to do some parenting with some passion. He's a wealthy, famous celebrity who is divorced from his wealthy, famous, and hot ex-wife and is pissed when his kid doesn't show common courtesy and it hurts his feelings.

You'll probably never hear me defend Alec Baldwin again but I hope in this "everything is public" electronic age that this angry voicemail gone public doesn't stop Hollywood-types from straightening out their kids every once in awhile. Kids are stupid and they need it.