Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hey Chrysler...ya got a lot of nerve

You couldn't get my money the fair and honest way could you?  Did you ever really try to make an automobile I would want?  Did you make an affordable and reliable automobile in recent memory?  How about a warranty so I would be willing to take a chance on your dodgy fit and finish?

But you got my money anyway didn't you?  You got it not because I bought your products but BECAUSE I DIDN'T!  Like the bandits you are you used the government as the agent of force to do your bidding...and what did you do with the first fruits of your theft? 

You take out ads across the nation in newspapers and Internet sites to thank me for what you call my "investment." 

Is this some kind of sick joke?  You take money from me against my will and then thank me for it like some kind of villain only found in comic books.

You are not welcome Chrysler and don't think for a minute I will forget this. 

Goodbye 2008, go on...who needs ya?

I began the year getting the flu...not once...not twice...but THREE TIMES.  I barfed, coughed and shot various fluid out of my body in every direction all through January and February.  Great way to start the year.

In February Larry Norman died as well as a friend named Sue Ady. 

In March I flirted with an audio supplement to this blog and wasn't totally happy with it after just two...it will make a comeback in 2009.

Later on in the year I joined the Dave and Steve Show which has been an absolute blast and a cool creative outlet.  I would enjoy doing the show even if it were not for the female groupies.

I became a Republican for awhile but after Ron Paul left I went back to my comfortable place voting for people who never win...was elected a delegate to the GOP State Convention and found I cannot stomach conservatives at all.

In July I went on vacation and promised to post pictures...and never did.  So there.  The vacation was so-so.

In August my best friend's wife died. 

In September I heard outrage over Socialism.  Where in the hell was the outrage over the last eight awful years I wondered.  Also in September I bought an Insurance company and pondered how much urine might be on my pants.

In October I grew less interested in the election since I don't remember an election where I could barely vote for any candidate...I eventually settled on Bob Barr.

In November I stayed away from politics and bored you with stupid crap...in December I did the same thing...except a little less...oh and I got sick again and took care of my mom during one of the biggest snow storms to hit our region in 20 years.

So see ya later 2008, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Happy New Year everyone.  May God bless you in the new year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve and other stuff

What a week.  First of all thank you all for the emails, instant messages and phone calls asking about my mom.  I'll begin with an update on her.

Mom's hip surgery was a great success.  Yesterday is what I'd consider to be her first good day really.  She sat in a chair for most of the day and took 20 steps using a walker.  Her rehab included using a recumbent bike for 10 minutes as well.  This is a great move forward for an 84 year old polio victim.  In a funny way the surgeon said the new artificial hip was an upgrade from the one she's had her whole life due to the polio she got when she was just 3 years old.

We've had snow here in the greater Seattle area and when it falls, it's a big deal.  I have about a foot of frozen snow on the ground now and it's still snowing.  I always hear from people in the Midwest and other places who think it's ridiculous that Seattle virtually shuts down after a few inches of snow.  The impact it makes on our region happens for a few reasons.

  1. We don't get snow very often,  consequently we're not exactly prepared for it.  In this greater metropolitan area of over 3 million people there are probably fewer than 30 snow plows.
  2. The Midwest is flat.  Very flat.  The whole time I've driven around in,  or flown over the Midwest, all I can think about is how flat it is.  Driving on flat terrain in the snow is simple.   There are more hills around here than coffee houses.
  3. Seattle area drivers are idiots.

Here is an updated photo of me in the winter here.  

As you can see in the photo, I'm obviously amused by recent events...anyway...

Christmas is upon us but to me honestly if feels like it has gone by already.  My son has been a true treasure for me during this time and it reminds me of why so many aspects of Christmas are for children in particular.  We do a blended spiritual/secular Christmas here at home using the Charles Spurgeon approach to the holidays...since everyone is thinking about the baby Jesus during this time we may as well not ignore it either.  The account in the Gospel of Luke is beautiful and important to me on a deep level but I've not really made any attempt to connect it to the celebration of Christmas...but whatever...what can you do?  As a libertarian there is only so much bucking the system you can do before you either go on a killing spree or just go along.  For now I'll go along.

Have a Happy Christmas to all of you and thank you again for all of your kind words of encouragement and concern during this time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pre-Christmas Update

Haven't blogged lately due to some factors:

1. Mom broke her hip.

2. I've been sick.

3. Snowy roads, being sick and arranging rehab care for my mom has put me behind on blogging and Christmas Shopping.

4. Dealing with my brother makes me want to go on a 3 state killing spree...starting with Washington state.


I'll be blogging your face off in no time...you can count on that.

Thanks,
-t

Friday, December 12, 2008

Medicated Blog Post #9

My cat is sick.  Hyper thyroid plus kidney dysfunction.  He eats all the time and still loses weight...plus that fun vomiting problem.

It's supposed to snow tonight and we have a winter storm advisory in our area.  People in the Northeast would snicker at what constitutes a winter storm in the Pacific Northwest. 

I'm feeling okay but caught a cold roughly a few hours before I saw The Lost Dogs in concert.  While having no fewer than two Hall's Honey Lemon throat drops in my mouth I listened to some awesome independent Alt Country/Rock and some great stories about Route 66.

I patronize any place that hires handicapped people...especially those with mental handicaps.  The Fred Meyer Store near where I work has a gal named Noreen who takes the carts in from the parking lot.  She works hard, always has a smile and always brightens my day just to talk to her.  We talked the other day and she said to me, "You seem to come here during your lunch time...you should pack a lunch."  I guess Noreen would rather I stay away from the store or is concerned that I may be spending too much.  Not sure how to read that one. Hmm.

My advent calendar told me to make an elf hat last night.  Screw you calendar!

I called my mom this morning and she was getting an in-house massage in her living room.  For the record, if I was getting a massage in my house...I wouldn't be answering the phone.  That reminds me of a story I'll tell sometime.

I'm very behind on Christmas shopping.  Being sick puts me further behind.

Okay, I need to go get jacked up on cold medicine again.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I will not drive a broken window.

I've never owned an American car in my life.  Never.

I've owned cars from Germany, Japan, and Korea...but never any made in Detroit. (or even Canada on behalf of Detroit)  My reasons are simple and fairly reasoned:

  • I've known many who have had terrible American cars
  • I do not like their cars
  • They do not warranty their cars to my satisfaction
  • Overall reliability is poopy
  • The true cost to own is prohibitive

Detroit has never received a dollar from me because I will not buy their cars.  Now they claim to politicians that they MUST have my money because I don't buy their cars.  They promise that once they have my money they will build a car I will like...and I hope they're right...since I will have already paid for it.

Frederic Bastiat, in the 19th Century, discussed this theory of economics in his explanation of the Broken Window theory.  Bastiat concluded that those who would support a Detroit bailout would look at a broken window as an opportunity to support the glass industry.  This argument tends to focus on what is seen (a new window and a glazier gainfully employed) rather than on what is unseen. (another industrious person not being paid because money is being spent on broken windows)

Washington DC will not be satisfied until we are all replacing broken windows (Detroit lemons) just to keep the glaziers employed.  How will a new automaker ever get a chance to succeed in this country if public money is used to nationalize the big three failed automakers?  How can we truly expect from Detroit the type of innovation and reliability we're demanding when we buy a car made by Honda, Toyota, or BMW?

Every economic advisor for your new president supports the bailout and ignores the advice of Bastiat (and scores of others) and continues in the footsteps of their hero Lord Keynes.  For you Obama supporters that thought you were getting diversity of thought and a wide variety of views advising your savior...get ready to be replacing many windows over the next four years.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day and I'm a Jerk

After church I went to a large warehouse store with my son to get something to eat for lunch. His choice was pizza and I'd settle for a hot dog at a low low price. This is not a normal lunch as we almost never eat out together but today's schedule demanded it.

My son will be 3 soon and we are at the beginning stages of holding conversations together. This is how today's went:

Me: It's Pearl Harbor Day today, bud.
Son: Perr Hobber Day?
Me: Yup.
Son: What's that?
Me: It's the day we decided it wasn't over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.
Son: (chomps away on pizza)

I decided to forego historical accuracy with the conversation and quote a portion of the famous line from the 1978 movie Animal House. Honestly my son wasn't paying much attention anyway. The conversation continued with a man who was sitting near us:

Man: The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (giving a stunned look at my ignorance)

I had a choice to make at this point. I could let him correct me and say thank you. I could give him the backstory on my attempt to comically encapsule history or I could do what I ended up doing: Act extra dumb to piss him off more.

Me: No, I'm pretty sure it was the Germans. (pretending to think about it)
Man: You've got it all wrong! It was the Japanese in the Pacific theater. (shakes his head stunned at how stupid I appear)
Me: Right! The Pacific...it must have been the Germans. See?
Man: Oh brother! You don't know anything.

I'm sure he's telling anyone who will listen in his life that he witnessed this dumb guy telling his toddler son that the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and that people these days have no respect for history but I really had to do to this. It was his own fault that I acted this way.

He expects me to know specific details from an event that occurred 27 years before I was born but he can't know a famous movie line from a movie that came out in both of our lifetimes? Sure maybe he didn't see the movie or wasn't a big John Belushi fan but I couldn't resist being a jerk.

I find it entertaining that I quoted something historical correctly and was corrected by a man that didn't know what I was talking about. So I more strenuously responded incorrectly to make his factual correction demonstrate how dumb he was actually being. In the end, he feels smarter than me and I felt entertained. Win-win.

Someday one day my son will utter the words:

Was it over when the Mexicans brought down the towers?

I'm sure most of you would've handled it differently, but to quote the Yardbirds, "Mr. You're a better man than I."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nerd Alert!

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craiglist, talked about his small role within the Obama campaign and demonstrates with clarity just how nerdy Objectivists can be.  I don't necessarily agree with some of the conclusions he's settled on in life, but it's nice to see that there are some freedom lovers involved behind the scenes in the next presidency.  Video courtesy of Reason.tv

Monday, December 01, 2008

Writing Holiday

My holiday weekend was spent writing, playing guitar and shampooing carpets. Except for the carpets it was like I was 20 years old again with nothing better to do. For the most part I really loved it.

I've been reading Christmas in Plains by Jimmy Carter. The former president talks about his boyhood Christmas memories in what turns out to be a pretty light-hearted way. Once you get past the slightly self-righteous first few pages about his lifelong view on race relations, it's a pretty enjoyable book. Not that it is much to brag about but...my copy is signed. So there.

I've had a few emails from people telling me that my post election coverage has been lackluster. I would go so far to say that it has been less than lackluster and more like...non-existent. I'll kick it up again but aren't we really all just sick of presidential politics for awhile?

I have a friend that says I speak in riddles. She's right about that.

I've been watching SpeedRacer quite a bit lately. Not the dumb movie that came out but the original cartoon that I loved so much from first grade. It's mindless enough that it is almost unwatchable as an adult though it has some entertaining spots due to age and non-PC Japanese origins. A line I heard yesterday was Speed telling Trixie, "This is no time to act like a girl, Trixie." For the most part Speed doesn't give her the time of day but doesn't mind having her by his side.

More email came in requesting another Podmess and I've delayed doing one because my own podcasts sound like a horrible NPR show. I'm playing with a format in my head to lighten it up some. I'm working on it...and I'm thankful a few of you have actually requested it...I always thought they sort of sucked. You can still hear me on the Dave and Steve Show but I don't talk nearly as much and it's geared for 8th grade boys...so be warned.

That's about it for now. I should probably give you something to fight about in the comments section...so I'll start it off with this:

I am the most awesome person in the world. Dare to disagree.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Junk for Which I'm Thankful

I'm thankful for this blog and the friends I've made since starting it.  I've met readers and participants from several different countries and about 21 states thus far...oh and Canada...whatever.

I'm thankful for my friend Kelly who landed a permanent job. (she's been doing contract work for awhile and wanted more stability)  I'm thankful that she has found faith in her life as she brings up her daughter.

I'm thankful for my buddy Eric.  He has gone through a miserable year in many ways and he has handled difficulty with grace.  I'm also thankful I've had the chance to spend more time with him this year than in any over the last decade maybe.

I'm thankful that the cause of freedom has advanced beyond my imagination over the past year.  Millions have heard the ideas of libertarian minds and have regained confidence in personal responsibility, limited government and tolerance under the banner of freedom.

I'm thankful for my son.  He's young enough that he still listens to me. 

I'm thankful for Robert the Grump who has been a good friend for many years.  I know of no other gun-toting Democrat that I trust more.

I'm thankful for The Dave and Steve Show which has really taken off nicely over the last year.  It has received some regional appeal and has an audience that is growing weekly...sometimes it's even funny.

I'm also thankful for a couple of days off of the daily routine to recharge and get ready for Christmas. 

If you all have junk you're thankful for, go ahead and comment...c'mon...go ahead.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Faith-based shelters

New York City has just ordered 22 faith-based shelters to stop housing the homeless. The city is enforcing a rule that requires shelters to provide beds to the homeless at least 5 days a week. You may wonder why or how the city of New York would do this and it all seems to boil down to a simple, fundamental problem. Public funding.

One promise I hope Barack Obama does not follow through on is his promise to expand the availability of public funds to faith-based organizations. This was a bad idea pushed by George W. Bush and an even worse idea to continue it in anyway.

The first amendment allows people of faith to practice their religion without hindrance from government. This practice would also include housing the homeless as it states in Scripture:

For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me

For Christianity in particular the mandate is to care for the "least of these" in society. This is a fundamental practice for millions of Christians across denominational lines in this country. It is a practice that is protected in the First Amendment to the Constitution. So where does the city get off telling the churches they can't house the homeless? This is how.

The church or faith-based para church non-profit corporation receives public money. With public money comes regulation and with regulation comes rules. It would appear that the protections of the right to practice religion without hindrance is foggy once the government has a stake in that practice. In this case if the government is going to hand over money for shelter beds, then they want to see them open at least 5 days a week or be forced to shutdown. Is this fair? I say yes.

As I've stated before a fundamental aspect of libertarian thinking is understanding government as nothing more than an agency of force. It does not have the capability of being charitable, loving, caring, or nurturing. It uses money that it has the authority to take to govern people by enforcing laws...that's it. Libertarians don't hate government, but instead are forced to focus disgust for government because its current form governs outside of the realm of a truly free society. In a free society government would be expected to do only what it is capable of doing and people would be free to help each other in any way they saw fit as long as they don't initiate force.

What has happened in these 22 faith-based shelters is what you'd expect to see happen once they've partnered with an agency of force. They used money taken by force and are now forced to abide by rules. If they can't abide by these rules they are forced to close.

I'd love to see churches respond with underground "non-sanctioned" shelters to house the homeless. Like a speakeasy the homeless would find their way into these shelters outside of the watchful eye of a government that is bent on counting them in order to justify the need for funding. In the future I'd love to see New York City and others cities complain that because of church organizations they were unable to account for the true number of homeless because so many were being cared for outside of their jurisdiction...

...and finally the "least of these" would receive the love they deserve.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't worry, I'll never let you go.

Having a name commonly used by females has made my life interesting at times. In elementary school new teachers would take roll and after my name say, "Tracy...is she here." I played along and answered "here" in a girl's voice which helped me cope and satisfied my role as class retard. To this day I get mail targeted for women including Victoria's Secret Free Panty giveaway. To this day I've yet to claim the panty to which I'm entitled. (sheesh that sounds bad but strangely true in a lot of ways...anyway)

Perhaps no other development has disturbed me quite as much as The Cuff Links' (Ron Dante's one-man band, see also The Archies) tune invoking my name. The song is troubling enough without adding a horrible late 1960's video to it...which I share with you now.


This video is bad and rivals my all time favorite bad 60's video by People!

Have a good weekend everyone and remember...something I do bounces you off the ceiling.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friends in the 21st Century

Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow you to add friends. I have accounts on each of these sites and I have way more virtual friends than I have actual friends. I have way more friends than I've had in my entire life. Of course not all of these are people I'd make my one phone call from jail to, but they're friends just the same. It's hard to even know where to make the distinction on where someone is just too on the fringes to become a friend in one of these online community sites. Case in point:

I have a buddy I've known for about 25 years and he's been a good friend to me. He is about 10 years older than me and I've often considered him the older brother I never had...even though I had an older brother...another subject for another time perhaps.

My buddy's 1st wife was psycho. I know you could be thinking that all ex-wives can be considered psycho and I'm just conveniently summarizing her persona for the sake of blogging...but you'd be wrong. She is psycho.

About a month or so before my buddy became the husband of this hose beast another buddy of mine and I went to his house to rehearse. We were both guitarist and this house was a common place to plug-in as it was often empty. It was becoming less empty all of the time as her stuff was making its way in more and more.

Since no one was home, we got the equipment together in the living room and spread out and started playing. At a break my guitar partner looked over at the dining room table and said, "Hey isn't that her purse?" I looked over and replied with, "Yeah, I guess so." (gripping dialogue eh?...stay with me)

He then said, "Let's check her purse for medication to see if she's taking anything that psycho people take. That would prove that she's officially certifiable." I laughed.

We were getting ready to play again and we heard banging around in the kitchen. The banging was the hose beast who was hiding in the pantry and was clumsily making her way out.

"SO YOU THINK I'M SOME SORT OF PSYCHO DO YOU!?" She yelled at both of us...oh while throwing things. I felt bad that she heard us but she was hiding in the pantry which makes the position of not being crazy a bit difficult to defend. She threw us out and we gladly left.

I got a call later that night from the groom-to-be and I remember him being kind of angry asking me, "So you think my fiance is a bitch huh?" and I tried to soften it some but I ended up just apologizing for making his life hell. I didn't want to be insulting but he'd find out later just how nuts she was and still can be. They're no longer married...big surprise.

Back to virtual friends. She requested to add me as a friend recently on Facebook. I was already friends with her two daughters which I've known since they were small children so once she found me she went ahead and requested to add me. What the hell, I accepted. I'll make sure I update this post if she jumps out of some virtual pantry, God forbid.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes We Can!

I've had this quoted to me a few times by actual Obama supporters. This campaign slogan really was just the message some of you needed to hear. It means nothing but means everything. I think maybe in some ways the Ron Paul r3VOLution is a good example of a simple slogan that catches the hearts of people. If I ever run for office I'm going to need a slogan. Here are some...and we're brainstorming here so there are no bad ideas.

Freedom: Yeah, whatever.

I'm not a librarian.

Yes you can...on your own property though.


I need your help...lay it on me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The State of Freedom on November 5th

Last night was a mixed bag for the freedom movement but there were some incredible highlights that I'll cover below:

  • Medical Marijuana is now the law in Michigan
  • Massachusetts became the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of Marijuana
  • Bob Barr will climb over the half-million vote mark while on the ballot in only 46 states.  This is 18% over 2004 for the LP and within the margin of victory in two states.
  • A president was elected that has talked about bringing our troops home.  Let's hope they're not just redeployed instead.  (I believe nothing on this front will really happen but I can only watch)

Some snags along the way were:

  • California voters insist government has a role in marriage
  • Massachusetts voters keep their income tax

I was asked by a co-worker what I thought of the election and I talked about some of these issues I was following.  She looked at me with a confused look and said, "I mean, are you happy about Obama being president?"  My answer surprised her: "I care not who wins, I don't have a dog in the fight."  I talked to her a little while longer and it wasn't long before she had written down the names of some books I recommended she read. 

That lifelong Democrat and Puget Sound Progressive (her words, not mine) is enthusiastic to read What it Means to Be a Libertarian by Charles Murray.  What I consider to be a decent primer on libertarian thinking.

The message of freedom is still a very powerful message that people want to hear.  There will never be a bigger opportunity to successfully spread this message than over the next four years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Can you believe it? What an historic day!

I had a headache this morning so I decided to stay in bed and go in to work later. After sleeping until about 9am (which I almost never do) I felt pretty hungry. My headache had subsided to some degree but I felt like getting some breakfast would be a good idea.

I went to a Cafe just down the street and ate at the counter. I almost felt like a politician eating at a lunch counter in Iowa pretending to care about farm subsidies. I listened to the people at the counter and people working talk about the election. They all had different ideas about what would happen and some about what they'd like to see happen. It was fascinating.

Breakfast was pretty good too. I had an English Muffin and half of what they called an Irish Scramble. It was just the right size as I like to eat smaller portions these days. Turns out breakfast was just what the doctor ordered as I felt much better and was able to make it into work around 11am.

It was hamburgers for dinner and my two year old son and I watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special that I have on DVD. We had just retired the Great Pumpkin for another year. After that we played guitar for awhile and I put him to bed. It was truly an amazing day.

Oh yeah, some guy won an election too.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My election day wish for you

I hope [Insert name of candidate you're supporting] defeats [Insert name of candidate you are voting against] for the office of [Whatever race you care about] and finally restores this country to its former greatness.

I'll be around after the election to help you along as you see few things really change. Don't worry, I'll be there for you.

Next post on Guy Fawkes Day! - Remember remember the 5th of November.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Socialism

The S-word has been thrown around a great deal in the last few weeks. I even saw McCain campaign sign-wavers holding signs warning against Obama's Socialist plan for America. So who is the Socialist?

So is Obama a Socialist? Well, yeah but so is John McCain. It should be understood that the Constitution of the United States was specifically written to discourage collectivism in general.

Originally taxes on persons was to be apportioned (all the same) and welfare was to be general (shared by all) which is to mean that no one is taxed more than anyone else and government treated people as individuals, and not belonging to people groups. To give money or benefit to a select group would be unthinkable to our founding fathers. They understood that government cannot provide a service. It cannot deliver a good or supply a resource. To even attempt this, government must first take from the productive efforts of some by force.

If you want to call Obama a Socialist then that's fine but to pretend that John McCain and his support of farm subsidies is a more just and moral way of spreading the wealth is being ignorant.

I reject Socialism only on the premise that I don't have a right to your property, your creative energy, or your time. It is not mine, it is yours. To expect that these things that belong to you should be taken from you by force and given to me is simply using the government to do what would be illegal if I acted alone. Because I see it as theft, I reject it on moral grounds.

Hell, if you want my stuff just ask for it and at least come by and get it yourself. I may even help you load it in your vehicle.

Gonna ramble a bit...hang on

The election nears and am I glad. It will soon be over. It's been a good election process from my standpoint as the cause of liberty has moved forward a great deal. To what benefit I have no idea. The outcome of the general election does not concern me in the least. So everyone get out there and get your ballot cast and embrace the change you've all been clammering for. I'll be here when you realize nothing has really changed all that much.

I went into downtown Seattle with Mr. Evil last week and saw a rockin' show at a craphole club. Edguy (from Germany) and Kamelot (Florida meets Norway) played a great show and it was really cool to get out and hear talented musicians.

I've been a writing fool lately too which has contributed to the lack of blogging this week. Robert the Grump and I have been tossing around book ideas as well...we toss around ideas all day...most of which may possibly land us in jail.

Tonight I'm manning the door and welcoming Trick or Treaters. I'm expecting 60+ little grubbers and I have an assortment of awesome candy...and crap candy of course.

The producer of the Dave and Steve has been in contact with Pat Cashman (Almost Live, Taco Time, Commercial voice extraordinaire) for an intereview. We'll be messing with him in a couple of weeks.

There's been more, but that's all I'm going to bore you with. I'll leave you with a Halloween Haiku.

Nice Hobo Costume
Where did you purchase that one?
At the retard store?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One step closer to Anarchy

I was late to work yesterday morning by one hour. It seems the government forgot to tell my fancy automated clock that daylight savings time had moved. Consequently my clock fell back one hour on its own.

Can what time it is qualify as a 10th amendment provision or is that general welfare? Does my alarm clock really require central planning?

Yesterday I took a step closer to being an anarchist.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sign Sign everywhere a sign

You've seen them.  They hang out on the off ramps and their signs tell you about their condition:

Homeless - Hungry - Need Help - Got a buck? - House Burned need to feed family and dog - Disabled Vet - Will work for food - God bless

Does anyone believe them?  Do people give just in case?  Do most people think the sign is a lie but give what they can to the homeless because the depth of their need is beyond what can be scratched onto cardboard?

Just a few feet further off the highway ramp was another man carrying another sign.  You've seen these signs too:

Blowout Mattress Sale - New Condos - Furniture Liquidation Sale - New Construction Homes for Sale

Both of these guys are standing at the ramp exit and holding signs.  One would appear "legit" while waving his sign and listening to his iPod while the other makes his living holding a sign of humility, whether it false or sincere.

Both of these guys are there, holding signs, for the reason of collecting money.  They both desire means to a lifestyle they've chosen and do so within the constraints they've allowed themselves to be subjected.

I've been told before by skeptics of homelessness that those signs they carry are "total bullshit."  Well, all I have to say is sometimes those mattresses and condos aren't exactly what they're promised to be either.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let's all just take it easy

I've been seeing stories in the news lately of vandalism and even acts of violence against partisans both left and right.  I wonder to myself, what is there to really get that excited about?

We can thank campaign finance reform for this to some degree.  Thanks to McCain-Feingold it is practically the law of the land to create negative ads.  Since 3rd party ads are created to be educational in general, their goal is to educate you on how one of the candidates is evil. 

In the last week I've read about a physical fight at a nursing home involving an elderly Republican and an elderly Democrat.  I read about a man charged by police for throwing dog crap into another man's truck because he had a McCain sign.  This morning yet another story about a man's house being shot at because of signs in his yard for McCain. (kinda cool that Democrats have guns though...just sayin')

And what is all this division about?  Maybe it's the tax policy...after all Obama wants to raise the top marginal rate 3%.  Wait, just 3%?  We're hitting supporters of the other candidate over 3%?  That can't be it.

Maybe it's the Wall Street bailout that has everyone angry at the other side.  Wait, didn't they both vote for the bailout?  I doubt someone shot up a house over a policy on which they saw eye-to-eye.

Maybe it's about the Iraq war.  Well wait a second there.  Neither candidate is in a hurry to leave Iraq and both have pledged a different direction than the Bush administration so I can't imagine flinging poo over this one.

Maybe it's really because they've tried so hard to convince us that they're so different that electing the "other one" would bring peril to the country.  Maybe after all these ads they've polarized us over small percentages, policy nuance, and have hidden where they typically agree.

They divide us and make us believe the worst so they can control the 3 Trillion Dollars of federal resources, much of it taken by force from you.  As I said before...a smaller government would wield less power.  3rd parties would spend less money scaring you about the opponent of their buddy candidate because it wouldn't be worth much to see him elected in the first place. 

As long as we have big government, they will scare us and divide us over nuance.  Shame on us for even listening.

Let's all just take it easy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Well, I did it.


My state just moved to a "top two" primary system which takes the top two vote getters in the primary and promotes them to the general election. Only two candidates can appear on the general election ballot. Libertarians do not use primaries because as a party they decide who their candidates will be and don't force the public to pay for the voting process of a private party. Consequently Libertarians have all but disappeared from our state's ballots where only eight short years ago Libertarians obtained major party status.

I obviously undervoted on my ballot but because of voter fraud issues from 2004 I decided to vote write-in on many but leave the line blank. This will prevent anyone from filling in my vote later or possibly interpreting my vote (like Florida in 2000).

How did my ballot breakdown?

I voted for:

4 Republicans
4 Democrats
8 Blank Write-ins
1 Libertarian (Bob Barr)

I'm already fully aware my vote has meant nothing except to add to the number of people who are still willing to engage in the political system and aren't buying into the "government solves everything" attitude.

So go ahead and vote. I'll hold your hair back.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A voice of reason

Since Ron Paul ran for president he has been on some news channel about everyday.  I never thought he was electable really but supporting him gave libertarian views a national platform.  How I wish the argument he makes in this video was in the last few presidential debates. 

Meanwhile Bob Barr continues to be a man I'm going to vote for and the candidate I'd most likely want to punch at the same time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How do you like it buttered?

I had an epiphany. Everyone does. You come to a sense of clarity similar to how the good Dr. Luke described the Apostle Paul, the scales have fallen from your eyes. Something that was always right in front of you becomes seen as if it was for the first time. I'll never forget.

I've never really been what I consider to be fat, but I have been overweight. Even when I've felt good the body mass index number told me a different story. Losing weight was never difficult for me until I hurt my back falling backward off of a retaining wall only to be cushioned by blackberry bushes. With limited movement and pain, I gained weight.

I've been eating very sensibly for about ten months and I've lost 22 pounds. Don't applaud, it hasn't been that hard. Mild activity, a little more sleep and eating sensibly have done it. Back to my epiphany.

I was eating breakfast at a new diner that opened up the street. The waiter was a friendly, jolly guy...and by jolly I hope you understand that I mean fat. I don't have anything bad to say about him so don't look for fat jokes here. He was a great waiter...oh and I think he owned the place.

I noticed that when he brought toast to my table it was thoroughly buttered. It has always bothered me to get toast and see only a small wet spot in the middle. I was always taught to butter to the edges. When he came to my table I complimented him on his buttering expertise and his response pricked my heart:

"Thanks, I butter it the way I like it."

I didn't eat all of the toast. I realized that I liked it the way he liked it and if I dared to finish the toast I would have to show up to work in stretchy sweat pants like he did.

I grew up poor and I think that contributed to a lack of discipline with eating. There were no opportunities to overeat growing up so I ate whatever there was. Today I count calories with no apologies and I eat with purpose. I actually enjoy what I eat much more and have energy in parts of my life that were missing since I was eighteen.

I have more exciting epiphanies in my life but none that match this one for simplicity. So tell me figuratively, how do you like it buttered?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Summarizing information is fun

Everyone summarizes information.  We do it so we can move forward with our lives without digging deeper into a subject.  We do it because we reach comfortable conclusions and don't feel the need to linger.  Out of these summaries are born all sorts of stereotypes, urban legends, myths, religious sects, biases, AND BLOGS!  I began thinking about this as I talk to partisans at work regarding the election.  It stood out to me because I feel like I don't have a dog in the fight.  I will list some of my favorite summary conclusions I've heard in the last few years.

  1. My daddy said that all of them (Asians) are basically Korean so I just call them all Korean.
  2. All Republicans seem to care about is expanding their own wealth.
  3. All Democrats seem to care about is taking wealth from people who earn it.
  4. There were three wisemen at the nativity.
  5. All the media cares about is controlling what we think.
  6. Why do all men seem to just drool over skinny bitches?
  7. All religions are basically the same.
  8. Most people on welfare are just working the system.

There are tons more but some of these are my favorites.  There is an element of truth in these statements and you can rationally understand why someone would draw these conclusions but any thinking person knows the story doesn't end there. 

The more I look at the way political campaigns organize their message, they are counting on you to summarize the information.  They are not interested in you understanding any particular policy or devising an opinion about it.  They want you to summarize your beliefs and distill them down to a simple matter of trust.  Is Obama a terrorist or is he Muslim?  Is McCain too old or is he a warmonger? 

If you refuse to summarize at that level then they still have a strategy for you.  It's called the wedge issue.  It's for you that won't summarize at the personal level but still will summarize based upon an issue you care about deeply, but still really won't impact the nation.  Same sex marriage?  Abortion? Energy independence?  Healthcare?  These issues are only talked about in terms of fear.  Because you care deeply a candidate will never run behind these issues but will instead warn you that the opponent will take a position that will make you fearful about it.  In this realm Democrats are after your guns and Republicans will starve old people and school children.

Still not you?  Won't summarize at the personal level and don't care about wedge issues?  Then you're probably still undecided or unenthusiastic about voting.  You probably also only vote in general elections and couldn't name many of your local politicians. 

Is this still not you?

Well, let me just summarize it this way for you:

You're probably much like me.  Let's be friends.

Would you buy stake in a bank now?

It doesn't matter how you answered that question in your mind before you started reading this because you already have. We the People are now buying up equity stakes in Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of New York Mellon and State Street Corp. Recognize any of these names from Obama and McCain's corporate PAC donor list?

I'm not a conspiracy guy at all. I believe mostly that ideas conspire better than people and that more is achieved through a confederacy of dunces rather than smart powerbrokers or freemasons trying to run the world. That said, this is an obvious power grab for which I just can't see a good ending.

Friday, October 10, 2008

School Mascots

Today I saw a bumper sticker on a car in front of me. It was one of those 'my kid is a smartypants at Whatchamacallit Elementary' and on the right side of the sticker showcased the school's mascot. It was an otter.

In my mind mascots have always been things that represent an aspiration, an attitude, or honored a culture. Modern mascots have been reduced to mere...I don't even have the words for it...AN OTTER FOR GOD'S SAKE!?!?

This hits home to me for two reasons:

My elementary school mascot was the Pirates. We had a cool logo that would make any real pirate proud. He had a beard, an eye patch, and a sword in his mouth. Come to think of it maybe clean shaven, non-ocularly challenged pirates would take offense of this stereo-type. I dunno. Anyway, it was cool and everyone knew it. The school has since changed the mascot to the cheetah. Now cheetahs are nice and everything but compared to a pirate? Sure it can run fast but a pirate would slit its throat, skin it and use it for currency in a crooked card game. Now THAT'S cool.

My high school mascot was the Demon. This was a cool mascot coupled with the school colors of Orange and Black. The school itself was a complete piece of shit, but the image of the school was badass. We had a Christian school in our league and during varsity basketball games the crowd would chant "Demon Power!" and watch as the visitors would cringe seeing the athletic contest before them being fought in the spiritual realms. Now how cool is that?


At a pep rally in the 70's (when my brother and sister attended this same school) it was a tradition during homecoming to have a bonfire. A casket with the opponents name on it would be walked to the bonfire in a procession and tossed on to be fully engulfed in flames. Most of the time we played a nearby school whose mascot was The Turks. Imagine this for a minute. People dressed in Orange and Black, some with pitchforks burning a Turk in effigy. Holy Wars have been fought over less!

The sad news is that when they replaced the school with a new high school in the district the Demon mascot went away. It has now been replaced by The Red Wolves. The Red Wolf isn't even native to this region. Is it better than an otter? Barely.

The weeny mascot isn't just a modern phenomenon. One of Seattle's older high schools has the mascot of The Quakers. Now no one has more appreciation for the Anabaptist traditions and their profound impact on western society as yours truly, but they are famous for being pacifists. What kind of cheers do we expect from their cheerleaders?

They may push us, call us weak.
But we will turn the other cheek.
Go Quakers! YAY!

Is it too much to ask for a return to awesome mascots?

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ballot Access in our democracy

The Libertarian Party went before the Supreme Court of Texas to challenge the ballot access of both the Democrat and Republican parties for missing the filing deadline in that state. Only the Libertarian Party met the deadline that was established in Texas law. The Texas Supreme court dismissed the case.

In neighboring Louisiana, Libertarians missed the deadline for filing in that state due to hurricane Gustav. Filing by that date was impossible as the Louisiana Secretary of State's office was closed. A US District judge ruled that the Libertarian Party should appear on the ballot due to extreme circumstances brought on by the hurricane and the forced evacuation of the area. The state did not want to reprint any ballots so an appeal was made to the 5th Circuit of Appeals where they ruled that reprinting the ballots would cause confusion and delay.

Because of the office being closed due to the hurricane, Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root will not appear on the ballot in Louisiana. In Texas even though both Obama and McCain did not meet the filing deadline, they will remain on the ballot.

The Libertarian Party has spent millions of dollars and collected nearly one million signatures to get on what looks to be roughly 46 states ballots. (more than any other third party) Republicans and Democrats are not subject to these restrictions and have their primaries and conventions paid for by tax payers.

When you fill out your ballot and see someone with an (L) by their name you should now have some appreciation of what had to happen for their name to even be there. Something to consider while you sheepishly throw your vote away for McBama and...

...more debt
...more intervention abroad
...more intervention at home
...less freedom in your life

Interesting Health Care Proposal

This is always an emotionally charged subject and there is no doubt in my mind that some of you will respond with some skepticism or the typical "you don't care about sick people" sort of response.  That's fine.  I also know that none of you read this blog to hear the same crap that is spoon fed to you by politicians. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A nice story

I watched a few minutes of the 'Town Hall about Nothing' and realized that any response to it would be full of sarcasm and name-calling.  I'm going in a different direction today.

I have a friend that is also a co-worker and a guy I consider to be a really good parent.  A few years ago he went through a divorce and has primary custody of his three kids but accommodates his schedule to a degree for the ex-wife to have access to the children.  Most of the time this access is frustrated by the fact that she doesn't always want them and is flaky and unreliable about getting the kids where they belong if he's at work.  This isn't about her though, it's about him.

His 12 year old son was beginning to show some unhealthy life-signs.  His son would routinely show up to school but wouldn't get anything done.  It wasn't long before the grade of F had found its way into every subject in his report card.  No acting out, no trouble, and no other problems with him existed except that he didn't care.  I think in this difficult time in his life he felt rather discouraged and relatively unwanted.

My friend really analyzed the situation and talked to his son and realized that putting more pressure on him produced more stress and even less involvement in school.  He didn't want this to spread to other areas of his life so he did something I could never have predicted.  He beat him senselessly.

I'm just kidding, he didn't do that at all.  I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.  My buddy spent some time in South Africa earlier in his life and has always wanted to return.  He told his son that he wanted to return to South Africa this year and he was going to take him along.  They were going to spend a couple of weeks there and spend some time in a reserve, essentially living in a safari.  Suddenly his son became interested.

Interested in everything.  This hail-Mary of an attempt to awaken his son's senses worked.  Without much prodding his son began getting great grades in school and has become interested because of the massive investment made by his father to show that his son mattered.  My friend ran this idea by a family counselor they knew and the counselor told my buddy to take his son even if the school complains, whether he's failing or not.

Since the initial decision to go my friend has decided to take each of his kids on one big trip that was designed just for them.

Now granted, if they get eaten by lions this story will take a sad turn but for now I just wanted to recognize what I consider to be a great story no matter how it ends.  They leave in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and the debate last night was stupid.

Monday, October 06, 2008

"Change" and "Country First"

Top 10 Corporate PAC Contributors

Obama:

McCain

Goldman Sachs $739,521
UBS AG $419,550
Lehman Brothers $391,774
Citigroup Inc $492,548
Morgan Stanley $341,380
Latham & Watkins $328,879
Google Inc $487,355
JPMorgan Chase & Co $475,112
Sidley Austin LLP $370,916
Skadden, Arps et al $360,409

Merrill Lynch $349,170
Citigroup Inc $287,801
Morgan Stanley $249,377
Wachovia Corp $147,456
Goldman Sachs $220,045
Lehman Brothers $115,707
Bear Stearns $108,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co $206,392
Bank of America $133,975
Credit Suisse Group $175,503

 

Seen any of these corporations in the news lately?  Just curious.

Source:  Center for Responsive Politics

Sunday, October 05, 2008

More Obama Cult

This video is not a new video and apparently was part of a program at the Urban Community Leadership Academy in Missouri. The school stopped this program because after reviewing it they were a little concerned the director was pushing a political agenda.

Personally I reject all the obvious comparisons to Hitler Youth that will come up as a result of it. It has a militant vibe but doesn't really seem that dangerous upon my first viewing. I can barely understand what they're saying mostly because I'm not from their region of the country and teenage boys tend to mush their words together...perhaps they should aspire to anunciate.

Some of what I'm hearing from them in this video sounds like the right kind of things you'd want to hear out of any youth but for maybe the wrong reasons. I hope if Obama were to lose or not be in office for some reason they would still aspire to be what they want and use whatever freedom is left in this country to do it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VP Debate response

I wasn't going to watch it. Really.

I watched half of it with the sound on and half of it with the sound off using closed captioning. This way I could judge their words and consider their responses. Two problems with captioning with me is that I read too slowly to use it and the captioning wasn't that great. Deaf people get the short end of the stick with captioning since it seems to be controlled phonetically so sometimes it spits out gibberish...but anyway.

One thing that strikes me about Palin's performance is that she is basically debating the positions of three other people who are all Senators. These Senators talk about the issues like Senators do and have lots of facts and figures at the top of their heads. something you'd expect from people who had been in the job as long as Obama, Biden and McCain. Palin is a governor in the state furthest away from Washington DC. For her to hold her own on the same subjects was impressive.

The second part of her job is that she does not just have to know the issues from Washington DC, but she has to be able to defend the positions of John McCain when John McCain can barely defend his positions. I read her eyes and can tell that she doesn't think much of McCain but is making the most of an opportunity.

I like Biden. I always have. He's great on issues like privacy and I think he could potentially influence a repeal of the worst parts of the Patriot Act. His job was to defend himself and talk about their positions and I could tell that his least favorite part of the debate was defending Barack Obama and his positions. He has openly spoken about how he is not entirely pleased about how their campaign is being run.

My response is pretty much that I wish both Biden and Palin were on the top of the ticket...not the bottom. I couldn't help but think the debate would've greatly benefited from Wayne Allyn Root on stage also.

Praise to the glorious leader! [UPDATED]

I am not responsible for any vomit that gets in your keyboard.


To help purge your stomachs, I have added the goofy, utopian lyrics to the post.

WE’RE GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD
Music and lyrics by Lily Campbell

We’re gonna spread happiness
We’re gonna spread freedom
Obama’s gonna change it
Obama’s gonna lead ‘em

We’re gonna change it
And rearrange it
We’re gonna change the world.

SING FOR CHANGE
Music and lyrics by Kathy Sawada

Now’s the moment, lift each voice to sing
Sing with all your heart!
For our children, for our families,
Nations all joined as one.
Sing for joy and sing abundant peace,
Courage, justice, hope!
Sing together, hold each precious hand,
Lifting each other up;
Sing for vision, sing for unity,
Lifting our hearts to Sing!

YES WE CAN
Music and lyrics by Kathy Sawada

Yes we can
Lift each other up
In peace, in love, in hope
Change! Change!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Not Voting? Expect silent treatment from DiCaprio

Leonardo and a few other Hollywood types got together with Google to produce a video promoting voter registration. They seemed appauled that only 1 in 4 of Americans are actually registered to vote.

"If you're not going to vote I don't even know what to say to you anymore," DiCaprio says after the video turns serious. "You know you have to vote."

I have always voted. I have helped register people to vote. I have worked on campaigns and I have met many high-level important politicians. I also understand why people don't vote. I'd even consider many in the "don't vote" camp as informed and disgusted rather than apathetic or dim. I respect people's choice not to vote but I don't entirely agree. In my only attempt to encourage non-voters to vote I will use the same method that public schools use to teach sex education:

Please pay attention. You must know the risk. I urge you please please please don't engage in voting. But, if you must... protect yourself and vote for Bob Barr.

And if you don't vote, I'll still talk to you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tonight, on The Dave and Steve Show

We'll be talking about our very own favorite lay-off stories in honor of the recent economic news. The show has a new website at dasshow.com

Also there is a really simple way to stream shows now that doesn't involve downloading them first or using iTunes. I'll employ that on the next Podmess which has been delayed because I've been busy and junk.

Gotta go, I'm making cookies with my son.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Who is laughing now?

Peter Schiff appeared last year on TV predicting this financial crisis we are experiencing now. (Schiff was also on Ron Paul's economic advising team) The show had on some other economists who laughed at Schiff's predictions as if he was crazy. Watch as they all laugh at what Schiff is saying about the economy a year ago.



My favorite part is when the host says, "We appreciate having another point of view." in defending Schiff. I'm glad they were open to entertain "another point of view" especially when HE WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS CORRECT.

Wall Street has too much arrogance to be trusted with a bail out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh Goody.

A deal has been reached. 700 billion dollars of new cash will be introduced to prop up the financial system. A system that needs propping up because it got into trouble for owing more money than there was money. So Washington DC thinks solving the problem of too much money and easy credit is accomplished by adding more money and easy credit.

This is nothing more than the same price fixing that was attempted in 1929. Ugh.

Here's a little homework for you:

Get two boxes of the game Monopoly. Play the game with a total of 2 or 3 players but don't let anyone go bankrupt until the game has reached the fourth hour in play. Allow one person to be a central banker and allow them to grant loans to anyone to cover their debts. At first allow them to mortgage their assets but allow them to buy back their mortgages with more loans and use their railroads and properties as a security.

Once you run out of money begin tallying the remaining amounts on a seperate piece of paper and allow people to keep as much paper money as necessary even if it means the loans made by the central bank empty out all of the cash. Don't stop though, keep going and only keep track of the debts on the seperate piece of paper.

Once you've reached a point where everyone owes more cash than there really is and your paper money becomes worthless call your Congressman immediately while the concept is still fresh in your head and tell them what a dumbass they are.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That cool mist

The vertical urinal is something all men learn to use at an early age. It has a convenience that is unmatched and it is probably the most odor free of all urinal designs save for the old time urinals that are basically open toilet bowls that hang on the wall. Those waste too much water.

A few years ago I discovered something terrible about vertical urinals. I was wearing shorts because it was a hot day and I could feel something that the CIA calls blowback. An unintended consequence that results from an action. In this case the action was peeing and the blowback was in the form of stray micro-droplets that I could feel hit the skin on my legs.

Reason dictates that if I can feel the blowback on my bare legs then there must also be unfelt blowback on my pants during the 99% of the time I wear pants. Does this have you uneasy? Me too.

Think about all the men out there wearing Khakis, slacks, denim jeans, and tailored suit pants lightly misted with urinal blowback. Think about it.

Ewwww.

Admit it though, you're glad this post wasn't about politics. I am.

Privatizing Social Security

Opponents of privatizing Social Security have said it has been too risky. They've asserted over and over that people could potentially lose everything. I have to ask though...is it more risky than running a commercial investment bank?

Why not privatize it and then bail it out with money and at least be honest about the program's failure instead of letting it die slowly? Just wait...the social security buy out will come in another decade. The Fed will create money out of thin air to prop up this predictably dying and immoral program. Everyone can see it coming. With some struggle it could be avoided but it will fail...and when it does lawmakers will act surprised.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It must be said

Sure you didn't support Ron Paul. Sure you thought he was a bit nutty and wasn't a mainstream candidate. You were confused that he had such a following yet you'd never heard of him. You never could figure out why you saw a blimp in the air or several of your neighbors had a yardsign for a candidate that the news never talked about.

In the debates he stood near the end, next to the likes of Tom Tancredo and Sam Brownback and was barely given any time to speak. You remember mostly because he tried to tell you as much as possible in just the few minutes he was given while McCain, Romney and Thompson droaned on about their insignificant nuances to policies they largely agreed on.

Ron Paul talked about the economy. He said that the government was lying about their measurements of the economy and that we were really in a recession. He said it quickly because he had no time to talk. He predicted the economic system failure that we're watching unfold before our eyes but you probably don't remember since McCain and Romney argued about whether the word 'timetables' was code for bringing the troops home. No one argued over Ron Paul's words because the other candidates didn't understand them. He was using words last year that we're only now beginning to understand while we wonder if our money is safe in the bank down the street.

Do you now understand why it is so dangerous to just pick from top candidates and not give support to politicians who tell the truth? Do you understand now why it is so dangerous to pretend to follow politics but instead you're just sleepwalking while following along with the cult of personalities that are paraded in front of you?

In both 2000 and 2004 you told me that voting for Harry Browne or Michael Badnarik (who both also predicted this mess and Browne wrote several books about it) was a wasted vote because not voting against the opponent of your major party was going to usher in destruction. This collapse would've occurred under Kerry, Gore, or McCain. The economic system was based upon inflated debt, and currency backed by empty promises. You would've known this if you had listened to Dr. Paul.

You, Mr. and Mrs. America are dumbasses. We tried to tell you but you gave Ron Paul just four minutes to talk during a ninety minute debate and acted all excited when Fred Thompson finally threw his hat in...only to learn that his hat was all he contributed to the process. You wanted to hear Rudy even though no one was going to vote for him. You told pollsters all of the stupid things that you were concerned with while your money was becoming more and more worthless by the day.

Here is a short invterview with Ron Paul to remind you how stupid you all have been.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Been busy with my new insurance company

Sorry, I haven't blogged in a couple of days. I've been really busy with the new insurance company I just acquired this week. You may have heard of it...it's called AIG. Oh, Mr. Evil...please make sure you make your policy payment on time.

Keep in mind that all of these bailouts have happened without the consent of congress...and I read somewhere in a document that hangs over my toilet that only congress can spend my money.

Get ready for economic ruin.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama and McCain

Today they both finally demonstrated a clear distinction making it easier to know which one to vote for:

Obama calls for more regulation in the financial industry to stop eight years of shredded consumer protection.

McCain calls for more regulation to stop the patchwork quilt system of regulatory oversight.

So, isn't your choice more clear than ever?

A very confused man

"If I am sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it (the tax hikes) but she can't, what's the big deal for me to say I'm going to pay a little bit more. That is neighborliness."

No Mr. Obama. It is not neighborly to have your money taken from you by force and have it given to ANYONE else no matter how much they make. If you want to be neighborly then volunteer to help these people yourself.

Do not for one minute try to tell me that the government force used to collect the income tax is somehow related to being neighborly. You are at least a very confused man and perhaps at the most a fool.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lobbyists and Government Corruption

Everyone I know says that there are too many lobbyists in Washington DC trying to influence lawmakers on behalf of evil corporations. Those who say that are right but only half-right.

Hillary Clinton stated correctly that many lobbyists represent other people groups for the sake of fairness and justice and everyone should have a right to organize their group to influence lawmakers. It's how the system works whether you like it or not. My jaw dropped at hearing that accidental moment of honesty. But she was also half-right.

The reason libertarians believe there should be smaller government is simple and complex at the same time. When Washington over-regulates and has more power, their scope and influence at the lowest levels become bigger. More is at stake in the interest of everyone when the federal government can declare you a winner or a loser.

If lawmakers could make a decision that could put you out of work, raise or lower the value of your home, or decide what kind of car you should drive people tend to pay attention. If you and people like you are seeking protection the best way is to organize and attempt to lobby lawmakers to put you on the winning team. Not doing so would be foolish. This is what you must do when over-regulation exists.

A smaller government with far less regulation would wield less power. They would not be able to, as easily, destroy certain industries while propping up others. A smaller government would not be worth lobbying because their scope and influence could not be counted on to make a difference. Also, smaller government would tend to be more honest.

In a smaller government, lawmakers would play less of a role and courts would play a larger role. Instead of the federal government being convinced through lobbyists to favor certain corporations or people groups, courts would enforce contracts, determine whether fraud or force existed in an unlawful manner. To survive, corporations would need to seek the opinions of their customers rather than making sure lawmakers took choices away from customers.

I tire so much of hearing Republicans speak of smaller government because they are lying. They want government to be large to protect the interest of their favorite lobbying group. Libertarians want orderly government. We want the same things that everyone else wants. Good education, clean water, low pollution, safe food and consumer products. We do believe that free markets (not managed markets that Republicans call free markets) are the best, cheapest, and most moral delivery method possible.

I want a government that is strong enough to protect the rights and liberties of every citizen. A federal government only large enough to treat everyone the same so that lobbying as corporations or people groups would be pointless.

Only a smaller government can reduce the influence of corrupt lobbying.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Needing your help [UPDATED]

You all helped raise $1400 in 3 days. Chantell reached her goal about 9pm last night. I knew it would happen because you are all very generous people.

When my niece was facing some serious financial trouble after her husband was killed a few years ago, this blog community raised nearly $6000 in just a few days. This enabled my niece to get immediate bills paid and take a leave of absence from her job to take care of her daughter who was 18 months old at the time.

I am truly humbled by all of your kindness and I'm glad this blog is a place we all spend a few moments to get to know each other and think about how right I am on breadth of subjects. (snicker)

Blessings to all of you,
-tracy

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A presidential prediction

"You know, I know, everybody watching this show knows that four years from today, whichever of them is elected, government will be bigger, more expensive, more obtrusive, and more oppressive. If you vote Republican or Democrat, you are giving up. You’re saying ‘I’m never going to be free. America will never be a free country again. I will never get smaller government. So I’m just going to vote for the one I think will take me to hell at the slowest-possible rate.’"

- Harry Browne (on Meet the Press in 2000)

True then. True today.

Friday, September 05, 2008

I need your help for a second.

Last year I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer. It was devastating to our family as you may imagine but beyond that it felt like one last injustice thrust upon her in the last years of her life. I'm still not over it.

Our family has supported the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation for a few years and have participated in the fundraising for the 3-Day Walk fundraiser even before my mother-in-law passed. In the last year or so we've learned that another great woman (who is my sister-in-law's mother-in-law...sheesh that's alot of laws) has breast cancer and is undergoing treatment now.

Just in the last year the treatments being used to treat those with breast cancer have changed dramatically and more and more breast cancer victims have been able to call themselves survivors.

You all know me as a person that promotes private cooperation rather than government help for all types of fixes in society and I believe this is no exception. I'm proud to participate in this privately funded foundation that strives to find a cure. My wife and her sister have passed their fundraising goal surpassing $7000 just today and we're very grateful and excited.

I need your help though. My friend Chantell has been raising money through many personal challenges this summer and is in need of reaching her goal over the next 7 days. She needs about $1000 to be able to participate in the 3 Day Walk next week in the Seattle area.

The donations are tax deductible (sorry, the libertarian in me couldn't resist)

If you've been touched by cancer of any kind or would simply like to join me in supporting the cause I ask very humbly that you make any type of donation you can to help Chantell's fundraising goal. It would mean a great deal to me personally and I thank you in advance.


To donate click here

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some stuff

The last The Dave and Steve Show featured one of the most popular icons in the Pacific Northwest, clown and entertainer JP Patches. Growing up in the Seattle area I watched the JP Patches show without fail. Talking to him was in many ways a childhood dream come true. .

Sarah Palin's speech last night was really good. I'd have to vote that Huckabee's speech was the best as he is the most polished speaker of both conventions. May as well watch it and enjoy it...$33 Million dollars of tax payer money was used to fund these two gatherings of the mutual admiration society. McCain is still essentially Bob Dole without the humor

I'll be working on a new podcast pretty soon and will probably have special guest Mr. Evil with me to add that angst you all complained didn't come from me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A little pandering please?

Please. Someone with political power pander to me. I'm not a woman so choosing a woman VP didn't do much for me. Sure she has that naughty librarian vibe about her but I just don't feel like I'm fully pandered to.

I live nowhere near any oncoming storms so no politician can cancel any activities or offer up prayers or thoughts on my behalf. There aren't any forest fires here either. I really feel ignored.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Just sayin'

Obama clearly doesn't have enough experience to be president of this great land. If only he had the type of broad background that say...the former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska has.

Personally, I don't think experience means as much as firm, core beliefs about what makes this country great. Now that we know who all the players are let me just say this:

You will not find my fingerprints anywhere near the mess that is coming from this election. I'm going to vote for the Barr/Root ticket and soon I'll have a Barr yardsign in my front lawn. I am willing to live with whichever chump the rest of you decide to put in office.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Biden's real secret revealed

The little fact that the mainstream media has kept from you is that Joe Biden is actually disgraced former Vice President Spiro Agnew.  Biden's selection as a running mate is all part of a master plot devised by Dick Cheney which was started years ago when Agnew's death was faked back in 1996.

Here is the photographic evidence as Agnew's older persona (aka Biden) represents the age progression.  Remember, you heard it here first.

Joe Biden

Spiro Agnew

I need to go now.  I have to get fitted for a new tinfoil hat.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Best DNC Speech So Far

I will just say that I was rather surprised by this. He's a nut but he gave the crowd of whacko collectivists something to shout about and he was about 80% correct in the process. Nice job Dennis.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Odd conversations

Two things I never thought I'd ever say:

"No, Thomas is cheeky one."

and

"Please don't drink from the crayon cup."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Biden?

Wow, Biden for VP. He's a mainstream, blue collar Roman Catholic, articulate and nice...it's like a dream come true, man.

I like Biden but I'm betting Obama will regret this choice.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm back

Non medicated free association post...get ready.

The Russians are attacking Georgia and it's about time. Aside from Atlanta and the beautiful coastline around Savannah the state isn't one of my favorites. I hope they don't destroy Stone Mountain.

Thanks for your emails and kind messages from last week. You're all very thoughtful.

You can't bet on baseball if you're a baseball player. It's a rule that goes back to the early days of the game. If you bet on baseball you're out of the game. This way no one can ever hold anything against a player and cause them to ruin the integrity of the game...thus making fans not trust the outcome. The same should be true for politicians. Both Edwards and Stevens should make quick exits from public life. Sooner not later.

I'm still for open borders.

I sent John McCain's campaign some pizza coupons last week. They sent me a reply-by-mail envelope wanting some donations. Instead I gave them some pizza coupons that came in the junk mail. I hope this helps if they get hungry sitting around thinking of ways to convince people to vote for a man who isn't fit to lead. On the back of the envelope I wrote, "Bob Barr 2008".

I was asked about my position on the 2nd Amendment by someone presenting the tired question of whether people should be allowed to have machine guns or cannons. My answer is always the same since the mental midgets that ask always think they have me trapped somehow. Yes, people should be able to possess cannons if they wish. Reading about Henry Knox who was a mere book seller that brought many cannons into his possession as not a professional soldier but as a citizen fighting against his government's regular soldiers. I'm thinking if Mr. Knox had been limited to the modern thinking of the 2nd Amendment he would only have possessed a hunting rifle with a trigger lock. Oh the mysterious wonder of a living constitution.

I just voted in my state's primary election. Current state laws assure the extinction of Libertarians on ballots so my duty as a voter went by quickly. Aside from voting no on all proposed local taxes and voting for a (small L) libertarian family member running as a PCO...I left the ballot mostly blank.

Bernie Mac died and that is really sad. I loved his TV show because it was essentially about the challenges of a man that took parenting seriously. I've read that the show was based on his real life as he took care of three kids that belonged to his sister who was recovering from drug problems He had ups and downs in the show but in the end you had a sense that his life's mission was to raise those kids with love and firm instruction.

What have you all been up to the last two weeks?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A word about Lori

Lori was my best friend's wife who passed away this week at a young age.

Lori was a person, who like myself, was pretty self-made. She learned how to do things and eventually did them well. Like me she was also a writer but had stronger literary skills than I possess as she was an avid reader and a skilled editor.

As long as I knew her she was a writer. Not exciting stuff like novels or stuff like that but the boring stuff you do to keep a paycheck. Things like manuals and internal documentation for some of the largest companies in the United States. She also worked on classified documentation for a new strike fighter. Writing and understanding complex concepts was something that looked easy when she did it. She was one of the only people who read my manuscript in an early form that I felt apprehensive about. She knew the rules and knew how writing is formed and I knew whatever she had to say about it was going to be well-informed and honest.

I met her years ago and I can't even tell you when exactly. Maybe 15 years ago or more? I knew she was something special when my buddy actually introduced me to her. You see my friend and I share one personality trait and that is we don't have a burning intuitive longing to be liked by others. We are what we are.

Lori tolerated me greatly but probably never liked me much. I found her to be generally reserved around me but always really nice. Seems cold doesn't it? But it wasn't. Sometimes I'd call my friend on the phone and she'd answer. We'd talk on the phone for sometimes an hour about a bunch of subjects and I'd sometimes forget what I called him about in the first place. It was then that I learned how smart she was and more importantly...how much smarter she was than me. I always enjoyed her company far more than she enjoyed mine. That's not unusual really.

A testament to her character was that she got involved in AA which sort of shocked me because I never thought she drank that much and maybe to some standards she didn't. She did recognize a trait in herself that she didn't like and like any self-made person she did what she thought was necessary to better herself without the pushing of anyone else. She organized AA groups and helped allot of other people who I'm sure were way far worse than herself.

The last year or so has been pretty intense for my buddy and Lori. A long mis-diagnosed bout with cancer had begun to eat away her life before it was fully discovered. She passed away like a self-made person does...when they're ready and not a minute sooner.

Not much else to say and that's okay. It's a woefully pointless task to attempt to summarize someone's life in a few paragraphs or even an hour long memorial service.

To honor Lori I will end with this poem by William Butler Yeats.

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Heavy Day

My best friend's wife passed away last night. She had cancer. She was young.

I don't mean this to be a bummer of a blogpost but these things happen in life. We joked earlier when talking about arrangements that the death rate among humans is very close to 100%. Sort of the weird things you discuss around the awkward presence of mortality.

I'm going to take a few days to gather myself emotionally and be a strong supportive friend so I can't promise any updates in the next couple of days.

Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh and sorry for slavery

I'd like to extend an apology to everyone for the shame of slavery. Even though the bulk of my family came to North America as New Englanders in the late 17th Century and were all abolitionists I still feel I must give an apology.

I know I've never met anyone who was a slave or a slaveowner. Even though I can't find anyone at all that endured the horrible institution I guess I should still apologize.

My Great Great Grandfather served in the Wisconsin Militia during the Civil War and I possess many of the letters he wrote to his wife. His wife by the way was also an abolitionist by the name of Sarah Jane Stowe. Yes, I'm related to Calvin Stowe the husband of Harriet Beecher-Stowe another great abolitionist.

So even though I've never been a slave owner. Even though my family had never been slave-owners. Even though my family worked very hard and sacrificed for the cause of ending slavery...I guess I must apologize still since these are the times we live in.

Don't bother to thank me though. I don't deserve thanks anymore than anyone deserves an apology in the first place.

This is a great big stupid world isn't it?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Vacation Junk

California isn't one of my favorite places but you can never argue that there isn't much to do there.  I've done business in California, written songs, visited tourist traps, attended seminars, ridden rollercoasters, attended Rose Bowl games, and whatever else you can imagine. 

Two weeks ago I visited once again The Trees of Mystery which used to be among the cheesiest roadside attractions on the old US 101.  It was good for a t-shirt and a picture with Paul Bunyan and Babe but little else.   That can't be said anymore with the addition of the Sky Trail.

Above is me (on the right) and on the left is my 2 1/2 year old son who absolutely loved this seven minute gondola ride up to a ridge among the redwoods.

Heights have historically made me uneasy though lately not to the point of freaking out.  That said I didn't escape all the discomfort that comes from riding on a gondola precariously attached to a cable and being pulled up a mountainside.  I hid my misgivings as not to pass on any fear to my son...he loved every minute of it.

Go see the coastal redwoods in California if you get a chance.  As someone who has grown up in the Evergreen State and is quite accustomed to trees...I still came away impressed.

I had a few emails from people who listened to me on the Dave and Steve show mention that I had a child and were wondering why I had never mentioned it here on this blog.  The short answer to this question is that as a completely private person I wanted to refer to my family generically as they didn't really have a way to defend themselves on my blog.  This is a break from that policy and one I've relaxed in general.

I'll have more later and as soon as I can stomach it I'll cover some politics and junk.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I went back in time

On Sunday morning about two weeks ago I was in Grants Pass, Oregon.  I was going to be heading out of town on an old US Highway and I was unsure of how many gas stations I would encounter so I did what I almost never do in Oregon...get gas.

Oregon (like New Jersey) is a state where you are not permitted to pump your own gas.  This was initially started as a public safety measure but after quizzing a "pump jockey" he said he didn't get any training nor did he require a certificate and his boss basically "showed him how the pump worked" in the first few minutes of his first day on the job.

So I'm at the local Chevron on a Sunday morning and I pull up to the pump and heard the "ding" of the bell that alerts the attendant.  The older gentleman came up to the window where I gave him my debit card and said, "Fill'er up with regular please."

"Yes sir!" He shot back.

I noticed some commotion across the street.  Several people walking down the sidewalk toward the Methodist Church on the corner.  From the belfry I heard the church bell begin to chime.  I looked at my watch noticing it was 9:30 and figured everyone was on their way to Sunday School. 

Then something hit my windshield.  It took me a split second to figure out what it was.  A squeegee!  The attendant was cleaning my windshield.  What next?  My oil level?

When the pump had stopped as my tank filled he handed me my receipt and told me to have a good day and to come again.  I felt transported back in time and I must confess...I liked it. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacationing

Best Bumpersticker - "I see Dutch people."

Best Cheesey Roadside Attraction - The Trees of Mystery (Now with a Sky Trail!)

Best Ocean on the trip - The Pacific Ocean

Best Coffee - Dutch Brothers

Best gas mileage - 28.54mpg

Best place to stay - My tent

I just got back tonight so forgive me for not updating the blog. I have stories aplenty from my few days away. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Obama scoots toward the center

The move to the political center once the nomination has been secured is as strong a force as the gravitational pull. You can fight it but in the end succumbing to it not an option. That said it's also a smart move.

The candidates are chosen largely by political activists. Even more so in the Democrat party where super delegates are in play. Party activists are more idealistic and cast their gaze on a more pure idealogy that reflects the party's platform. Things like a "Department of Peace" and "No War for Oil" are more than slogans they are deeply held beliefs among activists. If you want those votes then you need to talk like one of them.

Where once only angry Americans foolishly clinging to guns and bibles existed in fly over country, you suddenly become a hunter and love the 2nd Amendment. Where once you railed against the war in Iraq you suddenly see the need to seek counsel from the Generals. Where once you seemed angry at an America that is fundamentally unfair and unjust...well...what's that on your lapel?

Thankfully there is enough freedom in this country left that people don't engage themselves in the political process until there are actual nominations and now the great unwashed independents and undecideds need to be convinced. At this point of the game it's party platform be damned. McCain has done it also as he has become every so suddenly interested in global warming.

Where it becomes a problem for Obama is that it turns his greatest strength into a weakness. No, it's not integrity so listen up. It's his position as the outsider. All he has to do is utter the word "change" with no details and it becomes a code word for "one of us." Unfortunately for Obama, When the pull to the center happens and you don't have a 30 year track record to draw upon, it makes you look like an opportunistic flip-flopper. This makes him vulnerable to attack but doesn't necessarily doom him.

I have to confess that I'd just love to see candidates run on their record and stay principled. If our choices only fell on two principled people we'd have to pick one and who knows...maybe we might actually respect one of them.

Oh, one more thing. Bob Barr is polling in double-digits in a few states. Just sayin'

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

From the Quoting Great Men Department

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C. S. Lewis