Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who would win in a fight? - #3



James Dean

The battle of the leather jacketed stars which includes Wisconsin native and high school dropout Fonzie (Arthur Fonzarelli) and the Rebel Without a Cause Jim Stark (played by James Dean.)

Don't expect any knives or heat to be present at this fight as they're both troubled young men who can get a girl but typically shy away from a fight.  I'd expect some creative tough talk from these two guys that will end in an eventual marshmallow fight.

Comments are open now...declare your winner!

Hillary and Obama will not bring troops home

The UK announced last week they were stopping their pullout of Iraq due to an escalation in violence there.  How long will it take for Britain to be able to completely pull out of the country? 

Obama and Hillary have different timetables for leaving the country but neither one have made it a policy to leave the region so whenever violence increases...we're more likely to stay.  Unless there is a policy change and an overall move to a foreign policy that is committed to engaging with the world through non-military means...we'll stay in places where we have no legitimate business.

It was also announced today that the US troop death count hit a 7-month high in Iraq...which only proves (in the minds of Bush and McCain) that we have to stay there because if we don't fight them there, we'll fight them here.  I wonder if anyone has ever considered that our enemy may try the same strategy?

More to come.

Friday, April 25, 2008

McCain the Uniter...uh...whatever

Since being involved with the GOP nominating process I've discovered that in my area the GOP has been largely fair and accepting of Ron Paul delegates (ie - newcomers) and have not universally singled them out as unacceptable. 

That said there has been an ultimate qualifier as to if a delegate is seriously considered.  Will you support the nominee?  They don't even use his name...they just call him "the nominee." 

McCain just received 72% of the vote in Pennsylvania and 27% decided that both Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee were worth a vote even if it didn't mean anything.  McCain doesn't seem to be a unifying figure at least at this point in the campaign.

So I have a question to McCain supporters:

Do YOU support the nominee?

I'm sick of your type badgering me and others about our loyalty to John McCain when his own supporters don't even bother to vote for him, put up a yard sign or canvas a neighborhood.  Look I understand that you want him elected because of the whole "he's better than Hillary or Obama" thing but c'mon.  There is more to supporting a candidate than simply saying you'll support him.  Why is McCain's campaign broke while Ron Paul still has millions in the bank?

Over a year ago an obscure Texas Congressman said he would run for president.  He was invited to the debates but was rarely given more than 4 minutes of face time.  He was marginalized and only mentioned in any press coverage with the qualifier of "long shot" and his supporters made him a national figure.  Everyone knows who Ron Paul is today.  We supported him. 

In contrast the John McCain supporters don't even refer to him in name...they refer to him as "the nominee" and promise a vote for him but I doubt that many of his so-called supporters will encourage others to back him.  McCain's delegates don't even show up to the county conventions as seen here, here, here and here.

So let me make a simple and practical suggestion:

If you're not going to support him, then don't ask me to.  When you see this turd of a candidate floundering next October, don't look to me as the problem...don't look at the dreaded Ron Paul people as the reason John McCain can't get above 45%.  If he's doing better by Fall then I know  you will have started to get more serious.  When I see a John McCain blimp in the sky I'll know you mean it and not just holding your nose while pulling the lever.

In the meantime just stop the third degree and get your own campaign started...maybe others will join when they see you mean it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day - How I saved the planet

I was rudely awakened this morning by migrant workers using 2-stroke engine powered blowers.  The sound was bad enough but I just couldn't stay in bed knowing that their caustic exhaust was warming the planet with every passing second.  I jumped out of bed and got my solar powered calculator and quickly figured what I owed in carbon offsets because after all...they were my gardeners. 

I ran out on to my front porch and yelled in my best Spanish for them to stop.  "Please amigos, this is Earth Day!" I shouted.  If ever a day existed to thank mother earth it was this glorious day.  Seeing me they snickered.

It was one thing to wake me up and to disrespect my plea.  It was quite another to destroy my planet while doing it.  I ran out and grabbed the blower from one of them and hit him over the head with it.  The other worker witnessed the full force of my wrath and he ran away.  I poured out the 2-stroke gas and oil mixture into the mouth of the passed out gardener.  His dead body would process fuel in an earth friendly way.  Sure I killed a man, but I did it for mother earth.

I took a cold shower making sure I didn't use any natural gas and got ready to ride my bicycle to work.  I knew I would be able to pedal fast and stay focused since the shower stopped me from thinking about sex and other non-earth-friendly activity.

An old Volvo was in front of me at a stop light.  Smoke was pouring out the exhaust as I noticed it was a Turbo Diesel model.  I decided to dismount my bike and talk to the driver.  Maybe he hadn't heard it was Earth Day.

"Friend, you seem to have a lot of exhaust there.  Care to pull over and let me give you some information about where you can buy some carbon offsets?"  I said to him in a friendly tone.

But this man was not to be reasoned with and I could tell he shared the same earth killing attitude of the gardener that made me late to work because I had to drag his body around to the side of my house to deal with later. 

"Get back on your bike there granola head."  The man said while chuckling.

"Sir, there is no need for name calling, I'm just trying to help you pay respect to the planet on her day of honor."  I replied.

"Fuck off treehugger!"  He shot back while throwing a piece of litter from his car into my face.

The nerve!  I tried to help him understand how he can impact the environment and he responds by littering.  I could take the disrespect and I could take name calling but the litter was just too much.

I gently picked up the piece of trash he had thrown in my face and I reminded him that littering was not only illegal but very disrespectful to the planet.  Then I took the piece of paper and I jammed it back into his face.

"Maybe your trash will take that smirk off of your face planet hater!" I shouted at him.  I took the small tire pump I had tucked into the back of my very tight and sexy bike pants and I bludgeoned him repeatedly until I was sure that he would not be able to pollute any longer.  I reached in and turned off the motor so that his car would stop its assault on the atmosphere. 

I stood there looking at the blood trickle from the several puncture wounds I had made in the side of his head and face and I couldn't help but think how much Earth Day inspired me to make a difference.  It's true, one person can make a wonderful impact if they just look for opportunities.  It's shameful that this only comes but once a year.

I'm but one person, but I can make a positive impact on behalf of our home and mother:  Earth.  Hopefully you found inspiration in this testimony of the small part I played in saving the planet.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Look Mom! I'm a Republican (part 2)

I attended a delegate meeting hosted by my county GOP.  The meeting was short, orderly, and very much a mutual admiration society.  Libertarians have been accused of being a debate society rather than a political party and in that same context I'd compare the GOP (at least my local brand) as more of a country club.

I love talking to both Republicans and Democrats because I find myself explaining things to them in ways they've never heard.  You see, once you bring a discussion from a standpoint of liberty they realize that you're neither liberal or conservative...but something else.  The man I talked to today recognized it for what it was.

I spoke to a man who is absolutely for a national ID card.  His argument is that citizens have limited rights for their privacy and no right to anonymity.  What he thought would be his trump card backfired and he asked me, "Why don't you want an ID card, what do you have to hide?"  My answer surprised him.

I have plenty to hide I told him.  The details of my life are my own because I own my life.  He had no right to know the private details of my life anymore than he has the right to use my house without permission.  What belongs to me belongs to me.

He brought up the straw-man of identity theft (staying curiously away from the subject of finding illegals also known as Mexicans) and said that the safety of our society depends on being certain who everyone is.  I asked him if he was sure who I was, after all I was only wearing a name tag.  He conceded he didn't know for sure and then I continued by asking him that if I was misrepresenting myself in this conversation and I was not who I said I was...did he have a case against me?  Could he claim damages?  He brought up identity theft again and I explained to him that the real crime is theft which government should always prosecute to the highest degree.  That government should protect the property of all persons (citizens and otherwise) against the fraud and force of others. 

He then admitted that my argument was the first one he ever heard that made some sense and felt like he needed to rethink his own view some and then sound more like a libertarian to me.  To my point perhaps I had misrepresented myself. 

Congratulations moron, you're officially an object lesson.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Personal Earth Hour Experience

Earth Hour.  Sixty minutes of sitting around in the dark.  One complete hour of not using any electricity.  No computers, no appliances, no televisions or stereos.

Google showed their commitment by making their page black instead of white as if they were virtually turning out the lights.  Cities from all over the world were participating and kids in public schools in the  United States were being indoctrinated to harass their parents until they submitted and agreed to participate.

I also participated.

Conservation in general is something I like quite a bit.  I am someone who strives to use less packaging, drive fuel efficient vehicles that also have an ultra-low emission rating.  I'm what many here in the stupid Seattle area would consider to be green, but I'm not really.  I'm a conservationist.  I hate waste.  Earth hour was something I could get behind even though I knew fully that it would make no difference.

I lit candles,  lots of them.  I had a hand-cranked radio that I listened to.  I played a word game with family.  All devices were off (except a few later that I forgot were on...whoops) and turned off my porch light.  It was basically like living in the 1890's.

When it was all over I turned my front porch light back on but nothing else went back least not right away.

The end result was nothing though and that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  Liberal do-gooders always plan these types of things and focus greatly on the experience rather than any measurable difference.  I knew this going in so I had no high expectations but I did still gain something by it.

Like wilderness hiking and camping it is good remind oneself that you have the ability to live simply, minimally and if need be...with bare essentials.  The act of being prepared and self-sufficient is an element that most liberals probably didn't consider because it's very...well...libertarian really.

Playing a board game by candlelight proved nothing.  It did give me one more excuse though to live as minimally as possible at that moment.  I consider that a worthy reminder that everyone needs... at least once in awhile.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Election Boredom is Officially Gone

Grump properly chastised me for being impractically bored with an election that was shaping up to be memorable.  I conceded to him that the election drama was very interesting and anything but boring...though the candidates themselves have brought so little substance that it's really hard to get particularly excited about them...perhaps I expect too much, I dunno.

Obama and Hillary look like they will take their campaigns into Denver and participate in a brokered convention where super-delegates will decide nothing more than who can better beat McCain.  That's it.  Nothing else will be a factor.  Whoever has perceived momentum will get the nod and the total delegate count will be meaningless.  If the Democrat nominee loses in November it may be the last brokered convention you see.  Pretty cool huh?

The Republican convention in Minneapolis will need to be a week-long infomercial reintroducing us to McCain and helping us forget George W. Bush.  How you can honor your party's president for 8 years and brush him aside at the same time will be tricky and worth watching.

The Libertarian National Convention looks to be heating up finally.  The Ron Paul Revolution set things back for awhile as many in the party vacated LP campaigns to help Ron.  Wayne Allyn Root (professional Vegas Oddsmaker) and Bob Barr (as well as Mary Ruwart) look to be in hot contention and will also go into a brokered convention.  Gavel to gavel coverage will be on CSPAN if you have the stomach to watch this.  Frontrunners in this party are impossible to predict.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

John McCain - What the economy ordered?

Consider this a personal counter-point to my observation back in November that his campaign was over.  Hear me out.

John McCain has in many way represented the new age of the Republican Party.  The man entered the senate taking the seat of an aged, bitter, and often angry Barry Goldwater.  In terms of personality the people of Arizona replaced their senior senator with another bold, angry and straight-talking man in John McCain...but McCain is no Goldwater and I've described his seat in the senate as an unfortunate downgrade from that of ol' AU H2O.

So how could John McCain be what the doctor ordered in terms of economic growth?  John McCain has one strength in terms of positions that he has remained absolutely pure on in his long political career...and that is free trade.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were very similar in terms of trade protectionism.  Bush even went as far as adding tariffs to foreign steel, but for as little as McCain understands about economics (like not knowing who was on the president's working group on markets) he does understand one problem that has hurt the economy of this nation and is probably the only remaining resource that is not strained for federal receipts:  Trade.  His position on free trade and uniform tariffs is so good it could trump his otherwise ignorance on the subject of economics.

The United States simply does not trade with that many nations.  Our greatest export is U.S. dollars and fewer and fewer countries are accepting it as reserve currency as it buys fewer and fewer marketable commodities. 

The next president that opens trade and controls the growth of government (reducing its size and scope will simply be a pipedream at this point, but one in my view that is still worth having) will restore the dollar.  Could it be John McCain?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Podmess #2

I talk about what party politics can be like inside the convention and go on to describe a conversation I had with a very conservative evangelical Christian woman at the convention. I talk about hippies and a couple of movies I saw recently and rehash my disappointment in the Seattle Aquarium...did I mention I talk about hippies?

Okay, so click here to listen to the best dumb podcast on the Interwebs.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bob Barr to inherit Ron Paul Revolution?

Bob Barr announced the formation of an exploratory committee (people to count fundraising money) for a possible run for the Libertarian Party nomination.  I like Bob Barr to a degree but he is no Ron Paul and hasn't earned the right to even sit in Harry Browne's now empty wheelchair.

What I like:

  • Bob Barr understands the true spending problem
  • Wants to eliminate the IRS and repeal the 16th Amendment
  • Has already worked with both parties to overturn or rewrite much of the Patriot Act to restore civil liberties
  • Is now very against the war in Iraq and nation building
  • Is against pre-emptive war

What I don't like so much:

  • Bob Barr is for the Fair Tax as a replacement to the Income Tax
  • He is strongly for securing the border (I disagreed with Ron Paul on this also)
  • Bob Barr voted for the war initially

You may like him.  Obviously since I'm such a high roller Republican now (ha ha) it is impossible for me to endorse him but given the list of candidates currently seeking the LP nomination, I'd have to name Barr my clear favorite.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Look Mom! I'm a Republican

So I told you back in February that I attended my local GOP Caucus and was elected a delegate to the county convention.  We were able to win the Caucus for Ron Paul with a moderate amount of organization.  But the real test would be what would happen at the county convention.

I live in what is probably the 3rd largest county in Washington State in population.  The 1st Legislative District has many precincts that are heavily Republican.  The entire convention was nearly 800 delegates.  How would our organization stand up to these kind of numbers?

Of the 140 delegates comprised in my district we had the duty of electing only 24 delegates to the state convention which will be in lovely Spokane in late May.  Was there even a chance any Ron Paul delegates would make the cut in a district that was actively black-balling anyone in the rEVOLution?  I ran for state delegate and gave this simple, small speech that included these words:

I believe in limited government.  Government that is only large enough to protect rights that are accorded to us as individuals and not people groups.  I believe in protecting our economy with sound money...

These buzzwords were heartfelt and deliberate.  I meant to say that you may think of me as a conservative since most of you probably thought Milton Friedman was a conservative and Ludwig von Mises was a classical composer... and if you're smart enough to understand what sound money is...then you're probably already a Ron Paul supporter and will want to vote for me.  I won on the first ballot and I'm off to Spokane.  Not exactly a great reward but will make the blog more interesting.

I will cover some of the rest of the experience from the convention in an upcoming podcast as some of this story telling can only be done in front of a roaring fire.  Look for it soon.