Friday, May 30, 2008

Hello from lovely Spokane

What a busy couple of days. I'll give you a summary of what has gone on.

1. Had a strategy meeting with the Ron Paul delegation (about 600+) and we discussed our strategy for communication on the convention floor. During one of the the speeches there was a huge applause and a guy sitting three people to my left sat down and his sidearm (looked like a Glock 21) fell onto the floor and spun around about 5 feet from chair. You'd think panic would ensue but at a Ron Paul rally everyone just laughed and said, "secure your firearm dumbass!" I also laughed. If this had happened at a Democrat convention much pants wetting would have taken place.

2. The convention floor today showed that we didn't have a majority until alternates were seated. They hurried through much of the business before we were able to seat our alternate delegates. The end result of several closes losses on rules, and credentials. While our numbers were large the Ron Paul delegation did not capture a single victory. Oh well.

3. I spent some lengthy time with a congressional candidate from my district talking to him about free trade. I asked him if he was for free trade or if he believed in a protectionist policy. He immediately shot back an answer of "free trade! free trade!" So I asked him how he interpreted free trade. He said he was willing to have free trade with any nation as long as it went both ways and that he would not be willing to trade with non-market economies to protect our industries. He must have thought I was stupid since he just told me he was a protectionist after all. I can assure you he doesn't think I'm stupid now.

4. I was almost on TV but a vote to end debate had passed just as I was at a microphone. I'm sure both people watching the proceedings on TV were cheated.

5. I was not elected delegate to the national convention.

Somehow God sits a religious right whacko next to me every time at these conventions. This morning I spent 3 hours sitting next to the most obnoxious, argumentative, and hateful person I've sat next to since the last time I was at Mr. Evil's house. (ha ha)

I've found a few rogue libertarians in my discussions with many delegates and candidates at the convention so far. It's refreshing to talk to other libertarians and they agree with me in that we don't know how much more of this GOP stuff we can take.

Will post again and will have photos of me in a shirt and tie even politicking with right wingers.

I'm heading outside's warm and pleasant here in Spokane.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dumb Republicans

Redundant you say?

One irony that was missed on several in attendance at my county GOP convention was that it was held at Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson High School.  Jackson of course was a Democrat US Senator from the state of Washington for many years and ran for president in 1976.

I was sitting at a table full of Republicans at our lunch break and I mentioned how funny it was that Republicans were meeting at a high school named for a Democrat.  Three of them I was sitting with all said the same thing:  "He was really a conservative though."

My heart sank a bit because these delegates and Republican activists have truly forgotten what a conservative is.  I asked them, "In what way was Scoop Jackson conservative?" and their reply was again in unison:  "He supported the military!" they all said.

That's it?  That's all there is to being a Republican anymore is just supporting troops, wearing flag lapel pins and putting a yellow ribbon magnet on your car?  That's it?

I asked them what they thought about his protectionist trade policies and his backing of LBJ's "Great Society" legislation.  All of them looked at me blankly.

I remember reading in a biography of Barry Goldwater how infuriated the Arizona senator was at how Jackson would make speeches mocking Goldwater for his claims that government intervention made the lives of Americans worse, not better.   That's conservative?

Jackson was a warmonger, a trade protectionist, voted to restrict trade to non-market economies, pro entitlement, and pro foreign aid.  He represents much of what is wrong with the Bush administration as many of Jackson's acolytes have been involved in the  Bush administration including former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

Truth be told that over the years the terms liberal and conservative have come to mean different thing.  Now, liberal means socialist and conservative means to conserve your own power.  Neither means to protect freedom anymore.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A note about this week

I'll be heading to the Washington State GOP Convention in lovely Spokane this week.  I will be in Spokane for pre-convention junk including getting my credentials...hoping they aren't challenged.

I've heard rumors that John McCain is going to be at our state convention and if I get a chance to meet him I'll pass what happened...maybe even a photograph...who knows.  He'll likely charge me for the picture since his campaign is pretty much bust.

Anyway, I'm taking my laptop and I've called ahead to make sure Spokane has access to the Internet and I've been told they do.  I will do my darndest to blog on the junk going on there as I get the opportunity.

Also, I was put on a slate of delegates for my congressional district as an alternate by the Ron Paul delegation.   My further involvement in the GOP afterward will be determined greatly on what happens this weekend.

On a side note I was asked where I disagreed with Bob Barr and why I would not right now give an unqualified here it goes:

  • I'm not for securing the border, I'm for enforcing laws and making immigration easier...not harder.
  • I'm against the Fair Tax (national sales tax) as a solution.
  • Marriage should not be a Federal or State issue and to hide behind federalism is not an answer. 
  • I'm for an immediate pullout of troops from Iraq and a signal of foreign policy change to the world that if you step in get a stick and scrape your own shoes...we're done.
  • I'm for a hard asset based competing currency where citizens could hold in their hand something of value to protect their savings from debt-based monetary inflation. 
  • I will not endorse another candidate besides Ron Paul until my involvement in the nominating process is over.  I have signed a pledge to do just that.

Stay tuned, will have more this week.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Barr - Root

I watched the LP Convention over the weekend and witnessed a pretty fun convention and heard several great speeches. Mary Ruwart remained my favorite through and was near victory but lost to Barr on the 6th ballot. Apparently Wayne Allyn Root's delegates (who were released after the 5th ballot) supported Bob Barr 2 to 1 over Ruwart giving Barr the eventual nomination.

In a surprise however Root was nominated for VP and won on the 2nd ballot. You see in the LP the presidential candidate does not pick his runningmate, the convention does. The nominee does however get to give a preference if he wishes to address the subject but traditionally this is not done.

The combination of Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root may produce the wealthiest and most well connected campaign since Ed Clark's 1980 run. Root is well established with the media and is connected to several insiders on both parties. Barr is well connected in Washington DC and is also connected to the beltway. Barr and Root will have access to the media that Michael Badnarik only dreamed of.

Congratulations to the LP for selecting a couple of strong freedom lovers...even if they aren't purists.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Colorblindness - Racial and otherwise

I am colorblind.

Ever since the moment when I explained to my parents that I understood traffic lights I have known that I was colorblind.  My explanation contained what I had observed:  That you stop on red and go on white.  White?  The fact that anyone considers a green light green is still puzzling to me.

Throughout life I have stopped paying attention to color as a distinguishable feature.  I do not shop for clothes without help and I do not wear anything that I'm not already sure goes together.  I do not see in black and white.  I'm not completely colorblind as I see all primary colors clearly, but secondary colors and muted tones are not describable.  Like the chart below, I have no way to identify or give a name to what I see.


Colorblindness is how many describe an ideal society when it comes to racial identity but I should warn you in advance.  Like any disability you have other senses that become more sensitive.  If you strive for colorblindness then your other senses of bias and unfair discrimination will become stronger.

My mind has given up long ago thinking of color as anything important.  When I see clothes, product labels, signs and yes...people, my mind pays very little attention to this detail.  As if through my inability to make it useful my brain has completely stopped using it as a factor. 

Instead, culture becomes my dividing line.  Where colors may be a factor of choice for some I would rather divide people along other lines.  Pick-up truck driving people, Country Music listeners, introverts, extroverts, quiet people, rednecks, poor, privileged, spoiled, victim-minded, loud people, time wasters, selfishly driven, and the list goes on and on.  My senses along these dividing lines are very strong and my mind begins sorting people out before I've been with them very long at all.

None of these distinctions have necessarily divided people according to good and bad, but rather into safe bins where later I can sort them even further.  It occurred to me that there is some inherent human need to divide people according to convenience and race is probably the easiest and laziest way to do it...though thankfully I am not afforded that luxury. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

Libertarian Party Convention - May 22-26

Do you want to see a real nominating convention?

There are about a dozen (big L) Libertarians that read this blog and this is for them...the rest of you pay close attention.

The LP has a choice this year.  To nominate a Conservative that believes in Federalism (Barr) a media savvy outsider that is really a Reagan Conservative (Root) or an actual libertarian. (Smith, Ruwart, Kubby)

The choice to outsiders always seems obvious.  You pick the guy with the greatest name recognition but as Michael Badnarik proved four years ago, you don't need name recognition to get as many votes as Ralph Nader.  What you need is a fairly organized 50 state party.

I'm fulfilling my ethical obligation to not be involved in the nominating process of the LP because I am a delegate for the GOP.  My involvement as a Republican is simply to promote liberty and the vehicle matters less to me than the principles I care very deeply about.

If I was involved this is how I would break down the field.

Mike Gravel - polite applause and then escort him out of the convention hall.

Bob Barr - To his credit he has worked in the LP for about 3 years and has grown to love liberty.  I like him but his old drug warrior ways make me uneasy.

Wayne Allyn Root - He makes me want to initiate force.  (A few Libertarians reading this are laughing at this inside joke)  If Root is nominated I will likely write-in Ron Paul.

Steven Kubby - I like him though he is too much of a Marijuana candidate.  Kubby is an American hero for civil liberties and I admire him greatly.  He is also perhaps uglier than Gary Nolan.

Dr. Mary Ruwart - Mary is a libertarian in the mold of Harry Browne.  In the convention I would vote for her on as many ballots as her name appears.

Daniel Imperato - Not exactly a libertarian.  He's a wealthy international businessman who would get the endorsement of Bloomberg if he were to be nominated.  I can't see that nomination happening.

There you go...where else are you going to get this kind of coverage on a convention that hardly anyone is going to watch on TV?

More stuff later...including another podcast with a prize inside.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Medicated Blog Post #8

Jenna Bush got married.  I know about her dress, the song she and her father danced to and about the band that played at the reception...too bad the news services couldn't get me reliable updates on the earthquake in China.

I blow holes through Kleenex.  Don't like using paper towels.  New solution:  Bath Towel.  Ew.

Bob Barr sort of reminded me of Ed Clark in his speech announcing his candidacy...though Barr is no 'low tax liberal."  I recognize fully that none of you understand that reference.

Prince Caspian comes out this week.  I always liked this particular book in the Narnia series.  These short books were really made for the 1 hour and 40 minute movie.

I found a 24 hour pharmacy where I can get sudafed as it is required to sign for it're never out of sudafed until after's how it works.

People have asked me to blog on Obama's pastor but I have little to say about it really.  Most people I know don't agree with their pastor 100% but still support them.  It's normal.  Obama attends that church for political reasons...the same reason McCain (who is an Episcopalian) attends North Phoenix Baptist Church.  He attends there because it's a big church and he can be seen among many evangelicals to make him look more conservative.  It's politics people...remember that.

None of you bit on me stating that Hillary and Obama will not bring the troops home.  Which is why all those of you who email me encouraging me to vote for Obama should shut up about it.

LP Prediction - Bob Barr, Wayne Allyn Root and Mary Ruwart in three ballots...again many of you don't know what I'm talking about.

I had a dream I was on a boat with a friend.  The boat was rented.  I hate boating.

Ugh.  I'm going to go blow my nose.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Aid to Natural Disasters

Seen the news?

It's terrible!  Thousands of people trapped by flooding without clean water or food.  Their leaders had warning but did very little to help their people prepare and now these same leaders are standing in the way of help arriving.  Absolutely unacceptable.  Am I talking about New Orleans or Myanmar?

The government of Myanmar has seized shipments coming into the nation and has decided to distribute the relief themselves (feed their police and military) even though they lack the experience to work with water and sanitation.

Here is the score:

Governments take tax dollars from their citizens and force them to donate to a military dictatorship that is doing little to prevent their own citizens from dying.

Libertarian lesson: 

Governments are not capable of charity because they are instruments of force.

I would even add the example of the greatest humanitarian relief project in the history of the world was done to project political will rather than humanitarian need...which was of course the 1948 Berlin Airlift.  Myanmar is neither strategic nor important to enough international governments to motivate a general political will to help them.  The government aid will only go to their corrupt government while scores of private charitable organizations and their armies of volunteers struggle on the ground to help the people.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Remember the ozone?

Remember that thing?

That thing that mysteriously surrounds our globe and protects us from the sun?  That you remember that thing?

When I was in elementary school I went through Jimmy Carter's then new ecology indoctrination and learned about how the lifestyle of my selfish parents was going to destroy the world because they were destroying the ozone layer.

Everything contributed to the demise of the layer.  You name it.  Spray-on Deodorant, shaving cream, the production of normal household items, dog farts, and whatever else you can think of.  I'd come home so mad at my parents for living the way they did.  Sure they loved me but not enough to keep the ozone layer and prevent our world from entering into another ice age.

Scientists were wrong.

People tell me this in response:  The science is so much better now.

Many scientists have come forward and said they were caught in a craze and they had the evidence to understand that industrialization was a blip on the screen compared to the real main culprit of ozone depletion...volcanoes. 

So Al Gore says that the last Cyclone that killed at least 50,000 people was the result of global warming and I can imagine all the kids rushing home to dispense some bullshit accusing statement on their parents for killing people in 3rd world nations.  Now who will make their running shoes?

By the way...Chile has had some huge volcanic activity lately so don't be surprised to hear about some more ozone depletion in the future...but it won't be linked to the someone with really bad gas they'll blame it on you or the dog.

And don't worry...when I'm proven right I'll be happy to remind you of this post.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Collateral Damage in the Drug War

Timothy Garon had advanced Hepatitis C and needed a liver transplant to survive.  Because he was very sick his doctor prescribed medical marijuana to him to alleviate nausea and abdominal pain and also to stimulate his appetite.

Now while waiting to see if he could get on the list for a transplant he was denied because he was a marijuana user.  A user with his doctor's blessing in accordance with Washington State Law.

Swedish Hospital in Seattle agreed to reconsider if he would avoid marijuana use for six months and enroll in a 60-day drug treatment program...but these same doctors also agreed that his liver disease was too advanced for him to last that long anyway.

He died yesterday.