Friday, October 31, 2008


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



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.

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.

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!

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.