Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ron Paul and Chocolate Ice Cream

This article was originally published on Dec. 26th, 2007 at

The other day I sat down to my computer with a big bowl of chocolate ice cream to catch up on the latest Ron Paul news. He had received 6.3 million dollars in contributions from over 50,000 donors in one day. This was huge news. Since that time the mainstream media has found it hard to ignore Ron Paul. He has been reported on more than ever. The word is spreading even to those who do not use the Internet. He was given an entire hour on Glen Beck’s show. He was interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet the Press. There are some who would say that the media has played some dirty tricks on Ron Paul to minimize his impact and to try to make him look like he’s still not a viable candidate, but any kind of media exposure this big is bound to be good. Unlike other politicians who can get on these media programs and show just how disingenuous they are (i.e. saying things like “I never inhaled”), Ron Paul always comes across as honest and the genuine article simply because he is and he’s not afraid to say what he feels even though it might not be a popular opinion and might cost him votes. No matter how hard these media talking heads try to attack his stances, the message he delivers is powerful and it breaks through the muck.

You know, as I look through some of these articles and watch some of these videos, I’m really enjoying my ice cream. I love chocolate ice cream. I realize I’m a little overweight. My kids remind me of that all the time. Yeah, I know ice cream isn’t real good for me. I probably should be watching my diet a little better. I know I should exercise more, but there’s so little time in the day. Maybe I could find a healthier frozen confection. I do like frozen fruit bars, but there’s just something about ice cream. Chocolate ice cream is my favorite. It’s just so darn creamy and tasty. It’s such a treat to eat while I’m catching up on current events.

Glen Beck likes to claim he’s a libertarian. I just don’t know about that. I personally don’t see how anyone can be a libertarian and support the war in Iraq. One of the main tenets, if not the main one, of libertarianism is no initiation of force. Iraq is a preemptive war, not one of defense. This is especially true after the lies that got us into the war were exposed. But, if Mr. Beck wants to consider himself a libertarian, I suppose that’s ok. He does, after all, agree with Ron Paul that the government needs to be much smaller. He also gave Ron Paul a fair interview, in my opinion. I saw the scrolling “Paul is dead” quote and heard the various concerns about it, and while I feel it was disturbing to notice something that could be taken as an attempt at some sort of subliminal message, I’m not so sure that such a big deal should be made of it. There is the possibility that such a thing was put there just to illicit a reaction so that the media could point at those Ron Paul supporters who would mention it and accuse them of being “paranoid conspiracy theorists.” Mr. Beck did, after all, mention that Ron Paul supporters had threatened him so even this self proclaimed libertarian seems to be trying to paint Ron Paul supporters as crazy. Can he even be sure that the threats came from actual Ron Paul supporters, or did they just say they were Ron Paul supporters? In any case, Ron Paul did quite a job at delivering the message of freedom to Mr. Beck’s audience and I’m certain such exposure is helping his name recognition.

This chocolate ice cream is great. I wonder if maybe I’m addicted to it. As I eat it, I wonder about my health. Healthcare is on the minds of many Americans these days. I know many of the presidential candidates have come out with their healthcare plans. Hillary Clinton is especially concerned with healthcare. I seem to remember that she was trying to sell government healthcare to the American people when her husband was in office. It seems that all the candidates have some sort of plan for healthcare that they would like to implement if they were elected president. They’re all trying to make it an issue. It’s strange that Ron Paul, who is a doctor, isn’t asked about his plan more often. Perhaps because he would like to remove the government from healthcare and let the people, their doctors and the market decide what should be done with healthcare in this nation. All those other candidates seem to think that government should be able to dictate to everyone what their healthcare should be like. They probably realize that chocolate ice cream isn’t good for someone overweight like I am. I doubt that they would ever prohibit the sale of ice cream, though. I mean, just because they would be paying for my healthcare and they’re control freaks doesn’t mean they’d ever be able to dictate to me what my diet should be or anything like that. It’s not like they’re collecting biometric data or anything. It’s not like they’ve collected any medical data on us or passed any medical data laws like HIPPA lately. It’s not like there’d be anywhere in the country where foods like foie gras would be banned. No, to believe that the government would ever infringe upon our freedoms so much as to mandate what we can and can’t eat is just paranoid.

Tim Russert on Meet the Press was much harsher with Ron Paul than Glen Beck was. He seemed to be harping on insignificant issues that occurred in Ron Paul’s past. The questions about the earmarks were particularly bothersome since every congressman partakes in such practices. That doesn’t mean that I approve of the practice, but it is a congressman’s job to represent his district. There’s something slightly distasteful about holding someone’s feet to the fire over something that all his colleagues do and not holding their feet to the fire over the practice as well, and this is especially so when they are doing so because the person being questioned has a reputation of being more principled than the others. It seems to me that Ron Paul’s reputation of being the most principled man in congress and his voting record excuses him of some minor earmarks for his district. He should be given that as he should be given a little wiggle room for his not running as a third party candidate stance. It was a little more difficult for Ron Paul to deliver his message with Mr. Russert interviewing him, but I think he did a good job delivering it once again. He got to mention our recent loss of freedoms, privacy and government intrusion with laws like the Patriot Act taking effect and how his message is resonating with the people of this nation as they become more and more fed up with such abuses of power. As for Mr. Russert’s parting remark, I doubt he meant anything nefarious by it. I often tell people as they are leaving my home to drive safely or to be safe, that doesn’t mean that I am warning them or predicting that something bad will happen to them. It is a simple form of wishing one well as he departs.

That was some good ice cream. I’m glad I live in a country where they still allow me to eat what I please, even though I am overweight. I most certainly hope I will have the freedom to enjoy such treats whenever I want for the rest of my life. I also hope I’ll be able to continue to express my opinion as I see fit without having to worry about going to dissident prison or ending up on some kind of government list, like a no fly list or something. I know I need to exercise more, perhaps in the new year. I mean, after all, except for that small problem I’m a very healthy man. I think I’ll have another bowl. I should be going now, someone’s pounding on my front door. At least I know that, for now, it isn’t the chocolate ice cream – Internet dissident police.

The Will to Be Free, the Strength to Live in Liberty

This article was originally published on Dec. 23rd, 2007 at

People are not born free. They are born into a system. These systems are called communities. These communities are usually made up of many smaller units known as families. It is within this unit where most of us are able to exercise the most control. It is within this unit where most will find the most comfort. It is within this unit that most will feel the most security. Within the larger units of community the individual can still exert quite a bit of power, but it takes a little more effort. At this level, friends and neighbors become important. If you are known as a good person, a person whose words and deeds are principled and honest, that should be honored. These are the people that local communities should turn to for advice and leadership. If a person has gained a reputation for dishonest, unprincipled behavior that person should be shunned. Lies should be exposed and breach of trust revealed. These sorts of behaviors should not be tolerated and people who engage in them should be removed from the good graces of community and encouraged to change. When honesty and principle are rewarded the individual is motivated to become honest and principled. This should be maintained to the highest level of national government. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case in today’s United States of America.

In a free society, we need to maintain our freedoms. It has been said that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. It seems that perhaps we have not been so vigilant. Part of vigilance is to hold tightly to one’s free will, to not entrust our will to another. Yet we have not done this. We have trusted our will to liars. We have trusted our will to crooks. We have trusted our will to those who abuse the powers we grant them. We must reclaim our will if we are to hold those with whom we entrusted the power to represent responsible when they fail to exercise that will. To reclaim our will, we must entrust it with other, more reliable and principled individuals and with ourselves. As a free society, we need to keep a closer eye on our representatives and make sure they are held accountable when the people’s will is ignored, not just trust that they will do the right thing.

When one becomes an adult, he must exercise his will if he wishes to live as a free man. He must make the decisions that affect his life. He must exercise self reliance. He may choose to allow another to make some decisions for him, but as long as he does so voluntarily that’s ok. When another forces one to accept decisions without consulting him, when another person or group of persons remove one’s ability to decide for himself through coercion or threat of force, than one is experiencing a circumstance akin to slavery. When government becomes overbearing and invasive, when it decides to legislate laws contrary to its own rules, the people must stand up for themselves and let those in power know that bullying is not acceptable. Otherwise, we have lost our will to be free. We cannot let fear control our judgment. We mustn’t lull ourselves into the false sense of security that the nanny state offers. The best way to insure our security is to demand openness and accountability in government. No nation is as safe as the nation so seeped in liberty as to hold no secrets.

In 1989 the people of East Germany showed the world what it meant to have the will to be free. The wall came down. The same year a brave young man faced down a column of tanks in Tiananmen square. He showed the world what it meant to have the will to be free and even though the Chinese government murdered thousands at that time and arrested thousands more, who’s to say how many lives he may have saved and what effect his small action had on those in command of the situation? A couple of years later the will of the soviet people was shown as that empire collapsed and many countries realized their independence. These are examples of countries who realized the tyranny they lived under decided to exercise their will to gain their freedom. Yet, as time has passed, we in the supposed freest nation on earth have allowed our own freedoms to be eroded and our constitution to be compromised. Do we need those who have lived under authoritative states to remind us what it takes to be free? We do not yet need to take such drastic actions to be free, and if we play our cards right we never will have to. We simply need to show that we do care. We need to show the establishment that we are paying attention. Electing Ron Paul, champion of the Constitution, for president would go a long way in showing those in power that the people are serious about protecting their God given rights. Electing him and other representatives that share his views would go further.

But showing the will to be free is not enough. We must have the strength to maintain that liberty. For decades we have been apathetic and ignored the warning signs of our impending slide toward collectivism. We did not pay attention as the government grew. We ignored them as they crept deeper and deeper into our everyday lives. We let them get away with crimes too numerous to list, both large and small, without holding them accountable. We let them bypass the constitution, a document written to limit their power and protect the people, too often without consequence. Now we stand on the brink at a time when one wrong step, one small disaster, one terror attack, could possibly lead us into a tyranny that would make those mentioned above look tame. We must have the strength to resist such a slide. We must have the strength of our convictions to say “Enough! We will no longer allow such abuses of our liberties.” If we are to live in liberty, we must be able to stand up to those who would try to frighten us and tell them we are not afraid. We must let them know that we can take care of ourselves and run our own lives. We must let them know that we do not wish to be taken care of any longer. And we must let them know that we will only accept people of honor, honesty, and integrity to lead this nation and represent our interests. When we can do this we will not only be able to live in liberty, but we will have given the rest of the world an example to follow, for history shows that out of freedom and liberty will come prosperity, but out of fear, greed and brutality will come only the ruins of a fallen empire.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Best Christmas Gifts

This article was originally published on Dec. 19th, 2007 at and

I love stuff. I’ve always loved stuff. I would go as far as to say that I love more than just stuff, I love junk. I love cheap plastic junk that breaks easily and does neat stuff. I’ve loved cheap plastic junk that breaks easily and does neat stuff ever since I was a kid, before it was all made in China. If it was possible, I would probably have the biggest collection of cheap plastic junk that breaks easily and does neat stuff in the world and most of it would probably be broken from being played with too much. When I was a kid I used to spend quite a bit of my money on cheap plastic junk that did neat stuff and broke easily and ended up in the garbage. Nowadays, of course, I can’t really afford to buy cheap plastic junk that breaks easily and does neat stuff simply because I don’t have that kind of disposable income. I need to spend my money on more important things, like food. It’s also nice to have heat this time of year and the company that supplies natural gas seems to want money to deliver it. The same is true of the company that sends electrons down the wires which are utilized by my computer to help me write these articles and deliver them to the Internet. When I get my own place I’d love to be able to supply my own electricity and heat using solar and wind power and stop making monthly payments, but I digress. The point is that right now the acquisition of cheap plastic junk that does neat stuff is very low on my priority list. Even though everything I’ve said so far is true, cheap plastic junk that does neat stuff, or even expensive plastic junk that does really neat stuff, does not make my list of the best Christmas gifts.

When I was a kid, I collected little metal cars called “Hot Wheels.” One Christmas, I asked for a specific "Hot Wheels" racing set and had my heart set on receiving it. Now, I came from a large family, so Santa Claus had to spend a great deal of money to supply us with presents. Of course, this hardly occurred to me when I was a child. I only knew that year after year I had received whatever I asked for from this wonderful and magical stranger, though by this time I was beginning to notice that my parents would act quite oddly at this time of year and spent much more time than usual out shopping. Anyway, to make a long story short, and I’m quite certain that I could embellish this story to rival the movie “A Christmas Story,” but then it wouldn’t quite be factual, but to make a long story short I was quite excited that Christmas morning. I scanned the room and did not see a present for me that was large enough to be the “Hot Wheels” racing set I had asked for. I ripped into my other presents and I probably gave them the proper appreciation, but it was beginning to look like Santa had not brought me the present I had most wanted. I was beginning to panic. Then my mom came down the stairs with a large present. I hadn’t even noticed that she had left the room. She explained that Santa must have accidentally left it in her room. It was for me.

Now I was excited. My heart pounded. I rushed to her. She handed me the present. I tore into the wrapping paper. Before it fell to the ground, before I could tear it all off, my heart sank. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I hadn’t gotten the “Hot Wheels” racing set I had asked for. I had, instead, received the dreaded “Johnny Lightning” racing set. I felt betrayed. How could this have happened? I wanted nothing more at that moment than to be left alone. I ran out of the room screaming something about how much I hated “Johnny Lightning.”

Now, just so everyone’s understanding is complete, this was not just some random reaction. My best friend and I at the time would often get into deep discussions about the virtues of “Hot Wheels” as opposed to the failings of “Johnny Lightning.” If my memory serves me, I believe much of the discussion revolved around the superiority of the “Hot Wheels” power source (the little houses that the cars would pass through had two battery operated rubber wheels that would spin and shoot the cars through) versus the inferior power source of the “Johnny Lightning” (which was a hand operated lever that moved a catch sticking up through a slot which would sling the car up a ramp). I seem to recall that the “Johnny Lightning” cars were also proprietary in that they had a little tab on the bottom so the catch in the track could sling them and this made it a little more difficult to remove the cars from the track and free play on the floor with them, but I could be wrong about that. In any case, my best friend and I had decided long before this happened that we both loved “Hot Wheels” and hated “Johnny Lightning” and we vowed we would only ever own and play with “Hot Wheels.” We both had quite large car collections we were very proud of. How could Santa, who was supposed to be able to see into the heart of a child and know his true desires, how could he have done something so heinous as to bring me the hated “Johnny Lightning” racing set?

So, that was not a good Christmas. The “Johnny Lightning” racing set is also not on my list of the best Christmas gifts. I did learn something on that day, however. I went through a whole range of emotion, from anger and profound disappointment, to realizations that maybe a child that young shouldn’t have to come to. For one thing, I did notice how bad my parents seemed to feel that Santa had not been able to bring the proper car racing set to me. It seems that Santa could be a victim of consumer demand as much as anyone, and I wasn’t the only kid that had wanted the “Hot Wheels” racing set that year. It was in high demand and by the time Santa had gotten around to shopping for my gift, the stores had run out of stock. All that was left were “Johnny Lightning” racing sets as they were not so much in demand, and Santa had decided that something for me was better than nothing. Of course, this was a hard concept for a child to wrap his mind around, especially one that had been so disappointed. My father did let me know in no uncertain terms, however, that I was lucky to receive anything for Christmas and that I should appreciate any present I received. He was a brought up during the depression, after all, and had lost his father at a very young age, so he seldom got anything he asked for when he was a child. This was something I took to heart. By the time my father had finished explaining things to me, my brothers had set up the “Johnny Lightning” racing set and were playing with it. I decided to break my vow and play with the “Johnny Lightning” racing set. After all, it seemed to matter a great deal to my father, and everyone else in my family for that matter, that I appreciate the gift.

If you are waiting for a happy ending to this story, it comes three months later. On my birthday, I was determined that I would appreciate whatever presents I received. After the celebration had ended and I had opened all my presents, I still hadn’t received my “Hot Wheels” racing set, but I had learned my lesson well. I was appreciative of the toys I had received and happily playing with them. Then my dad surprised me and brought the “Hot Wheels” racing set out of hiding. When I saw it, I became the happiest kid in the world. I couldn’t thank him enough. I’m sure I got many hours of enjoyment out of that gift, but I have no idea what happened to that toy. In fact, my whole “Hot Wheels” collection disappeared into the mists of time. I would say that a “Hot Wheels” racing set does not make my list of the best Christmas gifts. Material possessions are very transient. You never know what life will throw your way. What I remember most about Christmas gifts is the love and care that the person who gave it wrapped it in. What I have learned to appreciate is the thoughtfulness behind the gift.

Perhaps many of us need to learn to appreciate what we already have. It is easy to take for granted what we already possess as we rush to acquire more stuff. I hate to sound cliché, but sometimes something is cliché because truth can be cliché. So, in my opinion, the best gifts are seldom material. A hug makes a great gift. I’m not talking about a little how-do-you-do hug, I’m talking about a great big so-glad-you’ve-shown-up bear hug. A kiss or some other show of affection from a significant other means so much more than a new watch or wallet. A little bit of intimacy says “I love you” so much more than even the most expensive power tool. A homemade card from a child says so much more than anything that can be purchased at a store. Friendship is also a great gift. Just being there for emotional support is a gift beyond expression. After all, what do we have if not each other? The man who has everything is woeful if he does not know true friendship. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for people to express their love for one another by purchasing stuff, but to me the best gifts are those that give the chance for the person to give of himself/herself. Those are the gifts I, at least, appreciate the most.

If, however, anyone out there wishes to give me a gift to show appreciation and they can’t think of a way they can give of themselves, cash is always a good option. Drop me an email and we’ll make arrangements.

A New Direction in Blogging, an Interview With Matt Colebourne of coComment

This article was originally published on Dec. 18th, 2007 at and

I believe I can say with relative impunity that the Internet is not just some fad that will soon fade into history. Nor is it any longer the purview of a few geeks interested only in sharing scientific papers and findings. The Internet has become an integral part of our society. It has become a tool for the common man, a means of commerce, education, and entertainment and a portal to a plethora of alternative sources of news and information. In my humble opinion, the advent of the Internet has spurred a new interest in the cause of freedom. Even as we have watched corruption eat away at the grand institutions we have created in this country, even as we have watched the powerful pass laws that violate individual rights contrary to the founding documents that created this great nation of ours, even as these things have come to pass and they have struggled to tighten their grasp of control over us, new hope as sprung eternal. As the mass media gained in influence and sought to convince the populace that all was well in the halls of government, particularly in the last two decades, a counter influence gained momentum. The Internet has come into its own over the past few years, and one of the opportunities it opens up for all is the opportunity to blog.

Blogs have gained in popularity over the past few years. They give the individual a chance to voice his opinion in this world full of opinions. Blogs are the epitome of free speech. They give the moderator a chance to share what he thinks with the rest of the world and meet some like minded people. But blogs can have their own pitfalls. For instance, what to do about those who disagree? Does one let them air that out on one’s blog or do you moderate them into a cyber black hole? Fortunately, the free market always finds a way to innovate and already many entrepreneurs are coming up with products to help those who own blogs and those who participate on them manage their time and efforts better. Recently I had the honor of interviewing Matt Colebourne, CEO of and asked him some pertinent questions. Here’s what he had to say on the subject:

Szandor Blestman: The Internet has become a powerful tool in presenting to the public alternative viewpoints. How do you feel coComment helps reinforce that aspect of the Internet?

Matt Colebourne: By making it much easier to participate in conversations and to find the right people with whom to have the conversation.

SB: What features offered by your site are unique to CoComment?

MC: Lots ! Groups, Sharing, Sidebar Browsing and conversations widgets for sites, including Facebook. They're all tools we've built to make it easier to participate in a conversation and easier to share it with others.

SB: In a previous article I wrote, I expressed a displeasure in the banning of certain speech on a blog, yet I respect and understand the right of a privately owned blog to censor any comments deemed inappropriate for whatever reason. How can your service help reconcile these seemingly divergent points of view?

MC: We understand the position; however, as a large, 'meta' layer on the conversation space we don't want to be involved in censoring any comments. Sites using our technology can do so, of course, as that is 'their' space but we are a service and, as such, will only remove illegal content.

SB: Newspapers are losing subscribers and television news is losing viewers. Do you believe this is a result of the diversity of viewpoints on the Internet and the ability for the individual to participate?

MC: Partly; I think that the key issue is interaction … people expect to be able to interact and simple consumption is not sufficient to capture their interest for very long.

SB: Do you believe that corporate media giants report news objectively, completely and honestly?

MC: Sometimes ! It is not really for us to say … we are a neutral service aimed at letting users find conversations and decide for themselves.

SB: Do you believe that the Internet and blogging have or will force the “mainstream” media to change the way they report news?

MC: Yes, most definitely. Of most relevance to us is the rise of interaction, commenting on articles and we see this increasingly in mainstream media today.

SB: Do you believe that the Internet will one day become the predominant source of news? Do you believe that blogging will become more popular as time goes on, or do you think it’s a fad that will reach a plateau and then fade away?

MC: No. The internet is not a source of news, it's a medium for the transmission of information; some good and some bad. News will always come from people writing about it; but they may well start to use the internet more than other traditional channels to reach their audience since the barriers to entry are so much lower. It's much easier to setup your own blog than your own magazine.

As has been the case for millions of years, the times they are a changing. If it seems that time is moving faster now than it has in the past, perhaps that’s because things seem to be changing faster. Survival has always depended on how well one can adapt to the changes. That seems to be true for everything, including media outlets and news sources. One thing I’ve noticed, the free market is always able and willing to innovate and come up with products that consumers demand. coComment and other blogging services are evidence of a shift in how common people are consuming news and information in this modern world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It’s Not Ron Paul, It’s the Message

This article was originally published on Dec. 3rd, 2007 at

When I first started writing these articles back in April 2006, I had no idea where they’d take me. I had a few things to say and when the opportunity presented itself I thought I’d go ahead and say them. I knew my writings were political in nature, but I was also trying to relate my viewpoint to real life experiences. I never really considered myself an activist. I realized our country was heading in a wrong direction and that we were teetering on the edge of something America was never meant to be. I wrote subtle warnings about such things in a way I hoped people could relate to on a personal level. Still, I could not imagine where all this could lead and at times I doubted I was doing much good at all. I certainly never believed I would end up advocating for some Republican presidential candidate.

There was a point in time when people were telling me I should go into politics. I have always been a good diplomat. I’ve often been able to build bridges between people and ideas. I always believed, however, that I would never succeed in the world of politics because I was too honest. I was too principled. You just don’t see too many successful politicians because the nature of our system calls for one to be able to fudge on certain points in order to garner the most votes. I didn’t believe that any honest, principled politician could ever succeed, particularly at the national level. Then I discovered Ron Paul.

I first heard of Ron Paul because of his stance on the Iraq war. He agreed with my point of view, that we should leave as soon as possible. That got my attention. For a brief moment, I thought perhaps he had read one of my articles. I looked into him and found he advocated the same principles that I had advocated all my adult life. On top of that, he seemed to be an honest, principled politician. I have no idea how he had survived in politics as a Republican for so long, but I’m glad he did. You would think that dirty tricks and corrupt politics would have sidelined him long ago as they have sidelined so many promising honest and decent individuals that have tried to stand up for the interests of the common man in the past. Cynthia McKinney comes to mind. It just seems to me that if you’re a politician and you’re not doing what the big money tells you to do, you’re not going to last very long. But none of that seems to matter now. Ron Paul somehow managed to survive all these years and now he’s seizing the spotlight. It’s almost as if providence has put him where he needs to be at the very time our country needs a man like him. He is putting the message out there and the masses are responding to it.

Now, I think Ron Paul does an excellent job of getting the message across. That message is of course the message of freedom, personal responsibility, and smaller government handcuffed by the constitution so that those in charge can’t wantonly violate the rights of individuals they are supposed to be considerate of. This is a message that libertarians of all stripes have espoused since before the bill of rights was utilized to codify these ideas into law. It is a message that has been censored, hidden and removed from public discourse as much as possible during these last few decades, going back perhaps as much as a century, as little by little, bit by bit, the freedoms we hold so dear have eroded away at the hands of a ruling elite. These Democrats and Republicans, this duopoly of power, have in the past passed laws making it difficult for honest, principled third party candidates to run for office. They leave third party candidates out of their debates so the public is denied consistent, well reported access to excellent ideas, the same ideas that helped to found this great nation of ours. We are instead treated to a steady diet of minor issues that should be handled at a state level while major constitutional issues that need to be discussed at the federal level remain unheard. This is why Ron Paul has been so successful, because he can finally bring these issues to the forefront of national consciousness. These ideas he brings to the debate, ideas that his rivals and others in power have for so long sought to silence, are ideas that resonate with the general public. His message is what people are responding to, not the man. The message he espouses of peace, freedom, liberty and the hope that we can once again be a great nation that offers these things to the downtrodden and oppressed of the world is the message that so many of us want to hear. Yes, Ron Paul has an excellent persona and delivers the message expertly and gracefully, but so did Harry Browne and many others. The difference is that not only does Ron Paul have a more visible platform from which to announce the message, but I believe the American people are finally ready to once again pay attention to it.

I hear other candidates, both Republican and Democrats, asking about how Ron Paul does it. How does he garner such support? How does he raise so much money on the Internet? They have tried their own money bombs and they have failed miserably. Barack Obama’s money bomb managed to get just $4600 from 69 donors. They just don’t get it. It’s not Ron Paul, it’s the message. The other candidates are under the impression that running for president is nothing more than some kind of popularity contest. They have deluded themselves into thinking that they need to stand for nothing of substance, that if they can just look good, smile and pretend to be nice that the average American will back them in their campaign for president. They are counting on the apathy of the American people, that the average citizen just doesn’t care and so they can appeal to the special interest groups and curry favors and money from them. But the average American does care. The other candidates are quickly discovering this. The average American simply had not been exposed to Ron Paul’s message before. The “mainstream” media certainly would not have presented it to them. In fact, they were complicit in hiding this message, which has been espoused by others (myself included) who were effectively ignored. It was the Internet that allowed this message to become widely dispersed. It was people like me, who were tired of the lies and deceit practiced by corporate media and politicians over the last few years, who decided to turn to alternative sources to discover what was really going on and rediscovered the message of freedom. These are Ron Paul’s supporters, the disenfranchised who yearn for freedom, average Joes, simple folk, middle class America, those who make the country work. They are giving their money, their time, their hearts and their souls to Ron Paul’s campaign not because of the man, but because they still believe in the message.

The media is still trying to minimize and marginalize Ron Paul. They give him less time in the debates than the other candidates and then they ask him irrelevant questions. What on earth ever possessed CNN/Youtube to allow a question to Ron Paul about conspiracy theories? Who cares what Ron Paul supporters think about such things? I want to hear what Ron Paul has to say about real issues, like taxes, sound money and the Iraq war. Of course, CNN doesn’t want the American public to hear his ideas on those things because they make too much sense and will resonate with the opinions of many. Why weren’t any of the other candidates forced to answer such nonsense? I think Ron Paul handled it rather well, explaining there was a conspiracy of ideologies, of people who believe in world government vs. people who believe in national sovereignty, but it would have been interesting to see if the other candidates would have denied such things existed for fear of losing votes or if they would have had the guts to admit the truth in the face of ridicule. These ploys don’t deter Ron Paul. They don’t shake the support he receives. Why? It’s the message.

Ron Paul detractors continue to try to smear him and his supporters. They continue to try to distract from the real issues by name calling and trash talking. They continue to claim that sound, proven ideas are “crazy” or won’t work in today’s world for whatever reason. One must assume that these people either don’t properly understand the message of peace and freedom, or they have something to gain from war and big government, or they are afraid of losing something should peace break out and freedom regain a foothold, or they simply don’t want people to be free to make their own decisions. Whatever the case may be, Ron Paul detractors aren’t worried so much about him as they are his message. They would vehemently oppose anyone who advocated such a message. These are people that think getting rid big government is a bad idea. They want to be told what to do. They somehow find it comforting to not have to make their own decisions. There’s a good chance that many of them will advocate pre-emptive war. They somehow believe that killing innocents and destroying other countries’ infrastructure will keep us safe and help spread democracy. I have the feeling that many of these people will soon find they have become marginalized and are on the fringe. If you ever get the chance to visit an institution for the mentally unstable you might find many of the insane believe they are sane and the rest of us aren’t.

Ron Paul has a message and we should all listen to it. It’s a message the founders of this country believed in. It’s a message that many believed died long ago. It’s a message that some would just as soon bury. But these are ideas that are inherent to mankind. These are ideas we constantly try to implement no matter the circumstances, no matter the oppression, no matter the punishment for failure. No matter what happens with Ron Paul’s candidacy, no matter what the future may hold, it is most important that we keep broadcasting the message. With hard work and vigilance, we will see Ron Paul as our president, but we should try to remember the importance not of Ron Paul, but of his message.

Acquiring and Keeping Genuine Wealth and Wisdom

This article was originally published on Nov. 27th, 2007 at

My parents are elderly. They have been through a lot in their lives. They have seen a great depression, a world war, other smaller wars, an economic boom, a couple of recessions, an oil crisis, an energy crisis, etc., etc., etc. I find too often many people ignore the elderly. They feel that, for whatever reason, they know better than these people. Perhaps that is because many people may feel that times have changed and the experiences of the older folks are not relevant in today’s world. I believe there are parallels to their experiences that still apply in the modern world. In fact, if we pay attention to history, we might find that even way back in the darkness of pre-historic times there are things to be learned from the experiences of our ancestors. In many ways we are the same as they were, only the technology has changed to give us a buffer zone away from the natural world.

So, I was talking to my mother the other day. She has become interested in my writing and related to me some experiences in her life she thought might interest me and my readers. What she told me gave me food for thought. It was nothing terribly profound or earth shattering, but then again the important things seldom are. It does make one think about the validity of some libertarian ideals.

My parents were married in 1950. At that time, my father made a grand total of $2350 per year. My oldest brother was born in 1951. My mother informed me that at the time they paid $50 per month rent. The doctor’s bill for delivering the baby was $50. The hospital bill for a five day stay was $50. The reason for these low bills was simple. Everyone of consequence, the hospital administrators, the doctor and the landlord, knew my parents. They were aware of their financial situation. My parents had no insurance at the time. These people took this into account and used the personal responsibility bestowed upon them by nature to decide to charge my parents only as much as they could afford to pay. Because these people were able to exercise their personal responsibility, they had concern for their fellow human beings. Today the hospital can bill the state if the patient has no insurance and will therefore charge all of us for that patient’s care. When a patient has insurance they charge the insurance companies as much as they can. They don’t have to be concerned about the individual’s ability to pay. They have abdicated their personal responsibility and heaped it on the shoulders of the general public.

Fifty seven years ago the world was different. I’m not saying it was better or worse, just different. Along the way things seem to change gradually, yet compared to history things have changed rather suddenly. There are some things we may have forgotten. It seems to me that one of those things may be the nature of genuine wealth.

Today, wealth is measured by the money one makes. Yet money is only a means to an end. I believe money is simple riches. Genuine wealth comes from the inside, from the heart. It is created. There is not a static amount of wealth sitting upon the world for mankind to divvy up. This is what we have forgotten. The more work we do, the more wealth we create. The economy isn’t made from money, that’s just a choice we make as to what to use to represent trade between parties. The economy is made of humans. We are the economy. We may do well to remember this in the future if push comes to shove. What we make or build, or the services we provide, or the art we create, this is genuine wealth. To acquire such wealth, we just need to produce it.

There are a couple of concepts I believe we as Americans should get away from if we are to acquire true wealth. The first is that wealth is owed to us, that the world owes us something. The world owes nothing to any individual. It is up to the individual to best make his own way in this life. Often, a person, like electricity, will follow the path of least resistance. Some, if they can do nothing and survive, will do nothing. This does not contribute to society. People may at times need help and in a civilized society that help should be forthcoming, one should not, however, be forced through government or other means to provide that help. On the other hand, we need to get away from this concept that we must give for the betterment of society. We shouldn’t be forced to give any part of the wealth we’ve created through our own hard labor. We should be allowed to keep all the wealth we make honestly and to decide on a voluntary basis who to give it to in exchange for the goods and services we consume. If there is wealth left over after one’s needs are met, then he can decide for himself whether or not to be charitable.

Genuine wealth is created between people, not between institutions. It is something that cannot be taken away because it comes from inside ourselves, not from some bank or government outside our control. These institutions may loan or give us money, but they take wealth. They steal it from those who would crawl to them and beg for help to get out of some temporary fix they imagine themselves into. They would loan you their fictitious money created from nothing, already based solely on someone else’s debt, and then steal your land, or your labor, or your product, or any property you may own when you find you can’t pay back the money due to some unfortunate circumstance, or when you can’t afford the taxes, or when you voice your dissent and try to protest the system. It is up to us to decide to cooperate with each other if we are to overcome those who would try to confiscate our real wealth.

Genuine wisdom is more than just knowledge. It is knowledge combined with action, hopefully in such a way so as one’s goals are achieved. One can have all the knowledge in the world and it would do him no good if he refuses to act on it. If the goal is to elevate the wealth of all of mankind, if the goal is for everyone to at least have the chance to live together in peace and harmony, and to live well under such conditions, then we had better start acting upon the knowledge we have, for we are slipping. It would be a start if we decided to use something provided by nature to represent our labor and our creations, something solid to replace the “money” we use today. Gold and silver have always been best for this, but there are other precious metals, some more abundant than others, that can be used. We should then keep an eye on those who would store our treasure to make sure they do not loan us our own money and then charge us interest. Lastly, we should not destroy the wealth of others in lands far from our own because we fear they might do something bad to us. We should bring our troops home to protect the treasures we have here. We should let those in foreign lands keep their own treasures and trade with them in an honest and fair manner. Do these things and we will acquire genuine wealth and wisdom, as once upon a time our country’s founders demonstrated. Establish these practices and then protect them from the corruption that has crept into our political system over the past several decades and we will be able to keep what we have earned.

Ron Paul’s “Crazy” Supporters and Other Nonsense

This article was originally posted on Nov. 21st, 2007 at

It can be said that the English language is a living language. This is because as time goes on the language changes. Words come to mean different things. Sometimes the same word can mean one thing to some people and quite another to a different group. This is especially true of legalese, but I won’t go into that now. As a student of the English language, this facet of its growth often fascinates me. It’s amazing how the meanings of words mutate over time. I can think of several words whose meanings are wholly different than they were about fifty years ago. Gay is a prime example, but there are others.

Most recently the word crazy seems to have seriously changed its meaning. It used to mean insanity, but to many political pundits it seems to mean anyone who disagrees with their political ideology. Now, I realize there are many other definitions for crazy, some which are positive, but when these talking heads on TV or these political pundits writing for major newspapers and magazines use this word, it seldom seems to connote a positive meaning in context. No, when these people use this word they most often seem to mean insane, not enthusiastic, devoted or excited. If confronted, they would probably claim to mean these things, but we know different. Who do they think they’re fooling? Well, they’re fooling the few who are still trapped watching TV news and reading corporate newspapers, those who are unable or unwilling to seek alternative sources to get another point of view, and those who are unable or unwilling to digest an alternative point of view and use critical thinking to come to their own conclusions. There are some people out there who continue to believe that all Ron Paul supporters are insane. A good way to combat this phenomenon is to tell people who know you are sane that you are a Ron Paul supporter. In fact, the more Ron Paul supporters one meets, the more one realizes the vast majority of them are some of the sanest people on the face of the planet. In this way, those on the fence will come to realize the propaganda being spread by some in the “mainstream” media for what it is.

Yet as if this wasn’t enough, now Ron Paul supporters have been called terrorists by some media personalities. Terrorist is not a word that has changed its meaning, but it is a word that is often misused. A terrorist is someone who engages in terrorism. Terrorism is the use or threatened use of violence with the intention of coercing or intimidating societies or governments, often for political purposes. To this point, I am unaware of any use or threatened use of violence from any Ron Paul supporter as an attempt to get Ron Paul elected. I would venture a guess that 99.999999% of all Ron Paul supporters realize how futile such a gesture would be. I have seen, however, the threat of the use of force leveled against Ron Paul supporters, dissenters, anti-war protestors, and other activists. There are a few commentators on some “mainstream” media venues that repeatedly call for the force of the state to be brought against these people. There have been many calls for violence to be used against such civil disobedience. They often do this as they advocate nationalism and adherence to the latest mantra of the state. This has been particularly true lately as more and more people find the message of freedom and gravitate toward agreement with those who have in the past been labeled “fringe.” It seems that perhaps the “mainstream” media is not so mainstream anymore. It’s almost as if these commentators can see their audience exiting the theater to check out some different act and so they start shouting and name calling in an attempt to keep the audience placated. They also seem to believe that demanding the government adhere to the mandates spelled out in the constitution is somehow threatening behavior.

We might all do well to remember the reason our country’s founders penned the constitution in the first place. Its purpose was to protect the people from the government. The people who came to America were people trying to escape tyranny. They were tired of innocent people being lumped together and punished alongside those who may have advocated violence against the government. They were tired of innocents being tortured because of their religious or political views and being forced into false confessions. They were tired of being told what to think. They were tired of being told to shut up, that the king or others in power knew better than they did. They were tired of not having a voice in government. They were pretty much sick and tired of the corrupt governments that had metastasized upon the European continent. The failings of monarchal rule were fresh in the minds of the founding fathers when they wrote the constitution. This more than likely weighed in when they decided to include the bill of rights. It seems we have come full circle. As laws are passed to try to circumvent articles of the bill of rights our very own government begins to look more and more like the tyrannical monarchies our ancestors fled. If some emergency befalls our great nation and the constitutional system collapses, we will not have a new world to flee to. It behooves us, therefore, to do our best to shore up our constitution as best we can, to make certain that power does not get too centralized to the point where a very few can do whatever they please without being held accountable. I don’t believe we’ve reached that point yet, though we are close.

Supporters of Ron Paul are excited because they believe they can realize a peaceful path to change and a way to restore faith in the constitution and balance to the nation. They realize that violence and force are part of the problem, not the solution. The Ron Paul revolution catch phrase emphasizes love found in the word rEVOLution. It is disingenuous to call his supporters crazy. It is unfair to label them as terrorists. I would never stoop to calling those in the media names or suggesting that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In fact, I believe just the opposite. I believe those in the media who are trying to discredit Ron Paul and his supporters are quite intelligent and well informed. I know they are quite well paid, unlike folks like me, and it is their job (or at least is should be) to make themselves informed. This makes their motives seem quite nefarious when they decide to engage in activities such as name calling and shouting out for state sanctioned violence against Ron Paul supporters and others.

Ron Paul’s message of freedom, peace, sound money, personal responsibility and smaller government resonates with a diverse spectrum of Americans. He will of course attract some questionable characters, as will all the presidential candidates. It is unfair to paint all his supporters with the same brush, especially when most are just average Americans. Ron Paul supporters, for the most part, have no personal monetary interests in supporting him. Can those highly paid professionals in the media who dispute his ideas and deride his supporters say the same? Who provides their salaries? Perhaps the same corporate interests that donate money to and lobby nearly all the other candidates? It makes one wonder who these pundits owe their loyalties to. It will be interesting to see how things play out as more and more average Americans find Ron Paul’s message and decide to support him morally and financially. It will be just as interesting to see how many words have completely different meanings by the end of this election cycle.

Confiscating Liberty

This article was originally published on Nov. 18th, 2007 at

On Wednesday, November 14th, 2007, agents from the FBI and Secret Service raided the offices of American Liberty Dollar in Evansville, Indiana and the mint they do business with. They confiscated all their records, their gold, silver, copper and platinum. They confiscated tons of Ron Paul liberty dollars. They confiscated anything that had to do with the business. As far as any of us knows, the only records as to who is owed what, and the records of how much precious metal there was, is now in the hands of the government, a government who has time and again lied to the public in order to further their own agendas and line their own pockets. Are we supposed to trust these people now? There was a time in this country when I would have given them the benefit of the doubt. That time has passed.

This action is strangely reminiscent of the gold confiscation of 1933. In the depths of the depression, in order to keep from sinking further into monetary crisis, President Roosevelt ordered all privately owned gold to be confiscated by the United States government. This is because there was still a gold standard in place and the people of the country could use gold as an alternative to the notes issued by the Federal Reserve. The Fed wanted to control and issue all the gold, all the money the American public could spend. In that way, it could manipulate it to suit its own agenda. Roosevelt agreed with them and allowed them this monopoly over our money. They took our gold, the gold owned by the citizenry of the United States, in exchange for their paper. Perhaps the Fed feels that the Liberty Dollar was gaining too much popularity. Perhaps that is why the raid occurred. A monopoly abhors competition.

Wolf Blitzer reported on CNN that the secret service had confiscated the Ron Paul Liberty Dollars. It was suggested that the secret service considered this election tampering. It was also suggested that the practice of putting someone’s face on a coin before they were president was illegal. The Ron Paul Liberty Dollar is not legal tender, however, and everyone knows this. Bernard Von Nothaus, the creator of the Liberty Dollar, has made certain that his customers know they are not dealing with legal tender. The pure silver, copper, gold and platinum medallions he makes can be voluntarily exchanged for goods or services, just as toothpicks, cigarettes, or any other medium can be used as long as the parties in question agree to the exchange. If it’s not legal tender, the owner should be able to put anyone he wants on it. I doubt this was about keeping Ron Paul’s name out of the spotlight. If it was, then it wasn’t very well thought through as the raid actually gained Ron Paul some free publicity. It seems to me that this raid signals something far more ominous coming in the days ahead.

There are all kinds of indicators going off that the dollar is in trouble. The war in Iraq has gone on for far too long and has cost the American people far too much in terms of life and treasure. There have been far too many Federal Reserve notes printed the last few years. The purchasing power of the dollar is weaker than it has ever been. My mother pointed out to me the other day that the government leaves the cost of energy and food out of the inflation reports. She explained to me that not only would this keep the inflation rate artificially low, but that in this way the government doesn’t have to give those collecting social security the true cost of living increase they deserve. It’s sad when the cost of a war falls upon the shoulders of those who can least afford it and those who most oppose it. As the value of Federal Reserve notes continue to fall, people will be on the look out for a more stable currency. Precious metals do not lose value. They look very appealing to many right now.

I doubt very much this raid was done as a result of any crime perpetrated by American Liberty Dollar. This raid was not in response to a specific coin being minted. This raid is an attempt to keep precious metal out of the hands of the American people. These men have confiscated not the materials of one man who should eventually be vindicated. Much of the precious metal confiscated was already sold. It belongs to the individuals that paid for it. Most of the coins confiscated were also paid for. These agents of the state have confiscated the precious metal owned by the people. They have confiscated your right to use whatever method any given citizens agree upon to use for barter. They have confiscated our liberty. They have confiscated one of our God given rights, the right to freely associate. This is the true nature of the raid on American Liberty Dollar. Don’t be surprised if agents of the state come knocking upon your door sometime soon and ask for your gold.

If Dr. Seuss Wrote for Dr. Ron Paul

This article was originally published on Nov. 13th, 2007 at

George was on the net one day,

He thought he’d take some time and play.

To youtube he decided to surf,

He came upon Ron Paul’s turf.

He saw a video at the mall,

Where on the dais stood Ron Paul.

Ron Paul spoke true and he spoke loud,

Below him gathered quite a crowd.

He said “I will end all the wars,

I’ll bring our troops back to our shores.

We shall no longer fund an empire,

Which sucks up money like a vampire.

We need our people here at home,

Not in Baghdad, Kabul or Rome.

The world we don’t need to police,

Our tax payers we don’t need to fleece.

Our founders warned us to beware,

Keep out of alliances that are unfair.

With the world we shall peacefully trade,

Our coffers we shall fill, not raid.”

George listened long and he sat back,

What he heard made his jaw go slack.

He wondered about the video with dread,

He shook his head and then he said,

“I will not join your revolution,

I don’t believe in the constitution.”

Ron Paul continued with his speech,

The masses he intended to reach,

More people came from near and far,

They came by foot and bike and car.

“I will rid us of the IRS curse,

Who dips its fingers in everyone’s purse.

They should not tax the labor of a man,

On that there needs to be a ban.

Sound money we should start to mint,

The Federal Reserve needs to get a hint.

An economy that is based on debt,

Will one day collapse you can bet.

Fiscal responsibility is what we need,

Not private bankers full of greed.

Government money based on gold,

Is constitutional, so I’m told.

But if there must be privatization,

Money competition should be in this nation.”

George could not believe what he heard,

His disbelief grew with every word.

What could be done against such truth,

He stiffened his jaw and hurt a tooth.

“I will not join your revolution,

I do not believe in the constitution.”

And to this story there was more,

Ron Paul, he still had the floor,

The more he spoke of government sin,

The more donations came rolling in.

For the Nation’s people showed concern,

And for freedom they did yearn.

Self reliance they wish they had,

Not a government acting like a dad.

“I will reject intrusive laws,

And from your lives remove government paws.

I’ll work to repeal unconstitutional acts,

And make the government reveal hidden facts.

To the constitution we all take an oath,

To honor that helps the country’s growth.

The government we must work to shrink,

There are programs we must rethink.

The dependent have nothing to worry about,

But the young will get a chance to opt out.

For a voluntary government is what works best,

Not fear, nor force nor a big brother’s nest.”

George still watched and became mad,

He rejected the notion he had been bad.

The famous neocon would not admit wrong,

And he disagreed with Ron Paul’s song.

“I will not join your revolution,

I don’t believe in the constitution.”

But to him Ron Paul did not speak,

His words were meant for the ears of the meek.

He knew that to check those in power,

The people needed to stand, not cower.

To the masses he did appeal,

Okay, folks, now here’s the deal.

“Join us in this revolution.

Let’s reinstate the constitution.”

Ron Paul Revolution: We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

This article was originally published on Nov. 9th, 2007 at

During the War for Independence fought by the thirteen original colonies of these United States of America, a hero rose from the ranks of the populace by the name of John Paul Jones. I believe most Americans have heard of this gentleman, but without going into too much detail he was a captain in the newly formed navy of the United States and it is claimed that at one point in a battle being fought off foreign shores against a supposedly superior British force he was offered a chance to surrender by an over confident English commander. It is reported that this offer was made at a time when the outcome of the battle was still uncertain and that Capt. John Paul Jones made the reply, “I have not yet begun to fight.” His ship and others went on to win that battle, though his own ship was lost.

During Ron Paul’s candidacy, there have been many who have discounted him. The mainstream media has never given him his due. Early on they did their best to ignore him, and they continue to try to ignore him (but that is getting harder with each passing day and each victorious milestone his campaign achieves.) They have constantly claimed him as a lower tier candidate with no chance of winning. They have written off his supporters as “Internet supporters” as if they weren’t real people, but only existed in the cyber world. They called him names, and called his supporters names, some even going as far as to label his supporters as crazy. There have been battles of words fought in the blogosphere between Ron Paul’s supporters and his detractors in which the insults fly heavily between the two factions. All this has served as mere distraction as they to try to sink his candidacy. Those who would rather have one of the authoritarians on the Republican ticket become the next great Decider, those who wish to abdicate their personal responsibility so that the government can take care of them, have oft times offered Ron Paul and his supporters the chance to surrender before battle was even truly engaged. Well, my friends and fellow Ron Paul supporters, my answer to them is the same resounding answer that echoes across the waves of time; We have not yet begun to fight.

On November 5th, 2007, Ron Paul supporters gave their candidate 4.2 million dollars. This was huge. Despite this, there were some that tried to minimize its impact. One such person was Kevin Drum. Mr. Drum, apparently some well respected political blogger and supported by CBS news, resorted to the juvenile tactic of name calling in order to try to convince people that Ron Paul is still insignificant. The blog I’m referring to can be found here.

The title itself, Ron Paul, Fruitcake, should immediately tell the reader that the article will contain nothing of any real value in terms of civil discourse into issues facing this nation today. It starts out by stating that Ron Paul raised a “buttload” of money, a term I would expect to hear from my thirteen year old son. Then he goes onto say that it really doesn’t change a thing and “everyone” knows it. Hmm, I wish something so meaningless as raising 4.2 million could happen in my life. And everyone knows it. I’m part of everyone and I didn’t know that. Thanks for clarifying that for me, Kevin. He then goes on to ask if “we can stop pretending to be political infants.” Well, Kevin, that might happen when you stop pretending that raising 4.2 million dollars in one day is insignificant and doesn’t change a thing. He then states that Ron Paul’s positions are extreme, uncompromising and meaningless. Is obedience and loyalty to the constitution meaningless? Are freedom and liberty so extreme? If they are, then these United States of America is no longer the bastion of opportunity and hope that caused so many to flock to its shores in the past. But, to him, we hard working blue collar workers who support Ron Paul and are struggling to get by in this world are merely pretending that these principles have meaning. Sadly, perhaps he’s right about that. But there is at least one man working in congress for whom these principles do have meaning, and that man is Ron Paul. Mr. Drum then manages to insinuate that only technophiles are using the Internet as a political tool and that they are mostly libertarians. So, you remember that all you everyday Joes that are happening onto this Internet on a daily basis.

Mr. Drum continues his diatribe by suggesting that Ron Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to economics. I saw him interviewed tonight on Kudlow & Company on CNBC. Three of the four panel members, including Mr. Steve Forbes, and Mr. Kudlow himself agreed with much of what Ron Paul had to say. Hmm, perhaps the Mr. Drum, a political analyst, doesn’t know as much about economics as he thought he did. My mother, a certified financial planner, called me after watching the interview to let me know how well Dr. Paul had done in the interview and to tell me she had an much improved opinion of Dr. Paul. She told me that he wasn’t as radical as she thought he would be. Mr. Drum finishes his article by asking a simple question; “Seriously, folks. Can we all please grow up?” Ron Paul supporters believe in personal responsibility and self reliance. We wish to have the power to make our own decisions. We don’t want the government taking care of us. We don’t need the nanny state. We have grown up, Mr. Drum sir, it is you who seems to be suffering from terminal adolescence.

There have been other bloggers trying to minimize Ron Paul and the mainstream media still seems to be having a tough time acknowledging Ron Paul’s significance. Fox News immediately comes to mind as one media outlet still trying to pretend he doesn’t exist. The polls they cite are still somehow slanted against Ron. Yet these things matter little. We know the support is there. The most important factor of the events of November 5th is the number of people that gave. I doubt that Hillary Clinton in her wildest dreams would expect 37,000 people to donate to her campaign in a single day. I doubt any Republican candidate could get one tenth of that number to donate in a single day. Their message just isn’t powerful enough. The common man is tired of the status quo and he’s certainly not going to donate to someone who wants to keep the same old, same old. We of the middle class finally have an honest politician who is on our side and willing to lead us in a revolution to restore power to the people, and we will rally behind him. We have not yet begun to fight.

Ron Paul’s message is getting heard. Everyday, more and more people come across Ron Paul’s message and find they agree with it. Everyday new people donate to his campaign, people who have never donated to a political campaign in their lives. Everyday new people lose their apathy and discover that fighting for their freedom is worthwhile. People want smaller, less intrusive government. They want personal responsibility and self reliance. They want to see the constitution honored. They want to once again live in the America they and our forefathers dreamed of. Ron Paul embodies this spirit. Ron Paul’s supporters are working tirelessly, volunteering their time and efforts, to make sure as many people as possible see or hear this message regardless of the efforts of those who would try to misinform, misrepresent or otherwise try to sully Ron Paul’s candidacy. There is still much that needs to be done to carry this battle to victory. We have not yet begun to fight.

Random Thoughts of a Hopelessly Human

This article was originally published on Nov. 9th at

I have to admit, I am hopelessly human. I am fallible. I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life, some small and some rather significant. We all make mistakes, it’s part of being human. Making mistakes is how we learn. The important things are that we learn how not to make the same mistake again and we strive to better ourselves. It is also important to recognize the fault in yourself, forgive yourself for that fault, and move on. It can be very unhealthy to dwell upon past mistakes. We should endeavor to do this for others also. Forgive others for their mistakes as you would yourself. This does not mean I think one should not be held accountable for their mistakes, but once amends have been made all should be forgiven and forgotten. Of course, if the same mistake is made time and time again, it should no longer be considered a mistake so much as a character defect. I may or may not have my character defects also, but that should be determined by who is voluntarily interacting with me and how much they are willing to tolerate. This should be true of all relationships.

I have my needs. I need to be loved. I need to be accepted. But I also need to be independent. I need to be my own man. What is love if it costs me my freedom? What is acceptance if I am to be a slave? I need to measure my needs against the costs of obtaining them. If I die in the wilds a cold and lonely man, I would not have lived in vain, for I would have gotten to know myself better, to love myself, and to accept myself. I need to breathe, to eat and to drink clean water. All this nature can provide for me but if I obtain sustenance in the jungle of modern society through hard work, so much the better, for nature can be a harsh mistress. I need to accept and love myself before I can accept and love others. I need to live peacefully with my demons that dwell beside me in this body before I can live peacefully beside the demons that dwell beside me in the physical world.

I have my wants and desires. I want to be rich. I want to be well known. I desire companionship. These things may or may not come with time. They may or may not reflect the value of my work in this physical world. I have worked hard for little gain. I have also experienced large gains through only little work. I have had many friends in my life, and I have had times of extreme isolation and loneliness. It all seems to come with the heartbeat of life, the sine wave that our bodies naturally emit. There are peaks and valleys, good times and bad, triumphs and defeats. We all laugh sometimes, and sometimes we cry. In life, the important things are not necessarily what we earn, but how we work and what we leave behind. This may not necessarily be something one has built physically, but can be something one has built spiritually. Will I leave others that have known me with good memories? Will I be an influence on future generations after I’m gone? Will my being here make this world a better place, or will others suffer for my existence? What good are all the riches in the world if I must lose my soul to obtain them? I can’t go through life anonymously so long as I have had a friend. I will never be alone if I can find a companion in myself.

I think, sometimes too much, sometimes too little. I’ve done smart things, and I’ve been stupid. Sometimes I’m stupid because I’m trying to be smart. Sometimes I say the wrong thing, or I don’t say anything at all when I should. I have also said things that have earned me praise from my fellow man. I can make others laugh, I can make them cry, I can make them angry, I can make them glad, I can make them think, and hopefully at times I can make them care. This is all part of the human experience. I’m glad I’m hopelessly human. It has to be better than being hopelessly protozoan.

As a hopelessly human, I ask a few things. I ask that I be allowed to live my own life. I ask that I be allowed to make my own decisions. I ask that I be allowed to celebrate my victories and regret my mistakes. I ask that I be given a chance to learn from them. I ask that I be allowed to keep what I earn. I ask that I be allowed to decide who to do business with and who to interact with. I ask that I be allowed to utilize and pay for only the services I choose. I ask to be as free as possible in a society that longs for freedom, yet at times wants to give it up for security. I think that, given the chance, we will find a greater degree of security wrapped in the openness of the transparency of freedom than we will find under the cloak of secrecy the tyrant uses to hide his misdeeds in the name of societal protection. Grant these things for all and we will be able to blossom into the best possible humans we can become. Deny them, and we all shrivel into something less under the watchful eye of the jealous controllers as they dictate our evolution. We are all hopelessly human. Let us all hope to become the best humans possible.

Human Interaction and the Federal Government

This article was originally published on Nov. 5th, 2007 at

When humans are born, they are helpless. They are forced to depend on others for survival. Infants quickly learn who their parents are as these are the people who will feed and protect them. They may come to know an extended family, brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts, for the same reason. As the child grows, he learns to interact with these people. He learns to assert himself. He begins to understand that he can interact with people voluntarily, or he can be forced to interact with them. He also learns that people can interact with him voluntarily, or he can force himself upon them. He learns the different methods, subtle and overt, to control himself and others as he grows to adulthood. These are skills he will use for the rest of his life.

As adults we are often called upon to interact with each other. We usually do this in what we think is a voluntary manner. We go to work so that we may collect paychecks. We do business with each other and exchange goods and services for money or for other goods and services. We play games with each other, or talk to each other, or otherwise just hang out with each other so that we can enjoy being in the company of other humans. Some people, however, interact with others on a different level. These people force themselves on others. These are the kind of people who want something from you without giving you anything in return. Some will point a gun at you and take your money. Some may try to blackmail you. Some will simply get in your face and not leave you alone when asked to. Some may try to con you. Still others are far more subtle. They'll try to control your life through fear and intimidation, and some people will never even recognize what is going on. These are the kind of people we as a society want to be protected from. These people are the control freaks of the world, and many of them seem to become politicians.

I believe most people are basically good. They seem to understand on an instinctual level that we should treat each other with respect and dignity. They do business together honestly for the most part. So it is somewhat interesting that corruption is so rampant in politics, especially at the highest levels. Why is it we seem to accept the innate criminality of our so called leaders? Why do they get away with doing things anyone else would be thrown in prison for doing? Why can they breach the public trust and get away with it? The answer is power. Power corrupts. But more than that, power creates an illusion of legitimacy to enable those that wield it to force their will upon others. Government is power and force. Its icy fingers wrap themselves around every thread in one's life and use threats to pull the threads and coerce one into behaving as they would like. In this way one's will is slowly eroded.

When one's will is eroded, they become easier to mold. The state makes one compliant by constantly pounding at him with propaganda and the illusion of "normal behavior." It appears to us all that we are going about our lives as free individuals interacting with each other voluntarily when under the surface there is an almost imperceptible finger of force prodding us to behave in ways we would normally question. For instance, there are merchants and employers acting as collection agents for the federal and various state governments, without getting paid for their services. There are people showing their papers to strangers for no particular reason other than these strangers wear uniforms and carry guns. There are those who spy on their fellow citizens for the government because they are forced to. These are people who are forced to do these things under the auspices of law. They do these things not because they are morally right or because they have voluntarily decided these things needed to be done, they do these things because if they don't they run the risk of being kidnapped by armed agents of the state and imprisoned. They do these things because if they don't they will be forced to give a greater percentage of their wealth than they would have otherwise. This is no way to interact with others. It is morally wrong to force one's will upon another.

There are many wars being fought in this world today. There's a war against drugs. There's a war against terror. There's a war against young men having consensual sex with young women if that young woman is under 18. Soon, there might be a war against those who think for themselves as the various alphabet agencies of these United States continue to gather information on all of us and may just decide it doesn't like dissenters roaming about freely. These are wars against people, wars that have ruined countless lives. We have gone a long way down this road and the wars have become bloated and costly. The time has come for us to re-examine the way we operate. Wouldn't it be better to let people run their own lives and decide for themselves where to spend their money? There has to be a better, more innovative way to handle personal interactions that have gone wrong than through the federal government. The government has shown time and time again that it is inefficient, unfair for the most part, and not looking out for the best interests of the people. It's time to take the power from it and vest that power back in the people. It's time for us to take back our freedoms and liberty and live in the paradigm of personal responsibility and self reliance. We can lead freer, healthier, happier lives with less government involvement. We can prove to all that people can interact with each other on a voluntary basis and once again become the envy of the world. In this way we will all be richer and the world will be a safer, more productive place.

Ron Paul Gets Much More Than 15 Minutes

This article was originally published on Nov. 4th, 2007 at

This article refers to a blog by the editors of Foreign Policy which can be found here:

Mike Boyer is a blogger for Foreign Policy magazine. In a recent blog entry he asserts that Ron Paul's fifteen minutes of fame should be up. Of course, when Andy Warhol originally made the statement that in the future everyone would have fifteen minutes of fame, he was referring to the common man, not politicians or other public figures. But, whatever. Mr. Boyer apparently believes that everyone, no matter what their stature in life, is only allotted fifteen minutes, no more. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news Mr. Boyer sir, but Ron Paul has already had more than fifteen minutes. The Ron Paul girl has had her fifteen minutes, but, like it or not, Ron Paul is working on at least his second hour of fame and will continue racking up the minutes whether or not he wins the presidency. So, even though you might close your eyes and wish Dr. Paul would go away, there are many, many of us who would like to see him stick around for quite a bit longer and hope his fame grows to biblical proportions.

Normally, I wouldn't bother with some blogger discounting Ron Paul's candidacy, but this is from an establishment publication and the establishment still seems to be trying to bury Ron Paul's relevancy even as he appears on TV shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Like CNBC, Foreign Policy Magazine is doing its best to minimize Ron Paul. This gentleman starts his blog by stating that Ron Paul is a seductive mistress. Hmmm. I've never really thought about Ron Paul that way. Well, to each his own I suppose.

Mr. Boyer goes on to ask whether or not people understand what Ron Paul stands for. He then lists five of Ron Paul's policies that are "fraught with danger." He lists the first policy as "Foreign Policy and the Constitution." I suppose that these things can be fraught with danger and I can understand why some people would be very frightened of them. If you don't like freedom and want the government to take care of you and protect you from the big bad world, then the government obeying the constitution and the foreign policy Dr. Paul espouses can be quite terrifying indeed. But Mr. Boyer asserts Dr. Paul's understanding of the Constitution and the vision of the founding fathers is profoundly flawed. He then goes on to suggest that Ron Paul believes that the founders vested absolute authority for foreign-policy making in the congress and not in the executive. He then goes on to use the opinion of someone else to complete his argument that suggests that Dr. Paul is wrong. I simply decided to look at what it says in the constitution. You see, I have the ability to read that document and decide for myself what it says without having to look to someone else to interpret it. Article II Section 2 (presidential powers) reads as follows:

"The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session."

I don't see anything there about the president creating foreign policy except that he can make treaties "provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."Everything else he does is by and with the advice of the senate. On the other hand, taken from the Constitution, the congress has these powers:

"To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;"

It appears to me as if Dr. Paul, with his twenty years experience as a congressman, does know a little bit more about the constitution and what it says than the journalist gives him credit for.

Mr. Boyer's second point is to suggest that Dr. Paul is an isolationist instead of a noninterventionist. He asserts that Dr. Paul is an isolationist because he wants out of some organizations formed some sixty years ago through the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange, a system that failed in the early 1970's by the way. Let's make this clear, Dr. Paul is a noninterventionist. This means he does not believe the United States should interfere in the internal affairs of another nation. I happen to agree with this philosophy. We would not want some foreign power interfering with our internal affairs, so why should we interfere with theirs? As far as getting out of some musty old organizations that aren't doing us any good anyway, I say go for it. This doesn't mean that Ron Paul wants to stop trading with other countries. On the contrary, it means he wants to trade with them on a voluntary basis, not by force of treaty. This is how all trade should be done. The U.N. does not necessarily help accomplish this.

Mr. Boyer asserts that Ron Paul has stated he would get out of Iraq immediately. Again, Mr. Boyer is misrepresenting what Ron Paul has said. He has stated time and again that he would get out of Iraq, and indeed out of every country our military occupies, as quickly as possible. Now, if Mr. Boyer wants to assume that as quickly as possible means immediately, that's his prerogative, but Ron Paul was in the military and he realizes that he can't simply pull out, that the withdrawal has to be organized rather than chaotic. So yes, Ron Paul would begin the program of withdrawing the troops from Iraq immediately and we all know that process would take some time. That timetable is a lot sooner than all the other Republican candidates who would keep the troops in Iraq indefinitely, as we have in Germany, South Korea, etc.

Mr. Boyer's fourth point is the intimation that Ron Paul is crazy. He suggests that because Ron Paul's websites warn of a very real danger world government could pose to our sovereignty that he has lost his mind. This ploy is quite upsetting. Mr. Boyer is another mainstream journalist who exposes his own paranoia when trying to expose Ron Paul's. Mr. Boyer is obviously frightened, in my opinion, of a world where no one is allowed to paint their helicopters black. Why, to him, the thought of people even talking about helicopters being painted black is fear mongering at its worst. No talking about helicopters being painted black or you're going to the loony bin to sing songs with world leaders that never leave their own country. But seriously, does he really think that the United States leaving these organizations would mean the end of the world? Would the WTO, U.N. and other organizations fail if the United States is not a member of their little club? Perhaps it's time we just let the other countries of the world worry about their own internal affairs and they just let us worry about our internal affairs and we all agree that trade should be done on a voluntary basis.

His fifth point, that Iran might create a nuclear weapon and needs to be attacked now, is the point that sets Ron Paul apart from the crowd. He is the only Republican candidate that has come out and said that he would not start a war with Iran. We can hardly afford to keep Iraq going. Most people want out of Iraq. Iran is much bigger. It has ties with China, India and Russia. There's no telling what would happen if a conflagration was started in that country. I don't want to find out. There has been enough death and destruction caused as a result of our foreign policies, and it's time for that to end. The United States of America was supposed to be a compassionate country where the poor and the down trodden could come to make a better life for themselves, not a country that kills the poor and down trodden in the streets of their nation and destroys what little infrastructure they had in the first place. It's time to stop threatening countries, to start treating them like human beings, to start trading with them fairly, equitably and responsibly. In this way we can start influencing them diplomatically instead of forcefully at the point of a gun.

Mr. Boyer concludes by saying that play time is over. I have to agree with him. It's time for Ron Paul supporters to pull out all the stops. It's time to put your money where your mouth is. It's time to quiet all these nay sayers who think that Ron Paul's supporters are few and far between. It's time to show our strength. Donate. Put on the bumper stickers. Keep going to those rallies and holding up your signs. Keep submitting those videos to Youtube. Keep blogging. Keep writing those articles. Let those in the minority, those like Mr. Boyer, those who think that their vision is the only clear vision, let these people know that they can no longer tell us what to think. Let them know that it is time for them to worry about themselves and not about everyone else. Let them know that the majority of people want to accept responsibility for themselves and want government out of their lives. Let these people know that the ideas of freedom, liberty, smaller government and self reliance are still viable ideas today that resonate with Americans. It is time to elect Ron Paul and send the message that we wish the rest of the politicians to stop playing with our lives.

The American Revolution vs. The Ron Paul Revolution

This article was originally published on Nov. 4th, 2007 at

In 1776 a little war started in this country that would eventually lead to the independence of several small British colonies on the American continent. Recently, I've had the opportunity to read up on it and I find it interesting to look back upon the writings of those who were living at that time and witnessing the events of the day. There were many interesting things said and much was recorded for posterity. There were a great many actions taken to try to secure freedom and liberty, to give birth to a new country and to throw off the oppressive shackles the government of England, not only the king but also the parliament, had placed upon their colonial subjects. I thought it might be interesting to compare certain facets of what was going on then to facets of events that are happening today. It seems to me that Americans are experiencing a rebirth of the spirit that gained us this nation, and that fetal spirit is being nurtured in the person of Ron Paul in his run for the presidency. I believe that perhaps we are becoming born again Americans.

The Revolutionary War was sparked not only as a tax revolt, but as an awakening of the human spirit in the persons of the oppressed and down trodden. I know that the main players in the war were wealthy landowners, but one need remember that these men had the most to lose. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin et al, were well to do colonists. They could easily have remained under British rule and maintained a well to do lifestyle. But these were men of principle. They longed to rule themselves. They felt King George was robbing them. They felt they had no voice in British government over how they were ruled and they wanted their voices heard, so they decided it was time to form their own government. But in order to do this, they needed the support of the common man. Without this support, the revolution would have quickly fizzled and these wealthy landowners would have found themselves in British dungeons or hanging from a noose and their families would have been left destitute. There was great risk in what they were attempting, and great reward, but they were not like the lords of England with great armies at their beck and call, so they had to craft a promise to the common man that could not be ignored. That promise was the promise of freedom and liberty.

The Ron Paul revolution has been sparked not only as a tax revolt, but as a re-awakening of the spirit of freedom and liberty. People are talking about these concepts again as a result of Ron Paul's candidacy. People are beginning to question whether or not they have a real voice in their government. Some are wondering just how oppressive their government can become. Some are beginning to feel they are being robbed by the government, that there is taxation without representation. When they try to protest they are shut down by police forces and shuttled off to "free speech zones." The government refuses to answer any redress of grievances presented to them. Anyone caught not paying their tribute, also known as taxes, are thrown in jail. They are forced to choose between giving a portion of their money to a government engaging in activities they may not agree with or not paying their taxes and chancing a trip to the big house. This kind of treatment of the masses makes many wonder just what it means to be free and if we as Americans are truly experiencing freedom. The masses of humanity are beginning to line up behind Ron Paul.

The American Revolution was fought with guns by a rag tag group of volunteer, patriotic citizen soldiers who had little to gain from it but the ability to determine their own destiny. The Ron Paul revolution is being fought by a rag tag group of volunteer patriotic citizens trying to spread Dr. Paul's message as best they can. Popular support will need to be garnered for this peaceful revolution to succeed. For someone like me there is nothing to gain but the hope that I can get government out of my life and so be able to keep the fruits of my labor and take care of myself and my family rather than having the government take a cut and give me next to nothing in return. For others there may be even more at stake, like a family member in the military. Still others simply ask that our God given rights be honored and laws infringing upon said rights be repealed. And then there are those who want nothing more than to see an honest man once again leading this nation. As more of the population hear these ideas, as more become aware of Ron Paul's stances and his unwavering voting record and his past principled behavior, the greater his appeal grows.

The battlegrounds of the American Revolution were the streets of colonial America's cities, the common areas of her hamlets and the countryside between these settlements. Smoke filled the air of such battles. Gun powder flashed and reports echoed through the forests, hills and mountains of the east. Blood flowed from damaged bodies and the gore was repugnant, but the Americans grit their teeth and struggled through it with a sense of purpose in their hearts and a certainty that eventually they would prevail. The battlegrounds of the Ron Paul revolution are much the same, but the fighting looks much different. Marchers gather in groups with their signs held high and congregate in public areas to show their solidarity in support. Bloggers and those who post to Youtube the videos the mainstream media refuses to show work tirelessly to spread the word in the cyber world. Freedom radio talk shows and alternative media discuss Dr. Paul's ideas and explain how they work to those who are unfamiliar with the true nature of such concepts. Detractors and most mainstream media ignore Ron Paul and his supporters, label them with uncouth names or spew forth falsehoods and half-truths to try to keep Ron Paul's message under wraps and the damage he does to the status quo candidates held to a minimum. Ron Paul and his supporters struggle through these barriers with a sense of purpose and a certainty that eventually they will prevail. No blood will be spilled in this revolution, but tired old concepts of socialism and big government will be exposed as the corrupt influences they are and the body politic of the country will be bled of such infections.

The American Revolution began with an idea, the idea that the people of the United States could dismiss the protection of the most powerful nation in the world at the time and take care of themselves in spite of the dangers surrounding the fledgling nation. They had this idea that they could free themselves from a tyrannical government and then govern themselves. The Ron Paul revolution believes in these ideas and wishes to expound upon them. These ideas can still work in this modern era as they did in the late 18th century. In fact, I believe they can work better. Given the chance, we, the people of the United States of America can take care of ourselves without the help of the huge bureaucracy that is the federal government. We can restore our freedom and allow the marketplace instead of the government to work to fulfill the needs of the public. There's a lot of work to do before this can become reality. Electing Ron Paul as president would be a good start.