Sunday, May 27, 2007

Debate or debacle...

There is some long range planning going on by the Wayne County Economic Development Council to bring a 2008 Presidential debate to Richmond. The planning is so far in advance we don't even know who the candidates will be. We do know there will be three presidential candidates on the ballot in Wayne County.

There will be a Republican, very possibly one that is pro-choice on abortion. There will be a Democrat, most likely one that supported the Iraq war, but now opposes the Iraq war, and has no plan to end the Iraq war. There will also be a Libertarian on the ballot, (barring an unlikely Ron Paul nomination by the Republicans), who wants to get the federal government out of the abortion issue, and who was opposed to the Iraq war from the outset and who proposes to bring the troops home.

There is also a strong possibility that there will only be two candidates included in the debates, most likely a Republican and a Democrat. If the EDC was a private organization using private funds for this venture, they could invite whoever the wanted to the debate. But since they are using everybody's tax money, and since Libertarian candidates often pull 20 or 30% of the vote total in Wayne County, the EDC should insist that all of the presidential candidates on the ballot should be included in the debates.

I won't hold my breath, however.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No, but thanks for asking...

We're 18 months from the next presidential election, and this one promises to be interesting. One of my favorite offshoots of an upcoming election is the barrage of letters I recieve from various candidates and committees.

Just this week I recieved a questionaire from the Republican Presidential Task Force and the National Republican Congressional Committee. A couple of weeks ago I got a similar letter from Barack Obama, and before that I heard from John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. I'm still waiting to hear from Hillary.

The message is always about the same, with only the names and parties varying, depending on who sent it out. And they all claim to be interested in my opinion, and they want me to fill out the questionaire that has places to put a mark by the statement that best fits my opinion, and send it along with a check or credit card number so we can stop the other guys before its too late.

Well, for the most part, the Republicans and Democrats have already taken about all of the spare money I had laying around that I might have donated to a campaign. And for the most part I can never find anything on their questionaire that even remotely resembles my opinion.

But I do hate to waste a perfectly good postage-paid return envelope, so I just load it up with some small government, Libertarian literature that answers the questions that really need to be asked, and send it back to them.

They probably won't read it, because I always get the feeling they are more interested in my money than my opinion anyway, but at least I put forth the effort.

If you would like me to send you some literature explaining the Libertarian Party and it's philosophy, just e-mail me at
lpwc(at) with your address and I'll mail it to you. I'll even buy the stamp.

Hurry, before Hillary and Mitt get the last of it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

He wouldn't say it if it wasn't true...

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that you might want to keep an eye on Ron Paul in the Republican Presidential Primary Debates if you were interested in a candidate that was truly interested in restoring a truly Constitutional government.

I also mentioned that I assumed he would temper his presentation to the party faithful, but I hoped he wouldn't temper his views. As it turns out, he decided not to temper either.

In case you missed it, Paul connected the U.S. policy towards Iraq for the last several years with the 9/11 attacks. The comment gave Rudy Gulianni a chance to play to the crowd with some of his typical grandstanding, calling for a retraction from Paul.

This is where I thought Paul might have tempered his message. You can't expect a statement like he made to play well with that hand-picked audience that was in the room. He could have made a generic reference to the fact that our global meddling has overstretched our military, helped to wreck our budget, and made us susceptible to terrorist attacks, and possibly not have given Rudy such an opening. But Dr. Paul didn't ask for my advice, and if someone relayed it to him, apparently he didn't take it anyway.

The bad news is a lot of Republicans are trying to bar Ron Paul from future debates. It seems they don't want someone representing the party that is willing to point out the mistakes the party has made. They certainly don't someone who places the Constitution above party politics.

The good news is that Ron Paul and his libertarian philosophy, aside from doing well in the unscientific post-debate polls at MSNBC and FOX, is picking up steam in a lot of areas outside of the mainstream media. And while that may not be good news for some Republicans, it's good news for anyone that longs for limited government.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

She's still pretty quick...

It's Mother's Day again, and I like telling this story.

While Kentucky may be the state of fast horses and beautiful women, I have ample evidence that Indiana has produced at least one woman that is in possession of both attributes. In about my eighth year in this world on the Henry County farm where I was raised to questionable adulthood, I both witnessed and participated unwillingly in an event that would become a Millville legend.

Growing up on a farm with seven brothers and sisters entailed certain responsibilities and chores that were delegated by our parents. One summer day after we finished our dinner, (we ate breakfast, dinner and supper in that order, I never heard of lunch until I made it to Hagerstown), my Mom informed me that it was my turn to help wash the dishes. Now being eight years old, and producing just enough testosterone to get into trouble, I decided that doing the dishes was woman’s work and that I would have no part of it.

My plan, though not terribly well thought out, was to run across the hayfield and hide out in the woods near the papaw patch, and then sneak back to the barn by milking time so as to remain in Dad’s good graces. I’m not sure what I would have done when the milking was finished, and it was time to go in for supper. As I said, the plan wasn’t one of my better efforts.

The latter aspects of said plan proved moot, anyway. I never considered that Mom would give chase, and even if she did, I was sure I had little to fear. I was a rugged outdoorsman, fleet of foot, while she was an old woman, probably at least 30, and barely 5 foot tall on a good hair day. Imagine my horror when she not only overcame my several hundred yards headstart while wearing an apron and carrying a flyswatter, but also passed me, turned my direction back to the house with a few well placed swats, and matched me swat for step all the way back to the kitchen.

To this day, if Mom reaches for a flyswatter, I head for the kitchen and start drawing the water.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Out of step...again

In addition to being a wife, mother, grandmother, small business owner and town court judge, my wife Susan (that's her on the right) is also one of the instructors in our church's step aerobics class. She helped get this group together for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon on May 5th.

I was proud that everyone finished the race in a respectable time, and I was happy that everyone survived with only some minor difficulties, but I also realized once again why I live in Hagerstown.

38,000 people lined up (as my old pal Stinky Wilmont used to say), shoulder to shoulder and butthole to bellybutton. And that was just the participants of the race. There were at least that many people trying to merge onto or off of I-69, which I was only on because someone decided that at least half of the roads and streets in Indianapolis need to be closed, moved or re-surfaced, and that they all must be torn up at the same time.

As I've said before here, I know a lot of people enjoy the buzz of the city, and I'm sure they would be bored to tears in my little town, but as happy as I was to see the girls finish the race, I was even happier to see the "Welcome to Hagerstown" sign after the harrowing
ride home.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This ain't Burger King....

Sorry, no substituitons. You don't get it your way.

Even though we’re right in the middle of the 2007 primaries, the 2008 presidential race is already in the spotlight. I was glad to see that all of the Democrat contenders in last week’s forum are in favor of getting us out of Iraq. I felt a couple of them were honestly opposed to the war, though the rest of the group left me with the impression that they had locked their moral compass onto the prevailing public opinion. Still, it gives me hope that there are candidates leaning that way. The problem is, it’s a package deal. If you choose one of these candidates on their current Iraq view, you also get a plethora of budget busting social programs that are guaranteed to add to our $50 trillion debt, even with the higher taxes that would supposedly pay for those programs.

This week, the Republican candidates weigh in. While we won’t see the consensus against the war that the Democrats seem to have, we will at least detect a hint of a desire to bring the war to an end, and I’m fairly certain that desire will increase as public sentiment grows and the 2008 primaries get closer. But even if you do feel better about voting for a Republican, and even if you do find one in favor of bringing the troops home, or possibly just moving them to another country, it’s still a package deal. You also get wealth distribution through corporate and individual welfare, pork by the barrel, a growing national debt, and a loss of personal freedom along with the same selective respect for the Constitution that the Democrats have.

Except for one. You might want to keep an eye on Ron Paul. He’s a libertarian running for the Republican nomination. I wish he was running for the Libertarian nomination, but he’s chosen a different plan. Maybe another time. He is the only candidate from either of the major parties that consistently opposes government overreach, and he’s the only candidate from either of the major parties that could take the oath to uphold the Constitution and really mean it.

I assume he will temper his presentation to reach more Republican voters in this voting, but I also trust that he won’t temper his views.

Watch him on MSNBC Thursday evening at 8:00 and see what you think.