The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, March 20, 2004

'Rule Me! Please!'


'Rule Me! Please!'
by Jim Davies

Did you hear someone say that today?

Or last week, last month or last year? Me neither. It's a funny thing, but although it's not hard to get someone to agree that Group X or Type Y certainly need to be controlled for the good of society (and although members of Group X may favor it for those of Type Y, and those of Type Y for those of Group X) the speaker's enthusiasm for government never seems to extend to himself or herself.

In fact, except for some occasions when I've heard a pious prayor pray for his wilder instincts to be curtailed by the Almighty, I've never heard such a phrase uttered in all my born days (though admittedly, I've never been to a S/M parlor.) I conclude that there is not a human being on the face of the Earth who actually wants to be ruled by someone else. Might you agree?

If so, then the plot thickens; for in that case we have what economists might call a "zero demand." The service of providing rule is simply not wanted; there is no price however low that will attract a purchaser. And if this were a rational (i.e., free) market, the consequence would be reliably predictable: no product! If nobody wants G, in the sense of desiring and being willing to pay for it, we can be quite certain the nobody will produce G.

Hence in a rational society there would be no government. Nobody wants to be ruled, so nobody would buy its only product, its service of ruling.

The Paradox
For all that, as everybody knows, society is infested with government in every last corner and refuge. It's hardly possible to brush the teeth or the hair without being told what components shall comprise the paste or the bristles, by an all-wise bunch of bureau-rats. The market for ruling-services is, far from being zippo, actually near total saturation! How come?

A large part of the answer is that our society is not a rational, free market at all but rather one dominated by a group of thugs with guns and prisons who have seized control; that is, the ruling-service provider is not so much responding to a market demand as he is
imposing his product upon buyers and forcing them to pay for it by theft at gunpoint. All that's true, but alas, it's not the whole truth.

The whole truth includes the ugly fact named above; that there is quite a large demand for other people to be ruled, to one's own perceived advantage. Mexicans should be kept out, by barbed-wire fences and fierce dogs and armed government thugs; so that "my" job will be "protected" from them. Blacks should be excluded from my nice upscale neighborhood, by zoning laws that inflate home prices beyond their means; so that my delicate prejudices will not be ruffled. Guns should be strictly regulated, lest some malcontent defend himself against police arrogance--or mine. The "rich" should be taxed more, but I should be taxed less. And on and on, ad nauseam. We may think very highly of our own rights and freedom, but a lot of us have little or no regard for those of our fellow humans. That's the ugly paradox, and that's why the government industry not only survives, but even thrives. "All I seek," seems to say the modern American, "is a little honest advantage"--and Political Man is only too eager to help him obtain one--or at least, to appear to obtain one, short term.

There's a double standard here, and that is an ethical matter.

So does such hypocrisy mean that human nature is warped, and that to achieve a free society we have to change it, and that the Reverend Jim is about to deliver you-all a sermon?

No, no and no. The reality is not quite that black.

But yes, I think it does come down to a matter of morality, so let's look at two common bases for ethics: Christian and Rationalist.

The Christian moral ethic is summarized by that religion's founder and is commonly known as the Golden Rule: "As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also unto them likewise" (Luke 6:31). So if you're a Christian, that is your standard; if (like everyone else) you don't want to be ruled, it is your moral obligation not to rule anyone else--nor of course to vote for or support an agent to do it for you.

Accordingly, every Christian should for that simple and sufficient reason be an anarchist, and if your friendly local preacher doesn't thunder against the very institution of government from his pulpit fairly frequently, please go tell him he's betraying his religion and ask why he should not be fired, de-frocked or excommunicated, and hand him a copy of this article with my compliments.

The rational basis for morality is self-interest. Rationally, every human has one primary motivation in life: to pursue and enhance his own long-term happiness and well-being. As Ayn Rand's provocative title has it, this is the "Virtue of Selfishness." Therefore--rationally--he will do nothing to damage that purpose. Therefore, he will abstain from hurting his fellow humans by imposing his rule upon them, directly or through political surrogates, for that would destroy his good reputation and trustworthiness for the contractual business dealings through which alone he could earn a living.

Rationalist and Christian ethics therefore both produce the same result: treat people the way you wish to be treated yourself; impose and accept obligations only by voluntary, explicit contracts.

So there's no need at all to change human nature; it already logically leads to a society rid of the scourge of government whichever of these ethical bases we prefer. All that we do have to do is to encourage our Statist friends to use their eyes and brains to see where their self-interest truly lies (or what their religion actually teaches) and that is a task only of persuasion; if we haven't yet succeeded it means that, as Friedrich Hayek put it well, "The reason must be that our arguments are not yet quite good enough, that we have not yet made explicit some of the foundations on which our conclusions rest. Our chief task therefore must still be to improve the argument on which our case for a free society rests."

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Friday, March 19, 2004


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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Good Reads

I've been slacking off on these, so I figured it's about time I started getting caught up on the reading. Here's some great stuff I've run across since the last one of these was published:

Boulder City gets confiscated items
Yeah, who'da thunk that the stuff that gets stolen from us at the airport in the name of "security" would be sold at profit later? Hmm...
Guantanamo Bay prisoners are freed just a day after their return to Britain
Wait 'til you read the next one...,3604,1168452,00.html
This creeping sickness: So now we know: torture is routinely used by the US in Guantánamo Bay
It can't happen here?
For some defendants, an American gulag can't happen in America...
AP: Privacy protecting programs killed
FBI adds to wiretap wish list
What? The FBI wants more power??? This is new...Keep marching towards that total police state, people.

Everything Else
Consumers challenge FCC antipiracy rules
Microsoft, 3 other ISP giants sue spammers
AHA! Let's see if the free market can do what the government can't!,1299,DRMN_21_2717170,00.html
Medical marijuana case going to federal court
Give him his plant back, you SOBs! It's the law!
What's been spent on the War on Drugs so far this year?
Careful...watching this can make you feel sick...
Git Yer Hands Out of my Pockets!
Inflation- Alive and Well by Rep. Ron Paul
Pilgrims in Alaska get "limited, temporary" access to their property.
Martha Down Under: Kangaroos in the Courtroom
She was busted for LYING, people, LYING! Not for some kind of fraud. See cartoon below...
Three Strikes (Unions)

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Orrin Hatch Hates the U.S. Constitution

Hatch isn't changing ways on Constitution
By Christopher Smith
The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON -- If Sen. Orrin Hatch had been one of the nation's Founding Fathers, he probably would have made a few additions to the U.S. Constitution. Quite a few.

In the 28 years Hatch has served in the U.S. Senate, he has sponsored or co-sponsored 67 resolutions to amend the Constitution, the fundamental blueprint of American democracy that has been changed only 27 times in its 215-year history.

Aaron Says: The guy has been in office TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS?! Holy Mary! Can you say "career politician?" Only in Utah could a person this bogus run for office, win, and then keep that office for TWENTY-EIGHT STINKIN' YEARS!

Now, considering that during those 28 years in office, Orrin has proposed an average of 2.4 changes to our Constitution, the man obviously has some issues with the thing.

What's that, Orrin? Too much freedom for you? Can't have the serfs and plebes gettin' too hoity-toity with their liberty and freedom, now, can we? Oh, no. Best keep them in line and make sure that the Constitution says WHERE that line is...all according to Orrin's own definition, of course. After all, he's an elected official and therefore knows what's best for us.

It's time for some serious change in this nation. Two things need to happen, and fast: First, people need to wake up and see the well-trodden road to tyranny we're walking on. Second, we need to ouster EVERYONE down to the lowliest paper-pusher in Washington...that means everyone from the President on down to the guy who decides who to hire to mop the floors in the place.

We need to toss these fools and start again from scratch 'cause anything less just won't cut it.

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More not-so-Funnies

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Public Office

Well, I did it. I broke down and filed to run for public office today. I'll be running for the Representative Seat for Utah House District #40. Currently, I'm running against a Democractic incumbent and two Republicans. So I figure since they've got the corner on the suit/tie/stickupfanny market, I'll aim for the long hair and sandals crowd. I see them at the diner and coffee shop daily anyway.

In other news, I'd suggest you read the latest post on Sir Francis' blog entitled "The State Is Making an Example of ME": Great stuff.

I'd also suggest you check out this cool new Flash animation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "Monsters of Privacy" here: Pretty cool!

Well, that's it for now. I'll have more tomorrow.

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Fun fun!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Why It Sucks to Be Just An American

by Aaron Turpen
[Editor's Note, added 3/21/04: This piece was meant as sarcasm. Apparently I didn't do very well at that as very few people have thought it funny. Most either lambasted me for being "racist" or returned academic arguments. This piece was meant to be satire, not was meant to be sarcastic, not academic. Oh well. Maybe some day I'll re-write it to be more "over-the-top" and thus obviously sarcastic.]

I've recently begun to realize that being just an American is not such a good thing. In fact, it downright sucks. I'm nothing special and I have no reason to be revered above others for any reason; 'cause I'm just an American.

I mean, really, several others have much better ranking than me because they have special names attached to their Americanism. For instance, if you're an African-American, a Jewish-American, a Disabled-American, or even a Gay-American, you've got something special going on. Right? You're obviously entitled to special treatment, otherwise you wouldn't have that extra adjective and hyphen before you declared yourself an American.

Yet all I have is the name "American" to describe me. I'm not a racial "minority," I'm not "disadvantaged" and I'm not otherwise deserving of a hyphenated adjective before my Americanism.

That sucks.

I mean, come on, I know I'm special! My mom told me that all through childhood, my teachers told me I was "above average," and my colleagues and friends consider me to be something more than the average. So how come I'm not a special hyphenated-American?

I'll tell you why. I don't have a political action group lobbying in my behalf. That's why.

Considering those I know who are in the same boat I am in, I think it appropriate that we also band together and emphasize our specialness to others and thereby get the entitlements and treatment we deserve. So we are no longer calling ourselves just "Americans."

We're now Caucasian-Americans!

That should get things rolling. Our first step is to no longer accept being called "white" or "Caucasian" or "WASP." We are now "Caucasian-American" and will make sure everyone knows it!

Next, we'll get a spokesperson for our group. Many celebrities and well-known faces could fit the bill for us. After all, Caucasian-Americans have achieved great success and should be proud of it!

Finally, we'll form a political action group and start raising money in our behalf to bribe…er…threaten…I mean…lobby Congress to get us the entitlements and special treatment we deserve as Caucasian-Americans. Perhaps, to get things started, we'll get a march of millions of us on Washington D.C. itself to protest our ill treatment.

Our demands could be many, but should include: higher consideration for jobs, free public money so our children get an education, reparations for our years of suffering as misunderstood Caucasian-Americans being under the boot heel of other special interest groups, funding for our "arts" and other programs, our own Caucasian History Month, and our own special bathrooms and parking stalls! The entitlements are endless if we just band together and demand them!

In the end, our Caucasian-American group could have spinoff groups for all sorts of "sub groups" who are entitled to their own specific extras. Groups like "Celtic-Americans" and "Italian-Americans," and even "Caucasian-American Soccer Moms Alliance" could be formed in this manner!

Working together, anything is possible!

Caucasian-Americans Unite!

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New Book & CD Review!

I've recently been impressed by two new findings. The first is a book, which I had to get replaced due to a printing error (on the tune of several pages missing) and the other is a new CD I just got this week...

First, the book: Invisible Resistance to Tyranny by Jefferson Mack. This was published in 2002 and has very current information not only on ways to "hide" from the government, but more importantly, ways to make bureaucrats' lives miserable and perhaps even make some tyrannists rethink their job descriptions...

These paragraphs from the back of the book basically sum it all up:

"Invisible Resistance to Tyranny is both a manifesto and manual for everyday citizens who are alarmed by the never-ending enroachment upon the individual freedoms recognized (not "granted) in the Bill of Rights and who want to do something about it now before it comes down to a choice between violent revolution or total submission. It outlines a progressive program of resistance that anyone can undertake without having to protest in the streets, go on hunger strikes, or take up arms.

"For anyone living in a country where the authorities limit everyone's civil liberties while increasing their own perks and power, engaging in invisible resistance can be a giant step toward achieving greater freedom now and in the future. Read this book. You have nothing to lose but your chains."

That about does it. This is a GREAT read! Just for the record, the customer service as Paladin Press (this book's publisher) is AWESOME!

The album I mentioned is titled "Fade to Bluegrass" and is a bluegrass tribute to Metallica featuring Iron Horse. Kick ass! Anyone who's a fan of Iron Horse, Bluegrass music, or Metallica will LOVE this one! It rocks (er...plucks) hard. There are ten songs highlighted on this album, covering some of the best music Metallica has produced to date.

My favorites include "Unforgiven," "Enter the Sandman," "One," and "The Four Horsemen." The CD and jacket cover are great parodies of Metallica's "Black Album." In fact, I'd say that this tribute album beats out Apocolyptica (four Dutchmen on cello playing Metallica) as the coolest "unusual tribute" to Metallica I've heard! These guys are bad ass.

Hearing a nasal country singer spouting "Ehhhxit liiight. Eyenter niiiight. Tayyyyke mah hayand. We're oaff to neaver-neaver layaand!" is worth every penny spent on this one! Check out the song samples at the link to the left.

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Monday, March 15, 2004

US vs. Mexico

U.S. Citizens Must Be Protected, Controlled, Regulated, And Intimidated For Their Own Good
by Fred Reed

I am sad to report that Mexico is the most criminal of countries. Let me illustrate.

Suppose that you were subject to, say, horrendous sinus infections or earaches. In America, by law you would have to get an appointment with a doctor, $75, thank you - when he had time, how about day after tomorrow, whereupon he would give you a prescription for amoxicillin, fifteen bucks and a trip to a pharmacy. If this happened on a Friday, you would either slit your wrists by Saturday evening to avoid the torture, or go to an emergency room, however distant, where they would charge you a fortune and give you a prescription for amoxicillin.

In Mexico, upon recognizing the familiar symptoms, you would go to The nearest farmacia and buy the amoxicillin. The agony would be nipped In the bud (presuming that agony has buds). The doctor would not get $75, which is against all principles of medicine. The pharmacist would not lose his license, as he would in the United States.

See? Criminality is legal in Mexico. That's how bad things are.

Another grave crime here is horse abuse. Often you see a Mexican Father clopping through town on an unregistered horse - yes: the horror -With his kid of five seated behind him. A large list of crimes leaps Instantly to the North American mind. The kid is not in a governmentally Sanctioned horse seat. He is not wearing a helmet. The father is not wearing a helmet. The horse is not wearing a helmet. The horse is not wearing a diaper. The horse does not have a parade permit. The horse doesn't have turn signals. The father does not have a document showing that he went to A governmentally approved school and therefore knows how to operate a horse, which he has been doing since he was six years old.

In Mexico, if you want to ride a horse, you get one, or borrow one. If you don't know how to ride it, you have someone to show you. Why any of this might interest the government is unclear to everybody, including the government.

You see. Here is the dark underside of Mexico. People do most things without supervision, as if they were adults.

This curious state of affairs, which might be called "freedom," has strange effects on gringos. Shortly after I moved here, I began to Hear little voices. This worried me until I realized that I was next door to a grade school. Daily at noon a swarm of children erupted into the street, the girls chattering and running every which way, the boys shouting And roughhousing and playing what sounded like cowboys and Injuns.

In the United States, half of the boys would be forced to take drugs to make them inert. If they played anything involving guns, they would be suspended and forced to undergo psychiatric counseling, which would in all likelihood leave them in a state of murderous psychopathy. Wrestling would be violence, with the same results.

Here you see the extent to which, narcotically, Mexico lags the great powers. The Soviets drugged inconvenient adults into passivity. America drugs its little boys into passivity. Mexico doesn't drug anyone.

In fiesta season, which just ended, everybody and his grand aunt Chuleta puts up a taco stand or booze stall on the plaza. Yes: In front of God and everybody. These do not have permits. They are just there. If you want a cuba libre, you give the nice lady twenty pesos and she hands it to you. That's all. There is in this a simplicity that the North American instantly recognizes as dangerous. Where are the controls? Where are the rules? Why isn't somebody watching these people? Heaven knows what might happen. They could be terrorists.

If you chose to wander around the plaza, drink in hand, and listen to the band, no one would care in the least, in part because they would be doing the same thing. If you didn't finish your drink, and walked home with it, no one would pay the least attention.

In America this would be Drinking in Public. It would merit a night in jail followed by three months of compulsory Alcohol School. This would accomplish nothing of worth, but would put money in the pockets of controlling and vaguely hostile therapists, and let unhappy bureaucrats get even with people they suspect of enjoying themselves.

Mexicans seem to regard laws as interesting concepts that might merit thought at some later date. There is much to be said for this. The governmental attitude seems to be that if a thing doesn't need regulating, then don't regulate it. Life is much easier that way.

If a law doesn't make sense in a particular instance, a Mexican will ignore it. Where I live it is common to see a driver go the wrong way on a one-way street to avoid a lengthy circumnavigation. Since speeds are about five miles an hour, it isn't dangerous. The police don't patrol because there isn't enough crime (in my town: the big cities are as bad as ours) to justify it. It works. Everybody is happy, which isn't a crime in Mexico.

I could go on. In Mexico, legally or not, people ride in the backs of pickup trucks if the mood strikes them. This is no doubt statistically more dangerous than being wrapped in a Kevlar crash-box with an oxygen system and automatic transfusion machine. They figure it is their business.

Here is an explanation of Mexican criminality. The United States realizes that a citizen must be protected whether he wants to be or not - controlled, regulated, and intimidated in every aspect of everything he does, for his own good. He must not be permitted to ride a bicycle without a helmet, smoke if he chooses, or go to a bar where smoking is permitted. He cannot be trusted to run his life.

Have you ever wondered how much good the endless surveillance, preaching, and rules really do? In some states your car won't pass inspection if there is a crack in the windshield. There are - I don't doubt? - studies measuring the carnage and economic wreckage concomitant to driving with a cracked windshield. Presumably whole hospitals groan at the seams (if that's quite English) with the maimed and halt.

Or might it be that the rules are just stupid, the product of meddlesome bureaucrats and frightened petty officials with too much time on their hands? Maybe it would be better if they just got off our backs?

December 8, 2003

TR contributor Fred Reed has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times - been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper's, National Review, Signal, Air&Space, and suchlike. He has served in the Marines, worked as a police writer, technology editor, military specialist, and authority on mercenary soldiers. If you enjoy Fred's essays you'll love his new book, Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well or his previous book The Great Possum-Squashing and Beer Storm of 1962: Reflections on the Remains of My Country inquiring into the ills and opportunities of America. E-Mail Fred at f.v.reed@w... or visit his home page Fred On Everything.

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Libertarianism for Dummies

Libertarianism for Dummies
by Garry Reed - The Loose Cannon Libertarian

I don't care how others do it, I sum up the libertarian philosophy in one simple made-for-the-evening-news sound bite: maximum freedom -minimum government. Film at Eleven.

Yes, there's more to it than that. With freedom comes responsibility. It has two sides, like a Morgan dollar (or a Susan B. Anthony, if you prefer) and if you try to separate one from the other you end up with a pile of shavings and two useless pieces. Freedom works best the same way Parcheesi works best - with a framework of simple, easy to understand rules that don't change every time one player falls behind and starts whining for special consideration. That's the minimum government part. To paraphrase a phrase, it's the Constitution, stupid.

One way to understand what libertarianism is all about is to understand what it is not all about.

Libertarianism, contrary to the vague musings of people unfamiliar with the concept, is not a different flavor of conservatism, like nutty-butter peach or Dutch chocolate tutti-frutti. Some well meaning devotees, in fact, attempt to define political libertarianism as a crossbred mutt of free market conservatism and civil rights liberalism. Phew. That characterization offends my olfactory nodes on two counts.

Count one: Conservatives long ago abandoned capitalism when they found it more profitable and power-enhancing to pass out corporate welfare subsidies and protectionist legislation to whichever industry slipped the biggest wad of Legal Tender For All Debts Public And Private into their reelection collection plates. Liberals betrayed their civil rights roots for the Godzilla of multiculturalist "group rights" that guarantee them a horde of entitlement/welfare/special interest knee-jerk dependents at the ballot box.

Count two: calling libertarianism an amalgam of certain left handed and right handed principles just perpetuates the myth that all political philosophies exist on a one dimensional scale, like a DOA's flat line. All you left-liberal-Democrats on that end, all you right-conservative-Republicans on the other end, and we'll play keep-away with everyone in the middle.

Doesn't work that way. Take notes now. There are only two ideologically meaningful categories. There is libertarianism and there is authoritarianism. Today's left and right belong in the authoritarian camp, along with every other ism in history that places the power of the group above the sovereignty of the individual. The only difference between Pol Pot's killing fields and Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" paternalism is a matter of degree. (Think that's too extreme? Don't forget that Clinton had his own killing fields in Waco and Sudan and Kosovo.)

So who pitch their tents in the libertarian compound? A long and distinguished line of Free Thinkers and Classical Liberals ranging from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance through Eighteenth Century England into Colonial America culminating in the birth of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That's who.

The modern libertarian movement is a continuation of that exemplary bloodline.

Libertarianism isn't just politics. The social component is this: you own your own life. Not the teacher's unions, not the feminists, not the anti-gun nuts, not the "diversity" dictators, not the little weasel that sniffs around in your back yard to make sure your weeds are mowed. You own your own life, and as long as you recognize that fact about everyone else, you get to keep the title to it.

The much publicized "Culture War" is not a hissy-fit between values of left and right. All too often, it should be obvious, left and right agree with each other. Politically, the major choice we're offered is whether we want a bigger, more expensive, more intrusive, more coercive Democratic government or a bigger, more expensive, more intrusive, more coercive Republican government. Socially, both the left and right are more than happy to dictate our core values to us whether we agree with either of their prepackaged deals or not. The key word in that sentence is "dictate." Social engineers, public educrats, self-appointed media censors, radical enviros, doctrinaire religious fundamentalists - pick your poison - are all too willing to join together to forcibly supersede our choices with their own.

If you don't believe in compromising your freedom you just might be a libertarian. But don't expect me to convince you. That's your job. Take your brain out for a spin. Drive on past the LeftyMart and the RightistMall where all the same old threadbare collectivist merchandise is hawked and the medium of exchange is your rights. Try the little libertarian shop around the corner. You just might find the goods you've been looking for.

Garry Reed is a freelance writer living in Ft. Worth, Texas. His articles have appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Jefferson Review and LP News Online.

© Liberty For All 2002

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Parade Pics!

Here's some pictures of our "float" (my truck) from the St. Patrick's Day Parade - more information is two entries down...

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Sunday, March 14, 2004


Well, I got some stuff from a friend of mine this morning regarding the government's plans for civilian internment. Much of it is unsubstantiated, but this part did catch my eye.

What I'm linking to here is the US Army's website which has their rules and procedures for internment. Note Chapter 5 on Civilian Internees.

Obviously, this could apply to a myriad of situations (such as Iraq right now, with civilians acting as terrorists). However, it could just as easily be used here. I especially noted the phrase "...because he committed an offense against the detaining power (insurgents, criminals, or other persons)."

Anyway, judge for yourself. Read the document here:

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Catching Up

I didn't post Friday since I had a lot of business to take care of. No, really, I did. :)

Saturday we spent basically the whole day at the St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown. We were a Libertarian float (though my truck looked more like a jitney than a float, though I guess that's also pretty libertarian).

I took the dog, we threw candy, my friends Dale and Fran were there as well as Rob Latham (the campaign manager for both Richard Mack For Governor and McCullough for Attorney General).

It didn't occur to us until we were under way that people were going to assume that myself and Dale were probably Richard Mack and/or Andy McCullough, since that's what signs the truck was covered in (photos soon). Oh well. I had dibbs on being Mack for a day. :)

Regardless, it was a lot of fun. I colored my hair green, wore a little hat, and had on my "Please Spay and Neuter Your Politicians" t-shirt (available in my Web store at this link). Fun was had by all!

I even got a couple of yells from the crowd regarding how good it was to see a Scotsman running for governor. :)

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