Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ron Paul's Favorite Recipes

The Washington Wire reported Friday on one of the homier touches of Ron Paul's campaign: a recipe book long maintained and produced for his congressional district by his wife of 55 years, Carol. It's proven to be the most popular piece of literature on the campaign trail. Not surprising, really, as it contains some real substance, unlike the low-calorie fluff generally served up in campaign literature.

Today, The Wire followed up with Ron's favorite recipe from the cookbook, the one for chocolate chip cookies. Carol has been making these for Ron since their college days, so keep this handy, use it regularly, and perhaps you too can one day grow up to run for President.

An important warning: Mix judicious use of this recipe with 5-mile walks every morning and 10-mile bike rides every afternoon as Ron does, or you'll look more like Newt Gingrich than Ron Paul on the campaign trail.

Friday, January 20, 2012

On Law and Sausages - SOPA, PIPA and Cronyism

Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made. - John Godfrey Saxe

The recent SOPA/PIPA legislation, a blatant assault on the First Amendment spawned by the entertainment industry and almost enabled by their political lapdogs, triggered a massive protest against crony capitalism unlike anything seen in recent times. Dozens of internet icons and thousands of smaller sites either shut down completely or made the legislation a focus for the day.

One of the most interesting spin-offs, from a personal perspective, was a long, detailed and nuanced examination of the entire issue on what I consider the premier political discussion board on the Internet, the Politics and Current Events forum at Absolute Write. Not surprisingly, as a writer's forum the population skews considerably toward the left side of the political spectrum, and government legislation is generally well-received. Not in this case, though. Opinion was overwhelmingly against these acts, which gives me much hope for the future.

This Tireless Agorist could hardly be considered a proper shill for my cause if I didn't recycle that discussion to butress my case for severely-limited government. Thus this essay.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Voting as a Faithless Act

I spent my earliest years, unwisely, voting as an act of faith. Faith that the system worked, that the Democrats and Republicans chose the best among them as candidates to lead us. Faith that if I chose one of those two parties' candidates to lead, America would continue to advance in freedom and in opportunity for every citizen. Faith that all I had to do was vote and the wise men in charge would take care of everything else.

No More!

In Defense of SOPA/PIPA

I've got nothing.

Write, call, march in the streets. Pray if that works for you.

Contact information available at Wikipedia and countless other locations.

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. - Samuel Adams

An Open Letter to Gary Johnson

I hate to say it, but I think there's a good chance your campaign is already doomed.

There's a growing insurgency against the political machine in this country. People are tired of being told what to do, and they're standing up and saying:

No More!

This movement was triggered in large part by one man, and a few thousand dedicated volunteers who willingly committed their time and their money to efforts that they freely chose; drawing attention to a candidate the media had relegated to invisibility, much like you are being treated now.

Those few volunteers, inspired by a message of freedom, took it upon themselves to bring that message to the forefront of political discourse, and to bring the one candidate delivering that message to the forefront of the presidential race. He could not have done it alone, with a conventional top-down approach to running a campaign. "Freedom is popular," he declared, and he walked the walk by granting his volunteers that freedom. His only admonishment was "Anything that's Peaceful," echoing the title of the famous libertarian work by Leonard Reed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Defining the One Percent

The Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement both have some things right; but they also have some things wrong, at least when viewed from the perspective of this Tireless Agorist.

First let's find some common ground between the Tea Party and Occupy movements, as expressed in this diagram.

Occupy-Wall-Street-Tea-Party-venn-diagram-600x509

While Tea Partiers rail against big government, and Occupiers rail against big business, they both often fail to consider that area in the middle, that shows that big government and big business work together.

What this illustrates, above all, is that the One Percent is mostly successful at spinning a narrative to divide us. Tea Partiers recognize that big government gets in the way of the free market, over-regulating production, over-taxing the productive, and ignoring the limits placed on their behavior by reinterpreting the Constitution as they see fit. Occupiers recognize that big business has run amok, wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few, and social programs created with good intentions regularly fail to meet their promised goals. Both groups recognize that taking from Main Street to bail out Wall Street has serious implications for the long-term health of our society.

What they both often fail to recognize is why these things are the way they are.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Imperfect Messenger - Why Ron Paul

"I am an imperfect messenger, but the message is perfect.” - Ron Paul

Right up front, let admit that the quote above from the good doctor is spot on. My reference to him as the good doctor also tells you that, on balance, I'm still quite a fan.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Politics vs. the Productive

EarthSky tells of Zombie Ants.

It’s like something out of a horror movie. A parasitic fungus infiltrates the body of a tropical carpenter ant, feeding on it and manipulating its body. The fungus forces the dying ant to the forest understory, an environment more conducive to its growth. The invasion of this fungal body-snatcher culminates with it sprouting a spore-laden fruiting body from the dead ant’s head.
This brings to mind the eternal struggle between the economic means and the political means, as first delineated by Franz Oppenheimer in the early 1900s, and introduced to American readers by Albert Jay Nock in his book "Our Enemy the State" in 1935.

There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man’s needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means.

A Letter to the One Percent

Dear One Percent,

For many months, you've been hearing from the Ninety-Nine Percent. The Ninety-Nine Percent who don't really understand what's happened to their country, but know that something has gone terribly wrong. The Ninety-Nine Percent who for too long have continued to trust your leadership as you've driven the ship of state relentlessly into iceberg after iceberg. The Ninety-Nine Percent who've watched helplessly as you've shipped our jobs overseas and debased our currency to enrich your pockets. The Ninety-Nine Percent who've watched helplessly as you've shipped our children overseas to die, or thrown them into prison cells here at home, to enhance your power over others.

No More!