Aug 01

Election 2016: August Primary

Herschel Young

He went from running for the US House of Representatives to running for Senate…

The 2016 election has been interesting thus far to say the least. The Presidential race has proven to be quite the train wreck with regards to the Democrat and Republican nominees.

Sometimes, the local races can prove to be just as interesting.

One of them is the race for the Coroner’s office in Johnson County, Missouri. Terry Neal, Clark Holdren, and Nick McDaniels are all vying for the position, and tomorrow will not only be the end of the contested race, but seeing as how they are all running under the same party, the winner will be our next coroner.

Below is a video from a candidate forum that was held last week at the American Legion in Warrensburg. Skip to the 26 minute mark to see the three coroner candidates speak.

There are a couple of the things that I want to address regarding McDaniels and what he said about the other candidates.

  1. Terry Neal is indeed suing UCM, but this article from the digitalBurg may shed some light on the subject. The fact that he didn’t tell the full story is a red flag.
  2. Declaring that if he has to “buy a freezer” is a bit extreme in regards to having facilities to store the remains of the deceased in refrigeration (morgues in other words).
  3. Outright making accusations against the other two candidates after Holdren himself thanked the competition for running a clean campaign only serves to discredit the campaign of the accuser.

I won’t be pulling a Republican ballot, so I won’t have a choice on Coroner this year. However, even if they were on the ballot I was pulling, McDaniels would not be the one I’d be voting for.

Speaking of contested races, let’s rewind to 2012.

That year, I filed to run as a Libertarian for the US House of Representatives in Missouri’s Fourth District, thus putting me in a contested primary with Herschel Young. Young had changed parties multiple times in two years alone (Republican when he ran for Cass County Commissioner, Democrat against Teresa Hensley for US Rep, and Libertarian for US Rep).

Long story short, I managed to defeat him in the August primary. To say he was less than thrilled was an understatement.

Herschel Young declares that he lost the 2012 primary in all caps.

He really shouldn’t be doing this in all caps.

He wrote on his fan page thanking his supporters. Shortly after, he wrote a status in all caps.

The lack of good sportsmanship should be a clue as to what I’m about to say next.

I wrote a retrospective about my encounter with him, and it can be viewed here (most modern browsers can open PDF’s for viewing… if yours can’t, consider Sumatra PDF Viewer). It’s the last article in that issue of the magazine that I used to publish.

He private messaged my candidate fan page in all caps and declared that I should step down so he can fight for the party, which was amusing considering the fact that he had only been there less than a year.

I’ve been Libertarian since 2010.

To this day, this individual has not apologized, and now he’s trying to run for Senate. Jonathan Dine is also running, so they’ll be in a contested race tomorrow. I will be voting for Dine, because though he has a record himself, it doesn’t consist of physical violence or strange behavior.

Young will not be getting my vote tomorrow morning.

Hopefully the story from the past and the story of today will help future candidates learn what not to do when campaigning for any office.

Podcast Episode Four

I discuss these things in the latest podcast, which is embedded below for your convenience.

 

Jul 04

Independence Day 2016

Two double steak burgers with cheese and cheese filled pretzel bites.

This could very well be a new Independence Day tradition.

There is so much to be grateful for today. After work last night, I decided to celebrate Independence Day with something unique and convenient.

Two double steak burgers with cheese and cheese filled pretzel bites on the side.

Though it’s cloudy outside, the weather is still good for this day. Despite the interesting things that have happened this year thus far, I am surprisingly thankful for being an American.

About 10 years ago, I was so angry and bitter. I had just begun to find out how corrupt the two party system was and it seemed like nobody cared.

Scandals were happening and it appeared that nobody was being held accountable.

Today, I’m a bit more level headed about current events and am learning to enjoy life in general. I still involve myself in the cause of liberty, but I live while doing so.

Speaking of which, the second episode of my podcast is available for your listening pleasure.

Show notes can be found here.

I introduced people to the ideas of Libertarianism and what it entails. It was designed for newcomers who may not be familiar with the concept itself.

I hope it inspires others to start getting involved, and that’s what today is about.

On July 4, 1776, the world began to change as authority from afar was challenged. Though “taxation without representation” was a rallying cry, there was more to the American Revolution than that. Though Tom Woods has a point of view that others may not agree with, he did hit the nail on the head regarding self government.

After all, why should locals allow a bureaucratic entity across the Atlantic Ocean to tell them what they were and were not allowed to do?

So a war was eventually fought and fortunately, the British lost. That in essence is what Independence Day is about; being able to live as you wish without interference from a distant interloper.

Of course our forefathers were far from perfect and not all British were for the very idea of subjecting the colonists to what they saw as unfair treatment, but that’s an essay for a another day.

I simply hope that all of you have a wonderful Independence Day. Sometimes it’s best to sit back and enjoy the freedom that we still have left in spite of what corrupt politicians are attempting to do.

Thank you.

 

Jun 27

We Have Liftoff!

Gary Johnson in Black and White

Based on the original from Gary Johnson’s Flickr Page, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Let’s start this week off on the right foot, shall we? Last week, Gary Johnson and William Weld got some prime time action on CNN.

It’s refreshing to see two candidates who have different points of view without being forced to tow one line or another; it shows the respect for individualism that is needed now more than ever.

Drew Carey is also planning on hosting a fundraiser event for the Johnson campaign on July 23rd.

With the abysmal response towards the presumptive nominees for the Democrats and Republicans, this year would be a golden opportunity for the Libertarian Party to move forward. There’s just one issue at hand that needs to be addressed.

For those who haven’t encountered it, what is Libertarianism anyway, and what it does it mean for one’s personal life?

This is where I come in. I have officially started my own podcast which will explore that and more. The first episode contains my story as to how I evolved to libertarianism over the years.

In a sense, I’m still evolving to this day.

So here’s my podcast page. Please don’t mind the mess as I’m still working on it.

Jun 21

A Quick Note

I haven’t posted in a while, because I wanted to let some time pass after the Orlando tragedy. I’ll be making my return to blogging tomorrow since I have some exciting projects in the works that will prove to be interesting.

The website I’ve been working on will be one of them (along with the related podcast).

There will also be a couple of new projects that have been inspired by what has happened thus far this election year. For now, all I have to say is stay tuned.

Jun 13

People First, Politics Tomorrow

Gay pride flag in the wind.

Image courtesy of Benson Kua under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.

As you no doubt already know, a shooting in Orlando, Florida took place. My thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to those who lost their lives as well as their loved ones who will no longer see the ones they care about alive.

Reactions have varied with conflicting ideologies flaring up.

As with tragedies like this, emotions may get the better of us, especially when arguing about hot button issues. The one person who has been a voice of reason throughout this ordeal is none other than Gary Johnson himself.

Maybe we should take a step back today instead of arguing for one ideology or another. It wasn’t public figures who recently passed, but private citizens. With the injuries and deaths come medical bills and funeral costs, which Planting Peace is attempting to raise money for.

Jun 06

Polling for Gary!

Libertarian Party Logo

The Libertarian Party has existed since 1971

Before I begin, there is an important petition on Change.org (link will be repeated later in this post), and fora good reason.

If you have looked at what has happened over the past week, you may have noticed something interesting. Change is coming.

Media appearances, op-ed pieces, and stories of defections to the Libertarian Party are among the signs of things to come. Since the Libertarian Party has the nomation process out of the way, momentum is building.

We can’t let things stagnate, however.

The one thing keeping Johnson and Weld out of the debates is polling, or the lack thereof. Poll numbers are a bit higher this year, but until major networks include our candidate in their polls, groups like this won’t include him either. This could spell trouble for us this fall.

So what can you do to help?

Sign this petition, which will be sent to ABC and other major outlets asking that Gary Johnson be included in their polls. Doing so will keep the momentum going. So let’s Poll for Gary and help get him more national exposure.

Jun 01

Fellow Libertarians, We Need to Talk

I had planned on finishing this up yesterday, but I was too tired. When one’s body complains about lack of sleep, it’s best to not ignore it.

I do apologize for not getting to this sooner.

At the very least, this left me with a little more time to think things through.

I watched Alicia Dearn’s speech calling for party unity (fast forward to the 59 minute mark). I can understand the hesitation and outright concern regarding William Weld. He does attempt to address some of them, which got the attention of Reason Magazine.

Like Dearn, I too was disturbed at the fracturing of the party, especially at the beginning of the primary season.

I understand that people want the candidates that will strictly adhere to libertarianism. We often have discussions and debates on a variety of issues and ultimately ask if it can be solved without government.

Scotty Boman has pointed out how we need to understand political reality.

The way to move from a soft tyranny to a relatively free society, is to appeal to that libertarian part of them that would like to remove government aggression from some part of their lives. Let’s give people a taste of liberty and hopefully they will want more. Respect the moderate Libertarians because we need them to move forward. They are reasonable, but cautious, people. They will vote for us, and we can expand liberty by getting government out of the way, one reform at a time.

We can’t have everything we want right away, nor can we change things in a single night. This party has existed for several decades and has been able to potentially seize this moment because of the years spent on building a solid foundation.

I want to be clear about my intentions of this post.

I am not seeking to end the philosophical wing of the Libertarian Party. It’s what has kept us out of trouble and has continually helped us grow and evolve as new situations arise. I recognize that we need to be in an environment where government doesn’t rule over our lives.

With that said, there are millions of Americans who do not fully understand that government should be the last resort if ever done at all, let alone none at all.

We may feel that the libertarian philosophy is much superior to others, but truth be told, we haven’t had an opportunity to put such things into practice. Look at all the times that such attempts were made only for others to call for regulation in order to legitimize it.

Bitcoin is an excellent example of this.

A decentralized form of trade without the requirement of giving out an identity was a dream come true, but the talk of regulation came. Without some form of legitimization in the system, something will get shut down at some point, even if it was previously viewed as fine and dandy.

The Liberty Dollar comes to mind.

We currently have no way of freely living our lives without eventual governmental interference, and until things start getting fixed, we’ll always be dealing with this frustrating situation. We are all different as individuals and we focus on different things that we view as important.

Until we start relating to the average, everyday person in ways that will help them connect the dots to freedom, we’ll constantly be losing the national debate on political philosophy. On the national stage, it isn’t academics that sets the tone, but the people and their thoughts and feelings.

A lot of emotion is involved, and until we can connect to that aspect of the people, we won’t make any significant progress. 2012 was a landmark year as Gary Johnson managed to break the previous record for popular votes for a Libertarian candidate.

He was not like Bob Barr who made a fool of himself in 2008 and left the party after that single election year.

Johnson stuck around through Our American Initiative. Now he wishes to try again, hence his nomination this year. His running mate may be of concern. He may be a part of organizations that we disagree with. How about we give him a chance though, for he may wind up surprising all of us in a good way?

Associations may not always make one a dirty person.

After all, Dearn herself asked him to look the party delegates in the eye and say that he will not betray us. He has given his word that he will not abandon the Libertarian Party. Dearn herself also said for the delegates to vote their conscience, a detail some may have missed.

No matter what happens, a fractured party will not help at a time like this, for the other major parties are fractured as well. It also does us no favors to refer to Dearn as a traitor. While plenty of people would have preferred her to be Johnson’s running mate, myself included, she saw something that was bigger than herself and did the one thing that others did not do.

She set her ego aside.

Now it’s time to do the same, for we have a lot of work ahead of us. The good news is that we have a head start with the nomination process out of the way. Though there are two presumptive nominees for the two major parties, their respective conventions have not taken place yet.

Running mates have also not been discussed, meaning we’re ahead.

Right now, Ohio will prove to be quite the battleground. Thanks to John Kasich, the Ohio Libertarian Party has to petition just to be allowed ballot access. Johnson and Weld will be on the ballot in Oklahoma.

Petitioning in other states still needs to be done for ballot access.

So let’s get to work.

May 30

Memorial Day 2016

Myself contemplating

Reflecting on a turning point in my life.

Before I begin with this post, please keep in mind that Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Today is the day we honor those who died while serving in the military.

It came as a result of competing traditions between the Union and Confederates from the Civil War.

I’m reflecting on the fact that I am able to write this post today because we still have freedom in this country, regardless of the efforts made to curtail it by our politicians and corrupt individuals.

But enough about that for today.

It’s funny how things tend to work out after dealing with a series of challenges over the past several weeks. My girlfriend is settling into her new apartment and setting it up to her liking. Having space of one’s own does wonders.

As for myself, I now qualify for Google AdSense payouts. I did the confirmation through Chromium on my Raspberry Pi 3 (will have to wait for checking account to be confirmed in a couple of days). I must be doing something right, so that means I need to keep going with the website and the podcast.

After today, I”ll do that.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk some politics too as I’ll have a few things to discuss. The weekend has been interesting regarding the subject at hand, but I’d rather wait on it for several more hours.

For today, I am just thankful that I am here and able to do what I love the mos with the friends that I have.

May 25

Enter the Pi 3

Setting up the Pi 3.

Using the Pi 3 for the first time.

Having a desire to own the latest and greatest hardware has sometimes subsided in favor of lightweight hardware that’s just as capable. The Raspberry Pi is no exception, and with improvements over the years, I feel that now is the time to take a serious look at power efficient computing.

Yesterday, I set up my Raspberry Pi 3.

The kit my dad sent me included the unit itself, an A/C adapter, case, a 32 GB microSD card, and more.

For now, I’m networking via Ethernet, but I’ll give wireless a try at some point. With the Pi Model B, running just one application would spike the CPU usage (in some cases, nearly 100%). I’ve been able to run Iceweasel, a Debian-branded Firefox, with relatively little trouble.

Usage hasn’t even broken 10%.

Though I’m running the latest Raspbian release, I’m also thinking about taking a look at Ubuntu MATE 16.04 as well. For now, so long as I can do most of the stuff I’m used to in terms of productivity, I’ll have no problem sticking with Raspbian.

Other than that, how has the Pi 3 done thus far?

I’ve been able to use Facebook and even watch a video on YouTube. I will say that Iceweasel is more stable than Epiphany for browsing the web. Of course, Flash isn’t available, so that limits some options.

Flash on the other hand isn’t a deal breaker, especially since there are things I need to work on.

As for what I’ll be doing with the old Pi, I have no idea as of yet. I may experiment with it as a simple local webserver. I haven’t decided yet.

In the meantime, the Pi 3 will be one of my main machines in use during the summer in order to cut down on the electric bill.

May 23

Refocusing

Let’s face it. There comes a time in one’s life when enough is enough. The time for change has come at last.

It’s strange how a brief spat on Facebook can help clarify a few things.

I can understand the good and bad of living anywhere in the world. No place will ever be Utopia. I may not have lived in the current area all of my life, but at the moment, it is my home. I don’t care if one has been here most of their lives. There’s a difference between criticizing and outright attacking, and outright attacking is something I will not stand for.

I tried making Holden my home a few years ago, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t a good fit for me, and publicly, I didn’t outright attack it. I criticized issues that existed at the time (conflict of interest between the water company and board of public works being one of them), but there were some good things too.

Things like local shops and scenes that made it a good place to visit.

The last 48 hours have reminded me of the movie Clerks where Randall tells Dante, “You should shit or get off the pot.” As one who lived around an area long enough to get burnt out, I will be the first to tell you that I’d do everything in my power to not live around Leeton ever again.

It’s not my scene and it never will be.

However, I will not constantly take a dump all over it, because those who moved there may have been in a worse place in life. Warrensburg may not be the best place on the planet earth, but it’s better than where I used to be.

If I have a problem with things here, instead of just bitching about it, I plan on doing something about it. It’s time to refocus. It’s time to shit or get off the pot. Have a problem with this city? No one’s forcing you to stay. Either shit or get off the pot.

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