Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ron Paul and the what pistols??

OK, I'm officially old.

I watched Jay Leno just now, mostly because my hero Ron Paul was appearing. It was a good interview, and can't hurt him, but he was immediately followed by musical guests the Sex Pistols.

Now, the Sex Pistols are sort of nostalgic. They began their sporadic and notorious career in 1975, and I thought they had disappeared for good. But here they were on Leno, singing what sounded like "Anarchy in the UK," a song whose lyrics - were they lyrics? - were unintelligible to these old ears. They gestured in a friendly way to Dr. Paul and I heard the words "Mr. Paul" emerging from the cacophony of sound filling the studio audience. I think it was a show of support, but I'm not sure.

Now, I'm not in favor of anarchy by any means. I am for less government, and so I suppose given the huge beast that government has become these days, an anarchist would favor the candidate who wants to govern the least. Some even think it may be a sign.

But who do the Sex Pistols influence today? Do the young folk look up to a three-decades old band whose trademark is revolt against the music popular in 1975? If so, why? Do the current 40-year-olds remember them fondly? And here I am, fondly remembering tearing off the plastic shrink wrap from my new copy of the White Album.

So here I am, supporting a 72 year old man for president because he stays loyal to a 220 year old document that everyone else ignores, and watching him share a stage with an aging, arthritic punk rock band who also seems to like him, and feeling glad that my 86 year old father who fought the Japanese in WWII never stays up late enough to have seen anything like the Sex Pistols singing about anarchy.

Well, shoot - I'm going to send another $17.76 to Ron Paul on November 5 just to add to the money bomb scheduled for that day. That ought to make me feel younger.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why doesn't Ron Paul run in another party?

Several times I have heard critics of Ron Paul suggest that he should go run in the Libertarian party or Constitution party, since he is so far out of step with the Republican party. Anyone who has ever been involved with a third party knows quite well that election laws in the United States make this impossible. The two parties have seen to this. Here's Oklahoma for an extreme example:

"On May 14, the Oklahoma Supreme Court refused to hear Libertarian Political Organization v Clingman, no. 103,592. Thus ended the Libertarian Party’s most costly-ever ballot access lawsuit. The party had spent approximately $30,000 in 2004 on collecting 27,000 signatures, plus $5,000 on attorneys’ fees and court fees. The signatures had been collected in an attempt to persuade the court that the party does enjoy a modicum of voter support. No other party or candidate even tried to petition in Oklahoma in 2004.

"The case was based on a provision of the Oklahoma Constitution that says "elections shall be free and equal." The evidence seemed overwhelming that the state’s ballot access laws relating to presidential candidates at the general election violates this part of the state Constitution. Oklahoma voters in 2004 were the only voters who could not vote for president, unless they wanted to vote for President Bush or Senator John Kerry. No write-ins are allowed, and Oklahoma was the only state in which only Bush and Kerry were on the ballot.

"Oklahoma is one of only five states that doesn’t permit write-ins at the general election. Oklahoma is the only state in which all [signature/petition] procedures to get a minor party or independent presidential candidate on the ballot are greater than 2% of the last vote cast. Oklahoma is one of only four states in which the easiest presidential procedure is more than 1.33% of the last presidential vote cast (the others are North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming). ...The median requirement of the 50 states is four-tenths of 1% of the last presidential vote cast."

Source: Ballot Access News

Are these parties really all that popular? I have made a point of asking loyal Republicans and Democrats why they support their candidate. Virtually every time I hear them tell me why they oppose the other one - they really have nothing good to say about their guy. They are voting against, not for, a candidate.

The problem here is that the election process here in the USA is rigged to favor the two established parties. We hear the phrase "two-party system" as if it's a Good Thing™, when in fact it is a Bad Thing™ created for a bad reason. The two parties differ only in rhetoric - and in that regard, they differ considerably - while the difference in what their members actually do when in office, is insignificant. Yet they claim a monopoly on the ballot - all others need not apply. So we are in the habit of voting against the party we dislike the most, because we have no other real choice.

Let me point out that whether you support a "third" party or not, you know that this is not good, it's not fair, it's not American, and it is, in fact, corrupt. A common reason given for ballot access restrictions is that we need to prevent ballot crowding. Ballot "crowding" is meaningless - there is plenty of room for more than two choices on a ballot. Another reason is that we supposedly must keep "frivolous" candidates off the ballot. In the first place, we can afford frivolous candidates if necessary to ensure open elections, but let that slide. When the incumbent parties get to define who is "frivolous," you can be sure that that will include anybody who wants to take their place in office. Does anybody really think that the Libertarian, Green, or Constitution parties are truly frivolous? You may disagree with their positions, you may quickly and casually (and rightly or wrongly) label them "kooks" or worse, but I assure you that they are not at all frivolous - they genuinely want to be in office and represent a point of view. And since they aren't allowed to play in the game stolen by the "real" parties, they can only be expected to rejoice when a real alternative challenges the establishment from within their own party. We all know that the Republican party would have barred Ron Paul from the process if they could have - heck, they still want to, even if it means losing the election to Ms. Clinton in 2008. We saw organizations supposedly for lower taxes and against abortion - positions Dr. Paul is aligned with - ban him from their little debate in Iowa! Why would they do that? I'll bet you can figure that out if you think about it for a minute.

Those of us who still respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land are supporting Ron Paul. He is the only man in Congress who has consistently kept his oath of office to obey that document. And we're doing it within the system, like it or not. If you want to call us "kooks" for that, feel free - but consider how un-American you've become if you do.

If you want us to run along back to our little third parties and leave yours alone... then open the elections to all serious parties. Free and open elections, like they have in much of the rest of the world.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My choice for president

And my choice is...
Ron Paul.

Yes, I said Ron Paul. Follow the link to read more about him, but my reasons are that he votes and acts on his principles, and that he obeys the Constitution. Those are things - important things! - that no other candidate running on the two major parties can come close to saying, without having to turn around to hide some seriously cynical laughter.

Here are reasons not to vote for him, and I keep seeing them over and over.

  • He can't win. This is the most common reason, and perhaps the most irrelevant. Besides the fact that it isn't true, it is no reason to withdraw support from your candidate, especially during the primary stage of the election process. You should support the candidate you want, not someone more likely to win. What are you, some animal in the herd? Think about it - if the other guy is going to win anyway, why support him? Conserve your energy, relax, go take in a movie. He'll win without your help.
  • His views are... out there. Oh, but if his views are the same as yours, or close, then you must be out there, too. All the more reason to vote for him. Besides, the mainstream of thought has become so far from the founding principles of this country, so far from what actually works, I think we should be getting away from them as soon as possible. As for "staying the course..." as Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for you?" You may just find that your views are more in the majority than they want you to think.
  • One of his policies doesn't match mine! Does any candidate match your thought in every way? You aren't going to find anyone that does. Decide what is most important to you in terms of government, and find someone to match that, or get close. For me, that's Dr. Ron Paul.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Welcome to the Basin

Welcome to the dust-covered blog of the Permanent Basin.
I am setting aside my plans for world domination for the time being. Now, now - be patient. We'll get back on track for that, and then you can rule beside me. We need to get that crack-head in Venezuela out of office first, anyway.

Tomorrow, I will reveal my choice for the president of these United States. I have spent much time and much study eliminating possibilities, and I have narrowed my choices down to that one worthy candidate.

Just my opinion, you say? Well, yes it is. But since I am smarter than you and prettier than you and I read more books than you, and I have more money than lots of people I know, my opinion counts. And you should agree with me because I'm right 97.4% of the time, and you're right only 89.3% of the time. Besides, I never bet on sports.