"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe


Tips for Planning a Party

If you want to have a successful party, you need a few tips to make it the best it can be. In the video below there can be found five quick tips that are common sense and should be helpful if you want everyone to have a good time. I think the tips are so good I'm putting them on the sidebar as an easy reference and future reminder tool.

Who said the party is over? Have fun, but be careful about who you invite!


Matthew and Paul - A Morality Debate

Normally the above title might be a Sunday sermon topic, not the lead-in to a remarkable U-Tube video of a politician being interviewed by a "journalist" on a lightly watched cable TV station. No, this is not a bible story or a sermon. I'll leave that to the professionals in the pulpits. It's "above my pay grade" as the President once said in dodging a question.

Instead, it is my observations on the above noted "interview" which actually turned out to be a debate between a leftist TV personality, Chris Matthews, and a libertarian MD turned U.S. Representative, Ron Paul of Texas.

If you just watch it once quickly it seems like a typical political interview, each side promoting their own philosophy. One extolling the virtues of big government intervention while the other champions individual liberty as the best route for solutions to societal problems. That is until you realize that each side is sparring for a moral high ground which transcends policy arguments.

Matthews uses his usual style to start things off. Namely, using the pretense of friendly banter even while ridiculing the intelligence of his "guest". He rather skillfully seems to embrace a historical person (Barry Goldwater, who presumably his guest also embraces) in order to show a common bond between them. However, once that is past, he claims it was only a youthful dalliance on his part before he grew up, got smart and grew a heart. He then asks Dr. Paul why he never got similarly smart and empathetic even though, he too grew older. I have to admit, Matthews has raised insult to an art form. (Keep in mind, even bad paintings are regarded as art by some.)

After the stage was set, both parties settled down to a dialog which I found fascinating. Matthews was clearly trying to discredit his guest and tie him to unpopular notions and historical figures, all to no avail in my mind. But then again, I do have a philosophical horse in this race.

In the end, I'm sure most people saw what they wanted to see and no minds were changed. But if you really never knew who Ron Paul was, (other than his portrayal by both Democrats and Republicans as some kind of kook who rambles on endlessly about the evils of the Federal Reserve) now you will at least have some actual idea of why both political parties in this country are terrified that the common sense American values he champions have caught on with a "Tea Party" movement which, so far, no one seems to be able to pigeon hole.

In my opinion, they have much to be fearful about. At least I hope so, because the realisation of the immorality of taking things (at gunpoint if necessary) from one group and giving them to another, (to whom they do not rightfully belong) might finally become the undoing of the kleptocracy this country has drifted into, even with all the best intentions.

A hat tip to Wes Messamore at The Humble libertarian for the video below.

Previously posted short clip of a similar interview of Dr. Milton Friedman on this blog.

Interestingly Cursed

It's almost May. Six months remain before the elections. Even though it's been said so often by so many groups that it's almost a cliche, these may be the most important elections in the span of our lives.

As a person who has been involved his entire adult life in trying to promote civil society via individual liberty and personal responsibility, this particular election holds the answer for me to the question of what the people of this country want for their way of life.

As Dr. Walter Williams asks the question: "What is the proper role of government in a free society?" The answer to that question, whether or not we want to be free to succeed or fail, or whether we want to be cared for by a group of people who run the government has finally come up for a vote.

It's that basic, folks. And if the majority of the people want to be free, they will defeat incumbents in large numbers. If the politics of personality and group against group warfare win out, the die will be cast in an ominous way, in my opinion.

Some pundits look for a huge repudiation of those currently in power. Such a person can be viewed in the video found below. It was brought to my attention by my good friend Joe (as astute an observer of events and trends as one will find anywhere) who was kind enough to bring it to my attention, and now yours. An accompanying article can be found here and is also worth your time.

As an old Chinese curse has it, "May you live in interesting times." I for one, along with Joe and a great many others, former Democrats and Republicans alike, certainly are cursed, because we are just as certainly interested in the decisions our fellow citizens will make.


Romnobama - An Echo, not a Choice

As most observant people know, the Republican Party is really, really good at one thing. Namely, picking awful Presidential candidates.

The list is impressive in recent political history. Starting with John McCain in the last contest and stretching all the way back to Nixon, it's been one disaster after another even when they won the general election. The sole exception was, of course, Ronald Reagan.

Most of those elected were even worse Presidents than they were candidates. Of course it should be noted that the Democratic candidates were even more pitiful. As truly horrible as I think George W. Bush was, I shudder to think of what history might look like if there was a President Gore or Kerry or Dukakis.

But the Republican "big tent" circus has produced a lot of clowns, that's for sure. The question now is; are they working on it again for the next cycle? It sure looks like it from my viewpoint, since at this point, the two people most talked about in that context are Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

C'mon people, can't we do better than that? Whatever you think of those two personally, it is hard to imagine that they are the best America can come up with to carry the "smaller government, personal freedom, free market" banner in 2012.

In fact, the biggest of the big issues Republicans will be campaigning on, the government takeover of the healthcare industry, Romney looks so much like Obama I have given him a new name, Romnobama.

David Boaz and Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute make that case in the video below. What do you think?


Bagging the Impostors

The weather should be great tomorrow in Chicago, more like summer than April 15th. At least the weather man thinks so. So I think I'll go hunting.

Ok, maybe just observing because tomorrow is also tax day. And also a nice day for a Tea Party. Actually, just a rally of those far out kooks, the Americans who have finally had enough of the big government nanny state taxing and spending. That combination should make it a good hunting day for Tea party impostors down in the Daley Center.

When I was a kid, almost every adult in this country paid income taxes. There were always a few unfortunate (or unfortunately lazy) adults who didn't pay anything. Instead they received from the pockets of the producers. That number was small.

Now-a-days, it's almost 50/50, taxpayers to receivers. 49% pay no income tax at all according to the latest figures. Not to mention (once again) that 10% of the taxpayers pay 70% of all the income taxes.

Naturally, the payers get a tad testy when banks, auto companies, insurance companies, unions and real estate speculators end up with their earnings. So on tax day, they complain. Usually in small numbers which the proponents of big government in the media ignore every year. Except for last year because the numbers got too large to hide anymore, and with the government takeover of your healthcare decisions and it's attendant TRILLIONS of dollars in deficit spending, this year the rally will be even larger.

This makes those on the left go even crazier than normal, and in Chicago, that means dragging out that age old tactic of joining the protesters, pretending to be part of the movement, and then doing something insane, like carrying racist signs or shouting out threats or epithets. The bright idea is to make your opponents look like fringe lunatics in order to discredit them before your allies in the leftist press. It will work too. (at least with the nitwits in the press)

But not with actual people, because this time it's different.

I'll be at the Tea Party rally and I'll be watching for the reaction of the real citizens in the movement if some impostors show up to do their dirt. They have plans to do so, you can read about it here and here. One can only hope they get shouted down and "outed."

After all, the inference of silence is assent.


Sox and Cubs Fans Agree on One Thing

No one who knows me would say I am a "good" baseball fan. By Chicago standards I'm pretty pathetic. But I enjoy the occasional day at the park even if it means getting ripped off big time for a beer and a Polish sausage. And I follow the standings in the papers on an irregular basis and watch a few innings of a few games before falling asleep in front of the TV.

In some circles I am a pariah because I don't hate the Cubs even though I'm a Sox fan and a lifelong south-sider. And I will admit to having enjoyed myself at Wrigley Field on many occasions. It's a great ballpark.

I root for both teams except when they play each other.  For me, a dream scenario would be for the Cubs to end up in the World Series before getting crushed by the Sox so they could be frustrated for another century or so. It serves them right for having a different street numbering system than south-siders.

But it seems folks like me are in a tiny minority. Most Chicagoans take up sides as part of their identities and never agree on anything. But I think there is one thing they both can agree on. And that is, they can name their favorite players, even if they aren't rabid fans. Most folks have more than one and the only problem would be choosing their most favorite one.

But yesterday we found out that the self proclaimed "biggest Sox fan in the country," can't even remember the name of one player on his favorite team, or the correct name of the park his team plays in. Maybe because, like everything else politicians say and do, it's phony nonsense designed to send some message.

One thing is certain, the President loves to filibuster, even if he detests it's use in the Senate. After all, if you don't know the answer to the question, just answer a different one nobody asked, and take a long time doing it.
And one other thing is certain, I just couldn't pass up the chance to have some fun at the Presidents expense.

If Ronald Reagan had been standing in front of "Cominsky" Park instead of the Berlin wall, he probably would have said, President Obama, tear off that Sox cap.