Making CROP Circles

Once again, I will be participating in the local CROP Walk to raise money for fighting hunger world-wide, 25% of which stays in the region in which it was raised. Hurricane Frances caused a huge amount of damage throughout the Southeast, and it looks like Ivan and others are poised to do even more damage. I’ve decided, as I do every year, to help out this effort by walking around and around in circles. Dozens of people are going to join me as we keep walking for 10km, which is the distance many people in the world have to walk to get food and water. You can donate to my efforts online by clicking here.

July 4th Fest

Photo by Ray Ubinger

I attended the July 4th Fest on Sunday, which was set up by the Whit for Congress committee. It was a gathering of over 1500 Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents who all wanted to celebrate our freedom as a nation. It was a huge celebration with a barbecue, skydivers, bands, and several speakers, of whom I was one.

Fortunately, it didn’t rain on us, but man, was it hot! And with a high humidity as well, it was mostly just a battle to stay cool. I survived by telling myself that, when the Continental Congress voted on Virginia’s Resolution on Independence on July 2, 1776, they did it in a room without air conditioning wearing several layers of wool clothes in just this kind of weather. The only one who seemed unaffected was Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, who barely even broke a sweat despite never removing a part of his full suit and tie. His only disappointment was not being able to join in the skydiving, which he loves so much. (He’s a skydiving instructor who can do tandem jumps as well–so he could have been the one jumping with George Bush, Sr. on that day!)

I’m very proud that, out of all the speakers that day, I got the biggest cheers from the crowd. They absolutely loved my speech comparing our government to a game of Monopoly®. As usual, I recorded the speech, but there were some audio problems due to some otherwise very welcome wind, so apologies for those places where the wind hit the mic. It’s all here (2.6MB mp3 file). I’d like to thank Ray Ubinger for the photo.

Play That Beautiful Music

My stepsister, Fiona McCallister, has released a CD of her beautiful hammered dulcimer music. The hammered dulcimer is a precursor to the piano; a stringed instrument played by striking the strings with hammers. It’s a Persian instrument that became popular throughout Europe starting in the 11th Century. The pieces on this disc are so captivating and soothing, and are mostly from 17th and 18th Centuries, including the more popular pieces “Greensleeves” and “Scarborough Fair,” as well as one original piece she wrote for her daughter. You can hear samples on the CD site. It’s a great thing to listen to when you need to be reminded that there is still beauty in this world.

I’m walkin’, yes indeed…

I will be participating in the 2003 CROP Walk in Lincolnton on October 19. Click here if you’d like to make an online donation.

The CROP (Communities Reaching Out to People) Walk is a 10-km walk to raise money to fight hunger and for disaster relief. 25% of the money raised goes directly to local communities. Only about 8% is lost to administrative overhead and 10% to fundraising expenses.

Walking the Walk

Well, we did the MS-Walk today. All total, participants from all over Lincoln County raised over $5,000 to help research treatments for Multiple Sclerosis! That’s certainly greater than the amount of tax money from the participants that would go to fighting this disease, and this money comes with no strings attached, unlike government funds.

These boots are made for walkin’…

I will be participating in the MS walk here in Lincoln County in April. This is a fundraising event for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which is dedicated to ending the suffering caused by this disease. I’m the team captain for the Lincoln County Libertarian Party, and I really hope we make a good showing.

This event will be at the Lincoln County Senior Center in Lincolnton, NC. If you’re in the area, I’d love to have you as a member of our team! Just click this link to sign up for the MS Walk and join us on Saturday, April 12, 2003 at 9:00 am! If you can’t join us but want topledge to my walk, you can do so by clicking here. Every dollar you donate will go to the NMSS to help combat the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.

One question I’m getting asked is, "Why are you doing this? Do you know someone with MS?" No, I don’t. That answer puzzles some people, but I say a truly compassionate individual is one who’s willing to put his time and money into helping others. Most politicians, and the people who support them, are quite willing to take someone else’s money by force (in the form of taxation) in order to research diseases, feed the poor, or what have you. But where is the compassion in force? Where is the charity in spending someone else’s money? If you choose to participate, or to pledge, that’s wonderful; but I don’t have any right to pick your pocket even if I do donate the money to a good cause.