Vote against legalized racketeering this Tuesday

It’s bad enough that NC taxes its citizens more than “Taxachusetts” does. It’s bad enough that Lincoln County just issued a laughable revaluation which is a very thinly veiled tax increase, revaluing some homes 300% or more of their previous value at a time when home prices are suffering. It’s bad enough that the dollar is the worst it’s ever been, that inflation is eating into our savings, and the Misery Index is the highest it’s been since 1980.

Now, they want to increase the sales tax as well–and they’re trying to slip it in through the primary where the turnout is lower than the general election (and which are supposed to be just for candidate selection, paid for by the filing fees of the candidates).

Do not let them get away with this! Go Tuesday and vote “No” to the sales tax increase. If you don’t live in Lincoln County, but you live in North Carolina, you can go to this website and see if your county is trying to increase taxes.

Oh, and while you’re at it, it would be great if you could vote for the only candidate on the ballot dedicated to getting taxes down–Ron Paul. Yes, he’s still in the running, and unlike votes for the rest of the candidates, every vote for Ron Paul absolutely will make a difference!

For our own good, of course

Okay, so, government can’t protect us from terrorists, murderers, rapists, drug dealers, mortgage companies, illegal aliens, inside traders, greedy health care profit-seekers, drunk drivers, pollution, high gas prices, high food prices, illiteracy, teenage sex, online gambling, election fraud, OPEC, creationism, cheap foreign labor, prostitutes, Canadian television, music downloaders, or Wal-Mart, but at least we can know that in some part of the country, the government is doing its best to crack down on vendors selling…


If we’d had televised debates in 1789

After watching the laughable mockery that has been the last few Presidential “debates,” I have come to the conclusion that this country may not even have gotten started had they been around back then. Here is a hypothetical excerpt from the ABC Presidential Debates of 1789:

(Much of the text for Washington here comes from his first annual message to Congress, 8 January 1790)

ABC News: Decision 1789

Moderators: Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos

CG: Mr. Washington, we’ll begin with your opening remarks.

GW: Thank you. A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies. The proper establishment of the troops which may be deemed indispensable will be entitled–

CG: I’m sorry to cut you off there, Mr. Washington, but I feel you should answer a burning issue of great importance to the people: Are your teeth wooden or not?

GW: What?

CG: Your teeth, sir. We need a response to the rumors that your teeth are wooden.

GW: Well, I don’t see how that’s a “burning issue of great importance,” but if you must know, they’re not wooden at all. They’re ivory. Anyway, returning to my remarks, the interests of the United States require that our intercourse with other nations should be facilitated by such provisions as–

CG: Sir, will you please stop evading?

GW: How am I being evasive?

CG: We want you to respond to the core of the issue: is your refusal to wear wooden teeth a slap in the face of the logging workers?

GW: What? Why would it be? They’re just teeth.

CG: Sir, we need to know–

GW: I don’t know what good wooden teeth would be, anyway. Wouldn’t they rot?

(Continued beneath the fold.)

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Just to keep you informed of a couple of updates to the site:

  1. Comment avatars! Now, if you have an avatar on file with a global avatar site such as Gravatar, it’ll show up next to your comment! Just make sure you use the same email address as one you have on file with the avatar site. If you don’t have one, the system will choose a default, but what fun is that?

  2. The old Captchas only worked right about half the time. That’s the word you have to type in to prove you’re not a piece of crap spammer. Now, the Captcha used when commenting on articles more than seven days old–as well as to get my email address above–use the ReCaptcha system. Developed by the originators of the Captcha at CMU–the same place that gave us the word “bogosity”–this is a good robust solution, with extra coolness thrown in.

    Notice that it gives you two words to type in, unlike most Captchas. That’s because it isn’t just a spam checker. Various projects on the internet are working to digitize old books and make them online, but computers are only so good at turning scanned words into actual computer text. One of the words is a known word; the other is a word the computer can’t recognize. So if one word isn’t quite readable, make your best guess at it. It will be compared with the results of other users all over the internet and used to make these old books available online! How cool is that?

  3. Just in case anyone wants even more information about me, I’ve uploaded a page of 101 Facts About Me. And I swear, they’re all true! Really!

Battered Voter Syndrome

First of all, I want you to know that I love you. You are a good and dear friend, and I am saying this to you because I care about you greatly, and I don’t like seeing you get hurt. I certainly don’t like to see you be used and abused the way you have been.

Year after year he has made the same promises, and swears to you that he has changed, and year after year you believe him. Thinking that this time it really is going to be different, you go back to the same Party and vote for the same kind of politician. You want to believe that he has changed; you need to believe that he has changed, and you want to give him just one more chance. I understand. I really do.

But there comes a time when one has to admit that no change is coming. How many broken promises, how many excuses, how many lies does he have to tell you before you realize that you need to get out of this relationship?

Do you remember when he said, “Government is not the solution, it is the problem”? Do you remember when he said, “The era of big government is over”? What happened since then?

This year, your Party has had at least one candidate (or another, or another) who actually lives up to the promises your Party has made. They have promised an immediate end to the war, real tax cuts, constitutional principles, and government out of our lives. But your Party abused them every bit as much as he abused you. He marginalized them, made fun of them, even lied about them–all to make sure that they never had any real chance of being elected, all the while telling you that he can change, he wants to change, just give him a chance. Well, face it, my friend–he just had his chance. It’s time to leave him.

I warn you: he’s going to tell you the same thing he always has. He’s going to say he needs your help, that you should work with him to affect change, that if you leave you’re wasting your vote, that if you don’t support him then someone even worse will come along. When he says these things to you, remember that he has said all of this to you before. Every single word. There is no difference at all.

It’s time to leave him. It’s time to come to a party where you are truly loved. Many of us were once in your situation, and we are here with open arms. I can’t promise that we’ll agree with everything you want, nor can I promise that you’ll come to agree with everything we stand for. But if you’ve been staying with him, hoping that his promises of lower taxes, lower deficits, smaller government, and greater liberty will pan out, then I can promise you that here you’ll find people who truly want this.

We are the Libertarian Party.

I’m sure we’ll have our disagreements. I’m sure we’ll have our arguments. But at least with us, you know we can be relied upon. And if you think we want to go too far, well, help us along for as much as you think is right, and then depart from us. We’ll shake your hand and thank you for all you’ve done. We’ll never abuse you the way he has done. And who knows? When the time comes, you may just decide you want to stay with us awhile longer.

I can promise one thing: your vote will never be wasted. By joining us, you will have shed off the horse-race mentality that his abuse has forced you to have. You will no longer feel you have to vote for the winner, no matter how horrible he has been to you. You will no longer feel dirty afterward, wanting to wash off the stink, but feeling you had no other alternative. I cannot describe the wonderful feeling of voting your conscience; that is something you can only experience for yourself. But I can promise you that it will feel very good, and you will realize that what he told you about wasting your vote is a complete lie. In reality, you have been wasting your vote all along, by continually voting for pretty lies and platitudes that only result in more of the problems you want to get rid of. Make no mistake: even if the Libertarian candidate doesn’t win, your vote will have made a difference.

Look at how desperate he will be to keep your vote. He will keep telling you that this year, it’s different. This year, there’s a lot more on the line. This year, there’s just too much at stake, and if you abandon him now at this most critical time, the consequences will be dire. Remember that he has told you this exact same thing every other election year as well. Why do you think he has been so desperate to keep your vote? Do you really think he was telling you this for your own good, given how much he has abused you?

The truth is, he’s afraid. Because he knows that if you and your fellow battered voters leave him, then he’ll be powerless. He’ll no longer be able to manipulate you and control your life. He’ll no longer be able to force you to give up part of your paycheck, to force his way into your home to make sure you’re living your life the way he thinks you should, to force you into foreign entanglements that only endanger you and those around you.

Just look at how he complains about you behind your back. To others,
you are the one to blame; it’s your fault for how badly his Party is
going. No one should need any more proof of duplicity than this.

The time has come. Come to those who welcome you and your ideas. Come to the Libertarian Party.