I had a somewhat interesting experience last night... One of the things I do when I can't sleep is go down to the local Steak-n-Shake restaurant, grab a table in the back, order a milkshake and something to eat (in this case, a taco salad) and read until I start becoming tired enough to fall asleep.

Last night was one of those nights. And, being a Friday evening, the place was pretty full of high school and college kids, talking, laughing, and basically enjoying their youth. Which meant it was pretty loud, so rather than taking my usual table next to the front door, I took a table all the way in the back, where it was quiet.

One of the times the waitress came by to check on me, she saw the book I was reading, Ron Paul's "The Revolution: A Manifesto".

It's an excellent book- it explains in plain terms how a lot of things involving the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve really work, without sounding like yet another "conspiracy theory" book- it simply lays out the facts without trying to sound overly alarmist about it (even though, in my mind, this stuff needs to be shouted from the rooftops and taught to children in high school- the bankers have been working for centuries on a plan to own the entire world, one piece at a time, by foreclosing it out from under everybody else, and America's current economic troubles are part of that plan.)


The waitress saw the title "The Revolution", and asked if it was a history book about the Revolutionary War... I picked up the jacket from the table (I usually remove them while reading hard-cover books, so they stay nice-looking) and told her that the author was running for President, and that the media was refusing to cover him, because the "powers that be" don't like what he stands for. However, before I could get any further than the phrase "media won't cover him", she said "Oh yeah, I heard about this guy- I like what he's saying, it's too bad he can't win."

She had other tables to check on, and the place never did slow down (I left just before 2am, when alcohol sales end in Orange County and all the drunks come out to the restaurants) so I didn't get to finish the conversation.

This morning, I was thinking back to what had happened, and all I could think was... "We the sheeple."

If you know me, you have probably heard me used this term before, or you may have heard others use it... Obviously it's a combination of "sheep" and "people". It refers to people who blindly follow along with the flock, instead of thinking for themselves. The exchange with my waitress from last night illustrates this point perfectly.

When she said "it's too bad he can't win", I wanted to ask her "Why not?", just to see what she said. If she knows what Ron Paul stands for and agrees with it, then why doesn't SHE plan to vote for him? Just because she doesn't see millions of other people on TV talking about him? Just because she may not know anybody else who plans to vote for him, or knows what he stands for?

Think about something- how often do you talk politics with your family, friends, co-workers, or with random people you meet during the day? There are some people out there who talk politics all day long, which might be just a bit much... but most of the people don't, or won't, talk politics at all. Why is that, I wonder?

I think it eventually comes down to one or more of these reasons:

  • People may not know WHAT they stand for, beyond a few vague terms like "freedom" or "end the war" or "Support the Troops". Don't get me wrong, I support the troops, probably more than most- my brother is in the middle of his third tour in Iraq as I write these words. But that's not the ONLY thing I believe in.

    The point is that if you were to ask me for a list of specific items I believe in, I can give you one. One of the top items, for example, is "I believe in the Constitution of the united States of America." I swore an oath to support and defend it when I joined the Army, and even though I'm not in the Army anymore, I still believe in what I swore back in May 1988. I truly believe that the form of government described in that document is the best form of government yet created by man; I only wish I lived in a country whose government followed those rules. (Read the tenth amendment sometime, if you don't understand what I mean.)

    The point is this- for many people, if I were to ask them what they believe in, they wouldn't be able to give any real answers, because they've don't know.

    I think of these people as "stupid." If you're not going to take the time to think about what you believe in, then please don't vote. Your random guesses are messing things up for those of us who DO care enough to know what we believe in, and vote accordingly.

  • People like to be on "the winning team", so they wait until the last second before making up their mind, and then choose whoever they think has the best chance of winning, so that when it's all over with, they have a better chance of saying "My guy won."

    These are the people I refer to as "Sheeple." If you can't or won't think for yourselves, then please don't vote. The only thing you're doing is skewing the numbers in favor of whoever the Media™ has decided they want to win.

  • People tend to avoid conflict. If they start "talking politics" there's a chance the person they're talking to won't agree with them, so it becomes a disagreement, and may possibly become a real argument, or maybe even a fight- so it's safer to just avoid talking about politics at all- unless you already know that the other guy is going to agree with you, but if that's the case, why even have the conversation?

    This one I can at least understand, because, to a point, I'm guilty of it myself. I don't think it's right for me to try to force my views on anybody else, any more than I think it's right for them to try and force their views on me. However, there is a difference between telling people what you think and why, and trying to force them to believe the same things you do. I've come to realize that other people DO believe different things, and I figure as long as they have thought it out and have good reasons for believing what they do, then their ideas are just as valid as my own, and I respect them for having those ideas, for being able to explain them, and for not being afraid to explain them to me.

    Basically, a disagreement doesn't have to be a conflict, if both parties are mature enough to not turn it into one.

    Most of my own friends are other "computer geeks" and ham radio operators- people who tend to be more intelligent, more outspoken, and more likely to have Libertarian-leaning politics than the average American. We don't spend all day every day talking politics, but we do talk about it. We don't always agree, but we're all able to explain why we believe what we do, and as a result we respect each other, even if we don't agree about certain things.

But back to my waitress from last night. Her statement about Ron Paul, "it's too bad he can't win", leads me to believe she may be a "sheeple", blindly believing whatever Fox News and CNN tell her to believe, instead of finding out what's really going on and then making an informed decision about what she believes for herself. This woman, IF she votes, will probably vote for whoever she thinks is going to win, rather than voting for who she thinks will do the best job. She's selling herself short, and gaining... what? The luxury of not having to think about politics?

Or even better, some small measure of comfort in knowing that the person she voted for ended up winning? Is that REALLY more important than having somebody in office who's going to fight for what YOU believe is important? Or do you truly not know what you believe in, and "my guy won" is just as important as anything else?

Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream...


I wish I lived in San Francisco...

... again, so I could sign this petition, and vote for it when it comes up for a vote in November.


Free money?

About a month ago, I got an envelope in the mail from the IRS, offering me a handful of free cash, an "economic stimulus" payment, free cash so I could "help the economy".

I tore it up and threw it away.

Why, you may ask?

I read a story once, called "Not Yours To Give", about how Colonel David Crockett, at the time a US Congressman from Tennessee, came to understand the true purpose and powers of the federal government. If you're not familiar with the story, PLEASE read it. It will open your eyes, and probably make the rest of this post easier to understand.

What it boils down to is this: it is not the job of the Federal Government to give money away, and I refuse to make myself complicit in the crime by accepting any of their so-called "free money".

Think about something. If you wanted to buy something, don't you need to have the money first, before you can buy it? If you want to go to the store and buy a gallon of milk, don't you need to have enough money to pay for that milk?

The same is true of Congress- if they want to SPEND money, they need to HAVE the money first.

So my question is this: Congress is spending twelve to fifteen BILLION dollars a month to support the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They're giving billions of dollars every year to farmers, in order to NOT grow crops on their land. They're spending money on new security systems for airports, courthouses, and other federal buildings, surveillance systems for the highways, cities, and pretty much the entire country, all in the name of "security"...

And now, on top of it all, the government is handing out free money to the people. If 200 million people get these checks, at $600 each... that's $120 BILLION DOLLARS they're just handing away to people.

Where is all this money coming from?

Taxes, you say? Use a little common sense- the government is spending several times as much money as they were ten years ago. Have your taxes gone up by the same amount? (No, in fact they're giving money back to you.) Do you really believe this extra money, these trillions of dollars every year, are coming from taxes?

Think about it from a different angle- if you want to buy something and don't have the money for it, what do you do? You may put it on a credit card, or "finance it", or some other scheme, but what it boils down to is that you borrow the money, and pay it back later, and in the meantime you get "the stuff", whatever it was you bought with the money.

The government is no different- they've been borrowing the money to pay for everything they wanted to spend it on but didn't want to raise taxes to pay for. The difference is the details.

The government has what amounts to an open line of credit, like a credit card with no limit, with a private bank called the "Federal Reserve". The US Treasury first took out a loan of one billion dollars from the Fed back in 1918, and to this day the Treasury is still paying on that same loan every month... while Congress borrows more and more money against that same loan every month.

And the money they're borrowing now, to pay for the occupation of Iraq and these "economic stimulus" checks, won't actually be paid back until 20-30 YEARS from now, when your children and grandchildren's tax payments finally catch up with it.

How does it feel, America, to know that this "economic stimulus" money is actually coming from your children and grandchildren's piggy banks?

Personally, I'm not comfortable with the idea of taking ANYTHING from my children, or my grandchildren (who haven't even been born yet.) Which is why I won't accept, and won't even ask for, one of those "economic stimulus" checks.

In fact, I'm not comfortable with the idea of ANYBODY taking money away from my children or grandchildren. So if you've already accepted the government's "free money", don't tell me about it. As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY conscionable thing you can do with that money is to put it into a trust fund, or use it to buy gold or silver, or some other investment, FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. Don't touch it yourself, just put it aside and give it to them when they're old enough to use it.

If you took their money and used it for yourself, SHAME ON YOU.