Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The last half of last week we were in Cheyenne as I proudly represented Uinta County as one of our delegates to the Wyoming Republican Convention. I was asked to serve on the Resolutions Committee which met all day Thursday and Friday as we culled through approximately 1150 resolutions to get down to 250 which were passed on the convention floor. It was a fascinating process and experience to see where the conversation is within our state's Republican party and what bothers people. It was also a lot of fun to put my philosophical paradigm against real issues and problems and see how it all shakes out.
It was frustrating at times to be in a discussion with some of the old school establishment folks and get the condescending proverbial pat on the head as if I had said something completely naive and their wisdom on the matter trumped all objections. Some of the time I wanted to thank them for the exquisitely executed plan they had been party to which has plunged mine and my children's generations into the worst mess any generation in our country has every known. So, yes, thank you for your wisdom, you really nailed it with the debt spending, the growth of government, regulations, taxes, wars and lies. What I should say to a lot of these folks is no matter what you believe, I will believe the exact opposite because nothing you are posturing for has worked. I have a place in mind for you to put your precious wisdom. When was the last time you shut off Glenn Beck or Limbaugh and actually learned something? What was the last book that you read that was by an actual scholar or a primary source instead this seasons compilation of punditry vitriol?

I went to the convention openly supporting Ron Paul. There was somewhere between 120 and 140 Ron Paul delegates at the convention out of about 425 voting delegates. The Romney campaign was scared out of their mind and while the Ron Paul campaign spent virtually no money on a presence at the convention the Romney campaign by contrast had 3-4 full time staffers, an attorney, a courtesy room open at all times filled with snacks and drinks and they were vomiting swag all over the place. They flew in Josh Romney to speak to the convention and from the convention podium Romney was endorsed by Enzi, Barrasso, Lummis, Geringer, Mead and they even scraped old Dick Cheney off his death bed (he had a heart transplant 2 weeks ago) to come and speak to the convention and give Romney his endorsement.

Romney's people were head hunting us the entire convention trying to figure out the real positions of several of the uncommitted delegates. After all that they barely won all the delegates to the national convention and we won every alternate spot. If we had 20 or so more Paulians able to vote we would have taken it. They presented a slate of delegates that was like a who's who of Wyoming Republican politics. There were current and former congressmen, a runner up to our present governor and our present governor, both senators, blah, blah, blah. We had people. Just people. Everyday normal, working class, family raising folks with no money and no political connections and many of them were under the age of 40. It was a ton of fun to watch the Romney machine squirm and have to spend so much effort and money to barely edge out a band of nobodies.

As currently constituted the system is fixed so if you want to get involved the deck is stacked against you. Those going to the national convention will have to spend a week in Tampa and the overall cost is somewhere near $4000 and probably at least double that if there is a brokered convention. The time and money commitment alone keep most people out of the running for that. Then you have to be politically well connected to get the nod from the right people to be nominated.

Here's why I'm more optimistic than I have ever been about the nature of this beast. Last cycle there were reportedly 19 Ron Paul delegates to the state convention. This time as stated above there were (for the sake of argument) 130. As with the vast majority of all other candidates Romney supporters will disband after he gets his butt handed to him by Obama while the liberty movement continues to grow and organize. We will continue to become precinct chairs, county chairs, elected to city councils, state legislatures and yes even to national level seats.

The competition is not passionate because there is nothing to be passionate about. I don't know anyone on a personal level who is a Romney supporter who was willing to take the time and money needed to go to the county convention or the state convention to support him. It is true that he is polished and wears nice clothes and has the (focus group tested) perfect amount of grey on his temples and a bullet proof jaw line, the connections and the money. But he is severely lacking in actual principles. Which is why it is difficult to tell the difference between his voting record and someone like Joe Lieberman. In fact I fail to see any substantive difference between him and Obama. They will both spend us into oblivion, continue illegal wars and likely start new ones to which my children will go fight while theirs enjoy a free pass to Yale, they will continue to placate special interests (they have both been bought and paid for by Goldman Sachs-just look at the FEC reports) at the expense of us all. Most of all they are both hugely out of touch with normal people. They don't get it because they can't get it. They have never walked a day in your shoes or mine so how could they begin to understand the problems you and I face.

It is exciting to actually have someone to support instead of merely acquiescing to the lesser of two evils. I did that last cycle and it felt like I was punching my kids in the face. Whether or not my candidates win I want to be able to look my kids in the eye 30 years from now and tell them that I did everything I could to give them the best possible country to live and prosper in. Not that I simply voted for the left side or the right side of the same two-headed monster. Being popular takes a back seat to being right....and I learned long ago that what is popular is very seldom right.

The whole process from the precinct caucuses to the county convention to the state convention was pretty fun for me. It was a huge learning experience and something I look forward to doing again the next time around. I loved forcing the conversation on some of these issues and standing up to those dusty old farts who have so completely screwed us.

"It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."   Samuel Adams

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012

If you don't know what I'm talking about with Kony 2012 there is a video on youtube and probably a thousand other places that talks about a guy named Joseph Kony. He is a warlord in Uganda and an overall piece of human garbage and should be killed as soon as possible.

But, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of African warlards with territorial jurisdiction that we don't give a rip about. We, as Americans don't really care that much about human suffering in general. I guess I should rephrase that, we care for a little bit when its brought to our attention and then we get bothered by the inconvenience of it and go back to watching American Idol. Take Haiti for example, or the victims of the Japanese tsunami, we don't care at all about the suffering in Kashmir or Darfur or in oppressive South American countries ruled by horrible regimes.

So naturally when I start seeing Kony 2012 all over the place and the viral response to it red flags go up for me. He has been terrorizing Uganda for over 20 years now. They have not killed him, we have not cared....until apparently now. The Obama administration made it official policy to kill him in 2010. More red flags go up. What business is it of the United States to kill small time thugs in another sovereign nation? On a personal level the guy should be killed. In fact if there were a mercenary group raising money to buy weapons to go kill him, I would donate, readily. But he has nothing to do with our national security. Then I found the answer. In 2009 it was announced that Uganda had discovered an oil field that housed something like 2.5 billion barrels of oil. It is as simple as that. We still don't care about genocide or terrorism or general human suffering but we will go to war for some one's oil.

I hope Kony is killed. I also hope it is by a citizen of Uganda with a sense of self-determination that they will not take that kind of thuggery any more. If he is simply taken out by some foreign military who then leaves there will surely be a vacuum left that will be rapidly filled with another warlord.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ron Paul in Twin Falls

Late on Tuesday I learned that Ron Paul was going to be speaking in Twin Falls, ID on Thursday. Since that is only about 3.5 hours away and the chance of him coming to WY or UT are slim (due to WY's very low general population and UT's last in the nation caucus) I talked Sarah and the kids in to joining me for a road trip on Thurs. We were able to get some seats about 12 rows back in the auditorium where he was speaking, which is pretty awesome. Seeing Ron Paul speak is a lot more like going to a rock concert versus the somber church like feel I've experienced when politicians speak. It half fulfilled one of my bucket list items. Unfortunately the other half, getting my picture taken with him, will have to wait for another time.

The kids did pretty good considering they had just spent the previous 4ish hours in the truck. Jack and Addie were pretty pumped and cheered at all the appropriate times and were even caught chanting 'Ron Paul.' Yeah, you're right I'm brainwashing my kids. No matter what I think it will be a cool thing to look back on, especially for Jack since he is really the only one of the kids who stands a chance of remembering it.

Also, I have the greatest wife in the world. One who let's me be spontaneous with this kind of stuff and totally supports me in it. She bore the brunt of making it go, as always.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I had the opportunity on my mission (I served in Norway), especially when I was in the arctic to get to know many political refugees from North Africa and the Middle East the vast majority of which were Muslim. On ALL counts they were warm people, extremely friendly, welcoming and giving. I actually visited a Mosque when I was in Bergen and traded a first discussion with some gentlemen who were kind enough to teach me and my companion the 5 pillars of Islam. We were there during the call to prayer and the place was full of men praying. This was approximately a year after the attacks on 9/11. In other words when the U.S. was gearing up to go to war in the Middle East. If ever there were a time when we were vulnerable and could have been in harms way surely this was it. However it was fantastic and it continues to endure as one of my favorite mission experiences.

What worries me is that there is a ton of war propaganda being spread all over the media telling us that Iran wants to attack us or Israel or anyone else. There seems to be a widespread effort to make us all very afraid of them and to force us to hate them. I can't remember ever once seeing a picture of Tehran on the news or anything besides Ahmadinejad in front of the UN. Maybe its just me, but there are never pictures or stories of the people of Iran. After seeing what it looks like and listening to Rick Steves talk about his visit there recently, I actually would love to visit there. These are both worth the watch, one is short and the other, much better one is a bit long.

What actually upsets me about it all is another war is completely avoidable. We are the ones stirring the hornets nest. We are imposing sanctions, we are the ones making military blockades, we are the ones that have Iran surrounded and cornered. They don't have a single thing to gain with going to war with us or anyone else for that matter. I don't hate Iran or Iranians, I don't dislike them either. I have no feelings about them other than I think that the average Iranian is a lot like the average American - just a poor sucker trying to slog through another day, put food on the table and keep their family healthy and safe and above all, to be left alone. Before you parrot the war propaganda please at least read something. Listening to Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity does not count. In fact that is probably making you dumber. Above all, we are supposed to be Christians, yet it seems to me that the Christians are the most belligerent, salivating for another war, and this breaks my heart.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I thought this was awesome

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jack and Trains

Jackson still likes trains. A lot.

On Saturday we had to do a few Christmas clean-up type of errands in Ogden. Conveniently, Ogden has a train museum and a pretty good little restaraunt in Union Station. We ate lunch there are played on the trains.