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Archive for October, 2008

Happy Begging Day!

Ah, yes. October 31, better known as Begging Day. This is the day when every single person from the surrounding county puts on their favorite disguise, piles in the truck, and drives to my front door to beg for candy. They block off my driveway and some act rather rude. I would seek retribution except they are all wearing masks so I can’t recognize them. I am posting a couple of pictures below of this year’s most egregious offenders. If you can identify any of them, please give me a call. The one in the cow suit was especially cheeky.

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I have become quite the magazine and journal junkie in the past couple of years. I can say with all honesty, though, that I read every word of every magazine I subscribe to. I thought it would be fun to share with you, dear readers, what magazines may lie waiting in my mailbox on any given afternoon, and what I think about each. This will take several posts, as I get quite a few. So here we go, in no particular order.

Magazine the first:

Reason was the first magazine I subscribed to after I became a Libertarian. I picked it because I liked the name, and because the current issue at that time had a picture of the Honorable Ron Paul on it:

Ron Paul was about all I knew of the Freedom Movement at that time, so I figured I couldn’t lose with Reason. I was right. I look forward to this magazine’s arrival more than any other each month. It offers a classical liberal perspective on current events without taking itself too seriously. I highly recommend Reason to anyone who is interested in learning more about liberty.

Magazine the second:

I got an extremely reasonable subscription offer in the mail one day for Biblical Archaeology Review and I figured, What the hay? I like the Bible and I like Indiana Jones, so why not? I’m glad I subscribed to this one too. BAR brings Biblical history to life while challenging traditions and beliefs with hard archaeological evidence. The editor, Hershel Shanks, is both revered and hated in the archaeology community, so that sometimes makes for interesting reading too. Here is a picture of the current issue:

That’s all for volume 1 of My Mailbox. Stay tuned, if you dare.

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My ballot, she is cast


Friday afternoon after work I drove downtown to the courthouse to take advantage of early voting. The first thing I noticed was that there didn’t seem to be anywhere to park; the city square was literally full of automobiles. As I finally found a spot and started walking to the polls, I noticed several groups of people walking around the square’s sidewalks talking and laughing together. They seemed happy to be out, but reserved, as if waiting for a storm to arrive. There was a that peculiar feeling of anticipation and electricity in the air. Inside the courthouse the queue to vote was rather long but constantly moving, as people spent their last few pre-vote moments considering their choices. The low murmur of conversation was nestled in the background, but every few minutes the ear could pick up a stray “Obama” here or a “McCain” there. Some faces were happy and some were anxious as each voter got closer to the moment of ultimate civic responsibility: casting their ballot.

I made small talk with the election worker at the registration table as I handed her my identification. She asked me if I knew how the stock market had done that day, as she hadn’t been within earshot of a television or a radio. I told her it was way down early, but had rallied back at the close. She seemed relieved. She smiled sadly as she gave me back my driver’s license and said, “We’re really in a mess, aren’t we?” “Yes, ma’am,” I replied. “Oh, well,” she said. “Thank you for coming to vote today.” She seemed to really mean it.

Another worker walked me to the voting machine and instructed me in its use. “Don’t forget to confirm your ballot at the end,” she said. “Every vote is important.” I scrolled through the ballot’s pages and made my selections, which I had carefully planned in advance. There were no surprises. All the expected names were there, along with various bills and amendments up for public approval. After confirming my choices, a blue screen on the voting machine appeared reading, “Your ballot has been cast. Thank you for voting.” “You’re welcome,” I said.

As election day approaches, we will hear all kinds of predictions and opinions. We will hear forecasts of hope and doom from all sides. Some of these voices will be quite loud and convincing, others will be quiet and reassuring. But in the end, these voices will not determine the outcome of the contest. The equal voice of each American man or woman, spoken through their right to vote, will rule the day. Our country’s problems may seem dire and our future may seem uncertain, but two inevitable constants remain: God is in heaven and your vote counts. Don’t let it go to waste.

Cross-posted to Facebook.

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A record of this week’s marathon training activity:

Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 3 miles (Bison Stampede), +6 miles
Sunday: off
Total miles: 19
Commemorative T-shirts received: 2
$10 Dixie Cafe gift certificates received: 2

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Run boy run

runboyrunThis morning I ran the 2008 Bison Stampede 5K. It was sunny and about 48 degrees; good conditions for a race. I ran with my dad, and we finished in 25 minutes 13 seconds.

I also won a $10 gift certificate to the Dixie Cafe in the post-race drawing. What luck.
Only 6 more miles to go today.

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Does it really matter who we elect on November 4? John Stossel’s big wrap-up, featuring Walter Williams!

20/20 – Politically Incorrect Guide To Politics – Pt. 6 of 6

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deadelephant

12 days to go. It is becoming increasingly clear who will win election 2008, and it isn’t John McCain. So what went wrong? You can make several good arguments: an economic downturn is never good for the party in power, crusty old veteran vs. exuberant young neophyte, massive mainstream media bias, or a campaign more negative than any in recent memory. But I would say that all of these factors are secondary. John McCain’s primary mistake in his run for the presidency is quite clear. He backed the wrong horse: the Republican Party of George W. Bush.

Throughout the election cycle, President Bush’s approval ratings have been abysmal. In a republic fairly evenly spilt between the two major parties, it stands to reason that if 7 out of 10 citizens disapprove of the President’s performance, at least 2-3 of those unhappy citizens are Republicans. Why such disapproval from Bush’s own party? Could it be that the President has veered so far from the values his party used to represent, that even some stalwarts of the GOP can no longer stomach him? Bush has presided over the largest federal government expansion in United States history. He has willfully signed legislation that shredded the sacred privacy of U.S. citizens and bullied the Congress into hijacking the American taxpayer to the tune of over $900 billion for a government takeover of the private banking industry. But perhaps his greatest sin is launching and slogging through an unpopular, expensive Middle-Eastern war based on fear and falsehood. These are not the acts of a pro-liberty, pro-market, pro-limited government, anti-nation building Republican. These are the acts of a Neo-con.

These things should have been crystal clear to John McCain. He should have run as fast and as far as he could in the other direction. Instead of blindly backing the Bush bailout plan, he should have stood up for the taxpayer and the free market. Instead of desperately proposing a $400 billion government buyout of troubled mortgages, he should have looked for ways to reduce federal spending by $400 billion. Instead of proposing that the United States maintain troops in Iraq for 100 years, he should have crafted a plan for swift completion of the war. Apparently these things did not occur to John McCain. Maybe the will of the people seemed unimportant to him. Maybe the idea of personal privacy seemed outdated in our troubled times. Maybe he thought the concepts of life, liberty, and property seemed quaint but disposable in the brave new world. Maybe he looked deep down inside himself and discovered the heart of a Neo-con beating there. Whatever his reasons, by tagging along with the bad policies of George W. Bush, McCain has managed to make himself so unpopular that an inexperienced and openly blatant socialist is about to trounce him at the polls. John McCain is about to learn a tough political lesson: when you back a loser, you lose.

Cross-posted at Facebook.

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