Friday, May 06, 2016

Crowdfunding Some Travel Assistance...

[This post is manually "pinned" to the top of the blog's main page at the moment for obvious reasons - TLK]

Let's try this again.

I'm trying to raise $500. If that's all you need to know, the button is at the bottom of this post, and thanks. If you'd rather read a messed up story first, here we go:

Earlier this morning, I tried to create a crowdfunding campaign for upcoming travel expenses using a service called Fundrazr. Complete nightmare -- they advertise that they support PayPal withdrawal of donations, but once you start setting up, they try to corral you into another service (WePay), and if you spend 15 minutes finding the PayPal option, it turns out that only works if you have a PayPal business account. The instructions on how to edit and delete campaigns bear zero relation to reality. When you try to unlink your social media accounts and just get off the service altogether, it demands MORE information (setting up an email address, password, etc.).

I don't recommend Fundrazr. I've sent them a nastygram asking how I get out of their house of horrors. Maybe I'll hear back. Maybe I won't. I've also deleted the Facebook post advertising the campaign and asked people who might want to donate to NOT donate through that if they've already seen it and clicked through, bookmarked, etc.

So, why am I trying to raise $500, and what will donors get for helping me do so?

Well, it's like this: I have some travel coming up and it's going to punch a bit of a hole in the ol' family budget.

From May 11th thru the 18th, I'll be traveling from Florida back to Missouri to visit my parents and my oldest brother. They're 82 (my parents, not my brother) and in the process of selling their house and moving. I haven't seen them in 3 1/2 years. My OTHER brother and I will be traveling together -- he used some points he's accrued to buy me a plane ticket from Jacksonville, Florida to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (he lives in Racine), and we're going to drive down to Missouri, spend a few days, drive back to Wisconsin and I'll fly home.

Then over Memorial Day weekend, I'll be traveling a mere 120 miles to Orlando, Florida for the 2016 Libertarian National Convention. This will be a working trip for me, and a couple of days of it will be a vacation trip for Tamara and Amelia (Tamara wants to visit old Libertarian Party friends, Amelia wants to attend a science fiction convention next door to the Libertarian event).

I'm raising the money to help take the edge off things like hotel room rental, road food, etc.

I really only have two things to offer in return for your help:

- I'll be glad to give you public thanks/appreciation here on the blog and/or on the podcast. Just hit the contact form up top and let me know if you'd like that.

- My intent is to blog, podcast, possibly livestream video, etc. from the Libertarian National Convention. You'll read, see and hear that stuff here, at Independent Political Report, etc. (I'll be trying to get together some kind of "LP convention central media HQ" thingie to point you to -- there may be Instagram photos, Periscope videos, whatever; I'm working out the tech now). So a little bit of what you're buying with your support is "hopefully better and more detailed coverage of the convention that usual, above and beyond C-SPAN's, for those who can't actually be there." Among the POSSIBLE budget holes to cover will be buying a wi-fi package or hot spot if there's not good "free" Internet access from the convention hall.

So, that's what's up. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Home Stretch Questions for Gary Johnson #5

Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson spe...
Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson speaking at a Campaign for Liberty event at CPAC. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia)

Governor Johnson,

At OnTheIssues.Org, you are quoted to the following effect on federal spending and federal debt:

"I have proposed cutting the federal budget by 43 percent to bring it into balance. It can be done. It requires the will and ability to ignore and even fight the special interests that have a vested interest in more and more government spending." -- Washington Times, 02/02/12

"I'd avoid continually raising the debt ceiling by not incurring more debt!" -- 2011 Republican primary debate on, 07/21/11

"We can quibble over economists' numbers, but it doesn't take an economist to know that continuing to add to the national debt is bankrupting us -- and that debt has doubled on [Barack Obama's] watch, aided and abetted by Congress." -- Libertarian Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech, 01/12/16

How do you square these wonderful policy positions with the facts that:

  • New Mexico's state government spending grew under your governorship -- in fact it grew faster than the rate of inflation, faster than the rate of population growth, and faster than federal spending has grown during the presidency of Barack Obama; and
  • New Mexico's state debt more than doubled under your governorship, just like the US national debt has doubled during the presidency of Barack Obama?

ADDENDUM: In comments below this post, Marc Scribner offers a detailed argument as to why New Mexico's debt under Johnson is materially different -- and more defensible than -- US debt under Obama (or any other president). If I had to summarize that argument, part of it might go something like "New Mexico's debt is like a home mortgage, US national debt is like using a credit card to take a vacation." But there's more to it than that, so hit the comments and read Marc's explanation, please.

Thanks For Asking! -- Cinco de Mayo 2016

This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

And it goes a little something like this:

  • Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post; and
  • I'll answer in commments, on this weekend's podcast, or both.

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