Monday, November 26, 2007

Quote of the Week

Frankly, you can worship the baby Jesus and drink nothing stronger than milk, or you can sniff glue and marry a goat, I don’t give a damn. Just leave me out of it and leave the government out of it.

That's Tom Blanton, commenting on an article over at Last Free Voice.

As a side note, Blanton recently flirted with a presidential candidacy on the Guns and Dope Party ticket in another comment, this time at Third Party Watch ... and I've tagged on for veep!

I don't expect to vote for us -- hell, I don't even endorse us! -- but I'm always in for an excuse to reproduce Guns and Dope Party Position Paper #23:

Little Tony was sitting on a park bench munching on one candy bar after another. After the 6th candy bar, a man on the bench across from him said, "Son, you know eating all that candy isn't good for you It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you fat."

Little Tony replied, "My grandfather lived to be 107 years old."

The man asked, "Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?"

Little Tony answered, "No, he minded his own fucking business."

On to victory!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Decisions, decisions

A little about the Libertarian Party's new fundraising program, Liberty Decides:

Some of the LP's presidential nomination candidates seem to think it's a very good idea. Others aren't as happy about it.

Steve Kubby endorses/pitches the program on his campaign web site.

Christine Smith notifies her supporters that a contribution to Liberty Decides is not a contribution to her campaign on her site.

George Phillies doesn't, so far as I can tell, reference the program at all on his campaign web site, but does respond to it in comments over at Third Party Watch.

My take on it is pretty simple: It's not perfect, but it ain't bad, either. I wish that Ron Paul hadn't been surreptitiously slipped into the mix in various ways, and I wish like hell that Libertarians were contributing to Libertarian pre-nomination campaigns, but Liberty Decides is a smart reaction to a known historical phenomenon.

To wit, in 2004 the Libertarian Party nominated a presidential candidate whose campaign treasury was so tapped out that he couldn't afford a room at the hotel where the convention was held. That's not intended as a slight on Michael Badnarik -- he ran a winning nomination campaign on a shoestring budget, and that's something to be admired.

However, broke is not where you want your campaign to be at when you've just won the nomination and are ready to start contesting the general election. Badnarik had to scramble. He raised a million dollars in five months and ran a very credible campaign on that minimal budget ... but how much more might he have been able to accomplish had the LP been building, in advance, a post-nomination fund for whomever the party nominated?

Liberty Decides is pitched as a way for party contributors to tout their support for this or that candidate (each candidate's spot on the LD page shows a total of contributions made "in his or her name"), and much of the money collected goes to support regular party operations -- but 40% of it goes into a general election fund for "coordinated expenditures" to promote the party's presidential ticket in the general election. I think that's a good thing.

I understand why some of the presidential candidates don't like Liberty Decides much. This is a hardscrabble nomination campaign already: Ron Paul has sucked the air out of the LP room, and the only campaigns with much money are the ones for candidates with sufficient wealth to bankroll themselves to a degree instead of relying on contributors. It's not unreasonable to assume that some of the money going into Liberty Decides would, in the absence of the program, have flowed instead into their campaigns.

George Phillies in particular has long been a critic of the national organization's fundraising and spending priorities and habits, and doesn't see Liberty Decides as a turn in the right direction. He's not just a talker, either, he's a doer -- principal officer of Freedom Ballot Access, which is exactly what it sounds like (Steve Kubby and myself both also serve on that organization's board, btw).

I see it somewhat differently. Yes, I wish that y'all out there would start sending checks to the Kubby campaign, and I encourage you to do so. But ...

... if you're not absolutely sure which candidate you support, or if you've "maxed out" to that candidate, Liberty Decides looks like a damn good place to invest in the party's success. The nomination will surely sort itself out -- and I predict that it will do so in a way that doesn't obviously correlate to money raised or spent -- and once it has, I want to see the nominee doing some righteous ass-kicking right off the starting blocks.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I'm back in (late last night) from a holiday trip, during the course of which I got to visit with my parents, my brothers, my sisters-in-law, my nephews and one niece and their better halves, and assorted grand-nephews-and-nieces, as well as show off my own trophy significant other and parade our little monsters to general awe and acclaim. I found out that one my nephews even reads this blog, when there's something here to read (more on that in a minute).

I need to get down to Springfield (Missouri) more often, and I'd like to do so on days when the cashew chicken places, Melter's, Crosstown Barbecue, McSalty's, etc. are open. Not that I'd have gone near them yesterday anyway. I was too full of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, dressing, hot rolls, various and sundry desserts, etc. to go on a restaurant bender. That, and I have an ongoing toothache coupled with a combined physical/financial aversion to dentists.

Good stuff, though, and appropriate grounds for Thanksgiving. Except for the toothache part.

Now, a note on blogging, with special reference to Fred and Gene:

Yes, there are going to be periods when you don't see new material here. Sometimes a day, sometimes a week, sometimes a month or more. If you remove Kn@ppster from your bookmarks or links for that reason, I understand.

It's as simple as this: I enjoy blogging and find it worthwhile in many ways, but I'm not going to carry Kn@ppster around like a yoke on my shoulders that has to be moved a certain distance in a certain timeframe or the whip cracks. Sometimes I have other commitments that require me to keep my head down and my nose to other grindstones. Sometimes I don't have that much to say. And sometimes, whatever I do have to say, I just don't particularly feel like saying it here. When blogging serves my purposes -- practical, ideological or just plain ego-related -- I blog. When it doesn't, I don't blog. Blogging is my format (here), not my religion (anywhere).

That said, I have my ears to the tracks of my own motivation, and methinks I hear a surge of blog activity coming down them at me, fast. So stay tuned -- if you feel like it. If not, I'm sure we'll run into each other elsewhere, and maybe have a beer.