Aug 25, 2007
Aug 24, 2007
The guest was David Marlett, Founder and Executive Director of www.ProAmericaCompanies.com. The subject was illegal immigration. David Marlett's solution was to crack down on companies who hire illegal aliens. This is just nuts. Marlett is a lawyer. I was compelled to call in and ask if Mr. Marlett understood that this crappola is a direct violation of the constitution which forbids laws "impairing the obligation of contracts" and how he could justify trashing the rights of American citizens to solve the problem of illegal immigration.
His response was to throw out scare mongering arguments about child labor and to assert that any federal law was legitimate. (If you don't limit contracts, people will contract with your kids to gain the advantages of slave labor!) You can listen here. I called in the second hour at about 39:30 into the second hour. Just "fast forward" to the end of the second stream (each is an hour).
When I pointed out that the Lawyer was openly advocating that the right to travel freely and retain one's privacy be abolished, the host finally had to shut the conversation down. We can't talk about how these "solutions" encroach upon our rights.
This lawyer is using the same sort of flag-humping arguments used by the neocons to promote war. His intended audience apparently consists of union members and other parts of the electorate who are frightened that their jobs are being lost.
The thing that chaps my hide about these sorts of arguments is that the real truth is not even being discussed. The only reason that "illegal" immigration is a problem is that we as a Nation don't want to give up our welfare programs. We don't want others to have it because it's expensive and wasteful, but it's perfectly ok to send out gun-toting thugs to extract it from fellow citizens so that we can take advantage of it ourselves.
It's hypocrisy. The system that demands I give up my privacy, rights and claims it proper to control the products of my labor, asserts this is for my own protection. It's not protection, it is slavery. The scapegoating of "illegal immigrants" is petty jealousy. They don't chose to travel in ways that make them targets of government and so all of the other sheep who willingly hand over their papers if asked by some authority would like to remove from their sight, people who jealously guard their freedoms.
Ron Paul is right on the immigration issue. You have to remove the incentives that cause a drain on the citizen taxpayers. It isn't fair to require citizens here to essentially care for citizens in or from another country. And Birthright citizenship regardless of parent's loyalties and nationalities, is absurd. That was not the intent.
The 14th amendment was a very poor remedy to the Dred Scot decision. All Congress had to do was to re-iterate that human-ness, not citizenship is what determines a persons rights, and it wouldn't have been required. Taney ruled that it was citizenship that was the important issue and Dred Scot was not a citizen because he was a slave. In other words, the words people and persons did not really mean people and persons. Thus rights are a function of geography. What a farce.
I'll leave it to you to decide whether I won the argument. It was fairly polite though passionate on all sides.
What state did Larry say he visited? You sure he didn’t stay in Florida?
The three “conservative” candidates mentioned in Larry Thornberry’s “Still Some Granite in New Hampshire”, are not being received well in the state he says he just visited. At the Strafford County straw poll, it was Ron Paul who proved there is still a real conservative streak in New Hampshire. With 73% of the vote tally – an overwhelming landslide – I would think the win was worth a mention. Yet Larry chose to focus on Republican candidates who barely received votes in that poll.
Maybe he forgot to mention it because he spent more time relaxing than paying attention to what was happening there in conservative New Hampshire.
Aug 18, 2007
Ron Paul: 208 (73%) Mitt Romney: 26 (9%) Mike Huckabee: 20 (7%) Tancredo: 8 (3%) McCain: 7 (3%) Cox: 5 (2%) Hunter: 5 (2%) Thompson: 5 (2%) Giuliani: 3 (1%) Brownback: 1 (.3%)Guilliani a "one percenter". Frankly I think there are really only three viable GOP candidates. The rest should drop out.
Aug 17, 2007
Paul's libertarian stylings and campaign of strict interpretation of the Constitution has earned him an unorthodox band of sign-carrying supporters. They frequently interrupted TV reports of the event and at one point, Romney's Illinois chairman, state Sen. Dan Rutherford (R-Chenoa), ripped a sign out of one Paul supporter's hands and threw it on the ground.How dare you supporters try and get any air time. Just stop that. It's upsetting the monkeys.
Aug 16, 2007
Unless you are a car freak, the name Lyle Fisk won't mean anything to you. You won't find a lot of information about Lyle Fisk on the Internet. There is a smattering, but hardly any of it does justice to the influence he's had on the car culture of America. If you don't know what I mean, go rent George Lucas' best film: American Graffiti this weekend. Hot Rodding began - and some say was at its peak, in the 50's.
Lyle Fisk was born in Yuma, Arizona, in 1940. By the time he was 14, his parents, my grandparents, had moved to Santa Maria, California and Lyle caught the bug; the pinstriping bug. He bought a brush, taught himself how to use it and was soon pinstriping anything and everything he could get his hands on. My grandmother told me once that "nothing was safe, not the washing machine or the refrigerator". At school, he'd put pinstripes on student's sneakers, lunch boxes and lockers.
Near the end of the 8th grade, Lyle dropped out of school and took up sign painting and pinstriping as his career. He soon found himself working for George Barris at the Oakland Roadster show washing and polishing cars. Barris is best known for his creation of "The Bat Mobile", featured in the popular T.V. series Batman with Adam West in the late 1960's.
He has spent the rest of life, some 50 years now, pinstriping cars, painting signs and woodgraining - a specialty he has honed and to which this biased fellow thinks he is unmatched in genius. He can make you swear that a piece of fiberglass is actually wood.
You may not know what pinstriping is but you have probably heard of its most famous representative, Von Dutch. After Von Dutch died, an enterprising business man bought the rights to his name and it now appears everywhere as a pop culture icon in spite of the fact that most who see the Von Dutch moniker don't know anything about him. Like many in the sign business, Von Dutch spent a lot of years drinking and smoking and it finally caught up with him in 1992. Fisk, a devout Christian, avoided the pitfalls of his contemporaries but always had a special place in his heart for Von Dutch. He was the reason Fisk took up pinstriping. Occasionally, Dutch would work out of Lyle's shop. A picture of Fisk and Von Dutch circa 1982 can be seen here. Von Dutch is in the middle of that picture holding the cigarette.
Over the years, Lyle has wowed his customers and observers alike with his steady hand. He is featured in a book called Pinstripe Planet which credits Fisk for creating something known as "feathering" in pinstriping circles. An example can be seen on the motorcycle fender pictured here.
Yeah, I'm proud of him. I love my uncle. When I was younger, I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I spent summers with him in Southern California and when I finally moved to El Cajon, California, during my senior year of high school, I would walk the 8 miles from El Cajon to Lemon Grove as soon as school let out just to be able to spend some time in his shop. The cars that came through that shop were simply incredible. Cars would be shipped in from literally all over the world to get the Lyle Fisk treatment.
After I graduated from high school, I went to work for Lyle. I received the most "frequent fired miles" of anyone who ever worked for him, an accomplishment of which I am not proud. I had some talent but I was a slow learner when it came to personal responsibility. As a sign painter, I am a pretty good software developer, if you know what I mean.
On Thursday, August 16, at 8:00 PM, Lyle can be seen on American Hot Rod, a reality show produced by the Discovery Channel and filmed in Boyd Coddington's shop east of L.A. The Show airs on The Learning Channel every Thursday. Boyd is probably known best by the car culture's uninitiated, for 'Cadzilla', a 48 Cadillac built for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Boyd's wheels, an innovator in custom billet aluminum wheels. The show aired on Thursday is the third documenting work on a 1960 Mercury Wagon, converted to a "Woody". The car was commissioned by Sobe, the beverage company. The film crew captures my uncle Lyle turning painted metal into what you could swear was wood once he finishes.
I gave up television 12 years ago so I will be desperately calling friends to hijack their T.V. for one evening. If you have any interest in hot rods, or are just curious, this should be a fascinating episode. I have watched him work for as long as I can remember and I never cease to be mesmerized. He's a master at what he does.
Aug 15, 2007
Aug 12, 2007
I must confess; I am definitely a Ron Paul Junkie. I currently
work two jobs. One provides a meager wage while my partner and I bootstrap a
start-up. The other is the start-up. On Saturday, the day of the Ames Straw
Poll, I had to work out the technical issues for a Sunday launch of a new
software version. In spite of Sunday night's looming deadline, I found
myself with three browser windows open, one tuned to
JustinTV, one locked on to
and the other directed at Lew
Rockwell's blog. In between deploying and testing software, I was
refreshing the blogs to get up-to-the-minute reports. Thank goodness for the
Internet and live blogging or I might have had to abandon the start-up.
There's more truth than humor in that last statement though I probably won't
be enrolling in a twelve-step program until after the general election.
So what happened in Iowa? The results are a mixed bag. Fifth is a commendable finish at this point in Ron Paul's campaign. With 9.1% of the vote total, Ron Paul's campaign has called into serious question the credibility of major polling organizations who put his support at 2% or less in the state of Iowa. The result exceeds poll results plus the margin of error for almost every poll conducted. Fifth won't put Ron Paul in the White House. However, the result indicates that significant momentum is building for the Ron Paul campaign. He can no longer be considered "fringe" - though he probably will continue to be characterized as such, or ignored, by the mainstream media.
Roughly 26,000 tickets were sold to the Straw Poll. The final vote tally was 14,302 some 9,500 less than the 1999 Straw Poll. Clearly, there wasn't a lot of excitement for the GOP field by Iowa Republicans this year. But why the discrepancy between recorded votes and the number of tickets sold? The 12,000 vote discrepancy could be accounted for by people who didn't show up to claim tickets purchased for them by campaign organizers. Marc Jacoby of The Wall Street Journal reported Romney might purchase up to 10,000 tickets:
Iowa Republicans say they expect Mr. Romney to purchase about 10,000 tickets to the event for supporters. A spokesman for Mr. Romney, Kevin Madden, called that number "grossly inflated" but declined to say how many tickets the campaign would buy. Any Iowa resident who attends can vote.
If Romney did purchase 10,000 tickets he certainly didn't get his money's worth. The expenditure resulted in a little less than half that many casting a vote for him. The Ron Paul campaign reported a purchase of around 800 tickets. Assuming the vote is properly counted, Ron Paul received roughly 500 more votes than the campaign purchased. But there's the rub. Was the vote properly counted? As conspiratorial as that question may sound, it is being asked more and more with regard to U.S. elections and for good reasons. For one, it is a legitimate question. For another, there have been enough elections tainted by the use of electronic voting machines to cause the ermergence of a cottage industry in activism dedicated to scrutinizing and improving voting practices.
An hour after the deadline to announce the results had passed the Atlantic reported 4500 votes had to be re-counted. The De Moines Register later reported that 1500 votes were under scrutiny. It is unclear which number is correct. According to the Iowa GOP, there were 20 voting machines and a total of 14,203 votes. The average for each machine would be 710 votes per machine - assuming all machines were used equally. The De Moines Register article reports two machines having problems which would be consistent with the 1500 votes report. The Register also reports that ballots were recounted by hand and then fed into a ballot scanner. The electronic counter's tally was the one used for the final announcement, not manual recounts.
In 1995, the Ames vote tally was delayed by over two hours. Alan Keyes grew impatient enough to march up to the Iowa GOP Straw Poll offices that year and demand that the door be opened and that officials make an accounting of their activities. They shortly came out to report that Bob Dole and Phil Graham had tied, each receiving 2582 votes. This was the first year that the Iowa GOP had made use of electronic voting machines. The result was controversial but wasn't challenged.
Prior to this year's Straw Poll, activists raised questions about the use of electronic voting machines. A small group demanded that the Iowa GOP use paper ballots and that the ballots be visible throughout the entire process. They even went so far as to file a lawsuit. A Judge threw out the suit on the grounds that this wasn't a real election. The Iowa GOP, though it didn't concede any demands, was forced to respond. It issued a statement on August 8, attempting to alleviate any concerns about the security and accuracy of the upcoming vote. Unfortunately, it raised more questions than it answered.
The Diebold machines used for counting Straw Poll votes were the "Accu vote Optical Scan (OSx) tabulator", according to the Iowa GOP. The machines are leased from Diebold by the State of Iowa for use in local and federal elections. Iowa election officials would be tasked with certifying Straw Poll results. While the lawsuit filed may have had no legal merit, it is somewhat troubling that the same machines to be used in the primaries and general election proved to be unreliable. Whether or not the equipment properly counted the votes is a question that can only be answered by a manual recount of the paper ballots. Since Ron Paul supporters can be proud of the results, and won't want to invite charges of "sour grapes", we may never know the answer.
When supporters initially raised questions about how votes might be recounted, the Iowa GOP responded with conflicting answers. To Arizona radio host Ernest Hancock, Mary Tiffany, the Iowa GOP communications director, claimed that there would be no hand recounting of paper ballots if problems arose. On August 7, Jesse Benton, Director of Communications for the Ron Paul campaign, revealed to radio host Dale Williams that the Iowa GOP had informed him a paper ballot recount would cost the campaign 184,000 dollars - the equivalent of 5,250 tickets to the show.
What the Iowa GOP didn't disclose in its attempt to reassure, was that the Story county elections officials overseeing the Straw Poll results, also worked for, and had received campaign donations from Mitt Romney. Mary Mosiman, the Story County auditor for elections, is on Mitt Romney's leadership team. David A. Vaudt, quoted in the Register article, received $1000 from Romney's Commonwealth PAC in 2004. Mitt Romney's team counted the votes. That's what the Iowa GOP meant when they wrote "Voting at the Iowa Straw Poll: Fraud-Proof, Honest & Secure".
Those who cast the Votes, they decide nothing. Those who count the votes, they decide everything. The Memoirs of former Stalin's secretary (1992) by Boris Bazhanov
Saturday's glitch in Iowa did not involve ballot output; it involved ballot
counting. The machines used for recording votes delivered paper ballots. Those
ballots were scanned by Diebold's optical scanning machines and the totals
produced by the machines were then delivered to Straw Poll officials.
Vickie Karp is the National Chair of the Coalition for Visible Ballots and PR Director of VoteRescue. She is also co-editor and co-author with Abbe Delozier of the book HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America. I talked with her at length on Sunday about what happened at the Straw Poll and nationwide efforts to insure transparent and accurate elections. VoteRescue’s founder, Karen Renick, authored a bill that was sponsored by a member of the Texas' Legislature which would have required hand-counted paper ballots in all precincts in Texas, no exceptions. Unfortunately, the bill never made it out of committee. Counting paper ballots by hand, with property security measures, says Karp, "is the only way that vote results can be trusted."
The New York Times and other mainstream outlets have treated the issue of vote fraud with a jaundiced eye. This has extended into alternative media sources. Karp says that the issue does have a conspiratorial patina applied by the mainstream media. "What I tell people is that they can either continue to stick their head in the sand or take a look at the hard data available. There is plenty of it. The mainstream is owned by a total of six corporations [all licensed and regulated by the federal government]. Of course they're going to treat this as conspiratorial."
Many, including myself, find it extremely uncomfortable to think that our elections can be easily manipulated. Supporting a candidate with time and money could be rendered fruitless and that is almost unbearable to consider.
Karp and I discussed the claim made by Iowa GOP officials that the vote was secure and transparent. Karp says that this simply cannot be considered credible. The mere use of the electronic ballot counters removes the count from view, even if there is a poll-watcher present during the ballot counting process. What occurs inside the machine can't be verified by a novice. Indeed, the software is proprietary. No third-party can verify what is occurring inside the box and voting companies want to protect their intellectual property. Kathleen Wynn, formerly the Associate Director of Black Box Voting, and one of the researchers and videographers who filmed Bev Harris during the making of "Hacking Democracy", had originally planned to document the Ames vote count. But the vote counting was closed to the public, and especially to citizen videographers, so for her that rendered a trip pointless.
The issue of accuracy in elections reaches far beyond Ames. In many states, the incestuous nature of election machine manufacturers and public officials goes unchecked. In San Diego County, the current registrar of voters, Deborah Seiler, was the very person who sold the county its voting machines while she worked as an employee of Diebold. In numerous states, election officials appear on voting manufacturers' marketing brochures. While it may be hard to prove malfeasance on the part of elected officials, concern for their careers would probably not motivate them to admit that electronic voting isn't secure.
In "Hacking Democracy", (an HBO documentary which has been nominated for an Emmy this year), Bev Harris and associates demonstrate how easily electronic voting machines can be hacked to change election results. In fact, the very same machines used to count votes in Ames yesterday. It was so easily demonstrated that as a result, California, Iowa and Pennsylvania were forced to remove Diebold machines from use prior to the May, 2006 elections. State investigations into ballot scanning and recording machines have recently caused Florida and California officials to suspend certification for certain models until proper security patches can be delivered. One of the machines implicated in the California and Florida studies is the same model used for the Straw Poll's count on Saturday.
An important point Karp makes regarding election technology is that it should be verifiable by the majority of the electorate who are not technology experts. Voters should not have to put their trust in technology experts to inform them when elections are secure. The experts may be trustworthy and credentialed. But voters should not have to put their faith in machines and experts when it comes to such a simple task as tallying vote totals. The vote should be easily verified by any literate person able to count.
The very act of questioning elections officials in any capacity will invariably lead to controversy and hard-feelings. An open, transparent process, something that has been recently lacking in U.S. elections, must be restored so that the electorate and election officials are not at odds with each other. For Karp, VoteRescue, the Coalition for Visible Ballots, and many other election integrity activists around the country, this would mean paper ballots, hand-counted at the precinct level, with security measures and totals posted at the precinct level.
There is no way to know whether the vote was properly tabulated on Saturday. Any push to hand-count the paper ballots (if they still exist) will invariably create friction and it may not be worth it, politically or personally to perform an autopsy in Ames. However, the same machines, elected officials and processes will be used in the upcoming primaries and general election. The grass-roots needs to keep this in mind as the campaigns roll on. Ron Paul is not the only candidate effected and Ron Paul's supporters are not the only voters who will be at the mercy of the closed, insecure, electronic systems used nationwide.
Treating this as a fringe issue is not an option. Yes, there will be the necessity to partition efforts away from any candidate's message and the temptation to enhance personal agendas is something to avoid. But no candidate can expect to prevail if the very means by which the voters endorse them is compromised by an insecure, secret process which cannot be verified by any willing citizen.
Aug 11, 2007
- The shudder of ecstasy one receives when Ron Paul delivers the positive message of freedom in one of his many speeches.
- The euphoric elation one feels when viewing Ron Paul's vote tallies either from online polls, or various GOP straw polls held throughout the nation.
- The completely satisfied feeling one receives upon witnessing Sean Hannity's facial expression as he tries to maintain composure while announcing Ron Paul the leader of Fox News' text messaging poll.
That's what you get when you watch Ron Paul speak. Orgasm's require exertion and sometimes expense, freegasms are free.
Aug 10, 2007
Aug 9, 2007
Aug 8, 2007
July 16? Yeah, this looks like some sort of bogus attempt to collect email addresses and money.
It seems that Ron Paul has a very large "internet" following stuffing the "ballot box" on every internet poll there is.. but this video - though poor in quality -- is just ONE example -- and shows who is the REAL WINNER of the debate... and that is Duncan Hunter --- GO HUNTE GO ! -- for me - for my family -- for America ! --- we NEED you to win !!
In reviewing the debate more carefully I found it very strange the Ron Paul receieve HUGE applause from the so called "conservative" -- RON PAUL IS NO CONSERVATIVE -- and the audience in this debate must have been "stuffed" just like the internet polls were..[sic]
That's pretty funny. Maybe the audience was actually just made up of youTube videos hacked there by meetup members....
Aug 7, 2007
Aug 6, 2007
Aug 5, 2007
Disgusting doesn't even begin to describe what they've done there.
Aug 4, 2007
The FCC has not yet decided what to make of the underwhelming evidence it received, but the Federal Trade Commission has. The FTC recently released a staff report summarizing the results of a two-day workshop, as well as research conducted by the commission's Broadband Task Force.
The FTC staff concluded that there is little evidence of actual anticompetitive conduct by broadband providers: "[T]here is little evidence to date of consumer harm from anticompetitive practices by ISPs or any other network operators; the allegations of anticompetitive conduct focus mainly on effects that may occur if certain actions, such as exclusive agreements or vertical integration, are undertaken in the future."
What we have though is FCC as bad cop FTC as good cop. Even if I agree with the FTC's conclusions, I can't help but think that in the end, the government will win and we'll be the losers.
Aug 3, 2007
NEW YORK – July 24, 2007 -- The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected four key Monsanto patents related to genetically modified crops that PUBPAT challenged last year because the agricultural giant is using them to harass, intimidate, sue - and in some cases literally bankrupt - American farmers.Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of folks.... (Hat Tip: Astoria)