Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ron Paul vs. Michele Bachmann: A Leader or A Cheerleader

Recently Jones County Ron Paul supporter Roger Kistler attended both a Ron Paul and a Michele Bachmann campaign event in the same day.   In this letter Kistler provides an interesting comparison of the styles of those two candidates.

Dear Jones County Ron Paulers,

Yesterday I took the day off from my work. I’m glad I did. I learned a lot and I would like to share some of that with you.

At noon I attended the Ron Paul “meet and greet” in Cedar Rapids. At four o’clock I attended a Michele Bachmann event in Maquoketa. The difference between the two campaign events was stark. I am convinced more than ever before that Ron Paul should be our nation’s next chief executive.

At the Ron Paul meet and greet, people came into the meeting at the Marriott Hotel and either stood talking to one another or sat and chatted with the person sitting next to them until Dr. Paul was introduced. Before Dr. Paul began speaking the only sound was that of people talking to one another. At the Bachmann event held in the parking lot of Flapjacks restaurant, driving music was playing over loudspeakers as the people arrived. I chatted briefly with the lady next to me but really there were very few conversations taking place.

Bachmann campaign signs and stickers were freely passed out. Ron Paul had campaign signs as well. They were neatly stacked by the exit and could be picked up on the way out.

The Bachmann campaign was literally staged. They set up a tent and a stage probably twenty feet long in front of the audience with Ms Bachmann’s campaign bus serving as a back drop. On the stage were 8 chairs with people seated facing the audience holding Bachmann signs. Ron Paul stood at a hotel podium by himself.

Not counting campaign staff, I counted between 140 and 150 people at the Ron Paul event. I counted about 60 people at the Bachman event. I found it interesting that the front page of the Dubuque Telegraph Herald today reported Bachmann having “200 Iowans” present.

The numbers in attendance did not impress me as much as their ages. The Ron Paul group was by and large younger. I was on the older side of the age curve. The Bachmann crowd was older. I was on the younger side of that crowd’s age curve.

The messages of the two candidates were as different as night and day. Dr. Paul identified problems with the country as he saw them and then proceeded to explain how they could be solved in the political arena. The audience enthusiastically but politely applauded to statements to which they obviously agreed. Bachmann on the other hand was full of questions. “Do you think Washington is spending too much of your money?” “Do you want to get rid of Obama care?” Depending upon the question, the audience responses were either a loud, vocal “Yes” or “No” occasionally accompanied by spastic applause.

Dr. Paul repeatedly referenced the US Constitution often citing specific article and section numbers. Michele Bachmann mentioned the Constitution once then added, “By the way that’s what we should follow … the Constitution.”

After Dr Paul completed his prepared remarks, he fielded questions. Michele Bachmann did not. She spoke for a little over 15 minutes and that was it. The questions Dr. Paul was asked were very thoughtful and specific. He spoke for probably 30 - 40 minutes.

On cue the music started again and from the elevated stage Ms Bachmann quickly began shaking hands as the people reached up to her while she occasionally reached down to scribble an autograph. When Ron Paul stopped talking, the crowd members started talking to each other again. Dr Paul positioned himself by the door and one by one, face to face, shook hands, fielded one-on-one questions, posed for photos and signed autographs for those interested.

I think my day could be summarized in the following way. One campaign provided thoughtful insight and those present were obviously intent on learning. The other campaign had the depth of and sounded much like a junior high pep rally.

On the way home I kept wondering, “As a nation, are we going to elect a leader or a cheerleader?” If you haven’t done it yet, get your tickets for the Ames Straw Poll at so you can vote for a leader August 13.

Ron Pauler Mike Angelos gave me a Ron Paul / Michele Backman comparison sheet. You will find it attached. Feel free to make copies and share it with your friends and especially with those who don’t really know much about Ron Paul. Thanks Mike.

It was good seeing all the Jones County Ron Paulers at the Cedar Rapids meet and greet. Keep up the good work.

Yours in liberty,
Roger Kistler,
Jones Co. chair
Ron Paul Presidential Campaign
Olin, Iowa

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Federalists v. Anti-Federalists Lecture Tuesday

The Jones County 9-12 Project is hosting Professor Lee Strang who will conduct a lecture entitled, "The Federalists v. Anti-Federalists and Lessons for Today."  This event is free and open to the public.  Here is the information from group's website:


Tuesday, July 26 - 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Monticello City Council Chambers - Community Center

220 East First Street - Monticello

Why did the Federalists support the Constitution? Why did the Anti-Federalists fear the Constitution would give the federal government too much power? Professor Lee Strang will provide a foundational understanding of the debates between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, what prompted the debates, what they debated and lessons for Americans today.

Professor Lee Strang is a Professor of Law, University of Toledo in Ohio.

This event is FREE and open to the public!
I attended Professor Strang's lecture on the U.S. Constitution last year and really enjoyed the informative event.  I'll be attending this one as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TSA Tyranny Update

Old Woman's Diaper Raided By TSA Agents; No Weapons Found

In a move sure to make the founding fathers and the Almighty Himself beam with pride, TSA goons strip searched a 95-year-old woman in a wheelchair, going so far as to force the woman's daughter to remove the woman's adult diaper.  The elderly woman, Lena Reppert, is in the final stages of Leukemia and was trying to fly from Florida to Michigan to be with family during her final days.

“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” said Jean Weber, the woman's daughter. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”  For something done in the name of security, I doubt that Jean and her mother feel more secure after the nerve-wracking encounter with TSA.

With the wisdom of an everyday American, Jean added: “I’m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong. People need to know. Next time it could be you.”

Texas Fold'em

A Texas bill which would have banned invasive TSA searches such as the one that Lena Reppert endured has been quashed in that state's legislature.  Calling the anti-groping bill a "publicity stunt," Texas  House Speaker Joe Straus used parliamentary procedures to kill the bill in a special session.

The bill had previously passed in the Texas House during the regular session but was pulled from the state Senate when the TSA threatened to turn Texas into a "no-fly zone" if it passed.  Because of overwhelming popular and legislative support, the bill was later re-introduced in a special session where it seems to have met its ultimate demise.

State Representative David Simpson, who introduced the bill, had this to say on the floor of the Texas House, "The people in support of this bill have succeeded in shining the light on those who collaborate with the growing tyranny of our federal government.... Its’ defeat only propels the liberty movement in this state.  The people now know that it is possible to fight back."

Let's hope so.

4th Amendment Supporter Detained By, Then Sues TSA

According to a article:
A 21-year-old Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area is demanding $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge.

Aaron Tobey claims in a civil rights lawsuit that in December he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his chest a magic-marker protest of airport security measures.

“Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,” his chest and gut read.
According to the suit, while under interrogation on December 30, the authorities wanted to know “about his affiliation with, or knowledge of, any terrorist organizations, if he had been asked to do what he did by any third party, and what his intentions and goals were.”

Two weeks later, Henrico County prosecutors dropped the misdemeanor charge.
Apparently TSA agents were unable to decipher the strange alien symbols on the man's chest, having never laid eyes upon a copy of the U.S. Constitution before.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pennies from Heaven in Iowa

Here in my pastoral Iowa town of Monticello (pop. 3,796) there's been a small debate about getting a new terminal building for our airport.  I say a "small debate" because only a couple of people have spoken out against it at City Council meetings.  Why would the community be against it?

According to our local paper the Federal Aviation Administration will fund 95 percent of the new structure and the remaining 5 percent will come from private donations to the airport.  Perhaps the gist of the pro-terminal side of the debate can be summed up in the words of one member of the local Airport Board.  He said: “This is a ‘no brainer.’ It will cost the Monticello taxpayer nothing[.]”  [Emphasis added.]

Free money!  The federal government will pick up the tab. It's a common refrain all across the fruited plain.  It won't cost local taxpayers anything... unless they also happen to be live in the U.S. or have children who will.

The U.S. is already $14 trillion in debt and is borrowing another $3 million every minute.  That's $46,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in America.  If you include the unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and the Republican prescription drug entitlement, that number is much, much higher.  According to Strong America Now, "Americans born in the 1980′s and 1990′s could face an income tax rate of 60% just to cover the interest on our national debt."

President Obama and the Democrats say we can pay for government's constantly skyrocketing spending by increasing taxes on those dastardly rich people.  But, as Amy K. Frantz (writing for Iowa's own Tax Education Foundation) points out, already "the top 10 percent of tax returns paid 69.9 percent of all federal income taxes, and the top 25 percent of tax returns paid 86.3 percent of all federal income taxes."

A recent Wall Street Journal article cited by Frantz states that even if the Democrats placed a confiscatory top income tax of 100% on all millionaires and billionaires "[t]hat yields merely about $938 billion, which is sand on the beach amid the $4 trillion White House budget, a $1.65 trillion deficit, and spending at 25% as a share of the economy, a post-World War II record."

In a Washington Times article, Cato Institute senior fellow Richard W. Rahn concludes that to balance the budget through tax increases, "[T]he only way for the government to obtain significantly more revenue is to increase taxes greatly on the lower- and middle-income groups who now pay very little. But increasing tax rates on the upper-, middle- or lower-income groups will have the nasty side effects of further slowing economic growth and increasing unemployment."

What money the government can't tax or borrow to cover its spending it often prints out of thin air which causes inflation. U.S. Representative Ron Paul has called inflation the "hidden tax" since nobody really thinks about what causes it. Paul explains: "The inflation tax, while largely ignored, hurts middle-class and low-income Americans the most. Simply put, printing money to pay for federal spending dilutes the value of the dollar, which causes higher prices for goods and services. Inflation may be an indirect tax, but it is very real — the individuals who suffer most from cost of living increases certainly pay a 'tax.'” Those "individuals who suffer" higher prices include those lucky folks in Monticello or your community who got some "free" goody from the feds.

My point here is not that my community does or doesn't need a new airport terminal or that your community does or doesn't a new parking ramp or Earwax Museum.  The point is that we can no longer treat federal largess as manna from heaven that comes with no cost whatsoever.  It comes with the shackles of indebtedness that we are slapping on our children.  May they and God forgive our selfishness.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brandon Echols Joins IFR

Steve Hoodjer's site Iowa Freedom Report (at which I am an occasional contributor) recently announced another contributor joining the team: Iowa liberty activist Brandon Echols.  Hoodjer introduced the new writer like this:
Iowa Freedom Report would like to introduce our newest contributor. Brandon Echols is an energetic young freedom activist from eastern Iowa. His organization is Republic Now and we’ve covered their activities here before. Mr. Echols is the Deputy Chair of the Libertarian Party of Iowa, but he still gets out to freedom events across partisan boundaries. You can expect firsthand report [sic] in an easygoing style from our new contributor[.]

In his first report Brandon briefly introduced himself as well.
My name is Brandon Echols and I am a near-lifelong Iowan. I have lived in Anamosa since I was one year old, originally being born in Rolla, Missouri. And, yes, I have a produceable birth certificate I can share.

I am a Deputy Chair of the Libertarian Party of Iowa, longtime Ron Paul supporter, and founder of the Eastern Iowa activist group, Republic Now (
Brandon then went on to report about the Strong America Now summit in Des Moines.  You can read the complete post here.

I've known Brandon since the 2008 Bob Barr presidential campaign. (Barr didn't win.)  Brandon is a good guy willing to stick up for his principles and he has much more youthful energy than I do.  He'll be a good addition to Hoodjer's team.

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