Archive for November, 2009

A Day to Celebrate World Peace, Civilians, Survivors, and an Old Friend

Veterans Day in the United States started out with a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson, 90 years ago, to celebrate on November 11th the armistice — peace treaty — ending World War I. It wasn’t until 1953 when a Kansas shoe-store owner named Al King came up with the idea of using that holiday to honor all war veterans that the campaign to turn Armistice Day into Veterans Day got its legs.

Veterans — according to Al King’s idea for this holiday — are soldiers who managed to get back from one of the Unites States’ wars alive. We in the United States honor those who didn’t get back from a war alive on Memorial Day at the end of May. And, however much you might want to thank a man or woman currently serving, Veterans Day is not yet their holiday. That would be like giving out high-school diplomas to sophomores.

I’m not sure whether Al King contemplated the idea of his holiday honoring servicemen and women who never went to war, but served during peacetime. Not that there’s ever been all that much of that.

The thing about war veterans is that they know from personal experience the fragility and preciousness of life, and why it’s better to settle things without fighting if that option is on the menu. That sort of experience used to be called wisdom. It’s what some older people have that most younger people don’t.

Veterans also know what they were told they were fighting for, and that has a definite flavor and smell to them. So a lot of them tend to get grouchy when what they thought they were fighting for is treated cavalierly by the people entrusted to keep it going.

For their wisdom, and knowing that liberty is worth fighting for, I like many others take this opportunity to thank veterans for their service.

Of all the veterans I’ve known in my life, the one I like best didn’t actually wear the uniform of the United States during a war. He was disabled out of the Navy — which he expected to make a lifetime career after graduating from the United States Naval Academy — before World War II broke out, and his service during World War II was as a civilian engineer. He told people — including me, when I interviewed him — that he couldn’t get back into the service because of his health. That wasn’t quite true.

His biographer, Bill Patterson, discovered that he’d been politically active in the California Democratic Party before the War and was considered too much of a pinko to be trusted. That’s pretty ironic considering that many years later he wrote a science-fiction novel which is generally regarded about as right-wing, pro-military, and even fascist as any ever written: Starship Troopers.

In the movie Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Neil Patrick Harris — playing himself — is given a total pass under ridiculously suspicious circumstances by an ultra-right-wing military officer because Neil played a role in Starship Troopers, which is this douche bag’s favorite movie. That’s pretty much all that Hollywood types imagine they understand about the political thinking of author Robert A. Heinlein.

In Heinlein’s novel, a veteran doesn’t have to be a military veteran but can be a veteran of any government service — and most of them are non-military jobs. The deal is, you sign up, the government gives you tests to figure out what you do best and where you’re needed, and that’s what your service job consists of. If war breaks out you might end up with a weapon in your hand but otherwise probably not. There are no draftees in Heinlein’s novel — government service is 100% voluntary. At the end of your term of service — and not a second before — you get the right to vote. Currently serving personnel have no franchise, so voting is entirely by civilians … but civilians who have chosen to place their social group above themselves for part of their lives.

Now, I’m not down with Heinlein’s Starship Troopers qualification for voting because I don’t go along with taxation without representation. On the other hand, Heinlein never specified in the novel whether taxes could be levied on non-voters. So he finessed my possible objection by not dealing with it.

But Heinlein’s science-fictional thought experiment does have the advantage that the people who are voting are of net value to the people around them rather than being net burdens. Heinlein always considered, from his reading of history, that the downside of unrestricted democracy was the masses voting themselves benefits on the backs of a productive minority who were then enslaved to the power of the majority. He considered that a re-invention of slavery and opposed it.

For his opposition to working-class slavery Robert A. Heinlein has been branded a fascist by generations of morons who have no moral problem with picking the pockets of people who work harder and smarter than they feel like doing.

Mr. Heinlein passed into the next world over two decades ago, but I believe in life-after-death and he may be reading this.

So Happy Veterans Day, Mr. Heinlein, and I hope wherever you are your slanderers have to kiss your ass.

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Results Not Typical

I’m fat.

This might not be apparent to those of you who know me only by word. Also, if you’ve met me in person, in the right decade, you could have known me when I was thin. There was a time I wore size 32 waist/34 length slacks and a 40 Long jacket.

I don’t need a reminder that I’m fat. I remember it quite well every time I get up from a chair or look in the bathroom mirror.

But I was reminded that I’m fat when an old pal of mine from my AnarchoVillage days — fellow Prometheus-laureate Victor Koman, perhaps best known for his 1996 novel (of which I was the first publisher) Kings of the High Frontier, recently published a new book titled Dr. K’s Sure-Fire Instant Weight-Loss Secrets.

Unusually, Koman simultaneously released his book not as an audiobook but as a videobook you can watch free on YouTube.

Spoiler Warning: Dr. K has only one “sure-fire instant weight-loss secret.” It’s “Eat less, exercise more!

I’ve known Victor Koman since 1975. At no time in the 34 years I’ve known Victor Koman was he ever fat. Oh, he might have put on a few pounds in recent years when due to knee problems he couldn’t be as active as he used to be, but even at his most sedentary it never would have crossed my mind to think of him as fat.

Victor Koman was not fat the last time I saw him in person in spring of this year. Victor Koman is not fat appearing in the brand-new videobook edition of Dr. K’s Sure-Fire Instant Weight-Loss Secrets.

If you’re going to buy a book on weight-loss (or a funny book on the subject of weight loss) an author’s photo of Victor Koman will sell a hell of a lot more copies than an author’s photo of me.

If our face was the same, I’m the “before” picture and Victor Koman is the “after” picture.

I’m the Biggest Loser they show you in the promos. Victor Koman is the guy they trot out hugging everyone on the season finale.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Viewed as a thermodynamic paradigm, Victor Koman is absolutely correct about his weight-loss secret. It’s sound chemistry and physics. Restricting the availability of fuel while simultaneously increasing the consumption of fuel, for any thermodynamic engine, will result in a net depletion of the fuel supply. The human body is a thermodynamic engine. Excess fuel is stored on the human body as fat. Restricting intake of new fuel while simultaneously increasing the consumption of stored fuel will deplete an engine’s stored fuel supply.

I’m not stupid. I’m also not particularly weak-willed. You can’t be weak-willed and several times in your lifetime stick to a regime of diet (under 1000 calories, under 40 grams carbohydrate) and exercise (both cardio and weight training) sufficient to lose over 100 pounds, and a dozen other times lose over 50 pounds, plus faithfully sticking to Weight Watchers for over six months which resulted in a loss of only ten pounds. For several years of my life I walked over three miles every day. For close to a year I worked out at Bally’s for an hour four days a week.

I’ve also written books — including three novels which each took me years to complete. I also have written scripts and articles to deadline, and wrote, directed, produced, and post-produced an independent film. I also entrepreneured several businesses for years at a time. I’m not known as a quitter.

Yet, I’m fat. I suffer from Type II Diabetes, a disease that would be better controlled were I to become thinner.

Why hasn’t Victor Koman’s thermodynamic weight-loss secret worked to keep me fit?

This isn’t a problem just for me. Obesity has become more the rule than the exception in the United States and other parts of the developed world. Pundits blame fast foods, sugary drinks, candy machines, kids texting and playing with their Wii’s rather than biking and jumping rope, and of course the inevitable laments that the taxpayers aren’t being sucked dry enough to pay for school and after-school physical education and sports.

Look. I hardly ever eat fast food. I don’t eat candy. I don’t consume drinks with calories in them. When I eat dessert it’s Sugar Free Popsicles, Sugar Free Jello, and no-fat/no-sugar added “ice cream.” The bread I eat has 40 calories a slice and has low net carbs. I take the skin off my chicken and eat as much fish (not breaded and fried!) as I can afford.

I know how to diet. I’ve done it my entire life.

I know how to exercise. I know about cardio and weight-training and stretching.

I’ve tried diet aids and diet foods and diet supplements and diet plans. My body can’t tolerate most diet aids. They’re either stimulants that give me a racing and sometimes irregular heartbeat or they’re blockers that give me chronic lower-intestinal problems. (I won’t be more graphic than that.)

Durk Pearson, Sandy Shaw, and Will Block are personal friends I’ve talked to about my health problems, and I regularly read Life Enhancement. I’ve tried most of their recommended supplementing.

I’ve also had “the talk” with every primary-care physician who’s treated me over the years.

We’ve eliminated hypothyroidism as the cause of my weight gain.

I keep up with biological research. I read about genetic body types — ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs — and genetic propensities to weight gain based on one’s ancestry. I read about ghrelin/leptin cycles, and lab experiments being done on rats. I read about theories that obesity can possibly be an actual disease spread by a virus.

Is obesity caused by a disease or a series of bad lifestyle habits? Is overeating an addiction like alcohol or cocaine?

If I’m so smart and strong-willed, why am I still fat?

Why, indeed?

I can tell you this much. I am deconditioned. At my current weight any attempt to exert myself runs the risk of overexertion leading to hyperventilation. Attempts to exercise result in painful muscle cramping.

Every attempt to restrict food intake makes me lethargic and sleepy.

In other words: my body appears to have a will of its own. It fights me and hurts me when I try to “Eat less, exercise more!

Matching my ancedotal data, the medical research shows that 95% of patients who lose weight regain it within five years. Medical science has less of a handle on dieting and health than it does on how to treat cancer.

Diet and exercise is so ineffective a long-term treatment for so many obese patients that many doctors won’t even prescribe it anymore, and if you read medical literature as I’ve done you discover that invasive and often painful bariatric surgery — followed by weeks of a liquid diet then by a diet more restrictive than any I used to lose hundreds of pounds — is the only medical treatment doctors are willing to recommend to their severely obese patients.

Late-night TV has a lot of commercials and infomercials for various diet plans — Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrasystem, cookie diets — plus no end of diet supplements. There isn’t a single one that doesn’t sport a disclaimer something like, “Results Not Typical.”

Yeah. How far would a car manufacturer get if next to the city and highway mileage figure on the sticker it had the disclaimer, “Results not typical”?

So what’s my recommendations for weight-loss success? Eat less and exercise more — if your body doesn’t try to kill you doing it.

And please, could the next Jonas Salk come up with an effective, non-invasive, and not painful or cognitively adverse treatment for obesity which doesn’t need that damned disclaimer?

Here’s one thing the AMA won’t tell you. Back when almost everybody smoked — and those were also the days when everybody typically ate butter, cheese, and red meat as staples — obesity, Diabetes, and even heart disease were far less common.

I suspect nicotine might be the cure for obesity, but who’s going to fund the research?

Maybe I should just pull a Nutty Professor on myself and even though I’m not a smoker try the nicotine patch.

But I’m just not that brave.

As for my recommendation for Victor Koman, it’s that his next book be Dr. K’s Sure-Fire Secrets For Getting Rich Quick.

It should consist of twenty chapters of Victor Koman recommending, “Buy low, sell high!”

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Clinton-Bush Gun Control Enabled Fort Hood Massacre

Note: I became aware today that the Army has taken the PDF file of Army Regulation 190-14, dated 12 March 1993, off the web — or at least moved it to a location where a search of the new website can’t locate it. Therefore, I have uploaded my file copy of the document I originally downloaded from — referred to in my article below — and replaced the dead link in the text of the article with my new one so that it will continue to be available for reference.
–J. Neil Schulman, March 23, 2010

A Clinton Administration revision to Department of Defense Directive 5210.56 — Army Regulation 190-14, dated 12 March 1993 — permits the Secretary of the Army to authorize military personnel to carry firearms “on a case by case basis” for personal protection within the continental United States, but forbids military personnel to carry their own personal firearms and both requires “a credible and specific threat” before firearms be issued for military personnel to protect themselves. It further directs that firearms “not be issued indiscriminately for that purpose.”

Thus did President Bill Clinton — Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army — apply to American military personnel under his command the same anti-gun policies his administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress applied to American civilians in the Brady Bill and Assault Weapons ban of 1994.

This Clinton policy of restricting military personnel from routinely carrying arms for protection was left in effect for the eight years of the administration of President George W. Bush — even after the 9/11 terror attacks — and even though Republicans held both the White House and majority control of both houses of Congress from January 2003 to January 2007.

John McHugh became the 21st Secretary of the U.S. Army on September 21, 2009, seven weeks prior to U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s November 5, 2009 shooting spree that murdered 13 and wounded another 38. Secretary McHugh — not reported as having the psychic power of precognition — issued no authorization for Fort Hood military personnel to be issued arms for personal protection against the specific threat of attack by Major Hasan.

Veterans Day is this Wednesday. How many times will “thank you for your service” pass the lips of talk-radio gurus who since 9/11 have sported American flag lapel pins, play-listed War-on-Terror country music, and made the Wounded Warrior Project a centerpiece of their swaggering patriotism?

It all rings so hollow now when their punditry following the Fort Hood Massacre makes it clear the bastions of American conservatism hate Jihadis far more than they love G.I.’s.

If George Washington had learned that soldiers under his command had died from a turncoat attack within an American Fort — not because arms weren’t available for his men to defend themselves but because an American officer didn’t trust American soldiers to bear arms — I’m fairly certain that American officer would have been summarily executed by the same firing squad as the turncoat.

Yet radio talkers debate only whether the shooter was driven by ideology or madness, and have no anger — or even questions — about a sixteen-year-old Department of Defense policy that five days ago left both G.I.’s and civilians on an army base in Texas as defenseless as toddlers in a preschool.

Ideology colors emotional responses, and even long-term activists who have worked to advance the right of self-protection have lost their sight-picture in the fog of the War on Terror. The man I’ve often called my Yoda on gun-self-defense issues — Randall N. Herrst, JD, of the Center for the Study of Crime — wrote in a Sunday morning posting to the Individual Sovereignty/Libertarian Yahoo Group his security concerns with Hassan’s anti-Americanism not being acted upon by the Army, President Obama’s not using the term “war on terror,” left-wing media, and civilian police being used to protect a military base post-9/11, but this Lion of the Second Amendment wasn’t even aware of the Department of Defense policy which bans soldiers from routinely carrying arms for protection … much less express seething anger at American soldiers not being trusted to bear arms.

The lack of even a committed Second Amendment activist’s’ concern with the systematic disarmament of American soldiers on base — leaving them defenseless for murder by a single illegally-armed attacker with time to repeatedly reload — bewilders me. The explanation can have nothing to do with Posse Comitatus Act restrictions on the Army being deployed for civilian law enforcement when we’re considering individual soldiers defending their own lives from attack.

Contrast this with libertarian author Brad Linaweaver, who told me he considers American soldiers being armed for protection even more important than the arming of police.

Those directly affected by the vulnerability of American soldiers see the matter even more poignantly.

Brian Singer, an American soldier currently deployed to Iraq but whose home station is Fort Hood, commented on a previous article of mine about the massacre that “It’s not just the military affected by this heinous policy. Our spouses and children suffer under victim disarmament as well. Second, not only are civilian CCWs not recognized, military members are required to register their firearms as well. Can you believe this insanity?”

Chor Xiong, father of 23-year-old Fort Hood Massacre victim Kham Xiong, spoke of his son’s love of hunting, and told KSTP-TV, “The sad part is that he had been taught and been trained to protect and to fight. Yet it’s such a tragedy that he did not have the opportunity to protect himself and the base.”

Where is the shock and outrage for American conservatives to learn that even the Army is made toothless by politically-correct gun control?

Talk radio listeners as angry as I am about the lack of time their favorite talk hosts have spent on the victim disarmament of even American servicemen and women should use this Veterans Day as the opportunity to call in and express their feelings. Arming men and women who take seriously the idea of defending their country from bad guys can be nothing but a gift that keeps on giving.

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How Treacherous Republicans and Fake Conservatives Are Destroying America

Who gets it worst in the Gospels — the pagan Romans who nailed Jesus Christ to the Cross or believers in the One God who delivered Jesus up to the Romans?

It’s not even a debatable question. Whomever Christians believe betrayed Jesus — Herod, the Pharisees, or Judas — it was monotheists far closer to Jesus in their beliefs than the Romans who come in for the most criticism.

And of course. The Romans were cosmopolitan barbarians — educated, smart, and sophisticated, but savage, cruel, and superstitious.

The Hebrews and the messianic Judaic offshoot we now call Christianity were supposed to be better than that, so when they fall it recapitulates the story of the brightest, most beautiful, and best loved of the angels who became the darkest and most dangerous of God’s enemies.

An honest and noble enemy can be respected and admired even while we endeavor to destroy him for his evil ways. A friend who’s supposed to know better is held to a higher standard and therefore comes in for harsher criticism when he leaves the path of righteousness.

So it will be today when I call out the corrupt bastards who are handing over my country to my enemies.

I believe in individual liberty as did the men we call the Founding Fathers. When I read about the noble revolution they fought to free this continent from a mean, spiteful, and likely insane tyrant, my heart soars. Thomas Jefferson’s idealistic pragmatism in the Declaration of Independence hits my eyes like a rainbow and my ears like Beethoven’s Choral Symphony. The irreverent wit of Benjamin Franklin sets the tone for a style of skeptical humor handed down to us through Mark Twain and today the meat and potatoes of Vegas rooms and late-night TV. George Washington set a principled standard for leading a free people that we can only hope to duplicate; I doubt it can be surpassed. And it wasn’t just these three. Just listing the heroes and geniuses who crafted and fought history’s only libertarian revolution would turn this article into a book.

When I am critical of the Constitution of the United States it is not because my heart differs all that much from the men who engineered it as an experiment in foiling this low part of human nature that will warp any organization to steal their brothers’ hard-earned bread; it’s only because I see the failure of that experiment to cage the beast that I wonder whether a few centuries might have shown us the cracks in its foundation and offered us what Jefferson called “new guards.”

But I would happily live in the house the Framers built if only the damned roof wasn’t leaking buckets.

Seventy-four years after the Constitution was ratified, and the experiment in preserving American liberty had begun, a second American revolution variously called a civil war or a war between the states found a fissure in the Constitution, and ruptured it. It’s possible by the end of that second revolution the calendar days left for liberty on this continent were already numbered.

But nine decades later, when I was born, it was still generally believed that despite setbacks Americans enjoyed more liberty than anywhere else on planet earth — and if some Americans did not enjoy as much liberty as they used to, other Americans were winning liberties historically denied them.

If you read what I was writing only five years ago I still wrote that this was true. But if it is still true today the coming time when it will not be true can be measured in months, weeks, or even days.

Our country is made up of fifty states whose sovereignty is a whisper of what it used to be. As currently constituted no state — or county, city, or township within one — can resist the will of the federal government in any significant way. So the three branches of the federal government will now decide what liberties the American people do and don’t have.

We have a Supreme Court — the final arbiter of what is and is not allowed by the Constitution since Marbury v Madison in 1803 — that is on the verge of nullifying Article VI of the Constitution by making international law superior to the Constitution as the supreme law of the United States.

We have a Congress which passes laws with no constitutional authority to do so, and has usurped powers forbidden them by the Constitution.

We have an executive branch comprising departments having no constitutional authority, and that in conspiracy with Congress now seeks totalitarian control over the most personal aspects of our individual lives.

The Founding Fathers would have rebelled against this state of affairs long ago. Their spirits, if they still roam the earth and speak to us in our dreams, must wonder whether the American continent still has any Americans on it.

I do not blame the leadership of the Democratic Party for this degradation of my country. Since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt began in 1933 the Democratic Party’s objectives have been, openly and plainly, to reverse the principles of the American Revolution and smash the Constitutional limit on powers so that the federal government may enter into every sphere and realm of the American people’s lives. In this policy they are in union with much of the rest of the world which never understood or adopted the principle of individual sovereignty and limited agency which was the foundation of the American experiment; instead they would deliver America to the older principles that have governed the rest of the world — the principle that sovereignty rests with the State — whether monarchy, aristocracy, or plutocracy — and that the common man only has those privileges granted by his betters.

Communism, socialism, and fascism were democratically utopian in theory but in practice have always proved plutocratic, aristocratic, and technocratic. In the name of the common people dictators and their minions have acted with ruthless imperiousness that no Caesar or Khan ever surpassed.

Democrats are the party of returning America to the rest of the world, of sounding the death knell to the American Revolution, of making America Sunset-View Atlantic again.

The Republican Party, and the conservative movement that has fueled whatever political success it has ever achieved, often used the Founding Fathers’ libertarian language to distinguish themselves from the Democrats. Honest conservative Republicans such as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan meant it, too. But even Reagan did not understand how the conservative movement had been hijacked by persons whose principles were deaf to the American Revolution.

A few days ago when a Muslim Army Psychiatrist went on a murderous shooting spree on a domestic American army base, those who are called conservative pundits spent their air time and print space debating whether the shooter was a Muslim terrorist or merely a stressed-out whack-job. They did not ask why during the eight years of a conservative Republican administration — most of it following the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, and much of it when conservative Republicans also had a majority in Congress — never authorized members of the American military and their families to carry guns with them wherever they went on a daily basis to defend our country against terrorist attacks. It never crossed their minds that the disarmament of American soldiers — much less the citizen militia — would be the first issue the Founding Fathers would have addressed.

What was it that these conservatives were supposed to be conserving? Are they less concerned with American deaths than they are with containing Islam so Israel can last long enough for Jews to rebuild the Temple so the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can saddle up?

A year before that — when the nominee of the Republican Party in the 2008 election suspended his campaign to lobby his fellow senators — in cahoots with the Republican President of the United States — to bail out private bankers on the credit of the United States taxpayer — no major Republican governors, senators, mayors, or congressional representatives who called themselves conservatives considered this a breaking of faith sufficient enough to repudiate their support for the nominee.

Or — a few months before that — when the leadership of the Nevada Republican Party suspended their state party’s presidential nominating convention because they knew a complete count of the ballots would send a delegation pledged to a candidate who by his voting record had proved that he actually believed in the Constitution of the United States — no prominent conservative Republican spokesman protested.

Before that when the Republican President of the United States suspended habeas corpus, expanded Medicare, ballooned federal spending beyond all previous limits, and like so many previous Republican presidents levied war without seeking a Declaration from Congress — that Congress would have given him — conservatives remained loyal to the Republican Party.

Now, today, when the Congress of the United States passed a bill that would nationalize medicine and penalize American citizens for refusing to purchase a commercial product — Repubicans calling themselves conservatives spoke as if the worst aspect of this monstrous invasion of the lives of every American was that taxpayer money could be spent on abortion.


That word is not in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States.

One could be a Soviet commissar and oppose abortion on the grounds that the State needs more cannon fodder.

One could be a Pope who has no problem with a communist world economy and oppose abortion.

Yet today’s litmus test of whether or not one is a conservative is not whether one supports the individual liberty to which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, but whether or not one favors invading a hospital operating room with the drawn guns of a sheriff to usurp a woman’s conscientious moral decision as to whether ending gestation is violating God’s will.

It is not whether one believes that terrorism is best fought by arming the entire citizenry as the Founders told us to do, but by obsessing whether a criminal shooting up a military base of the United States is a committed enemy or just a madman.

I know Democrats have no use for the America handed down to us. They have been working for the better part of a century to undo it

But when that moment comes that this writer can no longer brag that Americans are freer than the citizens of any other country, it will not be the Democrats that this writer blames.

It will be those conservatives and Republicans who defrauded the American people into thinking they were any different, and who handed over this country’s liberty to its openly vocal enemies without so much as a whimper.

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The Nevada Republican Party’s 2008 Suicide Belt

As a 2008 member of the Nye County, Nevada Republican Central Committee and an elected Ron Paul delegate to the 2008 Nye County Republican Convention, the most exciting political moment for me last year was watching the September, 2008 national GOP convention on TV when three Nevada delegates committed to Ron Paul prevented the Republican National Convention’s unanimous voice acclamation for the presidential nomination of John McCain when the three Nevada delegates used bullhorns to shout their objections.

Oh, wait. Silly me. That never happened.

What did happen in reality was almost as dramatic.

The April, 2008 Nevada Republican Convention in Reno adjourned without ever finishing counting the ballots to find out which candidate’s delegates had been elected to be sent to the national convention in Minneapolis in September. According to a Wall Street Journal article published July 18, 2008, “Citing a lack of interest, the Nevada Republican Party has called off its state convention and will instead pick its delegates to the national convention by private conference call. The state party broke up its original convention in April when supporters of Ron Paul hijacked the proceedings and tried to elect delegates for their candidate to the national GOP convention in September. Party officials tried to reconvene on July 26, but they needed a quorum of 675 and received only 300 RSVPs…”

Ron Paul supporters “hijacked” the Nevada Republican Convention? What did they use? Box-cutters? Did they demand the convention land in Cuba?


The “hijacking” of the convention was the duly elected delegates committed to Ron Paul demanding all the ballots be counted. The Nevada Republican Party leadership refused to count half the ballots and adjourned the convention without counting them.

On November 1, 2009 — a year and a half too late to matter — I received the following email from Robert Terhune.

Dear Nevada Patriots,

As many of you may have already heard, the ballots from Congressional District 2, that were cast on April 26th, 2008, at the Nevada Republican State Convention, were finally counted last Friday. I traveled with National Committeewoman Heidi Smith to the Peppermill, where we retrieved the ballots out of the locked box in the cashier’s cage. Nancy Ernaut, acting State Party Chair, was also in attendance.

When we got back to the Republican HQ, local media (including two camera trucks, numerous photographers, and the local political writer for the Reno Gazette-Journal) had arrived, along with over twenty vote-count volunteers and interested spectators. They were all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the long lost ballots. With media cameras rolling, three of the original witnesses of the ballot lock-up examined the envelopes. They determined that the seals were unbroken and the envelopes did not appear to have been tampered with or damaged. Then all the volunteers were divided into groups of two, and the counting commenced. There were over 800 ballots to be counted, but even so, the winners were very apparent from the start.

Here’s the results:

#1: Robert Terhune, 288 votes
#2: Marla Criss, 283 votes
#3: Pat Kerby, 283 votes

#4: Dean Heller, 231 votes
#5: Brian Krolicki, 118 votes
#6: Mike Weber, 95 votes

#1, 2, 3 were “Ron Paul” delegates

Although the National Republican Convention is long since over and done, the results of this ballot count confirm what so many of us believed: that Nevada was very possibly, even probably, on the verge of sending a Ron Paul supporting delegation to Minneapolis. There is little doubt that party “officials” shared the same opinion, and they shut down the convention to prevent a Ron Paul slate.

Even though we can’t go back and change the results of the Republican National Convention, we have been vindicated, once again, by the results of this ballot count. Please read this report in the Reno Gazette-Journal to see some of the excellent media coverage we have received:

Thank you all for your support throughout this saga. Your emails of encouragement and thanks have meant a lot to me and my family.


Wayne Terhune

P.S.- And congratulations to Robert Terhune, Marla Criss, and Pat Kerby, legally elected national delegates!!

As we know, not only did the Republican Party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees John McCain and Sarah Palin go down to defeat at the hands of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but Republican loss of seats in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives were so severe that the Democratic Party achieved a super-majority which may well have given the Democratic political agenda irresistible force on issues such as taxation and spending, government ownership of major industry, nullification of private contracts, 100% government-controlled health care, nullification of the Second Amendment, as well as national defense, homeland security, and U.S. economic sovereignty.

I asked one of the elected Nevada delegates, Pat Kerby, what he thought of Nevada’s Republican leadership denying him his seat at the GOP national convention.

Pat Kerby summed it up nicely: “What the Republican party did to Ron Paul was like a sinking ship shooting torpedoes at the rescue boat.”

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Gun Free Zones in the Hood

What do Fort Hood in Texas and the Hood in South Central Los Angeles have in common?

Concealed carry of firearms is legally prohibited in both Hoods.

California theoretically has a law to issue CCW licenses to civilians living in Los Angeles; in practice only court officers get them.

Under federal law, state-issued CCW licenses don’t apply on military bases, and concealed-carry of firearms is otherwise forbidden.

So, as hard as it is to believe, Fort Hood — a post-9/11 United States Army Base with the population of a small city — was almost as much of a gun-free zone as George Hennard’s October 16, 1991 free-fire zone in Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, or Gang Lu’s on the campus of the University of Iowa a couple of weeks later, or Colin Ferguson’s February 17, 1995 killing spree on the Long Island Railroad, or at Dunblane, Scotland March 13, 1996, or April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School, or April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech.

In all these locations guns were legally prohibited for self-defense by decent, law-abiding people. The indecent criminals who ignored the law were granted a monopoly on firepower. Disarmed victims died while awaiting the arrival of “first responders.”

It would be sweet for conservatives to blame the Obama or Clinton administrations for the absolute idiocy of disarming soldiers in the United States Army, but this policy was in effect during the eight years of the Bush-Cheney Administration — all but the first few months of that administration following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The most cutting wounds are always by the treachery of supposed friends.

Et tu, Dubya?

In my 1996 article on Dunblane, “A Rude Awakening” — included as a chapter in the 1999 second edition of my book Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns — I wrote, “There are wild people among us who will not exercise self-restraint, and we must live with the expectation that at a time and place of their choosing, not of ours, they will explode upon us.”

Nothing has changed in the decade since I wrote those words except that by forbidding guns to everyone on four commercial jetliners on 9/11/2001 gangs armed only with box-cutters were easily able to commandeer those jets and convert them into high-explosive-laden cruise missiles which destroyed both the World Trade Center and a section of the Pentagon, with a body count that day of about 3,000, many more in two retaliatory wars that followed, and with hundreds of financial experts lost that day possibly the loss of the brains who could have prevented the economic meltdown of the United States.

For want of a handgun the United States might have been lost.

Now al-Qaeda has just been given yet another commercial for a Blue Light Special on terrorism: America is so opposed to reasonable self-defense — its rulers so afraid of their own taxpayers that they won’t even trust their own soldiers with guns — that even America’s homeland army bases are easy targets.

Excellent work, Nidal Malik Hasan. Allah will reward you for exposing the Great Satan’s unprotected underbelly to your compatriots.

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How They Ask the Question Tells You The Answer

My old mentor, Samuel Edward Konkin III, taught me early on that if you can get the other side to debate an issue as you frame it, you’ve already won.

When gun-control advocates convinced the major media only to report on cases where guns had been used by criminals, the insane, and the irresponsible to cause injury and mayhem, they’d already won their public-policy case to reduce the availability of guns in private hands. What rational person wants to arm violent sociopaths?

It was only when advocates of defensive rights hounded the media with both real-life cases and criminological studies showing that successful defensive gun uses far outnumbered gun misuse — that gun control was unilateral disarmament not of the predator but of the victim — that the public-policy tide shifted in favor of preserving the individual right to keep and bear arms.

A TV commercial when I was growing up asked me to debate the issue of whether cartoon rabbits had a right to eat sugary-coated dry cereals or whether “Trix is for kids.”

So the key question facing the voters of Maine in their referendum Tuesday — in which like every state that has put the question on the ballot they voted “Nay!” — was whether same-sex couples are a minority being denied a civil right to marry, or whether gay-marriage proponents are a special interest using legislatures and courts to overrule a popular consensus that marriage requires one-each penis and vagina.

I’m a libertarian. I don’t want government telling anyone past the age of consent whom they can love, with whom they can live, who is their family for legal purposes, or what they can do with their private parts. Individual liberty does not mean one only has the right to live as a hermit; it includes the right to form bonds with others.

But individual liberty also means the right to disagree.

Your freedom of speech doesn’t mean I have to listen to you. Your freedom of the press doesn’t mean I have to buy your newspaper. Your freedom of association doesn’t mean you have the right to be my friend. And your right to life doesn’t mean you have a claim check to make me feed you, take you into my home, or nurse you to health.

The greatness of the American Civil Rights movement was that it brought about a paradigm shift in how people looked at each other. Perhaps the most eloquent speech of the twentieth century was when the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., told us, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

The evil of the American Civil Rights movement was when it departed from the individualism in King’s speech, and instead embraced the very collectivism King opposed: judging people not by the content of their character but as special interests defined by their race, color, creed, national origin, gender, and gender preference.

It’s not an accident that this happened. Julius Caesar conquered France by getting the locals to distrust each other and trust only Rome. Politicians today are still using Caesar’s playbook of divide and conquer, setting the rich against the poor, management versus labor, the healthy against the sick, minorities versus majorities.

Listen to Jesse Connolly of the pro-gay-marriage group Protect Maine Equality after a majority of Maine voters overturned the state’s gay marriage law forced on them by Maine politicians: “”We’re in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year until all Maine families are treated equally.”

Jesse Connolly doesn’t care what the people of Maine think. To him, marriage is a civil right and he’s happy to thwart democracy to achieve it. Not being a proponent of democracy, myself, I am not entirely unsympathetic to Mr. Connolly’s point of view. Democracy has been described as the wolves giving the sheep a vote on what’s for dinner.

But as a libertarian who wants a society in which both my right to associate and the right to be left alone is respected, I have a problem when freedom is not on the menu.

If the only choice is between the power of the majority as expressed through democratic voting — or power blocs of special interests arrogantly overruling majorities by gaming the system — which side am I supposed to support?

Gay-rights advocates do well when they follow Dr. King’s lead and help us to see them not as stereotypes but as individuals.

But when gays make us see them as an arrogant special interest who think the straight majority are ignorant boobs that need to be conquered by political force, then they’re just one more damned lobby out for themselves.

That’s how to lose the debate.

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Five Modest Nonpartisan Suggestions for Making American Government Work

1. Require that every United States Senator and Member of the House of Representatives take an oath under penalty of perjury that s/he will not vote on any legislation that s/he has not read in full and understands the effects thereof, and be required to swear under oath what section of the Constitution of the United States authorizes Congress to enact such legislation. Require federal judges to conduct random surprise testing of all senators and representatives before selected votes, and a score of 80% correct in order to be present for a quorum. A score lower than 40% on three such tests is automatic expulsion from Congress.

2. Enact a twenty-year sunset for all currently existing federal departments, agencies, bureaus, military bases on foreign soil, taxes, tariffs, foreign treaties and federal regulations, and thereafter every federal department, agency, bureau, military base on foreign soil, tax, tariff, foreign treaty, and regulation shall automatically sunset every ten years.

3. Outlaw any privately owned entity or corporation from usurping a power granted by the Constitution of the United States to Congress or the President.

4. Require that every ten years the approval of a majority of state legislatures shall be required to renew the continuation of every federal department, military base on foreign soil, federal tax, and foreign treaty.

5. The attorney general of any state, as authorized by the state’s governor, legislature, or popular referendum, may sue the federal government to nullify any Act of Congress, federal regulation, or executive power, that violates any section of the Constitution of the United States, and such lawsuit shall be given an immediate hearing by the Supreme Court of the United States.

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Things I Hate in Four Movies I Love

This is really dangerous for me to write, since we all know that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I’m a screenwriter, novelist, and filmmaker, and I can find plot holes and character irrationalities even in my own work, thank you very much!

Go onto IMDb and read the Users Comments about some of the greatest movies ever made. None of them is free of razzberries from Internet trolls calling these masterpieces lousy and overrated.

So why am I adding my voice to the unwashed mob?

Because, damn it, it’s fun!

Remember. These are four of my favorite movies, which I’ve watched over and over.

Casablanca, 1942

Ilsa Lund is a troublemaker, full of noble excuses for her bad behavior. In Paris she engages in a love affair with Rick Blaine, neglecting to mention that she’s a married woman with a missing husband. She sure as heck owes the guy this much information, even if for reasons of security she doesn’t tell him her husband is a leader in the underground.

Of course Rick is also an asshole. If the missing love of my life shows up in the middle of a war and wants to tell me why she left me on the day we were supposed to escape from the Nazis together, I’m going to let her get the entire story out before I accuse her of being a whore. But that’s just me.

If I were remaking this movie, I’d have Major Strasser’s bullet meant for Rick kill Ilsa, then I’d have Rick, Victor Laszlo, and Captain Renault head off together to kick some Nazi butt.

The Fountainhead, 1949

Howard Roark is a great architect but he has no people skills. An old girlfriend of mine said Roark reminded her of a hairdresser she knew, “No, Missy, I do your hair my way or it’s the highway!” Peter Keating knows eff-all about architecture but he’s great at shmoozing the clients. They’re made for each other. If I’d written this, Peter would have gone to Howard and offered him a partnership — “You design the buildings your way and I’ll sell them my way.” First order of business is getting an appointment with Gail Wynand and offering him free architecture for life if he has Ellsworth Toohey buried in the concrete of his next building. As for Dominique Francon, she should have ended up in some 42nd Street B&D dungeon. She reminds me of half the crazy libertarian women I’ve dated.

The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951

Klaatu is on a mission to earth because his people think we’re loose cannons in the solar system. So what does Klaatu do first thing after he comes down the ramp and sees every sort of weapon pointed at him? He extends his hand with some strange thingamabob in it and pulls a trigger. He should be impressed at the restraint of the earthlings only shooting the damned thing out of his hand.

Then he meets with Secretary Harley and acts all pissy because Harley can only offer him a meeting with the Head of State of the country he landed his damned flying saucer in. Klaatu has this threat he wants to deliver to the entire planet, and he’s all upset that the earthlings are being all uncooperative about letting him deliver it. What, Klaatu has the technology to neutralize electricity all over the earth but he can’t figure out a way to get interviewed on the radio where he could deliver his threat to everyone at once? Please!

Don’t even get me started about the 2008 remake, where Klaatu’s mission is to exterminate the only intelligent species on the planet so his Klingons can add the turf to their own empire. Where are Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum when we need them?

Oh, God!, 1977

I think when screenwriter Larry Gelbart’s God comes to earth to spread his message he’s even more clueless than Klaatu about how communication media on earth works.

In Avery Corman’s original novel God picks a writer for Rolling Stone as his messenger. This is hiring a media professional and has some logic to it. But why screenwriter Gelbart, producers Jerry Weintraub & Victor J. Kemper, and director Carl Reiner thought God would pick supermarket-assistant-manager Jerry Landers to convince the world that God exists is beyond me.

But if you’re God deciding to do it that way, at least give the guy some better proof of your existence than a business card. Instead of God making it rain inside Jerry Landers’ car, how about making it rain in the office of the Los Angeles Times religious editor, where it would do Jerry some good?

Getting past that, and God setting up poor Jerry for a defamation lawsuit, I have a real problem with the judge’s ruling in the case.

God appears in court and for the first time in the movie allows someone other than Jerry Landers to see and hear him — withdrawing, by the way, the claim he made to Jerry that he only worked through one guy at a time. God performs some miracles to prove to the court that he exists, and gives a nice little speech. Then God erases the text of his monologue from the court reporter’s stenotype machine and his voice from the court reporter’s tape recorder, and on the basis of the “missing” evidence the judge rules that God wasn’t present in his courtroom.

Excuse me? Whatever happened to the idea of eyewitness testimony? You have a gallery full of eyewitnesses to be deposed — in addition to the judge in a case being able to take judicial notice of whatever occurs in court and rule accordingly.

Oh, God!

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To tell you the God’s honest truth, if I didn’t know deep in my heart that the rest of you are out of your freaking minds. I’d think I was.

Look, I know I’ve said, written, and done things that are pretty hard to take at face value.

Years ago a cousin of mine — a distinguished neurologist — told my parents my libertarian beliefs indicated a serious need for psychiatric intervention. This cousin was not only a rich doctor who’d expanded his fortune as an inventor and entrepreneur — when we visited him he was living in a Pacific Palisades mansion — but politically he was a communist. Maybe my cousin the doctor was right in thinking I was crazy since I was a flat-broke writer arguing to a wealthy communist the superiority of capitalism.

A lot of people thought I was crazy when I thought that of all the novel manuscripts written, my first novel would get published — in hardcover, no less.

People thought I was crazy when I suggested as far back as 1987 that pretty soon what we call a “book” wouldn’t be made out of nice-smelling paper, ink, and binding; you wouldn’t browse for it at a store; and it would be something you downloaded and either read on a screen or printed out, yourself.

A lot of people thought I was out of my mind when I wrote a book taking seriously the idea that O.J. Simpson didn’t knife to death his ex-wife and the nice Jewish boy who was returning her mother’s forgotten eyeglasses.

Other people thought I was crazy when another of my books seriously suggested that people who don’t own guns are the cause of crime.

I’d spent years and years hanging out with atheists who were certain I was out of my mind when I finally told them I’d had a psychic revelation from God … then I was only slightly more surprised when I found out that even people who tell me they believe in God are for the most part just as convinced that I’m crazy.

But what am I supposed to do with a Bill Maher who makes a documentary showing how nutty people who believe in God are, then turns around and without even a psychic episode to back it up then makes fun of people who don’t share his faith in global warming or expansive government?

How am I to take seriously the sanity of people who believe in God only because they read about God in the Bible — or heard about God from other people who read about God in the Bible … or people who decide God can’t possibly exist because the only people they’ve met who say they believe in God base their beliefs on these sorts of fiftieth-hand rumors?

In my own current business — I made a movie which I’m trying to get into commercial distribution — I constantly run into movie execs who tell me audiences won’t be interested in seeing my movie because I don’t have an “A-list star” in it. Leave out for a moment how insanely famous the star of my movie is from appearing in the #1 cult TV series of all time. When I point out to these geniuses that one of the top-grossing movies at the moment was made for $11,000 and didn’t have a single name actor in it, it doesn’t change their minds. Neither does giving them a list of A-list-star driven movies that tanked. They still won’t consider distributing an indie movie unless it has an “A list” star.

I believe that government doesn’t work, that the Los Angeles Police Department needed to rent a clue in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and that a more compelling case can be made for the existence of eternal consciousness than for carbon footprints.

It’s a lot of the rest of you who are the crazy ones, pal, and on Day Three of this blog, meet your new bogus shrink.

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