Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wither Stompers?

Dear Mountain Xpress Editors,

In a recent letter to the editor ["Good ol’ stomp-and-chant," Letters, Jan. 02], reader Jason Korol attempts to address some of the interesting questions posed by Lady Passion, Diuvei & Coven Oldenwilde, in these pages [Let’s have a good ol’ stomp-and-chant,” Letters, Dec. 26], who have challenged the fire-breathing Carolina Stompers to a live debate that they have humorously characterized as a “Spiritual Smackdown.”

I have enjoyed Mr. Korol's reply, and others I have seen here and there. But I think an actual formal debate ought to take place instead of a virtual debate online, in the papers, and through emails amounting to a series of disconnected rejoinders. Let the Christians and the Pagans make the best case for their particular brand of mystical faith, directly and in-person, using all of the logic, evidence, and persuasive power they can muster, if any, and let each argument rise or fall on the merits.

All of this confrontational ‘challenge-and-response’ comes, as your readers may recall, after Stompers Richard Bernier and Chad Nesbitt filmed and published videos of Asheville city council candidate Elaine Lite (D) participating in a protest demonstration to bring attention to the illegal, unethical and incompetent sale of public property to a private developer for erecting a nice block of condos a "stone’s-throw" from city hall—a story covered in your feature article “Fighting Mad”, Dec. 5, about the Stompers, their members and their intentions.

Thankfully, the famed magnolia tree, which was the symbolic focal point of the demonstration, is still standing. And still no condemnations from the Stompers of the government corruption that compelled the protesters to demonstrate their deeply-felt concern in the first place.

Since that negative political attack ad was made, the Stompers have also challenged their adversaries—Elaine Lite and other progressives and libertarians—to sit for interviews on URTV and submit to so-called “honest conversations.” If this is the model the Stompers uphold for rational debate in Asheville then the Wiccans are simply following the standard set by the Stompers themselves.

To date, the Stompers are still searching for their spines and furtively mumbling amongst themselves in dark corners, offering little more than the fallacious ‘tu quoque’ (or “You too have shied from our challenges, therefore, so shall we”). It seems oddly out of character for the Stompers to wither in face of an honest conversation.

Where now are the posturing Stompers and the former adolescent bravado that has so far typified their clique?


"Take this, you posturing Stompers!" by Tim Peck, Mountain Xpress, January 16, 2008.

"The liberal smackdown expands" by Chad Nesbitt, Mountain Xpress, January 16, 2008.

"Going down to their level" by Eamon Martin, Mountain Xpress, Jan 23, 2008.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

High School Drop Out

The agonizing concern in the news over dropout rates is based on the premise that dropping out of a government owned and operated school is a bad thing. Students opt out of their government-driven indoctrination for a variety of reasons and we ought to know what those reasons are.

I realize that times have changed since the early 70's, but that's when I was attending public school in Atlanta. I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. I got my GED and a job and moved forward with my life. I said then, and it's still true, that I dropped out of school because I wasn't getting an education and that bothered me. I've since fixed all that.

The State of North Carolina could improve dropout numbers by outlawing all other forms of education: charter schools, private schools, home schooling. Or the state could outlaw dropping out altogether. That way, with our formerly free children in total captivity to government education, we could finally achieve a perfect drop out rate.

Then we could turn our attention to government-run psychiatry.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The (Not So) New Republic

The New Republic article by James Kirchick, aimed at uncovering the "ugly truth" about libertarian Presidential candidate Ron Paul, is merely a dishonest hit piece without substance. It is a fraud -- a transparent, rhetorical fraud designed as a sequence of code words to stimulate automatic thinking among its readers who might be predisposed to disagree with Ron Paul's general advocacy of individual liberty and limited government; and serving to appeal as well to any opposing political strains who would search for any means, fair or foul, to boost their own favorite candidate at the expense of any other.

Or, for that matter, appealing to anyone who, for whatever reason, takes an interest in lurid potshots at any authentic, originalist, libertarian conception of government.

The detractors have now, and so soon, resorted to deceit; therefore, we win. And I strongly suspect that this font of opposition research is the best they've got in this silly season.

Authentic journalists should attempt to be valiant seekers after truth. Mr. Kirchick cannot count himself among that number. He, alas, has no backbone, and, it appears, no bottom.

Shall we move forward? There is so much to be done.

"The flowering of human society depends on two factors: the intellectual power of outstanding men to conceive sound social and economic theories, and the ability of these or other men to make these ideologies palatable to the majority." -- Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, p. 860.


"NAACP President: Ron Paul Is Not A Racist" by Paul Joseph Watson, Jan 13, 2008.

"Why the Old Ron Paul Newsletters Have Nothing to Do with the Ron Paul Revolution" by Brian Doherty, Reason Magazine, Jan 8, 2008.

"Left Out: Gay recovering leftist" explores why the dating life of a political minority can be lonely" By James Kirchick, Aug 5, 2007.

"Racism" by Ayn Rand

"Capitalism: The Cure for Racism" by George Reisman

"Issue: Racism" by Ron Paul


Ron Paul, Anti-Racist

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ron Paul on Leno . . . Again

Once again, libertarian congressman (R-Texas) and Presidential candidate Ron Paul appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, January 7, 2008.




Ron Paul DVD Project

Ron Paul on Jay Leno, Oct 30, 2007

Ron Paul on Jay Leno, Jan 7, 2008
Part 1 | Part 2

Ron Paul on Larry King, Jan 3, 2008 (UNAIRED)

Ron Paul on PBS Bill Moyer's Journal, PBS, Jan 4, 2008

Ron Paul on Meet The Press
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Ron Paul Town Hall, Manchester, NH, Jan 6, 2008
Part 1 | Part 2

Conversation With The Candidates (WMUR-TV, NH)
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Troops Speak Out: Paul v. Huckabee

Campaign Ads:
Ron Paul DVD Bomb

South Carolina Republican Debate, Jan 10, 2008.


NYT on Ron Paul. Retraction.

"Pimp My Ride" by Tucker Carlson, The New Republic, December 31, 2007.

John Stossel Interviews Ron Paul On Policing The World

"Mises and Austrian Economics: A Personal View" by Ron Paul
Podcast | Full Text (read along)

The Ron Paul Library, a collection of more than 1,000 articles and speeches.