Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Revolution

A Manifesto


Ron Paul

Finished Reading: 11.2011

Though a Libertarian hiding in a divergent Republican party, Ron Paul isn't out to fool anyone. The Texas Representative boldly lays out his policy in this Manifesto, published during his second presidential run in 2008. If Ron Paul is nothing else, he is consistent and he is clear. He advocates colorful sweeping change in a political landscape where politicians are only looking to pick out a new shade of beige for the upcoming 2012 elections.

One of Paul's primary platforms is a significant change to U.S. foreign policy.  He calls for a non-interventionist strategy where we just leave other countries alone, allowing them to carry out their own business. Our military would stay home and protect America while we save money, lives, and avoid unwanted blowback and the increasing international hatred that boils across the seas. Paul compares today's politicians with those in the past, concluding that our nation is headed into unnecessary interventionism and away from the original intent of our Founding Fathers. He ties our recent foreign policy actions to our other national problems, particularly the economic catastrophe that he predicted and we now find ourselves wallowing in.

Additionally, Ron Paul touches on the Constitution, economics, personal freedom, and money. These are all important talking points in the election season and each brings fodder for further discussion as I now move away from reviewing the content of the book itself, and delve into broader thoughts...

Most political followers see a big asterisk next to anything Ron Paul says, indicating that he is so far outside the box of American ideals that no one on the left or right takes his strategy ideas seriously. This is amazing that someone could be so ignored. I wonder how the radical agenda of a potential President Ron Paul would pan out? Could he accomplish his stated agenda with a typical Congress of regular partisan Democrats and Republicans?

If the government were to get it's big grubby hands out of the cookie jars, what would happen to the neglected crumbs? Would private enterprise, charity organizations and small local governments, as Paul proposes, pick up and run with the programs that the Federal Government leaves behind? Entirely idealistic, I know, but I'd like to see less forced taxation and more voluntary charitable contribution. But I do believe that the depravity of man is real and we will selfishly hoard for our own. The old question was, "Should this or that be done?" But my new question is, "Should government be the one to do it?"

Libertarianism, which I am just beginning to research, is an interesting blend of conservative and liberal thought, with a focus on liberty. Freedom is the catchy word floating around these days, but liberty seems to be similar and not as well understood. I like one definition that liberty is "not...the absence of interference in one's actions, but as non-dependence... (which) means being in a state of non-dependence from another's arbitrary will."

Extreme policy proposals seem like a waste of time on the surface, when every day the general disagreement is about minuscule details or trivial differences. But radical thoughts can bring about moderate change at a time when a new shade of beige is the only color proposed. If nothing else, a potential President Ron Paul would be like nothing we've ever seen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Tina Fey

Finished Reading: 11.2011

Tina Fey is a funny female comedian because she doesn't care that you don't like funny female comedians. Starting on the Chicago improv circuit, she moved on to star in Saturday Night Live in New York, create the hit NBC television comedy 30 Rock, and then try to convince anyone who would listen that two Sarah Palins are better than one, but maybe not better than none.

The Rules of Improvisation, as related by Tina Fey, can be applicable to everyday conversations, even if she didn't intend this. You don't have to be an actor to utilize improve. At the very least, improvisation makes conversation more interesting, and goes something like this: Agree with the person you're speaking with; add to what they're saying to deepen the dialog; make statements rather than ask questions; and go with your mistakes. You never know where mistakes will lead you.

It's nice to know that someone is the showbiz has a strong father figure. Tina loves and fears her father and credits him with her having turned out halfway decent. "That's Don Fey," says everyone as he walks by. Everyone knows who he is and admires him. Don Fey dresses well and looks good. Don Fey did this. Don Fey did that.

My favorite of Tina Fey's characters is Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. "(She) liked the idea of writing Alec Baldwin as a powerful conservative, having him articulate passionately the opposite of everything he believed in real life."

Sometimes the reasons for a joke are just as funny as the joke itself. There's a lot of that in here.