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Gee, What a Shock.

Man alive, I do wish I’d been able to get to Tampa last week!

Apart from meeting all the wonderful people I’ve only encountered online, I wanted to feel the vibe particular to Paulfest and its participants from activists to the artists making their musical contributions. I’ll be writing on the topic to be sure, but I’m reliant on others’ reports for intel in composing a narrative, and nothing beats being someplace yourself to get a handle on something as subtle and complex as the aggregate spirit of the events.

On the political side, I’m not a bit surprised at the establishment GOP’s treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters in the liberty movement. They’ve made no secret of their detestation of everything they claim to represent from economic freedom to personal liberty. For months we’ve seen them act like cheap hustlers, blatant in their efforts to marginalize or ignore real liberty. They’ve got their prints all over the clear voter manipulation and fraud we’ve seen all along, using tacky procedural gimmicks, fudging numbers and ignoring their own rules to keep shoving their warhawk foreign policies and fascist corporate state economics down peoples’ throats, and the pièce de résistance was the last minute rule changes obviously intended to stack the deck in favor of the establishment.

Really? You’re so confident in your philosophy and course of action that you feel the need to make last minute changes in your own ground rules to eliminate competing ideas in the marketplace even after you’ve bent and broken those same rules to get your way? Well, I’ve said all along that I have little faith in political action and much as I admire Dr. Paul, assenting to political support for his presidential campaign was difficult for me. Political action is based on force, after all, and it takes an exceptional man like Ron Paul to avoid the hazards of a system like that.

I suspect that one of the reasons for his campaign was to demonstrate just how badly the American system is rigged, a result of that fundamental issue of a system based on violence. The GOP was only to happy to oblige, showing its ungloved tyrannical fist as at gave the knife it had already plunged into peoples’ backs a savage twist with this latest bit of skulduggery. Its hubris knows no bounds since it doesn’t seem to care a bit that it alienated millions of well intentioned people trying to effect change from within with this lesson in realpolitik. And alienated (not to mention hopping mad in many cases) they are:

Read the comments here and elsewhere: people are fed up with this dismal business and are withdrawing their consent in larger numbers all the time. Lots of those are seeing that we Americans need an entirely new paradigm in the methods we employ to conduct our affairs, not continually trying to shore up an inherently bad system. I don’t know the specifics of how such a new system would be implemented, but I’m convinced that it will have to be one that incorporates the nonaggression principle, respects property rights (including the most fundamental of these, self ownership), and acknowledges the potential of human beings to innovate and create when they’re free and unfettered by the violent distortions of conventional political action.

Thank you for showing this so clearly to Americans, GOP establishment! Rather than hurting the liberty movement, you’ve reinvigorated it, and I think you’ll see most people turning to peaceful voluntary action of their own, leaving you dinosaurs to flounder in the tar pit while they get on with living. My take, as usual, is that we as liberty activists need to communicate these ideas to the most people we can, mentoring and otherwise leading by example as we go to inspire people into similar actions rather than trying to scare them into actions running counter to their own best interests that serve only the fearmongers.

Also as usual, I’ll add my plea for your help in this project to free me so I too can get out in the world to assist the spread of the message of liberty too. Besides being frustrating by limiting my effectiveness, this prolonged confinement is damaging me at this point, and that’s not pleasant. The fundraiser is alive and well but seems stalled, so along with my writing I’ll be keeping the effort up to raise awareness for my need to escape that confinement…and I’ll be counting on my friends in the movement to help. With close to half of the needed funds in hand, I think it’s clear the mission will succeed, and you folks are the ones who can help speedily conclude it. Please donate any amount you can spare and spread the word by telling your friends and family how you’re helping Get Glenn Mobile!

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Check, Please!

I’ve talked about my dread of doctors’ appointments for a while now…not because of the doctors, but because every time I transfer to or from my wheelchair to my Element I risk a fall if my unsteady legs buckle. Well, after a few years of worrying, I’m over it.

With this fundraiser proceeding so well, I’m not going to risk a cracked skull at this point, that’s just nuts. Last week I found myself fretting for the umpteenth time about this, especially with yet another appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning…so I reserved a wheelchair accessible taxi to cart me and my power chair to the doc’s in the morning. It’s an expense that will likely eat my disposable income for the month, but I’d rather live like a monk than risk injury or death, with the bonus that I can finally quit worrying constantly about this threat that’s been hanging over me.

This makes me that much more committed to see this project through and at last be able to flip the bird to the welfare/warfare State that insists I appear at a physician’s office regularly yet refuses to provide any sort of preventative help to let me do so safely. That’s fine, the Nanny State relies on money taken from productive people at gunpoint anyway and has no moral credibility, especially after ruining the American economy and distorting our economic landscape to ensure that many if not most people don’t have the resources to cover genuine comprehensive private disability insurance that would have obviated all of this nonsense.

I’ve said it before…a disabled and wheelchair bound guy like me can make a strong visual statement to the public once I’m mobile about the benefits of private voluntary action over the coercive government ‘safety net’ that in reality is a snare and death trap. The sooner we get away from this terrible system, the better, and that’s why I continue to support Ron Paul and his message of liberty. If we replace the parasitic corporate state with a truly free market, learn to respect private property and quit stealing the fruits of peoples’ labor, we’ll all be better off, even disabled folks like myself.

I’ll be watching the events in Tampa later this month closely. The liberty movement has an opportunity to make it a watershed moment in American history to help move us away from the current system of death and debt we’ve allowed to gather so much power to itself. As Mat Larsen says: Peace…and GO RON PAUL 2012!

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Taste of Freedom

The heat wave continues here in Nashville, but the mornings have been pleasant this week, not the awful steam bath they’ve been for the better part of two months. It’s been so ugly that it’s kept me cooped up as I was all winter…which isn’t a help when I’m trying to avoid going utterly stir crazy!
Being able to get out this week’s been therapeutic, blowing the cobwebs out of my brain and helping me get my mind right. Just being out in the world is a delight, and being able to give my reflexes and reaction time a good workout through flying my small R/C aircraft is a healthy thing. I repeat: these aren’t toys, but flying aircraft that respond instantly to every subtle control input. Please, whatever you do…don’t call them drones.

All this in a tiny and very portable package of foam and electronics that weighs just over an ounce is still a miraculous thing for me. Remember, aircraft like these were only a pipe dream just a few years earlier.

Despite the wonderful boost being able to participate in aeromodelling provides me, it remains just a taste of liberty that will only be restored to my life once fundraising is complete and I can get out of here in my Honda. I hope everyone out there is current with the state of the Indiegogo campaign and is aware that it will continue until it’s complete. Period. I’m relying on you, my friends and allies in the liberty movement to prove to the world how effective peaceful voluntary action can be in resolving situations like mine in their communities. We’re approahing the halfway mark…we can complete this quickly with your help!

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Empowerment And Prepping

One thing that’s been a recurring annoyance over the past couple of years has been the lack of a good knife around the house. I used to have a nice Benchmade Elishewitz Stryker but it magically disappeared while we had some people ‘helping’ us declutter the garage.

Benchmades aren’t cheap. That Stryker cost upwards of $150 back in 2000 and on my limited disability income I can’t just throw that kind of money at any one item. Ah, but the world has come a long ways since then. Benchmades are still justifiably pricy, but you can do well if you’re a careful shopper and don’t have to have fancy carbon fiber G-10 handles and titanium liners.

A bit of shopping and cross referencing turned these three up that have been added to my toolbox, a SOG Aegis AE-04 tanto point knife, spring assist opening and very lightweight…it uses no liners at all! It’s clipped to my shoulder bag and should be able to cover any light to medium duty tasks. $60 shipped from Amazon and I had a knife as good or better in most ways than my departed Benchmade.

I also wanted a more solid heavy duty piece with a more utilitarian blade, and the SOG Vulcan VL-01 fit the bill nicely. With a Japanese supersteel san mai blade, steel liners, and a steel arc lock tested to 1000 pounds of pressure, it’s smooth as silk and needs no spring assist. With an MSRP of $184 and a normal selling price of over $100, I thought I’d be waiting on the acquisition of one of these for a while…until I noticed one of those eBay consignment sellers offering one from an estate that I sniped for a mere $61.

Last was a pure fun indulgence. A video in my YouTube subscriptions showed up recently from user ‘nutnfancy’ where he’s absolutely raving about the Taiwanese Lightning OTF (out the front) automatic knife. Not only did he compare it favorably to auto knives in the $200-$300 range, he demonstrated various cutting tasks and flawless deployment and stowage of the blade.

I’m glad I ordered two; my mom saw mine and grabbed it covetously right away. Yeah, it’s technically a switchblade but when you have limited and/or weak hand use, a knife that can be opened and closed with the slide of the ramped control lever’s a huge benefit.

There was a nice side effect to all this, I’m rediscovering that horse trading and handling weapons is a mighty empowering thing! Does that mean I’m looking for some conflict to have an excuse to stick somebody with one of these? Don’t be ridiculous. Like firearms, I hope I never have to use any tool I own in self defense…doubly so with bladed weapons and me in a power wheelchair. It’s just a good feeling being able to have more tools at hand when I need them.

One other benefit to these Lightning auto knives…right now they’re dirt cheap (when not sold out) at only $30 apiece. I’ve spent my fun money for the month, but I plan in to lay in a pile of these in the near future, after allowing some budget in August if my friends can get me to Tampa…you bet I’m still keen to get there if I can! From a prepping standpoint these could be worth their weight in platinum in a SHTF situation with those who didn’t bother to lay in supplies suddenly finding themselves with an urgent need for a tool or weapon like these.

Besides, nutnfancy’s right…they are a blast to just play with!

Back in the world, the Indiegogo campaign continues and will continue until its goal is met. I know that first campaign’s deadline was a tactical error since so many people seem to assume I’d simply abandon the project after the first try didn’t succeed. The idea that I’d give up, with over $10,000 now raised, all those great endorsement videos from my friends helping raise awareness and backup for the project, and my life ahead of me once I get free is crazy!


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I Want Peaceful Streets, Too

Yesterday saw the publication of my latest article for the American Daily Herald, Antonio Buehler Wants Peaceful Streets For Everyone. I’ve been drawn to this story from the first moment I encountered it, since I’ve never seen such a perfect example of arbitrary and capricious use of State power to indimidate anyone who questions it with whatever threat they deem necessary to crush that inquisitive spirit. From maintaining an aggressive demeanor to assault, kidnapping, and even murder, Americans have over time accepted this behavior as a legitimate expression of the State’s presumed monopoly on force, not only from a traditionally moral standpoint of defense to the historically immoral practice of initiating force against individuals for any reason that takes its fancy.
This piece took a deal of effort to write accurately, watching relative videos many times in order to get the timeline as precisely correct as possible. It was well worth it, and because this is such a superb cautionary example of what’s become a systemic practice in America, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake, I hope we can develop techniques to effectively counter this awful habit of casually destroying peoples’ lives.

Antonio Buehler’s facing the possibility of years in prison for having the audacity to question the actions of a couple of official Praetorians he came across at play, but at this point I can’t see any jury actually convicting him of the clearly bogus charge of felony harassment he was tagged with. The evidence refutes the official story, their actions to indimidate witnesses after the fact are obvious, and the subsequent internal affairs investigation was such a baldly transparent whitewash to cover the police officers’ unlawful behavior that I’m sure Antonio won’t see a day of jail. That he’ll be free to continue his life and keep building and promoting his Peaceful Streets Project is wonderful, and I hope it succeeds even beyond his wildest dreams.

At the risk of repeating myself, I’m still in prison here at home, for committing no crime other than becoming more disabled than anyone else has felt worthy or been capable of helping me escape. Like Antonio, I too have plans and aspirations, but they remain on hold and my life in limbo so long as that imprisonment goes on. Once I do get out, I’m hopeful that projects like Antonio’s will help remove the threat of arbitrary targeting by officials as I go about my business…but first I actually need to get out.

The Get Glenn Mobile! project has come a long way in the almost one year it’s been in existence, with over $9000 raised during its first phase, and close to $600 pledged to the current Indiegogo campaign. I obviously erred in using the fixed funding option in the first one, since the near $5000 pledged in donations were returned to donors when the goal wasn’t met, and far worse, many people seem to have gotten the impression that I’d simply give up at that point and have not re-donated their first pledges.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very much alive, aware, and frantic to see the restoration of my freedom. Again, I’m sorry if anyone got a different impression…there will be no more deadlines, and this, what I fervently hope will be the last phase of the fundraiser, will run until it’s done.

One last note: though the passing of the July 11 deadline means I won’t be able to get to Tampa independently, in no way am I giving up on the goal of getting there somehow. I have friends seeking solutions like donated or severely discounted rental of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, but that’s why I left some wiggle room financially with the current campaign.

I really want to go, and I desperately need my freedom back. Please take a moment to make even a small donation to my Indiegogo campaign to make these happen!

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Unforeseen Consequences

I’m beginning to think I made a bad decision with the fixed funding Indiegogo campaign that passed its deadline on the 11th. All pledges were refunded, and I’ve asked that those people re-donate to the current campaign, which has no deadline and use flexible funding…I retain all donations even if the goal isn’t met.

My error was in thinking that the deadline would result in either of two extremes: the goal being met in a few days, or that little would be donated. As it turned out, over $4600 was pledged…all of which has now been returned to the donors.

The deadline’s purpose was to stress the time limit if I were to make it to Tampa to participate in the events surrounding the RNC independently, pure and simple. If I can’t do it under my own power I’m open to alternative means, but I am in no way abandoning this project!

That’s why I stayed up that night to get the new flexible funding campaign set up, launching it shortly after the deadline for the first one passed.

I realize it’s an annoyance asking the original donors to re-donate. Rest assured, there will be no further deadlines, I’ll be retaining all funds, and the donors’ perks can be awarded, whereas with the first they aren’t awarded when no one’s actually donated since their funds were returned.

Live and learn. My apologies for any confusion, but Get Glenn Mobile! is alive and well, and this Indiegogo campaignwill simply run until the goal’s met, allowing me to modify my Honda Element for wheelchair access to release me from the three years’ housebound confinement I’ve been under. I tried to get reminder/thank you messages to some of the original donors, but Indiegogo isn’t letting me.

I thank all who’ve gotten involved, but now we need to get back up to speed; had I retained that $4600 plus, I’d now be halfway home!

Those dratted unforeseen consequences will bite you whenever they get a chance!

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Shifting Gears?

There’s just about 2.5 days left for the current Indiegogo campaign, and while I’m encouraged and gratified that many have pledged a donation to it, the fact is that we’re still at just under a quarter of the goal of $21,000. Barring the sudden completion of the goal by someone wanting to secure my house and all my property for their grandkids by becoming the named heir in my will and bequeathing them to that person or the organization of their choice, we’re not likely to see the deadline met.

Fair enough, I set the campaign up with a deadline to make it clear that past this I really won’t have the time to get my Honda modified, returned to me, and get myself to Tampa in time for the RNC and the events surrounding it in August. Making Tampa is a dream of mine…but it’s only one dream of many.

If the deadline passes unmet, I won’t be moping around, I’ll begin another Indiegogo campaign, this time without that short term deadline. If I don’t succeed in the marketplace of ideas with my wish to speed things up to make the deadline for Tampa, them’s the breaks. Still, donations have been pledged, and the $3700+ accrued so far tells me that there are enough interested donors to make this happen, just not as fast as I’d have liked.

The biggest negative in starting a subsequent Indiegogo campaign is that all of those current donations will be refunded and I’ll have to ask anyone who’s still interested in seeing me succeed to re-donate once the new campaign’s running. My apologies for the hassle; I thought the deadline was a worthy try. The surprising but happy late additions of Tom Woods’ and Adam Kokesh’ videos aren’t going anywhere, so with theirs along with the other great endorsement videos I’ve seen from my allies such as Tatiana Moroz and many others, I’ve got all the tools a person could ask for to help back me up and reinforce the validity of my Get Glenn Mobile! project for new visitors and potential donors.

I hope all of you will be of good cheer here, it’s clearer than ever that we will succeed, if not in the next couple of days then at some point soon. Don’t forget, until the goal’s met I’m still a housebound prisoner, still run the risk of injurious or fatal fall when I have to drive to a doctor’s appointment thanks to my near-inability to transfer, and of course I still want to get out in public to help educate, promote and write on the benefits of liberty for us all. Over $9000 from the project’s early phase is in hand, only the current pledges will be refunded.

I’m not going anywhere until I can drive myself out of this!

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