Geography Lessons From Donald Trump [VIDEO]

By: Dave Cox

Donald Trump mentioned several times that Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, was from New Jersey, and then brushed it off and kept plowing away because it’s important to keep moving forward, even when facts get in the way of the narrative.  To bad Chris Christie wasn’t there to help him.

I really only have two questions to ask about this clip:

  1. 18 months ago, would anyone have thought that Donald Trump had a legitimate chance a becoming the President of the United States of America?
  2. Would anyone believe that Donald Trump would only be the SECOND worst candidate running for President in 2016?

Somebody please wake me up when this nightmare is over! Giant Meteor 2016!!

Why I Will Likely, but Begrudgingly, Vote for Donald Trump (Guest Blog)

by Diana Cox

I’ve been pondering this for a while, and have decided to lay out my case.  This isn’t necessarily intended to change minds, nor to defend my own political choices (as I don’t owe that to anyone), but to share possible food for thought with others that may find themselves in the same boat as myself.

As a quick background (in case you don’t know me), I consider myself a Republican, with libertarian leanings.  I love freedom, guns, capitalism, the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. military.  I dislike over-regulation of business (including in the health insurance industry) and really don’t care who marries who (as long as it is two consenting adults).  I absolutely reject the idea that Republicans are inherently ignorant, racist, homophobic, or sexist – to imply otherwise is itself ignorant.

This election cycle has been baffling in some regards (Trump), and very predictable in others (Clinton – come on, Bernie never had a chance).  Now, today we have two deeply flawed and highly unlikable candidates leading the polls for the presidency.  If polling continues the way it has been trending, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has a legitimate possibility of being included in the national televised debates alongside the Republican and Democrat nominees.  There are some highly appealing aspects of the Johnson-Weld (L) ticket – but both, once again, are flawed candidates coming from a flawed party, with (honestly, but unfortunately) no legitimate chance of winning the presidency.  Johnson’s consistently lackluster performance and demeanor, in both interviews and even within his own party debates does not engender confidence.  He does not always seem sure of his own positions, ducks opportunities to hit his opponents, and leaves a general feeling of “meh.”  In following the party more closely this cycle than in the past, I was deeply bothered by the lack of acceptance of outsiders that were interested in the party message, bizarre factions, and general animosity to real solutions that involved any kind of compromise.  Further, I do subscribe to the belief that a vote for a third party (whether it be Libertarian, Green, etc), does split the vote share and can hurt the major party candidate closer to one’s own ideals.  I encourage people to vote and to vote their conscience, but I cannot vote third party at the top of the ballot.

In discussing Secretary Clinton (D), I will begin by saying that while much of my personal ideology is quite different than hers, her presidency does not outright terrify me – but it does bother me.  I do not want to see an expansion of government – it goes against my entire personal political ideology – helmed by the leader of a party who thrives on division.  Expansion of government inherently means reduction of freedom and the Democratic Party depends on an “us versus them” mentality to secure votes.

But mostly, I have decided that I refuse to participate in a coronation of someone with a questionable character, who is treated differently than the average American, just because of place of power and gender.

The Clintons are finely tuned politicians – policy stances and statements are carefully crafted based on polling.  Their actions change to conform as needed to appease those who will let them hold on to power.  In many ways, President Bill Clinton was open to compromise  with members of the other major party, which I would argue is more than the current administration (not to mention putting himself in compromising positions).  Granted, some of the Clinton presidency policy actions may have had long reaching negative repercussions (example: the mortgage crisis ); many would still consider him a moderate Democrat.  I have opted to leave out discussion of the accusations, indiscretions, and impeachment of Pres. Clinton (for today).

Focusing on candidate Secretary Clinton (D), a few key words: Benghazi, email investigation.  Many fellow news junkies are already experiencing fatigue from hearing these words in the news cycle – others, who have already fully formed their voting decisions (or just revile at the idea of voting for anyone other than a Democrat) shut down upon seeing them.  I won’t continue to spout what every pundit has already said – but I will explain how these items impacted my decision.  I’ve learned by now that the significance of the attack on the Benghazi embassy is lost on many – and there are arguably many that should bear blame.  The U.S House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi has released its report (you can read all 800 pages here, however, I will not pretend I’ve bothered to commit the time).  Note that the committee managed to report on this long investigation while dealing with major delays in release of pertinent documents from the current administration (how’s that for transparency?).  I cannot fathom Sec. Clinton’s choice of words during a hearing: “What difference at this point does it make?” (LINK). Taken in context, it may sound slightly less heartless.  However, I would challenge you to make that argument to the families of those that were lost that night.  The problem is not with the words themselves, but to be the head of the State Department and choose to be unaware of the embassy needs, in an unstable country, then to blame what is now generally regarded as a premeditated terrorist attack on a poorly made anti-Islam YouTube video.  To cover up the breakdown of Libya and deaths of Americans assigned there by blaming a video, is untruthful and shameful.  There is some debate as to whether this claim was made directly to the family members of those killed.  The fact that there is a question is unacceptable to me.

By now, I believe everyone in the country has heard reference to Sec. Clinton’s emails.  The FBI Director did find that she and her lawyers misled investigators and the public.  They found her to be “extremely careless” – however, the agency did not recommend charges.   We can ponder whether the decision to use personal email and a personal server was just ignorance and laziness (one offered explanation was so she would only have to carry one device) or a bit more nefarious: to intentionally skirt FOIA and other document requirements.  What matters the most here, is how would any other citizen or member of government be treated?  Some point to Gen. Patraeus as an example, but I will cede there are some differences in their cases.  As an individual who has served in the military with a security clearance, been trained on classified information handling, and exposed to sensitive information – I will tell you, I believe to my core, that had I done the same as Sec. Clinton, I would have been prosecuted or at a minimum had my clearance stripped, as other service members have.  (Read more about how others are treated here.)  As a matter of fact, a Marine, currently facing legal challenges that will force him out of the military will be citing the Clinton case to fight his involuntary discharge.  In his case, it wasn’t carelessness or laziness that sparked the charges against him – it was his attempt to warn others of an imminent threat.  If she got a pass, why should he not for attempting to save lives?  While he is not facing criminal charges, he was investigated by NCIS and is facing being kicked out of the Marines.  I assure you these are not the only examples – access to classified information and retaining a security clearance are serious issues, which can result in actual damages to national security and loss of life.  Last I checked, ignorance of the law is not a defense for breaking the law, nor is motivation for the violation part of the decision (besides, I would argue on behalf of the Marine if we are going to talk about intent).

Secretary Clinton is a woman, and so am I – however that does not obligate me to share her beliefs or vote for her.  That does not mean I wouldn’t love to see a woman president – but gender and race are not deciding factors for myself.

On to Donald Trump (R) – who has managed to break so many accepted campaign rules, but still gain the party nomination – passed 17 other primary candidates (while I was rooting for the party to finally embrace Rand Paul).  I will argue that despite the official label now, and despite what he’s said in the past – he is not much of a Republican.  He wavers on healthcare, other than accurately being certain the Affordable Care Act is not working.  I raise an eyebrow on his comments on trade (tariffs, etc) as I am more of a free-market type of girl.  I believe that I as an individual can better use my income than a government agency.   While our immigration system is undeniably broken, I do not consider a wall priority one.  I have not seen evidence that he is a racist. I have not seen evidence that he is sexist.  I do not foresee him pursuing any policies that would challenge major the major Supreme Court rulings in Roe v. Wade (abortion) or Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage) – which often appear to be the primary focuses of the less politically-minded population.  I do vehemently support free speech (even if it hurts your feelings) and we all know that he agrees.   I support law enforcement and military, which he purports to, as well.  Hopefully, the problems in the Veterans Administration will be addressed regardless of who wins in November.   His stances are not as “small government” – less intrusive in daily life – as I would like, and argue are at the true core of the Republican Party (fiscal responsibility).  I certainly cannot deny that his speaking is hugely mock-able and his public demeanor can be painful to watch, and his social media style distasteful. I do not think he has a good grasp on what is actionable by the president, and he speaks off the cuff without the necessary background information.  A lot of us do these things, but a lot of us are not running for president.  I do believe his focus would be on the economy – he is a businessman, it serves his interest – and national security, it serves economic interest as well.  Regardless, as what I am seeing may be what I want to see – I will wrap up with this – Trump has pursued many business endeavors; some failed, some succeeded.  Many successful people in business and sports alike subscribe to a similar creed that they credit with their success: surround yourself with people smarter than you.  Despite his flubs and misstatements and a deficiency in likeability, as a businessman, Trump should be expected to surround himself with a well-versed team to advise him should he win the presidency.  I dislike the “Make America Great Again” slogan, as it is based on the premise that America is not currently great.  America is a great country, but of course, it could always be better.

Before you judge too harshly, I assure you that I will likely need to take a shower after casting this (likely) vote.

And if you still do not feel any better and think we are facing the end of the U.S. as we know it, you can just read this or check out how your taxes may look.

“You are entitled to nothing” – Frank Underwood, House of Cards


Guest Blogger Diana Cox is a self-proclaimed news junkie and has a Masters of Arts in Political Science from University of Texas at Dallas.  In addition to working full-time for a small business in the entertainment industry, she is an adjunct faculty member at Tarrant County College where she teaches Texas Government.  Diana served in the Texas Army National Guard for six years as a human resources officer.  She is in a band with (and married to) the weirdo who runs this blog.

Medical Marijuana is Reducing Prescription Drug Use and Corporations are Angry

If you’re looking for an example of the misguided nature of big government, the drug war and corporatism, look no further than the medical marijuana. In a new article from The Washington Post, research has shown that prescriptions for painkillers and anti-anxiety medication are down in states where medical marijuana is an option. Guess who’s fighting it? The pharma industry, of course.

So, where does that put us now? We have a natural product that is inexpensive and easy to grow.  Solid scientific research shows people are helped significantly by it, from pain to anxiety to nausea to cancer treatment and much more, yet pharma corporations are lobbying the government in an attempt to keep it illegal. Ensuring that it remains illegal feeds the drug war which feeds our appetite for big government. There might not be a better example of our current state of government than this. Corporations have the power to lobby the government to create laws that benefit the corporations. The government buys in to it because they can grow and retain power over free thinking adults and feed the prison industry. The prison industry then grows as we continue to incarcerate people for minor drug crimes. This keeps the prison industry churning along, so THEY also lobby to continue the war on drugs so they can keep their facilities full and keep the payments coming in. It’s a dysfunctional Lion King movie where the screwed up circle of life is finally complete.medical

This is not an endorsement of marijuana use at all. That’s a personal decision for adults to make. This is an endorsement of keeping the government out of our lives and stopping corporations from determining policies that affect you and I.  A link to the article is shown below – please have a look and let me know what you think.



Why I Left The Libertarian Party

By: Dave Cox

NOTE: This article was originally submitted for publication in Liberty Viral, but was not published for obvious reasons. There are some awesome folks over there doing great things and I encourage you to check them out. Links are provided below.  

I have decided to leave the Libertarian Party at a time when lots of other folks are flocking there in droves. Does it mean I will stop believing in personal liberty? Absolutely not! Does it mean I will stop supporting liberty minded candidates? No. Am I going to vote for Gary Johnson? Probably. Does it mean I will stop being a dues paying Libertarian? Absolutely. Does it mean I am going to take a step back from what I have seen in the liberty and, specifically, the upper case Libertarian movement? Definitely.

My political and personal journey has been a long one. As a kid, I played in punk bands and generally supported anything that would cause chaos. At the same time, I still always had an attraction to conservative politics, minus the social dogma that often went along with it. By my mid 20’s, I was an active Republican and even worked on some Republican campaigns in Virginia. As I put myself through college, had kids, and generally had more free time to ponder life, I evolved into a liberty leaning Republican and then a libertarian minded independent as the GOP became too fixated on social policy. Fast forward a couple of decades to this year’s Presidential race. I knew there was no way in hell I was going to support Dumb or Dumber from the two big parties, so I started looking at alternatives.  Constitution Party? Nope. They’re basically old school conservative Republicans who believe in fiscal and (most) personal liberty but with a big dose of religion to top it off. Green Party? Ummmmm, no. Social dogma from the left is just as bad  as social dogma from the right. Libertarian? Why not?!? I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012 and had voted Libertarian in a few other races in the past as well. This ragtag group looked like my people. Punks, geeks, political nerds, anarchists (and so many other -ists that will make your head spin) all seemed to form this unlikely alliance of liberty minded individuals and it drew me in. I ended up volunteering for the 2016 Austin Petersen Libertarian Presidential Campaign as his Texas Campaign Coordinator and I spent countless hours spreading his message of liberty. I have a great deal of respect for Austin and will continue to, even as I make my transition into the unaffiliated political abyss.  My networking also led to a writing gig as a contributor for Liberty Viral .


Now that my boring background in politics has been mapped out, let’s talk about what brought me to the point of shutting things down, both from the liberty movement and from contributing to Liberty Viral:

1. The Libertarian Party is Just Like Every Other Political Party

The Libertarian Party sure looked like a good home for this stubborn, gun toting, socially tolerant, educated, aging punk who has a couple college degrees and likes to keep as much of his hard earned money as possible. So, what happened? I’ve been around the block a few times and I know I’m not going to agree with everyone on everything. I’m DEFINITELY not going to agree with any political party’s entire platform. That would just be weird, or at least too much of a herd mentality for someone like me. What I didn’t expect was the hate and vitriol that permeated much of the campaign season – and this was going on between members of the same party. I know the Libertarian Party is quite different in that it includes a lot of different factions, but the behavior bordered on outright silly at best, and vile at worst, all the way through (and after) the convention. Seriously, if I wanted back stabbing and drama I would have just gone back to the GOP!

2. Lots and Lots of Bitching 

I had about eight different wordings for this header, but this one ultimately summed it up the best. As I started adding Libertarian “friends” on various social media sites, I realized that my feed was chock full o’ endless whining and almost zero tangible solutions. Hell, I even caught myself doing the exact same thing a few times. It’s really fucking easy to say you want to abolish the government, or end the Fed, or privatize everything, or eliminate all taxes, but it’s another thing altogether to propose a tangible way to get there. If you’re going to bitch and moan about everything and offer no real solutions, you might as well save yourself some time and just register as a Democrat. Seriously. Side note about the whole bitching complaint: Calling everyone you disagree with a “statist” accomplishes absolutely nothing. In my time as a dues paying Libertarian, I’ve been called everything from a “statist” to a LINO (Libertarian in Name Only) to a Republican infiltrator. Do I care? Not really. It’s kind of fun to see people get so riled up that they resort to name calling. On the other hand, it’s not a great way to build a legitimate political party, much less a political movement that needs supporters to be relevant. In addition, there are quite a few members of the party who don’t even WANT it to be relevant. They want to forward the ideas, but not focus on winning. I can’t wrap my head around that. There are some wonderful folks in the Libertarian Party, but they often get overshadowed by the whining assholes.

3. Dallas

Many of my reservations about parts of the liberty movement came to fruition during the recent execution of police officers in Dallas. I live in Dallas (very close to where the shootings took place) and I have family members who work in law enforcement. I know my sister-in-law will stay strong for her husband as he goes to work patrolling the streets of Fort Worth, while she will probably have to try to unwrap that knot in her stomach, all while he gladly goes back out there to put his life on the line to help keep us safe. I remember the decades of my brother missing family vacations when he was a homicide detective because he was called in for an investigation or the risks he took serving as a SWAT Team leader. I watch my son, who is about to turn 21, seriously ponder going into law enforcement himself. I know that I will have that same knot in my stomach as his shift starts and one day he will have a wife and children who will pray for his safety as he risks his life to make our city safer. What I saw coming from the liberty movement in the aftermath of these shootings included the sickeningly overt things like memes saying “12 Terrorists Shot in Dallas” to slightly more subtle things like “If you work for the state these things can happen” (see the whole statist messaging happening again?) to the wry, but equally disturbing, veiled approval of what happened. I’ve seen many libertarians (upper case and lower case) say things to the effect of, “I don’t condone the death of these officers because of the NAP (I could write a fucking novel about the non-aggression principle), BUT (blah, blah, blah)….” My tipping point was actually an opinion piece on Liberty Viral called, “Exposing Blue Privilege: America’s True Protected Class.” Sorry, I’m not going to link it here but you can find it. The lack of respect for human dignity that accompanied the release of that article just a couple of days after the shootings in Dallas left me physically ill. I read it over and over again trying to find a satirical bend to it or a twinge of irony, but it wasn’t there. Should the publication that I contribute to be able to release whatever they want? Of course! Do I have to agree with everything that my publication releases? Hell no! I do, however, expect a little human decency. Statists didn’t die in Dallas. Evil doers didn’t die in Dallas (except for the asshole who did the shooting). Fathers died. Sons died. Sisters and daughters and friends died. More importantly, people who take an oath to protect the public died while protecting peoples’ right to protest against THEM!! Would it be too much to wait a little while before going there?

Parting Thoughts

If this article gets published by Liberty Viral, I will fully expect to get called all the names that I mentioned above plus a slew of new and very clever ones because libertarians are smart and creative folks. I’ll get some nasty comments made online and will probably receive some private messages as well. I’ll get unfriended by some and some people will show support. That’s fine. I really don’t care too much, except that I do care. I really wanted this to be my new home, both in the Libertarian Party and at Liberty Viral. It’s not and that’s okay. I’ll pull up my big boy panties and keep on keeping on. What I ask of libertarians is this: Try to stay positive. The message of liberty is one of hope, individualism and hard work. Don’t attack people just because their brand of liberty is a little different than yours. Offer solutions and stop bitching. You can’t get from A to Z without visiting the other 24 letters in between. In utopia, you can jump right to the last chapter. In the real world, you have to get there in increments and even compromise (gasp!) sometimes. Finally, don’t let your quest for liberty let you forget about the sanctity of ALL human life – even those “statists” in blue uniforms.

I’m outta here. Keep fighting the good fight and know that I’ll be out there, independently, doing the same thing. And hey, vote for Gary Johnson. He’s not perfect by any stretch, but the thought of him in the Oval Office doesn’t give me cold chills like the other two.