Archive for August, 2007

How to Install Songbird on Ubuntu the Easy Way

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Via StumbleUpon, I discovered Songbird.  Via Google, I discovered this article that describes how to install Songbird by downloading the tar.gz offered on the official site, creating a directory for it, decompressing it, using sudo and chown to change permissions, and eventually installing it.  Well, I'd like to offer you a much easier way.

Here's an Ubuntu package for songbird.  Simply click here to download and install it.

For those who don't know, Songbird is a really nice-looking free cross-platform audio player written using XUL.

Songbird

Cumulative Straw Poll Votes Since Iowa

Monday, August 27th, 2007

We all know how Iowa turned out, but what about the polls since then?  The following is a cumulative count of all votes since the Iowa Straw Poll: 


Ron Paul 30% 772
Mitt Romney 23% 581
Fred Thompson 18% 470
Rudy Giuliani 10% 266
Sam Brownback 7% 168
Mike Huckabey 5% 127
John McCain 4% 110
Duncan Hunter 1% 34
Tommy Tancredo 1% 15
Other 1% 24
     
Total 100.00% 2567

Polls included:

Pittsburgh, PA
Dekalb County, GA
Washington
West Lafayette, Indiana
West Alabama
Strafford County, NH
Illinois State Fair
Students for Life of America
Western Montana Fair
 

Ron Paul Fans Plan National “Paint the Town Ron” Event

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

On the weekend of September 29th, Ron Paul Meetup groups around the country will be banning together to "Paint the Town Ron", in which hundreds of Ron Paul signs will be placed around the cities of participating Meetup groups.  "The point is on the morning of Oct 1st people on their way to  work will learn the name of Ron Paul", explains Chris Holley who organizes the participating Memphis Meetup.

From the event posted on RonPaulNation.com:

Get your local meetup to join!! Let’s make this a national event!!
Let’s make this event SO BIG THE ENTIRE COUNTRY will be talking about it!
We want this event to be so big the local and national media will have to cover this story.
Each one of you is in a town, and you can help make this happen in
your area!

Mr. Holley offers his contact information for those who wish to get involved: chrisholley1975 @ gmail. com
If you are an organizer or assistant organizer of a meetup that wishes to participate, please

.

Jacksonville

Phoenix

Alabama

Louisiana

Memphis

Top 8 Ways Hard Money Would Change Your Life

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

I'll be honest.  What excites me the most about Ron Paul is not his stance against illegal wars.  It's not that the was the only one to stand up against the Patriot Act the first time around.  It's not just that he's never voted for a tax increase.  It's not just that he can't be bought by lobbyists, or that he understands what kind of government the founding fathers set out to create.  That's all incredible, and they're all great reasons to support him, but if I had to pick the single biggest reason why I'm a Ron Paul fan, it would be his monetary policy.  Ironically, this is probably one of the least understood – and therefore one of the least appreciated – parts of what Ron Paul is all about.  So, my goal today is to outline the top eight ways a Ron Paul Monetary Policy would affect you and me on a day-to-day basis.

8. The value of the money in your wallet and in savings would gradually go up, not down
If Ron Paul had his way, there would be no Federal Reserve.  Without the Federal Reserve printing as much money as they see fit, and in turn devaluing the money that already exists, the money you've worked hard to earn would be worth more over time, not less.

7. Prices for groceries, gas, and most other day-to-day products would go down over time, not up
The rise in prices we see every time we go shopping is mostly a result of inflation.  In a free market that's not subject to manipulation of the value of our money, technological advances and increases in efficiency cause prices to drop, not rise.  If we take the Federal Reserve out of the picture and tie our money to the value of an uninflatable commodity, prices will go down across the board.

6. Market prediction wouldn't be centered around the uncertainty of the Fed's next actions
Have you ever spent time talking to anyone who makes a living trading in the markets?  If you have, you've undoubtedly heard of a guy by the name of Ben Bernanke.  Bernanke is the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  That is, he has the final say on how much new money the Fed prints up and who they give it to.  This determines what will happen in the financial markets, and as long as a privately-owned organization like the Federal Reserve is in control of our money supply, we are their slaves.  Don't believe me?  Turn on CNBC and see what they're talking about.  Smart money says it won't take longer than five or ten minutes before they mention the man in charge.

5. We would have little reason to be in Iraq, as the US Dollar wouldn't have needed defending from Saddam
It's true that Saddam was a threat to the US, but it had nothing to do with WMD's.  He was a threat because he was the first one with the balls to sell oil in Euro's instead of US Dollars.  Since the Federal Reserve destroys the value of the US Dollar, it's important that countries want Dollars for other reasons.  The fact that oil could only be purchased US Dollars is a great reason.  That is, if you have to buy oil, and if oil can only be purchased in US Dollars, you're going to need a lot of US Dollars, regardless of how much they're worth for other things.  Long story short, in 2000, Saddam stopped accepting US Dollars for oil and began accepting only Euros.  Two months after the United States went into Iraq, they were back to accepting only Dollars.  This is explained in detail in my article, The Real Reason the U.S. Invaded Iraq.  By allowing the Fed to inflate our currency, we became dependant on other nations to play along.  If we supported Hard Money, none of this would be necessary.  At least 27,506 more Americans would be alive, and we as a nation would owe at least $2 trillion less than we do now.

4. We wouldn't be considering war with Iran
Iran, listed as the second country in Bush's Axis of Evil, announced in 2005 that it would commit an offence far greater than Saddam's switch to the Euro for oil sales.  Iran proposed to go all out by creating the world's first oil exchange that would allow the world to trade oil in Euros instead of US Dollars.  An exchange that only accepts the Euro for oil sales would mean that the entire world could begin purchasing oil from any oil-producing nation with Euros instead of Dollars. The Iranian Oil Bourse, "bourse" being French for "exchange", will surely result in another hostile takeover by the US military if it actually opens.  Instead, we could simply stop inflating our currency so that the US Dollar remains dominate because it has real value.

3. The US wouldn't be pressuring China to inflate their currency, and China wouldn't be threatening to retaliate by causing economic collapse
The only way for Americans to be able to afford goods while devaluing our currency at this rate is if other countries are willing to devalue their currency at similar rates.  If other countries aren't willing to devalue their money, prices for Americans will go way up, and suddenly we won't be able to afford the cheap Chinese goods that we rely on so much.  The more we lean on countries like China to destroy their money, the more they're going to want to retaliate.  Eventually we'll be faced with a choice between war and poverty, and it will be the government, not the citizens who will make the decision.

2. No more Inflation Tax for the poor
Inflation occurs when the Federal Reserve expands the money supply by creating more money.  Each time this happens, and lately it's been happening at a frighteningly rapid pace, the money that already exists – that is, the paper in our wallets and bank accounts – loses its value.  This is why prices increase.  Each time your money loses its value, it takes more and more of it to purchase the same goods.  These guys literally make a living stealing our wealth and giving it to others.  However, unlike Robin Hood, the recipients of this wealth tend to be people who are already wealthy, and the people who are hurt the most are arguably the poor.  That is, the people who get screwed the most are the poor who can't afford the rising prices – those on with minimum wage jobs or fixed-incomes.  A hard money policy would put a stop to this by cutting off the Fed's ability to inflate, or abolishing the Fed entirely.

1. The Fed would not be causing artificial booms, inevitably followed by a busts
Ever wonder where economic bubbles come from?  The bubbles of modern times like the Great Depression of the 1930's, Dot-com boom of the late 90's, or the boom that's coming to an end now in the real estate market occur when central banks expand the money supply and dump new money into various sectors of the economy, often in the form of cheap credit.  Banks loan the new money to consumers and entrepreneurs, including those who aren't credit worthy.  In turn, they spend it or invest it, which causes prices to rise.  As people see prices rise, they are drawn to invest, causing prices to rise further.  Meanwhile, the Fed continues to inject new money.  We've seen this lately in the form of house flipping.  Eventually, the market begins to correct itself, and whoever owns the inflated property when the correction begins to occur gets stuck holding the bag.  People all over the country are finding themselves in Adjustable Rate Mortgages they cannot afford.  Many times this results in a foreclosure, which in turn causes problems for the fractional-reserve banks, who then begin to face insolvency.  Insolvency manifests itself in the form of bank runs, and if it gets bad enough, leads to economic collapse.  There is much to be explained here, but for now suffice to say that inflation from the Fed creates booms that are inevitably followed by busts.

Summary
Let's set aside our petty partisan agendas and recognize that theft, war, and economic devastation are all worth fighting against.  This is the first time in my life I've had the opportunity to support someone in a presidential race who favors hard money.  Let's bring intrinsic value to our dollar, stop screwing the poor, stop causing economic recessions, and stop going to war to force our currency down the throats of the rest of the world!  A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for a valuable dollar that the world will willing trade for.

We must get out and make it happen before it's too late.  If we wait 'til the primaries to get involved, we've missed out opportunity.  Get out now and get registered as a Republican, join your local Meetup, and vote in your state primary.

Suggested Viewing

3 Reasons Why This Credit Bubble is worse than 1929

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Dr. Housing Bubble comments on the credit bubble we're currently facing. Great article.

Ron Paul Wins Five Straw Polls, Mainstream Media Remains Silent

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Whether it's Washington, Alabama, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, the message is the same.  We want our freedom, our rights, our money, and our country back, and we're willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.  Thousands are driving from all over their states to show support resulting in straw poll victories for Ron Paul with percentages as high as 81%.  Dr. Paul has placed in a total of 16 straw polls now, tying him with Romney and thrusting him far beyond Giuliani in terms of visible support, and not a word about the trend can be heard from the mainstream media.  To put this into perspective, there were over 4,800 articles in the mainstream media about the Iowa straw poll in which Mitt Romney spent over $200,000 ensuring his win, while there are a whopping 162 mainstream articles combined from all five straw polls in which Ron Paul was victorious.  Most of these mentions are no more than a one-senence blurb incorporated into an article about a more general topic.  But, this is the Internet, and we have access to the truth:

Straw Poll Victories

FIRST PLACE (5)
New Hampshire Taxpayers, July 7 ~ 1st 65.3%
North Carolina, Gaston GOP, August 13, ~ 1st 36.6%
New Hampshire, Stafford, NH, August 18 ~ 1st 72.7%
Alabama, August 18 ~ 1st 81.2%
Washington State, August 21 ~ 1st 28.1%

SECOND PLACE (5)
Utah GOP, June 12, 2nd 5.4%
LibertyPapers.org conference, June 16 ~ 2nd 16.7%
Georgia, Cobb Co. GOP, July 4 ~ 2nd 17%
South Carolina, Georgetown Co., July 28 ~ 2nd 18%
West Lafayette, Indiana, August 18 ~ 2nd 11.7%

Number of Times Placing In Top Three

Candidate First Second Third Total
Ron Paul 5 5 6 16
Mitt Romney 4 6 6 16
Fred Thompson 10 4 0 14
Rudy Giuliani 0 3 2 5
Mike Huckabee 0 2 3 5
Duncan Hunter 0 1 3 4
Sam Brownback 1 0 1 2
John McCain 1 0 1 2
Tommy Thompson 0 1 0 1
John Cox 0 0 0 0
Jim Gilmore 0 0 0 0
Tom Tancredo 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0
Source: Oklahomans for Ron Paul

Clearly, it's up to us to get the word out.  Join your local meetup, talk to family, friends, and co-workers.  This is our one chance to save our country.  Let's make it happen!

Ron Paul: When in the course of human events…

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007



The time to act to save our country is now!
Join your local Meetup group now!

Fox News Censors Straw Poll Results

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

If you don't already know, the Iowa Straw Poll, seen as a first test of organizational strength by news media and party insiders, took place yesterday.  The results weren't too surprising, considering that McCain, Fred Thompson, and Giuliani all boycotted the event.  What was surprising, however, is that Fox News blatantly cut certain candidates out of the results they reported.

Here are the uncensored results from the Iowa Straw Poll:

1 Mitt Romney 4516 31.6%
2 Mike Huckabee 2587 18.1%
3 Sam Brownback 2192 15.3%
4 Tom Tancredo 1961 13.7%
5 Ron Paul 1305 9.1%
6 Tommy Thompson 1039 7.3%
7 Fred Thompson 203 1.4%
8 Rudy Giuliani 183 1.3%
9 Duncan Hunter 174 1.2%
10 John McCain 101 1.0%
11 John H. Cox 41 0.1%

Here are the results that Fox News reported:

Iowa Straw Poll Results

 

Notice that positions four and five were completely skipped. While it's a commonly-held opinion that Fox News seems to avoid mentioning Ron Paul, I've never seen an example of such blatant censorship from them before.  In case you were wondering, they weren't mentioned in the audio of the show, either.

Support for Giuliani Falls, Support for Paul on the Rise

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Intrade, the prediction market that yielded more accurate results than any polls in the 2004 Presidential race, has shown a three point drop in the last week for Giuliani and an in increase in support for Ron Paul over the same time frame.

Contracts traded in the prediction market reflect confidence in who will win the GOP nomination.  While telephone polls include only people who have land lines and voted Republican in the last election, prediction markets are open to everyone and respond in real-time to changes in opinion.  Telephone polls also provide no incentive for honesty or accuracy, while the profitability of prediction market trades hinge upon the accuracy of predictions.  For these reasons, I prefer to follow prediction markets instead of watching polls.

What I've observed is that the market's confidence in Ron Paul has risen fairly consistently, while support for other candidates, Giuliani and Thompson for example, hit their peaks mid-July and have been falling since.  Check out a long-term comparison between Ron Paul and Giuliani:

Thompson and Giuliani Hit Their Peaks In July