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Wednesday, April 30

Wednesday Hero - Lance Corporal Matt Croucher

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Mary Ann

Wednesday Hero was started to put a face to the men and women of the American Armed Forces and what they do for us. Vary rarely has there been a member of a foreign military profiled. In fact, in the two years Wednesday Hero's been going on it's only been done once before. Here's the second.

Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
24 years old from Birmingham, England
40 Commando Royal Marines
Royal Marines

L/Cpl Matt Croucher is not only one of the bravest men alive, he's also one of the luckiest men alive. On the morning of February 9, 2008 L/Cpl. and his unit were searching a compound near Sangin in Afghanistan that was suspected of being used to make bombs to be used in attacks on British and Afghan troops. Walking in the darkness among a group of four men, Croucher stepped into a tripwire that pulled the pin from a boobytrap grenade. His patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley, remembered Croucher shouting "Grenade!"

As others dived for cover, Croucher did something nobody expected. He lay down on the grenade to smother the blast. Lesley got on the ground, another man got behind a wall, but the last member of the patrol was still standing in the open when the grenade went off.

"My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation." L/Cpl. Croucher was that 1/10. Not only did he survive, amazingly he only suffered shock from the blast and a bloody nose. He was saved by the special plating inside his Osprey body armor. The backpack he was wearing was thrown more than 30ft by the blast.

"I felt one of the lads giving me a top to toe check. My head was ringing. Blood was streaming from my nose. It took 30 seconds before I realized I was definitely not dead," said L/Cpl. Croucher.

For his actions that day, L/Cpl. Croucher was in line for the Victoria Cross, the highest award for a British Serviceman, but it has yet to be awarded.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Monday, April 28

Duty, Honor, Country: Ode To Ron Paul Supporters

The language of THIS POST was a bit harsh, but I want you to know where I come from. I was in gaming for 20 years, and I know the workings of conventions. It's true, our contract was up, and large venues and companies have to take that sort of thing very seriously due to liability reasons, money reasons, and many other reasons. They were very accommodating to give us 3 hours. I'm sure it took a great deal of time to get a hold of the person at the top who is the only one that can make that sort of decision, no one below that will take that chance on such a monumental decision. It truly goes way beyond the mere thought that if no one else is using it, then we can just have it longer. That process took so long, along with the sad reality that a lot of people were just fed up, that when we had more time, we didn’t have more people.

In an effort to GUARANTEE SAFETY AND LEGITIMACY of cast votes, at the moment the word was given to vacate the room due to contractual expiration (long before the hotel agreed to more time), the votes were sealed and locked in a safety deposit area. That was to protect the rights of everyone, especially Ron Paul supporters, there were NO underhanded thoughts to abruptly stop things in some nefarious effort to make things go "our" way.

Keep this in mind too above all else. Basically NONE of "us" are original McCain supporters. Most of us started out Fred Thompson supporters, and then the great majorities were Mitt Romney supporters after that, but a huge faction supported the likes of Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee too. McCain as well had original supporters; he took third place I believe. We all fought to the death for our favored candidates just as you are doing now. It was only AFTER our choices ran out and it became a true given that John McCain would be the man to get the nomination that we became "McCain Supporters". “We” just had a clear understanding of at which point death is death. At that point, the bigger picture becomes more important. I get the feeling that Ron Paul extremists cannot see the forest for the trees.

There are some years throughout our nation's political history (actually a lot of them) where our choices for President are sadly the lesser of two (or more) evils. That choice is more important than sacrificing the vast importance of our Party and our Conservative beliefs. It's such a shame that we don't have the problem in this nation of having the problem of who to decide who to vote for because they are just both so darned good. It is not that way.

The President of the USA is really a tiny small fish UNLESS he has appropriate cooperation and representation of his beliefs from the seats of city and county governments, the State Assemblies, and State Senates, all the way to the Congressmen, Senators and Governors. The President's hands are TIED and he is rendered USELESS if he cannot get anything accomplished with cooperation of all those thousands of elected officials below him. If Ron Paul truly recognized that, he would drop out of this race. He knows, and all of you fevered Ron Paul delegates also know that there is NO WAY in hell that Ron Paul will get enough delegate votes at the National Convention to win the nomination. And, if Ron Paul DID win the nomination, there is doubly no chance in hell that he could win the Presidency against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. It's just not possible, not this year. So, Dr. Paul would be better served, and so would you as a follower to try that effort again another year when the results could possibly be different.

I’m appalled that as many good things that Dr. Paul stands for, he is NOT TRULY standing for you by dragging this on to its cocksure death. The man you guys love so much is harming you at this point, not helping you. No one says, or for a minute believes that Dr. Paul shouldn’t continue to spread his message and what he believes. He should just do it either another day, or from another venue. Perhaps he could run for Libertarian candidate, or run another time. HE’S NOT HELPING YOU IN THE LONG RUN BY CONTINUING TO DIVIDE THE PARTY AND TAKE THE RISK OF ANY WASTED VOTES FOR A LOSING CONSERVATIVE WHICH IN ESSENSE IS A VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA OR HILARY CLINTON!

The way the planets are aligning themselves this particular election year (and the election in 2 yrs.), is such that so many Republican held positions from House and Senate all the way down to simple local City Councilmen, County & State officials, etc...it would be disastrous for our party to allow the Democrats get hold of the majority. Given term limits of all upcoming seats so broadly across the board, we would literally be pretty much shit out of luck for almost 12 (TWELVE) years if we allow that to happen. It would be wonderful for you and your Dr. Paul if he could win and take the message you hold so dear to the White House. BUT HE CANNOT! We have to pick our fights guys, and we have to try at the very end of a day after all other options are exhausted to know WHEN AND WHICH fights we should lay down. That is the TRUE RESPONSIBILITY of someone who becomes a delegate to represent the citizens of Nevada.

That's why "we" get so riled up at the Ron Paul Supporters. You guys are still one of us you know...Republicans...remember… that's what we are and that's why we got involved...to BEST represent our Republican citizens and our Party. Our Party is EVERYONE OF US that holds conservative views and beliefs strong and vital. This is one of those "hold your nose and vote" years. Sad but true. It is now more important that our citizens have Conservative representation, not that we waste a losing vote on a man that just cannot pull it off this year. You guys fought a great fight; you did it well and with great organization. However, your duty now is to the American people. If we let the Liberals take over, it will be so disastrous to everyone, EVEN the liberals.

The other thing that bothers “us” greatly is our representation by you if you all do get elected as National delegates. With your mentality of chasing Dr. Ron Paul all the way over the cliff at the sacrifice of all of our Conservatism; we wonder what you will do with the REST OF YOUR 5 DAYS at the National Convention. Our platform, by-laws, rules, basic nuts and bolts that keep this Party together is the VAST majority of your responsibility at the National Convention level. The nomination of the Presidential candidate is really just a coronation at that point like it or not, as it is most years by the time the National Convention comes around. The time to fight like a medieval warrior is LONG BEFORE the National Convention. Most election years, the winning nominee has long been determined by the time delegate votes are cast at the final convention.

It's VERY RARE for there to be two really viable candidates by the time National comes. Your duty to resolve and vote on EVERYTHING ELSE is your most important duty as a delegate and a representative of the great State of Nevada. If you guys don't see the big picture now at the State Convention level, and get so wound up with all the whooping and hollering...if winning your one point or two consumes you to the point of an almost mob mentality at the State level...how in the world will you responsibly fulfill your duties as a delegate at the National level? The kind of behavior displayed by many Paul supporters in Reno last Saturday will not be tolerated at the National level for a split second. I don't think a lot of you realize what a HUGE thing it is to be chosen as a National delegate and stand in a room with the National delegates of every state in this union and its provinces like Puerto Rico and Guam. It's HUGE guys...you have the weight of forming the future of the Conservative America on your backs...you must take that job VERY SERIOUSLY and think long and hard about each decision you make and each vote that you cast. Ron Paul will be a mute point at this convention and your role takes on an entirely different form from there. Your duty is also to all of us that voted you in; to all your constituents across every inch of Western Nevada Territory...your duty is to protect your Republican brothers and sisters from Liberalism at all costs. Just think about that as you step onto that floor in Minneapolis. You will be wearing VERY BIG SHOES...wear them responsibly.

It looks like you guys will probably win a LOT of delegates to National, and you won them fair and square. NO ONE said at Saturday's convening that YOU DIDN'T WIN, we simply ran out of time and too many people left. Your ballots were secured and they will be counted as they were cast. I DIDN’T leave and I wouldn't have voted for one of your supporters. I stayed because that's what I signed on to do. A vast number of people stayed. But, when told it's over and we will reconvene...many left. There was nothing underhanded about the way the meeting ended. It's just a shame that our Party can't all unite at this late date under these obvious circumstances and get our business handled in ten hours. I voted to let delegates get nominated from the floor. I just never thought that more than 100 people would be silly enough to try it. I can't believe there were actually 100 people in that room that actually thought 1300 of their "favorite friends & complete strangers" would actually give them a majority vote to win...complete ignorance on the part of a LOT of people.

Just keep all this in mind please. I may not agree with what you say or believe, but I will defend you with my life your right to believe it or say it...as did Mike Weber correctly fight for your rights for as fair a convention as could be had under the circumstances. These choices should be very simple to you at this point, be glad you are not a Democrat. Imagine how difficult it would be to do the right thing for about HALF of the Democratic National Delegates. Their race is neck and neck, but at the end of the day...HALF THOSE DELEGATES at the DNC are going to have to swallow a very large pill and make the choice to keep their bigger picture alive too.

Getting into politics and doing it RIGHT is NOT EASY. It's a hard row to hoe to do the right thing at the end of many difficult days. But it is your duty if you so chose this lot. It is BY the PEOPLE, and FOR the PEOPLE that matters most, ALL THE PEOPLE.

For those that I offended, there truly is no intent...I just get SO FRUSTRATED that I don't feel the winners of our State's National Convention delegate seats are going to properly represent the true majority of Nevadans. Bad choices on that day will invalidate Nevada completely and be detrimental to all of Nevada's families. I don't want to see that happen to our state or to our party. So "we" (McCain VOTERS...NOT NECESSARILY die hard SUPPORTERS) want you to see that and take it very seriously to heart. Nobody in Nevada will truly get their druthers this year, but we can certainly NOT ALLOW our core beliefs to be shattered down to the bone by left wing liberals. PLEASE TAKE THAT TO HEART AND PLEASE TAKE THAT TO MINNEAPOLIS!

Lastly in this rant, I want to give you the exact words from the man who stood up for your rights (and ours) at the State Convention. I don’t even personally know Mike Weber or his dedicated wife who serves as one of our county commissioners. But I know he’s a man that stands up for the bigger picture. It is a gift, talent, and duty to have a certain kind of vision to represent many for a complete cause. Mike Weber takes his position very seriously and knows that if at the end of a day if the best interest of all has been served, then it has been a good day. I think that is why he has become such a custodial steward in his mind and in his heart of Robert’s Rules of Order. On any given day if 50% + 1, or in some cases a 2/3 majority has been properly served, then the due diligence of a representative has been done. Keep in mind that in ALL those situations 49% less one, and 1/3 of the people didn’t see their favorite flag fly on those same days. Take that with you to Minneapolis as well. Here are the exact words of Mike Weber to me, (another complete stranger to him as well) in a personal e-mail he sent from my blog…

"Blog Response


I got sent a link to your blog. I appreciate your candor. I am honored by your understanding that I was just trying to do what was right. You were right in your understanding that I am not a Ron Paul delegate. I was for Fred Thompson, then Duncan Hunter. I did not have a dog in Saturday's fight, but I was not going to allow the rights of ordinary Republicans to be trampled in the convention process. Most came to participate on a fair and level playing field. Most came to vote for the delegates of their choice, not a preselected slate. If the Ron Paul supporters had enough delegates and were better organized, then they deserved to win and not be cheated in the process. I am not making any accusations about Party leaders or Bob Beers. Bob Beers is a friend of mine even after Saturday. I think those in control of the podium took the only option they had at that moment even though I view it as illegitimate.

I hope we've re-built a foundation to do things honorably in the Nevada Republican Party.

Feel free to reproduce/forward this e-mail as you choose."

Sunday, April 27

Ron Paul Supporters Show True Colors At Nevada GOP Convention

As I stated in THIS STORY, the Nevada Republican State Convention was compromised and put into chaos not in one moment, but over hours and hours of stupid trivial interruptions by rabid Ron Paul supporters. I stumbled on these videos quite by accident from the internet, but these people do not portray the actual truth, just what they in their Ron Paul fervor interpret it to be.

Keep in mind that the man at the microphone is an expert in parliamentary procedure and is merely trying to hold this convention together after hours and hours of chaos. Any sarcasm in his voice is just that. The sarcasm eludes to an opinion that he might be on the side of these moonbats. He is NOT. But he is fair, and will fight for fair and equitable proceedings even to the cost of his own reputation. I commend him, he organized an attempted coup, he gave the moonbats their fair day on the floor, and there was just not enough people to have a quorum and it IS TRUE. This mess took so long that the contract for the meeting hall had expired and we had to leave. The hotel did grant us extra time if necessary, but there were not enough seated delegates left after the chaos to hold a quorum, so recess was the only option.

The chairman of the convention, Senator Bob Beers did the best he could under extreme circumstances. When he was told that our time was up and we needed to vacate the meeting hall in a reasonable amount of time, and he could see that no vote could be accomplished in a quick time, he called a recess. In actuality, he was physically threatened by Ron Paul extremists and had to be escorted from our convention by the Sergeant of arms and by hotel security to his car. "Isn't that something to make you proud as a Republican?"...disgusting behaviour!

These people don't even know enough about their own process that they got involved in and elected to, to know that the nominations committee had some of their representatives included and many pre-chosen delegates WERE Ron Paul supporters. How many delegates did they expect? It costs about $8000 of one's personal money to travel to the national convention. These bandwagon riding morons are so hungry to spend that kind of money to run to the National Convention to vote for a loser. They already had a few on the list, a few more WOULD NOT CHANGE THE OUTCOME THAT RON PAUL WILL LOSE! But it was more important to them to run around and cause chaos than it was to accomplish real business.

YES, many people got fed up and left. The empty room you see in the following videos however were shot AFTER THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CONVENTION CALLED A RECESS AND TOLD PEOPLE THE CONVENTION WOULD BE RECONVENED AT A LATER DATE!

Ron Paul people WOULDN'T LEAVE...even knowing that the hotel had warned that our time was up! Mike Weber stepped in and through proper rules defined in Robert's Rules of Order (which are adopted in the RNC by-laws), made formal and as fairly as possible the ensuing chaos. I SO COMMEND him, this was done at great detriment to his reputation and his nature. But, he did it properly, there WAS NO QUORUM, and we left.

The following videos are mere excerpts of the aftermath, and the attempts to call some order to a basic "mob mentality", and in NO WAY portray the general course of the entire day. There were MANY parts of this convention that were good, exciting, beautiful, and productive. Many courses of business WERE able to be handled this day, just NOT the election of National Delegates. I hope these morons are happy. They are certainly NOT the rule, but the exception of the normally exceptional people that make up our RNC. They are closet liberals and Democrats if you ask me and just don't have a clue or a grasp on the bigger picture. These people live for a bandwagon to ride on or a coattail to cling to, and they don't grasp reality. BUT, these kind of people are also the kind of people that make up "Reality TV".

Following is reality TV at its worst. It just goes to show, a film clip here and a film clip there can really SPIN matters in to a light that is false, mis-leading, and drive-by. And our soldiers abroad are fighting and dying to give these types their freedom to rant. They have the right to rant and they have every right to love Ron Paul. It's just a shame that they didn't even realize that given peace and decorum, they had already won, but due to their doubt of that and their ignorance...they compromised an entire State Convention and made fools of themselves.

I stayed behind to watch all this transpire. Heck, I even saw myself standing around amongst empty chairs in one of these videos to try and see what would happen. So, despite what they say, NOT ALL MCCAIN supporters vacated. Some of us stuck around to see WTF! Many of the people I see in these videos I know were McCain supporters and delegates that just wanted to stick it out and see if some result could be found.

Get these facts straight now my readers:

  • There WAS an inclination that some counties felt they didn't get an opportunity to nominate delegates to the National Convention.
  • In the interest of fairness YES, the 2/3 or 50% +1 majority of the body voted to allow some extra nominees to the National Level. Who knew these idiots would add OVER 100 people to the list!
  • At the COUNTY CONVENTION LEVEL there were forms to fill out to nominate NATIONAL DELEGATES. I'm assuming ALL Nevada counties had the same opportunity, they should have.
  • There is a NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE comprised of a BALANCED GROUP OF REPUBLICAN DELEGATES AND VOTERS that reviewed ALL nominees. This committee comprised a list of the most qualified applicants from all factions of our party and from all counties. Ron Paul supporters had delegates on this list.
  • 31 seated delegates will be voted upon to sit at the National Republican Convention.
  • From that point, 22 additional delegates are chosen "at large". That means that the remaining delegates seated can be from any county and any congressional district. It's ONLY required that an even three from each congressional district are mandated in the interest of fairness. When all of a sudden over 100 people are added to the list, and over 1300 people have to cast hand written ballots, you can only imagine the hand written cumbersome obligation for a few to count those correctly in a timely manner. You do the math...1300 x 100 + the list that was already pre-composed! Not an easy task on scratch paper ad lib and on the spot!
  • When the "supposedly disenfranchised" Ron Paul supporters found nominees could come from the floor, they didn't even think, they just swarmed to self-nominate and over-nominate over 100 people.
  • That, among everything else they complained about all day caused hours of delay. They played the delay game to a tee, and in the end caused enough disruption that we ran out of time. And they say "we caused a coup!" Their own statements in the following videos merely affirm their ignorance of the process and their own ignorance in general. Just another bunch of picket walkers, sign carriers, and basic liberal party poisoners. These people would jump off a bridge if Ron Paul jumped first, or they would jump first to show their loyalty to him just to see if he would.
  • The guy in the final videos doesn't even know who Dean Heller is. He calls him a Senator, Governor, whatever...he's our fine Congressman...please ranters...before you go off to make videos, get your facts straight and be able to speak sense. His spewing on his home video just goes to show the type of people we were dealing with at this convention.
  • These people are the Victim People. They don't truly understand Democracy. They cannot handle losing, and no matter how something goes, the other guy is always out to get them. If they spent nearly as much time trying to be productive in their daily lives as they do trying to promote their victimology, they would actually be very successful people.
UPDATE: I had originally embedded 6 important videos here. The embedding of these videos is causing this blog page to load EXTREMELY SLOWLY. I have been contacted by many regarding this problem. I've taken the videos out and replaced them with LINKS directly to them. I hope this resolves the problem and more readers can access this information more quickly.

VIDEO 1: Out of Time @ Meeting Hall

VIDEO 2: After Recess Chaos

VIDEO 3: Paul Supporter Attempts Explanation Part 1

VIDEO 4: Paul Supporter Attempts Explanation Part 2

VIDEO 5: Paul Supporter Slams Patriot Fund

VIDEO 6: Ron Paul Speech

ANOTHER UPDATE: FOR ALL THOSE WHO LEFT HEART FELT COMMENTS HERE, MY RESPONSE WAS TOO LONG FOR THE COMMENT SECTION SO IT BECAME A NEW POST. I hope you will all read it for clarity...it's important! Click the link below to read...

Duty, Honor, Country: Ode To Ron Paul Supporters

Earthquakes Rock Reno By The Hundreds

I swear there is a disease called Post Traumatic Earthquake Stress Syndrome and I am suffering from it. I know people from Southern California are laughing at us here in Reno in the freak out zone, but even they aren’t experiencing the phenomenon we are at this time.

While I’m not from earthquake country per say, I know of them and over the 20+ years I’ve lived in the Reno area, I’ve felt one or two basically benign tremors. However, our experts cannot explain our anomaly, and quite frankly even they are concerned that something is going on here that is yet to be determined. Nevada is the third most active state in the nation for earthquakes behind California and Alaska. However, our faults have always been thought to be minor, and that a major quake is pretty unlikely. Seismologists now are thinking that might not be the case. They don’t know if our activity might signal that dreaded “Big One” coming to Southern California, or we have some new and previously unnoticed heavy activity about to happen here. Our movements are shakers, not rollers, and are stated to be just tectonic plate movements, and that our quakes have nothing to do with volcanic activity. There are no volcanoes in the Reno area.

My luck has it that I live in the neighborhood just below all the epicenters. We’ve LITERALLY had HUNDREDS of earthquakes in the last couple of months. Strange thing is…they are getting more frequent, and growing in size as each day goes by. A week before our swarm started, a 6.0 quake shook the rural town of Wells, NV clear across the state. No one knows if that event is related to ours or not, but tremors continue there, and we are just being inundated by them on a daily basis. The Wells event caused $750,000 in damage to historical buildings and structures in this isolated tiny town.

The first month or so of our quake clusters we did not feel any of them here at my house. Then they started coming. Some little boomers and quick rattles. We would giggle a bit and go; “Wow”…that was an earthquake. Well that was all fine until they started coming more often and kept getting bigger. NOW…at least 3-4 or even sometimes 10 or more times a day we feel the tremors and rumbles in my home. I’m done with this already, and my nerves are shot.

Late Friday night we got hit with a 4.7, the largest quake since 1953. My house shook horribly and shit flew around. I took photos, and then put the camera down and cleaned up all the mess and debris. Thankfully I had no real damage other than chaos and clean up. However in my state of fright and excitement I later discovered that I took all my photos without a card in my camera! All my cabinet doors were open; things fell about, all my drawers’ flung open, and water splashed out of my fish tank that has a lid on it. I have a stereo that holds 400 CD’s, and in a split second the door flung open and 58 CD’s crashed to the floor. I watched my chandeliers sway and my walls creak back and forth. I went to bed hoping to get some rest because I had to be at the GOP convention the next morning at 7am and this all happened at midnight. Oh NO…every hour or so more quakes came, and two of them in the 3.3-3.5 range which are still pretty good rattlers.

The fun continues. We’ve had three or four more today, but all tiny and small. But, what does the night bring? Having 3 to 15 quakes per day that I can feel, and getting pretty shaken by the 4.7, I’m just done. Some days the movement is small, but DAMN…every hour or so? If we had a normal quake, an aftershock or two, and then quiet for the next few months; most would call that normal. It’s NOT NORMAL to have so many even if they are small.

We’ve all become quite accomplished at our new game called “Guess The Magnitude”. Each time there is a rumble; we go to the USGS.gov website and check the reports. Our earthquake list can be found by searching Verdi-Mogul, NV. I’ve been following it so closely now, even that information is disturbing. I’ve learned that shallow quakes are better; it’s the deep ones that get worse. However, not only are our frequencies gaining strength, so are the magnitudes and the depths. And, sitting in a two story house makes it seem grander than it would on the ground floor. While many insurance companies have placed a moratorium on binding earthquake insurance in our area for the most part, I was lucky enough to get in under the wire. So, if the big one comes, we’ll be covered. Hopefully the rockin’ and rollin’ will cease soon with no serious consequences. Wish us well please, and let’s hope the poor souls in Southern California aren’t about to get the shock of their lives.

Photos courtesy of RGJ.com

Nevada State GOP Convention - The Good

Despite yesterday’s convention chaos (MY POST HERE: “NEVADA STATE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION”), it was an exciting day and such a great experience. This is my “first year in politics”, and to have served as a delegate to both the Washoe County Republican Convention, and the Nevada State Republican Convention and to become a member of the WCRCC committee has been a fantastic learning experience.

I am so proud to be an American and especially a Republican American when I attend these gatherings. It’s so refreshing to be in a huge meeting hall with over a thousand likeminded Conservatives. It’s so nice to actually stand up and have a prayer said IN PUBLIC! When we all hold our hands over our chests and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s so moving to hear that slight hint of people’s voices getting just a little bit louder as we recite the ONE NATION UNDER GOD portion of the Pledge. It’s exhilarating to feel like you are making a difference, that you have participated and got involved, and you feel like you are helping your neighbors as you represent your precinct or your county by creating a Party and process that will make life better for all citizens of our great state of Nevada.

It was an honor to have our body addressed by such great Americans as Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Dean Heller. For all my out of state readers and friends, keep your ear on that name and your eye on that man. With any luck Dean Heller will have an outstanding political career and move beyond just a Nevada congressman. He is a great Conservative and truly tries his best to represent our fellow Americans in a fair and fiscally responsible way. He was a great Secretary of State of Nevada, and now he is serving his constituents well in Congress. We were also addressed by Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, and even President Bush himself via satelite from the White House.

Mitt Romney received a resounding standing ovation. He won the nomination in the State of Nevada during our caucus process. Our state favors him highly. He is a great speaker and appears to be a very common sense politician. I hope he tries again in 2012.

Dr. Ron Paul also addressed our body, and quite to my surprise, he brought the house down. It was like a high school pep rally watching all his frothed and fervent followers carry on to his speech. Dr. Paul is a speaker that can move certain crowds that’s for sure…although his message is sometimes a bit out there. Like the guy or not, it was interesting to be in a room where he was speaking and so many people were crazy for him.

The band of McQueen high school performed and the McQueen color guard was present. I get a bit sappy over those kids because both my boys attended that high school. They were proud to announce that they get to perform at the Tournament of Roses coming soon. GO MCQ!!!

There were interesting booths set up around the arena and even a fur coat vendor for the formal shopper :) Lunch was interesting and entertaining. A 15 year old future political candidate made a very capable speech on behalf of young Republicans and youth interest in politics. There was a lengthy and very entertaining one man Chautauqua style performance taking the audience through our nation's history of politics, efforts to make the USA the great nation it is, and historical political speeches and processes from the eyes of the likes of George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Abraham Lincoln.

Conversations were good amongst the many present; I met lots of really knowledgeable people, and even met a few people fairly high up the local political food chain. Each time I participate in an event like this I learn so much, and being new to the process I am hungry to learn and eager to do well and serve my community in a positive and effective manner.

Nevada has lost dozens of soldiers since our wars began. It was so touching to have the honored father of one of our local fallen soldiers perform an amazingly beautiful acapella rendition of God Bless America. How STRONG that man is in his time of grief and loss to still support our political process and honor his son in such a way. There were quite a few leaking eyes in the crowd including mine.

I am so glad I was fortunate enough to have been part of this process, and it is ongoing. I look forward to the next time it is time to serve.

Saturday, April 26

Nevada State Republican Convention

Several months ago I wrote a HARSH STORY about what a sham I thought the Nevada Republican Caucus was. I stand by that opinion although since that time I’ve learned eons of “stuff” that make the big picture smaller than the horrible picture that I portrayed in that post. Looking back I feel a little small and a little ignorant, but everybody starts somewhere and you can’t ramble if you aren’t willing to back it up later. Please read through this ramble too in order to understand what happened today. I’ve held off this post for some time as from the caucus I became a county delegate, then a state delegate, and a member of the Washoe County Republican Central Committee (WCRCC).

I got involved in this political process WHOLLY BECAUSE the caucus process in my precinct was so discombobulated! I didn’t know a thing, but knew I would fight for fairness and to the best of my ability represent my precinct in future matters the way they wanted to vote. Well, who knew that Nevada would pick one great candidate and one other different candidate to win first and second place for the Presidential nomination. Neither of the candidates that won the Nevada caucus was the candidate I personally voted for. However, I knew that I would represent my precinct fairly and got elected as a delegate. So few were interested in involvement that in the County Convention and even the State Convention you basically only had to nominate yourself, and since so few were willing, everyone that wanted to could. It’s not like I REALLY got elected, more that I was willing but at least I was willing in the sense of fairness and education of our process.

I never knew that conventions really have little to do with the Presidential candidate per say, but more to do with matters of the party, platform issues, delegate elections, and by-laws and rules. No real vote is made on the President until the National Convention, so it’s important to elect qualified delegates, but more important to represent Nevada and the best interest of our citizens. I never knew that parliamentary procedure could make or break a day or entire Party decisions. I never knew that grown adults could be so trivial in lesser matters, and not take some more serious matters closer to heart. I have learned a lot, and this post is merely my observations of our Nevada political process from a brand new freshman’s political activist and participant’s view. It has been a great ride and one that will probably keep me in this loop at least for a few more years :)

The Washoe County Republican Convention had its moments in the “low-light”, but was better and more organized than the caucus. Hours were spent in trivial argument over a word here and an idea there, but in the end we managed. I assumed that as the process furthered it would continue to get more organized and more “normal”. I was not a proponent of a caucus. I thought that the primary system worked much better and better represented the people as a whole. However, I’ve learned that as with me…thousands of people got involved this year for the first time due to that process. So without the caucus I would have never gotten so involved. I just always assumed that those better in the know handled such matters…not necessarily true. Over 1100 people were at our county convention, and the largest number attending for many years prior was 178. So I wrote off the disorganization and aggravating chaos that was there to inexperience of the almost ten times number of new participants. At this particular moment I find myself torn. Possibly it’s more important to reach out to get huge numbers involved, but keep the primary process. Or, if better educated, perhaps more prepared citizens could do a caucus with success…I’m not sure after today.

I do know this. When you are elected as a delegate, you ARE informed with e-mails, a website from which you may download information and gain knowledge, and prior to and at the convention you ARE handed paperwork that states in writing the entire agenda, platform, by-laws, and upcoming necessary information. You ARE given time even AT THE CONVENTION to put forth to the Party items that matter to you, there is just a deadline (DUH). I put in a fair amount of due diligence to be in the know but I know even I didn’t spend as much time as more dedicated persons. However, if you are going to step out on that limb and get yourself voted in as a delegate to represent hundreds, then thousands of your State’s citizens, one would think that ANY of these voted in folks would take the time to learn and be in the know. LOTS OF US are first-timers. Everybody was a first-timer once. AND, if prior to the NEXT convening of a body of voters if you as a delegate DIDN’T receive ALL the information you thought you should have, one would THINK that as a responsible delegate you WOULD SEEK OUT that information on your own as to be prepared for a convention. It’s NOT LIKE through the process to get that far you weren’t given at least ONE phone number of ONE person that could answer your concerns. As a brand new delegate I’ve found all veterans fairly accessible and willing to help, you just have to ASK. And, isn’t that the reason you decide to be a delegate? You decide to be one in order to represent hundreds or thousands of people that put their trust in you and/or don’t have the time or desire to do it themselves but still want and believe in the great freedom we are given as Americans to hold elections and make it fair and even. It’s a whittling down of the many to the few with like minds in order to get a fair say and a fair vote where it counts and becomes reality.

NO…NO…AND HELL NO! When a convention comes to order, so many are sitting in their seats prepared to the best of their ability and ready to do business at hand. It’s a strange thing as small as it seems…but there is a great sense of pride to be seated in a delegation that has the potential to promote the betterment of an entire nation. There is an excitement in the air at a convention, even a small one. Important people come and speak and an opportunity is given to each seated delegate to try to make a difference for the good of all of our Nevada citizens and to make a difference for the good of the Republican Party. And then…”those people” show their ugly heads.

In the process of passing rules, by-laws, platform issues, etc. there IS and SHOULD BE items that delegates want to debate. That is the duty and responsibility and right of each seated delegate. We have to debate items in order to reach consensus. HOWEVER, so MANY people come un-prepared. So many don’t read the published items that committees have ALREADY resolved. The Republican Party invites commentary. Committees that are ELECTED give delegates ample time to present in writing the views of all for consideration AND these committees are made up of a broad based group representing folks of all thought processes throughout the state. Granted, at a convention if a rule, or law, or item slips through that a great number disagree with, it’s welcome to amend, and parliamentary procedure allows for change. However, SO MANY come in and want to literally REINVENT THE WHEEL! People claim “they didn’t know”. BULLSHIT! People have the opportunity to KNOW. It’s all on the websites. A common sense delegate would have in mind LONG BEFORE the convention items that were vital to them. If it doesn’t come up in published intentions, one SHOULD PRESENT in writing to the committees their concerns long before we are all seated in the convention. When we debate on controversial items (and there ARE some), we need to just follow the rules, debate for 10-20 minutes, call a vote, accept the vote and MOVE THE FREAK ON! Normal adults have no problem with this.

I read the items prior to the convention, only a few I didn’t know about. I didn’t like two of the platform choices, and I voted according to my heart. Majority rules within Robert’s Rules of Order, and I lost. It happens and we move forward. It’s called Democracy even within a Republic. Some win, some lose. It’s the people that DON’T study and come in to change every little thing and every little triviality that irritate me. I wish we would have passed a couple of items that did not, but yes wins and no loses…welcome to America…the GREATEST NATION ON EARTH! “They” had the opportunity LONG before the day and didn’t bother to follow the process, so THEN…we are BOUND morally, and by Robert’s Rules to allow those discontents their “day in court”.

So, if you’ve read this far…(I ramble), HERE’S THE ONE REASON OUR NEVADA STATE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION FAILED!!! Inexperienced people, experienced people who are bandwagon riders, and people with just little common sense stirred the shit pot so heavily “because they could” to the point that we just had to leave because time flat ran out. It was embarrassing and detrimental to Nevada’s Republican Party. The discontents had schooled themselves well in chaotic procedure in order to keep confusion and chaos a priority through technically allowable means. BOY! Is it ever true…”Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

It was discovered that some Nevada counties DID NOT get ample notification and ample opportunity to submit nominations for National delegates to the committee in appropriate time. Well, fair is FAIR, and Carson City, NV (our State’s capital city) was one of those “counties”. So it was appropriately voted that nominations could come from the floor even though a list was pre-approved from the committee. I agreed with that. However, as simple as that was to agree to, believe it or not, it took our convention about 3 hours to debate that and agree to it.

So, once agreed to, and given the “freaking normal assumption that those people or counties had folks already in mind” to nominate, we’d add a few folks (obviously some Ron Paul heavyweights) to the list. NO…NO…and HELL NO again. OVER 100 “PEOPLE” had to add their names to the list! NOW, we have to try and sort through over probably close to 150 people nominated to be NATIONAL DELEGATES. We are talking about a body of over 1300 people from EVERY COUNTY IN NEVADA to vote in ONLY slightly over 30 national delegates. We’re asked to rationally and successfully vote in 30 or so delegates and about 30 alternates to our national convention from a group of over 100 people we don’t know or have any idea where they stand on issues, or how they would vote at a National Convention…and our committee had ALREADY REVIEWED RESUMES’ AND CREDENTIALS OF EVERYONE WHO SUBMITTED THEIR NAMES PRIOR TO CONVENTION AND MADE THE LIST TO VOTE FROM. If each county or group would have considered their best shot of a win and nominated even one from each county or even two or so it would have been fair. 100+ new possible delegates? INSANITY! It was mostly ALL Ron Paul extremists who were trying to stack their little deck if you ask me that were trying to “be somebody”. Not everyone, but certainly most, and they were proud of their chaos, they acted like little children.

POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Nevada’s GOP runs SOLELY ON VOLUNTEERS! We each pay OUR OWN WAY for everything. It costs literally somewhere between $5000 and $8000 of YOUR OWN MONEY to go to the National Convention. It was obvious that it was silly for over 100 people that should have had the opportunity to get on the list much earlier FIGHT SO HARD to spend $8000 of their OWN MONEY just to go and vote for a guy that’s going to lose anyway. To the few rational people that wanted to be legitimate national delegates and truly didn’t get the opportunity…I’m so sorry they didn’t get the chance. Even the legitimate Ron Paul supporters. The MISTAKE the Ron Paul camp made was to not have better organized their moonbat camp into a select few that COULD WIN a delegate vote and have their people in early. The committee has representatives from a balanced portion of the state which were ELECTED by their PEERS. (POINT OF HINT: Start your heated voting process if you’re a moonbat by electing to your committees like minded folk like yourselves if you’re going to have so many beefs!) If they couldn’t win a seat within the normal process, what made them think they could actually win a seat within a State Convention of seated delegates of about 1300 of their favorite “friends” and strangers? Not a common sense strategy and not a common sense thought process of finalization if you ask me. If you cannot win within your own county or your own convention or committee, what makes one think you COULD WIN amongst a few MORE THOUSAND people that DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU???!!!

The Ron Paul camp more concentrated themselves on creating chaos just because they could rather than securing a few delegates that they knew they could win. Again, DAMN Ron Paul for continuing the pursuit of a losing cause. I’m NOT SAYING that Ron Paul doesn’t have his right to run, or that his message isn’t vitally important to those that follow him to the cross. However, when it is EVIDENT that you are at the point that victory is impossible, it’s time to hang your hat until another day when perhaps enough people will sign on to your message in order to actually win and make a difference. He claims to be a Republican or a Conservative. As such he should know when to throw in the towel. I didn’t want McCain either, but McCain is still better than Hillary or Obama. Sad but true that sometimes the lesser of three evils becomes the better choice for the needs of the many. The Ron Paul heavyweights at our conventions placed the needs of a few over the well being of the Nevada citizens and the well being of Nevada Republicans that mistakenly voted them in as delegates to our State Convention. No matter how strongly you feel about your particular personal agenda, at some point it has to be evident that your job as a delegate (since the RNC voted to have non-binding delegates…also on the ballot to change I hear) must be to weigh the needs of the many heavier than the needs of a few…damn the luck or the lot life has taken this particular political year.

And to Mike Weber…YES I’m printing his name on this blog. The State convention is public and it’s not like we in Washoe County don’t know who he is. He IS THE KING of parliamentary procedure. He fights on the Right and he fights for FAIR. I got into this mess strictly to be FAIR. Mike Weber represents fair to the tee, even if the tee irritates the living hell out of you. He’s offered up his own time to hold classes in parliamentary procedure to teach us new people the proper way to convene prior to this convention. He makes sure under any circumstance that our proceedings are held properly and fairly no matter who feels the need to address the delegate body. He does this so that when we do finish business, it’s been done properly, it’s over, and it cannot be appealed later to a higher body and be invalidated. I’ve heard some rumblings that in a convention many years prior he was the proponent and activist that fought fair on an unpopular side of a fence. I don’t know anything about that, as this year is my first. I can only say that in my one year of participation I’ve seen him more than once fight for fair on a side of a fence he doesn’t stand on. Drive-By’s will say it’s guilt, or knowledge that if you are going to take a bullet on a down side you then have to take a bullet on an upside to balance or vice versa. I personally believe, so far at least that I see him sitting right on the fence line…RIGHT on the fence line. That’s why I got involved, to just be fair and right. And, I got involved knowing that “politics makes for strange bedfellows”, but as a citizen I wanted to try and make some difference.

At least Mike Weber has the wherewithal to STAY. I’m not judging anyone for their God given right to vote, move, or even LEAVE of their own free will. I do KNOW THIS. Whichever side of a fence you sit on, when ELECTED to do a job, DON’T VOLUNTEER, NOMINATE YOURSELF, GET ELECTED, OR EVEN PARTICIPATE if you are not willing to STAY THE COURSE. If the hundreds of people that left today throughout the day had stayed to DO THE JOB THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO this post would be a mute point. Yea people have people to see, places to go, and things to take care of, and they get tired and fed up after hours of needless trivialities. However when it’s the future of a nation or a political party that’s been placed into your hands, no matter how frustrating or how disgusting the process might become, it’s your duty as an elected official to see it through. Don’t sign up if you can’t stay until it’s OVER. If you cannot or are not willing to stick out a 13-14 hour day, don’t come at all. I met a LOT of really incredible people today that just got fed up and left. Yes, some of the day is irritating and trivial, but I think we knew that coming in. I fully expected it to be this way and this is my first year. I commend Mike Weber for his diligence and dedication to Nevada’s citizens and our Republican Party. I admire him. He tried to save the convention by reconvening the body. However, so many people had gotten fed up and left that we did not have enough remaining people to have a quorum...so we had to leave to reconvene another day. Mike Weber is also running for a State Assembly seat, I think he’d make a good one. Thanks to RGJ.com for the photos :)

OJ Simpson’s lawyer on OJ Simpson’s behalf coined the phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” I say, if you think you might have to quit, DON’T COMMIT! NO MATTER WHICH SIDE OF THE FENCE YOU SIT ON. The reason the moonbats are taking over the country is simple, they have staying power. They are willing to rant and rave and cause chaos until they chase off normal folk. I heard it OVER and OVER in conversation tonight. “We’re going to make national news!” (as they high-fived) Yea, we made national news, in the reality TV caliber full of shit category.

We’ll reconvene and make it right…RIGHT AND RED!

Check the blog for another convention story titled Nevada State GOP Convention - The Good. Outside the end result, there was a lot of exciting things at the convention :)