Archive for July, 2007

Ames is hip deep in Ron Paul!

July 31, 2007

I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to write about this weekend. Given the adventure that it was, one would think I couldn’t wait to get to the computer. In fact, that’s true, but other events got in my way, which I’ll save for another post…

Saturday dawned early, and Jana and I were at the park by 7:30, eagerly waiting for the first volunteers to show up. I had heard from some people, but I know that Ron Paul supporters are not into blabbing their plans at the request of a stranger, so I really had no idea how many would come.

The first to arrive were a mother and son who had driven all the way from… North Carolina. Yep. North Carolina. They had driven 20 hours to distribute the dvd’s that Jeff Lins and his team of true-hearted editors had made. They said they had been stopping at truck stops and giving Ron Paul flyers to people. She even brought a whole stack of Ron Paul Straw Poll flyers that she had printed at my request. And here’s the amazing part. They could only stay for one day, because she had to work on Monday. This is the kind of dedication I am witnessing again and again from Ron Paul supporters.

Shortly after, a young man arrived from St. Louis. He was young and full of energy, and he worked hard all weekend. Whenever I thought to invite him to rest, he was up and ready for another area to cover. People arrived throughout the morning and afternoon to work. And I mean work.
All in all we had folks from North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, South Dakota, a beautiful family from Tennessee. Iowans, too, came from all over the state to distribute dvd’s, and many of them took dvd’s with them to distribute in their towns. They were all so motivated and steady – not a single complaint, not a single demand. They just wanted to help. They were inspiring.

So how did we do? In one and a half days, with a group of about 50 people, we distributed 10,000 dvd’s to the people of Ames and surrounding towns. How wonderful is that?

I wish you could have been there on Saturday afternoon to share in the adventure with everyone. We are a varied and delightful crew of characters. When we parted at the end of the day, I felt as though my family was dispersing; I didn’t want to say goodbye. And then something wonderful happened. When I turned to wish safe travels to a man who had traveled many hours to come to Ames, he looked at me and quietly said, “I’ll see you at the inauguration.” And that was how we said goodbye to each other.

Thank you to all of you who helped make the dvd, all of you who came, all of you who e-mailed your support, and all of you who are working to change the course of this country.

If I don’t see you before then, I’ll see you at the inauguration.

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Calling all Students for Ron Paul

July 27, 2007

Amazing news….

Yesterday I spoke with a lawyer, Bill, in California who is offering $5000 in tickets to support students who want to vote for Ron Paul.  Dang!  He’s going to be here for the Straw Poll and will be in charge of getting the tickets to the students.

Can you help?  If you are a Iowan student or can get the word out to college and university students, you would be doing the campaign a great service.  Please tell them to go to http://www.paulforall.com/StudentTicketRegistration.htm to register.  We will contact them after they register, so please make sure to enter phone info.

If we get more students than the $5000 will cover, we’ll ask for donations.  I hope that happens soon!

“A hero is a man who does what he can.” – Romain Rolland

July 26, 2007

I thought yesterday was one of those banner days that life sometimes hands you – like a golden pear in late summer or a rainbow during a cool summer rain. Well, today was like standing in line for ice cream at the little small town stand everyone goes to on Friday nights and getting your favorite double dip. Or listening to the kids play kickball as the day dims into a lightening bug festooned evening.

Basically it was a pretty excellent day.

I got a call yesterday from a man named Bill who lives in South Dakota and is coming to help with the Great Iowa DVD Drop this weekend. We chatted for a bit and then he said in this really humble voice, “Do you want to hear about my project?” You know I did – I love stories. It seems that Bill owns a business and has about 250 clients (mostly farmers) in Iowa, and he had decided to send them all a letter and some literature about Dr. Paul.

I really admire people who are willing to speak their truth in a humble and unpretentious way. He wasn’t shouting it or pushing it in anyones face, but just offering it, almost as a service, to his clients. I think that takes more than a little bravery and a lot of integrity. When someone is like that, you just want to support them however you can. So, I asked him if he would like some dvd’s to send with the letter. He thought that was great, but he wanted to send the letters the next day. So, we agreed to meet halfway at the Iowa/Nebraska border and make a trade.

So at 6:30 this morning I hit the road and drove across Iowa (and it is truly a beautiful state), and met Bill, today’s hero. He gave me a copy of his letter – here are a couple of excerpts:

“The reason I decided to mail this to you is of a political nature, and I apologize if this mailing offends you in any way. I promise you will never receive any further political mailings from me…

… description of Dr. Paul and Ames …

…And if you are like me, you have serious reservations about the direction our country is heading. Ron Paul pledges to change that direction. With Ron Paul as President, if it’s not constitutional, it’s simply not going to happen…”

You see how humble this guy is? You gotta love it. Before we parted, he gave me a few Ron Paul yard signs that he made (OUR NEXT PRESIDENT IS… RON PAUL… GO AHEAD, GOOGLE HIM!), and shoved some money in my hand to help pay for gas.

All I have to say to you folks is, “Where have you been all my life?” I am grateful to Dr. Paul for many things, but meeting so many good hearted patriots is by far the greatest gift I have received since I first heard of him…

There’s more to today – a phone call from the West Coast with awesome news, but I’ll have to wait a bit to tell you…

Mama, Make it Stop!

July 26, 2007

I’m sitting here grinning like a complete idiot. You folks are amazing!

But, please stop printing now! <big grin> Unless you wanna do trifolds, which we also need! http://www.ronpaul2008.com/get-involved/ has them at the bottom of the page…

I am so happy to tell you that we’re setting up a Ron Paul office in downtown Des Moines in the next few days. Which is a good thing, because I’m going to need somewhere to put those 22,000 flyers that are arriving in the next few days! Not for long though –  those bad boys gotta hit the street and do their thing…

Man oh man. Life is good.

Ron Paul Supporters Freak me OUT!

July 26, 2007

As you may know, I sent out a plea for help creating flyers yesterday. We need 20,000 to hand out before the straw poll on August 11th. Well, within 24 hours, I have 18,000 flyers. Is that amazing or what?! I cannot believe the swiftness with which people responded. I am simply amazed.

Thank you to all of you who ordered copies, who printed copies on your printers, who did everything within your power to help. We will make sure that all of the flyers are used. We now have the potential to introduce 18,000 Iowans to Dr. Paul because of your action. That’s pretty darned amazing. Thank you.

Here’s something else that’s amazing. We are now going to participate in the Iowa State Fair Parade on August 8th. So all of you volunteers who are coming for the week before the poll have a special duty on the 8th – to be a part of Iowa’s number one parade. Don’t forget Ron Paul t-shirts and signs!

Des Moines Meetup Notes

July 24, 2007

Last night I attended the first Des Moines meetup.   Joe, the Iowa National lead was there and gave us an update. 

He updated us on the progress of the National campaign.  He said they were gratified by the work done by volunteers, and it was time for the campaign to step up its activities in Iowa.  He went into some detail, but I’m not comfortable putting it here for all eyes to see (all 12 of them!).  You can call me if you want more info.

 Joe did stress the importance of RSVP’ing if you’re coming – whether you’re an Iowan or an OOSer.  You can do that here.  Also, we’ve been getting a great response for the “Adopt and Iowan” program, but we need even more, so if you can help us buy tickets for Iowans to vote, it will make a big difference.  Go to the bottom right hand corner of this page to adopt an Iowan.  Currently they have rasied about $5600, or 160 tickets.  We need more!

 He also mentioned that there are over 300 volunteers calling Iowans.  Please call more – this is crucial.  I’ve spent a few days on the streets so far, and I can tell you that for the most part they are incredibly open to hearing about new candidates. 

Jana, one of the Ames coordinators had produced a map with all of the County fairs in progress across the State, and got volunteers to cover them.   We also discussed strategy for the Great Iowa DVD drop that’s taking place for the next 2 weekends.

We are expecting anywhere from 200 – 300 Out of State Volunteers to show up the week of the Straw Poll.  One of the concerns at the meeting was flyers.  We don’t have enough, so I’ve put out a call on the paulforall.com website for help making flyers.  If you have a printer, you can help.  Please go here for info.

 The evening was finished by a rousing speech by Ernie “Fireball” Hancock. 

Fireball crash lands in Des Moines, Iowa

July 24, 2007

I got a call yesterday from a guy who introduced himself as Ernie from Phoenix.  He said he had just arrived in Des Moines and was looking for people who wanted to do more than just talk.  He was all about Revolution.

 Sounded good to me, so I agreed to go to Ernie’s hotel and see what he had to say.   Turns out this Ernie is the Ernie who is a member of the Phoenix Revolution and the host of FreedomsPhoenix.com, a pretty cool website that I visit often.  Well, dang.  Ernie filled me in on his latest adventures, which were great to hear.

 He said that he had just come from South Carolina where Ron Paul had given a speech.  He told me about a group of youngsters (ages 11 – 18) who had wanted to do something, but hadn’t been encouraged by the adults around him.  So Ernie bought supplies and over the course of 2 or 3 days, they made 150 signs.    Then they went out and hung them on the fence next to the interstate.  One sign every 100 or 200 yards.  For miles.  Ernie showed me the youtube video he’s working on – trust me, it is an inspiring sight!   Of course, the highway guys came and took them down, but not until thousands of morning commuters got an eyeful of Ron Paul signage!

The kids were not to be deterred and made 70 more and put them out too!  Way to go!

Ernie’s mission is to motivate folks to get involved.  His prime way of doing this is through signage.   So, after we watched the video, we started making Ron Paul Revolution templates.  One of the locals, Jeremy, offered his shop as a sign making factory, and so we’ll get started this week.

Thanks, Ernie.  It was a pleasure to meet you. 

Can I ask you a personal question?

July 23, 2007

Today I had the windshield on my vw bus replaced.  The guy who swapped it out was a good guy.  Ex-marine.  Real no nonsense.  Polite.  After he finished the job we got to talking, and he asked me why I was in Iowa.  I told him that I was working on a political campaign.

 “What did you do before that?”

 “Well, before that I lived in Japan for a year and a half, working for a charitable organization that supports orphans and families in third world countries.  But I heard that this guy, Ron Paul, was running for president, and I had to come back because I really feel that if we don’t do something soon…”

 He finished for me, “We’re headed right down the toilet?  Yeah.  I feel that too.”

Then he paused and said, “Can I ask you a personal question?”

 “Sure.”

“When we have so much poverty in this country, why are you going to other countries to help?”

 It’s a good question.  I told him that it comes down to levels.  In the countries I helped support, like Burma and Cambodia, the poorest in the U.S. would be middle class in those countries.   I told him about bad water supplies, parents selling children to survive…  you get the idea.   The real question is, “If it’s so bad out there, why did I come back.”

Well, it’s like this.  America used to be the first among the world leaders.  First in morality.  First in innovation.  First in progressive thoughts.  Other countries looked to us for direction on any number of things.  We were a shining example – we didn’t have to do anything except be Americans. 

These days, other countries fear us.  They despise us.  By our own actions we are becoming isolated from the rest of the world.   We’re no longer first, but we pretend we are,  and have to constantly prove that “We’re number 1!”.   And if you have to prove it, it ain’t true.

That’s why I came back.  I can remember when we were respected instead of feared.  I can remember when we held a moral high ground – when the idea of torture was not even considered.    If we lose our way, the ramifications are far reaching – our mistakes extend all the way across the oceans to children in third world countries.  

But so does our goodness.  When our foreign policy begins to reflect the innate goodness and honorability of the American people, the effects will be much greater for people everywhere than I think any of us fully understand.

Let’s not wait for our children to have to fix for us.  Let’s do it ourselves.   Americans are amazingly innovative and stubborn.  We must never give up.  Never forget.

Now, let’s get to work.

The Great Iowa DVD Drop

July 22, 2007

As I’ve mentioned, Jeff Lins and a group of dedicated volunteers created a DVD for Iowans.  Well, good news!  The DVD’s arrived on Friday.  All 13,500 of them!  So our task today was to find out how long it will take to deliver those bad boys to the doorsteps of Ames voters.

 So, Jeff, Jana and I (there are an amazing number of “J” named people in the Des Moines area) picked a neighborhood in Ames and started delivering.  We had bought little white bags to put the dvd’s in, so Jana drove the car and bagged dvd’s while Jeff and I loped from door to door delivering dvd’s.   Since we have so many dvd’s to deliver, we didn’t knock on doors, but just dropped them off.  When we have battalions of out of staters here, we’ll go back to these areas and knock on doors.   We found that a team of 3 can deliver 100 dvd’s an hour.  Not bad.  So, if we have 100 volunteers we should be able to knock it out in a morning.  That’s good news.

 So all of you folks coming in the next two weeks, we have  a little job for you.  <big grin>

The Farmer in the dell…

July 21, 2007

Today was Farmer’s Market day.   I got a call from Jeremy asking if I’d like to hand out flyers at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Des Moines.   You bet!  So, I stopped by John’s house (our main meetup organizer) and picked up a bunch of flyers from him.  The meetup here does something cool.  They take a flyer, insert a slimjim (not the tasty meat product) and staple a piece of candy to the outside. 

 I met Jeremy around 9:30, we parked, grabbed a couple of boxes of flyers and headed for the market.  Jeremy has some 6th sense about these things, and instinctively headed right for the busiest corner of the market.   He was handing those flyers out so fast that his hands were a blur.  I’m more of a wanderer, and so I started walking up and down the streets handing out the flyers to people.   I was amazed at how well it went.  I’m not what you would call a charismatic person, so I can only assume that Iowans are much more open to receiving literature or they really like candy. 

 After I had handed out flyers for about half an hour, I was tapped on the shoulder by a polite lass who asked me if I had permission to hand out flyers.  Huh?  Isn’t this America?  Well, technically, as it turned out, no it wasn’t.  It seems that the Farmer’s Market organization leases the street from Des Moines and if while we were welcome to hand out flyers, we would have to pay $45 dollars and stand in the designated “Community Corner”.  She was very nice and told me that since the Market was half over, we only needed to pay $25.    I wasn’t willing to do that, so I told her I would find my partner and ask him what he wanted to do.

 Jeremy was so straightforward in his response that I wanted to start singing the Star Spangled banner right there.  “So, what you’re saying is that they are leasing the street from me, and I have to get permission to be here.”   And then he said that if they talked to him that he would handle it. 

It was about that time that Jeff, one of our national guys showed up with a double Ron Paul sign on a stick.   I talked to him about it, and he started to explain the legalities to me, when one of the Farmer’s market crew interrupted him to tell us that as long as we didn’t block traffic, we could do what we wanted.  Cool.  So off I went.  Every now and then when I would get weary (“No!  I’m voting for Hillary! I love that woman!”)  I would look up and see that sign bobbing above the people, and I’d take a deep breath and start again.

 The response was really quite wonderful, all in all.  Most people were open and happy to hear about a new candidate.  However, most had not ever heard about him, so clearly we have our work cut out for us.

 After, I went back to my foster home and crashed for several hours.  Then up to respond to some out of state volunteers (nice talking with you, Jason!), and make plans for tomorrow.

nite’  Johnboy…