Thursday, November 29, 2007

The true cost of war

So we hear the cost of the war all the time now in the news, 100 billion here, 500 billion there, 1.5 trillion by the end of the war, 500 billion just in interest alone on the cost of the war.

Those are big numbers, but really... do those numbers mean anything to you? I will be honest, 1.5 trillion sounds like a lot, but it's actually SO BIG that it's just a number to me, where as the cost to repair my car when a basketball hoop fell on it was $1200... THAT was a lot of money. It's one of the problems with scale, we can comprehend and understand things that are scaled to our pocketbooks (mortgages, price of gas, etc) but when news organizations start throwing around these federal budget numbers if you are anything like me you "hear" them... but you don't actually grasp them.

This was one of the video's that was submitted for last night's CNN/YouTube debate, it didn't make it into the final broadcast but I did think it had a very powerful message on what the true cost of the war in Iraq really is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


So over the Thanksgiving weekend I got into a debate with Shalisa's uncles over the current state of our government (I know, shocking, Ryan having a political debate, try to contain your amazement).

I was arguing that there was rampant corruption in the government (on both sides of the aisle) and that Iraq was nothing more than war profiteering. They of course are hard line Republicans and believe we are over there to "save the Iraqi's" and that we must "stay the course." I then went on my rant against Dick Cheney and how corrupt he was. I pointed to his no-bid and cost plus contracts that he gave his friends in both Blackwater and Halliburton. The Blackwater stuff did bother them (they have a 10,000 man standing force ON DOMESTIC SOIL) but when we started talking about Halliburton they were confused. They said everyone always says "Halliburton this and Halliburton that" but that what actually had Halliburton done. Well besides accepting huge US Military contracts, then moving their headquarters to Dubai to escape paying taxes on BILLION dollar contracts... here is a video showing just exactly how they were serving not only the American tax payer, but the American troops as well:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For Justin

This post is just for Justin.

I have known about this video for a little over a month, but I have declined in posting it, wanting you to come to Ron Paul based on ISSUES. Now that you are finally a convert, I have a present for you.

Your HERO, yes, the sexiest man alive, the musical Jesus, supports Ron Paul:

AND, he is working on converting "Mac" to Ron Paul as well :p

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This just KILLED me

As many of you know, both Justin and I have been playing Guitar Hero III a lot lately. The next logical step:

A shifting society

So I watched a video over on the .justin about how much our world is shifting to be more and more accessible on line.

It just blows my mind how accessible media creation tools are available to us today. From the video justin has on his site to the commercial I posted over on my side bar which is just a video made by some random internet individual for $0.... compare that "ad" with an ad made by some major ad agency for Obama or Guiliani or Hillary and I think we are starting to see a fundamental shift in how our world creates content.

More and more individuals go on line to get their information (as referenced by my earlier post on how many people no longer watch the daily news) and it is becoming easier and easier for an individual to have their voice heard amongst the masses.

Look at Ron Paul's campaign, an individual completely unattached to the "official" campaign decided to organize his own online fund raising event. This turned into a $4.2 million dollar single day donation to Ron Paul's campaign on November 5th... the largest single day a Republican has ever had in the primaries. Think about that, the internet allowed an individual with an idea to have his voice heard and potentialy changed the world.

The quicker our politicians, employers, schools, pastors, etc figure it out, the faster it will snowball as this is a self perpetuating phenomenon. I think it is exciting times we live in when one voice can literally be heard by millions... if not billions. That is just awe inspiring.

And on that note I leave you with another high quality video:

4-3 vs 0-8

So this fall I have been proudly wearing many of my "Portland Trailblazers" gear that I own. This was shortly after Oden had been lost for the season and things were looking a bit grim in Blazerland. But I am a true fan of my team, through thick and thin and so I wore their colors.

Well I had MULTIPLE people (I am looking at you A-Ha) try and tease me and make fun of me for sporting my Blazer gear. They wanted to know if the Blazers would even win one game. I just nodded and smiled, said yeah it might be a tough year for the Blazers but I had faith, and repeated the line "they will surprise you."

Well here we are, 2 weeks into the season. The team that traded away it's best player and got almost nothing in return, lost it's #1 draft pick before the season even started, and has the youngest roster in the entire NBA... and they are sittting at 4-3. They have played 6 of their games against the toughest division in the NBA (the Southwest) and went 3-3, and their other win came against the perennial contenders for the Eastern Conference championship "Detroit Pistons." The Blazers have protected their home court going 4-0 and young players like Roy and Aldridge are literally getting better every single game.

Contrast that with the team most of those Blazer haters root for... the Sonics. The Sonics traded away their best player as well, but got a top 5 pick in return. Their #1 draft pick (#2 overall) DIDN'T have micro-fracture surgery on his knee and is actively playing. Yet how are these Sonics doing? They are 0-8 while playing a markedly easier schedule. While Portland is protecting it's home court, Seattle has lost 4 of it's game at home... and while the Rose Garden is starting to sell out again Seattle is struggling to get 5,000 people to the gate.

Listen, I don't want to see the Sonics move, and some of the crap the ownership has pulled on this franchise is an atrocity. But all you Blazer haters out there, you better watch out. This team may not even finish .500 (but I have hopes that they may)... but this is a young nucleus that is growing together, learning how to win, and just anticipating the return of Oden. Teams and haters had better get their lumps in now, because in a year or 2 this Blazer team is going to be competing for Finals hardware for a looooong time. And remember, every loss this season is another ping pong ball in the lottery if the Blazers don't make the playoffs. You really want them to get ANOTHER top pick? I didn't think so.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I have returned

No thanks to NorthWorst Airlines. I got trapped an extra day Manchester, New Hampshire because of a broken plane. Also EVERY SINGLE LEG OF ALL OF MY FLIGHTS were delayed... but yeah NorthWorst Airlines is a top notch airline.

I did get a $200 voucher for a future flight on NorthWorst (not sure if that is good or bad thing) and they paid to put us up in a hotel and gave us food vouchers... but I would have rather been at home.

I will post a longer trip later tonight when I get home and have a chance to sit down.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Your first step

So all 3 of my loyal blog readers. I just took the plunge and signed up for the local Olympia Ron Paul meetup group. You don't have to do anything but it's a great way to 1) find out more information on Ron Paul and 2) get in touch with other Ron Paul supporters in your area. It's also very eye opening, there are your typical Republicans (like myself), independents and even hardcore Democrats that are in the meetup group!

Isn't the message of liberty grand! It appeals to everyone. Any way, if you have every had ANY interest in being political active, or just want to "stay in the loop" to know whats going on, sign up here: If you aren't in the Shelton - Olympia area, there is most likely a Ron Paul meetup group around you as well. Just go to and enter your zip code.

The BIGGEST knock I hear against Ron is that people believe he doesn't have a "real" shot at winning. Well if you don't vote for him, and I don't vote for him... then your right, he doesn't have a shot. But if we all vote for him the landslide victory will shock the world :p Seriously, driving around SHELTON I have already seen a truck and a car with Ron Paul bumper stickers. I also saw a Ron Paul lawn sign out on Mason Lake Rd. Ask yourself, how many other candidate bumper stickers/lawn signs have you seen? The support is real and most exciting of all... IT'S GROWING. Be part of the Revolution.

Doctor Ron Paul cured my apathy.

Wedding Bells are Ringing

So come tomorrow morning Shalisa and I (and Maddie and Annora) will be driving up to SeaTac airport and flying out to Portland, Maine. My brother Kyle is actually going to get married!

I am actually pretty excited for this wedding, before I turned 25 I had been in literally over 12 weddings and had gotten pretty burned out on them. So it has been nice to not have to go to any weddings these last few years and couple that with the fact that it's my brother getting married, and I do actually have some genuine excitement over this wedding.

It will be weird, Kyle and Beth have a pretty big wedding party (of which I am in) and I actually only know 1 other groomsmen (Ryan Doss) so the whole adventure may be a bit weird. The good thing is I am pretty good at meeting people, plus if these people were dumb enough to befriend Kyle I am pretty sure I can trick them in to liking me for a weekend no problem :p The other weird thing will be meeting Beth. Yep, thats right my brother is marrying a woman I have never even actually met! I suppose that is what happens when you move across the country, fall in love and start dating women that live 5000 miles away from me.

I don't know if we will have internet over there or not so we will see if I can make any more posts for the rest of the week.

On the off chance that I won't be able to post, you will have to just watch this video 2 or 3 times to get your Ron Paul fix for the week... but I will be back next week to continue to try and convert those of you who are as of yet unconvinced, Ron Paul 2008!

(Also, as a side note. I know a lot of people don't think voting for Ron Paul is a good idea because they don't believe he has a reasonable/realistic shot at winning. This is mainly due to the reason that Ron Paul has polled so low in main stream media polls. I will be honest, this very issue has concerned me, as much as I like ideals I understand math and understand that a proper sample size CAN predict with fairly good accuracy eventual outcomes. It is in this light that I will expound on why the sample size/group used for the main stream media polls is flawed, and what other indicators we can look at to see how Ron Paul is really doing.)

Edit to add: if you are reading this on the RSS feed, you should visit the page and check out the YouTube commercial clip I included over in the sidebar. It's only 30 seconds long and I really think it's a GREAT commercial... and it was done strictly by volunteers who received 0 pay from the Ron Paul campaign. With volunteers like this... he can't lose!

Monday, November 05, 2007

History Lesson!

So small history lesson for you today. How many people know the significance of November 5th?

It was on this date, in 1605 that Guy Fawkes attempted to enter the House of Parliament in London, England and execute the gunpowder plot.

Perhaps when you were younger you heard the rhyme:

Remember, remember the fifth of November,

The gunpowder, treason and plot,

I know of no reason

Why gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot.
Well hopefully in a less "explosive" manner we can all show our patriotism today. All you have to do is donatate $100 to Ron Paul here. The most amazing thing, 17,000 people have already committed to donation $100 each. That's 1.7 million dollars raised in a single day. The goal was $5 million dollars (a lofty goal indeed) but 1.7 million would still be the single largest day of donations in history for a presidential candidate. ANY candidate. So far today Ron Paul has already raised 1.5 million dollars at last check (12 hours down) and still had 12 hours to go.

Edit to add: to follow the donations for today you can do it at:

Edit2: Ron raised 4.2 million dollars in a single day! Go Ron Go! Largest single day of earning for ANY GOP candidate. And people say he isn't a "legitimate" candidate?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

For those of you scared of Hilrod

So you all know that I am no fan of Hilrod... AT ALL. But I have had at least 2 people whom I consider politically well versed to state "Well, even if I don't like Rudy Giuliani he is better than Hillary right, so you have to vote for Rudy if he wins the Republican nomination." The implication that whomever the Republicans put up against Hillary (and lets be honest, I think she would have to stab Obama in the face, on stage... and then maybe pee on him to lose the nomination at this point) is going to be better.

And then I ran across this quote:

“Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.” - Rudy Giuliani

Seriously, if it's Giuliani as the Republican nominee... I may just vote for Hillary as she just might possibly be the lesser of 2 evils (okay, thats a lie, I promised I wasn't going to vote for the "less sucky" candidate anymore) but I am just saying for all of you who think you HAVE to vote Republican because that candidate will be "less evil"... those words by Mr. Giuliani are TERRIBLY frightening.

Also, as is the custom on my blog I have decided the Rudy needs a nickname since he is now on the "enemies of Ryan's vote" list (we already have Hilrod)... I am thinking Ghouliani (but I don't know if that is just cause we passed Halloween, will that be as funny in a month or 2?). The other option is Dobby the House Elf (or Dobby for short). I will post a poll for you guys to vote on (and will include an "other" option and you can leave a post for your other.

More Ghouliani quotes:

On the subject of Torture (waterboarding is only torture if the bad guys do it, not when Rummy approves it at Gitmo):
They talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I'm getting tortured running for president of the United States. That's plain silly. That's silly.

But hey, at least he doesn't have Priests who sexually molest altar boys on his paid staff... OH WAIT!

Can you say: Baaaaaa

So this is one of MANY reasons why I am voting Ron Paul, as he is one of VERY FEW congressmen who opposed the PATRIOT act.

And you know it must be getting bad when Fox News is covering this... WAKE UP PEOPLE.

This is why you should be politically active. (also, I fully expect the FBI is writing up their search warrant for my home right now as I type this :p)

I'm not a huge "big brother" type person (and the video editing with him just showing his mouth was a little... weird, but it's a slippery slope when your freedoms get taken away.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Food for thought: Immortal Sin Conversation

So to really "get" today's blog post it is going to require some work/time from you the reader. Before you go any further in this blog post (or at least, to really get anything out of it/be able to comment intelligently on it) I am requiring you to listen to a podcast over at EscapePod.og. The story is embeded right below this paragraph of this post, all you have to do is click play. The story is about... 30 minutes long or so, so make sure you have the time to listen to it before you start. Think of this as a new fangled e-community book club, only you don't have to read a book, just listen to a podcast!

icon for podpress  EP129: Immortal Sin [46:28m]: Download

This story really spoke to me on many levels. Lately I have been thinking about legalism vs heart condition and I thought this story illustrated it so well. In fact I was even thinking about how the Doctor after he talks with the priest and decides he is doomed to hell, in reality doesn't really change his life at all. His life before and after the encounter with the priest is completely dominated by "rules" whether they are his rules or what he thinks are God's rules.

I also ESPECIALLY loved the interaction with the priest, when he is talking about repentance. Obviously the doctors sin is probably "greater" than any sin I have committed, but is my attitude at times the same as his attitude. When the priest is talking about what it would mean for the doctor to have true repentance, how many times in our heart do we have a similar attitude to the doctor? The story is illustrating an extreme, but I think it can really speak in to our life on viewing what our heart condition is when we go before God and ask for forgiveness. Are we willing to show true repentance not only to God, but then take action and accept the responsibility that comes from our sin or do we just want a quick absolution and then continue on with our life?

I also wonder, when the doctor has his coughing fit... did he die and was the rest of the story after that point has he lost his life and this is his eternal punishment, or does the doctor actually survive but create his own personal "living hell" on Earth... in that he achieves his goal but in the process loses his life (figuratively).

Anyway, I hope at least 1 other person out there has the time to listen to the story and share their thoughts in the comment section. I really bought into the whole film and theology idea at church (and in fact would like to restart it) and this just seems like a logical extension of that. We can use secular media to bring about good discussion and as a gateway to talk about Jesus. This story is not hosted by a Christian, read by a Christian, and I don't know much about the author so I can't comment on whether or not it was written by a Christian... but it is still an excellent launching point for good discussion.