Liberty Blog

Welcome To New Mexico

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on June 10, 2010

I know I have not been blogging as much as I had hoped to, but, we have been so tired you cannot imagine. Since we left Orlando at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday night most of us have not slept. It is now 2:33 p.m. Thursday in Orlando.

We just crossed the border into New Mexico. It is unbelievable. So was El Paso. Maybe it is because I grew up at the Jersey shore but the landscape keeps giving me chills. It’s just so beautiful. I cannot help but think about the people that first settled this area, and looked at those same mountains upon which I have been so fixated, and how wonderful it must have seemed to them. I always knew I’d like the desert but I am more sure now than ever. I am most surely moving to El Paso or Las Cruces when the opportunity presents itself. Nothing in my limited volcabulary will do justice to the place. Those that know me know that I am seldom at a loss for words; enjoy this Hoyt!

Everyone one our RV is in the highest of spirits, being 15 minutes from Las Cruces. We are looking forward to seeing Jerry and the crew from the Las Cruces Tea Party. They are fixing us some dinner and we are going to have a nice rally here. We are only six hours from Phoenix, our final destination, where hotels await us! For being at the edge of exhaustion and having driven through the night for two straight nights we are exceptionally happy and excited.

I will report back after the rally tonight. Stay tuned…

Baton Rouge

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on June 9, 2010

We are just about to pass through Baton Rouge on the way to Houston! I called in to the Sam Malone show in Houston this morning. He was super nice and let me plug the rally in Houston tonight. The drive through the night wasn’t bad but I REALLY hated driving the RV. It moves around way too much, especially when a big truck passes.
I am out of the driver’s seat for now and looking forward to some BBQ in Houston tonight! Oh, this was kinda funny; we pulled in to a rest stop in Alabama and there were three bus loads of Mexican tourists there. We quietly noted the irony and continued on to our rally to support Arizona. It was just so damn funny stepping off the RV, seeing about 150 Mexicans standing around, and watching everyone else get off the RV and chuckle. We are in good spirits and it has been smooth sailing thus far. I’ll report back as we near Houston.

Channeling Kerouac

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on June 8, 2010

We are on the road! Just left Orlando about 45 minutes ago and we are on the Florida Turnpike heading to I-75 to take us up to I-10 and then on to Houston! The folks at the Houston Tea Party Society and North Houston Tea Party are feeding us some Texas BBQ, sweeeet!
The rally in Orlando went great, all the speakers were awesome and the crowd really enjoyed it. The media turned up, which was cool, they never turn out for any of our other events. Todd is taking the first shift behind the wheel and the. Kevin and I are driving the overnight shift to get us to Houston and then we will have a chance to sleep and then rally and head to NM! I am so hungry I can almost taste the BBQ in Houston. More updates to come.

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…And The Band Played On

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on June 1, 2010

I was misquoted in the Sentinel this week and it has lead to a situation in which I am forced to call bullshit. I don’t really blame the reporter that rearranged my words, he is usually pretty good, no, this is about a blog that was written by somebody who is very, very wrong.

The article in which I was misquoted was about the 2010 U.S. Senate race here in Florida. I was asked about Marco Rubio and if he would start moving away the Tea Party and towards the middle for his general election campaign so he could court the independants. I responded that there are many Tea Party people who already feel, or have always felt, that Rubio is one of “them” not one of “us”.

I’m not going to go into the reasons why Marco Rubio is not as “tea party” as the media seems to think he is. I also don’t think Marco Rubio is a terrible choice for Senate. I think he is better than most, but, why not sign the 10th Amendment pledge? Why not sign the Contract From America? Not to mention his political squishiness on the Arizona immigration law. Why has Rubio refused to be vetted by all of the Tea Party groups that are asking to vet him? While he may be better than most, I don’t think he represents the Tea Party values as much as the Libertarian Senate candidate Alexander Snitker.

Alex Snitker is a very smart guy, he is a true fiscal conservative, and he has solutions to problems. Alex has been coming to tea parties from the begining and he understands and he really thinks the way we do. If you live in Florida I hope you will check out his website and learn about him and his stances on the issues. In a four-way race Alex also has a very good chance to win this election, if we in the Tea Party movement have the intestinal fortitude to stand on our principles.

The reporter asked me what happens if Snitker loses, how does this impact the race, to which I replied that I think it would sink Rubio because Sniker would take more votes away from him than the other two. The reporter quoted me as saying, “Alex can’t win, but he can sink Rubio”.

Then a blog was written asking why I would vote for someone I don’t believe could win the election. As I wrote above, I never said Alex can’t win; quite the contrary, I believe he can win. Even if I thought he had no chance, I would still vote for Alex for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, Alex is a friend of mine. What kind of friend would not support a friend who is running for office? How shallow of a person would you have to be to turn your back on a friend?
Secondly, we have said on our radio show that more regular people need to run for office and replace the career politicians. As Hoyt always says, “Its the ultimate ‘what are you going to do about it'”. How can we lay down that challenge to people and not be supportive of them if they have the right core values? Running a grassroots campaign is extremely challenging and requires a massive amount of labour from the candidate. If they are a tea partier, share our core values, and would be a good Senator should we not do everything we can to support that person instead of the establishment? We are we challenging people to run grassroots campaigns and fight the establishment, we are telling them that it is the ultimate “what are you going to do about it”, do these people that have responded to our call not deserve our support?

Finally, I always vote my conscience and I think that it is, or should be, one of the core values of the Tea Party movement. We are fed up with career politicians and business as usual. We should be looking to hold the estblishment accountable and the only way to really hold politcians is at the ballot box. If the Republican party thinks that they will get our votes no matter what they will pander to us when they have to and vote the other way in Congress.

This bogger wrote that the time to vote your principles is in the primary not in the general election. In the general election, says the blogger, you should vote with a “strategy” to keep the “bad guys” out of the seat. Is that what the movement has become? We want to keep the democrats out so we vote for and support big government Republicans? We send more Republicans to Washington that will tow the party line and vote for things like TARP and Medicare Part D when the party leadership tells them to? Or do we vote only for candidates that will be true to our core values and lead instead of blindly following party leadership.

I have a lot of faith in the people of the Tea Party movement and I think they will vote for the person that most reflects our core values and vote their conscience. If your conscience tells you that Marco Rubio is the candidate that most reflects your values I think you should vote for Rubio. If, however, you are like me, and believe that Alex Snitker is the person that shares my core values, I hope you will vote your conscience and vote for Alex Snitker.

I could not disagree more with the person that wrote this blog when he says, “…the time to vote your princples in is the primary”. I think it is always time to vote your principles. That is the same line of thinking the career politicains use. The time to stand on principles is while you are campaigning but once you get to Congress you have to “be realistic” and “there is no such thing as a perfect piece of legislation”. They vote with a “strategy”.

Principles are the base for everything else and should be be firm and consistent. Once you compromise them you have no ground on which to stand.

Why Civil Liberties Should Matter to the Tea Party

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on May 16, 2010

There is a very important and interesting conversation taking place amongst tea party groups right now. It can sometimes be uncomfortable and awkward but we, as tea partiers, are not afraid to tackle big issues. The conversation going on is about civil liberties and how important they are since the creation of the Constitution.
When I wrote about the Times Square bomber and how his rights should have been read to him, I expected to be blasted by my fellow tea partiers but I wasn’t. Most people agreed that Senator McCain was wrong. I have also heard others talking about the Obama decision to assassinate American citizens and how unconstitutional it is. Finally, the talk about denying people on the terrorist watch list their second amendment rights even though they have not been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime. The progress being made on the right with respect to civil liberties is very encouraging.
Other tea partiers ask me how we can reach out to younger people like me and I have been telling them that many younger people are with us on economics; it is when we get to civil liberties that they look at the GOP and they see big government, Big Brother, unconstitutional hypocrites. One of the reasons Ron Paul’s following was so young was for this exact reason. Young people don’t want higher taxes or bigger government. They believe in free markets. What they don’t want are things like a national ID card, no matter how many times Republicans say it is needed to “fight terrorism”. Young people don’t want to give up their constitutional rights, period. I am with Patrick Henry, “I know not what course others may choose but as for me, give me liberty or give me death”! A lot of people my age, who would vote Republican on economic issues, look at the constitution and don’t see anything about gay marriage. They see no power granted to Congress to create a Federal Reserve Bank. They see no power is Article 1 section 8 giving congress the power to regulate marriage. Similarly, they see no power in Article 1 section 8 giving Congress the power to prohibit pot smoking.
There is a thick libertarian streak in the under 30 crowd and especially in the under 20 crowd. If we tell them that freedom means the government staying out of the economy they think that the government should stay out of their homes, personal lives, and bedrooms. They also think that the bill of rights should apply to every American citizen regardless of the charges against them. This should make sense even to my post-40 tea party friends. If we allow the government to assassinate an American citizen overseas the next step will be assassinating American citizens on our own soil. If we allow the government to ‘eliminate’ American citizens accused of “terrorism” the next step is allowing them to assassinate anyone accused of being a “threat to national security”. Imagine if Obama had decided to murder the members of the “Christian” militia that was busted a few
months back. They were “terrorists”, they were going to use a bomb to kill a police officer and then set of more bombs along the funeral route. That’s a tactic straight out of Osama’s playbook. Should these men be held without charge in Gitmo and tried before a military tribunal?
I don’t speak for all young people but I do talk politics with a lot of them. There are few neo-cons that are under 30, less under 20, and they think that if you have brown skin and the government (that they claim to distrust so much) deems you are a terrorist, it is ok to suspend your constitutional rights for “national security”. I find this particularly ironic since these neo-cons claim to hate socialism and collectivism so much but then they preach about the “greater good” which is textbook socialism talk. Giving up our constitutional rights in the interest of security is no different from the commies that used to say “better Red than dead”. If we really want to reach the younger crowd we should continue this conversation about civil liberties and we should not shy away from it because it makes us uncomfortable.
When I think of my favorite Founding Fathers I see those men more in Ron Paul, and Barry Goldwater than I do in George W Bush, or John McCain. If we present young people with a consistent message of economic and personal liberty and if we elect people who follow the constitution and repeal the tens of thousands of pages of laws that are unconstitutional we need to convert young people into capitalists, will make the choice themselves, naturally.

FYI: We Are Not on The Same Page, Sir!

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on May 9, 2010

Yesterday, after the show, I got the lamest answer ever out of someone running for Congress. He was telling me how opposed to socialism he is and how Obama is a socialist. So I asked him, “If Obama took over an entire private industry and put all of the private businesses in this industry out of business and made the federal government the only option for a service, what would you call that?” his answer was “Communism!” follow-up question: “When George Bush took over the airline security industry and created the TSA was this communism too?” his reply: “No, they have the power to do that under the interstate commerce clause of the constitution”. I reminded him that he is defending the TSA the same way Obama defends Obamacare “Interstate commerce!”. So not only was this candidate defedning a socialist idea, he was doing it the same way Obama defends his socialist ideas! But what’s more, his logic was horribly flawed, the so called “interstate commerce” clause says Congress has the power to regulate commerce between the states. What they meant by this was not that government could regulate all commerce that travels between two states it was meant to regulate commerce between two or more states. Florida and Georgia are in a commercial deal, Congress can regulate it to ensure both states get a fair deal. This was mainly used for sharing rivers and bays that were available to two states. Then the candidate tried to remind me of supreme court case law that has allowed the government to regulate private industry and yada yada yada. It make me puke in my mouth a little bit. I reminded him that the supreme court has also said that the constitution contains a right to murder children. That doesn’t make them right. The supreme court thinks social security and the new deal is constitutional. So let’s recap: candidate X defends the taking over of an entire industry by the federal government, uses Obama’s “commerce clause” defence, and then tells me that the unelected, baby-murdering supreme court has said it’s ok! Thanks for clearing that up, sir! We did have former New Mexico Gov. Garry Johnson on for the whole first hour. He was awesome. Look him up on YouTube.

http://www.constitution.org/lrev/bork-troy.htm

Boy is This Going to be Unpopular

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on May 4, 2010

I can already hear everyone I know bitching at me about this blog post. This will, to me, prove who really stands for liberty and who is ready to sell out the Constitution when it suits their needs. The phrases like “don’t tread on me” and “give me liberty or give me death” can only mean so much if, when called to defend the Constitution, we let fear come between us and liberty.

The guy they arrested for the attempted car-bombing in Times Square has a foreign sounding name but he is an American citizen. John Mccain is out there saying he shouldn’t have been given his Miranda rights and I’m sure many people reading this agree. He is, after all, a terrorist, right? Weren’t Tim Mcveigh and the Unibomber? I am sure they were read their Miranda rights. They were taken to civilian courts with a jury for sure. And why wouldn’t they be? They are American citizens.

If they want to try this bastard for treason and have him drawn and quartered that is fine by me. But please don’t tell me that an American citizen, arrested on the streets of one of our cities, shouldn’t be given Miranda rights. I’ll bet if he were an illegal immigrant Mccain would have no problem with him. If they can do it to this guy, they can do it to any of us. If Obama decides that some tea party organizer is a “threat” to national security can he arrest them and not give the Miranda warnings and take them to a military court? We are not talking about someone found fighting our soldiers in Iraq or some foreign national; this is an American citizen just like all of us.

I hope people understand that this is where the tea party folks need to stand up for the Constitution even though it is uncomfortable. If they can take one of his rights away, they can take all of his rights away. If they can take away his rights, they can take away our rights. People that are citizens of other countries do not need to be read Miranda rights. People caught fighting us in Iraq should not be given Constituional rights. American citizens, arrested in America deserve Constitutional rights. End of story.

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Not All Pols Are Created Equal

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on October 31, 2009

Like a lot of you I used to be really jaded when it comes to politicians. A lot of them seems like they think they are something special and the rest of us are nobodys not worthy of their time or attention. Our congressman, Alan Grayson, is one of the best examples of this. At public events speaks to us with contempt and acts as if we are beneath him. There are politcians like this on both sides of the aisle.
There are, however, some politicians that are down to earth and capable of communicating with us “little people”. State Representative Scott Plakon, who represents district 37 in the Florida House, was a guest on our show a few months back and has been several times since. I am now honored to call him a personal friend.
There are even politicians like Scott Plakon at the federal level. Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s 5th district is one such man. Mr. King was a guest on the show a few weeks back and again today. Jason and I were both very impressed with the way Congressman King spoke to us like a friend not a politcian. After the interview I spoke to Congressman King off the air, he was friendly and easy to speak to. You would think that he would hurry me off the phone instead of taking the time to listen to me but he didn’t. He took the time to have an actual conversation and he listened like any friend would.
I think we need to have more Steve Kings and less Alan Graysons; not just based on politics but based on personality. We need more politicians who really listen to people and who really care not just politicians who pretend to listen so they can LOOK like they care. We need to elect politicians like Steve King who have the ability to communicate with regular people because they are regular people. We need to elect politicians who have worked for a living instead of millionaires that buy their seats because they want the power that comes with being a congressman. We also need more politicians who understand that representative is not a title but a job description. We need more politicians who are regular people who care like Steve King and Scott Plakon and less power hungry millionaires like Alan Grayson. It’s up to us to make it happen.