Ireland, Poway, Donald Trump, and the Libertarian Convention

May 28, 2024

Our Ireland Adventure was Splendid.

Our Ireland vacation was splendid. Beautiful countryside villages and small fishing harbors. Mizen Head, Garnish Island, Cliffs of Moher, Kinsale Scilly Walk were highlights in Ireland.

Two lane roads (or less) everywhere in Ireland. Driving an adventure on the left side of road and steering wheel on right.

The people were friendly, approachable, and extremely helpful. We asked a couple in Shannon Town for hints to find a Shannon Town sign and they spent a half hour with us trying to figure it out.

We walked into a tiny, village grocery store and post office in Eyeries to get the store manager’s thoughts on identifying some photos my uncle took in that village 15 years ago. This turned into a 45-minute-long discussion, referencing genealogy books and authors, sharing family tree information, and pointing to various places on a local map. Turns out that she is also part of the Harrington-Causkey family tree. We share some DNA somewhere.

While having a drink in Bulman’s Pub near Kinsale, a local overheard my conversation with my wife about my attempt to locate a few addresses in my ancestry file. Turns out this guy was a local architect, historian, and lecturer. He pointed out that many of those addresses from the 1901 census were obsolete since they renamed streets and numbers after the Irish Revolution. Plus, it was unlikely those old homes hadn’t since been flattened and rebuilt.

Random views in the countryside felt like I was time warped back to my childhood figuring out a jigsaw puzzle of the image I was looking at. The farm houses. The coves. The small islands offshore. The lazy fishing boat tied to a pier. That’s Ireland.

We were in Ireland for a week and a half. Good first time visit to get an overview. Gave me a glimpse of how life may have been like for my ancestors in the 19th century and prior. I hope to go back and do a deeper dive into my ancestry research.

Poway Battle of Drive Thru Restaurants vs Homeowner’s Insurance Rates

Back home in Poway there was quite a kerfuffle in the South and North Poway Votes Facebook Group. The topic was about climate change and the prohibitive cost of homeowners insurance. This was used as a justification to shut down the proposed plan to build a Cane’s Chicken drive-thru on Poway Rd…. as if that decision was going to make our homeowners insurance policies increase in price.

If you want to address the inflated cost of homeowners insurance, then we should discuss the insane expense of rebuilding and the bureaucracy and govt mandates that negatively impact consumers. Climate issues play a role, but it’s not the core problem. Plus, the impact of shutting down a proposed drive-thru is going to have zero impact on home insurance rates.


Trump and the Libertarians

Let’s talk a bit about Donald Trump and the Libertarian Party Convention.

The headlines in the media are about the rowdy libertarians booing Trump. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in what made this event so nuts.

For the past few years there has been a civil war within the LP between, let’s call them “traditional libertarians” and “Ron Paul Revolution libertarians.” The Ron Paul types (they call themselves the Mises Caucus) have been pushing for big reform. Their attempt to invite Trump to their convention was planned for months and there was great division in the party about his appearance.

Some thought this would be an opportunity to create greater exposure for the LP. (Ironically by inviting an authoritarian, anti-liberty candidate).

Some thought this would be an opportunity for the LP to get Trump to agree to certain policies if the LP endorsed his campaign. (Ironically by negotiating with a con man). Trump promised to put libertarians either in his cabinet or in senior positions. He also promised to offer Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Ross Ulbricht freedom from prison or asylum. Do you think he will keep his word? Will Mexico pay for it?

Trump and his team thought this was an opportunity to win votes on the margins…  to pick up a few percent more at the ballot box. (Ironically with a group of people whose basic philosophy conflicts with Trump’s policies.) There was no way the LP was going to nominate or endorse Trump.

So, the crowd was rowdy. He got cheered. He got jeered. He got booed. It was wild looking at Trump’s reaction. He was befuddled. I am sure he screamed at his staff after the event. It got so crazy that Trump resorted to criticizing his audience.

Trump was reading the speech in the teleprompter for the very first time. He stumbled over his words. It was disjointed. The crowd would howl. It had no ringing of sincerity.

Then Trump would throw in one of his ad-hoc Trump gestures or statements.

It was comedy gold. It was a pathetic “date” between two misfits. It was just a means to an end.

It failed for everyone involved.

There can be no advancement of liberty when dealing with an authoritarian con man. It’s like Chamberlain trying to appease Hitler. It’s like negotiating with terrorists.

Full Disclosure…  I was a registered member of the Libertarian Party for about 20 years. As a young adult I found their philosophy refreshing. I wanted an alternative to GOP and Dems since neither were aligned with my own views. The party has been ineffective despite so many opportunities to advance their cause. I finally gave up on them over 10 years ago and am proud to be a registered independent.

Philosophically I find that the LP’s version of liberty to be different than my own, especially now since the Mises Caucus folks have taken over party leadership. But there is still considerable overlap between their views and my own. I enjoy keeping an eye on their activities. I will still frequently vote for their candidates when the GOP and Dem alternatives are not worthy of my support.

It’s unbelievable how awful the two leading candidates are for POTUS.

I don’t see much change coming at the ballot box. That’s why I try the alternative strategy of education and influence through my JRP online content. There is tremendous work to do.

Vote harder.