By David Decoteau
This is something I wrote that I recently reread while doing the "spring cleaning" of my computer. My finger hovered over "delete", but I gave it a reprieve as I think it warrants preserving here. Especially as Donald Trump is now taking office and accusations of "conflicts of interest" and "nepotism" abound.
It's also a bit of a snapshot of my journey into libertarian thinking, followed by an example of how my newly "awoken eyes" were now seeing things in a new light.
What I was now able to see, has been happening forever in politics. I'm sure it's still happening today. Citizens of the United States need to be contantly vigilent. If not, their elected representatives will steal them blind.
August 15th, 2008
Being involved in the Ron Paul for President campaign has not made me a better person. In fact, I find myself upset, cranky and discouraged most of the time. I used to be such a fun guy!
Previous to my involvement, I was mildly upset about the course of the country. I knew the economy was artificially inflated to keep up the appearance of prosperity. I knew that we got into the Iraq war under false pretences. I knew that election results during the past eight years seemed to be a little “sketchy.” But like everyone else I was content to sit back and reason that things really aren’t sooo bad.
But now I feel like I am “Neo” in the Matrix movie after he decides to take the red pill that lets him see the real world. Now everywhere I look I see, in the words of Morpheous, “how deep the rabbit hole really goes.”
For example the other night I was watching “Iron Chef” with my wife (no snide comments here please.) About half way into the show, they go to France to cook an elaborate and expensive meal for 20 guests. Each chef is given $2,500.00 just to buy the raw ingredients for the meal. After the shopping spree, they go to the residence. It is an actual French palace. I looked it up. Here is the brief history from homes website :
As late as the reign of Louis XV the Faubourg Saint-Honoré was a bucolic suburb. It was here in 1710 that the King’s Chancellor, Henri François d’Aguesseau, acquired a tract of land. Ten years later he built a house, and subsequently the property passed through a series of owners. In 1836, Baroness Michaela de Pontalba and later her heirs sold the property to Baron Edmond de Rothschild in 1876. He hired Felix Langlais to substantially renovate, enlarge and embellish the Residence, leaving only Visconti’s gatehouse and portals intact, but following much of the H-shaped ground floor plan. (see the photo at top)
So you get the picture, this is no shack. The copper pots on the walls in the professional kitchen probably cost more than my house! This place had a full time kitchen staff.
So then they introduce the house resident. His name is Craig Roberts Stapleton and he is the current United States ambassador to France. Yes, that PALACE is owned by the U.S. Government and paid for with U.S. tax dollars!
So I thought, “Well I am sure that guy is very qualified and has worked hard to attain such a lofty and noble position with our government.” So I looked it up on his own official web site and here is what I found:
This is Stapleton's second ambassadorship, as he had been ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2001 to 2004. From 1989 to 1998 Stapleton co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with President George W. Bush.
In 2004, he was the Connecticut State Chairman for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. Under former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, Stapleton was on the Board of the Peace Corps. He was on the board of directors for several companies including Allegheny Properties, Metro PCS, TB Woods and Winston Partners.
He served as President of Marsh and McLennan Real Estate Advisors of New York from 1982 until 2001.
Stapleton was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his secondary school education at Phillips Exeter Academy and a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Harvard University. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
After some more digging I found that Stapleton speaks neither French nor Czech fluently. On a recent interview with France 24, Stapleton stated that he had been learning French since his appointment. This has caused some to allege that his nominations as ambassador to France and Czech Republic were based more on his personal connections with the Bush family than actual international diplomacy competence and experience.
Stapleton is married with a home in Greenwich, Connecticut and has two adult children. His wife, Dorothy Walker Stapleton is a first cousin of George H.W. Bush!
The ruination of bliss
So bottom line, we are all paying for this PALACE so that an unqualified crony and RELATIVE of the president can live the highest life possible on our dime!
This is something I would have NEVER noticed before getting involved in libertarianism. I would have just enjoyed the Iron Chef, looked at the food and the pretty french castle and felt happy about the world. But now...no way. I can't do it. Those peaceful bovine days are sadly over.
Is it too late for me to take the “blue pill” and return to my life of ignorant bliss?