"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Anti-Patriot: Paul Wheeler


This is Wheeler in Ft. Wayne at the 2007 Ft. Wayne Tea Party.
I branded him Patriot Paul by encouraging an unsure and nervous newbie activist to continue to show up to protests in costume.


Recently I discovered this message written by the so-called "patriot" Paul Wheeler, in response to a Libertarian outing that supports small business owners' rights to choose to allow smoking in their establishments. While Paul claims to be anti-smoking, he never once said a word that cigarette smoke offends him as he attended countless activist meetings as I puffed away on cigarettes earlier this year.

I specifically asked Wheeler if he minded if I had a smoke in my own house, to which he replied (as always) that he did not mind. I'm not sure what Wheeler's overall problem is, but I do know one thing. He's a hypocrite in a costume. The inside doesn't match the outside, folks.

--Melyssa for HFFT

Wheeler writes:
Do Libertarians Need a Facelift?
Desiring to take a stand for business owners' rights in the field of smokes, local Libertarian Party members and like-minded went on a 'Cigar-roll' on Saturday in Indianapolis. Yes, we all want business owners to be in charge of their own property, but at what risks to others and to what extent? A man's home is his castle, but even the Constitution directs the government to enter, albeit with a warrant. One cannot hide behind his doors and do anything he wants. Without a full
fledge debate, the matter becomes presentation and emphasis. What message is sent by published pictures of the event showing LP members and such imbibing toxins? While it seems there are as many brands of libertarians as cigars, there are just as many causes to fight for. The question of emphasis becomes whether ingesting poisons is the best way to promulgate the cause of freedom. Fighting for the 'right' to poison others and call it a business seems a strange way to highlight the Libertarian Party, when basic freedoms affecting and transcending both smokers and non-smokers are far more plentiful, given the breathtaking national issues besetting us during the last several years and aggressively thrust upon the American people during 2008-9; the Fed, fiat money, taxes, bailouts, banking. The question is not whether the LP has a right to ingest poisons, but whether it wishes to be seen as extremists in perpetuating an addiction to others by example. It's one thing to take to the streets with signs for freedom and another thing to participate in something knowingly harmful to yourself & others under the guise of liberty. The means don't justify the ends. Patrick Henry wanted liberty or death; not liberty as a means to death.Bottom line: can libertarians get away from these displays and define itself on broader issues confronting Americans and be relevant. Donny Ferguson, communications director of the national LP, wrote recently that 2 items, guns and legalization of drugs, are worthy causes. The latter is exactly what has marginalized the LP. The LP needs to rise to the issues of immigration and abortion, among others (even libertarian icon Ron Paul is against abortion on libertarian grounds, based on not using force to effect change). For 30+ years, the LP has done instant replays of fringe antics. Take a look at the pictures and ask yourself if this is the message of hope or hopelessness. Is this the direction of the LP? Will the real reformers please stand up. Would you vote for these people for public office to represent you?

A RESPONSE:
Here is a well-thought response to Wheeler I was emailed today. It states what I continue to hear from people who interact with him. Paul is a guy in a costume with a mighty overblown ego.

It is Ironic that Patriot Paul is reading the Declaration of Independence at the 4th of July Tea Party. I say ironic because Patriot Paul is a statist. He believes in government intervention not only in your personal life, but in how one can run his own small business. While movements often feel the need to have some kind of mascot, Wheeler has not distinguished himself in the area of pro-liberty ideology or in demonstrating any understanding of things. He has mostly relegated himself to some kind of critic who just likes to throw rocks at people wiser than himself.

Patriot Paul called those opposed to the forced government smoking bans on private property "murderers" and "baby killers". His comment alienated many people and will certainly not earn him a spot amongst Indiana's great statesmen. Patriot Paul is a staunch supporter of Smoke Free Indy's campaign to eliminate smoking in cigar bars, hookah bars, clubs and pubs. This of
course would cause many small business owners to lose their life's work, all in the name of government saving people from harming themselves. Patriot Paul believes that others should not be able to smoke on private commercial property, even though an individual has a choice whether or not to patron an establishment. Patriot Paul believes that choice should not exist. Suffice to say that places like Indy Cigar Bar, by the Keystone Fashion Mall, would be forced to close if Patriot Paul, Smoke Free Indy and the local statist politicians get their way.

By the way, Smoke Free Indy is a government funded special interest group that lobbies local government to adopt legislation that forces their ideals and views onto the general population. Anyone see the conflict of interest in a government funded special interest group? If someone was to support an organization like that, then they don't deserve the title of Patriot to me, nor should that person be reading the Declaration of Independence at a rally denouncing government intervention. It's just an insult to the founding fathers and to insult them on the 4th of July is unfathomable.

But, hey, some people will cozy up to any group or organization or even throw their former friends under the bus if they think it will get them some form of minor notoriety. There are far better advocates around Central Indiana that could have been tapped for this, insulting everyone with someone just because they have a nice costume to wear wasn't necessary. It's time to start paying to attention to who the smart, principled and ideologically grounded folks are not just who is vocal and flamboyant.

In Liberty,
Travis Zellers

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a bored old man in a costume with too much time on his hands.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they get Shepard to do it? He's good at keeping party bias out of things when appropriate.

And does anyone REALLY want to sit through a whole reading of the Declaration of Independence anyway?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I'm sure the Behney's love Patriot Paul because he has a wardrobe, he doesn't charge a fee, and he trashes the Libertarians.

Anybody figure out yet that the Behney's are running protests as a FOR PROFIT corporation?
--Melyssa

Anonymous said...

He prescribes a facelift. Interesting remark from a man obviously enthralled with the superficial and not substance or principle.

Downtown Indy said...

Isn't it possible to have a disagreement with someone on an issue without going into full 'attack mode?'

Wouldn't it be better to itemize the reasons you think he's wrong and leave it at that?

If ranchers shot their lost strays rather than returning them to the herd, they would soon find they have lost the ranch, too.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Downtown...Yes, these things are possible. Ask my socialist and liberal friends. We disagree often and then have beers together. Their friendship comes before politics.

However, it is not HFFT that went on the attack. In fact I held my public tongue for months regarding Wheeler.

His latest attack on the Libertarian party was more than I could stomach without commentary because the Libertarian networks are THE activists in this city who are producing tangible results on a variety of fronts.

I knew the Libertarians would not so much as acknowledge Wheeler's remarks. But to me this is personal since I am the one that that brought that turncoat into our activist network and helped to create the "brand" that became Patriot Paul.

BUT for the Libertarians (and me) no one in this town would know Wheeler exists and he's the LAST person in this state that should be reading the Declaration of Independence. He's a statist who is pushing for more (not less) government interference in our personal lives and property.

Pete Boggs said...

DI has it right & perhaps a face to face is in order to bury hatchets. This stuff is distracting when there are very real issues upon which we agree. Such distractions cede critical ground to those who seek to destroy our freedom.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Pete, you need to have this convo with the turncoat. He was warned long ago where the line was and he crossed it intentionally.

Bitterblackale said...

Fair tax - only makes sense, but you have to convince public officials to let go of their 'religious' attitude toward governing. I'm getting to think it unsurmountable at present. Yes, political parties are irrelevant to democracy; Precedent is irrelevant to democracy; Patriotism is irrelevant to democracy - only what the majority want is relevant to democracy... but the majority of whom? The uninformed, the disinterested, the rich who already have everything and who buy votes (whether directly or indirectly is irrelevant, all politicians do it on some degree - the good ones just don't get caught)? The founding "fathers" were not perfect, but their fear has proven true - we (then the colonies, now the U.S.A.) have replaced one tyrant across an ocean with hundreds of tyrants right here. The fair tax won't happen unless we can prove to the tyrants (a.k.a. relevant public SERVANTS a.k.a. legislators) that it's in their best interest to do so.

The sad truth is that this probably won't go through unless someone figures out how to make lots of money with it- and then it will have been ruined because we've totally obliterated the idea of democracy by allowing those with the most money to have the most influence. Really, can anyone objectively say otherwise? By "objectively" I mean an unemotional response with a logical conclusion.

Mrs_irish_guy said...

In defense of the Behney's I would like to remind people that they are still neophytes in politics, there will be mistakes made and we just need to see if they learn from them or repeat them.

After the disappointing turn out on the 4th, I truly hope that they will listen to council from those who can not attend their planning meetings but email comments as input. I know non planning group members had warned them both about the date and about "Patriot Paul". These people were basically mocked or overridden without discussion. However, for the most part it was their money. Although I have not examined the books, the major production they make out of these events must have left them in the red.

As for the "fair tax",In order to gain my personal support, this tax MUST replace all other hidden taxes including but not limited to alcohol, cigarette, gasoline ect. or at the very least, exempt the tax portion of the product from additional sales tax. Asking any citizen to pay a tax on a tax is unfair.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Mrs. Irish Guy,

Yes, the Behney's are neophytes in politics. So am I. I especially was in 2007 when I led the property tax protests. Are they also neophytes in good manners? It would appear so from how I was treated by them.

Success will be achieved by building coalitions and fighting at the REAL grassroots level and that is local. Once we clean up our state, then let the state hold its own against the federal government. That is how it is supposed to work and why the states were given the power they are. What are the Behney's doing to teach the tea party goers anything about local government.

It still galls me that the Behney's stand on the state house lawn bitching about the federal bailout and don't say a peep about the bailout happening just yards away in the Indiana State House.

Mocked and overridden would be how Laura treated me for stating my view to folks at a different meet up group.

And the good news is that the Fair Tax DOES override all taxes including those nasty embedded taxes you don't notice as much.

You should get a copy of The Fair Tax Book. It's an easy read and will help you understand the plan brilliantly!

And then if you want to help, make a donation to the Indiana Fair Tax folks.I know first hand how hard working they are and the funds would be used to spread the message throughout Indiana.

Tish said...

In further defense of the Behney's and for purposes of clarification, it should be noted that the poor turnout for the 4th had nothing to do with the Behney's not listening to the council of non-planning group members. It was the result of the crappy weather. Even in that never-ending downpour, HUNDREDS turned out for the day. I know. I was there welcoming them to the Party. Under such circumstances, I really have a hard time describing the turnout as "poor." We were all amazed at the people who gave up their holiday time with family to march and take part in that day's events.

I didn't see anyone "mocked" for stating their feelings about Patriot Paul participating that day. I did see discussion taking place, with many members saying they wholeheartedly disagreed with Patriot Paul's stance, but that they would still attend the Tea Party and fight Patriot Paul and the policies he advocates another day when it was time.

Tish

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I was surprised that the turn out was as good as it was considering the weather. Obviously a lot of people care about the direction our country is heading and want to play a part in turning her around.

It's a pity that these folks aren't being taught HOW to change the course of this country.

These protests will not be effective and will not change a thing.

There was virtually no media about them...in spite of the amazing turn out in the rain. And there won't be recognition as long as they are partisan republican Fox News endorsed events focused at the national level and not local government which all of you have the power to influence and change.

I don't trust the Behney's based on my personal experience with them, written reports I've read about their business practices, information I've been given by a couple lawyers in town, and other reasons which will come out in time.

I know from personal experience not to trust Paul Wheeler. It's a pity too. I once genuinely liked the guy.
--Melyssa for HFFT

Tish said...

Thanks, Melyssa. I, too, was disappointed in the lack of media coverage of the event. However, it did receive local news coverage on all the alphabet channels from what I've been told. Unfortunately, the media aren't too keen to pass our message around and, short of holding a gun to reporters' heads, they cannot be forced to cover us or report on our activities.

I inquired and am sure that more than adequate PR efforts were undertaken over the last few months; thus, the lack of coverage was not the fault of the organizers. It was the fault of media bias.

At the Tea Party on the 4th, there was a Fair Tax booth. There were several booths gathering signatures for petitions aimed at both state and federal legislation and officials. Representatives of Indiana's Indpendence Caucus were also there. ICaucus focuses on politics on a local level. It is currently scheduling and holding town hall style meetings around the state to provide avenues for people to get politically involved in their communities. It seeks to find people in Indiana who are constitution-based, from any party, to run for local, state and federal offices. It provides people the information to learn how to run for local offices - from dog cather on up - if they're interested. So, I respectfully disagree that we aren't teaching people how to change the course of events in this country.

As for the Behney's, I trust them and will continue to do so until given a reason not to.

Take care, Melyssa.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Tish,

Laura Behney gave me reason not to trust her. And Richard told me a bold faced lie about his business.

I have seen first hand reports of his business practices dated as recently as 4/29/2009 that made my hair stand on end.

They've treated me and others I know shamefully. They went out of their way not to include the seasoned philosophically grounded liberty activists already working in Indianapolis long before Faux News and Glenn Beck began promoting tea parties. Offers of help were rejected (and ignored) from from day one.

Further, I've always been troubled that an Indy Tea Party website existed before the Behneys were named as organizers. That's not grass roots activism.

I'm not sure what the answer is for the Behneys, but things aren't adding up.

Why doesn't anyone question why they are running donations through a for-profit company and do not disclose financials?

Did any of their followers ever check to see if their business filed bankruptcy before donating money to them?