Joe Reporting from Portland (Day 4, Part 1)

The Following Report was submitted by Joe Magyer from this weekend’s Libertarian National Convention in Portland, Oregon. Joe is covering the event for Third Party Watch and we’ll be posting his dispatches as they’re received.

DAY 4 / Part One ————————————————————

After the convention was winding down, I was riding a complete emotional and stress related high from the drama of tallying the votes for the Platform Ballots. Even after everyone had left, I still was kind of hanging around the Secretary’s table, just waiting to help people. Kind of a weird psychological thing, I guess.

I finally was able to draw myself away from the table and worked my way over to Mark’s booth. He was cashing out a $250 sale at the time, which was sweet. He actually did pretty well once he was able to move his booth to an area where the foot traffic flowed.

I told one of the guys I worked with at the volunteer’s desk, Steve, that I’d happily meet him for a drink at the hotel bar shortly after the convention closed, which I did. I opened up with a pale ale and followed it up with a Lagavulin, which was a direct tribute to Toby Ziegler.

Mark ended up meeting us at the bar after a beer or two. We ordered some grub and some ale. I think both of us were expecting a night of drinking and general and stupid rabble rousing.

The evening took an interesting turn, though, when we met “Gene”. While Mark and I were chatting things up, a fella sitting next to Mark said howdy and introduced himself. Gene is a Marine on leave and will be heading back to Iraq for his 3rd tour there later this month. The list of conflicts in which he has fought include those in Panama, Somalia, and both Iraq Wars. He has been decorated with a massive list of medals.

I could go on and on about Gene’s accomplishments as a soldier, but I’d prefer you just took my word for it that Gene is a war hero. If you can’t just take my word for it, I’m sure Mark would be happy to email you some photos of us with him and one of his Purple Hearts.

Gene had a lot to say and we were happy to oblige by listening. He told us all about his time in the service and his take on the war. He does not support a full pull out from Iraq, as he feels that would be improper given the lives we’ve lost so far. If he had his way tomorrow, the Americans would spend more resources on training the fledgling Iraqi army and police.

He told us that while the Americans are generally very well received by the Iraqi citizens, there has been an interesting growing discontent that has not been mentioned in the press. Gene said that alcohol and pornography have made their way into the Iraqi markets since the Westerners began to settle in the area. Not surprisingly, porn and booze have proven to be popular with the young men of Iraq, which has caused a great deal of outrage within the Muslim community.

Gene finally had to take off, which left Mark and I to tip them up and talk about our weekend and newfound friend. As I pointed out to the bar tender, we are the coolest guys in the bar because we have a laptop. I rule. I’ve had a number of gin and tonics, following several pale ales and a single malt. Given that I also bought dinner at the bar and that Mark and I split Gene’s check, well, my bill is going to be brutal. I blame tax hungry bureaucrats for the heavy cost of my booze.

The world needs cheaper gin.

One Response to “Joe Reporting from Portland (Day 4, Part 1)”

  1. Fred Mangels Says:

    “The list of conflicts in which he has fought include those in Panama, Somalia, and both Iraq Wars. He has been decorated with a massive list of medals.”.

    I can’t help but wonder if this is another one of those phony war hero types who claim all sorts of combat experience but never did any of what they claim. People like that are popping up all over the place.

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