Tom Rants

Yes, Virginia, there is a St. Valentine.

Tom Rants What I am…

What I am…

I am a first year Ph.D. student in political science at the University of Houston. My major field is international relations and my minor field is comparative politics. I’m interested in game theory and public choice. My research interests are ideology as it relates to risk and endogenous audience costs as they relate to the utility of conflict.

Below is some historical information about me professionally and personally.



Since 2005, I have returned to restaurant management in a couple of capacities and have run a couple of entrepreneurial ventures. I currently offer consulting services to help small businesses build sales by improving their operations. I offer evaluations, training and coaching in operations centered marketing. Large businesses can afford to drive sales through heavy advertising and a marketing driven operation. Small businesses compete best by doing the opposite. I help them achieve that.

From 1997 to 2005, I sold real estate full time. From 2001 to 2005, I specialized in handling bank and mortgage company REO almost to the exclusion of anything else. “REO” is short for “real estate owned. ” This is what banks and mortgage companies call the properties that they have acquired through foreclosure. Aside from listing REO properties for sale for a long list of corporate clients, I also assisted them by performing pre-foreclosure and “second opinion” Broker Price Opinions or BPOs. Joplin is not a heavy corporate relocation market, but referrals from REO clients do give me occasional RELO work with corporate relocation deparments and relocation companies.

Before 1997, I spent several years in food service management, specifically managing a Domino’s Pizza franchise. It was extremely high stress and I was definitely ready for a new challenge, but it was a great job – pizza has always been my favorite food and Domino’s is one of the top 3 places for buffalo wings. (Number 1 is Hackett Hot Wings on Broadway in Joplin. This is gospel truth from a hot wing connoisseur.)

As a sideline, really more of a hobby that occasionally pays me, I obviously am heavily involved with computers and web design. I started designing web sites with simple HTML using Notepad as my editor back in 1994. The web has come a long way and I’ve been stubborn in keeping up, preferring the simple to the bleeding edge, but I’m obviously learning some of the latest DHTML, XHTML, CSS and all the other good acronyms and abbreviations. If nothing else, I can at least tell you what they mean.


Effective July 2016, I am no longer a Republican. At the cost of no longer being able to vote in any primary in Texas, I will be officially changing my voter registration. I am a registered Republican. From 1996 to 2000, I was the Newton County Central Committeeman for Reding Precinct. In 2000, I got married and moved to Granby, which was the home precinct of the Newton County Presiding Commissioner. He and his wife were the committeeman and woman for the precinct, so for several years I enjoyed status of “invited guest” at most committee meetings.

I am a libertarian with a small l and, don’t let this scare you, an armchair anarcho-capitalist. I believe that government is best which governs least and to paraphrase Thoreau that is logically the government which governs not at all. Put a bit differently, the level of government that is truly morally permissible is so small, that many people would consider it no government at all – a coalition of free citizens voluntarily opposing those who would use force, theft or fraud against anyone in their midst. On the other hand, I don’t think we are actually ready for that and I accept some government as realistically necessary or at least inevitable. The greatest influences on my thought have been the great advocates of freedom and individualism from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan.

I worked on Mel Hancock’s first primary campaign for 7th District Congress in ’88 and got the taste for winning conservative candidates. I am a former member of the Libertarian Party, though I have supported Republican candidates since that first voting and working election in 1988. I supported several Libertarian candidates in that 1988 election and basically learned that there are too many flakes in the Libertarian Party who don’t care enough about their principles to want candidates who will further those principles to win. As a libertarian, I’m a member and supporter of The Club for Growth, an organization which has moved libertarian ideas forward in Republican politics, and think that the Libertarian Party has served its purpose (barring the self-immolation of the Demoncat party which would change the dynamic completely). Even though I am a libertarian and not a neocon, I am a supporter of the Project for a New American Century. The best defense for life, liberty and property at home is helping free people from tyranny abroad so they can produce their own freedom and prosperity rather than just coveting ours.

In Presidential races, I worked for and voted for Ron Paul in 1988. Ron was a former Republican Congressman from Texas running as a Libertarian and he is now back in Congress as a Republican. I did not trust the man who called Reagan’s economic plan “voodoo economics. As it turned out, I was right. In 1992, though I had left the LP and was otherwise solidly Republican, I cast a protest vote for Ross Perot. In 1996, I was an enthusiastic supporter of Bob Dole and Jack Kemp. In 2000 and again this year, I was an enthusiastic supporter of George W. Bush. I think he’s more conservative than his father and also learned from his father’s mistakes.

I have a political commentary site, in the form of a “blog” that holds both my pithy bloggity type observations and occasionally a more in depth piece of commentary.


I have in order I met them

  • Two parents: Iola and Jon French
  • A brother: Troy
  • A daughter: Cassidy
  • Nieces and nephews: John, Ciera, Bryceton. Vincent (aka Ichabod) and Lucy
  • Aunts, uncles and cousins too numerous too list


Reading, writing, blogging, politics, computers, cooking, eating, roleplaying games, mystery shopping..

I’m addicted to Google. I’m a Googleholic.

Influences and Favorites

Major Influences

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Tom Paine
  • Milton Friedman
  • Patrick Henry
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Locke
  • Adam Smith
  • Barry Goldwater
  • Ayn Rand
  • John the Revelator

Personal Influences

  • Joe Bell
  • Tom Wyrick
  • Mel Hancock

    Favorite Authors
  • Anne Rice
  • Ayn Rand
  • John Grishamn
  • John Steinbeck
  • Tom Clancy
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
    *George R.R. Martin

General Favorites

  • Book: Anthem
  • Movie: Clerks
  • Song: Kashmir
  • Band: Dave Matthews Band
  • Painter: Monet
  • Songwriter: Willie Nelson
  • City: New Orleans
  • Beer: Black and Tan
  • Food: Pizza

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