Monday, August 31, 2009
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1401
(202) 224-4814 p
(202) 228-0360 f
Dear Senator Lugar,
When Congress and the Senate come back from break there are three bills facing you of critical importance to the future of all Americans. Never before have such total game changing legislation come at the same time each with the potential of destroying the very fabric of America. The Cap and Trade Bill, the Health Care bill, and the Card Check Bill each are designed to remove our American liberties and replace them with a near Totalitarian State.
The Cap and Trade Bill, while touted as a way of no less saving the world from global destruction, is nothing more than a way to destroy the American Capitalist system and give away our place in the world economy to others who would be laughing at us for committing fiscal suicide. Your own experience as a leader from Indiana should make it clear to you that not only would this largest tax increase in the history of man destroy America’s economy, it would wipe Indiana completely out.
In a letter from you on July 30th you told me that you would never vote for this bill, that was truly wonderful news to me.
I thank you for those comforting words; please remember them when it comes to voting against this outrageously expensive and destructive bill. I ask that you vote against each of these anti-liberty, anti-freedom, anti-Constitutional, and anti-fiscally responsible bills.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1401
(202) 224-4814 p
(202) 228-0360 f
Dear Senator Lugar,
When Congress and the Senate come back from break there are three bills facing you of critical importance to the future of all Americans. Never before have such total game changing legislation come at the same time each with the potential of destroying the very fabric of America. The Card Check, the Cap and Trade Bill, and the Health Care Bill each are designed to remove our American liberties and replace them with a near Totalitarian State.
The Card Check Bill is completely un-American. There is no possible advantage for it to employees or for their employers. This is a pay back bill for Obama’s victory to the unions, especially the SEIU and ACORN. By voting for this bill it would be the same as if you personally were taking brass knuckles to someone forcing them to sign up for a union that they want nothing to do with. Voting for Card Check is tantamount to creating a thugacracy and inflicting terror and intimidation on America’s working families.
Senator, I ask not only for myself, my family, my children, but for every American that you vote against each of these bills. We are counting on you, and others who value our American Constitution to stop this assault on our freedoms and liberties.
Be sure to sign with your name, address, phone, and email.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Senator Evan Bayh
131 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Bayh,
When Congress and the Senate come back from break there are three bills facing you of critical importance to the future of all Americans. Never before have such total game changing legislation come at the same time each with the potential of destroying the very fabric of America. The Health Care Bill, the Cap and Trade Bill, and the Card Check Bill each are designed to remove our American liberties and replace them with a near Totalitarian State.
The Health Care Bill would effectively take away the greatest health care system in the world away from the American people to give the Federal government total control over each American’s life. With this bill, it doesn’t matter if you want to call them death panels or not, it effectively creates a system to determine the “value” of a person’s life to determine if they will get treatment or not. It will create as system that will reduce the available health care that we have today.
There are much better free market solutions to help reduce costs and improve care. We need to look at removing the restrictions on selling insurance across State Lines. Another opportunity for savings would be to allow and encourage first party payer plans and move away from the third party systems of employer based, and stay far away from the idea of a single party nightmare of government health care. There has to be tort reform to not only eliminates the cost of legislation, but to stop redundant medical tests that are only done as a CYA of the doctors practicing defensive medicine to protect them from litigation.
There are good options available for Health Care, and Health Insurance reform, but the government option isn’t one of them. Not only would it destroy our current health care system, and cause rationing and shortages of basic services, it will bankrupt this country. Quoting you from a letter you sent to me on July 14th “The troubled State of public finances highlights the importance of restoring fiscal responsibility to the federal budget. Simply put, it is immoral to borrow from our children and grandchildren to finance large and persistent deficits.” Then later you said, “As a longtime leader in the Senate for restoring fiscal responsibility, please know that I will continue to fight to bring accountability and sunshine to a budget process in desperate need of repair.”
I thank you for those comforting words; please remember them when it comes to voting against this outrageously expensive and destructive bill. I ask that you vote against each of these anti-liberty, anti-freedom, anti-Constitutional, and anti-fiscally responsible bills.
Be sure to put your own name, address, phone number and email.
Friday, August 28, 2009
When I was managing a sales team for a builder, I was often shopping other builder's models to learn what they were offering so we could stay competitive. If the sales person didn't know me, I would introduce myself as a Realtor and would give them my Real Estate card. As a Realtor I could get information that I was looking for, but more so could get on their follow up distribution list to learn what promotions they would have long after my visit. Something else I could measure was the salesperson's follow through skills. I gave them my cell phone, home address, and personal email so that they could follow through with me. The irony is how few actually did. Those who did a good job following through with me went into my wish list file as potential sales people when I was looking for new personnel.
Once again this week I was given an outstanding example of how poor most sales people do their jobs. My son's car was totaled last week, the insurance company settled with us, so he had cash burning a hole in his pocket to get another car. He also had a deadline to beat because the insurance company would stop paying for his rental car today. On Wednesday evening I went to a dealer to see a car they told me about, and they puppy dog closed me by sending it home with me. Thursday morning I took this car to a Realtor meeting. On the way home, I stopped by 8 more dealerships driving another dealer's car, with a dealer plate in the window, and paint on the windshield. At each location I met a salesperson, told them my exact search grid, price, needed features, and told them we had cash and would buy within 24 hours.
With each one, I told them that I would be meeting with my son after he got off work, and we would start shopping together. I gave each my card and told them to email me whatever cars they had that fit my search grid, I held up my Blackberry and told each that when he and I went shopping we would be using my Blackberry to look at what is available and come to each dealer and salesperson who sent me their list.
Of those 8 car salesmen, whom many had told me that 1. they didn't get paid for the Cash for Clunkers that they sold, and won't until the government pays their dealer. and 2. that it is very difficult to get financing on cars in the price range my son was looking. So they have a buyer standing here with cash and will buy today, all they have to do is email me a list of their cars. How many do you think followed through? There were only 3 of the 8 that I heard from at all. Of those, one we had to call back to get his participation since we were interested in his car, since we had it over night. We shopped all three, and he bought his car last night. All three who followed through did an excellent job, one actually had the very car my son was dreaming of, and when they met our price, it was all over. However, if that car wasn't affordable, we would have been back dealing with the other two and would have bought one of those. Those who didn't get back with us, simply were not in the game.
I have always believed it only takes a little extra to be Extraordinary over the ordinary salesperson. However, I have a hard time believing that following through as a client told you exactly what and when they wanted you to was doing something that would be considered extra. You would think that would be ordinary. However, I guess it is much like the saying that common sense isn't very common anymore either.
If you are looking for a car, or if you are in sales management looking for good sales people. Congratulations to Mike Bragg with Tom Wood Subaru, his car didn't get the sale, but he did what he needed to do to stay in the game. Congratulations to Jason Wetzel with Butler Hyundai, he too did his follow through, and had THE car.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The higher up the economic food chain you go the more you hear about Mark to Market Accounting Systems today. It didn’t start the down turn, but it has proven to be a major catalyst driving it deeper faster than if it wasn’t in use. With a little study we learn that it isn’t the first time, and we have a track record to predict our future by its use in the past.
In the book “A Monetary History of the United States,” Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz tell us that mark-to-market accounting rules caused banks to fail in the Great Depression, not from bad loans, but from writing down bond values at the call of regulators. As William Isaac, former head of the FDIC, tells us in his submission, FDR eventually called together a panel in 1938 that suspended those rules. By then the Depression has lasted 8 years.
Friedman believed that government’s role in the guidance of the economy must be severely restricted. He wrote extensively on the Great Depression, which he called the Great Constriction, arguing that it had been caused by an ordinary financial shock whose duration and seriousness were greatly increased by the contraction of the money supply caused by mark to market. Friedman believed that the depression was far from a failure of the free enterprise system, it was a tragic failure of the government.
Suspending mark-to-market accounting could fix major problems at no cost. It is too bad that many people dismiss this issue without really understanding its economic impact. Franklin Roosevelt suspended mark-to-market in 1938, and between then and 2007 there were no panics or depressions. But when FASB 157, a statement from Federal Accounting Standards Board, went into effect in 2007, introducing mark-to-market accounting, look what happened.
There are two things that are essential when fixing financial market problems, time and growth. It takes time to allow things to work out, and growth to make working things out easier. Mark-to-market removes both. This is because these accounting rules force banks to write off losses even before they actually happen, with this we lose time. This happens because it actually prices in more losses than have, or may ever occur. It forces banks to take artificial losses to capital without looking toward actual performance of loans.
Growth is affected by wiping out capital. It creates a so-called “fair value” and increases the odds of asset fire sales making markets much less liquid. This happened in 2008, investment banks failed, and the government proposed bailouts. This drove prices down even further, hurting the economy. Growth suffers, bad loans multiply, and it is a downward spiral.
In the 1980s and 1990s, there were at least as many, and more, bad loans in the banking system as a share of the economy. What was different was that there was no mark-to-market accounting. This gave banks time to work through the problems. The U.S. cut marginal tax rates and raised interest rates helping the economic growth. Time and growth allowed those major banking problems to be absorbed. There were nearly 3,000 banks that failed at that time yet without creating an economic catastrophe.
In the 1930s, mark-to-market accounting limited the amount of time available to fix problems. At the same time the U.S. raised taxes, increased spending and economic interference, and became protectionist. This hurt growth. The reason the Great Depression was so bad is that we did then what we are trying to do now. Maybe it is time we learned from history, and not repeat it. On April 12th of this year, there was an agreement to "soften" the rules. They should have started coming into effect during the second quarter of this year, hopefully they will be softened enough to help. There seems to be a better way by going to a Rolling 3 year average to find a better number.
If you would like to read a very good article on it, on April 12th Forbes has one, just Google Mark to Market Accounting.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Kennedy, speaking of the effects of the act, said, "First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.... The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."
The Act resulted in a flood of new immigration, with Immigration doubled between 1965 and 1970 and doubled again between 1970 and 1990.
As a person, Kennedy was a philandering, drunken, lout whose most famous Oopsie happened at Chappaquiddick one night after drinking he took Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign worker out for a drive. His testimony of giving her a ride home holds no bearing on the truth, he took the keys from his chauffeur, she told no one she was leaving with Kennedy, and left her purse and keys at the party. One might assume that they didn't want Kennedy's wife to know about this outing. Unfortunately for Kopechne, Kennedy was drunk and lost control of the car and it plunged into the water. He then got out of the car and left her there to die. He walked by 5 homes that he could have stopped and called for help, then swam across the 500 foot channel to his hotel room changed out his wet clothes and slept off his drunk. It wasn't until the next morning when two of his aids forced him to call the police did he at 8 am. She died at his hands 40 years ago last month.
In April of 91, Ted Kennedy's nephew William, rapped a woman at the Kennedy compound in Palm Beach. Kennedy was on the property at the time, there is no proof that he knew anything about it at the time, but it did appear that he tried to use his influence to protect his nephew from the consequences. However, the Kennedy aura was so diminished by then, William did have to face prosecution for his crime.
The kindest thing that I can say about Ted Kennedy's life and long time in the Senate is that he was strongly responsible for me to leave the democrat party. In our family John Kennedy was an icon. In my grandma's family room there were three portraits on the wall. One was The Sacred Heart, one was the Pope, and the other was John F. Kennedy. However, after Bobby was killed, all we were left with was the ne'er do well screw up brother, anyone who remembers JFK, and RFK, would remember that "Teddy" was a very poor example of the Kennedy boys, kind of like a Leave it to Beaver reject.
Once again, I am sorry for the loss of a family member to his family, and a friend to his friends. But America would have been much better off had it been he that was stuck under that bridge in July of 1969. Maybe the idea of naming this Socialized Health Plan after Ted Kennedy would in fact be fitting. With this bill, Americans will find themselves treated with all the respect that these young women in this story were treated by Kennedy and his nephew.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tonight, I will leave you with a very short story. I would rather that you see the impact of this story and ponder it compared to what you are learning about the Health Care bill, and the book to "help" veterans decide if they are living a life worth living or if their families would be better off if they committed suicide. If you don't believe me, read it yourself.
Page 21 is particularly interesting. As we learn more about several of the Czars that Obama surrounds himself, along with Tom Daschle, and Dr. Zeke Emanuel who are all on record in believing in rationing health care to the young, old, and infirm to save money to treat those from 15-40 as the priority patients.
This is the story that can be found in a wonderful movie called "Life is Beautiful," if you haven't seen this movie, it is well worth your time. It is truly inspiring. This scene is at a fancy dinner party in Italy.
A woman is at the dinner table, freshly home from her trip to Germany where she was able to observe German schools. She was so excited about these brilliant German students who were able to do such complex math equations in the 3rd grade.
She went on to give a specific example of an equation these brilliant pupils were able to solve. "These are 3rd graders it is quite shocking how they were able to handle this equation.....
If a lunatic cost the government health care 4 marks a day to support, and supporting a cripple costs 4 1/2 Marks a day, and an epileptic costs the state health system 3 1/2 Marks a day, figure an average of 4 Marks a day each, by the fact that there are 300,000 of these people using the state's money, how much would the state save if these individuals were simply eliminated, or eradicated?
At this our heroine, Dora said "Completely Unbelievable!" The look on her face filled with horror. Yet our speaker missed the point of Dora's look, and answered, "I couldn't believe it myself that an elementary school child could be capable of solving such a complex equation."
Dora's soon to be ex-fiance said, "This isn't such hard math, it is simply multiplication, take the 4 Marks per day times 300,000 and you see that the State saves 1.2 million marks a day by killing those cripples.
Our speaker agreed, but once again said it was so impressive that 7 year old children could get this math, and what a true master race are those wonderful Germans.
Is this not the very conversation that is going on today about our own Health Care System? It seems to come down to one of two held beliefs. If you believe that life was formed by a great cosmic accident, and we all evolved from some sort of slime, then you probably have no problem ending someone else's grandmother's life when she gets to be "too" expensive to "allow" to live. However, if you believe that each and every one of us is created in the image of our Creator, that we are all God's miracles, we believe that no one, and no government has any business playing God and telling us when we have to die.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Part of why I believe that you find so many who dislike any mention of God on the left, is that there is a desire on their part to not have to be accountable for their actions. There is a strong desire to do whatever feels good, with no consequences. Maybe that is also why they are voting for the left, nanny state ideologies in the first place.
The argument that many on the left make as to why there is such a double standard in the media's attention to republican politicians who get caught with their pants down, compared to their democrat buddies in the same situation, is that the republicans are hypocrites since they profess a value system, and the democrats hold no such code. I always find it funny when this argument is made, it is tantamount to admitting that their party has no moral code, so lying, stealing, and cheating isn't wrong for them. What a scary thought, however, that is how they seem to see things.
The above may well explain some of the special interests groups and individuals who find their political homes on the left. However, I think that the main driving force for their leadership is much more sinister. There has been a full fledged attack on God, and on faith from the left for decades. The first thing that any Totalitarian, Communist, Marxist, and Fascist regimes is to take God out of the public square. They must remove faith to force "faith" in the government as their benefactor.
Our founder's warned us to protect our God centered faith in our nation. There has been a mendacious attack from the left for decades trying to rewrite history that our founders were not Christians. Let's see what some of them had to say.
“God who gave us life, gave us liberty, can the liberty of a nation be secure if we remove the conviction that these liberties are the gift from God?” Thomas Jefferson
In our American system of government the foundation are these words;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The very key to our society is that these “unalienable rights” come not from a government, but from our Creator. If we ever come to a point in our society where we take the Creator out of our national creed, we are then accepting that our freedoms and rights come from a benevolent government, opening the door for them to retract those rights. I don’t care if you believe in God or not, you better believe that our nation was and is founded on those beliefs or your freedom is in jeopardy.
There is no attack on American culture more destructive and more historically dishonest than the relentless effort to drive God out of the public square. For our system of government to work it is understood that civic virtue is tied to personal virtue, and most people believe that they get their code of ethics from some sort of religion.
“It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution. “
James Madison, Federalist No. 37, January 11, 1788
“ Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. “ George Washington
“Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people, it is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” John Adams
The genius of the founders was how they wove religion into the framework of society politic while making it optional to believe. Though most of them were believers, and many devoutly and passionately, they understood that there couldn’t be a state run religion, or a government ruled by a religious sect.
They knew that government should not interfere with religion, but also knew it couldn’t be hostile toward religion or the practice in the public square. It is best said that our nation was truly formed “Under God.”
For the last 50 years we have watched passively as there has been a cultural attack on God in our nation by the media elite, leftist college professors, who have tried to embarrass us into leaving God to prove we too were cool, smart, and sophisticated. It is almost as if we are trying to take the dare that George Washington challenged us in his farewell address.
"Let you with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education or minds reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." George Washington.
Two hundred years ago “Separation of Church and State” meant something very different from today’s interpretation. It was meant to keep government from founding a church and to keep a singular sect from running government. It was never intended to be hostile to the influences, and free expression of religion in our public square.
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly, or too often that this great nation
was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on
the gospel of Jesus Christ."
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it's the
duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select
and prefer Christians for their rulers."
John Jay, first Supreme Court Justice, and co-author of Constitution.
The left's obsession with the First Amendment creating a wall between Church
and State is a fallacy that at least needs to be looked at from a historic
"Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or
prohibit the free exercise there of."
It never says anything about separation of church and state.
Just where did the "separation of church and state" begin? How did it become
part of our national vernacular?
In 1801 the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury Connecticut heard a
rumor that the Congregational Denomination was about to be made the National
Denomination and it worried them greatly. It was only a rumor, but they
wrote to brand new President, Thomas Jefferson. He wrote them back on
January 1st 1802 and said:
"The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between Church and
State. They need not fear a National Denomination."
We never hear Jefferson's words in context or intent anymore. Here is that letter, you can see it for yourself in the Jefferson room upstairs in the Library of Congress.
Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Final Letter, as Sent
To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Jan. 1. 1802.
This constant refrain of Separation of Church and State has caused us to add it to our National vernacular.
Consider the warning of Dr. William James;
"There is nothing so absurd but that you repeat it often enough people will
believe it true."
Today, if you ask most Americans if Separation of Church and State is in our Constitution, and I will bet you that 90% will say that it is. It is not now, nor has it ever been. The only place it was ever mentioned was in that private letter to the Danbury Baptists telling them that the State would never force them to follow a national prescribed religious sect.
So why does the left hate God, because as long as He lives in our hearts, and in our national belief system, our Rights come from Him, not them. That is why they have been trying to kill Him for decades.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
You are not alone, and you are not the first nor will you be the last to feel this way. However, you are so much more than you want to give yourself credit for. I truly believe that God will never allow you to have a problem, or as I prefer challenge, that you can't handle. Of course, I often wish God didn't believe in me as much as he does, I am sure that you can relate to that one. One of my favorite places to find the mentoring and inspiration to overcome what ever may come is the Old Testament. It is rife with stories of ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things with God's help. We often don't think of these heroes of the Bible as just people, we try to compare ourselves to them after God helped them overcome themselves.
Are you familiar with the story of Gideon? It is a wonderful story. The Israelites had been out of God's favor for seven years and were being preyed upon by the Midianites. These Midianites were not the worlds best neighbors, they were a nomadic tribe of warriors who lived off the labors of others riding in like locus and killing and pillaging everything in site. They practiced a scorched earth policy where not only would they steal anything they came across, food, clothing, women and children to make into slaves, they would poison the wells, burn the fields and buildings that were left behind. This terror had been coming down on the Israelites for seven years which drove them to be living and hiding in caves.
6And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
7And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,
One day a young man, who was working on the threshing floor preparing wheat to hide in the caves, named Gideon was called upon by a stranger who was all of a sudden sitting under a nearby tree. This stranger appeared to him as an Angel and said
"The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!"
I can almost seek Gideon looking around to see who this guy was talking to. His answer was more or less, Who me? How am I supposed to save Israel, of all of Israel, my tribe is the least, in all of our tribe, my family is the least, and in all of my family, I am the least. I live here in this cave, and cannot even afford a wife of my own.
6"And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man."
Gideon asked the Angel to please stay while he prepared a gift for him. When he returned with the kid goat, broth, and bread that he had prepared, the Angel asked him to put it out on a rock, then touched it and it burnt away, and the Angel disappeared.
Gideon asked God, how could He forsake the people of Israel and allow such terrible things to happen to them? In other words, why didn't God do something about it? God answered him, I am doing something about it, I am sending you to destroy the Midianites.
Gideon, as he was coming to believe that maybe this was God, and that it looked like God was going to expect him to actually do something about the coming Midianite army he decided to ask God for a sign. He asked God, "If you want me to fight the Midianites I need a sign, I will leave a fleece out tonight, and if when I awake if it is wet with dew and the ground dry, I will know that you are sending me to this task." So the next morning the fleece was wet and the ground dry. In fact when Gideon wrung it out he had a bowl full of water from it. Then Gideon asked once again, "I am sorry, and I won't ask again, but I really need to be sure here. Would you give me another sign? Tonight I will leave out a fleece, and in the morning if it is dry and the ground is wet, I will know for sure. Of course you know the fleece was bone dry sitting in the mud in the morning.
So Gideon led the Israelite army to oppose the Midianites. Once there God said to him that he didn't want so many fighting for the Israelites, because when they win they could claim that they did it themselves without God's help. God told Gideon to send all who were fearful and afraid home, and 20,000 left leaving only 10,000 remaining. God said there were still too many, and created a test to see who would stay and who would be sent home. Only 300 men were allowed to stay to fight the Midianites.
Gideon took his 300 men and had each take a trumpet and a light, they surrounded the Midianites who the Bible tells us were like locus as far as the eye could see and were with camels that were too numerous to count.
"12And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude."
They blew their trumpets and lit their lanterns and yelled "The Sword of of the Lord and of Gideon!" At this the enemy panicked and retreated, and was followed and cut down by the 300. At the end of the battles the Israelites begged Gideon t be their ruler.
22Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.
23And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.
Gideon led them in peace for 40 years, keeping the Israelites focused on God, and God's laws during all of that time.
What can one man do? Gideon shows us that the least of men, with God, can do anything.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
During the campaign I would tell people the things he said, and people would argue that he would never do that as president. I can't begin to tell you how often I heard that Obama is too smart of a politician to govern from the far left, and that he was only saying that to get the Hillary voters. I always asked where in his past actions could they justify this belief in his governing from the center? Never could they say anything but that is what they believed. It seems that Obama promised his version of Change, but nearly 1/3 of his voters were voting for what they Hoped Obama might be. I have never in my life seen so many otherwise intelligent people who chose to believe in fairy tales instead of using an ounce of logic in a buying decision as with those who voted for Obama. Now they are, along with all of us, paying a huge price for this mass fantasy.
Today we stand at the precipice of three game changing pieces of legislation, any one of which would do irreparable damage to our nation, our economy, our Constitution along with our freedom and liberties. It is hard to pick which is the most onerous of the three of State Run Health Care, Cap and Trade, and Card Check. Obama has come out on record that he is so committed to making these "Changes" he is more than willing to sacrifice his presidency and will be happy to be a one term president to push these through against the will of the American people. The "progressive" socialists in the democrat party have been dreaming of this trifecta of legislation for decades, and have never been this close to getting them through as they are today. It is those very progressive socialists who hold the leadership positions today in the House, Senate, and the White House, and have no intention of missing this chance to strip America of our Constitution, our freedoms, our free market capitalist system and bring in their Marxist regime.
If Health Care passes in any form that even resembles that mess that is currently in either the House or Senate version of the bill, it is game over for freedom in America. Our very lives will be in the hands of government bureaucrats who will have the power to decide how we live and how and when we die. They don't have the right for any of this in our Constitution, or our nation's mission statement, our Declaration of Independence.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The problem that the Obama administration and the democrats keep forgetting is that these rights are "endowed by our Creator" not government. Government has no right to infringe on them as this bill would surely do.
Cap and Trade is a tax on energy, it doesn't change the greenhouse gasses in any way as advertised, it is simply an attack on American businesses and Americans personal lifestyles. Those same progressives believe we live too well, and must be punished and reduce our standard of living. The trade part of it is a pay off to those like Al Gore, whose company is making him rich, trading these imaginary carbon credits. It is also a payoff to Goldman Sachs who will be one of the main trading arms for them as well. Others who are helping promote both Cap and Trade and Health Care is NBC and their affiliates, who is owned by G.E. who stands to be the biggest income earner with contracts through their cozy relationships with the Obama administration. They stand to make hundreds of billions getting these bills through, that wouldn't be why you can't hear a single negative word about them on any of NBC's news affiliates is it?
One of the most disgusting bills is the Card Check bill, that is designed to no longer allow secret ballot voting for employees to decide if they want to be unionized or not. This is a gift to big labor from Obama, and to his close friends at SEIU who are well known for sending their purple shirted thugs to intimidate employees at their work, and at their homes to force them at risk of violence to sign the cards to allow in their union. Without a blind vote, it will be further physical violence for people who simply want to work and be left alone. As the head of the SEIU said, "We prefer to use powerful persuasion, but if that doesn't work, we are happy to use persuasion powerfully."
If these three bill pass then the America we grew up in, the one that our forefathers fought and bled for, will be taken from us just as lunch money is taken from the nerdy kid from the school bully.
It is time we reread our own Declaration of Independence, our collective Mission Statement.
"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"
Friday, August 21, 2009
You may think that I am being blasphemous saying such things, I assure you I am not. It is easy to understand how these things might come to be when we try to look at many of the parables from Jesus in a literal instead of a teaching example. Jesus was a truly great communicator, and teacher, and he taught with stories that related to the everyday understanding of his audience. He lived among us during an agrarian age and taught often using terms from agriculture. Most were of things those hearing could easily relate to from their own experiences. One of those answers was when Jesus was talking to the rich young man who wanted to follow Jesus, and when Jesus told him to give away all his wealth and then follow Him, the young man went away disappointed since he had great wealth. At this Jesus said this:
"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24.
Surely this proves that God doesn't want you to have a lot of money doesn't it? Not at all.
Once again we must look at the context of the time He was living and to the everyday understanding of those he was speaking. The "Eye of the Needle" was at that time a gateway into the city. It was narrow and somewhat pointed on top. For a camel to go through it into the city, it must first be brought to it's knees and remove it's burden to enter. What Jesus was saying to his disciples, and to us, was not that we can't have wealth or possessions, it is that we must be careful that things don't possess us. It is what do we treasure with our hearts that count, do we treasure our relationship with God, or that new car the most?
We have all heard that "Money is the root of all evil," haven't we? However, that is not the true quote anymore than Sarah Palin ever said "I can see Russia from my House," that was Tina Fey spoofing Palin that said that. The true quote is;
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
The Love of money is a very different thing indeed, it is once again about who and what possesses your heart. God has never said, "you can make this much, and have just this much, and not go over to stay in my good graces." If he did, wouldn't you and I both want to know what that number was so we could aspire to get just underneath it? Of course that isn't true, we have just become confused through too many of our ministries.
Let's take a look at King David who was one of the richest men the world had ever known. David was anything but a perfect man, he was very flawed in his character, he was guilty of the sins of lust, envy, adultery, and murder to name but four. Yet God would chastise him, but continued to support him.
"Then God removed Saul and made David their king, about whom he testified, 'I have found that David, the son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart, who will carry out all my wishes."
No matter what David would always turn back to God, repent of his sins, and kept his heart focused on his relationship with God.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34
That is the point of the eye of the needle, the "love of money is the root of all evil", and "where your treasure is," are all trying to teach us.
God wants you to succeed, as a Christian you are a child of God, the King's kid, he wants good things for you, but he wants you to keep him first in your heart and in your life.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
1. The intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
1. Harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.
2. The harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions.
3. The fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, esp. in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.
What does this mean to you in Sales?
Give me words that you would think of to describe this person when I say Salesman, or Saleswoman. Would they be "pushy," "obnoxious," "overbearing," or would they be "councilor," "educator," "helpful," why?
We want to be liked, we want to have clients have good feelings about us, and we don’t want to offend or come off as too pushy.
We want to be “friends” with our clients, the problem is they aren’t looking for a friend but someone that can help them find their way through the maze of confusion so that they can own a brand new home, car, insurance policy, or whatever widget we sell. They need a consultant, not a buddy. We hurt our client by not helping them decide to own our product now.
How does Empathy or Sympathy relate to how you will work with your clients?
When you sympathies with your client, you are becoming part of the problem, when you empathize you are still outside of the problem and can offer solutions. In other words, you can stay out of the emotional side of it.
Think of this, when you go to the Doctor, or the Lawyer, are you looking for them to be your friend, or your councilor to guide you through you situation? You too are a professional that they are seeking to guide them. You must, as a professional, maintain a level of detachment to be able to objectively guide them and not get too caught up in their emotional soup.
Zig Ziglar’s story of the fire detector.
Once in Zig’s youth as a salesman he was calling on a couple to sell them a set of high end stainless steel cookware. He had gone through his entire presentation, had shown features and benefits, created a need, and then was proceeding to the close when the ol’ boy leaned back in his chair and said, “ Ya know, I’ve been promising my wife for 20 years now that I was going to put indoor plumbing in here for her, and for 20 years something has come up to keep me from doing it. I’ll have you know that I have the money right here (pointing to pocket) to put in that bathroom right now, and I ain’t spending one cent on nuthin until I do.
Well, Zig grew up with an outhouse, and all those memories of the walk down that path in the dark, in the rain, cold, whatever came rushing back. He understood that Ol’ boy’s dilemma and folded up his stuff and went home.
About a week later, he found out that Ol’ boy was bad mouthing Zig all over town. Saying that Zig sure didn’t believe in those pots after all… that he really wanted a set and Zig wouldn’t sell him one. He was really mad that Zig left without selling him those pots. Zig was floored; he sympathized with the problem and didn’t help overcome it.
Contrasting story told by Zig.
There was a young salesman sitting with a couple selling a fire alarm system. He had demonstrated it, shown features and benefits, created a need and a want, and was closing. Just then the Ol’ boy leaned back in his chair and said, “I guess you have heard about our wreck?” The salesman confessed that he had not. The guy went on, “Well, six months ago we had a big wreck, totaled the car, my wife was hurt and in the hospital off an on for quite some time. In the process she lost her job, the medical bills have really been piling up. Then last month, our son wrecked our other car and knocked down the Telephone pole. We didn’t have insurance, and now the phone company is telling they are going to charge us for the pole as well. So, you can see why we can’t afford the 300.00 right now on your alarm.”
The young salesman looked him in the eye and asked, “Other than that, is there any reason that you wouldn’t want this alarm, and the protection it will afford you and your family right now?” The fellow lost it, fell back in his chair laughing.. “No, I guess not.”
The salesman got up grabbed the alarm climbed onto a chair and starting to install it. The fellow said, “Hey hold on there partner, didn’t you just hear what I said?” To this the salesman said, “Yes, I did. Sir, with all the financial difficulties you have right now, another 300.00 isn’t going to make any difference at all, but a fire would WIPE YOU OUT!” He sold the alarm.
That is the difference between Sympathy (becoming part of the problem) and Empathy (helping them over their problem.)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
2000 Tax Brackets ................................2006 Tax Brackets Difference
Clinton’s last year in office ...................After Bush Tax Cuts:
Taxable Income:.................................... Taxable Income:
Single Taxpayer:..................................... Single Taxpayers:
0 – 25,750.00 15% ............. 0 – 7,550.00...10%.. 33% Savings
27,751. – 62,450. 28%.........7,501. – 30,650. 15%..46% Savings
62,451. – 130,250. 31%.......30,651.- 74,200... 25%.. 19% Savings
130,250.- 283,150. 36%......74,201.- 154,800.. 28%.. 22% Savings
283,150. and over 39.6%....154,800.- 336,550.. 33%. 17% Savings
..........................................336,551 and up........ 35%...11% Savings
Married Taxpayer:................................. Married Taxpayer:
0 – 43,050. 15%................. 0 – 15,100..... 10%.... 33% Savings
43,051.-104,050. 28%.......15,101.- 61,300..15%..46% Savings
104,051.-158,550. 31%...... 61,301.-123,750.. 25%.. 29% Savings
158,551.-283,150. 36%......123,751.-188,450.. 28%.. 22% Savings
283,151.-and over 39.6%...188,451.- 336,550.. 33%.. 17% Savings
..........................................336,550. and up..... 35%.. 13% Savings
How much will it cost you to allow these tax cuts to expire?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Social Security System several years ago did a study to determine the statistical financial results of people at 65 years old. What they found:
1 was rich
4 were self sufficient.
5 were still working.
36 were dead.
54 were dead broke living off friends, family, and/or government.
That isn't too motivating at the surface. However, the question is how to reach at least the top 5%. Do you believe that those 95% intended to be dead or dead broke? Of course they didn't plan to fail. We have all heard the saying that they didn't plan to fail, they failed to plan. However there is more to it than that. It takes more than planning, but proper planning.
If the above is correct, and it is, that means that at least 95% of everything you have learned you have learned from someone in the 95% bracket, isn't that true? If you learned what you know from those who ended up in the 95% where would you likely to end up? Again, the 95% would be likely wouldn't it? Those who taught you, your family, your teachers, and professors, they were not trying to harm you, they just taught you what they knew, and that was 95% thinking.
Wouldn't it make sense if you wanted to end up in the top 1% you would need to learn to think like a 1%er? Because you don't know what you don't know, and that is why you don't have. If you knew what you don't know, you would have what you don't have, and to know and not to do is really not to know.
How do you learn to think like a 1%er? Listen to them? Pick their brains? There are many who have written their story into books, read them. Learn not just how they did something, but even more important, why they did something. What you want to learn is how they think.
Once Aristotle Onassis was asked by a reporter what he would do if he lost all of his great wealth. His reply was if he were poor, he would live as cheaply as possible, do whatever jobs he could get to make enough money to buy a fine suit of clothes, and at least once a month have lunch at he most expensive restaurant in town where the wealthiest businessmen ate lunch. He said that the ideas that fell from their conversations like crumbs from their tables would be all he would need to start another business empire. In other words, listen to and learn from those who you would like to emulate. If they are speaking somewhere, go, take notes, if you can get a chance to meet them afterward to ask questions, do. If you can get them on CD or DVD do, and wear it out. You won't get all of the information out of it in less than five playings, because as you listen it will cause you to think and you will be distracted and miss portions. If you can get with them for lunch, buy them lunch, so you can pick their brains.
If you want to be a 1%er you must think like a 1%er.
Monday, August 17, 2009
However, in my opinion the debate will be nothing but continued deadlock until, or unless, the pro-life side changes the argument. We will never win a moral argument trying to sell our morals to an immoral society. We need to find their soft spot, something that they would stand to gain, or even better to lose, by continuing to allow abortion on demand. In dealing with leading people to a new decision, we must remember that all people, including each of us, listen to the same radio station W.I.I.F.M., "What's In It For Me". We need to find something for them if we want them to change their thinking on being pro-abortion.
What can we come up with for them? How about a Social Security System that isn't bankrupt? How about a Medicare System that isn't bankrupt? How about having a 401 k, or IRA that holds it's value for your retirement? Frankly that is what is at stake, it may be too late to save any of the above for the boomers, but maybe not for generation x.
Let's look at the math, Social Security was designed at a time when most people only lived an average of 6 months after retiring. When FDR started it, there were 13 people paying into it for each person who was being paid. Today it is around 3 working for each person getting checks, in 2022 the year that the largest birth year in history retires it goes to 1-1 and is bankrupt.
Aren't you glad that you have a strong 401 k, or IRA so you don't have to depend on Social Security? Do you have a strong one? Do you really? Have you considered how the ERISHA laws are going to effect your retirement plan? Are you aware of them? In 1973 when tax deferred savings plans were begun with 401 k, IRA, Keogh's, etc. were first approved, the IRS wanted to know when they would get their tax money. The deal was that when you turn 70.5 years old, by law you must start cashing in 8% of your retirement fund in each year. Our society has been greatly effected by each stage of the baby boomers moving through our economy at each life stage. Now we get to start seeing the impact on retirement. In 2012 the first birth year of baby boomers turns 70.5 years old and will be law start cashing in 8% of their retirements, that is 2.5 million people! Not all will have investments to cash in, but each year after that will have another 2.5 million turning 70.5 years old and start cashing out as well. What happens to investments when more people are cashing out than are putting in? That's right, it goes down in value. If it keeps going down in value, how long will the young worker keep investing in a program that is losing value? If they quit putting money in, your retirement savings free falls.
So, the Social Security System is about to go bankrupt due to too few employees working for the amount of retirees. Americans investment portfolios are in serious trouble very soon, and Medicare is almost bankrupt already. Not a pretty picture. Now lets look at another legal decision from 1973 Roe vs Wade that legalized abortion.
Every year since 1973 nearly 1,000,000 abortions have been performed in America. After 36 years of this decision that is about 36 million Americans have been aborted. If this wouldn't have happened we would have about 15 million more Americans producing and consuming in America who are between 21 and 35 years old, with 21 million more growing up behind them. These people would be working, paying taxes, buying homes and cars, they would also be paying into Social Security, Medicare, and into their IRAs and 401 ks, propping all of these up so none would be in trouble today.
The very abortion policy that the left has used almost as their sacrament to their progressive agenda, is the very same thing that is bankrupting their own retirements.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Understand that we as conservatives are not accustomed to this type of debate, we are not used to protesting anything or anyone. Our opponents on the left are, this is their comfort zone. We are working in their wheel house now, so we have to stay diligent and strong. They are counting on us losing faith and settling back into our day to day work and lives. The next 30-90 days are critical, if we can turn back the three big nation changing bills they are trying to shove down our throats right now, the Health Care, Cap and Trade, and Card Check, we may weaken the resolve of their democrat freshmen who know their participation in angering the sleeping giant will end their political careers. After this push we will have to stay diligent to keep them from slipping something by us at least until 2011 where hopefully we can create gridlock once again in D.C..
Here is what America needs you to do, call, email, and write your Congressmen and Senators. In politics they actually count how many of each they get, and what the people want pro or con. They attach a weight to each, they assume that for each person who feels strong enough to contact them that would represent a larger number who feel the same but didn't contact them. So your contact actually carries more weight than just one person. I don't know the numbers they use to evaluate emails or calls, but the old number for snail mail was 1000-1. They believe that for each letter they get there are 1,000 constituents who feel the same way, but didn't look up the address, write a letter, and mail it. With the ease of email, letters may even count for more than they did. So, when you write your representative they count 1,000 people who feel as you do. That gives you real power. Get your spouse, your voting age family, your friends to all write letters and we can make a real difference! Though I don't know the weight system that those in Congress use for people who show up for town halls, it is weighted by the more inconvenient it is for people to do the higher. I would imagine it would count at least equally if not even more than letters. E-mails are the lowest, then calls, then letters, and probably then you attending town halls. Do them all.
We need to get these letters out in the next few days. I just sent them to both their Indianapolis, and D.C. offices. I did a separate letter for each bill. Please join me in flooding their offices. Even if your representative is someone like mine, Dan Burton, or Mike Pence who are leading the fight against these, then praise them and help them by giving them ammunition to throw in the face of Pelosi.
Write those Letters Patriots!!!!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
He ran a brilliant campaign, selling America that he was going to be the new deal, the end of politics as usual. He sold that he was going to be nonpartisan, colorblind, friendlier, and would govern as a moderate working with all sides to bring a happy America of Hope and Change. Of course, only his most ardent 1/3 of Americans still believe any of that today. There were a 1/3 of us who started telling everyone "We Told You So!" The middle 1/3 are those wonderful moderates, those independents who just wish we would all get along and work together. They want to like everyone, they only hate conflict. They may have felt uneasy after seeing that they may have been had with that first sales pitch, but were willing to forgive and forget, and still held out hope that Obama would turn out to be at least in some way the man he sold them he was.
Next comes the crisis Du Jour, "We must pass this spending bail out bill today or die!" So we do, only to have the next crisis Du Jour parte Deux! Once again "we must or die!" We do, and then Obama waits until the next week to sign.... hmmmm, could we be seeing a pattern here? Then onto crisis Du Jour parte Trois, and on and on.
Who hasn't had a strong armed salesperson slam them into a close that you regretted almost immediately, leaving you feeling used and abused? How many of you, like me, have upon having this happen vow "never again"? "I won't believe this fast talking huckster again, I will never feel like this again." Haven't we all been there before?
This may well be were America is today with Obama and the democrats. We have been given the same sales pitch over and over again, it is always a crisis, we must act now, we are asked not to worry about the fine print... Heck, we aren't even supposed to worry about the large print, we are somehow UN-American if we just want to make sure people read it at all. It is just "Sign Here!"
It seems that Obama has learned a sales technique and is totally hung up on it, he now wants to ram things through without even giving us dinner or a kiss, just "bend over!" Does Obama see America as his booty call? He goes all over the world trying to sell his agenda and is routinely shut down, even laughed at by the world leaders. He tries to get military help for Afghanistan and is told no. He tries to get Cap and Trade buy in, and India, Russia, and China laugh at him, and now the people of Australia did as well. He can't sell Girl Scout cookies to the rest of the world so comes back to America for that late night booty call once again.
Could we be seeing America waking up, sick and tired of this type of treatment, and vowing collectively "Never Again!" It is going to be good to for us as Americans to be able to look into the mirror again without having to avert our eyes in shame of the abuse we have been allowing in our lives by our government. Let's all slam the door in his face on his booty call, you can do it!
Friday, August 14, 2009
We discussed last night what those Rules for Radicals were and are about. How they are used is when those like Obama have an opponent they aren't so interested in beating them in a battle of ideas, but to completely destroy their opposition. The first two elections that Obama won, he won empty seats after destroying his opponent to the point of having them have to withdraw from the race before the election. They choose their opponent, isolate them, humiliate them, ridicule, intimidate. If you want to understand what it looks like all you have to do is look at Sarah Palin. She is the single main focus of the Obama regime, they are going full court press trying to destroy her financially, politically, and personally. They are attacking her because they most fear her. Glenn Beck is now also a main target because he has the habit of getting information out as to what is going on under the surface. They have send Van Jones, Obama's new "Green Czar" to apply pressure to companies advertising on Beck's show that they would be targets themselves of the Obama administration if they didn't quit advertising on Beck. By the way, Van Jones is an ex-con and a self professed Communist.
Now we see something I have never seen before. We are now seeing the Obama regime Alinskying American citizens who are going to Tea Parties, and to Town Halls. They are trying to isolate, marginalize, humiliate, and intimidate them. The question will be how will this play out. Will we see these neophyte political protesters cave and give up against professional Community Agitators? Who knows? Or will we see a back lash that will throw this group of thugs out of political power for years to come?
My thought is an equation of Rules for Radicals vs the DISC personality profiles. Let me explain. Most people who are vocal in any setting our either D or I personalities, D's are extroverted and task oriented, I's are extroverted and people oriented, both are comfortable speaking out in a public forum. However, 35% of Americans are S and 11% are C, both more introverted, S's are introverted and people oriented, C's are introverted and task oriented. S's are the peace makers in our society, they are the nurturers, they are calm and abhor conflict. They are the very definition of moderates. They do have a very strong side, if they feel someone lies to them, breaks their trust, attacks them, their family, or their friends, or anyone that they sympathize with the S will turn on you like a mother bear protecting her cub. Once you lose their trust they are done with you forever.
Now consider that John Adam's advised us that in any war, or political debate there would 1/3 of Americans for, 1/3 against, and 1/3 in the middle that will determine the balance of power. I wonder, now that the Obama regime is turned to attacking people that this group can relate to, how many of those protesters do we hear, "I have never been much into politics before, but?" These are people that those S's will identify with, grandmothers, grandfathers, stay at home moms, just normal people. It might be interesting to see if the 1/3 in the middle rise up as that mama bear to protect their own. If they do, this might be the end of the liberal leadership of the democrat party for a generation.
We can hope and pray it to be true.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Okay, unless we have been living under a rock, or are a candidate for Leno's "Jay Walking" we have heard of Saul Alinsky and his "Rules for Radicals" by now. However, who was he, what are they, what do they mean, and why are they important today?
Alinsky is considered the founder of the Community Organizers, he set up shop in the Southside of Chicago to train his organizers. One of his early benefactors was Eugene Meyer, a Wall Street investment banker, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933. Meyer and his wife Agnes co-owned The Washington Post, and used their newspaper to promote Alinsky. Agnes's series called 'The Orderly Revolution,' made Alinsky famous.
Alinsky taught that "True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism, they cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within." Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions, and political parties.
The very first radical: "From all our legends, mythology, and history...the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it effectively that he at least won his own kingdom was Lucifer." Saul Alinsky.
Saul Alinsky's crowning achievement was his recruitment of a young high school student named Hillary Rodham. She met Alinsky through a radical church group. Hillary wrote an analysis of Alinsky's methods for her senior thesis at Wellesley College. Today, many leftists believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a sell out because she claims to hold moderate views on some issues. However, Hillary is simply following Alinsky's counsel to do and say whatever it takes to gain power. When you hear the tactics that Alinsky taught, you will realize that the infamous Clinton political machine of personal destruction they applied to their political opponents was straight from Alinsky.
Barrack Obama is also an Alinskyite, he spent years teaching workshops on the Alinsky method. In 1985 he began a four year stint as a community organizer in Chicago, working for an Alinskyite group called the Developing Communities Project, camouflage is a key to Alinsky style organizing. While trying to build coalitions of black churches in Chicago, Obama caught flak for not attending church himself. He instantly became a churchgoer. Remember Obama out Alinskyed Hillary in the primary. This amazed everyone in the political arena, because the Clinton's brought Alinskyism to the body politic in America.
What are those Tactics?
Saul Alinsky tells us; "Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them. Here are concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power from the Haves."
1. "Power is not only what you have, but what your enemy thinks you have."
2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat and the collapse of communication."
3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address."
4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."
5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."
6. "A good tactic is one your people enjoy."
7. "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Men can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time."
8. "Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose."
9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."
10. " The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressures upon the opposition. It is unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign."
11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside... every positive has its negative."
12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative."
13. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict there are certain rules that should be regarded as universities. One is that the opposition must be singled out s the target and frozen. Any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When you freeze the target, you disregard these rational but distracting arguments, then as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the others come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target." "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and the devils on the other."
In Alinsky's second chapter, called Of Means and Ends, he craftily poses many difficult moral dilemmas, and his 10th Rule of the Ethics of Means and Ends is "You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral arguments." He doesn't ignore traditional moral standards or dismiss them as unnecessary. He is much more devious, he teaches his followers that "Moral rationalization is indispensable at all times of action whether to justify the selection of the use of ends or means."
The qualities Alinsky looked for in a good organizer were:
1. Ego, reaching for the highest level for which man can reach, to create, to be a great creator to play God.
2. Curiosity, raising questions that agitate, that break through the accepted pattern.
3. Irreverence, nothing is sacred, the organizer detests dogma, defies any finite definition or morality.
4. Imagination, the fuel for the force that keeps an organizer organizing.
5. Sense of Humor, the most potent weapons known to mankind are satire and ridicule.
6. Confidence, in presenting the right reason for his actions only as moral rationalization after the right end has been achieved.
"The organizer's first job is to create the issues of problems, and organizations must be based on many issues, the organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people, of the community. Fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act. An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent."
Does any of this sound familiar to what we see every day?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Someone doesn't have to be steeped deeply into politics, and ideology to start realizing something is wrong. Things are happening too big, and too fast, you don't have to have a degree in economics, or political science to feel that it doesn't make sense. People can sense trouble, even if they can't articulate what it is.
However, we are watching the Obama administration and his attack dogs in the media showing exactly how out of touch they are with the average Americans. They are attacking us, calling us names, making fun, and trying to humiliate anyone bold enough to speak up against the State. Lenin and Stalin would be very proud of our current administration, they are proving to be very good students. The only step that they are missing is that of employing fear, where if you are bold enough to speak up you are beaten, killed, or simply disappear. Hopefully the White House and his administration's call to the thugs going to the town halls to intimidate the people protesting against the administration. Hopefully all of us who are vocal both privately and on the Internet against the government take over won't all be soon catching a ride together in a cattle car to an "indoctrination" camp.
If you haven't seen the video of the attack on Katy Abrams, check it out. http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/12/specter-protestor-social-security/
This talking head ambushed her, she has long ago confessed she isn't political. She hasn't studied the economics or history of Medicare, he has the advantage of having writers to write his questions, and coach him on talking points to "catch" her with. I think she did admirably not committing any blunders, simply side stepping the question. Something that neither Obama or Biden seem to be able to do unless they have the benefit of knowing the questions before hand, and have the teleprompter to tell them what to say.
As I watched this video, all I could think of was the line from "Major League" where Pedro said "bring that shit to me!" How I would love to have told him, of course we can't just get rid of Medicare, but thanks for bringing it up. What a wonderful example of another of many failed government programs as it is heading rapidly toward bankruptcy. You might want to ask Obama and the Congress what they have against Medicare, their health bill de-funds it by 500 billion dollars, trying to make up the difference by "better management of end of life care."
Medicare is a great example of how socialism steals people's freedoms. Once people become dependent upon it, they are terrified that if they don't behave the way the government tells them they might have it taken away. It would be cruel to break the promise to those who are dependent upon it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
John Adams, when talking about the challenges of fighting the Revolutionary War, said that in any war it must be fought on three fronts. There would be 1/3 of Americans who believe strongly in the war, and the fight would be against the enemy, against the 1/3 of Americans who would be against any war, and the big battle would be for the hearts and minds of the 1/3 of Americans in the middle, the moderates so to speak. This formula can be used in any contentious political debate as well. Consider that about 1/3 loved George Bush, and 1/3 hated him, his clout diminished as the left, the war, and the media was able to turn the middle 1/3 against him. We see the same 1/3 love and 1/3 hate with Obama and now are seeing the middle 1/3 move quickly away from him as well.
The Health Care issue is so emotionally packed that it is going to be difficult to have a reasoned discussion on it at this point. We might all be better off to shelve it completely for at least a year, cool off, and then create real debate, listening to all sides and trying to find a workable solution. It doesn't seem likely that this can happen, there is simply no trust in our elected officials at this point after all the strong arm ramming through of legislation over the last 10 months.
When we do decide to have a calm discussion we must first start with the fact that there isn't a crisis currently, there is no burning need to revolutionize everything at once. Tweaking might be a better approach. Unintended consequences of even the most well meant legislation is more often the case than not. This is why our founders in their great wisdom designed the bicameral legislation to make it grind slowly and inefficiently to keep the weight of government off of our shoulders.
There is a way to make health care costs and even services more affordable and more user friendly. However the direction that this health care bill is going is the exact opposite. The first step should be to tear down the government controlled walls that do not allow insurance companies from competing across state lines. There are about 1,200 different health insurance companies, yet in many states only 4-6 companies are allowed to sell. If we can open the fences and allow all 1,200 to compete for the business prices would drop and quality would improve.
If you would add true tort reform to eliminate defensive medicine where too many tests are done for the medical professionals to cover them from possible frivolous lawsuits, that too would reduce costs. These two things, increased competition and tort reform would accomplish most of what we say, we as Americans, want changed in our health care system.
If we want to completely make things less expensive and with greatly improved quality of service what we need is a first party payer system, and move away from the 3rd party payer system. Never to go to the single party payer, or government system being promoted.
Let's consider this. If you worked at a company that had a "late jar" where anyone who came in late had to drop a 5.00 bill into that jar. Then at the end of the year the person with the least late arrivals got the kitty. Now, you know that you were not going to win, but your boss asked you to take the kitty and go buy something "nice" for the winner. You would do so, but you would do it as a task, not really too concerned about getting the very best value for the money, more expediency oriented than value. This is simply human nature, you are buying something that doesn't benefit you with money that isn't yours. That is exactly how the 3rd party payer system always works. However, if you were called by your boss and congratulated for winning the kitty, but then told to go buy "something nice" and bring it in for everyone to see. Now it is your money, and what you buy will be for you, your effort to find just the right thing, and at the very best price is now high. Single party payer programs are famous for their waste, haven't you heard of the 600.00 hammers, and 1,000.00 toilet seats?
There is too much that isn't fair with our current health care cost systems. However, they can be better fixed with a free market 1st party payer approach. It is simply not right that those who can least afford good health care have to pay the most. Not the truly poor, they are covered by Medicaid. Those working at the lower rungs of the ladder, they are above the poverty level, but not employed getting health care benefits. How fair is it that the CFO of some big company has a gold plated insurance policy paid by his company, but the cleaning lady who cleans his office working for a contract company has none? He then has a skiing accident and breaks his leg and needs surgery, his insurance companies buying power reduces the bill from 17,000.00 to 9,000.00 and his deductible is 1,000.00. If she had the same surgery it would be 17,000.00, that simply isn't right.
My proposal would be to eliminate employer supplied health care, the business community would love it. However, don't replace it with a much worse government program, but a free market approach. Allow every American a voucher, a tax credit, that would allow them to purchase their own policies. There would be a weaning process to allow both the consumers and insurance and medical industries to adjust and retool.
With this idea each American would shop among different policies by different companies. Each company would want a bigger share of those consumer dollars would be scrambling to create a smorgasbord of choices as options. There would be the McDonalds/Wal-Mart level with cheap and basic care, who knows it might be those companies who go after that market. There would be options all the way to the gold plated. But all would have access to affordable care.
The medical industry would also start competing, you would be able to shop prices before getting services. The plastic surgery, and Lasik business is done by free market and is actually a good example for the rest. With free market as doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies truly competed for your business everyone would benefit. It would allow the "invisible hand" of competition to truly police the market.
All of this would have no increase in government spending, would lower the cost of health care for all Americans, and would help preserve the liberty and freedom for our children that we were offered by our forefathers.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Some of the stories were of amazing redemption's, truly touching stories of pain, defeat, and overcoming, and God's grace poured out. When my turn came, I was quite anxious about telling mine. There was no great moment, no pain, nothing overcome, I thought mine was at most amusing, maybe even shallow. However, at the end of my testimony when we were all done and just in fellowship, a gentleman came up to me, shook my hand and thanked me. As he did so, he pressed a small folded paper in my hand, after he walked away. I read his heartfelt thanks, he said that he had been searching and my words touched his heart and made sense to him. God was able to teach me two lessons in that one moment, one is not to diminish any story as to how you came to find salvation, and two, the one person in that group that I had never liked, it was that one God chose to use me to talk to.
The story that I told that day, is how I came to Christ, and I have never again been shy about sharing it. It won't relate to all, but maybe to some.
As a child I attended a Catholic School, was an alter boy, wore my St. Christopher medal and believed completely. As I grew up during massive changes in the Church, I was there when they moved away from Latin to English in the Mass. When they no longer required fish on Fridays, and much more, even St. Christopher was downgraded. In my mind at the time, I couldn't understand if men could change all "the rules" how can I trust any other part of the story. I no longer believed, and decided that I was agnostic, never would get so confident to become an atheist. Being an atheist takes just as much blind faith as it does to be born again. Just faith in the opposite belief. As a teen I was once thrown out of a church youth group, I attended so I could play football before the meetings with friends. In the group meetings I would debate the pastor, and was able to keep him off balance enough that it appeared that I was "beating" him in the debate. When Pastor Dan asked the other kids to tell me not to come back, he didn't tell me himself, he told them he thought I might be a pastor someday. This was the funniest thing I had ever heard at the time. Once while doing some lay preaching his words came back to me.
For years, I considered myself too smart, too strong, to self-assured to need the "crutch" of faith. I felt that Christians were weak people who couldn't stand for themselves without an excuse for their failures. Comments such as "If God's willing," drove me to distraction, I thought they should man up and make things happen. I was so full of myself, that I loved to get into debates with those who believed and shoot holes in their beliefs. Then I started dating someone who was really into her faith, and she was hot, so I hung around. She was the first one who tried to sell me on John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life." She told me things like "all I had to do is believe in Jesus, and ask Him into my life accepting him as my Saviour and I was saved." I almost fell over laughing so hard at her on that one, I grew up believing in Purgatory, this idea of a free pass just for the asking was too easy, of course she liked this religion, I thought.
I would try to shoot holes in her beliefs, and she held firm to that one verse and idea, no matter what I tried to confuse her with from other parts of the Bible. She held firm to John 3:16. This made me start reading the Bible for the first time in my life to help me build a case against it.
Later I became involved with a group of very strong and prosperous business leaders, whom I wanted to "grow up and be just like them." They were the image I wanted to see myself, strong, confident, successful, powerful, great families, deeply involved in moving and shaking their worlds. There was something that ran through these men and women that didn't make sense to me. They each would say things like the most important single thing in their lives was their personal relationship with the Living Christ. This didn't compute to me, why would strong, self confident, successful people need this "crutch?" So now between reading the Bible, and now trying to figure out what these heroes of mine saw in this, it made me think deeper on the subject.
One night I was driving home from Michigan down I-69 with the radio off, just thinking, doing the math so to speak. I started running through the equation. If my friends are wrong and I am right, when you die that you simply turn to dust, neither they or I would ever know. There would be none of those "perchance to dream" moments." However, if they were right and I was wrong, I would be in a lot of heat, and too late to cool if off. Taking this thinking further it dawned on me that even if they were wrong, they would live their lives filled with Hope, Peace, Faith in a promise of a better future, faith that they would see their loved ones again in Glory, taking the sting from funerals throughout their lives. So, even if they are wrong, they still won. It finally dawned on me that if you looked at this from a bottom line perspective, the Return on Investment is much greater being a believer than not. There was no ROI at all for not believing.
I guess you can say that my first step into faith was to take out a Fire Insurance policy. Thank God, He doesn't hold that against me, and opened my heart much further to His words and Love. However, it took almost a business decision to get me there to begin with. If this makes sense to you, Praise God. I am also most thankful for the words of a dear friend that day. Colleen, a very soft spoken, sweet, and nurturing woman scolded several of us. This was so out of character for her, that her words penetrated to the quick. There were so many who talked about growing up in a "dead" church, or being part of the "frozen chosen." What Colleen brought clearly to our attention was those churches where we grew up laid the foundation in our hearts, "raise a child up." She was right and we all knew it. Thanks.
I still have that folded piece of paper that was put in my hand in my wallet, as a reminder of both lessons.