Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know! Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:
Jot back a note to let me know what you think!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
another email, I will be wearing red on Fridays...
If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man...
Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together.
After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.
No, he responded.
Heading out I asked?
No. I'm escorting a soldier home.
Going to pick him up?
No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq , I'm taking him home to his family.
The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.
I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.
Up on landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.
'Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.'
Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.
So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do, so we can live the way we do.
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority.' We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that ... every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than e ver, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is. 'We need your support and your prayers.' Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Here is an interesting approach…
I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG. Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a "We Deserve It Dividend".
To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.. So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.
My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a "We Deserve It Dividend". Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let's assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.
But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00.
What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
• Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
• Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
• Put away money for college – it'll be there
• Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
• Buy a new car – create jobs
• Invest in the market – capital drives growth
• Pay for your parent's medical insurance – health care improves
• Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.
If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it....instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.
If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!
As for AIG –
• liquidate it.
• Sell off its parts.
• Let American General go back to being American General.
• Sell off the real estate.
• Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.
Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work." But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party! How do you spell Economic Boom?
I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 billion We deserve the "We Deserve It Dividend" more than the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.
And remember, The Family plan only really costs $59.5 billion because $25.5 billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.
Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.
Monday, September 22, 2008
This article was written by Newt Gingrich and was posted yesterday on National Review Online
It is worth the read.
Before D.C. Gets Our Money, It Owes Us Some Answers [Newt Gingrich]
We are being told Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has a plan which will shift $700 billion in obligations from private companies to the taxpayer.
We are being warned that this $700 billion bailout is the only answer to a crisis.
We are being reassured that we can trust Secretary Paulson "because he knows what he is doing".
Congress had better ask a lot of questions before it shifts this much burden to the taxpayer and shifts this much power to a Washington bureaucracy.
Imagine that the political balance of power in Washington were different.
If this were a Democratic administration the Republicans in the House and Senate would be demanding answers and would be organizing for a “no” vote.
If a Democratic administration were proposing this plan, Republicans would realize that having Connecticut Democratic senator Chris Dodd (the largest recipient of political funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) as chairman of the Banking Committee guarantees that the Obama-Reid-Pelosi-Paulson plan that will emerge will be much worse as legislation than it started out as the Paulson proposal.
If this were a Democratic proposal, Republicans would remember that the Democrats wrote a grotesque housing bailout bill this summer that paid off their left-wing allies with taxpayer money, which despite its price tag of $300 billion has apparently failed as of last week, and could expect even more damage in this bill.
But because this gigantic power shift to Washington and this avalanche of taxpayer money is being proposed by a Republican administration, the normal conservative voices have been silent or confused.
It’s time to end the silence and clear up the confusion.
Congress has an obligation to protect the taxpayer.
Congress has an obligation to limit the executive branch to the rule of law.
Congress has an obligation to perform oversight.
Congress was designed by the Founding Fathers to move slowly, precisely to avoid the sudden panic of a one-week solution that becomes a 20-year mess.
There are four major questions that have to be answered before Congress adopts a new $700 billion burden for the American taxpayer. On each of these questions, I believe Congress’s answer will be “no” if it slows down long enough to examine the facts.
Question One: Is the current financial crisis the only crisis affecting the economy?
Answer: There are actually multiple crises hurting the economy.
There is an immediate crisis of liquidity on Wall Street.
There is a longer time crisis of a bad energy policy transferring $700 billion a year to foreign countries (so foreign sovereign capital funds are now using our energy payments to buy our companies).
There is a longer term crisis of Sarbanes-Oxley (the last "crisis"-inspired congressional disaster) crippling entrepreneurial start ups, driving public companies private, driving smart business people off public boards, and driving offerings from New York to London.
There is a long term crisis of a high corporate tax rate driving business out of the United States.
No solution to the immediate liquidity crisis should further cripple the American economy for the long run. Instead, the liquidity solution should be designed to strengthen the economy for competition in the world market.
Question Two: Is a big bureaucracy solution the only answer?
Answer: There is a non-bureaucratic solution that would stop the liquidity crisis almost overnight and do it using private capital rather than taxpayer money.
Four reform steps will have capital flowing with no government bureaucracy and no taxpayer burden.
First, suspend the mark-to-market rule which is insanely driving companies to unnecessary bankruptcy. If short selling can be suspended on 799 stocks (an arbitrary number and a warning of the rule by bureaucrats which is coming under the Paulson plan), the mark-to-market rule can be suspended for six months and then replaced with a more accurate three year rolling average mark-to-market.
Second, repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. It failed with Freddy Mac. It failed with Fannie Mae. It failed with Bear Stearns. It failed with Lehman Brothers. It failed with AIG. It is crippling our entrepreneurial economy. I spent three days this week in Silicon Valley. Everyone agreed Sarbanes-Oxley was crippling the economy. One firm told me they would bring more than 20 companies public in the next year if the law was repealed. Its Sarbanes-Oxley’s $3 million per startup annual accounting fee that is keeping these companies private.
Third, match our competitors in China and Singapore by going to a zero capital gains tax. Private capital will flood into Wall Street with zero capital gains and it will come at no cost to the taxpayer. Even if you believe in a static analytical model in which lower capital gains taxes mean lower revenues for the Treasury, a zero capital gains tax costs much less than the Paulson plan. And if you believe in a historic model (as I do), a zero capital gains tax would lead to a dramatic increase in federal revenue through a larger, more competitive and more prosperous economy.
Fourth, immediately pass an “all of the above” energy plan designed to bring home $500 billion of the $700 billion a year we are sending overseas. With that much energy income the American economy would boom and government revenues would grow.
Question Three: Will the Paulson plan be implemented with transparency and oversight?
Answer: Implementation of the Paulson plan is going to be a mess. It is going to be a great opportunity for lobbyists and lawyers to make a lot of money. Who are the financial magicians Paulson is going to hire? Are they from Wall Street? If they’re from Wall Street, aren't they the very people we are saving? And doesn’t that mean that we’re using the taxpayers’ money to hire people to save their friends with even more taxpayer money? Won't this inevitably lead to crony capitalism? Who is going to do oversight? How much transparency is there going to be? We still haven't seen the report which led to bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is "secret". Is our $700 billion going to be spent in "secret" too? In practical terms, will a bill be written in public so people can analyze it? Or will it be written in a closed room by the very people who have been collecting money from the institutions they are now going to use our money to bail out?
Question Four: In two months we will have an election and then there will be a new administration. Is this plan something we want to trust to a post-Paulson Treasury?
Answer: We don’t know who will inherit this plan.
The balance of power on election day will shift to either McCain or Obama. Who will they pick for Treasury Secretary? What will their allies want done? We are about to give the next administration a level of detailed control over big companies on a scale even FDR did not exercise during the Great Depression. Is this really wise?
For these reasons I hope Congress will slow down and have an open debate.
And in the course of that debate, I hope someone will introduce an economic recovery act that makes America a better place to grow jobs. I hope the details will be made public before the vote.
For more details on my action plan for getting the American economy back on track and building long-term economic prosperity, you can read this message recorded yesterday to American Solutions members.
This is a very important week for the integrity of the Congress.
This is a very important week for the future of America.
If Washington wants our money, then it owes us some answers.
I have been taught my whole life about a mysterious straight and narrow path with an iron rod, we were taught as long as we hold on to the rod we could find our way up the path and avoid the mist of darkness that is always lurking just off the path. I understand the concept and in theory I accept it. The problem is that I have not seen a path or an iron rod to hang on to, it is all virtual and confusing.
So I decided to think of my goal of eternal reward is more like going up the down escalator, I can picture it and it makes sense to me, as long as I maintain the status quo as I am on the escalator, as long as I climb as fast as it tries to draw me backward I am safe, when I work harder and climb faster, I actually make progress and get closer the the top. As soon as I pause, or slow down it pulls me backwards toward the bottom. So whether you choose to hold on to the iron rod and follow the straight and narrow or if like me, you are more comfortable on escalators, as long as we keep moving forward we will make it to the top and receive our reward.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk.
Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc.
Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together. Eye to eye contact helps a lot too.
I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.
Thanks Kimball for the email
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
"You couldn't get a job as a teacher and be the superintendent after
143 days of experience.
You couldn't join the military and become a colonel after a 143 days
You couldn't get a job as a reporter and become the nightly news
anchor after 143 days of experience.
From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to
the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory
committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That's how
many days the Senate was actually in session and working. After 143
days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander
In Chief, Leader of the Free World, and fill the shoes of Abraham
Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan. 143 days.
AND, strangely, a large sector of the American public is okay with
this and campaigning for him. We wouldn't accept this in our own line
of work, yet some are okay with this for the President of the United
States of America? Come on folks, we are not voting for the next
SARAH PALIN'S EXPERIENCE --
Don't dismiss the fact that Sarah Palin is Commander
of the Alaska National Guard-- consider this:
Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile
interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska
National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic
missile attacks. It's on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.
As governor of Alaska , Palin is briefed on highly
classified military issues, homeland security, and counter-terrorism. Her
exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's and certainly by far
She's also the commander in chief of the Alaska State
Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into
Homeland Security's counter-terrorism plans.
Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets
that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska 's proximity to
Russia , she may have security clearances we don't even know about.
According to the Washington Post, she first met with
McCain in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to
She can be entrusted with our national security,
because she already is.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
So today I would challenge each of you to commit to providing a service for someone else today, whether it is within your family, for a complete stranger or a neighbor in need. It doesn't have to be a big project, start small and see how it feels to give of yourself without thought of praise or reward.
SO? Are you up for a challenge?
Saturday, September 6, 2008
This is a letter to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and is worth a read and should make you think.
Beware Charismatic Men Who Preach 'Change'
Editor, Times-Dispatch:Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day and on July 4 I celebrate America's. This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence.
On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba and a few months later I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.
I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive.
When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said "Praise the Lord." And when the young leader said, "I will be for change and I'll bring you change," everyone yelled, "Viva Fidel!"
But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner's guns went silent the people's guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I'm back to the beginning of my story.
Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?
Manuel Alvarez Jr. Sandy Hook.