Friday, June 30, 2006

The Declaration of Independence

Those of you who have read my stuff know how much I love this country. I talk about the past with love, I talk about the present with conviction and I talk about the future with hope.
I love the Declaration. The way the words jump out and grab you. The passion and determination of those who signed wells up in me.
If the Declaration has lost any of its luster for you, then I may have a cure. Have you ever experienced a dramatic reading of the DOI? Now is the time. Gather the family together and click the link below. Pick your speed and favorite player they sit back and enjoy. Don't forget the follow up family discussion and understanding of what sacrifice and true American patriotism looks like. You may want to read the first half of What is your citizenship to the USA worth? Todays America has no understanding of what risk was taken when they signed this marvelous document.

Dramatic Reading of The Declaration OF Independence

Do We Need to Expand Our Rights?

All Oregonians have a right to effective and affordable health care:
Currently 615,000 Oregonians are uninsured. That is morally, politically, and economically wrong.
Oregonians believe health care is a fundamental right.
Let’s make it so by passing this amendment.

The quote above is from a group called Hope for Oregon Families, they think that our rights, at least in Oregon, need to be expanded. The goal seems to be to boost confidence in a measure that is fatally flawed. The measure fails to define what health care is: Natural, acupuncture, chiropractic, Medical, etc.......... The measure fails to take any accountability for the cost of creating such a government structure to ensure this "right". Apparently it costs nothing to cover all those who currently don't have coverage or the measure would address this as well. The measure offers no exceptions for religions that practice a non-medical view.
The measure claims to put the full weight of this on to the Oregon Legislature who has failed to act in many years. If the legislature is truly representing its constituents perhaps they don't want this. Yet, by declaring this new right the legislature is forced to find a way to secure and provide for this right. This ultimately will mean more bureaucracy and bigger government.
The measure assures us that it adds no cost to government.
Nothing in this initiative will raise your taxes.
I can’t recall any increase in government not costing us something. I pointed out above the cost to cover those who are uninsured. Where will this money come from?
Lack of Health Care Costs All of Us: Since the uninsured can’t access affordable, effective health care, when they get sick they are forced to rely on emergency care and, ultimately expensive hospitalization. Those of us with health insurance and our employers who provide health insurance pay the cost for the uninsured through higher premiums – often as much as 15% of the premium.
Let me suggest that covering everyone who currently doesn’t have coverage will probably cost more then 15%. Let’s further press toward mandatory coverage and watch the prices climb in a forced market.
If we have forced coverage and forced expenditure will we have forced care? What about those who have preferences against medical care? Will they still have their freedom of religion?
The current government dependent society that we seem to be moving more and more in the direction of, would probably expand and draw in the needy. This will drive all hard working independent minded individuals from the state. Oregon will be left unfunded and with many who have needs that they will be obligated to meet.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Power of the Press

Are we willing to let the press destroy our nation? I believe in freedom of speech. I also believe that ones freedom ends where another's begin. Are we in the midst of a time when political persuasion out trumps personal freedom and security?
I don't know about you but I have been getting pretty riled over these security leaks. No one seems to pursue the source of the leak. We get so hung up in should we or shouldn't we report such a thing that we fail to deal with the real heart of the problem. Who is leaking this stuff?
Hey, I'm all for the NYT and the LAT getting barbecued over these treasonous acts but let's not forget that someone is feeding them this stuff.
I would love to see people get behind Peter King. It is about time that we secure our nation both internally and externally. We need to clearly delineate those who are doing treasonous acts. We need to stop being nice and start taking control of our security. It is people like those at the time(s) that our putting each of us in future danger. These same people continue to help the enemy in every way. We have in-termed people during times of war for the sake of securing our nation. It is time to do it again. The press should not have the power to destroy our nation.

Source Article of comments
Secondary Source that really got me

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bring On the Line Item Veto

It just makes me sick hearing that the new budget is out and all the pork that has been packaged into it. Every budgetary cycle billions of dollars of yours and mine are spent for questionable items. Hey, I realize that these pet projects are really important to a few select individuals, but I want to see the money going to a greater good. The Line Item Veto Bill is a great step toward serving the citizens of the United States.

Our power brokers in DC swing deals not on merit but on pork. They suffer from the "What's in it for me?" disease. They imbed their little pet projects in unrelated overly popular bills knowing that they will get the money. You don't want to be caught voting against a bill for various reasons but your stuck voting for support for the very thing you stand against. Let's yank this political rug out from underneath our congressmen and return the power back to the people. How you may ask? We need some light shed on these acts and forcing debate and secondary voting on some of these contrivances will allow the people to see their representative in a true light. It will give them a chance to fairly judge and perhaps condemn in the next election cycle. Do you really think some of the crazy stuff that is going on now will escape scrutiny in the future with the Line Item Veto?

Article with greater detail

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cut & Run Loses Again

We keep hearing about how bad we are doing in Iraq from the Democratic Party and the Media. Yet when push comes to shove the voting falls in favor of Staying The Course and finish the fight. This would be a good time to click on the ProVictory button on my side bar. We need to focus on winning and stop whining.
For those of you who bought the line that we are failing in Iraq, you may want to look at Zarqawi's final notes. It seems the media was lying to us again. They keep feeding us lies and the repetition seems to be sinking in. While we win the war the media is determined to break our spirit and convince us we are losing. Ask our troops who are deployed in Iraq. They will clear this up right quick.

Tally of the Vote can be found here.

Saving the Party

Everyday I see story after story bashing various Republican Party members. I don’t see any stories that raise up the Democrats. We seem to have a power vacuum in Washington DC. The only hope of either party is to show themselves as less horrible then the other party.
I found this in my pile of stuff. It goes back to the 2004 presidential election. The piece is good but the Republicans seem to have lost their political compass. Perhaps reviewing items like this the party can be brought back on track and saved.

You're a Republican???

In today’s America, ask a growing number of high school and college students; their teachers and professors; the self-anointed media elite and/or hard working men and women of all ethnicities, the question, "What is a Republican?", and you'll be told ". . . a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment . . . the working poor and all whom they exploit . . ."

I am a Republican . . . I am none of those things . . . and I don’t know any Republicans who are.

WHAT I AM . . . first and foremost, is a loving husband of some 52 plus years, the father of four and an American who's proud of his country. . . and his country's heritage.

WHAT I AM . . . is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything, including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in search of freedom.

WHAT I AM . . . is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed, first hand, the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines that followed. I watched as both my parents and grand parents, who had very little themselves, share what food they had with a half dozen other families, who had even less.

WHAT I AM . . . is someone who worked his way through college by holding down three and four jobs at a time and then used that education to build a better life.

WHAT I AM . . . is a husband who, at age 24, started his own business for the “privilege” of working 60, 70 and 80 hours a week, risking everything I had, including my health, in search of a better life for myself and my loved ones.

WHAT I AM . . . is a businessman whose blood, sweat and tears . . . and plenty of them . . . made it possible for me to provide a secure living, not only for my family and myself, but also for literally hundreds of my employees throughout the years. Employees, who in turn, were able to buy their own homes, raise their own families and give back to their communities and their country.

WHAT I AM . . . is a man who believes in God; a God who has blessed this country . . . and all for which it stands.

WHAT I AM . . . is someone who knows, if you doubt miracles exist in today’s world, you need only to look into the face of those who received them . . . and the eyes of those who give them.

WHAT I AM . . . is an American who's proud that his President embraces a belief in God; proud of a President who understands, as "politically incorrect" as it may be, there is evil in this world and for the security and safety of all freedom loving people everywhere, it must be confronted . . . and it must be defeated.

WHAT I AM . . . is an American who takes comfort in the knowledge that our President refuses to allow decisions concerning the very safety and security of this nation, to be governed by the political whims of foreign governments.

WHAT I AM . . . is tired of hearing from leading Democrats who see only negativity in America; racism in her people; class warfare in her society and "political incorrectness" in her character.

WHAT I AM . . . is a former democrat who now understands that it is the soldier and not the reporter that guarantees us our freedoms of press, speech and dissent.

WHAT I AM . . . is a man who believes in the sanctity of life. A man who is repulsed by the pandering of the political left for votes, at the expense of the unborn.

WHAT I AM . . . is a husband and father who believes in the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of the family unit.

WHAT I AM . . . is a movie go-er who is repulsed by those insecure, socially inept, elementary thinking, ego-inflated "entertainers" who have appointed themselves "experts" in the fields of national security and geo-politics and then use their forum to attack this nation, its leaders and its actions . . . much to the delight and encouragement of our enemies.

WHAT I AM . . . is an American who understands the difference between "censorship" and "choice". Evidently, these individuals do not, because when these same "celebrities" receive public ridicule for their offensive actions, the first thing they yell is "Censorship!". What they seem incapable of understanding is . . . the right of free speech and dissent is shared equally by those offended . . . as well as those who offend. I support and will continue to support those films and performers whom I choose to . . . and refuse to support those I don't. It is my right as an American . . . a right I will continue to enthusiastically exercise.

WHAT I AM . . . is a voter, tired of politicians, who, every time their voting records are subjected to public scrutiny, try to divert attention from their political and legislative failures by accusing their opponents of "attack ads" and "negative campaigning" . . . and the news media who allow them to get away with it.

WHAT I AM . . . is a Catholic who loves his God and his Faith . . . and who's been taught to respect all religions whose teachings are based in love, peace and charity. As such, I am embarrassed and ashamed of those individuals, in both private and public life, whose decisions and actions are devoid of any sense of character or morals; individuals who are only driven by what's best for them . . . rather than what's right . . . often times at the expense of many . . . including our national security.

WHAT I AM . . . is a realist who understands that the terrorist attack that murdered hundreds of innocent Russian children could have occurred here, in our heartland. That's why I sincerely believe America needs now, more than ever, a President who sees with a clear and focused vision and who speaks with a voice when heard by both friend and foe alike, is understood, respected and believed.

WHAT I AM . . . is eternally grateful to Ronald Reagan for having the bravery to speak out against Communism and the courage of his convictions in leading the fight to defeat it; and George W. Bush for the vision, courage, conviction and leadership he has shown in America's war on terrorism amidst both the constant and vicious, personal and political attacks both he and his family are made to endure.

WHAT I AM . . . is a human being, full of numerous faults and failures, but a man nonetheless, who, though not always successful, has continually strived to do "what's right" instead of "what's easy". A man who is challenging the religious leaders of all faiths, to not only preach to their congregations the fundamentals of "what's right" and "what's wrong", but to also then hold them accountable for their actions in both the public and private sectors.

WHAT I AM . . . is disgusted with the Courts who, on one hand, call the murder of a pregnant woman a "double homicide" but then refer to the abortion of her baby as, "pro-choice".

WHAT I AM . . . is someone deeply troubled by a political party which embraces a candidate whose primary "leadership" qualities center around his protesting of the Vietnam war and his labeling the honorable men and women who fought in it, (50,000 of whom gave their lives in that action), as rapists, and war criminals. That same political party then stepped forward this year to block the appearance of a true Vietnam war hero, retired Admiral and former United States Senator, Jeremiah Denton, (a man who spent seven years and seven torturous months in a North Vietnam prison), from speaking before an open session of the California legislature as part of that state's 4th of July celebration. The reason Democrats gave for refusing to allow this American hero to speak before their state legislature was because of the "conservative" nature of his views. As an American, that troubles me deeply . . . as well it should you.

WHAT I AM . . . is a man who feels the need to spend, $104,655.60 (tax paid) of his own money, to purchase this advertisement, in order to set the story straight. Some may say this money would have been better spent feeding the world's poor. At the risk of sounding self-serving, as an American and as a Republican, for the last six decades of my life, I have done exactly that . . . and more. Following the examples of my parents and grand parents, I have used my earnings to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide housing for the elderly and medical care for the sick . . . and continue to do so . . . and I'm not alone in that work.

WHAT I AM . . . is someone who is paying for this announcement, at my sole expense, in hopes of opening the eyes of those led blindly by ill-informed elements of our great nation, who, through either ignorance, or malicious intent, repeatedly attack and belittle those of us who belong to a political party that holds true to the belief, " . . . the rights of the governed, exceed the power of the government". For those interested, I am speaking only as a tax-paying individual who is in no way associated with The Republican National Committee, nor with any of its directors, or delegates.

WHAT I AM . . . is a man who understands, "the American way of life" is a message of self-empowerment for all.

WHAT I AM . . . is an American who is grateful that our nation gives each of us the opportunity of self-determination and the right to benefit from the fruits of self achievement.

WHAT I AM . . . is an American who wants to preserve that way of life for all who seek it.

WHAT I AM . . . is blessed to be an American . . . and proud to be Republican.

For a free reprint of this go to Open Letter

Thank You

By George J. Esseff, Sr.

I am not going to hold my breath that reminders such as this will bring the party back to its roots. I will instead ask you to choose your candidates wisely. Remember, we the people have power. Careful review of my previous post "Take the Government Away From the Parties" . The next election is coming fast and you had better get yourself ready or suffer further government abuse from the canidate of your choice.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

How to Stay Married

It pains me to see so many people going through a divorce. Two people who once loved each other, now tear each other apart. Two people who once had everything in common now stand in complete opposition to everything. No one wins, everyone looses and if there are children in the mix, they lose even more.
What really causes this vast transition?
I have developed this philosophy that I often pass along to young couples. It comes down to doing things together. You need to establish positive memories of sharing and caring. I paint a picture for them.
Marriage is tying a knot. Every time you do things together you tie another knot. These knots are what bind you together. Sharing in all things can tie a series of knots.
The problem comes down to this: everything else in life is trying to untie those knots. Well meaning and not so well meaning family members will make demands that will untie knots. Career activities will often untie knots. Even your own children will work to separate and untie your knots. The ultimate goal is to tie more knots then those who are diligently working to untie them.
You may have a problem if you look forward to doing activities separately instead of together. Subtle things like "Guys/Girls Night Out" or stopping off for a drink after work, slowly work at untying a knot. A subtle positive activity could be as simple as going grocery shopping or taking a walk with your Significant Other--namely your Spouse. The significant part should be foremost in your mind during these minor activities.
Relationships are an investment. Your wife/husband is the biggest investment in your life. You put everything into this person from surface stuff to what is deep down. In return this person has invested as heavily in you. The returns on this investment include a partnership built on trust, intimacy, friendship, compassion and loyalty. Each of you will look for ways to please and uplift the other, tying knots and increasing the investment.
If you are reading this and think that you are down to your last knot, perhaps you need to step back and think about what you can do to tie another knot. Set up a date with your spouse. Plan a local activity that includes conversation with your spouse. We found a local waterfall as the ideal place to sit, talk and share. We still reflect on this fondly even though we have moved from the area. No need for lavish events that cost vast amounts of money. The goal is to spend quality time with each other. Staying local is also preferred as these activities can be repeated and help strengthen the knot. Local activities reduce planning and preparation and allow you to focus on each other. Share each others past childhood memories and family dynamics. These will help you understand your partner's hopes and dreams and how they became the person you love. Conversations of the past generally come easy and will allow you to build toward conversations of the future. Your daily existence becomes a safe haven when you are working together toward a future that serves your combined hopes and dreams.
Does this mean I can't do anything away from your spouse? Of course not. You are free to do things separately but your goal should be to do as much together as reasonably possible. When you do things apart you should share the highlights with your loved one so they gain a better understanding of who you are.
Real issues and serious problems may need counseling to work them out. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice; if it really matters, it is worth every effort.
I know that my wife is the best and greatest thing that has happened to me. I want everyone to have this same level of love and commitment in their relationship with their spouse. As she sits beside me, she reminds me that she feels the same about me. Now that is a loving and committed relationship!

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Global Warming Came and Went

Don't tell all those environmental groups lobbying for more of our money to study it though. They are still out there push and shoving, hooting and hollering. They don't want to be inconvenienced with the facts. I found this great article that does a fine job of explaining the facts and correlating the historical evidence. Now I know all you die hard GW lovers will turn around and point to your guy, but let's be honest the facts don't stack up to all the hoopla.

Did Global Warming Stop In 1998?
Tuesday May 23, 2006
Dennis Avery
Did global warming stop in 1998?
The official thermometers at the U.S. National Climate Data Center show a slight global cooling trend over the last seven years, from 1998 to 2005.
Actually, global warming is likely to continue—but the interruption of the recent strong warming trend sharply undercuts the argument that our global warming is an urgent, man-made emergency. The seven-year decline makes our warming look much more like the moderate, erratic warming to be expected when the planet naturally shifts from a Little Ice Age (1300-1850 AD) to a centuries-long warm phase like the Medieval Warming (950-1300 AD) or the Roman Warming (200 BC- 600 AD).
The stutter in the temperature rise should rein in some of the more apoplectic cries of panic over man-made greenhouse emissions. The strong 28-year upward trend of 1970-1998 has apparently ended.
Fred Singer, a well-known skeptic on man-made warming, points out that the latest cooling trend is dictated primarily by a very warm El Nino year in 1998. "When you start your graph with 1998," he says, "you will necessarily get a cooling trend."
Bob Carter, a paleoclimatologist from Australia, notes that the earth also had strong global warming between 1918 and 1940. Then there was a long cooling period from 1940 to 1965. He points out that the current warming started 50 years before cars and industries began spewing consequential amounts of CO2. Then the planet cooled for 35 years just after the CO2 levels really began to surge. In fact, says Carter, there doesn't seem to be much correlation between temperatures and man-made CO2.

Please read the rest of the article here.

Some excellent additional reading can be found here. The new Al Gore movie could use a little debunking as well. Seems there are several things Al has neglected to mention.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

They Nailed Him

Yes, they finally got him. This craziness that has been going on in Iraq because of this man will soon come to a close. I'm not going to go wild with joy or anything because I know that stuff has been planned and in the works for a while, so we can't let down our guard. I'm hopeful that the seven dead terrorists make up the bulk of the brain trust for the region.

You may want to view this news article that lists the claimed attacks by al-Zarqawi. There are many people and nations celebrating the death of this hateful man. The new Iraqi Prime Minister can finally take a legitimate lead in his country paid for by the blood of both American and Iraqi people.

What surprises me most is those who have failed to find the joy in this death. Okay, maybe joy isn't the best word here but you get the drift. Look at these articles:
Bitter Berg: No Joy in al-Zarqawi's Death
Democrats Irked Over Zarqawi's Death

The death brings both good and bad news to the world. The oil markets relaxed a little, giving the world a financial break. The Al-Qaida terror network has let us know that they are still determined to carry on despite the loss.

The War On Terror is by no means over at the death of this one man. The death of Osama or any other single terrorist in this group is a joy of magnanimous proportion but the practice of terror goes on despite these mens lack of input.

The unfailing perseverance of our American Military has provided us with the means to eliminate terror cells and protect all of us from harm. Their personal sacrifice and continued effort should not be forgotten with a single victory. Many among us seem to forget where their freedom and safety comes from. Let each and everyone of us declare our thanks and gratitude to the men and women of the United States Military.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tax or Not to Tax, that is the Question

Seems every time we turn around someone is looking to tax someone or something. There is currently talk of increasing taxes on businesses and corporations. We are being told that the individual has had enough and businesses need to contribute their fair share to the tax roles. Personal taxes have overwhelmed the family. It’s time for big business to pay what they owe society.

Hold up there! Before you get your knickers in a twist, let’s give this thing a good going over.

Businesses serve two basic purposes; 1) offer a quality product desired by a group of consumers; 2) return of profit to the owners/shareholders.

1) Let’s be honest if you make or supply something nobody wants, you won’t be in business for long. The product has got to come with a quality standard that makes it desirable or competition will muscle in on your action.

2) Businesses need to turn a profit for many reasons but the key reason is a return on investment for the owners. They put a lot of hard work into the business through earned cash or sweat equity. They are looking to be rewarded for the effort and profit is the reward.

If you make a quality product, and offer it at a fair price, customers will buy it. The balance comes in keeping the costs of making this product down so that a profit will remain in the end.

So how does all that happen?

Competition in the market place usually controls the final price so the secret lies in getting the product marketable. There are three key variables, labor, raw materials and profit. Labor includes facilities and people. I am not aware of any company that is so completely automated that no people are involved. Raw materials go into everything even service related products. Finally, there are profits. Profits are the lure that bring in capital investments and allow for growth. No matter what part of your business needs improving, nothing will happen if you can’t show a way to return the investment. So profit ultimately means life for the business. If profit is reduced then investment capital is hard to come by. If profit goes up, investment capital finds you.

Given the fact that the final price is fixed by the competitive market, when a new expense is added into the business variables, how does it balance out? With what you know about profit as the life blood of the business, it’s going to have to come from one of the other two.
So do we cut facilities and labor? Most facilities are long term investments and generally won’t work to facilitate a sudden expense. Labor is a day to day expense and tightened controls and reduced costs in this area usually become a primary focus.
Raw materials are also chosen to deal with the new expense. We find lower quality or cheaper cost goods to make our product. This often hurts the final product and reduces customer appeal. Great care needs to be taken when changing raw materials.

If luck should come our way, all our competition will also face the same expense increase and we simply have a rise in the cost of product. This becomes a neutral occurrence on the balance ledger.

Get to the Point already.

Taxing a business is simply adding another expense. This new expense generally hurts the little guy by lost wages or unemployment. If the price is increased, then it hurts the customer. You and I are the customer; we are the “little guy”. One way or another, this tax becomes an increased personal expense for you the individual through higher cost of goods or increased social services. Let’s also notice that this indirect tax usually comes with a lot of handling fees along the way that further adds to the burden.

Taxing business is an indirect tax on you and me. I think I pay enough personal taxes, what about you?

Should business be taxed? I’ll let you ponder this question for a while.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Problems with the Opposite Sex in the Workplace

The problems between the sexes are more psychological then real. If you tell someone enough times they have a problem, they will have a problem. The real problem comes when you start believing you have a problem and you take steps to counter it. The steps chosen usually create a problem.

Let me try an example. Let's say you regularly talk about your day with a co-worker. Then someone casually mentions to you with no real thought attached, "You two seem to hit it off real well." Since you have always been told that there is a problem when relating to the opposite sex, you assume that this person is subtly pointing out the fact that the two of you are getting pretty chummy and maybe there is more then meets the eye. Maybe you think the other person sees more into this relationship then you and you need to establish some distance to wart off this problem. Reality is the other person sees this as casual friendship, no relationship attached, just like you did before the word came down. You now over react and start dodging this person and making excuses not to have these conversations. The other person then gets upset by your behavior and reacts. Now we have a problem.

Simply establish personal rules and live by them. Be someone of your word and don't jump to conclusions. Test everything and dismiss most of what you hear. If you can't establish it as fact, it is hearsay and should be questioned or tossed.
I work closely with those of the opposite sex as their supervisor. I often have to work one on one. I have set rules in my life that are very apparent. People often kid me about my high moral standards. If you can stand up to the test, time and time again, there is no question. There is not a person in the company that does not recognize and respect how I conduct myself and treat others. With this high a standard, there is little to no chance of ever being put in the hot seat for any form of misconduct.
Anyone can lead this life. It does not take special equipment or training. It may require you too learn self-control and logical decision-making, but these are skills that should have been honed in your formative years. If they lack, it may be rough going until you deal with these issues. Make a list of what is and is not acceptable and abide by it. Consider issues of contact, location, leader-vs-subordinate rolls, topics and body language. If you can stick by your word and live by your standards you will gain respect and these issues will no longer be in question.