Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's Been a Long Time

It's been a long time since I've written a blog post. My schedule has been incredibly tight as I have been walking the tight rope of life trying to survive financially both personally and in my business. The Lord has to get all the credit for me being able to keep the roof over my head and still have a business. And, there is a reason why I've had to live like this.

I work a full time job (four 10 hour days a week Monday through Thursday) and work with my business partner on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Every time I get to the precipice of personal financial collapse, I find a way to come up with the money either through bonuses, negotiations, loans or creative due date movements. Every time I get to the precipice of business collapse, my business partner and I also find a way to get a customer to pay in the nick of time or we use our own money (which leads back to the personal side issues) to save it. It's been a balancing high wire act for sure.

The nightmare started when I was laid off in 2011. The four months I was out of work due to the Obama recession nearly cost me my house. But I saved it. Having been back to work since December of 2011, it's been one long two year game of playing catch up.

When things were at their darkest and I thought I wouldn't be able to make a mortgage payment or when things were at their darkest and I thought the business would have to shut down leaving me with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, I turned to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to take my burden from me; and if it was His will that I should succeed or fail then so be it. I asked Him to give me the strength and I promised Him I'd do the work.

The Lord provided me in my faith. He allowed me to help my business partner grow in his faith. I don't know exactly how I'm still surviving because it's all been a blur. But, some how some way I've been able to keep it together with spit and glue.

Today, my business partner and I are working on obtaining business lines of credit. Pray this works. We have the potential to take on a fairly large sized client by the end of the year. We have an investor who is involved in another line of business with us now. Things are starting to look up. But, we are in no way out of the woods yet. Our server blew up yesterday, so now we are going to be set back more time and more money to get that up and running. It's one thing after another. Most people would have quit and gone on welfare by now. But this mouse still believes there's cheese in the maze somewhere.

It never used to be this way. The capital markets flowed with cash. Businesses expanded regularly. New small businesses popped up everywhere. Many of those grew into large companies. Yes, you always had to pay the price for success. Entrepreneurs have always succeeded and always failed. But today, the success to failure ratio is nowhere what it was in the years past when we were creating record numbers of millionaires in this country. What I just described were the Reagan years (and it spilled over into the Clinton years). We are now in the Obama years. Conservative, free market approaches to how our country was run made us the greatest nation on Earth. Today, liberal, collectivist approaches are destroying us.

My business partner and I believe we will be successful despite the collapse of our once great nation. If we were willing to endure five years of this stuff (that's how long we've been in business) and we have the perserverence to make it work and never quit, we should reap rewards beyond our wildest dreams. But unlike the way it would have been had this been the Reagan years, it will take twice as much hard work, twice as much suffering and twice as much sacrifice to make it happen. The reason it has to happen: we have no choice. If our business fails, we are destroyed financially.

Our country is over $17 trillion in debt. If our government was a business, it would be the most incompetent business ever run and the free market would have destroyed it years ago. Both my employer and my own business has to comply with ridiculous Orwellian regulations that are imposed upon them by this gargantuan government gone mad. If my business extorted money from people using the law or if it printed its own money, we'd go to jail. But the government? No, they actually can do all the things that their regulators and the statutes tell us we can't do. I'm not saying we should be allowed to extort and counterfeit. I'm just saying the government shouldn't be allowed to either.

If we have become the nanny state, then the nanny is a very abusive one. She beats us. She destroys us financially. She keeps the poor pinned down in poverty. She rewards bad behavior and punishes good behavior. She suspends kids from school for using their fingers to play a wholesome game of cops and robbers, but she'll take the gun out of your hand before you shoot the person robbing you. She takes God out of school, but puts sex education (some of it deviant sexual education) in.

If our government was a private business, it would be forced into bankruptcy. Its executives would go to jail for mismanagement of funds. Its customers would suffer because the product and service they would get would be piss poor. Websites wouldn't work and the price of the product would sky rocket. If our government was a private business, it would be run out of business. If USA, Inc. was ever audited by its own regulators, it would be shut down. If USA, Inc. was ever indicted for fraud and misuse of money, its executives would go to jail.

If I ran my business like the government runs its, I'd be in jail and be completely destroyed financially. Try to find a private business that's $17 trillion in debt and see if it can just raise its debt ceiling or get a triple AAA credit rating. Logic and common sense no longer applies!

The whole flipping thing is upside down. What's right is wrong and what's wrong is right. Life in America is like one big acid trip. Only the hallucinations are real.

So what's the reason I work like a dog? I'm broke. If I am ever to survive this nightmare we call America, I'm going to need lots of money. Becoming wealthy isn't about the mansions, the yachts and the strings of polo ponies. It's about survival! It's about being able to take care of your family and inner circle while the ship we call America goes down. It's about doing God's will and having the means to help others. I'm not interested in luxury. I'm interested in financial self defense. Wealth is to the individual what national defense is to the nation.

The arduous sacrifices and the prices that had to be paid by those who have become successful were voluntary. Read Napoleon Hill, Andrew Carnegie, Robert Ringer or any other book written by a successful person and you will find the keys to success. The reason why it doesn't work for everyone is that most people won't do the things necessary to become successful. And, that used to be okay. Success is hard. It's unconventional. It goes against the grain of everything we were taught. It wasn't for everyone.

We had a country where if you worked hard, you earned enough to raise a family and enjoy a comfortable middle class life. Surely, the extravagances weren't necessary and the problems like car repairs and home appliance repairs were setbacks, but for the most part, you could have a family and enjoy weekends. Those that wanted more were blessed to live in a country that gave them the environment to work harder and make the sacrifices for the bigger and better things. Those who wanted to make the extra sacrifices lived in a country where they were free to do so.

Today it seems most households are in distress. The family is being torn apart. People are working twice as hard just to stay afloat. Weekends off? What's that? Family time? What's that?

We have come to the days Ronald Reagan told us about. We are in the days where we are telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. We are in the days where we are telling our children and our children's children what it was like to earn what you have.

We no longer have that choice of being middle class or working harder to move up. The middle class is the toy boat about to get sucked down the whirlpool in the drain. The sacrifices, the price that once was only required for the successful are now required of us all. The weight that has to be lifted now is much heavier than the one our last generation had to lift. Unfortunately folks, the sacrifices are no longer voluntary. We all have no choice now but to do it

Welfare and food stamps is not the answer. Obamacare is not the answer. All of that is going to implode. If you're not ready financially when that happens, your screwed. Just as I am a prisoner to my business (it's either get it profitable or else die financially), we as Americans are prisoners to this great experiment gone bad. If we don't get it back in line with the tenets of our founders, your grandchildren will be telling their grandchildren about how America fell.

It may cost tens of thousands for me to get out of my business. But it will cost America tens of trillions to get out of whatever this is now. Call it socialism, call it secularism, call it progressivism. But most of all, call it garbage.

If we don't have a revival from the grass roots on up, we're doomed. This isn't about religious zealotry or traditional evangelization. This is about life and death. It has to start in the house, then on the block, then in the neighborhood, then in the town, then in the county, then in the churches and the boardrooms. It has to start from the bottom and grow its way up.  Right now, we are being run by a top down model that is a complete failure. It is controlled by government and it is controlled by elites in both political parties. It's time to put an end to that.

If the bubble gum machine is filled with black licorice bubble gum (you know, the kind everyone hates), you can't fix it by smashing it. And, you certainly can't fix it by adding more black bubble gum to it. The way you fix it is to put a penny in, take out a piece, open the top and add a red one in its place. The pennies are the price. The pennies are our hard work at self improvement and re-prioritization. It took the progressive movement nearly 100 years to get us to where we are. Replacing the bubble gum in the machine is going to take time and effort - one red one in and one black one out at a time. But it must be done. There is no choice.

When everyone asks generations from now where America has been since we last heard from her, let's hope the country can explain its absence the way I've explained my absence from blogging.

Pray for strength and do the work. God bless you all.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Killing the GOP

Bill Hughes at City on a Hill Political Observer serves up a piece which stirred this bloggers thoughts regarding the Republican Party. We have seen the Establishment versus the grass roots battles in GOP politics come and go since long before the coming of Ronald Reagan. Yet, today it seems to be more pronounced than ever.

Hughes discusses the thoughts of Chuck Heath, brother to 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin about a third party, the American Party. This comes at a time when many grass roots conservatives and Tea Party supporters are trying to decide whether to stay in or leave the Republican Party following the devastating loss to Barack Obama in 2012.

As a lifelong Republican, this conservative has always found it to be the best vehicle by which to form coalitions that are not too extreme and which can provide a powerful infrastructure to candidates who wish to support the betterment of America. As time has gone on, this observation has moved from concern over the extreme to where we are today: concern over moderation for the sake of capitulation.

Let's face it. We got our butts handed to us in the last two elections. Despite all the carping from the party's elite about extremism and their consistent attempts to dress a conservative party in moderate clothing, we lost with their kind of candidate twice to Obama. The Establishment plays it safe when selecting candidates because of their grossly mistaken belief that the party can attract more centrist, non-ideological voters while not turning them off to those who could cast misperceptions about the party's compassion for the poor, women and minorities.

John McCain and Mitt Romney are far from being right wing extremists whether in reality or in perception. When the party elite cringe at the idea of Sarah Palin on the ticket or distance themselves from the words of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, they either unknowingly or unintentionally distance themselves from the core values upon which our country was built.

Most non-junkies of politics believe that the Palins and the Limbaughs of our side are extremists because that's what they're told by the media. They are not, of course, when you actually listen to them instead of judging them based on third hand comments.

In the days following the ratification of the United States Constitution, they would have been seen as patriots and political experts whose opinions and interpretations of the Constitution would be seen as similar to those of the founders. It is progressives who are the true extremists as they deflect by painting our leaders and opinion makers as extremists in order to retain their own power. They project upon us their own inner truths lest they be found out and revealed for what they really are.

A president who circumvents the Constitution regularly by executive fiat and who surrounds himselves with radicals who think the Constitution is an antiquated document that no longer needs to be followed to the letter can win elections today but someone like Sarah Palin can't?

"We are in different times" they say. Or they will sugarcoat it by saying that the Constitution is a living breathing document. The United States has elected the most radical, extremist president in its history (twice no-less) and its propagandists in the media, pop culture and academia have successfully gotten enough of the citizenry to believe what Obama is doing is "normal." The reality is they're so far to the left that it gives the illusion that conservatives are on the extreme side.

The center of the political spectrum could be somewhere between communism and liberalism for them. Therefore, anyone further right of a centrist now falls on the extreme edge. Constitutionalism and all of the political philosophy espoused by our country's founders are seen as being on the edge of that spectrum. Liberty, individualism, entrepreneurship and self reliance are extreme ideas in today's America.

We are the last ones standing against a tide that continues to turn harder and harder against us.

But, there are still enough of us left to fix this if we understand where we're at. We're no longer in the canoe racing them down the river. Our canoe has tipped and we are riding backside down and feet foward through the political rapids. The day that we can sit in a vessel again that has not capsized may be gone unless we understand how to get it back.

The first step is to admit we have a problem. Staying in the Republican Party is going to require that the party leadership recognizes that moderation for PR reasons is a failed model. Most moderates and party elites are where they are today because they rode the winning wave of Ronald Reagan.

Prior to Reagan's election in 1980, the party elite was afraid that we were electing a B actor and a right wing extremist to the presidency at a time when the Soviet Union and America were at hair trigger on the nuclear button. But, by 1988, these same folks were raking in the dough while basking in the light of a party which now had a winning brand.

Fattened by the glory of power and drunk from the Potomoc water, these establishment types took to securing their positions, choosing going along to get along over continuing the fight that Ronald Reagan told us had to be passed on from generation to generation.

Instead of looking ahead and realizing that our future generations would need to be taught our principles, they secured and defended their cushy positions while assuming the people would never be that stupid so as to fall for liberalism without fighting liberalism openly.

How wrong they are. The proof is here. The progressives have achieved both of their objectives. In term one, they transformed America into a European style socialist democracy. Now in term two, they are completing the peaceful transition to a new brand of collectivism. Call it what you will; it's really just communism achieved without physically slaughtering your own people. This time around they slaughtered us financially and politically without firing a Stalin shot.

With their indoctrination of students in the public education system as well as at college and university levels, their messages of "tolerance" of deviancy pushed through music, art and movies, and their successful efforts at mind control by using the mainstream media as its propaganda arm, the progressives have achieved nearly all their goals.

Yet, the Republican Establishment continues to think we can just win this thing at the ballot box or in the halls of Congress while ignoring the culture and the socio-economic factors that have to be in play at the individual, family and community levels.

The Establishment has talked a good game about God, family and country, but they've done nothing to help conservatives and the grass roots nurture and grow those ideals. Everytime you have a Sarah Palin, a Herman Cain or a Mark Levin speak out, the party leadership bails on us. Someone needs to remind these paranoid meglamaniacs who steer the GOP that being afraid of running an "extremist" like Sarah Palin for president is the equivalent of the Democrat Party being afraid to run an extremist like Barack Obama.

They need to learn how the Democrats and the progressives did it. If a football team keeps losing to its rival, it needs to study the films and find out why what their opponents are doing is working and figure out why what they're doing is not. It's not about ideology. Most Americans don't believe in abortion, gay marriage, reckless spending or uninhibited immigration. They just think it's cool to have a hip president who likes the same music and they do.

Many Democrats, particularly African Americans, are church going people. We may need to look more into how they are able to reconcile their personal conservativism with their political liberalism later; but for now it's more important that we and the Republican elite realize that winning elections is not just about what we do the few months before an election. It's about what we do in our industries, in our homes, in our communities and in our culture. Infiltration must come before liberation if we are ever going to get our country back.

What is so bad that could possibly happen by running Sarah Palin? McCain lost. Romney lost. The GOP Establishment was afraid to have Sarah Palin speak at the convention. We still lost anyway. What if she had run for president and lost? Nothing would be different than it is now. But what if she won?

Which brings us to the question of "should I stay or should I go now?" For now, the strategy needs to be a continuous effort to not only take back the culture, but to take back the Republican Party. Yet, we must heed the words of Chuck Heath and others and not be closed minded about the third party option.

There may come a time when the GOP is unwinnable for conservatives. If that time comes, we will all have to stay tight and work hard. We're going to have to stay tight and work hard either way.

And, if Chuck Heath's sister decides one day that the GOP is no longer the way to go and she wants to go third party, I will follow. I'm a free thinker who makes up his own political mind. I know where I stand on the issues. However, Sarah Palin is a true leader. She has more smarts (and more importantly, more common sense) than most of the intellectual elites in both parties despite their efforts to portray her as an idiot.

Whatever direction we need to go in as a movement, I'm there. Sarah Palin need only to say the word.

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