Monthly Archives: August 2012

Republican National Convention: Forget the people, We choose who is in power!

Whoever you support in this presidential election cycle you should be upset at the Republican national convention’s treatment of Republican delegates and voters who did not support Romney – and there were a lot of them.

Upon further research you may be interested to learn the tactics the Republican party used to ensure Ron Paul would not have an opportunity to speak at the RNC.

A candidate must win 5 states to speak at the RNC – Ron Paul did that – that is until 10 delegates from Maine were replaced at the RNC giving Ron Paul only 4 states.

I do not think many Ron Paul supporters had any delusion that Ron Paul would come out on top in Tampa, but we wanted the message to be heard. This was just poor and disrespectful treatment to all the people who organized for a cause they believed in.

In my opinion it was spitting in the face of many Republicans who happened to support someone other than the candidate the RNC chose.

We are not Supermen

This awesome blog post is brought to you by Holden, the new kid on the block here at BlogTruth.

Last week my wife called me and told me she might have cancer. It was a strange moment when the news came over the tinny little speaker of my cell phone. I was standing in the hallway of a client’s office with strangers pacing back and forth around me when I got the news. I was 400 miles away from home and wouldn’t be back for three more days to confront the grim news with her in person.

I could tell she was scared as hell, and I was too. I told her to stay calm, take it a day at a time and not overreact. Inside I was having trouble taking my own advice.

As soon as she gave me the news, I felt like I was Batman being unmasked by the joker in front of a mob of angry Gotham citizens, completely unarmed and defenseless. I could only imagine how she was feeling. In an instant I must have parsed through a hundred different questions to myself. How would our daughters adapt? How would I adapt? How would we deal with watching her final days count down one by one? My wife is only 34, how can she have cancer! If she’s sick I’ll need to quit my job to be with her, but if I quit my job I won’t have insurance. After she passes I’ll have to quit my job to be home with the girls…

After a few rattled moments I settled down and collected my thoughts. Regardless of how many questions I had or how colossal my fears, I knew I had to be the logical, grounded and methodical partner in the marriage and I knew my wife would be looking to me to keep my shit together so that she could keep hers together.

You are not Invulnerable

Sometimes I feel like I’m a tank, like no matter what life throws my way, I’ll just plow through it and keep forging ahead. That short phone call reminded me that is not so. In a way, we all live in glass houses built on foundations of sand waiting for one unexpected catastrophe to rear its nasty little head and fuck it all up. For a few days I was angry at what my wife was going through. I was annoyed that people insisted we pray over it or that God had some sort of awesome plan. I was sad at the idea of my little girls growing up without their mother and heartbroken that my one year old wouldn’t even remember her. But most of all, I was pissed off that there was absolutely nothing I could do about any of this. No amount of insurance or financial planning, healthy eating or exercise regiments, or anything else could prevent my wife or anyone else from developing a serious illness like this. There was no one or nothing to blame, shit just happens sometimes.

A Week after the Bad News

A week later and things have looked up a bit. My wife is scheduled for an outpatient surgery next week and the doctor didn’t seem overly alarmed. We’re all hoping for the best but unfortunately that isn’t really ideal for a take action guy like me. I like identifying problems and attacking them, only in this case there is nothing to attack, there is only vulnerability. There is only the tired and defeated super hero unmasked and without his utility belt, exposed for the world to do as it will to him.  Suddenly you realize you’re really not so tough after all and definitely not a super hero. You’re just a guy hiding behind a façade, and the Joker just kicked you in the balls.

Fuck cancer.

-Holden

Have the Courage to Break the Rules – Or live like a well fed Slave

This evening after work I was sitting in the hotel room day dreaming and kind of letting my thoughts fall out of my head without purpose or any intent at all. Kind of one of those moments when you daze off and then come to about an hour later and realize you have been looking at the ceiling the entire time.

Anyways, I was thinking about my life and dreaming I was doing this or that and finally I proposed a question to myself.

“What would you do if you could do anything?”

What would you do if you could do anything?

That thought bounced around in my head for a while. I thought about things like going back to school, traveling the world, and other shit that people like to dream about. Then it hit me – I guess technically I can do anything I want. Anything, if I’m willing to accept the risk.

It’s such a simple thought, but one that has never really hit me. I can do anything. What a profound thought. Think about it. I can do ANYTHING. Seriously, drop everything, leave. Stop my life, book a plane ticket right now, and leave. Live as I can and see what happens. I won’t do that, but the fact that I could is interesting.

What’s stopping you?

I’ve said this before, I think, but what will I think about my life when I look back on it at death? Will I say to myself: “I really wish I would have taken that 6 months…written that book…lived abroad…” or will I be perfectly happy having never taken a shot at doing something that seemed a little crazy at the time?

Neither is right or wrong, but its important we are true to ourselves and actually do that thing we REALLY want to do. Even if it’s not typical – don’t ignore it.

I think sometimes we let what we think we are supposed to do, the safe route, control us. Rarely do any of us really take the path less travelled or do something truly spectacular. Even if we are great at our current lives we mostly play by the rules in which we have been given.

I’d like to think I’ve done something special, but in reality I haven’t. I finished school, learned the required material, got a job, and became a good little tax paying, law abiding citizen, like mostly everyone else. There’s no shame in that, but have you ever asked yourself “what else is there?” I have, but I have done nothing about it.

Risk: The well fed slave and the man who died free

What would be the consequences of taking 6 months or a year off and traveling with the wind? What would happen if I documented it all and tried to write a book about the experience? What if I left my job and went unemployed for a year? Would my life, my future, fall apart?

I often think back to the question: Is it better to be a well fed slave or a man who died for his freedom? I’m not facing literal life or death here, but the situation still applies. Do you leave the comfort of the status-quo for something more or do you consider yourself lucky for what you have and remain content?

The reality is I’m a beaten slave in so many aspects. I’m honestly afraid to take the risk. In a certain way I am afraid to live the life of my dreams. What if I’m wrong? What if I make a mistake? What if I give up everything and it doesn’t work out? What if I regret it? All too common, and not unreasonable, questions that run through my mind.

So what does an average guy do? Risk it all for something more or stay the course for what is a completely decent life? I’ll probably never muster the courage to do anything about my little dreams, but part of me hopes I can muster the courage to break the rules – even if only for a little while.

Pay your Fair Share, Bitch –Love Obama

This fantastic post is brought to you by Holden, the new kid on the block at BlogTruth!

In a speech President Obama made about a month and a half ago, he said something that really rubbed me the wrong way. He made an assertion that because we thrive in a system that promotes stability and the rule of law, we essentially owe society its chunk of flesh in return.

Here’s a section from the speech lifted from the RealClearPolitics.com post:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

This really, really pisses me off.

I may be wrong, but to me, a simple lay person, our president is insisting that we are in fact indentured servants to society as a whole because it helped us get to where we are. Because “just like fighting fires, we don’t do it on our own.”

You know what Mr. President, you’re right about fires- if my house catches on fire I won’t try to put it out on my own, I’ll call the public fire department to assist me, and I’m happy to collectively chip in for that service despite the fact that I’ll probably never use it (knock on wood). I’m also more than happy to chip in for paved roads and public schools that enrich society as a whole. But how dare you insist that if I go the extra mile, put in a little extra elbow grease or even get ahead by plain and simple smarts and good luck, that I owe more simply because I did it within the confines of a system that helped make it so.

Last I looked, we’re all paying dearly for these services! They aren’t free, they aren’t charity, and they’re not some sort of blessed gift from our generous overlords as you seem to believe.

Under the President’s logic, I also owe my livelihood to the Toyota Motor Company

I’ve been driving a little Toyota for many years now and I think it is safe to say I owe a large chunk of my success and livelihood to that little car.

I could never hold a job if not for my little, ultra dependable Toyota that carries me to and from work day in and out. If it weren’t for Toyota engineering such a wonderful, affordable and dependable little wonder machine on wheels, I surely would have never made it through college and on to job interviews later on! And I would also probably never have hooked up with my wife since she’d surely have dumped me after being late for one too many dates or leaving her and I stranded on the side of the road in her prettiest sun dress and nice heels after a night out on the town. Gee Toyota, thanks. You’re the best!

Holy shit, that also means… I’d never have had my children. Does this also mean that I owe them to Toyota as well for producing such a well-made, dependable machine that has allowed me to keep a job, go to college and also meet and eventually impregnate my wife?

Alright, this example is getting silly but you get my point. I honest to God owe a lot to my car, but I paid Toyota for that vehicle. After the payment was made for the product, our business was finished. And the same goes for government services. No Mr. Obama, just because a few of us excel within a great public system doesn’t mean one should pay a higher fair share due to their success. The same idea would be considered completely ludicrous in virtually any other application.

New Blog Partnership

I have been blogging solo going on two years now. For most of that time not a soul on this planet knew I was writing my thoughts down on the internet, but a few months back I let my best friend and closest confidont in on the secret. Since then he has been feverishly reading all of my darkest secrets and opinions – and keeping them to himself.

Recently he approached me about forming a partnership. A blog partnership where he will contribute to my little slice of the web. I agreed.

I cannot vouch for his opinions, I cannot say for certain what he might write on this poor ole’ blog, but hopefully over time he will add some value, a bit of good conversation, and maybe even some insight. I haven’t limited him on what he can write, nor set boundaries. The only rule is the one I set for myself – “What you write has to be the truth, unfiltered.”

So please join me in welcoming my good friend Holden as the offical second author of BlogTruth.

About Holden:

Holden is a father of two, business consultant, MBA educated, man who prides himself on liberty and social progress. He votes conservative on fiscal issues and liberally on social ones. He is stuck somewhere between Christianity and Agnosticism, and doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Holden hates people that can’t take criticism without “being a pussy”, is a technology lover by heart, originally a geographer, a world traveler in progress, and best friend of Atticus.

Partial Birth Abortions

Before you say you support abortion, especially partial birth abortions, maybe you should read up on the procedure.

From Wikipedia the procedure is as follows:

[T]he largest part of the fetus (the head) is reduced in diameter to allow vaginal passage. According to the American Medical Association, this procedure has four main elements. Usually, preliminary procedures are performed over a period of two to three days, to gradually dilate the cervix using laminaria tents (sticks of seaweed which absorb fluid and swell). Sometimes drugs such aspitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, are used to induce labor. Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the doctor uses an ultrasound and forceps to grasp the fetus’s leg. The fetus is turned to a breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the cervix, which some refer to as ‘partial birth’ of the fetus. The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, leaving only the head still inside the uterus. An incision is made at the base of the skull, a blunt dissector (such as a Kelly clamp) is inserted into the incision and opened to widen the opening, and then a suction catheter is inserted into the opening. The brain is suctioned out, which causes the skull to collapse and allows the fetus to pass more easily through the cervix.

If I was a doctor I would refuse to perform such a procedure.

Thanks to the super conservative blogger from Canada for pointing out the Wiki link.

Over dependence on the Government

Listen carefully to what this young man has to say about his homelessness. Not just his words, but his way of thinking.

Did you catch it at 7 minutes?

“Money comes from the Governement.”

“There needs to be programs.”

“There is nothing you or me can do about it.”

Are we breeding a culture where we expect the Government to take care of us? Where we can’t do it ourselves? Where we take unreasonble risks expecting the Government to catch us when we fall?

What’s worse is that no one helps. Why?

“If you analyze it. The amount of cars that come by and the amount that give, it’s really horrible…It gets tiring seeing people who are really well off and just don’t give.”

No one gives because almost everyone is under the impression that the Government should take care of it. What are you thinking right now? Is this close:

“There are government programs, there are homeless shelters, I pay taxes for programs to help the homeless…”

We live in a society that is heavily taxed by the Government. Our people expect the Government to take care of us in times of need. Our people do not take care of eachother because they believe Government is supposed to do it. Passing the buck has become natural and guilt free.

The truth is – the Government doesn’t do it. It can’t do it and those in charge care more about themselves than this guy.

Tax Reforms Economist Agree On

So I read this article by Theo Francis that lists 6 tax changes that he claims most economists (conservative and progressive) agree on.

One: Eliminate the mortgage tax deduction, which lets homeowners deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages. Gone. After all, big houses get bigger tax breaks, driving up prices for everyone. Why distort the housing market and subsidize people buying expensive houses?

Two: End the tax deduction companies get for providing health-care to employees. Neither employees nor employers pay taxes on workplace health insurance benefits. That encourages fancier insurance coverage, driving up usage and, therefore, health costs overall. Eliminating the deduction will drive up costs for people with workplace healthcare, but makes the health-care market fairer.

Three: Eliminate the corporate income tax. Completely. If companies reinvest the money into their businesses, that’s good. Don’t tax companies in an effort to tax rich people.

Four: Eliminate all income and payroll taxes. All of them. For everyone. Taxes discourage whatever you’re taxing, but we like income, so why tax it? Payroll taxes discourage creating jobs. Not such a good idea. Instead, impose a consumption tax, designed to be progressive to protect lower-income households.

Five: Tax carbon emissions. Yes, that means higher gasoline prices. It’s a kind of consumption tax, and can be structured to make sure it doesn’t disproportionately harm lower-income Americans. More, it’s taxing something that’s bad, which gives people an incentive to stop polluting.

Six: Legalize marijuana. Stop spending so much trying to put pot users and dealers in jail — it costs a lot of money to catch them, prosecute them, and then put them up in jail. Criminalizing drugs also drives drug prices up, making gang leaders rich.

I REALLY like these ideas. Especially if we can frame them in such a way that the consumption based taxes do not unfairly burden the poor and middle class. Many of these would encourage people to be more budget and environmentally conscious – which I think is a very good thing.

I may add to the list:

1. Reduce military spending with tax dollars: The Government is free to sell war bonds or offer services for money and take donations.
2. Reduce foreign aid (unless it is paid for from a surplus budget): basically stop giving countries billions of dollars when we are trillions in debt.