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Friday, September 14, 2012

WAtch the whole video!

This video is on the enigma, and my besty, Harry Selkow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good read

This is not a political blog, and I DID NOT WRITE THIS. Clearly because I am not an independent voter. If you have ever spoken to me for more than 30 seconds, you know which party I align myself with.
The following was emailed to me by a member TPS who I will not name. Regardless of your party affiliation, give it a read all the way through:


For the record, I’m an independent “unenrolled” voter. And for those of you who wonder why I post political views and hints on facebook, here goes. If you don’t care, have already read most of this (it’s updated) or you’re just going to blindly dispute me, feel free to stop reading now.

A long time ago I called myself a democrat and thought that being a liberal was a good thing. Probably because most of my family is on the liberal democratic side and I just assumed that I was. I didn’t truly know the difference, I just thought of republicans as stuffy rich guys in suits I couldn’t relate to and the liberals were always energizing me with motivational rhetoric that I didn’t understand but sounded good. I never wanted to think of myself as being a “conservative” person and to me “liberal” meant free so it made sense for me to be one. Little did I know that these so-called liberal ideas could actually result in me being less free and in things being less fair for the majority of us.

My mother always taught me not to judge people, that all of us deserve a chance, and that I should be open-minded. She also taught me that nothing comes for free and that if you want something you need to earn it. Her expression was “God helps those who help themselves” and I live by that mantra to this day. I believe that we all start out as equals and that we all deserve equal opportunity. However we are not all equal. We don’t all try at the same level and we don’t’ all have what it takes to be successful in every one of our pursuits. If you are not as nice, strong, hard working, good looking, talented or appealing as the next person, you might not earn the same things as another person. It’s not to say that you should suffer per se, but you won’t get to exploit every opportunity available due to some things you lack that another person has. So you just need to pick yourself up and find something that suits you better. Such is life and it happens to all of us every day. I’ve had major life struggles and have done better than some friends who took advantage of their spoiled situations. On the other hand I’ve had to experience karma and learn the hard way through a lot of things that I didn’t understand or took for granted. That’s how the universe works.
I was born in the projects on welfare. I lived in a diverse neighborhood, went to diverse schools and I had a couple of close friends who were black along the way. We had government cheese in the fridge and shopped with food stamps. I was never handed anything and I’m happy for it. I wouldn’t take any of it back because it made me a better person. If I had a shortcut or someone enabled me to be “equal” to someone else who had more simply because they had it to give, I don’t know what I would have learned or where I would be right now…not to mention it wouldn’t have been fair to someone else who did try and worked harder than me. I’ve been down and out. I’ve been laid off and taken months to look for a job. As much as unemployment was a great safety net for a while, I didn’t feel entitled to stay on it forever. I’m a big believer in ENABLEMENT programs, but I have a big problem with ENTITLEMENT programs because they typically go too far because they either can’t be controlled or people take advantage of them. Obama wants big government with mandatory entitlement programs to foster government dependency and this is a bad idea for the future development of our country. I say enable people but don’t spoil them because it will drag us all down.

This has nothing to do with the article, I just LOVE Skoal!

My mother could have stayed on welfare and probably deserved to. Instead she worked her ass off in every sense of the word to get us out of the projects and off welfare. She didn’t want someone else taking care of her; she was ashamed to be on government assistance. She went on to get an adult education and graduated from Tufts University to make something of herself. She was a good role model in that sense because she drilled it into my head that anything is possible and that nobody is ever going to do it for me. When I went to Northeastern I worked my ass off. I worked in the financial aid office and wrote essays to earn scholarships. My mother and I took out tens of thousands in student loans, all paid back in about four years by the way. I went to six classes and worked three jobs in my senior year when I was supposed to be just cruising along.

I agree that we should fight to provide everyone with equal OPPORTUNITY. However I don’t agree with government programs that attempt to equal the OUTCOMES. There is a difference. It’s a risky endeavor to attempt to pre-determine an outcome simply based on race, gender, financial status etc. It results in reverse discrimination and it undermines the efforts and relative success of others who deserve to realize greatness. Worst of all it lowers the bar for everyone and encourages mediocrity. (If you aren’t going to get more of a reward for being great, there isn’t much incentive to be great) This is not the American way and we just shouldn’t want things to be this way. We should simply want to be better and work harder and help each other to get there when we can. Some people won’t make it, and that’s just a fact of life. If you’re one of the people who do make it, you can be proud of what you achieved and if you like you can even help those less fortunate. But I’m sure you want to have that choice and not have it made for you by the government, right? Well if Obama is re-elected you may not have a choice my friend.

Having a government to protect us is a good thing and I’m all for it. However government’s scope and intervention needs to be limited because the government does not know what is best for us – we do – and they usually screw things up with mismanagement and overages. (Not to mention they’re never wrong and always justify a way to grow the bureaucracy by treating symptoms and not the real problems) As one example, affirmative action was a great idea, but like most government programs it took things too far. Someone should have the equal opportunity to get a job, but they should still have to work just as hard to earn the requisite grades, carry the requisite weight, and perform all of the same tasks better than their peers or they don’t get the job. Plenty of other government programs also go too far. They sound great at face value (that liberal motivation I fell for), yet they incur unintended consequences. The sheer amount of waste and negative unintended consequences extend to unemployment, welfare, the ADA, the EPA, Head Start and beyond. (I think becoming a teacher is a respectful vocation. However if you suck as a teacher and it’s harmful to my kids, I want someone else teaching my kids. Tenure should not override teaching quality for my children.)

If you read John Stossel’s book “No They Can’t” you will start to get an understanding about just how far the government and these unreasonable causes go. You don’t want a level playing field in the way the government is attempting to level it. Not everybody gets the position, not everybody makes the team, and nor should they. Read this book before you go thinking that the government should be involved in forcing everyone into equality. John Stossel is a libertarian, but it’s not a partisan book, everybody is fair game. It just happens to be that most liberals are the ones who push for these so-called “everybody must win” programs. I’m no longer a liberal democrat because I now understand some of the differences in the approaches of socialist/entitlement vs. capitalist/free market. The more we depend on the government or anybody else – good intentions or not – the less free we will be.

On to taxes, which seems to be a category in which the government and plenty of you out there want to somehow “level the playing field?” Be careful with this argument. No, the rich should not pay more of a percentage in taxes. First of all it’s not fair, why would you think the rich need to pay more, just because they’re rich? These people are probably smarter than you and work harder than you; they create thousands of jobs and opportunities and better our economy, so they deserve to be rich. And talk about unintended consequences, do you understand what it means for all of us if we hinder these people from being able to make the advances they make? You tie their hands and it’s a bad thing for all of us because then they can’t be as generous or offer the same level of opportunity to others that they VOLUNTARILY make today. (Read: you already have more opportunity because of them, be thankful and stop trying to demand more without working for it yourself.) Taxing them more doesn’t fix the problem even if it was fair by the way, have you seen those numbers?! If anything the problem is the tax code itself and the isolated abuses of it, not just people who happen to be rich. Many rich people are very generous out of the goodness of their hearts. They create businesses that employ tens to thousands of people because it’s their passion and mission in life to do so. But maybe they can’t be or won’t be as giving of themselves if the government insists on taxing them more, did you ever think of that?

How about you? If the government provides you with special tax deductions, you’re not going to take them out of the goodness of your heart? Please…you get deductions for your kids, your rent or mortgage interest, your charitable donations, etc. Are you volunteering those for your neighbor who got laid off or the guy in the middle of Route 16 with the sign and change cup? When I had investment property, I provided four families with housing and the government gave me incentives to do so. Was I a bad person because I took advantage of those? Why shouldn’t the rich take advantage of the relative deductions available to them for creating housing, businesses that enrich our lives and help us build our livelihoods? Not to mention if they pay the same percentage applied to their higher numbers, they do end up paying more in taxes. Hello, did you even stop to do the math? You’re just jealous and resentful toward these people for something they have and you don’t. The liberal politicians and media take advantage of us “commoners,” encouraging you to feel like you deserve something that someone else earned. But you don’t. And you’re a hypocrite because you’d be doing the same things the rich are doing that are supposedly so horrible. If you have a problem with what people are doing, blame government policy for instating the code that stipulates they can do it. (Don’t hate the player, hate the game…) By the way Obama is rich and he has engaged in crony capitalism…not to mention he hasn’t donated nearly as much as these other “rich bastards” you speak of so how in the world do you stand behind him?

This whole witch hunt for Romney’s taxes is a joke…he not only has provided what was necessary but nobody ever made a fuss about Obama’s taxes because the country was desperate for a solution and he gave great speeches that you fell for. Romney has donated MILLIONS of dollars, not to mention YEARS of his life to worthy causes and all people can talk about is how bad he is because he’s rich and hasn’t shown his taxes. How interesting, considering you haven’t seen Obama’s either. Not to mention you wouldn’t understand them even if you did. Why are you so interested in Romney’s taxes? I personally don’t care about his taxes, he’s living the American dream and I’m happy for him. Especially because he wants more of US to live the American dream. I’m focused on bettering myself and earning more income to pay taxes on! Why don’t you look in the mirror and seek out the real reasons why you feel the way you do and the real way to make the change. Take your head out of the sand and start trying a little harder to understand what is going on instead of watching the biased media coverage and just defending some stance that you feel you should have. You need to realize that this country will only further degrade itself through the unintended consequences of taxing the rich because it’s not fair plus it treats the symptom of a greater problem.

How about immigration? This country is the United States of America. It’s an English speaking country with a flag as its national symbol. Yet it’s starting to become offensive to a select few to not have Spanish or some other language as an option. Do these people even know English? If so, why do our menus need to be written in any other language? (Spanish is my example but there are others) You see litigation and regulation against people flying the American flag at their homes and wearing the flag on shirts in schools, yet it’s offensive and discriminatory if you say anything about a minority doing it. The flag is our national symbol and English is our national language. If you want to be a part of the melting pot, you had better learn to melt because the pot doesn’t melt around you. I have Spanish (Portuguese/Colombian/Brazilian) friends. I had no problem seeing the Brazilians parade up and down Broadway in Brazilian colors waving Brazilian flags, clogging up the streets in Everett when Brazil won the World Cup. That’s cool, it was entertaining and I was happy for them. But do not tell me that my menus have to be in Spanish and that I can’t fly an American flag or that my kids can’t wear one to school. Don’t make me take off my baseball hat in an airport then make special accommodations for the muslim with the turban because it might offend him. Too F-ing bad! I’m an American white guy who was born here and lived here all of my life. I’m fine with the airport screenings, but they have to be done in the same manner for EVERYBODY. Hello, do you remember that muslims killed over 3,000 Americans on our own soil. Get real and “discriminate” where you have to and maybe the wrong groups of people will get the message that you can’t F with America and eventually they will give up trying. You might save a life by caring about everybody, not just the feelings of the select few, ever think of that?

The immigration/discrimination issue is the most backward bullshit I’ve ever heard of and it infuriates me to discuss it because I do not think of the American flag and English as an OPTION. Did you ever stop and think about these people? If they’re willing to do something illegal to get into the country, why would we feel like they’ll be good law-abiding citizens when they live here permanently? Let’s continue to grant amnesty to ILLEGAL immigrants who come into our country ILLEGALLY and who don’t speak OUR language. Great idea! (Yes English is YOUR language if you live in America. The American flag is YOUR flag too.) If you let someone do whatever they want they will continue to do whatever they want. You grant these kinds of people all kinds of rights without having to earn them, you’ll get people committing crimes and F-ing up our country because they don’t understand the laws nor do they care about them because they don’t have to because there is no accountability. It’s somehow offensive to ask for people to be responsible. Now people have a problem showing an ID to vote?! You’re kidding me right? There is no valid argument against requiring people to show an ID to vote and I won’t even justify the argument by saying more about it. The select few who are offended need to be thwarted from creating these idiotic regulations, it needs to end. Stop being politically correct because it’s getting us nowhere. Stop letting people take advantage of America or there won’t be one. Obama wants us all to be equal whether we work for it or not, and that includes immigrants who don’t even deserve to be in this country. That’s dishonorable to people born here and who came here legally. Stand for America dammit!
National defense is one area in which I support more and/or stronger government. Some believe that the scope or “mission” of our military should be reduced. I can’t speak to that because I’m not sure. Regardless of how we achieve it, when it comes to national defense I believe that we should be a dominant world force and never have to worry about compromise. We are moving away from military superiority and that deeply concerns me. I’m not comfortable with Obama’s push to reduce our national defense including a reduction in nuclear warheads. As much as I don’t want to think about a nuclear war because it’s horrifying, we need to stay dominant so that it never becomes an option for another nation to threaten America in any regard. Although I’m sure that we have plenty of other weapons and options (other than nuclear) available to us, the blatant reduction in national defense scares me. World leadership is another area in which we do not want a level playing field. Let’s take the path of better safe than sorry here…don’t let Obama reduce the budget for national defense.

So all of this concern is why I post what I do. I may not be the most diplomatic, politically correct guy out there…but I genuinely care. I have democratic views as well as republican views, but I’m more on the right side of things now. Some of the nicest most generous people I’ve ever met are Republicans, and none of them are rich. I thought I was a democrat almost all the way up to the 2008 election. I thought McCain was a wet blanket, the way I used to think of republicans as stuffy suits. I wouldn’t have chosen him to be our president if given better choices. However I thought that Obama’s stance on immigration, national defense and government entitlement/dependency would be detrimental to our country. I didn’t fall for the speeches, I trusted my gut. And even though it felt weird going into the box with so many people around me probably voting for Obama, I bit the bullet and voted for McCain. Now I’m faced with a similar dilemma. I see Obama closing down Gitmo and accommodating heinous criminals, blocking the Keystone Pipeline and domestic energy development, and making other detrimental decisions that I couldn’t possibly enumerate. Romney may not be the end-all-be-all or our favorite guy in the world, but he is our way out of the mess we’re in. At least he is a true American patriot and you know that he will rebuild America the way some of our other patriotic presidents did.

Maybe Obama didn’t create this mess, but he is perpetuating it and taking us down a dangerous path as a country. Obama is not a patriot. He didn’t salute our flag and he disrespects other world leaders who are our allies and shuns members of our military. Now he doesn’t want our military to vote because he knows how poorly he has performed. He doesn’t deserve to be in office. Even if you don’t suspect Obama to the extent that I do, he doesn’t understand economics. Romney at least understands the economy and how to turn around a business. You don’t need to grow a business for it to be more profitable, you can sometimes do less with more.

Stop being brainwashed. Capitalism and the free market is a good thing; it’s what America was founded on. If you educate yourself on all of the government intervention that has gone wrong and how free markets keep things fair, you won’t be able to help but feel differently about it. You enjoy capitalism and free markets every day of your life; it’s just the way in which you think about it that is bad. Probably much like I used to think about conservatives and republicans. The truth is a lot of politicians are crony capitalists – republicans and democrats alike even our president. But if that will always be the case and I can’t change the individual deals that are made, I need to pick the best overall candidate. I’m voting for the American; for the guy who can get us back to productivity, make us all more money, and protect us by keeping America strong and pure the way we know and love it.

Whether it’s blatant and out in the open or quietly understood, it can be awkward to have family and friends pressuring you to continue voting Democrat. But follow your instincts and what you hopefully have read and understood about what being a Republican really means and stand up for yourself and what you believe in. It’s okay to change your mind. Regardless of right or left, republican or democrat, I’ll be voting for the anti-Obama to save this country. You can either put your head in the sand and listen to the liberal-biased mainstream media or you can start paying attention to what is happening to your world and actually do something about it. It’s your choice; the fate of all of us rests in your hands.

P.S. I’m a small business owner and I built it!