Tuesday, November 25, 2008


For all my best intentions, I have usually been a curmudgeon around the holidays. The travel, the forced expectations, the "not getting work done" attitude that permeates the air from mid November to mid January. All of it used to create heartburn and unhappiness so I just endured the season and embraced the positives as best I could. My children never knew this and I kept it from them pretty well. But I think on some level they felt the uneasiness.

This year is a different ballgame and I am really enjoying the change. And yes, my newly found Faith is the reason for this new attitude. January 13th, 2008 I "surrendered" to the good Lord above. I fell to my knees and I surrendered to him my pain, my questions, my heart and my soul. I surrendered everything and I finally found the freedom I had searched for my entire life. Now that is irony at its best.

So this holiday season, I am thankful for the fresh outlook on life God has given me.

I am thankful for the people in my life

I am thankful for the church that fills me up

I am thankful that my children have turned out so well against the greatest of odds

I am thankful for the kindness in people's souls who reach out to others

I am thankful for the warriors who protect us

I am thankful for the public servants who govern with their honor and ethics still intact

I am thankful for the business owners who treat their employees with respect and dignity

I am thankful for employees who give business owners a full days work and a job well done

I am thankful for the creatives who give us so many things to think about

I am thankful for the environmentalists who can balance public good and public use

And finally, I am thankful for the people with backbone and gumption for a good cause. They are my heroes in life.

Sometimes it just takes Faith to see all of this clearly. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I and about 10,000 of my neighbors attended the Volkswagen professional and supplier job fair at the Chattanooga Convention Center today. I haven't seen so many well dressed men and women in one building since, heck, I don't know when.

Since I am your classic overachiever, and I don't have a "real job", I thought I would get there about 45 minutes before the event started and check out the scene. I had already registered my info online along with my resume, so this visit was just a look-see. Plus, it doesn't hurt to put in face-time at these things and hand over another physical copy of my resume.

I am glad I went, and I am certainly glad I went early. There was already a line when I arrived. Most everyone it seemed had not done all the early leg work that I had done, so their line was longer. I wanted to be in the first group to go into the 30 minute informational meeting where the company brass put on their dog and pony show. I was able to get 5th row center, with a great view of the speaker and the slideshow.

Volkswagen didn't disappoint me. Their visions are precise and forward looking. Their goals concrete and their methods revolved around the "Volkswagen way". German's are notorious for being very functional and literal (I was married to one), which I really do appreciate, but I also saw a visionary side that really appealed to me. In today's global marketplace, we all need to be rethinking and retooling our ways of doing business if we are going to survive this current economic crisis. Volkswagen is solidly on that track.

As for my future career with Volkswagen, who the heck knows. I am comfortable knowing that I have followed the required steps and my resume is in their hands. You just can't pass up that kind of opportunity. Volkswagen is a bright, shiny bulb in a dark dismal room called America. Go Chattanooga!!!

Battle Hymn of the Republic

This version sent chills down my spine and a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing Claudia!

http://www.greatdanepromilitary.com/Battle Hymn/index.htm

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Break

I have found that people in my neck of the woods start into the holiday mode just before Thanksgiving and continue the process thru the first couple of weeks in January. Not alot gets done during this time. When I first moved back here 6 years ago, the concept threw me into fits of frustration. I couldn't get anything done!!!

Now, I accept and become one with the beauty that is called "Mountain Time", especially during the holiday season.

So in that vein, I am taking a break from political discussion and will meander thru the joys of living here and finding the goodness that creeps into everyone's souls during this wonderful period of time. It is time to thaw my cynical heart around the joys of a warm fire, good friends and the pleasures of seeing a world thru rose colored glasses. A world I want my children to know and appreciate.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Gotta Love Steve 2

Tool Definitions

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat

metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest

and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted part

which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere

under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints

and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you

to say, ''What the...??''

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their

holes until you die of old age.

SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation

of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert

minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija

board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked,

unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its

course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off

bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to

transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the

conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various

flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the

grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch

wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the

ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the

jack handle firmly under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering an automobile

upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than

any known drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby ending

any possible future use.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most

shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily

fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead

of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile

strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that

inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end

opposite the handle.


PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals

under lids and for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and

splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name

implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes

used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip

or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer

nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most

expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of

cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly

well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic

bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic

parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while

wearing them.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the

garage while yelling ''DAMMIT'' at the top of your lungs. It is

also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

Pretty Words

Call me a cynic, but I am a person who doesn't trust government at any level. I have personally experienced the dark side of government's abuse of power at the local level and the judicial level, I have witnessed the abuse of power at the state level and I can only imagine how bad it is at the federal level. If the public is asleep at the wheel or mollified into complacency, bad things can happen because there are less than honorable people who crave power and seem to gravitate to public office. The Founding Fathers saw that pifall and created a structure that had checks and balances...but that doesn't prevent the devil from creeping into the system.

Then there is an entirely other concept of government control. Socialism.

What if Pretty Words conceal the very basis of government slavery and the public buys into the concept? To me, that is a truely horrific Stephen King novel come to life.

Evil Concealed by Money
Walter E. Williams

Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. Let's think about socialism.

Imagine there's an elderly widow down the street from you. She has neither the strength to mow her lawn nor enough money to hire someone to do it. Here's my question to you that I'm almost afraid for the answer: Would you support a government mandate that forces one of your neighbors to mow the lady's lawn each week? If he failed to follow the government orders, would you approve of some kind of punishment ranging from house arrest and fines to imprisonment? I'm hoping that the average American would condemn such a government mandate because it would be a form of slavery, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.

Would there be the same condemnation if instead of the government forcing your neighbor to physically mow the widow's lawn, the government forced him to give the lady $40 of his weekly earnings? That way the widow could hire someone to mow her lawn. I'd say that there is little difference between the mandates. While the mandate's mechanism differs, it is nonetheless the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.

Probably most Americans would have a clearer conscience if all the neighbors were forced to put money in a government pot and a government agency would send the widow a weekly sum of $40 to hire someone to mow her lawn. This mechanism makes the particular victim invisible but it still boils down to one person being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another. Putting the money into a government pot makes palatable acts that would otherwise be deemed morally offensive.

This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, coercion or taking the property of one person, to accomplish good ends, helping one's fellow man. Helping one's fellow man in need, by reaching into one's own pockets, is a laudable and praiseworthy goal. Doing the same through coercion and reaching into another's pockets has no redeeming features and is worthy of condemnation.

Some people might contend that we are a democracy where the majority agrees to the forcible use of one person for the good of another. But does a majority consensus confer morality to an act that would otherwise be deemed as immoral? In other words, if a majority of the widow's neighbors voted to force one neighbor to mow her law, would that make it moral?

I don't believe any moral case can be made for the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another. But that conclusion is not nearly as important as the fact that so many of my fellow Americans give wide support to using people. I would like to think it is because they haven't considered that more than $2 trillion of the over $3 trillion federal budget represents Americans using one another. Of course, they might consider it compensatory justice. For example, one American might think, "Farmers get Congress to use me to serve the needs of some farmers. I'm going to get Congress to use someone else to serve my needs by subsidizing my child's college education."

The bottom line is that we've become a nation of thieves, a value rejected by our founders. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, was horrified when Congress appropriated $15,000 to help French refugees. He said, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Tragically, today's Americans would run Madison out of town on a rail.

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My youngest daughter loves going to those color-your-own pottery shops. It is our special time together to create something lasting and memorable. My earliest memorable creation is from 2001, and it is a huge yellow and purple coffee mug with a "I Love Mom" on it that she made for my birthday. Of course, I still use it.

Last August 2007, at the end of Summer Break, we hit the pottery shop as usual. Madison made a darling muffin jewelry container and I made a coffee mug that reflected my mood at the time...it says FRED 08 with the American Crest on the reverse side. I also have in my library a signed copy of the "Fred Factor" by conservative talk show host Steve Gill. Yes, 2008 was supposed to be Fred Thompson's year. What the hell happened, I still am at a loss.

But Fred is back on the airwaves and back on the team, reminding us of our conservative roots and urging us all to move on and up. I love this guy! And yes, I am drinking out of that mug today. It is a very memorable creation.

Fred Thompson: Time to Look Ahead

I’m sure after this two-year campaign everyone would like to take a deep breath and put aside politics for a while. The holiday season approaches. It is time for all of us to give thanks for the many blessings we have been given.

But our gratitude for life and liberty should also serve as a reminder that what we were working so hard to achieve these past few years still very much hangs in the balance. And it is up to each of us to continue that fight. Our participation as citizens of the United States does not end once we’ve pulled the lever in the voting booth. That ballot is just the beginning.

We are now living in a nation controlled by a Democratic Party committed to cutting the budget for our national defense, raising taxes and nibbling around the edges of our personal freedoms in the hopes none of us notices. Democrats will do it through regulation in the executive branch, legislation in Congress and rulings from the judiciary.

This activity will be taking place during a time when we know that somewhere in the world our worst enemies either have, or are trying to get their hands on, the most dangerous weapons known to man. Small rogue nations are developing nuclear weapons to threaten us and our allies. Some large nations are engaged in massive military buildups, while others seek to take advantage of our weakened financial condition to wage a kind of economic warfare that is only now possible because of our global economy. And all the while the greatest economic threat of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime—the bankrupting of our entitlements systems—will be ignored.

It’s not a pretty picture, is it?

But if the time I spent traveling around America the past 18 months has given me anything, it is hope. And it if has confirmed anything for me, it is this: America remains the greatest country in the history of the world, and our citizens who care about our nation’s founding values—freedom, free markets, respect for life and the rule of law—will not stop defending these values as much as some of our fellow citizens and leaders might wish they would.

The Democrats and their P.R. machine known as the “mainstream media” liked to talk about 2008 as an election about “change.” Well, let me tell you, by their nature, every election is about “change.” In fact, responsible change is the essence of conservatism. We must change in order to preserve what is best about our country. We have always been able to accommodate constructive change without turning our back on our first principles.

But now, we should admit that we didn’t do a good enough job of holding our elected officials accountable over the past few years when spending got out of control, and we seemed to lose sight of the policies grounded in our first principles. It’s going to be a high price we pay, but we must not lose sight of what we must be doing now: fighting for conservative change we want today—and tomorrow.

We are going to have to use every tool we have—grassroots organizations, think tanks, magazines, talk radio, the Internet—while building new institutions to blunt the efforts of a left-wing establishment that appears willing to use uncertainty to impose an agenda that would never see the light of day in normal times.

The challenge will be to fight the Democratic instinct to let government meet every need and solve every problem and to divide our nation by class and race, while also laying the groundwork for the kind of historic mid-term election we achieved in 1994.

We gained those victories with a focus on innovative, free-market, pro-freedom, policy solutions to issues like welfare reform, promising to cut spending and balance the budget, and recruiting a host of talented, young (and perhaps not-so-young) men and women willing to step into the arena and run for office.

We have the formula—a conservative formula—that has worked before and will surely work again. It is grounded in our first principles. It’s time we moved past the recriminations and seven stages of grief. It’s time to look ahead, to stay united and to defend the values that we know must endure if our nation is to do the same.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ode to My Father

I am sure most of you don't wake up on a Sunday morning, coffee in hand, expecting a deep discussion on world history, politics, religion or economic theory. On any given Sunday, thruout my life, that is something I have come to expect from my father and I have taken it for granted most of my life.

Do we ever fully appreciate our parents? My mother died 6 months after my first child was born almost 17 years ago, and I miss her deeply. She was a one of a kind and it is her backbone that I have in my spine. It is her love for the hurt and the weak and the oppressed that I have in my heart. It is her courage and convictions that are in my soul.

But it is my mind that belongs to my Dad. My father has shaped my world view more than any person or any book that is in my large library. His kind of intellect is based on logic and a vast knowledge base honed over his 73 years. In my younger years, I listened on our Sunday's but I didn't ever fully comprehend the importance of the knowledge that was being given to me.

Today, a Sunday, it really hit me. These discussions are like the puzzle pieces of life with the borders put together and the inner structure completed enough to see the bigger picture. Like fathers handing down the family tools, my father was handing me the keys to the future. I hope I can use them well and then pass them on to my children with the same care and patience. So far, it looks like they are definitely ahead of the curve that I was on.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gotta Love Steve

This is straight from one of my favorite military friends and personal hero Steve...

Rules for the Non-Military (12 STEP PROGRAM FOR CIVILIANS)
> Dear Civilians,
> We know that the current state of affairs in our great nation has many
civilians up in arms and excited to join the military.
> For those of you who can't join, you can still lend a hand. Here are
a few of the areas where we would like your assistance:
> 1. The next time you see any adults talking (or wearing a hat) during
the playing of the National Anthem - kick their ass.
> 2. When you witness, firsthand, someone burning the American Flag in
protest - kick their ass.
> 3. Regardless of the rank they held while they served, pay the highest
amount of respect to all veterans. If you see anyone doing otherwise, quietly
pull them aside and explain how
veterans fought for the very freedom they
bask in every second. Enlighten them on the many sacrifices theseveterans made
to make this Nation great. Then hold them down while a disabled veteran kicks
their ass.
> 4. (GUYS) If you were never in the military, DO NOT pretend that you
were. Wearing battle dress uniforms (BDUs) or Jungle Fatigues, telling others
that you used to be 'Special Forces,' and collecting GI Joe memorabilia,
might have been okay when you were seven years old. Now, it will only make you
look stupid and get your ass kicked.
> 5. Next time you come across an Air Force member, do not ask them,
'Do you fly a jet?' Not everyone in the Air Force is a pilot. Such
ignorance deserves an ass-kicking (children are exempt).
> 6. If you witness someone calling the US Coast Guard
'non-MIlitary', Inform them of their mistake – and kick their
7. Next time Old Glory (the US flag) prances by during a parade, get on
your damn feet and pay homage to her by placing your hand over your heart.
Quietly thank the military member or veteran lucky enough to be carrying her -
of course, failure to do either of those could earn you a severe ass-kicking.
> 8. Don't try to discuss politics with a military member or a
veteran. We are Americans, and we all bleed the same, regardless of our party
affiliation. Our Chain of Command is to include our Commander-In-Chief (CinC).
The President (for those who didn't know) is our CinC regardless of
political party. We have no inside track on what happens inside those big
important buildings where all those representatives meet. All we know is that
when those civilian representatives screw up the situation, they call upon the
military to go straighten it out. If you keep asking us the
same stupid
repeatedly, you will get your ass kic ked!
> 9. 'Your mama wears combat boots.' never made sense to me - stop
saying It! If she did, she would most likely be a vet and therefore could kick
your ass!
> 10. bin Laden and the Taliban are not Communists, so stop saying
'Let's go kill those Commies!' And stop asking us where he is!
Crystal balls are not standard issue in the military. That reminds me- if you
see anyone calling those damn psychic phone numbers, let me know, so I can go
kick their ass!
> 11. 'Flyboy' (Air Force), 'Jarhead' (Marines),
'Grunt' (Army), 'Squid' (Navy), 'Puddle Jumpers' (Coast
Guard), etc., are terms of endearment we use describing each other. Unless you
are a service member or vet, you have not earned the right to use them. Using
them could get your ass kicked.
> 12. Last, but not least, whether or not
you become a member of
Military, support our troops and their families. Every Thanksgiving and
religious holiday that you enjoy with family and friends, please remember that
there are literally thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen far
fromhome wishing they could be with their families. Thank God for our military
and the sacrifices they make every day. Without them, our country would get
it's 'ass kicked.'
> 'It's the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom
of the press.'
> 'It's the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of
> 'It's the Veteran, not the campus organizer, who gives us the
freedom to demonstrate.'
> 'It's the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the
flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag who allows the protester to burn
the flag.'

God Factor

As I was writing my previous post, I was reminded of the story about the late addition of "Under God" into our Pledge of Allegiance so I decided to Google it. Several hours later, I am still fascinated by what I found. I am glad I am off today, because this subject is of great interest to me. Did you know the original pledge (1892) was written by a Christian Socialist? Yep, no Under God in that version.

The God topic is a big one. And probably will will take up several posts. I think this is one of the biggest struggles we Conservatives have in relation to government and politics. To some degree, we are a fragmented bunch. Constitutional Conservatives believe in less government and more personal freedoms. Fiscal Conservatives believe in less government and tight spending policies. Social Conservatives believe in traditional and religious values being reflected in government policies. Libertarian Conservatives believe in free trade and oppose government economic intervention.

But where is God in all of this? The Social Conservatives seem closest to the God Factor, but I don't think that premise was the overall purpose of our Founding Fathers in creating our Nation. They were all Christians, but they didn't want to have a Monarchial Church Nation like the one they came from. I am a practicing, fully operational Christian and would recommend that way of life to anyone who asks me. But I certainly don't want government imposing a morality structure on me even if I totally believed in and practiced the premise that would keep me "legal". What if this country became a Muslim controlled nation and we had to follow their moral laws? Can you say, HELL NO.

So where does that leave God in government? Personally, I think it should continue to be a rigid reference placed in our courtrooms, money, pledge of allegiance, induction into government office and military service and national songs. Make it off limits to everyone once and for all and be done with it. There are bigger things to worry about these days.

But then you start reading why the Left doesn't want God referenced in ANYTHING governmently controlled and you start realizing why it is such a big deal to them. Some of the court cases involve the point that we are "indoctrinating" our children. Well, yes, I guess we are. Patriotism not only involves a salute to the flag of our nation but a salute to a higher power guiding our decisions for virtue, decency and welfare of others for the good of our nation. Those are personal responsibilities of each and every citizen of this country. I certainly don't trust any government not agreeing to those principles. When you take out those guiding lights, what do you have...a nation ready for a new type of leadership. If that doesn't send chills up your spine, I don't know what else will.

Thankfully our Constitution was drawn up by strong Conservatives who believed in a rigid document that would withstand the test of time and could not be changed at the whim of a temporary majority. Will the God factor have the same fate?

Beware the Dragon

I am going to say this straight out. Barack Obama will receive my respect as the man who is President of the United States. I am an old school Nationalist. I believe in the visions of our Founding Fathers for a free and unifed country. I also believe in their vision for a bloodless and civil handing over of power. As a Nationalist, I respect the position of President and all that entails.

So as we move into this next segment of our nation's history, those of us who believe in "One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all" will be watching and solidifying our strategy for a defense/offense should the Dragon come out of the Cave.

Shame on You!
Nick Nichols
Saturday, November 15, 2008

J.R.R. Tolkein cautioned in The Hobbit that, “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you happen to live near one.” For those who value private property, free speech, unfettered competition, limited government and the principle of taxation with representation, Election Day 2008 was not only an historic event from the perspective of race relations in America, but also a shocking affirmation that a new generation of power-hungry socialists have surfaced from within that Trojan Horse called the The Democratic Party. These neo-socialists have already begun the process of turning this country into a nation of hand-out seekers, Wall Street whiners and corporate derrière smoochers seeking bail from the very people who contributed to their economic imprisonment.

In the coming months, I am certain the NeoSocs will be joined by others from both sides of the aisle who, for the sake of political expediency, will turn their backs on the principles of free-market capitalism. These sell-outs will help enact legislation that may cause Karl Marx to do an end-zone victory jig in his grave. It will not do to leave this live dragon out of our calculations.

When the media hype and spin are unraveled, three key factors emerge that explain America’s current political and economic debacle:

First, starting with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program, the U.S. Congress created numerous market disruptions in the form of social justice, pro-union and environmental laws. Ask anyone who has observed the downfall of the American auto industry about the impact of punitive environmental regulations and pro-union policies on the competitiveness of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Take a good hard look at the long-term effects of Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Community Reinvestment Act and the Clinton Administration’s influence at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to find the root cause of the sub-prime mortgage disaster.

Second, when the Republicans took the reigns of power in both houses of Congress, they quickly abandoned their conservative fiscal values, increased the size of government and spent taxpayer cash like it was growing on those Japanese cherry trees that surround various monuments to our nation’s founders. Talk about rolling over in their graves!

Third, during the past decade social and environmental activists have been wildly successful convincing thousands of business executives to embrace corporate socialism. The so-called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement had business executives spending corporate capital on programs and policies that contribute very little to profitability and, in some cases, harmed their companies’ bottom lines. It was all oh so voluntary, neither government mandated, nor shareholder-sanctioned. Oftentimes, these expenditures amounted to pay-offs for the pet projects and policies of non-government organizations (NGOs) who helped shove CSR down our collective gullets.

Why did the anti-business activist groups preach the gospel of CSR? The simple answer is that they were preparing the battlefield to advance their socialist agenda at the ballot box, and in the court of public opinion. They knew that it would not be difficult to sneak into corporations led by executives who talk like Rambo but act like Bambi.

So why did these corporate leaders participate in this capitalist equivalent of treason? Some believed the myth that good PR—at any cost—is the Holy Grail of successful business management. Others wanted to position their competitors as corporate villains who could care less about human rights or the environment. Most were trying to appease the socialist attack groups, and their allies in the media and in government.

Guess what all of you corporate appeasers, CSR is about to become real mandatory!

Economist Milton Friedman wrote that some “businessmen believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned merely with profit but also with promoting desirable social ends; that business has a social conscience and takes seriously its responsibility for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers.” Friedman added, “In fact, they are . . . preaching pure and unadulterated socialism. Businessmen who talk this way are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.”

It boggles the mind to think that any self-respecting business executive would pay lip-service to the CSR movers, shakers and spinners given their basic belief that corporations should become government property, while leaving the financial risks to the private investors.

Long before the economic meltdown, millions, if not billions of corporate dollars were diverted from shareholders and redistributed to others under the guise of CSR. Every dollar represented a hidden tax on unsuspecting investors. Talk about taxation without representation. Now, of course, people who actually work hard to achieve success won’t have to worry as much about hidden taxes. They will have to worry about Congress and the President deciding that their property and prosperity must be shared with people who haven’t worked quite as hard, or not at all.

How can we stop this lunacy? First, America’s 100-million shareholders need information about how their investments are being shanghaied, how their rights are being subverted and how corporate socialists and government officials are using their hard-earned cash to undermine free enterprise. This is advocacy of the kind employed by the Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF). The Fund uses its status as an institutional shareholder to persuade companies to focus on increasing shareholder value and profits rather than vainly trying to appease the socialists and their allies.

Second, American voters must be reminded of Winston Churchill’s admonition that, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy, its inherent value is the equal sharing of misery.” I fear that Americans will discover what Churchill meant in a multitude of ways over the next four years.

In the meantime, I offer three words to the corporate Neville Chamberlains who helped put this country in the hands of people who advocate wealth redistribution and government control of what was once the private sector: Shame on you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Liberal Order

As we regroup and rethink, it is also good to understand the history of Liberalism and where we are at on that curve. Being so "anti-government" as I am, I was fascinated by this article. It makes sense.

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
The New Liberal Order
By Peter Beinart

The death and rebirth of American liberalism both began with flags in Grant Park. On Aug. 28, 1968, 10,000 people gathered there to protest the Democratic Convention taking place a few blocks away, which was about to nominate Lyndon Johnson's Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, thus implicitly ratifying the hated Vietnam War. Chicago mayor Richard Daley had warned the protesters not to disrupt his city and denied them permits to assemble, but they came anyway. All afternoon, the protesters chanted and the police hovered, until about 3:30, when someone climbed a flagpole and began lowering the American flag.

Police went to arrest the offender and were pelted with eggs, chunks of concrete and balloons filled with paint and urine. The police responded by charging into the crowd, clubbing bystanders and yelling "Kill! Kill!" in what one report later termed a "police riot." Across the country, Americans watching on television gave their verdict: Serves the damn hippies right. Democrats, who had won seven of the previous nine presidential elections, went on to lose seven of the next 10.

Forty years later, happy liberals mobbed Grant Park, invited by another mayor named Richard Daley, to celebrate Barack Obama's election. This time the flags flew proudly at full mast, and the police were there to protect the crowd, not threaten it. Once again, Americans watched on television, and this time they didn't seethe. They wept. (See pictures of Obama's Grant Park celebrations.)

The distance between those two Grant Park scenes says a lot about how American liberalism fell, and why in the Obama era it could become — once again — America's ruling creed. The coalition that carried Obama to victory is every bit as sturdy as America's last two dominant political coalitions: the ones that elected Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. And the Obama majority is sturdy for one overriding reason: liberalism, which average Americans once associated with upheaval, now promises stability instead.

The Search for Order
In America, political majorities live or die at the intersection of two public yearnings: for freedom and for order. A century ago, in the Progressive Era, modern American liberalism was born, in historian Robert Wiebe's words, as a "search for order." America's giant industrial monopolies, the progressives believed, were turning capitalism into a jungle, a wild and lawless place where only the strong and savage survived. By the time Roosevelt took office during the Great Depression, the entire ecosystem appeared to be in a death spiral, with Americans crying out for government to take control. F.D.R. did — juicing the economy with unprecedented amounts of government cash, creating new protections for the unemployed and the elderly, and imposing rules for how industry was to behave. Conservatives wailed that economic freedom was under assault, but most ordinary Americans thanked God that Washington was securing their bank deposits, helping labor unions boost their wages, giving them a pension when they retired and pumping money into the economy to make sure it never fell into depression again. They didn't feel unfree; they felt secure. For three and a half decades, from the mid-1930s through the '60s, government imposed order on the market. The jungle of American capitalism became a well-tended garden, a safe and pleasant place for ordinary folks to stroll. Americans responded by voting for F.D.R.-style liberalism — which even most Republican politicians came to accept — in election after election. (Read a TIME cover story on F.D.R.)

By the beginning of the 1960s, though, liberalism was becoming a victim of its own success. The post-World War II economic boom flooded America's colleges with the children of a rising middle class, and it was those children, who had never experienced life on an economic knife-edge, who began to question the status quo, the tidy, orderly society F.D.R. had built. For blacks in the South, they noted, order meant racial apartheid. For many women, it meant confinement to the home. For everyone, it meant stifling conformity, a society suffocated by rules about how people should dress, pray, imbibe and love. In 1962, Students for a Democratic Society spoke for what would become a new, baby-boom generation "bred in at least modest comfort," which wanted less order and more freedom. And it was this movement for racial, sexual and cultural liberation that bled into the movement against Vietnam and assembled in August 1968 in Grant Park.

Traditional liberalism died there because Americans — who had once associated it with order — came to associate it with disorder instead. For a vast swath of the white working class, racial freedom came to mean riots and crime; sexual freedom came to mean divorce; and cultural freedom came to mean disrespect for family, church and flag. Richard Nixon and later Reagan won the presidency by promising a new order: not economic but cultural, not the taming of the market but the taming of the street.

See scenes from voting day.

See the campaign in T Shirts.

The Receding Right
Flash forward to the evening of Nov. 4, and you can see why liberalism has sprung back to life. Ideologically, the crowds who assembled to hear Obama on election night were linear descendants of those egg throwers four decades before. They too believe in racial equality, gay rights, feminism, civil liberties and people's right to follow their own star. But 40 years later, those ideas no longer seem disorderly. Crime is down and riots nonexistent; feminism is so mainstream that even Sarah Palin embraces the term; Chicago mayor Richard Daley, son of the man who told police to bash heads, marches in gay-rights parades. Culturally, liberalism isn't that scary anymore. Younger Americans — who voted overwhelmingly for Obama — largely embrace the legacy of the '60s, and yet they constitute one of the most obedient, least rebellious generations in memory. The culture war is ending because cultural freedom and cultural order — the two forces that faced off in Chicago in 1968 — have turned out to be reconcilable after all.

The disorder that panics Americans now is not cultural but economic. If liberalism collapsed in the 1960s because its bid for cultural freedom became associated with cultural disorder, conservatism has collapsed today because its bid for economic freedom has become associated with economic disorder. When Reagan took power in 1981, he vowed to restore the economic liberty that a half-century of F.D.R.-style government intrusion had stifled. American capitalism had become so thoroughly domesticated, he argued, that it lost its capacity for dynamic growth. For a time, a majority of Americans agreed. Taxes and regulations were cut and cut again, and for the most part, the economic pie grew. In the 1980s and '90s, the garden of American capitalism became a pretty energetic place. But it became a scarier place too. In the newly deregulated American economy, fewer people had job security or fixed-benefit pensions or reliable health care. Some got rich, but a lot went bankrupt, mostly because of health-care costs. As Yale University political scientist Jacob Hacker has noted, Americans today experience far-more-violent swings in household income than did their parents a generation ago. (See pictures of the 1958 recession.)

Starting in the 1990s, average Americans began deciding that the conservative economic agenda was a bit like the liberal cultural agenda of the 1960s: less liberating than frightening. When the Gingrich Republicans tried to slash Medicare, the public turned on them en masse. A decade later, when George W. Bush tried to partially privatize Social Security, Americans rebelled once again. In 2005 a Pew Research Center survey identified a new group of voters that it called "pro-government conservatives." They were culturally conservative and hawkish on foreign policy, and they overwhelmingly supported Bush in 2004. But by large majorities, they endorsed government regulation and government spending. They didn't want to unleash the free market; they wanted to rein it in.

Those voters were a time bomb in the Republican coalition, which detonated on Nov. 4. John McCain's promises to cut taxes, cut spending and get government out of the way left them cold. Among the almost half of voters who said they were "very worried" that the economic crisis would hurt their family, Obama beat McCain by 26 points. (See pictures of Obama's campaign.)

The public mood on economics today is a lot like the public mood on culture 40 years ago: Americans want government to impose law and order — to keep their 401(k)s from going down, to keep their health-care premiums from going up, to keep their jobs from going overseas — and they don't much care whose heads Washington has to bash to do it.

Seizing the Moment
That is both Obama's great challenge and his great opportunity. If he can do what F.D.R. did — make American capitalism stabler and less savage — he will establish a Democratic majority that dominates U.S. politics for a generation. And despite the daunting problems he inherits, he's got an excellent chance. For one thing, taking aggressive action to stimulate the economy, regulate the financial industry and shore up the American welfare state won't divide his political coalition; it will divide the other side. On domestic economics, Democrats up and down the class ladder mostly agree. Even among Democratic Party economists, the divide that existed during the Clinton years between deficit hawks like Robert Rubin and free spenders like Robert Reich has largely evaporated, as everyone has embraced a bigger government role. Today it's Republicans who — though more unified on cultural issues — are split badly between upscale business types who want government out of the way and pro-government conservatives who want Washington's help. If Obama moves forcefully to restore economic order, the Wall Street Journal will squawk about creeping socialism, as it did in F.D.R.'s day, but many downscale Republicans will cheer. It's these working-class Reagan Democrats who could become tomorrow's Obama Republicans — a key component of a new liberal majority — if he alleviates their economic fears. See pictures of former Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Obama doesn't have to turn the economy around overnight. After all, Roosevelt hadn't ended the Depression by 1936. Obama just needs modest economic improvement by the time he starts running for re-election and an image as someone relentlessly focused on fixing America's economic woes. In allocating his time in his first months as President, he should remember what voters told exit pollsters they cared about most — 63% said the economy. (No other issue even exceeded 10%.)

In politics, crisis often brings opportunity. If Obama restores some measure of economic order, kick-starting U.S. capitalism and softening its hard edges, and if he develops the kind of personal rapport with ordinary Americans that F.D.R. and Reagan had — and he has the communication skills to do it — liberals will probably hold sway in Washington until Sasha and Malia have kids. As that happens, the arguments that have framed economic debate in recent times — for large upper-income tax cuts or the partial privatization of Social Security and Medicare — will fade into irrelevance. In an era of liberal hegemony, they will seem as archaic as defending the welfare system became when conservatives were on top.

See pictures of the world reacting to Obama's win.

See pictures of presidential First Dogs.

A New Consensus
There are fault lines in the Obama coalition, to be sure. In a two-party system, it's impossible to construct a majority without bringing together people who disagree on big things. But Obama's majority is at least as cohesive as Reagan's or F.D.R.'s. The cultural issues that have long divided Democrats — gay marriage, gun control, abortion — are receding in importance as a post-'60s generation grows to adulthood. Foreign policy doesn't divide Democrats as bitterly as it used to either because, in the wake of Iraq, once-hawkish working-class whites have grown more skeptical of military force. In 2004, 22% of voters told exit pollsters that "moral values" were their top priority, and 19% said terrorism. This year terrorism got 9%, and no social issues even made the list.

The biggest potential land mine in the Obama coalition isn't the culture war or foreign policy; it's nationalism. On a range of issues, from global warming to immigration to trade to torture, college-educated liberals want to integrate more deeply America's economy, society and values with the rest of the world's. They want to make it easier for people and goods to legally cross America's borders, and they want global rules that govern how much America can pollute the atmosphere and how it conducts the war on terrorism. They believe that ceding some sovereignty is essential to making America prosperous, decent and safe. When it comes to free trade, immigration and multilateralism, though, downscale Democrats are more skeptical. In the future, the old struggle between freedom and order may play itself out on a global scale, as liberal internationalists try to establish new rules for a more interconnected planet and working-class nationalists protest that foreign bureaucrats threaten America's freedom.

But that's in the future. If Obama begins restoring order to the economy, Democrats will reap the rewards for a long time. Forty years ago, liberalism looked like the problem in a nation spinning out of control. Today a new version of it may be the solution. It's a very different day in Grant Park.

Beinart is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations See pictures of the Civil Rights' Ground Zero.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ground Game

I was just reading a recap on some of the discussions held at the Republican Governors Conference in Miami this week. Yes, there is alot of soul searching, Sarah praising and political positioning, but the biggest revelation was the praise given to Obama's Ground Game. I laughed.

When we opened our McCain Palin headquarters the final month of elections, people asked us why we weren't open during the week day (we only had evening and weekend hours). I jokingly said that Republicans work for a living. That statement is almost too eerily true when we look at the demographics and logistics of the "Ground Game".

I know I took a big hit in my professional/financial life when I focused my efforts on this election. I don't get paid for this effort. I do it out of a profound belief in the outcome of elections. It does matter who governs. I am not alone in this passion. We all took a hit financially for doing what we believe in.

But look at the demographics of the Obama "Ground Game":

ACORN workers - partially funded by government and Obama, one sole focus
Out-of-work workers - funded by government, with a lot of time on their hands
College students - funded by parents or government loans, probably shouldn't have had all that time on their hands
Media - funded by employers to pay homage to Obama or allowed to do so
Trust fund babies - funded by a tax free entity, with a lot of time on their hands
Educators - funded by government, should have used their influence on their own time

Now let's look at the demographics of the McCain "Ground Game":

Self Employed or Entrepreneurs - Self funded, not alot of time on their hands
Retirees - Self funded, more time on their hands than most
Women - Self funded, worked it in between a million other family duties
Young People - Self funded, not alot to time but were brought up to get involved

Yes, there are cross overs for everything and this is an over generalization, but do you see the trends? How do you compete with that?

I guess that is where the conundrum lies as we regroup and rethink the process.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

America: Not Liberal Yet

Post election analysis is always a favorite reading topic of mine. And everything I have read validates my initial negative reaction to John McCain's primary win. Why? He wasn't a Conservative. But in fairness, I was also apart of that pragmatic group who believed that America had moved so far towards the center, that maybe McCain was the next generation of leadership. Dead-on Center. But I was wrong. Very wrong.

I am embarrassed to say I fell into the same trap that so many Conservative Republicans have also fallen into. I forgot my raisin' and lost the basic principles that make me a Conservative. And yes, the Sarah Palin VP pick lulled me into thinking I was working for the Conservative cause this election.

So as we regroup, I think we need to get back to basics and remember our raisin'. Contrary to these election results, I don't think America is Liberal yet. Just ask the far left Californians who voted for traditional marriage. There is hope. We just need to be who we are and not apologize for it. Barack Obama didn't.

The article I am sharing with you today is from a black, conservative woman named Star Parker. She came on my radar in 2001 when I heard her speak at a women's luncheon in the heart of conservative country USA (Dupage County, IL). She has quite a story if you want to google her sometime. Single mom in the projects who made good thru faith, hard work and perserverence not government diversity handouts. My kind of gal!

Written by Star Parker

John McCain has a knack for the bizarre. But he outdid himself, appearing on Saturday Night Live the weekend before election day to make fun of it all.
It was evident from the polls that only a miracle could pull this election off for McCain. But the SNL appearance made it clear that there would be no miracle.
Why would Americans, sitting on the political fence, riddled with doubt and worried about their future, vote for a man running to be their president who could satirize the campaign two days before they would go to vote? The man telling them that their sons and daughters must remain to fight in Iraq, that the future of the nation supposedly rides on his message, making it all a big joke?

McCain's strange sense of propriety, of nobility, of being the gentleman, is to be above it all. So days before a crucial election he could play the clown on national TV. Yes, of course, the message is important. But he showed, for him, most important is process, not principle.

This accounts for McCain's also bizarre suspension of his campaign, at a crucial time after the Republican convention, when he was picking up momentum, to be part of the process in Washington to produce a bank bailout package.

The initial months of a new presidency, as we are about to witness once again, are crucial. A newly elected president uses the opportunity to demonstrate leadership, consolidate power, and begin moving his agenda.

When George W. Bush was elected to his first term, it was clear in those critical early days that there were already cracks in the Republican vessel. When Republicans on Capitol Hill should have been marching in lockstep with their new president, taking over after eight years of a Democrat in the White House, there was a distracting voice in the Senate. John McCain. What was his obsession? Campaign finance reform.

A new Republican president needed to move a conservative agenda and a key Republican senator deflected focus with his personal obsession with process and not principles.
Back to the current campaign, we have McCain's troubled selection of Sarah Palin. Did McCain pick a conservative Christian because of his own convictions? Of course not. He concluded he had to placate the evangelical base. Did he move to find the best and most qualified person? Someone that voters could readily picture moving into the oval office if necessary? No, he wanted a woman to appeal to women.
Process, not principle.

Our nation is troubled today. Americans are worried and confused.
We are in a fog and Senator Obama held up his light and said follow me. John McCain touted his prowess at working with senators of the other party.
Now, of course, the soul-searching begins for the future of the Republican Party. The antidotes are flowing. So much pain and so little learned.

How can it be that even now many suggest that the problems of the party relate to process? They suggest that the party platform must change to appeal to this new constituency or reach out to that one?

Who is asking what do we believe to be true? What principles are crucial to assure that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be born into and grow up in a strong and prosperous nation?

Those who suggest that Americans have turned liberal are not paying attention. In California, as Obama captured 61 percent of the popular vote. In the same election, Californians passed Proposition 8 — getting 71 percent of the black vote and 53 percent of the Latino vote — to codify traditional marriage in the state constitution
The future of the Republican Party is not in process but in restoring leadership for traditional American principles that are relevant to every demographic group, to every ethnic group, in every time.

Let the work begin.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Peaceful Thoughts

I can't think of anything else to add...how about you?

Recent Email:
While the election results admittedly make it difficult, I am generally an optimist, and I'm not changing my stripes now. Obama has truly awful, awful ideas for our country, but I do not believe even he can ruin it. So here's what I feel good about right now:
* The next time someone - perhaps looking up from their Sunday New York Times- tries to tell you we live in a pervasively racist society, you can tell them to just shut the f*** up.
* Since their services are no longer required, we can send Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson off to their long-overdue retirements, perhaps to Charlie Rangel's place in the Dominican Republic.
* While we're at it, can we all decide that if blacks can rise to the presidency, it follows that we no longer need affirmative action? Time to put it in the ground.
* The constructionists on the Supreme Court should be able to hold out another four years before they retire. We wish them the best of health.
* We won't have to spend four years defending John McCain. Let's face it, he was a crummy candidate who wilted on most issues important to conservatives. It would have been four painful years followed by a lay-up election for...Obama or Hillary.
* With the economy in the tank, Obama may have somewhat limited flexibility. His plans to turn us into Finland may have to wait.
* Jimmy Carter was a painful experience, but he gave us (cue heavenly choir music) Ronald Reagan. Will Obama give us a Bobby Jindal? Tim Pawlenty? Rudy? We have a deep bench. Start thinking ahead now.
* Since the Democrats control both houses and the White House, there will be no one else to blame when they screw up, which is as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow. While they will try to pin any problems on George Bush for at least the next millennia, the people will know better.
* The media has now officially been "outed" as in the tank for the Democrat Party. Even liberals know it. MSM credibility has never been so low.
* The New York Times was just demoted to junk bond status by the ratings agencies.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hide Your Guns

I live in the woods. Guns are not only a right but a fashion accessory in these parts. I was at a job site the other day and the topic came up about guns and the next thing I knew everyone was pulling out their pieces from various and asundry hidden places (some I didn't care to know about)to compare features...it was almost comical. There is something downright sexy about a man who knows how to handle a gun.

So as we go into this next presidency, I issue a word of warning...STOCK UP!!!

See how Illinois gun owners feel about BHO and tell me I am wrong!

The Real Obama—From Someone Who Knows

Friday, October 24, 2008

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson Issues Open Letter to Nation's Sportsmen Regarding Obama's TRUE History in the Illinois Senate

We've repeatedly warned readers not to believe Barack Obama when he claims to support our Second Amendment rights. We have told you the truth--that Barack Obama is the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history! Hands down. No question. Barack Obama opposes the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding, freedom-loving, American firearm owners.

We've given the facts, and provided the documentation. But if you know someone who's still not convinced, you'll want to share with them a recent, open letter to our nation's gun owners, hunters, and sportsmen, written by Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) Executive Director Richard Pearson. Pearson's credentials include deep involvement in the firearm rights movement for more than 40 years. He's been the chief lobbyist for the ISRA for the past 15 years. And, most importantly, because of his personal experience, he knows Barack Obama's true stance on the Second Amendment.

In his letter, Mr. Pearson says, "I lobbied Barack Obama extensively while he was an Illinois State Senator. As a result of that experience, I know Obama's attitudes toward guns and gun owners better than anyone. The truth be told, in all my years in the Capitol I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama."

Mr. Pearson goes on to describe just some of Obama's anti-gun voting record, saying, "While a state senator, Obama voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens. That same bill would authorize the state police to raid homes of gun owners to forcibly confiscate banned guns." Obama also voted FOUR TIMES against legislation that would protect a homeowner who use a firearm in defense of home and family!

It doesn't get much plainer than that, folks. This letter is a must-read for every pro-freedom, pro-self-defense, pro-Second Amendment American.

To read the entire letter, please click here. Then be sure to forward the link to every Second Amendment supporter you know. The truth about Obama's stance on firearms and the Second Amendment needs to be told—again!

To see Obama's whole record for yourself, please visit www.GunBanObama.com.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

I am physically and mentally exhausted. But for all the bad news federally, there are some very sweet victories here locally and in the state.

Grundy County, our campaign territory, went Republican this election for the first time in history. Our people finally voted their convictions, Obama's Democratic Party is definitely not their Democratic party. There is hope!

In our state elections, we will no longer be under the thug rule of Jimmy Naifeh. Yes folks, it is a brand new day in state legislation. Our fearless leader in the Senate, Lt.Governor Ron Ramsey, now has a secure 5 seat majority and we will now have a new SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE in the now REPUBLICAN majority House...only the second time since the beginning history of our state (the first was a two year stint 1968-70)!! Go Jason Mumpower!!

As a person who spends a great deal of time shaking her head at the insanity of Jimmy Naifeh, I can't tell you what this means for Tennesseans. Finally, some logical legislation and hopefully, a lot of REPEALING of bad laws already on the books. The good guys will finally have their day!

So here in my little neck of the woods, I will cling to my guns and my Bible and prepare for the next election. I think the KoolAid will wear off and people will finally get what they ask for...and really not like it. That is when we will be ready. We have some awesome people on the home team. It really has been a great election year all in all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Eerie Calm

As we enter the final hours of the Presidential campaign, I have entered the "Eerie Calm" stage of the process. The hard work has been done, the final checklist is being put in place and the poll watching party is the carrot at the end of the stick to make it thru the long day on Tuesday. Boy, will I be glad when this is finally over. Win or lose, we have done what we could for the conservative movement in our little mountain paradise. And as any good warrior at the end of a siege, I will help gather the wounded, fall back to a stronghold and help plan the next battle.

Why do we do this? Everyone has their own personal reason for getting involved in the political process, but it usually revolves around how we were brought up. Unfortunatly, there has been generations of people who have benefited from the freedoms of our country but haven't upheld their end of the bargain which is to protect and defend those freedoms for the next generation. Our people have lost their edge over the years and the downward spiral to complacency and apathy has overtaken the American psyche...the final death stages of freedom are upon us. This surreal election is a sympton of the process, not the cause.

Why am I in this? This effort is for my children's future. My tour of duty has just begun...and it is not going to be an easy one.

Democracies Die when Liberty Gives Way to Dependence...Terry Paulson.

McCain has Joe the Plummer. Obama has Peggy Joseph. Interviewed after an Obama campaign event in Sarasota, Florida, Peggy emotionally summarized what it means to her for Barack Obama to be president: "It was the most memorable time of my life. It was a touching moment, because I never thought this day would happen. I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I, if I help him [Barack], he’s gonna help me!"

If that doesn’t send fears down your spine, ponder the words of the Scottish jurist and historian, Sir Alexander Fraser Tytler. Over 200 years ago, he provided a chilling observation on the fall of the Athenian Republic. America has been a beacon of liberty and hope for our citizens and the world for over 230 years. But Tytler warned of the natural rise and fall of every democracy:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence; from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into bondage."

Our next president will set America's course for the next decade. We’re running deficits in Washington and most of our major states. The growing costs for Medicare, employee pensions, and social security are out of control, and there's no political consensus or will to deal with these runaway entitlements. We vote to approve bonds that don’t raise taxes now but pass more debt on to future generations.

In America today, it's hard to win elections by talking about cutting government spending—saying "no" to anything or anyone at election time is a sure way of losing votes. As a result, too many Americans are becoming addicted to government saving them from their own failure to live within their means. Democrats play the enabler! Capitalizing on that addiction, Democrats promise more if Americans just give them full control in Washington.

Starting during President Johnson's term, our country tried spending our way to becoming a very compassionate country. Over three decades, our government invested 5.4 trillion dollars in welfare payments in our "War on Poverty." The investment would have been worth it, if it had worked, but it didn't eliminate poverty.

In fact, the results of this type of government-run compassion have been devastating, creating a debilitating dependence on the very programs that were designed to help. Ronald Reagan said it well: "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence."

Compassion should be measured by how many people no longer need government programs instead of by how many are served by them. We need a safety net, not a hammock. As our first Republican President Abraham Lincoln said, "The worst thing you can do for those you love is the thing they could and should do for themselves."

We've gone from protecting the unfortunate to supporting the irresponsible. In fact, many liberal politicians seem to want to keep citizens dependent on government. They hate poverty so much that they reward it!

Unfortunately, whatever you reward you get more of! So if my response to your entry-level job is to raise your minimum wage beyond its market value, you're more likely to stay in that dead-end job. Why go to college or learn a new skill if you can get enough money settling for a job with minimum skills?

Republicans support economic tough love that challenges all citizens to better themselves. A free-market economy rewards achievement and not anything less. Is that mean-spirited? We loved our son enough to teach him early that in a competitive world you don’t get everything you want just because you want it. We showed him our love, but we also let him know that he would experience the consequences for his own choices. If he didn't save his money, he wouldn't have money to spend. If he got in trouble in school, he'd be accountable not excused.

In America, all citizens are guaranteed "the pursuit of happiness," not happiness given to them by a controlling government. Democrats would have you believe that every American is entitled to full healthcare, welfare, and high wages whether they've earned it or not. And, of course, who is supposed to pay for all these entitlements, those greedy, "wealthy" Americans who already pay most of the taxes! Will Rogers said it years ago, "I remember back when a liberal was someone who was generous with his own money."

Gerald Ford summed it up well, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Socialism is not new. It's failed wherever it has been tried. It won’t help you achieve your dreams; it will only punish and stifle your success! Obama believes you can't live the American Dream without taking your neighbor's money to give you another entitlement. That's not the American Dream; that's a nightmare.