Friday, November 5, 2010
I was at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for parents' day, my daughter is a 2nd classman 1st Sgt there.
Anyway, the whole Corps was marching down from Barracks to the stadium for the football game, down the street which they stop to traffic for 10 minutes, and into the stadium. Then the band played the star spangled banner.
A bunch of loud, silly teenagers were walking past me towards the stadium. You know how boys and girls are at this age -- loud, cutting up, showing off for each other. Trying to outcool each other.
But in the midst of that adolescent silliness, 2-3 of them heard the national anthem being played. And they motioned to the other 5-6 to stop, be quiet and remove their hats.
Once the anthem was over, they continued their sillness and cutting up.
It almost made me want to cry. I have been so worried, so alarmed, about where this country is going the last few years. I worry that the nation is going to disentigrate and never again will be great.
Then I saw these kids engage in a spontaneous act of patriotism and it gave me chills. Kinda like I get when I hear the Neil Diamond song America. That's right. I love that song. I love this loud, brash, wonderful, patriotic country.
Maybe we're going to be alright.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Hubert the Unemployment Bunny is down in the dumps after today's unemployment report. We're stuck at 9.6% unemployment after 20 months of Hope and Change Government Hocus Pocus.
"Patriot," he's asking me, " I'm worried. I have 78 mouths to feed. Or is it 83? They all run together. It's a hell of a lot. Anyway, what's the government going to do? Keep pouring money down a rat hole?"
That would probably be precisely the case, Hubert. The president and his staff are a bunch of Ivory Tower leftists with not a whit of business experience among them. But fortunately for you and your scores of little mouths, the president and his crew are going to get mauled on 11/2. There just might be some real hope and change on the way.
The Golden Age of 100% Government Run Health Care will never be.
That'd be because Americans are not the French. Or the Germans. Or the Swedes. We kick ass. We are not going lie down and allow the government health care freight train to run us over.
You see the evil black pistol at above left? That is a Glock 28, in .40 caliber Smith and Wesson. That little beauty I strap on my left hip every time I ride my bike.
I ride a long way. Often 30-40 miles out in the sticks. When you get that far out, bad things can happen. Dogs attack. Asshole drivers run you off the road. Prick teenagers shoot you with pellet guns. Being a good ole American, I don't take kindly to being victimized. In fact, it pretty darn well pisses me the hell off. So I carry a lovely little firearm just in case the world turns unpleasant.
Not too many Europeans would ever consider being in the same zip code as a Glock. It's second nature for many Americans. We don't much appreciate being victimized, trampled upon, or, say, having the Golden Age of 100% Government Run Health Care crammed down our gullets. We are gonna fight this tooth and nail. And ugly it is going to get. Good. Ugly we Yanks can handle.
Ted the Government Health Care Unicorn galloped by this morning. He wonders when exactly the Golden Age of 100% Government Run Health Care is going to start.
I'm not sure, Ted, but it will probably be hastened by more health insurance companies such as this closing its doors.
Call me a cynic, Ted, but I reckon some of this health insurance companies going outta business deal is somewhat intentional. This should make your little horn glow with pleasure, because the more health insurance companies that close, the more likely your Golden Age of 100% Government Run Health Care is going to begin.
However, Ted, there is one little item standing in your way, and the president's way: AMERICAN ARE NOT GOING TO PUT UP WITH BEING THROWN OUT OF THEIR PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE AND DUMPED INTO THE GOLDEN AGE OF GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE!!!!!
You see, Ted, Americans are not sissy Europeans. More on this later. Go eat some magic oats, Ted.
You win, Mr. President. I'm not hiring. I'm not expanding. I'm sure as hell not spending. I'm conserving cash. Business is slow, so I have time on my hands. Thus I am developing my relationships with assorted cartoon characters!
Heath the Government Stimulus Wolf has been asking me, "Patriot, am I going to get to keep my health insurance if I like it?"
Not likely, ole pal, not likely.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I don’t think the president has any idea who I am. He thinks apparently I am an ATM.
I am a sole proprietor. I work in my basement. I work by myself. I make my money through a Website that sells a product/service in the pharmaceutical industry. It makes pretty good money for my family and me.
I took damn big risks to get here, because I thought the possible reward was worth it. And it was.
It gives me a very nice little life. I work when I please. I bike 20-30 miles per day when most people are sitting in offices. I go for a run when I like. I walk the dog when the feeling strikes me. I take a nap around 1 pm sometimes because I am tired.
And, more importantly, because I make more money than I did 5 years ago, I buy stuff that employs other people. I contribute to the economy in very concrete ways. A lot more than if I were still an office drone.
Let me be specific - in 2008 when business was a booming, I bought: 2 flat screen TVs, a BMW, 2 computers, a Lowes pressure washer, finished my basement, bought some nice Costco jewelry (they have NICE stuff) for the wife. And that’s off the top of my head.
My point isn’t to boast about what a rich big shot I am (footnote, in this economy, my revenues are 50% or less of 2008). No, I’m trying to point out that when I make money and am allowed to keep it, something fascinating occurs: I BUY STUFF.
Yes. I buy stuff that other people make. I buy stuff from ‘little’ people who do construction, put together things, make electronics and cars and so on. This sort of activity grows an economy. Take that money from me in taxes…..well, I guess you can argue that the government will do something better with that money.
But if you take another 7-8% from me, I guaranfreakingtee you I won’t be buying as many tvs or pretty diamond brooches for the wife.
Anyway, back to how I got to here - to get to the point where I’m making good money in my basement by myself, I had to take risks. Specifically, in 2004, I quit my full time job as a writer for a real estate company in Fairfax, VA, and took freelance jobs. I already had a mortgage and a family at this point. This was a big freaking risk, friends.
Then in 2008, I had to borrow $50,000 to buy the website. Another sizable risk.
Why did I do these things? Well, a big part of was I just hated working for other people. Sitting in a cubicle all day, the commute, bosses and so on.
But the other big reason was I wanted a better life and income for my family. I wanted to be making 200-300k per year, not 50k. To achieve this, you have to take chances. But to take chances, there has to be a tangible reward, a benefit for the risk.
And this is what I mean when I say this president doesn’t know who I am.
He does not seem to understand that by using people like me as an ATM to fund his agenda, he is discouraging risk taking. He discourages the next guy in Washington DC – the guy making 43k per year in a dead end job in communications. He wants something more. He hates riding the freaking Metro every day next to the lady who clips her nails. He can’t stand listening to the gossiping and the backstabbing in the office. He really despises his boss who makes him write his MBA writing assignments. He wants to make more money, work for himself. He wants to be buying a BMW (which helps employ people who build BMWs). But if he does not see enough reward, he won’t take the chance as I did.
There are a LOT of potential sole proprietors out there. People who COULD have a much better life, make potentially a LOT more money, and contribute MUCH MORE to our economy, and buy stuff as I have. But if you make it too hard for them, tax the crap out of the risk takers, make it so the reward isn’t worth it, they will stay right where they are. In some crappy job making crappy money next to a lady who cracks her gum and talks to her computer all day. He won’t go for it, because it’s just not worth it.
This president does not know who I am.
As many readers know, in February 2009, President Obama sent a famous bust of Winston Churchill back to Great Britain. It had sat in the Oval Office since 9/11.
Now since that time, I can think of approximately, oh, 27,434 things that this president has done that irritate/horrify me. Items such as the takeover of our health care system and wasting $800 billion on a stimulus (58 jobs were reportedly created out of $120 million stimulus dollars in Los Angeles) tend to take precedence in my mind.
But returning the bust was and is a big mega deal. It could have been quietly parked in some obscure corner of the White House. But no. This president wanted to make a statement. I’m not completely sure what that statement is. He hates Great Britain? Beats me.
But one thing I know for sure – the next president, whoever he or she is, really needs to make a major PR event out of placing that bust of Churchill back in the Oval Office. Ask the British government for the bust, and then conduct a nice little photo op with the media and put that bust back in the Oval where it belongs.
I think this would be a super thing to do, and would really help the ratings of the new president. Here’s why .
We feel that some of the traditions of America are under assault, they want us to be something we are not. Me, I’m a shy person, I’m not the kind of guy that wants all the attention at a party. I don’t go around introducing myself to strangers. The thought of it horrifies me. I’m not going to be that guy, no matter what my wife says or wants. It isn’t me. And if you try to make me that person, I get pissed off and I’ll fight you.
In a similar vein, I think this president wants us to be something we are not. Our roots are with Western Europe, Great Britain in particular. We have a natural affection for them, and they for us, I’d like to think. Trying to break that bond does NOT break that bond at all. It simply angers and frustrates Americans, who feel our leaders are pushing us to be what we are not.
I think many Americans would feel a great bond and affection with a new president who once again recognizes and embraces our close relationship with Great Britain. And the small gesture of placing that bust in the Oval would do just that. On camera, please.