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We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say - and to feel - 'Yes, that's the way it is, or at least that's the way I feel it. You're not as alone as you thought.' -- John Steinbeck
I just got back from Minneapolis, where my son goes to college. And after my visit, I am profoundly upbeat that this great nation will deliver a McCain victory for my birthday, which is election day.
The only thing that concerns me at this point is the depth of fraud through ACORN and Obama's lack of credit card security on his campaign web site, which has allowed foreign and fraudulent contributions to be made. Hey, if the guy can't secure his own web site like every other business in America does, he sure can't secure this great nation.
I know a lot of Republicans, and all of them are voting for McCain.
I know a lot of Democrats, and several of them are voting for McCain. A few are even volunteering for him and Palin.
The news about Obama's aunt shows that the guy uses people in his life as props to bolster himself, but doesn't care about them after he's done with them.
The news about Obama's intentions to carbon tax new coal plants into bankruptcy shows that his intentions will hurt the economy deeply.
The big mo' is behind McCain, and I know a couple of people along with me who will be driving people to the polls on Tuesday.
So yep - I'm hyped.
Even if Obama is elected through his duplicity, I think Americans are fired up to reign in this lout and his socialist dreams.
I grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1970's. I learned that it's not okay for me to walk on other people's lawns - it's not my yard. I learned that it's not okay for me to take answers from another student during a test - I'm responsible for my own answers. I learned that if it's not mine, I shouldn't touch it. I don't have a right to other people's things. That's what private property is. Isn't America a place where we teach our kids to respect other people's things?
Respecting others' private property is a simple rule, and one that leads to peace, frankly. If I try to take something that isn't mine, like your blender or your iPod or your shoes, you'll get angry. And you should. Those are yours. If I take them, you feel insecure and violated. We have laws against that, and we prosecute people for these violations of privacy.
Do we want a society where private property rights are not respected? Where what you earn and what you have in your life is public domain?
Our next question is from Matt from Iowa: "If your desire is to spread the wealth around, what incentive is there for me to try to work hard? If I am only going to get more taken away from me, the more money I make, why wouldn't I just slide into a life of relaxation and let rich people take care of me? And a lot of people are asking similar questions, and I wanted you to specify. What does this mean exactly?"
Obama: What is amazing to me is this whole notion that somehow everybody is just looking out for themselves. I mean, the fact is, we just talked about student loans. When young people who have the drive and the skill to go to college can't afford to go to college, how do you think we pay for scholarships or loan programs? That money doesn't grow on trees. It's got to come from somewhere, and the attitude that I have is that, if we want to grow our economy, the way it grows is from the bottom up. You don't just give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. What you do is make sure the tax code is fair. I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans, but in order to pay for that, I'm going to take the tax rates back to what they were in the 1990s for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. Now for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, if they are paying 2 or 3 percent higher in taxes, the notion that they're somehow going to stop working, or that this young man is going to not want to be successful, that just doesn't make any sense. Back in the 1990s, we created more millionaires, more billionaires, because the economy was growing, everything was strong, at every income bracket, people were doing well. So this idea, that somehow everybody is just on their own and shouldn't be concerned about other people who are coming up behind them, that's the kind of attitude that I want to end when I am president.
Obama just told millions of young people that if they don't have what they need, it's okay to take from others. "It's got to come from somewhere," he reasons. "Chump change" is what he calls what he takes from others.
So, do you believe in private property?
I believe in giving, by the way. I'm building a portal to help non-profits receive more donations and I'm giving that effort to LocalsGive.com to help the community. Free of charge. Hundreds of hours of time has gone toward this and I won't get a penny in return. I'm okay with that. I believe in what I'm doing.
While I believe strongly in giving, I don't believe in taking. Giving is a voluntary act. Taking is not. Taking is morally and fundamentally wrong.
Do you disagree?
If you vote for Obama, yours is a vote that disrespects property rights. Watch carefully how his calling the protection of one's private property "selfish" affects our youth. I know of young people who are gleeful about this. They're excited that they won't have to work as hard. Is that America, a place where people celebrate laziness? Growing up, I learned the value of hard work. How is Obama teaching modelling responsibility? Accountability? Merit? Does that matter to you?
It's not okay to take from others. For Obama to introduce the straw man of "somehow everybody is just on their own and shouldn't be concerned about other people who are coming up behind them" is ridiculous on its face. I don't know anyone who doesn't believe in helping others where they can. Nor does he. Obama is only trying to justify his confiscation of other people's private property.
If you vote for him, you agree with him. Which is why I think he'll lose tomorrow. I still have faith in American values.
Five weeks ago, one of my son's friends was kicked out of his parents' house. He asked if he could crash at our place. We said he could. We had room, no worries.
We opened our home to him. We fed him, bought him clothes. I loaned him my van, drove him to find work. I gave him money. We did everything we could for him.
He was recently sentenced with probation for possession and petty theft. We didn't know this when he first came to us. But we worked to teach him and coach him to succeed. We wanted to believe in him.
On Friday, he called me, drunk. He'd gone to a party with a friend and got toasted. His friend made him walk home. Terence called us from the cell phone we gave him to use. I had Tamara drive me out to where he was when he called me. I took the cell phone and gave it to Tamara, who, as we had agreed, turned around and drove home. I finished walking home with him, trying to get him to see how he was only hurting himself.
While I was walking with him, she was home browsing the cell phone.
He had a girlfriend, and she made him forget about every other girl. He told me he wanted to get his life right, he said over and over as we walked. The walk had sobered him up. He wasn't drunk.
When I got home with him, I explained to Tamara what Terence and I had discussed on the way back. Then I asked for her thoughts.
"I have nothing to say."
Now my wife always has an opinion worth hearing, but in the entire time I have known her, I have never known her to have nothing to say. This couldn't bode well...
So after asking Terence for his thoughts, Tamara finally spoke up.
"Ask him about the girls."
Girls? Like plural?
Then Tamara explained how he was sending girls pictures of himself in his underwear. Telling the girls what he would like to do with them. That girl who was the love of his life? Not so much...
This wasn't the first time he had lied to us. But after that big sob story on the walk home about his love for this girl, he was just a player. And Tamara had been saying for a couple of weeks that he was playing us. He had only worked one shift in the entire five weeks he stayed with us, despite the many times that I had tried to work with him to get a job.
So we told him that he had to go back to his dad's house. I said I would drive him. He called his dad, who was reluctant to take him back, but agreed. I left the room to go to the bathroom. Tamara went into the kitchen. Terence went downstairs to get his clothes.
Not a minute later when I emerged, he was gone. With the cell phone.
So I called and called him. After 20 minutes of calling, I finally got him to answer. He was about 2 miles away. I drove to where he was, took the cell phone back, and drove him home, telling him that I hoped he would make the most of his life.
We went to Minneapolis, and one the way back, he called me from his dad's phone and asked if he could come back to live with us. I agreed that we would talk about it, which Tamara and I did on the way home. We didn't come to a conclusion before our son had arrived home and found that Terence had stolen his laptop that night when he ran from our home. Not only did he take the cell, but the laptop was in our suitcase that he ran off with.
Today, Terence called me, wanting to get the rest of his clothes that he had left here. I asked him: "Where's the laptop?"
"You know, I left it in the basement."
Tonight after I got home from work, I searched the house, which my son had already done. It was not in the house. And Terence was nowhere to be found and wasn't calling us.
So we called around and finally reached him. I told him that he had 30 minutes to produce the laptop before I called the cops. 15 minutes later, he called to say that he had just dropped the laptop off on the porch. He'd indeed stolen it.
The irony of this is that for a while, as a juvenile, he was in a state facility. As a previous ward of the state, they set him up today with his own apartment and $800 a month - which is so not what he needs. He needs professional intervention or he'll wind up in jail. He can't help himself. There's no regulator on his impulses.
So there it is - the tale of an 18-year-old drug user with an inclination to steal from the people who try to give him a break.
You can want to help people, and give them everything you have, and if they won't want to help themselves, it's wasted. Odds are that Terence will be in jail within the next year... and that sucks.
It's All Fun and Games, Until You're in the Unemployment Line
This morning I attended a regular project meeting, and toward the end of the session, Joe the Plumber was laughed at by the four others in the meeting. I don't do politics at work, so I said nothing, but for these lifers in the company where I consult, how far removed are we as a people to laugh at a guy who wants to start a company and grow his dream? Then at the end of the meeting, after everyone agreed that the work I've done on the web site is spot-on and ready for production, they laughed about now having to go back to their desk to see how poorly their company is doing in these economic conditions. (The company's fine, by the way. It was sarcasm.)
The growing movement to go John Galt might be necessary to remind these folks how jobs get created in the first place.
Why is it that the Takers celebrate the Unproductive, and the Givers celebrate the Productive?
(If definitions are necessary, Takers are those who would confiscate private property from others. Givers are those who urge generosity without mandate. The Unproductive are those who outspend their income or cannot raise enough income to support themselves. The Productive live within the confines of their income by either growing their income or by reducing their expenses.)
It would seem to me that the Takers would want to foster an environment where there is an abundance of the Productive.
At this point, it appears Obama has a lock on the election. Fair enough, congratulations.
Was this a blow-out? Nope Yep. But it allows the Democrats an opportunity to show the country how they can manage this great country of ours.
Will the journalists who aim to inform us hold them accountable? Not likely. They didn't do that in this election, and I doubt that they'll start now.
McCain went wrong by sneaking through the primary as the "none-of-the-above" candidate. No one was clearly the right candidate for the Republicans. McCain criticized his base constantly and took pride in it. I've never been a McCain fan. In fact, the only person who sold me on McCain at all in this election was Sarah Palin, who could sell snow to an Eskimo. Palin was the best move McCain made.
Now, McCain moves on to Bob Dole territory, with Pepsi waiting in the wings. He's got a sense of humor, like Dole. That'll work for him. Thanks for loving your country, sir.
Palin will take some time out. She should. She got a hell of a wake-up call.
So did Joe the Plumber. And the rest of us entrepreneurs and hard-working people who pay our bills and take responsibility for ourselves and our families. Obama has given me no faith whatsoever that he will work to do anything except take money from the productive and give their property to others. I find that immoral and irresponsible. And un-American.
So, what this says to me is that it's up to us, the people, to prevent those in Washington from grabbing more power for themselves. As I've written lately, we have to figure out how to have influence to achieve this. We can't rely on others who "represent" us any longer.
When I was an English major at Iowa State, a professor told me this nugget:
Show, don't tell. Let the reader live the story through your characters' actions and words, not through exposed inner thoughts and only-God-could-know-that description.
Which of these makes for a stronger story?
Jen pulled her face into a pinch and jerked backward, her arm recoiling from Brendan's outstretched hand.
Jen saw Brendan reach for her, and could think only of how he repulsed her. She leaned back away from him immediately.
The former engages you to decipher Jen's body language and facial expression and come to your own conclusions. Jen is a puzzle to be solved, and you are drawn in, watching her as though in front of you.
In the latter, you magically read her thoughts. The scene loses intensity. It's a lazier way to write.
This lesson is stuck in my head tonight, and I'm not sure why, so I'm bookmarking it in the blog here to come back to it later.
Earlier today, a new friend emailed me this from Claudia Rosett. She makes the argument for selling people on that old-fasioned idea of liberty.
McCain's message was more muddled than Joe [the Plumber]'s. McCain spent more time promising to "fight" than he did explaining and championing the freedoms for which he himself once literally fought. Toward the end, it was a race in which both candidates were mainly hawking "change." On those vague and utopian terms, Obama had a hands-down lead.
Time was when America's creed could be summed up pretty well by the words of the 18th-century revolutionary Patrick Henry, whose reply in 1775 to the oppressive ways of British colonial rule was: "Give me liberty, or give me death."
If America is to remain a great nation, what must somehow be restored as the centerpiece of the nation's goals is not collective "change," but individual liberty.
Claudia asks, "What were McCain's voters voting for?" And if that doesn't nail it, I don't know what does. Personally, I wasn't voting for McCain, or McCain's stances. My cartoons and posts in the run-up to the election didn't sell McCain or McCain's positions. I didn't want Obama's mega spending proposals to come to pass via his election. I don't believe in a compulsory "spread the wealth" initiative led by the government.
Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's new chief of staff, wrote a book entitled, "The Plan," in which he outlines a "mandatory service" to the community that citizens must do. Got that? It's forced volunteerism. How's that for an oxymoron?
I don't think the high schoolers and college students who voted for Obama voted for that. Most parents can't even get them to do forced volunteerism in their own home. Know what I mean?
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
Did you see the word require? Forced volunteerism. Do you want that?
I believe that America is a place where you get to decide how to spend your time. Freedom. Liberty. Which leads me to a phrase I've gotten quite fond of and will work heavily to promote:
You decide for yourself who you are and what you do with your time. I don't care what age you are or what you do in your profession, the human desire for self-determination is universal.
Now let me say this: I love the idea of volunteering. I've done Habitat for Humanity. I've filled sandbags when the floods arrived. I've sheltered kids without a home and given money and time to people who needed it when I felt moved to do so. But it was my choice.
The only people I know who are compelled to do community service are criminals on probation.
Welcome to the new America, Land of the, well... almost Free.
Me, I'm for self-determination.
How about you?
ETC: Evidently, Obama's new administration got wind of the criticism his plan brought to him, so he's changed the wording on his web site to this:
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.
You can compare that to my screenshot of his prior wording:
$4,000 x 20,500,000 = $82,000,000,000 (82 billion dollars)
Welcome to America - the Land of Magic Money!
And by the way, as Bella points out, what college student wouldn't want $40 an hour? That's comparable to an $80K a year salary.
Do you get the feeling, like I do, that Obama just pulled these numbers out of thin air? What kind of expectations are you setting for college students to make $40 per hour doing government-sponsored "volunteerism?" Think those college students might miss the point of the joy of true volunteering, where you get nothing but a smile and a handshake in return?
And what about the other work that they do to earn a living while enrolled? Kinda makes their $8.00 an hour at Starbucks look dumb by comparison.
I have a word to describe all of this: haphazard.
MORE ETC: By the way, I forgot to mention the alternative to this plan.
College students do what they have always done and what they do today: they work their way through school. Their parents help them out. If they qualify for assistance, they get it.
That system seems to work pretty well. Why fix what isn't broken?
Based on what I see so far, I don't think Obama understands productivity, or what fosters productivity. An efficient economy is not an economy where money is just, you know, spent. Money spent is not the same as other money spent.
A while back, I created the ability to privatize the posts here at beatcanvas. I also created the ability for others to post.
When I first started this web site, since I wrote the entire thing from scratch myself, I also gave it the ability to manage multiple blogs. At least within the database, I did.
I recently mentioned AchieversMovement. You can go there, if you like. From here forward, my political leanings will occur there. Tomorrow, I'll post something on the subject of productivity. I might even move all of my political content there. Haven't decided yet.
It'll start out as a private forum, with some public posts, and with the ability for multiple contributors. Will I get multiple contributors? I don't know. Maybe.
It will also feature, sometime in the next month, the ability for people to register themselves and their zip code in an anonymous way. While maintaining that anonymity, it will allow others to request the help of those registered and local to them who choose to help with the effort. That might attract people.
And so, beatcanvas becomes a duplex: political me moves next door, and artist and personal me stays here. I'll post at both blogs.
For those of you who have commented on my political posts, tomorrow you'll get access automatically to that side of the duplex - no need for you to re-register. And you'll be able to post and comment, just as you do here.
(By the way, not everything is functional yet, but should be within the next week...)
If you believe passionately in strengthening our community and in simplifying the process of giving, of making each contribution the most meaningful it can be, then join us. We need your help to build the concept of LocalsGive into a viral and vibrant tool for connection and charity.
Strengthen community. Simplify giving.
Hat tip to Jeff :)
ETC: I believe in voluntary contribution, not involuntary. There's absolutely nothing wrong with creating a smoother and more efficient means of giving. The American people are the most generous on the planet, and our communities will be stronger if we can improve the voluntary means for contribution.
To set this up, here's a little movie clip from "A Beautiful Mind," which I watched last night on TBS.
And here is a transcript of what Nash says:
Adam Smith needs revision. If we all go for the blonde, we block each other. Not a single one of us is gonna get her. So, then we go for her friends. But they will all give us the cold shoulder because nobody likes to be second choice. But, what if no one goes for the blonde? We don't get in each other's way. And we don't insult the other girls. It's the only way we win. It's the only way we all get laid. Adam Smith said 'the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself,' right? Incomplete, incomplete. Because the best result will come where everyone in the group [is] doing what's best for himself and the group. Governing dynamics. Adam Smith, gentlemen, is wrong.
Got that? It's not in our best interest to act in our own best interest. It's in our best interest to act in the group's best interest. That way, everybody wins. We all get what we want. Sounds a bit utopian, eh? Even socialist. Does that surprise you, coming out of Hollywood?
Unfortunately, the public at large never read Adam Smith or John Nash, and so most people get their education from the simplification offered to us by Hollywood. And Hollywood got it wrong. Which is a real bummer because they have the expertise and the tools to make the complicated easier to understand. I think Ron Howard did a great job using effects to explain the movie's version of Nash, except that Nash never believed what the movie told you.
Quick question: who is more valuable in the group of girls? The blonde or a brunette? The blonde. But because Nash explains in the movie that the blonde is unattainable by all of them, they can all settle for a brunette each, and get what they each truly want: a girl for the night. Everyone is happy, right?
Ever seen that played out in real life? Men are a bit competitive. One of them will go for the blonde just to edge out the other guys and prove himself.
Further, the Nash Equilibrium doesn't state what the movie says. From Wikipedia:
A solution concept of a game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only his or her own strategy.
Let's go back to Nash's bar scene. If the blonde has higher value than the brunettes, and the guys all agree that they'll go for the brunettes, then the guy who patiently waits until each of the other guys has made his move on a brunette is the one who can get the blonde. Knowing the strategies of his fellow men, he of course would change his strategy and attain the higher value.
To Hollywood, I say, "Incomplete! Incomplete!"
Nash's theorem requires that if all of the players know the strategies of the other players, nothing would change. But in real life, amongst competing players and differing values, that doesn't play out. Hell, watch any episode of Survivor and you learn that. But of course, Survivor isn't scripted. It uses real people with real motives.
A powerful new lobbying force is coming to town: Barack Obama's triumphant army of 3.1 million Internet-linked donors and volunteers.
In a mass e-mail thanking them, written moments before his Grant Park victory speech, Obama put them on notice. "We have a lot to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next," he wrote.
Many are eager. "I'm going to be sitting at the phone, asking, ‘What do you want me to do next? I'm ready,'" said volunteer Courtney Hood, 37, a mother of three from Owings, Md.
How Obama will use his ardent laptop-armed cadres is unclear. So is the extent to which they'll rally behind his priorities, press him for their own or both.
Joe Trippi, the Internet politics guru whose computer geeks made Howard Dean a contender in 2004 and who went on to design Obama's socially networked campaign machine, offers a provocative and educated guess.
Trippi predicted that Obama would use his forces, first and foremost, to intimidate congressional foes of his agenda, rally his allies and forge "one of the most powerful presidencies in American history."
Certainly, Obama reaches the White House with the biggest, best organized, fastest-acting grass-roots army in the history of presidential campaigning.
Moreover, because his Internet operation was miles ahead of Republican John McCain's, Obama's liberal-to-libertarian electronic activists are in a position to dominate the new political medium much as conservative Republicans dominate talk radio.
Obama is making all these folks part of the act. Talk radio? Nope... nothing organized like that at all. Yes, talk radio has the audience, but not the direct involvement.
Can you blog at Rush's web site? Nope. Can you connect with others through Rush's web site? Nope.
Back in college, a woman asked me to define myself politically. I described myself as a liberal Republican. The reason: I'm a live-my-own-life, live-within-my-means citizen. I don't want a "values" government. I'll make up my own mind - don't tell me how to run my family. And while you're at it, oh government, keep your hands off my money unless you absolutely need it to preserve my freedom in this great country.
The utter distaste I feel at the Huckabees of the world and those "social conservatives" leaves me wondering if I want to vote Republican any more. The minute people hear that I vote Republican, their image of me is not of someone who doesn't want to spend their money - instead, I'm suddenly a member of the Christian Right in their view.
And for me, Democrat = corrupt socialist. No thanks, in so many ways.
So here's what I believe...
Abortion: I personally think you're murdering a baby, but if you choose to do that, I really don't care. You keeping a baby you don't want only means that you'll likely make the child and society miserable until you care. Be a parent when you want to be a parent. Ruin your womb if you choose to do so. I don't care.
Drugs: If you want to kill or hurt yourself, go for it. Just do it in the privacy of your own home. I think drugs should be legalized, personally. Gets rid of the high cost and reduces crime. Without the crime, drugs are victimless, and therefore are not a crime.
Welfare: I have no problem with people needing an occasionaly hand, but I don't think it's the government's purview. In fact, so much money is spent on fancy church buildings that I find it unconscionable that the religious are not more involved. All that tithing goes somewhere. I think very little of it goes to people who need it. WWJD? And if people want to get motivated and change their life, then show that. Too few do, and if they don't, they don't deserve a hand.
Corporate welfare and subsidies: Keep your mitts off of my tax money. If you can't figure it out in the free market, then you don't deserve to be in business.
Unions: once a good thing for society in that it improved worker conditions, that problem is now over, and unions don't think of how to help employers make a profit - which is how businesses stay in business. As a result, I hate unions that make it harder for a business to compete and survive and grow.
Tenure: a ridiculous protection program for the underwhelming. Go to work every day and prove your worth or go find a new job. Tenure needs to go away.
Tariffs: Dumb. They get in the way of business.
Defense/Military: We need to have the biggest, strongest, don't-mess-with-us military in the world. 'Nuff said.
Torture/Interrogation: If you're stupid enough to be on the wrong side, and getting information from you will save American lives, break out the cheese grater.
Criminals: If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Prison ought to be a miserable place to be. Truly and utterly miserable. Criminals ought to work in a productive way for the public good 12 hours a day. No rec room, no TV, no anything. A library? Sure. Improve yourself while you're there.
Pension funds: Like Social Security, a huge rip-off. Every one of them is underfunded. Which means that someone somewhere is going to get screwed, and it won't be those with their hands out for a while.
Social Security: It needs to be abandoned. Everyone who paid into it, too bad. Put the remaining money toward infrastructure improvement. You want retirement? Save your money yourself.
Governmental Departments: Almost completely abandoned. Energy? Gone. Education? Gone. HUD? Gone. Leave the private sector alone.
Public Education? Back to the basics. If kids don't want to be there, let them work until they want to return and finish their degree. Home schooling? All for it - just don't expect voucher reimbursement.
Now that I've offended just about everybody, what political party did I just describe?
I'm really tired of just two choices. And I'm tired of the barricades put in place by the two parties we have that make it impossible to get on the ballot.
If Detroit insists on getting my money to bail it out, then my remedy is that when I search for my next car, I will not buy their more expensive vehicles. I drive a Dodge Caravan today. No, I will purposefully find its competition and buy that instead.
Entice me to buy from you with what you offer, but I don't do business with thieves who take what I have without my permission.
One of the things I like about drawing on my phone is that it gives me the opportunity to practice my art anytime I like.
This is a woman I saw in a magazine.
This is a man who was seated in the airplane one row up and across the aisle from me when I flew to Vegas last month.
To me, art is: the practice of seeing things as they really are and communicating that to others in an attractive way. Which is why I think that there should be an art class devoted to teaching business people how to paint and draw.
Take the woman I drew above: in as few lines as possible, how do I communicate her warmth?
The man: how do I give the sense of him to you, the viewer?
Business people need to see facts all of the time. Instead of making assumptions, how do you break those down and try to see it as though for the first time?
I'll teach that class someday, I think. It's something I deeply believe in.
(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)
What's on your resume? What do you do? How do you label yourself, professionally speaking?
Okay let's get away from that, for a minute. What are your hobbies? Amusements?
Outside of either of these, what else are you good at? What unadvertised skills do you have?
Here's why I ask... it is entirely possible that you could find traction for any of your gifts. That's right. Every demonstrable skill you possess contains the possibility of bringing you attention and revenue.
I say this because in this economy, I think it's more important than ever to find ways to put your productivity to use and show people what you can do. Make it, package it, promote it, and see what happens.
Doing that already? For everything you can do? Okay... then how can you magnify your effort? How can you do it differently? Can you partner with anyone to find a new audience, each of you?
Ask your spouse and your family and your friends about this. Brainstorm and help each other. Dig that well before you need the water...
Dozens of financial experts disagree with each other about where our country is heading. If you're Peter Schiff, an economic fundamentalist, you see lots of problems ahead, just as he's been predicting for a few years:
Watch that video. The guy's unshakable grasp of facts that form the basis of the economy is hard to ignore.
If you're Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson, we can spend our way out of this. Which is music to Obama's big government ears.
Tamara and I are spending all of our money right now to pay down our debt. We hope to be completely out of debt by the end of the year. No matter what happens, that's a position of strength. There's freedom in that. It's a position that works in most any scenario because it allows us to move whatever money we have in any direction we choose, instead of forcing it into places we don't necessarily want it to go.
I've come to believe in the need for me to have the equipment to produce high quality video. Cartooning, animation, video, art, graphic design, etc... the ability to visually communicate - effectively and efficiently - I think this can propel influence much faster than anything else if it's done well.
I should learn sometime this week whether that's possible in the near future or not. But it's becoming a goal for me, so whether near-term or long-term, I'll strive to get there.