RSS Feed

a playground of art, photos, videos, writing, music, life

 


You are here







Random Quote

Loquacity and lying are cousins.
-- German Proverb



Blog Posts for October 2009

Home Page

Blog Archive by Month | Blog Archive by Story or Tag | Search Blog and Comments

Capturing Life

 

If you asked me my favorite part of being a dad, it's the opportunity to be so close to so many good people. With our eight kids, there's always drama of some sort. The great thing is that they all get along well and promote each other. In this big, blended family of ours, we have terrific and loving kids.

It's important to stop and frame the moments that come by. No matter how busy, no matter how chaotic, the images will sweep by if you don't take a few seconds - because then the memories might just be gone.

I was in a hotel with Tamara a few months back and I went in search of a Diet Coke, her beverage of choice (of course - she grew up in Georgia), and I ran across this picture in the hallway.

I wondered at the time if the girl in the photo ever saw this picture years later. Who are the girls in the background? Did she know them? Would she remember them a few decades down the road? Did her kids ever see the picture, and know their mom as a child in this way?

It's one thing to capture the moments where we pose and smile pretty. It's another to capture us as we are, doing everyday activities, just being ourselves.

Kids are great that way. They're less concerned about the outcome of the photo - which is why kid photos tend to be great. Adults? Hard to sometimes get them to drop their guard.

We would do well to not only capture life around us, but also to let others capture life as it happens to us. Those memories are worth the reward of dropping our pretenses.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/1/2009 4:49:40 PM
Permalink


Punishment

 

I could talk about the killer Drudge headline, "The Ego Has Landed." But that says it all. 'Nuff said.

My van is on its last legs, unfortunately. Still runs fine, but it'll need to be replaced.

I browsed Ford's web site last night and talked to a guy at the dealership. Today, I see this:

GM's sales are down 45% from last September (when sales were already bad enough to drive the company into bankruptcy). Chrysler is down 42%. Ford is only down 5%. Car buyers are clearly punishing the two bailout recipients brutally.
No one in my family will ever buy a GM or Chrysler car. Tamara and I are planning to buy Fords as our next cars.

Freedom - it's everything.

 

4 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/2/2009 12:18:18 PM
Permalink


Fans

 

There is only one area of life where you can wildly support a loser and be considered cool for it: sports. Being a sports fan gives you a pass to dress up and paint yourself and buy paraphernalia and get away with it - even if your team sucks eggs.

People who continue to have Obama bumper stickers on their cars and who still get excited about all things Obama run the risk of having their cool card - should they have possessed one - revoked indefinitely. His O-lympic fail and the sheer incompetency of it at every level - from the "intelligence" that said it was a shoe-in to the horrible presentations given by Barry and Michelle - puts them in league with the worst teams in history. For a guy who seemingly had mojo to burn, he did just that with it. ObamaCare, Cap and Trade, the stimulus, the unemployment rate, Afghanistan, ACORN, Cash for Clunkers... Forget gold. Everything Obama touches turns to lead.

You can root for a sports team that sucks. That kind of loyalty is admirable. You can't root for a politician who consistently turns in a performance this bad. That's not admirable; that's just foolish. And this week, he continues to press for the notorious "public option."

Rookie.

 

4 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/5/2009 3:34:33 PM
Permalink


Talking with Chuck Grassley

 

I sent what follows to my grassroots email distribution list earlier today:

I just got off the phone with Sen. Chuck Grassley. We spoke for about 40 minutes.

If I can share one thing with you that was most evident to me in the phone call, it was this: he wants to hear our opinion and represent us. After watching how he listened at the town halls he conducted on health care over the summer recess, I believe that's true. He doesn't support government intervention into health care. There was a noticeable difference in his choice of words after those town halls. You helped to bring that about by getting involved and voicing your opinion in no uncertain terms.

The purpose of my call, which was scheduled by his staff, was to see if the senator was willing to more directly engage with those of us in the grassroots. After the discussion, I believe he is. My impression (not his wording) is that he is tired of his message getting screened and twisted by the Des Moines Register and CNN. He has more direct communication through his web site. He uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and such. He holds a monthly telephone town hall and of course is well-known for his visit to Iowa counties every year.

Personally, I never knew about all of his efforts to more directly communicate with us. And prior to six months ago, I'd never really tried to tell him my opinion. I just took it for granted that he would represent "conservatism." As I told him, shame on me for not working to get engaged until this year. But I'm engaged now. Like you, I want to restore America to liberty and I'm interested in supporting politicians who will work with me in that effort.

If I work to influence his vote, and he ignores me - a la Leonard Boswell - that's one thing. But if I don't reach out to him, then I'm not giving him the opportunity to represent me.

We owe him our voiced opinion. He owes us representation. That's the deal.

On his web site, he has a contact form. He said that this year's volume of communication is much, much higher than in years past. Even though he is backed up, he says that he still wants your input.

There is a local contact in his organization that he provided me. I hope to have a meeting with that person in the next few weeks. In this way, the grassroots of Iowa might more directly communicate with the senator and increase our influence.

Lastly, I told him that I am most concerned about curbs being placed on our liberty and federal increases in our nation's debt. I look forward to seeing how Senator Grassley will better promote and legislate on those issues. At least now he knows my opinion to help steer his decisions.

Brett

Have you reached out to your elected representatives to make sure that they are clear about where you stand?

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/6/2009 7:03:33 PM
Permalink


Keynes = Not So Keen

 

The economics theory that drives some center-left thinking comes from John Maynard Keynes. His is called the "Keynesian Formula," which goes like this:

C + I + G + X - M = Y(GDP)
Decrypted, it translates as:
Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + Exports - Imports = Gross Domestic Product
Under his theory, government spending counts as productivity. Keynesian Economics helped to spawn the notion of deficit spending.

To give a bit more background to his thinking, he believed in the notion of "full employment," which asserts that an economy is at its best when everyone is working. Keynes' premise arose from the Depression era, and putting people to work would, he argued, spur income and economic activity, even if it took borrowing from the future to "create jobs" for the unemployed.

Cute theory and kinda tidy, but it misses something rather important: borrowed money is never cheap. I can borrow money from the future, but at the cost of interest. Deficit spending is not a zero-sum game; it's a chase of creditor to debtor, and payback can be a bitch. (Micro-economically, ask anyone with big credit card debt. Macro-economically, ask our kids in 20 years - they'll tell you.)

Further, it presupposes that the government will spend money in a way that is productively equivalent to spending and investment driven by the private sector. But not all money is equal. (I discussed this recently in another post.)

Restated: an artist in his basement can chew up money all day long creating art, but if nobody wants it, the velocity of money around him decreases and it is therefore not productive money.

On the other hand, a guy who cranks out art that people love and want will increase the velocity of money around him, and that money is greatly productive and self-sustaining.

The free market would urge the guy with no demand for his art into a profession more productive. His lack of productivity would necessarily have to come to an end in order for him to survive.

Government spending, which has nothing to do with market desire, could subsidize his lack of gainful productivity. The only talent he needs is to appeal to the right government patron, which severely handicaps any inclusion of government spending in a calculation of gross domestic product - especially since government workers aren't known for picking champions of the economy.

Keynes was smoking the bong, for the two reasons I've stated:

  • Interest on deficit spending weakens any productivity that deficit spending might create. It's an economic sugar high, and the inevitable crash comes when the debt comes due.
  • Government investment is notorious for propping up low quality enterprise long after the free market would have forced its closure.
Someday soon I'll write a post about how the notion of forcing "full employment" is ridiculous and ruins an economy.

Leftists...

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/7/2009 12:53:13 AM
Permalink


Today's Beauty

 

Hard work and productivity are beautiful things.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/7/2009 12:21:14 PM
Permalink


Push

 

In the next 12 hours, I'll give another presentation of 247. This demo is substantial in terms of its potential and it will be delivered to an audience familiar with the platform. I'll arrive at the demo with allies who know the audience very well. Two of their associates have already purchased a 247 portal and love it.

Shoe-in, right?

Two years ago, I would have said yes at twice the price point we'll be asking. Maybe even a year ago. Now? I'm unsure.

In the last week, I engineered a spreadsheet to model our pricing. The team - Larry, Kay, and I - will meet this Friday to tweak the formulation for pricing. It's a tricky business, choosing a price. You don't want to leave money on the table, but you don't want to scare people either. You can always come down, but it's mighty hard to go up. Whatever pricing you apply, the model has to appear equitable to everyone. Especially for something feature-heavy like 247. I've put some stuff into it in the last month of which I'm pretty proud. I was training one of our salespeople earlier tonight on the Proxy capability. It allows an organization to delegate search and request capability to others. Powerful, in the right context. What's it worth? The market will tell me.

You know, there's an extremely valuable education that takes place in pursuing all of this. You couldn't buy this kind of street-level training. If it all goes right and we've calculated correctly, then we created our own jobs and jobs for others as well by creating what others want. If 247 can sell in this economy, then I'm mighty excited for the future. It's all about the perception of value in the minds of our prospects.

In the meantime, other demos line up and we keep pushing. This game of chess I play in my head with the market has me looking at the roles I need to grow this budding enterprise as we gain traction. I love to hire people. I love the interview process. I love watching people bloom, once placed. I hope that I get to do that soon. I'm ready to run.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/8/2009 12:45:18 AM
Permalink


Not Gonna Play Well

 

Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit.
That is the most retarded thing I have ever read. Two things come of this:
  1. The Nobel committee just completely negated any shred of legitimacy it had. Awarding such a prize for no achievement whatsoever is beyond silliness.
  2. World leaders will despise Obama more than they already do, and they'll stick it to him where they can - because the last thing they want from him is more reason for arrogance.
International media will lampoon this. American media, on the other hand, will just love this.

ETC: I read that the American media is not all amorous about this either. Good. If Obama were an honorable man, he would pass on the award, saying rightly that he hasn't done anything yet to deserve such recognition. While that's obvious on its face, I kinda doubt he'll do that...

Don't you just love this paper maché presidency? Just the change we were looking for!

Also, does this please or piss off Jimmy Carter?

 

15 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/9/2009 7:41:14 AM
Permalink


Today's Beauty

 

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/11/2009 8:47:20 AM
Permalink


My Ancestors

 

Five generations...

The baby in the photo is my mother, and the woman holding her is, of course, my grandmother. I come from a long line of hard-working Germans, who first came to this country in the 1800's.

I'll have more to post about this later, but hats off to their ethic for independence. The fella standing above my grandmother is Leonard "Toughy" Rademacher, and is her father, long-deceased. He died when my grandmother, Nana, was only 19. He'd been a single dad for years, as his wife had run off with another man and only saw her two children when Nana was 8. I knew his sisters as my Aunt Onie and Aunt Lucy, and Onie was like a second mother to me. Knowing her as well as I did, and knowing how my grandmother has always been - this wonderful spark of a human being - it makes me think that this guy, Toughy, was a pretty cool character.

The life-long nickname came about because when people tried to mess with him, they wound up on the short end of the stick. On a bet, he once swam across and back the Missouri river. He owned and rode a horse named Prince.

I'll ask Nana more about these folks next time I see her. For me, it helps to fill out the shape of the people I've known in my life.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/12/2009 9:09:13 AM
Permalink


Keynes - Super Genius

 

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about John Maynard Keynes' premise that deficit spending equates to capitalist investment when determining national productivity.

This today comes in the Wall Street Journal:

When the government spends more than its revenue, there is a budget deficit. These deficits are paid for by Washington selling interest bearing Treasury securities. If the government were ever to default on its promise to pay periodic interest payments or to repay the debt at maturity, the United States economy would plunge into a level of chaos that would make the Lehman bankruptcy look like a nonevent.

It is the interest on the national debt that makes our future unstable. The exploding size of that burden suggests that, short of devaluing the dollar and taking a large bite out of the middle class through inflation and taxation, there is no way to ever pay down that bill.

The tagline for the article is "In 2009 about 40% of income taxes will go towards debt interest payments."

2 out of every 5 dollars that you pay in taxes will not go toward any kind of productivity at all. It will go toward paying our debtors. Those aren't productive dollars. That's wasted money, spent at the pleasure of politicians who give your money to people they favor. And by the way - they're not giving it to the voters; they're giving it to their cronies.

Liberals could well be good at math, but they refuse to do the math and they refuse to connect the dots. That makes them dangerous for their concerted ignorance. Journalists, who once chased politicians with skepticism and considered it a triumph to skewer the conniving politico, now play stenographer and participate in cool kids' gossip games and shun actual reporting.

The cost of increased debt can only be portrayed as productive by those engaged in wishful thinking. In truth, the liberal agenda is a sure recipe for American decline. Bush pursued liberal policies when it came to spending. Obama exponentially pursues liberal policies when it comes to spending.

By the time this debt is passed to our kids, the interest will be maybe 4 out of 5 tax dollars, where only one-fifth of taxes collected can go to infrastructure. What greater immorality is there than to damage the future of our children before they even get to it?

Loving parents don't vote for politicians who drive up debt. Compassionate people don't encourage government programs.

Only ignorance or malice would drive such actions. Anyone who believes Keynes needs to be acquainted with our interest on debt and be forced to reconcile Keynes' theory and the fact of 40% of our tax money going to non-American interests. Then ignorance won't be their excuse for continued support of a policy of deficit spending.

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 10/12/2009 11:31:22 AM
Permalink


Capitalism's Defenders

 

It's sad that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm's butt-spanking that occurred on Fox News Sunday is reported on Drudge through... Rush Limbaugh's site. Not a newspaper, not a news magazine, but via a controversial right-wing talk show host's web site. God bless him for that. (As much as the left tries to vilify Rush and Beck, beating them at their game is real easy: report the damn news, instead of trying to prop up favored politicians. But I digress...)

Gov. Granholm was on the show with Steve Wynn, who employs 20,000 people in Las Vegas. Nevada currently has an unemployment rate of 13.2%. He said this:

I think that the priorities of the administration should have been more directly focused on job creation. From the day of the inauguration forward, the priority should have been job creation. And the most powerful weapon and the tool that the government has for that is its tax policy. If the government had used its power to restrain its tax collection they would have given everybody who runs small businesses, large businesses, a chance to hire more people and that could have been done an entirely different way. With eight or $900 billion we could have created four or five million jobs, which would have made a big difference.

Government has never increased the standard of living of one single human being in civilization's history. For some reason that simple truth has evaded everybody. The only thing that creates an increased standard of living is giving someone a job, the demand for their labor - whether it's you and I, Chris, or anybody else. The people that are paying the price for this juggernaut of federal spending are the middle class and the working class of America.

And soaring rhetoric and great speeches with or without a teleprompter aren't going to change the truth, and the truth is: The biggest enemy, the biggest obstacle that working middle-class America has is government spending.

History supports what Wynn says here at every opportunity. Market-driven job creation is a winner for the economy every time it happens. But Obama doesn't care one whit about that. Not yet, anyway. But his defenders will keep rah-rah'ing for the guy, willfully ignorant of the facts in front of them.

Then Granholm's response:

It's just so simplistic to say that! With all due respect, I mean, to say that government has never created a job or increased the standard of living. You know, I mean there - there are a lot of people who are grateful that in this country we have a minimum wage. There are a lot of people who are grateful that they have access to Medicare and Medicaid. And I hope that we get access further to additional health care for those who are un- right now uninsured. I mean, there is a balance here. To say that government is all evil... This is a democracy. It's the greatest country in the world.
Simplistic?? Cue Steve Wynn and let the butt-spanking begin...
WYNN: I didn't say that at all. I'm saying that the source of government revenue, the source of well-being in this country is employment. That allows companies to pay taxes, employees to pay taxes. That's the source here and it's gotten out of focus.

GRANHOLM: I... I agree.

WYNN: There's no --

GRANHOLM: I agree with you.

WYNN: Okay. That's my point, Governor. I'm not making any other point. And, believe me, ma'am, I've got 20,000 employees. I've had as many as 150,000 families that I've been self-insuring. There's nothing "simplistic" about my approach to this problem.

Now let's pass her off to Rush, who brings out the big paddle.
How many private sector jobs has Jennifer Granholm created? Just last week, we had the most amazing story. It was a two-page story that took me 30 minutes to fully digest and react to. Do you remember it? In her two terms of governor, which will expire next year, I believe, the state of Michigan has lost 630,000 jobs. In the next 14 months it is expected that the state of Michigan will lose another 370,000 jobs for a grand total of one million jobs lost under Jennifer Granholm's governorship. The story was in the Washington Post, and it was a puff piece pushing the obviously false premise that she has created hundreds of thousands of jobs. But the green jobs are to come, and then she's going to really fix the state because she's gonna convert the state into an all-green technology sector jobs state. And get this. By 2020, 40,000 new jobs will be created. We ought to be creating 40,000 jobs a day in this country. And in Michigan she is bragging in the Washington Post about 40,000 new jobs in 11 years.

Here's the way to look at this. In 14 months, 370,000 more jobs projected to be lost in Michigan. That's a little over a year and yet on the other side of that in the next 11 years, 40,000 green jobs will be created. I know she went to have lunch with laid-off employees, she went home to her husband, "Oh, my God, what can I do for these people?" The real question here is how many private sector jobs has Jennifer Granholm created, how many has Steve Wynn created? That little side by side answer is the difference between statism and capitalism. So here we have a failed governor with a state in a near depression, holding firm to her policies, learning nothing from a man who created a multibillion-dollar enterprise that hires tens of thousands of people and could hire more but for government tax-and-spend policies and whose own city is in the tank right now because the president of the United States, inasmuch has told people the days of getting on your jet and going to Las Vegas are over.

Steve Wynn, multibillion-dollar enterprise, hires tens of thousands of people, could hire more and would love to be able to hire more, but because of government tax-and-spend policies, he can't. And on the other side, a failed governor, who's telling him that he's simplistic.

There is no example in history of a government taking over industries and bringing about a stellar economy. There is no example in history of a government increasing regulation on industries and bringing about a stellar economy. There is no example in history of a government increasing taxes on industries and bringing about a stellar economy.

But there are many examples in history of returning the people's money to them by reducing taxes and increasing the economy. It worked when JFK did it. It worked when Reagan did it. It doesn't matter what political party with which you belong - money doesn't care. Journalists today ignore the lessons of history, and so we get our news from alternative sources.

Thank god for Rush Limbaugh, who has the easiest job in the world: he defends capitalism and common sense, all the way to the bank. The Washington Post? CNN? Newsweek? Not so much.

 

5 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/13/2009 8:18:08 AM
Permalink


New Look

 

Took a few hours last night to redesign the 247Toolset web site.

Sleep is not something I do a lot of these days.

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 10/15/2009 8:09:13 AM
Permalink


Outsourcing

 

Only recently, the term "outsourcing" became hip. It got coined in the 80's, but finally elevated into the national consciousness in the last decade.

Outsourcing is when you subcontract a service to someone you deem to be better at it than you are. With that definition, the practice of outsourcing is not new. Not at all. The question is what do you define as "inhouse." For example, is our trust of politicians to protect our freedoms inhousing or outsourcing? Is it outsourcing when I rely on my wife, who is much better at calendar than I ever will be, to aid me with my schedule and important dates? Or is that "inhousing?"

For the purpose of this post, I'm going to define the separation between "outsourcing" and "inhousing" along the lines of responsibility. Outsourcing, according to Brett, is when I give not only the task but the accountability and responsibility for the accomplishment of the task to someone else.

To borrow a phrase, I'm inhousing when the buck stops here. I'm outsourcing when I blame others for mismanagement of the task.

Now, here's what will likely be perceived as a crazy statement.

I'm 44 years old and I have no money whatsoever in the stock market. None. No 401K, no mutual fund, no investment portfolio at all. The reason is that I have more faith in an investment in myself, than trusting the wizards of smart on Wall Street. Is that a wise move? Nearly anyone you ask would say that I'm stupid. And perhaps I am - time will tell.

Today, I read of Harvard's financial debacle:

Harvard University's failed bet that interest rates would rise cost the world's richest school at least $500 million in payments to escape derivatives that backfired.

"Substantial losses" in Harvard's General Operating Account, a pool of cash from which bills are paid, further put pressure on the school, the report said.

The article at the link is an interesting read. They gambled with money they need to pay the bills.

Increasingly, people trust these wizards of smart - these Harvard MBA's and the like - to pull off slick money maneuvers to achieve profit. In my opinion, it's all just high stakes gambling over which the investors have no control.

Same thing with public pensions. Just read the front page of Pension Watch and you'll see what I mean.

Millions of people have trusted suave money managers to expertly guide their money into a profitable retirement later.

Smart? And if it goes south, will they approach their chosen money managers as an inhoused solution and turn their disappointment inward, or will they be angry and approach the failure to produce to expectations as outsourcing?

If my personal investment of thousands of hours and my own money into my business pursuits goes south, I have only myself to blame. At least in the way I look at it, that seems a smarter road. Or certainly one in which I have much more control over the direction and outcome of my investment.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/17/2009 12:23:46 PM
Permalink


Today's Beauty

 

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/19/2009 10:43:33 PM
Permalink


Four Reasons

 

Why does anyone buy something? The perception of value. But let's break that down a bit further into four reasons:

  • It appeals to my sense of style. I buy it because the experience or the fashion speak to me. Example: an iPod. Motivator: I like / love it.
  • It will help me become more efficient or more productive. Example: a computer. Motivator: I'm smarter / better with it.
  • It pays for itself over time with the savings I gain. Example: a compact fluorescent light bulb. Motivator: Frugality.
  • It promises to help me sidestep potential disaster. Example: insurance. Motivator: Fear.
The stronger my arguments across all four of these reasons, the more likely I am to find a hook into a potential buyer. My job as a salesman is to hook every buyer I can.

And here's the thing: we're all salespeople. In this economy, whether you are hawking a product or service, or looking for work, or simply working to cement your position within the company, ask yourself:

How can I position what I'm selling into the strongest argument for buying that I possibly can?
Look at it from the perspective of job retention. Do you appeal to the company's sense of self? Are you a fit? Do you make the company more productive? Can you prove to others that you pay for yourself over time through the savings / revenue you bring the company? Is there a strong argument to be made that keeping you happily employed is like an insurance policy that will help the company avert disaster?

If you answered "no" to any of those, how can you work to turn that around?

Me, I'm thinking these through from the perspective of my product. But I think it works when applied personally as well.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/21/2009 3:36:13 AM
Permalink


Today's Beauty

 

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/21/2009 12:22:24 PM
Permalink


Are We Listening?

 

The communism-lovers that Obama hires are speaking - but are we paying attention?

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/22/2009 10:04:07 AM
Permalink


Contrast

 

Found this shot on my bike ride yesterday. Click on the picture for the larger image.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/22/2009 12:07:35 PM
Permalink


Independent Thinkers

 

Obama tells fellow liberals "y'all [are] thinkin' for yourselves."

So, as a visual counterpoint to the Super Genius' assertion, I offer two pictures:

I ask you: which group looks like they're thinking for themselves? You know - independently of others?

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/22/2009 5:24:22 PM
Permalink


Demo

 

247Toolset is three people: Larry, Kay, and me. We have three salespeople, but Larry and I still do demos ourselves. We went on the road today, and had a great conversation with some really smart people.

I love those conversations.

...oh, and we'll know in a couple of weeks whether they'll purchase or not. But wow - cool discussion around the technology.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/23/2009 3:35:21 PM
Permalink


Pictures from Today's Bike Ride

 

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/24/2009 6:53:24 PM
Permalink


Essay, Spot On

 

Brilliant:

The second decade of this century will be an existential war for the American soul.

The political battlefront has shifted into the fatal terrain of essential liberties and economic freedom. This is the time for courage, conviction, and bold action... not whining about "big tents." A Republican party that embraces Scozzafava over Hoffman isn't a "tent." It's not even a lean-to.

The most urgent task for conservatives is building a logical, consistent vision to place before the voters. They're looking for a comprehensive explanation of why Democrat policies are wrong. They can see Obama's failures all around them, but in the absence of a compelling narrative from the opposition party, they're likely to conclude those failures were inevitable, and learn to accept them. If no one presents a coherent alternative to socialism, it wins by default, because too much of the political and media culture desires it. We've already tumbled far past the point where anyone views the Constitution as even a speed bump, let alone a barrier to socialist ambition. The principles embodied in that incredible document will perish, if they are not respected, explained, and defended.

Some guy on Twitter the other day scolded me for dissing Obama's lack of Constitutional principle. "Obama taught Constitutional law, you know," he countered. Yeah, okay. And high school teachers teach economics, and yet, many embrace socialist policies that have no historical success of any kind. Every socialist economy fails whenever tried, so what's the point here? Obama hates individual freedom. He wants to tell people what to do and how to live.

I agree with the initial statement of this essay: "The second decade of this century will be an existential war for the American soul."

Is America a land ruled by people who will tell you and me how to live and what to do?

Or is America still the land of freedom?

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/25/2009 1:29:00 PM
Permalink


Competition Rocks

 

Liberal super genius tax policy at work:

More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.

The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City - meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.

"The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource - people," the report said.

What's worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes.

Why all the moving vans?

The center, part of the conservative Manhattan Institute, blames the state's high cost of living and high taxes.

I wonder how California is doing with attracting and keeping people taxpayers?

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/27/2009 12:40:26 PM
Permalink


Proud Dad

 

One of the joys of being married to Tamara is knowing her children: Tyler, Tate, and Tess.

On November 6th, a play - The Farnsworth Invention - opens up at the local Des Moines Playhouse. In the picture below, on the right, is Tyler.

Tyler has always been involved in theater, and two months ago he decided to try out for the Des Moines Playhouse and got a part. He really loves working with the actors and comes home each night excited.

When he came home last night, he talked of how impressed he was with the professionalism of the other actors and how they're helping him become a better actor. We talked for a long time about that and his other interests, and it's great to see him in such a good place in his life. I'm mighty proud of him :)

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/29/2009 10:13:13 AM
Permalink


Twitter

 

I used to have the Twitter gizmo here on my home page. Not no more... too buggy and unreliable. It was showing up as a big black box more often than it was appearing normally, and in IE, it was prompting my debugger. Yuck.

I normally use Opera as my browser, which I like quite a bit as it is fast and safe, so I don't notice issues in IE. But even in Opera, the Twitter gizmo was just a big black box.

Oh well.

I don't think I'll be tweeting as much. Twitter is great for trying to fit a concise message inside 140 characters, such as:

Capitalism: "I look forward to the reward of my labor."
Liberalism: "I look forward to the reward of your labor, too."
And I find that Twitter is the fastest news source there is. But when you follow several hundred people, then much of it is just mashed together. So it still has value, but I won't frequent it as much.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/29/2009 10:36:17 AM
Permalink


Projects

 

I am reminded yet again of a project axiom:

"Projects are never completed; you only find a temporarily interesting place to pause."
- Tom Wujec
Wise words.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/29/2009 4:34:19 PM
Permalink