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The author is not only himself but his predecessors, and simultaneously he is part of the living tribal fabric, the part that voices what we all know, or should know, and need to hear again. -- John Updike
This will likely be our new neighborhood. I say "likely" because the appraisal isn't back yet, although it should be fine, and we need to hear that the last bit of paperwork for the loan is finalized - which should be the case. We will know in a couple of days.
We've been going through all of our things and throwing out stuff we don't want. We have a dumpster in our driveway for that reason. It's a serious cleansing. Including some furniture.
About half our things are boxed up and ready to go. And mentally, we're ready.
So why are we moving?
We've lived in our home since getting married, almost five years. We have our eight kids, constantly going in and out. We could use the space.
We've been watching the home market, and this is about as low as home prices and interest rates will go, we think.
But the catalyst is our neighbor, Julie. The woman is drunk half the time, and crazy. She has poured gasoline on our yard to kill the grass, threatened my son's car with a sledgehammer, harassed our guests when they're on the back deck... we've caught her moving our outdoor furniture around in our yard to suit her liking, she has bragged to our neighbors about turning our outside water on when we're not home to run our water bill up.
Good gravy - who wants to live next door to that?
And we're not the only ones. Her neighbors on the other side of her put their home up for sale because she harassed them and their baby girl. But after putting thousands of dollars into their home to get it ready for sale, they decided that they weren't going to be chased off.
We'd rather have the peace of our home that we deserve. So it's been a consensus of circumstances that makes it obvious to us - now is the time.
We'd looked at another home, and had a contract with the seller, but the home inspection failed and they had a back offer where the buyer would repair everything and buy at listed price. We weren't willing to do that. Thankfully, as you can see in the picture, our new place will be quite scenic, and while a little more money, much better for us and our needs.
So, we move toward the next chapter of our lives together.
Regarding Hoffa's notion that "the workers of the world" need to take on the tea party...
I never understood the insistence of some in the union that management was always the problem. Management is, after all, the crew who finds the jobs that pay the wages of the workers. A lot of tea partiers are small business owners and medium-sized business owners. So I guess it follows that some in the union would oppose those who own businesses.
But if you attack and fight the owners and management of the companies who employ you, where does your paycheck come from? A business has a right to hire and retain those who won't cause trouble for the workplace. A business owner can either spend time finding work for the workers so that they can make living and take care of their families, or the business owner can be distracted and fight unnecessary battles internally to the detriment of the company's financial health.
Unions had a great start, uniting to save lives in dangerous work environments.
But the moment that a union worker stepped foot on a Carnival Cruise ship and took a seven-day excursion into the Caribbean with his family, paid for by the wages earned at the workplace started by the business owner, that was the moment when unions no longer had a purpose in fighting "the man."
Ask anyone under 40 whether they think they'll ever see all of their Social Security benefits.
4 out of 5 times, "No" will be the answer.
People aren't stupid. They know that Social Security is not secure, and that to be secure, it would require ever increasing taxation on subsequent generations.
Which makes Rick Perry look smart just for speaking the truth.
ponzi (noun): an investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going. The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors.
Mitt Romney seems to think we should fix Social Security. I suppose just like he fixed Massachusetts' health care system...
We're about to leave Tofino, BC, and drive back to Victoria, BC, to spend a couple of days at a bed and breakfast there. And I'm smitten... I want more of this, and I am more driven than ever to derive how to succeed so that we have the means to travel to great places like this. Tofino is not a place you just wind up at - it's a determined location, as it's on Vancouver Island and it is a 5-hour drive from Victoria. The drive is worth it - but you have to make the decision to get here.
We both love Tofino. We want to return and someday own property here. I'll write more when I get back about where we stayed, but this trip has re-defined me in some ways.
Weather permitting, we'll take a seaplane ride today over glaciers and perhaps whales.
$4 trillion ago, President Obama took office. The economy fell into deep malaise as liberal economics were applied, and failed to spawn anything but retreat.
His answer now, more taxation. Supposedly, that's for "deficit reduction," but the Senate is already moving to increase the debt ceiling by a third of what would, in theory, be raised by these new taxes.
Raising taxes reduces the economy, which lowers incomes, which therefore lowers the income tax collected, which prompts the liberal economist to want to raise more taxes.
What's more less is that for all of his purported rhetorical flourish, he no longer has any influence. Zero.
Leftists wanted a return to liberal economics. Ta-da! We have that today in all its glory. The rest of us want a return to sanity.
And for all the pining for Hillary lately, her domestic policies would be no different than Obama's. Her foreign policy might be better, but that wouldn't assuage the hurt in our economy. She's as economically liberal as he is.
"Tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."
- John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, news conference
"A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues."
- John F. Kennedy, Sept. 18, 1963, radio / television address to the nation
Kennedy was smart enough to know that cutting taxes not only helps families in the short term and long term, but that greater personal income means greater income tax revenue for the government.
History shows that tax hikes hurt the economy every time they're applied. Tax rates reduce personal income, job creation, and income tax revenues because incomes are reduced.
There is this weird notion that the Left has where anybody who had a hand in providing materials and resources to you shares in your success. After all, they reason, you couldn't have done it without the contribution of others. Nobody gets rich on their own, you see.
I've come to realize that the single pivot upon which you can determine the political stance of someone is their view of property rights. Is what you achieve, earn, and acquire in your life yours to own and manage, or is it collectively owned by the community and theirs to manage? In other words, do I have the right to reap the reward of my individual achievement, or is everything simply collective achievement?
So I'll start with the notion that I don't achieve anything without standing on the shoulders of others. That's a true statement, so - duh. My conception was not my own doing, my education was not initially my own doing, and my actions started out being what my parents and other adults dictated for me to do.
But as we get older, we're taught to become independent. To make our own choices, determine our own actions, and reap the reward or consequences of those choices and actions. The Left very much wants to retain their personal choices, whether it is to abort a baby or have sex with anyone they choose. Freedom of expression is oh so important to the Left. They not only crave independence, they demand it. And they should. They have, according to our nation's Constitution, the inalienable right to express themselves, and it should not be taken from them.
Now, if I were to try and claim for myself the words or artwork or baby of someone on the Left, in the name of collective achievement, they would launch every assault on me to take back what they achieved. I cannot claim "I have a dream!" for myself. I cannot share in Obama's Harvard degree. Robert Mapplethorpe's amazing photography? I would be forever haunted and shunned for trying to lay claim to his work.
The Left clearly recognizes individual achievement of their creative efforts. But somehow, that doesn't translate into recognition for the individual achievement in the creative effort of starting and building a company. Why? Because business creativity generates a lot more money than writing poetry.
So this notion of paying forward and insisting on the recognition of cumulative community achievement to pull money from the successful, it's just a rationalization. Whoopi Goldberg would no more let me employ her comedy skits than she would let me enjoy the money she makes from her movies and TV work.
To be clear here, no one in that Lefty bastion called Hollywood ever sees the work of the janitor equal to the work of the director in terms of payment. No movie could ever be made without the stuntman, and yet, he's not making Brad Pitt's wage. Collective achievement? Bah.
But somehow it's okay to presume that the business owner should divested of the earnings from her choices and assumed risks because she couldn't have achieved anything without the roads and bridges paid for by everyone.
Tell you what - the day that Michelle Obama lets me enjoy her husband's golf schedule and the White House chef is the day that I'll reconsider my position. But since that will never happen, I'll stick to the simple understanding that my life is the sum of my choices. My wages, my belongings, my property - these are my rewards for my choices. Any argument otherwise is a disingenuous effort by thieves. And heaven help you if you try to take from a thief...
This is my new office, off the entrance of our home. Having a space devoted to my work is wonderful. I've already had a couple of clients come to my home for meetings, and being able to entertain them in an environment conducive to what I do makes a lot of difference.
The new house itself is about perfect. We got a ping pong table for the family area in the basement.
Tamara and I were the first to play. She, if you didn't know, is an extremely good player. I rarely see her lose to anyone. Needless to say, she beat me. It was awesome.
A bit down the street is an access road to the lake. The path is beautiful.