About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Maximum Leader Obama's Fatal Conceit

In Socialism's "Fatal Conceit," Ralph R. Reiland writes:
The appeal of socialism, wrote Nobel-winning economist F. A. Hayek, “depends on the instinctual appeal of promised consequences.”

The problem, argued Hayek, is that “socialism cannot possibly do what it promises.”

Socialism fails, unavoidably, because it is based on the flawed concept, the “fatal conceit,” that one man or one group, one cabinet of commanding officials or one central committee, or one team of planners from Harvard and Yale, can gather and understand enough information in order to reshape the world around them according to their wishes, reshape human nature, and design an economic system that can outstrip the overall and long run performance of the decentralized and basically self-ordering and spontaneous processes of the marketplace.
Hayek's "fatal conceit" is not unique to the economic ideology of socialism. It is rather unique to men who are particularly arrogant, men who believe their exceptional intuition and intelligence allow them to know and understand what is incomprehensible to the rest of us. Usually this knowledge and understanding focuses on the the future and on the establishment of some utopian vision of a society that will satisfy all in society even though individuals in that society cannot themselves see it or know it.

John Law was such a man. He presided over the great paper money inflation in France in the early 18th century. Wikipedia tells us that Law "was responsible for the Mississippi Bubble and a chaotic economic collapse in France."

Obviously, such was not Law's intention. He was a well-meaning reformer who sought to bring unlimited prosperity to all Frenchmen by fundamentally changing French money and commerce according to his particular vision. In his book, Money and Man, Elgin Groseclose describes Law's attempt:
Law, meantime, was working at a furious rate remodeling everything in the kingdom. He was not content with printing notes with dangerous obstinacy; he was also busy concerning matters of trade and agriculture. He had in mind the idea of depriving the clergy of their uncultivated lands and giving them to the peasants. He wanted asylums for the poor built in all parts of the country. He encouraged fisheries, and helped manufactures with substantial loans. He took an interest in large undertakings and furnished funds for building the bridge at Blois and for digging the canal at Briare. He wanted to have barracks built in the provinces in order to spare the inhabitants from having to house the troops...

...The latter part of 1719 saw Law at the height of his greatness. He was the most prominent figure in Europe. He visited the street where millions were made daily out of his enterprises, and was received with an enthusiasm such as could hardly have been accorded a sovereign... ...Law was declared to be a minister whose merits exceeded anything that the past had known, the present could conceive or the future would believe.
Law's efforts ushered in a short but grand period of apparent wealth creation and accumulation, what we would today call a "boom." Commoners and princes were leveled by their reckless speculation in Law's equity market. Waiters became millionaires virtually overnight. But Law's boom led to the inevitable bust and his vision was never realized. Groseclose writes:
On January 5, 1720, Law was made Comptroller General of France. He and his System had reached the zenith of their fortunes. Law surveyed a world inflated in an enormous bubble, as delicate and insubstantial as froth, a world gone mad in speculation, everywhere feverish activity, but activity of an unhealthy sort, concerned with the making of money rather than the creation of wealth, concerned with stocks and shares rather than ships and goods. Law must have been perplexed, dismayed at what he saw. He had conceived a "state within a state," an edifice of commerce and trade and industrial activity within the political state, a structure which would support and strengthen the degenerate and enfeebled state without; enterprise which
would absorb the energies and interests of the people rather than the hollow and hectic life of the court. 
Somewhere his plans had gone astray. Instead of creating a condition of industry and trade, geared and lubricated by the device of commercial credit, he found the same old interests and pursuits, but heightened and intensified by a spirit of gambling and speculation.
Fiat currency allowed Law to monetize the wealth of France. Control of that fiat currency allowed him to direct that wealth into avenues of his own choosing. It all seemed perfectly reasonable. After all, Law knew better than anyone else what must be done in the future to satisfy all.

Today we have a Maximum Leader who, like John Law, believes he knows better than anyone else -- certainly far better than the ignorant individuals who comprise the hoi polloi -- what must be done to satisfy all. Maximum Leader visualizes a future powered by algae and the sun rather than the crude and earthy resources of coal and oil. He visualizes a society wherein all enjoy the best of health care, education, and bullet-train transit, wherein the disparity between rich and poor is minimal, wherein each individual benefits according to his need and each individual produces according to his ability.

Maximum Leader is able to steer the country down this avenue of his enlightened vision only because he and his government control our fiat money supply which monetizes the wealth of America, not by means of some elaborate Louisiana stock venture, but by means of debt, the promise of future prosperity and production. Debt allows Maximum Leader and company to move the country's wealth around like pieces on a chess board, from individuals who produce wealth to individuals, favored by the government, who promise to produce wealth in the future based on the enlightened vision of Maximum Leader.

The problem is that Barack Obama is no more enlightened than John Law, and his circle of favored sycophants are no less greedy and immoral than the circle of sycophants that surrounded John Law and became rich due to his efforts. For this reason, Maximum Leader Obama will suffer the same fate as Law. He will inevitably fail in disgrace, but not without visiting poverty and chaos on the rest of us.

The interests of those who honestly produce and own wealth, and of those who dishonestly seize and redistribute wealth according to their enlightened vision are inevitably opposed. When private property is respected, the effects of greed, immorality and reckless speculation are localized on the shoulders of the owners of private property. Waste and loss is dispersed among them and limited to them. When private property is disrespected, when the wealth of the nation is monetized, concentrated in Washington and disbursed to pet projects and favored sycophants, the wages of greed, immorality and reckless speculation are imposed on the entire population via the depreciating monetary unit.

Groseclose describes the turn of events in Law's France:
By making interchangeable the shares in his company, in which was absorbed most of the commercial activity
of the country, and the paper of the bank, Law achieved a perfect assimilation, in theory, between money and wealth, and achieved the ideal still so eagerly sought of making capital wealth perfectly liquid and money perfectly representative of commercial activity.

The actual results were, of course, quite the contrary. The share market continued to fall, and shares were converted into bank money in enormous quantities. The shares which had been issued at from 500 to 5,000 livres, were now repurchased at 9,000. More than the wealth of the West and the East Indies would have been required to sustain such an operation. Over 2,000,000,000 livres were paid out, without effect, in an effort to sustain the market, and the currency was inflated to an extent far exceeding the issues of the year before. By the close of the era the amount of bank issues outstanding totaled 3,000,000,000 livres.

The general eagerness of holders to convert their shares into money was tempered only by the fact that the notes which they received in payment were rapidly becoming as worthless as the shares. Investors had to choose between an investment that would yield nothing, and notes that would buy nothing. The attempt to make money and commercial wealth synonymous was a fiasco. This perhaps most audacious attempt in history at managed currency overlooked one vital fact: when trade is bad good money is more than ever necessary. The state of money cannot be made to depend on the state of the market.
To stem the disastrous effects of Law's monetary "System," the government resorted to the usual methods: exchange controls, restrictions on gold ownership and the like. Eventually, the government devalued Law's bank money by 50%. Groseclose documents the consequences of the devaluation:
This was, of course, a mere juggling of words, which made no man either richer or poorer, but to such a degree were wealth and money confused in the public mind that the effect of the decree was cataclysmic. The man who had a hundred livre note saw it worth, in six months, but fifty livres. The operator who had lulled himself with the belief that he was worth a million saw his property to be only five hundred thousand. The wealth represented by billions of shares and notes had been, indeed, but a dream, but it was a stern awakening to have a royal edict proclaim the fact that it was worth only half what it professed to be.

The edict was repealed after having been in effect but six days, but the damage had been done past repair. From then on there remained only the ghastly work of gathering together the broken and shattered bits of the System, and the thankless task of reconciling a disillusioned public that for a year had been living in a fool's paradise.

The depreciation of the currency had caused such serious disturbances as, later in the century, might have ripened into revolution. Butchers, bakers, grocers, and other tradespeople were unwilling to receive paper money at all. Specie had been driven out of circulation. There arose a fierce demand for something
with which one could buy bread to eat, wood to burn, clothes to wear. What had been a condition of physical need bade fair to become a condition of physical distress. Toward the end of May the prohibition of the use of the precious metals as currency was repealed, but as the metallic reserve of the bank was not 2 per cent of the amount of its circulation, the effort to restore convertibility resulted in a series of new disasters. The value of gold and silver was alternately raised and lowered... ...The weight of gold was the same, but the sum for which the government would issue or receive it fluctuated with startling rapidity. Such measures had no effect. In a condition of panic the only desire was to lay hold of a piece of gold, whether it was called ten livres or fifty. It would buy something for daily needs, or it could be put aside with the assurance that ultimately it
would command its real value.

The formal close of the System was marked by a decree of October 10, 1720, declaring the notes of the bank no longer currency, and requiring contracts to be discharged and payments to be made in gold and silver. The paper currency of the state, after an experience of less than two years, was extinguished. The experiment of a managed currency, of a currency that should expand with the needs of trade, was abandoned. In December, 1720, Law was forced to flee the country....
The American electorate should not make the mistake of believing that what happened in Law's France will not and could not happen in Obama's America. The consequences of monetizing wealth and inflating fiat currency are inevitable and inexorable. Do not buy into Obama's managed vision of the future.

Do not allow Maximum Leader's fatal conceit to become yours.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More From Spanx Founder, Sara Blakely

The other day I told you about John Resnick's fine program called "Legends of Success With John Resnick."


I described last week's edition of the radio show featuring Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. Sara, you recall, is the dynamic young entrepreneur who turned women's undergarments into a billion dollar business.
Well now you can listen to the Sara interview. (And I do mean listen. Sara's voice is to die for.) The "Legends of Success" website has archived the Sara Blakely show here. I strongly recommend the audio if you're in business currently or are considering going into business for yourself. Sara's insights are invaluable.


Here's a quick summary of the secrets of success Sara shares on the program:

1. Differentiate your company and your product and service from your competition. This only makes sense. Sara noticed a need in the marketplace that wasn't being satisfied. She filled it with her unique product.

2. Get out of your comfort zone. If you don't, Sara says, you can't expect different outcomes.

3. Persevere. Don't take no for an answer. Keep plugging along until you get a "yes."

4. Go with your gut. Sara believes that too many entrepreneurs listen to the naysayers and are discouraged. Believe me, if you are looking to go into business, you will not find a shortage of people who will tell you not to do it. Many of these people are well-meaning family and friends. Sara says believe in yourself. You know the correct answer is inside of you. Believe in it. Visualize your success. Follow your vision.

5. Don't be afraid to break the mold. Sara says create your own outcomes by breaking away from the way others have always done something. She advises you to do it your own way. She counts ignorance of the way things have always been done as a huge advantage. If you think things through yourself, you're likely to come up with a better solution than the status quo. She advises you to step back and critically look at your own job. Imagine no one taught you the "right" way to do it. Do it the way you think it ought to be done.

6. Depend on yourself. Don't allow your fate to be put in the hands of others who are sure not to be as committed as you are to your success. But this doesn't mean insisting on doing everything yourself.

7. When you are able to afford it, hire your weakness. What Sara means by this is bring strength into your organization by hiring people who are really good at doing something you either hate to do or are not good at doing yourself. People tend not to do things in areas in which they have weaknesses. Solve this by hiring to this weakness.

Sara insists the single most important "secret" of success is trust yourself and your gut. I tend to agree. Entrepreneurs are out front leading the way in places most people fear to tread. They are like the scouts in the Old West who rode out in front of the wagon train to blaze the trail. They must use every bit of talent and common sense they possess to find opportunity and avoid pitfalls. They must trust themselves because often they are the only ones brave enough to strike out on their own.

As a political aside, I thought it was interesting that Sara made this comment:

I feel so lucky to be a woman in America. We are the luckiest women in the world! 

So true, but it ain't all luck. It's mostly individual freedom that was hard fought and hard won, individual freedom which is nowadays threatened by the progressive political philosophy.

NOTE: In a followup post, I'll list some of the secrets I think are most important to business success.

Obama: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon..."

No he wouldn't, Maximum Leader. If you had a son, he'd look like this:


 h/t to American Phoenix

Read this great article, written presciently May 28, 2008: Our First Marxist President?

The Wages Of Sin

Over at Political Realities LD Jackson has posted an excellent essay: "Barack Obama – Dishonesty In Cushing."

Jackson describes Maximum Leader Obama's recent campaign stop in Cushing, Oklahoma:
I'm not sure if I have ever seen such a blatant and dishonest attempt by any politician to spin the facts and weave a web of lies around the truth."
LD is too much the gentleman to say it plainly. I've never been accused of being a gentleman, so I'll say it: Barack Obama is a bald-faced liar.

This is not news, of course. Anyone who follows the Drudge Report or Weasel Zippers or Fox News is exposed to a daily barrage of lies dripping from the flapping lips of Maximum Leader and his cronies. Naturally, leftists will say these news sources are tainted with the bias of conservative hatred and dissembling, which is itself a lie.

The point is lying has become the modus operandi of Maximum Leader and his administration. Why? It's due to a variety of moral hazard perpetrated by the mainstream media. If those charged with reporting the news fail to report lies, it becomes that much easier for liars to tell lies. They are enabled to lie with impunity.

The Bible tells us that "the wages of sin is death..." In this case it is not the officious liar who will suffer death, i.e., the loss of eternal life, but our society.

Here's a case in point, reported again by the nefarious evil-doers at Weasel Zippers and CNS News, "Pelosi: Obamacare Allows You to Quit Your Job and Become 'Whatever:'"
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Obamacare facilitates the type of “liberation” that the “Founders had in mind” because it allows you to quit your job and become a “photographer,”  a “writer,” a “musician”--or “whatever.”
Of course, Pelosi's statement is a blatant lie. Don't get me wrong. Obamacare does allow Americans to "quit" their job, do "whatever" and still get health insurance and health care, at the expense of the rest of us slobs who remain working and paying taxes. Pelosi's lie is that this type of welfare statism is what the "Founders had in mind."

If pressed by the media, Pelosi couldn't produce a single word from a single Founder who endorsed this type of "liberation." But Pelosi's lie will never be challenged by a member of the mainstream press. However, that same press will see to it that Pelosi's lie is broadcast to every nook and cranny of the country multiple times.

At her press conference Pelosi added that under ObamaCare: "You won’t have to be job locked." Again, this is not a lie per se. It seems the goal of every piece of legislation that issues forth from Obama and Pelosi is meant to free Americans from the hell of being "job locked," meant to allow them the freedom to do "whatever" and still eat well and live well...at the expense of others. This last part is the part the media and Pelosi and Maximum Leader never emphasize. It is their lie of omission.

To be fair, Maximum Leader and company have been truthful about their intention to soak the 1% of super-rich Americans with new taxes to pay for their job unlocking schemes. The lie is that the numbers don't add up. Confiscate all the wealth of the evil one or two or three percent and you come up short a few trillion dollars!

No matter. What's the harm of another unreported and unexposed lie here and there? The wages of this sin is hardly the death of society.

Wait. The death comes later, when those who believe the lies cast their votes for Maximum Leader and company, when those eager constituents demand that this newly elected, wondrous group of liars actually reproduce the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Nancy Pelosi articulated the lie better than anyone. She said that ObamaCare incorporates...
"a cap on your costs, but no cap on your benefit."
Don't laugh, you Doubting Thomases. It's essentially what Christ said at the sermon on the mount, isn't it? A cap on your tithes, but no cap on the free fish and bakery?

We all know the Founders said basically the same thing at Independence Hall a couple of hundred years ago when they were founding this great nation: A cap on your job-locked, pioneering misery, but no cap on the neat stuff your new government can extort from your rich bastard neighbors.   

What a great country! What could possibly go wrong?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Business Owners, Don't Miss This!!


I was in business for 18 years and can humbly admit to a modicum of success in business. If you are in business -- especially small business -- you owe it to yourself to check out "Legends of Success With John Resnick." The link will take you to the Legends of Success website, but actually the heart of Mr. Resnick's endeavor is a weekly radio show which consists of John Resnick interviewing the most remarkable entrepreneurs on the planet.
Jack Welch, Legendary CEO of General Electric, is one of Mr. Resnick's more high-powered and frequent guests. Welch and his wife Suzy are pictured above with John Resnick in the Welch home in Boston prior to Jack's recent appearance on Legends Of Success.

As interesting and insightful as Jack Welch is, I find that the most valuable guests are entrepreneurs who started out small -- or with nothing at all -- and turned their hard work and ideas into multi-million dollar businesses. Recently, John interviewed John Schnatter, Founder & Chairman of Papa John's Pizza. Talk about one cool guy who turned a hole in the wall pizza kitchen into a hugely successful corporation!

Resnick's recent interview with David Oreck, Founder and Chairman of the Oreck Corporation was also fantastic. Oreck started with little more with an idea and chutzpah. His story is remarkable.

Did you ever wonder how a huge internet company like PETCO got its start, or how an entrepreneur with moxie and foresight turned a bicycle messenger service into the venerable giant, UPS, or how an accountant turned his small business into the payroll giant Paychex, Inc.? You'll find out by listening to Legends of Success.

I bet you didn't know that Dick Van Patten, the TV actor famous for his role as Tom Bradford on "Eight is Enough," is a dynamic and inventive founder of a fast-growing company called: Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc.

All of these fascinating individuals told their stories to Resnick on his radio show. In my area the show airs on Sundays mornings. Please check your local listings (or Google it) and catch Resnick's next show. The best part is that some of Resnick's past shows are archived on the linked website. The show featuring Michelle Peluso, President & CEO of Travelocity, is archived on the Legends of Success home page. I promise it will knock your socks off.

What makes Resnick's show so interesting and valuable?

His guests reveal the secrets of their success. Simple as that. All you have to do is listen and learn. I promise the "secrets" revealed are simple and easy to understand AND they work!!!!

Today's guest was Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX, the ladies' undergarment company.
Lest you think ladies' undergarments and Sara Blakely are small potatoes, read this Forbes Magazine article: How Sara Blakely of Spanx Turned $5,000 into $1 billion.

I hope Resnick archives the show featuring Ms. Blakely. It is one of his best yet. This woman had an idea and wouldn't take "no" for an answer. Her unstoppable personality and tenacity come through in the Forbes article. I'll elaborate on her "secrets" of success in a followup post, along with some "secrets" of my own.

Below is a list of guests that have appeared on Resnick's fabulous radio show. But first, here's some more pictures of the youngest person ever to make Forbe's list of billionaires!
Sorry guys, she's married! 


Here is a list of business geniuses that have appeared on "Legends of Success:"
Jack Welch
Legendary CEO of General Electric

Steve ForbesForbes, Inc., President & CEO
Forbes Magazine, Editor-In-Chief Forbes Magazine 
William Lauder, CEO The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
Evelyn H. Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President
Bernie MarcusThe Home Depot, Co-Founder
The Marcus Foundation, Chairman
William Randolph Hearst, IIIHearst Corporation
Howard Schultz, Chairman 
Jerry Lewis
Entertainment Legend
Walter Cronkite
American Legend
Eli Broad, Founder/ChairmanThe Broad Foundation
KB Home
Jon M. Huntsman, Founder & ChairmanHuntsman Corporation
Denis Abrams, President & CEOBenjamin Moore & Co.
A Berkshire Hathaway Company
Patrick J. McGovern, Chairman
International Data Group
Alan G. Hassenfeld, Chairman of the Board
Hasbro, Inc.
Robert J. Herbold, Retired Executive Vice President & COO
Microsoft Corporation
Michelle Peluso, President & CEO Travelocity 
Chris Sullivan, Founder
Outback Steakhouse
S. Truett Cathy, Founder & Chairman
Dan T. Cathy, President & COO
Johnny Carrabba, Founder
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Walter Anderson, Chairman & CEOParade Publications
Ed McMahon
Television and Radio Legend
Sidney Sheldon
Creator of  "I Dream Of Jeannie"
Bernie Brillstein, Founding Partner
Brillstein-Grey Entertainment
Pierre Cossette, Producer
The Grammy Awards
Kent "Oz" Nelson, Chairman & CEO
UPS
L. Lowry Mays, Chairman/CEO
Clear Channel Communications
Red McCombs, Co-FounderClear Channel Communications
NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, Past Owner
Jimmy Carter
Former U.S. President
Leon Gorman, Chairman L.L. Bean, Inc.
John Schnatter, Founder & Chairman
Papa John's Pizza
David Neeleman, Founder & CEO
JetBlue Airways
R. Michael MondaviFolio Fine Wine Partners, Founder
Robert Mondavi Winery, Former Chairman of the Board
James Parker, Former CEO
Southwest Airlines
Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO
John Paul DeJoria, Co-Founder & President
John Paul Mitchell Systems
Richard M. Schulze, Founder & Chairman
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Ron Shaw, Former President & CEO
Pilot Pen Corporation
George A. Cloutier, Chairman & CEO
American Management Services
Profits Aren't Everything, They're The Only Thing, Author
Roger Berkowitz, President & CEOLegal Seafoods, Inc.
Sara Blakely, Founder
SPANX
Danny Wegman, CEOWegmans Food Markets
Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO
The Kaplan Thaler Group, Ltd.
George Duke, Co-Owner & Chairman                                                            Zippo Lighters/Zippo Manufacturing
Brian Scudamore, Founder & CEO1-800-GOT-JUNK?
George SchlatterLegendary TV Producer
Richard Thalheimer, Founder, Chairman & CEOThe Sharper Image
Tommy Lasorda, Sr. Vice PresidentSpecial Assistant to the Chairman
Los Angeles Dodgers
William Rosenberg, Founder
Dunkin Donuts
International Franchise Association
Paul Orfalea, Founder
Kinko's
George Shapiro
Legendary Talent Manager
Seinfeld, Executive Producer
William J. Gilbane, Jr., President & COOGilbane Building Company
Bobbi Brown, CEOBobbi Brown Cosmetics
James F. McCann, Founder & CEO
1-800-FLOWERS.COM
James H. Amos, Jr. Mail Boxes Etc., Chairman Emeritus
Tasti D-Lite LLC, Chairman & CEO
William Austin
Starkey Laboratories, CEO
The Starkey Hearing Foundation, Founder
Arthur Agatston, MD, Creator The South Beach Diet
Robert Shapiro, Esq.
LegalZoom.Com
Robert Macauley, Founder
AmeriCares
Ellen Gordon, President
Tootsie-Roll Industries, Inc.
Howard Henschel, President & CEO
Norman's Hallmark Group
Kenneth Feld, Chairman & CEO
Feld Entertainment
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; Siegfried & Roy; Disney on Ice
Judge Joe Brown/Judge & Television Show Host                                       Judge Joe Brown                                 
 
Alex Spanos, Owner
NFL's San Diego Chargers
A.G. Spanos Companies
Leo Hindery, Jr.
InterMedia Partners, Managing Partner
AT&T Broadband, Former CEO
B. Thomas Golisano, Founder & Chairman
Paychex, Inc.
Steve Sheetz, Chairman
Sheetz, Inc.
Stanton Sheetz, CEO
Sheetz, Inc.
Robert Schober, Founder
Super-Dog Pet Food Company
William F. "Rick" Cronk, Retired PresidentEdy's Ice Cream
Knight A. Kiplinger, Editor-in-Chief,The Kiplinger LetterKiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine KiplingerForecasts.com
Derek C. Hathaway, Chairman & CEO Harsco Corporation
Richard H. Lenny, Chairman, President & CEO
Hershey Foods Corporation
Rocco Ortenzio, Executive Chairman
Robert Ortenzio, CEO

Select Medical Corporation
Jim Perdue, Chairman
Perdue Farms Incorporated
Maria Rodale, Vice Chairman of the Board
Rodale Press
Warren Cowan
Warren Cowan & Associates, Chairman
Rogers & Cowan, Co-Founder
Miguel Forbes, V.P. of Business Development Forbes, Inc
Peter Newcomb, Senior Editor Forbes Magazine
Professor John A. Davis
Harvard Business School
John Eldred, Co-Founder
Wharton School’s Family Business Program
University of Pennsylvania

Transition One Associates, Founder
John Mackey, Founder & Chairman
Whole Foods Market
Dick Van Patten, Founder
Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc.
Dr. Robert H. Schuller Crystal Cathedral
Brian Devine, Chairman PETCO
Michael Rice, CEO
Jane Rice, Vice President of Public Relations

Utz Quality Foods, Inc.
Ross Born, Co-CEO
Just Born, Inc.
David Shaffer, Co-CEO Just Born, Inc.
Anne Beiler, Founder & CEO
Auntie Anne's Pretzels
David Oreck, Founder and Chairman
Oreck Corporation
Paul Dowling, Creator & Executive Producer
Forensic Files Television Program
Ed Friendly, Executive Producer/Creator
Little House On The Prairie Television Series  
Roy Clair, II, President
Clair Brothers
David M. Ritz, Chairman & CEO
Ritz Camera Centers, Inc.
George Parmer, Founder
Residential Warranty Corporation
Fine Line Homes Incorporated  
Howard Henschel, President & CEO
Norman's Hallmark Group
Steve Zuckerman, President/ Co-FounderIan Ruzow, Vice President/Co-Founder
Bob Zuckerman, Secretary/Treasurer/Co-FounderClipper Magazine Inc.
Charles "Tremendous" JonesAn American InspirationExecutiveBooks.com
Tami Longaberger, President & CEOThe Longaberger Company
Nell Newman, Director
Newman’s Own Organics
Gary Heavin, Founder & CEO Curves International, Inc.
John Davis, Founder, Chairman and CEO
Davis Entertainment Co.
Stone Canyon Venture Partners, LP , Managing Director

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why The Constitution?

Allow the man responsible for writing it, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, to answer that question:
“In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce. An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labor under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country, but symptoms of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger.”
This quote and many other Madison quotes can be found at "What Would The Founders Think?" Here's two more that put the mindset of the founders into modern perspective:
“A mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.”

“A remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.”
Read and follow "What Would The Founders Think?," one of the most valuable and timely resources on the internet. The more one studies the founders, the more one comes to believe that, if reincarnated today, they would be uncompromising advocates of liberty and would count progressives as their deadliest enemies, no less dangerous than their British overlords of the 18th century.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Read Something Else!

Today I'd like to encourage patrons of this blog to read something else, two somethings else in fact, namely: Robbing America and The Country Thinker. I recommend these blogs because of their consistently excellent posts on matters economic. If you are interested in knowing the truth about the financial mess this country has worked itself into, you will get the absolute lowdown with detail at these two blogs.

About three weeks ago John at Robbing America posted an article that summarized Maximum Leader Obama's extensive and destructive tax policy scheduled to take hold in 2013: Your "Fair Share" For 2013 - Obama Is Coming To Collect.

This week John published another article which outlined three lethal threats to America's economic future: The Coming Triple Pronged Attack On the Nation.

Over at The Country Thinker Ted has recently published a two part article on the debt bomb that threatens to blow up in our faces unless our politicians wise up pronto: America’s Interest Time Bomb, Part 1, and America’s Interest Time Bomb (Conclusion). It's scary stuff.

Over here at Property...Freedom...Peace there is a strong belief that Americans must learn the truth, not only about economic theory but also about the specific economic policies our politicians over the years have embarked on, policies which are sure to make life in these United States a living hell for all but the very well off or the very politically connected insiders (two groups, often the same people). There is still time to do something about our dire situation if people become informed voters. You owe it to yourself and your family not to stick your head in the sand and hope this latest "economic crisis" blows over.

Make no mistake, this is not wacky, right wing conspiracy theory, or political scare tactics, or exaggerated financial nonsense that has nothing to do with you! The economic straight jacket our politicians have fitted us with is real; its consequences will be painful. Your life will change significantly because of it, and not for the better. Most every oppressive government, most every totalitarian state, most every dust bowl and famine in human history grew from roots planted in stupid and destructive economic policy. 

Read Robbing America and The Country Thinker. For that matter, visit "My Blog List" on the right hand margin of this page. Click on the links to the blogs and websites I've provided. Read them. Follow them. They all are coming from the same place. They all value truth. Become informed. Stay informed. Vote accordingly.

Now for my two cents worth...

Maybe it's me, but I get the feeling there are an awful lot of politicians in Washington who don't give a rip about the dire economic situation John and Ted describe. Either these politicians, for some reason unknown to me, believe that the United States is economically immune to the consequences of their bad policies -- sort of "bulletproof," if you will -- or they are whistling in the dark past the graveyard, trusting that the economic danger will pass without incident, hoping that economists like John and Ted are mistaken.

The United States of America has weathered many financial storms. Americans have always been the world's most industrious and resourceful people. American business, especially American small business, has always been resilient, able to take body blow after body blow without going down for the count. The sheer size of the American economy, the size of its fundamentally free market, the power of the US military, the depth of our technological infrastructure, the basic optimism and wealth of the American middle class -- all these characteristics tend to make Americans feel bulletproof.

The problem is many of these characteristics either no longer apply to America  or are weakening and changing. A good portion of Americans are no longer industrious and resourceful. They depend on government for food, shelter and health care. Many are meth heads. American business is shackled by a growing plethora of government regulations (work rules, hiring rules, anti-discrimination rules, safety rules, environmental rules, etc. etc.) and government obligations (health insurance and taxes, taxes and more taxes). There is a limit to how much businessmen will take before they decide they've had enough.

Furthermore, the free market in this country is shrinking due to ever more massive government interventions, both federal, state and local. Our military is exhausted. Our middle class is struggling to keep its head above water. iPads, Twitter and cell phones won't put food on grocery market shelves or keep hyperinflation at bay.

What irks me most is while we Twitter away are time, Rome is burning. And no one seems to care. Virginia counties surrounding the District of Columbia are among the wealthiest in the nation. Wall Street brokers and bankers are making money hand over fist. Why? Because times are good in government and among the friends of government. The insiders are getting rich by being the first in line to get those freshly printed new dollars.

Perhaps that's why so many politicians feel as though they're bulletproof. They've all got a plan B set up, an escape route predetermined for when the shit hits the fan.

It's as though Republicans and Democrats are engaged in a fatal game of chicken, but neither party believes it's really fatal. They are like duelists who believe they're immortal. The Republicans say no new taxes and dare the Democrats to spend. The Democrats keep spending and dare the Republicans to raise taxes. To them it's truly a game of chicken without consequences.

But the truth is there will be consequences. Inflation. Exchange controls. Monetary collapse. Severe shortages of goods and services. Panic in the streets. A government crackdown. Martial law.

See? It's just as I thought. You don't really believe such things are possible here in the United States of America. In Greece, maybe, but not here. In Spain, in Portugal, in Italy, in Europe...maybe there, but not here. Those countries are old world, vulnerable. We're insulated here. We're Americans. We're special.

We're bulletproof!

Wake up, knucklehead!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Hints Of Obama's Economic Illiteracy And Propensity To Demagogue

(All links via Weasel Zippers)

Obama: “Do Not Tell Me That We’re Not Drilling, We’re Drilling All Over This Country”

The money quote: "There are a few spots we’re not drilling. We’re not drilling in the national mall. We’re not drilling at your house." By "we're not drilling" Maximum Leader Obama means, of course, that private oil companies are not drilling. The US government doesn't drill for a drop of oil. The implication is that private oil companies are exploiting every known oil reserve in this country, which is a lie. Obama might also have said that that "we're not drilling" on public lands in Alaska or in areas of the Gulf of Mexico wherein significant oil reserves are known but where drilling is prohibited by the US government.

Not News: Obama Rips Republican Predecessor – News: 19th President Rutherford B. Hayes…

Maximum Leader criticizes Hayes for not seeing the potential of Alexander Graham Bell's newly invented telephone. Politico explains: "Obama was speaking about the need to be forward-thinking in developing new sources of American energy — and how "unnamed" Republicans running for a "certain office" had positioned themselves against alternative energy." Maximum Leader apparently can't distinguish between innovation demanded and supported by the free market and innovation subsidized by a dictatorial government with dollars coercively hijacked from the free market. Coincidentally, Rutherford B. Hayes presided over this nation when government was a small fraction of the size it is now, when the private market was vastly freer and when the nation experienced the greatest advancement in prosperity of individuals in its history. No, Mr. Maximum Leader, this was not mere coincidence.


New CBO Report: Obamacare May Cause 20 Million To Lose Coverage…

Am I wrong? Didn't Maximum Leader tell us during the ObamaCare debate that no one would lose coverage?
No, I guess I'm not mistaken. I'm mindful also of what another, political demagog said during the ObamaCare debate, Ms. Nancy Pelosi: Obama care means...
"a cap on your costs, but no cap on your benefit."
Sheer economic brilliance!



Obama Mocks Republicans As “Flat Earth Society” For Not Buying Into His Failed Green Energy Strategy…

Maximum Leader knows so much better than the rest of us freely acting by expressing our wishes by means of our dollars spent in the private market. The implication is not only are Republicans ignorant Luddites and troglodytes, but so is the American consumer, in short, you and I.  


Obama’s Solution To Soaring Gas Prices: “Set Up A Task Force To Look Into Speculation”…

Ah, that old chestnut! First it was disreputable and untrustworthy doctors who'd amputate a patient's foot rather than treat his diabetes because Medicare pays more for amputation than preventative care. Then it was the evil insurance companies who had to be kept honest by the creation of a "public health insurance option" in ObamaCare. Now it's the robber baron oil companies and commodity speculators that must be held in check by our oh so virtuous and honest Maximum Leader and company. How did we ever survive without his help?  


CBO: Obamacare Will Cost Taxpayers $1.76 Trillion Over 10 Years…

Oops. This is, as Zip tells us, "only $820 billion or 87% more than we were told when the law passed." Chalk it up to the price of economic ignorance and demagoguery.


Obamanomics: Government On Pace For First $1 Trillion Yearly Deficit…

Oops again. Well, it costs scads and scads of borrowed money to "fix" the mess created by that pesky law of supply and demand working in the free market. I'm sure things will work out better for our children now that Maximum Leader has bitten the bullet and saved us from our own free market foolishness.

How To Debate A Progressive On Economics

Avoid analogies, personal experience, anecdotes, economic statistics, economic "research" and morality.

Why morality?

Because economics is not about how human beings should act; it is about how human beings do act: with purpose.

Why avoid economic statistics and the rest?

Because economics is an abstract, rational science. Economic truth is discovered by means of ratiocination. Logic is the final arbiter. And because economics is a rational science, its discoveries cannot be disproved by the empirical evidence of sociological or historical "facts." This is a difficult concept for most people to understand and accept. However, the essence of it is quite simple.

Just as the rational science of mathematics is the tool by which we understand natural phenomena, the rational science of economics is the tool by which we understand human action and human history, which is simply the record of individual human actions in the past.

We assume that there exists in natural phenomenon a regularity in the concatenation of events. If a physicist observes an apple fall from a tree to the ground, he does not assume apples have a mind of their own and that this particular apple wanted on this occasion to fall to the ground rather than fall up to the sky. He assumes that all apples fall from trees to the ground. He formulates a theory which seeks to explain why this is so. He tests his theory by experimenting in the laboratory by isolating all related variables and observing the outcomes. His observations either conform to his theory or contradict it. In a properly conducted experiment, a single instance of theory contradicted by empirical observation is evidence that the theory is not true. In physics, observation of real world phenomenon is the final arbiter of truth.

In the realm of human action this is not so. Unlike inanimate objects in the physical world human beings act with purpose, i.e., they conceive of ends and use means available to them to attain those ends. Moreover, the ends sought by human individuals are not uniformly the same. Humans actors are not mindless apples that are inexorably pulled to the ground by the immutable forces of nature. Human actors use the forces of nature to satisfy their own individually conceived purpose. The purpose or end of individual human action cannot be observed or detected by means of laboratory experimentation.

Run a thousand rats through a complicated maze and virtually all of them will behave in a uniform manner to any given stimulus because, even though rats are animate, their behavior is pushed and pulled along by the immutable forces of nature in much the same way as an apple is pushed and pulled along. Based on a careful study of the behavior of these thousand rats in the maze, a biologist can induce a theory about the forces of nature, both within and without the rat, which affect the behavior of all rats. Not so with humans. Human beings do not behave, they act with purpose.

Put a thousand human actors in a complicated maze and virtually all of them will act differently because each human actor in the maze has a separate and individual purpose in mind which motivates his action. Each individual human will use the means available to him in the maze to satisfy his purpose. Any conformity of action detected by an outside observer, say a biologist, has more to do with the conformity of the means available to the human beings in the maze than it has to do with some conformity of purpose. The biologist may suspect that the purpose of most of the human beings in the maze is the same, i.e., to escape the maze, for example. However, this suspicion cannot possibly be learned by observation alone. It can only be formed by the human biologist's subjective and prior understanding of what it is like to be a human and how most other humans of his acquaintance have acted in the past in similar circumstances.

The only regularity in the concatenation of events in the maze that the biologist might subjectively recognize that applies equally and always to all the human actors is that they all act with individual purpose. However, this regularity of purpose could not be observed by the biologist, it could only be subjectively assumed as the premise of human action, a premise that is subjectively assumed by all human actors to be self-evidently true.

Is there any human being in the universe who really believes that he speaks, writes and thinks without purpose? If so, the rest of us should ignore what is spoken, written and thought by such a creature by reason of his own argument!

All of the economist's theories with regard to human actions are deduced from the single, self-evident premise that man acts with purpose. Thus, correctly reasoned economic truth is as true as the mathematical certainty that one plus one equals two.

And so we see that economic truth is the product of logical reasoning not of the gathering and observation of "economic" statistics, which are, after all, nothing but history, i.e., the accumulated observations of individual human events in this most complicated of mazes imaginable: human life in society here on earth.

Some say that human beings are no different than rats in a maze, that they are not motivated by different and individual ends, that they do not seek to attain these unique ends by the varied means available to them. They say that human beings are merely biological machines, far more complicated than rat machines, but machines nevertheless, driven by biological impulses such as genes and DNA. They say human beings considered in the aggregate are no different than any animal species considered in the aggregate, or any inanimate phenomena considered in the aggregate, like weather, for instance. They say if man's tools or technology becomes powerful enough and fine enough not only will scientists be able to forecast individual human behavior, they will be able to mold individual human behavior into something more peaceful and likeable by tweaking the social forces that push and pull man's behavior this way and that.

The goal of some scientists is to manipulate the weather, which has always been the unpredictable bane of man's existence. These scientists theorize that weather, properly considered in the aggregate, is nothing more than the system of accumulated atoms in the atmosphere the world over pushed and pulled by various natural sources of heat, radiation, animation and the like. They imagine, probably correctly, that if they could construct a computer powerful enough, and software intelligent enough, to account for every, single variable which causes what we know as "weather," they could learn to control weather by manipulating these variables.

Scientists who compare human beings in society to atoms in weather, who claim that the actions of human beings might eventually be predicted and altered just as, with the proper tools, weather might be predicted and altered, fail to consider that each human being does have a mind and a will and purpose of his own. No scientist in his right mind, equipped with the most advanced and powerful computer, would claim he could predict and control the weather if each atom in the universe had a mind and a will and a purpose of its own. So no "social scientist" can predict and control human action unless, that is, the mind, will and purpose of each human being can be coerced to act in common purpose.

Modern liberals and progressives are, as Ayn Rand would say, "concrete-bound." They see the world and everything in it in materialistic terms of cause and effect. There is no difference between a human being and a rat in a maze or a hydrogen atom in the atmosphere. All are inexorably subject to the laws of nature which science can learn to manipulate in man's favor. Progressives endlessly quote economic studies and statistics. They exist in the world of "macro" economics where individual mind, will and purpose are pushed and pulled by the immutable, political forces of "society" which direct and control the "macro" economy. Of course, we understand this direction and control is accomplished by means of state coercion, but progressives would never face up to that truth.

When debating a modern liberal or a progressive, this mindset that individual men are no more than nature-directed animals must be challenged. The debate must immediately be brought around to the abstract, to the individual, to individual purpose, and to ends and means.

Economists have "discovered" the inevitable effects of the laws of supply and demand over centuries of extensive and arduous ratiocination. Progressives believe they can void these reasoned economic truths by citing the results of an economic survey of West Virginia coal miners conducted by an obscure Harvard professor in 2002. Over the years economists have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that minimum wage laws, for instance, create unemployment when the enforced minimum wage is set above the wage rate that would otherwise obtain in a free and unhampered market. Progressives seek to discount this truth by citing the results of a "study" of a small town in Vermont where a minimum wage law was imposed and the results predicted by economists were not "scientifically" observed.

It never occurs to these progressive social "scientists" that employed and unemployed human beings are not rats in a maze, and that a small town in Vermont is not a hermetically sealed scientific laboratory in which every single variable that influences human action, save one, can be controlled and isolated or neutered. Real human beings live their lives in an ever-changing sea of variable and interconnected means and influences that motivate their action. No observer could possibly detect, let alone isolate and control these variables.

When debating economics with a progressive the best tact is to begin the conversation with a question: Do you believe in unfettered capitalism? In other words, Do you believe in an economic system in which each human individual uses the means available to him as he sees fit, free from state or individual coercion, to seek in peace after his own particular and unique ends?

Perhaps the vast majority of progressives will answer with a flat "no." This is fine. At least you will know where you stand with your opponent and you will be able to decide how much, if any, of your valuable time you want to spend exploring the depths and sources of this progressive's intransigence and/or ignorance.

Perhaps a few will answer with a qualifyied "maybe," or even with a more hopeful "well sure, but...." These are the few progressives who might still be open-minded and worth your time. When they say they would support a free market but only if it were regulated, you can easily point out the absurdity of what they just said.

When they object that corporations and other successful individuals become greedy and powerful in the free market and are able to control and exploit others who are less greedy and successful, you can ask them to explain to you the nature of the "power" of which they speak, and how such power could be wielded in a system in which the only legitimate means of commerce are persuasion and uncoerced trade.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What The Hell????

This story blows my mind:

Marines Ordered To Disarm Before Panetta Speech Because “Somebody Got Itchy”

There are two problems here.

First, this quote from the article relative to the man who gave the order to disarm, Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus:
He said he had given the order because the two dozen Afghan soldiers also there were unarmed and he did not want to treat them differently.
This just doesn't sit well with me. No way is there an equivalence between "Afghan soldiers" and US Marines!

Second, the episode says something about Leon Panetta, the current military brass and this administration. They really don't believe in the mission or the US Marines. Or they are gutless weasels. I tend to believe it's all three.

The Obama administration wants Netanyahu and Israel to believe the US "has their back," yet this administration is not even convinced US Marines have its back!

You know what, people? These leftist elitists are scared! They're scared of ordinary fly-over-country Americans. They're scared of the Tea Party. They're scared of the US Marines!

They're like the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. They know they're all smoke and mirrors. They know they're out of their depth. They don't really believe in what they're doing at home or abroad.

They're little men scared shitless whistling in the dark. They're capable of anything. That's why they're so dangerous.

On Believing In Something Greater Than Self

My wife and I had a long and deep discussion last night. It was occasioned by my father's depression. He's in his upper 80's and in failing health. He had seen a television report on euthanasia and had asked me to research the possibility for euthanizing him.

As you can imagine, such a request could spur a whole range of topics, but the one we got stuck on was the "why" of my father's depression. Yes, when health breakdowns begin to severely restrict an elderly person's options for life activities, depression is understandable. However, as my wife and I talked, we began to realize that different people react to such circumstances in different ways. Many elderly people we know are dealing with old age and it's vicissitudes quite admirably.

My mother, for instance, is only two years younger than my father, but she does not tend to be depressed. She is upbeat and outgoing. She is also deeply religious, which my father is not.

My wife and I concluded that in general not only the elderly but also people in general handle life's curve balls in different ways. It seems the common denominator, at least by my and my wife's reckoning, is a committed belief in something or Someone greater than one's self.

Both my father and her mother, who is quite younger, are prone to fits of depression or, more accurately, periods when they are mad at the world for one reason or another. They are both self-centered individuals who are quick to blame others or circumstances for their misery. Neither is the type who will accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Neither can see the world for what it is with a healthy perspective that they are a small part of that world. They take life's bumps and bruises personally. Neither is able to love unconditionally, or commit themselves to a specific philosophy of life greater than their own ego. As a consequence, they tend to be needy. When they get in one of their moods they can drain the energy out of whoever is nearby because they feel the world owes them a better shake.

Unfortunately, my dad is an old dog and adopting a healthy belief in a God greater than himself or even a philosophical principle greater than himself is not going to happen. Such attitudes must be learned and committed to early in life, or at least early enough to be sincerely cultivated in order to deal with the ravages of advancing age.

My wife and I then realized something profound, but extremely scary. Many of our young people today are being brought up in an environment where they are catered to and coddled. They are being taught in our schools to be self-centered egoists with an entitlement mentality. The further they advance in our educational institutions, the more they are trained by leftists who disparage family, religion, self-reliance, self-responsibility, meekness and humility. They begin to feel the world literally owes them things, if not a living, at least an education, health care and security in their old age.

In short, many young people today are being groomed and trained to be individuals exactly like my dad and my wife's mom, bitter individuals unable to see any Being or principle greater than their own self.

It's a sad situation that doesn't bode well for either their future or the future of our society.

NOTE: Unfortunately, it is necessary to point out to over sensitive readers that I am not saying ALL young people are self-centered and heading for an unhappy old age. Many young people today have excellent parents with their heads screwed on straight. Consequently, these young people have acquired strong morals and a healthy sense of prospective and self. They are our hope for a healthy future society.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Politicians Better Learn The Difference Between A Problem And A Pet Peeve

I was listening to the radio today and a local talk show guy was expounding on something called a "Food Desert." Well, I got home and went to work on Google. Sure enough, the United States Department of Agriculture Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Working Group has designated certain areas of the country Food Deserts. What's a Food Desert? Here's the definition provided by the USDA:
While there are many ways to define a food desert, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Working Group considers a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store. To qualify as low-income, census tracts must meet the Treasury Department's New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program eligibility criteria. Furthermore, to qualify as a food desert tract, at least 33 percent of the tract's population or a minimum of 500 people in the tract must have low access to a supermarket or large grocery store.

The NMTC program defines a low-income census tract as: any census tract where (1) the poverty rate for that tract is at least 20 percent, or (2) for tracts not located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for the tract does not exceed 80 percent of statewide median family income; or for tracts located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for the tract does not exceed 80 percent of the greater of statewide median family income or the metropolitan area median family income.

Low access to a healthy food retail outlet is defined as more than 1 mile from a supermarket or large grocery store in urban areas and as more than 10 miles from a supermarket or large grocery store in rural areas.
Good grief!!!! "While there are many ways to define a food desert..." Are you kidding me? I must really be out of it. Until this morning I never knew there was such a thing as a food desert and now I learn there are many ways to define it!

In essence, I guess, a food desert is an area which is more than one mile from a food store and in which there are poor people. I guess the morons in the government worrying about such things are deeply concerned that poor people won't get enough to eat. (Last time I checked most poor people were obese, but that's a topic for another discussion.)

You want to know if you live in a food desert? Luckily, the USDA has spent billions of dollars coming up with a Food Desert Locator! Just click here and knock yourself out. (Can you imagine spending 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year in a USDA cubicle in Washington, DC slaving away over such garbage? Talk about useless!) 

The radio talk show host had a clip of Kathleen Sebelius, the current Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, saying that these food deserts are a problem because these low income people don't have access to fresh and healthy foods.

You know, Sebelius and all the rest of our politicians and Washington bureaucrats have to learn the difference between a "Problem" and a "Pet Peeve." Everybody has a pet peeve. My pet peeve is people who litter public beaches and parking lots with soiled, disposable baby diapers. (I'm telling you if I ever catch a perpetrator in the act, there will be hell to pay, but that's another discussion as well.)

But my pet peeve is my problem, not the government's.

The problem with government is that those in government turn their pet peeves into everybody else's problem. Sebelius' pet peeve may be that low income people (however the hell she wants to define low income) may live over a mile away from a grocery store. But that doesn't give Sebelius the right to make her pet peeve the government's problem. I'm pretty damn sure the Constitution does not have a Clause in it which allows politicians to eliminate their pet peeves with taxpayers' money!

Maximum Leader Obama's pet peeve is that we're using too much oil and not enough algae to make jet fuel. So he makes his pet peeve the government's problem, the Navy's problem and the taxpayers' problem by forcing the Navy to stop buying jet fuel refined from oil for $4 per gallon in favor of jet bio-fuel made from algae for $26 per gallon!

Mr. Maximum Leader sir, poor people living over a mile from a grocery store is NOT a problem! The Navy burning jet fuel refined from oil is NOT a problem!

The TSA strip searching 90-year-old grandmas at our airports in direct violation of our Constitution IS a problem! Forcing individual Americans to buy health insurance through the government IS a problem! Running up an annual budget deficit of $1.5-trillion IS a problem! Incurring a public debt of over $10-trillion IS a problem! Allowing a pseudo-governmental bank called the Federal Reserve to inflate the currency to the point where stealing Tide detergent becomes a profitable enterprise IS a problem! Allowing this same FED to keep interest rates at zero until the end of 2014 IS a problem!

Mr. Maximum Leader, you and people like you who don't know the difference between a problem and a pet peeve ARE THE PROBLEM!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

UPDATED: Who Is It?

American singer and actress of stage, film and television...



UPDATED: Some more hints...

Ah, yes. It's Mrs. Partridge herself, Shirley Jones. A very beautiful and multi-talented lady. My wife met Ms. Jones at an airport gift shop once up close and personal. She said Shirley was more stunningly beautiful in person, not to mention gracious, friendly and down to earth. A role model for young women today.

A YouTube tribute...

Here's one of my favorite scenes from Oklahoma! The song is "People Will Say We're In Love." What a wonderful voice. 


Here's a few, more recent recordings. She will always be a grand lady.

An interview with an older Shirley Jones.

Please visit Luis' Shirley Jones Page at his wonderful website. Luis has beautiful quality photos of not only Shirley Jones, but such classic movie legends as Sophia Loren, Jacqueline Bisset, Kim Novac, Ann-Margret, Jeanne Crain, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe and many more. Don't miss it.