Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama Approval Nearing Only A Third of the Nation

According to Rasmussen Reports, 31% of Americans strongly Approve of President Obama and his white house administration so far. The flip side of this percentage is a staggering 39% who are strongly opposed to his so called radical administration. Overall, 49% have some emotion of approval toward the head of state compared to 50% who harbor small amounts of bitterness. These kind of numbers were absolutely unheard of during the President's campaign for office. I believe that during these few months of inception, a majority of the American public are now getting a clearer picture and realizing exactly who Obama is and what he represents. Let's be honest, so far his policies are in stark contrast to the Hope and Change he soap-boxed back in '08 of November. He had promised to fundamentally transform this nation, but that fundamental transformation people thought he was talking about is entirely a horse of a different color. We now see through some of the steps President Obama has been taking that his vision for a fundamental transformation in America is a complete transformation of the system! Obama's ideas and presented legislation goes against the Constitution he swore to protect.

I'm not saying I'm against him as an individual, I'm just opposed to the policies he has enacted and is trying to pass through Congress. We are a Republic nation, not a democracy. Simply put, democracy is mob rule, whereas a republic is a representative assembly elected by the people. We are a democracy in the sense that the power lies with the people, however we are a republic in the way we display that "people power" in politics. Since we are a Republic, when the representatives we elected do not act accordingly, we have the right to become upset. When I disagree with your policies as an elected official it's as simple as that, I disagree with your policies not the color of your skin. It astonishes me, the remarks made saying that a majority of those who are in opposition to the President are in opposition because he is black! That's completely absurd! Never when we had an overwhelming disapproval rate of past President Bush did the media report that it is because of his race, religion, etc. Honestly, I think it is a dire attempt to create more hatred toward those who are agianst Obama's policies.

In your humble service,

Silence Dogood

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blood of Patriots Water the Freedom Tree

What is freedom? If someone were to ask you to describe freedom, or to describe your freedom what would be your answer? I believe many would respond that freedom allows you to believe whatever you want to believe. Bloggers would respond that freedom allows you to blog whatever you feel like blogging. Politicians would respond that freedom allows you to campaign for whatever political ideology that you subscribe. I believe all these to be true vocations of freedom. However, is it possible, that freedom goes much deeper than just allowing us to do whatever we want? Is it possible that true freedom is actually not being able to do or say whatever you want? In other words, he who exercises the deepest thought of freedom is actually not free in the sense that he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants, instead because he has truly embraced freedom, he is obligated to be responsible for the freedom that has given him so much. I believe that the people who really understand what freedom is, are the ones that take action to protect it.

Freedom is the realization that even though you can say and do whatever feels right, you choose the narrow road which is to fight against immorality and injustice. The narrow road is the righteous road. It is the road that represents truth and honor and integrity. Just becuase you take the narrow road does not automatically grant you your salvation. No person earn freedom. Freedom is a gift. Freedom is never bought nor sold. Freedom is a privilege. Freedom is not a right. Freedom is a responsiblity. Freedom is not an option. Freedom is an obligation. Freedom is not the wide road. Freedom is the narrow. Freedom is not oppressive. Freedom is liberating. Freedom is not unjust. Freedom is just. Freedom is not death. Freedom is life.

We are dying. We are about to breathe our last breath and freedom is the hope that gives us one more. Freedom is the energy. Freedom is the bell ringing on the mountain top. Freedom is the man who gives his last drop of blood for a brother whom he has never known or seen. Freedom is the choir that shouts songs of praise through troubling times. Freedom is that gift that we are so undeserving of, but has been given nonetheless. Freedom is what we fight for. Freedom is why we live.

In your humble serevice,

Silence Dogood

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How To Uproot A Dead Tree: Part Two

Problem #3: “Americans think they deserve more, but don't want to do more.”

There were three frogs sitting on a log. One decided to jump off, how many were left? Three. Deciding never does anything, you gotta jump. American's have been frogs sitting on a log constantly making decisions to jump off into the pond. Decisions never accomplished anything in history. For example, when Martin Luther King Jr. decided that racial inequality and segregation was unjust did that change America and pass legislation to free blacks from bondage? No! However, what pushed legislation was when 250,000 people took action and marched on the nation's capital in Washington.

So if we are to enact change in our country, we must take action collectively, but also individually. Individual actions in the form or becoming a part of the free enterprise system instead of being in the free enterprise system. Take a stand and have ownership in America; take it from Donald Trump's hands and put it in your pocket. You have the power to do that and so does everyone in America, it's just a question of whether they believe it or not. Many have their opinions about how we should go about changing our country and reviving our economy, but the three solutions I have presented are practical and have statistics to back them up. We need to re-invent how we think and teach more people how to become entrepreneurs instead of employees. Also, we must spend less money than we bring in because if we spend more money than we have it puts us into bondage and creates a financial crisis that we have now. Finally, Americans must stop deciding to do more and actually do more! We have a president in office right now that is asking people to enter into an era of enthusiasm and hope. I don't see a lot of people embracing it; I don't see a lot of people saying, “Ya, its gunna get better!" I still see a lot of people hanging their heads and worried, freaking out about money. I think if we can be really honest with ourselves no matter how bad the economy gets they can't take our love, our hope, our relationships, our dreams, they can't impact our health or spirituality. When you think about it, all the things that really are important cannot be affected by the economy. We must embrace these solutions and together we can recover from this economic crash. And to be honest, the only obstacle blocking our way from entering into a better and safer economy is how we think. We must first change the way we think, then we can change the way we act, and eventually change the way we live.

In Your Humble Service,

Silence Dogood

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to Uproot A Dead Tree: Part One

I remember back to when I was 8 years old and my father would send me out to the family garden to weed. I would walk out to the garden with gloves in hand and start pulling weeds frantically. But you know how it is, sometimes pulling weeds can become a little daunting, especially to an 8 year old. So there I would be, out in the blazing July heat, pulling prickly weeds that made my hands itch. Then I would hear my father walk up behind me and advise, “Son, don't just pull the tops off. You gotta' dig down into the dirt and pull up the root.” I would always despise these words. I would grudgingly respond, “But Dad that'd be too hard and take too long! Can't I just make everything look nice by ripping off the tops?” And he would always respond with those ancient words of wisdom passed down from generation to generation by parents, “Child...don't question me, just do it."
I illustrate this because it is a story that has become relevant to our time. You see, America is the 8 year old child pulling out weeds in the form of economic crisis and financial instability. Today dangerous weeds like unemployment, inflation, and radical marxism thinking are choking the very establishment of our country and transforming the stable ideals our country was built and established on 200 years ago, to unstable principles that have not proven to be successful in any arena. We allow this to happen because we are human beings, we cannot help but be attracted to the easiest and quickest solution. However, I write to pronounce the truth and advise my fellow citizens to dig in the dirt some; pull out our economic crisis by the root, therefore rendering it powerless to return again.
I will outline my critique by first explaining where we are today, specific problems we are facing as a country, and the solutions to solving these problems. Our country is at a turning point in history, in other words stuck at a crossroads. One path leads down to future prosperity and world leadership, while the other leads to constant, re-occurring troubles our country will stumble over not once, but over and over again. Since we are a democracy, we will not hold a few responsible for this decision of which two paths to follow. The only people we can hold responsible is ourselves because in America a majority decides.
Headlines read “Global Financial Crisis” and all we're all in a panic. We have cousins, brothers, parents losing their jobs or retirements funds. Many have lost their retirement completely and now must go back to work for the rest of their lives. If we were to compose a letter to future generations describing our current crisis, what would we write? I believe descriptions might mention our country in the middle of the greatest economic change in history and a national debt which exceeds $11 trillion. It also might include over 75% of married women currently participating in the labor force. This number 55 years ago was 17%! Some might tell of a mortgage meltdown and a government bailout bill. Others might quote the U.S. Department of Labor which estimates today's student will have between 10-14 jobs by the age of 38. All these statistics describe where we are today. These figures, no matter how horrific they may be, are very significant to us today because they show us where change is needed.
One of the most relevant and discussed pieces of news today is the government's bailout plan. In previous postings I have voiced my opinion about the stimulus package...it's WRONG. You see, I am a celebrator and participant of the free enterprise system and because I participate in free enterprise that means the government is not responsible for my or anyone else's future. We are the people who the government is supposed to represent and we need to be the people out there in the economy making a difference. I believe the bailout plan is going to be ugly. A successful business man David Shores forecasts banks are not going to lend and inflation will begin to occur. Where are the trillions of dollars coming from? Politicians are not talking about a tax increase, instead in the same legislation they just raised the debt cap to $11 trillion, meaning they are just going to print the money! You say, well how does inflation affect me? Well you'll notice cereal at the grocery store is always four dollars a box, the boxes just keep getting smaller. I tell people one day you're going to open a box of cereal, pour one bowl out and its going to be empty. This seems outrageous to think, yet many today support the idea that the solution lies in more money. The truth is throwing money at our economy is the same as pulling the tops off weeds. It may temporarily sustain the problem, but it won't make it go away. The root of our economy crisis is not the money, its the mindsets of our people.

Problem #1: “Americans have had an “employee mentality” all their lives and it has been engrained in our minds from previous generations. Few take personal responsibility; not expecting the government to take care of them.”
Here is one of the roots to our current economic crisis. Imagine if only 38% of the U.S. exercised the freedom to vote. This would be devastating to our democracy because it would be that 38% who would run and make decisions for our country instead of a majority. Yet today this same thing is occurring, only 38% of U.S. citizens have become a part of the free enterprise system. You see, you either make money because of the free enterprise system or in it. In it means you work for someone else. If you want to make money from it you have to be apart of it, which means you have to be a business owner. Instead of having only 38% of people exercise the freedom of becoming a business owner, why don't more take part? Prior to the industrial revolution over 90% of this country worked for themselves. 100 years later that statistic has flipped! I believe everyone needs a job for a season of time, but not for the entirety of life. Many think they are playing it safe by working a job for 40 years, then retiring off of a nest egg they built up during that time, however with millions of people losing jobs recently we see really how faulty that system has become, especially for the future generation. Just wait 20 more years when the baby boomers, who are the largest generation in the history of America with over 78 million births put a huge demand on social security and its the responsibility of Generations X and Y to take care of an aging population that is more than double their size! In other words, social secutrity won't exist for future generations!
Today a majority of Americans today have a job where they go to work for someone else, instead of going to work for themselves, thus prolonging the problem. The reason why our country is facing serious financial struggles is because we're allowing the small number of people who own large corporations and big businesses to make all the decisions. We must shake off the “employee” mindset and go out there and exercise our freedom to owning a circle of the free enterprise pie instead of allowing the few to own the whole. Many today are considering the idea of “spreading the wealth” and I couldn't agree more! I am in full support of filling needs of individuals who are in struggling situations financially. Spread the wealth and support the free market! Don't stifle it with government run programs. We live in a country today where every citizen has the freedom and the ability to go out and fill their own needs to whatever height they desire. An article from Reason Online Magazine wrote,

[America's free enterprise system] creates wealth. During the last two centuries, the U.S. became the world's richest nation as it embraced an economic system that promotes growth, efficiency, and organization. GDP tripled per capita from 1900 to 1950; then it tripled again from 1950 to 2000. The wealth didn't just benefit a few. It spread throughout society, 68% of Americans own a home-- the highest percentage on record. Three-quarters of Americans drive their own cars.

You see, there is no need to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. We would have to do that in a system that deprived individuals of their freedom to go out and participate in free enterprise, but that is not America's system. America embraces a free market system which is free of government interference except when it violates personal life, liberty, and happiness. Let us not confuse the current economic crisis as a need to change our economic system. Our economy appears to be heading south not due to a faulty system, but because of rapid changes in commerce and large amounts of debt.
History shows us that every time new technology emerges, old ways of conducting business fall to the side, while new forms emerge. In today's case, that new form of technology is the internet and e-commerce. E-commerce is shopping done over the internet. According to s-curve economics which is simply the study of how markets evolve and move, all markets follow a basic pattern referred to as the s-curve. An s-curve consists of three phases: (1) Pre-ne: slow development of a new idea/technology until it reaches 10% market penetration. (2) Critical Mass: rapid growth phase. Goes from 10% to 90% market penetration, and (3) Maturity: once it hits 90% it starts to flatten. The below figure describes this process.

As the figure illustrates, our economy is shifting in a way it has never experienced in the past. A large majority of all the businesses declaring bankruptcy is due to a shift in commerce known as the e-commerce shift. Examples of this same shift in history are the inventions of the telephone, automobile, electricity, radio, TV, microwave oven, and VCR. In 1999, e-commerce was 0.5% of sales. In 2008, it was 11%. In ten years e-commerce grew 2200%. We must not make the grave mistake of transforming our economy to a form of socialism that has never worked anywhere and has no record of statistical growth just because our way of doing business is temporarily shifting.

Problem #2: “Spending more than you make puts you in bondage.”

According to CNNMoney.com, the total amount of jobs lost in 2008 was roughly 2 million. In that same year government jobs increased by 250,000. Now we look at that as a good thing; the government is hiring, yay! But here's the problem, increase in government jobs means more money needed for payroll, meaning more taxes for you. The problem is the government thinks the solution to not having enough money is to tax you more and spend it on government. This philosophy of thinking is detrimental to our country. This problem not only lies with the government, but with the people as well. Everyone seems to be pointing both fingers at the government and exposing their loose spending. Now don't get me wrong, I am a strong proponent in strict government spending and less governmental interference in people's affairs, but the fault does not only lie with the government. Treasurydirect.gov shows the current public debt held by the people is close to $7 trillion! Compared to intra-governmental holdings of $4 trillion. I believe this shows the real problem is with our people and spending money that they don't have.

Thomas Jefferson warned us about this very situation, he said, “Bankers are more dangerous than standing armies.” Thomas Jefferson! He's been dead a while now! I call them “bank-sters”. I'm not upset with the profession, but I am upset with what they occupy themselves with which is basically loan-sharking and predatory lending which we have all been subject to. For example, how many credit card solicitations would you estimate you have received since you turned 18? Go save a tree for God's sake! Each individual contributes to this escalating figure and we must first stop picking the speck out of our brother's eye, and pull the log out of our own. So today we are seeing the harvest of seeds planted in the past of people who spend more money than they have. It puts not only the individual into debt, but our country as well.

This is what I am suggesting:

Step 1...Be more careful with the money that you do make
Step 2...Live below your means
Step 3...Get out of debt
Step 4...Make more money

Our country has a gross domestic product of $13 trillion dollars and our current national debt is $11 trillion. We are literally almost in as much debt as the total amount of money that moves out there in a year, no wonder we're having financial struggles.

I will post Part Two to this critique in the days ahead!
In your humble service,
Silence Dogood

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Success Post #1

Success Post is a new idea I am jumping on with the basic purpose of sharing my personal success in life with you. There will be a new Success Post every week and will feature things that the ordinary person can do in their personal lives to grab opportunity and run with it.

#1: Take the Plunge.

A while back I visited a water park in the Wisconsin Dells area. This water park was decked out! It had everything you dream about when visiting the Dells, including a 3-story water slide that literally was perpendicular with the ground below...it was insane! So travelling up to this slide was like walking up stairs to God's house, seriously, they just kept coming one after another. I finally reach the peak of this mountain and as I approach the slide the guy in front of me CHICKENS out. He turns around at the last minute and starts down the stairs uttering to himself, "No, no, not today. I will not die today!" haha- so you can imagine how I was feeling as I sat down to go down the slide! But I just remember sitting there and looking out past my knees and seeing nothing but blue sky. As I crossed my legs and arms and waited for the red light to turn green, I decided to just do it and take the plunge.

I stood at the bottom of the slide 5 seconds later and I couldn't stop laughing! My brothers were with me and we just loved it. I use this story as an example for success because any great success in life is going to be like that 3-story slide, at the beginning it is going to be scary and people around you may be turning around and "chickening" out, but it is worth it! When you have the opportunity to do something great go out and do it and don't let fear stop you.

In your humble service,

Silence Dogood

Monday, August 24, 2009

America's Most WANTED...And Needed

Are you all familiar with the story of David and Goliath? According to history, the story begins with a little shepherd boy named David who is the youngest of Jesse's eight sons. David is so lowly esteemed that when this prophet named Samuel comes by and asks to see Jesse's sons, Jesse brings all of them out EXCEPT David. In fact, many believe that David was an illegitimate son. Whatever the case be, I just find it odd that when the prophet calls out the boys Jesse does not bring David out.

The story goes on with Samuel anointing David because he is supposedly going to be this great king over Israel. At the same time, there is this battle going on between the Israelites and Philistines. And this Philistine giant named Goliath, who is believed to be over 9ft tall, comes out and begins to mock the Israelites who have a promise and a vision from God. He would go out in front of the Israeli army everyday and basically say 'Is there not a man among you?' He'd say 'Send your best man out to fight me; we'll make it real easy and if one of your guys takes me out, you win!' He would say this in front of the army! Ya know...the professional soldiers with the swords, shields, helmets, armor, and spears...I mean these guys were the army. They represented those who are trained in the arts of war and prepare for crazy hackin' battle! So what did all the professional soldiers do when Goliath came out? They just sat there, cowering in front of this enormous giant; not one stepped out to face Goliath.

So one day little David comes to deliver some cheese to his brothers who are soldiers. David's brothers see him and taunt him saying 'You don't belong here! Go home! Did you come here to watch real men fight? Get out of here!' So David begins to turn around because he knows that the battlefield is not his place, but it just so happens that at the same time Goliath comes out and says 'Is there not a man...' And David stands there and listens to all these things and says 'Who is this Philistine to mock us? Why do we let him defile our people? Will not anyone go up to fight him?!?' And David stands astonished, as amongst the WHOLE ARMY not ONE goes up to face Goliath.

David steps forward to go face the giant. He wasn't a soldier...he was a shepherd! He didn't have a sword or a breastplate or armor, all he had was a sling and a conviction in his heart that what was going down here was wrong, and it was an affront. So he picked up a smooth stone, put it in his sling, swung it around and POW! He knocked the giant in the head and sent him crashing to the ground. David then ran over and withdrew Goliath's sword and cut his head off and held it for everyone to see.

Now, most who know this story stop right there. However I believe the most important moral to the story is found after David defeated the giant. Do any of you know what the army did after David slew Goliath? I'll tell you what the army did after the warrior David killed the giant; the soldiers chased down the Philistines and cut them all down! Not one was left standing. You see, there is a difference between a soldier and a warrior. A soldier is someone who prepares for war. A warrior is someone who wages war. The warrior steps forth so the army can rise up. And the warrior is not always the one who is the most professionally trained or the one with the right tools or who smells good and looks good and has all the right stuff. A warrior is the one who has fight in his heart and says 'I will not stand injustice anymore nor will I have my values demoralized and my ideals condemned right before my eyes. And even though I don't have much, I'll put it out because I am not going to stand for it anymore.'

Who are we in America? Where do we stand as a country right now? As far as I'm concerned, right now is a defining moment as to what values we will pass to the next generation. What beliefs; what moral compass we'll steer by in the future.

Is there a warrior amongst us who has the passion beating in his heart to once again rise and save America?

In your humble service,

Silence Dogood

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Free Market vs Regulated Market

Which do you prefer? To be free or regulated? In today's post we will analyze both, and discover which of the two really work in favor for the common good of everyone. Analyze this. The cell phone industry. For the most part, this industry has been free of governmental interference and has thrived because of it. Today, there are many successful cell phone providers. Most think that in every industry there must be at least some semblance of governmental regulation; to prevent monopolies and such. However, the cell phone industry is a perfect testimony to the fact that free markets, when left to the laws and rules of competition, not only are more succesful, but protect individuals and give everyone the right to equal opportunity.

For example, in the free market system, lets just say that there arose a company named Macrohard (spin on Microsoft). Macrohard created this revolutionary new technology in software and offered this product to the public. Years down the road, Macrohard eliminated all the competition with low prices and a great quality product. Today, Macrohard dominates the software industry, therefore jacks up all their prices for consumers. At this point, Uncle Sam would rush in, cut up Macrohard and sell it to pieces. However, lets contemplate what might have happened if Uncle Sam didn't call a timeout and stayed standing on the sideline one more quarter. I believe Macrohard would have fallen prey to an economic rule called competition. You see, the competition rule states:

"The product with the highest quality and lowest price, always wins."

Macrohard no longer played according to the competition rule, therefore allowing other companies to work underground and eat away at the monopolizing giant.

So let's take a gander at what our unregulated cell phone industry has become today. In virtually 20 years, cell phones have travelled from the dinosaur age to a futuristic Jetson's lifestyle. Cell phones looked like this when I was born:

To looking like this today at my 19th birthday:

And this is all because the cell phone industry didn't have a "trigger happy" Uncle Sam waiting to anihilate the first majorly successful company. Cell phone providers basically give you the phone for free; all you have to do is pick a plan. Plans range from 5 year contracts to pay as you go. The industry is flexible, maintains low cost, provides an efficient high tech product, and is multiplying in technological growth every day. All this goodness is here today without a poking finger from the government because IT'S NOT THEIR JOB TO POKE FINGERS IN ECONOMICS! Economics runs on supply/demand and competition, it will become crippled if the government throws in even more rules and regulations. This does not only apply to cell phones, but every area of business. From cars to healthcare; leave the government out and everyone benefits.

Spread the wealth; 82% of Americans own a cell phone today...keep it rolling.

In your humble service,

Silence Dogood