A History Lesson on the Republican Party.

Loved this video and proud to have it on my blog.

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Phil Cooke, Ph.D.: Occupy Wall Street: Is It a Good Strategy?

Wall Street Sign. Author: Ramy Majouji

Image via Wikipedia

An on the money analysis of what’s really wrong with OWS. Even if you agree with the Occupy Wall Street sentiment you can’t argue their efforts are failing. Clink link below:

Phil Cooke, Ph.D.: Occupy Wall Street: Is It a Good Strategy?.

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“Occupy Wall Street Crowd Blind to Benefits of Capitalism”

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...

Image via Wikipedia

My son was interviewed by a local TV News station (click to see the news story) at the Occupy Seattle protests in downtown Seattle. I wish he’d conveyed to me what he felt was worth protesting. I would have shared with him much of what’s in the essay attached to this blog; though certainly not as eloquently as was done by its author, Hillsdale College Economics and Public Policy Professor William Simon. Click and read. A worthwhile enlightenment into why OWS is so off the mark.

“Occupy Wall Street Crowd Blind to Benefits of Capitalism”.

This entire essay was read, verbatim, by Rush Limbaugh during his nationally syndicated radio program the morning of November 18, 2011. Thanks Rush! Limbaugh is not a journalist. He’s an entertainer, and a very successful one. His greatest contributions come when he shares well researched information gathered by others rather than opening his big fat mouth.

Get MAD! Defend yourself. Conservative values are worth defending.

One of our greatest thinkers.

A Founding Father who helped the poor, but didn't entitle them.

Efforts by the Liberal left, or do we call them “Progressive”, continually question the wisdom and the morality of those with Conservative political values. It’s about time to call them on it. It’s about time the majority of Americans who believe in the values categorized as “Conservative” stand up and quit taking it. To do otherwise is to concede your morality. To do otherwise is cowardly.

Some of my Liberal friends have been taken aback, recently, by my strong defense of my views and my response to their personal attacks. I think some of their surprise has been brought on by the sheer newness of such rebuttal. They are too used to calling Conservatives greedy, selfish, uncaring, and hypocritical without adequate response. So they continue their unthinking, unintelligent and amoral attacks. They claim the high ground and hold it because we’re to pansy to tell them they’re wrong. Either that or they’re right. We are greedy, uncaring, selfish, hypocrites. I for one, don’t think that’s the case; which is why I’ll swat down the mean-spirited attacks every time, even when they come from friends.

Recently in an on-line stream of comments I refuted using China as an example of a nation to be emulated for a lot of obvious reasons. A Liberal friend said I had my head buried in the sand and then offered a sarcastic swipe of the idea of China providing more freedoms for their citizens. When I pointed out to my friend that they were being rude and sarcastic I was excoriated and have not enjoyed this friends thoughts since.

In another recent discussion I trudged down the dangerous path of debating abortion. I stated that life begins either at conception, at birth, or somewhere in between; clearly a reasonable statement. My liberal friend stated that he believed life begins at birth and that I was insensitive to a mother wanting an abortion and uncaring about a baby that might be born with a heroin addiction. Now I had not even stated when I thought life began but had only postulated that it could be debated that it occurred some time prior to birth and for that a very good friend characterized me as selfish and uncaring and mean-spirited. It’s got to stop. It’s got to get to a point where reasonable ideas are treated as such and those voicing them are not demonized for doing so.

The most obvious of these Liberal attacks is the charge of greed and selfishness. In the words of Liberals those who make substantially more income than the majority of Americans and don’t want to pay more taxes to pay for more Democratic welfare programs are greedy. They furiously claim the GOP is taking food, medicine, education or nurturing away from the poor and starving. They claim Conservatives don’t care to help the less fortunate in our Society. We’re uncaring. The fact is if we didn’t have better alternatives they’d be right. They’d be right if numerous surveys didn’t reveal that those who call themselves Conservative give a higher percentage of their income to charity than do those who call themselves Liberal or Progressive. They’d be right if evidence showed that Democratic Government spending on such things like education actually worked. They might be right if the money they claimed was going to programs that benefit society as a whole actually went to programs that benefit society as a whole. Liberals might be right in calling us selfish, greedy and uncaring if illegal immigrants were taking the jobs and social benefits of college educated, more affluent Americans.

But while Federal tax dollars going toward education have skyrocketed in the past forty years graduation rates, and test scores have remained static or declined. A half-billion dollars went to solar company

Image representing Solyndra as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Solyndra and its failed business model rather than building roads and bridges and other “shovel ready” projects from the 2009 $700-billion stimulus package. And for every dollar that goes toward AIDS research to placate a loud but relatively small minority of staunchly Democratic victims of the disease, an equal number of federal dollars is denied research on heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Multiple-Sclerosis and other diseases that affect everybody. And while our Liberal friends advocate for the rights and more hand-outs for illegal immigrants they ignore the poor and less educated legal American or legal immigrant whose job and who’s government benefits the illegal immigrant is taking.

Illegal Immigrant rights protest in the US/Mex...

The fact is my faith and my morality dictate and require that I help those who are truly in need. All that makes us human dictates that the least capable among us be given food, shelter, education and nurturing by those who are more capable or more well-off. But my question is when did it become wiser or more compassionate to give a hungry man a fish, than to teach a hungry man to fish? Why are you a better person than me because you look at people and consider them incapable of individual achievement and devoid of personal fortitude; while I understand failure to be an integral part of success?

I don’t mind debate. In fact I love it. But I detest the personal attacks and the moral superiority the left perpetually presents. You don’t need government to be caring and compassionate. It’s harder to be caring and compassionate when you’re Conservative because of the name calling Liberals will subject you to. But don’t take it. Stand up for what you know is right. And in closing I’ll just point out that one of our Founding Fathers and greatest thinkers agreed with a more Conservative approach to helping the poor: “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”Benjamin Franklin

Signature of Benjamin Franklin.

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Yes on I-1183. Quit being so fearful.

End Government intrusion

Support Liquor Privatization

I filled out my Washington State mail-in election ballot yesterday and eagerly scribbled in the YES bubble for Initiative 1183 getting the government out of the liquor industry. I think this measure will pass. It’s important. Its good government. And it’s responsible. But then again, I was shocked efforts to get our state government out of what is and should be a private business failed last year.

In hindsight, it’s not surprising that the two measures put forth last year went down in close votes. They went down because, to a large extent they were competing measures. As such the vote was split or voters were confused. And any time an electorate is confused or unsure it will vote for the status quo over change. So don’t believe the bogus claims by the No-on I-1183 campaign ads that “We” voted against privatizing liquor sales last year. In fact its believed by some last years second initiative was only put forth specifically to successfully confuse voters and kill the first initiative.

If you’ve been paying attention to the No on I-1183 campaign ads and tactics I have to believe they are desperate. They’ve lied and now they’ve gone anti-Capitalism on us. The fact is their claims that liquor will more easily be acquired by minors is simply a lie and fear mongering. For several reasons, but number 1, I’ve never met a teen who couldn’t get their hands on alcohol any time they set their mind to it. Second, hard liquor is not the drink of choice of teens in this state or any other. It’s beer. Liquor is sold in many states across the country in grocery stores and it doesn’t change what minors consume there. It’s still beer. And beer sales are not effected by this initiative.

Then for the pro-government anti-I-1183 crowd to turn their sites on Costco is maddening. Combined with the Occupy Wall Street crowd I’m getting very sick of the Capitalist bashing we keep tolerating from the left. I have to ask, so what if Costco is putting a lot of money into this initiative? I have to ask, so what if they make LOTS of money if the initiative passes? Isn’t that what they are supposed to do? Costco sells liquor inside its stores in other states not still clinging to the last vestiges of the “Blue Laws“, like Washington is. They KNOW they’ll make lots of money. Good! I’m fine with that. If you’re not, please explain to us why in the comments section below this post.

Ultimately its fear that would prevent this Initiative from passing and that’s just simply not a good enough reason. I don’t understand living in fear the way so many Democrats do. I don’t understand the need to have Big Brother protect us from so many of the terrible things that could possibly happen to us. A life free from government restriction, limitation and taxation is called a life lived in Liberty. And isn’t that why our nation was founded. We don’t need government in the liquor business to control us. We will be better off without them. Vote Yes on Initiative 1183.

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The fishermen, the hungry man, and the wise man.

Michael Schuett in a river

The Author hooking something

This is an essay written and originally posted on-line for a small select audience in May 2009. It’s timeliness remains appropriate.



A hungry man sat along side a vast river in the early evening sun. His clothes are old and worn. He watches the fishermen returning to the shores from a day of harvesting God’s plentiful waters.

The hungry man has no boat, and he doesn’t know the craft of fishing. He knows of no craft for which he can adequately feed himself or his family. For in his youth opportunities passed him by, as he passed them by. And though he caused no harm to anyone and though he wished no one any ill will he was left with a sad existence of hunger and despair.

One day a liberal fisherman who happened to be a Democrat saw the hungry man sitting along the shore. The liberal Democrat thought how sad that this man should sit along the shore hungry while all these many other fishermen brought forth God’s bounty from these blessed waters. The liberal Democrat correctly thought “there are plenty of fish to go around. Nobody should go hungry”. So the liberal Democrat surveyed the shoreline and spotted the conservative Republican unloading his boat. As usual the conservative Republican was bringing forth a hall of fish greater than that of anyone else along the shore; for the conservative Republican had toiled many years to earn what he had and to buy the best boat and to procure the finest nets, and to hire the best workers. So naturally he regularly brought in the most fish.

The liberal Democrat, wanting to help the hungry man, walked away from his own day’s catch and marched righteously to the dock of the conservative Republican and grabbed up an armful of fish, He then loudly proclaimed for all to hear “You have more than enough fish Mr. Conservative Republican. I am taking some of your fish to give to the hungry man there on the shore so that he will be hungry no more”,

Well, the conservative Republican was most upset. How could this liberal Democrat righteously and arrogantly come and take that which is rightfully mine. But seeing that the eyes of many others were now upon him, and fearing that he would somehow seem greedy to those who witnessed the liberal Democrat proclaiming that he would give the fish to the hungry man, the conservative Republican fisherman said nothing. Instead he harbored his ill feelings for having his possessions stolen from him. And he became embittered.

The liberal Democrat indeed did take the armful of fish to the hungry man. He then jumped up and down, waving his arms to attract the attention of anyone else along the shore who was not already watching him. He then said loudly, “Here Mr. Hungry man. I HAVE BROUGHT YOU FOOD. Through MY generosity you will now eat.” The liberal Democrat then walked away feeling quite good about himself, never to be seen again by the hungry man.

A week later the hungry man was again along the river’s banks hoping for the generosity which had been bestowed upon him the previous week to come his way again. Sadly, the liberal Democrat was nowhere to be seen and the hungry man feared he would go with no food. As the final fishermen completed their days work and indifferently walked by the hungry man to their homes, the hungry man spotted the conservative Republican. As was the norm the conservative Republican was one of the last fishermen to wrap up his days work for he again had a very large haul of fish and such bounty required hard work.

As he walked toward the hungry man in the direction of his home the conservative Republican noticed the hungry man shyly smile at him and extend his hand in the direction of the prosperous fisherman. Still bitter from having his hard-earned reward diminished the previous week by the liberal Democrat who took from his catch, the conservative Republican tersely said to the hungry man, “I will not give you any of my fish. Why is it that you don’t go fish for yourself instead of sitting here all day doing nothing? Why is it that you should be hungry again this week instead of fixing the situation with which you found yourself last week when the liberal Democratic fisherman took from me and gave to you?” The conservative Republican then walked away more embittered than before. The hungry man went hungry.

The next day the hungry man was again beside the river bank, for he had no place else to go. He had no trade. He had no family. A wise fisherman approached the hungry man and gave him one fish. Having witnessed the false generosity of the liberal Democrat and the embitterment of the conservative Republican the wise fisherman wanted to help the hungry man and boldly told the hungry man what he intended to do.

“You are hungry and that is unfortunate. But you are hungry because of the opportunities you failed to take advantage of in the past. So your hunger is of your own creation. If you wish to toil as you have in the past you will remain hungry. But if you wish to learn and work you will never be hungry again.” Never being hungry again did interest the hungry man so he humbly paid attention to the wise man.

The wise man continued. “This one fish I give you will only feed you for today. If you do not change your circumstance yourself, you will be hungry again tomorrow. This fish will give you sustenance and strength to carry on tomorrow. When the sun rises in the morning you will meet me at my boat and you will work hard for me all day. You will sweat in the hot sun; you may develop calluses on your hands from throwing and pulling on the nets; you may even get sea sick being that it will be your first time in the boat. At the end of the day you won’t feel very good. You’ll be tired. But you won’t be hungry, for you will take with you that which you reap from the river. And you will have learned how to fish.”

So the hungry man did work hard the next day. He sweated, blisters developed on his hands, and he vomited from having sea sickness. The wise man let the hungry man fish with him for the whole week and as the days passed it became easier for the hungry man. At the weeks conclusion the wise man told the hungry man “I can no longer take you on my boat for you have been taking place of another man who I must honor by keeping employed. But you now know how to fish.” The wise man’s final gesture to the hungry man was to give him an old worn fishing net.

“Take this and fish from shore. It’s not as nice a net as my others. You won’t catch as many fish from shore as from a boat. But if you start early and work late you’ll feed yourself, and you will eventually earn enough to buy a new better net, and in time your own boat. And you will catch more and more fish.” Then the wise man admonished the hungry man and said, “If you return to sitting along the banks hoping for the generosity of others you will again be hungry.”

The hungry man took the words of the wise man to heart for the foolishness of his youth had left him and now because of the wise man he knew how to fish. He started early and worked late and he prospered. In time he became wise. In time he taught another man to fish.

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Bank of America is subject to Capitalism.

Bank of America announced yesterday that it would NOT be going ahead with its previously announced $5 debit card use fee. They say they listened to their customers. Damned rights they did. They listened and they watched a lot of them take their money elsewhere.

The news that BofA wasn’t going ahead with the new fee came after the nation’s largest bank JP Morgan Chase as well as Wells Fargo Banks announced last week that they would abandon plans for these fee add-ons. They saw the writing on the wall and didn’t want to further enrage the public (i.e. their customers).

In an Associated Press article from October 7 it was pointed out that Credit Unions were again reaping the benefits of these new bank fees. The country’s largest credit union, the Navy Federal Credit Union, said new account openings over the weekend  following BofA’s new fee announcement were 23 percent higher than normal. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says roughly 51,000 people have signed up to move their money out of big banks on “National Bank Transfer Day” this Saturday. They also said 21k of those who have signed up will be moving their money from Bank of America.

Of course abandoning this $5 fee doesn’t mean BofA, or Wells or Chase for that matter, won’t be attempting to pick your pocket somewhere else. In fact BofA already raised its fee for its basic checking account from $8.95 to $12 last Spring. They’re hurting. They need the money. Bank of America’s stock price was down to $6.71 at the time of this writing. That’s from a high of $54.77 five years ago this month, and a post-recession high of over $18.00. Their January 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp looking increasingly like the wrong thing to do. Old Countrywide mortgage loans are STILL exploding on BofA and on our country.

But the obvious good news with this retraction of the proposed fee and for the time being no new replacement fee is that Capitalism works. This is exactly how it is supposed to happen. And guess what no Government intervention was necessary. 18th Century writer, philosopher and economist Adam Smith had it right in his seminal book The Wealth of Nations when he described the invisible hand that guides a country’s economy. Government needs to stay out and things will work out. It’s in each individual company’s and corporation’s best interest to serve the public, their clients, for to do otherwise will only hurt their bottom line. And growing the bottom line is most important of all.

Anyone with eyes wide open will see that Government interference in the form of the Dodd-Frank Banking Finance law forced banks to impose many of these new fees by restricting how much banks could charge merchants for the use of debit and credit cards (I bet a lot of you didn’t know that we, the business owners, also pay the banks every time plastic is used). Banks, as well as other companies will seek revenues and if government takes away one form of income, they’ll just go elsewhere. And the ones who will pay the real price is the consumer. Thank you again Democrats. Every time you try to protect us we get the shaft.

Nonetheless, take homage in the fact that your outrage moved big bad BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo and others from imposing THIS fee. You the consumer do have choices. You can go to a neighborhood bank or Credit Union you can spend your money elsewhere, or choose not to spend at all. Think of the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their claims of big corporations having way too much control. Let this be their lesson that the big corporations only have as much control as we give them. And the one, and possibly the only thing I’ll agree with OWS about, is that its long past time that we stop giving the big corporations so much power. But we don’t need government to do anything. We need to take responsibility for ourselves, our habits, and our spending.

But, of course, this comes from a guy who’s had his money in a credit union for some 15 years.

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