Want War With Iran… They Should Say So.

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This has been President Obama’s response when challenged by the press for inconsistencies with foreign policy. His natural defensive reaction to such pressure has been to point the finger of blame or attempt to divert attention away from the topic at hand – a textbook ‘Aulinsky’ tactic. Rather than explain his own actions, or inactions in some cases, he reverts to calling out GOP Primary candidates. While America is in dire need of strength and leadership, especially with foreign policy in the Middle East, President Obama simply cannot resist the urge to politicize every single issue.

There are two significant issues to examine here. First, the United States has been weak and inconsistent when dealing with Iran. There is little question that Iran’s leaders continue to pursue a nuclear weapon, continue to publically dismiss all challenges and criticism, and most egregious of all, they continue to oppress the citizens. The evil regime of Iran has not yet faced real pressure to change their behavior.

In fact, the optimal moment to exert that pressure passed when the Revolutionary Guard bullied the people of Iran back into hiding in 2009 when they had taken to the streets in protest. They were among the first citizenry to organize and protest in an ‘Arab Spring’ type of freedom movement. President Obama didn’t even offer them a verbal expression of support! This is far and away the worst regime in power throughout the Middle East. The United States should have made regime change a high priority and should have pledged support to the citizens of Iran.

Instead of supporting the coalesced freedom movement in Iran, President Obama chose to continue implementing sanctions and economic disruption efforts. These economic disruptions harm the citizens far more than the Government Officials, slowing commerce and keeping money and resources out of the hands of those that need them.

Another point regarding these ‘sanctions’; in 2009 President Obama did comment that ‘we won’t exert sanctions forever… everything is on the table…’  Well, here we are in 2012 and he’s still insisting that he wants to use a containment strategy and sanctions, but again ‘not bluffing’ that everything is on the table. Clearly Iran feels no pressure to change their behavior. They continue to test weapons, insult America, and make dire threats to our only ally in the region, Israel.

The second major problem with President Obama’s foreign policy is the inconsistency. The mystery here is why some Middle Eastern nations are permitted to murder citizens, turning their own armies loose on the streets. The people of Iran took to the streets in protest, no differently than the people of Egypt, Libya, and others. However, the U.S. was compelled to provide drones, air support, no-fly zones, as well as verbal commitments of support for the people – only for certain countries… Why?

While Syria is murdering its citizens by the THOUSANDS, President Obama seems to sit idly by watching it happen. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, and Yemen armies killed at least dozens of citizens under the direction of totalitarian regimes. What are the criteria for getting U.S. support? Who is selecting the nations that will get our support? Americans are right to be confused and should challenge the foreign policy decisions being made by our ‘regime’. We are sending messages to the world of weakness and inconsistency at a critical moment in history when the world is in need of our leadership.

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You Think You’re Free?

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You think you’re free? I know we in the United States are far and away the most free of any citizens of the world. Yeah, yeah… I know there is this freedom index and that freedom index that place us second or fifth or thirteenth. Bull! I don’t buy those for a minute because freedom cannot be quantified by stats and averages.

Have a look at the big picture. Human nature is to seek freedom. In other words, the heart of every human wants to be free. Governments create a much different perspective as to ‘free from what?’. For example, women in the Middle East might desire to be free to drive a car or remove a mask. Us Americans may desire to be free from our 9-5 or free from our commitment to mow the grass at church. There’s a big difference, but we want what we know is out there… don’t we.

As far as ‘freedom index’, these indices are simply propaganda. If Denmark or wherever is more free, why are people not sneaking in there? Why are immigrants not flocking there? The frank truth is that people want to be here – right here in the United States. We have the only true civil society and celebrate the most personal freedom of any country. This freedom exists today despite the efforts of Progressives to exchange our freedoms for safety, the safety of a centralized State.

Something Mark Levin (whom I feel provides very intelligent commentary and analysis, despite his abrasive personality) said a couple weeks ago has been burned into my thoughts. He asked, “You think you’re free? Just try to build something innocuous in your own damn yard like a playground or something… ”

He is exactly right. Even our own personal property is not ours to do as we please. We’ve got neighborhood associations, local ordinances, this rule, that rule… Can’t do this, can’t do that. Nope, can’t plant a tree. Nope, can’t build a fence. Nope, can’t put up a tall sign for your business. We are merely free to play within the guidelines created for us over the decades. Though still mostly free, this creates some perspective.

Progressives have succeeded in building an over-legislated society over the last hundred years. Do we really need hundreds of laws passed every year, from both a federal Congress and State Assemblies? Why don’t we spend a decade or so repealing and reducing the legislative monstrosity of regulation already in place? Maybe every law written and passed should have a sunset of 50 years… Let the next generation decide if it worked out or is still necessary. What do you think?

Enjoy your weekend!

Memorial Day

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Memorial Day 2011

It occurred to me yesterday that a story about my Grandfather may never have been written. In honor and memory of him and other family members that served the country, I’ll share the short stories as I remember them being passed on.

Chris Schlensker, my maternal Grandfather, served during World War II in the Army Air Force (USAAF). He operated the main turret of a B-17 Flying Fortress, protecting the aircraft against enemy fighters during bombing missions. His bomber completed all it’s assigned missions across Europe, dropping bombs on Axis power military targets.

The most memorable story he shared was of a ‘close call’ during one mission. While flying through anti aircraft fire, Grandpa left his turret to get a replacement oxygen tank. Upon his return to the turret, he discovered a large piece of shrapnel embedded in his seat. It had exploded and broken through the turret bubble during the few minutes he wasn’t there… Turns out, had timing been different – I may not have existed!

There are a number of fond memories about Grandpa Schlensker from my childhood. He passed away when I was ten or eleven, suffering a fatal heart attack. While a young boy, he taught me how to hold and fire a rifle. We would shoot crows and targets at his small vegetable garden. He would also pass out loose change from his pockets during family parties, always a hit with my siblings and I.

Grandmother, Doris Schlensker, also did her part during the war. Upon cleaning her house after moving her into a nursing home, we discovered a cache of hand written correspondence with a number of military men. She wrote as a ‘pen pal’, reminding them of the things they are fighting for.

Thanks to all that serve the country, fighting and doing their part to preserve the freedom we enjoy every day here in the United States of America.

#!&% You Very Much

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Thought I would share that pain with you all…$65 to fill up a Toyota!

Title is for FED and POTUS. Look for some debt ceiling analysis soon!

Are You Better Off?

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Are you better off than you were two years ago? Do you know anyone that is better off now than they were a couple years ago? For me, it’s pretty clear that everyone is worse off. Many are much worse off.

The local cigar shop has a small, makeshift sitting area for guys to sit down and enjoy a cigar. Yes, in Indiana we are still allowed to smoke in some places… for now. So, this week I sat down with the six or seven fellows and lit up a Padron 3000 maduro. The discussion was candid and depressing.

Of the seven of us sitting there: three were unemployed and looking for jobs, one feels underemployed and is looking for a better job, and two of us own businesses which are fighting for every dollar. To top that off, gas went up over $3.50 per gallon and a cart full of groceries costs about $20 more… tough times for all.

As the discussion continued, it occurred to me that these older, wiser, experienced guys are seeing something different this time. In the past, these guys had roughed it through by tapping into savings or skipping expensive vacations. One business owner had lessened his margins just to get jobs and keep his guys working. Though we are taking these measures now, there is not much promising news after more than two years of this.

Personally, I believe things are about to get worse. Consider the state of things across the U.S. and around the world:

  • Middle East is ON FIRE and it is spreading
  • Japan is devastated
  • Europe is crashing
  • China is capitalizing and nefariously manipulating it’s currency
  • Total U.S. Employment is the lowest in DECADES
Now, combine all that turmoil with the confusing fact that U.S. Markets (Stocks) are performing pretty well…??? What does this mean? See, our economy and our markets are NOT one in the same. While the economy struggles to recover, businesses don’t necessarily suffer the same fate.
Consider this example: A corporation reduces a department staff through attrition by 10%. Though employees fuss, the work still gets done. After further attrition, another 15% are gone, but the work is still getting done… hmm. Granted, the environment is not good for employees to fuss or threaten to leave – there are NO jobs for them to move into!
So, the end result of this exercise is that businesses get their necessary work done with less employees. Less expense means more net income, which, in turn means better performance and higher equity valuations. That’s the business perspective – more profitability, more efficiency, and higher share value.
The flip side of this sad story… in our example 25% of the department’s workforce was under performing and expendable. The employees that remain could have been working harder and many were getting paid for showing up. That is the sad truth, and the reason for the strange circumstances of a strong market with a crushed economy.
As for our Administration, we are about to experience the crippling effects of deficit spending and enormous budget growth. Pressure to raise taxes and cut benefits is coming. The irony is that the answer is cutting taxes, reducing Government and regulation, and empowering people to invest in themselves.
As I smoked that cigar, I felt thankful for all that I’ve got. I felt thankful for the incredible standard of living we enjoy, even during the toughest of times. Additionally, I feel hopeful that we will endure the next couple years of turmoil and ultimately reject the Liberal agenda of modern Government (including many GOP – moderates will also be rejected next election!). America’s future depends on Conservatives acting – NOW!
POTUS, his agenda, his direction, and his Liberal Congress are all being rejected by America. The simple truths are that things are much worse for most Americans. Now, we understand why it’s happening, which we haven’t realized in years and elections past.

Tax Rates vs. Tax Revenue

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Tax Rates vs. Tax Revenue

Frankly, I’ve heard enough of this tax debate. ‘Tax the rich’ or ‘only the top 1%’ are spouted off from the mouths of progressives and liberals while others seem to be happy with the way things are. Simply studying history will reveal that this experiment has been going on for a hundred years. Every generation tries to raise taxes or punish the rich – IT HAS FAILED TO INCREASE REVENUE in each and every case! Don’t believe me, read this:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2003/08/the-historical-lessons-of-lower-tax-rates

This article sheds light on the consequences of lowering tax rates. What ends up happening is, simply put, prosperity. Here’s the rub, tax rates effect revenue but the relationship is inverse. In other words, if you lower one then the other goes up and vice versa. Every time we have lowered tax rates, Government revenue has gone through the roof. Every time we have raised tax rates, the U.S. economy has slowed.

Do you see the ultimate irony here? Liberals want to provide more services and entitlements, all of which cost lots of money. They also want to raise tax rates, which ‘THEORETICALLY’ will increase revenue (only in theory as history gives proof) but now we know will LOWER GOVERNMENT REVENUES. If liberals lowered tax rates they would have money piled up to the ceiling to spend on whatever they wanted! Funny, isn’t it. This makes me wonder, are they really looking out for ‘the people’ or ‘middle class’?

We Conservatives want to lower tax rates, both individual and corporate, because of the certain prosperity that would ensue. America would return to work, companies would invest and grow exponentially, and the $14 Trillion deficit would begin shrinking. See, this action would generate more revenue for the Federal Government. Now, how to spend all the extra money sounds like a nice problem for a future Congress to have.

So, why don’t liberals study history and get on board? It’s my opinion that they are simple ideologues, hungry for power. Maybe they just want to oppose Conservative Republicans… it’s clear the current group of lib Democrats despise Ronald Reagan and resent his success. Their pursuit of these dysfunctional policies is a mystery to me, but in the end their experiment will fail. Conservatives will be there to pick up the pieces and get the ship on the right course… again.

Who Wants to ‘Punish’ the Rich?

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Do we really ‘hate’ the rich? Liberals have created this aura or perception, but is it based on any public will or feeling? I don’t believe it for a minute. In fact, I believe that most Americans have an admiration and curious interest with the rich. That’s because I believe that most Americans hope to become rich!

As a teenager, I took a job as a caddy at Broadmoor Country Club in Indianapolis. It was a great job for two reasons. First, the job introduced me to golf, which is the greatest game and can be played throughout life. Secondly, I had first hand access to successful, rich people for hours at a time.

As I observed the members of the club, I began to notice a number of fascinating details about their lives. Most impressive to a teenage boy was the fact that they drove nice cars, had new golf clubs, and wore nice branded clothes. Simple envy or respect for the lifestyle made me (the teenager) want to be like these folks.

As it turns out, the more subtle characteristics of the rich are the most important aspects of their success. Most of the successful people I caddied for were in fact Entrepreneurs, that is, small business owners. There were some trust fund – family money members, there were also a handful of Corporate members and big business execs (now referred to as ‘fat cats’ or ‘fat cat bankers’), but not that many. The majority of the members were simply entrepreneurs, owning and running smaller business or working for themselves.

Another characteristic that was revealed during their rounds of golf – strong and competitive nature. Most of them hated to lose, even if it was a $10 nassau with their buddies on a Saturday morning. They were hungry, competitive people with an expectation for winning. From my view, they were winning in life.

To wrap up the story of my exposure to the ‘Rich’, it must be said that I never experienced any ill will or ‘hatred’ for the members of Broadmoor C.C. In fact, quite the opposite was true. I found myself admiring and studying these people, wanting to eventually be among them.

Perspective on ‘Punishing’ the Rich


As Liberals gear up for punishing the rich, I got to thinking about what should be done to them… What do everyday Americans think the ‘rich’ should be tasked with? What if we…:

  • Force the rich to pay DOUBLE the tax rate of average people
  • Establish deductions that are insignificant to rich, only helping middle income families significantly
  • Force extra taxes on the rich, such as employment taxes and high corporate tax rates
  • Regulate them and their businesses, making it difficult to engage in commerce
See, we ALREADY do all of these things to the alleged ‘rich’. What further action should we take to punish them? How much of their hard earned money would Liberals like the Government to take (I say STEAL).
My opinion is that anyone who wants to punish the ‘rich’ must have given up hope that they themselves will ever be ‘rich’. There’s simply no justification for further measures. Frankly, there isn’t justification for the status quo as the ‘rich’ are already treated quite differently, aren’t they?
Tomorrow, I’ve got a great addendum to this article regarding TAX RATES. Here’s the teaser question: Does the Government (both parties) want higher tax rates (percentages) or more tax revenue (dollars collected)? The two are mutually exclusive… more tomorrow.

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