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!

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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.

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.

Landslide… Now What?

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Conservatives and other Republicans have won a landslide victory of historic proportions in 2010! The GOP has gained control of the House, made headway within the Senate, and gained full control of many State Assembly and Governorships. What does it all mean?

There have been a wide range of opinions and analysis of the epic defeat of Democrats throughout the U.S. though most are missing the plain and simple truth…

U.S. voters looked at ballots and voted for the MOST CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE in each race. 


The exceptions to this result were Liberals and drones that were simply ushered to the polls and told how to vote (ie Union members, criminals, etc). Otherwise, it is my opinion that most of the voters did exactly that.

In any event, the GOP clearly has been given another opportunity to exact the will of the American people. What is our will? Stop the movement in Government toward Socialism! Restore our freedoms and liberties that have been encroached upon in the last couple years! Reduce spending, the size of Government, and our taxes! Be transparent and cast votes on laws that reflect our desires! That’s all we want…. Nothing more or less than that.

It is also my opinion that the only thing that matters going forward is to introduce laws and vote to support a Constitutional Conservative agenda of limited Government, private property rights, and liberty. We, as an electorate, must reject any other action by continuing to vote out those that refuse to comply with this fundamental mandate.

Forget the days of earmarks and bringing home the bacon – THOSE DAYS ARE OVER! This frivolous spending as well as rewarding special interests and constituent donors will be exposed and punished. Please utilize the new majority to pass votes for things like:

  • Repeal of Obama’s ‘Health Care Reform Bill’
  • Repeal of Obama’s ‘Financial Reform Bill’
  • Eliminate earmarks
  • Immediate and significant reductions in Government spending – Across the BOARD!
  • Settle the tax increase concern issue – Lame duck can extend and the new Congress can make permanent
  • Protect the border or support border States to achieve a defined and safe Southern border
The new congress also needs to be ready to keep the Lame Duck session in check. I’m not sure how they do this – threatening repeals or de-funding measures in the event this radical Congress gets frisky during their exit.
By proactively sending legislation to the Senate to be passed or obstructed, the GOP accomplishes two very important things:
  1. Submit legislation that reflects the will of the American people (in other words, ‘do the right thing’)
  2. Get opponents of these legislative priorities on record (this includes POTUS if he vetoes bills)
After this, we’ll see if so called ‘Blue Dog Democrats’ are willing to step up against their own party. We’ll also see who the real ‘obstructionists’ are. Also, just by a longshot, there is a chance we can get the U.S. back on the right track this year rather than waiting until 2013… Time will tell. I won’t hold my breath…

Why Judge Appointments Cannot Be Taken Lightly…

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The activist ruling today on the components of the Arizona ‘Immigration’ Law is evidence that judgeships should not be appointed without heavy consideration. Over a decade ago, Clinton appointed Judge Bolton, which was seemingly inconsequential. Turns out, she would play an ENORMOUS role in today’s political landscape. As the Administration tries to create chaos and tension, she just drove a divisive wedge between two aggravated groups on a collision course with conflict.

Conservative talk radio commented today that the legal argument for an injunction must be very, very strong. Consider that the people of Arizona elected the legislators, who in turn are governing with the clear consent of the people. The Federal Government should take note of this, as about 60% of the people of America support this law. It carries even stronger support in Arizona, which has become dangerous as a result of the lack of enforcement and resources by Federal Border Agents.

There are two giant problems with this issue and this Judge as well as the Administration are on the wrong side of both. First, the Federal Government is failing to enforce the existing immigration laws and protect our Southern border. The second problem is that the States have every right, frankly an obligation to it’s citizens, to protect the residents.

While the Judge will be touted and enjoy her fifteen minutes of fame, the Democrats will claim a victory here. Nonetheless, the righteous citizens of Arizona and the rest of the country realize that the ‘war’ in November will be won. This battle was lost because Liberals bought a trump card many years ago when Billy Clinton appointed this judge.

This brings us back to the point – Judge appointments matter. Supreme Court appointments are very significant as they endure for life. Activist or politically strategic appointments are simply a trump card to be played at a later date. What might come before the court over the next decade? It is my opinion that every piece of destructive legislation this President and Congress have passed against our will should end up before the highest Court.

Will judges like Kagan interpret laws and defend the Constitution? I’m afraid that the answer is not certainly ‘yes’, which means that she and other radical political allies should be voted down. The day will come when the toils of the Nation fall into the lap of one key person, one moment in time when a single vote matters.

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