Happy Thanksgiving a.k.a. Thanksgivukkah!

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

I have a great deal to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, a wonderful wife and family, good friends and yes, a job.  Speaking of a wonderful wife and good friends,  I recently visited Philadelphia, for a friend’s daughter’s wedding.

Philadelphia was our nation’s first capital in 1790, while the permanent capital became Washington D.C. in 1800.  While there, I was afforded the opportunity to tour the site of the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall.  I was not only humbled by the amazing stories of the sacrifices our forefathers made during the Revolutionary War, like the winter of Valley Forge, but by the National Park Ranger, who’s knowledge and enthusiasm took me to school.

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

She was also kind of scary.  She reminded me of my 3rd grade teacher, a nun, except she was carrying a gun or a taser.  I immediately got on the wrong side of her when she asked everyone to raise their hand if they were under 21.  My gray hair didn’t fool her.  She challenged the tour with many history questions.  Lucky for me and the other gray-haired guys I was with, their was a boy scout troop as part of our tour group, who knew most of the answers.

There were memorials in front of Independence Hall from several of our great leader.  Here are excerpts from speeches from these great leaders in History on this day of Thanksgiving…

George Washington (1789) – And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. 

Washington Statue Independence Hall

Washington Statue Independence Hall

Lincoln at Independence Hall

Lincoln at Independence Hall

Abraham Lincoln (1863) – “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”

Kennedy Memorial Independence Hall

Kennedy at Independence Hall

John F. Kennedy (1961)  “Let us observe this day with reverence and with prayer that will rekindle in us the will and show us the way not only to preserve our blessings, but also to extend them to the four corners of the earth. Let us by our example, as well as by our material aid, assist all peoples of all nations who are striving to achieve a better life in freedom.”

I’d like to revisit Philly, if not only to follow Rocky’s Run to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rocky’s Steps.

Note: Thanksgivukkah! Last happened in 1888 won’t occur again for another 79,000 years.

Santa Claus Is Still Coming To Town

Santa NewtonSanta Claus Is Still Coming To Town

We’ll not forget the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.

While we grieve the slaughter of innocents, this tragic act serves as a reminder of how precious, how fragile, the gift of life is.

Whatever your religious beliefs, let’s not forget to appreciate the Christmas spirit.

Set aside your politics and prejudice, the spirit of Christmas is about giving.  In the spirit of Christmas, we need to turn to those we love, family and friends and give of ourselves.

Not to pontificate, it’s easy for people this time of year to find a reason to be unhappy.  Let’s not forget those less fortunate and find joy in all we have been given.

These lyrics from Santa Claus is Coming to Town come to mind…

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!  And be good for goodness sake!

Obama Christened “Lord and Savior” Great Response on Twitter, Some of My Favorite Tweets

You can watch the video of Jamie Foxx at the SoulTrain 2012 Awards calling Obama his “Lord and Savior.” Twitter went crazy with the hashtag, #IfObamaWasJesus.  Here are some of my favorite tweets:

Grow business, not bureaucracy, to help our country prosper

Published by The Orlando Sentinel August 2, 2012 by Bill Herrle | Guest Columnist

It is always an honor to have the president of the United States visit our state. But as he journeys to Florida today to seek our vote, he can expect some hard questions.

Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama made a lot of promises. He told us he had the skills and the plan to end the economic downturn that was gripping our country.

With his first term coming to an end and with President Obama asking for re-election, it is worth reviewing how he has lived up to his promises. The president has given us his own review of his performance. Recently at a campaign event, he said of his approach to the economy, “It worked.” But has it?

In Florida, we are facing record foreclosures and an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, even worse than the national average of 8.2 percent.

Obama told us his stimulus would have unemployment below 6 percent by this year.

Last week, the White House lowered its GDP estimate for the year following a dismal growth rate of only 1.5 percent for the second quarter, down sharply from the already poor 2 percent growth rate of the first quarter.

But why did this happen? Why has the president been so unsuccessful? It’s because he puts his faith in the government — instead of the people — to get our economy back on track.

Recently, at a Roanoke campaign event the president said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” It was a statement that caught fire around the country, and as business owners spoke out in outrage, the Obama campaign countered the words were taken out of context. Here’s the context:

“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hard-working people out there.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

These words — and more important, the policies behind them — outline the president’s belief that putting faith in government instead of the hard-working men and women of this great nation, is the key to getting our economy back on track. The president believes that if we are to recover from this economic downturn, the government must lead the way.

It’s for that reason that his entire approach to addressing the recession was government based. Obama wasn’t interested in helping the private sector — according to him, you might remember, the private sector is “doing fine.” His main concern was to grow the government. He has done so with aplomb, presiding over four years of trillion-dollar deficits. But the economic recovery he promised has not followed.

Government can do a lot of good, and it can support the growth of the economy. But it can never replace the contributions of American entrepreneurs. It can never replace the story of the American dream that is lived day-by-day by large and small business owners and their employees across Florida and across the nation.

When government forgets its place and our leaders decide that growing the bureaucracy instead of putting our faith in the people is the key to prosperity, we see results like we have had these past few years.

More regulations and higher taxes don’t help business, and they won’t lead to a recovery. As Obama visits Orlando today, we invite him to come meet those of us who know something about how jobs are created and how they are lost.

Then he might learn that government didn’t build this country’s prosperity — her people built it.

Bill Herrle is the executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Florida.

 

Hold Me in Your Heart

CaptureWhen I write,

Words may be erased.

When I speak,

Words may be forgotten.

When I hold you in my heart,

We may share an eternity.

 

I Am Experience!

Some “rich guys” just won a $250K lottery.  It’s all over the news.  So what?!   They don’t deserve it?

Is that what life is all about?  Blame the rich for your problems or do you have the guts and resilience to earn a living?  Make money, maybe lots of money.  If you have the guts, you will make mistakes.  New mistakes, mind you.  You can’t afford muck it up over and over again.

Lord knows I make mistakes!  I live for the entitlements I deserve.  To live free.  To choose to make mistakes, without the fear of reprisal.  To act upon my own convictions within the law

I managed a large sales organization for NCR Corp.  I told my salespeople, “lose more orders!”  It took a little getting used to the idea but they learned, “I am experience.”

If I could reach into my bag of mistakes and pull out just one success, I might be one of those “rich guys” or just maybe who I am.  I like to think I’m still living my life.  If you ask me who I am, I will tell you, I am experience.

How about the day ahead of me?  When will I step over the line and where will that line be drawn?  If I step over the line, I will have to choose, success or failure. There is no middle ground.  I am experience.

Mistakes are getting old, if you’re like me… old.  I grow weary of the next opportunity.  There was a time, when I was  hungry. A hunter.  I would seek opportunities to be successful.  I have since learned the definition of success.  If you make enough mistakes, opportunities seek you.  I am experience.

I have already left yesterday’s mistakes behind me.  Today’s opportunities beckon me back.  Give me a tomorrow, whatever I was doing and wherever I have been.  I can make tomorrow, a better future.  I am experience!

And if I had yesterday back, if I had spent a buck and if I had bought the winning lottery ticket, I’d have to say, I’m one of those “rich guys.”  Where’s the crime in winning the lottery?  maybe they should charge millionaires more? How about $2 a ticket?

Most rich guys are portrayed as useless money grubbers. I’d bet my bottom dollar on the rich guys, because most “rich guys” can say, I am experience.

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Got Wood?

We have MoveOn.org in support of Occupy Wall Street.  Well what exactly do they do now?  Move On or Occupy?  Occupy or Move On?

Just for fun let’s look at these two organizations thinking M&A?  Which law firm would represent them?   Think IPO.  Which Wall Street firm would they choose? 

I tried to figure out which of these movements or occupations is best to follow.  Honestly, I’m not sure.  They both have valid arguments and serious flaws, like how they hurt small business.

A merger between MoveOn and Occupy could be a lesson to Microsoft and Yahoo, like oil and water.

If you go on the Move On website there are too many Move this and that movements to follow.  If you try to understand the Occupy this city, that State or country’s position, well… it gives one pause.  So we’re at a standstill.

So to get this impasse, one would assume most activists would prefer movement to being at a standstill.  Going nowhere is boring.  Rhetorically speaking one could say both MoveOn and Occupy Wall Street are consistently incongruous and therefore not helpful? 

What one can be sure of is whether they are moving on or standing still, neither position is creating jobs. 

“Back in the day sonny” he croaks, from his Easy Boy recliner, “when all we knew was black and white, if we needed to make a point, we did it in a demonstrative, albeit sometimes incoherent fashion.”  Think Woodstock.  Joe Cocker’s With a Little Help from My Friends was a classic Joe Biden sound bite.  Incoherent!  Just kidding Joe!??  No need to insult anyone?

So one can’t help but ask, “Who’s Got Wood?”   Woodstock?  A cause expounding peace and love that resounded worldwide over a single weekend or Occupy Wall Street that makes us wish Jimmy Hendrix was still singing “Hey Joe” to Joe and Joe was heading for Mexico.  You decide.

Woodstock.  1969.  Made into a movie.  Not a Michael Moore movie.

A movie that will live on in history.  Why?  Almost all of these people now have good paying jobs.  Most of them pay taxes.  Yes, some are dead, surprisingly fewer than one would think, like artist Keith Richards, the wrinkly rocker from the Rolling Stones.  OK, he wasn’t even there and surprisingly, he’s not dead.

These peace loving folks went home after a long weekend of demonstration and made a difference for America.

Most folks here in America and around the world applaud Occupy Wall Street for making a statement.  We hear you.  We hear all of you.  You can make a difference, just not standing still.  Not anymore. Now you are hurting the same people you should be trying to help, job creators.  Small business people.

Take all the creative energy you have and do something positive.  Like in the movie “Pay It Forward.”

Feel free to agree, disagree or simply ignore me.  Express “yourself.”  Leave your comments, share or  spread the word with Stumble Upon button below.  Subscribe or come back often to visit.

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