Mr. Grumpy Pants

IMG_0754

Cody Bear

In a world filled with tragedy and sacrifice, with Islamic terror attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Bangladesh and now Nice, I am angry. Like many of you, I feel helpless. I try not to be judgmental. I’m trying to be more retrospective.

I hear every day, of the misery of innocents in Syria, Iraq and beyond, the suffering of so many, by religious persecution and genocide. How do I, should I, shut out the pain and suffering of others, so I might carry on with daily life?

Granted, I am a bit of a news junkie, in particular since 9/11. That day I was informed of the attack, I thought it was a joke. Now I stay informed.

Many who are close to me would advise me to be more laid back, less grumpy, let the planes fly over my house without mooning the passengers. I’m going to try to be more laid back. I may even consider cancelling the order for a 12 ft. sign telling a certain airline to “Get the f*** off my plain.”

Unfortunately, I remain a skeptic. For example, I find “Mr. Grumpy Pants” has a reason to remain in character with the decision by Mr. Comey, Director of the FBI to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any purposeful wrong doing in her use of a personal server for email as SOS. He just basically said she and all those associated with her are idiots, but that’s not a crime! Could we be faced with four, even eight more years of Obama!!??

"if you've got a business, you didn't build that"

“if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”

Have I grown increasing cynical? Probably. Do I feel less empowered? No. I make my own decisions and draw my own conclusions. Simply put, DC is corrupt and the only remedy is term limits.

I wrote Eyes Wide Open  a few years ago. It was a personal soul searching Q&A. I keep going back to it to find better answers, and disturbingly there are few if any, that I have discovered, only more consternation. I ended my missive by citing my best friend and companion over the past 13 years. Cody, my 13 yr. old chocolate lab passed away recently. I miss him terribly.

Cody epitomized everything that I believe should be right in this world. His life, was a respite fom everything that is wrong with this world. Cody gave me his unconditional love. I gave him mine. We need more relationships like ours. Did I mention I picked up his poop?

 

 

 

Live the American Dream? #WakeUpAmerica

carlin

#WakeUpAmerica

Like many entrepreneurs, I have faced many challenges. They’re called opportunities. I’ve met most, failed many, but I’ve persevered. The American Dream is about opportunity. It’s not a given. You have to face your challenges, because you can live the American Dream.

Many Americans no longer believe in the American Dream. There is a hashtag, #WakeUpAmerica trending on Twitter. I hope it resonates with more Americans. To realize your dreams, you have to wake up to those dreams. You have to live them. You have to have hope, passion, trust in others, work smart, and never give up.

From Forbes, The American Dream? are quotes from many well-respected leaders of the free world. Pick a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian or an independent, and they will say what you want to hear. In large part, Americans are supposed to believe what they say.

Take Nancy Pelosi for instance. She says, “The American Dream is the hope for a better future with equal opportunity for all to participate in the prosperity and success of our great nation.” Sounds good! You would think her basic beliefs are aligned with most Americans. In reality, that’s not the case.

An Obama quote is absent from The American Dream Forbes article. I Googled “Barack Obama on the American Dream.” From a 2012 NPR interview he said, “I think the history of the United States, the reason we became an economic superpower is because, not always perfectly, not always consistently, but better than any other country on Earth, we were able to give opportunity to everybody,” he said. “That’s what the American dream was all about.”  Obama says, “Preserving that dream requires a balancing act between self-interest and community. Success is not an entitlement in his book. But neither is it a reward for individual effort alone.” Obama said it to get reelected but his words fell on the deaf ears of many small business owners, a.k.a., taxpayers.

My support for Obama died when he said:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me because they want to give something back. 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 hardworking 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.

Bullshit! He’s talking about the celebrity elite, not the guy that is building a successful business from nothing. He’s right! They didn’t build America, small businesses built America!

In 2012, we again, elected a president who is so self-absorbed with issues like a bad Iran deal, Islamaphobiaclimate change, Obamacare, and gun control.As for gun control, I believe we are entering a new era of lone wolf terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. Americans will absolutely recoil from any future gun control legislation.

Many American’s disagree with the president on almost every major issue, like Russia’s new conquest, Syria.  This president has gone so far as to put those who have taken all the risks, at risk of losing everything we’ve built, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. American exceptionalism is driven by individual effort multiplied by millions of Americans and it won’t take a backseat to entitlement. So sorry Mr. President, you didn’t build that, and you can’t take that away, either. #WakeUpAmerica

Stop Commercial flights to the United States from West Africa

Sent via email Sunday, October 19, 2014

Senator Marco Rubio
U.S. Senate
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001

Reference: Stop Commercial flights to the United States from West Africa

Dear Senator Rubio,

I read your comments on CNN Opinion on Wednesday and as much as I agree with you, temporarily denying visas is not enough.   I am imploring you to take action in Congress to stop commercial flights to the United States from West Africa. Seventy percent (70%) of the people who contract Ebola die! There’s really no “silver bullet”, antidote or vaccine. Congress needs to demand the Obama administration ban air travel to this country from West Africa.

We really don’t know if Ebola is transmitted only by direct contact. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy published an article arguing that the current Ebola has “unclear modes of transmission”

Transmission rates in West Africa have risen, not diminished which is proof we do not have this disease under control, increasing the chances we will have travelers from West Africa, arriving in the US desperate for a cure. By January alone. By CDC estimates, Liberia will have 11,000 to 27,000 cases of Ebola.   Why wouldn’t West Africans want to run from Ebola, or if infected come to the U.S. looking for a cure?

There are not enough “boots on the ground” to effectively fight Ebola in West Africa. Military or otherwise, we should offer volunteers significant hazardous pay duty to go to West Africa and put our best resources available there, like small transit care centers, construction of additional treatments centers supplies and training towards defeating Ebola.

Finally, what’s to stop jihadists from getting infected, flying to the U.S. before symptoms are apparent and exposing themselves to as many unsuspecting American citizens as possible? No security checkpoint is going to detect terrorist carrying Ebola, while dormant.

I greatly appreciate your time and prompt attention to this important matter. Thank you for serving Florida.

Sincerely,

Concerned husband, father and employer

To email Senator Marco Rubio: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

 

You Cannot Govern Leadership

individualism

While small business owners are putting up their houses and their life savings to survive, to cash flow their business, to hire employees, President Obama was and still is, greasing the palms of his political donors in the name of greentech failures, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars.

The alarming failure of big government was never more evident than when President Obama publicly and carelessly joked about a trillion dollars (stimulus (taxpayer) money) wasted on “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.”  Where was the red flag then?  Where is the red flag now?

The only hope I see for this country is individual responsibility, and leadership that creates prosperity, not big government. You cannot govern leadership.   Today individual responsibility, leadership, and American exceptionalism are too often political talking points and empty words. When individual leadership fails, or fails to materialize, it creates dependency.

Leonardo da Vinci said it 480 years ago and he said it in Italian. Here is the clearest translation:  “People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.”

I don’t do what you’re passionate about, but be passionate about what you do.  Don’t follow your passion.  Let your passion follow you.  That’s leadership.

As a small business owner after 25 years it has been my experience, the most important life decisions you make, have to be made on your own.  I built my business and leadership is key.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and neither do you.  The best way to find out if you are a leader is to deal with life’s biggest challenges when it comes to crunch time.

Decide on your own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  You are better qualified than anyone or anything to make the decisions that affect you personally and those who depend on you.

There’s a disturbing trend in our day-to-day lives towards dependency on others, big institutions, big labor and big government.  Sweat equity has been replaced by entitlement equity.  People measure success based on what they can get, not what they can give.  

A major new study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty, however, shows things haven’t changed all that much. “Children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s,” it finds.  “That doesn’t mean politicians can’t improve people’s chances of rising. It’s just that the best way they can do so is by getting out of the way.”  The Foundry

The problem is the more you lean on the government, the more your life depends on government.  You are governed by more  laws, more regulations and more public policy today than ever before.  Who you become, what you do, and how you do it, is shaped by public opinion and the mainstream media.

In this new era influenced by mass media and public opinion, big government is their divined solution to all your problems.  American exceptionalism, entrepreneurship and the multitude of small business success stories that built a thriving post WWII economy, are too often ignored, discounted and discouraged with crippling regulation and  laws that are the new normal.

What if a typical family spent like government?

What if a typical family spent like government?

Individualism and leadership are sorely needed.  People, not big government, can make a difference.  You and I need to step up to the plate.  Our country’s in peril as is our next generation.  Take on the career politicians who have created roadblocks to personal responsibility and leadership.  Our country is on the line. Vote them out in 2014 and 2016.

Career politicians passing laws that control our lives severely curtail the entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups, the little engine that could, that should and does grow the economy.   Consider the cost of healthcare has virtually doubled for small businesses in the past 5 years.  

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is beating for their next customer, for their fellow employees and their families.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country, small business.  In their shadows are the real leaders, the chief cooks and bottle washers; the real risk takers that stand behind their champions, small business owners.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy.

Entrepreneurs are not the only leaders.  Leaders are people I see when I come to work before dawn.  I see them after dusk, when darkness settles.  They are resourceful.  They don’t think twice.  If you say something to them about the long hours they keep, they will readily commiserate with you, complain if you will, but there is a sense of pride in their voice.  There is a smile on their face.  These hard working people who are the heart and soul of the US economy.

In an atmosphere where people lean more on government, blame others and institutions for their circumstance, we need more leaders. Whether you are a parent, employee, small business owner or CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation; people depend on you for guidance.  You are accountable for the success or failure of others.  You have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. 

In business or in your personal life, when the time comes, no one will make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in a different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have… Draw on your own experience.  Make your own decisions.

The most important decisions you can make, are made by you alone.  That’s leadership.  You can change the world, change you can believe in.

Immigration Reform: Message from the National Federation Independent Business (NFIB)

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Senate agreed to start debate on S. 744, the immigration reform bill—also known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

NFIB sent a letter to Senate leaders, members of the bipartisan group (known as the gang of eight) who drafted the bill and all Senate offices that emphasized concerns that some provisions in the bill would weigh down small businesses with mandates and regulations that favor Big Business and Big Labor. A brief summary of our key points from the letter is below.

Call your Senators now at 202-224-3121 and urge them to keep these small-business concerns in mind as the immigration reform bill is considered!

Small-Business Concerns with Senate Immigration Bill:

  • Creates “The Bureau” – a New, Independent Agency Lacking Oversight – The Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research (“The Bureau”) will be a new independent agency that is self-funded through fees collected from employers participating in the new W visa program.
  • New Department of Homeland Security Authority is Duplicative – DHS should not be given new authority to establish enhanced penalties for violations of wage, hour, and workplace health and safety. The Department of Labor currently holds this authority, so DHS enforcement would be unnecessary and duplicative.
  • Construction Industry Discriminated Against – The bill specifically caps W visas for the construction industry at 15,000 per year.
  • Penalties Excessively Punitive for Small Business – Some of the penalties associated with e-verify (which is a Web-based system that compares employee information from Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (I-9) against federal government databases in order to verify workers’ employment eligibility) could be especially egregious for small businesses.The civil penalty section of e-verify legislation does not take into account the size of small business. While these penalties may serve as a deterrent to large corporations, they could shutter the doors of a small business.
  • Safe Harbor Protections are Critical – The e-verify system will not be error-free. There should be a strong faith/safe harbor provision that protects businesses that are attempting to comply with the law.
  • Financing of Mandatory Training Not Defined – Under S.744, employers must undergo mandatory e-verify training, but the bill does not specify how this will be paid for. Small businesses do not have the resources to finance yet another undefined mandate by the federal government
  • Clarification Needed for Independent Contractors – The bill does not clarify that employers will not use e-verify for independent contractors. NFIB supports the inclusion of language to ensure that employers and contractors are not liable for hiring or the continuation of employment of an unauthorized alien by a subcontractor.

The bill is expected to be considered on the Senate floor for the next three weeks. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to complete work on the bill by the July 4th recess.

Some amendments will be offered over the course of the next few weeks; some of these amendments could possibly pertain to and address our concerns. Our policy team will closely monitor the progress of these amendments and advocate strongly for those that address our concerns with the proposed legislation. We will keep you updated as this bill continues to progress through the Senate, and we urge you to contact your Senators as issues arise that could address the small-business concerns with this bill.

Stay tuned to NFIB.com/immigrationbill for updates and additional information.

Sincerely,

Lisa Goeas
NFIB Vice President, Political & Grassroots
%d bloggers like this: