Divided We Fall – don’t let it happen – recognize and defeat their tactics

DEFUND OBAMACARE

The effort to defund Obamacare is a winnable strategy, and the other side knows it. We have facts on our side. We have polls on our side. ALL we have to do is stick together and win the messaging war. Sure, that is the worst bit of it, because the GOP has really never done that in the history of ever, but hey, it could happen.

That’s what I’m thinking when I see THIS story, and watch the first 45 seconds of the video. I see it as the first successful step in the left’s tactical broadside. How so? This is a Republican Strategist. How is this a lefty tactic to defeat the Defund Obamacare campaign?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Did you notice that immigration has become a big topic again? Did you notice that the left is sending their shock troops to Congressional Townhall meetings during the recess? Do you think that’s just kind of odd?

Yeah, this was supposed to be Obamacare Townhall Summer part 2. It was supposed to be all about us pressuring our Congressmen to support the Defund Obamacare movement. It was possibly victorious. We on the right had figured out that the cronyism and corporatism and Big Government Big Corporation exemptions were making the anti-Obamacare coalition pretty damned big. FAR bigger than just the Tea Party folks. We figured out that Union workers agreed with us, blue collar and white collar employees all over the nation were getting notes from their employers that the rates were going up or the coverage was going away.

Or that the BIG company was exempt, but the smaller company they work for wasn’t, or that they personally weren’t exempt. This seemed bad. We were going to be able to get them on our side.

We were going to be able to get a lot of the GOP folks on our side too, the opposition to the plan amounts to “well, it won’t work so let’s not even try” – and we can counter that at a Townhall by challenging our Rep to stand up and fight for us. I was pretty optimistic.

But the left saw it too. They activated THEIR side. They activated their standard, consistently winning strategy. Do I know for sure that it was discussed on Journolist? No. They all pretty much think alike, they don’t actually HAVE to write it down.

IMMIGRATION! That tears the GOP apart! It’s an easy topic to cover because it’s all about feelings and we can get people all kinds of worked up. It’s easy to find Republicans willing to come on camera and bash other Republicans. The Tea Party folks will get their knickers in a twist and fight each other over this. It totally kills any kind of expanded coalition that the GOP could have built.

So…instead of the GOP, and the Libertarians, and the Union workers, and the unemployed, and all of the middle class coming together to STOP Big Government Obamacare, we’re gonna just fight about immigration some more.

People…don’t fall for this. Focus. OBAMACARE. DON’T FUND IT.

Go to your Townhalls, write and call your congressman, pressure them to defund it. IGNORE IMMIGRATION FOR NOW. Don’t pick a fight with your anti-Obamacare allies on that issue, until the Obamacare issue is handled.

Pay attention to what the left is doing. When you see the subject change like it did – from Obamacare to Immigration – and when you see Republican Strategists go on the liberal shows and call other Republicans names, realize that this is the LEFT fighting a battle.  Don’t fight on their side.

CU Talks – Culture of Corruption, War on Women – ep.014

With guest hosts Leslie P and Laura T

We’re planning to talk about the Democrat Culture of Corruption and how women, minorities and the poor end up abused, disregarded, and patronized in service of the Liberal ideal – while at the same time being the most loyal voting block. How does THAT work, and how do we overcome it?

Poll after poll after poll shows that the public agrees with conservative ideas. Yet we are losing, not just elections, but the broader culture – globally. Why? What are we doing wrong? How do we fix it?

Substituting for Shawn Holster will be Leslie P and Laura T ;  Nikolaos Dimopoulos will be running the controls as always.

Kill the Bill

Passing any version of the Gang of Eight’s bill would be worse than passing nothing.KillTheBill[1]

Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol wrote a joint editorial today, for their respective magazines, Nationl Review Online and The Weekly Standard, in which they call on the House of Representative to kill the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill. I completely agree, and want to echo the call. Perhaps if thousands of us do so, our legislators will hear us.

As they say:

We are conservatives who have differed in the past on immigration reform, with Kristol favorably disposed toward it and Lowry skeptical. But the Gang of Eight has brought us into full agreement: Their bill, passed out of the Senate, is a comprehensive mistake. House Republicans should kill it without reservation.

NoAmnesty[1]

The bill as formulated is amnesty and cronysim, nothing more. The good intentions and credib

    ility of the bill’s authors earn it consideration, but what matters are the results. The result is a bad bill, that will do permanent damage to this country.
  1. The bill won’t end the illegal alien problem. Enforcement will be ignored just as it is now, and just as Obamacare is being ignored. This Administration disregards laws it doesn’t like, and they don’t like border enforcement.
  2. The changes to LEGAL immigration will flood the country with low skilled workers, to compete with current native and immigrant low skilled workers. It harms middle and low-income Americans the most
  3. It greatly expands the entitlement nation. We simply can’t afford that

There is no reason to rush this through, there is no benefit to letting this amnesty happen now.

This bill is “the opposite of conservative reform, which simplifies and limits government, strengthens the rule of law, and empowers citizens.”

Conservatives, TRUE conservatives, must oppose this bill.

Images courtesy:http://www.johnphilipsousaiv.com/ and http://www.plunderbund.com

Call for Religious Liberty

hhs.july_.2-300x204From Kathy Schiffer at Patheos I learn that today, the 2nd of July, the anniversary of the day that the Continental Congress adopted the resolution breaking ties with England, a group of religious leaders have gathered to sign their names on a call for Religious Liberty, here in these United States. It’s a direct response to the HHS final rule on the Obamacare contraception mandate.

They call upon Congress to expand the conscience protections to cover any “organization or individual that has religious or moral objections to covering, providing or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services”

Agree with the mandate or not, that is not at all the issue. The issue is the ability of the Federal Government to coerce “Citizen A, against his or her moral convictions, to purchase a product for Citizen B”. This violates the freedom of expression that our Founders so dearly protected. We all are going to have to take a stand for something. It seems to be time.

It is an open letter to all Americans. Here it is in its entirety

Standing Together for Religious Freedom

An Open Letter to All Americans

We write as an informal and diverse group of religious leaders, theologians, lay practitioners and community servants. We believe the doctrines of our respective faiths require something of us beyond the walls of our churches, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship. Those faith convictions manifest themselves through our daily interactions among family, neighbors, strangers and institutions.

Further, we recognize the United States, at its best, is unique among the nations of the world when it defends the self-evident freedom of all people to exercise their faith according to the dictates of their consciences. This freedom contributes to the vibrancy of our nation. Unfortunately, this delicate liberty of conscience is under threat.

Through its contraceptive coverage mandate, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) continues to breach universal principles affirmed and protected by the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws. While the mandate is a specific offense, it represents a greater fundamental breach of conscience by the federal government. Very simply, HHS is forcing Citizen A, against his or her moral convictions, to purchase a product for Citizen B. The HHS policy is coercive and puts the administration in the position of defining–or casting aside–religious doctrine. This should trouble every American.

Many of the signatories on this letter do not hold doctrinal objections to the use of contraception. Yet we stand united in protest to this mandate, recognizing the encroachment on the conscience of our fellow citizens. Whether or not we agree with the particular conscientious objection is beside the point. HHS continues to deny many Americans the freedom to manifest their beliefs through practice and observance in their daily lives.

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Free exercise includes the freedom to order one’s life, liberties and pursuits in accordance with his or her convictions. HHS breaches the free exercise clause and federal statutes (passed with broad bipartisan support) by selectively denying some Americans this constitutionally protected right.

Americans afford each other broad liberties with respect to lifestyle choices. However, the federal government has neither a compelling interest nor the appropriate authority to coerce one citizen to fund or facilitate specific lifestyle choices of another. If the federal government can force morally opposed individuals to purchase contraception or abortion-causing drugs and devices for a third party, what prevents this or future administrations from forcing other Americans to betray their deeply held convictions?

Therefore, we call upon HHS to, at a minimum, expand conscience protections under the mandate to cover any organization or individual that has religious or moral objections to covering, providing or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services. Further, because HHS claims to be acting on authority granted it by Congress, we ask Congress to consider how it might prevent such offenses from occurring in the future. Any policy that falls short of affirming full religious freedom protection for all Americans is unacceptable.

And here is a list of the signatories:

Most Rev. William E. Lori

Archbishop of Baltimore
Chairman
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

Russell D. Moore, Ph.D.
President
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of
the Southern Baptist Convention

Leith Anderson
President
National Association of Evangelicals

Bishop Andrew
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America

John Ashmen
President
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

Bishop Gary E. Stevenson
Presiding Bishop
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Randall A. Bach
President
Open Bible Churches

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates
Patriarch
International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church

Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.
Professor of Government
Patrick Henry College

A.D. Beacham, Jr., Th.M.
Presiding Bishop
International Pentecostal Holiness Church

Dr. Gary M. Benedict
President
The Christian and Missionary Alliance, U.S.

J. Brian Benestad, Ph.D
Department of Theology
Assumption College

The Rev. Roger Boucher
Commander, US Navy (ret)
Chaplain at College of St. Mary Magdalen

Bishop John F. Bradosky
North American Lutheran Church

Anuttama Dasa
Minister of Communications
Governing Body Commissioner, Vice Chair
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Most Revd Robert Duncan
Archbishop
Anglican Church in North America

Rev. Jim Eschenbrenner
Executive Pastor
Christian Union

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Hispanic Evangelical Association

Rev. Dr . Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Dr. William J. Hamel
President
Evangelical Free Church

Bishop Bruce D. Hill
Evangelical Congregational Church

John Hopler
Director
Great Commission Churches

Bill Hossler
President
Missionary Church, Inc.

Clyde M. Hughes              
Bishop/General Overseer
International Pentecostal Church of Christ

Dr. Jeffrey Jeremiah
Stated Clerk
Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Jo Anne Lyon
General Superintendent
The Wesleyan Church

Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent
Assemblies of God

Alan Robinson
National Director
Brethren in Christ Church, U.S.

Joseph Tkach
President
Grace Communion International

Most Reverend Nicholas J. Samra
Bishop of Newton
Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Public Affairs Director
Church of Scientology

Anne Hendershott, Ph.D.
Daniel R. Kempton, Ph.D.
Patrick Lee, Ph.D.
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Assist. Prof. Richard S. Meloche, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy & Theology
St. Gregory’s University

Sister Jane Marie Klein
Chairperson of the Board
Franciscan Alliance, Inc.

Richard Land, D.Phil.
President
Southern Evangelical Seminary

Marc A. LePain
Professor of Theology
Assumption College

Fr. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Tom Minnery
Senior Vice President
Focus on the Family

Greg Mitchell
President
The Mitchell Firm

David Nammo
Executive Director & CEO
Christian Legal Society

Rocky Rocholl
President
Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

Patrick J. Reilly
President
The Cardinal Newman Society

Dr. William Riordan
Director of Undergraduate Theology
Ave Maria University

Terri Marsh, J.D., Ph.D.
President
Human Rights Law Firm

Brent McBurney
President & CEO
Advocates International

Barbara Samuels
Catholics for Freedom of Religion

Steven A. Long, Ph.D
Professor of Theology
Ave Maria University 

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, and
Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer
Executive Directors
International Institute for Religious Freedom

Alan Sears
President
Alliance Defending Freedom

Matt Smith
President
Catholic Advocate

David Stevens, MD, MA
CEO
Christian Medical Association

Rabbi Aryeh Spero
President
Caucus for America

Craig Steven Titus, S.T.D./Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Integrative Studies
Institute for the Psychological Sciences

Mark Tooley
President
Institute on Religion and Democracy

Ryan Topping, Ph.D.
Fellow
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

Sister Margaret Regina Halloran, l.s.p.
Provincial Superior, Brooklyn Province

Sister Maria Christine Lynch, l.s.p.
Provincial Superior, Chicago Province

Sister Loraine Marie Clare Maguire, l.s.p.
Provincial Superior, Baltimore Province
Little Sisters of the Poor

One man, just one insignificant man

On Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives in service of this nation. While I am blessed to have many relatives who have served, I am extremely blessed in that I have to go back all the way to the Civil War for a direct ancestor who was required to give all.

Bombardment and Capture of Island Number Ten on the Mississippi River, April 7, 1862

The family story is that my great-great-grandfather, Lafayette Riffle, died in a Yankee prison camp. He left a poor widow in Mississippi and an 8-year-old son. Thanks to the work of thousands of genealogists, who scan and transcribe every scrap of history they can find, we’ve been able to put a bit more flesh on the bones of this long dead man. Even a few bits of information – dates, places, events – researched and shared by several of my relatives and countless strangers allows for the creation of a narrative.

Lafayette Riffle married in October of 1853, in a poor farming community in MS, his son was born the following April. That honors the “tradition” in the poor communities of old that perhaps there wasn’t always a preacher and a courthouse around to document the marriage, and that first baby doesn’t always take the full 9 months to get here.

Mr. Riffle enlisted in the Confederate Army, at Fort Pillow in TN – which was pretty close to Itawamba County MS, where he was married, so that’s likely the closest place. He didn’t enlist until February of 1862. What caused him to wait? What caused him to enlist then? What arrangements had he made for his wife and son to be cared for or even to survive while he was away?

He was just a private. Cannon fodder. Bullet stopper. Not a professional soldier, not a creator of military strategy, maybe not even aware of much in the way of battle tactics. It seems likely that he fought to defend his home, his farm, his wife and child, his state, his friends. He knew the war was coming to his front door – it wasn’t far away, it wasn’t in some foreign land against foreign people. The South was fighting a defensive war, they didn’t want to conquer the North, they wanted to leave in peace – did Lafayette Riffle get involved in the larger political issues, or did he just want to be able to farm and raise a family? We don’t know.

We do know that in February, shortly after he signed up, his company was ordered to New Madrid MO, to defend Island #10. Battle waged there from February thru April. Did he sign up because of the battle? Did he know that he’d be going to defend that bend in the Mississippi River in the hopes of preventing Yankee invasion?

We don’t know. We do know that his company arrived in New Madrid March 21. Eighteen days later, most of the company was captured. One day after that, Lafayette Riffle died.

Had he been wounded in battle, and died of his wounds? Had he been ill and died of flu or fever as so many soldiers did? We don’t know.

We only know that he answered his nation’s call, and he gave his full measure.

He was just a private. A poor farmer. With only one young son. He only served for two months. Unimportant really. Not a great warrior. No tales of heroism survive.

Private Lafayette Riffle’s son, Samuel Scott Riffle, his 2nd wife, and the 6 of his 10 children to survive into adulthood.

By the time the America’s Bicentennial rolled around, there were five living generations of his progeny – still building, defending, and appreciating this nation. There are now hundreds who descend from that one insignificant man.  We all carry his strength, and his commitment to duty – even if we don’t know it.

The rest of the story:
His full name was Marquise de Lafayette Tribble. He shows up on some war paperwork as MDL Trebbell, His parents, whoever they were, clearly had some appreciation for the Revolutionary War and our French allies.

His son, 8 when his father died, 14 when his mother died, ended up with a different name. He was always Samuel Scott Riffle.  Another mystery then, when and how did that name change happen? It’s fairly easy to “mishear” Lafayette Tribble as Lafayette Riffle. So, it’s even sadder I think, that one insignificant Confederate Private who managed to father hundreds of Americans, is preserved only in our hearts and our stories, and not by name.

He answered his nation’s call. He defended his home. He gave all. We reap the benefits of his sacrifice to this day.

This is the story of America. This is the story of a soldier.

Sen. Rubio, we have to break up

I’m really sorry to just hit you with this, when you’ve been working so hard with the Gang of 8 on the immigration deal. For a while we’ve been happy together – you’ve been on my list of potential future Presidential candidates. But I’m sorry to say, our time together is over, you are off the list.

It’s not me, it’s you.Marco Rubio serious

It’s not your ethnicity, your appearance, or even your home state. I think you’re kinda pretty, and not EVERYONE from Florida is bat crap crazy. Really, it’s nothing superficial at all. Its what you do and what you say. You’ll be fine as 1 of 100 Senators for as long as the people of Florida are interested in having you there, but as for anything else? No thanks.

You joined the Gang of 8 with the best of intentions, I have no doubt. It was a huge task, a huge gamble, and I really wish it had paid off. There was really never any chance that the legislation would be any good, and it’s pretty damn horrible now that we’re getting to see it. But this was a chance for us to see if you are a leader or a follower. It’s become clear that you’re a follower. The fact that you are the “face” doesn’t make you the leader, it makes you the lead singer of the band

The legislation is amnesty first, enforcement last or never. The technicals of the legislation aren’t that much of a surprise.

  • It would have been GREAT if you’d been a strong enough pro-enforcement influence that you’d been able to persuade the other 3 R’s and a few of the D’s to come up with some actual decent stuff.
  • It would have been GREAT if you’d have been a good enough and strong enough negotiator to really shape good legislation.
  • It would have been GREAT if you were enough of a leader that your wishes had become the plan that the other 3 R’s followed

It appears that you became the follower of the 7 other members of the group. You may have tried, really hard, and that’s nice, but what matters is results, and the results are just exactly as bad as I would have expected had you not been part of the gang, so the measurable effect of your influence on the final legislation is pretty much nil.

That’s a disappointment. Leaders need to be able to guide negotiations, they need to be able to move the needle. As one of 8, you don’t seem to have done that very well.

Then we come to what you’ve been doing over the last few days. Denying that it’s amnesty. Using the language of the left by calling illegal aliens “undocumented”. That’s an inaccurate euphemism, and I can’t respect you for it.  You’ve started lying to me. So you didn’t just fail to lead in the negotiations, you’re now trying to convince me of something other than the truth. Your loyalty seems to be to the process and to the Gang more so than to the truth and the nation. Or you genuinely believe what you are saying, and that’s of concern as well.

So, while I will always think of you as one of the better Senators, and will rely on your reliably conservative vote on legislation, I can’t consider you a potential national leader. Good Presidents don’t usually come from the Senate anyway, that’s a really different skill set. I look forward to you having a long and successful career, but not as a Presidential contender.

Sometimes a Song…

Sometimes a song comes at you in a completely new way. It’s not a new song – you’ve heard it, enjoyed it, sung along with it, even shared it with others before. But then one day, you hear it again, as if for the first time.

It’s as if someone sent it to you, for you to hear it differently, to FEEL it differently, to get a different and important message from it.

51S3VkTTArL

I’ve had that experience twice in my life, the most recent was a few days before Easter. Just driving along listening to Sister Hazel, as I do. Here comes Sword and Shield, from their album Chasing Daylight . “Ooh, I love that song, I’m going to crank it up and sing along, loudly and badly! Yay!” And then, boom.

This is God, talking to me, telling me where He is, how he fits in to the scheme of things, where to find Him.  The joy and comfort I got from just hearing that song. Truly wondrous.

I can’t even remember what I used to think about this song, what I used to think it means. My new understanding has obliterated any prior thoughts. Perhaps it was the nearness of Easter and the line “I would give my life before I break this promise to you” that got my attention. Perhaps it was my depression over icky current affairs that caused me to seek a reminder of the Source of Strength. I don’t know.

I just know that I am grateful to Sister Hazel for discovering their talents and sharing them with the world, so that I could have that discovery.

Songs have immense power – the rhythm, melody, and harmony of the tune change you physically and, I think, open up your mind and your heart. Then the lyric, enters and has a far greater effect than if you just read the words aloud.  As Poe said “..poetry has indefinite sensations, to which end music is an essential. Since the comprehension of sweet sound is our most indefinite conception, music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry.”

Give this song a listen, give the lyrics a read. I think you’ll find it reassuring, even in these dark times. I hope so, at least.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMHag0QnPDU

Just when the sky runs out of rain
Just when the sun runs out of light
Just when the earth is ill with pain
Just when your body is out of fight
I will be there
I will be the smallest piece in everything
And I would give my life before I break this promise to you

Melt in to me
Don’t you want to be the ones that last forever
I’ll be your everlasting
And enemies they take your will but they won’t last forever
I’ll be your sword and shield and
I’ll be your sword
I’ll be your shield

Just when the ocean starts to dry
Just when the air is sick with smoke
Just when the statues start to cry
And fallen angels they lay broken
I will be there
I will be the smallest piece in everything
And I would lose my life before I break this promise to you

Melt in to me
Don’t you want to be the ones that last forever
I’ll be your everlasting
And enemies they take your peace but they won’t last forever
I’ll be your sword and shield and
I’ll be your sword
I’ll be your shield

I’ll be your gracious angel
I’ll be your favorite stranger
I’ll be the mortar holding your walls
I’ll be your army
Just when the sky runs out of rain
Just when the sun runs out of light
Just when the earth is ill with pain
Just when your body is out of fight
I will be there
I will be the smallest piece in everything
And I would give my life before I break this promise to you

Melt in to me
Don’t you want to be the ones that last forever
I’ll be your everlasting
And enemies they take your peace but they wont last forever
I’ll be your sword and shield and
I’ll be your sword
I’ll be your shield
I’ll be your sword
I’ll be your shield
I’ll be your army

Lyrics from Lyrics007

What Now: To The States!

Washington DC is lost, in every way that matters. there’s little to gained now from paying it any attention. The path forward has to be at the state and local level – and not only are we poised for success, we are having success.

First we do need to acknowledge that Progressive efforts to make these United States into one democratic nation ruled from Washington have been quite successful. The change of our educational, cultural, and religious institutions has certainly worked. It took a long time to get here, it will take a long time to get back. Realize it, accept it, and then be free to figure out how to make things the best they can be each step of the way on the way back.

Texas Secession
NOT Secession, just a change in FOCUS!

This nation works best when it’s a Democratic Republic of 50 states joined together. Fifty shades of Red, White, and Blue. Copenhagen doesn’t know what’s best for Madrid any better than NYC knows what’s best for Houston. The election in November was an attempt to have folks in DC who understood that, and who would support the concept of releasing some power and control back to the states. That failed, so the job of taking power and control back will be a bit harder. That’s all. It’s not the end of the world.

So – reality accepted, task understood. The problem is that it’s so much easier to talk about national stuff, that’s what they talk about on the news, and since my social network of friends is all over the place, that’s the political stuff we have in common. All this “work locally” junk means that my social network is useless and I have to abandon my friends and go out in the real world. Definitely not, and probably not.

The great thing about social networks, is that we can share success and ideas, regardless of location. Success with the union stuff in Wisconsin helps the folks fighting that fight in Michigan. What someone learns from a school board meeting in Boca Raton can help the person at the Water District meeting in Topeka. Each one of us can act locally, but with the knowledge and experience of friends all over the nation. THAT can help us win. That’s where we have to win.

Jonah Goldberg has a nice post out this morning about the major victory in Michigan, he’s really talking the same thing – DC is lost, don’t waste your time. The state, county, and school districts are maybe closer to victory than you even know. He makes two good points:

  1. Progressives overreach, and the people don’t like that. Just because Progressivism is everywhere and it’s what the cool kids are doing, and they want to rule the world doesn’t mean they’ve won. It just means that people have been snowed. Progessivism seems great when it’s at medium, or even medium-high, it’s a nice warm feeling. Turn it up to high and people realize they are about to boil, and they jump out of the pot. BE THERE with a solution. The folks in MI were there with a solution, and they won.
  2. FACTS drive public policy, eventually. The people may vote, and the elected officials may make laws based on airy-fairy assumptions, hopes and wishes. But when reality happens, those same people will scramble to fix it. We see it nationally on the crap that they’re now trying to halt or turn around from Obamacare. It happens at state and local level as well. BE THERE with the recommendation, the repeal of the law, the countervailing policy, the local candidate who will do something different. There are state and local think tanks and other organizations ready to jump in.

Pick your pet issue, and go for it – locally. The great news is that the more local you get, the faster and easier you can have an impact.

I haven’t figured it out myself yet either, I haven’t picked a pet issue, I’m still trying to not be dejected and depressed. I’m still trying to decide how to leverage my wonderful G+ friends into action and success for the future. But…I’m beginning to see not just the GOAL, but a bit of the STRATEGY that I want to adopt.

I’d love some ideas, recommendations, and suggestions –

  • What’s the area that would have the best/fastest impact? Taxes? Spending? Regulations?
  • What’s the structure to target first? Neighborhood association? Water District? School District? City Council? State legislature?
  • What examples of success can we draw from?
  • Is it best to work around governmental entities entirely and focus on churches, charities, business groups, etc to increase the positive outcomes from them rather than to decrease the negative impact from the other guys?

The Basics: Profit – Don’t Be So Emotional About It

Profit
It’s not JUST money!

Some words arouse very strong emotional reactions in adults. When I stumble across such words, I tend to get curious. Is the emotion justified or are people’s emotions getting in the way of understanding? “Profit” is most definitely one such word. I’ve come to believe that the emotions attached to that word prevent rational discussion of ANY issue even tangentially related to it.

Maybe we can strip away the emotion, and just consider what the word means, and then we can start having rational discussions again.

Profit = Benefit – Cost

That’s it. That’s all it is. Benefit minus Cost. The word profit is an accounting term with some very specific parameters and implications for tax payments, but it has also been used widely for non-accounting purposes. Thus it has become more generic and less restrictive in its definition for most of us.

The expectation of profit is the reason for all conscious human action.

Why are you reading this article? You expect to gain benefit that exceeds the cost to you of reading it. For you, at this moment, the benefit may be knowledge, satisfaction of curiosity, sleep aid, whatever YOU define as benefit. The cost is electricity, internet bandwidth, time not spent playing with the dog, wear and tear on your desk chair, whatever YOU define as cost. If, after reading this article, you find that the benefit exceeded the cost, you will have profited from reading this article. If not, not. That’s it. It’s that simple, and that complex.

You see, I don’t know how YOU determine profit in the transaction of “reading this post”. I don’t know how Google determines profit in the transaction “hosting and serving this post to the readers”. I don’t need to know. I have an expectation of profit from the writing of the article. You don’t need to know what my calculations are. You don’t need to know if I succeed or fail in achieving that profit.

We don’t need to know each other’s business. If there is no expectation of ongoing relationship at all, we don’t need to even care if the other person profits. However…if there IS an expectation of ongoing relationship, then we BOTH should hope that the other person profits, because then they will return for a second similar transaction.

Both profit? What? When one person wins the other person loses!!! That’s why profit is BAD!!!!

Stop. You’re getting emotional. Stop feeling, start thinking.

BOTH sides can win in a transaction that is freely made. You are free to read or not read this article, and will, hopefully, gain more benefit than the cost. I am free to write this article and post it, and will, hopefully, gain more benefit than the cost. We will BOTH have profited from the transaction.

If you don’t profit, you will stop reading. If I don’t profit, I will stop writing.

If a company doesn’t profit, they will stop making, mining, or growing whatever it is they make, mine, or grow.

If employees don’t profit, they will quit working.

If customers don’t profit, they will quit buying.

Oh, and “non-profit” organizations that you have been taught are the “good guys” while the for-profit corporations are evil? EVERY individual who works for that organization does so because it profits them to do so.

Non-Profit Organization is a Federal designation, and that designation controls how they are taxed and what they are allowed to do with the profits that they earn. They have to put all of their profits back into the organization – as salaries perhaps. For-profit corporations are allowed to distribute profits as dividends to their investors. Simplistic? Yeah. But that’s pretty much the gist.

Once you realize that the desire for profit, the expectation of profit, the hope for profit, is the catalyst for all action, you discover how silly it is to get all emotional about whether or not someone ELSE achieves it.

Other people making profit doesn’t necessarily impact your ability to profit from the things you do. It’s not a zero sum game. 

The people who want you to be angry at those evil profit-making corporations and the Richie Rich guys who run them? They’re trying to manipulate you, via your emotions and your ignorance.

Don’t let them win. Be smarter.

The Basics: Goals, Strategies, Tactics

Ever get lost in a discussion?
Ever end up disagreeing with someone when you thought you were on the same side?
Ever get caught helping someone to achieve something you really didn’t want to help them with?

Sure you have, we all have.

Usually, it’s because we didn’t really start out understanding the basics of the situation we were in. We get into the details and lose the overview.

So let’s start with the basics.

You may be familiar with the goal/strategy/tactic model in business, or in the military. You use the same structure with everything you do, you just haven’t thought about it formally.

Bottom up:

Something you DO is a tactic. Why do you do it?
To accomplish some part of your strategy. Why did you formulate that strategy?
To achieve a goal.

Top down:

Something you WANT is a goal. How do you get it?
Formulate a strategy to achieve that goal. How do you accomplish the strategic objective?
By executing the tactics you defined as part of the strategy.

Same Tactic, Different Strategy, VERY Different Goals

Two people can agree on a tactic, even though they have different strategies, and different ultimate goals.

This is where co-opetition happens, This is where politics makes strange bedfellows.

Leftist and Anarchists work together to create Occupy Wall Street – raising awareness, getting media attention, making “the system” of capitalism out to be the enemy. They shared the same tactics.

Anarchists’ ultimate goal is NO government, the leftists’ goal is top down big central government. They’ll separate at some point, but they worked together quite well. Note that even though they had different GOALS, they actually shared the same STRATEGY in addition to common tactic. The strategy of defeating the right is one they share.

Same Goal, Different Strategy, Different Tactics

Two people can have the same goal, but be executing completely different tactics, and not need to know anything about what the other person is doing.

This is how two people on the same side can work at what may seem to be cross purposes, or, more common, neither know nor care particularly what the other group is doing.

Pro-lifers don’t need to know who Objectvists are. If they took the time to talk they’d realize they agree, but given time constraints, they don’t really need to even be aware of the existence of each other.

If both groups keep executing their tactical plans, they’ll accomplish their strategic objectives, which would be more closely related, and then they’ll reach the goal, which they share.

How is This Insight Helpful?

Awareness of this structure, and the questions that provide the movement and direction (how and why) really will help you understand where you are, where you’re going, who can help you, and who is hurting you.

It can keep you from wasting time on unimportant things.

It can keep you focused.