Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Mayflower Compact

Thanksgiving is rooted in Christianity and is the molecular DNA of America. Liberals, atheists, and those somewhere in the middle scream aloud during the Holiday Season over America being a secular society. I am certain that the thought of the origins of Thanksgiving add a degree of distaste to the turkey they eat. What adds insult to injury to many “intellectuals” is the fact that the same people who celebrated the first Thanksgiving also created one of the first documents of governance in the New World. The events that led to the first Thanksgiving gave birth for the New World’s earliest written committment to the Glory of God and Christian teaching to be included in the foundation of government.

It almost never happened.

The Pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower were not your average religious crowd. They were Separatists who had issue with the Anglican Church of England and wanted to literally break away from the Church. They were persecuted as heretics and fled England to Holland were they spent years in poverty and turmoil to be able to practice religion freely. Thoughts and prayers of the New World told the Pilgrims that crossing the great Atlantic was their directive from God.

The challenge would be how to get to the New World and New England. Some of the paths that the Pilgrims believed would take them across the ocean did not happen. When other paths beckoned, the Pilgrims were concerned if they had misunderstood God’s directive. The Pilgrims, through their trials and tribulations to pursue religious freedom, became very loyal to one another. They had envisioned a path to the New World that would allow them to keep their group together. In the end, they would have to make sacrifices in leaving part of their group behind and sharing ships with total strangers.

When the Pilgrims first left for New England, there were 2 ships – the Speedwell and the Mayflower.  Both ships would leave England in August of 1620, but only the Mayflower made the crossing. Twice to sea, the Speedwell developed issues with leaks and had to come into port twice for repairs. The second docking at Plymouth, England for the Speedwell determined her to be unseaworthy for the long Atlantic crossing. So, food & supplies, along with the passenger count, were crowded onto the Mayflower.

For the next seven weeks, the Mayflower appeared to attract every storm possible. The passengers endured extreme sea sickness as well as other sea-going pestilences of the time. Conditions were poor and people were crowed upon one another. There was no means for preparing hot meals or proper hygiene. It was truly a miserable voyage.

However, the Puritans never cursed God for the conditions. Hardened over the years, they knew how to survive hardship. They prayed and sang during the voyage and were a source of inspiration for the non-Pilgrim passengers that were also on board the Mayflower.

In November of 1620, land was seen at what is present day Cape Cod. The original destination of the ship was the Hudson River to eventually go to Jamestown, so the voyage was slightly off course by a hundred miles or so. A decision was made to attempt to correct the course and sail to the Hudson, but Mayflower encountered another storm and was washed back out to sea for 2 days.  When the ship was finally able to come back into land sight, it was agreed that God wanted them to land at this location and not Jamestown.  The Pilgrims founded the site that we currently called Plymouth, Massachusetts for their first colony.

Plymouth represented new territory without a sovereign. The orignal plans to Virginia Territory was in keeping with the London Virginia Company, who had financed the voyage in return for goods to come back to England. Jamestown was clearly under command of England and the King, but Plymouth was “unchartered” territory. As such, the Pilgrims felt the need to establish a form of government. Thus the Mayflower Compact was born.

The Mayflower Compact reads as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

This document served as the form of government for the Pilgrims until the colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. The document influenced the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut and other state constitutions, as well as the US Constitution. All from a group of people who wanted to worship God in the manner they chose for themselves as opposed to the orders from others. Imagine that – religious people with a clear thought of the need to form and define government. Certainly not the descriptions you get from MSNBC or CNN when they speak in condescending tones towards those that proudly declare their love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A year later in 1621, the Pilgrims would celebrate the first Thanksgiving to God for surviving the harsh north American winter in New England. Thankfully, we carry on that tradition today both from respect for heritage and the actions of Abraham Lincoln in 1863 by making Thanksgiving a national holiday.

So when we set down to give thanks, we recognize a people dedicated to the Glory of God, the teachings of Christ, and some pretty smart people who penned one of the first documents of governance in our nations history.

Amen.

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The Glass Wallet

Blogging about topics like this one are similar to holding a soon to detonate “Bouncing Betty” – you know the nails are going to fly and someone is going to take a load of shrapnel. In this case it is most likely me. 

Two days ago, the Paycheck Fairness Act was rejected in the US Senate. Two of my high school friends, both female, lamented the defeat of this bill. They have argued, quite strongly I might add, that this “fairness” needs to be added to the growing list of federal burdens companies have to endure. Their logic was this is needed to close the “Pay Gap” between men and women in the workplace.

To this I say – hogwash. Someone has to state the ugly truth. So I am going to share my perspectives as a small business owner, a former employee of 2 Fortune 500 Companies who hired and fired people, and someone who has been a regular guy employee. Not to mention that I have been raised around some pretty spectacular women.

I have never seen a woman with drive and talent that cannot get the same job as a man with equal or better pay. I have been raised around them, worked with them, had my butt kicked in performance by them, and yes – had to pay more to hire them. I have been in the sales and marketplace for over 30 years and I stand by this.

While I do not deny pay inequities exist, legislating the employer to death is not the answer. The increasing load of federal and state legislation is killing small business and forcing larger corporations to seek more overseas opportunities for labor and reduced liability. Think this is untrue? Go back and look at any landmark legislation on employers and within less than 2 years you see a negative correlation to lost jobs. Outsourcing jobs overseas has more to do with nutty legislative compliance and potential litigation costs than hourly wage. Employers know the benefits of employing local talent and the returns to the economy. When the cost to operate and comply with our own laws drives away jobs as it is doing now, there has to be a change. Are there companies moving jobs overseas to be cheap? Yes. You know who they are so avoid doing business with them.

America is a capitalist economy. Wikipedia defines capitalism as “… an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the market; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses and companies.” Notice the repeat of “private” several times? Do you see the words “fair” incorporated into this? Capitalism is, by nature, survival of the fittest. Being better than your competition through products and services offered. Survival means making the most profit the market can and will allow while controlling costs. Labor is a component of cost. If you doubt any of this, take a real risk and gamble on yourself and take your savings to open a business for yourself. When you can no longer run the ship on your own and need some help, welcome to the Wage War.

The opposite of capitalism is communism. Wikipedia defines communism as “… a sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, the end of wage labor and private property.” Sorry, we don’t serve that lunch here is spite of the best efforts from the recent liberal Congress and Barry O. So if you do not agree with capitalism, go to a country that serves communism.

Oh yes, back to my lamenting friends. They may not have been aware of some damage already done to employers in the last 2 years. One of the first pieces of legislative graft Barry O gave to the trial lawyers was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. This eliminated the 180 day statute of limitations on pay discrimination to be redefined as starting with each new discriminatory act – effectively eliminating any statute of limitation. What does this mean to employers? An open-ended potential lawsuit for someone who might recall some pay inequity done years ago. A current or former employee can sue in a heartbeat and your innocence means squat – you must defend yourself. Can you say frivolous lawsuit? With this law, the basis is someone’s accusation and you’re off to trial. This means more claims on employer liability insurance policies and higher premiums. Hmm, let’s see, can we think of any other industries that were damn near put out of business from nutty lawsuits, higher insurance, and a bull’s-eye on their back? How about the medical industry and manufacturing? How many doctors were driven out of business in the last 20 years due to growing medical malpractice insurance premiums and the fear of being sued at the drop of a hat? Have you seen what is happening to OB Gyn’s? Take a hard look at the manufacturing sector that flat-out up and left the US in the last 40 years over punitive regulation on liability. How much more “fairness” do you want?

The Paycheck Fairness Act sought to amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (Lord, a law already on the books?) and essentially remove the boundaries in current litigation on punitive and compensatory damages. So let’s say an employer did screw up and make a legitimate discrimination toward pay, it won’t be enough to pay back the difference and legal bills that the current law allows. You will need to be made an example of for others by paying enormous penalties. Shame on you for risking your capital and offering an opportunity for employment in the first place.

So why does the inequity exist between men and women? I have a few theories. Wait – I have to find my body armor. OK, ready to go. Keep in mind these are my opinions and are based on the theory of Majority Management. There are and will always be exceptions to the rule. I do not address the exceptions here.

The first is that men get a head start on women at an early age in life. Around 13 boys are becoming young men and our motors are turning in a number of areas. If we are not getting into trouble we want to start making money. In my day it was magazines, comic books, pinball machines, needing parts for my bike, and not having to ask dad for date money. Today its Xbox, WII, Playstation, Ipods, laptops, and not asking dad for date money. My two oldest boys, who are 15 & 13, are mowing lawns in the summer for money and that works out just fine for dad. My 12-year-old daughter has other things on her mind and is quite satisfied with where she is. Dad is good with that one as well. Don’t misunderstand – I plan on my daughter being Chairwoman of the Board if she chooses and will prepare her when he motor starts turning that way.

The second reason is that women make a conscious decision on their career paths. With the possible exception of professional and executive positions, most jobs today post the pay range. You know going in what the high and low is. Facts are women are more likely accept a lower pay than men if the range meets their criteria. Guys always think we are worth more than we truly are and that attitude contributes to prolonged periods of unemployment for men between involuntary job losses. Women also see the sacrifices required seeking certain positions and they opt out, choosing to pass on early heart trouble and ulcers. Then they get tattooed with the family issue. Women have an unfair, double standard here and I have no advice that will ever change this.

Women consider benefits more carefully than men and will accept lower pay for greater benefits.  The male ego says “grab the most cash and make the most of it” whereas female logic tells them to “take care of your hide in the manner that costs the least”. I have been guilty of this sin and so are most men. It took me being in my mid 30’s before I started really looking at benefits. Women check out benefits from day 1.

Last, but not least, men negotiate more than women for salaries. I did not write “better” here – I wrote more, as in more often. Whether you want to call it being polite, non combative or just uneducated to the process, the ugly truth is that women are far more likely to accept the first salary offer than men. How does this happen you ask? It gets back to that pesky capitalism. When employers fill executive or professional positions, they also have a range but will not usually post it. Why would an employer avoid posting executive pay? Employee jealously and keeping harmony in the business is why. If you subscribe to open policy on all compensation for all positions – good luck with that in the real world Pollyanna. I do not care if you are overpaying the mail clerk by 30% of market, if someone is making more than them and they find out it impacts attitude and performance. So when an offer is made it is always on the low-end of the scale. If the prospective employee accepts, the employer has added an asset for the lowest cost factor. The sex of the person had not a thing to do with it. Imagine that.

This blog is dedicated to my two hard-working high school friends. God bless them both for perseverance in their beliefs and for being inspiration for my keyboard.

I just hope this body armor works.

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Let Them Eat Cake

Barry O and the Obamanites have to be feeling some bit of confusion right now. Just 13 days ago, Barry’s Dems took the shellacking of a political lifetime in the 2010 Midterms. That victory by conservatives giving the Republicans a second chance to get the job right, is still being crunched by Obama’s staff on the various ways to spin the data. No one knows about the economy and its improvements, Rahm Emanuel gave Barry the wrong agenda, the Tea Party groups messed up the message, etc. The bottom line is that those pesky ignorant voters were getting in the way of Obama’s vision for America – one is which Barry the Benevolent allows you to exist from cradle to grave in the loving hands of your caretaker & undertaker the US Government.

Yeah, right. Those darn voters just decided that “Obamanomics” or the theory of “Strangle the Capital Markets and Scare the Hell of out every Free Enterprise”, along with Obamacare and Cap & Tax was not for them. The US House was the first target and in the process the conservatives recaptured significant numbers in the US Senate for a near tie there, governorships, and state legislatures in record numbers across the land.

According to the Anointed One – you and I just don’t get it. Obama’s comments in the post-election blood bath have been the equivalent of Marie Antoinette’s alleged famous phrase leading up to the French Revolution “Let them eat cake…”. This reference was for the starving peasants of Paris to eat the “cake” of bread called brioche. The bread was made from flour, butter, and eggs and was an example of how out of touch Marie was with the plights of the poor and how she really could have cared less. Change the time and instead of starving Parisians you have a large unemployed base of Americans, declining businesses, and now Obama’s post-election comments have the same hollow meaning.

Now Barry decides to take his Socialist Show on the road. The international community still loves Obama right? Well, something is happening globally that his Highness is not in tune with – countries are waking up to the fact that the spending has to stop. The recent failures in Greece and Ireland and impending collapses in Spain and Italy has the Euro on very shaky ground. Obama’s vision of spend lots now on borrowed money and deflate your currency so the chumps who lent you their money get stuck with the tab is not settling too well around the globe. When the US economy caught cold in 2008 and sneezed – the whole planet caught a financial cold. 

So now Barry is traveling Asia for support for his economic policies in the international community. The potential trade agreement with South Korea was seen by many as a done deal for the US and some serious “face” recovery for the Obamanites. In basketball terms, Barry had a lay up for a trade agreement with South Korea. America is the reason this country is free. We have a huge military installation there that keep them free. Even with all this, the South Koreans passed on an agreement with the US because of deficit issues. How much of an economic nobody do you have to be to bungle this? Even CBS, the Communist Broadcasting Station, is criticizing Barry the bungler http://www.theblaze.com/stories/cbs-news-obamas-g-20-performance-an-embarrassing-disappointment/. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

However, all of this is nonexistent in Obama’s head. You are I and simply lost and will come back home like the sheep we are. The world will see Obama is right and we are wrong and we will all kneel to him before the end. Privately, Obama will come back to his ideologue base and lick his wounds.  He can still blame Bush and the media will back his story one way or another.

In Barry’s World, we can all eat political cake for now.

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The Home Of the Brave

With so much politics going about at lightning speed, I sometimes forget about the patriot part of this blog. Veteran’s Day is time to pay homage to all those that allow us the freedoms we hold so dear.

When you think about all the conflicts our armed forces have been through since the forming of this country, you have to stand back in awe. America is free because we have shed blood on this continent and so many others in the name of freedom. Those that have died before us did so out of love, honor, integrity, and because the courage of God ran in their veins. Those that have served who did not die and serve still have the same qualities and as a nation we are so very grateful.

It angers me to no end when I read or hear liberal diatribes that classify todays armed forces as “impoverished youth with no options in America”. What a bunch of baloney. Our armed forces are volunteers! No other nation on this planet has the volunteer force that we do.

I am still ashamed of how this nation treated Viet Nam Veterans. While I never witnessed some of the cowardly acts against our vets, I have heard and read enough to make me ill. All they did was defend this nation from Soviet Communism and they were vilified for it. I hope one day we can make this up to you as a nation. You were brave in the battlefield of war and the battlefield of crappy public opinion. Please forgive us.

I often wondered what goes through our brave freedom fighters minds during political change in this country. There is a huge difference in how Reagan, Bush 41 & 43 revere the military as opposed to how Carter, Clinton, and Obama despise them. The differences in political mindset can mean one Commander who cares and wants you safe and will do everything possible to help our armed forces versus one that will do everything possible to secure military defeat. How brave do you have to be to enlist in that environment?

I have a younger brother that graduates next May. He is deciding between the Marines and the Navy for enlistment after high school. He cannot wait to help be a part of the forces that keep America free. I asked him how he felt about serving under the Anointed One. He told me that is why America needs more volunteers now than ever to help protect against his decisions against democracy. I could not agree more.

Thank God for all of the veterans, past and present, that sacrificed so you and I can be free. Their courage and our gratitude cannot be properly measured in words.

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From Riyad with love

I had to watch election results for the first time in my life on foreign soil. Business took me half way around the world during the final week leading to the Congressional Mid Terms. Voting early was not an option this time, but a necessity with my schedule this past week.

This post is written in reflection of Riyad, Saudi Arabia. The very place where Coalition Forces launched attacks on Saddam in Desert Storm in 1991. I stayed in a compound that is just a block away from the compound that was blown up in 2004 and the basis for the movie “The Kingdom”. If you have not seen it, I suggest you rent it. This compound was one of 6 others targeted for destruction that same day. After the first bombing, the Saudi Armed Forces reacted quickly enough to disrupt the other bombings from occurring. I have added a few pictures to help bring the memory home. A bit of photo advice – remember to set your camera date before recording the landscape. I forgot and all my dates record a September date instead November.

The past 2 years since the election of the Anointed One and the Marxist trash that came with him has been a constant fight to keep the freedoms afforded to us by God and penned by the Founding Fathers through the Constitution. It has been a fight that conservatives won the first round of on November 2, 2010.  Round Two is in 2012. While we all know the importance of the conservative cause to keep those freedoms, sometimes it takes a walk into the belly of a different beast to have yourself face the realities of where we can be heading if we do not persevere and win this fight.

Case in point – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Perhaps no other Middle East country influences America in more ways than we realize and certainly in areas we do not need.  Saudi is a socialist center. The government (ie King Saud)  provides energy, education, jobs, etc. Barry O would be in heaven.  Saudi can afford to do this because they pull 12 million barrels of oil a day out of the ground and the US sucks up a majority of that. What is not sold is used to provide free gas to the energy plants to burn, subsidized gas to the public ($.71/gallon),  or burned in polluting desalination plants. Without the oil money, Saudi would run deficits that would make Obama’s look tame.

Now for the marxist that read my post don’t go getting your exit visas ready just yet. It all comes with a price – even for the absurdly rich. The government owns between 70 and 80% of every major company in Saudi, every “private” company in Saudi relies on government contracts of one form or another and dictates whether you stay in business or not. If you are getting housing, you can lose that in a heartbeat as well.

Religious freedom does not exist there. It is an Islamic state and if you are not Muslim then you darn well watch your words carefully for fear of losing your head – literally. You come into the Kingdom by invitation and that costs $108 in entry fees. On your visa application it clearly states that you will follow the laws under penalty of death. This is not a joke. Women are second class citizens in Saudi. Sharia law is enforced to the tee. These issues are well documented in other places, so I will not rant here. If  the thought of all this makes you uncomfortable then realize this as well – Saudi is exporting Wahabi Islamic teaching as much as they export oil. Over the last 30 years, Saudi has sponsored more mosques in the Middle East, Europe, and the US than any other country spending millions in buildings, staff, and clerics. Unfortunately, most of  teachings appear to be extremist in views and have been a large part in the rise of militant Islam. Nonie Darwish wrote a book called Now They Call Me Infidel which gives great insight to the current issues facing the religion of Islam. It explains much of the ignorance, prejudice, and anger that is experienced in Saudi and other Muslim countries that is falsely aimed at the West. I encourage you to read it. 

The bottom line is the government is in charge. Period. Now King Saud appears to be a decent fellow from what I could see and from what I hear. What happens if the successor is the next Saddam Husain or the nutcase in Iran?

So why bring all this up? Barry O was and is still planning a socialist America somewhere between Europe  and the Middle East styles. The drumming he took Tuesday set him back from the agenda he had to “reform” America. Make no mistake – he will recover. Obama is one of the most clear and present dangers to our freedoms this country has ever seen. He hates the America you and I love. He would love to be in the position of King Saud and be a “benevolent” ruler for the peons. That is until you tick him off and then God help you. He was in the process of passing every form of legislation to make the government ruler of us all. Now we have to beware of the hydra becoming “pragmatic” (that will be the new media buzzword for him for the next 2 years) to get re-elected in 2012. If that happens, do not for one moment believe that he could not usher in another round of congressional support to cement his place in power. The man is that dangerous.

So celebrate Round One for now, get a little rest, eat your Wheaties. Round Two is coming.

Ding Ding!

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