Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

With Christmas so close to New Year's, it's always felt like a great time of year to review our lives for the past year and then to commit to something big for the coming year.

As a person of faith, I believe to the core of my being that God always calls us to be something bigger than anything we could have dreamed of for ourselves.

As illustrated in the stories of Abraham, Moses, Noah, Ester and Paul, he has always called for the extraordinary from largely ordinary people.

Whenever I'm confronted by the question of why does God allow bad things happen to good people my response is always "God put a solution to every problem on this earth and for every problem you see he also sees it (through your eyes) and, chances are, he's already nudging you to tell you that you are the perfect person solve it."

Moses had no idea how to emancipate millions of Jews from the throngs of slavery; Noah had no idea what an ark even looked like before he started building. However, they all trusted in God and trusted that he would provide them with the tools needed to make a difference.

So as we enter this Christmas season, consider that whether you are brick layer, a president, or an accountant, God has a mission for each and every one of us to make a difference. While those missions may seem overwhelming, consider that God uses these tests to see how much we trust in him.

Have the Merriest of Christmas'.

God Bless

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I read a very unflaterring piece today by Joseph Rago about the role of blogs in today's news media.

Rago claims that there isn't much in the way of breaking news in the blogoshpere. I agree with that premise, but how much "true" news is there in normal 24 hour news cycle when an evening that Brittney Spears decides not to wear underwear dominates the headlines.

Quite frankly, I get more information from the various blogs I visit than from the Mainstream Media (MSM). What I find extremely arrogant is the position by news editors and publishers that bloggers can't be serious journalists because 1) most didn't go to journalism school and 2) there are no fact checkers on staff.


For some reason, all those J-schoolers and fact checkers somehow couldn't seem to find the errors and outright frauds of Jason Blair, Rathergate, et al.

As a product of the first amendment, anyone in this country can call themselves a journalist simply by saying it. There are no licensing requirements, no ethics standards in which they need to abide and no governmental oversight. By all accounts, Thomas Paine might have called himself a journalist despite the lack of a J-school degree.

The bottom line is main stream media has lost it's way. In an era of streamlining editorial budgets, the NY Times is no more reliable or informative than Drudge or Lucianne. It makes me sick when I watch or listen to the news and a story starts "according to reports from WYZZ, Joe Coach has taken a new job with X school" What exactly is the news? The rumor that so and so coach is leaving or the fact that the station just got scooped?

I could put that crap on this blog and call it "News".

The way I view the news business, the longer it takes to deliver information the more accurate & thorough it needs to be. For instance, internet news is faster and less thorough & accurate than radio news, which is quicker and less accurate & thorough than TV, which is faster and less accurate & thorough than a newspaper.

Unfortunately, the crap I read in the daily newspaper has no more depth and accuracy than the stuff I read on Drudge 32 hours before.

Remind me again why I should pay $.75 for a Useless Today.

economics of political speech

This week the FEC fined Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and for campaign violations related to the 2004 election.

This is the product of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law which is, in my mind, a totally unconstituional infringement of free specch rights.

McCain-Feingold sought to take money out of the political process by limiting dollars to candidates themselves. The net effect of the law is that thrid party groups got hold of the money and has turned the whole political process into a giant pissing contest; none of which adds anything to the political debate.

Before any meaningful campaign finance law can be instituted one needs to truly ask themselves the question "why is there so much money in politics".

The answer is "because there is so much money in government to get".

Think about it. On a daily basis, I receive at least five sales calls for a little two person accounting shop. Do you think Procter & Gamble receive more sales calls than I do on a daily basis? In addition, once a week I get a representative from a bank, payroll service, brokerage houses, etc. that drop off little gifts (coffee mugs, candy, publications, etc.) in the hopes that we'll refer potential clients to them.

How much money do you think is spent on meals & entertainment, gifts, junkets, etc. on decision makers at P&G as compared to me? My guess is that it's exponentially more.

Why would that be Gordon? Well..... maybe it's because P&G has a gizillion more discretionary dollars than my little old accounting practice.

Now take a an entity more than 3,000 times the size of P&G and guess what. People are going to spend money to buy influence on that entity... lot's of money.

I spent a weekend in DC a few years back, and I couldn't believe the number of pimps and whores (I don't know if I mean that literally or figuratively) that populate the DC suburbs. It's disgusting.

If you really want to take the money out of campaigns you need to take the money out of Washington, plain and simple. Really, how much do you think a congressman would be able to raise each year if he had absolutely no money to appropriate?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Little people

Has anyone else noticed the latest trend in TV commercials? Seems like more and more commercials, especially the holiday type (for obvious reasons) have little people (i.e. midgets, dwarfs) in them. Not pretend people that look like elves or Santa's little helpers, but real humans... little people. They're showing up all over the place: Verizon, Home Depot, Burger King, et al... Maybe I've just not paid attention in previous years. But it seems to be all the rage to have little people in your commercials these days.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I saw a great quote today in the newpaper

Ben Franklin "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"

government seizures

Last week I had another good conversation with a liberal friend of mine.

We were talking about the Ohio Non Smoking law and his comment was "I'm a non smoker but I think it's wrong for the people to dictate what a private business should do inside their business... Why should a person in Cincinnati be dictating what happens in a bar in Toledo".

To which I answered, "it happens all the time... when a government steals money earned in the private sector from an Ohio resident and gives it to a bunch of Alaskan contractors to build a bridge to nowhere".

That was one of the biggest transformations I made from a social liberal/economic conservative to a true libertarian... as soon as you think it's OK for a government to dictate a social policy (such as smoking/trans fat bans) then why wouldn't it be OK to seize your hard earned money and give it to someone else. It all centers around a group of intelligencia who think they know how we should live our lives better than we do.