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Blog Posts for August 2009

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The Marathon Begins

With Tamara gone for two weeks to visit her family, my coding marathon begins, and I have a ton to do.

Plus, the Iowa grassroots are getting fired up now that the legislators are coming home.

Work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work...

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by Brett Rogers, 8/1/2009 1:30:23 PM
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Economically Stupid

Obama is a dunce.

There really is no way around it. It's either that or he is hell-bent to make lives of the poor in this country much, much harder.

So get this...

Cash for Clunkers, that dreamy program thought up by Obama's administration, requires the dealers to destroy the cars brought in for the program. You take your car, give it to the dealer, who gives you the money and then is required by law to destroy the engine of the car. Got that?

Now, I guess they never taught the law of supply and demand at Harvard, because if the supply drops, then what remains in the market is more expensive. Less supply, more cost to purchase.

Here's a pop quiz that only those who didn't attend Ivy League schools and didn't write best-selling books and don't have date night in Paris can answer correctly:

1: What kind of cars do the poor drive?

2: Why do the poor buy that kind of car?

If you answered "used cars" for 1 and "because they're more affordable" for 2, you win!

But Obama is out to destory the supply of the used car market, which will have the inevitable effect of making used cars more expensive.

So he's either a dunce who has no grasp of economics, or he really doesn't care about the poor. You pick. Either way, he's bad for the country.

ETC: As usual, Pale Rider is right. He says that Obama is both a dunce and doesn't care about the poor. No "or" applies.

MORE ETC: And from Kelly's insight:

It's a tax break for the rich. The poor certainly aren't trading in their used cars for new cars. Those who can afford new cars are doing it and getting a $4500 handout from Uncle Sam. Who would have thought, Dem's for the rich?
Bingo.

4 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 8/1/2009 7:10:21 PM
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'Nuff Said

ETC: The poster is reminiscent to me of this poster:

The only way to improve the Obama poster is to put him in the nurse getup, signifying the chaos ObamaCare intends to bring to health care.

Like Joker told Harvey Dent:

"Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I am an agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos, Harvey? Itís fair."
Yep. Fairness. That's the goal. Equally inefficient government crap for everyone.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/3/2009 9:51:32 AM
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Let Me Be Clear... He's a Liar

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by Brett Rogers, 8/3/2009 1:04:33 PM
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When Recess Isn't Fun

At lunchtime, I went to Leonard Boswell's townhall on the 2010 Census. I took video, which I'll post later.

The big discussion during the town hall was why we're not asking whether people are citizens or not. "We don't care," is what US Census representative Dennis Johnson told us. "We're just supposed to count numbers."

Here's what the Constitution says:

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,... The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."
That's his point - it says "Numbers."

Me, the troublemaker, I then asked, "So if the 'numbers' are used to determine how we citizens are represented in Congress, it's okay to include illegal aliens in that count?"

"It's a matter of interpretation. I defer to Congressman Boswell," he replied.

So I turned to Boswell. "You're okay with counting illegal aliens in the census to determine your representation of us?"

"You make a good point."

"What do you intend to do with that good point?"

"I'll take it back to Washington."

"And do what with it? What's your goal in taking that good point back to Washington?"

"I'll have to talk to others about this."

And that was it.

I was one of maybe 30 citizens there. About half were quietly motioning their applause of my questions or nodding their heads in agreement with that exchange and with a question I asked about using the census to direct "$4 trillion" back to the districts. "Who's gonna pay that back," I asked.

"Well, the president believes in 'Pay-As-You-Go.'"

"Really? Because he's ratcheting up debt faster than at any point in our history."

"Well, Bush spent over $700 billion."

"And Obama trillions. Both are wrong."

Unfortunately, my camera cut out early. Low battery. But I got the gist of their opening, but none of the back-and-forth.

I had some people come up to me afterward wanting to know who I was. I gave them my business card, but it's clear that people are looking for someone to be unafraid to speak out.

Two other facts that emerged: it's a $100 fine to only answer the question of how many are in your home. ACORN employees might be employed, but not as ACORN, per se.

They're not used to this, and it's something that we all need to do more of.

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 8/3/2009 5:44:24 PM
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My Letter to My State Representative

What follows is the letter I sent this evening to Chris Hagenow, my state representative. It references an open letter to Iowa's Senator Charles Grassley by another local state representative, Kent Sorenson.

Hi Chris

One of the problems with our current representatives in government is that politicians almost universally believe that it's their job to craft solutions in our name. The problems with this are:

  • the people crafting these "solutions" don't have to face market pressures like the private sector
  • the people crafting these "solutions" don't have to personally invest their own money into the "solution" they craft like the private sector
  • the people crafting these "solutions" don't have to face the customer service problems that inevitably follow the implementation of their "solutions"
The experience of building it from the inside out and living it every day, crafting a workable, efficient solution that is market-tested - this is the only way to solve problems. This kind of real world problem-solving can't happen in a closed-door meeting among lobbyists and lawyers. It happens on the streets among the entrepreneurs who take on the risks of learning what the market will buy.

Chuck Grassley believes in his heart that his job is to craft solutions in Washington, despite Washington's pathetic track record. Medicare is broke. Medicaid is broke. Social Security won't be there for you or me or our kids, yet we continue to sink money into it with every paycheck. Plainly, Washington "solutions" are a losing venture - every time they're tried. Can we call these programs "clunkers?"

What I don't hear from Chuck Grassley is that he intends to use his office to protect our liberties. The founding fathers never intended that our elected representatives would be our designated "problem solvers." What they did expect is that elected representatives would limit government. That premise was once a core plank in the Republican platform. Is it now?

I ask because it's clear that Chuck Grassley's intentions are not to limit government, but to limit the Democrats. He hopes to craft a bipartisan approach to health care "reform." I'll say this as plainly as I can: bipartisanship is just a euphemism for less freedom and higher taxes. You know - and I know - that any health care compromise with the Democrats will only increase costs and reduce the freedom of our children when they inherit this mess as adults. They'll be stuck with the bill. But here's the kicker: as I mentioned, neither you or I expect Social Security to be around. While the money we "invested" will be gone, Social Security missing from our future won't greatly detract from our lives. But health care? That's personal. If health care is diminished, as it is in other countries where health care has been socialized, then we're just as responsible as Chuck Grassley if we sit idly by and let it happen. As a parent, I won't let happen. I trust you won't either.

As my state representative, I ask what you intend to do to tell Grassley in no uncertain terms that the only acceptable health care solution is that Washington have nothing more to do with it. The only acceptable solution is a free-market solution. If the goal is to make health care more accessible, then the answer is to make it more affordable through cost control. Washington can only add layers of management onto health care costs, which will not improve the quality of health care nor will it reduce costs. The trillions borrowed to "afford" Washington solutions today will be shouldered by our children years from now, and loving parents don't burden their children with a mountain of debt.

I admire state representative Kent Sorenson's open letter to Grassley. Good for him for standing tall. I can tell you that the grassroots conservative movement is thrilled to see his principled stand. I'd like to know how you intend to stand for our children's futures. Will you send Grassley the clear message that bipartisanship on health care will bankrupt America, just like every other Washington "solution?"

More specifically, as a Republican, will you stand for limited government? This is an opportunity for you to define the GOP clearly for us voters. I urge you to re-establish for us that plank in the Republican platform. I miss it.

Sincerely,
Brett Rogers

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by Brett Rogers, 8/4/2009 11:16:03 PM
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Just for the Record...

From the DNC:

"The Republicans and their allied groups desperate after losing two consecutive elections and every major policy fight on Capitol Hill... are inciting angry mobs of a small number of rabid right wing extremists funded by K Street Lobbyists to disrupt thoughtful discussions about the future of health care in America taking place in Congressional Districts across the country," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.
When I was at the Boswell event the other day, an elderly woman approached me afterwards and asked me what insurance company I worked for. She'd been watching the news or something and was convinced that I was a lobbyist since I spoke out. I gave her my business card and told her that I live in West Des Moines and that I build complex web sites for a living. She nodded patronizingly. She just won't be fooled, I guess.

But for any others who have doubt, for the record, I don't work for the insurance industry and I'm not paid to speak out. I'm just a guy who loves his kids and I happen to have enough talent to perform basic math. Tough criteria, I know, but those two attributes are enough to motivate me to act without payment.

P.S. I also have a growing database of several hundred names and email of other unpaid Iowans like me who, out of love for their country and love for their kids, are fighting the juggernaut of this government. Passionate folk.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/5/2009 8:23:55 AM
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Acme

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by Brett Rogers, 8/5/2009 3:53:33 PM
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Compare and Contrast

Through my work on Patriot247, I have some reach into a national network because people in other states have signed up.

One of them, Jo, from Tampa, Florida, wrote in today and gave me a report from the ground:

Well 1500 people got locked out of our town hall meeting,in Tampa, people were going in the back door, but the people who were at the front door were locked out. The reporter, thank God had a camera inside before even he got locked out. He repeatedly stated there were no bus loads, all of the cars were local Florida tags, and he asked people at random who they were and why they were there. Of course our kind of people were locked out, but a few made it in. They made themselves heard and the reps were not to happy, They were also stating into the cameras, that they were not idiots and nut jobs, they were people with concerns and no explanations. people are pissed here, especially when the rep said that in Florida with so many seniors and kids, it is vital they pass the bill for them, got a big boo..loved it.
Evidently, this story is getting national play because it featured some level of physical interaction.

Here are pictures from the event, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times. The second picture in the article shows an anti-ObamaCare guy getting a little shove from a woman who is for the Obama plan.

TalkingPointsMemo is Josh Marshall's liberal web site. He says, "apparently a mob of teabaggers began to riot after some were not able to get into a townhall meeting in Tampa."

Mob. Riot. Loaded words... accurate?

Look at that picture from the event again. Barry Osteen is the picture of composure. And in the first picture from the event, while crowded, it's no riot. It's no mob.

Unfortunately, many people use TPM as a news source. It puts itself out there as a news source. But it's not pushing for accuracy. TPM pats itself on the back for the praise it receives from NYT, Columbia Journalism Review, Bill Moyers Journal, NPR, the LA Times, and others. Birds of a feather... which explains why these media outlets continue to have diminished audiences. They don't bother to acquaint themselves with the truth, or even try to do so.

ETC: The picture of this event becomes more clear. This, from Tampa Bay Online:

The meeting was organized by Reed plus the Service Employees International Union, other unions and Organizing for America, a liberal group that grew out of the Obama presidential campaign.

Some opponents accused the organizers of trying to stack the crowd by allowing early admission to those on their side. Reed denied that, saying those admitted early were organizers setting up the room.

Cute.

Here's video from the event:

The shoving at the start of the video takes place because the "organizers" are shoving people back to close the doors of the meeting.

Here's the issue: as Congress moves aggressively to bankrupt our kids, there are some selfish assholes who want all the health care they can get on the backs of our kids. Heaven forbid that they might actually pay for their own health care. Of course, we loving parents naturally oppose their push for generational theft.

Politicians today love the idea of stewarding society. Health care is 1/7 of the nation's economy. Oh the cosmic power.

My opinion about this: I'm going to show up at their events. I'm going to be civil, but firm. They might ignore me, and they might ignore every other person standing with me on this issue. But I guarantee that 2010 will see more passion than any election in history. Record turnouts. Droves. I fight for my kids, and I will go down swinging if I am to lose this fight. The White House can punch back all they'd like. The Left's passion for health care they didn't pay for themselves will not be equal to the Right's passion to protect their children.

MORE ETC: In this post-racial society, ObamaCare supporters beat up a black man while shouting racial slurs because he dared to oppose ObamaCare.

And then in a separate incident, a union member with a "Health Care 09" t-shirt is arrested in St. Louis for attacking a black man selling "Don't Tread on Me" flags.

Isn't this exactly how public policy should emerge? Way to go, Mr. President. I suppose he would probably say that the guy selling flags acted stupidly.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/7/2009 2:31:37 AM
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The Brooks Brothers Brigade

I was at both tea party events here in Iowa. I was a speaker at the first, and the emcee of the second. To my recollection, I was the only one who wore a suit.

If you're looking for the Brooks Brothers Brigade, you'll find them over there - on the Left.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/7/2009 5:13:17 PM
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Ignoring Thousands

Highlight: my representative, Leonard Boswell, took "thousands" of calls on Cap and Trade objecting to the bill. Nonetheless, he voted for it because we all "need air to breathe." Yes, of course... everyone knows that making energy more expensive will allow all of us to continue breathing.

Representative? Not in the least.

Oh, and as shown in the video, voting "yes" is just part of the process.

This guy needs to go. In a big way.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/7/2009 9:48:58 PM
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Today's Beauty

This reminds me of the talent of my friend, Kelly. He's the guy who first introduced me to the instrument being played here, the Chapman Stick. Kelly is also the most talented musician I know.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/8/2009 4:25:21 PM
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How I Spent My Saturday

Tim and I made a sign at his house.

Tim is a really great guy.

And then I went to Tom Harkin's town hall on health care. I brought a sign, so I couldn't go inside, but I stood outside and cheerily welcomed people.

My sign read: "Keep Your Hands Out of My Kid's Pockets"

Tim's sign read: "Astroturf This!"

As people came into the event, by my count, about 60% supported my little protest. I gave my video camera to a person I know who was going inside. I'll catch up with her later to discover how it went inside the building.

Oh - and one of the local news channels interviewed me. What's funny is that a woman who was watching me get interviewed then scolded the TV reporter.

"There's only four of them out here, and you give them face time."

I smiled. I wonder if she was shocked to find a much greater number inside the event.

Surprise!

ETC: A report from someone who was inside at Harkin's event:

That was quite a meeting. The building we were in had no air conditioning or fans! Nice planning. Then come to find out that the building is being turned into a medical clinic and pharmacy thanks to that wonderful stimulus package. There was some yelling and screaming by some concerned citizens. At various points during the question and answer, people were actually yelling at each other. You had SEIU folks there. You had supporters of the plan there and you had people opposed to the plan. It made for one hell of a meeting!

But, here's what I got out of the whole thing. Harkin and the rest believe that the insurance companies, doctors and hospitals are making too much money. Congress wants to control or suppress the profit. When Harkin was asked whether he believed in Capitalism his answer was,"well it depends on what your definition of Capitalism is, insurance companies have a right to make a profit but not the kind of profit they've been making."

This is purely a socialistic or progressive posture by Harkin and anybody who supports the House and Senate versions of the Reform Bill. Their true colors are starting to shine. Having these town hall meetings is the best thing since peanut butter. People are concerned, prepared and ready to take on anybody who get's in their way. They are not going to let these "life time politicians" get away with any more lies or mis-direction.

Sunlight, baby. Bring on the sunlight!

MORE ETC: A great recap. Killer quote:

"Who sent me here? Who sent me here? I sent myself. How dare you! How dare you claim that I'm part of a conspiracy!"

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by Brett Rogers, 8/8/2009 4:32:54 PM
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Tyranny

I'm not a community organizer. I don't want to be a politician. My realm, where I thrive, is the realm of ideas and action. I love solutioning.

It might seem like I would enjoy government, then. Some people might say that government is a realm of ideas and actions. We certainly have a lot of people who fancy themselves "solutioners."

The difference is that if I have an idea and act to make it reality, it's your choice to take part in what I've created. Only if it helps you are you attracted to it.

If a politician or someone else associated with the government has an idea and acts to make it reality, they can require you to take part in what they've created. They can make you pay for it as a "service." It doesn't matter what your opinion of it is - you're stuck with it.

There is no freedom of choice in a government solution.

So we have all of these government solutioners working hard to create solutions in Washington. Because they can mandate my participation, I now have to devote part of my life to being their watchdog. I have to work to become a community organizer. I have to get involved in politics. They're creating too many requirements of me and my family, now and further down the road, to feel secure to pursue my dreams as I otherwise might.

When the government forces me to do something I don't choose to do, it's a form of tyranny. The etymology of tyranny is the Greek turannia, which conveys rule by one who is a leader in battle. And that's about it... I'm in a fight, whether I chose this fight or not is immaterial.

It pisses me off that I'm pulled into this fight instead of being free to pursue my life and its natural course of interests. There are far better things to do than to cast off parasites.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/8/2009 10:38:21 PM
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Juxtaposition

I don't know that I have the labels right, but here's the thought...

Self-determination is a liberal trait.
Self-reliance is a conservative trait.

The only people I've met who resisted the idea of self-determination - the complete freedom to choose one's direction in life - were either religious or communist. Someone else drives the decision-making for the individual.

The only people I've met who resisted the idea of self-reliance were either socialist or liberals. They believe that we all share a responsibility to ensure the welfare of others.

The strongest society, in my opinion, craves in equal proportion self-determination and self-reliance. The culture champions both.

Those who scoff at self-reliance will your erode your freedom of self-determination. I recall during the presidential election that Obama ridiculed the "ownership society," saying "You're on your own," as though it were a laughable concept. But I remember when people used to say with pride, "I'm on my own." It was regarded as an achievement.

If I do not seek to be accountable for my own life, then I make others accountable instead. Those responsible for the outcome seek to control the outcome. Thus comes the erosion of self-determination. By lapsing my self-reliance, I dilute my freedom of self-determination. It becomes a trade-off. Says the state, "If I am going to provide for you, then you have to do as I say. It's in your own best interest."

And so, a final comparison, which I think sums up well why so many in America are getting active. We're losing America as defined by Jefferson and Madison and the rest of them.

ETC: Another thought on this, which I tweeted: "Self-reliance drives productivity, which is why Obama's America will never reach its potential."

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by Brett Rogers, 8/9/2009 9:16:05 AM
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Real Astroturf

This is priceless.

When you have to pay your "supporters" to show up and do something, it's not support and they're not supporters.

Nobody pays conservatives to fight Obama's and Congress' crap.

I wanted to screenshot this so that I can shove it in the face of those who cry "astroturf" on the Left. What a bunch of putzes.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/9/2009 9:54:23 AM
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Freedom of Assembly

Three things to know about this group of people:

  1. I didn't pay them anything to show up.
  2. The insurance lobby didn't pay these people to show up.
  3. All of them showed up in the middle of a huge rainstorm and worked the meeting agenda for 2Ĺ hours because they love this country and they're sick and tired of watching politicians ruin it.
And by the way... next Sunday's meeting will be even bigger.

What did we meet about? It was a brainstorming session, comprised of business owners, engineers, salespeople, airline pilots, IT directors, and retired folks. We're out to defeat the direction of this Congress and roust them out of office next year.

As opposed to the other side, which has to find the unemployed through Craigslist.

You tell me who has a better shot.

No wonder the other side of this is throwing every spitball they can.

P.S. If the media buys into Obama's BS that this is all astroturf, then as our neighbors watch us congregate and work together, the media looks like idiots who can't gather facts (as do the politicians, for that matter). I'm good with that.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/9/2009 10:58:25 PM
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Thanks for Making the Point

From the President:

UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. ... It's the Post Office that's always having problems.
Yes, exactly. The private sector will always function better than the public sector. So stay out of the solutions business, Washington.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/11/2009 3:02:48 PM
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Where Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kicks Obama

Just read it.

Here's what's alarming: all of us in the cheap seats are actually reading from the bill and using that to ask questions. None of these politicians are reading from the bill to show how our read of the bill was wrong. You know why? Because we're right about the language of the bill and that language is indefensible when given sunlight.

Anybody who trusts politicians and bureaucrats in government is dangerously naive, but mostly to themselves. The rest of us are reading and getting educated fast.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/11/2009 5:49:01 PM
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Just for the Record

I believe that you should be free to live your own life, to determine your own direction, so long as you don't step on the liberties of others.

I believe that you can only enjoy self-determination to the degree that you practice self-reliance.

I believe that self-reliance leads to productivity.

I believe that you are the only person who has the right to the reward your productivity brings you, and that you have every right to do with that reward what you choose because you earned it.

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 8/11/2009 6:39:43 PM
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Aborted Expectations

Via Instapundit:

"On Nov. 4, the hope and happiness seemed boundless for supporters of President-elect Barack Obama, leading some to speculate, with a wink and a nod, that in nine months there would be a virtual Obama baby boom - a celebratory uptick in the national birthrate. But now, 40 weeks later - the average human gestation period - MSNBC is reporting the prediction has largely been nothing more than, well, false hope."
I'm guessing that enough people saw the debt explosion headed toward today's children and decided that it was better to wait and see how it all turned out.

Here's a bit of marketing advice: when your product has people bragging about you, the maker, that's okay, but usually temporary. Where it really has legs is when people can instead brag about what they're able to do with your product. Then it's about them, and people love to talk about themselves.

The major flaw in all of this Obama-ness is that fact that it's not at all about people doing more with greater efficiency, greater productivity, greater resourcefulness than before. Instead, we're all just supposed to celebrate Obama-ness. Yawn. Buying a poster and hanging it in your room never made anyone better for it.

I would have loved to see Obama storm into office and work damn hard to provide us with greater liberty. Americans are a resourceful lot. It's how we became who we are - the greatest nation on the planet.

But we got a guy who instead apologizes for our greatness, hates on business and enterprise, concerns himself with trying to make our decisions for us, and frankly screws up a lot.

Swing and a miss.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/11/2009 11:05:53 PM
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Good at Division

I've wondered about Obama's grasp of math, given his predilection for debt. But I've determined that he's quite good actually at division.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) believe politics in Washington, DC will become even more partisan over the coming year. Thatís up from 55% a month ago and from 40% when President Obama took office.
In just seven months, Obama managed to help people see that there is no working together in Washington. Not to mention the fracture of America itself.

Two Americas: one that believes it is their right to confiscate the property of others, and one that believes in individual property rights.

Way to go, Super Genius.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/16/2009 12:30:51 PM
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Two Meetings

Yesterday, I met with both the Des Moines Tea Party folks and then with the brainstorming group. The pictures below are of the Sunday night brainstorming group.

The question at hand: how do we spotlight the good and the bad of our politicians' performance?

Sixteen people showed up for that last night. Interest to get involved continues to blossom, and unlike the left, we're not paying anyone to show up and get busy.

These folks are fighting for their freedom. That's all the incentive they need, just as it was all the incentive that was needed over 200 years ago.

The media and the politicians can't fathom that. Some citizens can't fathom that. I'll try to explain...

It boils down to this becoming a fight between those who believe that they have a right to confiscate the property of others (I'll call those folks thieves) and those who believe that they have a right to the property they earned in voluntary transactions with others (I'll call those folks workers).

It's not hard to imagine that the workers want to keep what they've earned. They not afraid to show up in public and fight for what they've earned, even if it takes time out of their lives to do so. This explains the high number of regular Americans at town halls.

It's also not hard to imagine that the thieves aren't many in number and are mostly embarrassed to show up in public demanding what they didn't earn. Most Americans aren't thieves.

And only a few of the thieves have rationalized their thievery to the point of actually being proud of it in public. This explains the low number of those fighting for their "right" to confiscate the property of others.

How this will end is predictable - the workers will rout the thieves. What's unknown is the time involved and the path to getting there. But since thieves don't like working and workers have no problem working, the workers will apply more effort and win, despite the thieves having some prominent players in positions of authority. The workers are greater in number and will work harder.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/17/2009 9:44:02 AM
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Today's Beauty

Ran across this amazing song tonight. I have no idea what the picture in the video above has to do with the music, but really - just focus on the music.

Just lovely...

It's called "Maybe Maybe" by Nico Stai.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/18/2009 12:32:34 AM
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Thanks for Making the Point, Part II

One definition of inefficiency...

...is working the problem a lot harder than any reward might bring.

If you ask the US Postal Service why they're bleeding money, they tell you:

"We are subject to Congressional oversight, regulation by other government agencies, and also oversight by various other organizations and the public," USPS said in their annual report. "If we cannot successfully address their various, and sometimes competing, concerns, we may be subject to greater regulation, which could increase our costs or otherwise place additional burdens on our operations," USPS warned regulators in the annual report.
Government oversight is as cost-effective as skiing with a snow-maker on your back. Washington is never a source for answers for that very reason.

I wonder if Washington's Super Genius regrets the comparison now.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/18/2009 12:29:12 PM
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Today's Beauty

And I happened to stop into Wells Fargo today.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/20/2009 7:53:19 PM
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Joker

Coming soon to an economy near you, trouble:

Because Obama and crew don't understand how the economy works, delinquencies and foreclosures continue to rise. This, despite their best efforts.

Consider this:

In the first seven months of this year, [Wells Fargo] completed 240,000 modifications for Wells Fargo and Wachovia customers. About 20,000 of these modifications are part of the government's Home Affordable Modification Program.
One-twelfth of all loan modifications performed by Wells Fargo qualify as the best benefit under Obama's HAMP program. Now check this out:

Loan mods were applied to maybe one-tenth of all delinquent or foreclosure-in-process mortgages? So Obama, for all the hype, will only "help" maybe 1 out of 50 homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage?

Meanwhile, Obama decided to finance Brazil offshore oil exploration to the tune of $2 billion.

If an average house payment for those delinquent homes were $2,000, Obama could have assisted 1 million Americans.

Now I'm not recommending that we start giving away money to help struggling homeowners. But it's real obvious that Obama has no intention of helping the little people who voted for him. He doesn't care about you. He never did. If you voted for him, you fell for the fancy words from the suit.

Don Henley said it well: "A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun."

You're being fleeced, America. Just ask car dealers.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/21/2009 10:59:51 AM
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Attraction

I'm not sure why, but a local guy has taken to reading my Tweets even though he doesn't follow me. His name is Chris, and he's an Obama supporter.

I offered to go to lunch with him. There's only so much you can explain in 140 characters. But that's not really his thing.

Yesterday, I mentioned that Obama had no outrage about the Lockerbie bomber's release. Chris pointed me to this article, which says this:

"Highly objectionable," Obama told reporters on the White House lawn.

"Outrageous and disgusting," added White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

So threatening is Obama's outrage that the Libyans danced and celebrated upon the return of their bomber hero. Scotland and England don't care. British PM Gordon Brown has yet to make a statement about it.

Chris asks me, in Tweet, "What should he do, bomb Libya?"

To which I replied: "Somewhere between 'Highly objectionable' and 'bombing' lies an appropriately outraged response."

And Chris comes back with: "What response would have made you happy? Obviously you don't like the guy, but to call him out on this is silly."

Silly? Really? Obama got more involved in Skip Gates' brush with a Cambridge police officer than he involves himself with a man freed who murdered hundreds of people in a terrorist act.

So, to answer Chris, here are some examples of a more appropriate reaction. Keep in mind, I'm no super genius like Obama, but these seem right to me:

  • Send Hillary Clinton, a high-ranking administration official, to England immediately to let them know that this is unacceptable.
  • Consider sanctions against Scottish imports.
  • Send in a team to extract the unrepentant bomber to a White House beer summit where the relatives of those murdered can confront the murderer. That would at least be the equivalent of what he did on behalf of his friend, Skip Gates - though it might end in a few broken beer bottles.
What Chris fails to realize is that Obama doesn't care about these families who have seen some measure of justice robbed of them. Chris fails to realize that America looks bewilderingly weak with Obama at the helm.

Silly? No. Silly is defending the indefensible.

We elected a king of fancy words, and not an executive who values America enough to protect it. Shame on us for choosing such a weak man whose priorities are openly anti-American. If you haven't figured out yet why Obama selects his priorities as he does, you need to pay closer attention.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/24/2009 12:49:48 PM
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The Secret of Great Writing

...is re-writing.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/26/2009 11:42:09 PM
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World's Greatest Office

Being self-employed, I get to work from home. My "office" is a make-shift construction every morning that sits in our family room off our kitchen. I take my artist's table, which is foldable (a gift from my very thoughtful wife), put it on top of the anti-static mat, bring out the chair, and thus set up shop each day.

You can see our dog, Mojo, in the left corner of the picture. Between him and Dochas, our Schnauzer, and the view out the sliding glass door, it's ideal.

And then when I let them outside every once in a while, I get to see this:

Now if only my wife could join me at home... of course, I might not spend as much time in my "office," but then - where's the problem with that?

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by Brett Rogers, 8/27/2009 2:06:36 PM
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$0 in Salary

Recently, I took a screenshot of a Craigslist want ad that the left is using to entice people to join its pro-ObamaCare, "grassroots" movement.

You ought to check out Steven Crowder's shoe leather reporting on his job interview with the California leftist "grassroots."

Really... go. Click on the link. It's hilarious, and informative.

And by the way, for all of my effort in organizing the right-leaning grassroots here in Iowa, as Steven points out in the video, I make $0 in salary. As do the rest of my cohorts.

Astroturf this, Nancy.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/29/2009 10:31:16 AM
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The Dilemma of Math

I've been saying for quite a while that Obama's policies will crush our children with the burden of its cost.

Investor's Business Daily makes this very point in its final paragraph:

It won't be today's voters who will pay for this error. It will be their children and grandchildren.
A local attorney thought I was rude to say, "Love your kids? Fight Obama." But that's what it is. Loving parents don't vote for politicians who increase the burden of debt on their kids. Doesn't matter what political stripe you are.

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 8/29/2009 1:28:23 PM
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Lucky Me

Among other things she is best at, I married the best cook in the world. Tamara grilled halibut with cajun seasoning and mango salsa tonight. She served it over a thin bed of grilled hatch peppers and grilled peaches.

Every man on the planet should be jealous of me. Hell, every woman on the planet should be jealous, too. Because that dinner was amazing.

Just sayin'...

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by Brett Rogers, 8/29/2009 9:58:33 PM
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Pictures of Late, with Comments

A couple of days ago, Tamara and I went for a walk in our favorite cemetary. It has some significance for us because it was a few blocks from her house when we were dating, so we often took Dochas for a walk through it. Amidst lots of good conversation about life and death, it was one of the ways in which we got to know each other and became the best of friends. In fact, it was on our way to the cemetary that I first held her hand.

So, when we went back there last week, we took our dogs with us. Mojo, who seems to be making his debut here on beatcanvas, wasn't sure what to make of the pond or the geese near it. Here he is, running back to us, deciding that the fowl and the water weren't really his thing.

The Dorrells, Charles and Jeri, had to have it their way, right to the very end. (Tamara and I appreciated their uniqueness...)

Driving home, we saw this billboard of Lou Reed, declaring his geekness for art.

Now, this is a problem with some marketing companies. That billboard, and others like it around town, tell you absolutely nothing of what they advertise. In fact, I would bet that only about 5% of the population - if that - would even know that it was Lou Reed.

What's the point, even if you get that Lou Reed is a geek for art?

Well, down in the lower right corner, which you really can't read from your car unless you literally stop to read it carefully, is this:

igeekthelibrary.org

Get it?

Yeah, whatever. This is where some marketing company came up with their slick campaign, hired a bunch of celebrities (Lou Reed, Brian Denehy, and others I don't know the names of), took cool pictures, and promoted the beauty of the campaign above the purpose of the message.

Further... it's not even igeekthelibrary.org. That takes you to some cybersquatted domain. No, the red "i" in the lower right-hand corner is not an "i" at all. I'm not sure what it is.

The correct domain is: geekthelibrary.org

Because of the red lettering in the "Igeekart," it suggests that the red line near the web site name is part of the domain name - but no. It's just kind of there. I guess.

Anyway, if the goal is to drive more people to the library, I'm a tad skeptical of its efficacy.

Then today we rode almost 30 miles on our bikes to Gray's Lake and Cumming, Iowa. We discovered once we arrived in Cumming that a biker was run off the road by a fella in a white pickup and killed. Rough...

And then on the way back, we saw this tree:

It's August. Leaves are changing already. Today's high was 67į. Global warming? No, no... global cooling. Al Gore needs to update his slideshow.

And then tonight, it's the Sunday brainstorming session for us in the conservative grassroots. A local commercial real estate owner with some vacant property is giving us office space to use for our meetings - for free!

No doubt he's being deeply compensated for his gift by insurance companies. I mean, why else would anyone give of their resources to help restore liberty in America?

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by Brett Rogers, 8/30/2009 5:39:27 PM
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Meeting

Eighteen people, fifty-two ideas, six categories, and one heart to restore liberty in America.

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by Brett Rogers, 8/30/2009 8:00:33 PM
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