Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

My dearest son Mason,

After my last post, I started thinking about how broke I used to be, and how much better our future looks because I have a better job. It also got me thinking about all the terrible financial decisions I’ve made in my life. However, it’s not what you think. Saying that I’ve made terrible financial decisions makes it seem like I was sitting at a desk and trying to decide where to put my money. I wasn’t sitting at a desk. I wasn’t making large, risky decisions. I wasn’t making decisions at all. I was eating fast food everyday. I was buying t-shirts off the internet. I was spending money I knew I’d never get back out of a piece of crap Suburban. Let me explain.

When you’re poor, every little decision has a big impact on your monthly budget. When I say poor, I mean making minimum wage. Let’s say that you are making $10 every hour and you work 40 hours per work. That’s $400 a week and $1600 every month. Trust me, I know this analogy pretty well. By the time you pay for a car payment and insurance, rent and food and gas, you’ve basically got nothing left. By the time 30 days in a month go by, you’ve spent many nights going to the movies, buying food at restaurants or buying clothes. So if you find yourself with $200 left over at the end of the month, you make the quick decision to spend $50 of it because its been about a month since you’ve bought something for yourself. That’s essentially the worst financial decision you can make in that situation. You’re savings account is $200, and you’re spending 25% of your savings.

It’s hard to explain how hard it is to save money when you’re broke. No matter how much money I made from the time I was 16 to 26, I stayed broke. Not to mention, I lied to myself constantly. When I got paid on Friday, I’d figure out how much money I needed to last me until my next paycheck. That’s how I rationalized spending $20 at the movies on Friday night. Then Saturday night, I’d go out to dinner or do some other activity and spend $20 more. Then two weeks would go by, and I’d be down to $50 left. I’d get paid again, and that’s how I lived for 10 years. I always thought I would be working, and I’d always get a paycheck. I never even attempted to save money. I was such an idiot.

Things got worse. As my friends spent money, I spent money I didn’t have. I got a credit card, and then I maxed it out. Then I called and got the limit raised. Then I maxed it out again. I made minimum payments on that credit card for a decade. Financially speaking, there isn’t anything more shameful or pitiful. How stupid and absentminded could I be? Now that I’m 32, I’m not shameless or prideful. I can admit that I’m still paying that credit card, and others, off. It’s terrible. I’ve increased my income more than three-fold. I’m making tons of money at my new job, and it is great. You know what I’m doing with the majority of my paychecks? Paying off more than $15,000 in credit card debt.

No matter how big my paycheck gets, it all disappears. Eventually, I’ll catch up with my debt, and I can start saving money. However, for the time being, I’m working 65 hours a week and spending nights away from you and your mom just so I can transfer most of my paycheck into a black hole. Instead of having $15,000 in my savings account to do magical things with, I have no money in my checking or savings and my balance on my credit cards is getting smaller. It’s extremely anticlimactic and depressing. You should avoid it at all cost. Basically, I’m trying to make this blog post as anticlimactic and depressing as possible so you’ll come to realize how anticlimactic and depressing it is paying off credit card debt. Let this be your first warning. Avoid it at all costs. Don’t open a credit card for emergencies. That’s ignorant. Your first step should be to hoard $1,000 as an emergency fund. Don’t buy things on credit cards because you think you’ll get cash back or frequent flyer miles. That’s possible to do, but it comes much later. That’s not something to get into immediately. It takes discipline and cash.

Your second step should fly right by. The second step is to snowball your debt. Seeing that you don’t have any debt yet, it should be really easy to fly right by this step. However, for the sake of other readers out there, let’s say that there is some debt. Maybe it is some credit card debt or student loans. The debt snowball is accomplished like this. You pay off the smallest credit card with the highest interest rate first. If there is a $2500 card, a $5000 card and a $10,000 student loan – pay off the $2500 card first, then the $5000 card and then the student loan.

The third step is to grow your emergency fund to 6-months of living expenses. Back in 2009 and 2010, I was collecting unemployment. I got laid off, and times were rough. I had no emergency fund, and I continued to live my life on credit cards. If you are single or married or have a kid or don’t, you need money to pay your bills. If your monthly bills are $1000, you need $6000 in reserves, etc.

These first three steps are crucial. It’ll be the difference between being broke when you’re trying to get married or buy a house and actually having money to spend on the most important things in your life.

That’s enough for now. I just saw that I started this post a long time ago and never published it. I’m really going to try harder to post more often.

Love,

Dad

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Read this first – – – -> What History Says About Ted Cruz’s Chances (by CNN’s Julian Zelizer)

The article above is an opinion post that a friend of mine just sent me. The article is written by a liberal CNN columnist. Read the article first, and then read my comments below:

A couple of things I notice when reading an article like this.

1. The author is a CNN liberal who wrote a book about Lyndon Johnson. That should give you an idea about his mindset. Coincidentally, this article compares Cruz’s campaign to Barry Goldwater’s campaign against Johnson 50 years ago. So he’s somewhat of a subject matter expert on LBJ’s political campaign. He fails to mention Johnson ran in 1960 against JFK and lost, then became JFK’s vice president for two years. Then, he ran for president again in 1965-69 as the “incumbent” and won.

2. He wrote this article in haste. Rumors started only a day ago that Cruz was filing for a run on Monday. Cruz’s announcement comes out in 12 hours, and he wanted to put this article out first. 5:00pm on a Sunday. It’s Julian’s and CNN’s way of damage control. Nothing more – nothing less. They are trying to persuade the low information voter.

3. The CNN author states “Cruz will test the conventional wisdom that Goldwater’s strategy was and remains a failure…Johnson defeated Goldwater in a landslide election that brought in huge liberal Democratic majorities.” Again, he fails to mention he lost the 1961 election, and why 1965 was such a landslide. He became JFK’s Vice President. JFK had a huge approval rating but was assassinated.

gallup poll approval rating
So Johnson became President for two years and then ran a reelection on JFK’s coat tails. That’s hardly comparable to a potential Hillary Clinton v. Ted Cruz battle in 2016.
4. He says stuff like, “Barring any dramatic changes in the coming months, Democrats will also have a very strong and seasoned nominee in Hillary Clinton.” I think that this is just hilarious. Hillary Clinton is in the same boat as Harry Reid, John McCain, Bill Clinton, and Mitt Romney – the are old news. So old in fact, they can’t even keep up with social media.

Where other experts like Rush Limbaugh suggest that if the Democratic Party wanted Clinton, they would have nominated her two terms ago against Obama. He also suggests that the White House is behind the email scandal leak. Obama is essentially throwing her under the bus to setup a different nominee. Probably Elizabeth Warren.

5. “Cruz is also not just someone who defends extremism, but a politician who can easily be tied to the congressional obstructionism that has turned off so much of the electorate. The Republican Party has been dragged down by the kind of politics that voters have observed in Washington. In 2014 congressional approval ratings plummeted to 14%…” He fails to define “congressional obstructionism” and how Cruz is guilty of it. Because of his filibuster in the Senate? What about all the liberal filibusters over the years? They don’t count as ‘congressional obstructionism?’

He doesn’t mention the Democrat’s approval rating either- just Congress’ approval rating as a whole. He just outright calls Cruz an extremist. He says the reason the GOP has been dragged down is because of his filibuster. He filibustered because the Republicans won’t stand up to the Democrats. The GOP is dividing, which is obvious from Glen Beck’s recent statements.
6.  “The kind of scorched earth, always say no to anything politics has not done well in terms of the favorability ratings. There have been few practitioners of this style of legislative politics as prominent as Cruz. Monday, Cruz will bask in the spotlight of his announcement. But Republicans are going to have to really think hard about whether they want to put all of their electoral eggs in this volatile basket which, at least based on the history, has a very slim chance of winning.”

Get bent Julian Zelizer. The more scared liberals get of a legitimate threat, the more lies they spread. Ted Cruz doesn’t “always say no to anything” any more than any other Senator or Representative in Congress in the last 20 years. If you think Ted Cruz is “basking in the spotlight” like Hollywood liberal celebrities, you’re an idiot. Not everybody that wants to run for President is power happy.

I’m more Republican than Democrat, and I don’t have to “really think hard” about the electoral college votes. Instead of voting for the only candidate that I think has a chance of winning the presidency, I’m going to vote for the presidential candidate that best suits me – – RAND PAUL. Ted Cruz is a close second.  🙂

DON’T TREAD ON ME.

Ah yes. The internet. It’s a evil mistress that never forgets.

The problem with the internet is the way it makes people act. The internet takes the average human being, like you and me and everybody we went to high school with, and makes them pretend to be experts. The internet is a fantasy world where you can pretend to be experts on forums for firearms and self-defense tactics, experts on car and truck forums, experts on Facebook preaching your religion, your politics, your science. It’s never ending really. It’s virtual-reality. These people aren’t like this in real life.

The IFLScience crowd are so fast paced – they don’t even read the articles. They read the titles of the articles, they feel like they’ve got the general idea of what’s going on already, they repost the article with a snarky comment so like minded readers can do the same.

The internet contains billions of pages of information to teach you anything. What do people use it for? To look at endless pages of cat memes.

The internet is a megaphone. The internet lets insignificant people reach a significant amount of people. It allows you to look inside people’s personalities that you don’t care about looking inside of. What are they really like? What kind of person do they really wish they were? People can be whatever they want online. They can post completely named pictures of themselves like on the Chive or Playboy. They can bash other religions like the Westboro Baptist Church or extremist Sunni Muslims.

In the old days, confrontation was more polite because of the risk of physical injury. Now that that’s gone, people can be as rude and hateful as possible – to people they’ve never met – and get away with it. It’s virtual-reality.

By IBRAHIM BARZAK and PETER ENAV

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state headed to Cairo on Monday to try to end two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting that has killed at least 508 Palestinians and 20 Israelis and displaced tens of thousands of Gaza residents.

The new cease-fire efforts by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry followed the deadliest day of fighting since the escalation erupted on July 8.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council expressed “serious concern” about Gaza’s rising civilian death toll and demanded an immediate end to the fighting following an emergency session.

As Israeli airstrikes continued to pound Gaza, rescue workers near the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis were digging out bodies early Monday from the one-story home of the Abu Jamea family, flattened in one of the strikes overnight, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health ministry official.

Al-Kidra said the Palestinian death toll from the two-week offensive stood at 508 as of Monday morning. More than half of those victims — 268 — were killed since an Israeli ground operation in Gaza began late Thursday.

That total included 20 bodies that were found at the site near Khan Younis, where two people were pulled alive from the rubble, Al-Kidra said.

Elsewhere in Gaza, he said, Israeli tanks opened fire on the home of the Siyam family west of Rafah in the southern part of the strip, killing 10 people, including four young children and a 9-month-old baby girl.

“Without any warning at all they began bombarding us at midnight, at 2 a.m., said Dr. Mahmoud Siyam, the head of the family. “We are not related to any military or political activities. We are civilized people (living) in this area of Gaza, what crime have we committed?”

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said it foiled a Hamas infiltration attempt on Monday through two tunnels leading from northern Gaza into southern Israel. The military said 10 infiltrators were killed after being detected and targeted by Israeli aircraft.

On Sunday, the first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price, killing 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forcing thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their devastated Shijaiyah neighborhood, which Israel says is a major source for rocket fire against its civilians.

Palestinian medics tend to a boy who they said was wounded in an Israeli shelling, at a hospital, in …
Large sections of Shijaiyah were pulverized by a barrage of Israeli tank and artillery bombardments and repeated Israeli air strikes that buffeted the densely populated neighborhood for most of Sunday.

Speaking on national television shortly after the military announced the deaths of the 13 Israeli soldiers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Gaza offensive would continue “as long as necessary” to end attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians.

Appearing with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that Israel expected to complete its work neutralizing the Hamas tunnels leading into Israeli territory within several days — a possible hint of a timeframe for the end of the operation.

Still, much work remains if diplomats are to succeed in brokering a sustainable cease-fire. On Sunday, Kerry said the U.S. still supports the Egyptian proposal for a halt to the hostilities that Israel accepted and Hamas rejected last week.

Hamas remains deeply suspicious of the motives of the Egyptian government, which has banned the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that Hamas closely identifies with.

The 13 Israeli soldiers who died in Shijaiyah brought the overall Israeli death toll to 20, including two civilians who died from rocket and mortar fire directed at Israeli towns and villages from different parts of Gaza.

On Sunday evening, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri in Gaza claimed his group had captured an Israeli soldier. An announcement on Gaza TV of the soldier’s capture set off celebration in the streets of West Bank.

But there was no official confirmation of the claim in Israel. Earlier, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, said the Hamas claim was untrue.

For Israelis, a captured soldier would be a nightmare scenario. Hamas-allied militants seized an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid in 2006 and held him captive in Gaza until Israel traded more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were involved in grisly killings, for his return in 2011.

Mr. McDonald,

Congratulations on your nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a good citizen you have agreed to take on one of the most demanding and important jobs in Washington.

As a veteran yourself you can appreciate how shaken veterans and their families are by the scandals and corruption that has been exposed throughout the Veterans Administration. I know you will agree that we owe our veterans the best care and we have failed to deliver.

Given the scale of the challenge, I hope you will not mind if, as someone who has spent nearly five decades in politics and government and has seen scores of cabinet secretaries come and go, I share a few thoughts on the position to which you’ve been nominated.

Should the Senate confirm you to this post, you will take command of the VA at the most troubled time in its history. The reports of corruption, incompetence, and corruption to hide incompetence have drawn the nation’s outrage and caused your predecessor to resign. How might you succeed at reform where so many others before you have failed?

Given your lifetime spent in business, probably you are familiar with W. Edwards Deming’s famous “Red Bead Experiment.” Deming used to carry around a bin full of red beads and white beads mixed together. He would describe to audiences his intention to gather up just the white beads, and then he would blindly plunge a scoop into the bin. To his ostensible frustration, the scoop would always emerge with a mix of both kinds of beads. Feigning disbelief, he would appoint a new person to wield the scoop. Invariably, he or she would fail as well. Then Deming would proceed to the next candidate, and so on.

The point of the Deming demonstration was to illustrate that a systems problem couldn’t be solved with new people, new slogans, and new speeches. When the system is broken, the personalities don’t matter. People will fail one after the next until the system is changed.

The range and scale of the misconduct at the VA shows that the corruption there, like the doomed attempt to isolate white beads, is not just a problem of personalities but more importantly of systems, and it goes to the very core of the bureaucracy. I have attached a map we have developed at Gingrich Productions which shows 55 VA sites with major problems. We are certain this number will grow as more parts of the VA are investigated and audited.

When you have that many places in trouble simultaneously you are not dealing with a few bad apples, a failure of a few leaders, or a need for better inspections. With that many places simultaneously in trouble, you have a system and a culture that have been corrupted and are collapsing.

The agency’s own audit found that 70 percent of VA medical facilities were using improper scheduling practices to hide long wait times by falsifying data. The wait times persist despite (or more likely because of) the fact that VA doctors see less than half as many patients as doctors in the private sector.

This is a department that has 40 percent more employees and costs 90 percent more money than it did in 2006. Operating rooms close at 3:00 pm so the union cleaning staff can leave by 5:00. Officials get bonuses no matter what their performance, apparently (though 100 percent of them were given “fully successful” performance reviews or better last year–a remarkable achievement in light of the agency’s widespread mismanagement).

It takes 175 days to transfer a veteran’s medical records from the Department of Defense to the VA. The DoD and the VA spent $1.3 billion and four years trying to build software to solve this issue before announcing in February that they had given up.

Failure this thorough points to a system–the giant, fossilized bureaucracy–that is hopelessly broken and must be replaced rather than repaired. Unfortunately, the entrenched bureaucrats, the unions, and the President, along with many others in Congress who are ideologically committed to a failed model of delivering health care, all oppose the systemic changes that could actually work.

Mr. McDonald, you are about to become the next guy holding the scoop at the VA. The prison guards of the past might write legislation to give you a bigger scoop, and then they will call the problem solved. Your job, as the new champion of our nation’s veterans, will be to focus the public’s outrage and to marshal support for real change.

Opportunities to force the kind of transformation the VA needs come along once or twice in a generation. It would be a tragic mistake if, after the enormous human pain that led to your appointment, you allowed the moment to pass.

What would systemic change look like? It would begin with enforcing the right metrics, with measuring success not by how well the Department serves the bureaucrats but by how well it serves our veterans. This would mean insisting the VA meet the standards our veterans are accustomed to as consumers in every other aspect of their lives–the world where services work and are increasingly digital, mobile, virtual, and personal.

The VA is a long way from that today, and to get there it will have to become a radically different agency with many fewer bureaucrats operating under a new set of assumptions. The fight to change the VA will be big. But the ramifications could extend well beyond your single department. The whole federal bureaucracy is broken, swollen into an unrestrained fourth branch of government. If you can harness public support to transform the current VA into a system based on choice, accountability, and efficiency, you could be setting the pattern for replacing the entire bureaucratic state with a government for the modern world.

It would be a fitting conclusion to a century plagued by bureaucracy if the renewal of American governance were to begin at the VA, a department which exemplified the system’s worst tendencies from the start. Charles Forbes, the first person to hold the position to which you have been nominated, stole tens of thousands of dollars from the bureau after World War I, as did many of his cronies. The corruption is not new, but nearly 100 years of it is enough.

I hope you will be the Secretary with the courage to demand the fundamental change our veterans need. The American people will be with you, even if many in Washington are not.

Sincerely,

Newt Gingrich

Americans are in a period of amazingly negative thinking about the state of our country. A recent Gallup analysis drove home how deep and how threatening the current mood is.

Gallup asked Americans in early June how much confidence they had in our nation’s institutions. The answer: not much. Only 30% had “a great deal” or “quite a lot of confidence” in the Supreme Court. Just 29% felt that way about the presidency. And an abysmal 7% had faith in the Congress.
Think about what this means. Our most trusted national institution, the unelected Supreme Court, has the confidence of almost (but not quite) one out of every three Americans. The presidency is slightly weaker and the Congress collapses to fewer than 1 in 10 Americans.

Gallup also did some comparative analysis using findings from its World Poll and the trends regarding Americans’ views on government are even more sobering. In the poll, 79% of the American people believe corruption is widespread in government. That is a jump of 20 points since 2006, when 59% of the country thought government was corrupt (a year when the country was dissatisfied enough that the ruling Republicans lost control of both the House and Senate).

The Gallup analysis demonstrates that Americans are more likely to believe their government is corrupt than people in Brazil, Hungary or Tajikistan, to cite just three examples.

In January of this year, Gallup found that more Americans picked bad government and corruption as our biggest problem than picked any other challenge, including the economy and unemployment. These are stunning numbers.

When four out of five Americans believe government is corrupt, something is profoundly wrong. It is a lot bigger than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or for that matter George W. Bush.

Under the weight of this negativity, there has been a dramatic decline in satisfaction with the freedom we have to choose how we live our own lives. The number of people saying they are dissatisfied has jumped from 9% in 2006 to 21% in 2013.

This 12-point jump in dissatisfaction tied the United States for No. 10 among countries suffering the most rapid decline in satisfaction. The other countries that have experienced drops of that scale are seriously troubled places, including Pakistan, Yemen, Cyprus, and Spain (where youth unemployment is approaching 60%).

To put this in context, the Gallup numbers show that in 2006 the United States was one of the top countries in the world when it came to satisfaction with freedom. By 2013 it had dropped out of the top 25% of all countries.
A country in which 4 out of 5 people believe their government is corrupt is a country teetering between a populist uprising and a collapse into cynicism, passivity, and fatalism.

These results suggest we will either renew our commitment to the rule of law, the punishment of corruption and the insistence on honest self-government or we will cease to be America as the land of the free and the land of opportunity.

This Fourth of July weekend, we need to remember what our Founding Fathers did to create the liberty we enjoy and dedicate ourselves to a new burst of freedom and a new wave of political reform that cleans up the corruption and re-establishes the right of every American to dream and to work to fulfill that dream.

‘Merica – home of the free, because of the brave.

– Rob

Maybe if I don’t tell you who said this, you’ll read it. Better yet, maybe you’ll read it like you should read everything on the internet…completely skeptical and without any bias.

– Rob

QUOTE:

This is from Tucson, AZ. “News 4 Tucson has learned a Mexican military helicopter travelled across the border and fired on US Border Patrol agents.” Why is that not an act of war? (interruption) Okay, of course they apologized. They didn’t mean it. They didn’t know where the border was. Well, neither do we. We can’t even be sure there is one.

You know, in the break here I’m gonna go to my Google map and I’m gonna see if there is a border, or see if the Google guys have just erased it in advance of what’s coming. And I’m gonna check the Apple map. I’m gonna see if there’s still a border there. Can’t blame the Mexican military. They don’t think there’s a border. The kids don’t think there’s a border.

Does anybody think there’s a border? There’s not a border being enforced. They fly cross, they fire on our Border Patrol, and then they make tracks back to the safety of Mexican airspace. “It happened in the early morning hours Thursday, west of the San Miguel Gate on the Tohono O’Odham Nation.”

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

As relates to the Mexican military helicopter crossing the border and firing on Border Patrol agents, some of the Border Patrol agents are saying that Mexican drug cartels are renting these Mexican military helicopters and using them for cover for smuggling operations (i.e., the War on Drugs), bringing drugs into the country via the southern border. Apparently there’s a story at Town Hall here that it’s not that infrequent. It happens fairly often.

“‘Mexican military are oftentimes working hand in glove with the cartels. The Mexican military has routinely crossed the border in areas that Border Patrol agents are actively tracking or seizing drug loads. Inevitably the Mexican military claim they got lost, that the border was not clearly marked, or in extreme cases fire on agents to cover their retreat,’ National Border Patrol Council Spokesman … exclusively tells Townhall.”

Sorry, sorry, we just got lost!

What a convenient excuse. “We didn’t know where the border was.” What are we gonna say to that? Now, Snerdley just said something to me, and it was, “These guys, they’re worried. They’re losing the Hispanic vote! You remember that Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll you had where Obama’s support in the Hispanic community’s gone from 67% to 43%?” I said, “Yeah, I remember that.” They’re scared to death about this upcoming election.

I said, “You know, you just can’t stop it. You look at everything through the prism of the election coming up. You don’t think Obama would be doing this without an election? He’d be doing it whether there’s an election or not! The fact that he’s not up for election matters a lot.” Snerdley said, “Yeah, but Chuck Schumer! Everything he’s been working for is up for grabs if the Democrats lose. Chuck Schumer’s out and he’s got nothing. That’s why they want this done now,” and there is some truth to that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

Look, there’s still some stuff in this Immigration Stack. I mean, it is huge today. I got this cheat sheet that has been found at the border that coaches illegals on how to stay in the US. So there’s a cheat sheet, which means that we’re not being told the truth. Some people are lying to us. “Well, no, we didn’t mean to come here. Well, no, I mean, we’re just…” If there’s a cheat sheet, they’re being coached to lie. We’re being lied to by Democrats who tell us that the objective is to send them back or something else other than welcome them and make them citizens ASAP.

We’re being lied to about this. The Democrats obviously want these people to stay. That’s not a mystery, for all the obvious reasons. Now, the cheat sheet is all over the place. “US law enforcement officials have been finding ‘cheat sheets’ along the border used by illegal immigrants to try to stay in the United States and not get deported after they’ve been caught.”

The only thing that’s not clear is who wrote the cheat sheet. Where does it come from? We can guess, and the guess is pretty educated. If there were fingerprints we would find Chuck Schumer’s and Nancy Pelosi’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s and Tom Donahoe at the convention, the Chamber of Commerce. Maybe the same people that did the fliers in Mississippi.

END TRANSCRIPT.