TownSpeaks American Flag

NFL Boycott – Letter from a Marine Colonel

I came across this post on FB by longtime conservative Chris Sorenson. An NFL boycott will most likely never happen due to the apathy and self-indulgence we have resigned ourselves to as a country, but this letter from a retired Marine Colonel inspired me. We have a voice, but we have forgotten how to use it. Since when did the behavior of a misinformed few become a social event that we even need to listen to? The reality of it is that these actions are what is inciting racial tensions.

But the uninformed are just pawns. The abhorrent behavior of our leadership in politicizing these events and in making incorrect public statements because they did not wait for facts to surface is inexcusable. What do we do? Put our hands up and say “Oh well”? We have the ability to take control of our country again if we do two things. First, we need to simply inconvenience ourselves enough to take a stand. Second, we have to vote. Whether you like our candidate or not, you have to vote. Not voting is a vote for the other side. Back to the topic at hand.

NFL Boycott

You don’t have to go cold turkey by doing a full-spectrum NFL boycott, just boycott the teams whose players show such disrespect for our flag and our country. I want to tell them, “Don’t like it, get out! You don’t have any valuable skills anyway.” Our soldiers who give their lives protecting our freedoms (even for entitled brats like these), they are the heroes. Our men and women in blue who risk their safety every single day keeping the streets safe, they are the heroes. Our teachers who fight everyday to provide education for our youth despite abysmal pay, they are the heroes. The nameless thousands and thousands who give their life to service of others, they are the heroes.

The key word is team and until the NFL gets that, then they should not be rewarded for this type of behavior. I love football, but I don’t watch it to see some ignorant person make a personal statement. When that happens, it is time to turn the channel. If you want the behavior to change, then you need to stand up and say something to make the behavior change. When enough of us do it, then the behavior will change. NFL Boycott and NFL Commissioner contact information below.

Letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

FROM: Marine Colonel (Ret) Jeffrey A. Powers

I’ve been a season pass holder at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium.

I missed the ’90-’91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my wonderful Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt Garrett Mongrella, was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.

Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.

Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they’re something special! They’re not! My Marines and Soldiers were!

You are complicit in this! You’ll fine players for large and small infractions but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this. Yes, I know, it’s their 1st Amendment right to behave in such a despicable manner.

What would happen if they came out and disrespected you or the refs publicly?

I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that’s much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn’t it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone?

Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game!

You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as bad and disgusting as they are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.

Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads. They wear body armor and carry rifles.

They make minimum wage and spend months and years away from their families. They don’t do it for an hour on Sunday. They do it 24/7 often with lead, not footballs, coming in their direction. They watch their brothers carted off in pieces not on a gurney to get their knee iced. They don’t even have ice! Many don’t have legs or arms.

Some wear blue and risk their lives daily on the streets of America. They wear fire helmets and go upstairs into the fire rather than down to safety. On 9-11, hundreds vanished. They are the heroes.

I hope that your high paid protesting pretty boys and you look in that mirror when you shave tomorrow and see what you really are, legends in your own minds. You need to hit the road and take those worms with you.

My NFL Boycott Email

Dear Mr. Goodell,

This is to inform you that I will be boycotting the viewing of NFL events demonstrating any type of political statement until you take action. I do not watch football to see personal statements from uninformed, entitled millionaire brats when our soldiers, our police and our countless true heroes risk their lives everyday for the flag and our country. What is worse is that they are showing their ignorance by supporting a lie. Solidarity? In what way and in what universe has this divisive behavior become a solidarity event? How despicable and how disgraceful. Shame on you sir for allowing this type of infantile behavior.

I already have issue with the disproportionate pay, but now I no longer have interest in supporting a politicized sporting event. These are teams on the field, not individuals, and until they can act in such a manner that is reflective of the blood spilled to preserve our freedoms, then I no longer support you. I will not watch any team or any event that displays disrespect for my flag and my nation.

Joel Phillips

NFL Commissioner Contact Information (unverified). Please title or label “NFL Boycott”.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner
280 Park Ave, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please feel free to comment or to contact us for more information.

Open Letter to Democrats

I responded to a post on Facebook the other day that compelled me to share this Open Letter to Democrats. A little background includes name calling between individuals across the aisle. This immature behavior triggered an emotional response that started in the irritated range. I was irritated that someone with differing views was name-calling those with conflicting views.

Irritation migrated to sadness that respect for opinions of others is being wiped away. So then I had to ask myself why that is the case. Then it dawned on me that this pitting of one American against the other is nothing more than a manipulation. The intended result is maintaining status quo for career politics in our currently failing political system.

The final metamorphosis of my emotions resulted in anger. Anger against those who would turn the greatest political system in the history of the world into a self-serving cash machine at our expense. We have to remember that, on both sides of the aisle, we are simply trying to do what is best for our country. 99% of us are voting based on the information we have, but the information is faulty.

Some of us have been ingrained in party lines for so long that we no longer see what is really happening. We just see party and that is wrong. When I look at you and your differing views on politics, I must force myself to look past your initial arguments and listen to the reasons you are voting the way you do. I have to also remember that you are basing your decisions on facts you have at your disposal and most of the population only has access to facts fed to us by the media.

To all of us, right or left, we have to take our country back. This Open Letter to Democrats is a plea to both sides. Both Republicans and Democrats need to wake up from the hypnosis of party lines and look at the facts. Neither the Democrat nor the Republican parties are serving the American people. They are serving themselves. Once we understand that as a population, then we will quit paying attention to establishment distractions. Once we are on the same page, we will begin paying attention to what really matters. We will not let career politicians divide and ruin our country.

Open Letter to Democrats – Response Letter

I agree. I agree that personal insults are not the way to go. I also agree that there is a certain level of ignorance on both sides of the aisle. You, I and the rest of the citizenry have been sold a bill of goods by career politicians that is no longer tenable. You see, career politics are to blame and their (establishment’s) goal is to pit us against each other.

As long as we are fighting each other, then it is ideological and not about their fight to retain status quo. But I don’t know if “ignorance” is the right word. I think it should be “insanity” because we citizens keep doing the same thing – voting party lines thinking we will get different results. The result will always be the same, 4 more years of no results.

What may be considered ignorant is when a party (R or D) pushes an agenda regardless of goal or outcome. D, as an ideology, pushes for larger government and more entitlement. I don’t think any Democrat can argue with that, but what has that gotten us as a country. Government is not designed to be in business. They are too inefficient and have zero accountability.

The D party didn’t start that way but that is what it has turned into, an engine for government expansion. Anemic growth and failure to recover are the result of larger government and from an economic perspective, it is not possible for a government to create wealth. You see, money is fiat which is another way of saying worthless. It’s value is based in perception.

I am not the biggest fan of either candidate, but I am a conservative Republican. I would argue that even the R side of the fence has become ineffective. The only resolution to our problem are outsiders who are willing to change the system. What we have to get back to is a smaller government where the people, not the government, dictate the direction of our country. I know that Trump is the better choice to achieve this specific goal.

While I am not a huge fan of either candidate, my argument to persuade you to switch sides is that at the very least, we cannot tolerate 4 more years of what we have gone through. If you want credibility and reason for my tirade, I lost my business due to government intervention and regulation that I could not afford to maintain. Small business is the backbone of growth for our nation and we are suffocating Americans reaching for their dreams. It is the spirit of the pioneer who struck out to unknown territories that we are killing. When it dies, we become like everyone else in the world.

I would argue that anyone needs to vote their conscious, but do not do so blindly and according to party line. Take a look at the numbers. They do not lie. I realize my arguments may fall upon deaf ears because the initial tendency is to build a wall against change and to lash out at anyone proposing change. But maybe if I plant enough seeds, at least one tree will sprout and grow.

Sorry for the long post, but I am very passionate about the survival of our country.

Thank you for taking the time to read my Open Letter to Democrats. Please feel free to comment or to contact us for more information.


Trumpublican – Democrats Are Really Republican

Trumpublican trump·ub·li·can(trəmˈpəbləkən) n. – a person opposing establishment politics advocating a republican government in the form of a smaller, fiscally responsible government held accountable for the protection of and service to the American people first and foremost.

Okay, so this post might generate a bit of controversy, but when I started realizing what was happening, it became impossible to restrain myself. After all, Democrats are Democrats and Republicans are Republicans, right? Maybe not. It may be that Democrats are really Trumpublican.

What brought this on? I was watching the Democratic National Convention and listening carefully to the points that each of the speakers continued to make and it became more and more evident that they were pushing the Republican agenda under the guise of the Democratic Party.

The Agenda

Granted, there were some major flaws in the underlying arguments and there are still chasms of difference on social issues like abortion and status quo, but it was surprising nonetheless that establishment Dems were pushing GOP selling points. Maybe not the establishment, but everyday Democrats are really Trumpublican. They just don’t know it yet.

How did I come to this stark realization? Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Trade Agreements – Trump has always argued that our trade agreements are badly negotiated and not good for the American economy. The worst, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was signed into law by Bill Clinton. The Hillster has always been for the TPP and now has suddenly switched position? Very interesting. To Bernie’s credit, he has also always been critical of our trade agreements.
  2. Divisiveness – As a population, we all want to eliminate racial tensions. What is the best way to do this? According to establishment DNC, we should bring up mothers of criminals and focus on racial divisions, right? Wrong! We have to get past them and the only way to do that is to move forward, not look back. Law and Order in our neighborhoods, especially inner city, is crucial. Equality is actually much farther along than establishment DNC wants you to believe, but what better way to take your mind off the real issues than by filling it with ideas of racial inequality and division. The same is true of gender inequality. Is there room for improvement? Always, but let’s focus on moving forward instead of things we cannot change like the past. By the way, Republicans were the original anti-slavery party.
  3. Jobs vs. Wages – What do we all really want? Whether the minimum wage is $8, $10 or $15 it doesn’t really matter. There is no way a person can support themselves, much less a family, at these wages and it is only going to get worse. All of these are poverty level wages and, in reality, they don’t matter if you can’t get a job. So what do we really want? We want jobs. When there are full-time, consistent jobs a person can enter at one point and move up the ladder from there. How do we generate jobs? Companies and entrepreneurs create jobs. No matter what establishment Dems say, we have nothing if we don’t have jobs. What is worse, their idea of creating jobs is government sponsored infrastructure improvement, but that is like paying yourself to work. You don’t create any wealth. Government by its very design cannot be the ‘creator’ of jobs.
  4. Borders – There is not a country in the world that does not enforce immigration laws. Well, maybe there is one right now – us! The drain on infrastructure and employment is such that it is not sustainable and enforcement of immigration laws is far from the evil monster that establishment Dems make it out to be. We have always been and will always be a nation of immigrants, but it has to be legal and we have to protect our citizens by vetting those who come in. This is the greatest nation on the planet, but without laws, education and society we are nothing but a quagmire of debt sucking us dry.
  5. Establishment Republicans try to sell that the national debt belongs to Obama. While he did nothing to diminish the debt and nothing to curb the debt increases, he is not solely responsible. We will escape his administration at around $21,000,000,000,000 in debt which is nothing to shrug your shoulders at. Establishment Dems point the fingers at Bush and his administration which realized the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression (spoiler: keep your eyes open for a “Dead Cat Bounce” in the near future), but that is not the source either. Bush should not have bailed anyone out or started QE1, but then Obama added to it with QE2 and QE3. Bearing with me momentarily, the real genesis belongs to Alan Greenspan and Bill Clinton when they took the reigns off of Wall Street and allowed the money guys to do whatever they wanted. That resulted in a super-heated housing market, unrestrained lending and the real culprit – Mortgage Backed Securities. So while “Establishment” is busy pointing fingers, here we are stuck in the mud of a sluggish economy that won’t go anywhere. Time to Trumpersize it!
  6. Terrorism – One area of difference at the establishment level is the response to terrorism. Democrat leaders seem to be ignoring the problem because they have always downplayed the issue. It seems obvious to me that Establishment Dems are selling “Feel Good” politics. Problem is that everyday Dems know the problem exists. They see it every single day. Well now leadership Dems cannot acknowledge it because that lends credence to Trump. This is a critical flaw in the Dem approach to getting elected, but it is a quandry to which there is no exit for them. In this capacity, a Trumpublican has the upper hand.
  7. Integrity – This is a double-edged sword no matter what window you see this through. Clinton has obvious integrity issues that don’t need to be mentioned again in this article. Suffice it to say that her integrity issues include deception and lies whereas Trump integrity is primarily questioned due to his inability to contain his words in his head. Let’s think about that for a moment though. If he is saying whatever is on his mind, is that perhaps a good thing and not a bad thing. Instead of the picture of lack of integrity being painted, my personal opinion is that I would rather have a brutally honest President than one who is proven to lie and cover-up when it comes to communicating with the American public.
  8. Law & Order – There is little doubt that citizens on both sides of the aisle are pro Law & Order. There is no question when it comes to supporting our police and our judicial system. To do otherwise is to promote substandard performance in law enforcement and further decay in inner city strife. So what becomes surprising is the overt snub by establishment Dems given to law enforcement and police throughout the nation. There is no doubt that many will question the decision by DNC leadership to promote speeches by mothers of criminals and to make unsupported statements that clearly promote friction between the public and law enforcement. At some point, citizens must realize that a nation is nothing without law and order. When they do, they will realize they are Trumpublican.

The Purposeful Lie

In all fairness, there are some differences in political point of view, but I will argue that Dems are closer to being a Trumpublican than they realize. Millennials, when they actually research issues (rather than just listening to talking heads) will understand that they are surprisingly Trumpublican.

So why would Establishment on either side of the aisle want to keep us in a state of ignorance? Well this one is easy. While we are out here struggling and ‘following’ our leaders, they are sitting comfy and cozy with their retirement programs, health benefits and limited work schedule. I mean, think about it, what would you do to protect your lifelong career in politics. I will argue that, while it is bad on the Republican side, it is worse on the Democrat side. Career politicians are lying to us and that is why Bernie and Donald have done so well. Americans are sick and tired of status quo.

Where I have the biggest issue is the practice of “Feel Good” politics and the turning of facts into emotional misstatements. To paint shootings of black men by white police officers as up, when in reality the number is down by a significant percentage is inflammatory and inaccurate. More importantly, it is irresponsible and that is what we need right now, a responsible government. And what about all the lives lost to crime in our nation? Create jobs where there is a path to the future and create neighborhoods where it is safe to go outside once again and you create peace and prosperity.

To Establishment Democrats (and Republicans) – quit lying and working to maintain the lifestyle that career politics has provided you. That is why outsiders are doing so well, because the American population (everyone) is sick and tired of where career politics has taken us. To be Trumpublican means that you too are sick and tired of where we are as a nation.

Time for “We the People” to Unite

We are not able to sustain debt soon to reach $21 trillion. As a society, we will not be able to function when the middle class disappears. The day when people wake up and find that they have ceded all of their rights to the government that is supposed to work for them, that is a day when revolution will become more than protest. Whether you like it or not, Trump is the only outsider left and the last chance to try to turn the Titanic. We cannot go forward like this so this is my call for unity.

Our Republic was designed by our founders with a small government to be run by citizens who had a calling for public service, not self-service. Until we eliminate career politics, we will not be able to escape the quagmire that is our political system, but we can take one small step in the right direction this November because we are the people in “We the People”.

Best Streaming Music Services Ever

Best Streaming Music Services

Meet Prime - One of the Best Streaming Music Services

Amazon is a relative newcomer to the streaming music services business, but they are serious about the offer. Amazon PrimeBest Streaming Music Services sprung up as the member section of their massive retail site and it has evolved into a unique offering in the market. If I took iTunes and mashed it up with Netflix and stirred in some premium retail services, I would get Amazon Prime. The difference? iTunes makes money on the sale of individual videos and songs where as Prime makes money on the subscription to their service.

I tend to like the Prime model better simply because I can download as many songs or movies as I want without worrying that I am spending too much just because I binge watched my favorite shows. Great news if you want to try the service for free. Amazon Prime has a free 30-day trialBest Streaming Music Services so you can try Prime to see if it is a good fit for you.

One of my pet peeves with any streaming music service is when they do things halfway. My hat is off to Prime simply because they are in it to win it. One thing Apple did that was super smart was to create hardware to compliment their video and music streaming service. They did this without making the user buy iPhones, MacBooks or Mac Computers. Don't get me wrong, Apple hardware sales were important enough to add features to make iTunes easier to interact with on Apple devices, but iTunes did not get dragged down into the abyss of required dependency.

The Perfect Companions for the Best Streaming Music Services

Prime has followed this example with their own unique interpretation of hardware.

Meet Amazon Tap

Meet Amazon Echo

This is a great experiment and I am anxious to see if it will work. Amazon created hardware to compliment not only their streaming music services, but to allow play for all the major competitors as well. But where these devices exceed expectations are in the connected state of voice information as well. In other words, Amazon TapBest Streaming Music Services and Amazon EchoBest Streaming Music Services are the first step into the realm of voice driven, AI mimicking, interactive tools that can also play music, podcasts and more. Granted, to play iTunes requires you to upload your iTunes library to the Prime streaming music services cloud, but guess what? That is ingenious. Amazon has made a play to get you off the iTunes platform and onto the Prime platform with minimal disruption to your life.

Also, if you want, you can play any Internet based streaming music services on the Amazon TapBest Streaming Music Services or Amazon EchoBest Streaming Music Services seamlessly. This is longer-term play and Amazon Prime has done a really good job of catching up (and even passing) other streaming music services. Adding a free 30-day trialBest Streaming Music Services doesn't hurt as they get massive amounts of potential subscribers to try the service. While they are still going through growing pains, I have to say that they have done a great job of providing one of the Best Streaming Music Services on the market.

McDonalds and the $15 minimum wage

$15 Minimum Wage – The Cost of Going Out of Business

The $15 minimum wage is all the new buzz in the political realm today. Given the income rate versus the cost of living I understand the argument so I wanted to dig a little deeper to find out where we really are and what I found scares me. First of all, the raise to $15 an hour as a new minimum wage is like the Dutch Boy putting his fingers in a dyke to stop the leaks from pouring through.

This is a typical government response to fixing problems – put a bandaid on a severed limb and kick the can down the road. CA Governor Jerry Brown was hailed as a hero in the eyes of minimum wage earning adults while being viewed as the devil by all business owners and those who understand the true impact of a $15 minimum wage. First of all, with the exception of a few cities who have already adopted a $15 per hour minimum wage, the wage goes up on a gradual scale until it reaches $15 per hour in 2023.

I understand the argument from both sides, I have been a business owner and have written the payroll checks from my own pocket. I also understand the income increase over the years vs the cost of living increase. A new minimum wage however, is just another nail in the coffin for small biz owners, but it is only one nail. Between the state and feds (especially in CA), honestly the nails no longer matter because they put the coffin in the ground a long time ago.

While Entrepreneur Magazine shows that small business failure rate has actually declined since 1977, if you look at the numbers closely, you will notice that, hidden in the details, so has the ratio of small business creation. Entrepreneurs understand that it is harder to start a small business and survive in today’s economic environment so fewer people start their own company. On the opposite side of this factor is the micro-business explosion. These one to two person operations are the result of the economy and people trying to survive. Participants in this market have driven down the small business failure rate because many of these float in and out of business with little or no tracking. So how do we get an accurate picture? We look historically and according to the SBA, about 33% of small businesses will survive 10 years and only about 25% will survive past the 15 year mark. Not the best odds, but guess what, we just made them worse.

Here is where the primary disconnect between proponents and opponents of the $15 minimum wage exists. When you step in and ‘subsidize’ the minimum wage, what the population may or may not realize is that for every dollar the wage goes up, people receiving that dollar are affecting the supply / demand curve of labor. So if an employee costs $15 plus SS and FICA, I have raised the COGS by that labor cost and rule of free market says that I will naturally find a way to lower that cost, whether it is by replacing humans with automation (today’s technology makes it pretty easy to do) or by determining that my costs outweigh my minimum acceptable profit margin so then it makes no sense for me to be in business.

We are looking at two diametrically opposed forces moving against each other – the cost of living vs the survivability of businesses in the USA. From the viewpoint of the wage earner here is the part that is truly scary, we have to feed our families and, although the unemployment rate shows that it is low (currently hovering around 5%), everyone knows that this is a fictitious number that has little meaning. Under-employed and non-reporting far exceed the rate whose only objective is to make the administration look good. Because we allow it, government is once again stepping into our lives and regulating how we should live – on $15 minimum wage. That is, if we can get a job.

Will $15 Minimum Wage Even Help?

Okay, here is the really scary part and it is already happening in parts of our country. $15 minimum wage does nothing because adults still cannot survive or feed their families on minimum wage, but the government keeps trying to impose their means of making minimum wage survivable. It will never happen and until we attack the true problem we will continue in the opposite direction of where we should be headed. The only thing that will increase is the propensity to poverty and you can see the numbers that are already moving in that direction below.

Small business and enterprise is the backbone of our economy and, until we quit penalizing capitalism and entrepreneurial activity, our gap will continue to grow. Wage earners – If you are working class America (the forgotten middle class), ask yourself, “Is my life better or worse than it was five years ago? Ten years?” The answer is obvious, but the choice not so much so. Without going into depth on growing class inequalities and the disappearance of the middle class, we can safely surmise that manufacturing, mid-level and management jobs (the backbone of the middle class) are disappearing at an alarming rate while lower class and upper class continue to grow.

$15 Minimum Wage - PEW Research - Middle Class Losing Ground

Still a proponent of the $15 minimum wage? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. What happens when there are no more jobs?

Still an opponent of the $15 minimum wage? Don’t worry, you won’t be for long because those will be the only jobs that exist as the socialization of our country continues. Unless we shed the burden of imposed expense on our small and medium-sized businesses, until we actively and aggressively promote entrepreneurship and unless we become business friendly and entice our companies to come back home from overseas, we are on a doomsday path to a socialized destiny. Why do we think the Bernie Sanders movement has become so popular? Same for Trump. Americans are fed up and have nowhere to turn.

It is time for us as citizens and as leaders to take responsibility, to become accountable once again for our destiny and that of our children. We are in the middle of a peaceful, but serious revolution. It is time to listen and time to take decisive action to recapture our greatness as a country.

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The Republican Revolution (Trumpublican Movement)

I have argued for years that both the Democratic Party with its left-wing social tendencies and the entrenched, backboneless Republican Party have far outlived their usefulness and their capacity to represent “We the People”. I have asserted that, time and again, these parties have evolved into self-serving, elitist membership clubs that are out only to protect their positions at the expense of the people they are supposed to represent. Time for a Republican Revolution.

Wake Up! Really?

On the Democrat side, it never ceases to amaze me at how adept that party is at indoctrinating from a very young age. They mold the youth of our nation into entitled, hive-minded people who, for some strange reason, think that government will solve all of our problems and can create wealth out of thin air. News flash — The only way the government can solve your personal problems is to take away your ability to think for yourself, make government larger until it takes over every aspect of your life and legislate you to death.

Additionally, there are only two ways government can provide you with free amenities such as free education, free health care and free infrastructure. One, tax you more to create the money needed to run this ever-growing monolith of fake free services. Two, if taxes don’t pay for all the “free stuff”, they will have to add the expense to the bottom line of the national debt. The problem is that they are already doing both. Check out the national debt clock. With national debt growing at $2 billion per day and unfunded liabilities north of $100 trillion. Everybody on the left side of the fence has to let me know how we are going to pay for a bigger government when we can’t afford what we have now.

“I Would Like an Order of Intestinal Fortitude Please”

So here comes the Republican Party to save the day, right? Not so fast. The Republican Revolution – This election cycle has proven several very interesting things that we will get to momentarily. What comes to mind first and foremost when thinking of the Republican Party is, “Why aren’t they doing what the Republican Party is supposed to do?” I have not seen one, not one member of the Republican Party work to reduce the size of our government. All they are capable of doing is making feeble efforts to fight off growth of the government and they are not even doing that very well. Give in to the budget, give in to the demands of the DNC, give in, give in and give in some more. Worse is that the victories we claim are not really even victories at all – just a little bit less giving in.

“We the People” are pretty tired of status quo. For some reason, I had this feeling that I was one of the few citizens who were so fed up with our current state of politics that I might explode. One of the interesting side effects of this election cycle is that I find myself not alone. I am not alone in feeling betrayed by my own party. I am not alone in feeling as if my voice and my destiny has been ripped away and traded for a few pieces of silver to line the pockets of those in power – the career politicians.

A Republican Revolution

Guess what establishment. There is a Republican Revolution, actually more of an American Political Revolution coming and it is heading our way like a freight train. The polls and caucuses are demonstrating, between Trump and even Bernie before he sold out, that America is done with establishment politics. “We the People” are done not having representatives in Washington when these people are supposed to be faithful to us, the constituents. Time and time again they have betrayed us to the point where we can no longer trust them. They can throw money at it. They can get their best speakers and best establishment representatives, but to no avail. We are taking our country back.

The Trumpublican Movement

There is a movement rising that is sick and tired of traditional politics. This movement is no longer about the government, it is about the people and the removal of bureaucracy that overshadows and over-reaches. This movement is the New Republican Party. It is the Trumpublican Movement and the establishment can either embrace it or get out of the way. This is not about Trump the man. It is about what we are giving away as a nation.

This is a warning to the elite. If you do not accept the vote of “We the People” and you usurp our authority over you as our representatives, you will get steamrolled. You will get taken from your ivory towers and replaced with people who do not have power and money as their first and only priority.

The people are speaking. It is peaceful, yet determined. It is resolute in the final goal, to reclaim our country from self-serving politics. No longer will politics be a career. It will once again be a service to the nation and to the people. No longer will those in power stay forever to become so entrenched and entangled in our system that they think they cannot be removed. Part of this is still a dream, but the building of the tide is a reality so wake up and take heed. “We the People” are coming to claim what is rightfully ours, the destiny and future of this great nation.

You Do Have a Voice

Whether by accident or on purpose, Trump and the Trumpublican Movement have shown us what can be done when we are not beholden to anyone. From the perspective of most, Trump is not the ideal candidate, but most importantly, he is not a politician. Need more evidence? Simply look at how well Bernie did on the other side of the fence before they betrayed him. The reaction to Trump however, is the most telling sign of the change in the direction of political winds. “We the People” are speaking loud and clear and, for the first time in a long time, I have hope. This hope may be misguided but even this cannot be worse than status quo.

This is a Republican Revolution, the Trumpublican Movement. I am hopeful out of it will arise a New Republican Party that will once again represent our wishes and will once again do what is right to make our country great. It will not come easy, however. There is far too much at stake for the Establishment and they will do everything they can to protect status quo. We will have to fight for it. We will have to argue for it. We will have to get people to vote and believe that they can make a difference.

The sacrifice we have to make is a small price to pay for what we have to lose.

Repercussions of San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA
For us here in the States, the tragedy in Paris hit a nerve that was extremely painful and one which resulted in grief and a sense of loss as we endured the fanaticism of jihadists close enough to feel the pain, but far enough away that the impact was a little less severe. My heart goes out to all of those who lost innocent lives from all countries and all walks of life. Senseless.

In Southern California, it is in our face and the horror of San Bernardino reminds me of 9/11, not in the scale but in the irrefutable hatred towards the West held because of faith. My heart and prayers go out to those families in San Bernardino impacted by this horrific act. This community is about an hour or so away from where I live, but it could have been on the other side of the country and the pain would still run as deep. How can the senseless murder of innocent lives be a call to action for any religion?

Out of the pain and suffering by the families of those lost and those whose lives are forever changed, especially in San Bernardino where the pain is fresh, out of the tolerant and giving nature of the American people and out of the fact that our nation was born Christian, it is time we take a stand. I predict that the repercussions of recent heinous actions will negatively impact peaceful Muslims around the world, but make no mistake, we are at war and unless we wake up this battle will be fought without us and we will lose either way.

On the one hand, we will lose if we allow the jihadists to gain any type of foothold where they can continue to wreak havoc through these ‘lone wolf’ attacks and other cowardly acts against innocent people. At some point we will either have to stand up and fight or we will lose a far more important battle – our freedom.

Listen to the Democrats, including our ‘leader’, who assail the Constitution at every corner by crying out for gun control. San Bernardino is just the tip of the iceberg if we continue to let the government usurp our rights one-by-one. Do we really think that criminals and jihadists will pay attention to gun control laws? Really? They pay attention and laugh as we give our rights away. The problem we have is that people don’t look two to three moves ahead of what happens when they tout gun control as the answer to our problems, but this is a symptom of a far larger problem.

As an aside, law abiding citizens who want to carry a firearm and be responsible for keeping the peace in this nation are not adversaries of the police, but rather allies for our outnumbered men and women in blue. There are multiple case studies that prove this model. Texas and Florida are just two. Google ‘concealed carry weapons and crime rate’ and you will find a plethora of information on how crime rate drops significantly in proportion to the number of concealed weapons permits.

The far larger problem in our nation however, is that we are willing to give up our freedoms in order to be ‘protected’ by our government. This is short-sighted but is also prevalent as we burden our legislative and judicial system with more laws and more regulations that make it impossible to keep up with our legal system.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for societal order and the amazing job 99.9% of our law enforcement performs on a daily basis, but they are getting overburdened and the bad guys are starting to understand this. So what do we do as a nation? More legislation? That doesn’t seem to work as we have the highest per capita inmate population in the world. Take away the rights of the many to control the deeds of the few? That doesn’t seem to be working, but they keep trying. So then what is the answer? The old adage rings true, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.

We stand up as individuals and take responsibility for our actions. We hold others, including officials accountable, but more importantly, we hold ourselves accountable. We plug God back into the system. This is how we were founded and what makes our country work. We take pride in our work and we strive for greatness once again. The world doesn’t owe us anything.

This is America. We are a nation built on Christianity and if you don’t like it, leave. I will not kowtow to people who are offended anymore. Get over it. I will not give in to those who want to tear down this nation. I will defend it. I will not fear evil, I will face it with the knowledge and truth that I am saved. I will not settle for a second-rate, entitled nation. I will strive to do my part to make it great again.

God Bless the families of souls lost to terrorism around the world, regardless of whose hand was involved. This is a point in time where we either rally and take a stand against the atrocities or we let them continue uninterrupted and live life fearfully letting our government be our protector, eliminating our freedoms slowly, one-by-one.

TownSpeaks War on Small Business

Government Wages War on Small Business

Goodbye America!

The increased minimum wage will do a lot of damage to small business, but many owners will replace people with automated systems which, in the long-run will do more harm than good. That is overt war on small business and business owners expect this type of hostile treatment even though it should be a symbiotic relationship, but at least they can see it coming. There is another battle going on though behind the scenes and it is a life or death battle in the covert war government wages against entrepreneurs.

Fox News just announced that San Fransisco city officials have finally succeeded in legislating the last gun store in San Fransisco out of business as the city wages war on small business. City Supervisor Mark Farrell claims that the gun shop, High Bridge Arms, has ‘long been a thorn in the side of the city’s aggressive advocates of gun control’.

This is a perfect example of what happens when government begins to listen to special interest groups and we the people do nothing to fight back. According to the story, High Bridge Arms has done everything legally and above board to comply with ever-increasing requirements imposed by the city. The most recent legislation would require the shop to now film delivery of any gun to the purchaser, even after they have passed the background check and not taken delivery until after the waiting period.

The gun shop, around for 50 years in the Mission District, is not willing to take it anymore. Officials claim the gun shop has made it too easy for people to obtain guns even though the owners follow the letter of the law, have 17 cameras on location and tape nearly every aspect from sales to purchase. Now they want delivery on camera and the gun shop said enough is enough. The owners implied that they are not treating their customers, many of them law enforcemnt, like criminals.

Spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Ladd Everitt, obviously has the ear of the City Supervisor and places his interests above the State Law, “If High Bridge Arms is so scared of implementing such a practice, my first question would be, ‘What do you have to hide?’.” What he fails to mention is that the store implemented measure after measure on city request to the point where the straw has broken the camel’s back.

It has gotten so pervasive in our political system that these special interest groups have begun to gain control and influence over governmental officials at all levels which continues to increase the impact and influence of governmental control over our personal lives. All you have to do is look at the lobbyists and special interest groups at every tier of government from municipal to state to federal.

The special interest epidemic has reached a point where it directly opposes our Constitution, including our right to bear arms. The time has come for Constitutional Americans to stand up for our rights and to protect American’s and their right to be entrepreneur’s without bullying tactics by municipal, state or federal government.

We at TownSpeaks strongly urge you to contact the City of San Fransisco Board of Supervisors to voice your concerns regarding the influence special interest groups have over city legislation. Their contact information;

San Francisco City Hall
Address: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl #244
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone:(415) 554-5184

Also, please reach out to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and let them know that criminals don’t obey the law and will purchase weapons with or without regulations in place. It is time we quit legislating our citizens to death. Where was the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence when Kate Steinle was shot to death by an illegal immigrant on the pier with a gun not obtained legally. As you can see by their address, they are a DC lobby group. Ladd Everitt is their Director of Communications and here is their contact information;

Coalition To Stop Gun Violence
805 15th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 408-0061

Magical Economy - TownSpeaks

The Magical Economy

As in life, we always look for miraculous events along with rainbows and unicorns. The state of our nation is no different and most importantly, we rely on our magical economy to keep us afloat. $20+ trillion (with 12 zeroes) in debt but no problem. In our magical economy, we can just print more money. Need a boost in the stock market? Let’s send it soaring in our magical economy by printing so much money that we can pay our own debt with the money we print. How magical is that?

The Magical Economy and Football

I am a big fan of football. I am giving away my age but my team used to be the Houston Oilers. In fact, the last year Earl Campbell played for the University of Texas was my first year at my old Alma Mater. Then the unthinkable happened. Bud Adams moved the Oilers to Tennessee and renamed them the Titans. That was a sad day for me and basically left me teamless since, as a diehard Oiler fan I was not able to switch to the Dallas Cowboys.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I moved to the San Diego area and was able to change my allegiance to the San Diego Chargers (sigh). I will admit thought that, since they hired Mike McCoy, the seasons have looked a bit more promising, but if we are looking at the economy the we are off topic. Or are we?

After football (and being the gracious husband that I am) my wife and I watched a little of the 2015 Emmy’s. I have to admit that I was moved by Tracy Morgan’s speech, his down to earth approach and his determination to work at rehabilitation. The Emmys 2015 version was littered with the political rhetoric and innuendo that I am not fond of, but I do recognize there is a great deal of entertainment value and comedy in the current political environment. Where it departs from entertainment however, is in the promotion of one ideological value over another which has no place in either the 2015 Emmys or in the entertainment industry as a whole.

So what does all of this have to do with our economy? Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rogers looked great by the way), New England Patriots, Emmys 2015, Scorch Trials vs Black Mass. What do any of these have to do with our economy and the general health of our nation? Answer: They are distractions from reality. Just like any good magician, he or she takes our focus off of what is going on in the right hand so that we do not see what is happening in the left. Let’s take a closer look at our magical economy.

The Magical Economy and Minimum Wage

Football salaries. Venture to guess what the minimum salary is for an NFL rookie? If you guessed almost a half a million dollars then you would be right, that is minimum wage. Being a fan of football, I get the entertainment value, but as fans, we support salary levels for people who play sports while the educators of our children don’t typically make enough to live on individually and they even get attacked with little to no recourse for the aggressors? To me, this is short-sighted and inexcusable. Even our college professors have been herded into the adjunct space which means that they are transient for the most part and less likely to get tenure track. But football is shiny so let’s focus on that.

We have become a nation of distracted individuals working harder and harder to keep up with the pace of life to the point where we only have time to react. In fact, millennials have gotten so ingrained in the immediacy approach to life that they find it rude if they text and don’t receive a response back right away. It is ridiculous that others, including our bosses, now have 24/7 access and expectancy.

The same is true in business. Once the world’s technology powerhouse, companies in the US and even the US government have reduced R&D spending year over year for at least the last 10 years. How can we be expected to innovate when we decrease the budget for research? A perfect example of the shift in ideology is portrayed by this Harvard Business Review article ( which points out that Cisco is better off utilizing exploitation and acquisition as primary innovation strategies rather than actually innovating.

The chart that they present for Cisco clearly shows a drop in patents based on a 3 year lag time, yet the authors argue in the first half of their article that exploit based R&D yields better returns. Fortunately, in the latter half of the article the authors back-peddle and concede that a mixed approach between exploitation and exploration is necessary for R&D growth. They further acknowledge that exploitation is a means to acquire and monetize innovation rather than create long-term value by innovating. So then we have to ask why.

Why shift focus from longer-term R&D benefits to a shorter term, bottom line approach to innovation. Simple answer is that CEO’s are now only as good as this year’s net profits. There is no longer any room for R&D as CEO’s raid this business segment in hopes of squeezing every drop of revenue from operations and sales so they can continue to show improved performance in the bottom line to keep their jobs and get their bonuses. Why? Because stockholders demand it. In fact, with diminished regard for future value, R&D along with long-term employment appears to now be the first to go. Because we have decided to put all of our eggs in a short-term basket, we have become a transient, service-based and immediacy focused economy depending on short-term results rather than long-term growth. The magical economy.

This is true in business and it is true in government and politics as well. Stock prices rise with no basis, national debt is a bank account that we don’t have to pay for, politicians are focused on re-election rather than health of the economy and strength of our nation. We are a country whose entire political system is based on Judeo-Christian values, but that doesn’t serve our politics today so we discard them without a second thought. Why? Because those in power don’t want you looking at the left hand. They wave the right hand harder and harder to get you to look at it, but there is change in the air and hopefully, the middle class will wake up before it is too late. It is time to open our eyes and look behind the curtain at the travesty and damage this magical economy has inflicted on us individually and on our nation.

The magical economy is short-term and our focus must swing back to a longer-term view and we have to quit kicking the can down the road. Single term limits for politicians, pay them what the average American makes and forget the health care and perks. The magical economy creates establishment politics and career politicians, but if they are going to be a career politician, then they can work 40 hours a week at their job. Let them clock in and out.

I am thankful for those who serve our nation as public servants and who are working toward a better America. Those people do exist but they are few and far between in our political system. History has proven one thing – we can change voluntarily or we can continue to abuse the system until it is no longer bearable and change happens whether we like it or not. Time to put the distractions aside and remember how to be the greatest country in the history of mankind.

European Migration Crisis

European Migration Crisis

The people fleeing Syria in the recent days, weeks and months has reached a flash point in the European Union, but what does the European Migration Crisis have to do with the United States and should we get involved? From a humanitarian perspective, we have performed our courtesy gesture of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the US with the Dems wanting more and Obama pushing for the increase to 10,000, but this is not the real issue and is yet another deflection by the US government in our abysmal foreign policy tactics and efforts worldwide.

Why Are Syrians migrating to Europe?
Under our current administration, few can argue that we have been weak and reactionary. Once again we are dealing with fallout rather than being proactive and doing what is necessary to protect our interests around the globe.

A Brief Timeline of the Syrian conflict and what is happening in Syria;

  • 1979 – List created and Syria added as a State Sponsor of Terrorists. US creates a list of state sponsors of terrorism and Syria is characterized as providing safe haven to multiple terrorist groups as well as providing political and tactical support such as arming Hezbollah force with SCUD missiles.
  • 1990 to 2000 – Syria improved relations with the US by securing the release of hostages in Lebanon and by opening bilateral negotiations with Israel. President Hafez al-Assad sought accord with Israel, the US and the multi-national community.
  • 2000 – President Bashar al-Assad takes power and reverses progress made by Syria. As a Shia, al-Assad operates as a dictator to enforce his regime including torture, abduction and murder.
  • 2010 – Obama appoints Ambassador and resumes political relations with Syria.
  • 2011 – Arab Spring protests. Sunni’s begin to protest on a large scale against the al-Assad regime. Conflict escalates and force is used in violent crackdowns against protestors.
  • 2012 – Protests turn into civil war and government begins military assault on civilians focusing on the Sunni population.
  • 2013 – Sunni states Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others back Sunni fighters in Syria. Iran, as a Shia country, backs al-Assad in his war on the Sunni population.
  • The Syrian government, under Assad, has targeted its own civilians and estimates are between 200,000 to 300,000 innocents have been killed while an estimated 3.5 to 4.5 million have fled the country. This is the source of the refugee exodus into Europe.

    So where is the risk for the US?
    Flashback to the Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula where Russia invades utilizing military disguised in plain clothes and with equipment and weapons that they don’t even bother to hide. The purpose? To acquire and maintain a strategic foothold in a port that is critical to supply lines for both Europe and Russia. This is an overt land grab with little resistance other than lip service by the US and the United Nations. What were the consequences to Putin and the Russians? Nothing.

    With little challenge from the West, Putin is now more emboldened to reach out and lay claim where other opportunities exist. The primary deterrent in the past has been the US and threat of military action to keep aggressionist tactics in check, but now there is no counter balance and these acts will become more and more aggressive.

    Fast-forward and we have the Arctic Circle land grab with zero challenge and we now have the Syrian push by Putin with the political and military backing pledge from Russia to Assad. Make no mistake, Russia has zero interest in the Sunni / Shia conflict. Russia is after Syria for strategic purposes and if you examine all of their movements into external sovereignty, you will see that their targets are highly tactical. Their focus appears to be strategic points should the need arise to control points of entry or have access to resource rich environments in times of conflict.

    This is most likely on the radar screen of the intelligence agencies and, if it is not already, should be a priority for the intelligence community. Is there a risk for the US with the most recent events in Syria? Absolutely there is, but we also need to keep focus on the European migration crisis at the same time.

    How do we resolve this? There is no magical answer, but when the Syrian citizens feel safe in returning to their homeland, then the migration crisis will be over. If that is not the primary focus of the international community, then it should be. We have to deal with the immediate needs at hand, but we have to look beyond that into the longer-term resolution of replacing the dictatorial regime in Syria. The alternative is that both Iran and Russia will have a strategic foothold in the Middle East that will be nearly impossible to retake in the future.

    Finally, while there are implications for the US, including our foreign policy and strategic footprint in areas around the world, this is not just a US problem. Left unchecked, these incursions have the potential to become more aggressive and will impact other nationalities directly. Examples so far include the countries of Ukraine and Syria with a severe indirect economic impact on many of the European countries.