“Liberty built civilization. It can rebuild civilization. And when the tides turn and the culture again celebrates what it means to be free, our battle will be won. It could happen in our time. It might happen after we are gone from this earth. But it will happen. Our job in this generation is to prepare the way.”

That’s one of my favorite quotes from Ron Paul’s book Liberty Defined that I just finished.

Thank you Ron Paul for your tireless effort to reeducate the country on liberty.

While Michael Moore incorrectly blames capitalism and the free market (instead of corporatism and cronism) for our economic ills, he makes a really good point in this interview about the killing of Bin Laden.

Moore: Bin Laden Suffered An “Execution;” Should Have Put Him On Trial


The power to kill without a trial (and without the apprehenders’ lives in danger) is a scary thing to play around with, no matter out terrible the accused crime. What a precedent!

I recently heard a Mother say, “I did not know how to respond when my little daughter asked me: ‘Why did Saddam get a trial but Bin Laden didn’t?” Very insightful question from the mouth of a child.

At first I wanted to get excited by Eric Cantor’s announcement about the YouCut program. Then I saw the dollar amounts saved and realized that a 0.017% is likely just a political pawn move. That’s like me asking all my friends to vote on how to save less than $10 for the year. While the concept sounds appealing, I would love to see budget cuts in the double digits as many Americans have had to make themselves.

I see videos like dump Reid and realize that Americans recognize that we must stop spending, but I worry that we will, as a people, run from the incumbents, only to find more of the same in a different party package from the challenging candidates. The republicrats are all alike these days. Pay close attention to Peter Schiff, Rand Paul, and those who are not career politicians.

Last week when I was on my way back from a game of pickup ball at Declo High School, I noticed the stark contrast between the fancy new school versus the Junior High and Elementary School buildings beside it. They appeared to come from entirely different worlds. The old schools had been pieced together, one building at a time (each probably a decade apart), as the student body and needs grew. There were four unique sections to the old high school that also served the junior high.

Old Declo High School Main Entrance

Old Declo High School Gymn and View of Building

It was striking to see the uncoordinated sections of the buildings next to that modern high school. Strangely, during a time when I think a lot about living within ones means, the old schools, which represented self-control and restraint in spending, had a disciplined beauty to them, while the new school carried the baggage of America’s current pain and burden of high debt.

New Declo High School Building Funded by Multi-million Dollar Municipal Bond

I remember when I was a teenager the months of debate over the multi-million dollar school bonds to rebuild the area’s schools that were way out of date. As I had participated in alternative schools (home school and AHA) in my later years rather than public schools, I argued against the debts (and taxes) that would be placed on all of our properties, regardless of whether we use the state-of-the-art, expensive new buildings.

This morning I read an article about municipalities and cities going bankrupt due to too much debt. Others are borrowing against the future to keep up with payments, trying to avoid bankruptcy. It seems that American credit card habits spilled over into municipal governance and now it’s time to pay the price. I wonder how well my community is bearing the weight of the school bonds. Feeling the weight today, would we have chosen to take on the debt 15 years ago? Or would we have chosen a more conservative approach like that of past generations’ school expansion?

I have asked students how the schools are doing and apparently there has been enough growth in the community to easily fill the new schools. I hope that this growth is offsetting any losses in tax revenues due to unemployment rates for our community.

I know I have some regrets about the way I handled debts in my own businesses. What’s done is done. Hopefully we’ll all learn to be more wise the next time around.

I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook recently because my family and I launched an app that helps you find a funny Facebook status for your friend feed and then print the most clever Facebook statuses onto a T-Shirt.

Although some think social media is worthless for business,  we opted to create a business that lives inside the culture of Facebook rather than try to capitalize on poor-performing ads I’m viewing constantly on the right side of Facebook. The visitor loyalty rates are astounding and the T-Shirt sales growing, and so it seems that you can make money with social media.

While spending this time on Facebook, I’ve noticed changes in the right ads that have made me sick about the state of our nation. Our debt, our “future money” disquised as government bailout money “from Obama” has crowded out all real innovation and commerce on the ads. This screenshot only captures two of the three ads on the page that were ALL take-advantage-of-the-bailout ads. It also sports a status about the bailout. Oh, Amerika…what has happened? Where is your honor, self-respect and personal responsibility for living beyond your means? (the “k” is intentional, think immigrant)

Bailout Hits Social Media

If we only understood how costly those Facebook ads will be to our country.

John recommended Atlas Shrugged to me last week and I bought the Audible version to listen to while I work. While I found the writing superb and the story-line thought-provoking, I quit listening to it 6 hours into the 50+ hours program. I felt like I knew where the book was headed and, as a novel, was more about entertainment than communicating me the ideas succinctly. I don’t have time for it right now. I am focusing on content that is helping me as an entrepreneur right now and decided against this one. Maybe down the road.

Last week, as my blood boiled when I thought of the freedoms we might loose as a result of the $700 billion transfer of power to the secretary of the treasury, I found myself reading articles, trying to understand what was happening, learning whether I could make a difference. It felt like a worthwhile thing to do, after all, the future of our country was on the line.

Then I read Seth Godin’s post on looking for an opportunity to do less, which hit home for me. I decided to write and call my senators and representatives and then forget about the housing crisis. Stop reading the articles. Stop wasting my time on something I had no power over.

Instead, I spend my time on our company and my family.

In a conversation with a good friend, he spoke of how wonderful a time this is to start a company. As the job market softens it will be easier to attract good talent to your team. He recently spoke with a technical leader in a large organization. Their research suggests that their ability to hire new programmers is going to surge in two months, not because they will have more resources, but because people will be looking for the work. He also commented that competition is so worried about their our cashflow problems and margin pressure that you have a chance to really grow if you dig in and work.

It’s a marvelous time to build a business, attract talent, stay lean and provide value to society.

So, the only reading I will be doing is studying the previous financial crashes historically to understand where is the best direction to steer our business. Did you know that the movie business thrived during the Great Depression? People needed an escape during difficult times…so they went to the movies. There are silver linings on the darkest of clouds. I thank Seth for reminding me to look at mine.


That’s what President Uchtdorf called it today. Just saying that word makes me feel better.

Thank you Bill Sali who voted against the bailout.

I’m very disappointed in Mike Simpson who voted to hand over that kind of power to the executive branch just because we’re so worried about the future of the economy.

Please contact your representative to oppose this legislation…here’s a great form letter to start from.

This is the most insightful article into the current financial crisis that I’ve read so far. Over-correction means loss of freedoms just as it did after 9/11

What can an average American like me do to stop this?  It doesn’t seem like this is stabilizing the markets, the so-called reason for the last minute action. I only take comfort in the fact that natural laws and principles can only be ignored for so long and then consequences correct us. I wish we’d choose to correct ourselves, not make it worse.

in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and ensure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity, do establish and maintain this constitution for the United States of America.

That is probably not perfect because it’s from memory, but I hope everyone is aware that 55 delegates met and signed the US Constitution on September 17, 1787. Now, every 17th of September is called Constitution Day. I realize I’m late this year, but I hope all of us do something to educate ourselves during this week every year. I got my chance on the Saturday after.

Those of my faith may be familiar with the prophecy that our constitution would hang by a thread.

Most of my faith are not aware that a Rally for the Republic occurred this month in Minnesota (my brother Daniel was there).

During the keynote, Ron Paul echoed the prophecy. Hear it for yourself at the beginning of part three of his speech on YouTube.

Then choose one of 10 things to do to celebrate Constitution Day.

“We the people” are the thread that this document hangs on. Let us educate ourselves and act.

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