Mind Over Matter

Spend some time reading liberal blogs

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 21, 2011

I said earlier that I frequently read and comment on several liberal blogs.

As a conservative, my goal, even agenda, is first to understand perspectives that differ from my own, while also taking the opportunity to share points I think are worthy of consideration.

I can sum up my experience on these sites as both interesting and amusing.

Today, I read a post titled, As Food Prices Skyrocket, House Committee Calls For Cutting Food Stamps Instead Of Agriculture Subsidies, which touted the predictable perspective that conservatives are hurting the people who are most in need of help.

As interesting as you’ll find reading the above blog post, and others , make sure that you read the comments, including the exchanges between people.

Visit wearing you alligator skin, and enjoy the ride!

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Libya: WTF?

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 20, 2011

I’m a hawk; always have been. I just can’t figure out why we’re in Libya.

I think Qaddafi is a useless third world rogue, who needs to go, and would have cheered if the military took him out soon after the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.

However, I’m questioning this current decision, and seek some intelligent discourse to understand a strategic, economic, or other reason(s) why our tax dollars are being spent on this. Conversely, sending the military to assist with the Japan earthquake disaster is a no-brainer in my opinion.

To my right-leaning friends, my fellow hawks, I’m not going to automatically blame President Obama, though I am acutely concerned about where his leadership is on this and other important matters. Thus, I think a GOP president would choose a similar course of action, which would equally suck.

To my left-leaning friends, those who I perpetually argue with, and never seem to agree, don’t get your hopes up, because I’m not coming over to the dark side. I am far from buying into the perpetual peacenik crap about how awful America is. So, can it

Posted in Economy, Military | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stop Calling Conservatives Racist

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 16, 2011

I frequently read with mild amusement liberal blogs, and some remind me of my college experience at an ultra liberal university.

I read a post earlier this morning, titled Before Your Very Eyes, on Church of the Bad News, which is a quintessential example.

The author, Holloway, provided a historical perspective, and supported it with statements, such as, “This history is vital, because our current political realities rest upon the foundations of these racist evolutions. Nixon’s Southern Strategy, and the GOP’s subsequent corollaries (of which the Tea Party is just the latest gimmick), are built upon the toxic ground of American racism. ”

I’m not denying our national history, nor that elements of racism still exist. However, we’ve all witnessed the great strides forward, including our first African American President.

It appears that some liberals are convinced, and want to remind others of their overt bias that conservatives are wealthy, and completely racist.

I commented on the post about my fatigue as a fiscal conservative when reading these type of rants. Frankly, it’s too broad, way over the top, and makes me want to ignore their perspectives. If/when we become so polarized that we completely stop considering other points of view, it’ll be too late.

If I can find credible evidence of any society in history that successfully taxed and spent itself into into a utopia, I’ll change my tune.

We have a good thing going, though a long way from perfect.

Posted in Economy, Racism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Labor Union: The Socialistic Culture was not for Me

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 15, 2011

I pursued and was hired into a union position as a young adult, but eventually left upon reaching the painful conclusion that the culture was not for me.

My disillusionment started early when immersed into the soul crushing social construct where seniority is valued far above every other attribute a person brings to the job.

In the competitive market system, the union was astonishingly socialistic. Every aspect of the construct was clearly spelled out; even suffocating.

At the beginning of my second week, I made the almost fatal error of arriving thirty minutes early, with the goal to get a jump on my day. I was young, ambitious, and competitive, and wanted to demonstrate my dedication. Big mistake.

My supervisor warned me in writing, later the same morning, that I was prohibited from working any extra time outside of the contractual provisions. The letter included a bargaining agreement page, which clearly highlighted the designated work hours

I was a little cocky when I confronted my supervisor about the letter. She informed me that she had no choice; my “violation” was reported by another union member.

The cold shoulder I received from peers was a more clear indication that my “go getter” attitude ruffled some feathers. There was zero tolerance for my attitude. I was expected to toe-the-line like everyone else. No exceptions.

In retrospect, I should have immediately walked away; run and never looked back.

I barely kept my job during an economic layoff, but witnessed some great people get sent packing only because they lacked enough seniority. Management didn’t have the choice to pick and choose the best human assets to keep.

The union was a powerful political machine, which used member dues to support liberal political candidates.

It astonished me the amounts of money expended to defeat conservative candidates who advocated for lower taxes to encourage growth, and job creation. It was overt class-warfare propaganda, with the staunch position that conservatives only represented the rich, while liberals looked out for the working class.

Union officials loudly cried foul about the declining number of family-wage jobs, while supporting liberal candidates who advocated tax and spend policies, which were counter productive to economic growth.

I cannot predict if union power will increase, decline, of stay the same in American society, nor if a power shift would be better, or worse in the long-term. Time will tell.

I do know that my experience as a union member was very negative, and don’t regret leaving the socialistic culture for other gainful employment opportunities.

Posted in Economy, Labor Unions, Public Employee Unions | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Governor Walker v. the Wisconsin Public Employee Unions

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 12, 2011

I read an interesting post today, titled Friday Fragments on, Confessions of a Community College Dean, regarding Governor Walker’s leadership.

I found the blogger’s argument reasonably balanced enough to acknowledge the challenges and frustrations of working within a system that continues to employ poor performers. However, I disagree with his position that, “Governor Walker, in Wisconsin, is managing to get absolutely everything wrong.”

My perception is that while this looks bad in the short term, it’s a good start. The next thing that needs to go is teacher tenure, and couple it with adding incentive compensation to entice the best possible talent into the education profession.

It will be interesting to see if the great unwashed, who perpetually complain about a failing public education system have the personal and collective fortitude to support leaders like Walker, who are actually living up to their campaign promises.

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Disaster Preparation: The Line Between Preparation and Survivalism

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 12, 2011

At dinner with some friends yesterday evening, a major topic of discussion surrounded the timely prominent images of the Japanese earthquake disaster, particularly the tsunami. The diatribe quickly turned to disaster self-preparation.

“It’s not a question of if, but when a natural disaster will hit our area,” my buddy said. “We all need to be prepared to survive without access to emergency services for a minimum of two weeks.”

“Hmmm,” I replied. “Two weeks? I should probably stock up on some more hooch.”

Seriously, what is the line between preparing and being a survival nut?

Proactively stocking extra food, water, medical, and other necessities not only makes good sense, but is reasonably doable, without having to stuff every nook and cranny in the house with supplies, like a submarine preparing for an upcoming patrol.

Living in a culture with abundant emergency resources makes me wonder, what if these services are completely overwhelmed on a much greater scale than Katrina? Imagine a major earthquake on the west coast, and simultaneous hurricane in the Gulf. Reasonable?

Preparing for an imaginable scenario is one matter. Preparing for a scenario of possibly having to shoot an opportunistic looter to protect my family, and limited survival supplies, is another.

The looting during Katrina coupled with elderly people abandoned in care facilities, and shootings, painted an ugly picture of human distress. it also demonstrated to me that there’s no excuse for not preparing for both scenarios.

The challenge is preparing without becoming a total survival loon.

Posted in Disaster Preparation, Economy, Health, Survivalism | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How hard is it to get your ass moving?

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 11, 2011

A friend and I have started walking early mornings. Neither of us are exercise nuts.

Getting our asses moving first thing in the morning to walk 3 miles, 3-4 days a week, is just part of an ongoing effort to be healthy.

I’m not a healthy lifestyle expert, and enjoy eating apple pie & ice cream as much as anybody.

I must watch what I eat and exercise, or I’ll get fat, and suffer for it like so many other people.

We maximize the walk time by bouncing business ideas off each other, talking politics, etc.

In contrast, I work with a person who recently complained bitterly that the surgeon won’t replace her knees until she loses 100 pounds.

Her perspective is that her knees hurt too much to walk, so she is unable to exercise and lose the required weight.

I suggested that she ride an exercise bike, which was not what she wanted to hear, but….

The concept seems amazingly simple to me:
Slim: Burn more Calories than you Consume.
Fat: Consume more Calories than you Burn.

It’s a no-brainer, in my opinion.

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Who’s the Fool?

Posted by charliehustle2011 on March 11, 2011

Today, I suck it up and make the monthly mortgage payments on my house, which I cannot sell for close to the the 2007 purchase price.

I put 20% down on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, and though under water, continue meeting my financial obligation because I borrowed the money in good faith, while people I know, who can also afford to cover their monthly nut, are choosing to walk away.

“It’s a business decision”, I’m told by friends, and co-workers; good people I respect, genuinely like, and would even trust to babysit my kids. “The U.S. Government pissed away our tax money bailing out the banks. Let them eat the loss.”

I think they make a valid point. We’re all pissed at the situation; caught in an ugly moral dilemma.

Am I the fool for thinking that I borrowed the money, so I should pay it back? Am I throwing away good money on an investment that may not recover? Are we on an inevitable slide toward becoming a third world joke?

I could stop paying, and stuff cash in a coffee can, wait until evicted, then rent a bigger, nicer house down the street, with a big deck and fancy hot tub, for less money than my current mortgage payment.

The savings could help cover increased fuel and grocery prices.

The direction things are moving is spooky, and I wonder if I’m the fool who’s watching what’s happening with eyes wide open, but ignoring the bigger picture.


Posted in Economy | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »