“In God We Trust” – Well, at least we used to

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I think I will have a few regrets, but hopefully only a few, when I finally depart this earth.
Of the, if not THE, greatest will be that my generation destroyed a country by our lust for power. This lust led us not only to a great country ruined, but also to convince a great majority of the Rising Generation to believe Socialism is not only ok, but should be honored and glorified. A belief that replaces God with the government (since we apparently no longer have trust in God – interesting for a country with “In God We Trust” on its currency…).

By dictionary definition, Socialism is “a system of society or group living in which there is no private property” or “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned or controlled by the state” or “a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”. I think a careful read of the last part of that sentence is telling – key on the word “unequal”. Communism is “distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”. Sound like anywhere you know? It seems we are attempting to achieve, if not already having achieved, what the U.S.S.R. never could. Regardless, under any definition, it is the stealing from one to give to another. Stealing? Yes, when taxes are used to redistribute wealth from one segment of the population to another, vice to pay for services needed by all, it is stealing.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs…” was popularized by Marx and Engels in The Manifesto of the Communist Party. This will never of course be achieved in this country because so many are convinced the “from each according to his ability” part is unnecessary. Why waste to energy. The State will take care of me. However, it creates a state where those that ARE willing to do what they are able are robbed of the fruits of their labor to provide for those not willing – regardless of ability.

There are numerous ways to categorize people in. For the sake of this commentary I will use these five. The Power Hungry. The I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job. The Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me. The Working. The Employer (aka, Rich).
Here’s how the five play out:
The Power Hungry say, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some say, “OK” and become the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.

The Power Hungry steal more money (in the form of increasing various taxes) from the Employer and the Working to pay for the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
The Employer lays off some of the Working because he can’t afford them due to the decreased sales (since, due to higher taxes, the Working don’t have as much money to spend) and increased taxes on the Employer thereby creating more I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job.
The Power Hungry say to the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some of the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job give up for lack of jobs and become Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.

The Power Hungry steal more money (in the form of increasing various taxes) from the Employer and the Working to pay for the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
The Employer lays off more Working because he can’t afford them (see above) thereby creating more I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job.
The Power Hungry say to the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some of the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job give up for lack of jobs and become Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
And around and around we go.

In the end, the Power Hungry (aka, government) control all and the rest are slaves of the system. Welcome to the New Dark Ages.

Regrets and apologies (oops, sounding like BO) to the Rising Generation.
Now that you know, you CAN turn it around. Unless you are already one of the…

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

The Tipping Point – a continuation…

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Progressivism (read, Liberalism/Socialism) in a nutshell (although not inclusive)::

Poverty vs welfare: They go hand in hand. What Socialists don’t see is that while welfare doesn’t create poverty, in its current state in our country, it does in fact perpetuate it. This has led to generational dependency and poverty. The way to lift our fellow man out of this perpetual state is to allow the private sector to provide jobs and limit the assistance (at either the State level or via private charity) to a minimal timeframe thereby creating the requirement to accept the work that private sector provides. Considering it is ALWAYS better than the poverty level subsistence provided by the Federal government, why would you NOT take it. Oh yeah, you’d actually have to GET A JOB!
I am not alone in this, the Manhattan Institute, came to this conclusion when it studied the notion of income inequality: “The central problem facing the economy is that income growth over the past few years has been modest to nonexistent, as a result of the financial crisis, the subsequent recession, and an extremely modest recovery. Moreover, policies that aim only to redistribute wealth—rather than generate real economic growth and opportunity—are unlikely to solve, or even meaningfully address, the slow growth trajectory for wages.”

Tax rate vs government income: Proven over and over again, lowering the tax rates creates more income for the government. Makes no sense on the surface (which is as far as the Socialists look because any further would not satisfy their plan of dependency and thereby ensuring its continued power base). However, the reason it works is simple. Less money taken from the private sector by the government allows more money to be spent by individuals and companies. Money spent creates jobs. More jobs equals more income. More income creates more income tax (yes, EVEN at lower tax rates). It is NOT rocket science.
This is not only a solution for our debt, it is a solution for unemployment. It is a solution for pulling anyone and everyone that takes advantage up in social status. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts ALL boats. As well, any job created by the government is a cost to all taxpayers, whether you want or need the product/service. Any job created by the private sector is a cost only to those that choose to spend money on that product or service. That said, since profit is the life or death of a company, job creation is required. Without employment, there is no profit. Therefore, the private sector is much better at creating and pricing jobs. Need proof, look at history.

Debt: See comments reference Greece in previous blog (07/05/2015 – The Tipping Point).

Morality: It is a good thing we have a Supreme Court (more on this next week) to dictate morality and create laws to ensure it. I suspect if we keep going down this path (which I see no indication we won’t) we will be able to get rid of Congress (and therefore the will of the people) and just have a dictator as president (later to be renamed monarch since it is more politically correct) and a court to rubber stamp his/her prescriptions. As well, by dictating away Judeo-Christian morals, on which this country was founded and most of our overriding laws (including the Constitution itself) are based, they can ensure their voting base and therefore their power. Keep in mind however that at some point voters will no longer be needed. Subjects on the other hand will be important.

Our national borders: While I fully understand from an individual perspective the desire to improve their standard of living, entering a sovereign nation without permission is not right. From the other side of the border, helping other countries improve the standards of their people is much preferable than taking on their poverty stricken citizens. And undoubtedly less costly in the long run. Not that I am advocating the US as the banker to the world anymore than the police force of the world (although we already supply significant portions of direct and indirect “lending” to nations throughout the world). Nor do I suggest that it is easy to go into a country and presuppose we know better than them how to provide for their people. However, it is without a doubt that we have proven our past philosophies are quite able to ensure a prosperous society. That said, allowing illegal immigration is not the solution to any country’s problems. When we allow the destitute with no means of support (thereby becoming an additional drain on a society already sucked dry), criminals and terrorists to cross into our country unabated, it can only lead to a further decline and eventual destruction of our ability to help ourselves, much less that rest of the world. And it is in direct conflict with the prime raison d’être of government, its reason for existence – to protect (not PROVIDE FOR) its people. Our current policies and level of enforcement is detrimental to our national existence.

Being forced to buy what we may not want (or already have in the form we want): Yes, SCOTUS Care (not interested in using our current POTUS’s name at any time – but aka The Affordable [what a joke] Care Act – as the current major example. The Oligarchy has spoken. The Federal government, or in this case, the Dictator in Chief and his cohorts in Congress, has/have no Constitutional authority to FORCE us to purchase not only something we don’t want, but exactly what and how much it will be. Apparently individual liberty (as in Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness) and the 1st Amendment no longer apply. A solution looking for a problem. Instead of allowing the private sector to solve the problem of the few, the Dictator in Chief has solved the “problem” even for those of us that didn’t have one. As well, we now have pretty much as many or more without coverage than the problem was to address and has shown no lowering in costs for those that are forced to get a new version of something they already had. The numbers for 2012 (prior to “Affordable” Care Act (ACA)) show an uninsured rate of 16.7% with an average family annual premium of $15,745. In 2013 the uninsured rate was 20.8%. Today the uninsured rate is approximately 15.5% with an average family annual premium of $16,800. These numbers are of course from the government that brought you the product you did not need. Honesty? – I don’t think so. In addition, other than forcing people to purchase something they may or may not want, from somewhere they may or may not want purchase it, what has it accomplished? Since, contrary to what was portrayed, there is no indication that the ACA was the cause of the minimal reduction (a theoretical 1.2%) in number of insured. All that said, and contrary to the ruling of the SCOTUS (now a political body vice the intended legal one), there is nothing Constitutionally allowing the Federal government to get involved in health care.

Another long one. The wife hates that. But it needs to be said. And luckily I’m not the only one saying it. If you believe this country needs to get back to prosperity and the moral values upon which it was based, it is time to standup and in whatever way available to you (within the context of those values) do SOMETHING to turn it around.

Again, welcome to the New Dark Ages…

Maybe I’ll try some less depressing topics in the near future.

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

The Tipping Point

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I’m back.
A lot has happened during my hiatus.
In that time I believe we – our country specifically, but the world in general – reached the Tipping Point. We are now on an inevitable march into the New Dark Ages.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not the ABILITY to get back on track that is lacking. It’s not that nothing CAN be done. It is that, as in the past, the DESIRE of those that have the power and authority is to continue down this path toward darkness. Why you may ask? Easy, it is also the desire of those that put them in power and the fear of losing that power. The “receivers” outnumber the “providers” and refuse to give up their spoils. Those in power must continue to provide those spoils or lose everything. In relation to physical spoils, they will of course be forced to do so. The problem for them, and us, is too many are now dependent on too few and it can not be sustained. The providers, not having an endless supply or being given the time and freedom to obtain more, will soon be sucked dry.
That said, these “spoils” come not only in physical (read: financial) support but psychological and moral as well. As with the Dark Ages of old, people want to do what they want to do regardless of any ethical or moral consequences. Regardless of any detriment to society. Regardless of any ill affect on their (our) progeny. They have convinced themselves, and others of equally weak minds, that there are in fact no such consequences. Everybody, as well as any thought, idea, lifestyle – any choice whatsoever – is as valid as the next. The valid, individual worth of the person has transformed into invalid worth of ideas. “I’m as good as you, therefore my ideas are as valid as yours.” Consequences and history be damned. Yes, you ARE as good as me as relates to our worth as human beings. No, your ideas have been shown throughout the ups and downs of history to be based on erroneous information and unsound reasoning and are unquestionably invalid (which is one reason they are not questioned). The acceptance of these ideas is what has led to the collapse of civilizations time and time again.

As one of many examples, let us consider modern day Greece. More and more borrowing over the last 7 years or so. Understating its deficit and debt. Now shut out from borrowing in the world financial markets.
Socialism at its best. The path of the United States. Since much of the issue with Greece is due to the interconnectedness of the world financial markets and the implosion of Wall Street in 2008, many other countries – including the US with $18+ Trillion in debt & no end in sight – will follow shortly. Much of the money lent to Greece by the way was from the US contributions to the international funds. SO… the US going further into debt to bail out a country going further into debt. Some actually considered this a good deal? And finally, in order to obtain the latest in its borrowing, Greece was required to make deep budget cuts (we’ll see how that plays out) and steep tax increases. While it obviously didn’t help – taking money from those that generate the money never does – does this sound familiar?
[note: the day of this original post the Greeks voted in a referendum to reject their creditors’ austerity terms for aid. They rejected the budget cuts. They will have their spoils!]

Not to get to hung up on the financial issues of our march…

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Anonymous [yes I know, that quote has been attributed to many people. But since there is no hard evidence of the true author, I give credit to Anonymous (he has many great quotes)]

And have no doubt. It IS evil that is on the move. Evil in the form of Socialism (Progressive, Democrat, call it what you want). Making slaves – or at best, indentured servants – of so many. More and more, good men are no longer allowed to do anything. Those that have been lured into and convinced of the benefits of this evil are growing in number by the day. They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to their becoming dependent on it (psychologically if nothing else). They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to the taxes of their neighbor. They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to the absurdly high and still growing National debt. Or they just don’t care. But they DO vote.

Previously a great nation assisting around the world to defend, provide humanitarian relief and fund the necessities of the persecuted of other countries (often times, entire countries), we, the US, no longer have the leadership to do so. In addition, our ability to do so has never been so minimal or so strained.
While our fellow man is being brutally tortured and murdered throughout the Middle East and around the world, our leaders (our dictator) has decided to do nothing.

What is leading us to this state of affairs. Why liberalism of course. Progressivism. Socialism. The Scourge. However you wish to refer to it. It is the epitome of evil. It is Lucifer at work. Subtle. Taking what he can, when he can, where he can, how he can. Bringing us the apple in the garden, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Dark Ages, the Holocaust, (yes, I could go on) and most recently – the new, politically correct, way of Socialism.
We will look at some specific aspects of this next time.

In the mean time, to sum up the current state of our government::

Our POTUS is behaving like a Dictator espousing and forcing socialism on his subjects. The dictator commands his branch from an ivory tower and the cabinet members and their many departments decree more and more how we are allowed to live.

Our SCOTUS is run as an Oligarchy ignoring the Constitutional limits of its own power and either rubber-stamping progressive views or legislating liberal ideals from the bench. This oligarchy, with no regard for the will of the people or the law of the land, ignores the duly elected representatives (not to mention the Constitution) and legislates from the bench.

Our Congress is overrun by liberals on both sides of the aisle. We now have but one party split in name only. As well, based on the 17th Amendment, we have but one chamber separated in name only (ok, rules too) and we are suffering the consequences of ignoring the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and changing the original system. When it is not furthering the cause of Socialism, this Congress sits back and, well, sits back.

Because each of the branches has decided to act individually – without any regard for the Constitution, historic precedence, or common sense – the ideal, an institution of checks and balances as intended and prescribed by the Constitution, is no longer existent.

Unfortunately for President Lincoln & the rest of us, the “Government of the people, by the people, for the people…” has perished from the Earth.

As well, our perfect Union, Justice, domestic Tranquility, common defence, general Welfare, and the Blessings of Liberty have all been relegated to the ash bins of history.

We had a good run.
Prepare for the New Dark Ages…

-to be continued-

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

***The New Dark Ages Cometh

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Watched Robin Hood yesterday. The 2010 film starring Russell Crowe.  I was getting ideas for the days that come.

At the beginning of the movie the declaration read: “In times of tyranny and injustice when law oppresses the people, the outlaw takes his place in history.  England at the turn of the 12th Century was such a time.”  The United States at the beginning of the 21st is as well.  Much of the rest of the world is already there.

King John was at the end of the old Dark Ages… we are at the beginning of the new.

King John was an incompetent, lying, coward in well above his head. Ring any bells?  The United States currently has an Executive Branch that reminds me a lot of King John.  Like King John, blaming everything on its predecessor and declaring everything it does is owed them and necessary to fix the problems left by others.  The IRS, NSA, Justice Department, … – are they fixing the problems or causing them.

It is not just the current Executive Branch at the Federal level that gives me pause.  The Legislature as well is taking us down the path of tyranny.  Also cowards, but more are leading than following.  The administration as a whole is a puppet…  a puppet of the forces of the party.  Some of these forces operate within the government and sit in positions of power in the Legislature.  Others run things from the background preferring anonymity and deniability.  But culpable none-the-less – even more so since they are pulling the strings.

As well, let us not leave out the State and local governments.  Not to be outdone, many are jumping on the bandwagon of tyranny and oppression.  Even further restricting the rights of their people and/or stealing their means of support through taxation.

That said, I heard over the past week that the U.S. is becoming a single party system (don’t remember who said it).  Not one in name, but in philosophy.  In action.  The Progressive Party.  Not official.  Doesn’t need to be.  Based on “official” party ideologies alone many of these actions could not be taken.  The House and the Senate should be at odds.  But they are not.  The official parties are separate.  The House “led” by one, the Senate by the other.  The, theoretically, underlying ideologies are separate. The actions of the members are not.  Regardless of the party, they are justifying oppression in the name of progression and diversity.  Each and every action taken of late, regardless of party affiliation is socialist.  From firearms to religious freedom to taxation to illegal immigration and border security to…  I could go on and on.  A few will be discussed below.  Others at a later date.  Regardless, we are a Socialist nation.  Becoming, as they all do, more and more oppressive in the name of “protecting” the people (not to mention ensuring their feelings aren’t hurt).

Of course the protection of the people, as is necessary for tyranny to reign, comes in the form of denying them the means to protect themselves (outlawing firearms), denying them a belief in a higher being – in anything other than the secular ruler – (i.e., religious freedom), and taxing them past the limit of capacity to “provide” for the “needs” of the whole.  To name just of few of the tyrannical acts being perpetrated on the American people of late.

The old saying goes, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” is getting closer and closer to reality.  Every new crime committed with a firearm is being used to outlaw more and more of our right and ability to protect ourselves.  On this subject, I defy anyone to provide concrete, empirical data that supports the idea that taking guns from law abiding people reduces the amount of crime perpetrated by those that use them for evil purposes.  One would think that if such proof existed it would be used to back up the actions taken to deny us guns.  However, the “arguments” used are all based on emotion and sensationalism.  Legitimate study after legitimate study, in this country and around the world, proves just the opposite.  As well, every study conducted on the subject demonstrates that when confronted with a firearm in the hands of their potential victim, the perpetrator flees.  Legitimate studies (I keep using that term to differentiate from those “studies” conducted or charted by anti-gun individuals and organizations – the typical study skewed by the questions and illegitimate statistical “analysis” of the results) have shown far more lives are saved each year in the U.S. by the use of a firearm in defense than taken by those committing crimes.  Every one!  I’m sick and tired of having to hear it.  I’m sick and tired of having to say it.  I’m sick and tired of it being ignored!

The new health care laws are pushing further and further into the area of religious belief and forcing both religious “organizations” and privately owned companies to go against their beliefs to comply with the law.  Our government is placing more and more restrictions on individuals and organizations in the name of socialism.  Not only are they severely restricting what is defined as a “religious” organization in order to force this health care plan (something, by the way, we don’t even need and does not in any way fulfill the illegitimate promises made), but are denying privately owned companies from making their own decisions based on their own moral convictions.  We cannot have individual moral convictions.  We may only believe those things that comply with the socialist ideals of Progression and Diversity.  Anything else in their minds is anarchy!  Heaven forbid we have our own beliefs.  Beliefs that have stood the test of time and more often than not have been of benefit to all.  Oh, sorry… am I allowed to say “Heaven forbid” or might I offend someone?  I’m sure in the times to come, regardless of the fact that people have a choice as to whether or not to read my prose, I will be forbidden from uttering such words.

“More taxes” is the battle cry of the weak.  The battle cry of those that have no clue of the way economics and monetary policy works.  Every time taxes are lowered to a reasonable level (yes, the government DOES need funding for legitimate purposes), the coffers of the government increase.  One would think the liberals would want lower taxes.  It would give them more money to waste.  The problem with that is they don’t want more money to waste.  In reality they are not after our money.  It is just the tool used for control.  They want to control us.  For no other reason are our bank accounts being emptied.  And when they can’t empty them anymore, they borrow from our children and our children’s children.  Those yet to be born are already being controlled.  More and more of our fellow citizens are becoming unemployed.  You would think this a bad thing.  However, to the current tyrannical regime, it is what they want.  If you are unemployed you must seek assistance from somewhere.  Since more and more of your family, friends and neighbors are unemployed or under-employed as well, where does one turn?  More and more are on welfare.  More and more are on in the food stamp program.  More and more are being dragged, sadly even willingly, under the yoke of government programs.

These are of course just a few of the issues being perpetrated upon us.  Add them to those of our own making (or at least the making of our fellow citizens). Those such as the large number of men that are too cowardly to stand up and be fathers – those that think being a man is having the ability to get a girl pregnant.  It is not.  Boys can do that.  Men are those that ensure the legitimacy of their relationship with their women and stick around to take care of her and her child.  How about – two years after the birth of an unplanned child, about one third of mothers living with the father [i.e., unmarried] have ended the relationship, compared to only 7% of married mothers.  Does this matter…  Considering the majority of those end up on welfare and in poverty I would say it does.  The median annual income for female-headed households with children under six years old is roughly one-fourth that of two-parent families.  Enough stats…  MAN UP!  btw:  Congratulations on this Father’s Day to those of you man enough to be heads of your households and provide for and lead your family.

This leads to, but is not the only contributing factor, unwed (especially teen) mothers.  Nearly 40% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women in 2007 (I’m sure there are newer statistics but that makes the point – it is getting consistently worse each year though).  Almost half (48%) of all non-marital first births are to teen parents.

There is much more contributing to our fall into darkness.  I’ve discussed apathy…  We will leave it at those for now.

Robin Hood said, “In tyranny lies only failure. Empower every man and you will gain strength.”  This line fell on the deaf ears of King John.  It would fall on the deaf ears of the powers-that-be of today as well.  They, as he, don’t understand.  They, as he, are too cowardly to share power.

Bottom line of all this:  We still have a chance but I do not see us taking it.  Soon the opportunity will have slipped away.  Nay, be given away by our inaction.  We are heading for the New Dark Ages.  You heard it here first.  I will not accept surprise when it happens.  Be prepared!

I’m not sure yet what form this New Dark Age will take.  I will contemplate this and consider enlightening you in the future (knowledge is after all, power! – well, that and good quality firearms!).  With technology in the picture and more and more being controlled by the government it will be difficult for anyone to combat.  We will not exactly be able to jump on horses, draw our swords and battle the king’s forces (although learn to ride and use a sword so far has been my advice).  In the old Dark Ages little real difference existed between the king and a pauper.  As stated by Robin in the movie, “There is no difference between a knight and any other man aside from what he wears.”  Not so much now.

Have we yet hit the last straw?  No, but we are close.  What can we do?  As stated on the hilt of the sword, “Rise and Rise Again until Lambs Become Lions”.  It will become more difficult but, for those of you that don’t mind a little blood, maybe exciting.  The question for now is, what will you do?

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Class / Refinement / Sophistication / Style — Continued

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We ended off last time with “What has this got to do with us?”

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.”  While I will appeal below to a few “experts”, we will first appeal to logic, to rational thought, to critical thinking.

Pride in appearance and speech begets pride in other aspects of your life.  What you feel when you wear “dressy” clothes.  The attitude you have.  Some people claim they feel stifled when wearing a suit or nice dress. I’m not so sure that is truly the case.  You undoubtedly feel less comfortable than you do in your favorite pair of sweats – especially since most aren’t used to wearing quality clothing on a regular basis in this day-in-age.  On the other hand, there is a sense of quality.  There is a sense of status if you will.  You feel like people are going to have a higher opinion of you than is the case when you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt [and they DO by-the-way].  However you might feel in a pair of sweats – comfortable, relaxed…  I’ll guarantee you don’t feel respected when you are out and about in flip-flops and shorts and a t-shirt.  In fact, there may have been a time when you witnessed, either personally or someone else, someone “of quality” looking down with distain upon the manner of dress.  You’ve seen all kind of writings about people who look down with derision upon those not acting properly, those who do not speak properly, those who do not dress properly.  I believe that if we would be honest with ourselves we would admit that when we are “dressed up”, for lack of a better term, – at least what we would call it now days – it makes us feel good.  It does make us feel there is a quality about us – a quality that is not there when we are in a shorts and t-shirt and flip-flops or sweats or pajamas on our way to Walmart.  So keeping in mind those feelings, we should acknowledge our relationship with other people, how we treat other people, how we act toward other people, how we act with other people, is also of higher quality.  It changes us for the better.

This goes for speech as well.  There have been many times throughout history, and I would dare say even today, when you hear people refer to how those from the lower class speak – anywhere from Old Town London where people on the “lower side” (working-class Londoners) are speaking in a Cockney accent to what we would claim now about Hillbillies or those of the “lower class” in the South.  When you are speaking in such a manner you are not relating on an equal level with those that take pride in the way they speak.  The phraseology that they use…  The grammar they ensure is correct…  On the other hand, I’ve heard many a time, “he understood me, the message got across, what difference does it make how I speak?”

As you will see below, this doesn’t necessarily work as well out there in the real world, the business world as an example, where people look with derision on those who just don’t take the time to put forth a good foot, either in the they dress or speak.  It shows laziness, it shows sloth, it shows you just don’t care about the way you look, the way you speak, about the way you carry yourself. About the way you relate to other people.  And, like it or not, business owners or those in the HR department or hiring managers for an organization, want to hire and keep people that aren’t lazy – people that present themselves in all manner of care.  They want people that are going to take the time and make the effort to present themselves in a manner that is befitting the company – or people of quality period.  When you do not present yourself in that manner you are losing out on opportunities you may otherwise have – opportunities for which you may have educated and trained yourself over many years.  But more importantly, you are demonstrating to the rest of society that they are not worth the effort.  Not that you are of less value.  But that you are not worth the time.

Aside from the aforementioned (previous post) “supporting, ill-mannered, gracious less, disrespectful society” affecting the rest of us, numerous studies have been done that demonstrate the detrimental effect of ignoring proper dress and speech on relationships, work and culture. This part of what has changed is not good for humanity as a whole – which then, directly and indirectly, does affect all of us on an individual level.  How we dress and the manner in which we address each other and our speech in general translates to our attitude toward life and the effort we put into our society. As well, people that are given an inch will take a mile (not my saying but a great one).  The “old ways” may not be the best in all regard, but they are far better than the Dark Ages – for which, I would suggest, we are again heading.  We do though seem willing to accept that civility in general is lacking and we are ok with that.  It confuses me though that while people don’t object on a societal level, they certainly object on a personal one.  Well, societies are made up of individuals…

One type of example [and there are far too many to address in a single post] is the numerous studies done on dressing for work-at-home jobs (and elsewhere).  All these studies conclude that how a person dresses affects work performance (even though nobody else can see you).  The suggestion that having a home based business allows you to “go to work” in your pajamas or sweats is true.  However, the studies show that your neighbor, being in the same business working from his home but dressing as if he were heading to an office in the city, would run rings around your productivity.  Dress affects attitude.  Dress affects alertness.  Dress affects performance.  Dress affects the bottom line.  You don’t believe me?  How about a few examples?

Forbes recently had an article entitled Casual Summer Work Environment Kills Productivity and Profits.  The article claims that, too the employees, Casual Work Environment Means “You don’t have to work”.  A business owner providing a “casual summer” [or casual Friday] work schedule is setting the company up for failure. Subtle statements may result in:

• Employees don’t have to work at their normal level of quality,

• The company does not value the overall impression given to the customer,

• Customer service is not important,

• Profits are secondary to pleasing the employees, and

• The business is not intended as a long term venture.

The article goes on to say “People use the heat as an excuse for dressing casual. Unfortunately, many employees don’t know what is ‘too casual’ for the office. The dramatic difference in employee appearance taints the company’s image. This can confuse consumers.”  And finally, in the article’s “Tips For Building A Culture Of Success During Summer” (since that is often when companies institute the more casual dress policy) it states “avoid casual Friday. This policy insinuates that Friday is a ‘non-work’ day.”

In the instruction to her paper The Effect of Casual Dress on Performance in the Workplace, Sarah Maloney Hughes of The Master’s College states in the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences:

“The way you look directly affects the way you think, feel, and act . . . . When you dress down, you sit down—the couch potato trend. Manners break down, you begin to feel down, and you’re not as effective” (Kaplan-Leiserson, 2000, p. 39). Stephen Goode (2000, p. 4) states the findings of research psychologist, Jeffery L. Magee, that “Continually relaxed dress leads to relaxed manners, relaxed morals and relaxed productivity” and “leads to a decrease in company loyalty and increase in tardiness.”        Dolbow suggests that the accepted casual dress in the office workplace is causing “casual attitudes and a lack of office decorum” (2000, p. 10).

Other examples…  in these cases, effects of dress code on students.

1) LPSRoyalTimes.com (Leadership Public Schools, Oakland, CA)

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2012 | By Livia Looby

19 Schools in Chicago did a study on student’s behavior by making one day a dress code day, one was a dress down day, and the other one was a regular day.  There were 211 referrals given out on dress code days, 233 on regular days, and 322 on dress-down days. The study done in these 19 schools showed that by having a dress code it did decrease the bad behavior in school.

2) Recent research at Sam Houston State University offers some evidence:

The research was conducted by Jimmy Creel and Angela Stallings, while completing work on their doctorates in education in SHSU.  Creel studied the impact of dress codes on black students in a Houston area suburban school district, while Stallings concentrated on Hispanic students.  “It is possible, based on our findings, that the benefits of a standardized dress code implemented and maintained over time may very well have a positive effect on student achievement,” she said. Creel said their study showed a number of positive benefits, including “improved campus morale and reduced discipline violations, increased school pride, improved collaboration and teamwork among students…”  Also, “enhanced image of students and the school in the community, minimization of the effects of economic variations among students, and reduction in the overall cost of student wardrobes.”

Considering speech in society and/or workplace:

In the book How To Turn Your Abilities To Cash, “master salesman and successful author” Earl Prevette devoted Chapter IX to How To Improve Your Speech, Voice And Manner.  He said –

There are three definite reasons why one should endeavor to speak correctly. Namely:

(1) People never judge you by what you don’t say. They judge you by what you say, and if you can do this well, it will influence people to have confidence in you. Therefore, form the habit of pronouncing each word correctly, and to speak with care and dignity.

(2) Speech is the only means to make yourself understood. By not pronouncing your words correctly and by not speaking with the proper care, your listener may get the wrong meaning out of what you say.

(3) The correct pronunciation of each word, enunciating each syllable, will not only improve your speech, but will also enable you to spell correctly more easily.

He goes on to say, “Speech, Voice and Manner are all fundamental parts of our living. The use one makes of these reflects how he lives. The study of Speech, Voice and Manner develops social poise and a more desirable and pleasant personality. The three personal attributes of character enumerated are all dependent to a large degree upon each other. The improvement and development of one means the improvement and development of all.”

In Appropriate Language by Stacie Heaps:  “One of the most important things you can do as an employee and colleague is to use appropriate language in the workplace. In the business world, making a good impression and projecting yourself as mature, intelligent, confident, and professional is critical to long-term success. Inappropriate language, whether spoken or written, can negatively affect your credibility and put off or even offend those you work with. Both in speech and in writing, take the time and make the effort to use appropriate language.”  Her 8 rules for appropriate language begin with “Use standard English and follow established rules of grammar”.

According to Science for All Americans by F. James Rutherford and Andrew Ahlgren, “The class into which people are born affects what language, diet, tastes, and interests they will have as children, and therefore influences how they will perceive the social world. Moreover, class affects what pressures and opportunities people will experience and therefore affects what paths their lives are likely to take—including schooling, occupation, marriage, and standard of living. Still, many people live lives very different from the norm for their class.”

A final note from George Washington, the 1st President of the United States – from his The Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation

-Wear not your clothes foul, or ripped, or dusty, but see they be brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any uncleanness.

-Think before you speak; pronounce not imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly.

There is so much more but I promised my wife to keep my posts under 2000 words on Sunday – although I seem to be breaking that promise of late.  All of this translates to our dress and speech being a factor in how we view and treat each other.  We have “dumbed down” society through both.  Since most have lost this sense of style, class, refinement – how might we get it back?  We will look at possible solutions at a later date.  Until then, what are you going to do?!

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…


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Let us start with APATHY.  In a single word, the encompassment of ALL problems in the world today.

I wanted to start with this to clear a few things up right away.  First, if you want to know why the world is in such dire straits (and have no doubt, it is), this is the reason.  Although I believe it has been in worse, I’m not sure the historic reason(s) can be attributed to apathy.  Second, as you read my posts in the future you may come to conclude that I have it.  But, of course, you’d be in error.  There is great difference between not caring and acknowledging the situation around you. Were I not to care, this blog would be superfluous to my end.  My goal is education.  My greatest adversary is apathy.

> Some have suggested ignorance is that single word.  I would of course disagree.  While everyone is born ignorant and to various extent remain ignorant about most things (there are countless things about which to know in this world), the ones whose ignorance is problematic are the ones to apathetic to educate themselves.  While people are born ignorant, and you really can’t fault them for that, many choose to stay that way – for that you can fault them.

>  It is though, what led to the circumstances of today. Little by little people are giving up.  It is easier (I will speak of this later spread across numerous blog entries) to just sit back and let others do what needs to be done.  Self-satisfaction…  Who needs it?  A true understanding of whatever topic one is addressing… why?

>  Read some newspaper article, usually written by those that lack the knowledge themselves and who refuse due diligence, and you are an expert. Why bother to actually do your own research?  Why bother to substantiate accuracy?  Apathy.

  • As an intelligence officer in the military I HAD to be correct.  Lives often depended on it.  I had not the luxury of a retraction.  Local/National news periodicals, CNN, NBC, etc can always say “oops”.  Often should.  Rarely do.  People then come to believe this is an acceptable manner of living their lives.  Why learn?  Just repeat.  If it is wrong, most won’t know anyway.  Apathy.

>  A few small examples – many more will follow:

  • Drivers that drive slow in the left lane.  Most (if not all) states in which I’ve driven require slower traffic to keep right.  Often times there are even road signs to that affect.  But do people do it?  Do they care if they are blocking traffic?  Do they care about the law?  Apparently not.  While it is not justification for “taking things into your own hands”, I can certainly understand the frustration of those wanting to get by.  And I believe many of them don’t even understand they are doing something wrong.  You may suggest that means they are ignorant, not apathetic.  You’ve be wrong.  While they may very well be ignorant, the fact that they don’t think enough about their fellow man to learn correct, courteous driving confirms their apathy.  On the other hand, if they DO know (as I suspect is the case in some instances), they are precariously apathetic.
  • Not signaling when changing lanes.  On my way to work one day I witnessed a car change lanes not less than 10 times (in the span of just a few miles).  Not once did he signal.  The one time I saw a signal, he didn’t change lanes.  This was during Rush Hour when many of his lane changes were dangerously close to other cars.  I have come to realize and acknowledge, if not complete accept, that these people are far more important than the rest of us and have places to go, people to see, and things to do.  All far more important than whatever the rest of us might have on our list for the day.  Forget HOV lanes.  Consider VIP lanes.  Would you need a special license plate?  How does one prove they are more important than the rest?  Apathy.
  • Wearing pajama in public. Saw one just the other day at Einstein’s Bagels.  Grow women (probably thirties) in PJs and slippers.  Seriously.  At hotels such as Embassy Suites where breakfast is offered.  It may be breakfast but it is still public.  Put some clothes on.  More on clothing on a different day.
  • According to the latest statistics from the US Census Bureau, between 1932 and 2010 the percentage of voting age population that voted in the general elections ranged from 49% (1996) to 63% (1960).  The latest election for which they have numbers showed a percentage of 58.  These are the people that run our country folks.  These are the people that make significant decisions about our lives.  These are the people that take and spend OUR money, send our military to war, determine how our children will be educated (more on this later as well).  And never in, at least, the last 80 years has even 2/3 of the population taken the time to vote.  Apathy.

>  I coined a “phrase” a few years back to describe those of my students that just didn’t care.  IDC. I Don’t Care.  I know – real original right?  But it captures the essence of so many today.

>  Is everyone apathetic? Certainly not.  However, I have concluded that we are reaching the “tipping point” [Malcolm Gladwell].  How little things can make a big difference.  Once you get past that tipping point you are gone.  Life as we know it is over.  Usually this is not good.  Since we are concerned here with the sociological aspects, as Gladwell states, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.”  Have we yet arrived at the tipping point in this country?  In the world?  I’m not sure we have.  However, I AM sure we are darn close.

>  This idea goes along with the “Butterfly Effect”.  In chaos theory, the Butterfly Effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state [freedictionary.com].  In mathematics, a nonlinear system is one whose output is not directly proportional to its input.  Yes, I understand and LOVE the last few sentences.  Bottom line:  A butterfly can cause a hurricane.  A recent example – voting for a Socialist leadership results in higher taxes, increased debt, fewer jobs, etc. and, ultimately, the collapse of a society as it was formerly known.  Look at Europe.  Again, I’m not claim we, the US, have reached that tipping point.  However, it is clear a significant number of us don’t seem to care what the consequences of our actions are.  Maybe once they experience those consequences the apathy will subside.  Can you say “too late”?!  While I have no intention of turning this into a political blog, I can assure you there will be a few posts in the future concerning the recent choices of many in the US (as well as a suggested name change).

>  Can we change it?  Well, YOU can.  However, it may take quite a few of you to turn things around.  There are quite a few IDCs with which you are competing.  And THEY have a lot to lose.  Apathy has led to dependence.  Dependence leads to anger if support is removed.  Anger and apathy together is not a good combination.

>  It is going to come to a head in this country and this world at some point.  A new Dark Ages if you will (more on this later as well).  Some are even preparing.  I suspect I will no longer be when this occurs.  However, things do have a propensity in this day-in-age to move swiftly.

>  Again, I have just touched on the problem to bring it to light at the beginning.  Many of my future posts will have an apathy component.  I won’t necessarily tie them specifically to apathy.  I will often leave it to you, the reader, to make the connection.

   “Remember, upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.”  –Alexander the Great

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…