justbecausetwit

Just another WordPress.com site

Category: politics

Emancipation….no, really….

Emancipation. That word has almost a singular meaning to most  Americans. You know. That part of our history that we don’t want to think about. That part where President Lincoln emancipated a group of people that shoulda been free to begin with.  This week, that word took on a totally new meaning for me.  A new meaning that almost motivates this guy to drive all the way to a particular state capital and kiss a particular old governor on the lips….but, I digress. 

We really should be free. This country was billed as the “land of the free”.  This week, according to our current vice president, we are headed back to slavery in one form or another if the wrong guy is elected to the White House.  Politics is a really funny thing sometimes. 

To what extent it can be controlled, the election is not about tax returns, who’s better in the White House, who’s more American, etc…this election is truly about who’s facing reality and who’s not. 

Politicians are quick to condemn those who don’t live within their means over the last few years yet will not to face the fact that the government has not lived within its means for 15 years.  Typical politics and hypocrisy go hand in hand right off the fiscal cliff that everyone’s talking about today. 

Mitt Romney doesn’t have to release his tax returns to prove what kind of successful businessman or shrewd ROI guy he is. We all know that. We also know the real hope and change is really hard to come by. So the President has no credibility with his record of little change and very little hope.

In the words of Joe Biden himself, we need to “unchain!!!” America in more ways than one and believe in people to do what they can do to make their lives better… better for their family, better for the community, and better for the country, as a whole.  

As individuals in this country, we need to unchain ourselves from stuff. Stuff.  You never own stuff. Stuff owns you.  That is a fact. 

If we can eventually elect the right people who actually balance rugged individualism with a level of government  only for the most basic safety nets & promises fulfilled… well, we will have a future for this country that’s promising, hopeful, and delivers real change we really need.

That’s the emancipation that every man, woman, child, and business needs in this country very soon.  Alas, I think we’re 4 to 8 years away before any reality check really hits Washington DC. That’s why Panama, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Belize seem so darn attractive to me. 

As for this election in 2012, I’m not holding my breath and you shouldn’t either.  

Find your own emancipation! 

Advertisements

Bedwetters unite! Brilliant.

“The Bedwetter Caucus” via WSJ editorial page today

“That didn’t take long. Much as we predicted last week, the Republican Party’s Bedwetter Caucus has emerged on schedule to explain why Mitt Romney can’t possibly win the election with Paul Ryan on the ticket.

“GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan,” reported Politico, the website with perfect Beltway pitch, on Tuesday: “In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives—old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike—the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.”

Mr. Romney’s catastrophic blunder, it seems, is that he chose a running mate who does more than talk about reforming government. He’s really tried to do it, and this is simply not done in Presidential politics.

“I think it’s a very bold choice. And an exciting and interesting pick. It’s going to elevate the campaign into a debate over big ideas. It means Romney-Ryan can run on principles and provide some real direction and vision for the Republican Party. And probably lose. Maybe big,” said one of the “pros,” Mark McKinnon.

Since advising George W. Bush, Mr. McKinnon has moved on to co-found “No Labels,” an outfit that claims to promote the Golden Mean in politics. A better name for the group is No Principles, so it’s understandable he’d be uncomfortable with a conviction politician like Mr. Ryan. But give Mr. McKinnon credit for at least going on the record, unlike the other worry-warts.

Republicans who believe in something can console themselves in knowing that these “pros” are reflecting the Washington conventional wisdom. Nearly everyone in the Beltway thinks it’s impossible to reform entitlements like Medicare, and or even to restrain the size of government, so why would a candidate be foolish enough to try?

This crowd is good at forecasting the political future as a repetition of the past and present, but as Irving Kristol used to say, they aren’t very good at predicting the turns. We’ll see if this year is one of those turns.

Meantime, the “pros” willing to shoot their candidate in the back are one more reason that voters have contempt for the political class, and why most Republicans who don’t live in Washington are delighted with the choice of Mr. Ryan.”

A version of this article appeared August 15, 2012, on page A12 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Journal

The war to end all wars…

We watched “The War” from Ken Burns last night on PBS.  The last in the series only he could deliver.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “the greatest generation”, as Tom Brokaw would put it.  That descriptor has offended me.  Not so much anymore.   Honestly, I do think of that generation as the last great generation of America.  No other generation since has sacrificed, suffered, loved, hated, and driven America to be better than any country in the world!  None!  Google it! 

That generation fought world wars, rationed their food, did jobs they never thought they would do, lived and died for America, did things that we cannot imagine today, et cetera et cetera…

That generation also offered a better life for those living in poor houses, protected senior citizens from dying with no dignity at all,  and engineered minimal social welfare for those who needed it the most.  FDR knew what he was doing. 
It was only future generations that screwed the whole thing up. Just a few generations removed and we have a bloated social security tab, a medicare funding nightmare, and every juicy entitlement and nation-building program known under the sun…plus, half of America pays $0 and/or profits from federal taxes each year.

This is not about one President, any Congress, any election, any new law, or a half a dozen of any of those.  It’s simply about the greatest shift from a great generation long gone to the lesser generations, the generations that cannot handle it, the generations of materialism and “what’s in it for me?”

The new war is on. The war to end all wars.  Think about the last 25 years.  One entire generation ago, back in 1996, our unusual President was working with a difficult Congress to balance the budget and even create a surplus for America.  Ahhh, those were the days. 

Since then, we’ve had 2 presidents create wars, fight secret wars, do whatever they wanted to do….wars,  wars,  wars…foreign and domestic…adding trillions of dollars to our national debt that we will never, ever, recover!   Pick Prez Obama or pick Mitt this November and you’ll still have $25,000,000,000,000 in debt by the time his term is up. And, China thanks you.

It’s a new war on liberty that neither the White House, nor CNN,  nor Fox News,  nor MSNBC wants to talk about.   This extreme partisanship that’s crumbling our national infrastructure, totally annihilating any fair tax base, and bloating our entitlement programs beyond belief…the new war is now!

Who are our new generals to fight this war?  My simple, educated guess would be the GenY and latter generations.  No other generations have been victims of the me-generations, divorce epidemics, and “if it feels good, do it” mentality to realize what’s really important in life.  Maybe these generations are America’s salvation?  We shall see. 

I sincerely hope so. God’s speed, young ones. 

The PLAN : PART 2

MAUI.  Nuff said.

Ginny and I have spent two fantastic getaways there. First one thanks to Kim and her frequent flyer miles and my b&b savvy search. Free airfare and $59 per night on our honeymoon….hold your applause, please. Blessed were these two. Five years later, still blessed, but able to fly, stay, and play in style. Loved both getaways. But, the first came with all 1st’s, including blowing our 1st night budget at Momma’s Fish House, the stinky cheese incident, amazing drives, beach discoveries, the timeshare tour during the week’s only rain, and the free luau @ the Marriott for our time…where I pretended to be Austrailian for the dining crowd….rum is a funny thing. But, I really digress.

Hawaii is wonderful. And worth the trip. And…it’s expensive too.

As of today, my long gone plan to live there is really long gone.  An old chap who lived there over the last 30 years just sealed this deal. As passed on by http://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com email to thier followers, this fellow is now living for a small fraction of what his Hawaiian life cost before the move. 

Belize. Panama. Ecuador. All are very attractive, proven safe in ex-pats havens, and offer a remarkable quality of life for families and couples after the coop is empty.  Why wait until your too old, responsible, safe, or settled to try something out of the American box?  Answer: We won’t.

It’s no fun watching most of your parents waste away. It’s no fun watching healthy friends waste away in consumption of material goods, spoiling thier children in oblivious ways, and planning “thier number” for retiring someday. Ick. And, btw, the social security trust fund is officially projected to be bankrupt 5 years before my IOU comes due. Hmmm. How about living lean, having fun, and staying so active that retiring is never a thought…just living.  Really living.

Fun facilitator (uber-concierge), Realtor networker, SCUBA shop marketer, even a bartender….all chatty challenges that beat any desk job or corporate ladder. And I plan to do them all…maybe some at the same time. Wherever we land will be packaged, marketed, and sold to a worldwide market of GenX and Baby Boomers, then comes GenY too, who are stumped about thier future life…one to enjoy much sooner than America allows over the next few decades.

This America is led by fiscal fools. It’s time to look, research, plan, and go where today’s real “hope and change” really exists.

Think about an ideal place to live, the ideal budget, and what you REALLY need. Get out of the American box mindset and take control of what lies ahead. It’s liberating even before we ever get started.

THE PLAN continues…..

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2012/07/31/how-to-choose-where-to-retire-overseas ….timely info via #KathleenPeddicord of #InternationalLiving

https://orders.internationalliving.com/ILVROSW/WILVN122

http://liveandinvestoverseas.com/v/orl/

Paradise in Panama…

htt http://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/panama/los-islotes.html?sc=ool-8-1-12

p://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DoSKRazKCB4k%26list%3DUU9UG7Q4PvOI9WvbW5Mm7jjg%26index%3D1%26feature%3Dplcp&index=1&list=UU9UG7Q4PvOI9WvbW5Mm7jjg&feature=plcp&v=oSKRazKCB4k&gl=US

The Plan

Forget the old “best laid plans…” adage.  We need a plan. 

My most original plan, as a kid, was to be an airline pilot or FBI agent. Neither happened and life was good. Next plan, get our family’s 1st college degree and live it up. Got the degree but married way too young, in that process. Life was good, thanks to two little girls.  Planned to marry once and live happily….blah, blah, blah….never happened. Wife #2 makes me feel like #1 never existed sometimes. Unconditional love will do that. Planned to have the normal 2.3 kids, as demographics forecast.  Nope. We have 4 and all are good-looking and smart. Go figure. Career “plans” are a moving target. Took chances that paid off big and others flopped miserably. Best laid plans, you know. Really. We need a plan. 

We need a plan for the next big thing. Here goes….but, a little backstory, please…  

The next four years are a time that our two young ladies enjoy & complete their undergraduate experience, where each have earned full scholarships to a great, private university, and each will be off to do whatever they dream to do someday.  Why should their parents be any different?  The same years see our little guys heading fast towards the most challenging, awkward, and dysfunctional time of life (okay, not including middle-age years)…their middle-school years. Isn’t a real adventure just perfect for these years?  I digress. We need a plan. 

Weeks of googling, reading, linking, and a little networking tell me one thing….there are much more adventurous and positive places for these two parents to raise two future, interesting, and considerate men.  Too much technology, toys, and Jones-ing influences here for us to battle. We need simple, much like our downtown life…but even better. Simple. Beautiful. Cheap. And the easiest pleasures are opportunities right out the door at a nice beach, the little school house, that ancient church, and the food pantry we can help make happen.  I digress. We need a plan. 

Belize. Panama. Costa Rica. Uruguay. Even Mexico’s NW coast!  All are open and welcome ex-pats, in different ways. It’s just a proper formula of quality-of-life, cost of living, business opportunities, and security that will create our “plan” sooner than later. Belize looks great with no language barrier and an extraordinarily diverse offering of vast places to disappear and small spaces to congregate with Canadians and other North Americans…including our GenX and Boomer friends in need of a temporary or permanent getaway.  We all need that plan. 

Most informative resources to plan a plan around a plan are….

http://www.LiveAndInvestOverseas.com

http://www.InternationalLiving.com

http://www.PathfinderInternational.net

http://www.ExpatFocus.com

http://www.VRBO.com (for long-term rental info)

And let’s not forget Mexico Edd, who prompted me into this next-life realm about 9 months ago. You can find him and his adopted village school kids on facebook.  Very purpose-driven mission and fun fellow, indeed. He has a plan.  

Like the old infomercial mantra says, “facts tell, but stories sell”. So fitting for this plan. “live in paradise for $600 a month!”. Really?  “Modest living for only $1,000 a month”.  Getting warmer.  “live a life you always dreamed of for $2,000 or less per month”. Much better. Truth of the ex-pat life is that you can live in beautiful places for much less than here, Florida, California, and almost anywhere in America that’s worth living. It’s just a fact. We need a plan. 

How do we get there?  We slash and save. Gin was serious or joked about living like college kids. Fine.  Bring it on. I know the figure we need and we can have it ready in four years. Slash and save is the challenge now.  Plus, we sell everything we cannot take in material goods and give away anything that’s left. 4-5 years of new life expenses are what we need to save.  Creating new business ventures, connecting with local entrepreneurs, and/or finding partner businesses stretch our budgeted savings even farther.  Two smart sales pros & marketers like these two parents can figure out how to generate $1,000 or more month and make that savings go farther, up to 10-15 years!  Then, if the U.S. government still exists…we’ll have our pre-funded, taxpayer retirement every month, as promised…..maybe.  (Truth be told…the collapse of our federal government is possible, if we run up $20t to $25trillion in debt with $1trillion+ interest due every year.  Makes a 3rd world country look strong).  We need this plan. 

The plan is so simple. Love. Live. Plan. Slash. Save. Plan. Sell. Prepare. Convert. Plan. Move. Live. Love. And, Ginny’s favorite….Engage…while living and loving. 

Join us, won’t you?

Sincerely, 
Brad

%d bloggers like this: