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Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs (EP.36)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) If you have heard this phrase, you’ll know that it is intended to divide the world into those three categories: Wolves, the predators--and not the ecologically necessary ones. Just plain bad guys; perhaps even evil. Sheep, the wolves’ victims. Not always the weak and unwilling to fight back; just powerless against their wolves. And the sheepdogs; those of us who protect the sheep from the wolves. This phrase, this concept, is often...


“We Must All Hang Together…” (EP.35)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.” At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Founders, the signers, the revolutionaries, not surprisingly seen as traitors by the British Crown, George III, would all be hung by the neck until dead, unless they hung together, somehow managing to rally this tiny, new country sufficiently to defeat the mightiest military power on earth. The mightiest...


“Cuppa Joe and a Sinker” (EP.34)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) How many remember that phrase? I meant a cup--a mug, actually, of coffee and a plain donut that was dipped in the coffee before each bite. That was my practice back in the day. And that practice seemed downright elegant compared to some of my coffee experience in the field in the Army. I can clearly remember being in the field using Signal Corp wire and a no. 10 (large) can to use grounds for the third time to make truly horrendous...


Resenting Success (EP.33)

I am in the beginning stages of a 16 day road trip, taking my fun, if impractical, second car, intentionally traveling on “back roads” from my home in Colorado Springs, to my first destination, Chico, to visit my eldest son and his family. It is my second night on the road, staying in a quaint, down home hotel, in a small, down home town in the middle of nowhere on Hwy 50. In the middle of nowhere, going from no place to the next place. Ah, but the people in these no places are unique. Open....


Abortion (EP.32)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) This is a highly controversial subject, but it should not be. Using simple common sense, it becomes so very clear cut. In the United States alone, we perform/allow over one million--one million abortions each and every year. I start with this concrete fact to alert all of us to the critical nature of this discussion, and to the vital importance of getting the answer to this much discussed and controversial question absolutely right....


Common Sense and Politics (EP.31)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) Or should it be Common Sense as opposed to Politics? Common sense is no longer common; it is now so uncommon as to be a superpower. Ironically, it is so easy to see what the common sense approach is in any situation--and to act on it. Let’s talk about how. Everyone has a place they can go to in their heads to hear themselves tell the truth. There may be a physical place you go to that helps in this process, but all it really requires...


Tolerance (EP.30)

Let’s start with today’s key point: Tolerance is not always a virtue. In fact, tolerating what should be intolerable is a vice. But, then again, neither patience nor compassion are always virtues, but today we will talk about tolerance. Let’s make an important discussion: Intolerance born of ignorance as opposed to intolerance born of discriminating thought. The former, intolerance born of ignorance, is simply inexcusable; intolerance born of discriminating thought is absolutely necessary....


Ratchet Effect (EP.29)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) As a tool, a ratchet is wonderfully useful. It allows you to tighten or loosen objects much more efficiently. For example, if you need to tighten a nut several full revolutions, a ratchet will allow you to do it in a fraction of the time normally required, eliminating many boring, repetitive actions. In the world of tools, what makes a ratchet so useful is that it turns in only one direction. It always advances one way, and cannot go...


“Lock your car…” (EP.28)

“Lock your car, take your keys. Don’t help start a kid on a life of crime.” That was the beginning of an oft-played public service radio announcement I remember from my youth. Note the emphasis on the saving the youth, not on saving the listener from having their car stolen. And I am certain this announcement was not absolving car thieves of any crimes if they found keys that were left in an unlocked car and made off with it. It was clearly pointing out that victims can bear some...


Gratitude (EP.27)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) It all starts with gratitude. Gratitude is the bedrock, the touchstone--cornerstone--for any effective philosophy, religious dogma or simply a way to get through life or the day. Without gratitude, there is an inescapable emptiness; not a yearning, but a feeling of being ungrounded. This makes for a fertile ground for resentful thoughts of unfairness or “Why me? Or worse, comparing yourself to others. We’ll get to the many things to...


Love Is… (EP.26)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) Multiple Choice: Love is: Necessary. Our Calling. Emphasized in the Bible: “God is Love.” The path to personal fulfillment and peace. More important than being right. Behind Revolution 2.0™. The definition of what you do for others when you just don’t feel like it. Hard Both the Reason and the Result in All of the above. Love is not: What we feel when we are physically attracted to another. Easy Something we...


Truth Decay (EP.25)

Does it seem to you that we see more and more examples of agenda over integrity? Said differently, are politicians, people on social media and the media themselves holding out something less than the truth in order to make a point? Or win an election? Or to get something they want? If they are doing that, that’s what I mean by a triumph of agenda over integrity. I see this everywhere; in politicians of all stripes, and on all sides of almost every discussion, from education debates to...


Affirmative Action (EP.24)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) Affirmative action is racist. Affirmative action is sexist. And sometimes both. Perhaps you can argue that discrimination based on race and sex is just fine in certain circumstances, but discrimination it is. Affirmative action began under Johnson, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and an executive order in 1965. In 1978 in the Bakke Case, the Supreme Court ruled that quotas were illegal, but race could still be used...


School Funding (EP.23)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) The issue we face in Pre-K-12 public schools is deteriorating performance, with the request for additional funding as the solution. Teachers are protesting, and teacher unions are demanding more money in the name of the students. All the while our students and their families are being underserved. In some cases, cheated; their High School diplomas lure them into thinking they have the required education to get and hold down a job....


Paycheck (EP.22)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) We hear conversations about “Living Wage”. This implies that the employer is responsible for paying enough for the employee to live in their present circumstances. If true, would we pay a man with stay-at-home-wife and four kids more than a single, childless woman? Of course not. “Living wage” has a very different meaning in these two examples. Key point: Pay people for the value they add, not for what they need. Here’s a military...


Everyday Wisdom: “Life is Hard” EP.21

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) Life is indeed hard, and as soon as you get that, it becomes dramatically more manageable. From the “Terrible Twos” through the end of life, life is hard. And hard for different people in different ways. All 7 billion of us are going through our own different versions of “hard.” Behind every face there is a story. Each of the 7 billion stories are different. We often think that we are unique in the depth of our struggles because we...


Everyday Wisdom: “Breaking Furniture” (EP.20)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) Remember the brothers last week who bought Christmas trees for $100, and sold them for $50? When they discovered they were losing money, the plan was to build a bigger business and “make it up in volume.” Absurd, yes, but that type of thinking is all too common. Last week we dealt with the insanity of having a broken business model, public or private, government agency or private business, and claiming that making it bigger would...


Everyday Wisdom: “Get A Bigger Truck” (EP.19)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) There is an old story about two “down home” brothers in NY state and their bankrupt Christmas tree business. (The full story is in the podcast.) They had a failed business model, but were convinced that expansion–hoping for “economies of scale”–would fix it. As silly as that sounds, the same thing goes on all around us. Businesses; as many die of “success”, i.e., drown in their own juices, as die from lack of customers. Cash–and...


Obedience and Discipline = Freedom (EP.18)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) “Through discipline comes freedom.” (Aristotle) Today’s title is not about simply doing your homework early so that you have the freedom to play video games. Or obeying traffic laws so that you can continue to enjoy the freedom of the roads. It is about weaving discipline and obedience into the fabric of your life–living a life of freedom. Not just at certain times when pressed. Duc’s (“Duke”), my large, 9-year-old Standard Poodle...


Young, Poor and Angry (EP.17)

(Podcast teaser only. Please go to the podcast for more.) I saw this colorful, professionally done bumper sticker on a car driven by what looked like a mid-20s male. Young, Poor and Angry, screamed the sticker, with Angry in italics. Why? What was he angry about? Certainly not about being young. So it must be about the poor part. Let’s think this through together. Young is not a permanent condition, and overall, it’s a good thing. Angry is a moment-to-moment choice. No matter what the...