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8 minutes | 2 days ago
“We Lepers” -Father Damien: One-On-One Gets Things Done (EP.329)
Introduction We are in the midst of continuing arguments about the Constitutional limits of the enumerated powers of our intended-to-be limited government. The additional, perhaps more necessary, discussion needs to center around what governments are capable of doing, and what they absolutely cannot do. And the vital tasks that only we, you and I–and Father Damien–can accomplish. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Father Damien, AKA Saint Damien of Molokai, 1840-1889, was a Roman Catholic priest. He was recognized for his ministry to a colony of lepers, which he led from 1873 until his death in 1889. His mission was on the island of Molokai, where he had volunteered to meet the spiritual and other needs of those doomed to die of leprosy (Hansen’s disease), unloved and unmourned. Until his arrival. Father Damien cared for his patients and established leaders within the community, helping to build houses, schools, roads, hospitals, and churches. He dressed residents’ leprosy ulcers, built a reservoir, made coffins, dug graves, shared pipes, and ate poi by hand with them, providing medical, emotional and spiritual support. After eleven years caring for the needs of those in the leper colony, Father Damien contracted the dread disease. He continued with his work despite the infection but finally succumbed in 1889. The way he announced to his afflicted flock that he had contracted the disease after 11 years of ministering to them was by beginning a sermon with, “We lepers.” He was declared a saint by the Catholic Church in 2008. None of us are lepers, and very few of us are saints. But we are all in this together. Father Damien was a profound example of the power of one-on-one love, encouragement and support. Governments can supply stuff. Only we, you and I, can provide the examples, love, encouragement and support that is needed over and above the taxpayer supplied products and services. We don’t need to be Father Damiens–we simply need to be us. And to be focused on contributing. Flawed as we are, it is up to us. Just as no government could have done the tiniest part of what Father Damien personally did for his flock of lepers, governments today still have the same severe limits on what they can accomplish, no matter how many laws and regulations are passed, and no matter how many trillions of dollars are spent. Yet governments, taxpayers and voters keep forgetting this vital lesson. Here are two examples of things governments can and cannot do: Governments can provide services like education and law enforcement, but they cannot motivate students to excel, or even care. They are equally inept at inspiring people to respect the law and law enforcement, as opposed to simply fearing negative consequences. Governments can supply needed cash and in-kind services if and when needed, but they are helpless when it comes to providing the motivation for a person or group to lift themselves up so they no longer need taxpayer assistance. More recently, the government has been providing disincentives in the form of enhanced unemployment checks, and simply here-you-are checks. Desire and motivation are everything. Governments cannot create, demand or inspire either. Most of us have heard the piece of wisdom pointing out that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach that man to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime. Well, not so fast. In order for someone to want to fish for themselves, buying and maintaining the tackle, sometimes going out in the cold and rain, and occasionally spending most of the day and coming back with nothing, they must be motivated. Without motivation, they will still want the free fish. Now, let’s add one more level to using fishing as a metaphor for feeding humanity. Teach a man to teach others to fish, and how to motivate them, and you feed a nation. Knowing how to fish is the how. Motivation is the why. Before we close, I want to share my story of the “Great Crash” with you. No, not the stock market crash that led to the Depression. Or the Titanic crashing into the iceberg. It was me doing something stupid with a chair and a heavy bookcase that led to missing my first promised podcast in over three years. One moment I was on a chair checking out some failed lighting gear on top of the bookcase, the next moment I was on my back on the floor, under the bookcase with electronics, office equipment and many other items strewn about me. It took a couple days to kinda pull myself together. I was shaken but quite okay. The electronics were revivable. And I discovered as I was putting things back that I did not need a lot of what I had–including that dang bookcase. Then I remembered what Father Damien did, and I feel silly about sharing this minor incident. And further thought reminds me that Revolution 2.0™ is my mission, my way of contributing, as loving and leading the lepers on Molokai was Father Damien’s. One on one, person to person. Truly the only way life gets better. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
11 minutes | 9 days ago
Are “America First” and “Me First” American Values? (EP.328)
Introduction Does being an American mean that we hold to principles like “America First” and “Me First”? That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing I am going to draw a comparison between the America Firsters in the ‘40s who would have had us far less prepared for WWII, and today’s Me Firsters who are in the process of having us far less prepared to defeat COVID. In 1940, the America First movement threw its weight behind Wendell Willkie, the Repubican candidate for President running against Franklin Roosevelt in his effort to be elected for an unprecedented third term. The core issue was opposition to Roosevelt’s giving aid to Britain when that country was the lone holdout against Nazi Germany. Wilkie, the Republicans and others including Charles Lindberg, the American superhero who was the first man to fly across the Atlantic, were dead set against entering the war in Europe which had started in September of ‘39. As well the one in Asia which Japan had started in ‘31 with its invasion of Manchuria–10 years before Pearl Harbor. Most of us are familiar with Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who believed Hitler’s lies about the limits of Nazi aggression. His naivete had tragic consequences in allowing Hitler to grab more people and more land, and most importantly, more time to strengthen his armed forces. Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement in September of ’38, abandoning Czechoslovakia to Hitler. WWII had a brief start in September of ‘39, with the real war beginning in May of ‘40 with the invasion of Belgium and the fall of France and most of Europe. Had Chamberlain confronted an unprepared Hitler in ‘38, Hitler would either have backed down, or would have been defeated. The extra time was critical to Hitler and his military ambitions. Had Wilkie and the America Firsters won, they would have done far more damage to the Allied effort in WWII than even Chamberlain did. FDR had been busy not only aiding Britain in its struggle against Nazism, but had been pushing hard to strengthen America’s own ability to fight a war, in terms of manpower, training and equipment, a war the President saw as inevitable. And the America Firsters saw as completely avoidable, and certainly not worth the time and expense of preparing for. Here’s how it works with defending yourself, your country, against a rapidly strengthening opponent that poses a real, significant and devastating threat. You engage and defeat it before it can strengthen to the point where it can defeat your defenses. You completely eliminate the threat, as we did with both Germany and Japan in WWII when we announced that we would accept only unconditional surrender. In effect, we achieved global herd immunity, making it impossible for either Hiller’s Germany or Imperial Japan to rise up yet again–as both had done in the past. Here’s how it works with defending yourself, your country, against a global, rapidly mutating and strengthening disease like COVID. When nearly everyone gets the vaccine, it’s extremely hard for the virus to spread, so the effectiveness jumps to almost 100%. That’s called herd immunity. That’s the goal. That’s always been the goal. Demanding, and achieving, unconditional surrender from COVID as we did with polio–and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. But is that everyone’s goal? Are many people, about a third of America’s adult population, far more interested in their opinions, their so-called rights, than they are in helping and protecting others? Let’s examine some of the excuses: “We do not know the long term effects.” Well, we damn well know the long term effects of having no vaccines. Both India and Brazil have done marginal jobs with the vaccines they have, leading to widespread COVID devastation; imagine the horror if there were no vaccines to begin with. That’s in addition to the trials that led to granting emergency approval for the vaccines, and the billion doses that have been administered globally with only the predicted mild reactions. And look at Israel, a test lab of 8 million people proving the remarkable effectiveness of the vaccines. “This is not a vaccine, it is gene therapy.” And why is that bad? It is so easy to remember the shouts and screams of those who protested, “I am not going to allow someone to inject me with a real virus.” In 1796, British doctor Edward Jenner demonstrated that an infection with the relatively mild cowpox virus conferred immunity against the deadly smallpox virus. This paved the way for the virtual elimination of the worldwide smallpox scourge, a disease that killed 300M people since 1900 alone. Now we have a vaccine that fools the body into developing antibodies without introducing the virus itself. And if that isn’t good enough, take one of the other vaccines, e.g., the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which uses more traditional DNA technology. “It is my right not to get vaccinated; moreover, it is none of your business.” The vaccines are not 100% effective. Even if your friends and family are vaccinated, but you’re not vaccinated, you can still carry and spread the virus. And it’s a mistake to think everyone who wants a vaccine can just get one. Some people are on cancer chemotherapy; they can’t be vaccinated–they depend on the herd to protect them. Many of the most vulnerable Americans are counting on their fellow Americans to get vaccinated. “I am young and healthy, so I don’t need to be vaccinated.” The B.1.1.7 variant is now the most dominant strain of coronavirus spreading in the United States. And unlike the original strain, this one is heavily impacting young people. Plenty of young, healthy people have turned into Covid 19 “long-haulers.” Many have suffered chronic fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath and brain fog months after their infection. “I refuse to get the vaccine. Yours will protect you, so you do you and leave me alone.” The battle cry of the Me Firsters. In order to get to herd immunity, and herd immunity is the only way to achieve eradication of COVID as we did with polio, it is important to vaccinate as many adults as possible as soon as possible. The people who are getting vaccinated are protecting the Me Firsters who refuse. As more people get vaccinated, the less chance there is for the unvaccinated to contract the disease. The people who refuse to get the vaccine, for reasons ranging from not wanting to take a risk to avoiding some sort of inconvenience or discomfort, are being protected by the people who are willing to take a risk, and are willing to stand up to discomfort or inconvenience. The ugly irony is that many of those who refuse to take the vaccine think that the ones who do, the very ones who are helping to protect them, are sheep, government dupes, or other kinds of fools. We defeated polio worldwide by achieving herd immunity. Where would we be with this horrible disease if a good third of those who needed to be vaccinated refused–as they are doing today with COVID? Look no further than Afghanistan and Pakistan where polio is making a comeback today due to many refusing to be vaccinated. What might our American vaccine refusers have in common with their brother and sister refusers in Afghanistan and Pakistan? We will close with a view of what three possible COVID worlds might look like. The first is one where vaccines do not exist, and the only protections against COVID are things like masks, social distancing and handwashing, and therapeutics post contracting the disease. The second is a world where we have vaccines, but because of widespread refusal do not achieve herd immunity. COVID struggles including hospitalizations and deaths continue far into the future. The third world is one with nearly everyone getting the vaccine, creating worldwide herd immunity. Which world would you want to live in? If you want to open up America, get vaccinated. If you are your Brother’s Keeper, get vaccinated. Be a mensch, get vaccinated. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
10 minutes | 13 days ago
“Give To Caesar What Is Caesar’s”–Your Children, Ambition, Freedom… (EP.327)
Introduction That was the answer to a Catch-22 trick question posed to Christ by the Pharisees in an effort to embarrass him in front of his followers and others. In this context Christ’s answer supported the idea of paying taxes. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing This is a useful example of authorities trying to trick a leader of the people. Here is some context to bring this example to life. “Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘We know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay tax to Caesar or not?’ If Christ has said “Yes”, the Pharisees would have used that to turn the people against him. If he had answered “No” that would have been treason. “But Jesus, knowing their intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.’ They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. “Then he said to them, ‘So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’ When they heard this, they were stumped. So they left him and went away.” The Pharisees were the politically correct, self-righteous hypocrites of their day. The message was to pay your taxes, and to give everything else to God. And that’s a good message for today. We, our children, our ambitions, freedoms, successes and failures, belong to God. Not the government. The spenders in our government have not only gone from Tax and Spend to Spend first and then Tax, they want far more from us. They want to: Steal our children by indoctrinating them using the very schools paid for with our taxes. Destroy our ambitions by creating a nation of victims. Eliminate individual responsibility by declaring that: Any negative group statistics, e.g., arrests for armed robbery, are proof of systemic racism–with no individual responsibility at all. Any positive groups statistics, e.g., academic achievement, are also proof of systemic racism–with individual accolades being suppressed. Defy the clear and consistent laws of finance by borrowing sums of money that we will never be able to repay. Exert increasing amounts of control over our lives using fear, e.g., fear of COVID, fear of Climate Change, and the greatest fear of all, the fear of each other. BTW, fears can have real foundations, like COVID; controversial and questionable foundations, e.g., Climate Change, and false and destructive foundations, like getting us to live in fear of each other. Why do authoritarian leaders and rulers seek to replace God with government? A. They don’t like the competition. Today’s Key Point: We should give to Caesar what Caesar needs in taxes to provide the goods and services that he, Caesar, the government, provides uniquely well. And no more. When we start the discussion of the proper size of government with, “How big should government be?” it is inevitable that we will wind up in a verbal brawl with some people pitching for a small government, and others arguing for a big government. And we’ll get nowhere. With apologies to Shakespeare, “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the answer, it lies in the question.” An acquaintance of mine, a motivational speaker and author, is fond of saying, “If you want better answers, ask better questions.” When I first heard him say that, it made absolutely no sense. But I had enough respect for him that I experimented and, over time found that he is absolutely right. Let’s experiment a bit together and see if his recommendation works here. New, better questions: What are the tasks that need–need–to be done, accomplished, in our community, state or country? And what are the priorities? Of those tasks, which are the ones that government does uniquely well? What are the resources needed for those defined and prioritized tasks that government does uniquely well? The answer to this question will tell us how big a government, local, state or federal, needs to be. We are approaching the answer logically, by responding to a series of defined questions. Answering Question 1. What are the tasks that need to be done, accomplished, in our community, state or country? And what is the priority? Laying out the tasks that need to be handled might take some amount of time–the list of tasks is long and getting longer–but that part will get done. Remember, this is a list of all the things that need to be done, whether by government, individuals, corporations, whatever. It’s a list of tasks that need to be done, regardless of by whom or by what. Prioritizing is much harder, but vital. We will always live in a world where the list of wants and needs is endless, and the resources are finite. The process is straightforward, and hard; make the list, prioritize it, then apply the known resources to the list until the resources are exhausted. When we can see that the resources are exhausted, that’s where we put a line under the last priority that we can afford. The lower priorities will need to wait until new resources are found. Perhaps the next budget year. Answering Question 2. What are the tasks that government does uniquely well? And who would want government–or any other entity–to do something that another organization can do better? That’s why we emphasize the phrase “uniquely well.” For most people, defense, law enforcement, and firefighting, all fall comfortably into what the government does uniquely well zone. And for most, various forms of entertainment, from movies to water parks, would fall well outside that uniquely well zone. Education is somewhere in between. There will be people who argue that education falls in the uniquely well zone, and others will disagree. Education is like most items on the list of tasks in that it will generate disagreement and discussion. But at least we have defined the questions, and have created tools, a handle, for guiding the conversations as we disagree about education and so many other things, and learn from each other in the process. This gives us a debate structure, a format for the discussion. We have focused, defined questions. We can then bring in facts that pertain to those questions. Facts–the law calls them evidence–not biases or opinions. Then we apply non agenda-based logic to those facts to answer the question at hand. This process guides us. This process will lead us to vigorous, on-point-discussions, and reasonable conclusions. We will no longer be relegated to saying, then yelling, “Small government”, “Big government” at each other like rows of TVs; always on broadcast, and never on receive. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. And only what is Caesar’s. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
8 minutes | 16 days ago
Ma’Khia Bryant and George Floyd: Agendas Shaping “Facts” (EP.326)
Introduction Both sides of the police accountability discussion are using their agendas to sift, sort, and alter the facts. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted on all counts in the George Floyd case, including two counts of murder, and is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. Cries of “He did not get a fair trial,” and, “Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s back, not his neck,’ still echo. Sixteen year old Ma’Khia Bryant, had just attempted to attack a woman with a large knife, when she was lunging toward a second woman with the same knife, attempting to plunge it into her intended victim when she was fatally shot by white Officer Nicholas Reardon. All three women are black. Loud criticisms of “Hey it was just a knife fight,” and, “He could have shot her in the leg,” are rife in the media. All of these contrived positions are designed to forward different agendas, with no regard for either the facts or the consequences. “Believe your eyes,” was loudly and often encouraged when referring to the George Floyd murder video. The video of the attempted murder rescue by Officer Reardon was just as clear, albeit brief. Any kind of fairness standard, any belief in consistency in logic and reasoning demands that if you accept one video because it supports your position, then you must accept the other–even if it does not. I have been a committed, professional blogger and podcaster for over three years, with the goal of growing in my ability to communicate and persuade. I want to grow as a podcaster with better and better content, and explode my audience. Even with this growing commitment, it is very hard for me to see self-centered agendas, supported by willful ignorance, drive out truth, fairness and logical consistency. Just as bad money drives out good money, bad thinking drives out good thinking. In economics, Gresham’s law states that “bad money drives out good”. For example, if there are two forms of money in circulation, the more valuable commodity will gradually disappear. People will hold onto the form of money which is inherently more valuable, and spend the other money with the same face value. Forgetting the language of economists, I remember when Canadian money was not uncommon here in the US. If anyone had gotten stuck with a Canadian quarter, worth less than a US quarter, but still advertised as a quarter of a dollar, they would try to pass it as quickly as they could. Keeping any US quarters in their pockets. Bad thinking drives out good thinking, but in a different way. Bad ideas, bad thinking, is easy. Just grab a hold of an idea, a cliche or political sound byte, and go with it. And if challenged, just repeat it. If the challenger has the nerve to present you with facts and logic that counter your adopted position, no worries–you can handle this. Start with doing what some people do when a person does not speak their language and they still want to be understood; they speak more slowly and louder. When that does not work, because it can’t, they start throwing their arms around, treating the other person like an idiot. Again, the same tactics apply here. If slow and loud does not work, then just accuse them of being a racist, or a libtard; a transphobe or a commie. Throw in a few fictitious studies, claim your rights, and announce that “This is America” as if that should end the discussion. And like a drunk who will fight until he passes out, no matter how badly he is being beaten by a skilled, sober fighter, the people with the fact free thinking will simply keep at it, ignoring all presented facts and logic, and will never quit until the other person just up and stops trying to be heard. Example: take a look at a few well articulated posts on controversial topics on Twitter. Then look at the countering responses. Very often you will see a parade of “drunk” comments, most often posted anonymously. And don’t even think about responding to one of them. Take my word for what will happen, and save yourself the frustration of self-discovery. Unless we stop it, self-centered, agenda driven thinking will drive out fact-based, common goals thinking. All of us, at least I, need to stick a yardstick up our tailfeathers, call it a backbone, and get on with it. Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder. Together we must fight the kind of thinking that supports dangerous nonsense like: “How can we heal if Chauvin was found not guilty of intentionally killing George Floyd,” -CNN Guest, and on the other hand, “He did not get a fair trial.” and, “Nothing would have happened if Floyd had not tried to resist.” Officer Reardon is a hero, the exact opposite of an example of racist policing. With less than 9 seconds to act after leaving his vehicle, he did exactly the right thing. Together we must fight the kind of thinking that supports dangerous nonsense like: “He could have shot in the air as a warning.” Juan Williams.” Fox News, and on the other hand, “If they hate the police so much, simple; don’t police their neighborhoods.” The list of embarrassingly stupid–and dangerous–reactions to both events is vitrully endless. It is awkward and infuriating to watch people contort their thinking to support their agendas. We must stay strong, committed and overcome them. We’ll close with some related thoughts: In both the George Floyd and Ma’Khia Bryant cases, we can take great comfort in knowing that the system worked. The system is working in the killing of Daunte Wright; officer Patterson has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. It is not about just police accountability. Both law enforcement and civilians must be held accountable for their actions. I support police reform. And that will take more money, not less. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
12 minutes | 20 days ago
Politics, Lies and You (EP.325)
Introduction If we all started with the same facts, even if we applied different reasoning and logic, we would be far more unified and together on issues than we are today. And we could make substantial progress together. The catch is that we are being lied to on a regular basis. Most of the media and many politicians and influence leaders either intentionally give us a carefully edited version of the story, or they outright lie to us. We believe the misinformation, and take our positions in line with how we are being (mis)led. Whose fault is that? Ours. As always. We must dig for the truth. It is there for us to find. Revolution 2.0™ is here to help you find it. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Today’s Key Point. It is our responsibility to read, listen to and watch multiple sources of information–even the ones that make us upset–daily or at least weekly. There are no consistently reliable sources of the truth; we must distill that for ourselves. Q. Why do political leaders and influence leaders lie? A. To achieve results and fulfill agendas that the truth would not support. Here are a couple examples. President Johnson created a false narrative about the US being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin to have an excuse to bring America into the civil war in Vietnam. The CEOs of the big tobacco companies lied for years, and in front of Congress, about nicotine not being addictive. All while artificially increasing the amount of nicotine to hook more people at great peril to their health and very lives. Johnson expected glory from winning a popular war; the CEOs wanted money. Q. Why is racism at the heart of or near the center of most of today’s lies? A. Because it works. And unlike a hard statistic, like murders in our inner cities and incidents of armed robbery, it is easy to claim–and denial, even with proof–is somehow seen as evidence that supports the initial accusation. Let’s look at a current, sweeping, overall lie. The President, Joe Biden, has compared the revised Georgia voting laws with the Jim Crow laws. Here are a few examples of the hundreds of hateful Jim Crow laws. “It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other at any game of pool or billiards.” “No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms or hospitals, either public or private, where negro men are placed.” “Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the white and colored races are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined.” The list goes on almost endlessly. The term “Jim Crow Laws” is often used, but less often understood. Jim Crow was the name of a minstrel character created in 1828 by Thomas Rice. Rice’s comedy routines and the popular song “Jump, Jim Crow” established the common name for laws that enforced racial prejudice. These laws held sway mainly in the South from the end of the Civil War until the 50s and 60s, with the Supreme Court upholding them in 1896 with the Plessy v Ferguson separate but equal decision. Thanks in large part to the work of NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, in 1954 the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional–effectively reversing Plessy. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965, officially abolishing all Jim Crow laws. Now let’s look at the results of the Georgia voting law in light of what Jim Crow really was, testing Biden’s comparison. Ready? Voters can start requesting no-excuse ballots 78 days in advance. Photo ID is required for both in-person and mail voting. If someone does not have an ID, one will be provided for free upon request. Ballot drop boxes will be provided. Locations are limited, but ballot drop boxes are codified in the law for the first time in Georgia. No one is allowed to hand out food or drink within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of a voter. Voters can bring their own, or poll workers are allowed to provide water. People handing out bottled water with the Democratic logo on them is prohibited. As is handing out generic bottles of water with a wink-wink while saying MAGA. The law also mandates three weeks of early in-person voting and requires early-voting sites to be open for at least eight hours and up to 12 hours. Two things are glaringly obvious. 1. There is absolutely no comparison between these voting laws and Jim Crow; if anything they are opposites, and 2. No one with any real desire at all to vote would be in any way put off, or even more than slightly inconvenienced, by these rules. But let’s remember who made the comparison between these laws and the segregationist, hateful Jim Crow laws. It was the same Joe Biden who in 2012 in a campaign speech said that Mitt Romney, then the Republican Presidential candidate, wanted to, “…put you all (blacks) back in chains,” and in May of 2020 Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Do you see a pattern? Calling up images of something as horrible as Jim Crow laws is exactly like calling up images of Hitler and Nazism if you don’t like a particular politician or law. Hitler directly killed 6M Jews, cheated and tortured millions others he did not like, and was the immediate cause for over 25M deaths. And the destruction of most of Europe and much of Russia. In both cases, the wildly inaccurate comparisons cheapen the lives, struggles and deaths of the victims of both Jim Crow and Hitler’s Germany. The United States is the least racist of any multi-racial nation in history. And the incidents of racism continue to fall. No racist laws remain, and racist people and events are on the decline. This very decline drives the need for terms like microaggression, and Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. The latter two being almost desperate attempts to tell big enough lies often enough that people will believe them. Pause for a clarification: I am not saying that racists and racism have been eliminated, and I am not saying that they ever will be. I am saying that racism is clearly and obviously continuing to decline. And any attempt to overemphasize racism or any other type of crime or evil for personal or political gain is hideous in the extreme. The enduring, quintessential race lie is the “Hands up, don’t shoot,” lie from the Michael Brown case in 2014 in Ferguson, MO. This lie has endured and has intentionally driven racial animus for seven years. LeBron James and others wore t-shirts with that printed on them on national TV before NBA games. More recently, Mr. James tweeted, “You’re next,” in response to a white cop in Ohio fatally shooting a black girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, who was about to take a piece out of another young female with a large knife. She was in the act of charging and striking when she was shot. I am not happy with any level of crime or injustice, whether the basis is race, gender, economic inequality or anything even remotely related. To fix these faults and divisions, as we must, we need to start with cooperative hearts, telling ourselves and each other the truth, and working on fixing the issues at hand. All quite the opposite of spreading lies and innuendo in pursuit of personal and political gain. We’ll close with a quote. “Most of the great evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.” -Bertrand Russell, British writer, social activist, and philosopher. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
11 minutes | 23 days ago
Cops And Robbers: Choosing Up Sides (EP.324)
Introduction You are a cop, running as hard as you can, chasing an armed, young male suspect. Your weapon is drawn, and your heart is pounding from more than just the running. You have been alerted to the sound of gunfire in the area. You see a gun in the fleeing suspect’s right hand; you are shouting for him to stop and show you his hands. In one fluid motion the suspect turns to face you. What do you do? That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Before continuing, tell yourself what you would have done. Okay, now continue. In this case, the officer, Eric Stillman, white, a 6-year police veteran, fatally shot 13-year-old black Adam Toledo with a single bullet. Before becoming a police officer, Stillman joined the U.S. Marines; his service included a deployment to Afghanistan. He remains in the Marine Reserves as a Staff Sergeant. Frame-by-frame video shows that Toledo ditched the gun as he was turning to face Stillman. Stillman, you, had less than a second to decide what to do. Was Toledo’s body obscuring what happened to the gun? Were you, Stillman, remembering your training that said to shoot when faced with an armed suspect who was resisting arrest, and turning to face you? I’ll never know, but I would likely have shot Toledo. In split second, life or death situations, the only thing you can rely upon is your training. And it was not just my, our, personal safety at stake. Had Toledo succeeded in running away again while armed, whether or not he hit me, us, with a shot, he would have been a clear danger to the suburban Chicago neighborhood we are duty bound to protect. The key question here is what kind of a police force do we want? We asked the question about what kind of a military we want in a recent episode. Today, we ask the same question about law enforcement. Many are already condemning the officer’s action. Adeena J. Weiss-Ortiz, the family’s lawyer, said, “Adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand.” True, but is she telling the whole truth? No, but as the family lawyer it is her duty to put Adam in the best possible light. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, observing that Toledo had not fired first, said, “Simply put, we failed Adam.” The Mayor was silent about the 769 civilian-on-civilian murders in her city in 2020, up from 495 the year before. The hands up, don’t shoot image portrayed here is intended to play to the emotions of the many who believe the “Hands up, don’t’ shoot,” lie in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, MO. The mainstream media are picking up on the theme that Toledo was shot while unarmed with his hands in the air. That’s true, and intentionally misleading, working to fuel the anti-cop hatred in general, and to reinforce the false claim that cops are murdering unarmed blacks on a regular basis. At most, 25 unarmed blacks are killed by cops each year, with many of those killings being justified. Intentionally fueling hatred, especially with false information, is a hate crime in and of itself. And spawns more hate crimes for which the entity spreading the false information is culpable. In cases like Daunte Wright, where the killing appears not to have been justified, the officer in question has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. In general it is likely that police might need to have more thorough and repeated live fire training. Along with increased training about how to defuse situations before either side begins shooting. Law enforcement may also need to look at its hiring and retention practices, seeking to avoid hiring those who might not react well in life and death situations, and weed out those who slipped by during the hiring process. Specifically, it has been widely publicized that Officer Stillman has had three complaints filed against him with the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability. What is less well publicized is that two of those complaints were about searches, one Oct. 11, 2018, and another Oct. 28, 2020. The first case was listed as “unfounded,” and the second was closed with “no finding.” A third complaint is pending. But what about the civilians in police encounters; is there any responsibility there, anything from the civilian’s past that would give us clues about how to alleviate or avoid risky situations in the future? Mr. Toledo was reported missing by his mother, Elizabeth Toledo, on Friday, March 26, three days before the killing. He returned home the following day, but his mother did not call police to report that he had returned. Officers found out he was home only when they called to check on the missing persons report. On March 31, two days after Toledo’s death, detectives again called his mother to say that the description of her son resembled an unidentified person in the morgue. Ms. Toledo then told detectives she hadn’t seen her son since he had left home again, either late on March 27 or early on March 28. She did not report him missing a second time. The media frequently puts her in front of cameras saying, “I just want to know what really happened to my baby. They had a lot of options, but not (sic) kill him. They could have shot him in his legs, his arms, up in the air, I don’t know but not kill my baby,” adding that Adam liked to play with Legos. She does not mention his affinity for guns. Thirteen-year-old Adam was with a 21-year-old man, Roman Ruben, during the shooting. Roman faces felony charges of unlawful use and reckless discharge of a firearm, child endangerment, and violating probation. At a bond hearing for Roman on April 10, prosecutors said he fired seven or eight shots while standing next to Adam and they both ran when officers arrived. Roman was apprehended, while police went on chasing Adam. Both police and civilians should be held accountable for their actions; that’s not what is happening today. Police are being held accountable, after the fact, if they had not acted in any way that did not pass the 20-20 hindsight test. Civilians and suspects are given a pass, while often being made into heroes and martyrs, regardless of their criminal history. “Shoot him in the thigh,” and, “He was shot for the crime of being black,” reverberate not only in the media, but in the minds of all law enforcement. Cops, innocent or not, and their families are being harassed in their homes, with some being driven into hiding. Until they are found there by the mob, and driven out of that home as well. Who would want to be a cop in today’s atmosphere? How many good ones will apply? How many good ones will stay? Today’s anti-cop environment will attract more marginal applicants, while discouraging the good ones, and help to drive the remaining good ones out the door. Can we afford the luxury of venting our rage at perceived injustices, perceived to be injustices because of deliberately false information? All while making it close to impossible for the good cops to put up with the mounting hassles and negative publicity. The less than good ones will just hide behind their badges, waiting for their pensions. Today’s key point: Today’s growing anti-cop environment will degrade the police forces across the nation, with the greatest negative impact to be felt in the poor, minority neighborhoods; the ones who need the cops, especially the good ones, the most. I played both cowboys and Indians and cops and robbers as a kid. N. B. I did not say that I played US Military and Indians, where the genocide occurred, I played cowboys and Indians. We did not care who was which; we just chose up sides, and went at it. But you can’t do that anymore because the word Indian, clearly a misnomer, is seen as unacceptable to Native Americans. We take up the cause of the Indigenous Peoples, and ban the term. Fair enough. But is using the phrase cops and robbers becoming similarly unacceptable? Are we choosing up sides, then having at it–but in this case we are not playing? All the data and logic point heavily to supporting the police. Anti-police entities take isolated examples, most of them presented with only part of the facts at hand, and then claim systemic racism and other faults. To our peril. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
9 minutes | a month ago
The Infrastructure We Desperately Need (EP. 323)
Introduction “Never take on vast projects with half-vast ideas,” is a fun way of reminding us not to take on big challenges with little ideas. And yet somehow still expect results. The biggest issues facing us as a nation, including inequality and poverty, gun deaths, and our widening divisions, all have simple, but terribly difficult to implement, solutions. None of them–not a one of them–can be successfully overcome with legislation and money. No matter if the legislation is bipartisan or along party lines, and no matter how many trillions we spend. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Deep seated, long term term problems require long term solutions, and these long term solutions require hard work, and lots of one-on-one hard work over time. Here are a couple of familiar examples. People who have gained a significant amount of weight over the years may seek an easy solution, e.g., diet pills or a quick, crash diet. But as we all know, those do not work long term. And may not work at all. Only a lifestyle change can work–a simple, effective, hard to implement solution. Addiction is another example; alcohol, weed, nicotine or other drugs, are hard to kick. And like losing weight, require a lifestyle change. America needs a lifestyle change. Legislation, no matter how well intentioned, and spending, no matter how massive, does nor even come close to supplying the needed lifestyle change. Let’s examine some of the greater challenges. Poverty and inequality. We’ll start here with a claim on my part: If you divided up all the wealth in the country equally, simply took the total amount of private wealth and shared it all equally in one stroke, in 5 years, maybe 10 years, we’d be right back where we are now, with the same people being wealthy, and the same ones being poor. The basics of making, holding onto and growing money are simple. And difficult to do, requiring discipline and hard work over time. Kinda like weight management. Or anything else worthwhile. We would need to magically redistribute work ethic and the basic financial rules–and the motivation needed to apply these rules over time. All at the same time that we redistributed the money, or everything would return to the pre-redistribution status sooner rather than later. Perhaps more importantly, if we could distribute the rules and the motivation, we would not need to redistribute the money in the first place. Money flows to people who know how to make it, keep it and grow it, and are motivated to exercise those disciplines over time. Today’s key point: We must (re)distribute a work ethic and the basic, and simple and hard to implement rules for success in life. More difficult, but at least as important, is the need for us, you and me, to help others find the motivation to implement those simple-to-understand, difficult-to-implement rules. Here is an example of a few simple, powerful rules for financial success: Make more than you spend. Spend less than you make. (Those are usefully different.) Pay yourself first, i.e., take 5% or 10% of your income and put it tinto savings or investment before you do anything else each month. There are a few more rules, but if these three are implemented it would make a world of difference for any individual, family or group. These rules are oh-so-simple to understand, and very, very difficult to implement. And a dodge that a lot of us use is pretending that something is impossible because 1. “You don’t understand, do you? I’m disadvantaged!” Or 2. “I shouldn’t have to do this. Hey, other people get free money.” We accept these and other excuses as reasons not to take action. Pause for a truth. Governments can legislate and provide money from taxpayers. They are not good at teaching and utter failures at motivating. Only we, you and I, can do that. Reducing gun deaths is much the same. If anyone is serious about saving lives here, that someone would go to where the vast majority of gun deaths occur: inner cities with people using hand guns. But that would be a tough grind, and massively unpopular. No cameras, no applause; the very definition of a thankless task. As with reducing poverty and inequality, legislation and money can make only a very expensive, highly publicized and highly praised dent in the issue. Predicted results. Poverty. If we follow our current path of spending and legislation, we will reinforce and perhaps even bake in the disastrous cycle of debt and dependency. People who are dependent on the government drive more taxpayer debt, and more debt used for welfare creates more dependency. And round and round it goes. Guns. If we continue to direct our anti-gun focus on rifles, where less than 2% of gun deaths occur, the slaughter will continue. And the people supporting legislation and spending as the primary fixes for both problems will heartily congratulate themselves. All while blaming others for the continuation of the problems. We do need at least one addiction–an addiction to the truth. Almost everywhere I look, I see a fixation on agendas, with supporting evidence either being carefully selected, or even made up to support the agenda at hand. The current and emotional Daunte Wright case is just one example. The facts in the case show that Mr. Wight, a black male, was driving with expired tags on his car. When he was pulled over, the officers noticed a car freshener hanging from his rear view mirror, a violation in many states because it can interfere with a driver’s vision. They also discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Mr Wright was asked to get out of the car, which he did, then began resisting arrest while attempting to re-enter his vehicle. The officer, a white female, 25-year police veteran, Kim Potter, made a horrible mistake when she drew her gun instead of her taser, while shouting, “I’ll tase you! I’ll tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” She fired one shot, which proved to be fatal. Ms. Potter, who has resigned from the force, was subsequently arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter. Democracy Now!, a show appearing on PBS, passionately and repeatedly made the case that Wright was pulled over only for the air freshener violation, that there was no need to pull either a gun or a taser, and that it was impossible for the officer to have made a mistake of that magnitude. One of their principal spokespersons said that Wright was killed for the offense of driving while Black. That kind of “reporting” is in itself a hate crime, inciting more hate crimes. Democracy Now! is not alone; most news outlets routinely spin the news to fit their agendas. Let’s be addicted to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Isn’t that necessary before any healing can take place? Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1. Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
9 minutes | a month ago
Entitlement Culture Will Rule America…Unless. (EP.322)
Introduction Entitlement culture will rule, and ruin, America unless we, you and I, act. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Let’s start with having fun with what some famous quotes would have looked like in today’s entitlement culture thinking: “Ask not what your country can do for you; don’t just ask, you must demand that your country deliver all of your entitlements.” Here’s the original. “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your county.” Democratic President John F. Kennedy set this standard in his 1961 inauguration speech. Poor Jack was mired in the age of patriotism and personal responsibility. Didn’t he know that all of that is passé, and that we are now entitled to harvest what was planted for us by those who practiced those outdated principles? “Give me entitlements, or give me death.” Patrick Henry in saying, “Give me liberty or give me death,” apparently did not know how to either demand something for nothing, or call down punishment on those unwilling to meet that demand. Silly Pat took personal responsibility, taking it all on himself. “I regret that I have but one entitlement to demand.” American patriot Nathan Hale’s last words before being hanged by the British for treason during the Revolution were, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” This clearly shows that ol’ Nate missed the opportunity to declare himself a victim, compelling his executioners to feel shame and guilt sufficient to apologize and give him what he wanted. “There is no way that socialism or other forms of massive government spending can ever run out of money for entitlement programs. Just print the money!” British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Did Maggie forget about the government printing presses? And even if the conservative hand wringers are proved to be right, and massive spending and mounting debt are indeed deeply counterproductive and damaging, those supporting the spending and debt can easily just blame the “other side” for the damage. And the politicians and others supporting the spending will likely be dead or out of office when the bills come due–and will have lived quite well until then. The proof of the generational theft will be left to their, and our, children and grandchildren. “Give all minorities, and all those deemed to be underprivileged, and all those who do not have the guaranteed results they deserve, a fish every day forever, establishing equity in perpetuity.” The original, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” is too much work, and is unfair to the man. First of all, you can’t teach fishing in person unless you, the man and the fish have all been vaccinated. Second, what if the man identifies as a non-fisherman? And any comments about long term giveaway programs leading to generational poverty mindsets are obviously racist. Now let’s look at some specific examples of today’s entitlement thinking. Immigration. People are entitled to come here if they wish. Save for the occasional criminal, they should all be allowed in, and eventually given amnesty, including the vote. Doesn’t that represent true equity far more than a secure border, even one with an open and welcoming but controlled gate? Illegals, those already here and those streaming in, are entitled to be Americans just like you and me. Voting. People are entitled to exercise their right to vote with no inconvenience at all. Any obstacle, no matter how trivial, is blatant voter suppression. States like Georgia, and others, that allow weeks to vote, offer no-excuse absentee ballots, and make IDs available for free, are, well, obviously racist because minorities clearly cannot comply without experiencing some type of inconvenience. And just as clearly, references to voter responsibility and securing the integrity of the voting process are racist dog whistles. All people have the right to, are entitled to, food, housing, clothing, healthcare, Internet, etc. And if you don’t buy the “people have the right to” argument, then we’ll just call all of it infrastructure and fund these entitlements that way. Oh, and people are entitled to an education, including diplomas, and the jobs they want. Isn’t that so much more equitable than having to qualify for grade promotions, and work to earn a diploma? After all, standardized tests are racist. In fact, any test, measurement or observation of disparate results among the races is ipso facto racist. And affirmative action should not only get you an education and a job, but should get you into the school of your choice, and get you the job you want. People are entitled to having their children taken care of by taxpayer-funded governments. That includes having public schools being completely responsible for their education, including meals before and during school hours. And housing, healthcare and clothing are school-related entitlements. People encountering the police are entitled to put 100% of the responsibility for the encounter on the cops. If anything goes sideways, no responsibility of any kind belongs to the civilian. Any criticism or observation of errant behavior on the part of the civilian, in the past or during the interaction, clearly supports police brutality. Now, finally, for some needed, loving wisdom. It is far more effective, and deeply more loving, to create policies and programs that initially encourage, and eventually require, people to learn how to succeed on their own, and to learn to provide for their families and others. Allow them the dignity that comes from providing for themselves, and the respect that comes from providing for others. And the sense of near immortality that comes from setting that example for future generations. Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1. Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
8 minutes | a month ago
Social Justice is Weakening the US Military: Does That Matter? (EP. 321)
Social Justice is Weakening the US Military: Does That Matter? (EP. 321) Introduction The United States has the most powerful military the world has ever seen–no other country comes close. At least for now. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Let’s start by looking at what we want from our military. At one end of the spectrum we can have a military that is like a huge corporation, but with ranks and uniforms. At the other end, our military can be all Navy SEALS with the ability to handle paperwork in their spare time. Those are two very different visions of what our military should be. A wit once said that the job of the military is to kill people and break things. That’s not all they do, but if our military cannot do that, and do that better than any opposing military, it does not matter what else they may do well. Let’s look at the missions for the different branches: Air Force. “Fly, fight, win.” Army, “To deploy, fight, and win our nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt, and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the Joint Force.” Navy, “The Department of the Navy will recruit, train, equip, and organize to deliver combat ready Naval forces to win conflicts and wars while maintaining security and deterrence through sustained forward presence.” Marines. “To fight through anything—with everything.” Coast Guard. “Ensure our Nation’s maritime safety, security and stewardship.” When I was in the Army, the mission was to, “Take ground and keep it.” A mission the Army forgot in Vietnam, with dreadful consequences. The phrase “Every Marine is a rifleman,” was coined by Gen. Alfred Gray, the 29th Marine commandant, during his post-Vietnam transformation of the Marine Corps. He saw the force take on its expeditionary mission as America’s ready-to-deploy force, able to head to combat on a moment’s notice. His point was that when push comes to shove, that his Marines need to be able to put down their pencils, stethoscopes and electronics, and be able to act, instantly, as effective rifle-carrying infantry. And be at least as effective as the threatening trained enemy infantry. Two examples of this need come immediately to mind. Chronologically, the first was during the Battle of the bulge near the end of WWII. Most of the world, including the US military, believed that in December of 1944, Germany was near total collapse, with some thinking that the war would be over by Christmas. When elite German infantry and Panzer forces suddenly attacked, Army cooks and other rear echelon troops suddenly needed to pick up rifles and face the enemy. Quite fortunately, Lieutenant General George Patton was cut from the same cloth as Marine General Gray and had been preparing his 3rd Army for just such an attack. The surprised Army held off the onslaught just long enough for Patton’s prepared troops to meet and defeat the last German push in the war. But not before the US suffered its greatest losses of the entire conflict with 75,000 casualties. In the movie, The Battle of the Bulge, Charles Bronson, playing Major Wolenski, an Army officer, is telling a group of cooks to grab their rifles and rush to the nearby front to meet the attack. “But we are cooks,” one of them said. Wolenski replied, “Lunch is over.” Another example came when North Korea attacked South Korea to start the Korean War. This surprise attack in massive numbers forced Army office personnel to take up arms and face the well trained attackers. As with the Battle of the Bulge, these troops were forced to retreat, but held off the enemy long enough for trained infantry, artillery and other units to come up and reverse the course of the war. History is replete with such examples, with our military and others, but you get the idea. It is unproductive and intellectually dishonest to have conversations about women in combat units, pregnancy outfits, and LGBTQ and transgender personnel in the military until we have decided what kind of a military we want. Is our military a huge organization, kinda like a big Amazon with uniforms and a different mission, and subject to various social justice changes? Or is it a tough, gritty outfit like the Army units that landed on Normandy on D-Day, and the fierce Marines that landed on Japanese held islands in the Pacific, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa? BTW, if we want the latter, are we afraid to say it out loud for fear of the backlash from social justice advocates? Remember, we would have to make the case that implementing many of the popular forms of social justice would make our military less gritty, less formidable, and less lethal. Are we ready to make that case? I have long maintained that if I was involved in a lawsuit, I want the reasonable, compromising attorney to represent the other side. I want the facebiter, the attorney who will do whatever is required–and legal–to win for my side. If I was not comfortable going all out to win, then my case has little moral merit in my mind, entirely aside from its legal merit. In that case, I would not engage in legal action in the first place. Shifting from the courtroom to the battlefield, if a nation is not willing to do whatever it takes for its military to win, including having the best personnel, the right training and equipment, and using those resources with a dedication to winning, then the cause is not worthy of risking precious blood and treasure. Does that tell you where I am on this issue? We’ll close with a quote. “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Most often attributed to George Orwell, occasionally credited to either Rudyard Kipling or Winston Churchill. Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1. Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
9 minutes | a month ago
“One For All, And All For One.” (EP.320)
Introduction “One For All, And All For One,” the famous motto of the Musketeers, in Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers. Dumas, son of a French nobleman and an African slave, was a prolific and still popular French writer in the mid 1800s, having penned Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo among many others. I wanted to use the Latin, “Unus Pro Omnibus, Omnes Pro Uno” for this important phrase in the episode title because to most people the concept is as dead as the language. And I wanted to make at least some use of my mandatory two years of Latin in my first two years of high school. And yes, a public school–back when. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ. -Galatians 3:28 Dumas meets the Apostle Paul, with a vital lesson for all of us today. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Today’s Key Point: We have dramatically more in common than whatever it is that we use as wedge issues to divide us. It is much easier to complain, accuse and attack than it is to make helpful contributions. And not only easier, our society rewards complainers and accusers far more than it rewards the grateful and the contributors. When are we going to grow up and agree with Dumas and Paul that the only way to live is, “One for all, and all for one?” This way, the right way, is harder, and in today’s society will earn little praise, and much scorn. But how many times in life is the right way the easy way? If Dumas, a Frenchman, the son of an African slave mother, born at a time when slavey was legal in France, can see that we are all in this together, and that we need each other, and that the others need us, what is our problem? If Paul, a Jewish Roman citizen, could passionately call for both Jews and Gentiles, avowed antagonists at the time, to come together, what are we missing? Paul, his Jewish name was Saul, called for us to come together in Christ. If we do not share that faith, we must recognize what we do share as reasons to come together. The earth, our humanity, citizenship, or at least residence, in America, the most free and wealthiest nation in the history of history. What moral compass, what North Star, what ideology, political or religious, teaches us to tear each other down, and to tear ourselves apart? A. The ideology of “I’m right, you’re wrong, therefore anything goes.” I indulged myself by commenting in a recent Facebook thread about private businesses requiring a vaccination for either employment or to be an in-person customer or client. This was prompted by Governor DeSantis’ move to make that requirement illegal for businesses in Florida. In a thread that was 99% against allowing business to require proof of vaccination, I jumped in saying that whether or not you agree with their stance, businesses have that right. An extension of, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” This group of commenters, no doubt seeing themselves on the right politically, thought that it was about time that businesses be restricted in this way. Some BLM advocates and others, who clearly see themselves on the left politically, want to limit business freedoms in another way. They want to make certain things mandatory for private businesses, including professing and showing support for the BLM movement and its goals. They see this as it’s about time for businesses to act in a way as to be judged sufficiently anti-racist. Both see themselves as right, and the opposition as wrong. Both want to make their views mandatory. Why? Well, because they are in the right, and anything goes. And both are contributing to pulling us apart. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a fly on the wall when these two groups realize how similar they really are? Many individuals and groups are delighting in turning America into the world’s largest taffy pull, with the intention of pulling our nation apart for their benefit. One of the most prevalent types of parties decades ago was called the candy pull or taffy pull, which involved buttering one’s hands and pulling the molasses candy repeatedly. More recently, machines are used to perform that task, often in the front window of the business to attract customers. And you can buy much smaller machines for home use today. The irony is that taffy pulls are designed to mix the ingredients in the candy; those intent on pulling us apart are dedicated to achieving the opposite effect–for their benefit. Let’s use another sweet to make a related point. Neapolitan ice cream is made in layers of different colored flavors, typically including chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. The colors and flavors are distinct, each one adding to the overall enjoyment. It is impossible to enjoy the entire cone, cup or sandwich without experiencing all three colors and flavors. Each flavor is distinct and enjoyable for what it is. Sometimes you get two or three flavors at the same time. In the end, the colors and flavors are entirely indistinguishable. Individuals and groups are wonderfully and usefully different. Are we going to honor those differences to make everything dramatically better, or are we going to weaponize those differences for personal and political advantage? And who is the “All” in, “All for one, and one for all”? Is it you and one or two others? Your extended family? Those with whom you agree? All Americans? All humanity? What is your answer? We will close with a familiar quote from Ben Franklin, Founder, inventor, the first Postmaster General, the diplomat who persuaded the French to join the rebels against England–and so much more. “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.” Franklin’s implied threat was being hung by the neck until dead by the British as punishment for treason. With our self-inflicted division, the threat is that we will all figuratively hang ourselves. A lingering financial, political and moral death. Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
11 minutes | a month ago
The AR-15 Is A Civilian Weapon–Accounting For Less Than 2% Of Gun Deaths (EP.319)
Introduction The AR-15 is a small caliber, high velocity, semi-automatic rifle. No military in the world would be caught dead using ARs against a force using real assault weapons. In fact, they would be caught quite dead if they engaged an opposing force using real assault weapons. “The overwhelming majority of all these deaths — suicides, accidents and homicides — are perpetrated with handguns. Mass shootings, while they may grab headlines for days or weeks at a time, make up a small fraction of gun deaths every year.” –Washington Post That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Today’s Key Point: If you believe that semi-automatic rifles, with the possible exception of the .22 used to kill rats and other rodents on farms and to train young people, then make that argument. Do not either intentionally mislabel the AR to make your case, or simply believe those who are misleading you without doing 30 minutes of independent research to find the truth. (Enjoy this podcast, and I can save you 20 of those 30 minutes.) It is axiomatic in mathematics that if you allow for one false claim, then you can easily prove a false conclusion. The most egregious example of this with the false labeling of the AR came from a recent video on MSNBC. The video opened up with the fully automatic M-16 pictured in a combat situation, with the host making the claim that the more familiar AR-15 was “just as deadly.” He was interviewing a guest, whose qualification as an “expert” was that he had a part in developing the AR. The expert was asked if the AR was, “Just as lethal as the M-16 in semi-automatic mode.” The answer was, “Yes, in semi-automatic mode.” That was enough for the host, who immediately labeled the AR as a “Weapon of war”. The rest of the video slammed Republican leaders who “touted” weapons of war, and said that like grenades, the Second Amendment did not protect ARs. An interesting conclusion, given that the 2A clearly protected the musket of the day, then the front line weapon of war rifle. Any rifle more powerful than the .22 is going to be just as lethal as the M-16 in semi-automatic mode. The false claim, the lie, is that similar lethality in semi-auto mode makes the AR into an M-16, which is truly a weapon of war. Since early in our active involvement in Vietnam, all US military rifle “weapons of war” must be capable of fully automatic fire, a vital and often used feature, as well as semi-automatic fire. Has anyone seen movies or video games depicting combat using rifles where fully automatic fire was not the dominant mode? The highly successful Israeli Defense Force uses the Tavor 21, capable of fully auto fire. As it must be. The venerable AR-47, used by just about every other military, is fully automatic, and has been around since 1947. Let’s step back from looking at semi-auto rifles, and examine what the overall goal is with gun control. Is the goal to reduce as fast as possible, using the resources at hand, all gun homicides? Or is the goal to get rid of as many ARs as fast as possible? What is the goal, and why is it not to eliminate as many gun homicides as fast as possible? As usual at Revolution 2.0™, we look at data before answering questions and coming to conclusions. Let’s hear from the Washington Post, hardly a conservative icon. “Unfortunately, gun-control advocates have used the appearance of semiautomatic rifles, which some people find menacing, to exaggerate the dangers the general public faces from their existence. Far more important than the cosmetic similarities and technical differences among firearms are which weapons actually are used in the majority of gun deaths and victimizations. About two-thirds of gun deaths every year in the United States are suicides, making up about half of all U.S. suicides. A relatively small number of people are killed in accidents, but the bulk of the remaining homicides stem from urban street-level shootings and domestic violence. The overwhelming majority of all these deaths — suicides, accidents and homicides — are perpetrated with handguns. Mass shootings, while they may grab headlines for days or weeks at a time, make up a small fraction of gun deaths every year. Even in those high-profile tragedies, however, handguns are far more common than semi automatic rifles.” In case you thought that the WAPO was alone in the liberal world in this thinking, let’s turn to the New York Times, “The continuing focus on assault weapons stems from the media’s obsessive focus on mass shootings, which disproportionately involve weapons like the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16 rifle. This, in turn, obscures some grim truths about who is really dying from gunshots. Annually, 5,000 to 6,000 black men are murdered with guns. Black men amount to only 6 percent of the population. Yet of the 30 Americans on average shot to death each day, half are black males. It was much the same in the early 1990s when Democrats created and then banned a category of guns they called ‘assault weapons.’ America was then suffering from a spike in gun crime and it seemed like a problem threatening everyone. Gun murders each year had been climbing: 11,000, then 13,000, then 17,000. Democrats decided to push for a ban of what seemed like the most dangerous guns in America: assault weapons, which were presented by the media as the gun of choice for drug dealers and criminals, and which many in law enforcement wanted to get off the streets. This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with ‘military-style’ features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban. Handguns were used in more than 80 percent of gun murders each year, but gun control advocates had failed to interest enough of the public in a handgun ban. Handguns were the weapons most likely to kill you, but they were associated by the public with self-defense.” When any person or group professes to tackle a large, worthy goal, e.g., reducing gun deaths through legislation, then focuses on only the tiniest part of the problem, i.e., so-called weapons of war, I believe what they are doing, not what they are saying. Here’s what I believe. Liberal politicians want to ban the AR not because they see it as an assault weapon used by the military, but because they see it as a white weapon used by white supremacists. The greatest single source of murders is blacks killing other blacks with handguns. If you truly want to stop homicide by gunfire, if indeed Black Lives really do Matter, this is where you start. But the gun control folks do not want to go there because 1. It might appear racist, while it would actually be the very loving opposite, and 2. It would be damn hard, requiring far more than legislation; it would require one-on-one efforts over time. And very little media coverage, and even less applause. With even a cursory examination, it is obvious that the AR is not a weapon of war, assault or not. It takes about a minute to begin to see that handguns are the main cause of gun deaths, and where they happen. The narrative about ARs is a huge and loudly repeated lie. Gun slaughter will continue until we have the political and personal courage to address the real problem. Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
9 minutes | a month ago
New Georgia Voting Law: Voting Rights, Voting Responsibilities (EP.318)
Introduction If your emphasis is on voting rights, to the virtual exclusion of any attendant responsibilities, then you would likely agree that the new Georgia voting law represents an unfair restriction of those rights. I am not in that camp. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Much of today’s conversation, in the media, on social media and in person, is taken up with rights, e.g., the right to healthcare, the right to housing, etc. Voting rights belong in this growing list. The only rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are, “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Those unalienable rights, by definition, have no corresponding responsibilities, save, perhaps, for staying out of jail to maintain one’s liberty. Today’s Key Point: When there are any responsibilities, hurdles to clear, prior to voting, no matter how obvious and needed they may be, you can be guaranteed that there will be cries of “Voter suppression” from the predictable voices and groups. It is equally predictable that the more a person must undertake prior to voting, the less likely that voter will be liberal or progressive. Both parties know this. The key, as is often the case, comes down to intent: Is the intent in writing or enforcing a voting law to fairly balance both ensuring the integrity of the vote while still allowing responsible citizens to vote? Are the Democrats loosening up the voting laws past any kind of reasonable security in their effort to get more votes? While stressing that anyone opposed is suppressing the vote, especially black votes? On the other hand, are the Republicans hiding behind securing the integrity of the vote to in fact suppress votes? Let’s start our analysis with the most often quoted criticism from President Biden on the new Georgia voting bill. “If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they pass a law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line while they’re waiting to vote…You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote. Give me a break.” Biden is not the only critic to slam the Georgia provision that prevents third parties from giving gifts, including “food and drink” to those standing in line at the polls. But the point is to prevent activists from showing up in union shirts—or MAGA hats, passing out drinks and snacks, along with a wink-wink and the mention of a candidate or two. Fact check. People can bring their own food and drink, or order it for delivery in line. As for the suddenly thirsty, the new law specifically allows poll workers to provide “self-service water from an unattended receptacle.” Also, the legislation recognizes that it’s a failure if voters stand in line long enough to get parched. That’s why it says wait times at large precincts must be measured three times throughout Election Day. If the line hits an hour, changes are required before the next election. Fact check: Biden was terribly wrong on an issue that he stressed. Why do you suppose he did that? The President also said at his news conference that the voting bills percolating in GOP state Legislatures are “un-American,” “sick,” “pernicious,” and worse: “This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. ” More fact checking: The new law leaves in place Sunday voting, noting that black churches have a “souls to polls” tradition after services. It expanded early voting to three weeks. It also leaves in place no-excuses absentee voting. Every eligible Georgia voter will continue to be allowed to request a mail ballot for the sake of simple convenience—or for no reason at all. It substitutes a state ID number match for handwriting checking–eliminating the subjective judgements on the part of poll workers who are not handwriting experts. Anyone without an ID can get one for free. Ballot drop boxes are now a permanent part of the Georgia voting process. Fact Check: Biden intentionally misrepresented the new Georgia law. How much fact checking did we hear from the mainstream media? Rights come with equal or greater responsibilities. What are the responsibilities, if any, that come with the right to vote? My position is clear. It takes an average of about 30 minutes a year to: Keep your voter information current. Have a valid photo ID (you will need that anyway). Go vote, or Vote the mail-in ballot sent to your correct address, and addressed to you as a registered, active voter. If someone is not willing to do that, they should not be allowed to vote. Do you agree? Tell me and others listening and reading why or why not. We’ll close with a fun story from US News and World Report. “It’s election day in Virginia, an event that back in George Washington’s day would have had the ex-president and his supporters seeing double. The reason: Voting day was a reason to binge in Colonial times, and the candidate who served up the most hooch often won. Washington biographer Dennis Pogue, vice president of preservation at Washington’s home of Mount Vernon, reveals that the father of the nation lost his first campaign in 1755 to the House of Burgesses largely because he didn’t put on an alcohol-laden circus at the polls. That year, Washington got 40 votes. The winner, who plied voters with beer, whiskey, rum punch, and wine, got 271 votes. A quick learner, Washington won three years later with the help of alcohol. ‘What do you know, he was successful and got 331 votes,’ says Pogue, author of the new book Founding Spirits: George Washington and the Beginnings of the American Whiskey Industry.” Speaking of quotes, sections of this episode were taken from a recent WSJ editorial; I often find that others say things so well that any change is a detraction. Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently now Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
11 minutes | 2 months ago
The New Normal–Fundamental Change Needed! (EP.317)
Introduction If all we do is fight over masks, social distancing and school openings, we have lost before we even start. And worse, much of the fighting is a struggle for political supremacy and the “fight to be right.” Cancel culture? Both sides, all sides, are trying to cancel the others. Cancel cancel culture by remembering that we have more in common than what appears, yes appears, to separate us. Far more. Concentrate there. That is the subject of today’s 15 minute episode. Continuing Today’s Key Point: Yes, we are going right to the Key Point today. We must concentrate, focus on, commit to, the vast array of things that we have in common, and stop exaggerating and weaponizing our differences. We were built in a way that what we have in common, physically and mentally, is the main course, with our many and useful differences being the spices that take the meal from being plain and boring, to being delicious and delightful. Worse, we actually manage to fight over the meal to the point where no one gets to eat. We’ll start with a live, recent example of “faith fighting”, then go to race, the Constitution, gender and relationships. My son, Sean, 32, observing a loud argument between two small groups of Christians on a public street in Sacramento, CA, said, “Dad, these guys are fighting, using the same Bible to get mad at each other.” And they were ignoring the core of their shared faith that means everything while they got wrapped up in being right–and angry–about far less meaningful points. He continued, “Our Father in heaven has given us His Word as a sword and instead of using it to fight the enemy some of us use it to fight each other. Jesus said where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name I am in the mist. So when this Christian group goes against that Christian group Jesus is standing in between asking why are my people fighting each other.” The arguing had gathered a crowd. Do you think any of the non-Christians were inspired to further examine what Christianity had to offer? Were any Christians there strengthened in their faith? Critical Race Theory, voluntary segregation and microaggressions are beliefs and practices that tear us apart rather than bring us together. Let’s start with the vast and obvious similarities, the things we have in common. Physically we are all built in the same way. We all have the same parts, in the same places and they work in exactly the same way. That would be obvious if we saw each other in the shower, or on the operating table. We should not have to wait to see each other in caskets before we realize the physical sameness. And to varying degrees, we all have hopes and dreams, and need personal courage and encouragement from each other to realize them. We need each other. And there are just enough differences between the sexes and among the races to provide different perspectives and skills so that when we help each other, we act as a team, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Now let’s add gender. The differences amongst the races and between the genders represent strengths that are designed to cover for, shore up, weaknesses in the races and genders. We are designed to be our best, to be all that we are designed to be, when we need and help each other. We are not the same, we are usefully different. Only by honoring those differences can we flourish. And here we are, using those very real and some imaginary differences to attack each other, reducing the value and potential not only of the groups attacked, but deflating and degrading all of us. Imagine with me if we all just stopped that dangerous nonsense and started, now, honoring and engaging with our amazing differences. When a football team is on the field, the commonalities are obvious; there are 11, strong, skilled men on the field, with each one focused on two things: 1. doing his job, and 2. winning as a team. But the 11 have different types of strength, and different skills. No team could win with 11 quarterbacks, even if it was Tom Brady and the 10 next best QBs in the NFL. Perhaps more importantly, no team would last 15 minutes if the various positions fought to show the others their superiority, and the other positions’ inferiority. For example, if the tackles were constantly berating the running backs, and the receivers were all talking about quarterback oppression, the team would not win a game–and no fans would ever watch. George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and writer, once quipped that the US and Great Britain are, “Two countries, separated by a common language.” Are we two countries, Democrat and Republican, separated by a common Constitution? The Bible has some 1,500 pages, was written in different languages over centuries, and has a few dozen authors. The Constitution has less than 8K words, and was written at one time, by one group of men, and amended carefully and deliberately. Yet we can manage to slice and dice this carefully crafted document so that to some it can be seen as supporting a socialist state focusing on the human right to have things provided for free to the individual. Others see the Constitution as allowing only for a limited government, focusing on individual responsibilities and duties. Is the Constitution really that fuzzy, or do some groups distort it to fit their agendas, knowing that 99% of citizens will never read it? We are using the same Constitution to fight each other, ignoring both the core purpose of the Constitution and our commonalities as citizens. What was that purpose? The preamble supplies the answer. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of …” We are not only missing the mark when it comes to goals like forming a more perfect union and ensuring domestic tranquility, but we are aiming in the opposite direction. In almost every marriage, there are differences, including differences in strengths and weaknesses, between the spouses. Isn’t it obvious that any marriage works best when each person has opportunities to contribute in accordance with their strengths, shoring up the other spouse’s weaknesses? If one person is good at do-it-yourself projects and cooking, and the other is good with finances and helping the kids with math homework, isn’t it clear who should do what? What would that marriage be like if they pretended that they were both good at everything? Or worse, that the differences somehow represented deficiencies, and that honoring those differences somehow represented sexism? Pause for an important truth: For all too many, it is not only easier but more satisfying to create controversies and pick easy to win fights than to do the hard work of actually making a contribution. In 1776, the Revolutionaries represented many different strengths, everything from finance and diplomacy to military and political expertise to farming and ranching. It was to this richly different group that Ben Franklin directed his famous admonition. “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” We will close today’s episode by going back to my son, Sean, with another quote. “If we are too busy fighting each other, we leave our backs exposed to the enemy.” The enemy can be Satan, and evils like greeed, false accusations and ignoring the need for personal responsibility. I go back to a quote from my favorite swamp possum, Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Did today’s episode stir up any new thoughts for you? If so, what might you be doing differently? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
13 minutes | 2 months ago
My Angels–And Yours (EP.316)
Introduction As we navigate what we think is right in politics, finance, with COVID, and the many complex issues we face, let’s remember the place, the power, that intuition, our “gut feelings” have. We all have heads and hearts, and we are at our best when we allow our thoughts and actions to be determined by a careful blend of the two. At home, at work, in politics–in life. That is the subject of today’s 15 minute episode. Continuing In my life, I have been wrong every time–every time–that I allowed my intellect to override my gut instinct. Scientists and police detectives often say they were successful in achieving a breakthrough or catching a dangerous criminal because they, “Had a hunch.” Both scientists and detectives pour through a lot of data, but that is often not enough; they frequently rely on their instincts. Christian theology believes in a triune God, which includes the Holy Spirit. Many religions make reference to the spirit or spirits which teach and guide us differently from their texts and verbal traditions. Both are necessary. The texts and sermons teach and guide through our heads, and the spirit teaches and guides through our hearts, our guts. That’s partly because overall we learn in both ways, and in part because there is no way that any of us could grasp any part of God solely through our intellects. Okay, Will, how does this fit into Revolution 2.0™? A. Glad you asked. Our thinking about everything, save possibly what time to feed the dog, needs to come from a blending of head and heart. Even then, your heart needs to care about Fido before your head can work out the logistics of when and how much to feed, commiting to not running out, and selecting just the right food for your completely dependent pet. Today’s Key Point: My heart, my gut, connected in my case to the Holy Spirit, drives what I write and speak about here at Revolution 2.0. For example, when it is clear that I am trying to force the words out, I have learned that is my clue to stop and to completely start over. I do my best work when I am simply taking dictation, banging away at the keyboard with my inefficient typing style. My intellect drives my continuous data collection process, and is in control of research, verification, use of multiple technologies, word selection and spell checking–but the Spirit is in charge of the topics and direction. I have angels who remind me of the presence and power of the Spirit. I know that you do, too. One angel appeared to me years ago in a foreign train station, dressed as a businessman in a light blue suit, making a critical and completely impossible connection work step by impossible step. Another appeared recently in a phone conversation with a new friend. When we were sharing parenting issues and solutions with each other, something happened, giving power, clarity and a sense of the eternal to his words. It was as if the conversation stopped being between the two of us, and another entity, an angel, stepped in, using his voice to teach and guide both of us. Then there is a recent dream. The meaningful part of my dream starts with me sitting on the ground outside of a church resting against a pillar. I wasn’t thinking about much of anything when a pleasant looking man, about 35 or so, walks up and asks, “Do you mind if I sit with you?” “No” I replied, moving around on the pillar a bit to make room. As we start talking about this and that, the opening chit chat that starts many conversations with friendly strangers, I notice that he was more than pleasant. Even though he was looking away as we spoke, there was something like a glow that seemed to fill his personal space and the space around him. We must have gotten to the part where we started talking about our professions. I remember telling him that I was a podcaster, and that I was involved in selecting new software and trying to work harder and smarter to understand the political and financial world around me. I added that I wanted to express the truth in a memorable and persuasive way. That caused him to look my way with the beginnings of a smile on his face. But the glow increased, and increased far more than a slight smile might explain. In the moment that I was talking to him about my intellectual pursuits to strengthen the quality and influence of my podcasts, I stopped and surprised myself by saying, “I have the wrong main focus, instead of my priority being getting better intellectually, I need to be a better person, a better Christian, and make that the focus of my podcasting ambitions.” He looked away, with the glow again increasing in intensity, and said, “There’s another one the devil will not get.” I surprised myself again when I said, “I cannot be a good Christian with intellectual pursuits as my main focus.” He turned to look directly at me, seeming to penetrate me with his eyes, with the glow increasing in intensity yet again, a glow that was at once joyful and comforting. With his face a foot or so from mine. With warmth, intensity and expectation he asked, “Do you know why?” “Yes” I said, finding the words as I spoke them, “Because if I focus on my mind, my intellect, I can never come to Him as a child, as He has said I must.” He seemed to come closer, his smile increasing as the glow grew and filled the entire world of my dream, suffusing every cubic inch, every molecule, with warmth and light. And the dream ended, right then and there. He did not have any final words, but I could see that he was well pleased with my answer. And a new focus for my life, including my professional life as a podcaster, began. None of this should be taken to mean that I place little value on intellectual pursuits, in my life overall, and with Revolution 2.0™ in particular. Head and heart are both vital, in the same way that an intensive search for facts and listening to your gut are both valuable. Intellect and instinct. How do you balance the two? Well 75%/75% seems about right. (Those of you who follow Revolution 2.0 know that I do not see the world as needing to add up to 100%.) Depending on what you are thinking about, and where you are in the process, one or the other may appropriately be emphasized, but you put yourself at risk if you do not give full attention to both before coming to a decision and taking action. Many religions appeal to both the head and the heart. Christian teaching has it that Christ sent the Holy Spirit to inspire us, teach, comfort, and guide; the heart part. The Bible works on us through our heads; the Holy Spirit works on us through our gut. My dream was the Holy Spirit working on me, reminding me that I need to follow both my gut and my head in life and in my profession as a podcaster. Everyone from fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes to successful scientists sometimes rely on their gut instincts to solve problems and to get results. Here is a quote from Carol Kinsey Gorman writing about intuition in business. “Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Conrad Hilton are famous examples of executives who relied heavily on intuitive business decisions. A story about Conrad Hilton highlights the value of what was referred to as ‘one of Connie’s hunches.’ There was to be a sealed bid on a New York property. Hilton evaluated its worth at $159,000 and prepared a bid in that amount. He slept that night and upon awakening, the figure $174,000 stood out in his mind. He changed the bid and submitted the higher figure. It won. The next highest bid was $173,000. He subsequently sold the property for several million dollars.” And, “At the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Douglas Dean studied the relationship between intuition and business success. He found that 80 percent of executives whose companies’ profits had more than doubled in the past five years had above average precognitive powers. Management professor Weston Agor of the University of Texas in El Paso found that of the 2,000 managers he tested, higher-level managers had the top scores in intuition. Most of these executives first digested all the relevant information and data available, but when the data were conflicting or incomplete, they relied on intuitive approaches to come to a conclusion.” I do not believe for a second that having the right intuition or gut instinct is a matter of luck. It is a matter of listening. Intuition and gut instinct can be as reliable as hard data and rigorous analysis if we will take it seriously and listen. Rigorous analysis without listening to your gut can be dry and brittle, and put you on a suboptimal or simply the wrong path. Listening only to your gut can have you orbiting Pluto, shouting things like, “But I believed!” I am going to honor my dream by allowing the Holy Spirit, a key part of my moral compass, to guide me in life and with Revolution 2.0. The Holy Spirit, working through my gut, will lead my intellectual process. As any moral compass should. What is your moral compass? Do you recognize the angels in your life? And are you allowing them and your moral compass to lead? At home, at work, in politics–in life. Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
14 minutes | 2 months ago
Revolution 2.0™? You Must Be Conservative! (EP.315)
Introduction “Revolution 2.0–A revolution of the heart.” That’s how I start all the episodes. Does my implied honoring of Revolution 1.0 in 1776 make this a conservative podcast? Was the 1776 Revolution conservative? Am I a conservative? That is the subject of today’s 12 minute episode. Continuing To my surprise, I am encountering an increasing number of people who immediately label, dismiss in many cases, my podcast, Revolution 2.0™, as conservative because of the name. Really? Do these people see revolutions as inherently conservative? How about the French, Russian, and Cuban revolutions; were they conservative movements? Or does this view hold that the American Revolution was the rare conservative revolt? I work to avoid the use of labels like conservative, liberal and progressive, but sometimes there is no way around them. Now for the question: Am I conservative? My youngest, a few years ago when he was in high school, in an attempt to understand my political thinking, said, “So, Dad, you are a Republican who supports gay marriage.” An interesting summary, showing some real insights. But we can get a better insight by not answering this exact question. As is often the case, we can get a better answer by asking a better question. In this case, I turn the question around saying, “Ask me my position on key issues, then you tell me if I am conservative or liberal.” At some point in this process, I will point out, if it does not become obvious without comment from me, that labels are completely unnecessary once an honest, fact-based discussion of the issues is on the table. Labels are a lazy and clumsy way of guessing at how people think without the hard work of actually engaging with them, listening, thinking, responding, and doing even more listening to discover how they actually do think. Let’s get into some specifics. There is a lot of talk these days about equity, whatever that means. Until recently, the word that everyone used was equality, but equality of outcome was difficult to defend, so the word was changed to equity–with no explanation of why, or any definition of the new term. People assume that equity means fairness or justice. Equality is easy to define, and difficult to misinterpret. Equity is much fuzzier, so it can be presented as equality when that suits the agenda at hand, and it can be used to mean justice, whatever that means to the speaker or the listener in various contexts. George Orwell anticipated this in his book “1984” with the government concept of Doublethink, which means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. Let’s stick with equality, a clear word, with no double meanings. Equality: Under the law. We have that now. If you disagree, please be specific about where that is not true. Equality of opportunity. It’s not there, and never will be. For example, some parents can afford to send their children to private schools Kindergarten through various levels of graduate school. But there is plenty of opportunity, more than sufficient for everyone to take advantage of to make good lives for themselves, with each generation in a family building on the previous ones. Equality of results. Don’t have it, don’t want it. We cannot have equal results and personal freedoms at the same time. “A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of government force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.” ―Thomas Sowell, American economist, social theorist, and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. The most effective and loving things we can do for people are to: Make sure that they understand that life is hard, and that is the only way that life works, and that life is worth living. Take care of the temporary needs that are out of some people’s control, and see to it that they are responsible for their long term needs when they are able. Very few people need to be taken care of long term, and we do everyone a huge disservice if we simply take over and do things for them. The two main tenets of what we believe at Revolution 2.0™ are: Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the question, “Am I my Brother’s Keeper? Is a resounding “Yes.” there is no other answer. As we look at the people who need our help, they fall into three categories: People who can’t help themselves, and need temporary care. People who can’t help themselves and need permanent care. People who won’t help themselves. Time to perform a sort of triage, to get a better picture of where we are, and how to proceed. Triage is necessary because all resources, ours, the government’s–all resources–are limited. And the needs are unlimited. This clearly means that we must prioritize. We must prioritize our personal resources, and when we vote and otherwise engage in the political process, we must work to prioritize the public’s, our government’s, resources. Remember: Our government has no resources–not a dime, nothing–that does not come from taxpayers–from us–by taxation. I want this point to come through so very clearly; we have our own personal resources, and the government has only the resources that it gathers from the people–from us. When we talk about resources that are used to address needs, all resources come from we the people. Given that all resources come from us, the rules for triage, for prioritizing resources, in this case the resources needed to help others, are the same for government and individuals. Our government has more resources than we do, but it is only the size of the resources that is different. The rules should be the same. Medical triage originated in World War I. Wounded soldiers were classified into one of three groups: Those who could be expected to live without medical care, Those who would likely die even with care, and Those who could survive if they received care. Let’s look at how this definition can guide today’s discussion. Brother’s Keeper Triage: Those who do not need help. Those who won’t help themselves. They may have fallen into the victim mentality, or otherwise simply feel entitled. And demand whatever it is they feel entitled to. Everybody else. Including you and me. At one or more points in our lives, we all–all–need either permanent or temporary help from the taxpayers. The main benefits of performing this triage comes in asking the question of whether help is needed in the first place, and whether it is needed short- or long-term. Here is a helpful chart. The X axis represents a continuum from flat Just Won’t to truly Cannot. The Y Axis is the continuum from temporary needs to permanent needs. Determining who is precisely where is not an exact science, but there is tremendous benefit to be derived from tackling these questions. All too often when needs are observed, the government responds assuming all needs are beyond the control of the individual or group, and are at least semi-permanent. In some cases, that is true; in all cases, these tough questions must be asked and answered. One of the consequences of not asking these questions is generational poverty. A growing number of families are on welfare, “In the system” generation after generation. That’s not on them, that’s on the government–and us. The concept of learned helplessness is not new. In addition to philosophy, let’s continue our examination by looking at some specific Revolution 2.0™ policy and issue positions. School Choice? Absolutely. Abortion? Answer two questions and go from there. When does life begin and When is it appropriate for the state to sanction the taking of that life? Immigration. Secure borders, generous and controlled immigration policies. After securing the borders, one last amnesty. Voting rights? Protect them. Now, what about voting responsibilities, e.g., solid proof of identity, and a tightly controlled voting process? Police responsibility? Of course. Are we also willing to have a conversation about the responsibilities that citizens and suspects have as well? Answering the question about labels myself, I see Revolution 2.0 as common goals and issues oriented. What is your take? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
10 minutes | 2 months ago
RIPO, not RINO (EP.314)
Introduction Some Republicans are fond of labeling their fellow party members who are not sufficiently pure in thought and deed as being Republicans In Name Only, RINOs. As a Registered Unaffiliated, I can’t be a RINO, because I am not an R. I see myself as RIPO, Republican In Policy Only. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Thinking in black and white, the, “You are with me on all things or you are against me in everything.” thinking is inherently lazy. It also smacks of a certain arrogance, but the point that I am focusing on today is the lazy part. Of the 17 candidates for the Republican nomination in 2016, Trump was my 18th choice. I was a Trump voter, not a Trump supporter, when he ran against Clinton. I became a bit more of a supporter as well as a voter in the 2020 election. I even published two pre-election podcasts promoting Trump’s policies as superior to Biden’s–making the usual apologies for Trump the man. I believe that Trump shamed himself and his party post election. He lost my support, and he was instrumental in losing the two Georgia Senate runoffs, and consequently the Senate itself. $1.9T later, this seems to matter. When I published an episode thanking Trump for his successes in his four years as our President, asking him to stay away from politics in the future and sincerely wishing him a happy life with family and friends, I got more Unsubscribe notices than in the previous 6 months. All from people with whom I have far more in common when it comes to politics and “rules for life” than not. Why? Because to them, you are either All Trump, or you are Never Trump. Pause for some obvious irony: All of these folks rail against the Cancel Culture, which they see as a nefarious tactic of the Left. Ronald Reagan, Republican President from 1981-1989, once said, “If you get 75% of what you want, take it.” He was famous for effectively working with Tip O’Neill, the powerful Democratic Speaker of the House. They would go round and round arguing politics, often having dinner together afterwards. Note to Joe Biden: that’s an actual example of unity. Note to the All Trumpers; this is how you get things done. Has anyone heard of Democrats dismissing fellow Dems as DINOs? The Democrats have people ranging from Joe Manchin to Ilhan Omar; they differ greatly in key areas, but they are not out to get each other. Yes, Rep Ocasio-Cortez is working to unseat Democratic Representatives she believes are not sufficiently pure, sufficiently Progressive; the Democratic leadership is not. On the other hand, the leader of the Republicans, former President Trump, has published a list of 17 Republicans against whom he is seeking revenge; Republicans he does not want to see reelected. Would Trump rather be the leader of a losing Repubican party that is completely loyal to him, or be a contributing voice in a Repubican party incorporating his thinking and followers in a winning coalition? BTW, I can hear the critics now: “Trump did not lose. The election was stolen. In a fair election, Trump could demand complete loyalty, and win in a landslide. Trump 2024!” I laid out in some detail the kind of person I want to see as President in a recent episode. Let’s lay out the differences I see in the policies. If you believe that the Republic form of government laid out in the Constitution is the right choice, vote Republican.If you believe that we should abandon the Electoral College, a fundamental part of the Republic format, then vote Democrat. In other words, if you want a national popular vote to replace the College, vote Democrat. If you believe the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning work on the 1619 project was correct in saying the year 1619 represents the real founding and legacy of America, vote Democrat.If you believe the view that the real founding occurred in 1776, with documents that Jefferson called, “A silver frame (Constitution), around a document of gold.” (Declaration), vote Republican. If you believe that we should have open borders with amnesty for all, vote Democrat.If you believe that America should have secure borders with a wide, but controlled, gate, then vote Republican. If you support school choice, vote Republican.If you believe that increased funding for traditional public schools is the answer to the issues in K-12 education, vote Democratic. If you believe that government should be the resource of first choice, then vote for Democrats.If you believe the individual should be the resource of first choice, vote for Republicans. The Republic form of government is a key part of our founding documents. The Tenth Amendment’s language is simple and straightforward, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Founders envisioned a national government of limited and enumerated powers. Going further, the Founders instituted the Electoral College, the primary purpose being to protect the smaller states from the power of the larger states. All states have two Senators, in addition to the number of Representatives as determined by population. The total equals the number of Electors. The argument is building that this underrepresents voters in large states, and overrepresents voters in the smaller states. Those who make that argument want a national popular vote. The 1619 Project created by Nicole Hannah-Jones, a reporter at the New York Times, is a bold effort to place slavery at the heart of the founding, success and ongoing character of the United States. In other words, America’s founding, success and character are so deeply rooted in slavery that many of its institutions have to be fundamentally torn down, and rebuilt. The counter view is that the union of the 13 original colonies would have been impossible if abolition had been insisted upon by the Northern states, the states that won the Civil War, beginning the process of correcting the evil of slavery. The immigration issue is the easiest to understand. If you want secure borders as a prerequisite to any immigration or amnesty plan, vote for Republicans. If you want anything less than that, vote for Democrats. School choice is equally clear. If you align with the teachers unions and others who argue that increased K-12 funding, with the vast bulk of the funding going to traditional public schools, will correct the concerns with K-12 education, vote Democratic. If you believe that parents should make the decision for their children, and should be given a free choice amongst equally funded traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools via vouchers, vote for Republicans. This brings us to the key question of the primacy of either personal responsibility, or government responsibility; which is the go-to? If you believe that government is the resource of first choice, then vote for Democrats. If you believe that the individual is the go-to, with government in a secondary role, then vote for Republicans. But it does not matter what you believe if you can’t bring others along with you. Who cares how superior or right your policies are if they never find their way into our culture and into the law? Today’s Key Point: If we want our politicians to be grownups and talk to and work with each other in order to get things done for us and the nation, then we the people need to set the example for them by doing exactly that ourselves. Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
10 minutes | 2 months ago
I Have Been Broke More Than Once, But I Have Never Been Poor (EP.313)
Introduction Broke is a financial condition. Being poor is a mindset. A choice. And the poor mindset is being taught, even encouraged. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Broke simply means that you don’t have any money. Thinking of yourself as poor means that you have accepted not being able to make or hold onto money. Broke is temporary; poor is a lifestyle choice. And that choice is being taught as inevitable, as one’s fate, as being part of victimization, in more and more places, including schools, the media and by an increasing number of politicians. More accurately–and diabolically–the poor way of thinking is being presented as a fait accompli, Calvanistic, with victimhood and the related “I’m poor.” determination being set in stone by uncontrollable circumstances. People can consciously take vows of poverty; some religious orders require it. When an individual takes the vow of poverty, he or she chooses to renounce personal worldly possessions and instead engages in communal sharing of resources. In certain cases, the vow of poverty rebukes the acceptance of any personal material profit, such as profits from labor. Others believe this fate, poverty, is involuntary, being thrust upon them by unfair people, groups and circumstances beyond their control. That is not only complete nonsense, it is dangerous and destructive. Let’s hear from the Brookings Institution: “Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: 1. At least finish high school, 2. Get a full-time job and 3. wait until age 21 to get married and have children. Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class.” Critics complain that this is hard. Citing the cost of contraception, they say it is not always possible to plan parenthood. And they point out that sometimes people get laid off. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. This set of rules does not seem especially difficult to follow. But it does require commitment and consistency. And it works. After the Army, I returned to the University of Colorado to pick up where I had left off. I went to school weekday mornings, and worked in a piecework sweatshop in the afternoons. When I wanted to go somewhere, school, work, the laundromat, grocery store, etc., I walked. And when I had to carry any kind of bulk, I used my old Army duffle bag. A typical Saturday found me walking from my room to the laundromat, where I put things into the washers, and would head to the grocery store. My usual budget was $5, so I needed to be careful. A pound of hamburger, any bread that was on sale, margarine (the kind that was yellow only on the outside), and other items as my needs required and budget allowed. Then back to change my laundry to the dryer, then home with clean laundry and some food. Ah, home. One room with a closet and bathroom. A mattress, a one-burner electric hot plate, an electric hot dog cooker and a few cooking and eating items from the 88 cent store, and I was in business. I cleaned myself in the shower, and my dishes and cookware in the sink. I had to hide the hot plate when the landlord came by each month to collect the rent in person. And I was comfortable. It was warm and cozy, there was enough space to have friends over (floor seating), and I kept it clean and picked up. I had the huge advantage of never once thinking that anything was unfair, or that I deserved better. My work paid for tuition and the essentials I need to live. I knew that if I kept going that things would improve as I earned the improvements. I never, even once, thought that there were other options, options that others would pay for, or that there was even the tiniest thing wrong or unfair in my life I want to share a scene from an old black and white movie. I don’t remember the name, plot or the actors, but the scene will never leave me. The setting was the Depression; Mom and three young children were at the kitchen table–Dad was out looking for work. Mom had a small collection of coins in hand; she was fielding requests for spending from each child in turn. As each child made their pitch, Mom would either agree, transferring some coins from her pile to the child’s, agree but reduce the amount to be spent, or simply say no. The oldest child’s request for new shoes was refused. Mom inspected his shoes, telling him, “These can last another week.” When she was done, she still had coins left in her pile, prompting her to say, with obvious relief, “Another week without having to go to the bank.” Mom was motivated, and she taught invaluable lessons to her children every step of the way. The Biden administration has made it clear that they support “bubble up” cash infusions instead of “trickle down” tax cuts. Tax cuts have worked under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Trump, but I will set that argument aside, and concentrate on the bubble up approach. When all you do is give out mailbox money to individuals, there is very little to bubble up. Perhaps there will be a brief overall benefit as the recipients spend the cash, but even that is in doubt. The year 2020 saw the highest rate of savings in 50 years, strongly suggesting that people have money, but no place to spend it in a COVID regulation restricted economy. The main point about mailbox money is that it neither teaches nor motivates, two vital processes that need to be successfully in place before anything can bubble up–or bubble anywhere. Remember the saying about giving a man a fish (call it a mailbox fish), and you feed him for just the day? Let’s look at that saying, and give it a much needed expansion. The fish-based piece of wisdom points out that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach that man to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime. Sound good? Well, not so fast. In order for someone to want to fish for themselves, buying and maintaining the tackle, sometimes going out in the cold and rain, and occasionally spending most of the day and coming back with nothing, they must be motivated. Without motivation, they will still want the free fish. Now, let’s add one more level to using fishing as a metaphor for feeding humanity. Teach a man to teach others to fish, and how to motivate himself and others, then you feed a nation. Giving a man a fish may make the giver feel better, but it does nothing at all lasting for the man himself. Knowing how to fish is the important how. Motivation is the crucial why. Mailbox money is nothing more than the free fish. The all important how and why are missing. Today’s Key Point: Mindset and motivation are everything. Promoting and supporting self reliance is hard, much needed and produces lasting positive results. Promoting a poor, victim mindset is easy, destructive and borderline sinister. We’ll close with a fun thought: Have you ever heard of stewed tomato disease? If not ask me about it sometime; I invented that name for a rash I got from #10 cans of stewed tomatoes that were on sale during one of my $5 shopping “sprees” back in the day. Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
10 minutes | 2 months ago
“I’m Not Responsible!” Well, Then, Who Is? (EP.312)
Introduction A Baltimore high school student failed all but three classes at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts over four years and almost graduated this June near the top half of his class with a 0.13 GPA, 62nd out of 120 students. The single Mom blamed the school. “The school failed at their job. They failed. They failed, that’s the problem here. They failed. They failed. He didn’t deserve that,” she said after learning that her son was being sent back to 9th grade to give high school another try. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Let’s jump right in and list, in order, the entities responsible for this student having to repeat all four years of high school: Mom. No other choice for the top spot. Parents have the primary–not sole–but primary responsibility for raising their kids. This includes education, food, clothing and housing, medical care and instilling a firm grasp of right and wrong, a work ethic, etc. It is more than a bit frightening that the Mom here not only does not agree with that, but that she is outraged at what she sees as solely and exclusively the school’s failure. Local and state politicians and educators (I use the term loosely) in the area. In January 2006, due to standardized test results, Augusta Fells Savage was identified as one of seven low-performing city schools that would require a “turnaround specialist” to assist the administration with increasing student achievement. In January 2007, the school board recommended relocating the school to the campus of Harlem Park Middle School, a site it would share with several other schools. The school was moved, but the results appear to be the same. How do these people sleep at night knowing what they are doing to the youth in their community and the community itself? The school itself. If any of the teachers, administrators or academic staff draw a salary, they should be ashamed of themselves. With only 434 students and 25 teachers, the ratio at all Black Augusta Fells Savage is 1:17. In return for their salaries and pensions, here is what the teachers delivered: a student body where less than 5% are proficient in math, and the same less than 5% are proficient in English. In 2019, two (2) students tested proficient in both English and Math. Yet they graduate 48% of the Seniors. How many of them can even read their diplomas? When these “graduates” try to get jobs and get turned down, accusations of racism are likely to be bandied about. And I agree. The cruel racism of low expectations. The School’s motto is “Pride Inside.” Pride in what? And, get this, 29%, go on to college. In round numbers, half of these students are lied to when they are handed a high school diploma, and one third of them are lied to when they are admitted to college. All of them know that they did little or nothing to earn those honors, and will no doubt expect that continuing their low- to non-existent level of attendance and effort in life will allow them to continue to “succeed” in life with work, finances, and overall in life. And, inevitably when they fail, they will be told that they are victims, and that they deserve to have things taken care of for them. And they are victims, They were not victimized by white privilege; they were victimized by a system that feeds off of them. A school system that gets paid for under serving and lying to them. Politicians who keep getting reelected, demanding more money for public schools while mightily resisting charter schools, and raising welfare amounts and lowering voting qualifications. Mouthing platitudes about poverty while lying to the poor about why there are where they are. And promising that more government money will fix everything. Just vote for me. I hope God has a special place in hell for all of them. Today’s Key Point: Parents have the primary responsibility for raising their kids. Not the state. This includes education, food, clothing and housing, medical care and instilling lessons like a love of learning and a strong work ethic. And ducking responsibility is going on everywhere, causing lasting damage–and not just in schools. When was the last time you heard anyone admit making a mistake, taking responsibility, for example: A politician. “The program I sponsored was a failure. We need to fix it.” A student. “The borrowed money I spent on a poor paying major was a mistake. It will be a struggle, but I will pay it back. After all, I promised.” A cop. “I lost my temper; when he fought back, I overreacted.” A suspect. “If I hadn’t resisted arrest, I would likely be home by now.” A #MeToo suspect. “I did it. Back then, lots of people got away with it, and I thought I was okay.” Antifa/Qanon member. “I have an inconsequential life, and enjoy playing dress up and being accepted in a group. The damage I cause is explained away by the group’s leaders.” Involved in an accident: “Yup, it was my fault. I did not stop at the stop sign.” Cancel Culture supporter. “I believe that breaking up my neighbor’s furniture makes mine better. So, if I can help cancel someone, I am better by comparison.” We could go on, but you get the idea. “I am not responsible.” is the most self-destructive thing anyone can say. After all, if you are not responsible, then by definition you can’t fix it. You have put your fate in other people’s hands. The Reverend Jesse Jackson once said, “You may not be responsible for being down, but you are responsible for staying down.” “Where have you gone, Reverend Jackson.” Sung to the tune of, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” You may have noticed that I did not list the student as having any responsibility for his failure. This student is very much a victim, victimized by the irresponsible and self-serving adults around him. He is being sent back to the 9th grade, right about when he thought he was going to graduate. With nothing around him changing, what are his chances the second time around? And what are his chances in life like? Do you have any action items here? Pushing for school choice in your community? Being aware of taking more personal responsibility? Asking those in leadership positions around you to take responsibility? Other action items? We’ll close with an ironic twist. The school’s namesake, Augusta Fells Savage, was a black woman of great courage, skills and determination. Despite the odds being heavily stacked against her, she made a huge success out of her life. And should have been an inspiration to the school as she was to so many others. Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
8 minutes | 2 months ago
Unity: Biden and Trump Want Different Versions–Neither One Correct. (EP.311)
Introduction President Biden is calling for national unity. Former President Trump is calling for GOP unity. As different as the two men are, both of them define unity as get in line with what they want, or you can go suck a rock. I want a national unity of purpose, a unity of common goals and rational and honest ways of achieving them–together. That’s unity. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Biden, Trump and others, whether or not they are calling for anything resembling unity, to include actions like “reaching across the aisle”, and “reasoning together” are simply choosing up sides. What they are clearly communicating is, “You are either on my side, or theirs.” and, “You are with me or you are against me.” Here is yet another instance where we the citizens and voters must lead. As always, if we want to have better candidates and better office holders, we need to be better voters. Not just more voters as in get out the vote campaigns, but better voters, as in become better informed and more focused specifically on common goals and generally on what works. The bottom line is that creating unity is up to us. The talk about unity takes on an ironic twist when we see actions like: Intersectional Politics. For those who have lived under a rock with no Internet for the past few years, intersectional politics breaks us up into groups based on things like gender and gender preference, race, income, etc.–then declares certain groups and coalitions to be the enemy of other groups and coalitions. Cancel Culture. Nothing like continuing to target individuals and groups for cancellation to promote unity. Always Trump v Never Trump. Many Democrats are Never Trump. I am talking about the split within the people who voted for him, most of them twice. To the Always Trumpers, the Trump voters who criticized the former President for his various actions post election have suddenly become Never Trumpers. Mr. Trump himself, in his closing speech at CPAC, put 17 Republican politicians on what is essentially an enemies list. No unity here, not even internal GOP unity. Tony Robbins, American author, coach, speaker, and philanthropist, sometimes uses an exercise at conferences to show us how much we have in common with others. With the attendees in a large ballroom like space, he will have them divide up along certain lines, e.g., characteristics or traits. For example, he will have all of the men go to one side of the room, and the women the other. (Back in the day, it was acceptable to have only two groups.) Then he would reshuffle the room, creating groups along other immutable characteristics like height or age, and chosen factors like religion, geography and politics. Each time, after the groups settled in a bit, he would have them meet and greet, discussing their shared characteristic or trait. There was immediate bonding, because they knew that they had at least one thing in common, and in the excited conversations they discovered more. Imagine for a moment if Tony had used these different characteristics and traits to pit them against each other, instead of using those characteristics to bind them together. The former, using who we are to divide us, is exactly what is happening everywhere. Many of the same people who are mouthing unity are focused, successfully, on dividing us. To their advantage. Divide and conquer is a powerful tactic. And a despicable one. Today’s Key Point: We all find what we are looking for. If we want to find that our differences are inherently destructive, we will find exactly that. If we want to find that our individual and group differences are our collective strength, we will find that. What are you looking for? There is only one thing that separates us when it comes to political thinking, and that can be dealt with if we are honest about naming it, and deciding to work on this core difference. That is the view that life is designed to be, the choice that life works the best, if it is either hard or easy–pick one. Let me be more specific: Hard. The belief, that I share, that life is designed to be hard; that is how we learn to grow and succeed, and how we can equip ourselves to help others to learn, grow and succeed. The rules of life are simple, hard to implement and more than worth everything it takes to succeed. Easy. The belief that life is designed to be easy, and if it is not, that you are a victim, worthy of compensation. The rules of life are nuanced, and hard to even understand unless you are privileged. N. B. Unity does not arise from agreeing on everything; unity is created the moment we decide to address our differences civilly, factually, and in the pursuit of common goals. And common goals do exist. I will repeat my $100 challenge: find any area, no matter how controversial, where finding a common goal is impossible, and I will fork over $100. Cash. No need to wait for it to mysteriously show up in your account. We’ll close with my $20B mistake. My numbers did not add up to $1.9T in my last episode on the currently contemplated stimulus bill; I was off by $20B–about a 1% error. Since when is $20B 1% of anything? I apologize for the error in my arithmetic, and I grieve for the enormity of the mistake we are considering with this stimulus. What is your plan to create unity where you are? In your family? In local or national politics? Anywhere? Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
11 minutes | 2 months ago
$1.9T “Stimulus”: Where Is Our Money Going? (EP.310)
Introduction The almost two trillion dollars to be allocated is being promoted as the third COVID Relief Package. How much is going to COVID relief, and how much is going to further other agendas? That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing “Our money?” You bet it is. We need to have politicians and bureaucrats who see and spend taxpayer money as if it is their money. And before we are likely to insist on having politicians and bureaucrats with that mindset, we need to think that way ourselves. We need to see and spend every single taxpayer dollar as if it is indeed our money–demanding accountability and worthwhile results for every bit of it. Our belief at Revolution 2.0™ is that if we want better candidates and office holders, then we need to be better voters. To that end, we need to start with being well informed. Let’s do an analysis of the so-called Coronavirus Relief Package. Any COVID relief package should focus on four areas: Helping those unemployed by COVID and COVID restrictions. Helping businesses harmed by COVID restrictions. Getting kids back in school where they can resume their interrupted learning. COVID itself. Finding more ways to get vaccines into arms faster. Better COVID treatments, therapeutics and testing. How much of our $1.9T will be spent on those four areas? The individual payments of $1,400 we are told will cost $600B. I am not sure how that arithmetic works; if we paid out $1,400 to all 330M of us, that total would be $462B. And that’s not the only less than transparent part of this spending plan. If you dig, and I did, it looks like the additional Child Tax Credits are tossed into this $600B number. Many of these individual payments go to those who were unaffected financially by COVID, e.g., workers who simply had to contribute remotely instead of going into the office, and those for whom there was no change in either compensation or workplace. Individual payments to those who were financially hurt by COVID and the COVID restrictions are a good idea; mailbox money for those not economically affected by COVID is a bad idea. If we’re generous and say that 150M people were hurt economically by COVID and the COVID restrictions, this COVID relief number should be $210B. Vaccine delivery and testing. $50B. Good. Reopening schools. $170B. This one looks good but does not pass the page two test. Only 5%, $8.5B, will be spent in 2021. The other $161.5B is simply added school funding in later years. Not necessarily a bad idea, but not at all related to COVID relief. Rental assistance and emergency housing. $35B. Good idea, honest COVID relief. Additional PPP, Payroll Protection Plan. $150B for payroll assistance for employees of affected businesses. Good idea, especially with tightened rules and regulations compared to the first PPP. Let’s add up what we have so far: Individual payments, $210B; Vaccine delivery and testing, $50B; School reopening, $10B (rounded up); Rental assistance and emergency housing, $35B; PPP, $150B. That’s a grand total of $435B going to actual COVID relief. Q. Where is the other $1.465T headed? A. Places like $350B in relief for states, child tax credits and additional child care, transit, increased unemployment benefits and school funding beyond 2021, and increased subsidies in support of the Affordable Care Act. Those are classic Democratic talking points and agenda items, and they have nothing to do with COVID relief. They must be labeled differently, and be considered and debated separately. Five specific considerations: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $700B, more than a third of the proposed spending, will not be spent until 2022 or later, undermining the claim that these are urgently needed relief funds. Yet President Biden stresses that, “We have no time to waste.” Sending out mailbox money will not increase consumer spending; opening up the economy, allowing people access to restaurants, bars, malls and airplanes will. Near record levels of savings are evidence that consumers have the money to spend, just too few places to spend it. The $350B in state relief might sound good if you live in a place like New York that was already spending too much prior to COVID. On the other hand, California has a multi-billion dollar surplus, Florida has not dipped into its rainy day fund, and Utah’s revenues have risen by double digits. Twenty one states had revenue increases in 2020. Like the individual payments, state aid needs to be done by circumstance and need, not just handed out to all of them. Extending unemployment insurance past mid-March is a good idea, but returning to paying some 50% of those unemployed more than they would receive from working is a terrible plan. The last thing we need is more employment disincentives. The House passed this bill including the doubling of the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. In the name of COVID relief. The Senate Parliamentarian is at least temporarily blocking that provision from consideration in the upper house. And two macro considerations: Will this stimulus overheat the economy? Since last Fall, everything that I have been reading has credibly predicted a major uptick in the economy in March or April of this year. The Biden administration has been downpaying these predictions, likely because it wants to point to what they are doing as the cause for the economic recovery, rather than having to admit that much of it was already in progress. The biggest danger in overheating the economy is inflation. Adding to the national debt, which is rapidly approaching $30T. To put that amount into perspective, the national debt in 1900 was $2B, in 2000 $6T, in 2008, $10T. A short 21 years later, we are looking tripling that amount to $30T. For the first time, our national debt is more than our annual GDP, our annual Gross Domestic Product, the market value of all the finished goods and services the US produces in a year. We have to pay interest on that debt; in 2020, with a debt of $27T and a low interest rate of 2.0%, we paid $376B in interest. Interest only. If inflation raises its ugly head, and interest rates increase while the debt itself keeps rising, the annual interest could easily double. For perspective, the Defense budget in 2020 was $722B. Today’s Key Point: Truth in advertising is at least as important in political claims as it is with commercial advertising. Many of the same people who demand that advertised pharmaceuticals include every possible downside in their ads, and insist that foodstuffs come with exact calorie and grams of sugar information, are happily misleading us about what is in this bill and what it is intended to do and create. The $1.9T in contemplated spending must be split into two bills and voted upon separately: Something like $700B for actual COVID relief, and $1.2T for the other items. Do you have any action items here? Are you going to pass this episode along to others? Contact your state and federal representatives? Write letters to the editor, or call into a talk show? Or are you okay with all of this? We’ll close with a fun thought: The Hippocratic oath, seen by physicians as sacred, includes the admonition to, “First, do no harm.” Perhaps we should hold our politicians to that same standard. Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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