Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Happy Friend $20,000 --- A Happy Party Priceless

A Happy Friend $20,000 --- A Happy Party Priceless

I have recently written about how a personal connection with real people is more important and lasting than electronic or snail mail attempts. The old standby “Politics is Personal” is something I believe in. In that vein I was talking about spreading the message of the Republican Party.

There have been some studies and books I have used in the past to show some factual credibility to that statement. David Brooks and “Gross National Happiness” come to mind.

I just saw an article, link below, that points this out anew.
In this article, Maggie Fox of Yahoo News points out scientifically how a happy friend is worth $20,000 worth of happiness. A $5,000 pay raise is worth only $5,000 towards happiness for example.

Another conclusion from the study was to my amazement that it is easier to
“catch” happiness than unhappiness. As with most things today, this conclusion is inescapable if we use our own minds and our own experiences instead of “learning” from the talking heads on TV.

After all people I know or at least most of them keep the things they like and try to get rid of what they don’t.

The percentages were around 2-1 in favor of Happiness. (15%-7%).
Recently I rang a Salvation Army Bell and some of my stereotypes of people were changed. The amount of happiness I saw in people was unrecognizable from what I saw in the News.

Putting 2 + 2 together I come up with the idea that as a Party, we need to always focus on the good that is in people and the good that they do. If as a Party we “facilitate” that good we will be ahead by 100% than if we concentrated on the bad.

We must convince some of our own that “Happiness” is not a bad thing in our country. The Declaration of Independence uses the Pursuit of Happiness as one of the three inalienable rights we have and is the justification for setting up our own new government because we weren’t getting those three rights. Our Founders must of thought of Happiness as something good.

Then we need to go out and practice what we preach. Show how our ways and programs will actually lead to more happiness for the individual than the oppositions.
I know bribes are very tempting to individuals as well as CEOs. Free handouts and services are the Dems stock in trade. But as the article by Maggie Fox points our, at best a $5,000 hand out will buy only $5,000 worth of happiness but a happy Party can be worth $20,000 times the number of people we facilitate to imbibe our message.
If we will shower individuals with $20,000 worth of happiness each, soon our Party will become valuable indeed. How can this be?

Robert Green Ingersoll

"Happiness is not a reward - it is consequence. Suffering is not a punishment - it is a result."

Hence in the Declaration we talk of the Pursuit of Happiness. We as a Party need to show the actions, policies necessary to achieve the results that define happiness.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS (EDIT) see this link. I think we posted at the same time. Great minds and all that. lol
Check out the rest of their posts.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Save The Children, Our Country, Ourselves

Re-brand This, YOU %##%% *&%&%

Having spent a good part of my life back in the day carousing then working my way up the bar scene from janitor through bouncer to manager; there is one thing I know.
When you get hit you hit back. Your image or brand will take care of itself. Those who don’t hit back are the ones who are always worrying about their brand, as well they should.

The Dems didn’t regain their position by trying to re-brand themselves. They didn’t sit down in front of their computers and type ad-nausea about how they needed to change their brand. How they had misbehaved. They knew from experience that was not the thing to do.

Instead, they re-branded us as evil child hating bigots. They didn’t worry much about their brand. What a waste of time that would be when instead they could be pointing out how terrible we were? Their brand would take care of itself.
What I’m talking about is who actually re-brands us. It’s the People in the end who decide. They decide by what we do. If we sit around sniveling and crying and feeling sorry for ourselves; even if we eloquently and (nobly in that condescending way) point out all the bad decisions we made and errors of judgment we made in the election and elsewhere--How The *?%#% is that going to convince people that we are leaders and that they should trust us?

What I’m trying to say is let us not lose sight of the fact that people (voters) do the re-branding based upon what we do.

Much like a steer with a brand. The meat from that steer will taste the same no matter how many brands we decide to burn into its hide. No matter how much the same old leadership decides to “re-brand” itself the meat is still the same. I hear it at the State and National Party level. The leaders have all of a sudden become tech savvy. The internet will save the day for us. With the internet the “grass roots” will flock to us. We needn’t actually go out and mingle with the masses of those “grass roots” or stoop to their “gut” level, by attacking the Dems and hurting our gentile sensibilities. If everyone buys a lap top then all will be merry. The donations -- donations -- donations -- donations -- will skyrocket. With that money we can generate more computer lists. So what of the fact we have no volunteers to make those calls, with our new found tech savvyness we can afford robocallers. Gee sounds like an echo from a couple previous elections. GEE HATE TO SHOUT.


We do not need to have beautiful award winning web sites designed by Cisco and a bucnh of tech savvy liberals. We need ugly web sites designed by us attacking the Dems. Those web sites have to give the People things they can do themselves to actually become a part of the solution to help correct what the Dems have done to us our children and our country.

We need to stir the pot to get an even boil, let the “bottom up” to keep it from getting burned on the bottom. Get the People (not some tofu PC sounding esoteric abstracted Grassroots) get them involved and invested so that they will be fighting to get “up”. Get the condescending wagon circling leadership back to the bottom where they can lick their wounds and make excuses in private because the People don’t care, and I for one am really getting sick and tired of hearing it.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Who's That Knocking ???

I’m starting to see it everyday. Opportunity. I read an article such as this one by Thomas Sowell on and instead of focusing on the main idea which is excellent and as well thought out as always by Mr. Sowell, I see Opportunities in which there is an opening to attack the left with common sense Conservative ideas. Hopefully this evolution? In my thinking will lead to finding and getting practical alternatives started when presented with these “Opportunities”
The article is an expose against the idea of “community service” which is a requirement in some High Schools. Mr. Sowell asks two questions.
1. Who should have the right to “commandeer young people’s time”, the schools or the parents?
2. What gives the schools the right to decide what constitutes “community service”?
His is a well reasoned article about the how the left as Thomas Sowell points out, defines freedom as its ability to impose their will on others.

We see it all over the place, from Biden saying it is “patriotic” to pay taxes, thru the idea of redistributing wealth favored by his boss.

No where in this article is there any mention of a way to fight this? What is the alternative to the encroachment upon our freedoms by people who make a living enhancing their own freedom by imposing their will upon us by taking what we make through our own sweat and toil.

These alternatives are the “Opportunities” of which I speak.

Thomas Sowell asks why is even “…voluntary military training in high schools or colleged,…..” not considered as “community service” and why those who feel feeding the poor is more of a service than helping those that defend the poor and the rich alike?

As in all my thinking, the way to make change happen is at the local level. There we are freer to try different approaches we can limit the losses of failure, and we can try another fix and keep learning from our mistakes.

A specific example I can think of is to get on the school board and if community service comes up offer an alternative that does not enable destructive behavior but encourages constructive behavior. The military one is as good as any. Others may be showing people how to grow gardens, how to cook real food, how to sew. How to get a low paying job and start to climb out of the hole.

Again I see opportunities because the system is so stacked against anyone doing just that few have the chutzpa to manage. It is our opportunity to suggest and fight with thought out plans that system. Change it in ways that enable those in the worst need can obtain the basic food and shelter then be able to learn the gardening sewing and et all to help them get out of the cellar.

Let’s start with the idea that if we already have a program let’s use it and make it as efficient and productive as possible. Then we can actually learn what is good and what is not about the program. At the same time that we are showcasing our conservative core ideas such as taking responsibility for our actions. The benefits of controlling our own lives and the idea that we have the inalienable right and the abilities to do so.

Let us come up with alternatives that showcase our desire to help “facilitate” people to nurture those abilities so they can better enjoy the pursuit of those rights.

Simple programs that teach “how to” things that people on the edge can actually use are a step in the right direction. When people understand that just giving a meal to someone only teaches that person to become dependent upon the meal giver, they will also start to learn that the work it takes to actually get a person to change their ways to something that can give that person more freedom to create their own destiny is not child‘s play but something done with care and knowledge. Devotion and dedication. A student will benefit more and the one we help will be helped more if they both learn the concept along with where to go for the next meal.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Imagine a bird that is on the ground with a broken wing. Throwing it bread crumbs may make you feel good, but does little except to help fatten it up for the next cat that comes along. We learn more about ourselves and the bird if we make room in our lives to do the job of taking in that bird and fixing or letting the wing mend itself along with feeding it. That is another story altogether. A story that works. A story we can all learn and enrich ourselves from. As in all things, it works best if it is voluntary.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A "SHADOW" Of an Idea

I have been talking a long time in this blog about the British Political System and about the British Conservative re-birth under David Cameron. See my sidebar for lots of stuff about that.

One of my ideas has been to (as the British do) have the out of power party form it’s own alternative to the party in power. They call it a "shadow government". It is complete not only down to the policies they want to enact, but to the cabinet leaders they will use to enact them. I always thought it a wonderful way to let the people see what they will be getting ahead of time. BEFORE they have to vote.

As a tool to help Republicans refocus themselves it could prove exceedingly efficient.

Since the Republicans have lost power in All branches, they have been casting around for a way to change their message, to give out a more cohesive message. A message that means something to more people. I don’t know how it could be technically done, but some sort of “shadow government” would go along way towards unifying our message.

Obama must sense this as he unlike Clinton is gathering his “ministers” ahead of time so he will hit the ground running. Imagine if we had, through the crucible of competition at our last Convention picked our President and Vice along with who they would have as cabinet members along with a platform of their own making. (Not the generic platform we create separately now).

I’ve always said that we not only have to copy what the Dems have done, but to actually get back ahead where our ideas belong, we have to do them one better. This would do just that.

That "one better" as I’ve said would be to create a "shadow government"; at the latest going into the Primaries. Have a build up to that concept starting now. Build the idea into a workable convention feature. Perhaps as we now vote in convention for a team of President and Vice President, let us vote also for a slate of their choosing who would be their “shadow cabinet”. Each slate would create their own “shadow policies” or platform.

I may never happen but can you imagine the excitement it could generate in the media. A whole new type of election process. We could have the Dems playing catch up to us. We have 4 years to do it; 2 conventions to work it out.

I think you can see the benefit to the voters. Before the election the voters would have more to base their vote on than whimsical promises such as Change or “I’m a Maverick”. They would have a chance to see who that person would have as their choice as Sec. of State, and Sec. of Defense and all the rest. The voter would then have a clearer picture of the results their vote would create.

The voters would be intrigued and the media would have a whole new "thing" to cover.

Just a warm fuzzy thought as I look out at our new six inches of snow. The shoveling will keep me from thinking of the whooping we just took at the polls.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

An edited PS. My favorite term from the British is the word Facilitate. The State and Society are two seperate entities. A State should not overpower a society but enable, help or "facilitate" that society in achieving it's goals. In the above "shadow government" concept, the Party through this system would "facilitate" society in making a wiser more informed choice at election time as to which party will better facilitate it in achieving those goals.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Human Creative Process

Enjoying The Human Creative Process

As things in life get bigger faster and more complicated; is there any alternative to letting ourselves become bigger, faster and more complicated? Is it even legal to do so?

Think about it, before you think I’m being silly.

What if I wanted to live out in the woods and build a small structure to live in and live off the land as much as possible. Just because I want to, could I? It becomes nearly impossible unless I have enough money that I don’t have to live off the land etc. Kind of like going to a bank and proving to them exhaustively that you really don’t need their money in order for them to loan you some.

Let’s say I want to build a 12’x20’ building say the size of a 1 stall garage. Let’s say I’m the only one who will be living in it. Let us say it is in the middle of 10 acres of land. My land. Further I sign a promise to tear it down if I move and have nobody else live there, and padlock it to protect the homeless in case they try to live there in my absence.

By the time I satisfied the building codes and plumbing codes and all the other codes, and hired everyone and their brother to do the things I could do myself, I would have an easy 30-40 grand into it and probably twice the size would be the smallest I could get away with. Not to mention a huge headache, untold wasted time and gas going back and forth to the inspection dept. I would of also lost half the reason for doing it which is that I would enjoy overcoming all the challenges the government is protecting me from.

The codes were set up on the concept of protecting the public. Over the years they have morphed into protecting myself from myself. A lot of the other reasons for codes have to do with the environment and protecting it from me. They draw out the repercussions of my actions through generations to make sure I’m not hurting someone or something in the future.

That whole idea that a butterfly fluttering its wings half way around the world has consequences on my side of the world forgets to mention that the best way to stop those consequences from happening is to kill the butterfly, or at least to stop the one thing that make it so unique. The thing that lets it fly and be beautiful. Clip it’s wings. To hobble animals is wrong, but they charge us to hobble the human spirit.

All of this big government regulation on all levels as this country turns into a giant bureaucracy: has the same effect upon the one thing that is the most remarkable of human traits. Our individual creativity. The driver of that creativity is the simple enjoyment we get from using it - from exercising it - from watching it grow.

All the great “light bulb” ideas of course are included. Relativity, Alternating Current, and the Silicon Chip. But I’m mainly speaking of the reinventing of let me say from experience, heating my house with a wood stove. Of learning how to do what has been done for centuries and then trying to take it a step further, to put my own stamp on it.

From this I now go to the creativity of an individual “hands on” approach of helping out another human being. It is not a new idea helping others. It is more like discovering the hidden joy within our selves in so doing. Then wanting more of that joy, we exercise that practice and invent new creative ways to do it.

I was driving down the street Sat. when I saw somebody going slow in the right lane of a 5 lane road without much traffic. He then started turning sharply to the left and I had to change my lane to safely go around. Well it dawned on me that he was out of gas. I guessed he didn’t have enough momentum to get him off the road. I was right. Someone else saw the same thing and thought the same thing. We both parked illegally and got out to help push the guy out of the way. We both turned away and left. I heard a thanks behind me. I got to my truck then looked back at the guy and he was just standing there. I knew the look. I usually carry a can of gas as I run out now and then too. I got out with the can and I saw the guys eyes light up. I just walked over and poured the gas into the tank. He said thanks and I nobly got to say “Pay It Forward”. He said “is that why you carry the gas around?” I was tempted in saying yes, but I said no and told him the truth. He then asked me if he could pay me. I was happy not to be paid but I could tell he would be happier if he did. So I told him $2 as I only gave him a gallon. He reached into his pocket and gave me 4 crumpled up ones. I said thanks and felt good. He said you’re welcome and he felt good as he started up his car.

I then got creative and now I make sure to keep that can filled in case I get to help someone else. It felt good, It was free, it was easy. They should put a tax on it. It’s lucky I have an approved container, I’d hate to break the law.

Big anything interferes with this individualistic process. It takes money to be “Big”. Government collects more and more taxes to satiate it’s hunger. Those permit fees are taxes, don’t forget. “Big Business” gets in line also, backing the regulations on itself and its market. It sees “Big Government” as the enforcer that not only keeps the customers in line but the small entrepreneurs out of their market because they lack the wherewithal to put in place all the restrictions and regulations to compete. But I digress.

What brought this all on was an article Jackie Gingrich Cushman freelanced and picked up titled “The Good Samaritan”
This part is what jumped out at me, and started this train of thought.
This parable does not ask us to help millions, just the one person we see in need of assistance in our life’s path. The transfer of assistance, support and hope from one human being to another is the core of the story. It is the human touch, the interaction between people, which makes it so important and real to us today.
Equally impressive to me was the idea that it isn’t the money so much as it is the individual interaction and the reason to do it. I could of given the guy out of gas two bucks to buy some gas or fifteen so he could buy an approved container to put it in but actually helping him gave us both a better appreciation of each other. Hence ourselves.
When life seems to speed up – we need to slow down, and refocus on people rather than events, and value rather than money. Creating value for people is what life is all about.
To be honest the first thought I had upon reading this was what a mentor of mine told me after I passed the hat to come up with $30 to help the Young Republicans buy some pizza. I only wanted $30 and said so. I also said I wanted some people to volunteer on the phone bank the thing was set up for in the first place.

Well I got $135 in the hat and no volunteers. My mentor when asked about it simply said. “Same Old Republican Bullshit”.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative