Friday, May 01, 2009

Turnabout is fair play

John Hawkins at PJM:

Complaining bitterly about the Democrats’ “politics of personal destruction” or bellyaching that the media doesn’t treat us fairly ultimately accomplishes nothing. The public doesn’t care.

Using the exact same tactics against the left that it uses against the right may very well be effective.

Even if it isn’t, it may at least convince them that such tactics ought to be off limits on both sides. We can say, “Gee, what if Bush had done this” or “That’s a cheap shot” all day long, but until our political opponents feel the brunt of the same savage incivility that it dishes out on a regular basis, nothing is going to change.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Liberty and Tyranny is still #1

John Hawkins of RWN interviews Mark Levin about Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, which is the #1 book in the nation.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PJTV: Interview with AlFonzo Rachel

I interview AlfonZo Rachel, host of PJTV's Zonation on how he became a conservative Republican musician, why conservatives should be happy warriors and how conservatives can break into the media, Hollywood, and public institutions. We also discuss why it's important not to give up fighting the liberal establishment. Plus, clips from his new Zonation video.

You can watch the show here.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to end self-sabotage

Many times I notice that people become depressed over concerns of failure or just plain inertia. I am reading a good book about how to overcome those obstacles called, Get Off Your "But": How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself. The book is written by Sean Clinch Stephenson who is one of the leading authorities on the deconstruction of self-sabotage (what he calls getting people off their BUTS).

Stephenson was born with brittle bones disorder (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) that kept him wheelchair bound, so he understands what adversity is. He offers six lessons throughout the book beginning with simple ways to connect with others and make ourselves human. He also says to connect with oneself and has an interesting section called "words can heal, and words can kill." I was a bit skeptical of this approach as it seemed extreme but his reasoning made some sense. He makes the point that for some people, the inner voice gets so hurtful that they believe that the only way they can shut it off is by taking their own life.

After reading some of the comments on my PJM suicide and men column from yesterday, frankly, I believe Stephenson is correct--the way we talk to ourselves can harm or even kill us. The way one talks to oneself can be changed and with that change, life can improve.

Other wise advice, the book says, is to choose your friends wisely, own your life--the good and the bad, and become responsible for how you act in response to abusive or negative events in your life right now. It seems to be a decent book for those of you who may want to get some advice on how to end self-sabotage. And this is as true for men as it is for women.

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Small business prepares for battle with the administration

It seems that many small businesses are bracing for a tax battle, according to this Washington Post article (via Newsalert):

Business groups say they're bracing for even more battles with the administration.

"They're desperate for revenue. And therein lies the concern of the broader business community," said R. Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"We're going to be a permanent target, and we understand that," added Catherine Schultz, vice president for tax policy at the National Foreign Trade Council. "The way they see it, corporations don't vote."

A nurse turned entrepreneur is used as an example of how much the extra tax would cost, to her pocket book as well as her ability to expand and hire:

The accountant, Carroll Hurst, said Johnson is unlikely to owe any federal taxes this year due to accounting changes that confer a one-time tax benefit. But in a typical year, he said, Johnson and her husband earn about $515,000 from various entities related to the schools. They claim around $90,000 in deductions -- much of it contributions to charity -- reducing their taxable income to around $425,000. Johnson said the sum they take home in wages is "substantially less."

In a typical year, Johnson's federal tax bill would be about $120,000. But starting in 2011, the higher marginal rates would add about $13,000 a year, Hurst said. Capping the value of itemized deductions at 28 percent would add another $10,000, for a total increase of $23,000.

And Johnson's tax bill stands to grow dramatically if Obama were to revive a plan to apply Social Security tax to income over $250,000 instead of capping it at the current $106,800. Because Johnson is an employee and an employer, she would have to pay both portions of the tax, Hurst said, tacking another $30,000 onto her bill.

Johnson said such an increase would force her to consider scaling back operations.

My prediction? More and more businesses like Johnson's will decrease hiring and expansion, and/or "go John Galt." People will wonder why their opportunities are drying up and look to the government for help, not really understanding that the government created the mess to begin with.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Ask Dr. Helen: Suicide, men and money

My PJM column is up:

How do we help husbands and fathers whose financial angst has brought them to the darkest place?

You can read more here.

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Thoughts on health care

It seems that a shortage of doctors will be an obstacle for the Obama administration, according to this NYT's article:

Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president.

The officials said they were particularly concerned about shortages of primary care providers who are the main source of health care for most Americans...

To cope with the growing shortage, federal officials are considering several proposals. One would increase enrollment in medical schools and residency training programs. Another would encourage greater use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants. A third would expand the National Health Service Corps, which deploys doctors and nurses in rural areas and poor neighborhoods.

I have a few thoughts. First of all, who the heck wants to be a doctor anymore? The regulations and bureaucracy are stifling. Perhaps making practicing medicine less onerous would be a good step in putting more doctors to work, but that's hard to fathom, given the push towards nationalized health care and even more regulation.

Second, it is a concern that more nurse practitioners and physician assistants would be used. While they are often good, they should not substitute for a doctor in many instances. I spoke to a radiologist recently who said he was slowly getting out of the field and that the coming trend would be for nurse practitioners and others to fill in and that soon, that is mainly who patients will be seeing. Those of us with complicated medical histories should be concerned, if not alarmed.

Finally, many people have no idea what they are getting into here with the push towards nationalized health care. Most people have never really been sick, and haven't experienced what it is like to have to wait for care, be seen by those who are incompetent or inexperienced, or who are rushed and unable to find the time to sit down and figure out what is going on medically with a patient. It is about to get a whole lot worse with more government intervention, not better. But at least some people can feel good about themselves, and tell themselves that at least all will be covered--and a Utopian ideal can be marked off the wishlist.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gift or Burden?

The Guardian has an interesting article about a woman who gave her husband a gift of sex every night for one year and then wrote a book about it entitled 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy:

When her husband turned 40, Charla Muller couldn't decide what to give him, so she offered him guaranteed sex every night for a whole year. Could they manage it? And what would be the effect on their marriage?

What do you think, if your spouse offered you sex every night for a year, would you take it or leave it?