Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oscar Nominees Fall Historically Short


This year's Oscar nominees for best pictures are a pale comparison to the movies nominated 75 years ago. You would think that things would be better after 75 years for the movie studios to craft their talents.

Here are the nominated movies from both years:

1939
2014
Dark Victory
American Sniper
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Birdman
Gone with the Wind - WINNER
Boyhood
Love Affair
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Imitation Game
Ninotchka
Selma
Of Mice and Men
The Theory of Everything
Stagecoach
Whiplash
The Wizard of Oz

Wuthering Heights


In another 75 years Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz will still find an audience. You can also make an argument for the timelessness of Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Of Mice and Men, and Stagecoach. Does anyone think Birdman or Whiplash will be on anyone's list of the greatest movies of the century? They are hardly even memorable for 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie, two of the best movies of 2014, were totally ignored by the values bankrupt Academy.


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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fiddlin' - The Disney Measles Song


The recent outbreak of measles from Disneyland has spread to a number of states.

Sing this to the tune of It's a Small World:

It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s Disney measles
It’s a world of virus and a world of tears
It’s a world of germs and a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That is time we're aware
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s Disney measles
It takes just one shot
In the arm or bum
Or we’ll spread contagion to everyone
You feel queasy inside
With your rash spreading wide
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s the measles after all
It’s Disney measles

For more Fiddling Ant parody songs, click here.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Leadership: Churchill vs. Obama


January 24, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death. He died at the age of 90 and is widely recognized as the most influential politician of the first half of the 20th century.

Perhaps the Churchill lesson we can learned from the most for our modern age is Churchill's warning voice against the evils of Nazi Germany. While other leaders from the European democracies promoted appeasement with Hitler, Churchill argued for the destruction of Nazism. A modern Churchill would argue for the similar destruction of Muslim Fascism.

Unfortunately, current world leadership is lacking in a Churchillian figure, with no worse example than Barack Obama. Obama has gone so out of his way to appease Muslims that he can be rightly compared to Neville Chamberlain who was duped by Hitler more than once.

Once engaged in war, Churchill was relentless in defeating the Nazis. The British bombing strategy of German was particularly brutal. Obama wants nothing more than to avoid fighting evil. By not negotiating a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq he created the opportunity for ISIL to become a much worse terrorist threat than Al Qaeda ever was. He has been soft on taking action to reduce the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons. His actions in Syria to support freedom fighters with ties to the West has been too little and too late. His actions to support Ukraine against invasion have been weak.

At the conclusion of Churchill's service as war prime minister, the world was safe from Nazi terror. By comparison, Muslim terrorism has not been eliminated during Obama's presidency (not that it was ever his goal) and continues to be a major threat with targets world wide.

Obama's disdain for Churchill goes back to one of his first acts as president. President Bush had displayed a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office, a gift from Great Britain after 9-11. Presidents should be able to decorate their office as they like it, but Obama did more than remove the Churchill bust. He sent it back to the British government.  Ouch! Talk about sending a signal. Would any other world leader make the incredible blunder of returning a bust of George Washington?

Obama will never have to worry about being compared to Churchill. His leadership skills are widely recognized as lacking. Last year Fortune Magazine listed the 50 greatest leaders of the world which included worthy selections like Pope Francis and Angela Merkel, even Bill Clinton. Embarrassingly missing from the list was Barack Obama. Fifty is pretty big list, and he couldn't find a way to make the list at 49 or 50?

When reading the final William Manchester volume biography of Churchill, I found a fascinating story related to Churchill's death. About a dozen years before he died, Church was shaving when his secretary Jock Colville brought a document to his attention. Churchill told him, "Today is the twenty-fourth of January. It is the day my father died. It is the day that I shall die too." His father had died on January 24, 1895.  Churchill suffered a stroke on January 12, 1965. He lingered for twelve days, but just as he predicted, he died on January 24.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The State of the Union in Only 4 Words


Yesterday's State of the Union message can be stated in four words: Bigger Government, Bigger Spending.

Totally missing from the president's speech was using some of the improved economic growth to take care of the debt. Obama is under the misconception that his programs are supposed to help the middle class. Inflation is worse with the medical and education segments of the economy, the two segments with the most government involvement. You'd have to be pretty ignorant to think another government program run by more bureaucrats would achieve the promised results. For example, $15 trillion spent on the war on poverty in the last 50 years has not reduced poverty.

Missing was a message that the federal government needs to cut spending. Six years of Barrack Obama has seen an increase of $9 trillion in federal debt. That's $150,000 for a family of 5. Did your family get $150,000 of value for this unpaid debt that will have to be repaid with interest?

Bigger Government + Bigger Spending = Bigger Debt + Bigger Barriers to Prosperity


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fiddlin' - Obama's French Marching Song





Displaying his repeated action not to offend Muslims, President Obama refused to attend the French Unity March or send a senior American official.

"Do You See The People March?"

 (Sing to the tune "Do You Hear The People Sing" from Les Miserables.)

[Francois Hollande:]
Do you see the people march?
Marching a march of angry men?
It is the movement of a people
Who have been attacked again!
When the spirit of this land
Triumphs the fascists of Islam
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!


[Obama:]
Will I join in your crusade?
Will I be strong and stand with thee?
I’m busy this Sunday
I’ve got a football game to see.


[Francois Hollande:]
Then join in the fight
That will give us the right to be free!


[French People:]
Do you see the people march?
Marching a march of angry men?
It is the movement of a people
Who have been attacked again!
When the spirit of this land
Triumphs the fascists of Islam
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!


[Obama:]
Why should I give up my Sunday
So that your movement may advance?
Some will fall and some will live
Why should I stand and take a chance?
The blood of the Jihadists
Will water the meadows of France!


[French People:]
Do you see the people march?
Marching a march of angry men?
It is the movement of a people
Who have been attacked again!
When the spirit of this land
Triumphs the fascists of Islam
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!


For an index of all Fiddling Ant parody songs, click here.



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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Wrong $15 Trillion War on Poverty


It was 51 years ago today that President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty. Since that time federal and state government has spent more than $15 trillion on welfare programs. This staggering amount has helped poor people with food, housing, and medical assistance, but it has not eliminated poverty by any means.

The programs set up by President Johnson and the 1960's Democrats created a massive wealth transfer to benefit poor people via huge government bureaucracies. The money moved, but poor people remained poor.

The saddest part of all this wasteful spending is that Johnson knew in 1965 that his programs did not address the biggest problem contributing to poverty among blacks. It was 50 years ago that Kennedy academic Patrick Moynihan released his study, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. Despite having impeccable progressive liberal credentials, Moynihan was honest enough to recognize the facts, even if they would not be well received by his party.

Moynihan reported "at the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family." He blamed the increase in out-of-wedlock births as the key cause of black poverty.

As we are all aware, the federal government's welfare laws made no attempt to address this problem. If fact welfare made the problem worse, with many poor black women finding that they could get more welfare assistance without a husband in the home. Moynihan was concerned that the rate of out-of-wedlock black births in 1963 was 25%.

Now 50 years later it is over 70% for blacks and over 40% for the general population. Talk about a big time FAIL.

When the great Chicago running back Walter Peyton was a young boy in the 1950s, he noticed that black men who abandoned their children were ostracized by the black community. You were expected to do all you could to support your family.

Johnson's welfare programs replaced black fathers with Uncle Sam to the great harm of black families.

The 1965 Moynihan report shows that Democratic leadership knew what the real problem was but chose to ignore it. After 50 years we are still paying the price for the harm created by this failure of government to take steps to support families instead of destroy families.


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Monday, January 5, 2015

The Science of Making Resolutions Stick


It's early January and there are three types of people thinking about New Year's resolutions. There are those who don't do them because from past experience they know they will fail. There are those who make a resolution but within weeks are back to their old habits. And there are those who make resolutions and are able to keep them.

While it has not always been the case, for 2014 I count myself in the category of those that kept resolutions. Each year I set up one goal in each of four areas: physical, intellectual, emotional/social, and spiritual.  An easy way to remember them is by the acronym PIES.

These areas of focus come from the only scripture we have about Jesus from the time he was 12 to his ministry at 30 in Luke 2:52: "And Jesus grew in wisdom (intellectual) and stature (physical), and in favor with God (spiritual) and man (emotional/social)."

In 2014 my accomplished goals were to attend the gym 2-3 times a week (P), do a blog entry at least once a week (I), Send a inspirations quote text message to family members each day (E), and read scriptures with my teenage children each day (S).

Within the past few years studies on behavior and habits have discovered that there is a reason why some people are able to make changes while most are not. Once you understand the science of behavior change you can set up a system to make resolutions that will succeed.

Scott Adams, who draws Dilbert, made this very astute observation: "Losers have goals. Winners have systems."

To figure out the secrets of making resolutions that work, I recommend people read the following books:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson

Seriously, if there are things you want to change about your life, but have been worried that you would not be able to follow through, these books will teach you the systems you need to achieve resolution success.


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