Friday, December 31, 2010

Leading the Pack

Leaders stay a little more progressive. 

The do so by:
Being a little more innovative.  A little more creative.
By taking that extra step.
Spending a little more effort.
Getting a little more accomplished.
Getting a few more results.

However, leaders can't run too far ahead of the pack without bringing others with them.  They need support from others to be successful themselves.  Leaders stay ahead but make sure others are with them. 

It is a mistake to look too far ahead.  Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
Winston Churchill

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keep Moving Forward

Leaders are always going forward making progress in some fashion.  Sometimes in tiny steps, but often in quantum leaps.

A leader's group is the first to adopt new ideas, first to try new technologies, and first in efficiency and productivity.  They pay attention to percentage points of increase and decrease.  They pay attention to the score.

True leaders make things happen.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
Arthur Godfrey

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ask Yourself Big Questions

I recently read this article & thought it to be timely with the New Year almost upon us. Take heed of the questions proffered & sincerely contemplate where you are and where you want to truly be.

Ask Yourself Big Questions
By Tom Stevens (c)2007


Consider the two following questions.
What are the goals for my business this year?
What would the world miss if my business didn’t exist?
Both are important, but for very different reasons – and they will impact your thinking in very different ways.

For most questions, value is derived primarily from arriving at an answer. The first question above is useful because its answer holds valuable information. Once you arrive at the answer, you are done. You proceed by taking action on the information, in the current example by ensuring that your activities and plans align with your goals.

How the second question differs is that great value is contained in what is NOT answered. While it is obvious you get nowhere without some coherent answer for this type of question, you are best served by keeping your answer always open, a work in progress. It is the unanswered part that keeps your mind searching, giving you potential for deeper insight.

I refer to these types of questions as BIG questions. Big questions, by their nature, provoke us into thinking in new ways. Big questions take us into the heart of what really matters. Keeping a big question in front of you for an extended period of time keeps your subconscious and well as conscious mind digging for insight.

We rely on questions of the first type for everyday effectiveness in our work. What are our goals and objectives? Did we generate sufficient revenue? What does the customer want? Were deliveries made on time?

Questions of the second type, big questions, help us arrive at what differentiates our organization from our competitors, what we are passionate about, what makes our effort worthwhile.

The big question above is a variant of the ‘George Bailey question’ (as in the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life). A personal version would be, “what would the world miss if you didn’t exist?”

Below are seven other big questions to ponder. Some you have likely seen before, some not, but each has the potential to stimulate important insight.

If you started from scratch, would you do what you now do? If not, what are you going to do about it?
What would make you excited – joyful, exuberant, energized – to get up each morning?
If you were guaranteed success, what would you do?
What are your fears? What would you do if you were not afraid?
What is the experience you want from life? What is the experience you want other people to have of you? (Don’t forget, what experience does your business give your customers?)
How do you want to be remembered? What are you doing to make that happen?
What is the gift you bring to the world? What gift does the world bring you?


Putting big questions to work for you is perhaps best explained by further questions. What question most resonates with you, gives you pause to think? What would happen if you asked yourself that question each morning for the next 90 days?

Or better said by the poet Rilke, “Live the questions now.”
* * *

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Example

One Fortune 500 executive told his people, "You may do anything you see me doing."

People will emulate, consciously or subconsciously, their leaders, bosses, and managers.  If you are forward-thinking, innovative, and progressive, then your team or department will move consistently forward.

True leaders are also willing to roll up their shirt sleeves and do whatever is necessary to make a project succeed.  Their commitment and dedication in such a situation sets the example for all of their people.

True leaders are excellent role models.

The example of good men is visible philosophy.
English Proverb

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Having Vision

To be able to visualize the completed project or task, the final goal and all of its rewards and consequences, is the ultimate test for true leaders.

In addition to visualizing "the dream," they must also be able to visualize each task that must be completed, and the integration of those tasks to successfully complete the project.  They must also be able to effectively communicate this vision to the group.

To true leaders, vision defines the final goal, and action is the path that leads to the vision.

We have always help to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Friday, December 03, 2010

Blame

When in a position of leadership, everything that occurs in your responsibility, even the errors.

Rather than spending effort in placing the blame on others, your job is to mitigate the damage, and to learn from the mistakes, take steps necessary to solve the issue, and make sure the problem does not recur in the future.

The buck stops here!
Harry S. Truman

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jealousy

True leaders focus on their own career and accomplishments.  Others, including those in competition with you, will also garner accomplishments and awards. 

Rather than wasting energy on jealousy, share their joy of accomplishment.  Seek them out as friends and colleagues.  Learn from them.

Winners associate with winners!

Of all the passions, jealousy is that which exerts the hardest service and pays the bitterest wages.
Charles Cabet Colton

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Excessive Pressure

Leaders prevent excessive pressure on both themselves and them members of their team.  Set realistic goals for yourself and your team.  You should be able to see the end in mind the means of achieving it.

If an unrealistic task is given, realize it and break it down to a realistic, seeable, achievable goal.  Expectations set the motivation of the group.  Excessive pressure on members serves no purpose and often kills initiative and creativity at all levels.

We are more often frightened than hurt; our troubles spring more often from fancy than reality.
Seneca.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Humility of a Leader

Don't be caught up in the power and prestige of your position.  Nothing is beneath a true leader.  You must always be willing to help your team and teammates, even in what may seem to be the most mundane tasks.

Remember that you and your fellow co-workers will occasionally make mistakes.  You know that, and they know that.  If you have an arrogant attitude, you can expect no help from your fellow teammates in preventing or correcting your errors or theirs.

To be vain of one's rank or place, is to show that one is below it.
Stanislas I

Friday, November 05, 2010

Leaders Cannot Afford to Lose Their Temper

There is little in the world worthy of losing your temper.  Yet frustrations in every aspect of our personal and professional life are common and can be difficult to deal with. 

As a leader, always try to stay in control.  Discuss problems openly with the people involved.  Be open in thought and firm in your demands, but remain in control.

Superiors, suppliers, peers, customers, teammates, and subordinates will sometimes (often times) be infuriating, but losing your temper will probably only compound the problem instead of solving it.

When angry, count ten before you speak.  If very angry, a hundred.
Thomas Jefferson.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leaders of Today

True leaders have an understanding of the present, and a vision for the future.  To be successful as a leader in any industry, you must:
  • Prepare to be a leader.
  • Understand leadership.
  • And then be prepared to assume the leadership role in your organization.
Your journey must not end here.  In fact, your journey will never end as a true leader.
Leadership is about reaching for the stars, and when you reach one, reach for the next one,  It's exciting, it's fun, and it's the essence of life.

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well. and doing well whatever you do.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Leadership Gurus 2011

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Free-Competition

A Lesson on Free-Competition from http://www.capitalism.org/faq/competition.htm

Free-competition means freedom from physical force to produce for ones own profit.

What is free-competition?

Free competition is the freedom to produce, and the freedom to trade what one has produced, for ones own self-interest, i.e., in the pursuit of ones own happiness.

What is the foundation of free-competition?

Politically, free-competition is a consequence of the political right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness applied to the economic sphere of production and trade.

Morally, competition among producers is founded not on service to consumers -- which is a result; but, upon the pursuit of rational self-interest, i.e. the profit motive. Economically, its result is a free-market, i.e. free trade.


Observe that free-market competition presupposes a social system based on
individual rights -- and cannot exist without the protection of rights by government, e.g. what good is the right to produce (right to liberty) if one does not have the right to keep what one has created (right to property), the right to advertise what one has produced (right to free speech), the right to trade ones goods one ones own terms (right to property) and the right to benefit from what one has produced (right to the pursuit of happiness)?

Free-competition without
individual rights is a contradiction in terms, it is an oxymoron. Of course, if one is a communist, fascist or socialist (all are different forms of a single evil principle: collectivism) and does not believe in individual rights then competition has an entirely different meaning.

What is the difference between competition under capitalism and competition under all other kinds of societies (collectivist societies)?

All social systems have competition, the only difference is that in capitalism, all such competition for economic power results in the creation of wealth, whereas in collectivist societies such competition for political power results in the destruction of wealth.

Under capitalism, competition is an economic process where men do not compete to put down others, but to raise their self up by creating values which are potentially unlimited, and raising their competitors up in the process.


Under all collectivist systems competition is a political process where men compete not to create values, but to lobby or kill for positions of political power which they can use to legally extort the wealth of their fellow men.

Here's yet another great Orrin article explaining these principles in terms we can all relate to:

Competition, Excuses, and Free Trade
Competition ensures that winners won’t buy their own excuses.

Competition, a concept much loved by anyone attending a professional sporting event, seeks to have the best contend against the best for the enjoyment of all.  Top level competition reminds me of my youth, when NBA legends Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, both intense competitors and quintessential winners, were first entering the professional ranks.  The battles between the Lakers and Celtics became legendary as each team made constant adjustments to improve against the other.  The NBA turned into a fan favorite, selling out once empty stadiums, in a large part to the competitive greatness displayed by Bird and Magic.  Sadly, competitive greatness, this key ingredient to keeping a country productive, is being lost in the business world as entrepreneurs, fed on a diet of government subsidies and tariffs, become more like bureaucrats than business owners.  Can you imagine the outrage if, after a Lakers loss to the Celtics, the Laker team, rather than confront their lack of execution leading to the loss, instead chose to run to the California congress, seeking a tariff restriction against Celtic basketball the next time they entered California?  I can see the arguments now in congress, the Laker team provides jobs for Americans, it has been an icon in the NBA for years, we cannot allow Laker basketball to fail; therefore, we must support a tariff restriction against the uncompetitive practices of the Celtics, those egregious winners.  Ok, one might be thinking the author is getting carried away as there are no tariffs between states.  This is correct, certainly one of the best decisions our Founding Fathers made was to eliminate all tariffs set up to protect the states against competition from other states.  The Lakers are forbidden by law to seek protection against the Celtics and must learn to adjust to the competitive pressures applied by the Celtics, if they wish to compete and win. The Founding Fathers, although they understood the importance of each state having to compete on its own merits without tariffs, interestingly allowed tariffs on an international scale between countries, claiming the need to protect new American industries.  They agreed with competition within the country, improving the output, quality and price, but wavered in principle when discussing competition amongst countries.

Let’s revisit our NBA analogy with a twist,...   FULL ARTICLE HERE.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Orrin Woodward & the Power of Creative Visualization

Harnessing the power of creative visualization to help you improve every area of your life is not only possible, it's the only way to truly achieve change.  It is a power every one of us uses everyday, whether you are aware of it or not.  Being aware of and having the knowledge of these laws governing creative visualization, and engaging a conscious and effective use of them, you can fill your life with success and positive change.

Anything we focus upon such as success, health, money, family, promotion, marriage, business, and possessions can be gained through creative visualization.  While it may not mean that everything will magically change overnight, mental work is necessary to begin changing the foundation of our thinking and our beliefs.  This change of attitude towards life is absolutely necessary to achieve any subsequent manifested change.  You need to simply have an open mind, focus & concentration, the ability to visualize, and a lot of enthusiasm and don't forget persistence.

No one understands this better than Orrin.  Here's another great post from a guy who not only has a big vision, but casts one even bigger.

Dreams or Dreads
It’s hard to light yourself on fire with your dream when you are busy wetting yourself with your dread.

All achievers, in every field, visualize successful outcomes before making them a reality. From athletes, salespeople, musicians, business owners, and many others, top performers understand the power of vision.  The ability of your subconscious mind to lead you towards your dominating vision is little known and rarely tapped into amongst the masses, but his must change.  If someone plans on breaking out of the crowd, learning to feed the subconscious mind the vision of the future isn’t a nice add on, but an absolute necessity.  Author Vince Poscente, a world class athlete, wrote in his entertaining and informative book, The Ant & the Elephant, on the difference between the conscious and subconscious mind, teaching that the conscious mind in one second of thinking through words stimulates 2,000 neurons, while the sub-conscious mind in a second of imagining through images stimulates 4 billion neurons.  That’s 4,000,000,000 neurons, literally 2 million times more neurons stimulated in your subconscious mind than your conscious mind in one second of activity.  Poscente called the conscious mind the and and the subconscious mind an elephant.  Loving analogies, I have used the ant and elephant concept numerous times to teach people the power in their imagination.  The great Albert Einstein said, many years ago, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” so these concepts are not new, just rarely applied in people’s lives.



Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Harder Right vs. The Easy Wrong- Orrin Woodward

Orrin has been a blogging crazy man lately.  I'm not sure how he puts out such relevant, thought-provoking, inspirational and poignant articles on such a continuous basis but.... oh wait, yes I do... he's Orrin Woodward.  The guy reads and thinks more in a single day than most do in their entire lifetime.  

Another great article:

Character - Producers vs Exploiters
Leaders always choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong.

Character demands strength of mind, heart, and will.  Choosing to do right, regardless of what others are doing, isn’t easy or natural, but leaders refuse to surrender their character, considering it more valuable than any earthly possession.  Many talk glibly of character, boasting loudly of its importance, who, when circumstances press against them, quickly run to the easier wrong than the harder right.  Character is less about head knowledge, nearly everyone knows when they are doing wrong, but more a matter of heart knowledge, doing right when it hurts.  In life, one can choose to produce results or search for ways to exploit others results. Producers create value by serving people, either directly in the service fields, or indirectly by producing products that people desire.  Producers do not look for handouts, only hand ups.  Given the right training, they can achieve nearly anything by their efforts and tenacity.  Maintaining a productive existence requires character as people will not remain in business with exploiters unless coerced. One of the quickest way to recognize producers, is by the long term relationships built through serving others through win-win principles.  Character based people refuse to be exploiters, even though it looks easier, it always ends up hurting the person more than it benefits the pocketbook.

The rest of the story: CLICK IT

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The State of Education

The American Public School system has reached a stage where students are ill prepared to appreciate or even to understand their unique birthright bequeathed to them through the blood and sacrifices of their ancestors. There is also an easily demonstrated basic lack of knowledge concerning the convergence of history, economics, and civics as well as the ability to discern from the rhetoric of others what is truth and what is indoctrination. In other academic areas, America’s students score consistently below their foreign counterparts on international tests and thus are ill-prepared to compete in a global marketplace. American students rank near the bottom relative to students in other industrialized countries recently placing 25th when students from 40 countries were tested. This translates to many of America’s “A” students being average in comparison to those of other countries. For nearly a century, the “Progressives” have dominated American education which over time has led to a reduction in students’ capacity for knowledge and rational thought.  The consequences of this incapacitation include most of the social maladies our country presently experiences.  The more God and the Framers of our American system are removed from education, the weaker the American education system becomes. Various individual classroom teachers understand the shortcomings, but they are powerless to change the system from within. Foundational and historical beliefs of morality have been assaulted and eroded away, being replaced by moral relativism. The present education system is leading successive generations inexorably to the point where our freedoms are being limited, our standard of living is threatened, and the very life of our Republic is at stake.

This is such a great article from Orrin that I had to republish it here:


Separation of Education & State
Peeling away the layers of rhetoric from reality in our Public School System, one discovers an interesting paradox; even though Americans enthusiastically support the Separation of Church & State, strangely, they do not feel the same vigor for Separation of Education & State.  What are the real differences between religion and education, lifting the veil on both reveals underlying presuppositions that are unprovable, making both more a matter of faith rather than science, requiring belief in doctrines that cannot empirically be proven true or false.  The administrators (High Priests) of both genres feed the faithful accepted doctrines, brooking no resistance to the approved creeds.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am not against organized religion nor organized education, the more of both the better, as far as I am concerned, for man and society.  Everything in life boils down to faith when you backtrack it to first principles, dealing with world-views and the like.   My question to the State School Board or, if I may be so bold, the Priests of Education, is why, during the founding of America, was it so important to ensure the State never crossed into the religious sphere, protecting the people against a powerful centralized State Church, even going so far as to make it one of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights?  The government wouldn’t consider creating a State Church, requiring mandatory attendance every Sunday, teaching State Doctrines at State Churches in every neighborhood; but we yield to our government the same level of control, requiring mandatory attendance, not on Sundays, but Monday through Fridays, educating all adolescents in State Doctrines at State Schools (Churches).  When State centralized education requires mandatory attendance of children at State School schools, teaching doctrines much like churches teach creeds,, reaching into every home, I get a bit concerned.  The only options for parents, other than surrendering to tyranny, are to quit the public school system entirely, while still supporting them with their local taxes. This doesn’t sound like freedom to me.

As I see it, religious doctrines and educational doctrines are merely different sides of the same coin.  Just as theories abound, teaching various religious creeds, suggesting the proper methods and principles to worship God, so too, theories abound teaching various educational creeds, suggesting the proper methods and principles to teach a child. Yet, somehow, we believe an omniscient State will select just the right creeds for our child, regardless of his or her circumstances, ignoring our child’s family life, religious principles, or career aspirations.  Now I am a reasonable person, certainly willing to hear all rational discussions on the subject, but something strikes me as disingenuous, separating a man’s religious beliefs so completely from his educational beliefs.  To use just one example, suppose a young man was taught in the home or church, that God made men and women for each other, under the sacrament of marriage.  He might have a hard time swallowing any contrary doctrine, offered up in our State Schools.  Now before you bash me as a sexist, gender hater, etc, please hear my point, the point is, shouldn’t the same freedoms that apply to religion apply when referring to education?  Regardless of the specific doctrines one believes in, a higher doctrine ought to be the freedom to choose, since America is famous for being the “land of freedom.”  No one should be forced to endure an indoctrination against his will nor forced to submit his children to the same treatment.  If parents choose to send their children to another school, aligning better with their personal beliefs, they ought to have that right, transferring their tax dollars to the school of choice, instead of paying more.  I believe in freedom of choice so much, that I would fight for your right to disagree with my beliefs, choosing to send your children to another school; the school of your choice.  Freedom ensures that we all get the education for our children that we desire, not what the State desires.  Free discussion and free choices makes us all better, that’s what makes America great.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the earliest and strongest proponents of religious freedoms, shared these principles with his fellow Virginia delegates, arguing that it’s unjust to charge Presbyterians, Baptist, Congregationalist, etc, to support the Virginia Anglican State Church.  For example, if a Baptist moved to Virginia, he was required to pay a tax to support the Anglican church even though he didn’t attend nor believe the Anglican creeds. Liberty loving Virginians could see the justice in Mr. Jefferson’s views and repealed the mandatory tax supporting the Virginia State Church.  The Separation of Church & State became a foundational plank in Virginia, eventually finding its way into the Constitution through the Bill of Rights, inspiring millions to come to America to enjoy religious freedom.  An interesting aside is George Washington’s thoughts on the Separation of Church & State, believing that churches built character through faith and creeds, Washington was hesitant to see churches not funded by public taxes; therefore, he proposed to tax all citizens, but give them a choice of which church to support.  Mr. Washington proposed a voucher program for religion, giving freedom of choice while ensuring that churches thrived to build character in the people for the benefit of society. No, I’m not proposing launching church vouchers, invoking the name of the great George Washington to bolster my position.  I believe keeping government out of local churches, the true meaning of Separation of Church & State, has been a blessing, allowing each church to serve their God and congregations as they please, not requiring, nor asking for, government handouts.

My aside on Washington was merely to point out how important freedom of choice was to our Founding Fathers, a freedom sadly missing from our current Public School System.  How many millions of children over the years, having conflicting beliefs with the High Priest of Education, went to private schools by the free choice of the parents, paying a tuition for private school on one hand, while still being taxed by the State School on the other hand. But let’s not forget the recent phenomena, if not outright revolution, called Home Schooling.  Over the last thirty years or so, millions of children have been home schooled, a challenging endeavor, where parents choose to educate their children, receiving no pay, giving of their time and money in a labor of love, but still suffering from the tax load of a State School they are no longer employing.  A young Thomas Jefferson, when faced with a similar situation in 18th century Virginia, confronted by the injustice of forcing parishioner of other sects to pay for a church they didn’t attend, loved freedom enough to do something about it. Maybe George Washington’s idea, if converted from religion to education has merit.  School vouchers, a plan where each parent is given a voucher from the State to spend at the school of their choice, would solve the Separation of Education & State issue.  Giving each parent a voucher, allowing each family to choose the school that best fits their needs, brings free enterprise and decentralization to the school system.  The school options will increase and conflicts over doctrines will decrease by allowing parents to choose an education that marries with their religious beliefs and student's career choices. Perhaps America, that beacon of light, though flickering a bit of late, will remember its great heritage, standing against injustices, even if it doesn’t directly affect them; because tyranny, when given a chance to seed in society’s soil, sinks it roots deeply, consuming everything in its path.

I purposely kept this discussion at fifty thousand feet, not diving into the details of our State School System, not that there isn’t plenty to say, but only because I didn’t want to take away from my main message.  Few will argue that our State Schools are broken, throwing more money at State Schools seems to be the only solution bantered about.  I have learned over the years that, if the riverbed is wrong, pouring more water in the river isn’t the answer.  Until we start working on the foundation, the riverbed, nothing is going to change.  The riverbed change, in my opinion, is Separation of Education & State. Of course, the State System is failing, because the State is involved in an area that is shouldn’t be. Can you name any government program designed to serve the public that hasn't failed miserably?  It’s not the teachers, nor the students, but the entire system based upon centralized control that must be rooted out.  Thomas Jefferson understood this, which is why he decentralized religion from government, making a riverbed change; we need modern day Jefferson’s to decentralize schooling from government, making another riverbed change. I believe firmly that a free enterprise school system, where parents vote with their vouchers, rewarding excellence while punishing incompetence as all customers do in free enterprise, will build a world class educational system that can compete in today’s “flat world.”  The key is for free people to make free choices.  As over time, free people making free choices will always thrive over tyrannized people following State bureaucrats.  Perhaps a Jefferson will step up, creating a Separation of Education & State as Thomas Jefferson’s created a Separation of Religion & State.  God Bless, Orrin Woodward

Friday, September 17, 2010

Citizen Link: Founding Fathers on the Constitution of the United States

In all my recent reading on the Constitution, I regularly read commentary on current events relative to Constitutional matters.  CitizenLink has insightful and educational articles addressing certain issues of today.  Be informed! Get involved!  It is your country. It's your Constitution.  This article in particular I found insightful since these were the men who wrote it. Should we not also have the passion to know, understand and defend it?


http://www.citizenlink.com
Friday Five: Founding Fathers on the Constitution of the United States
Posted By Catherine Snow On September 17, 2010 @ 5:04 pm In Friday 5,Top Story | No Comments

Today, Sept. 17, is the 223rd birthday of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia.
To pay homage to this foundational document, CitizenLink reflects on the words proclaimed by the Founding Fathers –men who pledged not only their fortunes – but their very lives – for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”
The Constitution is under attack like never before. The liberal, elite establishment positioned throughout various pillars of society –politics, government, media, education and entertainment – want to dismantle this founding document and seem willing to replace it with international laws suite to their goals.
Americans, however, are waking up – as seen by spontaneous growth of the Tea Party movement, the intense thirst in reading about the Founding Fathers and the founding documents. Over three million pocket Constitutions have been handed out by the Heritage Foundation – and that’s just one organization! This explains the results of a new AP poll released today that says that three-fourths of Americans still believe the Constitution is “enduring and not outdated.”
1.    What would the Founding Fathers say today about the Constitution?
George Washington of Virginia and first president of the United States:
“The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.”
William Paterson of New Jersey and signer of the Constitution:
“What is a Constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental law are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; it contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land; it is paramount to the power of the Legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the authority that made it.”
Alexander Hamilton of New York and author of the Federalist Papers:
“[T]he Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution. But this doctrine is not deducible from any circumstance peculiar to the plan of convention, but from the general theory of a limited Constitution.”
John Jay, president of the Continental Congress, appointed by George Washington as the first Supreme Court Justice and co-author of the Federalist Papers, advised:
“Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study the constitution of his country. . . . By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated and be the better prepared to defend and assert them.”
George Washington:
“(T)he fundamental principle of our Constitution… enjoins (requires) that the will of the majority shall prevail.”
2.    What did the Founding Fathers try to accomplish in the Constitution?
James Madison, fourth president of the U.S. and “Father of the Constitution,” wrote to Thomas Jefferson, third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote on Oct. 24, 1787:
“The great objects which presented themselves were:
  1. To unite a proper energy in the Executive and a proper stability in the Legislative departments, with the essential characters of Republican Government.
  2. To draw a line of demarcation which would give the general Government every power requisite for general purposes, and leave to the States every power which might e most beneficially administered by them.
  3. To provide for the different interests of different parts of the Union.
  4. To adjust the clashing pretensions of the large and small States. Each of these objects was pregnant with difficulties.
“The whole of them together formed a task more difficult than can be well conceived by those who were not concerned in the execution of it.”
3.    What would the Founding Fathers think about the federal government’s encroachment into rights relegated to the States?
James Madison:
“The people are the only legitimate foundation of power, and it is from that the constitutional character, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”
Thomas Jefferson:
“The states can best govern our home concerns, and the (federal) government our foreign ones.”
Joseph Story, author of the comprehensive “Commentaries of the Constitution,”     which is considered one of the cornerstones of American jurisprudence:
“The plain import of the clause is, that congress shall have all the incidental and instrumental powers, necessary and proper to carry into execution all the express powers. It neither enlarges any power specifically granted; nor is it a grant of any new power to congress. But it is merely a declaration for the removal of all uncertainty, that the means of carrying into execution those, otherwise granted, are included in the grant.”
James Madison:
“As the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial departments of the United States are co-ordinate, and each equally bound to support the Constitution, it follows that each must in the exercise of its functions be guided by the text of the Constitution according to its own interpretation of it.”
Thomas Jefferson:
“Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance and from under the eye of their constituents . . . will invite the public agents to corruption, plunder, and waste. . . . What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building, and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the federal government!”
4.    What would the Founding Fathers think about this Congress’ use of the “General Welfare Clause” in order to justify everything from bailouts to “health care for all”?
James Madison addressed this very issue in 1792, when some congressman attempted to “bailout” the ailing fishing industry.  Madison explained why it was unconstitutional:
“Those who proposed the Constitution knew, and those who ratified the Constitution also knew that this is . . . a limited government tied down to specified powers. . . . It was never supposed or suspected that the old Congress could give away the money of the states to encourage agriculture or for any other purpose they pleased.”
As if a portent to the consequences this country now faces, he warned:
“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the ‘general welfare,’ and are the sole and supreme judges of the ‘general welfare,’ then they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the United States; they may assume the provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police would be thrown under the power of Congress, for every object I have mentioned would admit of the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the ‘general welfare.’”
5.    Why did the Founding Fathers make the judicial branch the weakest branch of government?
Thomas Jefferson:
“Our Constitution. . . . has given – according to this opinion – to one of [the three Branches] alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others – and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. . . . The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the Judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
Thomas Jefferson:
“When the Legislative or Executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity. The exemption of the judges from that is quite dangerous enough. I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them [the people] not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Jonathan Mason, law student trained by John Adams and an early member of Congress:
“The independence of the judiciary so much desired will – if tolerated – soon become something like supremacy. They will, indeed, form the main pillar of this goodly fabric; they will soon become the only remaining pillar, and they will presently be so strong as to crush and absorb the others into their solid mass.”
Rufus King of Massachusetts, signer of the Constitution, framer of the Bill of Rights:
“The judges must interpret the laws; they ought not to be legislators.”
Luther Martin, framer of the Constitution and attorney general of Maryland:
“A  knowledge of mankind and of legislative affairs cannot be presumed to belong in a higher degree to the judges than to the Legislature.”
Thomas Jefferson:
“You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions – a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. . . . (A)nd their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Watch Heritage Foundation’s, “We the People: Honoring Constitution Day.” [1]

Get back to the basics with Heritage’s comprehensive “First Principle” website. [2]
Read David Barton’s, “Keys to Good Government: According to the Founding Fathers.” [3]
Learn more about historian David Barton and Wallbuilders. [4]
Read former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese’s blog, “Constitution Day and the Perilous Future.”[5]
Read the Alabama Policy Institute’s, “What Will Students Learn on Constitution Day?” [6]

Related posts:
  1. Constitution Headlines Celebration in Northern Virginia [7]
  2. Position Statement on Federal Judicial Appointments [8]
  3. Abortion Law in the United States [9]
  4. Dr. Dobson Helps Larry King Understand ‘Separation of Church and State’ [10]

Article printed from CitizenLink: http://www.citizenlink.com
URL to article: http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/09/friday-five-founding-fathers-on-the-constitution-of-the-united-states/
URLs in this post:
[1] “We the People: Honoring Constitution Day.”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejH1Xvw12sA
[2] Get back to the basics with Heritage’s comprehensive “First Principle” website.: http://www.heritage.org/Initiatives/First-Principles
[3] “Keys to Good Government: According to the Founding Fathers.”: http://patriotshop.us/product_info.php?cPath=85&products_id=795
[4] Learn more about historian David Barton and Wallbuilders.: http://www.wallbuilders.com
[5] “Constitution Day and the Perilous Future.”: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/09/17/morning-bell-constitution-day-and-the-perilous-future/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBell
[6] “What Will Students Learn on Constitution Day?”: http://www.alabamapolicy.org/gary_blog/article.php?id_art=427
[7] Constitution Headlines Celebration in Northern Virginia: http://www.citizenlink.com/2009/09/citizenlink-constitution-headlines-celebration-in-northern-virginia/
[8] Position Statement on Federal Judicial Appointments: http://www.citizenlink.com/2005/06/position-statement-on-federal-judicial-appointments/
[9] Abortion Law in the United States: http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/06/abortion-law-in-the-united-states/
[10] Dr. Dobson Helps Larry King Understand ‘Separation of Church and State’: http://www.citizenlink.com/2006/11/citizenlink-dr-dobson-helps-larry-king-understand-separation-of-church-and-state/
Copyright © 2010 CitizenLink. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Only Freedom at Stake

In light of the turmoil and lack of direction our country, our economy, our government, our culture, and pretty much everything else in America is experiencing, I have been doing a considerable amount of self study.  What I have found is this:  I absolutely love all of the incredible reading and study I have been doing on the Constitution of the United States, the history behind it, and the incredible freedoms we enjoy as Americans because of it.  I am also utterly appalled at the degradation of our Constitution's authority and purity and how we have all allowed this decay to not only endure but 'progressively' hasten.  The fragile liberties we have enjoyed are under massive attack today and are not being protected.  Many are focused on simply the economic issues while the spiritual and political freedoms are being undermined.  Each of these freedoms are not autonomous of each other but interdependent upon one another.  We will never save one without preserving the others.  Without 'The People' defending those liberties, they will surely perish.  We must be that People.  There is no one else.  This will require leadership, our own personal leadership.  That leadership begins with knowing & understanding what is at risk and why.  Read and educate yourself on the incredible providential history of these United States.  Discover why we have enjoyed the freedoms we have and how far we have come from their creation.  You will be sucked into the great mission that was America and the passion behind those first heroes who were citizens of an idea that was yet to be formed.  America needs such heroes again.  America needs YOU!!
Here is a great introduction of the foundational freedoms at stake from my friend and leader, Orrin Woodward.

Murray Rothbard - The Discipline of Liberty
I am sitting in my hotel suite, overlooking the blue ocean as the sunrises, pondering the meaning of liberty.  Yesterday, Laurie and I, plus three of our children (Jeremy lectured me on why he needed to stay home to fulfill his soccer commitments), enjoyed the freedom to hop on an airplane and travel to Hawaii.  This is our 10th time to Hawaii in 11 years.  We have been blessed to enjoy the liberty to build our own business, to enjoy the fruits of our labors and to share our experiences and knowledge with others to help others prosper.  Underlying all of these blessing is our Creator's blessings and a system of free enterprise that rewards people based upon their individual contributions.  Anyone that isn’t hiding in a hole is well aware that our liberties are waning as Big Government attempts to solve issues that it cannot solve and wasn’t created to solve.  The more government spends on items that it cannot solve, the less freedom all citizens have.

I am sometimes criticized for mixing faith, politics, and leadership together, but without combined columns of spiritual freedom, economic freedom, and political freedom, our freedom edifice will fall.  If any leader allows one of these planks to be attacked and does nothing, the whole edifice of liberty will fall.  The blood will be on our hands for not only, not improving, but allowing the rot of our liberty based systems.  Are you a leader?  Then you have a responsibility to learn why spiritual, economic and political freedoms rise and fall together, because you have enjoyed the fruits of the labor of the many who have led before us.  Freedom isn’t free and must be defended with a vigilance against all would be tyrants, even if the tyrant is an out of control democracy.  We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.  Here is a portion of an introduction by Murray Rothbard from his book Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, who is fast becoming one of my favorite economists.  Rothbard teaches the importance of economists branching out into the fields of politics, leadership, philosophy etc, as all areas tie together to create our endangered liberties.  Read the post and ask yourself what role you can play to defend liberty. God Bess, Orrin Woodward


Probably the most common question that has been hurled at me—in some exasperation—over the years is: "Why don't you stick to economics?" For different reasons, this question has been thrown at me by fellow economists and by political thinkers and activists of many different persuasions: Conservatives, Liberals, and Libertarians who have disagreed with me over political doctrine and are annoyed that an economist should venture "outside of his discipline."

Among economists, such a question is a sad reflection of the hyper-specialization among intellectuals of the present age. I think it manifestly true that very few of even the most dedicated economic technicians began their interest in economics because they were fascinated by cost curves, indifference classes, and the rest of the paraphernalia of modern economic theory. Almost to a man, they became interested in economics because they were interested in social and political problems and because they realized that the really hard political problems cannot be solved without an understanding of economics. After all, if they were really interested mainly in equations and tangencies on graphs, they would have become professional mathematicians and not have devoted their energies to an economic theory that is, at best, a third-rate application of mathematics. Unfortunately, what usually happens to these people is that as they learn the often imposing structure and apparatus of economic theory, they become so fascinated by the minutiae of technique that they lose sight of the political and social problems that sparked their interest in the first place. This fascination is also reinforced by the economic structure of the economics profession (and all other academic professions) itself: namely, that prestige, rewards, and brownie points are garnered not by pondering the larger problems but by sticking to one's narrow last and becoming a leading expert on a picayune technical problem.

 Among some economists, this syndrome has been carried so far that they scorn any attention to politico-economic problems as a demeaning and unclean impurity, even when such attention is given by economists who have made their mark in the world of specialized technique. And even among those economists who do deal with political problems, any consideration devoted to such larger extra-economic matters as property rights, the nature of government, or the importance of justice is scorned as hopelessly "metaphysical" and beyond the pale.

It is no accident, however, that the economists of this century of the broadest vision and the keenest insight, men such as Ludwig von Mises, Frank H. Knight, and FA. Hayek, came early to the conclusion that mastery of pure economic theory was not enough, and that it was vital to explore related and fundamental problems of philosophy, political theory, and history. In particular, they realized that it was possible and crucially important to construct a broader systematic theory encompassing human action as a whole, in which economics could take its place as a consistent but subsidiary part.

In my own particular case, the major focus of my interest and my writings over the last three decades has been a part of this broader approach—libertarianism—the discipline of liberty. For I have come to believe that libertarianism is indeed a discipline, a "science," if you will, of its own, even though it has been only barely developed over the generations. Libertarianism is a new and emerging discipline which touches closely on many other areas of the study of human action: economics, philosophy, political theory, history, even—and not least—biology. For all of these provide in varying ways the groundwork, the elaboration, and the application of libertarianism. Some day, perhaps, liberty and "libertarian studies" will be recognized as an independent, though related, part of the academic curriculum.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Why Is America Bankrupt? A Real Eye Opener...

Here is a great article that can be found at Barnett Financial's recent newsletter. 

Why Is America Bankrupt?
A Real Eye Opener...

 
There are programs that benefit non-citizens and we often don't think of them. Well putting them all together forms a bigger picture. If you think it was the War in Iraq that has been costing so much, take a look at this...

14 Reasons Why America Is Bankrupt: 

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.
 
2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
 
3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
 
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!
 
5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
 
6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens. 7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.
 
8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.
 
9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.
 
10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US.
 
11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the US from the Southern border.
 
12. The National policy Institute, estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.
 
13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances to their countries of origin.
 
14. 'The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One million sex crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants in the United States

The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 billion dollars a year and if you’re like me having trouble understanding this amount of money; it is $338,300,000,000 which could be enough to stimulate the economy for the actual citizens of this country.
 
Are we THAT stupid? YES, for letting those in the U.S. Congress get away with letting this happen year after year!!
 
If this raises the hair on the back of your neck, I hope you forward it to every legal resident in the United States AND PLEASE REMEMBER IT AT THE BALLOT BOX !!!

Verify at: http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters7fd8
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Verify at: Homeland Security Report Verify at: http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute./.org/PDF/deportation.PDF 
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michigan Conservatism?




July 27, 2010

Primary Target

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."
 - John Adams

In pundit parlance, Michigan's 6th Congressional District is most assuredly "safe Republican." Republican Fred Upton has represented that district since 1987. Yet for quite some time, the seat has not been "safe conservative."
Michigan's 6th district is a microcosm of the general arrogance and complacency of the Republican establishment against the constitutional conservatism of the Tea Party movement. If Republicans and conservatives lazily continue to return so-called moderates like Upton to Washington, the slide toward European socialism is perhaps slowed but never halted.

Long ago, Mr. Upton was himself a primary challenger. In 1986, he ran against incumbent Rep. Mark Siljander, who refused to meet Upton in debate before the primary. At the time, Upton remarked that should he one day be in Siljander's position, he would debate all comers, saying "Whoever my challenger is ... I'll debate him. I hope to be proud of my record."

Apparently, over twenty years in Congress exhausts the statute of limitations on such matters. While participating in a solitary debate recorded for later local radio broadcast, Upton has this year dodged several challenges to live debates with his primary challenger, former state representative Jack Hoogendyk. His refusal of a real-time public debate brings to mind the haughty reaction from not a few members of Congress last August when confronted by the great unwashed. Upton knows that even a cursory examination of his record will reveal that he is the sort of Republican only a Democrat could love, the sort of Republican causing almost as much damage as avowed leftists.

The Club for Growth annually ranks voting records of the various state congressional delegations, assigning weighted value to votes on taxes, budgets, earmarks, etc., to judge support for economic freedom, 100 percent being the highest score. In 2009, the average score for Republicans in Congress was nearly 83 percent; Upton's score was a dismal 64 percent, and in 2008 a horrible 39 percent.

Upton is obviously not a dyed-in-the-wool leftist; he pledged to vote against cap-and-trade, as well as to repeal national health care. But he voted for TARP and Cash for Clunkers. The guy is all over the map. When he surmises easy reelection efforts, he slides toward the left, passing out earmarks like candy. When challenged, he is suddenly conservative.

By contrast, Hoogendyk is always conservative, as evidenced by his voting record as a three-term member of the Michigan House of Representatives. In 2007, the legislature as a whole approved $1.4 billion in state tax increases and budgets configured to spend the extra revenue. All told, 155 members of the Michigan legislature voted for at least $1 billion more that the previous year's expenditures. Hoogendyk voted for only $7.5 million more. In 2003, Hoogendyk voted against a "bad driver fee" that eventually passed. He knew right away it was a government scheme to create a windfall, not a public safety initiative. He knew this because he appreciates the limitations our founders placed on government and voted accordingly.

Hoogendyk is a first-generation American -- born in the United States by the grace of God and the wisdom of his parents, who fled postwar Holland in the wake of the undeniable creep toward a socialism that saps individual initiative and the spirit of human freedom. They had a place to which to escape. But there is nowhere else to go -- this is, as Ronald Reagan said, the last stand on Earth. Hoogendyk and many other Republican primary challengers not only realize that, but they have demonstrated their commitment to first principles in state legislatures, city councils, and private enterprise. So must voters.

Conservatives fed up with squeamish Republicans in Congress have this year several opportunities to back true conservatives who understand that we live in a democratic republic, not a direct democracy wherein every single need of the people must be promptly addressed by the federal government, where "earmark" is another word for "bribe." The race in the Republican primary in Michigan's 6th district is, in stark relief, the difference between members of Congress voting as if all blessings flow from Capitol Hill and conservatives who know this madness must cease if we are to keep our republic.

Jack Hoogendyk has an established record of standing on conservative legislating and should be supported in his bid to unseat Fred Upton, a symbol of comfortably entrenched power. Hoogendyk's guiding principle may seen quaint, but he believes that no matter the issue, the primary question each member of Congress must ask himself during any debate in committee or on the floor is "What is the proper role of the federal government as outlined in the Constitution of the United States?"

Incumbents too long in their seats -- salivating over earmarks, voting based on potential challengers they can crush -- hold most of the cards when facing a primary challenge. But if real change is to come to Congress, conservatives must and can prevail at the ballot box. As it is in Michigan's 6th district, so it is around the country: "Safe Republican" is meaningless when the Republican is nothing more than a diluted Democrat.

Matthew May welcomes comments at matthewtmay@yahoo.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/primary_target.html

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Mount Vernon Statement

Very interesting read:

The Mount Vernon Statement

Constitutional Conservatism:
A Statement for the 21st Century

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding.Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.


These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The selfevident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.
A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.
  • It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.
  • It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.
  • It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
  • It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.
  • It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.
If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.
We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

February 17, 2010

http://westillholdthesetruths.org/Mount-Vernon.aspx

Friday, July 16, 2010

We Still Hold These Truths

Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future

In the midst of frenzied efforts to remake our nation—of endless government initiatives involved in virtually every aspect of our daily lives—Americans are increasingly concerned: How did we get so far off track? And how can we get America back on course?

Matthew Spalding answers these questions by looking to the timeless principles and practical wisdom that have been the source of America's monumental success. Spalding, an expert in American political history at The Heritage Foundation, the esteemed research and educational institution, calls for a great renewal of these unchanging principles—and a new appreciation of their preeminent status in our nation's life.

In We Still Hold These Truths Spalding explains and brings to life ten core principles that define us as a nation and inspire us as a people—liberty and equality, natural rights and the consent of the governed, private property and religious freedom, the rule of law and constitutionalism, all culminating in self-government at home and independence in the world. His enlightening and engaging tour through America's founding not only recalls the deep roots of our "first principles" in Western civilization but also reveals their enduring lessons for today.

http://westillholdthesetruths.org/

Sunday, July 04, 2010

America- First Principles

The Heritage Foundation- Fighting for America's founding principles.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The future of liberty depends on reclaiming America's first principles. "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization," as Thomas Jefferson warned, "it expects what never was and never will be." Widespread ignorance of American history is but the most recognized symptom of the troubling decline in popular knowledge of fundamental principles. We face an education system that upholds mediocrity in the name of relativism; an ever-expanding and centralized government, unmoored from constitutional limits; judges openly making laws and shaping society based on pop-philosophy rather than serious jurisprudence; and growing confusion over America's legitimate role in the world, made all the more apparent by the fundamental threat posed by radical Islamists. At the root of all these problems is a pervasive doubt about the core principles that define America and ought to inform our politics and policy.

As the leading public policy institution focused on American liberty, The Heritage Foundation must lead the call to awaken our country and get it back on course. We must recall the nation to its first principles, reinvigorate American constitutionalism, and revive the sturdy virtues required for self-government. We must restore the principles of America's Founders to their proper role in the public and political discourse, influencing public policy and reforming government to reflect constitutional limits. We must rebuild and unify a robust conservatism around, and in defense of, these core principles, and identify and develop current and future policymakers, opinion-makers, and leaders who understand, articulate, and will promote these principles. In short, our vision, building on the great successes of the modern conservative movement, must now be to save America by reclaiming its truths and its promises and conserving its liberating principles for ourselves and our posterity.

http://www.heritage.org/Initiatives/First-Principles

Monday, May 24, 2010

Self-Discipline: A Difference Maker

Coming out of an incredible Team Major Leadership Convention in Louisville, KY, many of us are very conscious of turning all the encouragement and vision we have been given into progress and results. Discipline is singularly the most important attribute needed to achieve any type of excellence:  personal, organizational, or other.  It is the ability to control one's impulses, emotions, desires and behavior. It is being able to turn down immediate pleasure and instant gratification in favor of gaining the long-term satisfaction and fulfillment from achieving higher and more meaningful goals.
Discipline means learning how to focus your mind and energies on your goals and persevere until they are accomplished. It means cultivating a mindset whereby you are ruled by your deliberate choices rather than by your emotions, bad habits or sway of others.
Self-discipline allows you to reach your goals in a reasonable time frame and to live a more orderly and satisfying life.
I remember hearing Orrin Woodward say a long time ago that every single one of us will be disciplined.  Either we will discipline ourselves from within and enjoy the rewards of doing so, or we will be disciplined by someone else.  Self-discipline makes the difference: Achievers get it, keep it, and employ it every day of their life.  Others don't.  Here's a great article on Discipline that I just read this morning.  Great timing indeed!
Discipline

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

All disciplines affect each other. Mistakenly the man says, “This is the only area where I let down.” Not true. Every letdown affects the rest. Not to think so is naive.

Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.

Discipline has within it the potential for creating future miracles.

The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong.

One discipline always leads to another discipline.

Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.

You don’t have to change that much for it to make a great deal of difference. A few simple disciplines can have a major impact on how your life works out in the next 90 days, let alone in the next 12 months or the next 3 years.

The least lack of discipline starts to erode our self-esteem.

“Vitamins for the Mind” is a weekly sampling of original quotes on a specific topic taken from The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn. The burgundy hardbound book with gold-foil lettering is a collection of more than 365 quotes on 60 topics gathered from Jim's personal journals, seminars and books and spanning more than 40 years. Click here to order The Treasury of Quotes.