WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS…

Make lemonade!

When Life Gives You Lemons

We’ve all heard the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” It is a cleaver way of making the best of your situation. Lemonade is such a simple thing to make, the most basic recipe uses just three ingredients. lemons, water, and sweetener of choice.  You can even make it healthy by avoiding processed white sugar. Sweeten it to your taste with stevia, or honey, just avoid the artificial sweeteners, that  stuff is worse for your health.

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Covid-19, AKA ‘the Coronavirus’ has shut down nearly the entire USA, as well as most of the world. As I happen to live in the USA, my focus is on what is happening in my country.  As of April 1st, 2020 there are over 300,000 cases of the disease in the USA, and over 8,000 deaths.  Everything is cancelled or closed. Today is Palm Sunday, next Sunday is Easter, and for the first time in the history of the USA, people will not be allowed to gather in churches to celebrate Holy Week. Any worshiping of Almighty God has been relegated to whatever private citizens are doing in the privacy of their homes, with their family members who live under the same roof. Guests need not bother visiting, least they bring the plague with them. People are scared, people are unemployed, and people need hope.

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This past week during a Covid-19 press update from the White House rose garden, President Donald J. Trump invited Michael J. Lindell to speak. Lindell was one of several CEOs present to speak at the conference, and he owns the My Pillow brand. Like many companies eager to do what they can to stop the spread of this highly infectious Coronavirus , Michael Lindell explained how his company has temporarily  stopped making pillows and re-tooled to start making surgical face masks.  He concluded his portion of the conference by encouraging people to enjoy the time spent isolated with their families, and to spend time reading their Bibles. 

As it stands at this time, the shut down continues, and will last the reminder of the month of April.

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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.– Reinhold Niebuhr, 1943  

This is the first time in the history of my country that the entire nation has been shut down for weeks. The last time we had widespread shortages and rationing was during World War II.  At Heath Evangelical Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts,  Reinhold Niebuhr first spoke his famous Serenity Prayer at a sermon delivered while the country was embattled in war. Today, like then, we are fighting a war, only it is now against an invisible enemy.  We cannot control the virus. It is a force of nature, and it must run its course.  We cannot control how long the shutdown remains in effect,  and we cannot control who dies from the disease because their immune system was just not strong enough to fight the virus. There is no cure. There is no vaccine. They can treat the symptoms, isolate you if you get it, and in extreme cases put you on a ventilator if you stop breathing, assuming there is one available.  The only thing you have control  over now is yourself.  If you are unsure of how to avoid the virus, or what to do if you are sick, consult the official US government website at  https://www.coronavirus.gov

God tells us not to waste our lives worrying about what may come to pass, or obsessing over things which we have no control over.  God is real, and God is good, ALWAYS. You can choose to curse the darkness, or you can choose to be a source of light in the world. No matter what the situation, you can choose to make the best of the hand you are dealt and rise above your circumstance.  The economic ripples from the impact of the coronavirus will be far reaching, but for now we just have to hunker down and get through it.

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For me personally, the last Sunday in April is a special anniversary. One year ago, on April 28th, 2019 I became a runner.  That was the day I ran my first ever official 5K race. Over the  course of the year I would run nearly a dozen races, including 2 half-marathons. This year I had planned to run more than two dozen races as I trained towards running my first marathon in November. Now all of my official races in April have been cancelled, as well as some in May, and possibly even some in June. I cannot go to the gym and train on a treadmill, gyms are closed. Fortunately my small pack of running friends and I have been hitting various trails and making our own fun. 

The Wolf Pack 2

Yeah, there are no race t-shirts, no medals. It’s just fun-runs. I had been looking forward to running a half-marathon on the last Sunday of this month with my friends to celebrate, but that race was cancelled. The best thing about half-marathons and up is that you get a finishers medal when you complete the race.

It is my firm intention NOT to allow this virus to destroy all the progress I have made this past year, and moving forward. My official races have been cancelled but I am doing more running now than I ever have with the support and encouragement of my friends.  Today The Pack will be running at least 8 miles. A runner runs! Just because you cannot do the things you normally would, you don’t quit! A runner runs! You find an alternative. A runner MUST run!

Going Virtual

MEDAL DASH is hosting a ‘virtual race’ The #CRUSHCORONA 5K/10K/13.1/26.2

https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/VirtualRun/CRUSHCORONA5K10K131262VIRTUALRUN

A ‘virtual race’ is one in which a person signs up online, pays the registration fee, and you run the race ANYWHERE during the appointed time period. You submit your time to the website, and they mail you your t-shirt and medal for completing the race. So today I’m going to encourage The Pack to help me celebrate on April 26th and run this virtual race when we meet this morning for our run. There’s about 8 in the group, and the line-up changes depending  if people are available to run when we meet up. Usually it’s always been about 4 or 5 at a time.  At least two of them will definitely run 13.1 miles with me, and another two may opt to go 10K. If it rains that date, we’ll do it the following week. You can’t control the weather, and The #CRUSHCORONA 5K/10K/13.1/26.2 virtual race can be run any time prior to May 31st. 

Now some people are un-employed at the moment due to this shut down, and maybe paying money for a virtual seems frivolous. My situation is good, for now.

There is also a totally FREE series of virtual races The UnCancelled Project offered by RUN THE EDGE just for fun during the month of April, and I will be doing these as well.

https://runtheedge.com/pages/un-canceled-project-registration

Being healthy is your best defense against COVID-19. Getting outside for fresh air and exercise is recommended by public health officials in most areas at this time, but precautions are necessary. It’s important to follow careful guidelines:

  •  DON’T go out if you’re sick! Stay home and help protect others.
  •  DON’T organize workouts in large groups. Keep it small.
  • DO announce your presence to others to help maintain the recommended six feet of social distance.
  • DO stay informed on your local rules and regulations in response to COVID-19.

The Wolf Pack

If you are in an area that’s under a total lock-down, use your time at home wisely and do things to improve yourself.  There are all sorts of home exercise programs you can start, if you have the internet, you have the sum total of human knowledge at your fingertips! Read, especially read The Bible. Catch up on all those chores you’ve been putting off. Don’t just sit there feeling sorry for yourself, enjoy your life! As always I wish you success and happiness!

THE RIGHT STUFF!

Health begins with proper nutrition!

THE RIGHT STUFF

The Right Stuff is the title of an award winning 1979 book written by Tom Wolfe about the early test pilots who were selected for the Mercury program to be the first American Astronauts. It was later adapted as a movie in 1983 starring Ed Harris and Scott Glenn. America’s first astronauts were the finest specimens of humanity of their era. Physically and mentally fit with bodies of iron and nerves of steel, these men literally went  where no man had gone before. I’m not being sexist, at the dawn of the USA’s space program, it was exclusively a ‘boys club’. Russia sent the first woman to space , cosmonaut  Valentina Tereshkova  in the Vostok 6 mission on June 16, 1963. The US finally followed suit more than two decades later when the first female American astronaut Sally Ride flew up on the Challenger space shuttle, on June 18th, 1983.

The point is, these early space pioneers achieved the pinnacle of human health WITHOUT the  hundreds of nutritional supplements being marketed today. The vast majority of these so-called ‘Elixirs of Life‘ really are little more than ‘snake oil’ which is an old term for any worthless concoction sold as a cure-all or medicine.  So how did these men get so healthy you might ask? Simple, they ate right and exercised.

There is no ‘magic pill’. Diet pills are short-term fixes that work briefly and you usually gain back all the weight lost quite rapidly once you stop taking them. If you do keep taking them long term, they cause side effects and your body begins to build up a tolerance so that any benefits that may have been there in the beginning are lost at the end.  Worse yet,  every time you introduce a new drug into your body, whether it’s herbal,  natural, pharmaceutical, or chemical, you are altering the biochemistry of your body and wrecking your metabolism.  In essence, you’re making it harder for your body to function the way God intended it to work. ( The power that made the body has the power to heal the body, within reason, and  over time.)    

Save your money, and stick to the these seven essential nutrients :

Water, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids (fats), vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.  

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The key is, based upon your age, gender, height, weight and activity level, you will need to have the RIGHT AMOUNTS of THE RIGHT STUFF.  It’s like trying to keep seven plates spinning on the tips of sticks. You have to do the work, put in the time, and monitor the situation carefully or it all comes crashing down.

It took me YEARS of trying and failing and trying AGAIN to find the RIGHT combination of diet and exercise that works for ME. Three years ago, I weighed 75-80 lbs. more than I do today. I could not run a mile. Now I can run more than thirteen miles, and I’m slowly working my way up towards running a full marathon in November. A full marathon is 26.2 miles. I am healthier then I have been probably since before I was in college. I certainly was thinner and younger then, but I wasn’t this strong, and running a marathon was the furthest thing from my young,  college mind.  I still have ways to go, but I am improving,  I am on the path, and I am sticking to the plan. It’s a journey, NOT a destination.

So HOW MUCH is enough?

Let’s start simple.

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Water, pure clean water.

Your body is mostly water. Overall, it comprises about two-thirds of our body.

The average adult needs to drink about 8 glasses of water per day. That’s 64 oz. total or almost two liters if you live outside the US and use the metric system. If you are a professional athlete, or exerting under high heat you might need to double that amount. The key is to maintain your body’s normal level of hydration and replaces any water lost due to sweat, urination, or breath.

Next, We look at protein, fats, and carbs. These BIG three comprise the bulk of our food.

According to the Standard American Diet or SAD, the daily amount of calories needed is between 2000 and 2500. It varies from individual to individual, again based on size, gender, and age. Most nutritional labels do go with the 2000 calories. (Some experts recommend up to 2500.)    
Food is FUEL to an athlete. You need to eat food to live, you should never, ever live just to eat food. Yes, we all have that Pavlovian  response when thinking of our favorite foods, but food is simply just fuel for the body.

According to the 40-30-30 diet rule, aka The Zone Diet, 40% of our daily calorie intake should be from carbs, with the rest split equally between fats and protein. Again if you are an athlete trying to build muscle, you may want to switch that 40% to protein, and cut the carbs down to 30%.

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Carbohydrates (carbs)

Carbohydrates come in two types, simple and complex. You DO need both. Complex carbs need to be broken down by the body before being burned as fuel or stored as fat.

Fats

Fats naturally come in two varieties, saturated, and unsaturated.  A ‘THIRD’ type of fats are so-called transfats.  Transfats  are NOT naturally occurring and are man-made in a lab. Avoid transfats at all costs! Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and tend to come from animal sources. An example is butter made from milk. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are plant based.  You want the majority of your fats to be unsaturated, but you do need some saturated fats in your diet as well. The jury is still out on exactly how much you  need, but best to keep the saturated fats to a bare minimum.

Protein

The recommended daily intake for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to: 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man. 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.  Again athletes require greater amounts of protein to build lean muscle, which in turn stokes their metabolism allowing them to burn fats and carbohydrates faster and more efficiently.    

Protein can come from either plant or animal sources. Plant proteins tend to be incomplete proteins, with a few exceptions like buckwheat, quinoa, hempseed, and soybeans. Protein is comprised of 20 amino acids; 11 of these amino acids are produced by the human body. For good health, we must get the other nine amino acids (called “essential amino acids”) from the foods we eat.  Since animal bodies work the same way human bodies do, meat is a complete protein.  

Dietary Fiber

Dietary Fiber comes in two varieties, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and it improves digestion and lowers blood sugar. Insoluble fiber aids with excretion.

Everything Else

This just leaves us with vitamins and minerals. There are 19 essentials on that list:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine or Thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium.
  • Chromium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin K
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Again, as for how much of each of these you actually need, going with the US FDA recommended daily allowances is a safe bet. Look them up online, or read the back of most multivitamins for the amounts of each.  Some of these will pass harmlessly through your body if you decide to mega-dose, and you’ll just end up producing expensive urine. Others can store up in your body and reach toxic levels. For example, too much potassium in your blood will KILL you!

Almost every nutrient you just read about should be present in your diet IF you eat a healthy diet of whole foods and have a decent variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains mixed in with your choice of proteins and fats. Always remember that the absolute best thing you can ever drink is pure, clean  water.

By sticking with proper nutrition and a regular exercise program, you will give your body all the tools it needs to maintain proper function. Your immune system will operate at peak efficiency and you will avoid many illnesses and medical expenses. There are no guarantees in life, sometimes you will get sick despite doing all the right things. But, your chances are far better when you do the right things and stick with the right stuff!

As always, I wish you success and happiness!   

Make time for R&R!

Vacations are important!

make time for RR

R&R  is a military abbreviation for “rest and recuperation” or “rest and relaxation”. As you are probably aware, I recently returned from a two week vacation at the shore. My weekly blog InstantCoffeeWisdom went on hiatus for about a month during this much needed personal time. The main reasons I publish these weekly articles is to educate and motivate you to be the happiest and most successful  person you can be.  Often times people get into a funk where they have convinced themselves that they cannot escape their circumstances and this negativity leads to depression. Success means different things to different people, but no matter the definition , achieving success always come with an ego boost.  Success is powered by positivity. You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. This is where the importance of vacations come into play. In some parts countries vacations are referred to as holidays. No matter what you call it, it’s still a get-away-from-it-all time that you need to clear your head and get back into the game.

Vacations require three things: Time, money, and planning.

For the vast majority of people, the BIGGEST reason that holds them back from vacationing is money. Again, that is why I stress the importance of the 52 Week Challenge, which was my very first blog post two years ago after returning from a much needed vacation.   The first year of articles dealt with personal finances, the second year expounded on how finances are  impacted by ‘the bigger picture’ of the world, and now we are covering time, because time IS money.

Excluding the day we are born and the day we die, we each get a full 24 hours each day to use however we choose. It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, young or old, health or not.  Plan your time accordingly. Successful people tend to over schedule their days to maximize productivity. Often times they are convinced that they cannot leave the job because no one else can do it as well as they do.  There are people who work themselves sick, and in extreme cases, to death. It’s NOT worth it. No one on their death bed ever lamented about not spending enough time at the office.  I have come back from many a vacation to find some disaster piled on my desk, or to hear some tale of woe reported to me by a customer. Yes, it’s a major downer at that moment, but it’s certainly not the end of the world.  In a few days everything is back to normal,  ship-shape in Bristol fashion.  The work will always be there, even when we are not. When you die, your inbox will never be empty.

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Vacations are biblical!

 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”– Jesus  (Mark 2:27)

All things are created by God, including the day of rest known as a Sabbath. The time that we have here on Earth was given to us by God, and we are stewards of everything we possess. God wants us to be happy and successful, but He also gave us free will, and  we do self-destructive things to ourselves and then try to blame God for our poor choices.  Some Christians occasionally use the argument that it’s ungodly to waste money on vacations when there are poor people starving in the world and that money could be spent better on them.  If you feel guilty about spending money on vacation, make a contribution to a Christian charity of your choice. Would you intentionally starve yourself to death because there’s a poor person starving to death somewhere in the world?  That’s like saying it’s wrong to buy a house because there are homeless people. It’s nonsense. That’s why the Bible is such an important book to read to show us the proper way to live our lives. People make mistakes. God never makes mistakes.  And the God gives us numerous examples for us to follow. The former pastor of my church, now retired, once gave a sermon that tied two-week summer vacations to the Bible. There is a week-long Feast of Tabernacles described (Lev 23:33-44)  which takes place on the 15th day of the 7th month, every year. There’s other events that precede and follow, and planning that needs to be done.  Pastor Miller claimed this was a model that God gave us for an annual two week work break from our normal routine to rest, take fellowship, and worship the Lord. It may be a stretch, but he had a point. If Jesus Christ himself took time to rest and relax, He would want us to go, and do likewise.  God is good always! The United States is a great nation with many beautiful places for vacations. If you’re fortunate enough to live here, than you should praise God for the freedom and liberty granted or you to pursue your happiness. Every day you waste is a day you will never get back, so make the most of your time and live your life to the fullest! God wants you to be happy and successful, (and so do I) but you have to take the steps to make it happen.  As always, I wish you success and happiness!  

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DREAM BIG!

Just start small!

dream big

Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo da Vinci as the prime exemplar of the ‘Universal Genius’ or ‘Renaissance Man’, an individual of unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination., He is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.  Leonardo da Vinci was also possibly the greatest painter of all time. He died just over five hundred years ago at age 67 on the 2nd of May,  1519.   Leonardo da Vinci  dabbled in many different fields. He was a dreamer.  His surviving  journals  contain sketches and diagrams of fantastic devices such as flying machines and military tanks. Funny thing though. He NEVER published his discoveries and kept his journals secret.  He also NEVER built any of the machines he envisioned.  On his deathbed, he is said to have lamented that “he had offended against God and men by failing to practice his art as he should have done.”

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“But he was a great painter” you may be saying to yourself.  What you do with your life, and what you WANT to do with your life are two entirely different things. da Vinci was great at painting, but painting was his JOB. It was how he financed his livelihood. He may have been passionate about it and enjoyed doing it, but there was more to life that the man dreamed  of doing. For whatever reason, he just never did the things he REALLY wanted to do. Regret is a terrible thing.

There are many reasons why people do what they do, and just as many reasons why they don’t.  You can break the reasons down any way you choose, but I prefer to narrow them down to five.

The five reasons people don’t do things come from weakness–

  • Ignorance
  • Fear
  • Indifference
  • Laziness
  • Spite (Or Hate if you prefer)

The five reasons people do things from strength–

  • Wisdom
  • Courage
  • Caring
  • Determination
  • Love

We are not born strong. We grow strong by working on our strengths. It isn’t instant, it takes time but it will not happen unless we start. Starting is the key to going down the path of life that we wish to pursue. We have to do it ourselves, no one can do it for us, and it can be a truly terrifying thing to begin to do something you’ve never done before.  It is the determination and courage that keeps us going. With each new success we gain the wisdom of knowing that we can do it. We did it before and we can do it again. In time we begin to enjoy and even love the little bumps in life’s road because we see them as challenges to overcome instead of obstacles blocking our path.  You only get one life here on planet Earth, there are no do-overs or dress rehearsals.   Life is meant to be lived! Instead of merely choosing to EXIST I urge you to experience LIFE, I urge you to LIVE. It is okay to dream, and dream BIG, but more importantly, YOU MUST START! Don’t be afraid to start small. Great things grow from modest beginnings. Baby steps are your friend, not a source of ridicule. Just do it. Ignore all the naysayers  and negative know-it-alls. Their dreams have long since died and they can’t stand to see you succeed where they have failed, and. Now the only way they can feel good about themselves is by bringing you down. What they think of you says more about them than it does about you.  You need to cut ties with all the negativity in your life. This goes for both things and people. If it’s not helping you to grow, it’s holding you back  and poisoning your  mind with negativity, fear, and doubt. You will never have a positive life if you have a negative mind.

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When I first started http://www.InstantCoffeeWisdom.com  on Sept 10th, 2017 I did it with one goal in mind. That goal was to prove that the life you wish to lead was within your grasp. It wasn’t going to be given to you, you had to work for it if you really wanted it, and it was there for the taking if you did. The first blog post was THE 52 WEEK CHALLENGE . The entire first year was spent producing weekly posts to show you ways to cut costs, save money, and budget. I focused on microeconomics , or personal finance in order to educate you to the larger issues. What good does it do to discuss index funds if you don’t even have two pennies to rub together? And how could you possibly even comprehend the national debt if you don’t know how to balance your own budget?  The second year was spent focusing on macroeconomics, and explaining as well as demonstrating the interconnectivity of the three big no-nos      of polite conversation: politics, religion and finance.  By sharing my ideas, knowledge, and opinions, I not only encouraged you to improve your life, I also re-enforced my own goals and improved my life as well. I am not some ‘do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrite,  I’m sharing my success stories with you and encouraging you to ignore the fake news  and trust me when I tell you this is all for the best. If you have the privilege of living in America you have a charmed life. We currently have a great President who is doing everything in the best interest of the country,  and putting America First. This is a land of endless opportunity and you can dream big. You can succeed easily if you are willing to do the work. Always remember American ends in “I CAN”!   

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If you only started reading my blog recently, I encourage you to begin reading at the beginning over the next few weeks while http://www.InstantCoffeeWisdom.com  goes on hiatus during my summer vacation. This year I’m spending even more time at the beach, enjoying my new Jeep, and running my first half-marathon  the Saturday after Labor Day.  I hope you have an awesome rest of the Summer and  as always, I wish you success and happiness!

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HERE’S THE SKINNY!

Words of wisdom from ‘the Mayor of Hollenbach St.’

heres the skinny

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The ‘Skinny’ is a slang term meaning the inside story, or the real truth.  The first use of this term is listed as being 1959 and may have developed out of other related slang phrases like ‘trimming the fat’ or ‘getting to the meat of the matter’.  It’s appropriate because sometimes truth can be hidden under layers of deceptions so thick that all you can see is the big fat lie being presented and not the real truth. You may also of heard another catchy phrase, ‘you are what you eat’. That is a bit older and was first used by French author Anthelme Brillant-Savarin in 1826. It also needn’t apply to physical food but can also relate to concepts, knowledge and motivations.  What you put into your mind changed the way you think and becomes the lens with which you perceive reality.  Wearing ‘rose-colored glasses’ doesn’t change reality either, it just changes the way you view things and means having a positive outlook. That phrase goes back to about 1830.

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Mahatma Gandhi was a man of peace who freed India  from British rule in 1947. He is attributed with the pithy quote ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’, but this is not his actual quote, just a highly shortened paraphrase of the wordy quote listed at the beginning of this blog post. He wasn’t  Christian, but he had some good things to say about life and living.

If you ingest a constant stream of negative, depressing, miserable lies, you will become negative, depressed, and miserable. The lies will become your reality, and you will call truth a lie whenever you hear it. If you put garbage into your mind, you get garbage out   so remember that. GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT or G.I.G.O. for short.  It is no wonder that the phenomena labeled ‘TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROM’ has been coined to describe leftists who totally lose their minds whenever conservatives praise our wonderful president for all the good that he has accomplished (and continues accomplishing) during his first term in office.  It’s also why conservatives claim that ‘Liberalism is a mental disorder’ sometimes even go so far as to label them ‘Libtards’.  Libtards truly believe the lies and fake news they hear, see, and read. For them, Donald J. Trump is literally the same as Hitler, and all his followers are racists , misogynists,  gun nuts. They think socialism is a wonderful idea and believe in a free lunch . They ignore the fact that unemployment is at a historic low, the stock market is at new record highs on a weekly basis, and our wages have increased while taxes have dropped. And they are aghast that we are going to re-elect Trump in 2020.  

The modern Democratic party has done more harm to the American way of life than can possibly be written in a single article. Whole books have been written. Saul Alinsky’s protégés had nearly succeeded when Trump upset their apple cart in 2016! You may ask yourself why any sane person would want to destroy their homeland, especially a shining beacon of hope and freedom such as the USA. 

That’s easy.  It’s because they are globalists who reject American exceptionalism and crave power at all costs. To them American citizens are nothing but cattle, a resource to be controlled and exploited.  Wolves like fat sheep.

The Mayor of Hollenbach St.

If you go to the intersection of Schuylkill Ave and Hollenbach St. in Reading PA, you will see a mural painted on the side of a house. The portrait is of my late friend and former co-worker Harvey W. Kimble.  Harvey died from a fatal heart attack on January 19th 2014. He was only 55. He owned several properties on that small city block, several of which he rented out as Section 8 housing.  He lived in one house on the block with his family. He was a US Marine, a postal letter carrier, and a very kind and caring man. I never saw him in a bad mood or angry, and he always had a smile on his face that lit up the room. He cared about everyone, and the people on HIS block called HIM the Mayor of Hollenbach St. He always had lollipops for children and would give you the shirt off his back. A great guy.

Hollenbach

Harvey was also very up on politics and current events and studied the newspaper daily, clipping articles for his files. He would write up editorials and pass out copies to his friends. I always kept the copies he gave me, which was a good thing because one day his hard drive got accidentally re-formatted and he lost everything EXCEPT the dozen hard copies he had handed me over the years. Perhaps his most important editorial story was an allegory titled THE SKINNY COW.  Harvey encouraged people to think for themselves and read between the lines. Always remember that ANYTHING the government provides was first taken from someone else. If you wonder why  the DNC continues to entice it’s base with offers of FREE FOOD, FREE COLLEGE, FREE HOUSING, and FREE MEDICAL CARE you really need to read the SKINNY COW, which I now present in its entirety.

 THE SKINNY COW By Harvey W. Kimble ©2002

There once was a skinny cow. A lonely, scared skinny cow. One day The Farmer came along and told The Cow, “Come along with me I’ll take care of you. Don’t worry about the food. Don’t worry about the water. Don’t worry about a nice, warm, dry place to lie, I’ll take care of you, you can trust me. You can depend on me to be there for you”. The Cow could eat, drink and sleep without worries. The Cow was happy and satisfied not a care in the world. The Farmer gave The Cow some special hay, which made The Cow eat more and sleep. The Cow loved this new life-style and thought it would last forever.

The Cow did nothing to disturb The Farmer. The Cow stayed where The Farmer said stay, walked where The Farmer said walk, ate when The Farmer said eat. The Cow utterly respected The Farmer. The Cow, always trying to please, wouldn’t even pass gas when The Farmer was near. The Farmer told The Cow “It was special and better than those other cows. Don’t worry; I’m here for you, I’ll take care of you. You can depend on me. I’m here for you. You can trust me. Don’t I take care of you? Here, eat some more special hay, just for you”. The Cow really believed it was better than those other cows because The Farmer said so, then happily ate the hay.

One day there was a commotion by the fence. The Cow never went close to the fence to see what the other cows was looking at even when they called The Cow over saying “There’s a hole in the fence come see the other side”. The other cows saw things they wasn’t supposed to see and started talking about it. The Farmer didn’t like that so he locked the other cows in the barn, while telling The Cow “Watch out, don’t trust those other cows they’re nothing but a bunch of lying, troublemaking, know nothing, jealous cows. Trust me, they won’t get much food or water and might not have a place to sleep if they keep it up”. The Farmer gave The Cow some more special hay, a pat on the head then said, “Trust me, you’re not like those other cows you’re a good cow, one I can talk to, you can depend on me to be there for you”. Then the Farmer walked away, smiling, on his way home, leaving The Cow near but not with the other cows.

When the other cows stared telling some of their horror stories of the things that they had seen, The Cow didn’t listen and even defended The Farmer. Telling the other cows not to worry, we have food, water, and a place to sleep. The Farmer will take care of us. We can trust The Farmer. We can depend on The Farmer. The other cows told The Cow not to believe everything you’re told and if The Farmer does something, it’s because he will benefit from it. The Cow turned his rump to those trouble-making cows and refused to listen. The Cow always avoided those scary troublemaking cows.

The Cow soon became the favorite of The Farmer. The Cow got extra food and water while the other cows went without. The Farmer was always telling The Cow, “It’s their fault they don’t have enough to eat, enough to drink or a place to sleep. Don’t worry trust me. I’ll take care of you. Don’t worry yourself about them, it’s all their fault anyhow”. The Cow believed, trusted and loved The Farmer more than those other cows. The Cow had dreams of becoming a farmer. The Cow grew to be healthy, plump and soft. Never talking to or looking at those other, now skinny, cows. Never looking back at its past. Never reflecting on its action. Never thinking back to just a few short months ago. Never thinking about tomorrow. Just surviving day to day thanks to The Farmer. Thank you Farmer. All thanks to The Farmer. ALL THANKS to The Farmer.

One day The Farmer took The Cow for a walk. At the end of the walk, he told The Cow to stand in line with those other healthy cows and move forward. Before leaving he told The Cow, “Don’t worry, I’ll be here to take care of you. I’ll see you in the barn my special, favorite cow”. The Cow couldn’t see far enough ahead to see where the line ended, so The Cow moved forward with the heard. When the cow behind asked The Cow to ask the cow ahead what was happening The Cow said, “Don’t ask any questions, don’t worry, we just have to do what The Farmer said and move forward. Trust The Farmer.

The Cow could now see the barn door, which let one cow in at a time. After standing in line for ours, The Cow wanted nothing more than to get through that door, out of the sun and to The Farmer for some special hay. Rumors began about how cows go in but not out, it don’t make any sense. Something weird is going on. The Cow said, “Don’t worry and don’t listen to that crazy talk just move forward. The Farmer will take care of us. Trust The Farmer”.

The door opened. The cow ahead moved through the door. The door closed.

The Cow heard a muffled cry, silence then laugher.

The door opened. Too late The Cow became worried. The Cow didn’t know what was on the other side. The Cow wondered what the other cows had seen. The Cow tried to back up but the cow behind said, “Don’t worry, move forward, I see your friend The Farmer inside”. The cow moved forward. The door closed. The Cow slipped in something that looked like blood. The Cow closed its eyes not believing what it was seeing. Afraid, scared, confused and unsure, The Cow squeezed its eyes shut tighter. Then The Cow heard the soothing voice of The Farmer saying “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you”. Reassured, The Cow opened its eyes in time to see The Farmer standing overhead swinging a sledgehammer with all his might straight to its head. The shocked and unbelieving cow gave a muffled cry and dropped dead. A friend of The Farmer gave him a pat on the back then said, “You sure took care of that cow”. The Farmer said, “Yea. I always said I would”. Then laughed while opening the barn door.

THE END

I hope reading THE SKINNY COW by my late friend Harvey W. Kimble has enlightened and entertained you. As always I wish you success and happiness.

DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Pulling the plug on the Deep State.

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Since winning the 2016 election for U.S. President, Donald J. Trump has kept ticking items off his campaign  ‘To Do List’. In less than three years, he has accomplished more positive things for our great nation than any prior president, except George Washington. Despite his growing list of accomplishments Trump has been constantly and continuously attacked by the liberal media and members of the Deep State.  Having done his very best to accomplish to deliver on his Make America Great Again campaign slogan, Donald J. Trump needs to win re-election in 2020 in order to Keep America Great.  The ‘Deep State’ refers to the self-righteous, egotistical, and subversive people who have infiltrated the US Congress and have raided the treasury as if it were their own private piggy bank. Many of these so-called representatives like Maxine Walters, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi have done nothing besides claiming to be working in the best interest of their constituents. Many areas like the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York have gradually become crime zones with outrageously high taxes under Democratic leadership.  Donald J. Trump has been working to ‘Drain the Swamp’ of American politics by removing these swamp rats from office, but he needs your help to do this. The American people are the ones who voted these destructive elements into office, and the American People are the ones who must also vote them out.  Mind you, these people are USUALLY Democrats but there are a few RINO (Republican In Name Only) Republicans who need to go as well. Not all states have term limits regarding their representatives in congress,   and some of these negative elements have exploited this loop hole to remain in power for decades, if not for life.  They will say anything negative about Trump in order to retain their stranglehold over the American People.  We have the power. Congress work FOR US, and we can effectively FIRE THEM by voting in competent reformers. 

What does a member of Congress do?

Members of Congress represent the people of their district in the United States Congress by holding hearings, as well as developing and voting on legislation. All bills must pass Congress before they can go to the President to be signed into law.

What are the qualifications to run for office in the House of Representatives and Senate?

The required qualifications are found in Article 1 of the Constitution:

House of Representatives                                                                                                                     

  • 25 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States for at least 7 years
  • At the time of election, be a resident of the state

U.S. Senate

  • 30 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States for 9 years
  • At the time of election, be a resident of the state

How many members of Congress are there?

There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

How long do members of Congress’ terms last?

Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are considered for reelection every even year. Senators however, serve six-year terms and elections to the Senate are staggered over even years so that only about 1/3 of the Senate is up for reelection during any election.

How many members of Congress come from each state?

Each state sends two Senators to represent their state in the U.S. Senate. However, in the House of Representatives, a state’s representation is based on its population.  For example, smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative while large states like California have 53 representatives. (This is why Democrats want to eliminate the Electoral College. If they did, smaller states would never have a voice in government and the ‘big states’ would pick the president.)

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How many people do congressmen and senators represent?

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives each represent a portion of their state known as a Congressional District, which averages 700,000 people. Senators however, represent the entire state.

How do the House and Senate chambers differ?

In the House of Representatives, the majority party holds significant power to draft chamber rules and schedule bills to reach the floor for debate and voting. In most cases, House rules will limit debate so that important legislation can be passed during one legislative business day.

In the Senate however, the majority has the power to schedule when various bills come to the floor for voting but a single Senator can slow legislation from coming to the floor for a vote. Since debate in the Senate is not concluded until 60 senators vote for a cloture motion to approve a bill for consideration, the majority must also coordinate with the minority part to set the rules for debate on legislation. Under this system, legislation can be debated for one or two weeks on the Senate floor alone.

Why does Congress use the committee system?

Congress deals with a broad variety of different policy issues and it is more efficient to have work done at the committee level than on the House or Senate floor. In addition, this system allows members to gain expertise in specific issue areas they are interested in. Throughout history, committees have been created to address particular issues before Congress. The House has 23 committees while the Senate has a total of 20 committees.

How does a bill become a law?

Passing legislation into law is a complicated and lengthy process between the House and Senate before the bill is presented before the President to be signed into law. For a thorough explanation of the legislation process, please see the How a Bill Becomes a Law section on the House website.

Do Members of Congress pay into the social security system?

YES. Since January 1, 1984, all Members of Congress participate in the Social Security system and are required to pay Social Security taxes.

What kind of retirement plan do Members of Congress have?

Members of Congress who were elected after 1984 are automatically enrolled in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). 

What kind of health care do Members of Congress receive?

As written into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111-205), on January 1, 2014, Members of Congress are no longer eligible for health plans offered to federal government employees.  They instead must enroll in the District of Columbia’s Health Exchange in order to obtain employment related health plan coverage.   

Remember, these snakes and swamp rats need to be held accountable. Some have become multimillionaires by accepting lobbyist money while their districts have fallen into poverty.  President Trump accepts no salary as president. He is only the third president to do so, the other two were Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy.  You need to examine the issues potential replacement candidates stand in favor of, or against. Once elected you need to examine their voting record before re-electing them.  It will take time, but it can be done, you can help Trump Keep American Great. As always, I wish you success and happiness!          

THE BLAME GAME!

Whose fault is it?

The Blame Game

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”Lou Holtz

When you were younger, you thought you could conquer the world  but somewhere along the way you let the world get the best of you. Maybe you tried and failed. Maybe someone told you it was impossible. Maybe fear held you back.  Soon, it became easier for you to just shift the blame for your lack of success on everyone else. They never taught you. They held you back. They won’t help.  They, they, they… never YOU!

 

When you were a child, your parents may have mollycoddled you but once you turned eighteen, you gained certain legal rights granted to adults. You no longer needed a nanny, so it was no longer a question of who’s minding you . I’m going to clue you in on two important secrets which when you utilize them, will give you an incredible edge on your path to success.  No gimmicks, nothing to buy. These two secrets are yours absolutely free. These two secrets will give you incredible power to achieve your goals in life. Are you excited yet? You should be, because these two secrets when used properly will change your entire life.

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THE FIRST SECRET

The ‘THEY’ that are holding ‘YOU’ back are very real, and they don’t want you to succeed.  You don’t need to know who THEY are, just that THEY exist.  THEY can include the liberal media which feeds you negative messages, questionable entertainment, and fake news.  THEY can include the corrupt government officials behind the Deep State that inhabits the D.C. Swamp, which President Trump is fighting to drain. THEY can even include your family and friends, who messed up their own lives and need you to mess up yours too because misery loves company. THEY are real, and THEY want you to fail.  Their goal in life is to control every aspect of your life by manipulating your thoughts with a steady stream of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ or G.I.G.O.  And IF you lose all hope that things will improve by listening to their negativity, THEY WILL WIN!

Now you may be thinking ‘how does this first secret help me?’  Knowledge is power, and knowing is half the battle. If you think of SUCCESS as a ‘road’, and the THEY as ‘potholes’ in the road, by avoiding the ‘potholes’ you will move faster and easier down the ‘road of success’. Which brings us to the second secret.  

“The size of your success is measures by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.” – Robert Kiyosaki

THE SECOND SECRET

The second secret is that the power THEY have over YOU is an illusion which YOU allow them to have.  You do not have to give them that power. You don’t have to listen to their negativity. You don’t have to acknowledge their lies. YOU are stronger than THEY are. You have the power to be all that you can be! It’s  very easy to play the blame game and blame everyone else for are failures. The reality is that we are responsible for the vast majority of the decisions we make in our lives. The GOOD ones, the BAD ones, and even the MONUMENTALLY STUPID ones.  If you have the privilege of living in The United States of America, then you also have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your goals and achieve whatever level of success you choose. If you’re a failure, it’s because you chose not to be a success.  At some point, you stopped listening to the possibilities YOU told yourself existed,  and YOU listened to the lies and impossibilities THEY told you. When you quit, they won. You need to own that. And if you want to change that, you need to start TODAY.  Winners never quit, and quitters never win. If you really want to be a success, you can never quit.  More importantly than not quitting,  you have to start. It doesn’t matter if you fail, try again, but don’t quit no matter what. THEY may call you crazy, obsessed, stupid, or out of touch with reality. What THEY say and think has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them.  YOU are capable of anything you choose to do. You just have to want it, and you have to work for it. Success does NOT happen overnight. It takes time and effort.

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“Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”–Russell Warren

The future’s so bright, I gotta’ wear shades!

For the past two years, I’ve been sharing my knowledge and advice in order to help you achieve a happy and successful life. I can honestly say that my life has never been better, and it’s improving on a regular basis. I worked my way out of the poverty I was born into, listened to wise council, and avoided many pitfalls in life by examining the mistakes of others, and avoiding those errors.  I wanted a better life. and I worked for everything I’ve achieved.  I am a lifelong Republican, and have been a Christian since college.  I live in a great country, and I have a great president.  I started running a few months ago, ran my first 5K race in April, will be running my first 15K race today July 7th 2019, and in two months I will be running my first half-marathon. In May of this year, I purchased the Jeep I’ve wanted to own for the past decade. As a result, I now currently own THREE automobiles.  If you don’t believe that success and happiness are within your power, let me assure you, it is possible, but it takes time, and YOU have to work for it. No one can do it for you. Success, or failure, it’s all up to YOU. As Always I wish you success and happiness!

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