Surrender your Liberty, because well, it’s for your own good??

 

Unless you just came out of a coma in the last couple days, you’ve probably noticed our country is facing something unlike anything it’s ever faced before.  You might think I’m talking about the Covid-19 Coronavirus, and yes, that is partially what I’m writing about today, but what is truly unprecedented is the action taken by our government in this extraordinary time of crisis.  This is truly unlike anything that has taken place since the founding of our country and more specifically since our constitution was written.  We now find ourselves at what I believe may be a turning point, and one that is most likely not for the good, no matter how good the intentions behind what is currently taking place in our country.

A phrase that most people have heard a time or plenty, and a principle that I can vouch for personally through several personal life experiences, is “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  This is the primary reason that I subscribe to the political philosophy that I do, and also live by the motto, “I make decisions based on logic and common sense vs. feelings and emotions”.  Peoples’ emotions, rather than logic and proven results for certain actions, often drive their decision making process and as such, with the purest of intentions, bad and often harmful results are the product of said actions.  I believe we are now faced, as a country, with the most crucial and critical of circumstances, and I’m afraid that what is happening may result in a precedent that will forever be to our detriment, though at this very moment it seems like it is the right thing to do, because it “feels” right.

What am I talking about you might ask?  Well, setting aside what I already stated individuals should have done preceding this global crisis, (see Government is Not Your Daddy) , we are now faced with a situation where our individual liberties, that are supposed to be protected by the constitution, are being “temporarily” suspended by the government that is supposed to uphold that constitution.  Thankfully, up to this point, our President has not federalized a stay in place order, or overstepped the bounds of the federal government, but has backed up the state governments in their requests in every way possible.  This concept of federalism is lost on far too many these days, but is exactly the way it’s supposed to be by design.  Ironically, many of this president’s biggest critics, who are constantly making baseless claims that this president is a fascist dictator like figure, are the same ones calling for the president to use the force and power of the federal government in a way that it was never intended, to dictate the actions of, and restrict the liberties of the individual.  We are not a country, and were never designed nor intended to have an all-powerful, top down federal government.

With that said, mark my words when I say, the unprecedented actions of our state governments in this extraordinary time of crisis, or God forbid if the federal government steps in and begins to do the same, may be a means to an end for this temporary nightmare we are all living in at this moment in time, but may unleash a monster the likes of which liberty loving individuals will pray they never met.

My whole adult life I’ve watched as power hungry politicians describe this event, or that crisis, or some made up boogey man as an “existential threat”.  This type of hyperbole is primarily one sided, but not completely exclusive to one party.  Examples of “existential threats” include, but are not by a long-shot limited to, ozone layer depletion, our dependence on fossil fuels, our dependence on foreign oil, our dependence on coal, greenhouse gas emissions, global cooling, global warming, Donald Trump, capitalism, socialism, etc., etc…  The list goes on and on, and politicians love to keep people in fear because it keeps them in power.  Rahm Emanuel once said “never let a good crisis go to waste”, and a sitting Democrat US Senator recently said something to the effect of “the covid-19 crisis is an opportunity for us to push things in the direction we want to govern” when discussing one of the covid-19 relief bills.  Very little, in fact almost nothing, scares me, but to quote Ronald Reagan, one of the scariest phrases any freedom loving American will ever here is, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

I can wrap up all I’ve said in this writing by making this point.  Today, over 200 million Americans are under mandatory stay-at-home orders to be enforced by some local or state government body, for your, mine and our own good.  Today it is a virus, and the merits of such an order can be debated until the cows come home, but if you believe that this is the last time our liberties as individuals will be inhibited in this way, for our own good, or the good of the collective, I’ve got some oceanfront property to sell you in southern Minnesota.  We just have to wait to go see it until the governor says it’s OK…

 

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Attention Class of 2020, and Parents!! It’ll change your life, I can promise you that!

 

I’ve heard a lot of parents with high school seniors lately worried that this “lockdown” due to the Covid-19 coronavirus will ruin their kid’s senior year.  I know that things like hanging out with friends, dances, sports and the like will be severely hampered, but, is that really what high school is all about?  I mean, I definitely get the whole social aspect of those events, but what if we look at this from a different angle, what if we look at this as an opportunity to do something that many attending public high schools rarely do?  What if we were to think a little outside the box and take some of this social distancing time to actually gain some wisdom?

One must first acknowledge, and then understand, that knowledge is much different than wisdom.  To break it down to its most basic form, knowledge is knowing that water boils at 212 degrees, wisdom is knowing not to stick your hand in boiling water…  I’ve known plenty of very knowledgeable, (smart) people in my life that were dumb as a stump when it came to common sense, lacking any real wisdom.  Once one acknowledges that smart does not equal wise, one is on the way to wisdom.

What I am about to give you may be the most valuable advice you may ever obtain in your lifetime, but in order for it to be of value, you must not only take the information given, but absorb the information and implement it in your life knowing that your future depends on it.  Generally wisdom comes with time.  For some, it takes a lifetime of mistakes, many of which are made time and time again, but for others, there is a shortcut.  This does not mean you will not make, and hopefully learn from those mistakes, but you can fast-track some of the learning.  It really comes down to knowing what books to read.

I have often said that there are a handful of books that if made mandatory for high school curriculum, we could drastically change for the better the trajectory of the future for young adults everywhere.  I’m not going to get into full book reviews in this writing, that may come later, but in my opinion, if read and implemented, the principles within the following books will forever change your life for the better…

  1. “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey… Hopefully most in high school aren’t inundated with debt in their life, but the book provides some hugely valuable lessons on myths about debt, credit and money. https://www.daveramsey.com/store/product/the-total-money-makeover-book-by-dave-ramsey
  2. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.. A book that has for decades helped people of all age groups transform their ways of thinking and solving life’s problems by shifting the paradigm… available through Audible, Amazon & anywhere else books or audiobooks are sold.
  3. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie… Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time… Includes lessons in: Making people like you, winning others over to your way of thinking and changing others without building resentment… Again, available through Audible, Amazon & anywhere else books or audiobooks are sold.
  4. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki… This book is the story of how Robert learned life lessons from his father, and the father of his best friend.  The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.  One of the best-selling financial literacy books of all time… Again, available through Audible,  Amazon & anywhere else books or audiobooks are sold.
  5. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill… A must for anyone wanting to improve their lives and their positive thinking. There have been more millionaires and indeed, billionaires, who have made their fortunes as a result of reading this success classic than any other book every printed. Again, available through Audible, Amazon & anywhere else books or audiobooks are sold.

This is not an all-inclusive list as to the best books to change the trajectory of your life, but I can promise you, without hesitation, that if you read these 5 books, and implement the wisdom and principles found within them, your future will be a much, much better place.  I only wish that someone had provided me with this list 20 years earlier.  Thank you for visiting Wilksopinion.com, and hopefully this post has provided that fork in the road that leads you to a greater destination…

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Government is not your Daddy

Imagine if you would, for just a second, a country where everyone took the initiative to have an emergency fund.  Not an extreme amount of money necessarily, like for a catastrophic illness or injury, that is what insurance is for, which everyone should have as well, but an emergency fund that you kept in an account, or under your mattress maybe, that could help you pay the bills for 3 to 6 months in the event of some unforeseen circumstance?  When I say unforeseen circumstance, I mean a layoff, your employer goes out of business, or maybe some wild virus from somewhere you’ve never been starts to sweep the whole planet and your representative government decides to crash the economy as a preventative measure for your own good?

I’m not writing this to debate the validity of the bill currently being debated by all the bureaucrats in congress, or all the people that are very much in need of the assistance that said funding bill would provide.  I am writing this in the hopes that it will possibly make people realize the importance, now more than ever, of a personal emergency fund to keep you whole in the event of a mess like the one we currently see ourselves in.  The tragedy our country is currently facing will be Monday morning quarterbacked for generations, but in reality, if each of you reading this had your financial house in order, can you imagine what a different narrative it would be amongst all the talking heads?  Instead of everyone fighting over how the deck chairs are organized as the Titanic is sinking, they may be contemplating punishing those who allowed it to happen instead of running cover for a communist regime or better yet, focusing on the important question of how to prevent such a tragedy in the first place?

Much of what I’m about to say may be unpopular with some, and I’m sure it will be offensive to those who tend to be offended by everything else anyway, but the fact of the matter is, you should not be depending on the government to send you a check to get you through the hard times, Government is not your Daddy!  As nationally syndicated talk show host, real estate investor and financial advisor Dave Ramsey always says (paraphrasing), you should live on less than you make, build an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of your living expenses, and strive to live a debt free life.  Can you just imagine how much of a difference this global tragedy would be, and how differently it would be affecting our country currently if this was practiced by you, your neighbors, and the vast majority of your fellow Americans?  Instead, the vast majority of us live beyond our means, buying stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like (again, something I heard from Dave Ramsey).  With that said, so many of our fellow Americans are left incredibly unprepared for the most minor of tragedies, let alone a catastrophic national, or worse, global event.  This is not the fault of your neighbor, or your community, or your state or federal government, this starts with you and can be fixed by you, and must begin with you making a commitment.

I’m not trying to call anyone out, or say that living this way makes you a bad person, because it does not.  I lived most of my life this way, and I don’t see myself as a bad person.  I can tell you this though, I’m not looking for a check from the government right now to keep me whole though, and I’m thankful for that.  I chose not to live that way anymore.  If there has ever been a time for people to do some self-reflection, and think about how things could be different by making some different choices, maybe now is that time.  Maybe this tragedy can be used for some good, maybe it’s time for a little personal reset, a paradigm shift when it comes to your financial housekeeping?  Maybe next time, it won’t be a matter of hoping some far-away bureaucrat votes the right way to get you a check, because remember, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT YOUR DADDY…

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the end of the road

the end of the road
— Read on twosparrowsfarm.com/the-end-of-the-road/

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Propane Engines | Successful Farming

Propane Engines | Successful Farming

https://www.agriculture.com/podcast/successful-farming-radio-podcast/propane-engines

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Shared Prosperity & Material Equality?? ideals in contrast to individual liberty & freedom

Hello and thank you for visiting Wilksopinion.com.  Regrettably, it has been quite some time since my last post, but between working in excess of 70 hours a week on the road, health issues, and working on the completion of my bachelor’s degree, time has been scarce.

Folks, we find ourselves facing one of the most crucial elections of our lifetime, not simply because of the candidates we are asked to choose from, but because we are faced with two drastically different ideals in direction for the future of the United States of America.  On one hand, you have the current president, Barak Obama, whose vision includes a larger, more centralized government approach, redistribution of earnings, and what he terms as “Shared Prosperity”.  On the other hand, you have Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan, who subscribe to a more traditional approach of free markets, state’s rights (federalism), and individual liberty where an individual is able to achieve as much as their abilities, talents, and initiative will allow, and keep as much of the fruits of their labor as possible.

If you will recall, in his 2008 campaign, Barak Obama boasted, “we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”.  Is a fundamental transformation of the greatest, most charitable, most freedom enhancing nation in human history what we needed &/or wanted, or should it have been a return to the principles that this nation was founded upon that our great nation was in need of?  You see, I do not believe that Barak Obama even understands what it was that made our county so unique and exceptional, and while I believe that Mr. Obama could very well be the most leftist president in US history, it could have been anyone from the left (Reid, Pelosi, Biden, Gore, Kerry, Edwards), because it is the policies and ideals from the left that are so damaging, not the person. 

When Barak Obama talks about “Shared Prosperity”, what does that really mean?  It means, he has a vision of material equality for all people, by whatever means necessary.  This is why he so adamantly uses the politics of envy when addressing the public.  He is in essence saying, “look at your neighbor, he has more than you do and that just isn’t right!”.  Now, I think all reasonable people can agree that it would be nice for all people to have all things, having all their wants and needs met with a reasonable amount of effort, but that just isn’t how things work in the real world, and to try to force the situation goes against the very essence of human nature.  There will always be some with more talent, drive, initiative, and also luck than others, and to take punitive action against people possessing these qualities in an effort to enhance the lives of those who do not has and always will have many deleterious effects.  This does not mean, and NOBODY (even republicans despite the demagoguery from the left) is suggesting that we do not have a safety net for those who are truly incapable of taking care of themselves.  The stone cold and hard to swallow fact is, there will always be some who win and some who lose, and any attempt to distort this fact is a lie no matter what the intentions.

The problem is the way the poisonous policies & ideals of the left play out in real life.  While those on the left claim to be the party of compassion, and I do believe that most of them have good intentions, the idea that you can take from those who have and give to those who do not without any repercussions is simply false, and that is wildly obvious by the abysmal failure that is the war on poverty in this country.  This has led to such a sense of entitlement amongst many people in this country that we are rapidly approaching a tipping point when it comes to the number of people on government assistance.  This administration has doubled the number of people on food stamps, having removed any kind of stigma associated with taking government handouts, and still has the audacity to run ads promoting and encouraging the use of said handouts.  I also constantly hear taxpayer-funded “public service announcements” about children that are hungry and the only meals they get are the free meals they receive in school.  How could this be people?  How is it that food stamp rolls have doubled under this president, yet we still have children in this country that now are receiving 3 free meals a day at school, including summer months?  This is very troubling, yet I never hear democrats wanting to address the issue of how we got here, only that we must throw more money at it.  Throwing more money at the situation does absolutely nothing to cure the problem, but merely treats a symptom of the bigger problem, and I would contend that perpetuates the root cause of what ails the system.  I can’t remember who said it, but to paraphrase, “a job is the best anti-poverty program”, and during this administration’s failure of a recession recovery (slowest economic recovery in post-WWII history), job creation has not even kept pace with population increase.

What we have here folks, is an administration that promotes and encourages a system of government dependence in search of material equality in the name of compassion.  This administration is forcing people through the back door of bondage, by convincing them that they can have things they can not afford, that it is the fault of those who have more, and that because of their good nature, they will right the wrongs by taking by force from those who have and giving it to them.  I was talking to a good friend the other day, and while she was registering her kids for school, they were trying diligently to convince her to sign them up for free/reduced lunch program.  Although she declined, deciding that she would make some sacrifices to pay her own way, she told me of a local attorney’s wife who was there applying, because “she said she could”.  What happened to a time in this country when, just because you can, does not mean that you should?  I have also experienced, and have heard first hand countless similar stories of being in line at a grocery store, seeing another customer using EBT, using no sense of frugality in their purchases, and being dressed in more expensive fashion, having a better cell phone, or driving a nicer vehicle than that of people who choose to support themselves.

All of this leads me to my greater point, and that is, when you work for, or apply your talents and your initiative to earn the fruits of your labor, not only does it give you a sense of achievement, but it makes you appreciate things much more, builds your sense of self-worth, increases your drive & initiative, and makes you a more frugal and fiscally responsible member of society.This in turn puts everyone on a much more even playing field in the marketplace without penalizing those who are doing more in an (intentional or unintentional) effort to enslave people to government dependence.  Having the government take from some and give to others brings great distortion to the marketplace, and ultimately, it is all consumers who pay the greatest price.

 Food stamps are only one of many such examples, and the new healthcare law (Obamacare) is another, which will be, if left to implementation, the largest, most damaging entitlement program of our lifetime.  Just as with the abuses of the food stamp program, when you remove the “cost to customer” factor in purchasing a product in the marketplace, people have no regard for the cost of what they are purchasing, demand more than what they would ever receive otherwise.  Market distortions, price controls and rationing ensue, overall productivity is decreased, and ultimately everyone receives equally miserable products and services… Material equality….

The government can not continue to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, as it will continue to cause deleterious distortions in the marketplace and our economy. It is our duty as citizens to stand up against these practices.  Continuing to take more disproportionately from the more productive members of our society, and to continue saddling the coming generations with insurmountable debt in an effort to give people what the government can not afford is morally reprehensible.  This administration’s undying effort to encourage and enslave people to a life of entitlement & dependence upon an ever-growing centralized government is the antithesis of our founding and what has made this the most prosperous, freedom enhancing, and charitable nation in human history.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan may not be your ideal ticket, but there is an undoubtedly intense contrast between their idea of what America is supposed to be and once was, and what Barak Obama is trying to “fundamentally transform” America into.  We did not get here overnight, and it will not be an overnight fix, but we must return to the principles of individual liberty, free markets, federalism and, freedom for this greatest nation on earth, and I believe that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can get us on solid footing and started down that path.

Thank you for visiting Wilksopinion.com and God bless America!!

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