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A great story about just one of our fighting men in Afghanistan. A great read! Get your Kleenex.

lookin' thru my eyes

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We had our Transfer of Authority ceremony this morning.  Our replacement unit is now in charge of the mission.  Which means our only job left in Afghanistan is to leave.  So now the waiting officially has begun.

After the ceremony, I set out to do one more personal mission before leaving FOB Apache.  I needed to track down a young Soldier to give him a message from home.

A few days ago I received a short message from a Soldier’s wife.  Her husband is an Army Engineer doing the hard, dusty labor required to build the FOB Apache expansion.  She asked me to pass on a message to her husband, SPC David Sturm, for her.

After the ceremony I grabbed my camera to hunt down SPC Sturm.  I found his unit headquarters and they directed me to the construction site.  I went out…

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Posted by on 09/16/2012 in Uncategorized

 

Is Facebook Too Big To Fail?


Facebook Stock Slide

With an initial public offering of $38.00 a share, a high of $45.25 a share, and a low of $18.75 per share, Facebook’s stock has been as rocky as a soap opera love affair. Today’s trading shows the current price per share is $18.96. However, with this slide, comes the calls for the company’s CEO and majority stock holder Mark Zuckerberg to step down. For some, it’s rather easy to gloat in the downturn of those who they perceive to be “well off” or “rich”. I however marvel in the fact that someone can take what seems to be a simple idea (sharing pictures, ideas, lives), apply the idea to a system that’s already invented (computer, internet), and turn it into a multi-billion dollar company. It really signifies the American dream.
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Capitalism, the Superior Societal System


“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
– Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering
political economist.

Self interest, what some may call “greed”; wrongly, is a good thing.

Put simply, capitalism, is as natural to humans as breathing. In the first moments of the dawn of mankind capitalism was present. Everyone who has ever lived, has participated in free market economics. This includes, the communist, marxist, socialist and every other follower of a political philosophy that has existed. The self-interest of an individual is the foundation of ‘economy’. This self-interest is a force on both sides of the market. Someone has a need for a good or service, and someone else has the good or service to provide. It really is as simple as that.

When someone performs labor, they have transferred a part of themselves into that which they have done. The task has become intertwined with their very soul. Same with someone who creates a product, that endeavour also is a part of them. This, I believe is the inherent reason that wherever and whenever socialism or communism is experimented with, it always fails. It is because the economic system of socialism punishes the producer and rewards the mooch. It steals the very soul of man. When a person lays their hand to the plow, they do it to better their socio-economic status, not for their health. They do it for their family. This is why the recent remarks made by President Obama about small business owner’s hit such a sour note. “If you have a business, you didn’t build that, someone else made that happen.” The election that we happen upon will be a decision solely won or lost on who we think will do a better job of pulling the American economy out of the ditch. Capitalism vs. socialism. The difference’s, couldn’t be further apart. Our politicians are attempting to mix the two, and have. However, I suggest they are not compatible with one another. One steals from one party, and distributes the stolen money to those without the morality to know that they should refuse to take the money. One, lets the party who earned the money to keep the fruits of their labor, and spend it accordingly to their will. They do not mix as philosophies.

Like all other things, capitalism doesn’t fare well when mixed with immorality. Here is the issue that befalls us currently. The enemies of capitalism use instances of Immorality to attack it. What they fail to do is separate free market capitalism and the immoral act. An excellent example of this is the issue a few years back when it was found that Bernie Madoff swindled many out of billions of dollars as an investor. Communists point out “look that man stole a ton of money from innocent people, capitalism is terrible!” You see, capitalism doesn’t breed theft, or a skewed view of greed, or what the Holy Bible calls covetousness, (the act of wanting after the things that others possess). The act of theft is a fallen, human condition, it develops in the heart before it is acted upon. Capitalism serves those in need of goods or services, it doesn’t steal from anyone. Another argument against capitalism is “look, the housing market collapsed, or the Dow Jones fell 300 points, capitalism sucks!” The flaw of that argument is this, free market capitalism has not been practiced in our nation for better than a hundred years. There are a set of structures built into an economy, a set of laws. Just like physics, an economy is bound by its laws. If a body is at rest, it will tend to stay at rest until something moves it. If a body is in motion, it will tend to stay in motion until something stops it. Equally, if a force outside the market attempts to control it or manipulate it in any way, it has an effect. The effect can be either positive or negative, however, there is an effect. An example of this would be the housing bubble. When congress decided to set new loan rules for housing by demanding banks lower their standards on lending, the market was affected. What ensued from that decision is now remembered as the housing crash of ’08. A lot of finger-pointing came from that market crash. Many blamed the banks, many blamed the people who couldn’t afford the home, however few blamed the real culprit, the set of loan rules that caused the bank to make bad loans in the first place. Pure, free market capitalism doesn’t recommend loaning monies to people who can’t repay. The housing crash has been used to attack capitalism. When the market fell, Americans should have marched on Washington D.C. and demanded that congress pass legislation to remedy loose loan rules pushed upon the banks by the government.

That brings us to GSE’s. The Government Sponsored Entities are those businesses like Fanny Mae, and Freddie Mac. Actually, there are a lot of these. Many would agree that the federal government should not be in  the business of owning businesses. Owning a business is not one of the seventeen enumerated powers of the government laid out in the U.S. Constitution. However, the government, through influence and regulation, own or run a plethora of companies. General Motors, Chrysler Corp., Floodinsurance.gov, banks, investment firms, insurance companies, now with Obamacare the government absorbed 1/6th of the U.S. economy, this is a short list, there are many more. A state regulated and controlled market is not free market capitalism, it is state capitalism like China operates. With the latest comments that Obama has made about expanding the auto bailouts to other industries, Americans should be extremely concerned about our direction as a nation. He is espousing marxist theory on the campaign trail, and the sad part is not many Americans know it when they hear it. On the other hand, if George W. Bush would have campaigned in ’04 and told the American people that he was shutting down and selling off GSE’s to private buyers, or “worse” yet, private equity firms, the press would have had a seizure! They would have said that the nation was being transformed for the worse. But, when our nation is being strangled by Venezuelan style business models, (nationalizing industry) the press is silent. That is criminal!

To me, the results of the Founders’ exceptional vision can be summed up in one sentence: Throughout human history, the American Idea has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. – Paul Ryan (R) Wis.

Capitalism has, as Paul Ryan puts it, “done more for the poor than any other system”. The man is right. In the history of the world, capitalism has brought the over all living standard higher than ever before, not just in our own country, but in all countries. It has brought new innovations to the market place like electricity transmission, light bulbs, the automobile, the train, the airplane, oil production, the space shuttle and the personal computer. If you see it, there is a great chance that capitalism brought it to life either through direct or indirect funding.

As long as people exist, free market capitalism will exist. As long as people exist, the threat of someone trying to squash capitalism will exist.  Although, It is our inheritance from our founders, economic freedom.

Some just want to live their lives, and some just want to run the lives of others.

It is the battle cry of small government patriots, we need a free market, right away!

Robert E. Stage Jr.

 

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Beautiful Flowers my Wife Cynthia captured on Film


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These are some photos my wife took at Innis Woods Metro park in Columbus, Oh of their spring flowers.

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They turned out great!  They have such detail and a certain crispness. They pop when you look at them.

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These photos below are from Gantz Park in Grove City, OH. My wife Cynthia took these on one sunny afternoon this summer. It is amazing to me that she takes these with her phone camera, they turned out great.

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I love the photos she takes, they are beautiful and they showcase Gods handy work. Thanks babe for sharing them.

Robert E. Stage Jr.

 
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Posted by on 08/05/2012 in All, Flowers, Photography, Uncategorized

 

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America’s Trojan Horse


Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Is asking the hard questions of the DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, and he might as well had asked Eric Holder for “Fast and Furious” documents. In our constitutional republic, the main purpose of government is to protect the God-given rights of the citizens it represents. The goal, it seems of Rep. Gohmert was a noble one, to get to the heart of an issue that should concern all Americans across all party lines, did Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano know she gave a visa and a classified security clearance to a known terrorist facilitator and sympathizer, Hani Nour Eldin. Eldin is a member of Egypt’s parliament and a member of Egypt’s Gamaa Islamiya group which is listed as a known terrorist organization. Eldin attended multiple meetings last month at the behest of the president and DHS, some of which were conducted at the White House. Issue number two, did Napolitano know that the DHS advisory council member (appointed by Obama), Mohamed Elibiary, used his security clearance (that Napolitano gave him) to access and download classified documents with his personal computer and shop the information to media outlets?

Napolitano couldn’t really answer any of Gohmert’s questions other than telling him that it was “objectionable” to attack or accuse someone because they are Muslim, (classic liberal response, Gohmert asks hard questions and he is deemed “bigoted” or “racist”) Rep. Gohmert also asked Napolitano if she was aware of the fact that Elibiary was affiliated with a charity here in the states named the Freedom and Justice Foundation. This is important because the name of the now defunct foundation here in America also shared its name with the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt. The Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt is the legislative arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The administration has been very open to advice from the “Council on American Islāmic Relations” aka (CAIR) which have been named an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation court case that took place in northern Texas. You will remember, that this is the court case that named all the people responsible for using the giving nature of Americans to secretly fund terrorist activities all around the globe.

If the stonewall tactic looks familiar to you, it should, it worked for Eric Holder at the Fast and Furious hearings. If congress keeps pushing this issue (and it should) I foresee Obama pulling rank and invoking executive privilege once again. As a nation we are in a very precarious era. When agencies have absolutely no congressional oversight, we become a dictatorship or a monarchy by definition. The current administration that promised to be the most transparent, is anything but. It seems Obama “leads” better by fiat rather than inside of a constitutional construct.

As a nation we need to show courage and begin a debate about what role Islam is going to play in our government. Will we cower when liberals attack and call us “bigoted” for asking relevent and important questions? We can not. We must stand courageous in the face of name calling. When we have come to a place in our society where the secretary of DHS is not concerned about men using their personal computers to access classified government information, and known terrorist sympathizers holding meetings in the White House, we are in grave danger. If Janet Napolitano is not going to perform her job as secretary of DHS, why do we have a DHS? We should not cower from the debate simply because it’s politically incorrect to broach these subjects or because of a political agenda. We have already done that, in 1999 when Osama Bin Laden stated that blood would run in the streets of New York city, no one stood against his statement. We also done the same with the Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, over and over people in the know were reporting to the FBI that he was very anti-American and a possible threat, the FBI did not investigate because they were fearful the investigation would be seen as an “Islāmic witch hunt”. All because of political correctness, thirteen people were shot in cold blood. The man had S.O.A. on his government (Army) business card, S.O.A. meaning Soldier Of Allah. To add insult to injury the government will still not call the acts perpetrated by Hasan a terrorist act, they consider it an incident of “work place violence”. Also, I don’t remember anyone mentioning gun control after Hasan killed thirteen.

We recently seen how political agenda has driven the gun control debate after the tragic shooting spree in Aurora, Colorado. Before the victims were all properly identified news anchors were already blaming those they disagree with politically, pushing accusations on Tea Party members. Guns needed to be outlawed so people would be “safe”. Just a day later, an Afghan police officer opened fire on American contractors killing three. No where did you hear anyone calling for the outlaw of guns in Afghanistan. One shooting spree fits the liberal agenda narrative, and one did not. So one gets the nod for a refreshed attack on the second amendment rights of American people, and one is ignored, because only one story is politically expedient. I bring this up because I want the American people to drive the debate regarding Islam in the government, and not another terrorist attack, God forbid.

Robert E. Stage Jr.

 

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Repealing Obamacare Is Not Enough


A recent step in the right direction happened on July the 11th. The house of representatives voted for a full repeal of Obamacare, 244 yeas to 185 nays. Of course the liberal media cried foul, they thought even taking a vote on repealing Obamacare was a giant waste of taxpayer money. Bob Schieffer, of CBS’ Face the Nation, lamented how the house was wasting so much money on a repeal vote. This concern he showed is interesting, because the house has been sending legislation to the senate since the Tea Party takeover of the house in 2010. So far, there has not even been so much as a preliminary vote in committee on any of those bills, however I haven’t seen or heard any news coverage of the senate doing nothing, or wasting taxpayer money. There’s not been any lamenting or hand wringing of any sort over a do nothing senate.

While voting to repeal Obamacare is a commendable and noble thing to do, this is merely not enough. In our hyped up election season, conservatives have forgotten the additional fights that have been picked with the U.S. Constitution. We are predisposed to conversing about who’s going to be Romney’s Veep choice, or which poll has Obama and Romney in a dead heat, all the while, there are some bills that slid through Congress that should have never been voted out of committee. Some of them were slid through even with the conservative takeover of the house, which should be alarming to a great many Americans. One of the laws stretches all the way back to the months after 9/11, and was signed by a Republican President.

Chronologically, alongside Obamacare, the NDAA act, the Dodd-Frank act, and the USA Patriot act should be on the chopping block also. The NDAA act is so egregious in its powers, it is almost self-explanatory why it should be repealed. If you read conservative or libertarian news sites, you could probably name off four or five unconstitutional provisions from it, but for the sake of those who may be seeing this for the first time, I would like to point them out again. Not in the 236 year history of our country has the armed forces been allowed to apprehend, and arrest American citizens, under the NDAA act this is possible. You can also be held or interned, without charge, indefinitely, which subverts habeas corpus. You also do not have a right to a fair and speedy trial. All these constitutionally protected citizen rights are thrown out the window with this one piece of legislation. Congress, repeal it!

I want to share a quote with you concerning the Dodd-Frank Act. In a recent article written for Townhall.com in honor of the birth of our nation, Hillsdale College President, Dr. Larry Arnn said concerning freedom and how the government is now acting:

Moreover, it [Federal Government] governs increasingly without authority from the branches that are elected by the people. The new Dodd- Frank finance law creates something called a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This agency does not get its budget from Congress. Rather, its money comes from a guaranteed percentage of the budget of the Federal Reserve, which gets its money from its operations as a bank. Congress is even specifically forbidden in the law to hold hearings into the budget of the new CPFB. And it has wide examining power over every form of consumer finance in the nation. In unfettered scope of authority, and in near perfect separation from popular control, it is different from anything before it in America.

In other words, the congress passed, and the president signed another unconstitutional act. Here’s a little quick history on the Federal Reserve, it’s a corporation with no congressional oversight and it rules our entire economy. Not only that, it was conceived “supposedly” to stop financial bubbles that hurt our economy, at least that is one way it was “sold” to the American people. (Has that worked? No.) Now, the congress has passed what amounts to 311 million miniature Federal Reserves (or Fed Reserve II I call it.). Under this act, the Federal Government has the authority to monitor your personal credit card and bank statements, all under the false pretense of protecting you, the consumer from the big bad banks and business’. Here is some irony for you, this act was “written” by Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank, both of whom had a direct role in the housing bubble that caused the current economic malaise we still suffer from. You also might remember that Obama named former Ohio Attorney General, Richard Cordray to lead this new Consumer Protection Bureau. Obama appointed him by fiat while congress was still in session, without a confirmation by the senate, which is unconstitutional. This guts the constitution’s 4th amendment. Congress, repeal it!

Now the grandaddy of all unconstitutional acts The USA Patriot Act. This act you will remember, was an absolute “necessity” shortly after September 11th. We had to find a way to stop terrorists from gaining a foothold inside our borders again. You may agree, you may not, but 9/11 could have been stopped years before it happened. All we had to do was act on information we were told publicly by Osama Bin Laden in 1999. We were attacked at the World Trade center in 1993 under Clinton. We knew already that radical Islamists wanted to strike us. If our intelligence agencies and other “alphabet soup departments” (ie. NSA, CIA, FBI, ATF) had shared info with one another, we could have stopped the terrorists. Therefore, we could have continued without a Dept. of Homeland Security, A Dept. of Transportation Safety Administration, (who will soon be at all transportation depots, ie. bus stations, and train stations). These Government Departments need dismantled. Congress, repeal it!

There is only one way out of our current situations concerning the manifold attacks on our constitution, we must go to the polls November 6th and vote for more conservative, libertarian, and limited government men and women to represent us. Men and women like Rand Paul, Allen West, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Jason Chaffetz, Jim Demint, Nikki Haley, Jan Brewer, Michelle Bachman and many more.

Conservatives, Libertarians, Patriots All – Remember, Remember the 6th of November.

Robert E. Stage Jr.

 

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Another must read from Dave the Sage at The Constitution Club.

 
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Posted by on 07/12/2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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