In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better
Ed
Musings by Ed

On Your Potential:
It is possible that you are squandering your ability to develop your potential by spending too much time mooning over what is not right with your life rather than using that same energy to take action to achieve what you want to happen. To do so you must first decide who you are, what it is you want, and why you are here. Once you answer those questions for yourself, you will naturally gravitate toward becoming the person you are, you want to be, and what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Along the way, you will be feeding your passion rather than trying to discover your passion on an ever ending journey to despair.

Liberal Progressives Would Love a European Social Democracy in America – Little Do They Know Where They Are Headed

(Ed’s Note: Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, hopefully, not on my watch. I actually read history, and if you do not, try reading this article for starters. Kitty Werthmann, the author of this article, lives in South Dakota and appears to be very active in attempting to maintain our freedom. This true-life story tells exactly why you do not want to live in a country that practices socialism, communism, fascism or any other kind of “ism”.)

By Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history.
I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide—98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publications.

Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people—about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy.

We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag.

Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.

The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful.

There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.
I hated it at first but felt
I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays,
I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion.

By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time,
a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female,
to give one year to the labor corps . During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned
to their barracks for military training just like the boys.

They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.

Three months before
I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government.

The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffered Under Government Controls

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.

If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and immigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 % of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities.

It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

“Mercy Killing” Redefined

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded.

When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school.

One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

The Final Steps – Gun Laws

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms.

Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism.

Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn’t destroy, they burned.

We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn’t paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians. This is an eyewitness account.

“It’s true . . . those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity”.

America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don’ t Let Freedom Slip Away,

“After America, There is No Place to Go”.

Shopping Online = Caveat Emptor (Latin for Let the Buyer Beware)

Copyright 2006 by Ed Bagley

(Ed's Note: I originally wrote this post in 2006, 14 years ago. What I share with you about shopping online today is even more true today, only the prices are higher. Some people will lay down thousands of dollars for an offer online. I was only a newbie when I attacked "Traffic Swarm" like a honey badger on a bee hive. I would not surf Traffic Swarm today, I'm a little wiser, and you can be too.) 

Any newcomers to Internet Marketing who would like to gather a little field intelligence on the landscape and competition need only to surf "Traffic Swarm," which bills itself as "the fastest and easiest way to instantly increase traffic, visitors and sales to any website, product or service."

Well, that claim is certainly debatable as there are more than a hundred offers on the Internet today that make the same claim with a straight face. Be that as it may, Traffic Swarm also lets you know instantly that its service is automated, targeted, cheat-proof, proven and "viral marketing" (a heady term that makes one think that he might now indeed be in possession of cyberspace), all five of these claims are Internet Marketing buzz words more common than a thousand bees making small talk at the entrance to their hive.

The uninitiated would learn that you can join Traffic Swarm free, post an advertisement of your own, and then surf (look at) other marketer's ads to earn credits, which you can in turn spend to draw traffic and visitors to your own offer. It is a very nice little package for beginners which, even if it does not bring you sales of your product or service, does give your website or offer page exposure and presence on the Internet.

Traffic Swarm is where
I surf to find out what is going on in the world of Internet Marketing offers. There are dozens of other sites that could provide me with the same fodder, but Traffic Swarm has, in my experience, proven to be as good as any other at what it does.

My message has nothing directly to do with Traffic Swarm; it has to do with the users of Traffic Swarm, who hawk their goods like any merchant in a loud, noisy marketplace with vicious, unrelenting competition for your hard-earned dollar.

All of which brings us to the Latin phrase "caveat emptor," which means let the buyer beware. The New Oxford American Dictionary (we bow to the King's English) says this about caveat emptor: the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made. Herein lies the problem with online purchasing: we cannot examine the goods before we commit to buying whatever it is a person may be selling.

This fact of purchasing works in the seller's interest, and the seller, not the buyer, will do anything to keep it that way, including, but not limited to, exaggerating claims, playing upon your emotions, using psychological ploys to move you to the action they want you to take, pressuring you into making buying decisions with no opportunity to see what it is you are purchasing, and being disingenuous in an attempt to relieve you of your money.

I have begun to examine Internet Marketing ads online very closely, not to determine the legitimacy of any particular offer, but rather to determine the quality of language used in supporting the legitimacy of the claims made in any particular offer.

An e-mail that came to me this morning offers an example. It uses this opening sentence to hook you into linking to their sales page: "As incredible as it may sound you're about to discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you!"

(The hoped for reader reaction might be: My God, this is an answer to prayer, a system that can finally drive traffic and business to my website so I can make my first sale in 24 months as an Internet Marketer after indiscriminately spending hundreds of dollars on useless offers.)

As I analyze this opening sentence, remember the use of the words "incredible" (as in I am so lucky to find this offer, today, on the Internet), "discover" (my god, this is totally new and I could be the first one in and make a killing) and "$0 cost to you" (and to think, all of this without any expense to me).

As a newcomer to Internet Marketing I hit the link to the promised land, and the sales page greets me with this: "I'm Revealing My Secrets I Personally Use To Drive Thousands Of Potential Customers To My Websites!" This is coupled with the reassuring phrase "you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website and $0 cost you!" Again, remember the reference to "$0 cost to you."

The most powerful word in this opening is "secret" (as in only this very successful person and I are going to learn the secret). The word "secret" and "guru" in Internet Marketing go together like matching bookends.

There is, really, no big secret; there really is just one-upmanship in thinking there is. Literally hundreds of other marketers are successfully using the same secret. The inexperienced buyer simply has not yet apparently acquired the knowledge, applied the knowledge and profited from the experience. The reader is then reassured that "This works for any product, website or affiliate website" (as in it can work for you too).

Then there is an invitation to "Join my Marketing Tips Newsletter and I will show you free marketing tips – worth $500" (wow, what a deal for me). Once signed up, you will in most cases be immediately put into an autoresponder, which bombards you with e-mail messages on a timed basis (like every other day for the next 400 days). You can opt-out of these messages at any point in most cases, but most newcomers do not figure this out until they become very annoyed with the process.

This entire sales page takes a sharp left turn here, the idea being to get the person on a mailing list in case they are not buying into the for real paid offer that follows (remember, we started with "discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you!" (as in free).

Prior to learning the actual price point that is coming (as sure as there is handwriting on the wall) is this claim: "I absolutely guarantee that if you use these tactics, you will get substantially higher rankings" (in search engines).

This, of course, is an asinine statement to make as the author of the statement controls neither the search engines or their ranking of websites. At best, the author could only guarantee to return the buyer's purchase price should he or she feel dissatisfied with their particular results in using the tactics offered.

The bottom line is if you really want the advertised information the discounted price ends up at $49.97, with the admonition that it will be raised to $79.97 on December 1 (so it is a Limited Time Offer and you better act now or be left out). These ads invariably pressure for immediate action.

One could argue that the statement "discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you!" is literally true, what is not being said up front, however, is that it is going to cost you $49.97 to get the "secret information package" that would allow you to do so.

Given a more than cursory view of the offer, you must now decide how credible the offer is, and whether you will act immediately in your own best interest, because there is no doubt that the author of this ad is acting in his own best interest.

Click Category of Choice to See List of Articles Inside.

Family

Finance and Investment

Jobs and Careers

Marketing and Business

Mixed Bag

Movie Reviews

Politics

Religion and Faith

Running – Cross Country and Track and Field

Self-Improvement and Communication

Sports Quotes By Famous Coaches

What Ed Reads

 

Family

Children Learn What They Live

Facing Down Your Worst Threat – How to Handle the Schoolyard Bully

Fathering a Child and Leaving Does Not Make You a Man, Raising the Child Does

If You Could Only Choose One, Would You Rather Have Money, Power, Fame or Health? And Why?

If You Have a Spit of Irish in You, This Is What It Means to Be in an Irish Family

If You Think as a Parent that Little League Baseball Does Not Teach Important Survival Skills, Think Again

Our Lovely Kristin

Should We Be Concerned About the Apparent Violence of Our Children?

Some Thoughts on Marriage

The First Time I Had Witnessed a Miracle

The Real Heroes of Our Time Are Those Who Serve Others

The Story of My Life

What Women Could Know: A Man’s 5 Basic Responsibilities – Part 1

What Women Could Know: A Man’s 5 Basic Tendencies – Part 2

What Women Could Know: 4 Realities in a Man’s World – Part 3

Who Has Had the Greatest Influence on Your Life, and Why?

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Finance and Investment

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Reveals the Fastest Way to Become Financially Savvy – Part 1

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Financial Predators: Vermin, Rodents and Other Insect Pests

If USA Families Ran Finances Like Their Government, They Would Go Bankrupt

Why Bankers and Lenders Are Not Your Friends – Part 1

Why Bankers and Lenders Are Not Your Friends – Part 2

Jobs and Careers

A Job Interview Nightmare: When He Asked, “How Do You Motivate Yourself?” I Was Without a Good Answer

Before You Interview, Learn and Practice Ed’s “Zip a Lip” Theory

Female Executives Who Are Too Bold and Too Aggresive Do Not Rise as Fast

Life Is Full of Rejection: Take Harvard University – 22,955 Student Applications and 20,897 Rejections

Online Hiring Threatens to Do Away With Traditional Hard Copy Resumes – Is It Really True? (Part 1 of a 4-Part Series)

Online Hiring – People Skills Are the Most Important Trait You Have to Present in Selling Yourself at an Interview (Part 2 of a 4-Part Series)

Online Hiring – 94% of Candidates Are Hired the Traditional Way: With a Hard Copy Resume and an Interview (Part 3 of a 4-Part Series)

Online Hiring – Many Job Hunters Are Frustrated With the Continual Digitized “Depersonalization” of the Hiring Process (Part 4 of a 4-Part Series)

Potential Hires Who Are Quick to Judge May Be Quickly Eliminated by Interviewers

Professional Resumes Designed To Rev Your Future by Understanding Marketing, Probability and the Marketplace

Recruiter Suggests “Dumbing Down” Your Resume So You Will Be Less of a Threat Getting Hired in a Recession Economy – Is This a Good Idea?

The Biggest Mistake Potential Hires Make While Interviewing for a Job

The Greatest Explosion Can Only Occur When Opportunity Meets Preparedness

There Is No Huge Correlation Between Education and Income and Here Is Why

Unfortunately, Career Fairs Best Serve Everyone But the Intended Jobless

Want a Six-Figure Income Without Getting a College Degree of Any Kind? Here Is How

What Is the Most Critical Career Choice Graduating Students Make?

What Warren Buffett Thinks Is Important When Hiring Staff for Berkshire Hathaway

Who Earns the Most Based on Their Educational Level

Marketing and Business

Just When You Thought That Customer Service Was Dead in America, Along Comes Lasko

Lessons from a Greek Fisherman

Shopping Online = Caveat Emptor (Latin for Let the Buyer Beware)

Why Benjamin Franklin Was Such a Great Entrepreneur – He Would Be All Over Internet Marketing Online

Mixed Bag

We Were Blessed by Visiting Manzanillo, South of Puerto Vallarta, and the Hidden Vida del Mar

Where to Go When You Want to Leave the Rat Race Behind

Movie Reviews

“A Christmas Story” One of the Best Movies Ever Tells of a Boy’s Perfect Gift – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“A Man for All Seasons” Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“An Affair to Remember” Rates as a Classic Romantic Drama with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr – 3 Stars (Good)

“Annie” Rates as One of the Most Uplifting, Harrowing and Positive Broadway Musicals Ever Made – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Apocalypto” Mel Gibson Brings the Past Violent Mayan Life into Our Consciousness – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Stars Audrey Hepburn, Hollywood’s Most Perfect Actress with Beauty, Fashion, Grace and Humility – 3 Stars (Good)

“Camelot” Is a Magical Movie, and a Primer in Civilized Human Relationships and Personal Growth – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Chariots of Fire” Is Very Simply the Greatest Running Movie Ever Made – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Chicago” Shows Two Murderesses Who Beat the Rap in a Fight for Fame – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Chocolat” Is Moviemaking at Its Best: A Sweet Story With an Important Message – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Cinema Paradiso” Director Giuseppe Tornatore Wins Best Foreign Film Oscar – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Don Juan DeMarco” Can Johnny Depp Convince You That He Is “Don Juan DeMarco”? Bank on It – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Dressed to Kill” The Best Psychological Thriller Since “Wait Until Dark” – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Fiddler on the Roof” Celebrates Jewish Heritage and Cultural Change – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Forrest Gump” Teaches Many Lessons, and Tom Hanks Earns Best Actor Oscar – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Ghost” Appeals to Our Fervent and Subtle Imagination – 3 Stars (Good)

“Little Big Man” Old Lodge Skins Makes This a Perfect Blend of Comedy and Drama3 Stars (Good)

“Million Dollar Baby” – This Is One Fight Where You Get Your Money’s Worth – 3 Stars (Good)

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” An Independent Film Production That Became an Excellent, Big Fat Paycheck – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“My Fair Lady” Won 12 Nominations and 8 Oscars with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Nanny McPhee” – An Excellent Movie with Magic and a Message for Children – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” Johnny Depp Makes the Best Pirate in the Best Pirate Picture Ever – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” Was a Real Disappointment – 2 Stars (Average)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” Ends the Series in Excellent Fashion, Savvy Mate? – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Phantom of the Opera” – A Great Musical and a Great Story that Tugs at Your Heart – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Pretty Woman” Rocketed Julia Roberts into Becoming Hollywood’s Sweetheart – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Radio” Is One of the Most Under-Rated and Under-Appreciated Films in Movie History – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Ryan’s Daughter” Is a Love Triangle with Passion, Adultery, Rebellion and a Village Idiot – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Secondhand Lions” Is a Masterpiece of Storytelling by Writer/Director Tim McCanlies – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “A Fistful of Dollars” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Creates a Masterful Character Who Plays One Side Against Another in the First of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “For a Few Dollars More” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Joins with Another Bounty Hunter to Outwit an Outlaw Gang that Has Scored an Impossible Heist in the Second of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) in the Third of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Shadow of a Doubt” Leaves No Doubt About Being an Alfred Hitchcock Classic – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Six Movies That Are Simply Terrible and Not Worth Seeing Under Any Circumstances – 1 Star (Terrible)

Six Terrible, Crappy Movies That Allow Us to Recognize the Really Good Movies – 1 Star (Terrible)

“Sleepless in Seattle” Offers Up Romance Without Any Stress – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“The Anchorman” Simply Fails to Impress with a Lame Script – 1 Star (Terrible)

“The Chorus” French Director Christophe Barratier Has an Incredibly Good Movie – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“The Departed” Is the Best Mob Film Since Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” in 1972 – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“The Quiet Man” Is a Love Story Set in the Emerald Isle of Ireland4 Stars (Excellent)

“Waking Ned Devine” Among My Top 10 Favorites Ever and the Funniest Comedy I Have Ever Seen4 Stars (Excellent)

Politics

Liberal Progressives Would Love a European Social Democracy in America – Little Do They Know Where They Are Headed

One Reason Why Our Civility in American Has Become Worse

Our Politicians in Congress Are Like Kids in a Candy Store

These Are Possibly the 5 Most Accurate Sentences You Will Ever Read

Religion and Faith

A Christmas Message from Ed Bagley

A Poem for Lost Souls

Blessed Teresa’s Special Prayer for Your Well Being This Sunday, and Every Day

Nine Lessons in Life by Matthew Kelly for Becoming Perfectly Yourself

One Man’s Thoughts – God Gives Men 4 Crucial Gifts: Life, Choice, Faith and Women

The Sun and the Moon and the Stars, But What If There Were No Visible Stars?

Running – Cross Country and Track and Field

Arthur Lydiard on Running

A Senior Moment – Dinner with 3-Time Olympian and American-Record Hammer Thrower Ed Burke

Meet “Pre” – America’s Greatest Running Legend and Greatest Middle Distance Hero

The Problem With USA Track & Field: There Simply Is No Fire in the Belly

Karen Steen Shatters World Steeplechase Record at the 2009 National Masters Meet

Self-Improvement and Communication

All God’s Creatures Have Work To Do

A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing, Drink Deep, or Taste Not the Pierian Spring

“Desiderata” Is a Brilliant Piece of Writing with Simplicity and Significance of Message

Failures Would Be Surprised to Learn That Winners Have Failed Many More Times

Here Are My Personal Favorite Quotes That I Live By, Learn By and Grow By

The Easiest Way to Become an Internet Articles Writer

Time to Do Everything Except Think

Sports Quotes By Famous Coaches

Famous Football Quotes by Vince Lombardi, the Great Green Bay Packer Coach

“The Wizard of Westwood” – Famous Quotes by John Wooden, the NCAA’s Winningest Basketball Coach

What Ed Reads

More than one reader has posed the question “What does Ed read?”
Here is a partial list of books that I have read and benefited from doing so, and I invite you to consider reading them as well, especially if one of your strengths is a “learner”. Some of the book titles have comments following and others do not.

Arthritis Revisited
by Dr. Mark Wiley
Dr. Wiley takes on America’s medical community for its inadequate and ineffective answers to treating osteoarthritis. Wiley reveals how to naturally let your body help you stop the advance of osteoarthritis and, in some cases, even begin to reverse the damage. I absolutely believe in Dr. Wiley’s methods and unconventional approach to controlling osteoarthritis and living a better, more productive life.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
by Walter Isaacson
Benjamin Franklin remains one of those Americans about whom we can never know enough. Franklin was America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, business strategist and one of the most practical political thinkers in American history.

Bufffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
by Roger Lowenstein
When it comes to finance, Lowenstein offers a landmark portrait of a uniquely American life.

Citizen Jefferson – The Wit and Wisdom of an American Sage
Edited by John P. Kaminski
Thomas Jefferson was a statesman, architect, musician, inventor and the primary author of the United States Constitution. He knew how to craft a turn of phrase and had some advice worth reading.

Essential Liberty
by Mark Alexander
Essential Liberty is a 3.5 by 4.75-inch, 138-page book that recounts our nation’s founding and examines our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution of the United States. Among other points of interest, it notes that the freedoms we enjoy are not free and that our republic (rule by law) is not a pure democracy (rule by majority) if you have not already noticed. Our capitalist society offers us the most freedom and best opportunity to advance among all cultures on Planet Earth. Our cause is the cause of all mankind and we fight for their liberty in defending our own. “We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” said Benjamin Franklin in signing the Declaration of Independence. Not all of us understand and appreciate this common truth. If our citizens expect to be ignorant—and free—it a state of civilization, they expect what never was and never will be. Sadly, almost half of our population does not appreciate the gift God has given us. They kicked God out of our schools, confusing the relationship of church and state, and would love to kick God our of our country, opening the door to socialism, communism or fascism to name a few other forms of government. Many believe it is their right to eliminate human life through abortion (2,500+ abortions daily during 2014 in the United States). I cannot imagine that God is pleased with this turn of events and I have no interest in testing God’s patience with us, although many are willing to try. If you have not read Essential Liberty, you might want to educate yourselves about why your forefathers fought and died for the freedoms you enjoy today.

Hemingway – A Biography
by Jeffrey Meyers
One of American’s greatest writers. Hemingway’s basic principles of writing have provided a model for every author who has followed him (see page 137 in Meyers’ brilliant account of a master storyteller).

Holy Bible – The Authorized King James Version
Holy Bible – The Catholic Edition with the “7 Lost Books of the Bible”
Both Versions of the Bible are Inspired by Jesus and His followers
The Holy Bible is the most important book I have ever read in my life. If you read it the way I read it your life will be changed. Most people read the Pentateuch (which means five books), the first 5 books of the Bible-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy-and the Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Like some people I have read, highlighted and underlined both the King James Version and the Catholic Version cover to cover and benefited greatly from the experience. Life is short and death is certain. I would recommend that you get with it if you haven’t already.

Perfectly Yourself – Discovering God’s Dream for You
by Matthew Kelly
This book is about the dynamics of change. Be honest, understand that diets don’t fail, we fail at diets. Savings plans don’t fail, we fail at savings plans. Relationships don’t fail, we fail at relationships. Kelly shares why: We fail to achieve real and sustainable change because we focus too much on the desired outcome and not enough on the progress we are making. When you read Kelly’s book, he just might make you a believer.

PRE – The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
by Tom Jordan
Pre ran for the University of Oregon. He became the first person ever to win 4 NCAA titles in one event (the cross-country national championships), he set the national high school record for 2 miles in 1969 (8:41.5), and for 5 years no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. At age 24 Pre was killed in a freak automobile accident and became a legend, an icon and an American hero like no other. If you want inspiration, read PRE.

Resisting Happiness
by Matthew Kelly
Most of us want to be happy and many of us are not happy. Matthew Kelly offers a reason why: Resistance can stand between us and happiness. For many people, the hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists because you can be at war with resistance every day. Why? Well, try laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension and self-sabotage. Enough said? This book shares how to defeat resistance.

Running – The Lydiard Way
by Arthur Lydiard with Garth Gilmour
Arthur Lydiard is the greatest distance running coach in the history of world. If you are a distance runner (2 miles and up) who would like to learn the physiology of running and have enough God-given speed to become an Olympic champion, following Lydiard’s philosophy will get you there.

The Capitalist Code – It Can Save Your Life
by Ben Stein
If you are part of the Millennial Generation (those born between 1981 and 1996) and want to get better information on how to make it financially in America, read this book carefully and understand why you don’t want to be given everything in life and live in a socialist country.

The Empire of Business
by Andrew Carnegie
Published in 1902, it is my understanding that much of the text of this book is speeches Andrew Carnegie gave to students in the graduating classes at Harvard University. His message was not that of an upbeat, positive motivator about the excite the graduates. A quote from Carnegie: “The millionaires who are in control started as poor boys, and were trained in that sternest but most efficient of all schools-poverty.” Yea, it’s an eye-opener by a man who sold his steel business in 1901 to J. P. Morgan for $480 million, instantly becoming the wealthiest man in the world. The average annual wage for a worker in 1901 was $450, or $8.65 a week.

The Moral Compass
by William J. Bennett
The decline of the American family constitutes perhaps the greatest long-term threat to our children’s well-being. We should give our children examples that help instill in our children a reverence for the blessings and duties of home and health, and reading is a great medium to help the process along. The Moral Compass does exactly that. Bennett has put together a compilation of heartfelt stories from cultures worldwide that can be read by an adult to the family gathering around the table after your holiday meal. This is what I have done many times for my immediate family. Four stories from The Moral Compass are examples of story time teaching: “All God’s Creatures Have Work to Do” (Page 193), “A Sound for a Smell” (Page 226), “No Greater Love” (Page 466), and “The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey” (Page 221).

The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise
by Robert Cardinal Sarah with Nicolas Diat
The essence of Robert Cardinal Sarah is if you want to get nearer to God and know God better, you must do so in silence, otherwise, we are bombarded by so much stimuli in the modern world that the voice of God that can touch us through the Holy Spirit it drowned out. The Power of Silence is the second most important book I have ever read in my life. Robert Cardinal Sarah was born in Guinea, West Africa and was made an Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Tao of Warren Buffett
by Mary Buffett and David Clark
Learn Warren Buffett’s smartest, funniest and most memorable sayings that reveal his life philosophy and investment strategies.

When Pride Still Mattered – A Life of Vincent Lombardi
by David Maraniss
Vince Lombardi transformed football into a metaphor of the American experience. He became a living legend, a symbol of leadership, discipline, perseverance, teamwork and winning.

These Are Possibly the 5 Most Accurate Sentences You Will Ever Read

Copyright 2020
by Ed Bagley

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working, another person must work without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

America is getting perilously close to losing its four most important freedoms:

1) A republic form of government based on law and order to ensure a civil and livable society.

2) The right to choose your own path in life, to speak freely and assemble freely without control from a government hell bent on becoming a socialist society that will control our means of production and jobs, seek to limit our source of information in the media and in our educational system and provide us with a substandard, universal healthcare system that will go broke, just like every other government program since the beginning of time.

3) The right to keep arms to protect us from a government that becomes too big and greedy in its control over us, moving into socialism and then morphing into a communist or totalitarian system with a dictator, controlling every aspect of our lost freedoms, taking our property and assets, destroying our family, raping our women and killing us when we object.

4) The right to free and fair elections to determine who will represent us without government officials fixing elections to elect the candidate of their choice, to protect our borders from criminal actors and elements that threaten our safety and security, and career politicians who can be bought and sold by special interest groups, including businesses making money and creating jobs, and minority groups littered with victims who have little interest in working within the existing system to get ahead and prosper and seek government control and government handouts while complaining and whining voraciously while achieving nothing.

America is the freest country with the greatest opportunity on the face of the Earth. Clearly, the underachievers who are unhappy in America are out to change our system rather than themselves. The do not understand this reality: When you blame others you give up your ability to change. Albert Einstein said it best: The difference between ignorance and intelligence is that intelligence has a limit.

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)