Dec 25, 2010

What's So Special About Bethlehem

Abigail and Dolley readers - Merry Christmas!  I love biblical prophecy, of all the proofs that God offers us, the proofs of fulfilled prophecy are some of my favorite.  Today we celebrate Jesus' birth.  Most know that he was born in Bethlehem, but what makes that significant?  What was special about this place.  Let's look at some of the prophecy together.

The Book of Micah was likely written between 735 and 700 B.C. and predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem in Judea.  Mic 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
The New Testament proclaims that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and the Old Testament tells us where in Bethlehem he was born.  A place called Migdal Edar, which means Tower of the Flock. 

Mic 4: 8 "And thou, O tower of the flock, the hill of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, yea, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem."

Migdal Edar, the Tower of the Flock, was where the special passover lambs were raised.  These were not ordinary lambs, these were consecrated and set aside specifically for sacrifice.

Thus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) was born in the lambing barn of the special passover lambs.  The shepherds which are keeping watch by their fields at night were the shepherds of Migdal Edar.

I could write for days and years on the subject - for the greatness of God is eternal and His mysteries are infinite.  May you be richly blessed this Christmas and may the peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon you.

Dec 20, 2010

A Great Christmas (or anytime) Read

I want to wish all of you Abigail and Dolley readers a very Merry Christmas. I hope the blessings of the Lord Jesus are abundant in your life as you remember the greatest gift of all, our Savior.

A few years ago I began reading the writings of Bodie and Brock Thoene. This talented husband and wife have written dozens of books, some of which capture moments in the Bible so vividly you will never read the Word the same way.

Their AD Chronicles are incredible reads as they take unnamed characters in the Bible and write stories around them. The crescendo of the stories are the parts that include Jesus; it touches the believer in a way that mere reading of the facts can not. For instance, in First Light, we meet the blind boy whom Jesus healed and whose parents were questioned and who was himself questioned by the Pharisees. In Second Touch we meet the lepers whom Jesus touches and heals. In Third Watch we meet the man who brings his demon possessed son to Christ who says, "I believe, help me with my unbelief". These passing and nameless characters are given lives, names, histories, and struggles. We praise God anew at the miracles they are the recipients of in the stories.

Beginning in the Fourth book and through the Sixth, we learn about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, and the birth of Christ. While all of these books are good and full of revelation, they are in large part a repeat (over three books, no less) of information we already learned and know about from the last book of the Zion Legacy series, Jerusalem's Hope.

Thus, if you would like to dig down, deep into the symbolism, the meanings, and the foreshadowing of the Christian story I highly recommend these books. Jerusalem's Hope takes you into the world of the Bethlehem shepherds. You learn why these shepherds and their lambs were special and why it was so perfect that the Lamb of God was born there.

If you aren't much of a book reader and would like some juicy facts, check out this web site http://www.bible-truth.org/BirthPlaceofJesus.html

Many blessings to you!

Dec 18, 2010

I Finished It!

Abigail and Dolley readers some of you may recall, that back in March I declared I was writing a novel.  I have over the years put pen to paper and begun three other novels.  The first when I was about 16 years old, another when I was in college, and a third about three years ago.  All of them were victims of either limited life experience, convoluted and way too involved story lines, or just plain full of so many holes and mistakes they were abandoned.  This one, though, dear friends was different.

This book flowed out of me like breath.  I did not spend a ton of time scripting the story, the story just told itself.  Some of the chapters have only been read by me once and I did not obsess on editing what I had already written, I just kept going.  From March through April I wrote feverishly; the story coming to me on my drive to work every morning and when I sat down that night, I already knew what I was going to write.

Alas, life gets in the way and I sent an electronic copy to a friend.  A friend I knew loved to read the genre I was writing and one who I felt would give me good and honest feedback.  Then my work life spun out of my control and the book sat unfinished and untouched for months.  My friend was quiet and I began to fear that it was so horrible, she could not even bring herself to critique it.

Then, as life goes, I was blessed with a visit from her and she sheepishly admitted that she'd only begun to read the book a few days before and it was GOOD.  I was so relieved, because unlike my other attempts she is the only one who has read a word of it.  Even my beloved husband, George, had not read a line.  Suddenly, the story started popping in my head again.  The characters wanted to have their story finished.

Life has calmed down much in the last few months and I finished the book tonight.  As I lay here, with my laptop humming away, I can not believe I actually finished it.  Of course, that is simply the first part of the writing process and because much of the story was written in a whirlwind, it will have to be edited and anomalies corrected.  I suppose if a book is a body, then I have finished assembling the skeleton.  That is the frame though and truly the hardest part.  I have to go back and give it tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin but the story is complete and I am overjoyed.

Dec 17, 2010

Emotional Bank Accounts

Abigail and Dolley readers I am indeed very privileged to have engaged in a mentoring relationship with a very wise gentleman.  Friday afternoons have become the highlight of my week and I have grown tremendously in just a few short weeks.  Being challenged, affirmed, and learning something in the process is one of life's greatest adventures.  We are all in the business of living and if we stop learning we become stale and boring, even to ourselves.

This week, we were discussing interpersonal relationships and I shared one of the insights I gained many years ago.  I believe we have an emotional bank account for everyone that comes into our lives.  Based on the level of importance, each person starts out with an initial deposit.  Subsequent transactions and interactions with that person are either a deposit or a withdrawal on the account.  When we are involved with people that are constantly withdrawing from the account, eventually, the account goes into overdraft and after a period of time the account is closed.

This is true in all our relationships, even with those of your children, who start out with the very largest initial deposit of anyone in our lives. If all someone ever does is take from you and never put anything back, it is time to close the account.  At some point in the future, the person may have a change of heart and seek to reopen the account, but that will require a meeting with the banking officer to determine if the necessary changes have been made in order to justify a reopening of said account.

So Abigail and Dolley readers as we approach the New Year when we all feel we have been given a new lease on life and an opportunity to begin anew, review the bank accounts in your life and close the ones that are in overdraft, send a warning to those who have reached a minimum threshold, and put deposits in the accounts were YOU are overdrawn.

Many blessings to you all,
Dolley

Dec 12, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Abigail and Dolley readers this year, I did my tree in the colors of THE King, inspired by Tudor velvets.  Royal shades of red, blue, purple, green decorated with gold and citrine.  It was inspired by an ornament I have had for years and always thought a tree after that fashion would be stunning..  I spent days getting it just right.  It was a tough one!  I think mostly because the deep purple and the royal blue disappear into the evergreen.  Its actually quite beautiful in all sorts of light and it was a blast putting it together.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  I told you I have been on a creative tear!  Merry Christmas loyal readers.  You make doing this seem meaningful.  May the Lord Bless you, may He make His face shine down upon you, and give you Peace.  In the Mighty and Powerful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bless you.

Love,
Dolley

Royal Shades of Blue, Purple, Green, Gold, and Red

I love her, she's singing to herself in the mirror

Butterfly

Purple Peacock on a hydrangea

Purple Hummingbird at his feeder

Blue Peacock looking over her shoulder

The Ruler of the Roost, this is a tough old bird

The Ornament that inspired the tree

I have tried 6 ways to Sunday to get these pictures to upload correctly, alas, we are in sideways world viewing the whole tree! If you click on the pictures, it will take you to a gallery where they are all right side up.



In the Day with no lights, check out the Butterfly!

The Topper
Merry Christmas from Dolley's Haven.

Dec 10, 2010

Friday Evening Ponderings and a Little Pep Talk from Dolley Madison

Abigail and Dolley readers, I have to say I am sorry.  Many of you loyal readers have come to this site for political commentary and it just aint happinin'.  I am sure as seasons go, I will once again pick up  the pen and begin pontificating on the events of the day, but alas, I am tired of it.  I am worn out with watching the left destroy my country.  I am worn out with the daily political action alerts I receive in my email.  I am not listening to talk radio, checking Drudge on the hour, watching Fox for hours on end, and going through my fb pages for interesting political articles and discussions.  I am just not interested in any of it at this point.  The pox on them all!

That does not mean that my brain has stopped thinking, oh contrare!  I have had an absolute creative explosion in the last few weeks; my book, my garden, my house, and mostly my job.  It has almost been a fugue.  Many wonderful things have been born of this episode but the most profound was this statement:

Knowing where you want to go is one thing but knowing how to get there is another.

It came to me in a moment of clarity and suddenly all of the disenfranchised puzzle pieces fell into place and it started clicking.  Everyone has dream, places they want to go, things they want to do, a life they want to live but without a plan, they will never be anything other than dreams.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step - I know it is hackneyed and clique but it is appropriate.

Start at the end and work backwards.  Find the half way point and keep going - all the way back to where you are right now.  Look at the difference between right now and your goal.  Determine a time frame and set incremental goals that get you where you want to go.  Write it down.  Share it with others.  Inspire yourself.  Grow, learn, seek, improve but most of all move forward.  No one is stopping you except yourself.  Get out there and do it, you can, this is America, Baby. 

We can still be whatever we want to be!  We can still achieve the impossible.  We can still make it, and rock the World while we are doing it because it is bred in us.  It is in the fundamental DNA of the American Spirit and we are indeed Mighty and Great.  So be a Patriotic American and live your dream, make your wealth, achieve your success.  Take that first step, We The People are behind you cheering you on.

Dec 3, 2010

Take a Stroll Through the Autumn Garden

Abigail and Dolley readers take a stroll with me through the wonders of an Autumn Garden.  It was the day after Thanksgiving and most would have looked at the gray sky and despaired but not me.  I saw it as a perfect back drop for the bright and vivid colors of the Season.
Hibiscus, Balloon Flower, Pansies and others

Mums, Sedum, Ice Plant, and Pansies

Ageratum

Carolina Lantana, Pansies, Hibiscus, Baloon Flower, Dwarf Nandina, and Dwarf Conifer

Wild Flowers from a seed mat

Wildflowers from a seed mat


Ageratum

Ageratum

Carolina Beauty Lantana (it smells like lemons and butter)

Baloon Flower (it turns from green to yellow to orange)


Spirea

Pansy

Autumn Color on a random tree





Arborvite
During the summer these are bright electric blue

Nov 19, 2010

My Own Three's Company Episode

Anyone that watched the 1970's Three's Company will recall that every episode was essentially about a misunderstanding.  The misunderstanding would spark a funny series of comic events and in the end, the truth would come out, everyone would hug - See You Next Week!

So anyway, George and I are having a small dinner party on Saturday night and as my good friend, says everyone should have people over at least twice a year because you get your house in order when company is coming.  Needless to say, we decided to finally finish a project that we started 2 years ago.  All the colors are taupes and black/browns with red as the accent color.


New Paint!

We have needed a picture over the mantel on the main wall in the great room, that we could both agree on, for several years.  George's one rule for whatever picture we ultimately chose was "No More Flowers" and I agreed to comply with his wishes.  I discovered Art.com and have become enthralled with the site.  I selected a really cool abstract

What I Ordered

To my delight my picture was ready in just days and was to deliver the day before the party.  It was the final piece in a LONG project and I was eager to see it in person and hang it up.  The package arrived right on schedule in a gigantic box.  George set out to surprise me by unpacking it and hanging it before I got home from work. The packing was intense.  Wired tape, multiple layers, straps, sleeves, and Styrofoam protected my new art it took him 30 minutes to unpack the picture, he was excited too!

Six Foot tall Boxes
He turns the picture over and its a boat.
A Freaking Boat?

He is stunned, at first he's pissed and thinks to himself, "What the heck was she thinking?  This doesn't go!  It will ruin everything.  This sucks!  Hang on, in all the years I have known her I don't think I have ever heard her mention a boat.  I don't think she's ever said, "I love boats" or "I want a picture of a boat".  She doesn't even like boats!  Surely she would not have picked this picture for the Living Room! Oh, no!  What if she loves it!  What if she is so excited and will have her feelings hurt if I insult the picture.  Well, it is a kind of nice boat... but if you could pick out a picture that would not possibly go with all of our stuff, it could very well be this picture.  No, they sent us the wrong picture.  I'd better call her, but I'll play it cool.... just in case."

Now if that would have been a Three's Company Episode, he would have tried to hide the print from me to keep it out of sight until after the guests were gone.  Finally after a huge series of mishaps, I would have discovered the high jinx and laughed about it after the teaching/touching moment.

In the end, he posed it to me in this regard, "Well, your picture got here and I think they sent you the wrong one.  It has a boat on it...."

Nov 17, 2010

Having A Party

Abigail and Dolley readers some of you hard core readers may recall last summer when I lamented that We Don't Throw Parties Anymore .  I said it was because the house was not finished and since the advent of Better Homes and Gardens people stopped having people over to visit.  I submit to you, that I was correct in my original assertions, but neglected to mention one thing.  If one would like to have friends over, there is no greater motivation to finish a project and spruce up the house than a party.

The house gets cleaned, the trash gets thrown out, the storage unit gets cleaned out, the walls get painted, art gets ordered, furniture gets moved and bought.... All the stuff that we said needed to get done but somehow never does, well all that gets done for a party.  My good friend's husband says they should have people over at least twice a year simply for that reason and you know what?  I agree with him and will tell him so when I see him on Saturday Night.

Will my friends enjoy the party more now that the house is fixed up?  No, they are coming to see us - THEY don't care what the house looks like.  I am blessed to be hosting new friends and old.  The new friends arrive with a bottle of wine.  The old friends show up an hour early and help you clean the bathrooms.... Luckily, the maid did those, the caterer is cooking the food, and the handyman has finished painting - I am simply going to show up and be the Queen that I am.  Praise the Lord for His Mighty hand of blessings and great friends, old and new.

Nov 11, 2010

Free Phones

Abigail and Dolley readers I don't have cable or local TV so commercials often escape my notice all together.  I happened to catch about an hour of local news today and was appalled at the commercials directed at welfare precipitants on free benefits and specifically phones!  Did you know you can get a free cell phone if you are on welfare?  Did you know you can get two months free home phone service?  What the hell!  Go get a job and buy your phone!  I am officially sick; we are broke.

Nov 9, 2010

Some Things I Have Learned

Abigail and Dolley readers - I have one of those strange minds that retains facts and bits of information, I know a little about almost everything.

Here are some tips:

If you suffer from dandruff throw away the special shampoos, in many cases they make it worse!  Instead, everyday wet your hair in the shower, use a squirt bottle and put apple cider vinegar on your scalp, rub it in, let it sit for a minute, and rinse.  Wash and condition as you normally would.  Do this every day for 2 weeks and there after when you have a flare up.  Works like a charm and you can wear black again!

If you have really rough sand paper skin on the back of your arms - cut out milk and watch it go away.

If you get an ant bite, mix baking soda and benedryl cream into a paste, it will pull out the poison and you won't have a sore for a week.

Under the skin and cystic acne will respond to Icthammol Drawing Salve.  Simply put a healthy dab on, cover with a bandaid and the drawing salve will pull out the infection.  You won't scar and the pimple won't last 2 weeks!  Take an ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain.

Kids will eat as much as they need.  Don't artificially over ride their natural tendencies and they won't loose their God given regulatory sense.

Many of us adults HAVE lost our ability to regulate our food intake.  The French say that the first bite of food that you take that is not as good as when you began is a signal to stop eating.  Try it, it works.

If you eat something and your neck, back, or shoulders ache you may have a sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy to that food.

Women - go get fitted for a bra, most of us are in the wrong size.

Check your shoe size - it changes.

Gained a few pounds and the jeans don't fit as well as they used to?  Favorite T-shirt all drawn up and doesn't hang right anymore?  Downy Wrinkle Releaser works wonders on cotton clothes to smooth wrinkles and relax fibers that have seized up.

Nov 8, 2010

Pondering All Things

Abigail and Dolley readers as in all creative things, inspiration comes in waves for me, so forgive me if I seem to sometimes be off the reservation!  Ironically, we have worked so very hard over the last two years I find that I need a break from all things political, just for a little while.  We will be vigilant and hold our elected officials feet to the fire to insure they do what we elected them to do, but I am going to gain a little perspective.

It's cold out now and there is tons to do in the garden to get ready for Winter.  We are painting the inside of the house (at least the upstairs) and am very excited for a change.  So I leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures, taken in the Autumn 2008.  God Bless You!



Oct 30, 2010

The Inherent Decency of the Right

Abigail and Dolley readers it occurred to me today that the inherent decency of the Right has been on full display this election season as personified in Democratic Senate Candidate from SC, Alvin Greene.  If you have missed Alvin Greene on the national stage you can attribute that largely in part to the hands off approach people on the right have taken toward this candidate.  Watching or listening to Alvin Greene brings to mind the admonition of my Mother, "Do not stare or make fun of retarded people."  For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, here is an Alvin Greene video.



Let's just pretend for a moment that this guy was a Conservative.  Can you imagine Stewart, Olberman, Matthews, Maddow, Rhodes, Schultz, and all the other viscous liberal attack hyenas would do to him?  Can you imagine if Alvin Green was a CGLB (Conservative, Good Looking, Brunette)?

The man won the SC primary largely because people thought he was the blues and gospel singer, Al Green.  That is just pathetic.  Ironically, I think Alvin Greene was the Lord's way of blessing Jim DeMint and honoring this great man for his service.

I am in the Charlotte Metropolitan area and thus, Alvin Greene is local politics in my media market.  To a person, every conservative commentator and interviewer has refrained from destroying this guy.  Mark Levin, who can be quite the ranter, was as polite as possible to him.  The interviewers are embarrassed for him and Keith Larson of WBT has even tried to help him during exchanges.  It is actually quite painful.

The Left would show no mercy if this guy was a Conservative.

The Toughest Women on the Planet - Conservative, Good Looking, Brunette Politicians

Abigail and Dolley readers I must confess and it is indeed a sad day.  I have determined I can never run for political office.  You see I am a conservative, good looking, brunette (CGLB) and they are not allowed to run for public office any longer.  While technically not illegal (yet) Bachmann, Palin, and O'Donnell serve as a stern and sobering warning for any CGLB who is considering public office.  You better be ready, Sister, because you will be attacked with the ferocity of conflagration.   

I have the added handicap of being nice and think of a good come back about an hour after someone insults me.  My Southern Accent used when inconveniently speaking my mind and telling the truth would be fresh meat to the slobbering hyenas of the Mocking Stream Media.  I would undoubtedly be destroyed.  I am an Evangelical Christian, who happens to believe in a CREATOR.  That immediately brands me a troglodyte.  My pastor preaches the unvarnished truth of the Gospel and says a lot of Politically incorrect things like Sin, Redemption, and Hell.  I am a believer in individual liberty and against violence towards children and women in all forms, which makes me an enemy of the "I want to kill your baby crowd".  I went to a (gasp) State school where I got B's, so I am obviously an idiot and not worthy to grace the halls of Congress with my superiors.  I am "in trade" as the English Aristocrats used to say while holding their noses.  I have not lived a perfect life. My biggest offense though, is that I am cute.

Oct 26, 2010

How Much Does Government Regulation Cost You?

Abigail and Dolley readers for every product you buy, what do you think it costs you to pay for government regulation in that item?  I think the price would astound you.  Some costs may not be directly rolled into the price of the product but definitely reduce the amount of net income that goes back to a companies bottom line.  Let me give you a couple of examples that I have noted recently.

I am working on a plan to move one of my branches to a new location.  I found out today that I have to install an entirely new bathroom in the facility to comply with new county code related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Now, there are a handicap stalls in the existing facilities, but they don't conform to the new regulations.  This new bathroom will eliminate the janitor's closet and will add an additional $15,000 onto the construction costs for the build out.  I lost about 2 hours of my day today reworking the plan and we will get absolutely no value out of this expense.  I have been in my industry for 20 years now and have never once worked with anyone in a wheelchair, nor do I believe I have ever even had a visitor in one.  What is wrong with the existing facilities?  They are 3" too small.  Will we roll this into the cost of our product, no, it just increases my overhead.

The next one relates to transportation costs and I would like to specifically point out the air freight market.  International or Domestic, Import or Export - it does not matter, if you are flying something to meet a critical deadline you are paying out the nose for security fees.  Right after 9/11 the airlines started charging a War Risk Surcharge - $0.15/kg on every shipment and this past August due to 100% screening requirements we added another $0.15/kg for screening fees.  Right off the top we have 0.30/kg for every shipment, then there are all the documents and paperwork needed to comply with security regulations and you add another $50/shipment.  This might seem nominal at first glance but it adds up.  Theoretically if you figure 2 million kgs of airfreight moving everyday the cost of security regulatory compliance is roughly about $220 Million dollars a year.  That is added directly on to the price you pay for everything you buy. (My estimates)

There is nothing of intrinsic value that is added in either of the above instances, they are merely costs associated with complying with an ever increasing Nanny State that seeks to regulate business out of existence.

Oct 20, 2010

The Evil Rich Guy

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been on the road for the last few weeks visiting customers.  The life blood of my branches with this new company is small and medium sized clients.  All of these customers are "small business people".  Their desks are cluttered with paper, they have care lines etched upon their faces, they are living on coffee and cigarettes, and they are trying to keep their employees employed and their doors opened.

One of the clients was a couple of High School buddies who got an idea for a product and launched a firm.  One of the clients was a third generation in a family business that started out as his grandfather's general store.  Another was a man who had worked in corporate America for years and started his own firm.  All of them are hanging on, all of them are frustrated with the new environment in this country, and all of them said they would like to source in the USA but can't find anyone to manufacture their products.

We have to get out of these people's way.  We have to stop punishing their success with punitive taxes and adding to the cost of doing business.  We have to stop blaming these people for their success and we have to reward them for who they are and what they do.

Oct 10, 2010

Chinese Manufacturing and Why the USA Should NOT be Behind

I recently had a very interesting opportunity to learn about Chinese Manufacturing from a gentlemen I met from Qingdao (pronounced Ching-Dow).  We were picking on him for all of the Chinese Holidays and he explained why this was so.  80% of all workers in China are what we would refer to as long term commuters.  Meaning that they leave their families at home in the countryside and come to the city for work.  Only during the two week or one month holidays do they get to go home to see their families.

Guangzhou Train Station

Now from an American mindset, we would get in the car and drive home.  Not so in China, they have to try and get a bus or train ticket.  Eager workers can wait up to a week to try and buy a ticket, many will not be successful.  Traffic jams in and out of the cities can last a week.  Many workers once they finally make it home, will not return to the factories.  Instead they take the money they have saved and open grocery stores and the like in their own villages.  Thus, the highly skilled workers needed for complex manufacturing are always turning over.

Beijing Traffic Jam
This is where the American Manufacturing, workforce, and culture SHOULD be able to kick the Chinese collective butts.  We have an educated, stable, and motivated workforce who can go home every night to their families.  We also are the primary consumers of many of the products the world makes so shipping costs remain constant and are not subject to the massive fluctuations we have seen in International Freight.

So why are we loosing this battle?  I contend we have two problems - Government and Unions.  Both of which are represented as the "answer" to the current economic catastrophe we are in by the party in power.  The Democrats represent bigger and more powerful entities that are in my opinion the most significant impediment to recovery and world competitiveness.

Government suppresses American Manufacturing in a number of ways but primarily with punitive taxes and regulations.  Once again, the Democrats class warfare on the "evil rich" and their penchant for "safety" regulations render it virtually impossible to put out a competitive product.

Unions strangle the ability for businesses to adapt, change, and maximize a skilled work force by ridiculous rules and wages that far outpace the market.  Pensions, lavish healthcare plans, and inflexibility also make it much more difficult to compete.

As I listened to the Chinese gentleman describing the real situation in the Chinese firms, I couldn't help but think that the Democrats actually admire China and if they had their way, we would be just like them.  The American spirit will never be subjected like this though, they have forgotten who they are in their quest for control and power, but the American people have not forgotten.

We will begin to throw off the bonds of regulation, government, and communist unions.  We will begin to rise again and we will not loose our place in the world, no matter what the Democrats would like.  We The People will never submit.

Oct 3, 2010

Human Nature and the Progressive Tax System

Abigail and Dolley readers the below is not original material, but it so aptly illustrates the human nature at play in the culture wars that I had to copy and paste.  The credit goes to C. Howell, although I am not sure if Howell is the original author.

Philosophy/Economic lesson 101:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

Random Picture from the Internet
The first four men (the poorest) would ...pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's
bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth man and beat the hell out of him...

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!



And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists, politicians and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier...and who could blame them? 
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Oct 2, 2010

Ulysses S. Grant - We Have Been Lied To!

Abigail and Dolley readers until yesterday, if you had asked me about Ulysses S Grant, I would have told you that he was a Union General that was elected President.  I would have said he was a drunk and presided over a very corrupt Presidency.  He was a failure in business and died broke.  I suspect that you my kind reader would have said something similar.

What would you say if I told you that portrayal is a lie?  What would you say if I revealed to you that Ulysses S Grant was one of the greatest Americans to ever hold the office of President?  What would you say if I told you that he was not a drunk?  You are probably as shocked as I was to find out that we have indeed been so completely deceived in our recollection of this man, that the injustice of it is nothing short of a crime against history.

Ulysses S Grant - Photo by Matthew Brady
 It was this picture that caught my attention.  Most pictures of Civil War soldiers do not appeal to the modern eye.  I can't recall ever looking at one and thinking, "Wow, he's handsome!"  Thus, when I saw this yesterday, I had to find out who it was.  I was shocked to discover it was Grant.  The article was about how he was much maligned and how revisionist historians had painted such a false picture of this great American hero.  I had to find out for myself.

Ten hours later, I could weep from the injustice.  Ulysses S Grant was none of the things that I had previously thought except for the fact that he was a trusting man who was swindled out of his modest life savings and did indeed die broke.  Even the story of his death speaks to a man of unwavering integrity and honor.  In the throes of a painful death from throat cancer, Grant tirelessly composed and dictated his memoirs.  The proceeds from their sale were intended to rescue his families fortunes and he did not succumb to death until they were completed.

Widely regarded as the most successful Presidential Memoir in history, they are still in print and reveal a genius of wit and insight.  Mark Twain said of his memoirs that a thousand writers could not have tendered such a well turned book where few if any sentences required revision and the simplistic language conveyed and imparted greater meaning than most anyone he'd ever read.

This was not the work of a lifelong alcoholic on his deathbed.  By all personal accounts and writings of those who knew him, Ulysses S Grant was a man of honor, temperance, and modesty.  He was a champion of civil rights, fierce protector of the Confederate Officers in peace time, forged a humane and generous policy toward the American Indians, and crushed the domestic terrorism of the KKK.  He was a fierce lover of his family, devoted to his wife, and indulgent and affectionate toward his children.

He was an artist, a writer, and perhaps the greatest horseman to ever hold the office of President.  Grant was kind to animals and is said to have only been seen in a temper over a Teamster mistreating a horse.  He had an incredible memory and 20 years after the fact recognized a soldier with whom he had shared rations with at the Battle of Shiloh.  He recalled in great detail many aspects of battles, movements, and army life.  We was disciplined in his manner and speech.  He was humble and was always uncomfortable with the public adoration and praise that he received.

In all my research, I can find no contemporary of his who describes him as a drunk.  There is no indication of this in any accounts written during his life time or after in dozens of interviews.  The only allusion I could find of it was from WW Smith, who was a cousin and lifelong companion who indicated that Grant would occasionally not make himself available to people during the holidays while his children were home in favor of spending time with his family.  On one such occasion, it was written of Grant that he was drunk when in fact he had been spending time with his children.  

Alas, he was a Republican and continued Lincoln's legacy to honor and protect the Black man and to heal the nation of the wounds of Civil War.  He was a brilliant General and an American Hero.  He was revered and well loved.  I suspect that liberal historians choose not to discuss this about him since it did not fit their purposes.  Shame on them.

For citations and further edification, please visit:  Ulysses S. Grant Homepage

Sep 30, 2010

Best Practices

Abigail and Dolley Blogspot is dedicated to exploring the logic and the facts behind issues of the day. So let us endeavor into another corporate buzzword that has been adopted into our lexicon. Best Practices - this one perhaps embodies a degree of common sense that others of its ilk have not done. It is not terribly fancy sounding and I seriously doubt that anyone uses it to make themselves look smart. Our Government and Corporate America are full of blowhard pretenders that hide their minimal intelligence and incompetance behind veils constructed of the latest catch phrases, can you say "Customer Centric" or "Social Justice"? In the case of Best Practices, though, the principal and thought behind it is actually not far fetched and for once, makes sense.

In all affairs; personal, professional, and governmental the examination of what works and what does not is nothing more than common sense. Why then do so many disregard this basic premise and proceed willy nilly down a path of failure or worse one of complete destruction? My Mother has a saying, "Those who do not listen, must feel." She is of course very wise in this regard.

It is frustrating to watch a loved one go down the wrong path, specifically if you yourself have recently done the same and tried to warn them of the pending outcome. It is nerve wracking to watch your company go down paths of futility and usually send me on a job search.

In the public arena where the stakes are higher and the costs are immeasurable we have an entire political class that constantly and consistently leads our local, state, and national government down the road to ruin. Our government is no longer concerned with doing things well and more concerned with doing things their own way. These ineffective measures have bankrupted us at all levels. We can no longer afford their arrogance and complete disregard for what actually works.

Economic stimulus - taxes and government spending have NEVER worked. Tax cuts and putting money in the hands of taxpayers and corporations have ALWAYS worked. Why are we doing the opposite?

Health Care - in states that have eased regulation on insurance companies, instituted tort reform, promoted medical savings accounts, allowed collective buying for small business, and fostered an environment of competition and free market - they are successful. Socialized and heavily regulated medicine are DISMAL failures. Why are we trying to choose the path of failure?

Environmental - common sense stewardship of the Earth, with Man in his proper place as Master and Caretaker of the Planet and not the subject of it leads to growth, prosperity, and a betterment of our World. Illogical is the idealogy that says that Man is subject to the Earth and Human concerns must always take a back seat to the needs of the Earth. This policy can be seen in full display in the absolute destruction of the Timber Industry in Oregon and Washington. Decreased numbers of the all important Spotted Owl took precedence over the lifes and welfare of human beings. The richest and most prosperous counties in the two states a decade ago now host 25% unemployment and are now the poorest. That in and of itself is a tragedy, but when you find out the Timber Industry had NOTHING to do with the Spotted Owls decline in numbers it borders on criminal. Yes, folks, the Spotted Owl is being killed by a bigger, stronger, meaner owl - yet the Timber Industry remains idle and our people remain unemployed and the human suffering that goes with the debacle is immeasurable.

Show me what works and do that! Is it too much to demand from our elected officials that they stop the waste, the favors, the pay offs and actually do what works and what is right?

Sep 19, 2010

Small Town America and Why We Still Matter

Abigail and Dolley readers, I went to a reunion yesterday.  Not a family reunion, but an Small Town American reunion.  A gathering of folks who grew up and around a small mill town on the outskirts of Charlotte.  These days there is little difference between Pineville and Charlotte, but for those of us who grew up there, we know the difference.  We remember the landmarks that are no longer there, we "Awwed" audibly when pictures of loved ones flashed on the screen during the memorial CD, we smiled at the pictures of the wild Southern boys and their jacked up muscle cars, but most of all we were happy to see each other and took pride in our heritage.

Now, the ruling classes and the liberal elite would have looked upon this group with contempt.  You see we were in cut off shorts and T-shirts, we sang all the words to Sweet Home Alabama, and we raised our cups to lost friends and good times.  We laughed at old stories, complained that we were still smoking and knew we should quit, and talked about our kids, grandkids, and small businesses.  What the ruling class forgets is that these are the people that fix your cars, build your houses, and work in your factories.  They are the back bone of this Country and will show up with a casserole when someone passes away, a tow to pull your car out of a ditch, and money to bail you out of whatever trouble you've gotten yourself into.

Their pride in their country is held in contempt by the liberal elitists who scorn their patriotism and hate this country.  Their accents render them unintelligent in the eyes of the country club Republicans.  Their faith is scorned by the academics that are too smart for God.  They are Southern, so they must be racist, say the mainstream media.  I say, they are wrong again.  These are the people that built this country, their blood ran on the battlefields of history, their sweat plowed the fields, and their hands built the products that changed the world.

These are now the people who are muzzled and stifled by an over bearing government that makes it too difficult for the common man to start a business.  These are the folks whose factories have shut down because regulators required too many expensive "safety" upgrades (for their own good, of course.) and taxed "the rich" at such a rate they could no longer afford to do business in this country.  These are the folks that used to build your house, clean your gutters, and mow your lawn but now can't find work because there are illegal aliens that will do that job "under the table".  These are the people who teeter on the edge now because the work is gone and the horizon is bleak.  These are the people who recognize that when you talk about "the rich" you are really talking about their employers and they know their jobs won't be coming back until the government stops taking their bosses money at an alarming rate.

These are the people that loved Ronald Reagan and "hoped" Obama would live up to his promises of a "change".  In the immortal words of George W Bush, "You fool me once.... wait hang on.  Well, if you fool me once then, you aren't gonna fool me again."

Long live small town America!  Enjoy the video.

Sep 17, 2010

The First Butts

Abigail and Dolley readers it has been really busy with the new job, so forgive me if the posts have become a little infrequent.  I have a crazy and irrelevant sense of humor though, and as I see things that make me laugh, I will throw them up here.

Left to right: Princess Letizia of Spain, French first lady Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama, first lady of America.
 I thought this was too funny - I really have a tremendous amount of contempt for Michelle Obama. The hypocrisy of this women is astounding. She gives new meaning to "Do as I say and not as I do." She could have done a tremendous job inspiring young black women. They desperately need a role model to stay pure, study hard, respect themselves, ect. Instead she lectures us on OUR diet when she clearly needs to look at herself with a hand mirror.

Sep 16, 2010

Laugh of the Day!

Abigail and Dolley readers this made me laugh out loud!

Sep 10, 2010

I'm As Mad As Hell and I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore!

Abigail and Dolley readers this Talking Points memo from Monica Crowley should get a reward!  I could not have said it better myself.  Enjoy!


Sep 9, 2010

I Love It When God Does Stuff Like This

I love when God uses His sense of humor.  Nothing stuck my funny bone more in the last few days than the latest debacle in LA. It seems there is a new $75 million dollar school dedicated to the Green Religion (can I bring suit against them for preaching their religion in public schools?) that has been named after Al Gore and Rachel Carson. The hysterical part is that it is sitting on toxic soil!  Rachel Carson is responsible for the ban on DDT and thus responsible for the murder of millions through malaria.  See the article from a few days ago! We all know Mr. Bozo Ozone Man and all the damage his bloated bloviating mouth has done.

Anyway, I was going to say it was ironic, but as Gutfield says in the below video that is not really accurate.  Fitting is more like it.  I think God said, okay folks, you won't post my Commandments or let my kids pray in school but you will erect a monument to "Gaya", take that!

Sep 7, 2010

Welcome New Abigail and Dolley Readers!

Dear Faithful Readers,

I started a new job today and am very blessed to have a great opportunity.  When the announcement went out today to the corporation, several enterprising colleagues Googled my name and were directed to this blog through a professional profile.  I must admit that my eyes got huge when a colleague commented that their new GM was certainly "right of center"!

Now, I am not ashamed of this blog nor the opinions expressed therein, but life can be compartmentalized and I am essentially a private person in my professional life.   It is usually best to get to know folks a bit before laying the full force and opinion of Dolley Madison on them.  Within my professional career, I prefer my work, reputation, and colleagues to speak for me.  I leave aspects of faith and politics within their appropriate realms.

I will be meeting with many of my new colleagues in a few weeks for a Global Meeting and look forward to getting to know each of them.  So if you, kind reader, are one of my enterprising new colleagues who had the foresight to save the link to this blog before I removed it from my public profile, I hope you enjoy your visit here and I look forward to working with you.

For the rest of you faithful readers, thanks for visiting and giving me your comments.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Sep 6, 2010

Testing Principals - If it Does Not Work in the Micro it Will Not Work in the Macro

For a principal to be true in the Macro is must also be true in the Micro.  Failed policies, beliefs, and philosophies ignore this truth and seek to impose their will on others.  History often bares this out but as a society we are so self important we believe that because we are involved, this time it will be different.  It will not be different, for there is nothing new under the sun.

Let me give you some examples:

Individually, we know if we work very hard for something we value it more than if someone just gives it to us.  Examples in the Macro - public housing vs. private neighborhoods.  Have you ever seen pictures of new public housing and then a retrospect of what the same housing looks like 10 years later?  It is shameful, but demonstrates the point.  If you are "given" a home you do not have to work for or earn, what insentive do you have to take care of it?  None!  If given a choice, which would you choose, where would you live?


Evolution vs. Creation - in Creation the beginning is God.  In Evolution they can not tell you the beginning.  If you can not start with the first atom and explain where that came from, everything there after is based on a false premise and is then applied to the world and the universe at large.

Sincere and honest belief makes something true, truth is individual, and should be tolerated as equally valid.  This premise is applied to the macro of "personal faith" all the time, but it is ludicrous when applied to the micro.  If I sincerely believe that the plate of potato salad in front of me is a steak sandwich no matter how sincerely I believe it, it does not make it true.  If I sincerely believe that Ronald McDonald is the son of God does my sincere belief deserve the same respect as those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Truth is relative - If I sincerely believe I am an alien from Ork does that make it so?  No, it only sends me to a mental hospital!  If a rapist believes he is making love to a woman and that there is nothing wrong with that, does that make rape okay?

Communism vs. Free Enterprise - Communism ALWAYS fails in the micro and the macro.  It is only in the minds of the Utopians where it doesn't.  Unfortunately, there are enough mislead and deceived souls out there that will ignore history, ignore real world examples, and continue to live in LaLa Land.

Thus, I have briefly demonstrated the point that if something is not true at all levels then it can not be true at any level.  We must reject the lies and insist on the truth.  We must stop "tolerating" irrational suppositions and shine the light of sense, reason, and logic on the things that are only true in someone's mind.  We must stop supporting policy and regulations that seek to ignore human nature and impose a misguided vision on those they seek to help.  It is time my friend to stop humoring those who believe the lies and it is time to start speaking the truth.