Category Archives: Good Ideas

Independence Day 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Birthday America

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Help Day by Day

Things have changed greatly in the eight or so years that I’ve been blogging. The tools we use, from our blogging platform to the way we measure and interact with visitors, are all much different now. Group efforts have largely surpassed the lone blogger, pioneers have reached a national audience or faded from the stage. A large number of well known writers in the infancy of the blogosphere have moved on to other projects and places in their lives.

Not all things have changed. One enduring part of the conservative portion of the blogosphere is our daily dose of Chris Muir’s Day by Day. Even on days when I don’t write anything (and lately that’s been more days than it should) I open this site so I can read the latest from the fictional lives of Sam, Zed, Jan, Damon, and the rest.

Chris’s efforts are 100% reader supported. Every year he holds one fund raiser to sustain his work. In years past the goal has been reached early, and usually surpassed previous years. This year things are going a little slower. In order to reach his goal Chris has extended this years fund-raiser. I urge you to visit Day by Day and contribute what you can to keep this wonderful part of our daily lives going. Please visit soon and push this years totals over the top.

This Time It’s Personal

On February 22nd I get to celebrate my first anniversary of being smoke free. That was the day my electronic cigarette starter kit arrived. I had try to quit before, on my own. That didn’t work at all. Switching to ecigs has worked, and it’s worked amazingly well.

So, leave it to the government to want to screw that up.

Section 918(b) requires that the Secretary of HHS, after consultation with recognized scientific, medical, and public health experts, submit a report to Congress examining how best to regulate, promote, and encourage the development of “innovative products and treatments (including nicotine-based and non-nicotine-based products and treatments)” to better achieve the following three goals: (1) Total abstinence from tobacco use, (2) reductions in consumption of tobacco, and (3) reductions in the harm associated with continued tobacco use.

Many people will react with a “so what?” Well, it’s government regulation, and we already have enough of them, and this time it’s personal. Here is what V2, my distributor, has to say on the subject:

This added regulation could have a negative impact on the availability, accessibility and cost of V2 Cigs and other e-cig brands’ products.
But you can make sure that your opinion is heard!

If V2 Cigs electronic cigarettes have made a positive difference in your life, please share your story with the FDA. Ask them not to implement additional regulations which would limit your ability to obtain V2 Cigs.

Read the notice of public hearing on the FDA website. You can click on the blue Comment Now button in the upper right corner of the FDA’s site to submit your comments through Wednesday, January 16, 2013.

Your opinion matters! This is your chance to make a difference for the entire electronic cigarette industry. Visit the FDA Website today and encourage your friends to do the same. Together, we will be heard!

Quite frankly, I don’t trust the government to get this right. Some of the advantages of vaping include

  • Being able to vape where you can’t smoke.
  • A near endless variety of flavors. Everything from tobacco and menthol flavors, to coffee, chocolate covered cherry, fruits, mints, and some that I wouldn’t even want to try. I mean, I love bacon, but I wouldn’t want to vape it.
  • A big, big money savings. Of course the government is going to want to tax these products even more than they want to regulate them.I saved nearly $1000 so far. I’m sure the government wants a part of that. A BIG part.

All of this is on top of how much better I feel. Ecigs are not marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, but the pure fact is I feel 100% better since I switched. I can breath easier, walk further, do more without feeling exhausted.

If you’re a smoker I do encourage you to give ecigs a try. I suggest V2 (Use the code MyVaporLife at checkout for a discount!) because that’s what worked for me, and I’m an affiliate. You can also search for ecigs, but I urge you to do your homework. There are a few scams out there. Be very cautious with “free trials”.

Here is the comment I left at the FDA site:

I am a 57 year old male, and I don’t know when I started smoking, other than it was sometime in my thirties, but I do know when I quit – February 22nd, 2011. I had tried to quit previously on my own, using the patch, and with gum. None of those methods worked.
On 2/22/11 my electronic cigarette starter kit arrived. Since that time I have smoked two and a half packs of regular cigarettes – the half pack I had left when the starter kit arrived, one when I was still starting with the e-cigs, and the last one when I forgot my battery charger at work. All of that was within the first month, so I can honestly claim to have been smoking free for more than 10 months.
I can personally tell you that I can breathe easier, exercise and work around the house without getting so easily winded, taste and smell better, and I greatly enjoy the nearly $1000 that I’ve saved. I am convinced that e-cigs have improved my quality of life and that I would not have quit any other way.
I urge you to take a thorough and honest look at the science, and to include in your evaluation the positive impact electronic cigarettes have for so many people. In my office alone four (out of five) smokers have fully replaced traditional cigarettes with electronic ones.
Most of all I urge you to NOT remove or regulate the positives that I, and others, find so attractive about e-cigs:
• The variety of flavors that are available
• The low cost relative to traditional cigarettes
• The ability to vape whenever and wherever I want
• The ability to use a product that has, in my personal experience, allowed me to stop smoking
In my opinion, removing these incentives will do greater harm than good. I am convinced that should e-cigs become harder to obtain, or less attractive to use, I would in all likelihood return to smoking. I am sure I am not alone in this belief.
The positives of electronic cigarettes are many, and I ask that you cautiously and honestly consider their benefits when adopting any policies related to their use. Please do not regulate them out of existence, or make them difficult to obtain or less attractive to use. I don’t want to go back to smoking, and electronic cigarettes have made that possible.
Thank you.

Cross posted at My Vapor Life.

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Happy New Year – 2013

2013Happy New Year!

2012 is officially in the rear-view mirror and 2013 is here. Regular readers know that I am an optimist by nature, and there’s nothing an optimist likes more than a brand new year to get things off to a fresh new start. So in that regard I am excited, as always, for the opportunity a new year brings.

My optimism is tempered this year by some serious concerns about the things we face in 2013. The new year offers some daunting challenges, both personally and collectively as a nation.

Nancy Pelosi’s much quoted observation that we had to pass Obamacare to see what was in it will start to live up to its promise. Expect an ever more revealing look at monster with the pretty name and lofty ideals. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will neither protect patients, nor be affordable. I expect that what we learn about this law will occupy a good part of the new year.

Economic issues will be another constant companion in 2013. We see that in these first few hours of 2013 and the proposed Fiscal Cliff Deal.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.

Of course that 41:1 figure relies on the $15 billion in spending cuts actually getting cut. Any bets on that happening? I didn’t think so.

My biggest (and final, for this post. I promise) concern for the new year, and Obama’s second term, is regulation. I am convinced that we are in for a flood of regulations in the new year and beyond that will eclipse what we’ve seen in our first 236 years as a nation. Ironically, it may be the regulatory over-reach that wakes up the complacent and propels them to action. Even the ever larger segment of the population that is happy to get government “stuff” will, I believe, start to chafe from regulations that intrude into every part of our lives.

But enough pessimism.

As I am every year, I am excited about the possibilities a new year offers. The challenges we face are nothing compared to the people that will face them. I may be dumbfounded by choices my fellow citizens made in 2012, but I am convinced that there are enough of us left who still believe in the American experiment to prevent an irreversible collapse.

I’ve said before that in some ways America has it too good. Not in the way our liberal friends think, that we need to be knocked down a peg to elevate the rest of the world. Rather, that when we live a life of ease it is easy to become complacent, to forget the words of Ronald Reagan,

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

And there are still fighters out there. I’m sure of it. I’m counting on it.

Yet, sometimes it takes a little adversity to remind us that we need to continue the fight. Years ago I remember teaching a Sunday school class. I made the point that Satan has better success using complacency than confrontation. The same is true of our national life, as we sit back and believe that things will get better without working to insure that it is so.

My wish for all of you in 2013 is that you will be blessed by all the good things that God has made available to you, that you will find comfort to persevere in the face of adversity, and that you will choose to fight for the promise still inherent in our great nation,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Happy New Year, and all the best for 2013!

Support Day by Day

It’s time for the 6th annual Day by Day fundraiser. I am sure that regular readers look forward to seeing Sam, Zed, Jan, Damon, and the rest of Chris Muir’s cast each day as much as I do. Day by Day is 100% reader supported. In case it isn’t clear, that means you.

Fans have stepped up for five years and made this fundraiser a great success. Let’s do it again in 2012. Chris won’t leave you empty handed either. Click to see the rewards available for different levels of support.

Take a look and lend a hand today.

Only Son

bRight & Early readers already know Wyatt from Support Your Local Gunfighter. He has done an amazing job with his blog, he was a major contributor to Blogs.4bauer.com, and he was the official satirist at Family Security Matters. He is also a detective for the Philadelphia Police Department. In addition to all of that he is a generous friend and, most of all, a dedicated family man.

He can now add published author to that list.

I wrote a book. Well, I co-wrote a novel with my friend Pam from Blogmeister USA.

Here’s the back story:

Pam started working on a murder mystery in late 2008. It was set in Connecticut, and she wanted me to be a technical advisor for all things police. I jumped at the opportunity because Pam got me my former gig at Family Security Matters, and because Pam is a terrific writer. (She writes for Breitbart’s Big Hollywood, American Spectator, and other top sites.) I gave her what I could, with the caveat that everything was coming from a Philly point of view. I told her that reports and procedures in CT may be different.

After a few months of contribution, Pam asked me to be a co-author on January 12, 2009. We decided to move the setting from Connecticut to Philly, and Only Son was born.

Here are the links for Only Son:

The Createspace and Amazon prices are the same, but Shawn gets a better royalty from Createspace.

You can also click on the link above to be taken to the amazon page. Please spread the word about Only Son on social media and any other way you can think of.

UPDATE: My copy came in on Monday and I finished last night. I really enjoyed it. Great Job Pam and Wyatt!!

Last Chance

This is the last week to participate in the 5th Annual DBD Support Fund Drive. Let Chris know how much you appreciate reading Day by Day by donating what you can. Let’s push Day by Day over the finish line in style. Make this a Twitter/Google + Bomb of a week by using the hash tag #DBD. Point people to this post and RT or Share any #DBD mentions you see!

I’m heading out to post the first #DBD mentions now. Join me.

A Line To Love

Well, Rick Perry did announce his candidacy today in South Carolina. I watched part of it on FOX and one line stuck out above all the rest, “I will work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your lives as I can.”

That’s a great line and the reality would be even greater. From ending Obamacare to dealing with the problem of Stregulation, making D.C. inconsequential in our lives is a goal worth pursuing. Let’s hope he means it.