Saturday, February 21, 2015

How I came to believe in Divine Healing.

It was at First Assembly

It was early in the 1980s, I was pretty new to the whole idea that God heals people. Yet when Pastor Dan said so, I bought into it. I had no doubt. "I am the Lord that healeth thee" was enough.

The first time I went forward for healing was in the old building. I had a wart on my finger. It was a Sunday night service. Dan and Wanda were praying for people. I went forward. He looked at the wart and cursed it .. it was gone in a day. It had been there for a year.

Not a big deal like a cancer, but it was a faith builder. I began to believe that God can do anything. My first response from that day forward was first to seek God for healing before even thinking about going to a doctor. And it worked.

I became a steady show up in any healing lines after that. Ingrown Toenail. Healed. Tooth issues. Healed. ANYTHING that came up.. that was my first reaction.

Then I got boldness to lay hands on others.. freely given freely give.

That has been amazing even to this day even decades later. The other day Peggy was injured. God still heals. No doctors are required.

Not that I never go to a doctor.. of course I do. BUT I know that it's second best. It's not a lack of faith if I do, but I must get a release in my spirit to do so. Running off after every sniffle just doesn't happen.

There was a time when my faith for healing was abated for a little. It was also there at First Assy. When I came for another time to have hands laid on me, anoit with oil.. someone said, "that's why we have dentists". I took him at his words.. that was a mistake. Lack of faith can be contagious. That was a lack.

 Maybe you needed this encouragement today. I did. Bless you.

Talk about a tin ear.

 I guess Ferguson never happened. Islamic extremest actions (Fort Hood, Beheadings in OK, 9-11 and about 2 dozen other things) never took place. RIGHT WING TERROR. Yeah, that's the ticket. UM, will someone please give me a RECENT example (past decade please) of when all these attacks on police, government buildings etc are taking place? This is straw man diversion, LOOK THERE'S A SQUIRREL. In case you wonder WHY there is a question of government.. this is that

They're carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings...|By Evan Perez and Wes Bruer, CNN

is there any other faith? Of course not you silly rabbit

A Muslim prayer was recited at the start of the second day of the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,” but no other religious text was...

The Comment that Rudy Made Comes from the distorted view left wing people have about the USA.. Obama just fell into a category.. Strange thinking.

For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places.

The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. 

There is a personality type common among the Left’s partisans, and it has a name: Holden Caulfield. He is adolescent, perpetually disappointed, and ever on the lookout for phoniness and hypocrisy. His is the sort of personality inclined to believe in his heart the declaration that “behind every great fortune there is a great crime.” (He also believes that this is a quotation from HonorĂ© de Balzac, whose works he has not read, when it fact it comes from Richard O’Connor’s The Oil Barons: Men of Greed and Grandeur.)

He believes with Elizabeth Warren that the economy is a rigged game based on exploitation and deceit rather than on innovation, productivity, and competition. He that the only reason (e.g.) Staples does not pay its part-time associates more or schedule them for more hours is so that it can pad its executive pay and protect its “billions” in annual profits. (He believes that Staples, whose financials he has not read, makes “billions,” when in fact it does no such thing.)

Say an admiring word about Steve Jobs and he’ll swear that there are four-year-olds working 169 hours a week in Chinese sweatshops producing iPods at the point of a bayonet.

He believes that most people get into Harvard and Yale because they have influential parents (that’s the University of Texas, unfortunately), that rich Americans mostly inherit their money (in reality, about 15 percent of their assets are inherited, less than for middle-class families), that the U.S. goes to war abroad to enrich contractors at home, and that the entire history of Latin America must be understood through the prism of the United Fruit Company’s maneuverings in 1954.…/rudy-right-kevin-d-williams…

Higher Education is Magical Thinking.

. Left Wing Utopian Fantasy. I'm in favor of education, but not as a theoretical automatic key to getting a good job. Huge numbers of well educated people are working in Burger Kings for 9 bucks an hour and whining about it. Educated and Employable are fully two different things. This is a truth the left simply doesn't understand.

A great deal of what the Left does amounts to conjuring prosperity by chanting magic spells. They have a set of theories that should produce widespread prosperity, equality, and social justice, without costing anyone except the uber-rich a dime. Those theories were designed by people with scads of impressive credentials. It’s all supposed to work, and faithful liberal rank-and-file types don’t understand why it doesn’t. (The actual goals of their leadership often involve long-term transformative plans that must be kept secret from voters on both Left and Right until it’s too late for the transformees to do anything about it. Those leaders aren’t really surprised when ObamaCare turns into precisely the expensive disaster they needed it to be.)

The recommended life-track of expensive college educations followed by automatic career success is a perfect example of utopian thinking. You spend years in college, racking up six figures in debt, and then you get a high-paying, interesting, emotionally fulfilling job, just the way it works in the “Life” boardgame. The possibility that those overpriced college degrees aren’t powerful enough to distort market reality doesn’t occur to unsuspecting utopians until it’s too late. No payload of credentials is sufficient to create jobs where opportunity and demand do not exist. American companies are increasingly turning to outsourcing and imported labor for high-tech jobs because they don’t want to pay what American college graduates demand, or don’t find their work ethic appealing.

Our political culture’s faith in education as a ritual that brings prosperity raining down from the heavens is positively religious in its intensity. Obviously a good education is enormously important to career success, as well as good citizenship and personal fulfillment, but we ended up viewing education as an expensive blended fuel to be poured into the engines of life – the more of it people get, and the more expensive it is, the further they’ll go.

Another aspect of ritualized utopianism is our loss of respect for vocational education and the “dirty jobs” celebrated by TV host Mike Rowe, who campaigns for young people to investigate skilled trade work. There are solid careers out there in trades where employers perpetually complain about a shortage of hard-working, eager apprentices, even in times of chronic high unemployment.

The democrat party has destroyed our economy..

Seems like their policies are working just fine.

The central goal of the Democratic Socialists of America, America's largest socialist organization, is clearly stated on their website:
"We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit"

This explains a lot.. doesn't it?

I started my business in 1995

.. after a brief stint of working for others and getting fired in 1995. I have been fired more times than you can imagine. It's always been a blessing in disguise. I have a friend who tells the story of how bummed out he was when he was let go at Best Buy.. and what a blessing that turned out to be. So.. it goes.. Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Greatest English dramatist & poet (1564 - 1616)

How did Timothy McVeigh, O.J. Simpson, Monica Lewinsky, and the Netscape IPO all shape the word we live in today?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Yogi Berra on Life

  1. It ain't over till it's over.
  2. This is like deja vu all over again.
  3. You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.
  4. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  5. The future ain't what it used to be.
  6. A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.
  7. It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
  8. I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.
  9. Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.
  10. Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded.
  11. I don't know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.
  12. You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there.
  13. I don't want to make the wrong mistake.
  14. If people don't want to come out to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?
  15. In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
  16. Interviewer - "Why, you're a fatalist !" - Yogi Berra - "You mean I save postage stamps? Not me."
  17. Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.
  18. Mrs. Lindsay - "You certainly look cool." - Yogi Berra - "Thanks, you don't look so hot yourself."
  19. I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
  20. "That ain't the way to spell my name."--After he got a check that read 'Pay to bearer'.
  21. How can you hit and think at the same time?
  22. You can observe a lot just by watchin'
  23. Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't go to yours.
  24. Never answer an anonymous letter.
  25. We made too many wrong mistakes.
  26. When asked what time it is: "Do you mean now?"
  27. For a spring training drill, Yogi instructed his players to: "Pair off in threes."
  28. Reporter: "What would you do if you found a million dollars?" Yogi: "If the guy was poor, I'd give it back."
  29. I usually take a two hour nap from one to four.
  30. You can observe a lot just by watching.
  31. You give 100% in the first half of the game, and if that isn't enough, in the second half you give what's left.
  32. I never said most of the things I said.


  Sometimes, after playing golf, I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and I think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver." Babe Ruth

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Winston Churchill "

When I read about the evils of drinking after golfing I gave up reading." Paul Horning

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not." H. L. Mencken

" When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!" George Bernard Shaw

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin

 "Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." Dave Barry


Remember "I" before "E," except in Budweiser. Professor Irwin Corey

To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group. Salvation in a can! Leo Durocher

One night at Cheers, Cliff Clavin said to his buddy, Norm Peterson: "Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first.This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

Hunting in a farmer’s world

Features - Business These two working styles depend on one another to develop a long-term vision.
John F. Dini | January 29, 2015

Everyone in business is either a hunter or a farmer. The working style that fits you best isn’t really a matter of choice, nor is it determined by your job description. It is ingrained by eons of cultural evolution.
The working styles of a hunter and farmer are markedly different. Hunters are linear. It is their nature to focus on the kill. A hunter moves toward a goal, and on reaching it begins to immediately look for another objective to accomplish. A farmer’s work is cyclical, tracking the seasons from planting to harvest. Their evolutionary traits apply to an office environment as well as the outdoors.
Ten thousand years ago we were all hunters. Until humans developed agriculture, hunting was the only way we survived. Those whose job it was to hunt for the tribe knew that failure wasn’t an option. They persevered through fatigue and bad weather until they had accomplished the objective—bringing home food for everyone.
As mankind started farming and domesticating animals, nomadic tribes were able to settle in one place, build permanent living quarters and begin developing societies. Skilled workers could specialize in pottery or tool-making, and tribes began trading goods with each other. Hunting kept people alive, but farming built civilizations. As villages grew into cities, the majority of their populations became involved in growing, transporting and distributing agricultural products. Hunting was relegated to a sport.
The cyclical nature of farming, tilling, sowing, tending and harvesting have morphed into the business cycle of planning, budgeting, implementation and measuring the results. Just as the populations of cities focused on farming, the majority of employees in any business are dedicated to production, along with managing and tracking the production of others. Hunting is left to a small minority; the entrepreneurs, salespeople, executives and creative talent whose jobs are to look ahead and focus on the next objective.

How to manage hunters, farmers

For business owners and leaders, the challenge is to support the linear attitudes of a hunter in a business environment that concentrates on the cyclical tasks of farming. Computerization has given managers exponentially more data to track and measure, but management is by its nature farming, and management books promote farming methodologies. Balanced scorecards, six sigma quality and ISO 9000 are valuable tools, but for the typical hunter, they pose a problem…they are boring.
Thousands of business hunters spend millions of hours each year trying to master the intricacies of process and procedure without understanding why they are doomed to fail. They start to implement an initiative, but then become drawn to the “next big thing,” or simply lose interest in the effort and let things slide. They aren’t excited by potential for incremental improvement, but rather by the newness of the latest management fad. They enjoy building new things, but don’t fare as well in managing them. Their inability to follow through makes them think of themselves as “bad” business people.
The real problem is letting dynamic, creative problem solvers waste time and energy trying to adopt a style that doesn’t suit them. How much more productive could your business be if everyone, including you, worked only on things they enjoyed?
The stereotypical example is that of a top salesperson who is promoted to sales manager. The salesperson is a hunter. She enjoys working independently and “bringing the meat” of a closed deal. It isn’t hard to understand why moving her into a manager’s role is counterproductive. She has no inclination to oversee the work of others, prepare reports, or think about improving the sales process. She wants to hunt, and managing is the farthest thing from hunting.
Of course, the opposite is also true. Take the case of an excellent controller who has advanced to chief financial officer. As a controller, he was focused on detail and deadlines. Measuring and analyzing were his core competencies. Faced with the prospective-looking duties of the CFO role, forecasting, projecting and seeking new financial opportunities; he is lost. The mere fact that both positions involve financial skills doesn’t make them interchangeable. Most job descriptions involve both some hunting and some farming. One job recruiter once remarked that, “When job descriptions require strength in both styles; you begin seeking a ‘flying mermaid’ to fill the position.” That’s someone who is willing to do detailed and repetitive work all morning, such as balancing accounts and data entry, then shift to an aggressive sales job in the afternoon. Even if you could find someone willing to take on a flying mermaid job, the odds of achieving success in both roles are nil.

Avoid the pitfalls

Farmers far outnumber hunters in most organizations. Regardless of the owner’s natural style, however, it’s a mistake to seek out similar people for management responsibility. We all want to interact with people who understand us, but duplicated personality traits come with two pitfalls.
Hunter or farmer?
Take the quiz.

A fun and quick five-minute quiz is available online at Take it, and encourage your employees to do the same. It leads to fruitful conversations about what the employee enjoys about his or her job, and what they struggle with. Most of the time, a simple rearrangement of duties can deliver outstanding results.
The first is when the two of you agree on a course of action, it may be because it’s the best decision, or merely because you just have the same point of view. Including someone who sees things differently than you do in your decision-making team creates better debate and more options. Two hunters together may skip critical details, while two farmers could be putting too much emphasis on avoiding risk. The second pitfall is that the managerial duties you tend to shun personally also don’t receive much attention from your key manager. Two farmers might focus on process over marketing initiatives, or two hunters who spend their time driving sales without looking at production efficiencies.
Hunters have always needed farmers. They keep things together when the hunter is off chasing the next objective, and make incremental improvements through the business cycle. Farmers depend on hunters to create new opportunities and develop a long-term vision. Both are necessary, and neither is nearly as effective without the other.

John F. Dini is a coach, consultant, speaker and author of Hunting in a Farmer’s World, Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur, 11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business, and Beating the Boomer Bust. For more:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The chains of victimhood

I found this today and it so well expressed why I despise the Merchants of Victimhood who sanction self defeating behavior. When Jesse and Al tell people the MAN is holding them down ... it is like a soul stealing vampire sucking the life out of a person. Read this below

From this article:

The chains of defining yourself as a victim are a tourniquet wrapped around the soul.

The only way to stop it is to declare yourself free and ignore those you think are trying to limit you. The only way to break the chains is to believe you alone are responsible for your state of happiness and prosperity or lack thereof. Yes, other factors (including the animosity of strangers) might influence that state, but if you are willing to work hard enough you can overcome additional factors. And if you aren’t willing to work hard enough nothing, not even the most favorable of circumstances, can make you successful.

The chains of victimhood are insidious and will destroy your soul as well as your writing.

Fortunately the key to freedom is in your own hands.

Refuse excuses.

Set yourself free.

A comment on the article (not Mine):
Victimhood is insidious. It gives one permission to fail with minimal effort. It whispers “You can never succeed for they won’t let you.” It never tells you “You didn’t succeed because what you did was crap,” because that implies you can succeed if you work at it. Then the person never puts forth effort, which ensures perpetual failure. Victimhood is just another version of despair, a leech of one’s very soul.

This is amazing, you have to look at this

Amazing Camping Trailer WOW MUST WATCH
Production Information here…

Hate Speech?

OH and so you know, this is being blamed by the Muslim Community in Dearborn on Media Hate Speech AGAINST Muslims. They must have said something bad about a religion that codifies beheading and burning alive and offended this guy. Sorry. SMH
h/t PATDOLLARD.comSOUTHFIELD, MI - Southfield police have arrested a 39-year-old man who allegedly stabbed two other men multiple times at a bus...

I wonder if we will survive this? I think it is now being called into question. Would our nation survive internal revolt?

We have willing fighters in Kurdistan... yet we don't help them. We have able fighters in Ukraine yet we let them twist in the wind. In Nigeria we put up a hashtag, "Bring Back our Girls" and the net result of that is ZIP. We call Islamic extremism workplace violence and 21 martyrs not Christians killed for the sake of the Cross, but foreign workers, Fearful of calling out the new evil empire as Ronald Reagan once did.

The USA is not longer a global laughing stock with strangeness for leadership, we are becoming pitiful weak and meaningless. All this in 6 quick years. How fast and how far we have fallen.

Stopping this is easy.

Every Italian MAN WOMAN AND CHILD over the age of 12 and beneath the age of 80 should be trained at once on how to properly use high powered pistols and rifles and issued one of each along with a thousand rounds of AMMO for each. Then let ISIS know ... they won't be coming. But because we have been lulled into passivity (Like in Chicago) we think that taking away guns results in less violence. It hasn't and doesn't. As long as we are about this, how about doing this for every civilian in Kurdistan and Iraq. Sure some will get in the hands of the bad guys.. but it will mean they will fear the reaper.. “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” is often attributed to Admiral Yamamoto of the Japanese Navy during WWII - If he did or did not say this is not the issue, they knew that it was true. Now it's time to take up arms by every civilian who is ready to do battle with evil on their homeland... and that includes us.
The Islamic State group may be planning to use Libya as a staging ground to send boatloads of jihadi militants posing as migrants to flood southern Europe, create...

What will happen

There are about 4 million MEN in Iraq (after the ISIS KILLINGS and refugee crisis of 3 million displaced people) between the ages of 15-50. This does not include the large number of Kurds. They are ALL under direct threat. Yet they seem to not fight. They are now lost because of a lack of unity and will.
There are about 10 million KURDS (Medes) of Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi origion. They are the MEDES of scripture. We should help but not put our soldiers at risk. We are doing neither. ARM THEM NOW. They will annihilate ISIS and the caliphate.
It will mean the destruction of the nation of Iraq.. but it never was a nation. It was a construct of Great Britain. IRAQ wasn't a country until it was so mandated after World War One. It will now cease to be.
This is what God says about this time (in my opinion):
Isaiah 13:17 “Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon.
They cannot be tempted by silver
or bribed with gold.
18 The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows.
They will have no mercy on helpless babies
and will show no compassion for children.”
19 Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.
20 Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
21 Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
and wild goats will go there to dance.
22 Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
its time of destruction will soon arrive.

Get away from that horrible corrupt culture

is this for real? Seriously? Unbelievable!

Everyone, look at this -- State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki asking ISIS to stop beheading people with a smile on her face and her thumb is up? What sophomoric idiocy!

It's really all about the money

The DEA restrictions, adopted to curb narcotic abuse, force vets to make more appointments with an already overburdened VA.


President Obama defended his administration’s approach to the terror threat at a White House summit on Wednesday, standing by claims that groups like the...


The New York Post on Thursday unveiled a brutal front page targeting President Barack Obama over his recent refusal to acknowledge the role Islam plays in...

He really did say that

They're just terrorists, period, says president|By John Johnson

A job won't help guys like this they don't want to work

They're not 'humble people of the desert,' Uruguay prez says

This is the sound of a presidential administration imploding

Trust me, Attorney General, we have plenty else to talk about.

I think we need a Summit on Summits

In the last year or so, Barack Obama’s team has deployed the presidential summit as a central response to just about every topic of national significance. At this late stage of Obama’s presidency, the idea seems to be that talking about a policy —...|By Matt Bai


Barack Obama stunned David Axelrod, one of...


There appears to be no love lost between Attorney General Eric Holder and one of his most pointed critics, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke. “What’s up...

I don't completely agree with this analysts assessment but I find it interesting and if you are a market watcher you might want to read this

Moreover, the European Central Bank could soon pull its support of Greece's financial system, as imbalances build within the pan-Euro Target2 system amid...

Should these people be allowed to vote?

If they could just get a job at Walmart they wouldn't be doing this

ISIS just didn't burn 45 people alive today in Iraq. The executed 100 people, many of them civilians, and they are on the verge of slaughter that will parallel what...

Maybe they could get a job as a caddy at the golf course

ISIS terrorists captured al-Baghdadi, Iraq this week just 3 miles from the al-Asad air base. 300 US Marines are stationed at the base. Isis suicide bombers launched a...

The drought in California is completely man-made there is no reason for that state to dry up and blow away

While California’s drought conditions are actually historically normal, California's current drought is being billed by government and media as the driest period in the state's recorded rainfall history. Scientists who study the Western United States’...

Off The Wall

Howard Dean recently criticized Gov Scott Walker for never finishing college, stating that he was "unknowledgeable." What would your response be on college as a requirement for elected office?
Hi Kyle
Back in 1990, The QVC Cable Shopping Channel was conducting a national talent search. I had no qualifications to speak of, but I needed a job, and thought TV might be a fun way to pay the bills. So I showed up at The Marriott in downtown Baltimore with a few hundred other hopefuls, and waited for a chance to audition. When it was my turn, the elevator took me to the top floor, where a man no expression led me into a suite and asked me to take a seat behind a large desk. Across from the desk, there was a camera on a tripod. On the desk was a digital timer with an LED display. I took a seat as the man clipped a microphone on my shirt and explained the situation.
“The purpose of this audition is to see if you can talk for eight minutes without stuttering, blathering, passing out, or throwing up. Any questions?”
“What would you like me to talk about,” I asked.
The man pulled a pencil from behind his ear and rolled it across the desk. “Talk to me about that pencil. Sell it. Make me want it. But be yourself. If you can do that for eight minutes, the job is yours. Ok?”
I looked at the pencil. It was yellow. It had a point on one end, and an eraser on the other. On the side were the words, Dixon Ticonderoga Number 2 SOFT.
“Ok,” I said.
The man set the timer to 8:00, and walked behind the tripod. He pressed a button and a red light appeared on the camera. He pressed another button and the timer began to count backwards. “Action,” he said. I picked up the pencil and started talking.
“Hi there. My name’s Mike Rowe, and I only have eight minutes to tell you why this is finest pencil on Planet Earth. So let’s get right to it.”
I opened the desk drawer and found a piece of hotel stationary, right where I hoped it would be. I picked up the pencil and wrote the word, QUALITY in capital letters. I held the paper toward the camera.
“As you can plainly see, The #2 Dixon Ticonderoga leaves a bold, unmistakable line, far superior to the thin and wispy wake left by the #3, or the fat, sloppy skid mark of the unwieldy #1. Best of all, the Ticonderoga is not filled with actual lead, but “madagascar graphite,” a far safer alternative for anyone who likes to chew on their writing implements.”
To underscore the claim, I licked the point. I then discussed the many advantages of the Ticonderoga’s color.
“A vibrant yellow, perfectly suited for an object that needs to stand out from the clutter of a desk drawer.”
I commented on the comfort of it’s design.
“Unlike those completely round pencils that press hard into the web of your hand, the Ticonderoga’s circumference is comprised of eight, gently planed surfaces, which dramatically reduce fatigue, and make writing for extended periods an absolute delight.”
I pointed out the “enhanced eraser,” which was “guaranteed to still be there - even when the pencil was sharpened down to an unusable nub.”
I opined about handmade craftsmanship and American made quality. I talked about the feel of real wood.
“In a world overrun with plastic and high tech gadgets, isn’t it comforting to know that some things haven’t evolved into something shiny and gleaming and completely unrecognizable?’”
After all that, there was still five minutes on the timer. So I shifted gears and considered the pencil’s impact on Western Civilization. I spoke of Picasso and Van Gogh, and their hundreds of priceless drawings - all done in pencil. I talked about Einstein and Hawking, and their many complicated theories and theorems - all done in pencil.
“Pen and ink are fine for memorializing contracts,” I said, “but real progress relies on the ability to erase and start anew. Archimedes said he could move the world with a lever long enough, but when it came to proving it, he needed a pencil to make the point.”
With three minutes remaining, I moved on to some personal recollections about the role of pencils in my own life. My first legible signature, my first book report, my first crossword puzzle, and of course, my first love letter. I may have even worked up a tear as I recalled the innocence of my youth, scribbled out on a piece of looseleaf with all the hope and passion a desperate 6th grader could muster...courtesy of a #2 pencil.
With :30 seconds left on the timer, I looked fondly at the Dixon Ticonderoga, and sat silently for five seconds. Then I wrapped it up.
“We call it a pencil, because all things need a name. But today, let’s call it what it really is. A time machine. A match maker. A magic wand. And let’s say it can all be yours...for just .99 cents.”
The timer read 0:00. The man walked back to the desk. He took the pencil and wrote “YOU’RE HIRED” on the stationary, and few days later, I moved to West Chester, PA. And a few days after that, I was on live television, face to face with the never-ending parade of trinkets and chochkes that comprise QVC’s overnight inventory.
I spent three months on the graveyard shift, five nights a week. Technically, this was my training period, which was curious, given the conspicuous absence of supervision, or anything that could be confused with actual instruction. Every few minutes a stagehand would bring me another mysterious “must have item,” which I’d blather about nonsensically until it was whisked away and replaced with something no less baffling. In this way, I slowly uncovered the mysteries of my job, and forged a tenuous relationship with an audience of chronic insomniacs and narcoleptic lonely-hearts. It was a crucible of confusion and ambiguity, and in hindsight, the best training I ever had.
Which brings me to the point of your question, Kyle.
I don’t agree with Howard Dean - not at all.
Here’s what I didn’t understand 25 years ago. QVC had a serious recruiting problem. Qualified candidates were applying in droves, but failing miserably on the air. Polished salespeople with proven track records were awkward on TV. Professional actors with extensive credits couldn’t be themselves on camera. And seasoned hosts who understood live television had no experience hawking products. So eventually, QVC hit the reset button. They stopped looking for “qualified” people, and started looking for anyone who could talk about a pencil for eight minutes.
QVC had confused qualifications with competency.
Perhaps America has done something similar?
Look at how we hire help - it’s no so different than how we elect leaders. We search for work ethic on resumes. We look for intelligence in test scores. We search for character in references. And of course, we look at a four-year diploma as though it might actually tell us something about common-sense and leadership.
Obviously, we need a bit more from our elected officials than the instincts of a home shopping host, but the business of determining what those “qualifications” are is completely up to us. We get to decide what matters most. We get to decide if a college degree or military service is somehow determinative. We get to decide if Howard Dean is correct.
Anyone familiar with my foundation knows my position. I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning. And I think that making elected office contingent on a college degree is maybe the worst idea I’ve ever heard.
But of course, Howard Dean is not the real problem. He’s just one guy. And he’s absolutely right when he says that many others will judge Scott Walker for not finishing college. That's the real problem.
However - when Howard Dean called the Governor “unknowledgeable,” he rolled out more than a stereotype. He rolled a pencil across the desk, and gave Scott Walker eight minutes to knock it out of the park.
It’ll be fun to see if he does.