Obama Isn’t Working, Mitt Romney Does

“This election is about more than replacing a President. It’s about saving the soul of America.”

Let’s step back from the day-to-day headlines, 24-hours news cycles, the political jargon and rhetoric and spin for a moment. It is 2012, and the United States of America is a nation in economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment has hung above 8.2 percent for more than three years, and our debt is racing towards $16 trillion, up more than $6 trillion since President Obama took office. It has even exceeded our GDP. That means that every tax-paying individual in America owes over $220,000 to the government. This has been the result of , a trillion dollar stimulus bill, a 3 trillion dollar health care bill, a printing of over a trillion dollars from the Federal Reserve, an $80 billion bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, and other reckless spending. Food and energy prices are soaring, and the housing market still hasn’t recovered.

“We cannot with moral conscience borrow trillions of dollars that can only be repaid by our children.”

Our President, Barack Obama, is a man who simply does not understand the American economy. He is in over his head. He does not respect the free market system, and he does not believe in the principles this country was founded upon. We took a big gamble when we elected Obama in 2008. He’s a man who has never held a regular job, has never created jobs, nor overseen the creation of jobs. He is a career politician who jumped straight from the Senate to the White House.

“This President has run out of ideas. Now, he’s running out of excuses. And 2012 will be the year he runs out of time.”

He is a true believer in political and economic ideas that have left Asian countries impoverished and are crippling countries across Europe and South America. Obama has ascribed to the dividing of America. He demonizes the successful, hoping to rally the support of a majority of voters via the politics of envy.

“Obama’s idea of a ‘hands on’ approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club.”

What’s more is he doesn’t seem to care that millions of Americans are struggling to find work. He has played over 100 rounds of golf in just three years, (compared to Bush’s 24 in eight years), and throws extravagant parties for himself all the time. President Obama aggressively fought to get ObamaCare passed, and even pushed for Cap-and-Trade legislation that could have crippled our economy, before Republicans took back the House in 2010. He has also gotten us involved in skirmishes in Libya when we still are fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government.”

We’ve had enough of the wasteful spending, the high unemployment numbers, and the politics of division and envy. It’s time to find a replacement. It’s time to choose a man who can make America great again.

That man is Mitt Romney.

“I have a vision of America not divided by our limits, but united by our ambitions. I am tired of a President who wakes up every morning, looks across America and is proud to announce, ‘It could be worse.’”

I believe that Mitt Romney is an imperfect candidate. I also believe he is the best candidate. I think we are fortunate to have a man of his stature and life experience running for President.

No other candidate running for President, Republican or Democrat, has been a CEO in business: he founded and led Bain Capital, which helped start and grow businesses like Staples and Dominos Pizza. No other candidate has executive experience in both the public and private sectors: Mitt Romney has both, as he was the Governor of Massachusetts for four years. No other candidate is an outsider to Washington D.C.: every other candidate has spent significant time in Washington. No other candidate can get things done like Romney can, working with people instead of making enemies out of them: he met weekly with a Massachusetts legislature that was 85% Democrat, and led as a conservative, excersising his veto power over 800 times.

“Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.”

Most importantly, no other candidate has the turnaround experience that our country so desperately needs: Romney helped turn around struggling businesses, (as well as Bain Capital itself); he became CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics to help it become a $100 million success; and he turned Massachusetts around when it was facing large deficits and unemployment numbers. He got unemployment down from about six percent to about four percent, and left the state with a $600 million surplus after coming in with a $2 billion deficit.

“Together, we will build an America where Hope is a new job with a paycheck, not a faded word on an old bumper sticker.”

Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified to lead during a trying time in our nation’s history.

The Issues

That is Mitt Romney’s experience. But what about his stances on the issues?

Jobs: Via a plethora of policies, the Romney-Ryan plan estimates that at least 12 million jobs would be created by 2020. 500+ economists recently endorsed the plan, agreeing with that prediction.

Taxes: Romney would close tax loopholes which the more successful exploit, eliminate the death tax as well as other taxes that hit the middle class, while reducing income taxes 20 percent for all taxpayers.

Entitlements: Would reform Medicare for people currently younger than 55, making the program fiscally solvent in the long-term, and more state-based. Would repeal ObamaCare.

Budget: Authored a “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan which would cut spending, cap spending at 20% of the GDP, and eventually balance the budget. He also favors eliminating earmarks.

Defense: He would update the military and keep it the strongest in the world.

Energy: He wants to open up domestic energy production like never before, creating 3 million jobs and making us energy independent by 2020.

For more information, go here.

“We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.”

Man with a Plan

Mitt Romney understands the American economy, because he ran a business in it for about 25 years. He recently published a 160-page plan titled “Believe in America,” co-authored with some of the brightest economic minds in the country, outlining his 59-point plan to return America to the cutting edge of a world economy. The book is available for free on Amazon. Mitt Romney is not just a man interested in being president. He is a man interested in fixing things, as he has demonstrated throughout his life.

Another important characteristic demonstrated throughout his life, is that of character.


“When he was away on business he would tell me, ‘Ann, your job is more important than mine. My work is temporary; you’re building a family that is forever.'”  -Ann Romney

By all accounts, Romney has impeccable character. He has been married to one wife, his high school sweetheart, for 43 years. Even when Ann was diagnosed with the debilitating disease Multiple Sclerosis, Romney was passionately loyal. Reporters and interviewers have described his personality as warm and bright whenever he is around Ann. His love for her is unquestionable.

“The American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people: hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people.”

Together, they have five sons and 16 grandchildren. Their family seems to have a unique unity. And we don’t have to worry about any substance abuse from Romney either. As per his church’s regulations, he refuses to partake in alcohol or tobacco. Clearly, he is a man of discipline and commitment. If you can’t relate to the guy, you can at least respect him.

Romney’s community service is well-documented. The most dramatic tale is when the daughter of Robert Gay, a Bain employee, went missing. Mitt Romney temporarily shut down the business as he and Bain Capital employees set out to systematically scour the streets of New York City to find the girl. Romney set up a command center to organize the search, hired a private detective, established a toll-free phone number, coordinated with city police, and even joined in the physical search himself. The missing girl was eventually found, having been kidnapped and drugged. Robert Gay could not lavish enough gratitude towards Romney, saying “I’ll never forget this.” Romney’s decisive leadership in this moment blew me away; I don’t know about you, but I want somebody like that in the White House.

Another little known fact about Romney is that between 1986 and 1994 he presided over 12 churches and was responsible for about 4,000 members, while he was still working at Bain Capital. He organized finances, tended to the needs of the church members, made hospital visits, distributed offering money to families in need, and otherwise provided help and counsel wherever needed. This was purely a volunteer position, and he was not compensated in any way.

When he turned the 2002 Winter Olympics into a success, he refused to accept any salaries. And when he was Governor of Massachusetts, Romney refused any monetary compensation.

“The principles that made us a great nation and leader of the world have not lost their meaning. They never will.”

Mitt Romney donated about 14 percent of his income to charity in 2010 and 20 percent in 2011. Between charities and taxes, that’s about 40 percent of his total income.

“Liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government.” 

Uniting Behind a Leader

We need a leader for America, now more than ever. Today, we don’t have that. Romney is a man who has not only been a leader, but the leader, in his family, in his community, in his business, and in his state. He has the free market experience that is crucial during this economy, and he has experience in standing on principle while working to unite people behind common goals. We need someone who can look at a crisis, and knows what to do. Mitt Romney has the experience, the resources, the charisma, the intellect, and the credibility to, not only take on Obama, but also to restore to America the founding principles that made it great.

“We still believe in the America that is a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. We believe in the America that challenges each of us to be better and bigger than ourselves.”

*All quotes not otherwise cited were made by Mitt Romney.*




















Forbidden: Ted Dekker Takes on Religion

Since Ted Dekker broke into the scene less than 10 years ago, he has published nearly 40 books, which have sold around 10 million copies. The psychological thriller Thr3e quickly won him a cult following before he released his blockbuster, epic fantasy saga the following year, a trilogy of novels titled The Circle series. Dekker’s latest project is called The Books of Mortals, which he is co-authoring with Tosca Lee. Forbidden is the first of three novels, followed by Mortal, to be released this summer, and Sovereign, set for release in 2013.

Set several hundred years in the future, Forbidden presents a post-apocalyptic world in which science has finally discovered how to eliminate emotion in the human psyche. The Order, the ruling class of Earth, has set up an extensive code of laws based on the one basic emotion that all humans can still feel: fear. When a secret priesthood discovers the prophecy of a nine year-old boy who will show the world how to truly live, the rulers in the Order will do anything to hunt down and exterminate those who question them. A misfit band of rebels, who have tasted the Chaos we know as love and emotion, make it their mission to find and protect the boy of the prophecies.

Forbidden is definitely an introduction to this series, though the signature Dekker twists and suspense are ever-present. The world he and Lee create is both imaginative and dark. In this world, the main characters that drink of Chaos are confronted with the truth: that their world is dead, and the people in it deader. In the Circle Series, Ted Dekker opened readers’ eyes to an alternate universe where the spiritual is physical, and the story is dazzling. The world of the Books of Mortals seems to focus on the opposite, to haunting effect. Instead of a world where everything is alive and how it should be, it’s the story of dead people in a dead world.

As he did with The Circles series, Dekker paints a beautiful allegory with Lee. It seems they are leveling a solemn condemnation of religion and legalism. Like the Order, religion seeks to control. Religion is focused on behavioral modification and lists of do’s and dont’s. Likewise, legalism is focused on the doing, not the being. In Forbidden, when the main characters are transformed by the Chaos, their feelings are often out of control. They fall in love easily. They cry without reservation. They laugh hysterically. They begin to wonder if Chaos is worth the pain; they want the rules back. But with time, they learn to control their emotions. They become less focused on rules and more focused on people. Their hearts aren’t filled with fear of doing something wrong or reporting the wrongs of others to the Order. Instead they are driven by a desire to love others and give them the gift of Chaos.

Love is chaos. It provokes us to do unusual things. More often than not, it hurts more than it soothes. We often wonder if it’s worth it. Is it? Read Forbidden. Decide for yourself.

4 stars out of 5


The Watcher

The following is an early draft of a short story I recently wrote. Feel free to comment with your critiques and questions.

The Watcher

He ran through a deep, muddy puddle, sploshing water in all directions, dampening his tattered jeans. Holding back a curse, he quickened his gait as the splash echoed against concrete walls. The trash-strewn alleyway had obscured any street lights from illuminating the way. It always felt like eyes from above were watching him when he made his way through this dark, ominous passageway. The familiar pulse-racing and heart-thumping rendered memories of venturing down the basement steps of his father’s house when he was a kid, where it seemed anyone—or anything—could be lurking. That was ten years ago. The adrenaline sparked a rush that cried for escape, both then and now.

This is where he could escape without being detected. But it could also be where he disappeared forever. The alley opened to an empty street. A street light blinked red above him. He turned the corner up the sidewalk.

He had to hurry. He didn’t want to miss her. The other day he had gotten there five minutes late, only to see her jump into a car that drove off immediately. He had spent the rest of the night watching a drunk try to stumble his way home, and a feral cat get in a fight with a scavenging raccoon. The raccoon won.

His backpack’s weatherworn straps dug into his shoulders, and the weight of it bounced against his lower back with every step he took. The weary trek up to Main Street, the steepest part of town, was grueling. He hated it. But he had to focus. He was fighting for breaths by the time he reached the summit. He consciously relaxed his shoulders and crossed Main Street.

Appear normal. Be calm. Act like you belong, like no one should mess with you. If anyone happened to be watching, you are just passing through.

The Watcher allowed himself to take a few nervous glances in his peripherals. He could feel the tension tonight. It was in the magenta hue against the thick fog that hung over the city’s towers of aging brick, weathered concrete, and shimmering glass. Or maybe it was in the way the street lights reflected off the grimy, wet streets, soiled with car oil and rubber tread. His head buzzed with it.

Tonight was one of those nights. Tonight there was something different, something new. It rattled him more than usual. Made him wish someone else was by his side, or perhaps just keeping a watchful eye.

He stepped off the sidewalk as a car sped by, throwing a cool air mixed with the odor of burning marijuana leaves. It reminded him of green shag carpet and aged floral wallpaper, and beer cans lying hopelessly abandoned on the front porch of his dad’s house.

A three-story parking garage, mostly empty, was situated to his left as he continued up the hill, turning off of Main Street and onto Fifth Street. Section Six, as he like to call it. This was one of his many perches. Tonight, he broke his habit. He never came here on a Sunday. But tonight was different. The orange hue of the streetlights was brighter. The air felt cleaner, or maybe it was just dampened by the humidity.

The girl fascinated him, but he didn’t know why. She was no different from the others. Perhaps because she was so young—her childlike innocence stolen from her. Maybe it was just her pretty face.

As he came to the end of the block, he turned into the quiet parking garage. He edged around the corner and stepped onto the stairs. He scaled four flights of stairs before coming to the top level. Exposed to the open air, he allowed his lungs to inflate with the crisp night air. After a long moment his heart rate finally slowed. He dropped to his stomach to survey the area. No lights lit up the lot; just the gray glow from above. Even the moon liked to hide sometimes.

Only one vehicle in the lot, but that was more than normal. From where he lay, the SUV was positioned at his ten o’clock, pointed towards Main Street. He checked for any movement, scanned the lot one more time. No signs of life from the SUV, but he would be thorough.

Hard gravel and blacktop digging into his palms, he crawled forward with slow, fluid movements. The front seats were empty. He crept toward the rear and slowly pushed himself into a crouch, then peeked into the back of the SUV. No surprises here; only beer bottles, cigarettes, and fast food wrappers.

Satisfied, he crawled on his palms and toes for the far corner overlooking Main and Fourth. He raised his head just inches above the concrete ledge, gazing through the rusted security fence. An LED sign in front of a bank flashed the temperature, then the time.

12:49AM. Almost time.

The Watcher shrugged the pack off his shoulders and it fell with a thud to the ground. He unzipped the main flap and rummaged through it with one hand as he looked up at the cold, bright moon, shining through a break in the fog. He felt a little exposed under the soft light, but another layer of clouds would soon move in and settle over the area. The moon would be blanketed with thick vapor soon enough. Besides, he was safe up here, above the streets.

He felt the fabric of a glove, the plastic of a candy bar wrapper, an apple core, the stub of a half-used cigarette. There! He removed the item and examined his old, trusty companion, Michael. That’s what he called it. The camcorder, its outer finish scratched, had to be ten years old. A fissure ran through the plastic under the lens, and a layer of grunge coated its outer shell, making it sticky in various places.

The zoom stuck sometimes, and the colors on the view screen were a bit off, but it worked just fine. Fresh off a battery charge at the local coffee shop, and having uploaded last night’s footage to his personal website, Michael was ready to go for another night.

It was hard to believe that Michael and he still slept in the abandoned train station on South End. He switched the camcorder on, selected the playback option, and rewound from the end of the tape. The perspective of these clips was from the top of the court house in West Side. That building was always difficult breaking into, but it was necessary so that he could climb onto the roof. Difficult, but not impossible.

The screen showed a bunch of cars and occasionally people traveling in fast motion. The middle-aged woman with gray hair in a ponytail sauntered backwards along the sidewalk, pulling a baby carriage. A kid passed her her by, and dime bag of drugs returned to his hand from her cart as she returned his bills. They never made eye contact.

His eyes glazed over as the video sped past the scene he captured through the window of a fourth floor apartment. A man had hit a woman repeatedly in the stomach before she fell to the floor, out of sight. The man had given her a few more kicks for good measure and stomped off toward the hallway. He had watched for several more hours with the camera switched off, but dawn came so he left without knowing if she got up again.

These were the actions of the creatures of the night. It was in these quiet hours that people shed their masks of civility and goodness. This is what they became, when no one else was watching. Well, there was someone watching. He was keeping score. But they didn’t know that. They didn’t know they were being recorded or that their actions were being seen by thousands of people. One day, maybe, it would be millions. Whether it did any good, he didn’t know. But they needed to be exposed.

The camcorder beeped as the tape reached the beginning, and he switched it to the record mode. The inner motors whirred within the camera as he opened the flip screen. He zoomed in towards the street corner on his right, in front of an abandoned shop, boarded up and covered with graffiti, the bricks weathered and decaying.

He had to see her again. There was something about the way she walked. Something about the way she held her mouth just slightly open, looking lost and vulnerable. Something about the way she held her hands together and fidgeted as she waited. Something about the way her eyes seemed to be watching and searching. He hoped she would show. He had risked so much to be here tonight.

Then, a slender figure emerged from the shadows. She carried a small black purse, as she always did. He zoomed in on her face as much as the camera allowed. There were her big brown eyes that reflected the street lights. A light shade of lipstick accented her soft lips, and her long brown curls flowed over her shoulders. Her delicate complexion was obscured by a mask of eyeliner, fake eyelashes, and a layer of pancake and blush. She wore fishnet leggings and a short black skirt under a tan trench coat.

But those were not the reasons that she tugged at his heart strings tonight. It was the black and green bruise on her left cheek. And if he wasn’t mistaken, she had a black eye too. Was her upper lip trembling? He couldn’t quite tell. Unlike the usual loneliness and yearning, her eyes looked a little blank, not bothering to watch the cars that passed her by. She wasn’t making an effort to grab anyone’s attention.

But she had his attention. He had watched her for the better part of a month now, daring to come more and more often. He had never uploaded any footage of her to his website. He wasn’t sure if she deserved it. Now he was sure that she didn’t do this with any pleasure. Perhaps she was even being held captive, forced to produce at the profit of a sick, greedy pimp, the piece of scum who hid in the shadows, waiting for the nightly return on his human investment. The bruise was proof.

Suddenly she raised her head and looked up at him. He instinctively ducked down behind the concrete wall. He held his breath. He thought he had been far enough away from her field of view. He thought about checking the tape to see if they indeed had made eye contact, but decided against it.

He peeked over the concrete edge and looked to the street corner again. She was still there, leaning against the abandoned building now, looking dazed. She was no longer looking up. If she had seen him, she probably only saw a shadow or momentary blur. He ducked back down again, then glanced at the SUV. He had to save her, before someone picked her up, and she spent another night in Hell.

He crawled up to the SUV. A siren sounded in the distance. It was a fire truck. Knowing the door would be locked, he dug into his pack. He slipped on his black gloves, then pulled out the lock rake he had pawned off an old man. With it, he could get into any older vehicle. He shoved the tool into the lock, twisted it and jiggled it. The door clicked open.

He immediately dug out his switchblade, plunged it into the tan plastic of the steering column. He cut a fist-sized hole. Making sure his black gloves were secure, he used his knife to cut the red power wires and twisted them together. He also cut the brown starter wires, and stripped the ends of them. His fingers were getting sweaty inside his gloves. Moments later he rubbed the two starter wires together.

It was taking forever. He glanced around the lot for the hundredth time, and stroked the two wires against each other furiously. The engine coughed to a low roar. He jumped in the front seat, throwing his backpack in the passenger’s side. He unzipped the front flap and removed the wad of cash, strapped together with a rubber band. He had counted it a thousand times. His life’s savings. All of three hundred fifty-seven dollars and eleven cents. It wouldn’t get her far, but it’s all he had. He zipped the pack up again, shoved the stick into Drive, and coaxed the car towards the exit lane. With every turn in the parking garage, he bit his lip harder, afraid someone might see him. Someone might know his secret.

He was on the bottom level now. He realized that he didn’t know what exactly to say to her. He didn’t want to scare her. He had to save her. He would take her to the church lady on Hickory Street. She would take her in, he hoped.

Or maybe they could flee this town, get away from everything they knew, and start a new life. Maybe they would become best friends. Maybe he could be her savior, her knight in shining armor that risked his life to save her from everything dangerous and evil.

He poked the nose of the vehicle into the street. No cars. Nobody but her. He turned onto the street. There she was. He tried to take a deep breath, but his heart beat all the stronger. She was so beautiful, he wondered how she could have ever been caught up in such a horrible life. He pulled into the parking spot directly across from her, parallel to the sidewalk and abandoned building. She had yet to look up. He rolled down the window.

She was so beautiful. Up close she looked like a creature from Heaven that had been captured and imprisoned, tortured and used. Besides the rumble of the SUV’s engine, and that distant firetruck siren, the street was silent

“Hey,” he said. After a long moment, she looked up at him. Her eyes nearly destroyed him. They were so alluring, so young, yet so blank, as if the light had been stolen from them. She eased away from the building and moved towards him with unbalanced, inconsistent strides. He cleared his throat.

“Get in,” he said. She looked left and right, then nodded, coming around the front to get into the passenger side. As the vehicle pulled away from the curb and continued down Main Street, the overwhelming aroma of her perfume made his head hurt.

“Turn down this street up here,” she said. “I know a place. It’s private.”

The Watcher said nothing and obediently made the turn.

“Do you have the money?” she said, fiddling with something in her purse.

“It’s in the pack, on the floor.”

She unzipped the main part.

“Turn onto Rosewood up here,” she said without looking up. “There’s a motel on the left.”

“I thought that place was abandoned,” he said. He took the turn onto Rosewood a little fast, and the tire’s screeched. She said nothing.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

She looked up at him with a quizzical look, still digging through his pack.

“What does it matter?”

He shrugged.

“What is this?” she said, pulling the camcorder out of my bag. His chest tightened. “Is this for tonight?”

“No, no,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t do that kind of thing.”

“Why did you bring it?”

She switched it on.

“Please, don’t, that’s my personal property.”

“Turn up here,” she said, hitting the play button. She seemed like she might be difficult to talk to.

He turned into the empty parking lot quickly. The motel was dark and quiet, having been abandoned for several years. The place had dilapidated beyond repair.

“Why were you recording me?” she said, holding up the viewfinder to him, unbuckling her seatbelt and throwing open her door.

He couldn’t think to say anything. Getting her to go along with his plan was getting more difficult, and he didn’t exactly have a way with words.

The Watcher got out of the vehicle and walked around to her side of the car. But she wasn’t there. Some blunt object struck the back of his head, and he fell to the ground face down in the gravel, head throbbing with pain.

The next thing he felt was cold metal tightening around his wrists. Red and blue lights cast long shadows on the abandoned motel. Shadows of people.

“You have the right to remain silent,” a booming, gruff voice said. Someone drug him to his feet and threw him up against the SUV. His vision was blurry, and he could feel spittle on his lips. Nothing was making sense.

“You have the right to an attorney…” He looked over his left shoulder. The girl was talking to a man in a cop’s uniform, several yards away.

“I found plenty of money in his pack,” she said. “And this.”

She handed his camcorder to the cop. His camcorder.

“He was spying on me. I think he’s done this before.”

“This is good,” the cop said. “This is going to be an easy one. We ran those plates. Car’s stolen too.”

“Sick freak is getting what he deserves.”

And as he looked up at the street light above, the distant sounds of dogs barking and sirens wailing filled his ears.

All rights belong to the author.

Warrior Poets

“In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.” -Plutarch

I’ve been thinking about communication lately. It’s a great gift, to be able to communicate. It’s what makes us human, in many ways. It represents influence and power. I believe we were given the gift of Communication in order to speak truth and love into one another’s lives. But in a world of such diverse thought, those who stand for what is true are often ridiculed and condemned.

“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.” -Pythagorus

It happened to Ghandi and to Martin Luther King Jr., to Galileo and Einstein, and even to Jesus Christ. The greatest communicators often had no home, only a message. Maybe that’s why Odin was not only the Norse god of communication but also of wandering. He was an outcast among the gods. He was a poet without a home, a warrior without refuge, and a hunter of wisdom. He led men into battle with a spear that never missed its target.

“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” -Socrates

In a world where we are constantly being bombarded by communication, with all the social media, the 24 hour news cycles, the advertisements, television and music and movies, it seems everyone has something to say. Everyone has a spear to throw. But who, or what, are you throwing your spear at? And does your spear hit its target?

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” -Robin Williams

This blog is a place where I aim to share some of my words, and the words of others, whether the subject be movies, politics, or samples from my  own fiction. I hope you’ll join in the conversation so we can help each other be better communicators.