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An Equal Opportunity To Respond Law Is Badly Needed

So one-time Hollywood pretty boy Robert Redford has come out against the Keystone pipeline.

Well, it’s a free country so anyone can have his say.  Right?   The trouble here is that a celebrity like Redford gets free publicity.  How about an opportunity for the man on the street to respond.  Publicly.  At the same time and in the same space.  Celebs, particularly liberals (or progressives)  seem to get more air or print time than others.   To the exclusion of the opposing view.  Well, this writer in particular believes the Keystone project should go forward.  Now.  It’s been stonewalled by an incompetent president far too long.

I do believe in the environment.  I like nature, the outdoors, parks,  wild animals etc.  But I don’t believe in extremism.  Moderation is the key.  And I also do believe in progress.  Some balancing is in order.  People like Redford appear to be totally one-sided.  It’s save the environment at the expense of  everything else.  And because of his celebrity his views get to be put forward without any opposing viewpoints.

Well, that’s not right.

The Canadian oil sands, which are at the heart of the Keystone controversy, will be developed, Obama or no Obama. If the oil is not transported through the U.S.  by pipeline to refineries at or near the Gulf of Mexico, then it will have to be transported by rail to other destinations, likely Canadian.  What about the impact on the environment of all that rail activity.  What about the carbon emissions in that scenario? What about the loss of jobs if no pipeline is built?  In an economy which needs to put more people back to work  wouldn’t pipeline construction be helpful?

So, there are many arguments for the pipeline which have not been advanced because a celeb like Redford gets free press  and has the whole stage.  He made a few bucks taking advantage of the American capitalist system  and acquired a bit of a name.  But he’s not entitled to exalted status.  He’s not entitled to mouth off publicly at the expense of those who disagree with him.  And which media outlets are going to publish my thoughts if I want to be heard?  Right.  None.  That’s the point.  Space for an appropriate response to any celebrity outburst should be the law.  In the same space, and at the same time.

That should be the American way.  That should be the law.

Copyright©2015.   Arnold G. Regardie.   All rights reserved.

 

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Butchery In The Middle East – An Intelligence Failure? Or Sheer Incompetence.

Lessee now. Purported President Barrack Obama took office in the beginning of 2009.  That was some six years ago. As secretary of state, his top advisor on foreign policy,  he appointed an unqualified woman with no experience whatsoever in the position – or any in any other position in government for that matter, our own Hillary Clinton.  Since Obama himself was a neophyte in foreign policy, to put it mildly, as well as in everything else touching on governmental matters, one would have thought he would select someone for this all important post who was well qualified.  Think again.  Here’s the rub.  An experienced foreign policy appointee may well likely have foreseen the rise of the Islamic State and would have better prepared us, and the rest of the free world for its advent.

So here we are, stuck with Obama’s incompetence, watching butchery being performed online virtually on a daily basis.  And Obama says there has been an intelligence failure?  Well such a statement coming from the liar, er, commander in chief is not surprising.  Has this guy ever taken the blame for any of the scandals plaguing his administration?  Its a rhetorical question.  The answer is obvious.  Yet he has the effrontery to tell Fox News Bill O’Reilly, last Super Bowl Sunday,  that there is not even a smigen of corruption surrounding the IRS scandal.  So much for truth in government.

The Islamic State has been a growing threat for a long time.  But what about the role of the foreign policy advisor, the purported expert in foreign affairs, who has been a true sister of silence in forecasting trouble. With no experience in foreign affairs, never wrote, taught, lectured, nothing on foreign affairs, Hillary is the epitome of the worst political appointment any president can make.  Four Americans died on her watch. Yet, she apparently considers herself to be the next coming of Margaret Thatcher and is therefore well qualified to be president. This is a manifestly false state of mind.  She is no Margaret Thatcher.  Her utterances to the public that her “experience” qualifies her to be president are part of the fraud she is perpetrating on the public.  Wake up America!  The truth is that this woman is eminently unqualified for any public office and is  dangerous for the country.  Her incompetence is there for anyone wanting to see it.  The election of an unqualified and incompetent politician is a mistake the country cannot afford to have repeated.

So far as any lack of intelligence is concerned, blaming the rise of Isis on a lack of intelligence would be a laughable statement were it not for the deadly consequences of the lack.  But the intelligence gap is within the president himself and not in any gap in the gathering of information.  Perhaps Obama is a smart politician.  Give him some credit for getting elected (his promises weren’t known to be false when he was running, however).    But the credit stops there; there is no intelligence  when  it comes to having insight into foreign policy, not to mention judgement and understanding.  Maybe in this vein, intelligence should be equated with experience and common sense.  Once again its a question of a president who refuses to take the blame for his own personal shortcomings.

Inextricably tied in with the Middle East butchery is the failure by Obama to listen to advisors such as former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who urged him to leave a U.S. security force in Iraq in 2011 instead of a complete pullout.  Obama, dead set on a complete withdrawal from Iraq, refused to listen, thereby putting politics over the national interest.  The absence of U.S. forces created a vacuum, filled by sectarian chaos leading to the present state of affairs.

So, the so-called intelligence failure is more Obama mishmash.  Its hogwash.  What started out as the “JV team” some months ago is now the “network of death.”  The lack of original perception into the unfolding events in the Middle East is a tribute to Obama’s lack of experience, his incompetence.  He is in over his head.  When will the country ever learn?  Its the price we pay  for living in a democracy, a free country.  Anybody can run for president and if the country likes the message and the politician, qualified or not, experienced or not,  he can get elected.

But something more than experience as a community organizer and an apparently reliable golf swing is needed for the presidency.  Real nuts and bolts experience in confronting and handling problems, in making tough decisions, and in the demonstration of strong leadership qualities is needed.  The country deserves it.  The country, indeed the world, needs it.  A repeat of the  present inexperience and  incompetency in Washington is out of the question.  Hillary are you listening?

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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On My Way To Cleveland, Ohio

Next weekend I’ll be traveling to Cleveland, Ohio to attend one of the international conventions hosted by my network marketing partner.  I consider it  part of the business I’m involved in, part of the commitment I’ve made to succeed at this business, to attend this convention.  It will be my first trip to Cleveland, so that will be a new experience.  But, for that reason,  it will not be possible for me to post a blog here next week.

After practicing law in California for over forty years, network marketing is a new challenge for me.  I got into it at the behest of my oldest son, who is also in the business, to help him escape the financial constraints  of teaching.  One of the exciting aspects of the business is to be able to help others change their lives by becoming independent business owners.  Helping a client start a new business when I was practicing law was always a rewarding  endeavor for me.  Now I can do it all over again in my network marketing business.

Many, many years ago when I was in prep school in Pennsylvania, I took a course in English writers.  One of the writers I studied was John Keats.  Keats was not with us on this planet very long.  He died of tuberculosis at age 26.  That was back in 1821.  There was no cure for it in those days.  But while he was here he wrote some memorable poetry and one of the poems was “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer.”  It was Chapman’s translation  (Chapman was a writer himself who lived in the 1600s) of  the epic Greek poet Homer (who lived around 700-800 BC and is famous for the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”) which excited Keats so much.  He described his excitement in this poem as akin to that of an astronomer watching a new planet swim into his field of vision, or that of Spanish explorer Cortez when “with eagle eyes” he stared out upon the vast expanse of the blue Pacific.  The network marketing business is likewise an exciting experience and it provides vast opportunities for personal and financial growth.  Excuse me for going a bit overboard, but you get the idea.

I’m also reminded of the Los Angeles blender salesman who one day got an  order for blenders from a small hamburger shack in San Bernardino, about 90 miles East of LA.  He drove out to San Bernardino to deliver the blenders and look at the hamburger shack’s operation himself.  He found a business that was a model of simplicity.  All the little shack  served was  hamburgers, fries, and shakes.  He also saw a business that was easily duplicated.  The blender salesman, whose name was Ray Kroc, bought the little hamburger shack, decided to keep the shack’s name, McDonald’s, and the rest is history.  I only mention this story because my business is also simple in operation and easily duplicated.  This is the key to growing the business.

It’s not just the potential financial rewards that motivate me in this business.  It’s also the personal satisfaction from the thought that I’m actually helping the economy by reducing unemployment.  I have often voiced my extreme displeasure with the current occupant of the White House for being someone who is not only unqualified for the job of being president but is incompetent to boot.  The continued stagnant economy in this country marked by high levels of unemployment attests to that unpleasant fact.  So I feel I’m doing my part by helping others to move ahead financially despite the shortcomings of the present administration.

The company I’m in partnership with now now operates in Mexico as well as other parts of the world.  This factor provides me with the opportunity to expand not just in this country but in Mexico and worldwide.  I have also taken an increased interest in Mexico in my efforts to expand my business into that country.  Mexico is a whole new universe of opportunity.

So this is why I’m going to Cleveland.  Attending the convention will enable me to keep up with developments in the network marketing business, hear firsthand from eminently successful business leaders, and to share in the excitement from being a part of a huge and ongoing industry.

Copyright 2014.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Hillary Clinton – A Non-Entity With No Credibility

Last Sunday the Wall Street Journal published an article which referred to Hillary Clinton’s recent “hawkish” views. This article was objectionable in my view because it provided some semblance of credibility to Hillary’s political posture. This attempt at foisting some credibility upon her is totally and completely misplaced. She is not qualified to hold any public office. She is unqualified and incompetent. Period. The views I posted on this site some 2 years ago about her tenure as secretary of state are still relevant to her purported qualifications for office today. Here is what I wrote.

The Secretary of Mistate, Mistake, er, State.

What makes a great Secretary of State? By what marks is he/she defined? Carrying out the president’s foreign policy? Getting treaties signed? There are no easy definitions. But you know a great Secretary when you see one.
Appointing Hillary as Secretary of State, as his first cabinet post, marked Obama as a lightweight, because she is a lightweight. She is in fact a no- weight. I can’t begin to find any credence in this appointment. At the time of her appointment Hillary had no experience in foreign affairs; she never wrote, lectured, taught, or spoke on it, nor has she done anything since her appointment to distinguish her as as deserving of the appointment, nor as being a great or even a good one.

Maybe it’s because Obama has no foreign policy to speak of, none that can be defined.
Her lack of experience in public office preceded her into the present job. She was elected to the U.S. Senate – in a very liberal state of course. But she flew in on the back of her husband, an impeached president, who disgraced himself, his family, the White House and the country. She certainly was no leader of any kind in the senate, not having introduced any resolutions that come to mind.

Even before that when entrusted with “Hillarycare” by husband Bill, this endeavor, decried by many as a form of socialized medicine, was a miserable failure. The book, “It Takes A Village,” ostensibly written by her, did nothing to further the cause for her program. The book was a fraud, falsely proclaiming a crisis in education and then clamoring for government intervention to cure the non-existent crisis.

Once in a while Hillary makes a little whimper of noise about one thing or another, but in actuality she does nothing. Joining other nations in favor of a change of leadership in Syria does nothing to show her leadership. Clearly, on Obama’s part, the appointment was an act of political expedience, just to get her out of his way and keep her quiet – so far as attacking him or his administration, that is.

Today’s (2/25/12) liberal leaning LA Times carries an article proclaiming that “Clinton Hints at Coup Against Assad.” The writer, Patrick J. McDonnell, attempts to provide Hillary with some credibility by pointing out that she is one of the leaders of a coalition calling itself “Friends of Syria.” The writer credits her with calling for Assad’s security forces to oust him, citing the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, where militaries stepped in to oust “longtime autocratic leaders” (i.e., dictators) after popular protests. Of course, joining others in the swell of protest against Assad does not exactly stamp her as a leader.

A clear sign of her lack of credibility is the fact that as of 2/24/12, she has no part in talks between the U.S. and North Korea concerning food aid to the impoverished country, dismantling of its nuclear weapons program, and other issues. The U.S. is represented by Glyn Davies, who is described as special representative for North Korean policy. Hillary is nowhere in sight.

The main problem with Hillary’s holding any public office is that she has little if any credibility. Remember, when she ran for president, she was caught in a bald-faced lie – claiming she was caught in sniper fire in [Bosnia] when landing there during a visit. This was a total lie, which she later admitted. So, can you believe anything she says? As all trial lawyers will know, there is a jury instruction you can ask the trial judge to give if the evidence warrants it i.e., falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. What this means is that if the jury finds that the defendant (or a witness) lied about one thing, the jury can find that the defendant (or witness) lied about everything.

And of course hubby Bill was no slouch at lying either.

So much for Hillary’s credibility. Who’s going to believe her?

It’s not to late for Hillary to remove herself from the limelight and move into the kitchen, where she can concentrate on making toll house cookies. There, at least, she can hopefully avoid putting her foot in her mouth. But, of course, with her, anything’s possible.

Copyright 2012. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Remembering President Richard Nixon – 40 Years Later

On March 1, 2012, I published a blog about President Richard Nixon. He resigned from the presidency 40 years ago, on August 9, 1974, the only president to do so. Despite the shadow of Watergate, he accomplished a lot as president. To honor his presidency, here is a reprint of my blog.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON’S EMBRACE OF “RED CHINA” – A MASTER STROKE OF FOREIGN POLICY.
The impact of relations between the U.S. and China should be examined in the context of President Richard Nixon’s legacy.

Before Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the U.S. fades from memory, and bearing mind the occasion of President Obama’s visit to China in 2009, it is fitting to put those visits in historical perspective. Recall that it was President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Peking in 1972, some 40 years ago, which opened the door to improved relations with “Red China,” as the Chinese mainland was then known. This trip took place after two decades of bitter hostility, isolation, and non-existent diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China. The two countries had no framework in place for dealing with each other.

Some would say there is nothing about Richard Nixon worth remembering. But if one can cast aside the disgrace of Watergate and the horrors of Vietnam, horrors he inherited from his predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, and focus instead on the visit to China, it stands out as a major foreign policy accomplishment, one which should have earned Nixon the Nobel Peace Prize. Whatever else the personal shortcomings of Richard Nixon were, and there were apparently many, credit should be given where credit is due. Opening up the gateway to China was a brilliant master stroke of foreign policy which revolutionized world diplomacy and world trade. It was all the more remarkable in light of Nixon’s strong anti-communist stance during his political career.

The benefits of Nixon’s decision cannot be understated. What had been a miniscule dollar amount of trade between the two countries, roughly five billion dollars in 1979, has grown to the staggering total of between four hundred billion and five hundred billion dollars today. Moreover, cultural exchanges continue apace, involving many hundreds of exchange students. Last year there were over 3 million mutual visits between the two countries. Further, China, while still harboring a communist government, embraces an emerging capitalist economy, resulting in an ever improving life style for its people. For example, China today is the number one automobile market in the world. American capitalistic icons GM and Ford are strongly entrenched there, as are McDonalds and Coca Cola.

Obama’s 2009 meeting with Chinese President Hu, and his recent meeting with Vice President Jinping is hopefully a harbinger of deepening ties between the two countries, as well as mutual cooperation on trade and other issues.

However, historical perspective notwithstanding, the fact remains that Obama received a tepid response in his efforts to gain China’s cooperation in responding to the global economic showdown. This may be due to China’s recognition that America should focus on its own problems first, or it may be that China is simply not impressed with Obama and his administration.

It is clear that Obama is an excellent politician and a gifted speech maker, but it is equally clear that he is simply a novice when it comes to government management and making major decisions. He has no experience at all in administration and governing of anyone or anything. In other words, he comes across as a lightweight president, a figurehead, who has yet to prove himself as a leader. So, China has humored him, adopting a wait and see attitude before agreeing to anything. It remains to be seen whether Obama will have any real impact on the course of world affairs or whether he will be swept into the dustbin of history.

Copyright 11/20/09, updated 2/27/12, All Rights Reserved. Arnold G. Regardie.

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To Develop Confidence In Your Writing, You Must Overcome Self doubt.

With the ongoing explosion in global communications in this age of high technology, writing has become more important than ever before. In January, 2012, in one of my first blogs, I addressed the problem of overcoming self doubt in writing. This is such a an important topic that it deserves a repeat look.

Many people don’t write well because they don’t believe they can. They have no confidence in their writing. “I’m not a good writer!” is an all too often heard personal lament. For those of you who believe they fit into that category, i.e., those who don’t believe they are good writers but want to be, my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com and in print), can help. It provides an organized guide to clear writing fundamentals and sets forth down-to-earth, well-established writing guidelines and techniques that have worked well for others, not hard and fast rules that must be committed to memory and followed at all costs.

As mentioned in the introduction, the underlying proposition of this book is that clear writing is an art form – it can be learned. Anybody can write well – but you need the desire and dedication to do it. If you’re willing to put in the time and learn the skills, the satisfaction and rewards will come. These guidelines and techniques are capable of being learned through application and practice, and should result in a marked improvement in your writing. Even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still improve your writing dramatically by following the guidelines and techniques explained in my book.

Also bear in mind that writing, any writing, is a form of salesmanship, i.e., you are selling yourself. It is a basic sales truism that people will buy from you if they trust you. That truism applies to writing as well. Whatever your purpose in writing may be, whether you’re applying for a job, selling a product or service, writing personal or business letters, writing a company manual, or even preparing something as basic as an interoffice memo, the reader must trust you for your writing to be successful. Achieving this trust will depend on the respect and credibility emanating from your writing. If the reader believes you to be a credible writer and trusts you, you’ve gone a long way toward accomplishing your primary writing goal of selling the reader on whatever you’re writing about. Attracting that trust can be achieved only if you dedicate yourself to improving your writing skills.

Where do you start? Begin with a positive attitude toward what you’re doing, whether writing or speaking. John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers and a prominent lawyer by trade, successfully argued to the jury during the Boston Massacre trial of 1770 that “facts are stubborn things” and cannot be changed no matter how strong are your passions. Adams strongly believed in the rule of law and that the British soldiers he defended (successfully, it should be added), who were accused of murder when they fired their muskets into an angry mob, were innocent.

Thoughts are also things according to Napoleon Hill, author of the influential and best selling personal achievement book, “Think and Grow Rich.” Hill postulated that thoughts can be very powerful things when mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for success.

I’m also reminded of Tim Gallwey’s best seller, “The Inner Game of Tennis”, which is largely about developing the ability to focus your attention on the task at hand. It is more about solving life’s problems by learning the art of relaxed focus and attention to achieve peak mental performance, i.e., getting into a “zone”, than playing tennis.

Clear writing thus depends to a large extent on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing. When you have that confidence, it will show – the reader can see it. To obtain confidence you must master what can best be described as the “inner game” of writing, overcoming mental blocks to clear writing. As with other challenges in life, you must develop the right mental attitude. In other words, you can’t write clearly if you are nagged by anxiety and self doubt about your writing. Persistence and determination to write well are omnipotent.

Following the guidelines and techniques set forth in this book is a good start to improving your writing. But it’s also definitely helpful to read self-help books on salesmanship and self esteem in conjunction with your writing development. Good salesmanship depends in large part on having confidence in yourself. Acclaimed lecturer and author Jeffrey Gitomer writes in his “Little Red Book of Selling,” (p.193), that the theme of your success is to believe that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. His book is an excellent place to start. And keep one of his favorite axioms in mind, “hard work makes luck,” (p.36).

Here’s the bottom line. Whether playing tennis or writing, you must develop confidence in your ability. The best way to gain confidence in your writing ability is by working at it. Practice your writing continuously. Refine it as you go. Study the style and technique of other writers. The more you read and write, the more your writing will improve, which should increase your confidence.

Copyright © Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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The IRS Scandal – “Not A Smidgen of Corruption” – Another Obama Lie

When Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly posed the question to President Obama on this past Super bowl Sunday about the existence of corruption at the IRS and Obama replied, “There’s not even a smidgen of corruption,” the president has once again lied, the existence of corruption being very clear if not overwhelming. The ongoing congressional investigation into the IRS scandal has, among other things, established that conservative groups and organizations were indeed targeted by the IRS for unwarranted and unnecessary delays, investigation, and intrusion. Key IRS official Lois Lerner has repeatedly invoked the 5th Amendment when called before Congress to answer questions. Congress claims she has waived her constitutional privilege and has moved to hold her in contempt. She is entitled to her day in court, but why invoke the 5th if, as she said in her original appearance, she did nothing wrong.

Emails have now surfaced during the investigation showing that Lerner had a big part in the targeting, that she was even the driving force behind it. That this is clear evidence of IRS bias and, consequently, corruption, in the administration has now become undeniable and clearer with each passing day. It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that the so-called impartiality of the IRS has been compromised, does not exist in this administration, and that the agency has been and is being used to seek out and punish all those who oppose the president’s political philosophy.

The latest uncovered emails reveal that there were communications between Lois Lerner and the Department of Justice about going after conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. Thus the circle of taint seems to be widening and the issue of whether the targeting was politically motivated or not appears to be getting clearer.

To date there has been no accountability. When this is considered in conjunction with the issues confronting Attorney General Eric Holder (as previously covered on this blog) and the issues arising from Benghazi, there can be no doubt that there is a purposeful failure to act by this president. That this has happened and is happening is not just outrageous but clearly labels this President as unfit for office. It is more than a mere lack of the transparency he promised when campaigning but evidence he has actually been dishonest with the American people. I am reminded of the words of Chief Justice John Marshall when he wrote in the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison (1803), that, impeachment aside, the President’s principal responsibility, seems to be simply his accountability “to his country in his political character, and to his own conscience.” We can’t say whether Obama’s conscience bothers him (apparently not because he continues to lie), but his political character, what there is left of it, is in shambles.

This entire episode is no laughing matter but democratic reaction to congressional efforts to get at the truth borders on the ludicrous. Politics is politics but when evidence strongly suggests that a president is using his power and influence to cause a key government agency to target opposing political groups, something should be done. Importantly, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has sent a letter to the Justice Department recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner. We’ll see whether Obama’s long-time crony, Attorney General Eric Holder, responds positively to this letter or at all. But don’t hold your breath. In any event, recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner should be just a beginning because it is just the tip of the iceberg. In other words, the country has a right to know if any direction to the IRS came from the White House and if so who gave it. It is highly doubtful that Lerner acted on her own volition unless there was some, implicit if not explicit, support from the White House. In any event Lois Lerner’s involvement in this scandal is unmistakeable and at a bare minimum she should forfeit her pension, paid for by taxpayer dollars.

It’s high time to get some answers and some accountability from this administration. This is not a police state. Transparency although promised by Obama is completely lacking. The country is not run by the White House, although the White House may think so. A full revelation of this entire issue must be forthcoming.

Copyright © Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Learn To Write With Confidence – It’s The Key To clear Writing

Over two years ago, one of the first blogs I published was about the need to write with confidence. This subject is so important to clear writing that it deserves repeating.

Many people complain that they can’t write well. Much of the trouble comes from self doubt about their writing ability. The development of confidence in writing begins with attitude, as with other things in life – if you believe you can write well, then you can. It’s as simple as that.

The secret to developing confidence in your writing is really no secret: you must simply write more. The more you write the better your writing will become and the greater your confidence will grow. Also, increase your reading experience. Read books, articles etc, written by experienced writers, and pay attention to their style of writing, sentence structure, and their selection and use of words.

Reading self-help books on self esteem and salesmanship is also helpful because good salesmanship depends to a large extent on having confidence in yourself, and any writing is a form of salesmanship, i.e., you are selling yourself. It’s a basic truism in selling that people will buy from you if they trust you. That’s true in writing as well. For your writing to be successful people must trust you, and achieving that trust will depend on the respect and credibility stemming from your writing. If the reader believes you to be a credible writer and trusts you, you’ve gone a long way towards accomplishing your goal of selling the reader on whatever you’re writing about.

My book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com/kindle books and in print), explains that writing is an art form, which means it can be learned like any other art form. Anybody can write well, but you need the dedication and desire to do it. A now and then approach isn’t going to do it. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can improve your writing dramatically. Writing guidelines and techniques can be learned through application and practice, even if writing is not your strong suit. But first you have to decide that you’re going to write well, and then work on your writing on a continuous and ongoing basis.

Start with a positive attitude toward your writing. Clear writing depends on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing. When you have that confidence it will show, the reader can see it. To obtain that confidence you must master what can best be described as the “inner game” of writing, overcoming mental blocks to clear writing. You can’t write well if you are nagged by self doubts and anxiety about your writing. Persistence and determination to write well are omnipotent. Remember what Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic work, “Think and Grow Rich,” that “thoughts are things.” Application of this principle to your writing can change your destiny by helping you on the road to becoming an accomplished writer if your positive thoughts about writing are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire to get ahead.

I’m also reminded of Tim Gallwey’s best seller, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” which is largely about developing the ability to focus your attention on the task at hand. It is more about solving life’s problems by learning the art of relaxed focus and attention to achieve peak mental performance, i.e., getting into a “zone”, than playing tennis.

Here’s the bottom line: whether playing tennis or writing, you must first develop confidence in your ability. The best way to develop confidence in your writing is by working at it. Practice your writing continuously, and refine it as you go. Study the style and technique of other writers. The more you read and write, the more your writing will improve and so will your confidence. In this age of global communication, the ability to write clearly will stand you in good stead more than ever before. Because of the explosion of computer technology, the written word has reached new heights of importance. If you can write clearly you will not only enhance your ability to improve your earning potential but will improve the quality of the nation’s work force, which will benefit the country.

So by learning to write clearly, you can help yourself and also help your country. That’s an unbeatable combination!

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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It’s Baseball Season Again. Welcome Back!

As a lifelong baseball fan, the advent of opening day and the return of baseball to the national scene has prompted me to pass on a few random thoughts about our national pastime.

Not too long ago I was visiting family in Denver, Colorado. We were having lunch in a Red Robin restaurant, the walls of which were adorned with sports memorabilia. During bites from my hamburger, I happened to glance at the wall nearest me. I was startled to see an autographed baseball containing signatures of two ballplayers I hadn’t heard about for years – Gil Coan and Al Kozar. These two played for the old Washington Senators, a team I followed when I was a kid growing up in Washington, D.C.
That team is best remembered for its futility and is memorialized by the old addage coined by an unrecalled congressman, “Washington, first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.”

The late Harmon Killebrew, a Hall of Fame hitter, came up with the Senators in 1954. He was dubbed a “bonus baby” by the press because he was paid what was then an enormous sum to sign, $25,000.00. When the Senators finally assembled enough talent to be truly competitive, including pitcher Bob Porterfield, center fielder Bob Allison, and catcher Earl Battey, the franchise was moved to Minnesota where it became the Minnesota Twins. Later, a new team was organized and located in Washington D.C. It was also called the Washington Senators and was briefly managed by another Hall of Famer, the legendary Boston Red Sox slugger, Ted Williams. That franchise ultimately moved to Texas where it became known as the Texas Rangers. After 2004, Major League Baseball moved the Montreal Expos, a National League franchise, to Washington D.C. and renamed it the Washington Nationals.

On another subject, I read in a local newspaper the other day that Julia Ruth Stevens. an adopted daughter of Babe Ruth, turned 97. She is legally blind and gets around in a wheelchair. One of the great disappointments of the Babe’s life was that he never got a chance to manage a major league club after he retired in 1935. His daughter claimed in this article that it was because major league owners feared he would bring in black players, more than a decade before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. According to the article, Ruth would often frequent New York City’s Cotton Club and befriended black athletes and celebrities.

Babe Ruth was definitely a great athlete, being a premier American League pitcher before becoming one of the great hitters, some say the greatest, of all time. Between 1914, his rookie year, and 1919, he won 89 games for the Boston Red Sox, one year winning 24 games, 23 in another, and 18 in another. He pitched 29 consecutive shutout world series innings, a record which stood for many years. In 1919, his first full year as an outfielder, he hit 29 home runs, which set a new major league record. Then in 1920, after being sold to the New York Yankees in the off season, he hit 54 home runs, yet another record, restoring much needed credibility to the world of baseball after the shock of the 1919 Black Sox scandal when members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of trying to throw the world series to the Cincinnati Reds. Finally, in 1921, as if to prove that 1920 was not a fluke, he hit 59 home runs, which was then still another home run record, the third in a row, never before and never since accomplished. In 1927, as a key part of the Yankees famed “murderers row,” he eclipsed his 1921 mark by hitting 60 home runs, a record which stood until 1961.

One final news item about the Babe. A recent story spotlighted his beginnings in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was born in 1895. He was incorrigible as a kid and was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, an orphanage/boarding school/reformatory, when he was six or seven, where he remained, in and out but mostly in, until he was 19. That year, 1914, he was signed to a professional baseball contract by Jack Dunn, owner of the then minor league Baltimore Orioles, and later that year sold to the Boston Red Sox. So, Ruth jumped from reform school to the major leagues in one year, quite a feat!

Baseball’s Hall of Fame began in 1936. There were five players elected that charter year, three hitters, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner, and two pitchers, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. Cy Young, who won the most games in baseball history, 511, was not elected until 1937. Players usually have to wait five years after retirement before becoming eligible for Hall of Fame consideration. There are three exceptions: Babe Ruth, who retired in 1935 and was elected in 1936, Lou Gehrig, who voluntarily retired in 1939 because of the onset of a fatal illness and was elected that same year, and Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash in 1972, still an active player, and was elected in 1973.

The foregoing reflects but a few of my thoughts garnered over a lifetime of reading about the game of baseball. I’ve always been interested in baseball history as well as watching the game itself. For those of you who, like me, enjoy baseball history, there is a marvelous book which came out in 1966 entitled “The Glory of Their Times,” by Lawrence Ritter. It is about the sixty to seventy years of baseball before the so-called modern era and contains stories told by the men who played the game itself. Red Barber has called it “The single best baseball book of all time.”

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Attorney General Eric Holder – A Partisan Idealogue

In still another hallmark of this most inept presidential administration, we consider President Obama’s appointment of Eric Holder as United States Attorney General. This selection was questionable, to say the least, on the basis of Mr. Holder’s background, and his conduct in office has shown that he is nothing more than a tool of the Obama administration.

The term “wimp” in describing Mr. Holder comes to mind. It is no doubt a pejorative word but its use here finds support in the dictionary. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, defines wimp as a weak, cowardly, or ineffectual person. The use of the disjunctive in the definition makes its use appropriate because in my view Mr. Holder is definitely ineffectual although the other definitions may also apply, depending on whom you ask. Other individuals and groups go even further, seeking his impeachment on the grounds of corruption.

Mr. Holder was President Obama’s first cabinet appointment. The two first met in 2004 and hit it off immediately. Therefore the appointment smacks of cronyism. But more than that, one need only peruse freelance writer Ron Kolb’s detailed and informative article (available on Google) for insights into Mr. Holder’s background. Far from having strong credentials for the post, his background is questionable in terms of his lack of, shall we say, unwavering support for law enforcement. One notable instance occurred when as Deputy Attorney General, he knowingly stood silent to the proposed pardon by President Clinton of convicted swindler/fugitive Marc Rich, which he later admitted to have been a mistake. On another occasion he recommended clemency to President Clinton for members of FALN, a Puerto Rican terrorist group. This is not the type of background you would want to find in the nation’s top cop. His controversial past compels the conclusion that he should never have been appointed in the first place.

Currently, Mr. Holder is refusing to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandal. This is the case where the IRS is suspected of targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking section 501(c)(4) tax exemption status for special treatment, i.e., delays in processing and unnecessary and improper inquiries. The IRS, one of the most feared of government agencies, is supposed to be impartial in the discharge of its duties. Yet President Obama told Fox News journalist Bill O’Reilly during an interview on Super Bowl Sunday that there is not even a “smidgeon” of corruption surrounding this case. Yet if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

Indeed, if there is no corruption and nothing to hide over this issue, it is puzzling that IRS official Lois Lerner has repeatedly taken the 5th amendment in refusing to answer congressional questions during its efforts to investigate the matter. Instead of a special prosecutor, President Obama has appointed a member of his administration and a generous contributor to his campaign, an individual clearly partisan to the president, to conduct an investigation. This is a blatant and egregious abuse of power which should not be allowed. The real question which needs to be answered is what person or persons approved Lois Lerner’s conduct. It remains to be seen if the investigation reaches this issue.

But protecting the administration in the IRS targeting scandal is not the only controversial act by the Attorney General. Mr. Holder has failed to turn over requested records by the House Oversight Committee concerning operation “Fast and Furious.” For this blatant coverup, in June, 2012, after a 16-month investigation, the Attorney General was held in Contempt of Congress, both civilly and criminally, the first cabinet member to be so cited. Executive privilege has also been asserted over those records. Although all of the facts are not known, thousands of automatic weapons were apparently purchased from gun dealers by Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives agents and sold to gun traffickers. This was done in an apparent effort to trace the guns to drug cartel users in Mexico. However there was no follow through. Two of the weapons were later discovered at the murder scene of Agent Brian Terry in December, 2011. Mr. Holder has been accused of lying to the House Committee about when he first heard of this operation.

There are many more instances where Mr. Holder’s conduct can be seen as undermining the country’s security. But in the interests of brevity they will not be described now. Suffice it to say that
the country needs and deserves to have a tough and effective Attorney General, not one who is clearly devoted to protecting his benefactor, i.e., the person who appointed him in the first place.

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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