Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mr. Boortz's Opus: Why Talk Radio Really Matters

By Matt Towery (11/5/09) Back in the '90s, an admittedly sappy movie was made for less than $7 million, but it reaped over $80 million at the box office. "Mr. Holland's Opus" starred Richard Dreyfuss as a high school music teacher who tenaciously plodded along the daily grind of teaching music. All the while, he was privately composing his own "An American Symphony," apparently never to be performed.

In what follows below, I'd like to honor another man's life's work. His career has been in a much different field than teaching music, but his ultimate triumph reminds us of the inspiring Dreyfuss film.

For the last year or so, it's been open season on America's conservative-leaning radio talk-show hosts. During the 2008 presidential campaign, it often seemed that Barack Obama was running against TV star and radio host Sean Hannity, instead of against Republican John McCain.

Months later, we witnessed another high-ratings radio host, Michael Savage, get literally banned from Great Britain. Next, the Democrats decided to treat the godfather of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, as if he were the elected leader of Republicans nationwide. They attacked him at every turn. Limbaugh was even forced out of a potential ownership position with an NFL team because of that league's fear of controversy. Freedom of speech was nothing more than a cumbersome inconvenience to Limbaugh's detractors.

But there's good news for this industry, too. This first weekend in in November, the great luminaries of the talk radio world gathered in Chicago to honor another one of their colleagues, the unique Neal Boortz.

The nationally-syndicated talk show host was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Boortz is Libertarian conservative whose ideas and fast-paced interaction with listeners have earned him millions of listeners nationwide.

Boortz came to national prominence a little differently than some of his colleagues who followed him into the field. After college, he moved to Atlanta. The city was growing, but its media market was nothing as big as it is today. He worked as a speechwriter to the governor and as a department store's buyer of fine jewelry, among other jobs.

He was also a frequent listener and caller to the city's only talk radio station at the time. Eventually, he became a host there himself.

Of course, talk radio offered modest pay back then. So in the '70s, Boortz earned a law degree. His legal work continued into the '90s, even while he was becoming the town's "top talker." Among his clients were luminaries such as heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield. Finally, in the late '90s, Boortz moved his act to the South's radio giant, WSB. That brought him national syndication.

So why is Neal Boortz's story important to you and me? And what has this story to do with "Mr. Holland's Opus?" Read on.

Unlike many entertainers and celebrities, the off-the-air Boortz is in fact shy and unassuming. He seems an unlikely candidate to become the handpicked protege of any powerful media mogul. Instead, he personifies the dreams of many Americans. They may know what they want, but they face what look like impossible obstacles to reach them.

When Boortz went from talk-show listener to talk-show talker, it was in a modest media market -- and a Southern culture -- that wasn't used to "bluntspeak" like his. Even today, some radio station managers ignorantly pigeonhole him as a "Southern talk show host" and deprive their listeners of hearing one of the best minds and mouths on the air.

Unlike many conservative stars of talk, Boortz toes no party's line. He challenges listeners with facts, figures and the ruthless logic he learned as a lawyer. He loves to verbally joust with those who call in to disagree. He also lets his executive producer and his engineer-sidekick help to keep him in check by challenging him in a sort of freestyle banter. This formula has allowed Boortz to irritate some of the biggest names from both the left and the right. He calls it "stirring the pudding."

The high school teacher in "Opus" finally got to see his musical score performed live. This weekend, some of the biggest names in the talk radio business are gathering to celebrate the "music" created by Neal Boortz. I could argue that his 2005 New York Times-bestselling book about the "Fair Tax" was his magnum opus. But in reality, it may be the award he's to receive itself that culminates his career.

For those who cherish liberty and free speech; the right and the ability to say what's really on their minds; and the scrappy persistence to skillfully do one's job, the celebration of "Mr. Boortz's Opus" means more than honoring this one man.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that the term “lobbyist” was coined during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant (between 1869 and 1877)?

According to Gary Ater, writing for the American Chronicle, President Grant's wife, Julia, would not allow the President to smoke his cigars while inside the White House. For this reason, the President could many times be found by those looking for some political favors when he was smoking his cigars while relaxing in the lobby of the nearby Willard Hotel. Ergo, those American "favor seekers" back then became known as "Washington D.C. Lobbyists." According to the Washington Post there are more than 35,000 lobbyists working in Washington, D.C. today and more than 40% of past members of Congress register as lobbyists.

from The Fair Tax Newsletter

The FairTax Game is Almost Ready for Delivery

FairTaxer Terry Powell had a dream to create a fun board game built around FairTax concepts and the pitfalls of the income tax system--that could teach people about the advantages of the FairTax while they were having fun. Like millions of other American entrepreneurs, Terry risked his own money, used his own creativity and drive, and created the FairTax game. is proud to help get the word out for Terry and Terry has agreed to share a small portion of his profits with the national campaign working to win passage of the FairTax in Congress. Terry tells us that the manufacturing process is almost finished and that he is now accepting advance orders for the game. Go to to advance-order the FairTax Game in time for Christmas giving.

One of the most attractive elements of the FairTax idea is the fact that after enactment, Americans will take home their whole paycheck, free of federal withholding of income taxes and Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. This increase in “take home” pay will act as a permanent economic stimulus.

Some perennial critics who seem to live only to pick at the FairTax proposal have suggested that it is misleading to use the shorthand, “take home your whole paycheck” because health insurance co-payments, retirement fund deductions and state and local taxes are often also withheld from paychecks and won’t be affected by passage of HR 25, the FairTax legislation now pending in Congress.

In an effort to be crystal clear that paychecks will get much larger after enactment of the FairTax, recent communications have almost always appended the statement “…free of federal withholding and payroll taxes.” Naysayers aside, the largest deductions from most people’s paychecks are Social Security taxes (7.65%) and income tax withholding. The elimination of these two federal taxes withheld from your take home pay will dramatically increase most Americans' paychecks. Even for those whose income is so low that no income tax payments are withheld from paychecks, the additional almost eight percent in take home pay can be a lifesaver.

For the self employed, the effect of elimination of federal payroll taxes and withholding can be far more dramatic. The self-employed pay a full 15.3% of wages up to about $100,000 of annual earnings toward FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. Income tax payments are made not out of every paycheck but are estimated and paid quarterly. Both erasing the “self-employment” tax, as the FICA payments are commonly called for this group, and the elimination of quarterly and annual income tax payments can mean a very dramatic increase in funds available to the self-employed.

Most American workers live somewhere between the two extremes and will also see dramatic increases in available income for savings, spending, investment and peace of mind. In essence, the FairTax allows each American to decide, through personal consumption choices, the timing and amounts of federal taxes paid. To see what your paycheck will look like after enactment of the FairTax, just take a hard look at your own pay check “stub” and add back into your future take home pay the amounts now withheld for FICA payments and income taxes.

FairTax on Twitter

It's FairTax Friday - look at your paystub!

FairTax encourages repatriation of the U.S. $$ held in foreign countries bcause of tax consequences. Companies will return to USA.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

by Ann Coulter (more by this author)
Posted 09/23/2009 ET
Updated 09/23/2009 ET

(15) Democrats lost Congress in 1994 because President Clinton failed to pass national health care.

I'm not sure if this is another example of the left's wishful-thinking method of analysis or if they're seriously trying to trick the Blue Dog Democrats into believing it. But I gather liberals consider the 1994 argument an important point because it was on the front page of The New York Times a few weeks ago in place of a story about Van Jones or ACORN.

According to a news story by Jackie Calmes: "In 1994, Democrats' dysfunction over fulfilling a new president's campaign promise contributed to the party's loss of its 40-year dominance of Congress."

That's not the way I remember it. The way I remember it, Republicans swept Congress in 1994 not because Clinton failed to nationalize health care, but because he tried to nationalize health care. HillaryCare failed because most Americans didn't want it. (For more on this, see "ObamaCare.")

Bill Clinton had run as an old-school, moderate Democrat and then, as soon as he got elected, immediately became Che Guevara. (What is it with all our black presidents and these bait-and-switch tactics?)

Instead of pursuing "mend it, don't end it" on welfare and no "middle-class tax hike" -- as Clinton promised during the campaign -- he raised taxes, signed ridiculous gun restrictions into law, enacted "midnight basketball" as the solution to urban crime, announced that he was putting gays in the military and let Hillary run riot over health care.

But just to check my recollection, I looked up the Times' own coverage of the 1994 congressional races.

Republicans won a landslide election in 1994 based largely on the "Contract With America," which, according to the Times, promised "tax cuts, more military spending and a balanced-budget amendment." Far from complaining about Clinton incompetently failing to pass health care, the Times reported that Republicans were "unabashedly claiming credit for tying Congress up in knots."

These claims were immediately followed by ... oh, what was that word again? Now I remember ...


It was almost as if the voters agreed with the Republicans in opposing Clinton's risky health care scheme, then voted accordingly.

The Times' own polling showed that two-thirds of voters believed that "government should be less involved in solving national problems" -- which doesn't sound to me like voters being huffy with Clinton for failing to stage a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy.

In a Hail Mary pass just before the election, President Clinton pulled Hillary off the health care beat. CNN's repository of liberal cliches, Bill Schneider, reported that Clinton was trying to calm voters by "removing the most visible symbol of the liberal tilt of the last two years, which is the first lady."

And what a morale boost for the Democrats that must have been! Kind of like firing the manager of a losing baseball team in the last week of the season.

Too late. Shouldn't have tried to socialize health care.

(16) America's relatively low life expectancy compared to countries with socialist health care proves welfare-state health care is better.

The life expectancy argument is so stupid even The New York Times hasn't made it -- except in news stories quoting others or in the ramblings of the Times' more gullible op-ed columnists. You mostly hear the life expectancy argument from Hollywood actresses and profoundly dumb Democrats, such as Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland.

Trying to evaluate the quality of a nation's health care by looking at life expectancy is like trying to estimate the birthrate by counting the number of flowers bought on Valentine's Day. (Or estimating future pregnancies of women with low self-esteem by adding up the total number of U.S. cities on a Bobby Brown tour and then multiplying by 2.)

There are lots of ways to get pregnant that don't require flowers or a backstage pass to a Bobby Brown concert, just as there are lots of ways to die that don't require setting foot inside a doctor's office.

For example, more Americans are murdered with guns than in any other industrialized country. (And it would be even more without concealed-carry laws! See John Lott, "More Guns, Less Crime.") According to a 1997 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the homicide rate with firearms alone was 16 times higher in the U.S. than in 25 other industrialized countries combined.

That will tend to reduce the U.S.'s "life expectancy" numbers, while telling us absolutely nothing about the country's medical care. (I promise that if you make it to a hospital alive, you are more likely to survive a gunshot wound in the U.S. than any place else in the world.)

It's comparing apples and oranges to talk about life expectancy as if it tracks with a country's health care system. What matters is the survival rate from the same starting line, to wit, the same medical condition. Not surprisingly, in the apples-to-apples comparisons, the U.S. medical system crushes the welfare-state countries.

For the glorious details, see next week's column.
Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing
it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America " for an amount of up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

True Friends

When you are sad, I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!

When you are blue, I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

When you smile, I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

When you're scared, we will high tail it out of here.

When you are worried, I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!

When you are confused, I will use little words.

When you are sick, stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have....

When you fall, I'll pick you up and dust you off-- after I laugh my ass off!!

This is my oath to you....I pledge it to the end.

“Why?” you may ask; -- because you are my FRIEND!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Gotta Admit it's Inventive.....


I was so depressed last night...

thinking about the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., so I called Lifeline...

Got a Call Center in Pakistan...

I told them I was suicidal...

They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

A new supermarket opened in Parrish.

It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh mown hay.

In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks with onions.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle, and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The bread department features the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread & cookies.

We don't buy toilet paper there anymore.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sometimes we wonder...

“What did I do to deserve this?” or “Why did God have to do this to me?”

Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong; she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her, and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck” says her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?”

“Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies. “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!”

God works the same way.

Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!

We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you.

He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but, while we are here, we might as well dance!