Inspired by Jay Mohr’s rant against the IOC’s decision to eliminate Wrestling from the Olympics, I decided to write me own post about how wrestling impacted my life…
Wrestling is unlike any other sport out there…
During High School, how many folks woke up before 5am, put on a plastic suit and worked out hard for an hour before going to school?
How many folks limited their meals to Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday each week, so that they could make weight twice a week to compete?
I wonder how many folks out there know what it is like to wrestle five matches after losing 21 pounds over the past 72 hours?
Every time you walk out onto the mat, your opponent wants to intimidate you, dominate you, hurt you, outsmart you, and outwrestle you into a victory…
Your victories are extremely painful, and your losses are downright unbearable…
I feel sorry for the folks who have never stood in front of hundreds of people, getting your hand raised by the referee, after leaving everything you had on the mat…
I feel even worse for the folks who have never stood in front of the same hundreds of people, bleeding and injured after being destroyed by a stronger opponent, watching him get his hand raised as the crowd cheers while you stand there in front of everyone….humiliated…
Most people could not handle that…Most people would just quit…But wrestlers are a different breed…
I was an average wrestler. I won more than I lost. I was a 4-year Varsity guy in school, won all-area honors three of the four years, and I wrestled in national tournaments during college in one last gasp effort to see if I had what it took to get to the next level. I still lost over 60 times throughout my career..
60 times, starting at the age of 13, I stood in front of a cheering crowd, angry and humiliated as the referee raised the other guy’s hand..
Every one of those 60 times, there was only one person to blame for that loss – and that was Me…
If there is one thing that Wrestling teaches you more than anything else…It is accountability…
Every mistake hurts…Every delayed reaction hurts…Over-thinking something hurts…Under-thinking something hurts…Losing is unbearable…
Could you imagine how much harder you would work if you knew that every time you lost a point of market share, someone was going to come up and bloody your nose while your competitors and their families stood up and cheered?
I have only found one thing that can motivate you in life more than that feeling during that moment…and that is how good it feels to win…
Winning is what makes the sacrifice worth the pain…
I suffered three concussions, I hyper-extended my right elbow over 20 times, I dislocated my jaw (and finished the match), I had over 10 procedures to fix my cauliflower ear (wrestling injury), and I had two knee surgeries…all before I was 21 years old…
And I promise you this – I gave worse to my opponents than I got in return…
Simply put, I left it all out on the mat…
On the mat is where I learned how to succeed in life when adversity strikes…
On the mat is where I learned that if you don’t get what you want, you have nobody but yourself to blame…
On the mat is where I learned that there is always someone out there who is bigger, stronger, and who is working harder than you…
On the mat is where I learned that you are entitled to nothing, and you have to earn everything you seek in life…
In Wrestling, there is no pro – Kids begin wrestling so that they can make Olympics…We continue wrestling because it gets in our blood…
If the IOC were to take wrestling from the Olympics, it will begin to disappear from College Campuses, which will slowly cause it to disappear from High Schools and Youth Groups across the country.
The population of the entitled, coddled, and lazy people in the United States is growing at an alarming rate. Please don’t take away the leading educator on accountability, work ethic, and toughness.
Please forward this to every wrestler you know, and post your own story on how Wrestling impacted your life. Keep Wrestling in the Olympics!
- Gold medalist Angle says wrestling won’t vanish from Olympics (triblive.com)
- Olympic Gold Wrestler Gardner Takes IOC to the Mat (ireport.cnn.com)
- Wrestling answers IOC wakeup call with massive push to remain in Olympics (azcentral.com)
I, like many Americans, did some serious soul-searching in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. My wife, who is from Bogota, asked me why some stupid people are against banning the sale of automatic weapons. I, being one of those “stupid people”, explained to her the concept of a slippery slope, where allowing laws banning one thing which seemed acceptable could easily lead to laws banning other things that were unacceptable. She proclaimed that “Americans are Stupid”.
Americans are stupid, why can’t they just pass a law that they know is right without worrying about a new law that it might theoretically lead to?…Something about that statement made me start to think…
Why was the concept of a slippery slope so foreign to someone outside of our system?
What would happen if we didn’t have to worry about the American Court system and the Slippery Slope?
I am guessing that the majority of second amendment supporters would support laws banning Automatic weapons, high-capacity ammo clips, and require background checks in order to buy firearms. However, because of the slippery slope arguments, gun-rights activists, politicians, and everyday citizens have to hold firm against any infringement that could lead to the deterioration of the second amendment…
I am guessing that the majority of pro-life people would support laws protecting abortion when the life of the mother is at risk, or when the abortion is due to a rape case, or when incest is involved. However, because of the slippery slope arguments, pro-life activists, politicians and everyday citizens have to hold firm against any infringement that could lead to further deterioration of pro-life legislation.
I am guessing that the majority of fiscally conservative people would support allowing the tax rates to be raised on people making over a million dollars each year, as long as the government were to also rein in the unconstrained spending habits that we have developed since the New Deal. However, because of the slippery slope arguments, anti-tax activists, politicians, and everyday citizens have to hold firm against any infringement on their views that could lead to higher taxes for all Americans in the future.
I am guessing that the majority of people believe that two life-long homosexual partners living as a couple should get the same health benefits, power of attorney, and funeral rights as married people get. However, because of the slippery slope arguments, anti-gay marriage activists, politicians, and everyday citizens have to hold firm against any leniency in the gay rights arena or else gay marriage might wind up being legal in every state.
Before I wrap up, I just want to make this clear: I am as conservative as they come, and I don’t necessarily agree with everything that I am writing, but I understand that common sense should be more important than political stances…
In the loving memory of 20 innocent children, and several innocent adults, could we all make a Christmas vow of common sense? Put away the slippery slope arguments, put away the stringent stances, and pass some common sense legislation…
How about we start with passing some laws that will allow for abortions in instances of rape without the rape victim being subjected to humiliation and “education” programs? Can we all agree that this would be a good law?
How about we start with passing some laws that allow for increasing taxes on those people making over a million dollars a year, as long as we also cut spending? Can we all agree that this would be a good policy?
How about we start by making sure that two people who have shared a lifetime of love be allowed at each other’s deathbed? Can we all agree that this would be a good policy?
If all of us “stupid Americans” can’t agree on those….then how about this:
How about we start with passing some laws that will stop letting mass murderers legally purchase guns that can fire dozens of times without being reloaded? Can we all agree that this would be a good law?
If Sandy Hook has a living legacy….let it be that it forced Americans to stop being so stupid…
Let’s pass some common sense legislation on hot-button issues and move from a culture terrified of the slippery slope, towards a culture who attempts to find common ground even on the most controversial subjects. I am one writing to you as one passionate American who will pledge to put my slippery slope fears aside and vote for what is right…
- Ethan Rome: Five Reasons Why the NRA Must Be Stopped (huffingtonpost.com)
I recently wrote a tweet stating “President Obama, there are only 45 words in the 1st amendment, please take sixty seconds to review it.” It was obviously written a little tongue-in-cheek, targeting Obama for his recent attacks on the free press. After that, I decided that people might be interested in his grades so far on protecting our Bill of Rights:
1st Amendment – F Free Speech
Obama has not only had reporters investigated, but he has threatened to charge a respected Fox News reporter as a co-conspirator. On top of that, he has had the IRS target Tea Party groups in order to limit their speech during an election.
2nd Amendment – F Gun Rights
Not much evidence is needed here, Obama’s $500 million proposal to limit 2nd Amendment rights says it all.
4th Amendment – D Search & Seizure
We don’t know if Obama had a warrant, but e-mails are typically found to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Obama likely used the ECPA and several NSLs to get around the 4th Amendment, therefore we are giving him a “D” for creatively undermining our rights in a way that he wouldn’t be found guilty.
5th Amendment – A Right to Remain Silent
Lois Lerner invoked the 5th Amendment when Congress tried to question her on the IRS Scandal…guess she has something to hide. At least Obama is respecting one of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights!
6th Amendment – F Civil Right For Anyone Accused of a Crime
Obama’s team has killed 4 U.S. Citizens with attack drones. I would not have a problem with that if they were in the middle of a hostile action, or if they had been convicted of a crime and sentenced to death, or if they were involved in a capture mission that went wrong…but none of these were the case. The killing of American Citizens without a trial is the act of terrorists, not Presidents.
The bottom line is that the more we learn about the AP Scandal, the Fox News Scandal, the IRS Scandal, the Benghazi Scandal, etc etc etc….the more it should become apparent that Obama is not protecting the rights that Thomas Jefferson described as “is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference”.
- Rand Paul On IRS Scandal: “Someone Needs To Go To Jail” (dprogram.net)
- Hilarious! Top official to plead Fifth Amendment protections after targeting constitutional groups that taught the Bill of Rights (webabuser.blogspot.com)
- IRS Was Afraid of the Constitution, the Obama Scandal Suggests (nysun.com)
I applaud Senator Rob Portman, who dramatically revealed his change of heart on the issue of Gay Marriage this past week. Portman’s decision was based on a very personal story where his son revealed to him that he was gay, and the Senator realized that he wanted his son to have the same opportunity for happiness and marriage that his other children will have.
Portman’s decision was slammed in the twitterverse and in the mainstream media as self-serving, with people turning this deeply personal change of heart into something much more sinister. Rather than embracing the converted Senator, Gay Marriage supporters rained insults down on him and his political party, ranging from calling him a flip-flopper, to asking if he would change his mind on the minimum wage or abortion if his children ran across hard times financially or were involved in an unplanned pregnancy.
Many of their comments, not listed here, were completely disgusting and disheartening.
Personally, I am a recovering NeoConservative, who is beginning to lean more and more towards WackoBird Libertarianism. The issue of Gay Marriage is one that I have struggled with for a long time, and I have participated in several spirited debates with my friends and family throughout the years. While I am capable of making a full-throated defense of the Republican Party-Line, it has been years since my inner-argument amounted to much more than a slippery slope debate which I was not overly passionate about. That being said, until recently I have not found the motivation to sit down and really dig into the issue to see if my overall opinion had changed.
Rob Portman changed that for me. After hearing his announcement, I was surprisingly not angry, as I typically would have been if a Champion for one of my political positions had changed their mind. I began looking back at the years of debates, thinking about how the strength of my opinion had decreased over time, and I dove deep into the issue. My position hasn’t changed over the last 48 hours. However, over the past 48 hours I have realized that my opinion has definitely changed over the last several years.
I now support Gay Marriage.
While you likely won’t see me marching on Washington, or screaming at those who advocate against Gay Marriage, I thought it was worth posting this online to show that it is okay to change your position on key issues and we should not demonize each other when that happens. Whether you change your opinion based of something that happens in your personal life, or whether it was a slow evolution over time, Political advocates should welcome these new converts with open arms.
Whether it’s Gay Marriage, Abortion, Death Penalty, Gun Control, Minimum Wage, Tax Policy…
On these issues where each side has the support of around 50% of the country, how will your side ever become a clear majority if you don’t embrace those who are willing to let their opinions evolve over time. The only way to guarantee effective Political discourse in this country is to be respectful of each other’s opinions, and to allow people to change their mind when they have heard a good argument.
I now proudly support Gay Marriage – I challenge each one of you to take a look at some of your own Political Positions this week. In a world where people are allowed to change their mind on key issues without being demonized, would there be any issues that you might like to alter your stance on?
- Senator Rob Portman reveals he has a gay son, now supports same-sex marriage (thesunnews.typepad.com)
- No gay-lo for Rob Portman: Many libs lash out at senator for ‘evolving’ on same-sex marriage (twitchy.com)
- Rob Portman And The Politics Of Narcissism (huffingtonpost.com)
John: “Rich people should pay more in taxes and poor people should pay less.”
Socrates: “How much more should the rich people pay?”
John: “They should pay their fair share, since they are making so much more than us.”
Socrates: “Define their fair share for me.”
John: “Well, if someone makes ten times as much as me, they should pay ten times as much in taxes.”
Socrates: “How much money do you make John?”
John: “My wife and I make $45,000 a year.”
Socrates: “So, if you two paid $10,000 in taxes, someone who makes $450,000 a year should pay $100,0000 in taxes?”
John: “Yes, that sounds about right.”
Socrates: “Okay, so what I am hearing you say is that people should pay their fair share?”
John: “Exactly! I honestly don’t know how anyone could really argue against that point!”
Socrates: “So, someone who makes $45,000 should not be allowed to pay zero in taxes?”
John: “Of course not! Following our logic, they would be paying way less than their fair share.”
Socrates: “So, if a group of people make 45% of the total income, they should not have to pay over 70% of the taxes?”
John: “Obviously not. Following our logic, they would be paying way more than their fair share.
Socrates: “So, if there was a tax code that forced people who make up 45% of the total income pay over 70% of the taxes AND allows 47% of income-earners to pay zero taxes, that would not be a fair system?”
John: “Of course not! That would be way too far in the other direction, you are trying to make me look like a Radical Communist!”
Socrates: “So, in that system, you would actually want the rich to pay less and the poor to pay more?”
John: “I guess, if that system was actually in place, I would be arguing for the rich to pay less and the poor to pay more.”
Socrates: “But John, the system I just described is the current system in the United States. I thought you said the rich don’t pay enough today?”
Socrates: “True wisdom comes to each of us as we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”
This is an essay from someone who is destined to be in the 1% before long. This group, the 1%, has been vilified in the media, eviscerated by Liberal groups, and demonized through political rhetoric during the Obama years. Are these people really the devil? Or is it possible that they are exactly the kind of hardworking, down-to-earth, creative-thinking people who we need to pull our country out of the hole that we have dug ourselves?
- I am the future 1% – This is my story
- I’m 5 foot 2 – Studies indicate I will make $237K less than the avg. 6 foot tall man in my lifetime
- I started working at 14 at a fast food restaurant – I rode my bike to work every day
- I did not make over $5/hour until I had gotten three raises and an assistant manager promotion
- I worked full-time in High School while competing in sports and making the honor roll
- I never did drugs, partied, or drank in High School
- I am the future 1% – Should I have enjoyed High School more? Worked less? Partied harder?
- I got a promotion to manager at the age of 18, after working at the same place for 4+ years
- I didn’t get into my preferred college – I went to another school, quit for 1 yr before returning
- I was arrested for drinking underage during college – I decided not to let it define who I was
- I am the future 1% – Should I have given up when adversity struck for the first time?
- I worked full-time and slowly finished college in 6 years after much prodding from my parents
- I took a 100% commission job at a Fortune 500 company, fought hard for every meal for a year
- I was arrested again – I decided to make myself a better person instead of spiraling downward
- I am the future 1% – Should I have given up when everything seemed to be going against me?
- I got promoted after a year of outstanding work – putting in more hours than anyone else
- I moved to another Fortune 500 company, this time as a Bank Manager
- I bought a house at the height of the housing boom – I am currently still $50K underwater on it
- I took out over 80K in loans so I could quit my job and go back to school for my MBA
- I am the future 1% – Should I have saved my money, settled down, and stopped progressing?
- I received a Manager offer from another Fortune 500 company after business school
- I got married to the love of my life and bought another house in a small town
- I turned around two struggling business units, and quickly got promoted to Senior Manager
- I am the future 1% – Should I have just enjoyed the ride and collected a paycheck?
- I welcomed my first child into our family, and named him after my Grandfather
- My wife runs a small business while raising our son full-time – She is absolutely amazing
- Our current Net Worth is still below zero, though we are starting to catch up
- I am currently in the top 13th income percentile at age 32…
- I am the future 1% – Should I feel bad about what I have accomplished?
- Would you rather I fell apart after the arrests and became a burden on society?
- Would you rather I didn’t graduate college?
- I am the future 1% – Should I feel bad about working hard to get ahead?
- Would you rather I didn’t make an $80K bet on myself and my abilities?
- Would you rather I coasted along in mediocrity without ever offering my employers value?
- I am the future 1% – Why do you hate me?
WordPress does some pretty cool stuff for their bloggers, and I thought I would post this to encourage others to use this site. My blog’s 2012 in review has some interesting takeaways:
This blog drew viewers from 85 different countries
My most commented on article was about the history of the federal income tax (who knew that could be so exciting?)
This blog drew almost 5,000 views during 2012, far exceeding my expectations
Here’s to a great 2012, and a better 2013. I hope you all continue to follow, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.
I will, for the moment, stay away from the politics of the Fiscal Cliff deal and focus solely on one unexpected upside that arose from the recently negotiated bill – The Roth 401(k) provision.
The new Fiscal Cliff bill allows employees to make a one-time, large transfer from a traditional 401(k) to a Roth 401(k). This could be a huge advantage to certain people during retirement, and it is something that we all should be evaluating whether or not to take advantage of in the wake of the contentious Fiscal Cliff debate.
Warning To All Readers
This article is not meant for your enjoyment, it is hard to write about financial things and make it fun. However, if you invest the next five boring minutes into reading and evaluating this article, you may save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars during retirement.
Traditional 401(k) vs. Roth 401(k)
For those of you who are not familiar, your 401(k) are pre-tax dollars, which means you don’t pay taxes on them now, but you do pay taxes on them during retirement. A Roth 401(k) allows you to invest after-tax dollars. This means that you don’t get the tax benefits now, but you will get to withdraw the money tax-free during retirement, which can be an enormous advantage in your later years.
Who Should Take Advantage Of This?
The first step is to find out if your company offers a Roth 401(k) option. Almost 50% of companies offer one, though only around 5% of employees take advantage in this phenomenal savings tool. After you confirm that your company does offer a Roth 401(k), you need to determine if you fall into one of these three groups:
1) Younger workers with cash on hand
2) People who are in lower tax brackets and have extra cash on hand
3) People with cash on hand who believe their tax rate will be higher in retirement than it is today
You may have caught on to the “cash on hand” requirement in each group. The reason that is important is that you will be required to pay the taxes on the converted amount this year, which means this option is only right for people who have some savings that can be used to pay for those extra 2013 tax dollars.
Major Upside To Converting To a Roth 401(k)
In almost every scenario, the Roth 401(k) makes more sense in the long-run. The only scenario where it typically will not work out is if you are in a very high tax bracket today, and an extremely low tax bracket during retirement. Take a look at this example:
Jimmy is 35 years old, he is in the 28% tax bracket, and he puts 10K/year into his 401(k) each year.
Scenario 1) Jimmy is in the 15% tax bracket today, and will retire in the 25% tax bracket at 65
Outcome: The Roth 401(k) option will net Jimmy $368,500 more during Retirement
Scenario 2) Jimmy is in the 25% tax bracket today, and will retire in the 25% tax bracket at 65
Outcome: The Roth 401(k) option will net Jimmy $257,740 more during Retirement
Scenario 3) Jimmy is in the 25% tax bracket today, and will retire in the 15% tax bracket at 65
Outcome: The Traditional 401(k) option will net Jimmy$15,560 more during Retirement
As you can see, the only scenario where Jimmy comes out worse-off after choosing the Roth 401(k) is if he is in a high tax bracket today, and he retires in a low tax-bracket. The truth is that most people who are ready for retirement will retire in a similar tax bracket as they are in right now, because they will become used to living off of that same amount of money. In addition, taxes are historically low at this point, and with our National Debt rising with no end in sight, it is almost impossible to foresee a scenario where our tax rates will be lower in 30 years than they are right now (I promise that will be my only political comment in this article).
Major Downside To Converting To a Roth 401(k)
If you convert your Traditional 401(k) dollars into a Roth 401(k), you are responsible for the taxes during that year. For example, if you have $50,000 saved up in your 401(k), here is what it could look like:
Scenario 1: Tim is in the 15% tax bracket and converts $50,000. Tim owes $7,500 in taxes in 2013.
Scenario 2: Sally is in the 25% tax bracket and converts $50,000. Sally owes $12,500 in taxes in 2013.
The math is not nearly as simple as I made it in this article, but it is directionally-correct. For the most part, converting your Traditional 401(k) to a Roth 401(k) will benefit you in the long run. It is always a huge decision to part with cash on hand now in order to avoid paying more taxes later, but these are the types of decisions that financially successful people make every single day. If you are interested in executing one of these conversions, please do your own research, do your own math, and make your own decisions. Financial decisions are never easy, but when an opportunity presents itself that could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout your lifetime, you owe it to yourself to spend some time looking into it. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments. Good Luck!
In the wake of a $16 Trillion dollar debt that is growing every day, a congress who refuses to say no to spending, and a tide of politicians who want to increase taxes so that they can justify going even deeper into debt….it is time for a change!
Americans need to embrace a new view of government…a much smaller view.
Politicians need to revolutionize how they look at our government, and it all starts by re-learning the ABC’s.
A – Always
B – Be
C – Cutting
We need to take this mantra to the Federal Government, every State Government, all the way down to our Local Governments.
We need to CUT the size of Government!
We need to CUT taxes!
We need to CUT the debt!
We need to CUT spending!
We need to CUT needless regulations!
We need to CUT Foreign Aid during our recession!
If we replace our elected officials with legislators with this mindset, we will soon see this tide of irresponsibility begin to turn.
Balancing our budget will no longer be considered “extreme” politics.
Our paychecks will start going towards helping our families, rather than paying China back for the interest on our National Debt.
Government will be relegated to serving and protecting the people, rather than participating in the race to bring home the bacon to their own states.
Businesses will be free to use their hard-earned money to drive new innovation, new products, at better costs….rather than using that same money to comply with regulations that add no value to the consumer or the economy.
If you believe in this message, please share it with EVERY single one of your friends and family. This is that important. America is at a key crossroads in our history. We can either relearn our ABC’s, or we will very soon find out that it is too late to turn this ship around.
SHARE this article TODAY!
- Dems on Debt Ceiling: No Cuts, More Taxes (conservativeread.com)
- Lawmakers dig in heels on debt crisis, McConnell suggests crippling US default possible (news.yahoo.com)
Buried in the State Budget Solutions 2011 Rankings, there were some scary facts for the State of Michigan:
P erformance – We were ranked 50th in the country
O utlook – We were ranked 25th in the country
U nemployment Loans – We were ranked 27th in the country
T otal Debt Including Pensions – We were ranked 42nd in the country
This is not a healthy ranking for the State of Michigan, but how do we go about turning this POUT upside down? Here are some ideas:
Target 480 Plan – Recruit Fortune 500 Companies To Come To Michigan
Triple Zero Plan – Repeal the Gas Tax, The Corporate Tax, and The State Property Tax
Implement A Right-To-Work Legislation – Either Federal Legislation, or state-specific legislation
Repeal The Gas Tax – Preferably the Federal & State Gas Tax