Passion and Hard Work

Hard work and PassionWhile my legion of loyal followers knows me as a prolific blogger and author of stupendous Sword and Sorcery novels I’m not ashamed to admit that neither one of those endeavors pays the bills. I’d like for my novels to become best-sellers and box-office blockbusters but, as of this moment, what allows me to live comfortably is my job at Acumen Consulting as a Technical Trainer and Website Developer.

One of our former employees likewise has a real passion outside of her daytime job and that is massage therapy. She invited me to come and talk to a group that she and a few of her fellow therapists created called the Bloom Connection. The association is designed to give massage therapists a resource to help grow their business. I was to spend a few minutes talking about Search Engine Optimization which is one of my specialties in the web development industry.

After my presentation the next fellow up was Nick Dunne who works as a the social media director for SCOSAG. They are a non-profit organization that helps children learn about art in the St. Louis area. After we both finished our lecture we answered questions. People wanted to know from Nick how important it was to have a Facebook presence, a Twitter presence, a LinkedIn presence, a Pinterest presence, etc. He suggested that the more things you do the better off you are but all this blogging, website building, and tweeting was intimidating to the group. They just wanted to use their hands (and feet) to make people feel better. That’s when something emerged from the murky recesses of my brain.

I blurted out, If you’re passionate about what you do and work hard, you’re likely to succeed.

If that isn’t the United States of America then I don’t know what is. That’s why people from around the world flock to the United States. They are passionate about something in their lives. They want to work hard. Be they from Mexico or Iraq. Be they Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, Christian, Atheists, or anything else.

In other places in this world working hard isn’t nearly as important as is paying off the powers that be. In other places in this world working hard is no substitute for having friends in government. In other places in this world if your skin is the wrong color or you religion is frowned upon you cannot succeed, no matter your passion or your work ethic. In other places in the world your passion will end up sending you to prison or the gallows.

And that’s the message of this blog. Let’s not stifle hard work. Let’s not promote graft and crony capitalism. Let’s not mindlessly support laziness from people of our race, religion, or political affiliation. Let’s purchase products and services from passionate people who care about their community, who care about what they do, who work hard at a job they love. It doesn’t matter if they are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Mexicans, Lebanese, or anything else.

By golly, let’s be more like America and less like those other places.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery novels with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Sword of Water (passionately written at the great price of $2.99)
Next Release: The Spear of the Hunt

House Adjourns – Twelve Working days in Three Months

Paid for NothingThe United States House of Representatives adjourned on Friday after putting in twelve hard days of work during the quarter compromising August – October. This seems unusually low but let’s take a critical look at the situation before we condemn them to the depth of my ridicule.

This range of time is the election period for the House whose members all face campaigns. It is traditionally the shortest working frame of the year because of this. The representatives plan to spend 109 days this year at work. This is three days less than the average amount spent since 1990. Republicans defend this record saying that Democratic controlled houses worked relatively similar amounts of time in election years. As my mother would say, if all the kids jumped off a cliff ….

The reality is that in election years our representatives usually work a few more days than they did this year but it’s not completely out of line with recent historical reality. Back in the days before air conditioning they often took most of the hot summer months off.

I think a better judge of a how much work was done is how much legislation passed and particularly if important legislation was left on the table. This Congress is a loser in both regards. Both sides blame each other for the stalemate because all their “good” ideas are not voted on by their counterparts.

I’ll tell you what really happened. The Senate has a Democrat majority and the House has a Republican majority. Both pass legislation which they know their counterparts will fail to pass. Stalemate.

It is difficult to ignore the clearly stated mission of Republicans that they consider their most important goal to be defeating President Obama in 2012. With a goal like that it becomes difficult to believe the lip-service they give to trying to strengthen the economy. This is particularly true looking at the abysmal record in passing legislation the last two years.

The House of Representatives has had time to vote on legislation designed to defeat Obama including health care repeal over thirty times. Vice Presidential Candidate Congressman Paul Ryan rushed back recently to vote for a resolution on waiving work requirements for welfare recipients. It’s an interesting situation on its own as the waiver was requested largely by state governors, many of them Republican, and authorized by Obama.

My point isn’t about the legislation, it’s about how much time was spent on issues that catch the eye of voters and how little time was spent on issues that are important to the well-being of the United States.

This is the problem, and it is not simply a Republican problem. The attitude of our Representatives is that getting elected is more important than legislating. That obstructing their foe is more important than passing useful legislation. We live in a world of non-stop campaigning that carries on far past the election and to the actual legislative process. It has corrupted everything and everyone.

Here’s the important lesson to take from all of this. Only you can change it. If you continue to vote for Democrats or Republicans you will continue to get legislators who care only for getting elected. If we start voting for Independents, Libertarians, Constitutionalist, Green party, None of the Above, or whatever, things might change. Not before.

Why would the House of Representatives risk taking on the huge fiscal problems the United States faces if it will cost them votes? Why look at bills designed to fix the farm situation? Why do anything? If people don’t care, then representatives don’t care. They can spout platitudes, attack their counterparts on the other side, lie and lie and lie, then eat a fancy dinner at the lobbyists expense and laugh at the electorate. If they lose they get a fancy job as a lobbyist, if they win they stay on the gravy train. The only losers are us.

And we keep voting to lose.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
New Release: The Hammer of Fire
Upcoming Release: The Sword of Water