Qualified to Vote

Voting is the most single powerfully right that the average ever day American has…in determining the future of our Country.

That single statement should carry a lot of responsibility…but unfortunately it doesn’t.

We have basic rules and limited laws that provides the opportunity for an individual to vote…being knowledgeable of the issues and candidates is not one of them.  Eight second sound bites from pandering politicians and political pundits should not be the depth of your knowledge in order to cast a ballot.

Below is an additional qualification that should be added in order to cast a vote:

To be given a simple multiple choice test.  Each question would have a selection of at least 3 options more than the correct answer to choose from.  Three simple questions:

  1. What are three branches of our government?
  2. Who is the current Vice President of the United States?
  3. Which principle below has our Country based its success?

a.  Communism    b. Socialism     c.  Government by the People

There was a study made and these 3 questions was given to a group of present voters…”75% failed” to answer all three questions correctly.  Unbelievable!

Do you find it a little frightening that these people are making decisions that will affect your life and the direction that this Country is taking?

Everyone has an acquaintance or knows of someone that is somewhat limited when it comes to making sound decisions.  My question to you is…would you turn your finances and everyday decision making over to that person who can’t make sensible decisions for himself ?  No. Unfortunately the decisions he makes will usually only affect him and his family.  When an unqualified voter votes…it affects us all.

Now back to the test that 75% failed…I made it up, yes I lied…but when you read it you like most others you internalized that 8 second sound bite as fact.  Politicians and political pundits specialize in 8 second sound bites through repetition until you drink the cool aid.  Become knowledgeable of how your government works and investigate the 8 second bites for the truth….be a qualified voter.

Johnny J.

The Journey of Life


I often listen to music, see films and read articles that were created by individuals who are no longer with us…which makes me more aware that life on this earth has an up-coming ending.  No great revelation…just makes me more conscious of the aging process.

I look at a 12-inch ruler and view it as the measuring device for the amount of time one spends on this earth…and I am now on the short end of that stick.  I am very lucky that I am not ill, depressed or suffering from an economic hardship and that I have a loving wife and son.

I am still very active in my chosen profession and believe that I am good at helping my Client’s and friends with knowledge that benefits them…but at times I feel that I could do more to help others…unrelated to business.

There are a multitude of charities that reach out to help people with a monetary or physical need and it good that those individuals and organization are there.  It may sound selfish…but that isn’t my passion. I would prefer to inspire an individual to understand the importance of assuming responsible of one’s self.  It would be counter-productive for me to be part of an organization or a committee of group thinkers because of my perspective.

Our educators today have a very challenging role due to “group thinkers” who create a curriculum that is based on test scores results…money, political correctness and passing one on to the next level.  In my opinion when the “board” (applied to back side) of education and the teachers authority was diminished …so was the lesson that one’s actions and lack of respect for authority… has consequences.   The real education starts with life in the world of self-preservation…which most are not prepared for.  You won’t hear a bell ring or someone standing before you daily to lecture…but the knowledge and experience of every day is before you…learn from it. Life is not fair or equal…get over it!  You may receive a helping hand along the way…but there are less speed bumps to deal with when an individual accepts the responsibility for one’s own actions.

Society in general tend to look at titles and one’s materialistic accumulations as “Success”.  Don’t get confused or defined by someone else’s definition…unless it mirrors your passion and the direction that you want to take.  “Success is not the Key to Happiness…Happiness is the Key to Success. If you love what you are doing…you are successful”.  My definition is based on personal satisfaction, independence and the security that provides that freedom.

There is an old expression “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” …not true…Make it Happen! Discover your passion and talent and start the journey to self-fulfillment, whatever it may be.

Remember that “Life is the Journey”, not the destination…which has already been determined.

Johnny J.


This article is written from the prospective of what I view as an average “guy” …especially if he grew up in the South.  I realize that it doesn’t fit all male thinkers…but I feel it does speak for a large majority. With that said…let’s talk about the mind-set of 2 three letter words in the English language that catches the 8 second attention span of the male brain…BBQ and SEX.

Imagine yourself driving down a freeway with your destination 3 hours away…and you see a sign that reads “BBQ…Next Exit”.  It doesn’t make any difference what the establishment looks like…if it is being served from the tailgate of a pick-up truck…it appeals to the male brain, and if your wife or female friend is not riding with you…you will probably stop and order…after all it is 3 hours before reaching your destination (male justification).  The wife on the other hand…is looking at the building establishment and wondering if the bathrooms are clean, do they provide several options on the menu, or if they even have a menu.? The male brain only saw and thought one thing… “BBQ” …no need to waste any more brain power beyond that point.

Okay…let’s look at the word SEX…and forget about driving down the freeway and your destination being 3 hours away.  On this subject you can create your own scenario…I think you get my point…if not…just focus on BBQ.

In conclusion…I am a firm believer in capitalism and creativity…therefore if you were going to create an establishment that would provide you with a return on investment based on capturing the 8 second attention of the male brain…it should be an establishment on the freeway with a large sign that reads… “BBQ & SEX…Next Exit”…one can only imagine.


Disclaimer: This was written as an attempt at creative humor…if it failed, so be it. The fact that you read this far means that the subject matter caught your attention…which proves my point.

Johnny J.


ImageWhat do a pre-school child (4 to 5 years of age) and a super senior have in common?

There is a good possibility…it’s a Brain to Mouth “Filter” Disorder (BMFD).  In one… it has yet to be installed and… in the other… it could be worn out.

When you were four years old you probably had a tendency to repeat things that you had heard that may not have been appropriate…or innocently expressed how you felt without any consideration of others.  If you are in your super senior years…you may have a tendency to verbalize what others would consider inappropriate…but you don’t care… “you say what you mean…and mean what you say”.

Somewhere in between these ages most people develop a “filter” within themselves… that prompts them to ask “Is this an appropriate thing to say”?  Now of course…we all know some people that have traveled through life without any “filter” at all…which could be more disturbing that we care to explore.

As one ages the “filter” that processes the intake of information prior to responding becomes less effective and results in quicker, honest, and sometimes hostile and more direct responses.

Example: (Joe at the age of 40 having a conversation with his 40 year old friend Fred).

JOE:  “Fred what do you think of the political structure in today’s society”?

FRED:  “I believe that we have a good check and balance system…etc…”

JOE:  “That’s very insightful…I have never viewed it from that prospective”.

Joe 40 years later asking the same question… to a “forty” year old friend Tom.

JOE:  “Tom what do you think of the political structure in today’s society”?

TOM:  “I believe that we have a good check and balance system…etc…”

JOE:  “You stupid SOB…I can’t believe that anyone could be so damn stupid to think that way”!

 …I believe that you get the point.

The real question is: Has Joe gained more knowledge to change his point of view or has aging just brought on a more aggressive behavior?  We could continue with more questions…but the complexity of the answer is never simple and would need to be analyzed on an individual bases.

I recall a certain individual that I meet in college…and after several conversations…I thought that he was the stupidest individual that I had ever met (please do not confuse intelligence with education).  By circumstances I had the opportunity to meet him again 40 years later in a business environment…and in spite of his education and life experiences…in my opinion he is still the stupidest individual that I have ever met.  Aging does not always bring wisdom with it…sometimes it’s just a process of getting older.

Have you checked your “filter” lately? Check it for tolerance and understanding…but never let it filter out truth and honesty.

Johnny J. 

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

Are They Crazy?


“Decision making isn’t a matter of arriving at a right or wrong answer; it’s a matter of selecting the most effective course of action from among less effective courses of action”.  ……..by Phillip Marvin, Developing Decisions for Action, 1971, chapter 6

Decisions by committees…good concept…democracy, majority rules, sharing of ideals, etc…

Here is the flaw that lies…”not in the concept”…but many times in the end result of those decisions.

How many times have you heard or read a decision that was made by a group of individuals (a committee)…and you asked “How in the Hell could anyone think and agree that’s a good idea?”

For the sake of simplicity…let’s look at all committees as a “jury” of 12 individuals that make decisions that can affect our lives.  To name just a few …school boards, city councils, committees within committees of government agencies, board of governors, advisory boards, church boards, etc…You get the point?

After reviewing all the facts and options…one’s intellect and common-sense should led to a rational and justifiable decision (don’t confuse intellect with education)… but here lies the answer to the question “How in the Hell could anyone think and agree that’s a good idea?”… because not all committees consist of objective and intellectual individuals.  As the fictitious character Forrest Gump said “stupid is as stupid does”.


  • Twelve left wing liberals or 12 right wing conservatives in two different committees viewing the same set of facts…will arrive at a different solution to the problem at hand. Common-sense and objectivity will not exist in either of these environments.
  • A committee of 12 individuals with 2 strong personality that agree…and 10 passive individuals that don’t have a clue are easily intimated and will probably vote in line with two other members…and if those two are “idiots” that would answer you question.
  • A committee of “dueling personalities”…where you have the majority voting with and for the dominate “personality that they liked best”…the subject matter was lost in the duel itself.
  • The committee of “self importance”…the individuals that are so enamored about being on “the committee”… but don’t have a clue and could care less about indulging into researching the subject matter at hand….but will always go along with the majority and are happy as long as their name is pronounced or printed correctly.

NOW…let’s thank the individuals that dedicate their time for the right reasons.  Not for recognition or monetary reasons…but because they may have the experience, expertise, or passion for the subject matter that lends value to that committee.  In the public sector these people truly are public servants that make decisions for the benefit of others.

The reason we may not think or hear about them as often is because they don’t readily factor into… “How in the Hell could anyone think and agree that’s a good idea?”

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

Shame on Us



“The Intent”

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People…hmmm…what an honorable and interesting concept.

 “The Reality”?

Unfortunately it has become more evident that…

 We the Politicians

…will lie, pander, and do whatever is necessary to preserve our well being.

…will be irresponsible with the money that we take from you without hesitation.

…will use your tax dollars to support the projects and groups that can keep us in our position so that we can maintain the status, lifestyle, and perks that we have become accustom to… regardless of how ridiculous or expensive the projects may be.

…will pledge not to diminish any perks or privileges that our predecessors have established on our behalf, and if we can add to them…it will gain us admiration of our fellow co hearts.

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Do all politicians fit into this framework? … that’s for you to determine. There have been honorable people that have gone to Washington with a mission to do the right thing…but when self-importance, power, influence and status begins to take precedence over that intent…then their mission has failed. When a politician asks his or herself… “Is this decision going to affect my ability to raise money for re-election or cost me votes?”…he or she has sold out.  This is one of the key arguments for term limits….the “idiot” factor is a topic for another day.

“Needed Change”     

We the People…need to wake up… listen… and get involved. Don’t misunderstand me…we need leaders…we need responsible individuals in Washington to communicate with each other and determine and implement decisions that are best for the welfare of this Country.  The concept of our system was well thought out as a check and balance system. “We the Politicians” of today have become an embarrassment to that system. It is our responsibility to elect the right individuals to fill these positions…and replace the ones than can’t. You or I don’t have to run for a political office…we don’t have to be a political pundit…but we should be informed in order to make an intelligent decision when it becomes time to exercise our right to vote.  With today’s technology it is easier to verify the claims and positions of the individuals that are pandering for our vote ….but it is our responsibility to use these sources that are available…and if we don’t “Shame on Us”.


DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

A story of an aging couple…as told by their son

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997 he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading. A few good chuckles are guaranteed.My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.
He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
“Oh, baloney!” she said. “He hit a horse.”

“Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars — the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home . If he took the streetcar home , my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that.

But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother..

So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church.
She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home .

If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”

“I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

“No left turns,” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.

As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”

“What?” I said again.

“No left turns,” he said. “Think about it.. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights..”

“You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.
“No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It works.”
But then she added: “Except when your father loses count.”

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

“Loses count?” I asked.

“Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”

I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.

“No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.”
My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.

She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.” At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.”

“You’re probably right,” I said.

“Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated.

“Because you’re 102 years old,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.

He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said:
“I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet”

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:

“I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”

A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.

I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life,
Or because he quit taking left turns. ”

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

So love the people who treat you right.

Forget about the ones who don’t.

Believe everything happens for a reason.

If you get a chance, take it & if it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”


DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.


Definition of pandering… “as I view it”

nobull2To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses: “tell them what they want to hear…manipulate them…lower your owns standards to appease their egos or self-importance.”

Courtesy should always be extended…until it crosses the line and becomes pandering.  In regard to respect…it can not be demanded..nor earned…it can only be given…give it wisely and truthfully.

NOPANDERINGHERE  I tell the truth “as I view it”…you don’t have to agree…no problem…prove me wrong…I don’t care…but I will never agree for the sake of agreeing. 

We can disagree and both be right (or wrong)..that’s okay… but I remain true to my convictions until proven wrong..and if so…I will be true to the truth.


DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.