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Understanding John Galt [when doctors, engineers, small business owners, etc., decide to quit]]
24thstate.com ^ | March 6, 2009

Posted on 03/09/2009 10:16:51 AM PDT by grundle

The beauty of symbols is they can be appropriated for your ends. That's the power of John Galt. There are a lot of fools on the left and right who don't understand the symbol of John Galt. When they hear us at the tea party protests, they go back to the Cliff Notes of Atlas Shrugged and laugh at the idea of creating a Galt's Gulch, where the productive go to escape the confiscation of their labor. They dare us to withdraw our talents. They have the luxury of doing so because they've never had to carry the weight of a small business on their back.

ABC News is writing about some people talking about cutting back on their work to get below $250K. Some professionals, like doctors and others may do so, crimping supply of critical talents. Some business owners may take longer vacations. Those are just news stories, fun but probably not impactful enough.

The real damage is done when those who run small and microbusinesses shut down their companies and layoff their employees to take a more relaxed lifestyle. Being in business is dangerous (bankruptcy is always around the corner), but it is also rewarding. That's a work ethic few people have the stomach for. Once you've built a successful company, you have enough money to live comfortably. Staying in business is a choice - one society needs to reward. Off the top of my head, I can give you 8 names of business owners who sold their business and now live off consulting fees and their capital. They "net" the same amount as when running the business, with a lot less work. I can name another dozen who have layed off in the economy and are only keeping vital employees. That's normal policy in a recession, but understand something - the decision to lay someone is not an easy one. Business owners, especially small business owners, understand that it's real families we are impacting here. Layoffs are about protecting the company, but there is usually room for average and suboptimal performers. When we lay someone off, we have to weigh the health of their family against our own. Most owners are willing to work with less than perfect workers - it's the right thing to do. But when our business is threatened by too many outside forces, charity is a another word for turning off the lights one bulb at a time.

The problem is not just current employment regulations, higher expected taxes, and a soft business climate. Those are irritants, but they can be dealt with. Add those burdens to a culture and a president who look down on wealth creators as evil rich businessman, and you have a real problem.

If you sink $100,000 into your business, that capital is gone. There might be fancy ways to protect it, but few people who start have the time, the knowledge, or the resources to follow those fancy ways. You work hard for three or four years, and you can get to a break-even point. To make back $100,000 - the owner must profit $181,000. Get that? To break even, an owner needs to make $181,000 above and beyond yearly expenses. It depends on your business, but that's not chump change. While you're at it, figure out how much equipment costs. Add in investment in employees. Add in bank loan interest and the loss in income the owner experiences when cash flow is tight.

And keep in mind that 90% of businesses fail in the first four years.

What does that mean? It means that it's tough to make a grow a small business. Most fail. Failure means a loss of personal credit, a loss of retirement, and a loss of lifestyle for years. Failure means your wife may leave you - your children may go without health insurance or even just toys at Christmas. Failure means your health and your body and the time that you sacrificed all were wasted. You should have kept your cushy corporate job, and none of this would have happened.

And what does success look like? Success means a man who has never run a business - a man who has lived off government loans and government subsidies and government salaries, is going to lecture you on what you owe society. That man is our president, Barack Obama, but he's not the only villian here. Standing next to him are the Democrats in Congress - Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Claire McCaskill and Charlie Rangel and all the rest who look at your income and can't wait to redistribute it. They all want to spread the wealth around, but not until they get their taste First, to their friends and campaign donors. Paying them off keeps them in power, and ensures that when they leave, they'll be well taken care of. That's why Terry McAuliffe, Tom Daschle, Franklin Raines, and Jamie Gorelick are all multi-millionaires. Don't know who they are? Look them up, but take your blood pressure medicine first. After paying themselves, the politicians pass on a few bucks to voters (legal and otherwise), who in large part get more in federal benefits than they pay. That's up to what, 40%- heading towards 50%?

If it really were roads and bridges, and quality education - healthcare for the poor and the elderly, it could be stomached. If government at the federal and state level were lean and efficient, managing our money in a way that showed the slightest concern about who created it for them, it would be tolerable.

But it's not. Roads and Bridges and Police and Fireman and even the military are threats they make to justify taking our money and using it to make themselves rich and powerful. Democrat and Republican - they're mostly the same. For every Tom Daschle there's a Trent Lott. For every William Jefferson, there's a Duke Cunningham. For every Jack Abrahamoff, there's a Madoff, a Hsu, or a PMA giving money for favors. And let's not forget the SEIU, ACORN, and their ilk. These are not producers. They are parasites, grown rich on big government.

So what are we to do? I told you what the real producers are doing. The successes who made enough to hold onto their resources? Those folks are buying gold and municipal bonds and cheap land. When those folks sit out in large numbers, it has a big impact on new companies. Those business owners are the John Galts, and they're riding out the economy, waiting for sense and the right time. What do you do when a future Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Conrad Hilton decide they've worked hard enough, and quit when they're 35 or 40? What do you do when the best doctors all quit their practices to take up golf or go into high paying specialities because OB-GYN insurance is too high, General Practice spends too much time on Medicare Bills, and the only way to pay off student loans is to take cash? What do you do when business owners don't spend time marketing or hiring, but instead just work with a staff of one or two, making enough to get by, but leaving the stress of building behind?

The term, is Epic Fail. That's John Galt.

As for the rest of us - what lessons are being learned? That playing by the rules is for suckers? If I have the ability to pay my mortage, but can refinance my house on Obama's mortgage plan, why not take the free ride? If I can dump off my $1000 a month insurance on to S-Chip (and buy a Mercedes instead), even though I can afford my premium, why shouldn't I? If I can lay myself off from my company and take unemployment (which I've been paying for), all to take a well-deserved vacation, whose to say I'm wrong? I've been to Italy. I know what that's like. Average people go off the tax grid in a fun game called only the stupid pay in full. What about business? If I have debt on my books, why pay it? Why work late every night when I can shut down my business and bankrupt it with no personal liability? I can always start a new one in the future. Two to three years of good cash flow and the banks will lend to the new company, or I can buy someone else's company and get credit on that firm. I know how it works now. Taking personal responsibility is for suckers, right? I'm a victim, too!

Going John Galt isn't some fat cat working less. It's the complete breakdown of trust and ambition in the small business sector. It's the death of employment and creativity. I can add people to my staff this year, or I can head off to Rome for a month. I'm not the one hurting if I'm not working. It's my suppliers, my employees, my vendors, and of course the extra taxes I pay for each transaction. Taxes I actually pay.

Once you make it clear that working for yourself and paying your taxes is for suckers - once you load up government salaries and anti-capitalist working groups with stimulus funds, you've shown that the best bet thing to do is hide your money and lay low until the storm passes. I know folks with funds offshore should they need it. Sure you might get called a traitor for not giving your money to Tim Geithner, but he's a tax cheat himself. Sort of takes the sting out of it.

The detractors don't understand because they don't have the courage to run small business. Going John Galt isn't some Objectivist fantasy. The Tea Parties aren't some Republican Revolution. The real drivers of this country are taking a stand and making sure their voices are heard. The country better hope the politicians hear us. Protesting shows we're still engaged. When we're no longer engaged, there is no economy left to suckle on.

I ask you - who is John Galt?


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: aynrand; johngalt; smallbusiness

1 posted on 03/09/2009 10:16:52 AM PDT by grundle
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To: grundle
"The real drivers of this country are taking a stand and making sure their voices are heard."

Should be:

The real drivers of this country are taking a stand and making sure their voices aren't heard.

2 posted on 03/09/2009 10:23:46 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 47 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: grundle

Our stepson decided not to go to med school because the future for doctors looks bleak.

My wife is a nurse, and the doctors she works with are being gouged and are tired of it. Many of them are discouraging their own children from medicine.

Galt’s Gulch is a natural occurance.


3 posted on 03/09/2009 10:24:17 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: grundle

All I can think of are the Latin American upper and middle classes coming to South Florida after their various countries turned socialist or Marxist. Where could the American capitalist class flee to? There ain’t no place. So that basically means backlash to Obamanomics.


4 posted on 03/09/2009 10:28:25 AM PDT by brooklyn dave (The proletariat is getting pissed)
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To: grundle

I haven’t read Atlas Shrugs, but I think I will.


5 posted on 03/09/2009 10:28:38 AM PDT by Winged Hussar (http://moveonpleasemoveon.blogspot.com/)
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To: Retired Greyhound
Our stepson decided not to go to med school because the future for doctors looks bleak

You are better off being a UPS Driver than a doctor.

6 posted on 03/09/2009 10:33:30 AM PDT by SC DOC
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To: grundle
but understand something - the decision to lay someone is not an easy one.

Boy, he got that one right!

7 posted on 03/09/2009 10:33:59 AM PDT by grobdriver (Impeach Obama for Incompetence!)
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To: Winged Hussar

You should.


8 posted on 03/09/2009 10:35:12 AM PDT by sionnsar (Iran Azadi | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | "Tax the rich" fails if the rich won't play)
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To: grundle

When I moved out of New York State in 1993, I wrote a letter to the editor to the effect that the state needed someone else to help fund its lavish government spending programs. Now a lot of John Galts are leaving places like CA and NY.


9 posted on 03/09/2009 10:35:22 AM PDT by Winged Hussar (http://moveonpleasemoveon.blogspot.com/)
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To: grundle

I used to have a company with about 4 million gross.

I sut it down and work by myself now.

I decided to stop aiding the opposition.


10 posted on 03/09/2009 10:37:55 AM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: Winged Hussar

The Federal government will tax you down and send the money to New York, Michigan, and countless others. Heck, it’s doing it already.


11 posted on 03/09/2009 10:38:40 AM PDT by Leisler
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To: grundle

I do believe if I were fortunate enough to be earning over 250K a year, I would sure consider “throttling back” to $ 249,999/year so as to minimize Comrade Obama’s Mugabe-like property/asset seizure policy.

I am afraid this is only the start......

Wait for the Obama taxes on the oil companies who “promote” global warming....$4.00 a gallon will look dirt cheap!


12 posted on 03/09/2009 10:39:18 AM PDT by texson66 (DemonRats: Remember: They have what it takes to TAKE WHAT YOU HAVE!)
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To: grundle

Sobering report on the topic: http://www.actionamerica.org/taxecon/tickfast.shtml


13 posted on 03/09/2009 10:39:34 AM PDT by theymakemesick (Buraq (buh- rok) Winged creature that carried mohammed on his Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem)
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To: grundle

4 years, 9 months, 22 days until retirement, but who’s counting.


14 posted on 03/09/2009 10:41:16 AM PDT by SC DOC
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To: grundle

I’m only 200 pages into “Atlas Shrugged”. This isn’t a plot spoiler is it? Yes, I’m serious. I’m not going to read the whole post until I know. (I think I may already know but am choosing to ignore what I read in the first paragraph.)


15 posted on 03/09/2009 10:44:30 AM PDT by TXBubba ( Democrats: If they don't abort you then they will tax you to death.)
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To: TXBubba

It’s a plot spoiler.


16 posted on 03/09/2009 10:53:43 AM PDT by Crawdad (If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.)
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To: grundle
It's the death of employment and creativity

Death of employment, yes. Death of creativity? I think not. Going Galt takes a great amount of creativity. You still need to live don't you? The creativity comes in deciding how you want to live while at the same time avoid feeding the beast. Galt was able to recognize the root of the problem and detach his life from the moochers and looters. He never stopped being creative, just redirected his efforts.

17 posted on 03/09/2009 10:55:41 AM PDT by whodathunkit (Shrugging as I leave for the Gulch)
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To: grundle

I am.


18 posted on 03/09/2009 10:56:28 AM PDT by Danae (Amerikan Unity My Ass)
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To: Crawdad

Thank you. I will continue to read and then come back here afterwards. Thankfully I do read fairly quickly so it won’t be too long....I hope.


19 posted on 03/09/2009 10:57:07 AM PDT by TXBubba ( Democrats: If they don't abort you then they will tax you to death.)
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To: SC DOC

In California, there is at least a 5 or 6 year waiting list to become a UPS driver should one be hired by UPS.


20 posted on 03/09/2009 10:58:08 AM PDT by getarope (I will give Obama as much respect as the MSM gave W.)
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To: grundle
Hmmm, which candidate in the last election has run their own business?

You guessed it, Sarah Palin.

21 posted on 03/09/2009 10:59:22 AM PDT by CharlieOK1 (Don't blame me, I voted for Sarah)
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To: Winged Hussar

Here’s a tip -

when you get to a long winded soliloquy, mark it with one of those “sign here” flags and skip it.

After you finish the book (should take just a few sittings without the solis), go back and read those as you feel like it.


22 posted on 03/09/2009 11:00:25 AM PDT by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: grundle

Why play by the rules? First, what are The Rules? If its the song they’re playing and demanding we dance to it the answer is obvious. If what we’re talking about is common decency/courtesy/sense, self discipline, self accountability etc. then I can’t see why I should compromise myself for a hand full of $$$.


23 posted on 03/09/2009 11:01:23 AM PDT by 556x45
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To: grobdriver

glad someone else saw that too...


24 posted on 03/09/2009 11:03:50 AM PDT by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: grobdriver
"Boy, he got that one right! "

Snicker bump......{:-)

25 posted on 03/09/2009 11:04:18 AM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: TXBubba

The butler did it.. :)


26 posted on 03/09/2009 11:04:49 AM PDT by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: MrB

OOps! Beat me by 28 seconds....{:-)


27 posted on 03/09/2009 11:06:33 AM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: TXBubba; Crawdad
"This isn't’t a plot spoiler is it?"

If it is the first time you have read it....I don't thinks so.

Probably, IMHO, you will have to read it a couple more times to fully understand all the nuances in the "plot" or "plots".

28 posted on 03/09/2009 11:12:00 AM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: CharlieOK1

I don’t think Sarah Palin ever ran her own business. She helped out her husband in his part-time commercial fishing business (he was also working for BP).


29 posted on 03/09/2009 11:12:00 AM PDT by Eagle Forgotten
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To: 556x45
If what we’re talking about is common decency/courtesy/sense, self discipline, self accountability etc. then I can’t see why I should compromise myself for a hand full of $$$.

Thank God someone else is thinking the same thing. My integrity and self-respect is worth more than money. I may be rough around the edges and make a little less, but I can look myself square in the eye every morning and like it.

30 posted on 03/09/2009 11:17:35 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (01-20-2009 : The end of the PAX AMERICANA.)
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To: Eagle Forgotten

I was under the impression she helped her husband run his fishing business. That’s more experience than any of the other boneheads.


31 posted on 03/09/2009 11:20:59 AM PDT by CharlieOK1 (Don't blame me, I voted for Sarah)
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To: grundle; Republican Extremist; Boucheau; betsyross60; kalee; shezza; fanfan; wfu_deacons; ...
STARVE THE BEAST!

Atlas Shrugged ping!

32 posted on 03/09/2009 11:21:41 AM PDT by jellybean (Who is John Galt? ~ Bookmark http://altfreerepublic.freeforums.org for when FR is down)
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To: brooklyn dave
Where could the American capitalist class flee to? There ain’t no place. So that basically means backlash to Obamanomics. What happens when an animal is trapped with no escape? This is why there is so much talk about a revolution. There's no where else to go.
33 posted on 03/09/2009 11:22:13 AM PDT by BubbaBasher ("Thus always to tyrants.")
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To: TXBubba
"I’m only 200 pages into “Atlas Shrugged”. This isn’t a plot spoiler is it?"

The dog dies in the end.

34 posted on 03/09/2009 11:27:43 AM PDT by RabidBartender
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To: jellybean
Thanks again, jellybean.

Already left my mark tho...

Post 17

35 posted on 03/09/2009 11:30:35 AM PDT by whodathunkit (Shrugging as I leave for the Gulch)
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To: grundle; Publius
We're discussing this sort of issue right now in the FR Book Club, whose topic is Atlas Shrugged. Could Atlas really shrug in the United States? What would it look like if he did? How would we know when it's begun? What would the average person do about it? All this and more...

;-)

36 posted on 03/09/2009 11:32:57 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Winged Hussar

Our First Freeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Theme
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Chain
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Top and the Bottom
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Immovable Movers
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Climax of the d’Anconias
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Non-Commercial
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Exploiters and the Exploited
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The John Galt Line
37 posted on 03/09/2009 11:43:56 AM PDT by Publius (The Quadri-Metallic Standard: Gold and silver for commerce, lead and brass for protection.)
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To: TXBubba
Yes, it has spoilers.

I hope you enjoy the book!

38 posted on 03/09/2009 11:45:10 AM PDT by grundle
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To: grundle
Thanks for this, I was thinking the same thing this morning. So many people miss the real point of Atlas. It doesn't take moving to Galt's Gulch to "go Galt". There are a million different ways to remove yourself from this mess. And your absolutely right, once principled dissent stops, they are truly screwed.
39 posted on 03/09/2009 11:54:50 AM PDT by tonyinv (I Want Obama To Fail ..there I said it...now say it with me.)
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To: TXBubba
Thank you. I will continue to read and then come back here afterwards. Thankfully I do read fairly quickly so it won’t be too long....I hope.

I love an optimist...J/K, I am also working my way through the book, tried it before in college over 30 years ago but am vowing to complete it this time. I, too, am a fast reader but it is still a lot of book with a lot of philosophy to understand behind it. Here's to success for the both of us.

40 posted on 03/09/2009 11:56:59 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: grundle
"I ask you - who is John Galt?"

We have been in the Flooring business as a family for over 40 years.

We have decided to shut it down and sell off the inventory.

Our accountant gave me a breakdown of all the taxes and money expended to satisfy the government for the last ten years and its staggering.

We were setting up our daughter to take over but after these last few months plus the info on what we have expended to satisfy the government we are not going to saddle her with that mess, especially with the move to punish small business with the current administration.

Instead we are going to set her up with a bundle of Certificate of Deposits in local banks. She can use the interest to supplement whatever Job or career she can find to suit her. But I am going to strongly dissuade her from any business where she has to have employees! Its just not worth it.

Bottom line we are shrugging and we are passing the idea along to our daughter!

41 posted on 03/09/2009 12:33:01 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg ("`Eddies,' said Ford, `in the space-time continuum.' `Ah,' nodded Arthur, `is he? Is he?'")
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To: MrB; Winged Hussar
"when you get to a long winded soliloquy, mark it with one of those “sign here” flags and skip it."

Except for Francisco's "Money Speech" Read it the first time and every time and commit it to memory. Copy it down and put it on your wall. Take it to printer and get a poster made of it.

My copy of Atlas Shrugs has been tagged so I can open directly to that part!

42 posted on 03/09/2009 12:40:23 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg ("`Eddies,' said Ford, `in the space-time continuum.' `Ah,' nodded Arthur, `is he? Is he?'")
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To: T-Bird45

Yes, to success! I’m to page 252. I read “The Fountainhead” several years ago. My husband gave it to me as a birthday present. I loaned it to a mother at preschool and never got it back. Figured out later that she was a liberal school teacher. She probably burned it. Oh well. Hubby now has another birthday gift idea - a replacement copy.


43 posted on 03/09/2009 5:31:50 PM PDT by TXBubba ( Democrats: If they don't abort you then they will tax you to death.)
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To: grundle

I am reading Glenn Beck’s recommended book The 5000 Year Leap and it is amazing. Everything that our Founding Fathers warned against is coming to pass today—everything!

Everyone in America needs to read this book! Everyone!!!


44 posted on 03/09/2009 6:19:21 PM PDT by GatorGirl (Proud Citizen of the Gator Nation!)
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To: jellybean; LegendHasIt

Thanks for the ping.

Pinging self for later.


45 posted on 03/10/2009 2:11:02 AM PDT by LegendHasIt (Freepmail me if you want to join the Precious Metals ping list.)
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To: LegendHasIt

Bump


46 posted on 03/11/2009 10:54:45 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: CharlieOK1

That, fundamentally, is why the libs hate her so much.


47 posted on 03/14/2009 5:34:38 PM PDT by 3niner (Hoover turned a recession into a depression, FDR turned it into The Great Depression)
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To: Eagle Forgotten

If by “helped out her husband”, you mean stayed on-shore, and ran the office, dealing with customers, vendors, and government, while Hubby was out catching fish, I think you’ve stated it fairly.


48 posted on 03/14/2009 5:38:25 PM PDT by 3niner (Hoover turned a recession into a depression, FDR turned it into The Great Depression)
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