Skip to comments.How Obama Earned My Doctorate
Posted on 07/23/2012 5:15:12 AM PDT by Kaslin
Dear President Obama:
Im still reeling from your recent remarks about small business owners in America. With one sweeping generalization, you stated that those of us who have had successful businesses did not earn that success. Instead, you insist that someone else made it happen for us. Ive written to tell you my story in the hopes that you will see the foolishness of your unproven assertions.
Back in 1989, I decided to pursue a PhD in Criminology. I was nearing the end of my Masters program in Psychology. I had a teaching assistantship that paid a mere $345 per month. I knew that I could not live on $345 per month for the minimum of three years I would need to finish my doctorate. I also knew that my parents would not be able to extend the same financial support they had so graciously extended while I was working on my Masters degree. So I devised a plan to start a new business with just $1000 of initial investment.
My grandfather had passed away in December of 1988. In the late spring of 1989, my grandmother mailed me a check for $1000 that had been part of a life insurance policy payout issued upon my grandfathers death. In the late summer of 1989, I met a graduate student by the name of Shannon Ruscoe. He had been playing tennis with my roommate Harry Wilson the day I met him. I was sitting in my living room playing a song by James Taylor when Shannon started singing along. After just a few minutes of listening to Shannon sing, I knew my life would never be the same again.
I called Shannon later that fall and asked if he wanted to get together and rehearse a few songs. We did. Within a few weeks we were hanging out at keg parties in places like Starkvilles College Station apartment complex. After a few beers, I would go to my car and get my 12-string. As our repertoire increased, so did Shannons confidence as a singer.
After a few months of getting to know Shannon, I laid out a plan. I found a beautiful Alvarez six-string with a cedar top and black jacaranda back and sides. I realized I could buy the guitar and install a Martin thin-line pickup under the bridge for just $700. With the remaining $300, I told Shannon that, for just $30 per night, we could rent a PA system from our friend Jim Beaty, the owner of Backstage Music in Starkville. The idea was that after playing free ten times we could start to earn a living as musicians.
First, we had to find a place to play. Fortunately, a Kappa Sigma named Mike worked as a manager at J.C. Garcias a Mexican restaurant/bar that featured acoustic acts including the legendary Jeff Cummings and Jeffrey Rupp. We went to see him with an offer, telling Mike we would play at J.Cs free of charge on a Tuesday night, but only on one condition: if they sold $2000 worth of liquor, they would have to hire us the next week for 10% of the liquor sales, or $200.
Mike laughed. J.C.s had never sold $2000 worth of liquor on a Tuesday night, which was generally their slowest night of the week. Naturally, he felt he had nothing to lose. So we book our first gig at a real restaurant in a real college town.
I called all of my old friends at the Sigma Chi house and told them to show up at J.Cs the following Tuesday night. Shannon told all the girls at the Chi Omega house where he worked as a house boy in his spare time. As a result of our marketing, we packed the place out. J.Cs sold over $2000 in liquor that night and we were invited to come back the next week.
Playing free at keg parties also paid off. Later, by May of 1990, we were getting hired to play private parties. At one of those parties, we met the manager of the Bully III, a restaurant/bar near downtown Starkville. His name was David Lee Odom. He upped our salary to $250 per night plus free dinner and free beer. By the time I graduated, I would play in that bar over 100 times. It was there that I met other musicians and eventually had a chance to play all over the state and region. As a businessman and friend, Dave Odom changed our lives forever.
After Shannon moved to Nashville in 1991, I decided it was time to rely on the government for financial support. Im just kidding. I simply went out and found another great singer named Anne Ford. We would play together until 1993. Our act was so successful that in April of 1993, my last full month of college, we played a whopping 22 gigs in just 30 days.
As the result of my business venture I was able to graduate with a PhD without taking out a single student loan. And it was a business venture. I was not just a guitarist. I booked most of our gigs, handled equipment purchases, and did a modest bit of accounting.
The irony is that, back in those days, I was a Democrat with socialist leanings. I voted for Dukakis and Clinton as the lesser of two evils all the while complaining about the lack of a far-left alternative. Shortly thereafter, I would get involved in a two-year relationship with the daughter of the head of the Socialist Party of Ecuador. I simply failed to reconcile the discrepancies between my theoretical view of the world and my real world experiences. Eventually, I grew out of my childish socialist mindset and realized that capitalism had allowed me to utilize my God-given talents to earn a living government could never provide.
Someday, Mr. President, youll grow out of it, too.
Dr. Mike S. Adams
Wanna bet, Dr. Mike?
You’ve never read Mike Adams, have you? He writes satire
You are welcome
I love this guy! He has described, in terms people can understand, the rewards, under capitalism, of self-reliance and risk taking. What Obama said is preposterous and insulting to every hard working American. We all know that he did not earn or risk anything to secure the Presidency..We all know that others who do not have America’s well-being in mind, did that. so, in reality, in his case, he “didn’t do that...Someone else did!”
This is what comes from synthetic accomplishments — like ‘everybody getting a Little League trophy. Pretty soon adults can’t tell the difference between a gift and real achievement.
Mike Adams BUMP!
Thanks for posting.
I doubt it!
No, it was seared into him at an early age. Kind of like hoping a full-grown wild wolf will make a nice pet for the kids.
Excellent. Just don’t get Mike started on feminists - you’ll never get any work done!
Mike Adams is wrong. Obama won’t “grow out of it.” He has a vested interest in “it.”
Someday, could mean 50 years or later.
Did Mike ever become a full professor or are they still screwing around with him because he’s a conservative?
Yo, Barack! I’ve got a final in Differential Equations coming up on Friday. Since you’re taking the credit, I figured I’d let you take the test. I’ll be satisfied with a B since that’s what we’re already getting in the class. If you need me, I’ll be over at the Union having a couple of pitchers.
And don’t sweat that essay in World Lit. I got that one covered.
All: buy and read the first one. Matt nailed the M.O. of our ‘leaders’. Whether fast and furious or politicizing Aurora. Be warned: you’ll end up buying all four ;-)
P.s. I have met Mike. He is exactly like how he writes.
On the contrary, he would say, “where would you be without a corrupt, antagonistic, and over-reaching government?”
He got his doctorate in 1993
Whaaaa??? You wrote Enemies Foreign and Domestic? I had no idea you were a FReeper...my dad LOVES those books.
I feel like I just met a celebrity. I’m all flustered now. :)
Yo, Barack! Ive got a final in Differential Equations coming up on Friday. Since youre taking the credit, I figured Id let you take the test. Ill be satisfied with a B since thats what were already getting in the class. If you need me, Ill be over at the Union having a couple of pitchers.
I think math is one of the most useful tools for preventing brain decay. I majored in English but minored in math just because I thought math was so nifty. I would love to see Obama try to understand even rudimentary calculus, let alone solve a differential equation. If it turned out he didn’t even know algebra I wouldn’t be surprised.
My condolences in advance on your failing grade for the difEQ test...seems like everything Obama touches fails, even (especially) businesses.
Have fun with those pitchers, though.
It is a pretty good book. Needless to say, he did not win any friends among the rabid feministas.
It is a pretty good book. Needless to say, he did not win any friends among the rabid feministas.
“Youve never read Mike Adams, have you? He writes satire”
Is this satire? An assistantship comes with fully paid tuition on the backs tax payers. Is this supposed to be sarcasm. I’m not laughing.
One of Mike’s best columns ever.
What a kick in the next to last paragraph!
Which begs the question, if “someone else” helped me succeed, who do I blame if I fail? I can’t hang it on white anglo hetero males cuz ... I
I cant hang it on white anglo hetero males cuz ... I
Instead, you insist that someone else made it happen for us. Ive written to tell you my story in the hopes that you will see the foolishness of your unproven assertions.
Ok, Mr. Mike Adams, Ph. D., why can you not see that you are faced with the paradox,"Which came first -- the chicken, or the egg?"
o Who gave you the teaching assistant's job with no proven track record?
o Where did you get the $1,000 for your scheme to initiate a business effort?
o Who created the business that gave you a little slice of the profits leveraged by employing you?
o Did "your" success not depend on someone else singing with (actually for) you, as the payor?
Et cetera, et cetera ...
Yes, other someones did "make it happen" for you. So you didn't create a wealth-building situation ex nihilo. On the other hand, neither could your providers and beneficiaries gain some form of profit without your innovative input.
In fact, our society consists of an ongoing flow -- not of isolated action-and-reaction events -- but of interactions; which ideally would be mutually beneficial.
But what is going on here is that Obama's foolishness is that of trying to reduce the diagnosis of social benefits from an n-dimensional one, to a one-dimensional one, sort of like a godless socialistic "Old 100th" doxology:
"Praise the Government from which all our blessings flow!"
And from that, Obama proceeds to construct the (false) syllogism:
"I am the Executive Head of Government."
From which he wants us to infer (and many other fools do), "All your blessings flow from me -- Me! Barack!"
from which he clearly expects everyone to respond, "Praise Barack!" -- just as Adolf required on pain of death, "Heil, Hitler!"
But now, dear Mr. Mike Adams, your hypothesis is just as foolish and wrong when you presume to shift the platform to your own one-dimensional synthesis above, which invites us to think of your efforts:
"Praise me from whom all my blessings flow!",
when clearly your whole article shows that the success of your project did not come merely from your own precognition, pragmatism, prompting, preparation, priorities (they were not particularly for your PhD), persistence, and performance; it also came from the presence, provision, promotion, permission, pleasure, participation, and protection of others.
Going a little further, though -- if the tune stays the same but the lyrics change: "Damn them/it from whom/which all hurts/harms do flow!" -- is not the source of some of the tragedies from one's own self? Should not I also take responsibility for consequences of my own errors -- or should I just blame all malaprops, maledictions, malevolence, miseries, and mistakes on others? What would Barack do?
So don't impress us by claiming that your success was yours alone; nor that if you had failed would it have been solely the fault of others and fate. If so, you're just playing Obama's game, and that is surely not the thinking of a Doctor (Teacher, Master, rabbi) of Philosophy. Go study your syllogisms, and rewrite this argument to reflect reality.
From a laborer in philosophical and Biblical issues -- most sincerely and humbly, a Ph. D. of real science --
"Damn the torpedoes -- full speed ahead!" (a paraphrase of Farragut's famous command at the Battle of Mobile Bay)
I think you need to examine your rebuttal more carefully. Mike Adams’ argument isn’t that he achieved his success all alone. It is — to paraphrase — that capitalism allowed him to exploit his God-given talents to earn a living government could never provide.
The author did not make the argument you rebutted.
An assistantship comes with fully-paid tuition from the private university’s substantial endowment and tuition receipts (at private universities, like Penn when I got my doctorate) or tuition receipts and yes, tax-payer subsidies (at state universities, like the one where I teach, conduct research and help keep the math department running administratively).
In either case supporting teaching assistants helps keep costs of running the undergraduate program down, and thus is a benefit to the tax-payers even in the case of state universities, rather than something about which to complain. (Not that it helps enough to overcome the main driver of tuition costs: the expansion of university administrations — by my local case in point 50% over the past decade in terms of number of personnel, and much more in terms of payroll, even as the number of faculty shrank 0.4% over the same time).
My major professor used to say that undergraduates were the krill that fed the research whale. I was on an assistantship at a stae university but, some of my funding came from a research grant from Stennis Space Flight Center (also gov’t funded). Education is like the medical profession, its is full of gov’t money, even if it doesn’t seem so.
To be fair, with his entire life and academic records hidden, I am certain he never took any qualifying exams for anything. He has been carried on the shoulders of poisonous Liberals and rancid communists his entire life. The perfect Lt. Kije for the perfect hollow military he is creating to be beaten by Third World savages. What saddens me most is that the service chiefs value their careers more than the health of their services.
No! Say it ain't so!!
Thanks for bringing your thoughts to my attention. But I believe your attribution of a more altruistic motive behind Adams' article is more generousthan it deserves. Reading between the lines, Mike Adams' memo of self congratulation shows but a smidgin of gratitude to others without whom he would have failed in his scheme. It sounds a lot more like Frank Sinatra's popularized thene: "I Did It My Way." Let me put this to you a little more concisely:
Pride is claiming as your own what God and others have done through you.
In contrast, toward the end of his period as a field-grade officer, then-Col. H. Norman Schwartzkopf was given command of a brigade that was failing in morale, esprit, and combat proficiency. No one wanted to command it, but after a year and a half of his tutelage, the brigade led the division in every measure of performance, and became the premier unit relied on by the division commander. Here is his description of the morning following his notification of another promotion:
"At 6:30 A.M. the entire brigade assembled on the parade ground. I clambered up onto the raised platform that commanders used to direct calisthenics. 'This afternoon, at fourteen hundred hours, the Department of the Army is going to announce that I have been promoted to brigadier general,' I told them. The whole brigade began to cheer. I hadn't expected that and got all choked up. Then I said, 'Any commander worth his salt knows that when a good thing happens to him, it happpens because of the soldiers under his command. I am proud of this brigade. I am proud of the great work you guys have done. When I get that star, a little piece of it is going to belong to each one of you. While I can't give you each a piece, there is something I can do th say thank you: I want you all to take the day off. Now get out of here and I'll see you on Monday!' They cheered even louder than before and ran off in every direction." [Schwatrzkopf, H. Norman, "The Autobiography - It Doesn't Take A Hero," Bantam Books, New York (1992) pp. 210-212]
Get the point? Who "made this happen"?
William Booth, the Methodist minister who founded the Salvation Army. His motto was sent by his first trans-Atlantic telegram to Salvation Army officers. The message contained one word: others. Serving others in Christ's name is the mission of the Army and our message for all time!
Is capitalism involved in these examples? But that happened because of others serving others with yet others funding the missionary enterprise. Again, lets try something:
o We do not have our republic and our government because of capitalism.
o We have our capitalism because of our republic and its form of government.
o We do not have promotion of Christianity because of our republic and government.
o We have our republic and government because of promotion of Christian polity (New Testament congregational rule).
o Mike Adams has his capitalism because of his government, not vice versa.
o Obama wants to eliminate capitalism and replace it with socialism. To do so, he must change our republic and its government.
Now, simply reread Adams' first paragraph, then his last paragraph.
Adams could not "make it" without OPM. That is what capitalism is about. And we're beyond the original laissez faire ROE.
The author did not make the argument you rebutted.
I did this all by myself, I "made this happen" without help from others. Mea culpa ---