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Do Women Belong in Business?

Yes, of course.  For capitalist reasons alone, to block out an entire gender doesn’t make good business sense– you’re limiting your talent pool and that will cost you good ideas and hard workers.  But constitutionally, do most women have what it takes to make it in business?  Maybe– maybe not.  In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, she talks about all the women around the country who have good ideas but are too timid to suggest them, implement them, raise their hands, sit at the table.  So Sheryl mentors them and encourages them and prods them along to stand up and LEAN IN.  And that’s great!  Hopefully, generations from now, those women who learned to be assertive and tell a group of men what she is thinking, then will raise young girls and hopefully pass those traditions along.  But if I am a CEO of any gender, do I want to hire someone who is too timid to speak up?  No way!

Another data point:  http://www.mbawomen.org/.  The National Association of Women MBAs is hosting a conference in DC later this year.  Here are some of the topics: “how to ask for what you want”, “redefine your power”, “dress for success”, “Nashville- more than a double standard: women in leadership”

This makes it look like women need to be taught that which seems to come naturally to men. How could a man respect a woman who needs to be taught such fundamental things?  So, the obvious question is: do women really need this training? If so, why are they trying to do something that seems counter to their constitutions?  Not EVERY woman just like not EVERY man should have a high-powered corporate job. And if SO MANY women need to be taught this, then the gender disparity in business makes perfect sense.

I am fine with mentoring women and prodding them and molding them into a different, more businessy type of woman.  But women need to stop complaining about the pay gap and glass ceiling and everything else.  There are some great women out there in business, running companies right along side the men.  Therefore, there IS NO glass ceiling.  I don’t begrudge men for ONE SECOND not wanting to hire someone who is too timid to even touch the “glass ceiling”.  If more women in business are timid that the proportional amount of men, then it makes sense that women earn less than men.  That’s very logical.

Real feminism let’s women do WHATEVER THEY WANT and that doesn’t mean they have to wear pants, cut their hair, behave like men, be assertive or work in business!  They can be timid and mild and sweet and nice and be perfectly happy!  Businesses probably can’t put the latter description to work as easily as the first so they may hire fewer women but the one’s they hire that fit the first category will be AWESOME!  And these new female hires will in turn inspire other women who naturally gravitate toward business.  Therefore, women won’t get jobs for “being women”– a quality that she has no control over and didn’t result from any effort at all.  Women will get jobs because they were the best candidate for the position.  That will be when we have true equality.  The more we guilt men to hire us to fill quotas, the more women they will get in their ranks who weren’t natural fits and therefore won’t do as well as another candidate and this will ONLY perpetuate the stereotypes and trends for salaries and women in business in the wrong direction.

Today is not about politics or Obamacare or the military.  Today is about people and today is a sad day.  As I walked into a federal building this morning, I was just SAD watching more people leaving work than arriving, carrying boxes of their belongings in their arms.  They looked frustrated, rueful, and something like a war-weary soldier, bearing the brunt of political decisions on broad shoulders.  They saw this coming, but they knew there was nothing to be done and they would be the first employees to be told “we really do appreciate you… we just can’t afford you.”  This morning, they have just a couple hours to put a stop on their tasks and leave for the day.  Many federal employees are so dedicated to their work that they volunteered to work for free but their requests were denied.  Now, after being symbolically slapped in the face, I am enormously impressed by the professionalism and high spirits of the government employees as they react to this inevitable action.

 

Now for the political part:  Congress needs to recognize that this is happening because of decades of wasteful spending.  It’s not personal because many of them are not even responsible for the leadup to this shutdown which is the CULTURE of overspending in Washington DC.  But they ARE responsible now.  They need to fight the trend in Washington DC and nation capitals across the world that have overspent themselves to the point of insolvency.  We are all leveraged against eachother and burying our heads in the sand that this will work.  It didn’t work when the banks were all leveraged against eachother in the 2008 financial crisis and it won’t work for all of the governments to leverage against eachother now, hoping that no one will ever call in their debt.   We have to get back to kitchen table economics, which government employee families are all painfully practicing now.  DO NOT SPEND MORE MONEY THAN YOU HAVE.  We can’t afford Obamacare so let’s not pay for it.  As PAINFUL and DAMAGING as this government shutdown is, it is necessary to ensure America doesn’t go the way of Greece.  This is a short-term price to pay to avert long-term catastrophe.

 Stand with Ted Cruz and the Tea Party.  Once we get our financial house in order, government employees won’t have to wonder EVERY QUARTER if they’re going to be furloughed.

 May God bless America.  We need him now more than ever.

9/11 Memories

As I wake up on September 11th 2013, I am overwhelmed with thoughts about September 11, 2001.  I was in high school in California and remember barely understanding that what was happening was seriously happening.  The weight of seeing an enemy find and exploit an American vulnerability was more than I could imagine given my lifetime of peace.  12 years later, I have to wonder if we have made any progress at all securing America.  I am frustrated to see that we have busily addressed symptoms of the problem but we are still vulnerable and we still have enemies who are determined to exploit our vulnerabilities.  Our enemies can reach out and touch us from anywhere as more and more countries have brazenly taken a stand against America.  Or is that behavior brazen at all?  Our military is full of professionals who will dig deep and overcome anything, but they are tired after a decade of fighting.  Administratively and logistically it is dramatically adjusting to the sequester; projects are being cut which necessitates revision tactics and future force implementation globally.  The policy of the State Department and White House seems to be to apologize for America’s success rather than reinforce it, downplay threats from enemies rather than address them, and assign scapegoats instead of risk being called “racist”or “prejudiced”.  Nowhere is this clearer than the months leading up to Benghazi and the aftermath.  I pray for America that we find the moral path forward.

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CPAC 2013’s theme is America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives. New Challenges, Timeless Principles.

I have wanted to attend CPAC for a decade now but was finally able to go this year. The values and patriotism of the attendees was a much-needed albeit temporary relief from the lack of responsibility and entitlement values that characterize so many people I run into around town. These people don’t want to talk about how much they can get from government, they want to talk about their families, communities and ideas for their jobs. This is what we’re talking about when we talk about “traditional American values”. These are the values we have held for centuries and still do today! They are less sexy than a “free lunch” and other handouts, however, so they’re not the values that are touted by politicians trying to win elections. But Conservatives are back and they’re ready to fight. We have had a rockstar lineup so far: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Allen West, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, Pat Toomey. I am giddy with anticipation right now waiting to hear Mitt Romney. These are the leaders who are going to save our country and we need to get behind them with our support.

The palpable energy in this conference inspires me. Conservatism is truly a grassroots movement of identifying what we already know. We don’t need any new ideas, committees or bills. We just need to follow the Constitution and what our Founding Fathers clearly put forth. No coffee is needed here with the amount of adrenaline in this room. The well-informed, involved citizens are exactly what we need to carry out this Democratic Experiment. But the liberal media makes fun of conservatives as radical and crazy tea-partiers. The Tea Party is saving America with their boring ideas like following the Constitution.

I talked yesterday morning with a motivated high school senior from Fort Worth, proudly attending University of Texas next year to be close to the capitol of Texas and issues he cares about. He wants to be a politician but knows he needs to get educated and excel in industry to be worthy of serving the people. He is one example of the young demographic that is well-represented in this conference. Bus loads of students came in from Michigan and Ohio. There are conservative student groups teaching and recruiting in the Exhibit Hall. This is a movement that resonates with the entire country, including that bastion of liberalism: American universities.

One of the great panels I got to see was on Benghazi. As much of an ATROCITY Benghazi was, the scandalous media coverup was WORSE. Great discussion on Obama’s consultation with political advisors instead of the Joint Chiefs, no doubt concluding that the American position of not Muslim countries is better supported by fewer Americans dying instead of the possibility of more casualties by sending in troops. Everyone: we STILL don’t have answers on what happened at Benghazi! We responded to 9/11 within a month. How much longer do we have to wait for a response to the Benghazi attack?

The theme of the conference is protection of FREEDOM and LIBERTY. Get Big Government out of the way of the markets and individuals. The more government we have, the more liberty we sacrifice. Good thing our Founding Fathers put in place a system in which we are driving. Time to boot these criminals out of office. Vote for the Constituion and traditional American values.

My trip to Ireland was beautiful, eye-opening, introspective and enlightening. I went with my best girl friend and stayed at the Ritz-Carlton south of Dublin. We found an amazing deal that included airfare, a car and 7 days at the Ritz for $1200… pretty damn good if you ask me. That deal gave us room to deal with the expense of the Euro while we were there shopping and touring around. The weather was unseasonably warm and the people were incredibly nice. The Ritz sat on Powerscourt Estate and made one of the most pristine views of the Irish countryside anyone could ask for, with nearly 360 degrees of ethereal farmland and rolling hills. Absolutely gorgeous. Driving was terrifying, however, so we used our car only three out of the seven days we rented it. Just coughed up the Euros for cabs and trains the rest of the time which was fine because we didn’t have to worry about parking… or running over any bicyclists. We had fascinating conversations with the Irish people about the EU and American relations, the financial crisis in the country, the way out of the predicament Europe is in and what to do about America blindly following suit. The Irish people are very interested in politics and the direction their country is headed but they see no way out of the quagmire and blame the politicians for putting them in this situation– they’re right. The policies of their politicians are exactly like those of Greece and America. We put bandaids on top of bandaids and don’t plan anything more than a month in advance so we are in a constant showdown of economic brinksmanship. The only arguments Democrats make are sob stories about the poor and downtrodden while Republicans try to show they care about the poor and downtrodden, too, but their policies are the only ones that will actually make them not poor or downtrodden. Handouts don’t work! This all boils down to redistribution of wealth and is the obvious result of our progressive tax system. What happens when you run out of the evil millionaires? No one could answer that question.

Another sad observation I have that popped up twice during an otherwise perfect vacation, was the clear opinion in Europe and Canada (if not the rest of the world) that Americans are stupid. We had not even taken off from Chicago when a 20 year old Canadian journalist across the aisle that we had been chatting with came up with a question for me out of the blue: “Have you heard of the War of 1812?” I just looked at him because the question itself is insulting. I don’t have a complex about my intelligence or education so I wasn’t offended but I was interested in his motives. I simply replied to him that his question could have no other motive than to “get me” in public on a plane where everyone can hear that the dumb American has never heard of the War of 1812. It would be one thing if he picked some little known fact about the war or had just read a book and he had something to share about it but to ask me not-rhetorically if I had even HEARD of it was an attempt to embarass me. It is precisely like Katie Couric’s question to Sarah Palin during the 2008 election: “what books do you read?” does not mean that Katie Couric wanted to know what she read. The subtext is clearly that she is stupid and must not read anything worthwhile. So, back to my conversation with the Canadian journalist, after telling him my theory of his motives, I asked him, “As long as we are discussing history, have you ever heard of Faberge eggs?” He had never heard of them. This is not as insulting a question as “Have you ever heard of the War of 1812” but it was a “gotcha” question and he was gotten. It’s ok for someone to not know about the famous bejeweled French-made eggs made for Alexander III and his son Nicholas II of Russia, but it’s not ok to try to make someone look stupid for knowing less than you. It wasn’t very nice of me but I hopefully he knows that now.

The second time someone tried a “gotcha” question with me, it was even MORE basic. I was pretending to be a teacher on New Years Eve and was talking to a professional basketball player (note: not necessarily uneducated but certainly not in the education field). He asked me, “Which country is south of Ireland?” This time I just decided to answer him: “You mean the entire Iberian peninsula? so Spain?” “Ok well which country is west of Spain?” “Portugal.” “Which country is northeast of Spain?” “France.” He was SO impressed by my knowledge of basic European geography. I didn’t feel flattered, of course, I was merely observing once again that this is the level that Europeans feel Americans are at in their education. They’re clearly WRONG in these assumptions and not every American is sitting around watching Honey Boo Boo all day long (or however you spell that). Our education system is terrible. I am a product of the California public school system so I must be pretty dumb but at least I know about the War of 1812 and European geography (and Honey Boo Boo). Ireland has an extremely low higher education level compared to America despite enormously subsidized university education. It only costs 3000 euros to go to college in Ireland thanks to the taxpayer. And yet, no one is taking them up on it. The Irish demographic is changing RAPIDLY. Irish young people are leaving the country in droves in hopes of living in an economy where they can get a job. And yet the politicians think that the people want handouts. The people want JOBS! We don’t want to depend on the government for our well-being. One Irish man I spoke with described Ireland as “Germany’s deadbeat neighbor”. Germany has a lot of deadbeat neighbors now. Germany is holding up the entire continent. And America continues her race toward Socialism.

We know what’s at the finish line in a Socialist nation: a lower standard of living for everyone and an insolvent state that spends vastly more than it takes in. Well at least we can all feel good about taking money from the evil millionaires. Oh wait, millionaires move their money into tax shelters and off-shore bank accounts so we’re not actually getting all that money from them. I guess we’ll just keep up the hate speech and mob tactics (read Ann Coulter’s book, Guilty, for more on mob tactics of the Democrats).

I’ll end on a positive note: we’re NOT Ireland yet. We can turn this around, fix our economy and pay off our debt. Then we’ll have more than pretty scenery and nice people; we’ll be a land of opportunity and wealth.

Personal Branding

Hello everyone!

I have recently become a believer in personal branding.  I have a beyond incredible group of friends scattered around the country and one forwarded this article to me from Forbes:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/11/19/build-a-personal-brand-not-just-a-career/

Read it and love it– it’s all true.  It’s all about who you know in this world, not what your grades were or how many awards you have.  If no one knows who you are, you won’t get recognized!  So I have decided to put myself out there and share my thoughts with you via this blog.  I recently moved across the country to DC and am loving taking in the culture out here!  I miss my friends from San Diego dearly but I am blessed with other wonderful friends in the area who, for the most part, I served with on past ships.

This blog will be my vehicle to post my thoughts primarily on politics, national security, current events and cyber security.  I would LOVE feedback from y’all!  It is such a positive to just have these topics discussed respectfully and have people thinking about things that affect all of our futures.

The most important things in my personal life at the moment are grad school applications (applying to Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland part-time MBA programs), developing a personal budget, and NOTRE DAME BEATING ALABAMA ON JANUARY 7TH IN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

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Who do y’all think will win?  Better answer this one correctly…  I’m just saying…

That’s it for today!  Look forward to getting to know all of you!