BUD BREWER

One Man's Opinion

LIVING IN THE 20TH CENTURY-CHAPTER 8

Becoming a Twosome

Bud: When I returned to the Bachelor Officer Quarters and told everyone I was engaged, my roommate said Holy Cow! My friends said, “we realized you were serious about Dottie but you have only known her for a month or two”.  I said, sometimes you just know the deal is right and I know this is the woman I want to be my wife and the mother of my children.  She has been raised a catholic and lives and behaves under the principles of Catholic Christianity.  I didn’t realize how important it would be but it was my intention to complete instruction and those steps necessary to join the Catholic Faith anyway and having her already a person who lived under those rights and disciplines added to the perceived propriety of our becoming married under its family guidelines.  I telephoned my folks and told them that I had found a girl that I was going to marry.  After the expected who what why and where questions, they asked when and where is the ceremony, we want to be there. I told them that we had talked about getting married in September and driving out to Southern California on our honeymoon.  My Dad asked; What about your plan to return to Cal after your discharge in October?  I reported that we had discussed the situation and Dottie agreed that she would get a job and earn about $200.00 per month and along with my $90 per month GI Bill income, we could handle the expenses for the two years anticipated.  He seemed somewhat dubious that the plan would not be interrupted by unforeseen circumstances but I told him, we are going to try to do it.

Dottie: My sister, Kathryn Cruz, worked on Post and she was surprised as most of our other friends that I had agreed formally to marry some GI fellow who I met as recently as only a month ago.  Kathryn asked me all the “what if” questions but after she learned Bud was from California and she met Bud, she no longer had any reservations.  In fact, I think she was kind of envious hearing that we would be living in California.  About a week later when Bud asked me to go out for dinner, I Thought this will be a good time to fulfill my promise and introduce him to Bert’s mother.  We could enjoy the good food they serve at her restaurant and he didn’t have to know anything about my relationship with Bert.  So, he agreed and said he would pick me up at 6:00 at my quarters.  It was the custom of the military guys sometimes to wear civilian clothes when off post for recreation or eating dinner etc., but when Bud showed up at my quarters in an outfit that was composed of blue pants and a green Hawaiian shirt with white tennis shoes, I was so taken back by his apparel that I suggested that maybe since I was not feeling great, we postpone going out to meet Bert’s mother and have a quiet supper at a local hangout.  Somehow in the evening’s conversation, Bud wondering why the change of plans, realized that his fashion statement did not meet the standards of we Kentucky girls and from that moment on he has developed tastes that are most admirable and suitable.  He says, “No one ever told me green and blue just don’t make it, but I’ll do better in the future”.  

Bud:  We had planned to get married just before my discharge in September but about the end of March I learned that a small two-bedroom cottage was for rent just north of the Post and after looking at it, I suggested to Dottie that maybe it would be a good idea to schedule the wedding a bit earlier and begin collecting all the things that we will need while still on post where we got good prices for everything.  Ha! Ha! That was the reason I gave her and she didn’t object so we went into see Father Gafell, the Priest at the Hospital Chapel and told him of our plans and need to schedule the event.  I rented the Cottage for the 5 months ending September 30th, and made a pretty good deal since it had been vacant for the prior four months and the landlord was a friend of my boss, Colonel Moroney. I saw to it that we spent as little time as possible at the Officer’s Club so we could chat and enjoy planning our day rather than fight off those other guys trying to get Dottie to Jitterbug with them.  My Mom and Dad flew in from Los Angeles to Nashville on Thursday before our scheduled wedding on May 23rd and stayed at the Cottage.  Dotty’s Dad and Mother came down with her brother Charles and his family. 

Dottie:  The wedding was simple but very nice, Bud wore his dress uniform and I wore a sweet white dress appropriate for the event.  Bud completed his catechism instruction and become baptized in the Catholicfaith, so we were to have a Catholic wedding before Mass at which we would say our Vows.  We both knew Father Gafell quite well since he baptized Bud and we had attended mass at his church for the prior four months.  When the Marriage service began and we both had said our part, just before Father was to say “I now pronounce you Man and Wife”, he turned to Bud and said a strange thing, “Are you Ready Bud? I was taken back a bit but he answered with complete assurance and then Father said the words that launched the Bud and Dottie Brewer Families, “The Brewer Dynasty”.  We returned to the Cottage and celebrated with a modest reception for both our families and friends. It was our plan to drive down that afternoon to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where a friend had offered his home on Hilton Head Island for a week and where we would spend our Honeymoon. For some strange reason, we never got past Nashville where we stayed at the Noel Hotel.

Bud:  The Army was deactivating most of the units that mostly contained draftees, so I was offered the option of discharge on September 30th if I gave up my rights under my designation as “Distinguished Graduate of O.C.S.” and the automatic promotion to First Lieutenant October 31st.  That was an easy decision given my experience having seen how the real army operates and our anxiety to get going back to California. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are posts to units in which I would be a proud member, but once being assigned to the 95th, my comfort with what could happen made my continuing in the service undesirable and the return to whatever future civilian life held for me a distinct preference.

One Man and his Wife’s Opinion-

Bud and Dottie Brewer

LIFE IN THE 20TH CENTURY, Chapter 3

The War

 

My sister, Barbara Henderson wrote a history of the World War II years in three chapters some number of years ago to have a record for her children and grandchildren so they would learn how things were during that time.  I have taken several excerpts from those files and added them in Italics to this edition of Life in the 20th Century.

 As soon as The Congress voted to declare War on Japan, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States forming what we called the Axis Powers. As confident as our government voiced statements that America would be able to defeat the Japanese, Germans, and Italian military, most of the news we received was not good.  Our Commanding General in the Pacific was General MacArthur. He directed the defensive battle of the South Pacific and Philippines for about three months until being evacuated from the fortress island of Corregidor under the cover of darkness March 12,1942.  General Wainwright took over high command of the defenses.  The persistence and valor of our marines, naval and army personnel on Corregidor was the one positive image we had during those terrible months of early 1942.  Further territory was invaded and overwhelmed in the months leading up to the fall of Corregidor.  But as long as we held out, we had something to cheer for. In May of 1942 General Wainwright sent two soldiers out with a white flag and surrendered to the Japanese.  The months following were grim as we heard of Japanese victories over more of the South Pacific.  But on August 4, 1942, the U.S Marines landed a small force on the Island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Island Group.  The Guadalcanal campaign was a significant strategic offensive of combined arms effort l eading to eventual victory in the Pacific theater. Along with the Battle of Midway, it has been called a turning point in the war against Japan. As I was wrapping and loading my papers one morning in 1942, I looked at the headline which was, “Crossing the T”.  I was curious what that meant and read the article which described the Battle of Cape Esperance, the first United States night naval battle victory over the Japanese. A U.S. force of cruisers and destroyers under Admiral Norman Scott crossed the “T” of a cruiser–destroyer force under Aritomo Goto.  Gotō’s force was approaching Guadalcanal on October 11, 1942 to bombard Henderson Field in support of  a reinforcement mission when it was surprised and defeated by Scott’s force in a confused night battle. Goto died of his wounds shortly after the battle, and lost the cruiser Furutaka and 3 Destroyers.  I was so excited to learn finally of a victory over the ‘Japs‘ even though I didn’t entirely understand how this crossing of the T made it possible.

Our lives on the home front changed considerably regarding food and necessities.  No one argued that the armed forces did not need these items.  Those men were sacrificing their lives.  The most we had to do was rearrange our lives to use the amount of food and goods in the best way. The Office of Price Administration was formed in 1941 to control civilian supply of foods and materials. At first the concentration was on raw materials, but later Ration Boards were set up in every county and manned by vollunteers.  A ration book was issued to every man, woman, and child in the U.S.   The books had little stamps in them.  The first item that was rationed was sugar.  Every person was allowed 8-12 ounces per person per week.  Unless you did a lot of baking, this was enough for the average family.  If you took sugar in your coffee and tea, you had to change your habits.  Some people turned to substitutes like corn syrup.  By summer, it was necessary to ration coffee.  This amounted to 1 pound of coffee per person every five weeks.  Again, it was manageable if you were an average drinker but care needed to be taken not to waste the coffee. By 1943 the ration book contained rows of red and blue stamps marked A, B, C, D.  Blue stamps were for processed foods, Red stamps were for meats, cheese, and fats.  There was a point system to account for the discrepancy in price.   Housewives saved all the grease from cooking and turned it in to the butcher in exchange for red stamps.  Everyone who could had a” victory” garden.  The more vegetables grown at home the better meals you had because with the “Relocation” of the Japanese from California (who produced 40% of the vegetable crops), a vegetable shortage was created.  They were no longer available to do that at which they were the best.  Many people also had chickens in their back yard.

 In addition to raising certain vegetables in our victory Garden, I got my mother to buy 4 or 5 bantam baby chicks at a poultry feed store and I built a hutch in our back yard so that we would have some fresh eggs from time to time.  I was curious how the chicken would lay an egg and sometimes abandon it and other times sit on it for hours at a time.  I wanted to have them lay eggs for eating and to have the hen and rooster fertilize some of the eggs so we might increase the flock.  When one of the hens became broody, I fixed up a box in my bedroom and placed the hen in the box with a straw nest along with four or five eggs.  I covered the box and   placed a 60-watt light bulb through the top of the box to keep the eggs and the hen warm.  This was a very bad idea.  After a week or so when they hatched I continued sleeping next to this box and tending to the chicks.  I cleaned up the mess caused by droppings and other matter, but the next thing I knew was that I was in a hospital room with a nurse tending to me.  What had happened during the meantime was that I had contracted Spinal Meningitis, a very serious and death threatening disease.  I was in the Contagious Disease Ward at the LA County Hospital.  I felt terrible but due to the fast diagnosis by our family doctor. What he did to make the diagnosis was to place his hand under my neck and when he lifted my head, my whole body rose stiff as a board.  After a couple of brief telephone calls, he convinced one ambulance company that by wrapping me in sheets, they had no potential danger from the disease. There followed a speedy trip in the ambulance to LA County CD Ward.  After two or three days, I was awake after receiving huge injections of antibiotic sulfonamide (sulfa), a relative of penicillin discovered in 1928 but not commonly used until 1942.  For three days, I had been given massive injections of Sulfa, and was just coming out of a coma.  I was later transferred to a ward with 6-8 other patients in some stage of recovery.  The disease usually causes the loss or deficiency of some part of the cognitive, physical, or sensory capabilities.  I was one of the lucky ones who, perhaps questionably, had no ill effects after 45 days of care in the CD Ward. During my stay, every 3 days I was wheeled to a surgical room in which the doctor would tap my spinal fluid to check its condition.  Not a pleasant experience.  Upon release, the doctor advised my folks to not have me return to school but for the remaining months of the Spring school year and Summer to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors (sans chickens) especially participating in some sport.  As disappointing as that instruction was, my folks decided that Dad would take me to the Griffith Park golf course on the way to work and I would spend the day playing the unlimited number of holes allowed by the $5.00 monthly Green Fee.  He would then pick me up on the way home. It was a tough life as you can imagine.

One of the things we enjoyed doing at that time to get around during the period of gasoline rationing was a ride on the Pacific Electric Street-Car. Powered by overhead trolley pole riding along on an electric powerline, these trains ran on a vast network of tracks that went from San Bernardino, to San Pedro, to San Fernando connecting all the communities in between.  For ten cents, you could travel as far as you wanted within each fare zone. Each car had a motorman and a conductor.  After school, I would sometimes take this train down to Hollywood and hang around in my dad’s typewriter shop.  He had a young man who he was training to be a typewriter repair man.  Whenever he would speak to my dad, he would call him “coach”.  After a while I started to use the nickname also and for the rest of his life, I always addressed my dad as coach, a proper thing to do since he was my lifelong adviser in so many things.

 A little bit of history: In 1919, My grandfather, Merrill Brewer, who lived with his wife and son, my dad, in Bar Harbor Maine, accepted an offer to move to Southern California and open a franchised Corona office machine store.  With a pioneer spirit, he loaded his wife and son into a used touring sedan and began a 3-month journey driving across America in a used Franklin automobile eventually settling in Hollywood California. My Dad, 14 at the time learned a lot about how to deal with difficulties on that trip as it was made long before there were real highways connecting the east and west coast. Although a good student, he left high school after the 11th grade, and went to work in my grandfather’s typewriter shop on Hollywood Blvd.  In 1926, he and my mother got married and he began a new role in his father’s business as the principal outside salesman. In 1938, Merrill Brewer retired and my dad, the Coach, took over the shop. 

When the War started, Pop realized early on that with no new typewriters being manufactured, he would be out of business also.  However, he figured out that he could rent used typewriters from wholesalers at $5 per month per typewriter and re-rent them for $10 to the studios and the defense industries (The birth of the middleman). At one point, he had over 1000 machines out under lease. This not only made it possible for him to stay in business but enabled him to develop an active contract repair service and increase his related stationary and supplies business. It not only enabled him to stay in business but provided a platform for continuing the leasing of typewriters and adding machines business after the war. The studio relationships also led him to expand into the Art supply business and it became a fast-growing part of his gross sales after the end of the war (very high margins).  (But more on that in future chapters.)

 Dottie’ life in Kentucky during the early 1940s was pretty much the same as everywhere else.  Become more self-reliant by growing more of the food you ate, save everything useful in the war effort and pray a lot.  In fact, they got most of their news about what was going on in the war effort while attending social events at the church. Of course, there were a lot of rumors going around, most of them telling something not true about what was happening in the war. She lived most of the time at Mrs. Webb’s since it was closer to Saint Vincent Academy, the Catholic school she was attending.  The Nuns held Catechism classes every day but on Thursday the priest would come in and talk and ask us if anyone had any questions for him.  Since they were all in that middle teen-age area, and were sensitive to and curious about what the church said was consistent with the rules of proper behavior when dating a boy.  One of the serious questions was, “is it a sin to kiss a boy when he brings you home from a date?”  This brought numerous chuckles and a smile to the priest’s lips as he answered that it was not a sin unless it went too far.  He told them in clear words repeated by nuns and parents what too far was.  We really didn’t date like most kids do in today’s world. While popular music was enjoyed by all, Teenagers in our day would go to a popular youth club called “The Barn” each Saturday night and have nothing heavier than a Coca-Cola or a milk shake to drink with a hamburger or hot dog..  The Club was run by one of towns respected families and the rules were very strict. The popular activity was to dance what was called the “Jitterbug style.  Dottie took dancing lessons from the time she  was about 8 years old and she told me “even if I say so myself, I was a pretty good dancer, so I never had to sit waiting to be asked to dance”.

 

One of the amazing phenomena’s that occurred during the 1930s and 1940s was the growth in the card game of Contract Bridge. It became the central activity for socializing among couples and people unable to afford or attend other types of entertainment.  Mrs. Webb ran a bridge club at her home every Tuesday and Thursday.  Dottie told me “I suppose this is where I got the seed of motivation for learning how to play this game. When they had one of the ladies unable to attend, Mrs. Webb would sit me down on a book or two and with some help from others I slowly learned the fundamentals of the game. Being a small-town, Waverly or Morgantown didn’t have much entertainment for young people.  I mean it was a big day when we got to go over to a school chums home with elegant design and furnishings.  We rode bicycles all over the County and would spend hours dreaming about the outside world.  One day I just knew I would get the chance to travel to the state of California”.

Next time we will share some interesting times ending the World War II

 

One Man and his Wife’s opinions—

Bud and Dottie Brewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEUROPLASTICITY- TRANSFORMING YOUR BRAIN

February 25, 2017: About 50 years ago when I was a new member of the investment business, I had the good fortune to be introduced to a process alleged to reprogram the brain so as to  influence one’s self image positively and specifically toward an area deemed important to one’s self.  The process I adopted as a result was simply setting aside time each day for meditation in a quiet and peaceful environment where I would repeat over and over a specific phrase that described a goal in words reflecting the achievement of that goal.  The instructor was teaching me how to use Neuroplasticity (the act of positive meditation) to change my brain cells so that over a period on time, practicing in regular periods of meditation, I would experience the effect of skewing my behavior, habitual acts and statements of self image that would reflect progressive changes consistent with my objective.    The example I use to explain what the enhancement of self image on any skill one believes he has will do to separate him from others practicing that skill is that of Tiger Woods in his day or many of the young “Tigers” of today in the golfing world.  It simply is this fact Tiger believed and reaffirmed by meditation that he was the best golfer in the world so he would do habitually each day what the greatest golfer would do.  A simple example of this is that when most tournament professional golfers finished their rounds on any day they could be seen in the lounge having a beer or something stronger socializing with their peers.  Not Tiger!  Tiger would be found until sunset on the practice rang or putting greens working on his game because that is what the greatest golfer of his day would be doing naturally.  This extra effort to improve is symptomatic of the image one has of themselves.  Tiger’s image was that he was the best so he did those things that the best does.  This is true in any activity engaged by the individual.  He who thinks he is of a certain skill will differentiate himself from others by doing what others do not do.  My friends have heard me say “you will be as you think you are” adnauseum, but since I thoroughly believe the practice to be effective, I want members of my family and readers of this blog to understand appreciate and practice Neuroplasticity meditation and its effect on their self image becoming the person they want to be.  

The following report by the EOC Institute explains how this process works and gives 10 key Brain Regions that can be moderated constructively by Neuroplasticity.

 

How To Maximize Neuroplasticity For Super Brain Health:
10 Key Brain Regions Upgraded Through Meditation

 

Scientists Agree: Meditation is the #1 brain changer. What is Neuroplasticity? Effectively blowing away the scientific dogma of decades ago, the newly discovered principle of  “neuroplasticity” means that our brain’s potential is not set at birth — we can actually strengthen and improve our brains in ways once believed impossible.

Rebecca Gladding M.D., author of “You Are Not Your Brain”, recently wrote “The brain, and how we are able to mold it, is fascinating and nothing short of amazing.”

After 1000’s of studies, researchers have proven meditation as the #1 way to make your brain better, with the potential to transform your life on countless levels. Meditation makes your brain stronger, smarter, and faster, in the same way that physical exercise makes your muscles bigger, denser, with more endurance.

Your brain on meditation. Because it guides your brainwaves into deep meditation, it is helpful to understand some of the incredible science backing this super beneficial mind-state. Here we go into 10 key brain regions significantly enhanced through meditation, as well as the implicated benefits.

Neuroplasticity & Meditation — Benefit #1:
Increase Your Brain Power with A Stronger Prefrontal Cortex

How to Grow A Big, Einstein-Level Brain. Perhaps history’s greatest scientific genius, researchers have long believed that in order to lay the foundation of modern physics, Albert Einstein must have had a very special brain. In 2012, it came to light that the legendary scientist’s brain had actually been preserved for a short time after his death, with a series of detailed photographs suddenly available for analysis.

Florida State University researchers compared the brilliant physicist’s brain images to 85 normal people, successfully confirming that the father of physics did indeed have a one of a kind brain, with many unique qualities.

One highlight of their findings, Einstein’s extraordinary “pre-frontal cortex” —  the so-called thought orchestrator, happiness center, and “CEO” of the brain, had more tightly packed gray matter, covering significantly more surface area. What if it was possible to build your brain up to this extraordinary level?

Meditation & Einstein’s brain. A landmark 2005 study by Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar discovered that meditators had much more density, thickness, and neural activity within their “left prefrontal cortex” —  just like Albert Einstein.

Increased thickness in this “king of all brain regions” means many great things: far less anxiety and depression, improved decision making, stronger willpower, more success, more processing power, better health, the list goes on.

To compound this amazing discovery, Dr. Lazar found that the more years of meditation experience a participant had under his/her belt, the greater the overall size of their super-beneficial prefrontal cortex.

Many within the scientific community, see Meditation as the “holy grail” for people wanting to be smart, healthy, and successful. If you want to rewire your brain like Einstein, then meditation is priority one. 

Neuroplasticity & Meditation — Benefit #2
Achieve More Success With A Rewired Corpus Callosum

How to Fortify the Bridge Between Your Brain Hemispheres. Your brain has two hemispheres, left and right. Logical, left-brained people tend to be more practical, most often good at math and science. Creative right-brained people tend to be more intuitive, usually best at art and philosophy. Most people use one hemisphere more than the other, creating an imbalance. Which side is dominant for you?

Unlike the rest of us, brain imaging studies have shown that highly successful people use both brain halves together, in balance. If only it was possible to train our whole brains to work in harmony? Thankfully, it is.

A 2012 UCLA School of Medicine study found that meditators “corpus callosum”, the grand central station-like cable of nerves connecting the brain hemispheres, was remarkably stronger, thicker, and more well connected. This bridge like structure is super helpful in getting your brain halves to communicate with each other like never before. What does this monumental discovery mean for you?

Integrated brain benefits. Harmonizing both of your brain hemispheres gives you an array of new abilities: increased focus, deeper thought, more creativity, optimized mental health, better memory, and clearer thinking, just to name a few.

You will be happier, more optimistic, at one with the world. Financial, academic, and career success will come much easier, more naturally. You may even regret that you didn’t sync your brain hemispheres in meditation years ago!

Like constructing a skyscraper’s floors, meditation’s benefits tend to build one on top of the other, until you can’t even recognize the person you used to be. Meditation is your ‘around the clock construction crew for a more successful life. 

Neuroplasticity & Meditation — Benefit #3:
Shrink Your Brain’s Primitive “Fear Center” Amygdala

Bust Stress Forever By Changing Your Brain. Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder of the X Prize and New York Times bestselling author, perhaps said it best, “Bad news sells because the amygdala is always looking for something to fear.”

Known as the anxiety, stress, and fear center of the brain, an overactive amygdala can lead to a whole host of problems, including the unnecessary initiation of our “fight or flight” response. Our stone-age ancestors needed their survival mode activated amygdala during their daily struggle to stay alive — modern man does not.

Meditation deactivates fear. The good news is that meditation healthily and naturally transforms the structure of our brains, resulting in a major stress response upgrade.

In fact, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital MRI scanned participants before and after an 8-week mindfulness study — with astonishing results. Combined with a massive reduction in self-reported stress levels, their brain imaging showed remarkably less “fear center” amygdalae density, with far less “fearful message communication” to the rest of the brain.

The icing on the cake, researchers also found the brain areas associated with focus and higher thought remarkably grew in strength.

Upgrade your brain, upgrade your life. A monumental discovery with far-reaching implications, cooling off your over-heated amygdala effectively upgrades and rewires your stress response circuitry, opening the door up to an array of incredible mind-body benefits. Being bulletproof to stress, you can now live your life from a cool, calm, and composed state of awesome!

Rebecca Gladding M.D., author of “You Are Not Your Brain”, recently wrote that meditation “makes a huge difference in how you approach life, how personally you take things and how you interact with others. It enhances compassion, allows you to see things more clearly (including yourself) and creates a sense of calm and centeredness that is indescribable. There really is no substitute.”

Many great, modern thinkers believe it is the training of the mind that will provide the next great leap forward in the evolution of man. If so, meditation is the #1 revolution kick starter. 

Neuroplasticity & Meditation — Benefit #4:
Fortify Your Parietal Lobe For Better Brain Health & Feeling More Connected

How To Train Your Brain To Feel Connected. Everybody knows that you have to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep if you want to be a happy and healthy person. But very few of us know the importance of human connectedness to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

In fact, one 2010 study published in “PLOS Medicine” found social connectivity increased longevity by over 50%! Another study by UCLA Professor of Medicine Dr. Steve Cole showed feeling connected to others strengthens immunity, while other studies have shown less anxiety and depression, higher self esteem, more empathy, the list goes on.

Thinking back, when were your happiest times? Laughing, playing, enjoying quality time with loved ones, friends, and family tops many people’s lists, where the natural human connection redirects our minds away from our past/future tense worries, directly into the present moment.

Meditation is the cure for loneliness. While the very best cure for feeling isolated is a strong in-person social network and a loving family, this isn’t possible for everybody.

Luckily, meditation activates the so called “social connectivity” parts of our brain, unlocking many of the same mental, emotional, and physical benefits that come along.

A University of Pennsylvania scientist, Dr. Andrew Newberg, took brain images of Tibetan Monks during meditation. As expected, their frontal lobes lit up on the screen, just like countless other studies have shown.

Meditation is your best friend. However, what surprised him most was that the meditators’ “third-dimensional” based parietal lobes cooled off immensely, which happens to be the same area that becomes overheated when we feel lonely.

Dr. Newburg, now a bestselling author, writes “When people lose their sense of self [in meditation], feeling a sense of oneness, [this] results in a blurring of the boundary between self and others…[with] no sense of space or passage of time.”

This feeling of oneness achieved through meditation results in feeling less lonely and separated, releasing a cascade of scientifically proven psychological and physiological benefits, in turn making you a happier and healthier person. While friends come and go, meditation will always be there for you!  

Changing The Brain With Meditation — Benefit #5:
Cultivate Compassion & Kindness With A Stronger Right Anterior Insula

How to Train Your Brain For Compassion & Kindness. There is truth to the old saying “Give and you shall receive.” Many people think happiness comes from achieving, acquiring, and receiving, but research says otherwise. Scientists are now finding that our greatest fulfillment comes from living a life of meaning. It is in compassion — helping others, feeling connected, where we are truly the happiest.

In fact, a brain imaging study at the National Institute of Health showed that our brains’ “pleasure centers” are activated when we donate to charity. Another study at the University of San Diego found that like wildfire, helping others spreads to everyone nearby.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai Lama

Compassion upgrades everything. There are also a host of health benefits that come from practicing kindness and compassion for others, like alleviating anxiety and depression, strengthening the immune system, and helping you live longer.

Did you know that there are certain brain regions activated when we practice compassion? And that we can do things to train our brains to make us more compassionate people? It’s true.

A highly-cited study, in 2012 UCLA School of Medicine researchers discovered the “right anterior dorsal insula” to be highly active during meditation. What’s the link? This happens to be the same brain area that lights up like a Christmas tree when we show authentic kindness and compassion toward others, as shown by University of Wisconsin neuroscientists’ brain imaging.

All this research means that it is now possible to reap the countless benefits that come from being a more compassionate person: greater happiness, more fulfillment, feeling that life is meaningful, and deeper connectedness.

Are you ready to be a beacon of light in a sometimes-dark world? It’s time to upgrade your brain — meditation is the key.

“Compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest self”. — Russell Simmons 

Healthy Brain & Meditation — Benefit #6:
Big Hippocampus, Little Depression

How to Exterminate Depression By Changing Your Brain. As 1 in 6 people suffer from depression sometime in their life, there is no shortage of people ready to put their brains under the microscope for a chance at a possible cure. Because of this, we are closer than ever to conquering this ugly mental health issue.

A 1996 University of Washington study measured the brains of 10 major clinical depression sufferers. What did they find?

The hippocampi of the depressed patients had atrophied considerably, with extra deterioration for each year since their diagnosis. If only there was an all-natural, super effective way to reverse this ugly brain weakening for depression sufferers? There is.

A 2008 study published in the Neuroimage Journal found that after only 8 weeks of meditation, the left and right hippocampi of participants had significantly grown in neural thickness, density, and overall size.

This incredible finding means that adding meditation to your daily routine can put your brain on a level too advanced for depression, while putting the depression wheels in reverse.

Like a baseball pitcher building up his shoulder muscles to prevent future breakdown, meditators have built up their hippocampi to levels that effectively makes them invulnerable to depression.

 

Super Brain Fitness & Meditation — Benefit #7:
Big Hippocampus, Big Memory / Learning / Study Skills

How to Learn Better By Changing Your Brain. Everybody has forgotten where they left their keys or blanked on a friend’s name. However, memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process, there are plenty of older people with perfect memory.

Why then, do some of us have good memories and others of us can’t even remember our coworkers’ names? It’s all in your head!

Dr. Larry Squire, a world-renowned psychiatrist at UC San Diego, published a groundbreaking paper titled “Memory, Hippocampus, and Brain Systems” — illustrating just how critical the hippocampus is in learning and memory. Pinpointing this key brain region has far-reaching implications for those looking to retain more information, do better in school, and move up the career ladder.

Grow your brain, remember everything. If only it was possible to build up your hippocampus? And, in effect, have a leak proof, ultra-enhanced memory with super-learning capacity?

Thankfully, prominent Harvard neuroscientist, Dr. Sara Lazar and colleagues, have studied the brains of meditators for years. Among many other monumental discoveries, her research shows that meditators’ brains seem to always have well-formed, highly developed Hippocampi.

Scientists of yesteryear would argue that people born with big and strong hippocampi were the only people with the capacity for super-learning and flawless memory. Luckily, we know better now.

If you want an air-tight memory with topnotch learning ability, then science agrees you should pick up meditation. 

Neuroplasticity & Meditation — Benefit #8:
Raise Your Emotional Intelligence & Emotional Awareness With A Fortified TPJ

How To Build A Bigger, More Emotionally Intelligent Brain. In decades’ past, most everyone agreed that the leading indicator for success was your IQ. Today, that is no longer the case. In his highly acclaimed, bestselling book, prominent psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman really opened the eyes of the scientific community by making the compelling case for “emotional intelligence” (EQ) as the #1 success determinant.

People high on the EQ chart tend to be successful at both work and play, having prosperous careers and long-lasting, fulfilling relationships. They tend to be altruistic, self-motivated, empathic, with the ability to love and be loved. In the years since his groundbreaking work, many prominent researchers have confirmed Dr. Goleman’s research, further validating his claims.

The brain & EQ. Since we aren’t born with a fixed amount of emotional intelligence, scientists have long sought ways to increase this elusive personality trait. After all, who doesn’t want to be more popular and successful?

A 2013 University of Illinois study looked at various brain areas during emotional intelligence centered activities, like social interaction. An amazing finding, the researchers identified one region, the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) to be prominently lit up on the brain scan images.

If only there was a proven way of building up this key brain area, and therefore, your EQ. There is!

Long thought to be a critical brain area for highly empathic, conscientious people, Harvard neuroscientists have shown that meditation builds up a big and strong “emotional intelligence” centered TPJ, as evidenced by Dr. Sara Lazar’s revolutionary work.

You can now use meditation to tap into your dormant emotional intelligence, opening your life up to a powerful and unique set of qualities: self-awareness, adaptability, empathy, self-motivation, emotional balance, and social grace. Supercharge your EQ, discover meditation! 

A Well Trained Brain Through Meditation — Benefit #9:
Finding Happiness With A Healthy Posterior Cingulate

How to Train Your Brain To Be Happy. We live in a busy world with a limitless supply of distraction. You cook dinner, surf the web, watch the kids, all while catching up on your favorite Netflix show.

But in the everyday scramble that is modern life, our preoccupations make us lose our connection with and appreciation for the present moment. It is so easy to lose touch with what we are doing and how we are actually feeling at any given time.

Did you take time to notice the freshly bloomed magnolias on your way to work? Did you pay attention to how refreshed you felt this morning after sleeping so soundly?

Meditation makes brains happy. Keeping your attention focused on the present, accepting the moment without judgment, has been studied extensively for its seemingly limitless supply of positive psychological benefits. Many scientists are now saying this focused, non-judgmental state is where we find our true happiness.

Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn has been paramount in bringing the practice of “mindfulness” into the mainstream scientific and medical communities. With its plethora of proven benefits, doctors are now even prescribing meditation to their patients!

Internationally acclaimed Harvard brain researcher, Dr. Sara Lazar, discovered that one particular brain region responsible for the “wandering mind”, the posterior cingulate cortex (PCT), becomes deactivated during meditation. What does this mean? Corralling the so-called “wandering mind” opens up a whole wonderful world of “present mind” benefits, cancelling out much of the real reason for unhappiness.

Maximize your potential. While it has long been known that practicing meditation is the key to cultivating mindfulness, it is a whole new ballgame to see the brain areas associated with heightened, present moment focus so easily forged and shaped by the millennia old practice.

It is human nature to want a more satisfying, fulfilling life. But very few of us really take the time to examine what it is that keeps us from our highest state of being. Meditation helps you to really savor the pleasures in life as they happen, helping you become fully engaged in the present moment.

By focusing on the here and now, mindfulness helps to weaken the grip of past regrets and future worries, effectively freeing you to live your life on the highest level possible. 

 

Super Healthy Brain & Meditation — Benefit #10
Sleep Better With A Powerful Pons

How to Train Your Brain For Better Sleep. We have all stared at the ceiling just hoping to finally fall asleep, salvaging our remaining three hours before its time to wake up for work.

However, chronic insomnia is much more than a minor inconvenience, it can take a major toll on your mood, health, energy levels, and your ability to perform your normal daily activities. In the long term, lack of sleep can contribute to a host of nasty health problems. Not fun.

Restful sleep is not just about making sure you lay in bed for at least eight hours per night, what matters most is the quality of your sleep.

Dreamtime brain science. If you still feel tired, drowsy, and fatigued after laying in bed all night, you are likely not getting enough deep, quality sleep. Spending sufficient time in the REM stage is critical to your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Luckily, scientists have studied the sleeping brain for decades, and now have a real grasp on its working components. Serving as the on/off switch to the REM stage of sleep, the funnily named, base of the brain originating “Pons” regulates the main dreamtime chemical: melatonin.

Weakness or abnormality within this critical brain region will prevent you from getting deep, restful sleep, plain and simple.

Meditation trains the sleeping brain. If only there was a proven way of building up this key brain area, and therefore, allow you to get life-nourishing sleep, night after night. There is!

Among many other brain areas, neuroscientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have shown that meditation builds up a big and strong sleep centered “Pons.” In fact, meditators have written whole books about their lucid dream abilities, which of course is impossible without ample time in deep-stage REM sleep.

If you want an all-natural, super effective solution to sleeping like a baby every night, then meditation is your go-to guy. 

 

Neuroplasticity uses Meditation to change one’s self image.  By chanting a descriptive phrase of who they are repetitiously as if it were fact, over time they are slowly but surely changing their self image accordingly and thereby changing their behavior to be more consistent with that self image.  In other words, “You will be as you think you are.”

One Man’s Opinion-Bud Brewer

ENDORSEMENT FROM ON HIGH

December 5, 2016: Many readers of this blog have heard me preach “You will be as you think you are” and wondered what in the world I was talking about. I am pleased to advise you that this statement, aimed at restructuring one’s brain cells not only reflects a belief that by doing so we are able to affect our self-image of who we are but, the concept was originated with one whose authority is unchallenged.  This morning, as I picked up my copy of the Desert Sun, a regional newspaper serving the residents of the Palm Springs, California area, I was struck by a headline in a columnist’s article that said: “Mind over Matter remains a mystery”.  The sub headline read “Jesus knew essence of quantum physics”.  Now I was really getting interested for if God endorsed the proposition that we humans are able to re-program our brain to effect the physical or mental profile which we would describe as to who we are, then we humans have almost unlimited power to re-build or re-construct our self-image.  Because we are only beginning to understand how to control our consciousness in order to produce a certain outcome, mind power remains an esoteric subject relegated to the realm of faith. However, medical research is teaming up with psychology to learn how the brain/mind converses with the body.  Conventional Science insists on an understanding how a procedure works and duplicating it in the laboratory- before recognizing it.

Meanwhile, as others reason why, the rest of us would do well to take instruction from that pre-eminent and pioneering “Mental Scientist” Jesus Christ, who said (according to Mark xi. 24, R.V. ): “All things whatsoever ye pray for, believe that ye have received them and ye shall receive them.”  Jesus may have known the essence of quantum physics but his audience did not so he chose words that would transcend –but not amend science. Note the different tenses.  He bids us first to believe a thing has already been accomplished, then its accomplishment will follow.  Thus the words I use today in my Mantra – “You will be as you think you are”, are consistent with his statement.  Norman Vincent Peal long ago packaged and labeled it “the Power of Positive Thinking”.  The action of the mind plants that nucleus which if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for the manifestation in the world in outward visible form.  In other words, as a man thinketh…so he is.  An example of how this works can be drawn from comparing the success of Tiger Woods and the typical professional golfer ten or fifteen yeats ago. Both are highly skilled but Tiger won more tournaments..  Why were his skills just that small degree better?  The answer was his self-image.  It caused him to work just a little bit harder than others did because that is what the best golfer in the world would do.  He constantly sought improvement.  He was on the practice range at dusk when others are in the bar room socializing. The difference was in how he applied and practiced his skills versus the typical work ethic of those who while thinking they can win a tournament, they don’t believe they are the best.  Tiger did think he was the best and for many years he did what the best would do. It comes down to a simple phrase from Troward Edinburg’s Lectures on Mental Science first appearing in 1904, “As a man thinketh, so he is” or as I say “You will be as you think you are!”

One Man’s Opinion-Bud Brewer

A quick glance at Trumponomics

November 27, 2016: One of my favorite political writers is George Will, columnist for the Washington Post.  I particularly like how he uses vocabulary in describing his views of the day.  He reminds me of the epitome of all conservative political speak, William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review magazine.  I used to watch him on TV when he would interview guests, mostly those with Liberal persuasion and more frequently than not overwhelm them with his rhetoric in response to their claims.  George Will wrote a column recently about the proposed spending by President-elect Trump of one half Trillion dollars on Infrastructure improvement.  In it he compared how various programs like President Roosevelt’s New Deal structures (Golden Gate Bridge, Boulder Dam, the Pentagon, etc.} were all built from concept to completion in 12-18 months whereas in recent years, a simple 232 foot bridge over Boston’s Charles river will end up taking over five years until completion.  This strange occurrence is the result of the excessive delays caused by a gaggle of regulators and “veto players” each with the power to block or delay, and each with their own parochial concerns.  Trump’s plan is expected to not only correct or improve the infrastructure but, as a fiscal stimulus, is expected to increase the number of employment opportunities thereby reducing unemployment.  Spending on Infrastructure was also included as a part of Hillary’s plan if she became President, so the necessary legislation probably will receive bipartisan support and it is likely to result in an early authorization for funding.  It further is likely that spending on infrastructure, under this probable scenario, will fall short of the President-elect’s expectations.  The problem comes with the necessary involvement with bureaucratic procedure, oversight and regulations.  Back in 1930, the Empire State Building in New York City was built from groundbreaking to completion in 14 months.   After seeing reconstruction of Manhattan’s Westside Highway take 35 years, Senator Danial Patrick Moynihan despaired that whereas America once celebrated people who built things, it now honors those who block building things.  New Deal spending gave the Nation wonderfully useful engineering marvels like those mentioned and others like the Grand Coulee Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority Flood Control System, however, it is noteworthy that during those New Deal projects under Roosevelt’s tenure, unemployment stayed at 14% or higher.  It only declined to what is considered a norm (5.00%) when the USA began to mobilize for its participation in World War II.  Furthermore, the political inclination is to direct this kind of spending to stagnant regions rather than to regions where economic dynamism is putting pressure on, and being dampened by inadequate infrastructure.

While it is a popular theme to propose prompt spending on Infrastructure to increase job opportunities, I believe the higher priority should be given to proposals to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15%, provide a low fixed rate of 10% for repatriation of corporate capital from offshore and the elimination of a substantial number of tax deductions.  In addition to a modest decrease in individual tax rates, I believe modifying and simplifying individual tax return preparation also would have a huge impact on the actual flow of tax revenues to the government.   But the expected benefits from these actions will necessarily be delayed for at least one or two years following the legislation to implement them.  That reality, however, should nevertheless allow strong increases in gross revenues as the economy has time to get into gear.

In this person’s opinion, however, the most effective and productive impact upon controlling and reducing the long term cost of government services will come from an overhaul of system operations for each sector of government.  Automate where possible, reduce duplication of effort and make available open access to relative data by all those with common use or need for its use in their job, improve procedures designed to improve productivity, and eliminate superfluous employee benefits. A very important change needs to be effected in organization and job description.  The authority, even if only limited, to exercise discretion in serving the public must be driven down the job responsibility chain to the lowest practical level.  When faced with a problem in which the SOP (standard operating procedure) is based on rules that are out dated or were created for general purpose, the individual who is faced with deciding how to proceed must be allowed to exercise judgement or be able to refer the problem to one who has discretionary power to act in a manner more fair or equitable, even if contrary to so called procedural rules. “Check the box” administration by employees in Government services must be terminated.

One Man’s Opinion-Bud Brewer

COLIN KAEPERNICK SACKED FOR A LOSS

September 4, 2016: American Football is the most popular professional sport in the United States.  The growth of the game has made a franchise like the “San Francisco Forty Niners’ worth close to or in excess of One Billion dollars.  Team insignias and paraphernalia are worn by fans of all ages and many know the names and statistics of each player on their favorite team.  The game attracts young men of both black and white skin to take part in this brutal sport.  For those who have skills, physical size and strength, it offers a special opportunity for the underprivileged to gain status in their high schools, college or earn economic security in professional sports.  One such individual is Colin Kaepernick who took advantage of those skills and is now a quarterback with the San Francisco Forty Niners professional football team.  Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Heidi (Zabransky) Russo, a 19-year-old white woman who was single and destitute at the time. His birth father, an African American, left before he was born.  Russo placed her son for adoption with Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, a white couple who had two other children—son Kyle and daughter Devon—and were looking for a boy after having lost two other sons to heart defects.

Colin Kaepernick began to play football and baseball in youth and junior leagues from the time he was 8 years old.  Although he achieved most of his accolades in high school as a baseball pitcher, his personal preference was the game of football.  He was almost 6′ 5″ as a senior, but weighed only 170 pounds and his coaches generally kept him from running the ball to limit his risk of injury. He also had poor throwing mechanics, despite his strong arm.  Although the University of Nevada Reno coaching staff frequently watched video of his Turlock California high school team, no one from the Nevada football staff came to Turlock to see him play during his senior football season. Nevertheless, Nevada head coach Chris Ault decided to offer him a scholarship after one of his assistants, saw Kaepernick dominate a high school basketball game on an evening he was suffering from a fever of 102 °F. Nevada was the only school to offer him a football scholarship in 2006, although Ault says that they were fairly certain Colin would accept one of the several Baseball scholarships offered to him, they were surprisingly relieved when he signed their offer in February of 2006.

A 4.0 GPA student, Kaepernick achieved national records for passing and running statistics during his college years at UNR reaching over 2000 yards passing and over 1000 running during each of his last three years.  He single handedly made his football team nationally recognized and Led the team to its best win-loss record in years.  He became a hero in the community of Reno and was admired by all sports fans and aspiring athletes.

In the 2011 NFL draft Colin Kaepernick was the fourth player picked. The San Francisco Forty Niners made him their 1st round draft pick.  Colin clearly became a hero to many young black men in all communities as an example of what can be achieved from a lot of hard work, dedication and high goals both in academics and on the athletic field.  Clearly rising to a point where he could influence many in the black community that there is a path out of minority victim status here in the United States.Then one Friday evening before his Forty Niners began a practice game when they played the Star Spangled Banner, Colin, who has adopted the Black Afro hair style, decided to join those who march in the streets waving “black lives matter” banners and crying “Pigs in a Blanket, fry ‘em like bacon”.  He chose to abandon the opportunity to use his celebrity platform for positive constructive influence among poor young people of color.  Given the platform of a sports celebrity and its potential to provide constructive leadership by example, he chose to desecrate and show disrespect for the very symbols of our county’s Liberty, and Freedom for peoples of all races living here in the United States of America.  He claimed his act was motivated by his belief that contrary to these principles this nation’s community police departments have become institutions of racial bigotry against people of color.

For many, his behavior looks like he decided to spit in the face of all those veterans and policemen and women who stand proudly at attention and salute their country’s flag, in respect for those whom died protecting our liberties and freedoms and personal security.  While those very freedoms guarantee Colin the right to protest in the way he did, his choice belies the fact that while still a work in progress, prejudicial treatment of people of color has been changing in a very positive manner if not a perfect one since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  We as a nation have moved and are moving from a divided people toward one nation with equal rights and treatment for all, the color of their skin notwithstanding.  On the one hand we have the first black man elected to the Presidency.  On the other we have mob action of a victim minded minority of black people rioting in the streets of many of our largest cities. While economic inequality still exists between the races in general, Colin Kaepernick is an example of what can be accomplished by those minorities who work hard embrace a positive personal image and take advantage of whatever opportunities are available no matter how modest they may be.

Instead of expressing his disrespect for a few of the thousands of brave young men in Blue who provide all of us with security and protection often at great personal risk, Colin could have and should have made the investment of some of his personal time and wealth in helping the disadvantaged inter-city kids to learn how to become more productive members of their community.  He has pledged over $1 Million to organizations that support civil rights, but anyone earning $100 Million can do that.  What is better is to use his prestige to influence the inter-city kids who like Colin began life at a serious disadvantage.

For many his act was as if he decided to spit in the face of all those veterans and police who stand proudly at attention and salute their country’s flag during the playing of our National Anthem.  Colin has decided to abandon his potential opportunity to become an important influence among minorities of this country.  He abandoned the high road and now will be thought of as nothing more than a tall Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton like person who advocates Black victimization and work against growing racial harmony here in the United States of America.  I think Colin made a huge mistake by his act and I hope he realizes it soon or the many cheers he has become used to hearing while playing his sport, will convert to boos or simple ambivolance.

One Man’s Opinion—Bud Brewer


[BB1]

The Rich are getting richer, Part I

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES

August 27, 2016: We hear a lot about income inequality these days particularly from the Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton. While many agree that the rich are getting richer while those in the middle class are experiencing stagnation in their incomes growth and the lower segment are actually losing real income, you may say so what? Isn’t this a meritocracy wherein those who work hard to get educated and then apply that to creating wealth produce what America is supposed to be all about? Well, yes that is true and the fact that we have a Democracy form of government, we should experience a record of individual ascension to levels of wealth and higher incomes if that system was working correctly.

James Stone, A business leader and esteemed economic thinker outlines 5 elements of American exceptionalism in his recent book “5 Easy Thesis”. “America today confronts a host of urgent problems, many of them seemingly intractable, but some we are entirely capable of solving. In his book, Stone presents specific, common-sense solutions to a handful of our most pressing challenges, showing how simple it would be to shore up Social Security, rein in an out-of-control financial sector, reduce inequality, and make healthcare and education better and more affordable. The means are right in front of us, Stone explains, in various policy options that — if implemented — could preserve or enhance government revenue while also channeling the national economy toward the greater good.”

That statement sounds like the same old social progressive ideas of the Left that all we need to do is increase taxes, spend more on infrastructure like roads bridges and schools, welfare and increase subsidies for Solar and Wind technology. Well it is not quite that far left but it does explain and offer some solutions to the restoration of better balance between those in the top 10% of incomes and wealth than is currently driving the economy into lower and lower growth rates. Stone describes how the preference for debt rather than equity in corporate America is depriving many employees of the opportunity to participate in the growth of their employer companies. The Federal Reserve and its zero interest rate monetary policy has contributed greatly to this phenomenon. Why should corporate management not take advantage of the availability of capital at a cost of 3% or so to fund expansion or acquisitions rather than issue more dilutive equity capital stock to employees or the public when they can leverage their 6 to 15% profit margins to their own benefit. This was not the case when borrowing capital from bond investors cost a company 6-15% per annum and profits could be squeezed during down business cycles. Over the past 10 years, even though employee investment in 401k or IRA retirement accounts were an option, unless there was a  discount provided from a matching contribution by employers, the motivation to invest was blunted to the extent that whatever final result was available, it was more modest than previous years. In fact, it has been reported that over 51% of employees don’t take advantage of matching contributions to a retirement fund largely the result I suspect that today’s middle class place a higher priority upon present life style than saving for retirement.

The consequences of this and other factors is that the wealth generated by principal and controlling stock holders in many American companies has been generated by disproportionate growth resulting from leveraging their capital as well as an increase in productivity brought about by application of technology and its reduction in the labor required to do the job. This last factor contributes to the oversupply of labor skills in certain areas and thus places a lid over their value.

Hidden from this process is the fact that executive salaries have been easy to increase by management since the same leverage working for them is working for the individual and institutional investor. Executive salaries of multi millions of dollars coupled with golden parachutes or special stock options have risen largely because of the semi ambivalence by shareholders or by customers for the rise in price of the product or service provided. If the Board of Directors hears no objection from the shareholders to increasing executives’ salaries by 20-30% or more, then why not do it. The added cost to a consumer for acquisition of a product or service is hardly noticed when the leverage producing gains in profits causes the company’s stock to rise, sometimes disproportionately. As a result, incomes paid to executives have become way out of proportion to the real value they contribute to the company. The claim that the executive is solely or almost entirely responsible for the rise in a stock price is just not true, yet it is an easy explanation by Board members for why they have approved such increases.

These conclusions and assumptions are not true in every case but they are a significant proportion of the circumstances that have caused such a disproportionate rise in Executive incomes when compared to the middle class. We will have more on the Rich are getting richer in future.

One Man’s Opinion- Bud Brewer

WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER

August 23, 2016: Long known as a premier provider of political influence, Bill Clinton formed the Bill Clinton Charitable Foundation as a 501.c.3 qualified nontaxable charitable entity structured to raise operating funds for the purpose of providing charitable services to people in countries around the World.  From its modest beginnings, the Clinton Foundation has grown into a billion-dollar business with assets estimated by the “Charity Navigator” to be valued today at over $500 Million.  Bill and Hillary Clinton, who in 1997 began their effort to create a “God Father” like image for Bill Clinton have thus served his desire to become a “Vito Corleone” persona like influence over Domestic and Global Politics, national and international corporations and governments a la the portrayal by Marlin Brando in the Francis Ford Coppola 1972 film, “The Godfather”.

The scheme started out as a simple effort to raise money for the creation of the Bill Clinton Presidential Museum.  But in their efforts to raise money through a “Make them an offer they can’t refuse” approach, they discovered a pathway toward influential control of worldwide political systems and government agents, including those of the United States.  Their ultimate goal is for a platform for exploiting this influence from the White House and Hillary’s position as its occupant, the President. On this road, Bill Clinton, with the help of a friendly media, key political advisers and donations of Billions of Dollars to their foundation for influence, he has emerged as the King of influence and admired by millions as a man of great stature. I guess you could say, as most of his supporters will, he has an extraordinary skill to tell it like it is and his experience and knowledge (and his influence) are a value worth millions.  Bill and Hillary have become very wealthy!

Now I want to introduce you to an American hero as related on Wikipedia. ” No Easy Day”: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden (2012) is a military memoir authored by Matt Bissonnette under the pen name Mark Owen, a former member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) who participated in the mission that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. The book details Owen’s career with DEVGRU, including several combat missions in which he participated with the unit. At least half of the book focuses on Owen’s participation in the mission that killed bin Laden.

Owen and his publisher’s decided to release the book without first submitting it for United States Department of Defense (DOD) review generated controversy. The DOD claims that the book contains classified information, which the book’s publisher denies. In late August 2012, advance publicity drove the book to the top of the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com best seller lists, bumped up the initial print run from 300,000 copies to 575,000, and led the publisher to release the book on September 4, a week earlier than the originally planned September 11th release date. It also made the New York Times bestseller list.

In the book, Owen chronicles his upbringing in Alaska and his long desire to be a SEAL. He recounts the rigors of his entry into DEVGRU and describes several operations in which he participated with the group in Iraq and Afghanistan. Owen also tells about his involvement in the Maersk Alabama high jacking rescue operation. Throughout, he describes the camaraderie, professionalism, and dedication of his teammates during extremely demanding training and dangerous combat missions.

The second half of the book details Owen’s participation in the raid that targeted Bin Laden.  Owen writes that he was one of the team members present on the third-floor room of Bin Laden’s compound when the terrorist leader was killed. In the months followng the mission, Owen retired and began writing the book with the journalist Kevin Maurer. Owen says the book accurately portrays DEVGRU’s relationship and involvement with Operation Neptune’s Spear.

Owen states that most of the proceeds from the book will be donated to families of SEALs killed in action.  Shortly after the book’s announcement, Owen’s identity was revealed as Matt Bissonnette and the Department of Defense confirmed that he was the author.  In early September 2012, a former SEAL, Brandon Webb, said he had learned Owen had decided to write the book after a “slight” from the U.S. Navy shortly before he separated from the service. According to Webb, when Owen told his comrades on SEAL Team Six that he was going to leave the service, he was ostracized by his leadership and ordered to return to his home base, although his unit was in the middle of a training exercise.  The book’s publisher disputed Webb’s account, repeating co-author Maurer’s statement that for media appearances, including an interview on 60 Minutes, Owen appeared incognito.

In August 2016, he was ordered to return his royalties of US $6.8 million to the US federal government along with any further profits from the book or movie rights.  Now, I ask you: What is the difference between Bissonnette and the Clintons benefiting from acts that involve the  claim of a violation of government rules for making public some information that is allegedly secret????  One has public humiliation and a decimating  financial penalty while the other gets the White House.

One Man ‘s Opinion-Bud Brewer

GOVERNMENT FUNDING DOMESTIC TERRORISM

August 8, 2016: Recent headlines have claimed that the Obama Administration is and has been funding foreign terrorism through an agreement to pay millions of dollars to Iran under terms negotiated in a deal to get them to cease attempting to build a nuclear bomb. At least that is the story given to the Media.  Mysteriously the long period in which Iran has held 4 American hostages ceased at the same moment when pallets of currency equal to $400,000 000 were taken off a plane in the middle of the night at Tehran’s International Airport and concurrently the hostages were released to American custody. The appearance of the money transfer being a ransom for the release of the hostages was denied vehemently by the Administration, however, what has become expected in this Administration is often reflected as in the saying, “, If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it just may be a duck.

I don’t know why anyone would doubt that this Obama Administration in its perverted belief that funding the legal wherewithal for the IRS to harass the American Taxpayer is justified any more than paying a ransom to recover political prisoners, but both are subsidizing terrorism.  If you, as a member of a partnership, have ever been caught in the trap of being subject to an IRS penalty assessment for late filing of the 1065 partnership return under legislation known as U.S. CodeTitle 26Subtitle FChapter 68Subchapter BPart I › § 6698 , you may know what I mean.

In 2010, the Congress passed this bill which specifically was written to provide an excessive, by any definition, penalty for late filing of their 1065 tax return by those partnerships or Corporate LLCs that pass through income or loss to their members.  These members then are responsible to include their share of such income or losses in their personal returns.  The Partnership 1065 return is only an information return that displays all partner’s interest as well as other information about the company, but the partnership itself does not pay any of the taxes due from the earnings or gains of the partnership.

The Bill states that for late filing of the 1065 return, a partnership shall be assessed a penalty calculated by the product of multiplying the number of partner’s times an arbitrary amount of $195 for each month that a return continues late up to a maximum of 12 months.  There is a provision in the rules that outlines a basis for a favorable consideration of abatement if the partnership meets certain qualifications.  Domestic partnerships usually meet all those requirements except the limited number of partners.  The penalty described will not be abated even if it meets all the other conditions if it has more than 10 members.

In an example case, in July of 2015, the Managing Director of three family partnerships received notices from the IRS that they had not received the 1065 returns for each of the three partnerships for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. As a consequence, they were assessing each partnership a penalty of $82,500.  This notice notwithstanding, the financial officer for all three companies, who up until two years prior had been CFO and COO of a large independent company, did file the 1065 returns but the hard copy records were no longer available after her former employer sold his company and the certified mail receipts and hard copies of her personal records were removed and discarded by the new owner.

These penalties of almost $250,000 have no relationship to any possible damages caused by the alleged crime.  They are excessive, unfair and unjust and discriminate against these small family partnerships when compared with IRS rules for penalties assessed against individuals, class C corporations or tax exempt companies.  That figure of $82,500 per company represents over 40% of the asset value of the smallest of the three family partnerships and is particularly punitive to the youngest members of the partnerships as these funds were providing funding for their undergraduate and graduate education.

U.S. CodeTitle 26Subtitle FChapter 68Subchapter BPart I § 6698 has given excessive power to the IRS without authority to exercise judgment and thus that organization has become an agent of Terrorism.  Members of Congress who voted for it and President Obama who signed it should be ashamed of themselves for creating a rule that contains a formula that produces a penalty that has no relationship to the assets, revenue or earnings of the partnership affected.  The rule provides for abatement only to those partnerships with ten or fewer partners.  What logic is that?  The rule is so specific relative to the use of a dollar amount ($195) to be used in the calculation of a penalty but then it includes a variable in the number of partners to allow abatement. I wonder who and why the specific dollar figure and number of partners for abatement was selected.  In these family partnerships, the biggest losers will be the children whose savings had been invested for their health and retirement and the grandchildren whose opportunity for education and well-being will be impaired.  Is there any wonder that the hard working folks out there are totally disgusted with the way our government runs?

One Man’s Opinion- Bud Brewer

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

July 27, 2016: The path toward peaceful racial integration in America has experienced some major disruption over the last few months.  Our police have been subjected to a rising number of incidents where members of community police departments have been ambushed and shot to death (69 in 2016) by one or more black men influenced by anti-police statements and videos by fellow black groups.  The executioners were likely influenced by the reports and videos of police struggling with people of color whom they were trying to restrain and when one called out “He has a gun”, the other officer took out his weapon and shot the black man point blank in the chest several times.  Was this action justified by reasonable threat of life?  It hardly seemed so as viewed on the video. Watching it certainly could influence one who already believed the police to be racists as declared by the many in the black community marching under the banner “Black Lives Matter” while chanting: “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon”. The protest marches have been organized in reaction to the several incidents of police shootings of black men resisting arrest, some quite young. These feelings have manifest in the form of violent reaction by some to the perception that they have justification in seeking out and shooting and killing members of the very individuals dedicated to protect them and their neighbors.  While some headlines have promoted the doubt that any police encounter with a black perpetrator of a criminal act that ends up with a shooting can be classed as justified, the facts usually support it.  But there is a half dozen shootings that are clearly in question thus fueling the fires of Black Lives Matter propaganda.

What is the answer to this dilemma? I believe that the Leaders of the Black Communities need to begin preaching forgiveness of the acts of Slavery in place 150 years ago.  They need to preach the spirit of change and let the historical fact go by voicing the mantra:  I forgive you! Let’s move forward together to a better future.  Will it work?  Over time yes, like Martin Luther King’s statement about judging others by their character rather than the color of their skin, it will begin to sink in to the young people who persist in declaring themselves as victims of the white society.  This attitude will lead nowhere but to continued unhappy lives struggling to achieve some sort of satisfaction from bellowing about the unfair treatment they receive.  In reality, we have come a long way since the Emancipation Proclamation. Desegregated our public institutions, sports activities, housing developments, etc.  Passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the nation’s premier civil rights legislation. The Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, required equal access to public places and employment, and enforced desegregation of schools and the right to vote. We have elected a black man as President and black men and women to many of the government’s highest positions, including the Congress and the Supreme Court.  Members of the black community have been selected to head up important Agencies. Rights and privileges have extended to men and women of all races.  Yes, it is time for forgiveness and black citizens who begin do so will change the minds and negative attitude of those opposed to the Black Lives Matter as well as those embracing it.  They will change their personal perception of being victims. But you may say whites are simply too racist to notice. I disagree, they will have a mind change when the black man or woman faced with some racist like statement or action just says “I forgive you”, now let’s join together to achieve what is possible.  The white man’s racial attitude will melt like butter.  There is no better feeling or urge to do better than that resulting from being forgiven for doing an evil act.  We can do it!

One Man’s Opinion- Bud Brewer

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