Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Written by Ryan Holiday
A book review By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, August 30, 2018
(Note, everything in underlined is a link to a related Internet site)


I purchased the Summary by mistake; that is what I actually read.  You can easily read it in an hour or less but the lessons could and should last you a lifetime!

It would be impossible to write a review of the book/summary as every page contains words, phrases, quotes, entire paragraphs, and entire chapters worthy of highlighting and mentioning.  Suffice it to say that if you want a better and more successful life, and who doesn't, this book will help you to achieve it. Some who may read the book will say “they knew all this before,” but did they?  Over one’s lifetime you acquire knowledge a lot of which is contained in this book but that takes years to learn when you can read it in a short period of time. If you apply the lessons of this book, you will learn to put obstacles in their proper place and work through them or around them to reach your desired result.  It is a wonderful “how to” book to help you to succeed.

I spent more than 33 years in the real estate business and can only imagine what my career would have looked like had I had material like this book to guide me along the way.  Sadly books like Holiday’s book are readily available and it has been said that fewer than 5% of people in sales ever read a book, not even one book on sales.  Holiday’s book provides a path that is easy to follow that would empower the reader to change little things in the way he or she approaches life and life’s obstacles (problems).  A quote from the book explains it all: 

“Choose not to be harmed – and you won’t feel harmed.
Don’t feel harmed – and you haven’t been.”
Marcus Aurelius

The real test lies in these questions that I ask myself whenever I finish reading a book:

Will I read it again?  ABSOLUTELY!
Will I give it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY and in fact I am already looking into ordering quite a few copies for this coming Christmas
Who should read it?  EVERYONE, bar none!  But especially if you are self-employed, an independent contractor or involved in sales in any form.  What I wouldn't have given to have this book in my hands the DAY BEFORE I started my real estate career more than 40 years ago.

Friday, August 24, 2018


By Dinesh D’Souza
A book review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown August 24, 2018

Perspective:  I am 73 years old, went to public schools in the 50’s and 60’s and like most kids of that era we took classes on history and civics.  My history classes consisted mostly of American history, in fact I do not remember ever taking any courses on World History.  Our civics classes dealt mostly with government organization as it was in the 50’s and 60’s, not how it grew to the massive government we now live with.  With that being the case, I can assure you that nowhere in my recollection of my training in history was I ever exposed to some of the details contained in D’Souza’s book(s).  For me it was an eye-opener!  The following paragraphs in quotes are taken directly from the book.  I thought that a direct quote referring to something you the reader may or may not know would be the best example of the facts contained in the book.  The following six paragraphs are as they appear in the book in the order they were presented.  Fact check them if you don’t believe them.

“The magnificent scope of Republican Reconstruction can be seen in three landmark constitutional amendments: the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment extending equal rights under the law to all citizens; and the Fifteenth Amendment granting blacks the right to vote. These amendments went beyond unbinding the slave and making him a freeman; they also made him a U.S. citizen with the right to cast his ballot and to the full and equal protection of the laws.

These amendments represented the most important moment for American constitutionalism since the Constitution was first drafted and ratified. The entire civil rights movement of the 1960s would be impossible without them.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 relied heavily on the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on the Fifteenth Amendment.

Yet progressive (those left of the political center) historical accounts as well as progressive textbooks say very little about the debate over the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The reason becomes obvious when we break down the partisan vote on those amendments. One might have thought that after the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment would be a fait accompli. One might expect that every Democrat—at least every Northern Democrat represented in Congress—would now vote for it. In fact, only sixteen of eighty Democrats did.

 Let’s pause to digest that for a minute. Even in the aftermath of the Civil War, so strong was their attachment to the plantation that an overwhelming majority of Northern Democrats refused to vote to permanently end slavery. Again, we are speaking of Northern Democrats; Southern Democrats who may have been expected to vote against the amendment were not permitted to vote at all. And when the Thirteenth Amendment went to the states for ratification, only Republican states carried by Lincoln voted for it; Democratic states that went for McClellan all voted no.

On the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Democratic Party’s performance was even more disgraceful. Not a single Democrat, either in the House or the Senate, voted for either amendment. To repeat, these were not Southern Democrats who were excluded from voting; these were Northern Democrats so averse to extending equal rights under law or voting rights to blacks that not a single one of them could bring himself to vote for either measure. So the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments can be considered exclusively Republican achievements, since no Democrats contributed to making them part of the Constitution.”

The book is filled with such FACTS that anyone can fact check.  The Death of a Nation is a history book that I doubt a great many Americans such as me have ever heard before.  I remember the Civil War taking up a short section in our text books and it basically read that there was a war where a lot of people were killed and it involved the North fighting the South and visa versa over the subject of slavery and that the North won the war.   Before you say I am wrong on the brevity of that statement, ask yourself about how much YOU know about the Civil War as it was taught in schools not what you might have later read in books or watched in a documentary?

This is a tremendous read!  It is also a disheartening read.  It shows America as it was as it was being built and molded.  What you read about on almost every page will turn your stomach. 

If you consider yourself left of center you probably will NOT read the book or watch the movie and therein is the problem.  Those who make that decision will continue with a belief system that may be based on flawed and misleading information.  Those to the right of center will read and/or watch the movie and they may be surprised as I was as to how bad American history was “back in the day.”   After all these years, a lot has not gotten much better as D’Souza points out.

I have read many Twitter posts of people who criticize the book/movie claiming that the facts contained in each are lies told by D’Souza.  But in all of their posts, no one has ever given even one example of such a lie contained in the book/movie.  They assume he is lying but provide no proof and that is the worst kind of criticism.  People do not seem to understand that he pendulum swings in both directions.  What people on the Left of Center believe to be permissible behavior by those Left of Center could very easily be on the receiving end of such treatment when the pendulum evenutally swings in the other direction.

Who should read the book?  Every American from the 5th grade and above and especially those who call themselves Democrats.  I grew up in a Democratic city in Ohio.  I actually liked what I saw in JFK but the Democratic Party depicted in this book is NOT the party of JFK but instead has become an extension of Woodrow Wilson, FDR and more recently LBJ and Obama.  If you fact check the book you will understand why that particular legacy is not a good thing.  Would I read the book again?  Probably not; don’t need to read it twice to understand it. I will go see the movie.  Would I give the book as a gift?  That is a great question because someone buying it as a gift may be just wasting their money if the recipient makes no attempt to read it.  Again, anyone left of the political center will most likely choose NOT to read it and some will even criticize it; both definitely their loss.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Most OF What I Now Know, I Did NOT Learn In Schools!

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, August 12, 2018

It was over THIRTY years ago and I remember it as if it were yesterday.  The lesson learned has been so vividly etched in my mind I doubt I will forget it nor will I ever tire of passing the message along to anyone who will listen; hopefully you.

I retired from the U. S. Coast Guard in 1985 after twenty years service.  Most of my Coast Guard duties in my two specialties Personnel Administration and Merchant Marine Safety required a great deal of reading of government prepared instructions and manuals.  I would then teach others the contents of those instructions and manuals.  If you have never been involved with the Federal Government you have no idea how boring and tiresome reading that type of material and language can be. It’s like reading materials written by attorneys.  You have to understand legalize before you can understand what they have written or attempting to convey to the non-legal reader.

I was first licensed as a Real Estate Salesperson in May, 1980 about five years BEFORE I retired from the Coast Guard.  It was clear, at least to me, that if I applied myself to real estate sales, there was no upper limit to my potential income provided I knew what to do and when to do it.  But keep in mind I was a teacher in the Coast Guard; I enjoyed teaching others.  Almost from the first day of becoming licensed, I created a life’s mission statement.  I think it was Sales Trainer Roger Butcher who suggested having one.  Mine was and remains:

To help others do what they do to do it better!

Then I took a page from Joe Tye who created the Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ) principle and I put my life’s mission statement to practical use.  I would constantly ask myself the question.  “Is what I am about to say or do consistent with my desire to help others do what they do to do it better?”  If the answer was YES, I would say or do it.  If the answer was NO, I wouldn’t.  It really is that simple.  I have written about this process many times in the past; it never gets old because it never fails to work.

Now the year is 1986.  I was selling real estate for a small independent real estate company in Slidell, Louisiana.  The phone rang.  It was a miracle.  I had set a goal but told no one.  The goal was to manage a full service real estate office where I could put my management skills (from the Coast Guard) and my teaching skills (also from the Coast Guard) to good use by teaching agents new to the real estate business how to list and sell real estate.  Keep in mind, I told no one of this goal.  Yet here was a call from the Vice President of a large franchise real estate company in the New Orleans area asking if I would be interested in managing their office about 25 miles from where I lived and worked.

I jumped at the opportunity.  Gave my current real estate broker a thirty day notice and then sat back and began to think about what I had just accepted.  The new office had about 25 agents and was located in a great residential area in Louisiana where sales were good as were the incomes generated through real estate sales.  Then as I am sure happens to just about everyone, you begin to doubt your own talents as I began to doubt mine.  That is when the second unsolicited miracle happened.

I was thumbing through a magazine while I waited to get the oil changed in my car.  I say “thumbed” through because I rarely if ever actually read anything anymore because that is all I had done for twenty years in the Coast Guard.  I had no desire or intention of reading much of anything.  Yet there it was, an advertisement for a Cassette Tape Instruction entitled Creating Teamwork by Lee Shelton.  And yes you can still get the tapes by clicking on the blue link above.  I don’t remember how much the tapes were but given that I was about to embark on a new position where creating teamwork seemed to be the order of the day, price was not a consideration; I purchased the tapes.

I listened to those tapes over and over and then over again before I started my new management position and it was unquestionably the BEST thing I could have ever done.  The tapes helped me to understand the importance of several tasks required of me to be a successful manager no matter what the line of business.  I can trace all the good things that happened in my real estate sales/management career back to those tapes. Over the years I became a friend of Lee Shelton.  He would often joke to his audiences that I had listened to the tapes so much I could give the presentation to them without notes.  He was close to the truth.  Therefore my advice to you and to anyone who would listen would be to: 


It is impossible to read and/or listen enough or more than you thought you could.  Read smf listen to everything but especially those books, tapes and articles that enable you to do whatever it is you do to do it better each and every day for the rest of your life!  Shelton suggested that everyone should start by FIRST reading I’m Okay; You’re Okay written by Dr. Thomas A. Harris every six months until you fully understand it.  That was the first book I had actually read since graduating high school in 1963.  That is NOT something I am very proud of but given all the mundane and boring federal publications I had read every workday, I was just not interested in reading so I didn’t.  Bad decision!  I can honestly say that most of what I know today I learned AFTER the age of 42 and therefore NOT in schools; more importantly AFTER I read I’m Okay; You’re Okay!  Since then, I have read well over 1200 books; I’m now 73.  That averages over 35 books a year.  I’m not telling you this to brag, I’m telling you this to emphasize that IF you want to be the BEST at whatever it is you do, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN ON ITS OWN VOLITION.   YOU must create a SELF-EDUCATION PLAN because no one will do it for you no matter how good or well intentioned your employer may be.

After you become a constant reader, you will eventually be faced with an issue or a problem in your life or career as I have often been.  Then suddenly I would recall something I had read or listened to yesterday or 35 years ago.  Our brains never forget; mine certainly didn’t.  We unconsciously forget things, I know, I always do.  But when faced with that problem or issue, BINGO!  There’s the answer or the place to get the answer that suddenly appears in your thoughts.  Had you NOT read or listened to anything, this cannot and will not happen for you.

Here is a lesson from one of my favorite authors/speakers, Jeffrey Gitomer:

“To get everything you want in life, just help someone else get what they want – FIRST!”

As Gitomer points out, many, many people have said similar things over hundreds of years and just about everyone has taken credit for it.  The difference between what Gitomer said and most if not all of the others is he added the one word FIRST to it.  Therefore, if YOU become the best YOU can be, you can’t help but help others become the best THEY can be.  Then YOU pay it forward and ask them to do the same!

How do you become the best you can be?  Create your Self-Education Plan and then work your plan and let no one or anything stop you – PERIOD!  “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”  William H. Johnson.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Where Do YOu Stand; or Not?

Where Do You Stand; or Not?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, August 5, 2018
NOTE:  Anything in BLUE and underlined is a searchable link

Many years ago I coined a phrase based on a famous quote.  Who knew that 25 years later it would reflect the political environment in America?  What’s the phrase?

You either lead, or you follow;
or you stand on the side of the road and throw stones at those leading.

Can’t you see it?  This is where I believe we are as a society at this very moment in time in America.  Consider this excerpt from an article I discovered on the Internet:

Most countries that fall apart, however, do so not with a bang but with a whimper. They fail not in an explosion of war and violence but by being utterly unable to take advantage of their society’s huge potential for growth, condemning their citizens to a lifetime of poverty. This type of slow, grinding failure leaves many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America with living standards far, far below those in the West.

America IS falling apart and it is NOT from an attack by a foreign enemy. I understood fear as a child. In the 1950’s we were taught as students in elementary school to take cover from a nuclear attack by hiding beneath our desks as if that would actually protect us.  In case you do not believe me:

Today it appears America is under attack from undisclosed “elites.”  What do I mean by “elites?” Simply put, “elites” by my definition are those people who have come to believe that they and only they know what is good for everyone else not just in America but also in the World. Are you familiar with the term, “The Talented Tenth?”  I had never heard of the term until I read Burgess Owens book Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps.  It is a great read!

Owens’ referred to the term “The Talented Tenth” a term advanced by author W.E.B. DuBois in which he described how the top ten percent of people in the Black Race considered themselves as being better educated and had more knowledge than the remaining 90 percent of the Black Race and therefore they self-determined that they are in fact the “leaders” of the entire Black Race.  You can observe this happening within America today by just observing how the Black Politicians use their position of power to first enhance their own personal financial lives and then by passing laws that keep the 90 percent in their “place.”   There are numerous non-politicians like the Jesse Jackson’s, and Al Sharpton’s of the world who also consider that they are better than everyone else.  Only they know what is best for everyone else and therefore they and only they can effectively lead the rest of us.

The Talented Tenth does not apply ONLY to Blacks!  When YOU (someone within the Talented Tenth) can get OTHERS (those in the remaining 90 percent) to follow and support you unconditionally, you have effectively marginalized the 90 percent and therefore of little consequence to the “big picture” except at election time.  In effect the 90 percent have become “useful idiots” for the 10 percenters. 

What is a “useful idiot” you might be asking.  Here is a great definition:

A propagandist for a cause of whose goals they ARE NOT FULLY AWARE and who is USED CYNICALLY by the LEADERS OF THE CAUSE.

“A propagandist” would be one of the people within the 90 percent.  “The Leaders” would be a member of the 10 percent.”  But key words in the definition become “ARE NOT FULLY AWARE.”  That is the secret as to how it works.  People basically do not like doing the dirty work so they do everything within their power to get someone else to do it for them.  They also recognize that as the number of people who become “useful idiots” increase, the easier it becomes to achieve the goals of “The Leader(s).” 

Consider the excerpt above as to why countries fail and then apply it to 2018 America.  Can’t you see it?  The 10 percent are pulling the strings and in many cases paving the way for such groups as ANTIFA.  The 10 percent have covertly encouraged violence to achieve their goals.  We are no longer a Democratic Republic where elections are held and then everyone simply goes about their lives.  Today it seems like the results of a great many elections are challenged through protests, through violence and through the courts.  I seriously doubt our Founding Fathers, as intelligent as they were, ever imagined our America in 2018.

Both as a disclaimer and as an example I cite my own life.  I believed I properly vetted then Senator Barrack Obama and discovered that there were so many very questionable concerns in his background I could never vote or support him as a future President.  What did I discover?  Both of his parents were devout Communists.  He was not only mentored by devout Communist mentors and teachers, he sought them out.  His presidential campaign was initiated with help of members of the American Domestic Terrorist group, The Weather Underground.  These concerned me deeply.  But in America we had an election and not only did Obama win, he also won a re-election.  Did I like the election results?  Absolutely not but in America the winner of the election takes office and in the recent past Americans simply got on with their lives. 

Enter President Trump.  I have never particularly liked Donald Trump as I knew him to be.  But I disliked like what Bill and Hillary Clinton had done TO America and for THEMSELVES far more than a superficial dislike of Trump.  I voted for what I then considered the “lesser of two evils” but I voted; I did not sit out the election as I first intended.  In 2016 like in years past, I considered the election as being over.  History has shown that was simply not the case as we now learn of all the covert actions by some within our own government that have set their sights on removing Trump from office – legally or illegally!  Not because he has done anything illegal; no it is far worse than that.

We seem to be in a war between two sides.  Not Democrat vs. Republican.  Not Progressive/Liberal vs. Conservative.  It is a lot more serious than that – those competitions have existed for hundreds of years.  Today we are in a war between those in America that want to become a government based on Socialism and those who want to remain a government based on Capitalism.  It would not be much of a war PROVIDED the combatants knew exactly what Socialism meant but I fear they do not.  Is history being taught in our schools any longer?  Do the youth of America know who fought in WWII and why they fought?  Do those in support of Socialism know that NAZI means National SOCIALIST Workers Party of Germany?  Do those in support of Socialism know that USSR means Union of Soviet SOCIALST Republics?  The key word being SOCIALISM!   Is that the type of controlling government you want or that you want for your children and their children?  Just look to Venezuela in 2018 – it is falling apart under Socialism.  A once great country with abundant energy resources is now bankrupt and the Venezuelan people are suffering terribly.  Even knowing this, there is a movement within America to turn America from Capitalism to Socialism.  Many within the Democratic Party now refer to themselves as Democratic Socialists, whatever that means. Why?

The answer is far too involved to include in this Nugget but I direct you the reader to several terms you can research on the Internet.  The Bilderberg Group, Agenda 21 and Agenda 30.  All three represent the 10 percenters throughout the world who believe that they and only they know what is best for the rest of the world.  They can only get to that point when the larger governments of the world fail and then a new world government steps in to explain to the 90 percent that they know how to fix the world’s problems.  When governments fail, the citizens of those countries would then welcome any outside party that would provide a resolution even if that means giving up their freedom, their liberty and their money.  That would mean a New One World Government would be given total control of the world.  It is nothing more than a global power and money grab. 

I have always been taught and believed that it was best not to get involved in politics or politicians or worry about what is happening both around the world and in America because there was so little that I could actually do to change anything so why worry about it.  To some degree that remains a valid argument until you realize that we are now engaged in a war of survival for Capitalism or surrendering to Socialism.  And less you do not understand Socialism as evidenced throughout the world for centuries, eventually leads to Communism and that eventually leads to Nazism/Fascism – or total control by just one man or woman or small group of men and women over EVERYONE ELSE including you and me!   In 1958 The Communist Party USA created 45 very specific objectives to overthrow our U. S. Government.  Read them, memorize them, most if not all have already been achieved, especially #15.  You can read them all at:  IF you read them, and if you apply today’s events to them, you will realize they are much closer than you could have ever imagined.

I served in the U. S. Coast Guard for twenty years.  Every day Coast Guard Men and Women put THEIR lives at risk to save the lives of people they have never met and they have done so since 1790.  America has become the U. S. Coast Guard for the world where people from all parts of the world risk THEIR lives to come to the freedoms, liberties and opportunities that America has offered since 1776. 

If Socialism is the choice of my children, their children etc, then so be it.  For me, I choose Capitalism and the Freedoms and Liberties that it has afforded Americans including my children and their children since America was first founded.  Now those who come to America to escape the horrors of THEIR country want to change America into a replica of THEIR country by any means possible.  I can no longer just sit by and watch my country be torn apart by the “useful idiots” on behalf of the 10 Percenters.  Or in the words of Patrick Henry over 200 years ago:

Patrick Henry could just as easily have said:

Either way, the end result is the same!