Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


A country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life

Thomas Jefferson:

“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

As the US stock market has seen a climb in the last month and rumors of the economy ‘bottoming out’ have spread I have begin to see a shift in the attitudes of the citizens of this great nation. You hear it on the news, see it in the papers and it gets talked about in coffee shops. “Things just might be looking up“, they say. “Maybe this is the beginning of a brighter day” is replies the other mocha latte cappuccino with whipped cream and cinnamon drinker.

I am reminded of a story, a parable of sorts, that I often shared with people I taught back when I lived in Africa.

A man is rafting down a river when he loses both of his oars. Drifting down the river he soon hears the rushing sounds of cascading water and the realization that he is heading towards the top of a very large waterfall forces his mind to search for a solution. Unable to swim and left without a means to paddle to the shore he begins to pray to the Almighty for assistance. Just before the man and his vessel tumble over the falls the man notices a tree branch hanging out over just far enough over the river that he can jump and grasp the limb. Leaping, quite literally for his life, he grabs hold of the branch and climbs his way to the safety of dry ground. Upon reaching safety he offers another prayer, “Nevermind the previous prayer God, I figured it out on my own”.

I worry that we are doing that now. We are starting to see a little bit of light at the end of what has been a long and dark tunnel and we think we can get the rest of the way on our own. Like Benjamin Franklin pleaded with the Continental Congress, I beg you (and me) to remember that this branch didn’t reach out to us on it’s own, but to jump high, grab hold and climb to safety while the opportunity is before us. If this really is the bottom of the dip then it is time that we follow Jefferson’s advice and “join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

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Which Virtue Is Most Important To You?

I often reflect back on our Founding Fathers and the amazing example they were of how to be Men even during challenging times. One thing that I have always felt these men embodied was Virtue. Recently a good friend email the following to me:


Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of thirteen virtues, which he developed at age 20 (in 1726) and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. His autobiography lists his thirteen virtues as:

  1. “TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
  2. “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
  3. “ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
  4. “RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
  5. “FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
  6. “INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
  7. “SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
  8. “JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
  9. “MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
  10. “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
  11. “TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
  12. “CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
  13. “HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

Franklin didn’t try to work on them all at once. Instead, he would work on one and only one each week “leaving all others to their ordinary chance”. While Franklin didn’t live completely by his virtues and by his own admission, he fell short of them many times, he believed the attempt made him a better man contributing greatly to his success and happiness, which is why in his autobiography, he devoted more pages to this plan than to any other single point; in his autobiography Franklin wrote, “I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.”[59]

I love that Benjamin Franklin didn’t attempt to fix everything at once. Anybody who has attempted certainly understands the frustration that can ensue. By “leaving all others to their ordinary chance” he was able to put all available resources into one and increase the chances of seeing change in his life. I’m not sure which one I’m going to pick to start on, but I’m certainly going to follow the plan.

Is there one that you want to work on most of all?

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Who will watch the watchers?

On our way down to San Diego yesterday we spotted this:

Don’t worry, the passenger took the photo.

There are a lot of questions raised by this type of an incident. Although I am hopeful that there was a good reason that the officer in the photo was on his cell phone while driving, which for those of you that don’t know is against California law, it reminds me of the Latin saying:
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Common Sense

Do you know of the man Thomas Paine? I’ll admit I knew very little other than that he was involved in early revolutionary politics and the author of some political pamphlets. On my Google Homepage I get a This Day In History snippet.

It was 233 years ago when Paine self published Common Sense, which convinced many colonists, including George Washington and John Adams, to seek redress in political independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain . Here are a couple great quotes from the 233 year old pamphlet:

“But where says some is the king of America? I’ll tell you friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the royal brute of Britain. … so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king.”

“. . . have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the event of a few months.”

It truly is wonderful that inspired men laid the foundation for the freedoms enjoyed today by so many.

As a final trivia piece it was Paine that first suggested the name The United States of America.

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View From The Federal Hall

While in New York last month my wife and I visited the Federal Hall where President George Washington was inaugurated as our first President of this great and free land. Standing on the steps of that great monument I felt for a moment the powerful strength of the Founding Fathers. They were men of Character and Valor. Standing on the tops of the steps one looks directly out at the New York Stock Exchange. It is an interesting juxtaposition of two of the great pieces of the United States. The last few years have seen what each the Federal Hall and the NYSE represent challenged, tested and beaten up. Our economy is in peril and the leaders in our government have in many ways let down the people they were asked to serve.

I came across the following quote from the magnanimous Thomas Jefferson:

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

My view from sitting on the steps of the Federal Hall was clear. It’s time to stand up. Literally, the steps were quite cold and I didn’t need my back side getting cold. In a more meaningful sense it was time to stand up and start acting.

I am so grateful to live in America. This truly is the land of opportunity, and now is the time to seek out those opportunities. Fortunes are made in the Bear markets, the profits are usually just realized in the Bull.

It’s not the proper roll of the Government to come in and save all of the companies or to bail each of us out. It’s our job to learn from our mistakes and grow stronger. We can grow stronger. We can get smarter. We can prosper again.

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Sometimes you just have to take a stand.

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Come Together

I lived in South Africa just 5 short years after the fall of the apartheid government. Upon learning that I was going to move to South Africa I began researching the country and it’s current events. I was moved at that time by the following two quotes from President Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address:

“The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us. “

“We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all. “

Nelson Mandela: Inaugural Address, May 10, 1994

Yesterday the world watched as we as an American people cast our votes in a very historic election. With the results of the Presidential race now solidified and with many of the local issues coming down to the wire there is certain to be a lot of emotion.

In all of the turmoil around us let us remember that we are one people. We are Americans. As Americans we believe in individual rights and among those rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One great thing our nation offers is the freedom to pursue happiness through our freedom of speech. Surrounding us every day are people with different opinions. We must maintain and show respect for each other now more than ever. If we are to remain united as a Nation we must first be united as a people.

Two points from Senator John McCain’s concession speech:

“Let there be no reason now … Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.”

“I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

We never hide from history. We make history.”

And a couple from President Elect Barack Obama’s Victory Speech:

“Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”

“As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends… Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” And, to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too.”

Let us unite together in the commonality of hope. Let us acknowledge our friends and accept their differences with no malice. Let us move forward together leaving behind the tensions of the past.

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Upcoming Election

This post is in response to a request from my friend Viwe in South Africa.

This will be an election for the record books. Here in California tens of millions of dollars have been raised to campaign the yays and nays for Proposition 8. We have a very interesting, if not comical, Presidential campaign going on and I can’t help but shake my head in wonder. Are these really the best two candidates we can find? I think both Men are strong, capable and intelligent. I just want more from a President. I want a person of conviction and moral fortitude. I want somebody free from the influences of their party and driven by the rights of the people.

These clips illustrate the comedic nature of the election.

The preamble to our Nation’s Constitution says it well:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I do not believe that the views of either Barack Obama or John McCain are in line with furthering this great cause. I am not as well versed in the Constitution as I would like to be. I recognize that I know very little about the details and innerworkings of Congress and the Senate. Like Gov. Palin I did not know exactly what the Vice President does all day. Obama does give me a vague feeling of discomfort, but I am also not a fan of many of the people and organizations that he is and has been affiliated with.

In California there are 10 choices on election day, not just two. I do not think I will cast my vote for either of the bi-partisan candidates. A friend said we needed to choose between ‘the evil of two lessers’ and although I enjoyed the wit I refuse to cast my ballot behind somebody that I do not believe to be the right leader of this great Nation.

If this bored you, thanks for reading to the end anyway.

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Worth Reading

I may not agree with all that is said in the following articles, but I certainly feel the thoughts expressed therein merit serious consideration.

This LA Times Article is actually worth reading – it touched on McCain’s labeling of Obama as a Socialist.

This article explores that suggestion more closely.

AIM.org touches on greater ‘evidence’ of the international Socialist connections of Obama.

Yet another post on the topic.

As one who believes in a Free Market economy, ethical capitalism and the God given potential of the individual I am worried we are not studying enough about the motives behind the current candidates.

Enjoy your Saturday.

One More good one from the UK about Fidel Castro supporting Barack Obama.

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The ‘Bailout’

I received a few phone calls and emails this week inquiring about my view of the proposed bailout that President Bush is proposing. I saw this video on the blog The Mess That Greenspan Made.

There is a reason there are still a lot of Ron Paul supporters.

My company works with people every day to teach them to live within their means. We need to do that as a Country, live below our means.

The following text is from an email from the Ron Paul campaign. It makes this post longer than most, but is well worth reading.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Friends,

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! “This is welfare for the rich,” he said. “This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters.”

That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences – predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics – are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

• Financial institutions are “designated as financial agents of the Government.” This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

• Then there’s this: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this “sadly necessary.” Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind – another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.

In liberty,

Ron Paul

*This post wasn’t meant to be a ‘Pro Ron Paul’ post. It just turns out that he has a clear view of how to return our Nation to financial security and avoid socialism.

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Economists & The Election

One of the blogs on my RSS reader is Scott Adam‘s, the author of Dilbert. When I first stumbled upon his blog I was surprised at how intelligent the author of a comic strip could be. I guess I always pictured those guys as have a quirky sense of humor and a good hand, but being a bit dim.

Adam’s recently commissioned 500 economists to do a relatively in depth survey on the Presidential Candidates and how each would affect the economy if they were elected. I would highly advice reading the results and Adam’s thoughts on the results.

I was very impressed by the survey and yet extremely disappointed in the results. One of the goals of the survey was to provide an unbiased view. The make-up of the group was thus:

48% Democrats

17% Republicans

27% Independents

3% Libertarian

5% Other or not registered

86% of the economists surveyed are male, and 65% work in the field of academia or education. The rest are spread across various industries or not working.

This wasn’t what was disappointing. The sad part was the following paragraph:

When asked which candidate for President would be best for the economy in the long run, not surprisingly, 88% of Democratic economists think Obama would be best, while 80% of Republican economists pick McCain. Independent economists, who in this sample are largely from the academic world, lean toward Obama by 46% compared to 39% for McCain. Overall, 59% of the economists say Obama would be best for the economy long term, with 31% picking McCain, and 8% saying there would be no difference.

Very few of the economists were able to cross party lines in their answer. Adam’s provides some good examples of human nature and explores why there were few cross party choices on the answers.

I have a very strong opinion that one of the candidates would be extremely detrimental to our economy in the long run. The changes this candidate would make may at first seem to bolster the people of this great Nation but would in fact be eroding the very foundation on which we can build. What this survey does, however, is show me that the numbers are pretty close in terms of who economists think will best bolster the economy during their presidency so I should partly base my decision on election day on other non-economic issues.

With no ‘clear cut’ and unbiased winner from the survey a lot more questions are raised. I just hope that people take the time to ask.

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Getting Greener

I don’t know if I’m ready to stand on a stage with Al Gore and talk about the ice caps, but I’m certainly greener than I used to be. My Green Mercedes is ready to be picked up from the mechanic (the heater was stuck on and it didn’t always turn off when I took the key out), and this video seems to make more and more sense to me. I am unapologetically a Capitalist, but I believe VERY strongly in ethical capitalism.

I just thought I’d share, that and I didn’t like seeing my post on Disneyland being the last post on here.

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Political Aspirations?

When I was on WIPEOUT I made a couple of political comments. Apparently, they’ve leaked out quite a bit and it’s created quite a buzz. I first heard about some online forums that were talking about the forward thinking ideas I shared and their positive impact, but then I heard about some serious talk. Anyways, a friend forwarded me this video and I was stunned.

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