Ben’s Blog


2017-01-16 Solving the Obamacare dilemma

January 16th, 2017 | Comments Off on 2017-01-16 Solving the Obamacare dilemma |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

January 16, 2017

This is a letter to our friends –

Solving the Obamacare dilemma

How do you solve problems created by bad choices? I have found a four step method that seems to work well. The steps are: Admit; Commit; Stop; Go.

Admit that you have made an unwise commitment. Human nature makes this the hardest step! We often make a mistake then defend it to the bitter end!

Commit to keeping your unwise commitment. That is – Do not make a promise and not keep it. This too is a hard step. Breaking promises only compounds problems.

Stop making similar unwise commitments. Gather all those to whom you are committed. Make no similar commitments to others. At this point there is an end in sight – if you can survive the unwise commitment.

Go to those holding your commitment and ask if there are terms that will help you survive. Those holding your commitment have a vested interest in your survival. Half a loaf is better than none!

Let us apply these steps to the problems created by government involvement in individual healthcare. (By the way – I found these steps in the Bible.)

First – The national government in Washington, D.C. has to authority outside that specified in the Constitution. All other authority is reserved to the states and the people. Individual healthcare is not mentioned in the Constitution. Government is to be our protector, not our nanny-provider.

When you accept government’s role in individual healthcare, government has authority in your lifestyle, your insurance choices, even your lifespan! Is that the sort of liberty “We the people” created the government to protect?

OK then – What do we do now?

We admit that national government has no legitimate authority in individual healthcare and needs to unravel this complex web that grips our liberty.

Then we commit to keeping our commitment to those who have accepted government healthcare assistance. If we rip it out the patient will die on the table!

Next we stop making any further government involvement in individual healthcare. The dependency cancer is spreading everywhere. Stop includes eliminating laws and regulations that distort the free market exchange between individuals and groups with the healthcare industry.

Finally – Once free of government control, I believe the healthcare industry will go running to offer far less expensive, far more efficient healthcare alternatives! Over-simplification? Perhaps! On the other hand, perhaps we need to learn to trust “doing what is right because it is right” and letting the results take care of themselves.

Sometimes solutions are so simple they become profound!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2017-01-06 Measuring quality

January 6th, 2017 | Comments Off on 2017-01-06 Measuring quality |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

January 6, 2017

This is a letter to our friends –

Measuring quality

“Quality” – How is it measured? If one line is longer than another and they cannot be seen together, we use a ruler and measure each. It would be unwise not to use the best ruler we could find. (A twisted ruler would not be reliable.)

My point – Without a reliable standard, “quality” cannot be measured.

How is “right” or “wrong” measured? I can think of four ways:

· Conscience – Every person comes equipped with one. If obeyed and protected, conscience makes a good measure for evaluating the quality of choices. On the other hand, the more often conscience is neglected the less reliable it becomes.

· Reason & Observation – Reason and observation are wonderful things. (Even a dumb dog don’t kiss a hot stove twice!) But both are imperfect. What is observed can be misinterpreted. (Once we believed the earth was flat. After all, we could see the edge.)

· History – Without a knowledge of history, we can only guess the outcome of current situations. Sound knowledge of history replaces guesses with facts about the outcome of similar situations in the past.

· Biblical – The biblical “ruler” incorporates all-of-the-above. I have found its principles to be absolutely reliable. Its reasoning is faultless and its history is accurate.

Today, many Americans appear to have forsaken reliable measures for right and wrong. Homosex comes to mind. All four of the above “measurers” declare it “wrong”. Yet we permit our children to be taught that homosex is an acceptable lifestyle. The homosexual community inflates its image with noise and intimidation. In truth, that community is a paper tiger when faced down. Because many Americans choose not to do so we plant the seeds of our own cultural destruction permitting the next generation to believe a lie.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-12-23 Swamp critters

December 23rd, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-12-23 Swamp critters |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

December 23, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Swamp critters

Paper tigers – Paper tigers do their best to appear bigger and stronger than they are. They make loud noise. They seek to be as obnoxious as they can with threats and foul language, in an attempt to make “nice” people shut up and go away.

Paper tigers recruit useful idiots to swell their ranks. Useful idiots are duped by false logic, lies, and attraction to virtual power centers.

When paper tigers are unchallenged, their virtual strength grows stronger. NOTE – That strength is only virtual. It is not real. When paper tigers are faced down they slink away waiting for another opportunity to roar.

Locusts – Locusts are parasites that eat up every resource they can find. In the early 1960’s America was about to build a nuclear submarine fleet. The “game” was to bid low in order to win the contract ahead of your competitor. Once you had the contract and started building, the government designers were sure to come in with change orders to improve something.

This time the competitor was not in the picture and the contractor could charge what he wanted for the change! Admiral Rickover comes on the scene. He announces that changes were to be made before the first bids. Post-bid changes would come at the expense of one’s career! Then the Admiral advised the contractor industry that they were expected to fulfill their bids to the letter in order to get paid!

America received a nuclear submarine fleet at a reasonable price, thanks to a single hard-nosed Admiral.

Power junkies – Power junkies are addicted to exercising authority over others. Many mistake them for wealth junkies (another type of addiction). True power junkies care little about money unless it adds to their power over others. They get off on forcing others to drive with seat belts or wear bicycle helmets. Having authority over land and water use is an addict’s nirvana!

Wealth junkies – Wealth junkies are addicted to gathering money wherever it is found. There is never enough. If Joe sees that Harry has a need and helps Harry, both are blessed. If a wealth junkie sees that he can take from Joe and give to Harry (less a handling fee!) then Joe is a victim and Harry receives stolen goods. Wealth junkie has a vested interest in Harry’s problem continuing. Whereas Joe has an interest in solving Harry’s problem so he can stop giving.

Pause and consider how difficult it would be for you to forsake your relationship with God. Swamp critters worship their particular idol with equal fervor! Now pause and consider the battle President Trump and his team are going to have when the swamp begins to drain and dry up.

It is a dirty job that must be done. They will need our support. We hired them to do it.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-12-21 A Christmas story

December 21st, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-12-21 A Christmas story |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

December 21, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

A Christmas story

It was mid-December, 1958 in Boston. The GI Bill and Fran’s salary were putting me through a two year MBA course. We had been saving all we could, to have enough to drive ourselves and Guy, our baby boy, to Grand-mother’s for Christmas in Dallas.

Her older sister and husband were stationed in the mid-west on an Army base. Her younger brother Jerry, and his bride were living in Dallas. Everyone was looking forward to gathering around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

Our baby was the only grandchild so far, and the folks yearned for him! School was finally out. Bob and Norma had managed to get leave from the Army base and were heading for Dallas. We put a mattress in the back of our old Plymouth station wagon, along with enough sandwiches for the 3-day drive and left Boston for Texas.

It was a bitter cold and stormy night as we drove through New Jersey. About midnight the engine froze up. Fortunately we had a “Triple A” card. When the tow truck driver discovered we were stranded without money for motels, he parked our station wagon inside the repair shop and we slept in the back until the shop opened.

It turned out the Plymouth would need a new engine and a week to repair. We were heart broken that we would miss the grandparents playing with the baby. We decided to spend the gas money and fly to nearby Air Force friends in Washington, D.C.

Imagine the tearful phone call to Dallas that we would miss Christmas with the folks. Hearts continued to yearn. It was Christmas eve! Credit cards had just begun being used. Our hosts believed they could be used for air fair! I had a Diner’s Club card.

Sure enough! We could blow a year’s budget and fly on credit – but – There were only two flights that could make it in time. Both were oversold! We went on standby and hoped really hard! The first flight left. We got on the second flight – YEA!

Arriving in Dallas at one o’clock Christmas morning, having already blown the budget, we rented a car and drove to the folks’ house. All was quiet. The back door was unlocked. We slipped in and bedded down under the tree in the den.

At day-break Fran’s younger brother, Jerry, and his wife tripped over us as they arrived. The house was asleep. Excited surprised greetings were whispered. Then Jerry took the baby and slipped into the grandparents’ room. He put Guy between them and slipped out again.

Shouts and tears of Joy! That began a Christmas tradition. Our kids and their cousins grew up on Christmas with grandma. Some years were even more exciting, but somehow we managed. The grandparents are gone now and our kids have families and traditions of their own.

One that has remains though – On the day after Christmas, our three kids and their spouses and kids gather ‘round our Christmas tree and open presents.

Rich precious memories are made of things like this.

Merry Christmas!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-12-03 They don’t seem to have a clue

December 3rd, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-12-03 They don’t seem to have a clue |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

December 3, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

They don’t seem to have a clue!

Grandparents – Have you ever said that about your grand-kids — or even your own kids?

The next “Principles of American Government” online course begins on January 10. I have been thrilled to see the gleam of understanding cross the face of PAG students. This is not a course about the Declaration and Constitution. This is a course designed to teach the philosophy and principles that caused those documents to be written!

Like anything of great value, this course comes with a great price and commitment:

· 75 very interactive minutes in a virtual online classroom twice a week for three months.

· 4 to 5 hours a week of quality reading and study time.

· Challenging thought and contemplation (critical thinking).

· $195 tuition plus text books.

Further details may be found on the ACH Study Groups web site (see letterhead). I recommend browsing the “Student Comments” tab as well as the course syllabus. I welcome phone, Skype and e-mail chats about the course.

For His-story & Government

Ben Gilmore

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-11-20 The Popular Vote

November 20th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-11-20 The Popular Vote |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501   histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 20, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

The Popular Vote

Every four years we hear arguments against the Electoral College.  As directed by our Constitution, the Electoral College is composed of “electors” appointed by their respective states.  These electors vote for President and send the results to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Thus, when you cast your vote for President, you are really voting for your state’s electors that  favor your candidate.  It is possible for all the electors nation wide to favor one candidate while the “Popular Vote” of all the people who voted to favor another.

I believe this illustrates the wisdom of our founding fathers.

First: He is not the President of the people.  He is the President of the United States.  Every four years the 50 sovereign states get together and elect their President.  Were he elected by popular vote, a few population centers in the country would determine the winner and the citizens in smaller states would have no say in the results.

To understand what our founding fathers had in mind requires an understanding of some fundamentals.  Every human organization is governed by some mixture of three elements: rule of one; rule of a few; rule of many.

Rule of one is most efficient because one person has all the authority and power.  Rule of one is also the most dangerous to liberty should the ruler become corrupt.

Rule of a few is, or should be, wiser than rule of many, and more reliably honest than rule of one.

Rule of many is the most honest and well-meaning of the three, but is most easily deceived and lead astray.

Think of rule of many as “majority rule”.  The ultimate majority rule is a lynch mob – only one person objects!  Rule of many is called “democracy”.  It is nicknamed, “mobocracy”.

Our founding fathers chose “republic” as the basic form for our government.  A republic is composed of representatives from the various parts.  These representatives are elected by majority rule in the various parts.  They have opportunity to discuss issues and represent their constituents.

Think about it – The President represents rule of one.  His authority is checked by the legislature (rule of many).  And both the President and the legislature are limited by the Constitution in the hands of the Supreme Court (rule of a few).

Let us not modify a system that has protected liberty for so many.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”


2016-11-17 Thanksgiving

November 17th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-11-17 Thanksgiving |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 17, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Thanksgiving

Warm greetings. Just before the election, my mail-merge function and a batch of other software stopped working with reliability. I have no idea whether any of these blog posts were posted since then. Several days, some prayer with lots of tweeking and talk with techies appears to have fixed things. For this I am most thankful.

Last December 2nd this column handicapped the candidates for President:

”Trump – As president, I believe he would be very good at getting things done. His following would stay with him with popular support for a time. This would make him a powerful leader. On the other hand – Nothing exists without a set of rules to govern it. Trump appears to me to lack a depth of understanding about the rules that will “make America great again”. I believe he would not respect private property, or the limits on the president by the legislature and courts. We would have exchanged a traitorous-tyrant for a patriotic-tyrant. A tyrant nonetheless. Tyranny is unstable.”

I am thankful that I appear to be right about his being a powerful patriotic leader. I am also thankful that I appear to have been wrong about his not respecting legislative and legal limits. He appears to be surrounding himself with well qualified mentors.

It has become somewhat of a tradition to have the Thanksgiving table set with 5 small grains of corn in honor of the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving feast. Another is to have someone read “Pilgrim Fathers” by the late Larry Wagner, during the Thanksgiving meal. I will Paste it at the end after a page-break so it will be on one page.

The entire Gilmore clan together with many friends and extended family will be together this Thanksgiving. Our best wishes go out to you and yours. We are truly thankful for our country.

Pilgrim Fathers

By the late Lawrence Wagner

“The second harvest gathered since they crossed Atlantic waters,

A feast of thankfulness was set by grateful Pilgrim Fathers:

So great the providence of God, so blest with fruit their labors,

So sweet the bond among their band, such peace with Indian neighbors.

“But most among the festive crowd could count harsh years of toil.

Of wand’ring for their faith in God, of want on alien soil.

Of flagging hopes and faith, bad health, of chills that hell could send,

Of half their number that had died before first winter’s end.

Of hunger pangs that second year in their New Plymouth home,

Of weeks when all they ate a day was five small grains of corn.

A few remembered treasure lost, of titles cast aside,

But all could measure conscience’ cost in tears and trampled pride.

Oh, at this feast could they foresee their blessed future years?

That nevermore would they know want, nor run from any fears!

Then after prayers of gratitude, before the feast was set,

Each plate was served five grains of corn, lest anyone forget!

A humble band in hardship born, rejected by their own,

A rock flung o’re the ocean, they were laid a cornerstone.

By them God stamped His pattern for a nation on the land,

And seeds of freedom under God were planted by their hand.

Oh, pray their heirs would ever know how dear was freedom’s cost,

And know to hold their faith and freedom dear, or see them lost,

And praise the Providence that brought those pilgrims to this shore,

And eat the grains of memory, or pay the price once more.

These columns are archived since 12/10/2009

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-18 Lest we forget

October 18th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-18 Lest we forget |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 18, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Lest we forget

An English philosopher, John Locke, inspired colonial America’s pulpits and pews. His words have inspired me.

“To understand political power right (correctly), and derive it from its original (its beginning), we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom, to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions, and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

It is a good thing to think back to the very basics of “perfect freedom”. The earth has everything you need to sustain a healthy life. You are its only resident – “perfect freedom”. Yet even that freedom has limits – the “Law of Nature”. (Defy the law of gravity and fly off a cliff. The law inflicts harsh penalties!)

Add a second resident – The Law of Nature further limits your “perfect freedom”. (Your actions may not interfere with the other’s actions.)

Now add 10 then 100 then 10,000 residents and we have a need to “understand political power”.

“The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: and Reason which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that all are equal and independent. No one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.”

Many of Locke’s phrases are to be found in America’s early documents.

“For men being all the workmanship of One Omnipotent and Infinitely wise Maker: All the servants of One Sovereign Master, sent into the world by His order, and about His business, they are His property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during His, not one another’s pleasure.”

Some scholars doubt Locke’s Christian commitment. Locke was asked, “What is the shortest and surest way for a young gentleman to attain a true knowledge of the Christian religion?” His response –

Let him study the Holy Scriptures, especially in the New Testament. Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its Author, Salvation for its end, and Truth without any mixture of error for its matter.”

Good advice for us all!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-16 About the November ballot

October 17th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-16 About the November ballot |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 17, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

About the November ballot

In 1960 I walked my first precinct. Because of those years and this column, about this time in the election cycle I receive requests for my thoughts. Perhaps this “broadcast” response will be enough for everyone.

Your vote is sacred. As with all of your choices, you hold the ultimate responsibility. A responsibility you cannot delegate. Seeking council is wise, but the ultimate decision is up to you alone.

What follows are my thoughts.

Regarding Trump or Hillary – There is a lot of discussion about “character”. Every man is a sinner. We should expect candidates to highlight their opponent’s character flaws. Each of us is vulnerable to opposition research. I see signs of consistent corruption in Hillary’s character. I see signs of efforts to improve on Trump’s part.

More significantly – There is no doubt about the nature of a Hillary Clinton administration. That is – a continuation of the drift toward government control over every aspect of our lives. There is at least the promise of a radical improvement with a Donald Trump administration. That is – a Supreme Court that honors our Constitution, a fight to fix a corrupted government, a restored military, and a growth focused economy with secure borders. All that to make America great again.

A vote for anyone other than Trump, or a decision not to vote, is in fact, a vote for Hillary. Some will say that doesn’t count for California where the Democrats are sure to win. That is not a certainty until the votes are cast!

Regarding the down ballot – Issues are important in the spring primaries. Once decided, the down ballot becomes a numbers game. Your choice is limited to which party you are going to make the majority party. In turn that structures committees and chairs. Your weak representative with an “R” by his name may cause a good guy to win an important position.

Regarding the initiatives & propositions — Begin with a “no” vote bias. These are issues that should be debated and settled by our legislature. Instead, the cowards have tossed hot potato issues into our lap to do their job! On the other hand sometimes we the people need such opportunities to override a corrupt legislature.

Next – An absolute “no” vote for any effort to increase funds to government. When funds are cut, corrupt politicians punish voters by decreasing funds to hospitals and other necessities. The only way to smoke out the dead wood is to cut their funding while demanding they fund the necessities.

If still in doubt – Consider the individuals and organizations that endorse an initiative. If they are unfamiliar to you, a simple google search is usually sufficient.

These are the way I make my ballot choices. I hope you find them useful.

After the election God will still be on His throne. Will you be able to hold your head high, having prayerfully cast your vote as you believe He wished? Or will you be ashamed of your lack of faith?

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-14 Words mean things

October 14th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-14 Words mean things |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 14, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Words mean things

The other day I heard Speaker Ryan describe himself as a “conservative”. Then he defined the terms in such an ambiguous way that I was embarrassed.

One of my mentors, Edward Hunter, taught me, “Never use a word you are not prepared to define. Ask others to define their words. Unless you understand one another’s definitions, there is miscommunication.”

May I share my definitions for “liberal”, “conservative”, and “moderate”. These are common terms today that appear to me to beg sound definitions. It does no good to make a definition the one wearing the label will not accept. Further – my definitions apply to American politics and may not be valid internationally.

Most liberals readily accept my definition, “Liberal – One who makes decisions in an effort to produce the best results.” They seem surprised that I (a conservative) understand their philosophy. “Well,” they say, “What is a conservative?”

Conservative – One who makes decisions by the best principles he can find, and lets the results take care of themselves.” That often causes a pause then, “Well – I am a moderate.”

Moderate – A liberal that cannot define his positon.” He replies, “I can too!” and proceeds. When he is finished I ask, “What is the difference between that and a liberal?”

You cannot manipulate results (consequences). When you tell a lie you are trying to manipulate consequences. It never works out well.

“When you choose an action you choose a consequence!” [Harry Conn]

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


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