Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I cannot pretend to know your motivations, but as I continue to learn and grow I can share where I have been.
When I started out to get on the path to networking, I didn't even know there was such thing as netweaving. So, what were my motivations?
Initially, fear motivated me to not do anything, but like the millions of pounds of thrust from the rockets on the space shuttle help it to overcome gravity and inertia and eventually leave Earth for near Earth orbit disgust with where I was drove me to venture into all I knew which was networking.
I will define this networking as the dreaded 30 second elevator speach you memorize and with a gulp of courage pressing down the urge to vomit you repeat over and over as you "work the room" forcing unsuspecting adults to receive your business card in trade for their business card.
I didn't know better. That is all I had ever known.
But, being the recovering geek that I still am today and was more so back then, I didn't even dare venture out before real people and instead retreated to the technology that I could not tell was really my prison.
I chose to overcome what I didn't know by "practicing" on the hapless people I encountered on social networking sites. "If I make mistakes, I can just delete my profile and run and hide in a corner and eat worms." I said to my self as if that really was some comfort.
At this stage, my motivation was cromagnon. I was playing with the bright light I'd found after the lightning strike not knowing if it could hurt me or be my friend.
I was motivated by base instinct to better myself, makes sales so I could make money, and basically selfish desires.
However, this stage was important or I wouldn't have overcome the inertia that held my quivering ignorant butt in my seat afraid to go over the horizon for fear that the world would end.
But, like anyone who has been through formal education, I realized that I would have to turn to the wisdom of those who had come before me.
So, groping through the darkness at a local book purveyor I flipped and flopped between the comfort of technology tomes and the unknown of "business" books.
What lay before me was a great adventure that even now many much older and wiser still behold in extreme incredulity. Many cannot belive that such a neanderthall as myself could have found the fire and learned to tame it. Even just today I was confronted by these walking fun-house mirrors reflecting earily past distorted images of myself.
In my quest to understand this enigma called networking, I stumbled upon a map that was written in a language I could understand. At first I was attracted by its orange cover with blue writing soley because I liked the color and the words on its cover seemed simple. In fact, recently I heard a so-called expert dispising the very contents of this tome calling it simple and naive. But, its simplicity attracted me and I dove in right there in the bookstore. It was Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
Quickly I realized that along with the binky blankets of technology magazines and books I had chosen, I must have this one too.
As I read it, I had to take breaks because the newness of the material hurt my neanderthall grey matter. But, throughout the months ahead I learned about the foreign land of networking. This map called Never Eat Alone also laid out the hints of a land beyond networking that would take me years to discover in experience and a year longer after that to know its name.
I took what I could bear and tried to apply the wisdom to the only place I felt safe enough to venture out and meet new people: a new land of myth called LinkedIn. I applied new ideas of introducing myself to total strangers there, and begining conversations about the magic called business. I fought the demons of spam and laziness. I tackled the dragons of fear and humiliation. Had to conquer this unknown land, and by chance I had found the right map.
As I built upon failure and success, I realized that I was making the acquaintences of many new people and by chance I had discovered that I enjoyed helping others. It took meeting a giant of a person who later became my mentor before I realized that this was the real secret.
Through long, dark dungeons I learned to discern the Takers from the Givers and the first Giver I was to meet was a Lady of Light. This Lady poured into my life through her actions and spoken wisdom the hidden knowledge of the guild of the Givers. She tested me with much and though I stumbled I was drawn by the lessons of the Givers and realized a new way I knew deep in my soul must lead to the other side of just networking.
I had to share what I had learned, so dispite the pickly thorns I knew would block my way I endeavored to share the new way. I learned later that it had many names: Servant Leadership, and Pay-it-forward, and Give First. Some giants of the land had gone well before me yet few knew of these names and even fewer knew of the way. Finally, I came to call it netweaving.
I shared and shared its truths like I had been shown by the Lady. I braved the cold steele of those less enlightened knowing that the way of the Givers was better than the way of the Takers. For as it has been said, "Give and it will be given to you..." Hidden in those words I realize now that I'd heard all of my life were the foundation of the truth that would lead me on to become the Champion.
I began to draw a crowd and called it InHouston. We braved unknown to challenge the older ways of paid-for-networking, and dues-based chambers. Instead, together we grasped and found the way to no-dues, no-cover, no-presentation, netweaving. Eureka!
Somewhere in there my motivation had been turned from the dark side of the Takers where every action was guided by self-centered need to the light side of the Givers. My motivation really became to find those who would accept me and let me help them. Daily I was confronted by the old way as Takers would barge into my group. Some came disguised as Givers only to disappear as if driven from me by the blinding light of netweaving. It was as if they could not stand it like Superman and kryptonite.
However, those who longed for more than just the way of the Takers were drawn as if by magnet to join me on the life-long journey called the way of the Givers.
I still don't have perfect motivation. I don't believe I ever will. However, in greater numbers I seek to strive for the high mark of the calling of the way of the Givers and their motivation of purely giving without ever seeking anything in return.
Now, though not of plan or purpose at first, I realize that I am drawn to seek out those chosen to find the way of the Givers. I find myself motivated to draw close to me Trusted Advisors ever wiser in this true way. Not foresaking those still behind me on the path, I endeavor to gather to me a group of like-minded people.
So, less and less I find myself motivated to push this way on others and instead I realize that 80% who hear will never dare to believe it could be true. I don't worry about that and give without expectations knowing that the 20%'ers who will eventually grasp netweaving like I have will be drawn not only to me but also to a stronger and stronger army of Netweavers which I find myself standing with.
My motivation changed along the journey. I know I struggle with the ghost of the pre-Giver motivations every day. My motivation can never purely be a Givers unless I am without need, but daily my courage builds for the right way for me.
So, why are you networking or netweaving? What are your motivations? How are your inspired? What passions drive you?
Do you hear the song of the higher calling?
I challenge you, NO! I dare you to give first without expectation.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Email from a Friend
See the video at http://vidego.multicastmedia.com/player.php?v=c85tk8y5
Monday, September 28, 2009
David Walker WSJ Article
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
September 4, 2009
Warning: The Deficits Are Coming!
The former head of the Government Accountability Office is on a crusade to alert taxpayers to their true obligations.
By JOHN FUND
David Walker sounds like a modern-day Paul Revere as he warns about the country's perilous future. "We suffer from a fiscal cancer," he tells a meeting of the National Taxpayers Union, the nation's oldest anti-tax lobby. "Our off balance sheet obligations associated with Social Security and Medicare put us in a $56 trillion financial hole—and that's before the recession was officially declared last year. America now owes more than Americans are worth—and the gap is growing!"
His audience sits in rapt attention. A few years ago these antitax activists would have been polite but a tad restless listening to the former head of the Government Accountability Office, the nation's auditor-in-chief. Higher taxes is what hikes their blood pressure the most, but the profligate spending of the Bush and Obama administrations has put them in a mood to listen to this green-eyeshade Cassandra. "He's so unlike most politicians," says Sharron Angle, a former state legislator from Nevada, "his message is clear, detailed and with no varnish."
Mr. Walker, a 57-year-old accountant, didn't set out to be a fiscal truth-teller. He rose to be a partner and global managing director of Arthur Anderson, before being named assistant secretary of labor for pensions and benefits during the Reagan administration. Under the first President Bush, he served as a trustee for Social Security and Medicare, an experience that convinced him both programs are looming train wrecks that could bankrupt the country. In 1998 he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to head the GAO, where he spent the next decade issuing reports trying to stem waste, fraud and abuse in government.
Despite many successes, he was able to make only limited progress in reforming Washington's tangled bookkeeping. When he arrived he was told the Pentagon was nearly a decade away from having a clean audit, or clear evidence that its financial statements were accurate. When he left in 2008, he was told the Pentagon was still a decade away from that goal. "If the federal government was a private corporation, its stock would plummet and shareholders would bring in new management and directors," he said as he retired from the GAO.
Although he found the work fulfilling, Mr. Walker said he decided to leave last year with a third of his 15-year term left because "there are practical limits on what one can—and cannot—do in that job." He became president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a group seeking to educate the public and policy makers on the need for fiscal prudence. Although it accepts private donations, its own future is secure given that Mr. Peterson, a former head of the Blackstone private equity firm and secretary of commerce under Richard Nixon, has endowed it with a $1 billion gift.
We met to hash over current events in his tastefully appointed office just off of New York's Fifth Avenue. Mr. Walker, a lean man with an unflappable demeanor, welcomed me with the observation that he's never been in more demand as a speaker "but it's only because everyone is so worried for our future."
His group calls itself strictly nonpartisan and nonideological, and that seems to limit how tough and specific it can be. Last year, it released a documentary "I.O.U.S.A.," that followed Mr. Walker as he toured the country on his fiscal "wake up" tour. The solutions the film proposes for the debt crisis are either glib or gray: The country should save more, reduce oil consumption, hold politicians accountable and get more value from health-care spending.
But in its diagnosis of the problem the film scores a bull's-eye. Among the fiscal hawks featured in the film is Rep. Ron Paul, who memorably tells Alan Greenspan that if doctors had the same success rate in meeting his goals as the Fed has had, patients would be dead all over America.
Mr. Walker's own speeches are vivid and clear. "We have four deficits: a budget deficit, a savings deficit, a value-of-the-dollar deficit and a leadership deficit," he tells one group. "We are treating the symptoms of those deficits, but not the disease."
Mr. Walker identifies the disease as having a basic cause: "Washington is totally out of touch and out of control," he sighs. "There is political courage there, but there is far more political careerism and people dodging real solutions." He identifies entrenched incumbency as a real obstacle to change. "Members of Congress ensure they have gerrymandered seats where they pick the voters rather than the voters picking them and then they pass out money to special interests who then make sure they have so much money that no one can easily challenge them," he laments. He believes gerrymandering should be curbed and term limits imposed if for no other reason than to inject some new blood into the system. On campaign finance, he supports a narrow constitutional amendment that would bar congressional candidates from accepting contributions from people who can't vote for them: "If people can't vote in a district not their own, should we allow them to spend unlimited money on behalf of someone across the country?"
Recognizing those reforms aren't "imminent," Mr. Walker wants Congress to create a "fiscal future commission" that would hold hearings all over America to move towards a consensus on reform. It would then present Congress with a "grand bargain" on entitlement and budget-control reforms. Its recommendations would be guaranteed a vote in Congress and be subject to only limited amendments. I note that critics have called such a commission an end-run around the normal legislative process. He demurred, saying that Congress would still have to approve any recommendations in an up-or-down vote—much like the successful base-closing commission created by GOP Rep. Dick Armey in the 1980s.
What kind of reforms would Mr. Walker hope the commission would endorse? He suggests giving presidents the power to make line-item cuts in budgets that would then require a majority vote in Congress to override. He would also want private-sector accounting standards extended to pensions, health programs and environmental costs. "Social Security reform is a layup, much easier than Medicare," he told me. He believes gradual increases in the retirement age, a modest change in cost-of-living payments and raising the cap on income subject to payroll taxes would solve its long-term problems.
Medicare is a much bigger challenge, exacerbated by the addition of a drug entitlement component in 2003, pushed through a Republican Congress by the Bush administration. "The true costs of that were hidden from both Congress and the people," Mr. Walker says sternly. "The real liability is some $8 trillion."
That brings us to the issue of taxes. Wouldn't any "grand bargain" involve significant tax increases that would only hurt the ability of the economy to grow? "Taxes are going up, for reasons of math, demographics and the fact that elements of the population that want more government are more politically active," he insists. "The key will be to have tax reform that simplifies the system and keeps marginal rates as low as possible. The longer people resist addressing both sides of the fiscal equation the deeper the hole will get."
I steer towards the fiscal direction of the Obama administration. He says his stimulus bill was sold as something it wasn't: "A number of people had agendas other than stimulus, and they shaped the package."
As for health care, Mr. Walker says he had hopes for comprehensive health-care reform earlier this year and met with most of the major players to fashion a compromise. "President Obama got the sequence wrong by advocating expanding coverage before we've proven our ability to control costs," he says. "If we don't get our fiscal house in order, but create new obligations we'll have a Thelma and Louise moment where we go over the cliff." Mr. Walker's preferred solution is a plan that combines universal coverage for all Americans with an overall limit on the federal government's annual health expenditures. His description reminds me of the unicorn—a marvelous creature we all wish existed but is not likely to ever be seen on this earth.
As I prepare to go, Mr. Walker returns to the theme of economic education. Poor schools often produce young people with few tools to help them realize the extent of the fiscal trap their generation is going to fall into.
One way the Peterson Foundation wants to change that is to bring big numbers down to earth so people can comprehend them. "Our $56 trillion in unfunded obligations amount to $483,000 per household. That's 10 times the median household income—so it's as if everyone had a second or third mortgage on a house equal to 10 times their income but no house they can lay claim to." As for this year's likely deficit of $1.8 trillion, Mr. Walker suggests its size be conveyed thusly: "A deficit that large is $3.4 million a minute, $200 million an hour, $5 billion a day," he says. That does indeed put things into perspective.
Despite an occasional detour into support for government intervention, Mr. Walker remains the Jeffersonian he grew up as in his native Virginia. "I view the Constitution with deep respect," he told me. "My ancestors and those of my wife fought and died in the Revolution, and I care a lot about returning us to the principles of the Founding Fathers."
He notes that today the role of the federal government has grown such that last year less than 40% of it related to the key roles the Founders envisioned for it: defense, foreign policy, the courts and other basic functions. "What happened to the Founders' intent that all roles not expressly reserved to the federal government belong to the states, and ultimately the people?" he asks. "I'm pleased the recent town halls show people are waking up and realizing it's time to pay attention to first principles."
With that we parted, as he had to get back to work. Today's Paul Revere is hard at work on a book due out in January from Random House that will be called, "Come Back America."
Fwd: Check out "Super Star Steps to Closing 100 Annual Sales" on InHouston
Fwd: Google Alert - fdic closes bank
Google News Alert for: fdic closes bank
| The 95th bank closes while the FDIC could become Insolvent this year|
The failure of Georgian Bank this week is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund (FDIC) an estimated $892 million. ...
Fwd: A Perfect Way To Solve Our Problems
When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well.
Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.
Our government should not be immune from similar risks.
Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members.
Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Then, reduce their staff by 25%.
Accomplish this over the next 8 years (two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.
Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:
$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/ yr.)
$97,175,000 for elimination of their staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)
$240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.
$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr).
The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country!
We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.
Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)
Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we had 3 senators that were not doing their jobs for the 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have accepted full pay. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress.
Summary of opportunity:
$ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members.
$282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.
$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.
$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.
$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.
$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.
$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION just to start!)
Big business does these types of cuts all the time.
If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, tax payers could save a bundle.
Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term.
IF you are happy with how Congress spends our taxes, delete this message. Otherwise, I assume you know what to do.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Fwd: Is Your Dream Big Enough to Fight For?
A qualifying question to you or anybody will reveal so much
about you, your mindset, and the reality of what your future is
going to look like. Here's the question, "Is your dream big
enough to fight for?" Because if it isn't big enough, you're 1.
not dreaming big enough; 2. you've really not bought into the
potential, possibility, and reality of a greatly fulfilling and
Notice, this is not a qualifying question about our business
opportunity or any business opportunity - it's one of the most
important questions you'll ever pose to yourself.
Until you can answer that question with conviction, there's no
need for Mindset MentoringSM, self-improvement, training, school,
or even personal development books, CD's, or DVD's...
There is currently a "Coma of Complacency" that is epidemic in
It paralyzes people and kills the entrepreneurial spirit. Time
to shake any vestige of the "C of C". Time to change your
present, so your future will equate to your God-given dreams.
Time to move forward and break through any barriers that are
seemingly denying you of your future.
Note to Self: Give first in a Recession
I know that watching the news makes you numb, and it feels like you have somehow stepped into a different and parallel universe.
No matter how much you want to curl up on the couch and hide from the outside world, it is NOW that the world needs servant leaders giving without expecting anything in return.
When others pressed by the ebb and tide of the wacky world we live in retreat inward, servant leaders shine the light.
By giving, we reverse the flow and erase the after affects of ever selfish tendencies.
Don't give up faith in the formula that when you give it is returned to you but not necessarily from the place you gave to.
Change your focus off self and instead focus on others. In doing so, you will be beyond reproach and you will engender faith from those around you.
Hiding from the world isn't a solution, but a reaction.
The solution is to get dressed up and get out there meeting others and have fun doing it.
In the end, you are only in control of your choice to give or not to give.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Fwd: Harris County Citizen Corps: CERT Volunteers needed for 2009 Transportation Assistance Registry (TAR) Update
Harris County Homeland Security & Emergency Management will be attempting to contact residents of Harris County who have signed up for the 2009 TAR via 211. Using the TAR database, CERT volunteers will be needed beginning the week of October 5, 2009.
Volunteers will be utilizing a pre-scripted questionnaire to verify the information on the database. Volunteers will work in the EOC and should have excellent communications skills. The ability to speak Spanish, Vietnamese or other languages is desirable. If you are interested in volunteering please complete the attached form and fax it to 713-881-3077, or e-mail your completed form to email@example.com.
If you have any questions, please contact Niki Smith at 713-881-3100.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
What's cheaper and easier than using a credit card to fund your growing company
What's cheaper and easier than using a credit card to fund your growing company
When a business owner cannot get the funds to keep his company growing because of the financial crisis and the current credit freeze, s/he will turn to AMEX or VISA or MC. These are easy sources of credit, but they are much more expensive than necessary. There is a much cheaper form of finance.
It is called factoring and the deal is you sell your Accounts Receivable at a discount which is averaging about 3% across the nation.
Instead of paying off a bunch of individual purchases over a long period of time at 20% or more, a business owner sells their invoice and that transaction is done.
Not every factor is made equal. Be sure to find a reputable one which doesn't require you to factor more than you need to and which doesn't charge you all kinds of fees besides the discount on the invoice.
Google News: Startup Mission Motors' Electric Superbike Breaks Speed Record ...
Reuters - Sep 15, 2009
It might sound familiar: An ambitious startup sets out to build a high-performance electric two-wheel vehicle priced for ...
Electric Motorcycle Sets Speed Record New York Timesall 39 news articles »
Browse all of today's headlines on Google News
Google News: Job losses pile up across the Houston area
Houston Chronicle - 32 minutes ago
BY THE NUMBERS Tight credit, reluctant consumers and a decline in air travel have made it a rough year for Houstonians in construction, ...
Texas Unemployment Hits 22-Year High MyFox Houstonall 1,376 news articles »
Browse all of today's headlines on Google News
Friday, September 18, 2009
Fwd: FW: RED SHIRT
Monday, September 14, 2009
Fwd: The recent immigrants get it... ask one sometime!
I was walking in the Somber presence of those who died during the Vietnam Conflict on Sunday, 091309 at the Vietnam Memorial. I stopped while a young Hispanic Boy who found an American Flag planted at "The Wall" spontaneously started to sing the Star Spangled Banner. This young boy reminded the bystanders that it is great to be a Patriotic American! He stopped in his excitement to point out, "Look the Capitol Building"! and then resumed his teaching. I got goosebumps as I witnessed the "Melting Pot" of immigration to this great country.
Apparently, the immigrants understand the fact that many of our men and women have died in preserving Liberty and Justice for all. America is the last beacon of FREEDOM to the world. All other world leaders have sold out their people to Socialism or Communism. Look at the European Union (Socialism) and our neighbors North and South. If we partake as a country to Socialism, then, it is only a short trip to the New World Order of Communitarianism.
Too bad our Usurper President just doesn't get it or does he???
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Fwd: Google News: Stiglitz Says Banking Problems Are Now Bigger Than Pre-Lehman
- I don't hear anyone else talking about it and it's important
- We help many small businesses who because of the banking failures without us they would no longer be in business.
Bloomberg - 46 minutes agoSept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize- winning economist, said the US has failed to fix the underlying problems of its banking system after the credit crunch and the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings ...Lehman's Lesson Forbesall 693 news articles »
Browse all of today's headlines on Google News
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Follow all who follow you
There are services that automate this for you.
In fact, there are services that help you unfollow everyone who hasn't followed you back. Once a month, I go to huitter.com and us the mutuality tool to do that.
It's a conversation people.
Vision, Plan, Conviction, Persevere
Gaining clarity of vision is letting go of your old way of thinking and taking hold of the best that is for you.
You must have a plan. "Keep your eyes fixed straight ahead. Don't look to the left and don't look to the right." Keep on the plan and don't let anything distract you.
When tough times come, what do you say to yourself? If you aren't positive about your future, it shows up in your "self talk" and affects your future. Make the decision today that no matter what you are going through you are going to make it through and quickly!
A wise man once said, "You can't run from everything that's hard in your life and expect to be delivered. Challenges stretch you and enlarge your vision."
You are growing, maturing and being prepared for promotion. Simply remain faithful and fight for it! Perseverance is THE number one trait of successful persons.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Our European arrogance in alphabetical order
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Fwd: 911 for a safe home..... 911
Jae Malik URGENT!! NEED RESCUE FOR Purebred SharPei in KILL SHELTER. He is sweet, and does seem to get along well with others. Is a male about two years old. Today is actually his PD day, but they are giving few more days in hopes someone will please save him. CONTACT: Tammy 979-388-2365 or 281-756-2365
Fwd: Fw: Snopes.com
Dear Friends:Check this out. Decide and let others know about unreliable /biased/deceptive sources of "truth".Just to let others know that certain people have an agenda (unrighteous) to push. The facts may not be the full truth of the matter. (Read Joseph's story in Genesis 39:7-20) Fact: "And she caught him by his garment saying, "Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside." Gen. 39:12But the TRUTH is ....read the whole story. Check the facts - discover the full truth.God bless!
From "a usually reliable source"!!!! I've wondered for a long time how we can put so much confidence in an unknown self proclaimed expert, Snopes.com
Here is something that Ihave been waiting to readthat I just received. Pleaseread this, because I havebeen duped into forwardingthings to all of you that haveNOT been fact!!!!THANX, Mike****************** ><> ************************* ><>We have relied on snopes many many times to prove "truth or fiction" in verifying something that was sent to us. My goodness, no more short cuts. Do the research yourself! Who knows, this may be in error...
Well, this is an eye opener!Think this is something we all suspected. I use "Truth or Fiction." If you know a good reliable source I'd sure like to know. ThanksNow that we learned that people 'manufacture the truth.' We now have to learn that the checker is also not truthful. Who is now checking this report to see if it is telling us the truth?THIS MAY SURPRISE YOUFo r the past few years www.snopes.com has positioned itself, or others have labeled it as the 'tell-all, final word' on any comment, claim and e-mail. But for several years people tried to find out who exactly was behind snopes.com. Only recently did Wikipedia get to the bottom of it - kinda makes you wonder what they were hiding.Well, finally we know. It is run by a husband and wife team - that's right, no big office of investigators and researchers, no team of lawyers. It's just a mom-and-pop operation that began as a hobby. < /SPAN>David and Barbara Mikkelson in the San Fernando Valley of California started the website about 13 years ago - and they have no formal background or experience in investigative research. After a few years it gained popularity believing it to be unbiased and neutral, but over the past couple of years people started asking question s who was behind it and did they have a selfish motivation?The reason for the questions - or skepticisms - is a result of snopes.com claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issues, when in fact, they have been proven wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not really investigating and getting to the 'true' bottom of various issues.When I saw that Snopes had falsely claimed that Obama's Birth Certificate ha d been properly validated, I realized something was wrong with either their research and/or their credibility. It seems something is seriously wrong with both.Then a few months ago, when my State Farm agent Bud Gregg in Mandeville hoisted a political sign referencing Barack Obama and made a big splash across the int ernet, supposedly the Mikkelson's claim to have researched this issue before posting their findings on snopes.com. In their statement they claimed the corporate office of State Farm pressured Gregg into taking down the sign, when in fact nothing of the sort ever took place.I personally contacted David Mikkelson (and he replied back to me) thinking he would want to get to the bottom of this, and I gave him Bud Gregg's contact phone numbers. Bud was going to give him phone numbers to the big exec's at State Farm in Illinois who would have been willing to speak with him about it. He never called Bud. In fact, I learned from Bud Gregg no one from snopes.com ever contacted anyone with State Farm. Yet snopes.com issued a statement as the 'final factual word' on the issue as if they did all their homework and got to the bottom of things. Not!Then it has been learned the Mikkelson's are very Democrat and extremely liberal. As we all now know from this presidential election, libe rals have a purpose agenda to discredit anything that appears to be conservative. There has been much criticism lately over the internet with people pointing out the Mikkelson's liberalism revealing itself in their website findings. Gee, what a shock!So, I say this now to everyone who goes to www.snopes.com to get what they think to be the bottom line facts: Proceed with caution. Take what it says at face value and nothing more. Use it only to lead you to their references where you can link to and read the sources for yourself. Plus, you can always google a subject and do the research yourself. It now seems apparent that's all the Mikkelson's do. After all, I can personally vouch from my own experience for their 'not' fully looking into things.
I have told some who shared things with me that snopes said it wasn't true. I apologize for that. Snopes is not an unbiased source.