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Invest Your Time in Two Books for Independence Day

Posted on 30 June 2017 by Scott Cooper

Last week my column discussed our collective need to work on “Improving Our Communication Skills.”  The previous editorial discussed “Starting the Investment,” specifically thinking about a summer reading list for those graduating from Middle School.  “Starting the Investment,” compared the relative maturity of young men and women graduating from the 8th grade 100 years ago to today, and recommended a book, Do Hard Things, written by modern teenagers, sharing history of some heroic teens of other era’s, as an inspiration for today’s teens to initiate a “rebelution against low expectations!”  Yes, it’s a play on words, combining rebel and revolution.  Their website is www.TheRebelution.com.

This week, as Independence Day celebrations approach, we should remember the American Patriots who simply wanted individual liberty were considered rebels and that their effort began formally legislatively, but ultimately led to a revolution.  In that light as we consider how to improve our communication skills about our struggle for liberty today, I urge all of us to add two books to our summer reading list, which I believe will expand our thoughts about what the celebrations this coming weekend really mean.

The financial entanglements our ancestors fought against prior to our first Independence Day were far less significant than the financial entanglements we face today.  Today our central government rewards itself and “the players” both inside and outside of government for doing the exact opposite of what we celebrate this weekend.  Expanding dependency has become the largest byproduct of virtually every government program.  Yet this weekend we continue to celebrate independence and liberty, while at the same time embracing policies which limit choice and increase dependence.  I find this curious, and troubling.

The two books I recommend are:

Future editorials will disc

uss the books in more detail.  I am confident that some of the polarized advocates I referenced in last week’s “Improving our Communication Skills” will have choice words about the first author.  When you find those, remember, they are attacking a person, but not the content.  Remember, that tactic is an effort to stop discussion by demeaning the person.  I call on all of us to do and demand better, and I hope you will too!

As you read the books and have thoughts about the content, I would love to discuss the thoughts with you either on the Edgefield Advertiser editorial page, where this will be posted, or on my Facebook page, where it will also be posted.

Here’s wishing you a very rewarding Independence Day Weekend Celebration with family and friends.

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Starting The Investment

Posted on 21 June 2017 by Scott Cooper

Last week (http://hscottcooper.com/contrasting-three-events-on-memorial-day-ea-may-31-2017/) I closed my editorial with the following paragraph:

“What encourages me about our time period in history, where our collective knowledge of these conflicting worldviews is so poor, is that we can rapidly improve our knowledge, if we are willing to make the investment.”

When it comes to making the needed investment, there are two critical points I believe we must begin with:

First, parents must be willing to make the educational investment in their children.  Dropping them at the schoolhouse isn’t enough.  To grandparents – if, for whatever reason, your children are not making the required investment in your grandchildren’s proper education, you have a civic duty, indeed a moral obligation, to ensure your lineage is properly educated.  Your legacy depends upon it.

Second, we must begin as early as possible.  There is a lot of focus this time of year on Graduation.  Graduation from High School, Graduation from College and perhaps graduate school.  If we look back in history, say a century ago – young men graduating from eighth grade had great expectations placed on them.  Many had already become men, bearing responsibility for helping provide their families’ sustenance.  Young women graduating from the eighth grade were also being taught to think about their role in providing for the family, both existing and future families.

This week, I encourage you to think about the young adults you know graduating from Middle School.  I think two of the books which should be on the summer reading list for these young adults, ages 13 and 14, are:

The first book was actually written by two teenagers. Alex and Brett Harris, at the age of 19. Do Hard Things, A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, in short tells stories of great teenagers from our history who accomplished amazing feats during their teenage years, and contrasted those stories with today’s culture where adulthood (responsibility) is actually being pushed further and further into an individual’s future.

The second book deals with Economics.  In my opinion, we must educate all young adults entering High School the truth about Economics.  Specifically, how government run systems created in the last two generations have placed a tremendous economic burden on them.  Much of that burden, which they will bear, began prior to their conception!  The author states, “this upcoming generation has been plundered and deceived.”  Thus, the title of the book is Plunder and Deceit: Big Governments Exploitation of Young People and the Future by Mark Levin.

I am hopeful The Edgefield Advertiser will place my editorials online, so after your Middle School Graduates, or you, have read the books, we will be able to discuss the merits of their content online.  They will be placed at my website, www.HScottCooper.com as well as my Facebook Page, www.Facebook.com/ScottCooperSC.

Here’s wishing you a productive week!

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Contrasting Three Events on Memorial Day – EA May 31, 2017

Posted on 29 May 2017 by Scott Cooper

In my article last week, I applauded Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, for hosting the summit where United States President Donald Trump called on the world to work together to “Drive Out” those who seek death and destruction.  Our Commander in Chief specifically stated that those who adhere to the death and destruction of infidels must be driven out of the mosques throughout the world.  Although President Trump didn’t specifically state it, one should deduce he meant the mosques in the closed nations of the Islamic faith, like Saudi Arabia, from where he was speaking, as well as the thousands of mosques which are being constructed all throughout the Western Hemisphere.  It should be noted that many of the newly constructed mosques throughout the West are on sites of former churches of both the Protestant and Catholic Christian traditions.

Monday morning, I had the privilege of attending the Memorial Day Service in Edgefield, where the names of fallen heroes from Edgefield County, who fought in past wars, were read.  I am so thankful for Michael Washington, Edgefield County’s Veterans Affairs Officer, and all the others who organized this important event.

As I sat listening to the names of the fallen service members, who invested in us with their service and sacrifice in the Armed Forces, I couldn’t stop thinking of the thousands of civilians who are dying annually in the war Commander in Chief Trump was addressing one week prior.  The warfare taking place today most often leads to the death and destruction of civilian innocents and most of their names will never be read in future Memorial Day Services.  Yes, large attacks like September 11th, 2001 we will continue to remember, and read the names of those lost.  But the vast majority of skirmishes in today’s war, taking place on a weekly basis around the globe, will not be memorialized.

Then I reflected on another historic day which coincides with Memorial Day 2017 – the 564th Anniversary of the fall of Constantinople, when the Islamic Ottoman Turks invaded and conquered the cradle of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  On that day over 4,000 citizens were killed and some 30,000 were enslaved or deported. The majority of churches were burned.  Constantinople was renamed to Istanbul.

Finally, I reflected on the demographics of the crowd honoring Edgefield’s heroes and the challenge we have ahead of all of us in educating not only the upcoming generation, but much of the generation currently in leadership about the worldviews which for centuries dictated the prevention and outcome of the wars those we memorialized this week fought in.

The Barna Group, which studies the five dominant faith groups in our republic has found that only roughly 4 % of today’s Millennials have an understanding of the Judeo-Christian worldview upon which Western Civilization was built.  The percentage of Generation X’ers isn’t significantly better.

What encourages me about our time period in history, where our collective knowledge of these conflicting worldviews is so poor, is that we can rapidly improve our knowledge, if we are willing to make the investment.

More on making that investment over the coming weeks.  Here’s wising you a productive week!

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President Trump in Saudi Arabia – EA May 24, 2017

Posted on 24 May 2017 by Scott Cooper

More than one contributor to The Edgefield Advertiser has written in the past about the conflict of worldviews between the Judeo-Christian Founding principles of our republic and other worldviews which stand in stark contrast to us.  On more than one occasion, I have personally written about Islam’s conflict with Western Civilization.

I am so proud of our Commander in Chief, Donald Trump, who went to the cradle of Islam, Saudi Arabia, to deliver an exceptional speech this past Sunday then traveled on to the cradle of the Jewish and Christian Faith, Israel – and then later to the Vatican.

May all people of faith be in prayer for him and our U.S. delegation, and this new generation of world of leadership as it continues to unfold.  We truly are living in historic times, where important paradigm shifts are taking place.  Regardless of your faith, or where you stand politically, these paradigm shifts will impact all of us, in what I believe is the conflict of the 21st century, much like the Cold War became the primary conflict of much of the last century.

If you did not watch President Trump’s Speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, I highly encourage you to do so – http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/21/politics/trump-saudi-speech-transcript/.

Not only will this week’s events sharpen our republics foreign policy for the coming years, it is forcing more and more Americans to seriously study the differences between these world faiths, which in my opinion, this is a good thing.

In closing, I applaud Saudi Arabia for hosting this past weekend’s summit.  The effort to reform those who seek death and destruction, or as President Trump worded it, “Drive them out,” must primarily take place within the Islamic faith itself.

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Fatherhood, Part One – EA June 15, 2016

Posted on 17 June 2016 by Scott Cooper

HandsI have the privilege of sitting on a porch my great-grandfather sat on as our republic prepared for WWI. The same porch my grandfather sat on as he lived through the depression and our republic prepared for WWII.  The same porch my father sat on as he worked through the issues of the Cold War.

Today, I sit on that same porch as my generation, and the generation of my sons try to figure out a way to pay off the existing debt and unfunded liabilities our elected leaders have created for us since WWII.

With the crumbling infrastructure we face at the same time as the out of control and mis-prioritized spending – combined with the global insecurity we face, the road ahead can seem daunting.

I am, however encouraged. My son and his entrepreneurial spirit encourages me. His friends who are also entrepreneurs encourage me. His friends, and other young family members who are serving or have served in the armed services, in addition to the countless others who are serving in the armed services, also encourage me. Technology and the ability / opportunity to self-educate also encourages me. The young man I met this past Saturday in Columbia, SC who will be a junior in high school this year, who is organizing conservative groups in high schools all through-out our state encourages me.

I believe the next greatest generation is being assembled – and with the right mentorship from the middle-aged, of which I consider myself a part, and older generation, my father’s generation – I have great hope for our republic.

I also was with some folks this past weekend who were saying, “God is coming back soon,” almost as if we should take our hands off the steering wheel He charged us to steward. To those folks I say – “Let us live as if He is returning tomorrow, but work as if He isn’t returning for a thousand years!”

This is the first part of a four-part series surrounding the issue of fatherhood, which I believe is one of the most pressing issues of our day, and appropriate since this month we celebrate Fatherhood on June 19th.

I do find it interesting I wrote this on Saturday night, the night before the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.  In this editorial, I referenced both my grandfather and my great-grandfather sitting on the porch thinking through the issues surrounding the World Wars they lived through.  There are some who believe World War III has already begun, we simply have not had our Pearl Harbor moment, yet.

I hope you have a blessed week.

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P.S.  As we reflect on this inter-generational baton race we are in, you may be interested in the article I wrote last week, as we remember the Allied invasion of Normandy.  Click Here to read that!  If you find it interesting, please leave a comment!

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Discouragement – EA May 11, 2016

Posted on 11 May 2016 by Scott Cooper

Road

I want to continue my theme that most of life’s issues are “non-respecter of person issues.

One afternoon this week I travelled down an incomplete road. Indeed, this time three years ago, this road did not even exist – except in my head!

Back then, when it was still just in my head, the road was about 150 feet to the right, down the slight slope. After speaking with someone more knowledgeable than myself, I altered the plan for the road a bit, then we went to work!

As I observe the foliage coming in, honestly I am a bit discouraged, because I am not as far along in the productive use of this land as I would like to be.

I am however encouraged because God has still provided me breath and strength to press on toward the goal. Press on, I will.

I can’t help but think of the millions of people discouraged right now, for one reason or another. It could be health, finances, concern over a loved one, a business, a marriage – or heaven forbid, civil governance!

Whatever discouragement YOU may face right now; I encourage you to press on. God has a perfect road for each of us. Sometimes it moves a little bit from what WE think it should be, and often HIS pace is not our pace. The point is – keep on keeping on!

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

I hope you have a blessed week!

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The Importance of Attiude – EA May 4, 2016

Posted on 04 May 2016 by Scott Cooper

Attitude is Everything

This week I want to continue the theme that the laws of life are “non-respecter of person issues.”  Last week I wrote about the Laws of Wealth Creation and Poverty, which I felt was an appropriate follow up to writing about Tax Day for two weeks, both Tax Day 1986 and Tax Day 2016 and how both of those days, separated by 30 years, remind me of two critical issues facing our republic, National Security and Economics.  It’s funny how the more things change, the more they really stay the same.

It doesn’t matter who you speak with these days, both issues: National Security and Economics, bring a lot of emotions to the conversation.  Some emotions consist of fear, trepidation, anger and bitterness.  I also mentioned how we have leaders who accentuate covetousness and greed to obtain followers – attitudes which breed discontent as well as other negative emotions and actions.

I believe we are reaching critical mass in our republic on both of these issues. In both of the Tax Day messages I stated that when addressing the problems, we need to be focused on facts, not emotions.

“Facts are stubborn things.” John Adams

However, when it comes to emotions, I believe the most important emotion any individual can have when addressing these, or any other issue is that of attitude.  With the right attitude, any problem or challenge can be overcome.  With a bad attitude, chances are great that things will not only not get better, they will progressively get worse.

One of my favorite authors is John Maxwell.  I am going to share some bullet points from his small book Attitude 101:

  1. Attitudes have the power to lift up, or tear down a team.
  2. An attitude compounds when exposed to others.
  3. Bad attitudes compound faster than good ones.
  4. Attitudes are subjective, so Identifying a wrong one can be difficult.
  5. Rotten attitudes, left alone, ruin everything.

The question is, if we find ourselves with a rotten attitude, can we change it?  Here are some additional points from Mr. Maxwell:

  1. Choice 1: Evaluate Your Present Attitude
  2. Choice 2: Realize That Faith Is Stronger Than Fear
  3. Choice 3: Write A Statement of Purpose
  4. Choice 4: Have The Desire to Change
  5. Choice 5: Live One Day at A Time
  6. Choice 6: Change Your Thought Patterns
  7. Choice 7: Develop Good Habits
  8. Choice 8: Continually Choose to Have a Right Attitude.

When it comes to attitude, I am pro-choice.  We each get to choose the emotion that will lift ourselves up, or drag us, and others down.  It is a non-respecter of person issue.  Attending International School in Switzerland, I saw both good and bad attitudes in each of the 90 + nationalities represented at the school.

What are you going to choose?

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Things Preventing America from Becoming Great Again – EA April 6, 2016

Posted on 08 April 2016 by Scott Cooper

Make America Great Again

In the course of my writing for The Edgefield Advertiser, I have shared that I believe many of the issues facing us today are “non-respecter of person issues.”  I stated I would at times be returning back to this theme.

This week, while working on the farm my index finger got caught in a piece of equipment and ripped out a decent piece of skin, measuring about an inch in length, a quarter of an inch in width and a significant depth – enough to hurt like the dickens, but thankfully not deep enough to catch a vein.

That experience got me to thinking about two non-respecter of person issues: work ethic and intergenerational dependence / training. It got me thinking about both of my grandfathers, and their hands!

I remember thinking both of my grandfathers were extremely smart, hard working men. Neither man went to college; however, both men showed up for work daily, one seven days a week on a dairy farm.  Both provided well – not only for their immediate family, but for extended family during times of need.  I could tell multiple stories of both men meeting needs of others beyond their immediate family.

One died just before I was a decade old and the other died before my sixteenth birthday.  Both men had strong hands.  Honestly, I remember looking at both men’s hands at their viewings just before their funerals and marveling at how used they looked, and how strong at the same time.  I was fortunate to spend time with both men. One, on his farm, which I now have the privilege to work and the other in his multiple gardens.  Both men demonstrated extremely strong work ethic, even in their latter years. In addition, both men demonstrated an ability to have fun with their grandkids.

We are currently in an election year hearing about all government should do, and some say must do for us – but I don’t hear our leaders speaking about the importance of work-ethic, encouraging elders to demonstrate it for the next generation – and perhaps even for the generation following that.  I don’t hear our candidates speaking about the travesty of fatherlessness in our culture, which invariably leads to a lack of grandfathers, and the devastating impact that is having on our nation.

As I reminisced on my grandfathers this week, and the profound impact they had on my life, I realized how blessed I am.  I also realized how deprived of leadership many young boys and girls are today.  This year’s election isn’t going to repair this void in leadership – but if repaired, would have the greatest impact on the next generation(s).

Inter-generational training, the issue of fatherlessness and the improvement of our nations work-ethic are areas, which if improved, could have the greatest impact on making America great again.

Would you consider joining me in prayer for the issue of fatherlessness and work-ethic in our nation?

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Make America Great Again

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Remembering First Lady Nancy Reagan – EA March 16, 2016

Posted on 16 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

Nancy Reagan

With the passing of First Lady Nancy Reagan, I have been thinking about Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.

President Reagan was 41 when he married Nancy, and they shared 52 incredible years together. She married him at a low point in his life, and helped him achieve amazing things.

To me, as I reflect on Nancy Reagan – I am thinking about the value of marriage. I am thinking about the importance of working as a team. I am contemplating about the amount of work it takes to become such a team, and the fact that it is accomplished not with emotions and feelings only – but by a steadfast commitment. A lifelong commitment.

The work I do with High Frontier, we reflect often on Reagan’s peace through strength strategy and his willingness to call evil, well – evil. We are thankful for his willingness to speak truth to power – and how that changed the course of nations – literally.

I think of Lech Walesa, an imprisoned electrician in Poland, due to his efforts in the labor movement, who later in life, after becoming President of Poland, shared how Ronald Reagan’s optimism and speaking truth to power inspired him, as he studied in prison, and listened to the American President on the radio.

Yes – Ronald Reagan impacted countless people – and the course of nations. This side of the veil, we will likely never know his full impact.

But we know one thing for certain – Nancy was at his side all the way and I believe God worked through Ronald in a greater way, causing him to be the effective leader he was in large part to Nancy being his side.

Thank you Nancy – for your service to our country. We greatly appreciate you!

__________

This was the fourth week I was published in The Edgefield Advertiser, the longest running continues paper in South Carolina, published March 16, 2016.

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What I Appreciate About McDonalds!

Posted on 13 June 2015 by Scott Cooper

McDonalds 1

Those who know me, my concern with overall healthcare, its  costs, how overall nutrition impacts those costs, and how much of our food supply is actually unhealthy will likely find this title strange – that there is anything I would appreciate about McDonalds.

But it’s true – there is something that I greatly appreciate about McDonalds.

When I was a Branch Manager with Capital One Bank in Central Park, Fredericksburg, VA, our branch had several McDonald’s restaurants which had their business accounts with us.  One day, while taking one of my various routes to work, I noticed that one of the restaurants, which was also a client, had been razed since the last time I had seen it.  It was GONE!

Old McDonalds

Later that morning, when the restaurant manager came in to do the daily banking, I walked over to ask her if that particular restaurant had burned down, if that was why the site was completely flat and clean now.  “No,” she replied, “McDonalds is in the process of razing and rebuilding  hundreds of our restaurants.  That building was ancient. Everything in it was old and needed to be replaced. It was razed last week, and construction for the new restaurant begins next week.  Construction should be completed in “X” weeks.” I put X weeks, because I don’t remember the exact number, but I was impressed with the aggressive time table to get that store re-opened, operational and once again profitable.

It was at that point, at least once a week I took the route to work, which would enable me to watch the construction progress.  It was phenomenal.  Closing to reopening, with its new building, completely new equipment and a new and improved menu took place in mere weeks.

McDonalds 2

Even though I am relatively health conscious, and rarely enter a McDonalds to eat – I have noticed that not only are they installing new, modern buildings with new equipment all throughout the country – but their menus have changed with the times as well – to accommodate the growing number of folks like me, who are being more health conscious with their diets.Inside McDonalds New

That is proactive, innovative leadership.  Leadership which doesn’t lead with the status quo, but sees the writing on the wall and takes the required steps to change with the times.  I appreciate that bold investment in the future which McDonalds is visibly executing – and will likely stop in for a salad, or a breakfast parfait more often, as a result.

This type of innovation inspires – and gives hope.  Perhaps some of the folks who executed this massive transition into the future: on schedule, on budget, with a goal of attaining profitability, would consider running for public office someday – as the status quo we see in government needs some drastic innovation, with such goals.

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