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What the HECK is a TBeagle?
Under normal circumstances I’d answer with the question – “Who wants to know?”, but since I’m the one asking I already know who wants to know, so it would be silly to pretend otherwise. Therefore, please allow me to introduce myself.
I’m TBeagle, short for Theodore J. Beagleman, but feel free to call me Ted. These are my pen names. That I would use pseudonyms should be somewhat self-explanatory; a) it is a way of branding, and b) it can help to protect the identities of the innocent. Not that I’m necessarily a rough guy mind you, but there are elements out there in the world who prefer to know no boundaries, and they’re some of the ones I’ll be writing about.
I’m jumping ahead of myself. Let me tell you a little more about the who, and then I’ll wrap it up by telling you about some of the whys, and don’t worry I’ll spare you from the boring details. I’ll give you enough insight so when you run across my stuff, you’ll either want to stop and read or you’ll be like most people ~ you’ll run to the nearest bar so you can drink yourself into oblivion in an attempt to forget you ever heard my name. My wife and in-laws are still doing it, and it’s been over 20 years.
What’s so important about TBeagle? Nothing really. Except I’m pretty opinionated and I make predictions. Unfortunately, some of those predictions came true and I’m worried about the ones I’ve been making lately. I am a family man with a deep conservative bent. I didn’t turn conservative because someone told me to, I got there all on my own. When I was twelve I had my first real paying job, starting with a night job that most adults wouldn’t take. It required me being alone out in the boonies at all hours of the night at a golf course moving sprinklers around. Since then I have held over 50 jobs in the course of my working life along with two careers, and now I’m working on my third.
I went through a high earnings segment recently where I paid over $600k in income taxes over three or four year span, sometimes making more than $200 grand in a single month. Now I know that $200k is chump change for big players, but to some of us it’s still a lot of money. I also know what it’s like to be on the brink of losing my home after losing a business and watching hard earned assets disappear. I have a wonderful wife and three fine sons, two of them black belts in Tae Kwon Do, and all three of them are bonded very tightly together thanks to a loving mom who taught them the meaning brotherhood.
I know what its like to wake up in a jail cell in the morning after doing something stupid but thanking God that no one was hurt, and I know the feeling of hopelessness when being incarcerated over a longer period. Thankfully, I was still in Junior High when I learned that lesson, and I have been thankful ever since, because even though many of my friends were there with me, I got enough of a glimpse to know I had better things to do with my life, and better places to go.
Now here’s a good one, I know what it is like to be a liberal, the kind who says gimme gimme gimme, and then changing once I learned for myself how much better it is to give than to receive. But I also learned why it’s critical that you pay attention to what Caesar does with your money once you’ve given Caesar his due. This is something I’ll be writing about pretty regularly, especially having some keen insights into the mortgage and real estate markets due to about twenty years of being in the business. Which explains why I’m now broke.
But this one will slay you, I’m a Christian, rather I’m a follower of Christ. It’s important to understand the distinction because true followers are getting bad raps over of the antics of people who do very bad things while claiming to be Christians. People generally see my faith in my behavior toward them and others, though I will be the first to admit how far I fall short of being sinless. But people who follow Christ for real aren’t passing judgment on others because they’re too busy seeing themselves in comparison to a perfect being. Now THAT is a sobering experience. Because of that comparison, true followers tend to be more sympathetic and forgiving of others because it’s pretty clearly written; if you want to be forgiven, then you better be forgiving.
Now why do I want to bother writing something that might not ever be read? Okay, okay, good question, but here’s the deal. I’m not doing it for anybody but me. You see, I’ve been published over the years, once in a national magazine, several full features in the local news, and through a multitude of press releases and featurettes. But that was before I wanted to become a serious writer. Now though, times have changed. I have to finally stop saying “When I grow up I wanna be…”, because although I’m not mentally there, I definitely am physically grown up. Right now, I’m halfway through a pretty exciting action-mystery novel which I’m anxious to finish it just so I can see how it ends. I’m also halfway through a co-authored non-fiction on a very timely topic, and I have outlined another book that promises to be a lot of fun.
So for me, the TBeagle column will be like going to the gym. It is a way to exercise by sharpening my wit and writing skills, and it’s a way to write my way out of writer’s block. I’m doing it for me, but I hope you will enjoy it too. I’ll also invite you to suggest a topic for me to write on, and feel free to challenge me. That is, you can suggest a topic like say, raising teenagers, but you can add a twist by asking me to do it in fictional humor or as a study on a particular segment of Teen-hood, like assessing what a typical 13 year old’s reaction would be and why after being told no when it’s for her own good. And you can set a deadline if you want. But know that it will be my option to accept or decline any challenge, and all writings will be my own property subject to the terms of the agreement with NowPublic.
Now let me tell you what you will and won’t get; conventions as we call them, and let me start with what you won’t get. You won’t get a hidden agenda. I’ve disclosed that I’m a conservative Christian, but that is so you know who I am. When I write a piece, I won’t slant the facts to give credence to my point of view and I’m not going to try to persuade you to my way of thinking unless I’ve identified the piece as an Opinion or Editorial. Far from it, my beliefs can stand on their own merits and people are welcome to challenge them, but as far as for my writing, I will title the articles so you as a reader won’t get blindsided. And I won’t make up facts, if it is an opinion, I’ll say it’s an opinion. In fact, some of my article series will be pieces on writers who write on subjects without researching the facts. Now for anyone paying attention you might say that I’ll be targeting journalists who gave positive press to Obama during the campaign, and that’s a yes and no answer. No in that Obama people won’t be my prime targets, and yes that there are many Obama zealots out there who will be ripe for the picking, and therefore they’ll be picked. It doesn’t matter who they’re in the tank for, what bothers me is when someone reports the news that they want you to hear, rather than simply reporting the news. I want to do my share to expose it.
Why bother? Because of the implications to us and about us as a society. I have watched and read multiples of the same news stories but saw key facts being left out in order for the news organization to further its slant. I have seen too many so-called journalists rail on a person, policy, or event then later admit that they never actually examined the issue for themselves. This is a slap in the face to anyone who is trying hard to learn more about something for their own edification. And this tells me that those who are being disingenuous have a dominant assumption that people are stupid. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a whole bunch of stupid people out there and they’re on their own as far as I’m concerned. But they’re not the ones who are going to read up on something; the ones who do matter are the ones who care enough to try and develop the research so they can make an educated decision. A journalist reporting on a subject that he or she didn’t bother to investigate while passing themselves off as a qualified reporter is a fraud. It’s like a pharmacist who tells you what a medication will do because he heard from someone that it might be good. A news organization that leaves out critical facts is like a home builder who says he’s an expert, and then only gives you half of what you need to get the job done. So you could build your house on his advice and you might get lucky with only a few things not working, or the house you built on his advice could collapse on you and your family at night while you’re sleeping, causing you some real damage.
So what can you expect from TBeagle? In the words of Joe Friday, “Just the facts, ma’am”, unless I’m telling you that there aren’t any, then in that case it would just be my opinion.