For decades, Americans have been living a sort of “through the looking glass” from the pages of the novel, Alice in Wonderland.
“Through the looking glass” is a metaphorical expression. It means: on the strange side, in the twilight zone, in a strange parallel world. It comes from the idea of Lewis Carol’s novel: “Through the Looking–Glass“, and the strange and mysterious world Alice finds when she steps through a mirror,” per Quora.
Until fairly recently, without sex, there was no motherhood. To deny the power of sex is to deny the power of life and living. It should not be over nor under stated.
It was a fairly short time-frame from Dr. Zhivago (1965) being seen subtly under the sheets in that Hollywood blockbuster until the casual sex – and madness – of another hit movie, Network (1976).
If you don’t think culture or videos matter to Manufactured Housing professionals in the U.S. Canada – or even down under – ask a Millennial that watches Netflix’s Trailer Park Boys their feelings about manufactured homes. They’ll educate you in a snap.
Or ask some of the approaching 6 million who watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s hit viral video, Mobile Homes – who laughed as they nodded their heads in agreement.
To be modestly successful in manufactured homes (MH), you can ignore culture and its impact. But to become wildly successful ethically and honorable in your market(s), I don’t see how you can grow your business to 10 or 20 times your current MH retail sales levels – which is doable, honestly – without understanding human nature, culture, and the levers that maneuver Western and American society.
It’s useful to embrace history, under whatever banner one names it.
Investors crave a high degree of certainty. Don’t ask me, ask Warren Buffett or other billionaires.
One question is, how is that ‘high degree of certainty’ being achieved in practice?
Jeff Bezos has been the world’s richest man, but sexting and related cost him his marriage and resulted in perhaps the most expensive divorce in history. That’s a small indication of the power of sex over even a wealthy, successful personality.
Has Bezos’ or Buffett’s sexual history kept the media from fawning over either man?
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the current Democratic front runner. According to Real Clear Politics (RCP), he’s about 25 points ahead of Bernie Sanders. Let’s not quibble for the moment over how accurate – or not – such polling may be. Biden’s famously snuggled, hugged, kissed, and played with the hair of women he didn’t know well, or at all. That’s all on camera. Donald J. Trump, now President Trump, for years was a celebrated womanizer. But he’s slammed by much of the media for similar behavior? Can you spell double-standards?
The point isn’t to elevate or excuse one over the other. Rather, it’s to reveal the disconnects and hypocrisy.
Looking back at old episodes of I Love Lucy, she and Desi slept in separate beds. How odd for a married couple, though it did – and still does – occur. Watch old Hollywood movies. Before Dr. Zhivago famously moved ever so little under the sheets with his paramour by his side in an adulterous affair, sexuality was just under the surface long before that ‘racy’ scene.
It’s one thing to understand human weaknesses and foibles, and another to celebrate or manipulate them. For example, some drug kingpins became wealthy celebrities. Behind a veneer of generosity to some, was ruthless murder and torture to enforce an organization that would have eventually killed a drug lord otherwise.
There are disconnects between the “me too” movement and the sexual revolution. We see on TV a female political candidate decrying unwanted sexual advances. Meanwhile that same politico ignores the rape and predatory sexual behavior occurring daily south of the border as illegal immigration is encouraged by open border policies. One female candidate floated making prostitution legal nationally. It’s Alice peering through the looking glass. Darkly.
Politics and business intersect. Period. Don’t like it? Get over it. It is what it is.
Business and culture intersect. These first two intersections impact manufactured housing tremendously.
Religion and morality intersect with business too.
Those who protest that your or society’s moral views should not be imposed on them may well protest moments later if you threaten them with a gun or knife, demanding some or all they’ve worked for in life. Put differently, there are moral standards almost all agree are correct. Every law to some extent is a moral judgment.
America has been a social experiment from the days when the first settlers came here. They wanted religious, political, as well as economic freedom. They knew what oppression was. They risked all to come to the shores of the first colonies on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Those early social experiments led to a revolution against England, their king, and crown authorized monopolies. The pre-revolutionary Boston Tea Party wasn’t just a tax protest, it could be viewed as a protest against the crown’s monopoly granted to that tea company.
What does this have to do with Mother’s Day?
Everything. At the center of society is the family. Without motherhood, there would be no next generation. Without singles or households, what housing would be needed or sold?
What’s wrong in America is that we don’t ask what’s right, to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton.
We need moral standards, even when we may fail to keep them. We’ve all been hypocrites about something. Let’s recognize that fact, then ask, how did we get into this present exciting yet vexing era?
There has long been those who’ve manipulated others through music, videos, literature, imagery, so-called education, finance, and government.
There are Ten Commandments that God gave humanity. Jews, Christians, Muslims, others largely agree on some variation of those ten laws. God didn’t make people robots, which lacked free will. If you’ve ever wondered why ‘so and so did such and such,’ and ‘why didn’t God stop it?’ The answer is simple. Free will. God respected us enough to give humans the ability to choose between what’s right and what’s wrong.
Our nation and much of Western society have undergone gut wrenching upheavals. Societal, cultural, governmental, business – and yes religious and moral forces – are coming to a head. We won’t speculate on what’s next.
What we can know is that God is good, patient, and merciful. Embracing truth is part of the solution. Motherhood was part of the mystery of the Creator’s plan.
America’s founding fathers were humans, imperfect as are we today. But they had a moral compass that complimented the economic, religious, and political vision. They knew no society could long endure absent religion and objective morality.
Relativism doesn’t work. Ultimately, relativism devolves into power struggles. The United States was predicated on an idealistic notion that government was to be subservient to the people, not the rulers of “We, the People.”
There can be a degree of fear or uncertainty in considering idealistic yet historic concepts. But let’s note that failure to ponder – and increasingly practice time-tested principles anew – is to condemn ourselves to a society that will finally break down in lawless chaos ruled by rival gangs. There are parts of the world that’s already the case. That’s not good for business, people, or anything else.
As a sinner myself, the point isn’t to lord one’s postured nobility over others. It is to understand what makes for a good and just society, and seek to live it personally.
Millions have the simple dream of earning an honest living, and at the of the day, returning to a home they call their own. Millions of those homes were and can be built in a factory.
Millions want to enjoy the blessings of a family. Society is founded on such households.
What’s gone wrong in America can’t be summed up in 1400 words, or can it? We need to celebrate the good. We need to strive to minimize what’s wrong. We need to make home ownership easier in a sustainable fashion.
Those homes will include millions of moms, whom we should collectively celebrate today.
The laws needed by our manufactured home industry are already on the books. HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s speech linked below on manufactured housing and their value is a fine place to start. We need to enforce good, existing laws. We need to expose the corruption of those who’ve misled so many, hoping to make a dishonest buck.
Happy Mother’s Day.
With no further adieu, let’s look at the articles from the week that was.
What’s New on MHLivingNews
What’s New on the Masthead
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR
MHARR Testimony to Congress Seeks Increased SAA Funding and Corresponding Contractor Reductions | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., May 10, 2019 – With manufactured housing production levels heading downward again in 2019, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has once again called on Congress, in appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, to direct HUD to reduce funding for its bloated, over-grown program “monitoring” contract and, instead, direct a corresponding amount of overall program funding to increase payments to its State Administrative Association (SAA) partners.
Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery Removal of Obsolete and Superseded Guidance Documents Letter | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Re: Notice of Removal of Obsolete and Superseded Guidance Documents – Docket No. FR-6156-N-01 Dear Secretary Montgomery: As you know, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of smaller and medium-sized independent producers of manufactured Housing regulated by the U.S.
New, Revised, and Proposed Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Manufactured Homes | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Ms. Sofie Miller U.S. Department of Energy Room 6A-013 Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 1000 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20585 Re: Proposed Procedures for New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products – EERE-2017-BT-STD-0062; RIN 1904-AD38 Dear Ms. Miller: The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).
What’s New from the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Knowledge is potential power. When you slow down enough to learn what you need to know, to read what you need to know, the odds go up that you’ll advance faster. “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Weekly headline news recap, commentary, and analysis.)
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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