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During the 1999 debate over Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China President Bill Clinton said, ‘In opening the economy of China, the agreement will create unprecedented opportunities for American farmers, workers and companies to compete successfully in China’s market. WRONG: Our trade deficit with China has increased from $83 billion in 2001 to a record breaking $342 billion in 2014.
It’s easy to run to others. It’s so hard to stand on one’s own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can’t fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It’s easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It’s simple to seek substitutes for competence–such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.
He believed that life, true life, was something that was stored in music. True life was kept safe in the lines of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin while you went out in the world and met the obligations required of you. Certainly he knew (though did not completely understand) that opera wasn’t for everyone, but for everyone he hoped there was something. The records he cherished, the rare opportunities to see a live performance, those were the marks by which he gauged his ability to love.
Iceland sets a world-record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, ‘ourselves’. I think I’m in that group. If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.
I’m partly somebody else trying to fit in and say the right things and do the right thing and be in the right place and wear what everybody else is wearing. Sometimes I think we’re all trying to be shadows of each other, trying to buy the same records and everything even if we don’t like them. Kids are like robots, off an assembly line, and I don’t want to be a robot!
I have always considered myself a fast learner. I try to retain and absorb as much information and knowledge about the [music] business as I can. I don’t want to just sit back and have other people do the hard work for me. I try to be involved in every process of my career as possible. I run my own social media, record, and try to vocal produce myself as much as possible, write my own songs, style myself, and learn the business side. If I didn’t do acting or music, I was going to school for business. God has put me on this path and I can honestly say I wake up every day doing what I love.