Archives for Politics

The Flag Raising at Ground Zero

  • 2,606 in the World Trade Centers
  • 87 on American flight 11
  • 60 on United flight 175
  • 125 in the Pentagon
  • 59 on American flight 77
  • 40 on United flight 93

On this, the 10th anniversary of that day, we will see a lot of images of the first attack of this kind on our own soil. Understanding 9/11 is a collection of live television video from that day that brings back some of the sense of shock and disbelief we all shared.

Despite all that we suffered that day, though, we still stand strong. In the midst of the rubble, before the smoke even died down, everyday people found ways to show that we would not be beaten, we would not surrender.

Please take a moment today to remember and pray for the fallen victims and heroes from that day and the loved ones they left behind.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

These words, immortalized on a document signed by 56 men 235 years ago, and backed up by the selfless sacrifices of thousands of militiamen and citizens, changed history in ways no one could have expected.

We’ll close the office at 1pm today and be off on Monday in order to take some time to remember their impact.

Enjoy your Independence Day!

Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

Last night US forces found Osama bin Laden and he and several other of the people with him are now dead.

The brave, well-trained armed forces members who carried out this mission have our sincere gratitude.

For many years people assumed that Osama bin Laden was in a cave in Afghanistan somewhere. That was the conventional wisdom.

As usual – when it came to something really important – the conventional wisdom was wrong.

Fortunately our forces didn’t only listen to “everyone”. They did their own research, and instead of in a cave in Afghanistan, they found him in an estate in a high-end neighborhood in a city in Pakistan less than a mile from a military academy.

If they had listened to conventional wisdom he’d still be alive and well.

What conventional wisdom are you following in your agency?

When was the last time you really thought about what your agency considers the best way to provide a quote, submit a policy, prospect for customers, hire new personnel, etc.? How many of your procedures have you truly analyzed in the past few years?

Many of the activities we do each day are fine as-is. In some cases it’s completely reasonable to do some things the way they’ve always been done.

The huge opportunities, though, lie in finding the ones that we should change. Where customers, markets, and/or our own staff would be significantly better off with a small tweak. Best yet, those tweaks frequently make things easier on ourselves as well.

So, as we celebrate the justice reflected in yesterday’s departure of the planner and organizer of the death of thousands of innocents, take this moment to plan the extinction of some out-of-date conventional wisdom in your agency as well.

You’ll be glad you did.

white houseToday is the day we celebrate the Presidents of the United States. Most specifically we celebrate George Washington (whose birthday was February 22) and Abraham Lincoln (whose birthday was February 12).

So as much as some people spend lots of money to convince us that today is the perfect day to honor our presidents by getting a great deal on a Honda or Toyota, we think it’s probably a better day to think about our country and its history.

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. – Abraham Lincoln

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. – Abraham Lincoln

It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. – Ronald Reagan

So, today, take a moment to think about how fortunate we are to live in a country with the history and freedoms we have, and then go out with resolution to succeed. It is that personal responsibility, that accountability for our own actions, that independent contribution of every citizen that has made this country’s impact on the world so outsized in comparison to its population and resources.

However you spend the day – have a great one!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user dcJohn.

Vote buttonAt iMGA we’re passionate about a few very clear things. Among those is how critical it is that each of us live up to our responsibilities as citizens. Today we’ll have the chance to exercise that responsibility by casting our vote in the U.S. mid-term elections. We take it so seriously that I’m serving as an election judge in a precinct near my home.

We won’t be voting for the office of the presidency, so it’s likely that less than 45% of registered voters will make the effort – in spite of all the mail-in/early voting opportunities added over the past few years to make it more convenientto participate.

It’s a shame that so many people don’t understand the incredible opportunity this is, and we strongly encourage everyone we know to take a few minutes and vote. You never know – your vote may be the one that makes the difference.

The polls will be open from 7am until 7pm. We hope to see you there.

Photo courtesy of flickr user spi

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

234 years ago this Sunday 58 men signed that Declaration and pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to earn those rights for their fellow citizens.

So, our office will be closed starting noon today and will reopen on Tuesday.

We’ll use much of the time to watch parades and fireworks and enjoy some backyard grilling and time with family. But we’ll also take some time to reflect on the amazing heritage our founding fathers left, how fortunate we are to be here, and what a responsibility we have to continue and not squander that heritage.

Of course our system will still be up and able to quote and bind policies and post payments as needed during that time.

We hope you have a fantastic weekend.

This is Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. Our office, like most, will close at noon today and be closed all day Monday.

For many, unfortunately, the focus is on the three-day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer holiday season, and activities like boating, picnics and barbecues. While we enjoy all of these, we never want to lose sight of the reason for Memorial Day.

It is the day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

So, sometime this weekend, if at all possible please do one or more of the following:

  • Place a flag on the grave of a fallen hero.
  • Attend a Memorial Day parade.
  • Sit with family and friends and talk about the sacrifices made for us.
  • Watch a show on one or more of the many tragic battles needed for our freedom.
  • Read an article about a single soldier/airman/marine/guardsman who made the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Just stop for a moment and think about how different things would be without the sacrifices made.

Our world and our country are far from perfect. Our leaders make numerous mistakes. But without the lives given in service and defense of our country over the last 234 years, we – and the world – would be so much poorer in so many ways. This one weekend at least let’s try to keep that top of mind.

Arlington National Cemetery photo courtesy of Flikr user The U.S. Army

Massachusetts was a key part of the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the “shot heard round the world” in the battle at Concord.

It is incredibly fitting, then, that it is Massachusetts that gives the grass roots uprising generally known over the last year under the Tea Party name its biggest victory by far. Scott Brown campaigned on conservative principles and raised his funds not from large donors but from small online donations of under $80 each.

We hope this election is a clear signal to our elected officials that “back room deals… to buy… votes” are no way to run the country.

To paraphrase our first lady, for the first time in our adult life we’re really proud of Massachusetts. 🙂

In this case, though, what makes us proud is that the people of Massachusetts once again stood up for freedom and liberty, and against a government that had been refusing to listen.

Our office is closed today in remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. As with all human beings he was imperfect. He made a significant impact, though, by standing up for what was right. To do that he had to fight a government that was not listening.

Unfortunately, as our founding fathers realized, that’s a fight we’ll have to fight indefinitely. Fortunately we live in a country where the people can stand up and make a difference. He certainly did.

That’s the best word we could come up with. Unfathomable. We’ve seen the pictures, but it’s hard to believe it’s real.

Even before the destructive earthquake hit Haiti last week the people of that tiny island nation were among the poorest, living in conditions most of us cannot imagine. Now, according to reports, the injured are waiting days for care and amputations are expected in the hundreds.

Photo uploaded by United Nations Development Programme.

Most of us have insurance to cover the damage done to our homes, or even our lives, in some catastrophe. As insurance professionals, we’re proud to have provided the service that helped people back on their feet after some tornado, hurricane, fire or other disaster.

It is painfully clear in this case that not only are most people not well covered – the basic necessities are not available. Roads and hospitals are closed from the damage. Due to transportation and permission delays, doctors have had to wait over 24 hours for supplies before being able to treat the injured.

Years of one of, if not the most, corrupt government on earth and economic policies that unfortunately have made Haiti the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere only make things dramatically worse.

Please take a moment to think of how you can help. If nothing else, donate to the Red Cross or another reputable charity that is helping on the ground in Haiti. Then take a few more minutes and develop a plan for how you would react if anything close to this happened near your home. Odds are all of us can and should be much more prepared than we are now. Please think about it.

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