The biggest thing holding you back - and how to change it

Hello. It’s me. Sorry, but I couldn’t resist not starting with that intro. It’s been a while since I’ve offered my voice to the Wise Guise. Did you miss me? I’m sure you did. “I missed you like I miss a rock in my shoe,” as my grandmother once said. Read more

Cubs, Cardinals, and Destiny

Sometimes, you reach a point in time where fate steps in and you just have to recognize destiny's dominion when it arrives. And that's why, despite eliminating my favorite team from the playoffs, I now have to root for the Chicago Cubs. I'm sure that once they win the Read more

My Top 10 Films of 2015 So Far and My Most Anticipated Ahead

So back in April I did a post previewing the upcoming films coming out in 2015 and I think it’s about time I update the 12 people who read that post. I know you all have been anxiously refreshing the site looking for a new post from me. What Read more

The Day Hulkamania Died

Professional wresting fans were told by Hulk Hogan for years “Hulkamania would never die.” No, despite any new nemesis who would come his way and claim he was the one to end Hogan’s powerful marketing brand, the Hulkster would end up with his hand raised, and the appeal of Read more

Celebrating America With Movies: Fourth of July Viewing Alternatives

I first want to state that I fully believe that America, and this great holiday in particular, are meant to be celebrated outdoors. Not necessarily in those ridiculous looking American flag shorts you bought online a few years ago to "stand out" and then dug through your closet to find Read more

Examining Our Love-Hate Relationship with Taylor Swift

Two years ago, I revealed to the world I had a sad, secret love affair with Taylor Swift and her music. It was a difficult moment for me, as I had publicly bad-mouthed the pop star for years. “I mean, can she really sing?” I would question. “And she Read more


Monday Morning Mailbag: Jurassic World, Cavs-Warriors, & More

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Baseball, Basketball, Entertainment, Featured, Golf, Movie Reviews, Politics, Sports, Television | Leave a comment


Wise Guise Warriors… I’m back! A lot has been happening in the world since I last posted. I got lots of questions about all sorts of topics in addition to many things I’ve wanted to blog about but haven’t had time. So, without further ado, here’s a Monday Morning Mailbag to cover most of the topics you wanted to hear about, most of the topics I wanted to write about, and some.

Jeff from Jefferson City, MO: Have you seen Jurassic World yet? How do you rank it compared to other modern-day summer blockbusters in addition to the original three Jurassic Park films?

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Political Passport: Election 2014 Recap & Reflections

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

US Capitol70

The votes are cast, most of them have been tallied, and the American experiment lives to see another day. To paraphrase one of the only lines that was any good from Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, “Every two years we drive to a fire station and overthrow the government and there isn’t a policeman in the street.” It’s a beautiful thing and so rare in all of human history. Our structure and our system cannot be lauded enough. For all its many imperfections, it may just be the closest to perfect we can get for self-rule.

Before what many expected to be a good night for Republicans turned into a great night for Republicans, Peggy Noonan shared insight into how both winners and losers could be gracious as we wrap up another election season.

For those who think Mr. Obama has faced unusual levels of rhetoric, consider this question from a reporter to Mr. Bush:

“Thank you, Mr. President. With all due respect, Nancy Pelosi has called you incompetent, a liar, the emperor with no clothes and, as recently as yesterday, dangerous. How will you work with someone who has such little respect for your leadership and who is third in line to the presidency?”

This is how Mr. Bush replied. “I’ve been around politics a long time. I understand when campaigns end and I know when governing begins. And I’m going to work with people of both parties. You know, look, people say unfortunate things at times. But if you hold grudges in this line of work, you’re never going to get anything done. And my intention is to get some things done, and soon—we’re start visiting with her Friday with the idea of coming together.”

That is the sound of political graciousness. It would be nice to hear it from Mr. Obama on Wednesday.

As for the Republicans, if they have as good a Tuesday night as they increasingly expect, it would be nice if they were gracious and big-minded, and a real relief if they didn’t look smug and get that curled smile that says “We got it back, baby, and Harry Reid will soon be out of that pretty office.” Wouldn’t it be nice if they were happy but modest, and made it clear they’re aware of the fix we’re in? “It is not about me and it’s not, my hardworking friends, about you. It’s about this thing we were given called America. It needs our help. So we are happy tonight, but it’s work in the morning, and the kind of work that is the most important, saving our country.”

Or, more pointedly: “I know what this is. It’s the base giving the party one last chance. They are telling us we better do something. That’s the meaning I take. and I mean to come through.”

That is what the GOP should be thinking this morning. Honestly, that is what every elected official of every party should be thinking this morning. That’s what the losing candidates should be thinking as they consider next steps. And, more importantly than all of them, it is what ordinary Americans, you and me, should be thinking. It’s not about our political parties, although that’s important. It’s not about who won and lost, although I believe that is also vitally important.

It’s not about us. It’s about this thing we were given called America. It’s about the responsibilities we have to each other and to the world, as we see historic levels of evil on the move, raping, beheading, and enslaving. It’s about truly caring for the most vulnerable members of our society, both those who are born and those who are unborn.

This means we will have to forego the easy answers that do more about making ourselves feel good and self-righteous than actually empowering those who feel hopeless. It will mean pragmatism and compromise, but not without standing up for principles and truth. It will mean knock down, drag out debates, but hopefully a focus on the ones that truly matter and insisting upon dignity for all, even those we feel argue for the least dignified positions.

If you read all of this reflection as more empty rhetoric about hope and change, then you misread me. The time for talking and wishing away our country’s problems is over. There is real work to do. I hope the 2014 election results show our President that it’s time to get down to business. I pray that the President and the new GOP congressional leadership focus on getting real work down to create economic growth and opportunity for all Americans of every socioeconomic class, race, and community.

Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece, Interstellar, is ultimately about hope in the midst of hopelessness. I hope our new elected officials and every single American now realize that hope does not descend from D.C., but must be nourished in our families, neighborhoods, and communities.

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Political Passport: Jeb Bush & 2016

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

Jeb Bush fist pump

We’re less than a week before the 2014 midterm elections, in which the GOP is trying its best to increase its majority in the House of Representatives, gain a majority in the Senate, and continue its strong leadership in state governments in every region of our nation.

But the news cycle knows there are bigger stories on the horizon, because in the aftermath of next Tuesday, presidential candidates move from informal speculation to formal declarations and moves towards official candidacies to become the 45th President of the United States.

For the Democratic Party, everyone seems to officially be “Ready for Hillary”, the name of the independent SuperPAC forming grassroots networks for another Hillary run at The White House. As Bill and Hillary tour the nation stumping for congressional candidates, other Democrats prepare and scurry in the shadows, wondering if the Clinton Machine will be well-oiled to make history or whether the Clinton Machine will prove itself too clunky once again just like its collapse in 2008, opening a window for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, or a Castro brother from Texas. Movement progressives seem to teeter between wanting Hillary to lock it up early and wanting Elizabeth Warren to compete with Hillary in case she stumbles or to at least pull Hillary to the left.

For the Republican Party, there is no frontrunner. As parties out of power traditionally do, factions jockey for the future of the party. As Rand Paul attempts to take libertarianism mainstream while also reaching out to establishment Republicans in addition to college students, African Americans, and other demographics drastically lacking in our party, other potential 2016 hopefuls like Scott Walker are merely trying to win tough reelection bids. Chris Christie is attempting to shake the shadow of BridgeGate and show why he was an early frontrunner for so long with his real talk and strong executive leadership.

Then there’s Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and so many others in D.C., in the states, and outside politics altogether. But there is one name that could shake up the 2016 GOP primary more than any other. It’s a name that’s as familiar as it is controversial. That name is Jeb Bush. And after hearing Jeb Bush talk about the future of America for over an hour last night at Vanderbilt University, I’m more confident than ever before that he is the Republican Party, conservatism, and America’s best hope in 2016.

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Things Worth Dying For – Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Faith, Featured, Misc. Posts, Politics | Leave a comment


It’s tough to express feelings about D-Day as someone who was born over 40 years after June 6, 1944. Most historians refer to it as a turning point in western civilization. When I think of D-Day, I think of images. The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. My visit to the eerily peaceful beach in spring 2010. But I also think of words – FDR’s D-Day prayer over the radio, General Eisenhower’s speech to his men, and more.

I’ve made it somewhat of a tradition here at The Wise Guise to commemorate D-Day with a reflective post. I’d urge you to read my best friend Jay Salato’s post from two years ago reflecting on the speech he had the opportunity to give at the commemorative ceremony at the U.S. Memorial Cemetery at Omaha Beach. Then, I’d urge you to re-visit my post from last year and listen to/read FDR’s prayer and Ike’s speech.


This year, I want to share two more pieces of history that I’ve recently found to continue the impossible task of commemorating the courage and sacrifice of those men who charged Normandy Beach.

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Joseph’s Morning Mailbag: Donald Sterling, Ukraine, Movies, TV, & More!

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Basketball, Featured, Movies, Politics, Television | Leave a comment


Life has been crazy lately. We are pregnant with our first baby, sold a house, bought a house, moved, and I’ve finished law school. So there’s a lot of topics I’ve wanted to blog about, but haven’t been able to. In order to catch up, I decided to bring back the mailbag style. Some of the questions below are from real friends and readers. Some of the names have been made up so I could talk about what I wanted to talk about. Other names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent and/or provide alliterative effect. Enjoy! (Shout out to Jeremy Wilson for the awesome new logo above!)

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Political Passport: 2016 Polling Update on Presidential Contenders

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics | 2 Comments

Jeb Bush fist pump

The second year of President Obama’s second term has only just begun, marked by his 2014 State of the Union Address last week. But as I’ve discussed before on this blog, the jockeying to become the 45th President of the United States began the day after the 2012 election. And, in actuality, many Republicans and Democrats made decisions between 2008 and 2012 that began to set them up for potential runs in 2016.

While it is far too early to make any legitimate predictions about 2016, there are some recent developments and recent polls that can give us a big-picture overview of who could be the 45th President of the United States and next leader of the free world. There are also some recent political developments that could impact the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential primary and general elections. I will discuss many of these details more in-depth as 2014 progresses, from gubernatorial races and immigration reform status in Congress to scandals and GOP efforts to claim a majority in the Senate.

For now, though, we look to 2016. One recent development is the Republican Party’s shrewd move to hold their 2016 Convention MUCH earlier than they have been held in the last few presidential election cycles. In order to avoid a long, drawn-out primary in which candidates beat up on each other and the eventual nominee, they are limiting the number of debates and ensuring their presidential ticket is set in stone heading into the dog days of summer. This is wise. Assuming Hillary is the eventual Democratic nominee without much legitimate competition, the GOP needs to rally around the eventual nominee with months to go before the general election. With the GOP having a mostly health internal battle for the future of the party, this early convention and conclusion to the primary is even more important.

So how much of a front-runner is Hillary right now? If not Hillary, then who? In the wide-open and very full GOP race, is anyone a clear front-runner? Two new polls out this week give us clues to answering these questions.

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