Parisian Family Office, CEO. Began Wall Street, 1982. Founded investment firm, CHIPPEWA PARTNERS, Native American Advisors. Active Trader. White Earth Chippewa Tribal member. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative, raised on Great Plains reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a dopamine binge, this is his take! Written from MT Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River, TN farm Pamelot or San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, CASA TULE'. Always been, will always be, an optimist.
Friday, January 30, 2009
When Bernie Marcus of Home Depot fame comes on as a guest I listen. It is funny how these billionaires make so much economic financial sense. He should be required listening for every politician.
But then again he isn't a lobbyist and they seldom listen to anyone who doesn't grease the wheel.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Let me get this straight. The way I see it, I am responsible for my health. For keeping fit. For eating right. For watching my weight and what I put in my mouth. For all the exercise I do. For how much I eat and the quality of the food I eat. For not smoking. For not drinking. For not doing drugs.
You see, I hate pills. I love walking shoes. I suggest shoes over pills. Imagine if every Native American were given shoes to walk and exercise in by the government? After 12 months I bet my shoes that Indian Country would be far healthier. But the responsibility lies with Indian Country to do it. Not the federal government.
When will Native America tire of being the victim and take that responsibility?
Remember what my friend said: "All people are inherently responsible for their actions. Everyone is put here for a purpose. When people take the responsibility that is theirs, and eliminate the many facets of violence which are entrenched in their culture, then we can all address the health of human society and Grandmother Earth in an effective holistic way, and restore harmony and balance" —Wub-e-ke-niew
Hey, this is America. Let management pay them whatever they want, apparently they MADE the money why not PAY them the money. Since when do we have government officials dictating Wall Street pay?
If any company gets federal bail-out money then that is a different horse of a different color.
Outside of that let compensation reign.
There is no immediate stimulus. None.
The confederacy of suit-wearning dunces are Hollywood wanna-be's. They want face time on TV and to spend your money to help you. Yea right.
There is no bipartisanship to this proposed legislation. It will be another failed attempt to circumvent capitalism's ability to clean out excess greed.
Is it any wonder the stock market has erased a few trillion dollars of American wealth?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The largest bubble in the history of the world is the "bubble" of government spending being created in the United States. We need to be ready to capitalize on it.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:
"Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees"
"Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"
"Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft"
"Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $150 million"
"Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"
"Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"
"Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"
Monday, January 26, 2009
Even though the bank's stock is as cheap as a gallon of gas and it's burning through a $45 billion taxpayer-funded rescue, the Citigroup's execs pushed through the purchase of a new Dassault Falcon 7X, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The French-made luxury jet seats up to 12 in a plush interior with leather seats, sofas and a customizable entertainment center, according to Dassault's sales literature. It can cruise 5,950 miles before refueling and has a top speed of 559 mph.
There are just nine of these top-of-the-line models in the United States, with Dassault's European factory churning out three to four 7Xs a month.
Citigroup decided to get its new wings two years ago, when the financial-services giant was flush with cash, but it still intends to take possession of the jet this year despite its current woes, the source said.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
In early 2008, just as Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was preparing to slash expenses, cut thousands of jobs and exit businesses to fix the ailing securities firm, he was also spending company money on himself, senior people at the firm say.
According to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Thain spent $1.22 million of company money to refurbish his office at Merrill Lynch headquarters in lower Manhattan. The biggest piece of the spending spree: $800,000 to hire famed celebrity designer Michael Smith, who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for just $100,000.
Big ticket items included $87,000 for an area rug, four pairs of curtains for $28,000, a pair of guest chairs for $87,000 and fabric for a "Roman Shade" for $11,000.
The other big ticket items Thain purchased include: $87,000 for an area rug in Thain's conference room and another area rug for $44,000; a "mahogany pedestal table" for $25,000; a "19th Century Credenza" in Thain's office for $68,000; a sofa for $15,000; four pairs curtains for $28,000; a pair of guest chairs for $87,000; a "George IV Desk" for $18,000; 6 wall sconces for $2,700; six chairs in his private dining room for $37,000; a mirror in his private dining room for $5,000; a chandelier in the private dining room for $13,000; fabric for a "Roman Shade" for $11,000; a "custom coffee table" for $16,000; something called a "commode on legs" for $35,000; a "Regency Chairs" for $24,000; "40 yards of farbric for wall panels," for $5,000 and a "parchment waste can" for $1,400.
The documents also show that Thain signed off on the purchases personally. "Labor to relamp the six wall sconces" cost $3,000, and Thain authorized the payment of another $30,000 to pay the expenses Smith incurred in doing the work. Thain has hired Smith—whose celebrity client list includes Steven Spielberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild—to design and decorate his private residences. They include a Manhattan apartment at 740 Park Avenue, and his 10-acre mansion in Rye, NY.
Thain was tapped to run Merrill Lynch as the firm suffered massive losses from investments tied to the depressed real estate market under his predecessor Stan O'Neal, who was ousted in late 2007. Those losses continued through 2008, forcing Thain and his management team to sell the brokerage firm to Bank of America in mid-September or face near certain liquidation as investors fearing further losses began pulling lines of credit and other financing.
Just last week, Bank of America announced that Merrill has suffered an unexpected loss of $15 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, nearly collapsing BofA's purchase. Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis said that without $138 billion in government assistance, including the infusion of $20 billion from the federal government he would have pulled out of the Merrill deal, which was approved by BofA shareholders in early December.
Thain has come under pressure in recent weeks after several top executives at Merrill, including brokerage chief Bob McCann and investment banking head Greg Fleming, abruptly resigned from the firm citing differences with Thain. People close to Lewis say his relationship with Thain was further strained by the recent massive loss. Lewis himself has faced withering criticism for rushing the buy Merrill for $28 billion after less than two days of due diligence.
I don't want to convey to you that Ken was delighted in mid-December when he found out about the losses, in fact he was pissed at Thain," one person at BofA who is close to Lewis told The Daily Beast earlier in the week. "He's not doing anything about Thain now because it isn't clear whether Thain should have told him sooner. So at least for now, Ken is sticking with Thain." (A spokeswoman for Thain denied a rumor inside Merrill that Thain is poised to step down from the firm.)
It's unclear how the disclosure of the personal expenses will effect now Thain's position. Thain signed off on the purchases in January, people close to Merrill say, when Merrill was still an independent firm and when some analysts believed the company was poised for a rebound with Thain as the new CEO. Thain came to Merrill after a largely successful stint as CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, where he converted the not-profit entity to a public company. Before that, he was a long-time executive at Goldman Sachs, serving as former CEO Hank Paulson's No. 2.
Still others say spending so much company money on personal items shows incredibly bad judgment on the part of Thain since Merrill was in the middle of a financial crisis that ultimately led to its demise as an independent company. At the time, Thain was preaching the virtues of cost control, telling employees to reduce expenses including car services, entertainment and travel. In addition to the personal expenses on his office, documents show Thain paid his driver $230,000 for one year’s work, which included the driver's $85,000 salary and bonus of $18,000, and another $128,000 in over-time pay, documents show. Drivers of top executives are often paid about half that amount.
"If this is accurate it has shades of Dennis Kozlowski's $6,000 shower curtain," said investor Doug Kass of Seabreeze Capital Management, in a reference to former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski who was convicted of fraud and is serving prison time for improperly spending millions of dollars on personal items. While there is no evidence that what Thain did is either illegal or of the magnitude of the spending by Kozlowski, Kass said "Merrill was on the fence and Thain came into save the company. It's still a lot of money and there is no rationalization for something like this."
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The 2-million Obama cultists that showed up for the inauguration are a perfect example of the "mindless huddled masses" concept that will soon be controlled by government.
They are incapable of thinking for themselves and needing big government to run their lives for them.
Its a shame that of the 2 million there, 14 had to actually miss work to attend.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Where are incentives to right the system? There are none. It's a big give-away. The crooks and thieves and fat cats have just walked away to leave John Q. Taxpayer holding the bag.
Click the link and get yourself up to speed.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
WASHINGTON – Eighty-three of the nation's 100 largest corporations, including Citigroup, Bank of America and News Corp., had subsidiaries in offshore tax havens in 2007, and some of the companies received federal bailout funding, a government watchdog said Friday........ The Government Accountability Office released a report that said Bank of America Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley all had more than 100 units in countries that maintain low or no taxes. The three financial institutions were included in the $700 billion financial bailout approved by Congress......... Insurance giant American International Group Inc., which has received about $150 billion in bailout money, had 18 subsidiaries. JPMorgan Chase & Co. had 50 units and Wells Fargo & Co. had 18; both financial institutions received government bailout money........ Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who requested the report, have pushed for tougher laws to fight offshore tax havens around the globe. Levin, who leads the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, has estimated abusive tax havens and offshore accounts cost the U.S. government at least $100 billion a year in lost taxes......... "I think we should take action to shut down these tax dodgers and we will be introducing legislation to do just that," Dorgan said.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Return of the Natives
SALT RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Nearly 50 years ago, a Pima native took a Greyhound bus from this sun-roasted redoubt of Indian land to the winter chill of Washington, D.C.,to witness the first day of a young American president.
“When he came home, my father was so excited because John Kennedy stood up for him when he walked by him in the parade,” said Diane Enos. “The president stood up for an Indian! He couldn’t stop talking about that.”
Next week, Diane Enos will make the same trip, along with hundreds of other American Indians who hope that Barack Obama’s inauguration will bring the wind of possiblity to Indian Country.
In less than a week’s time, the Great White Father will be black. Amidst the euphoria and stirring of fresh ideas, there remains some suspicion.
“He’s still a politician and I’m still an Indian,” said Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning writer, a Spokane and Coeur d’Alene native.
“They all look like treaty-makers to me,” said Alexie, paraphrasing the native musician, John Trudell. “I guess that’s the puzzling and I suppose lovely thing about Indians’ love of Obama. Many have suspended their natural suspicion of politicians for him.”
So often, they are invisible, these first Americans, or frozen in iconic images of the past. We see them in Curtis prints and Remington poses, or hear something attributed to them in New Age spiritual circles. Cool, Indians.
And then a new casino opens off the interstate or a pottery exhibit is unveiled, and we realize: ah yes, they’re with us still.
With Obama’s rise, Indians have allowed themselves to dream — some, even to fall in love. He was adopted into an Indian family in Montana last May, given the name “Barack Black Eagle” by the Crow Nation.
When asked about immigration concerns in New Mexico, Obama pointed to a handful of elderly natives in the front row of a high school gym.
“He said, ‘The only real native people in this country are sitting right in front of me,’ ” recalled Joe Garcia, who is president of the National Congress of American Indians. “You should have heard the applause.”
The epic struggle for natives has been to avoid getting washed away by the flood of dominant culture, where Indians make up less than 2 percent of more than 300 million Americans.
That, and the physical toll that losing this big land has taken on them. Indians die younger than most other Americans, suffer from higher rates of suicide, alcoholism, debilitating dietary problems.
The Pimas, who hold to this 52,000-acre homeland amidst the predatory sprawl of 4.2 million people here in the Phoenix metro area, have one of the world’s highest rates of type 2 diabetes — a consequence of the rough adjustment from their world to one handed down by Europeans.
Presidents come and go. They promise to uphold treaty rights and appoint somebody to oversee Indian affairs who understands that history did not end when Custer fell to his hubris. It’s ho-hum, usually, with a mournful shrug on the reservations.
But on the most recent Election Day, on the Navajo Rez, which spills into three states and is the size of West Virginia, high school kids held up Obama signs at intersections in the town of Window Rock, and cheered themselves hoarse as returns came in.
“I feel very elated,” said Joe Shirley, Jr., president of the Navajo Nation. “All of Navajo Country came out strong for Obama.”
Shirley says nearly half of Navajo families heat their homes with wood they cut themselves, drink water hauled into their homes in barrels and light their rooms with kerosene lamps.
Talk about stimulus: a billion dollars, one-seven-hundredth of what taxpayers are giving the financial institutions that caused the Crash of 2008, could bring much of Navajo land into the modern age, Shirley said.
But beyond the desire for urgent, fundamental infrastructure help, Indians look to Obama as a powerful narrative. People who were subjugated, with near-genocidal brutality, feel a kinship with people who were first brought here in chains, even though Obama is an immigrant’s son.
“There’s a bond there,” said Shirley. “Birds of a feather flock together. We try to teach that there are no impossibilities to Navajo people. His election speaks to the young especially.”
Cynicism is the poison of so many young people. In Indian Country, where despair is often woven into the landscape, it takes hold even earlier.
So when Diane Enos, who is president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, arrives in the festive capital next week she will have a teenage tribal leader with her.
“Obama’s life has been a journey to find identity,” she said. “That’s the Indian stuggle. And it starts with children.”
On Inauguration Day, the capital will host the likes of Ludacris and Chaka Khan, corporate titans and political giants, and balls too numerous to count.
Among the sea of Americans ushering in the president will be a small contingent of people who have clung to this continent longer than any other. And for once — if only for a January moment — they will feel like they belong.
This entire "bail-out" by TARP funds will go down in history as one of America's most egregious episodes of irrresponsibility.
The confederacy of suit-wearing dunces on Wall Street and in government will insure that comes true.
The Tim Geithner nomination for Treasury Secretary is what is wrong with America. Obama, if he has political ethics will toss this bum to the wind. Now that would be real change.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Then, fast forward.
The same thing happens with the "new" management team.
Did any of these liars ever wear stripes in jail? Yea, right.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups. A victory for Obama-worshippers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality.
A victory for Hollywood , the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who
fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.
Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition. A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers' unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity. A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.
Congratulations America !
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.
First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.
However, what you don't see is the back story.
I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.
My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business - hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.
So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden - the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations ... you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.
Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.
Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.
Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:
I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes.
You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.
Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.
So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple.
If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done.
I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.
So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steam rolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about .
Monday, January 12, 2009
This acqusition should only be financed at arm's length debt or equity financing.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
More, government is NOT the answer Obama. It is the problem.
Your future and mine, our future and that of our children is unfortunately in the control of a confederacy of suit-wearing dunces.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR on who will need whose help in 15 years.
John J. Wall, Law Student and American
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Lee Iacocca Says: 'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.' Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!' You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you? I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis ! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.) Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down. On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess so here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership. But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point. Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened. Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time. Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it? Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry. I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change? Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America . In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression,' 'World War II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,' the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: 'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to 'Action for people who, like me, believe in America '.. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let' s shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'me all we've had 'enough.'
Monday, January 05, 2009
After the second slingshot episode, you contact the parents next door and ask them to stop the children. The parents refuse to believe anything such as you are describing is really taking place. They ignore your request for their children to stop. Left with minimum alternatives, you call the city’s police. They come out, take your statement, go to the neighbors and get their statement and return to the station without taking any action. The slingshot attacks continue, plus the neighbor children are now climbing the fence to physically attack your children. You call the police several more times with the same result. More statements, no action. Now the parents are not only ignoring your pleas, but they are overtly urging their children on. They are buying them more slingshots with bigger pellets. And since you are now keeping your children indoors, the slingshots are aimed at the house, breaking windows, damaging the siding, etc.
You find out that the neighbors want your house since you have moved in, but they don’t want to pay for it. They want you to simply deed it over to them. Because of the investment you have in your home and because the housing market is at a low point, you cannot move. You have to stay and try to figure out what to do.
Additional calls to the police results in the police chief stating that the two families have to work it out for yourselves. Finally, when one of your children has to be taken to the ER of a local hospital because of cuts from flying broken glass, you decide enough is enough. Since the police won’t act, you charge over to the neighbor’s house and confiscate the slingshots, spank the offending children and tell the parents this is only the beginning of your actions, if their children continue to misbehave. The results of your action? The police department condemns your actions. The local churches demand that you seek a peaceful resolution to the problem. The child services function of the county threatens to come in and also condemn your actions.
What course of resolving action, if any, should you now take?
What you should do is what Israel is doing.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I hope you too meet 2009 head on and it treats you well. Remember that there are two days you can't do a single thing about. Yesterday and tomorrow. Live well today, savor life and cultivate optimism. It's all about the journey.
The destination will arrive soon enough.