How to improve your life and save the world.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
"It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief."
He is the kind of person Wall Street needs.
Friday, February 17, 2012
I just read the "Snowe Report" and I agree that the LIHEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) should be funded at a higher rate than in the budget and that deficit reduction is important though the juxtaposition of these two statements in your report is a bit ironic, don't you think? Every spending program (like LIHEAP) is important to some people somewhere which is why spending cuts are so difficult.
There is one thing that the majority of people all across the country and in Maine agree upon as a deficit reduction measure yet you don't mention it. Why? Why don't you support raising the income tax on those of us who are doing well? The answer I keep hearing is that it will kill jobs, that the wealthy who create jobs will not bother to make more money and thus create more jobs if they are taxed too much. That is a bogus answer. We have had tremendous job losses under the low tax on the wealthy for 8 years running which should prove that argument to be spurious.
Did you know that the highest income tax bracket was over 90% throughout the decade of the 50s and that was a time when a family could be raised on one income. Perhaps the reason middle class people could get by on one income in that decade was because there was little incentive for entrepreneurs, business owners, corporate boards, bankers and the like to make gross amounts of money so they paid better wages and charged less for their products and services. That explanation, at least, makes a lot more sense than saying that taxing incomes over $250,000 will stifle job creation.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Only in Tinsel Town would they do a spur of the moment tribute for an addict who just OD’d, This from my right wingnut friend.
Perhaps they were looking at the positive things about her.
but they wouldn’t do anything to help her while she was still alive.
I guess you know more about her life than I do.
This is one very messed up world we live in, but nowhere is it more is it as messed up as in Hollywood. So people want to rely on advice from those idiots on issues like global warming and who should run this country.
Ah, yes, those liberals in the entertainment world should be silenced. They should not be allowed to express their views. I mean really, Jane Fonda for flake of the year, right? She tried to stop the war in Vietnam. Maybe there should be a Constitutional amendment to stop liberals from expressing opinions. It would have to be just liberals because if you said actors or all entertainers were not allowed to voice their opinions or give money to candidates, that would affect people like Charleston Heston and goodness knows you want someone who has the weight of Moses behind him to speak out against gun control. And who was that actor who was governor of La La Land California, and then became president? He was quite a dashing figure in Tinsel Town, wasn’t he? Then there is Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, Loretta Lynn and Tom Selleck whose voices and candidate support must not be hindered.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I read your latest blog entries, and do share much of your perspective when it comes to the country's current political situation. Where I diverge (I think) is when it comes to believing that there's a real distinction between the two major Parties, or at least enough of a difference to justify dutifully casting my vote and hoping the system itself will lean toward real change. John G. in Mass.
I’ll keep casting my vote and I will remain hopeful that the President, whoever that may be, and the Congress, whichever party dominates, will do their best for our country. I will hope that I will hear from the party leaders interesting and positive responses to ideas put forward by the opposition even though Boehner, Reid, Pelosi and McConnell have given me no reason for this hope.
However, since it is so difficult to remain hopeful, I have another hope. I hope we the people will rise up not in anger but in mass with positive solutions to some of the problems we face. This is still a democracy and we are still in charge. The Tea Party went the route of electing people they thought would fix things. I’m sure many Tea Party voters are disappointed with the results or lack thereof. Voting in politicians who spout the rhetoric we want to hear is not the solution because once in they find themselves in a system that resists change and soon they are seduced by the benefits of their position. Voting in “the right people” is not the solution. We must put pressure on the people in office to do our bidding. Corporations and rich people have undue influence because not enough of us are voicing our intent to vote the bums out. We are allowing money to talk. The Occupy Wall Street folks are on the right track. Now they need a mission which I think should be an amendment or two to the Constitution that will cut the influence of money in our government. Votes are what the politicians need. Republicans have gotten candidates to sign pledges to get votes. We should be getting candidates to sign pledges to put forward Constitutional amendments. Amendments are then put before the states and in our states we the people can overcome the money (I think).
PS: It is tempting to call for a new Constitutional Congress. I suspect those called to the CC would be the same people who are being influenced by money today and that the money would be there as well. Better to take one or two issues at a time, the simpler the better.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
From Sis Chris: “I’m addicted right now I have to admit, to this real live soap opera about players for power, but more importantly, players for leadership in our country. Unfortunately power seems to be much more attractive than leadership to most politicians. Otherwise they could at least give each other credit for good decisions, goals achieved, and goals aimed for.”
Dear Sis, I agree and am always looking for politicians to find the good, or places they can agree with the “other side”. I thought Governor Daniels in the Republican response to the State of the Union address got off to a good start. There are Republicans who wish he were running for President. One interesting scenario in the Republican race is that they could go into the convention with still no candidate with enough votes to win the nomination on the first ballot. After that it could get very interesting as anything could happen.
I’m going to give a thumbs-up to Maine’s Governor for a leadership moment. In his first State of the State address he ended by saying that family abuse should not be tolerated, that 80% of the abusers were men, and that this was not a woman’s issue but a man’s issue and it was time for men to stand up against abuse. That is leadership. He plans to pursue the issue though government intervention but saying it passionately is the kind of leadership I’d like to see much more of from those who are in a position to get media attention—putting things in human terms, pushing we the people to be better rather than droning on about issues that are beyond our understanding like trillions of dollars.
What I found most powerful in the State of the Union address was the accomplishments of the past 3 years. As for his path ahead, it sounds good but I won’t be impressed until I see results. I have given credit to two Republicans and withheld positive judgment of the President’s speech which may make me sound like a Republican. In fact, I was once and would be again if the party did what they say they believe in—less government (why do Republicans try to legislate morality?); uphold the Constitution (fine, stop trying to get religion into government.) spend less (Every Republican President in recent times has expanded government and increased the national debt.). I’m proud of our President and will vote for him but if a Republican wins, I will be supportive of my president.
A Republican guest on a liberal television show repeatedly referred to the President as “your president” until the host finally said, “I thought he was our president.” Good on him as you say in New Zealand.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Politics from my sister in New Zealand
“He(Gingrich) knows how to deflect a negative against him back onto the projector as proven by his stern reprimand of John King at the beginning of the CNN debate.”
Yeah, that was classic Republican-right shoot-the-messenger and it seems to work very well for them.
“I am dismayed by voting statistics that say married women have rallied behind Gingrich.” My mother, a staunch Republican, said of Rockefeller, a Democrat, when he was running for president 50 odd years ago that she could never vote for someone who was divorced reasoning that if they couldn’t run a marriage they couldn’t run a country. It didn’t matter several years later when she voted for divorced Republican Ronald Regan.
I watch the Fox news channel occasionally to try to understand where those folks are coming from. The most recent rant seems to be how unfair the “liberal media” was in their attacks on Gingrich when they gave Clinton and Edwards a free pass on their extramarital affairs. Apparently the Murdoch Media (FOX) doesn’t watch Liberal Media because it was on “Liberal Media” that I got more information about Clinton’s blow job and Edwards’s affair than I cared to hear. If the Liberal Media was so over the top attacking Newt, you would think they would have brought up the South Carolina governor’s lying and affair with the woman in South America. If they did, I missed it. I’m betting FOX would have made something of it if the governor and Newt were Democrats.
“Personally I cannot stand Sarah Palin being inserted into the conversation, as if she has any influence.”
Ah, ha, you are watching Fox because the only place I ever see Palin these days is on Fox where she said: “If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going I’d vote for Newt and I would want this to continue. More debates, more vetting of candidates because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted…” I guess Palin wasn’t paying attention to the Democratic primaries and the debates between Obama and Clinton and the close scrutiny of Obama by the “liberal media” and the Murdoch Media. Of course, she wouldn’t have been paying attention then because that was before she was picked as Republican VP candidate and she was much too involved in her job as Governor of Alaska, a job she loved so much she quite mid-term. (For any who don’t know me, that last sentence is meant to drip with sarcasm.)
Mort Media here says Newt must like quitters as he told CNN “I would ask her to consider taking a major role in the next administration if I’m president…” Like what, Newt, Secretary of State?
“I would sure like to know your opinion about this election process to date.”
Well, Sis Chris, I think we have more problems than any president can fix without making a lot of people unhappy. I think that we, the citizens of the U.S., have come to the place that someone said of our Constitution 200 years ago that when we figured out we could vote for our self-interest our system of government would fail. We don’t seem to have a long view. Rich people seem to think that they can hold onto all the money and somehow the economy will thrive even though the vast majority doesn’t have buying power. Henry Ford paid his workers good wages so they could buy his cars. Smart.
We are afraid to make a transition to a different source of energy even though the current source is killing us, damaging the world we live in, contributing to our national debt and making us vulnerable to foreign powers. We have a political system that is so divisive it is unlikely any leader no matter how extraordinary he or she might be has little chance of making positive change. There is a part of me that thinks one of the Republican candidates as president might not be such a bad thing as they would not fix the problem and could then take the Republican nonsense down in flames two years later and then again two years after that but then a better part of me holds out hope that four more years of Obama might give him a chance to turn things around.
This is a difficult time to be a caring U.S. citizen with a long view.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Kodak and Hewlett Packard are in trouble because they don’t care about their customers. Their leadership is focusing on investors and profit—money rather than people. I say this because they both really piss me off. The first digital camera I got was a Kodak. I was able to download the pictures easily into my computer. Each picture was a file that I could open with several programs. I could copy, delete it, send it in an email. That camera belonged to my boss so when I left the job I got another Kodak camera but what a difference. I couldn’t find the files easily. Everything was tied up in something Kodak wanted me to do. A few years later my daughter sent me some CDs of pictures she had taken and put on a Kodak CD. These got me even more entangled with Kodak. I was unable to send any of these pictures without using some Kodak program. To make matters worse in the process of trying to do what I wanted to do Kodak got into my computer and started sending me unwanted messages each one pissing me off more.
HP is doing the same thing. I got a printer. It is hardware for Gods sake. I don’t want my hardware sending me messages telling me how to do things I have no interest in doing and then, whenever I change a cartridge, they tell me to waste a piece of paper to “align” the cartridge which also uses some of the ink in the cartridge all of which—say it with me now—pisses me off.
The good news is that these two companies are in trouble. Unfortunately the executives who got them in trouble made lots of money, will make more and will probably be hired by some other company at a grossly high salary.
Additional good news there are companies run by people who care about their customers and realize that the best way to serve investors is to serve customers, to focus on customers’ needs.
The bad news is that there are so many people in industry and government who haven’t an empathetic bone in their head.