Mort Mather Author Writer Organic Farmer Philosopher Thinker Restauranteur

How to improve your life and save the world.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More politics

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 HP in trouble

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.