Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yeah, what Thomas Friedman said

On top of it all, our bank crisis is not over. Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs analysts said that U.S. banks may need another $65 billion to cover more write-downs of bad mortgage-related instruments and potential new losses if consumer loans start to buckle. Since President Bush came to office, our national savings have gone from 6 percent of gross domestic product to 1 percent, and consumer debt has climbed from $8 trillion to $14 trillion.

-- Thomas Friedman

If the old saying — that “as General Motors goes, so goes America” — is true, then folks, we’re in a lot of trouble. General Motors’s stock-market value now stands at just $6.47 billion, compared with Toyota’s $162.6 billion. On top of it, G.M. shares sank to a 34-year low last week.

That’s us. We’re at a 34-year low. And digging out of this hole is what the next election has to be about and is going to be about — even if it is interrupted by a terrorist attack or an outbreak of war or peace in Iraq. We need nation-building at home, and we cannot wait another year to get started. Vote for the candidate who you think will do that best. Nothing else matters.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Documents confirm U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross

What would you say if an enemy nation did this to our soldiers? Or rather, now that President Bush has opened this Pandora’s box, what will you say when this happens and the countries around the world say, sure its wrong, but the US did it.

Documents confirm U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross

Moral authority. Reputation. Leadership.


Our brave soldiers now and in the future, in much greater danger.

Never has our country’s soul been sold so cheap by those so low.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Impeach, or the terrorists win

Written in response to South Florida Sun-Sentinel's editorial on June 12th: Impeachment not worth another minute of anybody's time

Is there anything more important than holding our leaders accountable for their actions?

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel argues in its June 12 editorial that the fruitless wars this President lied us into, the failing economy that this President has spent us into, that gas prices – a by-product of the disastrous war, falling dollar, and lack of a real energy policy – are more important than impeachment.

By this logic, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel argues that attacking Iraq was not necessary. Saddam was in his 70s and wouldn’t have been in power much longer. Holding war crime trials in Nuremburg was pointless – the war was over. The embargo on Castro’s regime in Cuba should be tossed aside as well and we shouldn’t bother to try him for his crimes should we have the opportunity as he is now out of office.

And the South Florida Sun-Sentinel might have been right if this was simply incompetence – his and ours – for we the people elected him, at least the second time. And in a democracy, we would be responsible. But this has been anything but a democracy and he has been anything but a President. For Bush and his administration has lied to the American public, ignored the rule of law, and subverted and perhaps perverted the justice system in its ideological quest for power. He has championed torture, spied on Americans, and lied to lead us into war, and that is only 3 of the impeachable offenses that he should be held accountable for.

And thus the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is wrong. In its short-sighted view, it ignores what is obvious to most citizens of this republic, that if we do not hold these men accountable for their actions against us and their oaths of office, we cheapen the US Constitution and that which makes this nation great. By not acting and recognizing the failures and holding those accountable for them, we weaken the republic. By not impeaching this President and his administration, and thus holding them accountable on the record, we hand the terrorists a victory beyond their dreams – the very real damage to our nation that will last far longer than the smoke from 9/11, the ill-deserved freedom of Bin Laden, and the spectre of violence in Iraq. We lose the rule of law that our founding fathers clearly held so dear. We lose our reputation, our dignity, our moral authority. We lose the core of our uniquely American values – now and for generations to come.

By not impeaching this President, the terrorists win.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

When you see it coming but can't get out of the way

America is about to feel in a very real way the effects of years of governmental mismanagement. I fear the next depression is upon us as the shock of war debt, government corruption, bad economic policies that result in inflation and falling dollar, bad corporate stewardship, the lack of any real energy policy and R&D, climate change, and rising foreign economies converge. My tea leaves say that we are one big disaster away from going over the edge.

What I can't figure out is what to do about it.

Sure, if I were young and healthy, I'd probably find some out of the way place and stock up to try to ride it out. But I'm old and chained to the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of my life. Any collapse of manufacturing, the supply chain, and my ability to pay is going to result in a very short, painful life for me.

And it doesn't matter that I've been a good citizen, a hard worker, financially conservative, and made all the "smart" choices. I'm going over the edge with the idiots that dug us into the mess. The only difference is that they will have shinier cars when it all goes to hell in a handbag.

Anyone got any suggestions?

Required reading for Business leaders and students

Some business books are just so good that you have to have it on the shelf.
Stall Points: Most Companies Stop Growing--Yours Doesn't Have To by Matthew S. Olson and Derek van Bever (Hardcover - April 28, 2008)Buy new: $27.50 $18.15

And be sure to check out thier blog:

Amazing stuff. This isn't the same old strategy process book. This is hard core research results and practical, data driven, actionable recommendations.

If only all business books were this good. And business leaders read and followed them. Maybe worker would suffer less for the bad decisions that their bosses inflict on them.

If there is one thing I want my business students to walk away thinking, the that the decisions they will make will impact peoples lives. People who come to work everyday and put in a fair day's work, only to lose their jobs because their bosses won't read books like this and put the lessons into practice.

Ask yourself - why can't Toyota keep their cars in stock and why can't GM give theirs away? The answer isn't the workers. Why they haven't burnt their HQ to the ground during a board meeting is beyond me.

My favorite artist: Sharleen Spiteri

I'm not sure if we are ever going to see another album from Texas, but thier lead singer, Sharleen Spiteri, is coming out with a New album on July 15th called "Melody." Here is the video from the first song release:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Live or die - just quit whining at me!

I've managed a lot of people of the years and few have ever told me that they had enough money or thought that were much worse at their job than everyone thought. Everyone thinks they are worth more money, a promotion, a better spouse, happier kids, etc.

Really? They why are so stupid that you keep working here, going home to your spouse, living the same boring life that you are whining about?

I'm not the bubbly, happy type (as if you haven't figured that out by now), but I'm happy with my job and my life. I'm worth a hell of a lot more than I'm paid, but I've worked for myself and the boss was a jerk. I worked 90 hour weeks and couldn't keep up with the work but didn't want to hire people. A stupid decision in retrospect, but I was young and used to working hard. I'm not whining about how unfair and miserable I am - I'm trying to find new ways to add value by fixing problems for my employer. And I've been trying to figure out how to be a better husband and father, although I haven't made much progress.

We all get the life we work for. People don't go around making bad decisions intentionally, although the do seem to sabotage themselves quite a bit. We all pick the best option at the moment and that leads you to your present situation.

Deal with it. Change your life or quit complaining about it - I'm tired of hearing about your problems.