Friday, November 27, 2015

Our 2016 World

On this day after the 2015 Thanksgiving Day, ones mind cannot not think about the world as it rolls into a new year only weeks away. The world is still reeling from the Paris massacre, the latest killings in the Murder Capital of the World, Chicago, Europe has rolled up its walls and shut out the rest of the world quaking in fear of ISIL thus ISIL has won without firing a shot.  We see the bawdy, blatant aggression of Mother Russia led by King Putin surging forward unchecked for the great checker, America, has pretty much checked out if you get the play on words. Global warming seems to be the Obama landscape to escape his Commander-in-Chief role when it would seem to me that every meeting and gathering should be focused solely on the elimination of this scourge to mankind called Daesh or ISIL or whatever you choose to called this menace to mankind running apparently unabated.

Earlier this week I watched an interview on Charlie Rose with General David Petraeus in which is articulated as clearly as I have experienced the multifaceted spider web of killers most of which are affiliates of none other than Persian now known as Iran. Yes, that same Persia our President and his minion John Kerry, have negotiated an immense nuclear pact for it is "the best we can do and we must ratify it" for some strange reason I still do not understand. And, oh by the way, this agreement frees up somewhere around $150 billion to Iran and we know now where some of that will go which is to fund the terrorist groups linked and aligned with Persia's intention well stated to remove Israel from the face of the earth. This is the same Persia that is thumbing its nose at the Great American Satan; that would be We the People. It simply is beyond my level of understand to grasp what this President's real agenda is for with seemingly each day, he says and does things that seems shadowy and almost sickening supportive of our sworn enemies.

As a man of passion and patriotism, this POTUS behavior and agenda is not only frightening but downright angering knowing so many have given so much for this wonderful gift of Freedom. Now with the Paris attacks and others no doubt being planned for execution soon, the Government will be seeking more and more access to our personal information thus infringing on certainly inalienable rights granted us by our Bill of Rights.  We see all too clearly the failed of institutions in our nation such as the VA, the IRS, the Post Office, Amtrak, and the list goes on. We see and hear so much about "shovel ready" infrastructure work needed in America which I agree with but have you driven by a work site lately to actually see actual work being done? Earlier this week I did see several road projects underway and what I saw was invariably one person working, one person standing and chatting, one person on break, one person checking the person working and two persons getting read to go to break. It really is actually sort of funny to witness the lack of energy, push to get the work done but then I realize it is a metaphor for where America has evolved to.

I think about things strangely for I take the long view of what I see. For example, it has now become commonplace to see panhandlers at major intersections with signs asking for financial handouts and in all configurations of sad faces, torn, dirty clothes, animals, old Army camouflage passing as an old veteran, etc, etc.  Each time I witness this act playing out I find myself wishing I had ten job cards in my pocket I could hand to the poor begging soul and then see if there would be any effort to actually go earn a wage. I am convinced the great, great majority would throw the card away and just occupy the corner begging perch. When I see the same beggar on another corner I know then there is organization, planning, transportation, logistics invested in this begging venture. Sound cold?  I implore you to check me out on this non-work institution.  When people do not have to work, they will not work for when We the People are paying them not to work; well, you get my drift but sadly that is where we have evolved to.

In my naive belief that police are fundamentally good and seek to keep the peace, with each highly publicized shooting with police involved, I sincerely get sick of the same rhetoric and poison stirrers that work people into a frenzy that leads to blatant harassment of police all on national television.  CNN has become, sadly, the chief culprit in the stirring with the likes if Suny Hosten, Charles Blow, Don Lemon; all black, all with an agenda and all creating more angst and accusative narrative about "all" police that is getting more and more of them killed as they sit upon their perch pontificating angst and hate aimed at the very people that get up each day to protect us.  

It is beyond me, frankly, why a sane, normal young person would choose police work as a career in this cauldron of hate spun by media in the midst of blatant abuse and criminal activity by those, some of which end up shot or killed in the line of duty. But the police, regardless of circumstance, is guilty and drawn and quartered by the CNN butchers I have grown to loathe.  I know so many police and deputies and see how hard they work, how dedicated to their mission and I love and admire each. Yes, there are bad ones as with any profession but this is a very, very small percentage but it is they ghat get all the television time thus broad-brushing the great majority of great police.

If I have a deep concern for our nation, and I do, it is with the overworked and overwhelmed all-volunteer military construct. Ten deployments is simply wrong for the service person and their tortured families.  It is illogical to me for less than one percent of the US population to protect the 99% of Americans. I understand fully the logic for going to the AVA but that was before the days of multi deployments in never ending conflicts in a world gone mad with weaponry never thought feasible. I think it criminal in a nation as great as America to know have a system where every single America male and female must serve our nation for two years at an early age.  We are one of the very few if not the only nation in the G20 that does not have a conscription system to bring fresh minds and bodies into the role of protecting our nation. We see all too clearly the downside of multiple deployments and this will only worsen.

During my ten years teaching university level students I found a way to trigger the conversation about the above paragraph meaning their thoughts on taking on the responsibility of protecting our way of life from foreign and domestic enemies. Easily over 99% saw no reason nor any desire to step up to that noble task which saddened me but allowed me to project that that is our America today. We are an aging empire that, like all other empires will collapse from the inside due to the weight of government cost, entitlements and no internal armed force to fight back the enemies that would wish to destroy our way of life. Does that not depict America today?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Poison of Hate

On Lady Liberty given to us by the French, lest we forget, that has met countless millions of immigrants coming to our Land seeking refuge, a new chance and life and freedom of worship.  Emma Lazarus is inscribed on this Statue of Liberty: 

"Inscription on the Statue of Liberty"

Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

In these terrible, deadly, ever-shocking days unfolding on global networks and social media, the litmus test of and for each of us reading this resides in the 2015 application of those infamous welcoming words.  Within a 99.9% percentile of those reading this came here from another location for an array of reasons but freedom was the overarching thrust of the voyage and the worth of the challenge to leave loved ones, homes, work, etc.   

As I began to see a few weeks ago posts to FB decrying acceptance of the poor and pitiful migration of people scared to death and many dying trying to escape the horrors of their hell in their homeland, I began to feel conflicted deeply. 

Then with the Paris attacks, the xenophobic nature of Man began to rear its ugly head around the world but not stronger than right here in America. We have all read or heard of the internment camps for the Japanese after December 7, 1941. We can all, as well, understand the fear our grandparents felt in trying to grasp the what and why Japan did such a dastardly deed. History has always shown us the Japanese felt they were driven to take such drastic actions due to America shutting off its raw material supplies. I am not justifying the whys or wherefores of what happened but history has recorded that as a dark time in American history with the treatment of the Japanese which were American citizens.

This with the Japanese is but one of many such xenophobic reactions to calamities.  The Syrian refugee crisis looms in the sunlight and TV light of our social media world so it more real and in HD for we in 2015 than it was in the black-and-white media world of 1941.  Seeing photos on FB of these poor wretches of people selling their lives to Turkish and Greeks to get away from the morass of their lives next to pits of rattlesnakes crawling on each other are, for me, reprehensible. While reprehensible that one of the Paris bombers allegedly came into Europe as one of the refugees angers, sickens and causes many of us to want to lash out in some caustic way. But let me say again:

"Inscription on the Statue of Liberty"

Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

I am deeply, deeply conflicted on the actions of now roughly thirty American states denying entry of these "huddled masses yearning to breathe free .." for none of us can know the statistics of the level of potential threat.  To give it another slant, the Mafia has been granted almost elite star status with movies when realizing these were Italian and Irish street gangsters and thugs making their way to America to Americanize their ill gotten gains and means to those gains via murder and mayhem, right? So do you see my point and parallel?

In our local Canton, OH newspaper today, a great writer, Charita Goshay, has posted a challenging piece on this very issue in American life in 2015.  That which we have held valid and valued is now challenged on every hand in America and in Europe.  Legitimizing and celebrating the many things the Bible clearly states to be wrong in God's Eyes is example of the transformation of America as it becomes more god-less as has Europe since World War II.  

I worked for an executive at Goodyear that loved to state when some were celebrating attainment of a target and wanting praise, he would quietly and succinctly state .."one robin doeth not a Spring make!"  I believe one terrorist is that robin in this ocean of people that direly need to be absorbed into the less barbaric global village.  If not I believe the level of brutality and killing will be enhanced via technology of explosives and weaponry obviously readily available on world black markets.

Many will disagree with my sentiment in my writing this morning and please know, that is perfectly within your right for I understand fully the innate longing to protect and build a wall. But our global village is burning around us. I am convinced the Obama Administration has heavily prompted and fueled much of this disdain and hatred both foreign and domestic we are seeing come to fruition as the sunlight of hatred grows hotter around the world.

I go back to Lady Liberty's telling words for my guidance as I navigate this deep sense of confliction I myself am feeling on this mass of people seeking life ... is that really too much to ask?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Skin in the Game

I am beginning my comments with this link of a student interview about the million student march. Like so many of us we have watched the bullying at the University of Missouri and saw clearly the utilization of the leverage from athletic program revenues and then see the top two university officials simply tuck their tales and run and hide.  I do not know about you but all of this is, well, typical of America today defined as bullies gaining the high ground.

Listening to this young lady talk about the March is designed to get free tuition for college, all student loan debt paid off and all paid for by the "1% of people hoarding" the money.  

How immature misinformed and incredible such rhetoric is.  I had a great friend many years ago tell me bluntly that until you have skin the the game, you nor anyone else will full embrace nor engage the issue.  But her rhetoric aligns perfectly with the Democratic 'give me because you owe me' mentality that now abounds.  In doing organizational effectiveness consulting for nearly ten years after my retirement from Goodyear, I saw that adage so clearly.  Free anything means free some taking responsibility.

Had I not personally witnessed by thousands of university students how badly student loans were abused, not an intent to repay, total disregard for credit viability into the future, purchase of nicer cars, nicer computer, iPhone, clothes etc, etc, I lost great respect for many students in their intentional misuse of borrowed funds. That was exacerbated by the fact by the fact of knowing so many parents were sacrificing their retirements accounts, etc, to pay for their child and to see the abuse of the sacrificial support from parents and grand parents was and is sickening to me.  Mind you, this does not describe the majority of students but a sizable portion certainly feed it that trough in various tributaries.  

But at the aggregate of my thesis is that unless a person be they a spouse, a child, a student, an employ invests some of their on skin / responsibility into the work involved, they will never fully invest themselves thus fall along the roadway of bystanders. I apply my Pareto analogy of the 80/20 for I believe it is roughly 20% of students that choose not to invest themselves and tend to take advantage of the 80% that invest themselves fully into their education and thus life and thus future and it is that 80% that will lead the future while dragging the 20% along the way as their, the 80%'s taxes they pay from earnings are siphoned into entitlements and safety nets for the 20%ers. Trust me, this is a viable theory that is very real and measurable. 

There are millions of amazing, gifted, hard driving students in our classrooms.  My greatest concern for those students is the very poor quality of teaching they will receive as too many professors are over-focused on research, dissertations (a racket in and of itself), and too many faculty, like the communications professor at Missouri inflaming the terrible unrest now apparently proven to be fueled by lies and troublemakers.  But alas, the Pandora box is now fully opened so we will now witness more and more of this and it will be the 20%ers of tomorrow that will be filling the campus quads and student centers shouting and demanding.

The Missouri reality should have been handled day one by the President firing the football coach, revoking all participant football scholarships and forfeiting the rest of the football season.  What we are witnessing is a new form of bullying and the stick of TV revenues flowing into universities and being spent less on student enhancement to learn but on more computers, buying parts of cities to expand country club type facilities, etc. 

America has turned soft and flabby with this new exhaustive layering of movements, entitlements, softening the rules enforcement, police hating, loss of global power leadership and more than anything, turning solidly away from God. A recent poll I saw this week indicates that 42%  of Americans consider themselves spiritually "nones" meaning they have nor feel no sense of connection nor value in organization religion. 

Satan is winning!