Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Few Things

I am a bit disgusted with the news about our government these days. It may seem like I am picking on Democrats here but I am being completely bipartisan. I mean it is the law of probability, if 60% of congress is democrat and majority rules then most of the stupid ideas must be coming from the majority, but I digress. Here are just a few observations I have made on current events.

Bail Outs

Where do I start? Well, if you or I lose our jobs and we can't pay our bills, no one is going to give us a loan so we can pay our bills and get us through a tough time. We would HAVE to file bankruptcy or risk foreclosure by law. Why is bankruptcy not OK for mega corporations or even cities or counties, referring to the Great Sewer Debacle in our own back yard? And more importantly, did we not go through similar issues a few years back which brought us the privacy and compliance legislation known as HIPAA and SOX among others? Oh, wait!! I see it now! The government tried to legislate ethics and moral standards. What a joke! You have to have moral standards before you can even think of legislating them. I know a lot of those folks are good people but there have been more scandals (just select the scandal du jour) in government offices than in any Hollywood tabloid, so why should we trust them to tell us what is right or wrong. Don't get me wrong, if you do something unethical, I think there should be punishment for it. Without ethics, you cannot expect to be successful in anything.

Now, looking at AIG specifically, everybody says they didn't know about the bonuses. And about the bailout in general, most say the final bill is not how they wrote it. I really don't care who knew what at this point. All they are really saying to me is "I didn't read the bail-out bill". My guess is they didn't read it because it was so long and filled with all the legalese that it would have taken them a month to get through it all. And that assumes that they even understood what they read. If they would write legislation so we all could understand it maybe they wouldn't always look like a bunch of bumbling idiots everytime something like this comes up.

One thing I do know is that I, we America, now own AIG. As shareholders we are responsible for electing the Board of Directors, which currently is assumed to be Congress..... BIG MISTAKE!!!! Remember these are the people that don't pay their taxes, alledgedly drink and drive resulting in death, commit adultery, fraud, shall I go on?? Do you really want these people to be entrusted with the monitoring, reporting and running of corporate America? I think not. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!

Political Correctness

I am so tired of this term. There is no such thing as political correctness; it is an oxymoron. In an effort to avoid offending others, we have become an offensive nation. In fact, I am offended by those who try not to offend me, particularly our elected officials. It is time we started calling Right Right and Wrong Wrong. Tolerance is fine to an extent but tolerance leads to contentment and contentment leads to apathy. I can be tolerant of my daughter running and screming through the house..... for a little while, but at some point it has to stop. For most things there is no middle ground. Either the market is up or it is down, it is right or it is wrong, I mean we all can't be right and we all can't be wrong but there really is no gray area there. One area of political corerctness that always rubs me the wrong way is that of religous tolerance. It seems that Christians have to tolerate the criticism and bashing of every other religion but they cry foul when we make the least little criticism against them. This country was founded on the premise of religious freedom and if you don't like my choice of religions go back to the country where you came from and see if they let you choose how, when and whom to worship. This is still a free country and you are free to leave if you don't like it here.

It is not an alternative lifestyle, it is homosexuality and it is unnatural. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Some animals are food, get over it PETA. You are not entitled to anything here unless you work for it. GET A JOB, PAY YOUR TAXES (Geithner), STOP MAKING ME PAY FOR YOUR DRUG HABIT AND THE 14 KIDS YOU HAD OUT OF WEDLOCK!!! The world is a rough place, if you don't like it, PUT A HELMET ON!!!! I'm not mean spirited, I am just tired of being labeled a criminal, a kook, a fanatic, a right-wing Bible thumping extremist and intolerant just because I have standards and principles and I stand by them. I am tired of being responsible for your mistakes, grow up and take some responsibility. How's that for political correctness?

The Language Police

Ok, this really ruffles my feathers. Now, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano says we can't use the word Terroism to describe "violent destrictive acts committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands" as defined by Webster. She wants to call it 'man-caused disaster'. The lack of action by Mayor C. Ray Nagin and former Governor Kathleen Blanco to assist the people of New Orleans and Louisiana to get to safety is a man-caused disaster. An accident at an oil refinery
due to carelessness or engineering flaws in the equipment is a man-caused disaster. Timothy McVeigh, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda among many others are terrorists and they commit terrorism by striking fear into those they attack. The carnage they cause cannot be minimalized by changing the name. Their goal is terror and we should be afraid lest they strike again. Fear should help us to learn, to adapt, to adjust our way of thinking about how we live in relation to those that would try to wipe us off the face of the earth. Making the name less fearsome only serves to desensitize us from the urgency of possible attack and prevents us from being prepared to defend the greatest nation the world has ever known. There are probably many liberalisms we could rename or even drop from the american vocabulary but I'll save that for perhaps another post.


I'm pretty well educated and I am fairly good at figuring things out but I am really just a simple guy. Don't make this stuff harder than it has to be. Governance is not rocket science but it does require some common sense, which by the way, seems to be non-existent in today's world. When this country was founded it was considered an honor to serve as a representative of your state. You served your time and went back home to tend to the homestead. Now, here is where I show my bipartisanship. I think there needs to be a cleansing of the political machine; why do elected officials have to be lawyers and the like? Why can't they be ordinary people? We need to move the established politicians out and elect common everyday people to these offices. I am sure we won't eliminate special interests since we will all want to help our home towns but, we can eliminate the legalistic, self-indulgent and sometimes corrupt government we have today. It was supposed to be government of the people, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE. In order to restore that balance, we need men and women of character willing to work for the common good of the people and the country not politicians who will tell us one thing and do nothing just so long as they can stay in office.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fame and Fortune

They say everyone has their 15 minutes of fame, well, I got less than five but I'm not complaining since it was for a good cause.

The event was packed and The Alagasco Chili Squad came away with a third consecutive People's Choice award!! We've never been picked by the judges for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. It kinda makes me wonder if they even know what chili is supposed to taste like.

If you want to check out or donate to the Exceptional Foundation you can go here

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Are You A Mama's Boy?

In January, at the first quarterly meeting of our Alabama INNUA Chapter, I was privileged to hear a fantastic speaker by the name of Scott Swedenburg. Scott spoke to us from the writings of his book Lessons from a Mama's Boy. Scott speaks sincerely and from the heart about the life lessons he has learned from his parents and more specifically from his mom.

We should have listened to our parents more when we were kids. I mean, after all, they really are trying to teach us how to live our lives right. We don't always see it that way as kids and our parents are the meanest creatures on the planet (something I am learning from my own 6 year old daughter). 'Don't run with scissors' and 'Eat your vegetables' are just a couple of things your mom tried to teach you. Lessons is filled with little tidbits we all have heard and we all really know down deep inside but it is a healthy reminder to help us recall the things our parents have taught us.

In his book,Lessons from a Mama's Boy, Scott takes a much deeper look into the real life lessons our parents are trying to transfer to us to help us become successful in business, relationships and life in general. Our parents really are our biggest fans and they support us no matter where we are in life. The Bible tells us in Exodus 20:12 to "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." God gives us a promise of long life if we will honor our parents; the first commandment with a promise. So, whether you are 8 or 80 or any where in between, if your parents are still around, show them how much you honor and respect them for taking the time to teach you lifes lessons. Perhaps one or both of your parents have gone on to be with the Lord and you never really showed them honor; you can still ask for God's fogiveness and begin to teach your children so that they understand the benefit of honoring THEIR parents.

Scott, thanks for sharing your mom and her lessons with us. Your presentation and your book are wonderful. For those of you needing a speaker, I highly recommend that you give Scott a call. Or, if you are just looking for a good read, pick up a copy of Lessons from a Mama's Boy. I am sure you will find his thoughts very enlightening, just as I did. This one definitely makes my 2009 reading list.