Sunday, December 20, 2009

Death of Icon… The Failure of Corporate America

GM will most likely announce tomorrow that it will just close down Saab.

Read the article

Corporate greed pulled a small successful company with extreme brand loyalty and global recognition into the folds a soulless behemoth. Focus on profit, ignoring core values and style that initially grew the brand, the result was predictable. A “standardized design”, shrinking sales and the ultimate doom a once classic was the inevitable outcome.
What a travesty.

I am an American. Unfortunately the new mantra of Corporate Capitalism is “dispensability”. Benefits, brands, vendors, employees, and now Countries, we are all “dispensable” in the blind march towards profit in a Global economy. As more and more jobs evaporate, or offshore, it seems all we have left to export is corporate greed – and the world is a fast study.

Many are my friends or relatives whose jobs have been off-shored to India or China. Some have suffered the humiliation of actually going to those foreign countries and training their replacements how to do their jobs.

At some point we’re going to realize there’s nobody left to purchase those things we once produced. Capitalism, who’s very essence we’ve perfected has grown beyond us. In a world where the only commodity is brain power, and the object of that brain power can be sent to any location in the world with the click of a mouse, we should not be surprised when we are left in the cold. We gleefully shop at wall mart knowing full well the goods on its shelves are produced by toils child labor. We don’t care. We vote our approval because we save a dollar… with no thought to the previous small business that provided a good wage and benefits to one of our neighbors – a victim of new “SuperStore”.

I am ashamed of what we’ve become and where we’re going. I fear for my children’s future.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lies, damn lies, and Lame Republicans...

I am really tired of Republicans blaming Barack Obama for any part of the budget deficit.

Here’s the reality… Fiscal 2009 began October 1st 2008 and ended September 31 2009. Fiscal year ending September 31 2009 ended with a 1.4 Trillion dollar deficit. That deficit was put together and passed by the Bush administration 4 moths before Obama took office. The stimulus package, was passed in December of 2008, once again Obama was NOT in yet in office. The entire deficit we have up to October 1 2009 is due to George W Bush and the "Consertave Republicans". That’s a fact.

The CBO (Central Budget Office) initially predicted a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit for FY 2009 when GWB pushed it through. Really, they were damn close. They predict a 1.2 trillion for Fiscal Year 2010, which is the first Obama budget. The true numbers tell that Barack Obama is no worse than the Republicans when it comes to finances. Assertions of socialism are unfounded rhetoric, once again fodder of Fox News, and not supported by Facts

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A year later... Bye Lanny.. please Be Safe.

It's been a year now since Lanny O’Neal passed - taken from his family in a moment by a single, senseless hunting accident.

I think of them every day and still cry frequently. We were roommates in college, and over the years he remained someone I always considered a true friend. He had a wonderful spirit, was genuine to everyone and had a great sense of humor.

We were actually living together when he started dating his wife, Caroll. After college, Lanny got me my first job, a car salesman at one of the local dealerships. Everyone who had the privilege of crossing his path, knew he was someone to be counted on. Unselfish, never judgmental, just true.

There’s a time we all have in our emotional development, a “coming of age” time. That transition from reckless adolescent to adulthood with responsibilities. – Having responsibilities being differentiated from being responsible - It happens faster then we want to admit. Those people, with whom we share that transition period, stay part of us forever. He was there, he was part it, and he helped shap it.

I feel bad having not remained as in touch with his family as I wished. I am sure this year has been just brutal for them. His oldest son going off to college himself, the house must have an almost unbearable emptiness. It’s easy to get lost in the day to day efforts of being a single parent.. but then that’s were Carol is. That’s no excuse..

Lanny really did love to hunt. He loved cars, motorcycles, family time, travel, and above all his wife. He often said he loved Carol more now than the day he married her. We were out having a few and he had just re-affirmed that proclamation not a month before the accident. I admired him for that. Myself having been through a really awful marriage that made divorce a relief; I wondered what that type of life long bond and commitment would be like.

Some of his friends have turned this tragedy into an opportunity to spread hunting awareness. Any good that can come from this incomprehensible loss so be it. So, following, please be safe, tragedy affects so many.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Whiney Billionaire

Poor little “Monty” Widenius, doesn’t want the product he created - MySQL - purchased by Oracle. In a recent post to his blog, he wants a neutral party to continue work MySQL.

MySQL, the “M” in LAMP development, is really the largest competitor to the hideously overpriced Oracle database. To be honest, it pisses me off too. I use MySQL all over my organization and find it fast, rock solid and of course.. .free. There’s every reason to believe Larry Ellison, if the gets his cold, withered hands on MySQL, will simply cease and desist all development allowing to whither and die…. reducing choices.

First of all Monty, you SOLD MySQL to Sun Microsystems for an estimated 1 BILLION dollars. That’s right… with a “B”. Now, that Oracle wants it paws on Sun, all of sudden Monty’s all upset and wants a “neutral party”. Come on…. Monty, when you abandoned us, the uses of MySQL, for heaps of cash, you gave up any and all right to complain. You chose the path of capitalism dude. Shut up, or buy it back, but your proclamations are really hollow in light of your own behavior. Grow up, nobody likes a whiner, especially a really rich one.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Common Sense for the People

First I want to start by saying that I believe we as a country need migrant workers. So long as we lack the citizens willing to perform certain tasks, those jobs should be filled by legal, tracked, authorized migrant workers. It’s a beneficial symbiosis.

Second I believe we as a society need legal immigration. The population growth rate of National Americans has become negative – meaning more die then we reproduce – the Nation as a whole needs to fill that void. We need an upcoming generation for our future. Additionally, the heritage of this great Nation is one of rich diversity. The United States is both a melting pot and safe haven to those oppressed by tyrannical regimes. “Safe haven” must be differentiated from this Nation being used as a “catch kettle” of other counties refuse, violent criminals, or the dangerously mentally ill.

Now let me make the distinction between legal migrant worker, legal immigrant and Illegal Alien. An Illegal Alien is just that. An individual who breaks our laws to invade this Country and is not of this land. We must label things as they are. Illegal aliens are not “undocumented workers”, as drug dealers are not “Unlicensed Pharmacists”.

We are a Nation of Law. Law binds together and defines civil society and defines consequences for those who reject us, our laws and way of life. The founding fathers saw fit to establish a mechanism of dynamic change of that law.. We have the ability, right and duty to exercise and change our laws to fit our times – as we have always done. We, the Citizens of this great Nation support in vast majorities legal immigration and oppose illegal aleins.

In a post 9/11 reality, we can ill afford unmonitored traffic across any border. The liability and consequences are simply too great.

We already experience the catastrophic consequences of high Illegal immigrant concentrations in towns and States. Eviscerated budgets, social services stretched to the breaking point, and crime escalates as if unchecked. Indeed, one merely has to look at the debacle of the Mexican State, rampant corruption, open human and drug trafficking, murder in the streets to realize illegal Mexicans have no concept laws, justice or the American way. Asylum cities in the US boast little more than financial ruin as illegals demand service and return little. The path through legal migration ensures loyalty to this Country.

Our Political parties need hear our voices. Republican’s in their quest for cheap labor, crush American families and support illegal havens for employment. Democrats see Illegals as future party members and turn a blind eye. We the People, Citizens, demand representation.
We demand:
* Worker Authorization policies and laws
* Completion of the border wall.
* The enforcement of all laws already on the books designed to protect us and our legacy.

We must vote for those “Representatives who support Us.. The people”, not blind party pawns.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sick of the Status Quo....

Six years, 4 thousand American dead, $700 billion dollars spent and the prospect is still not good. A special prosecutor is being assigned to evaluate “CIA atrocities”, Afghanistan Generals are saying thousands more Americans are needed; and still over 100 were killed last week in Iraq…

An interview with an Iraq special operative say in 5 years, without American influence, Iraq will become a satellite of Iran. The President of Iraq already flies in Iranian jet with Iranian crew.

When will this madness end? You can’t change thousands of years of tribal values and behavior without a complete change of the socioeconomic structure. It’s the wrong part of the world with no natural resources – short of oil - to develop any infrastructure.

A special prosecutor on CIA atrocities, a stalemate over healthcare, is the current administration spread to thin to actually get something done?

A friend of mine is 24 year old Marine. His time has been extended by a year, and shortly he’s leaving for his 4th tour, this time in Afghanistan. The military is tired and spread thin. They feel it’s time for the suits to get something done rather than send someone else to do their dirty work.

All I know is I’m tired. I want the promise of a Government Of the People, by the People and FOR the people. I haven’t send one in one since before 80’s. We need to take this country back – The right or left isn’t doing it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yet another Sarah Palin debacle

A couple days ago, Sarah Palen posted on her Facebook site a rant against President Obama about sending our tax dollars to a South American State owned Oil Company when we need jobs ourselves.

Well, first of all Ms. Palen, the money wasn’t tax dollars, and the purpose of the Agency that sent the money – Import and Export – is to invest venture capital in foreign ventures what will purchase American goods and services there by creating good American jobs.

It continues to astonish me how colossally uninformed this woman actually is.

I have a friend who’s a devout Republican. I asked him yesterday, “What do you think of Sarah Palen”. He responded that “she was just crucified by the media, and this South American thing, people should just leave her alone for that”.

When Sarah Palen accepted the responsibility of being a 73 year old man away from the Presidency of the United States, you’re damn right she deserves scrutiny. And when that scrutiny revealed the level of ignorance of American law, policy and judicial procedure, she deserved every bit of crucification vented toward her.

There’s an easy way for people to stop Sarah Palen barbs. Sarah needs to shut her misinformed mouth and just go away.

I for one am really tired of Caribou Barbie.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The New Phone!

After struggling with a Blackberry Storm for about a week, I gave up. Verizon allows 15 days of"play period" to decide if you really like a I took them up on a swap out. I traded the blackberry storm for a Blackberry Tour. The tour has the same OS as the Storm. It's just controlled via that track ball instead of touching the screen. Having buttons returns functionality to my phone. I can actually type/text at more that 2 words a minute. The screen is nice to look at, the graphics are better than my old Palm Treo.

On the positive side, the Tour battery lasts much longer, the Storm's big screen must suck a ton battery juice. The Tour also seems to run faster. The Storm had many "moments" while the processor was doing things, who know what, and seemed to stall while you would have to wait for it to catch up with your movements.

I have to say, that what I really liked about the Treo was that it combined both touch screen with keyboard... That was really handy. The Tour will work... for now..

I thought I wanted a new Palm Pre...BUT... as it turns out, the Palm Pre "phones home" to Palm daily and reports
1) your location - using GPS.
2) The apps you have installed
3) Usage of the apps you have installed...

Palm has decided to record all that private info about you without your knowledge or consent! Nice... Here's the break down of a hacker who took the thing apart:

Till Palm turns off the - track me feature - I'm going to opt out...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

That Party's over!

I just have to share this....

I was in the salon a few days ago getting my hair cut. I was in the chair, mind wandering as the scissors zombie trimmed my head in a anatomic Fushun, when someone sits in the chair next to me. I didn't really pay attention, more just noticed some male figure was there. His stylist asks the universal question "So, how do you want your hair cut today"? His response..
" All business in the front and all party in back".

That's right, the fine specimen next to me requested a mullet! I bit my tong, as my first response to inform the poor soul that party ended in 1989.

I'm not sure what's the bigger crime, someone asking for a mullet, or the stylist actually cutting one....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Job numbers.... a recovery?

Yesterday (Friday 8/8/09) the new jobless number came out. A mere 247,000 Americans lose their jobs during the month of June 2009.

This resulted in the Unemployment rate going down from 9.5% to 9.4%.

Got that?!?
One quarter of a Million Americans lost their jobs and the unemployment rate decreases....

How the hell does someone figure that?

I can't imaging a clearer case and point of the entire measurement system being screwed than that.

The real rate, the rate that includes discouraged and long time unemployed is actually 16.4%.

Actually, according to some, if you include all the "off the books" unemployed, we're actually at 18.7% unemployment.

I've read the the average work week is down to something like 33 hours.
Employers will take existing workers to a full 40, then some overtime, before they feel comfortable with more hiring. That's just a fact.

I don't know about you. I'm tired of politicians. Right, Left, doesn't really seem to matter. They all muddy the watter for their personal gain. We pay the bill, we need to demand better.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blackberry Storm --- PAINFUL to use

After years using various Palm Smartphones, last weekend I took the jump and switch to a Blackberry Storm.

I have to say, from an eye candy perspective, it's a beautiful phone. Beautiful graphics, lots of features, nice browser.. it smacks down the Treo.

After 2 days using the touchscreen, I've had it, it blows. Even though from a beauty standpoint the Storm deserves a 10, from a functional perspective I give it a 4. The reason, that silly touch screen! It just sucks! I deeply miss the tactile feel of buttons under my fingers. Typing using the touchscreen qwerty pad is painful at best. You have no idea where your fingers are! I select the wrong key 60% of the time unless I go at a snails pace. My dude sized fingers almost never hit the sweet spot, without careful watch, you just don't know where your finger are!

Just as a note, the processor on the Storm seems a bit underpowered. It's slow switching from application to application. Boot up takes over 4 minutes.

I really wanted the Palm Pre, well, lucky me, a Verizon hostage, I can't get it... rumor has it the Pre will be available in January of '10, but we'll see.

Anyway, I'm going to switch phones and we'll see how something else with real qwerty buttons work.