Mandatory Vaxx Law Hurting Employment, Some Are Striking Back – Pilots and ATC

Southwest Airlines cancelled 1400 flights yesterday. They blamed it on weather and other things. No other airlines cancelled flights because of weather. Air traffic controllers gave them the flying fickle finger of fate also and aren’t showing.

It just came out that 200 members of Congress used Ivermectin instead of the jab, hypocrites. Do as I say, not as I do.

From Social Media:

It’s Not Friday, Three horrible Facts, And a Silver Lining

Three Horrible Facts 1 Today Is Not Friday 2 Tomorrow Is ...

But, I’m retired so everyday is Saturday for me. I don’t have deadlines or conference calls or personnel issues today. Man I don’t miss work.

I don’t miss Facebook that went down yesterday. I didn’t even know it until I read about it. I’m glad to have that ball and chain out of my life also.

I have a brother-in-Law who is retired not by choice, but defined his life by his job. He doesn’t know what to do. I feel sorry for him. Life is much greater than your job.

For now, I’ll pet my dog and enjoy what comes next.

How Men Working Signs Should Actually Read

I always try to count how many are actually working.

I try to thank the sign workers who let the traffic flow when there is only one lane for both sides. They take a beating for holding up traffic, but it isn’t their fault.

When I worked in construction growing up, the lowest guy got the worst jobs. It’s an unwritten rule.

Regarding Monday Mornings

I swear I wrote this in my journal this morning. I was grateful that I got rid of that ball and chain a long time ago. I busted ass for a long time to be in this position and it is worth it, I Gar-un-tee it!

Sure I’m older now and don’t have as many years left, but Sunday night doesn’t suck as much knowing that if it’s a bad one, I don’t have to hate the next 24 hours.

When I watched the NFL before it went woke, I used to go to Monday Night Football and get home late and not sober. How I made it to work the next day and was able to get through it is beyond me now. I guess I was young and it didn’t affect me like it does now, even though I gave up all my bad habits.

Just not being able to sleep, which happens a lot now can ruin the next day.

I think I’m better off older.

NFL, Doubling Down On Stupid

They sang 2 songs last Sunday, posing as National Anthems I read (because I didn’t watch). The Star Spangled Banner and Lift up your voice and sing (I think that is the name).

The ratings are down, they are bleeding fans because of Covid and being Woke. Did they not look at the Olympics ratings and why people didn’t watch?

I have always worked with the famous, the rich and the empowered, something I’m not proud of, but it came with the territory of my career. They were always tedious, demanding and self-entitled. I was always glad to be done with them when the job was over. Their entourage’s were even worse, with no real reason other than they thought they were meaningful because of who they worked for.

The rabid fans will stay I suppose, except those with a mind and a conscience. The rest will get fed up and bail.

I have been a season ticket holder to a team that has won multiple Super Bowls and has many players in Canton. I can’t take the kneeling and the other crap that is dividing our country and has nothing to do with sports.

These are the best paid in the country for playing a kids game, yet they feel entitled to tell us what to do and how to think. It’s the same for hollywood and the celebtards. They need to realize that watching sports is for fun and to get away from all the political crap. Instead, they choose to cut their throats even further.

Those with a brain are finding something else to do.

They are being stupid and should just play the game.

My Take On The Jeopardy Guest Hosts And The Replacements

It is probably the greatest game show created. It’s intellectually challenging. The others are generally tripe that targets those needing mindless entertainment or try to rip off Jeopardy.

I’ve realized that Alex Trebek was one of the best ever at this type of job and was significantly a reason for it’s success.

I recall him not liking Ken Jennings in the first couple of weeks of the 74 game winning streak. They eventually formed a bond, which I first believed was due to the huge ratings increase, but later led to their synergy around making Jeopardy great.

I, like everyone else try to beat the contestants and regularly do, with the exception of Final Jeopardy. Rarely solving this question keeps me from applying as I am about 1 for 15 in getting it right. I regularly beat everyone I play against (except my son, a bastion of knowledge), but fail in pop categories and celebrities. Those are issues I know and care little about. The combination of words, anagrams and Roman numeral addition questions stump me. Ken, Brad and James dominate there.

James Holtzhauer gave us a new way of playing, especially in how to bet. To this day, I love those who bet big. It’s not their money anyway if they don’t stay. You have to play to win and betting low is counterintuitive to winning.

Since Trebek, they have had a string of guest hosts. Some were great because they get what is the formula for success is. Others were fame seekers that had power in the Celebtard world.

THE BEST

The permanent replacements, Mayim Bialik and Mike Richards stood out as the best. They deserve the job. They were smooth, invested in the success of the show and didn’t try to be the reason people watched.

Honorable mention goes to Ken Jennings. He won the GOAT tournament and is forever ensconced in the history of the show. I knew he wouldn’t get the job due to other commitments, but he would have been a good one.

THE SECOND TIER

Bill Whitaker and Sanjay Gupta. Again, they didn’t try to be anything other than the facilitator. They were less polished than the best, but no one believed they were anything but a guest host. They wouldn’t have been good replacements though.

THE MAN WHO WANTED IT MOST, BUT COULDN’T PULL IT OFF

Aaron Rodgers wanted to be the guest host and made it clear. He tried, but is a Hall of Fame quarterback and not a TV personality. He stumbled too much, like Jeff Gordan and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in NASCAR. They were great athletes, but not good commentators. The show would have suffered under him.

AND THE REST, LOSERS, POSERS, CELEBTARDS AND SO FORTH

Dr. Oz has been on TV, but tried to be smarter than the contestants. He was arrogant as usual and not polished, despite being in front of a camera frequently. He cut off contestants and was rude to those who answered incorrectly.

Levar Burton tried too hard. He put on his TV voice and his appearance came off as a job interview rather than a host replacement. He was better than the rest below, but his fake enthusiasm was tough to take at times. He had a woke following that tried to get him hired via social media. The show would have suffered under him because he was hard to listen to in a very short period of time.

Robin Roberts was the wokest. She blatantly played favorites with female and minority contestants. A good host (and person) treats everyone the same, regardless of how they were born like Alex did. There is no justification for bias against anyone so this was inexcusable. She got the gig due to her other TV shows where she can spout her views with impunity. It was hard to watch.

Katie Couric should have been good. She answered “you got it” to every correct answer. I counted over 25 times on one show alone. She was the perky interviewer who failed as a newscaster, but her TV ability should have shown through better than it did. The ratings were poor under her and she is unlikable a lot of the time.

The same can be said for Anderson Cooper, teleprompter reader who is tedious to listen to. His ratings as a newscaster (and guest host) explain why he was so bad. Social media pilloried him. He was boring at best and clearly doesn’t have the intelligence to be a host for show requiring a 3 digit IQ.

THE WORST

Savannah Guthrie at best went through the motions. It was as if she didn’t care. She was disingenuous and dismissive when speaking to the players. She also was a “you got it” over doer. I thought she should have been way better, but didn’t seem to try. I am not a watcher of her regular program, but she was bad at the Olympics also, so I guess she’s consistent. She was the one I almost caused me not to watch the show for a couple of weeks, like Katie.

No one will be the winner because Alex is too hard to follow. He made the show great. It’s like having a famous parent and the kids rarely equal the star.

It’s a great show and has been around because of that. In a way it’s like golf, you can never beat it because you can’t know everything. Just try to beat the people you watch with and the contestants.

On a side note, I worked at IBM when Watson played. I talked to Sam Palmisano, then chairman and he said it was a marketing gimmick. The players never had a chance as the amount of computing horsepower behind the scenes was programmed to win at a certain task. Humans still are better to watch. Watson turned out to be a bust anyway.

Millennials vs Boomers, How Each Turned Out

I got my ass beat a lot growing up. It was almost every day one summer. I’m pretty sure I earned and deserved every whack. I turned out just fine and respected my Dad even though he was the administrator of spanking.

When I look at the woke people, the cancel culture and the idiots on Twitter, Fake Book and other social media, I’m thankful for my upbringing. It scares the crap out of me that this group of ‘tards are about to run everything while a bunch of them still live in their parents basement.

The ones that made it out of the basement are bringing down the NBA, NFL, MLB and the rest of sports and entertainment (and life).

I also can get anywhere with only a map, write in cursive and can figure out how to fix just about anything without a search engine.

Another Introvert Post – What Happens When You Worry Too Much What Others Think

Be careful. This doesn’t mean completely blowing off others, just not running your life by what others think.

I look to times when I can go alone somewhere, especially when I worked and had to travel with others. I’d already spent the work day with them, please let me recover alone and not have to go out. We wouldn’t have at home so why now?

I saw others in that jail as early as middle school and I knew I didn’t want to be there. I only let things in that I need to hear.

I’m going out of my way to avoid gossip also. It’s as bad as Facebook and Twitter. My life is better without them also.

Today’s Self-Help Guide To Avoiding/Escaping Poverty

I post this to try and help someone who might listen. I paid attention as did a lot of people who didn’t wind up in poverty.

I’ve known others that didn’t make it. Without disclosing personal facts, you can just look at the graphic and know what happened to them.

I get that nothing is full proof, but this will help the majority I hope.

Rules For How To Be Successful At What You Do

  1. Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
  2. Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
  3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.
  4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too continuously can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
  5. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning. It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
  6. Ritualize practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to build rituals — specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.

Why Have Passion?

This quote was supposed to be about grit, but the passion came in when it helps you keep going.

While Angela Duckworth separates passion and perseverance into two separate dynamics, Steven Kotler argues that passion is part of perseverance; it plays an essential role in determining how motivated you will be to keep going. “Passion doesn’t make us gritty,” he says, “Passion makes us able to tolerate all the negative emotions produced by grit.”

Anytime I wanted to get a real team together to get something done, passion was the trait i looked for in people I wanted to hire. Some have a passion just to get a job, not to do it well. You have to want to do it and want to do it well. Those are two different and distinct things.

Find your passion and you will do what you want to, probably well. That is except for golf. No one does well at golf all the time.

Advertisers Bailing On The Superbowl Not Wanting To Offend Anyone

The cancel culture has come to a stalemate. Michael Jordan said a long time ago that republicans by sneakers also and wouldn’t take sides. If others were only that smart.

In the effort not to piss off half the country, the corporations are now cowards, afraid to take a stance for fear of SJW and the cancel culture. I noted that it works both ways though. The country is divided. We were last united on 9/11, but shortly after that it’s gone to hell.

“A growing number of big-name advertisers, including Coke and Hyundai, are skipping the Super Bowl this year for fear of not striking the right tone amid America’s contentious political landscape.
“Several companies have decided not to buy Super Bowl time, some for the first time in over a decade.
“The reason? According to the New York Post, the talk from insiders is that members of multiple boardrooms are finally coming to realize that they’re going to infuriate half the country no matter what they do.
“In recent years, advertisers were thrilled to push the Black Lives Matter and Antifa ideologies or to push transgenderism and the #MeToo movement. But this year, not so much.” Offending half the country is OK, except in this case, they offended the half that actually buys their products.

I point out trends and patterns. This surely is one. A Superbowl commercial is top dollar and the networks will hurt from this. Their newsrooms are where the flames of this cancel culture got stoked. I point the finger at them.

Hopefully it will be a good game. A good football game with no politics or social statements made. It’s a child’s game, not a national election.

This advertisement was brought to you by those seeking to disrupt normal relations in the USA by violence, force and dissembling statements. Stop it. We are tired of it and want to get back to our lives.

Why/When to Never Miss An Opportunity To Shut Up – On What To Do During Small Talk

“The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.” – Henry S. Haskins

Actually, this is a daily double because Mark Twain quoted the title. I can’t count the times in my life that I wish I hadn’t said what came out.

This will serve you well in negotiations. At the time to close the sale, any sales person will tell you the first person to talk loses. The sale could be a business plan, a product or yourself to a company or a promotion.

This is the most obvious thing possible for introverts. As others drone on in mindless small talk, they have already begun a new adventure in their minds. Yes, they nod and perhaps might give a monosyllabic answer to the conversation but it is likely they left a while ago.

It is a matter of politeness, not what the other person is doing by talking too much and too long. Note: it is not being mean, it is how minds work. It happens unintentionally. It is why one should take this saying to heart. Read the last sentence.

Of course introverts will talk endlessly on a deep subject or something of importance, when we find someone who cares. The difference is that when others are nodding or giving one word answers, the conversation is over because we can read body language better than most.

The biggest benefit of not always talking is you never have to take back something you said.

Others won’t avoid you if you read their signals and stop talking. I’ve seen it too many times at work, at school and in social outings.

This eventually includes everyone, not just the introverts.

Leonardo di Vinci On Why Passion Is Important

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

Desire is a passion. I’ve noticed over time that to start and continue any task, vocation or avocation requires passion to do it. This is different from trying a fad.

Find someone who is competent and passionate about something and you’ll have loyalty and a better chance of success.

Monday Saying – The Secret Of Life

“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” – Horace Walpole

I just finished a conversation with a successfully retired executive. He told me the secret to retirement is to keep your life uncomplicated. These two are related.

If you do something really well are paid for it, you hit the lottery. If it is one of your 1000 things, you still are ok. If you are hating your job and don’t something you do well you might be a dumbass.

Life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing. Sure, we have to do things we don’t want to, but not all the time.

If you do this, your life will be a lot easier than swimming upstream doing something you don’t like and aren’t good at. There is nothing wrong with tenacity, as long as it is combined with intelligence.

The moral of the story is don’t be a dumbass.

More on Professional Sports As The Ratings Crater With Every Political Action By People Playing Children’s Games

We watch sports to distract us from life, politics and the hate that is in the news.  The pro athletes now think they are qualified to tell us how to act and think.  While they are exceptional in their profession, they play children’s games and get paid handsomely for it.  I think the best should be paid the most.

That doesn’t qualify them for anything else though, especially on life, patriotism, politics, morals or everyday living.  They waste more money in a month than most of us make in a year.  I make those decisions for myself and will bet my IQ against theirs for their paycheck.

So by being political and trying to use their influence, they have alienated those of us that needed that escape and didn’t want a political statement when I felt like being patriotic.  All I see is some self-centered people biting the hand that feeds them.

They are burning their bridges, just look at the ratings crater.  There are a lot of fans that have moved on.  We went through Covid and found out that we have a life other than watching sports players who diss us.

What goes around comes around.

Tuesday Saying – The Price You Pay For Your Profession

“The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.” – James Baldwin

 

Someone said find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.  This is not true.  Sooner or later we become victims of routine or more likely other people will make your job a pain.

This is the ugly side.  At some point even Michael Jordan had to retire, but he still can’t go to a restaurant without people bothering him.

Enjoy what you have and be glad you get to do it.

No going back, how Covid has changed us

Covid has changed our lives for good, and possibly/probably not for the better. Let’s take it by activity.

Travel

Here is some history. Flying used to be fun, economical and had good service. We used to like going on an airplane until some jag-off decided to try and light his shoe bomb on a plane.  Then another tried to blow up his underwear. We now have to queue in a long line  and I’m not all that sure that it’s stopped anyone other than the average Joe traveler. It hasn’t stopped the TSA from copping a feel on strangers.  The food sucks now and isn’t free anymore. Flying is more like the line for enlistment (including your prostate exam by the TSA) than to get on a plane.

With Covid, we can now add a temperature check, face masks and the the fear of catching anything from being in a tube for hours with little to no service.  The airports are petri dishes for bacteria.

Given the losses on travel companies and equipment manufacturers, it doesn’t bode well for the travel industry or the travelers.

Going to the office to work.

The requirement to be in person at work not as necessary as thought.

Before remote working, we had to be in the office or no one could be fully sure that you were earning your pay. Travel and working remotely eased that but there still are some bosses who didn’t trust their employees.   I had one piss-ant manager named R. Gorman when I worked at Thinkpad who didn’t trust anyone. He  sent a memo called rules of the road where you had to be in the office. All that got him was no trust or loyalty from the team. We were technologically equipped to work from anywhere and always did on business travel, but there still was some requirement to be in the office otherwise.

Employees want to be empowered to succeed. When that happens, they find ways to be creative and accomplish their goals. Conversely, when you treat them like school children, many will act that way. Just like with Ray, our productivity went down and the Ray jokes went up.

Now, no one can go in to work while we are socially distancing, and most jobs (non-manufacturing) are still getting done. It’s easy to reach anyone at anytime (too easy and too intrusive) but the oversight of said taskmasters is not needed. In a way, the people are now empowered and they still get the work done.  This one could be a benefit of Covid.

The downside is that a lot of empty buildings will lose their real estate value as there is no need to be in the office with the exception of essential workers.

How it affects the home

For us introverts, I thought it would be a time that we could cancel and/or avoid engagements until Zoom invaded our lives. Now even virtual happy hours are like a meeting. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to get privacy when kids and dogs are in the room or yelling in the background. Spouses or parents have been caught parading nude in front of the camera by accident.

When you meet in person, it’s easier to read body language and have someones attention. I tend to drift during Zoom meetings and have multiple devices that I often look at. I’ve noticed that I’m not alone.

Trouble for Introverts

Normally, we would be in pig heaven not to have to go to the office. In addition to the invasiveness of Zoom/Skype, we are stuck in the house with extroverts who won’t leave us alone. It’s like being trapped in hell. You want the quiet and the peace you got when the extrovert was in the office, instead your personal space is invaded and you can’t escape.

Schools

The school model is now exposed, especially at college level. No more extortion for dorms when you can do 90% online. College professors are no longer as essential. Recorded classes, especially at the 100 and 200 level are adequate. Online testing and submitting required homework is routinely done online even well before this virus.

It turns out that colleges are a Breathtakingly overpriced product.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/breathtakingly-overpriced-product-mike-rowe-says-covid-19-revealed-college-really/

According to Mike Rowe: “They’re gonna’ find big thinkers with easily accessible ideas who are exponentially more interesting than professors, and soon, I hope, our obscene love affair with credentialing is going to stop, and we’re going to pause in every imaginable way, and look at what is essential – not just in workers or in work, but in education, in food, in fun. Everything is going to be forced through a different filter,” he said.

Colleges will also be exposed on their sports programs. Sports are a bank fund that pays for a lot of other school expenses and is a recruiting tool for enrollment. The schools will now have to rely on actual academics as a draw for students instead of March Madness or Bowl season. Maybe the students will now get an education instead of an indoctrination to Marxism.

Conversely, this is a big positive as the cost of education has the opportunity to go down (but so far the colleges are still extorting the same ransom from parents). Room and board are a large part of the cost of an education. Combine that with the lack of a requirement for many classrooms and there is the road to cutting costs.

It is not in the best interest of the Major institutions to charge less, but the cat is out of the bag that you can get almost as much done online. I hope that the masses will overcome and help this opportunity for cost cutting.

For elementary, middle and high school, I think it will hurt our youth.  There is a need for hands on in basic learning and kids have the attention span of gnats.  Sometimes you need to snatch their asses back to attention when it’s learning time.

New paradigm for getting essential needs like groceries.

Essential services like cancer, emergency rooms are same, but will change. Non-essential Dr. visits are now handled over the phone or via video. Dr.’s can now dedicate more of their time to real emergencies or necessary in-person visits. A person using the Emergency Room for healthcare because they don’t have insurance is going to go way down.

There is no downtime for paperwork and other overhead that comes with any job, but that got handled off-line mostly anyway.

Rely on technology more, but the risk is that you can take down a society like the virus did. Beware of hackers though, where there is opportunity, there will be bad guys looking to make your day worse.

Shopping

Groceries have taken a turn for the better/worse/something different. Now that we went through the great toilet paper shortage and people have enough to wipe their asses for the next 5 years.   They can realize that a little planning can condense 5 shopping trips into one, or one delivery or pickup.

A lot converts have been made for grocery delivery. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out though. I’ve gotten stuff I didn’t order, but mostly I rarely get everything I wanted, even if I put in what the substitute would be product. There is no shopping for the store brand that is a whole lot cheaper.

We have gotten used to queuing a lot more now. It used to be the end of the world for some people who had to wait for more than one person to checkout. Now, we’re standing on X’s taped to the floor like kindergartners waiting to go potty.

As is the trend, online shopping has picked up and the downside is retail stores are less needed.  Again, this is a loss in real estate value and will leave a lot of square footage available.

So all in all, some of this is good, but a lot of it was unnecessary. If it wasn’t an election year or if there were different political leaders, a whole lot of people wouldn’t be losing there freaking minds over every little thing that they look for to be offended by.  HCQ would be over the counter like it is in a lot of countries and we wouldn’t be held hostage for masks as no one really seems to know whether it truly helps or hurts us yet.

I’ll remain optimistic that society will adapt.  I’m pessimistic that this is a political power opportunity to control the masses and we should beware.

Great Sayings – Why Meetings Suck

“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”

– John Kenneth Galbraith

We’ve now found out during Covid that in person meetings are not necessary.  Actually, most of us knew that from sitting in them and wishing we were dead or anything to not be there.

I do know a few people that love meetings and live for them.  I think they don’t want to work, or it’s the place they think they can actually wield power.  I avoid those people so I don’t have to go to their meetings.

I’ve written before why Meetings are a waste of time, and how to avoid them.

As an introvert, I loathe meetings.  My rule was that if there were anymore than 5 people nothing was going to get done.

Avoid them at all cost.  They are a time suck and we’ve now proven that you can get work done without them

 

Great Sayings – How To Play the Game Of Life

You can only win in the game of life if you play. Those who stand and watch others don’t get to play or live life.

 

Some sit on the sidelines and watch.  Some want to play but are too afraid.  Others jump in and never worry what happens and some can fall into a mud puddle and come up wearing a dry cleaned tuxedo.

Most of us do all of these things, but not trying is the worst sin of the above.  There is no shame in trying and failing if you learn and try again.  Use what you learn and apply it to the next situation.

Great Sayings – Self Survival By Governments, Innovation and Those In Charge, but are not True Leaders

Hat tip to Moonbattery

For politics, we need balance.  History shows that too much dominance by any side makes for lack of clear vision as leaders.  Their goal becomes being re-elected instead of serving the office they were elected to.  There are plenty of examples.

In Companies, being the solution to a problem is one business model, until the problem goes away then so do profits.

The better model is innovation.  Not that I find it that innovative, but look no further than the iPhone as an example.  Conversely, we are still stuck with Windows however and I find no real innovation there.  I left that platform as quickly as I could

Then of course there is Facebook, Twitter, Google and host of other platforms that haven’t really offered a solution other than sucking the time out of your day and providing a place to move along anarchy.

Look at the motives of the person trying to offer a solution.  Are they selling you a bill of goods, re-election or innovation?

Great Sayings – How To Succeed and Not Just Sit On Your Ass

It’s not just knowledge, succeeding is knowledge put into action.

 

There are a lot of smart people.  There are a lot of successful people that have lower IQ’s, but are smarter in life.  The difference is what they do with what they know.

The difference is putting yourself into action.  It’s also known as common sense.

I’ve worked with a lot of people who bitched that they never get ahead or that they are better/smarter/have been there longer/deserved it more than the person that got the promotion or the new position.  Almost always the person that got the prize was the one who took the chance and did the work.

Don’t sit on your ass.  Get out there and do something, then do more.  Rinse and repeat then watch the results.

There is too much history behind this to show that it works.  You don’t win every time, but that is why they play the game.  This one is called life.

Great Sayings – Alexander Graham Bell

People breakup in relationships.  They get laid off from work.  Those close to us die.  It happens to everyone sooner or later.

You will always keep that memory whether or not you want to, but moving on is part of life.  Yes, it takes time, more for some than others.  Some never move on as a loss is hurtful.

The best thing I can offer is that every experience can help you grow.  Try to look for the positives.  Try to remember those things or people that you lost for their positive influence on you.  Sometimes if you can’t move on, at least move along until the pain is less.

The other situation I often see is that you don’t get the dream job you thought would change your life.  There is always a next job if you keep seeking and no one thing is the panacea of life that will cause it to stop if it doesn’t go your way.

Success Sayings – On Work Relationships

Build relationships because people work with the people they know they can trust.

 

People generally want to do their best.  They want to succeed and will bring others along with them.

I have worked with people who trusted me and I know that even though I always gave it my all, I’d give more for those who I knew I could trust.  Conversely, while I didn’t work less for those I didn’t trust, I certainly didn’t prioritize them in my time or task management.

People who went out of their way to do me harm I stayed as far away from as I could unless it wasn’t possible.  Even then, I was wary of them to the point that I didn’t offer to help when I could at times because I was wary of retribution or motives.

I can’t be that different than anyone else.

Build trust and people will trust you back.  Be trustworthy and others will notice.

Covid-19 Benefits For Some of Us

No one would wish what happened to us with the China/Wuhan/Covid-19/Kung flu/Corona virus this year.  I wonder if there is any silver lining?

WE’VE LEARNED THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE IN PERSON AT WORK

First, the essential workers should be commended.  Those putting their life at risk for the rest of us or to keep us able to stay away but help keep the economy going do need to be there.  They don’t get thanked enough and deserve more accolades than they are getting.  I can’t list them all, but you know who you are as do we, especially when we go out or are in need and you are there.

There are a group of desk jockeys that can work from anywhere, including home, the coffee shop or anywhere that has WIFI.  Many companies are still getting along just fine without everyone in their cubicles or open office space being babysat by next level of ladder climbers and wannabees.

Yes, some of them are goofing off, but they goof off at the office also.  They self-sort themselves out of their jobs after a while anyway.  The other workers know who is carrying their load and who is carrying a load of bullshit without them being there.

We have been forced into a higher level of trust to get the job done.  I’ve worked for some who didn’t trust their employees if they weren’t at their desk.  If you treat people like grownups they will be.  If you treat them poorly or like monkeys, like managers I’ve had they will eat bananas.

Now, those who want to work at home or remotely had the chance to prove that they could get the job done and don’t have to go into an office to do the same thing.

For introverts, this is a blessing.  They don’t have to be sentenced to the jail of in person meetings or having to have their day ruined by HR regimented nonsense that can be done in non-critical hours.

PRODUCTIVITY

This is a unique time to get more work done, or to refine our work habits.  See above about goofing off in the office and you have now eliminated water cooler BS sessions, meaningless meetings that can be done on email or chat and time to actually concentrate.

I know those in sales have to talk, but if they concentrate more on selling, they too will be more productive.  A lot of them are too chatty anyway.

The USA works more than other countries and it appears that we like to work.  You can tell by how much we’ve achieved, but also the lack of vacation we take vs. other countries.  Hey, but how many countries have landed a man on the moon?

We have the opportunity to open up (re-open up) and unleash the greatest economy and workforce that has ever existed.  There are people dying to get back to work that may be furloughed.  I only hope the politicians haven’t put onerous rules in place that hurts the economy and the ability for small businesses to thrive.

TRAVEL

You can now go anywhere you need to if you want.  I imagine that travel will be light at first, although some with pent up demand or anxiety will leave as soon as it is allowed.  The downside will be the TSA security check lines if we have to stay 6 feet apart.  The line will be out of the building and into long term parking.

I read that the bookings for Cruise ships are in high demand, something I just don’t understand.  Cruise ships are petri dishes for viruses and have been for a long time.  Why you would want to be in basically a jail cell that travels with limited escape time to buy a T-shirt doesn’t seem desirable, but I have friends who love it.  They mostly like to eat though and say it’s a cheap way to travel.  At least they won’t be on planes for those of us who want to get where we are going and then actually see the country/place we are visiting.

You won’t have to worry about getting stuck in the middle seat for a while on an airplane.  That is the designated social distancing seat, like it’s going to matter when you are in a tube for hours and well within the reach of a cough or a sneeze.  I love this one as the airlines have made travel less enjoyable year over year.  The armrest fight for position will be solved for now.

I imagine there will be a lot of deals at first.  Travel costs should be down as well as tourist traps will have good prices to make up for the time we’ve spent in our quarantine jail.  Get ’em while you can.  There will be less tourists everywhere you go and businesses dying to offer deals to make up for the faux shut down.

BE POSITIVE

One can look at the downside and think that the world is going to end and that we might die from Covid-19.  The statistics say that it is mostly in a few concentrated places (NE corridor and elderly care facilities) and affects those with a co-morbidity.  The odds are in our favor that we won’t get it or that it won’t be as bad as the media is trying to shove down our throats.

When this passes (hint: watch how soon it passes after the November election is over regardless of who wins) the opportunities to better your life and enjoy some things in the work/life balance that have been either ruined or complicated for us.

 

 

 

Things You May Not Know, Or Haven’t Considered Yet About Life (6 People Look Exactly Like You)

1. Your shoes are the first things people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.
2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years.
3. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There’s a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.
4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.
5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their mother determines their weight.
6. If a part of your body “falls asleep”, you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.
7. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing – food, attractive people and danger.
8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side.
9. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.
10. According to Albert Einstein, if honeybees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead within 4 years.
11. There are so many kinds of apples, that if you ate a new one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all.
12. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping.
13. People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.
14. Laziness and inactivity kill just as many people as smoking.
15. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia.
16. Our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!!
17. Our body gives enough heat in 30 minutes to boil 1.5 liters of water!!
18. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell!!
19. Stomach acid (conc. HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!!
20. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day & while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
21. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
22. When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God’s guidance for your purpose, today.
23. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
24. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
25. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
26. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts and things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
27. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
28. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
29. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything.
30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
31. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
32. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
33. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
34. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
35. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’
36. Help the needy, be generous! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’
37. What other people think of you is none of your business.
38. Time heals everything.
39. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
40. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you accomplished, today. What if you woke up this morning and only had what you thanked God for yesterday? DON’T FORGET TO THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING.
43. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

Great Sayings – Peter Drucker on Management

Peter Drucker – “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

 

I’ve posted on meetings being a waste of time  and management ego’s.  Great managers lead and let the employees work and succeed.  Mostly, the best managers help their employees grow and advance in their careers.  I know I’ve had both types.  When I was a manager, I did everything I could to those working for me the opportunity to show what they can do and help them when they fell down.

Unfortunately, most can’t seem to get out of their own way and realize that the best managers surround themselves with a good team and give them the power to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

California Humor

Here is a little Friday humor, inspired by all the recent going’s on in the news about housing prices, immigration, pot, high taxes, overburdensome government regulation and the usual stuff you read about.

1. Your coworker has 8 body piercings and none are visible.
2. You make over $300,000 and still can’t afford a house.
3. You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.
4. Your child’s 3rd-grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Flower.
5. You can’t remember . . . is pot illegal?
6. You’ve been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
7. You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
8. You can’t remember . . . . is pot illegal?
9. A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.
10. Gas costs $1.00 per gallon more than anywhere else in the U.S.
11. Unlike back home, the guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney really IS George Clooney.
12. Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.
13. You can’t remember . . . .is pot illegal?
14. It’s barely sprinkling rain and there’s a report on every news station: “STORM WATCH.”
15. You pass an elementary school playground and the children are all busy with their cell phones.
16. Or it’s barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.
17. HEY!!!! Is pot illegal????
18. Both you AND your dog have therapists, psychics, personal trainers and cosmetic surgeons.
19 The Terminator was your governor.
20. If you drive illegally, they take your driver’s license. If you’re here illegally, they want to give you one.

Hat tip to American Digest for this one.

How Meetings Are a Waste Of Time and How To Avoid or Get Out of Them

facepalm  I read a WSJ article on ineffective meetings.  It is about the manifesto to end boring meetings.

This brought back thousands of hours of meetings I wished I could have back or would certainly decline to attend had I realized what I know now.  Most of this post is tongue in cheek unlike the WSJ, but I’ll bet everyone wishes they weren’t in so many meetings.

First, let me start out with some quotes I found from The Quote Garden, starting with the one that reminded me most of the meetings I’ve attended:

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.  ~Barnett Cocks, attributed

worfgif

A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.  ~Milton Berle

To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon.  ~Author Unknown

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”  ~Dave Barry, “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”

Our age will be known as the age of committees.  ~Ernest Benn

If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.  ~Arthur Goldberg

A committee is an animal with four back legs.  ~John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods.  ~H.L. Mencken

A “Normal” person is the sort of person that might be designed by a committee.  You know, “Each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray.”  ~Alan Sherman

A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour.  ~Elbert Hubbard

A camel looks like a horse that was planned by a committee.  ~Author Unknown

A committee is a group of the unwilling chosen form the unfit, to do the unnecessary.  ~Author Unknown

If you live in a country run by committee, be on the committee.  ~Author Unknown

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club?… Creative ideas do not spring from groups.  They spring from individuals.  The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam.  ~Alfred Whitney Griswold

We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist.  ~Frank Moore Colby

I don’t believe a committee can write a book.  It can, oh, govern a country, perhaps, but I don’t believe it can write a book.  ~Arnold Toynbee

There is no monument dedicated to the memory of a committee.  ~Lester J. Pourciau

Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.  ~Katharine Whitehorn

Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.  ~John Kenneth Galbraith

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.  ~Thomas Sowell

AND OF COURSE, THERE IS BRADLEY’S BROMIDE: “If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee — that will do them in.”

I WORKED FOR “THE” MEETING COMPANY
I worked a large part of my career either for or with IBM, which many have joked that it stands for I’ve Been in a Meeting. I could have been years more productive and retired earlier if it hadn’t been for all of the meetings I’ve spent time in.  Projects would have been completed weeks in advance were it not for meetings.

Usually, the meetings were a way to get other people to do your work for you, or to assign work to others they wouldn’t do or volunteer for were it not for the fact that they were at a meeting.  The only time this didn’t work was when I actually needed to get a speaker for a press briefing for an interview with Time Magazine when print media was important.  His manager, John Callies then VP of Netfinity or X series at IBM(x86 servers), wouldn’t let the speaker leave the staff meeting stating, “it’s only your job” as the reason.  See how manage executive ego’s for more on this. I’d have never imagined having to cancel an interview with what was then an important publication due to an executives’ ego. I’ve seen bad manager moves in my time, but this was top 10 worst of the worst for me.  He still ranks as the number one suit I’ve ever worked with.  The below meme was how it felt to be in a meeting with him.

Execs have also had meetings in places that they wanted to visit (click on the link to see who it is), and most people knew that.  That was a waste of travel time and money for a wasted meeting. There were other reasons they had meetings, but read the quotes at the beginning to find out why said were held.

Avoid training meetings, unless it was a way to be busy during a meeting you want to avoid.  This is especially true of diversity training.  It is a waste of time (same exact meeting every time every year for the required legal reason) but is more important than almost any other meeting, so it serves 2 purposes.  No one will go against diversity training for fear of being politically or legally incorrect.  It does allow you to miss another meeting and no one pays attention anyway.  It’s an opportunity to get work done while the training is going on in the background.  Your attendance is recorded so you are twice as effective as you complete your work, earn your mark for training and ignore the same speech you went through last year all at the same time.

MEETING RULES TO SURVIVE

The best way to deal with a meeting is to avoid it.  If you can already have a meeting at a time that the scheduler proposes it or be busy and/or somehow away or out of the office.  Teleconferencing kills that strategery  unless you can be found traveling, but sometimes it’s unavoidable (see how to get out of a meeting below if you have to go).  The people calling the meeting are really only people who want the meeting anyway.

For things to do to avoid meetings or how to goof around during a meeting, go to the link How to goof around at work.

HERE IS MY RULE WHEN TO DECIDE TO ATTEND IF I HAD A CHOICE: if there were more than 4 people, don’t go.  Nothing will get done other than resulting in another meeting to have to attend.  This is especially true if there are more than 1 executives, as each brings a team of competing players who guarantee the death of productivity.

The WSJ agrees with me, but goes on to say that if it has 17 people, there is no chance anything will get accomplished.
Don’t speak at a meeting if possible. It usually wastes time and extends the meeting length.  There are only a couple of people who really have something to contribute, the rest want to hear themselves talk, show off their PowerPoint skills to bore you, or think they are more important if they speak.  These show offs can be  insufferable, but they offer time to check your email at best while pretending to listen.

This is in the department of redundancy department, but it is so important to note is to be careful when attending because the meeting leader’s purpose is to assign their work to others or get people to do work they wouldn’t do because they can’t decline in public (this is a corporate tradition).  This further kills your ability to be productive at your real job.  There are some who want to look important by accepting work magnanimously to show off, thinking they were climbing the ladder.  Gladly accept their offer as most people have 10 hours of work for an 8 hour day anyway. Only accept it if it produces revenue or if you are the only one qualified to do it, but generally don’t, especially if you perceive it as a make work project.

Especially avoid planning meetings.  A meeting to plan another meeting is one to be skipped unless you are the project manager and called the meeting, then you have to do it.  Avoid these at all costs.  Once nobody shows up, the meeting gets cancelled for email updates, which is a far better use of your time.  As my grandfather said, they are as common as pig tracks and as useless as teats on a boar hog.

Avoid staff meetings.  These are like planning meetings, but they occur regularly and when you miss one, nobody really cares (especially if there are more than 4 people). Only attend them occasionally as you work with these people everyday anyway, it’s not like you don’t know what is going on.  Email your boss on a regular basis with your activity and you can plan something more productive during that time.

HOW TO GET OUT OF A MEETING

The tongue in cheek part really goes here.  I’ll bet there are folks out there far more creative about this than me.

My favorite methods are to have a customer who needs you.  They are your business and that overrides almost everything.  Even your boss can’t deny this.

Pre-plan an emergency.  I occasionally had another employee phone or knock on the door to call me out (email or text isn’t as good as that is not public enough) to get you out of a meeting.  The trick is to never return. You’ll get the notes anyway, I promise. Since I worked with the press and analysts, I sometimes had a co-worker say that a reporter needed me right now.  They were my customer and no one could say no.  Many times there was no real emergency even if the press did call, it was the best and most efficient use of my time to leave the meeting so as to be actually working instead of being at a meeting.  I usually dealt with the press immediately unless I had to do some digging to get back to them.

Attend meetings by phone if possible.  You can always put the phone on mute and get your real work done, or surf the web or watch TV, which is usually just as productive.  It’s easier to go to the bathroom, which brings me to…

Go to the bathroom.  Offer to get a water to others when you go, then take as much time reading the sports page in the stall as you can.  You are just as productive as listening to someone prattle on about their project.

Send your meeting information in by proxy.  See above where someone is willing to talk.  Give them your results or input so you don’t have to be there.

 THE KIND OF MEETING TO HAVE

I realize that some meetings are necessary, so I understand that it’s the only way to get some things done.  For the other majority of the time, see above.

The best meeting is a hall meeting.  You run into the person you need help from and in 5 minutes, you’ve explained your need, what they can do and your time frame for doing it.  Problem solved.

I also recommend having meetings with introverts and/or men.  They don’t like to talk much (most of them) and want to get it over as quickly as you do.  Attire requirements are less of a priority as is small talk.

Here is the net net, don’t go to a meeting if you don’t have to, get out early if at all possible and above all, don’t speak unless you have no option.  Consider it a victory if you don’t attend, or a minor victory if you have to attend but don’t come out with anyone else’s work. You are a complete failure if you open your mouth and double your workload on something that is not tangential to your job or career.  Enjoy your job more by having the time to actually be productive.

Vocabulary Tricks Dumb People Use to Sound Smart – Also A Good Meeting Bingo List When You Are Bored

I have heard most of these 89 sophisticated clichés that typically form the trick vocabulary of such people, almost always by management, whom I’ve indicated:

Note: these are also meeting (BS) bingo words when you are bored. Please let me know if anyone is ever in a meeting that can cross off all of these words.

One of my favorite sayings is: A meeting is a cul-de-sac where ideas are strangled and usually eliminated.

1. It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to.

2. We’re data-driven = We try not to make decisions by the seat of our pants. When possible, we try to base them in facts -SC.

3. We need to wrap our heads around this = Gosh, I never thought of that. We need to discuss that….SC

4. It’s a win-win = Hey, we both get something out of this (even though I’m really trying to get the best from you)

5. ROI [used in any sentence] = Look at me, I’m very financially minded, even if I never took any finance classes in school

6. Let’s blue sky this/let’s ballpark this = Let’s shoot around a bunch of ideas since we have no clue what to do

7. I’m a bit of a visionary = I’m a bit of an egomaniac and narcissist EB

8. I’m a team player/we only hire team players = I hope everyone on the team thinks this is a meritocracy, even though I’m the dictator in charge EB

9. Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about

10. We think outside the box here/color outside the lines = We wouldn’t know about how to do something innovative if it came up to us and bit us in the behind

11. I/we/you don’t have the bandwidth = Since we cut 60% of our headcount, we’re all doing the job of 3 people, so we’re all burned out

12. This is where the rubber meets the road = Don’t screw up

13. Net net/the net of it is/when you net it out = I never studied finance or accounting but I sound like someone who  can make money if I keep talking about another word for profit

14. We’ll go back and sharpen our pencils = We’ll go back and offer you the same for 20% less in hopes you’ll buy it before the end of the quarter – RA

15.  It’s like the book “Crossing the Chasm”/”Blue Ocean”/”Good To Great” / “Tipping Point” / “Outliers” = I’ve never read any of these books but I sound literate if I quote  from them. And, besides, you cretins probably never read them either to  call me out on it

16. Let’s right-size it = Let’s whack/fire a bunch of people – RA

17. It’s next-gen/turn-key/plug-and-play = I want it to sound so technical that you’ll just buy it without asking me any questions

18. We need to manage the optics of this = How can we lie about this in a way people will believe?

19. This is creative destruction = I’ve  never read Joseph Schumpeter but our core business is getting killed so  it’s your responsibility to come up with a new product the market will  buy

20. We don’t have enough boots on the ground = I don’t want to be fired for this disastrous product/country launch,  so I’m going to sound tough referring to the military and say I don’t  have enough resources

21. Deal with it = Tough cookies – SC

22. By way of housekeeping = This makes the boring stuff I’m about to say sound more official

23. That’s the $64,000 question [sometimes, due to inflation, people will denominate this cliché in millions or billions of dollars] = I don’t know either

24. Let’s square the circle = I’m someone who can unify two team members’ views and sound important

25. It’s our cash cow/protect/milk the cash cow = If that business goes south, we’re all out of a job

26. It’s about synergies/1 + 1 = 3 = I don’t get the math either, but it sounds like more and more is better, right?

27. Who’s going to step up to the plate? = One of you is going to do this and it’s not going to be me

28. We’re eating our own dog food = It sounds gross but we seem like honest folks if we do this.

29. We need to monetize/strategize/analyze/incentivize = When in doubt, stick “-ize” on the end of a word and say we’ve got to  do this and 9 out of 10 times, it will sound action-oriented.

30. We did a Five Forces/SWOT analysis/Value Chain analysis = We didn’t really do any of that, but none of you probably even remember Michael Porter, so what the heck

31. It was a perfect storm = We really screwed up but we’re going to blame a bunch of factors that are out of our hands (especially weather)

32. At the end of the day…. = OK, enough talking back and forth, we’re going to do what I want to do  – LS

33. Who’s got the ‘R’? [i.e., responsibility to do what we just spent 20 minutes talking about aimlessly] = If I ask the question, it won’t be assigned to me

34. Let’s put lipstick on this pig = plug your nose

35. I’m putting a stake in the ground here… = I’m a leader, simply because I’m using this cliché

36. We’re customer-focused/proactive/results-oriented = That can’t be bad, right?  This is motherhood and apple pie stuff

37. Our visibility into the quarter is a little fuzzy = Sales just fell off a cliff

38. That’s not our core competency/we’re sticking to our knitting = We’re just glad we’re making money in one business, because we’d have no clue how to get into any other business

39. Well, we’re facing some headwinds there = You put your finger on the area we’re panicking over

40. It’s a one-off = Do whatever they want to close the sale

41. Incent it = That’s not a verb but I just made it into one because I’m a man/woman of action

42. I’m an agent of change = This makes it sound like I know how to handle the chaos that our business is constantly going through

43. We’ve got to do a little more due diligence there = Don’t have a clue but does that legal term make me sound detail-oriented?

44. Don’t leave money on the table = Be as greedy with them as possible

45. We take a “ready, fire, aim” approach here = We totally operate on a seat-of-the-pants basis

46. Hope is not a strategy = I don’t have a strategy, but this makes it sound like I’m above people who also don’t have a strategy – BO

47. We have to tear down the silos internally = Our organizational structure is such a mess that I’m going to be under-mined by other departments at every turn

48. I don’t think it will move the needle = This won’t get my boss excited

49. Good to put a face to the name = I’d really rather talk to that person behind you

50. Let’s take the 30,000 foot view… = I like to think I see the big picture

51. It’s the old 80-20 rule = I really have no idea what the rule was, but I just want to focus on the things that will make us successful

52. We need to manage expectations = Get ready to start sucking up to people – AL

53. It’s not actionable enough/what’s the deliverable? = You guys do the work on refining the idea. I’m too tired.

54. My 2 cents is… = This opinion is worth a heck of a lot more than 2 cents

55. I’m going to sound like a broken record here… = I want to clearly point out to you idiots that I’ve made this point several times before

56. We’ve got too many chiefs and not enough Indians = I want to be the Chief

57. Going forward = Don’t screw up like this again – AL

58. My people know I’ve got an open door policy = I’ve told my direct reports to come to me if they have a problem, so  why should I feel bad if they complain I’m too busy to talk to them?

59. It’s gone viral = Someone sent a tweet about this

60. I know you’ve been burning the candle on both ends = Get ready to do some more

61. It’s scalable = We can sell a lot of it in theory

62. It’s best-of-breed = We hired a market research firm to say that – too many – SC

63. We’re all about value-add = Unlike our competitors who seek to add no value

64. What’s our go-to-market? = Has anyone planned this out, because I’ve been too busy? SC

65. I’m drinking from a fire hose right now = I want a little sympathy over here, because I’m tired of carrying this company on my back

66. We’re getting some push back = They’re not buying it JB

67. We need to do a level-set = I’ve never been inside a Home Depot, but this phrase makes me sound handy

68. It’s basic blocking and tackling = How could you screw this up? I also played high school football and those were the best days of my life.

69. Let’s put our game faces on = Get serious, guys

70. We’ve got it covered from soup to nuts = I have no idea what that means, but don’t you dare question my prep work on it

71. We don’t want to get thrown under the bus = So let’s throw someone else first – RGorman

72. But to close the loop on this… = Always the more theoretical Business Development/Strategy guys who say this, so they can sound thorough

73. What are “next steps”? = Did anyone take notes during the last 90 minutes of this meeting?

74. This is low-hanging fruit = Get this done quickly

75. We need a few quick wins = We’ve got to trick people into thinking we know what we’re doing by some successes we can point to and claim as ours DHP

76. It’s a [Insert Company Name] killer = Did I get your attention yet with the Freddy Kreuger imagery associated with the company who’s currently eating our lunch? SC

77. I want to address the elephant in the room = I know you think I’m trying to cover up/gloss over something, so I might as well talk about it

78. This is the next big thing/new thing = Some of our 20-somethings have told me this is really cool

79. This time it’s different because… = Don’t wait for the explanation… simply run for the hills.

80. What are the best practices on this? = How can I cover my behind that we’re just doing stuff the way other good people have supposedly done this?

81. This is our deliverable = I know this sounds like something that comes in a body bag, but it makes our PowerPoint sound tougher than it actually is

82. We’ll loop you in when we need to = You’re not that important to know about all the details on this

83. We want this to move up and to the right = I failed high school algebra but someone said this means we’ll be making a lot of money if this happens

84. We’re going through a re-org = No one knows what the heck is going on at the moment, we’re going to lay off a bunch of people.

85. We’ve got to increase our mind-share with the customer = I think I would have been happier as a doctor doing lobotomies than in marketing as a career path

86. I don’t think you’re comparing apples to apples = Let me tell you how you should really think about this issue = DHP

87. Let’s peel back the onion on this = I want to sound thorough so this is a better way of telling you that than simply clearing my throat

88. You phoned it in = I was too busy checking my email during your presentation that I didn’t listen _ JC

89. I want you to run with this = I just threw you into the deep end of the pool and you’re on your own to figure it out -JC

Salesman of the Year

The manager of a megastore came to check on his new salesman. “How many customers did you serve today?” the manager asked.

“One,” replied the new guy.

“Only one?” said the boss. “How much was the sale?”

The salesman answered, “$58,334.”

Flabbergasted, the manager asked him to explain.

“First I sold a man a fishhook,” the salesman said. “Then I sold him a rod and a reel. Then I asked where he was planning to fish, and he said down by the coast. So I suggested he’d need a boat – he bought that 20-foot runabout. When he said his Volkswagen might not be able to pull it, I took him to the automotive department and sold him a big SUV.”

The amazed boss asked, “You sold all that to a guy who came in for a fishhook?”

“No,” the new salesman replied. “He actually came in for a bottle of aspirin for his wife’s migraine. I told him, “Your weekend’s shot. You should probably go fishing.”

I’m Just Not In That Big of a Hurry

7 cardinal rules lifeI’ve decided to that hurrying through life just doesn’t have the payback it seems.  The hustle and bustle of busy work, conference calls, email and social media keep some in a coffee enhanced mode glued to their screen and missing out on life just isn’t worth it.  I got to thinking about this and decided to take some stress off of things and so whenever possible, I now work on my schedule.  I’ll get around to what is needed to do, but I’m not going to let it keep me up at night.  I’m not as worried that my comments on social media or political diatribes that upset me really don’t matter all that much.  Once you get used to this, those pesky deadlines that are mostly self inflicted become less important.  After all, most of the above described issues are nuisances at best.

WHERE DO WE GET THIS CULTURE?

For many, they just can’t wait to grow up fast (not me).  Then can’t wait to get promoted (partly me),  can’t wait for kids to grow (not me) and finally can’t wait to retire (me even thought I’m working again, but for myself).  Work seems to exacerbate it the most with demands endless meetings (Meeting = a cul-de-sac where ideas get strangled and go to die), phone calls, emails, instant messages, texts and incessant demands from bosses (the less competent usually are the worst like 3 of my last 4 before I retired, on my terms).

head_up_assMy last couple of Boss’s in this picture

It turns out that this extra stress can lead to brain damage.

On the social side, I have a relative with MOP (miss out phobia) who is afraid something is going to happen without her.  Her sibling just doesn’t give a rats rump what others think and has far less pressure socially, but missed out on some things in life.  Striking a balance is good.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on when not to accept a promotion.  There is a myriad of reasons given including family life, unrewarded extra burdens for the less than promised  climb up the ladder.  I personally turned down 2 promotions as they wanted me to move to New York where I would get a 30% higher cost of living, three times the responsibility that I wouldn’t be compensated for and a back stabbing culture of ladder climbers.  My real reason for not doing it is that I didn’t want to raise a family there and wanted to bring them up in a better part of the country.  After that, I was happy not to be there stressing out more.  Since I’d already been on every rung of the ladder, the need to be at the top was less than taking care of my kids.  I still managed to beat the system to be rewarded better than the curve and on my terms.

All of this adds up to the rat race.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it before, but it’s a terrible way to go through life.  Now that I think about it, I just knew that taking it easy and beating the system was the way to get ahead the right way, and not sell your soul in the process

MOUNTAIN TIME AND ISLAND TIME

Having spent time in both places, I noticed that the folks there just don’t seem to be in a rush.  It truly is a New Yorker’s nightmare not to have someone jump when they say how high or to have to be busy in crisis mode over everything.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m for punctuality, but these two groups set a different deadline (sometimes internally) and usually meet it.  They don’t die early from stress usually.

I noticed it in the Caribbean islands first.  They are not in a hurry for anything.

I then noticed it in the mountains that they get around to things..eventually.  It was enough of a coincidence that I quickly connected the dots between the two.

I’M GETTING THINGS ACCOMPLISHED

To be fair, I’m busy and am accomplishing more under my own direction than when under the gun of a manager overlooking by shoulder.  I’m the manager now.  It’s just that I’m making the deadlines and am meeting all of them.

So I’m happier in life and wish that for others and hope that this 24/7/365 mentality doesn’t overtake your priorities.  It’s corny, but true in this video below:

How To Look Busy At Work – Office Humor

Disclaimer: I think you should work hard and earn what you are paid.  Nevertheless, I like to see the levity in things.  I collected the lot of this on the internet.

George Costanza’s 10 Commandments For ‘Working Hard’

1 – Never walk without a document in your hands.
People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they’re heading for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they’re heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2 – Use computers to look busy.
Any time you use a computer, it looks like “work” to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat, and generally have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they’re not bad either. When you get caught by your boss — and you will get caught — your best defense is to claim you’re teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training dollars.

3 – Keep a messy desk.
Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we’re not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your cubicle, bury the document you’ll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4 – Use voice mail.
Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t call you just because they want to give you something for nothing — they call because they want you to do work for them. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice-mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they’re not there — it looks like you’re hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a devious weasel.

5 – Look impatient & annoyed.
One should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6 – Leave the office late.
Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and story books that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important e-mail at unearthly hours (e.g. 9:35 p.m., 7:05 a.m., etc.) and during public holidays.

7 – Use sighing for effect.
Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.

8 – Opt for the stacking strategy.
It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).

9 – Build your vocabulary.
Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember; they don’t have to understand what you say, but you sure sound impressive.

10 – Don’t get caught.
MOST IMPORTANT: Don’t forward this page’s URL to your boss by mistake!

OTHER HELPFUL HINTS:

Never smile when I’m on phone talking with someone at work and it isn’t about business. If you smile, then people won’t think that it is work-related.

Hold a pen in your hand at all times in between keyboarding tasks… keep it in your hand even while on the phone… have your writing pad there as well and occasionally jot something down… you’ll look as if at all times contemplating something really intelligent and ready to write it down.

Keep a really complex spreadsheet or lengthy document file (or both) open on your desktop.

Use an extended monitor with your laptop.Run a regression suite or that long  build on your monitor and continue to do whatever you are doing on your laptop.

Keep your office communicator/jabber connected even when you are home.Gives a notion to your colleagues that you are really working Do it even the weekends.

Send one email a day to the team.if you don’t have anything just make up.

File bugs in your own name and keep solving them.

Go into a technical discussion and just listen even if you are not  remotely interested in it.

Keep your white board messed up. Change the text everyday.

Add your manager on Facebook and show no activity when you are working.
Updating any open ticket that is being monitored by a manager on an irregular but time bound basis. Ie they love updates so give them updates. The more the better.

Narrate facts at meetings that the manager can use with his own manager. Depending on the stupidity of your manager, you’ll have to coat these nuggets with  verbal accordance – ie., you’ll have to spell out exactly what you mean and then obtusely mention that your manager’s manager might find that interesting.

Sick days – well everyone knows that.

Really understanding how your boss thinks.
If you can really figure out how your boss thinks, you can focus on those activities except at deadline time. Even if you don’t hit the deadline your boss is usually confused enough between what he sees and your results to give you 1 more chance till the next review. so this method gives you 2 review cycles worth of time to phone it in.

Use the Outlook email scheduler to send out emails at 4 am. Note: for important emails only, don’t send out “FYI”-type emails about interesting work articles you’ve come across, no one believes you’re browsing Bloomberg for work at 4 am.

And the most popular time strangler, go to a meeting.  It’s a place where idea’s get stranded in a cul-de-sac.

UPDATE: Now there is an app for your computer from Corporate Avoidance to look busy!

I’ve just come upon some great sites that give unbelievable advice on how to maximize your appearance while minimizing your work.  The first is Mastering the art of looking busy;

Looking busy has a bad rap. Sometimes you have to look busy so you can actually work on the things that matter. Here’s how to trick others into believing you’ve got a full plate so you’ll get the breathing room to actually get things done.

The point of looking busy is to remind your boss and your coworker that your time is valuable, that there are only so many things you can work on at once, and to give you some breathing room so you can actually think. In short, looking busy reminds everyone that you are busy, and gives you some freedom at the same time. Whether you use that freedom for valuable brainstorming or wasting time on your favorite tech blog is a choice we leave to you.

In this post, we’ll walk through some way to make sure everyone you talk to—whether it’s your boss or a distracting coworker—knows that you’re busy without you beating them over the head with the fact. Some of this is just good sense when it comes to productivity, but a few of these tips may seem counterproductive, but stick with us, we’ll explain why it all works. Let’s get started….

And this gem: How to do as little work as possible without getting fired;

Look Busy Without Really Trying

Shaving five minutes from the start and end of your day can only do so much. If you really want to slack like a pro, you’re going to need to figure out how to appear occupied even if you’re not. First off, read this most illustrious guide from Lifehacker on how to look busy. It’s packed with helpful hints and tips on how to keep your boss satisfied with your workflow even when it’s more of a “work trickle”. That’s not to say you should be doing zero work—unless your endgame is unemployment—but this guide explains how to keep your boss from piling a bunch of busy work on your desk.

Once you’ve memorized the Lifehacker guide, you’re ready to take your slacking game to the next level. We’re not talking about standing around with a clipboard or staring intently at your computer screen whilst wearing headphones; those techniques are as played out as licking your palms to fake clammy hands and get out of school. No, what you need are a legion of unknowing allies, namely, your co-workers.

In short, be a Chatty Cathy. Roam the halls of your office building, stopping by any open door, break room, or cubicle stall to “synergize” and “collaborate” with any co-worker that is even halfway willing to listen. Be sure to ask about their kids, people love talking about their kids and will do so at length—allowing you to not only “build rapport” with your co-worker but also shave valuable hunks of time off your work day. Just keep them talking.

You can try a similar technique with your supervisor. At my old office, we’d routinely receive memos from management so laden with industry buzzwords and random acronyms that could only be deciphered with a Cracker Jack decoder ring. While some see this as just one more office-place hassle, you can easily spin it to your advantage. Take the memo to your supervisor and ask for a detailed explanation of what on earth it’s talking about. You’ll be shocked how often Hey, I don’t really understand how we’re supposed to collate the GRE reports with the ACTA file turns into a 30 minute discussion of proper sorting and stapling methodology.

The best part of this technique is that it doesn’t even need to be done face-to-face. With a little practice, you can turn any email chain into an eye-glazing morass of replies, corrections, and clarifications. Just be sure not to overdo it; you want to be just persistent enough to keep stringing people along, not so obtuse that they get fed up with your endless line of questioning.

And while we’re on the subject of emails, you should strive to craft the perfect email. Every. Single. Time. Don’t say in five words what can be said in five paragraphs. Don’t assume that your reader has a single clue about the topic at hand (even if they’re the ones that started the thread); explain every single detail in as much detail as possible. If it takes less than 45 minutes to craft a response to “where are you going for lunch today?” then you’re doing it wrong.

But sitting at your desk, staring at an email client can get lonely, so be sure to break up the monotony by taking as many meetings as possible. Even if you aren’t directly involved in the project, sit in on the meeting. Slink in just right and nobody will notice you’re there until the house lights come up. Just remember to have a feasible excuse for sitting in ready before-hand in case someone calls you on it.

It can be hard work not doing any, but with a little practice, you can get away with just about anything—or doing just about nothing—on any given weekday.

Disclaimer: I would like to say that I worked my hardest when left alone and be managed like an adult.  My last good boss, Mike Bizovi did just that, and our team responded by delivering staggering results and awards.  We were self motivated to work hard and the though of goofing off never entered my mind. The next boss was Amy Loomis, who quickly ruined both the morale of our team and lowered our results by meddling in our work by micro-managing the minutia to the point that we couldn’t be productive anymore.   Even LinkedIn talks about how this can demoralize you and your productivity.. All of us were more professional than she was, and we responded to being treated like children rather than adults as you would expect.  This post is a result of my thoughts about the dichotomy of the 2 managers and how the team reacted to their management styles.  We never thought about this while working for Mike.  You there have the example of a leader and a failure.

Great Sayings With Meaning, and Some Trivia Also

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

Robert Frost – “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

arrêtez de ramer, tu attaques la falaise. (You can stop rowing now, you’re on the beach)

It is easy to lose one’s perspective in a mass of details. – Bible Study Fellowship

Failure is but a paragraph in the book of each human life. It is the pages that follow that ultimately define us

Laurence J. Peter – “An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.”

“Racing is Life.  Everything before and after is just waiting.” Steve McQueen from the movie LeMans

Albert Einstein open original article “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former

Joseph Heller -“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.”

Sidney J. Harris – “A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.”

Abba Eban-“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less. -Paul Brown

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. -Michael Jordan

Every game is an opportunity to measure yourself against your own potential. -Bud Wilkinson

Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly. -Shaquille O’Neal

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Winston Churchill, as quoted in The New American Newspeak Dictionary (2005) by Adrian Krieg, p. 96

 Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength

Oscar Wilde

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Losers quit when they’re tired. Winners quit when they’ve won

370H-SSV-0773H  – read upside down

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.– Ecclesiastes 9:11,12 —

“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”  – John Kenneth Galbraith

If guns kill people, then pens misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, forks make you fat, and TVs make you watch porn.

Listen to people.  If they are worth talking to, they are worth listening to first.

You can’t change what happens to you in life.  All you can change is how you deal with it.

I think I’m emotionally constipated because I haven’t given a Rats Rump in days.

Liberalism: Moochers electing looters to steal from producers

Political Correctness –  A term used by whiny wussies that need stuff sugar coated

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” -Albert Einstein

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” Abraham Lincoln

  • “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” Elmer Davis
  • “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”  John F. Kennedy
  • “Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.”  John Wayne
  • “We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another.” Richard Nixon
  • “There is no limit to the greatness of America!” George W. Bush
  • “Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.” Ann Coulter
  • “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Nathan Hale
  • “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Adlai E. Stevenson
  • “One, if you attack my integrity, I will defend myself. If you attack my patriotism, I will defend myself. If you come after my family, I will counter-attack viciously, I will destroy you.” Scott Ritter
  • “The American patriots of today continue the tradition of the long line of patriots before them, by helping to promote liberty and freedom around the world.” John Linder
  • “Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” Calvin Coolidge
  • “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” Theodore Roosevelt
  • “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world…. We are not a nation, so much as a world.” Herman Melville

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within – Ariel Durant

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”  – George Eliot

But isn’t it always that way with liberals? The only time they seem to make any sense at all is when they’re drunk or you are.

-Burt Prelutsky

Ya gotta be tough if your gonna be stupid.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of crap by the clean end.”


Laurence J. Peteropen

“Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”

“Never judge a book by its movie.”

“Liberals are very broadminded: they are always willing to give careful consideration to both sides of the same side.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom
If the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me – Jimmy Buffett
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson
Pain is only temporary, victory is forever -Jeremy H. WinningLaurence J. Peter – “Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.”

Ronald Reagan – “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Douglas Adams – “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

Ronald Reagan – “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

Mark Twain – “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Frank Zappa – “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.”

Peter Drucker – “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

Michael Crichton – “Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”

Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

Vince Lombardi – “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”

Ronald Reagan – “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”

“Thanking Obama for killing Osama bin Laden is like going into McDonald’s and thanking Clown Ronald McDonald for the hamburger. The person cooking the burger should get the credit, not the Clown. It was the intelligence gained by the previous administration that found him.”

And you sir are weak! Unwilling and unable to look evil in the eye and deal with it!  – Jack Bauer

“If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” -Ferdinand Porsche

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

This goes with my series of “How and average Joe can become a Millionaire”.

I am not the author, but this is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make (the other is tithing) The whole article can be found here:

One of my good friends, “Judge Rob,” is a local, elected judge who also owns a small family business. Judge Rob paraphrased Warren Buffett when we were discussing mortgages over a recent breakfast, saying, “If I knew where I was going to live for the next decade or so, I would buy a house with a long-term mortgage.” The idea is that a mortgage is a good hedge against inflation because you pay it off with much cheaper dollars down the road.

Today, many pundits point to low interest rates and encourage people to borrow as much as they can while interest rates are low. While they do have a good point, deciding when to pay off my own mortgage caused a great deal of conflict between the logical and emotional parts of my brain.

In the early days of black-and-white television, much of the programming was old, silent movies. Who can forget the little old widow, confronted by the evil, rich banker, who licked his chops at the opportunity to throw her out as her mortgage payment came due? As the deadline got closer, the piano would bang louder and faster, and somehow Widow Nell would make her payment in the nick of time. Was I programmed by my generation’s version of Sesame Street?

There’s Something to Being “Old School”

I spent a good bit of my breakfast with Judge Rob in “Yes, but!” mode. Here’s why.

When I was contemplating paying off my mortgage, I spoke with a CPA who also happened to be a financial advisor recommended by a good friend. I explained that I was self-employed, so my income fluctuated, and my mortgage was my largest monthly bill. I suggested that there could be some emotional benefit to paying it off. Less stress perhaps?

He insisted that I could invest and out-earn the cost of my first mortgage. He pooh-poohed the idea of paying it off to calm my nerves, and kept repeating that I could easily invest my money and earn more after taxes than the cost of the first mortgage.

When I asked if his mortgage was paid off, he responded with, “Oh, hell yes!” I was flabbergasted. How could he advise me to do one thing when he’d done the exact opposite? He explained that his wife was from Germany – the old school where you pay your bills, don’t borrow money, and stay out of debt.

Then I asked him, “Once you paid off your mortgage, did you sleep better at night?” He pondered a bit and said, “Yeah, I guess I did. I no longer worried about it. No matter how bad things got, we would still have a roof over our heads.”

When I asked Vedran Vuk, our senior research analyst, about when to pay off a first mortgage, he made some excellent points. First, you should no longer view your house as an investment that’s going to rapidly appreciate as it did in the past. A house is a home, and you should look at it that way. Second, right now a mortgage can make sense from an investment perspective. If you can borrow money at 3.5%, invest it, and earn a guaranteed higher return on it, you’ll come out ahead.

The real question becomes: where can you find a guaranteed greater return, even with the low mortgage rates available today? The government is committed to keeping interest rates artificially low for the foreseeable future. Yields on CDs and high-quality bonds are pathetic.

I just checked my brokerage account, and the longest CD they have available is a five-year CD paying 1.15%. A 30-year Treasury bond will pay 2.8%. Neither holds any appeal for me, particularly if I were investing with borrowed money.

If you’ve found an investment that’s a lead-pipe cinch – one that’s absolutely, positively going to pay off – and a low mortgage rate, you may want to roll the dice. However, I want to add one more note of caution.

The upcoming issue of Money Forever‘s premium subscription, which we’re releasing on December 18, takes an in-depth look at reverse mortgages, one of the most controversial ways to help fund your retirement. Our team will explain reverse mortgages in easily understood terms, highlight pitfalls to avoid, and explain how a reverse mortgage is a good way for some (but not all) folks to fund their retirement and maintain their lifestyle.

Before obtaining a reverse mortgage you must go through HUD counseling. While researching our upcoming report, I came across a study of over 20,000 people who had been through HUD counseling between September 2010 and November 2010. A few statistics really jumped off the page!

In 2000, the average age of people receiving reverse mortgages was 73 years old. By November 2010, the average age had dropped to 71.5, and it’s continuing to decline. In other words, retirees are tapping into their home equity at an increasingly younger age, many because they have no other choice.

It was also interesting to learn why these folks wanted a reverse mortgage. In the 70-and-older group, 38% still had mortgage debt. Seventy-one percent owed 25% or more on the current value of their home, and 33% had a mortgage in excess of 50% of the value of their home. Many wanted a reverse mortgage because they could not service their existing debt. A reverse mortgage is based on the net equity in your home. If their homes were paid for, meaning no huge house payment, perhaps they could have put off the reverse mortgage for a few more years. The older the applicant, the higher monthly payment they receive.

I wonder how many of these folks lost money betting on their lead-pipe cinch investment because they had been nudged along by their CPA.

My point is simple. For most baby boomers and retirees, their home is their largest asset. You don’t want to live like the little old widow in a black-and-white film, worrying about getting thrown out of your home, particularly if you’re no longer working.

Nevertheless, if you had a mortgage with a 3.5% interest rate and we were still living in a world where a top-quality bond or CD would pay you 5% or more, it could make sense to take advantage of it. But that’s not the world of today.

Ideally, you would pay off your mortgage and then use the money you’d been setting aside for payments to build a nice portfolio. For many folks, home equity is like a security blanket – and a potential source of income for when they may really need it.

The Judge’s Word Isn’t Always Law

As I left our breakfast meeting, I shared a few parting comments with Judge Rob. The mortgage conundrum has both financial and emotional factors. Paying off your mortgage is a milestone; it really does change your life. I certainly sleep better, and my blood pressure probably dropped ten points. It was the point when my wife and I actually started accumulating true wealth.

Once I paid off my mortgage, I never looked back.

The State of Healthcare Firsthand, From the Doctor

I went to a hospital today to have a procedure done.  When the nurse apologized for the quantity of paperwork, I casually mentioned that things might become more complicated with Obamacare.
I was not ready for the answer.  Actually, being in a very socially liberal city and healthcare system, I thought I was going to hear support for the program.  I instead was told how government has corrupted the system, made it worse for both Doctors and patients and other horror stories.  I replied that the government has not helped healthcare in a long time to which the nurse responded that the decline of morals in our culture was the beginning of the problem.  How correct this nurse was.

Next, I met with the Doctor to go over what the procedure was going to entail.  I again mentioned whether the healthcare system was affecting his job.  Again I received a surprise answer.

The doctor told me of his passion for his practice all of his life.  He then told me that what is being done to us by Washington has him considering getting out.  He was honorable enough to not practice if he couldn’t do his best.  It was a John Galt conversation.  There are others like this doctor.  I’ve found that if you are contemplating your retirement in your mind, you are already in the process of retiring.

To a person, the hospital staff admitted that Washington and the damage they have done and are doing to our healthcare system makes it worse for patients and providers.  This is not a partisan statement for the record.

Let me point out that this was a highly successful practice with state of the art equipment and professional personnel making these perspicacious comments to me.

It was  clear that they wanted to help people and do their job, but our own government is in the way.  It seems obvious that they have overstepped their role in making sure that medicine is safe and lawful.

If I hadn’t heard it from the horse’s mouth, I wouldn’t have known.  I did go in looking for a cure, but I left with a dose of information.  It is easy to conclude that we need to fix or excise Washington from the healthcare system and put it back in the hands of the doctors.

Here is another story by a Doctor in a completely different area of the country from me that I read by chance on the same day as my procedure.

After 18 years in private practice, many good, some not, I am making a very big change.  I am leaving my practice.

No, this isn’t my ironic way of saying that I am going to change the way I see my practice; I am really quitting my job.  The stresses and pressures of our current health care system become heavier, and heavier, making it increasingly difficult to practice medicine in a way that I feel my patients deserve.  The rebellious innovator (who adopted EMR 16 years ago) in me looked for “outside the box” solutions to my problem, and found one that I think is worth the risk.  I will be starting a solo practice that does not file insurance, instead taking a monthly “subscription” fee, which gives patients access to me.

I must confess that there are still a lot of details I need to work out, and plan on sharing the process of working these details with colleagues, consultants, and most importantly, my future patients.

Here are my main frustrations with the health care system that drove me to this big change:

  1. I don’t feel like I can offer the level of care I want for my patients.  I am far too busy during the day to slow down and give people the time they deserve.  I have over 3000 patients in my practice, and most of them only come to me when there are problems, which bothers me because I’d rather work with them to prevent the problems in the first place.
  2. There’s a disconnect between my business and my mission.  I want to be a good doctor, but I also want to pay for my kids’ college tuition (and maybe get the windshield on the car fixed).  But the only way to make enough money is to see more patients in my office, making it hard to spend time with people in the office, or to handle problems on the phone.  I have done my best to walk the line between good care and good business, but I’ve grown weary under the burden of having to make this choice patient after patient.  Why is it that I would make more money if I was a bad doctor?  Why am I penalized for caring?
  3. The increased burden of non-patient issues added to the already difficult situation.  I have to comply with E/M coding for all of my notes.  I have to comply with “Meaningful Use” criteria for my EMR.  I have to practice defensive medicine to avoid lawsuits.  I have more and more paperwork, more drug formulary problems, more patients frustrated with consultants, and less time to do it all.  My previous post about burnout was a prelude to this one; it was time to do something about my burn out: to drop out.

Here are some things that are not reasons for my big change:

  1. I am not angry with my partners.  I have been frustrated that they didn’t see things as I did, but I realize that they are not restless for change like I am.  They do believe in me (and are doing their best to help me on this new venture), but they don’t want to ride shotgun while I drive to a location yet undisclosed.
  2. I am not upset about the ACA (Obamacare).  In truth, the changes primary care has seen have been more positive than negative.  The ACA also favors the type of practice I am planning on building, allowing businesses to contract directly with direct care practices along with a high-deductible insurance to meet the requirement to provide insurance.  Now, if I did think the government could fix healthcare I would probably not be making the changes I am.  But it’s the overall dysfunctional nature of Washington that quenches my hope for significant change, not the ACA.

What will my practice look like?  Here are the cornerstones on which I hope to build a new kind of practice.

  1. I want the cost to be reasonable.  Direct Care practices generally charge between $50 and $100 per patient per month for full access.  I don’t want to limit my care to the wealthy.  I want my practice to be part of a solution that will be able to expand around the country (as it has been doing).
  2. I want to keep my patient volume manageable.  I will limit the number of patients I have (1000 being the maximum, at the present time).  I want to go home each day feeling that I’ve done what I can to help all of my patients to be healthy.
  3. I want to keep people away from health care.  As strange as this may sound, the goal of most people is to spend less time dealing with their health, not more. I don’t want to make people wait in my office, I don’t want them to go to the ER when they don’t need to.  I also don’t want them going to specialists who don’t know why they were sent, getting duplicate tests they don’t need, being put on medications that don’t help, or getting sick from illnesses they were afraid to address.  I will use phones, online forms, text messages, house calls, or whatever other means I can use to keep people as people, not health care consumers.
  4. People need access to me.  I want them to be able to call me, text me, or send an email when they have questions, not afraid that I will withhold an answer and force them to come in to see me.  If someone is thinking about going to the ER, they should be able to see what I think.  Preventing a single ER visit will save thousands of dollars, and many unnecessary tests.
  5. Patients should own their medical records.  It is ridiculous (and horrible) how we treat patient records as the property of doctors and hospitals.  It’s like a bank saying they own your money, and will give you access to it for a fee.  I should be asking my patients for access to their records, not the reverse!  This means that patients will be maintaining these records, and I am working on a way to give incentive to do so.  Why should I always have to ask for people information to update my records, when I could just look at theirs?
  6. I want this to be a project built as a cooperative between me and my patients.  Do they have better ideas on how to do things?  They should tell me what works and what does not.  Perhaps I can meet my diabetics at a grocery store and have a dietician talk about buying food.  Perhaps I can bring a child psychologist in to talk about parenting.  I don’t know, and I don’t want to answer those questions until I hear from my patients.

This is the first of a whole bunch of posts on this subject.  My hope is that the dialog started by my big change (and those of other doctors) will have bigger effects on the whole health care scene.  Even if it doesn’t, however, I plan on having a practice where I can take better care of my patients while not getting burned out in the process.

Is this scary?  Heck yeah, it’s terrifying in many ways.  But the relief to be changing from being a nail, constantly pounded by an unreasonable system, to a hammer is enormous.

Doug Casey on American Socialism

I was hoping this was not true, but it is his Doug’s point of view.

(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)

[Skype rings. It’s Doug, as expected.]

L: Hi, Doug. I got the Alan Colmes article you sent. I can see why it got your goat – guess you’ve got a good rant in mind?

Doug: I don’t approve of rants. It’s true that I have strong opinions, and I’m not afraid to express them – but a considered and defensible opinion, even if it’s delivered with conviction, is essentially different from an emotional outburst.

L: Okay, sorry. No rants. But if the other side starts name-calling, we can be forgiven for a little emotion on our side – how does one answer a snarky dismissal of anyone who doesn’t agree with so-called progressives, labeling them “regressives”?

Doug: I’m certainly not above delivering an appropriate and well-deserved insult. An insult is really all that the lame attempts of progressives to shame people into voting for Obama deserve. From a long-term perspective, it certainly doesn’t much matter who wins the coming election; Romney would be just as great a disaster for what’s left of America as Obama, just in slightly different ways, with different rhetoric.

It’s interesting how certain breeds of statist are now re-labeling themselves as “progressives.” I guess they like the sound of the root word – progress – even though they only want progress towards collectivism. They used to call themselves “liberals,” a word which in America used to stand for free minds and free markets. But they appropriated it and degraded it – classical liberals had to rechristen themselves “libertarians.” World-improvers, political hacks, and busybodies in general are excellent at disguising bad ideas with good words, ruining them in the process.

It’s said that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” But that’s actually untrue; propaganda is a very effective weapon. As Orwell pointed out, if you control the language, you control people’s thinking; and if you control people’s thinking, you control their actions. So I despise the way these types manipulate words.

As for the case at hand, one of the things that annoys me most about Colmes’ vapid article is his dishonest and misleading, albeit conventional, defense of the New Deal – America’s first great lurch towards socialism. He defends all the harm it’s done as a wonderful thing. He repeats the fiction that the New Deal rescued the economy from the last depression. It actually made the Depression deeper, and made it last longer.

L: Do tell.

Doug: Well, to start with, Colmes, a self-appointed whitewasher of American socialism, begins by resting his case on the claim that it is American socialism that has made America exceptional. It’s quite a bold assertion, since socialism as well as fascism are antithetical to everything that was good about America. He really is a cheeky bastard.

L: He calls his socialism “liberalism.”

Doug: Yes, but that too is an Orwellian perversion. As always, we should start with a definition. Around the world, you ask people what a liberal is, and they say something that at least relates to the word’s original meaning: liberals favor liberty. And that’s not just the civil liberties defended by the ACLU, but also economic liberty – meaning freedom to engage in free trade with others. The free market.

But back in the 1930s, socialists like Norman Thomas started to realize that they were never going to persuade the majority of Americans to accept socialism outright, so they changed the name and embarked on a deliberate campaign to implement their agenda, one piece at a time, calling it liberalism. And who could be against that?

L: I’ve read that most of Thomas’ 1932 platform has now become law in the US.

Doug: I believe that’s true. Take a look at this Word document [it will download automatically]. Actually, the same is true of Marx’s Communist Manifesto. But back to today, Colmes’ claim is absolutely ridiculous. Social Security, Medicare, and progressive income taxes have not made America exceptional, but just the opposite; they’ve made it like all the other socialist and fascist countries that cover the face of the globe like a skin disease. They are burdens that have slowed the economy and distorted people’s incentives and ideas.

These programs have, perversely, hurt the poor – the very people they’re supposed to help – the most. They’ve acted to corrupt them and cement them to the bottom of society. They’ve destroyed huge amounts of capital, which would otherwise have raised the general standard of living, redirecting it from production toward consumption. These coercive ideas all originated and were first implemented in Europe before so-called liberals foisted them on Americans, in the name of freedom. It’s quite Orwellian, the way they’ve twisted concepts to mean the opposite of what they once did.

L: Some people would argue that things like Social Security liberate them – free them from fear of poverty in old age.

Doug: That claim shouldn’t be worth answering – but it must be answered, because Boobus americanus believes it. It’s a classic “big lie.” Say it often enough, and people think it’s true. In fact, Social Security acts to impoverish the country, by destroying the incentive to save.

L: How so?

Doug: By taking almost 15% of a person’s wages right off the top, Social Security makes it much harder for a poor person to save money. Worse yet, it makes people think they don’t need to save for themselves; it gives them a false sense of security. Even worse is that the money never really belongs to the presumed recipient; it’s simply another unsecured obligation of a bankrupt government.

Social Security payments should at least be set aside as discrete accounts in each person’s name, and become assets for them. If that money were placed in an individually owned pension plan, with just average management, the results would be many times what people now hope to get. And the plan wouldn’t be a burden to future taxpayers. Social Security is, in fact, just a gigantic Ponzi scheme, where the next generation of young people is forced to support the last generation of old people.

Worst of all, the program causes people to be irresponsible. This is a disaster, because a free society can only exist when everyone takes personal responsibility seriously. It’s a swindle, and it corrupts everyone. No wonder parents can no longer rely on their own children to support them in old age. Maybe the Chinese will lend the US government the money it needs to pay its Social Security obligations…

But the numerous practical failures of a program like Social Security are not the main problem.

The primary problem with a scheme like Social Security is that it’s not voluntary; it’s coercive, which makes it unethical. You can’t force people to do what you think is right and then claim to be liberating them. Alleged freedom from fear of poverty in old age in exchange for theft of wages in the present – and the correct word for taking people’s money without their consent is “theft” – is not liberal in any defensible meaning of the world. It’s brute, “might-makes-right” power clothed in noble-sounding words.

L: Colmes says that Social Security keeps 40% of seniors above the poverty line today, and “helps families with disabilities and those who have lost loved ones.” That’s a bad thing?

Doug: No one seriously thinks they’ll be able to have a decent quality of life on Social Security retirement income alone. Why do you think so many senior citizens are working at Walmart or the like? Colmes is committing the same error Bastiat pointed out 200 years ago; choosing to value immediate, direct, and visible benefits, but ignoring the delayed and indirect costs, which only become obvious later.

The long-term costs of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, and so forth include bankrupting the country, among other economic consequences. But even more disturbing and damaging is the degradation of once self-reliant people to subservience and dependence, which is what happens when government assumes responsibilities that adult individuals should bear themselves.

For example, Social Security disability benefits are being used as an alternate income source by the unemployed. As of August, 2012, there were about 10.8 million people collecting disability income – that’s a larger number than the entire population of most US states, and up from 8.1 million in 2007, when the Greater Depression began. It can be a great scam, claiming PTSD, unprovable back pain, or a mood disorder. There’s a whole class of ambulance-chasing lawyers that takes these cases on contingency.

L: What about the individuals who try and can’t bear the responsibilities of adulthood?

Doug: The programs exist and have not prevented that from happening; there are plenty of homeless people today. I would argue that most of them are in that position because they’ve developed bad habits. There would be a lot fewer of them if they didn’t get taught from childhood that assuring their own lives and well-being is really the state’s responsibility, not their own. The system is failing these people, but again, that’s beside the point; two wrongs don’t make a right. The whole idea of a government “safety net” is wrong, in principle and practice.

Ideas have consequences in the physical world, and lies, twisted words, and self-contradictory, impossible claims can be extremely damaging. You can’t liberate people by putting them in financial chains.

L: I understand the principles, but many people don’t – or just don’t care. People like Colmes see the parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the infrastructure built by the Works Progress Administration as unmitigated goods, the work given to all the millions employed by the government as life-saving, and the idea of helping those in need to be a moral imperative they don’t question.

Doug: The average person has been handed this party line throughout his life, from teachers in government schools to talking heads on TV. He’s been discouraged from thinking critically or independently. We have two widely shared myths – that Roosevelt’s New Deal cured the Depression and Johnson’s Great Society cured poverty – although both beliefs are counterfactual. It’s pretty much as Will Rogers liked to say: “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”

Now a new myth is being hatched, that Obama and Bernanke’s quantitative easing saved the economy. But that will never catch on; it will be totally debunked over the next few years as they destroy both the dollar and the economy.

Colmes seems completely unaware that government programs have costs. The money used to pay the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration workers had to come from somewhere – where? It’s either forcibly taken from current taxpayers, who then can neither enjoy it nor invest it as they prefer – or it comes from taking on debt, which means future taxpayers, who are thereby turned into indentured servants. That money was redirected from whatever uses those who earned it had for it, and put to uses government employees deemed best.

The political process, of course, has a perverse tendency to result in “pork” spending on the most useless, wasteful, and idiotic programs imaginable. It goes for things that are politically productive for the people who control the state, not necessarily economically productive for either society or the taxpayers. But again, this is all secondary to the ethics of the matter; that is vastly more important.

Parks are nice, but should the money to build them have been taken from entrepreneurs struggling to build businesses in the 1930s? Or single mothers in, say, Harlem, struggling to feed their families? It’s the little people who can’t afford the lawyers and accountants needed to cut tax bills who suffer the most.

Coercing people to do what politicians decide is simply unethical.

L: What about the argument that it’s not coercion if the people voted for the politicians who passed the laws that created these programs?

Doug: Essentially another big lie. In the first place, people vote for politicians – who rarely keep promises – not for laws at the federal level. None of these laws were enacted by the people. Second, unless you could get unanimous consent of every person affected, it would still be coercive to people who have committed no crime and want no part of it, and thus unethical.

If 51% of the people vote to enslave 49% of the people, that doesn’t make that slavery right. If 99% vote to enslave 1% – something many of the ignorant, torch-wielding masses seem to be clamoring for these days – it’s still wrong. Ethics is not a matter of popularity contests.

Anything that society wants or needs can, should, and will be provided by entrepreneurs working for a profit.

L: Can you elaborate on that? It’s all fine to criticize stupid ideas, but unless you offer a constructive alternative, what’s the point?

Doug: Indeed. We’re talking about products and services that people regard as necessary or beneficial for society as a whole, but which they say private enterprise wouldn’t provide adequately. Roads, schools, and post offices are frequently cited examples.

Government post offices were a bad idea to begin with – even back in the 1800s when most people thought they were vitally important, a man named Lysander Spooner set up a private company to deliver mail – and do so for less than the government charged. This superior service upset the apple cart, and was outlawed and shut down. Today, everyone knows that UPS and FedEx do a better job than the post office; no sensible person trusts the government when it absolutely, positively has to get there. Between that and email, the post office should have been shut down, rather than propped up, long ago. It now costs taxpayers on t he order of $12 billion a year.

Similarly, there’s a history of private roads going back to previous centuries. The fist transcontinental highway, the old Route 66, was paved with private money. There are private roads in the US and around the world today. It’s simply not true that you need a government to build things that people actually need. You need government roads about as much as you need government cars.

We’ve covered schools and education. The schools are absolutely the last thing the state should do…

L: What about things like the military, police, and courts?

Doug: Well, I would argue that even those should be handled by the private sector, but I understand that many people can’t get away from the idea that these services are core government functions that should not be privatized. That’s because they fear they would not be fair and impartial – though it’s a cruel joke to think that government courts today are fair and impartial. At any rate, I could live with it if government were limited to these core functions; but police and courts are only a tiny fraction of what government does today.

There’s great danger in having the government do anything, quite frankly. But it could be better if more people like Ron Paul or my friend Marc Victor were in office. Check out Victor; he has the potential to be the next Ron Paul – on steroids.

L: Understood: if no one can make a buck providing some good or service, how vital can it be? Anything people actually want will be provided by entrepreneurs, making a profit. And like you, I too like to start by asking what is right, before I ask how much it costs. But most people just don’t seem to think this way. That’s why I keep coming back to the practical arguments. It seems that, regardless of one’s politics, it should matter that the state’s coffers are empty.

Colmes argues that by 2022 Obama’s Affordable Care Act “will provide coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.” He doesn’t mention that mandated government spending and interest payments have already taken over the entire federal budget. Even now, with a $1.5 trillion deficit, most of the $700 billion for the military, the $227 billion for interest on the national debt and the $646 billion for regular government services is borrowed every year. The whole thing is an impossible pipe dream that absolutely ensures the bankruptcy of not just the US government, but American society itself.

Doug: It seems insane – people wouldn’t believe us if we’d written this into a story some years ago.

But you can see the scary truth in the news every day; people in Europe’s totally broke and failing economies protest violently in the streets for their governments to spend more money those governments don’t have and won’t be able to borrow. Colmes exhibits this same breathtaking unwillingness to face the facts. He talks about one in seven people being on food stamps, as though it were a good thing. He talks about how politicians voted to extend unemployment benefits with money they don’t have as though that’s an unquestionably good thing to do.

L: So is Colmes an evil manipulator or a misguided dupe?

Doug: I don’t see how any intellectually honest person can write a long article praising a whole alphabet soup of government agencies without ever once admitting their failure, asking how much they cost, or examining the ethical basis for their existence. So I suspect he’s both a knave and a fool.

Colmes’ article encapsulates wrong-headedness and willful ignorance in exactly the same way that Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman invariably do. They’re all very destructive people. Since they don’t appear to be stupid – in the sense of having low IQs – I’m forced to assume they’re ill-intentioned.

L: So… What’s in it for him to circulate such obviously biased and misleading opinions?

Doug: Perhaps he’s simply a sociopath who gets pleasure from destruction. Or perhaps he’s just motivated by fame and money and has found a profitable gig. Despite being an apologist for socialism, the man hosts a talk show and writes books which make him money; he doesn’t do it pro bono. He has identified a market and is making money, pursuing his own self-interest, deliberately or unwittingly to the detriment of society.

L: Just like a politician.

Doug: He sees the government as the solution to every problem. But since government is pure coercion by its very nature, you can count on it to do the wrong thing – and often even the exact opposite of the right thing.

L: It’s perverse.

Doug: [Laughs] Took the words out of my mouth.

L: Investment implications?

Doug: Nothing specifically related to Colmes. He’s just another sign of the degradation of America, yet another data point supporting my view that the US is probably past the point of no return. The place that was once America is going through the wringer, and so is the rest of the world. And the way to deal with that is what we’ve been saying for some time now: rig for stormy weather.

L: Liquidate, consolidate, speculate, create – and internationalize.

How Warren Buffet Ends The Deficit in 5 Minutes

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling …

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC.  “You just pass a law that says that any time there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified!  Why?

Simple!  The people demanded it.

That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.  Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.  In three days, most people in The United States of America

will have this message.

 1. No Tenure/No Pension

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all other Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.

Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.

The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days

for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message.

Don’t you think it’s time?

A true leader who built a business by standing for what he believed in. Now he is being discriminated against by those against discrimination. Hated by those who say they are against hate.

Mr. Cathy goes about the success of Chick-Fil-A and serves, hires and buys from those who say they hate what he believes in. Who is the hypocrite?

UPDATE: Cathy sticks to his guns.  

As you can see, he is not picking on any group, rather is giving to what he believes in.  Just because you aren’t a politically correct lemming doesn’t make you against something, it is your right to have an opinion.  He can run his company the way he so desires.  Those who believe otherwise to make a statement by starting their own business and supporting their desired group, rather than trying to change everyone else.

For many months now, Chick-­‐fil-­‐A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.

A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-­‐fil-­‐A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.

As we have stated, the Chick-­‐fil-­‐A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.

 

 

Crown Financial Ministries

Political correctness has made us a nation tolerant only of “one-legged opinions,” a friend of mine recently observed. We take a stand on a hot issue, but only on one leg at a time, shifting when necessary so as not to offend the beliefs of others—but never standing solidly on two feet.

Like a modern day parable, the story of a lone, courageous businessman has taught us what it means to be guided by truth, rather than political fad.

Dan Cathy is the Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, a privately owned chain of quick service restaurants with annual sales of $4 billion. The company is ranked the 10th fastest growing retailer in the country, although Chick-fil-A restaurants close their doors every Sunday, the best sales day of the week for those in this business sector.

Cathy recently expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a man and…

View original post 876 more words