Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Enough already!

I'm really getting sick and tired of hearing the Republicans blame Democrats for tax issues. There are all these "tea parties" planned across the nation as a protest to taxing.

I don't have a problem with protesting taxes. I think that it should be very very difficult for our government to raise our taxes because by making it difficult to raise them, they'll think long and hard about spending it.

What I'm sick of is hearing the Republican party, i.e. the "conservative" party, blame the Democratic party, i.e. the "liberal" party for any necessary tax increases.

Does the Republican party really think we are that stupid? It wasn't the Democratic party that charged us into Iraq to fight an $80 Billion/month war. Nor was it the Democratic party that initially proposed bailing the banks out of this financial mess they created. Who, exactly, did the Republicans think was going to pay for this?

But, of course, par for the course, the Republicans have absolutely no ability to self reflect. They really believe that if they continue the same rhetoric used over the last 8 years, that they are going to magically be popular again. It would seem that the tea parties are not generating as much support as they initially hoped.

Perhaps because we see the Republicans as the cause of the tax increase as opposed to a solution.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The case FOR bonuses is wrong.

This morning's edition of the New York Times includes an article by Andrew Sorkin whereby he is arguing for the AIG bonuses. The gist of the argument, which we've all heard a hundred times, is that if bonus contracts are not upheld here, then no one will have faith in them.

The problem with this argument is that everyone wants to overlook the fact that AIG failed. You take away the bailout money that was handed to them by the government and AIG is yesterday's news. It's like the government served as a loyal body guard and took a bullet to save the company. Only, AIG wants to pretend that that part of it didn't happen.

Liddy is on record saying "We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff' the company 'if employees believe that their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,' he said."

The key word in this previous statement that is absolutely incorrect is arbitrary. There is absolutely nothing arbitrary about the Government's stance on this issue. AIG accepted a bailout because they failed. They made very very poor decisions and were facing death. And now they want to continue, business as usual, and reward everyone as though they had succeeded. I'm curious, if AIG did not receive the bailout money, would the bonuses still have been paid?

This AIG fiasco is just one example regarding the need to allow those who are failing to fail. If you want the successful businesses of America to thrive and set examples of the right way of doing business, then it is imperative that one allow the bad ones to fail. Yes, even if those bad businesses are very big. Because, believe it or not, all those experienced employees along with the viable clients of those failing big businesses will go over to the companies that are doing it right. And those growing businesses will quickly fill in the gap left by the failing ones.

People, we don't function in a vacuum. Bailouts only make it possible for the offenders to continue to make the same mistake over and over again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It always happens in threes - they say

Ever since I was a child, whenever there was a plane crash, I can remember my brother saying: "They say it happens in threes". You count one, then the other, then the third.

So, I began counting when Continental Airlines over ran the runway in Colorado on December 20th 2008. How fabulous that there were no fatalities. Then, the second one US Airways, January 15th 2009, a "crash landing" in the Hudson River. Again, no fatalities. Wow, we're on a roll here. Could it be that third one would follow the same fate as the first two?

I was so saddened to hear that the third one, February 12, killed everyone and even some on the ground. I guess the rule of three has nothing to do with casualties just the event itself.

The eerie thing is that I flew to Washington D.C. on Continental Airlines on the 23rd, just 3 days after the Colorado incident. And then, I flew back to D.C. on US Airways on the 19th, just 4 days after the Hudson incident.

In spite of this, flying commercially has become so incredibly safe in this country. Just by the very fact that the first two incidents yielded no fatalities is significant in itself.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The hoopla around the goofed Oath

Thursday, on the plane back from D.C. I was reading an article in the New York Times that explained why Roberts made the mistake he made while reciting the Oath of Office to Obama. Here is the article.

The reasoning makes sense if you speak another language. Apparently, Roberts is a stickler for grammar. He had memorized the oath of office but when he went to recite it to Obama, his mind wanted to correct the grammar of the oath. Here is the gist of the article:

In English, our future tense is expressed with two words. I "will go" to the store. In other languages, like French (and possibly Latin), future tense is expressed as one word. It is from the way the verb ends that one is able to determine if it is future tense or not. So, one is obligated to place the adverb after the verb. And that is what Roberts did. Habitually, he rearranged the sentence to place the adverb (faithfully) from it's original place of "I will faithfully execute" to "I will execute ........ faithfully". Apparently, Obama, too is a stickler for grammar and understood Roberts' mistake and even sort of smiled at it.

This article made sense to me but then I realized that past tense, at least in French is expressed in two words. It is a combination of the possessive verb (to have) or "to be" and the actual verb itself. For example the French would say instead of ate, "have ate". It's always 2 words. And, interestingly, the French place the adverb between the two. Deja vu is a very good example of that. It is formally J'ai deja vu. Which means "I have already saw". We use it in it's short form deja vu.

So, then, I wonder, if there is no "grammatical" error here. It would seem that when language allows the verb to be expressed with two words, it is acceptable to place an adverb between the two. I wonder what Roberts stand is on that rule for past tense verbs. The French are far greater sticklers about their language than we are and I can assure you if any word is misplaced in a sentence, the whole world would know about it.