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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

POTPOURRI IN 500 WORDS

Merry Christmas from the Obama Economy. (left)

Are school officials wimps?  Maybe not in today’s vocabulary but calling off the high school football games in the Phoenix area over the weekend reeks of that word.  Why the cancellations?  The reason given was the fields were too wet.  I’m sorry, but isn’t this football?  Maybe they should start wearing skirts too.  It’s another example of the coddled society we have become…..Flash!  Lindsay Lohan tells Oprah that she is cured of her drug habit.  She has been nailed six times for that rap so is she really cured?  Keep watching “People” magazine to see.  What a twosome:  Oprah is a two faced phony now that she has her millions and Lindsay is a drug head.   Fortunately, the interview was on Oprah’s TV network so no one watched it anyway…..A lady recently wrote a funny letter to the Republic claiming her pride in being a “wacko bird in a country crowded with leftists.”  One example she gave was how the lefties feel the right should be more compassionate and not demand such high standards from school kids.  Well, the left owns the public schools so don’t be surprised when you see grads who “can’t make change, can’t read, and don’t know a thing about the history of our country.”  The lady makes sense; just ask some recent grads some simple questions….. Here is my beef against the public school system:  There are 1,500 third grade kids in Arizona who can’t read properly.  That number does not include new language learners.  How did the 1,500 make it to third grade without reading comprehension? I’m no genius but when I was in grade school I knew how to read effectively after the FIRST GRADE as did most of my class.  Are teachers so compassionate and worried about feelings that they let unqualified kids pass?…..It amazes me that people in the workplace have to be given advice about manners that seem so elementary.  Anna Post is a descendent of the queen of manners, Emily Post (1872-1960) and she knows all there is to know about proper etiquette in the workplace.  Some of her advice seems like common sense but in today’s work environment I guess it is a necessity.  For example, one should stand up when shaking hands with someone.  Also, never text or tweet during a meeting and never answer your cell phone while in a conversation with another person.  It is a glaring sign of disrespect…..  From my experience as a salesman for twenty years, I would add that when making a sales call always dress properly and never mispronounce the buyer’s name…..The Phoenix Suns are doing better than expected but they lack players with the pizzazz the team had when Charles Barkley was playing for them in the 1990’s.  The reporters loved Charles who always had a great line when they needed something to boost a column.  Charles was once asked if the shoes he endorsed were comfortable.  In true Barkley fashion he answered:  “Anytime somebody pays you $2 million to wear something, they’re going to be comfortable.”  Go Charles!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

OBAMA WILL NEVER BE FORD OR JOBS

Some people like Barack Obama consider themselves geniuses.  Maybe he is a genius if we count the facts that he has never had to produce a shred of evidence that he is a United States citizen, no one remembers him from several schools like Columbia University that he supposedly attended, and he has gotten away with sealing his records at great cost and the indignation of many.

However, like many pseudo geniuses, Barack may have reached his proverbial Waterloo with his clumsy attempt at turning the United States into his personal version of a socialist state.  The tip of the iceberg began to show with his pronouncements asking “the rich to give a little bit more” of their income to support his government run utopia.  He won that round last year as the Republicans caved for him.

But, like most ego trippers, this time he has gone too far by wanting to change the greatest country in the world into the idealistic state he imagines it to be.   He was bound to be swallowed up eventually by his version of what health insurance in this country should be and now he is finding out that, among others, his own party is admonishing him.  While Benghazi, IRS scandals, Syria, and other follies have weakened his grip on the vulnerable, screwing around with healthcare may be his final step up the ladder toward the peak of the Peter Principle.

Henry Ford and Steve Jobs
 November 15, 2013 may be a day Obama would like to forget as that was the day the Republicans in the House of Representatives won a decisive vote 261-157 on reversing his decision on healthcare implementation.  That total is impressive because 39 Democrats crossed the aisle and voted with Republicans.  Some Dem members of the Senate are getting restless too.  It reinforces that you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time.

Last year Steve Jobs and his new pal Henry Ford were laughing as they looked down at the lines of people waiting up to eight hours to buy the latest version of Jobs’ iPad.  Since it was midnight, some were sleeping on the sidewalk; others were drinking mass quantities of coffee, while others feverishly played with the previous version of iPad.  Ford was especially impressed that Jobs could invent something that would entice people to wait in line all night to give him money.  As popular as the Model “T” Ford was, the crowds at least waited until daylight before rushing to buy one.

Jobs and Ford were geniuses; they knew how to sell and take advice from experts.  It’s been said that in meetings Obama is the most bored guy in the room.   It shows as he has yet to understand that the United States is a free enterprise country.

Monday, November 11, 2013

WORLD WAR II AMERICA

(I wrote this for my column in a local paper in November of 2005.  I think it is still appropriate for Veteran's Day, 2013)

Can you imagine today’s “I have to have it!” society being placed in a time machine and being transported back to the dark days of World War II?  With today’s attitude of overbuying and waste how would these people handle the teamwork approach to rationing of major consumer items?  It would be interesting to see their reaction to the rallying call of, “If you don’t need it, don’t buy it!”

With the arrival of war on December 7, 1941 a lot of strain was administered to the pipelines of supply and demand.  The war consumed a lot of goods which threatened to cause shortages on the home front so in the spring of 1942 the rationing of items such as most types of food, gasoline, and even clothing was instituted.  Everybody was affected and the way Americans coped with these inconveniences was a testimony to their strong will.

Clubs were formed to work together to maintain supply channels so that the guys fighting on the fronts could have more.  Scrap drives were organized to provide more metal, paper, and rubber.  Many people removed the bumpers from their cars to help that effort.  Recycling was popular as used cans were a good source for ammunition casings.
 
 WWII ration stamps
In order to provide more fresh produce for the troops, many families planted “victory gardens.”  Those gardens provided families with produce so that normal supplies could benefit the soldiers.  It’s estimated that there were over 20 million victory gardens planted on private property providing 40% of America’s produce.  War bonds were sold as a source used to provide funds for the war.  Hollywood played a big part in the sale of bonds as stars entertained around the country to solicit sales.

Rationing was handled through the use of “War Ration Books” that contained stamps used to buy various items like food, gasoline, and tires.  It was a dizzying experience to control but few complained.  The America of the wartime 1940’s had a teamwork discipline.  A common slogan of the time was “Do with less so they will have enough!”

One negative aspect of all this patriotism was the appearance of the “black market.”  By utilizing the black market a person could buy a lot of items that were in short supply even though they would have to pay inflated prices.  It was annoying to those who worked hard to conserve but it still existed to supply those who could afford it.

So there it was:  wartime America.  As always, this country faced up to adversity and made it through.  Although World War II ended in 1945, prosperity was returning by the late 1940’s and the Depression of the 1930’s became just a bad memory.  More women were entering the workplace while the invention of television was making its way into the living rooms of America while sending a chill down the spine of Hollywood.

The 1950’s followed and offered a different set of problems and successes.  However, the world war was over and our guys were home with some getting ready to pack for Korea.  More on that some other time.