Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Being a Psychopath II

Governor Blagojevich has done something that no one thought that he would do: appoint a senator to fulfill President-elect Obama's vacant seat. I guess it doesn't matter really as Senator Reid has said the senate will not seat anyone Governor Blagojevich chooses. He really is a psychopath, eh? The governor seemed like a caged animal during the press conference.

What a circus this press conference was. If Blagojevich's chutzpah and actions were not enough, Representative Bobby Rush's asinine impromptu speech said it all. In essence, he openly declared that if the seat is not given to an African American that the seated senators will be viewed as racists. He also threatened to go before various African American organizations thereby making it difficult for them to govern. No disrespect, but he seemed totally out of touch, quite idiotic frankly.

The whole press conference was a mess, perhaps truly indicative of Governor Blagojevich himself. I do not know Roland Burris, but the mere fact that he has agreed to serve as the junior senator upon being asked by such a disgraced Governor questions his very judgment and ambition. Burris seemed to want to escape the heat of the moment. But calling on Representative Rush, even giving him a platform from which to evoke horrific images such as which lynching and castigation, did not bring clarity to the issue at all. It made it worse. I absolutely denounce using race as a threatening tool. It was shameful.

Governor Blagojevich is seeming more and more like a real psychopath. Or, is he crazy like a fox, one who is thinking about avoiding a lesser prison term by choosing some one who by all accounts is blameless? Naw, even if this is so this governor seems totally whacked.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Being Zbigniew Brzezinski

Dr. Sbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor, responds brilliantly to the death and destruction in Gaza. He speaks of America's responsibility in the failed peace process, our bias, and the likelihood of a breakdown of support of Israel by nations who would otherwise be supportive.

America is in need of this kind of impartiality, compassion, and level-handedness again. "There has to be a sense of proportion. If there isn't one has to think of the consequence." Dr. Brzezinski's sense of diplomacy seems so far better than the policies of the last eight years. We call upon President-elect Obama and cabinet to follow this kind of foreign policy.

Being Without Natural Enemies

America had long been thought of as a country without natural enemies. Now, it is apparent that we have enemies and they are not such simply because they envy our way of life. We must begin to re-evaluate our foreign policies. To continue to support the policies that have not brought change to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict may indeed be destructive and unwise, if not insane. The very definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over again without a different result. Perhaps it becomes even more so when it engenders extremists and terrorists to act against us.

America should be in support of any nation that supports peace and the well being of others, while forever looking at our policies and determining which ones have worked and which ones have failed. This is necessary for our own good and others. We must not continue to support policies that do not benefit the whole. What seems to be occurring right now in Israel is the destruction of democracy and the inciting of extremists and terrorists worldwide against us.

Like it or not, the Palestinians have chosen Hamas. The question is why have they chosen such leaders? We don't seem to want to answer that question. The bombing of Gaza seems like a direct retaliation to the will of the Palestinian people. "Since you have chosen such leadership," Israel seems to say. "We are going to bomb the hell out of you and you will think twice the next time." Is this democracy?

We cannot be for and against democracy simultaneously. While we support another nation that must defend itself, we call for restraint. Ariel Sharon once arrogantly boasted that “restraint is power.” Where is the restraint now? If America continues to support Israel without realizing the potential for terrorism and extremism against its own people, we are heading for a nuclear showdown between Israel and Iran, one that America will have instigated or at the very least permitted.

America, we must begin to look at our policies to determine why there are those who wish to harm us. (Our destructive actions in Iraq which Israel seems to have followed suit has not helped.) Perhaps we need to look at our own actions, including the Iraq war, and our policies toward Israel to determine why a country which once had no natural enemies have those who now fly planes into our buildings, attack our ships in peacetime, and bomb our embassies.

Americans are not against the existence of Israel or of any nation that must defend itself. But we are for restraint and against policies executed by ourselves and others that destroy human life and lead to resentment, extremism, and terrorism against a country and a people that once had no natural enemies.

Being the Change

Change in Washington is a good thing, for leadership has been sorely lacking in various branches of the federal government. But while leadership is so very important, it is the people who will make the difference.

What are you going to do to make a difference? We must not sit around waiting for leadership to emerge at the local, state or federal levels. We must as a community arise to the challenge and make something happen in our very own communities.

Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about young people in Detroit taking large area within Detroit to grow vegetables in communities where there are more liquor stores than groceries stores. Acres where burnt out houses once stood have been transformed to acreage of life-sustaining good.

I was incredibly heartened by this NPR story and believe that only actions like this, where people take back their communities, will matter most. It has been the only thing that has made the difference and it will hence forever be.

Government is very important for setting national and international policy, but without the enactment of people government makes a welfare state out of the many. We are a government by and of the people and this require continuous action of the same.

Be the change you wish to see.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Being for Infrastructure II

States and cities are seen as government entities that are on the front line. Governors and mayors are those who feel the pain of their states intimately. When President-elect Obama announced the stimulus which would concentrate on infrastructure I was for it. I paid particular attention to its necessity after the water main break last week in Maryland. I remain for such re-building and building, but I am also leery about states and cities receiving stimulus money and in return not doing much to help their citizens.

Coleman Young, the sometimes infamous former mayor of Detroit, was legendarily known for receiving millions of dollars from the federal government during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. (Love and Kudos should be given to Mayor Young for his years of service as a Tuskegee Airman, his appearance before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, and his initial good as mayor. Perhaps he stayed a bit too long.) According to Forbes, states are now requesting billions of the stimulus package:

1. Miami, FL: $3.4 billion
2. Sacramento, CA: $2.8 billion
3. Philadelphia, PA: $2.6 billion
4. Los Angeles, CA : $2.4 billion
5. Albuquerque, NM: $2.3 billion

It is still uncertain where much of this money has gone and it is arguable that the people did not greatly benefit. The People Mover that circles downtown would be laughable if it were not so sad. Some have said that it was the start of a massive rail system that would traverse the various suburbs. It remains like the trolley in the land of Make-Believe on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, save the People Mover does not circle any neighborhoods.

The millions were meant to rebuild the city; the People Mover which moves very few people and is often not even operable has done little to rebuild the city. (Perhaps it served a good purpose during the Super Bowl.) Many years later much of the city remains in shambles. Considering this, who will hold states and cities accountable for federal funds received to build infrastructure? Many states and cities are seeking stimulus money. But we must not give funds to any entity without oversight and accountability. Otherwise, there are too many avenues for corruption.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Being a Sower

Sow love, the ever-springing sustenance.

Being President-Elect of the United States III

President-elect Obama and cabinet must hear the voice of the people when making policy or continuing old ones. We are a government of and by the people. The American people are speaking out against the killing in Gaza and if we are not heard it will be devastating politically and morally. Currently, we do not need further moral crises.

If President-elect Obama and cabinet listen more to lobbyists and think tanks, it will have a devastating consequence. We call for restraint by Israel, especially as Americans feel a certain degree of responsibility for what is occurring without whose support Israel would not have such aerial capability. Dropping one hundred tons of bombs is not restraint.

Americans are calling for peace and justice in the Middle East, even in hushed tones. But such concealment aligned with increasingly ill feelings is not born in a vacuum. In fact, concealment and such ill feelings can cause to flourish and fuel irrational mob behavior. We have seen this before worldwide. When this happens the truly irrational becomes rational. We must look at our individual and collective responsibility of such destruction of human life.

America, we are indeed at a watershed period. How will we move forward?

Being Inspired by Others

Here is the wonderful Ethel Waters singing the ironic, "Miss Otis Regrets," written by the incomparable Cole Porter. Both singer and composer are most inspiring.

"Miss Otis Regrets" has always arrested me; gentility and refinement are juxtaposed with horror and heartbreak. Each verse is filled with the saddest memories and simplest melody.

The messenger respectfully delivers a most tragic tale:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Being a New Cabinet Member

In this watershed period nationally and globally should all policies both foreign and domestic be looked at anew?

Initially, I was a bigger fan of the cabinet President-elect Obama chose. His foreign policy and economic teams are veterans who are more centrist than some expected. I was pleased with this. But what happened in Gaza and on the Pakistani and Indian border today concern me.

In consideration of the policy change needed, can the new cabinet members deliver the necessary change? The necessity of experience notwithstanding, can the President-elect be the only voice of change among so many with ensconced views?

Although I have some concerns, I remain optimistic that a healthy balance will be struck on both the foreign and domestic fronts. Leadership matters.

What do you think?

Being Mahmoud Ahamdinejad

Mahmoud Ahamdinejad delivered an "alternative" Christmas message on British TV yesterday where he praised the prophets of all faiths, including Jesus, for a message of peace. Some might say that such a message is indeed the antithesis of peace where there are accusations that Iranians who convert to Christianity are persecuted.

If one listened to the message with non-prejudiced ears, perhaps such is impossible when considering past rhetoric, one might find grains of truth upon which to find commonality. (What a great historical and cultural society Iran once was! Have religious factions hijacked a great country?) The message caused some backlash across the pond.

President Ahamdinejad has been labeled a tyrant. He has been criticized and labeled "evil" by many for his efforts to secure nuclear weapons and his rhetoric on Israel. (Would such rhetoric have been heard during the Cold War between Russia and the US in public and private?) Listening to his speech before the United Nations this year, I was not incredibly alarmed by President Ahamdinejad's words.

In fact, I must admit to being somewhat impressed with some of what was said. (Perhaps with all the hype and the absence of American officials during the speech I was expecting so much worse.) I must also admit to not being a foreign policy expert. My impression came simply from what appeared to be a message of peace and a rational humanistic belief in justice. (Maybe there was a bit too much emphasis on God as if his voice represented such to the exclusion of others. Dunno.) I had not heard President Ahamdinejad speak before then.

President Ahamdinejad has said that his rhetoric is in opposition to unjust policies. I am sure that he will see what happened today in Gaza as unjust. Today Israel responded to Hamas rockets and mortars with air strikes in Gaza killing some 364 Palestinians and wounding nearly 1,000. I am not a foreign policy expert but if a group is armed with fighter jets and weapons from the West and the others are fighting with rockets and mortars, would not others in the region seek to make the war even through both weapons and rhetoric? We can probably expect The People's Mujahideen and Hezbollah to react with support of Hamas.

"Hit every Zionist house in Israel" was Hamas' reply. Again, I am not a foreign expert, but maybe one need not be to understand basic human reactions. If Israel had not the military support of the West, would the fight be fair? Would suicide bombs lessen? If the West would withdrawal military support for Israel would the tension in the Middle East ease? Would tyranny and terrorism lessen?

Am I being terribly naive? Speak to me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Being Eartha Kitt







We are happy she was here.

Being Vice President-Elect of the United States

Making the lives of other merrier is the merriest way to spend Christmas! We are blessed to have such a family serving America.

May Vice President-elect Biden and family have the merriest Christmas ever!

Being Born Glorious

May the glory of God shine through each of us today and always.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Being in the Christmas Truce 1914

During Christmas 1914 the German and British soldiers made a truce during World War II to cease fighting. They sang Carols, shared cigarettes and rationed food, and played a game of European football. The troops on both sides wrote home of a miraculous Christmas had by all. The humanity of us all most be valued in peace and remembered in war. How else will we have peace?

Here is Corporal John Ferguson as quoted in Christmas Truce by Malcolm Brown and Shirley Seaton:

We shook hands, wished each other a Merry Xmas, and were soon conversing as if we had known each other for years. We were in front of their wire entanglements and surrounded by Germans - Fritz and I in the centre talking, and Fritz occasionally translating to his friends what I was saying. We stood inside the circle like street corner orators.

Soon most of our company ('A' Company), hearing that I and some others had gone out, followed us . . . What a sight - little groups of Germans and British extending almost the length of our front! Out of the darkness we could hear laughter and see lighted matches, a German lighting a Scotchman's cigarette and vice versa, exchanging cigarettes and souvenirs. Where they couldn't talk the language they were making themselves understood by signs, and everyone seemed to be getting on nicely. Here we were laughing and chatting to men whom only a few hours before we were trying to kill!

In The Great War: And the Shaping of the 20th Century, by Jay Winter and Blaine Baggett, these memories of the Christmas Truce are given:

They finished their carol and we thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang 'The first Noël', and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, 'O Tannenbaum'. And so it went on. First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up 'O Come All Ye Faithful' the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words 'Adeste Fidéles'. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing - two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war

The day after Christmas the truce remained; many soldiers were reluctant to even go back to war with those whom they had shared a most memorable Christmas. Although the Christmas Truce did not last indefinitely, it is without doubt a valuable lesson on the importance of fellowship. Let's not forget such lessons.

Fellowship inhibits aggression and fear of the other. Let's fellowship more in our communities and work environments; let's reach out to others around the world in the spirit of fellowship.

Being Joyous!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Being for Infrastructure

Perhaps President-elect Obama has something when speaking of creating jobs through infrastructure. Having written the previous post earlier this morning, before the near disastrous scene unfolded in Maryland, I guess the money has to come from somewhere to rebuild old infrastructure. Creating infrastructure such as underground rails in cities like Detroit may also rebuild a saggy Michigan economy. It would create jobs and give people within Detroit and its suburbs a more efficient transportation choice.

Having struck a deal with City officials back in the day, I gather Henry Ford struck a deal that inhibited the buidling of a rail system within Detroit. This decision has had both a devastating and positive effect. For those who can afford to buy a car, this supports the car industry. But for a great many people who are unable to do so, this has been a handicap, especially for non-professional workers. The bus systems have gotten better but they are still lacking. Plus, an underground rail system would be much faster. Building such a system would bring jobs. We can most certainly have an underground rail system and an automobile industry. Perhaps we can have a cleaner rail system that relies on biodiesel or another kind of non-petroleum diesel? Likely? Dunno.

A few months back I attended a meeting of mayors and a local bus system that traverses various suburban cities. There has been a major push to have more buses that go straight from the suburbs that do not stop within City limits for time efficiency. But the whole premise seemed archaic when I listened in as an underground rail system would move much faster and include all cities and all people trying to get to their respective jobs. Detroit has been hampered by a great many things, including a rail system. But there are few cities with such great infrastructure. Henry Ford and Edison saw to this. But some ideas of the past must die so that new ones can bring rebirth. Investing in new kinds of infrastructure may be just what Detroit needs.

Being a Protectionist

If being a protectionist means that one is pro jobs for Americans that produce products that Americans need in ways that do not breed excessiveness, being a protectionist may not be a bad thing.

Trade agreements must not devastate the masses of one economy, elevating those of another while a few at the top greatly benefit. (Yes, the Wal-Mart model is understood.) Contrary to what some might think, some of our trade policies may be short-sighted policies in the long run, policies that feed greed and debt.

From a recent report in the Washington Post China is now hurting from the lack of exports. (Yes, the fact that China holds many of our T-Bills to the tune of more than a half of a trillion dollars is also understood.) But does America, with all of its greatness in innovation, ingenuity, natural resources, and land mass want to mainly become a country of imports?

Does America want to continue to run deficits so large that another country's decision can bankrupt our very own? China has surpassed Japan in acquiring T-bills where it is believed that America has, in fact, become Chimerica where they could do without us but we could not do without them. Is this kind of debt system the best system? Is there a better way?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Being in a Winter Wonderland II

They gathered atop the mound in the city park
Dressed in snowsuits of pink, green, blue and red.
Bundled big kids, small kids, moms and dads.
Little hats with cut out eyes, mouth, and nose.
A hundred tiny and large footprints in the snow.
Down they came in twos and threes, holding tight.
Laughter and joy! Big fun heard for miles.
No game boys needed, no high tech toys required.
A sled, a mound, and tons of snow. Yippie!

Being on Meet the Press

The guests on Meet the Press this morning included all intelligent and well-spoken women. Competent in business and politics, these women represented all women well:

Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State
Erin Bennett, Co-Anchor, CNBC, "Street Signs"
Michelle Norris, Host, NPR's "All Things Considered"
Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News
Carol Marin, Political Columnist, Chicago-Sun Times

Last week Governor Jennifer Graholm of Michigan and Carly Fiorina, the former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, did the same among very competent men such as Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, and former Governor Mitt Romney:

We are honored by the work these women do daily and made better by their example. They are intelligent, knowledgeable, and likeable; it takes all kind and they make us proud.

Being Inspired by Others

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Being a Bystander

In a recent article Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Pablo Triana co-wrote a piece, Bystanders to the Financial Crisis Were Many for the Financial Times. In it they write of the not so innocent role bystanders play in financial crises, one that continues to hail quantitative methods such as Value-at-Risk that have been proven faulty and destructive.

As in the Black Swan, Taleb does not give those who teach and continue to ascribe to such methods, including Nobel economists, a break. He considers them disingenuous. Taleb has little regard for the position of Nobels; his quest is toward an empiricism that challenges such theories that continue to create greater risks than the value such Value-at-Risk methods purport.

The article goes a little further and requires us all to get off the bystander fence and act. The article begins with a historic event where a woman was raped and robbed while others stood near and not come to her rescue. The authors conclude that there are no innocent bystanders.

Taleb and Triana have a “bias for action” as Tom Peters would say. Action is needed by all and the lack thereof is akin to those who have actually committed the crime. Aligned with this type of criminal behavior is that of professors and the like who continue to teach methods that have been proven to be faulty, perpetuating fallacies. Everybody has a responsibility. There are no innocent bystanders.

Reading the article, I could not help but to align the many investors who invested with Bernard Madoff who proclaim him now to be a crook but who themselves had great returns beforehand, probably the likes that would raise the eyebrow of a neophyte investor, let alone one who has done so for many years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Over these few days I have heard known and unknown investors talk about the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Those well-known ones speak of the criminal behavior of Madoff, but after reading this article I wonder about their implicit or complicit role in the scandal.

Some investors seemed to have literally been duped by Madoff and their life savings and earnings devastated. But others seem to have washed their hands of him taking the loss now after the great gains before.

These investors now come across as bystanders, innocent of any guilt. But after reading this article I come away with a different perception. Perhaps they too, as the bystanders in the this, are indeed not guilt-less.

Being a Psychopath

By all appearances and the very words of Governor Blagojevich he seems like a psychopath. Why else would he, knowingly being wiretaped, still speak such things? Why else would he say with such righteous indignation: "I will fight...I will fight...I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong?"

The 76-page-criminal complaint, which includes dialogue from wire taps, reveals that Governor Blagojevich has most certainly done a great many things wrong. He called his indictment a "political lynch mob." Governor Blagojevich may not serve any prison time; he may go straight to the mental health ward indefinitely.

Being Archbishop Fulton Sheen

"Believe the impossible and you can do the incredible."

Archbishop Fulton Sheen has long be a favorite of mine for his practicality and erudition. He's also quite witty.

I hope you will listen to the very end; there is a powerful message there on human divinity.

Being Quotable

A quote does not make a man, especially when it is secondhand.

"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."

--St. Francis of Assisi

"Be the change you wish to see."

--Mahatma Gandhi

These things need be.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Being for Pastor Rick Warren

I am in support of President-elect Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. Shall we police and protest everything? Should we dictate to the President-elect whom he should choose? This particular choice is not even one that aligns with his personal beliefs. The President-elect supports civil unions. But he will be the president of all the people.

Did the President-elect not just recently include in his cabinet an openly gay woman, Nancy Sutley? I guess the religious right might not be too happy with this choice or that of the Civil Rights icon the Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery who will be delivering the benediction at the inaguration. Dr. Lowery supports gay marriage. I'm sure they will also have demands of the President-elect.

Which do you think will have the greater impact: the inaugural invocation or the openly-gay cabinet selection?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Being Satisfied with Enough

On Tom Peters' Blog a commenter wrote these relevant words as a favorite quote of his dad's:

Just wealth enough to give and spare
Just health enough to banish care
Just friends enough sincere and true
What more want we
What more want you

Simply wonderful!

Being Ingrid Newkirk

Watching a special on PETA, I must admit to being more than a bit alarmed and disturbed by both the co-founder, Ingrid Newkirk, and those who mistreat animals; they are all extremists.

I had been a vegetarian for 12 years or so and could not eat the first turkey that I prepared this year. But, if Ingrid Newkirk came to my shop to protest by defaming my property, I would probably not idly sit by and watch.

Besides publicity, is her desire violence? Some say that PETA and the Animals Liberation Front are terrorist organizations, seeking to evoke fear and rule by demanding conformity to their sense of ethics--love and respect for animals aside.

There seems to always be a righteous cause for religious zealots of all faiths to take a "by any means necessary" approach. It seems that the nonbeliever Ms. Newkirk has chosen animals as her God and violence and fear as her means for an ethical society.

Being the Singular Eye (I)

Thinking of Bernard Madoff sickens me. Considering him, I thought of the scripture found in the Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 1:8: "The eye is never satisfied." The likes of Mr. Madoff have no other members except for the eye. I want more and more.

"Enough!" (John Bogle's Enough. True Measure of Money, Business and Life is a must read for everyone. It is simply beautiful and so very relevant for our time.)

Did Mr. Madoff not attend Hebrew School? Many people should be imprisoned, including those who turned him in. Others who should have been regulating such firms to avoid such a $50 billon dollar Ponzi scheme that can harm the public, including charities and universities, should be fired immediately.

There are many eyes (I's) involved here.

Being in a Winter Wonderland

On my evening walk fluffy snowflakes fell the entire 6 miles. A blanket of whiteness covered everything. Such innocence is beautiful.

As I walked passed the high school, a yellow school bus pulled into the parking lot. The students jumped off with gaiety...

"Bye Kelly."
"Bye John."
"Bye Sarah."

Some slipped and slide to cars where their parents awaited; others threw snowballs at each other as they waited for theirs.

"Bye Nate."
"Bye Jill."
"Bye Tim."

The byes kept coming. There was love in the air and a sense of longing. But they would see each other tomorrow.

"Bye Jake."
"Bye TJ"
"Bye Brittany."

Then I remembered that Winter Break probably begins this week and when you're that age two and a half weeks seems like an eternity. I smiled.

The snow continued to fall, swirling around my head and feet.

Ah, I remember.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Being Fearless II

My brother, Haywood, texted me this evening to tell me he's leaving for India on January 15th. Considering the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, many would not be traveling there so soon. But evoking fear is the exact objective of extremists. Haywood is leaving on Martin Luther King's birthday and a day before mine. I wish him peace. Godspeed, beloved brother.

Being Exceeds Marketing

Being exceeds marketing without which there is no marketable sustainability. Who are we? What are the many possibilities? With this thought of being I am lead toward creative action. It's being that leads to doing that often markets itself through creating value based on the needs and desires of others. Is there a better bolder kind of marketing?

Being Without Scientists

On the fallacies of scientists and other heady experts and professionals:

"I urge all you scientists to go take your 'science' where it may work—and leave us in the real world without more problems. Please, please, enough of this 'science.' We have enough problems without you. ..."

--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, before an elite group of scientists

I'm sure this got them thinking.

Being David Goodfriend

What a name. Reading it, I smiled.

I do not know David Goodfriend. In fact, I've never even heard of
him before today. (I gather he's a democratic strategist.)

Liking the name, I quickly looked it up: GOODFRIEND.

There is a one Audrey Goodfriend, a self-described
anarchist, none the less, who is quite interesting.

Audrey Goodfriend seems like a good friend; her work
in education reform is laudable, though she began
perhaps to the left of where I generally stand.

(We are forever becoming...)

Speaking of reforming education, I look forward to the
reform that the incoming Education Secretary, Arne Duncan,
will bring. This we most certainly need.

Sometimes a simple search leads to interesting things.

Being on Stage

Life has many turns and shifts, many uncertainties and wonders. Embrace them. It's curtain time. It is for this moment that you have rehearsed. Enjoy it!

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

--Shakespeare, As You Like It

Monday, December 15, 2008

Being Fearless

Being fearless is not the absence of fear; it is moving forward in spite of it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Being Graceful Under Fire

Yes, I know that President Bush is not known as one who is graceful under fire. But I thought the way he handled the situation in Iraq when the reporter fired two shoes at him in rapid succession rather well. Thank you, Mr. President.

As any story can be spun, I can only imagine how this one will be spun on late night TV. I have often laughed at David Letterman's "Great Moment in Presidential Speeches." We can probably expect lots of jokes. But I won't be laughing.

By the way, did anybody notice how long it took the secret service to arrive through the doors to protect the president? Not good!

Being a Trader (Traitor?)

Here's a thought: If a senate seat could be traded for favors, how about legislation to foreign entities no less by senators on the senate floor? Could there by something by far more sinister than conservative ideology occurring among certain southern senators?

Being Remarkable

It is in being remarkable that we find the simple basics of truth that we all identify; it is the remarkable that draws from us that which we yearn for, that which is already part of us all.

This thought came as I read Julie Anixter's website and blog, Think Remarkable. There are some great ideas there; check it out!

Think Remarkable!

"I think therefore I am."

--Rene Descartes

Being Spiritual

Wisdom is spiritual. Love is spiritual. Ethics is spiritual. Sex is spiritual. Brilliance is spiritual. We are spirit of flesh.

"The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord."

--Proverbs 20:27

Being a Sanctuary

Can others find rest in you?

Being Inspired by Others

Here is the sweetest rendition of "O Come All Ye Faithful" by Art Garfunkel.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Blessings to all! Come...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Being Nassim Nicholas Taleb V

This is a great interview from a most brilliant thinker, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one whose thoughts are full and flexible.

The beauty of Taleb's thoughts is his vast knowledge of history and the incredible insight of the future. This allows for a particular immediacy of now.

Capitalism and economics are in vast contexts.

The interview can be seen here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Being a Single Dad

My handsome brother, Ellington aka Duke, is a wonderful single dad. I am so proud of the way he is raising his daughter, Abbey. She is kind, giving and very inquisitive. Today he sent me these pictures of his new home. Even though it's in a gated community, we can be assured that the gate will be opening and closing often.

Ellington is a most loving and caring man, with a heart of gold. He has been an entrepreneur since the age of 14 and has always shared his success with others--not to mention that he had a thriving progressive church with some 700 members at the age of 23. He no longer pastors, though he remains in ministry. Ellington is an investment banker with a penchant for the piano. Jazz is a favorite.

Ladies, Ellington is also very single-not that he needs my help in this area. Believe me! Sensitive intelligent caring women who love children need only apply. :-)

Ellington (He actually hates ties!)

I hate ties!

All Season Sun Room

Glam Abbey!

Glamor Shot of Abbey!

Rear Deck Lake View

Abbey with older niece, Raven

My Abbey-10 years old I only Got One

Rear House View

My New Digs!

Abbey's older cousin, Delores, who Abbey thinks is sooo "KEWL." Delores is named after our beautiful mother who raised 12 children alone. She would have never actually have said that she did so alone. Though brilliant and industrious, she had an unshakable faith and believed in the kindness of others.

My Kewl cousin...she can Sing!!!! see her in hollywood.

Dad takes Abbey and best friend, Taylor, shopping.

Abbey Shopping with friend at Justice

Abbey driving the Mercedes G Wagon. Perhaps Duke will now buy a GM Hybrid SUV. I chided him a bit today. He laughed--fat chance!

OMG! Here she is again

Abbey's other best friend, Shi-Shi

Shi Shi one of Abbeys best friend-Classmate

Nieces and Nephews

Neices and Nephews

Nieces and nephew, Pierre, sporting a mohawk and shades

Best sister and aunt in the whole wide world! :-)

Ellington has 9 remaining siblings, 26 nieces and nephews, and many friends. Ladies who love others need only apply. :-)

Being Nassim Nicholas Taleb IV

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's wisdom keeps coming. Not only did he predict the financial crisis two years ago in The Black Swan, he recently wrote about hedge fund risks. In a recent Newsweek article Taleb wrote:

"Along with a more dynamic economy came a culture of wild capitalism, and also a shift toward more computerized trading and financial modeling, which people think is scientific (because the guys who invented it won Nobel Prizes), but it really isn't. The risk models these hedge funds run aren't reliable. Business schools should stop teaching them."

If I'm remembering correctly, Taleb also wrote in a Time article that hedge funds are better risks managers than banks, as the latter deals with public money. With the indictment of Bernard Madoff, former NASDAQ chairman, who was arrested and charged today with defrauding investors of $50 billion dollar in a Ponzi scheme, one wonders.

Although Mr. Madoff's firm is not a hedge fund, hedge funds promoted his funds to other funds where wealthy individuals had invested according to the New York Times. Investors, including retirees, universities, and charities, are confronting "serious to devastating" losses. These losses affect the public too. Are there no regulations for firms as Mr. Madoff's and hedge funds who promote them? Are there no annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission?

Regarding greed and corruption, the beat goes on...

Being Betty Page: A Pin-Up Queen

The bold and beautiful Betty Page died yesterday at the age of 85. Ms. Page's life was "marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution." She once recalled, "All I ever wanted was a mother who paid attention to me." Ms. Page had had an abusive childhood. Are there any pin-ups or porn stars (hard or soft) who have had healthy childhoods?

Being Peggy Noonan III

"For a generation we've been tapping on plastic keyboards, entering data into databases, inventing financial instruments that are abstract, complex and unconnected to any see-able reality. Fortunes were made in the ether, almost no one knows how; there's a sense that this was perhaps part of the problem. Workers tapped on keyboards and produced work they cannot see, touch or necessarily admire. They'd like to make their country better, and stronger, in a way they can see."

--Peggy Noonan, Rectitude Chic, WSJ

But these instruments they can't see! These products may never be! Manufacturing is not chic. Is that why we couldn't give The Big Three a rescue package? Is that why the Treasury Department did not assist The Big Three when it could have done so without the showdown on Captial Hill? But what about poverty? Is poverty chic? How about a two-tier rapidly changing Chinese society? Manufacturing may not be chic, but it is without doubt elevating a people. Where is your shirt made?

Merry Christmas!

Being Rethuglicans

You will pardon my rage. But what are Rethuglicans? I read this descriptive in a comment on The Huffington Post and wondered who might these be. I'm heartsick about the $14 billion dollar bill that did not pass in the Senate for the auto manufacturers.

It's amazing that there was little specification for the $750 billion dollar bailout for finincial institutions. Some believe that besides the necessity of this bailout, there was a massive cover up to save friends at these institutions. Some are complaining that banks who didn't even need the money were forced to take it to save the likes of AIG. Most of this money we do not even know where it has gone.

What, not who, are these Rethuglicans? They seem both heartless and stupid. If assistance does not come from the already allotted bank bailout money, we can just continue to have our portfolios diminish, many more jobs totaling some 2 million minimum lost, and families devastated and divided, many in my hometown. Ugh! Sigh! Cry!

Being Fully Dressed

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Being a Soft Porn Star

After seeing the cover and inside pictorial of Jennifer Aniston in GQ on The Huffington Post website, it is apparent that she has become in some respects a soft porn star. (There was such a pictorial of her in another magazine some years back if I'm not mistaken.) I wondered what would make a respected actor pose in just a tie.

Now, let me make something very clear. I am no prude and neither am I against the beauty and form of the human body. But does anyone get the sense that these actresses are just screaming for more attention besides what their talent affords? I have never seen Meryl Streep, for example, striking such a pose.

Being Senators Shelby, Corker, and McConnell

As I have listened to Senators Shelby of Alabama and Corker and McConnell of Tennessee speak against the loan of the U.S. auto industry, I wonder if their decisions lie in the fact that Toyota is manufacturing cars in the States of Alabama and Tennessee, creating a market for this foreign auto maker.

While each Senator does what is best for their respective states, I wonder if particular states can be destructive to the whole. I wonder if the government subsidized foreign car manufactures, which were given huge tax incentives to locate in the South undoubtedly brokered by the aforementioned, have built such relationships with these senators that no plan of government assistance to the US auto manufactures would be favorable for them.

Yes, I understand that Americans are being employed and this is good. I also wonder about the fractionating of states and the allegiance of our United States Senators. The Bush administration is considering the whole and not individual parts; thus, they are advocating assistance of some kind for the Big Three.

With nearly 500,000 Americans filing for unemployment insurance last month, I wonder if this creates a serious national problem. It's unfortunate that the administration did not enact regulation and consider the whole before now. At this point, they have little clout or credibility with their own senators.

Being in a Crisis

While we are most certainly in a financial crisis, we are also most certainly in a crisis of ethics. The Governor of Illinois and the one before him, who is now serving a prison sentence, lets us know this. We are in a national ethics crisis.

Many of us seem to have long forsaken the principles of ethics that have brought us to this moment. Yes, this is a watershed moment and we must rise to the occasion. We are in an ethical crisis. But this crisis need not be sensationalized. This will not help.

When I heard the news initially about the governor on the news, I was incensed and sickened. After viewing a few stories about the event, I was disturbed. I turned the TV off all day. Not only was the news itself disturbing, but some new channels seemed to be reveling in the story itself.

"This is better than Watergate," one reporter said. Yes, the story is truly amazing; the lengths taken are extraordinary. But really...we have way too many things to confront to be bogged down, to be dragged down by such sleaze.

Get rid of the bum and his wife, work to root out corruption, but by all means let's not be deterred from the pressing issues we as a country are facing right now. Professionally, some of us live for this stuff, i.e., the media. Another reporter seemed to elevate his job to that of a D.A. His tone was more jeering than Attorney General Fitzgerald himself.

The Justice Department has done and will do its work. The actions of one seemingly deranged governor must not take us off our goal of change. Get him out of there and expose any wrongdoing, but a national witch hunt is not what's needed now. We have too much to do.

Being Exceeds Naming

How important are titles and positions? For me it is all a matter of being: being excellent, being good-natured, being professional, being integral, being expressive, being helpful, being loyal, etc. What you call me does not negate me or elevate me. I am. The question may now become how do we translate this strong sense of being into various environments? We do this through our actions daily. If my actions profoundly change my environment, what you call me has no significance. I am. In our various environments we have to be the change as Mahatma Gandhi said and walk the talk as St Francis of Assisi said. Being exceeds naming.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Being Bay Buchanan

What a strident hostile grating tone. Who hears her, honestly?

Being a Man of Love, Faith, and Forgiveness

The heartbreaking story of a Marine Corps jet that crashed and killed the entire family of a Korean immigrant has an incredible message of love, faith, and forgiveness. After losing his wife, two young daughters and mother-in-law, a distraught Dong Yun Yoon asked that we pray for the pilot who ejected and survived.

"Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident. He is one of our treasures for the country," Mr. Yoon said, with amazing strength considering the circumstance, though it was apparent that he was overwhelmed. "I don't him. I don't have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could."

I am so incredibly moved by this story and heartened by Mr. Yoon's God-like love, faith and power of forgiveness. Let's pray for this young man and help him in anyway that we can.

Being Excellent III

In a recent post, Symbols, Smiles and Walking the Talk , Tom Peters includes a wonderful Powerpoint Presentation. The Presentation tells a beauty story of the power of forgiveness, the will to make a difference, and the necessity of excellence in the words of various leaders. Tom Peters, of course, adds his brilliant annotations:

One slide reads:

"Excellence: Respect!"

This is great for without respect there would be no excellence.

Excellence is also love.

Without love there is nothing; there is no beginning.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Being a More Ethical Society

We, each one of us, have to decide that we will not tolerate unethical behavior in government and business. We, each one of us, have to decide that we will lead more ethical lives daily. We, each one of us, have to decide with a resounding collective voice that we have had ENOUGH!

Being a Corrupt Government Official

Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) was arrested today on corruption charges to gain favor in appointing a Senator to fill President-elect Obama's vacant seat. In essence, the charge is that he sought to sell the vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. Through wire taps and bugs the Governor is reported to have asked for, among other things, campaign funding large amounts of money by year's end and a seat for his wife on a corporate board that could garner large fees yearly. (No wonder these boards don't have the interest of the shareholder or the worker at heart; the members have not a clue. Many of these people on these big boards may know nothing! Look at how these positions appear to be attained.) Governor Blagojevich is quoted in the affidavit as saying, "I want the money." Well, work for it legally like the rest of us! And to think that Blagojevich was elected to clean up the mess the former governor left who is now serving time in prison.

Governor Blagojevich will propably join the other corrupt government officials as convicted felons if the complaints are true. Other corrupt officials include the former governor of Illinois Governor George Ryan (R), who is serving a 6-year prison sentence, and the former 85-year-old Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska (R) who should be on a tether and under house arrest, if not locked up behind bars himself. (Think about it, the former senator Ted Stevens has 7 felony convictions!) I'm really trying to be nice here, considering Ted Stevens advanced years. But I'm sure others may think that he deserves prison time. After all, the lack of ethics probably did not begin recently. You don't just happen upon 7 convicted felonies after a lifetime of ethical behavior--highly unlikely! Ted Stevens 40 years in the Senate was probably riffed with unethical conduct as a matter of simply doing things. Remember how defiant he was upon being charged and how righteous he was even after being convicted? Disgusting! He is 85 years old! What is he telling his great-grandchildren?

What's the matter with these people? Had they no lessons in ethics at home at all?

Being in a Meritocracy

A system based on merit, where talent is chosen and advanced, in the work environments is indeed a system of value. Such a system infuses innovation and diversity. It is a system of thanksgiving.

Meritocracy is a system that forever evolves; it is not one that demands, The only demand is that we remain open to change, that we remain supple and not rigid, that we let the sunshine in.

This reminds me of a song I learned in Sunday School where my Aunt Dorothy, my mother's sister, faithfully taught thousands of kids every Sunday, both original songs and those passed down. She was a brilliant composer, artist, and writer with a most precious heart and love for others.

So let the sunshine in. Face it with a grin.
Smilers never lose and frowners never win.
So let the sunshine in. Face it with a grin.
Open up you heart and let the sunshine in.

Many of us are already embracing the sunshine with faces upturned with the biggest of smile. While we are doing so let's not forget to bask in the beauty of others too. In this regards, the sun has many faces.

Meritocracy is a system of value that can have a greater impact on how we see each other.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Being a Global Society

Tom Peters wrote a most reflective and thoughtful post today on globalization. In it he says that the "guiding premise of ubiquitous Globalization, of which I have been among the most vociferous champions, is under assault." Among others thoughts, he wonders if...

The world has become normal again. The years immediately following the Cold War offered a tantalizing glimpse of a new kind of international order, with nation states growing together or disappearing, and increasingly free commerce and communications. ... People and their leaders longed for 'a world transformed.' ...

But that was a mirage. The world has not been transformed. In most places, the nation-state remains as strong as ever, and so, too, nationalist ambitions, the passions, and the competition among nations that have shaped history. ... Nationalism and the nation itself, far from being weakened by globalization, have now returned with a vengeance

This was my initial thought:

The beauty of In Search of Excellence is the implementation of the small things that transform the whole. Perhaps globalization did not consider this. Hence, the bloated unwieldiness of its core corrupted. The core wasn't small and essential, but massive and viral. Should the mass not grow out of the small? When the small transforms it is felt by all and its single voice understood.

What is the single voice of globalization besides everybody can do it? But what is the it? Be rich? When transformation occurs through massive viral markets, perhaps corruption more readily destroy unawares. Globalization through massive economic means may not affect the sense of ethics at all, though it brings more people into social classes that enable them to provide for themselves.

There are many such examples of globalization, for example, in India where women have developed small cell phone businesses that afford them a better lifestyle. This is good. But this will probably not affect whether larger companies in India or America will behave justly and honorably, neither will it probably lessen the desire of people in various countries the strong sense of nationalistic pride. Is this a negative? In fact, I wholeheartedly believe in nation states. I wholeheartedly believe in cultural differences. I wholeheartedly believe in variance. But these beliefs need not trample yours.

David Porter wrote very effectual words on my blog where the topic was "Being a Paper Society." He writes:

'For those of us who believe in an abundance vs. a scarcity mentality, such a world is possible. One in which a reasonable rate of return is achieved, leading to more investment capital, and where employees are paid a fair wage well above the poverty line, then allowing those employees to purchase the goods at the store or the cars from their Big 3 employers etc. I think it hearkens back to your earlier post on 'Enough.' I am afraid we haven't yet solved that calculus but thoughtful discussions such as this at least put the questions before us.'

The fact that TP questions himself after all of these years of service is fantastic. The fact that we are having such "thoughtful discussions" on this blog on some many relevant topics give us hope that we will have a collective consciousness that will require individual actions in our various communities, work environments, and nation states. (Nation states will probably never change. And even if it does, there will undoubtedly be factions within it. The "Power to Will" as Nietzsche understood well will probably not change.) Small change is the only kind of change that takes root nationally, affecting the masses for good globally.

What do you think?

Being Driven in Business

"Drive your business! Let not that drive thee."

--Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Being President-Elect of the United States III

Let's return to an ethic of sharing:

"Shared benefits and shared burden."

-- President-Elect Barack Obama

Being Inspired by Others

"That God does not exist, I cannot deny, That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget."

--Jean Paul Sartre

Being Taken

Take. Here is a piece of me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Being a Secret Santa

I read the most beautiful story online about secret Santas in three different states who gave to those in need.

"Two secret Santas, one from the Kansas City area and the other from the St. Louis area, descended on thrift stores, a health clinic, convenience store and small auto repair shop to dole out $20,000 in $100 bills, hugs and words of encouragement."

When one unsuspecting lady received a gift of two $100 dollar bills there was a condition given. "The only condition," the secret Santa said, "is that you do something nice for someone. Pass it on."

Will you be a secret Santa this Christmas season?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Being a Forgiver

Watching the Goldman family in the courtroom today as OJ Simpson was being sentenced in a case unconnected to that infamous one, I wondered as the sister of the deceased seemed to have grown thinner and more wiry over these many years, how life was treating her. She has always seemed so bitter, creating a furrowed brow and intense harshness around her eyes and mouth developing into ungraceful lines, indicative of perhaps a heart of unforgiveness.

Myrlie Evers, the wife of the slain civil rights leader Medger Evers, seemed to have the same consuming bitterness. Some years ago whenever I heard Mrs. Evers speak of the event or those who were released whom she believed had murdered her husband on their doorstep, there was a narrowness in her eyes, a tightness around her mouth, and a harshness in her speech that also seemed indicative of a heart of unforgiveness.

Unforgiveness has a detrimental affect on those who do not forgive.

A forgiving heart is health to the one who forgives.

Being True

To thine own self be true and to thyself know what is best to do.

Being a Paper Society

There is a fundamental flaw when we can bailout the financial industry to the tune of $750 billion dollars in a short amount of time that created a society of paper instead of manufactured products and have the automotive executives grovel for $34 billion when this industry puts pedal to metal and product products?

We have become a mainly paper society in the hands of a few who themselves either created instruments, knowing full well of their short-term value, as in value for themselves to the tune of billions, or grossly overvalued these instruments through, these derivatives upon derivatives that have no known value. Paper!

Finding a way to maintain manufacturing in this country is obligatory.

Being General Motors III

Rick Wagoner, and his Big Three counterparts, drove to Washington in hybrid cars yesterday and much attention was paid to their arrival. (We all know what happened a few weeks ago when they arrived in Washington, all three, in their respective private jets.) Will this gesture make a difference? It may soften the public outrage, but will it change how business is done daily?

While I thought that these executives should have considered public image in their Washington arrival, I was more concerned with what would be done in moving forward. Perhaps the executives who have had a hand in the mismanagement of their businesses should be released. But to consider and expect that these executives or any executive of a major company or organization of any kind, including the archbishop and mega pastor, will fly commercial after the single gesture is not likely.

Gestures matter, but ongoing ways of doing things far more.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Being in Between

John O'Leary makes a powerful comment on his blog, Rock and Roll Lessons, regarding a quote he often uses.

The quote bears repeating:

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space..."

Being is the space between stimulus and response.

Who we are makes the difference.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Being Odetta

We are grateful for the life of Odetta. Her voice spoke to the people, for it was born out of them.

May her spirit forever rest with us and may we never forget that we, all of us, are the people.

Being Unknown, Yet Known

Gladiator is one of my favorite movies; included therein is one of my favorite songs, Now We Are Free, a song with non-translatable lyrics out of which freedom and courage ring.

Sometimes known words cannot express our longing and desire.

"For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Now, close your eyes; listen again. What do the words now speak?

Being Queen Elizabeth II

Watching live the pomp and circumstance of the State Opening of British Parliament early this morning on C-Span, I was somewhat alarmed and amused, with all due respect, by the Queen's continual reference to "my government will" do this and that. Whose government is it? I suppose that such a reference at this point is a mere formality. Or, is it?

Being the Whole

Life enters. Energy departs.

Stagnation ensues.

Which part are you?

We are the whole.

Being Loyal

Loyalty need not be blase, though sometimes more than not commitment engenders a kind of lethargy, a kind of expectation within normalcy and not the search of an excellent continuum. Loyalty without continual excellence sucks. It is a most unhappy union borne by the mere expectancy of more of the same.

Loyalty often is the breeding ground for lack luster environments. Who really appreciates environments where there is no brilliant insight or edginess intelligence? Loyalty needs the respect of all involved, a respect that causes action, error, beauty, stimuli, forever creation.

Love is the basis of loyalty. Love is passion.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Being Condoleezza Rice

Here is the brilliant Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the Russian scholar and classical pianist, playing Brahms before the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

May her years after service to the country be fruitful and rewarding.

Being Beyond Yourself

I have released more than a few contractors working on houses who contend with me about my desires instead of giving me what I want. Just this morning I was at an inspection in which I hired a group of electricians that had done excellent work on other houses. The master electrician had been a city inspector for 35 years and had three journeymen working under him. They did the work on yesterday. I came back in the early evening, walked through all of the inspection violations, and paid them. (Included in the contract was a clause to correct the necessary re-inspection violations should there be any.)

This morning was the re-inspection. Instead of noting the changes and agreeing to correct them accordingly, my master electrician argued incessantly with the city inspector about codes in another city. He repeatedly made references to his many years of experience as an inspector himself, as the journeymen chimed in occasionally. Not being an electrician, I let them slug it out. Finally, I interjected saying that it did not matter what the codes were in another city; what mattered most is what this city inspector sited in this city at this house. The master continued to wrangle, now with me. I was becoming increasingly annoyed. All that mattered to me was compliance with the city inspection. I had tenants waiting to move in. I stood on the side of the inspector, as he was the one granting the license and I had worked with him on three other houses. I pulled my master electrician aside. He then conceded to what I was trying to accomplish.

When the inspector left, I assured my master electrician that while he may have had some very good points, what I would expect from him in moving forward was that he would not continue to make his points to the peril of others. I needed this house done like yesterday. I was also trying to make a point to his journeymen who were learning the trade from the master. What I wanted most was for the house to pass the inspection and get the tenants who had already signed the lease agreement the opportunity to move in. He was not concerned about this, though he should have been. While the electrician is truly a master, I probably will use him less, as I do not think I want to listen to him or have my plans obstructed. He missed the forest for the trees and did not pay much attention to my needs.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Being on the National Security Team

President-elect Obama has nominated quite a National Security Team. I am so proud that the United States produces such ability, strength, and diversity.

Secretary of Defense: Robert Gates
National Security Adviser: General James Jones
Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton
Ambassador to the United Nations: Dr. Susan Rice
Attorney General: Eric Holder
Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano

The selection of these very strong and capable leaders says a lot about the leadership ability of President-elect Obama. He is not seeking yes men and women but strong leaders in their own right to move our country forward.

What a leader! What a country!

Being a Democracy

The beauty of the U.S. Constitution is the sense of freedom, the forever striving for it out of which came a system of capital that required an innate necessity for self-regulation and corporate responsibility. The Framers spoke of this often.

The corporate is the body, fitly joined as the human body. We are a corporate body professionally and nationally. Systems, such as democracies, are what people make of them, theorems aside. Actions become more relevant; they determine systems in the long run.

The beauty in the modern democratic system, out of which capitalism sprung, is the sense that we are forever becoming "a more perfect union." We forever becoming a more perfect corporate body.

Tom Peters' quote for today reads:

"Democracy does not demand economic equality but it does demand, front and center, a widespread perception of fairness."

The U.S. democratic system was not perfect when the union was formed, but there was that "widespread perception of fairness" that built a great nation and will reinvent it yet again.

Democracy embraces freedom. The perfect law of liberty is the law of love.