Reject Tyranny

By assigning half of their respective state populations to each of the forty-one Republican Senators, we see that collectively, they represent only 37% of the total US population. Why, in a “representative democracy,” do we accept that politicians representing little more than 1/3 of the total population should control government policy for the remainder?

I thought the original Tea Party was about rejecting tyranny not endorsing it.


The Super Bowl is Tomorrow. Who Knew?!

I am going to a party tomorrow and don’t want to appear more foolish or out of touch than usual. Apparently, the Super Bowl is tomorrow evening so that’s the theme of the party. I wondered why someone would schedule a party on a Sunday evening when people have to go to work the next day. Now I know.  Through some research, I have learned that the Steelers are playing the Cardinals. While the Steelers are still in Pittsburgh, it turns out that the Cardinals have moved from St Louis to Phoenix, who knew?!

This may surprise you, but it’s been a while since I’ve paid much attention to professional football. For example, I also learned during my research that Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and Mean Joe Greene have all retired so I don’t really know any of the players for the Steelers.

Football means the smell of Ohio Valley autumn leaves to me so I just can’t root for the Cardinals – there aren’t any trees in Phoenix for Chrissake!! Besides, I grew up in the shadow of the Black & Gold. I always liked that guy that played with half his foot blown off in Viet Nam. What was his name? You gotta love a team that would give a fella like that a chance. Nice bunch of guys, don’t ya think?

So here’s where you Steelers Fans come in. What are FIVE things I should know about the Steelers in order to cover up my total ignorance of the NFL? Nothing too complicated that would be difficult to memorize, please.  It would also help to have two or three things to help me trash talk those good for nuthin’ city hoppin’ Cardinals but don’t worry if you can’t come up with anything or you’re just to polite to diss the competition.

Thanks for your help.

Humility vs. Humiliation

The NY Times article in the following link is an sober acknowledgement of the addictive thrill of power. As Dr. Friedman points out, the extrodinary financial success that the ‘Masters of the Universe’ enjoyed over the past decade was to many, their sole measure of success. To see yourself go from ‘winner’ to ‘loser’ in the span of a few months must surely be  humiliating.  

I suggest that humility is best experienced in a slow steady drip over a life time rather than in fire hose portions all at once.  Had Dr. Friedman’s patients appreciated that their success was due, at least in part, to good fortune and the hard work of others perhaps their self-confidence wouldn’t be so battered today. Had they taken time to notice others not so fortunate, they might have realized that they should have considered themselves ‘blessed’ instead of ‘best.’

Shame, hypocricy and humility & The Big Three

dogbert-hypocrite-022509I’m no apologist for the US auto industry, I switched to owning Toyota cars years ago for better quality and value.  I’m a loyal customer and it will be very hard for the Big Three to win me back.

However, the idea of shaming the CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler into driving to DC instead of flying in corporate planes is the grand height of hypocrisy in my view.  I suspect that every one of politicians and talking heads that are criticizing these CEOs have flown on corporate jets to speeches, conferences and plant tours several times in their careers to advance their own interests. And how many fighter jets get scrambled every time the President takes a helicopter to Andrews Air Force Base no more than 25 miles from the White House. Honestly, that practice is at least as much a demonstration of power as it is about security. Let’s all show some humility for a change.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the mess we’re in. We’re all culpable; government, corporations and consumers (the real Big Three) have all have made stupid decisions over the past decades following the ‘Madness of Crowds’ in our sense of entitlement and greed.  This is no time for rightous grandstanding or political posturing.  It’s time to fix stuff and get our priorities right.

If our so-called ‘leaders’ want my respect, then they need to take my grandfather’s advice before they start pointing out others’ flaws and failures, “When you point your finger at someone, remember that there are three more pointing back at you!”