Making Informed Decisions

For those out there interested in the promises of free Health Care, Free College/University educations, Medicare for all, and paid off student debt, and other government provided “freebies”, please look past the hype.  

Do you know where the revenue will come from for that “free stuff”?  The likely sources: increased citizen’s taxes or, the country borrows more money to pay for the “freebies” (do you know the USA’s debt is more than 23 trillion). 

And, consider you can’t tax the wealthy enough to pay for all the “freebies”.   If you tax the corporations, they’ll either pass it on to customers, find other means to reduce the increased taxes, or change to more tax friendly scenarios. 

The aforementioned is not meant as a political statement, just a reality check! Please educate yourself prior to making decisions.

(At right) $20+ Trillion with the Statue of Liberty in the center. USA debt, 2017. Now $23 Trillion. https://www.usdebtclock.org/

***** S&E *****

Some Advice on Cover Letters

Again, from one of my favorite mags, some to-the-point advice on getting the attention of the people who make hiring decisions.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90457413/the-only-4-sentences-you-need-for-a-cover-letter-that-gets-noticed?utm_campaign=eem524%3A524%3As00%3A20200130_fc&utm_medium=Compass&utm_source=newsletter

Our friend from the ever disrespectful “South Park”. Please don’t read anything into the use of the character above. There is just nothing there!

And if you are curious as to , “Do I apply on line or by mail”, here is an opinion from Forbes and Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO, Human Workplace; Author, “Reinvention Roadmap”, that might help you answer that question.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/12/ten-reasons-online-job-applications-are-a-waste-of-time/#186c578e6e26

If you go the ground mail route, make sure the application or resume and cover go to a specific person, by name. The hiring manager / supervisor is always better than Human Resources. You can find out who he or she is with a little creative research. And better yet, get it hand delivered to the hiring manager inside the company.

***** S&E *****

If Their Lips are Moving….

Well, if you did not not watch the “State of the Union” on Feb 4th, the NY Times fact check article (link below) hit the highlights and the absolute “stretching of he truth” by the president and both parties.  I remember someone describing teenage behavior as if “their lips are moving they’re lying”.  Politicians!  For those who did see it the divisiveness was palpable. Of course that is not new… but last evening defined “seeing is believing”.  I don’t credit any of them for having any stones.  But to put it on display for the world to see as they did last evening makes them all dolts in my book.

You just have to ask yourself what the hell are we paying those people for. Certainly not what we saw at the state of the union .. can’t imagine what the world thinks. And we are paying dearly! In 2019, Congressional pay — $174,000 per year, their pension is at an 80-percent rate, equates to a lifelong pension benefit of $139,200. The Speaker of the House, annual salary $223,500. I could not find a summary of their total compensation package (staff, office, travel, entertainment/business meertings, etc.) … many hundreds of thousands, each!

The third in line ! Can you imagine? That is a leadership statement, has nothing to do with political party, or sex. I always thought Condoleezza Rice, for one, would have made and excellent leader in any role to include president!

According to “allsides.com” the NY Times has a “lean-left” media bias rating (chart below) which is one notch left of center.

  I’ll be pushing up daisies in 5 to 10 according to the actuaries… it is the generations to come that I think about.

I did scan through other fact check sources… it appears most are not so different in their report. Here’s the Time’s:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/fact-check-state-of-the-union-02-04?te=1&nl=morning-briefing&emc=edit_NN_p_20200205&section=topNews&campaign_id=9&instance_id=15748&segment_id=20989&user_id=cc9f1f55d90dd76e755f21894322fe69&regi_id=104669913tion=topNews

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Can you imagine…

The poor people in Syria, trying to live, trying to have a normal life, trying to raise a family, trying to educate their kids… its not the people, its the government or lack there of…

From CNN… 2/2/2020

Recent escalations in the nine-year Syrian civil war have left hundreds of thousands of Syrians without a home and millions more stuck in the middle of the conflict. Last week, US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said the US saw 200 Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes in northern Syria in a span of three days. The pace of these military operations has only deepened the crisis, since large groups of people are being forced out of affected areas at a higher rate. UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 people have been displaced since December alone. Russia and Turkey agreed to a ceasefire for the region in the middle of January, but the agreement has so far failed to end the violence. 

***** S&E *****

Log Entry # 211: Jean Will Pick You Up.

My kids in their 30’s and some of their friends visit on some holidays. This Memorial Day was no different. Three of them arrived on Friday with JH arriving at our tiny local airport on Saturday. It WAS going to be memorable for JH!

JH called us at 2 pm from his connecting airport about an hour away to say he was in route and his flight was on time. We told him to call on his cell when he arrived.

He called upon arrival and noted that he would be out shortly after picking up his bags. We told him that we already had too many shots and beers and a friend of the old man’s was coming our way from the airport area and would pickup him up. Her name was Jean. We told him she was a nice lady, in her 50’s. There was no Jean. We didn’t know a Jean.

Actually we were all fine to drive. We loaded into the SUV, drove to the airport, got a first row spot in the short-term parking lot. We had a clear view of the arriving passenger area and the doors that JH would use to exit to get his ride.

With our clear view of the passenger pickup curb, we could see the cars waiting for arriving passengers. We saw a beige Lincoln Town Car with an older, female driver. Perfect! So when JH called from baggage claim we were able to tell him Jean was waiting for him just out side in her beige Lincoln Town Car. There was no Jean, we didn’t know the driver. There WAS a beige Lincoln Town Car!

JH exits the airport, sees “Jean” in the Lincoln. Smiling, he heads to the front windshield. He lightly taps to get her attention. She looks at JH like he’s a criminal. He looked around, checking to see if he had the right car. There was only one beige Lincoln. JH, having a positive personality, stepped to the side window and repeated his tapping to get “Jean” to recognize him. She didn’t, she’s now starring straight ahead probably hoping he would go away, undoubtedly thinking pervert, maybe police.

In the SUV we are doubled over, disabling laughter, in stitches, watching the Lincoln–JH–Jean event unfold.

We hopped out of the SUV and started waving and shouting, “Hey dumb ass we’re over here”, the side-splitting laughter loud enough to be heard from some distance. As the line goes in “A Christmas Story”, JH wove a “tapestry of vulgarity”, which would make the best of the best proud.

JH heard about it all weekend. We never let JH forget this one…

***** S&E *****

My Friends – Teachers and Leaders

Like many I have close friends, in this case a married couple, who taught for a combined 80+ years. I have known them for 65+ years. I always admired teachers, so much so when I retired I opened a one-man consulting firm to teach. But this is not about me, but about my friends the teachers.

Creating Runway!

They were both brilliant, athletic people. Both with more than average common sense. Their kids taught themselves to read and play musical instruments. Both always said what was on their minds. They were kind, caring. They had/have excellence senses of humor. They were patient but not to a fault. They coached and participated in extra curricular activities. They set high standards for the kids they taught. They demanded respectful appropriate behavior in school. They suffered no fools. They were the greatest example of dedication.

One of them went without a salary increase for years as the area in which he taught granted raises by voting referendums. He never quit. I guess the voters never thought education was important. He did.

They taught two generations. What I always find moving to this day is they yet have some of those two generations stopping buy their home to say hi, have a beer in some cases, and some to just say thanks. And they get to see first hand what their teaching efforts help mold years into the future.

Talk about touching the future…

They clearly touched the future. My friends and leaders!

***** S&E *****

Footnote: I live in a state where it is well known that teachers are underpaid. Where teachers leave the profession as they have issues making it on their salaries. In a state that takes in more than 2.4 billion in lottery revenue — about 30% goes to education. In a state that ranks 37th in education, ranked among all states. OMG!

NYT Briefing…

Here’s a clip from one entry from the briefing from the New York Times, Monday, January 6th:

“Here’s what you need to know”:

I

I believc most USA citizens:

  • Don’t want any more Americans killed in Iran or for that matter the Middle East.
  • Most Americans don’t want another war
  • Most believe we are not wanted in Iran and for that matter the middle Middle East
  • Most believe our efforts to oust terrorists organizations in that area of the world is like pissing in the wind
  • Most believe the religious based wars in that region that have driven hatred and murder is a fact of life
  • Most believe all the money that has been spent in the middle east and lost lives have achieved not much
  • Most believe the oh so “worn out” excuse, “IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY”, used by Washington DC and the Pentagon, for investing people and other assets in the Middle East, is just that, an excuse used to line the pockets of contractors and business who benefit from occupations and wars, and to satiate the warmongers in the Pentagon.
  • Most believe that we have the resources, people talent, and technology to keep our borders and citizenry secure.

My answer, totally remove all people, assets, and military and stop all monies and other forms of investment from being assigned/ spent in the Middle East. Why? Answer the question, what has all that achieved in the last decades?

My answer, if you have a Middle Eastern ID or Passport, USA borders are closed to you until Middle Eastern governments clean up their terrorists mess. They certainly have the money.

Oh, wait, there is always the response we had to get involved to crush international terrorism.

Well, I believe that there would not have been a 911, nor would the Middle East care about us, had we minded our own business in the first place and stayed the hell out of the Middle East. 911 was a response.

If there are no more USA assets in the middle East there will be no more deaths.

I am a veteran, I support our troups. I don’t support our involvement in the Middle East, never have. I believe, most don’t.

Just so readers know that I’m not a nationalist: From a trade standpoint, we should be developing our economy across the globe, notwithstanding.

***** S&E*****