The most offensive Tea Party sign ever

The Huffington Post ran a story with some slide shows, showing the most offensive signs at the recent tea parties. As I was looking through the slide show, I found the sign that was the absolute, most offensive one of all. And, if the words on the sign weren’t enough to get you steaming mad, consider the fact that it was put up by our own government!

Anyway, here is the most offensive tea party sign, outlined in green.

The most offensive Tea Party sign
The most offensive Tea Party sign

What’s next, no peeing on the fire plugs? Who’s with me, Pee Parties April 15, 2010! 🙂

Listen to the groundhog

Punxsutawney Phil being yanked from his comfy home by people who can't wait to know the future.
Punxsutawney Phil being yanked from his comfy home by people who can't wait to know the future.
I love Groundhog’s Day. It is a silly holiday that you can just hype up and people giggle at.

When reading a post from Chris Brogan today, along with my Wall Street Journal, The Waterboy and a healthy dose of Morning Joe, I’ve come to a conclusion about this economic mess. The economy prognosticators have it all right. And all wrong.

Here is why Punxsutawney Phil — that famous groundhog — is relevant to what is going on with this economy prognosticators right now and what we can take away from him. If Phil sees his shadow, gets scared and scurries back to his burrow, there are six, long weeks of Winter left. If he doesn’t see his shadow, there are only six weeks left of Winter. Yeah!

We can learn a lot from this annual holiday in Punxsutawney, PA, but accurately predicting the future is not one of them. The “Inner Circle” of Punxsutawney have figured out how to get thousands of people to visit their little town in a very cold part of the country in the dead of Winter and all the news media talking about them for a whole daily news cycle. They created a legend of a groundhog, dress up in top hats, hold this grand ceremony and declare the future of Old Man Winter!

That is all these economy pundits are doing. Nobody knows the future. The quality of the remaining six weeks of winter is not a function of a skittish groundhog or a proclamation made by a fraud in a top hat, but by the decisions you make with that time. Will you hibernate and wait out winter or go out and play with the snowflakes? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

As I mentioned in my comment to Chris Brogan’s post:

My take on all this future stuff, however, is to look at future films of the past — even as recent as the 1980s. Nobody got the 16:9 television. Even when screens were larger, wall-sized, the 4:3 format still reigned.

For the astute reader, you may have seen the mention for the movie The Waterboy in my opening paragraph. At one point in the movie, (toward the end, you have to watch the whole thing) Coach Klein envisions his nemesis Coach Beaulieu with the head of a cute puppy, is no longer scared of him and adopts a new-found self-esteem.

The next time you watch Joe, Pat and all these other prognosticators on television predicting gloom and doom, envision them with the head of a groundhog.

Then, go make your own future. It will happen whether you wait it out or not.

Sarah Palin, please grow up, shut up, go away or learn some English

Sarah Palin (on loan from CNN.com)
Sarah Palin (on loan from CNN.com)

In a CNN.com blog post yesterday, Ms. Palin is quoted as saying:

I would think we all tear up during the national anthem at the beginning of a baseball game, don’t we? That’s an alikeness between Alaskans and New Yorkers.

Sigh. I think she meant to say something like “common bond” or “the bonds that united as as a nation” or even “similarity.” I am beginning to suspect she makes up words as she goes. She reminds me of Damon Wayans’ malaprop character on In Living Color. Malaprop is a big word, so I linked it up, in case Ms. Palin is reading… oh, never mind.

It really is time for the smart guys to be in charge. The beer-drinking buddies, the “Joe the Plumbers” are not the future of this country, they are its past. It is not cool to be dumb. It never was.

In recent decades, we’ve seen the damage one dumb man can do. We’ve also seen the damage a highly provincial man can do. Neither was good for this country as one led to high inflation and a hostage crises and the other led to wars, loss of a moral compass and submission to mob fear.

I’m not sure how many bloggers remained “anonymous” about their feelings on Sarah Palin. That women created a blog wake so deep and fast that if you didn’t attach your name to it, your blog was a waste of time to write or read. There was nothing about anonymity or boredom in that ride.

We’ve had a taste of what a smart Sarah Palin would be like. We call her Tina Fey. And the real thing pales in comparison to the imitation.

Obama planning ahead

I was watching the news yesterday and a journalist said something odd. Paraphrased, it goes like “Obama is running ads in South Carolina, a state so red that it is impossible that he win it for the election.” The implication is that he should not waste his money on ads for people who are not going to vote for him.

But, the HUGE point was missed entirely. Barack Obama is not winning the election; he is winning the presidency. He is not after their vote; he need their hearts and minds.

Barack Obama has learned from the 2000, 2004 elections and the Irag War and probably his own marriage. Winning the war, getting married and winning the election is the easy part. Winning the peace, building a relationship, leading a country made up of people with almost polar viewpoints requires leadership beyond getting elected. Americans in red states may not agree with Obama, but he needs their respect as their president to lead.

Wow. If that doesn’t get you thinking Barack Obama is very much ready to lead, I’m not sure what will convince you.

Countries are not corporations so quit trying to run them like they are

Carly Fiorina‘s comments about neither candidate being able to run a corporation is causing a bunch of flap. We want our elected officials to understand how to balance a checkbook, but I’m not so sure we want them to be able to run a corporation.

A corporation’s only goal is to make profit. It is a “good citizen” because being perceived to be so is profitable, either in innate value or real dollars and cents. That good citizen images makes employees feel good about working there and customers fell good about buying from them. At the end of the day (or the quarter), profit is the only goal of a corporation.

A government’s only goal is the protection of its citizen, from enemies both outside and within. Corporations who strive to increase their profits to the detriment of the government’s citizens is one enemy that a government should be on guard against. A free market, unregulated, will result in the greedy grabbing anything they can and expanding out their reach to the detriment of others. Really, the current mess should come as no shock to anybody who has been paying attention to the human condition for the past several thousand years. Read a book; literature is rife with this stuff.

In a more personal context, I am a really good dog. I walk along the sidewalk, I don’t crap in other people’s yards and don’t jump up on the dinner table, even though it smells really good most of the time. I do this mainly because there are consequences for not. Some of self-imposed, like the desire to be liked and respected. But, if there were no consequences at all for my actions, including losing the respect of my caretakers, I’d be up on the table helping myself to the food, crapping nilly-willy all over the lawns and digging up flower beds. I am a dog; it is my nature.

Running a country is the antithesis of running a corporation. Or, it really should be. If not, it should be strongly considered.

When goods cost so much that you have to invent ways of allowing consumers to purchase them, you have an unsustainable consumer market. The recent housing stuff where buyers needed no money down and were paying below market rates is an example. The market simply ran out of consumers with capital and needed to dig deeper into those who could not afford it. The same goes for the auto industry. When the average car started topping $20,000+ and only had a life of about 7 years, the average person didn’t make that much disposable income. So, the auto lease was invented. And on and on. The formula was not about how much equity you owned in anything, but how much you could pay every month to “use” something that you could convince yourself you owned.

Our economy only exists when people buy stuff, not make it and sell it. When the consumer simply can’t afford to buy stuff, we fold into ourselves like a house of cards. That is what is happening today.

People who own most of own homes and don’t have to move, are happy with the car they have the skills to fix, have some cash in the bank and have their health will do fine over the next few years as this economy corrects itself. Those who don’t will be a strain on the economy as we right ourselves. What we need at the head of government is not someone who knows how to wring profit out of a dollar, but how to protect the citizens from the unfair claims of those who wish to take what is not theirs, both from within and out. And that is not socialism; that is just a simple counter-weight to greed.

We already have Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Warren Buffet and Craig Newmark, among others running the corporations. What we need is someone at the helm of government who is a strong enough will to either entice or force these other strong-willed persons to play fair and nice.

And that is what I think Carly Fiorina was really saying. At least that is what I HOPE she was saying. And it is not a bad thing.