Tuesday, March 31, 2009

True Colors

Well I am surprised at how quickly the Socialist has come out of our new Presidient and the Democratic party. In the job less than 90 days and he is already moving to direct the hiring and firings of private industry, and moving to nationalize the banks.
I wonder how long it will take before he proposes to expand the number of judges on the Surpreme Court so he can have a majority position to allow him to enact his agenda?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Tribute to Jonathan Livingston

Life is an interesting thing. As I go through it I find myself wondering about how it is we are here, and how I can be so blessed. I have a wonderful wife, two children who have reached successful points in their lives and a wonderful, if sometimes loud, granddaughter.

In the 70's there was a nice little book, written by a pilot named Richard Bach. I have always thought of the philosophy captured in it as a basis for my approach to being. It wasn't long, it had lots of pictures, but it set out for me the course my life was to take.

I strive each day to remember Johnathan's advice "you've got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip is nothing more than your thought itself."

I am not the strongest in the flock, nor the swiftest, nor the smartest, but I hold myself to the pursuit of excellence in what I do. I strive to do well in my profession, to lead by example, to have faith in myself, and to be a mentor to those around me.

My hope for all those I love, and those who know me, they find their own vision of life, and pursue with love and understanding their own journey. Be true to yourselves!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Three Letters

As I watched CBS's "Face the Nation" this morning the President's representative was explaining why the President intends to approve this budget, even though it goes against his promise to reduce excessive ear marks. It is interesting how this administration chooses to hold itself to its promises and deal with the crisis of this nation.

I am reminded of an old joke, carried over from the cold war and the similarities are very funny, sad, but very funny. The joke centers on the transition of power from Joseph Stalin, to Nikita Khrushchev, and how to establish and maintain power, without upsetting the apple cart, or as we would say today "affecting real change." The year is 1953 and with the death of Stalin various factions within the Communist party struggle for control. Ultimately Khrushchev emerges as the force within the party and gains control of the Politburo and Kremlin.

It is his first day in power and he is settling into his new office, the office Joseph Stalin had occupied for so many years. He is behind the massive oak desk and trying to get comfortable. He looks in the center drawer in sees an envelop marked "to be opened by the new Premier." He rips opens the envelop to find a hand written letter from Joseph Stalin.

"Comrade Premier;

If you are reading this, congratulations, I have died and you have risen to control of the entire Soviet Union. You will face challenges and of course the evil capitalists will attempt to foil the gains of the worker. Your enemies will bark at your heels and use every attempt to bring you down. I leave you three letters to guide you in the coming years. Use them at the time of crisis to further your ambitions and control the Union. JS. "

Khrushchev tucks the letters away for his time of need and begins shaping the Soviet Union. A year goes by and the wheat crop fails, famine threats the nation and his power base begins to abandon him. He opens the first letter

"Comrade Premier;

At this, the time of your first crisis, tell the people this. You will solve the problems of the state, but they must accept their role and your vision. You will create a new plan, a five year plan to resolve the crisis before you. Use this to consolidate your power and prepare for the worst. Good luck, JS "

A couple of years go by and the state moves to consolidate the crops and the farms under the new five year plan. The state, knowing better than the farmer, what is best attempts to impose "reform" on the farmer. Moving city workers to the farm to improve the harvest, it fails to resolve the famine. As the crisis builds Khrushchev opens the second letter.

"Comrade Premier;

Your five year plan has failed, alas they always do! The people want too much freedom, and the State can not make wise decisions. This is a critical time for you. You must blame your predecessor for all the problems of the State. Blame me for this crisis and promise to bring reform to the State. This will give you time to consolidate your power, use this time wisely, JS "

Of course Khrushchev follows the advice, blaming Stalin for the corruption, the purges, the executions, the internal spying, and all the other real and perceived shortcoming of the State to meet the peoples needs. This carries him through the next several years, until the next great internal crisis erupts. He again goes to the drawer to seek the advise, just as he has done twice

Write three letters!"

I find it interesting the Democrats choice to place all the blame on the Bush administration. Apparently, even though they've controlled Congress they are victims of the Executive Branch domination. Unfortunately, I wouldn't expect the Republicans to be any different. In fact, it is especially galling they do not offer clearly understood options to the people, just vague statements of pseudo fact like "if our plan was implemented we would put twice the number of people back to work for half the cost."
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