Just a few quick thoughts as work is killing my free time worse now then ever. First off sports. My lowly Lions are on track for a perfect season. They initiated a good move by finally getting rid of Millen after Bill Ford Jr. whined in the press, now if only we could get the Ford’s to dump the team (the current Big 3 crisis may help that… more on that later). Detroit is now on track to be the seventh team with a perfect losing season! ‘42 Detroit Lions, ’43St. Louis Cardinals, ‘44 Pittsburg Steelers, ’60 Dallas Cowboys, and ’76 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all in the history books with perfect losses, it seems Detroit is shooting for its second entry here. University of Alabama Crimson Tide has rolled through the SEC and is still undefeated with this week off and next week going up against in-state rival Auburn Tigers. This will be a classic match up and despite Alabama’s record and standing this game is NOT a lock, it will be ugly and worth watching for any football fan. Officiating has been taking a hit lately and I must admit the length of the seasons of all sports is getting too much. Shorten the seasons so we can adjust from one sport to the next, please. Do we need all these pro sprots going on at the same time? Wouldn’t sports get more attention if each focused its season with just its own teams going on and not other sports to compete with?
This bail-out of the auto industry is insane. As a person who grew up in Detroit in the early 1970’s I fully remember all the tactics and things the unions did back then, well now its payback time. GM has to pay 6 retires 75% and up of their adjusted pay for every current worker they employ today. GM has to pay $76/hour of productivity due to pensions and union contracts. The organizations are running business models and practices that CAN NOT sustain! Its time for a market correction. Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Mercedes all operate profitable manufacturing plants here in the US, so why can’t the American car companies? Unions! GM, Ford, and Chrysler need to file for bankruptcy, Chapter 11, and let an impartial judge re-organize the business and direct its return to profitability. Our financial situation is still not clear. The housing credit melt down is just the tip of the ice burg, business real estate, credit cards, and others are around the corner. We have 16 year high unemployment, tax dollars flooding the system that is not doing much good, bailed out firms still having money wasting practices going on, and now the domestic auto industry begging for $25 billion more when GM alone is burning through hundreds of millions each month due to pensions and overhead costs that are killing the company. The reward for doing good business is survival, ask any small business owner. It is better for the big 3 to lay off 30% of their workers now and cut benefits now then to go away and have everyone lose everything in 6 months, the proposed time the bail-out money will realistically last.
The financial crisis is beginning to look much worse then first reported with many beginning to look closely to the events in the 1930’s. One thing we all need to look at close and hard. To get through this will be painful but necessary. Government, business, and people will need to make sacrifices to survive. Those who make it through will be much better off and lessons learned will make them stronger and wiser for it. Businesses that survive will be efficient and well managed, those that aren’t will get mentioned in the history books. All the spending and promises during the presidential campaign will need to be shelved, or else the massive national debt we saw in the 1970’s will return and our economy will be hamstrung and the future of our children and grandchildren will be sealed with our debts. Fiscal conservatism needs to return and return big. Cut all spending, ALL of it. McCain may have been right that we need a hatched now instead of a scalpel. Cuts need to be made in military spending, education, healthcare, and federal social services, yes cuts. Remember I said this will be painful. We need to reward efficiency and squash excess. If the Social Security offices can run with 250 workers instead of 300, well we need to cut those jobs. Automate as much as possible, instead of handing people money for food tell them to grow their own. Sure there will be more unemployment and possibly more need for some assistance but keeping the status quo around to continue the failed ways of work we had a year ago is not change, or a way to fix Washington mentality. We used to be a nation of farmers, just because 50% of our population is living in cities does not mean we lost our self reliance. People can grow tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, beans, corn, etc. Have the governments allow people to farm empty lots, grass lands, and municipal lands. Maximize our resources with hard work and positive efforts not handouts and entitlement mentalities and lazy stupidity. Get people fishing, farming, and looking after themselves instead of sitting on the couch and complaining and checking the mailbox every day for a new check. Remember Dependence leads to Bondage and is the last stage of a Democracy before it eats itself.
Half the general practitioner doctors in our country want to quite! This is the result of HMO’s, malpractice insurance premiums, and clients who pass on their frustrations or attitudes on during their visits. Doctors usually do not go into medicine to become rich, a few do, but most are in it to help people or society, hence the Hippocratic Oath. Our current environment has burned them out and made it so that nearly half an industry is dissatisfied with their work and quality of work environment. Throwing money into a universal healthcare system will not cure burnout or ill will feelings towards their working conditions. Throwing money at them will not change the reasons for their dissatisfaction, only retain the greedy ones who still harbor feelings of dissatisfaction and willing to take compensation to deal with it. No, this issue is a symptom of a failing system, just like the auto industry the current system can not sustain or function in a “business as usual” environment.
Finally, pirates and politics. Global shippers are now facing a monster of their own design. Paying off pirates is rewarding them for illegal activities and ensures these will continue and escalate further. Somali pirates have gotten more ambitious and will continue to do so. The money is good, there is pride to taking on the world and winning, and the rewards and lifestyle are far better then the alternative. If companies continue to pay ransoms for ships and cargo, just use stop gap measures as putting armed guards on ships, or rely on navies to protect them, well the problem will get worse. Our current problem with piracy is one of their making and unfortunately the cost will be transferred to us the consumer. Shipping insurance rates are skyrocketing, longer delivery dates are now necessary for those loads to by-pass the region, and shipping companies are shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars every year to reward the taking of ships. The problem is political and economic. Political in that there is no security in the region to allow business to thrive. Economic in that there are no jobs to give these men an honest way to earn a living and provide for their families. This is why things like this happen, same reasons Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, and others have falling into the grips of corruption, extremism, and poverty.
I remember stating that no matter who won the election the militant Islamic extremists would condemn them vow to crush them just as they did Bush. All my lefty friends called me crazy on this after Obama’s victory and hailed in a new era of change and unity, repairing America’s image abroad. Well, it ain’t going to happen as easy as that. Al Qadea’s number 2, Ayman Zawahiri, started condemning the Obama administration, its policies, and personally attacked his race and character all before the man takes office!!! I told you people this and you did not believe me!?! I was sent to US Navy schools to learn about terrorists and extremists and how to combat them so I know how they operate and where they come from. Their strength is their hatred for all things American. They want us, and Israel gone, forever, off the face of the planet, period. They don’t want us to go away, they want us dead, preferably in some graphically horrific way to show those who oppose them or questions them. The video already links Obama to Israel, presses him for a tasteless attack on his race, and tries to link his plans to those of Bush. Well, you can’t negotiate with these people and they believe in their cause just as much as the liberals believe in Marxism and Socialism. This new administration will have to learn the hard way there is no good way to deal with them. I hope they just continue to attack us on their lands and don’t bring the fight here to our shores again, like I believe they will in the next year. No, our enemies could care less who our leader is, the ideals and principles of America are what they hate and want to see destroyed. Closing Guantanamo Bay and leaving Iraq will not placate them one bit, as evidenced by the latest video release and words from their leaders. Bush was right when it said it was an ideological war, we just have to decide if we want to win it or take the alternative as to those extremists there is no other reality.