President Obama held a Town Hall meeting in London last week. I just finished listening to it again, to make sure that what I heard the first time I actually did hear. It makes me wonder whether or not he actually gets out and sees what he has done, or rather intellectualizes the outcomes he believes in his head he has accomplished.

He started out by saying that fear and hatred are born in an US vs: THEM mentality, that we have to start thinking of US being everyone and being able to see the other persons side without disliking him for his position. It seems to me that he has been one of the most polarizing Presidents we have ever had. Politics has stagnated on his watch. Eight years of doing little or nothing. Thank God we are not at war. Racism is at a higher level than I have ever experienced in my years on this earth and I lived through the sixties.

When asked what priorities he felt he had started and he would like to see his successor follow up with, he said priority 1 was “Security, and not just the military type, but also in the messages we send.” Really? What did he think Israel felt when he cold shouldered Netanyahu? What did Saudi Arabia and friends feel when he cut the nuclear deal with Iran? What do Americans feel when he openly lied about Bengazi? What did France feel when he left for his golf game in the wake of the Paris Bombings? He must be living in a bubble.

When asked what his legacy is, he said he would look back in ten years to see what it was, but went on to say he was very proud of ACL, saving the world from free falling economies and putting Wall Street reforms in play, the Iran Deal and the Ebola response. He also said he felt he had been true to himself and that what he said in the beginning of his term was essentially the same thing that he is saying today. Really? This from a President with one the lowest approval ratings, one who has continually lied to the people of the United States and the World, one who has polarized government to the point of inactivity, one who has bowed to Foreign Leaders and apologized to them for Americas greatness, I could go on and on.

He is a mesmerizing speaker, to be sure, but so was Hitler, and look what he wrought. I think that now that he is on his farewell tour he will say anything to try to take the stigma from his poor performance. He pleaded with the young people in the audience to avoid listening to people like me. People who criticize his performance. A nation and a world is in turmoil because of him and he wants the young to look past that and look back in ten years at all the good he has done. Really?


Looking Back – Melancholy

1949 Ford Business Coupe

Yesterday, a buddy of mine and our wives, participated in a Show-and-Shine of his 1967 Ford at Kool April Nights in Redding, California. The car belonged to his parents, and he inherited it and has taken care of it ever since. It is a great looking car with a white top and a baby blue bottom. He got a lot of oohs and aahs at the show. As we sat there, in our picnic chairs, I thought back on my High School days.

My first car was a pea green, 1949 Ford Business Coupe, much like the one pictured above. The fenders in the Factory Models had a beaded seam down the top center of the front and rear fenders. The cool thing to do was to grind off the bead, fill in the crevasse and create a smoothe, rounded seamless fender. Took me about three months of effort, but I finally got mine to resemble what you see here. I never was able to amass the money to have the car painted and spiffed, and within the first year I was rear-ended, ruining all my hard work.

I couldn’t afford Moons either, so my nostalgic 1949 Ford was basically a heap, that got me and some buddies back and forth to high school.

There is an interesting side story. My Father and I made a deal, if I would earn the money to buy the car ($425) and keep it maintained, he would pay for the insurance. He made the statement without doing his homework. The insurance was $450 a year, but he kept true to his word, as he always did, and bit the bullet for two years until I joined the Navy.

Looking back.

Weekend Fare – Work is the curse of the blogging class


“Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been 14 days since my last blog.”

I have been wrapped up in a consulting situation that turned out so badly that I had to end my services out of futility. The effort consumed me completely, leaving me no time what-so-ever for the thing I love most, writing. I normally enjoy challenges, but the cards were so heavily stacked against me that I found myself gasping for air. I don’t like failure of any sort and when it happens it is humbling and humiliating.

I have lived long enough to know and understand that into each life some rain must fall, and this wasn’t my first downpour. The problem is that I am the type that beats himself up for weeks when it happens. “Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa”. My wife, on the otherhand, is over everything in 24 hours. We can have a spat one night, and the next morning is “Good morning Hon.” She obviously has the better reaction, I need to try and adopt that attitude. It is definitely time to move on, but I’m still losing sleep.

I know that there has to be failure, it happens to everyone. In order to recognize success, we need to understand failure. This has been cathartic.

A New Breed of Dog

Bud and Ike


We swore off Yorkies, forever, about a year ago. We replaced all the carpets in the house and settled down with our four year old mellow, house trained, sweet Border Collie, Buddy. Life was saccharine for about six months when my wife had a relapse of a disease she has suffered with for 35 plus years now, Yorkitis. It is a serious infection that attacks the heart the minute you find yourself without a Yorkie.

“Can we please get another Yorkie?” “NO.” “Please?” “No.” “Pleeeease?” “no.” “Please?” “Okay if you promise to house train it immediately.” “Okay.”

We picked the little guy up and brought him home to his big brother, Buddy. We named him Ike, short for Eisenhower. Our males have been named for great Generals. We have had Wellington, MacArthur and now Ike. Ike moved in and completely took over the house. My wife went to work immediately house training him, and low and  behold he has not made a single mistake. Knock on wood. The first Yorkie we have owned that is truly house trained.

Ike actually thinks that Buddy is his brother. They get along famously. They play hard together, fight eachother, run all over the place together, they are nearly inseperable. Buddy has taught Ike everything he knows, giving Ike a four year jump on the lessons of life. Sixty pound Buddy, likes to play tug of war with six pound Ike. Ike digs in and pulls with all his might, seriously thinking he has some skin in the game, and Buddy merely raises up his head and breaks Ike’s traction. As soon as Buddy lets Ike back down, he digs in again.

We have no idea what we have created in this little guy. Is he a Yorder Collie? Is he a Borkie? Maybe a Borkshire Terrier? He runs like a Border, tracks like a Border, herds like a Border, but sure as hell doesn’t look like a Border. What hath we wrought.

Dollar a Year Men

Michael BloombergJFKFDR3

Some of the great leaders of my time were “Dollar a year men”. FDR, a democrat, and one of my childhood heros was a Dollar a year man who tried to get all of his buddies in business and government to become dollar a year men. JFK, a democrat, was never in it for the money. Nobody, except possibly his family owned him, he was his own man. I admired him greatly. Michael Bloomberg, an independent, although I don’t know much about him, purportedly did a lot of good for New York, and was his own man as well.

We have another man coming along who is his own man, owing nothing to anyone, who has a chance to follow in the footsteps of FDR, JFK and Bloomberg. We have a another man that has the capability to stand alone, to face the insiders and make a difference. There is a chance that actual change can come about based on the notion that freedom of ties that bind allows transformation to occur. This is not an ad for Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Presidency, it is an offer of thought to understand where “change” comes from.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”, FDR told us as we entered into WWII, dragging America from isolationism and giving us the spirit and the will to fight for freedom and the American dream.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” JFK admonished us as he fought to make America great again and bring real change to how we feel about ourselves.

“No place epitomizes the American experience and the American spirit more than New York City.” Bloomberg said harkening back to the World Trade Center disaster and spurring New Yorkers to a better place.

Change arises out of independence not indebitedness.