DrMyers’s Blog

November 25, 2008

I Beg Your Pardon: Mainstreet?

Yesterday, I was re-acquainted with the “convenience” of living in a smaller community or as some have coined it…main street.  After being apart of the military, and living in Los Angeles, coming back to a quaint community can in itself be a culture shock.  During the weekend we received word of an old friend of mine, who had moved to California, had gotten into a bind.  His mother had recently been diagnosed with some medical problems, and with the normal reaction of most…he wanted to come home!  Due to the downturn in the economy, he had not found adequate work, so he did not have the disposable income to just dash thousands of miles.  To those who were his friends at home, they too wanted to see him come to the aid of his mother, but like he was in California, things did not look good on the home front and there was no way to get him home.  So with a common goal of getting this friend home, people chipped in five dollars here and ten dollars there, until the amount needed was reached, and he is on a bus now headed home to be with his mother.  This was a perfect example of the social contract that we all share with each other, being upheld and carried out.  Something that had not been displayed on Wall Street.

With all of the talk about “Wall Street” and “Main Street”, one would wonder if these are just terms of endearment, or terms that define real, tangible people and places.  Perhaps I can explain.  There is a distinct difference between Wall Street (which is a physical place), and Main Street (Which is a term that has been used to describe a broader element of America).

Wall Street, the first permanent home of the Stock Exchange, is a street in lower Manhattan, NY, that runs East from Broadway.  Its’ name was derived from the fact that in the 17th century,  Wall Street was actually the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement.  The NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, NYMEX, and NYBOT all call this street home.  When referring to “Wall Street”, the term is usually used to describe those working in this financial district.  So, when watching television, and hearing reporter after reporter talk about bailing out “Wall Street”, they really mean the people who work and are effected by those within some corporations and/or institution, that have some dealing with the financial district on this Street.  We know which businesses and institutions are represented on this street, and by who.  

This is one of the only streets in America, who’s dealings effect the actions and trade on every Main Street across this nation.  Mainstreet is the metonym for a generic street name (and often the official name) of the primary retail street of a village or town in many parts of the world. It is usually a focal point for shops and retailers in the central business district, and is most often used in reference to retailing and socialising.  This term is very vague, and can basically be described as every street but Wall Street.

What is even more vague, is the distinct plan that has been promised by politicians in Washington to save Main Street.  Main Street, for some reason, has been on the lips of speakers at every news conference since September.  Paulson has now said that all of the programs initiated by the government, is to support lending, which has been down and is important to the survival of this economy.  A pair of plans that equal up to $800 billion dollars has been introduced to do just that.  This money will help unfreeze the market for consumer debt which Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is stressing again to be a vital part of this economy.

Here is my question?  We are basing the success of our economy, on lending, to people who have nothing, and can only offer a promise, based on the future which now looks bleak.  Not actual cold cash, but a “Promise”.  Lets not forget that on every dollar that we have, there are two words that simply state that its “legal tender”, and it’s also a “Promissory Note”.  To say the least, some answers should be given, and given quickly on how Wall Street got Main Street in the mess altogether.

This time during the political transition, we will also begin to hear a great deal about Pardons by the exiting President.  A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the penalty associated with it.  Ford pardoned Nixon, and Johnson Pardoned the Confederacy.  However, I do not believe that it is the wish or desire for Main street to pardon Wall Street.   A debt to Main street is now owed, and can not be pardoned until it is repaid!

November 24, 2008

Another Day, Another Dollar…Maybe!

An apartment filled with college students made for a sentimental scene last night.  None of them having a lot of money, all chipped in, and made a meal together.  With term papers being written in one corner, while the game Halo was being played in the other, seeing the camaraderie was simply amazing.  In the kitchen, the “master chef” was making sure the enchiladas were being prepared with the utmost care, for some it was their last dime going into that meal, and he was not going to screw it up.  Outside, a girl expresses her hate for hot dogs.  When questioned about her hatred for the American classic snack, she informed the group of her upbringing, and after being poor, only having that to eat, she detests the food altogether.  A young friend dropped by, which they expected, and his hunger was not ignored.  Last night, I was invited to a meal made from love, made by young people, made from the last some of them had, made to be shared with everyone.  

If you think that the economic downfall has effected only Wall Street, which is all that we hear about on T.V., then you have not even thought about the young professionals, gearing up to hopefully start their careers.  School loans are not paying for enough, more students are working full-time while going to school full time, many students are not returning for the next semester, and the holidays are not looking good for retailers.

Some news you might not have been expecting, will be effecting those young professionals, who’s profession in good times is not always consistent.  The “glamorous” SAG Members  in Los Angeles, may be on the brink of a strike.  “We will now launch a full-scale education campaign in support of a strike-authorization referendum,” SAG said.  If with 75% support from its members, more young and old people who “were” working, will be on strike…and not working.  Someone must ask, where does it stop?

That’s not it!  Hollywood is being impacted in another way as well at the Weinstein Company.  The Weinstein Company is an independent American Film Company founded by Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 2005 after the pair left Miromax Films, which they had co-founded in 1979.  The Weinstein Co. has announced that they are laying off 11% of its staff.  This is not a sign of good things to come for Tinsel Town.  With the homeless on the street growing and visible, many young entertainment professionals are leaving Tinsel Town for Main Street, while others are literally living on the street.

With the Holidays approaching, most young professionals usually pick up seasonal work, that is needed by retailers due to an increase of sales for Christmas.  U.S. sales of apparel, shoes and appliances fell dramatically in the first two weeks of November, as consumers worried about a recession and job losses further cut spending, MasterCard Advisers said in a report.  Not only that, Analysts are predicting the worst holiday sales season in two decades.  As a result, many seasonal jobs have been cut, and are not needed.  Again, the young professional is forced to fall back upon his or her parents, a last resort for some and not a resort for others.

While entering this week of Thanksgiving, I have a feeling that America will be forced to focus on the things in life we have always taken for granted.  Good health for some, family for others, and the gratitude to live in a country, that is not limited by this financial crisis, but gives hope that we can someway pull ourselves out of this situation, and create better opportunities for the future generations.  Lets hope that during future times of Thanksgiving, we will not forget this time we spent together during this crises, and not look at it as just another day off, but look at it with the same appreciation for the little things, that money cannot take a way or replace!

November 21, 2008

Guys & Dolls or Freddie & Fannie: A Captive Audience

Last night at the Palace Theatre, located in Corsicana, Texas, I decided to treat myself to a show.  Remembering that this was “Community Theatre”, I paid my cash for a balcony seat, and got ready to enjoy the production.  For anyone who’s ever seen “Community Theatre” knows that there is no such thing as a bad show, you can have a great time no matter what.  Although ready for the fumbled lines, misinterpreted script, or green actor, last night was a pleasantly different experience.  I truly enjoyed the show, just as the people sitting around me.   Last night, the players at the palace theatre had a good show.  What is a good show?  A good show is the ability a theatre company has in keeping an audience engaged, and keeping an audience captivated by what appears spontaneous action on stage. 

I believe that it would be safe to say that since September 2008, Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae’s opening act to “Bail Out Blues” has kept the American People both captive and engaged.  We’ve seen the American People oohhed and awwed by, debates halted and the first draft failing, with special appearances by Ford, GM, and Chrysler.  Secretary Paulson has played a relatively good lead in this production while I believe the most entertaining of them all are the home grown actors:  Congress!  Maxine Waters put her best foot forward, and Barney Frank has been nominated from my understanding as Best Supporting Actor in a financial crises.

The problem is, the American People, numb from the spirited campaigns, do watch CNN and Fox News with anticipation as if it were a production.  Sadly, Capital Hill is producing.  With meeting after meeting, and no relief to be in sight, the American People I am sure would rather enjoy an ending at this point, rather or not if it is happy or sad.  

Yesterday, some good news did come from the original players.  Mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are suspending foreclosures for about 16,000 households during the holiday season.  In case you were not aware of what these companies actually do, they buy mortgages on the secondary market, pool them, and sell them as mortgage backed-securities to investors on the open market.  As of September 7th, Both players were seized by the American Government, and with their CEO’s tossed out, the institutions are now run by the Government.  

The fall of these companies, aided Washington in its ability to tell the difference between Main Street and Wall Street.  Everyone on Main Street was screaming for a “Bail Out” long before Wall Street took notice.  Now understanding the relationship between the two, lawmakers are acting as if they are fighting for “Main Street” again, when they should have been fighting for Main Street in the first place.  

Main Street, as we’ve learned, not only effects Wall Street.   Japan’s stock market plunged 4 percent Tuesday, its biggest one-day loss in two years, and even with precautions, the uncertainty of “Main Street”, shows the uncertainty of the stability in markets all over the globe.  

Who knows, this production could be only a shortlived hit, and one of those award winning shows no one ever remembers;  but at this time, we are not sure if the Inauguration will be our lead into intermission, or the closing of a very “Mind & Money” stimulating all star production.

November 20, 2008

Bailout: Chrysler, Paulson or Cheney? Is this just the beginning?

This week several people have sat before Congress, requesting Bail.  Rep Michael Capuano stated that, “He’s not sure that he trusts them” as he was speaking to the Big 3 auto makers, while Rep. Maxine Waters stated, “I am highly disappointed in you”, when addressing Secretary Paulson, and his “Divorcement” from his original plan in dispersing 350 billion dollars (our money) which was sold to Congress as monies needed to buy up “Toxic Assets”, but this did not happen.  

Everyday I watch Richard Sanchez on CNN, and religiously I see him crafting questions and thoughts based upon the input from people on facebook, myspace and twitter (the latter I’m still trying to figure out!).  Following his lead, I went to the local watering hole and listened to the the “Talk of the Town” regarding national matters.  No one believed that Ford, Chrysler, or GM deserved to be bailed out.  Everyone was pretty well informed that if we do not bail them out now, allowing these companies to go bankrupt and having their books closely examined might be a good thing not only for the companies but also for the consumers.  The tone of “Who’s going to bail me out” rang through as they inquired about the qualification of Secretary Paulson.  I informed them that he worked for Goldman Sachs, and Paulson’s actions was not so different from the way he operated in Goldman Sachs.   As most individual investments of hedge funds (which were handled by his company) are not made public, one can see the pattern created and executed in the way he is not so “in-depth” about his actions and thinking, making most decisions appear sporadic and or misleading.

Listening closely to the conversations, everyone was talking about another matter that has just been hinted on Television.  “Is this just the beginning?” many patrons asked?  Will other companies that heavily impact our lives start rising up and asking for “Bail”?  Will, for instance, GE come before congress and ask help or will the local banks start publishing in the papers that they too are bankrupt?  Burying money was suggested as a solution last night, while one patron joked about investing $1000 into GM first thing in the morning.  One older gentlemen brought up a very interesting point,” Who else from this administration will also be needing bail, but in a different sense?”.

Yesterday,  A Texas judge set the arraignment day for Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others named in indictments, accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a federal detention center.  This Friday, they will not be arrested or anything like that, but they will be arraigned by Judge Manuel Banales.  Cheney has been accused of  “a conflict of interest” because of his influence over the county’s federal immigrant detention center and his substantial holdings in the Vanguard Group, which invests in private prison companies.  The Vanguard Group is a United States Investment Management Company that manages approximately $1.3 trillion in assets.  This “Conflict of Interests”, is just one of many conflict of interests held by many people in the Bush Administration, that has caused either the resignation of, or the non-confirmation of many people tied to or within his political associations.  

“Who will be next?” was the most common question asked of me last night, and I was frankly stumped.  Will we be waiting in January to see the President Elect take office and make history, or will we be waiting to see President Bush along with his administration step down, and perhaps step into the courtroom?  Surely, no other president since Andrew Johnson, who was reported drunk at the inauguration, or Aaron Burr who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, has received so much attention from “Judges and Juries”.  

To say the least, the term “Bail” whether dealing with monies or misdemeanor , does not bode well with the American Public.  The term that seems to resonate with the American people is conviction.  Conviction can be used two separate ways.  The first term of conviction refers to a strongly held belief that is arrived at after considering personal experiences and any external inputs that may have been encountered.  For an example:  It is the Conviction of the American People, that they deserve elected officials who represent their interests, honestly and honorably.  This is a conviction, that seems to have been overlooked by many elected officials not only on Boards and Committees in Washington, but also on Chambers and Councils in Municipal Governments.  Using the term conviction within the parameters of the law refers to a finding that a defendant is guilty of committing a crime.  For an example:   Congress has impeached a sitting Cabinet member before; William Belknap, Ulysses S Grant’s Secretary of War, was impeached in a unanimous vote by the House in 1876 for bribery, but the Senate fell just short of the votes necessary to convict him. 

No matter what, Bail has and will always ring one bell in the American mind, and that bell is money.  Now, if we can only make sure that Congress sets some of the “Bail-out” money aside.  Chrysler might not be the only one who needs it, Cheney, Stevens and Gonzales might need a “Get out of Jail Free” card, and my pockets will be empty when we receive that call at 3am in the morning!

November 19, 2008

House Negro: United We Stand!

Coming from the south, and also being an African-American, my vernacular is usually detected any, and everywhere I go.  East Texans have a “Bite” to their dialect that can not be duplicated anywhere else, but can be detected in any room or in any crowd.  Aint, Ya’ll, Fixin’ to’, sho’nuff, can be the preface to any question you’d like to ask in the American language, yes we southerners have our own way of speaking and talking.  Because of this, their are terms used in the south that have negatively branded the way we think of the people who reside below the Mason-Dixon line.  

Interracial couples are careful when traveling together through the southern states at night.  Due to the history of words stated by some of it’s inhabitants followed by action, some blacks are frightened to sojourn alone through this beautiful part of the country.  That’s right, here, in the 21st century, some have fear of the mindsets held by citizens in which they share a social contract.  Nigger & Coon are two words that can also preface many sentences you might here down south, that still brings my heart to a standstill.  See, I was first called a nigger when I was nine years old as I walked to school.  At 25, me hearing the chilling stories of my 95 year old grandfather, as tears come down his cheeks explaing about a friend of his who was beat to death just for being accused of looking at a white-woman.  My first girlfriend was white, and we broke up in the fifth grade, because her mother did not know I was black, and when she found out, my girlfriend was in a world of trouble.  When a good friend of my decided to date a black guy, notes of folly were passed around the class calling her a “Nigger Lover”, and today I live in Navarro County, a County that in its dark history had a black man Burned at the Stake while thousands of people watched.  America does not have a flawless past, and even in its present existence, there’s a tone of work that needs to be done.  

However, on November 5th, America woke up to a fact that could not be denied.  A black male, of African-decent, who in times past might have been discriminated against or even abused, had been elected to represent the voices of millions who live in this country.  A peaceful transfer of power, Barack Obama represented a tangible dream held by Dr. King, and a hopeful future to all the children born on Nov. 5th.  For the children born on that date, would have been born to never know America’s highest office to be held by one race only.  Yes We Can!, shouted so many people, of different races, of different ages, in different countries, America inspired the world once again, like it had so many times before.  

Today, Wednesday November 19th, a statement was made that sent a signal to all of America.  This statement did not concern the pirates both off of the coasts of Somalia and in the Halls of Congress, but this statement, drew from a southern vernacular, and attempted to formulate a picture of our President, using some paint from our past.  A senior member of Al-Queda stated that not only Our President, but other black elected officials were nothing but House Slaves (Negro’s).  

To those who thought that Al-Queda was dead and or in non existence, this is a perfect example of the lengths they would go to, in getting our attention and the attention of the world.  This statement, although disgracing and vile, can be rebutted only in one way.  For the American People, to stand united, and say Yes We Can!, by no longer tolerating Hate/Ignorance by our peers.  To all of those people who did not vote for Obama because he we was “Muslim” or as I like to call it “Negro”, and to all of those people who were afraid that he was “new and not experienced” or as I like to call it “Negro”, lets band together truly as one nation, and stand behind our President Elect.  

The only way that the statements from Al-Queda will not be true is if we all become house Negros!  Let me tell you what a house negro is.  This term was used to differentiate between the slaves who worked primarily in the fields and those who worked primarily in the house.  The slaves who worked in the “Big House”, worked closely with the slave owners, and either cared for/nursed the kids, cared for the owners in time of sickness, at times holding sexual relationships with the owners, and even being educated at the owners discretion.  The point is, this person was a slave or servant, and regardless of the opportunities given, often times the hatred for his/her owner was suppressed, and his/her duties were carried out.  

I believe if we here in America, stand together, and adopt the servants heart, these statements will not only carry no weight, but will definitely show that our past is behind us, and our future looks more grand than ever.  United We Stand, as servants to one another, pledging our duty to aiding in the well being of our neighbors, our selves, and our nation.  This is our creed, of being a country as good as its promise, and holding true to its word.

November 18, 2008

In The Hot Seat: Say It Aint So Joe…Lieberman

Two Doors Down Coffee House, is a small, quaint coffee house in Corsicana, Texas.  This small country community, only has about 30,000 people buzzing around on the streets, but this establishment has added life, hope, and a sense of home to all the artistic, unique, old & young…this place does not discriminate, but it loves & welcomes all.  Yesterday, as I checked my email, an older gentleman who I’ve known for a few months, walked in and was glad to see I had come back to town.  “If you had not of gone to Florida, my guy would’ve won”, he said as the patrons all broke into laughter.  Texans, will be Texans, and lets face it, Obama did not win Texas!  No one was upset, no one was offended, at the coffee house, my involvement within this election was appreciated by both sides.  At the coffee shop, we got a good laugh and took it all in stride.

Today on the Hill, there was no laughing matter.  “To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement Friday.  When Joe Lieberman dawned the steps of the capital this morning, he new he was going to the Hot Seat.

Before we examine the outcome, lets take a look at the track record of Sen. Leiberman.  Sen. Leiberman assumed office January 3, 1989.  It is very, very safe to say that Sen. Leiberman had pleased his constiuents back in Connecticut.  Lieberman made history by winning the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes.  A “Maverick” in his own right, he was one of the first Democrats on the Hill to address President Clinton’s involvement with Monica Lewinsky.   So respected, Lieberman accepted the offer coveted by many but attained by few, the VP Spot on the 2000 Democratic Ticket.  After the loss, he became chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, again a key spot of trust and responsibility within the Democratic Party.  In 2004 he scored 88 out of 100 by the Human Rights Campaign, but lost 5 out of 5 primaries, and ended his bid for the White house.

Something happened in 2006 that shocked everyone.  After loosing the primaries in his state, he ran as an Independent despite advice from Howard Dean, and Hillary’s support for the Party Primary Winner.  Joe worked his magic, and won his old seat, pledging to sit as a Democrat in the Senate.  And sat he did, he played along just fine with everyone.  The dust had just began to settle, more attention was being focused on another hard fought senate seat by a young up and comer, the Democratic Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama.  Ten months and seven days after Barack Obama threw his hat in the ring for President, Joe Lieberman decided it was time to endorse.  And what was thought to be, another hard fought endorsement between several Democratic Contestors, the endorsement went to another man who had previously fought hard to win a bid for the White House as well…John McCain.

Shocked, bewildered, confused, and frankly astonished at his actions, time could not stop nor did he take it back.  The months began to fly by, and as Hillary debated Barack, John McCain sowed up the nomination for the Republican Party with his now “Good Friend”, Joe Lieberman by his side.  What was amazing, is the number of people who were just entering the political process for the first time, who would email me confused at why Democrats would be upset with Joe, “he just moved from being a Republican to being an Independent right?”.  “Say it Aint So Joe…Lieberman” would be the response from the person realizing that we had a rogue Democrat on our hands, and traveling on the Straight Talk Express, Joe was preaching the Gospel of Reform, and Country First.  If you think back hard enough, I think most Americans were more surprised that John McCain did not choose Joe Lieberman for VP pick, rather than why he chose Sarah Palin.  To be honest, the shock for both are equal.  Nonetheless, Joe made his bed and took a long nap in it.  

On November 4th, when the count was in, most constituents surely thought Joe was out, and that was it.  But Say It Aint So Joe…Lieberman, he worked that magic once again but it didn’t work.  For once, there was nothing he could do to justify the neglect of his faithfulness to his pledge and promise to the Democrats in the party.  Blazing away, his seat was awaiting for him this morning, and only the “God’s” could tell what could happen.  Friday, one Senator commented that keeping Joe in his seat was not the change we could believe in, and if this was “Business as Usual”, Joe would would probably be taking up plumbing for a trade, and leaving the politicking to more loyal servants.  

Something amazing happened today on the Hill, and I believe it speaks volumes over all the rhetoric you hear, and the assumptions we make about the filth in politics.  Since November 4th, this country has started practicing a principle that I thought was forgotten…the principle of ONE!  One Nation, Indivisible, not divided, no holding grudges, moving on, working together, looking forward not backward.  It’s becoming more of an atmosphere of “We” the people, not just the people working independently.  Yesterday rivals sat down and met, today Joe Lieberman retained a key spot within the party, and tomorrow the news will report that although not always pleased or happy with each other, United we continue to stand.

Frankly, as a Democrat my self, I am quite astonished that the hot seat didn’t incinerate the Senator:  Say It Aint So Joe…Lieberman.

November 17, 2008

So a Donkey and an Elephant have a meeting…

“News as Usual” one of the patrons at a restaurant replied to me this morning after I asked what good was in the paper.  About once a year, California decides to try itself by fire (and we do keep in prayer those who are being negatively effected by the fires), problems are being hashed out in the Op-Eds across America, and of course Thanksgiving is sliding more and more into obscurity as Christmas pops its head out a few weeks earlier than last year. 

Yes, this was a relatively “normal” Monday Morning, but something out of the usual happened.  The President Elect and the Arizona Senator, once competitors for the Executive Office, met this morning in Chicago.  Why, you may ask?  As expressed by the President Elect, “just gonna have a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country. And also to offer thanks to Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he’s already rendered.”  This is again, a true representation of what our troops have fought for, a democracy where we can have peaceful transfer of power.  Whereas a month ago, these men were holding rallies opposing each others views, today they sat down, and by putting country first they believe that while facing all the problems here in America, with the spirit of “Yes we can!” we Will make a difference.

While admiring the meeting between this Donkey and Elephant, what are these peculiar animals going to do in their respective cages across America.  The Democratic Party readjusting after being the underdog for the last 8 years is now in a position to pass some serious agenda, while the Republican Party is looking for a new captain for the ship that lost seats in the house, senate and the executive office.

I believe now would be a good time for both parties to re-evaluate their messages, to be in tune now with a much more vocal America.  With relatively low voter activity in the past, both parties spoke for the voices they could hear, which was not a majority of America.  As we could see during this election, the Democratic Party had an advantage to connect with the American voter as an option to what has currently been in power, while the Republican Party took for granted their old strongholds and sounded an old battle cry that did not move their party to victory.  One may wonder, how Bob Barr or Ralph Nader did not end up in the Executive Office with the last two options make apparent mistakes over and over again.

Whatever happened to the Whig Party?  The answer to that question, could also be the untimely result of both parties in four to eight years.  If over the next 2 years, Democrats can’t pass legislation that speaks to the needs of people in the middle, and not the far left, while the Republicans are left with the task of re-creating its message that does not appear racist, too conservative, and not entirely based upon abortion, the parties will lose their ability to maintain a national coalition of effective state parties, which will ultimately result in the end and renaming of America’s new initiative being a new party.

With so much riding on the line, how will the American People articulate their wants and needs effectively to the respective parties?  Will the American People stay informed and involved long enough, to force the parties to re-evaluate and appropriately adjust?  

These answers lie in the hands of an elected position often forgotten about.  The Political Party’s County Chairs.  These “locals” hold the power in ensuring that the motivation injected and the foundation laid by both parties during the course of the recent campaign will not lie dormant four more years.  It will be the responsibilities of these County Elected Officials, who may have never been to Washington, or agree with their own party’s in Washington, that will keep everything tame, quiet, and “business as usual” or they will use this opportunity to educate, empower, and evaluate the elected officials sent to represent their counties.  

No matter what, Donkeys can be stubborn, and Elephants never forget, but it seems that if Americans want true results and answers, they’ll have to take a trip to the zoo!

November 16, 2008

Which Big Three Should We Save?

This week, I had the pleasure to be back in Texas, after spending the best three months of my life.  I had the pleasure to work in Fort, Myers Florida, with the Obama campaign.  It was indeed, an honor to serve them and to serve our President-Elect.  Whereas, many organizations aided and supported us in reaching our goal, no one supported us more the Ray Troy and the DEC.  Around the state we heard of stories about the DEC and how they supported the other offices (all was good), but Lee County is fortunate to have a great foundation set and to build upon.  My only advice to this organization is…don’t mess it up!

Speaking of support, this week we’ve heard quite a bit about the bail-out.  Hundreds of billions of dollars were requested by the reserve, and was granted, to save the failing banks due to unpaid mortgages (which I learned harshly effected Lee County Florida) and mismanagement of funds.  

Then on Television, we heard Secretary Paulson state that he would not apologize for changing the way he would use the funds that were grated to him straight from the pockets of the American People.  Although shocking, we were not surprised.  It appears that those people living on Main street, have not put much stock on the promises stated by the American government.  

Now, as I watch “Meet the Press”, I see that the Big Three wants to be aided and bailed out.  In case you did not know, the Big Three consists of:  GM, Ford and Chrysler (Which wants to be saved a second time).  Mind you, the Big 3 aren’t the only people seeking aid and help.  Millions of Americans are also crying out to their government for help, and to be “Bailed Out”, but for some reason their voices don’t posses the same lung power as Ford!  

The argument in Favor in helping the Auto Industry (which makes good sense, but can definitely be tested) is that the government has bailed out the Airline Industry when it was in bad shape.  I must state that comparing the Big 3 and the Airline industry is like comparing apples to grapefruit!  While other automakers were creating more economy friendly cars ( take a look at Toyota), Expeditions and Hummers still rolled off the assembly lines.  I must ask in “Main street” vernacular, what moron makes a Suburban when gas is over four dollars a gallon?  GM, and now, because of their poor management, dozens of retired workers depending on their pensions, are looking perhaps at the pension checks for the last time.

Perhaps, for this generation, we have never seen a business that seems pretty common, go out of business.  But I must ask, when was the last time you bought a Packard?  You may wonder, what the hell is a Packard?  Well, Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit Michigan and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South-Bend, Indiana. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899 and the last in 1958.  Different styles were attempted to save this line of “Luxury Cars”, but eventually, it too came to an end.  Were people negatively by their downfall?  Yes!  Did people get other jobs?  Yes!  If the management teams, and the strategic think tanks had been more proactive and good at their jobs would the Packard still be on the market?  Yes!  

What am I getting at?  The Big 3 that we should focus on is Main street.  Main street is also made of three components.  Seniors, Working Class, and Students.  A majority of people who fall into these categories, do not make much, but just enough (that was up to about a month ago).  If we can get Main street bailed out, America will be just fine, and the BIg 3 in Detroit will be more than just fine…they will stay in business!

I say, if the auto-industry is saved, it would be a good thing only for the people who did their jobs well, and are now depending on a company that they retired from after 30 years of work, for food and shelter.  And, if the American Government decides to “Bail-Out” the big three, every CEO of the Big 3 Corporations, should be fired immediately!

Hey Washington, Bail out Mainstreet, and I bet America would be a lot better!

November 14, 2008

Where There’s Bail, There’s A Crime!

Every day a journey is started across this great country we call America.  Cars are loaded with suite cases and personal valuables, packed to equip dream seekers in making those dreams a reality.  With degrees in hand, degrees in mind, or street knowledge ready to be recalled, Americans leave their comfort zones moving to cities they’ve never visited, investing their beings into making the American Dream a reality.  Despite the failing economy of the last eight years, people have stilled embraced the concept that in America, dreams can come true because we support a government that is emplace to empower and advance its people if they hold true to three values:  Work, Save, Spend Wisely.

While Dream seekers daily get on the road at the crack of dawn, they typically cross paths with the “Dashers”, who also rose at dawn, going back to what home they have left, because their dreams have been dashed.  These people have made a faithful and consistent journey over the last eight years, as a result left confused and bewildered.  The same core values of work, save, and spend wisely left them tired, broke, and with no other option but to abandon their dreams and or aspirations. 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been immersed with the term “Bail_out”.  The root word of bailout is BAIL.  A common definition of this word states that bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court in order to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail (and be guilty of the crime of failure to appear).  It is with this definition and no other defination that I will like to discuss today in relation to our current economical situation.  I hope to those who have been negatively effected by the fall of “Main street” will appreciate the few meager words that I type here.

Young Entertainment Professionals who worked 3 jobs, while paying rent in an overpriced apartment in Korea town can now know that they were not completely at fault.  The New Generation Owner of his/her century old family run business can know that you too can not carry the full burden of blame.  The college graduate, who stayed the course and made good grades can now know that his degree choice was wise, and work is on the way.  To that worker who has clocked in for 25 years on the same job, but now cannot afford to live in the same home he’s gone to for 25 years can know that you are not alone, and you are not to blame.  Congress has stated that Bail is needed, and where there’s bail, there’s a crime.

What is the crime?  The crime is allowing representitives to be re-elected into office, while they misrepresent our pocket books.  The crime is of our elected officials allowing soaring gas prices, food prices, retail prices confuse the minds of the American People, causing the feelings of devalue, and low self worth.  The crime is neglecting the task of balancing the budget, while aiding in budget surplus’s in Iraq.  The crime is forcing every young working mother to choose between medicine for her child or rent money.  Make no mistake, there has been a crime committed, because we the American People have just posted bail. 

Now that we’ve posted bail, here’s is a course of action I believe we should collectively take as a people.  Call your Representative, and first give them the scowling of a lifetime.  Yes, on their watch, a crime was committed and they (both Democrats and Republicans) spoke on your behalf, and pulled from your wallets and pocketbooks money to bail the criminals out.  After the scowling, set some demands and expectation’s.  Such as: a.  Knowing how many jobs were lost in your districts b. knowing how many jobs were created in your districts c. knowing what the poverty rate is in your district  d. what are their plans to bring jobs back to your districts and reduce the poverty rate in your districts.

Lastly, let us not rest until those responsible for every dashed hope and lost confidence in the American Dream caused by their lack of responsibility and patriotism, is put into prison, and serving time.  CNN is naming “culprits”, but we want names, along with charges. 

From my understanding, the amount of bail usually correlates the severity of the crime.  Well, any crime that has bail attached over one billion dollars, I believe was not designed to be paid, but designed for time to be served!

November 13, 2008

Proposition 8: Walking the Fine Line!

Filed under: Election,Government,McCain,media,Obama,Politics — drmyers @ 7:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

While a majority of Americans were waiting on election results to determine the next President of the United States, residents in California were just as if not more anxious while awaiting the results of a Proposition.  An issue once thought to be settled, was rehashed election night and has led to what some may argue the “Vote that crossed the line”.

Proposition 8 articulates wanting to amend the state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.  If that’s not clear enough, the “Official” language of the proposition state, ” Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry”.  Whereas many people cried tears of joy on June 16, 2008 as wedding bells rang throughout the state, this euphoria has been short lived.  Marriages are set to stay in place until the final votes are tallied and are certified.  Judging by exit polling and the votes already tallied, a close race will dissolve thousands of marriages throughout the state.

I have often wondered what prompts constiuents to form their opinions when voting regarding their fellow brothers and sisters.  Is this vote based on the outer appearance of their neighbors or the actions that take place in their neighbors private bedrooms.  Race, Sex, and Sexual Preference have often had a strange allurement when people have had to make core decisions: hiring for jobs, educating our youth, caring for our sick,  protecting our country, and finaly the way two consenting adults decide on how the relationship they share will be defined.

After doing some reading, I have become aware that the African-American vote sparked by the presidential election although aided Obama in getting closer to the White House, this vote also added to the redefinition of the house shared by same-sex couples recently married.  One would be surprised that some African-Americans do not consider the rights of homosexuals equal in merit of the rights fought for during the Civil Rights Movement.  As an African-American myself, I find this hard to believe, but I also have encountered many people who still view homosexuality as a choice simply based on who one would chose to be sexually intimate with.  What was very enlightening to me is that the country of South Africa recognizes Same-Sex Marriages, and I bet a lot of African- Americans even realize that it’s being done in the motherland!

In my mind, knowledge is to blame.  Believe it or not, there are many towns across this nation that boast to be 100% gay free.  I can remember the harassment one of my classmates received when it was assumed and/or believed the he was homosexual.  Small cities have used the term GAY as a negative brand of shame, scarring millions of young men and women causing them to either, straighten up and fly right or to simply end it all by dying physically, mentally, or shutting down emotionally.  Year after year, seniors graduate from their high schools, still unsure of who they are sexually, or fully aware that their happiness will never be respected by their families, and now for those in California, recognized by the state.

Some of the biggest supporters of this proposition were sects of the church.  In New York on yesterday, protesters marched on the Mormon Church, displaying their disagreement of that church’s support of this proposition.  How church’s get themselves involved in these things, one will never know, but let’s be very clear; basing public policy upon what is and what is not accepted in the church is not what I understand this country or the church to stand for.  Jesus stated two truths that directly relate to his topic.  The first was to  “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar, and render to God what is God’s”, this statement ends all arguments, that a christian must choose between his church and his state.  Our, and yes I am a born again christian, belief is personal and can only be displayed by our personal lifestyles, not the implementation of our lifestyles translated through policy onto other people.  His second statement instructed that “What is done to the least of mine, is also done to me”.  This second statement, for Christians, should be a “reality check”, something that keeps us meek, humble, and definitely non-judgemental of anyone we do not understand or agree with.  Again, some major supporters of this Proposition were sects of the church.

Walking the fine line of defining faith and family, I can only offer this remedy which is fact.  Homosexuality is nothing to fear, and is not contagious, and when writing those famous words, “All men are created equal”, I am almost certain it did not exclude homosexuals.  To those homosexuals who’s lives are being negatively affected by this, I urge you to go and speak to those pastors in the small rural town in California.  Answer their questions, visit their homes, you may be the only homosexual they have ever met.  And to the churches remember:  God Saves Souls…not Sex!

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