Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 7, 2015
Politicians often use rhetoric to promote pet themes. Some have also taken to using soundbites for a society that often has an attention span short of 144 characters. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and President Barack Obama have taken this soundbite approach.
In the video clip below, President Obama repeats the use of the statement “That’s not who we are” in an effort to chastise people who disagree with him. Not to be outdone, Donald Trump often uses the word “peanuts” to bring emphasis and supposed low-cost to policies that at times defy logic.
Donald Trump and Barack Obama have other traits in common. Both bully opponents and refuse to admit to mistakes.
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Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 3, 2014
Over the years this Blog has written about the problems caused to businesses, the economy, and greater society emanating from the over usage of leverage; i.e. debt. I have just published a book, Good Debt, Bad Debt and a Better Way Forward, that not only exposes the hazards of excessive debt, both private and sovereign, but also shares a real life experience creating a successful business without over leverage.
There are two basic long-term approaches to running a business: You can run it on what it earns or you can run it on debt. Debt can be a beneficial financial tool if used to finance increased productivity and growth. However, it is too often used to finance short-term gain for a few at the expense of the greater entity.
Business is about experience, winning and losing. Good Debt, Bad Debt and a Better Way Forward is about creating and doing business without resorting to excessive debt, while growing a successful entity implementing that philosophy.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: business, Debt, Ethics, finance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 14, 2014
During a campaign style speech in Texas last week President Obama made a rather remarkable statement included in the video clip below:
“I’m just telling the truth now. I don’t have to run for office again, so I can just, you know, let her rip.”
Quite frankly Mr. President, it would be appropriate for you to tell the truth all of the time. Perhaps even sadder than your statement was the fact that your audience cheered you for it.
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Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 18, 2014
In a sign of yet more governmental overreach, the US Patent Office (USPO) has canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademarks. While a trademark cancellation in itself is not unusual, the reason given by the Patent Office is outrageous. In making the ruling, the Patent Office’s three-judge panel stated:
“[W]e decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”
The ruling is dangerous at various levels. First, it changes the value of a franchise that was built over decades. Second, the reason behind the ruling is impossible to objectively define going forward. As society and/or judges change, businesses can no longer have confidence that the money they spend on building a brand will not be overturned for some arbitrary reason.
Finally, the US government accepted the Redskins’ trademark registrations for decades. For it to now rule that “…. they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered” must therefore by implication also make the Patent Office (government) itself culpable in allowing disparaging/racist logo registrations to exist.
The fabric of American society is being ripped apart by a Progressive government and a bureaucracy that is dividing us into ever smaller and numerous subsets. The result is a lack of cohesion within society that is killing the American dream and its promise of being a melting pot for diverse cultures.
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Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 7, 2014
Supreme Court Justices are appointed by our presidents and are given lifelong tenure. The logic behind this tenure was in the effort to keep the Court from being politicized. Unfortunately, that has not been the result.
For at least recent decades, sitting Justices of the Supreme Court have been divided into two main groups, the liberal and conservative wings. They often vote as a block that results in many fairly evenly split decisions. This reality is evidence of a politicized court that makes decisions based on biases in interpreting the law, rather than objective interpretations of it or the Constitution.
In addition, the lifelong tenure for Justices results in decisions being made by legal minds that are often long pass their prime. For example, former Justice Jon Paul Stevens stepped down from the Court in 2010 at the age of 90. While Stevens may have been sharp for his age, it is reasonable to conclude that his last years in the Court were hindered by declining capabilities.
Currently, the Court’s oldest Justice is Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is 81 years old. In addition, Ginsburg has had serious and ongoing health issues including two bouts with cancer. Again, it is reasonable to conclude that her intellectual capabilities have been declining. However, during a recent interview Ginsburg said: “I do know that once I feel I am slipping, I will not stay here, because this is a very hard job. But that time, thank goodness, has not yet come.” With all due respect Ms. Ginsburg is not capable of making that call.
Progressives like former Justice Stevens and current Justice Ginsburg take the view that the Constitution needs to be a dynamic document, especially with changes in society. Taking such a view seems in conflict with remaining on the Court so late in life when their own values have been so ingrained.
Posted in Supreme Court, Uncategorized | Tagged: Constitution, Ginsburg, Justice, old, Stevens, Supreme Court, tenure | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 3, 2014
On September 11, 2012 the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked with the American ambassador in three other US citizens being killed. Immediately following the attack the Obama administration created what is now known to be a false narrative that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest against some obscure Internet video critical of Islam. To further this narrative, on the Sunday following the attack then America’s UN ambassador went on the talk show circuit and continued to promote the lie. Nearly two weeks later President Obama repeated the video issue in front of the United Nations.
Over one and a half years after the attack in Benghazi, President Obama and his Democratic allies accuse Republicans of playing politics in an effort to thwart further investigation into the attack, its cause, and the Administration’s response. While politics is a part of the Republican’s motivation, it does not obviate the need for answers to the serious unanswered questions.
This week a previously withheld memo indicated that the White House was involved in changing the talking points pushing the video narrative over the reality that this was a planned terrorist attack. It has become clear that the White House has been involved in a significant cover up of the Benghazi the attack on America’s consulate. It remains unclear whether this cover-up was merely to assist Obama’s in reelection efforts were something more nefarious.
This week FOXNews’ reporter Brett Baer interviewed former White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor who became agitated when pressed with difficult questions on the Benghazi matter. In one exchange included the video below, Vietor incredibly responded “Dude, this was like two years ago.” Not only is this response defensive and highly unprofessional, but it continues the Administration’s obfuscation on the consulate attack. Now the Administration is having a convenient case of amnesia on a matter that resulted in the death of four Americans.
House Majority Leader Boehner has announced the creation of a select committee to gain transparency and obtain answers as to why the attack occurred, why America’s response was so anemic, and why the Administration created the now known false narrative about the video. It is obvious that Administration is hiding something. How serious and how high up in the administration the cover-up goes is to be uncovered. Whether the cover-up is as serious as the Nixon’s in Watergate remains to be seen.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Baer, Benghazi, Dude, Libya, Obama, Protest, Terrorist, Video, Vietor | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 8, 2013
Too often the wing-bats in Hollywood preach Progressive dribble purported to be for the benefit of the less fortunate, but whose philosophy has led to an increasing disparity between the wealthy and poor. The Leftist mantra includes the theme that if one has not made it in America it is never the result of poor effort.
Actor Ashton Kutcher is one of the few of Hollywood’s younger set that has dared to go against conventional Leftist wisdom. He was the subject of this Blog’s posting of August 20, 2013 that included a video clip of Kutcher receiving the Teen Choice Award. In his acceptance speech Kutcher promoted the benefits of a good work ethic.
This week Kutcher was interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres on her television show. Once again he admonished younger Americans of the dangers of the entitlement mentality stating: “There’s an entitlement that is starting to emerge that I think is unhealthy for people and unhealthy for our country.”
Kutcher’s message is not only appropriate due to content, but also by the way in which it is presented. Politicians on the Right could learn from Kutcher’s demeanor on how to appropriately talk to America’s younger generation.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Allen, Ashton, award, Culture, DeGeneres, Hollywood, Teen-Choice | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 1, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reported on a significant shift in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules concerning the use of electronic devices on airplanes. Since 1996 the FAA has restricted the use of such devices fearing their emissions might interfere with airplanes’ electronic equipment. This restricted the use of the equipment until planes were above 10,000 feet in altitude.
The FAA’s restrictions have now been eliminated with only the cell phone (cell phone mode) restriction remaining. Passengers may keep turned on their e-readers, PCs including Wi-Fi, and other electronic devices at any time while in the planes. However, larger devices such as PCs will have to be stowed during takeoffs and landings.
This Blog welcomes the FAA’s correction of what it now admits was a decades’ long error concerning the restrictions that were based on at best anecdotal evidence. It should raise some questions concerning other governmental policies set on supposed hard science.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: airplane, cell-phone, electronic-devices, FAA, restriction | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 10, 2013
How to tell if your dog is involved in a sex scandal!
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »