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July 2018 - page 2

NATO – Frienemies at 2%

in The Political Slant by
NATO - Frienemies at 2%

*The Rubicon was crossed on July 11 in Brussels when President Donald Trump laid bare the façade of the ambitions of the United States.

We have officially become an imperial power, exacting tribute from those whom we enfold within the protection of our magnificent arms. Acting unilaterally, against the advice and wisdom proffered by those in his administration who possess a brain, he demanded that NATO members not only meet the level of a 2% of GDP defense spending level, but feels it should be doubled to 4%. One can only assume there will be a Paypal account set up to forward delinquent accounts to US coffers.

President Trump Speaks at NATO Summit in Brussels - NATO- Frenemies at 2%
President Trump Speaks at the NATO Summit in Brussels

I can understand “shaking things up” as being a necessary step in order to bring about a change in behavior. We may agree that some sort of action was needed in order to prod reluctant allies to meet their commitment to fund the common defense. But the behavior of bullying that was on exhibit in Brussels goes far beyond what a prudent person would do in order to maintain workable relations with our allies.
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Too Much Forged in Fire

in The Life Slant by

You might be watching too much Forged in Fire if:

  • Your kids are making a fortune selling snow cones, as there is a constant supply of chopped ice.
  • You can’t watch TV because the satellite dish is in the back yard filled with coal.
  • You walk into the kitchen to see why Sunday dinner is late, to find a $35 roast beef hanging from the ceiling, your wife wielding a knife in each hand, watching a youtube clip of Doug Marcaida.
  • The beater car in your neighbor’s backyard seems to be walking away piece by piece – first the leaf springs, then the axle …

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The Failure of Neoliberalism in the World

in The Money Slant/The Political Slant by
Neoliberalism

*Keynesianism is dead. 

The economic failure of liberal capitalism from the American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789) to the Great Depression with the crack on the New York Stock Exchange (1929) led to the adoption of Keynesianism based on the ideas of the English economist, John Maynard Keynes, who unlike classical economic liberals, defended state action in the economy with the objective of achieving full employment. 

Keynesian philosophy ceased to be effective by the 1970s, due to the decline in world economic growth after the so-called “glorious years” of the 1950’s and 60’s. There were two oil crises along with the debt crisis experienced by most  countries of the world that drove insolvency at international banks. 

This situation made the conservative forces of the United Kingdom and the United States, under the leadership respectively of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, carry forward neoliberalism whose economic doctrine advocated the return of liberalism now on the world stage – which meant absolute market freedom and a restriction on state intervention on the economy. Neoliberalism was adopted after the end of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist system in 1989, respectively.

With neoliberalism, social inequality has reached alarming levels throughout the world.”
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Bogus Federal Commission on School Safety

in The Political Slant by
School Safety

*Kids are so much fun to be around. Little bundles of energy, they are overcome with curiosity; constantly information-gathering, testing and discovering new things. It’s hard to imagine a place specifically designed to feed that curiosity and offer information and present new things that some children would fake a tummy ache to avoid.

It’s equally difficult to imagine parents in the most world’s most prosperous nation who expect their children be both educated and tended to during work hours, yet balk at providing the financial support required to get the jobs done well.
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Trees: Nature’s Masterpiece Burned For Heat

in The Life Slant by
Burning Masterpieces for Heat - Trees

*Would you dispassionately stand by and watch if every priceless Renaissance work of art in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, or Paris’s The Louvre, or 20th century masterpieces held in New York’s The Museum of Modern Art were burned for heat, one by one?

Ladies and gentlemen, our remaining ancient forests are indeed the equivalent to what the great master’s painted. They are Nature’s finest invaluable living, breathing masterpieces on our planet!

Trees - General Sherman Redwood
Each year, the largest tree on the globe, a sequoia named General Sherman, adds the comparable wood of one tree 1.5 feet (ft) wide by 65 ft high. Photo credit: Reese Halter

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Documenting and Detailing the Discrimination Against the Decrepit

in The Money Slant/Uncategorized by
Age Discrimination - Employees at work

*For those of us who have taken marketing coursework, we know that one of the most important aspects of any marketing plan is to identify your target market. If you aim at the wrong target, you will surely fail to achieve your goal. In my career, I have sold, excuse me marketed, over a million dollars’ worth of merchandise, to various target markets. One of my hard-learned fundamental precepts of marketing is that you should never try to market something that you wouldn’t purchase yourself.  I have done marketing research as well, and it was so good that students in the next class copied my research design, almost to the letter. You will always know the value of your work by who copies it, steals it, or clams that it is their own. While I wasn’t necessarily offended by their behavior, I resented that the professor approved and encouraged it. He probably didn’t even use my name when describing the design.

When recruiting potential employees, you are essentially selling the company to a postulant. But if no one was aware that a company or organization was looking for employees, the number of candidates would be limited. Selling is marketing, and marketing is selling.

My favorite marketing joke is:

Do you know what they call a salesman who can’t sell anything?

The director of marketing.”

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My Wall Street, My Financial Future

in The Money Slant by
*Last week I read an article in a prominent financial magazine written by an unnamed professional financial advisor. Unsurprisingly, he simply spouted off reasons why everyone should work with a financial advisor and even recommended readers invest with someone who will operate in a “fiduciary capacity” (AKA have ultimate control over your money).

He did make some solid points, namely about the importance of finding someone independent  and trustworthy with an investment style you’re comfortable with. These characteristics are crucial to your peace of mind— your future is everything, and you need someone with your goals in mind managing your money.

The author made finding your dream advisor seem as easy as asking a friend or someone you respect for a recommendation. I hate to break it to you, but he or she doesn’t exist— unless you consider yourself an option. Who knows your needs, risk-tolerance, and plans for the future better than you?

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Hot As Hell, Everywhere

in The Life Slant by
Hot as Hell - Boy in Water

*12 footballs fields a minute are incinerating in California’s latest wildfires,  adding to the 104 football fields furiously felled every minute, 24/7/365, on our ailing overheated planet.

When heat and drought collide firestorms erupt across the western United States and elsewhere on the globe. The higher the mercury soars, the quicker the fine fuels in the forest become tinder-dry kindling, especially amidst a drought.

Hot as Hell - Map
Photo Credit: Weather Channel

113 million Americans are blanketed by a massive heat dome. It stretches from the Mississippi Valley up to Philadelphia, Chicago and arches over to New York City, Boston, Baltimore and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Temperatures are soaring into triple digits, 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (F) above normal.
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