February 20, 2009

Jesse Jackson totally looks like...

Then again, do we really want to insult Cleveland?

Posted by: mhking at 11:20 AM | Comments (80) | Add Comment
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February 15, 2009

Wanna Impress Me? Change The Spread

Over the past few weeks, we've been treated to an endless litany of CEOs, executives and other suits parading before the cameras and Congress, telling us how they've learned their lessons, how they're going to change and help the American people, how they're working to help the nation in our time of need.

It's all a load of crap.

We keep hearing about how the bank and automotive CEOs are going to forgo their bonuses or salaries for the next year in order to help their companies. None of it impresses me.

None of them -- not a single one of them -- told us how many of their hirelings and underlings are making six and seven-figure bonuses, or how many of them are making seven-figure salaries. So the notion of standing before the cameras and telling the world about how they won't be taking bonuses or or how they won't be taking salaries means absolutely nothing.

If they want to impress me -- no, scratch that, if they want to impress the nation, then have the gumption to open up the salary process. Show us that the spread between the highest paid person in the company and the lowest paid person in the company is $500,000.

That's right, the entire spread -- from the CEO to the guy in the mailroom -- half a million dollars.

Now THAT would impress me.

That would show me that the companies are serious about making significant change in order to save itself and working to save the nation in the process.

And in addition, that would impress America. That would show the people of this country that while the companies are still concerned with remaining a for-profit concern, they are looking at an investment in the future. They would save thousands, no, millions of dollars themselves, while moving forward.

The sacrifice they'd have to make? Simple -- the 4th vice president in charge of paperweights might not get to have his country club membership paid. He might have to drive a Volvo instead of a Benz. Oh, well.

The future is worth it.

Not only that, but once America sees that a company is forward thinking and aggresive like that, they'll beat a path to their door. They want customers? Show everyone that they are serious about being a competitive, honest and fair player in the game. That means hiring Americans, and building their products in America. That means having customer service centers in the US, not in India. That means paying attention to quality and customer care. That means playing fair.

Unfortunately, the companies that have danced before Congress these past few months won't do it. They don't have the stones. They don't have the wherewithal to be that kind of forward-thinking concern. They are greedy. They are selfish. They feel that the American public is stupid and won't care if they don't do it.

And unless someone gets them out of the way, they may be the ruination of this nation.

This has been a bumpy ride. It's about to get bumpier.

Posted by: mhking at 07:49 PM | Comments (70) | Add Comment
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February 05, 2009

25 Random Things...

A blog friend of mine (thanks, LaShawn!) had the bright idea of taking the Facebook meme and posting it to her blog. Given that I couldn't tag many of the folks I would have tagged before running out of space, I thought I'd do the same thing....

1. I love baseball caps from obscure places/sports teams, the more obscure and unique the better (though I've backed off of getting ahold of as many as I used to).

2. Though I'm a long-time big time geek and have lived in Atlanta almost 15 years, I've never been to Dragon Con (the annual megageekfest in Atlanta every year).

3. I put up a gruff front, but spoil my kids where and when I can.

4. I've gone toe-to-toe with Bill O'Reilly on his TV show -- and won the argument.

5. A hidden guilty pleasure: reading paranormal romance novels (not the trashy ones though -- okay, maybe Laurell K. Hamilton's trashy ones).

6. Attention span? What's that?

7. I'm allergic to the edible skins of fruit (apples, pears, peaches, cherries, plums, et.al.) -- which breaks my heart. I grew up eating apples and pears from the trees in my grandfather's yard.

8. For the past four years, I've spent the early part of the year doing taxes with H&R Block.

9. Was almost virginal with my language in high school -- with rarely a cross word; these days, I cuss like a drunken sailor.

10. I have a morbid, no clinically paranoid fear of dentists or anyone else coming near my mouth. When I needed oral surgery and a root canal last year, I had to be put out cold for them to even get near me. (they only did half my mouth then; I am already apprehensive about getting the other half done) Come to find out when I was 4, I had my tonsils out (I knew that part). There were complications afterward. In the emergency room, the doctor needed to get into my mouth RIGHT THEN -- so he had my mom to hold my head, my dad to hold my feet, and he dived in. I don't remember that, but apparently, that's the source of my phobia. Can't do anything about it after this many years, but at least now I know.

11. My wife (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) describes me sometimes as the "smartest dumb blonde" she's ever met...

12. I procrastinate incessantly.

13. My columns have shown up in something like 400 newspapers back when I was doing them.

14. I'm quoted in Michelle Malkin's controversial book "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild".

15. A 2003 column I wrote opposing reparations which has ties to a science fiction trueism has been widely quoted and is still cited in academic and political policy discussion circles today: "TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch".

16. I've written testimony for several Congressional subcommittees, most notably for the Senate's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

17. Despite walking away from active commentary in 2005, I'm still on Project 21's National Advisory Board. (Walking away was not as problematic as many might think. While I loved it, it didn't pay. Television work does. My kids have to eat. QED.)

18. I love gadgets -- like most guys -- but I didn't get a cell phone until a couple of years ago, and even then, only got a cheap pay-as-you-go Virgin Mobile throwaway.

19. I've suffered from migraines since I was in grade school (something I don't wish on anybody).

20. I was 150 pounds soaking wet the day I got married (which surprises folks who know me now), and am pushing twice that now (which surprises folks who knew me then)...

21. For years, friends and family have suggested that I go on Jeopardy, but the very idea terrifies me.

22. Black coffee, no sugar, no cream -- the stronger the better...I refuse to pollute mine.

23. My family's been able to trace backward to show family ancestry in England, Wales, France, Spain, the old Mississippean Indian nation here in the US, and quite probably Morocco in northern Africa.

24. The very first car I bought was a '74 MGB convertible, back in '84. Spent all of $1,000 on it. Got it restored, and drove it until we moved home in '89. I still kick myself today for selling it.

25. Find I have to "go away" for awhile every now and then to recharge my mental batteries. Rachel calls it "going on walkabout." I'll disappear -- drive about as far as I can go while getting back in a day's time, though I've done it overnight a few times before. I don't do it as often as I used to though.

26. Smoked cigarettes in college, then graduated to cigars, then a pipe, before giving it up when Rachel was pregnant with Jasmine.

27. Was into yoga and fitness long ago...keep threatening to get back into it

28. Told the kids that if any of their friends showed up with their pants around their knees, that I'd greet 'em at the door with duck tape and a staple gun...

Posted by: mhking at 11:46 AM | Comments (50) | Add Comment
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