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She just doesn’t get it

YankeeStadiumConcessionStandYankee Stadium, right smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer. My turn to go to the food court and get a couple of dogs and beers. A couple of long lines and one short one. Hmmm, tough choice.

Yeah, but I should have known better. Like schools of fish avoiding a barracuda, crowds figure out which lines to avoid.

So there’s one customer in front of me and the girl disappears. And she’s gone. And she’s gone, and we’re looking at each other wondering if she’s coming back. Ahh, she does, clears something on the register, gives the customer their food and receipt.

And as I finally make it to the counter, she takes a large can of beer drippings and heads off for the kitchen. Minutes go by. She returns with a mop. She disappears again. The folks in the line next to me ask me if I want to order. The guy handling the line next to me asks as well. I defer as she finally returns. The guy says to the girl, “Hey, you have customers.”

And she snaps back at him, “Customers are not as important as Clarisse, my boss. She can fire me.”

Sad, I thought. She just doesn’t get it.


On Campaign Financing and Super PACs

So the Supreme Court in the name of free speech allowed money to swallow up free speech and opened the door to free-speech-gobbling Super PACs. We’ve always been proud of whatever it is we think denotes being American (and some folks do have profoundly different ideas on what that is). So maybe there’s a way to return to normalcy. Maybe there’s a way to switch this whole thing on its head. Just for the sake of unintended consequences. Just because we’re Americans and our proudest heritage is we keep on getting it wrong until we finally get it right.

It may be just the time to get it right.

So you want free speech, you want better political candidates who aren’t beholden to big money interests, candidates who won’t vote and support greed and big business but actually do the right thing, vote for the future? Tired of watching a Congress bickering over issues which the American people don’t consider issues? Tired of watching politicians vote so out of touch with the way the country is leaning? Do you believe you’re willing to take on a little pain if it means a better tomorrow, a more intelligent tomorrow?

Okay …..


Well, seems to me the little guy, the common American, has the wherewithal to defeat the Super PACs at their own game. Pretty easily without giving up too much. Again, pretty easily without much sacrifice.

In 2014 Americans spent:

  • $70 billion on Casino gambling
  • $70 billion on lottery tickets

Remember now, $70 billion Casino gambling figure

is what the casinos took in. That’s after they paid everything out. So they aren’t hurting and there are a bunch of folks out $70 billion dollars.

So it’s not difficult to see where I’m going with this. Instead of buy $10 worth of lottery tickets, buy $5 and send $5 to the new ApplePieAmerica PAC (more on this in a moment). Better yet, send $5 to the new Smart America PAC and save the $5 for your kid’s college or your retirement. The Huffington Post says a person’s chance of winning the lottery on a single ticket is one in 175 million. The odds of getting struck by lightning in your lifetime, being injured by a toilet this year, getting killed by a shark, and killed by an asteroid or comet are much more likely. And the lottery gurus are making it more difficult to win because that drives jackpots higher.

The idea is you cut back gambling & lottery tickets by 1/2 or 1/3. You keep some you give the rest to the new neutral ApplePieAmerica PAC. Just a 10% reduction would result in a Super PAC capable of spending $14 billion dollars. That would shut up all of the special interest groups in America.

What would the new Super PAC want to accomplish? What would be its platform? Well, that would be up to you.




Who will you be?


Life is an old fashioned merry-go-round with the brass ring contest. The merry-go-round spins very quickly. There will be one who:

  • Grabs the ring before or as the ride begins
  • Grabs the ring as soon as possible
  • Grabs as many rings as possible
  • Tries to break the dispenser so no one else can get a ring
  • Helps someone else get a ring
  • Holds on tight to the horse and never lets go
  • Never grabs the ring because it was all about the ride not the ring
  • Commits to grabbing the next ring just as the ride stops

Who will you be?



barbed wire

When will we say it’s not a freedom, if it doesn’t include everyone?

When will the majority stand up and demand that common sense prevail over special interests?

When will we insist on, invest in and protect our most powerful weapon: an educated public?

When will we all take a long look at religion and say, it can’t be a religion if it promotes:

death to non-believers
hatred for those who are different
any kind of exclusion?

When will we require pundits to study -and fairly represent- both sides of an issue before preaching?

When will we demand that our politicians do what is right, not what is expedient?

Vote for everyone’s future is right, not just their re-election chances?
Vote for what is forward thinking, not interest-preserving?

When will we tell the 24 hour news cycle it’s not news if it’s not facts?

When will we demand that our government (who has a job to do), our spying agencies (who have a job to do), our local and national security forces (who have a job to do) not treat all of us equally as criminals?

When will we demand of technology and the investment community to solve real-world problems rather than create more ways of collecting profile data for targeted advertising?

When will we require ourselves to be more active, more engaged in our communities and the decisions that are thirsting for our attention?

When will we wake up and realize our freedoms are being chipped away, that stupidity, apathy and sloth are the sharpest pick axes?

When will we believe again that there is virtue in compromise?

chess downed pawn


The time to start is … now.


What if ….

What if ATM fees were deducted straight out of your withdrawal such that instead of getting $40 dollars, you received $37? Might ring the death knell for ATM fees (or at least push them down to pennies, which would still provide great profits).

But rather than embark on a rant about the need to separate commercial banking from investment banking (an enormous conflict of interests), let’s apply this ATM rule to other items (I’ll skip contentious items like over taxation, the debt, and stick with lighter analogies). What if:

  • Jeans makers sold you a pair of jeans but without pockets?
  • Nature made trees but with no bark?
  • Car makers didn’t provide tires?
  • Pencil makers left out the lead?
  • Gas pumps gave you half a gallon but rang up a full gallon?
  • Candy bars got shorter for the same price? Oh wait, they did that with the Hershey bar!!

I think you get the point. Daily we accept dodgy man-behind-the-curtain ripoffs all in the name of convenience.

HIV testing

So it’s a law in New York that if you are admitted into an emergency room in a New York hospital, the staff HAS TO ask you if you’d like a HIV test performed while you’re there.

  • Mind you, the hospital won’t pay for the testing, that’s on you (but they don’t tell you that, at least, initially).
  • Mind you, age is no barrier: they will ask you if you’re 12 years old (Sheesh!!).
  • Mind you, the law just states that they just have to ask and show proof that they did ask (appropriate forms must be filled).

My question: with all that’s going on politically, economically, socially in this country, in this state, who was the Einstein who came up with this brainstorm and then believed this little time-saving nugget of an achievement was worth authoring and fighting for?