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Posts Tagged ‘government’

You know that Bernie Madoff has plead his guilt to the court in the securities fraud case against him, as well as  perjury; however, the investigators who are delving into this long -term Ponzi scam are allegedly, having to investigate his business associates, some of his family members, and his tax accountant too.  There is so much missing money…that many observers automatically assume that the money has been hidden among those that he has personal relationships with; whether that is true or not, remains to be seen.

It leaves the impression of guilt by association, though this is unfortunate, because many of them may not have had any idea about the fraud that was taking place.   I personally doubt whether he advertised the fact of what he was doing, to his friends and family; it isn’t something most people would be proud of.    I am thinking about his wife in particular; did she know where the money in their lives came from?  She is also allegedly, being investigated; and, unless she had direct involvement in the day-to-day business operations…how would she know what he did while he was at work?

Still, if the money in their accounts is  found to be accumulated from the fraud; the government could confiscate it couldn’t they?  His own family members could end up being “victims” of his actions, just as well as, those who lost so much financially!  Bernie will be sentenced for his crimes in June.   What the additional investigation finds, will also determine what happens to the others that are being investigated by their association with Bernie Madoff.  Bernie may have plead guilty, but, if this investigation negatively impacts his friends and family…you have to wonder if he will actually feel any guilt!

In this kind of a case, the cloud of suspicion could literally destroy many more lives than those that have already been destroyed.  If Bernie Madoff could admit his guilt in court…why can’t he just be honest and tell the investigators where the money is?   Maybe if some of the money could be found…maybe some of the people who were ripped off could get some of their money back.  If he is keeping that missing money information to himself…it could destroy those that he supposedly cares about, such as his wife, children, business associates and such.  Let the guilty be found out…and the innocent be proven so; still, what if the money is found  in their accounts without their having knowledge of the scam?

So many lives have been destroyed by this security fraud…this Ponzi scam this abuse of trust, it is sickening.  People have lost so much of their money that they counted on to survive.  It makes a person intensely frustrated and angry that Mr. Madoff will be sitting in a prison cell…getting three meals a day and all of his basic needs will be met; while his “victims” future is still up in the air.  The levels of trust and responsibility that we put in our leaders is immense and needs honored by meeting those levels of trust and responsibility and exceeding it!  This damages everyone’s ability to trust those in authority, who’s decisions affect our lives…has it affected how you trust people?

I have moved my site to a new Url:  WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in more blog posts!

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         Ok, I dont understand this whole financial mess…I admit that.  I am no financial genius.  However, I do know that if you keep spending money that you dont have…you go deeper in debt.  How in the heck is the government going to get money from people who dont have it to give?  From taxpayers….correction…from taxpayers who have JOBS.  What about all of those people who dont have JOBS  or will soon be loosing their JOBS?  The American family is in crisis.  Many dont have jobs or they have to have more than one part time job to make ends meet.   Some don’t even have homes because they have lost them to foreclosures.  Some of their family members dont have jobs or can’t make enough to pay their bills.  But when you are barely making it…you can’t help anyone else out in a meaningful way either.  The Government financial recovery plan (mess) is mirroring our personal lives…they just dont know it yet!  Still, some of the leaders are using fear to try to get people to put their stamp of approval on their plan of action; they are saying that this might not be the right answer…but we have to do something or else!

         Obama’s treasury chief has announced that this country needs 2 trillion dollars to save the banks.  This is on top of the bailouts that have so far shown little return on the investment for the average American citizen.  Where is this whole thing going to end?  Why not give the money to the citizens and let them dig themselves out of their own very deep holes first?   That in turn might just have the added benefit of allowing them to pay off their loans and homes to those banks and businesses that made the bad loans in the first dang place!

          We are being told that all of this lending and loaning may or may not work….that they might make mistakes.  But that doing nothing would be a catastrophe.  How do we know that?  Maybe those businesses and banks should go under.  After all….once this money is loaned to these businesses and banks…they are going to expect tax payers to go into debt once again with these banks and businesses to circulate the money.  Who in their right mind is going to create an even bigger debt load on themselves with such uncertainty hanging over this country’s head?

        After President Obama’s treasurer spoke the Dow Jones dropped 3.5%.  This is traumatic news to everyone.  Confidence is more than shaken….it has suffered severe trauma.  We may never recover from this extreme mess as a nation.  This isn’t some meaningless recession.  We are bleeding money and we dont have the confidence in our leaders, our banks, our businesses to recover from it. 

         Former Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain calls this plan “generational theft”.  He says we are stealing from future generations their hard earned dollars and laying on them debt of incredible proportions.   He is right.  Where will it end?

           The Government thinks it is going to help everyone out by creating JOBS and bailing out banks and certain industry giants.  Helloooooooooooo…is anybody home out there?   How in the world are they going to do this?  By hitting the taxpayers out even more than they have already.  So far, no one has had a solution that has made a positive enough impact to change the direction of this massive financial failure!  What makes them think that throwing more money into the mix is going to make things better?  Can a government file bankruptsy…cause that is what it feels like is happening here…what is the old saying….borrowing from Peter to pay Paul?

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     Five pirates from Somalia drowned after they left the ship that they had been holding for ransom for approximately two months.   The pirates small boat capsized and sank along with the money.   The ship that the pirates had captured was the Sirius Star and the ransom was for approximately $3 million dollars.  Three other alleged pirates spent hours swimming to land. 

       The pirates had to have been congratulating themselves about receiving that amount of money.  In Somalia, the people are very poor…most of them are living on humanitarian aid.  Many of these ships that have been targeted, by pirates, have been in this area in the Gulf of Aden.   Somalia is a country that has not had proper governmental leadership since the early 1990’s.  It must be awfully tempting to see all of these ships travel through the area loaded with multi-million dollars of  crude oil and not see it as a way to grab their share of the money for themselves.  Piracy has become a huge problem.

         Just this past week the United States Navy has announced that they will be utilizing an anti-piracy taskforce to combat the issues such as the hostage situations that face the ships that must travel through those international waters.

          Piracy in today’s world is not the piracy of the movies.  It is not some swashbuckling, romantic way to see the world.  It is quickly becoming a form of terrorism that attempts to hold the world of commerce hostage to pay up or be caught in the web of the pirates that feed off of the traffic that must pass through on their way to pick up and deliver merchandise from one nation to another. 

         One has to wonder, do the people who contemplate becoming pirates consider the possibility that they could end up on the bottom of the ocean right along with their stolen treasure?  Maybe some of the area nations could come up with a way to build up the infrastructure of Somalia so that the temptation to take from those who have so much would no longer look like a good way to earn a living to those who have so little!  Stealing is not a good option.  But those nations who are rich in natural resources could invest some of their money into those countries who seem bent on surviving any way that they can.

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        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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      I have been thinking about leadership alot lately and it’s direct connection to success or failure.  Leadership whether it is in government, business, organizations, religions, education or, in personal relationships is very important.  Not everyone can be an effective leader.  There are more followers than leaders; so it is extremely important to follow the right person. 

       Whether a leader is skilled in certain areas determines how successful his/her leadership is.  Leading is not for the fainthearted; you can’t please everyone or, be their friend.  Some of the decisions a good leader has to make are extremely unpopular.  You can have productive relationships though, that are built out of respect, authority, compassion and hard work.  Those who are under your leadership have to know that you are informed and that you respect & understand their sacrifice to get the job done. 

        A good leader knows how to inspire, how to instruct, how to encourage, and how to redirect someone who is misguided, ill informed, has a poor work ethic or is saturated in a poor attitude.  A good leader knows when to use incentives and when praise or recognition will be more effective. 

        I know our country is in the midst of some deep and difficult issues.  Positive and productive leadership has never been more important.  A good leader also recognizes when they are out of their league and seeks a higher counsel…someone who is an expert in the area of concern.  I hope that those who are taking the reins of government leadership in our country are willing to lead with proper education and guidance… it is not a failure to admit that you don’t know all of the answers; it is a failure to not be willing to be educated in those areas.  We have much to accomplish and overcome in a short period of time.

        There is a great new book out by Lee Iacocca on leadership called, Where Have All Of The Leaders Gone?  I recommend reading this one.  This book gives some great advice on leading.  It also gives a bit of background information on the automotive business. 

         With the financial crisis hitting our country and the obviously failing auto industry…Lee’s book is timely.  I suggest that the new President elect Barack Obama consult with Mr. Iacocca on any proposed government bailout loan of the auto industry.  There has been some criticism about President Bush’s alleged lack of response to the auto industry’s struggles.  Now, if the American auto industry fails to succeed…we all will suffer the consequences.  I think that we already have been …but, it is only going to get worse without addressing the issue in a real purposeful way.  They are many businesses and employees who will be affected in a trickle down kind of action if and when the auto industry hits the roadblocks. 

        It would be wise to remember that whenever one major industry fails it generally has a domino effect on those sub-supportive businesses that supply the chain of industry.  We need to figure out some answers before we are all out of jobs.  We must demand competent leadership and hold them to a higher moral & ethical standard of conduct.  We are tired of those in business and industry who are content to take the money at the top and move on when they get their rewards…not caring about the outcome for those under their leadership.  Enough of the high salary CEO’s (or politicians) who don’t look long-term at the consequences of their decisions and their actions.  Americans must demand success in our leaders because the potential impact of failure is unacceptable!

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      Now that the historic 2008 election for the President of the United States is over and Barack Obama has won…there will be great expectations.  Obama really ran on the platform of “change”.  As the agent of change…he will be watched and judged in a way like no other before him.  Everyone is expecting miracles; and miracles, is what this nation needs.  Families are looking for stability in their lives.

       As we have demonstrated to the world over the last few months…we have to get our finances as a country and as a world under control.  We must heal the breakdown of credit and the housing industry…the buying, selling and foreclosure of homes.  We must address the nations dependency on oil from foreign countries.  We must investigate and explore alternative forms of energy.  We must address the dwindling funding that forms the foundation of education in both lower and higher education.  We must find a way to insure those who have no medical insurance.  We need to apply some solutions to the social security flux which will drain the funds because of the aging population.  We must repair relationships with countries around the world that have been badly damaged over the last 8 years.  We must continue to protect ourselves and others who are under siege from terrorists around the world.  We must insure that our children have opportunities before them that children from other countries have. 

        I say we meaning, African Americans and all Americans, Democrats and Republics, conservatives and liberals, men and women…it doesn’t matter who you are…we are in this thing called life together…and that is how we have to approach solutions to the problems that we face as a country.

        With an unprecedented stacked deck of Democrats in the House & Senate, as well as a Democratic President, we will have great expectations from Barack Obama as leader of the United States. Republicans have taken the heat for the condition of the United States for quite some time…now it is time for Democrats to prove their worth as they lead our citizens.  

         Is President elect Obama up to the task?  He had better be…because it is unacceptable to think about the alternative; and, the impact it will have on this country if he fails at any one of the aforemented issues; as well as many, many more issues which are in need of major renovation to become healthy once again.

         Hopefully, we will not, in our zeal to affect change in this country, continue to attack the basic values of conservative America.  We are seeing escalating legal attacks on the defination of traditional views of marriage and family.  We have people who are determined to stretch the defination to include gay marriages as a legally recognized state of marriage.  There are those who seek to further liberal ideas such as legalizing marijuana and prostitution; or expanding the limits of abortion.  It seems that traditional values in this country are being turning upside down…what has been considered to be right is now viewed as wrong and is prone to challenge.

        There is some real resistance against such change, from those who consider themselves conservative; to fight and stand up to those challenges; by those who not only believe in a liberal view of rights and responsibilities but, those who seek to change how we govern ourselves regarding those issues.  So is Barack Obama up to the task of effective leadership of such diverse approaches to life?  Time will be the judge! In the meantime, citizens of the United States have a right to great expectations.

       

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        I became aware of an extreme example of those who have; and, those who have not.  The nation of Swaziland celebrated it’s 40th independence day as well as the King of Swazi’s 40th birthday in an ostentatious way.  The King Mswati was driven around in a convertible BMW flaunting his weath in a country that is overwhelmed with extreme poverty.  The nation has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic; it has the world’s highest AIDs rate.  This means that many households are not able to earn enough money to provide for their families; because many households are headed up by children because of the plague of AIDs.  Those homes that are affected by AIDS may not be healthy enough to work.  Many individuals only get enough food to eat because of international food aid.  This is a terribly sad event.

        This lack of basic necessities limits the average person’s ability to influence powerful changes, in a country that desperately needs to improve it’s quality of life.  In my mind, if the country has that kind of money…i have to wonder, why is the international community forced to provide food aid in the first place?  Those people should be coming first, in my mind, to the King of that country… he and his family should not be living a lifestyle that feeds off of riches…while his own subjects are forced to accept help from outside countries!  That should be considered shameful to the King of Swaziland and it’s officials.  It is, to me, a failure to fulfill his duties to provide care for the people under his rule. (more…)

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