Friendship

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Me, Andy and Carissa Storey

Last weekend I traveled to Ashtead, England to celebrate Andy Storey’s 60th birthday.  One might fairly ask why someone living in Newnan, Georgia would venture to England for a birthday party.  The answer is quite simple: Friendship.

I first encountered Andy on a conference call in the mid 1980’s when he was working for British Caledonian Airlines and I was a revenue management consultant.  We later began working together closely in the early 1990s when Andy migrated to Australia to work for Qantas and I was still consulting.  During that time I also met Carissa Rae who was a new Analyst for Qantas.  In fact I was her instructor when she came to work in the revenue management department.

To make a very long story very short, the friendship between Andy and myself grew steadily, based upon our common interests in airlines, mathematics, sports and pubs.  His interest in Carissa grew for the simple reason that she was wonderful.  My wife and I had the honor of being present at Andy and Carissa’s wedding in the Blue Mountains of Australia just over 25 years ago.

In 1999, Andy and I, along with Tim Hart founded The Rubicon Group.  For the next 12 years we worked closely together and made that company a great success.  We spent many days together, many flights together and many strategy sessions together working to make the firm grow.   We also had many dinners and drinks together imagining what it could become.  Rubicon sold in 2011 fulfilling our hopes.

Along the way I helped Andy come to understand the beauty of baseball and he helped me understand the intricacies of cricket (I even played  several times on his team).  We have laughed, worried, supported each other and those around us and enjoyed each other’s perspectives on life. 

Through all of this time, Andy and I have remained friends.  We have watched our children grow, our hair turn gray, our communications with each other grow slightly weaker due to distance and emerging new interests.  But I can still say that Andy is one of my dearest friends.  He and Carissa have been an important part of my life and hopefully will be for many years to come.

Reflecting on all of this, that is what friendship is all about.  It is the process of getting to know someone, finding significant common ground, working or doing things together, enjoying the ups/downs, closeness/separations and good/bad times together.  In one way it is a mutual exchange of honesty and openness with another person.  I can say clearly that Andy is the type of friend anyone would be fortunate to have.

Here’s to you Andy.  Congratulations on your 60th birthday.  I look forward to hoisting a pint with you on your 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th.  All the best my friend.

Morality – A Complex Matter

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I have been asked to conduct a two part session on Christian, specifically Catholic Christian morality.  Many people feel that the Catholic Church has an extensive set of rules – the do this and don’t do that list – that governs morality.  That is not the case.  I will post an audio of the two sessions once they are finished.  Below is an overview of what will be covered in the class:

Our Moral Life in Christ
Tuesday and Wednesday, September 10 and 11, 7:30 – 9PM

St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Newnan, GA. 

In our modern society, morality seems to mean different things to different people.  For some, morality is subjective and what is or isn’t moral is up to a person’s feelings at the moment.  For others, morality is a strict set of rules that must be obeyed without question or thought, essentially becoming the “dos and don’ts” that govern life.  Then for others, morality is driven by their affiliation with a political party or point of view.  Our Moral Life in Christ, basically living a true Christian moral life is not subjective, political or simple.  For Catholic Christians, a moral life allows for personal freedom but demands hard work as well.  In this presentation/discussion we will explore what it means to live an authentic moral life and how to apply Christian morality to the contemporary issues that society faces today.  Please plan to join Deacon Steve Swope as we explore this important topic.

#NoTariff is Good – Second Time Around

The Stock Market drops – tariffs help that to happen.

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About 18 months ago I wrote a piece stating that #NoTariff is Good – They are a Can of WormsI wrote this prior to any tariffs being implemented on goods imported to our country.  My intent was to help with the understanding that a tariff placed by a government is essentially a tax on its own people.  It is simple: 

  1. The tariff (tax) is placed on goods that are imported into the United States
  2. Businesses who purchase those goods pay the tax to receive the goods
  3. Businesses raise their prices because of their higher costs
  4. Consumers pay the higher cost due to the tax imposed on the imports
  5. Essentially the consumer has paid the tax with the business operating as a conduit for the payment
  6. Businesses that do not pass on a 10% – 25% cost increase…don’t survive

We now have arrived at a point where virtually all goods from China are being taxed with threats by the President that those Tariffs will increase.  While the economic Neanderthals surrounding the President claim that the tariffs will do little to harm the overall economy their claims ignore that they will harm the end consumers (i.e., all of us) and the tariffs don’t conform to sound economic policy. 

So why then, after following policies of free trade, no tariffs and low taxation are Republicans so silent on the imposition of these economically harmful tariffs?  I saw this and I think it explains what is going on…

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Let’s make it clear to Congress that tariffs will cause financial pain for the average American and those who allow or impose them at any level of the government do so at their political peril.

 

Our Planet

PlanetWith the vast number of television outlets to watch and the huge number of shows and specials available, the average person (me) can find it difficult to find a truly remarkable series, but I managed to find one!  The Netflix series, Our Planet is well worth checking out.  The eight part series premiered in early April.  If you care about nature or just this blue marble we call Earth, this will be a treat for you.

Here is the Netflix promo language:  “Sir David Attenborough narrates this eight-part series that explores the unique wonders of the natural world. Produced in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, “Out Planet” uses a combination of stunning photography and technology to present Earth’s remaining wilderness areas and their animal inhabitants. The project took four years to complete, with more than 600 crew members filming in 50 countries across the world to showcase the diversity that exists among habitats, from the remote Arctic wilderness to the jungles of South America.”

Have a look, you will be glad that you did and you will come away smarter.

2019 Golden Eagle Dinner Honoring Rep. Lynn Smith & Dr. Steve Barker

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The Flint River Council of the Boy Scouts will be honoring Dr. Steve Barker, Superintendent of the Coweta County School System and Representative Lynn Smith at this year’s event.  Both Rep. Smith and Dr. Barker are very deserving of this honor for their steadfast dedication and efforts to better our community.  Please consider attending this year’s  dinner on March 19th at the Newnan Centre.  As a previous honoree, I can say that the support of the community is incredibly gratifying.  I hope to see you there.