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.

#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.

 

“The Lights of Learning and Reason”

Kennedy

In the undelivered speech he intended to give at the Dallas Trade Mart on November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy wrote, “In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”

We live in a complex and difficult world but we should realize that the world has always been complex and difficult.  Historically, when people feel that the challenges that they face in their own generation and lives are becoming insurmountable they tend to look for a cause for their pain, dissatisfaction, hurt or difficulty.  They often decide that the cause is some “other person” or group of people and they become susceptible to believing the “simple solutions to every world problem” that those who confuse “rhetoric with reality” put forward.   Continue reading ““The Lights of Learning and Reason””

Family Dynamics

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My wife got this Mothers’ Day card today from our daughter, Jennifer.  It expresses what I think are true family dynamics.  When our kids were little we used to say to them, “Just do that again and we will sell you to the gypsies.”  They knew we were kidding and we didn’t mean it…mostly…sometimes, well…every now and then.  Every family has a story like this and it describes the dynamics of a close family.  We would have never sold our kids to the gypsies, but the saying became part of our family’s give and take.  Truthfully, until this card arrived today we had forgotten we ever said it.  Our loving daughter resurrected the saying today and hopefully it will remain part of our family.  We can’t wait to see our grandchildren again!!!  I wonder what else we used to say to our kids that we have forgotten and if they can find cards for those.   YIKES!!!

 

#YouCan’tFixStupid

My last post was about how the neo-Nazi’s and Antifa were #NotWelcomeHere in my hometown of Newnan, Georgia.

People of good will know that those in the neo-Nazi movement are just ignorant fools and the fools confirmed that for us yesterday. The permit that the city issued to these clowns allowed them to hold their ‘rally’ from 3pm to 5pm at the Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan. They set out to march to the park….and got lost.! Yes, in our small city, they got lost. These nuts arrived at the park at 4:15pm. Promptly at 5:00pm law enforcement shut down the rally and sent them packing. These idiots want to run the world; but they clearly couldn’t even run (or find) a lemonade stand.

The really great news is that thanks to our city leaders, the Newnan Police, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Department, the State Patrol and many others, there was no violence and no injuries. There were about twelve arrests, mostly for misdemeanor or felony stupidity.

The good that came from this is the solidarity shown by the wonderful citizens of Newnan in opposition to hatred.

#NotWelcomeHere

I love the town that I live in. My wife and I have raised our kids here and our grandchildren visit often. It’s a peaceful multi-ethnic community 45 miles southwest of Atlanta. Unfortunately, today we’re being invaded.

Two groups are coming to our city that are not welcome here. The racist, ignorant neo-Nazi group NSM is planning a rally this afternoon. To counter that rally the violent Antifa group is coming too. Neither of these groups represents what our city or our citizens stand for.

To the credit of our city leaders and law-enforcement our community is ready for whatever happens this afternoon.

All of our downtown businesses are closed for the day. Because Saturday is one of the most important days for any retail or dining establishment this could have represented a huge loss for those businesses. The citizens of our city resolved to come downtown on Friday night and patronize all of the businesses and restaurants. Last night, when my wife and I went downtown we found the streets packed with good citizens, stores jammed with with shoppers, and restaurants filled to capacity. That’s the kind of city we live in.

These two groups are not welcome here but the United States Constitution guarantees them the right to assemble in my city, your city, and any city. Our citizens have responded to their hatred with kindness and compassion for our local merchants. We can only hope that there will be no violence, no one gets hurt, and these unwelcome intruders will leave and never come back.

#Privacy and #Rights

Recently I received a message from a friend criticizing my decision to #DeleteFacebook . I did because of their intentional information leak to Cambridge Analytica and generally their bad behavior. Please note that I said “information” rather than “data.” Losing private data sounds a bit like forgetting to save a spreadsheet, having personal information given to a third party without your permission is much more serious.

My friend said “If you have nothing to hide, lack of privacy and what Facebook did isn’t a big deal.” That position is ludicrous. To say that privacy isn’t needed because I have nothing to hide is like saying freedom of speech isn’t needed because I have Continue reading “#Privacy and #Rights”