As the CEOs of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler sat before Congress, there was a growing tendency in American public opinion to shift blame to the UAW and the labor unions for the financial failure in the U.S. auto industry. Nonsense! Yes, auto workers in these corporations are well paid, but they NEGOTIATED their wage and benefit packages. These same CEOs were a part of the agreed labor contracts, and the corporate executives meanwhile enhanced their individual income packages EACH by many millions of dollars. If GM, Ford, and Chrysler had continued their sales growth, as Toyota and Honda did, there would not be this mess in the auto industry. No labor union ordered the U.S. auto makers to build huge SUVs, Hummers, etc. That decision was made by the heads of the industry.
Few presidents, if any, disgraced the office and damaged the nation as much as George W. Bush. Perhaps our lofty hopes for Barack Obama are unattainable, but we are left with little beyond that in the rubble of 2001-2009. Think of how low the image of the U.S. has sunk in the past eight years. Even our closest nation-friends grew to despise our actions. No democratic nation in the world thinks George W. Bush's military adventures and corporate hand-outs were the actions of a man of democratic intent. He is/was an ignorant bully with smaller nations. He had people tortured. He ran up astronomical budget deficits. He landed on an aircraft carrier with the boastful "Mission Accomplished" banner boorishly displayed. This military bravado from a man whose military "career" left a great deal to be desired.
Yes, I am concerned about the selection of Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Yes, her sometimes despicable husband can be a problem. Yes, she differs in perspective from Obama on some key issues. Yes, she can be annoyingly cold.
Something very new is about to happen in the U.S. It is pivotal in many ways. While a change in administrations in Washington, D.C. always results in anger, sour grapes, jubilation, hope, or some other strong reaction, this change is more significant. Our new president is identified as an African American, though he has plenty of Caucasian blood as many African Americans do. That alone makes this significant. But there is much more. On the brink of economic disaster, fighting two wars of questionable outlook and unjustified cause, and a long and undemocratic trek into greed capitalism, the U.S. needs moral and ethical renewal very badly. It is time to put aside petty and not-so-petty prejudices and strong political beliefs, and join in the needed hope and support of the intelligent, noble young man about to rise to take the chair of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt.
It is difficult within the confines of a blog to thank all the people who have influenced and impacted my life. Of course my children and grandchildren. And as a very vulnerable little boy, there were two precious grandmothers who saved me. My friends. And I offer a deep expression of gratitude to the men and women who serve all of us in the military service. Perhaps most of all, I would like to take this opportunity to offer thanks to all the men and women who serve altruistically in an effort to help the underserved in society. There are many quiet angels at work in the world that we are rarely aware of as they go about their thankless service...many of these people serve for no thanks at all, and that is why they deserve it from us. We have become so materialistic in our society, seeing value only in things and the gateway to things. More than ever, those who serve outside that motivation, serve simply to help the human race, my deepest thanks go out.