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This morning I was looking over my blog and stumbled upon an old blog I wrote in July of 2010 titled Getting Back where I realized that I had allowed myself to balloon to 210 lbs!

Well, it’s been a long road since then – full of fits and starts in addressing that problem. Back then I set a goal of dropping my weight to 175 lbs and running a marathon in 2011. The good news is that I’m down to 169.8 lbs now although I haven’t done the marathon yet. I’ve had mixed results there – my first attempt at a half-marathon in May of 2011 was interrupted by a business trip to South Africa; my second attempt at the same half-marathon in May of this year was interrupted by a knee injury. Still, I will try again. I’m slowly ramping up my mileage again (did 6 miles on Sunday) and this time I’m also doing weights to strengthen my muscles around my knees as well as cross-training more. My goal of hitting 165 lbs before the end of the year is definitely in sight and the half-marathon is a priority for 2013 with a stretch goal of the Marine Corps marathon next October!


After many years of NGOs and other organizations trying to slander Israel by claiming it’s an apartheid state (all the while ignoring the fact that Israel has 1.3 million citizens who are Arabs – both Muslim and Christian – who enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the Jewish citizens and bending the definition of apartheid significantly in order to use it as a epithet against Israel) here’s an interesting little tidbit that recently came up.  The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ambassador to the United States calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state that will be free of Jews – i.e. Judenrein.

USA Today reports that this statement was made on Tuesday, September 13th at a meeting with Christian Science Monitor reporters by ambassador Maen Areikat.   Ambasssador Areikat called for a Palestinian state that is free not just of Jews but of minorities of all other faiths as well!  So, who would be the apartheid state then?  The Palestinians want a state based on apartheid and ethnic cleansing – they apparently need this separation to “work on their own national identity.”   Where is the indignation and the outcry from the NGOs and the other organizations who repeatedly slander Israel?  They’re pretty quite about this idea…their silence is pretty deafening and damning.

Normally I don’t really like Roger Cohen’s op-eds in the New York Times (and the Times has quickly worn thin on me – as well as Roger Cohen –  with their persistent and pugnacious anti-Israel slant) but every so often he does write up a fairly nice piece.  His op-ed Age of Outrage is particularly good.  In this op-ed, which I will only summarize here (it is left as an exercise for the reader to read the op-ed for themselves), Cohen focuses on the current outrage that has boiled over in the UK into riots and how the Germans have managed to avoid the same level of disaffection with globalization and the shift in the world economy that is now spreading throughout the UK, Spain, Greece and other countries (and which is spreading – albeit not with the same level of furor as in the UK – to the US).

The best part of the op-ed is actually the first comment that was posted by Doug Terry of the Terry Report (Doug, like me, is a resident of the Washington D.C. metro area).  His comment is very apropos:

One of the best ideas need not come from the Germans. It is simply this: let’s not go overboard with the doom and gloom. The UK, and Europe, have surely gotten themselves in a pickle, but let’s not jump in the barrel with them.

There is a terrible dislocation going on in the US in regard to jobs moving overseas, chasing lower wages, longer working hours and a compliant, no benefits workforce. What can we do about it?

1. Find a way to decouple the paydays of CEOs and other top management from the performance of their stock. Require a 50 or even 70% tax rate on stock gains made in a public corporation while an executive is serving and for five years afterward. Compensating people to ruin companies and cash out with hundreds of millions of dollars must stop.

2. Demand that all American founded corporations declare whether they are, or are not, still American companies. If, like GE, they take in over 50% of their revenues from overseas and if they no longer wish to be American companies, then decouple the benefits, tax breaks and protections they get.

3. End “special purpose corporations”, which are little more the sly means of doing secret and/or dirty deals by their large corporate creators.

4. Monitor corporations for compensation relative to total profits and profits as a percentage of revenue. Make the information public, so that citizens know when a corporation is basically getting rich, as Wal-Mart does, by keeping employees on low wage scales.

5. Change the pro-corporate slant of court rulings by changing laws and, if necessary, Constitutional amendment. Balance must be restored between citizen and corporate power.

6. No more free lunch for broadcast companies which pay nothing for television and radio licenses and keep those licenses for generations, unless they sell them for many millions.

7. Develop comprehensive policies to encourage job creation and new business development. Reward companies for creating jobs here.

The above says a lot – and could go further if we mix in the concept of term limits for politicians (no more “careers”), campaign finance reform (to eliminate the power of SuperPACs, PACs, and corporations), and tax code reform (and I mean REAL tax code reform – no more of this band-aid on top of band-aid nonsense).  If we could do what Mr. Terry suggests above from a corporate governance perspective and what we need to do in terms of term limits, campaign finance and tax code reform, we may go a long way to righting the ship that is the United States and to steer it back to a more prosperous future for everyone.

March 2019
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