Taking wing and winging it
I am taking wing for Dubai on Friday, so I thought I would take the opportunity to wing it your way prior to departure.
I’ve been to Dubai a number of times in the past few years. I suspect I will see fewer cranes dotting the skyline, and perhaps downtown traffic at 5 PM will not prompt images of parking lots as it has in years past. Dubai is certainly a reminder of man’s hubris. We all knew something was amiss. Its troubles remind me of the old skunk test. If it looks like a skunk, walks like a skunk, and smells like a skunk, it’s a pretty good bet that thing is a skunk!
But really, who are we to lecture anyone about fiscal responsibility? A lot of smart money says we haven’t even begun to see the the worst of our own commercial real estate woes. So we have that going for us; which is nice.
As I prepare to take wing, I note that Tiger plans to announce to the world what he plans to do with the rest of his life. Yawn. Tiger is a sad waste of talent and space. He’ll be back, and the sports media (Dan Jenkins excepted) will eventually find a way to sneak him back into the mainstream. Pitiful…next subject
I’ve added a link to my blog list. Glen Meakem is a successful businessman with whom I have a hard time finding any fault. He is pragmatic, passionate, and insightful. I have excerpted part of his fine blog on global warming below:
“Now, let’s leave the propaganda behind and look at some real facts surrounding current global climate trends. First, recent snow storms recall similar events which took place decades ago, including many decades ago in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, before the global warming zealots claim that “climate change” had begun to kick in. Second, since 1998, there has been a modest global cooling trend, not a warming trend. This cooling trend was not predicted by any global warming model, and, this cooling trend has happened without a drop in atmospheric CO2 levels. Third, in the face of this rather “inconvenient” trend, certain leading climate scientists deliberately falsified temperature data and blocked the publication of opposing points of view in peer reviewed scientific journals in order to bolster the man made global warming theory. This scientific dishonesty was blown open by thousands of emails and other computer documents made public in 2009 by a whistle blower (this scandal is known as “climategate”). Fourth, Michael Mann, a graduate student who became a professor at Pennsylvania State University, manipulated climate data and produced the now discredited “Hockey Stick” chart, in order to suggest that warming trends within the past 100 years are a unique phenomenon. Fifth, the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has been shown to contain numerous significant factual errors, including the completely baseless forecast that ALL the Himalayan Glaciers will melt in the next thirty years. And sixth, it is clear from the geological record that the Earth’s climate has changed very dramatically over time without any human influence and is in fact always changing.”
In his State of the Union address, President Obama made a case for his clean energy legislation by saying “…I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.” That statement should scare people.
I look at a fellow like Glen Meakum and wonder why he doesn’t run for office. Why do so many successful engaging Americans shy away from public service? In truth, you know as well as I that I’ve just posed a rhetorical question. The process has become wholly undesireable, and the burdensome regulation and scrutinizing (gotcha) media have turned the noble pursuit of public service into a game of whack-a-mole.
Historian William Lee Miller wrote an insightful book called “Lincoln’s Virtues”. He talks of Lincoln’s ascent, and how, simply by force of presence and intellect, people just wanted to help him. There were countless examples of people lending an economic hand as the penniless Abe Lincoln climbed his ladder of success. When reading of his early days, it struck me that today such kindness would be savaged by the media and opposition party as corrupt behavior. Lincoln would be investigated endessly, and those who had lent a helping hand persecuted to the point of personal destruction. We have created a systemic electoral cancer; the cream of the crop is not running for office. Instead, we see mediocre opportunists (not all, but too many) entering the fray. (How many elected officials leave office with more net worth than when they entered?)
On a lighter note, Miller recounts a story Lincoln often told on himself. Lincoln did not drink, smoke, gamble or swear. He was once on a stagecoach with a man who (over the course of the ride) offered Lincoln a chew of tobacco, a cigar, a then sip from his flask. Lincoln politely declined all offers. When departing at the end of the journey, the man said “You’re a clever but strange companion. I may never see you again, and I don’t want to offend you, but I want to say this: my experience has taught me that a man who has no vices has damned few virtues. Good day!”
Winston Churchill once said “He has all the virtues I dislike, and none of the vices I admire.” Lincoln and Churchill would have been quite a pair. It just goes to show there is more than one way to skin a cat.
More to follow-