What a sad state of affairs when F500 CEOs show a better moral compass than POTUS

After last weekends racist riots and Trump failing to condemn the racists, yesterday several F500 CEOs resigned from Trump’s administration in protest and lashed out at him.  What a sad state the US is in, when F500 CEOs show stronger moral fortitude than the President of the US.  Trmp was recently described as a “vile man,” and to date that is truly the best description for him.  Vile. What is sad is that the racists are misguided – they blame minorities for their problems when really it is our Decision Makers of the past 40 years who put us where we are in terms of disparity, including decisions made by the very same/wealthy F500 CEOs who are speaking out against Trump.  

The riots last weekend really aroused people of all kinds and beliefs on all sides, even before a racists drove through a crowd of protestors.

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What a sad state of affairs when F500 CEOs show a better moral compass than POTUS

Banning College Football although I love it very much

I love college football.  My parents are football fans, and at times had season tickets to both the UW Huskies and Seattle Seahawks, so football in particular and all college football in general was a part of my life growing up.  But as I read The System, as I learn even more about how inept the NCAA is while it and the TV Networks make *huge* dollars while kids work for free, how the vast majority of college football teams *lose* money despite huge expenditures at the expense of education, how coaches make millions per year while universities lay off professors, how the players are at huge risk for brain injury despite making no money at all, I simply can’t watch it anymore. I *won’t* watch it any more.  I want to, but to do so is to be complicit in it.  My conscience won’t let me do it.  I can try to justify it, or try to ignore it, but if I do that I am just as guilty as anyone, like Pontius Pilate.  Just like I refuse to watch porn since porn is usually exploitation of young human beings, I will not watch college football.  

I will watch the NFL for the time being.  I think the NFL is in decline anyway, since so many parents refuse to let their kids play football anymore, just like if we are  honest with ourselves Major League Baseball is a shadow of its past since many fewer kids play baseball today than decades ago.  But President Obama said it best, I think: “The NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies.”  But, still, many NFL players probably don’t see themselves as having a choice, since often football is all they know, and honestly 95% of them are treated like cattle.  It may be that some time in the future I refuse to watch the NFL, as well.     

Sources: The System (Benedict et. al.).

Banning College Football although I love it very much

The Day I wanted to wear a tux to the office…

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see I was going to be layed off that day.  They had a duplicate person in my role, companies numbers were shriveling, and although my team posted some of the best numbers in the company that quarter, lay-off choices aren’t based on numbers and the other guy was a better cultural fit than me for the company (not my team, but for the company, which was making the decision). So when the VP said he was flying up that morning, I knew what it was for…

I’ve never understood people who go down without a fight when there is literally nothing to lose and other people get all the gains. In Paths of Glory, why did the three sacrificial lambs (soldiers) go so calmly to the gallows?  Why do people elect to go to combat in Viet Nam (if they didn’t believe in combat) instead of simply choosing a few years of prison?  Why did people called cowards for not enlisting in World War 1 then go out and enlist?    Screw that.  I want to live by own codes, and not allow others to bully me into being a sacrificial lamb.  Go down swinging!

So when the VP flew in that morning, I wanted to wear a tux.  For fun.  To show him that while he thought he was being sneaky as he made his plans the previous two weeks,  I knew exactly what he’d been up to but didn’t have a vested interest to fight him during that time since I already had a better option/place lined up. In essence, I wanted to wear a tux to publicly mock him in the office 🙂  (Receptionist: “Why are you wearing a tux today?”  Me: “Because Scott is waiting in the conference room today to let me go and I wanted to celebrate my freedom.”)   But my wife (wisely) insisted I not do that (wear a tux).  So, instead I showed up two hours late, didn’t shave,  and kept my parking pass so I could get out of the garage.  The tardiness, especially, and later the parking pass, threw a bit of a wrinkle in his plans (for example, it gave him less time to work a transition before his afternoon flight).  If I wasn’t worried about a bonus check that I was supposed to get at the end of the week, I wouldn’t have shown up at all that day at all, so he at least got me to show up.  

Since then, I am at a bettter place, a place where I was going to move to anyway except I had to wait for that darn bonus check, whichg came 6 weeks after the quarter.  So it all worked out for me.  But it would’ve been fun to wear a tux to the office, that day, to show the world that I live by my own code.  

Finally, I love that my team posted 60% growth and had its second profitable quarter in a row (we were profitable and showed growth both quarters I was there) my final quarter there, and that I was able to collect my final bonus check before heading off into the sunset.  And since that occured 3 months ago, my entire 6-person team has quit, they closed zero new contracts and posted a loss, and finally they shut down the office last week.  Maybe I should’ve worn a tux last week, when they had to shut down an office that just 3 months before I had going on a good track 🙂

The Day I wanted to wear a tux to the office…

“Button, Button” by Richard Matheson was an awesome story turned into a Twilight Zone episode and should be mandatory reading for every person in the world

I first read “Button, Button” in 1994 when teaching High School English. I’ve never forgotten the story, and should be mandatory reading every single grade school classroom in the world, as we live it every single day of our lives.

In the story, a woman is given a box with a button on top.  She learns that if she pushes the button, two things will happen.  First, she will be given cash (I believe it was 10K, which in today’s dollars would probably be 100-200K).  Second, someone in the world that she would never meet otherwise will die.  The question is, would she push the button to cause a random stranger’s death in return for cash?

I love this story, and it’s a powerful theme we face every single day.  For example, if we buy inexpensive but fashionable clothing, we are choosing to endorse companies employeeing low-wage poverty-stricken sweatshop workers (e.g. see “Life in Debt” about workers in Jamaica).  If we watch NFL football, we are allowing billionaires to exploit the largerly lower class, who give up their bodies and brains and job security for a shot at a season or two in the NFL (very few players end up rich).  If we allow CxOs to pay themselves millions of dollars in bonuses while employing working poor by shopping/eating at companies who employ these CxOs, if we continue to allow Boeing and Safeway and Apple and Amazon and Walmart and Alaska Airlines and Ford and so on to continue to control our government,   if we allow for-profit companies to control our healthcare and food supplies, etc etc etc – we are pushing the button.  

So many times, all of us are pushing the button — allowing unseen people to live in misery so we can have something — we are pushing the button.

I’ve gotten better about pushing the button.  I am wearing lulu lemon gym clothes from three seasons ago, I buy my fruit from the local farmers market and my groceries from the locally owned market (although both are more expensive), we grow a lot of our own herbs, I give food to the homeless I see on the street, and I’ve cut down on my NFL watching.  You literally can’t pay me to shop at Walmart, and I take the bus instead of driving.  I have a long way to go, and I will continue to try to get better.  

“Button, Button” by Richard Matheson was an awesome story turned into a Twilight Zone episode and should be mandatory reading for every person in the world