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Monday, September 29, 2008

Limiting Executives Pay

Update: Executive pay will be limited in the future. That's one good thing. What's not good is this: CNN states, "But the executives' current contracts, which may include golden parachutes, would still stand".

What's wrong with our congress-people? It's the CURRENT contracts which reward executives for bankrupting their company that's the problem. Sure - it's good to limit issues in the future, but if the taxpayers are supposed to pony up billions NOW - then let's limit compensation NOW.

Sheesh! It's time to vote lots of people out of congress and vote some in that will spend our money in a financially responsible way. This is ridiculous.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Financially Strapped WaMu CEO leaving with 18 MILLION after 3 weeks on the job????

Here's a great example of the "golden parachute" - and the WaMu CEO has only been on the job 3 weeks! I want that job......

I think business packages need to tie CEO or C-level compensation to the overall health of the company. If the company is struggling, so should the c-level employees. If the company is doing well - then I'm all for sharing the wealth, so long as it's shared throughout the company. I don't even mind the c-level executives getting millions IF the company is thriving, employees are being hired and compensated well and stockholders are seeing their wealth grow.

But - a 3 week tenure and 18 million in compensation for it? Just the fact that it's possible is absolutely ridiculous. Are taxpayers going to have to fund that, too?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congress Bailing out Businesses

Congress today announced they have a bailout plan. On one hand - this is good news. My 401K may actually stabilize and do I dare hope - increase?

On the other hand, I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

I'm simplifying this, but here's some thoughts:
These banks are private businesses.
The employees of these banks (with management approval, of course) made loans to people with risky credit.
These people with risky credit defaulted and aren't paying back the loan
The banks are feeling the heat and don't have enough money
These businesses are now in serious financial trouble.
The government gives these private businesses that mismanaged their own finances OUR taxpayer money.

Does this really make sense? It may be best for the overall economy to stabilize these massive private banks, but if it is, what should happen to the bank executives? They are responsible for setting the policies that allowed sub-prime lending. They are responsible for making poor financial decisions.

I say we get rid of them and not pay them a penny for "golden parachute" clauses. Having an executive leave their position with millions in severance pay is ridiculous, especially since they ran these businesses into the ground.

What's really missing in this bailout plan is the repurcussion action. What actions do we need to take against those who are at fault? I'm not talking about the loan manager at the local branch - I'm talking about the strategic policy makers who set the line for what's accepted and what's not. They got us into this mess - they need to stand up and take responsibility, not our money.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My thoughts on this article: Parents Call For Coach's Firing After Sideline Confrontation

I just read the story titled “Parents Call For Coach's Firing After Sideline Confrontation”. Are these parents kidding? Are they completely off their rocker? Or perhaps, from a cynical view, are they are setting themselves up for some shyster ambulance chaser to represent them in a lawsuit?

I can't figure it out. Perhaps they see their son’s bad (and possibly illegal) behavior as grounds to become the next Warren Central millionaires? Or maybe they believe their son is special and should be treated like a china doll even though he was considered old enough and tough enough to engage in football – a sport that could be compared to a controlled physical fight? These parents have a ridiculous expectation and one that goes a long way towards explaining why some children today have no idea what its like to take responsibility for their own actions.

The parents should be grateful that the coach stopped unacceptable behavior before it did get too far. The parents should be glad that their son was taught an invaluable lesson, which is this: Football may be a game which increases testosterone levels and fuels raw emotions, but responsibility and respectability must be behaviors which are observed at all times. Sure, the coach grabbed him. Sure, the coach pulled him to the bench. That’s part of being a football coach and he was fully within his rights when stopping a player from crossing the line from playing a game of football to engaging in an all out fight.

Don't get me wrong. There are boundaries for coaches as well. Coaches have to be the FIRST role model for responsible behavior. In this instance, the coach did not cross that line. He acted human. He acted angry towards a player for acting so foolishly. He acted embarrassed on behalf of his other players and the school. He acted like a football coach who refused to allow his players take a game where skill and physical ability are prized and turn it into a stupid little childish grudge match.

My advice to the school: Don’t be intimidated by these parents. Stand your ground.
My thoughts to the coach: Thanks. Thanks, for caring about these kids enough to stop a situation that could have gotten much worse. Thanks for benching the kid for the game. Maybe he’ll think twice before he punches another player after the play is done.
My words for the parents: Stop being stupid. If you really think you’re child is that fragile, pull him out of sports and wrap him up in bubble wrap and duct tape before he leaves the house. If you don’t want to do that, let him take the full brunt of his own actions. Because what you’re doing now isn’t doing him any favors.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Football Coaches Do Not Cancel Games

It's been raining all day and without even thinking too much about it, I checked the high school website to see if the football game was cancelled due to weather. About noon - my caffeine kicked in and I realized what a tremendous waste of time my efforts were.

Football coaches do not cancel games! Baseball coaches will, track coaches will and all other kinds of normal individuals will. But - I've realized something over the years - football coaches are not normal. Quite frankly, they are nuts.

The first glimmer I had that football coaches didn't operate on the same playing field as the rest of us was about five years ago. Lucas was in a playoff game. It was scheduled for 8:00 pm on a cold November evening. It was about 45 degrees outside and it had been drizzling freezing rain for two days. And guess what? The game wasn't cancelled. It gets worse, though. Once the kids showed up, the coach gathered them all together and told them to go jump in the mud puddle and get as dirty as possible. My jaw dropped - it wasn't just muddy - it was FREEZING mud! They were going to be dripping mud before the practice even started! I gave a frantic look at the coach's wife. She returned this sad little headshake indicating that she really did try her best to domesticate the man, but when it came to football - it just didn't take. Outside of football, the man was a perfect gentleman and a genuine fun person.

They also don't think there's anything wrong with playing with major injuries either. If I ever heard a coach tell an injured player, "Get your behind back in the game. Your bone's not even sticking through the skin. Your sister could play better than you!", it wouldn't suprise me a bit. (OK - that's a *little* exaggeration there, but not by much!)

I think there's something inherent in football coaches that make it impossible for them to give in to any kind of challenge. First - it's the only outdoor sport I know of that is played into the winter. How many superbowls have we watched during snowstorms or freezing rain? Coaches LOVE that stuff. But, there's also an emotional aspect to it. It's a primal, raw, testosterone laden desire to not only kick the snot out of someone else, but when its done in less than prime conditions, you must get extra man-points or something.

I'm trying to procrastinate actually going outside right now. I really dread getting wet and cold, especially since I'm just getting over some bug my son gave me. Perhaps if I keep writing, they will all just leave without me and I can spend a quiet home tonight watching movies. Keep your fingers crossed. As for me - I'm sitting here praying that perhaps someday, some really smart scientist somewhere will come up with a pill to cure football coach insanity.