Mr. Bill George Presents

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

George Carlin. Richard Pryor. Barack Obama?

In News, Politics on June 13, 2009 at 10:21 PM

Guess what. I smiled the other day… more specifically at this video which aired on ABC News (and probably every other station on the planet). This video shows President Obama writing an excused absence note for the daughter of a man who was attending Obama’s town hall. The man’s daughter’s name was Kennedy. How perfect. Or… too perfect?

A lot of people have been clamoring that this whole thing was a fake, an attempt at the ultimate PR move. A President who is hip, who can roll with the people and dare I say be down to Earth. Now a lot of things lead me to believe that it was in fact genuine, (the shakiness of the Dad’s voice, Obama’s speech pattern, etc) but even if it’s not: Who cares?!

Maybe Obama isn’t cut out to be Richard Pryor at his town meetings, but he’s not supposed to be. At least it’s a step away from the fear mongering, brash, overconfident, town halls that Curious George (W. Bush) used to run. Remember those? Where he said that, “Human beings and fish can co-exist peacefully.” I am all for an administration that’s a little more out in the open, not one where Dick Cheney records captain’s logs from the bridge of the Starship PacemakerPrise.

But enough about Vice Presidents who shoot their friends in the face, let’s face facts: At the very smallest level, Obama gave this little girl a story that she will forever cherish, even if it was drawn up by Obama’s “people.” It takes a lot these days to even get me to watch the news, and based on the Big 3’s ratings a lot of people share my sentiment. But if there is a little glimmer that there’s some little bit of humanity in this world, particularly from our elected officials, I’m more apt to pay attention to the state of the nation.

Don’t take this post as pandering support for Obama, becuase I could care less who you voted for. Take it for what it is, a nice little story. Or maybe you would rather hear what Joe the Plumber/Welder/Barstool/Sixpack’s latest move is?


Jimmy Hoffa: Leader With Strength

In Business, Politics on May 29, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Leadership is a characteristic trait that not everyone has. As we all know, this trait has become difficult to find in true form. I am currently writing an article for my own website which centers around the topic of leadership. I had to place that article aside and write this post because it brought me back to a class I enrolled in during my undergraduate studies.

That class was conveniently called Leadership. During that semester, we had to select an individual we felt was a good representation of a leader and present him or her to the class. The professor mentioned various leaders that other students have went forward with like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Nelson Mandela. Many of the students went with leaders the professor mentioned. However, I submitted my own list of the following individuals to my professor: Bill Clinton, Jimmy Hoffa, and Henry Ford. My professor returned my list and said “Jimmy Hoffa? This is an interesting choice. Please go forward with this.”

Why did I place Jimmy Hoffa on my initial list? That is a good question. I do not even know why he crossed my mind at that time. I have to admit though… the man was a leader of a different breed. He may not have been the most straightedge individual, but he knew how to guide a group of people in the same direction to accomplish a common goal. If you are not sure who Jimmy Hoffa is; he was the President of International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters is a labor union in the United States that helps employees achieve proper wages, work rules, complaint procedures, benefits, working conditions, and other various key areas of employment.

Jimmy Hoffa really knew how to rally people together and display a level of motivation that would sincerely empower people. He did not place himself on a higher level than the people he led. He always placed the people he was fighting for first. There is not much footage of Jimmy Hoffa online, but check out this CBC video: Retrobites: Jimmy Hoffa. When given the choice between power or money, he chose power in order to help the workers within the union. In my opinion, Jimmy Hoffa could be placed among some of the best leaders in the United States.

I do not want this post to become a biography of Jimmy Hoffa, so I must conclude with this paragraph. A leader does not always have to be a United States President or the CEO of a company. Some leaders end up turning up on the “dark side” after accomplishing positive objectives but Jimmy Hoffa wanted to help the workers in the United States and did what he could to make that happen. He led with a desire to help the every day man. If you ever get the chance, check out the movie Hoffa, starring Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito.

Jimmy Hoffa

Will Ted Kennedy Really Get Away With Murder?

In Politics on May 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Wealthy people and celebitites are seldom accountable for some of the crimes they commit… including murder!

The Credit Card Bill of Rights is just another example.  Of course anything is an improvement over how we’ve been preyed upon and cheated over the past 20 years by these bankers and their Lawyers.  Let’s see if the banks out-maneuver our politicians and consumer groups over the next 9 months to negate many of the benefits.

This just highlights yet another injustice and one that we just have to swallow hard and accept because it’s never going to change.

Isn’t it amazing that our politicians and consumer groups would publicly state that  the banks have been “cheating Americans out of their hard-earned money” yet there’s no penalty, no fine and no consequence for how they have financially destroyed so many individuals and  families throughout the world.  We just change the rules in a “cat n’ mouse” game to see if we can prevent it in the future. 

However, we’ll send some little flim-flam man to jail for 5–10 years if he gets caught on a corner or in a bar cheating someone out of $10 in a three card monte game! 

Just another example of how our laws and the consequences for breaking them seldom apply to wealthy people and corporations. 

Whick makes me wonder if Ted Kennedy will take responsibility for killing Mary Jo Kopechne before he soon dies and joins her!  

It just amazes me how so many people can let that man and the Kennedy family get away with murder…albeit negligent vehicular manslaughter.

The fact that he left that woman in a submerged car fighting for her life and gasping for air in an air pocket for who knows how many hours while he consulted with his buddies and lawyers to figure out how he would save his political career,  is beyond inhumane.

After all these years he still doesn’t have the remorse or “the balls” to tell her parents the truth.

The fact that he is revered by so many is an absolute travesty and one of life’s absurdities that I will never understand.

Would somebody who has voted for Ted Kennedy please explain to me how you can reconcile the death of Mary Jo Kopechne and pull that voting booth lever for that murderer?

Memorial Day 2009

In Politics on May 25, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Today is the last Monday in May and thus, Memorial Day. A day to celebrate and commemorate those who have given their lives while in military service.

Instead of just accepting this as another long weekend (as I usually do), I decided to look the holiday a bit more this year. And what I found was the actual military order (General Order No. 11) that established this holiday.

It is so beautifully written that I felt the need to present it to you here.

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will, in their own way, arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, Comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers sailors and Marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion.”

What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation’s gratitude—the soldiers and sailors widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this Order effective.

Please Disable My OLAA Credit Card Account

In Business, Politics on May 10, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Dear American Express, CitiBank, Wells Fargo etc,

This is your Official Notification to AUTOMATICALLY DECLINE any charge I authorize that would cause my account to go OVER-LIMIT.

I know I should track the running balance on my credit card accounts and every charge I make…“to the penny,” but my day to day life is sometimes hectic and complicated and I have moments where it is either inconvenient or downright impossible to manage all my work and personal responsibilities and relationships…and the drama of my daily life.

Since you regard the crossing of my credit-limit line, “even by 1 cent”, to be such an egregious offense that you would punish me with an immediate fine and then double or triple the interest rate on my past balance, I want you to know that you have my attention and I also take this seriously.

On a Side Note: As an industry, I commend you for convincing our politicians and lawmakers that they should extend such legal “jurisdiction and punishment powers” to your industry. Most of our courts, judges and arbitrators do not posses this degree of power (which can easily financially ruin an American Family) without some sort of an administrative process. A process where the accused has an opportunity to present some facts and circumstances and have his future intentions and past behavior in the community mitigate the punishment. The “Judge, Jury and Sentencing Authority” you have over all Americans holding your credit cards is an impressive testimony to your influence and control over our politicians and government.

But I digress…I’m not sure if you have checked-in with your IT Department recently, but I wanted to let you know that you now have the technological ability to deny any charge to my account that would cause me to inadvertently commit the egregious offense of exceeding my credit-limit. Actually, I find it surprising you have not been providing this customer service option and service already since you consider this such a capital consumer offense. Hmmm…I wonder why?

Anyway, please excuse my lack of knowledge as to which Federal Law I should cite as the reference for your requirement to honor my request and I hope you will agree that it makes a lot of sense that I would choose to have you decline any charge that would cause my account to go over-limit rather than pay an additional over-limit fee and have my interest rate increased on my previous balance that we both agreed would be paid…but at a lower rate.

I do appreciate your concern that I not be embarrassed or inconvenienced at check-out with a disapproved charge but I would rather deal with that embarrassment and situation than pay you an extra $ 3,000 in interest over the next year for the $ 24 pair of pants I was trying to purchase.

Honestly, I believe Federal Law should dictate that banks require Card Holders to specifically opt-in to activate an Over-Limit Authorized Account (OLAA) and agree to the fines and the doubling and tripling of the interest rate. Quite logically and fairly…the same Federal Law would also dictate that banks cannot disqualify activation of a credit card account or terminate a credit card account solely because a Card Holder does not opt-in to an OLAA Account.

But then…who am I to be promoting such logic, common sense and fairness? As we all know, our Senators and Congressmen (and women) are always looking after our best interests and if what I just suggested made any sense whatsoever…it surely would have been done a long, long time ago.

So again, please disable my Over-Limit Authorized Account (OLAA).


Rick MacDonald

Pirates Vs. Pirates

In Comedy, Film, News, Politics on April 17, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Lately there seems to be an abundance of news regarding pirates. Mostly of the Somali variety, but also the web kind. And this got me thinking: What would be worse? Being captured by Somali pirates on the high seas? Or being forced to sit through all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies again?

My seething hatred of the Pirates movies has been well documented but any chance I have to reiterate it, I take. They are a worthless heap of cinema with Saturday Morning Cartoon level writing, aggravating performances and frustrating plot developments throughout. (Which is understandable given that the basis for the trilogy is an animatronic water ride in Florida.) Yet, inexplicably, they were some of the most popular films of the last decade.

Meanwhile, pirates keep boarding ships off the coast of Somalia and endangering the lives of those onboard, at times leading to hostage situations and standoffs. That is, of course, when they are not busy getting pwned by Navy Seals. (I love America.)

So what’s worse: being captured by pirates? Or watching Pirates?

Well, right off the bat, being captured by pirates dramatically increases my chances of being murdered. But watching Pirates dramatically increases my chances of committing suicide. So that’s a wash.

You may think the movies should get a point for having Keira Knightley, but you’d be wrong. She’s not the sweet Knightley from all those Red Carpet specials. She’s the bitchy, complaining, phony Knightley who gives the worst inspirational speech in the history of film during At World’s End. Meanwhile, if my ship is captured, perhaps I’ll be locked up with a Knightley-esque fellow hostage. Those types of life endangering experiences often bring people close together and we’ll be in contact for years to come. Point for the Somalis.

At the end of the movies I will have accomplished nothing besides successfully wasting 463 minutes of my life (7.7 hours for those wondering). At the end of the standoff with the pirates, while I may end up dead, I may also end up alive with a fantastic story to tell. Not only to everyone I know for the rest of my life, but more importantly to a ghost writer. The book and movie deal would make me boatloads of cash (pun intended).

Which I guess leaves one last question: who would I want to direct the movie based on my story? …I wonder if Gore Verbinski is available…

Sound off in the comments: which would YOU prefer?