Blog Archives

One Person’s Painful Exit is Another Person’s Helpful Departure

Good? Bad? The right move? The wrong move?

Whatever your view, whether you were for or against Brexit, the historic exit happened and the process of Britain leaving the EU (European Union) continues to unfold. The fascinating dynamic that’s been transpiring in the months that have followed is that the EU still appears to be exuding an air of arrogance and utter disbelief that Brexit was the elective choice of the British people last year.

When votes are cast by the public, there are consequences, both good and bad in a variety of forms. However, many votes in elections (if not all) are cast for specific, passionate reasons. Even proponents of the EU conceded a little bit that the bureaucracy of the governing body needed amending and reform. The simple fact is the EU has not catapulted Europe and its diverse citizenry to the forefront of the globalized world, as many predicted during its inception. The gamble was big and the winnings have been, to a majority of voters in Britain, nonexistent…or perhaps only microscopic.

Some voters prefer to take a scalpel to a problem and surgically fix an issue piece-by-piece. Some voters prefer to take a sledge hammer to a problem to begin knocking down a long-standing institution that’s not working and not getting any better. The macro vs. micro debate, as demonstrated in Britain, the United States of America and other countries around the world, is swinging quite significantly towards the macro solution. This meaning people are leaning towards dramatic, wholesale change versus tinkering with the failing status quo.

To make matters more intense, the recent smugness of the EU not only illuminates their resistance to the reality of its struggling and frustrated European people, but also fuels the strength of the current populist movement well into the future if that reality isn’t understood and resolved with both a scalpel and a sledge hammer.

“…the least painful for the EU.”
–Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

And now the acclaimed and brilliant historian Niall Ferguson with his trademark insight, quick-wit and humility.

Mr. Tusk chose the correct word near the end of his remarks above: painful.

Ironically, that’s actually the word many of the Brexit voters likely felt concerning their working and living situations day-to-day under the failing bureaucratic labyrinth that is the EU.

P.S. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the terrorist attack in London. 

Happy Monday!

Tomorrow is the day…

This presidential election has been unusually consumed and driven by negativity and dire forecasts for our future. While it’s true that every election (national, state and local) is competitive and has the potential to get heated, we must figure out ways to overcome the divisiveness by proposing an appealingly positive vision. The reassuring saving grace to remember is that the future isn’t predetermined and, if people are able to bottle their individual energy and ideas into a force for the better, then one of those moments that redefine sciety can happen.

The greatest part of America isn’t the president, but the American people. And if our leaders remember this eternal truth, then our future can be the best of what we the people envision.

For the time between now and election day tomorrow, here’s a reminder of the wonder and happiness that is our world when two completely different beings come together for a moment of sheer joy.

A baby penguin and a zoologist for the win.

Have an Inspired Week!

“It was incredibly painful”

The headline was Amanda Knox’s reaction to Diane Sawyer of ABC News regarding the decision, made about a month ago, by the Supreme Court of Italy to annul her acquittal from back in 2011.

Today, Amanda Knox’s book and memoir, “Waiting to Be Heard,” will be released in bookstores. It will detail her four year struggle involving the discovery of the gruesome death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, and the subsequent charges of murder against herself and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. This entry will not rehash the details of the trial or of the case, but instead contemplate how false and factually baseless accusations led to four years, or 1,400 days, of two people’s lives to be locked up and never given back.

Ever.

College lasts a duration of four years for most individuals, unless an advanced degree is being obtained. Reflect back upon the first moments you can recall of your freshman year in college. Young, anxious and naive. The partying, er studying, was about to commence. Now, fast forward in a blurry flash to the moment you are walking across a stage to receive your diploma. Between those two singular points, contrast the person you were going into the college experience to the person leaving. For most everybody, there are at least a few striking differences. Our looks probably changed, as did our perspectives to some degree. And all throughout, we had unprecedented freedom.

We could breathe.

It can be nearly impossible to imagine a world without freedom until it’s not there. Devastatingly, this was the new found reality for American Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. They were locked up in an Italian prison for four years. It’s a surreal amount of time, especially if you stop and think about it in terms of days, hours or minutes. Truly mind-numbing.

Focusing on Amanda, in four years, here are some of the things she missed:

A presidential election/first three years of a new term in office
Not knowing what an iPad is
Four Super Bowls/Washington Huskies football seasons
now on to more serious things…
A financial meltdown comparable to The Great Depression
College
Celebrating birthdays for members of her family and friends
Celebrating her own birthday with family and friends
Sleeping in a safe, comfortable bed
Being able to walk outside if the sun was shining
Going out with friends
Attending concerts
Only feeling anxiety from tests
Being a carefree twenty-something
Dating
Having the only crime against her being she was having too much fun before entering the “real world”
Smiling
Being happy
Not being perceived globally as a heartless murderer

Amanda Knox’s first on-camera interview with Diane Sawyer airs tonight on ABC at 10:00 p.m. Here are a few snippets from that interview released last night by ABC News.

Below are two photos of Amanda Knox. The first is from 2007 and the second is from 2013 during her television interview. It’s still difficult to comprehend how she had to change and grow up from being twenty years old to becoming a young adult while behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit, all while constantly asking herself a seemingly unanswerable question, “why is this happening to me?”

amanda-knox-2007
New York Daily News, 2007  

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Ida Mae Astute, ABC, 2013

In Italy, we all witnessed a judicial system that operated by the mantra, “guilty until proven innocent.”

The Italian Supreme Court had their time in front of the media. Now, five and a half years later, it’s Amanda’s turn.

The Art of Compromise

Donald Trump offers to get the American public inside the White House for tours during the next several months while the person who sits at the head of the table is President Barack Obama. What?

A recent Newt Gingrich tweet read, “Donald trump should offer to pay for the white house tours. He can afford it and it would show who cares more for American students.”

CNN reported that while taking part in an interview over the phone with Fox & Friends, “The Donald” responded to the tweet with, “I think it’s so nice of Newt to suggest that.” He added, “But it sounds reasonable to me. Why not?”

Donald Trump, who repeatedly criticizes the president, is willing to write checks for $74,000/week, or $2 million for the necessary seven months (according to the U.S. Secret Service), to the United States government. The federal government is run by the same President Obama who, in response to enduring Trump’s constant critiques, made direct and equally cheeky retorts to the aforementioned billionaire business mogul at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011. This seemingly bizarre offer would mean that the American people could again visit and regularly take tours of the White House currently occupied by a man Trump politically opposes in Mr. Obama.

As a famous Ohioan once said, “Only in America!”

Despite any preconceived notions people may have towards Mr. Trump, they do have to applaud his offer. He is willing to spend his own money earned in the private sector to fund the over-spent and temper tantrum throwing public sector for the good of the country. It is strange though how he puts his name over everything since he wasn’t the one who actually built his company over all these years…the nerve right!

“It’s certainly not a lot of money. The big thing is that the country is going to lose a trillion dollars this year,” he said. “Closing the White House tours is not exactly the biggest thing on the agenda.”

Picture Donald Trump funding the White House tours and for his second act sets-up signs, posters and advertisements of all shapes and sizes around the entire perimeter of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue promoting, “White House Tours, courtesy of Donald Trump.” There would be gold for as far as the eye can see with John Rich, Omarosa and Bret Michaels handing out Trump gift bags while happily mingling with the visitors.

It would be “terrific!” (It could even become the season finale of the next Celebrity Apprentice…ratings-ratings-ratings!)

Trump, who has built an empire synonymous with opulence, extravagance and the color gold, would give back to the American public on vacation in our nation’s capital and countless 8th graders on their annual class trips the joy of experiencing “the people’s house.”

Actually, this would provide America’s students with a great lesson combining political science with physics: one political stunt will generate an equal and opposite political stunt.

Forget dinners, this would get President Obama to sincerely negotiate with the Republicans. Americans would win with paid-for White House tours and the president would finally witness firsthand the power and positive influence of the private sector.

Donald Trump for the win.