Political Moderation

Why can’t there be a candidate that isn’t an extreme version of their platform?

It’s completely asinine that both parties refuse to back candidates because they’re not completely onboard with party Xs platform. 

Like Mark Cuban said, I think what Donald Trump is doing to politics is the best thing to ever happen to politics in the U.S. Uncensored, not politically correct and completely blunt. To be honest, it’s better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. So at least with Trump you know what you’re getting – some of these candidates are so sketchy and irrelevant. I don’t think anyone can sit here and say yea Trump didn’t earn his living or that he rode someone else’s coattails to get where he is. Yes he’s extreme in some respects but he’s the only one that is most accurate factually when he speaks and not the one riddled with scandals or seem deceptive. 

No candidate is perfect but if I’d have to chose my imperfections right now I’d role the dice and vote for Trump. Is it early? Absolutely. Do I hope he surrounds himself with people that are smart? Absolutely. Is he perfect? No. But at least he’s willing to shake it up and rock the boat in a government that can’t get out of its own way unless it’s to spend more money it doesn’t have. 

On another note, I’ve never been able to understand some people on issues when elections come around. People care more about which candidate will push their agenda regarding LGBT rights or healthcare that doesn’t even apply to them than which candidates economic or foreign policy will fix the current mess the U.S. finds itself. The latter two are infinitely more important because if you get some donkey who is pro transgender rights and green energy but can’t put a bill together to relieve debt or secure stability overseas without creating another Hollywood movie about the U.S. arming puppet dictators/regimes/genocides then there isn’t going to be a government to uphold those liberties or government to subsidize your government healthcare. The fact that people don’t realize that is shortsighted and ridiculous.

Call it terrible of me but it’ll never balance out.

Rant over. 

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Limbo – how low can you go?

I can’t put this all into words. I’ve been wanting to write but not complain, wanting to speak but not in vain. Oh the hypocrisy.

Post graduate life. I think it’s actually interesting. Transitioning from college which is a bubble mix of comraderie, education and learning as well as absolute debauchery to the real world where there is no escape. You can’t get away. Like it’s here and it’s here to stay, you can’t go home for the weekend once you graduate, there’s no hiding. And so far it’s been a tug of war between letting go of that absurdity and trying to do real people activities. It’s an awkward time too. At least for myself, so many things are in the works, new place, new people, new work, new dog, new car. So many things are in the works but nothing has a definite time of arrival which for my OCD and impatience, drives me crazy. The only two words I can think of to describe this period is limbo or purgatory. Just suffering it out not knowing what’s gonna happen or when it’s gonna happen.

The only way to describe right now is that sort of fake smile that tightens up the ends of your mouth but is always given away by your eyes. The “I’m just doing this so I don’t get fined” sort of smile. It’s not sincere, not happy but not sad. Its sort of just okay. Something is missing, wracking your brain and keeping you up at night (clearly, @ 12:30am). 

Like a sound reverberating in your head – quotes of einstein saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results” has me thinking I’m insane. So I’m shaking things up and hoping for the best. Scared money doesn’t make money right? 

It’s been an interesting few months – very Hank Moodyesque to say the least. Spontaneous, unlucky and lacking conclusion, leaving you where you started with what you already knew. Not letting you go forward because of a past that still has you dreaming, a past that you took for granted. But oh well, time heals all? So to avoid insanity, shake it up. New beginnings with a nostalgia for the past and another chance to right wrongs. Completely ass backwards.

Stream of consciousness.

Cheers & buona notte

I think I’ve been Californicated. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Californication, I suggest you indulge. After finishing the series I cannot help but relate to hank moody and distinctly know where he’s going wrong or right by experience. The brilliance, wit and kander of hank moody is constantly met with literal misfortune and innocent decisions that always take a turn for the worse. He is constantly reminded of how he can’t get his shit together, yet is regarded by most as successful. But whenever he is there’s something that pulling him back, something that is beyond his control but yet is at the mercy of. There is an indisputable sense of talent and ambition; a sense of awareness; a realist with a sense of what perfect is. He knows the love of his life is in front of him but simply comes around too late and can’t figure it out. It’s always one more chance or one last time yet like the boy who cried wolf when it actually was time, Karen was long gone. Just when things are going right his wife and daughter begin to cut him out or an outrageous coincidence happens. He can’t save himself from what seems to be deus ex macchina just ruining the day. The instant feeling of replacement shocks hank. He realizes they’re happier without him and let’s them go because he’s as Becca put it “out of the picture.” Hank vilifies himself instead to protect her happiness and keep her away. It’s this interesting moment where one weighs their own happiness with that of whom they love. It goes completely against his creed, to never give up. But when it’s there in front of you, one can only ask themselves, what greater love is there to sacrifice ones own selfish happiness for the happiness of your other. Hank shares another trait. The knack for indirectly pushes those he loves away. He is constantly in battle with the person who loves him most and has gotten to the point where he’s hurt her so much she cannot forgive him or herself in order to be with him. And unfortunately, the same is slowly happening to his daughter. Somehow, maybe for the sake of the show, they’ve held on for years, 16 in Karen’s case. But in my experience these situations end during the queens of dog town scene at whiskeys where Hank is quickly replaced by the nice guy with all the right words, a simple surrender at the obvious and sacred joy that hank is no longer a part of. So as Hank as well as many leaves, he has nothing. 

All he has is the next helpless girl with with a smile.

It was only fitting….

An ode to college
And to what lies ahead.
Even to horrible twin size beds.
Here’s to 4 years of debauchery and academic excellence.
4 years of taking tests using only common sense.
Here’s to the memories built 
In a world suspended from reality.
To Monday morning classes
Aka back to banality.
But what more could you ask for?

We’ve gone to Europe, Cancun, Australia and more.
We found friends in this hopeless place.
Studied every Harvard Business case.
We came we saw and we conquered
Exams, hangovers and spring concerts.
When all hope was lost
We managed to boot and rally 
Keeping down salmos chicken patties.
Here’s to Effins and Rentes
DPS and RAs.
To Machtleys and snow days.
To our lasting legacy
Winning every NEC.
To the nights we’ll never forget
And to those we’ll never remember.
Even to those coming back in early September.

To love to health to friendship and wealth,
May we have it all and lack none, 
May we lack all but one. 
Friendship.
So do not look for the right words to say
It’s not goodbye its good-day.
So cheers one more time to the class of twenty fifteen
Rip one more shot of jose or jim beam.
Get your Natty and jacky D
Keystones and twisted tea
Party from Bs to the Ps.
Tonight is for you, carpe diem, carpe your life.
Carry what you’ve learned through success and strife.
Be great, be more than a hire
Go forth … and set the world on fire.

M

‘Twas the night before Spring Weekend….

‘Twas the night before Spring Weekend, when all thru A1 to P2,
Not a student in sight, with nothing to do;
The Dogs were nestled all snug in their bunks,
Eager to wake up at dawn to get drunk;
Too anxious to sleep, their hearts filled with wonder,
Of which among them would be first to chunder;
Salmon shorts hung in the closet with care
In hopes that graduation would soon be there;
And as I settled in for some light springtime snoozin’
To catch a little rest ‘fore a long day of boozin’
When on Jacob Drive there arose such a clatter,
I got up and looked to see what was the matter;
Out the window I saw through a blanket of fog
A man with a beard, at his feet a bulldog;
I dashed out the door, I couldn’t be quicker,
‘Twas ol’ John Bryant, arms laden with liquor!
The bottles, they clinked and the beer cans, they clanked;
His stumbling gait revealed how much he’d drank;
He put on a tank and let out a yell
To be heard from Salmo all the way to row L:
“Now! André, now! Franzia, now! Jack and Jim Beam!
On! Natty, on! Keystone, on! Burnett’s Whipped Cream!
From the Village rooftops to every lecture Hall,
Now drink away! Drink away! Drink away all!”
Then he called me over with a chuckle so hearty
And conjured a vision of the upcoming darty:
There were girls in sundresses splayed out on the lawn;
Freshmen, hunched over toilets, were already gone;
Fischer’s grand clock hands bathed in golden rays
While bros stumbled ‘neath in a deep drunken haze;
When 9ams somehow become optional
And up before noon is no longer possible.
In MRC classrooms, to professors’ chagrin,
Students sipped out of coffee cups filled all with gin;
From Tuesday night rentes and Thursdays at Effins,
Spring week had a many many lessons.
And Townhouse backyards, so dark and so ratty,
Shone with the luster of crushed cans of Natty;
From up in his tower Ron Machtley watched
All his happy Bulldogs, so free and debauched;
And I knew, swaying in the fair April weather,
How liquor and sun brings the whole school together.
But then Tupper gave out a quick bark,
And this glorious vision soon faded to dark;
John Bryant bent down and rubbed the dog’s head,
And before they both vanished, a few words he said;
Grumblin’ and mumblin’ was all that I heard;
He was pretty wasted, his speech was so slurred;
But as to his meaning, well, I have a hunch:
“Happy Spring Weekend to all, to all you drunk bunch!”

Oh the memories.

M

Chapter 7

Hey, it’s been a while. It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to, so just be thankful I wanted to.

You always hear, you love and you lose. You love and you lost, and you love and you learn. For many, they never lose. For others, the loss is a tattoo and others a memory they cant remember. 

But when you love and you lose. You don’t learn. You lost what you love and love does not reproduce. There is only so much to go around, only so much to use. You spend so much time looking for what you lost that you forget what your looking for or even how to use your heart. You get lost in what you think you’ve found. But then you feel something that reminds you of the real — the lost — and you jump in for the hunt. You jump in for more.

You don’t care if it’s a one way street. You’d rather dance to no music just to move your feet. Because there’s something that got the old clock ticking. Unfortunately though the earth did not stop spinning. 

There are many things in life one may regret but don’t let love or the chance of it be it.

Find what you love and let it kill you.

M

Another Year just Another Cycle?

To those with a sharp memory, the summer of 2014 so far has had some all too familiar headlines. From the Israeli – Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, the death of over 290 innocent commercial airline passengers, disease outbreak in West Africa and now the re-defaulting Argentinians.

                The common cliché would remind us that history repeats itself. However, the saying is often used in a greater sense with reoccurrence decades maybe even hundreds of years later.

                This summer we have seen Anderson Cooper report on Gaza and the Israeli – Palestinian conflict for now the fourth time after seeing this issue arise again and again in 2006, 2009, and 2012. We have seen Malaysian airline flight MH17 get shot down over a warzone in eastern Ukraine resulting in the tragic death of over 290 innocent lives. However, even this, is not something new. In 1983, some may remember Korean Air flight HL7442, shot down by a Soviet Su-15 fighter jet resulting in the loss of 269 innocent lives or in 1988, 5 years later, when Iranian Air flight EP-IBU was shot down by a US Navy guided missile resulting in the loss of all 290 people on board as well. Most recently, the media has caught up on a growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has been surviving and brewing since 1976 that has claimed the lives of thousands. This all sounds disturbingly familiar.

Lastly, what has been flying under the radar for most are the Argentinian debt talks….again. July 29th was the first time in many years the country has agreed and not denied face-to-face talks with bondholders in Manhattan, New York. After hours of negotiation yesterday, both parties still have not reached any resolution, a day before Argentina faces an almost inevitable default. After being shunned from global credit markets since its default in 2002 on $100 billion, Argentina still has not learned from its mistakes. In a country that is already in a recession many suspect that it will not hurt any markets other than its own. Yesterday’s meeting was the first of in more than three weeks that Economic Minister Axel Kicillof decided to show up to negotiate which obviously questions Argentina’s commitment to even reach an agreement. Besides continuously declining invitations to negotiate, Argentinian economic officials have criticized US bondholders and investors as “vultures” tearing at the scraps of its distressed debt and possible default. Amongst the negotiating now lies a myriad of legal clauses such as RUFO, rights upon future offers, that US court judge Griesa has been asked to stay, which would’ve incentivized the terms for bondholders already offered the debt restructure. Speculators say that not extending Argentinian debt would have a greater impact than many foresee, especially for many of its South American neighbors. However in the coming 48 hours it will be interesting to see what is decided and how everything is resolved. It seems to many that beyond this reoccurring Argentinian default, is not only a mismanagement of capital and poor leadership but also an ego that has brought Argentina into these situations in its financial history over and over again. Possibly due to a fear of foreign influence and dependency, the South Americas have always regarded foreign entities as bullies or in this case “vultures.” Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how things pan out for both sides.

How much longer will some of these issues continue to cycle? Will some type of bulletproof agreement or resolution ever finally bring peace Gaza even though many ask if anything ever will? Will Boeing and other commercial airline manufacturers finally decide to designed precautionary anti-ballistic measures to avoid airlines from being shot down? You would think that by now like many others, a disease that’s been actively around since 1976 whose source and cause is known would have been eradicated. How much longer will Argentina continue to default instead of being able to responsibly manage their financing?

2014 so far, for many people has been more of the same, but with many of these issues still in the air as of today, one can only hope that many of these issues finally can be resolved or prevented.

 

Watch the Youtube video in the middle

Fiat delivers birth of new Baby Jeep

Summary of Article

The article that struck me for this insight was the BusinessWeek’s piece on Fiat’s new “Baby Jeep.” Having driven my cousin’s new Jeep over spring break I was able to witness Jeep’s new “Fiatness” first hand.

Facing a struggling Jeep product line with the Cherokee and Liberty, Fiat decided to revamp and reconsider their product strategy. This Tuesday Chrysler Group reported that it sold 26% more “baby” Grand Cherokee’s last month than it did in the year prior. In addition to the new strategy taken towards their product line, a new Jeep Renegade was introduced last month in Geneva, another Fiat inspired smaller cheaper option. As a product line, the small SUV /compact crossover grew from 9.7% to 11.6% nationwide.

It is undoubtedly Fiats new ownership position over Chrysler Group that is facilitating all these changes as well as a shift in consumer demand. Since Fiat, being born and raised in Italy, specializes in high performance, high efficiency and compact size at a reasonable price these changes come much easier due to Fiat’s background.

This article goes ahead and vaguely explains the change in strategy and direction taken by Chrysler Group in regards to Jeep’s product line as well as its recent success. It continues by inquiring how interesting it is that Jeep sold more of a mini, less powerful version of the earlier Jeep Cherokee, obviously at a lesser price.

 

Summary of Illustrated Concepts

This article touches upon a lot of what we’ve talked about in class in terms of product in relation to the consumer, management strategy and even company acquisition. Within the past year, Fiat finalized its acquisition of the American car manufacturer, Chrysler Group. Seeing the struggling and long famous Chrysler, Fiats management saw an opportunity in the shifting American market. An acquisition that many thought of to be foolish and suicidal due to Chrysler Group’s financial problems. However, Fiat saw something that many did not. For years Fiat has been trying to get into the American market, but due to its small, weak and somewhat “not tough” image it has struggled to do so, but now was their opportunity.

For years now the American car market has demanded big, tough, tech advanced, sometimes excessive and gas guzzling vehicles. However, since the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 there has been a change in this trend. Besides the rise in the price of gas, many American consumers demanded more fuel efficient cars without sacrificing too many of the luxuries of what they were used to. This is where Fiat came to play approximately 3 years ago when it made its first move towards acquiring Chrysler Group. Fiat management saw an opportunity and seized it. What this article illustrates is the results of Fiat’s revamping of Chrysler Group, one product line at a time. Taking their changes very cautiously, the new Jeep’s may not be the powerful 8-cylinder, 16mpg Cherokee it was a few years ago, but instead the smallest Cherokee model which I had the opportunity to drive was a 4-cylinder, front wheel drive, Cherokee earning a 26 combined miles per gallon.

Lastly, besides aforementioned concepts above demonstrated by Fiats acquisition of Chrysler Group, Fiat along with Chrysler management have noticed this shift in the American car market and have successfully started integrating changes to react. This re-strategizing, revamping and reaction to the market demand is a key concept or attribute to successful management.

I loved this article for a few reasons. First, may be the most obvious, being Italian and growing up around Fiats, seeing Fiat do well for itself while providing consumers their needs is awesome. Secondly, it demonstrates perfectly how to identify an opportunity, in a very forward looking perspective and taking advantage of it. Thirdly, it also presents a longer more complicated mode of entry through an acquisition. Through the acquisition, Fiat was not only able to take a look at what Chrysler’s weaknesses were and work on them but also introduce their line of small fuel efficient cars and witty Fiat 500 commercials.

Lastly, although somewhat repetitive in terms of what I took from my last insight as well, is the uncanny interconnectedness between the concepts being presented in class and the real world. While identifying what was going on beyond what the article clearly stated, it was interesting to see the farther I peeled into the facts, the more layers and concepts I was able to identify and connect to the article. Out of all the assignments I’ve had over the years, it is ones like these that I’ve always learned from the most because they are the epitome of connecting what goes on in the real world to what is being taught in the classroom and without this connection, most of the time what goes on in the classroom goes unused or unseen because no connection is ever identified. So I can say without hesitation that articles like this and the analysis of articles in general contribute highly to my understanding of concepts covered in class.

 

 

 

Stock, Kyle. “Fiat’s ‘Baby Jeep’ Strategy Pays Off.” Bloomberg Business Week. Bloomberg,        01 Apr. 2014. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-01/fiats-baby-jeep-strategy-pays-   off#r=hpf-st

 

“The Last Samurai, Panasonic continues”

Summary of Article

This article is about Japanese tech giant Panasonic’s decision to revamp and refocus its efforts after reports of a 1.5 trillion yen loss in the last two years ending in spring of 2013. As a result of the approximately $14.8 billion loss Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tsuga has planned to trim any unprofitable divisions of the company by March of 2016. With an exponential rise in competition in Asian tech manufacturers especially in China and South Korea, Panasonic was forced to make some drastic changes in efforts to reposition itself ahead of its competitors.

 

The article goes ahead and explains in detail the change in strategy and direction taken by Panasonics management, as well as its recent success. With reallocation of innovative and operational resources Panasonic has taken a greater role in its automotive and industrial systems departments. Tsuga has decided to cut the companies losses by either suspending, trimming or completely shutting down operations in plasma TVs, circuit board manufacturing and smartphone production. As the article explains, Panasonic for a long time has been reliant on a highly competitive consumer electronic market, which is now crowded by companies such as Apple and Samsung. Therefore Tsuga is pointing Panasonic away from consumer electronics and into more stable, longer lasting relationships with other companies such as Tesla Motors. Aside a redirection, Tsuga is also dealing with high production costs in Japan which is causing losses in the semiconductor manufacturing sector or Panasonic as well.

 

Summary of Illustrated Concepts

This article resonates upon several of the concepts covered in class. Aforementioned, Panasonic has been forced to implement new strategy due to the increase in competitors and change in the landscape of the market. In doing so CEO Tsuga, is seeking to take advantage of new market opportunities, bar off future external threats, and remain profitable in the midst of an ever changing industry and economic changes. These changes have allowed for Panasonic to become a nimbler, leaner organization, bail out of unprofitable businesses and take a path to recovery. In order to properly demonstrate these changes I have chosen to highlight external opportunities and threats, as well as Panasonic’s ability recognize its position amongst its industry and competitors.

 

In regards to opportunities & threats; Panasonic, unlike Sony, was able implement a strategy to take advantage of changes in the industry as competition grew exponentially over the last ten years as well as the landscape of the consumer electronic market. These two threats as well as the unprofitable businesses Panasonic was able to recognize it was involved in led to what now Panasonic can consider a recovery from its heavy losses. Had Panasonic not recognized these shifts and made the appropriate changes to these changes early on, they could have ended up where Sony now stands. Instead, they executed two major movements in these areas, which converted threats to opportunities for Panasonic.

 

The changes Panasonic underwent in the past year have repositioned the company. These two changes were not only the slow exit from the consumer electronic market but also the shutdown of unprofitable businesses. Then to address its semiconductor production issue it merged its operations into joint ventures with Fujitsu and Tower Semiconductor Inc., as well as sell three plants to UTAC Manufacturing services. These changes have been the genius of Panasonic’s management and seem to be just the right ones as Panasonic’s numbers are all projected to be favorable in their coming quarters.

 

How the Article Contributes to my Concept Understanding

I found this article actually very interesting. I was not aware that Panasonic and Sony were impacted so much by the rise of Apple and Samsung among many other brands now on the consumer electronics market. However, as a fan of Panasonic it was also interesting and nice to see management recognizing external changes and reacting to them appropriately. I also liked and saw the value in partnerships with Tesla Motors and other industries as they are much better moves than trying to compete with the outrageously advancing speed of the consumer electronics world. With this article I saw not only real life applications and identities to problems that giant multinational companies have but also how to deal with them and find profitable solutions.

 

Additionally, as the sample also concluded, when looking at what elements discussed in class to apply to this case, it was probably the most difficult part due to their interconnectedness. Many of the concepts and elements are very related and tough to easily identify without simply going through all that may possibly apply. Even though I realized this during this assignment, I was not surprised that everything was so connected, simply because one aspect of business always has almost endless effects on the others.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Amano, Takashi. Einhorn, Bruce & Yasu, Mariko (2014, February 13). Panasonic Revives as Other Japansese Tech Giants Falter. Retrieved February 16, 2011, from Bloomberg Businessweek:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-13/panasonic-revives-as-nintendo-sony-falter