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. 

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

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

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

All good things must come to an end…

The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.
Saint Augustine

A semester abroad…..4 months, 18 weeks, 126 days and a million moments I will never forget.

My Facebook status 4 hours before leaving Florence:
As I spend my last few hours in Florence, I realize how cliche this all is; how students come here step out of their comfort zones, live and fall in love with this city. However, I know one thing and that is that these buildings may or may not last a thousand more years, but the memories and friendships that I’ve made will. Thank you everyone and fly safe. Keep in touch and expect a visit from yours truly. 

I didn’t think this status was that good. But as the likes accumulated and comments came I guess it was pretty good. These last few months have been more than extraordinary. The people I met and the sites I saw will forever be ingrained into my mind. The utter grandeur and amazing people I met will walk with me for a long time if not forever. Going abroad is such a temporary “thing” with such a lifelong impact. It’s kind of crazy. My status in retrospect is perfect in explaining it. Living in a foreign or at least my case, barely foreign place, alone, forces you to step out, forces you to do things you usually don’t. It makes you take initiative. Mom isn’t there to wash your clothes or make your bed or feed you or do groceries or anything. You have you, yourself and the people you meet. I’ve been trying and trying to grasp or put my finger on what it is that could, in one simple thought, describe studying abroad in its entirety and I just can’t.

I think the sites and images in your mind eventually disappear. Everything you saw, smelled and heard. All that fades away, hence why pictures are seen as so essential sometimes even though they never do the scene justice. But what doesn’t fade are the people. The people you meet abroad, whether local or other students, are literally growing as you are. The moments lived with them….will change you. Knowing all these people abroad and all over the US now, opens so many windows. Oh I’m in California, let me see what ______ is up to or hey I’m in Baltimore, I wonder if _______ wants to grab lunch or dinner. Even better, hey I’m going to visit ______ down in Charleston or the Cape for the weekend, ciao! I don’t know what you think but that’s awesome.

I mean, I’ve never been the type to get soft and sappy over things like this because people come and go in your life but this was different. It was so cliche and everyone saw it coming everyone knew it was going to happen. Millions of students that go abroad experience this but it happens anyways. I don’t know, maybe I am overdoing this but, who knows.

All I have to say is I’m more than grateful to have been given the opportunity to study abroad. More than grateful to have met the people I have met, do the things I’ve done and experienced what I’ve experienced. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. And I promise you I’ll be back. AND you best believe I’m planning some type of reunion. Already have a standing agreement with some of the boys that if one of us makes it one day we’ll reunite and buy a place out in Tuscany and open a club in Florence and put all the others out of business. Haha….one day. Nonetheless, I’m almost at a loss for words becuase it hasn’t all happened  or set in yet. Maybe there will be a part II of this post. Anyways, thank you for reading.

Alla prossima.

Ciao

M

Londontown

Late post but as always, better late than never.

It was funny when I first went to write this. I went to write, Cherrio! As in the English way of saying goodbye? And it auto-corrected to Cheerio’s like the cereal. Found that to be a knee-slapper.

Anywho, a few weeks ago I met my mother in London. It was awesome to see her again since homesickness was starting to set in. So I hopped on a plane, packed some clothes to send back with her and flew out to London.

Well, of course I had no service and found my way to the hotel. There she was sitting in the lobby, slightly uncertain that her 20 year old son that has recently traveled all over Europe would somehow not make it to the hotel. Nonetheless her face breathed a breath of air after she saw me walk through those doors.

First day we hit the city hard. Got on one of those classic red double deckers and hit the streets. Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge and London Bridge just to name a few places. Had lunch and dinner in some pubs and a steak house. English food is pretty terrible but I lucked out on my selections. I actually found it nice that in many of the pubs (Silver Cross @ Trafalgar) you have to pay first then eat etc. So much easier and you’re not stuck waiting for the check like you usually are in Europe. Had a couple cheeky pints with Mom and hit the hay.

Day 2&3 were comprised of going on the Eye of London and the Castle/Fort of London, a still standing medieval castle that allowed London to be what it is today. View from the Eye was sick, basically was a Ferris wheel on steroids and the Castle was sick. Saw the Crown Jewels and some sweet English accents. At night we went to Harrods. That place is ridiculous, there is everything. When I say everything, I mean like everything. You can get a haircut, pick up some milk, a Louis Vuitton bag, some tea and crumpets and be on your jolly way in one stop. Literally redefined, “one stop shopping.” What was actually really interesting was the Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed memorial with in the Egyptian staircase in Harrods. As the owner of Harrods, I don’t know the specific details of their relationship but as some may or may not know they both died in a car accident years ago that was pretty controversial. Nonetheless, in the memorial there is a absolutely decked out ring that Dodi was supposedly going to give Diana from what I understood. Sitting there in a solid glass pyramid was this massive shining ring. Impressive, well done Dodi.

Overall the city was awesome. A great combination of old and new. Such an old city with such a new and wealthy history. London was definitely the most pricey, but I could see myself living there. Don’t know why but I just did. Maybe it was being with Mom that gave me that impression. Don’t know. But being with her, she does whatever, pretty go with the flow, was fun because she doesn’t complain when it comes to traveling. We walked in the rain, wanted to kill a couple people and possibly slash the tired to a couple of those double deckers at one point but laughed it off. After all, it isn’t London if it doesn’t rain. Overall great time, would do it again anytime. Can’t thank Mother enough.

 

That was London. This is now. Buona notte.

 

M