Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bottom of the News… Friday, October 30, 2009

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. Today we have another candidate who will most likely share his vision and ideas for our city. And Ron, just so you know, I’m a Rotary Reporter and I don’t’ normally pick on our guests, BUT since we gave Brian Fagan some “valuable advice” we felt that “equal time” was in order so I have a few things for you to consider.

To begin a St. Petersburg, FL newspaper asked their readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?" and “How Would You Reduce Government Expenses in Tough Times?” and here are the two top ideas.

1st Idea… Fixing the Economy
There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force, so pay each of them $1 million severance pay to retire with the following stipulations:

1. They must quit their jobs. That will create 40 million job openings, unemployment is fixed and the cost the government is way less than the hundreds of billions for their ideas.
2. They each must buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered, Auto Industry fixed.
3. They each must either buy a house/pay off their mortgage, Housing Crisis fixed.
How’s that for a simple solution, maybe a smaller version could work in Cedar Rapids?

2nd Idea… Reducing Expenses in Government
When a small business hits a downturn, they have to make cuts, typically by eliminating jobs. For remaining workers they typically are motivated to find ways to work smarter, faster, etc. or they risk losing their jobs as well. This is common sense in the business world – in order to remain profitable and in business you have to make sure your expenses don’t exceed your revenues.

Why not take the same approach in government at the federal level:
1. Reduce the House of Representatives from 435 members to 218.
2. Reduce to Senate 100 to 50 (one per State).
3. Savings = $150 million/year in salaries for congressmen and staff salaries.
4. And the biggest savings = $7.5 billion in pork barrel ear-marks per year!

The remaining representatives would hopefully be motivated to work smarter and to working together more for the good of our country or risk losing their jobs as well! A common sense approach learned from businesses and families; maybe this concept could work at the local level too?

Politics Quotes
Okay, and finally, Ron a few quotes to keep in mind as your next few days unfold…
-"Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary." Robert Louis Stevenson
-"Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don't understand, such as working for a living." P. J. O’Rourke
-"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book." Ronald Reagan

And there you have it, political advice, for what it is worth, just for you Ron. This is the Bottom of the News on this Friday, October 30th, 2009! ###

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bottom of the News… Friday, October 23, 2009

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. Today we are back in the news and our first story comes from Kentucky…

Kentucky: The Butler County, KY sheriff had a warrant out Joe Oros III who jumped bail on drunk driving was arrested in California. The Kentucky sheriff decided to drive to California pick up Oros himself and after making the 4,100 mile trip the prisoner insisted he was not wanted in Kentucky. "Yeah, yeah, every convict has a story," said the sheriff, dismissing the protest. Upon arriving back in Kentucky they discovered Oros was the victim of identity theft, and they had the wrong guy. Oros was flown back to California and he promptly filed a wrongful arrest suit against Butler County sheriff’s dept. Oros’ lawyer noted that a pre-faxed mug shot would have saved the sheriff a trip and his county a lot of money; a costly mistake for a mistaken identity. Meanwhile, Oros said he liked Kentucky so much that he is considering moving there. His attorney is working on a deal to make his move a part of his lawsuit settlement.

Washington DC: A report came out recently from Homeland Security regarding the results of a new program called "Operation Scheduled Departure." The Immigration and Customs agency launched the program in five cities with the hope that some of the estimated 13 million illegal immigrants would deport themselves. The agency targeted 457,000 illegals, all of whom had been ordered to leave the US over the past year, but had not done so. The program offered free passage back to their country and no arrests or prosecution. Early reports claimed positive responses during the initial 30-day pilot phase, which cost $180,000. However, buried in the back of the report were the real results showing that only eight people volunteered to be deported. Jim Hays, program director, said, "I don't consider the program a failure, we just didn’t give it enough time.” Sounds another great government program at work!

North Carolina: For their season opening football game against McNeese State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill planned two stunt men to parachute into the stadium to deliver the game ball. Come game time, the officials kept scanning the sky and could not find the skydivers. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes later when UNC associate athletic director Rick Steinbacher got a phone call from the Duke AD screaming at him asking what kind of stunt he was trying to pull. As it turned out, the skydivers picked the wrong stadium and landed at Duke’s stadium eight miles away, where Duke had just started their game with James Madison University. "We thought it was hilarious,” said Steinbacher, but the Duke people apparently did not agree. “Oh well, maybe they will get over it in about five years, or maybe longer, maybe then it will be funny to them, maybe…"

And there you have it, real news all the time, the Bottom of the News on this Friday, October 23, 2009! ###

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bottom of the News… Friday, October 16, 2009

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. Today our speaker will most likely share his ideas and vision for our city and maybe even give us a glimpse of his leadership style.

As you know, this reporter does not make it a common practice to offer advice to our guests, BUT since expressing opinions seems to be a very popular thing during this political season, I thought it only appropriate to offer just a few quotes in regard to leadership. We begin with…

  • Delegating work works, provided the one who is delegating works, as well. - Robert Half
  • The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You then must develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it. - Elaine Agather
  • Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it. - Dwight Eisenhower
  • A leader is a dealer in hope. - Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Leaders don't tell people HOW to do things, they tell them WHAT to do and let them surprise you with their results. – General George Patton
  • The key to successful leadership today is influence, not position or authority. – Ken Blancard
  • Inventories can be managed, but people must be led. – Ross Perot
  • The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what needs to be done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. - Teddy Roosevelt
  • To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn't know where he is going. – Joe Nameth
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. - Peter F. Drucker
  • Remember, perceptions become people’s reality, so the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. - Max Depree
  • If you think you are leader and turn around to see that no one is following you, then you are simply out for a walk. - John Maxwell
  • Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men; the other 999 follow women. - Groucho Marx

And there you have it, pearls of wisdom on leadership, for our special guest (does that give you some help?) and for each of us. This is the Bottom of the News for Friday, October 16, 2009! ###

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bottom of the News… Friday, October 2, 2009

Good morning everyone and welcome to the bottom of the news. Today I am going to share with you some “not so important THINGS that you really don’t need to know,” in other words useless info to impress family, friends and fellow workers…

  • The strongest muscle in the body is your toungue.
  • Only one person in 2 billion will live to be 116 years old.
  • Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots.
  • The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagra Falls froze completely solid.
  • There is no Betty Rubble in Flintstone's chewable vitamins.
  • Banging your head against the wall uses 150 calories per hour.
  • Right handed people live on average, nine years longer than left handed people.
  • Polar bears are left handed.
  • A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.
  • the shortes war in history was between Zanzibar and England in 1896; Zanzibar surrended after 38 minutes.
  • Donald Duck was originally banned in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
  • Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
  • More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in airplane crashes.
And there you have it, THINGS that you don’t REALLY need to know as the Bottom of the News on this October 2, 2009!