Thursday, August 20, 2015
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Volume 88 - Mystery "Italy" (continuation of Volumes: 82-83-84: excerpts unpublished novel)
...The secured telephone conversation between Tony Tuscono and Francesco DiGiuda, Captain with the Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard (Guardia Svizzera Pontificia) concerning the kidnapping of the God-Son of Pope Paul II who was very good friends with Pope Francis concludes.
Tuscono gets up from his desk, within the soundproof/telephonic glass enclosed studio, ready to start the checklist of details necessary for he and the Shanghai office Team 3 unit to video conference when Jonathon Carpenter (GST's IT guru) clicks the speaker and advises both Tuscono and O'Brian that there is a second call coming in from Francesco DiGiuda. Tony instructs Carpenter to put it through the same secure line as previous call and motions for Maggie to sit back down as obviously his friend Francesco forgot to mention something from the call of only a few minutes ago.
(Golds, Sachs & Thomas - GST, the business name, and security firm used by Tony Tuscono and the members of a unit designating "Gold 6" only for Presidential access. An access initially ordained by a former President while the architect of this unit was heading up spook headquarters engaging in some rather dicey dealings especially in the Middle East. The main headquarter office is located in the newly renovated Victor Hotel, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami with satellite operations in New Orleans, 1104 Toulouse Street across from the Maison Dupuy Hotel and Shanghai, China, 2 ChangDe Road, each with a skilled over achiever running day to day operations.
The Victor Hotel was a dilapidated structure and part of Gianni Versace's real estate holdings that went into receivership and located only a few short blocks from his opulent residence which was taken over by his family and will undoubtedly be served up to some group with more money than brains. This renovated Hotel had some serious union construction problems which was solved by GST, who at the time was looking for space as well as living quarters in Miami for Tuscono. In return for the problem solving feat and all future security, GST acquired 2,600 square feet with an additional 2,150 square feet of residential space blueprinted into the plans with secure entrance off the main lobby. A four foot wide by eight foot high eight panel solid oak door opening with a state of the art i.2 series G16X7 iris/voice scanner built into the locking mechanism esthetically consisting of only two four inch in diameter holes was part of the lobby construction less than twenty feet away from the main elevator banks. This i.2 device has the capabilities to measure the human characteristics of the Gold 6 Group separating out the hundreds of people using the lobby on any given day. This State of the Art technology continued through this secured section of the building with full hand-print scanners, facial recognition devices and keyless pads and proximity sonar all trailing from this door through the twenty-two foot enclosed narrow hallway to the next set of doors that led into the office complex with all product specifications and installation directly involving the i.2 Shanghai group, another division of Gold Sachs & Thomas, including their research and developmental arm. The mix of privacy, security, secretiveness all within public scrutiny was truly the stroke of genius, and to some degree a point of humor, that permitted the integrity of the group to function.
The residential entrance was off the original garden of Versace's building patio and kept for the most part in-tack with the renovation of the Hotel. A relatively plain, non-descript metal door, bullet resistive, artistically painted to blend with surrounding décor with grade 1 six point keypad locking mechanism, i.2-series 1790, combined with a 5-point fingerprint access on outside, viewer and i.2's newest security exit trim opens to a 6' x 14' x 12' high foyer. The foyer is scanned with three remote HD CCTV units and heat sensors working in conjunction with the proximity sonar to allow a specially equipped MRI type reading access control for entrance. At the far end was another 4' x 8' door, blast resistant, designed by Mega-Met company. It was their model MRB-2S, a medium range swinging blast door on five stainless ball bearing hinges, i.2 series 1101 and lock/unlock sensors tied to the main control panel. Upon passing through this 3" thick opening an ordinary steel stairwell two flight up onto a balcony and a pair of French doors lead into Tuscono's residence.)
It didn't take but a few seconds for Tuscono to feel uneasy as something was missing from this conversation and the previous request for assistance. He looked through the glass separation at Carpenter who motioned that something was different technically with this secure line. Turning his head slightly he motions to Maggie, who was also involved in listening to the conversation to not contact J. Hymon, Operations leader of Team 3 Shanghai office, as he previously ordered. His gut instinct didn't disappoint as Francesco apologized but said that he had forgot some specific instructions and requests from the Church Hierarchy concerning this kidnapping situation. Tuscono turned his head slightly in his usual manner when taken aback with something unexpected as he looked at Maggie while DiGiuda stated, "Mr. Tuscono, sorry for this call back to you but His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Baptista is very concerned not only with the safety of Karol Jozef Stephenson but with the political fallout of this kidnapping; therefore, he does not desire the end result ending in some type of public trial; and, to that end his request is that your team put the final end to these kidnappers so please be prepared accordingly."
A long pause occurs as Tuscono simply looks at Maggie (Maggie O'Brian, VP of Operations GST Miami, former Olympic Shooter, SIS - UK's secret intelligence service - the only member who had duel citizenship due to her father being English, M15 - UK's military intelligence unit specializing as Sniper Captain, and a stint working on special assignment to the Masada with degrees from Athens University.)
After what seems like several minutes DiGiuda starts to apologize again for the second call but is interrupted by Tuscono saying "my friend, our friendship goes back to your father and we have had a mutual respect for a number of years but I'm afraid that we now have a problem with your request." With his voice taking on a growing intense tone by the second, Tuscono continues, "GST is noted for doing a variety of assignments with not only people of various reputations throughout the world but also with many diverse countries some of which have no diplomatic relations with this country. We run the 'rail and the edge' on what is legal and what is moral but we don't kill people simply for the sake of keeping someone quiet. It appears from what you stated in our previous communication that you have good intel on the alleged kidnappers as well as the cooperation from Interpol to the extent that you seemingly are even convinced of their general location. Your objective of rescuing a God-Son of a former Pope is your assignment to which we wish you all the good fortune in that pursuit. But if our assignment is simply to kill the alleged perpetrators in this matter I suggest you find some independent mechanic and please advise Baptista that we recognize the political fallout and understand his concern. I will continue to wish you the best and feel free to keep us informed but this is something that we cannot be involved with. Good-by DiGiuda." Tuscono ends the conversation.
Before Tony could say anything Maggie simply says, "What the Fuck was that about and why the attitude to Francesco? Isn't he a friend of yours?" And, as Maggie is about to say something else Tuscono simply raises his hand, a jester of his that means 'Stop' but is also a very irritating motion that everyone at GST is sadly aware of. Maggi just rolls her eyes and becomes silent.
Tuscono hits the speaker and instructs Jonathon to play back both of the phone transmissions and says, "Do your digital magic on both calls. Something is wrong. I need those calls gone over with your sweep programs as well as your new 'truth' technology that you patented last month and I need to know immediately what you find. I spoke long enough that it should give you a larger playing field to cover all background sounds as well as to compare this call from the previous.
He looked at Maggie, who's expression was now not of surprise but the beginnings of understanding, and said "we'll find that both calls are technically different and I'm sure Carpenter will find that out, to some extent or another. Secondly, and most importantly, our friend is in trouble. He has never referred to me as 'Mr. Tuscono' and knows full well that we would turn this request down because of the requirement that didn't exist previously. 'Political fallout' aside the mere mention of Baptista makes me think the worse and thus much more to this kidnapping with possibly something that goes back to the Vatican Bank, but more importantly Francesco and maybe even the Pope are in serious trouble. Remember Cardinal Baptista was banished from the advisory group not long after Pope Francis took office."
Thursday, April 09, 2015
Volume 87 - A Nation of Complainers seduced by the welfare punch bowl and leftiest philosophy ...
Now we view the news with suspicion as 'news' is broadcast and accepted as the truth when factually only a 'ratings' story as "Hands Up Don't Shoot" totally false yet viewed and accepted as the truth without apology. The UVA alleged rape with condemnation of a fraternity and over reaction by an University President yet nothing but terrible journalism with no accountability to the source of this falsehood nor to the broadcasting by leftist news networks and a overreaction of a University official that couldn't operate a Dairy Queen. The whining of homosexual rights activists that forces a small pizza business to close because they express First Amendment rights that differ from the activists. It seems now that Politics, Government and the Media have become the most important things in America. The news organizations dwell on the utterances of the Chief Executive as if he were Moses. It's as if our government, the bureaucrats, the politicians, news anchors and activists have become our saviors. The "Kool-Aid" unfortunately has been consumed by the majority even though a growing government threatens to diminish our freedoms and exterminate our prosperity. We are so far down the rabbit hole to socialism there appears no turning back.
And yet, it will get worse as not only have we taken up second place to China as the most productive nation on earth our educational system is as bad as our foreign policy. According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012 the U.S. in Mathematic literacy ranked 29th in the world behind China, Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Canada, Poland and 21 other countries. In Science Literacy there were 22 other countries ahead of the United States. In Reading Literacy 19 other country educational systems ranked ahead of the U.S.
Our foreign policy would be better if it didn't exist; as arguably, it doesn't. Within the last decade we have abandoned and forsaken our Friends and now suck up to our enemies. It is not beyond comprehension that unless this lack of substantial policy and understanding is reversed within the next few years there may not exist the State of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Middle East will not only drastically change in territory realignment and culturally destroying anything in its path for a new world order under maniacs that will be compared to Hitler and Stalin, both in ambition and savagery.
The 2016 Election will be the most important in the history of this country.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Volume 86: 2015 Outlook as 2014 passes in rearview mirror
It only took us less than seventy years to go from ‘simple flight’ to landing on the moon yet our high school graduation rates continues to worsen as well as our educational systems as compared to the rest of the world. Since 1961 the amount of food we produce has increased 25% and now we produce enough food to fill the bellies of every single person on earth with 2800 calories per day yet we have millions of people within our great country going to bed hungry. Our ‘athletic high school superstars’ are admitted into prestigious universities with ‘adjusted’ ACT scores while “A-B” students struggle to get acceptance. Respect levels for grandparents are at a all time low with teenagers today not being educated with respectful understandings to those that would move the earth for their success...and the oceans continue to wash ashore as if all is well.....
Maybe I just yearn for the days when kids played till dark, rode bikes and played ball in the street. Where actions were our own and consequences were expected. Where not everyone made the ‘team’ and therefore learned to deal with disappointment. Where third, fourth and fifth place teams weren’t given trophies. Where parents baling us out for our bad choices were unheard of as they took the side of the teacher, the police officer and others in supervision. Somewhere after the ‘greatest of generations’ and present generation a serious gap has emerged within our society. With each passing year the number of Americans jumping on board ‘the safety net’ continues to grow rapidly, and a great many of these people should be able to take care of themselves; today, the American people collectively receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes. The ‘Great Society’ social programs have in effect enslaved generations of black men, women and children on urban poverty plantations. The race hustlers and race baiters like Sharpton, Farrakhan and Jackson only reinforces the fact that the dreams of Mr. King will only remain a dream.
Globally it is even worse as new data reveal that China finally overtook the United States as the world’s top economic powerhouse. This marks the first time America has relinquished this ranking since Ulysses S. Grant occupied the Oval Office. Barack Obama and his colleges have fundamentally changed America as well as our international standing. We unfortunately are no longer a world leader but follower incited and motivated by 'spin' and reaction rather than leadership. Nevertheless, and regardless of the professional politics of the beltway, the responsibility of Freedom Failure Success and Responsibility rests solely on the proper parenting of parents today without which this decay continues.
Love has no color AND Life has responsibilities and consequences. Race will not be the issue of 2015 regardless of the last few months (and, bless our men and women in Blue) but ill-conceived notions of Religion will, and the senseless slaughter in the name of a ‘God’ will be our year forward....
Monday, April 14, 2014
Volume 85 - 'My 'Tribe' - The Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo
However, even with all of the 'bullshit' we have now reached the pinnicle of 'Political Correctness'...... There is serious talk of doing away with Chief Wahoo -The Cleveland Indians iconic logo!!! I'm a Cleveland Indians Fan always and forever for as long as my memory will permit me to consider, good times and bad; and, believe me, to be a Cleveland anything sports fan we endure more bad than good.
So lets get to the point. College and Professional Teams have exalted organizations so named as warriors and heros, the same as one would eat 'comfort food' for it feels good in a world increasingly deteriorating; We have OUR TEAMS. But now, we must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward. So let's simply get rid of Chief Wahoo, Cleveland Indians, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Redskins, the Florida Seminoles, et al. We should even think about changing the name of the Carolina Panthers since somewhere deep in the hidden agenda of people this name came from the Black Panthers of the 60's and are offensive to us 'White folks.'
But, let's don't stop there for I also think that my very dear friends in the South are offended by the name New York Yankees, for I don't see a team named after the Confederacy (and if we are real lucky someday the South will rise again). Having also discussed this 'Chief Wahoo issue' with friends of mine who are Atheists they too are offended with names as the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres as well as the St Louis Cardinals (hiding Catholicism behind a bird; how dare they!). We now also glorify the criminal aspect of our socialism that simply must change for we cannot back teams named Raiders, Viking, Buccaneers or Pirates who raped and pillaged their way through history and God forbid a name after 'downers/barbiturates' as in the Cincinnati Reds nor less I forget Oregon States women's athletic teams "the Beavers."
As they say on a popular NFL pre-game show "COM'ON MAN"....... Really? No wonder we are ready to give in to 11 million ILLEGAL immegrants. My grandparents walked thorugh Ellis Island, acquired names given after their cities of origin because they couldn't speak English and struggled through the late 19th century and early 20th century working at whatever was needed to support their families. Its no wonder we give trophies to teams that come in fourth, fifth, and last; simply because they participated. "COM'ON MAN"!!!
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Volume 84 Part 3 Unpublished Novel Excerpts (Continuation of Volume 82 & 83)
Since the time was now closer to 1 p.m., Tuscono walked across the street, feeling some hunger pains, and into one of his local favorite restaurants, Caffe' Milano. Being greeted by Molly, the afternoon hostess, Tuscono asked, "Black Bryan?" It seems that in this particular kitchen there were three different chefs named Bryan, so it was only a logical conclusion to Tuscano that he would call his buddy 'Black Bryan', forget the fact that visually there would be no confusion as this chef was not only 6'3" and three hundred pounds but black. Molly simply 'winked' and walked into the kitchen.
Tuscono took a seat in one of the secluded booths just as the chef cleared the kitchen swinging door. "My brother 'T', how are you?" "Where have you been?" "You don't like me anymore?..." Tuscono raised his arms in surrender, got back to his feet and gave the huge man a big hug.
"I've been busy brother; chill my man," said Tuscono. Bryan responded to the hug and told Tony "sit for I have a special treat for my brother by another mother."
Tuscono said that he didn't have much time as he was involved in a meeting for the last few hours and hadn't even turned his cell on since early in the morning. Bryan just shrugged and said, "I know you have a office here in SoBe even though I don't know what you actually do and probably don't want to know but I also know how much you love New Orleans, it's people and it's cuisine and tonight's dinner menu is perfect. Tony just relax and give me an opinion of this bayou 'magnifico'. I'll just give you a small sampling" ...to which Tuscono just rolled his eyes and sat for the sampling of the coming feast.
The chef continued, "tonight our first course is Chevre and Field Bushroom Bisque with Candied Shitake. I will then offer, as a second course, either a Grilled Salmon Toro, which is a charred salmon brushed with sweet soy over frisee lettuce with toasted hazelnuts and citrus vinaigrette or a Duck Salad, a duck leg and summer tomato confit over baby arugula and shaved fennel salad with champagne vinaigretter and lemon candy. My third course is Pan Seared Redfish topped with crawfish and jumbo lump crab ragout and served over garden vegetables or Chicken and Boudin, a chicken thigh stuffed with boudin sausage, roasted with bourbon mop served over braised greens with brown gravy or Braised Beef Short Rib slow braised topped with truffled potato brulee, english peas and shave asiago."
Tuscono responded by saying "my brother, I don't have hours to enjoy your feast even though you have touched my hunger soul and my mouth is watering..." Black Bryan interrupted by simply telling him to remain seated, relax and partake in a simple sampling for his favorite chef.
As the chef swaggered back to the kitchen, it dawned on Tuscono that he still had his phone in the 'off' position. No sooner did the device hit the 'on' slot then the lights lit and the various sounds went off as if silent for weeks. Tuscono just looked at the cell, shook his head and was ready to hit the 'off' switch when he saw a message come in from Maggie. Maggie O'Brian the VP of operations at GST. Maggie is a 'book' in herself, all 5'10 and green eyes with Asian and Irish heritage; also, a 'live-in' with Tuscono as he believes in very few rules, simply production, loyalty, and security leaving the department of 'human resources' to the normaly arrogant folks that take up that profession with the sorry companies that find it necessary to have an actual nonprofit expense department to handle humans.
"Tony, sorry for interrupting whatever you're doing but you have an an urgent call from Francesco on a Vatican secure line. I explained that you were in a sensitive meeting and would get back with him as soon as possible. Francesco's response was somewhat unexpected," as Maggie's voice sounded unusual as if with a thousand questions herself.
"What response, I don't understand" replied Tuscono.
Maggie continued, "Francesco knows that our lines as well as certain Vatican lines are secure so he simply stated that the Pope himself wants to speak to you."
There was no response from Tuscono and there was a defeafening pause before Maggie continued, "He said that there is a 'situation' but it was going to be handle 'in-house' with the guard working with Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City and Interpol but was more confounded that his Excellency even knew of GST or you."
"I'm at the Caffe' Milano and Black Bryan is in the process of creating a huge sampling of his New Orlean's style menu for tonight. I'll go into the kitchen and tell him that business has again interfered but that we promise to bring the entire crew for dinner tonight. I'll be there in a few minutes." Tuscono pocketed his cell and went into the kitchen; minutes later on Ocean Drive walking to his office with his brain attempting to figure out the message from Francesco.
Indeed, he and the new Holy Father, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had been acquianted but entirely by circumstance, and not necessarily favorable circumstance, two decades or so ago. Although the Pope was born in Buenos Aires, he was the son of Italian immigrants. His father Mario was an accountant employed by the railways and his mother, Regina Sivor, although degreed was a committed wife dedicated to raising their five children. Pope Francis a highly educated man who rose quickly, after his ordination, through the ranks of the South American Catholic Church hierarchy. In 1986 he spent significant time in Germany finishing his doctoral thesis and became very close personal friends with Pope John Paul II. This simple fact came back to Toscono for he knew that the time spent in Germany was significant and not simpy for the doctoral degree as well as recalling the historical circumstance that found his father leaving Italy for Buenos Aires during the facists upraising and intrigue taking place in Italy as well as within the Vatican.
There had been rumors through the Intelligence apparatus since the beginnings of World War II and certainly in the decades to follow that the Vatican was very instrumental in setting up alliances with various secret societies, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), a military arm as well as a funding conduit for the Vatican with close ties to Opus Dei, P2, and the Masons as well as spy agencies, CIA and the OSS, precuror of the CIA, KGB, Massad and foremost the Mafia and that these networks have been on going. Nevertheless, it was estimated that along with very large amounts of gold bullion, tens of thousands of Germans and Italians were helped to freedom of Argentina as that war and the alliances of all the various participants progressed even to the untimely, unsolved, mysterious death of Pope Paul I, only thirty three days as Pope, and the massive financial scandal that followed with obvious links.
The last thoughts that crossed Tuscono's memory before he hit the button on his private elevator within the Hotel was the last conversation he had with the new head of the Catholic Church back in 1984 while Pope Francis was the Rector of the Colegio de San Jose in San Miguel as well as his last conversation less than a month ago with Francesco DiGiuda, Lieutenant Colonel of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Guardia Svizzers Pontificia only one of two Italian born members of this elite corp, concerning the visitation to the Holy See by Putin.
Upon entering his office, having cleared all the necessary retinal and hand scan access control devices necessary for entry to the innner sanctum, Tuscono moved quickly to his private office with a hand motion to Maggie to join him. Once inside his soundproof office he signaled, via datacom, to Jonathon Carpenter, the IT guru, to give him a secure line to the Vatican using the STU-111 and AS-232 Fortezza crypto card with GST's own matrix G-20, a roving switching system that utilizes two distinct satalites for maximum security blocking any chatter from verbal communications as well as a 1062 attachment for secure recording which automatically produces files on any name, incident or date brought up in verbal discussion.
"Signore Tuscono, thank you returning my call so quickly" Francesco having answered the call after the first ring just as Jonathon gave the 'thumbs up' sign, for clarity and recording and security volumes, to Tony through the bullet resistive glass window.
"My friend it is always a pleasure to speak with you and so soon after our call concerning the Pope's visitor; with me, is Maggie with whom you spoke earlier. And, before we get into your call let me congratulate you on solving the multi-million dollar jewelry heist of the Pomellato Boutique" responded Tuscono, although wondering to himself how the Vatican Guard gets involved in a civilian matter.
"Grazias Tony, but I was fortunate to be friends with one of the Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State, the Corpo della Gendameria dello Citta del Vaticano
who are actually the police force of Vatican City and the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See. Due to circumstances and relationship to the office of the Vatican, I was asked to work with the Gendarmerie and we got lucky securing the Diamonds and put a couple of Bulgarin nationals in prison." "But more importantly, I've been asked by our new Pontiff to give you a call and it goes without saying that I was shocked that Pope Francis even knows your existance, with all due respect my friend."
Tuscono interrupted at this point before Francesco could continue saying, "I realize that is surprising to not only you but also to Maggie who is looking at me with very quizative green eyes so please let me briefly explain. Back in 1984 while I was still with the Agency we received an anonomous tip identifying the location of one Michele Sindona"...."Holy Shit" came the humorous comment from Francesco and then he immediately apologized to Maggie for his expression and asked Tony to continue.
"As you well know, Sindona, the advisor chosen by Pope Paul VI to advise the Vatican Bank, swindled tens of millions of dollars from the IOR, Istituto per lo Opere di Religione, thus casting the financial supervisory body, the Autorita di Informazione Finanziaria, into very questionable state to say the very least. At the head of this conspiracy was Michele Sindona or at least as far as we were concerned although there is intel that suggests much further implications by certain Church officials as well as even now implications to the death of John Paul I. In any case, based on our information at that time, we did a 'snatch, bag and transport' covert operation, seized Sindona in San Miguel and had him back in New York within 48 hours and given over to the FBI as if he never left his Eastside apartment. Unknown to us, and due to Sindona's Italian influence he was taken from his cell in September of 1984 and extradited to Italy; sentenced to 25 years but lasted only two days and was found dead in his cell. We became curious as to the information received that enabled us to do the 'snatch and bag' operation since it contained an extra level of 'need to know' security from the Agencies top brass; however, it didn't take us long to discover that the information came via a phone call from a church in San Maguel. I visited that Church months later and was welcomed by Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Enough said."
There was a long pause before anyone spoke but then Francesco broke the silence by saying "This explains very much to me, my friend. I've been assigned, 14 days ago, a special assignment by the Holy Father and have been given much leeway by picking my own team from both the Guard and the Gendarmerie but was mystified by his Holiness' request at our daily meeting today to have a conversation with you regarding this assignment and the newly acquired information received from Interpol."
Tuscono interruped by saying, "well, congratulations but I have no idea of what you are talking about and have no reason to know but whatever we at GST can do to help you and the Pontiff, as always, our services are available to you."
Francesco paused then stated, "thank you and it seems that you and your expertise can be of service so please permit me to continue. As you know, my father was a part of the Paltine Guard back in the day and was personal friends with Albino Luciani, the Cardinal of Venice, known as Pope John Paul I whose death, as you so know, mysteriously happened only after 33 days in Office. He was also very good friends with John Paul II. As you also know, no one within the Guard is permitted to marry while part of the unit. One such person, a friend of my father and myself, is Hanns Stephenson who spent six years with the Guard and departed to marry, with the blessing of the Pope. Hanns became a successful banker and has three children. His middle child is named Karol Jozef Stephenson, named after Pope John Paul II and unknown to most the Saintly Pope John Paul II was also the Godfather to this child. This young man, Karol Jozef Stephenson, now in his early thirties, has been kidnapped. Due to the past relationship between John Paul II and Pope Francis this has taken on hugh implications and urgency."
Francesco paused and collected his thoughts, and then stated, "Tony we know that the same Bulgarian and Turkish mafioso group that fostered Mehmet Ali Agca, the terrioist that shot Pope John Paull II, kidnapped Stephenson. And from the intel of earlier today via Interpol we now know the specific location of this group." Then another pause..."we have been thoroughly trained to protect the Pope, the properties, the riches and wealth as well as knowing how to solve crimes; but, we need the very best when it comes to Hostage Rescue. Pope Francis would like your team's assistance."
"Maggie, have someone call Black Bryan....and, notify J. Hymon in the Shanghai office to load team '3' asap Rome".........Tuscono told Francesco that he would see him within hours and to tell the Holy Father to trust 'few' as it is still a very dangerous time.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Volume 83 - Mystery - Fact or Fiction? Part 2 Conclusion: The End Game
Levine smiled, gestured with his hands as he always did when attempting to hide a certain facial recognition, then again requested the answered from the chief of GST, knowing full well the amount of intel that would support Tuscono's conclusions and theories. "Tony you know full well that I live and work in that 'tinderbox', as you so describe my country, as well as, like you my friend, having many alleyways in many cities to walk, so just consider me an old man who asks stupid questions."
Tuscono not commenting on Levine's response continued.
"Aristotle said 'We are what we repeatedly do' and so let us get a few simple conclusions off the table. You and I both know that Hassan Rowhani, as your Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, so aptly stated is a 'wolf in sheep's clothing'. He like his predecessor are nothing but 'paper cutouts'. The difference is that Rowhani has mastered the art of perceptural 'friendliness' and is a 'media darling'. Dress him in a red and white suit, give him a few reindeer and you have 'Santa'; but recall, he was previously Iran's nuclear negotiation chief in charge of covering up his country's nuclear weapons program so don't underestimate 'Santa'.
Additionally in a few weeks, six nations, including most importantly Russia and China, negotiating with Iran will produce documents that will cost Iran nothing while loosening the Western sanctions based on the notion of negotiating a follow up deal. In other words, Iran pretends to play nice for six months, during which time it receives sanctions relief, the freeing of some frozen assets, and the release of an Iranian nuclear scientist, by the name of Atarodi, arrested in 2011,and next summer NATO will be back to late 2006, trying to cobble together support for sanctions all over again.
The point here being that the deal is already done, as we both know since the last conversations were 'loud and clear' from the meeting rooms in Oman to not only GST but the Masata, because of my invitation to listen" said Tuscono with a smile as he immediately continued, "as we know the winner is not only Iran but also China as their need for oil increases daily and the oil sanction is now eliminated. This has significance toward the real 'end game' for we know who brokered the deal and gave this 'chip' to China. As I continue with these incidences which you will soon realize are all connected just remember, my friend, there are no coincidences. However, Iran's radicalism and destruction of Israel is entirely another matter and will remain until you decide to rid them of their nuclear product because no one else will."
Levine rolled his eyes and stated,"Tony I'm fully aware of everything you've stated could we move on toward your conclusions?" Unfazed, Tuscono looked his friend directly in the eye and said "You asked, so listen and remember 'old' man" and repeated "there are no coincidences." Tuscono continued, "We now proceed to Syrian WMD and what could go down in history as the biggest single foreign policy error by the present U.S. Administration. Remember before the U.S. Government shutdown the war in Syria was all that was shown on our news networks, showing hundreds of deaths, thousands of homeless civilians, calls for support of the 'rebel' forces, even potential 'air strikes' against President Bashar Assad; then magically the war ended from the media perspective, the U.S. Government shutdown and our politics became 'local' with no perspective of what was happening in the Middle East."
Tuscono pauses as a group of photographers with camera, tripods, wires, multiple large black cases and three very tall and long legged multinational models approached and continue to walk by the seated two men on their way to a beach photo session for some product or calendar insert. The South Beach neighborhood of Ocean Drive, Collins, and South Beach Park was becoming more active as the warmth increased and a new sunny day was taking center stage. The historic Art Deco architecture increased its color dance as more and more sun reflected off of the colorful masonry. The sounds increased as if life was taking a large breath toward another magnificent soothing warm day at the beach.
With one more quick look at the statuette models disappearing onto the beach area, Tuscono continues, "but, also as you know, our intel told us that after three years of fighting in Syria the 'rebels' are different as now most are Al-Qaeda supported with manpower, money and arms. So, after all the procrastination, the two sides in this civil war are either controlled by Assad, backed by Russia, or Al-Qaeda, backed by Iran. In either case, Vladimir Putin holds all the cards and starts the final moves of his chess game with becoming the lead negotiator to settle the WMD question. And, the SA-125 Russian missiles that your warplanes attacked inside a Syrian stronghold didn't make page 40 so you see only a few more pieces to be put into place."
"Now, my patient Jew friend, for the information you don't know and have come to acquire; firstly within the next few weeks Putin will even be the honored guest of the new Pope. According to our inside man, Francesco DiGiuda, with the Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Guardia Svizzera Pontificia, notification was given to us at GST a month or so ago. Here is the new Pope, arguably one of the holiest and humble of all men without a clue what a 'photo op' will do for Putin; and, it wasn't as if he wasn't advised to by-pass such a visit but believes that it would be good for the Russian people. Naivety has no precognition. By the way, since I know you had an acquaintance with DiGiuda's father when he was part of the Palatine Guard before it was disbanded by in '70 by Paul VI, Francesco is now one of two Lieutenant Colonels."
Tuscono continues "the last piece of the puzzle before we get into the WHY and the End Game is the visit that Putin is planning as a state visit to Egypt in order to take advantage of frayed ties between Washington and Cairo thus resuming military ties with Egypt in light of this vacuum by Washington's decisions and fears of a return to the Cold War era rivalry. Well, guess what .... The rivalry started years ago when as a KGB intelligence officer the collapse of the soviet Union in 1991 Putin swore his revenge and started his masterful plan even as he technically retired from the KGB and become head of external relations in the latter part of 1991 for Anatoy Sobchak then on to Sobchak's first deputy mayor. Within seven short years having moved to Moscow was appointed deputy head of management under Boris Yeltsin and almost immediately moved to the head of Federal Security, an arm of the former KGB. In 1999 upon the resignation of Yeltsin, become the acting President. All the political steps managed with expert care even to the extent of manipulation around the term limits but always with his ultimate goal in full focus. Add a little luck and a possible Nobel Peace nomination and..."
Levine, as if waking from a dream, wide eyed and ready to speak as his brain just registered and tallied all the preceding facts stood and said "the Russians are rebuilding the Soviet Bloc!" "Correct, my friend" said Tuscono "and that is the 'Why'. Putin's desire is to rebuild the Soviet Union to be the number one power in the world. As you just added up all the facts that were in clear view from Iran to Syria to Egypt to China to the Pope. The sum total is a new and powerful world order raising like the phoenix from the ashes of disgrace."
Tuscono with a more forceful speech continued, " all financed by Putin's daily seizure of the Artic where other than the continental U.S. lays abundance of oil. His plan is to control all of the Artic oil to finance the taking back of the old Soviet Bloc including Ukrainia, Belorussia, Uzbek, Kazakhstan, Azerbaija, Lithuania, Moldavia, Latvia, Kirghiz, Tajik, Armenia, Turkmen, Estonia and Georgia, with Georgia being the first."
Levine's face was now telling the tale of age and question. Tuscono, deflecting the look, continued, "the money, the means, the political clout, and positive image, as a peace maker, are continually being put in place. Putin doesn't care about Iran, Syria, Egypt, the Pope nor even China, even thought the Chinese have a good idea of what is about to take place and have worries about Kazakhstan already moving manpower and structure to their Northwest border area, because Putin knows that no one will stop him after he invades and takes Georgia with the rest to follow. No one will stop him unless..."
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Volume 82 - Mystery - Fact or Fiction? Part 1 - Introduction-Visit-Question
Tony Tuscono is the C.E.O. and founder of a high security company known as Golds, Sachs & Thomas which also does covert contractual work with a highly classified section of the U.S. government formed during the Presidency of '41'. GST with the main office in South Beach has offices in New Orleans and Shanghai. Tuscono's resume includes three degrees, fluency in four languages, action in three major conflicts, decorated ranger and 'spook' credentials involving over a hundred covert operations. Jacob Levine is a 'retired' Israel citizen visiting South Beach. 'Retired' from being the number two man in Israel's Mossad, the Central Insitute for Inteligence and Special Missions, and more specifically, the former Director in Israeli's Metsada, the clandestine operations command arm of the Mossad which runs small units of agents who carry out actions abroad against those considered to be a threat to Israeli security. They specialize in rescue, assassinations and sabotage.
According to security briefing documents, these two individuals first became friends in mid-1976 due to an incident which ocurred on June 27, 1976 when Air France flight A300, originating in Israel, was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe Uganda. The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, ordered the Mossad to rescue the Air France passengers while it was on the ground in Idi Amin's Uganda. The commander in chief of the Mossad turned the rescue over to Levine and the Metsada unit. Swiftly dealing with Amin, the Metsada unit kidnapped Amin's daughter within twelve hours of the hijacked plane and, magically, the Uganda's government cooperation was instantaneous. According to all news accounts the heroic operation, thousands of miles from home, was a great success since all the hijacked passengers, with the exception of a Mrs Fora Block, were released to safety. Only one member of Levine's unit, Major Yonathan "Yoni" Netayahu, was killed in the course of the rescue. Levine was a real hero in his homeland.
What was never known about this operation, traveling under false identifications, were passengers Tony Tuscono and Chester Carson. They, according to classifed file documents, had just finished a rather involved operation in Jordan and through the cooperation of the Mossad escaped through Israel and coincidently were booked on Air France flight A300. When Rabin ordered the Entebbe rescue operation, he was fully aware of the two U.S. agents on board. A thousand miles away a hijacked aircraft lands in a country that is friendly to fanatical terrorism yet the final score showed eight terrorist dead, one civilian and one member of the unit. The order to take the plane only came after Tuscono and Carson had already disposed of all but two of the hijackers using Glock 28's with specially designed Heckler & Koch silencers made with Polymer 2, the 'space-age' plastic still in covert manufacturing processes decades later. The two remaining terrorists had secured themselves in the cockpit holding automatic weaponry to the pilot and co-pilot's heads. The Metsada unit blasted the cockpit door with 'flash' agent and newly created 'sound' canisters followed by sequencial rounds of silent automatic fire. Although the crew were injured, they somehow survived. The dead civilian died at the scene taking fire from one of the six terrorists as so stated in clasified file 173940 incident report dated September 1, 1976.
The conversation on the park bench, between these two old friends, started with Tuscono asking Levine how he enjoyed his first night in South Beach and the private belcony seating at Mango's, a South Beach night club celebrating their twenty-second year anniversay in business.
Levine, as cordial and mannered as his file so implies, simply smiled, thanked Tony and then stated, "My friend we are need of your assistance, or rather your assessment of a very serious matter."
Levine paused, took a deep breath of the ocean salt air, "Over all these years we have always respected each other's opinions whether we agreed or not. So today I simply ask, my very dear friend, please give me and my country your analysis of the Syrian situation with respect to Putin and Rowhani as I'm fully aware of your unique working relationship within the Soviet block for the past three and half decades."
There was a silence, the kind that can exist between friends, then Tuscono spoke. "One has to remember history and know the subject matter within the time frame that something occurs; that is the problem with history and historians as it seems the 'time frame' and 'personal points of view' have a tendency to detract from the truth. You ask me a very complex question; and yet, with all of your intel my response to you will not be what you expect."
Levine raised his hand in mock surrender "I would not be here if we didn't believe your perspective to be relavant regardless of its outward rational."
Tuscono facing Ocean Drive watching waiters clearing late morning breakfast plates served on one of the many patio's, as the morning sun started to raise its level of warmth on his back, picked his words carefully knowing full well the impact that they were about to make. "Well, my friend, here is my response to your question and the analysis that will hopefully serve you as well as some of our clientele in the very near future years. TO BE CONTINUED WITH PART II - The End Game
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Volume 81 - The Customer is Not always right
First example: a couple with their two children come into a restaurant and order Pizza, soft drinks and coffee. The server takes the order and brings the drinks to the table to find both children out of their seats playing with placemats, condoments, and parmesan cheese shakers on another table; but, she goes about her duties without saying a word. A short time later their food order is served. Ten minutes after being served one of the adult customers calls, in a rather boisterous voice, the server over and complains that the pizza is not baked completely, although four slices are gone from the large serving plate. The server brings the remaining pizza back to the kitchen for reheating then back to the couple whose children remain drinking soda and continuing playing with cheese shakers and condiments. A few minutes pass and once again the server is called to the table and now the complaint is 'they' don't like the dough/crust although now more than 3/4 of the pizza has been eaten. The server apologizes and tells the patrons that there will be no charge for the pizza. The 'gentleman' further complains that the Pepsi is 'flat' and refuses to pay for the soft drinks further stating that this was their 'first' and 'last' trip to this restaurant. The couple with the two 'unmannered' children depart the restaurant but within five minutes of their departure, figuring that their 'satisfaction' is not quite satisfied, telephones the restaurant to speak with the owner or manager complaining that the server was a 'rude bitch.' It is quite obviously the customer was wrong and completely 'out of bounds'. This is a 'retail' example dealing with "the public", and considering our constant lowering of educational standards as well as our "Wal-Mart" dress standards mixed with our further declining disregard of 'parental responsibilty', simple respect and the basic 'manners'of a human being I'm not sure how anyone works in the 'service industry' as a server or bartender.
Now to the second example, and the MAIN POINT OF THIS BLOG, within the 'Commercial' arena where 'customers' tend to be 'repeat' in nature and normally have years of experience with the vendor/manufacturer relationship:
A repeat commercial customer/distributor places multiple orders to be shipped UPS on their account. UPS notifies the manufacturer, after product has been manufactured, shipped and received by the customer, that the customer's account number has become invalid and now the shipper is responsible for the frieght charges. The customer refuses all communication with the manufacturer (who luckily had the customer pay in advance for the actual merchandise). Clearly, the customer is wrong (as well as UPS for accepting and delivering and then to notifiy the shipper that the account was closed). Clearly the Customer is not only wrong but deceitful.
A third example (again, within the 'commercial' arena): A customer, who has been a customer for over 4 years and although a 'slow' pay (over 45 days) knows that the terms of the deal are 1% ten net 30 has his account blossom to over 90 days. When approached via phone, and email concerning this matter he is insulted for he didn't realize the time 'started' at day of shipment. Clearly, the customer is wrong and that within his argument of 'starting' time attempts an excuse/complaint directed to avoid the actual problem.
I can write a 100 examples of the Customer/Client being wrong for whatever their motivation and justification but this is not a social psychological blog; it's much simplier, as it's about problem customer/client and Salespeople/Manufacturer Representatives. I forgo, for this blog, the service/retail industry for this category sets pricing by a 'Menu' or price 'tag' whereas in the Commercial-Industrial 'Sales' game exists that 'open window' to negotiate on numerous subjects such as price. This doesn't diminish the Service or Retail industry working people, and techniques needed, who have to daily deal with the rude, uneducated, moronic people that visit their shop, restaurant or bar.
It is my belief that within the 'Commercial' arena of 'sales' it is the responsibility of the Salesperson to be skilled enough to handle all customer types and to manage appropriate time to accomplish goals of the company they represent. The catagories that are of discussion involves those clients/customers that 'Grinds' on price, Indecisive, Buys competitive product, 'Loves' what you say but doesn't buy, 'Knows' it all, Lies to you, Egomaniacs, Incompetent, Complainers, and Those who simply have no buying authority. Each of these catagoies are blogs/teaching sessions by themselves but the point of this blog is to say that although each of these catagories makes the client/customer 'wrong' or simply difficult, it is still remains the RESPONSIBILITY of the Salesperson to OVERCOME EACH with proper technigue, knowledge, time management, and an 'eye' for the 'detail' without excuses for failure that are based on human fraility rather that specific detailed points of sale.
'Life' since 911 and the Global Economic stage since '08 is not as easy as it was even a few decades ago. Pressures of 'life' from one's home life, physical ailments, older parents, debt, death, etc. are all part of today's heighten struggle; nevertheless, the days of conventional sales approaches simply taking clients to dinner, drinking and 'hugs' don't cut it today where upper level sales techniques and time management must be mastered to actually sell products.
As challenging and as stressful as client problems may be to handle it is the very reason why salespeople exist. If every customer simply handed you an order without a struggle, most salespeople would not be needed. Problem clients are more than a reason for justifying your job, as they also represent an opportunity, but the salesperson must prove their own value both to the customer and to their employer.
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Volume 80 - The Second Day of Government Shutdown
Since the Federal Government keeps doubling its size every five years or so, now is the perfect time to cut the excessive amount of Federal employees. You say this cannot be done....here's the rationale and solution to this ever growing 'monster' that lives in the 'beltway'. Since little is being accomplished when the following agencies actually 'work' (debatable term) and now 'shutdown', which is not even noticable by the average tax paying citizen, send the Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education agencies into moth balls and put the IRS into a three year phase out.
Make Congress a seven year one term position, with the obligation/requirement of a 'Balanced Budget' for each year of their elected position with subsequent penalties, known as 'accountability', with the same health care, social security, type benefits/obligations as (again) the average tax paying citizen. In addition, this would apply to all their staff/employees, after which they can all return to their former jobs (if they had any to begin with).
As Daniel Webster wrote, at the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, "Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the People against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Volume 79 HERE WE GO AGAIN!
Lets face the ugly fact that the Twin Towers would still be standing if some federal authorities had gotten off their collective 'fat asses' and acted upon all available intel but failed, thus allowing a few radical Muslum underachievers to 'show off' to the world and kill 3,000 U.S. citiizens. We refuse to understand history and have no understanding whatsoever of the Middle East or Asia, countries with five thousand years of history, and yet continue to refuse to protect the borders of this great country.
It is time to return to a foreign policy that puts America's security first and no one has yet to prove (again) that this intervention into Syria's civil war is a security threat to America. Defending our nation is the federal government's most importand duty, not humanitarian responses to countries that hate us. If our National Security is, in fact, at risk then get a Declaration of War from Congress, Go fight it, Win it and get it Over with (unlike Korea,Vietnam, Iraq and Afcanistan).
I have deep feelings for all the millions of innocent people within the Middle East who have suffered at the hands of their tyrannical leadership over their thousands of years of history. I sincerely hope that there exists a special place in Hell for these tyrannical bastards that kill innocent women and children but they are not our responsibility. The people that live, work and struggle as legitimate U.S. citizens are our responsibility and its about time that we take care of ourselves and enforce the laws of this country within our country rather then spending hundreds of billions of dollars in and for countries that burn our flag and call for our distruction. We have over 900 military installations in over 150 countries and our National Security has been compromised because our troops are spread all over the universe and we can't protect even our own borders, and going broke attempting to be the world's policeman.
(Back to Syria for a moment and the forthcoming decision to attack)...the very reason that I'm a Constitutional Conservative with a Liberatarian slant is because today it doesn't matter if you're a Republican or Democrat; its all the same, its WHO IS IN OFFICE that makes the rule. Don't understand? Ok........here's a quote from now Vice President Joe Biden in 2007 "The president has no constittional authority...to take this nation to war...unless we're attacked or unless there is proof we are about to be attacked. And if he does, I would move to impeach him." Enough said!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Volume 78 The Consensus of Stupidity
After the normal pleasantries of asking about their round of golf, my 'friend' asked about my day and I simply stated the sales were very slow and I'm very disgusted with the economy and 'those' in Washington. I should have remained on the other side of the bar for my 'friend's' next statemnt was "you can certainly blame this economic mess on Bush and those Republicans". Being the smart ass that I am, I asked him if he meant 41 or 43 to which there was no response, as he had no clue. Needless to say the conversation only went 'down hill' and, of course, I added to the fuel mixture by stating (in response to his anti-Bush statement) that I was a Constitutional Conservative with some Libertarian leanings. My 'friend' is a third generation Democrat (I'm a second) born and raised in Northeastern Ohio which is actually the point within this writing as it defines the lunacy of 'blue and red' thinking.
As I stated in my previous writing "there exists no true diversity of opinion, multiple ideological perspectives, creative thinking and decision making skills." I guess it also applies to older generations since (obviously) many believe that the politics of the 50's, 60's, 70's and very early 80's are the same today. They are ingrained with the thinking that Democarts are 'for the people' and Republicans are 'for the rich'. The facts however show that 'our' elected officials in Washington, whether 'blue or red', have no idea what it is to struggle with a small business, health care issues, balancing budgets, clueless as to what an income and balance sheet represents and further they don't care. Why would they? They have spent millions of dollars in getting elected which now guarantees them income (same income which they presently make even at one term in office) for the rest of their lives, a health care plan that is of no cost and delivers the very best of the medical field, no bugets to balance, and can raise OUR debt ceilings at will.
It seems to me that if one is to argue Politics, one ought to at least have some thoughts that are original and not part of the rhetoric concerning 'Democrats and Rebulicans' of today's ilk. I think one ought to acknowledge the fact that within Cabinet appintments made by President Obama that less than 8% of the appointments have prior private sector experience and that is the lowest in 100 years. Acknowledgement of facts as to increases in debt per administration or Tax plans as it pertains to payment of food stamps, health care, illegal immrigrants and the rest of the 'free stuff' since it will negatively affect those who actually work for a living and those that actually need assistance, medical or otherwise.
Or other facts:
* Federal spending highest since World War II
* Budget deficit highest since World War II
* Percentage of taxpayers paing income lowest in modern era
* Home ownership rate lowest since 1965
* Government dependency defined as the percentage of persons receiving one or more federal benefit payments highest in American history without accountability
Unfortunately Socialism has taken root and now producing seed; but who cares as long as government, 'Blue or Red', takes care of us and obviously knows what is best.
Back to my chilled 'Crown' not to be confused with 'clowns' who have taken up much too much of my drinking time.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Volume 77 (The Sabatical is over) Why is a generation of workforce/students a disappointment?
To some this would be a most unusual question, since today we are under the impression that our 'kids' (last two generations actually) are the 'best and brightest.' They have grown up a digital society and can instinctively use, program, solve all types of electronic gadgetry. It isn't only the advancement of the digital age, our 'kids' now speak plainly of diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Our liberal sense of thinking gives us the illusion that we are advancing into higher and higher arenas of intellect and promise. Yet, we are sadly mistaken. Our present generation of workforce is far unqualified for such lofty thoughts of promise. Not only is our present generation a failure, the next generations could be worse.
Granted our 'kids' are wizards with the new electronic gadgets that hit the market everyday. Not only can these 'kids' buzz through multiple stages of the most complex computer games with hand-eye abilities never dreamed of, they are the most 'open-minded' generation to exist and can carry those discussions of diversity to certain limits of acceptance. Nevertheless, that is where the abilities stop and possibly where the problems start.
You see it is my theory that although all of the above is true especially when discussing certain abilities and discussions, there exists however no true diversity of opinion, multiple ideological perspectives, creative thinking and decision making skills. Our last two generations endless sensitivity to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and entitlements outstretches the desire or process for the development of innovative solutions to our problems be it national or local in nature; thus, we have processes upon process upon discussions never ending and no results.
Today's opinions, that do exist, come from genius marketers, advertising gurus, media experts and 'pitchmen' that make the 'snake oil doctor' look infantile. Their thought processes are influenced by instantaneous messaging, political correctness and entitlement (yes, using that word again) without any perspective of history and creativity solely based on a click of a device not a 'click' of brain thought prowess.
Is this because our educational system is less than adequate? Is it because we as educational students don't even rank in the the top twenty nations of the world in math and science? Is it because our workforce/students have no basis of history, even modern American history? Is it because we, as a nation, are so politically correct yet so ignorant of other countries and people (other than what our Media presents as fact)? I haven't any idea, just an old man writing for therapy.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Volume 76 - Finally the End of 2010! ...or maybe not...
* Washington DC still is paralyzed and haven't a clue on what should be done for Small Business which employs 97% of working people; yet, violates Constitutional law by 'picking and choosing' 'the winners' be it Banks, Car Companies, Insurance Giants or Wall Street. They are still under the misunderstanding that 'they' have the right to 'bail-out' a selective part of 'business' in addition to promoting a health care program that no one wanted; doesn't serve the needs of the 'working' person or company; actually raises costs for small business; gives Government more control' over the individual; and finally will be run by bureaucrats, having a different Health Care Plan, who have the poorest record of group in running 'anything'!!!
*Washington DC and the 'Liberal Left' believe that our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights are some how outdated and was only applicable in the the 18th century.
* Washington DC has demagogued globalization for political gain, trying to blame all of our nation's economic trouble on trade, rather than on policy failures that are the true causes of our economic woes
* Washington DC has failed to address illegal immigration which has implications that reach far outside of California and Arizona that could infringe on our right to Bear Arms, as well as other Amendment ramifications.
None of the above would even be discussed if our leaders understood our History and the meaning of 'limited government' as well as the beliefs that were so evident as our Great Country was founded and brought forth by individuals never again to be seen:
On December 16th, 1773, "radicals" from Marlborough, Massachusetts, threw 342 chests of tea from three British East India Company ships into Boston Harbor in protest of oppressive taxation and tyrannical rule. They wrote of their actions, "A free-born people are not required by the religion of Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their...liberties." That event was the Boston Tea Party.
On April 19th, 1775, Paul Revere departed Charlestown, Massachusetts for Lexington and Concord, in order to warn John Hancock, Samuel Adams and other Sons of Liberty that British regulars were coming to arrest them and seize their weapons caches. In the early dawn of that first Patriots Day, Captain John Parker, commander of the militiamen at Lexington, ordered, "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they want a war let it begin here." And it did - American Minutemen fired the "shot heard round the world."
On July 6th, 1775, Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson issued their Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms: "With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves."
A year later in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776, Jefferson and 55 merchants, farmers, doctors, lawyers and other representatives of the original 143 colonies of the United States of America, in the General Congress, assembled, pledged "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" to the cause of liberty, declaring, "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
Our Founders further avowed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all mean are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, it was believed that the Articles of Confederation between the states, which had been adopted in 1777, were not sufficient to secure the interests of the confederation. Thus, delegates convened in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft a new Constitution.
Using the Virginia Plan drafted primarily by James Madison the delegates spent five months deliberating a constitutional draft, which would secure the rights and principles enumerated in the Declaration of Independence by establishing a republican form of government under strict rule of law, reflecting the consent of the people and severely limiting the power of the central government.
To secure these rights the Bill of Rights was established "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of powers..." Endeavoring to further define our Constitution's limits on government interference with the innate rights of the people, James Madison, its primary architect, introduced to the First Congress in 1789, a Bill of Rights - the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution, which was then ratified on the 15th of December, 1791.
This little touch on History is only a 'small onion peel' compared to the volumes of learning that is available; a time is our History that has been swept up with the onslaught of diversion to detract from the true meaning and intent of these magnificent documents. Today, more than two-thirds of the federal budget is spent on "objects of benevolence," for which there is no constitutional authority. Put another way, much of your income is being confiscated and redistributed unconstitutionally. As early as 1794, James Madison warned us and begun to rail against the government's unconstitutional urge to redistribute the wealth of its citizens: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending , on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government t is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
Discussions of 'Entitlements' and how it has affected our last two generations of workforce is next on the agenda................... Com' On 2011!!!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Volume 75 - Where Are We Heading...?
Where are We Heading as a Nation?
Economically speaking, as the Managing Partner & Founder of a small business the outlook is not very good. There are no 'indicators' on my radar screen showing any type of improvement in the foreseeable future. The Price of Gold has reached new levels never before seen, with some predictions pushing the $5,000 an ounce ceiling; but (possibly) more important is the Price of Silver which has climb to not only record levels but levels that were deemed improbable with no new ceiling in site. These two factors alone point out the Global Disaster 'sitting' in the wings.
1. Small business employs 97% of the working American workforce. Small business exists because historically they were able to borrow money and acquire lines of credit. Notice the word 'historically' - Today, that is simply not the case. Banks are not lending money and have cut deeply into any 'lines of credit' that were once available; yet, the Federal Government and this Administration simply just 'don't get it'! Why? Take the last bill signed by President Obama that supposedly gave 'small business' $30-billion in a lending bill. Where did the money go? It went to the Banks, earmarked for small community banks (right!) This administration 'hopes' that by going to somebody else that it may eventually get to the Small Business community; another 'Wizard of Oz' concept. As stated by Brian Miller, the President and COO of 'The Entrepreneur's Source, "If it does not (get into the hands of small business owners quickly) and we're faced with the same kind of situation that we were with TARP, where the banks just sit on the money and they don't get it in the hands of people that need it, then it's going to be a colossal failure."
2. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) announced that U.S. bank failures in 2010 were double the bank failures of 2009. The FDIC reported that another 702 banks ere nearing collapse. This same FDIC reports a negative balance of over $20 Billion dollars.
3. The US is experiencing the worst unemployment rate in 125 years and October job losses were the biggest in 34 years.
4. The rate of foreclosures thus far in 2010 exceed 2009 by an 80% increase.
5. Immigration analysts project another 100 million people flooding America within the next 25 years with 70 million of these 'new' Americans will be third world immigrants and their children with over half being 'illegals' as our Government is unable or unwilling to take the correct stand on immigration policies, procedures and enforcement.
6. There are now over 40 million Americans (one out of seven Americans), according to Government reports, living in poverty.
7. High Schools across this country are experiencing drop out rates of nearly 50%.
8. The U.S. ranks 18th and 24th in Math and Science on the World Stage with the majority of Math and Science Graduate Degrees going to non-Americans within our Graduate Schools.
8. We have 500,000 military personnel located on 700 military bases in 120 countries.
9. We have keep 35,000 troops at our expense on the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea for the past 50 years.
10. We are spending over 150 billion per year in Iraq and Afghanistan.
11. Our National Debt is now over 13 TRILLION Dollars
Because of the Mid-Term Election and the Declaration of the American People for directional change, the Republicans return to power in the House; however, this has happened in our History before, so (as the saying goes) We'll See................................
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Volume 74 - Four Key Components for Success
Although these Four Major ingredients or Key Components were first established to clarify and to effectively 'change' the 'front-end' of a major hollow metal manufacturer and subsequently were used to 'change' a large distribution center, a revenue stream of the same hollow metal manufacturer, they are as applicable today as they were successful a decade ago. So whether they are used for a 'total restructure mandate' or simply used to tighten up a companies controls, procedures and quality of personnel or (as in the case of the distribution center) to elevate it to a much more effective facility, with quick ship manufacturing, wood doors, packaged hardware, and joint ventures concepts, the Four Key Components remain the same.
A few months before I took over the Presidency of Amweld (mid-1995), I realized that there were some major changes that had to take place if we were going to be able to handle the internal growth that I had projected through the Sales Department. Having control over Sales and Customer Service and LADC, it was logical that these changes had to be made with or without the input of other divisions within the company, as we all know 'manufacturing people' and 'financial people' live in their own small tightly woven world. Even though under my control, Sales, Customer Service and LADC did not embrace the idea of change, common within most manufacturing based facilities; nevertheless, this was not an option nor was it up for debate.
There had to be a 'reorganization' of the front-end of Amweld Building Products. There had to be a specific plan to reduce 'past dues' (which is the complete opposite of 100% complete and on-time) and at the same time work within the guidelines of a new detailed 'lead-time' document which would tie into the 'front-end' reorganization; at the same time, identifying the 'capability' and 'capacity' in our factories working under present manpower and shifts.
During initial discussions we accomplished two vital objectives: 1. To re-examine and restate the company's business purpose and focus; and 2. to use this purpose to localize people for change. We then proceeded to implement this same 'change' at LADC for we had reached a 'cross-road' (at that facility) and had to decide where we wanted to go.
Did we want to keep it at a four million dollar facility (after growing it from 1) and simply tighten up its controls, procedures and quality of personnel, or do we want to elevate it again to double the sales output with quick ship manufacturing, wood doors, packaged hardware, etc. or something in-between? We made our decision and proceeded with the four key ingredients that I believe are applicable to any business facing a 'cross-road'. These ingredients are not compatible with a 'structured' organization where all decisions run 'down-hill' and decisions are made by 'consensus' (automatic losing situation):
1. The belief that there is a single right way to do everything. Rather, we must keep up with changes in the market place and continuously go after better solutions. There is no single right way to do anything. This is even more prevalent in a distribution center twenty-five hundred miles away where they are dealing with a quicker lead-time/response schedule, stock shipping in hours and fabricated special orders shipped in small weekly schedules, and changes in over-the-counter sales.
2. The sense that authority is tied to an organizational chart. Rather, authority should be distributed among those who can do a better job for the customer. One of the reasons that LADC did not function previous to 1988 is the simple fact that they (LADC) was totally controlled from Ohio by more than one individual. In a service orientated facility 2500 hundred miles away from the corporate office this type of control cannot take place. Autonomy becomes an important key to its success regardless of who has final authority.
3. The view that the value of everything you do must be measured in dollars. Rather, the true value of an activity only counts in what it is worth to the customer. Again, this becomes more important for LADC/GVDC type operations because they are dealing with the customer, a back log that fluctuates hourly, short lead times, stock and non-stock and over the counter sales that make up 50% of the business within four counties (LA).
4. The idea that people have one skill, departments have a single function, and an enterprise has one goal. Rather, we must think in terms of multiskilled people, mutitasked teams, and the all goal enterprise. This speaks for itself. Anytime you have a satellite operation you have individuals doing multitasked functions. They must be able to respond both to vendors and to customers on an immediate basis without going through a long chain of command, especially when there is a three hour time difference and they only have so many hours to 0perate. We never totally understood that simple idea at Amweld; the fact that LADC is our single largest customer (and revenue stream) of the home office. We have had an antagonistic point of view toward that facility, whether it comes from the general sales area, the accounting department or the manufacturing facility.
There are many more layers of the 'onion' to 'peel back' to accomplish the above stated task. Many months were put into 'planners', structured 'payables', staff upgrades, duties and responsibilities, training, flexible stocking programs, reduced fabricating lead-times, sales volume and forecasts, operational daily-weekly-monthly reports, change of 'mind-set', etc. etc. It has been and is now my belief that Market Share and Profitability can be obtained in a satellite operation with Service being the main pillar of stability backed up by a variety of product flexibility integrated with speed, cost effectiveness and total integration with an overall corporate purpose.
One doesn't have to agree with any of the above, as most manufacturing guru's will attest; but the fact that very few successful companies grasp this concept is proven out by the constant closing of satellite operations as well as the loss of manufacturing capabilities within this country. Don't blame foreign countries for taking manufacturing jobs, don't even blame stupid Congress or the Local politicians; rather, look within ones own (manufacturing or distribution) make-up to find the correct blame.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Volume 73 - Health Care Bill -Enough!
But it just 'pisses me off' that we Americans told our lawmakers in Washington that we wanted 'reforms' that would LOWER costs; that we wanted to insure those social programs that made sense, such as protecting Medicare; that we wanted to keep the health plans that we had but wanted reform to the prescription side of the equation as well as some 'common sense' applied to the coverages offered protecting us from the giant Health Care Companies and Pharmaceutical Companies taking advantage of us both from a extreme profit standpoint and exclusionary standpoint.
BUT WHAT DID WE GET: We got legislation from an Administration pitching this health spending bill that can't be paid for without stealing billions of dollars from Medicare; does nothing to LOWER present costs but will actually encourage the Health Care Companies to raise premiums. It does nothing to reduce prescription costs, simply encourages more prescriptions to be imported into this country. It encourages the Health Care Giants to be more exclusionary and to 'legal-ease' their programs so that denial can occur at their choosing.
We, as Americans, argued strenuously against its passage at every opportunity. We offered detailed reasons for our opposition, along with common-sense alternative reforms aimed at lowering the cost of health care while yet providing access without undermining the system that we had and for all of our efforts these same lawmakers in Washington persisted to pass this 'garbage' bill. A bill that will ultimately cost jobs as employers reduce benefits and cut jobs simply to 'make ends meet'.
I believe it is time for our lawmakers in Washington to understand that the working public, the entrepreneur, the small business person, the second and third generation of LEGAL immigrants are sick and tired of carrying those that take advantage of a system that has become so Socialized, so addicting, so anti-business, so non-accountable that it actually encourages people to do nothing because the government will take care of you. Bullshit!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Volume 72 - Health Care Bill - 3nd in Series
This third in a series "highlights potential pitfalls under health care reform for employers considering changes to their group health plans. Any employer considering plan changes, including design changes as a way to decrease the cost of coverage before open enrollment, should evaluate the changes against requirements to maintain 'grandfathered' status under recently released regulations. Failure to maintain grandfaathered status can have signficant ramifications for employers.
Grandfathered status and its significance
Any group health plan in which an idividual was enrolled on March 23, 2010, (the law's enactment date) and which has continuaously covered an individual since this date is 'grandfathered' under the new law. This means that the plan may avoid or delay the application of some potentially burdensome requirements under the new law. These requirements include:
> nondiscrimination rules for insured plans;
> external claims review requiarements;
> additional coverage requirements such as immunization or preventive care without cost sharing;
> the extension of coverage to a child under age 26 prior to 2014 even if the child is covered under his or her employer's plan; and
> the elimination of preexisting conditions exclusions for individuals age 19 or older.
Loss of grandfathered status
Prior to the issuance of the regulations, we knew that a plan's grandfathered status would not be lost for any of the following reasons:
> participants' family members enroll in the plan upon reneewal pursuant to the plan's terms as of March 23, 2010;
> new employees and their family members enroll in the plan; or
> the plan extends dependent coverage to age 26, as required by the law.
It was not clear, however, whether certain changes would be significant enough to cause the loss of grandfathered status. The regulations prove much needed guidance about changes that trigger a loss of grandfathered status.
Under the regulations, a plan will lose its grandfathered status if:
> Employer contribution - The employer contribution rate for any tier of coverage (e.g. single, family) is reduced by more than five percentage points below the contribution rate in effect on March 23, 2010. For self-insured plans, contributions by an employer are equal to the total cost of coverage minus the employee contributions for the coverage.
> Percentage cost-sharing - A percentage cost-sharing requirement (e.g. coinsurance percentage) is increased from the plan's requirement as of March 23, 2010.
> Fixed amount cost-sharing - A fixed-amount cost-sharing requirement other than a copayment (e.g. deductible, out-of-pocket maximum) is increased by more than 15% from the plan's requirement in effect on March 23, 2010, as adjusted for medical inflation.
> Copay - A copay is increased from the paln's March 23, 2010, copay by more than the greater of: (1) $5 or (2) 15% as adjusted for medical inflation.
> Annual Dollar Limit
An annual dollar limit in place on March 23, 2010, is reduced
> New policy
A new insurance policy replaces an existing policy after March 23, 2010, (e.g. prior insurance policy is not renewed).
> Particular condition
Benefits for a particular condition are eliminated. This includes the elimination of a necessary element to diagnose or treat a condition.
The regulations provide that grandfathered status is available to each benefit package provided under a group health plan. Thus, if a single plan provides two or more medical plan options and a new policy of Insurance is obtained for only one option, then only the option covered by the new policy will lose grandfathered status.
As you can easily tell from this and the past two postings that the Health Care Reform Act is anything but 'reform'!
It should be noted that Calfee goes on with three more articles relating to this Health Care Reform, one actually starting with an effective date of March 23, 2010 and extending to January 1, 2014 giving not only the effective dates but also the 'Description' and 'Employer Considerations'. I simply don't have the patience to continue with this piece of Bureaucratic Bullshit legislation!