Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas in Cuba

By Charles E. "Chuck" Marshall

Merry Christmas to you all, loyal readers !

There is a lot of talk right now in the media about Cuba and the President's decision to establish more normalized relations with the island country to our south.  This topic is more of a personal issue to me since my wife immigrated from Cuba back in 1985, two months shy of her 13th birthday.  The topic of Castro and the Cuban government is frequently the subject of family gatherings such as Christmas and other holidays.  So, I guess you could say I may have more insight than most gringos.

First of all, let me say that it's obvious that since my wife's family fled Cuba with nothing but the clothes on their back that they are not endeared towards the communist government.  That being said, they are also proud of  Cuba's natural beauty, its rich musical heritage and the thriving educated community that it once was before the communists came in and 'fixed" the inequality.  True to all communist track records, they equalized everyone and they are now all equally dirt poor.  

My wife gets upset discussing Cuba because she feels most people don't understand the situation.  She gets frustrated when she remarks to people that she didn't have a Christmas when she was a child and they give her a puzzled face. "They don't understand" she remarks,  There was no Santa Claus, no presents, no feasts, and going to church was allowed but frowned upon.  Sometimes it could land you in jail if you made the wrong remark about Christmas or Christianity.  All power is from the government and any allusion to other ideas- even one of a peaceful savior who taught of love and forgiveness - are not allowed.  Simple minded people don't understand that, and so that's how the vultures  of totalitarianism sink their talons into the heart of freedom of speech and assembly.      Many Americans hear that there is no Democracy or freedom in other countries such as Cuba but they really don't "get" it.  This, to me,  is simply a reflection of lazy parenting and a failed education system.  The strength of our democracy depends on instructing our children regarding the superiority of democracy and the consequences of releasing freedoms to the government.   In most cases, with Cuba being an excellent example, there is no turning back if things don't work out once you've ceded your power as a citizen back to the government in the interest of "equality", "security" or political party.  In this case the communist party, but it is not such a stretch to see how our own political parties here in America have maneuvered the process of governing much to their favor at the expense of fair representation  (as this blog has repeatedly remarked).

All that being said, what about  normalizing relations with Cuba?    This, in my view, is an entirely different question.  I think you have to look at the core issue and try to remove the emotion and incorporate rational thought when it comes to policy towards a foreign nation.  We are not Cuba, we are the United States of America.   Cuba is not going to change on its own.  Some leaders like Senator Marco Rubio (Florida  R) believe we're rewarding the Castro government and the communists.  I believe over the years that our refusal to deal with the Cuban government has morphed into  more of a political football, a football used both here in the US and in Cuba.  The USA's politicians use it to posture for winning Florida in the presidential elections and also as another "us vs them" strategy between the Republicans and the Democrats.  The Cuban dictatorship, on the other hand,  uses it as a scapegoat.... "what is wrong with our country is the fault of the American embargo".  So, in a nutshell., I support a change in policy towards Cuba for the simple fact that what we've been doing for 50 years has not worked.  It only serves to support the cronies on both sides of the Florida straits.  It's not working, so let's try something else.   This is a logical conclusion even without bringing up  the hypocrisy of blocking out Cuba but embracing  China and Vietnam-  two other totalitarian- communist nations with which we are all too happy do business.

In My humble Opinion......


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Media Enable Conflict

By Charles E. "Chuck" Marshall

As much as I like to bash our political parties, I often think it's important to remember that there is an enabler in our midst that fuels the fire of contempt that both parties have for each other.  The media.  Specifically, the television media.  As I watched the Ferguson, Mo. fiasco last  month, I was sincerely disgusted by the media as they prowled around Ferguson, their faces quivering with anticipation over the coming fury.  I watched after the Grand Jury's decision as they paced like caged lions.  "What's going to happen, because this isn't good?" they all lamented very nearly unable to contain their glee.  It was obvious that if nothing did happen they would be very disappointed.

This behavior is one of the reasons nothing gets done in Washington.  The media is most interested in the conflict, not the problems to be solved.   In a nutshell, I believe the media is lazy and greedy and "dumbing" down the topic at hand is in their best interest..... unfortunately for us.

I recently had one of my letters published in the opinion page of the Orlando Sentinel regarding this very issue.  In response to a letter writer that referred to the Republicans as uncaring and void of any new ideas.  I essentially agreed with his entire letter, but I kept thinking about Ferguson, Mo. and I realized that just because the media doesn't report any ideas doesn't mean that there aren't any new ideas.  Since the focus is on the fight, nothing of substance is discussed... only the fight.  So, in a way the entire disgusting partisan politics we see in our government can be equally blamed on the media as it is on the lame-brained political parties and their idiot "leaders".  

Here is the letter printed in the Orlando Sentinel on Dec. 5, 2104.

Media enable conflict
   Letter-writer David Cruise on Thursday criticized the Republicans for not having ideas or compassion. I couldn’t agree more with his assessment as it looks on the surface. I do wonder, however, if this isn’t more a failing of their public-relations tactics than a lack of ideas or compassion.
   The Republicans do have ideas and are not heartless, soulless creatures, but their ideas tend to get marginalized by the “fight” story. The media are selling the fight. As much as the two parties have failed us, the media (particularly television) are the ringmasters for this circus and tend toward simple solutions that are easier for the public to digest rather than the more-complex solutions that would probably be more effective.
   TV tends to stir the pot and provoke (witness Ferguson, Mo). The media gain eyeballs from partisan politics, and we all suffer for our fascination with conflict.
   Charles E. “Chuck” Marshall Clermont

In my humble opinion...........

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Minimum Wage & Will Muschamp

By Charles E. "Chuck" Marshall

Happy Thanksgiving, loyal readers--

Which came first, the turkey or the egg ?  Should the minimum wage be raised ?  Should there even be a minimum wage ?   The proponents say that raising the minimum wage will lift all the working class so they can afford more of the basics of life and that it will also encourage  more work and less welfare.    This increase in consumption would cause an increase in business & commerce.  The opponents say this will hurt "jobs" and that more and more businesses will have to lay off people because they can't afford the hike in salaries to their employees.  It will hurt business, raise unemployment, and make America less competitive.

 I have always been an advocate of free market principles, ie,  that the market should decide the price of goods or  the value of talents and what is the appropriate wage for each talent.  The laws of supply and demand are always superior at providing goods and services to people.   Or are they ?   A truth has recently dawned on me;  The laws of economics and the efficiency of supply and demand for the value of labor would work just fine and dandy in a perfect society.  We don't live in a perfect society.

Case in point.  The coach for my beloved Florida Gators, Will Muschamp,  has been "fired" from his position as their head coach.  Rather than getting into the details of "why" he was fired (or IF he should have been fired) I'm just going to draw some curious comparisons.    Let's say we have a human being who worked hard in a position and who has a great talent and this person was hired to fulfill a need in society the way most of us do.  In this case he coaches young men at the sport of football.    So, using the logic that since a high school football coach's salary is $45,000 per year (google search estimate), if I had just landed on earth from "planet logical" then I would assume a college football coach would make more since college is a step up.  Let's say, twice as much.  OK, College football coach should make $90k per year.  Then if he's a really good and successful football coach ?   A talented person in a specific position should be paid higher than the regular wage for such a position because they're better.  So, let's say then he'll have double the salary as his less talented peers, just to keep things nice and simple.  That makes a salary of a talented football coach at the college level  $180k.  What does Will Muschamp make ?   $3 Million dollars per year.  Now that he failed at his job, supply and demand is sending him away with $3 Million per year for 3 years for doing NOTHING.  Is he worth it?  Is Will Muschamp really 66 ($3M divided by $45k per year) times more worthwhile than your average high school football coach ?   Actually, if you take into account 3 years of being paid for doing nothing, he's really making $12M which means he's making 266 times more  than an average high school football coach.    I know there are arguments to justify all of this exorbitant pay for unique services and the glare of public scrutiny.    The same argument can be made for corporate executives and every manner of famous entertainer.  The true reality is that they're really NOT WORTH THAT MUCH !  But, society pays them anyway.  So, my point is this;  Did supply and demand come up with a logical salary for this position in society ?   No, it did not.

Back to my original subject.  The free market does not adequately compensate citizens for their efforts 'nor is it fair.  It rewards the very few, even when they fail.  Given this fact, I don't think it's such a violation of free market principles 'nor capitalist philosophy to give the working class a small raise to help them deal with the challenges of inflation and to encourage more work.  If jobs are lost, then they weren't very good jobs anyway.  Enterprises of all varieties need to compensate  their employees so that they can adequately take care of themselves in modern society for a day's hard work.   The contradiction, the gap, the inadequacy and the unfairness of paying one man doing the exact same job as another by more than 66 times and then sending him off as an even richer millionaire for his failure is a gap and an outrage that needs to be addressed and looked at by us as a society.  I nearly choke on the injustice of how people are compensated at the elite status as compared to the working middle class.  

In my humble opinion.....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

$20 Trillion Ping Pong

It looks like the balance of power has shifted over to the Republicans from the Democrats in Congress.  I watched the CBS Evening News last night and Scott Pelley made the comment that it looks like the government is "more divided than ever".  I don't follow his reasoning since all of Congress is now one party whereas before Congress was split.  Maybe he meant from the perspective of President Obama since he can no longer manipulate and effectively neuter Congress with his puppet Senate majority leader Harry Reid.    The major networks view things from the perspective of the left and sometimes they let that tendency slip out in their so called "news" pieces.  The narrative was subtle but definitely there;   "Our guy lost".   That sort of "siding" that the media does (I'm certainly including Fox network siding to the right) is an atrocity and it smacks of yellow journalism.  Give me the facts about what happened and save your innuendos for the next cocktail party or a news program with the word "opinion" somewhere in its description.  I could go on and on about the media failing at their job, but I'll save that for another day.  (or you can refer to my blog on the media  Restoring American Democracy, Part VIII from February of 2013- but that's up to you :) )

On to the situation at hand.   Back in 2008 when President Obama won the election and his party swept into full control of Congress I thought it "could" be a good thing.  After all, the Republicans and "W" Bush had shown no ability for leading our nation other than demonstrating how to spend a lot of money in record time.  In eight years they built up a monstrous debt for our children in this new century.  In addition,  enduring a daily barrage of mispronounced English words made the eloquent Mr. Obama a refreshing change.  Fast forward 6 years, and I must regretfully report that  Mr. Obama and the Democrats have managed to outspend the Bush/ Republicans by a substantial sum and our children's debt is now morphing into our grandchildren's debt.   An opportunity to show some fiscal responsibility and leadership was squandered by pretense and outright laziness.   By pretense I mean the subtle attitude of the left that the deficit "doesn't really matter" because capital and money can be manipulated and controlled by their hero, the federal reserve.   Unless the federal reserve can conjure up $20 Trillion in the next few years (that is, $20 Trillion that actually exists !), then eventually the real world and its insistence on REAL money is liable to pop that balloon and its any one's guess what will  be the consequences.   How absurd and disgusting it all is.

So, now the ping pong ball is back over the the illustrious Republicans and I think it's safe to say that they will be trying to get some work done with their new found power and I expect that they will at least acknowledge the reality of the deficit.    Will they be effective ?  That all depends on how reasonable they are and how humble Mr. Obama can be.  In other words, I don't have a lot of hope.  Maybe in 2016.   In the meantime, does anyone have an extra $20 Trillion sitting around ?  Check your sofa cushions !  

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Open Primaries- A Good Start

As I write this blog, my endeavor is always to propose new ways of doing things.  I did a series blog last year called "Renewing American Democracy"   that elaborated on some ideas-  one topic at a time.  Each blog is attempting  to adopt these ways  of thinking so that maybe we can get our crazy government back on to planet earth.   I know sometimes I come across a little harsh  but it is always with the intent to do some good.  

In addition to this blog,   as most of you  know,  I write a lot of letters to our local newspaper (over 30 published and 3 guest columns- but who's counting ?! )  the illustrious Orlando Sentinel.  For most of you who aren't from Central Florida,  you should know the Orlando Sentinel is a very good paper (in my humble opinion) with a circulation of 150k weekdays and 250k on Sundays.   Compared to most newspapers they're downright conservative- but predictably my Republican friends and family think quite the opposite.   Heed this though, in the last election they endorsed Mitt Romney for President.   Anyway, my point is I like to write and elaborate on new ideas in this blog and also in the print media when they're kind enough to print my ramblings.  The Orlando Sentinel is the perfect paper to vent my ideas because they really are politically moderate, ie, in the "middle" as I think all media should be.    A lot of times I don't have time write my blog,  so I just copy my letter that was published in the paper.  So it is today.  Since most of you aren't from the Orlando area it's still new to you !  My letter to the editor was printed this past Sunday, October 12, 2014 in the main opinion page of the Orlando Sentinel.  

Before you read, you should be aware this was in response to a "point-counter point" article in a prior editorial regarding open primaries in our fair state of Florida.  To briefly explain to those uninitiated;    An open primary is basically where you have the primary elections for both parties (and anyone who wants to run for an office) on the same day and where voting is open to ALL registered voters.  The top two winners would then go on to the general election.  As it exists the Democrats and Republicans have closed primaries here in Florida (and in the majority of states) where only registered Dems or Republicans can vote.  Everyone else is excluded from the primary voting.  You can imagine what this opinionated Independent thinks of that !  

So., here it is.  

 Open primaries are elixir for elections  (their title, not mine !) 
 Regarding Friday’s “The Front Burner” topic of open vs. closed primary elections: A big part of the argument seems to be whether open primaries would succeed in creating a more moderate and cooperative government. While that is probably true, it isn’t the point. The parties are subsidized by the government — us — and unless they are willing to argue they don’t need that, then opening the primaries to all voters should be mandatory.
Another argument to maintain closed primaries was that an open primary would violate each party’s First Amendment right to “associate.” With a top-two primary process, I argue that they have a greater opportunity to “associate” since the idea is for the “top two” candidates out of one primary election. If two of their party candidates are liked by the public, they could have both candidates be from their party.  That decision would be rightfully made by all registered voters — not just Democratic or Republican voters.

I am sick and tired of only being allowed to vote for candidates “pre-chosen” for me by the parties.
Charles E. “Chuck” Marshall

In my humble opinion... ! - I savor any feedback ! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust

By Chuck Marshall

     It seems the US federal government has revealed itself to be as good at protecting our "so called" leaders, as our "so called" leaders are at running the country.  In other words, not good at all.  The breech with the White House intruder a few weeks ago has exposed how weak and ineffective the secret service has become.   I think we've all considered that if a wacko like Omar Gonzalez  (the army veteran/White House intruder)  can crawl over the fence (in broad daylight !)  and get all the way into the depths of the White House, then it is not a stretch of the imagination to consider any terrorist  organization doing something similar to a much more devastating consequence.  

     For now, the Obama administration is offering  up the head of the secret service, Julia Pierson for the unforgivable sin of answering  questions without clarity and/or confidence. It's probably true that she's not  qualified for the job but that should not be of any surprise, neither is the one that appointed her.  The " stink rolls downhill ", and here is the most current example of that cliche.  I only saw a few minutes of Ms. Pierson's interrogation by Congress but I must say it didn't look good.  Her expression is that of a Basset Hound that just peed on the living room carpet.   Since my flavor of today is Cliche's I must say  "The pot is calling the kettle black"  as Congress interrogated her for her incompetence.   Watching "congressional inquiries"  always makes me think of the Spanish Inquisition or the Salem Witch trials, where the sins of the one accused  are far outweighed by the sins of the accusers.  The congressmen that speak the loudest and with the most vitriol are also probably the ones most guilty of leveraging their own position for personal gain.  I see a future lobbyist in those faces.   

"So we beat on, boats against the current....borne back ceaselessly into the past".  That quote by F.Scott Fitzgerald seems somehow appropriate as we examine another symptom of our broken government and its never ending cycle of incompetence.  I sigh with great frustration.  When  does it all end?  "Gatsby believed in that green light, that orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us.  It eluded us then, but that's no matter... tomorrow we'll run faster, reach our arms out further......"    We're on a political treadmill of frustration and incompetence.   A wise and intelligent government seems as elusive as ever... as tragic as The Great Gatsby.  We seem always to strive but never reach that high plateau of governing that America deserves.  

In my humble opinion.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is It ISIS or ISIL ?

By Chuck Marshall

Is it ISIS or ISIL?  For several weeks now, I've been confounded by the fact that the President and a few other people are referring to our new war as being against ISIL., which I just found out stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.  Levant is the area of the eastern Mediterranean stretching from Egypt to Turkey.  Now, don't we all  know that and refer to the Levant on a daily basis ?  No ! I have never heard of this term 'nor have I heard of that part of the world referred to as Levant.  But there it is on Wikipedia .  The other acronym, ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.   As it turns out, the Democrats are typically referring to them as ISIL and the Republicans are referring to them as ISIS.  Our leaders cannot even come to an agreement as to what our enemy is to be called.  Now THAT is an "Epic Fail".

I'm going to have to side with the Republicans on this one though, folks.  ISIS is easier to say, and it refers to the names of countries with which we're all familiar.  Levant is obscure and pretentious. The President needs to come down off his high horse and stop using a reference with which few people are familiar.   Every time he says it, the name sounds wrong as if he misread the teleprompter.  Even the media seems content to call them ISIS.

In conclusion, I would have to say if I was Muslim I would be extremely upset that anyone is referring to this group as Islamic.  Why not just refer to them as what they really are ?  Seepage of Humanity., or the SOH.   This effectively refers to their true nature; an oozing slow moving foul smelling drip,  IE "sourced"  from the worst that humanity has to offer.  It also effectively refers to their bodies after our bombs fall and what remains of them puddles into a ball of  goo on the desert sand.  SOH long dogs !

SOH it is... In My Humble Opinion.....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Congressmen on Break to Get Back to Their Real Career

By Chuck Marshall

In case you didn't know it, Congress is on break right now.   The natural response from most Americans is of course, "I didn't know they ever came OFF break".  There's so much truth to that. They "have to take a break so they can go back home to get ready for mid-term elections"  is my understanding.  I do sympathize that they have a lot of schmoozing to do in order to get re-elected since the vast majority of them have no real leadership talent. They cannot run on accomplishment, that's for sure.  They are very good at politics but very bad at leading. What it boils down to is they're going back home to work on their true passion and talent;  kissing up to the people who give them  money.   Money to produce their horrible TV ads, newspaper ads, Internet pop ups,  obnoxious road signs,  etc.....  It is not an exercise in democracy so much as  a three ring circus culminating two years from now with the biggest clown act of them all;  The political Party Convention.

How repulsed must our ancestors be at what it's all become?   There is no dignity anymore.  There is no work for the good of the people and the country but only for the political parties so that they might "win" this time around and show how their respective philosophies are the best for everybody else.  It's us vs them., right vs. left, Republican vs Democrat.  Blah, blah, blah.  Small, little, baseless, hypocritical, mealy mouthed, selfish minded trolls that have wrested power from the American citizens by driving a wedge between all of us using  problems and challenges as weapons of division rather than opportunities to unite.

So now our Congressmen will slither back to their home districts.  They will make some deals and earn lots of dough so they can bore us with their inane advertisements.   I hope and pray to see the day when the process of election no longer involves money at all.   When that happens we will lose the politicians and gain real leaders.

In my humble opinion......

Monday, September 8, 2014

Obama Presidency Example of Flawed Political Process

By Chuck Marshall

I don't write about the President too much.   The right is so hard on him I've always felt they were going too far  in their hysterical vitriol.  I also think their incessant criticism and nitpicking habits are disrespectful of the office.  I'm not saying don't criticize, but I am saying there should be some self control.  As far as the Fox News talk shows are concerned he can do nothing right.  It's excessive.  He has two important qualities in my mind;  His is a truly great orator and I believe his heart is usually in the right place.  He's doing what he thinks is the right thing to do.   A trait often missing in a lot of our leaders.   So, I've tried to reserve criticism lest I feel myself beating on a wounded dog.  All that being said, I must admit that I don't think he's a very good President.

The reasons are the reasons I think most thinking Americans have seen over the last 6 years.  He has not worked well with Congress.  I know nobody likes them, but it's his job to work with them and establish some sort of dialogue acting as the leader who bridges the gap.  He has failed at that.  He has allowed the Federal deficit to balloon by $10 Trillion since his election in 2008 when  part of his original platform was to stop the government from spending so much.  He has offered no ideas whatsoever to stop this fiscal bleeding.  He has demonstrated a lack of leadership on the world stage, allowing foreign dictators to spread their wings with no fear of consequence.  Mostly he has been "learning on the fly"  which is a big part of the problem.  The President should be ready to rule the first week he moves into the White House, not 6-7 years after.  Now he's nearing his "lame duck" stage of a failed Presidency and so we're back again to waiting for the next election for the next round of odd-ball candidates that each of the parties draws up for us hoping against hope that one of them is "the one"......a Presidential candidate we like !  

So, in my humble opinion, it's not all his fault.    It's also the fault of our political system.   I believe he's simply unqualified to be President and should have never made it to the primaries.  If we had a system in place to draw up the most talented leadership in our country this would have never happened.  Barack Obama made a great speech at the Democratic national convention in 2004, and suddenly he's the darling of the Democratic Party.  The man can make a speech., but he did not have the experience, 'nor does he have the talent to run our country.   Being a great speaker is only a part of the whole equation.  It was the flip side for George "W" Bush.  He made it through the primaries because he was the son of a President, definitely NOT from his speaking abilities.  I think most people figured that at least he could call his father if he runs into trouble.   That's what I was thinking when I voted for him holding my nose in 2000.  (The Bush presidency is a great example of the catastrophic consequences of the "good ole boy" network).    

How do we fix this ill advised system of electing the President and all of our leaders ?  See my blog titled  "Restoring American Democracy Part VI- The Elections" for my elaborate,  if somewhat wordy explanation of one idea.  To all you naysayers, "I know, I know" it would be a futile to change "the way we've always done things"  but just to discuss the fact that what we have now is not working would be a step in the right direction, right?!

In my humble opinion......

Monday, September 1, 2014

Closed Primaries are Not Democracy

By Chuck Marshall

I write this blog as an addendum to my Oct. 11, 2013 blog on closed primaries.
 ( )
 I was reading an article in today's Orlando Sentinel regarding the situation in Hong Kong as it relates to the Chinese mainland and their (the Communists) efforts to contain any real choices to the citizens of Hong Kong.   It struck me how similar this was to our situation here in the USA when a state mandates closed primaries (such as my state, Florida) ... so of course I had to write the paper about it.  I don't know if they'll print it, but I figured I'd go ahead and post it.  I'll let you know, loyal readers if it is printed.  If it is, I believe this makes letter number 30 printed in the Orlando Sentinel since 2006.

It Reads;

I found the article on Democracy in Hong Kong vaguely familiar.  It states that these pro-democracy citizens of Hong Kong are outraged because the Chinese government is allowing  "free voting" such that the people are "free"  to choose among the candidates that they (the Chinese government) pre-selected for them.   The article goes on to explain the position of the activists, stating  "One person one vote will be meaningless if candidates all have to be approved by a nominating committee they see as beholden to Beijing's interests".    This sounds a lot like the closed primary system we have right here in Florida where our candidates are first "pre-selected" for us by the government subsidized political parties.  The comparison is not so outrageous when you consider the Chinese government is mainly motivated to hold on to power and so are  Democrats and Republicans.   An open primary system would allow one election in which all citizens including those with no party affiliation can nominate candidates.  This process would allow all of us to fully participate in selecting our leaders not just those motivated to keep their party in power. 

In  my humble opinion.......

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Evangelicals Finally Doing the "Right" Thing on Environment

By Chuck Marshall

     I was delighted to read an article yesterday morning in our local “bugle”, The Orlando Sentinel elaborating on a trend coming from the evangelicals to encourage our governor and the government to start taking climate change seriously.   It has always bothered how so many religious people are so ambivalent towards the environment.   Aren't they the ones that believe all the earth's bounty and life was designed and created by the Lord himself ?   Why would He then be OK with them to be so reckless about it by turning it into a part of our crass and never ending political debate ?   I have always been a bit of a tree-hugger as anyone who reads this blog is well aware.  (Lest the reader question my claim to always veer towards the middle.   The fact of the matter is I don't see protecting the environment as right or left….... I see it as common sense).  As I understand it this is and will be the only planet at our disposal for the foreseeable future.  Right?  Why test that fact  and risk  punching a hole in our lifeboat when any agreeable landfall is centuries away in technology?   Indeed, the Republican reluctance to address issues regarding the environment is the reason I left that party.  This is nothing to do with corporations or labor or democrats or republicans it's to do with the air we breath and the fresh water that will be available for our kids and their kids in the next century.  Finally,  yes, it has to do with our planet getting hotter because of our actions.  Global Warming, the much maligned moniker that the far right has had so much fun impugning is fast becoming an accepted fact much as the debate for the flatness of the world 500 years ago was overwhelmed by the reality that it is....... round.  

So, I was pleased to see others of my faith (I am a non-denominational Christian) stand up and move forward in defense of our planet despite the custom of fighting all things "left".   The Bible is very clear that mankind is responsible for the well being of our planet.  One thing that is never clarified is  any particular political persuasion we should all be choosing.   The hypocrisy and contradiction that comes from many "so called" Christians within the right leaning ranks of society is offensive.  Like so many other issues, these self proclaimed Christians are often the ones that least practice what Jesus taught us to do. They  judge, they're hypocrites, they covet money, they're materialistic and they neglect the poor.  So, I am pleasantly encouraged by this movement to start acting like real Christians in the battle to preserve our planet for all of mankind.   That's a lot of poor people we're helping by protecting the environment…… in fact if you think about it, it's ALL the poor people.... and the rich and the middle class and all the plants and all the animals., etc....

In Genesis from the lips of God, it's announced  this way:   "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven". 

His opinion of it is put this way;  "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good".

To me this holds much more water in the grand scheme of things than any other argument such as granting the corporations more levity in doing as they please to make a profit and bestow us with their low paying jobs.  In the end, all of God's creation is dependent on us to do the right thing here.  All religious affiliations from Muslim to Hindu to Buddhist should stop fighting one another and do God real honor by banding together to tackle all threats to our planet.  

In my humble opinion…..

Monday, August 11, 2014

ISIS Modern Day Nazis

Nazis 1940's Europe 

                                                                  ISIS 2014 Iraq

By Chuck Marshall

There is a lot of talk this week as the United States commences to bomb the terrorists that have overtaken large chunks of Iraq and Syria.  As the years have gone by, my opinions on the needs of the United States to be involved in foreign affairs have evolved.  I use to be of the mindset that we should not be involved in the affairs of foreign countries unless there are American lives at risk.  Today, after this tactic has been essentially engaged by our sitting President., I am coming to see the consequence of no strong leadership against evil in the world.  This group of murderers, known as "ISIS" (their goal of uniting Islamic extremists in a nation state is a non-issue in this particular blog) may as well be a group of SS Gestapo troops banging down the doors of Jews in Nazi occupied Poland or Russia., ready to mow down all human beings whether they be elderly or children or pregnant women.  They kill simply because these people are NOT THEM.  There is no greater evil, and that they invoke the name of God or Allah in their endeavors makes it that much worse.  Even the Nazis didn't pretend they were doing God's work..   Who will stop these butchers other than the USA.?  Nobody.  We must face up this group with great force and in whatever way is necessary simply because there is nobody else to do it.  The Russians ?  Read my previous blog about the Russians... Putin would join ISIS if  he thought it would benefit him a whit.  The European Union ?   They are splintered and bickering and weak in their resolve.    China?  There is no money in stopping evil and it certainly does not serve to help the communist leadership stay on their thrones of control and oppression.

      So...just as in WWII, it comes down to us and perhaps our allies in England and Canada to stand up to this modern group of Nazis before they grow any stronger.   I hearken back to the courage of England at the beginning of the war in the words of King George VI as he addressed the people of  the United Kingdom through radio telecast as he referred to Nazism and its inherent danger;

"It is the principle .....which sanctions the use of force,
or threat of force, against the sovereignty and independence of other states.
Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine
that might is right; and if this principle were established throughout the world,
the freedom of our own country and of the whole British Commonwealth of
Nations would be in danger. But far more than this - the peoples of the world
would be kept in the bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of
the security of justice and liberty among nations would be ended."

Now, that's putting it all in perspective... In My Humble Opinion.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Common Enemy Brings Rare Bi-Partisan Agreement

                                                               A Very Small Man

By Chuck Marshall

In a previous blog I referred to the Ukranian-Russian conflict as none of our business but as is often the case... time has revealed a clarity that I think justifies far more severe sanctions against Russia and more accurately against Putin.  This guy is pouring gasoline on the internal affairs of the sovereign state that is Ukraine by supplying weapons and firing guns from within Russia itself.  Also, when the rebels  responsible for shooting down  a commercial airliner (probably a mistake, but so what?)  then have the audacity to prevent investigators from even going into the crash site...... then international outrage is warranted.  Nearly 300 innocent people are now dead because of Russian meddling.  Their determination that somehow that is defensible boggles the mind.  This is the consequence of a dictator whipping up nationalism within his own borders, nothing else.  He is no Hitler or Stalin (right now), but still he is a dictator because a tyrant always murders the innocents with little regard for humanity or common decency.  It is him, his ego, and the mongoloid sheep that follow him with blind faith in his "bo-peep" nationalism.  Picture the multitudes of Germans frothing at the mouth over the words of the maniac Adolf Hitler as he led their country straight over a cliff.

What a disappointment as I had felt for years that Russia had finally joined the rest of the world by wedding democracy.  When I was a kid they were always the bad guys, then they evolved in the 90's to a form of democracy and freedom that had been unthinkable to me as a youth.  Now, the Russian bear has awaken from its sleep and found the need to bludgeon Goldilocks Russia and her new found porridge of liberty.  The Russian need for control and order that comes with totalitarianism proved irresistible, I guess.  The Russian people are certainly within their right to embrace whatever form of leadership they want,  no matter how repulsive,  but when that leader sucker punches a neighbor struggling to steady its own boat of prosperity.... that's a problem.

So, as is often the case in the face of a common enemy., this week the two parties exercised a rare and elusive bi-partisan agreement.  They agreed that strong sanctions against an enemy of liberty must be enacted.  If only they could do this for the good of our nation in regards to the significant problems our country faces today such as health care, illegal immigration, and the national debt.  To them the porridge is always the too cold or too hot according to the bowl the "other side" is holding.    In domestic affairs it is the parties themselves that are the enemies of liberty.

In My Humble Opinion

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Black hole of Apathy

     I'm afraid that I'm falling into the apathy that is running rampant and is so contagious in our society.  I'm starting to "not care" about things. It's all so frustrating and seemingly hopeless.  I see no light at the end of the tunnel but a lot of darkness lurking in our future as our leaders continue to bicker with no offers to lead us but plenty of reasons to vaunt their own cause, to puff up their own party.  Their way of seeing things.

His Excellency, President Washington put it best;

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

"on the ruins of public liberty....".  How excellent is that., and how true though there is not obvious despot today (Obama, perhaps the "despot of incompetence"- but he's more a victim than a perpetrator),  in my humble opinion the parties themselves are despots in group form and they are assuredly dancing on the ruins of public liberty though with great irony many of them believe themselves the saviors of liberty.

I was thinking today that the Republican and Democratic leaders are traitors.  They are traitors to us all for their abject failure to lead and come to decisions for the betterment of our nation.  Whether it's Iraq, or Iran or illegal immigration or health care, or take your pick... there is no impetus to improve., only to point the finger.

We were once the example to the world.  Since WWII our country had been the "de facto" leadership of the world.  We haven't always demonstrated a lot of wisdom, and we've surely made a lot mistakes but I think we've always showed the world how a government should be run for the betterment of all its people.  I was proud of the leadership in Washington, DC.  No more.  This hasn't been true in a long time and it's  hard to care when we're lead by a posse of traitors.  So, I feel apathy for the news I read lately.  Who cares.  It's more of the same thing.  Nothing gets done but a lot of posturing.  Nothing gets done.  Traitors.

And I close with another excerpt from President Washington., brilliant and wise words regarding the political parties and their position in our government;

From his farewell address- 1796 in New York

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Climate Change too Serious to Leave to the Parties

Ever since  Al Gore introduced the world to his self congratulatory book "An Inconvenient Truth" the two parties have  gone round and round over the Climate Change issue.   The far right believes it's a conspiracy.  The far left believes our planet will be dead in 100 years.  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle where it usually dwells.   I understand the need for political debate regarding the role of government and the distribution of wealth  but this has nothing to do with the philosophy of governing.   This is about our posterity and the planet we leave them.   Earth is neither left 'nor right leaning.  It tilts on its axis at the ideal angle to support us and the plants and the animals-  blissfully unaware of any potential harm we may be bringing to its inhabitants.   

 Suppose there was a meteorite streaking towards earth  that will arrive somewhere at the end of the century and it will hit the earth with such force as to leave only the roaches alive at the end of it all.   However, there's a 90% chance it will miss us altogether.   Wouldn't there still be a great urgency to do all we could to solve the problem even if there's only a 10% chance of calamity?  What would such a scenario have to do with the Democrats or Republicans?  Nothing.  The same should go for Climate Change.    

My opinion is that if the people most studied in that field say it's a problem then I need to trust their veracity and listen to their points.   It's hardly wise to have experts and proceed to ignore their advice.   Would you hire an electrician to rewire your house and tell him he's wrong once he found the problem?   I do understand the skepticism that comes from many people.  The facts and explanations coming from the scientific world are vague and not well presented.  Scientists are not sales people.   I think we must all consider that even if there is a 10% chance our activity will affect the earth for future generations then we have an obligation to discuss solutions and not debate whether the "meteorite" even exists.   Let's not leave such a mess to our kids and our kids' kids because we aren't 100% sure there is anything wrong to begin with.  We can't leave this one for the parties to debate into oblivion.   The stakes have never been so high.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

70th Anniversary of D Day

70 Years tomorrow since D-Day; You gotta read what our men read and heard before they stormed the beaches of France. Great words from General Eisenhower; 

"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world."

And succeed they did ! For about 5000 men, this was the last thing they had on their mind before they were killed. God Bless them all for such a great sacrifice-- I don't think many people realize how close our world came to a very different and dark trajectory. These American 20 year olds along with their English, Australian and Canadian brothers literally saved the world. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Marco Rubio concludes: "Man not cause of Global Warming"

Our esteemed Senator here in Florida, one of the main contenders for the Republican nomination to the White House has declared he does not believe mankind is responsible for Global Warming.  I have written on this subject a few times in this blog but I felt compelled to "giver it another crack"  after reading the article on his comments this morning.

I like Marco Rubio  for a lot of reasons;    He's very intelligent, he's quick witted, he's well spoken, he's a self-made man and I agree with his stance on fiscal responsibility.  He even had the nerve to stand up to the "lame brained" Tea Party by not joining them and their "do nothing" approach to the problem with immigration.  He's easy on the eyes too, although I'm not attracted to men, it makes it easier to watch and listen to a leader if he's not pug ugly.   He even shares the same Cuban heritage as the love of my life, my wife.....but.... (Yes, you knew a "but" was coming). But... I think he's making a mistake to climb on board with the "global warming is a conspiracy" fruit loops that lurk around the far right of the Republican party.

I don't blame a person who "has doubts" that global warming is caused by mankind.  I don't even think the most studied climatologists are 100% convinced., however you have to look at the "chance" and "probability" that this is the case.  Probability is a topic we all studied in middle to High School and if you passed the class you know that there are rarely any absolutes here in our reality.  So, I conclude in my disappointment regarding Marco Rubio's pandering to the "fruit loop" right;   "Global Warming is PROBABLY caused by mankind and given the circumstances for our children and their children that is enough for me to conclude we need to do EVERYTHING we can to stop and/or  reverse the damage done by our modern society even if it's not economically expedient to do so".


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Party Bickering Costs All of Us

Another letter published in the Orlando Sentinel this past week., I feel compelled to share on this blog.  The Orlando Sentinel wrote a superb editorial on the need for our state government to get off their ass and take some real action before our natural springs here in Florida are ruined forever.  As usual, the hold up is partisan politics.  Our state government is run by the Republicans but even the Senate and the very conservative governor are behind more aggressive action to save these natural wonders. It's the house that is the holdup.  The house is occupied by quite a few tea party nitwits so you can all imagine where this is going. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the latest "Marshall Missile".  (by the way, I tried to copy and paste the actual article because they included a picture of a cute little girl swimming in clear spring water-- nice touch-- but I couldn't get it to cooperate with Blogger)

4/1/2014 eedition.orlandosentinel .comlOlive/ODElorlandosentineI/PrintComponentView.htm

Publication: Orlando Sentinel; Date: Mar 30, 2014; Section: A SeCtion; Page: A24

Legacy of ruined springs

Thanks for the thoughtful words in defense of our natural springs ("House must join Senate's efforts to rescue
springs," Orlando Sentinel, Thursday). As is always the case, lurking beneath all government inefficiency are the two political parties and their chosen issues, whether they be "left" or "right," and the subsequent loss of all common sense in support of whatever "side" they are on for that issue. Unfortunately for the rest of us, Republicans are in control of the Florida House, and therefore, environmental issues are neglected because that is a cause of the "left." I am of neither party and condemn the state House from the center for selling out the future of Florida springs in the name of special interests and political cronyism. I don't care if my children or my future grandchildren will be "right" or "left" as they grow up, but I do hope they take pictures of our ruined algae-covered springs and take them to the convalescent facility for retired legislators. They can then spend all day observing the effect of their work as young state legislators in the early 21st century. This will be their legacy.

Charles E. Marshall Clermont

In My Humble Opinion !!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crimea Entitled to Associate with Russia

What do the people of Crimea want?

The core issue is what is the will of the people.  As long as it is not robbing anyone else or any other country of their rights, then that's what the focus should be.

I get that everyone is worried that Putin is going to keep grabbing more land in Ukraine, but I think we should cross that bridge when we get to it.  Why is it our business if the people of Crimea wish to no longer associate with the Ukraine ?   I don't pretend to be an expert with the situation, I'm certainly not.   I do know that the claim is that the government in Crimea is not legitimate but the one in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, IS legitimate.  Didn't they basically run the President out of his office through force ?  How does that make them legitimate?   As usual, the US and Europe seem to be only supporting those that see things their way.  I feel confident the revolution was a justified revolt, but don't call it legitimate until the situation is settled and all have had a say in the situation.  Things are not always what they appear.  Just because Russia has historically grabbed land and influenced other countries through dictatorship doesn't mean we should all suppose this is the case once again.  Let's pay attention to the now.

Fair and free elections should be held for Ukraine and Crimea with the world uniting to monitor the situation and then let the people decide their fate.  Just because our government doesn't like Crimea attaching itself to Russia doesn't mean they and their European allies have the right to stop the whole thing.  The power should be with the people, and if the people of Crimea want to be tied closer to Russia then that's their decision.

When Putin forces himself on a region that has no desire or interest in associating with the Russian republic, that is when we should be rattling our sabers.  Not now.

In my humble opinion.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not Officially Associated with the Independent Movement

I've been a little frustrated with this blog, to be honest.  It lurches up and down in traffic and seems to forever hover between 600 and 900 views per month.  Not bad, but certainly not good either.  I have had a hard time getting motivated since the last re-election and I think people are sort of sick of politics and so am I.   So, I am "remodeling" so to speak by changing my tag line at the bottom of my title "Marshall in the Middle".  Instead of "Formerly Known as Chuck Marshall's Humble Opinion".,  I've changed it to "Not Officially Associated with the Independent Movement".

A little history.  When I attended the University of Florida, we had a student paper "The Independent Florida Alligator" (Alligator- Gators- get it?) .  It was very popular and the paper was distributed all over that massive campus.   The paper was very well written and professional and tuned in to all the activities of campus.  So, my point ?  At the base of the title "The Independent Florida Alligator" was a tag line "Not officially associated with the University of Florida".  You see, during the tumultuous 60's this very liberal student paper got into a serious disagreement with the conservative administration and severed all ties.  Anyway, I always liked the way that sounded.  It gave the paper more power and more levity.  It said- this isn't a puppet of the U of F administration., we have our own mind and our own way of doing things but we're still allowed all over campus because we're just that good.   Also of course by mentioning they aren't "officially" associated with the University of Florida  they're saying that they ARE associated with the University of Florida.  It's an implied thing.  I love the subtlety.

So since I'd like to orient my blog more towards solutions to partisan politics rather than just about politics and at the same time I am not technically tied to the Independent movement the slogan somehow works.   That's what I want to communicate.  Our country is still the hope of the world.  If we can just stop running into each other, I think we can do a world of good for the good of the world.

Eventually, if the Independents get most of what they want (which is what I want), then I may change the tag line to reflect new challenges and irritants in the world., but in the meantime I am "Not officially associated with the Independent movement"....... but I am.  In my blogs I will be pointing out more of what the Independents are up to and arguing their way of thinking regarding the way we should all be governed and specific actions they have taken and actions the reader might take.  

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cuba the Paradise

Our Senator Marco Rubio from Florida went off today on Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa who explained that he had just gotten back from Cuba and then referred to it as a "paradise".  Marco Rubio, being from a family that fled Cuba before he was born  had a few words of protest for the Senator from Iowa for referring to this totalitarian regime as a "paradise".  (Watch this video- I've attached the link below). I know that Cuba is always a source of controversy in our country but I really feel he is totally justified in this heart felt speech.    The passion and anger is palpable - he tells it like it is.   My wife fled Cuba with her parents in 1985, so I have heard first hand how bad it is there and how much the rights of the people are truly ignored.   No right to protest, no right to own property, no right to elect your leaders, no right assemble, no right to worship, no right to do anything except exist.  That's what life is in Cuba., it's existing not living.  A paradise?  No matter the details of "why" Senator Harkin referred to Cuba in this manner, he and all the other dimwits form Hollywood and the Democratic party need to watch their tongue and think long and hard before they start praising a country that treats it's people with such contempt and neglect.    Most Americans really have no understanding of how bad communism is and some Republicans even refer to Obama as a communist.  This  minimizes how truly bad it is.  Call Obama a socialist all day long, but referring to him as a communist disrespects the poor individuals in Cuba, North Korea., Venezuela, Cuba and yes even the almighty China who live every day in silent desperation that their lives have been robbed by the soul-less philosophy and form of government that Communism truly is.  Paradise?  I'd rather live in the frigid Arctic or the barren desert a free man than as a slave to my government  in contemporary Cuba.

In My Humble Opinion

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I am therefor I Twitter

Twitter me this, and twitter me that.....

I've finally broken down and set up a twitter account.  I had been a refuse-nik on Twitter for a long time because I can't stand the name., but then I figured it would be a nice complement to my blog since sometimes I don't have much to say but a little blurb anyway.  A lot of times I mostly ramble inane thoughts and comments so Twitter should work out well.

Anyway, my twitter account is;

I will twitter when I have a new blog posted..

Follow me !

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

President Obama's State of the Union

I'm watching the President's state of the union and feel perhaps it would be interesting to comment as he speaks.

A guy from Duck Dynasty is in the audience as an esteemed guest of some Republican leader.  - Not starting out too good here..... Rome is falling folks, and the Barbarians have infiltrated.  

So far, he has elaborated on the recovery and that the strength of America is it's citizens.  -I'll drink to that.

Wants to extend benefits to families out of work.  -No big surprise, here.

Commenting on Michelle and her partnership with schools and fat kids.  -Good for her.

"People are tired of partisan politics."  -You think?

"End Tax Loopholes", "Remove incentives for corporations to send jobs overseas", "Reduce corporate taxes". - I've heard this one before.  Who can argue against it?  But we have an incompetent government that can't do anything for the good of the citizens, only for the good of their party.

Spend more government money so we can have another Google and more smart phone like products.  -I'm not sure those ideas came about purely due to government research 'nor that they would have never happened without the government.  That's a stretch.

"America's Energy independence has increased". - He has absolutely nothing to do with that.  This fact is a result of natural gas and new methods of extracting fossil fuels from the ground here in North America.

Wants to increase use of natural gas in cars.  -Okaaaaay., didn't he say that before?  I want flying cars too, but I don't expect my desire to cause their appearance.  

Wants to help clean energy and hurt fossil fuels.  - So, do it !  He's been saying this for 5 years.

We have to work harder to stop climate change.  "Climate change is a fact, the debate is over".  Amen, brother.

Fix immigration.  -The one thing he could actually affect in his last years as Prez.  Good Luck.

So far, his speech is sort of flat, lacks a lot of passion.   Keeps stumbling over words.  Surprising, but the media will say it was "brilliant".

More examples of specific Americans that have "risen above it all".  -Good for them but this song and dance is really getting sort of boring.

Access to Pre-School-  I actually agree with this bit of government action.  Kids under 5 should still be in school learning, it's their chance to keep up with each other and not be sitting at home watching TV.  It makes a lot of sense.  Also, my wife is a pre-school teacher.  :)

Wage difference between men and women.  -I'm not convinced this is always due to an unfair work environment.  Let the market take care of this inequality.  Government should not be involved in this decision, except perhaps for government jobs.  The details and paperwork and effort to "force" business to make everyone "equal" sounds like a "red tape" nightmare and it has all the makings of another government boondoggle waste of our money.

John from Punch Pizza raised his employees wage to $10- Raise your employees wages.  That's just sort of weird.  "John from Punch Pizza"?

Health Care.  -Here we go.  Some humor., always good.  Challenging the Republicans to come up with a better plan than Obamacare.  As I've said before  in this blog, I'm not convinced of Obamacare but I sure haven't heard any good ideas to fix the mess from the Republicans.  Time will tell.

Stop gun violence like that in Sandyhook. -  Something needs to be done., the NRA has way too much power.

Support the military.  Always a bi-partisan crowd pleaser.

Wars are over.  -Amen to that, but region is far from stable.  Nothing to brag about here in my mind.

I can't stand how Biden is always nodding his head.  "Shut up, Joe"

Boehner has not cried yet.

"No more open ended conflicts, America cannot be in constant war stance" -  More preventative action.  Sounds good, but can it be done?

"America will always be at the side of Israel".  -the obligatory pro-Israel stance that all American presidents must make.  Perfunctory.

Rally around the American Olympic team-  - Good call !

America is a special place. - Yes it is.

Personal story of an Army ranger "Cory" wounded by a roadside bomb, Prez had met him before he was seriously injured- Can't go wrong with stories like that.  Masterful ending with a war hero.

Overall, I give  it a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10.

In my humble opinion.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Red Lobster Spin Off

I wrote another letter to the Orlando Sentinel and, again, they published  it.  At least I know these words are getting a large audience as compared to this blog which is still such an elusive fulfillment !  The Orlando Sentinel has a circulation of several hundred thousand and I also noticed the Chicago Tribune picked up my comments on the electronic version of that esteemed paper.  That does my ego some good !  This letter was not directly related to politics but it does skirt around it as a subtle criticism of naked greed that has become so commonplace in all of our society.  I also posted this in my other blog  "Journal of an American Malcontent".  
Anyway, here is the letter for anyone interested, and I expect to post something less oblique and more directly political very soon.   Let's face it, the politics has been kind of boring lately.  ( Here is a link to "Journal of an American Malcontent" in which I make some other "wry"  observations and better explain the issue regarding Red Lobster, its parent company "Darden" and their sudden obligation to satisfy an investment group that gobbled up a chunk of their shares
(  )

I hope you all enjoy my brief take on the decline of the American corporation.

"Taking Stock of Darden"

Regarding the investment groups encouraging the spinning off of Red Lobster and Olive Garden for Darden.  I have no doubt that the stock price of Darden will go up due to these strategies for the company (whichever maneuver they choose), but I wonder then what will be the purpose of Darden itself?  Do they exist to simply make money and become more "valuable" on the NYSE?  Many American corporations have declined to the point of operating at the direction of finance wizards with their "leverages", "buyouts", "spinoffs" and they have forgotten why it is they're in business.   If I may be so bold as to suggest to Darden;  pay attention to what you're serving the public and how you treat your employees and ignore the yammering of financiers.  Ultimately the value of your stock will go up even more because you're offer something the public wants.  Isn't that what it's all about ?      

Charles E. Marshall

In My Humble Opinion.