June 28, 2011

Blagojevich Is Convicted of Corruption in Retrial - NYTimes.com

Blagojevich Is Convicted of Corruption in Retrial - NYTimes.com

That 4 recent Illinois governors have been convicted of crimes demonstrates how corrupt a political system can become. Illinois and Chicago politicians are the tarnished examples of disdain for the public trust.

Blagojevich's conviction is justice served.

June 22, 2011

Three Traits Every CEO Needs - Justin Menkes - Harvard Business Review

Three Traits Every CEO Needs - Justin Menkes - Harvard Business Review

A friend recently sent this Harvard Business Review article about the traits that make an effective leader:

To perform their best in today's turbulent atmosphere, leaders must possess this highly unusual set of three traits that often run counter to natural human behavior. These attributes are catalysts for the mastery displayed by the world's best CEOs — and, together, they add up to a new definition of leadership:
  1. Realistic optimism. Leaders with this trait possess confidence without self-delusion or irrationality. They pursue audacious goals, which others would typically view as impossible pipedreams, while at the same time remaining aware of the magnitude of the challenges confronting them and the difficulties that lie ahead.
  2. Subservience to purpose. Leaders with this ability see their professional goal as so profound in importance that their lives become measured in value by how much they contribute to furthering that goal. What is more, they must be pursuing a professional goal in order to feel a purpose for living. In essence, that goal is their master and their reason for being. They do not ruminate about their purpose, because their mind finds satisfaction in its occupation with their goal. Their level of dedication to their work is a direct result of the extraordinary, remarkable importance they place on their goal.
  3. Finding order in chaos. Leaders with this trait find taking on multidimensional problems invigorating, and their ability to bring clarity to quandaries that baffle others makes their contributions invaluable.

June 21, 2011

Smart Power Setback - NYTimes.com

Smart Power Setback - NYTimes.com:

Will we ever learn that western-style nation-building in tribal societies like Afghanistan cannot be done quickly...if at all?

"Violence doesn’t stem from poverty. It stems from grudges, tribal dynamics and religious fanaticism — none of which can be ameliorated by building new roads. The poorest parts of the country [Afghanistan] are not the most violent.

Meanwhile, the influx of aid has, in many cases, created dependency, fed corruption, contributed to insecurity and undermined the host government’s capacity to oversee sustainable programs.

In the district of Nawa, for example, Usaid spent $400 per person last year. The per-capita income before aid was $300. According to the World Bank, 97 percent of Afghanistan’s G.D.P. derives from spending related to the military and donor community presence." [emphasis added]

June 20, 2011

CBO Figures Dispel Myth that Bush Tax Cuts Caused Today's Deficit

CBO Figures Dispel Myth that Bush Tax Cuts Caused Today's Deficit

Another myth bites the dust. The Congressional Budget Office analysis shows that excessive government spending is the primary cause of the runaway deficits and increasing public debt, not the Bush era tax cuts. We simply can no longer afford Congress' spending appetite.

June 18, 2011

Photos during the 16-day voyage north to Lake Champlain from Portsmouth VA via Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay of Bill and Nicole Brown's 42' sailboat Bellissima.