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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, December 15-17, 2006

 

The "W" Legacy

Some president, toward the end of their term in office, are concerned about their legacy. Bill Clinton did his best to broker a peace between Yasir Arafat and Israel prior to the end of his second term in office, only to have to shot down by the PLO leader at the eleventh hour. Clinton wanted that peace to be a major part of his presidential legacy. Instead, he will have to settle for one of the greatest economic surges in this nation's history. It was a surge that raised all on the same wave, not just a small base of "haves and have mores". What will George W. Bush's legacy be? Maybe a peak a the Yahoo.com four World headlines of Sunday, December 17, 2006 will give us some insight:

Gunmen stage mass kidnapping in Baghdad
27 killed at Pakistan wedding party
Shots fired at Palestinian leader's home
1 Afghan civilian killed by car bomber

War and international instability will be the Bush (43) legacy.

Are we safe yet?

When President Bush told us all that a Democratic Iraq would bring peace and stability to the middle east, one wonders where he got his information from? Even if we set aside his other failures, which include the staggering rise of gas and home heating prices, the loss of millions of outsourced American jobs and health care costs that have more than doubled since his taking office, we still have the worst of the worst getting even worse in the middle east. Instead of getting our troops home in some sort of timely fashion, the Bushies are probably going to have to send more troops to Iraq in what will be, at best, nothing more than a stop-gap measure.

Saddam Hussein was a monster, it is true. But what do you cal the guy who replaced the monster with a more dangerous monster? You cal; min "Junior".

As the Bushies attempt to raise a half-billion dollars for a "W" library, the rest of the world wants to know just what "The Lesser Bush" is going to do over the next two years to fix his "Fixings". In the world of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," GW has tweaked this world's last nerve. In the words of former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, "The Pottery Barn Rule" applies: George W. Bush broke Iraq and we, the American middle class, bought it. This was not a well-meaning attempt at solving the middle-east's problems, but a dishonest upheaval of a tightly-wound world for the benefit of a few.

Lining the pockets of that "base" of "haves and have mores" at the expense of American lives, and the lives of many who wanted to live peacefully in the middle east will be the Bush legacy. History will look at the period from 2001-2009 as a lesson in what not to do.

I hope that the Bush Legacy will keep us all from making history such as this from repeating itself. I hope my children, and their children, aren't fighting the Bush wars for generations to come.

-Noah Greenberg



Recommendations

Radio Program

Dr. Herb Greenberg (no relation to Madman), founder of Caliper Corp and Patrick Sweeney, Vice President of Caliper will be bringing back their one-hour radio show on business, Winning in Business, to WWOR (710 AM) in the New York City radio market the first Sunday of the new year. Their show, which formerly aired on New York's WLIB (1190 AM), then the primary carrier of AirAmerica Radio (which has since moved) will be broadcast every Sunday morning at 9:00 AM. It's my recommendation that any and all of you in the New York market set your alarm clocks.

(Caliper Corp is an international company founded by Dr. Greenberg over four decades ago which specializes in advising corporations on Employee Selection, Employee Development, Team Building and Organizational Development.)

I recommended Dr. Greenberg's and Mr. Sweeney's book "Succeed on Your Own Terms" (with Harol Weinstein: ISBN: 007144534X; The McGraw-Hill Companies) in the past (and still do) as an insight to anyone who is interested in not only how people succeed, but their mind-sets while they are succeeding. From chapters about five-foot three-inch former NBA star Mugsy Bogues to Senator Diane Feinstein (DEMOCRAT-CA) the book is a tribute to what drives success and is not a feel-good career guide, but an inspiration as to how one might look inward for strength. Their radio show is a continuation of the book.

I particularly enjoyed Herb and Patrick's interview of David Oreck, the founder and creator of the Oreck vacuum cleaner (I owned one even before the interview). The time flowed well and held my interest in a funny and informative manner that came from a casual and friendly atmosphere. The three men were there to enlighten their audience in an inclusive manner, not preach to it from a Sunday morning pulpit. It was a refreshing change from all of the yelling and screaming which normally accompany radio talk shows.

In the interview, I learned that Mr. Oreck, a World War II aviator who flew bombing missions over Japan, also produced his products in New Orleans, LA., and was able to keep his business alive even after the screw-ups following Hurricane Katrina. He was able to get his product produced and, more importantly, his employees working again.

If you're interested in business insight and philosophy, then Winning in Business is the show for you.

-Noah Greenberg



Book

Recommended Reading: Naked Republicans by Shelley Lewis
Random House -ISBN: 0812976916

I like books that you can pick up and put down after reading a page or two. I call them "comfort reading". It's why I liked reading "The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln", a book that displayed stories and anecdotes of and by the sixteenth President of the United States, some in his own words. And it's why I like Shelley Lewis' Naked Republicans.

I met Shelley Lewis and a few of her friends at a "Drinking Liberally" meeting in new Brunswick, NJ with about twenty or so other area progressives (you know who you are). Ms. Lewis, a former CNN Morning producer and one of the founders of AirAmerica Radio was there to read a little from Naked Republicans, sell a few books (almost everyone there bought one for ten bucks) and "drink liberally" with us for an hour or so.

The first thing you notice about the book s the great cover art, which include barrel-clad caricatures of George Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay. The back cover has Dick Cheney, also wearing a barrel, on his back with a shotgun, making this the first book I ever laughed at without ever opening the cover.

The book is separated not by chapters, but by "Parts" describing the Republicans who fit the group. For example, Part One is titled "The Wackos" and it includes baseball-card style bios and descriptions of, for one, former Senator Rick Santorum (REPUBLICAN-PA). It gives views such as "career highlights" and "lowlights", gives them a nickname, which, in Santorum's case, it's "Man on Dog" for his quote, "(Homosexuality) is not man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."

Later in the book, A baseball-style "Hall of Shame" is like a Bizarro-World walk through Cooperstown, New York's famous shrine for baseball immortality. In this case, however, it's Lewis' scamper through the worst that the GOP has to offer, complete with career stats and Al Hirschfeld-style caricatures of the GOP offenders.

This is all followed up by the anecdotes and quotes which demonstrate why these "Naked Republicans" deserve to be in these groups. Each one has a few pages and can be easily referenced for your friends at the next meetup or house party.

Buy this book ($10.95 cover price) and keep it on your coffee table, desk or anywhere else where guests might stumble upon it and read a segment or two while otherwise "occupied" (if you get my meaning).

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg