How Does One Say Goodbye?

In the 1960’s I worked in San Francisco and made some very interesting and diverse friendships.  One of those friends was Marvin A. Bolei.  Marvin was a unique character among a group of unique individuals working at KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliated Westinghouse owned station. 

 

Marv made a striking figure at six foot three, black hair somewhat swept back, Fu Manchu mustache and black, black eyes.  Marv was a complex man with a heritage of French and Mexican, at least that is what he told you when he was willing to talk to you, he was a man of few words and yet all of the guys and gals that worked with him seemed to genuinely like him.  Part of what made Marv appealing to the “troops” was the way he poked at our straight-laced management.  A small example, the company required a white dress shirt and tie with your suit.  Marv would wear the dress white shirt but he bought the short sleeve version and in the office he walked around with his jacket off.  Occasionally Howard a corporate type who had been transferred from the east coast to SF ask him; why don’t you wear a long sleeve shirt and Marv would say because he was comfortable the way he was, period! 

Marv was perfect for SF in the sixties, he was on the leading edge of music, connoisseur of recreational drugs and a true free spirit.

 

By the late nineties his life style had taken its toll on his body and maybe to a degree on his mind.

 I had transferred or moved on depending on the business opportunities to NYC, Chicago, Denver, Schenectady New York, Manhattan and finally Detroit Michigan.  I lost contact with Marv on day to day basis but I was close enough that when I asked him to be best man at my wedding in Chicago he agreed and showed up in his inimitable style with a Lucky Lager Beer shirt, brown buckskinned jacket with fringe, granny glasses, cowboy boots, Levis and a black cowboy hat that made him look bad, real bad.  My further father-in-law was conservative to put it mildly, he owned his own insurance agency on the north shore of Chicago and we had to get the tux fitting for Marv at a very upscale shop in Glenview, my future wife’s home town.  My father-in-law to be, had to walk in with Marv In his full regalia and he was clearly embarrassed but a typical

Mid-western gentlemen he said nothing, paid for the tux and we left.  When my friends ask Marv why he came all the way to Chicago just for a wedding he said he wanted to visit a grocery store in Chicago that he understood was owned by the Mafia, an old wives tale but we took him there and he was happy.  I visited SF several times on business and occasionally but only occasionally Marv would meet me for a drink.  Marv was as ever mysterious about what he was doing but ever a friend and someone you could really talk to.

 

 Over the years I had less and less contact with him and then one day I got a letter from a man we had worked with and who was a good friend of Marv letting me know he passed away and had left a note that all of his friends should share. 

 

This letter was Marv’s answer to the question I posed at the outset of this piece, how do you say goodbye?  This is the exact letter [it was hand written] and it in my opinion fits Marv’s personality and it is neither courageous nor cowardly.  It is not full of regret or self-recriminations but rather a calm statement of fact in which he predicts his death within a month of the actual time.  I hope you see what I see, a man, a real man capable of dealing with the facts of life and death without bitterness and communicating them without rancor.  Maybe I see too much in this “final” letter but I have carried this letter every since I received in 1999. A reminder of how a friend, a man dealt with his loved ones and most of all himself as he said goodbye.

 

6-3-99

 

Dear Folks,

 

I’m in a “rest home” after a small series of adventures that included passing out and flipping out and where care, and personal consumption of substances can be regulated and monitored.  Just as well.  My downhill slide is getting serious and I don’t give my chances of surviving past this month much hope.  Interesting, the things the body tells you – especially when [1] it’s in trouble and [2] you re paying attention.

This is a nice place out toward the Valley of the Moon where we had our big picnic when you where here time before last.

 

Maria and the kids are all handling this well and nobody is kidding around.  Makes for tranquility.

 

So my friends take this as a loving goodbye to you and yours.  Will all meet in that great gittin-up morning in the sky.

Love Marvin

Revolution, Violent Revolution, What Will it Take?

Any talk of revolution should be approached cautiously but violent revolution is, should be unconscionable – still it might be a consideration under certain circumstances.

The logical question is what circumstances could cause a violent revolution in this country?

First is the loss of whole categories of foods, wheat, and dairy and of course meat.  Could this happen here? Yes it could if we have government controls put on distribution of foods. This could come about because of the failure of our currency and the subsequent inability of our government to be able to pay for food goods and the ultimate decision to ration groceries.

Second the violent revolution could happen if private militia groups in many states decided to intercept the distribution of foods goods by the government and redistribute those goods based on what these private militias see are appropriate. This could lead to armed conflict between the militia and the government troops.  Of course there is a legitimate question as whether the government troops will actually fire on the militia or citizens rushing to food depots and attempting to take what they and their families needed.

Third the people might be inclined to group together for protection from government troops or prevent militia’s from other geographic areas taking the precious foods stuffs they have started to store for personal use.  They may also see fit to join militia groups that they would have called extremist just months before the collapse of the economy and be assured that this will be the destruction of our nation economy.  The net affect of these actions could create a new set of  “states,” ridiculous you say; I say not.

What I hope is that we will correct this spiral into debt, reach an accord at the congressional level and reaffirm our commitment to a government of the people, by the people and based on the constitution.  Remember we did have a violent revolution and we can have that again, with just the three simple steps I laid out.

2016

A week ago I sent a four-minute video to several of my friends that suggested they see the movie 2016.  Last night I viewed the movie myself.  There have been many reviews of the film with the liberal media like The New York Times calling the film biased and the author Dinesh D’Souza an anti-Obama conservative, duh!

 

Actually, the author was born in the same year as Obama. They each went to an Ivy league school, graduated the same year, and got married the same year as each other.  The point is Dinesh grew up in the same economic surroundings that Obama experienced in Kenya and Thailand.

 

Dinesh is convinced that Obama has set his personal and political goals based on his father’s beliefs, beliefs that were guided by an anti colonial passion that drove him to the left and away from basic American beliefs.

 

Probably the best review is from Slate’s David Weigel’s “mostly solid” highlighting how D’Souza does not drown in conservative conspiracy theories. “The movie is really too good to get pedantic about,” he wrote. “There are no conspiracy theories about Obama’s birth, religion, Social Security number, passport, or college transcript. Instead, there is a deep dive into Barack Obama’s known Communist associates, his late father’s avowed socialism, and his mother’s radicalism.

 

Dick Evans from Naples, Florida wrote a letter to the editor and closed with this statement.

“The purpose of my letter is to challenge the voters who call themselves, Independents or those who have second thoughts about voting for Obama a second time. If you aren’t sure or find yourself sitting on the fence now, go see “2016”! For those whose attitude is why vote, what does it matter or there’s no difference between politicians. Go see “2016”! If you are apathetic, indifferent, or are getting worn out by the barrage of political ads, go see “2016”. I dare you!”  So do I, see it and make your own decision.

 

Tribes or Nation Building?

Tribes or Nation Building in the Middle East?

 

As an average citizen of this country I marvel at the debate between political leaders and the public on Nation Building in Iraqi.  Simply stated Iraqi and most other middle-eastern territories or countries if that term applies are in fact a collection of tribes.  It seems that Iraqi is a prime example of our countries leaders trying to mold this collection of tribes into a “nation”, preferably like ours, since these leaders believe all people will be happy if they have our governing rules and personal desires.  Clearly this assumption is not true.  Witness the northern part of Iraqi where tribal rule is working very successfully without adopting our governmental policies but trading with us on a sophisticated business level.  The point of my statement is that we should stop trying to change tribal rule and learn to live with the segments of the middle east that are potential trading partners. Let’s deal with them on their terms negotiating the best deals we can make and leave their political systems in place, keep a good eye on changing tribal winds and go with the flow

Hispanic – Latino?

Hispanic – Latino?

Born in Michigan in the late 30’s I had absolutely no interaction with Hispanic’s or Latino’s, in fact I don’t recall ever seeing a person of Hispanic or Latino descent until I moved to Tucson Arizona, then Banning California eventually settling in San Francisco. When I was transferred to Manhattan and then Chicago I had brushes with the Puerto Rico, Mexican and Cubans. I recognized, even with limited contacts among the Hispanic and Latino communities that there were distinctly different cultures within the broad category politicians and government researchers called Hispanic.

The cultural differences between the Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rico and central/south American segments of the politically classified Hispanic community became clear when I started marketing beverages on a national basis. I spent time and energy trying to find common marketing themes that would appeal to what turned out to be clearly diverse segments of the generalized Hispanic/Latino population category.

One example that reinforced the conclusions I came to was the product was identical in all of its factors, language, content and packaging design.

In Puerto Rico the product was premium priced [which materially affects the profit of the product], in the Northeast corridor of the mainland it was a “popularly” priced band with average margins and in the Southwest it was a price brand meaning it was a discounted bulk sale product with minimum profits to our company. The difference was clear, in the Northeast Caucasian’s; unaware of the role this product played in the Hispanic/Latino market accepted the product as a lighter formulation of a good tasting product. In Porto Rico the product was viewed as an import, much like people in the Midwest used to consider Coor’s beer a premium prestigious product while in Colorado, the products home state it is a popularly priced brand. In the Southwest the Mexican population looked for price and drinkability and our product fit their needs as long as it stayed at a discounted price, if we move the price up they switched to what they thought was a comparable product.

In attempting to market the same product to these distinctly different groups it highlights the difficulty in addressing these different cultures with a single label like Hispanic or Latino and further it points out a blanket set of polices won’t address the clearly different interests of these four groups. The only conclusion one can come to is that whether political parties choose to use Hispanic or Latino their courting of these groups will have to be based on individual cultural wants, needs and desire and not a convenient one plan fits all Hispanics – Latino’s.

A Cat for Barack

One day a cat, we’ll call Leroy because that was the name on his nametag stopped by my house, we assume for food.  Gradually Leroy ingratiated himself with my family.  He was of mixed Asian heritage with a charm that made almost everyone like him and while he was clearly a feral cat he tapped into as many of my neighbors willing to give him treats or food.  In our case we traced him to his “owner” via the telephone number on his nametag.  We called the owner and she told us of finding Leroy in Paris [Texas that is] and when they moved to Ft. Worth they brought him to their new home.  His owner noted that Leroy did not like the long car ride and while he stayed around their new house for food he would no longer come inside.  She said we were welcome to take care of him because they had had their fill of spending money and carrying for an animal that wouldn’t be a member of their family. 

 

Leroy started hanging around our house every day and eventually we started buying him his “favorite” food and treats.  We took him to the vet, got him his shots, patched up his wounds from confrontations with other cats and in the process he became quit “taxing” on the family budget.  If Leroy had brought home a family [he couldn’t because he was fixed] he would have taxed me right out of my support for him.  Get the message Barack? 

Obama’s Children

They are part of the 47% of people [citizens and non-citizens] living in the United States that don’t pay taxes. They feed off the federal, state and local welfare tit. They are “citizens” of the welfare state and they quite logically cannot favor policies that will reduce the national debt because that will require in part the reduction of the welfare services currently provided by our government structure. However, if we fail to make the entitlement adjustments and reduction in tax loop holes we will destroy the welfare system Obama’s children have grown to depend on. We could have an actual revolution, killings, etc. or we could have a economic renaissance but if we do, it is clear Obama’s children will have to change their life style and work ethic, not likely since we have spent at least 30 years conditioning Obama’s children to revel in the welfare state. By the way, Obama’s children are the results of 30 years of the congress and resident Presidents seeking re-election to power, and in that process giving huge numbers of people what they want and for “free.” For those of us who actually pay taxes and have a real concern about the credit ratings of our country and, more importantly the work ethic of our country, we need to take action. We need to elect congressmen and women that will stand up for the basic beliefs we have in a balanced budget, entitlements that aid but don’t help citizens to skate from their responsibilities, tax codes that are simple and bring all of the people living in this country into tax paying supporters of this country. It seems simple, but we can’t forget greed and power, so frequently the motivators of our candidates for office. It is simple: elect those with likeminded concerns and a level of ethics and we can turn the policies of the government, give practical reasons for Obama’s children to become tax paying, work sharing residents in this country. If we don’t do these things, we will sink into an abyss that we, as a nation will not be able to crawl out of and if that does happen, Obama’s children will become like the Greeks, Spanish, Italians and probably many more nations where the outrage over loss of the welfare state will lead to various levels of revolution with many nations being overtaken by extremist elements making promises to the “their” children on welfare that they will not be able to or will not want to deliver. Please vote!