Why you should not vote for Leo J. Martin for California Education Superintendent

My wife Sandi just ran across a blog post written by a homeschooling parent who made contact with Leo J. Martin, a candidate for Superintendent of Instruction for the State of California in this year’s upcoming California elections.

In the blog post Mr. Martin is quoted as saying in reply to his position on homeschooling:

Home schooling’s appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling. But under California law, a parent has the right to home school provided the parent is qualified to offer instruction. Personally, I believe nearly all kids would benefit more from being in traditional schools. Many parents home school for religious reasons, because they still hold outdated views on race or ethnicity, or for what they consider to be moral reasons. Since we have provisions for students to attend a school outside of their local community when there are legitimate reasons to do so, home schooling as an alternative to “unsafe” campuses is hardly a legitimate alternative. For the most part – overwhelmingly – the public schools of California are not only safe but are providing a high quality education. Yucca Valley should be no exception. If it is, as Superintendent I would like to hear the
complaints.

There has also been a tremendous amount of fraud connected with home schooling. Corporate organizations have sprung up to drain precious taxpayer dollars from the state budget to “supervise” home schooling. That has been to the detriment of those children, who by necessity, must be home schooled.

My advice? Send the kids to a traditional public school.

Needless to say there are many points in his response that I take issue with as a homeschooling parent, such as:

  • Home schooling’s appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling.
    According to who? Appropriateness of homeschooling, location of education or educational curriculum should really only be defined by the parent of the child being educated or the adult who is seeking education. Just like many adults find that educating themselves at home is appropriate, so do many parents find educating their children at home appropriate. To say that homeschooling is “appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling” is completely ignorant and alienates a huge segment of the population of the state. Elected officials should know better than to call their constituents stupid. Candidates need to know this. Any person who would reveal such extraordinary ignorance in dealing with parents and their decisions on educating their children has no business being in a leadership position over the educational structure and development of an entire state.
  • Many parents home school for religious reasons, because they still hold outdated views on race or ethnicity, or for what they consider to be moral reasons.
    I actually had to read this sentence a few times to see for my own eyes that Mr. Martin did indeed say these words. Apparently he is completely out of touch with the reality that our kids face in public schools today, like issues of crime, drugs, rampant promiscuity, inability for staff and administrators to effectively discipline children, lack of values placed on education within the public school system and an increasing student to teacher ratio throughout the state at all levels of education. None of these have anything to do with religion, views on race, views on ethnicity or morality. These are all issues that our kids face in California public schools today, issues that all parents should be aware of and concerned with. These are just some of the reason parents choose to homeschool, and none of them are religious in nature nor indicative of outdated views on race or ethnicity.
  • Since we have provisions for students to attend a school outside of their local community when there are legitimate reasons to do so, home schooling as an alternative to “unsafe” campuses is hardly a legitimate alternative.
    Who gets to decide what is a legitimate reason for a student to attend a school outside their local community? Someone who believes homeschooling instead of sending your student to an unsafe campus is hardly a legitimate alternative? If this is the attitude of the highest ranking educational leader in our state, I’d rather not educate my kids in this state. With this statement he is in effect saying that just because your local campus is unsafe doesn’t mean that he agrees with your decision to homeschool. Thanks Mr. Superintendent sir. Is there a way you could be less concerned about my child or my desire for him/her to be safe at school?
  • My advice? Send the kids to a traditional public school.
    And my advice to you? Stay out of office. Your incredible disregard for parents and their children would be comical if not so incredibly alarming. Parents in our state need an advocate against our government. What we don’t need is an advocate for the government against our parents and children.

Mr. Martin’s response to an another email inviting him to look closer at homeschooling and to see for himself why so many parents choose this route for their children’s education was met with an equally alarming and ignorant response:

I did not expect any home schooler to be satisfied with my response. Nor will I change it to appeal to the thousands of home schoolers who are voters. If this election were in the 1950s I would have received a question from someone representing tens of thousands of parents who opposed the racial integration of our public schools. They would have been looking for a candidate who agreed with them. My response would have turned them off and they would have urged me to read all the arguments in favor of segregation. I know those arguments, as I know the arguments for home schooling. Now, I’m not equating home schoolers with segregationists, but the situation is the same. As I would not edit my response to the segregationists to win their votes, I will not shape my response to home schoolers to seek their votes
either.

I explained before that there are legitimate reasons for home schooling. If you meet those conditions, I fully support home schooling. But that is not why most home schoolers engage in it. And while they have a legal right to do so, I do not support home schooling in those situations.

Best Regards,
Leonard J. Martin

I am not going to go into my take on this response of his. All I will ask is that if you are a homeschooling parent in California, please spread the word that this man is bad for our state’s educational system. All homeschooling parents and children will suffer if this man is elected. Let’s do our part as a free state to see to it that he never makes it into office.

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe that we are almost done with the first decade of our century. Even more strange to me is that we are within a month or so of 2009 coming to an end as a year. If I didn’t know better I’d say someone pushed the fast forward button on life toward the beginning of February and left it there until yesterday. And as I take a moment to look back on the year, and especially the day we are celebrating today, I can’t help but begin to think about some of the things I am thankful for.

Being thankful is not something that is reserved for one day a year in my house. In fact, it is something that I have tried to instill in my family through nightly “thankfuls” and through regular giving of thanks. It is a lifestyle that I think everyone should live lest we become bitter, cynical and “victimized” by circumstance. So for me and my house it is rather easy to recognize those things that I can be thankful for.

For example, I woke up early this morning and got out of bed to make a pot of coffee for my wife and I, and took a moment for myself to read my email, write a little in my blog and warm my legs with a little red fleece blanket. I was watching my dog sleep for a little while until my daughter Adriannah woke up, joined me in the living room, greeted me with a hug and kiss and began to watch TV.

In just the first few minutes of the day today I am thankful for:

  • A beautiful, smart, funny, warm, loving wife
  • An awesome tribe of beautiful, smart, talented children
  • Having a home for my family
  • Everyone in my family having a bed to sleep in
  • Running water
  • Coffee
  • Cups to drink our coffee from
  • Having a working computer
  • The internet
  • Email
  • Warm blankets
  • Wonderful, smart, loving, caring, beautiful children that love me
  • Hugs and kisses
  • A great dog
  • A TV
  • Electicity

Now of course these are more of the tangible variety of thankfuls. Still, these are all things I am thankful for just within the first few minutes of my day. There are so many other things to be thankful that extend beyond the tangible, like:

  • Not having to go to work today
  • Sharing today with family and friends
  • Having the freedom and liberty that comes from living in the United States of America
  • Being protected both at home and abroad by the most awesome of protectors ever, the US military
  • Worshiping how I want, when I want and with whom I want
  • The freedom and ability to have an opinion, and voice that opinion

The abundance of thankfuls in my life always seem to extend beyond the limits of one day a year. And while I am thankful for today and what it represents, I would offer this challenge to you: For the next 365 days, until next Thanksgiving day, see if you can find one thing every day to be thankful for and share that thankfulness with someone.

If you are anything like me, no matter how heavy life gets on you, you will always have something to be thankful for. May God bless you abundantly this day and all the days of your life.

Excuse my reasoning

A point of view is a dastardly thing. It can be useful in some situations, but in a case where your point of view allows you to turn an excuse into a reason it can be devastating.

Excuses, in and of themselves, are nasty little buggers. They are purposed reasonings that one establishes to allow latitude and leniency to pervade their own inability to satisfy a need or a condition in which another person, organization or establishment is dependent upon the satisfaction of that need. In essence, they are a rationalized way out of a responsibility that should not be shirked.

Worse, excuses that are believed to be reasons are all the more dangerous because they are no longer just a way out of responsibility, they are now the driving force behind it. And along with that they become a convenient means to allow oneself to really never do the responsible thing.

The reason I bring this up is because it is so easy to do. Excuses, or in most cases, reasons, are so easy to come up with and even easier for others to believe. Children seem to know this inherently. So do spouses (yes, men and women). In fact, I tend to think it is human nature to be able to drum up an excuse, er, reason, at the drop of a hat in most cases.

I am just as guilty of this as the next guy. Which is why I chose to write about it. I find myself doing this more and more and, the truth is, it needs to stop. A wife, children, a boss… they all need reliability out of a man. And reliability is impossible if there is a way out of responsibility through excuses.

So the next time you feel yourself in a place to excuse your way out of something, think twice and see if you can reason with yourself to the point of not allowing the excuse. People are counting on you.

A season for all sports

Yesterday was opening day for the Golden State Warriors basketball team. The NBA season officially opened Tuesday, October 27, 2009 and for the first time ever, it became clear to me that there is a relatively short period of time in which all four major sports are in season.

Football starts the first weekend in September. Basketball, as I just stated, starts at the end of October. The Baseball regular season ended the first week of October and the Hockey season started at the very beginning of October. That means that for the month of October and November you have the ability to catch a game in each of the four major sports within days of each other. When did this happen?

I swear I remember a time when sports had their own part of the year that they played in. I always remember Football being a fall sport, basketball (and hockey) being a winter sport and baseball being a spring/summer sport. Four seasons, four sports, one in each season.

But now it seems that all four sports seasons have to coincide right here, right now, during the month of October. Dude, I think this is a conspiracy.

Christianity and the church

Since when has Christ been about getting people to church?
This morning at church my pastor showed a video he had put together as a pitch for his newest series that he is teaching. The series is about making church relevant and the pitch basically asked the question “What can we as Christians do to get those from the culture of the world… the unsaved, the student, the businessman, the Muslim (or other religion), the educated, etc … to church?”. As I sat and thought about that question for a minute the answer hit me like a ton of bibles. Stop trying to get people to church and start trying to take church to those people.

When did the focus of the gospel become about getting people to church? I understand the concept… get people to church where they can be fed, be led and be released into ministry. But even in that I am left wondering where the commandment was that Christ gave us to get people into a building.

If a church, as in a building, were so important don’t you think there would have been mention of the synagogue Christ attended in the bible? Or any temple for that matter? The Word does mention they attended, but the importance of the building seems to wane right there.

There is no mention of a specific synagogue or specific temple, and I think that this is because the church, as it is referred to in the bible is not about a building but about the community of believers that are inspired by the Word of God. When Paul wrote letters to the church at Ephesus, Corinth, Phillipi, etc, he wasn’t writing to the members of the First Assembly of God in Christ in that city, or the First Presbyterian Church in that city. No, he was writing to the body of Christ in that city, the community of believers that were gathered there. Somehow church has moved away from being the community of believers it used to be to now being a building where you can worship, pray, cry, hug and do all the things one does when they are “in church”.

I am not part of the Christian church because on Sundays and Wednesdays I go to Jubilee Christian Center. I attend that church, but I am a Christian, a member of the Christian community, the collective body that calls itself by the name of the Son of God. I don’t need a building to tell me that I am Christian. And neither do new believers.

In our zeal and zest to win souls for Christ I think us Christians are losing the breadth of the greatest commandments we were given by Christ: Love God, love your neighbors, love yourself, preach the gospel.

Why should we have to convince anyone of the love of God?
When is the last time someone had to convince you to go to the grocery store to get food so you and your family could eat? It seems stupid to even ask that question. We already know that if we need to get something to feed ourselves we go to where the supply is and get some.

Yet we as Christians are constantly trying to convince people that they need to stop living the way they are living and they need to go to church so they can be saved. Or we constantly try to get people to attend a church service with the hope or prayer that by attending that one service they will miraculously and immediately give their hearts to God and become a Christian. If we preach the gospel, the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ, why would there be a need for convincing? It is the good news.

If someone is hungry spiritually they will find food. If they are yearning for love, real love, they will seek it out and eventually they will find it. They don’t need to be convinced that they need love or that they are hungry. They just need to be shown where the source of the supply is.

Imagine if a Christian actually did what Christ commanded and loved someone, regardless of their skin color, political affiliation, sexual orientation, lifestyle, age or cultural heritage. What could happen if we showed someone the love of Christ? And if they see it, and get hungrier for the blessings of God, what are the chances that they will seek a source of replenishment? Do you think you would need to convince them to go to the store to get the resource they’d need to be fed?

Yet we push on people as though they are some number, some statistic that would look good on a sheet of paper as we stand before the gates of heaven and the Judgment of God. “Look Father, I saved this many souls. See?”. Why do I see God looking on that and responding with “And how many of them did you love without cause, as I have commanded you?”.

Where is all this coming from?
I am really not sure why I have such an issue right now with Christianity as usual. I am just getting more and more turned off by how much of the bible we expect everyone else to learn while we choose to live outside of that covering. We are children of the most high. He is not only our God, he is our Father and our King. We don’t need to convince anyone they are royalty. We only need to show them that they are loved by the King like we are loved.

But in order to do that we need to come to grips with the fact that that we are loved. And not for our works or souls won or church days attended or offerings given. We are loved because it pleases God to love His creation. He wants fellowship with us and wants us to bask in the love and mercy and grace and abundance and blessing that only He can give.

God’s love is so much bigger than any person can imagine, it is bigger than words and bigger than anything we could ever even dream. But no one who doesn’t know this will ever learn this if we, His chosen generation, continue to focus on putting a warm body in a chair while we completely forget to show them what love is, and specifically what God’s love is all about.

It is my hope and prayer and desire to learn what it means to be loved by God. I struggle with this as much as the next guy. I know I am loved, but I sometimes wonder if the wretched person I am can separate me from that love. A part of me still wonders if God can really love a person like me. Most of me knows, however, that He loves me more than anything else in the world. I am the apple of His eye and He would willingly die for me.

In fact, He proved that He would on Calvary. Now if I could only wrap my head around how to show others that the same love God has for me he has for all I would so be able to put some feet to this disdain I have with “winning souls” and get to the business of loving my neighbor.

Obama administration fires GM CEO Wagoner

It might not look right or even sound right, the words “Obama administration fires GM CEO Rick Wagoner” but that is, in effect, what happened. And if you know anything about me you know that I have a resolved and absolute dissatisfaction with Barack Obama as a president.

So it goes without saying that I am shocked and upset by this move, announced over the weekend and discussed by Mr. Obama this morning at a press conference he held to bring forward news of the government’s plans and actions toward the failing American automotive industry. The first question I have to ask is how can a government flex that much muscle that it can ouster a corporate officer of one of the largest companies in American history, a company they have no stake in, in such a short period of time when it took a court order and a subpoena to get the names of the recipients of the bonuses awarded to AIG executives, a company that the government owns 80% of?

Let me be clear about one thing: I am not saying that CEO Rick Wagoner should not have been fired. To the contrary, given his performance and lack of strength exhibited over his tenure at the helm of GM it makes sense that the company should seek to replace him. But that is the company’s own prerogative, not that of the US government. Just because the government is lending GM (in total) about $20 billion does not mean that they can reach into the corporation and start shifting the organization around.

No, in fact I would have expected that in the case of banks and financial institutions that have been pissing away the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money that was used to nationalize those banks. The government took ownership of the bulk of the companies and should, in effect, have ownership rights to that company, including making organization decisions. Why we didn’t exercise those ownership rights still blows me away as I watch the financial sector continue to retain people that brought our country to its knees by paying them the same amounts of money, if not more, to do the same thing. Where are the bank CEOs’ heads? Where are the calls for resignations of Mr. Liddy from AIG? Where is the government muscle in that industry?

Instead GM, who does need the money – there is no doubt about that, is told their plan for looking forward and righting their ship was not sufficient in the eyes of the government and that, in order for them to be in a place where the government will trust them with more, must bounce their CEO. Chrysler was not given that same decision? Why not?

Now GM has another 60 days to revise their plan so that they can borrow more money from the government. And Chrysler has 30 days to get their merger/partnership deal with Fiat put together in a way that is adequate to the government so that the government can give them another $6 billion. Oh, and if the deal with Fiat falls through then Chrysler will receive no more money from the government. But that’s fine because Mr. Obama has a plan for that.

See, if it doesn’t work out for Chrysler then Mr. Obama has suggested that using American bankruptcy laws might be a potential solution for Chrysler as a means to release their liability for older, heavier debt that they can’t seem to get themselves out from under as a corporation. Um, Mr. President? If bankruptcy were an option for them why the hell didn’t we let them file two months ago instead of giving them money just so they could ask for more two months later?

It would seem the only smart company of the big 3 was Ford who elected not to take any government bailout funds. So while the government is firing CEOs and forcing partnerships Ford can sit back and look like the only stable company of the three. Way to go Ford. I have not really ever liked anything about you, but this little gesture of yours… top class.

Too bad the weakening auto industry will have a catastrophic domino effect on the entire economy if it does fail. Vendors and suppliers that supply GM and Chrysler more than likely supply other automotive manufacturers. And since the manufacturers have forced suppliers to scant profit margins, at best, if a supplier loses a contract like GM they could very well go out of business. Meaning Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and many other manufacturers not in the news for failure will be directly affected by GM and Chrysler’s inability to manage their business.

When will the auto industry learn from Toyota? When will they take what Toyota has done seriously and implement the principles of kaizen, hoshin kanri and 5S? That is perhaps for a different discussion.

For now I am still a little flabbergasted by the way our new presidential administration has failed to act like business owners for businesses we own while acting like a corporate boards toward companies we have no ownership interest in at all. If they fired Wagoner, they could have very easily fired all the idiots at all the banks that have brought our economy into the toilet and gotten rid of their bad business decisions before giving them billions of dollars to make more bad decisions with.

But that really isn’t Obama’s way now, is it?

So many things to not like about Obama

Last night President Obama gave another prime time press conference to fill in our great nation of what he is doing to make our economy better and what his plans are to right the ship. After listening to the entire speech and subsequent press questions, I was left with so many disappointments.

I know he is doing what he thinks is right for our country. I cannot say he is doing the best he can because I don’t think anyone has ever seen his best. But I can say that in his effort to make his administration transparent I am left with more questions than answers and a complete bewilderment as to when he is even going to answer a direct question with a direct answer.

The speech was pretty, much like all his other speech writers. His speech writers deserve at least a nice bottle of wine for their efforts. But his lack of experience and complete inability to boldly take a specific stance on a specific subject still shows how much growing as a leader he has left to do. When asked the question “Will you sign a budget if it does not contain a middle-class tax cut, does not contain cap and trade?” Mr. Obama returned with a very long response and never even really touched on the subject. When asked a second time he again did not answer with a yes or a no. He simply skirted the issue again.

When asked, multiple times, about his delay in responding to the AIG mess and why it seemed that governor Cuomo was handling the matter more than Obama, he finally retorted with “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak, you know?”. I think we know, Mr. President. I think we know that you have access to more information than anyone in the world and that nothing in this country happens without you knowing about it first. That was the second weakest cop out of the night in my opinion.

The first weakest cop out, and the one thing about Mr. Obama that continually pisses me off, can be found in his response to the question about some congressional republicans calling his budget proposal “the most irresponsible budget in American history” and the asking of the question “Isn’t that kind of debt exactly what you were talking about when you said “passing on our problems to the next generation?”. The first thing he did was pass the buck back to the last administration. Again.

I am so sick and tired of his belly aching over the mess that was handed to him. He knew what he was getting himself into when he ran for president. He knew the situation we are in. We do not need our leader to keep looking back when asked about his budget plans. We need him to look us in the eye and tell us that though it looks bad now, because of the structure of his plan, it will end brighter than it starts out. He needs to show us that he has a plan, a clear plan, to dig us out of the hole that the Bush administration put us into. He needs to step up and take responsibility for what is to come instead of pawning off responsibility to those that are no longer in office.

I am still waiting for Mr. Obama to become the leader that so many people believed he was when he won the presidential race. So far I have only seen someone that knows how to politic, hire great speech writers and evade questions. I have still not seen his plan, though he claims to be the most transparent president in history. And I have yet to see the hope that he said he would bring as soon as he took office. So many promises not fulfilled.

It is my prayer that he succeeds in all that he does. So far all he has done is given a crap load of money to some corrupt banks, make abortion more accessible, prevent us from handling terrorists in ways that were working and conduct several very well worded press conferences. Though he has done one thing that he said he wouldn’t do that I think it a good idea.

As part of his campaign he said he would be bringing our troops home from the middle east within 18 months. To do that, he has sent almost 20,000 more troops to the area. Way to show you care about bringing our troops home Mr. President. Hopefully you will still make your target. God, I hope you do.

Until then, could you perhaps learn to answer a yes or no question with a yes or a no? And for the love of Mike, please stop reminding us that the mess is not your fault. Show us what you are going to do to get us out of it instead.


References:
The complete transcript of the questions asked Mr. Obama and his answers
Reactions to his press conference
How Politico.com saw it

A case for competency

Every wonder how companies manage to stay in business after totally shafting their customers? Companies do it all the time… say one thing and do another. Or just not do what they say they will. Or better yet, do something they say this will not. It is bound to happen, as long as humans are involved with the process, that mistakes will occur.

I have been the on the business end of a few bad customer experiences myself, but none have been as awesome as that of George Vaccaro, the poor soul that could not find a single Verizon customer service rep that would attest to a difference between 0.002 dollars and 0.002 cents. This dude had the wherewithal to record two of his conversations with Verizon when he was erroneously charged for data transfers while in Canada.

For the record, a friend of mine, Matthew Turland, posted a link to the xkcd.com posting of this issue on Facebook and after reading the initial blub I decided to listen to the audio. At 27 minutes it weighed in pretty hefty, but since it was only audio I figured I could still work while it was playing.

I was a little wrong on that. Not because I couldn’t work while listening. No, it was more because I couldn’t work while laughing so hard. The seemingly mindless drones that work for Verizon (or worked for them) could not answer in the affirmative the question of “Is 0.002 dollars the same as 0.002 cents?”. Not the first level representative, not the level 2, not the supervisor. It was freaking awesome.

Which kinda goes to show you that you can succeed in business even if you are a dumb as a bag of hammers. If you can answer a phone and charge people for anything you want and for any amount you want, contract or not, then you are well on your way to millions. They may not be reliable millions, but do you really need to be concerned with that? 0.002 doctors would say probably not.

The sanctity of the toilet

Webster’s defines sanctity as:

1: holiness of life and character [godliness]
2a: the quality or state of being holy or sacred [inviolability]
2b: (plural) – sacred objects, obligations, or rights

I noticed something the other day… well, let me rephrase that… I had an epiphany the other day about something that I have done for a while now but only recently have come to appreciate. Taking time, when I get home, to go to the bathroom.

Ok, before you get grossed out over what I just said, understand that the bathroom, for me, is a sanctuary. A getaway, if you will. My place to go to gather my wits about me, perhaps catch up on a few emails or just generally avoid the noise that is the Gonzalez house as soon as I walk in the door. Sitting on the toilet, even if I don’t have to do anything toilety, is my zen moment, my place of relaxation and quiet, my focus time, my time to center. So my toilet is a sacred object. No, not an idol, but something that means a lot to me.

Of course you can probably surmise that I have very few hobbies. In fact most of my identity revolves around my family. I don’t hunt, fish, ski, gamble, work out or anything to occupy my time, so my one real outlet, outside of work, is my toilet. And to be honest, I think every man needs a place like this.

If it weren’t for my toilet I would be a bear to live with. I’d be cranky, irritable, grouchy and generally of an unpleasant disposition. So as long as my toilet and I have a little time together every afternoon life in the Gonzalez house goes smoothly. But take my toilet time away from me and boy, look out.

There could be a heavy load of crap to deal with if that ever happens.

AIG: How to not pay attention to details

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few days you have no doubt heard of the controversy brewing over AIG retention bonuses that are about to be paid out to their executives and other members of the division that has been alleged to be at the heart of our economic melt down. In essence what is at issue is the fact that AIG is stating that it must pay out about $165 million in retention bonuses to executives and other employees because it is contractually obligated to do so. Everyone that is hearing that dribble is asking the same question: “WTF?”.

Somewhere along the lines AIG is claiming that they agreed to pay these bonuses prior to taking any bailout money from the government. They state that they had already had these bonus payment obligations when they secured bailout money and that as a result they have no choice but to issue the bonuses.

“Some of these payments are coming due on March 15, and, quite frankly, AIG’s hands are tied,” [AIG Chairman Edward] Liddy said, adding that he found the arrangements “distasteful.”

Distasteful indeed. Perhaps I am missing something, but doesn’t the US government now own 80% of AIG? And can’t the government, who now owns AIG, renegotiate these “obligations”? It would seem to me that A) when AIG got their first installment of cash from the tax payers that this should have been seen; and B) just because these bonuses were previously promised does not mean that they need to go ahead and be paid.

I am sure that this could potentially pose a hardship to some AIG’s employees, specifically the millionaire executives that helped land our country in the mess we are in (and incidentally who helped facilitate the hardest of hardships that we as a country have faced in the last 60 years). But seriously, employees that suck at doing their jobs as bad as those that did this to our country should not be rewarded for that anyway, so it makes sense to me to put that $165 million to use somewhere else. Perhaps in helping people get out of the crap they are living in.

Regardless, I am glad to see president Obama stepping in and trying to look good in the face of this debacle by trying to block the bonuses. Sadly I think it will be too late to affect any real change in this mess. Still, at least someone in government is trying to upend this thing.

I just wonder who in government dropped the ball on reading through the details when we first agreed to give AIG all this cash. I know that in September of last year, when the government agreed to give AIG $85 billion, both Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi objected to it and criticized the move. Maybe they saw something wrong at the time? Probably not, since they were so on board with the continued bailouts offered by their comrade Barack Obama (bipartisan bishmartisan). Whatever the case, someone in power totally screwed up when throwing all this money toward AIG. It should have never happened to begin with, and now we are faced with trying to keep control over something we had no control over to begin with.