Archive for October, 2009

At Last The Knife Goes In

Posted in Justice, Modern World, Obama, President, USA with tags , , , on 23/10/2009 by floroy1942

Finally a brave politician has put the knife into the banking sector, and companies that received government aid at the start of the current financial crisis. The income of these bank executives and CEO’s has been slashed from it’s previously outrageous levels to, what I would call, a more acceptable level, but all is not what it seems.

President Obama has been the first world leader with guts enough to attempt cutting the exorbitant salaries of these people. He appointed Kenneth Feinberg this summer to look into the huge payments, and he has just released the first phase results.

I can hear the moans in the Boardrooms across America now; “Damn! I was going to get myself another Ferrari, a new villa in the Bahamas, a massive yacht, and a huge new cabin cruiser to park in Puerto Banus Harbour in Spain (the most expensive), and oh, the wife wanted a new ironing board. I was even thinking of buying Yellowstone National Park to build some condo’s. Now I guess all that will go on hold. Damn that Obama fella!. Doesn’t he understand I want to be super-rich?”

Of the top seven companies bailed out by the US tax payer, 136 employees from; AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, Chrysler, and Chrysler Financial have all taken a hit.

According to the news, bank executives and CEO’s will have to take a 90% pay cut, while their employees, traders etc, would take a cut of up to 50%. Bosses would no longer receive huge bonuses, but get stock in their company they could not sell until 2011.

It is staggering to see the pay-packets some of these individuals take home. Top of the tree is Sanjay Jha, Co-CEO of

struggling Motorola, who took home a massive $104.4 million in 2008. His salary was a mere $484,615, but he made a further $412,096 in ‘Perks’, $36 million in stock grants and $67,59 million in stock options.

He and his fellow CEO Gregory Brown ($24.2 million), were magnanamous in December last year and took a 25% salary cut. At the same time, Motorola froze all employees salaries and retirement contributions. It sounds like a case of; “Pull up the ladder Jack, I’m on board”.

Mr Jah no doubt owns several Ferrari’s, probably one for each day of the week. His only problem would be to decide which colour to drive on which day! “Let me see. Monday the blue one, Tuesday the black one…….”

I wish I had those problems, the only trouble is I would find it hard to decide; I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure!

Mr. Jah is of course not alone with this problem. The CEO’s of; Oracle, Walt Disney, American Express, Citigroup, Hewlett Packard, Calpine, News Corp, Honeywell International and Proctor and Gambell all face the same agonizing problems, and I haven’t mentioned the car industry yet!

Among the “Money Men’, under the new rules AIG’s top executive will get the highest salary at $10.5 Million which will include a salary of $3 million, a $3.5 million bonus, and $4 million in stock options. AIG is still one of the companies bailed out by the tax payer. But there’s worse to come!

The top 22 executives of Citigroup, bailed out with billions, will share a staggering $118 million in salary, stock options, and restricted stock options that will increase over the next four years. Mama! I want to be a bank executive. Please, can I????

All I can say is; firstly, I should have chosen banking as a career instead of the military and aircraft industry, and secondly; everyone should start keeping their money under the mattress and let the bankers starve.

Of course, the bankers and CEO’s are complaining. Their arguement is, that without the current bonus scheme they will lose all their star performers to companies that are not covered by the new ruling. Citbank and Bank of America have already reported losing key personnel to companies like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase who managed to escape from the governments clutches during the summer. Some companies are activly engaged in luring away these people with promises of even double their previous bonuses and salaries. Who can refuse that.

The downside is, the loss of key personnel may affect the recovery of the institution concerned, putting repayment of the government loans in jeopardy.

But when all is said and done, these people may not lose as much as first thought. The ruling on bonuses put in place by Ken Feinberg is not watertight. Instead of bonuses they will get ‘Incentive Pay’ in the form of company stock, so all may not be lost after all, just be a little more complicated.

Scrutiny on the part of the general public is advised to see how all this ends, but I for one hope the money trail dries up for these people because they have been milking us for far too long.

All we need now is for the heads of state and governments around the world to take action on this despicable practice once and for all.

May your mattress bulge in all the right places!

Roy.

The Lust For Power

Posted in Afghanistan, Ahmadinajad, Elections, Iran, President with tags , , , , , , , , on 20/10/2009 by floroy1942

For millenia people have lusted for money or fame, but in today’s high power world this has been replaced by the sheer unadulterated lust for power.

That is not to say people no  longer yearn for money, most of us do for one reason or another, but among the power mongers of this world, it is a position of dominance over everyone else that drives them on.

Over the past decades, we have seen many dominant individuals or groups using every trick in the book (plus a few outside it) to hang on to the power base they have achieved.

With rulers, it is most often dictators who will cheat, steal, and even murder, to prevent any loss of superiority they have. As most of us know, Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Russia’s Stalin were in a class of thier own before, during, and after the time of the Second World War. They were by no means the last of their kind however, for even in the seventies there were cruel dictators like Idi Amin of Uganda, who ruled with unconscionable savagery. Anyone who stood in his way just ‘disappeared’, and we all know what that means.

In the eighties, the ruling military junta in Argentina threw the whole country into war with Great Britain over the disputed Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Their aim, to distract the attention of the population away from their poor living standards and of course the ‘disappearances’.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is another who falls into the category of ‘The Power Hungry’. During his years in power, Mugabe has turned the ‘breadbasket’ of Africa into one of the poorest on the continent, and despite what he is doing to his people, he will not give up the Presidency.

It has been reported enough in the press about his machete-wielding thugs going around killing or maiming anyone who supported the opposition during the last election.

All that however was the past. Today’s power maniacs have found a new way to stay where they are – election rigging.

The latest to attempt it is President Karzei of Afghanistan. It was necessary for a joint UN/Afghan body to inspect the election results for fraudulent practices during the recently held national elections.

The resulting investigation showed one third of the votes cast for Karzei had to be discounted, thus requiring a run-off with his rival Abdullah Abdullah. In the past weeks it has only been intense political pressure from the United States, Europe, and other countries that has finally made Karzei agree to run-off elections.

In the past decade, various countries have been through the same turmoil at election time, among the most well known is Georgia, and more recently Iran.

Another tactic common today is changing the countries constitution to allow presidents to run for longer periods than that laid down in the statute books.

Among the countries that have extended, or done away with limits on presidential terms of office are, to name but a few; Algeria, Camaroon, Chad, Bolivia, Equador,Gabon, Honduras, Tunisia, Uganda and Venzuela.

Of these, perhaps Venzuela is the most significant. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s president, manipulated the government into renouncing all restrictions on his term of office. He has carved for himself such a strong power-base that now, only the foolhardy will ever challenge him in future ‘elections’.

The maintenance of continued power, and the methods by which it is achieved, has taken a subtle turn to bring it more in line with the modern world.

While the rich and powerful get more so, the only losers are the common people – as always.

Thank God the world is not all doom and gloom!

Roy.

Where Do These People Come From?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Human Rights, Modern World, Religion, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 08/10/2009 by floroy1942

I am sure there are people who live on a different planet to the rest of us! A few days ago I saw a news article on BBC that confirmed my belief that there are indeed strange individuals living amongst us.

It concerns a new religion, based would you believe on the Star Wars movies! We now have a religious sect of Jedi Knights!

It came to my attention when the founder of the Jedi ‘Church’, Daniel Jones, entered a Tesco Supermarket in Bangor Wales, with a hood over his head. Naturally enough, what with all the problems with hooded youths today (‘Hoodies’), the supermarket staff asked him to lower his hood. He refused, and was therefore told he must leave the premises.

As the argument became more heated, he complained the hood was an essential part of his religion as a Jedi Knight, and accused the staff of ‘religious ‘ persecution, and threatened to sue.

Jones, otherwise known as Morda Hehol, claimed; “It states in our Jedi doctrine that I can wear headware. It just covers the back of my head”. He further stated; “You have a choice of wearing headware in your home or at work, but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public”.

In it’s defence, the store staff replied that Obi Wan Kanobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared without headgear in public. It did not seem to influence Jones’s opinion however, who said it was part of their doctrine, which incidentally, as leader he wrote! After telling the staff he was thinking of boycotting the store and may seek legal advice, he left.

A little research has shown the Jedi Church has 500,000 followers world wide, and the whole thing was started by this Jones character.

The tale however does not end here because two Jedi Knights and Chewbacca all demonstrated outside the London UN Building for recognition of their ‘Faith’. Umada and Yunyun, or John Wilkinson and Charlotte Law as they are called in the real world, wanted recognition of their faith from the UN.

Wilkinson stated; “We have come here today to ask that we are recognised as the fourth largest religion in this country”, after stating the religion had 339.000 members at the last (2001) British census.

Like I said, the world is full of nuts, and I guess George Lucas is laughing fit to bust!

If there are any more nuts out there looking for inspiration, I saw the film ‘Transformers’ recently, so perhaps we could have a Transformer Church and all dress up in discarded car parts!!! Now there’s an idea!!!


Keep the True Faith,


Roy.

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