Thursday, October 30, 2008

Question of Character

During the Keller at Large segment on WBZ radio today, Jon Keller said simply, 'The US Presidential election is coming down to a question of character.'

0 used his money to pay for a 30-minute infomercial last night. McCain is traveling by bus to campaign throughout northern Ohio.

0's character:
- family man
- foggy residency (I would really like to know, is he a US Citizen?)
- unexplained gaps in his personal history
- former cocaine user?
- associates with anti-Americans
- associates with anarchists
- unable to provide specifics on anything
- shows empathy, but little else

McCain's character:
- family man
- patriotic to a fault
- lives by blunt honesty
- 4th generation US military man
- scrappy fighter
- maverick
- loves America

So let's set the question of character against the failing world-wide economy. Things are bad, and they're going to get worse.

When the long, cold winter hits (either this year or next) and our fellow Americans are cold and hungry, would you rather have a US President standing by you who launched his campaign (but doesn't admit it anymore) from the living room of an anarchist (Bill Ayres)?

Or would you rather have McCain standing by you, who sacrificed his body as a POW because he refused to become political capital for the enemy and furthermore, encouraged his fellow Americans with smiles and hand gestures to keep up the good fight. Afterwards, the beatings doubled.

I have no clue who 0 will sell us out to when his money runs out and times get tough. But I know that McCain will give every ounce of his resources and energy to the America that I also know and love.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Playing the 'Follow the Money' Game

I played the 'follow the money game' last night as it relates to national politics.

In business, to winnow truth from an unclear political situation, the follow the money game reveals who has resources, influence, and power and who stands to profit the most from any action.

Time and time again, I hear the media explain that 0 wants to prop up the middle class by taking money from the rich. And then I consider how much money 0 raised to spend dominating the media outlets and cause a frenzy among his supporters.

My mom said eloquently, 'I don't believe that his money comes in $5 and $20 donations.'

Neither do I.

Gobs and gobs of money means that someone who is rich gave it up.

But does any reasonable person buy this sales pitch:

"'re rich! Since you are rich, give me your money to elect me! And then after I get elected, I'll take the rest of your money and give it away!"

I believe that many rich people live vacant, lonely lives; but I never thought of them as fools.

So who would gain by giving 0 money?

The only place that I know of that has gobs of money from decades of profit is China.


Dumbfounded, I blinked as I discussed these topics with my mother last night.

Towards the end of our conversation, I said quietly, 'It would be so much different if the situation wasn't real. But it is real.'

She simply nodded and we looked to the floor.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Conscience Versus Media Bias

I write for a living and there are flashes of time where I doubt the words that I pen.

With my technical writing, I have to carefully consider each word and step in procedures because revenue and livelihood hang in the balance.

So I relate intimately to an article by Michael S. Malone that is posted on The article explains the writer's journalistic experience and contrasts his humble integrity against the travesty of media bias in our current US Presidential election.

Media's Presidential Bias and Decline, by Michael S. Malone

If you are kind enough to read my words, you see clearly where my heart lies in the current US Presidential election. But I accept a future that goes contrary to my bias and one that is unknown, with silver-linings that are obscure in the moment, but do not appear for years. I want McCain to win: pure and simple. What is meant to happen will and I simply have my pen and a single vote.

However, the media bias as Malone describes corrupts the entire process. Our US Constitution guarantees us the right to vote and we should be able to trust the media to present balanced information so that we can judiciously exercise our right.

Time is winding down on the election and my last desperate thought is that my fellow Americans will put pen to ballot and be served by conscience to choose a candidate based on merits rather than a focused bias in the media.

Since the merits of the candidates are unclear and clouded, I have to trust conscience to sway the balance in our heart of hearts.

Because as ink touches paper, conscience ultimately decides.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Politics on the School Bus

The school bus was pulsing with energy from 39 people in our soccer program. The bus lumbered along towards Foxboro and a NE Revolution soccer game after we wrapped up our local soccer season earlier in the day.

Another coach and I sat together, weary. We wrapped up one of the most rewarding, yet trying seasons and talked intermittently as we rested during the bus ride.

As you know, US Presidential politics have been on my mind lately and I explored many points of view as demonstrated in my blog postings. As the bus moved, eventually our discussion turned to politics.

The other coach explained that he is a conservative Democrat and I am a moderate Republican.

His point: the government is too big for one person, the US President, to make a big difference.

My counter point (that I thought of later): then why are liberals so concerned about Bush?

He respected my point of view and I his. We explored corruption in upper management. We discussed social issues like abortion. He explained his odd track record of the anti-vote where he always votes for the loser in a US Presidential race.

The bus full of soccer enthusiasts saw the stadium lit up as we approached the parking lot.

He turns, 'Tim. Listen, you do know that 0 is going be elected, right?'


'And you do know that he will be assassinated, right?'

'Yes, I thought of that, too.'

And we both shrugged a little and looked into an uncertain future.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Family Growth

My sister Amy delivered twin boys today. Their names are Michael David Koukkari and Colin Douglas Koukkari. Michael was born 5 pounds 9 ounces, and Colin 5 pounds 1 ounce.

Michael had some issues with blood sugar so he's getting some special care, but otherwise mother and sons are doing well. I coached a soccer game tonight so I couldn't see them, but I plan to see them tomorrow night.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I rarely see the birds in the houses that my niece designed, but the year went well.

Birdhouse at Tims House

I hope to see my tenants again next spring.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Now I see the communist allegation in action


After thinking about this post more, my ideas reflect how I felt the night of the presidential debate, but I see many inaccuracies and leaps of logic that I would need to research to be confident in.

I'm worried about the state of the economy in the world. I don't see 0 as a person who can solve our problems as you undoubtedly see clearly in my opinions.

The root of the problem in my opinion, is not corruption in the upper echelon of capitalism's management; but in the very fabric of unchecked materialism in our society. We as a whole careened wildly from basic needs into satisfying unrealistic wants.

And what is happening, in my opinion, is a social correction as much as an economic correction. We are adjusting to a more common and realistic lifestyle.

As my friend Derek researched in the belly of the beast in lower-Manhattan. Things are bad now, and they're going to get a lot worse. Along that line, we need the best and the brightest fully engaged to ease the transition to a more fundamental economy.

Rather than beat down the guys at the top, let's leave them alone so that they can do their job.

**end of update**

During the debate tonight, I heard a comment in 0's opening remarks that sent a stream of dominoes falling in my thoughts and helped me understand the poisonous nature of the communist influence in 0's upbringing.

'We have to hold the big CEOs accountable and in my opinion fire them!'

I'll circle back to my reaction to this comment after I relate the statement to my experience in business.

My job is temporarily difficult. Three levels of management are giving mixed messages for the direction of our writing team. My mission is clear, but only internally because of my values, that I am going to produce world-class information for our customers.

Like any good capitalist, I evaluate my resources, identify the challenges, identify the needs of the consumer, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Things line up easily in my thoughts until I get to the internal challenges. To get permission and support, how do I reconcile the the mixed messages from three levels of management?

Do I stay loyal to my direct manager? Do I cater to my second line? Or shoot for the moon and trust my third line and work to his constraints?

I don't know. Usually I just follow my inner guide and hope for the best, knowing full well that any task cannot satisfy all three people and I'll get pressure. Maybe even a good business-style whooping. And I think about all of this often. What do I do?


But notice. Where is the customer in this?

I'm too busy fighting internal battles to keep the customer in mind.

How efficient is this?

Luckily in my job, my fourth line manager, the CEO, is someone that I trust. He speaks plainly. He sets a clear vision that I relate to directly. I know exactly how to do my part to satisfy the vision.

In fact, last spring, he stood before the corporation and smiled saying, 'I have done this a couple of times before with similar businesses and we're going to grow the business to 2 billion dollars.'

Trust. How refreshing.

The CEO is very likely independently wealthy and in my opinion he earned every penny during his career. He has charisma, establishes trust, and has a proven track record. He's even transparent and it's easy to see how he is growing the business.

But wait, 0 said that we'll have to fire this guy and certainly people in his cohort. He's obviously doing something very, very bad to me, my family, and my community.

Let's go with the idea that my CEO is fired for a minute, Suppose that he's gone and my third-line manager gets promoted to CEO. When the old CEO is fired, I lose my comfort until my third-line finds his feet as a CEO. Or maybe he doesn't. Maybe he declines the promotion so that he can focus on what he does well.

So we'll go out into the market to find another charismatic CEO with a strong track record. There are plenty of them who are unemployed after 0 fired them all.


None of them want the job. Because if they succeed, they're going to get fired. If they take the job, the physical, emotional, and intellectual sacrifices that they make will not be rewarded financially because 0 took their financial incentive away, too.

I'll never be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I suspect that the CEO's are taking regular people jobs. They're packing boxes in some non-descript warehouse at the level that 0 wants for everyone.

Where does this leave me? Focusing on endless internal battles and skirmishes while the needs of the customer fade away.

From the Merriam Webster online dictionary:
Communism: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

With 0 at the helm, do you see, as I do, how everyone is equal when the CEOs are tucked safely away in the warehouse and we all just work in chaos without leadership?

The poisonous communist influence during 0's upbringing is crystal clear to me after I heard him debate McCain tonight.


I hope that the majority of Americans see what I see.