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Monday, February 25, 2008

In the News: Nader, Newspapers and the Nadir of My Success

Ralph Nader has gone ahead and decided to run for office once again. After his 2000 Election run likely had the negative outcome of getting Bush put in charge, I would think he would have learnt something. I have nothing against him persay, I just think he ought to realize that the votes he gets are often doing the opposite of what he alleges to want accomplished.

A Few of His Positions:
Supports NOW's agenda on Reproductive Rights. (Feb 2008)
Half of federal budget is now military spending. (Jan 2008)
Get rid of gay discrimination fully, not halfway. (Jul 2004)
Corporations have too much control over people's lives. (Jan 2008)
Corporations control government; that defines fascism. (Jan 2008)

Opposed 1996 expansion of the federal death penalty. (Feb 2008)
The drug war has failed, despite $50B annually. (Feb 2008)
Rehabilitation, not incarceration. (Jul 2004)

It is time to break our addiction to fossil fuels. (Feb 2008)
End subsidies of entrenched oil, nuclear, & coal interests. (Feb 2008)
US lags behind Europe & Japan in renewable energy. (Oct 2004)

US should be the world's humanitarian superpower. (Feb 2008)
Most of these are obviously liberal/Democratic stances.
2000 Presidential Election Results as of December 2001:
Florida - Bush: 2,912,790, Gore:2,912,253

Other Candidates: Buchanan:17,484, Browne:16,415, Hagelin:2,281, Harris:562, McReyolds:622, Moorehead:1,804, Nader:97,488, Phillips:1,371.

Certainly seems Florida would have been a different story if Nader's votes were by in large to go to Gore. The other parties, though each could have "swung the vote," however, Nader's total far outstrips the remaining candidates, and his was the most liberal - robbing Al Gore of an obviously, like-minded electorate.

Where would we be now? How different would America all ready be? Energy policies? Civil Rights? Katrina aid and response? Fight against terrorism? The list goes on.
Of the other close states, all went to Gore. (Percentage equals margin of victory)
New Mexico, 0.06%
Wisconsin, 0.22%
Iowa, 0.31%
Oregon, 0.44%

In a wiki quote: According to the Washington Post, exit polls there showed that "47 percent of Nader voters would have gone for Gore if it had been a two-man race, and only 21 percent for Bush," which would have given Gore a margin of some 24,000 votes over Bush.[44] Some Democrats claim that had Nader not run, Gore would have won both New Hampshire and Florida and won the election with 296 electoral votes. (He only needed one of the two to win.) Defenders of Nader, including Dan Perkins, argued that the margin in Florida was small enough that Democrats could blame any number of third-party candidates for the defeat, including "Workers World Party" candidate Monica Moorehead, who received 1,500 votes.[45] Nader's reputation was still hurt by this perception, and may have hindered his future goals as an activist. For example, Mother Jones wrote, "For evidence of how rank-and-file liberals have turned against Nader, one need look no further than the empire he created. Public Citizen, the organization (Nader) founded in 1971, has a new fundraising problem—its founder. After the election, contributions dropped... When people inquire about Nader's relationship to the organization, Public Citizen sends out a letter that begins with a startling new disclaimer: 'Although Ralph Nader was our founder, he has not held an official position in the organization since 1980 and does not serve on the board. Public Citizen—and the other groups that Mr. Nader founded–act independently.'"[46]

Ralph, if you really wanted to change things, how about developing a contending political party to run for the House and Senate, or find some way to gain credentials via holding public office. Maybe then your bid for President would have inspired instead of causing unintended results.
Maybe this time, it won't.

The above is the new payscale for my nightly job of delivering the news for the Hammond Times - aka The Northwest Indiana Times - nwi.com. It is a paper without a real competitor since the Post Tribune was bought by the Chicago Sun Times, and both, are taking a Sonny Liston dive to the canvas as Ali delivers the phantom blow.

The Times is looking to gain more income via weekend (Sunday onlys mostly) subscriptions. However, it was sold as "nothing has changed," or "you'll get the same amount." Bullshit. The future reflects that they will garner the greater benefit from certain subscriptions, while I get the same or less for my weekly toils.

As a result, I will cut back on my usage of plastic to protect the paper whenever possible. (I deliver to tubes for most of the route. During good weather, forget it.) Unfortunately, I can't afford a hybrid or a 40+MPH car to improve on my usage of nearly 5 gallons of gas per night. For every $.50 swing in gas, I get $75 (less) per month, or $900 per annum.

The Times answer: "get more customers." Yes. That's fine. But it also takes more time - which they also reduced. I get to 5AM to deliver, 6AM on Weekends, and it takes 2 1/2 hours per night, if weather cooperates. ( Times often can't get papers to distribution center until 3AM or later.)

So, be good to your papermen and women. They sometimes are fighting things you are unaware of.


Lastly, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success has often been used as tool for sports and life itself. One time, several years ago, I pulled this out of a newspaper somewhere:

Words like industriousness, ethusiasm, skill, loyalty, competitive greatness, self-control, initiative, confidence are among the building blocks, while assisting in your climb are ambition, adaptability, integrity, reliability, patience and faith that make up the pathways to the top of the pyramid, ultimately: Success.

Most of these are described in Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections , The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership , Wooden on Leadership and 5 other titles published over the years. A quote from Grantland Rice's "How to Be a Champion" is tied into industriousness at Wooden's website.

At his zenith, Wooden had won 10 Basketball National Championships with the likes of Lew Alcindor, Walt Hazzard, and Bill Walton at the helm of his mighty UCLA Bruins. He retired after 1975 National Championship win, yet, he probably could have coached plenty more - as he is still alive, 33 years after his last game. When Wooden came out of Purdue University in 1932, he was an Indiana basketball legend as a 3-time All-American and 3-time All-State player. But he didn't think he was going to be a coaching legend - in fact, it took him 32 years to win his first NCAA title at age 54.

So while I am at the nadir of Success, maybe in 25-30 years the Zenith will present itself - if I can follow some of what John Wooden defined in his Pyramid.
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