Friday, September 19, 2014

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

Signs your country is run by idiots:

  • If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not being in this country illegally, your country may be run by idiots.

  • If you have to show ID to check out a library book, cash a check, or board an airplane but not to vote on who runs the government, your government may be run by idiots.

  • If you can buy two 16 ounce sodas but not one 24 ounce soda because it might make you fat, your country may be run by idiots (actually, I'm looking at you, New York).

  • If a 7 year old boy can be thrown out of school because he said his teacher was "cute, but grade schoolers are forced to sit in a sexual diversity and exploration class, your country may be run by idiots.

  • If the government's plan to get people back to work is incentivizing not working by offering 99 weeks of unemployment and no requirements that you are actively searching for a job, your country may be run by idiots.

  • If your plan to overcome a near financial disaster in our financial system and get out of debt is to print $4 trillion new dollars and continue the practices that got us into trouble in the first place, your country may be run by idiots.

  • If hard work and success are met with ever higher taxes and more government regulation while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, free phones, subsidized housing, and WIC cards, your country may be run by idiots.

  • If ignoring the rules for immigration and throwing open the borders to anyone with no screening and controls, and then putting those people on the public dole, your country may be run by idiots.

  • If you have elected leaders that do not live under the same laws and retirement system they foist on the rest of us, you may live in a country run by idiots.

  • If the federal government wants to take guns away from law abiding citizens, but wants to arm terrorist groups in the Middle East, you may live in a country run by idiots.
Actually, we DO live in a country run by idiots.

And that, my friends, is my view.

*stick tap to From Two Minds blog for some of these entries

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Petey's Party Packs the Bridgestone Arena For A Great Cause

The Bridgestone Arena floor was filled with tables and supporters to raise funds for the Predators Foundation and the Peterson for Parkinson's Foundation. The event raises funds to support the Predators Foundation and Brent Peterson's Foundation to raise funds for research to find a cure for Parkinson's.

Those in attendance were treated to a variety of foods and some exceptional silent auction items. They also got to bid on traveling on the Predators charter to road games in Ottawa and Toronto as well as a personally signed guitar from Vince Gill.

Here are some images from the event:

The arena floor was filled with tables awaiting the guests.

There were numerous sports memorabilia items at the silent auction, including signed sweaters by the Predators players.

This being Music city, there were numerous music related items available at the silent auction, including a guitar autographed by the members of Kiss (top), an autographed song sheet of Piano Man by the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel (middle), and an acoustic guitar autographed by the members of Def Leppard (bottom).
Guests enjoying dinner.
The Predators media personalities were in attendance. Predators play by play announcer Pete Weber with Mrs. View.
Predators COO Sean Henry addresses the audience.
Brent Peterson shares his inspiring story with those the crowd.
Comedian Keith Alberstadt entertained the audience.
Some of the Predators players enjoying the evening, including Seth Jones, Craig Smith, Carter Hutton, and Pekka Rinne.

This fun evening supports the very worthwhile activities of the Predators Foundation and the Peterson for Parkinson's Foundation. The Predators Foundation has distributed over $4 million to 500 organizations in Middle Tennessee that are working to improve the quality of life for our residents. Brent's Foundation has contributed well into the six figures to Vanderbilt Hospital to further research into finding a cure for Parkinson's.
All of these worthwhile efforts are made possible by the people who support these events. many thanks to the sponsors, donors, and those that bought tickets. Your support allows these foundations to continue to do many positive works in our community.
And we are fortunate to have a team and an organization that has a culture of caring and helping to make our community better.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Predators Rookie Camp Observations

The Predators rookies faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning rookies at the Ford Ice Center yesterday, capturing a 2-1 win in a spirited contest. Some observations from the game:

  • The Ford Ice Center is a spectacular facility and is a great addition to the sports landscape in Nashville. There was a standing room only crowd to watch the game and lots of activity outside the rink in the park area. Kudos to the City of Nashville, Ford, and the Predators organization for their vision in making this a reality.

  • The line of Colton Sissons, Kevin Fiala, and Filip Forsberg was the best line for the Predators rookies. They were creative, strong on the puck, and showed some offensive flash. Fiala showed some slick moves in the offensive zone as did Forsberg. Sissons was strong on the puck and played with purpose. I would not be surprised to see Sissons and Forsberg make the roster, and I think Fiala has lots of upside but will probably start the season in Milwaukee.

  • Forsberg looks bigger and stronger than he did during his brief stint with the Predators last season.

  • I liked the play of Brenden Leipsic. He plays much bigger than his size and is not afraid to go into the hard areas with the puck. His pesky nature was on display throughout the game.

  • Jonathan-Ismael Diaby was a beast. He is not afraid to use his size and he does it well as he was banging bodies throughout the contest. Beyond the physical play, Diaby skated and moved the puck well and was positionally sound. I think he will challenge for a roster spot this season.

  • Jaynen Rissling, acquired in a trade from the Capitals, had a quietly solid game. He doesn't deliver the booming hits of Diaby, but did a good job of moving bodies out of front of the net and was a strong physical presence. Rissling may not start the season with the Predators, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him up at some point during the season.

  • Magnus Hellberg and Rob Madore both looked good in net. Hellberg and Madore split time, with each playing half the game. Hellberg and Madore were both busy in the second period which saw the Predators take 6 penalties including giving the Lightning a full two minutes of 5 on 3. Both moved well in the crease and did a good job of tracking the puck. Madore showed some exceptional quickness and a good glove hand.

  • Zach Budish, who needs to make a good showing in camp, did not play.

The Predators will take on the Florida Panthers rookies tonight at 7:00 at the Ford Ice Center.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the jobs report that details how many new jobs were created in the economy last month. Many "experts" predicted that jobs growth would be at a minimum of 190,000 to a high of 242,000 new jobs created.

These experts were no where near close to the actual number, which was 142,000 new jobs created.

While this number will be revised in the coming weeks, it underscores the fact that our economy is weak and struggling to create jobs, irrespective of the performance of the stock market.

Dig deeper into the numbers and you begin to see how weak job growth is in this current environment.

The civilian labor force participation rate, which is the number of working age Americans that actually have full time jobs, stands at 62.8% of eligible potential workers. This is the lowest rate since 1979, a year in which this country was in the middle of the malaise of the Jimmy Carter presidency. Currently, 92,269,000 working age Americans are out of the work force, up 268,000 from last month.

Put it another way, since the end of 2007 when the markets crashed and the Fed started printing money, the U.S. economy has added 13 million people to the ranks of those without a job.

Over the same period, the U.S. economy has created 768,000 new jobs.

That's a  serious problem.

And while we need the economy to create jobs, just as important is the quality of jobs that the economy creates. High quality jobs are jobs with good wages and benefits that allow a worker to support their family and have the ability to spend beyond the basic necessities.

And here we have a really serious problem.

Just under half of the 142,000 jobs created last month were in the industries that have the lowest pay: leisure and hospitality; education and health; and temporary jobs. The best paying industries- finance and technology, added just 4,000 jobs.

And the long time staple of the U.S. economy, manufacturing, added exactly 0 (ZERO) jobs last month.

Of those that are classified as employed, 52 million are considered "freelancers", or independent contractors, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal. These "employed" move from job to job on a contract basis with no benefits and no guarantee of future work.

Why is all this important?

Our economy will not grow and consumers will not spend beyond the necessities when we as a nation do not create high quality jobs that pay well. And when consumers don't spend, our economy contracts. And when the economy contracts, consumers don't spend as much.

And the downward spiral continues.

Higher personal and business taxes, the burden of Obamacare, the failure of our public education system to turn out graduates equipped to function effectively in the global economy, and the ineptness of the Federal Reserve and our leadership in Washington have all combined to create significant headwinds for the economy. It is more difficult in today's environment to create jobs, especially quality, high paying jobs.

And until the current conditions change, it will be difficult for the job creators to have the confidence to invest capital in new hires and for the economy to begin adding quality jobs.

And no amount of new dollars printed by the Fed and zero interest rates will change that lack of confidence.

And that, my friends, is my view.