Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Most animals and people want someone to lead them. Being a follower is much easier than being a leader. However, in most cases, even the most willing follower will not follow a leader that has repeatedly gotten them into trouble. If a leader consistently proves to be untrustworthy a herd, flock or pack will refuse to follow that leader regardless of what is going on. It is a simple fact that the current leaders of our country have used up all their leadership credibility. People do not trust them and will not just take their word on things any more.

When working with any animal it is necessary to gain that horse's or dog's (or any animal's) trust. Taking small, careful steps it is necessary to prove that, as a trainer and leader, you are not going to get the animal in trouble. A good trainer convinces animals that their best interests are met by working with the trainer. That the trainer will see to it they are kept safe, fed, watered, able to rest when they need to without worrying about predators. This all works so well that we humans, who are definitely predators, can convince prey animals to willingly work with us and for us if we convince them we are leaders that have their best interests at heart. Abuse that trust too many times though and the animal will completely cease to cooperate and even begin to fight the trainer. This is true whether a trainer is working with prey or predator.

This is were our current leaders have blown it. They absolutely convinced us they are not trustworthy leaders. They do not have our interest in mind at all. They are only looking out for themselves and if the wolves pick us off, that is okay as long as they are not the ones being picked off. Does this mean there is no way they could have convinced the average American to cooperate? Actually there are some ways they could have gotten the cooperation of the people, but it would have meant completely changing their usual methods of dealing with us. They would need to acknowledge that the average American has some intelligence.

For example, how would the public have reacted if the "plan" had been offered as an investment opportunity instead of a bailout? If those presenting it had offered a calm, reasoned approach with careful explanations to the American people about just how this could benefit them? Offered them a possible way out of the mess they perceived as being created by those same leaders? Furthermore why didn't those leaders take the time to look at the options they had at hand to ease things without having to completely depend on the cooperation of the Congress and the American public?

One simple thing they could have done is use the system all ready in place to ease the lending laws controlling the flow of money between banks. Instead, they chose to go for the "sky is falling" approach without examining their alternate options. Since they used this in the past, to our detriment, there is no way they could reasonably expect unqualified cooperation.

It doesn't really matter now because the leaders have blown it. There is no trust. To try to sell us on the idea of an investment opportunity (which this actually is) is going to have to come from someone that is not connected with the White House or the current administration.

Lazy Trainer Tip: Be a careful, responsible leader. No matter what kind of animal you are dealing with (including the human animal) do not get it into trouble. Keep the animal safe and secure and they will do almost anything they are capable of doing for you. Abuse this trust and you are on shaky ground. You may get a few more chances, but if you mess up with these animals will not merely ignore you, they will activately work against you, which can lead to dangerous situations for everybody. So plan things to increase trust not abuse it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


April 1987-September 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trouble, trouble ...

Once again the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is proving to be a dangerous place to live. Of course there are problems no matter where you live, but it certainly seems as if our coast lines are getting hit especially hard in this the early 21st Century.

As if Ike didn't cause enough trouble over this weekend there seems to be some serious news coming from our financial markets. The big boys of mortages and investing seem to be in serious trouble. The weather is causing serious trouble though rather than a dust bowl we have hurricanes causing major problems for people.

All in all I find the parallels between the 1930's and today truly alarming.

For those of you who don't know much about the Great Depression here is a site that offers a good overview.
The Main Causes of the Great Depression

I think reading this piece and comparing the statistics between and now might be enlightening. And frightening. The imbalance between the average person's income and the very wealthy may be even worse now than it was then.

7:15 am Someone on ABC just described the Lehman news as Armageddon. she then goes on to say this does not effect the average bank in the US. I'll agree to that, but I think it is ultimately going to cause all of us great concerns about our financal future.

One important lesson for the average person from the 1930's is probably that, as far as investments are concerned, don't just do something-stand there.

Lazy Trainer Tip:
At the moment doing anything is apt to be the wrong thing. My advice, hunker down and play the wait-and-see game. This is not the time to be making crucial decisons.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Like many people this is a day that I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the planes flying into the Twin Towers.
I was driving to a doctor's appointment and had NPR on my radio. I was right at a Y where three roads came together when the first report came through.
I knew as soon as the second plane hit this was not merely an aviation accident and that, like the day Kennedy was shot and the Challager blew up I and many of my fellow Americans would remember our exact place, the exact time and exactly what we were doing when we first heard about the attacks.
Whether or not memorials are erected we remember.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I have voted Republican most of my adult life, but unless something truly incredible happens between now and election time, I'm going to have to go with the Democratic ticket.

I reached this decision after watching the speeches by the candidates at the conventions, listening to the news analysts afterwards, and finally doing my research on the candidates, their histories, and their records.

I went to following sites to gather information. Women's League of Voters, www.lwv.com, Holding Politicians Accountable, www.factchecks.com Every Political Leader on Every Issue, www.ontheissues.com and finally, watching BBC news (that is the British Broadcasting Co.) All these sources provide information that allows the individual to really see the candidates without their personalities and presence getting in the way.

Experience: My feeling is that NO ONE is ready to be president. It is all on the job training regardless of who the candidate is. I believe history will back me up on this one.

Service: I like the fact that Obama has really worked among the poorest people in this country. I consider that even though he did not join the military he did serve his country.

I don't believe that military service is the only way to serve our country. It is a good way, but far from the only possibility for service. I have long felt that we should have a program where all people between the ages of 18 and 21 do something to serve their country. Doing work among others different from themselves, helping maintain our infrastructure, serving in public hospitals and clinics, and assisting teachers are just a few of the possibilities for young adults to learn about serving their country.

Taxes: As for the tax increase, if Obama is going to increase taxes so that someone with seven houses can't buy an eighth I have no problem with that. If taxes are going to be increased for the group that has to make a decision of whether to feed the kids or go to the doctor then I have a real problem with that. Who is going to get tax breaks and why?

Windfall Tax breaks: I think the numbers tell us why it is time for the oil industry to quit getting tax breaks and start paying their fair share of taxes. Lest anyone question this logic consider this; OPEC is meeting this week with the announced agenda of cutting production in order to maintain high oil prices. Drill, baby, drill was a real turn off for me. Yes, we need to drill, but that needs to be the last solution for our future energy needs, not the first.

Obama's ideas that alternative sources of power are where we need to put those windfall tax breaks sounds reasonable to me. Do I need to add that I'm on board with Picken's Plan?

Personalities: I was impressed with Palin's stage presence, but I've seen too many really bad horses that had that quality. It doesn't mean much without other more important qualities. Also, I didn't like the fact that on Good Morning, America only one of Palin's close personal friends said she'd vote for that ticket and then SHE made it plain she was voting for McCain. If none of your good friends support you there is a skunk somewhere.

I was very disappointed in McCain's speech. I respect his service and his history. I honor him for what he has done. I admire the man more than I can possibly say. BUT, this time I wanted to hear his plans for the future; not what happened thirty-five years ago. A brief synopsis of his service record and a few touches on his record in the senate for the past twenty-two years would not have been amiss. But the big failure of his, and Palin's, speeches was the lack of future plans. Fight, fight,fight is for pep rallies, not leading a country.

Obama and Bidden aren't as charismatic as Palin or as heroic as McCain, but at this point I think they may be our best hope for the future of our country.

Robert A. Heinlein said the difference between bad and worse was far greater than the difference between good and better. I'm not sure which one it is in this election year, but I do see that we need to be very careful which choice we make.

Study the issues, read the transcripts, and try your best to make your decision based on things other than stage presence and personalities. Your children and grandchildren's future may depend on your choice this November.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Late Summer Early Fall

This time of year is always interesting. September first we wake up to the sound of shotguns banging away. Dove season is officially open and the hunters start as soon as the first bit of light can be seen.

The problem here is that the fence they are walking along is less than a hundred feet from our house. They are hunting on a hundred acre plus farm, but that particular fence is on the road side of the property and the road is a two lane country road with ditches on either side. Then there is our fence. In addition to the noise there is the sound of the spent pellets raining down on our roof. Sigh, I will be so glad when October first arrives.

We are also being invaded by possums. We’ve relocated five or six of them so far. Then there are the squirrels; the other day I heard the dogs throwing a fit and went out to see what was upsetting them.

It took me awhile to figure out what was going on, but I finally spotted a young squirrel sitting on a branch near the dog runs. I know he was young because while he had a good coat he didn’t have the full bushy tail of the adult squirrel. I know it was a he because of what he was doing. Okay, so later when he scampered away I had other proof. That’s beside the point.

The squirrel would pick a pecan from the tree and, taking careful aim, throw it at the dogs. His aim was good. He would hit one nearly every time. He then waited until the dogs quit leaping on the fence of their run and barking. He selected another nut and tossed it. This went of for several minutes.

As Larry said when I told him later, “Kids will be kids.”

Ah yes, and to add to the uproar, the cats get in spats over who gets the best window seat to watch all this.