I admire people who take a stand. Who say what they believe even while many others would prefer willful ignorance. Robert Hall is such a man.
We have a historically unprecedented trade issue with China. It has not only sucked trillions of dollars out of our economy, killed tens of thousands of good jobs, introduced dangerous products, but is also creating a future geopolitical issue unheard of since the end 1940’s.
Robert Hall studied China in college, and knows firsthand the issues we are facing. While most do nothing, he is working hard to communicate the truth to us.
He communicates through song and video, reaching out to us all. Thousands have viewed it that might not have had their eyes opened otherwise.
It is not a pretty pop song, but it’s a real one. With our children’s future at stake, the least we can do is view it and spread the word.
According to AP, many of the USA’s precious national parks are being overrun with Mexican gang members growing marijuana on an industrial scale.
According to Forest Service agent Ron Pugh, “What’s going on on public lands is a crisis at every level. These are American’s most precious resources, and they are being devastated by an unprecedented commercial enterprise conducted by armed foreign nationals. It’s a huge mess.”
It’s an environmental fiasco as well, as banned pesticides and herbicides smuggled in from Mexico are being used to grow the marijuana (do pot smokers really know what they are smoking?) Also, many sites are strewn with the carcasses of deer and bear poached by the gang members. To make matters even worse, chemicals from these sites are potentially getting into downstream communities water supplies.
California is the hardest hit, but damage has also been found in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Authorities in California uprooted over 5 million plants last year, but they indicate that is likely a small portion of the total.
It is a sorry state of affairs when our government does not have resources or the will to protect our national forests from this threat.
It was hard, yet almost ironically comical, observing failed Lehman CEO Richard Fuld in front of congress yesterday. Between attempts at fake tears, he corrected them about only earning “closer to $350 million” since 2000, while driving his firm into the ground. At the same time, he says it was “outside forces” that destroyed Lehman, not lack of internal controls or leadership.
I was in corporate life for nearly twenty years, including several executive roles, before founding MadeinUSAForever.com, so I have seen a lot. There is always a struggle inside a company between multiple factions. Through that lens, the ship has to be sailed the right direction. The question always comes up about whether to do the right thing or politically expedient. Though I was effective and liked, I personally got in trouble many times for doing the right thing instead of going along with the crowd. In some cases, what rises to the top is not the most competent person, but the best politician. If that executive politician is also competent, the company is probably OK, but clearly that is not always the case, as when an executive like Mr. Fuld and his clique can destroy an 160 year old company in just a few short years.
Most disturbing is the lack of ownership these “men” take for the issues they create. Any entrepreneur could never get beyond the first stage with this attitude, but these men are not creators. They simply seized control of an existing company (purse strings). They reward themselves as if they are gods, and are yet are unable to take ownership for their own failures. With examples like this it is little wonder we are seeing many people refuse to take responsibility for their own mortgages or other issues, expecting someone else to bail them out.
There is no easy fix, but one thing is clear – we need a serious shakeup of the corporate board of directors system. The board of directors is supposed to be the ones overseeing the company for the shareholders and must be completely independent of the President/CEO of all public companies. It is always tempting for the CEO to stuff the board full of his loyalists, like Michael Eisner did with Disney. Nominees to the board should never come from the senior leadership of the company. Senior executives and board members should also share a real personal liability for fiascos like Mr. Fuld’s Lehman management in order to encourage real oversight. Also, compensation advice from consulting services like Marsh to boards advising on packages like Mr. Fuld’s hundreds of millions of dollars needs criminal investigation. Finally, Boards should always consider Presidents/CEO’s of public companies to fully removable without a golden parachute if they fail.