Saying Goodbye To The Worst Decade In US History

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We not only say good-bye the year 2010, we also welcome in a new decade. All I can say is, “It can happen fast enough.” I have only lived through five full decades but as a US History buff, this one goes down as one of the worst.

We have seen financial failures in every industry, multiple wars, natural and manmade disasters, and attacks on US soil. Not to mention the greed of US business leaders to heighten the home foreclosures and unemployment. As an American I wanted change. However, you cannot change what doesn’t want to be changed. In other words, the old saying comes to mind, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  I have an outline below with the worst highlight in red.

florida_hanging_chad_recount

On a personal level, the decade started out on a high, but as the decade moved along, I became a statistic and a casualty of greed, injustice and “Affirmative action” being a white male over 50.

A high-level highlight of the 00’s, a decade filled with ______.  You can fill in the blank.

The decade began with everyone worrying about software date codes creating a worldwide frenzy and the Y2K dilemma. For me, as a computer tech, it seemed like an easy fix. A date code enhancement to one’s software program and it is fixed. To the savvy businessman, it was a high dollar fix costing company’s millions. As it turned out as an easy but costly fix was installed.

First-year highlights (2000)

Y2K panic

Dot.com bubble – companies started to pop up creating a false DOW Jones average

The Roman Catholic Church apologizes for the mishandling of Sexual Assaults by priests and the wrongdoings of church members

Elian Gonzalez is returned to Cuba

The 2000 President’s Election and the Hanging Chad……Florida vote.

Some of the people we lost in 2000

Highlights (2001)

  • For better or worse we finally decided on a President – George W. Bush is declared the winner and takes office as the 43rd President of the US.
  • Timothy McVeigh is executed for the Oklahoma City bombing
  • Enron Scandal
  • 60-car train derailment occurs in a tunnel, sparking a fire that lasts days and virtually shuts down downtown Baltimore

The Attacks of 9/11

Amerithrax Attacks

Some of the people we lost in 2001

  • George Harrison
  • William Hanna
  • Jack Lemmon
  • Chet Akins
  • John Phillips
  • Aaliyah

Highlights (2002)

  • George W Bush declares war on Terrorist
  • The Euro is released
  • Daniel Pearl Kidnapped and murdered

The US invades Afghanistan

  • Andrea Gates is convicted of killing her 5 children
  • The Beltway snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, are arrested.
  • The Dot.com bubble reaches the low point and the financial crisis is starting to unfold.
  • US Homeland Security is established
  • United Airlines files for bankruptcy

Some of the people we lost in 2002

  • Peggy Lee
  • Howard K. Smith
  • Dave Thomas  (Wendy’s)
  • Milton Berle
  • Joe Strummer (Clash)
  • Dudley Moore
  • John Gotti
  • Queen Elizabeth

Highlights (2003)

Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas

Iraqi war begins and suicide bombings are the latest threat worldwide

  • SARS breakout
  • The old man in the mountain (Rock formation) collapses in NH
  • The last Volkswagen Bug is made
  • The Concorde makes its last flight
  • Gary Ridgeway “Green River Killer” is caught and he confesses to killing 48 women
  • Daniel Morcombe an Australian schoolboy disappears from a bus stop on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia (still missing presumed dead)

Some of the people we lost in 2003

  • Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees)
  • Nell Carter
  • 7 Astronauts aboard Columbia Shuttle
  • Mr. Rogers
  • Sir John Paul Getty
  • Bob Hope
  • Robert Palmer
  • John Ritter
  • Art Carney
  • Gregory Peck

Highlights (2004)

  • Facebook is founded
  • San Francisco same sex marriages
  • The last Oldsmobile is manufactured

Tsunami Indian Ocean killing over 200,000 people

  • Terry Nichols (Oklahoma Bombings) is convicted and is sentenced to Life
  • Boston Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918 breaking the Curse of the Bambino

We lost many people in 2004 here are just a few

  • Ronald Reagan
  • George Patton (Major General)
  • Estee Lauder
  • Ray Charles
  • Marlon Brando
  • Julia Childs
  • Tony Randall
  • Pat Tillman
  • Johnny Ramone
  • Rodney Dangerfield
  • Christopher Reeve

Highlights (2005)

  • George W. Bush starts his 2nd term as President
  • North Korea has nukes and announces hostility towards the US
  • Many more suicide bombings killing over 500 during the year
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO, a $70 billion dollar project) is launched

Hurricane Katrina

  • Right to Die “Teresa Schiavo” case
  • Saddam Hussein trial begins
  • Another second is added at the end of the year 2005

Some of the people we lost in 2005

  • Pope John Paul II
  • Luther Vandross
  • Johnny Carson
  • Sandra Dee
  • Johnny Cochran
  • Peter Jennings
  • Rosa Parks
  • Richard Pryor

Highlights (2006)

  • Pope Benedict XVI issues his first encyclical
  • Saddam Hussein executed
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enters Mars

North Korea tests nukes but will quit in exchange for US Aid

  • Al Jazeera launches its English language news channel

Another year we lost many people ~ here are some we lost in 2006

  • Gerald Ford
  • Lou Rawls
  • Coretta Scot King
  • Don Knotts
  • Kirby Puckett
  • Dana Reeve (wife of Christopher Reeve)
  • Billy Preston
  • Steve Irvin
  • Jack Parlance

Highlights (2007)

The Greek ship Server breaks in half off the Norwegian coast, releasing over 200 tons of crude oil

  • North Korea agrees to shut down nuclear plants for 50,000 tons of heating oil
  • The final book of Harry Potter is released grossing over 11 million in the first week

Some of the people we lost in 2007

  • Lady Bird Johnson
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Frankie Laine
  • Bradley Delp (Boston)
  • Ernest Gallo
  • Don Ho
  • Merv Griffin
  • Phil Rizzuto
  • Teresa Brewer
  • Robert Goulet
  • Joey Bishop
  • Evel Knievel
  • Luciano Pavarotti

 


Highlights (2008)

  • Suicide bombing continue and many will die again at the hands of Terrorists over 250 die during the year
  • Subprime mortgage crisis hits stock markets around the world
  • US Bank Bailouts
  • Bear Sterns
  • Freddie Mac
  • Fannie Mae
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Citibank
  • Us Auto industry crisis
  • US housing ~ foreclosures
  • Lehman Brothers files bankruptcy
  • Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme
  • Fidel Castro resigns as President of Cuba paving the way for Raul Castro
  • Bill Gates steps down as Chairman of Microsoft
  • Michael Phelps wins 8 gold medals in Olympics surpassing Mark Spitz
  • Global Financial crisis begins to grow as banks around the world start to fail
  • Barrack Obama is elected. He promises “Change” with no other details are given
  • Another second is added at the end of the year 2008

Some of the people we lost in 2008

  • George Carlin
  • Health Ledger
  • Charlton Heston
  • Estelle Getty
  • Paul Newman
  • Eartha Kitt

Highlights (2009)

  • Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th and first African American, President of the United States
  • Signs “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” causing much opposition
  • The Icelandic government and banking system collapse
  • American and world financial Crisis
  • Swine Flu Epidemic
  • European astronomers discover 32 planets outside our solar system “exoplanets”
  • The death of Michael Jackson

Some of the people we lost in 2009

  • Ted Kennedy
  • Patrick Swayze
  • Dom Deluise
  • Bea Arthur
  • Jack Kemp
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Roy Disney

Highlights (2010)

January first Suicide bombing in Pakistan kills 95 at a volley ballgame

Gulf Oil spill spews millions of gallons of oil a day into the gulf

Wikileaks crisis – leaking a collection of more than 250,000 American confidential diplomatic cables

Some of the people we lost in 2010

  • Eddie Fisher
  • Tony Curtis
  • Gary Coleman
  • Johnny Maestro

 

To me, the real horrors of the past decade are the future effects.

The Greed of the CEOs in America

On a financial statement, I received my first year at Chase it had the CEO, at that time making a 250K annual salary. That was about 5 or 6 times more than middle management which seemed fair after all it is all about success. However further down that statement, an entry showed a 10 million dollar bonus. This to me seemed out of line and very unfair.

I went on an interview for a middle managers’ position at Citibank in 2005. For that interview I brought a resume and a dossier. In this report, I had a section called “outside prospective,” which I included a future mortgage crisis. The interviewer, high manager at Citibank, looked at me and smirked. I ask him why and he told me, “Your prospective is all wrong. The future outlook is bright our mortgage department is very profitable.” I wasn’t hired but I wonder what he thinks now that Citibank stock is selling at around $4.00 a share and they hold an extremely high number of foreclosures.

American Companies and off-shore employees

  1. Granted hiring more employees for less is the key to more profits

i.      If more and more Americans are out of work no one will be able to purchase their products or services

ii.      The company above “Chase” has hire thousands of off- shore employees in Asia, putting more Americans out of work. I only mentioned Chase (JPMorgan Chase) here, but every company in America is doing the same.

The crumbling of American infrastructure

  1. The bridges and subway tunnels in NYC are over 100 years old and decaying every day. Are we waiting for a complete disaster before a plan of action is taken? How many people should die before this plan is warranted.
  2. Can this put Americans to work?
  3. Fixing the crumbling of America?
  4. How should it be funded? Why not add extra taxes for companies that off-shore employees.

The healthcare debate

  1. Good plan / Bad Plan / Republican plan / Democratic Plan /

 

i.      As a once VP executive with a large group, when a major decision has to be made I never wanted to hear you mention to me 100 reasons for failure and why it will not work. I wanted just 1 or 2 ideas that would work out for the better. We can always improve as we go on. Let’s brainstorm and surely something will work. Let’s put our minds to it.

 

American education system

  1. All my girls graduated from, what is considered an excellent school system, and did extremely well, yet when I ask my girls certain things that I feel should be taught in school, they couldn’t answer correctly. Our district is solely rated on a student’s attendance and a test score that will not help students after they graduate. Is this what we consider a great school system. The average student in Europe is much more advanced than a student in America. My question is why?

 

 

Home foreclosures

  1. All I can answer to that is greed.
  2. Resolution to this problem is hard but I say let’s start with utilizing the profits of the institutions that made these loans.  Surely My Scrooge doesn’t work there. Does he?

Employment “The older generation; Are they becoming unemployable”

  1. There was once upon a time the older employees were the ones that ran the companies. The people younger employees went to for advice, role model etc.  Now the older the worker gets and the more money they make, the more expendable they are within their organization.
  2. The longer one stays out of work they longer their skills seem to weaken, making them less competitive in the workforce.

The myth of  “The rich will take care of the poor” “Us vs. Them, Rep. vs. Dem”

  1. I say the full belly never can understand the empty belly unless they have been there.
  2. The rich feel they worked for what they got. Why can’t everyone do the same? (See all the above there are many reasons why they can’t).

US Immigration policy

  1. Over the past decade we, as a nation became submissive and week to speak freely fearing we might offend a race, a nationality, and religion. So as a country (our government), puts all others ahead of US Citizens. We are so fearful we are debating take “God” out of our national anthem. This is sad to me, as a proud American, “In God We Trust”.
  2. Try going to a foreign country and acting like the immigrants entering the US and try to change their national language, religion etc.
  3. A short story I read probably says it all. In California, we sent back a truckload of illegal’s to Mexico. Their response to us, “We do not want them they are all criminals and murders.”
  4. Fort Hood shooting also belongs here.

The safety of American citizens

  1. Too much to go into, however, all of the following could have been prevented if we took the time to do our job correctly. You would figure after the Columbine shooting in 1999 we would do a better job to protect our children at school. “Good Enough is not Good Enough”

School shootings since Columbine

February 2000: A six-year-old girl is shot dead by a classmate in Michigan.

March 2001: A pupil opens fire at a school in California, killing two students.

January 2002: A student who had been dismissed from the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, kills the dean, a professor and a student, and wounds three others.

April 2003: A teenager shoots dead the head-teacher at a Pennsylvania school, and then kills himself.

May 2004: Four people are injured in a shooting at a school in Maryland.

March 2005: Jeffrey Weise, a 16-year-old high school student guns down five students, a teacher and a security guard at Red Lake High School in northern Minnesota before killing himself. He also killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend elsewhere on the Chippewa Indian reservation.

November 2005: A student in Tennessee shoots dead an assistant principal and wounds two other administrators.

September 2006: Duane Morrison, a 53-year-old drifter, takes six female high school students hostage in Bailey, Colorado, after entering Platte Canyon High School, claiming to be carrying a bomb. He sexually assaulted them and then shot one, fatally, before killing himself when police arrived.

September 2006: Two days after the Bailey killing, a 15-year-old student kills his school’s principal in western Wisconsin after telling another student “you better run”.

October 2006: Charles Roberts, a 32-year-old milk truck driver takes hostages and eventually shoots 10 girls aged seven to 13, killing five, before shooting himself. Roberts had indicated to his wife over the phone that he had dreams about molesting children.

April 2007: A gunman kills at least 31 people in a dormitory and classroom at Virginia Tech University before being shot dead himself.

AMERICA  –  we can do better

I am not a pessimist that only highlighted the worst the past decade gave us. I am more of a realist that believes in America and Americans. I believe we can do better if we really wanted. Throw out our old way of thinking and bring in a new and more caring way. There were good events that took place over the past decade but never in US history has the bad overwhelmingly outweighed the good.

I do have a real concern about the future of my children and grandchildren growing up in America. If we do not take the time to correct these major problems then expect more of the same for the next decade.

Hoping for a Happier and Safer New Year

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