Let’s Go Private. Houston Here We Come. PETA Does a Number on Ringling Bros.
- It was always interesting to watch the strange behavior of people once they arrive at an airport and proceed to check in and get through security. I suppose the dynamics of packing and getting to the airport, as well as parking and getting to the terminal leads to a bit of tension and anxiety? The behavior of people changed even more after the events of 9/11 with security parameters heightened along with the Transportation Security Administration. Yes, TSA, the array of disciples dressed in garb reminding everyone of their diligence and duty to the country. For the most part, TSA has straightened out their hiring practices and training but there are numerous occasions that you just must wonder why the United States has not provided for the privatization of TSA services at our airports. Obviously, money is not an obstacle because like most government agencies the marginal productivity of TSA personnel surely lags the private sector security firms that certainly could provide airports with more qualified agents to screen passengers and their bags. I am not admonishing the TSA nor most of their agents, I am simply wondering why these services are still under the guise of the Federal government. Speaking of privatization, next week I will take a hard look at the U. S. Postal Service, whose 2015 financials showed a $5.1B loss.
- They are on their way to Super Bowl LI. Yes, in two weeks the Atlanta Falcons, led by MVP quarterback Matt Ryan, will make their way to Houston to play for the NFL championship against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It is simply amazing how a new head coach, a new staff and a few new players in key positions can change the performance of a team. The person responsible for demanding these changes is 74-year old Arthur Blank, who co-founded The Home Depot, and is both a respected businessman and philanthropist. You must feel great for Mr. Blank, who has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Falcons, their new stadium, and his new Major League Soccer franchise, Atlanta United. Losing Super Bowl LI to his longtime rival Robert Kraft is not an option so let’s hope that the evening of February 5th is a great one for Mr. Blank and the Falcons.
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been around for well over 100 years and has performed worldwide before hundreds of million spectators, many of those young children. Wild animals and courageous acts filled most arenas and left young children with huge smiles on their faces as they wondered how you really survive getting shot out of a cannon or hanging out in a cage with a few lions and tigers. Last week Ringling Bros. ownership group announced that they were closing down due to the financial pressures of increasing the level of safety, security and habitats of the performing animals. PETA went after the Circus many times threatening lawsuits and continued protests mostly focused on how the trainers treated the elephants. I do think there is a time and a place for PETA but this has gone on way too long and now Ringling Bros. has thrown in the towel. What a shame that many millions of children will miss out on this spectacle. I remember my daughter and her heightened excitement knowing that the circus was coming and the joy she experienced once she walked into the arena. Hopefully, the assets of Ringling Bros. will be bought out, retrenched and reintroduced to the world soon.
- Updates: the Trump inauguration costs will reach $200m. The Philippines’ President Duterte has gone quiet and for good reason: General “Mad Dog” Mattis was sworn in as the Secretary of Defense. Nigeria needs help with Boko Haram and their terrorist ways…. maybe a first assignment for the new Secretary of Defense? Have you tried Wendy Dunlap’s Impromptus? Great solution for a gift or bake them yourself for a great appetizer….Impromptus Savory Shortbreads. To order, email Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Adios and have a great week!