Pay Them. Fail. The Recipe. Macron’s Warning. Cinco de Mayo. Pure Talent.

Unjust Pay. A Shaky Portfolio. It Tastes Like Chicken! Can You Say Tequila? How Vulnerable is Europe? Gregg Allman.

  • Quote of the Day: ‘Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.’ –John Steinbeck

Teaching, in a nutshell, is the profession that teaches all the other professions. If you agree with that statement, as well as the quote from John Steinbeck, we must wonder why teaching is not a well-compensated profession. If grade school children are spending a good part of their day under the tutelage of one or more teachers, how can we not recognize the contributions teachers make to our society with educating youngsters?

The chart below is insulting to the teaching profession. As a Florida resident, I am appalled with the pay rate for teachers. How can we expect our students to thrive and contribute to an ever-changing world dominated by technology? According to the World Population Review, the U.S., despite ranking high in educational system surveys, falls behind in math and science scores compared to many other countries. How can the United States not turn the teaching profession into a prestigious position that is well-compensated? To be clear, I feel the same with any position relating to first responders including police, fire, emergency management, and healthcare personnel. If we want the best teachers to help our children, make the position prestigious, sought-after, and well-compensated.

starting w/bachelors w/Masters top Masters top salary

Dist. of Columbia$63,373$100,488$67,958$123,994$131,003
The Pay Scale for Teachers.

  • HR departments coined the phrase “quiet quitting”, so the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) must be calling this “quiet closing.” A little over a year ago, there was tremendous fanfare over the closing of Silicon Valley Bank – a 40-year-old banking institution that catered to the tech industry. Last week, with little media exposure, the FDIC closed Republic First Bank, which operated in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Similar to the closing of Silicon Valley Bank, another banking institution stepped up to assume all of Republic First Bank’s deposits and buy its assets.

Reality: even in a strong economy four to five banks close each year. Before last week’s closing, the last FDIC-insured bank to fail was six months ago in November of 2023.

The bad news: many banks are now facing financial difficulties due to rising interest rates and falling commercial real estate values, specifically for office buildings enduring surging vacancy rates post-pandemic. Many regional banks have significant exposure to commercial real estate loans. These loans are tied to properties such as office buildings, retail centers, and hotels. If the commercial real estate market continues to experience a downturn or if borrowers default on their loans, it can lead to massive losses for these banks.

Hundreds of small and regional banks across the United States are stressed. Consulting firm Klaros Group analyzed over 4,000 U.S. banks and found that “282 banks face the threat of commercial real estate loans and potential losses tied to higher interest rates.” For individuals, the consequences depend on your level of deposit(s) at an individual bank. Remember, the FDIC covers deposits up to $250,000. If a failing bank is insured by the FDIC, all depositors will be paid “up to at least $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category.” Let’s hope that none of us have to deal with a failing bank scenario. At least these Stooges have their loans figured out.

The Ponzi Scheme at Work.

  • Occasionally I get a hankering for a dish that my mom, Aunt Kay, and daughter perfected – this one being corn flake chicken. The chicken breasts encapsulated by the corn flakes provide a delicious combination of a ‘crunch coating’ with moist chicken. It could also be the baked corn flakes that stick to the pan – that in itself is a delicacy. With all due respect to today being Cinco de Mayo, I am leaning towards this simple recipe for tonight’s Sunday meal. Try it, you will like it.


5 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
½ cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper (ground)
2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a shallow bowl, combine milk, egg, flour, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Dredge each chicken breast in the milk mixture, then roll in crushed cornflakes to coat.
Transfer the coated chicken to a baking sheet or dish.
Bake until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear (about 45 minutes).

  • I read an interesting and uncomfortable article in The Economist last week. While that may be surprising in itself, the piece was labeled “A Region in Mortal Danger” – an excellent and open interview with French President Emmanuel Macron regarding his thoughts on Europe. In summary, here are six noteworthy takeaways from President Maron:
  • Europe faces an imminent danger, and he declared that things could fall apart quickly.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a red alert for all of the world. If Russia wins in Ukraine, European security will lie in ruins.
  • He feels strongly that Europe should put troops Ukraine.
  • Regarding the Russians, he feels Europe: “Has been too hesitant by defining the limits of our action to someone who no longer has any limits and who is the aggressor.”
  • There is now a big industrial gap as Europe has fallen way behind the United States and China.
  • Macron’s most alarming diatribe: He is willing to discuss extending the protection afforded by France’s nuclear weapons.

Macron is bold, very political, and has a good bit of courage to ‘look history in the eye.’ We all better pray that history does not repeat itself in Europe.

  • Today is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Mexico celebrates that day later this year on September 16. Today is Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico’s victory over France in the Second Battle of Puebla sometime back in 1862. That victory, and subsequently the French finally expelled from Mexico, led to an annual May 5 celebration. Though not widely celebrated in Mexico, the party is usually on in the United States, with another excuse to get out and have a few Modelo’s or Herradura Silver Tequila’s. Sunday Funday and Cinco de Mayo together again – what a concept! 🙂 Sebastian Maniscalco’s take on one Mexican restaurant – well, I have no words.
Oh, Sebastian.

  • We go old school for this week’s Pure Talent. Melissa (sometimes called “Sweet Melissa”) is a song by the Allman Brothers, released in August 1972 as the second single from the group’s massive album, Eat a Peach. The song was written by vocalist Gregg Allman in 1967, well before the founding of the group. This is a solo performance before a studio audience on the David Letterman Show. Go to the 9:00 minute mark of the video. Gregg Allman was Pure Talent.
Gregg Allman with Melissa.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Sunday Funday Cinco de Mayo!

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