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Showing posts from November, 2017

Grateful Despite no Donuts

Friends,
For this holiday, I decided to take advantage of the ridiculously cheap travel airlines afford parents of employees who choose to fly standby (i.e. yours truly). The way I saw it, this is low season for International travel, so flying to Ecuador would not be an issue. I would fly to Houston on Monday’s first flight out, spend the day working from the airport and travel to Ecuador at 6:30 PM. As for the Thanksgiving rush on the domestic leg, even if it was tight, people always oversleep and miss early trips. Besides, I can always catch the next flight. Right? I woke at 3 AM, and after a nice breakfast at the airport made my way to the gate. 5:39 AM flight sold-out and I was 11th on the standby list. 7:53 AM full, 7th on standby. 10:03 AM full, 13th on standby. 12:30 PM full, 9th on standby. 2:05 PM, the last possible flight if I’m to make my connection, full and I’m 11th on standby. I explain my situation to the kind lady and ask if there is any way to pay more to move-up on t…

Tax Cut = Donut Cut?

Friends, With tax reform high on congress’ agenda, I’ve been thinking about how and why the government gets and spends money. In the U.S., the federal government  gets most of the money from various taxes (the rest, about 15% comes from borrowing). So, when it comes down to it, we’re buying a common good, the “things” (goods and services) on which they are spending our money. Most of it (65%) goes towards Social Security, unemployment, Medicare, health and veterans’ benefits. Another 15% goes towards the military and 6% goes towards debt and interest. The remaining 13% goes to everything else (for the OCD among you, I realize my math only adds-up to 99%, but that’s due to rounding). If you think of this as an income statement, then lower prices (a lower tax rate) will translate to less revenue (taxes) unless you can get more unit sales (a higher GDP growth rate). On that latter point, the U.S. economy has grown an average of 1.9% in the 2000s. Proponents of the plan say growth would …

White Flour Donuts of Color

Friends, As a whiteperson of color, I’ve always been somewhat irked by the compulsion to categorize people into neat boxes. Most people don’t fit neatly into boxes. When given a choice between “white” or “Hispanic” (check one), I realized these boxes provide a false choice.  Why does the government care what category I opt into? The way I see it, these questions on so many forms probably don’t cause division and social injustice, but they do keep the conversation going. I propose a write-in campaign (similar to elections). Most of these forms now contain an “Other” field where you can write-in your ethnic or racial background. What if we all wrote-in “Transracial”. If one or two of us do it, no big deal. If it catches-on, maybe someone will take notice and report on how silly this categorization variable is. Speaking of boxes, a dozen donut box is sitting in its usual spot, so come get your transracial self some sugar!
Happy Friday!

Of Mergers and Donuts

Friends, This week marked the completion of CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. This transaction combines my most recent former employers accounting for 17 years of my career. It gives Level 3 the opportunity to rid itself of the brackets in its logo (the universal symbol for negative financial results) and CenturyLink the opportunity to rid itself of Glen Post.  As the two companies work to integrate, they will have several considerations to make. A name. If recent history is any indication, the name will likely be CenturyLink. Still, we in the peanut gallery like to contemplate the possibilities. Since a century is 100 years, why not combine the numbers in both companies’ names. How about we call the company 300 (100 x 3) --a valiant, yet doomed group of people.Integration. Having unofficially coined the terms red and blue network when executives said we have to stop using the terms Level 3 and Global Crossing networks, I feel like the conventio…