there’s two kinds of people – the frog and the scorpion

There’s two kinds of people. Those who give and those who take.

It’s OK… don’t mind if I prattle on do you?
….
Two types Fergus. The Scorpion and the frog. Ever heard of em?

No.

A scorpion wants to cross the river but he can’t swim. He goes to a frog who can and asks for a ride. The frog says “I’ll give you a ride on my back. And you’ll go and sting me!” The Scorpion replies “It would not be in my interest to sting you since I’d be on your back and we both should drown.”

Frog thinks about this logic for a while and accepts the deal. Takes the scorpion on his back. Braves the waters. Half way over feels a burning spear in his side. And realizes the scorpion has stung him after all. And as they both sink beneath the waves, a frog cries out “WHY DID YOU STING ME MR SCORPION? NOW WE BOTH WILL DROWN!?”

The Scorpion replies “I can’t help it. It’s in my nature.”

So what’s that supposed to mean?

It mean what it says. A Scorpion does what is in it’s nature.

Take off the hood man.

Why?

Because you are kind. And it’s in your nature.

science and arts both

From the article:

“Many seem to think that by narrowing our focus to just science and engineering, we will become more competitive. This is a serious mistake.

Our leaders in government, industry and academia should realize that they don’t have to make a choice between the sciences and the rest of the liberal arts. Indeed, the sciences are a vital part of the liberal arts.

The key to our success in the future will be an integrative education that doesn’t isolate the sciences from other parts of the curriculum, and that doesn’t shield the so-called creative and interpretive fields from a vigorous understanding of the problems addressed by scientists.”

and

Students and professors aren’t crossing departmental boundaries to be fashionably interdisciplinary. They join forces to address specific problems or in pursuit of particular opportunities.

and

We should think of education as a kind of intellectual cross-training that leads to many more things than at any one moment you could possibly know would be useful. The most powerful education generates further curiosity, new needs, experiences to meet those needs, more curiosity and so on.

- Michael Roth on CNN

photos that i like

paris

Frequently the photos that I really like, aren’t the ones that flickr likes. This is one of those photos. From the Las Vegas Strip taken outside the Paris hotel.

consolidate

“In war communication is the key to success. And radio equipment along with specialized training for soldiers is expensive. To be successful , the General has decided to consolidate all radio operators into the same platoon during combat missions.”

– anonymous

Fear of Missing Out and Travel

[this was in my drafts folder. I updated it with the photos and hit publish.]

I arrived in Austin tonight and immediately felt I had to experience Austin. Not that I wasn’t just here a month ago for a beautiful wedding. And at SXSW before that. And that I was just in Las Vegas speaking at CAPRSA this weekend. And before that in OKC for a lovely wedding. And before that in NYC speaking at PRSA’s Digital Impact Conference. ADD or not, I have no shortage of input. Yet I get to Austin and I have this fear of missing out.

So I choose to stay in my hotel and catch up on processing photos. And prep for my talk tomorrow (I really like to over-prepare. The audience deserves it.) And I wanted to process some of the photos from the rebuilding of the World Trade Center I took in NYC from last week.

But I can’t help it. I twittered a photo of Austin from my cell phone. Wrong move. I am also a photographer and I immediately see this tweet from djlawrasaurus:

Try n get a cool #bat shot

[this was in my drafts. unfinished. because I googled it and found out I was right next to the bat colony and it was almust sunset. there it is.]

Austin Texas

congress bat colony

kayak at congress

congress bat colony

bats and a full moon?

austin at night

So there is that….

 

 

a politician that did the right thing for the country

I recently did a blog post on business taxes going up in Texas. And a follow up post on entrepreneurship and suicide. And as it so happens one of the five people who read this blog brought it up after a tennis match the other day. The conversation went something like this:

CitizenX: So I read your blog post on Rick Perry’s tax increases the other day.

Me: Yup. It’s easy to find being in the top five listings if you google “rick perry tax.” But yes, please go ahead.

CitizenX: (Internally CitizenX is thinking “dude, you are such a nerd” but he doesn’t say that. Instead he says:) I haven’t checked that Ed. But what I was going to say is that Rick Perry didn’t have a choice. He had to work with what he had because you can’t have an income tax in Texas.

Me: Well, you can have an income tax. You just have to get it passed as a constitutional amendment. But you CAN have an income tax.

CitizenX: Yes, but that would never pass.

Me: Not if everyone screams that a fair tax is the end of the world. But wouldn’t it be better to have a referendum and pass a fair income tax rather than double tax small businesses arbitrarily. We experienced a 500% tax increase for our business (we went from $800/yr to $5,000/yr since the change my CPA tells me.) and then go on TV and say you are “reducing business taxes“ referring to the tax law he passed, right?

CitizenX:  The Margin Tax is flawed, but it was his only option to work with it.

Me: But it isn’t a “Margin” tax. Or a “Franchise” tax. It is an the expanding Texas Income Tax with bureaucrats defining your margin.

CitizenX: What do you mean?

Me: Well the tax was originally a two page document that left everything vague. Remember how the law firms said they were “retailers” and that partner salaries were “cost of goods sold?” Well that has had five years to work through the courts and the taxing authorities. And they have issued a bunch of rules about what is and what is not a retail business and what is or is not a valid retail store.  And what is and what is not an expense. So the legislature and our Republican Governor passed a vague law. And now our unelected bureaucrats are defining what it is an expense and what is profit. What do these people know about business? And that costs jobs. I mean, I can afford the tax, it is the principle of the thing that gets me.

CitizenX: But the Governor didn’t have a choice!

Me: What do you mean?

CitizenX: Well if he pushed for an income tax, it might not go through, and even if a Texas income tax did push through, he wouldn’t get reelected.

Me: So.

CitizenX: He is a politician. He wants to be reelected.

Me: But he had a choice. Are you saying Rick Perry is putting his personal interests, as a servant of the great State of Texas, above the best interests of the great State of Texas? Cause that seems wrong to me. As an Aggie, that is just wrong.

CitizenX: (pauses….)

Me: As I see it, Rick Perry has the option of passing a fair tax. That tax would be good for Texas and be fair to businesses. It would eliminate uncertainty. It would prevent taxing authorities from influencing how businesses form and where they locate. And it would help balance the budget and prevent our education system from going down further. That would be in the best interest of Texas.

The ONLY cost I hear is “the governor might not get reelected.” The ONLY cost of doing the right thing is risking reelection. I have voted for him in several elections. I would vote for someone who passionately and honestly fought for Texas. I’m not seeing that.

CitizenX: (shakes head). (apparently I can be black and white on some issues)

Me: I miss our statesmen and our last two-term Independent President George Washington who put the country before themselves. Remember George Bush 41? He promised no new taxes. He became President. Our President studied the facts. He did the best thing for the country and did raise some taxes and enacted spending cuts. Yes, he did lose reelection. But the budget did balance under Clinton based on what 41 did. And I respect the hell out of George Bush because he is a true patriot who put the country above a speech and lobbyists and pollsters.

CitizenX: You’re getting kind of worked up.

Me: Sorry. Frustration does that. I’ll shut up now. … Actually I’ll go back to work. Create value for our clients. Pay our employees. And generate payroll and income tax for Texas because that is what I do.

As I said when I blogged it the first time “It is not tax that breaks a business man’s soul. It is inequities.”

This old news clip explains the impact probably better than I can. It is a bit dated, but perhaps the video will help.

An Interview with Márta Eggerth

“I was born in Budapest.  My mother was a fantastic singer.  She studied in the Budapest conservatory, which now is called the Franz Liszt Conservatory. She had the most beautiful voice, but she gave her career up to be a wife and mother.  I started to sing at age eleven.  Paul Abraham was a fantastic composer. He heard me sing and gave me a child’s part in his opera. I was the biggest success because I was a child.  I sang all over the world, only classical music – the great arias. I toured all over Europe before the age of seventeen.”

Full interview with Márta Eggerth here.

be openhanded toward your brothers

“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” – Deuteronomy 15:11

suspend

“If you suspend all the rules, you don’t need a rulebook,” Eiland said later. – Texas