Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Number Of Fools ....

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
- Plato

Smaller minds know
 is not true.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


 "Every religion is good that teaches man to be good".

- Thomas Paine
(The Rights of Man - Pt. II, 1792)

[... and all do!]

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

From The Field...

"We flocked in to the Credit Union!"
"Just like ye olde post office, neither sleet, nor freezing rain, snow nor dark of night... the entire crew made it in on Monday bundled up like penguins!"

"But we did have a problem on Friday after closing. Employees decided to follow each other home in case one of us got into an accident. Seemed like a good idea at the time..."

"But, Claire stopped, Shawn hit her, Shannon hit Shawn, then Shawn hit Claire again."

"I told Shawn that’s just what he gets for...

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's "Inherent"...


- John Kenneth Galbraith

[Have never heard it more succinctly "articulated"!] 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

" Just Trust Me On This...."

While we folks on the East Coast await the latest "great" ice storm...

Truth can be a fragile sort of thing, especially when it's closely harnessed with trust - which are invariably a tightly woven pair.

"Seriously, I'm in Miami and ...."
Kinda' brings to mind the time my flight home from Florida was cancelled due to an extensive snowstorm threatening the East Coast.  Called the office to report that I wouldn't be at work the next day, because I was "snowed-in" in Miami. 

Y'know, you can really lose a lot of respect in a hurry with such calls, as word gets around the office.   Truth and trust are immediately put into play.  Character, leadership, honesty are all immediately called into question.    

After all, most employees don't want to work for someone...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Flintstones....



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lying Low.....

A-h-h-h! The season of serious politics is upon us in America.  Everybody on those debate stages just can't be telling the truth! There are way too many gaps in their stories!

Lying is so unattractive in other people. Most of us fully support the truth, especially when it's to our benefit. Some flexibility may be warranted at other times...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


What you feel when you buy copies of the "National Enquirer" and "Star" at the grocery store for your 90 year old mother.

("Yeah right, sure they're for your mother!")

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Battle Of Hayes Pond...

As noted yesterday, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a clear eyed understanding of justice: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." 

Wise words. We often choose to forget that we must step forward to protect the rights of others, too. As Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers said: "Everybody has to fight to be free." [... and fight to stay free.]

Which brings us to the remarkable story of the Battle of Hayes Pond which was "fought" on January 18, 1958 in Robeson County, North Carolina. If you live on the East Coast and have ever undertaken "The Great Road Trip" down I-95 to Florida, then you've probably passed through Robeson County and just didn't know it. Robeson County is the place the world famous South Carolina tourist trap "South of the Border"(better known locally as S.O.B.) is south of - got that?

Equal opportunity discriminator!
Anyway, the Battle of Hayes Pond [here's a link to the whole story!] was not only a great victory for civil rights, but was also the last great Native American victory since Custer's Last Stand! It all started out with a scheduled KKK rally in the town of Maxton designed to harass and intimidate local folks, especially members of the Lumbee Indian Tribe [link], who have been in Robeson County since forever.  Robeson County's demographics are about one-third Lumbee, one-third African-American, and one-third white; so most folks "try to get along" - but not the KKK.

The Grand Dragon, James "Catfish" Cole had scheduled a rally, speech, and a little cross burning out at Hayes Pond for Saturday night January 18th.  He'd been stirring up trouble in the County all week and the Lumbees decided enough was enough....

Sunday, January 17, 2016

MLK, jr. Day ...

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

- Martin Luther King, jr.
(from a jail cell in Birmingham - 1963)

Want to see clearly what it takes to change the world?.....

Saturday, January 16, 2016

De-Bunking The Ratings...

Felix Walker represented Western represented Western North Carolina during the 16th session of the U. S. Congress (1819-21). His Congressional District centered on the North Carolina community of Asheville in Buncombe County. Walker was well-known among the Representatives for his frequent speeches - particularly in respect to their length, dryness, and absence of insight.

 On numerous occasions, over the groaning objections of his colleagues, Walker would rise to demand his prerogative "to make a speech for Buncombe." Walker, by his persistence, unintentionally immortalized his home county. The word "buncombe" - usually spelled "bunkum" or shortened to "bunk" - passed into the English language as a synonym for insincere speechmaking or for any general presentation of exceptional silliness and nonsense. Since North Carolinians invented the style, most are reasonably adept at spotting bunkum and its practitioners.

One of the latest sightings occurred just last week. The newest peddlers of bunkum in the Credit Union Movement are the statistical rating services. It was quite a trip to recently be afflicted with a visit from one of these patronizingly, pompous purveyors of prognostications and punditry.  Spiro Agnew eat your heart out!

Boomerangs Are Boomer-wrongs.....

Know what worries "Baby Boomers" most these days? Underwater mortgages? Low 401-K balances? Layoffs? Aging parents? Alzheimer's? Mortality?  

Nope; none of the above!  

The number one concern of those of us in the  "double B" generation are "boomerang" children!  

They're b-a-a-a-a-ck!!!!

Those little dears, with increasing frequency, are reappearing on parental doorsteps to reclaim "their room" and their "seat at the table"!  And, we're supposed to act delighted!!!!

As a parent this is a terrible dilemma - you love 'em but.... I mean even though they are adults, you still wait up for them to come in - right?  It's genetic , I guess.  And, they revert immediately to laundry contributors with special guest privileges.  They don't seem to understand you were kinda' starting to like the luxury of a lot of free time, free space, and the unscheduled life.

Feel threatened? Well, here's a "prevention plan" that works... 

After the last of our five kids had left the scene, my wife and I alerted everyone that we wanted to have a "family" conference call one weekend.  There was initially much concern - "Is something wrong?";  "What's happened?";  "Are you sick?" .  No, no we just want to let you know about a little change we've made since you've been gone.

When the day arrived and everybody was on the line, we proceeded to tell them how much we loved them and how proud we were that each of them was now established as an independent adult.  And, that they were always welcomed back home. 

But, that in the future, we would ask that they always call in advance to let us know if they were coming for a visit.  The questions of concern immediately arose again - "What's happened?";  "Has something gone wrong?" No, no, but since you all have left and we are by ourselves now, your Mother and I have decided to become nudists.

The sounds of gagging and retching were

suddenly quite profound, as were the "OMG's" as the terrible little "visuals" that announcement produced, started to seep into their consciousness...

Perhaps we've just been lucky so far with the absence of boomerang kids in our household and it wasn't really "the Plan" at all ....

But, I can tell you one thing for sure....

... they always call now before they come home!!! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Palestinians and Israelis"...

When the "b-worders" claim there is no difference between b@*ks and credit unions, it's much like claiming there is no difference between a Palestinian and an Israeli.  May look the same and have some similarities, but...

.... the differences in language, culture, religion and philosophy are definitely real and decidedly 
important !! 

The differences between boinks and credit union are equally real and decidedly important! Two different cultures, two different worlds

Credit Unions - Distinctly Different !!!

Non-profit by choice, not by accident!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Choose Your Punishment....Your Day In Court.

Most of you don’t know that I have a criminal record in Virginia. [Please don't tell anyone!]

Probably ought not to mention it at all; but I hope by now, the statute of limitations has run its course on my offense. I only bring this up at this time because my past indiscretion and subsequent conviction may suggest a way out for all of us  - a way to save face - with  "the horrendous CUNA/League/"Choice" mess".

The incident occurred about ten years ago on a road trip from North Carolina to Washington, DC with my wife and three of our children – all early teens at the time. Actually, we were driving to DC to attend CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference. So you know from experience it was February, cold and overcast – darkness comes early that time of year.

When driving with multiple children; it’s usually wise to start late, feed early, and hope for the best. We had stopped at a DQ on I-85 at the Virginia state line as dusk fell. We thoroughly overwhelmed the drive-thru clerk; sorted out the ketchup, salt, and napkins; then turned up the radio; and headed north. A bit later, after an intense ketchup fight had been quelled; the car looked and smelled like a vandalized DQ franchise. We were practicing our family a cappella to the Beach Boys tune Barbara Ann, and things were really starting to roll. About the fourth round of Ba-Ba-Ba; Ba-Ba-Barba Ann, my wife interrupted alarmingly with a “Slow down, you’re going too fast!”. I attempted to moderate my tempo of Ba-Ba-Ba’s, but that was not exactly what she had in mind.

At that moment we crested a hill in the darkness and the blue light came on. The officer was a well-rounded, brown-shirted county deputy. As I rolled down the window, he asked if I knew how fast I had been going. Before I could claim ignorance and try to explain the Ba-Ba-Ba distraction; my wife chirped in with a defense: “Officer, I had just told him to slow down!” 

I know what you’re thinking; yes, we’re still married.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Voice of Reason...



(Don't like to cuss so let's just leave it at that...)


Monday, January 11, 2016

The Parable Of The Skunk...Part III

One last thought on all this... 

What if we said that "the skunk" represented "change" - that "threat" (or promise!) that the future was not going to be the same as today. "Change" scares most folks and that would explain why the owner, the dogs, animal control - everybody - is out to get the skunk.

That would also seem to fall in line with CUNA, the leagues, and many credit unions getting uptight about the possibility they were about to be bitten by a rabid idea called "Choice"

The "skunk of change" which has arrived uninvited at CUNA's doorstep is, of course, the relentless decline in the number of credit unions. That unfortunate fact of life confronts CUNA with two problems - both bad! There will be fewer credit unions in the future to "feed the beast" and those credit unions which remain will be substantially larger - more demanding, less willing "to pay up" without measurable results.

Well apparently, "the skunk is in the house at CUNA" after the December CUNA Board vote and we may soon see how this all works out. No one seems optimistic about the outcome, given the repeated lapses in judgment and leadership at CUNA over the last year. 

Initial statements by CUNA would indicate that they don't quite know what to do with the skunk yet and have decided to wait for the 2016 dues report to see if they get bitten by disaffiliations before they act. If all they do is lose a few dogs in the process, well that may not be such a hard price to pay in the short term... and maybe the skunk will die off or just go away - could happen!

But what is most interesting about CUNA's "Pro-Choice" decision is that any league which permits a credit union to chose league membership at this time without requiring CUNA membership is in violation of CUNAs bylaws... and the league has, at least in theory, encouraged the individual credit union to also violate those same bylaws.

Which kind of ties back into the original story! CUNA is so perturbed by "the skunk of change" that it still hasn't ....

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Rest In Peace...???

Even The Small-Town Obits Can Be Intriguing...

Wilma Voliva Black
       b. 12/11/1921 d. 12/22/2015

Knightdale (excerpted from the N&O) - Wilma Voliva Black struggled into life 94 years ago. Alone, her mother Eva realized that her sixth child wasn't crying and unwrapped the umbilical cord from her only daughter's neck on December 11, 1921.

Wilma was bored by living on an Indiana farm with no cash during the depression, but she liked school. Her nomination to the National Honor Society at Bloomington H.S. was a source of great pride all her life. 

Her co-star in a church play, Charles Black pressed  Wilma into an elopement in May 1939. Wilma later learned that their marriage had been a cover for his sexual affair with their minister's wife. Alcoholism and adultery continued throughout their marriage and ended in Wilma's filing for divorce in 1969. Wilma is survived by her five children.

As a military wife Wilma enjoyed moving frequently and lived in many states and several different countries. Wilma sewed most of her children's clothes and loved books and magazines. She frequently could be found curled up reading.

In 1999 her son Dave moved her to N.C. and requested she sign a durable power of attorney. Wilma lived independently until 2012 and then her son moved her into an assisted living facility. There he attributed her inability to take care of herself to her lack of effort rather than to the level of assistance and care she received. Family concern that she was being neglected was brushed off. The facility was convenient to his work and home. She told him: "This is not living, it's existing!"

On Thanksgiving Day, Wilma was taken by ambulance to the emergency room with a temperature of 104. Her diagnoses were UTI, sepsis and light aspirate pneumonia. Her anemia complicated her recovery and a medical error deprived her of her regular medications resulting in her agitation and fear.

Wilma celebrated her 94th birthday with three of her children in the hospital. After her visiting children returned home her son removed medical treatment. He later commented on the strength of her struggle for life. She died alone on December 22 and was buried after Dave and his mistress returned from their December 25 vacation trip to Oregon.

Wilma always said her life seemed like a soap opera.

Well, don't know about you, but as they say,...

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Rants And Raves...

From the Mitchell News-Journal:

North Carolina mountain folks...

*  Last Monday school started back and someone of unusual brilliance at DOT decided that was a good time to start paving the bypass...

*  Want ridiculous, leave it to the Federal government. The school system now can't even give away the free "healthy" cafeteria food required by the new Healthy Hungry Free Kids Act. 

*  Take down those deer crossing signs in Pigeon Roost and put them over your potholes.  You are just a number in this county when it comes to potholes. Wait on it. Wait for all things.

*  It's about time Bakersville had a bar. I am tired of driving everywhere.

*  Abusing a defenseless animal takes an evil heart.  If you are married to a man like that you need to take your pet and get as far away as possible. If your pet doesn't like your boyfriend, you need to get rid of him. Animals have a sixth sense and know evil when they smell it!

Friday, January 08, 2016

The Parable Of The Skunk... Part II

"Vous idee´ was le pew!"
So, nobody helped out much on deciphering the skunk parable (link) with all its moving parts! Can't blame you really, it was sort of a dumb idea anyway. But let me tell you how it came about...

Early this week, I got "fussed out" by a credit union league president for "dropping the ball" on the CUNA/league /optionality issue. Told him I thought everybody had had more than enough of CUNA and most folks were more than ready "to move on". And, I think that's true, don't you? In fact it has appeared that "most regular credit union folks" never seemed to care all that much about CUNA's fits of distemper anyway - still don't!

But, told him I had found this little story... I'd try to work something up. So let's review. The characters in the news story are the skunk, the dogs, the owner, the State health lab, and the Animal Control officer. Decide how you match them up with their counterparts in the credit union world brouhaha: CUNA, leagues, credit unions, NAFCU, members. Got it?

CU TEST TIME: 1) What's the problem?
                                  2) Who's fault is it?

Bet most folks might agree that "the problem" is that the dogs got put down. But, think lot's of folks might miss and say the skunk is at fault - 'cause he started it - right?

Might argue with you that the skunk was just doing what comes natural when you've got rabies, which I'm sure the skunk didn't want! Same with the dogs, they're supposed to bark at rabid skunks and Animal Control officers are suppose to protect the public health by following the law.

It appears to me that the source of the problem is the owner, who didn't get his dogs vaccinated. The owner dropped the ball not the skunk...

Which leads to "the really big question"
if CUNA has "a problem"...

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Parable Of The Skunk...


Suspect many of you know that I have a strong fascination with small town newspapers - subscribe to about twenty! Freedom of the press is alive and well in America - and for sure in rural North Carolina! Some of the "goings on" out in the hinterlands never cease to amaze. Here's an example...

From The Warren Record:

"Warren County Animal Control Officer Elma Rae Greene reported that a rabid skunk was found near the intersection of Fate Weaver and Axtell Ridgeway Road. She said a resident living near the intersection heard his dogs barking in an agitated manner and went to investigate."

"The dogs were barking to scare off the skunk in the yard which left and returned to the yard several times. Recognizing that the skunk's behavior was unusual, the resident shot and killed the skunk and called Animal Control.  The skunk was submitted to the State Public Health Lab and tested positive."