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The Hidden Reason for "The Boomerang Generation"

by John Jazwiec

The "boomerang generation" is a term applied to the current generation of young adults in Western culture. They are so named for the frequency with which they choose to cohabitate with their parents after a brief period of living on their own – thus boomeranging back to their place of origin.

I have heard many theories why this is happening. 

This generation is spoiled. This generation doesn't have the same job opportunities. This generation didn't have to work their way through college. Parents have larger homes than they had growing up. The new "21" is now 26. 

While some of this is absolutely true; its not the real causal reason.

We have two boomerang children living in our primary residence. Both are professionals. Both live with their spouse. Both are saving money for various reasons. 

When I dialog with my fellow baby boomers as to the root cause of the "boomerang generation", I ask them two questions. 1. When you were in your twenties would you have lived with your parent under any circumstances? 2. Did you shop for clothes together? 

100% of the time the answer is an emphatic "no". 

Which brings me to the real causal reason for the "boomerang generation".

This current generation didn't have the same cultural gap between their parents, like we had with our parents.

Mothers and daughters shop at the same stores. Children and parents listen to the same music and attend the same rock concerts. They watch the same television shows and movies. There is no such things a corporal punishment. Today's parent is more permissive in language tolerated. There is no such thing as "parents talk and children only listen". 

My generation wanted to get as far away as possible from their parents. Our children - when not co-habitating - wan't to live close to their parents.

My parents music was not my music. Now my children's music is my music. And most telling, my music is beloved by my children. While they love today's music, they know all the 1970 and 1980s bands and hit songs. One's made before they were born. One's that they never heard being played in our house.

All of the more common reasons for the "boomerang generation" are true. But without a lack of a generation gap; no safe harbor would have motivated them to return home. 

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I honestly don't know. But it is nonetheless a blessing to have them back home, in our lives, while having their own careers and families.

NYT - Syria, Obama And Putin

by John Jazwiec

John Jazwiec

Chicago and Old Naples 1 day ago

Putin's Limited Shelf-Life

With low oil prices and economic sanctions, for the last two years, Putin has had no other option to play than the "Russian Nationalist Card". 

The US spends $581 billion or 3.3% of GDP on military spending, while Russia only spends $70 billion or 3.7% of GDP. The Russian people maybe fiercely nationalistic; but any increases in military spending beyond current GDP percentages will not go down well Russian citizens. 

Thus Putin's execution of playing the nationalist card, has had to be done on the cheap. 1. Rouge Russian military supporting a Ukraine proxy war. 2. Clumsy threats on the Baltic countries. 3. Now a few planes and drones in Syria. 

Each time Putin has underestimated the Obama administration. The US wisely never bought into the need to escalate arms in the Ukraine. The US wisely didn't get fooled into anything other than diplomatic dialog of support of the Baltic nations. And now calling Putin's bluff on propping up Assad and fighting against radical Sunni Muslim extremists in Syria and Iran.

The latter move is so desperate, that the very reason Russia turned to Putin in the first place - Sunni Muslim Extremism - has an inherent blowback of terrorist attacks on Russian soil.

Putin, in short, is running out of options to stay in power.

I commend the Obama second-term administration's handling of Putin. And I have no problem with the administration "talking softly" and "carrying a big diplomatic, strategic and economic stick".

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New York And A Pope Show The Inspirational Side Of 9/11

by John Jazwiec


"Let us not forget" has been the salient statement for the events of 9/11. The people and first responders at ground zero, deserve every dollar and inch of the memorial. 

But the darker side of "let us not forget" has been the meeting of violence with violence. It was necessary, but it has blinded most of us to the inspirational side of 9/11 in New York. 

The visit by Pope Francis to ground zero and how New York performed for him and the world, was transcendental and needed, almost a decade and a half later. 

The memorial performance included leaders of every religion that are allowed to thrive in New York. And every religion was affected by 9/11. The link above was a most moving final piece of the performance. Children of all faiths, color and nationality singing "Let There Be Peace On Earth". All the children held hands and all the children were born after 9/11.

What you don't see on the video, is a young Muslim leader, seated next to Francis, tenderly giving him the program card before the children sang.  

In total, what I saw, at the memorial ceremony, was a melding of the tragic events of 9/11 and finally giving them a more deeper and positive meaning.

It took a special pope. But it also took a special city, where a shared pain brought out the best in people - regardless of religion and nationality - giving their lives for others to be saved.

This pope and this papacy clearly have moved away from narrow religious dogma to social justice, human dignity and putting forgiveness and peace ahead of war. That is an universal message perfectly backdropped by NY and 9/11. This simple man is less a Roman Catholic pope. Rather he is a special inspirational figure for all humanity. He is not a replacement for other faiths. He simply has tapped into every faith's common denominator. Where there are common principles, there is common respect.

The ground zero memorial took place in a special city with special people and a unique man from Argentina. But it also was projected around the world.

It was a day that will not forgotten for a long time. Or at least that was my prayer this Sunday.

In Support Of John Boehner II

by John Jazwiec

John Boehner had the most successful week of his life this week.

He was the first speaker of the house to get a pope to address Congress. And he quit politics at exactly the right time. 

One of the most endearing things about Boehner was on display with the pope addressing Congress. He is real. And yes real men do cry. 

It was no stunt and it didn't have to do with his decision to resign. Boehner's crying is well documented. I remember vividly him weeping when Gabby Giffords returned to Congress.

You see, Boehner's crying, shows a man with a job to do, but with a heart and a religious soul. And such a man, could only fight so long, within a GOP civil war. For such men, the cost of the job becomes too much. 

I have been writing about why a government shutdown would endanger the GOP's chances at the White House in 2016. With Boehner stepping down, its going to get ugly fast. 

I expect a government shutdown based on planned parenthood. It will satiate the religious right and embolden Tea Party conservatives to want to cut government even more. 

But I also expect an electoral backlash. Gerrymandering may have allowed the crazies to rise to power. But the non-crazy voter - a huge majority - is going to want to know why a shutdown happened in the first place. And why crazy politics was allowed to potentially affect the US economy. Expect Wall Street to vote with money on a government shutdown. 

As long as I have been following politics, there has been a weird and conflicting view of government. Everyone wants to punish the current politicians; but it's only in an abstract way. Change for change sake. If you don't believe it, then why are new politicians hated months after being elected?

So for all the anti-Washington feeling in the abstract; the religious right and the Tea Baggers believe they are doing what their constituents want. But their constituents will want to punish them a year later. 

The Democratic Party used to be a fractured party of Northern liberals and Southern conservatives. Now the same party is united by a a center-left agenda.

While the GOP is now the fractured party of vanishing Northern RINOs, Southern conservatives, Tea Baggers, anti-immigration zealots, libertarians and the religious right. That broad coalition of misfits has allowed the GOP to control a gerrymandered Congress; but not a non-gerrymandered general election of states. 

Instead of following the script in 2012 to take back the White House; the GOP has moved in the opposite direction. A government shutdown further weakens the GOP chances to take back the White House.

Mark my words. By 2017, people - the same people who want change - will be the same people pinning for the good old days of Boehner and Obama. 

Putin's Desperation

by John Jazwiec

The combination of low oil prices and economic sanctions have forced Putin to play his "nationalism" card for the past two years.

But whether it is a disruption of Ukraine, token military air flights over Western/Arctic airspace or most recently small moves in Syria; Putin has had to do "nationalism" on the cheap.

The US spends $581 billion or 3.3% of GDP on military spending, while Russia only spends $70 billion or 3.7% of GDP. The Russian people maybe fiercely nationalistic; but any increases in military spending beyond current GDP percentages will not go down well Russian citizens. 

Putin knows more guns would lead to less butter. That is the hole he finds himself and it has gone on too long.

Obama has a meeting on the calendar next week with China. The Russian's are well aware that the US still uses China as part of Nixon's original triangulation foreign strategy.

So what does Putin do now? He asks for a meeting next week with Obama in the US. Why?

I think it is because Obama isn't reacting to him. Incursions and a land grab into Crimea got Putin economics sanctions. Threats on Eastern Europe countries got no reaction. Recent Syrian moves - which might be provocative with a more insecure/trigger happy president - haven't  moved the needle. 

At the same time oil prices continue to remain low. Russia's economy is contracting. Threats are not working. Putin now has had to go out of his way to get a last minute meeting with Obama. 

That is not from a position of strength. You don't have to be POTUS to understand that. But Obama's quite diplomacy - much derided by his critics - has been a special quality.

And I expect Putin will have to offer Obama a lot to remove the sanctions. Which is why he has repeatedly asked for a meeting with Obama for two years. Which is why Obama didn't react nor give in. 

I have consistently said there is no good or bad when it comes to ruling Russia; a country that spans 11 time zones. There is only strength or a power vacuum. Putin knows the status quo can't last much longer. There are only so many military "moves" he can afford to make to prop up his popularity. 

Now he has been forced to bargain with Obama to remain in power. Whether or not he is successful, Obama's Russian strategy looks to be yet another foreign policy coup for his presidency.

Pope Francis: Return to Vatican II

by John Jazwiec

I love this pope. He has restored my faith in my church. And has made me more proud to be Catholic.

But while this pope has a unique pastoral style and is a reformist, he is fighting a battle started by Pope John and Vatican II.

I don't remember Pope John. But my parents do. And he was much beloved by my parent's generation.

People forget that his successor, Pope Paul, established a Vatican commission that ultimately concluded privately that artificial birth control was acceptable. Paul succumbed to the conservative wing of the church and disregarded it. 

Under Pope John Paul and Benedict the conservative wing beat down the Pope John liberals. And contraception and abortion became hard litmus tests for Catholics. In turn, the right wing politicians of the US, gravitated to "Catholics" as standard bearers. Hence why so many hardline social Republicans were either Catholic or voted to make the Supreme Court so Catholic-heavy. 

Hence Pope Francis is not so much a Catholic rebel, than an attempt for the liberal wing of the Church to restore the more liberal agenda of Vatican II.

He not only has to refight the conservative wing of the Curia; but his liberal stances are anathema to US political conservatives. 

What Trump, Carson and Carly Have In Common

by John Jazwiec

They have had their day in the sun. And they will not be the GOP nominee.

Trump loud staw was always destined to break apart. And his polling will continue its downward spiral.

Carson? An accomplished African American that says a Muslim can't be president. Tried to find that in the Constitution. Still not there. 

Now Carly is supposed to get her chance. I gave her points during the debate. The viewers did the same. But she has one fatal flaw. Her tenure at HP. She forced the board to buy Compaq. Don't remember Compaq? That's because HP - under Carly - bought it - and it helped destroy a long and proud company. Her fight with the board and it hurting HP led to her ouster. Her opponents will destroy her by attack ads. 

I also gave Rand Paul points during the debate. But he isn't going to win. His problem is his wacky father. Ted Cruz? A nut job that has gained no traction. Christie? Bridge-gate is a road too far to run from. Walker, who is Iowa's neighbor, has fallen out of favor. Huckabee? The only job he can run for is being on Fox News. 

That leaves Kacish, Rubio and Bush. One of them will be the GOP nominee. With Rubio set to become either the nominee or a running mate. The ridiculous number of GOP candidates will be willowed to three shortly. And a year from now, the others will be a national gag line. 

2016 - Demographics Haven't Changed

by John Jazwiec

Barack Obama has to prove he was credible. But his success in the winning the White House was demographics.

Simply put -  African Americans, Mexican Americans, the young and women who don't want Washington controlling their bodies - is a greater percentage than the rest of the voting population.

Now we are getting ready for 2016. Not one candidate even comes close to filling Obama's candidacy shoes. He is part FDR and part Reagan. The others are like Wendell Willkie and Michael Dukakis. 

Jeb Bush saying the country has suffered economically for the last 6 and 1/2 years was so ridiculous he doesn't have a clue what is going to win the election.

I know the GOP wants this to be a "change election. The problem is there are no acute economic problems. 

Then there are the demographics to win 51%. Can they get the African American vote? The Mexican American vote? Where's the rock star in the GOP field to make young voters go to the polls. All the talk of defunding Planned Parenthood? It alienates women who don't want Washington legislating their bodies. 

The RNC knew they had a demographic problem after 2008. They knew they would have to bend their recent rigid ways to reach into Obama's coalition. So far they have miserably failed. 

Here is the inconvenient truth. Going after Obama isn't going to work. He would win again in 2016, if the constitution allowed it. The GOP must acknowledge that Obama's presidency has worked. Or worked for the majority of Americans. There is no electoral way of avoiding such an acknowledgement. 

A GOP win is only possible by attack HRC. That is doable. Attacking Obama? Attacking a president faced with the great crisis since the Great Depression with no scandals? Acknowledge or quit talking about the last 6 and 1/2 years as bad for America is the only way.

Syrian Refugee Crisis - Unwelcome Mat

by John Jazwiec

A third of the Syrian population has been displaced within Syria and over 4.3 million have become refugees. 

1.9 million in Turkey. 1.2 million in tiny Lebanon. Jordan 650,000. Egypt 130,000. How bad is Syria? 250,000 are now in Iraq. These countries are taking care of 95% of the refugees.

While the Persian Gulf countries, who are US "allies" - Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emeritus. Qatar. Bahrain and Kuwait - not a single one. 

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Because the UN wasn't prepared for such a refugee crisis, the refugees have been pouring into Europe. It's more the people of Europe that are supporting them than European nations. The latter are concerned with a "Muslim" problem.

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The reality is Europe has a current Muslim population of 4%. If all 4.3 million refugees were accepted, the Muslim population would only grow to 5%.

Another argument of European countries is Muslim birth rates. But Syria's birth rates have been falling for decades. Exacerbating welfare state? Syrians are some of the best educated people in the world. And are very entrepreneurial.

Europe's population is getting older. That means refugees can help fulfill job requirements. That mean refugees can increase the tax base to support the European aging population welfare state. 

Having said that, the most shameful refugee unwelcome mat, is the Persian countries. The US spends billions allowing Persian countries to not pay for national defense. But what have we received in turn? Nothing. And certainly not showing any heart for other people besides themselves.

Tracking 2016 GOP II " "

by John Jazwiec

1. Huckabee attacks HRC. While I don't like an HRC candidacy, he didn't say what he was for. Or is he simply been nominated to be the GOP attack dog?

2. Rubio gets it right by acknowledging Reagan. But talking about California's drought and then pulling out a bottle of water? I know he was trying to make fun of himself - having a water bottle and stumbling badly - after a State of the Union rebuttal. Political junkies like me might remember it. But most of the viewers and the people of CA didn't.

3. Sorry Cruz. You are not the only Senator on the stage that attacks Washington. Rand Paul does too.

4. Walker says he is bold. Might have worked if Trump didn't introduce himself right before.

5. Kasich stumbles on his words.

6. Christie gets points for turning around the camera. But attacking Obama just draws out memories of him paling around with Obama after Sandy.

7. Carly gets first question. It's about Trump. CNN splits the screen and Trump looked liked a kid in a parent-teacher conference rolling his eyes when his parents are being taught he is a class disrupter. 

8. Trump breaks the Reagan rule - don't speak ill of another Republican - in Reagan's own presidential library? He mocks Rand Paul for being on stage with only 1% of the vote. 

9. Paul nails Trump successfully. Called him "sophomoric". See point #7.

10. Trump doubles down on people's faces by (a) saying he never criticized Paul's looks and (b) goes ahead and does it in real time. He has attacked Carly for looks? Perhaps the Donald should look in the mirror.

11. Jeb wants to restore the Obama financial damage over the last 6 and 1/2 years? Last time I check we have had 66 straight months of job growth and unemployment lowered to 5.1%

12.Trump admits he is making Democratic claims against Walker. Further implying he is only in the race for more fame and hurting the GOP. Remember Bill Clinton talked him into running.

13. Kasich goes after the debate monitor?

14. Christie nailed his answer for previously attacking Carson. He made a joke. Remember Reagan had the same ability.

15. Carson? Still on too much XANAX.

16. Carly says she is an outsider and she can make the tough calls. Tell that to Hewlett Packard.

17. Jeb answers donor money and attacks Trump. First time we saw Jeb have fire in his belly.

18. Trump answers back out of turn, with a face the same color as his hair, and was flustered.

19. Trump says the secret to dealing with Russia's involvement is Syria is because he can get along with him? Sounds like Bush 43 saying "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy".

20. Rubio seizes the moment. He paints Putin as a geopolitical threat. A bad man. Makes Trump's argument a striking juxtaposition.

21. Carly seizes the moment better than Rubio. She says she wouldn't talk to him and then went on to show how knowledgable she is on world events. 

22. On the danger of Iran, Cruz goes all Joe McCarthy. Read meat for far right wing.

23. Kasich scores. Explains the Iranian deal and defends the US's need to act in concert with allies. His delivery is clumsy. But he is scoring points with the RINO vote.

24. Rand Paul moved from the Tea Party to the RINO vote; saying he is not for ripping up the Iran deal right away and the need to talk to our enemies. 

25. Jeb scores by agreeing with Paul and issuing a "pro-Israel" response.

26. Huckabee talks out of turn. Mentions that for the last 37 years we shouldn't deal with Iran. Well Reagan dealt with them and you said it in "Reagan's house"?

27. Paul scores big time after Trump and Rubio said we should have gone into Syria. Paul reminded the debate that taking out Assad would turn out like Iraq.

28. Cruz goes all Cruz on the Iran deal. Kasich takes the larger presidential smart approach. Kasich might not look and sound the part. But Paul and Kasich prove they have the smarts and temperament to be president.

29. Huckabee tries to explain why the Supreme Court isn't law in the case of marriage? He supported the woman in KY - Kim Davis - who was jailed for not following the law; which is her job. Oh, and by the way, she has been married four times. Furthermore Huckabee makes the worst political move. He complains about being ignored. We don't elect presidents that whine about losing.

30. Jeb - who made the argument that Kim Davis's job was to uphold the law - then goes on a rant that people should - be able to take a moral decision not to do their job?

31. Kasich scores! Davis's job was to uphold the law of the land.

32. Cruz and Christie both don't answer the question on Planned Parenthood causing the government to shut down.

33. Carly again scores big. She didn't answer the question either. But she was measured in her response. I thought I saw something unique in her. Then the audience explodes in cheer. No cheer was anywhere close to her cheer on this question. 

34. The worst juxtaposition. Trump being crazy. But we already know that. But Jeb fumbling in his responses? Jeb I think would make a great president. But he has to work on his debate skills. And fast.

Great night for Paul, Kasich and Carly. Bad night for Cruz, Huckabee, Christie and Trump. Walker gets a pass because he didn't get airtime but didn't complain about. Carson gets a pass for the same reason. Jeb is the adult in the room and is clearly playing the long game. Rubio gets a pass but trended down from the first debate. 

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From athletic scholar and satirist to computer programmer to CEO success, John Jazwiec brings a unique and often eccentric perspective to business and supply chain challenges. Exploring how they can be solved through the leadership and communication insights found in untraditional sources. This CEO blog demonstrates how business insights from books on history to the music of Linkin Park can help challenge and redefine “successful leadership.” Read Jazwiec’s Profile >>

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