HOME   //   PROFILE   //   RSS

Making America Great ... In Soccer/Futbol

by John Jazwiec

The US being eliminated in the World Cup maybe a huge disappointment. But I believe it should be a much needed wake up call. And a call to totally change how the US will field a team into the next decade and beyond. 

First, the US doesn't develop players like the rest of the world. In the US, soccer-parents fund the bill for their children to be on traveling teams which play other traveling teams. While the rest of the world, uses its professional franchises as academies - gratis - for children usually beginning at 14. Their coaching is first rate. They pick out the best players, when they decide if they are going to pay them to play professionally. They do so by playing other professional academy teams around the world. 

Second, the US - which arguably, due to the size of the country, has the best athletes - has a major disconnect between athletic talent and soccer players. American athletes are more prone to play football than futbol. Even though most millennials, are totally immersed, in watching their favorite foreign club teams. But millennials also don't want their children playing football, due to potential brain damage. So, they are a ready-to-go market for their children to try to become the next great soccer players. 

Third, the US needs to merge the MLS with the EPL. A lot of the major EPL teams - Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool - are already owned by Americans. They have a major voice at the table. They can convince the other EPL owners to merge with the MLS by giving them stock in MLS franchises. The EPL teams would all become richer by the increase in television rights. The MLS franchises would also. That is why the EPL teams need to take minority shares in the MLS franchises for it to work. Scheduling would start with something like inter-league baseball, where each team plays in the US and the UK for four consecutive weeks. Players - from the US, the UK and the rest of the world - would be recruited/traded/signed. It would end in a some kind of new championship. 

Fourth, the now richer MLS franchises, would be able to build their own academies. Quality coaching. Quality culling by playing other academies. High paying careers with their brains intact. 

So, when will the US be able to compete to win a World Cup? As soon as the MLS is merged with the EPL. If that doesn't happen, nothing is going to change. When it does, 14-year olds will begin a 10+ year process of making America great. 

There are no quick fixes. No great coach to recruit. Only by accepting reality - which is the great opportunity after national humiliation - is the answer.

Democrats Moving To The Middle, May Be The Only Thing That Will Save Us Sans North Korea

by John Jazwiec

There are two movements in both parties that endanger this democracy, assuming there is no outbreak of a war on the Korean Peninsula (more on that in a moment).

The first is the takeover of the GOP by Trump and Bannon. I just wrote about the dark aspects of American Exceptional-ism. Trump and Bannon knew these dark aspects were there and capitalized on them. They own these 30 to 40% of Americans. Trump and Bannon are destroying the last vestiges of the Reagan GOP. They have open contempt for any Republican that isn't a Trump/Bannon-ite. They also know GOP lawmakers are now so hollowed out - due to a party that for too long has made faustian bargains contrary to traditional Reagan conservative values - that they are either resigning or too afraid to stand up against Trump for fear of being primary-ed. They see a new authoritative GOP, within their grasp, by supporting more Ray Moore's and betting the Democrats continue to alienate the middle, so the Ray Moore's will win general elections.

The second, is the Democratic Party seems to be reacting to a "Nixon" with a "McGovern". The liberal wing of the Democratic Party seems ascendent as a counterweight to woo the working class. Such a move - wild reactionary swings - is an historical reflex. There are going to be many center to center-right ex-Republicans left out in the cold. If the DNC continues on its current path, these voters will just sit out the mid-terms. Instead the Democratic Party needs to revolutionize itself into a "big tent" party. Dividing the voters into two plausible homes. The Trump/Bannon home and the anti-Trump/Bannon home. The dark side of American Exceptional-ism and the best aspects of American Exceptional-ism. The best aspects of American Exceptional-ism are shared by both Democrats and soon-to-be ex-Republicans: The greatest high learning in the world. A desire to maintain the longest serving democratic republic in history. The US continuing to be the greatest immigrant assimilator in the world. And maintaining the creative source of popular culture and innovation exportation for the rest of the world.

Forget any notions that Bob Mueller is going to fix this problem. Forget all notions of impeachment. The only way to save this country is by the Democratic Party uniting the 60 to 70%.

Korean Peninsula War Ramifications. Despite saying we have viable military options - we do in name - an attack on North Korea wouldn't just kill millions of people. It would also cause a global depression due to supply chains being interrupted/eliminated and countries that buy our debt not being able to continue to do so. Korea and Japan would be most assuredly crippled by a North Korea counterattack. China would also be deeply affected as well as the rest of the Pacific Rim. China might also feel free to take back Taiwan. And that is the best-case scenario. Bob Corker says Trump doesn't have a plan. Reporting tells us - beyond Corker - that Trump must be managed like a petulant child. 30 to 40% of Americans might not understand nor care about Trump taking preemptive strikes against North Korea. But they sure will, when they begin to suffer the affects from a global depression. 

Admitting The Dark Aspects Of US Exceptional-ism

by John Jazwiec

US Exceptionalism is often a blanket positive term purporting that the US is the greatest country on earth. But "exceptionalism" is rather a state of being, where the US is an exception from the rest of the world. The word exceptional is not only defined as extraordinary - which is rather opaque - but it is mostly defined as uncommon, unusual and atypical. 

Many aspects of America being the exception are positive. The US has the greatest universities in the world. The US is the longest serving democratic republic in history. The US has the greatest history of immigrant assimilation. The US - through its DNA of being entrepreneurial and risk taking - is the source of popular culture and innovation exportation.

But the US has some rather striking exceptions that are negative - 

An inherent mistrust in its federal institutions. This republic and its constitution was formed within the fault lines of states rights and the Second Amendment to enforce it. The genesis was a compromise to deal with slavery. Although slavery was abolished, nonetheless many Americans still have a mistrust in the federal government and feel they need to arm themselves. I know, on my own account, twelve people who have armed themselves with more fire arms than the Vegas mass shooter. They vary by intelligence, socioeconomic conditions and professions. What they do have in common, is second cabin homes, in the wilderness. They are less concerned with personal safety in their normal day-to-day lives - although they do - than they are about the federal government taking their rights away. Their rights are not just about guns and rifles. They are about the complicity they see in the federal government allowing a more "brown" country and the threat they see from the federal government locking them up for hate crimes if they defend their belief that this country must remain a white Christian majority. They fight for gun rights, because they are prepared to retreat to their cabin homes, and fight a war if necessary. The Vegas shooter wasn't unique at all because he had 47 firearms. But he was unique in that he used them proactively. My twelve wouldn't do that. But they would call the NRA and demand such an event doesn't abridge their cache of defensive weapons. You want to know why nothing gets done after mass shootings in this country? That is why. No mysterious force. Just unremarkable people who might live next door to you. Nonetheless, that makes this country an exception.

A mistrust and lack of curiosity about the rest of the world. Worry about a Korean war? Many Americans don't pay attention to world events. It doesn't occur to them that the enemy isn't the federal government. It doesn't occur to them that another enemy could blow up their city by a nuclear bomb. They might not know about the rest of the world, but they also don't understand why there needs to be world-wide cooperation. The roots of this are historical. The US has always seen itself as another separate world unmoored and untethered to the rest of the world due to its geographic isolation. That makes America an exception. 

Knowledge of religion comes before knowledge of anything else. Many Americans make the US exceptional in terms of the vigor of their religious view of the world. No country has so many people that believe the earth is 7,000 years old. No other country teaches their children in school, unscientific facts that are inconvenient to the bible. You wan't to know why so many Evangelicals and Church-going Roman Catholics voted for and support Trump? Its all about the Supreme Court and abortion. 

Donald Trump and the people who wonder why someone so unfit was elected and remains in office have to admit that American Exceptional-ism includes these three world-wide exceptions to the norms of the rest of the world. 

Thus, Trump is the defender of many American's view that the federal government is the enemy. Trump is the defender of gun rights. Trump is the defender of an isolationist America that doesn't care about the rest of the world and the potential kickback ramifications of saber rattling. Finally, Trump is the defender of white Christian sustainability and rollback. 

Only 35% of Americans approve of Trump. But I know some of these 35%. So do you. They live among us. They always have. They are the dedicated descendants of over 230 years of the dark side of US Exceptional-ism. They are baked into this country's DNA. 

I Take Bob Corker Serious

by John Jazwiec

Even after you consider that GOP Sen Bob Corker is retiring, the bluntness and his lack of ambiguity regarding Donald Trump is both troubling and confirmative. 

"I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos, and I support them very much".

Myself and many others see Trump as someone not fit to be president. I respect the other 40% of the country that doesn't feel that way. But perhaps their needs are not the same as the other 60%.

I want a president that cares about all Americans. Trump doesn't. I wan't a president that is humbled by the office he holds. Trump doesn't. I want a president that is empathetic to other human beings. Trump doesn't. I want a president that understands that drama is a recipe for failure. Trump doesn't. I want a president that works with his cabinet and staff in collaboration. Trump doesn't. I want a president that takes domestic and foreign policy seriously enough to read briefing books. Trump doesn't. I want a president that may disagree with the media - all president do - but respects the 4th estate. Trump doesn't. 

I don't want a president that that talks loudly and carries a little stick. Trump does. I don't want a president who's own finances are entangled with the constitutional power he possesses. Trump does. I don't want a president that is not even-keeled and doesn't stays on message. Trump does. I don't want a president that forces his people to say nice things about him. Trump does. I don't want a president with authoritative tendencies, who want's military parades. Trump does. I don't want a president that doesn't care, that as the head of state, he has to act presidential and in the continuum of its past office holders. Trump does.

To some 60% of us, we worry about the damage Trump has made and can create in the future. Senator Corker confirmed those worries this week. 

Alternative Headline - "Trump Take's The Time To Mention Puerto Rico While Bragging About Saving Money On The Invisible F-35"

by John Jazwiec

GOP Tax Plan - Continued Balkanization Is Self-Fulfilling

by John Jazwiec

The GOP - why it took 8 months to put together such a bare-bones plan is beyond me - has outlined a tax reform plan that (a) doesn't help the middle-class as advertised, (b) punishes states that pay high state and local taxes and (c) is a tax plan for the rich.

More concerning, is that while establishment Republicans may support the plan (a dying species), the GOP Freedom Caucus - sans inflating economic growth rates that will not pass the snicker-test - will not vote for it, due to the reckless deficit effect inherent in it. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 10.34.44 AM

Where the blue line and the black line intersect is today. Moving upwards and to the right, in black, is the future based on the current laws. Call that the fault of Obama from a GOP perspective. The blue line is the enhanced deficit impact of the proposed tax reform. Deficit hawks and their voters expected to see the black line going down. How can these same deficit hawks and their voters "like" the line getting worse?

Historically, you would have to go back to the end of World War II, to see deficits => than our national GDP.

The balkanization of the GOP is only getting worse. Besides establishment Republicans and the Freedom Caucus, you now have the Roy Moore phenomena. There will be more Roy Moore's primary-ing establishment Republicans. Their appeal and potential success will be fed by the GOP continuing to not getting anything done. 

Despite multiple attempts, and aspirational wishes for the future, the GOP has not been able to repeal and replace Obamacare. For the reasons explained above, I don't think they are going to get tax reform done either. 

Which is why GOP balkanization is likely to be self-fulfilling. 

The good news for the GOP though, is that despite such a GOP mess, I don't see any Democratic strategy that offers any consistent alternative yet.

The Real Lesson Of Vietnam That Was Absent In Ken Burns "Vietnam"

by John Jazwiec

Perhaps this is unfair to say, but as someone who read about the Vietnam War in the 1980s - being too young to remember it - I found little new insight.

The narrative has been straightforward for at least 30 years. The US thought or conspired to make the war about communism. While in fact, North Vietnam wasn't so much Marxist, as it was a grassroots movement for national independence for both the North and the South; against a historical backdrop of being ruled as a colony by China, by the French, by Japan, and back by the French. The French capitulated. Then the US allied itself with the wrong side of history - with corrupt South Vietnamese regimes - that nonetheless did have brave and dedicated soldiers.

It's also a narrative of US teenage lower-class fighters who bought into US nationalistic propaganda, returned to the US where they were vilified unfairly and in some cases came to see the war as immoral. 

What Burns missed and was largely absent from his 20-hour special, was - then and now - the lesson that mistakes lead to progress. And, as such, should be timely.

Go do the research yourself. Vietnam and the US have transformed their relationship. Vietnam has one of the highest approval rates of America in the world. It started from the ground up. And it has been continually codified by its sovereign institutions. More and more Americans have come to respect Vietnam and in turn that has meant more and more Vietnamese have come to respect the US.

Go to YouTube and watch young students talking to President Obama. Two-thirds of the people of Vietnam were born after the war. The young students look and sound no different from American students. Vietnam always has and continues to be hungry for education and Western Civilization literature. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Our children have already discovered the treks through Vietnam's beautiful country, enjoyed their great beaches and their cuisine. 

The point is, the US has and always will make mistakes. But we do seem to learn from those mistakes. And what is happening today, is no different from what happened during World War II and the Vietnam War. We think it is permanent. But it never is. 

Some say our country is as divided as it was during the Vietnam War. It's not my place to opine on division metering. But what history tells us, is that our divides are always a step back, but they lead to two steps forward.

The main lesson of Vietnam that was absent in Ken Burns special, was that Vietnam shouldn't be an analog to the current divide in of our country, but rather a lesson that these "times" will pass and the country will be better for it.

Trump, The Flag? What About John McCain!

by John Jazwiec

At the height of World War II, the Supreme Court struck down a law that forced students to salute the American flag, by a 6-3 majority.

I realize that the reverence to the American flag is deeply personal and divisive. My wife comes from a family of Marines. The flag to her is sacrosanct. 

Trump's deflecting comments - not being able to fulfill his campaign promises on repeal/replace for one - regarding the NFL and its players, was meant to be divisive. While I don't respect an American president making such bombastic comments - this is just the latest one - I do respect fans having differing opinions.

What I can't abide is Trump lambasting John McCain. He said he wasn't a war hero. John McCain was. McCain was told by his captors that he could leave anytime he wanted. He stayed until all of his fellow prisoners were released. 

Now while John McCain is fighting for his life, Trump - because no one is more important to Trump than Trump - is blaming McCain on the defeat of the latest repeal and replace of Obamacare. 

The American flag is supposed to represent our freedoms and the sacrifices of our military to preserve them. 

Trump - the draft dodger - has a problem with a piece of cloth, in which his argument is unconstitutional. But he doesn't have a problem deriding someone who fought for his country, suffered years of voluntary torture to maintain solidarity with his fellow prisoners, who served his country in the Senate for 30 years and is fighting for his life with brain cancer?

That's patriotic? No, that's hypocritical. 

Biden Passes The Biden Test

by John Jazwiec


The only Democratic left center candidate, I can think of today, that is capable of beating Trump is older than Trump. His name is Joe Biden. Biden also has something just as important as being left center. He is a fighter and a street brawler. He would be able to go toe-to-toe with Trump when Trump goes into rough politicking. Finally, Biden is a real-blue collar guy who can appeal to white blue collar voters. Trump can successfully pretend he cares about blue collar whites. While Biden doesn't have to pretend. That's who he is. And voters would see that.

Am I saying Joe Biden should run for president in 2020? Yes and no. I think he should, but that is not my decision. What I am saying, is that the Democratic Party needs to think of its nominee in 2020 as someone who passes the Biden test. The person must be a centrist. The person needs to have blue collar bonafides. And the person needs the temperament to be more presidential than Trump, with the wherewithals to verbally punch him in the gut.  

Read Biden's short blog post. It speaks to what is the biggest casualty of "working class job" loss. Dignity. It rejects corporations as villains. It rejects the far left's Bernie-like universal income plans. It is a sober and historically-based view of how American's change their education to befit the times they live in. It is right down the center. And that is the only anti-Trump anecdote. 

Some will say Biden is too old. So is Trump. Some will say Biden some times puts his foot in his mouth. Next to Trump, I don't think that is going to be a problem. Some will say Biden is too scrappy. Too scrappy against Trump is feature, not a bug. 

Amtrak Joe isn't a populist. People know he is smart, but he isn't perceived - nor should be - as an elite. 

And Obama, who now enjoys high favorability ratings - due to Trump - would be a full throttled campaign asset because Biden is his friend as opposed to HRC who was a marriage of convenience. 

Democrats - Bernie Sanders Debating Graham-Cassidy - What Are You Thinking??

by John Jazwiec

Graham-Cassidy health care "reform" is a political and humanitarian disaster.

Giving states more flexibility with less money, is not going to win any governor's support. By 2020, each state will have to build, from scratch, a new health care policy without Medicare. Yes, they can opt of preexisting conditions, but every governor will have to fight a political fight in shaping a plan, that hurts its citizens. That's a recipe for losing their jobs.

According to polling, only 20% of Americans support Graham-Cassidy. People might want to drain the swamp. But not their swamp.

Graham-Cassidy doesn't pass John McCain's rule for parliamentary order (committees, CBO scores). It doesn't pass Graham's own rule for cutting separate deals with states (the bill includes candy for Alaska and Montana). The only reason for the bill - seemingly - is to fulfill a repeal Obamacare promise made almost a decade ago. It's not about helping people or their states. It's about keeping their jobs. Period.

The bill has no health care professional support. Even insurance companies don't want it to pass. The bill has only 8 more days to get done. It has all the appearances of a dead dog.

Except, Bernie Sanders - presumptively with the Democrat's blessing - is going to debate it with Graham-Cassidy - in a televised debate this coming Monday.

I wrote this a few posts back -

Bernie Sanders - despite his appeal with millenniums - was a narcissistic populist with dangerous radical leftist ideas that were and are now unattainable. He kept pushing Clinton to the left. He now keeps pushing the Democratic Party to the left to its own detriment.   

Instead of Graham-Cassidy dying a natural death, with only 20% American supporting it, the narrative moves from a status quo that the majority of Americans want to keep, to a choice between a reckless Graham-Cassidy bill and a more reckless single payer Sanders system. 

It is said that Trump isn't really a Republican. Well, Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat. Both appear to be out to destroy their adopted parties. The GOP, against all reason, just let Trump happen. And the Democrats, appear to have the same weakness. 

While this post is a political puzzle, 10's of million Americans isn't. People will die. People will be bankrupted. And all for the livelihood of 100 senators and two narcissistic populists - Trump and Sanders - who only care about themselves.

« Previous | Next »
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 >>

Hierarchy of corporate success

What does it take for businesses to break out of bad habits and succeed?
Download John’s free white paper >>