Posts by tedburnett

That won’t fly!

That won’t fly!

December 27, 2015 That won’t fly! By Ted Burnett Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion and adoption. – John Stuart Mill, English Philosopher (1806-1873) Mobile has long been called “the city of perpetual potential”. To me, this decades-old phrase had always been a theoretical way to somehow explain why the city has repeatedly failed to live up to its full potential, wasting each passing opportunity, while time and the rest of the world march on. Never in my wildest imagination would this concept become all too real, literally. Since Mayor Sandy Stimpson came into office, I’ve been pushing for the Mobile Regional Airport (MOB) to be moved back to its original home at Brookley Field, off Interstate-10 and Michigan Avenue, for a...

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The Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) addresses my latest commentary…

The Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) addresses my latest commentary…

Note: I recently shared my latest essay on Congress robbing the Social Security Trust Fund with the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the leadership from both parties. I specifically sought a response from the new speaker. Here it is… Ted Burnett Daphne, AL December 23, 2015 Ted Burnett Philosopher and writer 500 Lincoln Street, Apt. B105 Daphne, AL 36526 Dear Ted: Thank you for contacting me regarding federal spending and H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your views on these important issues. Like any family or business, the federal government must set a limit on what it can spend. Each year, Congress must pass a budget agreement to set overall spending levels...

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Who goes to prison when Congress steals from the Social Security Trust Fund?

Who goes to prison when Congress steals from the Social Security Trust Fund?

Note: The following email is addressed to Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL). Byrne represents Alabama’s 1st Congressional District (Southwest Alabama). December 9, 2015 Congressman Byrne, When I recently spoke with you, I mentioned that this country is becoming too expensive to live in. Healthcare and Higher Education are breaking the bank of families and individuals. This government continues to raid the Social Security Trust Fund to tune of $150 billion, this year. In the coming weeks, the Social Security Disability Trust Fund will be bankrupt sooner than originally projected because of the Great Recession. The unemployed, from around the country, who used up their benefits were encouraged to sign up for disability when they didn’t even qualify....

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Do #BlackLivesMatter?

Do #BlackLivesMatter?

November 12, 2015 Do #BlackLivesMatter? By Ted Burnett I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem just to avoid violence. – Malcolm X (1925-1965 (assassinated)) As a political writer, many people upon meeting me for the first time assume that I do a lot of writing given all the newsworthy material coming out of Washington, across the country and around the world. In reality, I write very little while taking a long view towards the subject matter that I do cover. Since the shooting of the nine black churchgoers in Charleston, SC, I’ve taken a heightened interest in this incident given the fact that I’ve visited this charming city numerous times and that I got married on one of its barrier...

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No Pain, No Gain

No Pain, No Gain

September 17, 2015 No Pain, No Gain By Ted Burnett There is no coming to consciousness without pain. – Carl Jung, 1875-1961 Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist I’ve spent my entire life, all 44 years, living with alcoholics and drug addicts, their families and friends. As a child, I played with them in the neighborhood and later I partied with them on Friday nights. I went to school and to college with them. I even worked with them. As an addict, I grew up seeking the next big thrill while trying to avoid pain, at all cost. I’ve watched a few including myself find “sobriety” while some were incarcerated repeatedly and others went to their grave a bit too soon. Among the group was my own father, at the age of 53. This Vietnam Veteran, like many, died penniless...

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Re: Are we safer? [The Iran Nuclear Deal]

Re: Are we safer? [The Iran Nuclear Deal]

Note: The following is my response to Representative Bradley Byrne’s (R-AL) commentary on the Iran Nuclear Deal. His original comments follow mine. September 13, 2015 Bradley [Byrne], U.S. Representative, 1st Congressional District of Alabama By what measure? Fourteen years after the attacks of 9/11, the United States looks like a sinking ship, like a burning Rome with a growing national debt at $18 trillion that Congress simply ignores. Where three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid’s unfunded mandates total $127 trillion while making up 60% of the 2015 proposed federal budget. If the aim of Osama bin Ladin was to merely take down the World Trade Centers, in NYC, and the Pentagon, in Washington, DC with four of our own commercial...

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From the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education…

From the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education…

August 10, 2015 Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Dear Mr. Burnett, Thank you for applying to the Emerging Leaders program at Harvard Kennedy School of Education. Your background and experience are exceptional, and we believe that you would make a strong contribution to this year’s program. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications received, we must place your application, along with a high number of other qualified applicants on a waiting list for the 08 Nov 2015 – 13 Nov 2015 session. If space becomes available, we will contact you via e-mail immediately in order to give you as much planning time as possible. However, if you do not hear from us by the first day of the program, we, regrettably, were unable to offer you a seat in...

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Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Admissions letter

Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Admissions letter

Dear Mr. Ted Burnett, Thank you for your interest in Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education programs. We have received your application to the 08 Nov 2015 – 13 Nov 2015 session of the Emerging Leaders program. Your application will be carefully reviewed by the Program Director and the Admissions Committee. Admissions decisions are typically made within three weeks of receiving a completed application. Once a decision is made, the Program Director will be in touch with you. To check on the status of your application, you can log into your HKS Executive Education account at https://hkseeportal.hks.harvard.edu. Please add ee_admissions@hks.harvard.edu to your address book to ensure you receive future email communications and admission updates from us....

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Your tweet on South Carolina’s Confederate Flag

Your tweet on South Carolina’s Confederate Flag

To: Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com I read your tweet that appeared in a story, in today’s Huffington Post where you placed demands on South Carolina’s government to remove the Confederate Flag from the state capitol’s grounds. See below… Marc Benioff @Benioff I agree @MittRomney: Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove to honor victims. 2:54 PM – 20 Jun 2015 As a southerner from Alabama and a thinking man, what’s the difference in flying the Confederate Flag with its history and pledging allegiance to the American Flag after invading Iraq, which resulted in 500,000 dead Iraqis, in just the first four years? The U.S. has invaded countries and has installed its own...

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Why gross domestic product (GDP) and other popular metrics are no longer an effective measure of America’s economy and well-being.

Why gross domestic product (GDP) and other popular metrics are no longer an effective measure of America’s economy and well-being.

May 31, 2015 Why gross domestic product (GDP) and other popular metrics are no longer an effective measure of America’s economy and well-being. By Ted Burnett For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul? – Jesus Christ (0-33 A.D., Troublemaker to some and Savior to many.) As the U.S. and much of the industrial world struggle to recover economically from the 2008 global credit crisis, the Federal Reserve’s policy to keep interest rates artificially low to spur new growth among businesses, through hiring and capital spending, hasn’t worked. Following the housing bubble and the home foreclosure crisis, policymakers and politicians have been looking for the next red hot industry to expand our economy. There have been...

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Mobile’s Big Band Society playing at Bayfront Park

Mobile’s Big Band Society playing at Bayfront Park

Published on May 19, 2015 The Mobile Big Band Society played at Daphne, AL’s Bayfront Park. A 2 minute clip of Mobile’s Big Band Society.

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A Low-Speed Chase through Georgia

A Low-Speed Chase through Georgia

Introduction: Some of you might have been wondering why you haven’t received an essay from me, lately. Well, I spent last December and the first four months of 2015 writing on local politics with a focus on increasing brand awareness (tedburnett.com) among area residents on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Over the holidays, I saw an opportunity to push a cause that’s been of interest to me when President Obama announced his intentions to normalize relations with Cuba. For many Americans, this action seems long-overdue when we already trade with communist China, Vietnam, as well as, Russia. By lifting the embargo, these two neighboring countries and our industries can legally trade with each another. Some travel restrictions will also be lifted for Americans. Currently,...

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Up in lights — for mental health awareness month?

Up in lights — for mental health awareness month?

Note: Dr. David G. Bronner is the CEO of the Alabama Retirement System, which manages pensions for, both, state employees and public school teachers. The system’s assets include buildings in New York (Manhattan), Mobile, AL and Montgomery, AL, golf courses and resorts, newspapers, a cable-TV network and stocks. The fund is currently valued at $28 billion.  Minor edits have been made. April 4, 2015 Up in lights — for mental health awareness month? By Ted Burnett Dr. Bronner, May is national mental health awareness month. In the spirit of the colorful artist Vincent Van Gogh and so many others who suffered from bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia (and continue to suffer), could we light up the RSA’s properties, in downtown Mobile,...

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From the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren: ISIS

From the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren: ISIS

March 30, 2015 Dear Ted, Thank you for contacting me about President Obama’s proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). On February 11, 2015, President Obama submitted to Congress an authorization for the use of U.S. military force against ISIS. The proposal would formally authorize continuous U.S. military operations against ISIS or forces associated with this terrorist group for three years, and would repeal the 2002 AUMF used by the Bush Administration to invade Iraq. I am deeply concerned by the rise of ISIS and I support a strong, coordinated response – but I also believe it is critical for those nations in the region that are most immediately affected...

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A letter from President Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation

A letter from President Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation

Several weeks ago, I received a broadcast email from the MacArthur Foundation where they announced their new president, Julia Stasch, a longtime executive and the interim president with the foundation.  For several years, I’ve been sharing my commentaries with the previous president, Robert Gallucci, for the following reason.  Annually, the MacArthur Foundation names some 20-40 recipients known as the MacArthur Fellows who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work“.  The program has no application. This anonymous nominating process collects names from experts in various fields where the names are turned over to the board and its president who select the recipients.  Each recipient gets $625,000 over five years...

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