If you recall, there was a whole host of big shot celebrities who vowed to leave the country if Hillary did not receive the coronation they thought she so rightly deserved. (I call them celebrities rather than the too-often-used term of stars, as that might signify these people are better than us - when in fact they are only entertainers, much like a clown in a circus.) Well, the coronation and the subsequent New York fireworks didn't happen, and the glass ceiling wasn't broken yet...because Ivanka has children to raise first. But then, the celebrities didn't leave like they promised, much to the great disappointment of many of us. Heck, I had hopes of getting some extra trucking whilst moving them to Canada. We service most of Canada.
Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to keep these miscreants in the limelight, where they like to be, making sure normal folks can be reminded of those big shots that think they know what's good for us, yet can't keep their word like normal folks do. Are they just all bark and no bite? Might it be possible these blowhards just have big mouths? If they can't be trusted to keep their word, why should us hard working folks trust them, listen to them, buy something they endorse, or give them our hard-earned money? Get this - there is even a Supreme Court Justice (Old Lady Ginsburg - is she still alive?) on this list, and a man (Al Sharpton) walking around free that owes the IRS $4 million! - remember that the next time the IRS calls.
This might get re-posted from time-to-time, or a few of the others (who I have no idea who they are but evidently they are considered celebs). So, without further adieu, I give you part of the Great American Liars League, GALL for short:
Feel free to leave anytime hot shots - we're waiting. Except for Sharpton - he needs to pay up his taxes and fines first.
A popular op-ed writer from the local newspaper has a Face Book page and a large following. He seems to enjoy lobbing bombs on his FB page in order, I surmise, to see what kind of views he gets. And boy does he get a bunch! I surmise he may use some of the content of the opinions of these “views” to structure his columns. Now, keep in mind, I do not know the man’s political views, and personally, I think he is a straight-up dude. I usually agree with his op-ed pieces in the paper, so it is only natural I would think he is a straight up dude. My observations are aimed more at the reactions and commentary he attracts.
The last couple of “bombs” he has thrown out are very concerning to me, particularly on the heels of the fake news regularly gushing from CNN, MSNBC, the NY Times, Washington Post, and the comrades that write for the Chicago Tribune:
What grade level is the POTUS' vocabulary? I'm guessing 5th grade.
Is Donald Trump mentally competent to hold office? (This was a re-post from an opinion piece by a “rocket scientist” from a Chicago blog. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Obviously, this is still America, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. (That’s a thought worthy of another blog.) What amazes me is the vulgar ignorance from the statements of some people concerning our newly elected president. It is perfectly acceptable in this country not to like the President, in fact it’s truly American. But for some of these trolls to spout things that are so false, dumb, or just to make things up is absurd. People are talking with their emotions (or another body part in some cases) rather than their brain. Some can’t get over the fact that Hillary did not get coronated and this country is not going to embrace liberalism, nor its buddy socialism. We had enough of that under the last president, thank you, so pick yourself up from your bootstraps and put your hand back in your own pocket.
The aforementioned posts regarding the President got many “likes” and spicy commentary regarding the intellect of Mr. Trump. So, lets look at some actual facts:
First off, Mr. Trump didn’t need to run for president. The man is worth somewhere between 3 and 11 billion dollars, depending on who is doing the yapping. I real where one columnist lamented that Trump was only worth three billion dollars. Really! What the hell is the difference when talking billions?
He is 70 years old. Most people at that age with that kind of money are hiding out somewhere warm and doing whatever the hell they want, when they want. They are not listening to a bunch of pissed-off whiny people complaining about every breathe they take.
There is a grand total of 1,810 billionaires in the world…out of 7.4 billion people! Those percentage are lower than the odds that Keith Richards won’t smoke a joint tomorrow or I will miss dinner. How many billions you got? Nobody dumb, ignorant, or whatever other derogatory term you want to throw at Mr. Trump, made a billion dollars. Most of the people talking smack about him in the news or on Face Book don't have the acumen to make a billion dollars if they were spotted the first 999.9 million.
The man is a workaholic and a graduate of the New York Military Academy, Fordham University and the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. While it will be incessantly contended as to what type of student he was, the fact is, he graduated from worthy schools honorably and with degrees. And then someone questions his vocabulary and the sore losers, some who barely graduated high school pile on, without a thought towards the man’s real accomplishments...just because they didn’t vote for him? His vocabulary, whatever it is considered, is part of his appeal to the people that voted for him, a fact totally lost by the media who tried in vain to coronate Hillary. Trump voters did not want political-speak anymore.
It is a known fact he doesn’t drink, smoke, or take drugs. Neither do his children, which are all well-educated, respectable and accomplished adults, except for young Baron – the ten-year-old some scorn since he is unable to defend himself. I guess it makes them feel better about themselves when they knock a little boy down. Then there is that whole infantile Ivanka-thing going on where retailers are dropping her products. Really! Amazon is loving it!
Mr. Trump has succeeded in everything he has ever done in his life. Having no political experience, he whipped sixteen other proven GOP contenders in the primary and then shut down Hillary’s coronation, despite nearly every media outlet stacking the deck against him. Many of the people doing the complaining now have never succeeded at anything in their lives, except possibly running their mouths. Maybe that’s all they have. Mr. Trump has been in office 28 days at the time of this writing and already people are complaining about what has been done, (or not done) even though nothing has affected them directly, nor has it anyone they know. There are even calls for impeachment from those two noted “brain surgeons” Michael Moore and Joy Behar! And the media dishes this dribble out to an adoring public.
The anti-Trump crowd is so eager to find anything to complain about with our president, they even criticized his wife, Melania for reciting the Lord’s Prayer before his speech in Orlando! Think about that…the Lord’s Prayer! Some went so far as to criticize her English – the woman speaks five friggin’ languages for crying out loud.
The fact is, none of us know what kind of presidency we are going to get with Trump, it’s too soon to tell, and it’s about time we all grew up, relaxed, stop reading the fake and/or liberal news headlines and just see where he takes us. The media wants Trump to fail, folks. He made a mockery of the media and beat them at their own game. Please, stop listening to the media, be an adult, and make up your own mind after he has done something that has a direct impact, positive or negative, on our great nation.
In 1979 I was 22 years old and having the time of my life. I was living at home rent free, making good money working for my dad, and quite frankly, living life maybe a little too large. Suffice to say, I was probably not the type of guy you wanted your daughter dragging home to meet the family. Had I continued down the track I was on, it is doubtful I would have made it to 32 years old.
One summer night a buddy and I made our way to a tavern, this one with a somewhat sordid reputation in our town of Chebanse. There were some events that had gone on at that bar, some that I even participated in, that would make your socks go up and down. We can’t discuss that because, well my mama reads these posts. Plus, what went on at that bar stayed at that bar, so I can’t titillate you with any details. Suffice to say, the bar was not for youngsters, dainty women, jocks, men of the cloth, or the faint of heart.
Pulling up to a bar stool we both quickly noticed a new gal busily bussing tables. We were always pretty good at spotting any “talent” at the bar, particularly when it was new. She was obviously very young, but a total knock out! As it turned out, in order to earn a few more sheckles during summer vacation, her cousin hired her to bus tables at night. She had long dark hair and deep brown eyes. Her hair was possibly the deepest black I had ever seen on someone. But the real attraction that was so mesmerizing to me was those dimples that appeared when she smiled. And they appeared often. She had dimples in her cheeks and one on her nose that I found just absolutely enthralling.
So, I was definitely interested. Unfortunately, so was my buddy. Well, both of us considering ourselves lovers and not fighters, we decided the best way to settle this mutual attraction was by flip of a coin. True story! Heads I win, tails he wins. The winner gets to take a shot at meeting this young lady without the other buzzing around like the bar flies we were. My buddy, being a little older and “more worldly” than me, insisted he would flip the coin…although as I recall, it was my quarter he flipped. He also wasn’t very skilled at the fine art of coin flipping, missing his toss completely, the result being the quarter bounced around on the bar, as well as our shots and beers, two ashtrays, and one bowl of five-day old popcorn. (You put enough salt on that popcorn and it wasn’t too bad.) Finally, the quarter landed in front of me, as I recall, right on heads. There was good old George Washington’s stern looking face. My buddy immediately called foul, that he was supposed to catch it and turn it over on top of his hand, which I quickly declined. I think he then wanted to negotiate for the best two out of three, also rejected immediately by me.
It was official…I won that toss. Little did I know how much more I won that night. How could I ever know at the time that I won that flip, I also "won" the love of my life, the mother of my four children, the grandmother of my five, (soon to be six) grandchildren, and a partner for life. When we got married, the odds were stacked so heavily against us that many people predicted it would never work. I was too old and wild. She was too young.
Well folks, this will be our 38th Valentine’s Day together and she is still the love of my life. Against incredible odds, I was the luckiest man in the world that night...and still am.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Dawn. Till mountains crumble to the sea…
As I hurtle toward my 60th birthday in a couple weeks, I’ve become more conscious of my bucket list, at least in terms of filling it up. No, this is not some sappy sentimental “good bye” or “woe-is-me” message. It is a reminiscence of an event that has been tossed in the bucket, and I thought I’d share some of it.
I love the mountains and the desert. Don’t know why, but to me, the sight of a mountain or a desert is like a moth to fire, white to rice, or…well, you get the picture. My wife’s sarcastic psychological commentary aside, the sight of mountains captivates me. So, I’ve always wanted to ride a motorcycle through a mountainous area.
We’ve been in Cave Creek AZ, just north of Phoenix, for a few weeks. It was a spectacularly sunny day Wednesday and I determined it would be a good day to ride. I donned my obligatory best Indian Motorcycle T-shirt, black of course; jeans, boots, and shades. Dressed properly for the event, I made my way to the bike, pulled on my helmet and reached down to the electric start button. It did absolutely nothing. Nadda; zip. That damn bike would not start. It would not even turn over. This is a fairly new model mind you with minimal mileage on it. After some intense cussing and investigating, (the cussing was intense, not the investigating) it was determined that someone, during the last ride, had left the speakers on, which drained the battery.
I put the trickle charger on and waited. Three hours later, at just about dusk, the bike had enough charge to show it was at least still alive! Well, that riding window had closed on me, so I called it a day and drank bourbon instead. Nothing comes easy when working on a bucket list item, you know?
Thursday was another spectacular sunny day. Before donning the requisite biker outfit, this time I went out to make sure the big Indian Chief would start. And by golly, she started right up for me, growling like a tiger. I went back in the house and put on my other best black Indian T-shirt and was off.
I made my way around Black Mountain to ride through the tiny towns of Cave Creek and Carefree, both located on the north side base of Black Mountain. There are four biker bars in Cave Creek, so any self-respecting biker worth his salt would have to roll and growl through town just to make an appearance. I was so busy looking at the people to see if they were looking at my bike, that I managed to blow through the one four way stop in town. Thankfully, there was no one looking.
Not one to drink while riding a bike, I refrained stopping for a brew and drove out, heading east on Cave Creek Road into the area known as the Tonto National Forest. My trip took me mostly around what I later learned was Continental Mountain in Skull Mesa, although I was in a triangle formed by the Continental, Black, and Humboldt mountains. I could usually view any one of the three mountains if I was not in a valley area.
At first the trip was through a more or less developed, or perhaps developing, area known as the Desert Mountain, which was considered more for the wealthy and elite. Beautiful green golf courses were cut out of the sides of the hills and mountains, their fairways undulating at a hectic pace. As green as the fairways were, the “rough” was a dull brown, as if forming a border between the fairways and the desert. One would do well not to chase his brand-new Titleist Pro-V1 into the desert, a tip I learned just the week before. Sand traps were more than plentiful and it made me reflect of the lifetime I’ve spent in sand trap hell.
Once the civilization stopped, the real beauty began. Mountains! And they were cactus covered. Actually “infested” might be a better word – they were infested with cacti of every stripe. As busy as I was viewing the nature, I had to keep an eye on the road too, as the thoroughfare was prone to go an unexpected way on an unwary rider. At times when topping a hill, you had no idea which way the road was going to go. Options included left, right, straight and down. Straight and level were never an option. One only found out when they got to the top. This would be a good time to point out that all my previous riding was on flat land, so I was invariably in the wrong gear at any given time of this trip. Also, I learned, gravity has a huge effect on a 900-lb. bike being held up by two very arthritic knees on uneven land. There was no shortage of uneven land either.
Once a hill was topped it was to be followed at some point by a nasty downhill ride that would make a sharp turn at the end. A couple of times I swore I recognized my own rear end as the turns were so sharp. Fortunately, I was mostly by myself, and nobody saw me struggle through the ups and downs and sharp curves. This is where I got to view, up too close, the valleys, washes, arroyo’s and ditches. It is also where you would see critters – mostly roadrunners, coyotes and javelina’s. If you are not aware of what a javelina is, imagine a hairy pig, only uglier…and with a nasty disposition.
I stopped for a rest at the Sears-Kay Hohokam Ruins rest area, up a gravel road on the side of a small mountain. Stretched my legs, took a few pictures and read the history, I did. In case you are interested, the Hohokam Indians built a fort there in 1050 for about 100 people. I read where one would have to hike there through one-half mile of steep terrain and to watch out for rattle snakes. Discretion being the better part of valor, I determined that was a trip I did not need to make as it was not on my bucket list. I got back on my bike and rode back down towards Carefree, a little more quickly this time.
Once in Carefree, I decided to go straight north to see what was there. More houses, hills, and cacti…everywhere. The town is listed at 8.9 square miles – if so, 8.8 lies north of the main road nestled on top of steep hills or down in valleys. Yes, I got lost. But not technically, cause I could always see Black Mountain and I knew it was south of me. I just had to find the right combinations of roads, hills, and valleys to find the damn street. Passing the same lady for the third time I asked her how to get out, and two right turns at a stop sign and I was back out to the main road, driving by the biker bars and looking cool to all the world. Can’t wait to go back!
No, that does not mean I am giving up on the greatest music ever made, and please pardon the double entendre. What is meant by the title of this blog, beside a blatant and cheap attempt to get your attention, is that our rock icons are aging and disappearing at a rather surprising rate.
If you have been reading the rock and roll pages of my blog, you will see I had written a few tributes to some rockers that have passed just this year. (If you haven’t, why not?) This off the heels of some of the giants in rock music who passed in 2016. (Bowie, Frey, Prince, Russell) Butch Trucks and John Wetland were the latest this year, and I thought about mentioning Steve Lang (67) of April Wine today, who passed away over the weekend, but I held that up to write this blog, and the fact that April Wine was never a mainstream band like the Allman Brothers or Asia. I’m listening to April Wine has I write this.
The fact is, these guys and gals are just getting to an age that the ailments that are taking everyone else we know and love are finally catching up to them as well. Some are just getting plain old! This was really brought home to me when I read an article over the weekend that Ian Hunter, the founder and leader of Mott the Hoople, just put out a new album with a new band. (A new band?!) It also mentioned Mr. Hunter is 77 years old! And he is still putting out new rock and roll? That means touring and late nights. I can’t hardly stay out past ten o’clock anymore and he’s out touring?!
That got me thinking of some other rockers still rockin’ on. Consider the ages of some of these folks who are still out there:
James Taylor and Elton John are 68, as is Robert Plant from Led Zepplin. (Looks to me like he might be 168!!!) Even Ozzy is now 68 – how is he even still alive?
All still touring, Gregg Allman, who had a liver transplant, is 69, same age as Carlos Santana (who recently married his drummer), Bob Weir of Grateful Dead fame, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, and Joe Walsh of the Eagles. So is Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. Evidently, he is not too old to rock and rock nor too young to die.
David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who I just saw in concert, is 70, same age as Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees.
Bob Seger, recently went back on tour is 71, same age as Eric Clapton and Carly Simon. I went to a Seger concert recently and I believe he put more energy into the first song that night than I did the whole week!
Carole King of Tapestry fame is 74. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame is 75 – go to the website and take a look at what the rock and roll lifestyle has done to her! Bob Dylan mumbled he is 75…I think! You talk about a group of folks run hard and put away wet!!!
Get this - The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger is 73; Keith Richards is 72; Ron Wood is 69; and Charlie Watts is 75! They are still rocking and one of the top revenue acts! Original bass player, Bill Wyman who retired is now 80! That brings up a great quote – “there are only two things on Earth that can survive a nuclear holocaust – cockroaches and Keith Richards.”
Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney is 74 and Ringo is 76. Are you like me and wondered if they ever put a microphone on Ringo’s drumming? Or on Linda McCartney’s organ? If they did, did they turn it on?
John Mayall of the Blues Breakers Fame (with Eric Clapton) is 83 and still recording! How?
Are you getting the point? No wonder they seem to be dropping at an alarming rate. They are getting to an age when people start having illnesses that can bring about their demise. And these guys lived a life that made ours look like choir boys and nuns.
And if all that has not made you feel really old, consider this - The song Free Bird was released 42 years ago and Stairway to Heaven 45 years ago! And the next time you are singing to Hey Jude, remember that song is now 48 years old!
But, don’t ever stop rocking on to the greatest musicians and music ever made. Those songs sound as good today as they did all those decades ago.
As a die-hard Packer fan, I’ve always been honest enough to admit that Walter Payton, he of the hated Chicago Bears, was the best running back, if not player, that I ever watched play the game. The man’s ability was just incredible, but his spirit and humility made him even more special. It didn’t matter how hard he was hit, he got up before the man that hit him and usually helped the hitter up. When he scored a touchdown, he ran the ball over and handed it to the referee – just a first-class act. Sadly, Walter didn’t get to play on too many winning teams, toiling away for one of the worst organizational owners in football, whose only concern was to fill seats. I’ve mentioned Walter often in any one of the 3,762 conversations I have had about football when I should have been working.
But…when it came to quarterbacks, I believed the Packers owned the “Holy Trinity”, with Starr, Favre, and now Rodgers donning the helm of the beloved green ‘n gold. Always been top three in my mind. And while there are people that would argue with that statement, it wouldn’t be with much conviction as they know deep down inside that those three are pretty darn special, and each one seems to be that much better than the previous one. Any self-respecting Bears fan would had loved to have any one of the three. Heck, Favre is 2nd all-time in touchdown passes and Rodgers, at only 33 years old is already 11th. Rodgers has only played full-time for 9 years, having expensively held a clipboard for the first three years of his career. If he plays seven more years and continues at just his current rate, he will jump into 5th place all time. And I don’t think anyone could realistically argue against the fact that he is one of the smartest QB’s in football. Sometimes his surrounding crew just isn’t that good, such as with other great QB’s like Montana or Manning.
But, sadly…and this really hurts to admit, after watching Super Bowl 51, I have to admit that Tom Brady has now reached the status level of Walter Payton. Right now, at this point in time, Tom Brady is the greatest QB to play the game. There, I said it. My tongue feels dirty, but the truth is supposed to set me free.
Just this past Sunday, it seemed like Brady just refused to be defeated during that Super Bowl game, even in the face of being 19 points down starting the 4th quarter, and scoring 25 straight points against the Falcons in that time. Nobody had ever done that before! I thought the Falcons would win before the game even started, and was absolutely confident in my forecast after three quarters. At the start of the fourth quarter, there was a 99% statistical chance that the Falcons would win. Even Marky Mark had left the stadium due to a “child being sick,” code for, "I gave up and left in disgust."
Yet, it seems Brady might just be getting better at 39 years old, a year past the “quarterback wall” when most of the “great ones” give out. In 12 games this year, having sat out 4 games for that silly “Deflate-gate” episode, he still threw 28 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. That equates to 38 over a full season. I will say it again, he was 39 years old for crying out loud.
Brady never misses games, staying healthy playing in a league where he is nearly twice the age of some of his teammates. He now has, in addition to a super-model wife, five Super Bowl rings, two NFL MVP trophies, four Super Bowl MVP awards, two passing titles, and the highest winning percentage of any QB in history (.773). Think about that, he wins over 77% of the games he plays! And with a few exceptions, (and with all due respect to Julian Edelman and James White) one would be hard put to name any of his supporting staff for any of those years, as none are in the top leaders of all time. He led the Patriots to a perfect regular season in 2007, setting a passing touchdown record while doing it (which has since been eclipsed). Since becoming a starter, he’s missed the postseason once, in 2002. Tom Brady has taken his team to the AFC Championship game 11 times – that is nearly three times more years than most people play the game! Jim Brown only played 8 seasons; Barry Sanders played 9 years; and Frank Gifford played 10 – some of the greatest players to have donned a uniform in the NFL.
Brady’s stats have become mind-boggling, and I suppose, begrudgingly, it’s high time I admit it. A doff of the chapeau to you, Mr. Brady – you are, for what it’s worth, in my humble opinion, the greatest quarterback of all time.
By the way, going back to my commentary on my current favorite QB, Aaron Rodgers: If he does continue to play for 7 more years and keeps up with his statistical averages to become 5th place in history – he will be taking the 5th place spot of Tom Brady!
I SENT MY BLOG POST CONCERNING STARBUCKS TO THE CORPORATE OFFICE AND RECEIVED A REPLY. BELOW YOU WILL FIND THEIR RESPONSE AND MY REBUTTAL, IN REVERSE ORDER:
Thanks for your reply. It would appear by your response that perhaps Mr. Schultz has met part of his 2013 commitment and it has worked well for those that were hired. The figures you have been kind enough to share were not readily available. In fact, what information that was available mentioned the commitment to be only half fulfilled. Regardless, whatever the number hired is honorable and I am pleased for you that you are satisfied.
However, I would like to point out a few additional items for you to consider since you are paid to be the spokesperson:
For the record, I too own a large business and make special accommodations for veterans. There are thousands of companies doing the same, so Mr. Schultz has not cornered that market. Most did not have to fraternize with Mr. Gates or the Washington circle either – we just did it because it was the honorable thing to do. In most businesses vets are not paid minimum wage either.
Your response seemed somewhat “canned” as if it was put out to quell the firestorm Mr. Schultz started with his announcement. Which, I will point out, was the reason for my blog post and subsequent boycott of Starbucks in the first place. The fact is, Mr. Schultz has not met his commitment with the veterans after four years, yet in order to put his thumb squarely in the eye of our president, and your commander in chief, he had to announce the refugee commitment the Monday after President Trump rolled out his ban of refugees. It was meant more as a political stunt than an act of goodwill on the part of Mr. Schultz. Well, Mr. Schultz wanted attention, and he got it. The fact is, he got the attention of all of us that voted for Trump, as we are getting tired of the liberal response in opposition to everything President Trump does, says, or tweets. It was why Mr. Trump was elected in the first place.
Your company response did not address an announcement to hire black youth with their inordinately high unemployment rate, or the coal mining industry areas, or the homeless, to use as examples. (Starbucks might have to reduce their prices to a level where those people might even be able to afford their product.) No, Mr. Schultz wanted the fashionable liberal publicity of sticking it to President Trump. Perhaps this will get him in a little cozier with those intellects in the Hollywood crowd, but it isn’t working with middle-America.
And what have you to say about the Black Lives Matter fiasco? Two of my son-in-law’s, the father of five of my grandchildren, are policeman – I don’t take too kindly to wealthy liberals egging on the demise of our country’s police force. Then there is also the matter of my 2nd Amendment rights – who the hell is he to dictate to me a right guaranteed in this country? No, Cindi, your response is not sufficient in my mind to quell this firestorm. Mr. Schultz needs to rescind his announcement, or amend it to include some of those folks I mentioned previously. And above all, he owes our President an apology for ill-timed remarks. And the next time you are looking in the mirror, you may want to put aside your company blinders and consider some of what I have said yourself.
My personal boycott will not put a dent in Mr. Schultz’s pocket money – of that I am aware. But as I mentioned previously, half his customer base is Conservative and Mr. Schultz would do well to remember that the next time he opens his mouth.
Alan N. Webber
From: Starbucks Customer Care [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 11:59 AM
To: Alan Webber <AWebber@anwebber.com>
Subject: RE: FW: Media request <<#200-17916150#>>
We write to you today as representatives of the thousands of veterans and spouses who currently work for Starbucks Coffee Company, and to express our gratitude for your business as well as to address misinformation that has been circulating since our company announced their commitment to hire 10,000 refugees around the world.
Starbucks has received an outpouring of support for the actions our CEO Howard outlined. The company has also received criticism. While much of this discussion has been healthy debate, the false and inaccurate statements about Starbucks commitment to hiring veterans and spouses is deeply troubling to those of us who served. We've seen first-hand the hard work and dedication of our fellow employees to transform Starbucks into one of the preeminent veteran friendly companies in America.
We the veterans of Starbucks would like to set the record straight.
As our armed forces drew down in 2013, veterans at Starbucks asked the company to consider hiring more service members as they transitioned from active duty and sought their first civilian job. We also asked the company to extend this effort to military spouses because we knew first-hand that their support made our service possible.
In November 2013, Howard and former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates announced Starbucks commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.
Perhaps more importantly, our boss not only launched this initiative but he inspired the company to become one of the leading corporate veteran advocates and supporters.
Howard and his wife Sheri visited military bases to get to know our nation's service members. They poured substantial personal financial resources into their own family foundation to design plans for transitioning service members. Starbucks established military family stores at over 30 bases around the country. Howard encouraged Starbucks senior leaders to visit our military bases and get to know our military on a personal level, knowing it would lead them to hire more veterans and their spouses. And much, much more.
Less than four years into the commitment, Starbucks has hired over 8,800 veterans and spouses, and counting.
Without question we will reach the 10,000 goal early, and we will keep going. None of this would have been possible without our boss's very personal commitment. Howard didn't just authorize our veteran initiative, he led it.
And so you can imagine our reaction when we read criticism of our company and of our CEO suggesting that instead of a commitment to refugees, we should instead hire 10,000 veterans.
We respect honest debate and the freedom of expression. Many of us served to protect that very right. Some of our brothers and sisters died protecting it. But to those who would suggest Starbucks is not committed to hiring veterans, we are here to say: check your facts, Starbucks is already there.
We want to thank you as our customers for your business. Without your support, our veteran's initiatives are not possible. Every day, there are thousands of veterans, reservists and military spouses working at Starbucks stores serving you. You can find many of us proudly wearing American flags emblazoned upon our green aprons. And we look forward to continuing to serve you in the days, months and years to come.
Since publishing Howard's letter to our employees, "Living Our Values in Uncertain Times" we have heard an outpouring of support for the actions that were outlined, but also received questions and criticism. And while we appreciate the feedback and are listening, we'd also like to share some ways that Starbucks had continued to create opportunities for its people and the communities we serve:
We do hope this provides perspective on how we are creating opportunities for all of those who wish to pursue a pathway with Starbucks. From the very beginning, Starbucks has aimed to be a different kind of company: one deeply steeped in the values inherent to America and committed to creating opportunities and building trust in the communities we serve. Please know your feedback has been sent to the appropriate parties and we appreciate you contacting us.
With great respect,
The Men and Women of Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN)
Day four of my self-imposed boycott of Starbucks. I haven’t figured out where I’m going to take my ridiculous $100 per week “habit” of Grande lattes with almond milk or the venti black iced teas with two Stevia’s, but I’m looking. In the meantime, as hard as it might be, I will just go without.
My problem is with the Starbuck’s owner, Howard Schultz. The Brooklyn NY born billionaire is a liberal. Now, that fact alone does not make me want to take my business elsewhere, or to blast him on this blog, as I have some liberal friends. We just don’t talk seriously about politics, or when we do it is just playful jabs so that we can remain friends. We both consider each other off our rockers when it comes to politics,
but decide to remain amigo’s anyway.
Unlike my friends and I, Mr. Schultz owns a business that caters to the general public. He sells to people like me who drink coffee and tea, and who might prefer his brand over another. Frankly, I don’t care for his coffee, just the latte’s and tea. I think my particular reason is not so much for the taste as it is the consistency. Every Grande latte with almond milk I order tastes just like the last one, sometimes just made agonizingly slower.
Mr. Schultz likes to use his company and considerable wealth to promote liberal agenda’s. The latest, and final straw in my opinion, is his announcement to hire 10,000 refugees over five years, right on the heels of President Trumps declaration of a halting refugees from seven countries until we are able to properly vet them. If Mr. Schultz had those job openings, which includes insurance benefits, why did he not offer them to our vets, homeless, or the teen age population, particularly in the black communities where high employment runs rampant? It is the job of the president of the United States to protect the American people as he sees fit. It is Mr. Schultz’s responsibility to sell coffee and make sure my Grande latte with almond milk tastes just like the last one.
Now, keep in mind back in 2013, Mr. Schultz promised to hire 10,000 vets and/or their spouses. Four years later that promise has only been half filled, and yet, now he has an additional 10,000 jobs for non-Americans, some of who would like nothing more than to cut our heads off. (My bet is that he doesn’t have those jobs and he was shooting his mouth off...again.) Also in the past, he has instructed employees to write notes in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, as opposed to Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter notes, and he has refused to honor local concealed carry laws. Much like a Congressman, Mr. Schultz evidently believes that our laws don’t apply to him.
Mr. Schultz never met a camera or microphone he didn’t want to stick his face in front of. Remember his episode on "60 Minutes?" Personally, I believe Mr. Schultz has a big mouth, and I am entitled to that opinion. And Mr. Schultz likes to poke the ideals of conservatives every chance he gets, as well as stick his thumb in the eye of our current president. And he is entitled to do so. This is still democratic America, despite Obama’s best attempts to socialize it. But, dear reader, it is also my right not to take my ridiculous $100 per week habit to his competitor. And as of right now, that is exactly what I have decided, along with many other conservatives in the #boycottstarbucks movement. It would do Mr. Schultz well to remember that half his customer base is Conservative and don’t particularly like being poked by someone selling them coffee.
I hear Dunkin Donuts makes a pretty mean Medium Latte and I bet they have almond milk, too.