A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe 

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Date: January 6, 2021 

This month’s topic:  

Hello 2022 … how is it different than 2021? 

 2020’s #NYE thought: “Wow, if we can just get to 2021, all will be fine!”  And then, chaos on Capitol Hill. This, followed by the Delta variant incurring its wrath. Now it’s Omicron. “Wow, if we can just get to 2022, all will be just fine!” Well, what the h*ll are we supposed to do NOW?! 

Last fall, others simply fretted over whether they would be able to exchange gifts over the holidays. Remember the shipping container fiasco? Will that holiday gift arrive on time? If so, when and how much more will it cost? Should I go onto Amazon.com like almost everyone else who used to shop in the brick-and-mortar retail stores? We better hope and pray these guys never need a government bailout!  

Now, we’re in 2022 (exhale)  

Factoid: we just tallied over 1 million new U.S. infections in one day earlier this week. Some Americans are having to wait in line for hours for COVID tests or pay up to $75 per testing kit at a local pharmacy. All this simply to determine whether or not they can return to work or send their kid(s) back to school for the new year. Worse yet, it looks like the few checks sent last year for childcare are instead being diverted to pay for overpriced groceries, gasoline, school supplies, medications – just to name a few.  

 So, with all this, one would think 2022 would bring about a “fix” for our problems. Well, with just a few days into the new year it doesn’t seem so, does it? Interest rate hikes are looming (and expected to rise beginning EOQ1 2022), gas prices are forecasted to hit $4.00/gallon (or more) in many states, which translates to practically $6.00/ gallon in some spots like California.  Home prices are skyrocketing still, but let’s face it: who can really afford to move anywhere “cheaper” in the country? 

Any ideas? 

See you next month (at the gas station) 

-A.N. 

A Closer Look 👁👁

👁👁with Anthony Newcombe 👁👁

Let’s take a closer look …

Happy Holidays ALL!!

This month’s topic: Required Tests for Congress Members

We’re going to end this year with a BANG!! Let’s just call it like it is: we need to require all candidates who run for all congressional seats and judicial appointments to pass a test that ensures they are: qualified, sane, interested, and able to perform all of the necessary duties of the job. We don’t have this in place at the time this blog goes to publishing.

COMMON SENSE RED ALERT!!

Q: Could we ever be able to be hired for or allowed to start set foot in a job that we didn’t even want to succeed in?   
 

Q: Would we ever be granted access to secrets of any business without first providing proof of qualifications for the position?  
 

Q: Might we ever see a situation where employees (decision-makers) are allowed to cavalierly sit back and allow the company they are in charge of to be smashed to smithereens?   
 

Clearly, the answers to all of the above hypothetical scenarios is of course, in fact, NO!!  
 

It would never happen, and if it did, there would be a swift and permanent termination of employment and possible legal consequences beyond.   
 

For these reasons, it seems asinine that we would think that this couldn’t, isn’t, or would never happen to our governing bodies. We are observing some of the most clear-cut examples of people with who have zero interest in continuing democracy: blitzing seats, refusing to govern, and participating in the some the most vile, pathetic – let alone dangerous – behavior imaginable. Why are we sitting back and allowing it?  Why the continued lack of outrage?
 

Current major areas affected  
 

Covid-19/ our collective health: 800,000 dead … say no more.  
 

Overturning laws/ court uncertainty:  If we no longer can trust the people who are creating, writing and adjudicating our laws, then how the heck are we supposed to abide by them?
 

Debt ambivalence: $30 Trillion? $35 Trill? How about a nice, round $40T?  Why does it seem nobody’s bothered by this number anymore? 
 

Civil disobedience:  Are we paying attention to all of the destruction and anger we have towards each other?  How about sharing commercial airplanes, public roadways, and other community space? Is it now the one with the biggest fists, guns, or whatever the one who has the last say?  What have we become?  
 

⏰Wake up call ⏰

Look people.  I don’t enjoy stopping at red lights in big city traffic any more than the guy next to me who thinks he’s Mario Andretti.  But, one thing I do know … is if we all decide to continue to do our own thing, society as we know it may not know we all won’t last or be around much longer.  I mean, how could it?!
 

Happy holidays (seriously) and see you in 2022 (… hopefully)

-A.N.

A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look

Date: November 5, 2021 🦃🍂🌧️

👀This month’s topic:  👀

Did the American Worker Burnout (on America)? 

We’ve always pride ourselves on our “American work ethic.” The number of hours we labor, the few paid vacation days we take advantage of – always the highest and lowest in the world respectively.  Now, with decades of blood, sweat and tears invested, we seem to be reevaluating ourselves (and with it, our bosses, workplace, culture, etc.) ALL AT ONCE!  

Perhaps that it seems so overwhelming right now.  We were so entrenched in our commutes, schedules, balance “act” with family, etc., that events like Covid Pandemic Job Participation have forced us to stop, sit (at a distance), and rethink everything about our pre-pandemic lives.  Who knows, it may turn out to Psychology of Work-Life Balance During Covid one of our proudest moments, or, in many cases, the tipping point to nowhere. 

One thing that is not helping us is the perpetual gridlock in D.C. and locally too.  We live in what is termed one of the most thriving economies in history, but still see more homelessness, climate decay, and rotted infrastructure in its midst.   

How are we supposed to weigh our professional futures collectively when we can’t even pass a bill to fund so many of those jobs and plans?  How is it possible to continue to vote for leaders who only show up for us to convince us to “come through for them” by voting every term?  Of course, the years in between are always filled with lip service, finger-pointing and, to quote a very young woman enmeshed in the global climate battle: (“blah, blah blah”) Climate Change “Boils Over” Around Global Summits  

 It’s a lot easier to tell people they need to retain the motivation to work hard – much harder to show them the way to prosperity.  “Being accountable,” “keeping your word,” “following through.”  Those were simple phrases we not only embraced but rarely had to define in decades past.  Now, there’s a perpetual inability for those in leadership positions to do this. It’s even cost the jobs of many who attempt to do so!  We need to look in the mirror, face the music, and make some drastic changes NOW!  Otherwise, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the American worker, and with it – the American Dream – vanishes forever. 

What do YOU have to say about this?  We’d like to hear it! 

See you next month for our 2021 finale! I’m out!

A.N. 

A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe 👀👀

Let’s take a closer look

October’s topic:  

The “Cottage Industry” has caught up with me (finally)

20-plus years working in a remote setting … and wouldn’t change a thing! 


Well, it took a while, but what can I say:  I TOLD you so!  Well, not entirely.  I spent much of my time since 1999 believing I had to keep some sort of secret or something. I asked myself: 

  • Will they ever find out that I tend to wear shorts and sandals during my business calls and videos? 
  • Do you they know that have no interest in driving downtown for any reason at all?  Including closing giant deals? 
  • Will they be mortified if one of my little ones barges into my home office and vomits mac and cheese all over my desk in real time?  Did I care even if something like that happened? 

The answer to the above and many other questions, is, well, NO.  I didn’t care.  I don’t care today either.  And I probably won’t care at any time in the future.  I mean, let’s face it:  Nobody I know out-works me.  In fact, I haven’t been on a real vacation since the end of 2017.  Oh yeah, we probably shouldn’t even count that one because I was finalizing my book, Sorry, 50 is NOT the New 30, during that trip. 

I look around and see Congress on break most of the calendar year.  I see neighbors who can barely roll out of bed by noon and spend their weeknights getting high and drinking all night.  I come across those on social media pretending they’re working, but still, can’t figure out what they’re even working on.  Working on their tans

I suppose, though, it took the Covid pandemic to convince more than a few professionals to “hang up their car keys” and settle into whatever makeshift workspace they could create within their 4 walls.  And looking around, it’s hard to see many other benefits of this whole health scare period in the United States and beyond.   

However, one thing I do know is the cottage industry is here to stay and that’s a good thing because it will keep me plugging along, my sanity in check, and, of course, my dry-cleaning bill will remain where it belongs – in the home office shredder! Ciao! 

So, what’s your story? 

We’ll catch up with you again in about 30 days … I’m out! 

-A.N. 

A Closer Look …👀👀👀

Let’s take a closer look

with Anthony Newcombe 

 

It’s practically another fall season, and I don’t know about YOU, but to US, it still feels like we’re inches from the summer sun! Some other areas of concern:  

Whereas most of the above is nature’s doing, we must also be much more vigilant in how we are contributing to the increasing strength and duration of each.  We need to do a much better job of collectively working towards solutions to these problems – as opposed to exacerbating them.    

  • Should our infrastructure plans “adjust” according to the frequency and severity of these events? 
  • What do YOU intend to do about these problems?   
  • What am I going to do? 

These are the questions that need to be asked and addressed.  Otherwise, we are kidding ourselves while we idly stand by as observers of our own demise.   

Any ideas?  

-A.N. 

A Closer Look👀👀👀✔✔✔

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look

Title: W-T-F happened? 

Topic: Wasn’t Covid in our rear window … #GuessNOT  

Why is everyone testing positive NOW!?  I thought we were heading outta this “thing?” I thought the stands were going to be filled with something OTHER than “flat-Stanleys?”  I thought we were heading to the ball parks and arenas and concert venues again.  I thought we were heading back to some Broadway shows?  I thought I was sending my kids off to college to meet real people and professors.  You want me to wait ANOTHER YEAR?!! 

I guess, much like YOU, I THOUGHT a lot of things were happening, or about to happen at least.  But, like, you, I was wrong.  Again.  Or, was I right, and some of the stupidity around me was wrong? Hmm… Either way, we’re all sharing the same space, the same air, water, and, unfortunately, the same collective results. 

You mean the Bros. Bezos didn’t invite you and your bro to get outta Dodge and into space too?  Me neither.  Maybe next time, Geofredo.  In the meantime, I just wanna watch my damn football team this month.  I wanna see my favorite players and coach enter Canton in a few days.  We won’t spend too much time on them, but they are mine, and I’ve waited long enough to see them (since 2020).  And, I’ve remained masked and distant and silent, and….if I don’t get my way, I’m gonna have to be duct-taped to my office chair (not unlike some of these rabid air travelers).  People, we need to relax and agree that if we don’t follow the same protocols, we will remain in this lunatic space until we run out of—water…What? Now, we’re running out of THAT too?  You’re #KillinMe ! 

#CmonMan !

Oh well, I’m done venting…see you in the fall…hopefully…I’ll be the #DryThirstyOne  

A.N. 

A Closer Look … Vaccines-Eligibility-Costs-Americans-Pandemic-Covid-A Shot in the Arm-

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

Topic:  How and who will pay for COVID-19 vaccinations?   

Issue:  Pandemic, vaccination costs, and the risks of ongoing collateral damage in the U.S.  

  1. Terminology 

Pandemic was recently dubbed the “word of the year” by Merriam-Webster (click link either left or below).  Congrats, pandemic, you’ve officially arrived!  However, now the discussion has shifted from acknowledgment of the pandemic (for many – but not all – of us) to another word, Vaccine/Vaccination

Whereas ‘pandemic’ can be delivered to our shores for free, ‘vaccine’ cannot and will not come ashore for the same, wonderful price.  What that leaves us with, is, how and who will be actually paying for the delivery and distribution of each vaccine? And, how much per dose?

  1. U.S. Imports: To me, it’s starting to take the form of most every other import into our country.  Those who have the means will receive the goods, and those who don’t will just have to sit and wait.  And since we’re not talking about the newest G.I. Joe (with the ‘Kung Fu grip’) toy or BMW model, it isn’t quite so simple a formula for success going forward. 

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A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe  

Let’s take a closer look … 

Area:  Education and college students 

Issue:  What can be expected from the “college fallout” due dramatic loss of revenue from the Covid-19 pandemic.  In other words, how do parents of soon to be college students even know which ones will even exist next fall and beyond? 

I hear you folks.  It’s unbelievable what has already taken place over the past 5-6 months in 2020.  Physically, mentally, financially, politically – and otherwise – we all seem to be holding onto our last fiber of sanity (of course, assisted by evening nips of our favorite adult beverage!)  But, how are we supposed to have confidence in the whole process? I mean, does anyone actually have a clue as to what the future of (campus) college holds? Q: When is the SAT/ACT? A: They aren’t counting them this year. Q: What?

However, for those of us who have already sent our kids off to college (many peers, relatives, and good friends), are currently trying to figure out where, and if, we should plan to send them for Fall, 2021 (yours truly). Or, how about the ones who are still trying to figure out the navigation process through the remainder of middle or high school (many others), it’s on all of our minds.  I mean, how could it not? 

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A Closer Look … Baseball, meet Covid

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look

Topic: PLAY BALL!! (just don’t spit or argue…and get Covid tested often!!)

Issue: Can baseball players really refrain from spitting?! Or, arguing? Or …

I guess it’s a valiant effort to think we can “field” a troupe of MLB players and count on them to refrain from spitting before, during, and after a game. However, do you think it’s perhaps a bit far-fetched we can achieve such a lofty goal? 

I mean, these guys (I do know a little bit about them) have been “takin’ a dip,” “puttin’ in a chaw,” and otherwise hockin’ loogies since practically tee ball. In fact, I could tell you some stories about guys who filled up 2-liter soda bottles with the “after-sauce” of Apple JackSkoalCopenhagen, or … well, take your pick, big boy.  

The point is that a good argument can be made that spitting is just as (if not more) linked to baseball than both apple pie and hot dogs are to the American culture. Baseball players spit … period.  Even the ones who don’t chew tobacco.  It’s part of the game folks. 

To add insult to injury, players will also be commanded to “not argue” with the field umpires and be available for plenty of Covid testing. Baseball and testing?! C’mon, man! Did you see what happened during the (steroid era) 90s and early 2000s? Again, testing and baseball haven’t mixed too well in the past. Let’s just leave that argument for a different day. 

Okay, so even if we can clear the above hurdles, we must also understand that, in lieu of screaming and adoring fans, the stands will be filled with … cardboard cutouts of fans. Yes, I said it, cardboard! If ever there was a reason to spit on something, this may be it.  

In this technological age, couldn’t we have come up with something more life like? How about holograms that are programmed to behave like regular fans? Or how about cartoons of fans who drink gallons of beer, scream obscenities at the top of their lungs, and hurl batteries (and other unmentionables) onto the field – without provocation?  Sounds kind of fun, huh? 

Or, how about this? How about making the holograms, well, (fake) spit! That way, the players will feel more at home for the opener … wait a second, did the rules committee just tell baseballers that they can’t adjust their, uh, “pant legs” either?  What is this world coming to?!! 

What do YOU think? 

-A.N. 

Seriously though, stay safe my readers! 

A Closer Look

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

Topic: Reopening vs. Testing (Covid-19)

Issue: Is it better to risk an economic collapse using a more deliberate approach in reopening America (with a broader national testing program), or, try to get us ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible and risk another spike in infections and deaths?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/09/trump-reopening-america-coronavirus

What do YOU think?

Let us know …