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There are certain people that catch your eye in day-to-day life for a variety of reasons. Last year, a guy named Sal was someone I noticed, although it would have been difficult not to. Sal is about six feet tall and weighs 290 pounds. Moreover, Sal wore an apron and name tag in his job at the corner sandwich shop. It's a friendly place with okay sandwiches (too healthy for my taste) but great staff. It's one of those New York establishments where nearly 200,000 workers get fed, fueled and ready for the day ahead. I'm not sure how much the people in this one spot earn, but I would be shocked if Sal made more than $30,000 a year.
That's why he caught my eye-he was different in that he wasn't young, wasn't from a foreign country, and his personality was extremely outgoing. I initially wonder how he got to this place; surely he had a higher position in life at some time. Did he commit a crime? Was he in some kind of management training that had him learning all facets of the business? Something wasn't right, this guy was something else - bigger than the person lugging a tray of fresh made sandwiches from the back and placing them in the open refrigerator. Well, as it turns out Sal was something else, and what made him big was his willingness to tough out a rough patch in this place in order to take care of his family.
Yesterday Sal told me this was his last week. He told me his business was back and he had business but made sure to give me a card in case I needed work done.
Yes, Sal had his own business all this time, but there was no business for him, so he took what was out there. We often talked about family, and he always greeted me and everyone else with a smile. I'm going to miss him but will not forget. I know too many people personally that would take the same punch in the gut and wait at home collecting government checks until things turned around. I know people that would have spewed resentment at others, joining the chorus of those that think the sweat and blood of others should be part of a wider public domain.
When Sal asked me how my day was you could sense he wanted to hear only good news.
Guys like Sal make America great. He is a man's man dealing with a winding road of life with a smile on his face and no chips on his shoulders. I looked at his card as I approached the elevator and could only smile. It read:
Sal C Principal
The rest of the card reads:
15 Years Experience/Free Estimates
Custom Interior Lighting, Audio/Video Home Systems, Cable TV/Telephone Lines, Security Camera Systems, Service Upgrades, Circuits, Central AC and Landscape Lighting.
I'm going to call Sal for a few projects but mostly to see his smile, upbeat manner and hope some of his perseverance rubs off.
I Came, I Saw, & I Bullied
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum; Emperor Bloomberg was smacked down by a judge that saw a serious problem with separation of power with respect to the controversial large soda ban. The mayor who has taken the nanny state to a level rivaled only by President Obama wants to regulate what we eat, what we use to carry our food and other aspects of our lives that should be protected under that line about pursuit of happiness.
Of course the mayor promises to use his billions to get gun control legislation passed across the country and eventually as the law of the land. In this new realm of redistribution of accountability, he figures Big Macs, Large Gulps, and handguns overpower human will and make us do evil things-he's here to protect us because he's a billionaire and must be smarter than the rest. Talk about executive privilege.
Do our elected officials really believe we are so beaten down that we will forget our rights?
The rule was so absurd it brought together an eclectic bunch to fight back. Action was brought by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (represents 200,00 Hispanic businesses), the Soft Drink and Brewery Workers Union, the Teamsters, the National Association of Theater Owners of New York State, the National Restaurant Association, and the New York Korean-American Grocers Association (representing 4,000 Korean-American grocery, deli and store owners in New York City).
Key comments from Judge Milton Tingling:
> Unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers doctrine.
> Enjoined and permanently restraining the respondents and any of their agents, officers and employees from implementing or enforcing
> It is arbitrary and capricious
Mayor Bloomberg shrugged off the defeat with the aplomb of Augustus Caesar declaring his law will prevail at some point. After what John Roberts did with the new health care law, I can see why government tyrants would feel confident their intellectually superior dictums would prevail in their efforts to tame the beastly masses - sooner or later the Constitution comes through. It had better.
Once again, it's quiet, but that could change as the day moves along. There isn't a lot of news; Yum Brands YUM is reacting nicely to earnings (I don't know why they are still very worried about their reputation in China), but investors are looking for something to provide a broader lift. I say that knowing that each time in the last couple of weeks equities edged higher; that in of itself has been the catalyst. While there are a lot of people out there calling for a crash, most smart investors are looking for a pullback to pile in.