February 2014

February 2014

Now say you’re sorryand get out your sword. Insincere apologies by politicians, CEOs and celebrities are reaching flood levels. Time to quit that empty talk, declares The New York Times. Of course there’s the classic Japanese response, where true remorse requires, um, drastic measures.

By the numbers. People are living longer. They have more money and less disease, more living space and even more bathrooms. Nobody has suffered a nuclear attack since 1945. And headlines aside, fewer people are dying from weather disasters around the world. All of these are cause for celebration. So where’s the band?  And what happened to the champagne?

A hero you probably never heard about. When Fillippo Cogliandro was told to pay extortion money, he did the unthinkable, especially for the son of a kneecapping victim. He went to thecarabinieri, or the Italian police. A restaurant owner in southern Italy already famous for his culinary skills, he is now known as the man who stood up to the mafiosi and even helped put some of them in jail. Business bounced back. The community is behind him. Bravo, Lippo!  Hope, pray, and don’t worry.

From the frozen South, way back when. The folks here are weather-worn. One of our friends took 12 and a half hours to get home through the January ice. As you likely know, there were much worse cases. We hope they’re all warmed now by the returning sun and by the memory of many acts of charity from both individuals and companies during the storm. One lady of an estimable vintage looked out her window and recalled long-ago mercies administered by her husband on his way to run a hospital. “He put chains on the tires of our car and went all over bringing people to work. He got to know each one of his passengers better.” Sometimes Now and Then don’t seem so far apart.

Shawshank USA. “Bizarrely horrible and weirdly tolerated” is how Neil Barsky describes our prison system and its endless problems: disparate sentencings, physical conditions from hell, and the resulting depletion of the human spirit. This investor and former journalist is bringing Bill Keller, a considerable journalist in his own right, onto The Marshall Project.The aim of the project is to widen the national dialogue on one of our more fixable national stupidities.

But are there still lollipops? Always lots of laughs when comic strip kids went to the doctor. “You quack! I hope you’ve paid your malpractice insurance,” screamed Calvin, as his mother wilted in the waiting room.  Now the cozy clinics of Norman Rockwell’s time are disappearing. Sixty percent of family doctors and pediatricians are salaried employees of hospitals.

Up and coming. A self-styled progressive who runs a network of charter schools serving 6,700 students in New York City, Eva Moskowitz was an issue in the mayoral campaign of a few months ago. No unions in her schools.  Just tough, competent teachers and parental governance. In NYC, that’s about as popular as a drug ring opening up in a convent. But her schools happen to produce chess champions in Harlem, top debaters, and…graduates.

Quote to Note:

“You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.” – Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

Thanks for reading,

The Ledlie Group has begun work for an Atlanta-based employee benefits brokerage and the Atlanta unit of a national healthcare non-profit, a down-home restaurant with a discrimination issue, and a family suddenly facing unwanted legal and media attention.

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