1 and 99

No, I’m not talking sheep here, hence not Biblical, at least in the parabolic context. Instead I’m talking about a trending catchphrase referring to percentage. More specifically, "1 and 99" is a neologism spawned in the last several weeks by the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests as they started and rippled to other US cities and other places around the world.

The fighting slogan of these protesters seemed to have been based on the obvious divide between the rich 1% and the poor 99%. The disparity has become the cause of dissatisfaction and disheartenment for some in their lot in life - for the time being. The gap is made wider by the present economic conditions in which the cost of basic needs and services have jumped while incomes - for the 99 - have remained stagnant, and in some cases, declined or lost.

The lack in unity of message and target, however, has been the drawback and handicap to any measured success of the protests and demonstrations. But this feckless and amorphous character of the protests is not the only setback. It also has to do with the very nature of the OWS which - at its core - goes against the grain of the values and ideals of the proverbial “American Dream”.

The demonstrations seemed to have been ignored by many even in the lower economic rungs of society. Ostensibly, some in the 1% passively agree and quietly support the dissatisfaction in general and uncertain terms. But the majority still believe that socio-economic mobility is a patented American ideology. American society is largely an open society, and that hard work, creativity, innovation, industry and individual fortitude are means to achieving success and improvement in a person's circumstances.

I am definitely in the 99% but I also believe in the socio-economic justice that life offers, at best in the United States. America is often referred to as the land of opportunity. It is no longer the Rockerfeller hand-me-down era or the aristocratic and dynastic cycles of the mother country. Just ask Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett or Shahid Khan, an American success story - born in Pakistan moved to America at 16, graduated from college, became a successful businessman and had just bought the Jaguars football team (NFL franchise) for $760 million.

The indisputable fact remains, however, that the divide does exist, not only in America but on the global level as well.

Anyway, for those in the 99% emotionally charged by the above issue, I think we need to lighten up, and go to work, aye?  So as a believer in laughter and humor, here’s a funny - yet largely true - caricature of the global economic divide - and maybe digital too.



LOL!!!  And speaking of school buses, I believe that EDUCATION is the main remedy in bridging - or at least in narrowing - the gap between the 1 and the  99 ... Yeah?

Utah Still Best

University of Utah and BYU in the News

University of Utah Repeats as No. 1 University for Tech Startups
SALT LAKE CITY, Nov 30, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The University of Utah is No. 1 in the nation at starting companies based on university research for the second year in a row, according to an annual survey recently released by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). The survey ranks U.S. universities and institutions on commercialization success, and in recent years, the U of Utah has climbed to the top, overtaking such schools as MIT, Columbia, Cal Tech and Johns Hopkins.

The newest survey measures fiscal year 2010. The U of  Utah had 18 startups from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, while MIT was second, with 17 new companies. Other top schools included [third-ranked] Brigham Young University with 13, Columbia and Cornell with 12, Johns Hopkins and Purdue at 11 each, while Cal Tech, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Michigan all had 10.
Source: Wall Street Journal

Utah Best State for Business

The above U of Utah and  BYU rankings have some relevance to the fact that Utah, two years in a row, is the best state in the US for business according to Forbes.
Utah repeats this year as Forbes Best State for business and careers in our sixth annual look at the business climates of the 50 states. No state can match the consistent performance of Utah. It is the only state that ranks among the top 15 states in each of the six main categories we rate the states on.

Manuween continued on Yahoo

Yahoo News headline last week: (Click title below to read)

"Disgraced rugby manager fined 100 pigs"

A ha!  I knew there was a connection between some recent posts (McRib and Manu Samoa ones) when I wrote them. LOL!  (Please Note: The one fined is not Coach Tafua, but Team Manager Tuala Matthew Vaea - pictured.)

In the past, a typical standard fine in a Samoan village was a hundred taros (tubers) and one pig (maka selau ma le aumakua). So today it’s reversed, aye? - a hundred pigs and what? ... one taro? Speaking of pigs, that’s a lot of ‘ofu (tripe) hence lots of McRibs (re: recent McRib post). And since there is now a McDonald’s in Samoa, the village better donate/sell all the tripes and innards (from the 100 pigs) to the restaurant. LOL!

The manager’s village has ruled on the mess involving staff and management of Manu Samoa who have been accused of improprieties during the team’s World Cup stint.

Apparently, the fine is not because the team lost but because of the manager’s irresponsible behavior.  It would have been an unfair fine if it was for the former.  This again goes to prove the Samoans' intransigence with respect to punishment for someone who brings disgrace to the family or village.  Sometimes it becomes an overkill (pun intended), as in this case, as far as I'm concerned.


A Poem

Who Am I, Really?

what am I?
a mere creature
conjured in cellular life form,
lilliputian accidental
and ephemeral?

or a beast
incubated and shrouded in a shard
shot from a blast of eons past,
and raised a salientian
swimming in saltine puddle?

and perchance
grew hands and feet
to crawl on land and hunt
- then hunted?

and die a desultory death
driving up daisies from deep earth?

out of nothing
signifying nothing; all is meaningless -
solitary superfluous and stupid.

So who am I, really?

A spirit child born of Deity,
with divine heritage (Hallelujah!)
raised and loved in yonder home
like brothers Job and Jeremiah

Then sent down to earth
endowed with hands and feet
with real purpose of experiencing
life, growth and joy so sweet.

All part of a marvelous plan
with a meaningful due
of returning home a valiant heir -
tested tried and true.

~ by LV  Letalu, 2011


Happy Manuween

Halloween was Monday. We planned our annual family Halloween party on Saturday (2 days prior) but our ward (auloku) had its Halloween dance that same night so we yielded to the church party/dance. I was the DJ so all the more reason to postpone the family party to Monday.

Monday came and as usual, I still hadn’t decided on a costume and so I had to be creative - yeah riiiigghht. Actually, the right brain did not do much strenuous creative finking, cause it just happened that my Manu Samoa jersey -- compliments of The Coach... yes the Real coach - arrived on time for Halloween. (Thanks Coach! ... and the very generous hosts!)  And so to honor and pay tribute to the Manu Samoa's 2011 World Cup campaign, I decided to be a Manu Playa ... or something like that ...for Halloween. And boy was I overcome by all the rugby nostalgia that it was close to being a scary experience....hahaaa! especially when I started thinking haunted thoughts of the present SRU (aka Schuster Rugby Union) and all the ‘ova a Mary pei a la ua maua ... Well, Happy Manuween!

McRib ...or McR.I.P?

The McRib (sandwich) is making its comeback at one favorite fast food restaurant - McDonald’s, that is. During the previous McRib blitz I was one of those who almost fell for the ambrosial appeal of the “rib” dressed in scrumptious barbecue sauce.

Then suddenly it vanished. The golden arches stopped carrying/selling the McRib, until not too long ago.

So why am I dedicating this blog entry to the McRib, besides the fact that I almost liked it? Well because now someone has dissected the McRib and exposed its contents and ingredients. So?   So if it wasn’t for an interesting Samoan connection, I would not have done this “kiss and tell”

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase and get to the meat - literally and metaphorically - of the McRib sandwich. According to the news article the McRib meat is made of “pig innards and plenty of salt. [It’s] "restructured meat product" [which] includes pig bits like tripe, heart, and scalded stomach.”

Oh snap! In other words, the same stuff you find in the “ofu” - ia poo le dress (LOL) - of the pig, is in the McRib. The ‘ofu (tripe) is a Samoan delicacy, a favorite of both men and women. Ae maise a pe a falai i le agiagi aye? Also, now you know that there’s no rib in the McRib.  LOL!

And like many offerings on Fast Food menus, the McRib, according to the article, “is certainly not good for you,”  Put simply, the McRib can become a McR.I.P ( not “ripped”).  Ioe e vave ai ga malolo i le kuugamau kakou... hehe.   McRib is actually mashed ‘ofu; though I’m convinced that the ‘ofu is still better than the McRib.

But despite this new information, there will still be those who will continue to enjoy the McRib via the “sausage phenomenon” - they like to eat sausages, though they don’t want to know how they’re made.  And these are the ones who still say “I’m Loving It.”