It is tough to find good candidate these days.
Please see the summary just here...
Aigars Germanis Blog
|Blog about life||
It is tough to find good candidate these days.
It is tough to find good candidate these days. I do not mean candidate for president, I mean candidate for someone doing some real job, like selling booze in international markets. I have been interviewing a lot over my career, and have put together a short list of few criteria, that I am looking for in candidates. Nothing fancy, just some thinking skills, positive/cando attitude, working with others and few more. Some stolen from Jack Welch, some from Procter&Gamble, some are just important for me. So one day watching debate of candidates to become president of United States, I just decided to score them vs my set of criteria, so that I can inform my HR department, if we potentially have more people to interview... And... Not really, both, Donald and Hilary failed, so I keep looking for pure talent to become succesful managers in one of the biggest businesses in Baltics.
Please see the summary just here...
4 "administrators" per 1 sportsman. Shame.
So far, Latvia has not managed to win any medal in Rio Olympics. While it has again " shined" with biggest administration team attending Olympic games. See the chart below. Estonia, who has barely 1 administration person per sportsman, clearly the most efficient. Same, as in public administration. This makes Estonia much more competitive not only in sports, but also in economics and business.
They were first ones to introduce e-government, e-municipality, one-stop shops for handing building permits etc etc. I like Estonians, because they do what makes sense, and they are proud of their achievements as a country.
"Ask not, what your country can do for you, ask what you, can do for your country". JFK
Unfortunately, this famous quote from JFK is not popular here in Latvia. Not among politicians and " administration". They go to Rio to relax and have a good time. Leader of Latvian Olympic committee, excusing themselves for not providing spot for swimmer coach in Rio, just because some administrator of swimming federation had some important meetings in Rio, and quotas were exhausted. Disgusting. And most of people will accept this bullshit as decent explanation. Mr. Tikmers meanwhile says that delegation of Latvia has extremely nice microclimate there in Rio... Good to know... Just that it might for the wrong reason, administrators enjoying their time in Brazil, not really focused on maximizing results of Latvian team.
Like in politics, disease of minding only their own interests is spreading among leaders of federations and Olympic committee. Our sportsmen are good. They are patriotic. They work hard. But is must be, that not only in Olympic games themselves, but also during preparation period, too much money is vasted on "adminisrtation", not on training and development of our sport talent.
Unfortunately, Olympic games are just an indicator of overall state of things we have here in Latvia. A pitty!
This is scary... REALLY scary,.. My daughter spends more than 4 hours a day on internet today... That is more than half of her leisure time... She is 18... She has more social life on facebook, twitter, snapchat and God knows what other platforms...Instead of going to the Sea, playing tennis, volleyball, disco, boatrips, hiking, dancing, swimming and other 100 types of activities, she choses bytes and LCD screen.
My son spends about the same, he is 11... He is champion of NBA there... In real life, he also is training in basketball, but then, is not making it to the core team during matches... In his NBA game, he takes the easy road to glory... No need for daily training and sweating. No need for endurance, passion, thousands of repetitions, just a remote game controller and console.
My 3 years old son is navigating Youtube better than me,,, He can find his favorite LEGO movies in a blink of an eye..
And think about it, already today, with the simple 2-D (2 dimensions) internet - it is nice alternative to youngsters around the world. I am not the only father who is struggling to bring my kids back to real life. The byte/virtual gymnastics are just so much more easy to do, virtual friends easier to make...
And then... Virtual reality is coming. Oculus Rift, Google, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear and others - offering better, faster, more vivid, more realistic virtual experiences... And it is crazy to imagine the possibilities of virtual reality (3D pictures projected to your eye-ball) - Anyone can be best soccer player,.. Leader of the world... Have sex with anybody virtually ... and yes, kill ununished... die hundred times... All will be at the fingertips of the player...
Over the course of 10 years, less, not more, that experience will be of really high quality, and then, why people shall study hard, to become someone in real life? Why to work hard, to build a house, to travel the world, to manage, to lead, to meet and make friends, to meet and make family? All that will be redundant, and available at the cost of thousand bucks...
Excise tax. Seriously. We are taxing alcohol, tobaco, all of them partially changing the reality perception, damaging health and costs society. Virtual reality even more so will cost a lot to society. All the energy, health and money that will be spent on virtual reality, will be lost to the real world! Hence, tax is a must I believe.
Virtual traffic tax. The more you spend in your virtual life, the more you pay. The costs of virtual life have to rise to match or exceede the costs of your real life.
Subject on virtual reality in schools. Risks, disadvantages to be explained early to our kids. Benefits of real excercising, sports, relationships.
Christianity. May well be that we do not need to reinvent the wheel. As Christians, we are to give to society. To care for each other. To cheer up, to help, to huddle... This is real life story. Probably we just need to become again more involved with these clearly defined values and commandments.
I have been pro-american for years. I always have been thinking of it as a land where "American dreams come true". Were meritocracy matters, and you will be rewared by dreams coming true if you fight real hard.
I am still pro-american, but with some dose of scepticism now.
Financially, borrowing and Money printing has reached scale never seen before. In fact, US economy is same addict of borrowing than Greece, it's just that Greece is not able to print Money (Germany can), while Americans do, and dollar is still somewhat reserve currency (although this is also being shaky lately). Lifestyle - eating GMOs and then curing themselves with expensive medical care. Obessity + consumer borrowing + medical expenses = GDP growth.. Phee...
And then here is the foreign affairs angle, that makes me sad...
Here are words from one USA ex-congressman Ron Paul himself: “We’ve been at war in the Middle East for decades,” he said. “We supported Osama bin Laden against the Soviets in Afghanistan… and the result of that was the creation of al-Qaeda.Then we supported Saddam Hussein against Iran. Saddam and bin Laden hated each other. But after 9/11 we attacked Saddam, using a bunch of lies to justify it. We sent over military equipment worth hundreds of billions of dollars. This equipment is now in the hands of ISIS -- another enemy we created… and a far more dangerous one.”
By the way, before infamous speach of Powel to ANO to justify attack on Iraq, he was one of my favorite leaders, putting big emphasis on integrity... Those ppt slides and Pictures were really poor in the first place and fabrication was all over it... gee...
And while I am still pro-american, I think that "We can" or "it is time for change" did not really deliver. Change for good is yet to be seen in my beloved country.
I love Winnie-the-Pooh. It is just so much in line with what I expect from life - simplicity and joy. And honey... This time, just few jokes about Winnie from the internet with my interpretation fo application in real life... Just fun..
Q. What did Winnie-the-Pooh say when he was offered dessert?
A. "No thanks, I'm stuffed."
I wish each of us had will to say "no" to dessert when we are already stuffed and confess that you ar actually stuffed. What a dose of healthy self-analysis!
Q. What's the difference between Gopher and Winnie-the-Pooh?
A. Gopher can get out of a hole.
Or was it a Rabbit's house? Whatever, Winnie-the-Pooh got out of the hole, it just took a bit more time... Again, healthy perspective to keep, when some things do not happen as fast as you would like...
Q. Why is Pooh so sweet?
A. He eats lots of hunny!
I love sweets too. Good enough for me
Department of Health has forbidden selling and spreading Alan Milne's book "Winnie the Pooh", because this advocates narcotics and this kind of lifestyle.
Anne Milton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health says that every single character in Milne's book is doing drugs or is under influence of drugs.
1. Eeyore the Donkey doesn't care about anything, his reactions are slow and he has lack of motivation - clearly he's doing weed.
2. Piglet is afraid of everything and thinks he's being followed - fly agaric.
3. Rabbit stucks his nose everywhere and he needs everything - cocaine.
4. Tigger can't stand still for a second, he's always jumping around and yelling - ecstasy.
5. Christopher Robbin can speak with animals, which means, he has hallucinogens.
6. Winnie the Pooh loves sweets and has unlimited fantasy - LSD
7. Owl, who always comes to help when needed is clearly the dealer.
Hmm.. Do not know... Haven't tried all of it. Let's see...
Q. What flavor of honey does Pooh like best?
A. Any kind.
This is strightforward, yet ambitious and precise answer. We shall learn to keep it simple.
Q. Whats the first thing Pooh says when he gets home?
A. Hi Honey, I'm home!
Yes, you put first things first in your life. Always, including the time of arriving home.
What ship are Tigger, Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit, Gopher, and Christopher Robin sailing on?
Best ship of all! Happy sailing!
Go fishing. Prefferably into the ocean, which kind of really increases your chances to catch shark.If it is your first time - chances go up even more. "Beginners luck" is kind of big help when you are into sharks. Florida, around the road to Key West Point is a good place to start your journey of shark-hunting. At least we were lucky there to get the lifetime opportunity.
Have a great team. Even if you will not catch the shark, you will have time of your life. Needless to say that team work is important in the process. As getting the shark (500 pound one) out of the water will take around 1,5 hours, you better have team that is ready to help out, stand by, take over, support etc... In our case, there was a moment of "sacrificing" Riga Black Balsam to fishing Oracle. It worked. Again, each member of team brings something unique to the table.
Traders bid up oil prices last week, based on reports of major escalation of hostilities in Yemen, just south of Saudi Arabia. Things are hot and getting hotter in Yemen. Now that Saudi Arabia has engaged in the fight -- dropping bombs and probably sending troops across the border -- we may see an oil price recovery much sooner than many people expected.
What's going on?
Iran has a long-term plan to surround the Saudis. It's a matter of raw geography. That is, Iran is located northeast of Saudi Arabia. Plus, Iran has a well-entrenched presence in Syria and Lebanon, to the north of Saudi Arabia.
Saudis’ primary motivation in crashing oil prices last November was to harm Iran. In other words, low oil prices are not about hurting Russia because of Ukraine; nor slowing the advance in North American fracking. The Saudi idea is to squeeze the bank accounts of the Mullahs in Tehran.
Now we see the Iranian blowback. Iran-backed rebels have knocked out the former government in Yemen, which was friendly to both Saudi Arabia and the U.S. The Saudis have a full-scale religious war on their southern border, with opponents fully backed by Iran.
What comes next?
We're in the midst of a historic breakdown of nation-states across the Middle East. Former map lines that came out of World War I -- drawn by Great Britain and France, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire -- are being erased. For now, modern notions of the nation-state are near irrelevant. Tribalism is triumphant.
Iran is working to become the regional hegemon; certainly as the U.S. withdraws. In a way, it also explains Iran's major effort to build nuclear capabilities -- the race for a Persian atom bomb, notwithstanding "negotiations" ongoing over delaying or deferring the actual event.
Meanwhile, we live with low oil prices, certainly compared with this time last year. Too many barrels; not enough demand. Can it all change? And how fast? And in what direction? Is it time to begin buying into many a beaten-down oil or oil service play?
The U.S. rig count has plummeted due to a drought of new drilling capital. Looking ahead, there are indications that U.S. oil output may cease growing in the next two or three months. The fast-climbing U.S. production curve will flatten out.
The U.S. rig count has plummeted due to a drought of new drilling capital.We'll see, right? Keep in mind that U.S. oil output was (note past tense) the world's key "swing" production over the past few years. That's all about to change.
Yes, we saw increased oil flow from Iraq last year, too -- which is problematic in the near future. Libya output rose last year as well; and has fallen in recent months. Civil wars will do that to an oil producing region.
In other parts of the world, Russian oil output is problematic. Brazilian offshore oil isn't growing nearly as fast as optimists expected a few years ago. Canadian oil sands are flowing, to be sure, but constrained by costs and transport bottlenecks.
All in all -- balancing the risks -- I'm inclined to think that there's upside to energy investing just now. More upside than risk of a major downward crash. The key is to buy into well-run oil plays, oil services and equipment plays.
At current prices interesting stocks are Schlumberger (SLB: NYSE), Halliburton (HAL: NYSE) -- soon to merge with Baker Hughes (BHI: NYSE) -- Weatherford (WFT: NYSE).
Big ones, like Chevron, Shell or Total are also good plays for time being.
Why do you think you can leave the restaurant not paying the bill? Greek cuisine - tsadziki, fava, souvlaki, ouzo - I love them all, but from what I remember from my visits to Greece, I was always asked to pay the bill. Most of the times cash, not accepting Credit cards. Sometimes even tip was included into the bill itself. And I do not remember Greeks trying to escape restaurants unpaid. Apart from the fact that it is not nice to run away after the great dinner (good people just do not behave like this) it is also very frustruating to the people that have been in the same company with you going to the same restaurant, and year after year patiently ordered dishes they could afford and were paying for the food and booze instantly. Latvians took a path of paying the bill, even if that meant skipping next lunch or breakfast, but the honor, or just order of things, good manners were maintained.
From hero to zero. From what I see on TV, you have charizma. You resemble Bruce Willis, who has managed to save the world in number of "Die Hard" series... If compared to our prime-minister Dombrovskis, who managed to lead the country out of the crisis, you are... Titanic vs small fishing boat... But then, we know how Titanic ended... The issue is, charizma does not pay the bills either, and I wish you do not have to learn the hard way becoming zero fast, after you just run out of money to pay the bill for a breakfast of your Nation... Bold statements, like "we do not want to be addicts of Euro bail-out" is fine, but having a decent plan where to take the money is nice to have either...
Here, as Latvian, I need to confess, back in 2009, when Latvia took the path of austerity, I wished we would select someone like you to lead us, someone who sends Europeans to hell and party shall go on. It was painful to see parents taking 20% cut of their already miserable pensions (average pension here is around 200 EUR/month) with a grim. It was painful to afford much less, and I think that recovery of Latvia is not achievement of prime minister but all Nation was patient and tenacious to deliver on commitments, to save, to cut spendings, to eat less
Dear Yannis, why don't we learn from football? Latvia and Greece have something in common - we had great European championship in 2004. Latvia managed to squeeze into the final championship (yes, our bar is lower), while Greece, won the title!!!. Amazing achievements, and both were result of hard work, teamwork and very good tactics developed, to succesfully leverage those Resources that were available to both teams. We did not have and still do not have Ronaldos, Kakas, Messis, so for us, it was all about hard work... and the plan. It would be great to hear from you what is your plan to fix economy of Greece, If you will do it, your achievement will be matching or surpassing that of title... By the way, sorry to remind you, team of Greece was let to the glory by german - Otto Rehhagel, there might be some sign in it...
And, why do you believe EURO needs Greece? With 1,5% of European GDP but 3% of debt, I think it is good deal for Europeans you go to create your own GEURO, peg to Zimbabwean dollar and hyperinflate your way out of crisis... Euro will only become stronger (which is not necessary good thing, but that is different story about currency wars...). To me it resembles threats of suicidal person who scares everyone around with jumping out of window and then somebody will have to clean the street...
Happy to discuss more, but wishing you come out of communist utopia for your country...
If by any chance, you have read this letter, but you are not Yannis Varoufakis, please feel free to forward on to himself.
I just came back from few trips. To Russia, Ukraine and Georgia. Just business. Happens to be, these countries are still among the biggest export markets for products from Latvia. Now, here are few things that made me feel itching, confused, scared or just thinking...
War is in the air. When in Russia, war is mostly on TV. Media sells "agenda of mr Putin". And it is much more annoying and strighforward than detergent ads (regular detergent vs best detergent). When in Ukraine, people were preparing for next round of mobilization (70'000 people were planned to be recruited to army) and talking of possible solutions to escape this fate. Not something you expect in 21st century.
Sanctions work. Prices of goods in Russia has been rising. Rouble falling (became 2 times cheaper in a bling of the eye). Well, they work both ways. Factories (fish conserves factory in Ventspils foreclosed) closed, sales declining, hotel rooms empty. Economic gains of this war is non existent for any of parties. It is all about ego. Sad.
Power of media. Good old TV and radio still wins internet. Internet, while largely difficult to censore and manipulate, is still not giving sufficient balance to opinions on different sides. While it is highly probable that Russian army intelligence unit is active also on internet, still, it is different to manipulate terrabytes of information that is available there and mostly declares opposite opinion to that of Cremlin. I am dissapointed, If any benefits from internet, I thought that internet is our "objective information insurance"... not yet.
Probably it is right time to call for a doctor. Demanding mistress, heavy workload or issues in relationships with women in general, whatever the reason, seems that someone is more and more acting irrationally. Crimea that has to be supported financially by Russia and can only be considered "ego" victory, killing slavic neghbours while artificially pretending that Russia does not have army in Ukraine, and many other facts lead me to think that some virus is active there or mind capabilities are taken over by some hormones that are result of issues in sex life... Dear Russian secret service, if you are reading this, it is just an assumption, joke...
Do not blame it all on Putin. Unfortunately, president is hostage of public opinion. 85% of Russians want to "feel again part of empire", and are accepting risks associated with it. Media plan of propoganda works well, so .... partially, it is Russians who disctate his behaviour.
As I was writing before in the article on 5 ways to win Russia seems we will need to be creative, when talking about possible ways to fight against Russia (5 ways to win Russia).
Some more ideas...
Outsource governement to Estonia. They will move to e-Russia project, outsource ruling to computer, this will result in redundancy of president. Share savings with Russian government and all are happy..
Outsource governement to Latvia. They will cut salaries for beaureaucrats and share savings with Putin, All will live happily. Latvian politicians still score high on corruption, so they will find a way.
Outsource governement to Lithuania. Lithuanians will release all Russian parliament. Leave Putin in place, make him vice president, reporting to Gribauskaite. They will make it nice team. Tough to beat.
Fix sex life. Give them the reason to not "fu**" with the rest of the world.
Block vodka supplies to Kremlin for 1 month. It does seem that many decisions are made when drunk or when having big hangover. Stop it. But this is most dangerous solution. Unpredictable, basically.