Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Tennessee Contemplation of Pirates

with 3 comments

While in Tennessee visiting my granddaughter Teagan and her parents, one day, as I sipped my coffee, I began thinking about the global financial crisis which led me to financiers, stock brokers, and bankers. Suddenly, my mind wandered over to pirates.  At that time, my take was that pirates way back when had a code of ethics that prevented them from plundering certain countries-loyal to the crown and all that. Certain ports were protected. The pirate crews, often retreated to their own islands dividing their booty carousing and living the good life until they ran low on rum and other necessities. They, then.  took another foray out into the world.  Given the romantic notion that we now have of pirates, it is often thought that they did not take more than was necessary to keep themselves and their communities alive and well.

Fast forward to the pirates of today, and it is hard to see where the loyalties of these modern day pirates lie.  Basically, it seemed more like a feeding frenzy of sharks who had been given the hapless pirate who “walked the plank”.  Needless to say, I thought my early morning musings farfetched and fanciful so I parked them in the dark recesses of my mind doubting that they would see the light of day.  And then, today, I read this article from  the October 15, 2008 Science Daily which comments on the recent writings of Dr. Peter Hayes, Senior Lecturer on Politics at the University of Sunderland     

No longer so far-fetched.  But now, my mind wanders to dinosaurs, evolution, and how some species become extinct.  And, as I wander I wonder, is it time for these dinosaurs to die?  And if they die, what will evolve to take their place? 

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 15th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

3 Responses to 'Tennessee Contemplation of Pirates'

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  1. Gloria,
    nice find on the pirate article. Didn’t the Corsair Group just board National City?
    Corsair: 1. a fast ship used for piracy. 2. a pirate, esp. formerly of the Barbary Coast. Boy these pirates have alot of chutspah to actually announce that they are pirates instead of sneaking through the back door to rob you.

    The dinosaur comment got me thinking. The dinosaurs evolved towards gigantism, while the little, nimble mammals found niches in which to thrived, and maybe there are some lessons there for Cleveland. Like Ireland’s potato famine, overinvestment in a single crop, idea, industry or idea, instead of diversification and decentralization leaves a system fatally vulnerable to the failure of a single cog.

    Uncontrolled bank mergers have brought us lumbering giants like Nat City, who chugged CDO kool-aid while little, nimble mammal bank Third Federal, thrived in it’s niche, all the while looking out it’s windows at its Slavic Village neighborhood to get a crystal clear picture of what all that debt really was.

    I wonder if the lumbering brontosaur GM might be better off as a bunch of smaller, nimble, independent mammal companies. Lets watch Tesla motors and Tallmadge’s own Meyers Motors to see if there are niches where these mammal companies can survive.

    The notion of economy of scale might now be reaching diminishing returns in the 21st century. Maybe the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is suffering because of its gigantic proportions. Maybe it should be four or five little, nimble mammal school districts of about 10,000 students, each district implementing best practices learned from the others.

    CPP needs to become a nimble mammal instead of a lumbering stegosaurus, waiting for the big asteroid strike. It can do this by finding a niche in which to thrive. How about a decentralized power producer of carbon-free energy? CPP must help Cleveland homeowners put a 2KW (about 10 PV panels) on every south facing roof in the city. They have already made a step in the right direction with their net metering program. It is time to stop blowing hot air about some future freshwater wind farm, and build one on shore, right here, right now to announce that Cleveland is playing for keeps. Ten or twenty wind turbines along the shore from edgewater to Bratnahl, showing up in every national broadcast of Indians, Cavs and Browns home games will make one hell of an impression that we do more than just studies here in Cleveland. That would be the nudge required to convert the Erie wind farm from repetitive, pointless duplicate studies to a concrete reality.



    16 Oct 08 at 10:07 AM

  2. Wow. These are ideas whose time has come. This is getting to be a truly great dialogue, and thanks, Glen.


    16 Oct 08 at 12:48 PM

  3. WOW! Thanks, Glen. Thanks for taking my dinosaur comment and running with it. Excellent points and ideas for solutions to the morass we find ourselves in at this point.

    With minds like yours, Cleveland will again be a force to be reckoned.

    Gloria Ferris

    16 Oct 08 at 1:14 PM

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