While We Are Sleeping

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It’s Memorial Day here in the United States.  This typically signifies the “unofficial” start to summer fit with all the beaches, BBQ’s, and celebrations we can pack into a 3-day weekend! Enjoy it everyone, especially, knowing we have InfoComm 2012 coming up in just a few weeks where we’ll be working our tails off for our companies and the AV industry!!

The title of my blog has two meanings.  Both about our country — one where we have come from and the other where we are headed.

FIRST.  While We Are Sleeping there are almost 3 million of the bravest service men and women all over the world who are sacrificing their own holiday parties and spending time with loved ones and friends to keep us safe and free.  Let alone the untold number of men and women who have sacrificed their very lives since the founding of our country to protect each one of us from a similar fate.  In fact, every day of the year they put themselves in harm’s way to defend our rights to go about our business — all along as we take for granted there are people in the world persecuted for speaking out against whomever is in power where they live.  I hope we remember that  the next time we want to tweet, blog, or get all worked up about something trivial.  I mean, would you rather give your energy to fighting someone who doesn’t think the same as you or would our time be better spent fighting FOR our soldiers to have good health care coverage and decent jobs when they return from active duty?

One of the best quotes I’ve seen recently is, “Today is about the warrior not the war”.  Regardless of how we feel about war, I hope we all take the time to honor and celebrate the veterans who are fulfilling a mission that has nothing to do with politics, oil, religion, or any other reason those who seek to be in power give for attacking others.  Not just today, but, every day.  They are NOT the decision or policy makers.  They should never have to receive the anger or burden we may feel about whether our government is making good or bad choices for our country.  They are you and I — they have families they love and need to provide for, dreams, and goals like each and every one of us.  They sacrifice pursing those things to defend our ability to carry on buying the latest tech gizmo, griping about how unfair life is, and all the other things we should be so grateful are the day-to-day details we face.

Personally, I am so grateful to each and every man and woman who would put aside the own lives and happiness to defend my right to the freedoms we have as Americans.  They are the truest heroes in my eyes and Thank You so very much for everything you do for our country, the world, and for me.

SECOND and very much related to the First.  While We WERE Sleeping Sunday night, May 20th — Kansas City, MO- based AMC Theaters was sold to a private Chinese company, Dalian Wanda Group for $2.6 billion dollars.  The second largest US-based theater chain, with over 346 theaters and 5,800 screens, was sold to a foreign company that is a subsidy of the China National United Oil Corporation Co. Ltd.  Which was also once a governmental agency of the People’s Republic of China communist government.  Am I the only one who has a concern with how this might play out?  It feels even more poignant today when you think about how our government used movie theaters during WWI and WWII to deliver messages about the wars to the general public and whether that would be possible were something to happen in the future.

And, why is NO ONE in AV talking about this?  Could this not have an potential impact on North-American companies like THX, Dolby, Chiristie Digital, the film studios, and audio manufacturers that all have a vested interest in whether their equipment would be replaced with Asian-based manufacturers such as Samsung, Panasonic, and Toshiba?  And, how much of this are Steven Spielberg, Viacom, and Hollywood players in this?  Being that DreamWorks in February entered a join-venture with the Chinese government to redevelop a section of Shanghai with a studio.  What was wrong with Detroit? http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-22/how-the-deal-for-amc-entertainment-furthers-chinas-culture-agenda

When you add that to Sunnyvale, CA-based Yahoo on the SAME Sunday night sold $7.1 billion of its shares to Chinese based e-commerce group, Alibaba, it seems to me America lost $10 billion dollars in assets to China while we were all tucked away snoozing.  The AMC Theater deal is the largest oversee acquisition by a private Chinese company in history.  It overpasses the 2004 purchase of IBM for $1.7 billion dollars if that puts it in perspective.  I don’t know, maybe it’s a good thing.  But, I would think the US would better served being the one who is acquiring assets from foreign entities versus the other way around.  The Chinese are saying this will boost their “soft power”, but, I’d like anyone to tell me one thing “soft” about the the kind of power China wields.  That in and of itself seems questionable for me.

And, the way I see these related is that our service men and women are doing their job to defend and protect our rights and to secure a future that has made our country what is today.  But, when it comes to our private businesses and government, are they pulling their own weight?  To ensure that our country’s private companies are financially solvent enough to win the international business commerce race?

Anyhow, enough ranting for this Memorial Day, I know it’s a time of celebration and enjoying what we have!!  So, hug your soldier, your family, and your beach ball!

And, May God Bless Everyone and the USA!!