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Is This a Great Country or What?

“Keep your hands off!” When a guard with an AK-15 tells you that, you don’t touch the boat. Note the advanced right-arm-under-the-stock technique.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While riding our bike in San Diego yesterday, we came through a boatyard and saw something we’d never seen in 40 years of going through boatyards around the world. There was a big motor yacht that was going to be launched the following day. In front of the powerboat were six black cars — a Cadillac Escalade, a Ferrari, a Bentley, a Rolls, a Mercedes, and a Land Rover. In front of the boat and in front of the cars were three women in white lingerie that contrasted starkly with the black automobiles. We could tell they were guards because they took turns holding an AK-15. We’re not sure if it was real, but they were instructed to be careful never to point it at anyone.

The incident may have been another example of women breaking through the glass ceiling in yet another field, as it’s the first time we’ve seen women guards for a boat.

We asked a young man nearby if all six cars were his. "Only the black ones," he laughed. He further told us, "I’ve gone from nada to Prada, and am proud of it. I’ve worked very hard to be successful, and always tried to do the right thing, like pay all the taxes I owe." He told us he never could have done it except in America, the land of opportunity.

A smart employer hires based on skills, not the color of one’s hair.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Nada to Prada" is a pretty good line, and based on anecdotal evidence, maybe it really is more possible in America than other places. About a month ago we met a guy in a swimming pool at Mita, Mexico. He is an Armenian Christian who as a teenager had to flee Iran with his parents following the collapse of the Peacock Throne. He said he was shocked at the poor quality of education he found in America. "I constantly had to correct my physics teacher in high school," he said.

His daughter is an engineering major at Santa Clara University, and has been courted by the likes of Boeing since she was a junior in high school. But she’s more interested in trying to develop clean energy from thermal sources in Iceland than she is in airplanes. "It’s very good to be a female in the science field," her father told us.

There was some heavy rain in San Diego yesterday, but it didn’t stop this dedicated guard from standing at her post.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Anyway, 25 years ago this genial fellow started making clothes in his house. He says that while it took an untold amount of very hard work, he now makes all the jeans for Levi’s, most of the clothes for Costco, and all of the stuff for Quicksilver and Volcom, and for a bunch of other companies. "Only in America," were his exact words.

He was spending a week in a penthouse at Mita after making the highest bid for the week at an auction for Challenge America, an organization that works to help mostly mentally challenged people find jobs. The man employs about 100 of them. "They are a little slow, but they can do jobs like packing clothes in boxes."

The guy who owns the penthouse is another ‘Only in America’ story. Of Japanese ethnicity, his mother and father had spent World War II in an internment camp here in the States. He later became one of the top salesmen for one of the big insurance companies. It’s complicated, but he developed some software to help the company’s salesmen. When the big company didn’t want to pay for it, he decided to market it to the industry. Shades of Larry Ellison and Oracle. Anyway, he made a lot of money, and has since made a lot more money investing in real estate.

What does this all have to do with women in lingerie holding AK-15s in a San Diego boatyard? We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

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