When Lies Become the Truth

The sad truth is that 30% of Americans are so out of touch with reality that they won’t see the truth, preferring instead to chant their prepared slogans and lies – prepared for them by those bastions of morality: Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, and the good old GOP.
There is no reasoning with them. They are fascists.
The saddest part is that they are hurting themselves to help the very companies which would deny them care at the drop of a hat.

GOP Gone Wild


What happens when the right-wing runs out of ideas. They turn to stupidity, lies, fear, hate, and hypocrisy – the five cardinal virtues of the Republican right.

Health Care: Who do you Trust?

Do you trust your doctor or the paper pushers at your insurance company?

Another way to look at the issue: is it bribing or lobbying?
When the Republicans and the blue dog Democrats are both in the pockets of the drug and insurance companies, what do you expect? This is why we have lost our way, and why specifically, we need campaign finance reform.
Here’s some background reading:
Health Care Realities
Gang of Sickos: Six US Senators Sell Out Constituents for $11 Million from Health Industry
How Pharma and Insurance Intend to Kill the Public Option, And What Obama and the Rest of Us Must Do
Sicko by Michael Moore (watch the whole thing)
Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform
Obamacare Is At War With Itself Over Future Costs
The cost of no public option
Crazy Wingnut Healthcare Attacks Exposed
Nearly 2,000 Americans Seek Treatment in Fairgrounds Barn
My Car Has Better Insurance Than I Have
Firefighting in the 1800’s: A Corrupt, Bloated, Private For-Profit Industry
Time to throw these money-lenders out of the temple! Call and write your reps on Capitol Hill – daily! It’s your health, after all.
P.S. – Democrats, dump Baucus, now.

Silk Soy Milk Loses its Way: Adventures in Corporate Unsustainability

My family has been a customer of Silk Soy for well over seven years. As of today, we quit. Why? Two reasons:
1) the soy beans aren’t organic anymore
2) they’re from China
Anyone who trusts food from China is being foolish. Remember this? Not to mention the carbon costs of transporting food all that way…
Read all about how Dean Foods destroyed its brand and beat up on American organic farmers at the same time. I thought about writing them or calling them, but it’s less work to just switch. They’re obviously not going to listen to their customers anyway.
Just another example of the short-term, unsustainable mindset of the multinational company.

Jack and Suzy Welch’s Reality Advertising

Jack and Suzy Welch star in a Microsoft-sponsored, web-based, business reality show. The site is here, but it’s too cluttered (I think they were trying to be cool).
I do think this is a great advertising campaign, if the branding fools don’t destroy it (by placing too many Microsoft (yawn) pitches in the margins, for example).
Watch the first show below. Jack jumps in and “surfaces” a few issues at Connect by Hertz – a new car-sharing venture. In a way, the fact that Jack pulls these issues out in 5 minutes sorta tells us how out of it Hertz is.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

After watching this I get the feeling they don’t understand VG’s Box1-2-3 strategy for innovation. In fact, they are most likely going to fail. After 30 days, the CEO has still NOT created a global business unit for Griff. Not good. No follow through on commitments.
One more thing. Why doesn’t Microsoft bring Jack and Suzy into Microsoft for a few days? They could wake the sleepyheads real fast. Stop one: The Automotive group!
Also, I’d like to see Obama send Jack and Suzy into GM for six weeks. That would sure be a reality show worth watching.
BTW: A quick ecosystem analysis shows that Zipcar is beating them hands down. Rankings: almost 600,000 for Connect by Hertz and 22,000 by Zipcar.

O Jerusalem: The Rise of Jewish Fascism

The extremists seem to have taken over Israel’s soul.
Watch >>
Tragic blindness.
Max Blumenthal says about his video:
I hope those who have watched it, especially those predisposed to dismiss it as anti-Israel propaganda or shock video with “no news value,” will at least ask how vitriolic levels of racism are able to flow through the streets of Jerusalem like sewage, why the grandsons of Holocaust survivors feel compelled to offer the Shoah as justification to behave like fascist street thugs, and how the sons and daughters of successful Jewish American families casually merged Zionist cant with crude white supremacism. The willful avoidance of these painful questions by self-proclaimed supporters of Israel is setting the stage for the complete delegitimization of the country they claim to love. As Obama said, “any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it.”
And on top of this we have morons like Rupert Murdoch.
On the other side, we have the moving story of Josh Lipsky and his trip to Buchenwald.
I see how easy it is to use hate to unite people – the Christian fundamentalists, white supremacists, Jewish settlers, Zionists, Hamas, Taliban, Al-Qaeda – flip sides of the currency of terror.
The world is not against you, Israel. You are against you.
Hat-tips to Dera and Steven for sending me these stories.

Virtual Warfare: China Leads the US

“When the US Department of Defense is the target of no fewer than 128 information infrastructure attacks per minute from China, and we discover that while DoD is almost universally using off-the-shelf Microsoft Windows systems while China is engaged in working toward 100% military deployment of security hardened FreeBSD, it becomes clear that there’s definitely something wrong with US information security policy.”
Whoa!

Burger King: “Global Warming is Baloney”

Business stupidity is always a sign of something else more worrisome. Several Burger King franchises in Tennessee have been displaying “Global Warming is Baloney” signs outside their restaurants.
Now that they’ve decided to speak their minds, how about we speak ours with signs like these:
– “Try our Massive-Coronary-Failure Burger – Buy 1 get 2 Free”
– “No Mad Cows Allowed on Premises”
– “Our Burgers are E-Coli free, or Your Money Back”
– “Our Rats are Sanitized for Your Protection”
– “Our Employees Wash Their Hands after Using the Restroom”
See what I’m getting at?
The franchises are all owned by a company called the Mirabile Investment Corporation (MIC) that owns more than 40 Burger Kings across Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.
Nice going, guys. What next? A “whites-only” sign?
Burger King should yank their licenses. I’m sure they can get some other, more responsible, business owners to take over.

John McEnroe: Give Tennis a Chance

The political machinations you find in national sports authorities, whether it’s US Track and Field (remember when they denied Carl Lewis a chance for his tenth gold in the relay?) or the USTA – which is hemming and hawing over letting John McEnroe set up a Tennis Academy in New York – are always horrible to watch, and even worse to experience.
It’s always gratifying to see people who never played the game at the highest level make big money off the game and mess it over at the same time.
Think Sepp Blatter’s FIFA and Samaranch’s IOC.
Disasters all around.
So who do we have to bribe to get John McEnroe a shot at giving back to the US tennis community?
Like McEnroe or not, you have to agree he always, always, showed up for the Davis Cup. I remember watching the great Arthur Ashe talk about McEnroe’s dedication to the red, white and blue. Let’s give him a chance, you guys in the USTA administration. There really isn’t anything to lose at this point. Think about it. Who do you want? McEnroe or FEMA’s Brownie?

The Heretical Views of Freeman Dyson

Global warming greatly exaggerated?
What’s wrong with Freeman Dyson?
Maybe the climate models he’s criticizing are off – but perhaps he hasn’t seen the pine beetle destruction across North America – all the way from British Columbia to New Mexico. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the dry, hot weather across California. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the melting Glaciers in Glacier National Park. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the mild winters in the Rockies. Perhaps he hasn’t gotten out of his air-conditioned office…
This is what happens when you get too smart. I agree with his principal point – that PhDs are, for the most part, a bunch of nerds who are too busy examining parts of the elephant to see the animal itself. I even agree that we are not spending enough time working on poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. But to say that global warming is somehow less important misses the entire point. Of course they are all related. Of course we have to become radically more serious about sustainable development. But too say something this absurd? Really.
Here’s where I do find myself agreeing with him:
I say the United States has less than a century left of its turn as top nation. Since the modern nation-state was invented, about the year 1500, a succession of countries have taken turns as top nation. First it was Spain, then France, then and Britain, than America. Each term lasted about 150 years. Ours began in 1920 so it should end about 2070.
I agree with his analysis as well:
The reason why each top nation’s term comes to an end is that the top nation becomes overextended militarily, economically and politically. Greater and greater efforts are required to maintain the number one position. Finally, the overextension becomes so extreme that the whole structure collapses. Already we can see in the American posture today some clear symptoms of overextension.
But here’s where he’s missed the boat: the two are connected. If the United States decides to re-invent itself as a sustainable economy, it will lead for another 200 years, period. That is what Obama and Gore have figured out already, but somehow, this smart heretic has not connected the dots.

Losing the Secret Ingredient in the H-Bomb

For decades nonproliferation experts have argued that, once unleashed, the nuclear genie cannot be stuffed back in the bottle. But they probably didn’t consider the possibility that a country with nuclear bomb-making know-how might forget how to manufacture a key atomic ingredient. Yet that’s precisely what happened to the US recently, and national security experts say this institutional memory lapse raises serious questions about the federal government’s nuclear weapons management.
Whoops! Is this what a military-industrial complex “senior” moment looks like?

Hitler: Not the Right Management Guru for India

There was disturbing report at the beginning of the week which said that Mein Kampf was flying off the bookshelves in New Delhi, fueled by demand from students “who see it as a self-improvement and management strategy guide for aspiring business leaders, and who were happy to cite it as an inspiration.”
I don’t think so.
In my view, this is merely the latest round in the political extremism which is being fomented by groups like the BJP and thugs like Varun Gandhi.
When politicians use race, religion, and background to divide people and win votes, you know we’re in a bad place. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Republicans or the BJP using these tactics, it’s just plain evil.
We don’t need another Sanjay Gandhi.
There are plenty of candidates out there vying to be India’s Hitler. The question is: where is India’s Obama?
Tata Nano or not, India still has a long way to go to get to Satyameva Jayate
Will a real Gandhi please stand up?

Backlash: How Early Adopters React When the Mass Market Embraces a New Brand


David Reibstein‘s theory holds true online as well. Let’s look at an example of how this works with online communities, knowledge – based communities in particular. Let’s say we build an online community around a specific topic. When the site starts up, we attract the early adopters – some of them thought leaders in their fields. The posts, articles, and debates are generally led by a handful of these thinkers, and they attract a following. The newbies, as they engage with the community start off by learning, asking questions, sometimes just lurking. The quality of these early debates is typically high and participation intense and invigorating.
So what happens when the community suddenly experiences growth – massive numbers of the hoi-pollloi descend on the site and suddenly the quality of discussions takes on a Twitter-like feelstupid and stupider. The old school rebels, first through silence, and second by disengaging. This takeover by the wisdom of the masses can be avoided, through ruthless editorial direction and skilled moderators. And every once in while, the new participants challenge assumptions that deserve to be challenged, and are given their space in the sun.
So how do we manage this growth and stay true to the community’s intent?
Three options come to my mind:
1) Manage membership – simply keep the community at growing in a measured way – firing the “bottom” 10% each year, and bringing in a fresh crop of participants at 20%… This is the surest way to sustainable growth.
2) Create a merit-based aristocacy – with tiered membership based on the value of the participant’s contributions.
3) Create a feeder community which is built for the masses and an elite community for the thought leaders and their followers. Moderate the interaction between these groups with the possibility of upward migration based on peer-based invitations.
You’ll notice I am not advocating open communities where everyone has an equal voice. That’s because I’m not talking about social communities, but communities of practice where respect is reserved for the competent.

Cloning Your Milk (Why the FDA is Out to Lunch)

I was stunned to see this ad today:
cloned milk advertisement
At first, I thought it was joke, but then, after seeing this site I wasn’t so sure:
cloned milk company
It seemed like a spoof – note the “Clone Zone” with the “Fun Facts on Cloning.
My hilarity turned sour when I realized they were serious.
Now I’m asking you, do you really believe the FDA when they tell you it’s safe?
Not these crooks.
Obama needs to weed out the Bush appointees, quickly.
Who knows what they’ll approve next? And the worst thing, they aren’t even required to label cloned products.
Let’s hope they’re not cloning mad cows.
And who is Linda?
cloned milk company

Killing Creativity at Google

Goodbye Google, says Douglas Bowman.
Apparently the engineers at Google have killed his creativity.
Is this the triumph of data-driven decision-making?
In my view, and I do like data, this is a minor symptom of Google losing its soul. When petty data kills the poet, you know its time to hit the eject button.
Head for the hills, Douglas!
Sidenote: this reminds me of a Peter Drucker story. Drucker insisted, during one of those waste/cost-cutting-witch-hunting exercises, that the consultants should not go after every last penny. Doing so, in his mind, would destroy the soul of the company. Sure there’s a little waste, but you still have an engaged workforce.
Another way to say this is: “Detroititis.”
The nerds at Google still have a lot to learn.

Liz Sidoti: Smear Journalism at the Associated Press

How low has the Associated Press fallen?
Or maybe the question should be: how low will they go?
I just caught site of an article by Liz Sidoti which seemed rather vicious in tone and decided to check up on who she was.
Here’s what came up: AP’s Sidoti smears Obama
Then I decided to do a search on Media Matters.
Hello! Here we go again. The media attack dogs are back. I wonder who is funding them? The Heritage Foundation?
But it’s not just Sidoti, it’s the AP, period.
And newspapers still wonder why no one reads them anymore? Keep buying that AP feed, Mr. Editor.
UPDATE: Thanks, Joseph! Apparently Liz Sidoti was a donut donor to the failed McCain campaign:

Wow, wow and wow.

World of Ends: Another Manifesto from Doc Searls and David Weinberger

The Cluetrain posse continues their journey:
1. The Internet isn’t complicated
2. The Internet isn’t a thing. It’s an agreement.
3. The Internet is stupid.
4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
5. All the Internet’s value grows on its edges.
6. Money moves to the suburbs.
7. The end of the world? Nah, the world of ends.
8. The Internet’s three virtues:
a. No one owns it
b. Everyone can use it
c. Anyone can improve it
9. If the Internet is so simple, why have so many been so boneheaded about it?
10. Some mistakes we can stop making already
Details >>

What Happened to Forrester Research?

It looks like Forrester Research has gone off the deep end. Either that, or their website designers aren’t reading their own reports. Like the ones on creating personas for the audience that visits your site…
forresteraudience.jpg
Apparently these are the types of people who are visiting the Forrester website these days. Note the sour faces, forced smiles, and abject hand wringing – a definite sign that the recession is taking hold…
P.S. Instead of spending money on inauthentic website design, Forrester should’ve just spent the money and hung on to Charlene Li. Too bad.