Somebody said we were allowed to think out loud. Pardon the mess.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Look what we're arguing about. Now, ask why

That's a pretty good formula to compare to any news story of note. Follow the ambition trail: 'Who can win, or come out on top'?

Following on your wise observation, should be, "Who stands to gain from this particular conversation.?"

Swift boats? Because Kerry, by virtue of his US Navy-endowed medals, was demonstrably more of a steely 'action-hero' than George Bush. 'Swift boats' had to happen. Kerry's anti-war testimony? Obviously, he paid his dues, and had earned his right to speak out and against an ineffective war. Therefore: he must be shouted down. [for lots of reasons - we'll cover this in a later post.]

But this does bring up a current point: $87 billion? Flip flop?

Remind yourself, those aren't arguments; not legitimate 'purchase order' statements, they're diversions from the point: Why do we have to spend this money? Why are we in this predicament?
87 billion dollars? Vote yes, then no? A joke?

A gun with no bullets is not persuasive. So I voted "yes." I voted to give George Bush bullets--with a requirement: 'Pay for them, and find a posse.' He chose not to do either. He picked the top 2% of America that are his "loyal base" and asked You--the other 98%-to pay for the bullets, with money and souls. His tax cuts to friends were more important than his commitment to serious National Security or his understanding of America in her time of need.. So I vetoed... I voted No. And I'd do it again. Twice if you dared me.
That's how I'd say it. But he's not MY candidiate.

In many cases, my job [helping companies get past short-sightedness, mis- or malfeasance] bumps into this challenge of blame-shifting or mental chess borne out of the desire to not seem so ridiculously manipulable. To not 'feel' like we were played.

The 'truth' is, we're all manipulable. We get played becase the players know we inherently want to 'Hope.' But, Hope's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a great thing, misused by those who know its power.

That's why we need cops, and journalists. It's why we need "ethics" courses and Grandma's knee, not more seminars on 'how far you can push it.'

"Who wrote it?"
"Was that an 'official' document?"
"IBM Selectric®, or not?"

Know what? If we're having this conversation, there's something seriously wrong already. Whether forgery of not, we're looking at a busted, illegitimate organisation. This week - or, 30 years ago - people don't take the time to duplicate [repeatedly] the duplicity or incongruity that they've witnessed inside a company unless there's some really creepy shit going down. True, or false, as a leader, if I've got folks consistently making shit up to undermine me, I'm categorically not "Leading.' I'm probably 'herding.' or 'scaring.'

You know the phrase, "where there's smoke, there's fire."

Let the 'Typographers' wail. Just don't make up your mind based on the laziness of a few quasi-professional interests or bored , confused journalists. Anyone can do that... See, we're experts in my office, too...

Did he or didn't he? Who knows, besides the now-dead Killian? Where's 'Harris'? Hodges? Staudt? The secretary who wrote these? The acquisitions-personel who ordered the typewriter?

Interesting questions, not about the provenance of the documents, but about their contents.

But we're talking about the materials, again, aren't we?

It works, doesn't it? What are you talking about? What are we taking about?

Notice the vacuum being created? Save Jesus! True or false, it bears reminding that we haven't had so many professionally interested, questioning people on tinterhooks since Richard Milhous Nixon was telling us "Peace was just around the corner." Or that there was "A light at the end of the tunnel."

That's a problem for a nation.

Especially for a country like America, built, as we are, on "Truth" and "Justice."

And on real ambitions, like Hope.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Pushing product: All the President's Brand Attribites.

Presidential ImagePower® Study Compares Bush and Kerry to Well-Known Brands
Branding and the U.S. Presidential Candidates

August 30, 2004 – New York, NY – The Presidential ImagePower study released jointly by branding firm Landor Associates and research firm Penn, Schoen and Berland reveals how Bush and Kerry's respective supporters, as well as how undecided voters, perceive the two candidates.

How do Bush and Kerry stack up? See the leading brands associated with each candidate.
Starbucks or Folgers? Ford or Chevy? Diesel or Levis? I'm dyin' here, let's go!

A step precedes a jump. A jump avoids a smite. A bow sidesteps Armageddon.

A simple and relatively painless gesture that has always dumbfounded me in its ringing abscence, while its clarity and necessity has always been obvious for things to progress to equity.

Step #1:World Tribune
Muslim group takes responsibility for 9-11: 'We are so sorry'

This September 11 marks the third unforgettable anniversary of the worst mass murder in American history.

After September 11, many in the Muslim world chose denial and hallucination rather than face up to the sad fact that Muslims perpetrated the 9-11 terrorist acts and that we have an enormous problem with extremism and support for terrorism. Many Muslims, including religious leaders, and “intellectuals” blamed 9-11 on a Jewish conspiracy and went as far as fabricating a tale that 4000 Jews did not show up for work in the World Trade Center on 9-11. Yet others blamed 9-11 on an American right wing conspiracy or the U.S. Government which allegedly wanted an excuse to invade Iraq and “steal” Iraqi oil.
As to apologizing, we will no longer wait for our religious leaders and "intellectuals" to do the right thing. Instead, we will start by apologizing for 9-11 . . .

After numerous admissions of guilt by Bin Laden and numerous corroborating admissions by captured top level Al-Qaida operatives, we wonder, does the Muslim leadership have the dignity and courage to apologize for 9-11?

If not 9-11, will we apologize for the murder of school children in Russia?

If not Russia, will we apologize for the train bombings in Madrid, Spain?

If not Spain, will we apologize for suicide bombings in buses, restaurants and other public places?

If not suicide bombings, will we apologize for the barbaric beheadings of human beings?

If not beheadings, will we apologize for the rape and murder of thousands of innocent people in Darfour?

If not Darfour, will we apologize for the blowing up of two Russian planes by Muslim women?

What will we apologize for?

What will it take for Muslims to realize that those who commit mass murder in the name of Islam are not just a few fringe elements?

What will it take for Muslims to realize that we are facing a crisis that is more deadly than the Aids epidemic?

What will it take for Muslims to realize that there is a large evil movement that is turning what was a peaceful religion into a cult?

Will Muslims wake up before it is too late? Or will we continue blaming the Jews and an imaginary Jewish conspiracy? The blaming of all Muslim problems on Jews is a cancer that is destroying Muslim society from within and it must stop.

Muslims must look inward and put a stop to many of our religious leaders who spend most of their sermons teaching hatred, intolerance and violent jihad. We should not be afraid to admit that as Muslims we have a problem with violent extremism. We should not be afraid to admit that so many of our religious leaders belong behind bars and not behind a pulpit.

Only moderate Muslims can challenge and defeat extremist Muslims. We can no longer afford to be silent. If we remain silent to the extremism within our community then we should not expect anyone to listen to us when we complain of stereotyping and discrimination by non-Muslims; we should not be surprised when the world treats all of us as terrorists; we should not be surprised when we are profiled at airports.

Simply put, not only do Muslims need to join the war against terror, we need to take the lead in this war.

As to apologizing, we will no longer wait for our religious leaders and “intellectuals” to do the right thing. Instead, we will start by apologizing for 9-11.

We are so sorry that 3000 people were murdered in our name. We will never forget the sight of people jumping from two of the highest buildings in the world hoping against hope that if they moved their arms fast enough that they may fly and survive a certain death from burning.

We are sorry for blaming 9-11 on a Jewish or right wing conspiracy.

We are so sorry for the murder of more than three hundred school children and adults in Russia.

We are so sorry for the murder of train passengers in Spain.

We are so sorry for all the victims of suicide bombings. We are so sorry for the beheadings, abductions, rapes, violent Jihad and all the atrocities committed by Muslims around the world.

We are so sorry for a religious education that raised killers rather than train people to do good in the world. We are sorry that we did not take the time to teach our children tolerance and respect for other people.

We are so sorry for not rising up against the dictators who have ruled the Muslim world for decades.

We are so sorry for allowing corruption to spread so fast and so deep in the Muslim world that many of our youth lost hope.

We are so sorry for allowing our religious leaders to relegate women to the status of forth class citizens at best and sub-humans at worse.

We are so sorry.

For more information visit our website at:
The power that's available is the power you give up.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

[im]perfect storm. Week one.

Call him Ishmael.

Hurricane Neocon
U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq Pass 1,000
Hurricane Kitty
Media View Kitty Kelley's Bush Book With Caution

It is the book that some Republicans have been worrying about for weeks, filled with lurid allegations by a celebrity biographer whose controversial reputation has only boosted her sales.

Kitty Kelley's volume on the Bush family won't be published until next week, but the White House communications director yesterday dismissed the book as "garbage"...

Peter Gethers, vice president of Random House and Kelley's editor, said the publisher's chief counsel and Kelley's own lawyer went over the book "with a fine-toothed comb."

"It was as extensive a legal read as a publisher could give," Gethers said. "Some things didn't make it, and we're 100 percent confident of the things that made it in. We erred on the side of caution because we knew how hard she was going to be hit."
Hurricane Peruvian Flake
Though she is not regarded as a serious biographer by any stretch, Kelley is undeniably a bestseller. The initial print run for the book is 600,000 copies, and anticipation about its contents sent a frisson through Republicans at last week's convention.

And, after a highly effective campaign to smear the wartime record of John Kerry, the Kelley biography is seen as an occasion for Democrats to sling some mud of their own against a Christian president who claims to stand for conservative values.
Hurricane Southern Comfort
After weeks in which John Kerry's military record has been picked to pieces, President George Bush now faces a double blast of scrutiny over his own past, raising new questions over his avoidance of the Vietnam draft and his alleged use of drugs.

The first salvo is due to be fired on CBS tonight, when Ben Barnes, a Democrat and the lieutenant governor of Texas in 1968, will explain his role in securing for the 22-year-old Yale graduate Bush a coveted place in the state's Air National Guard - a unit so full of the sons of Texas's rich and powerful that it was known as the "Champagne Unit".
Hurricane Froomkin
Bush's Youth Under Scrutiny

After weeks in which the political discourse was nearly dominated by the scrutinizing of Sen. John F. Kerry's conduct in the Vietnam War era, President Bush now may find himself under the microscope and on the defensive for actions in his past.
Hurricane Alamo, Tropical Storm Gannett
'Texans for Truth' ad challenges Bush on Guard service
A group called Texans for Truth will release a TV ad today in which a former lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Air National Guard says neither he nor his friends saw George W. Bush when the future president was supposed to be with their unit in 1972.
Hurricane Richard
"[Cheney] blamed the Clinton and Reagan administrations for teaching terrorists that 'they could strike us with relative impunity' and that 'if they hit us hard enough, they could change our policy.' Mr. Cheney cited the attack on United States Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983, in the first Reagan term, along with the 1993 killings of American soldiers in Somalia, a 1996 truck bombing at a housing complex in Saudi Arabia where many Americans lived, the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa and the attack on the destroyer Cole in Yemen in 2000."
Hurricane Dick
"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.

If Kerry were elected, Cheney said the nation risks falling back into a "pre-9/11 mind-set" that terrorist attacks are criminal acts that require a reactive approach. Instead, he said Bush's offensive approach works to root out terrorists where they plan and train, and pressure countries that harbor terrorists.
Hurricane Marcus Welby
Medicare Premiums To Rise By 17.5%
Percentage Increase Biggest in 15 Years

Health insurance premiums for senior citizens enrolled in Medicare will rise 17.5 percent in 2005, bringing the total monthly payment to $78.20, Bush administration officials said yesterday.
Hurricane Safer World
MOSCOW – Russian investigators said Arab operatives linked to Al Qaida played a major role in the takeover of a Russian school in which 400 people were killed.

Russian officials said authorities have determined that 10 of the 32 suicide attackers who took over a high school in Beslan in North Ossetia last week were nationals from several Arab countries. Most of the attackers were Chechens and Ingush who had been trained at Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan.

The 10 Arab nationals came from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria, officials said. They said security forces seized notebooks in Arabic in the school taken over by insurgents. Officials said survivors told authorities that some of the captors spoke Arabic during the three-day hostage ordeal.
Hurricane Safer World II
Russians Find Same Explosive in the Wreckage of Both Planes

MOSCOW — Residue of the same type of explosive found in the wreckage of one of two Russian airliners that crashed last week has been found in the second, authorities said Saturday.

"Traces of hexogen were found in the course of an additional investigation of fragments of the Tu-134 airplane that crashed in the Tula region," Sergei Ignatchenko, a spokesman for the Federal Security Service, or FSB, told the Russian news agency Interfax.

The FSB, the main successor to the KGB, announced Friday the discovery of traces of hexogen in the wreckage of the other plane, which crashed in the Rostov region in southern Russia. Ninety people died in the crashes after both jets took off from the same Moscow airport Tuesday night.
Heavy squalls. Lots of asymmetical gusts. There were always lots of reasons why Swift Boats wouldn't be like Willie Horton. Somebody really should tell Karl Rove "people who live in glass houses..." Some of the above is doubtless gonna be "teacup tempest." Doesn't matter. Brands can't fake their core. Famed advertising legend Bill Bernbach said it well: "Great advertising will only kill a bad product quicker."

As noted below, fear makes us do ill-considered things. And even lazy reporters can only be gamed and fluffed and dared so much. Even they can't ignore the fact that, sometimes, the shit is coming down so heavy, you need a hat. Or a harpoon. White whale time, batten down the hatches.

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