Tag Archive: Charles Krauthammer


“I did not defend Roger Ailes nor did I condemn him. I just stated what I knew or did not know. Period.” – Fox News host Greta Van Susteren

“Van Susteren was behaving just as the Roger Ailes Fox News would have her behave, as a loyal knee-jerker who gets out in front of the evidence.” – Erik Wemple, Washington Post media bloggergreta

What happens when you don’t do the bidding of elite media?

What happens when you don’t follow a bully’s pre-ordained script?

What happens when you stick to your guns?

The same thing when a small child doesn’t get his or her way.

Speaking about bullies, everyone knows that former Fox News boss Roger Ailes was tough, boorish and the evidence overwhelmingly points to, a big league sexual harasser as well.

He is now advising Donald Trump’s sinking campaign as it heads to the bottom of the political ocean.

Will Hillary score more than 300 or more than 400 electoral votes? Almost DailyBrett will take the over, thus completing as Charles Krauthammer calls it, “The Clinton Restoration.”

Back to Fox News:

Ailes became a juicy, meaty target for the media elites because of his biggest sin, breaking up the media cartel aligned with not a specific party, but a uniform left-of-center ideology. The masthead of the New York Times and the personas of Dan Rather and Brian Williams all serve as poster children for what the Washington Community wants the nation’s media to be.

Damn Fox News and its No. 1 cable news ratings.

One More Time …

“1/ I never heard of the sexual harassment allegations – no one ever came to me and said anything to me about it – not once;

“2/ I never saw it

“3/ It never happened to me

“and

“4/ I said that Gretchen Carlson was unhappy when she was at Fox News (she told me that a few years back when we both happened to be in London covering the same story but never said it was sexual harassment.)

“What I said above was true when I said it …and it is true now.

“In the meantime, all sorts of motives and intentions have been assigned to me.

“I did not defend Roger Ailes nor did I condemn him. I just stated what I knew or did not know.  Period.”ailesgretchen

Lightning-rod personalities, such as Ailes, need to keep their noses clean and their zippers fastened. The alternative is akin to spreading blood in the water for the thrashing, gnashing carnivorous Schadenfreude-seeking media sharks.

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson lost her show at the cable network. She later filed a sexual harassment suit against Ailes, and other women followed with their own legal actions. It was time for Ailes to go and Fox News is better for it.

Did the story end there? Of course not.

What did the major personalities at Fox News, particularly those of the feminine persuasion think of Ailes? Wemple said that Greta repeated her consistent assertion in her “fabulous” (Wemple sarcastic adjective) blog.

He then ripped her for repeating what she saw and experienced and what she did not see and experience, nothing more and nothing less.

But what happens when your recollections and statements do not jive with the pre-conceived elite media narrative?

As a former gubernatorial press secretary, trade association and corporate spokesman, who has probably been quoted in print and broadcast hundreds and hundreds of times, the author of Almost DailyBrett has been urged and coaxed by media types to agree and support a certain narrative, which makes for a better story. Sometimes they even ask questions with super-charged words, enticing you to repeat these words on-the-record.

The only problem with this approach is you don’t work for the media. You are obliged to tell the truth as you know it, not to make some reporter, editor, correspondent happy. And if you do not know the answer, you say exactly that.

Some reporters even threatened to ensure my boss, the governor of California, would not be re-elected … even after he was … re-elected in a landslide.

Greta’s consistent comments go against the media grain about Ailes, and quite frankly it pisses them off and some are throwing a fit.

Sorry the notion that everything left-of-center is good and all right-of-center is bad is too simplistic, and reality bites sometimes.

The media monopoly is permanently broken, and Ailes and by extension, Rupert Murdoch, will be forever vilified for that. Deep down inside that may be a bigger sin with the majority of the media than sexual harassment.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2016/08/26/the-crisis-of-morality-at-fox-news/?utm_term=.127d75f67629&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/2016/07/28/lets-get-something-straight-3/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-bribery-standard/2016/08/25/958e4eb6-6ae8-11e6-ba32-5a4bf5aad4fa_story.html?utm_term=.82cf521da487&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

http://www.foxnews.com/person/v/greta-van-susteren.html

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/six-more-women-allege-ailes-sexual-harassment.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/former-fox-host-gretchen-carlson-settles-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-against-roger-ailes-for-20-million/2016/09/06/f1718310-7434-11e6-be4f-3f42f2e5a49e_story.html?wpisrc=nl_evening&wpmm=1

 

 

 

 

“I cannot imagine ever voting for him (Donald Trump).” – Conservative Washington Post columnist, Charles Krauthammer

“What I think about Hillary Clinton is — I imagine to be a bright woman without the courage of her convictions because I’m not sure what they are.” — Comedian and Late-Night Host Jon Stewart

“(Trump’s attack against an Hispanic judge) The textbook definition of a racist comment.” – House Speaker Paul Ryan

“All I’m saying is that the idea that there’s one set of rules for us (The Clintons) and another set for everybody else is true.” – Former President William Jefferson Clinton

Choosing between Hillary and The Donald is akin to either burning at the stake or drowning (not to be confused with “Berning” at the stake).hillarytrump

Is this “choice” posed to the American people the absolute best the most powerful country on earth can do at this critical point in the nation’s history?

Can Hillary seriously be compared in the same vein to Democratic forerunners Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy?

We all know the answer to that question.

Ditto for weighing out-of-control Donald Trump against Honest Abraham Lincoln, Progressive Teddy Roosevelt, Commander-in-Chief Dwight Eisenhower and The Gipper, Ronald Reagan. All of these presidents were the epitome of political discipline. That is very last word that applies to Trump.

There is a nationwide pile-on against The Donald for a litany of good reasons, which could lead to the ultimate Schadenfreude moment: We are so happy The Donald is so sad … and humbled.oligarchy

The most likely net side-effect: The Clintons are back in the White House. There will be the predictable celebration of the first woman president. Keep in mind, we will not be electing the American equivalent of Kanzerlin Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher or Fed Chief Janet Yellen, but yet another member of the Clintonian Oligarchy.

Maybe we should simply elect the right person for the right time (e.g., Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, Ronald Reagan in 1980) or is that too much to ask?

Is there a third way?

Is there a third option?

Throwing Away My Vote?

“I’m sorry this happened (Trump nomination), but we’ll see where it ends up. I’m not making any final decision yet, but at this point I just can’t do it (endorse The Donald).” – Ohio Governor John Kasichkasich

Last month, yours truly cast his first State of Washington primary ballot for Kasich. Even though Ohio’s chief executive easily fits my definition of a Ronald Reagan-vintage Republican, everyone knew that Kasich could not win. Did the author of Almost DailyBrett throw his vote away?

By voting for Kasich, your author opted for a good guy and better yet did not jump on the Trump bandwagon as it heads towards the electoral cliff. Proud to NOT vote for Trump and akin to Charles Krauthammer, can’t imagine ever checking the box for Trump even though he is the party nominee.

The list of prominent Republicans not yet (or never) endorsing The Donald is deep and prominent: Former President George H.W. Bush, Former President George W. Bush, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina among others.

Even more important to your author as a former Golden State press secretary is that all three living California Republican Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Wilson and of course my former boss, George Deukmejian, are not endorsing Donald Trump … and hopefully never will.

Bull Moose in 2016?

Former President Teddy Roosevelt was less than enamored with his successor Howard Taft in 1912 and ran as “progressive” third-party “Bull Moose” campaign for president, splitting the Republican Party and electing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to the White House.teddyroosevelt

As an eternal optimist Almost DailyBrett must ask: Is there a common sense, free-enterprise, strong-fiscal discipline and hawkish on national defense type who can run “Bull Moose” this year?

Whattyathink Mitt Romney? How about it, John Kasich? Do you really want to be speaker, Paul Ryan?

Yes, Almost DailyBrett understands that running a “Bull Moose” candidate this year (former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson does not fit the bill) will most likely result in Bill Clinton measuring the new drapes for the Lincoln Bedroom, but one can be spared from having to decide between Hillary and The Donald.

University of Virginia Professor of Political Science Larry Sabato pointed to 1964 (e.g., Goldwater) as the year the Republicans “went off the rails” followed by a similar exercise in political masochism by the Democrats in 1972 (e.g., McGovern). Now it is the GOP’s turn again. The more-than-likely Republican train wreck will not be pretty, but it may be cleansing.

It will be onward to 2020. Hopefully, we will not be looking up to the heavens for a third choice, a third way once again.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-the-matter-of-paul-ryan/2016/06/09/e2d7734a-2e71-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/07/ryan-says-trumps-attacks-on-judge-fit-the-textbook-definition-of-a-racist-comment/?tid=a_inl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/06/15/time-for-panic-or-for-nevertrump/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/06/16/good-for-kasich-now-will-he-help-dump-trump/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Way

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/13/this-new-poll-utah-poll-is-amazingly-bad-for-donald-trump/

http://www.eonline.com/news/671706/arnold-schwarzenegger-reacts-to-donald-trump-s-run-for-president-some-candidates-will-make-a-lot-of-noise

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/donald-trump-vice-president-224488

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Party_(United_States,_1912)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/november-is-fast-becoming-what-the-gop-fears-a-referendum-on-trump/2016/06/18/f942ddd2-34dd-11e6-8758-d58e76e11b12_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/12/jon-stewart-perfectly-diagnosed-the-problem-with-hillary-clintons-candidacy/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a young cub reporter, I cut my teeth on Proposition 13.

The political class and Punditocracy were steadfastly aligned against California’s tax-revolt initiative in 1978.

The electorate would not vote in their self-interest (e.g., their homes) and “devastate” the state’s infrastructure (i.e., schools, libraries and fire stations). Surely, not.

Surely, yes.presspass

We were told the sun would not rise on Wednesday, June 7, if Proposition 13 was approved the day before.

El Sol did indeed rise over the east hills of the Golden State that very morning. The birds were chirping. The bees were buzzing. Love was in the air. And Sacramento subvened its $4 billion surplus to the state’s 58 counties.

Homes were saved. Libraries remained open. Fire houses were not closed. Life moved on … as it always does. Fiscal Armageddon did not occur.

The author of Almost DailyBrett learned a valuable lesson: The voters are not as unaware as the political elites believe.

They will vote in the interest of their homes, families, wallets and purses.

As Jean Baptist-Colbert, French Minister of Finances under Louis XIV, said:

“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.”

There was plenty of hissing to go around in the late spring of 1978.

The Initiative, The Referendum, The Recall

long

The name Hiram Warren Johnson would probably stump everyone except the most avid player of political Trivial Pursuit.

The progressive Republican Governor of California from 1911-1917, who also served as the running mate for Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, will go down in history as the man who introduced to the Golden State and the world: the initiative, the referendum and the recall.

These three political equivalents of nuclear weapons would remain in virtual hibernation until the days of the Great Inflation in the 1970s, which plagued the subsequent administrations of Nixon, Ford and Carter. With annualized inflation running between 15-18 percent per year, county assessors (e.g., Alexander Pope in Los Angeles) were sending property tax bills that were around 30 percent higher every two years.

You don’t have to be a math wizard to realize that 15 percent compounded annualized inflation-driven property-tax increases were threatening the ability of literally millions to pay their property tax bills. And what did the virtual one-party state Legislature do about it?

Nothing.

It was only a matter of time for two former gadflies, Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, to become heroes and villains at the same time with one vehicle, the initiative, namely Proposition 13.

Anxiety, Apprehension, Anger

“Despite a torrent of horror stories from teachers’ unions, politicians, newspapers and corporate lobbyists in Sacramento about the potentially devastating effects of Proposition 13, more than 60 percent of the voters took a gamble and approved the ballot measure.” – Stephen Moore, Cato Institutenewsweekprop13

The author of Almost DailyBrett vividly remembers that Californians were disgusted with politicians and everything Sacramento in 1978. They voted for Proposition 13 to send an unmistakable message to the political class: We are not as unaware and ignorant as you think we are.

Exactly 25 years later, another generation of Californians brought to the forefront another of Hiram Johnson’s reforms, the recall. The target in 2003 was Governor Gray Davis, who magically transformed a $14 billion “surplus” into a $38 billion deficit.

The net result was the election of charming media-celebrity, body-builder-turned-movie-star-turned Gubernator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fast forwarding to today, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer used three “A”s to describe the political mood of the electorate. He could have easily added another “A” with a Teutonic twist: Angst.

Just as the California electorate was volatile and unpredictable in 1978 and 2003 and willing to take matters into their own collective hands, the same seems to hold true this year on a national scale.timejarvis

To date, Almost DailyBrett has been totally wrong on which parties delegate race would conclude first, and how a celebrity candidacy would end once the electoral calendar moved from the Silly Season to the Serious Season.

There are plenty of polls and Electoral College projections, but in the end analysis the two respective parties are nominating candidates with unprecedented nearly 60 percent unfavorable ratings at a time when the nation’s right track/wrong track barometer is two-to-one in the wrong direction.

Not only are we politically gridlocked at home, we are seen as nation in decline overseas. And heaven forbid – how will an exogenous event striking the homeland upset the scant political equilibrium that does exist?

If you were serving as the head of communications or press secretary for either of the two candidates with nearly 100 percent name identification (not necessarily a good thing), sleep is going to be a precious commodity between now and November.

Strap on your seat belts for a rough ride. And don’t forget the electorate. The voters are not as dumb as everyone in Washington D.C., and Midtown Manhattan thinks they are.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/donald-hillary-and-the-bernie-factor/2016/05/19/cc594044-1de6-11e6-9c81-4be1c14fb8c8_story.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/taxing-the-fab-four-exiling-the-stones/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/golden-state-handcuffs/

http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=j000140

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1984.html

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/proposition-13-then-now-forever

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/04/04/tax-tree/

 

 

 

 

 

The University of Google is where I got my degree from.” – Anti-Vaccine Activist and Blonde Celebrity Jenny McCarthyjenny

“Even for scientists, the scientific method is a hard discipline. Like the rest of us, they’re vulnerable to what they call ‘confirmation bias’ – the tendency to look for and see only evidence that confirms what they already believe.” – Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, writing for National Geographic

There have been a lot of –isms in global history … most of them were/are not good, even though a few of them are more than okay (e.g., Buddhism).

It seems like there is a relatively new –ism that is building in intensity in the First World: Foodism.

And with Foodism come its adherents/zealots: The Foodinistas.

It’s not hard to find this rapidly replicating species as its high-rent habitat keeps expanding from shade-growing, free-trade coffee with soy stands to gluten-free bakeries to vegan & veggie restaurants to über-expensive, organic Whole Foods.gluten-freefallon

And the frenzy does not stop there. How about the continued ban toward adding natural mineral fluoride in the water of Portland, Oregon? How about those who adamantly refuse to vaccinate their children against whooping-cough, measles and other diseases? And let’s not forget what columnist Charles Krauthammer has labeled, the narcissistic pursuit of the home-birth “experience”?

Like the devotees of other –isms of history, the Foodinistas are almost religious in their devotion to their cause(s), even though they are usually secular in their orientation. They are armed with their increasingly wireless Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines. Literally in nano-seconds with their personal “filter bubbles” they can find what they are looking for and conveniently ignore all the rest.

If you care to spend time with them (if you must), you will find bright, highly educated, well-compensated Foodinistas, inhabiting aware enclaves such as San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Alameda Counties (e.g., California examples), who are more than happy to proclaim the overwhelming virtues of their shade grown, gluten-free, pro-GMO labeling, anti-vaccination, pro home-birth, anti-vaccination, veggie/vegan existence.

First-World Starvation?

Foodinistas are hungry; they are always hungry, which means food is always top of mind. Is there any wonder why humor is not in great supply with this crowd? A growling stomach and a good time don’t typically go hand-in-hand.

Even though we live in the richest country on the planet, the one that has more than its fair share of food choices in its supermarkets and restaurants, there are ever-more that Foodinistas will not eat as opposed to what they will actually consume. And as time goes on and more pseudo-science articles are posted online, their acceptable food groups shrink even further as they grow more “mature.”chemicals

Some will chop veggies for two, three, four hours or longer in order to prepare a vegan feast (hold the honey, honey; it belongs to the bees). Guess what? The process is repeated for the next meal and the next and the next and …

In an extreme case, a Foodinista will break the vegan fast for a (gasp!) vegetarian meal on Fridays, only on Fridays. There is no alteration of this pattern permitted. The Swallows of Capistrano wish they could be this predictable.

A gluten-free prince or princess will challenge everything that is being served including white and red wine. What do grapes have to do with the gluten in grains?

And what are some of the places that require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs)? How about China, Russia and Vermont? Maybe Vladimir Putin will next annex Ben and Jerry’s?

Is increasingly legal, taxed, regulated medicinal marijuana gluten free? Almost DailyBrett can see the coming Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) roll-out for gluten-free weed.

Pass the coconut oil

“The people who believe that vaccines cause autism, often well-educated and affluent — are undermining ‘herd immunity’ to such diseases as whooping-cough and measles.” — Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, writing for National Geographic

Is it just Jimmy Fallon, little ole me and a few others who see that this Foodism religion taking on even more Kool-Aid drinking zealots?filterbubble

And what are the consequences of the behavior of Foodinistas? It ranges from forcing even more to listen to one more narcissistic epic tale of triumph over gluten and Porterhouses to the unnecessary spread of measles and other diseases. Have these folks ever weighed the impact of their behavior on their own personal brand and reputation? The most important public relations are personal public relations.

One would think that we have enough to worry about including the record $18 trillion+ and climbing federal deficit, ISIS atrocities, rampant obesity, whether the majority of Millennials will be able to buy a home anytime in their lifetimes, and if way too many Baby Boomers will live years/decades longer than their retirement funds. There are others who are obsessed with food: They live in the Third World.

Almost DailyBrett will humbly argue there are real issues that deserve our attention, not whether a scone is gluten free or not or whether it is safe to engage in have-a-blast vegetarianism on any day other than Friday.

Something tells me that fun and Foodism are two F-bombs that don’t go well together.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/science-doubters/barnes-photography

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-05-27/news/9605270029_1_midwife-first-child-childbirth

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/08/25/why-liberal-americans-are-turning-against-gmo-labeling/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble

 

 

“Everybody I know seems to know me well, but they’re never gonna know that I move like hell.” – Led Zeppelin’s What Is and What Should Never Be

Second cut, first side, Led Zeppelin II, 1969.

ledzep2

The fact that this song is still one of my favorites is irrelevant to everyone, but me.

The fact that I can remember this song and the entire Led Zeppelin catalogue is troublesome.

Everyone who comes into visual contact with me may instantly conclude that I am a follicly challenged, mature, white, male of the species, and some may be inclined to add the charming adjective, “privileged.”

Was I and many others that fit the perception privileged to have the resources way back then to purchase Led Zeppelin II in vinyl?

More to the point: What am I and presumably others in the same aging, white, male boat going to do about our present state of affairs? What can we do to prevent society from putting us out to pasture?

How about: Move like hell?

“I am sure there are at least 1 million white males, qualified and overqualified, in a similar frustrating situation.” – Unemployed Baby Boomer public relations pro

He forgot the word, “privileged.” My daughter, my very own flesh and blood, under the gravitational pull of San Francisco/Berkeley, repeatedly employs this moniker.

She even mentioned the dreaded “Military-Industrial Complex.” Did she realize she was quoting a Republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address as our 34th president? Before you ask, I do not remember Eisenhower even though I was born during Ike’s first term.

And there are many more who were born during Eisenhower’s two terms (or earlier). Is it time for society to involuntarily retire these people, redefining (and respelling) the term pasture-ization?

Or can they overcome the odds and contribute to society, become engaged and give back to the world? I know where I come down on these questions.

“I lost my job on Wall Street and now it’s over.’ Give me a break. You’re not in Somalia, right? You haven’t lost your abilities. You can find a way to retool.” – Life Coach Tony Robbins

robbins

There are literally millions of Baby Boomer pale males…and most likely Baby Boomer females too… who believe that society has passed them over. This is the time for a cup half-full. Robbins is right. You can do it, and you are not an old dog that can’t learn new tricks.

So what can these mature knuckle-draggers do to reclaim their Mojo? How about: Move like hell? Here are some thoughts, not in any particular order but they work well cumulatively.

Cross Training. Yes, the combination of serious aerobics and resistance training in every other day intervals for each. Prove Isaac Newton’s First Law of Physics to be correct about a body in motion, staying in motion. You are not only doing yourself a big favor in terms of your health, you are going feel better about yourself and project confidence.

Be Enthusiastic about everything you do. Celebrate every victory, even the small ones. Nobody wants to hire Gloomy Gus or Negative Nancy. It is easier to be negative than positive. Be realistic, but not a Pollyanna. Having said that, always ask yourself how you can rather than how you can’t.

Get Smart. Be Smart. Is it time to go back to school? Yep those places with text books, online readings, exams, papers etc. There are ever more jobs that require master’s degrees, let alone bachelor’s degrees. Are you prepared as you need to be?

Find love. In my sixth decade on this planet, I found love again and married my second wife, Jeanne. Married people are happier. Finding a good job in this economy is tough. Marrying a wonderful spouse is even more difficult. And if you do, make sure that decision makers know all about it.

Stay current. So many give up on politics, government and business. As Charles Krauthammer, who overcame being paralyzed in a college swimming pool accident to win the Pulitzer Prize, wrote in Things That Matter, politics is an essential human discipline. Get it wrong and you can end up with Germany circa 1933. Understanding the world is pivotal to realizing your personal potential.

Keep on Working. Brandon Stanton, the 29-year old best-selling author/photographer of The Humans of New York was asked about the secret of his stunning and unexpected success. His answer was simple: “Keep on working.” His admonition reminds me of the late Jim Valvano, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Giving up is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

valvano

Write 15 minutes or more every day. Keep your brain engaged. Everyone is a Thought Leader. Everyone has an expertise. Whether it is conventionally or digitally, transmitting your thoughts into written expression builds confidence in your communication skills and likewise about your overall talents.

Think Digital, Be Digital. The Baby Boomer generation is the last to not be digital natives. So how does that impact the price of tea in China? It doesn’t. Even though Samsung’s ads make fun about adults and technology, suggesting that kids run circles around us, the reality can be way different. Walking in to present a seminar on social media last year, some were wondering why I didn’t have a skateboard. The answer is that I know WordPress, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare and others. The same should be true for you.

Fight Back. Every day is a personal improvement day. No one decides that your career is over, except you. If we fail here or there, the game is not over. How can each of us get better? How can we be more competitive? What skill sets can each of us gain? Can we learn from others? Can others learn from each of us?

Society as a whole may not know it, but I move like hell…and so can you.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/ledzeppelin/whatisandwhatshouldneverbe.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jim_valvano.html

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/photographer

http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/16/30-under-30-meet-brandon-stanton-the-photographer-behind-humans-of-new-york/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Krauthammer

“Isn’t religious intolerance by your company the bottom line in this matter?” was the question posed by KRON-TV’s (San Francisco Channel 4) Ysabel Duron to me as the Director of Corporate Public Relations for LSI Logic. http://www.kron.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/3200/reftab/515/t/Ysabel%20Duron/Default.aspx

I looked at Ysabel and secretly wished her a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year and responded that the “bottom line is the safety of children and whether it is a good idea to put 250 small children within 200 feet of a semiconductor facility that handles and transports hazardous, corrosive and flammable chemicals on a daily basis.”

duron

My on-camera quote was included in her story that evening as well as a statement by the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara http://www.mcabayarea.org/ accusing LSI Logic www.lsi.com of blatant religious intolerance against those who practice Islam.

The time period was 1993 to 1998. The World Trade Center stood proudly at the tip of Manhattan, Shanksville was just another town in Western Pennsylvania and the numerals “9-11” sounded like a convenience store chain. And yet passions were still high then even without the vivid mental images of hijacked jetliners hitting skyscrapers, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 3,000 Americans.

What is prompting me to regurgitate this dispute is the massive coverage of the proposed “Ground Zero Mosque” within blocks of the World Trade Center and the emotions that this zoning dispute has unleashed. The opponents of the Cordoba Mosque have been accused on “racism,” “bigotry” and “hatred of Muslims.”

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote about this response in a recent column: “The intelligentsia is near unanimous that the only possible grounds for opposition is bigotry toward Muslims. This smug attribution of bigotry to two-thirds of the population hinges on the insistence on a complete lack of connection between Islam and radical Islam, a proposition that dovetails perfectly with the Obama administration’s pretense that we are at war with nothing more than ‘violent extremists’ of inscrutable motive and indiscernible belief. Those who reject this as both ridiculous and politically correct (an admitted redundancy) are declared Islamophobes, the ad hominem du jour. “http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082605233.html

Whether you agree or disagree with Krauthammer’s prose, PR representatives should contemplate what they would do to protect the reputation and safeguard the brand of their company or organization that is falsely branded as bigoted, racist or intolerant in a contentious dispute. The Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara said point blank in a news release: “These facts make us wonder: What is the real reason for LSI Logic’s hard-line stance against our community?” http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Muslim+Community+Association+to+Appear+Before+Santa+Clara+Superior…-a020011843

Former Santa Clara Mayor Eddie Souza said: “LSI Logic’s legal actions appear to be based solely on intolerance and stand to burden our city and residents with unnecessary expenses and troublesome lawsuits.” And Herb Schmidt, a Stanford University Lutheran pastor was quoted: “If this (Islamic Center) was a synagogue or a Roman Catholic parochial school, this would not be happening.”

santaclara

The real reason for our opposition was centered on the fact that a light industrial zone is just that, a light industrial zone intended for manufacturing … not small school children. The Santa Clara City Planning Commission denied the permit twice for the Granada Islamic School, but was overturned twice by the City Council. I will dispense with the entire history, other to note that LSI Logic no longer has a manufacturing facility or any other presence in Santa Clara, but the school is still there.

The charges of racism, bigotry and intolerance hurt and threatened the good name of the company. Our business colleagues were privately very concerned and supportive, but there was no reason for them to be splattered by the same rhetorical mud.

Our strategy was to deflect the intolerance charges and to refuse to engage into a name-calling exchange with the Muslim Community Association. Our beef was with the Santa Clara City Council that was overruling the Planning Commission and putting small school children in potential harm’s way.

We also endeavored to keep this story out of the major national publications (e.g. Wall Street Journal, NY Times, USA Today) or business wires (e.g. AP, Bloomberg, Reuters, MarketWatch), even using the eye-glazing-over term, “zoning dispute” to describe the situation. (If this caper had actually followed 9-11, this strategy would not have succeeded and most likely would have found its way to Al Jazeera http://english.aljazeera.net/)

We were also placed in a tricky PR predicament: If our Santa Clara manufacturing facility was unsafe for children wasn’t it unsafe for other people? And were we through our actions and pronouncements undermining the safety claims of the entire $200 billion-plus semiconductor industry.

In response, we pointed out to reporters that our facility had never been fined, never subjected to an administrative order and that we maintained a very strict regime of controls for the nasty chemicals used to make microchips. Having said that, we dared to question the wisdom of bringing small school children directly across the street from our facility.

If you are scoring at home, it would be very easy to declare that the Muslim Community Association won and LSI Logic lost the battle. If the charges of racism, bigotry and intolerance had permanently adhered themselves to the company’s reputation and brand, we would have lost the war as well.

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