|Photo: Getty Images|
Search This Blog
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Saturday, August 06, 2022
Thursday, August 04, 2022
Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years. What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing.
Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Men like Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.”
Ask yourself if there are other alternatives for the future of our country, to include statesmanship, international economic cooperation and de-weaponizing efforts among great nations.
Tuesday, August 02, 2022
Conflicting parties must recognize the following facts:
1. The pace of technology, communication and weapons has now outpaced the necessity for war as a means of advancing progress. The threat is too great for mutually assured destruction.
2. We are on new ground, never experienced before in terms of being "Wired" as a world - economically, socially, environmentally and scientifically
3. Recent events involving US war "Interventions" and the incredibly out of control nature of the Military Industrial Complex have demonstrated their danger, their folly and their contribution to the largest national debt ever to grace the face of the earth.
4. Alternatives to war in terms of scientific advancement not only are required, but are in progress.
5. The war makers are operating on world credit subject to world approval.
6. The environment is screaming for protection and we will get on with it.
7. Conflicting ideas, if managed constructively, can yield a hybrid solution to a challenge that is a better product or service than either side of the initial equation.
8. The key to managing international relations constructively is fostering an environment respectful of all points of view but led by individuals who are driving to fulfilling peaceful, progressive objectives as a first priority and who blend differences of opinion decisively.
9. Winning and losing are being redefined by the above.
10. We can no longer as a world community continue the present course of wars.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
From 2006 to 2011, I supported SCORE as a volunteer counselor. During some years I had several hundred clients. The web site was dynamic, fast, easily accessed and fairly simple.
SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The web site operation is run from SCORE HQ in Herndon, Virginia. Only U.S. Citizens are eligible to participate since it is heavily funded by SBA government tax dollars.
SCORE management elected a complicated redesign of the site in 2011. The original design of the site was radically changed.
I was part of the system conversion test team as a high volume mentor. I warned the conversion team that my tests were failing, I provided detailed data on necessary fixes. The site was rolled out in May of 2011 and crashed. I moved on to MicroMentor to continue my volunteer work.
I rejoined SCORE in March of 2019 principally to handle veteran cases referred to SCORE by the SBA. I continued to conduct my Micromentor volunteer work.
To once again become a SCORE counselor, I underwent a new member background check and a two week training program. I found the ability to see a client profile to whom I was not connected was gone. SCORE management now screened mentor requests and decided which mentor should get them.
Every exchange with an entrepreneur is required to be reported by the mentor. The number of hours expended and background provided to the entrepreneur on the content of a conversation is necessary. A code of ethics training course on conflict interest is required every year for all mentors.
20% of my clients now come through SCORE. These are mostly veterans and other small businesses who are pursuing small business federal government contracting and small business innovative research programs
MicroMentor is a “Two Way Street” meeting place for entrepreneurs to select a mentor and propose a mentoring relationship and vice versa. I have been a Mentor on MicroMentor for 11 years, joining the site when the SCORE web site crashed.
Both mentor and entrepreneur can see each other’s backgrounds and initiate the process. Thereafter, with no capacity for attachments and a perceived need for privacy by many,.the exchange generally moves to email and evolves in a manner the customer support organization does not see.
With the discontinuation of the Mentor Rating feature, MicroMentor site management gets little feedback from entrepreneurs on the quality of the help they have received unless they (the entrepreneur) make a point of commenting by contacting customer support, or marketing and PR staffs contact individuals entrepreneurs.
Thus, in its simplest form, MicroMentor is a bulletin board of individuals who seek help and those who are willing to provide it if they so choose, while looking at each other’s profiles.
The MicroMentor Q&A feature is a neat catalyst that promotes exchanges and offers the opportunity to exhibit entrepreneur problems, interests and challenges, as well as mentor knowledge and expertise. It fosters a healthy learning environment in itself by simple observation and allows a human interaction dynamic to occur.
Customer support and control of spamming has been superb. MicroMentor Q&A is a very under-rated feature of the site.
MicroMentor is international. Participants throughout the world have varying outlooks and skills, based on their culture, customs, values and conditions.
The natural dynamics of human interaction when a match occurs and when circumstances exist at the time for potential success is where mentoring succeeds.
The system promotion, volume and reach are its greatest assets in creating the probability that positive mentoring dynamics will occur. The ability of entrepreneurs and mentors to see one another’s backgrounds and communicate directly is a major asset of the site.
80 % of my client now come through MicroMentor. 40% of those are on the continent of Africa in multiple countries.
4 out of 5 MIcroMentor clients with whom I work already have a profile on LinkedIn when I begin working with them. If they do not, I suggest they create one. In my view, a LinkedIn individual and company profile is a vital part of any small company marketing plan, since it is the largest professional business web site in the world and it is FREE.
My two blogs, “Rose Covered Glasses” and “Smalltofeds” generate mentorship users as well by referral. Both blogs are free to me on Google except for a $10 dollar annual fee to own the “Smalltofeds” domain name. That fee has not changed in 15 years.
Friday, July 22, 2022
"Helmets to Hardhats" Non-Profit Connects Over 30,000 Veterans To Federally-Approved Apprenticeship Training Programs And Careers
|Image: Helmets to Hardhats|
Thursday, July 21, 2022
National Debt Clock
Drawing on the recollection of Desert Storm it was assumed that American power could reshape the Islamic world at will after the US was attacked September 11th, 2001.
All power has limits, but the limits of American power were not visible until later in the 2000s.
At that point two other events intervened. The first was the re-emergence of Russia as at least a regional power when it invaded Georgia in 2008.
The other was, of course, the financial crisis. Both combined to define the current situation.
The United States is, by far, the world’s most powerful nation. That does not mean that the United States can — or has an interest to — solve the problems of the world, contain the forces that are at work or stand in front of those forces and compel them to stop. Even the toughest guy in the bar can’t take on the entire bar and win.”A Net Assessment of the World
China the Peace Maker
David Grammig enlightens us in a recent article in “Geopolitical Monitor “to an alternative to war and debt laden international finance being practiced by the Chinese:
“Geopolitical calculations are as much a reason for this 2-trillion-dollar project as economic ones.
The OBOR project represents one of China’s new overarching foreign policy goals, and it demonstrates a willingness and ability to challenge old power structures, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East.
The Silk Road, or OBOR project, aims at creating an enormous economic bloc and fostering trade, cultural exchange, political collaboration, and military cooperation among its members – under Chinese domination.
An obvious competitor against Russia’s Eurasian Union and India’s Act East and Connect Central Asia initiatives, the OBOR project has many Central Asian and Middle Eastern states justifiably worried of being caught up in a race for dominance in the region, producing somewhat cautious reactions to China’s big plans. Yet, some countries in the region – even those torn by sectarian conflict – may still be inclined to step into a new age due to China’s vast investments and its associated desire to protect its economic engagements.
The United States and its military interventions on the other hand, which aimed at securing political influence and protecting economic interests, bore no sustainable fruits and have led to growing instability in the region. Furthermore, US policy in the Middle East yielded anti-American resentment in the public and political spheres.
China’s approach, however, will most likely not lead to demonstrations, burning flags, and attacks against its embassies, because it will not be seen as a war-mongering imperialistic force, giving itself a chance to establish itself as a partner whose outstretched hand is worth taking.” China - The New Peace Maker in the Middle East
There are thousands of examples I could cite, but here’s a particularly striking one: the price of Apple stock fell roughly 25% the year it introduced the iPod. The technology that would kick-start the greatest corporate turnaround in the history of capitalism initially disappointed, selling only 400,000 units in its debut year, and the company’s stock reflected that. Thankfully, Steve Jobs didn’t give a fig. He stuck with the idea, and today nine Apple iDevices are sold somewhere in the world every second.
CEOs, who are paid mostly in stock and live in fear of being punished by the markets, race to hit the numbers rather than simply making the best decisions for their businesses long term. One National Bureau of Economic Research study found that 80% of executives would forgo innovation-generating spending if it meant missing their quarterly earnings figures.
Nobody–not Economists, not CEOs and not policymakers–thinks that’s good for real economic growth. Yet the markets stay up because of the dysfunctional feedback loops. Eventually, of course, interest rates will rise, money won’t be cheap anymore, and markets will go back down. None of it will reflect the reality on the ground, for companies or consumers, any more than it did during the boom times.”
The Market Mirage