My message to Harry Reid

Moveon.org is pushing a petition to tell Harry Reid how you feel about the Public Option being in danger.

My message:

You spineless fool. Trade away the only reasonable method to keep the insurance companies honest for expanded medicare. Get your act together and grow a pair (of balls). If you are a man of any sense of integrity you would put the public good over your re-election bid. Congress is a fail and you continue to prove it daily. Let wall street go back to business and the health insurance companies line your campaign coffers.. and you just keep going on being a douchebag.

Please, for all that is moral and just in the world: do what is right, for the PUBLIC. NOT what it right for your corporate masters.

Joshua Strebel, Small business owner – Arizona.

Sign your own petition at moveon.org

My insurance rates have climbed almost as fast as my coverage as declined. YOURS HAVE TOO. Free market capitalism.. I am all for it. I am a business owner and I have a reasonable expectation of profit. I think insurance companies should as well. BUT… they are middle men in a system that only exists for profit at the expense of the public at large. No good Samaritan is going to come out of the woodwork and start an insurance company that “works”, in that vacuum the government has to step in to regulate and create an alternative that focuses on coverage, not profits.

Tell me how it’s socialism, tell me how it is unfair.. tell me how the government will ration care. I will call you a fool. I will tell you how in a split second the insurance companies will adapt and change for the better when presented with a legitimate competitor to their monopoly.

F@#k Big Pharma – Ban direct to consumer drug adverts

Seriously.

Please stretch your mind.. ask around, show me any evidence, make something up if you need. Answer me this:

WHAT BENEFIT DOES DIRECT TO CONSUMER DRUG ADVERTISING PROVIDE TO ANYONE BESIDES BIG PHARMA?

How many commercials mentioning anal leakage do I need to see?

Boner pills, Heart pills, Arthritis pills, Asthma pills, Restless leg syndrome pills.. yeah restless leg syndrome gets a pill, Cholesterol pills, Depression Pills.. you have it, you may think you have it, you are now convinced you have it: pills. I ranted about this a while ago.. still bugs me.

Drug Consumers are a buying a product like a TV or a new Couch. They are sold to, marketed to. Rather than go to Best Buy and get a TV, they go to the Dr. and get Erection meds.

This only benefits big Pharma.

Doctors are suppose to diagnose and prescribe treatment. Maybe 20 years ago. Dr.s today get kickbacks from drug companies for writing scripts to consumers who have diagnosed themselves.

Harvard Medical School is caught up in a scandal over big pharma.

WTF? Show me how this benefits anyone but big Pharma?  You want health care costs to come down, stop letting every dumb American walk out of urgent care with 30 scripts for what ails them.

The lost art of constructive criticism

When I was going to school at NAU, my professor Chris Johnson did me a solid; He stressed the importance of constructive criticism.  We would have peer reviews of our work (BFA – Visual Communication) where you would put your work up on a projector for the class to critique. Chris had a few ground rules. 1 be honest. 2. give useful feedback 3. your feedback better be longer than a few words. Or in other words, “its cool” or “it sucks” basically earned you a scowl and likely impacted your grade negatively.

At first some of students were very uncomfortable opening themselves up to feedback, some even shed a few tears. As my class moved from Soph, to Junior and to our final year in the program the feedback sessions became vital to the artist achieving their best work. Well thought out critiques of why the piece worked, or why it did not helped push the boundaries of the artist.

So here is where I am going with this. Next time you have something to say about something, anything. Be it taxes, be it phx community organizations, be it on healthcare, be it on Obama. Do yourself a favor of not looking like an ass, or a troll. Ask yourself why “it” is working or not working. Ask yourself how you feel it could be done better. Ask yourself if your feedback is helping or hurting the cause, the organizer, or the artist.

I am guilty of giving short answers as well. Derek likes to talk about community a lot. My last comment on one of his posts was “less talk, more do”. Is this really the most constructive feedback I could have given. No. I think it made my point but it did little to add any value to the dialog. Perhaps a bit more detail of why I think leading by example rather than rhetoric is choice, and cite some examples would have been more appropriate.

“It sucks”, or “You suck” are answers given by the ignorant. Why does it suck? How can it be better? What can I do to add value here? These are questions that move the dialog, or the artist, or the planning committee forward towards the goal. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it?

Where are we going?

Big excerpt below… of this article.  I lean left, but consider myself a centrist like 70% of America does.  We have to get back to reasonable dialog in this country. When reasonable questions like “Where’s the WMD?” get ignored and “Where’s the birth certificate?” get weeks of news coverage. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG.

Nevertheless, there’s a growing conventional wisdom in the press alleging that both sides of the political spectrum are equally guilty of wackaloon attacks and conspiracy theories.

Granted there might be one or two very fringe exceptions but this is otherwise a false equivalency written by the establishment media as part of their self-conscious effort to seem balanced. The distinction is that any “fringe” attacks from the left during the Bush years weren’t mainstreamed and legitimized the way the wingnut attacks are today, even though the fringe attacks from the left turned out to be mostly accurate.
On the right, we’re hearing about communist takeovers, birth certificates, Oval Office dress codes, teleprompters, death panels, czars and a return to segregated buses.

During the previous administration, on the other hand, the left insisted that Iraq didn’t have WMD. This turned out to be true. The left insisted that there wasn’t a connection between Saddam and 9/11. Also true. The left alleged that George W. Bush was incompetent. The rest of the nation caught up with the left when Katrina slammed into New Orleans, shattering the levees while Bush was eating cake with John McCain.

Some, but not all, of the left thought Bush had prior knowledge of the September 11th attacks. It’s a matter of record that he knew an attack might be imminent based upon the famous PDB titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.” So that one was partially true.

The left also accused the administration of using illegal wiretaps, torture and other human rights violations. All true. Did Bush have business connections with the Bin Laden family? Yes. Did 100 Democratic members of Congress co-sponsor a bill calling him out for it? Of course not.

And throughout the Bush years — no matter how accurate the left’s “fringe” attacks might’ve been — liberals were marginalized and laughed off by the establishment press, ignored by certain leaders in our own party and attacked as unpatriotic by the Republicans. Sean Hannity, Tom DeLay and Bill O’Reilly, who are all busily ripping the current president an array of new holes, actively accused the left of undermining the troops because we were criticizing the commander-in-chief during wartime. Ah yes. They abandoned that one faster than Newt Gingrich abandons sick wives, didn’t they?

No Risk No Reward (Subtitle: STFU)

Friday night..

I am coding, debugging the shopping cart code for purchase of upgrades to page.ly.

Thinking about how much time

and money

and diversion of resources

and missed opportunity

and stress

and sleepless nights

and…

Startups are hell and joy, defeat and glory all at once.

Nearly seven years and 4 legitimate (all money making.. even if some are not profitable) startup’s, and dozens of late night ideas turned into websites later and I still don’t know why I do it.

Thinking about my close friends and business colleagues.. estimating how much time and $ they put into their own projects.. $1 million dollars totalled before I get to the 4th name on list of 8.

Thinking of the bitch ass punks that talk trash with their hand out. Cashing their paycheck while at the same time thinking they can to it better than me.

Are we a service business, or a product business? How many client projects do we need to float us, to buy us the time to work on the internal projects?  How fast can we get product to market, how quickly will it scale, when will client work no longer be needed? Gotta make payroll next week. Will I go broke before then?

Everyday it is looking for the next client gig or spending those earnings developing a product.

If none of this makes sense to you, STFU and punch your time card.

EPILOGUE (30 minutes later):

So yeah.. that sounded a bit harsh. I am not busting on the honest working man.  I put my self thru college on various construction crews. Nothing wrong with working for someone else.

Just reflecting more so on the sacrifices entrepreneurs in general make to realize their dreams.. huge sums of money and effort that go into starting, running, and building a business… employing others, taking the smallest paycheck, working 18 hours a day – forever.

Risking it all..

FaceSpam

Really Facebook?

Aside from the fact that apparently “2 of my  buddies from scottsdale think I am stupid” they use the <blink> tag to shout the IQ rank of my friends to me..

Hey facebook app developers.. please go play in traffic.

Facebook is on the backside of awesome and is speeding 100mph towards suck

Click to enlarge..

facespam

Be kind: stay home when sick

So I have been giving a few guys @gangplank a hard time for coming into the office wheezing, hacking, coughing and otherwise spreading their sickness around.

Getting sick sucks.. but it happens. But it doesnt need to happen to everyone you work with.

A couple years ago one of my employees came into work looking like walking death, I had a meeting that morning so he was there a few hours before I came in. When I got there and saw him, I told him to go home. And not in a nice way. I did not want to get sick, and I did not want to lose more productivity by the rest of the team catching his funk. Of course though.. i did get his death, and so did 2 others.. so the company as a whole lost a few days of billings/output. That is real $$$ gone.

To his credit, He was commited to his job and felt compelled to come in. Thank you, but no thank you.

Think about all the common surfaces someone comes in contact with at business office:

  • the restroom
  • the break room
  • the water cooler dispenser handle
  • the fridge door handle
  • keyboards, and desks
  • printers, faxes, and copiers
  • door handles
  • air

So you are sharing all these surfaces with the sick guy that means wells, but is leaving little bacteria/virus cultures on all these common places throughout the office. I am no bio-scientist but I know these microbes can live on these surfaces for a few hours to a few days.

So be kind to your fellow workers, employers, etc. Stay home when you are ill. If you sickness takes the boss and 2/3 of your team out for 5 days.. you cost the company.. and the ECONOMY for heavens sake a multiple of your wages/productivity.

UPDATE:

sure as shit i got a cold.. muther f$ckers

I want to be a banker

So Last month CitiBank attempted to bump the APR on my creditcard from  5.89% to 14.99%.

I told them to jump in a lake, and they backed off. Except it basically terminates my account upon the expiration of the credit card.

Today Chase bank tells me they are bumping my APR 3%.. If I decline, my account is closed immediatly.  They DO NOT say whether the balance is due today.. or at the expiration of my card.

They both cite “market conditions“. That is code for “We got our ass handed to us by making stupid investment decisions, so our boys in congress gave us a bunch of money so we can make the down payment on the new Leer Jet, and cast our CEO’s comode in gold… and now we are gonna stand on it while we piss on all of you

So lets play this out. I  have excellent credit, never late or over limit on these cards… and they can unilaterally make changes to the account terms, and then penalize me if I don’t agree. They are recipients of our tax dollars to cover their bad mortgage paper.. and they turn around and use that money to buy private jets, and push rate hikes back on their customers.

Whats wrong here? Where are the consumer protection laws? Why has congress let the banks write legislation for the last 40 years? Where is my power to modify the terms in my favor?

The Bums in congress better do an anal-cranium extraction real quick. The middle class is at the end of it’s rope.. and unlike the poor, they have the power to change it. The poor cant vote with their wallets, which seems to be the only thing these guys understand.

Looks to me like there is a huge gap waiting to be filled by a new, smaller, and bullshit-free bank that can take advantage of the exodus of customers from these tainted institutions.

Community

What does community mean to you?

That word is thrown around a lot in our industry, building communities and all that. I think sometimes it is used as an empty buzzword, and other times as an accurate description of a gathering of like minded people.

The community, any community is made of disparate souls with their own self serving interests, but those interests more or less align themselves in some fashion that provides the glue to keep the community together and hopefully growing. As long as the community means something, and I dare say stands for something “bigger”, a higher purpose if you will, it will flourish. The nay-sayers, dividers, and ignorant take the stupid with them as they leave.

Within a broader community like business, there are subsets like the web crowd, the retailers, and the bean counters. At Social Media Club tonight, (after Sally‘s awesome preso), Francine Hardaway brought up an issue that faces all communities: how to outreach from the subset to influence, educate, and embrace the broader community that shares common edges with the subset. What is the answer here?

At Gangplank, the focus is community. Nurturing a new one into life.  People there are looking to do something bigger, better, awesomer, with more collaboration, more outreach, more education, and less bullshit. The form of community outreach there involves an open door that invites everyone to participate. There are photographers, web marketers, muscians, and the occasional mortgage meltdown refugee sharing the free co-working space. How do we take it to the next level? How does a group of smart, driven people break down the walls that from our side seem paper thin, but from others; appears as thick and unyielding as a brick. Does one build a ladder over the wall, a bridge around it, or do you quietly infiltrate the headquarters of the old guard establishment and drop a few percussion grenades to snap them out of their idea and energy deprived coma?

At what level does community leadership become a hindrance? Is taking a hands off approach akin to letting the insane run the asylum? Or is it necessary for some form of leadership, to establish a clear mission and objective that everyone can rally behind. You need the detail minded and big thinkers,  as well as the disruptors and technicians. What is that happy medium between input and mutiny?

One advocate shouting from the soapbox touches few, an army marching in the streets stops traffic. A coordinated campaign of education makes communities grow.

Welcome to the knowledge economy.  Participate, collaborate, and grow.. or die tryin.

Ask your doctor about Sheepivex..

Ask your doctor about sheepivex..

Watching “CBS Sunday morning” this morning the commercials really got under my skin. Maybe I just woke up crabby, or maybe madison avenue is the devil.

Here is a quick run down of the commercials in rotation this morning….

Big Pharma: Ask your doctor if you have any of these common symptons that may be the sign of a serious illness: skin, hair, bones. Big Pharma advertising is the scourge of the earth IMHO. Yes there needs to be a profit motive for these companies to create the “blockbuster” and “lifesaving” medicine we need. I do not begrudge any corporation of making a profit, by definition that is what they are here to do. But the advertising of these drugs is mind numbing.

Srsly.. the Pharma advert story board is as follows; Ask vague health related question of the viewer that 99% of the populous could answer favorably, show happy people that have been cured by wonder drug, overlay voiceover of disclosures and hurry through the part about anal leakage. Close with prompt to demand this cure for the self diagnosed disease from your pesky prescription pad wielding Dr.

Do Dr’s even need a medical degree any more? I could diagnose myself (of every known ailment) off these information packed adverts, and if only there was 1800 number I could just order LATINNAMEIVEX to my door. Cut out the middle man and leave me and my potentially dangerous side effects to myself. Enlarged Prostate FTW!

Watch this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWrpWjP8rFI[/youtube]

Perhaps the only thing more insulting to my intelligence than pharma, is big corp lobbying.
Have you seen this commercial?

Inspirational music, happy kids, uplifting and hopeful message about a better tomorrow for everyone, blue sky and awesome green infographics, brought to you by: The American Big Oil Industry.

Or this one.

Sleek automotive interiors, flashy high tech graphics, verbal description of cutting edge techno-vative gas saving technology, Brought to you by Chevrolet. Srsly? Chevy has not been innovative for 40 years, this is the same car company that has spent billions on lobbying congress to NOT be innovative.

Does the average viewer really fall for this shit?
I guess they do. TV is the perfect medium for checking your brain at the door and just passively accept what you see and hear. No need to question the facts, question the motives, or agenda.

Take it all in my little sheepy’s and consume more.