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BUSINESS / MEDIA & ADVERTISING | November 30, 2009
The Media Equation:  The Fall and Rise of Media
Print publishers and the writers and editors who worked for them once ruled the literary roost in New York. Now, make way for those who push pixels.

Fortune Magazine’s Dec. 7th edition ranks for the 1st time 500 companies in terms of developing leaders. My alma mater, McDonald’s, is ranked 6th in global leadership, just ahead of GE. McDonald’s CEO’s have all been substantially home-grown. I’ve had the pleasure (usually) of working in one dimension or another of public relations for all of them, from company founder Ray Kroc, to Fred Turner, to Mike Quinlan, to Jack Greenberg, to Jim Cantalupo, to Charlie Bell to current CEO Jim Skinner and Board Chair Andy McKenna. I even had the very real pleasure of directly working, in his later years, with Dick McDonald, who with his brother Mac pioneered the McDonald’s restaurant concept. While these leaders inspired and trained thousands of other leaders within the McDonald’s System, I like to think that the public relations strategies of our communications teams through the years also helped project those leaders and their initiatives to reach and influence much wider audiences.

:: The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance ::.

Check out Vicki and I visited a favorite gallery in Lake Geneva yesterday and saw his realistic and taste tempting paintings and sculpture, based on wine bottles, glasses and corks. It is stunning!

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the days of wooden ships, Americans craved and carried aboard cranberries, to prevent scurvy, just as limes and later potatoes did on European ships.

Cranberries are one of only three native American fruits, along with blueberries and Concord grapes.

Cranberries, contrary to common opinion, are not grown in water, but in sandy bogs. The fields are sometimes flooded for harvest, as cranberries float.

South of Walworth, WI


by Charles Ebeling

I cross a rolling winters’ field,

A rumpled patchwork lawn;

East of the waning moondark,

West of a reaching dawn.

Along this road of newborn light,

I glide into today;

Vague on my agenda,

But commuting, anyway.

The so called voluntary military these days is substantially made up of the poor and unemployed, who have few other alternatives or opportunities in America. There is also a core of career professional military types, and together this is how we staff our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest of us in the general population go on with our ordinary lives, largely and with great relief and personally uninvolved in these conflicts.

The last time we had a real draft, broadly impacting or democracy, was in the Vietnam era, a time when many families of young people of all walks of life were actually touched by the war, giving many more motivation to engage with the issues, to march in the streets, on campuses and in Washington and speak out on their views through the news media.

Some, like myself, even with degrees and good prospects in the workforce, served, and were lucky to survive, unlike the one in 32 who didn’t, at the height of the war in 1968, when 543,000 Americans soldiers, airmen and sailors served in Vietnam.

Now, as we sit on the verge of once again escalating our commitment of troops in Afghanistan, for a conflict with no clear end in sight, perhaps now is the time to again reconsider a military draft, with all its faults, so the people of this country would wake up and better recognize that we all have something at stake in the draconian decisions made on our behalf by today’s political and military leadership.

What are we fighting for? What is at stake, besides the lives of thousands of Americans, and some $65 billion, a year, plus now another $30 billion?  From 1970 on, when the Vietnam War was winding down, we lost an additional 10,000 Americans. What and when may we wind down or win in Afghanistan? How many more young lives will we spend before then? What will we have gained? Will we just send our troops on to the next war in Pakistan, or wherever, and throw more of our taxes into Eisenhower’s “military/industrial complex?”

If we really support the politicians in escalating Afghanistan, let’s implement the fundamentals of our democracy, support a military draft for the nation and show our resolve for this “cause.” Or???

The simple cat, lying on my keyboard

Just erased a poem by Shelley,

About to be shared

With old friends.

Yet, touching the head of my cat,

With its deep-pooled eyes, soft fur

And vibrating purr,

I feel all the beauty of poetry,

In my hands.


November 2009

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