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If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed.

If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

 

—Mark Twain

(courtesy of Ed Weed)

A journalist friend: Everyone has biases, but reporters and editors are supposed to check that at the door when they do their jobs. As a journalist, I am embarrassed by the actions, statements, editorializing etc. Of the mainstream news media. There has been a complete double standard of coverage on this president vs. The last one. The last one could do no wrong in the media’s eyes and the current one can do nothing right. That is a problem.
Comment from another friend:. Chuck needs more friends like you
·
Charles Ebeling
Charles Ebeling (Journalist above) is a friend, but we disagree. My long career in PR taught me that every media person has a personal bias. Some overcome that, and some don’t, and some use it as a moral compass for their journalism. Most are a bit of all three, to varying extents. I happen to agree with the weight of the current mainstream media regarding Trump, not because of their bias, but because of my own.

Chuck Todd of MSNBC closed his Sunday feature news program this morning by thanking the audience for watching his “show.” This grates me no end. To me, he is degrading an important news program by referring to it as a simple entertainment — a “show!”

Semantics matter, even in this world of reality TV and Trumpness.

A program implies, to me at least, something of importance. A show is just that, some Barnum & Bailey entertainment.

So, let’s call a spade a spade, and let’s call news by the name “programs,” and comedies, etc. “shows.” Such respect of semantics might help us begin to define the difference between the two terms in our contemporary lives, where, thanks to the one who calls himself “the President who is making America great again,” a meaningful “program” has often been denigrated to a mere “show.”

The opening scene in 2012, just five years ago, from the TV series  “The Newsroom,” made me tremble back then, and still does today, as the Trump regime bulldozes its way through the increasing rubble of America’s former greatness.

Wonder what I’m talking about? Take a look: you’ll remember.

Source: What is the problem with admitting PR is propaganda?

One of the odd yet fun assignments I had as head of corporate communications for McDonald’s was in helping build a relationship with Warren Buffett, who had quietly acquired a $1.5 billion position in McDonald’s stock. We decided to award him a rare McDonald’s Gold Card, entitling him to dine free at McDonald’s. We had Tiffany design and make the special card. Then we distributed Buffet’s photo to all the McDonald’s restaurants in Omaha, his home town, so they would recognize him if he presented the card. When I attended  a teacher’s award dinner he sponsored in Omaha, he was asked if he ever carried cash, and he pulled out his McDonald’s special card, telling the teachers he was most proud of it, but never had the courage to actually use it.

In the news story below, Bill Gates tells of the Chinese McDonald’s coupons we once provided Gates and Buffett, who chartered a train to travel together across China with their families. Buffett had contacted us before the trip, saying he knew he’d miss McDonald’s as they traveled through China, so could we please give him a map of the McDonald’s locations along his route. We did, and also gave the families a supply of Chinese McDonald’s coupons to use.

The Rob Lowe story below refers to the inventor of the Egg McMuffin, franchisee and former ad man Herb Peterson. Peterson created McDonald’s first breakfast item in the late 70s, introducing it to chairman Ray Kroc as “a poor man’s eggs benedict.”

 

Headline: Some of the richest billionaires in the world still eat at McDonald’s

1 Hour Ago

These billionaires have all the money in the world -- and they still eat at McDonald's

These billionaires have all the money in the world — and they still eat at McDonald’s

Despite their ability to spend, spend, spend, even some of the richest people in the world stick to a few frugal habits. For a few billionaires, that means opting out of Michelin-starred restaurants in favor of an American classic: McDonald’s.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was spotted eating a grab-and-go McDonald’s meal on the Mignanelli Steps near Piazza Spagna in Rome during his honeymoon with his new wife Priscilla Chan in 2012.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett loves the Golden Arches as well. He visits the restaurant every day for breakfast and never spends more than $3.17.

On his five-minute drive to the office, which he’s been doing for the past 54 years, Buffett stops by McDonald’s and orders one of three items.

Warren Buffett's McDonald's breakfast policy always keeps his meals under $3.17

Warren Buffett keeps his breakfast under $3.17

“I tell my wife, as I shave in the morning, I say, ‘Either $2.61, $2.95 or $3.17.’ And she puts that amount in the little cup by me here [in the car],” he explains in HBO’s documentary, “Becoming Warren Buffett.”

Each amount corresponds with a different option at McDonald’s. For $2.61, he can get two sausage patties, $3.17 gets him a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit and $2.95 buys him a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit.

Buffett keeps it frugal even when treating his friends to lunch. In Bill and Melinda Gates’ 2017 annual letter, which they addressed to longtime friend Buffett, Bill tells the story of a particularly economical lunchBuffett took him out for years ago.

McDonald's Quarter Pounder hamburger

Getty Images
McDonald’s Quarter Pounder hamburger

“Remember the laugh we had when we traveled together to Hong Kong and decided to get lunch at McDonald’s? You offered to pay, dug into your pocket, and pulled out … coupons!” he writes.

Both Buffett and Gates are frequent enough patrons to Mickey D’s that they’ve earned the chain’s coveted Gold Cards. In a 2007 interview with CNBC, Buffett shared the contents of his wallet, showing off his card, which lets him eat for free at any McDonald’s in Omaha for the rest of his life.

“So that’s why the Buffett family has Christmas dinner at McDonald’s,” he laughs. “It explains a lot of things.”

Warren Buffett's most eccentric traits

Warren Buffett’s most eccentric traits

The cards are rare. While Buffett’s is only good in Omaha, he explains that Gates’ card gets him free meals anywhere in the world. “Mine is only good in Omaha, but I never leave Omaha so mine is just as good as his,” he says.

Billionaires aren’t the only ones who can boast of Gold Card privileges — although if helps to know someone. In 2015, actor Rob Lowe revealed his own card during a segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “My buddy’s dad invented the Egg McMuffin,” he says. “Which, to me, is like the greatest human achievement.”

Like Buffett’s card, Lowe’s was limited. He could only use it at McDonald’s franchises in Santa Barbara or Goleta, Calif., and it expired after a year, in 2016.

Regardless of your stance on this subject, this post from the Internet is quite amusing.

 
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

 

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet.It’s funny, as well as informative:

 

Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law.

 

I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of
that debate.

 

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

 

  1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
    female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
    claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
    clarify?

 

Why can’t I own Canadians?

 

  1. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
    Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
    price for her?

 

  1. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

 

  1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
    pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
    They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

 

  1. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
    35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
    to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

 

  1. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
    homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there
    ‘degrees’ of abomination?

 

  1. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
    have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
    glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

 

  1. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
    around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
    19:27. How should they die?

 

  1. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
    me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

 

  1. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
    different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
    made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
    Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family
    affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

 

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

 

Your adoring fan.

 

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

 

PS: It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian.

Bring on the Clown

Learn about PR from the man whose hair, ego, and finances are all about puffery.

Donald Trump

CEO, the Trump Organization
New York City
October 24, 2004

It’s hard to tell if Donald Trump truly is a ruthless, self-serving billionaire with a weakness for Ottoman decor, or if he just plays one on TV. Either way, one thing’s certain: Nobody beats Trump at PR.

So it was that, at the behest of his front man Howard Rubenstein — the closest thing public relations has to Vito Corleone — Trump found time one recent Sunday to school 4,100 PR pros in the art of self-promotion at the Public Relations Society of America’s fall conference.

Accompanied by his now-standard royal trumpet fanfare, Trump trotted out his usual Darwinian script on how to make it big in business: Always hit back, only harder; don’t trust anyone, especially loved ones; and never underestimate the power of a good prenup.

But that’s not why Trump was addressing the flacking masses. He is himself the king of hype, with a genius for winning attention for Donald Trump and thus the Trump Empire. Why that is became clear in a streak of mean-spirited, profanity-laced, misogynistic asides that, true to form, melted everyone’s heart.

LESSON ONE: DISH DIRT, LIBERALLY.

Mid-riff on humility, of all things, Trump got big yucks for this digression: “I was walking down the street with a very young and beautiful woman named Marla. Did anyone ever hear of Marla? I have. Trust me, it cost me a fortune. It wasn’t worth it.” Trump isn’t above dissing himself, either, if it will score him a few points for color. “I think I get terrible press,” he observed. “If there’s half a sentence that says ‘his hair is terrible’ or ‘he looks like s — t,’ I take it very personally.”

LESSON TWO: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.

Part of Trump’s PR power is his black-and-white view of the universe. He hews to a simple character narrative of brash-businessman-with-a-big-ego that makes even SpongeBob SquarePants appear complex. “All my life I’ve been successful,” he began. “All my life.” When it comes to business, Donald is always, always doing “great,” despite an occasionally contrary opinion from his accountants in Atlantic City.

LESSON THREE: THE EXPLETIVE IS MIGHTIER THAN THE IDEA.

Trump regaled the crowd with his savvy strategy for managing headlines when the media thought his real estate empire would collapse in the late 1980s. “I said to the press [long pause], ‘F — k you!’ “

LESSON FOUR: SEX SELLS. MENTION SEX. A LOT.

Trump knows that settling into a stable relationship would make his PR hits drop faster than the fat diamond he just gave new fiancee Melania Knauss. In the course of a 30-minute address, he managed to make at least 15 references to women and/or the woes of marriage.

The look, the ego, the swearing, the sex. Crass, sure — but in that way, brilliant. He nailed his message, and he won 4,100 fans. It was all part of Trump’s signature (and carefully copyrighted) strategy: not just style over substance, but style as substance. Sadly, it works like a charm.

Everyone, everywhere in this country and around the globe, knows of the high level of political acrimony in America — the right and the left are more viciously opposed than ever, as evidenced by the rude rhetoric heard on the street, in social and mass media, and right up to scathing Tweets from the U.S. President himself.

Add that acrimony to a weaponized America, in which a majority of countrymen are armed to the teeth, with few checks on who may purchase, own and carry guns, including military-type weaponry. We are a country with no will among elected politicians to restrict or repeal this mass weaponization of the public, despite one tragic incident after another.

What happens next? A Congressman in the line of succession to the Presidency is shot, along with several his teammates, by a heavily-armed radicalized civilian, while doing nothing more provocative than practicing for a Congressional baseball game between Republicans and Democrats.

This tragic incident will inevitably lead to increased security and separation from the public of elected officials. It will provoke increased political discord among opportunistic individuals and media. There will be a brief period in which some leaders call for reform.

But, the chances of this cruel incident leading to real and positive change, either in quelling the fruitless heat of political discord rampant across this land, or in prompting much-needed reform of our gun laws, remains predictably remote. Our political leadership and civilians are collectively our own worst enemies in both issues unless people of goodwill and common sense finally raise their voices and say “ENOUGH!”

Is this an educatable moment leading to constructive social change, or will this odd confluence of political acrimony and negligent gun laws drive even more wedges between the people and their leadership? We must do more than hope.

OK, what’s going on? Young Reality Winner is not given bail for leaking actual proof that the Russians were messing with our election, while Comey hearings are described as non-conclusive regarding Russian meddling in our elections. She is a hero of the American people for having the courage to break laws to prove what our government says are only allegations. We are not getting the truth from our own government and not even from the news media. And people wonder why many are losing faith in the government and media? We the people are being “handled” by arrogant bastards who think they know what is best for us. Enough!

August 2017
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