Can’t we all just get along? Apparently not.

Watching the GOP Presidential Primary race reminds me of the infamous words uttered by Rodney King at the height of the LA Riots of 1992. “Can’t we all just get along?” could also be applied to the lame efforts by the President and Congress to pass budgets or any significant legislation.

As seen on the Geraldo Rivera show last night, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WLmLVh_OZw

…leading Presidential Candidate Herman Cain is being attacked in an article on Politico.com. It claims that while serving as President of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s Cain was accused of sexual harassment by two unnamed female employees and paid them a cash settlement to drop the claims. Allegedly the women took the cash and left the employ of the Association.

It’s important to note that nobody is accusing Cain of touching them, groping them, dropping his pants, or anything beyond saying something ONCE and making a gesture ONCE that made two women “uncomfortable”. In our nation’s ridiculous and heightened state of political correctness in the 1990 a woman’s claim of being made to feel “uncomfortable” required calling out the Third Infantry and helicopter attack squad. No credibility nor truth needed accompany the claim in order for it to do substantial damage to the person it was levied against. It’s not MUCH better today. Herman Cain has been married for over 40 years. That’s good enough for me.

I’m not saying I’ll vote for Cain. In fact, I probably will vote for another GOP candidate if they are still in the race by the time of Washington State’s April 15, 2012 Presidential Precinct Caucuses. But I am saying even if this lame story lacking attribution is 100% true, SO WHAT! It amounts to very, very little. Not something that should sway anyone’s vote.

Conservative Columnist Ann Coulter was adamant that the story was being put forth by the “Liberal Left” or more specifically President Obama’s political machine. Democratic Commentator Juan Williams was equally sure the story was being pushed by Cain’s GOP rivals, or more specifically one of them. Whoever is found to be responsible for bathing in this slime soup should be held accountable. For it is about time we as Americans stop complaining about negative campaign ads, campaign stories, and campaigning in general and start penalizing those purveying such nonsense; rather than rewarding them. The negative campaigning goes on only because it works. It’s time we start supporting those who lift us up, rather than those who pull us down. And in case you haven’t been paying attention Newt Gingrich is the only candidate not throwing mud at his GOP rivals and the slime throwing, Commander in Pulling us Down Chief right now is Mr. Hope and Change himself.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Envy will kill ya! Darned Sibling Rivalry.

Perhaps you’re like me. Perhaps you too have a sibling who is particularly high achieving. I do. I have a brother with whom I’ve always been compared and worse yet set against. I doubt my parents actually realize this.

I’m beset with high achievers with whom to be compared. All around me our family and friends who populate the 1% that so many Occupy Wall Street protesters claim to be greedy. For the record Dictionary.com defines greedy as:

1.excessively or inordinately desirous of wealth, profit, etc.;avaricious: “the greedy owners of the company.”

Were I defining the word I would add the phrase “…for that which is not rightfully yours”. For I don’t think its greedy to want to possess and enjoy that which is yours, that which you’ve earned.
My brother is just one year my senior. He used to brag to me what his income was for years. It was quite juvenile, but synonymous with the sibling rivalry he and I seem forever engaged in. He stopped telling me his pay 12-15 years ago when it became clear he had reached 7 figures per year.  He remains a 7-8 figure-income-earner per year.
But if a world travelling millionaire brother isn’t bad enough, there are also my in-laws. My sister-in-law is a Cal-Berkley educated lawyer for Microsoft. Her Dad, my father in-law, is a former 20 year state Senator and college football hero for the local school, University of Washington. Heck, even my best friend makes over $100k yearly driving a bus for Metro.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters who defiantly cry that they’re “the 99%” have an envy problem. They resent the wealth distribution in the country. They hate that the upper earning 1%, in which my family is well represented, earn 17% of our nations income. They claim that 1% should share more of what they have. Never mind that the same 1% pay for 38% of ALL Federal income tax, that the upper 10% paid 70%, and that 51% paid 100%. 49% of Americans paid 0% of all collected Federal Income tax, courtesy of those evil George Bush tax cuts. Talk about “Things that make ya go, hmmm?
If anyone has a right to be envious its me! I was raised in the same house by the same single father as my millionaire brother. I met my wife when my professional attorney sister-in-law was 12 years old. And I met by best friend 25 years ago when he had just started his Government work, long before his seniority and good service pushed him into the upper income levels. I watched all these people grow from humble beginnings to good or great financial success.
My personal achievements have been comparatively humble. I’ve worked hard my whole life. Other than two short stints on unemployment I’ve never taken public assistance or a government hand out. I’ve never been in the upper 1% of income earners, though I was certainly in the upper 5%. I’m not complaining. I’m not poor. I’ve done well. I live well. But compared to some in my family…lets just say I’m a little lower on the food chain.
So am I like the OWS protesters desirous of more of my immediate family’s money? Do I feel ripped off? Absolutely not. In fact, sometimes I feel sorry for my wealthy family members. They are all tied to their jobs and the responsibilities therein. For six years I’ve been an independent small business owner answerable to no one. Before that I worked a sales job for thirteen years in which I seldom worked more than 30 hours per week.
My brother, sister-in-law, father-in-law and best friend worked long hard hours day after day, month after month, year after year to earn everything they have. So have I. But my wealth has yet to come. It will. But I’ve enjoyed a lot of freedom and independence in the meantime (…he laughs knowingly). I’m proud of my family.
For the most part the OWS protesters are young and seem to be experiencing a tough time. They come from a generation given everything, including trophies merely for participating on a sports team. They don’t have the experience of knowing what we know. Things get better. Work hard, don’t quit, overcome obstacles, don’t spend money frivolously, and always anticipate the dawn. So its my hope they will filter away in the increasingly cold days ahead and that their “movement” will be largely ignored. As it should be. Because its little more than entitlement and envy.
Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Best World Series Game 6 Ever!

Last night’s World Series game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers was why so many of us enjoy sports. The sheer excitement, the drama, the edge or your seat suspense was all incredible. Then the sudden unexpected conclusion with the walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning off the bat of St Louis hometown boy David Freese made for a memorable evening I’ll not soon forget.

I was jumping up and down mad in the bottom of the tenth inning when Rangers Manager Ron Washington made the correct call and decided to intentionally walk Albert Pujols. By most people’s estimation Pujols is the games best player and after only 11 years in the big leagues is considered a sure Hall of Famer. So here he was stepping to the plate with two out and a runner on 2nd, bottom of the 10th inning and his team trailing by a run. With Pujols facing free agency in the off-season and possibly in his last at-bat as a Cardinal the situation was absolutely delicious. But Washington took that taste right out of my mouth. Of course, I know it was the right thing for him to do. But karma can be a bitch sometimes. By taking away the drama of Pujols either being the hero or the goat (though the final out would hardly qualify him as the goat) Washington had the baseball Gods come back and slap him. Lance Berkman hit a double tying the game, and of course the Cardinals went on the win it and force tonight’s game seven.

As wonderful as last nights game was I will not call it the Best World Series game, or game 6, I’ve ever personally witnessed. Heck, it’s not even 2nd best. My BEST, and the best of so many other people, is the 12 inning Boston Red Sox win over the Big Red MachineCincinnati Reds, in 1976. I was only 12 years old but I still remember how exhilarating it was to watch. Of course, like so many others Carlton Fisk became one of my favorites, one of my heroes, with his home run the he willed fair with hand, hip and heart. It was beautiful.

And who can forget the 1986 Game 6 win of the New York Mets over the Boston Red Sox, the night I became convinced there really was a CURSE. People forget that the final Bill Buckner between the legs whiff was only the last of a series of Red Sox gaffes that enable the Mets to come back from the brink of losing the World Series to eventually winning it.

Of course in 1976 The Big Red Machine won Game 7 and the World Series cementing their legacy as one of the greatest teams ever. The Mets won Game 7 in 1986. How could they not? So what’s going to happen tonight? Based on history, there’s no telling. But I like the chances of the Cardinals. I’ll be watching. That’s for sure.

Seven Tips for Marketing a Business with Video | Entrepreneur.com

Here is an article that speaks to the need for you to have video in your marketing plans and how you might do it best.

Seven Tips for Marketing a Business with Video | Entrepreneur.com.

Thanks to Woodinville Florists for this article.

I’m back!!!! My new blogsite.

Sunset at Birch Bay, WA

Hello, and welcome to my new blog site. I hope I can entertain and educate you. Based on past experience I know full well I will frustrate many who read the muses here. For I have done this before.

For the time being you can still read and view my previous blog site called American Perspective, which was on my soon to be replaced website www.totalbroadcasting.com. When we began to make progress on a new website I decided it wasn’t in the company’s best interest, or my own, to continue to draw people to an inadequate website and blog site since they would both soon be replaced.

Not being one to follow conventional thinking I’m not ready to declare a specific theme to this blog other than “Americana“. But unlike an old book, or piece of art the view expressed here will not be falling into disrepair. They’ll be about American politics, business, self-help, and being that I am an avid sports fan I suspect if I want to pen my perspective on the Seattle Mariners chances of making it to the World Series in 2012 I might just do so.

I hope you will do me the honor of Following or Subscribing to this blog. And while you’re at it Like us on Facebook. I think you’ll be glad you did. Whether you agree with me or not, I’m happy to engage in discussion. I have already posted some articles previously posted elsewhere in order to give you some sense of my writing and views. So…welcome. I hope we become frequent sharers of this space.

Word of Mouth needs a hand.

This article was originally written and published in October 2010. It has been edited and made current.- M Schuett

Michael and his OLD computer

Get to know the internet

I’m going to make a statement that will send shivers down the spine of long time business people. It’ll cause concern and disagreement and it will do so primarily because it will cause all business people to rethink and renew how they go about maintaining their business.Word of mouth advertising doesn’t work any more. At least it doesn’t work without a little help. But fortunately help is available.

Many longtime business owners have always relied on word of mouth advertising as their vehicle to drive home to them new clients. They worked hard to provide good service and a good product and relied on customers to tell others of how wonderful they were. Word of mouth advertising was the best marketing conversion tool they had.

For many or most of these businesses recent years have seen a drop in business. We’re in a national recession (or technically, WERE) so a drop in business can be expected, right? In the mind of the old-time business person all they need to do is hang on and keep providing good service and the economy will bounce back and things will be good as new. But as we emerge from this significant economic slow down anyone who relies only on word of mouth advertising is going to be disappointed to find out that their business may never bounce back to where it was and may eventually suffer enough lack of new business that the business as a whole will fail.

When a referral for a business service comes my way more often than not I’m given little more than a person or companies name and maybe a phone number or a location of business. In determining whether I use this referral my first step is to look them up…on the internet. If out and about my Galaxy Tab tablet computer gives me instant internet access and I punch in what info I have into a Google search

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

. If it can wait until I’m home (or if I’m there already) I do the same. I take the referral information I have and conduct a Google search for the business or service referred.

Now pretend with me for a moment what happens when that business or service cannot be seen or found in my Google search results.

1. Do I call that business anyway?

2. Do I conduct another search using keywords I think might bring the referred business to Google’s attention?

3. Or do I click on a link to another business who has caught my eye in the Google search results?

Option number 1 happens seldom. Option 2 occurs with more frequency. But when it does I’m often still left unsatisfied. Option 3, in which I begin the process of taking my business elsewhere happens more often than the others and with increasing frequency. This process is repeated by normal Americans everyday. And every day business with no internet presence lose that business to those who have an internet presence.

Word of mouth needs a hand because the process I just described is so easy for everyone. Google searches at home or at the office and now out and about on your smart phone or tablet allow all of us to quickly check on all referrals to determine their validity and whether we want to take the next step and call them.

Websites can be the answer to your lack of search engine results. Even a small and undistinguished website can be found by Google. But if you don’t have the time or money to develop or maintain a website, or if your site doesn’t come up first in a Google search the above stated scenario can be repeated.

Word of mouth advertising needs a hand.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

When you open a YouTube account for a company profile video, or a Facebook Fan Page, or a Blog on WordPress or similar site, or you Post a profile page on LinkedIn.com

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

you can spend zero dollars and only a small amount of time. But the results are instantaneous and the problem of having zero internet presence is solved immediately.

Besides the business and social media sites mentioned above, there are an ever increasing number of directories on the internet that may already have some information on your business. But a lot of that information may be wrong and may be minuscule. Sites like Citysearch, Manta, Merchant Circle and others are out their with your information; but unless you claim them and expand on that information they are not likely to appear high in a Google search result. Claim them, and even if you have little else on the internet you can at least count on being found on a first page Google search when someone types in your specific name.

So here is what you do to help your word of mouth advertising. Get a presence on the internet. Start by conducting a Google search for yourself or your business or both. Visit every link in which your information appears; and don’t stop on the first or even the second page. Claim the pages you find with your basic business information. Usually its little more than a name an address and a phone number. Claim it by clicking on the link on the page that reads “Business Owner?” or “Is this your business?” or something similar. Then follow the steps to fill in the information it asks. If it allows you to upload photos, then upload photos. If it allows you to upload video…you’ve struck GOLDUpload a video. No video? Get one.

Fill out all the information completely and thoroughly. Then move on to the next search result, and repeat the process.

Lastly, if typing your name and business produces nothing on a first or even second page Google search result. Do nothing else until you have opened a Fan Page on Facebook, a Google email account and business profile, and a free LinkedIn and Biznik account.

Now you’ve done THE MINIMUM. Now you’ve given word of mouth a fighting chance.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats.

This article was published elsewhere previously. It is edited and made more timely for publishing now. – M Schuett

 

Michael Schuett in New York

M Schuett at Empire St Bldg

“The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats are willing to give up a little freedom in order to achieve fairness; while Republicans are willing to give up a little fairness in order to achieve freedom.”- George Will, Conservative columnist and commentator
Every tax and every law written is an impingement on individual liberty. By definition if you are required to do or to give something by force or threat of negative consequences your liberty has been diminished. And while being a citizen of a nation founded for the first time in history on the concept of respecting individual liberty and democratic (small d) rule loosing ones liberty ought to not be taken lightly. Lately I think it has been.

However, it goes without saying that in order to live happily in a society free from anarchy some surrender of our individual liberties is a requirement. And thus we come to the wedge of which George Will was referring at the top of this writing. When does Government go too far in governing? When does an individual’s right to liberty become TOO detrimental to society as a whole? And where do you stand?

Do you think it’s some kind of accident or freak of nature that we keep bouncing back and forth throughout our nation’s history between Democratic and Republican Presidents and Congress? It’s no accident. It’s a reflection of who we are. Roughly half of us are or lean Republican or Conservative (big C); while the other half is or leans Democrat or Liberal (some would rather I write “Progressive”, to which I respond “Whatever. Call yourselves whatever you wish. A rose by any other name…”) And really the other side is not evil. Though for most of our 234 year old existence many have continued to paint the other side as doing the work of the devil. I think it comes down to what you value.

I like George Will’s definition of Republican vs. Democrat because I think it’s mostly accurate while not intentionally offensive to either side. But I think there is a more clear values oriented definition of America’s two party system that makes the distinctions plainer. Before giving you my definition lets all recognize a truth. Most of us are what we are because of who are parents are and what their beliefs are or were. By no means is this “truth” 100% carved out of granite. But it might define 70-80 percent of us politically. And if I’m right, what does that say about who we are, what our beliefs are, and for whom we vote? It say’s what voter turnout percentages have screamed for decades. Most of us don’t care. Most elections are lucky if 50 percent of eligible voters vote. Again, in terms of literal definition that means MOST of us don’t care.

Being Conservative or being Liberal in my opinion comes down to whether you value an individual’s right to liberty more or whether you value a specified community’s benefit more. If you value society’s well-being over that of a single individual in that society you are more likely to be a Liberal and/or Democrat. The Conservatives have a tougher task because in standing up for an individuals right Conservatives are repeatedly labeled as advocating selfishness. If you are a caring and loving person of course you would advocate society over individual benefits, right? I say, “Hogwash!’. To advocate society’s or a community’s well-being over that of any individual in that group is the height of arrogance and promotes tyranny.

Promoting community benefit promotes the idea that you know best. It says I know better than you what’s best for you and everybody else in your community. And since you are in effect children we will tell you what to do in order to not hurt yourself or your neighbors. And in order that you grow up and live your life to the level that we would call “the fullest”. Again, because we know better. Ladies and gentleman I give you the definition of Liberal. I also grant you that not a single Liberal thinks of themselves in quite that way.

I laugh when I hear Democrats criticizing Republicans by calling them “Do nothing Republicans”. Dear Lord if only it were true. Democrats just don’t get it. Doing “nothing” is the heart of Conservatism. For doing “Anything” involves one more law, or tax or infringement on liberty. Often doing nothing is what is best, is what is called for; is worth defending.

I believe in individuality. I believe in self-determination. And I believe in selfishness. “Ah ha!” you say. “You reveal your evil intent”. On the contrary, as stated by 18th Century writer Adam Smith in his monolithic book, “The Wealth of Nations” a person acting selfishly will by instinct act toward the benefit of community as a whole because to do otherwise injures the individual’s selfish interests. We have to act in the interest of others for any number of reasons, but primarily if we don’t act in the interest of others while serving our selfish needs nobody else will act in our interest. Like Henry Ford defined in building his Model T at the start of the 20th Century. He believed he had to pay his assembly line workers enough so that they could afford to buy his product. Conversely he also believed he had to build a car that a working “man” could afford. Such a view toward serving the “common man” made Ford an extremely wealthy man, and fulfilled his every SELFISH need and desire.

I fondly remember previous employers who all found me a good hard worker but hard to control. I never thought I needed to be “controlled”. But I still remember my one time team leader telling me she was the only one (of other Team Leaders) who could control me (I wish I could go into greater detail…but I won’t). I was always best when left to my own devises. It’s my overwhelming desire for freedom of thought and freedom of choice that led me to be an independent business owner, answerable to no one but the man in the mirror. And our country is loaded with individuals like me who don’t answer to authority as readily or willingly as do others. And it’s our individuality and right to it that needs to be protected. For if my right to speak my mind is ever quashed, yours will be next. The ever-changing flux of that which is popular dictates it so. I still remember news article in the 1980s detailing the coming third “Ice Age”. Not something Global Warming advocates will even acknowledge today.

The Health Care reform law, commonly known as Obamacare, has me and so many others nervous or outright scared to death. Our individuality is threatened. Without debating specific aspects one over riding undeniable fact about what is happening with it becoming law is that our Government will grow in size and scope tremendously. In doing so my liberty again is chipped away further. And I believe deeply.

Isn’t it sad, in my view, that the rights of the individual weren’t kept foremost in mind throughout the debate. Claims by House Democrats that a Government option was necessary in order to create competition flies in the face of competitions definition. There are 306-million Americans. If the health care industry and the health insurance industry had to actually win the precious dollars of each and every one of us individuals you would then have competition and you would then have affordable health care. Instead we have a debate over health care coverage and its cost, rather than a debate over health care and its cost.

As blasphemous as this sounds, WE ARE NOT ALL EQUAL. Efforts to force us to be equal will only force us into George Orwell’s nightmare “Animal Farm” where the pigs stated without hesitation or fear of consequence that “Some of us are more equal than the others”. The fact that we’re all created equal doesn’t change what we become. Some people and activities are valued more than others. Those who entertain us are valued much more than those who educate us. For reasons that pass understanding those who haul away our garbage are valued considerably less than those who sit in Congress and create additional refuse. The point is an individualized health care system would take into consideration our differences and aim to serve us as individuals instead of as a community.

And when I’m under the scalpel, on the operating table, in a hospital I want my individuality the foremost thought of my care takers…society be damned. That’s my selfish wish. And I defy anyone to embrace anything less.

Comments are welcome. Thanks for visiting.