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Your Tax Dollars At Work – Subsidizing Hollywood

January 4, 2012

When Hollywood producers make movies, they disrupt local businesses, demand (and get) discount pricing, then leave, creating no permanent jobs.

So why is this considered “economic development,” worthy of tax credits so large that Hollywood producers not only end up paying no taxes, they are able to sell off the credits and make a profit – at the expense of those of us who actually pay taxes?

PR Peeve #5: Poor Communication

January 3, 2012

Reporters, editors and public relations practitioners are all supposed to be communications professionals.  So why do we do such a poor job communicating?

Some reporters never bother to return calls or respond to e-mails.  Conversely, PR agencies hire fresh college grads and put them on the phone to spend their day calling and e-mailing reporters, which is why many give up responding to PR practitioners.

Presidential Resolutions

January 1, 2013

President Obama has likely been too busy pushing the country to the brink of the fiscal cliff to make any resolutions this year, so I’ve made some for him.

Give A Speech Without “I” In It.  In 2009, after hearing President Obama’s speech about rescuing General Motors from bankruptcy, The New York Times Errol Morris wrote that, “I was reminded of the last scene of ‘Godfather I,’ when Michael Corleone, who begins the film as a young idealistic patriot, ends it by striking the pose of a Roman emperor as subordinates kiss his ring.”

Change Your Life – Work Out

December 27, 2012

Those who work out regularly always dread going to the gym during the first week of January.

That’s when the New Year’s resolvers arrive.  Having never been to the gym before, they won’t realize that the seats on the fitness equipment were not made for long rests and that benches are supposed to be used for pressing weights.

Pro #5: 'Twas the Night Before Chemo

December 26, 2012

These days, we could all use some inspiration. I’m getting mine from Jack Jackson, a fellow public relations practitioner and friend, who recently found out that he has pancreatic cancer. Jack is using a weapon against cancer that our healthcare system can’t provide – a sense of humor.

Don't Be Insulted, But Have A "Merry Christmas"

Decenber 24, 2012

We’ve reached a point in history where many people feel uncomfortable wishing others a “Merry Christmas.”  How sick is that?

Tommy Was Not Like Everyone Else

December 21, 2012

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

Joni Mitchell

My cousin, former neighbor and childhood best friend died this week.  He was 60.

The one thing that stood out about Tommy was that he was not like everyone else.

When we were kids, he would come to my house almost every day and when I answered the door, he’d ask the same question, “Wanna rassle?”  The answer was always, “no,” as Tom was two years older than me and significantly heavier and if we wrestled, he would have beat the crap out of me.  He asked anyway.

Pro #4: An Alternative To “Buy and Hold”

December 20, 2012

“In poker, if you have a bad hand, you ‘fold.’ In investing, the commonly accepted philosophy is to ‘buy and hold,’ even during a bear market.  So which of the two is really gambling - poker or buy-and-hold investing?”

Brenda Wenning

When we first began working together in the summer of 2008, Brenda Wenning of Wenning Investments advised me to sell off my stocks and put my money into cash.  My advisor talked me out of it – and my portfolio still hasn’t fully recovered.

A Vast “Left Wing” Conspiracy

December 19, 2012

The unemployment rates stands at just under 8 percent and the federal debt has soared from $9 trillion when President Obama took office to more than $16 trillion.  The world is a more dangerous place, with Iran close to gaining nuclear capability.  New legislation is making a mess of both the healthcare and financial industries, which will both be largely controlled by the federal government.  Yet President Obama was elected to a second term.

Did a biased media make it all possible? 

Con #7: The Formerly “Free” Internet

December 17, 2012

We’ve allowed the world’s most repressive dictators to take over control of the United Nations.  Now, they’re using that power to take over control of the Internet.

The Internet has become an important weapon in advancing freedom, because it enables instant communication around the world.  People who are repressed can use the Internet to organize, communicate and alert others about their situation.  But that’s about to change.