Friday, May 19, 2017

Hillary Redux

Hillary Clinton coulda won.

Hillary Clinton woulda won.

The reason why Hillary didn't win is due only to the strategy that failed.

It was the wrong strategy.  If it were the right strategy, Hillary would be POTUS.

But to prove my point, I will explain the biggest blunders and some of the solutions for the next election and will get an argument from everybody.  Not on the basis of substance.  But by those in hot pursuit of symbolic gestures seeking validation.

Beyond the Presidency, the Democrats failed to reclaim The House, failed to reclaim The Senate.

These are incontrovertible facts.  Not opinions.

Let's get started.

The first thing to touch on is the mea culpa by the media.


We failed to predict the outcome of the election.  Why? How?
I know, let's switch the topic of this article to why Donald Trump won, point fingers, vilify the opposition and claim, if not victory, at least the moral high ground.

That speaks volumes.


It's called Newton's 3rd Law of Physics.  The pendulum swings both ways.

Now, if you are among the generation of those who ran the campaign, you remember:

Just because it always happens doesn't mean it will happen again.
That's negative.
That's disempowering.
That's disrespectful.
That's self-defeating.

Just because you were right last time, doesn't mean you will be right this time.  Just because you were right this time, doesn't mean you will be right the next time.

The first failure, then, is not the failure to concede the existence of Newton's 3rd Law.  It is the denial of it's validity and refusal to ask,

"Why does this happen?  What can we do about it?"

Routinely, the switch is due to voter dissatisfaction.

"Your ideas failed.  We will try their ideas."
"Their ideas failed.  We will try your ideas again."

Instead, ask:

What are the Republicans selling?
Why do people like what the Republicans are selling?
Is there anything we can co-opt--incorporate SOME of their ideas into our platform to improve our chances of keeping the Oval Office?


We all know about Donald Trump's record with women.  We also know all about Bill Clinton's record with women.  The attack on Donald Trump did not fizzle out.  The attack had no fizz to begin with.

Let's turn the tables with a Saturday Night Live style skit for the purpose of illumination.  Focus on the lesson only.  Not the lesson you want.  What people really hear. Not what you want people to hear.  Then I will offer the solution.  A learning opportunity.


                Wolf Blitzer

Mrs. Clinton, would you like to make an opening statement?

                Mrs. Clinton

Thank you, Wolf.  Yes I would.  My opponent preys on women, he's a misogynist, a degenerate, a pig, he's unfit to be President, let's all hate him. Vote for me.

                Wolf Blitzer

A very well thought out and sensitive opening statement, Mrs. Clinton. Very Presidential.  Now, Mr. Trump, is there any excuse you have for your despicable behavior illuminate by our former first Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in her brilliant and sensitive opening statement?


Well, Mr. Blitzer, the only thing I can say is that I am a little disappointed with my opponents opening statement when you consider that her husband, Bill Clinton, was impeached for worse----

                Mrs. Clinton

There he goes again. There he goes again. Taking the low road, taking the low road. But as my good friend and First Lady said to me, when they go low, you go high.  And I refuse to sink to my opponents level. I'm taking the high road. I'm taking the high road.

                Wolf Blitzer

Good for you Mrs. Clinton.  Thank you for raising the level of this campaign to the American values we cherish and hold so dear.

Now!  Do you see how things can be portrayed?  Don't bitch and moan.  The strategy had no fizz to begin with.  This is the right way to handle the problem.


                Mrs. Clinton

Wolf, I am not going to discuss my opponents record with women because my husband, Bill, was impeached for worse behavior.   But let me emphasise.  I am not Bill Clinton.  I am Hillary Clinton.  I will let the media focus on my opponents record while I stick to the issues and outline for the American people how I intend to solve the problems with Health Care, the Economy, Unemployment, National Security, and the Environment.

If you don't believe me, I will cite someone with rather substantial credentials.

There is a right way and a wrong way to handle that issue.  

As President Lyndon B. Johnson said,

"If you have a problem, shine a light on it."


I'm watching favorable sources on CNN.  Nancy Pelosi is the guest.  Pelosi throws Bill Clinton under the bus.  Pelosi supports part of Trump's Campaign Platform.  "Nafta is bad."

When asked by the presenter,  How do you respond to your critics that you knifed President Obama in the back with your failure to support TPP, APEC, whatever?

Mrs. Pelosi responded, "That's not a fair criticism.  I just wanted to take a closer look.  I didn't want it to be another NAFTA.   NAFTA was bad for the economy.  NAFTA cost American jobs.  NAFTA was a disaster."

Nancy Pelosi said that.

Instead of the Democrats co-opting part of the Trump Campaign, Trump leveraged part of the Democrat's campaign platform inflicted on Hillary by Bernie Sanders.  I am a globalist.  I posted PowerPoint Presentations to support same.

NAFTA was a Bill Clinton deal.  Mrs. Pelosi threw Bill Clinton under the Bus.  There is something else I said.  Hillary Clinton is getting more help from her Republican critics and opponents than she is from her Democratic friends and supporters.


While Hillary Clinton was attempting to appeal to women, she pulled the rug out from under herself.

Back to the SNL paradigm.

                Women in the Commercial

Nafta put my Dad out of work. 
Nafta put my husband out of work. 
Nafta put my brother out of work. 
Nafta put my son out of work. 
They can't find jobs. 

Nafta was bad for the economy,
Nafta cost American jobs,
Nafta was a disaster. 
Nancy Pelosi said so. 
Nafta was a Bill Clinton deal.

How dare you call
Our Dads,
Our husbands,
Our brothers,
Our sons, 

A basket of deplorables?


If unemployed, blue collar, working class white men are out of work and angry, then....

Twice as many unemployed, blue collar, working class black men are out of work and they are twice as angry.  And so they should be.  But I will focus on that specifically later in the article.

The Clinton Campaign ignored the unemployed men, Black and White.  And remember, not only did the African American community refuse to turn out for Hillary Clinton, the African American community also refused to turn out for the Democrats running for Congress.  Need I remind anyone, the Democrats failed to reclaim both or either house of Congress?  Repeatedly!

You don't win elections by ignoring a large voting block. 
A large voting block of unemployed men, Black White, Latino.


President Obama knew he had the support of the Black community.  (Something Clinton and the Democrats did not have).  President Obama needed White votes.  As the old saying goes, when looking for votes:  "Fish where there are fish."

Mrs. Clinton had the Woman Vote. (Almost).  But Hillary Clinton did not fish for votes among unemployed men: Black, White, Latino.


It's Black History month.  I'm watching one of the C-Span specials.  We are back at the Watts Riots.
A CBS reporter is talking to a Black Woman near "the projects".  She is explaining how hard it is to live, to get by, to feed and care for her children at the end of the month when benefits run out.

The CBS reporter wants to know, aren't there any [programmes, agencies, services] available?

The woman tells the reporter in Plain English......"We don't need no handouts.  We need jobs."

No handouts!  Jobs.  We need jobs.  Jobs!  JOBS! 

In my own blunt way:

Franklin D. Roosevelt paid white men to go to work.
Lyndon B. Johnson paid black men to stay home.

Franklin D. Roosevelt gave Workfare to white men.
Lyndon B. Johnson gave Welfare to black men.


I don't know what percentage of mothers have at least one if not more than one son.  Mom's have daughters. Mom's have sons. 

Back to SNL

Fade in:   Seven year old boy sitting on the floor in front of the television set watching a Hillary Clinton campaign ad.

                Little Boy

Mommy, who is that lady and why does she hate me?


                Little Boy

That lady on television.


That's Hilary Clinton.  She wants to be President.  If she wins the election, she will be the first woman President.  She doesn't hate you. Why did you say she hates you?

                Little Boy

Every time I see her she keeps talking about girls and about daughters.  She never says anything about boys. She never says anything about sons.  Mrs. Smith has two boys and a girl.  Mrs. Jones has two girls and a boy,  What about them. Are they voting for Hillary Clinton?

Cut to:  Sepia tone.  Melodramatic Music.  Mommy with anguished, tormented look.


Oh, my.  I never thought of that.  What do we tell our boys?  What do we tell our sons?  Can I say, because little boys are competent and don't need help?  Can I tell him, he has special privileges and little girls get cheated and she's helping the underdogs?  Can I tell him little boys are despicable deplorables?  What do the mothers of sons tell their sons?

Mrs. Clinton won 52% of the woman vote.  Mrs. Clinton lost 48% of the woman vote.  Mrs. Clinton forgot: 

"There are no unintended consequences.  Only unwanted consequences."  ~ Slim Fairview

Deplorables makes a fine sound-bite.  Even if falls short of the high road.  You may be right about Donald Trump.  But you're not attacking Trump.  You're attacking the fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers of the women who vote.  And, as Grandma Millie said on the topic of coming between married people:

"Two heads on one pillow."


Before the election, I tweeted, If Donald Trump gets elected, he can thank Wolf Blitzer.


The more you say something (outrageous) the more you blunt its impact.

I can see the boys sitting around the lunch table in the Millard P. Fillmore Middle School cafeteria, and giggling over their jokes.  Take out the word President and put in Principal, you're in Middle School. Take out the word Principal and put in the word President, you have late night comedy.

I learned during Sophomore year of high school from a great teacher,  It's not a good thing for Charlie if everyone loves Charlie.  There has to be at least one person in the back of the room who says, I don't like Charlie.  If he knows someone doesn't like him, Charlie will be careful about doing his job.

Take out Charlie and put in Hillary, and you have the same lesson.  Unfortunately, the response fell short.  "We have critics.  What are they saying?  How can we convince them that they are wrong?"

a. Attack our critics
b. Attack their candidate
c. Praise our candidate
e. Address their concerns to relieve their fears.

Mrs. Clinton had too many fans.  Critics were vilified.  No one did the research.  No one did the analysis.  No one addressed the concerns of Trump supporters to alleviate their fears.  And, in plain English,  e-mails, Comey, the FBI, and "crooked Hillary" had nothing to do with it.  Few people cared about the e-mails.  Campaign sound-bites.  News teasers.  Redefine their concerns, address the concerns they don't have, ignore the concerns they do have, lose the election.

On CNN, the focus during President Obama's re-election bid was the birther issue.  Ridiculous, right? But if you keep repeating it, the outrageous claims lose their outrageous punch.  Some people wonder why CNN keeps reporting on the issue.  To ridicule Donald Trump or the Mitt Romney campaign? 

Once, will do it.  By the third time it becomes part of the urban legend.  The claims lose their outrageous impact.  Some, perfectly well-balanced, middle of the road people will wonder why CNN keeps bringing up the issue.   By the way,  the third report, where Donald Trump claimed to have documents, showed up on The Situation Room, and had no documents was the last time I watched The Situation Room.  I don't want "coverage."  I want News.


I have documents.
Come on The Situation Room and show us.


I have documents.
Show us the documents then you can come on The Situation Room.

It is that simple.  But wait, there's more.

In a fine example of linguistic legerdemain, Donald Trump announced:

They started it and I'm going to finish it.  President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Case closed.

Do you remember who started it? 
Do you remember who kept reporting it? 
Do you remember who put an end to it? 
Media professionals are supposed to know how this works.

To understand propaganda, you must go back to ancient Greece [Crete] and the impact of the play Antigone.  Then look at Nazi occupied France and the impact of the restaging of the play Antigone.  The former, was a moral lesson.  However, to stage the play in Nazi occupied France, it had to pass the Nazi censors. 

The Nazi censors read it and said,  "Good. This will teach the people what happens to those who defy authority." 

The French people read it and said, "If this young girl can risk her life, and indeed, lose her life to do what is morally right, that we can risk our lives, give up our lives to resist the occupation. 

Same speech. Different audience.  Different interpretation.

It wasn't the Alt Right that got Trump elected.  It was the Alt Wrong. 

The media failed to do "the leg work". 

The media
Made assumptions, 

Sought data to support their assumptions, and
Validated and reported their theories as news. 
That is not science. That is not reporting. That is not news.  Ideology has nothing to do with it.  Misogyny had nothing to do with it.  Failure to listen had much to do with it. 


When I was young we learned:

"We may not agree with what they have to say, but they have the right to say it."

These days we teach:

"They may not agree with what we have to say, but we have the right to say it."

We've all heard,  "Your way is not the only way of doing it, you know.  You should try it my way."

Did you ever hear, "My way isn't the only way of doing it, you know.  We should try it your way."

I will now quote the most eloquent of all Presidential Orators....Lyndon B. Johnson, who said,
"I ain't never learned nothing talking."

Then?  He's right.  We should stop talking and listen to them and learn
Now?   He's right.  You should stop talking and listen to us and learn


Two factors come into play.  The first is the advantage I had in school.

One of the standardized tests we took had the following instructions.

Read the following paragraph, then answer the questions that follow.

The first question was, "In the above paragraph, what is the main point the author is trying to make?"


Not, what do you think the author is trying to say.
Not, what do you want the author to say.
Not, what do you think the author should be trying to say.

Focus on what the other person is saying.  Try to understand it.  Proceed from there.

The Media mea culpas fell short.
There is no liberal media.
The only factors are

The Quality of the Press
The Credibility of the Press

Perhaps I should have said, "The perceived quality of the press."  The perceived credibility of the press." 

As Kate Bosworth said to Kevin Spacey in the movie, Beyond the Sea,  "People hear what they see."

As my Dad taught me when I was about 8 years old,

"No one agrees with someone else's opinion.  Only his own opinion expressed by someone else."

I remember that every time someone pats me on the back.


I am watching a C-Span special for Black History Month.  I learn that Richard Nixon thought entrepreneurship was essential to help the African American Community break the shackles of poverty. 

I remember George Jefferson:  "Moving on the East a Deluxe Apartment in the Sky."

If starting your own business was a bad idea, white people would not be doing it.
If starting your own business was a bad idea, immigrants would not be doing it.
The media repeatedly reports on how many new business startups are being started by immigrants, creating jobs.  The media never reports on how many Black Men are starting businesses and creating jobs.

I constantly hear,

"Creative, innovative, high-tech, entrepreneurs."
"Creative, innovative, high-tech, entrepreneurs."
"Creative, innovative, high-tech, entrepreneurs."
"Creative, innovative, high-tech, entrepreneurs."

To understand the economics, let's compare Archie Bunker and George Jefferson.

Through the magic metaphor, Archie Bunker and George Jefferson work at the American Widget Company.  An opening for foreman comes up.  They both apply for the job.  Bunker gets the job....because he is white.  Nonetheless, Jefferson figures there's no real future for him at the American Widget Company, so he leaves to start Jefferson's Dry Cleaners.  Then he opens a second store.  Soon he has four.  Then six.

Meanwhile, back at The Widget Company,  Bunker gets another promotion.  Now, instead of foreman, he becomes Manager,  This is a suit and tie job.  To look good on the job, he takes his clothes to Jefferson's Dry Cleaners. 

Bunker clearly gets a bigger paycheck.  Bunker gets a bigger piece of the pie.  But when Bunker cashes his check he goes to Jefferson's Dry Cleaners to pick up his dry-cleaning.  He takes part of his paycheck, a piece of his bigger piece of the pie, to pay his dry-cleaning bill.

Jefferson pays himself a salary.  But at the end of the day, he also shows a profit. 

Bunker gets a paycheck
Jefferson gets a paycheck and a profit.


Because, while Bunker gets a bigger piece of the pie, Jefferson owns a piece of the bakery that bakes the pies.

Bunker?      A paycheck
Jefferson?  A paycheck and a profit.

If starting your own business was a bad idea, white people would not be doing it.
If starting your own business was a bad idea, immigrants would not be doing it.

If the Democrats really want to reclaim one or both houses of Congress, if the Democrats want to reclaim the Oval Office, they must address real concerns with pursuit of substantive gains, not symbolic gestures.  And there must be deliverables and measurables.

Recently a New York Times article addressed the North East Train Corridor problems.

Remember the $800 Billion economic stimulus programme?  Remember the laughter?
The shovel ready projects weren't as shovel ready as we thought." Ha ha ha ha ha.

Remember tax hikes on the Billionaires and Billionaires?

Remember what I said earlier?  In the above paragraph.....

The Democrats controlled the House.
The Democrats controlled the Senate
The Democrats controlled the Oval Office.

The Democrats passed the ACA over the opposition of the Republicans.

Main Point?  The Republicans had no power to stop them

The Democrats passed the $800 Billion economic stimulus package over Republican opposition.

Main Point?  The Republicans had no power to stop them

The tax hike on Billionaires and Billionaires?  Nothing.
The Democrats can't blame the Republicans because....The Republicans had no power to stop them.

In any event, it is not the redistribution of wealth that is the issue.  It is the redistribution of the money.

Wealth is what you have.
Money is what you make.

I have historical support.

Henry Ford did not redistribute his wealth.  He gave his employees raises.  He redistributed the money made by the Ford Motor Car Company.

The Labor Movement?   Wage increases did not redistributed the wealth of the owners.  Wage increases redistribute the money earned by the company. 


A year or so ago, the Economist Robert Reich wrote an article about the 93% tax rate back in the "Golden Days" of America.  The Eisenhower years.

The plausible economist forgets:

When the tax rate was 93%  A Black man earned 50% of a White man's wage.

When the tax rate was 93%  Women were "barefoot and pregnant."

When the tax rate was 93%  Mexicans and Filipinos picked lettuce and grapes for pennies a day.

When the tax rate was 93%  There was no EPA and factories were polluting the air and water.

When the tax rate was 93%  The European economy was in shambles. We were rebuilding Europe.

The well-being described by The Plausible Economist is attributed to the 93% tax rate?  Baloney.

The truth that Reich is describing is a

Racist America
Sexist America
Xenophobic America
Polluted America
Imperialist America.

The 93% taxe rate benefited only one group.  Everyone else was miserable.  The 93% tax rate is a scam. 

President Kennedy, speaking at The Economics Club in October 1962, announced that [while counter-intuitive] cutting taxes increases revenues.  But the taxes were not cut to 73% or 53%  but cut to about 33%.  Overkill to be sure.  But I digress.

The people are beginning to perceive that The Democrats don't want to tax the rich. They want to blame it on the Republicans.

The Democrats and the Republicans have opposite approaches to solving the same problems.  And, being Congress, it is not ironic that they are both wrong.

In plain speak:  You can neither cut your way nor tax your way to prosperity.  The EuroCrisis proves the former, the collapse of the Soviet Union proves the latter.

Hilary coulda won.

Hillary woulda won.

The way was to

Concede the existence of Newton's 3rd Law of Physics.
Analyse why it happens.
Focus on the opponents platform
Select what you can co-opt, incorporate into your own platform: (Market penetration.  Increase Market Share. Revenue (vote) enhancement.)
Fish where there are fish.

Don't trash or vilify, or disparage, or demean angry voters.  (Remember Nancy Pelosi's remarks about the "astroturf" movement.

Address the concerns of angry voters with a bulleted list of how you will fix the problems that make them angry.  In this case.  JOBS.

Einstein said,

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

He also said,  "You don't measure the intelligence of a fish by its ability to climb a tree."

Slim Said.  "If you want someone to climb a tree, hire a cat."

Best of luck

Sincerest regards,


P.S.  As always, if you find anything here to be helpful, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out MacPro and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the Thank you note


Copyright (c) 2017  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Having it All 101


My parents were never divorced. Still, my Mother went back to work
(After "war work") after my sister started school. Years later, my mother expressed sadness & regret about going to work while my sister and I were still young.

It took a prodigious effort to convince her that she was a great mother and all worked out extremely well. My Mother appeared to be reassured. However, my mother is not the issue here. The real issue is manipulation.

In the mid 70s the country was in the grips of the "self-help" book craze. In other words, we had problems we did not have until we had a solution for them. Like Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man.

The talk show industry went from entertainment to exploitation. Not all, but enough.

The snake-oil sellers created a social paradigm of anxiety that they claimed to be able to cure.

As Phineas said to Harold Hill, "But we don't have any problems in River City." To which Professor Hill replied, "Then we'll have to create some."

The Swiss Writer, Daniel Odier, played the same theme in his series of novels writing under the name, Delacorta

People are coerced into embracing a paradigm.

Remember, some people don't want it all. They only want some. They are made to feel inadequate. Why? So they will buy the book.

The same paradigm is "talk about it" or "go outside your comfort zone."

The only reason why people want you to talk about it, or to go outside your comfort zone is to convince you to do what they want you to do or to convince you to do something you don't want to do. If you wanted to do it, there would be no need to talk about it and you would not be going outside your comfort zone.

  • Some people must go to work
  • Some people want to go to work
  • Some people want to become career employees
  • Other people want to be painters or poets

Each should have the right to pursue what will make her happy and feel fulfilled. Not what will satisfy the need for validation in those who must coerce people to do things in an attempt to feel validation or to sell more books.

As far as I'm concerned: Diet books, get rich quick books, and self-help books don't work.  If they did, then--as a nation--we would all be skinny, rich, and happy.  But we're not.  As a nation, we are fat, poor, and polarized.

To those who object:

"Some people read self-help books because they need self help books.
Others need self-help books because they read self-help books."  ~ Slim Fairview

If someone wants to pursue a goal, she should be allowed to do so. If she needs help, and asks for help, others should freely give it.

Too much of what is going on in our society is not unlike the cliche of the parents who want their children to become Big Executives, when the children want to become actors, or painters, or singers.

Remember the movie "The Dead Poets Society' with Robin Williams?

Sincerest regards,


Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lux Class Airline?

When will airlines begin to approach the gap between lavish first class and the private jet industry for people who can afford more than first class but can't afford a private jet. 

 Instead of going BIGGER pick up a "whisper jet" trick it out to approach the private jet Lux Look, and run scheduled luxury flights between "active markets." 

For the purpose of this discussion only, let's say 

New York to Plano Texas or Miami to LA. 

If you plan it right, you can bypass LAX or places like O'Hare or Logan and opt for smaller airports with limousine service to and from City destinations. 

Cheaper than the Private Jet, but "miles" more pleasant than crossing the River Styx to get on an airplane. Macadamia nuts notwithstanding. 

I heard recently, that air travel will double in the next 20 years. So I pondered: 

Will we need twice as many airports or need to make our airports twice as big? Then I heard about the larger planes. 


Waiting lines 
Wait times 
Baggage check-in 
Baggage claims areas on arrival 

Marketing: Find a need and fill it. 

There should be an opportunity in the aforementioned niche market. 

More money than first class or luxury class can satisfy, but not enough money for a private jet; 

That is where Lux-Class Airlines comes in.  

Larger than a Gulf Stream or a Lear jet, but smaller than a "commercial jet" that can be tricked out to give the Lux-Class traveler his or her money's worth. 

Fun to think about.



Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Oil: Speculation or Calculation?

It would seem that we undervalue the influence of speculation. 

Why increase production unless you have a reasonable expectation of a growth curve? 

You know that increasing supply with the expectation of oversupply and declining demand as a result of a slowing global economy will drive prices down. 

Expert analysts had to have known that Saudi Arabia would act to protect revenue. And that protection played out by Saudi Arabia pumping oil. 

In addition, in "Energy Independence" I pointed out that if we no longer buy Saudi Arabian oil, we will no longer be customers.  And by extension, we will no longer be friends.  At best, we will have an expedient relationship.  I also pointed out that Saudi Arabian officials will be talking to Chinese officials. They are.

The only reasonable interpretation goes to motive. 

The motive? 

Flood the market, drive down prices, and drive competitors out of business. Then buy up their assets at bargain prices.

Add to this the propensity to speculate on price fluctuations must in some manner add to the price fluctuations. 

Just saying. 



Copyright (c) 2017  Bob Asken
All rights reserved. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

And the Winner is....

Apple.  Google.  Microsoft.  Facebook. 

Circa 2030

And the winner is....

I already wrote an article "Beware the Datum" about the manipulation of information, or data, or statistics.  
"Figures don't lie, but liars figure." Unknown.

I am not going to reinvent the wheel.

Slim Fairview's Four Rules of Communication:


The Concepts:

Gadgets and gizmos.  Maybe content.  Talked about i-TV and home control systems. Rumors about an Apple Car.

The ultimate search engine.  So much a part of the fabric of online activity that Google has become a verb. Not unlike Xerox(R)  Also involved in devices, R&D and Social Eugenics.  Hope is a plan.  Came up with the idea of implementing an ill-considered name change to Alphabet.  Analogy: Did Apple change its name to fruit cocktail to reflect the many different activities the company is engaged in?

You can talk for a thousand years. Microsoft is a high-tech, okay, a very high-tech stationery store.  A digital ream of paper. 25 (million) column accounting paper. Calendars and appointment books. A digital DayTimer®  And an "outsourced" office management system.

"There is no cloud. It's just someone else's computer." Unknown.

Each launch of a new system seemed to be a failed attempt to improve on Windows 98 2nd Edition.  More bells and whistles. More loud noises, bright colors, and shiny things. Nonetheless, A virtual Staples®

Metaphorically speaking, "literally a virtual world."  A global community.  Of the 7.3 Billion people on the Earth  1.8 billion people are on Facebook.  

"When we stop calling it social media and start calling it business media, we will better understand the medium" ~Slim Fairview.  

This is where life will happen. This is where life is happening:  Business, Entertainment, Communications, Content, Movies, Television, Telephone, Telegraph, Camera, Photo Album, Yellow Pages®, you name it, it's Facebook.

A Three Legged Table 

Just as a three-legged table can't wobble because all three legs sit in one plane, technology needs three legs.  Device, Content, Audience.

For the purpose of this discussion, 

Apple provides the ultimate receptor:  the i-Pad.

Facebook provides the ultimate audience in addition to a vital element.  The ability to analyze market segmentation.  Vast, diverse, interested, global.


Here, the keyword is flexibility.

Case in point: One reason it is so difficult to succeed in the restaurant business is that the population has increased 3-fold, but real-estate has not.  Land demand drive up the rent.

The second reason is that the market has changed.  What is that change?  The change is that the market changes. Quickly.  Fads come and go and at an accelerated and accelerating rate.

  • You don't know what the next fad is until it's upon you.
  • You don't know how long the new fad will last.
  • You don't know when the current fad will end.
  • You don't know what the next fad will be.

  • And investors have money to invest.

Just as many people (Slim included) believe that MTV shortened the attention span with music videos that offered 2-second pic-bites, "Social Media" has created a society of cocoons.  And remember:

"A caterpillar becomes a butterfly in a cocoon. Not under a microscope."
~Slim Fairview.

In a rapidly changing world, filled with uncertainty, there is a primal need safety and that safety comes in the form of control. Even if only over one's own life. Therefore, people are building firewalls.

The Experts

People never see change coming.

For those who are too young to remember, and those who are too old to remember, the reality is this simple:

Despite the fact that research has shown that people don't want more choices, people want closure, the store will stock sweaters in 14 colors not 4.  And this does not touch on market segmentation.

When I grew up, television had channels: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13.

Today? 150 Channels? 500 Channels?

You can see how dividing the market will cut ratings, cut ad revenues, cut profits, put some out of business, cause others to merge and/or acquire, and create a desperate quest for ad revenues. Ad revenues mean the company stays in business.  No money, no TV.

Today, when content exceeds the demand, a company like Facebook, with a bit of data, and only a nodding glance at analysis, can tell the advertisers who are watching what, where they live, what their interests are, what they buy, how much they spend, and who should buy ad time.  Also, how to capture the attention of the audience.

I already wrote about the Observer Effect and Observer Bias.

It is short, metaphorical, E-Z 2 understand.


"Folks don't want to listen to all that chatter. They want to see real acting.

"Folks don't want to squint at that tiny screen. Folks want to see the Big Screen.

The Motor Car:
"Noisy, smelly, toy for the rich.  It'll never replace the horse."

The Airplane:
If God wanted me to fly, there'd be an airport in every city in the country. Do you see any airports?

Vinyl to 8-track. 8-track to cassette. Cassette to CD.  CD to Napster, to i-Tunes, to streaming music.

VHS v. Beta.  VHS to DVD. DVD to Video on Demand.  Video on Demand to Streaming.

All the people who head up what's hot in technology have these in common:

The refusal to see what's coming.
The refusal to accept what's coming.
The denial of what's coming.
Justifying the status quo.

This brings us to our original question.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook.  Circa 2030.

And the winner is......

Which company will lead the pack?  Which company will be the also-ran?

The keywords are adaptation, co-operation, flexibility.  
Moonshots and marketing won't pay the bills for long.

The Definitions of Slim Fairview:

Advertising: convince the consumer to buy what you want to sell. 
E.g. Every day low pricing.

Marketing: Sell what the consumer wants to buy. (Find a need and fill it.) 
E.g. Discounts and coupons.

11 February 2013 I posted the article

Word on the street. Folks inside Apple floated the idea of buying TWX.

The Receptor
The Audience
The Content

The mechanism of Facebook allows people--globally--to make their demands known. And the information provided by consumers will allow the content providers to give the customers what they want and give the advertisers the information they need to give the consumers the information they need to make informed decisions when purchasing
goods and services.

This is called "on the pulse of the market".

It changes faster than Mr. Blandings can keep up with even after he finishes building his dream house.

Sincerest regards,

Slim Fairview

Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Beware the Datum


I am watching television.  I hear a number.  Population growth percentage. This is given to bring calm to those who predict that overcrowding will bring doom.  I hear this and I feel better.

About a year later, I remember something I posted to my blog about statistics.

If the Government spends $100,000,000 a year on a programme, then cuts $20,000,000 from the program bringing the spending to $80,000,000, The headline reads, the Government cuts spending by 20%.

A year later, the Government restores the $20,000,000 in spending, increasing the spending from $80,000,000 to $100,000,000, The headline reads, the Government increases spending by 25%. 

A similar paradigm applies to population.

When I was young, the population was 100,000,000 people.  The population increased by 10,000,000 or 10%. 

Recently, with a population of 300,000,000, the populations increased by 15,000,000 people.  Or 5%. 

One report reads, that the growth trend in population increased from Ten million people to 15 million people or that the population growth rate increased by 50%.

The other report reads that the growth trend in population growth moved from 10% to 5%.  Or that the population growth rate decreased by 50%.  

I am reminded of this each and every time I hear someone report a number.

Beware the Datum.



Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Apple Ireland Taxes

Apple and the EuroTax Conundrum.

Can this work?

Apple pays Ireland $14 Billion in taxes.

Ireland gives Apple a $14 Billion Dollar Economic Development Grant.

Apple takes the write-off for the taxes.

Slim receives a measly 1% consulting fee with half the money going to form a "Work Tank" to help to develop Globalisation through the forming of an E 20 Group of Nations and a Union of Emerging Nation Economic Unions.

Just a thought.

Warmest regards,


Copyright (c) 2016 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

It is not the redistribution of wealth, but rather the redistribution of money that is the solution to the inequality. 
How do I know?  It happened before.

Caveat:  This is an Economics lesson. Focus on the Economics only.

Mr. Widget will not hire one additional widget maker until he has an order for one (1) widget more than he can produce when operating at maximum capacity and optimal efficiency.

As with the Government.

There are two (2) ways to increase revenue:

1. Increase taxes.
2. Increase the number of tax payers.

So too, by way of metaphor, there are two (2) ways to close the inequality gap.

1. Redistribute wealth.
2. Redistribute money.

Wealth is what you have.
Money is what you make.

To continue the metaphor in plain speaking:

When Widget raises wages Employees make more money.

People who make more money buy more stuff.

People who sell stuff, buy more stuff from manufacturers.

When manufacturers sell more stuff, they make more stuff.

To make more stuff, they need more widgets.

Mr. Widget hires more widget makers.

More workers: More buyers.

This brings us back to the Government.

More workers making more wages:

1. Increase Government revenue without increasing taxes.
2. Need less Government spending--because they are working--decreasing the Government need for revenue.

Mr. Widget makes more profits by selling more widgets, not by raising widget prices.

The result?

We redistribute the money, closing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Provide Government with more "discretionary revenue" to spend on [infrastructure]  because more people working means fewer people shackled to poverty by being kept shackled to poverty programmes.

The same paradigm applies to Emerging Nations to help one (1) Billion People living on less that one ($1) dollar a day.



Copyright (c) 2016. Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

EU Taxes Patience


The EU ruling on Apple’s Taxes and Ireland is not about Apple or taxes or Ireland.

  • The EU, first of all,  is shedding light the suffering of a nation that capitulated to the fait-accompli issued by the Eurocrats.  That nation is Greece.
  • The EU has just validated Brexit.
  • The EU has justified those in Ireland who would follow Britain's lead if there was good cause and if they see a pathway to a better future.
  • The EU has just campaigned for an Italian referendum to leave the EuroUnion--and supported same.

And the issue goes beyond the EU Ruling on Ireland and Apple and Taxes.

In my article, "This is Brexit", I suggested the formation of The Exit Nations.

I can now add Ireland.

Over the past six years, I have repeatedly warned that the EuroCrats’ pursuit of Austerity would lead to disaster and explained the inherent flaws in the plan.

I forecast the migrant crisis in Merkel's Big Lies?  In lies number six and seven, I specified the scapegoating and vilification of migrants and the reactionary  rise of the right. The strategies were intended to destabilise the target nation in Merkel's Economic Putsch.

My statement on Brexit was simple:  

If Merkel knows that Britain can't leave the EuroUnion, then Britain can't negotiate reforms.  

Remember, Cameron said repeatedly that he wanted Britain to remain in a reformed EuroUnion.  

He would have had a better chance of success if he'd flown to Arizona, USA to look for the Lost Dutchman Mine.  

I tweeted to Cameron, "Be Britain's next Wellington, not Britain's next Tsipras.

Britain voted to leave and Cameron showed an astounding lack of leadership by resigning.  Witness Greece.  The Greek people voted OXI.  Tsipras met with the EuroCrats, Merkel issued a fait-accompli, Tsipras folded and returned to Greece with his tail between his legs.

Years ago I said, "The problem is not that Europe can't afford Greece. The problem is Europe can't afford Germany."  And, that Greece should leave the EuroUnion.  And I spelled it out.  No one listened.  My views were validated in the recent book reviews of books by Merritt, Galbraith, & Stiglitz in the New York Times Book Review and in a discussion Steve Liesman had with a guest on Squawk Box on CNBC.  

(There is no proof that had I not been distracted by my cat, Zoe--who wanted her tummy rubbed--I would have heard what the guest had said.)

Then we have the paper written by Dr. Ken Rogoff, the purported architect of austerity.  I recently read the article about the youngster majoring in economics who tried running Dr. Rogoff's numbers through the computer and failed to duplicate Rogoff's results.   I was validated, but slow to catch a major detail.

Did Dr. Rogoff's paper go through Peer Review?  There are some who may believe:

  • If the paper did not receive peer review, the paper was worthless.
  • If the paper did receive peer review, the peer review was worthless.

Nonetheless, Austerity was a failure.  And the EuroCrats still clutch retentively to Austerity like a two-year old with his hands down his nappy fondling his own bowel movement..

In This is Brexit, the expedited manœuvre propounded to save the EuroUnion is this simple:

The leaders of the Exit Nations: Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, & now Ireland:


Read through "the rules"

Use a blue pencil to strike out any provision that encroaches on domestic issues and/or national sovereignty

Write up the ultimatum. Eg:

You have 15 days to agree to the demands.

If you do not agree to the demands in 15 days, we will immediately declare the provisions contained herein to be null & void, not in force, and unenforceable.  We will form our own union.

If you need historic validation, consider the Colonial Rebellion of 1776.  

There was no invoking of Rule 50.  

There was no 2-year exit process.

There was no Meeting of The Empire Nations.  

"Before you can leave the Empire, your exit must be approved unanimously by the colonies in the Empire Union: Canada, Australia, India, Hong al."  

Read:  This is Brexit.

This, of course, is metaphorical.  However, it explains, why you don't talk about it.  Why not?  

I explained the reason in The Unspoken Understanding.

Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Slim Fairview said,  "By extension, the argument can be made that the definition of sanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results.

Europe has embraced austerity.  
All austerity measures have failed to improve the European economy.
The US embraced economic stimulus.  
The US economy improved.  
The EuroCrats should embrace a successful strategy, not cling to a failed strategy.  
Specially not one based on a paper that has purportedly been repudiated.

The frenzied declamations prior to the Brexit Vote served to affirm the validity of the Brexit vote.  The more hysterical the predictions of disaster grew, the more desperate the EuroCrats appeared.

After the Brexit vote, the face saving arrogance:  "...don't let the door hit you in the bum on the way out." made the EuroCrats look more ridiculous than they did by Britain's rebuff of the Union.

The EuroUnion can be saved. The European Economy can be improved. However, not by adhering to Merkelism: an economic paradigm based on the fear that someone, somewhere, is earning a living.

My next admonition.  

To Prime Minister Matteo Renzi:
"Be Italy's next Garibaldi, not Italy's new Berlusconi."
Before Italy holds a referendum or an election, meet with Britain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain;  Discuss the reforms; Write them up; and Issue the ultimatum.  

If the EuroCrats refuse to accept them, let the EuroCrats bear the burden of the collapse of the European Economic Union.

Best of luck.

Warmest regards,


Copyright ©  2016  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.