Thursday, May 17, 2018

Walmart Can Best Amazon

Walmart is in a better position than Amazon.
Walmart has the advantage of moving into "Online" a la Amazon, but
Walmart also has the brick and mortar Food Delivery option to compete with Amazon's Whole Foods plan.

IF Amazon can do a Whole Foods 2 hour Grocery delivery, Walmart can top it with 2 hour Food + 2 hour other products.
Walmart 5358 Stores Whole Foods 470

If Walmart doesn't screw up, they can leverage their position in the marketplace Literally.

Amazon has few, if any, brick and mortar locations.
Walmart has the option of leveraging locations providing a "catalogue" location for "in-store" on-line purchases and leverage point of purchase opportunities with customers.

The only impediment is the Penney Problem.

Remember? See the results?

Warmest regards,


If you find anything here to be helpful, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out Mac Book and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the thank you note. Slim

Bob Asken
Box 33
Pen Argyle, PA 18072

Copyright (c) 2018 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

How AAPL Was Started--The True Story

   One day Steve Jobs was moping around the house looking all sad and dejected
and--well--looking for pity.  

After a few heavy sighs, his Dad finally lost patience and said, "What's bothering you

Steve let out a heavy sigh and said, "I want to invent the Apple Computer and change
the world of technology."

"Well, why don't you, Steve?"

"It's all your fault."

"How is it my fault?" his Dad asked.

"Because we don't have a garage.  Mr. and Mrs. Wozniak have a garage. Why don't we
have a garage?"

"Listen to yourself, Steve. Do you hear yourself?  Do you even pay attention to some of
the things you say?"


"Mr. and Mrs. Wozniak have a garage.  Why don't you just mope over to Steve's house
and you can ask Mr. and Mrs. Wozniak if you and Steve can use their garage?"

"I don't know.  I don't like to impose."

"Well, you're starting to get on my nerves. Now buck up and go over to Steve's house
and annoy his parents with your existential crisis."

"Existential Crisis?" Steve asked.

"If you don't know what it means, Google it."

"Google hasn't been invented yet.  And do you know why? Because Larry Page's parents
don't have a garage."

"And Serge Brin's parents don't have a garage either.  But the Wozniaks do, now get

Well, Steve Jobs decided to take his Dad's advice and loped over to Steve Wozniak's
house to talk about it.  But before he left he decided to put on a white turtleneck to
make a good impression. But his white turtleneck was dirty.  He looked for another one.
But they were all balled up and stuffed under his bed. So he grabbed a black turtleneck
because he knew it wouldn’t show the dirt, and off he went to the Wozniaks to talk to his
friend Steve.

"What do you think, Steve?"

"Well," Steve Wozniak said, "we'll never accomplish anything sitting around talking about
it. Let's go ask my parents."

"You think they'll go for it?"

"Who knows?  Besides, the worst that can happen is they'll no.  But I don't think that's
going to happen. My Dad is getting tired of me cluttering up the dining room table with
all my tech stuff.  Come on. They're out in the garage right now."

And, out to the garage they went where, quite by coincidence, Mr. and Mrs. Wozniak were
having a clear out.

When Mr. Wozniak saw them, he asked, "Did you boys come out to help me and your
Mom do a little cleaning up?"

"Well, actually, Dad, Steve and I came out to ask you if we can use the garage to start a

"Oh, good grief," his Dad said. "You boys aren't going to start selling drugs, are you?"

"No, Dad."

"I'm not going to have you selling drugs out of my garage."

"Dad, we're not going to sell drugs."

"Oh, good Lord, you're going to start a garage band.  I'm not going to have you running
a garage band in my garage, so you can just forget it."

"Dad, we're not going to start a garage band and we're not going to sell drugs."

"Then just what is it you boys intend to do? From what I've seen so far, all you two boys
can do is make a mess. True, a battery operated mess, but still a mess."

"Well, Steve and I want to start a computer company.  Steve and I want to invent the
Apple Computer and transform the world of technology."

"A computer company, huh?  Well, I guess you can't cause too much trouble with that."

Mr. Wozniak looked at his wife. "What do you think?"

"Well, I do want to call Mrs. Jobs to find out if it's okay with her and her and Mr. Jobs.
Steve, do your parents know you're here?  But more important, and not more importantly,
do they know what you're up to?"

"Yes, Mrs. Wozniak."

"Okay, if you have your  parents' permission then Steve has my permission.  Besides,
Dear," Mrs. Wozniak said to her husband, "I think it's nice that the boys are taking up a
hobby. And they do get along so well."

Mr. Wozniak thought a moment.  "Well, I guess it's okay. At least you'll be where your
Mom and I can keep an eye on you."

"Gee Dad, that's swell. Thanks a lot."

"Yes, thank you Mr. Wozniak.  And thank you Mrs. Wozniak. I promise you, we won't
make a big mess and we won't make a lot of noise."

"Just one thing," Mr. Wozniak said.  "If you boys want to use the garage, you're going
to have to help me and your Mom clean it up first.  I want to get this mess cleared out,
put things away, put the tools back, and sweep up."

"Wow, this is so neat," Steve Wozniak said.

"Hand me that hammer so I can hang it up on the wall."

"We're going to tech icons."

"Give me the hammer, Steve."

"I can't wait to get started.

"You can't pick up the hammer, can you?"

"That's okay," Mrs. Wozniak said.  "You boys are going to change the world."

And that is how AAPL was started.

The moral of the story is simple.  

If you want to be a success in the world, you won't let anything stand in your way.  

And if you want to be a success in the tech world, go into your parents' garage and
invent something.  

But if your parents don't have a garage, find a friend whose parents have a garage
and ask them if you can use their garage.

Best of luck.



If you find this tale truly inspiring, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out
Macbook and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the thank you note.  
My parents don't have a garage and I don't have any friends. Slim.

Bob Asken
Box 33
Pen Argyl, PA 18072

The Satire of Slim Fairview
Copyright (c) 2018  Bob Asken
All rights reserved,

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Merkel Caves! Slim Wins!

For nearly eight full years, the blogger known as Slim Fairview has inveighed
against austerity with the celerity of a honey badger.  
Scores of articles have been written, and thousands of tweets have sent links to
the articles to thousands of readers around Europe and the world.  
From Grexit to Brexit and beyond the articles were intended to bring about the
reforms that are  imminent.

With the forming a government, and to make that government possible,
The Chancellor caved and handed over the keys to the
Foreign and the Finance Ministries to the opposition party.

Some of the article links listed below.

This is Brexit 15 June 2016
GreekEnomics 8 June 2015
{The only real value to this article is the number of links to articles regarding Merkel and Europe)
Merkel's Big Lies? 2 May 2014
Greek Proposal 8 July 2015
Merkel and Charybdis 22 June 2015
Firewall or Farce? 27 February 2012
Brit-In Brit Out 19 February 2016
Et. al.

Warmest regards,

Copyright (c) 2018  Bob Asken  All Rights reserved.

Friday, January 12, 2018


Economy World Quoting the Washington Post. "The Chinese are now buying as much stuff as Americans, a game-changer for the world economy." - Washington Post. This repudiates Slim's Paradigm. China    is the Global Seller. The US  is the Global Buyer Reality Check With links to related articles at the end. China has 1 Billion 300 Million people The US has ...........300 Million people If China creates 300 Million Creative, innovative, high-tech entrepreneurs. China has 1 Billion people to do the work. If the US creates 300 Million Creative, innovative, high-tech entrepreneurs, the US has no one to do the work. If we convert 25% of our population into creative, innovative,  high-tech entrepreneurs, China still has 4 times as many workers. Choice:

Each American Does the work of 4 people Robots replace 3 out of 4 American workers. We better makes friends. Fast. Get edified. Slim

If you find anything here to be helpful, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out
Mac Book and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the thank you note. Slim.

Box 33
Pen Argyl, PA 18072

LinkedIn Profile


China: QE and Emerging Nations.

China: Not the What? the Where! with links to related China Articles by Slim Fairview.

Copyright (c) 2018  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

When AI Replaces Mad Men

Caveat: Another downside to AI that is rapidly approaching.
The Theory + Case Method.

"But don't bother listening to me. Everyone always doesn't listen to me." The Quotations of Slim Fairview.

"The tech revolution is no analogous to the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution was mechanical (analogue) and created a demand for workers.

The Tech revolution is technological (digital) and creates a replacement for or an alternative to workers.

Artificial Intelligence is designed to diminish the demand for thinkers. Knowledge based workers.

AI will begin to replace people in the advertising industry, for example. This, specially because the line between marketing and advertising is being blurred.

Advertising. Convince the consumer to buy what you [want to] sell.
Marketing.   Sell what the consumer wants to buy.

Marketing: find a need and fill it.

Tech will provide information services: Identify a consumer who expressed interest in or a desire to buy something, then target them with information [an ad] for the product.


Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Delegating. Do & Do Not

What to do when you have to delegate authority.

1. Delegate authority to the person(s) with a proven track record.

2. Allow that person to pick his or her own team

3. Set Deliverables and Measurables.

4. Set a fair and transparent means for reassigning individuals in the group who are disruptive.

NB   Disruptive is not creative. Creative is not disruptive.

5. Receive regular updates on progress. (If necessary, offer validations)

6. Insure that the team has the resources necessary. For example:

Do not assume that the supervisor is smart enough to know that when the number of packers rises from 4 to 10 then the number of scissors should rise from 4 to 10. Or from 3 to 10 if he had 4 people working with 3 pair of scissors because 1 pair broke.

7. Establish the protocols in your company to insure that another manager does not feel comfortable usurping your prerogative to assign projects and staff by interfering with the project because he needs help, or supplies, because he is incompetent yet still works for you.

8. Communication: Make sure that a disruptive person has the opportunity to speak to you directly. He may not be the problem. Follow up on the information you receive.



Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Media versus the Viewer

The Media versus the Viewer





When the media broadcasts episode after episode of a series for several hours.
This is not to be confused with a marathon. A marathon is an event. Binge-Casting is part of the regular programming schedule.

Some examples of this are:

Say Yes to the Dress
My 600 lb. Life.

Other examples are rebroadcasting episodes of "The Real Housewives" or the running of Flip or Flop
Fixer Upper
Property Brothers

Though HGTV seems to run shorter binge sessions.


Over-casting usually occurs in a binge-casting session when the broadcaster minimizes the current episode to begin the next episode.  In some more aggressive instances, the next episode will begin before the previous episode is over cutting out the punch-line in the previous episode.


Flip casting is a process where the ratio of the number minutes of content to the number of minutes of commercials approaches a point where the broadcaster will be airing commercials with content breaks. 

"We interrupt this commercial to bring you programming already in progress."

This format is blunted by airing promos for upcoming programmes to give the appearance of broadcasting content.

The Bing-casting can be seen as saturation marketing.  This, for a product, an industry, a lifestyle, or other offering.

For example:

Wedding dresses and wedding related products and services.  Dresses, catering, photographers, honeymoon destinations.

Another example, this for a lifestyle transformation, is the pursuit of the "open concept" with the celerity of a honey badger.

Open floor plan, open concept, very open, spend time with my guests, keep an eye on the children, and so on.

The result?  Houses that are cheaper to build, hence more affordable.

How can we sell this house without a kitchen wall?
Easy.  Open floor plan.

How can we sell a house without a ceiling?
Easy. Vaulted ceiling.

How can we sell a house without an exterior wall?
Easy.  Wall of windows.

The marketing putsche will guide the viewers--the consumers--to want that too.

Is there anything wrong with an open floor plan?  No.  The open floor plan makes smaller homes appear larger and larger homes more affordable.

With Over-Casting you compress content to free up time for more commercials and more promos for other shows.  This, combined with Flip-Casting, conditions the market to accept advertisements that are less informative but definitely more entertaining.

These techniques are ubiquitous. Almost.

As home remodel shows first became popular the plot was formula.  Smash the walls, smash the counter tops, smash the cupboards.  Before the commercial break, replay the tape with a voice-over to tell the audience what they saw.  After the commercial, replay the tape with a voice-over to tell the audience what they saw.  And this is replayed before the recap at the end.  Audience conditioning, audience acceptance, audience transformation.

To examine this in retrospect, look at the marketing and sale of coffee.

Once coffee came in 16 oz. cans.  Then, 13.5 oz cans. Now?  11.5 oz.  However, ask yourself, how much smaller can a can of coffee get?  Not much.  Hence:  27 oz cans sold at a Sale Price.  Some pricing policy is confusing.  Such as when I found out I can buy 3 small cans of coffee for less that one large one.  I bought 3 small cans of coffee.  However, while I've been drinking green tea, my wife is still drinking coffee.  As a result, I am not checking the price of coffee.  I just did.  Coffee now comes in [approximately] 10 oz. and 24 oz. cans.  And the cans are now plastic containers.

During the coffee price crisis of the late seventies, I heard where some would buy soda instead of drinking coffee.  This despite the fact that the soda was more expensive.  This was not a protest.  This was the result of coffee looking too expensive while soda looked like a less expensive alternative.

And the consumer is not all that tuned in.  Some 30 years ago, while buying coffee, I was checking the price per ounce of a smaller and a larger container of coffee.  This based on the old canard that if you "buy in larger quantities" you save on the unit price.  This did not play out.  I said to my wife, "The coffee in this [the larger] can is more expensive than the coffee in this [the smaller] can." 

A well dressed professional woman had been listening in and watching me.  I said to her, "I was pointing out that The Coffee in this [the larger] can costs more than the coffee in this [the smaller] can."

She looked at one can, then at the other, and said, "That's because that can is larger than the other can."

I thanked her for pointing that out and she walked away.  My wife and I exchanged glances.

But I digress:

There has been a result of this conditioning.

Dining room
Dining area
Formal Dining Area
Open Floor Plan
Open Concept.

Granite counter tops
Stainless Steel Appliances
Upscale Appliances
Bonus Room
Man Cave

And this all plays into the paradigm of

The Flash-Bite

A few decades ago, people spoke about the 5 second sound bite with derision.  Then the 5 second sound-bite morphed into the 2 second sound bite.  Then came MTV with what I all the Flash-Bite.  Two or three second clips: cut to: cut to: cut to.

One Mississippi, two Mississippi, cut to: One Mississippi, two Mississippi, cut to.

The result?

Candlestick, andiron, switch-plate, cut to: cut to: cut to.

Series of interior shots--living room

Chair leg
Cut to:
Cut to:
Cut to: cut to: cut to.

The flash bite spread to cooking shows.

Egg yolk, lemon slice, teaspoon, Cut to: cut to: cut to.

The media has gone far beyond Bread and Circus.
The now embrace, Loud Noises, Bright Colours, & Shiny Things.

Cooking Shows are now Game Shows.  Everything from Beat the Clock to a Pie in the Face.

The History Channel? The Learning Channel?  Duck Dynasty and Honey Boo Boo.

Is there anything wrong with those shows?  Certainly not.  They are good shows.  They attract an audience.  And you want to sell to that audience.  Heed my admonition.  Marketing to Millennials is a series of loud noises, bright colours, and shiny things.

I sincerely believe that this article should point you in the right direction.  Do your own homework.


P.S.  If you find anything here to be helpful, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out Mac Pro and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the thank you note.  Slim

Bob Asken
Box 33
Pen Argyl, PA 18072

Further reading:

Marketing 1959

Marketing to Millennials

If You Can Label It, You Can Sell It

Marketing Trumps Advertising


"The Alchemists tried turning lead into gold and failed.  The Marketing People succeeded by selling lead to the Alchemists." ~ Slim Fairview
The Quotations of Slim Fairview (c) 2017.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Shark Food

Shark Food

In a recently published article, I wrote, beware the datum.  I gave an example of how data is used to manipulate conclusions.

Here is an excerpt.

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 population increased by 15,000,000 people or 5%. 

One report reads, the growth trend in population has increased by 50%.
The population increase went from an increase of 10 million people to 15 million people.

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

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

Beware the Datum.


You and 11 friends are at the beach.  One friend says, "let's go swimming."

You don't want to.  You are worried about sharks.

Your friend runs down a list of facts about sharks and shark attacks.

Your chances of being attacked by shark.
Where you are most likely to be attacked by a shark.
The time of year you are most likely to be attacked by a shark.

Your friend convinces everyone it's safe to go into the water.

You are not convinced because you saw a dorsal fin cutting through the water.

Some are concerned.  But your friend goes down the list of facts again and convinces everyone that it is safe to go swimming.

Everyone goes in.  Except for you.

Then, a shark eats one of your friends.  And everyone scrambles to get out of the water.

You say to everyone, "See?  I told you it wasn't safe."

You're friend says,  "I didn't say no one would be eaten.  And besides, the shark only ate one person.  Ten of us got out safely."

"Yes," you reply, "but first everyone had to scramble to get out of the water.  And now everyone has to scramble for a good spot on the beach.  I got my spot while you were all in the water.  And besides, while it's true that the shark only ate one person, the other ten had to scramble to get out of the water.  So they're not swimming either."

You can look at all the statistics you want.  If you see the dorsal fin, you are not going  to go into the water.

Sincerest regards,


Copyright (c) 2017  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Strategic Thinking


I learned strategy when I was in the third grade.

We were playing kickball.  Routinely, Jim and Roger or Jim and Greg would be Captains.  After the coin toss, they would choose up their teams.

One day, Greg pulled Jim aside for a brief talk.  Jim came back to announce that he and Greg would be co-captains.

You can easily see that if Jim won the coin toss, he would get first choice.  He would also have the first two picks.

If Roger won the toss, he would actually get second pick.  Nonetheless, if there were 5 good athletes to choose from, regardless of who won the toss, Jim would have the edge.

Now let's Build on that and use the names of the guys at CNBC for clarity.

Let's say, the grownups interfere for our own good. The new paradigm is this:  The teacher puts everyone's name in a hat and chooses a captain.  The one captain is Jon Najarian. The other captain?  Well, when my name is called everyone groans.  I groan.  I win the coin toss and I pick Pete Najarian.  Jon picks Steve Liesman.  I ask Pete, who do I pick?  Guy Adami or Joe Teranova?  Pete says, Pick Joe, because if you pick Guy, Jon will pick Joe.  I say, "but I thought Guy was a better athlete."  Pete says, he is.  But Guy and Jon don't get along.  If you pick Joe, Jon can pick Guy, but they will keep butting heads and that is bad for team moral.  If he picks Scott, you pick Guy.   It will be a win win situation.

These are things I know:

1. I am not athletic.
2. I have no ability to gauge the abilities of the other kids in my class.
3. My classmates won't "follow me" because they know I am not Captain material.

No seven year old boy wants to be Captain of the team.  He wants to be Captain of the winning team.  And if given a choice, he will choose to be a player on the winning team rather than be Captain of the losing team.

Fortunately, I grew up before the "empowerment and dignity crowd" began micro-managing the students' time on the playground.  This is where you learn this stuff.



Further reading

Marketing 1959

Copyright (c) 2017  Bob Asken
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

TV in the Millennial Age

The paradigm effecting media began with the entrenched attitude of a by-gone era. 

"Talking pictures? No one wants to listen to that chatter. They want to see acting."

"Television? No one wants to squint at that tiny screen. They want the experience of the big screen. The Silver Screen." 

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


We had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, & 13. But let's keep the math simple. 

100,000,000 viewers, 10 Television stations. Each station has 100,000 viewers and sells advertising time accordingly. 

 The "tech" explosion. We now have 100 stations. Each station has 10,000 viewers. The advertisers spend accordingly. 

Then you have M&A. Then target marketing. Then television companies become part of a large corporation's "agglomeration". 

Now, however, we are dealing with millennials. The market demographic has shifted. It has become more segmented. That, and computers are better able to identify viewers and tailor the advertising to "interest" the viewer and appease the advertiser. Well, assuage the advertiser.

This is analogous to Gillette's new strategy to challenge the competitors who sell razors on-line to men who embrace the scruffy 3-day fashion statement. Their new pricing policy comes across to me as a promotion. 

I read the circular. $3.99 after coupon. Okay. I go to CVS. It appears that the slot for what I want is empty. But I can't find what I'm looking for. There are other models with various prices touted by flashy signs. 

 I speak to a very helpful manager. He gets a circular. It is no real help. It looks different. Maybe I had last weeks circular. (not likely, and not the case.) He offers a substitute. Happy customer. The coupon doesn't scan. They override. The discount is applied. I go home to check the circular. I see the small change. An eye-catching black box with white letters 

Your Final Cost 

is in my circular--not the store circular. That's okay. I got a better razor. Except that it has one of those swivel heads that I don't want. However, for $3.99 it's worth a try as a marketing and product design study.

My suspicions are raised when the manager tells me these blades last longer.  This will last a month--so you don't just use it for a week and toss it.  I know this.  Gillette blades last longer than a month.  My suspicion is raised when the manager and the full page newspaper ad draw attention to the quality of the blades--a given for a long time.

Back to television.  

The media giants are attempting to approach a new market, a new paradigm with old [ b-school] thinking.  I went to b-school.  I can see their doomed course.

What happens when millennials who buy on-line  (Amazon)  buy razors on-line. Pricing will be the issue. That for the few trendy hipsters who still shave.  Our generation is fading away.  Will "razors" go down the path that barber shops did back when hippies grew their hair long and barbers  lost a generation of customers?

Fortunately, the computer can analyze and select the ads tailored to each viewer.  But only companies like Facebook and Google and perhaps, YouTube know that.  The large corporations are trying to solve tomorrows problems with yesterday's thinking.

If you find anything here to be helpful, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out Mac Pro and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the thank you note.  Slim

Bob Asken
Box 33
Pen Argyl, PA 18072

Marketing to Millennials

Ad Revenues & the Media 

Mob Technology: Retail & the Media

Warmest regards,


Copyright (c) 2017  Bob Asken
All Rights Reserved.

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.  If you find anything here to be helpful, please don't hesitate to send me a really tricked out Mac Book & to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the Thank you note.

Bob Asken
Box 33
Pen Argyl, PA 18072


Copyright (c) 2017  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.