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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 9/30/17 edition

September 30, 2017

Can we all agree, the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price was more about the recent failure of ACA repeal than it was about travel at the taxpayer’s expense? If not, we would have had at least two other cabinet resignations.

Can we all agree, the GOP’s tax proposal officially puts to rest any notion that the Republicans ever cared about deficits or anyone but the top 1% of American who donate to their campaigns?

Can we all agree, news that the US has been, ‘in direct talks’ with North Korea, does nothing to calm anyone’s nerves?

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Can we all agree, the ICE push to target immigrants in so called Sanctuary Cities, is just one more example of the administration’s petty and cynical view of the American legal system?

Can we all agree, the White House’s incoherent and inconsistent foreign policy was on display once again this week as it was forced to disavow its own Israeli ambassador’s comment?

Can we all agree, Sen. Mitch McConnell and the White House couldn’t schedule a tax-plan press conference fast enough after their bid to repeal the ACA went down in flames again? It’s all about capturing the ‘fake-news’ cycle.

Can we all agree, Steve Bannon’s decision to back anti-establishment GOP candidates makes Democratic in-fighting look pretty tame?

Can we all agree, Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama has turned electoral prognostication into a Las Vegas crap shoot?

Can we all agree, a Cambridge, MA librarian has made her point in rejecting a book donation from Melania Trump, but you have to wonder if she would have turned down the same books from say, Senator Elizabeth Warren?

Can we all agree, blaming the mayor of a bankrupt, flood-ravaged island, with no electricity, for your poor response, is a sure way turn off voters?

Can we all agree, the administration’s  response to Hurricane Maria’s damage in Puerto Rico has racism written all over it?

Can we all agree, a California legislator’s proposed bill to ban petroleum powered cars and trucks will probably win approval in the state legislature just because it will infuriate the Trump administration?

Can we all agree, the argument that ICE agents have simply ‘gone rogue’ in attempting to enforce the administration’s immigration policy, is proven out by statistics showing arrests are up but deportations are down?

Can we all agree, Twitter and Facebook both  should be persecuted for their roles in helping the Russians undermine our electoral system?

Can we all agree, Equifax CEO Richard Smith deserved to lose his job, not because the company’s computers were hacked, but because of his firm’s response?

Can we all agree, by picking a fight with the NFL, Mr. Trump has alienated, a group of people who were his strongest supporters?

Can we all agree, Mr Trump’s outrageous disregard for any legal restrictions makes his aides use of a private email server seem inconsequential – although it cost Hillary Clinton the presidency?

Can we all agree, Target Department Stores deserves some credit for raising wages, but they are really just responding to market forces and trying to find employees?

Can we all agree, Milo Yiannopoulos should be sent a bill for the $800,000 it cost the University of California to prepare for his 15-minute speech on the campus?

Can we all agree, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin proved this week that when it comes to  politics, he should stick to budgets and taxes?

Can we all agree it’s been a while since we heard a cabinet secretary threaten his own staff for being disloyal?

Can we all agree, we all breathed a sigh of relief that Angela Merkel won a fourth term and hope that the rise of the far -right party was just a one-time protest vote?

Can we all agree, there is very little chance that any NBA championship team will be visiting the White House in the next four years?

Can we all agree a few folks will be fired in the NCAA, but nothing will change in the world of big-time college basketball despite the latest DOJ indictments?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump should be saluted for drawing attention to the cause of former NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick?

Can we all agree, even the Supreme Court seems a bit confused about how to handle the latest travel ban?

Can we all agree, very few Baby Boomers, particularly men, will forget Hugh Hefner any time soon? And no, it wasn’t because of the articles.

Can we all agree, Jared Kushner seems to have faded from public view except when he does something really stupid?

Can we all agree, many of us are desperate for news about the Obama family because it helps us remember how nice it was to have a human being in the White House?

Can we all agree, the issues that have plagued embassy employees in Cuba, sound like a cartoon episode of “Spy Versus Spy’ from Mad Magazine? Unfortunately they are all too real.

Can we all agree, Julia Louis Dreyfus deserves kudos for using her tragic diagnosis to promote universal health care?

Can we all agree the Kurdish independence vote this week will spark years of fighting but is the first step toward a Kurdish homeland?

Can we all agree, it probably won’t be long before we hear the first joke about female drivers in Saudi Arabia?

Can we all agree the Department of Justice is nothing more than another political swamp since the current administration took over?

and finally:

Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr gets the last word on Mr. Trump’s criticism of his team’s decision not to visit the White House.

Tell us what you really think of the Trump Administration

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 12/17/16 edition

December 17, 2016

Can we all agree anyone who has to tell you he is smart, probably is not?

Can we all agree, just by holding a press conference President Obama showed up Donald Trump, who has not held an organized press conference since July?

President Obama at his final press conference of 2016 (NYT Photo)

President Obama at his final press conference of 2016 (NYT Photo)

Can we all agree it can’t be a coincidence the Presidential press conference was held on the same day Mr. Trump promised he would detail his plans to clarify his business dealings while in office? Did Mr. Trump think we would forget?

Can we all agree Mr. Obama’s ‘measured but firm’ response to the Russian’s hack of the election process is far better than Mr. Trump’s false tweets attacking the President?

Can we all agree Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech on race relations should be required reading?

Can we all agree, it’s about time Hillary Clinton rejoined the debate?

Can we all agree it’s telling that James Comey’s FBI took months to come to the same conclusion the CIA did, about Russia’s involvement in our electoral process?

Can we all agree China’s capture of a Navy drone cannot be a coincidence after Mr. Trump’s ill timed communication with the president of Taiwan?

Can we all agree it’s also possible the Chinese are just trying to divert attention from new reports that they have installed weapons on the artificial islands they created in the South China Sea?

Can we all agree the GOP establishment must really want Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State, since they are pulling out all the stops to convince key senators that his clear conflict of interest will not sway his judgement?

Can we all agree, new rumors that it may take Britain 10 years to negotiate an exit from the European Union make a mockery of the whole process?

Can we all agree the British kerfuffle over Theresa May’s wardrobe would be funny, if it were not based on sexism?

Can we all agree that Ivanka Trump as first lady seems to be a foregone conclusion, although it’s hard to understand why she is sitting in meetings with her father  – unless she will have a voice in policy?

Can we all agree it’s remarkable that Mr. Trump’s security advisor, who has released classified information will be allowed to serve in the government, while Mrs. Clinton who has never released government secrets, will not?

Can we all agree it make no difference what Mr. Trump tells the people who are summoned to Trump Tower to pay homage to him? His overall policy will be made by the  people he is appointing to key positions – like the ambassador to Israel or the oil and gas company interests who will have unequalled influence over the next four years?

Can we all agree the irony of Rick Perry heading the Department of Energy, is just too obvious?

Can we all agree, the thought of the President-elect facing a deposition in a court case, just two weeks before his inauguration is a clear embarrassment to the office and every citizen?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump seems to realize he went too far in trying to  argue with the CIA over Russian interference in the election?

Can we all agree, it was a surprise to hear the Senate Majority leader break with Trump and agree to hold hearings on the Russian interference in our election?

Can we all agree it’s nice to see the Democrats are planning to use the same strategy to slow drown Mr. Trump, as the GOP has used to prevent Mr. Obama’s policies  – lawsuits?

Can we all agree it is tragic that scientists feel the need to copy all their research and statistics to protect them from the incoming administration?

Can we all agree that we never thought divide and conquer would apply to the United States on so many levels?

Can we all agree California’s Governor has the right idea about resistance to the Trump administration’s climate change agenda?

Can we all agree the Minnesota football team’s threat to boycott a bowl game over sexual assault charges against teammates, makes you think twice about what’s happening on college  campuses?

Can we all agree Mark Zuckerberg should be ashamed of his attitude toward fake news that influenced the election through Facebook? Especially now that he’s making it the responsibility of his users to stop it.

Can we all agree, speaking of fake news and college, it seems clear that if adults cannot figure out what’s fake, young people have no chance?

Can we all agree, it wasn’t that long ago that generic drug makers were supposed to be a force to keep drug prices low? Now they are being accused of price collusion to inflate prices.

Can we all agree the reaction of the North Carolina legislature and sitting governor are  wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to believe they are not taking place in some third world country?

Map of Syria, confirms that the fighting will not end even after Aleppo falls.

Map of Syria, confirms that the fighting will not end even after Aleppo falls.

Can we all agree the Federal Reserve’s action to raise interest rates, just proves what a remarkable job President Obama has done over the last 8 years?

Can we all agree the world has failed the people of Aleppo?

Can we all agree Uber did itself no PR favors by ignoring state law and trying to start using driverless cars before getting the correct permits? Their contention that there will be someone sitting in the driver’s seat, does not hold water.

Can we all agree The EPA is trying to make fracking more difficult for the incoming administration by concluding that the process can damage drinking water?

Can we all agree, speaking of fracking, it seems there are some times when Mr. Tillerson actually opposes it – like when it gets too close to his home?

Can we all agree General Motors went way too far in advertising for neo-nazi’s to appear in their next commercial?

and finally:

This week’s  heartbreaking great read comes to us courtesy of Alex Trebeck and Jeopardy.

and RIP, TNT basketball reporter Craig Sager and former TV dad Alan Thicke.

 

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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 1/30/16 edition

January 30, 2016

Can we all agree that Angelique Kerber’s win over Serena Williams at the Australian open will give hope to underdogs everywhere?

Serena Williams (left) and Angelique Kerber, winner of the Australian Open -Getty Images photo

Serena Williams (left) and Angelique Kerber, winner of the Australian Open -Getty Images photo

Can we all agree that Hillary’s email issues will continue to hurt her campaign, but will probably not derail it? And, by the way, why doesn’t anyone remember the emails that disappeared from George W. Bush’s private email server?

Can we all agree that Donald Trump won his battle this week with Fox News? Ratings were down and all anyone talked about was the fact that he was not at the debate.

Can we all agree, speaking of the GOP debate, Ted Cruz seemed to be the biggest loser?

Can we all agree that Facebook should be applauded for finally taking a stand against gun sales on its websites?

Can we all agree that the overall economy’s anemic growth in the last quarter seems to fly in the face of what’s happening in some parts of the country?

Can we all agree that while the death of one protestor in Oregon is tragic, the government seems to have defused the situation successfully?

Can we all agree the zika virus outbreaks are terrifying for pregnant women or anyone thinking of having a baby? This probably adds to their anxiety and depression.

Can we all agree that the indictment of the anti-abortion filmmakers, especially by a Texas grand jury, is unbelievably great news? Too bad the GOP and other so called ‘pro-lifers’ will not let the facts get in the way of continued use of the discredited videos.

Can we all agree that while it might be the politically correct thing to do, Barbie is no longer ‘Barbie’ is there are 8 different versions?

Can we all agree that, given the controversies during Michael Jackson’s life, it seems only natural that his racial ambiguity would continue to cause issues after his death?

Can we all agree that if it takes you 16 hours to figure out that 3 men in your custody have escaped, you have a problem?

Can we all agree that while the NFL has been slow to wake up to the long term impact of concussions, the NCAA remains tragically far behind?

Can we all agree that Florida State University is continuing to put its football program ahead of the rights of women?imrs.php

Can we all agree, getting back to politics, that when Republican voters see Trump as the most electable candidate but world leaders see him (and Ted Cruz) as impossible to work with, we have a serious problem?

Can we all agree that the President’s step to normalize relations with Cuba have reached the point that they cannot be undone by the next president?

Can we all agree, that while it may seem unfair that no actors of color were nominated for Academy Awards this year, asking the voters to choose performances based on racial equality would be just as bad?

Can we all agree that completing 7 marathons, on 7 continents in 7 days is simply unbelievable? How do you train for that?

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Can We All Agree – 4/5/15 Edition

April 5, 2015

This week’s commentary on the news:

Can we all agree that no matter what kind of agreement the EU and US reach with Iran, Mr. Netanyahu and his GOP will oppose it?

Can we all agree that it’s better to be talking with Iran than fighting with them? Although it’s tough to ignore their state sponsored terrorism.

Can we all agree that the continuing revelations about the copilot of the Germanwings plane, make the whole episode, much more tragic?05kentucky2-master675

Can we ll agree that Lufthansa Airlines is in a lot of trouble if they knew their pilot was seriously depressed, and still allowed to fly?

Can we ll agree that, it’s not the ‘liberal press’ or ‘militant gays’ that are behind the brouhaha over the Indiana and Arkansas religious freedom bills?

Can we all agree that the European Union’s skepticism about the business practices of Google, Apple and Facebook is much healthier than the unquestioning ‘regulation’ of US agencies?

Can we all agree that for residents of the northern third of the country, ‘Play Ball’ may be the most welcomed phrase they’ve heard in a long time?

Can we all agree that while McDonald’s decision to give raises to minimum  wage employees at company stores, is good news, $12/hour is still not a living wage?

Can we all agree that while California’s drought is very serious, exempting farmers, who use 70% of the state’s water, undermines Governor Brown’s credibility? BTW: It’s supposed to be raining for the next three days here in Northern CA.

images Can we all agree that outside of  Kentucky, most of us were pulling for Wisconsin in the NCAA semi-final on Saturday?

Can we all agree that varsity letters should be awarded for academic accomplishment, as well as extra-curricular activities such as  speech, drama, music, art, and dance?

Can we all agree that the charges against  NJ Senator Robert Menendez are an indictment of the Citizen’s United, Supreme Court decision?

Can we all agree that Trevor Noah is off to a bad start as host of The Daily Show, even though he hasn’t even hosted a program yet?

Can we all agree that while cheating is wrong, and should not be condoned, we are troubled by  the potential jail terms that the Atlanta educators are now facing?

And finally,

Can we all agree that the thought of Al Franken and John Stewart in the US Senate is very funny?

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The Wisdom 2.0 Bottom Line

March 2, 2015

I spent the last few days at the annual Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

IMG_0962

Michael Gervais, (left) George Mumford and Mike Robbins (right) discuss sports and psychology and the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco February 28, 2015,

Many of you have probably never heard of the event, so a little context is probably in order.

Attendance this year reached 2500 and could have gone higher if organizers had not capped it. The conference is designed as a combination celebration and support group for anyone trying to bring more:  (pick one) consciousness, gratitude, or mindfulness to technology and business.

Attendees come from all over the world, although a large percentage are from California, to hear a variety of speakers from CEO’s to human resource managers, explain how they have tried to humanize their companies and deal with the increasing demands of the ‘always on’ world.

Using mindful meditation, exhortations to be present, and a wide variety of what many might consider alternative techniques, the conference is in direct contrast to the prevailing view of corporate America as a ruthless, cut throat, bottom line, profit driven culture.

In addition to the conference presentations on everything from neuroscience to networking, there are rooms devoted to meditation, and yoga, as well as a trade show in the Inspiration Lounge.

Many sessions focus on how to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life and to make choices that leave you happier both personally and in your career.

Here you can also find the latest in relaxation and stress reduction equipment and techniques.

While you might think the principles were some import from Europe, most of the foreign attendees, are quick to note that the techniques are uniquely American, which is what draws them here.

Companies with representative include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Gap and a host of others who say that recent studies have shown conclusively that promoting mindfulness and self realization in their workforce actually adds to their bottom line in  quantifiable manner.

In reality the conference is a large networking event, where like-minded folks can get together to reinforce their beliefs in hopes of connecting with someone who can help them move forward in their career.

A large percentage of the attendees are personal/executive coaches or management consultants, who are looking to make connections with those HR types from Google, Twitter, Facebook and GAP, to  improve workplace performance. Admittedly the chances are slim, but you never know.

In two days I collected a raft of business cards, and spoke with lawyers, coaches, HR managers and some old friends from the spa and yoga worlds.

My wife, who is a clinical psychologist, and attended the first Wisdom conference 6 years ago, may be a more typical participant, but she was ill over the weekend and insisted I attend.

I’ll admit I was hesitant, but after three days I was pleasantly surprised and happy I made the effort. More on some of the things I learned will come in subsequent posts.

When organizers at the opening session asked who, in the audience, was a first-time attendee, I raised my hand along with two-thirds of the crowd.

Sponsors were thrilled, saying it showed how the movement was attracting new members. But you have to think; what does it mean when attendees at previous sessions are not coming back in significant numbers?

If this were a business that had to rely on new customers for 66% of it’s profit each year, would you be optimistic?

 

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Thank You, US Postal Service

January 25, 2015

The United States Postal Service gets a lot of grief these days. Derided as the delivery agent for ‘snail mail,’ they are criticized for being too expensive,  too slow,  outdated and time consuming in the era of instant communication.

I am here to defend them.letter

Yes, I have tracked letters sent via ‘Priority Mail’ as they traveled to San Diego before reaching their intended destination 10 days later, two zip codes from my office. I can send a package to Hawaii (from San Francisco) in two days, but the same size box to Boston takes over a week.

And yes, grandma, I remember when a first class stamp was 5 cents. I now buy forever stamps in rolls of 100, so I don’t even know what first class postage is. (Great marketing, if you ask me.)

I can text my friends all over the country and within 10 minutes will have a response…any longer and I get impatient. Email, which we all thought was great a few years ago, is now too slow, since most people still have to check before responding.

I tweet to my followers, and most of my relatives have Facebook pages,so we’ll all know who’s doing what. I write this blog so everyone knows how I feel about what’s going on in the world.

But none of those methods can generate the emotions of a stamped letter. Neuroscientists now know that memories are more than just events. Our brains recall all five senses and any of them can spark a memory.

I was reminded of that this week, when a good friend, David Allen, sent me a batch of letters, found while cleaning out his mother-in-law’s attic.

They were written over 47 years ago when I was a freshman at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. In fact, they were written in the first few months of college, when I was really still attached to my high school experience and scared to death about the future.

I remember the onion paper, the smell of the inked ribbon , and the old green and white Smith Corona that I used, to peck out letters to my parents, friends and former high school classmates. I still have the typewriter in fact – even had it reconditioned after I found it while going through my old homestead when my Dad died. I’m told it’s a collector’s item.

The letters were written to David’s wife, Betty, my best friend, and while we were never involved romantically, are filled with good natured banter that would pass for flirtation.

The actual content is really irrelevant: my observations about  classes, social life, campus events, and gossip. It was 1967, and I know every campus was awash in protest and politics, but there’s none of that, so I doubt Oliver Stone will need them for some new 1960’s expose.

But for me, they are more important than any email, tweet or text I will ever send.   When I re-read the words, and hold the letters, the memories of those years come flooding back. More importantly, I’m talking to my friend, Betty, again, even though she was struck down by cancer 12 years ago.

So, while I can find endless versions of various web pages, and can see the trail of my texts to friends and colleagues, none of them will ever hold the power of the printed word that I can pick up, hold in my hand, and still smell the memories from so many years ago.

For that I thank the US Postal Service and David, who was thoughtful enough to mail them back to me..

 

 

 

 

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BFF

August 4, 2011

Filed under: Coaching,Journalism,Management,observations,Photos,Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 7:36 pm

A world I can only imagine

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