Please vote in the caption contest on BL Ochman's new site, Pawfun.com http://www.pawfun.com
Friday, October 31, 2008
RT@SurvivorCorps In a giving mood this Halloween? Choose to help survivors of conflict find hope at SurvivorCorps.org: http://bit.ly/3jeJUP
Today, don't forget all the children around the world that need support. Go to SurvivorCorps.org to meet survivor kids:http://bit.ly/VXW6o
Charityfolks.com is auctioning off a Mariah Carey autographed mannequin to benefit FAF and Camp Mariah: http://ping.fm/h5nML
If you NEED a real burger or steak in #berlin you NEED to go to The Bird -- so good and so real! http://ping.fm/IPIAw
Happy Birthday Dear Janna Taylor!
POLL: If John McCain died or became incapacitated, would Sarah Palin be competent to be President? http://ping.fm/6bxoz
Thursday, October 30, 2008
RT @SurvivorCorps Send a personal message of support to a survivor of war through Survivor Corps: http://bit.ly/2LoLZQ
wrong URL RT @FreshAirFund very exciting! Mariah Carey mentioned Fresh Air Fund camp on Rachel Ray - http://ping.fm/AcGCl
RT @FreshAirFund very exciting! Mariah Carey mentioned Fresh Air Fund camp on Rachel Ray - http://ping.fm/ACy4P
RT @FreshAirFund:Do you know that FAF has a career awareness program for NYC kids, helping them with career options? http://bit.ly/48qttX
RT: Are You a Survivor? Being a survivor takes effort, so does staying a victim. Learn how to escape the victim trap: http://bit.ly/3iwFeb
POLL:If McCain died, would Sarah Palin be competent to be President? YES:32% NO:68% http://ahpoll.com/content/if-john-mccain-died-or-became-incapacitated-would-sarah-palin-be-competent-be-president
Wait, it looks like Ping.fm is back in the saddle again! Huzzah! Even auto-shortened URLs should be working... let's check: http://ping.fm/xtnoD
I am here testing to see if Ping.fm is again able to successfully shorted URLs: http://ping.fm/lHx48
POLL:If John McCain died or became incapacitated, would Sarah Palin be competent to be President? YES:32% w/3598 votes: http://bit.ly/2p1VpY
Early Monday Morning Office
Via BL: "I will definitely stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops acting like a bitch." http://bit.ly/2uLcd1
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
One and a half million Americans have served in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over thirty thousand have been physically wounded, but many more have experienced less visible, psychological wounds. Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have emerged as signature injuries of these conflicts. Recent reports suggest an increase in rates of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness, and domestic violence among returning servicemen and women. These traumatic effects of conflict, left unaddressed, will have far-reaching negative consequences for service members and veterans, their families, and their communities. Survivor Corps has unique expertise in helping conflict survivors with these issues.
Survivor Corps has launched a US Pilot Program to aid in the successful reintegration of returning American service members, veterans and their families. In 2008 we will create pilot programs in three states, featuring peer support, mirrored by an online community, and multiplied through the support of national, state and local service organizations. In the future we intend to expand these programs to reach service members and veterans throughout the US.
Peer Support - Survivor Corps will train organizations to connect those most affected by war to each other so that they may better overcome trauma and injury, reconnect with their families, and contribute to their communities. This approach, known as peer support, is based on the understanding that the best help comes from someone who has been through a similar experience.
Online Community - Survivor Corps will offer online peer support with trained moderators, survivor-hosted blogs and discussion groups, and information on where to find additional support. This service will be available to all service members and veterans across the country.
Convene Public, Private and Civil Institutions - Survivor Corps will reach out to diverse partners and foster a dialogue aimed identifying and filling the gaps in services that ensure long-term health and community reintegration for returning American service members and their families.
Survivor Corps has also established a partnership with the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC). Sparked by concerns about military children dealing with illness, injury or death of a parent, MCEC developed their program entitled Living in the New Normal: Supporting Children Through Trauma and Loss through collaboration with experts in the fields of trauma and grief, resiliency, health care and child development. Living in the New Normal encourages families to ensure their children have the tools to weather life’s storms, fosters home front efforts to support military children and provides educators and other concerned adults with the information on how to support children during times of uncertainty, trauma and grief.
America Does Not Go Abroad in Search of Monsters to Destroy
Has anyone checked the label on the prescription that we in the United States have been given to treat permanent tyranny around the world? The side effects are much worse than the cure.
The most important side effect is that until the population of a sovereign nation-state is ready to join the emergent worldwide free market economy, any attempt at imposing either democracy or capitalism will fail once external influence is removed. The blowback from this imposition and resulting failure is that the resulting system will be similar or worse than the preceding system, and when it comes to the global balance of power, the devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t.
On the 13th of February Meet the Press, Natan Sharansky debated Pat Buchanan over the book A Case for Democracy, about which President Bush admits he is passionate and which the White House intends to use as a foreign policy roadmap for the next four years. I have yet to read either Mr. Sharansky’s book or Mr. Buchanan’s controversial response, Where the Right Went Wrong, but I do have an opinion based wholly on the debate and the transcript of the debate.
I found myself in strong agreement with a lot of what Pat Buchanan recommended on foreign policy. For example, “In my judgment, what happened on 9/11 was a result of interventionism. Interventionism is the cause of terror. It is not a cure for terror.”
The President’s premise that domestic terrorism is the direct result of envy, jealousy, or insecurity is flawed. As Pat Buchanan states in the interview, “the United States was not attacked because we are free. Bin Laden was not attacking the Bill of Rights. We were attacked because the United–over here because the United States’ military and political presence is massive over there. Bin Laden in his fatwah, his statement of declaration of war on the United States, said the infidels were standing on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia. They want us out of the Middle East. They don’t care whether we have a separation of church and state.”
All systems reject invasion, even our bodies. Even in the case of a transplanted organ which is welcome, one must continue taking medicine for life in order to keep the body from rejecting the invader, even though the invader is pink, healthy, not poisoned and dying like the original. Internationally, it doesn’t matter if our prescription, our pink and healthy liver, our strong heart, is going to cure what ails the world, because that just isn’t the point. Curing the world’s ills requires that we will need to make sure the patient is constantly taking its “for the rest of your life” anti-rejection medications. Even if this is delivered forcibly under restraint, “for your own good” and “it hurts me more than it hurts you.”
One of the obvious outcomes of this stated overt (and not covert) intention “to help democratic institutions in every region in every nation on earth is a formula for permanent war,” says Mr. Buchanan,
Buchanan went on to state very clearly that it is not in America’s best interest to intervene in affairs of sovereign nation-states, governments that are in fact recognized by the world. To again quote Pat Buchanan, paraphrasing John Quincy Adams, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the champion of freedom everywhere, but the vindicator only of her own.”
John Quincy Adams said it better himself, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
When it comes down to it, there is no legal mandate that we as a nation or as a member of the world government may aggressively pursue this sort of agenda. Again, Pat Buchanan, “where in the Constitution do we get the right to intervene in the internal affairs of countries that do not threaten us and do not attack us? If they don’t, their internal politics are their own business,” adding that “the president of the United States has no constitutional authority to do this.”
And even after all that, one might realize that the only form of government that can in fact be transplanted like an organ is an authoritarian dictatorship. In this case I will intentionally misappropriate Senator Charles Grassey’s quote when he said, in the same episode of Meet the Press, “I think that there’s a movement towards freedom that people are naturally born free, they want to be free, and you don’t impose democracy. Democracy is natural. You can only impose dictatorship.”
Even though we want to believe that all functioning systems need to have an emergent pattern that is democratic, this is not exclusively the case. Governments are really visible manifestations of their culture. There has never really been a long-lasting government that has been out of step with its mother culture. We know that a family’s culture is deep and very difficult to influence. A company’s takes either a lot of time or a total radical amputation to truly change the culture. Since nation-states are in fact artificial constructs anyway, it is almost impossible to make drastic changes without Draconian measures, the majority of which are morally and ethically offensive and more costly than their intended good.
My interpretation on this quote is that a Vanguard of Democracy is as futile as a Vanguard of the Proletariat. That imposing democracy is as futile and as temporary as imposing Marxist-Leninism, communism, capitalism, or even the free market. And when this Vanguard of Democracy and the free market system was imposed on Russia, the blowback was arguably the complete dissolution of realpolitik, resulting in an entire country run by the Russian Mafia in a very effective and complete power grab. Is this democracy? Where is the Nation-State in a country that can’t even contain its nuclear assets? The biggest weak link in the entire underground weapons-grade plutonium economy? A country that has a larger rift between haves and have nots than ever before, A true playground for the neo robber baron. Where the super rich can ignore traffic laws if they posses the official flashing blue lights on their Mercedes-Benz S600 sedans. In the case of Russia, we have a culture that has never known either democracy or freedom, from the Czars to the Communists. On a systemic level, the Russian system broke under this imposition.
And there are a surplus of sovereign governments worldwide unready or unwilling to accept an imposed “freedom,” “democracy” and “the free market” systemically from the top-down. These desires happen in emergence, through bubbling up from the bottom. From discontent, from desire, from education, and through participation in a global market and global economy. By willing hearts and minds legitimately as opposed to through heavy-handed coercion.
So, in that regard, Natan Sharansky’s naive comment, although correct on the surface, is not a very complex argument, “I believe that all the people, when given opportunity to choose between living in fear or living in freedom, choose to live in freedom,” What he forgot to mention is that his argument doesn’t include a very important missing piece, which is, “all things being equal.”
I agree with the following premise, “All things being equal, I believe that all the people, when given opportunity to choose between living in fear or living in freedom, choose to live in freedom.” But in developing nations, in nations that are still tribal or predominately rural, in nations that don’t have a history of education or are based on tribalism, monarchy, or religion, and in nations that have high scarcities or are under crushing debt, the resulting unintended consequences of imposing democracy, capitalism, or the free market economy usually results in a situation much worse, or at least much less predictable, than the original. I hate to use “better the devil we know than the devil we don’t” but the jury is out as to whether an Iraq with no boarders and a forced, unnatural, system of government will chomp at the bit until it is given an opportunity to revert to something similar but different.
Again, to quote Pat Buchanan in support of the above — the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t theory of foreign policy, “We cannot make the enemy the best of the good . . . we have had occasions, the last great crusade for democracy was Woodrow Wilson going across the sea with an army to make the world safer. We brought down all the monarchs and we got instead Lenin and Stalin and Mussolini and Hitler.”
I don't think that anyone can explain anything to Sara Palin. Does anyone know what her IQ is? I know that the United States sees a rugged individualist out fighting bears and wolves in the wilderness whenever she looks at herself in the mirror. Ignorant ruffian is not the source of our Constitution or our Bill or Rights.
None of the founders of this country were ruffians and all fancied themselves to be both men of letters and of the people. Diplomacy, freedom, liberty, and self-determination are things that came from the foundry of Enlightenment.
Americans mis-remembers their history: the founders of our country were not the same people who settled the continent on the shoulders of Puritanism, they were revolutionary humanists! The were men who valued the rights of man above anything else, believing men to be worthy the responsibility of being stewards of both a Nation and each other. Worthy of a democracy!
I don't know what people think smart is, but I don't count street smarts when it comes to world politics and diplomacy. Are we in an anti-intellectual, anti-though, anti-rational US now? Is being a maverick better than being wildly capable. I value intellect, education, training, capability, creativity, compassion, altruism, generosity, humanitarianism more than most.
You know, good rational though. A good sense of logic and fairness. A deep background in philosophy, history, civics, poetry, literature, and the law. We always forget -- or fail to state -- that Barack Obama is a Harvard-educated civil rights lawyer! This is a blessing in a world wherein we, the United States, are single-handedly dismantling the same rights, protections, privacies, and freedoms that our founding fathers, soldiers, and Americans have been fighting and dying for since we were born as a nation.
One's mind is only knowable through the things one expresses, be it in writing or spoken word. After taking a bunch of multiple-choice tests, one's left only with one's capacity to communicate.
I really don't know what to say except there are even brilliant people in my career who have trouble writing a good sentence. In communications and PR, well-written messages, conveying complexity, simply, are so valuable yet so under-valued. While I have not yet read The Age of American Unreason, we're too close to our own dumbing-down and have become what we fear in other countries: intolerance.
We don't even see that our own personal behavior as a country, supposedly protecting us from tyranny and "wrong-doers," is making us tyrannical! We're sacrificing many of our freedoms of a perception of safety. Safety from what? After 9/11, there is not been a brutal follow-up of discotheque bombings, the like of which marred 1980s Europe. We have not had to suffer any of what the UK needed to suffer under the IRA. We have not needed to avoid city busses the way Israelis sometimes do during real and present threat.
Since 9/11, nothing's happened. Nothing. And don't even suggest that our democracy is 100% sealed against such things and that our military intelligence, our domestic intelligence, our federal and local police, our FBI, and our special operations commandoes can protect us were there another bold and well-funded attempt against any place in our continent. Impossible! Nothing's happened.
And yet, our civil rights, our freedoms, and our personal privacy is constantly being eroded and threatened just because people are scared out-of-proportion to the real and present threat. Hell, we're not being stolen from, we're actively pursuing perceived security at whatever cost is necessary. Egad.
Back to writing. Back to communication. Back to anti-intellectualism. The problem is: people don't know what "bad," "wrong," "imprecise," "inarticulate," or "confusing" writing is. I don't buy the "anti-East Coast" thing. Mid-West universities are some of the best. There's Rice and Austin even in TX! I see people pissing and moaning about how they need to use "SMS shorthand" on Twitter because Twitter keeps your microblogging posts under 140 characters. Well, I am "restricted" by 140 characters, too, as are we all; however, I use complete sentences, never blaming Twitter's 140 limit!
I agree that one needs to read and read to become a better writer. It is like that in everything, including painting and photography. My dad was a shooter. He told me, "to know good photography, one must both shoot, shoot, but also look, look, look!" When your job is to communicate, "knowing social media" isn't enough. We win gigs because we can communicate exceptionally. I don't know German yet. I would never consider doing PR in Germany unless I hired exceptional writers and thinkers.
In America, yes, but around the world, subliteracy abounds. I love Frank Luntz' tagline: "It is not what you say, it's what they hear." Understanding comprehension is key to controlling the message. When I started on USENET in '93, it was still an ivory tower in many ways. You would win or lose argument threads through precise argument.
If I didn't think my USENET post through, I would have my argument -- my post -- picked apart. The argument is every bit as important to communication and persuasion -- the process and proof -- as is the truth you're trying to convey. Not being able to think through one's own political or esoteric argument as well as being incapable of parsing and comprehending another's argument is what is getting the United States into such a mess.
If you can't map historical context, rigorous research, and experiential perspective to current events, you're liable to be manipulated or persuaded against your will based on your emotions or fears instead of logic or reason. Yes, there is a sucker born every day, and it is my passion to do my best, day by day, to avoid being that sucker. I recommend that we all try to check the facts, the history, the recommendations, the logic, and the reason of all of the news and political discourse that we're listening to right now, in these few days before the U.S. General Election.
Are you thinking things through or are you carrying someone else's ideas, convictions, or beliefs? Do you even have your own? What do they even look like?
My buddy writes about Florida business owners and their take on the candidates: http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/745739.html
I saw Mark off in a taxi this morning. He's off to Mauritius for a couple-few months. Bon voyage, Mark!
My Office on a Rainy Wednesday in Berlin
Palin T-Shirt from BL Ochman
Mark Harrison, my CEO and best friend, is off to Mauritius for a couple-few months. I am seeing him off in a few.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Dinner with Andreas at Mr. Hai
I bought and downloaded the latest one from Neal Stephenson called Anathem. I hope it is all it promises. Any insight?
I discovered that Audible.com has AudibleAir! I can get my books on my n95 and Blackberry 8830 via wireless!
Tuesday Morning Office in Frankfurt
The ICE train, Inter-City Express, travels at speed in excess of 260-300km/hr! How fast are the Acela and TGV?
I am on the S-Bahn train from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, where I will be catching the 10:13 train to Berlin Hbf
Monday, October 27, 2008
My Office for Monday
Sunday, October 26, 2008
German Carrousels Have Real Horses!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wiesbaden Town Center
Wiesbaden is Obsessed with Mauritius
In Rich Wiesbaden
Chris Abraham firstname.lastname@example.org +1 202-657-4063
Mobile post sent by chrisabraham using Utterli. Replies.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Currently on the ICE train to Frankfurt from Berlin to spend the weekend with a friend. Train is currently boarding at Fulda station.
My Friday Office
Thursday, October 23, 2008
An Accordian and Trains at Ampelmann
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I am becoming more and more proud of this "Chris Abraham" blog -- I think I am going to spend more time making it comprehensive: http://cabraham.com/
Sarah Palin before and after her RNC makeover: http://reasonstobecheerful3.blogspot.com/2008/10/whos-clothing-palin.html
POLL: If John McCain died or became incapacitated, would Sarah Palin be competent to be President? http://ahpoll.com/
If you have not yet seen my Google Project 10^100 submission (well, my CEO/Company's) check out iPerson.mobi: http://iperson.mobi
My Wednesday Office
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
If you are dating someone new and that person uses the word "libations" I would run a mile. 'Libation' is a red-flag word.
When folks complain about the cost of college but pay $40,000 for two seat PSLs for a new stadium, the world is buggered
Monday, October 20, 2008
The 2011 Chevy Volt looks uninspired. Maybe Chevrolet will be bankrupt before the Volt comes out: PHOTOS: http://ping.fm/kCzWx
iPerson.mobi: Instant Phone-Enabled Ride Sharing On Demand
Your idea's name
Instant Phone-Enabled Ride Sharing On Demand
Please select a category that best describes your idea
Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
What one sentence best describes your idea?
Imagine Couchsurfing meets Ridesharing, but instant:location-aware mobile phones connect riders & drivers going the same way to share rides real-time.
11. Describe your idea in more depth.
There are always people driving where other people would like to go. If those drivers could happily be matched up with those riders real-time and instantly, the world would save billions of car-miles a year, billions of gallons of fuel, billions of dollars, untold tons of CO2. The world would be a cleaner, happier, more social, less-trafficky place.
Why don't we do it? In the end, lack of information, really.
If you were driving to the market and your friend who lives along the way needed to go there, you'd happily give him a ride. However, if that friend were a stranger instead, and more so, you didn't know he wanted to go to the market, you wouldn't be giving him a ride.
The problem is lack of information. Couchsurfing.com proves clearly that strangers are happy to help each other out - even let them sleep in their houses - we just want some way to first check each other out a bit.
Your mobile phone knows where you are. Imagine you told it where you want to go and a back-end ride sharing system checked all drivers driving in your area to find which ones were statistically most likely to be passing you and going your way. You and those drivers would get pinged with each others' profiles, you could call each other, the driver could pick you up, and you'd share the ride.
The system would note the distance you traveled together and transfer some gas money to the driver to help him cover his costs - and it would be quite safe as the system would always know exactly who traveled with whom, when.
You got a ride, the driver got some gas money, a connection was made, gas was saved, traffic was reduced, our environment got a bit cleaner.
What problem or issue does your idea address?
The world's car "population" is growing quickly, and traffic and pollution is getting worse, particularly in rapidly-developing countries. Our environment is under huge stress and we are decades from having a world of clean cars.
Our world's human population is growing and we all need to get around - going to work, going to market, getting through life. For lots of people - people with and without cars - getting around is expensive and difficult, but absolutely essential to survival.
Currently, we have lots of cars driving around almost empty, wasting fuel and drivers' money, while lots of other people without cars going the very same way are spending lots of time, money, and effort themselves.
This is a huge inefficiency caused by nothing more than a lack of information shared, and a lack of trust. With the world's 4 billion location-aware mobile phones, we can end this inefficiency and solve these problems.
If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how?
If Instant Phone-Enabled Ride Sharing On Demand (iPerson.mobi) became a reality, almost every single person on earth would benefit!
Anyone with a car who wanted to save gas money by sharing rides would benefit.
Anyone who needed to get somewhere quickly and easily without their own car would benefit.
And since iPerson.mobi would reduce car-miles, and the number of cars on the road, and thus traffic, fuel consumption and pollution, everyone who breathes the air, or doesn't want our polar ice caps to melt, or would like less traffic, or wants a cleaner planet for future generations would benefit.
Plus all the other living creatures on our planet would benefit from us humans living a bit cleaner...
What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground?
To launch the Instant Phone Enabled Ride Sharing On Demand system (iPerson.mobi), we would have to:
- develop the on-phone apps
- develop the back-end ride-sharing system that would:
-- register the location and destination of the riders
-- register the location and movements of the drivers (probably identifiable as drivers by their location and speed at which they are moving)
-- statistically predict which drivers were most likely to be passing the relevant rider and then pass his destination
-- match riders and drivers and their profiles
-- note them meeting up, track their travel together and transfer the gas money
- develop the appropriate financial transactions partnership to power the gas money transfer process
- secure relationships with the various carriers to get necessary data access
- establish a privacy regime to ensure an acceptable level of privacy for users
- develop a marketing and public relations/education campaign to rapidly build to critical mass in selected first-market countries
Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it?
The optimal outcome would be a wide adoption of the iPerson.mobi system with millions of rides being shared on a daily basis.
The system should be self-sustaining, and even profit-generating via a revenue stream coming from a small percentage of each gas money exchange transaction being charged by iPerson.mobi.
Measurement would be a simple matter of noting the number of rides shared and the number of miles traveled by multiple parties in one vehicle. Based on this information and the location of these trips, the environmental, societal, and economic impact of the venture could be clearly assessed.
Additionally, the activity in social network of profiles, feedback, recommendations, etc. would provide an additional treasure trove of information to assess and analyze the human impact of the project.
If you'd like to recommend a specific organization, or the ideal type of organization, to execute your plan, please do so here.
I would recommend Google for the technology infrastructure and international telco partnerships, PayPal for the electronic financial infrastructure, EFF for the privacy regime, and of course, Abraham Harrison, LLC for the management and the public relations efforts :-)
My CEO Mark's Submission to Project 10^100
Imagine Couchsurfing meets Ridesharing, but instant:location-aware mobile phones connect riders & drivers going the same way to share rides real-time.
There are always people driving where other people would like to go. If those drivers could happily be matched up with those riders real-time and instantly, the world would save billions of car-miles a year, billions of gallons of fuel, billions of dollars, untold tons of CO2.
The world would be a cleaner, happier, more social, less-trafficky place."
Mobile post sent by chrisabraham using Utterli. Replies.
@seanhackbarth @paulswansen Sorry, here's the link to the free marketing video conference: http://ping.fm/yjvgp Very cool experience.
If you're marketing there's a free video conference on Oct. 29 with online marketing tips by industry leaders http://ping.fm/yjvgp
When I hear McCain accuse Obama of "taxing and spreading the wealth" I sau, Goodness, how Christian of him!
I was up all night working on my business partner's submission to Google 10^100 Check this out: http://iperson.mobi
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Check out the Oct 29 video conf for free online marketing tips by top marketing gurus http://ping.fm/yjvgp
Hustler does such quality work! http://ping.fm/4NnrY?title=First-Minute-Whos-Nailin-Paylin-(Safe-Work)
Very interesting article about the true mathematical odds of McCain dying in the next four years: http://ping.fm/bqflk
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
My blog, Because the Medium is the Message, is #124 on AdAge Power 150! Huzzah! http://ping.fm/f2CYZ