Report of My Death. Et tu, Brute



Meek speaks: reports are ‘inaccurate at best’

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Drama fills the airwaves.  The tragic comedy comes to life, or is theatre of the absurd.  The curtain rises.  The cast murmurs.  They say, it was first heard, or read in May 1897.  At the time, Mark Twain and his demise were the topic.  Today, The New York Times splashed the story on the front page of the paper.  Bill Clinton Tried to Get Meek to Drop Out. The former President and friend of the Meek family, “last week tried to convince Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Florida, to drop out of the race.”

Tonight, on Countdown, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s Show, Charlie Crist affirmed the reports.  The Florida Governor said he has close connections with a man who knew of the conversation, first-hand.  Even before this claim, the story spread like wildfire.

Yet, as Mark Twain had stated more than a century before, Kendrick Meek reiterated.  As far as I can see, nothing remains to be reported, except that I have become a foreigner. When you hear it, don’t you believe it. And don’t take the trouble to deny it. Merely just raise the American flag on our house in Hartford and let it talk.” The soon-to-be authentically Democratic Senator stood before a throng of supporters and said.

(CNN) – At a press conference Thursday night Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek called press reports that he was asked to drop out of the race “inaccurate at best.”

“Any rumor or any statement that I decided to get out of his race is inaccurate at best,” Meek said.

Meek said neither former President Clinton nor the Democratic National Committee called him to say he should get out of the race.

He also addressed Governor Crist’s comments earlier in the night that Meek was asked to step aside.

“He’s trying to push Democratic votes in his direction,” Meek said. “He wants to climb on my back to get those votes.”

Meek ended the conference saying, “If there was a conversation between Bill Clinton and I, we’re the only two people that can say how that conversation went.”

As he spoke these words, people were left to ponder. Why might the rumor have been raised?  What is the reason for such unfounded gossip?  Might Governor Crist only wish to feed a flame and fuel his campaign?  Until moments ago, we could have only guessed what occurred.   Many in the audience may not have expected what occurred.  The drama unfolded.

What was the motivation?  Asked and answered, by Bill Clinton himself.  Who was the person actually behind the gossip?  Again, asked and answered by the Meek family friend, President Clinton.

What the public saw earlier was Julius Caesar or his alter ego.  Then, the knife pierced his flesh.  With his last breath, or first, during his resurrection, Kendrick Meek might be heard to whimper, Et tu, Brute.

Tuned into the television, Congressman Meek and his backers might have finally relieved themselves of the bond that has for too long been a blameless barrier to greater success.

President, Bill Clinton himself took the stage.  He humbly or smugly, dependent on your perspective, said he talked to Representative Kendrick Meek about ending his bid for Senate twice. Once again, in his vapid vigor to further the Party, President Clinton divides it.  He conquers all that he argues is good for America.  Just as his habit has been, Bill Clinton asserts that he feels our pain, and then, serves himself.  

Oh, supporters of the Clintons say not.  Lest we forgo our history, The Long Demise of Glass Steagall.  Health Care reform a la Hill and Bill.  Then there is the reality of the Clinton impeachment.  

For me, these realities have never faded from view.  Reform cannot be achieved when a Party or persons within a politically motivated campaign place their win above what benefits all the people.   Personally I know, that the truth and all the tales told prior to the revelations do not change my vote.  I would honor my beliefs regardless of what others might say.  I stand with the one Senate aspirant who has consistently worked for the people, who is one of the people, and who believes as I do, in the democratic principle.

When we place politics before democratic principles, the right to run for office, vote on policy, and those who work for the people, then we commit to our own certain death.  This performance may have come to a close, or perchance, this is but the opening act.  The question remains.  If we do not learn from history, are we not destined to repeat it?

References for a Divided Reality . . .

Race To the Top Leaves Children Behind



Collaborative Planning

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

While many muse as a culture we cannot continue “Waiting for Superman” to transform our schools, others expect our Teachers to be Supermen or Superwomen.  Some say private school Educators are superior.  Only the Instructors employed in public educational institutions are flawed.  There seems to be agreement in our society; these Teachers cannot take the lead.   The system, critics cry, out must change.  Philanthropists proclaim they are here to save the day.  Privatization is the only way to work through what has been a woeful failure.  No, Administrators and the current Administration avow; Teachers are the problem.  We must assess their performance and pay Educators accordingly.

Still other experts defend the trend; student test scores will determine success.

So it goes.  Lessons are now taught only as they apply to standardized examinations.  The ways in which pupils learn best is not a consideration.  Creativity, critical thought, a policy that cultivates curiosity, all are null and void.  There is no place for these in American schools, at least not in the public institutions.

Perchance, private industry can or will create some semblance of these Charter School classrooms.  The thought is a well-paid pedagogical professional, a person who has never truly worked with pupils will produce the desired results.  This strident “suit” will enforce effective policies.  Thus, the drama begins.  It builds daily in schools throughout the nation.

A Principal, Head Master, or Educational authority stands in front of a Teachers and states, “Let’s begin today’s collaborative planning meeting with successes and challenges.  Who would like to volunteer some successes? You are all required to volunteer successes.”

A mentor moves the conversation forward.  “My students are not understanding verse structure. We have been working on it for three days….”

The Administrator retorts, “That is not a success. You need to mention a success for this week.”

In response the Instructor explains.  “There have not been any this week. Today is Tuesday and Monday was a holiday.”

Delighted, the Director declares.  “See, it was not hard to find a success. Stop being so negative and we can get more done. Does anyone have a challenge to volunteer?”

The convoluted cycle continues.  Listen closely.  Everything you need to know about what propels school reform today: is outlined in this dialogue.  The absurd obsession with assessment, schedules, and data has brought rigidity to our nations classrooms and curriculums.  Instruction and an authentic internalization of  information are impossible.

Yet, all appears impressive.  The statistics look good, skewed as the numbers are . . . and look at the dollars we have poured into [inadequate] education.

Surely, school reform 2010 will be a certain success.  This country will Race to the Top.  The question is will Administrators and the Administration realize that once again, every child and all that connects a student to a curriculum has been left behind.

References, Resources, Sources for School Reform  . . .

Disconnected In a Connected World



The Break Up

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today many businesses are disconnected in a connected world.  Corporations seek customers.  Potential purchasers can access concisely presented persuasive information.   Clients are sold products.  Support?  Some may be available sometimes .  Web pages are Marketing Tools.  No real relationships emerge let alone evolve.  Technology used serves the organization. Commerce has too little concern for consumer needs. Executives and enterprises pay less attention to what is authentically desired.  Conversation.  In the search for potential patrons companies ignore what is right in front of their faces and in their hearts; people are gregarious.  

Humans are social animals.  We each crave a connection.  Facebook and Twitter founders understood this.  The statistics overwhelming show this.  Yet, rather than embrace what is real, organizations opt for what causes a break-up.  

The results of ongoing research shows that organizations have begun to invest in social media, but barely.  Only those companies who respond to purchasers’ real lives seem to see a need for a truer Internet experience.  Most simply stumble into the medium blindly.  Few realize that what occurs in cyberspace is a conversation.  Hence, businesses, big and small, for profit and not, use sales and marketing approaches to seek loyalty or brand awareness.

Organizational budgets reflect a lack of understanding; America is “wired.”  Please peruse the profound truths evident in a recent Pew Research Center Publication, The Future of Online Socializing, Older Adults and Social Media or Gadget Ownership.

In relationship to the technology and the Internet, most relevant for many corporations is what The Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm considers the Top 10 Customer Experience Incompetencies.

Authentic interest and Interactions are near void.  Instead, reliance on the pitfalls is prevalent.  Frequently, corporate web sites, tools available to prospective customers, and current clients are marketing ploys.  Employees are not served much better.  At times, participatory platforms are accessible.  Yet, even these do not fully engage consumers.  Unknowingly, businesses build barriers when bridges need to be built.  Perchance, organizations will look at what is thought to be wise and wonderful, then, assess.   Why is it that conventional wisdom does not work well? In the World-Wide-Web  

Study: Companies invest in social media for loyalty purposes

August 31, 2010

A conclusion that can be drawn from overall survey results is that the use of social media as a marketing tool is still in the early experimental stage. “Marketers across all sectors are involved in social media,” said DMA Research Manager Yoram Wurmser. “However, after five or six years in the space, and growing social media budgets, marketers are still testing the waters to figure out what works, with the incentive to accelerate their efforts being driven by consumers’ rapid adoption of this trend.” In fact, research from Nielsen released this week shows that consumers are spending 43% more time on social media than a year ago, making social networking and blogs the top online activity followed by online games and email.

One of the key revelations from the research is that the absolute dollar amount marketers are setting aside for social media is low:

  • When asked what percentage of their company’s overall marketing budget is spent on social media, the largest group, covering 24% of survey takers, selected “don’t know”
  • 17% of respondents said they allocated only 1% of their annual marketing budget to social media
  • 16% said they allocate 4-5%
  • Smaller companies with tighter budgets are significantly more likely than large companies to say they spend almost 50% of their marketing budget on social media.

Another key finding reveals a lack of metrics for success differentiated by objective:

  • When asked to identify the most important measure of social media success, nearly two-thirds of respondents selected “don’t know
  • Of those who identified a measurement, the largest group, covering 20%, said engaging customers to respond and provide feedback
  • 65% of respondents said they’re not using any listening tools to monitor what their customers are saying about their brand

Organizations often adopt strategies that experts say offer near certain doom. Tycoons think “If they build it, buyers will come.”  Executives “Follow the leaders,” rather than distinguish themselves or recognize the unique world that is theirs alone.  “Blatant sales pitches” scatter the landscape . . . and lose sales as well as once loyal support.  “Social media is treated as though it were a one-way street, an island, or the work of lowly staffers.”

The Ten Harsh Truths About Corporate Websites are avoided.  Sales and Marketing departments are assigned a task that is not their specialty, rather than engaging in a conversation, they create a monologue.  Information Technology departments are seen as soothsayers rather than divisions that do well in the delivery of complex tools.  Organizations mistakenly believe their webpage is all about them.  Thus, a greater disconnect is established.  Disconnects and subsequent breakups between consumers and companies that do not genuinely communicate are common.

References and Resources; Reality of a Connected Customer, Client, Potential consumer . . .