Getting Our Priorities Straight

The world is awash in information but by traditional definitions little of it is actually news. Online sources now prioritize items that produce clicks over those that inform. We live in a world where the headline; Kylie Jenner changes her hair color and other news, is given as much weight as; Obama signs order for new pay rules to be effective December 1. This was vividly evident when searching for more coverage the morning after it was revealed that the new salaried employees pay rules, due to be implemented in December, were halted by a court injunction. A significant number of people have been expending a great deal of time, money and energy making sure their businesses would be ready for the changes, only to have the plug pulled in the eleventh hour.  Likewise, employees have already been told of new work arrangements that would be altering their lives and budgets. Logically those directly affected need to know if this is permanent and if not, when might the rules be modified or replaced.

Knowing that this was an event that affected millions of people and thousands of businesses, it would be reasonable to assume that it would get top billing on any news feed. Pulling up the MSN news page at 9 am on the morning before Thanksgiving (the day after the late day court decision) produced no prominent mention on the main page. Google news also failed to include it among any of their major headline categories. Yahoo news would not even have been worth checking because it has become dominated by sponsored click through pieces and celebrity minutia. By mid-day MSN and Google got on board with Google news including it in the second group of main stories. MSN did not make it a main headline but did include one article far down the page, below such breaking news as … Kanye’s hospitalization could lead to hefty insurance payout … Ellen DeGeneres Gets Emotional Receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom … Cat rescued after stuck on pole for 9 days … The Gosselins: 10 years later and 13 of the Best Selling Red Lipsticks of All Time. These and an amazing number of other items were featured ahead of providing information to employees and business owners who either counted on or were concerned about what is now not going into affect December 1. Attempting to confine your browsing to so called “hard news” sources doesn’t make it any easier. The unabashed bias displayed during the recent Presidential campaign has awakened those seeking clean facts to the reality that what they read will likely be influenced by a dose of personal opinion and institutional activism.

 Obviously this isn’t all the Medias responsibility as they only publish what the consumer responds to. An obsession with celebrities, reality TV, social media and the latest cell phone app has made it possible for those in power to treat us like fussy infants who can easily be distracted from the unpleasant by jangling a metaphorical set of cars keys. Getting our priorities straight can lead to informed citizens and informed citizens make better choices. Burying important issues under a pile of fluff and noise is not in anyone’s best interest.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 24, 2016 at 1:09 PM

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Decision 2016 … Thanks for Nothing

This is really what it’s come to, a vast country filled with talented people and we can’t come up with two more dignified, more personable, less juvenile and less corrupt people than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Our insular two-party system will keep many disgusted citizens on the sidelines while others are only motivated to vote against the candidate they dislike the most. Comedian Lewis Black once said, “We have a two-party system: The Democratic party, which is a party of no ideas, and the Republican party, which is a party of bad ideas”.  The same could be said of our Presidential combatants, although it’s often hard to tell which is which. We have Donald Trump, the political outsider, who functions so far beyond the boundaries of accepted decency and common sense that he has managed to insult everyone at one time or another. He is opposed by Hillary Clinton, the consummate insider, someone so deeply entrenched in the political power structure that she couldn’t find outside with a tracking dog and a GPS.  

 To make the situation worse, voters are under a media and celebrity assault that has abandoned any pretense of dispensing unbiased information in favor of becoming unrepentant partisan cheerleaders. The incredible self-absorption required to assume you have the right to shame others over their voting choice is unprecedented and dangerous to the process. We are approaching the tipping point where people tune out media sources that have abandoned their journalistic integrity and celebrities who think everyone respects their political opinions. The residents of flyover country can only be talked down to for so long before they start to suspect that nervous people in high places are just protecting their turf. An electorate that is being asked to choose between two historically unpopular candidates while being badgered by voices who have nothing in common with their life issues, can lead to extreme outcomes. Remember that the elitists (and pollsters) of Europe were confident that they knew how the Brexit vote would go. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 4, 2016 at 12:52 PM

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Thank an Angel

Through the summer and early fall leading up to Election Day, a voice in my head kept saying; make it stop! The constant barrage of inane and downright deceptive ads was an insult to the electoral process and the main reason why our most accomplished citizens want no part of this money fueled circus. For me the hardest thing to listen to was one politician or another claiming to be able to create jobs. Other than government jobs (which are funded with money collected from others) politicians and governments at any level do not create jobs. Obviously private sector businesses producing a good or service create (net economic gain) jobs and to do so one of the main things they need is access to capital.  I was recently able to successfully conclude a relationship with an investor in my company that had been with me for over twenty years. It is safe to say that without this persons support my business and the jobs it created would not exist today. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 10, 2015 at 12:44 PM

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How Does Detroit Happen?

From the most prosperous, highest personal income city in America to the largest municipal bankruptcy to date all in the span of about 50-60 years; how does this happen?  Since Detroit’s bankruptcy filing the blame game has been in full swing. Looking for a single culprit or a smoking gun moment when it all went bad couldn’t be a bigger waste of time. This type of monumental fall is certainly not unprecedented and is almost always a gradual process during which some corrections to cushion the landing could have been made. Two examples from Southeast Michigan’s history show how incremental changes in situations, markets and personal decisions that do not trigger adjustments by those in charge can have devastating effects. In some cases even when action is taken the outcome is still unavoidable. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

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What Does A Million Look Like?

When did a million dollars become unimportant? An amount that remains largely unattainable for all but a few is routinely treated like loose change by members of the public sector and no one seems all that concerned.  In my business we often have a chance to make products in quantities of a million or more. Since these items occasionally resemble a dollar bill in size and shape I often find myself thinking of money; how it’s generated, collected, spent and misused. This also leads to viewing the financial situation in Detroit and the country in general from a different perspective. Consider the sheer number of scandals, prosecutions, instances of fraud, jury awards and blatant examples of mismanagement that have occurred in Detroit over the past twenty years. A short time ago we had the original Kwame Kilpatrick/Christine Beatty adventure which resulted in an over eight million dollar damage award plus attorney and other costs. There was also the prosecution of a council member and her associates in addition to persons in positions of power in the Water Department and Cobo Center. Accusations of bribes being paid to a high ranking library official; who as usual wants a taxpayer funded attorney and charges of missing pension fund money are just the latest chapters in this never ending story. If you went back over the past few decades and totaled up all the amounts, from a few hundred thousand to a few million that have been squandered in various ways, you could begin to quantify this culture of disregard. The pervasive lack of concern for the proper use of taxpayer funds is a national issue and Detroit is merely the largest city to reach the brink first; so anyone adopting a smug attitude toward Detroiters is only fooling themselves. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 16, 2013 at 11:13 PM

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WHY GOLF REALLY FAILS TO GROW

During over 20 years within the golf industry I have read scores of articles analyzing golfs lack of growth. I have also witnessed countless programs designed solely to recruit new players of every age and demographic. The one constant is that all of the effort and money is being expended by those who have a vested interested in the game; primarily a financial interest. It’s certainly not hard to understand why equipment makers, golf retailers and course owners have been the driving force and why they might be puzzled by how little their efforts seem to be paying off. One culprit may well be our insistence upon viewing the issue from top down. While the keepers and merchants of the game debate what might be wrong, how they should address the problems and what results they expect; no one is making an in depth effort to find out how prospective and current players really see golf. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

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Detroit EM must embrace “Street Time” and absolute transparency

It’s time; without significant and swift intervention Detroit will financially collapse, there is no other possible outcome.  The argument that elected officials should have remained fully in charge makes the false assumption that reforms can be enacted at government speed. Government entities normally have the luxury of operating on government time because there is really no hurry when you’re not the one being directly affected. Solutions are often adopted that will not produce measurable results till far down the road, if ever. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 1, 2013 at 9:51 PM

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Big Labor may be surprised by the lack of widespread outrage

Is Michigan finally ready to embrace a new way of doing business or will this be yet another futile chapter in our long history of courting change and then fighting it every step of the way? Judging from the overheated rhetoric, doomsday prophecies, mass demonstrations and political grandstanding; one would guess that the world had indeed come to an end quite a few days short of December 21st. As a life-long Michigan resident I know from experience that only one thing causes that much ruckus; openly defying unions. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 21, 2012 at 1:14 AM

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Who Have We Become?

This year’s election was not about the economy, the candidates or the platform of any political party; it was about each individual’s values and how they affect where we are headed as a country. Every politically motivated attempt was made to divide us into classes or races or makers versus takers. This was all for show because we have already created deep divisions based on what each of us is willing to find acceptable. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM

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MO Interview

August 30, 2012

“I have met my share of highly educated or supremely talented failures but I have rarely encountered a focused, persistent entrepreneur who did not ultimately succeed” (J. Krause)

Written by MO

Interview of:  James Krause

LongShot Golf Inc. – Founder/C.E.O.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 9, 2012 at 1:21 AM

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