Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Maloney's Idiotic Debate Non Stand Can Be Countered With Use Of Social Media

New York Daily NewsImage via Wikipedia
Carolyn Maloney has decided she is not going to debate Reshma. (Debating Is "Stunt" In A Maloney Democracy) I wish Maloney all the false confidence in the world. She is relying on a poll her campaign conducted before Reshma did her months of field work.

The most talked about race in the state of New York is not going to have any debates if Maloney will have her way.

Daily News: Maloney-Saujani Primary Got You Worked Up?
Of all the races in all the state, why does this one have people so passionate?
Obama won Iowa. The polls did not show that he will win, and they did not show his eventual margin. Why? Because the pollsters kept calling up "likely voters," their name for people who voted four years ago. But what Obama had done was build an army of new, first time voters on the ground. And so the pollsters were left in the dust. And, mind you, these were not pollsters hired by the Edwards campaign.

And you have Maloney basking in the glory of early, internal polling. I wish her a ton of false self confidence. If this race were such a shoo-in for Maloney, why is it the most talked about race in the state? It is such a talked about race because it is a competitive race.

But asking Maloney to do two debates a month to election day is like asking the mullahs in Iran to hold a reelection: not gonna happen. (Iran: The World Has Wasted A Year)

So what do you do? While at the Reshma 2010 party last night, I thought about this a whole lot, at the party and after the party. (Reshma 2010 Party Tonight)

I think the answer is social media. The answer is new media.

There were about 100 people at the party, in and out. Victory lies at the 1,000 mark. Once the circle of core supporters expands from 100 to 1,000, we win. Because all we need is 30,000 votes to win.

There was so much positive energy in the room last night. You could feel the tremendous momentum.

Already the candidate is doing an average of three events per day, events big and small. That is a tremendous pace.

Why do we want debates? So we can air our views, and we can get media coverage. We get on local TV. Are there other ways of achieving the same goals? I believe there are. Social media does better what traditional media does pretty good.

I was at the party last night, so I saw what happened. What if I was not there but wanted to know what happened? If the campaign were to post 100 pictures from the event at its Facebook page, if the campaign were to post a five minute video clip from the party at its YouTube channel, I might get a feel for what happened at the party last night. The audience for that video might only be 500 strong right now, but that is what social media is all about: media for all audience sizes. Small audiences matter, small audiences are intimate.

I say do events and be your own media, cover all events. There should be at least one photo from each event, posted at the campaign's Facebook page. Short video clips are great. They are free to produce. Long live the Flip camera.

And we have to produce full length videos of Reshma giving speeches on all major issues. We asked for but did not get two debates per month with Maloney. But we could easily do one major speech per week on our own.

I am all about taking attendance with the camera. When you capture a candidate speech on camera, it is important to capture all faces in the room. It is not just about the candidate, but also the crowd.

Upload the full speech, and upload a shorter video of highlights. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, one speech a week keeps Maloney away.

Another strategy would be to keep going on TV and keep challenging Maloney to do the debates.

Social media is not an imitation of old media. Social media is more. Social media is much more than saying, okay, we are going to be our own C-Span.

Social media allows you to turn your organization into a jellyfish. I am using that metaphor to hint at transparency. There are things that are private, but then there are things that are not private. The private strategy session that decided on the new office space was not something that needed to stay private. A three minute video from that session would have been great. You do that for your core 1,000 supporters. You are not on the staff, you were not even in the office that day, but we want you to feel included.

How much of the internal operations can you video blog like that?

I am for uploading five minutes of video every single day. The whole exercise is free.

And then there are the giants: Facebook and Twitter. Most everyone on the East Side who will vote on September 14 is on Facebook. I am guessing that to be the case. The campaign Facebook page has to be taken to new heights.
  • Get the candidate a Droid X. After Swype, you no longer need the BlackBerry keyboard to be able to type fast. (Swype: Type On Your Smartphone At Laptop Speed)
  • For every event the candidate does, at least one photo with a brief description has to end up on the Facebook page. It should be super easy for our core supporters to follow the campaign, and the Facebook stream is perhaps the best way. The accompanying staffer, also armed with a Droid X, can perhaps take care of the social media part of events.
  • Post video clips on Facebook.
And this is key: retweeting and pressing that Like button. All staffers and interns need to do that. East tweet by the campaign has to start with 30 retweets right away. Each Facebook update has to be liked by 30 people within the hour. And for key articles shared by Reshma on Facebook, there have to be 30 comments by the end of the day. I don't know how you do this. Do you send out an internal email each time? But I do know this has to be done.

It has to feel like there is a lot of activity. And you soon enough get the snowball effect. This is not about faking it, this is about engaging the core of the organization.

And then there is going out there. Take the NYDailyNews.com for example. It is not like they push six Reshma articles per day. It is one every few weeks. But those articles generate a lot of comments. Well, we can make sure at least 30 of those comments come from Reshma supporters. And if we can do that, more supporters will come out of the woodworks. This digital engagement is important because it is free, and it is real. These are real people. Many more people read the comments than leave them. That is an interested crowd.

Maloney's perceived advantages from dodging debates can be neutralized through a thorough use of social media. If she opts for just one debate early in September, we have to turn that into a slam dunk. And we can do that if we make extensive use of social media in the weeks before that.

If a tree fell deep in the forest, and nobody heard it fall, did the tree fall? Social media is about making sure people hear the tree fall. One photo per event, I would think, is the absolute minimum. The goal has to be to capture every face that shows up for every event. This is as much about covering the candidate as the crowd.

The idea is to produce short, compelling video clips for the Facebook stream every other day, so compelling people go ahead and press the Share button. If we are not going to get the free media from debating, we have to fill up the gap by becoming our own media. New media is better media.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 21, 2010

Debating Is "Stunt" In A Maloney Democracy

"While the Congresswoman is creating jobs and working to get our economy back on track, her opponent is engaged in yet another political stunt that deflects from the issues the constituents really care about," said Maloney spox Alix Anfang.

If Maloney is too busy creating jobs to engage Reshma Saujani - whose intellect she fears - in debates, very soon she is going to be the one looking for a job.

I don't think Maloney is too busy creating jobs - I don't see all that many jobs around - I think Maloney is too busy being scared of Reshma's intellect.

Reshma Saujani Ticked Off At Carolyn Maloney For Ignoring Debate Offer: Updated » New York Daily News (blog)

Reshma Debate Letter
Enhanced by Zemanta

Reshma 2010 Party Tonight

Kayak.com logoImage via Wikipedia
I am headed to a party tonight. Reshma 2010 has new offices.

Reshma 2010: New Office: Party: June 21 Monday

Food and Drinks
Monday, June 21st at 6:30 p.m.
The fifth floor of 143-145 Madison Avenue
(between 31st and 32nd Street)
Office opening party!

I am excited.

Full Timer Or Volunteer

I Want To Go Full Time With Reshma 2010

I have thought in terms of going full time with the campaign. But it is very possible the campaign would prefer to have me continue as a volunteer instead. That would be more than fine with me. One, that would mean the campaign is very confident of winning on September 14. Two, the best things I would do as a full timer would be the few things I would do as a volunteer. Meeting ordinary people is the best part of working on a political campaign. Three, going to work some kind of a tech sector job might be best for the startup I intend to work on in about 15 months: I got one very good lead as of now.

Politics is to me what sailing is to Larry Ellison. It is more than a hobby, but it is not my career. I am a Third World guy. I want to devote my work life to help bring more people online. The tech scene is where I belong.

But I must admit the campaign has me excited, and I keep having thoughts of all I would want to do as a full timer. Maybe I should talk them into letting me do the full time thing for 2-3 weeks. But, no matter what, I keep having thoughts I want to share. What if I were to go full time?


Everyone at Kayak.com does customer service. They are the leading travel website. Everyone on the campaign staff needs to engage with voters on a daily basis.

I would want to work a subway stop for an hour during the evening rush hour every day at work, say 5:30-6:30 PM. Then get back to the office, and make phone calls for an hour from 7-8 PM. Those three hours have to be the core of what I would do as a full timer.


Maybe we can not afford to offer free food like Google does, and we can not afford to offer variety like they do. But I have an idea. How about a one item $1.50 cheap lunch? You can get 50 frozen dumplings for $8. That is five lunches. The campaign pays for ketchup and hot sauce. I could get this thing going for an initial capital of $200.

Mango lassi would be free.

Revenue Neutral

I think I could raise $200 per day or more from working the subway stops every single work day.

"Hi. Reshma is running for Congress. Please visit her website and donate $20." (Hand flyer)

I could do that ad infinitum. (Freehand Exercise: 1,000 Push-Ups, 1,000 Squats, 1,000 Crunches)

I would raise the money the campaign would have to dole me out to have me as a full timer.

2 Weeks, 12 Weeks, Or 18 Weeks

It is very possible I sign up and I am sucked in for all of 18 weeks. After September 14 it is going to feel like I am working not just for Reshma but also for Obama.

40 Hours, Or 70 Hours

1 PM to 9 PM is 40 hours a week. But if I were to do a 10-12 stint in the morning from home, doing the blog daily for Reshma thing, and instead of 9 PM, I start leaving at 10, then that is another 15 hours. That is 55. Then you go to an event, and you stick around for a long, long time. Or if you decide to work an extra day closer to September 14, that is closer to 70 hours.

I think at 70 hours it is going to give you that startup feeling.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Want To Go Full Time With Reshma 2010

The last time I hinted at this, (My Political Resume, Reshma 2010, And September 14) I was not in a position to take a job - I am now, (Employment Authorization Card: It's Here) and I am not a citizen and a voter, so I could not have volunteered on the petition drive of the past few weeks. And I have actively looked at a few tech sector options the past few weeks. (Not MeetUp, After Entry Level Jobs, An Internship, Entry Level Jobs, Job Search) But getting an email about the party Monday (Reshma 2010: New Office: Party: June 21 Monday) put Reshma 2010 front and center on my mindscreen all over again.

Reshma 2010 is too historic a campaign to miss out on. I think I want to do a three month stint - June 22 to September 22 - with this historic campaign before going to do another job. In New York the primary election is what matters. You win on September 14, Maloney then endorses you, and you go claim victory in November. But I would keep the option to add six weeks open. This district was Republican before Maloney took over 18 years ago. And someone from a Republican candidate's campaign has taken to leaving comments at most posts I put out about Reshma here at this blog. See you in November has been my refrain.

I am going to lay out my thoughts here, then I am going to shoot an email to Reshma and Kevin. (My Talk With Kevin Lawler Of Reshma 2010) I should not assume just because I want to go full time with the campaign, the campaign necessarily wants me full time. But if they do, working out a role would be part two, and that might be trickier. Kevin and I are going to sit down before the party Monday to hash things out.

These are some of my early thoughts.

My Political Resume, Reshma 2010, And September 14
A 14-7 Office For Reshma 2010
An Afternoon At The Reshma 2010 Headquarters

I would want an amorphous role. The title of Political Consultant might be a good one for me. That would keep me an outsider who is now an insider. I would like that.

The pay would be $1000 cash advance before I even begin. I would go right away to the Best Buy at Union Square and get me a laptop (Toshiba Satellite), a smartphone (Droid Incredible), and I would get me a monthly metro card. And there would be a $1000 a week payment for the 12 weeks, and a $2000 bonus to be part of the final paycheck conditional to a September 14 victory. And then I am out of here. I go back to being a Volunteer. Or I do six more weeks at $1000 a week, and a $1000 bonus conditional to a November victory. But we will cross that bridge when we get there.

If I were thinking of doing one year with the campaign, I might have thought, oh no, that is a lot of money, the campaign should instead put that into TV ads. But putting 15K into me to ensure a September 14 victory is a sound investment.

I am predicting victory. This is not a make feel good statement. This is not a boost team morale gesture. This is a prediction. My coming on board will make extra sure that that is what happens. (Jupiter And Obama)

And this is not going to be any ordinary victory. Reshma is going to hit the national headlines on September 15. And then she works to make sure the Democrats keep the House and the Senate. She helps the national effort.

As for my hours and role, I have had a few thoughts.

Wednesday and Friday, I take my two days off. I work 1 PM to 9 PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Thursdays and Saturdays I am at the Queens office, once that is up and running. And I put in 10 flex hours on top of this 40. I put in more as necessary during the final weeks leading to September 14.

I would want to blog daily for Reshma right here at this blog. Already a search on her name online brings this blog up on page two. I want to show up on page one. Closer to election day a lot of people will be googling her up. We want them to find some of my blog posts. That would be a lot of free advertising. And I have a feeling we will come across a lot of people who volunteered and voted for Obama in 2008. This blog's name should get them. I have 10 hours of video from that campaign, and hundreds of blog posts. That is a good foundation to have to place the Reshm name on.

One big reason I want to get the Droid Incredible is so as to be able to post photos, videos, tweets, updates, and blog posts in real time from wherever. I am going to lead a major social media effort inside the team. All staffers, interns and volunteers need to retweet every tweet sent out by @reshma2010. We all need to press the Like button on all Facebook updates by the campaign.

And in blogging daily I think I am going to end up talking much about the team as well. The core 30 people will get featured.

I go to some tech events in town, about one a week. I would want to keep doing that. And I want to step out to watch most of the key World Cup matches. I will make up for that time in additional morning hours.

Some of the things I would want to focus on right away.
  • Debate preparation.
  • Weekly mock debates, first attended by a few key staff, then by the entire staff. Maloney role play by various staffers, myself included. When it is my turn, one line I would like to use: "But, Reshma, I brought about equality for women, and put down the Second Avenue subway line. What have you done?"
  • Sit down on all strategy sessions. First to absorb and listen, then to collect data on the progress of the campaign, and then to suggest moves.
  • The war room concept. Let no attack go unanswered.
  • Own the Obama platform. Work to create a 2016 platform.
  • Get on the phone with voters one hour each day.
  • Work a subway stop for two rush hours each week, then more often.
  • Go attend every possible political event in the district. You meet political junkies who thrive on this stuff. If some of them come along as volunteers, you win big.
  • Work on an exhaustive list of all community leaders, events and newspapers. Go out to those events. Visit the newspapers in their offices. Identify the key bloggers in the district. The goal is to get these bloggers and newspapers to do one piece each on Reshma.
I might need a few days to get situated before going intense.

Everyone you meet at a Subway stop can donate, or most people can. So don't worry too much about if someone is a primary voter or not. And, remember, Obama did not win Iowa by relying on a list of people who had a track record of having voted before. He won with new, first time voters. We have to get a healthy dose of new, first time voters to show up on September 14.

Some blog posts I might do down the line:
  • Maloney Is Never Going to Run For President, Nor Schumer
  • Maloney Wrote A Book Saying Her Best Is Not Good Enough
  • Rangel Needs To Retire, Maloney Too
  • Mike Arrington Is A Sexist Pig (this on my tech blog)
  • Reshma 2016: The Biggest Rationale For Reshma 2010
The core team needs this victory. Some people get to go to DC with Reshma. Those who stay in the city become hot property, like happened to Obama people after 2008. All politicians wanted to hire them. We win on September 14 and that's two more months of paychecks for all staffers. 

But even paid work for a political campaign falls in the public service domain. You would probably be making more money doing other things. You put in those extra hours, you run that extra mile, because all the good your candidate will do for the larger common good. 

Calling voters for an hour each day should probably apply to everyone on the team. Maybe even the candidate should do an hour a week, but in her case she only calls voters who have been identified to be strong supporters. 

"Hi. I am Reshma. I am running for Congress. My core team has identified you as a strong supporter. I was wondering if you will host a house party for us. If you can get 30 people to show up, I commit to being there for an hour. Can my Campaign Manager please get in touch with you about this? Thanks."

The campaign needs a few MetroPCS phones in the office, unlimited talk, text and web.

And I am serious about that lassi thing. ("Where Was This Google All This Time?")
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

9/11, Great Recession, Gulf Oil Spill: Paradigm Shifts

A beach after an oil spill.Image via Wikipedia
To the three items I just listed - 9/11, the Great Recession, and the Gulf Oil Spill - I should perhaps add a fourth, while the three are of the negative kind, Obama's election to the White House has been a positive kind of paradigm shift, race being America's original sin.

9/11 is accepted as having been a paradigm shift event. It hijacked the Bush presidency. Obama's presidency has similarly been taken over by major events that he could not have foreseen. Reminds one of the famous Lincoln line, that he does not control events, it is the other way round.

This has been a strange recession. Now there is talk it might end up being a double dip recession. The recovery sure is not full. The jobs that were lost, not enough new jobs have been created. And if that were not headache enough, the oil spill happened. The ocean remains less explored than outer space in many ways.

The private and the public sectors have not even begun to measure the size of the damage, they sure have not managed to bring the spill to an end. The damage will last at least a decade, maybe more. And it might not be just the gulf that stays affected. It is one scary scenario no matter which way you look at it.

The term superpower is a term in the human realm. The pressures one mile deep in the ocean do not care for that term, apparently. Human technology can do only so much stretching when basic human values and a way of life themselves are in question.

The Gulf Oil Spill is a wake up call that the planet is surely on an unsustainable path, environmentally speaking.

All three - 9/11, the Great Recession, and the Gulf Oil Spill - challenge the notion that the nation state is the be all and end all. All three force us to face the fact that globalization can not be stopped, but it can be shaped. We are all global players now. We have been a while.

Obama did not ask for the recession, he sure did not ask for the spill, but he gets to rally the nation to lessons learned from both.

Gulf Oil Spill
A Dirty Bomb Just Went Off In The Gulf

Obama's Gulf Oil Speech
Because there has never been a leak of this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. ..... We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and cleanup the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And I have authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast....... millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming, and other collection methods. Over five and a half million feet of boom has been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil. We have approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore ....... oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. ..... no matter how effective our response becomes, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done ....... a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost. ....... BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region. ...... Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations. ....... we need better regulations better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling ........ oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean - because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water. ...... The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. ..... The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Reshma Is Better At Raising Money, Way Better

Congressional portrait with U.S. flag in the b...Image via Wikipedia
Reshma 2010: New Office: Party: June 21 Monday

I totally see why Pelosi and Obama need to keep the House in November. I absolutely, totally see that. That is a big reason why I am supporting Reshma. Reshma is going to win on September 14, and then she is going to help the party raise a lot of money for the races across the country in November. Maloney can't do that. In her own district. Look at how much money Reshma has raised as someone noone ever heard of. The first quarter she beat Maloney two to one in fundraising. Imagine how much money she will be able to raise after she hits the national headlines on September 14.

Maloney has done some good work, but her time is up. It is time for some fresh blood into the New York congressional delegation. It is time for both Rangel and Maloney to retire. They are both past retirement age.

When it comes to fundraising, Reshma's hands are magic. She was one of John Kerry's top 10 fundraisers in 2004. I am waiting for John Kerry to endorse her any time now. It is called gratitude.

You want Reshma Saujani to win in New York on September 14 because you want Democrats to win across America in November. That is as good a rationale as any to support Reshma now going onto September 14.

Randi For Reshma
Zuckerberg Has Stature
Reshma 2010, Square, And Pro.Act.Ly

Reshma Saujani At The Huffington Post
An Afternoon At The Reshma 2010 Headquarters
A 14-7 Office For Reshma 2010
My Political Resume, Reshma 2010, And September 14
Reshma Saujani, Carolyn Maloney
My Talk With Kevin Lawler Of Reshma 2010
Reshma 2010 Get Together In Little India
Reshma Saujani Ad Spotted At The New York Times Website
Reshma Saujani, Scott Heiferman, Chris Hughes: TechCrunch Disrupt
Reshma Saujani, Haiti Earthquake, Harvard Yale, And 2016
Reshma Saujani "Gets" Tech
Reshma Saujani: Innovation, Ethnic Pride, Thought Leadership
Do I Know Rajiv Shah?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Reshma 2010: New Office: Party: June 21 Monday

Food and Drinks
Monday, June 21st at 6:30 p.m.
The fifth floor of 143-145 Madison Avenue
(between 31st and 32nd Street)
Office opening party!

"And keep an eye out for our Queens office -- coming soon!"

Randi For Reshma
Zuckerberg Has Stature
Reshma 2010, Square, And Pro.Act.Ly

Reshma Saujani At The Huffington Post
An Afternoon At The Reshma 2010 Headquarters
A 14-7 Office For Reshma 2010
My Political Resume, Reshma 2010, And September 14
Reshma Saujani, Carolyn Maloney
My Talk With Kevin Lawler Of Reshma 2010
Reshma 2010 Get Together In Little India
Reshma Saujani Ad Spotted At The New York Times Website
Reshma Saujani, Scott Heiferman, Chris Hughes: TechCrunch Disrupt
Reshma Saujani, Haiti Earthquake, Harvard Yale, And 2016
Reshma Saujani "Gets" Tech
Reshma Saujani: Innovation, Ethnic Pride, Thought Leadership
Do I Know Rajiv Shah?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bush: Genius? Visionary?

Mujahideen in Asmar, AfghanistanImage via Wikipedia
New York Times: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan: The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan ..... huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium ..... Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys. ..... could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war. ..... Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion. ........ charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House. .... the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country. ..... Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced. ..... officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth ..... mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country ....... In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989. ...... using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country. ...... the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted. ..... iron and copper, and the quantities are large enough to make Afghanistan a major world producer of both
Bush spent over a trillion dollars for his wars. Is this news the guy getting validation after all? The Afghans were just sitting on top of it, and did not even know it.
Enhanced by Zemanta

NextGen Africa Forum @ NYU June 14

Singer Madonna in September 1990 at the AIDS P...Image via Wikipedia
I have been seeing a lot of buzz around this event at NYU this evening. I signed up and I think you should too. Pass it on.

NextGen Africa Forum
Monday, June 14, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)
NYU's Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South
New York, NY

And there is an after party at Amity Hall, proceeds from drinks to go to Goods4Good.

80 West 3rd St

Amity Hall is showing all World Cup games live. That would be one great reason for many people to keep going back there: to celebrate Africa. I love soccer.

Christine Huang: The Huffington Post:NextGen Africa: What's Next for Africa's 50 Million Orphans?
Of the 2.2 billion children that populate the world, 163 million of them are parentless. ..... "It's getting worse," Aronson explained. "The number [of vulnerable children and orphans] is increasing because the number of adults living with AIDS and other diseases is increasing; because of conflict and war... These are all large contributors. But the most important reason is the increase of extreme poverty. This is an issue which has been growing over the decades; the hundreds of millions of people living in poverty is growing daily, and the financial crisis we're living in today is adding to that." ....... Goods for Good, a New York-based nonprofit organization, that partners with international corporations and grassroots organizations to provide school supplies, clothing, health products, and other necessities to orphans and vulnerable children in developing nations. ........ "Children's and women's issues are not given their due in mainstream press -- they're the least interesting topics in the media. And yet they're the most interesting topics -- because the success of the planet is up to them," Aronson said with conviction. "If I were asked, what would be the best bang for you buck in helping the world be a better place to live, I'd say it would be investing in women and their families -- so that all women would have prenatal care, and so their babies are born healthy, and their families could live in a healthy environment."
Dr. Jane Aronson
Joyce Banda
Ann Veneman
Dr. Claire Gaudiani
Melissa Kushner

This event is not going to be easy to attend. I am already going through so many emotions. So many large scale problems grip the continent of Africa. But one has to always make the effort to fall on the side of hope, not despair.

I roam the tech circles in town hoping to contribute to the idea of universal broadband. I am a Third World guy. Africans at college looked so different, but they knew what mud huts were, and we bonded. I was one of Obama's earliest supporters in New York City. 500 years of world history can not be remedied in five years, but the journey has to begin.

On my way to this event I am also reminded of Madonna. I have always liked her. So I was not surprised with her Malawi work.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Iran: The World Has Wasted A Year

The Azadi Tower is the symbol of Tehran, Iran,...Image via Wikipedia
It has been a year since the Iranians have been braving the streets. Their courage is in stark contrast to the Iranian diaspora that has failed to help steer the political goal of the revolution from forcing the mullahs to hold a re-election to pushing the theocracy out of power altogether and turning Iran into a modern democracy, and in stark contrast to the global netroots/grassroots that has been myopic, unreal, shallow, and just plain not pragmatic. And I am not even going to talk about the world leaders and the world governments.

A theocracy and a dictatorship is designed to be unreasonable. If you want to feel the warmth of reason from Tehran, you help the democracy movement. You help the reform movement. But the people who are pissed the mullahs might be sharpening nukes want to act cautious lest they cross those mullahs. That is insane. There is not much logic in that thinking. The world has to help the Iranian democracy movement to the hilt. Talk of moral support sickens me. Turn your Twitter avatar green. You impressed someone else, not me. Because I have been under the impression you are going to start and stop with that. That's not enough. This democracy movement should have been over and concluded by now. This is taking too long. A democracy movement is supposed to last weeks, not months and years. This is unreal. The world has not stood with the people of Iran.

There are two huge reasons for the world at large to get behind the democracy movement in Iran. One, nukes. Two, the larger so called War On Terror. You want Iran to become a democracy because a democracy makes sense. A democratic Iran the world will be able to reason with. And you want the democracy movement in Iran to succeed so that success can be replicated in every other country in that region. I can't wait for democracy movements to erupt in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for example.

I am glad the people in Iran are still going strong. I am sad they have been so let down by the world.

Effort has to be made to shift the goal. Begging the mullahs to hold a re-election will only lead to frustration and possible failure. You give the mullahs a deadline. They step down or you shut the country completely down until they step down and make way for a caretaker government that will hold elections to a constituent assembly. And you announce all human rights violations to that point will be persecuted by the caretaker government. The beatings of protesters and the torture of those detained has to be accounted for. There has to be a price to pay.

And the world has to give logistical support. A democracy movement asks for logistics just like military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan do.

Iran: An Opportunity
Iran: Yes, We Can
How We Have Failed Iran
Dumb White People (DWPs) And Iran
The Fraud In Iran
Iran: This Is What I Am Talking About
The First Major Revolution Of The 21st Century Happened In Nepal

A democracy movement is science: it can be made to work every single time.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Samuel Eto'o

NewPage Bit The Hand That Feeds It And Is Hurting

US-DeptOfCommerce-SealImage via Wikipedia
A robust free trade global and domestic environment is the optimal condition in which a company like NewPage can best flourish. But NewPage did its level best this past year to pour oil into that water and in the process has damaged itself and more than a few players in its industry and especially in its affiliated industries. It is high time for counter arguments and counter measures. A counter balance has to be provided so paper and publishing industries go back to being in a healthy state.

The US economy has always been in a state of change, some major some not so major. A country that elected Abrahan Lincoln was primarily agricultural.

There is a right way to get rid of the competition and there is a wrong way. There is a market way and there is a non market way. The market way is the right way. NewPage has made some shady moves the past year. And now the situation has to be rectified. Common sense has to prevail in September.
Coated-Paper Maker NewPage Withdraws Planned IPO Wall Street Journal NewPage Group Inc. Tuesday pulled its planned initial public offering, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing
NewPage Withdraws Plans For $805 Million IPO Reuters NewPage manufactures coated paper, which is used in corporate reports, brochures, magazine covers and catalogs. The filing did not give a reason for the withdrawal. .... NewPage filed to float shares in May 2008 but never said how many shares it hoped to sell or gave an expected price range, despite two amendments to its initial filing.
Paper Manufacturer NewPage Cancels Plans For IPO BusinessWeek Coated paper manufacturer NewPage Group Inc. withdrew a two-year-old plan for an initial public offering ..... The company, based in Miamisburg, Ohio, makes paper used by the media and in marketing materials such as corporate annual reports and high-end advertising brochures. .... Earlier in May, NewPage said its parent company's first quarter net loss widened to $179 million from $114 million a year ago .... NewPage was formed by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP in 2005 to acquire the printing and writing papers business of MeadWestvaco Corp.
Proposed Paper Tariff Pits Jobs Vs. Costs Hartford Business Journal A U.S. Department of Commerce proposal to impose stiff tariffs on coated free sheet paper imported from China and Indonesia would help save American jobs and allow domestic companies to compete more fairly for business, supporters say. ..... But the plan could launch an international tariff war, warns a Connecticut printer and other opponents, that could backfire and almost certainly would drive up the cost of printing everything from multicolored catalogs, magazines and books to advertising flyers, menus and greeting cards. .... Chinese and Indonesian producers already hold 30 percent of the U.S. market for coated paper. ..... “If this decision holds, which I think it will, it will be a very good one for our industry,” said John Williams, president of the Maine Pulp & Paper Association. ...... Whether they make coated free sheet (CFS) paper or not, U.S. producers will benefit from the ruling because it likely will reduce Asian imports worth more than $269 million and drive up domestic sales, said Williams. ........ But there’s another view. ..... duties will hurt U.S. printers. ...... “Duties in this case will lead to reductions, delays and disruptions to the paper supply that will increase business costs for thousands of U.S. printers and related industries” ...... “It will jeopardize the competitiveness of U.S. printers as higher costs force many publishers to seek cheaper foreign printing solutions or use other media.” ......... The dispute came to a head when three paper companies — New Page Corp., Appleton Coated LLC and Sappi Fine Paper North America, the U.S. arm of South Africa’s Sappi Ltd. — joined the U.S. Steel Workers in filing a joint anti-dumping petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission last year. ........ New Page Corp., the largest paper manufacturer in the U.S. ....... “We haven’t seen any new coated free sheet paper mills in decades.” ....... As part of its preliminary anti-dumping ruling in March, the U.S. Department of Commerce suggested a rate of 135.8 percent on certain CFS paper products imported from China — up from a range of 30.82 percent to 89.71 percent; the agency proposed a single rate of 10.62 percent for all coated paper products imported from Indonesia. ....... That means a Chinese company assessed at 30 percent would pay the U.S. Treasury $300,000 in fees to export $1 million worth of coated paper to the U.S. For companies assessed at 135 percent, the import rate would be $1.35 million for every $1 million sent to the U.S. ...... In a similar case brought by U.S. paper manufacturers in December 2007, the International Trade Commission blocked final duties from going into effect because the domestic paper industry had not been harmed. ...... a final determination expected from the U.S. International Trade Commission in September.
Paper jam hits Cerberus The Daily Deal NewPage, the Cerberus-owned coated paper manufacturer, filed for an $805 million initial public offering two years ago but never got close to market.
(Blog post ad)
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]