Friday, December 30, 2011

Ode to Adgitize - Goodbye my friend, goodbye

On Tuesday, Ken Brown announced that Adgitize is abruptly closing on January 1st 2012. After three continuous years of service, this World Class Advertising network is calling it quits.  Unfortunately, the costs to operate the service exceed the revenues generated. And, with a 3 year IRS rule that requires small companies to earn a profit else lose the ability to deduct its losses, Adgitize like many, is forced to close.

Compounding the problem is that the Adgitize network required a 24 by 7 support effort. Its owner, Ken seemed to never sleep. He was there to help everyone open an account, approve the ads, answer questions, collect and forward payments and more.  (His wife was probably ready to divorce him).

Yet Adgitize was a great service for all of us bloggers. It brought many of us together and forged many friendships. Being required to click on 51 or 100 blogs a day, many of us became regular visitors of other blogs. We looked forward to reading new articles and watching them grow.

Being awarded points for publishing an article forced most of us to write new posts daily. We learned how to think of new topics, and write concise and interesting articles on short notice.

We are going to miss the organization that Adgitize brought to our blogging lives. There is my:

Ode to Adgitize

There will be No more:
Member's Lounge,
Preferred Publishers,
Conversations in the Forum.

We'll miss:
Daily Earnings
Clicks Earned Today
Page Views Today
Ad Views Earned Today.

And Gone are:
Total Points Earned This Month,
Blogs Not Clicked Today.
and More.

But most importantly,
we lose the
Adgitize Portal
Ken Brown Administrator.

Although I've only achieved 
Mentor status in the Forum, 
I'm sure the Marketing Masters,
Teachers, Scouts, Tenderfoots, and Students,
will all miss the Forum.

While you may may gone,
You will never be forgotten.
They say the good die young
and we will continue to make you proud.

So until we meet again, 
Goodbye my friend,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Here Comes Santa Clause

All across the globe, children are eagerly awaiting Santa's flight from the North Pole. Dreams of toys, presents, and games are filling their thoughts. Dolls and clothes, iPods and more are filling their dreams. Wagons and bikes, tractors and trucks, books and videos, ho ho ho.

Grown-ups alike are secretly praying that Santa surprises, a car, a tie, a dress, a necklace, perhaps.

From North to South and East to West, all eyes will be on the skies. Looking for the glitter, the twinkle, or blur that marks Santa's invisible dash of a magical flight.

Let all be well from here to yon. But most importantly, let good health be sprinkled on all. 

Ho ho ho.

Merry Christmas to all
to all
a good night!

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Welcome Home" soldiers and thank-you! - It's the best Christmas present ever: The Iraq War is over and the troops are coming home.

Thousands of our dedicated service men, women, and their families are receiving the best Christmas present ever.

The Iraq War is over and our soldiers are coming home!

Congratulations to all of you who have fought so hard and risked your lives so that we can be free.

Thank you for your selfish sacrifices and time you lost.
Thank you for protecting us and helping to establish freedom in a far off land.

Thank you to the lives you lost and the wounds you suffered.

Let us celebrate this Holiday Season, knowing that your job is done and you will be home for good. Back with your families and back with your friends.

As one old soldier, I salute you all and Welcome You Home.

Merry Christmas to All!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Unemployment History from January 2001 to November 2011 contradicts Obama's slowest job growth remarks

In his speech in Osawatomie last Tuesday, President Obama told the audience that tax cuts in early 2000 led to slow job growth:

Remember in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history. And what did it get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the basic security that helped millions of Americans reach and stay in the middle class -- things like education and infrastructure, science and technology, Medicare and Social Security. (Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas)

However, my recollection of those years is one of lower unemployment and economic prosperity for most of us in the middle class. I wasn't sure if I was correct, so I visited the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found the following graph:

This shows the unemployment rate from January 2001 through November 2011. As shown, the unemployment rate increased from 4.2% in January 2001 to a peak of 6.3% in June 2003. Then it declined to 4.4% in May 2007. It rose modestly to 4.8% in February 2008 when President Obama took office.

After this new administration took control, the unemployment rate more than doubled. The unemployment rate hit a peak of 10.1% in October 2009 and has since fallen to 8.6% in November 2011.

So my memory was correct. Since Congress passed the two tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, the economy picked up again. More people were employed and the job growth increased until 2008.

Reading President Obama's statement again, I realized the distortion in his words:

Remember in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history. And what did it get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. 

His message is misleading because it implies that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts led directly to a period of slow job growth. This is false. As we can see, the tax cuts were followed by 5 years of job growth and lower unemployment.

It wasn't until 2008 when Obama took office that unemployment climbed and America began experiencing a 3 year period of slow and stagnant job growth.

Semantically and factually though, the President's comment is indeed truthful because:
  • we are experiencing the slowest job growth in half a century, and
  • it is after the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
However, his conclusion "And what did it get us?" is factually incorrect and misleading. To be more accurate, President Obama should have concluded:

The slowest job growth in half a century after I took office!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sorry, but the White House is not the People's House

I am often amused when I read that the First Family and their employees have renamed the White House to the "People's House".

For example, in her remarks at a Country Music Student Workshop, Mrs. Obama stated:

"Well, we are excited to have you all here.  We’ve invited you here because I want to make sure that the White House lives up to the name “The People’s House.”  That’s what everybody calls it, what we call it".

And, Megan Slack wrote in the White House blog article From the Archives: Holidays at the White House:

"The holidays are a special time at the White House. The President and First Lady have made it their mission to open the “People’s House” to as many Americans as possible, and this is never more true than around the holidays".

Finally I wondered: What exactly is the "People's House"?

After doing a bit of web research, I discovered that the term "People's House" is actually the name of the palace that the Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu built for himself and his wife as he "drove Romania from a state of relative economic well-being to near starvation". According to The People's Palace: Ceausescu's Lasting, Loathed Legacy:

"Ceausescu achieved the idea for 'The People's House' after a visit to North Korea's Kim II-sung in 1972. The 'People's House' would be the largest, most lavish palace in the world and would hold all the functions of his socialist state, as well as serve as a handsome residence for he and his wife".

The History Guide's page Nicolae Ceausescu, 1918-1989 describes Ceausescu reign:

"While following an independent policy in foreign relations, Ceausescu adhered ever more closely to the communist orthodoxy of centralized administration at home. His secret police maintained rigid controls over free speech and the media and tolerated no internal dissent or opposition. In an effort to pay off the large foreign debt that his government had accumulated through its mismanaged industrial ventures in the 1970s, Ceausescu in 1982 ordered the export of much of the country's agricultural and industrial production. The resulting drastic shortages of food, fuel, energy, medicines, and other basic necessities ... "

Reading the above, one might begin to compare the Presidency of Barack Obama and that of Ceausescu. Both have created their own independent foreign policies, controlled the media, and accumulated massive debts. Obama is exporting much of our industrial production to China.  His proposed "American Jobs Act" imposes massive taxes on the oil industry which may increase our dependence on foreign oil, and Obamacare may lead to shortages in medicines and medical care.

So, perhaps the Obama references to our endeared White House as the "People's House" is a foreshadow of things to come in America.

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