Who Owns This Business?

 

A Small Insertion into a Recent Defense Bill Could Yield Important Results.

The midweek post on this blog most often addresses questions of science and technology. This week we are taking a slight detour to examine questions around ownership of companies in the modern economy.  In an era in which income inequality is an increasingly front and center issue, the idea of employee ownership has appeal.

This is not to claim that employee ownership is always a winning formula. A successful company still needs management. A business run like a New England town meeting is unlikely to survive in a tough competitive environment for long.

Communities – Not the Nation, Not Individuals – Might be the Answer

 

We are pretty good at staying mad at each other. Might the mid-level of human interaction offer a break in the pattern of constant conflict?

Some years ago, many political scientists lamented the truism made famous by Tip O’Neal that “all politics is local.” The concern was that this condition prevented the operation of true national parties with unified agendas. The spread from left to right was so wide within each party as to make the concept of true national parties inoperative.

Be careful what you wish for.

Let Me Tell You a Story….

Story Telling as High Culture and Community Connector.

 

Most of us have good childhood memories that begin with the phrase “tell me a story.” Stories are some of the earliest connections we have with those we love. They can fire our imagination, touch our emotions, teach us valuable lessons.

That is only the beginning. Stories are also how we pass down culture and history. In some cultures, this is the primary means for passing along what is important. Story tellers are honored people, with foundational roles in society.

You may be forgiven for thinking this is no longer the case in America.

I Visited a Food Bank. I Loved it. I Hated It.

 

Hunger in America is rampant. Why the Hell Do We Allow This?

 

This past weekend, I invested some time with our local foodbank. It is in every sense a model operation, rightly cited as one of the best in America. The talented people who work there are dedicated beyond measure. The operation is a model of efficiency and effectiveness. They are both efficient and humane. (Manna Food Bank, https://www.mannafoodbank.org)

They have over 200 partner organizations. Manna serves thousands of meals a day in over a dozen counties,

Night Owls, Early Birds, and Variations Thereof

 

When do YOU Do Your Best Work?

We all know the stereotypes. Heck, most of us ARE the stereotypes.

Night Owls tend to get their second wind about the time most people are going to bed. Around midnight or so, these people hit their stride in productivity or creativity. They tend not to be especially happy to be awake (sort of) to attend a breakfast meeting.

Early Birds are the opposite, of course. They like to rise before the sun. The US Army had a slogan in its advertising some years ago wherein a soldier says,

“LISTEN TO ME WHEN I AM TALKING TO YOU.”

 

A New Standard of Citizen Action is Emerging. Should We Be Conflicted?

The Supreme Court nomination hearings of last Thursday and Friday were long on drama. I felt as though I was watching a combination of The West Wing and the whole Watergate saga, all rolled into one. It was a period of exceptional highs and lows for about everyone who gave a damn, on both sides of the nomination. Hang on – more to come. Much more.

The most powerful moment was when two young women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher,

“I Don’t Watch TV.” Too Bad – You are Missing Out

This is Not Your Parents TV.

Surprise! This Might be a Golden Age for TV.

I have friends who proudly proclaim they watch no TV. Some even make a point of saying they do not own one. On the one hand, I can understand that. There is a lot of junk on TV. There always has been. But there are also amazing feats of programing going on today. My biggest problem is not avoiding the junk. The problem is catching, or even knowing about, all the good stuff that is out there.

If we are going to talk about this,

A Simple Thing is the Undoing of the Republicans

“What Goes Around, Comes Around” has a certain ring to it

 

“Politics is not beanbag” is a well-known truism. It can be a tough business. Political parties will go to great lengths to win. The histories of both major parties are full of abuse of power and unfair or illegal acts to gain advantage. Gerrymandering was not invented yesterday.

Yet, today’s Republican party has crossed too many lines for most Americans. Process and protocols are pretty simple, yet their importance is significant. When “anything goes” is the norm,

Mel Brooks and the Ten Commandments

 

What if 10 was Not the Right Number of Commandments?

 

It’s Friday; let’s relax a little today and have some fun. If anyone reading this may have thought I am a sophisticated person, allow me to put that to rest now. Mel Brooks is one of my favorite funny guys. I love his stuff.

One of my all time  favorite Mel Brooks scenes is from his film History of the World, Part I. Check out the film clip for a reminder of the Brooks genre. 

What’s for Dinner? Funny You Should Ask…

 

How We Classify Our Food Is Important – And Getting More Complicated

I bet that a lot of people reading this make many of the same choices to eat better. Me, too. Eating better might involve health, environmental sustainment, morality.

For most on that long march, two guideposts are organic food (when we can find it and afford it) and less meat, if any. I ran across a couple of recent stories that show (A) Some people are working hard and creatively to help us do all that.