Jeffrey Neil Jackson

The Cracks in the Cogency of Corporate Culture

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*Describe the culture here” is a question I like to ask in interviews. Like it or not, most of the places you work will have a culture. I was told once that I should try to fit into the culture where I worked, and my unstated response was that if nepotism and pilfering were the corporate culture, I would just as soon go elsewhere. Looking back upon it, I think that I was supposed to give credit to the solutions I devised to the group. The only problem with that scenario from my perspective was that when it came to the application of any solution, I was the one who would be working overtime, or coming in on my day off. It was strongly in my interest to solve the problems before they arose, if simply to keep from spending my life working overtime addressing problems created by other managers. Keep Reading

America’s Immigration Conundrum – 13 Million is Enough

*We need some major fake news at this point in time. We need to announce that there is a crowd of immigrants marching through the U.S. towards Mexico, and we’re not going to do anything to stop them. In fact, we will feed them and offer them assistance as long as they don’t stay in the U.S. This mob consists of people dissatisfied with their economic prospects, and they have learned that life in Mexico is free from gangs, murderers, and corrupt governments. (We are under no obligation to disabuse them of this belief.) No matter what the Mexican laws are, we, the U.S., do not care, because as long as the crowd doesn’t stay in the U.S., as long as they leave, everything is great. They can march through the U.S. to Mexico unencumbered. In fact, if they want to pick up some U.S. gangsters along the way, that’s good too.

Just what would Mexico do if the situation was reversed? One of the tools of critical thinking (I’m not going to get too Hegelian on you here) is to reverse the situation and see how it looks. Taking the perspective of a different person can expand one’s viewpoint and help understand where someone is coming from, so let’s look at the folks coming north to the (Democrat promised) promised land. Keep Reading

Kavanaugh Hysteria

*On Saturday, October 6, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, but not without controversy. Mr. Kavanaugh faced charges for something that he supposedly did thirty-five years ago. The “star witness” against Mr. Kavanaugh was someone who stereotypically not only sides with, but openly advocates the liberal agenda, a college professor. I’ll just rack that one up to another strange coincidence in life.

Would you like to be denied a job for which you have strived for your whole life because someone claims you did something thirty-five years ago, has virtually no evidence, no corroborating witnesses, and openly dislikes you, bringing up the issue at a last-minute?

While Supreme Court justices are held in high regard, there are other, shall we say, “judiciary figures” with personal “agendas” who are, in my estimation, some of the most despicable authorities in this nation. Keep Reading

The Trifling Take of Truckers

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*The economy of 2018 is booming, according to any indicator you would choose to pick. One of the indicators of a booming economy is the volume of items sold. Most household or business items sold need to get to the household or business of destination, whether transported by the buyer, the seller or a third party. Every time the economy picks up, people buy more things.

While today’s economy has a lot of intangible products such as streaming or downloaded products, there are still a lot of material products being purchased. Material products, be they commodities or finished goods, have to be moved, and the vast majority of times, the material products are moved by a truck. The trucking companies have lots and lots of potential customers, all wanting the company to transport something for them. Every time this economic condition happens, the trucking companies cry out that they cannot get enough drivers.

There’s a national driver shortage, and has been one for a long time. As someone who has extensive experience in the trucking industry, I can safely tell you, there is no driver shortage. Sorry, the driver shortage is another urban legend, conspiracy theory, fake news, whatever description you wish to use to describe something that doesn’t really exist.  Keep Reading

Imparting Inclinations Involving Indentured Servitude

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*You’ve probably not heard of Sondos Al Qattan.  Neither had I, until recently. Sondos Al Qattan is a Kuwaiti beauty blogger, if you hadn’t already guessed. I realize that in the world of political correctness, using the title Miss, Mrs. or something else might be presumptuous of me, so I will just use the name. You can assign a gender as you wish, or, not even use a gender. Let’s not assign genders here, as that is politically incorrect and presumptuous.

I will get straight to what Sondos Al Qattan said in social media regarding new laws passed to help the Filipino housekeepers in Kuwait: “The new laws that have been passed [in Kuwait] are like a pathetic film. For her [domestic worker] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her,” she said in a video in July, adding, “”

Pretty strong stuff. A day off a week, and the ability for the worker to hold in their possession their passport was just too much for Sondos Al Qattan, who had to speak out. Keep Reading

Theoretical Education in a Practical World

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*From the New York Times, May 26, 2018: “Last year the University of Wisconsin at Superior announced that it was suspending nine majors, including sociology and political science, and warned that there might be additional cuts. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point recently proposed dropping 13 majors, including philosophy and English, to make room for programs with “clear career pathways.

It’s about time.

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Policing for Profit – the Abuse of Civil Asset Forefiture

*The seizure of assets, or asset forfeiture, by government agencies (FBI and local police agencies, among others) without proper legal proceedings, has become intolerable. In case after case, government officials confiscate cash that citizens are carrying, and it is up to the citizens to fight to get it back. Essentially, if any police or law enforcement agency finds that you have a lot of cash, they seize the money, under the assumption that it was obtained illegally, whether or not they even charge you with a crime.

Forfeiture - Handcuffs

This behavior of confiscating assets is nothing more than theft, abuse of power, and denial of the rights of citizens. Only an out-of-control police state would do such a thing. Keep Reading

Facebook’s Fickle Finger of Fate

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*Some years ago, there was a comedy show that had as a part of its weekly bits, the “Flying fickle Finger of Fate” award, which went to people in the news who accomplished “dubious achievements.” From The Wall Street Journal, Friday July 27, 2018: “Facebook shares fell 19% to $176.26, erasing about $119.1 billion in market value, after the Menlo Park Calif., company warned late Wednesday about slowing growth. Facebook’s loss in market value Thursday is larger than 457 of the 500 companies in the S&P 500. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg alone lost almost $16 billion in the value of his stock holdings.”

But Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg poses a question during the CEO Summit.

Perhaps Zuckerberg will have to skip the Wadyu steak Friday night, and just have the regular filet mignon. Keep Reading

Big Data & Big Business = Big Bucks

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NICE GUYS FINISH LAST

I’m not in opposition to “big” things. I am, however, fearful of “big” things going bad. Hedge funds losing billions of dollars (Knight Capital) and having the stones to ask for their money back. Brian Hunter of Aramanth losing $6 billion. Big moves can lead to big mistakes. Torch Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world, where catching fire on a regular basis is the norm. The Titanic, which was the biggest ocean liner in the world, within a short period of time, became the biggest ocean liner at the bottom of the Atlantic.

Make no mistake about it; we are in the era of Big Data. Data collected on every click you make, every time you press a key on your keyboard.  Insight, pattern recognition and projection, all aspects of human intelligence, are being performed by machines that may or may not be making the best of judgments.

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Documenting and Detailing the Discrimination Against the Decrepit

*For those of us who have taken marketing coursework, we know that one of the most important aspects of any marketing plan is to identify your target market. If you aim at the wrong target, you will surely fail to achieve your goal. In my career, I have sold, excuse me marketed, over a million dollars’ worth of merchandise, to various target markets. One of my hard-learned fundamental precepts of marketing is that you should never try to market something that you wouldn’t purchase yourself.  I have done marketing research as well, and it was so good that students in the next class copied my research design, almost to the letter. You will always know the value of your work by who copies it, steals it, or clams that it is their own. While I wasn’t necessarily offended by their behavior, I resented that the professor approved and encouraged it. He probably didn’t even use my name when describing the design.

When recruiting potential employees, you are essentially selling the company to a postulant. But if no one was aware that a company or organization was looking for employees, the number of candidates would be limited. Selling is marketing, and marketing is selling.

My favorite marketing joke is:

Do you know what they call a salesman who can’t sell anything?

The director of marketing.”

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The Federal Fracas

*Recently, someone advocated the dissolution of the federal government of the United States, insisting that the states could manage themselves. It also suggested that the federal government has usurped power and taken away the rights of states. Let’s consider a few things.

There is no doubt that the federal government has become what Jefferson didn’t want, and that was a tyrannical central government, much akin to the monarchies and aristocracies of Europe. Unfortunately, I will accede that this has been the case, and I have never denied what my constitutional law professor claimed, that almost every decision by the Supreme Court has gone the way of the federal government.

Supreme Court - Federal Fracas

When in doubt, the federal government always wins, for the most part. The most egregious ruling was Gonzales v. Raich, which ruled that growing marijuana in one’s backyard for medical use was a federal issue. Sandra Day O’Connor bravely stated that it was not, but hers was the dissenting opinion.
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An Imperfect Preference for Perfect Postulants

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*I recently read on a website a hiring manager who discarded the application of any applicant who had less than a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). This manager was quite proud of this fact. So let’s take a look at some of the critical qualifications of hiring and compare some of the good points and bad points. Included are some other characteristics that might on the surface demonstrate great qualities, but there might be some other considerations.

This reminds me of a person that I spoke with once who had a particular motorcycle that had a great reputation as a race bike. The person who had owned this motorcycle said that it was a great bike, but if you weren’t a very experienced rider, it was a nightmare, because it only performed well at very high speeds, and if you weren’t capable of holding the throttle wide open and slamming it around, it would torture you. The bike was essentially a production model of the bike that had won the world championship the year before. If you were world champion class rider, it was good for you; if you weren’t a world champion rider, it would punish you.

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Sunny Balwani – Pecunious, Punctilious, and Prosecuted

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*Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was the president and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of a company named Theranos for seven years. The founder of Theranos was Elizabeth Holmes, whose life goal was to be a Silicon Valley billionaire. The unfolding of the story is rather sad, a story whose path was not unlike the fictional character Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” theme. Theranos’s business concept was a great idea, and should a company such as one like Theranos actually work, it would change a lot of how we view medicine, but the concept and reality never actualized.
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The Cryptocurrency Conspiracy Continues

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*As it was once said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  Bitcoin has been joined by 1,450 digital coin offerings. I have never been happy with the term “coin” since we associate coins with metal objects we can hold in our hands, except for maybe the island of Yap that has stone coins.

I think they attempt to assuage people by using the term “coin” so that the chumps who invest in them really think that there is, somewhere, something that they can put in their pocket and stroll down to the local drug store and by a soda.

Bitcoin closed Friday May 18, 2018 at $8,487.61, in case you’re interested. Tulips were once very valuable, too (look that up in your history books).

Let me say I have no animosity for those who invest in Bitcoin. If you make a fortune, good for you, and make sure and thank the Winklevoss twins, who dreamed up Facebook and any other moneymaking investment that might have a sketchy, hard to nail down origin.

I think they slept through their ethics classes at Harvard; the only thing they learned was “once you have it, no one really cares how you got it” which was certainly true of I.G. Farben along with the International Bank of Settlements during the 1940s, or Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.

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Software’s Sorry Sycophants

*I’m so fascinated by all of the new colloquialisms, and l especially the “early adopter.”  As far as new, at least in America, we love new stuff, and old stuff is left to collectors. By the way, the prices of antiques are going down sharply. It seems the new young people have little interest in old stuff, the prized antiques of yesteryear. That antique table and chair might be better on the auction block real soon, as I do not see young people praising old stuff.

You might be able to get money from things like old baseball cards and comic books, but as America’s national pastime loses followers, (baseball is losing audience and the major league is deliberating how to change the game to attract more followers)  and fewer and fewer young people read printed material of any kind, I would bet that even your prized baseball cards and comic books are going to lose value soon. Keep Reading

Conflicting Cultures – Righteous Capitalism

*Recently, someone in academia (no point in revealing the exact location) was criticizing the West for destroying Middle Eastern and other cultures. Academically, this instructor was teaching of the “evils” of the West, and how Middle Eastern cultures were suffering and being erased. The instructor used imperialism as the model.

The imperialists overtook the foreign lands and exploited their resources and their citizens, making the lands colonies. The colonies surrendered their wealth to the imperialists who got fat and enjoyed the bounty of the land. The indigenous people of the colonies worked hard to make the lives of the imperialists easy and prosperous. The great thing about academics is that if one theory works, it can probably explain other events, and if that theory fits your personal ideology and position, all the better.

Imperialists considered themselves monarchs who achieved their positions via merit, when in fact their rewards were simply fate, being born to certain people in certain places.
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The “Bigger is Better” Deception

*One of my favorite questions is what is the largest machine on earth, and one of the best answers is the North American power grid. Spanning thousands of miles and connected to millions of people, the North American power grid is not only a gigantic machine, it has enormous influence on all of our lives, save for those of you who are receiving your internet over an independent satellite and using wind power to generate the electricity needed to power your computer, so that means less than 1% of you aren’t dependent in some way.

If you think that isn’t important, Google “Russians hacking the U.S. power grid” and read the articles just this year (2018) on how many times and how many ways the Russians are seeking to destroy our infrastructure.  Of course, to the Democrats and mainstream media, trying to remove the current president from office supersedes any efforts to protect our critical infrastructure such as our power supply or information systems; after all, one has to have their priorities.

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Brilliant Blundering Billionaires

*Mark Zuckerberg addressing the Y Combinator Startup School at Stanford University: “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” he stated, adding that successful start-ups should only employ young people with technical expertise.

(Zuckerberg also apparently missed the class on employment and discrimination law.) “Young people are just smarter,” he said, with a straight face, according to VentureBeat. “Why are most chess masters under 30?” he asked. “I don’t know…Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family.” (Margret Kane March 28, 2007 www.cnet.com)

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Contemporary Colonization

Make no mistake; this is colonization under the guise of immigration.

You enter the country without permission, disrespecting the laws of that country. You settle in and establish your culture, ignoring the native culture. You don’t speak the language, and make little effort to learn the language.

You even fly the flag of your home country, instead of the flag of the country where you reside. You take advantage of the already built industries as well as the infrastructure. If fact, you stress the wealth of the country that you have taken over. You have no intention of adopting the language, and you exploit the economy, as well as the infrastructure, to your advantage.

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Pre-employment Predictors of Prejudice

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*When you look at job descriptions, many times there are phrases and descriptions of prejudice that, apparently, are not recognized as prejudiced. Diversity is more than ethnicity, race or gender, but I will leave it to you to determine what other factors should be considered. But don’t take my word for it; the U.S. Congress said so in 1967, when the Gen-Xers and Millennials were just a gleam in their parents’ eyes.

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