Responding to some news articles…


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I’ve read Jeff Bezo’s 10 leadership principles a number of times. Based on the recent news information about how they are dealing with an issue with a publisher I tried to map what Amazon was doing to that particular vendor to the leadership principles. Its ok to have principles, its great to share those principles with the world. But you cannot tell me your actions against the publisher fit in those principles. It is in the end embarrassing. To steal from Chris Carter of ESPN and directed to Mr. Bezos – C’om Man!

The next one is going to get me in trouble but I don’t care anymore. I have listened to Pope Francis calling for a redistribution of wealth. Just like the Amazon issue above I am not impressed. First off, just to be clear if the Catholic Church paid taxes today in just Spain, the government has estimated they would receive from 2 to 3 billion euros per year or more. That is just Spain. The Catholic Church is extremely wealthy. If you have a leadership principle and you express it publicly – then start with yourself. So, I agree with Pope Francis that the world should do more to share the wealth. Dear Pope Francis, start paying taxes or redistribute the wealth of the church. Put your money were your mouth was.

A company is Maine is building Hobbit structures. I can’t say how much that made me smile. Hobbit holes are not like Orc holes (slimy and gross) they are airy, open and well designed. The above ground structures are really cool – they have built a number of unique designs and well like I said it just made me happy that someone was doing that.

Tomorrow is a day to honor those who served and those who gave everything in that service. It is a day to remember the honor of those who lived for freedom around the world and gave their lives against tyranny and oppression. I would love to see the first two organizations I mentioned realize that and think about what they want to achieve in this world.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The healthcare almost nearly debate…


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I always get great emails on the risky blogs. Interestingly enough I also got a comment. Comments seem to be almost dying so its nice on those rare occasions when I get one.

Both sides as expected were represented.

  • Obamacare is going to bankrupt this country. (3 emails)
  • Obamacare moves us closer to where we should be. (5 emails)

My grandfather as I said yesterday always said look for who is making money in a situation. My father always taught me to look carefully at both sides. In high school my debate coach always said “be able and prepared to argue both sides.”

I can’t even begin to argue one side of this issue. I doubt that Obamacare will bankrupt this country because economists have said for the past few years that rising healthcare costs would be an economic weight without or with Obamacare.

I am going to argue dead in the middle of the two sides. (if you can’t argue both sides, defend the middle).

Since the economy is going to take a hit for healthcare costs regardless. It is time to reform the healthcare system of this country. Obamacare is a great start, but its only a start.

  • Remove waste and fraud from various programs.
  • Uniform and consistent charging for procedures, equally for all.
  • Caps on the overall tort components of mal-practice.

The way I am looking at it now, you really can’t say one group or person deserve healthcare more than another. In fact we all deserve the best possible healthcare. So the middle ground is let’s fix what’s broken in the system first. Part of that is provided by the healthcare unification of Obamacare. I am sure even President Obama will say once the initial mess is fixed we need to evaluate what has to happen next.

In the end all I can say is what a mess.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Who is really winning in the healthcare debate?


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There are two things that concern me in the current debate about healthcare in this country. First in a free market economy you have to be willing to pay a premium for higher quality goods. It’s the way free market’s work. I can get cheap, I can get fast, or I can get good. Any two combinations are possible although fast and good are often juxtaposed with each other. (IE Fast and GOOD are the most expensive combination, cheap and good are the slowest).

Today we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and we frankly don’t even appear to be in the top two or three overall healthcare systems. So we are paying for the best and in the end not getting the best.

Which brings me back to something my grandfather always told me. When there is a political debate in America, follow the money. Well he didn’t say it that way, but the point was look to see who is ACTUALLY funding both sides.

Who wins in the healthcare debate of today? Who, as my grandfather actually used to say, benefits the most from either side. We have an expensive healthcare system that has exceptional care on the top end (the richest people in the world come here for treatments) and on the low end its middle of the pack – but still expensive.

Insurance Companies?

Not sure where to in the end place the moving target. It feels like the Tea Party isn’t paying attention to reality. But on the other side the affordable care act only opens the door, there is so much reform that has to happen before its even relevant its scary. You don’t need a broom and a dustpan you need a vacuum with a bag the size of the US.

So who is benefiting from this battle? It isn’t the president. This was his dream and its being used as a political anvil tied around his neck. The tea party isn’t really gaining either as they have hit historic lows for voter confidence. Who in the end is really driving this debate?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow?

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union


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Sometimes its best to let the other guy make the first mistake.

My thoughts on the overall congressional issue we have right now.

  • First off we elected the people in congress. Ok maybe not me, and you, but everyone in the room with you and on the subway and airplane, in the bus or car next to you on the road. We elected them. We’ve complained for the past 3 years that we don’t get what we asked for from congress. its time to vote with our feet.
  • Comprise is the willingness to give up something. It involves having something you can give up in order to achieve your original goal.
  • Communication is a two way street. At this point neither side should be telling the other side anything. They should be listening to what the other side has to say. In order to reach a state where compromise is possible you have to achieve the state of two way communication. Don’t talk at each other, talk to each other.

First off to my friends living in the US that are originally from Europe and point fingers saying “this is a US problem,” it isn’t just a US problem. In fact the EU is struggling with the exact same problems with Greece and Spain having governments that cannot get comprise through. This is a world problem.

So what do we do? Vote the congress that is in office out of office? (the democratic way). That may work – although I suspect term limits (lifetime not consecutive) would probably be a better way to represent the people.

  • In fact I propose we redo our election system.
  • no one can serve more than 12 years in congress.
  • After 12 years in congress they may serve no more than 12 years in the Senate.
  • We could probably do something about governors and mayors as well
  • President is 8 years as mandated by law today
  • No private money may be used for an election. The US Government will take over the concept of elections and once the primaries are over only the XX dollars given to each person in the race may be used. Period. No PACs, no private money. Everyone gets equal footing.

I get that the door I am opening will slam on my foot. Corruptions is easy if you seek power.

We the people in order to form a more perfect union.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Change can be good…


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Interesting reality this morning. There is room in my office for two large office dogs (or LOD’s as they like to be addressed) there is not room in my office for 2 LOD’s and a human. I’ve been asked to move out of their office.

I wonder where I am going to sit in the future.

I’ve been playing with the leap controller and frankly, it is very cool. It works as well as the Kinect does, and is a blast to play with. I find myself painting with my hands for an hour at a time. I probably should be doing other things but I just can’t help it.

I am doing backups today, online and machine. I still have a couple of things to connect in my home office but for the most part I am ready to rock and roll. Plus my office is about 85% organized and you can see the floor. (for my office is clean and you can see the floor for all you star trek original series fans).

I’ve gotten a huge number of emails from friends as I noted yesterday about the whole Steve Balmer things. It really has become Steve Blamer. That isn’t fair to him. The world changed radically during his tenure. I was a loyal MS employee and bought a Zune, but frankly everything I spent on the Zune wasn’t 1/2 of what I could easily spend on an iPOD. And in the end have a much better device.

I believe as I have told everyone who has emailed me that for Microsoft to be relevant they will have to go one of two directions from here. The first is to completely go cloud, but there is already a huge competitor waiting there, and its not like Netscape and the browser wars where you can embed and extend. The new world is all about portability and that will impact both Microsoft and Oracle heavily in the next couple of years.

Change can be a good thing.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Are we a house divided?


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I posted a quote from Abraham Lincoln and a question from me on both twitter and Facebook. I didn’t create a hash tag blip on twitter but I got quite a few responses in both places. Not mind you, that my question was worthy of inclusion with Lincoln’s quote, rather that it seems to me that history is repeating itself right in front of us.

The quote from Lincoln “A house divided upon itself cannot stand” has a lot of intent as well as meaning. In his case Lincoln was trying to launch the healing that are nation needed post the Civil War.  You can argue, and many historians do that Lincoln took too much power from congress into the executive mansion. Desperate times don’t call for uneasy hands at the tiller.

Are we nearing that now? The Congress of the United States is far from United. The Senate chases after issues that aren’t anywhere near what the House is chasing after. We certainly have people on both sides that agree, but we don’t seem right now to have people on either side who are willing to compromise. “I come not” in the words of Mark Anthony “to praise “congress”” rather to…” change it.

Have we become a nation of isolated pockets?

Are we in effect 300 million + Don Quixote’s each tilting at our own individual wind mills? I get that there are distinct problems in our country. Some of which by the way have been here for more than 30 years (read a nation at risk, a report that detailed what was wrong with education 30 years ago). we are sliding in STEM education. We have become the world’s policeman. Not the UN as the policeman, for what that group was originally founded (to be a single unified peacekeeping and educational force in the world).

we have the most expensive healthcare in the world. Please don’t comment on my blog saying “see Obama care is expensive” because the healthcare costs we have today are pre-OBAMACARE. If that program does or doesn’t raise prices is yet to be seen. Our Healthcare is far to expensive, there is waste and inequality, inefficiency in that system as well as simply outright profit taking that has to be stopped somehow.

We spent our way out of the last recession.

We’ve created a nation from those who struggled. We as a nation stand for unity and purpose. We put a human being on the Moon. Its time to change the world again…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Be careful what you ask for…


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When I was in college there was a man who believed enough in his message that he stood outside Ballantine hall @ Indiana University Bloomington and preached to the myriads of college students that walked by. I think he called himself Max. We called him Mad Max because he was angry at college students. we were the spawn of Satan according to him.

The reason I bring him up is an American ideal. We send soldiers, sailors, air force personnel and marines around the world to protect the right of free speech. We pause a day each year at the end of May to honor those who fell in defense of those protected rights.

I believe in that right of free speech.

I also argued against the what I saw at the time to be too broad, to all encompassing Patriot act. The reality of the modern world is that terrorists are going to use social media to communicate. We as a people have to decide what is more important. A broad act that allows the US Federal Government to listen in on social media and review phone logs or freedom of speech.

Many years ago I had a heated argument once with a person I worked with around the Patriot Act. I in the end apologized to the person who argued that the Patriot Act would not impinge of the rights of American Citizens. I wish I could go back in time and rescind my apology. Because in the end that act did in fact impinge on the rights of Americans. It also made the Lady in the Harbor a little sad. You can, if you see up close on video, see some rust under her eyes where she cried.

Look, I am not advocating that we move away from a secure solution. I am simply saying that we changed the parameters when we allowed the Patriot Act to stay in place. They were harsh times after 9/11. Just ask Pandora, once you open the box you can’t close it. We opened that box and now we get to reap those rewards, over and over.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow