Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Your tax dollars at

Hat tip to the Ace Of Spades HQ.

Is this what passes for learning to embrace new media? Or does this mean we are no longer "... ferocious in battle ... magnanimous in victory.."

You can find the post here, under "additional issues" on THE OFFICIAL White House web site.

President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.

President Obama swiftly responded to Hurricane Katrina. Citing the Bush Administration's "unconscionable ineptitude" in responding to Hurricane Katrina, then-Senator Obama introduced legislation requiring disaster planners to take into account the specific needs of low-income hurricane victims. Obama visited thousands of Hurricane survivors in the Houston Convention Center and later took three more trips to the region. He worked with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to introduce legislation to address the immediate income, employment, business, and housing needs of Gulf Coast communities.

President Barack Obama will partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Follow up to the Dear John Letter

This is one of those days where I have hope that the Army is beginning to understand how important it is to get the message out early and often.

Here's what showed up on You Tube;

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The entire USA will start receiving digital TV next month ... maybe.

I remember being in Kindergarten in 1968 and being told we had to start learning the metric system because the entire United States was going to "go metric" within 10 years.

Well, we got the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, but we didn't get complete conversion.

Now that it's time to make the switch to digital TV; some folks are a little outside their comfort zone, but say they want to delay because of the "most vulnerable Americans".

We are supposed to switch over by Feb. 17, according to, which has this blurb:

On February 17, 2009 all full-power broadcast television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital. Digital broadcasting will allow stations to offer improved picture and sound quality and additional channels.

Sounds to me like we are still miles away ... which is 1.609344 times further away in kilometers.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Army sends thousands of John Doe letters

This letter just showed up on the "Army Long Term Family Case Management Web Site"

Apparently several thousand letters were sent to advise family members of organizations that want to offer gifts to Families of Soldiers who have died in OEF/OIF. Because of a terrible oversight, many of these letters were addressed to "John Doe". In addition to the web posting below, every survivor is getting an apology letter. The unofficial story is that the printer didn't send a proof letter back to the Army before sending out the letters to survivors.

But the Army is doing the right thing: you don't blame the printer (at least not in public, but you can bet someone is catchin' heck right now). You step up, admit the mistake and make amends as best you can.

You can never make this okay ... you can keep it from becoming a disaster by doing what is right by the people who have been hurt.

We recently mailed you a letter sharing information about organizations offering gifts and services to Survivors of Soldiers killed in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. This letter contained an unfortunate error in the salutation, addressing every Survivor as "John Doe."

There are no words to adequately apologize for this mistake or the hurt it may have caused you and your Family. Every Family affected by this error will receive a personal letter of apology. Moreover, I am working diligently to ensure this type of error does not occur again.

On behalf of the entire Army, please accept my personal apology for this unintentional error and any discomfort it may have caused. My staff remains dedicated to helping you and will be available at our toll-free number, 866-272-5841, if you should have any questions or concerns.

Reuben D. Jones
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
The Adjutant General

Taking Chance

Please check out the trailer for this HBO special, called “Taking Chance” where Kevin Bacon plays a Marine LTC escorting the remains of a young PFC back to his home.

I am currently trying to see if the AFN Broadcast Center can get this for AFN to air overseas.

Thanks to BlackFive for the post!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Gen Y at work

Something interesting I found over at YPulse: Youth marketing to teens, tweens & Generation Y (Gen Y).

Anastasia Goodstein - Ypulse founder - writes about whether it's a good thing to segregate Gen Y employees into homogeneous groups as a way to spark innovation.

She makes a good point: there's a larger problem of re-invigorating the workplace; it's good for everyone, not just the younger employees.

But I wonder whether either option -- innovation groups separated or not separated by age -- solves the real problem. Is it age that's the real barrier to innovation, especially in a economical downturn?

In many cases in the military, the lack of innovation isn't really because of a true lack of ideas -- even across generations. It's not even -- believe it or not -- mostly due to our hierarchical structure in the military. Our young people are not intimidated from coming up with good ideas on their own.

Innovation is like many other behaviors: you get more of what you subsidize.

Our problem is mainly a lack of resources. We have the ideas; we just don't have the time, people or money to implement them. We are rarely allowed to drop one task to become innovative with another. And because we are not a "for-profit" organization, we find it especially difficult to "prove" a new idea works. Innovation generally requires we invest a significant amount of time outside the "normal" day, and with little or no support.

I am often amused when we are challenged to "think outside the box" or to "embrace Web 2.0 as much as the terrorists have".

Well, the problem is that the terrorists don't have to wade through 6 months of paperwork to get permission to access YouTube from their work computers.