Wednesday April 1, 2020

Word Of Mouth

Rumor and word of mouth can be deadly.  It is in this case where people are drinking methanol to ward off COVID-19.  Methanol is poison, but some Iranians seem to think it is a cure-all.  The government is warning its citizens of the mistake but so far, some are not complying and they are ending […]

Blunt But Credible

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is known as a bully.  He talks and acts the tough guy, and he picks fights with fellow politicians.  That is why this is so remarkable.  He has emerged as a leading voice in the fight against COVID-19 with his no-nonsense daily press conferences.  He gives the numbers of affected […]

Mixed Messages

It is no secret that President Trump and Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert, don’t see eye-to-eye.  Trump will make an optimistic statement and Fauci will roll it back.  The rumor is that Trump is frustrated with Fauci and would like to get rid of him.  That would eliminate the mixed messages coming from the […]

New Norm

Great events can shift popular opinion and habits almost instantaneously.  That is the case with COVID-19.  There is now “quarantine shaming” directed at those who are not taking care to stay away from gatherings.  Two weeks ago, no one would have thought much about it, if at all.  To have such an overwhelming change of […]


If a CEO is thinking of bending or breaking regulatory rules, he should think about this.  Volkswagen has already paid out $34.69 billion as a result of its diesel cheating.  That’s billions that didn’t go to R&D, to maintenance , to shareholders, to development of new models.  The company won’t soon forget what it had […]


What happens when your engineering team is shafted by the President?  Google is finding out.  President Trump announced nationally that Google’s subsidiary, Verily, had built a web site through which COVID-19 patients could find out where to get tested.  There is only one problem.  There is no public web site — not yet anyway — […]

Hunkering Down

Today is the first day of working from home with no end in sight — not yet anyway.  Dozens of new cases of COVID-19 have been reported and schools, restaurants, theaters and other places where crowds gather have been shut down.  Major cities have seen their central districts abandoned.  People are afraid.  As one medical […]

Old But New

Hormel, the maker of Spam, has had an 80-year challenge marketing its product.  It seems that troops in World War II were fed spiced canned meat that they mistook for Spam, and they hated it.  They brought the distaste home with them.  Hormel, meanwhile, recognizing the problem created a national publicity stunt with 80 World […]

Ad Hominem, Cont.

I’ve written here before about President Trump’s use of ad hominem invective against opponents.  He gives derogatory nicknames to them and implies or says outright that they aren’t effective. He’s at it again with the suggestion that Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden is senile.  There is just enough possible truth to the charge to make […]

Marketing Fraud

Cell phone carriers are engaged in marketing fraud as an industry.  Every company says it offers 5G speeds when they clearly don’t or are barely adequate.  Regulators so far are letting them get away with it.  Is it any wonder that consumers are wary of the claims?  It is caveat emptor for the next few […]