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Government Integrity Rests Upon Following Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Private Server

Founding teachings of a democracy has brought about the viability of a republic

The historical viewpoint leading to the creation of republics: that is, representative democracies in which the people are ultimately in charge (because no one has more at stake than everyone does) but not immediately in charge (because someone must have time, knowledge, and experience to govern well on the daily pressing matters of state), fosters recognition that some people lack the education or the opportunity to be provided with the wealth and leisure to be educated in postmodernism.

A current reminder that “the many” might be considered unfit to have complete charge of a political community and should -at most- be trusted with a partial role in governing.  And, with “the many” being checked by their “better elected officials” and -in turn- the elected class being checked by “the many.”

Pushing aside personal theories and intellects, the spiritual component of me finds it difficult to break away from the perspective that all people are equal, that all people hold natural rights, and that each man is bound to be governed by self-consent.

To the very contrary, with theories and intellects at the foremost, no one should be trusted with the sum total of political power.

Capital Image

Observing public detachment from a moralized public figure.

What’s interesting is how, for many, a brand of logic has been used to rationalize ignoring former Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Clinton’s, email investigation. Because multiple investigations have taken so long, many people believe that nothing of real sustenance has been found, or simply that Ms. Clinton is too powerful to face any serious repercussions. Any attempt to warn people that Ms. Clinton could realistically face criminal indictments is viewed either as a Republican scare tactic or just simple lunacy.

Yet, every American embassy, there are diplomatic Marine guards that worked under Hillary Clinton, each with standing orders to protect the classified information that’s inside those embassies, warrants concern on, if, how, and why, Mr. Clinton may have giving such information away, by mere negligence or by choice, requires full explanation.

HRC

Hil-Lie-Ary

Factual Background

Former Secretary Clinton Used a Private Server and Email Account to Conduct Her and Select Aids’ Official Government Business

On March 2, 2015, the New York Times reported that Ms. Hillary Clinton, while serving as Secretary of State, exclusively used a private email account to conduct government business and that neither she nor her aides took actions to have those emails preserved in the State Department’s official recordkeeping system at the time.[i]  Through a press conference and a written statement issued on March 10, 2015, Ms. Clinton responded to that report in which she denied any wrongdoing but did admit to using a private email account housed on a private server over which she maintained exclusive control.[ii]

Via hand delivery, law firm cdMillsGroup, attorney Ms. Cheryl Mills, for Ms. Clinton claimed to have turned over printed copies of all of her work-related emails to the State Department on December 5, 2014[iii] (a full 22 months after she resigned from office).

According to Ms. Clinton’s written statement 30,490 emails “sent and received by Secretary Clinton from March 18, 2009 to February 1, 2013” for a total of 55,000 printed pages was produced to the State Department.[iv]  Ms. Clinton went on to claim that approximately 90 percent of her emails were captured by the State Department’s record-keeping system because “they were sent to or received by ‘state.gov’ accounts.”[v]

In Ms. Clinton’s oral statements, she acknowledged that these emails had been deleted from her personal server.[vi]  In a following letter written on March 27, 2015 to Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Ms. Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, explained that Ms. Clinton had deleted all of her emails from her tenure as Secretary of State such that “no e-mails from hdr22@clintonemail.com reside on the server or on any back-up systems associated with the server.”[vii]

NRA Did Not Authorize Former Secretary Clinton To Store Record Emails on a Private Server

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the federal agency in charge of overseeing federal records management, wrote to the State Department on March 3, 2015 expressing its concern that “Federal records may have been alienated from the Department of State’s official recordkeeping system” and asking, pursuant to its statutory authority, that the State Department submit a report within 30 days detailing “how these records were managed and the current status of these records.”[viii]

That letter clearly reveals that NARA had not given Ms. Clinton or the State Department permission to house or archive her official email records on a private server.  Federal statutes and regulations define the term “alienation” in terms of “allowing a record to leave the custody of a Federal agency without the permission of the Archivist of the United States.”[ix]

The State Department responded to NARA on April 2, 2015.[x] The two-page report and the accompanying exhibits highlights the State Department’s policies regarding the creation and retention of email records and explained that the State Department was aware that former Secretary Clinton had used a “non-government” email account during her tenure, although the report did not indicate by what authority or authorization. The report also noted that on October 28, 2014 the State Department had requested Ms. Clinton and the precluding former Secretaries of State to supply the State Department with copies of any federal records in their possessions, including “emails sent or received on a personal email account.”[xi]  The report admitted that when it made this request, “the degree to which [Ms. Clinton’s email] records were captured in the Department’s systems was unknown.”[xii]

The State Department Sought Former Secretary Clinton’s Emails Upon Realizing It Could Not Respond fully to Document Requests from the House Select Committee on Benghazi

Reports and documents released to the public offer a very cloudy picture as to who knew of Ms. Clinton’s use of a private email system and when and during what time such person was a wear of this account. A March 23, 2015 New York Times article proposes that some State Department recordkeeping officials were not aware of Ms. Clinton’s use of a private email account until sometime after her resignation.[xiii]  As that news report explains, the reason the State Department approached Ms. Clinton at the end of October 2014 to request her email records was because officials realized that Ms. Clinton was using an outside email address for her official correspondence only after they attempted to respond to document requests from the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

On March 4, 2015, two days after the New York Times initial report, the House Select Committee on Benghazi realized that it may not have received all available State Department records relating to Benghazi issued a subpoena to Ms. Clinton for all documents, including email communications, in her possession related to Libya and the terrorist attack.[xiv]

On March 19, 2015, Chairman Gowdy of the Select Committee on Benghazi wrote to Ms. Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, to grant his request for an extension of time to respond to the March 4, 2015 subpoena. [xv]  At the same time, he requested that Ms. Clinton “relinquish her server to a neutral, detached, and independent third-party, such as the Inspector General for the State Department, for review and an independent accounting of any records contained on the server, including a determination of which documents in the Secretary’s possession belong to the State Department and which are private.”[xvi]

The justification for such a request centered on the way Ms. Clinton had concealed knowledge of the emails and her use of a private server and email account both during and after her tenure as Secretary of State.

As Chairman Gowdy explained, in response to the Select Committee’s initial request to the State Department for all relevant documents relating to their investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack, the State Department delivered approximately 15,000 pages of documents in August 2014. Included among these documents were only eight emails to or from former Secretary Clinton. These few emails revealed that Ms. Clinton was using a private email address for her official work, which was the first time the Select Committee became aware of the practice.

Given the small number of emails to or from Ms. Clinton, the Select Committee submitted two new requests for relevant documents and communications “authored by, sent to, or received by former Secretary of State Clinton,” one on November 18, 2014 to the State Department and the other on December 2, 2014 to Ms. Clinton through her lawyer, Mr. Kendall[xvii].

Mr. Kendall made no document production on Ms. Clinton’s behalf but simply referred the Select Committee’s letter to the State Department, stating that it was the State Department who was “in a position to produce any responsive documents.” There was no mention at this time that Ms. Clinton’s work-related emails were stored on her own private server and not in the State Department’s recordkeeping system.

In response to the November 18, 2014 and December 2, 2014 document requests, the State Department delivered 847 pages (representing about 300 of Ms. Clinton’s emails) on February 13, 2015. However, the only reason the State Department was able to produce these documents, was because of the email records that Ms. Clinton had produced to the State Department on December 5, 2014, proof that neither Ms. Clinton nor the State Department had preserved her email records (whether in paper or electronic form) in the State Department recordkeeping system either during or for the almost two years after her tenure as Secretary of State.[xviii]

Not until after the February 13, 2015 was Chairman Gowdy aware that the State Department revealed for the first time, in a meeting with the Select Committee held on February 27, 2015, that Ms. Clinton exclusively used a private email account throughout the entirety of her tenure as Secretary of State.[xix] The State Department, however, never revealed that Ms. Clinton retained exclusive control over her work-related emails both during and after her tenure, that Ms. Clinton only returned the paper copies of these emails after request from the State Department, or that the State Department’s request to Ms. Clinton was precipitated by the Select Committee’s document requests. Thus, it was only when the Select Committee learned the full story from the March 2, 2015 New York Times story that it then issued its March 4, 2015 subpoena.

The Select Committee has revealed that several State Department officials, other than Ms. Clinton, as well as non-State Department individuals with whom Ms. Clinton interacted in furtherance of her official duties, also used private email accounts to communicate with Ms. Clinton about official business.[xx]  According to Chairman Gowdy, “[s]ince the Secretary used exclusively personal email, and several State Department officials also used personal email, there can be no assurance any and all of her relevant emails conducted between two private accounts would have been captured in Secretary Clinton’s review of documents.”

Chairman Gowdy’s letter highlighted the problematic way in which Ms. Clinton conducted her search for relevant documents. Ms. Clinton’s official statement from her March 10, 2015 press conference explained that the process was simply one in which search terms were employed to return what she considered to be the responsive documents.

If a relationship is thought as being like a scale with grains of sand on either side, then defining a personal relationship and a profession relationship derives from the acumination of interactions, but with the scale tipping one way or another.

The problem with Ms. Clinton’s approach to have private employees, whom did not have the authority to decide what does or doesn’t count as a federal record, relates to creation of another legal matter.  Further, when Ms. Clinton was making these choices, she was acting as a private citizen, not a government employee.

As well, in a separate civil case, a critical issue is whether Mrs. Clinton’s and the State Department’s creation and use of the “off-grid” record system and their concealment of the system for six years, deliberately thwarted FOIA.[xxi]

Summary

Ms. Clinton’s exclusively used a private email account for correspondence relating to her official duties.  Ms. Clinton’s failed to turn over those email records to the State Department upon leaving the office of Secretary of State.

Thereafter, Ms. Clinton’s storing, without authorization, those email records on a private server over which she retained exclusive control and failed to archive them in the State Department’s official recordkeeping system during her tenure and for 22 months.  Ms. Clinton failed or delayed to turn over responsive documents in her possession upon request from congressional committees investigating the Benghazi terrorist attacks. And, Ms. Clinton wiped the electronic versions of the email records without authorization. Only upon a proper indictment and trial, would a jury, receiving proper judicial instructions, be able to make any legal findings based upon the known facts. [xxiii]

Stop Lying

[i] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/us/politics/hillary-clintons-use-of-private-email-at-state-department-raises-flags.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=2 , Michael S. Schmidt, Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules, N.Y. Times (Mar. 2, 2015)

[ii] See The Facts About Hillary Clinton’s Emails, https://www.scribd.com/doc/258299350/Q-A , https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/factsheets/2015/07/13/email-facts/http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-it-would-have-been-better-if-i-used-official-email-2015-3 , https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/03/10/transcript-hillary-clinton-addresses-e-mails-iran/

[iii] https://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2015/pdf/attachment8-clinton-reply-letter.pdf

[iv]http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/hillary-clinton-emails-deemed-personal-118176 , Lauren French, More than 1,000 Clinton emails deemed ‘personal,’ Politico (May 21, 2015)

[v] Statement from the Office of Former Secretary Clinton, supra note ii

[vi] https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2401597/jw-notice-of-order.pdf ; See Alexandra Jaffe & Dan Merica, Hillary Clinton: I used one email ‘for convenience,’ CNN (Mar. 11, 2015)

[vii]http://democrats-benghazi.house.gov/sites/democrats.benghazi.house.gov/files/documents/2015_03_27_Kendall_to_TG_re_Response_to_March_4_Subpoena.pdf Letter from David E. Kendall, Lawyer for Hillary Clinton, to Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the H. Select Comm. on Benghazi, at 6 (Mar. 27, 2015)

[viii] https://oig.state.gov/system/files/esp-16-03.pdf , Offical Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements; http://images.politico.com/global/2015/03/18/narastateltrhrcemails.pdf , Letter from Paul M. Wester, Jr., Chief Records Officer, NARA, to Margaret P. Grafeld, Deputy Assistant Sec’y for Global Info. Servs, Bureau of Admin., U.S. Dep’t of State (Mar. 3, 2015), ; see also http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/us/politics/state-department-is-asked-to-explain-handling-of-clintons-emails.html?_r=1 Michael S. Schmidt, State Department Is Asked to Explain Handling of Hillary Clinton’s Emails, N.Y. Times (Mar. 18, 2015)

[ix] http://democrats-benghazi.house.gov/sites/democrats.benghazi.house.gov/files/documents/2015_03_27_Kendall_to_TG_re_Response_to_March_4_Subpoena.pdf , § 1228.100(a) (“The Archivist of the United States and heads of Federal agencies are responsible for preventing the alienation or unauthorized destruction of records, including all forms of mutilation. Records may not be removed from the legal custody of Federal agencies or destroyed without regard to the provisions of agency records schedules (SF 115 approved by NARA or the General Records issued by NARA).”); 44 U.S.C. § 3105 (“The head of each Federal agency shall establish safeguards against the removal or loss of records he determines to be necessary and required by regulations of the Archivist. Safeguards shall include making it known to officials and employees of the agency—(1) that records in the custody of the agency are not to be alienated or destroyed except in accordance with sections 3301–3314 of this title[.]”); id. § 3106(a) (“The head of each Federal agency shall notify the Archivist of any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency, and with the assistance of the Archivist shall initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records the head of the Federal agency knows or has reason to believe have been unlawfully removed from that agency, or from another Federal agency whose records have been transferred to the legal custody of that Federal agency.”).

[x] http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2015/pdf/state-dept-response-to-wester-04-02-2015.pdf , Letter from Margaret P. Grafeld, Deputy Assistant Sec’y for Global Info. Servs., Bureau of Admin., U.S. Dep’t of State, to Paul M. Wester, Jr., Chief Records Officer, NARA (Apr. 2, 2015) (“State Dep’t Report to NARA”)

[xi] http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2015/pdf/attachment4-clinton-letter.pdf , Letter from Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secetary of State for Mgmt., to Cheryl Mills, Lawyer for Hillary Clinton (Nov. 12, 2014)

[xii] State Dep’t Report to NARA, supra note ix

[xiii] http://democrats-benghazi.house.gov/sites/democrats.benghazi.house.gov/files/documents/2015_04_22_Kendall_to_Gowdy_re_Response_to_03-31-15_Letter.PDF,  Michael S. Schmidt, In Clinton Emails on Benghazi, a Rare Glimpse at Her Concerns, N.Y. Times (Mar. 23, 2015), http://goo.gl/V7Oexn.

[xiv] https://benghazi.house.gov/sites/republicans.benghazi.house.gov/files/Kendall.Clinton%20Subpoena%20-%202015.03.04.pdf , Press Release, H. Select Comm. on Benghazi, Statement from the Communications Director on Subpoena Issuance (Mar. 4, 2015)

[xv]http://benghazi.house.gov/sites/republicans.benghazi.house.gov/files/TG%20letter%20to%20Kendall%203.19.15.pdf , Letter from Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the H. Select Comm. on Benghazi, to David E. Kendall, Lawyer for Hillary Clinton (Mar. 19, 2015)

[xvi] https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2401597/jw-notice-of-order.pdf ; https://oig.state.gov/system/files/esp-16-03.pdf ; Letter from David Kendall, Lawyer for Hillary Clinton, to Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the H. Select Comm. on Benghazi, at 3-6 (Mar. 27, 2015)

[xvii] https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Gowdy-letter-to-Kendall-Dec.-2-2014.pdf Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Minority Member of the H. Select Comm. on Benghazi, to David Kendall, Lawyer for Hillary Clinton (December 2, 2014)

[xviii] http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JW-v-State-Mills-July-email-00687.pdf Letter from John F. Hackett, Director, Office of Information Programs and Services, to Ms. Kate Baily Judicial Watch 425 Third St. SW. Suite 800 Washington, DC 20024 (February 4, 2016)

[xix] https://benghazi.house.gov/news/press-releases/gowdy-statement-in-response-to-clinton-comments-on-the-benghazi-committee ; Press Release Gowdy Statement in Response to Clinton Comments on the Benghazi Committee (July 7, 2015)

[xx] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/us/politics/in-clinton-emails-on-benghazi-a-rare-glimpse-at-her-concerns.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=3 , Michael S. Schmidt, In Clinton Emails on Benghazi, a Rare Glimpse at Her Concerns, N.Y. Times (Mar. 23, 2015); http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/18/monica-crowley-was-hillary-clinton-running-her-own , Monica Crowley, Was Hillary Clinton running her own rogue intel operation? Wash. Times (Mar 18, 2015); http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/clinton-emails-mentioning-benghazi-kept-from-panel-119140 , Rachael Bade, Hillary Clinton emails mentioning Benghazi kept from panel, Politico (June 17, 2015)

[xxi] https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JW-v-State-56-d-motion-01363-1.pdf ; Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 48 Filed 12/11/15 Page 1 of 31

[xxii] http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/JW-v-State-opposition-to-discovery-01242.pdf , Case 1:14-cv-01242-RCL Document 27 Filed 09/18/15 Page 1 of 17

 

Manifestating Culture
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Does Marketing Content Shape Culture, Or Does Culture Shape Content Within Marketing?

A few days ago I read a Pulse post written by Mr. Peter Himler, Founder of Flatrion Communications LLC, titled “Content Marketing Is So Last Year.”

The sentiment, in all its brevity, stirred an inward curiosity summarizing a perpetual marketing dilemma: Should marketers’ mindsets carefully model crafted strategy, or should popular culture model marketers’ mindsets?

An unfortunate and rather depressing naked truth is that people are very good at ignoring what marketers create.

Mulling over what is “it” that individuals are seeking as society continues to identify and immerse itself in all things digital, even as the expansive use of digital devices (and the inherent viewership therein) has people growing smarter at ignoring what marketers create (to the point of practically running away from messaging), brought this conclusion: The apparent “it” factor seems to be popular culture.

Although it’s infinitely harder to create a piece of popular culture than it is to create any piece of marketing or advertising, being part of popular culture is more important than marketing. No matter how good any marketing may be, popular culture will be more appealing.

The following question I asked myself is how does creating messaging, communications, and conversations fit inside this world of popular culture?   Naturally, there is a variable to consider if I’m to address that question, i.e., how does the notion of influence and popular culture, in its entirety, affect attitudes and behaviors?

Understanding my own personal scope of influence from early childhood until today, there has been a kind of shift or shuffling as to the guidance I received.  From birth it was simply family influence. Then came the influence from teachers and the clergy. Years following included such influences with the addition of state and peers as influential factors. Today, withholding any judgment, the shift encompasses the media and admired personalities.

In reaching the world of social media and its interaction to daily life, it makes sense to apply the concept that almost any social platform is similar to that of a petri dish, with forming spots inside representing influences and connections.  The process of creating messaging, communications, and conversations becomes much easier once I, the marketer, understand how to draw lines from each spot; thus creating endpoints.

As a marketer who appreciates the study, and who understands the peculiarity of human life, I’m able to rely on the striking parallel linking the evolution of man to the development of social culture.

As such, I’m better equipped to allow popular culture to act as the catalyst leading to content marketing, and furthering my understanding on the evolution of communications.

Censored Image
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Preventing The Descend Into Madness: Overbearing Excitement Of Politics And The Meaning Of The Greatness Game

The political climate is in an uproar.  The turbulent violence, the consistent back and forth finger pointing, the intensely polarized attitudes… it’s too much.  I can only appreciate a limited amount of fallouts before a real need to withdraw takes effect.

In actuality, the withdrawal period is self censorship from digital news reports, talk radio, and social platforms.  I need time; time to preserve the experience, to ask questions, to reflect on a certain intellectual, philosophical or ideological bent.

Is the only difference between a young and old idea that of which where the former will cause death while the latter will allow death to come?

If I’m to truly believe that religion (faith based or otherwise) means that much of what is happening today is for the greater good, I’d lose belief in everything.  Reading commentary and correspondence feels like stumbling upon a cult doctrine.

Propagated is the claim that religion is illogical and potentially harmful.  I assume that when I recount history lessons or read of current mass violent attacks (the modern term being terrorism) in the name of a god, I’m to for go spiritual faith.  But I can’t!

Even though I’ve always held inner conflicts, embracing materialism or learning about political and economic theories that didn’t account for Catholic beliefs, I was able to find aspects of God when what was really being offered was another form of religion.

Even though the season is difficult, it’s by the questioning of freely expressed opposing viewpoints that leads to clarity and understanding.  So, when hearing of the idea to suppress or censor certain attitudes and ideas, is what’s being proposed really a solution towards finding another religion instead of a god, goodness or absolution?

False Narrative
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A Possible Hillary Rodham Clinton Soliloquy

Another election cycle and I’m bombarded with clones of appealing rhetoric.  Beginning in sixth grade, since 1992, I’ve experienced the media broadcast a rebrand of “leadership” of “patriotism” and of “change.”

My being a legitimate political outsider, having no formal or informal experience in political science or journalism, while cultivating my natural disposition to not suppress how I go about understanding, has allotted me an ability to anticipate what others will accept as “truth.”

Not being of the indoctrinated class, I’m currently saddened and annoyed.  Why?  Because it’s troublesome to hear well-founded and high-ranking government officials speak of “moral” causes while such individuals seemingly hold little to no ethical values.

Having observed (like, for real, watched and studied) Thursday’s, 10/22/2015, House Benghazi Committee Hearing, I ended my night going to sleep feeling astonished.  Another hearing came and went without congressional officials receiving completion of discovery materials.

HRC

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email practices are now becoming a legal headache for the Obama administration, which for the first time has admitted to a court that the former secretary of state withheld her emails.

Today, I’m amazed.  Why haven’t real questions  been broadcasted regarding “Accountability Review Board” creation and of the materials supplied to such a board?

How many hearings will government officials conduct before the completion of full discovery?  And, will full discovery ever come about when the “moral authority” accepts the practice of self appointing an arbitration–like system to import findings and best practices?  Have we settled on an ultimate approach on how best to investigate a tragedy?

Why is the media allowing government officials, or be it government officials allowing the media, broadcast a false impression of prior off-camera testimony and deposition as if they’re based on full accounts?  I (and I believe plenty others) sense that no substance is coming out these hearing thanks to the formation of the Clinton created unknown electronic communication system.

That said, toward the latter part of House Benghazi Committee Hearing, I think I saw a glimpse of how Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton will issue a new narrative as it relates to creating her own email server.

Most likely, Ms. Clinton’s team will create propaganda related to government inefficacy to handle cyber security.  I suspect, as others float that narrative, Ms. Clinton will provide circle and dance responses as to why past statements regarding the unknown server have been misconstrued by an incompetent press.

My intuition tells me that Ms. Clinton will play the victim card and I can imagine the following message:

Enter Soliloquy…

“Under the wisdom of President Obama I accepted the role as Secretary of State.  But, what you don’t know, I was faced with a very difficult situation.  The tools to communicate were, as I was advised by leading experts, below par.  The email system that the U.S. government provides its employees is archaic. It is a national disgrace… it is insecure.

Luckily, my fellow Americans, thanks to the entrepreneurship (I mean selfless drive) of my husband, Former President Bill Clinton, I worked with other advisers and was given a ‘core’ green light to not use inferior, insecure, outdated, technology.

Even though I’m just a grandmother, a mother (and I guess by default that makes me a woman) who knows absolutely nothing about computers, my advisers knew more than what our current Administration has lead on. 

And so, being the civil servant that I am, I allocated my own finances to create a more ‘robust’ and ‘secure’ email system. 

Sure, I could have raised a voice within the Department of State and to the Administration, but I didn’t want to out champion my astounding diplomatic policy by way of announcing how I pioneered technical email advancements within the State Department.  

Americans, putting all legality issues aside, unless and until the government provides its leaders with a decent secure email system, nobody should use it, and our current Secretary of State, John Kerry, is a douche bag for exclusively using a work provided device. 

Those who can afford to, such as my saintly husband and I, should be implementing state-of-the-art systems and security.  Otherwise, we should just assume that all of our ‘of the people’ emails are being read by foreign powers, friendly and hostile.

My fellow Americans, you should be grateful that I had the foresight not to rely too heavily on a government official email system, and for that reason and for many, many, more reasons, I am your supreme leader (I mean Democratic Nominee).”

Wicked Hil-Lie-Ary

Morality Thought
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Sparking A Thought On Morality

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” – Don’t Recall The Author

Presented by God or nature, or, since I won’t draw a comparison, Nature’s God, was a test of a particular virtue: morality.

Just earlier, as I was picking up books on reserve at my local Queens Library, …

reading up to page 31, of Jennifer Ridha’s memoir, Criminal That I Am, …

The Book

Criminal That I Am, Jennifer Ridha

I found a $5K endorsed check. …

The Check, Itself

Pay To The Order of Andrew TXXXXXE, of Cedarhurst, New York

The main thought I held leading up to that page was the challenge of self-motivated desire vs that of a basic understanding of morality.

Finding that check reminded of this thought: being morally corrupt happens when I’ve yet to decide on what is good (i.e., improving the environment and all species) as oppose to what is exploitation (i.e., using more than my fair share of resources to extract usefulness from another).

With that thought and with a belief in chivalry I’m now in search of this, Mr. Andrew.

Anxiety
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Inauguration To & The Cause of My Anxiety

As a child I asked the two smartest figures, my twin brother (then four years old and three minutes younger than myself) and my aunt (a then 38-year-old Italian-American) questions.  My twin brother held an awesome and convincing imagination while my aunt held the strongest affinity to biblical studies and spoke the best English; my guess as to why I was attracted to them for answers.

I remember asking each the same questions.  My twin would reference and elaborate stories picked up from being raised by television while my aunt would reference what she learned from the bible.  Even though each had different answers to a single question, I just naturally assumed there were multiple reasons for every question asked.

Still a child but newly exposed to the outside world, via kindergarten and religious instruction class, I recall a shift in my thinking: In that, there is only one answer (or truth) to a question.  I remember feeling this great need to somehow harmonize two answers by way of creating my own version; somewhere between my twin’s imagination and my aunt’s biblical authority.  The withal self-created tactic settled my curiosity… but only for a while.

As I grew into a child who faked knowing how to read, somewhere along the way I lost confidence within the reconciled answers I had created and held onto.  Still confiding into the same two figures, I asked of far more distressing type questions.  However, by then, I would pin my twin brother and my aunt against each other for an answer; call it a new tactic or skill I developed to compensate for my many inabilities.

Although I found more comfort in my brother’s explanations, my aunt holding the authority figure won as the sole person to source answers (or truths) a child would dare ask.

So, as a child, I was taught and believed in a God in Heaven who created Earth.  I was taught to believe in God’s omnipotence.  At that time, I (luckily) did not grasp the concept of omnipotence.  And so, I hadn’t become inflicted with shame or grief for having immaterial thoughts; more so, for having not taking beliefs at face value.

The answers my aunt provided came at a heavy price, i.e., deeper and more despairing questions.

Today, as I examine the child I once was, [a child named Ricardo Albino] I suppose ideas about morality and amorality were being introduced into my psyche.

Still, I remember never having a definitive set or a concrete understanding of why life was set in such a way.  I remember not fully understanding what was right or what was wrong. Once I thought I had it, remembrances of adults’ actions, or bearing witness to contradictions, would suddenly bring back feelings of uncertainty and doubt.

I recall too often when asking a question about God’s goodness, or His ability, my aunt’s response came with a tone of alarm and chastisement: “Trust in the Lord always! He is good! Amen and amen! Praise Jesus!”  And . . . end of conversation.

The Chillax of Reason

Experiencing that response lead to learning what His omnipotence meant… a concept that brought about feeling sinful or guilt for ever having challenged spiritual faith.

Doubting the understanding provided by my aunt, and later doubting priests, seemed to always creep into my entire being; this was how I described it to adults.

As such, those doubts and my further need to truly understand would be explained as whatever provoked or caused doubt within “my heart” and within “the teachings” as being my introduction to Satan.

At this juncture, something  taught to me in which it hadn’t really gotten across resulted in a notion that I didn’t want to believe in the way I was supposed to.  Ricardo, as usual, you’re at fault for your lack of belief; and you, as usual, should just keep your thoughts quiet and should pretend to have no inner conflict.

Noting that to doubt others, to acknowledge my sense of reasoning, to address an inner concern was the product of Satan’s influence and power. I was now fighting Satan’s desire and winning ability to put a wedge between my soul and God…  And the proof was in my feeling distant towards those whom where my early life teachers.

Ricardo grew into a child with an un-ruling heightened state of awareness.

This inner response of fear, dread or apprehension became.

The onset of unending anxiety became.

Comic Storytelling
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Drawing Business Lessons From The Comic Book

The popular mythology of creative genius depends on beloved stereotypes of the artist in youth and old age: the misunderstood upstart who forces us to see the world afresh; and the revered sage who shows us depths of insight attainable only through a lifetime of hard-won experience. -Martin Fuller, Artist, 1943 – living

In an era when the savviest of marketers are called to conjure visions of omnipotence related to big data analytics, in an era when most marketing executives are looking for ways to turn customers into fans, the encumbrance of mapping out the rise to an action, a phenomenon or a condition occurring within authentic engagements furthers.

Emotional Marketing

Most companies boast about “what” they do while few companies communicate “why” they do it.

Professional experience and formal education are “auxiliary units” that shape and form the marketing disciple: Affording the skills to build campaigns around the “what” of something. Yet, I’ll argue that the study of contemporary and modern American mythology (fancy for comic books) better serves as a foundation for marketing professionals to devise riveting campaigns around the ”why” motivator of most thoughts, habits or impulses.

(…Okay!  Very least, the argument of this post is that the study and joy of the comic book complements real or formal education…)

At a certain age we’re taught that the study of cause and effect offers insight on the formation of phenomena.  The study examines degrees of consideration between separate facts.  We learn that the cause explains “why” something happens and we learn the effect describes “what” happens.  This helps explain why literature on science and nature deals in cause and effect.  However, awesome storytelling concentrates on the solicitation of emotions; not in prose approach.

The comic book (particularly modern American methodology) is the evolution of storytelling that teaches us about our humanity.  For many, the comic book serves as a gravitating medium that introduces the interplay between good and evil, between right and wrong, with some storylines introducing the concept of moral and immoral discussion.

Culture hands us many definitions on art.  An early and primal definition, art is any form of expression.  More discerning definitions on art become embedded as we grow into young adults.  As parents and authority figures instill their values on expression, centered on application for the most part, and fueled by “art experts” whom portrays the comic book as distasteful drawings, too saturated, loud or blatantly aggressive.  It’s around this time, when a child reaches a certain age that authority figures dictate which forms of expressions are suitable or proper.

Thus, many young adults find themselves joining secrete or secluded clubs in fear of unpopular status.  And those are the luckier ones!

The bigger victims are those who joined the class that completely rejects the comic book.  It’s the latter group, indoctrinate with the attitude of affirmed uncertainty that art is as much about the application as it is about the expression of human creative skill and imagination, who fails to value the application of the comic book.

Disregarded or underestimated, lessons within the forgotten comic book are lost, and stories trench in primary emotions are then forgotten.

The twist is that forgotten visuals imports images, memories or feelings to mind, the evocation of emotions that provides fantasy, a form of solicitation; that continues to drive the fragrance industry.

The branding enthusiast within knows that primary emotions often guide behaviors, and that businesses perceived to hold a strong entrepreneurial spirit embrace comic book fundamentals that transcend traditional boundaries of engagement.

Recognizing how the comic book is taken away for the novel and later for the textbook, this post will serve as acknowledgment to the formative reading materials that introduced and cultivated marketing lessons further developed in business school.

Comic Storytelling

Please allow me to being with my favorite, as I endorse the illustration.

Visual Merchandising. Layout Occupation. Color and Decorative Style:  About, or more than, half of the joy in reviewing comic books is in the visuals. In fact, many times you can follow a story without need for words. Comic book artists are masters at telling a visual story and at composing compelling concepts.

Form & Function

Application: Although understanding typography, kerning, leading, widows (etc.) remains a preferred skill, you don’t have to rely on the practice of accountable design. Often you’ll find a favorable response just by tantalizing your content with afferent symbols, models and graphics.  Be aware and differentiate your environment by introducing discernible smells, exotic audios or ambient overlays. Rather than try to describe everything, use illustrations, forms and spaces as venerating displays. This aids in learning and in consumption.  True to this application, the reason for why a high-end restaurant would incorporate an open kitchen onto a formal dining hall.

Branding and Brand Awareness Everyone recognizes the Superman shield, also known as the Superman logo, as the iconic emblem for the fictional DC Comics superhero, Superman.  The iconic “S” within a pentagon is a literary symbol for the last son of Krypton, Kal-E, later named Clark Kent/Superman.  However, the use of logo grows to display whenever there is a scene of rescue or a triumph battle.

newsarama_com_Batman and Superman take a selfie for a variant cover

Batman and Superman take a selfie for a variant cover

Application: In branding, the same method applies.  If you don’t utilize bold branding or alike your products or services with the entire buying experience in mind, then you’re failing at an important part of business.

Discerning Cross-Selling:  As readers evolve into fans they realize that buying one series doesn’t provide closure. Comic books are enriched with years of back-story, innuendos and plot twists.  It’s at this point that publishers, writers and artists, i.e., founders, collaborate on which narrative best resonates to the whole story or on conceiving of a sister comic.  At this stage of fanfare founders distinguish which models to commit to while introducing “sensible” directions that mirror social and cultural change.

Application: Most managers cross-sell to every customer.  And sure, higher sales volume means more profits. It’s without question that cross-selling is profitable in the aggregateHowever, marketers that indiscriminately encourage all customers to buy more are making a costly mistake.  Huh!  What’s that?

Yes – intuition will have you believe that once you’ve done all the hard work to acquire a sale you’re to automatically sell as many products or services as possible.  Big mistake.  Here’s why:

Service Demanders:  The unyielding customer will habitually overuse customer service in all channels, from phone to web to face-to-face interactions.  The additional cross-buying will cause increase of service demands—along with overhead costs rising.  True to this effect, some retail banks have discovered increased requests of “service demanders” for things such as assistance with online banking and balance transfers more than doubling after customers began cross-buying.

Revenue Reversers:  Customers in this segment generate revenue but then take it all back. Within a business selling products, this typically happens through return of merchandise.  In many cases, the more a “revenue reverser” buys, the more he/she will return merchandise. Businesses selling services will remit to “revenue reversals” when customers default on early termination loans or service contracts.

Promotion Maximizers:  These customers gravitate toward steep discounts and avoid regularly priced items.  For the catalog retailer and for the fashion retailer, this means the average annual loss from each “promotion maximizer” will overhaul acquisition sales.

For the lifelong comic book reader, after experiencing disappointment of a storyline, he/she learns to shield him/herself from their unwillingness to accept change.  Storytellers and readers, through push and pull, have learned how the trajectory of sub stories will cause others to no longer feel the same level of connection to the original storyline.  In similar fashion, business professionals should take notice of the dark side of cross-selling.

Cross-selling to any of these problem customers is likely to trigger a downward spiral of decreasing profits or accumulating losses, for two reasons: First, cross-selling generates marketing expenses; second, cross-buying amplifies costs by extending undesirable behavior to a greater number of products or services. This happens even among customers who were profitable before they began cross-buying.

Brand Management:  Within the comic book individual characters, formation of teams and alliances, as well as a series – itself – become separate brands.  Publishers, writers and artists know this and truly appreciate their audience.  The appreciation to their fan base grows into respect, so strong, that publishers, writers and artists are willing and able to experiment.

Branding Lines, Branding Family, Bat Family

Bat-Family: Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin (Damian Wayne), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Red Hood (Jason Todd), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Nightwing (Dick Grayson)

Application: For the Brand Manager, this lesson is about the delicate balance between pushing the boundaries while also staying message focused. The Brand Manager learns what the brand really means to the mass market (customer base, business partners, analysts, non consumers and future customers) and holds office over the messages and promises.

Global Online MarketingCross-Cultural Interaction. Service:  “With great power comes great responsibility”, not only Ben Parker, the fictional character from Spiderman by way of Stan Lee’s pen, but similar quotes of can be found all the way back in history.

What does this quote imply in today’s global online business model? How can discrimination in online communities be prevented?  The answer is simple: It is neither possible to prevent discrimination, nor to avoid it.  Although this perspective might seem like a pessimistic end to what appeared to be an optimistic post, this is not the case.

Cheese! Global Community United

Cheese! Global Community United

Application: Instead, let’s redirect the original concern in the form of a better question: How can discrimination be managed in Internal online contexts?  Approaching discrimination, multiculturalism and communication between cultures on the Internet should be handled with the following factors: First, the environment should be accessible and non-discriminatory based on an extension of the model of the basic principles of hiring qualified employees to include the issue of culture; second, the communities within the environment should not be required to be accessible and non-discriminatory.

It has to be accepted that, in some instances, multiculturalism will not work if both cultures interacting online do not wish for it to work. Even if one side wishes for it to work, if the other does not, then true multiculturalism will not be possible.

Taking the concept out of the Internet and into the broader field of service, the important element to remember is that despite a business’ success, the responsibility of quality in standards, in the ability to deliver, to add, in the responsibility to inform and to engage remains the same.  In fact, some might argue with powerful business comes more social responsibility.  While China may hold lower global environment standards, the core principle of business is to uplift a society.  And so,  businesses holding values inline with higher standards must not deviate from course, trading for greater welfare of a few, a medieval business practice that continues in the 21st century.

One World From Man of Steel POV

One World From Superman’s POV

Conclusion:  Like all myths and legends, modern mythology springs from a sense of life’s wonder, excitement, mystery and terror. Modern legends offer images of the best and worst aspects of the human condition. Business, a something with which persons are rightfully concerned, would suggest that good behavior will be rewarded and evil, greedy or foolish behavior punished. Some modern legends reflect people’s fear of rapid social change or of science and technology, while future revamped legends will appeal to people’s desire to find meaningful patterns beneath the confusing chaos of ordinary life.

Adapation of sight
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Adaptation of Sight: How a Transgender Experience Brought About Appreciation

The prospect of predictability is a mentality I feel confident declaring as being generally shared and generally valued.

I know that, for the most part, I expect to keep experiencing things just the way I always have. I expect knowing where and when I’ll wake up, the basic survival steps I’ll take throughout the day, how I’ll go about to complete it, ready for tomorrow to start all over again.

Maybe I enjoy the sense of safe that comes from rhythmic life. Or, more precise, maybe that’s just a trick I play on myself, a trick used to make life seem normal.  Because the truth is life is so freakin’ extraordinary that for most of the time I simply can’t handle fully looking at it.

It’s as if life, itself, can be so brivant it hurts my eyes.

The simple fact of the matter is that nothing is ever certain. Too often, I remember that truth when the ground suddenly disappears and I’ve fallen on my arse.

Last week I experienced the ground suddenly disappear when I realized I was working with a transgender person.

At the moment she and I introduced ourselves I didn’t feel fazed; I hadn’t noticed she was born a he.

“Hi Eve, welcome, nice to meet you, name’s Rick, sorry I didn’t say hi just before”… (whispering now) “I ran in late.  Sure you met the manager… didn’t want her noticing…Shush.” (Mutual laughter followed by me extending a hand and offering to answer any questions she may have.)

An hour into the day, the atmosphere quieted, a coworker of 3 plus years appears, joining in as I’m straightening the shared office.

My coworker, “So, you met the new one?

Yeah, real nice! She’s sweet.  Too bad the poor girl is stuck slaving away here with the rest of us.” (A shared and somewhat forced LOL moment.)

You mean, he”, said my coworker.

There’s two new hires?  What for?”

No, you know that she’s not really a she”, said my coworker.

You know that, that, she is …Wait!  Well, you know I would have figured that out, myself!”,  was my reaction.

Okay, now I’m fazed. Thankfully not in the presence of the new hire. My coworker is laughing at me, likely the cause of my face turned red, my fidgeting behavior and my uncollected thoughts too uncomplicated to read.

Holy $hit! I mean, so now I’m supposed to be aware of gender or “real gender”, was what I told myself.  At this point I’m mentally defending myself from feeling dubbed or naïve.

Oh yeah, now I see it, were the following thoughts.

Humm, okay”  “Dude, come on… so would have figured that out if I wasn’t busy here, but thanks for the heads up, Luigi”.

About 15 minutes now passed and I noticed the “alert” lingers on.

In truth, I was thankful of the notice.  I don’t want to think what my reaction or awkward behavior might had been had I come to realize Eve as being transgender while in her presence.

However, for unknown reasons, feelings of interest mixed with sorrow laid ahead.

I asked myself, why would Eve, or anyone, want to be born a female?

(No offense ladies: life is hard enough and the added weight or burden of being female, well, I’m just not man enough to handle it.)

The hardship of being born male in body when your spirit and mind are female… The idea just trips me out.  The poor new girl is living life as a member of a very marginalized group.

I had to talk myself out of over thinking a situation, or a state of being, that’s too beyond my understanding.  If I’m to remain honest and forthcoming, noting that for additional unknown reasons, if I over think without direction or without a framework on mind I might end up in a minor state of depression.

I had to accept the health that comes from surrendering to the unknown.

Questioning if Eve would prefer being transgender over being born biologically female from birth was left alone.

I think the better question was not if Eve, the new hire, prefers her state of being over another, as I am  now able to create solace by way of believing Eve holds real insight on experiencing the barriers between male and female.  That, in and of itself, has to be worth something.

No, I think a better self-serving question is, how do I go about looking at life without fear of the brightness.

Just knowing of an Eve: a world that holds such variety auto be appreciated and admired.

So, with that, I’ll consider my eyes more open.