“It wasn’t a mistake. We followed procedure.” Passing the blame doesn’t cut it when two convicted killers are loose.

here The news yesterday that two more Florida prison inmates were in the process of obtaining forged documents ordering their release underscores the need for all prison officials to scrutinize and verify such documents before letting dangerous convicts loose. Of course.

http://eaglesviewinc.org/argumentative-texts/ But it raises a much broader issue: In the age of electronic cut-and-paste, how can we trust any signed documents in any walk of life and business? Clearly, the potential for forgery is great. Companies and government institutions alike will need to routinely include a verification step before accepting a signature as valid in any transaction of consequence. Reaching the signatory by phone or in person will seldom be practical. We’re going to need some sort of unique, embedded coding to prove a signed document is valid. Can we get the nation’s techie A-Team on that right away, er, as soon as they are finished fixing the Healthcare.gov website?

Best Essay On Global Warming killers mistakenly released

Also…for a quick crisis communications lesson learned, let’s go back to the day the original story broke about the two inmates convicted of murder mistakenly released from prison. While the two killers were on the loose somewhere in the nearby communities, causing no small amount of civilian trepidation, Misty Cash, deputy communications director for the Florida Department of Corrections, reassured the public with these immortal words:

see “There were court documents that were provided and our department followed the process and procedure that we do for every inmate when we receive documents saying they should be released. It wasn’t a mistake. Nobody forgot to do anything or didn’t do something right. There were forged documents involved.”

go to link Lesson learned: When something has gone terribly amiss causing imminent danger to the community, a spokesperson is ill-advised to stress that IT WASN’T OUR FAULT! The public doesn’t care if you followed the “process and procedure,” Mindy, we just want the bad guys returned to prison and for this to never, ever happen again.  

Whole Foods’ Mackey sparks whole new controversy

The last time I wrote about Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, I was highly critical of his ill-advised posts to an investor chatboard, under the assumed name “rahodeb,” that talked up Whole Foods’ prospects and trashed Wild Oats, a competitor that Whole Foods would later attempt to take over (leading to questions of whether Mackey had deliberately tried to drive down the stock price of Wild Oats in advance of the take over). Mackey at first dismissed the controversy, then was pushed reluctantly into apologizing, while Whole Foods had launched an investigation into the matter and shut down Mackey’s blog.

Two years later, Mackey is still CEO of Whole Foods. And he was back in the news, controversial in an entirely new way that has raised my respect for the man immensely.

In August, Mackey wrote a thoughtful op-ed in the Wall Street Journal “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare,” that I rate as the most intelligent and cogent proposal yet offered on reforming health-care in America. Mackey’s plan focused on meaningful reforms to cut costs, which would enable coverage to be extended to the uninsured without added to the exploding national debt or expanding government bureaucracy.

The reaction from the left was swift and stunning. Progressives felt betrayed by a company that serves a customer base that undoubtedly leans toward the progressive (i.e, liberal) side of the political spectrum. How could Mackey speak out against health care reform as they have defined it?

As ABC News put it: “Many say Mackey was out of line to opine against the liberal base that has made his fortune possible.”

The Whole Foods Boycott was launched on Facebook within days with this rationale: “Whole Foods has built its brand with the dollars of deceived progressives. Let them know your money will no longer go to support Whole Foods’ anti-union, anti-health insurance reform, right-wing activities.”

Pretty strong stuff. What ever happened to freedom of speech and the idea that truth emerges from the vigorous debate of opposing points of view in the marketplace of ideas?

From a brand-management stand-point, Mackey’s high-profile opinions seem ill-advised. When a brand is closely connected to a lifestyle that tends to be synonymous with a certain world view, espousing an alternative world view can be expected to rile customers and damage the brand. It isn’t likely that conservatives will adopt Whole Foods as their grocery of choice, adopting an organic lifestyle in sympathy for Mackey’s views on health care — although according to the Christian Science Monitor, some are doing just that: ”Conservatives have rallied to Mackey’s side, and members of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition are being urged to flood the parking lots and aisles of their local Whole Foods store and stage a ‘buycott.‘” I don’t expect this counter-reaction to have much staying power.

Wholeboycott.com claims it registered 23,000 supporters in the week after the boycott was announced, and that Whole Foods’ brand favorablility had taken a 10-point hit.

Mackey surely knew that his op-ed wouldn’t sit well with progressives. Apparently he chose to voice his convictions on a politicized issue because he genuinely wanted to advance the debate and despite the ramifications. As an individual thought-leader, his principled stand is admirable — and wholly unexpected given his prior rahodeb wackiness. But as the most prominent member of management of a company catering to a liberal clientele, his outspokenness does not advance the value of the brand and his shareholder bosses may want to shorten his leash.

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The White House is making no effort to lower sky-high expectations for President Obama’s speech on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night. On the contrary, the speech is being billed as a critically important moment for Obama to take control of a debate (that has clearly gone off the tracks). It is classic Obama — play to his undeniable strengths as an orator and use a highly visible speech to sort out a controversy. (Just as he responded to the ruckus over Reverend Wright last year during the campaign by delivering a forceful speech on race relations.)

The format is almost perfect — Obama is at his best delivering a momentous speech, addressing Congress showcases the President as the true leader of the nation, television captures it all, and there is no Q&A time for journalists or town hall attendees to ask difficult questions. Almost perfect, but not quite. Obama’ won’t be helped in his critical tak of winning over the hearts and minds of middle-of-the-road moderate America by the backdrop behind him: VP Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cheering him on. Biden is at best neutral but Pelosi is a powerfully negative personality to much of America, with one of the lowest approval ratings among national politicians.

- Jon Harmon