Tag Archives: government

Does A Drained Swamp Look Like This?

Does A Drained Swamp Look Like This?

Much has been said by Trump and his supporters about “draining the swamp” but I’m wondering if the picture we see shaping up is really what a drained swamp is supposed to look like. When you drain the swamp, is it the water you want to get rid of or the dangerous animals in it?

I will admit that I supported Trump as best I could during his campaign but that was not only because I have some regard for what I know of his record but also because I had a great distaste for what I know of Hillary’s record. And Bill’s record too.

Note: Only a fool would have believed that Bill, were he to become the 'First Philanderer' in the White House, would exert a very negative influence on our nation’s affairs.

So now Trump is ‘in’, lots of people are excited, the economy appears to be bullish again, and lots of people are excited about their future.

But….

Let’s look at the animals we see in Trump’s ‘swamp’. I’ll admit I haven’t been closely following Trump’s picks these short few weeks that he’s been interviewing and picking people for his staff, Cabinet, and various government positions but I did do some homework on the subject.

First of all..… this article that I just read makes a good point: one could be reasonably suspicious of at least some, if not all, of the people Trump has tagged for his team so far. Let's look:

How about his appointment as Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin. As that Wikipedia link mentions, Mr. Mnuchin was a former partner at Goldman Sachs.

But wait a minute!

Isn’t Goldman Sachs that outfit that we blame for a lot of the nefarious financial crap that has been going on in our economy? And isn’t it true that Mr. Mnuchin is also very close friends with that other fellow, the confirmed Nazi collaborator in WW2, who totally looks like Death Warmed Over….George Soros?

Yeah…that’s the guy!

So, if modus operandi is any clue, aren’t we seeing the same modus operandi here that Goldman Sachs (and the Rothchilds and the Rockefellers) are famous for….i.e. seeding the deck with their own loyalists and alumni?

Trump will argue of course that these are the people he needs to ‘drain the swamp’ properly because they know where all the leaks are and how to row the boat around in the murky water of Washington D.C. without hitting a submerged stump.

Well….maybe. We’ll just have to wait and see.

And what’s Gary Cohn, President of Goldman Sachs, doing as the newly anticipated Director of the National Economic Council?

Nobody else, not a real outsider, was available for that job?

And then there’s Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon also is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker alumni although not at the same high level as some of Trump’s other appointments.

In his favor, Mr. Bannon has a host of ‘rightist’ activities and is clearly very anti-globalist. And if nothing else, his resume shows him to have been a thorn in the side of many liberals and very much anti Obama and Hillary.

Other appointments to Trump’s team include:

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk who joins the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a group that advises the President-elect on economic matters. Musk joins other business leaders such as former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon, and JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Note: Take a look at Jamie Dimon’s background and then try to tell yourself that he’s the kind of guy who would want to ‘drain the swamp’.

Also joining Trump’s Forum is Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon and I will admit that I’m not a big fan of many of the things I’ve heard about Wal-Mart in recent years. They are a major, MAJOR factor in keeping lots of Communist Chinese factories going.

Non-fans of Walmart include factors such as cited here and here.

These new Trump team members may or may not be patriots but my point is that they are tainted. Draining the swamp and refilling it with the same breed of alligators isn’t what the American public really expected.

And when you consider that Trump roundly criticized Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, because of her former ties with Goldman Sachs and that both Elon Musk and General Electric have benefited greatly from government money over the years, one could be excused from thinking that it looks like, “business as usual in Washington.”

Tesla, when you factor in Musks’ SpaceX and SolarCity companies, have received approximately $5 billion in government subsidies (frequently in the form of tax rebates) over the years and the company probably would not have survived without them. And GE has long been a company in favor with with POTUS office holders.

Does that sound like free enterprise?

When is it cronyism and when is it not?

I’m not concluding that these appointments are unequivocally unreasonable. I remember specifically that US industrial leaders have long complained that their companies are at an international competitive disadvantage against companies headquartered in certain foreign countries who get massive support from their home governments. Case in point would be the difficulty American aircraft manufacturers (e.g. Boeing) have long had in bidding wars (for aircraft purchases from US airlines) with France’s Airbus.

Trump has picked Wilber Ross to be his Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Ross is a billionaire investor and a committed protectionist on trade who also happens to have large holdings in steel and textile manufacturing. It’s probably just coincidence that both these industries will benefit fom Trump’s protectionist trade policies.

But like I said, foreign companies have had the US at a disadvantage for many years so maybe this is international economic poetic justice.

So…we’ll just have to wait and see what these guys do.

 

Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
Case Studies, eMail Copywriting, and Blogging
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Consider the Following Recommendations When Designing a Mobile-Friendly Website

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Before we get into what defines a mobile-friendly website, let’s first discuss why this is even relevant.  About a year ago, Google released its algorithm known as Mobileggedon.  In essence, this algorithm penalizes websites that are not “mobile-friendly” by decreasing that website’s ranking in mobile search results.

So what may have been the catalyst to releasing Mobileggedon?   Since 2014, mobile devices have been the primary devices utilized to access the internet.   Desktop is still important, but it is no longer considered first-line.  Therefore, Google’s Mobileggedon algorithm is like a “tough love” approach in encouraging businesses to always design their websites with mobile devices in mind.

When developing a mobile-friendly website/webpage, consider the following recommendations:

1) Do NOT design a separate mobile website from your desktop version because it is redundant!

Think about it.Why would you create two different websites (mobile & desktop versions) that contain the same content?Google already penalizes websites for duplicate content.So why would you allow your website to be penalized for duplicate websites?

2) Use Responsive Web Design (RWD)

According to Wikipedia, RWD is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

From a technical standpoint, RWD employs use of flexible layouts, flexible images, and cascading style sheet media queries. This allows a web page to be able to detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation; and change the layout accordingly (think auto-adjusting to fit your mobile device’s screen).

3) Always include a viewport meta tag

The viewport is a virtual area used by the browser-rendering engine to determine how content is scaled and sized.   The viewport meta tag tells your browser that the web page needs to fit the screen.

Typically, when loading full-sized web pages, mobile browsers display the entire page at reduced magnification.When a website does not make use of a viewport meta tag, users may have to double-tap or pinch the screen to adjust the web display.The below illustration shows a typical web page layout displayed on a mobile screen:

In the above example, users typically must rotate their mobile screens, pinch to magnify, etc so that the content can be seen.

Applying a viewport is critical in creating web pages that are mobile-friendly.

The following shows a sample screen layout without a viewport. The initially loaded page is zoomed out much too far to be legible, while zooming in makes content extending off the right edge of the screen difficult to access:

This reflects the browser's default assumption that content should extend 980 pixels wide. Mobile browsers must make that assumption in order to render pages that are not optimized for display on mobile screens.

Finally, here’s the above screen layout after applying the viewport:

There are many different configurations that you can specify your viewport to control.  To explain the technical details any further would be beyond the scope of this article.The idea here is to understand the concept (and importance) of applying viewport meta tags to your webpage.

4) Font sizes and button size matter

Ideal font size is 14px.When creating labels or forms, consider reducing the font to at least 12px.  Same concept applies for buttons.   For optimal viewing, consider creating button size dimensions of at least 44px by 44px.

5)Use high-resolution images

According to Wikipedia, image resolution is the detail an image holds and can be applied to describe digital images, film images, and other types of images. Essentially, a higher resolution means more image detail.

Having extremely high-resolution images will prevent pixilated or even blurry images when viewed on a retina-quality screen.

6) Remove the default zoom

Using auto-zoom may interfere with a web page’s layout elements, especially for images and navigation content. They may appear small or too large in your layout.

The solution here is to make use of viewport meta tags.Again, to describe the technical details of this process in any more detail would be beyond the scope of this article.

7) Use YouTube videos on your site

Because YouTube already utilizes responsive web design (RWD) coding, any risk of difficulties in viewing videos on a mobile device are theoretically eliminated.

8) Don’t constrain your user’s mobile experience

Always include a “go to full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. This will give your website visitors the ability to choose how they want to view your website’s content.

9) Never stop testing

Even after your responsive website is complete, the testing never ends.Be sure to test your webpage on various mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows, etc.Leave no stone unturned including buttons, layout, font, displays, etc.

Even more important is to allow someone who fits your target [demographic] user.Consider including someone who does not have an extensive technical background especially if this person comprises your primary demographic of potential users/visitors of your website.

Did I miss anything?  Your comments are always welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH on MarketHive: Welcome to My Page!

Physician, small business owner, budding real estate/land investor, & educator on MarketHive, a social marketing platform for entrepreneurs that has the combined power of Facebook and LinkedIn.  

I think of myself as just a regular guy who is passionate about those issues I believe affect us all. Those matters include (but are certainly not limited to): LGBT equality,  healthcare reform (which would include health information technology reform), education reform, prison/criminal justice reform, politics, government, business/investing, and more. 

MarketHive is a multi-million dollar platform which evolved from Veretekk and offers the following features:

auto-responders, virtual conference rooms, blog casting, blog sharing, campaigns/press releases, capture pages, email plugins, daily live workshops, and lead generation exclusively for entrepreneurs.

In essence,  MarketHive is all about empowering entrepreneurs through social engagement and marketing.

To learn more or to join for free, go to 

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH on MarketHive

I hope to see you there!

Best Regards,

Glenn

Transgender Bathroom Laws, Trump, and A Possible Solution to the “Problem”

Trump B2Trump says HB2 has caused 'unnecessary strife'

We’ve heard so much about proposed bills that would prevent transgendered individuals from using public bathroom facilities that correspond to their “current sex.”  The most common rationale for implementing these anti-LGBT laws is the concern that an adult male will enter the women’s bathroom and attempt to sexually assault a young female.

Even Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has spoken out against North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 law which includes anti-LGBT protections as well as other issues regarding minimum wage requirements for private employers.

So, what we have here is a problem no matter what your opinion is: There’s the obvious anti-LGBT tone.  Many would also agree that there is a violation of civil rights.   Transgendered individuals are faced with more discrimination, fear, and uncertainty as to where they should go to relieve themselves.

Many would argue that most individuals utilize a public restroom because they really have to either defecate or urinate.  Both men and women also are likely to use a public facility if they need to wash their hands or check their appearance.

The rationale behind House Bill 2 and similar bills is the irrational fear of a grown man (dressed in women’s clothing) possibly sexually assaulting a young female (or female child). 

Rather than discuss all the reasons for these irrational, illogical, and anti-LGBT bills, let’s focus on a possible solution that would address this issue or “problem.”

Has anyone thought about gender-neutral public facilities?  Think about it.  When we walk into a public restroom of most facilities, we often see a series of bathroom stalls.  If you are in a men’s public bathroom, there are also a series of urinals.  In addition to stalls and urinals, we see a series of sinks and mirrors, soap dispensers, dryers or disposable hand towels.

 

Well, instead of having a series of bathroom stalls, urinals, sinks, etc occupying a large space such as the quintessential public restroom, why not just create a series of individual, one-person, gender-neutral restrooms that lock from the inside? 

Think about it?  We’re talking about peace of mind for all.  Obviously, we cannot always agree on the various views (religious, political, personal, etc) but there is a way that could uphold a person’s right to use a public restroom.  I’m not a plumber or an architect, but this doesn’t seem like a complicated project when considering how many public bathrooms are designed. 

Obviously, price is always a concern so this would mean focusing more on function rather than aesthetics.  Furthermore, the restroom facilities would need to be built based on current evidence-based guidelines with regard to public health and safety.

What do you think?  Is this a viable solution that many states could implement?  Any contractors/plumbers/architects, etc out there have any ideas of implementation?