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  • Greg Collier 7:01 pm on December 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    A Gift for All Seasons 

    thefingerWhat do I want for Christmas this year?  Civility.  I wanted the same thing for Chanukkah a few weeks ago. Did I get what my heart desired?  No…at least not yet. 

    Regardless of what religious credo you follow, or do not follow, commercialism has commandeered this time of year.  Instead of focusing on the love that exists between family and friends, commercialism has usurped the true focus of the holidays, replacing it with a quest to buy the hottest toys, most expensive gifts and throw the most lavish of parties.  Bah humbug!  

    The spirit of the holiday season is supposed to be about peace on earth and good will to our fellow human beings.  I personally feel that everyone, the world over, should employ such practices daily.  You do not have to be Mother Teresa to accomplish such a “feat”; In fact, it only takes two simple words, “Be Civil”.  I attempt to practice this mantra every day. To be successful, all it takes is opening the door for a stranger or loved one, throwing your loose change into the Salvation Army collection bucket, thanking the person who bags your groceries or allowing someone to merge in front of you on the highway.  

     The lack of civility, especially during the holidays, is disturbing.  How many stories have we read about fights breaking out in the midst of holiday sales?  I doubt this is what any higher power had in mind. 

    I know we are all going through trying times these days but regardless of how bad your life may be going there is always someone who has it worse.  Instead of trying to find a way to place yourself at the top of the “poor me” pyramid, take a deep breath and remember everything you have to be thankful for.  If you cannot come up with anything, though I trust that you can, go out, smile at a sales clerk, hold open a door for a mother shopping with her three young children and in-laws, and meaningfully wish the Santa ringing the Salvation Army bell a “Happy Holidays”.  In doing so, you will give both yourself and someone else something to be thankful for this holiday season.  You will have also given me, and the entire world, the gift of civility! 

    I wish you all a holiday season filled with joy, laughter and civility that carries on throughout the years to come!

  • Greg Collier 10:38 am on December 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adult Services, , , , , Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, PGA, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, The Salahi’s, Tiger Woods, Virginia socialites, White House Secretary Desiree Rogers   

    Does life happen in 3’s? 


    The most masterfully crafted images are only that, an image, and nothing more. In recent weeks three public images have broken down, proving that they are mere facades, and capable of hurting many when they fall apart. 

    It turns out that Tiger Woods is not a saint, but rather a mere mortal. With an image backed by multiple million dollar endorsement deals, Tiger can no longer hold up his end of the bargain. I am confident, however, that there are golfers and other athletes out there that could use those now available endorsement dollars by providing a genuine image brand that the public demands.   

    Tareq and Michaele Salahi, Virginia socialites, who crashed the recent White House dinner, have also portrayed themselves to be people they are not. The Salahi’s were able to convince many people that there was substance behind their image—how else do you get White House Secretary Desiree Rogers to consider adding your names to “the list”. Is this a victimless crime that is being transformed into a bigger issue than it should be? I don’t think so. How much of our tax dollars will be spent investigating this breach of White House security? How much time will be wasted on news networks dissecting every move that was made that night instead of covering issues and events that genuinely impact our world? How about those who lost their jobs for letting the masquerading couple make it through the gates? Or, most importantly, how did the dinner honoree-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-feel about an uninvited couple stealing the night’s spotlight?  Unfortunately, a night both Indian’s and American’s will never forget hinges upon the false images portrayed by their fellow citizens. 

    To top the list, though less public and less glitzy, is Craig Newmark, the founder and president of Craigslist.  Last week, a trial between eBay and Craigslist shined new light on Newmark’s ‘aw-shucks, power to the people, do-gooder’ image.  It turns out that he may be in it for the money after all – shocking!  Who is hurt by Newmark’s faulty façade? Those loyal followers who fiercely defend Craig Newmark’s image, while he is the backroom counting his $9.5 million!  Perhaps the anarchy of the “Adult Services” section is not about autonomy and non-governance after all, but rather about the insane amounts of user traffic that area attracts. Once free, this morally bankrupt section even charges users a listing fee! What a brilliant business model he has created…Newmark is no different than the rest of corporate America that care more about their personal bottom line than the personalities who make their business possible.  

    We have been given 3 masterfully crafted images… and 3 facades that crumbled in the midst of their self-serving objectives. They say life comes in 3’s…I wonder who will be next?

  • Greg Collier 10:03 am on December 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    One Lonely Island 

    Alienation Island

    Craigslist truly has become an island unto themselves.

    No stranger to the courtroom, Craigslist will face off against one of its very own investors, eBay, on December 7. Craigslist diluted eBay’s investment share to 25% by selling stock, in a move that eBay alleges was an unfair attempt by Craigslist to limit its power as an investor. Sounds like a recipe for an awkward holiday party…

    In an attempt to be the victim, Craigslist cries foul on eBay by alleging their investment relationship was purely one focused on stealing confidential information so they could start a rival U.S. classified service. Craigslist seems to seriously believe that eBay has nothing better to do with their time or their money then play spy. Their ego may sink their island.

    It is no surprise that Craigslist would stoop to such underhanded and arguably illegal tactics to alienate those closest to them under the guise of business security. Craigslist does the same thing to its users in refusing to provide them with protection against injury or fraud.

    Forget prolonging the inevitable. With their recent accusations and wild conduct, Craigslist seems to be facilitating its demise into obscurity. It is safe to say I won’t be planning any vacations to their island anytime soon. 

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