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Abortion & Life by Jennifer Baumgardner Selected Quotes Photographs by Tara Todras-Whitehill

September 6, 2010 | By | No Comments

I had an abortion.

I_had_an_abortion_baumgardner_abortion_and_life_2010.jpg

Abortion & Life

Jennifer Baumgardner, pregnant on Left

Gillian Aldrich, producer/creator of I Had an Abortion

“By creating a T-shirt so many would see as offensive, the pro-choice movement has intentionally sought to outrage the Christian Right.” p. 174.*

Front: I had an abortion.

Abortion & Life by Jennifer Baumgardner, a pro-abortion feminist, was written in 2008 and published by Akashic Books.

The book begins with a pull quote from Loretta Ross,

The defensiveness that the pro-choice movement has is well-earned. We’ve been shot at, picketed, fought every step. But I’m very glad that the conversation is changing.

Image and imaging are important. The coat hanger “doesn’t evoke memories of barriers that women faced.” P. 10

The book is presented as an even handed “conversation” but devolved by page 10 to ad hominem argument, of, “The fleshy pink faces of Senator Jesse Helms and Representative Henry Hyde…”

The “current symbol of reproductive freedom…?” Could be, “Angels’ wings, to indicate the thousands of women who have abortions and yet believe that a fetus has a soul and is watching over them?” p. 10. Baumgardner is suggesting that the unborn baby might be an eternal being ushered from this world into the next by the “choice” of the mother. This fits with Candace C. Crandall‘s assertion that “The Fetus, Beat Us,”* where pro-aborts had to deal with the pain and loss of the “baby.” This is, of course, merely a tactic to remove or deflect the ‘harm to women’ argument advanced by the pro-lifers.

The author lists “after-abortion counseling groups like Backline and Exhale…the zine Our Truths/Nuestra Verdades to the films Silent Choices and The Abortion Diaries?” p. 11. Baumgardner could have added Racheal’s Vineyard and Silent No More to pro-life counseling services of women who suffer from the trauma of abortion.

“I’ve visited abortion clinics around the country and observed what happens to the remains of eight-week, twelve-week, and fourteen-week aborted fetuses.” P. 12 Baumgardner is silent as to what was seen. Were the remains stuffed down a garbage disposal? Treated as medical waste? Or given a decent burial?

Baumgardner asks herself, “How do women experience abortion?…Why aren’t there more after-abortion resources? And: If you admit you are sad about your abortion, does that mean abortion is wrong?” p. 13. The author asks but does not fully answer the question: If a women feels remorse after an abortion, is it possible the woman now understands that there was a living baby involved? And that the mother regrets her abortion? Polling suggests that women are concerned. Rasmussen reports that 58 per cent of women feel abortion is immoral.

“The number [of abortions] has gone down slightly in recent years…possibly linked to the virginity-abstinence movement…Lack of access and affordability have also been factors.” p. 19. This is confirmed by academic research. Abortion has an elastic demand, where the demand for a product or service is directly tied to a variable: price, 24-hour waiting periods, proximity, viewing a sonogram. (See Michael New, 2010.)

“Although it’s shortsighted, when faced with a slim deadline to raise money and make this decision, some women simply miss the window in which they can have an abortion. P. Baumgardner’s wording is misleading. A woman in the USA can have an abortion at any time even when she goes into labor. She can have an abortion with her child’s feet out of her body with only her child’s head not visible; the child can still be “terminated.” P. 19.

“Abortion is the U.S. is safe. The death rate at all stages is 0.6 per 100,000 abortions…and [is] nearly ten times as safe as carrying a pregnancy to full term.” p. 20.

“Sherri Finkbine, a young mother and television star…host of Romper Room…wanted to warn other women about the dangers of thalidomide to their pregnancies…Finkbine [traveled] to Sweden for her [abortion] procedure. P. 23 Baumgardner is silent on whether the drug thalidomide was a greater danger to pregnancy [re: baby] than abortion.

“My friend got the abortionist to agree to (re)do the procedure–this time for an additional price above his regular price, which was agreeing to his f$cking my friend right after the abortion was performed on her sister.” P. 24. Bumgardner seems to settle the debate that abortion harms women: The mother gets rid of her baby by pimping out her sister-prostitute to the abortionist. All three are without honor and, as a result, there is one less baby in the world. Ramesh Ponnura first wrote of the ‘character’ of the type of person that does the actual abortion baby-removal, “What mother rejoices in proclaiming to the world, loudly, proudly announcing, “Meet my son, The Abortionist!”…?

“The Supreme Court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act…except to save the life of the mother. This marked the first time any medical procedure was banned, as well as the first time an exception for a woman’s health had been overruled.” P. 34. Baumgardner fails to note that there is no medical justification for a Partial-Birth Abortion, as C. Everett Koop, MD, has written.

“Restrictions [cause] women [to] rarely change their minds about having procedures just because they are forced to jump through hoops.” P. 34. This has been superseded by peer reviewed studies demonstrating that commonsense abortion regulation such as waiting periods reduces the numbers of abortions, suggesting that women, in fact do change their minds. (Michael New, 2010.)

“There is not a link [between having an abortion and breast cancer] at least not according to the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, or major research universities.” P. 37

“Nada L. Stotland, MD, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association [writes] that “meticulous research shows that there is no causal relationship between abortion and mental illnesses.” P. 37.

“I started allowing myself to understand what is true for me: that I think of pregnancy as “life” but this doesn’t have to mean abortion is murder.” P. 47. This is a non sequitur and reveals the twisted backwards logic pro-abortion-choice advocates must fabricate to justify the taking of innocent human life. Indeed, the killing of a baby by the mother. Note Bumgardner’s odd use of ‘truth.’ Truth to her is not transcendent but dependent on her personal interpretation or perhaps her feelings at the moment…

“[A woman who had an abortion] realized that she…actually needed some help with the aftermath of what had turned out to be a profound experience. She began looking for after-abortion resources…All she could find to offer support were thinly disguised antiabortion groups. As a feminist, she says, “I didn’t see anything that reflected my experience” of having and sad feelings around her abortion, but not wanting to make abortion illegal.” P. 50. It is not disclosed if this woman contacted Rachel’s Vineyard or not. This group does non-judgmental post-abortion counseling.

“[A woman who had an abortion] interned at NARAL Pro-Choice California…But when she raised the issue of the lack of emotional resources for women, she was confronted with blank faces. It was, she says, as if admitting that she was struggling with her feelings meant that she wasn’t really pro-choice.” P. 50.

“Aspen Baker…in 2000…created Exhale, a nonjudgmental post-abortion talkline. In 2007, Exhale created a series of Hallmark-like e-cards that people could send to loved ones who’d had abortions–not to celebrate the abortion, but to acknowledge it and offer comfort.” P. 51.

“This shift in focus in the national conversation from “Keep your laws off my body!” to “Let’s talk about feelings and whether fetal life has value” has bee tough for the pro-choice movement…” p. 51

“Peg Johnston…operating Southern Tier Women’s Services, an independent abortion clinic [would] sit in a counseling session with a woman who’d say, “I feel like I’m killing my baby.” Johnston believes that women were genuinely struggling with the value of life and how to do the right thing and be a good person…using words like “loss” and “baby” and “killing”…” p. 53.

Baumgardner asks but does not answer, “What do you do if a patient wants to baptize the remains?” p. 54, emphasis in original.

Women who had abortions would write, “Don’t think of it as losing a baby, but as gaining a guardian angel. These were women who clearly felt relationships to their pregnancies as children, not as masses of cells.” p. 55 Italics in original.

“Emily Barklow [a college student] “struggled with feelings of deviance, selfishness, and loss [after her abortion]…Four years, lots of counseling [led her to] preparing a presentation about her experience [at a NARAL event]…I was disappointed with the lack of depth in the other presentations–all recycled coat hangers and We’ll never go back signs. I would cite this experience as my first real disconnect from the mainstream abortion rights movement.” p. 59.

“Perhaps younger women, in their own entitlement, will begin to make blasphemous statements even more loudly. The most profane is this: Why are feminists so obsessed with abortion? Some of this lingering fascination is [that] we focus on this right because it is fundamental; having the right to control our bodies is directly associated with the right to control our lives.” p. 59.

The author Baumgardner was five months pregnancy and giving a speech at Barnard College’s Students for Choice when she referred to the contents of her uterus as a “baby” instead of “fetus.” “If I said “baby” [referring to her unborn baby] that meant i wasn’t pro-choice, or with the program, or knowledgeable.” p. 60.

“Hillary Clinton…asserted her belief in [Roe v Wade] but also admitted that abortion can be “tragic” for some women…NARAL President Nancy Keenan confessed that “our community tends to run away every time somebody talks about the many emotions that come with this choice” and “we have not done enough to make people who are ‘pro-choice but struggling’ feel like they are part of this community.” p. 60.

“In March of 2007 Aspen Baker…wanted to celebrate the fact that Exhale was sending out 2,500 e-cards every month.” p. 61. Charmaine and Baker debated on CNN; pull quotes here.

“[Democrats for Life] executive director Kristen Day cites a December 2003 Zogby poll finding that forty-three percent of Democrats oppose abortion except in the case of rape or incest or to save the live of the mother…” p. 64.

“The need for abortion will never be totally eradicated, according to health activist Barbara Seaman, unless society commits to giving vasectomies to all boys after freezing their sperm, and only allowing procreation through in vitro fertilization after demonstrating sufficient income and maturity to support a child for eighteen years.” p. 65. The Alert Student would be tempted to dismiss Baumgardner for including this passage. But Seaman’s concept was advanced by Margaret Sanger who suggested, without humor, that licenses to marry and procreate be awarded to only those deemed “fit” by your local Planned Parenthood affiliate. The late Barbara Seaman is little known outside academic women’s studies programs and should remain so.

“Norma McCorvey [Roe in Roe v Wade] never actually had an abortion…” p. 70.

Baumgardner is concerned about forced adoptions, “I cried for the many women who were conned into relinquishing their children…

I cried remembering how intense it was to be pregnant and to give birth–how hormones and pain and extreme physical duress combined into what felt like a near-death experience [for her as mother-no mention of an aborted baby]. I recalled how I really understood–in my loosened pelvis, my stretched-out ribs, and the kicks to my cervix from tiny limbs–the sensitive factory that is our bodies, arduously creating another human. p. 70.

Baumgardner is lamenting the “choice” women endure when giving up a child for adoption but come precariously close to advancing a pro-life argument. This defines the schizophrenia of the abortion movement: The baby is human, the baby is a person-and the mother can terminate on a whim.

“So, can you be a feminist and pro-life? The answer is a resounding “yes.”” p. 71.

“With many of the women…giving birth seemed to preclude an investment in their own lives; it meant saying goodbye to a fellowship, to a career of their choosing, or being forced to stay in a relationship they didn’t want with the baby’s father.” P. 74. One could wonder that terminating a baby could indeed terminate a relationship: between mother and child(ren) and father(s).

“Gloria Steinem, born March 25, 1934, [could] not see any way that I could possibly give birth to someone else and also give birth to myself.” P. 79. In Steinem’s search for self, “someone else” — her baby — was sacrificed. To advance women.

Baumgardner quotes Barbara Ehrenreich, “Women do use abortion as backup nowadays, but they often don’t acknowledge it. I’m referring to women who get pregnant purposefully, for instance, but assume that legal abortion will be available as a backup should the child they’re carrying have Down’s syndrome or another abnormality they decide they can’t handle.” p. 87

Baumgardner quotes a Marion Banzhaf, a lesbian (Why do I need to know this? Why does she need to tell me?), “[After the abortion] I was thrilled…I was so happy to see the blood. I felt like my life was beginning over again…I saw a little baby in a carriage and a mom and I thought, Oh, I’m so glad that’s not me…I felt like I had control over what I was going to do with the rest of my life.” P. 90. Italics in original, bold emphasis mine.

Baumgardner quotes Giliian Aldrich, “I called my mom and said, “How could you have done that? I could have had this older brother or sister and you killed them…” p. 98. She later decided she was pro-abortion-choice.

At age 30 Gillian Aldrich was pregnant, “I had zero sentimentality, and didn’t want to even open that door [of keeping the baby]. I thought: If there is a baby in here, It’s not staying. I knew it would destroy our relationship [even though boyfriend wanted the child]. p. 99. Italics in original.

“We went to this…[abortion] clinic…The place was kind of a factory. The counseling session was a joke. I thought that there would be more of an emotional support system in the clinic itself, but there wasn’t.” p. 99.

“That Sylvia Ann Hewlett book came out [Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children]…There was something retrograde about her attitude, but her facts [demonstrating fertility declines precipitously throughout your thirties] were correct…” p. 100.

Baumgardner quotes Amy Richards, “I was…pregnant with triplets…and made the decision to have a selective reduction…a stand-alone fetus…would continue to term…[the] identical twins were aborted…instant death. After I went through the procedure, my boyfriend Peter was much more traumatized than I was, even though hospital policy didn’t allow him to witness the procedure.” p. 104 The Alert Reader might wonder, What’s to be traumatized about? It’s not a baby. It’s not human. It’s not a person. Or is it?

Richards continues, “I…speak at colleges…I meet so many girls who are trying to make sense of abortion. They really want to support abortion rights…but at the end of the day [they] just can’t say, “I’m pro-choice,” or, “I support abortion,” p. 105.

Men quoted in this book are as ambivalent about abortion as the women. A George is quoted, “For me, I think the abortion [with my girlfriend] will stand as a symbol that I thought of myself as this open, loving guy, but I wasn’t.” p. 110. Emphasis mind.

Baumgardner quotes Ani Difranco, “I want to tell women and men, “You are an animal and it is a beautiful thing.” p. 113. The pro-abortion-choice argument is revealing: human personhood is not transcendent from lower animals. Most religions hold that only humans are eternal beings with a soul. It appears that the human with the religion of feminism (where abortion is a sacrament) would have no soul.

Where do pro-abortion-choice women find these men: “He was an activist and a poet…he was having sex with me, and sometimes choking me. It was horrible.” p. 117. I am sure that the choking was terrible, I guess. But begs the question: How many times did the pro-abortion-choice poet choke you? Sometimes? Just a few times?

Baumgardner quotes a Robin Ringleka, “The doctor was very rushed and didn’t have much of a bedside manner. I was pretty terrified and I began to cry when he entered the room. This seemed to piss him off and he demanded to know why I was crying…[later] The one-year anniversary of my abortion was approaching and I was having bad dreams.” p. 125. Why do these pro-abortion-choice women have bad dreams? Why do they remember the dates of the abortion and “birthday” of the baby terminated? Can a clump of cells, a mere fetus cause so much anguish? Or is the death of a baby painful even to a woman in denial?

Ringleka continues, “I have come to believe that having an abortion can be a very motherly decision.” p. 125. Except for, maybe, her baby.

Baumgardner quotes, Jenny Egan, “I went with my boyfriend…to Planned Parenthood…I had assumed that I …would finally be able to tell someone or talk to someone about how freaked out I was, but I didn’t get to…My boyfriend started the breaking-up process the day after the abortion. He said he wanted to date other people.” p. 127.

Baumgardner wonders, “I recognize that is serious [an unborn baby might be a person], but my own life is too important to sacrifice for an unplanned pregnancy.” p. 133. This is understood to not be an act of selfishness to the pro-abortion-choice supporters.

“[A father] describes, bluntly, how a recent abortion felt “more like murder”…” p. 113.

“Inga Muscio, the author of the contempory feminist classic C@unt: A Declaration of Independence (1998) [available at bookstores everywhere]…said the surgical solution…”sucked.” After Muscio discovered herself pregnant a third time, she vowed not to go back to the clinic and “waltz with the abhorrent machine.”” p. 142.

“Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas…says: “Abortion is not a cerebral or a reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart…[U]ntil one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all.” p.143. Indeed, abortion follows the emotion of the woman’s heart. The logic of the brain, less so.

Baumgardner closes Abortion & Life with a profound and profane quote from,

popular musician and activist Ani DiFranco, who has a strong appreciation of the taboos surrounding abortion, wrote a song lyric that refers to the single cell that is an egg: “To split yourself in two is just the most radical thing you can do.” Life begins in that split–transformative energy is released into the aperture. The Ani adds: “So girl if that sh!t ain’t up to you, then you simply are not free. p. 144. So there.

“By creating a T-shirt so many would see as offensive, the pro-choice movement has intentionally sought to outrage the Christian Right.” p. 174.

One wag suggested a tag line on the reverse of the t-shirt to Baumgardner,

Front: I had an abortion.

Back: Roe v. Wade–Eliminating Future Democrats One Choice at a Time. p. 174.

***

Baumgardner is not happy about restrictions that help make abortion rare, “Planning a Pro-Choice Event…is…one way to fight the gloom…make the Roe anniversary powerful–a day of consciousness-raising and fundraising.” p. 148. She seems unaware that hundreds of thousands from the pro-life community march in Washington, DC on the Roe anniversary, January 22, each year.

Baumgardner wants the reader to celebrate and to mark your calendars that “the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers is March 10.” p. 149.

Baumgardner refers to the Reproductive Health Blog: www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog

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Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Thank you (foot)notes,

*Baumgardner’s opening quote is from Rebecca Hyman’s essay Full Frontal Offense: Taking Abortion Rights To The Tees.

*”The fetus beat us” has been incorrectly attributed to Naomi Wolf. She writes us in an email, “I never said The fetus, beat us. I think it is an awful phrase, would never have said something so brutal and trivializing about this issue…Thank you! Take care, Naomi wolf.”

The book was funded by pro-abortion-choice individuals and groups, Amy Ray, Merle Hoffman and the Diana Foundation, Gloria Browning, Karen Burgum and the F-M Area Foundation Women’s Fund and Roberta Schneiderman…” preface page

Gillian Aldrich directed the documentary “I Had an Abortion”… preface page

Charmaine on CNN: Abortion Mourn or Celebrate?

See The Fetal Hand Grasp on Charmaine Debates Abortion on CNN.

Will Pro-Lifers Quit? Father Neuhaus Eulogized; Charmaine Quoted in Christianity Today

January 13, 2009 | By | No Comments

obama_new_yorker_cover.jpgThe church was full to overflowing. Even visiting priests had to stand in the aisle.

I’m sure this exceeded the Fire Marshal’s Max Occupancy. But no NYFDer was going to stop this Mass demonstration.

Father Richard John Neuhaus was buried today. We were reminded of his final writings on abortion. That we would never tire nor grow weary in defending Life.

Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine talked about the funeral on the train back to DC. Pleased and humbled and encouraged by what Father Richard accomplished.

We were resolved to do two things to help carry on his work:

1) Continue to fight the good fight for the sanctity of Life. And,

2) Have more dinner parties.

We will pass on the cigars.

***

The abortion debate will have some challenges during the Obama administration.

Sarah Pulliam writes in Christianity Today, Battle Fatigue

Abortion opponents head into Obama presidency after big losses

“The first thing I’d do as President,” Barack Obama told Planned Parenthood in 2007, “is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” The bill would remove almost all state and federal restrictions on abortion. But observers wonder if the anti-abortion movement has enough life in it to successfully fight the legislation or similar measures…

Signs of fatigue aside, observers agree that abortion will remain a major political issue.

“People are still energized and ready to fight a radical agenda on abortion as it comes down the pipe,” said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life.

[She should have said ‘pike’ not ‘pipe.’ She has a delightful way of mixing the metaphor: Belly up to the plate; Step up to the bar, Easy as cake, It’s a piece of pie. She is a fun woman to live with…]

Polls and other research suggest that younger evangelicals are more supportive of abortion restrictions than older evangelicals are. A 2007 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that 70 percent of younger white evangelicals favor “making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion,” compared with 55 percent of older white evangelicals.

The Pro-Life Movement as the Politics of the 1960s by Richard John Neuhaus

Copyright (c) 2009 First Things (January 2009).

Whatever else it is, the pro-life movement of the last thirty-plus years is one of the most massive and sustained expressions of citizen participation in the history of the United States. Since the 1960s, citizen participation and the remoralizing of politics have been central goals of the left. Is it not odd, then, that the pro-life movement is viewed as a right-wing cause?…

These are the issues addressed in a remarkable new book out this month from Princeton University Press, The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, by Jon Shields, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College…

The pro-life movement is a movement for change, indeed for what some view as the radical change of eliminating the unlimited abortion license. “Meanwhile,” writes Shields, “the pro-choice movement is a conservative movement defending the status quo. Pro-choicers have little to gain from engaging their opponents and from the deliberative norms that facilitate persuasion.”

…the abortion battle is over abortion and whether the unborn child counts as a human person, but where one comes out on that question is, I believe, powerfully influenced by a host of other beliefs and attitudes aptly summarized in the pro-life language of a culture of death versus a culture of life. There are two cultures, one focused on rights and laws and the other on rights and wrongs; one focused on maximizing individual self-expression and the other on reinforcing community and responsibility….

“One of the great political ironies of the past few decades,” writes Shields, “is that the Christian Right has been much more successful than its political rivals at fulfilling New Left hopes for American democracy. Far more than any movement since the early campaign for civil rights, the Christian Right has helped revive participatory democracy in America by overcoming citizens’ alienation from politics.” As one has all too many occasions to observe, history has many ironies in the fire. To the 1960s proponents of participatory democracy, the maxim applies: Be careful what you hope for. To those flirting with despair in the face of an Obama presidency, the advice is offered: You might want to get a copy of The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right by Jon Shields. And all of us would do well to ponder the wisdom in the observation that there are no permanently lost causes because there are no permanently won causes.

Join Fight FOCA

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Thank you (foot)notes:

We had dinner last night at the Algonquin Hotel, birthplace of the New Yorker. Where writers and what-not would gather at the The Roundtable in the 1920′s and 30′s. We sat at The Roundtable and learned about the literary giants who walked those floors and sat at these places. We stared at the large wooden table and marveled and mumbled something about history to the waiter.

“The Table? Nevermind. It’s a replica. Dunno where the real one is,” he said. “New owners did something with it…”

The table was a fake. Made us think about all those authentic pro-choicers at the New Yorker.

Read more from First Things at the jump.

Vital Signs also recommends First Things.

Also see Wake for Father Richard John Neuhaus.

Read More

Mission Statements for Real Growth

January 3, 2009 | By | No Comments

helen_gardens_flowers.jpg

Helen:

GARDENING WITH CONFIDENCEEvery business should have a mission statement to help focus staff, benchmarks, resources, results.

Every business could benefit. Every silo, in the business; on the farm.

Even your garden.

A business going to seed, so to say…

My favorite ‘plant manager’ is Helen of Raleigh who runs the premier gardening business in central North Carolina. She writes for Better Homes and Gardens and blogs at Gardening With Confidence™.

Helen is also a Garden Scout and Stylist. In her work as a field editor for Better Homes and Gardens and their Special Interest Publications such as Country Gardens and Nature’s Garden, she scouts great gardens for their publications.

When a garden is chosen for publication, Helen works with photographers to style the photo shoot.

Just as every manager needs a business coach, every gardener needs a gardening coach.

Who knew?

Helen helped create this market niche. She is in great demand as a Garden Coach.

In her former career as a Vice President of an environmental company she learned how to shovel manure.

Good management training.

Carrying a rifle in Pakistan didn’t hurt either. (Working for an environmental client. Really.)

Here is Helen’s gardening mission statement,

GARDEN MISSION STATEMENT

Helen’s Haven is a sustainable, wildlife habitat, created to attract and feed birds, bees, butterflies

and for the enjoyment of friends, family, and visitors to educate, enjoy,

and to understand we are the earth’s caretakers, so let’s take care.

If you have a garden statement, send it along to Helen. She will be posting the collection.

mulch_leave_helen_yoest.jpg

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Thank you (foot)notes:

For the backstory see, Women, Work and Family: One VP’s Solution,

“How do you it all?” Accomplished women with kids constantly get this question.

Helen Philbrook, married and mother of three, from Raleigh, NC, has the answer.

Your Business Blogger(R) recently sat down with Helen and her husband David to learn the secret.

She’s a former Vice President of an environmental testing firm, and perhaps the world’s first female “Smoke Stack Sniffer.”

Full Disclosure: Helen is the sister of Your Business Blogger(R)

Getting Business Done: A Code for Virginians

December 12, 2008 | By | No Comments

seal_of_virginia.png The Commonwealth of Virginia is a terrific state to do business.

Alert Readers and my students well know the bias of Your Business Blogger(R) has toward Virginia — a talented labor pool, low taxes, and a right to work state (re: employees don’t have to join a union).

Virginia has had a business friendly culture since the county’s founding. A few decades ago the beliefs were memorialized.

Sic Semper Tryannis

Thus Always to Tyrants

A Code for Virginians

Developed by a special committee of the Virginian State Chamber of Commerce and adopted by the membership in annual session at Roanoke on April 9, 1942

Preamble

Virginia was the scene of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. In its colonial legislative halls the fundamental principles of a new democracy were developed. Here the pattern of a government for a free people was evolved.

Patrick Henry sounded the keynote of the Revolutionary War. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Deceleration of Independence. George Washington led the army that made the formation of the United States a possibility. James Madison fathered the Constitution. George Mason’s Virginia Bill of Rights. Here in Virginia was launched the struggle for freedom that gave birth to a new government conceived and fostered by the sons of its soil.

It is fitting, then, that we who enjoy and seek to preserve the benefits that our forefathers provided for us, should reaffirm our faith in the principles upon which this nation was founded. We should pledge our support and dedicate ourselves, our institutions, our organizations, and our individual businesses to the principles whose adoption has brought our nation and our people to be the exemplars and leaders of the civilized world.

Since a system of free enterprise is not based upon any fundamental human right, the obligation rests upon our conduct of business that under this system the public welfare is best served.

To Virginians and Virginia institutions has come the opportunity to raise anew the battle cry of freedom, to crystallize into fulfilling action the tenets that have made of this a promised land. They who gave to us this priceless heritage will not sleep if we who now enjoy it let it slip from our grasp.

[Free enterprise may not be based on an enumerated right, but capitalism is Biblically based. The Commandment Thou shall not steal is a protection for private property and that property can only change hands — legally — with a willing buyer and seller.]

That we may express our faith in and pledge our support of our system of private enterprise the following code has been adopted by the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce to be displayed by all its members and proclaimed to the people pf this state and nation.

1. Business in all its forms, in all its activities, must command the respect, confidence, and support of the public and its own personnel. to this end it must keep its own house in order. only through the adoption and self-enforcement of ethical standards of conduct can business justify the right to freedom of action. By this means business can minimize the need of governmental regulation.

[Any human behavior needs to be protected from evil. Many cultures use government. We are blessed with self-government with self-regulation...enforced not with brute government, but with 'intermediating institutions' -- associations between citizens and government.]

2. The privilege of doing business in Virginia is freely acquired. It is a license to serve which imposes obligations upon business to deal fairly, openly, and honestly with the public, the employee, the investor, and the government.

[Virginia has low taxes and low barriers to entry to open a business.]

3. Laws regarding business should be based on the principle of guaranteeing freedom of action to all. They should prevent the abuse of power. Fulfillment of the statutes in spirit as well as in letter in an obligation of business.

[President Jefferson said that the purpose of government is to restrain evil -- not to do good.]

4. The freedom enjoyed by individuals in a democracy imposes commensurate obligations, applying equally to those engaged in business, professional, and governmental activity. All business enterprises, enjoying rights guaranteed to persons, must recognize the same obligation as are required of the individual.

5. The foundations of our established form of government rest upon the preservation of the fundamental, inalienable rights of the individual expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of the United States of America. These rights can best be preserved under a system of free enterprise.

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Absolut Ad: Obama’s Map for America?

April 5, 2008 | By | No Comments

Obama talks about Change. He talks about avoiding conflict and leaving lands where some people may not want us there.

If there is a fight for a country, Obama will surrender.

On all fronts.

absolut_mexico_map_.jpg

Obama can then take the Stars off the American Flag he won’t salute; the Flag pin he won’t wear.

Obama’s only Absolut .

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Thank you (foot)notes:

mymanmitt has alternatives to Absolut Vodka.

Before Obama surrenders, maybe we can get a refund on the Gadsden Purchase?,

In return for this vast territory, the United States gave [Mexico] $15,000,000 and assumed responsibility for paying $3,000,000 in claims of American citizens against the Mexican Government. A large body of public opinion in the United States had opposed the war against Mexico and felt that the Southern republic had been treated badly. The territory desired by Gadsden and his group was then a sort of no man’s land, experiencing frequent Indian raids. The United States wanted to make certain “boundary adjustments”; Mexico needed money and wanted a settlement of her Indian claims against the United States; and Gadsden and his friends wanted a route for their railroad. In 1852 Gadsden agreed to pay Santa Anna $10,000,000 for a strip of territory south of the Gila River and lying in what is now southwestern New Mexico and southern Arizona. Many Americans were not especially proud of the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty and considered the price of the Gadsden Purchase as “conscience money.” The Gadsden Purchase has an area of 45,535 square miles and is almost as large as Pennsylvania.

Mexico reconquers California? Absolut drinks to that!,

The latest advertising campaign in Mexico from Swedish vodka maker Absolut promises to push all the right buttons south of the U.S. border, but it could ruffle a few feathers in El Norte.

The billboard and press campaign, created by advertising agency TeranTBWA and now running in Mexico, is a colorful map depicting what the Americas might look like in an “Absolut” — i.e., perfect — world.

The U.S.-Mexico border lies where it was before the Mexican-American war of 1848 when California, as we now know it, was Mexican territory and known as Alta California.

Following the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo saw the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fé de Nuevo México ceded to the United States to become modern-day California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. (Texas actually split from Mexico several years earlier to form a breakaway republic, and was voluntarily annexed by the United States in 1846.)

The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of leading Latino advertising agency Grupo Gallegos in the U.S.

Full Disclosure: Charmaine, the wife of Your Business Blogger(R), served as Senior Advisor to the Huckabee for President Campaign.

UPDATE: Read a first-hand account of John McCain on the campaign trail in Pensacola, Fl, Service to America Tour, courtesy, John Howland, USNA-AT-Large, at the jump.

Terry Pruitt, former military, has more on rendering a salute and respect for the Flag at Obama Seems to Get It Wrong.

Read More

Jingozian Surrenders: Jingo-Jihadists Run Presidential Campaign

May 29, 2007 | By | One Comment

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Jingo-Jihadists Cheerfully Surrendering Mike Jingozian, candidate for president (of the United States) has begun his political campaign.

With a surrender.

Using the banner “Jingo-Jihadists for Surrender Soonest” the JJ for SS hopes to mobilize the America-Firster voting public into surrendering, a la French, to Al Qaeda.

However. It might be a mistake for a politician to throw his hands into the air and cry “Surrender Now!” This makes for a compelling picture message, that didn’t even work for Cindy Sheehan.

The first rule of politics, as in medicine is First Do No Harm.

Which is close to a motto in our household: Don’t screw up.

(Alert Readers understand well that Your Business Blogger rather enjoys a [calculated] risk. Don’t Screw Up is not a retreat from trying, but an invective to be smart.)

Smart politics has yet to be found in the Jingo-Jihad Surrender presidential campaign. The first item on which Your Business Blogger advises clients is to get the big, simple things right.

Like your name.

And the domain. This being the internet age and all.

Which makes the Jingo-Jihad Surrender campaign so sad. Mike Jingozian claims a degree from Harvard and various technology awards.

You’d think he’d get the basics right. Him running a super-duper tech company as he is wont to remind us voters. And running for President (of the United States!).

Basics like:

www.MikeJingozian.com

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Mike Jingozian

visionary on a pedestal The Jingo-Jihadists might also reconsider the Reset photo shooting. It is very difficult to get a good publicity shot of a client where the audience is looking up his nose holes. Even assuming excellent nose-hair-hygiene.

So, we start with three minor campaign criticisms:

1) Surrender is bad bannering

2) Claim your name domain

3) Make your picture perfect

Yes, there’s more. Continue reading the Jingozium Erratum at the jump.

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Reset American banner

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Thankyou (foot)notes,

See “First, do no harm”: Not in the Hippocratic Oath sans abortion.

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How To Handle Criticism and Run for Public Office: Mike Jingozian Hires Private Investigator on Your Business Blogger

May 10, 2007 | By | 8 Comments

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Mike Jingozian

founder of AngelVision

announces political ambitions “You will hear more about my political plans in the months ahead. For now, I wish you peace and harmony. Be well, Jingo.”

A number of Alert Readers have been following our case study of AngelVision. The founder, Mike “Jingo” Jingozian has been most unhappy with Your Business Blogger’s analysis and has hired (at least two) lawyers and a private investigator in response to the critique and the comments.

(A private investigator??!! I’m honored.)

Jingo will be running for an elected or appointed public office — but has taken some time off the campaign trail and his business to address Reasoned Audacity’s review of the unusual AngelVision management style.

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Jingozium Erratum

Your Business Blogger at

Oxford’s circular library

May 1995Over the next few weeks we will discuss the challenges of crisis management in dealing with the blogosphere.

AngelVision continues to be an outstanding case study — on a “distinctive” reaction to public criticism.

Meanwhile Jingo should consider CampaignSiteBuilder.com to help him launch his political career. (See compensated link on sidebar.)

Continue reading at the jump. Hint: Don’t hire expensive private investigators to spy on bloggers.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to visit AngelVision and take the Jingo on-line poll on what to do with Your Business Blogger. Here’s how I voted:

Number three: Don’t be a wimp! Kick some @ss! Sue the b@stard out of principle! [Expletives modified]

The vote results will surprise you.

(Charmaine voted for “ignore him.” She’s no fun.)

Here’s my advice and bumper sticker for his political world view.

UPDATE: 16 May 2007, Mike Jingozian claims that Your Business Blogger is a Washington government insider. Very flattering, but I must not be much of a political insider because I just now noticed that Jingo Jingozian is really, really running for public office. No, not town council. Not for congress. Nope. Jingo is going the Full Monty. Mike Jingozian is running for President. Goodness.

Blue state Oregon is now in play for the GOP.

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Pick a Publicity Shot

February 15, 2007 | By | 13 Comments

A picture is worth a thousand words.

We are updating Charmaine’s pub shots. Following are two. We need to pick one.

Please send me an email or comment and let us know which one you’d pick and why.

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leaning forward, or

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sitting straight up.

The is the raw work of branding and image. You will notice that most portraits will have the subject facing toward his or her right — showing the left side of the face.

Unseen would be the subject’s feet. They will both be flat on the ground — but not together, not parallel. But one foot would be slightly ahead of the other. If standing, this would be an Hellenic pose as Alert Reader Pat Patterson comments about the Rocky statue.

A picture is worth a thousand words is so Chinese, so exotic — so like Confucius. And so wrong.

The thousand words is actually an American marketing campaign from the 1920′s.

Dirty Market Segment: Charmaine Quoted on Britney Spears by FoxNews

January 4, 2007 | By | No Comments

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Britney Spears AP Britney Spears did it again. Making headlines with her antics. She followed up a round of headlines about her under-bare partying a few months back with a New Year’s eve round of parties that culminated in her handlers physically carrying her out.

Some marketers and commentators believe the dirty stunts will hurt Britney’s brands.

New Auction Sites Alternative & General News writes in The Business of Britney: Spears’ Latest Oops May Cost Her

Photos of a pantyless, glassy-eyed Britney Spears may prove “Toxic” to sales of her perfumes, albums and DVDs … or they could make her business even “Stronger.”

Family values advocates, business experts and Hollywood gossip gurus alike have been speculating on the impact, if any, that the bare-under-there shots will have on the Britney empire, especially among her younger fans.

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FoxNewsFoxNews quoted Charmaine,

Charmaine Yoest, [Ph.D.] communications vice president for the conservative Family Research Council think tank and the mother of five children, said that if her kids asked for Spears’ fragrances, Curious and Fantasy, or a Britney album or DVD, she’d tell them, “You’ve got to be kidding!”

“We’re not going to buy products from people who have such a flagrant disregard for moral values and who show no concern for their role as models for young people,” Yoest said. “It’s absolutely going to hurt her sales. She’s really gone too far over the boundaries of good taste.”

Yoest said her 13-year-old daughter “is not interested in Britney anymore, or Lindsay Lohan either.”

Lohan has also been photographed in the past wearing nothing underneath.

“My daughter just looks at Britney and Lindsay and goes ‘Ick,’” said Yoest. “I think these pop stars underestimate how smart young girls are.”

Your Business Blogger disagrees. (No, not with Charmaine. Nope. Never.) I would suggest that the Britney goods will sell and sell well. As awful as Spears behaves, she appeals and is appealing to her clearly defined market segment: Sullen little girls.

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Britney Spears

National Ledger

This is not judgmental. This is life. This is real. This is marketing.

Except that young girls can pick their own market segment. They can pick their own peer group.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

And marketers should monitor the Roe Effect.

TimeCheese has pictures. Yes, those pictures. Not safe for work or families. Available only for scientific marketing analysis.

Kevin Federline has had little input.

30 Nov

By

3 Comments

Army Marketing: Army Strong — But Will It Make a Difference?

November 30, 2006 | By | 3 Comments

The Army has a new slogan: Army Strong.

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Army StrongThis replaces the Army of One nonsense we have endured for the last 5 years. Your Business Blogger/Old Soldier is delighted with the new verbiage.

Robert Burns, the AP Military Writer reports,

Army officials said the switch did not mean the “Army of One” slogan was a loser, but many have criticized it.

Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute research group, said the previous slogan seemed to promote the notion that you could join the Army and preserve your individuality.

“If you want to be an ‘Army of One’ you probably want to join the Hell’s Angels, not the U.S. Army,” he said.

The new war chant is a better descriptor; more authentic as the academics say. And is guaranteed to win advertising awards as it should.

The Washington Post reports on the $200 million a year ad campaign where the,

New York advertising firm McCann Erickson designed the campaign after winning the two-year Army contract, which can be renewed for three additional years.

The ads were tested on hundreds of soldiers, although studies show that it is difficult for the military to gain an accurate measure of the effectiveness of advertising, which is relatively expensive compared with other recruiting tools such as educational benefits and bonuses.

All of marketing, including military, should be measured against a matrix of benchmarks for grading a return on investment.

[Goodness, look-it all those buzz phrases strung together. How impressive!...I'll have to raise my fees.]

The measure of success in this marketing campaign with the new catch-phrase is in the number of recruits as compared to a like-time frame with the old slogan.

I am not persuaded that the Army Strong campaign will increase the recruiting numbers of the Army.

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Heartbeat of AmericaThe Army Strong marketing mirrors the marketing done by Chevrolet with the Heart Beat of America branding from 1987 to 1994.

The genius of Sean K. Fitzpatrick was recognized by a number of awards for Chevrolet’s Heartbeat of America advertising effort.

Interestly, singer songwriter Robin Batteau wrote and sang both Chevrolet’s “Heartbeat of America” and “Be All You Can Be” for the US Army.

Steve Coomes, writes in Pizza Marketplace Image isn’t everything,

The Heartbeat of America, Chevrolet.

It’s not only one of the most memorable ad slogans of the 1980s, it was an advertising industry award winner.

And yet it failed miserably….

“That’s a perfect example of image advertising,” said Cavalloro, whose company, Performance Marketing, is based in Algonac, Mich. “Image advertising is the type of advertising that focuses more on the aesthetics and the artistic quality of an ad. It doesn’t get the reader to take action.”

(Marketing: Pizza, Chevy, Army. Ain’t America great or what.)

As it happens, I drove a Chevy Celebrity during the Heartbeat heyday. Not by choice. It was a company car. It was not, shall I say, reliable transportation.

So, Heartbeat of America won awards and cost millions of dollars. But Chevrolet sales dropped 17 percent in Heartbeat’s first year.

Great slogan. Crappy cars.

My concern is that advertising history will be repeated: The Pentagon will have terrific, award winning eye-wash. But that the results of the slogan’s effectiveness will be poor. Recruitment will remain a challenge.

Not because of a poor product. The Army output is outstanding. No. Recruitment will remain problematic — not because the Army is a difficult lifestyle. Or there is a war and you might die. Not because the Army is too hard.

No. Recruitment will falter because the Army is now seen as being too easy. Too soft.

Even girls can do it.

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Women Loving WeaponsRecruitment will be troublesome because the Army is using double standards — different standards for men and women. For example,

Army men must do 75 push-ups…and run two miles in 13 minutes. Women soldiers must do 46 push-ups…and run two miles in 15:35.

The Army has soft, gentle, kinder standards for females. Double standards. New slogans will not fix this policy.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Management Training Tip: When recruiting new talent, don’t make the job sound easy. Make the job a challenge.

See the Chevy icon in…China.