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Ethics

Family Policy Councils: The Real Grass Roots Needed for the Next Conservative President

January 9, 2007 | By | One Comment

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Policy Review

November & December 1996In the mid-nineties, Charmaine wrote a column for Policy Review magazine. One of her articles reviewed the Family Policy Councils. The FPCs are state based non-profits considered faith-based, cultural and economic conservatives.

A conservative president usually needs Ohio to win. And the embrace of the Family Policy Councils.

These state-based organizations work somewhat with the Family Research Council in DC and Focus on the Family in Colorado.

Originally published in 1996; and even more important today.

State Groups That Fight for Mom and Dad

by Charmaine Crouse Yoest

Rudy Gonzalez, a “cowboy poet” with a handlebar mustache and a home-on-the-range accent, strummed his guitar, then launched into a joke. The crowd relaxed into laughter as he regaled them with tall tales and folk wisdom.

This is the Idaho Family Forum’s annual summer fundraiser, the Spud Bake, where this group of moms and dads marks the end of summer by eating baked potatoes. Lots of them. Followed by spud-shaped ice cream.

But cowboy poetry soon gave way to public policy. U.S. Senator Larry Craig rose to address the group, and the question-and-answer session that followed was brisk and well informed. The Idaho Family Forum (IFF) and its supporters are dedicated to changing cultural trends that are undermining the stability of families — from no-fault divorce to teen pregnancy to chronic welfare dependency.

Led by executive director Dennis Mansfield, a former businessman, the IFF is part of a growing national movement of independent, state-based policy organizations called Family Policy Councils (FPCs). There are now more than 30 such organizations across the country, loosely affiliated by shared goals, common strategies, and mutual support. In order to win the ears of lawmakers, the media, and academics, they prefer research over rallies and education over activism.

Continue reading at the jump

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger served on the Board of Directors for The Family Foundation, a Family Policy Council in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Girls win — Boys lose: Webster Smith, Coast Guard Academy Cadet Convicted

July 29, 2006 | By | One Comment

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The Guardian,

Your Business Blogger

and Charmaine Disney’s soon-to- be-released movie, The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner, tells the Coast Guard’s story. Semper Paratus

The Coast Guard is Always Ready. But sometimes the Coast Guard must make hard choices. The conflict setup of the The Guardian action-movie is:

When a Coast Guard rescuer has to decide between two people in extreme distress, which one does he choose?

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Webster Smith, Center

with parents

AP Photo The Coast Guard has itself been under distress. The service academies have precise rules as a condition of employment and as the price of admission for the free university education. Among them:

Don’t have sex in the dorms.

If you are looking for a Charlotte Simmons campus, go civilian. The feminists and the academies are battling in the courts arguing over the breaking of rules and rape.

In the recent Webster Smith trial the Coast Guard recently had to choose between,

He said, and,

She said

The Coast Guard picked, “She Said.”

Webster Smith was convicted guilty of indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order and absent without leave. This is the first student court-marshal in the Coast Guard academy’s 130 year history.

The Free Republic says:

With no DNA or forensic evidence in the case, prosecutors relied on the testimony of Smith’s on-again, off-again girlfriend to carry the rape case. (Emphasis mine.)

She testified that she drank two bottles of wine at a party in Annapolis, Md., last summer and couldn’t remember having sex with Smith.

Smith said that she drank far less that night and that the sex was consensual. He was acquitted on charges stemming from her accusations.

Both were a-boozing. She’s now an officer. He gets six months.

Hell hath no fury like a woman women scorned.

All this started with the girls getting mad. And then getting even.

The time line starts with Webster canoodeling with (at least!) four Coast Guard female cadets. This is against the rules for boys and girls alike. Webster should have gotten gigged or gotten demerits or something; So should the girl(s). But no.

About a year ago, the girlfriends began to find out about each other.

Real sexual assault must be addressed. Monsters who rape must be quarentined from civil society. I’m just not sure Webster is such a monster. Webster Smith is a cad(et) to be punished. But it is not clear that he is a rapist.

The story begins:

Webster “rapes” girlfriend #1.

The next night, after the “rape” of #1, #1 girl goes with Smith to a concert, then she spends the night together with Smith in a hotel room.

They exchange affectionate e-mails.

They have dinner.

#1 gets pregnant. Smith and his mother and #1 girlfriend talk about getting married.

They don’t get married.

Webster Smith is brought up on rape charges and all the other lawless canoodeling activity.

At his trial, girlfriend #2 testifies that she and Smith also had sex. A number of times.

The sex with girlfriend #2 took place in her dorm room. She opened the door and let him in. A number of times.

Girlfriend #2 says all this sex was “unwelcomed.” A number of times.

Girlfriend #2 joins Webster in a series of naked photographs; Paris Hilton special. (The Chronicle of Higher Education has the options, I believe.)

Girlfriend #2 is also now a Coast Guard officer. (It is not known if she is posing… for recruitment posters.)

#2 girlfriend gave testimony about oral sex with Smith. #2 said she had to debase herself with lots of sex, and porno-photography because Smith had a “secret” and would tell on her.

The secret would jeopardize her career.

#2 girlfriend sold sex for silence. To keep her “secret” safe.

Smith is befuddled. He knows of no “secret.” He really doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She implies that Smith does know. Or should know.

(Every married man reading this is nodding: has been there, ignored that.)

Somewhere in all this Webster’s baby is aborted.

Smith must register as a sex offender in Texas and will not graduate from the Coast Guard Academy.

The conflict, the lesson of The Guardian, of whom to choose, whom to believe, is simple.

Always rescue the damsel in distress. And,

What “She Said” is always true.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Webster’s “rapes” were not as bad as Professor Igor’s 80 “rapes” of a woman. The service academies are looking more like civilian academies all the time.

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger has the honor of serving as the Vice President for the Center for Military Readiness.

For an outstanding analysis about the service academy rape cases visit countervailing force.

More at the jump

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

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Charmaine on Scarborough Country Tonight

June 22, 2006 | By | One Comment

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Scarborough Country Charmaine will be appearing on Scarborough Country tonight on MSNBC. Hit time is around 9:40pm EST.

She will be debating the value of fidelity in marriage.

She will be sounding like the Marines:

Semper Fidelis.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

More on Congressman Joe Scarborough at the jump.

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Bribery as a Cost of Doing Business In Washington, DC

May 30, 2006 | By | One Comment

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Your Business Blogger

with back office hardware

Bangalore, India In India it’s called “Speed Money.” In Mexico it’s call “Facilitation.” In China it’s called a “Relationship.”

In the US of A, it’s called a “Bribe.”

Except in Washington, DC, where it’s called “Love.”

Frank Robinson, an Inspector for the Washington, DC Department of Transportation was caught on tape asking for love; asking for a bribe. According to The Washington Times, May 25, 2006:

Mr. Robinson: You want your permit right away, right?

Contractor: D*mn right I want my permit.

Mr. Robinson: You need to love me, baby, you need to love me. I did my part; you didn’t get no fines or anything.

Contractor: Give me a price. I got to talk to my people about money. Tell me how much.

Mr. Robinson: What you think man? If you had somebody …watch something so you didn’t get a $2,500 ticket?

Contractor: Frank, I need a price.

Mr. Robinson: Give me $500.

Sounds much like doing business in a Third World Nation. Or maybe it is. As Washington, DC has often been compared.

Your Business Blogger once had a boss in the medical device business working the Washington, DC hospitals. He advised me on how to deliver “the gratuity” which was usually in a brown paper bag, to the key influencers and decision makers. My boss was a pro. He directed me to give the goods only after the contract was signed as a “reward.” Rather than before the signed order.

The “thank you” was a box of donuts.

A difference of degree from $100K Congressman Jefferson received as a “gratuity” I suppose.

As Your Business Blogger consults with international clients, particular attention is paid to the difference between a gratuity and a gratuity.

And I would lecture smugly on the superiority of God-fearing English-speaking Capitalists (that’d be us) ruling the world.

(Test: Find something in your house made in China Syria.)

People always ask, “What is the main difference in business between USA and [country X]?

The short answer is that North America has trust as then central tenet of business. The Puritan Work Ethic. I would advise, discreetly, that Americans expect an honest deal. The rest of the world expects to get screwed.

Nobel laureate Milton Friedman spoke to this. He said that a cultural prerequisite of making money is the holding of truthfulness as a common virtue.

When you can trust a merchant’s word, says Friedman, “it cut[s] down transaction costs.”

The North American flavor of capitalism makes the most money and leaves the best taste. Even with an occasional rotten apple in Your Nation’s Capital.

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A Wise Old Man: Henry Hyde

April 29, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Henry Hyde “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is asked of children. And adults.

As for Your Business Blogger? When I grow up? I want to be a Wise Old Man.

Just like Henry Hyde. (He’s made fewer mistakes than me.)

Charmaine and Your Business Blogger saw Congressman Hyde again at a DC event this week at the Willard. He was being honored by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

Hyde, the 82-year old Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is a warhorse who sometimes bucked his own party.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council wrote,

When he first introduced his amendment to cut off federal funding of almost all abortions in the immediate aftermath of Roe v. Wade, it seemed to many people in the political world that abortion was “settled law.” Both Houses of Congress were firmly in the hands of liberals who supported abortion. Even the Republican Ford administration had decided that the federal government should pay for abortions–because the Supreme Court had ruled them legal.

Henry Hyde would rather be right than be popular.

Maybe life isn’t like high school.

Henry Hyde does what we all want to do: Make a difference.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to sign up for the Family Research Council email newsletter.

More on NRLC at the jump.

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The Chronicle of Higher Ed: Painted Ladies Gone Wild

April 10, 2006 | By | No Comments

The Chronicle of Higher Education arrived in my mail box. In plastic wrap. But it should be covered in brown paper. Remember, Your Business Blogger subscribes for the articles. But I can always count on The Chronicle to titillate.

Here’s this edition’s nudie pics.

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The liberals in academe cannot understand why us parental prudes might not want their daughters dancing naked on campus and posing in paint for publication.

This is bad for the education business. Looks bad on a resume.

But I could be wrong.

Rachel E. Beaulieu (above in tiger stripes), a senior…is treasurer of the Liquid Latex Club,…wanted to improve [her] outlook on the way [she] looked…

[and]

…the nudity may attract first-time audience members…

[but]

…Ms. Beaulieu says it is not what the show is about…

And boys read Playboy for the articles.

The co-ed concludes, “It’s a very unique experience…the liquid latex allows you to do things you could never do,” with conventional cloth and clothes and virtue.

This is a subtle hint to human resource managers: The more a girl has appeared nude in print, the greater the possibility that men would have seen her. And perhaps have stared. Some will oogle.

This is a longitudinal sexual harassment case study in the making.

Ms. Beaulieu, please let us know how the job search progresses.

We’ll be watching.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 2006. At least the picture was buried on A6.

Full Disclosure: The wife of Your Business Blogger has been published in The Chronicle. In conventional fashion.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

Basil’s Blog has a Picnic.

Michelle Malkin has more on education.

Outside the Beltway has Traffic Jam.

Faked Out in East Asia

March 21, 2006 | By | No Comments

“It’s all fake,” said the young man who lived in town.

We were looking at acres of a bazaar, that was, well, bazaar bizarre. Rolex, North Face, Mont Blanc, DVDs as far as the eye could see.

None of it was real.

There was a ‘new’ word that swept thru elite American campuses a few years ago: Authentic. Professors liked the word because it had three syllables instead of the single syllable ‘real.’

Inauthentic for the academy was even better — it has four syllables instead of single syllable ‘fake.’

So.

In this (new) age of exploring our feelings, few ask any questions about the emotion of fake goods; stolen brand names.

How does the fake North Face make you feel?

Your Business Blogger owns a real Armani suit, purchased some time ago from a reputable establishment. (Yes, only one.) Every time I slip the coat on, I stand a bit taller.

Tragically, few people have ever recognized or identified the brand name suit on its smug owner. No one knows it’s an Armani.

But I do.

And that is the difference. The suit is real. The emotion is real. Ergo I am real.

The feeling is authentic.

Not everyone is as shallow as Yours Truly. A fake brand, a fake suit would make me feel like… a fake.

And feelings are the only things that count.

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Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger did a little shopping in East Asia. And bought a North Face duffle bag to haul all the loot home. I was assured that it was real. A sign, in English!, said so.

The Carnival of the Capitalists is up at CaseySoftware.

Taping for the Fred Friendly Seminars

February 13, 2006 | By | One Comment

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Public Broadcasting SystemLast week Charmaine did the Fred Friendly Seminars. A civilized shouting show on PBS.

The program was on Ethics in America: My Brother’s Keeper. The moderator was Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School.

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L to R: Rabbi Daniel Zemel, Elayne Bennett, Barney Frank, Charmaine Yoest,

Anita Allen

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Charmaine in make-up

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The Dude and The Diva get the camera angles

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Cook’s Tour by

Producer Pamela Mason Wagner

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Executive Producer Richard Kilberg with Charmaine

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Note Ethics’ compass. Magnetic north?

Or left tilt?

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Filmed on the sets of Atlantic Video

in Washington, DC

Professor Ogletree assured us during taping that the repeated use of the words “penis” and “sexually transmitted diseases” would probably end up on the cutting floor. The liberal panelists seemed to like very direct language.

Certainly Barney Frank did. Only the congressman from Massachusettes could use the words “fetish” and “fetish-ize” multiple times. Into a live mike. For cable.

We’ll let you know when it airs.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The PBS operating revenue in fiscal year 2004 was $333 million. Leading sources of revenue included: …CPB and federal grants (24%); …and educational product sales (12%).

And the generous support of Annenberg Media.

The Seminar tapes are available from Fred Friendly Seminars for a fee. As part of their consulting offering and education packages. The guests appearing on the show are not compensated. Save for the croissants and coffee. Now that’s a business model.

See more on The Seminars at the jump.

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10 Feb

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Capitalism, Culture and Google

February 10, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

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GoogleIn Chinese there is no word for “privacy.”

Google’s business practices in China are under question. In having a different product for different counties. I am not so sure Google is departing from a sound business theory. I think Google’s strategy deserves a case study. On doing business in different cultures.

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Yoest, Faisal Alam in

New Delhi, IndiaYour Business Blogger was in India working with North American and Indian managers. Having thrown off our British rulers, we still shared a common English language.

But cultural communication was another matter.

American managers were frustrated that Indian executives and staff were not always truthful.

Or so it seemed.

If a supervisor (of any nationality) would ask an Indian subordinate a closed question such as “Does the report include the budget from Bangalore?” The Indian subordinate reply always would be ‘yes.’ Even if the answer was ‘no.’ Accompanied by a side-to-side movement of the head — which corresponds to the up and down affirmative head nod in America.

Was the Indian employee lying to his superior?

It depends on cultural perspective.

(Yes, yes I know — Alert Readers know well that Your Business Blogger subscribes to Timeless Truth: Truth is not relative.)

But the Indian culture is one of deference and respect for authority. It is not within the languages or culture to say “no” to the boss. Immediate compliance — obedience — is something every boss, in every culture really wants — but American’s seldom openly admit.

The culture is different. Where change to USA standards should not be forced.

Supervisors working with Indian subordinates should only ask open ended questions. A question allowing something other than ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ “Show me the line item for employee taxi expenses for Bangalore.”

The USA manager should understand also that the Indian manager will seldom say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ to a subordinate.

Additional questions are time consuming. But necessary to do business across cultures. And to respect differences in culture and tradition.

I think we should ask more questions. And take the first step.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” says China’s Confucius.

A single step from a single person. Countries don’t do business. People do business.

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President Nixon meets with

China’s Community Party Leader,

Mao Tse-Tung on

February 29, 1972

Nixon went to China. Google went to China.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

In Chinese, in The Common Language (Mandarin) there are no words for “private” or “privacy” as we understand in English.

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Nixon at the 2,000 year old Great Wall of China, 24 February 1972

Mark at Mark My Words has commentary.

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Vanity Fair CNBC Clip. Caution: Not Wise To View At Work Or With Children

February 8, 2006 | By | One Comment

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Vanity FairCharmaine appeared on CNBC (attempting) to debate the cover of Vanity Fair. Is it art? Or money-making-porn?

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CNBCCNBC’s On The Money

Click here for the CNBC Vanity Fair video.

This is a long 6 minute segment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D. blogs at Reasoned Audacity and FRCBlog

Be sure to visit Basil’s Blog.

Don Surber has best Wednesday posts.

Mudville has Open Post.

OutsideTheBeltway as links.

Aquila has more (or less).

See The Washington Post.