Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Secret Life of GWB, Closet Environmentalist?

In the ‘who would’ve thunk it’ department. George W. Bush’s Crawford ranch turns out to be a model of environmental sustainability. And the surprisingly modest structure was built since he bought the property.

I must say I was pleasantly shocked to read that the Bushes employ such forward-thinking technologies as geothermal heating and cooling, landscaping designed to keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter, even graywater recycling.

Under a gravel border around the house, a concrete gutter channels the water into a 25,000-gallon cistern for irrigation. In hot weather, a terrace directly above the cistern is a little cooler than the surrounding area.

Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into purifying tanks underground — one tank for water from showers and bathroom sinks, which is so-called “gray water,” and one tank for “black water” from the kitchen sink and toilets. The purified water is funneled to the cistern with the rainwater. It is used to irrigate flower gardens, newly planted trees and a larger flower and herb garden behind the two-bedroom guesthouse. Water for the house comes from a well.

Oh yes, and the funniest line in the whole article: a quote from the home’s architect, David Heymann:

“We’ve got a lot of economies in the house,” he says, noting the Bushes may be wealthy, but they are “frugal people.”

It takes a lot to get me to say Bravo to George W. Bush–but this house deserves a whole round of Bravos. And it deserves to be a model for the rest of the country; why is he keeping it such a secret?

So…my question for Mr. Bush–if in your own private personal life you make such great choices, if you’re aware that the earth’s own technologies can provide all our energy needs–why is your own energy policy such an unmitigated disaster? You’re pushing disastrous technologies like nuclear, fossil fuels that get us into wars…and meanwhile you’ve quite properly created a private dwelling that uses only a tiny fraction of that used by a conventional house. In other words, you know from your own experience that all the green technologies you’ve been dissing and dismissing actually work.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gonzales Lies, Bush Threatens

A powerful news day. First, overwhelming evidence that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lied about his involvement in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys.

Says the Baltimore Sun,

Gonzales attended an hourlong meeting on the firings on Nov. 27, 2006 - 10 days before seven U.S. attorneys were told to resign. The attorney general’s participation in the session calls into question his assertion that he was essentially in the dark about the firings.

According to NPR news this morning (not yet on the website, apparently), this meeting was specifically to discuss a plan of attack against these attorneys.

Meanwhile, the sleepy little House of Representatives shook a few fleas of its fur, stretched and yawned, and voted only to continue funding the war if the distant August 31, 2008 timetable for withdrawal is included.

Definitely a case of way too little, way too late–but even this faint stirring of opposition is enough to unleash a particularly vitriolic outburst from none other than George W. Bush:

These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen.

Note to Nancy Pelosi: Let him veto it–and let that bring home the obvious point that from the date of his veto, there is no funding mechanism for the war, and the troops need to be brought home NOW! At that moment, too, his action will become the latest round in his continuous power grab against Congress, and it’s up to Congress to protect not only itself but the American people from His Imperial Delusional Majesty.

Let’s go to the authoritative source: the Constitution of the United States of America:

All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives (section 7)

And Section 8 (excerpted below) gives Congress specific oversight over the military.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and

Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general

Welfare of the United States;…

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning

Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be

for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,

suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for

governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United

States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,

and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline

prescribed by Congress;

Another clause in Section 8 charges Congress

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and

Offenses against the Law of Nations;

How about the Offenses against the Law of Nations perpetrated over and over again by Bush and his underlings? In other words, what will it take to get Congress moving on impeachment?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

ISO Developing Social Responsibility Standard

Who knew? The International Standards Organization (ISO), known for standards in things like global manufacturing (remember the rush for ISO-9000 compliance?) is working on a standard for social responsibility.

Pretty exciting!

If you’d like to get involved, my correspondent Gerard Oonk in the Netherlands posted a link to a PDF working paper on how nonprofits can have input. Not the easiest reading in the world, but quite an opportunity to influence an international standard.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rove, Others Directly Implicated in Prosecutor Firing Scandal

I’ve been following the scandal about politically motivated firings of highly competent US Attorneys for a while now (see this blog entry I wrote last month).

Some disturbing new developments: First, Kevin Johnson in USA Today reports more details on the guy who replaced Bud Cummins, the fired attorney in Arkansas:

Before his call to active duty in 2005, Griffin was an aide to Rove at the White House. Griffin’s résumé says he “organized and coordinated support for the president’s agenda, including the nomination of Judge John Roberts” to be U.S. chief justice.

In other words, a political hack replaces a skilled prosecutor. Boy, does this one stink! But it gets worse:

Second, Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor report for the McLatchey newspaper chain that one of the attorneys, David Iglesias, was let go after Allen Weh, head of the Republican Party in New Mexico, complained about him to Karl Rove, and Rove replied, “he’s gone.” The story continues,

Weh’s account calls into question the Justice Department’s stance that the recent decision to fire Iglesias and seven U.S. attorneys in other states was a personnel matter - made without White House intervention. Justice Department officials have said the White House’s involvement was limited to approving a list of the U.S. attorneys after the Justice Department made the decision to fire them.

And we’re not done yet. Third, today’s Democracy Now reports that the White House flat-out lied about the level of its involvement, and actually considered a “coup” against all 93 US Attorneys at once. Attorney General Gonzales, Rove, and former White House Counsel (and Supreme Court nominee) Harriet Miers are all implicated:

New information has revealed the Bush administration’s role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is greater than previously thought. The White House has admitted administration officials worked with the Justice Department to draw up a list of U.S. attorneys who would lose their jobs. At one point two years ago, the administration even floated the idea of firing all 93 US attorneys at once. The White House has also admitted President Bush spoke with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about Republican concerns the prosecutors were not pursuing voter fraud cases. Seven of the prosecutors were asked to step down just weeks later. On Monday, Gonzales’ chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson resigned after acknowledging he did not properly inform the Justice Department of his consultations with the White House. Sampson’s email records show extensive discussion with top deputy Karl Rove and then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. The administration had previously claimed it only approved of a list of fired US attorneys after it was drafted by the Justice Department.

How deep does this scandal go? And many more incidences of scandals, lies, fraud, illegal activity and more will it take before the Democrats find enough backbone to start impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney, followed once they are out of office by criminal prosecutions against the whole gang of ruffians?

In any other democracy, these thugs would have been tossed out of office long ago. Failing to do so is an international disgrace. Our Founding Fathers would be deeply ashamed that we have let these unpatriotic radical criminals repeatedly break laws with no apparent consequences.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Most entertaining book review I’ve seen in a long while

Guy Kawasaki reviews Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days–and quotes some wonderful anecdotes from some of the biiig tech startups (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.)

What a hoot–even if he can’t spell “chutzpah” (he thinks it’s “hootspah”)

As an early Mac adopter, I’ve been following Kawasaki since 1984, and enjoyed “The Macintosh Way” back in those ancient days. I also love that Apple gave him the title of evangelist. In fact, that book–and that attitude–were among the influences that eventually led me to write my award-winning sixth book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, decades later.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Money vs. Mission: Cool Article on VentureBeat Blog

Sunil Paul has a great blog entry about how he chose to get involved with environmental technology companies first and foremost to help “green” the world, and only secondarily to make profit. The profits, of course, followed.

My favorite paragraph:

But it doesn’t have to be a choice between social and economic goals. Clean energy is like the love child of John Muir and Adam Smith. It joins environmentalism with capitalism. Cleantech companies have great value not captured by the price of the good or service. Their entire business model generates excess social return. In addition, the energy market is huge, and is ripe for change – and so the opportunity for profits is tremendous.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scooter Libby: Guilty Verdict

It was tax evasion that sent Al Capone to jail…it was lying about Watergate that tossed Richard Nixon out of office…and it is the Valerie Plame affair that has finally resulted in the first guilty verdict against a high-level Bush Administration operative.

In all of these cases there were far greater crimes for which the criminals were not brought to justice. Though in the case of the Bush administration, the least ethical presidential administration since at least Warren Harding and possibly in the history of our nation, there is still time to bring some cases.

And this same Bush who said he would deal harshly with anyone found to be implicated in the Plame leak has so far refused to rule out the possibility of pardoning Libby (and it was almost Karl Rove).

Why there has been no serious move for impeachment is beyond me. After all, Clinton was dragged through it for lying about his sex life–something that while not showing him to be a very responsible person, didn’t really impact anyone except Bill, Hillary, and Monica.

The Bush-Cheney bulldozer on the other hand, has left a trail of misfeasance, malfeasance, and plain old incompetence on a grand scale. The wreckage spreads from New Orleans to Palm Beach County to Baghdad and beyond, and touches virtually every corner of society: corruption, favoritism, abridgment of rights, basing foreign policy on a series of lies, retaliation against critics, and on and on.

I will not repeat the long litany of High Crimes and Misdemeanors here; they’re widely available elsewhere–it took me about ten seconds to find this link, for instance–and this is only a partial list.

This gang of thugs should never have been allowed to take power, and certainly not allowed to keep it. But I am confident that even if this group of rouges who have turned the US into a Rogue State are not brought to justice on this Earth, they will need to account for their evil deeds in a different venue. And I, for one, am extremely glad that I don’t have the weight of such actions on my own conscience.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Is There a Need for The Domain Finder?

Several months ago, I introduced a new service just to find domains for people–something I’ve done a number of times in the course of the ongoing marketing consulting and copywriting work I do for my clients.

I set up a dedicated site for this, at For a very reasonable flat fee, I would provide a minimum of three workable domains.

Considering how often I’ve heard people complain, “auuugh, all the good domains are gone!”–something that in my experience is far from true–I’ve been kind of surprised at the lack of traffic and interest.

I have an affiliate program for it (which also enables the affiliate to sell my books and other services), though I admit I’ve not been at all aggressive in seeking out affiliates. Pretty much only told my own newsletter readers.

Yes, I know…I should be contacting and following up with 30 or 50 prominent Internet entrepreneurs. I should be doing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. I should be sending out press releases.

The problem is, I have too many other irons in the fire that have a more immediate payback, or that are very time-sensitive, like doing the publicity for my just-launched seventh book Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers.

So meanwhile, this sits on the back burner, and when I get some time (or an intern), I will do some of those things and see what happens. It was, if nothing else, a nice chance to see if I can write a decent one-page salesletter.

Oh, and if you’d like to be an affiliate for me, start by visiting this link–and then do me a favor and drop me a note (shel AT principled profit dotcom) to tell me you’ve done so. I know of at least one application that never made it to me (my assistant is checking on what might have happened to it).