October 8, 2015

Rupert Murdoch doesn’t need me to defend him but I’m going to anyway.

He owns Twentieth Century Fox, World News Corp, The Times, Fox News Channel, Wall Street Journal, (Ha, I am out of breath and don’t need to continue, but you get the point.)  Nevertheless, when he recently tweeted aloud his thoughts about Ben Carson and how sweet it would be to have “a real Black American president” it caused quite an uproar.  All of his rival media buddies, bloodied by his prowess in the marketplace now pounced on a genuine gaffe.  If they can’t beat him in business perhaps they can draw some political blood?

The fact is everybody knows what he meant.  He meant wouldn’t it be nice to have an African American president who actually tried to heal race relations instead of drive a wedge between them?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have our own American Nelson Mandela?  The kind of president we had hoped Barrack Obama would be.  The kind of president the world hoped he would be when they gave him the Nobel Peace Prize before he had even uttered a word or done a deed.

Pundits on the other networks piled on Murdoch, incredulously asking aloud, “Now, what could he possibly mean?  Does he mean that Obama is not really black?  What is his point?”

But we all know his point.  And we know that those pundits know it as well.  So let them laugh, act puzzled, and revel in their pious, moral superiority.  The joke is on them.

Ben Carson is hated and feared by the political police because he is Black and not a bigot.  And well, perhaps, because he is also a Christian.

Let’s face it, there is a new hatred in America, a new bigotry.  It is reflected in the stifling, anti intellectual media language and in the on air segment choices they make.  One network newscast recently refused to allow witnesses from the Roseburg shooting to say that the gunman asked his victims if they were Christian.  Instead, they allowed the quote, “He asked us our religion.”

After the massacre at Umpqua Community College people debated gun laws and the impact on society of violent videogames and our dismal mental health record but no one dared utter a word about the fact that in our current atmosphere Christians are being targeted for murder, simply because of their religion.  That doesn’t fit the narrative but it is an astonishing fact.  And don’t expect it to ever be called a “hate crime.”  That is reserved for the select and approved people in American society who should not be killed.

It is the national media which feeds this new bigotry, which is why they became so alarmed when one of their own, like Rupert Murdoch, insisted on speaking his mind about Ben Carson.

It is remarkable how this trend persists against all logic.  In 2007, CNN aired Cristiane Amanpour ‘s production of “God’s Warriors” which implied that Islamic terrorists were not much different than fundamentalists in Christianity and Judaism.  All three were equally dangerous.   It won the Peabody Award and was accepted as a basic truth about society.

By 9-11, the disparity between deaths at the hands of Muslim terrorists as opposed to Jewish and Christian terrorists had outdated Amanpour’s bogus documentary.  Today, I am told that “God’s Warriors” is shown to much laughter in dorms at Notre Dame, BIOLA and other Christian Universities, but the bigotry behind this media narrative has not changed.

A couple years ago ABC television tried to promote a sitcom called “Good Christian Bitches.”  One can imagine the outcry if the target community had been gay or Islamic? Christian’s are acceptable targets.  Their women are “bitches” and their young people can be ordered to stand up and be killed without comment from journalists.

There is no doubt that the backlash against this controlled speech about race and religion is behind the rise of Donald Trump.  The public is not racist, nor are they anti-Islamic, but they are tired of being treated like children and having insolent demagogues cram stilted propaganda down their throats.

They are suffocating in the smog of political correctness.  Moments of truth, such as Rupert Murdoch’s wistful reflection on Twitter, no matter how painful or rare they may be, are brief glimmers of hope that the Gulags are still a few years off.

Rupert Murdoch for president.  Oh, I know, let me have my fun.  Don’t be a “birther.”

Inside the government plans to shutdown the direct sales industry: Vemma is only the begining

September 10, 2015

The Arizona direct sales company Vemma was recently hit by the FTC and virtually shut down without a judge, jury or trial.  The income of thousands, including single mothers, housewives, young businessmen, retirees and disable veterans has been instantly blocked by the government agency.  Nobody will be paid, no matter what they have sold or how many years they have worked.

Ominously, among the reasons the FTC gave for its action, are methods that are employed by almost all other Direct Sales companies.  If Vemma is unable to survive, it could spell the end of a vibrant industry that involves 18 million Americans, 74% of them women.  It may be the last loophole allowing an ordinary person the opportunity to earn extraordinary amounts of money.

What is behind this action?


Shortly after the re-election of Barack Obama a former law enforcement – corporate security specialist called me with some interesting information.  A friend in the Justice Department was asking him for details on Multi Level Marketing companies in Utah.  They were talking names, income, the nature of their compensation plans and any questionable claims about their products.  They would welcome any gossip about lifestyle too.  Mistresses?  Lavish meals?  “Ahh, gonna take out a source of Republican money huh?” my friend joked.

It is no big secret that most entrepreneurs, including the kind who get into MLM’s, tend to be Republicans.  Just as people who believe that government has the solutions for society, tend to get jobs in government.

Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway one of the nation’s most successful MLM’s, was a major donors to both the Reagan and Bush presidential campaigns.  Frank VanderSloot, of Melaleuca, was the finance chairman and a $5 million fundraiser for Mitt Romney.

I have been an eyewitness to the political power of these companies and their sprawling networks of independence entrepreneurs.  In 1984, when Ronald Reagan announced his re-election, he did so at an MLM event at the Atlanta Georgia Dome.  Distributors came to the Dome for a weekend of seminars and forfeited the platform to the Reagan Campaign during the afternoon.  In another city at yet another event, I spoke just before Reagan to an audience of 10,000 MLM builders.

During the election campaign of George H.W. Bush I would often get a call from campaign manager, Lee Atwater.  “I need 500 people with signs cheering for Bush outside of Butler aviation in Raleigh Durham.”  Atwater would give me five photo ops with Bush at the foot of the airplane and in return the five MLM leaders would guarantee the crowd as requested.  In 1987, George W. Bush, working his dad’s campaign,  spoke at an MLM event I arranged, helping to funnel distributors into campaign workers.  It is not unlike what the unions do for the Democrats.

I have also been one of the pack who got the message from the top of the network.  In 2008 I was building a network in XanGo when word came down to make a $1,000 donation to Mitt Romney.  I complied.

It was only a matter of time before Obama would shut down this industry, which is a vibrant part of the economy of every other major western nation and flourishes in Russia.

There are many complaints about MLM.  The odds of success are not high, although probably a lot higher than a career in journalism or professional sports or Hollywood or – for that matter – the FTC.  The difference is MLM will take anybody and most other opportunities won’t.

In recent years the culture of MLM has diversified.  Shaklee, for example, the MLM vitamin giant, is owned by a Democrat billionaire who is a friend of Oprah Winfrey.  It will probably be the last one taken down and may even be permitted by the Obama administration to live out its retirement, as long as it remains quiet.

The danger for other MLM’s is the nature of the attack on Vemma.  They have been hit hard on “auto-ship” a policy that has products automatically shipped to a distributor unless he or she opts out in advance.  That, the FTC, contends, makes it a pyramid scheme.  Most former members of the Book of the Month Club or the Literary Guild are familiar with auto-ship.  If you signed up you got a book every month.  You could opt out but if you didn’t you had to pay for the book or send it back.  In our new “victim society” the FTC has determined that this is illegal.

It was also wrong, they say, that Vemma prospected college students.  Universities are now places where beer pong is a sport, abortions are choice, date rape is so rampant that universities refuse to publicly publish the numbers but selling vitamins to your roommate is now a crime.

(Donations to defend the industry should go to the Direct Sellers Defense Fund, Morrie Aaron:


Bombshell: Charlie Marsh’s forgotten daughter

November 10, 2014

Today I received a bombshell.  Charlie Marsh, the networking – MLM  legend who is credited by some as the grandfather of system building, the upline to Dexter Yager, may have had a daughter out of wedlock.  And she is seeking reconciliation with the family she never knew.

Here is the post:  How the Amway Tool Business Began.

And here below is the comment she made on this blog post.

“Charlie Marsh had a daughter prior to his marriage with Elsie I am that daughter and was kept a secret due to he never married my Mother but he did acknowledge me as his daughter. My maiden name is Marsh Sad story but true. Also sad that I tried to contact him through Amway many times with no return calls or contact. Amyway strives to be a Christian based company but yet I was never provided for growing up by my Father Charlie Marsh. I have tried to get into contact with him Elsie refused that and now I have not been able to reach any of the children they had together which would be my half siblings. I apologize for using this blog for this purpose but I have had no success in reaching any Marsh Family. I would love for someone to contact me that knew Charlie Marsh I would love to obtain pictures and information. Thanks Dena Marsh”

If true, it is a story that has been told many times about titans of business, entertainment and power. When I began researching the family history of President Warren G. Harding I was soon contacted by members of the family who were lobbying my work.  They were especially concerned about what I might write concerning the story of Nan Britton who had an ongoing affair with the president and gave birth to Elizabeth Ann Blaesing.  I chose to write about the story and actually spoke with the daughter, Elizabeth Ann before she died.  I tried to get her to come forward and tell her story again but she had suffered too deeply at the hands of the presidents’ agents and defenders.

When word got out that I was writing a book for Simon and Schuster on children of presidents I was soon lobbied by the family of President Warren G. Harding.   They wanted to make sure I did not include the story of Nan Briton and her daughter, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, the alleged illegitimate daughter of the president.  I promised to be careful and accurate but the story was too compelling to deny.

There is a moment in my book, All the Presidents’ Children, when Nan is visiting with the president in the private, upstairs quarters of the White House.  She calls him over to the window to look out on Lafayette Park.  There he would see their daughter, sitting quietly on a park bench where her mother, Nan Britton, had told her to wait.  The president refused.  “You don’t even want to see your own daughter?” she asked.

While Harding paid money for the child’s upbringing while he was a alive he made no provision afterward and the Harding family reacted viciously toward the former lover and unwed mother of the president.

Let us hope that this child of networking legend, Charlie Marsh, has a better reception.

Read also: “Jim Dornan, Amway legend passes.”

Doug Wead on Fox News last week.  Talks about “Angry Presidents.”



Forge of Empires: Best strategy game for iPad

August 3, 2014

At last there is a strategy game for iPad.  Forge of Empires.  Nothing else I’ve tried really compares.  And like everything else on iPad it has forced me into a wider community and to my surprise I like it.

Since Christmas, 1992, when my son first tempted me to make a move in Sid Mier’s Civilization, I have been a rabid fan of computer strategy games.  And I have enjoyed all of the variations since.  Some of today’s mods are just amazing and make it an entirely different game.

Once, in between speaking engagements in Asia, I was sent to the South Pacific island resort of Bali.  The company put me in a five star hotel-resort.  When I opened my sliding doors, cool winds blew in off the ocean.  I spent the week taking food in my room and battling the demons in the computer.  Who needs a beach when you have the whole world to conquer?

But try as it may, Sid Mier’s Civilization has not yet made the transition to iPad that I want.  And I grow tired dragging around a heavy computer.

Forge of Empires was a perfect fit for iPad.  The basics of the game are simple enough to work and yet the options are endless.  The first few weeks I was totally on iPad and only reluctantly checked out the extra features by going online with my desktop.

The best part is that you can play a game and be part of the family.  I am no longer in “the computer room.”  I can be right there on the couch watching a movie or at Panera Bread or Starbucks, while managing my growing empire.  And how can the family complain if they are checking their Facebook or pictures on Instagram?

Now don’t just rush to your iPad and download the app.  Go to your desktop and put in the url below.  Just cut and paste.  Or go to this link. It will sign you up as my friend and I will be able to give you some supplies or even coach you if you need or want it.  For this is a game where allies can be of help.

There is war, there is economy, there is city building and long range planning.  And it can all be carried around with your iPad.


Regina Noriega and “the era of women.”

January 30, 2014

Listening to the audio version of Ayn Rand’s classic bestseller, Atlas Shrugged, I was reminded of Regina Noriega.  She is the most recent sensation in a growing list of outstanding women in the field of direct sales.

This was the one field that men seemed to have to themselves, Mary Kay Ash being the anomaly.   Increasingly, in politics, journalism, education and business, women are doing the work.  Hillary Clinton appears on this week’s TIME magazine cover crushing a little man beneath her heel.  By the way, the new editor of TIME is Nancy Gibbs, a new star in her own right.  More and more, men are increasingly being seen as having only one exclusive function, namely, protecting women from other men.

Regina Noriega has built a career creating brands and, well, networking, building genuine relationships with people in the field of direct sales and network marketing.

Regina’s tenacity, drive, vibrancy and ability to be a leader is known and greatly admired in the industry. Everyone that’s worked with her on any level knows her standards are high to the level of perfectionism and that she expects everyone around her to operate on the same level. Mediocrity in any form is not an option.

Again, to use the Atlas Shrugged metaphor, she’s never taken the easy road.  Rather than ride the train, she thrives on building tracks and at the same time she’s comfortable swimming against the rip tide and can turn from defense to offense on a dime. Strategic is a word that describes her leadership skills.

Having spent 40 years as an amateur historian of the whole network marketing industry I’ve watched her face many professional challenges and tackle them with leadership skills that display not only strength but grace and courage. Her negotiation skills and work ethic is famous.  And always, she practices the golden rule.  (No, not that one, the real one.)

She’s usually the only woman, and minority woman at that, seated in the boardroom. She’s highly respected for her strategic mind and treats all around her with complete frankness, always thinking about the goals of a team above everything else. She talks hard and direct but always makes everyone feel like they are always in it together. She makes you want to drive yourself hard not only for yourself but for her. The best thing about her is that she is passionate about  helping people first and joining people in their personal development journeys.

I’m not sure where she is headed.  Will she take the route other woman business stars have taken and enter public life?  Will she be another Meg Whitman?  As a corporate executive she is legend.  So there is always that. And she is one of the rare corporate animals in network marketing who would thrive in the field.  Not many in that category.  It would be fun to watch for woman are increasingly proving the misogynist, American, MLM old fogies that they can build groups bigger and better than they.  Look at Natasha Yena in the Ukraine.

Which brings us back to the dilemma I first posed.  What does this all mean for men?  What will we do?  Fight wars you say.  But that work is increasingly falling on the shoulders of mechanical drones.  We may soon see women sitting before computer consoles in America and Asia, duking it out through surrogate metal hardware on the ground.  Yes, for that we may need little boys too, Ender Wiggins, who have quick eye hand coordination but even then we don’t need men.

In the  celebrated, famous, Greek democracy of antiquity, women could not vote.  They could not own property.  Their word was not accepted in a court of law.  They were not even counted in a government census.  Today, at least outside the Islamic world, they are emerging as a dominate force.  Their activism has changed education.  Their votes have changed world governments.  And they are in the process of changing business as well.  They are all over the ballrooms of Davos.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention banking and finance.  There is Janet Yellen, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve.

So here come  Regina Noriega, the bright new face in direct sales.  We should not be surprised.  She is yet another star in an ever expanding galaxy of women high achievers.

Duke Snider on steroids

January 26, 2014

It’s the end of baseball as we know it.  Stick a fork in it.  This month’s drama with Alex Rodriguez only underscores the futility of trying to make it work the way it once did.  If some use more drug enhancements and others less and still others none, and we only find out later in bits and pieces, then it has become more a game of deception and less a physical contest or a team sport.

       Old baseball, real baseball was a game of statistics.  Duke Snider could never have been on steroids.  In five consecutive years, averaging 500 or more at bats each year, he hit 42, 40, 42, 43 and 40 home runs respectively.  He was a left handed hitter in a lineup of right handed power that included Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Carl Furillo, and Jackie Robinson.  The Brooklyn Dodgers always batted Snider third in the lineup to make sure he got the most at bats possible for a power hitter.
       By the time the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and finally built their stadium in Chavez Ravine they had become a pitching baseball team.  At one time they fielded a pitching rotation of five twenty game winners in a starting lineup, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Tommy Johns, Claude Osteen and Don Sutton.
       Their lead home run hitter in 1966 was Ron Fairly who hit only 14.  I saw one of those rare events at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  Later that year, in the same park, I saw Sandy Koufax and Dick Ellsworth pitch nine innings of shutout ball.  Both men were lifted in the ninth inning and neither one got credit for the win.
       The large expanses of Chavez Ravine purposely allowed plenty of room behind the plate to catch pop ups.  Even the powerful Frank Howard, who was biologically engineered to hit home runs, only managed one big year with 31.  Later, when he got was traded to the Washington Senators and a friendlier ball park he would hit forty or more home runs three years in a row.
       After Duke Snider won the National League home run crown in 1956, it would take 98 years for another Dodger to do it again, when Adrian Beltre would hit 48 but by then the modern age of steroid in sports was upon us.  Beltre would hit only 19 home runs the next year and in sixteen seasons he would never hit 40 or more home runs again.
       In 2000 a talented Dodger outfielder named Shawn Green hit 24 home runs in 610 at bats.  The next year he hit 49 in 619 at bats.  It set all Dodger records.  It blew Duke Snider, who as a left hander in a power hitting right handed lineup in the tiny Ebbets Field where the right field grandstands were only 257 feet away, out of the water.  For one golden year, inexplicably, he accomplished what no other Dodger had done since their beginning in 1884.  No one looked at Green’s spectacular year too closely.  We didn’t want to know.  But it’s hard to talk about Shawn Green and Duke Snider in the same sentence.  Baseball statistics are now meaningless.  And baseball without statistics, well, it is not the same game.
       The game has changed.  No one had to wonder if Ron Fairly was on steroids.
        It’s not just the players that are on steroids.  It’s the game itself.  And it is driven by the fans.  I thought this steroid age would spell the end of baseball.  The crowds would stay home, the television audiences would diminish, but it hasn’t.  It has evolved into some new kind of creature. You don’t have to wait for hours to see the home run or even the triple play. The waiting is all done for you and the finished product is shown in brief, exciting snippets, the whole day of events in the major leagues reduced to one half hour segments of video augmented by commentary and commercials.
       Baseball has become like genetically altered food.  It still looks and tastes the same, even better, but there is something creepy about eating chicken that comes to restaurant in tubes of pink dough looking substances or eating corn that isn’t corn and eating ice cream that is.
       Most young boys no longer play the game, unless electronically.  But the ones who do are well trained and groomed to perfection in little leagues, graduating upward.  In some respects they are better, more polished players than the kids who fought their way up from the sandlots and the back yard games of earlier generations.  It is still fun. But it is not a game.  It is a career track. And the people who become the stars cheat to get there.
       So what do they get?  For a time, if they are really good at cheating, they get money, a few years of adulation.  Then comes condemnation and in some cases an early death.  What do we get? Like fast food, we get fast home runs.  We don’t have to wait.  Baseball is no longer the nation’s favorite pastime. It has become something different.

Jean-Luc Perrois “Talent finds a way”

August 22, 2013

Jean-Luc Perrois celebrates his birthday today and I wanted to get a little of his remarkable story on the record.  Perrois, my French brother in law, is a successful husband, father and businessman who lives in a beautiful chalet, high in the Alps overlooking Geneva, Switzerland.   The house is actually on the French side of the border but from its vantage point one can see Mount Blanc on one side and Lake Geneva with its Jet d’Eau on the other.  At night the sight of Geneva, lit up along the black lake, snaking its way through the Swiss mountains, is truly spectacular.  The Perrois also have apartments in Romania, where they visit the family of Jean-Luc’s wife, Delia.

As a youth, not many would have predicted such success for Jean-Luc.  He opted out of high school, working as a carpenter’s apprentice, specializing in door frames, working with wood and then aluminum and glass which would end up being one of the small factors that would direct his later career.  At some point, early in this process, Jean-Luc started classes with the Compagnons du Tour de France, an organization of craftsmen that dates back to the Middle Ages.  Even this work didn’t last.  The recession hit,  Jean-Luc had no employment and so went back to school, this time finishing his high school education and getting a vocational degree in construction.  It was here that his natural gift for mathematics and accounting came together and his work product caught the attention of professors and colleagues.

When the 1992 Olympics was announced for Albertville, France, Jean-Luc, and many others of his profession, were swept up into the process.  Perrois’ quick calculations allowed builders to anticipate the costs of construction.  He soon emerged as a top appraiser.  Others bids came in low or high, Jean-Luc’s numbers, no matter how far off they seemed at the time, always turned out to be uncannily accurate.  The proof was in the numbers.

In the post Olympic construction world of Geneva, Switzerland, Jean-Luc emerged as a nascent phenomenon in his profession.  Architects brought him their dreams of glass, aluminum, steel and marble and Jean-Luc could spit back reliable numbers for what it would all cost.  All around him men and women rose and fell in the corporate hierarchy.  Companies opened and closed and merged.  Boards of directors were elected and dismissed.   Jean-Luc remained.  He was too valuable.   Art could be debated, style could change, but who could argue with the numbers?

In 1993, Jean-Luc married Delia Sechel, a Romanian artist whose tapestries, oils and crafts appear in books and exhibitions across Europe.  They have one son, Luca Perrois.  Jean-Luc is currently working as an Associate and as the director of constructions metalliques for Revaz SA.

In the end, Jean-Luc Perrois’ gift made a place for him.  The artists could dream and create their visions on paper.  They needed him to tell them what it would cost and how it could be done.


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