Women's March Sends Wrong Message

When I see a bunch of women marching down the street wearing female genitalia costumes, I shake my head in dismay. I am dismayed not because I am wise enough to know how asinine they look, but because the communication professional in me can identify everything that is wrong with that message.

The first rule of thumb in communication and branding is to know and understand your audience, and the pussyhat protesters failed miserably in this objective. It is like my ex-boss claiming our customers are not using Facebook, as a reason why we should not bother promoting with that platform. Gee, someone is on it, considering there are 81.5 million in our prime customer age group (Statista, May 2016). Talk about missing the market.

The audience focus for the march should have been inclusive of all women, not just those so vulgar as to think inequality discussion should include only  images of our nether regions because of a comment made by President Donald Trump about a decade ago. That's not a march for women.

As women, we understand the inequality nuances that touch every aspect of our lives. Instead, the march was geared toward shock-narcissists, dog piling on anything that looks fun, nasty, illicit or titillating in order to get their freak on. It's like depicting all gays as sporting silver sequined platform shoes and fuchsia hair, when in reality most live simple, low-key and casual lifestyles. For some reason, liberals have a difficult time separating movie star fantasia and freaks depicted by Hollywood, from the real, honest, hard-working people that inhabit the majority of this country.

Women around the country completely understand and agree that Trump's crotch grabbing statements and sexist comments about women are offensive, and that these statements objectify us. Many of us know what it is like to be ogled, fondled and cat-called. We also know what job inequality looks like, even though the inequality highlighted by liberals does not take into consideration that women routinely opt for low-paying professions versus their male counterparts. Good grief, nobody is going to pay good money to an orchestra or art major, as compared to an engineer.

Better suited messaging would portray how many times women have worked in the same exact job, shared the same exact education level, but have been paid less. Yes, it still happens more than anyone will admit.

Personally, I know what is it like to be overlooked for promotions, ignored for ideas and paid less. The starting salary for women at one of my employers was $70-75K annually in sales and technical positions, and for men it was $80-90K annually with the same general education and experience.

Personally, I have been overlooked for jobs and promotions that have gone to a man several times throughout my career, and though I had equal if not more experience and more education, I have been paid less for doing the exact same job. This is the real inequality, but feminists are missing that critical point in their marketing. Instead they are attracting a bunch of freaks who just want someone to notice them, and who want to complain that their British Literature degree isn't paying them the same salary as the mechanical engineer who lives next door.

I have worked for men who belittled me and even made comments on my backside, when a former Plano councilman, that I worked for years prior, commented, "Nice ass," while walking behind me at work.

Don't even get me started on how many times I mentioned something we should be doing as an organization that went ignored, such as having consistent email signatures. When a male employee touted that idea six months after I did, it was suddenly revered as genius. The same can be said for necessary changes to the website, creating consistent marketing collateral, tracking ROI, using social media aggregates and utilizing a marketing integration management program, all of which I proposed over the span of a year and a half. You see, I know what I'm talking about, but apparently they didn't think so until one of the men in the company  came up with those same ideas six months later. That is a real example of inequality.

Not only are we sometimes treated poorly in the workplace by men, but also by other women. I cannot tell you how many times my various recommendations have been ignored on the job, by a jealous, immature and petty managing partner. I suspect that behavior stems from the fact that I refused to play gossip girl when she badmouthed other female employees, such as the accounting manager and how she raised her twin girls using nothing more than a television set to mesmerize them with, and even going so far as to download another employee's personal Facebook photo of chest piercings, making fun of her as she forwarded the image to a few of us.

There's nothing quite like bashing the women in the organization, in order to harness some sort of power. That power, which by the very nature of company co-ownership, the woman would have commanded regardless of her unacceptable abuse of it. The woman singlehandedly created a toxic work environment, netting zero respect or motivation and perpetuating the "bitch on wheels" complex many working women have tried avoiding for decades. Yet it still happens every day, everywhere as women become aggressors to other women.

It is not just a scenario that plays out on the job either. I recall vividly how much the good-old-boys running city hall hated me for my strong opinions on this blog. How dare I question the system! We can also look to religion for support of inequality, where women are not allowed to be priests or even lead prayer. Women even see it when we walk into a traditionally male company to do business, such as an auto repair shop. It is amazing how many times the employee will look to my husband, even though I am the one telling him what is wrong with my car.

Women have to deal with inequality from every angle, including from what is supposed to be the sisterhood, as women stab each other in the back in order to pad their own flagging egos. This is the very same thing the berated women's march participants complain has happened to them. Or is it?

Believe me, I get it. I totally get it. Women such as myself have been touched by all the inequalities mentioned above and more, so why wouldn't we stand with throngs of women claiming their crotches "roar"?

We rejected the so-called women's march en masse because it proved to be nothing more than a bungled, liberal marketing ploy using women's bodies as a tool. It had nothing to do with Trump's statements from a decade ago, nothing to do with objectification of women and nothing to do with inequality. We didn't support these misled women because they did the very thing to themselves that they have been complaining about from their aggressors all these years. Self objectification.

The marching pink wrinklies were as bad as Ariana Grande's whining strawman argument on men objectifying her while prancing around on stage wearing a lacy bustier and bikini bottoms, and singing about "hitting that" which is simply code for grabbing sex from someone else without any emotional connection or attachment. Really? Can anyone actually take her complaints about female objectification seriously?

Young liberal men and women have been led dramatically astray by liberal sensationalist ideology. They have been taught that the more bizarre you look and behave, the more you will be hailed by the liberal television Gods. Ergo the more you will change the world. The problem is, these ineffectual, inconsistent marketing ploys only serve to further tear the cloth that binds women. They ignore all the rules of effective marketing engagement.

We don't douse flames with gasoline, hoping to put out the fire, so why did groups of women think walking around with vulva faces was a good way to strike back at inequality? Why did these women think they would be taken seriously when they were walking around like a piece of wobbly-bobbly pink flesh, instead of mature, thinking, rational and professional women capable of intelligent and savvy articulation? Instead, they read like a bunch of grotesque, clueless half-wits who do not know how to spell. That is not the face of their audience. Oh hell no.

Do I really need to point out that the true audience for womandom, hear me roar is supposed to be, dare I say it, women? Done right, it could have unified all women to stand up against the inequalities. Done wrong, it was generally not a good idea to offend the majority of audience members with hairy, wrinkly genitalia messaging. Frankly, the protesters made women look dumb and their argument, whatever that was supposed to be, was lost on inconsistent messaging.

As women, we are far more than a depiction of what is between our legs; rather, it is our intellect that we should be consistently marketing.

Image: marekuliasz via Getty Images

Wylie Tax Rate Kept Artificially High

As the highest taxed city in Collin County, at 84.89 cents per $100 assessed property valuation, Wylie’s taxpayers shouldn’t expect our city to be gouging us. It is especially unconscionable when one hears just how much money the city netted with the massive property valuation hike Collin County gave taxpayers for several years running. Wylie has been holding a ridiculously inflated property tax rate stable, despite publicity claiming they lowered our tax rate between a ¼ cent and 2 cents for the past handful of years.

So exactly how can a city provide a “tax break”, yet still increase taxes? Here is a prime example that took place last fall during the budget process. The City Manager Mindy Manson told council members that the $2.9 million projected revenue in excess last year, one of the best excess leaps the city has seen in years I might add, would not be enough to cover expenses because of additional spending requests, and because she intimated the city was under-insured from the catastrophic hail storm that took place on April 11, 2016.

Further scrutiny of that lagging hail claim payout actually represents upgrading and remodeling the entire public safety building instead of just repairing it to pre-storm condition. Yet Manson suggested the city hold tight on the bloated tax rate, just in case the insurance deal did not pan out for their total remodel.

Reading between the lines, Manson told council members that staff was increasing spending to take up the rather generous sales and property tax revenue, and that they intended to do a full remodel of the public safety building, adding on expenses far beyond repairs that insurance would reasonably cover.

To appear accommodating, Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue ultimately suggested a 2 cent tax decrease during the budget season, hoping taxpayers would heave a collective sigh of relief. Even with this decrease, our taxes went up.

Not only is the city spending like a drunken sailor, but they are artificially keeping the tax rate high by ignoring the effective tax rate. Each year, after Collin County completes assessments, they inform each city of the tax rate needed to keep taxpayer burden stable. This year the effective tax rate for Wylie was .795191. Each year, the city council ignores the effective tax rate, instead tossing small breaks back to the taxpayers, which does nothing to offset the growing burden of improving property values. This year they had over 7 cents they could return to taxpayers to keep their tax burden the same, instead they gave us 2 cents, earmarking the rest for spending.

Many taxpayers simply ignore this sleight of hand routine, erroneously thinking their duty is to improve the growing city, and that they are getting tangible things in return, such as road improvements and increases in fire and police protection. Taxpayers neglect to understand that growth pays for growth, and city administrators do not want them to understand this concept.

Cities coerce taxpayer capitulation through fear, by explaining that they need the additional funds to help cover growth and that if they don’t receive them, services must be cut. Taxpayers altruistically buy into this scheme, thinking they are covering growth and helping the good of all citizens. This fallacious system means cities across Texas are keeping the excess funds from increased property values, instead of allowing growth to pay for itself as each new business and homeowner is tapped.

A prime example of the increase can be seen in comparing our total annual tax payment when we built our home in 2001 which ran approximately $3900 in taxes, to what our current property tax burden is at approximately $5600. Growth from approximately 4600 citizens to over 50,000 during this time has more than paid for the new roads and services. So exactly what did we get for the doubling of our taxes?

As a side-note, as I was poll greeting outside the library during the primary last year, one of the city councilmen told me that the city would be coming to the taxpayers soon for a bond to improve the roads. This mindset is completely unacceptable.

This example shows why it is critical that citizens become involved in the budget process each year, and demand that Wylie adopt the effective tax rate. Expect an initial budget look around municipal elections, with regular budget meetings ramping up through the summer, toward final adoption in the fall. The alternative to getting involved in the process is to continue unwittingly funding the city’s spending sprees each year, and watching money needlessly drain from our bank accounts.

Image: http://www.understandglobalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/tax-burden.jpg

Term Limits Needed to Remove Dead Wood

© Getty Images
I love this photo of Sen. Ted Cruz. With his arms folded, the body language reads that no amount of bullying and cajoling by the press will change his mind about term limits. Cruz is resolute in fixing Washington D.C., which is precisely what Texas voters sent him there to do.

The talk of term limits should delight Donald Trump voters as well. Term limits play a part in Trump's first 100 day plan. Yet there are those snotty responses from establishment GOP dinosaurs like Mitch McConnell that claim, "We have term limits - they're called elections." It shouldn't be any surprise that McConnell has served 32 years.

Those career politicians currently serving will start the clock at their next election, so one can see why this will have a difficult time garnering mass support and clearing Congress. As with most efforts to limit the power in D.C., I am sure we will watch this die a quite death.

I totally get both sides of the term limit argument. On one hand, people say that we already have term limits through the election process, that limits will simply perpetuate endless lame-duck sessions, and that payments covering the rotation of people once they are out will cost taxpayers even more money, with all those extra bodies on the payroll. On the other hand, people say that we cannot allow for a career mentality of those who are serving themselves, instead of serving their constituents, and that the lack of term limits has caused the mess in D.C. that most everyone agrees must be overhauled.

I support term limits for three reasons. First, the argument for the election process as a limiting factor is predicated on an educated voting population. Sadly, we have an incredibly stupid voting population that does not research their candidates, and decades of data analysis and precedence to prove this case. Historically there have been hundreds of politicians serving 30+ years, some as many as 59 years. Even 20 years is unacceptable. Yet, time and again, people vote for candidates simply because they heard the name before, and any person who has worked on a campaign and greeted at the polls has witnessed this in action. 

Next, our founding fathers never anticipated the legislative branch to be compelling or lucrative enough to serve as a career. These seats were supposed to be filled with the people's people. The servant mindset was overthrown as they voted themselves pay increases and found great pleasure in cronyism. Once in, they enjoy a very lucrative stint. The argument that taxpayers will foot a larger bill for an increased rotating cast of characters is unfounded, considering the premise that using the election process to successfully term out politicians will net the exact same result. The high cost comes from politicians setting their own salaries, not the length of their terms. Still, through history we have seen successful use of term limits for the executive branch, and there is nothing to suggest it will not be successful for the legislative or even judicial branches.

Finally, we must make holding office an inconvenience to the point that those who run, really want to do it for more than the money and notoriety, and there is plenty of that. There will be plenty of time for a politician's effect with 12 total years in the Senate and six total years in the House. Beyond that, who needs them?

We must put an end to the petrified wood, and the agents creating the scenario which has permanently taking over the forest. Even fires serve their purpose in the regeneration of a forest.

Tea Party: Demise or Metamorphosis?

A t-shirt I picked up at the America's Tea Party  rally held July 4, 2009 at Southfork Ranch.
It still hangs in my garage as a reminder of how bad things can get if we do not remain vigilant.

Have we witnessed a crash and burn demise of the tea parties, 
or is there something better on the horizon? 

In my mind, tea parties no longer exist. They started with the camaraderie of rallies to solidify identity, moved into a more stoic educational and informational realm, and have ended up as tools to advance new media efforts.

We can clearly identify this effect in the presidential campaign and election, where the carpet was swept right out from under that stale, old-school media's feet. Formal newspapers and broadcast media were made redundant, and people were no longer buying the bag 'o crap they were selling.

The publics became the new media machine, and made their digital point through relentless use of videos, blogs and social media activity. They took their first amendment rights away from those designated to inform and speak on their behalf, because traditional media outlets were doing a piss-poor job of it for far too long.

For organizations that vow to be unbiased, fair and balanced, they have been anything but for a decade, or longer. It's not just the journalists' fault in reporting one side of a story. This problem goes much deeper, where editors purposely leave out coverage and the liberal checkbooks were flexing their muscles. The bias wasn't so much about what was being covered, as it was about what wasn't being covered. It's still media bias.

Non-stop televised news may currently have a lion's share of the older generation's viewing habits, but the millennials? Forget it. I cannot wait to see the slow and painful death of 24/7 country club talk shows over the next twenty years. It won't be too soon. Still, I predict that these news outlets will morph into ugly advertising machines, dominating our news feeds without proper representation and attempting to make themselves relevant again. We must not let that happen. We must remain vigilant.

This problem of taxation without proper representation by the media was identified when the various tea parties formed, and carried a shared battle cry. What was heard across the nation was a sort of Marine Corps Ooh Rah that sounded faintly like, "Tax this, sucka."

People from all walks of life came together, despite constant vilification by rabid politicians who were afraid their slop trough would be emptied. People like Sen. John McCain and his "wacko birds" comment and President Barack Obama's disgusting "teabagger" epithet tried their best to discredit the movement. Innocent people were labeled racist, and just about every "phobe" in the book. But, you know what they say about sticks and stones.

The various tea parties had one strong element that tied them all together. That theme consisted of five core principles, which any constitutional conservative still clutches to their bosom. The principles didn't change just because Trump became our only tool against Clinton. The tenets include personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, limited government, rule of law and national sovereignty, and anyone that has dismissed any part of those core principles during this election was not a constitutional conservative to begin with. Rather, they are a confused Republican, angry and reactive voters or simply something else altogether. They were tea party posers.

I've watched the tea parties unilaterally disconnect under the guise of being separate anyway. Many tea party leaders are looking for ways to disassociate themselves with their past, in an attempt to impart their own brand. They dismissed the idea that all tea parties across the county were part of one larger movement so they could justify Donald Trump and his new product of angry, vitriolic populism. Their tea party premise is a bastardization, bordering on dissociative disorder, of the original tea party intent.

I suppose divorcing oneself from the tea party makes them feel better about compromising once-quasi-shared principles, but there are still those pesky five core principles that made the scattered tea parties one and the same. These are the very same principles that Trump was never a part of, that is, until he decided he wanted to become president.

Suddenly, Trump has become magically delicious to hosts of former tea party members, who claim he is the ultimate alpha and omega, right behind Jesus. Please. Though Trump has donned his designer-fitted chameleon suit, he is no more tea party than Clinton was. The fantastic thing is that we have a host of video and sound clips showing what pre-campaign Trump was really about. But when you're branding, none of that matters. You latch onto anything that fits the perspective you're selling.

I will give Trump the benefit of the doubt despite this strong anti-constitutional conservative evidence. I will, because what choice do I have? Having dozens sign up to run in the GOP, so they can open super PACs and pay themselves handsomely on the speech circuit, while continuing to collect funds for a future run, did our real choices in. We were left with a really bad taste in our mouths. But for those legacy tea partiers who carried Trump's flag, stepping on, punching and kicking those around them the entire way, their recollection of why the tea parties formed has been replaced with an altered reality.

The tea parties are no longer relevant, not because Trump was elected, no far from that. The tea parties are no longer relevant because there has become a new, tech-savvy audience established, and this is how we fight fire with fire. We must be careful that the new media that brought about a Trump win, doesn't become like that of the old mainstream.

Provocateur Andrew Breitbart was a visionary on new media when he said, "My mission isn’t to quash debate—it’s to show that the mainstream media aren’t mainstream, that their feigned objectivity isn’t objective, and that open, rigorous debate is a positive good in our society.”