First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC. 

Jordan:  “Gelly, tell me all about the cruise to Alaska.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “We had a wonderful time.  Lots of stunning scenery, great food…and even more fun to be with old friends again.”

Jordan:  “What about pictures?”

Gelly:  “Lots.  But I’ll show you later.  We’ve got work to do and I need to get caught up.”

Jordan:  “Alright, just a couple more minutes.  I hope you didn’t think too much about us when you were gone.”

Gelly:  “Tried not to but the occasional topic at dinner was what goes on in Washington…”

Jordan:  “…and you were considered the expert, right?”

blameGelly:  “Yes.  What baffled our group were two things: (i) how politicians take positions that seem to be so out of touch with how most people think; (ii) all the finger-pointing.  We ended up calling the finger-pointing ‘The Blame Game.’”

Jordan:  “When you said ‘The Blame Game’ what popped into my head was the song ‘The Name Game’ by Shirley, Shirley…”

Name Game CoverGelly:  “Shirley Ellis.  ‘C’mon everybody!  I said let’s play a game.  I’ll betcha I could make a rhyme out of anybody’s name.”

Jordan:  “How do you know that song…and who sung it?  That was before your time.”

Gelly:  “My mother had the record and a bunch of us played it over and over until we learned the words.  Want me to sing some more?”

Jordan:  “Not now, thanks.  So your group thought too many individuals and groups were finger-pointing — blaming someone else for whatever went wrong.”

TrumpGelly:  “And the group thought the tipping point happened during the 2016 Presidential election.  ‘The Blame Game’ seemed to reach new heights.”

Jordan:  “You mean starting with the Donald?  He seemed to blame everyone for everything.”

Gelly:  “More than the Donald.  Hillary wasn’t as bad as the Donald.  Her comments seemed more like denial than blame.  But what really troubled our group was all the blame directed toward police…and then the assassination of five police officers in Dallas.  People in our group were livid with the vicious verbal attacks on police by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ group.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Why was your group so angry?”

Gelly:  “All people remembered hearing from ‘Black Lives Matter’ was cops are bad.  No one in Black Lives Matter seemed to ask, ‘Gee, I wonder why cops seem to arrest proportionately more blacks than whites?’  The claim always seemed to be cops are racists, cops are using racial profiling…always a reason to blame someone else.”

Jordan:  “But never a question from Black Lives Matter about personal responsibility?”

Gelly:  “Exactly.  Let’s not be naïve.  Every organization has some bad apples, the police included.  But I cannot believe cops just go around arresting people for fun.  There has to be some suspicion.”

Jordan:  “What did your group say about efforts to eliminate racism?”

torahClipGelly:  “Another let’s-not-be-naïve issue.  Racism has been around for thousands of years, and will likely be around for a few thousand more.  People need to realize racism is not going away.  If you don’t believe it, read the book of Exodus.”

Jordan:  “Egyptians enslaved the Jews over 5,000 years ago…and still don’t like Jews.  At every Shabbat and holiday service congregants are reminded by the rabbis that our ancestors were once slaves and do not treat other people the same way.  Next item, what’d your group say about profiling?”

Gelly:  “When the topic of profiling came up, someone took out an iPad and google_logoasked if anyone at the table used Google for a search engine.”             

Jordan:  “Of course everyone said ‘yes’ to Google.  What was the follow-on question?”

Gelly: ”Has anyone ever noticed the ads on Google and other websites seem to be tailored just for you?”

Jordan:  “Ahh, now that you mention it.”

Gelly:  “I think we began to understand anyone who uses the internet is being profiled.”

Jordan:  “You probably don’t know I was an early adopter of profiling.  I was introduced to profiling when I was director of marketing at Buick.”

Gelly:  “What’s a profile based on?”

past-to-futureJordan:  “Profiling is based on assumption that past behavior is a predictor of future behavior.  The early approach to profiling was crude by today’s standards.  The early profiling used software that combined zip codes and buying patterns.  The information was combined into clusters, which were given names that described a certain a group of buyers.”

Gelly:  “Names like what??”

Jordan:  “’Pools & Patios,’ ‘Down Home Gentry,’ ‘Hard Scrabble,’ ‘Blue Blood Estates’…as I recall there were 40 clusters in all.”

Gelly:  “So, how’d you use the info from the clusters?”

Jordan:  “One early use of the clusters or profiles was to target buyers for a specialty car we developed.  Rather than doing national advertising for the car, which would have been very expensive, we targeted the advertising at clusters who we thought would be most likely to buy.”

Gelly:  “How successful was the launch?”

party-popper-confetti-clip-art-929294Jordan:  “Far exceeded our expectations.  Buick and the dealers made tons of money.  The success of that program convinced a lot of people of the value of profiling.”

Gelly:  “Interesting example.  I see why you used profiling.  Really worked.”

Jordan:  “So now many organizations use profiling – from car companies to philanthropic organizations to the police to Google.  What else came up in your group?”

mirror-clipart_jpgGelly:  “Simple questions.  Where’s the effort by the black community to stop the blaming others and start looking in the mirror for the answer?  Where’s the effort to begin improving their own lot?   Where’s the effort to increase graduation rates?  Efforts to reduce births to unwed mothers?  Efforts to reduce drug use?  Lots of blaming others but seemingly few efforts at self-improvement.”

Jordan:  “I agree.  The silence from leaders in the black community has been deafening.  One cannot delegate personal responsibility.  Forget blaming someone else for your failures.”

Gelly:  “Any discussion about personal responsibility seems to be a no-no…not politically correct.  Blaming someone else is OK but personal responsibility can’t be talked about.”

Jordan:  “One of the best list of questions about personal responsibility that need to be discussed by and with the black community was put together by Bill O’Reilly.”

Bill-O’ReillyGelly:  “The Bill O’Reilly?”

Jordan:  “Yes, the Bill O’Reilly.  I often think O’Reilly is off in the weeds.  But this time his commentary seemed to hit the nail on the head.”

Gelly:  “You download a copy?”

Jordan:  “No.  Let me get the link. (pause)  Here it is.  The commentary is from 2016.  It lasts about 5 minutes.”

Gelly:  “I’m going to get a coffee, watch it, then let’s talk some more.”