OnDC 09: panel on politics and social media

Moderator: Peter Corbett, CEO iStrategy Labs Kevin Merritt, CEO Socrata, Inc. (A venture backed startup in Seattle that helps government agencies get data online and it social) Vijay Ravindran, was at Amazon 7 years, @catalyst, now at Washington Post Tom McInerney, Lt. General U.S. Air Force (ret.), Fox News Analyst Mike Allen, chief political correspondent for Politico Panelists were asked what was impressive to them so far about technology in politics and government. One mentioned...
Read More

Becoming Informed

I'm having a hard time sleeping lately. I keep waking up at 3 am or 4 am feeling compelled to investigate the root causes of the national and global financial crisis we are experiencing. I don't have a lot of time, because I'm also running a startup company, but I have to carve out some time if I want to be part of the solution as we try to fix our government and our country, and get it back on track. I've got to become better informed.

I have several books now on derivatives trading, and I have come to believe they truly are "financial weapons of mass destruction" as Warren Buffett called them in 2003. I think unbridled use of OTC derivatives is the primary cause of the worldwide economic melt-down. The Wikipedia article on derivatives is a good starting point.

video of McCain endorsing Romney

When Mitt Romney ran for Governor of Massachusetts, Senator McCain couldn't say enough about how great he was for the party, for Massachusetts, and what incredible integrity and honesty he had. It is one of the finest character endorsements I have ever seen. This is the kind of video clip I'd like to see broadcast by a major news outlet like CNN or MSNBC. It's pretty funny, given the current race.

Romney Can Win

The Republican debate last night on MSNBC was quite friendly between the five Republican candidates. Chris Matthews and many others felt that Mitt Romney absoluted dominated the debate, which should help him shore up his recently acquired lead in at least three Florida polls. It feels great to see momentum shifting to the candidate that I believe can help the US deal with hard economic times and global competition better than anyone else in US history.

Needed: Transparent Government and Transparent Media Coverage of Elections

I am tempted sometimes to wring my hands in despair at the sorry state of the Federal Government, at our $8+ trillion national debt, at our incredibly low popularity ratings around the world, even from our allies, at our lack of global competitiveness in some key industries, of our economic slowdown, and most of all, at the incredibly biased and inane media coverage of politics and elections.

Three Top Presidential Candidates Don’t Actually Live in the United States (Source: HowManyOfMe.com)

Interesting that after my last post on how names affect your ability to standout online, I noticed a post by Phil Windley, the man who inspired me to blog, about HowManyOfMe.com, a web site that uses census data to estimate the number of people living in the United States that have the same name as you. For Phil Windley, the answer is 3. For me, Paul Allen, the answer is 2,838. For my hypothetical John Smith, the answer is 49,535.

WSJ Startup Journal: How to stand out online

Some people are born with great names and others have great names thrust upon them. In the 1960s when I was given the name "Paul Allen" it was an ordinary name. But thanks to the dynamic duo of Microsoft's Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the name is now famous. But what do you do if you want to be found online, but you can't possibly stand out like the rich and famous person with the same name? Or what do you do if you have a name like "John Smith" that is so common that it can't possibly stand out?

Why I Support Mitt Romney for President

This morning Mitt Romney announced his 2008 presidential bid in Michigan. His theme is innovation and transformation. Here is the full text of Romney's speech from the NY Times. I'm excited by Mitt's candidancy and want to publicly declare my support for him. My blog is not a political blog by any means, but it is a personal one, and occasionally I like to express my personal opinions on a variety of topics, not just entrepreneurship. I like many other candidates as well. Who isn't fond of Rudy Giuliani for his amazing leadership in the wake of the 9/11 attack? My family will always be grateful to him for his strength and grace. He is a great leader. I'm also very fond of Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas. I appreciate his social conservatism and his optimism for the future. I love his concept of horizontal and not vertical politics.