Monthly Archives: February 2007

The Conservative Matra

My conservative friend, Bob, asked me what I meant when I said “I am hearing the conervative mantra.”

My response:

CONSERVATIVE MANTRA is, of course, what we liberals repeating over and over and over, except that most of them don’t even try to research it. They just regurgitate what their conservative mentors (radio show hosts and bloggers) tell them is true. In fact, most people don’t read a goddamn thing other than the sports pages. Before you jump to conclusions on that statement, remember that in “most” I include, well, MOST (obviously excluding who care to think for themselves). Even the scientists who oppose the idea will admit that the scientists who support it do not have an agenda.

What is the agenda of liberals who believe in Gore’s type of global warming? I mean, really, one would think that all the liberals in the US got together at a secret meeting and decided to fool the conservatives into believing in a false claim so they might eradicate something. I’m not sure why they would prosetylize about stopping warming.

I really have no problem about not reading newspapers. Personally, I get most of my news and opinions on the web. No surprise there. But I get a LOT of each there.How many people who call themselves “conservative” believe in the type of global warming espoused by Gore? I am sure you can count them on the fingers of one hand.

Another conservative mantra is that human beings are truly human at the moment of conception.

Another conservative mantra is that the economy is boooooming. (I totally disagree there)
Another conservative mantra is that they theselves support the troops and whenever a liberal does that he is lying. What the hell does that mean? I contend that most people (both sides) don’t really give a fuck about the troops until someone challenges them or raises their dander about the issue. If I may ask, what do you mean when you say that (based on the emails I get through you from your friends, I assume you agree)?

Another conservative mantra is that capitalism is good for people. Well, it may be good for the people who were able to rise to the top, most of whom are lucky they held onto their father’s coattails but who think they are responsible for their riches. I love it when rich people say “It’s amazing how lucky I get when I work hard.” Bullshit. We all know that daddy’s hard work provided their wealth.

Do you think that capitalism will be good for the Chinese working man?

Another conservative mantra – there are dozens of them. I’ll save them for another day when I don’t want to get depressed.

I couldn’t believe what I heard the other night on the radio. The conservative shithead (that’s a webmaster term) says, “The liberals should get no credit if we win in Iraq. The liberals should get all the credit if we fail in Iraq.” Is he eating mushrooms?

Ok. So you are absolutely, postively, certainly, without a doubt convinced that global warming has nothing to do with the industrial age.

Then we have nothing to discuss on this topic any more.

You have told me, I think, that there is nothing that can change your mind. No expert opinions will suffice except those which validate your research and, it must be said, your opinion based on past experiences and study.

That’s ok.

greg

Conservative
Liberal
Iraq
Republican

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Senate Iraq debate – a good new TV comedy

Did you watch any of the Senate debate on Iraq over the weekend? I did and I felt like I was watching a new weekly sitcom comedy and a pretty good one at that. “The cameras of history are rolling,” said a Dem senator. The resolution “disapproves” of the President’s policy. Oh my!

You must watch Jon Daily’s reaction to this new comedy show:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/02/16/daily-show-on-the-absurdity-of-the-house-debate-on-iraq

The Republicans brought up Davy Crocket and the Alamo. What if Davy did not have the support of congress. Oh my!

Daily Show
Is this all the Democrats could accomplish in their first 100 days? Of course, when you eliminate your only potent weapon against a President that is hell bent on ignoring the U.S. puclic. You need to rattle the impeachment threat. I think Bush does care about that but not about anything else.

A Republican Senator said it best when he said the Democrats should put forward a motion to cut off funding if they really mean business. That senator is right. The Democrats were hollering, blathering and turning red but they do not care enough about this issue to put their heads on the line. Obviously, to me at least, they only care about keeping their fatass, cushy jobs just like the Republicans.

Just more good reasons not to vote for a major party in the next election. Evidently, based on last November’s results, it really does not make any difference. We really have a one-party system that favors the corporate rich.

Find alternative party candidates and back them in both the federal and local levels. That is the only way to make a difference.







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SEO – Is It Really Dead?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not dead, but it is changing and not as absolutely crucial as it used to be. Early on, people used SEO to help drive their websites to high positions in search engines. The purpose was to 

exploit weaknesses in the algorithms of the existing major search engines (before Google arrived we depended on Yahoo, LookSmart, Excite and others).

Since then, search engines have become very much more sophisticated. The search engines learned to close the doors on the tactics to crack into a high ranking. Some of those tactics included spamming the META tags and image tags. Some sites would make the text color the same as the background color to add keywords that were totally unrelated to the website’s information. Thus, we would often get a porn site, for example, when searching for a site about website creation.

There is much information out there about how to manipulate search engine results in today’s market. For example, some people still hang on to the outmoded belief that META tags are important. Put that to bed, please. Some people think that using CSS will improve your ranking. Sorry to disappoint you. 

We need to stop thinking about how to “manipulate” the search engines. Google employs scores of PhD’s to outsmart us. Any newfangled technique will quickly get smothered. Mainly, you need good, fresh content to get found by people searchers.

Some SEO companies will solicit your business. They claim they can get you on the first page of Google. That get’s you excited. But ask them this question: “What search term can you guarantee for me?” This will cause a lot of hemming and hawing on the other side of the line because the person knows he simply cannot guarantee anything, especially very generic search terms like “candle” and “marketing.” 

To get Google’s attention, you need each and every page of your website to be very unique in content. Design is not as important for search engine results, but good navigation is very essential. That is why Google love site maps – it’s bots can easily find your content.

Incoming links

I’ll go on record as saying that incoming links are very important to your web presence. But maybe not for the reason you think. Yes, latest intelligence shows that incoming links DO influence results but my experience says that they are not as important as they used to be. This is based on my experience of not seeking links over the past two years. I used to spend a great deal of my time begging for incoming links.

Don’t belittle the power of well placed links from good sites, though. I still get plenty of traffic to my website from other good websites. People do check out the link sections, especially if they trust the owner of the website. 

Keywords

Each page on your website should be focused on one major keyword. Having said that, I’ve learned that the search engines are getting so sophisticated that they can evaluate related key phrases and give them significance. 

For example, let’s say your website is “How to make a good pizza.” We used to target the single word “pizza” for optimization and forget other key phrases like “good pasta”, “delicious pizza sauce”, etc. I recommend a strong focus on a single key phrase (possible a long-tail phrase) but interspersed with other, related key phrases.

Be sure to include your keywords or key phrases on your page. You don�t want to go overboard, but you will want your page title to be very descriptive.

There are a few good tools to find related keyword phrases:

1. Wordtracker – one of the earliest and the best

2. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is also great.

META Tags

At this time I find only two META tags to be useful:

1. The Title Tag – that is what people will see when they do a search in a search engine

2. Description Tag – this will usually make up the text under the main text that they see in a search engine. A short description of the web page you are optimizing will be sufficient here. Using a couple of words from the Title tag is also recommended.

I learned early on that Google liked (loved?) the <h1> tag for the title of your web page. I’ve seen at least one trusted and true expert say that you can scale down to an <h2> or lower tag, but I don’t have a problem maintaining the <h1> tag since I am personally not overly concerned with the look of a page. So, if your website is about Internet Marketing, for example, and one of your inside pages is devoted to “Social Networking” then make sure that key phrase is surrounded by a nice, fat <h1> </h1> tags.

My Recommendation

For the past year I’ve been recommending to my clients to spend their time learning about Google Adwords as the primary method to obtain targeted visitors to their websites, emphasis on the word “targeted.” This may sound strange coming from a guy who spends some of his time doing SEO for website owners.

Actually, once you understand the value of your time and the cost to hire people like me, I think you will gladly buckle down and learn how to use Adwords successfully. Just ask my friend, Alex. He sells a unique brand of European vitamins and other health products. I built his website one year ago and I warned him to not expect results quickly. 

I recommended that instead of spending more time getting incoming links and other old-fashioned ways to improve results that he go the Adwords route. I am happy to report that he is now selling over $7,000 a month from his site and that figure is rapidly increasing. http://www.westeggnaturalproducts.com

TIP: I take Adwords expert, Perry Marshall, seriously. His advice is to use Google Adwords as more of an email address collector than as a means to sell product. Think about this. If you get a 5% click-through rate on Adwords you will be congratulating yourself for choosing that advertising tool. That is, until you realize that you sell just one out of twenty visitors. You need to monetize the visitor presence by enticing him to give you his email address for, say, a free eBook or something else of value. Then you can probably improve your bottom line by learning to use your email list effectivel

Overall, take care to be skeptical of all advice you see about SEO (and many other aspects of web marketing). Include the information on this page in your skepticism. Things are changing rapidly, almost by the hour.

Don’t be transfixed by anything, including SEO. There will always be a shiny new vehicle to take you for an exciting ride. 

HOT TIP: If I were you, right now I would take a long, hard, close look at Web 2.0 and  Social Network Marketing. http://www.squidoo.com/goaffiliate/ 

 

Brittany Spears, Captain Kirk and me.

It’s been a strange day.

My brother, Jim, wrote me an email this morning to tell me he talked with Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner for 10 minutes yesterday on the phone. My brother is into some interesting things like video production and writing screen plays.

But, man, talking to The Captain of the Enterprise is better than conferencing with the Pope, right? Not so, says Jim. “No big deal. He was bickering over price even though I lowballed him.” How much does he make on Boston Legal?

My dauther-in-law, Kelly, is a massage therapist in LA. You know, we are not allowed to refer to that profession as “masseur” or masseus” anymore. Pity. Anyway, Kelly has given, catch this, phreaking Brittany Spears a number of massages over the past couple of months. How high on the food chain is THAT? Here’s the tip on Brittany, folks. Well, that’s it. She doesn’t tip, as least for massages. I’ve heard this is a common happening in Hollywood, as though their presence is enough of a tip. Wake up, starlets! Most of us don’t luck out like you did.

Today is my wife’s birthday. She was born on February 14th, of a year I’m not allowed to mention. Let’s just say that the Playboy Playmates would not be allowed to appear in the mag if they were born that year. Know why my wife is so great? For one reason she can be trusted, totally, with a credit card. Much more than I would trust myself. If I had not married her I am sure I would be living under the el tracks in downtown Chicago with a cardboard box as an apartment. No lie.

We were hit with another 6″ of snow last night. The schools were closed. I guess the teachers needed yet another day off from their tedious grind. Let me tell you. I used to teach. It is one TOUGH job. I think I lasted half a year and then hung up my planning books. My son goes beserk with happiness whenever school is called off for snow. Come to think of it, I used to do that too. Happiness=no school.







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Dixie Chicks Stun The Grammy Awards

In your face, White House hairballs.

Dixie Chicks Stun The Grammy Awards With Big Five…. The Dixie Chicks stunned America at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night by claiming five big prizes, including Album of The Year, Record of The Year and Song of The Year.

Just four years after the trio was ostracised for making anti-President George W. Bush comments onstage during a London concert, they were celebrated for hit song Not Ready To Make Nice and album Taking The Long Way.

In accepting the Best Song prize, newly-brunette singer Natalie Maines – who made the infamous comments onstage in 2003 – personally thanked her bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison for supporting her during the controversy.

She joked, “I told you I’d take you to the Grammys, stick with me.”






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Peace Train

I get emails daily from my dear best friend who is now ultra conservative. This is a guy who voted for Mayor Washington of Chicago in the 1970’s. I need to remind my friend that Washington was a black man. He seems embarassed now that he voted for him and wants to keep that fact under the rug.

Today my email from my friend contained pictures of Hollywood movie stars of the 1940’s: Jimmy Stewart,

The comment was this: ” With the advent of World War II many of our actors went to fight rather than stand and rant against this country we all love. They gave up their wealth, position and fame to become service personnel, many as simple ‘enlisted men’.” They were “real Hollywood heroes” goes the text. I would be good money that the fellow who started this email thread never ever served his country in the military.

I am getting very tired of the Neocon mantras. They are grasping at straws. After the 2004 election they were all smug and secure. The world was theirs, they thought. They told the liberals to “get over it.” It is with great joy that I can now say to them, “Get over it!”

Now those Neocon folks want us to buy their pitch on the bad, bad people of Iran. Bomb them, they say. Kill them, they say. These folks who are not doing any of the fighting themselves and neither are their own boys and girls who are protected by the wealth, the professions, the hallowed halls of the universities.

I am sure they will shrug their shoulders and mock this extraordinary video called “Peace Train”.

http://www.lucasgray.com/video/peacetrain.html


A demonstrator offers a flower to military policemen guarding the Pentagon in 1967.

“Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” – Denis Diderot







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A Fatal Mistake

from The Compleat Mother Magazine







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