Can We Get This Movie Into Every History and Social Studies Class?

My wife and I were both deeply moved watching a filmed performance of George Takei’s Broadway musical, “Allegiance,” set primarily in an isolated internment camp holding Japanese-Americans during World War II.

"Allegiance" musical-logo

“Allegiance” musical-logo

While according to Wikipedia, the play exaggerates the anti-Japanese racism and conditions at the camps in pursuit of the salable story, it has a whole lot to say about ethics, families whose values conflict, and prejudice—98 percent of which still applies even if that is true. Each major character pursues his or her own truth, and acts in the way s/he feels is best for both the person and the wider Japanese-American community. But those ways are in such conflict that a family is torn asunder for 60 years.

Even if the story hadn’t been so engaging, the quality of singing is amazingly high, especially from Lea Salonga (Keiko) and Christopheren Nomura (Tatsuo).

Takei (who is absolutely brilliant as the grandfather and also plays the very emotional role of the male lead as an old man) says he worked on this project for 10 years. But the show ran only several months. Fortunately, it was preserved on film.

It is worth remembering that the Japanese-Americans, many of them citizens, were rounded up during the administration of FDR, a liberal Democrat. That their property was confiscated, their freedom taken away, and the conditions in the camps were often miserable. And that once they were allowed to enlist, Japanese-American men were put in situations where massive numbers would die.

Now, under a right-wing Republican president Takei could not have anticipated when he and his colleagues started work, other ethnic and religious groups are being targeted. We who are not part of those groups must ensure that what happened to the Japanese in America and their Japanese-American US citizen children must never happen again to any ethnic or religious group.

I would like to see this movie shown far and wide. At the moment, I can’t find anything about future showings, but would be the place to request that.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Democracy, Diversity, Ethics in Government, Ethics: General, Events, Peace and War, Politics, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

This is What DICTATORSHIP Looks Like

At almost any protest event these days, you’ll hear the chant, “Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.”

Unfortunately, the targets of our protests—the new US federal government that came into power in January—show us almost every day what democracy DOESN’T look like. It’s looking more and more like dictatorship.

Caricature of Donald Trump by DonkeyHotey, Creative Commons License:

Caricature of Donald Trump by DonkeyHotey, Creative Commons License:

The list of every bad thing the government is doing would be far longer than would fit on a blog, but it’s important to keep the overall “doubleplusungood” (as George Orwell coined it in his antitotalitarian classic 1984) trend in mind. A reminder of a few lowlights:

As I said, I could go on for a long time. The above is not even close to a comprehensive list. Even the right-wing site LearnLiberty sees DT as a serious threat to our liberties.

Posted in Ethics in Government, Politics, propaganda, Protests and Crackdowns, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Will Budweiser’s Gamble Pay Off?

Being political can be a very good thing for a business—look what it’s done for Ben & Jerry’s. I believe that social/environmental responsibility is what made B&Js a player with 40% or more of the superpremium ice cream market. Without it, it would be just another among the hundreds of minor players with slivers of market share. Many other companies have also benefitted by their strong stands, including Patagonia, The Body Shop, Interface (flooring company), and many others.

But there has to be a good match between audience and messages.

Which is what makes Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way” Superbowl ad so surprising, almost shocking.

The football-adoring working-class male Bud drinker (a big part of their audience) is one of the demographics most likely to have voted for DT. Many voters in that demographic had enough comfort with the anti-immigrant rhetoric and action that they cast that vote, even if their motivations were on other issues (such as believing that DT would create more jobs). In other words, this ad could anger a large segment of Bud’s core market. Taking that risk is an act of courage.

Budweiser bottle (photo credit Paul Fris)

Budweiser bottle (photo credit Paul Fris)

Those out in the streets for immigrant rights who are not themselves immigrants or the children of immigrants probably skew rather heavily toward craft beer. I don’t think as great a percentage of them will be going for Bud, Coors (BTW, heavily associated in the 1970s with right-wing causes, before it merged with Molson), or any other industrial beer. It’s also worth pointing out that Islam is a no-alcohol religion (though that commandment is not always followed). So Anheuser-Busch is being quite courageous. If right wing elements (or DT himself) call a boycott, it’s going to be hard to get those who support their position to also support their beer.

I speak out of my own tastes here. I am delighted that Bud took this stand. The company says this ad was prepared in October, before the anti-immigrant candidate eked out his Electoral College victory. That may be. But that also left them two months following the election to decide not to run it. Going forward raises my respect for A-B. But until an American Bud tastes as good as the incredible Czech Budwar (originated by the same family), I still won’t want to drink it. I might talk about them in my speeches or even invest in the company, but I’m not likely to be a customer, let alone a brand loyalist.

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall when A-B discusses this commercial at its next high-level strategic marketing meetings?

If you like to study Superbowl ads, BTW, here’s a reel of someone’s choices for the top 10 of this year. (My comments are underneath the video.)

The “Born the Hard Way” Bud ad didn’t make the cut, though another Bud ad did. I don’t know who curated this, but I don’t share that person’s sensibility. As a group, I found them disjointed, way too violent, and for the most part not focused on selling (other than the McDonald’s “Big Mac for That”). Why does Mercedes spend 3/4 of their ad on a play fight among motorcyclists in a bar? Why was it such a struggle to even make the connection between the Humpty Dumpty ad and the product that less than half an hour after watching, I can’t even remember what the ad was for? Considering how many millions of dollars go into producing and airing each of these ads, it just makes me scratch my head. Is this really a successful marketing strategy?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Demographics/Psychographics, language, Marketing Trends/News, Psychology, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Does Your Passion Still Leave You in Poverty?

Does your work fulfill you? (And I mean, really fulfill you?)

Do you go to bed smiling each day because you know you’ve made the impact you were put on this planet to make…and wake up excited and ready to do it again?

If you just answered, “No,” you’re not alone. In fact, a staggering 90% of the global working population is unsatisfied with the work they do, according to a Gallup study.

What if I told you that you CAN identify – and monetise [yes, we’re using Aussie spellings today, because our summit host is Australian] – your passion…so you live a life you love, making the impact you were born to make?

You can!

My friend Rita Joyan has been exactly where you are, if you resonate with the above. She’s cracked the code on monetising your passion (by doing it for herself!). Now, she’s bringing together top experts from around the world (including me) to share our best secrets and tips for doing exactly that, in a brand new virtual event: Monetise Your Passion, beginning 13th February, 2017.

Skip the reading and sign up to join us, here:

Monetise – Your Passion <<< Sign Up Here – NO CHARGE >>>

Shel Horowitz and other speakers at Rita Joyan's Monetise Your Passion Summit

Speakers at Rita Joyan’s Monetise Your Passion Summit

When you go to the link above and sign up to join us for this powerful, complimentary interview series, you’ll hear personal, real-life stories of total transformation from experts who have all found and monetised their passion.

We’re living each and every day around our passion – which means we’re also living highly-fulfilled, complete and joyful lives!

Now, we want to help you do the same.

Join us, and:

  • Discover your passion, and how to get past the blocks that may keep you from monetising it.
  • Learn the #1 mistake most people make that keeps them stuck — struggling to make money with their passion — while others (in the same business) make consistent money doing what they love.
  • Find out how to crack the code when it comes to monetising your passion, so you can spend more time with your family, be your own boss, and make an impact.
  • Get proven methods to stop being ‘busy,’ and start being productive, so you can make big strides toward earning a living with your passion.
  • And more!

Plus, you’ll receive amazing gifts and resources designed to assist you on this incredible journey toward making money with your passion!

Click the link below and take the first step, by reserving your spot – GRATIS – for Monetise Your Passion here, now:

Live Your Most Fulfilled, Happiest Life <<< Reserve Your Spot >>>

I want you to know, I believe in this message (I’m a living example of it) and Rita’s library of training, and I highly recommend this interview series. Rita practises what she teaches (including escaping a miserable 9–5 in order to create a life and business that allows her to give back and make money at the same time), and it’s now her mission to support other existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in doing the same.

I can’t wait for you to join us 😉


P.S. Sign up now and start creating a new, happier, more fulfilled life for yourself! You can’t imagine how EVERYTHING changes, when you live and monetise your passion.  Plus, this virtual event (which has the potential to change your life!) is completely FREE! Why wait another moment? Reserve your spot by clicking the link in the next line:

Your Passion Is Waiting – Claim It! <<< Join Us Here 13th February 2017>>>

[reprinted from my newsletter with permission from guest author Rita Joyan]

Posted in Abundance and Prosperity, Business-general, Entrepreneurship, Events, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, Networking, Shel's Personal Life Tagged with: , ,

George Lakey: DT’s Repression is a Huge Opportunity for the Movement

Nonviolent action theorist/activist/author George Lakey published a fabulous essay, “A 10-point plan to stop T***p and make gains in justice and equality” last week*

George Lakey, activist and author (most recent book: Viking Economics)

George Lakey, activist and author (most recent book: Viking Economics)

George has been a hero and mentor of mine ever since I first heard him speak around 1977. His presence at Movement for a New Society’s Philadelphia Life Center was a big part of why I moved to that community for a nine-month training program in nonviolent action, back in 1980-81.

He argues that this is our moment to break out of reactive protests and into big sweeping social and environmental demands. He notes that the LGBT movement was one of the only progressive movements to gain traction under Reagan—because its agenda was so much bigger than just fighting cutbacks. Twenty and thirty years earlier, the Civil Rights movement accomplished sweeping social change as well.

So instead of defending the weak centrist gains of the past 30 years, we go beyond and organize for our wider goals. We refuse to play defense against DT’s shenanigans and instead take the role of pushing for a new, kinder, people- and planet-centered normal. With direct-action campaigns that link multiple issues, such as Standing Rock, and with alternative institutions like the Movement for Black Lives, we create a nonviolent invasion of deep social change (this is my metaphor, not George’s).

In short, we think bigger—and act bigger. and instead of crawling to the politicians, we force them to court us as they see us come into our true power.

I’ve been saying we need to think bigger and more systemically for years. George says it succinctly and eloquently, and with a lens I hadn’t looked through.

How does this apply in today’s world?

  • The Republican attack on what George calls the “medical industrial complex-friendly Affordable Care Act” (a/k/a Obamacare) is a chance to bypass the witheringly bureaucratic and unfair insurance system and push for real single-payer, Medicare-for-All plan of the sort that’s worked so well in Scandinavia (he explores the Scandinavian social safety net in his latest book, Viking Economics)
  • The Standing Rock Water Protectors have linked multiple issues into a coherent whole: clean water, the environment generally, the rights of indigenous people (among others)
  • Movements around creating a meaningful safety net, such as the $15 per hour minimum wage, can reach disaffected white working class voters as well as people of color; when those who voted for DT on economic grounds realize he has betrayed them, we can win them over (I would add that this will only work if we have mechanisms in place to defuse the racism and nativism that DT used to attract them, and have meaningful ways to integrate the lesson that all colors, races, and religions can be allies to each other and are stronger together—and Lakey does point out that the United Auto Workers has been successful organizing on these unifying principles)

I could add a lot to George’s list. As one among many suggestions, let’s push to not only end all subsidies to the fossil and nuclear industries but let’s push for a complete transition to clean, renewable energy—whether or not we get any help from the government.

Read his essay. Come back the next day and read it again. Then share it with friends, social media communities, and colleagues and discuss how you personally and your group of individuals with shared positive purpose can make these changes happen.

*Why did I replace DT’s last name with stars? And why do I call him DT rather than by his name? Because I am doing my best not to give him any search engine juice. I don’t want him showing up as “trending” or driving traffic to him.

Posted in Abundance and Prosperity, Activism, Democracy, Demographics/Psychographics, Diversity, language, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, People Helping People, Politics, poverty, Protests and Crackdowns, Psychology, Shel's Personal Life, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not My SCOTUS Justice

One one level, I’m pleased that DT has chosen a very smart guy for his first Supreme Court Justice nominee.

Supreme Court, 2009 (Photo)

In this 2009 portrait of the Supreme Court, Scalia is third from the right.

But on the other hand, Neil Gorsuch is as much of a right-wing ideologue as his late mother Anne, who attempted to eviscerate the Environmental Protection Administration when she ran it for Ronald Reagan. And then there’s the little matter of timing: A nominee was already selected by President Obama when his term still had nine months left. I thought Obama was making a huge mistake in not pushing hard on this. Even if Clinton had won in November, it was a terrible precedent. Merrick Garland is every bit as smart as Neil Gorsuch, and is not an ideologue for either side. He belongs on the Court.

Thus, I wrote the following email this morning to my Democratic Senators, both of whom have already made public statements opposing this nomination—feel free to use it as the basis for a personalized letter to your own Senators:

Thanks for Opposing Gorsuch nomination–Please Organize Other Democratic Senators

Dear Senator Warren (Senator Markey):

Thank you for being such a strong advocate of justice in the opening weeks of the Trump era. As a constituent and a citizen, I’m very grateful–and I ask you to step to the plate again to lead the fight against Neil Gorsuch. I see that you’ve already said publicly that you will not support this nomination, and thank you for that as well. I urge you not only to publicly oppose this nomination, but to build opposition among your fellow Democratic and Independent Senators. This latest unacceptable nomination must be stopped. Here are two talking points that may help:

1. There is already a nomination on the table: the moderate centrist Merrick Garland. The Senate’s disgraceful failure to act on that nomination should not invalidate it, and the horrible precedent that a president in his last year isn’t entitled to nominate has to be undermined.

2. Trump did not even get a majority, or anything close to a majority. There is no mandate to install SCOTUS justices with a radical right-wing ideology such as Judge Gorsuch’s. He is obviously very smart and scholarly, but has been an adamant champion of some of the worst judicial decisions while regularly sharing his view that the courts should not be used to expand the rights of ordinary citizens. As examples, he has written decisions that favor Christianity against other religions, and has called corporate campaign contributions (presumably including those allowed under Citizens United) “fundamental right” that should be afforded the highest standard of constitutional protection. All of this is well-documented in his Wikipedia profile: . I repeat: there is no mandate to appoint a right-wing ideologue.

Shel Horowitz – “The Transformpreneur”(sm)

If you feel as I do, please contact your Senators. Again, I freely give permission to modify what I’ve written to send your own message.

Posted in Activism, Democracy, Politics, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Chris Brogan on How to Win at Planning

This is an excerpt from Chris Brogan‘s email newsletter this morning—used with his permission. I’ve been reading Chris’s stuff for at least a decade; it’s one of the few newsletters I make a point of reading regularly. You can subscribe at the link in his name.

Chris Brogan, author and thought leader

Chris Brogan, author and thought leader

He managed to boil down the whole planning process into just three questions. I think that’s awesome, and am pleased to share it with you. The three bullets are Chris’s writing (and then I pick up again afterward):

  • What’s the story? – What are the elements I need to be thinking about in this moment, including the big and small picture, the players, the interactions at hand.
  • How do I play? – What are the rules and mechanics that guide me? This is important because this is where you subtract all the “extra” stuff. How you play often has simple rules in any situation.
  • How do I win? – This is strategy and approach. What will fit your time available? Where are you strongest? What’s the fastest thing you can do to accomplish the goal?

Is business success really that simple? Well, let’s just say you could spend quite a bit of time answering those three questions and then analyzing your answers. I’d see it’s at least a might good jumpstart.

Posted in Business-general, Entrepreneurship Tagged with: , ,

I DID Give Him a Chance…And That’s Why I March

I’m starting this post at 2:30 a.m. on January 21, as I prepare to board a bus to Washington, joining the Women’s March for human rights that will greet the newly sworn in US president on his first full day of office. Hundreds of thousands are expected in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and many smaller communities. Post-event note: at least 3.3 million to 4.6 million demonstrators came out around the US, plus hundreds of thousands more elsewhere in the world in more than 600 events. I’m finishing it the next day.

Several people have asked me, “Why don’t you give him a chance?” And my father-in-law, a liberal, shocked me with a different question: “He won. Why are you still marching?” Later, someone else asked me the same question on Facebook.

Marching at the Women's March on Washington with my wife and children

Marching at the Women’s March on Washington with my wife and children (from left: son-in-law Bobby, daughter Alana, wife Dina, me, son Rafael)

The Chances DT Has Failed to Take

I have given him not one chance but many, and he has failed to take them. I feel it is my patriotic duty to speak out against his agenda, to remind him that he not only has no sweeping mandate—he lost the popular vote “bigly”—and to remind my fellow Americans that his election was not clean and his behavior has not met any legitimacy tests.

This was already abundantly clear during the campaign. Back in August, I wrote an open letter to DT that called him out for his racism, misogyny, and bullying.

Despite my harsh language, when he eked out his narrow victory, I was still willing to give him lots of chances. But here’s what happened, just to name a few:

I don’t want to make this blog into a book, so I will stop there. I would love to have been wrong on this. I would have deeply delighted in the emergence of a new and different DT, one who really was trying to “make America great.”

My Patriotic Duty
One final reason why I marched: the most important one of all! As a patriotic American who believes this country is already great and that DT’s and/or his surrogates’ policies on the environment, women’s rights, minority rights, education, freedom of the press and other freedoms in the Bill of Rights, and a whole host of other issues are not just the wrong path, but take us down the ugly (and utterly unacceptable) road that Germany and Russia took in the 1930s. I not only refuse to be part of that takedown, I feel it is my duty as someone who cares about my country to stand up and say NO. When my as-yet-unborn grandchildren ask me, decades from now, what I did to protect our country and planet at this critical time, I will be able to stand proudly, as my mother did about her role in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, and say that I was there. I stood up for what’s right.

Posted in Activism, Business Ethics, Democracy, Ethics in Government, language, Politics, propaganda, Protests and Crackdowns, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , ,

New Uses for CO2? Elkington’s Latest Out-Front Thinking

It’s always fascinating to see what John Elkington is thinking.

In this profile in Ethical Corporation magazine—which calls him “CSR’s leading thinker”—Elkington restates his view that regenerative business models could create at least $12 trillion in opportunity and add up to 380 million jobs by 2030.

John Elkington, CSR thought leader

John Elkington, CSR thought leader

Elkington has some very cogent things to say about the shocking changes in geopolitics last year, from the Brexit vote to today’s change of US president.

But maybe the most intriguing thing is this little snippet:

…He is travelling to Germany to meet with Covestro, a spin-out from the German chemicals giant Bayer, which has just opened a plant using CO2 in place of polymers in mattresses and upholstered furniture.

If we can turn CO2 into a valuable asset instead of a climate-change accelerant/pollutant, that could be world-changing. And there’s no reason it can’t be possible. I’ve known for years about turning wastes into input. See for example this article about another visionary, John Todd, that I wrote all the way back in 2002.

So why not turn carbon dioxide into a salable product?

Insatiable curiosity about the world has always powered my writing and speaking. I wanted to know more about this. A few seconds of searching led me to Covestro’s page about this technological and environmental breakthrough. While the writing shows distinct signs of a non-nartive-speaking author, the information is quite cool.

Posted in Abundance and Prosperity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Eco-friendly, Energy & Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Green Business, Green Marketing, Innovation, Socially Responsible Investing, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , ,

A committed author is always looking for book promotion opportunities

Despite many commitments around the holidays, several client projects, and all the time-consuming organizing work I’ve been putting in since the election, I’ve been constantly, actively promoting, promoting, promoting both my personal brand and my latest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World (published in April).

Learn more about the powerful new book Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World

Learn more about the powerful new book Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World

I will keep promoting it for a long time, but right now as its life as a “new” book (current-year copyright) is ending, I’ve been pushing especially hard. This is some of what I’ve been up to:

  • Wrote and distributed a press release November 9 (as soon as I knew the election results) on how social entrepreneurs can still thrive under a Trump presidency
  • Wrote a letter to his campaign making the business case for keeping the Paris climate accord (no answer from his people, but I modified it slightly and got it published on
  • Arranged to submit a guest blog and started writing it
  • Got myself cited/quoted in at least five other published articles in November and December, including Entrepreneur,, and Huffington Post—most of these because I actively go after journalists looking for story sources; I pitched 32 journalists in December and 20 (a more typical number) in November
  • Secured two new reviews and one minor award (the first for this book—making it the 7th of my 10 books to win at least one award and/or be republished in a foreign country)
  • Scheduled interviews on a telesummit and four more podcasts in the next few weeks
  • Continued fleshing out my role as co-host of a new weekly radio/podcast show, which I expect to get rolling in the spring
  • Applied for several speaking gigs and am on the shortlist for at least two
  • Expanded my personal network with several get-acquainted calls
  • Finished the 3rd (and likely final) draft of a corporate sponsorship proposal I’ve been working on all fall, and began looking for a researcher to generate the email addresses I need to distribute it to about 200 companies mentioned favorably in Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World


And how have you been building your career this holiday season?

Posted in Activism, Branding, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, Networking, Publishing, Shel's Personal Life Tagged with: , , , , ,

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