Monthly Archives: April 2013

Why should Ginger Rutland apologize for her editorial?

Yesterday, Friday, April 5, 2013, an editorial piece titled “Why should Obama apologize for telling the truth?” was written by Ginger Rutland.  You can read it here.

In response to remarks by President Obama and seemingly follow on coverage from Fox News, Ginger asked, “Where else in the world do men have to apologize for calling a good looking women good looking?”

 Here are the remarks from President Obama that led to this discussion.

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake.

“She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here.  [Applause.] It’s true.  Come on.  [Laughter] And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”

I believe that women and the struggles they continue to face to be viewed equally within the work place with duly noted recognition for their professional talent is demeaned when Ginger
1. Defends the President or politicians in light of this situation
2. Attempts to compare the choice of words from President Obama with media stories published about the California Lieutenant Governor, and
3. Excuses a privileged society of men who “feel constrained at the office, afraid of offering even the most common place compliments to their female co-workers,

President Obama clearly overstepped the privilege of being male and the authority President of the United States of America.  How did he do this?

There are very few instances where he isn’t at “work” and put in the context of a corporate conglomerate, he essentially turned to a senior-manager of a subsidiary within the corporation and praised her work and skills before continuing on to remark about her physical appearance which has absolutely no bearing on her job performance.  Furthermore, this was stated in contrast to senior managers in the same role at the other 49 subsidiaries of the corporation which means all of those individuals stand to critique themselves on what they can do to climb the ladder of “appearance” in the eyes of the CEO since it’s obvious that he pays close attention to that.  Otherwise he wouldn’t have mentioned it, right?

Maybe, just maybe, I could be a teeny bit okay if he complimented her specifically on something she was wearing.  In this case, regardless of how much he admires her appearance and regardless of how “okay” she might be with the compliment, he’s wrong for making that statement.  Furthermore, he did the right thing in apologizing and I believe it’s great for the media to discuss this matter in a mature fashion.  Unfortunately, expecting maturity via the media (especially television) is almost like seeking the same in political discourse – very unlikely.

This story provides yet another opportunity to have a practical and constructive conversation on male privilege in our society.  Within that there rests an opportunity to install a small sample of coaching on the difference in complimenting and borderline objectification or maybe just a lesson or introduction to the fact that male privilege really does exist and simply being aware can go a long way toward improving work conditions and career experiences of women throughout the United States and the world.

This closely aligns with a post I made last month regarding an incident at a technical conference (PyCon) and is yet another indicator that it does happen everyday and we all have a responsibility to improve it.  Here’s the blog post

I believe –
1. President Obama was wrong in his choice of words
2. President Obama was right to apologize
3. President Obama further perpetuated the entitlement many men feel in their words and behaviors toward women
4. Ginger Rutland (and every other person of influence publicly espousing a similar message) should apologize for her editorial that defends this situation and seemingly presents “ordinary men” as victims for a culture created by men.

Then we should get back to our lives and ignore the ignorant media outlets that will make this about anything but what it really is in the hopes of selling another advertisement on behalf of some talking head.


Hype of the Sacramento Valleydictorians

This post stands as my first attempt to build publicity, appreciation, and greater interest in the individuals who will build our world’s economy, be leaders of our free world, contribute to advancements in medicine, agriculture, science, technology, and so many other great things we’ve yet to imagine. I’m doing this because it’s action I can take toward DOING something good versus contributing to ongoing TALK about the discrepancy in attention and focus placed on athletics versus academics within our society. To be clear, I agree that’s an unfortunate discrepancy and I’m also a very strong contributor. So this isn’t to place blame, but to spur action.

I believe sport or competition is a critical component of a person’s development within our society and I couldn’t imagine personal success for myself had I not had the experiences from participating in several sports during my childhood. I also believe that a strong majority of the adults within the United States do our children an injustice via the overwhelming promotion of athletics over academics and the lack of drive for academic excellence. Additionally, I believe the opposite- having students be high academic achievers who are inept in social settings and have very limited communication skills is not much better and possibly worse.

I believe the leaders of our future are individuals who have demonstrated obvious leadership skills, prepared self for academic success, shown savvy in working across cultural and socio-economic boundaries, committed to personal accountability and improvement, demonstrated the ability to work well with others in stressful situations, and have exhibited a commitment to society via their time and effort. I also believe students living up to this should be highly publicized, discussed, ranked, and sought than those who simply do well in a popular sport i.e. football, basketball, baseball, track, tennis, swimming, golf, etc. with very few other accomplishments. Thus, I’ve put together a base set of criteria that when combined serve as leading indicators of my ideas of leaders of the future.

My hope is that local publications (newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.), school administrators, parents and the community will participate and raise the awareness of these young leaders with the outcome being recognition of the Sacramento Valleydictorians. I welcome questions, challenge, and suggestions on the criteria and hope to initiate with a focus on high school seniors graduating in the Class of 2013. I also welcome discussion on the importance of this above and beyond the singular focus on sports.

Though the results will develop over time, I foresee this effort leading to local media highlighting the Valleydictorians throughout the school year more than they do athletes. Maybe a story discussing the challenge the student is having with choosing colleges and how colleges are pursuing them. Or maybe highlighting the likely pay that these students stand to accumulate over their careers versus that of an average professional athlete over their career. Essentially, let’s make sure we’re driving the needed focus whereas younger students will aspire to do what they do because of the attention and notoriety given. My assumption is that these students will garner far more college scholarships then those highlighted in sports and be more likely to have an enduring legacy for advancement of the local area.

Please distribute to others. Feel free to suggest students and submit data points to .

Data Points used in Criteria
1. Academic Club
2. ACT Score/SAT Score
3. Class Rank of Class Population
4. Club/Team where Titled Leader
5. Individual Sport
6. Ongoing Volunteering Activity
7. School poplulation eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
8. School-wide Leadership Role
9. School API
10. Team Sport

It can’t be this lonely… Hip-hoppers in Enterprise Technology

Last month, I wrote a post (Hip-hopology. Enterprise Technology and Lyricists) that had a few people respond to me directly with their input and thoughts which I greatly appreciate. Neither of them completely agreed with me but there was clear appreciation for having content out there in their industry which also connected with their music preference which isn’t often a topic of conversation amongst peers.

With one of those gentlemen, we were singing the praises of some artists (KRS-One and Keith Murray). From there we questioned how many people in enterprise storage (our industry) or enterprise computing technologies in general would have a love for hip-hop music. And to help qualify what we consider hip-hop music to be, I’ve included 20 lyricists below. One of the guys think we’ll struggle to find 20 people that love hip-hop and can appreciate the names on the list. I’m going out on a limb and saying there’s at least 100.

I’m looking for help getting this in front of as many people as possible to see how many commenters we can get to give us hip-hoppers some confidence that we’re not alone out here working in Enterprise Technology space. If you or anyone you know works on Servers, Storage, Networking, Security, or Enterprise Software and you work for a manufacturere like HP, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Oracle, EMC, Dell, Hitachi, NetApp, Intel, etc. and you can readily identify 13 names from the list below- please comment on this page. Edits are welcome on the top 20 list or just a plain ol’ acknowledgement.

Help me out- please?

LaMills Garrett’s Top 20 Hip-Hop Lyricists of all time
1. Rakim
2. KRS-One
3. Big Daddy Kane
4. Nas
5. Biggie Smalls
6. Jay-Z
7. 2Pac
8. Kool G Rap
9. Chuck D
10. Scarface
11. Ice Cube
12. Slick Rick
13. Eminem
14. Redman
15. LL Cool J
16. Andre 3000
17. GZA
18. Lauryn Hill
19. Common
20. Black Thought