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    Published on: June 28, 2011

    by Michael Sansolo

    In the middle of a national storm of unemployment and underemployment, it’s easy to lose sight of the long-term reality that most companies could run short of talented people. And fast.

    Incredibly, that makes it really important for all of us to keep an eye on the Florida Marlins baseball team this year. But since the Marlins have trouble drawing fans in their own neighborhood, let’s explain why they suddenly matter to you.

    Demographics are pretty straight forward. We know today what the working population will look like in 10 or 20 years because those people are already born. The reality is this: as the enormous Post-World War II baby boomers retire, they’ll leave a massive leadership gap in their wake. In virtually every company today, boomers dominate leadership positions and not just in the executive suite. Think about middle managers, store managers and more.

    The boomer generation is so large (and I’m square in the middle of it) that we filled up jobs the way we overloaded maternity wards and schools in our youth. So as we leave the workforce, we’ll leave a vacuum behind. Again the demographic reality is simple: the baby bust following the boom (people born from 1964 to 1979) doesn’t contain near enough people to replace the boomers. And the generation with the numbers to fill the gap - Generation Y - is just at the start of its career.

    That’s why companies today have to start thinking about future leaders and start recruiting and training with an eye toward a coming shortage.

    Which takes us back to the Florida Marlins. Two weeks ago, in the midst of a lengthy losing streak, the Marlins’ manager quit. To replace him, the team picked a manager from its past, 80-year-old Jack McKeon. That hiring raises a series of questions about the importance of succession planning because it defies belief that a baseball team didn’t have a list of potential replacement candidates on staff. But let’s ignore that issue for a second and ponder this:

    Can a man who was born in 1931 successfully manage baseball players who are more than 50 years his junior? Consider that not one member of the team was alive when McKeon got his first managerial job in 1973.

    Think about the cultural gulf between McKeon and his players. Although he managed within the last 10 years, he’s now in charge of a workforce that in no way can share the values of his upbringing during the Great Depression and World War II. His players are diverse in ways he’s likely never experienced and are hooked to technologies that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

    But that’s no reason he won’t succeed and that’s why he bears watching. The challenge McKeon and so many managers both face today is understanding a workforce that is so different than us. Not necessarily better or worse, nor smarter or dumber. Just different. It’s a workforce that grew up with different experiences, expectations and needs. It’s a workforce that frequently looks and acts differently too. Yet many managers have learned they can reach this group with clear expectations, fairness and loads of open communication. Stories about the dues that were paid in 1950, 1970 or 1990 are meaningless; relevant experiences work better.

    McKeon’s case may be extreme, but increasingly managers will find themselves working with more generations than ever including both old and young. The challenge will be finding a way to handle it all and produce results. So it will be interesting to see how McKeon’s team plays and relates to the new skipper.

    Luckily we get some more great words of advice elsewhere in baseball.

    Retired player Mookie Wilson was asked about Davey Johnson, his manager from nearly 30 years ago, who just yesterday took over the helm of the Washington Nationals. Wilson said, “Things have changed and the game has changed a little bit. But good managers learn to adjust.”

    Useful words for any manager, in baseball or business. Good managers learn to adjust and for the future of their companies, nothing will be more important.

    Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at . His book, “THE BIG PICTURE: Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available by clicking here .
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    by Kevin Coupe

    The Wall Street Journal reports that PepsiCo “is launching the first new advertising campaign for its flagship Pepsi-Cola in three years - offering one of the most visible signs PepsiCo is throwing new weight behind its biggest brand after it sank to No. 3 in U.S. soda sales last year, trailing not only Coke but Diet Coke.”

    The story notes that the new campaign is a shift in focus for CEO Indra Nooyi: “Hailed as a strategic visionary since taking PepsiCo's reins nearly five years ago, Mrs. Nooyi is facing doubts from investors and industry insiders concerned that her push into healthier brands have distracted the company from some core products. Emphasizing fruit juice, oatmeal and Gatorade, she has set an ambitious goal of more than doubling revenue of nutritious products to $30 billion by 2020 while cultivating a corporate image tuned in to health and global social responsibility ... Critics also say PepsiCo isn't the salesman it used to be, pointing to marketing missteps such as a noisy compostable SunChips bag that led to a rapid sales fall-off and a makeover of Tropicana orange juice that had to be ditched.”

    In an interview with the Journal, Nooyi “acknowledged that she may have spent a disproportionate amount of time talking about healthier products, but said it's part of a ‘deliberate strategy’ to diversify the portfolio. Consumers increasingly want healthier foods and beverages, she said, and PepsiCo has to satisfy critics about health concerns. ‘I look at our numbers and I feel very, very good about the trajectory of the company,’ she said.”

    In covering Nooyi’s speech to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Global Summit in Barcelona, in which she talked about what the industry must do to help combat the obesity epidemic, I suggested that her goals might be at odds with how she is benchmarked by investors:

    “At the end of the day,” I wrote, “Nooyi will be judged on whether she can get kids to eat two bags of chips instead of one...”

    There’s the rub.

    In the Journal article, people from the bottling community are quoted as wondering whether Nooyi is “ashamed” to be selling “sugar water.” From a sustainability perspective, that’s an irrelevant question - Nooyi would argue that she is positioning the company for the future, and that this is a long-term play. But from a short-term investor perspective, that’s a perfectly legitimate question.

    The whole thing points up broader, eye-opening questions about how success is defined, how leaders are benchmarked, and how progress is measured. In a world where change is fast-paced and it seems like evolution often gives way to revolution, perhaps the old measurements cannot apply, or at least must be tweaked to integrate an understanding of new consumer realities.
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement in favor of a national ban on the advertising of junk food to children, saying that ads for such products to kids are “pervasive” and are contributing - along with too much television and computer usage - to the nation’s childhood obesity crisis.

    “We’ve created a perfect storm for childhood obesity -- media, advertising, and inactivity,” said the statement’s lead author, Dr. Victor Strasburger, a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media. “American society couldn’t do a worse job at the moment of keeping children fit and healthy -- too much TV, too many food ads, not enough exercise and not enough sleep.”

    Almost immediately, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) was out with a statement decrying the approach recommended by AAP, saying that its “policy statement on obesity and the media is based largely on outdated research that does not adequately reflect the current marketplace environment and trends,” and that “the AAP policy position stands in direct contrast to a 2005 Institute of Medicine study that concluded, ‘there is presently insufficient causal evidence that links advertising directly with childhood obesity and that would support a ban on all food advertising directed to children’.”

    In addition, GMA pointed to numerous voluntary initiatives that it said would be more effective in dealing with the obesity crisis.
    KC's View:
    I don’t think there is any question that the food industry has been more responsible in how it markets certain kinds of products to kids. But I’m not sure that this means there ought not be some regulations about what can be advertised in the public airwaves in certain time periods and on certain shows. And I do think it is disingenuous to suggest that the advertising of certain kinds of foods to kids on TV doesn’t at least contribute to rising obesity rates - in part because they are eating fatty foods, in part because they;’re sitting and watching TV instead of being outside playing.

    I was always a big fan of the so-called “Family Hour,” which said that certain programming would not be shown between 8 and 9 pm each night. I thought that was appropriate ... and think so even more now, when programs like ‘How I Met Your Mother” - very funny, but with adult themes - are in the 8 pm time slot. This struck me as good public policy, and it is a shame that the concept was struck down by the courts.

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on how Schnucks is using an outdoor garden behind its headquarters to source “zucchini, tomatoes and peppers (that) are growing on raised beds” that are then used in its cafeteria and in its two test kitchens.

    “The garden and these new test kitchens are a testament to the changing roles that grocery stores are playing in our world today,” the paper writes. “More customers than ever are looking for help in coming up with new ideas for meals they can make at home. But sometimes, they are so pressed for time that they don't even want to fuss with making anything and are looking for prepared foods they can pick up and go.”

    But more importantly, the story suggests, having the gardens increases the company’s “first-hand knowledge” so that it knows how “to educate customers about how to grow and use local produce.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    • The Chicago Sun Times reports that Thomas A. Mars, Walmart’s executive vice president/chief administrative officer, told a Metropolitan Planning Council luncheon there that the retailer’s new small store formats are proving to be as profitable as its supercenters, and that “the changing business model means that Chicago is the best venue for Walmart’s growth.”

    According to the story, “The climate also gives Walmart the incentive to launch in Chicago its nationwide minority supplier program, Mars said. The program aims to increase the diversity of the retailer’s suppliers, primarily in food, general merchandise and professional services.”

    Walmart currently has one supercenter within the city limits, and “has announced eight other Chicago sites where it plans to open full-size and smaller-format express stores.” Walmart also has said that it “intends to eventually operate dozens in the city.”

    Reuters reports that “six days after giant US retailer Walmart completed its acquisition of a controlling stake in Massmart, it is trying to woo South Africans with price cuts and promises of ‘new business opportunities.’

    “An eight page colour advertisement in the Sunday Times yesterday was South Africa’s first introduction to the Walmart brand. The advertisement included a letter from ‘the people’ of Massmart and Walmart announcing the merger and price cuts by the group’s retailers Game, Dion Wired, Makro and Builders’ Warehouse.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    The New York Times reports that the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 yesterday that a California law banning the same of violent video games to children under 18 is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment and impinges on the rights of minors.

    “Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world),” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his majority opinion. “That suffices to confer First Amendment protection.”

    The Times writes, “Depictions of violence, Justice Scalia added, have never been subject to government regulation. ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed,’ he wrote, recounting the gory plots of Snow White, Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel. High school reading lists and Saturday morning cartoons, too, he said, are riddled with violence.”

    And, the Times goes on: “Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in a concurrence joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., voted with the majority but did not adopt its reasoning. Justice Alito said the California law was too vague. A more carefully crafted law, he wrote, might survive constitutional scrutiny.

    “Justice Alito said the majority opinion was too quick to dismiss differences between current video games and other media. ‘The objective of one game is to rape a mother and her daughters,’ he wrote. In another ‘players attempt to fire a rifle shot through the head of President Kennedy as his motorcade passes by the Texas School Depository.’

    “Soon, he added, children may play three-dimensional high-definition games wearing special equipment that will allow them to ‘actually feel the splatting blood from the blown-off head’ of a victim.

    “Justice Scalia acknowledged that Justice Alito had identified some disturbing images. ‘But disgust,’ Justice Scalia wrote, ‘is not a valid basis for restricting expression’.”

    Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan also voted with the majority in this case.
    KC's View:
    I am gobsmacked.

    Apparently my understanding of the Constitution is a little faulty. I did not realize that establishing common sense guidelines about what kinds of products can be sold to underage people was a First Amendment violation. Will the next move by the Supreme Court be to say that movie theaters cannot prevent kids from seeing R-rated movies?

    I also wasn’t aware that minors had rights. In my household, as far as I’m concerned, they have only the rights that Mrs. Content Guy and I convey upon them. That doesn’t mean that we are autocratic, or that we never negotiate. Far from it. But while I am happy to lay down the law internally about violent video games, it would be nice of there was intelligent public policy in place to support my decision-making.

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    Bloomberg reports this morning that “Carrefour SA, the world’s second- largest retailer, said it will consider a proposal to merge its Brazilian assets with those of Cia. Brasileira de Distribuicao Grupo Pao de Acucar, setting up a power struggle with French rival Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA.

    “The combination,” the story says, “would give Carrefour control over Brazil’s largest retailer.”

    However, Bloomberg writes, “The plan may be thwarted by Saint-Etienne, France-based Casino, which jointly controls Pao de Acucar with the Diniz family and last week raised its stake in the Brazilian company to 37 percent. Casino filed for international arbitration against the Diniz Group after discovering its partner held talks with Carrefour.”

    Got that?
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    Internet Retailer reports that “e-commerce technology vendors are consolidating at an increasingly rapid rate, with more than 1,200 marketing technology acquisitions taking place since 2008 - more than half of them within the last 18 months ... the 333 year-to-date transactions in 2011 are nearly equal to the full-year total of 338 in 2010.”
    KC's View:
    I think we’re going to see a lot of this in coming months - acquisitions and consolidations as it becomes increasingly difficult for the small players to compete, or they see advantages in alliances with bigger organizations that can drive traffic and profits. For retailers, this means, increasingly, that they have to have some skin in this game, because the competitive forces are going to be formidable.

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    • In Washington, DC, WTOP News reports that Harris Teeter plans to build a new store in the southeastern section of the city, in the shadow of Nationals Park, where the Washington Nationals play.

    In addition to a Harris Teeter, the new development also will feature a Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Austin Grill Express and a new brew pub.

    • The Boston Herald reports that Aldi has opened its first Boston-area store, a 10,000 square foot unit in Medford, about six miles north of downtown. The story notes that this is just the beginning of heightened food competition in the Athens of America, since Wegmans is planning to open two stores in the region, one later this year and one in 2013.

    • The Dayton Business Journal reports that “Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is planning to increase prices for menu items at restaurants in the northeast and southeast in the next few weeks,” the first such increase in three years. The story says that the price increases are coming as a result of higher costs for ingredients, as well as “the cost of probes by government immigration authorities into its hiring practices.”

    • The Dallas Business Journal reports that “Kroger Co. recently signed an agreement to bring a 60,786-square-feet Fresh Fare store - the first to Dallas - at the mixed-use retail and residential development, Cityville at Cityplace, at North Haskell Avenue and Capital Avenue.

    “The store is scheduled for completion in summer 2012 and will create 200 jobs ... Kroger is expanding in Dallas because of the surge of population growth over the past few years, said Bill Breetz, president of the Kroger Southwest Divisions.”

    • The Detroit Free Press reports that “the grocery superstore chain Meijer is expected to sign a lease by mid-July for a new Detroit store at Woodward and 8 Mile Road, project developers said Monday.” The long-delayed project could begin construction later this year, and is said to be just one of several Detroit locations reportedly being considered by Meijer, which did not confirm the accuracy of the story.

    • C&S Wholesale Grocers announced that it will close a warehouse in West Hanover, Pennsylvania, next month, cutting costs and 260 jobs in the process.
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    • Balance Innovations, which provides reconciliation and cash office management solutions for the retail industry, has announced the hiring of Joy Nicholas as the company’s new vice president of business development.

    In addition to her experience in the retail technology solutions arena, Nicholas is a former executive with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Danny’s, and Ralphs, as well as a co-founder and former board member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW).

    KC's View:
    I happen to know Joy a little bit, and she’s one of the nicest, smartest people I've encountered in the business. Balance Innovations is lucky to have her.

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    I was railing last week about companies and industries having too much influence in the halls of political power, which led one MNB user to write:

    When the Supreme Court allowed these types of contributions, we as individuals lost on many levels. The court now allows corporations to act as individuals. When we have the large companies giving dollars that should be paid out to share holders instead of politicians, it is a slippery slope indeed. We have become a government of “corporatism” not democracy. I have become very jaded about the role our government and big business enjoy. Just look at the headlines the last several years, the individual hasn’t won much lately have we? And yes I keep voting hoping for change.

    And MNB user Mike Franklin added:

    Corporations are not people…they are inanimate objects. They should not be part of the political dialog nor should they be able to monetarily influence the political dialog. This right should be reserved for citizens only.

    On another subject, MNB user Nicole O'Connor wrote:

    Such a timely article on Shopkick.  I am just returning from the Nielsen 360 Conference where Shopkick CEO, Cyriac Roeding, was part of a panel presentation.  In addition to the in-store systems that are mentioned in the Tribune article, he also mentioned that they are working with the CW network to integrate Shopkick into commercials during the TV show Gossip Girls.  It would work by delivering a high frequency signal in the commercials that phones with the Shopkick app will “hear.”  The viewer could be rewarded “kicks” (points) for simply watching the commercial or perhaps even given a special offer with a link to directly buy the product that is being advertised.  There would be little viewer intervention required.  See the commercial, get the offer, click once to buy the product.  If it works even half as seamlessly as it is being described it will revolutionize the retail landscape.

    And, on yet another topic, MNB user Ben Ball wrote:

    A “nit” (or perhaps just a comment from a skeptical nit-wit) – but your comments on the Food Safety funding issue presume that Federal funding for Food Safety Agencies translates to increased food safety. That is roughly analogous to believing that every government dollar spent on health care improves the health of the U.S. population as opposed to feeding bloated bureaucracies and scam artists. Do you believe that as well? I doubt it.

    I’m not against food safety and I’m not against medical support for our people – but the base assumption that “government funding = results”, or perhaps better said “cutting government funding will reduce effectiveness” is leading us into all kinds of spending folly. You are smarter than that. I know you are. And I don’t believe you mean to reinforce that kind of thinking with your comments. But that’s how today’s comment struck me.

    But MNB user Denis Zegar had a different take:

    There is a growing mantra in Congress to cut all government program costs regardless of how important they may be.  But which programs are less important is a matter of opinion. Rather than cutting food safety budgets at USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, it should be increased!  CDC's latest estimates report that roughly "1 in 6 Americans (48 million) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3000 die of foodborne diseases."  The ongoing E.coli outbreak in Europe has caused millions in agricultural losses and proven to be the most deadly in recorded history.  As someone who contracted E.coli during the spinach outbreak several years ago, I can tell you, first hand, that food safety should be our top priority.

    Nearly $65 billion in food goods are imported into the US annually, but FDA can only conduct border inspections on .06% of the food it regulates.  With nearly 80% of the fish we consume is imported, only 0.59% of the 1.3 billion pounds of shrimp and 1 test for every 1 million pounds of seafood imported is tested.

    The ideologues in Congress who don't believe government does any good at all are flirting with the very real possibility of a deadly foodborne outbreak.  Protecting our food source and our citizenry is first and foremost the responsibility of USDA and FDA.  Grocers do all they can to protect its customers by providing sanitary conditions to ensure fresh product.  But grocers can't be certain what precautions Viet Nam or China take in its food handling.  I would hope that the food industry would not be supportive of the budget cuts House and Republican members are proposing. Its folly to believe that a bloated Defense Department is sacrosanct while reducing budgets for USDA and FDA will have no measurable effect on food safety.

    And, from another MNB user:

    It would be fantastic if the motive behind the “food safety bills” being proposed (and the one that passed) was actually consumer protection.  It’s NOT.  The motive is protecting the financial interests of the large biotech engineering companies.  Our food supply might have some salmonella or e.coli (from contaminated water, it comes from animals, not the spinach!) in most cases, not enough to notice (wash hands, wash produce is the key) – but mainly, the contamination is the genetic modification.

    Interesting comment from an MNB user about Walmart’s Chicago expansion plans...

    Hum, you’re now in Walgreens back yard… be interesting to see how they react. Already beating Walmart on eggs and milk in North West Arkansas.

    Yesterday (and most of you knew this was coming), we posted an email from MNB user David Livingston in which he decried the importance of the Equal Rights Amendment, suggesting that it is not an issue of women making less money for doing the same jobs, but rather women undercutting men on jobs by charging less money. (I replied that this argument probably seems a lot more logical to people with testicles...)

    And, he wrote, in part:

    “Nearly all of my support staff is women.  They work as hard and as smart as men but they have undercut their male counterparts in the wages they have offered to work for.  I have no choice but to hire them and discriminate against the men.  My accountant charges $50 and hour and her male counterpart wants $65.  My attorney charges $175 and hour and the male in her office charges $225.  My IT person charges $50 and hour and her male counterparts want $75.  My last real estate deal my female agent agreed to drop her commission to 4% and a cash kickback,  while the males acted insulted and wanted to stick with 6%.  My housekeeper charges $25 an hour and I can't find a male servant at any price if I tried.  I go down to the Mexican barber shop where pretty and talented women will cut your hair for $10.  Its a 45 minute process that includes a shave and shoulder massage.  They have undercut all the men hair stylists and are busy all the time.  Even my female doctor will take my insurance which only pays Medicaid rates.  Her male partners in the practice won't accept Medicaid patients or my insurance because they can't make enough money.  My female dental hygienist cleans my teeth for free if I will take her out to dinner afterward.  To find a male hygienist I'd probably have to drive to Chicago.”

    And I responded, in part:

    The problem with your argument isn’t that it is wrong for people to undercut other people on wages or benefits and get work that might not be available to them otherwise, but that you turn a competitive tactic into an issue of gender. It is telling, I think, that you make a point of having a female accountant, attorney, barber and dental hygienist ... and that in each case you pay them less than a man asks for. Are these women being competitive in a tough marketplace? Are they being taken advantage of? Or do they feel this is the only at to succeed in a man’s world? (Or at least your world?)

    I am, to be honest, a little taken aback by the objectification of women in your email. Ten bucks for a haircut, shave and shoulder massage from someone you clearly describe as a Mexican woman? I don’t know about anyone else in the MNB community, but I’m a little weirded out by this.

    Finally...If my daughter becomes a dental hygienist and then comes home and and tells me that she’s begun trading free cleanings for a dinner out, I’m going to question her sanity. And choice of careers. And maybe her self-respect quotient.

    I wasn’t the only one responding.

    One MNB user wrote:

    As usual, an interesting take on the gender issue by David Livingston. I do see the point in his 2nd paragraph where women, due to their traditional role as family nurturers, are handicapped by their time away for maternity and family leave. I don't necessarily think they should be punished due to this and if their work output is equivalent to a man's (40 hours vs 40 hours) then they should certainly be paid the same and probably more due to the stress of their dual role.

    However, I totally agree with you on his other points. Do his female employees know of his views? I know a lot of women who would never consider working for him. I also question his numbers - how does he get accountants, lawyers and doctors that charge different rates than others in their respective offices? Are these women less qualified or experienced? I don't think that is the same as saying they are undercutting their male counterparts.

    One MNB user wrote:

    God Bless America and it’s freedom of speech.  But for our First Amendment protections, whereby Americans may freely express and exchange ideas, an argument could be successfully made that bigots and/or misogynist no longer exist.   “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
    Thank you for posting Mr. Livingston’s comments.

    Another MNB user wrote:

    Over the years as I read MNB I have had countless opinions and observations to  offer but not contributed ... However, I have managed to not hit the keyboard until yet another eruption from Mr. Livingston. You responded adequately to his indefensible position. I appreciate that. The 40 years I have invested in the grocery  industry  have been a time capsule of the role of women in our industry. And yes, hard work and perseverance has made the journey rewarding.

    Opinions like Livingston’s  couched in economic theory and clouded by  some archaic view of women is terrifying. What if there are others in leadership roles within our industry that actually have some measure of agreement with his concepts?

    I have been exposed and affected by persons in power making  career bending decisions filled with bias and preconceived notions. With all the lip service having been paid to equal opportunity we are still very far away from real equality.

    Kevin, thanks for the stimulating dialogue each day.

    Referring to the women involved in the class action suit against Walmart, Livingston wrote:

    “I have a gut feeling if one of those Walmart whiners applied for a job with you, that you would not hire them either for the same reason Walmart didn't promote them - plain and simple, they are whiners and complainers and nobody likes them.  Just the fact that they were working for Walmart at store level in the first place indicates that they are basically unemployable.”

    Which led one MNb user to reply:

    My daughter works at Walmart and it has nothing to do with her being a whiner, complainer, or unlikeable; nor is she unemployable.  She is a full-time college student, a junior in fact and needs a flexible work schedule in order to complete her college education where, upon graduation she expects to be an elementary school teacher.   While she has no desire to move up in her current job, she works hard and is rewarded for her efforts.    I find it offensive for anyone to lump all female workers at Walmart into that bucket and it just demonstrates the scary part of his thought process.   I honestly feel sorry for ANY woman that has to deal with him on a regular basis.   I certainly hope he doesn't live or work in my hometown!

    And, from another MNB user:

    You must be printing David Livingston’s comments just to show us the opposite side of the coin.

    I cannot fathom a man with his type of bias being successful in our current society. It leaves me questioning his commentary as being real or only written for ‘shock value’. Unfortunately, after reading many of his comments in the MNB over the years, I would tend to believe that his comments are truly his perspective. I almost feel sorry for him.

    I am a father of 4 daughters. If Mr. Livingston’s comments are truly his honest opinion, I hope I can educate my daughters about this type of man and how to stay away from them. I find it almost unbelievable that his opinions still exist. I guess I am still naïve on some issues.

    MNB user Cynthia D. Sandy wrote:

    I think the letter from David Livingston should be sent to every elected official.  This is exactly why we need the amendment to pass.
    And, still another reaction:

    I found Mr. Livingston's comments appalling, demeaning and insulting, and at the very least short sighted.

    Maybe he has been fortunate enough to never have had to deal with being paid 70% of what his counterparts make just because of his gender, maybe he's never been forced into a corner by a slightly tipsy and much taller colleague who wants to grope you at a company dinner; maybe he's never had to fend off propositions from Retail partners who want you to join them at their vacation home out of town - making the offer while their adult children and wife work in the office next door, or conduct business while the owner of an important Retail chain stares at the lifelike painting of a naked woman just over your head while you try to close a deal...and maybe he's never been called "Young Lady" in a derogatory manner, even though you are a 50 year old woman with 28 years of industry experience and the "name caller" is a male colleague with 31 years of experience (a whole whopping 3 years more!) who treats you like you are 12.  And I consider myself lucky.

    Regarding his work environment, Mr. Livingston states he has "no choice but to hire them (women) and discriminate against the men". Why is that?  Mr. Livingston doesn't say why he has to impose what seems like almost forced discrimination against potential male employees.  I'm keen to know why.  What I do know is that if I worked with or for him I'd be looking for work elsewhere.

    Good thing I don't cut hair or I might be giving him more than a trim!

    And, on a less contentious subject, the passing of Peter Falk:

    When Peter Falk first came on TV as Columbo, the airwaves were full of dapper, good looking male detectives who in one form or another were cool.  You had Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett of Hawaii 5 – 0, Mike Connors as Joe Mannix, who is still one of my favorites, soon would come James Garner as Jim Rockford, who is my favorite, Telly Savalas as Kojak (who loves ya baby), then along comes this rumpled little guy in a raincoat who always appears a bit disheveled, seems to be forgetful, except he is a genius who appears to just be bumbling around the case.  One of the things that made that show for me, was that they showed the crime at the beginning of the show, we knew what was done and who did it, then Columbo would show up and in his own way, work on finding the guilty party.
    KC's View:

    Published on: June 28, 2011

    The Los Angeles Dodgers, the storied baseball franchise that since its founding in 1883 and in an existence that started in Brooklyn and that was responsible for such revered personalities as Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, Walter O’Malley, Tommy Lasorda, and Sandy Koufax, among many others, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday.

    The move was part of a series of maneuvers by principal owner Frank McCourt to keep control of the team, despite the fact that Major League Baseball is trying to dislodge him from ownership on the grounds that he has saddled the team with $400 million in debt.
    KC's View:
    There was a wonderful column yesterday in the Los Angeles Times by Bill Plaschke that framed the story this way:

    The Dodgers are not broke. Do not believe the message coming from Monday's legal maneuverings. Do not get sucked into the horror of the word "bankruptcy," or the doom associated with their owner declaring it.

    The Dodgers are not broke. It is Frank McCourt who is broke. His schemes are broke. His understanding of this franchise is broke. His ties to Los Angeles are broke.

    The Dodgers are not broke. The Dodgers are bigger than broke. The Dodgers pulse too deeply through a city's soul to ever be broke.

    The Dodgers are rich. They are wildly, unimaginably rich. On yet another dark day in this darkest of blue summers, I prefer to remember why.

    The Dodgers are the rich in the tones of Vin Scully.

    I bumped into him in the press box the other day, and I literally mean bumped. He was rushing to get back to his booth. He couldn't wait to get to work. The game didn't start for an hour. If Frank McCourt can't pay Scully, I will, and I'm guessing I can find about 3 million people who will pitch in...

    I don’t even live in LA, and I’ll throw in a few bucks for Scully.

    A baseball team like the Dodgers can be the lifeblood of a city. People like McCourt are like a blood clot ...