•  “THE GREATEST FIGHT IN OUR HISTORY… The greatest threat to America: We the People.” A brilliant and frightening videoed speech from Dennis Prager, summarizing the risk to our country and to the world. http://www.youtube.com/embed/XNUc8nuo7HI  
  •  “WE ARE KNOWN BY THE RELATIONSHIPS WE KEEP.  Perception, for most, is reality and much of success in life really does have to do with whom we attract, our people skills and the alliances we make…  The people we choose (and vice versa) will impact how we use our time, make decisions, do business, and what values we hold.”  So developing rapport, purpose and high quality in relationships is critical, and can be optimized through effective communication, including: (1) Listening well, paying attention and letting others finish their thought before responding; (2) Focusing and showing interest by maintaining eye contact; (3) Avoiding “sarcastic snide asides or making personal character attacks”; (4) Avoiding gossip – which “provides others a poor opinion of how you’re likely to (de)value them”; (5) Being honest, open and willing to both hear and speak without “attachment to being right”; (6) Not assuming you understand or are understood – asking, clarifying where important; (7) Caring about and remembering what may be important to the other person. “It is the choices of whom we follow, lead and associate that create the core of our relationships.”  [BARRYEISEN.COM NWSLTR – Mar 14]
  • UP TO TWO-THIRDS OF BUSINESS OWNERS “EXPECT TO TRANSFER OWNERSHIP IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS,” anticipating high value. But nearly 33% of last year’s deals in play fell through and, according the Pepperdine’s 2014 Capital Markets Report, the predominant reasons they didn’t close were either “unreasonable seller or buyer demand” or “Valuation Gap” – i.e. failure to agree on price. ‘Valuation’ is actually a vague concept usually based to the greatest extent on two factors: Cash Flow and Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization (customarily referred to as EBITDA). That magic number is then multiplied by anywhere from 1.5 to 7.7 times, depending on many inconsistent factors including whether the valuator is a strategic buyer, business broker, investment banker, or private equity firm. DCG has decades of expertise in positioning company financials, forecasts and infrastructure for optimal valuation, well in advance of when needed. Let’s talk.  [FORBES.COM – Mar 2, 14] 
  •  NEW GENERIC TOP-DOWN DOMAIN NAMES ARE ALREADY CAUSING TROUBLE, as some of the over 2,000 applications submitted “have little or no redeeming value and pose a costly threat to businesses.” One biggie is the domain “sucks.com”  which has recruited a U.S. Senator to advise ICANN (the rulemaking body) that “allowing such registrations are little more than a predatory shakedown scheme…forcing companies to defensively purchase a domain in order to protect their brand and avoid a competitor or detractor from registering ‘this company sucks’… as businesses, non-profits, even individuals will be forced to pay ongoing fees to prevent the phrase ‘sucks’ appended to their names on the internet.”  [MANATT ADVERTISING LAW – Mar 27, 14]
  • ADULTS ENGROSSED WITH SMARTPHONES WHILE DINING WITH KIDS are “inattentive, harsh, negative in interaction…and do a lousy job of caring for their kids,” based on fifty-five detailed anthropological observations from a study of caregivers & children dining out. “Many of the ignored children responded by acting out in an attention-seeking way, enraging the distracted adults…who answered kids in curt tones, yelled, and even kicked them under the table.”  [THE WEEK – Mar 28, 14]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:   Individually counting the “two or three activities they do at the same time,” millennials now spend up to 18 hours a day “skimming the Web, watching TV, texting, playing video games, and using social media.”

           California still ranks at the bottom of “fair and predictable tax environments,” based on the most recent KMPG survey of finance executives. The biggest negative  factor is “a pervasive adversarial attitude toward taxpayers… doing everything it can to see that the State gets its last penny.”

           An irreverent look at the FRACKING debate:  http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=F4aOMKhkhSc