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GM On My Mind – October 6, 2022

My thoughts on GM’s illegal payment demands of U.S. military personnel, the $102.6 million a California jury has awarded the company to pay for allegedly selling faulty engines, and why newly hired “chief people officer” Arden Hoffman strikes me as someone who can inspire beleaguered employees to return to the office.

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Mary Barra Singing Kumbaya Won’t Save GM

When Elon Musk says jump, Tesla and SpaceX employees ask, “How high?”
When GM CEO Mary Barra says jump, she promptly apologizes to GM employees for making such an onerous request.
Here’s why it takes a giant leap of faith to believe Barra’s claim that by mid-century she will sell more electric vehicles than Tesla.

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Kitty Genovese & NYTimes’ BYU Racism Hoax

In 1964, the New York Times published what still ranks among the most damaging false stories in U.S. media history: 37 witnesses heard the screams of a bartender named Kitty Genovese being stabbed and not one of them intervened or call the police. The story sparked what became known as the “bystander effect,” a theory that held that when multiple people witness a crime or acts of wrongdoing, they are less likely to intervene than when a single witness observes a crime.

Here’s a modern-day twist on the bystander effect: When someone is accused of racism and dozens of persons know that the allegations are false, they are less likely to intervene than if only one person knows for certain.

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Centene’s Sarah London: A Do-Gooder Gone Bad?

When Centene’s brainiac CEO Sarah London went into healthcare after graduating with an MBA from the prestigious University of Chicago it appears unlikely that she imagined herself eventually leading one of the industry’s most ethically challenged companies.

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Why Uber’s IT Breach is a Very, Very, Big Deal

If the U.S. public was familiar with a tech term known as “social engineering,” CEOs would finally be held accountable for the lapse security oversight of their IT systems and the harm consumers experience because of their negligence.

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Karen Bass: L.A.’s Gun Owner Mayor Wannabe

A professional politician who can’t properly secure her guns in a crime-ridden city and accepted a lucrative scholarship that figured prominently in a corruption investigation is unfit to lead the City of Angels.

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Tina Freese Decker’s Shameful Invoking of MLK

Tina Freese Decker, CEO of Michigan’s biggest hospital network, has a well-worn record making disingenuous statements fraught with saccharine and PR spin. But she went too far invoking the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. in a memo to employees on Friday announcing plans to fire 400 people.

As former Detroit News editor Bob Giles learned the hard way, invoking King’s name to promote employee firings can have serious consequences.

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My Disappointment With Cali Rep. Katie Porter

How disappointing. I thought Rep. Katie Porter was the rare California politician I could believe in. Turns out, Porter isn’t as ethically pure and upstanding as she would have the public believe.

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The Faux Martyrdom of Canada’s Lisa LaFlamme

The termination of Canadian television anchor Lisa LaFlamme’s contract has generated outrage in Canada and the U.S. because of speculation she was fired for allowing her hair to go gray. More likely, the network decision to terminate LaFlamme was driven by budgetary considerations.

Despite the uproar, LaFlamme has refused to comment, which is despicable for a journalist.

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The Passing of My Uncle Jerry

My Uncle Jerry, known to metro Detroit and Cleveland residents as Specs Howard, died early Saturday. He was among the last living legendary rock & roll DJs from the early 60s and he had an outsized influence on me. That he lived until 96 and survived polio, prostate cancer and melanoma underscored the power of his positive thinking and a lifetime of ignoring dire medical prognoses.

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