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"The things that are done in the name of the shareholder are, to me,
as terrifying as the things that are done—dare I say it—
in the name of God" - John le Carré, 10/11/2010

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Microsoft vs the DOJ
The Wars of the Chips
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Business Integrity
"It's not about progressive human resource practices or management policies, it's about committed individuals coming to work every day and creating an atmosphere of trust, good humor, and responsible risk-taking."- Doug Burgum, CEO, Microsoft
Business Solutions

We often hear people speak of  business integrity. But what exactly does this mean? Does it mean always acting in the customer's best interest? Does it mean satisfying your customer to the best of your ability? Or does it encompass even more than this- simply telling the truth and being as honest with yourself as your investors, employees, partners and customers? It is a tragic fact that the act of telling the truth is a rare occurrence- and a sad consolation that those who lie ultimately deceive no one more than themselves. See: Enron Scandal & Public Eye on Davos Award: Unique Awards Highlight Corporate Irresponsibility, 1/29/05, Gustavo Capdevila, Inter Press Service

To be successful a business must be profitable and instill long term customer, partner and employee loyalty. The two are inseparable and are at the core of any effective business strategy. One creates loyal customers, employees and partners by providing genuine value and instilling trust through integrity, hard work, compassion and excellence in every interaction. Customers, employees and partners are highly interdependent team members of the business ecosystem and each must be successful for the whole to succeed. Winning at the expense of employees, customers or partners is a surefire recipe for failure.

Discriminating against classes of potential or existing employees or customers on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religious belief, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, etc., is not only morally objectionable, but illegal. Further, once exposed, such discrimination opens a company up to deserved consumer ill will and lost profits. The causes of such discrimination are at the roots of human evil- hatred, prejudice, psychological repression, delusional and authoritarian psychologies, displaced aggression, scapegoating, stereotyping, intolerance, racism, greed and ignorance.

There is no magic formula on how a business becomes and remains profitable. Good business, technology and market planning with milestones, benchmarks, strong financial controls and execution (in accordance with GAAP) are key. Communicating and sticking to a sound vision and corporate philosophy is vital. Strong inter/intra departmental cooperation and trust is essential. Political power plays erode team spirit, are destructive and only belie insecurity. According to Paul Wong, Ph.D., in an article, entitled,"The Positive Psychology of “Climate Management:"

"The single greatest threat to business success or organizational health is internal strife, whether it is due to pretty jealousy, turf-fight or cultural conflict. Internal strife drains emotional energy, reduces productivity, and makes the workplace very unpleasant. Money, perks and rewards as the basis of individual performance may have the undesirable side effect of creating conflict among workers

Dr. Wong goes on to write:

"Being political means that decisions are made and actions are taken on the basis of power, personality, and connections, whereas being professional means that decisions and actions are guided by principles, processes, reasons, and group interests."

"When incompetent and insecure bosses repeatedly make irrational, stupid decisions that hurt the company for no other reason than flexing their own muscles, we can be assured of reduced morale and productivity. When promoting is based on loyalty to the boss, rather than competence and contribution, again, job satisfaction and productivity will decline. That is why in many ways, a highly political environment is a very unhealthy workplace, where everyone is walking on eggshells, and no one wants to do anything that may get them into trouble."

Business changes should be the outgrowth of a strategic assessment, formulation and execution process. From the strategic planning process should flow benchmarks, budgets and value chain analysis- though the process is never defined by these things. The effects of change should be anticipated and there should be well defined change and commitment plans that accompany the strategic statements, objectives, actions, goals and implementation projects. These change plans should be designed to preempt resistance to change and enroll/empower the organization in the change effort. Without such plans, the effect on morale can be disastrous, particularly when employees feel their jobs are threatened.

Leadership intangibles are also important- "the knack" for making the right decisions at the right time. Hard to quantify, essentially the ability to think at multiple levels and keep the "big picture" in mind while addressing the myriad small decisions that ultimately determine success or failure.

Nourishing a healthy company culture by fostering caring, courage, commitment and community in every interaction with employees, customers and partners is a sine qua non for long term success.

Again, according to Dr. Wong:

"...Treating people with respect and dignity, and doing everything with complete honesty and integrity are just some of the practices that will contribute to a positive, meaningful work climate. But to implement such practices on a daily basis throughout the whole organization requires a clear vision and complete commitment from senior management and all employees."  

Dr. Wong continues:

"There are right and wrong ways of creating a positive workplace. Some hierarchical organizations try to maintain a positive climate by expelling anyone who dares to question the management and silencing all those who have real grievances. The message to the workers is, “Just do what you are told, and don’t ask any questions; if you listen to us and do a good job, then we will reward you. But if you question our decisions or policies, then you better get a job elsewhere, and we don’t care how talented and productive you are.”

"This controlling and oppressive approach will not succeed in creating a positive climate, no matter how many “spin doctors” the management hires for the Human Resource Department, no matter how many perks they offer to the workers. On the contrary, this kind of heavy-handed, manipulative approach will only demoralize the workers and create a climate of fear, distrust, and resentment."

"The right way of creating a positive climate is to reinforce practices and attitudes that demonstrate empowerment, support, openness, trust, and respect for the individual, unity and professionalism."

Dramatic cost cutting measures are reactions to poor business management and are often too late. Corporate merger or alliance, without a sound business and integration plan may only delay failure. Inadequate marketing efforts and/or efforts focused in areas that are not core competencies further hasten failure. Eroding market share (and inability to capture new market share), difficulty in responding to increased competition, declining customer satisfaction, unplanned layoffs, inability to meet or forecast revenue goals, business process fragmentation, etc. are further harbingers of failure. Failure, like success can become systemic and after a while it is hard to distinguish cause from effect. The success of any company is built on one right decision after another- yet, the personal and professional integrity at all levels to admit failure and correct mistakes is crucial- and if absent- will be the company's Achilles heel. See also: Business Ethics


Business Features

A.M. Best Company
Insurance-rating & information agency.


American Stock Exchange

Annual Report Gallery
Listing of online annual Reports & related
financial reports 


Daily news, information & research tools
for life science professionals & students.

Specialized provider of web-based
products & information services to the
life sciences.

Business publications search engine

CNN Money & Business

Company Sleuth

Cool Companies
News, information, & resources
about the companies that are leading
the path to energy efficiency
& greenhouse gas reduction.

Corporate Financials Online

Corporate Information

Dismal Scientist

EDGAR Database
Automated collection, validation, indexing,
acceptance, & forwarding of submissions
by companies and others who are
required by law to file forms with the U.S.
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

Federation of International Trade

International Trade/Import-Export Portal

Gateway to statistics from over 100
U.S. Federal agencies.

The Forbes Group


Hoover's Online
Comprehensive company, industry, &
market intelligence.

Non-profit national membership
organization exposing life-threatening
abuses by transnational corporations &
organizing successful grassroots
campaigns to hold corporations 
accountable to consumers &
society at large.

Interfaith Center on Corporate

International coalition of faith-based
institutional investors including
denominations, religious communities,
pension funds, healthcare corporations,
foundations & dioceses. As responsible
stewards, they merge social values with
investment decisions, believing they must
achieve more than an acceptable financial
return. Members utilize religious investments
& other resources to change unjust or
harmful corporate policies, working for peace,
economic justice and stewardship
of the Earth.

International Database
A computerized data bank containing
demographic & socio-economic data
for 227 countries and areas
of the world.


Ithaca Hours Online
Ithaca, New York prints its our own money
to reinforce community trading & expand
commerce which is more accountable to
concerns for ecology & social justice.

Provides product, contact & other
information for 1.7 million companies

Microsoft Small Biz

Money- Past, Present & Future

Multinational Monitor
Monthly magazine devoted primarily
to examining the activities of
multinational companies. The magazine
also covers issues involving labor, the
environment, corporate crime,
multilateral banks & development.

Business/workplace portal


Forum for people with significant
professional and/or research
interests in the field of Risk
Management and Insurance.

San Diego Source


Allows firms to stay abreast of the
proposed & final rules & regulations
issued by the SEC to implement
the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).

Sarbanes-Oxley Act/PCAOB
Implementation Central | AICPA

Tax & Accounting Sites Directory

The T Sector
San Diego technology news.

Thomas Register

Comprehensive online resource for finding
companies & products manufactured
in North America.

US Business Advisor
One-stop electronic link to the information
& services government provides for the
business community.

U.S. State Department Links to
Trade & Finance

Wall Street Journal Interactive

World Trade Organization


Personal Finance/Investment

Information on over 100 financial products
including mortgages, credit cards, new & used
automobile loans, money market accounts,
certificates of deposit, checking and ATM fees,
home equity loans and online banking fees.

Big Charts

Free research web site providing access
to interactive charts, quotes, industry
analysis, intraday stock screeners
and market news & commentary.



CNN Financial



Financial Engines




The Gay Financial Network
About empowering the LGBT community
financially. Dedicated to delivering the
complete range of financial service products
to the Gay & Lesbian market.

Good Money
Web site for all those who are interested
in socially and environmentally responsible
investing (SRI), consuming (SRC) &
business practices (CSR).

Insurance comparison shopping.

Investment Advisor Public Disclosure

Investor Broadcast Network


Kiplinger.com | Financial Calculators

Mutual fund, stock, & variable-insurance
investment information.

MSN Money Central

Mutual Funds Central

Calculators for 401(K) planning,
employee stock options, gross pay, etc.

Insight, intelligence & education
for the self-directed trader.

Quicken Financial Network



Insurance quotes.

Red Herring
Market information to entrepreneurial 

Right on the Money



Stock Research Group

Thompson RTQ



Women's Institute for Financial

Women's WallStreet
Place for women to research, compare
& manage their personal finances
complemented by an offline component
of corporate sponsored financial seminars.

"Boats of Saintes-Maries", Vincent van Gogh
"Boats of Saintes-Maries," Vincent van Gogh

Social Entrepreneurs

"A social entrepreneur identifies and solves social problems on a large scale. Just as business entrepreneurs create and transform whole industries, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss in order to improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value."

"Unlike traditional business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs primarily seek to generate "social value" rather than profits. And unlike the majority of non-profit organizations, their work is targeted not only towards immediate, small-scale effects, but sweeping, long-term change."- Quote & links below from PBS web site: "The New Heroes: What is Social Entrepreneurship?"

Acumen Fund
Supports entrepreneurial approaches to solving global poverty by providing a blueprint for building financially sustainable and scalable organizations that deliver affordable, critical goods and services to the poor.

Develops the profession of social entrepreneurship around the world by investing in people.

Draper Richards Foundation
Helps people create wide-reaching social change by providing funding and business mentoring to individuals and their non-profit organizations.

Echoing Green
Sparks social change by identifying, providing startup grants, supporting, and connecting social entrepreneurs and their organizations.

Global Giving
Enables individuals and companies to find and support social and economic development projects around the world.

Kauffman Foundation
Improves economic welfare and academic achievement of children in low-income families by promoting entrepreneurship-friendly policies and research in technology and education.

The Schwab Foundation
Supports social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies and address social problems.

Skoll Foundation
Advances systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs. The foundation extends its mission through Social Edge, an online resource for the social entrepreneur community.

The Corporation

In the book, THE CORPORATION: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, Joel Bakan, who is an eminent law professor and legal theorist, contends that the corporation is created by law to function much like a psychopathic personality whose destructive behavior, if left unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin. Bakan backs his premise with the following claims:

-The corporation's legally defined mandate is to pursue relentlessly and without exception its own economic self-interest, regardless of the harmful consequences it might cause to others -- a concept endorsed by no less a luminary than the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.

-The corporation's unbridled self-interest victimizes individuals, society, and, when it goes awry, even shareholders and can cause corporations to self-destruct, as recent Wall Street scandals reveal.

-While corporate social responsibility in some instances does much good, it is often merely a token gesture, serving to mask the corporation's true character.

-Governments have abdicated much of their control over the corporation, despite its flawed character, by freeing it from legal constraints through deregulation and by granting it ever greater authority over society through privatization.  Excerpts from the Publishers notes for "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power."

The film, "The Corporation"  is based on Bakan's book and provides powerful examples of
how major corporations have worked against the public interest in the pursuit of profits- without concern for the environment & the public at large. See also: Globalization & Global Economics, Politics & the Environment

Can a Business Founded and Sustained on Spiritual Values Survive?

Not only will it survive- bit it will prosper by maintaining a healthy company culture- one that is progressive, purpose driven, community oriented and people centered. Indeed, toxic company cultures lose talented employees. Worship of a high profit margin is, according to Peter Drucker, one of the deadly sins in management at a time of change. One only need look to the devolution of Enron's corporate culture to see the consequences of this.

Empowerment, excellence in every interaction with customers, partners and employees, integrity, hard work, support, openness, trust, and respect/compassion for the individual/community, unity and professionalism, sound financial and strategic planning and execution, are all cornerstones of genuine and lasting business success. See also, Dr. Paul Wong's article, "Lessons from the Enron Debacle: Corporate Culture Matters!"; See also: Work Affirmations.

In the Battle....

"In the battle of life, it is not the critic who counts; nor the one who points out how the strong person stumbled, or where the doer of a deed could have done better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends oneself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Companies that Adapt- and Those that Don't

Rapid technological change has been a "godsend" for many companies. The best example of this is in recent years is Microsoft. On the other hand, companies such as Tandy, CompuServe, Prodigy and Apple have seen dramatically shrinking market share and are either becoming short term takeover targets or are being forced to reengineer their companies and change their product mix and corporate missions. One may therefore pose the question, "Why the difference?"

The Wars of the Chips

The year is 1997 and Intel, Hewlett Packard, Digital, IBM, Motorola, Microsoft, Apple, Cyrix and AMD are engaged in the first (or second, or third, or fourth- I forget), great Chip War. Digital is suing Intel for stealing Alpha technology for its Pentium Pro II and possibly upcoming Deschutes (P6), Williamette and Merced processors. Intel, for its part, is revoking technology "sharing" agreements with Digital and may no longer be a stable supplier of chips for Digital's PCs (understated). Intel's Merced will be a 0.25-micron process, 1.4 GHz, 1.5MB of on-chip cache P7 class processor. Continued

Microsoft Versus the DOJ

Microsoft's claim that Internet Explorer is an integral and integrated component of the Windows OS is certainly valid when one likes at current incarnations of Internet Explorer and associated components and applications (Java, ActiveX, Exchange, Outlook, etc.). Even Netscape's stated or implied direction to replace all operating system UIs with their "browser" helps bolster the legitimacy of this claim, as does the increasing use of Sun's under performing cross platform Java technology. After all, if its a reasonable goal for Netscape/Sun, then certainly it is understandable that Microsoft would have a similar target (with however a significantly different ulterior motive). Continued


Global Economics & the Environment

Unequal America

"...The idea of an economy based upon several kinds of ruin may seem a contradiction in terms, but in fact such an economy is possible, as we see. It is possible however, on one implacable condition: the only future good that it assuredly leads to is that it will destroy itself. And how does it disguise this outcome from its subjects, its short-term beneficiaries, and its victims? It does so by false accounting. It substitutes for the real economy, by which we build and maintain (or do not maintain) our household, a symbolic economy of money, which in the long run, because of the self-interested manipulations of the "controlling interests," cannot symbolize or account for anything but itself. And so we have before us the spectacle of unprecedented "prosperity" and "economic growth" in a land of degraded farms, forests, ecosystems, and watersheds, polluted air, failing families, and perishing communities."

"...In default of government protections against the total economy of the supranational corporations, people are where they have been many times before: in danger of losing their economic security and their freedom, both at once. But at the same time the means of defending themselves belongs to them in the form of a venerable principle: powers not exercised by government return to the people. If the government does not propose to protect the lives, livelihoods, and freedoms of its people, then the people must think about protecting themselves.- From, "The Idea of a Local Economy," by Wendell Berry, Orion Magazine, 2002

"Most Americans would be shocked to discover that slavery still exists in the United States. Yet most of us buy goods made by people who aren’t paid for their labor–people who are trapped financially, and often physically. In Nobodies, award-winning journalist John Bowe exposes the outsourcing, corporate chicanery, immigration fraud, and sleights of hand that allow forced labor to continue in the United States while the rest of us notice nothing but the everyday low price at the checkout counter.

Based on thorough and often dangerous research, exclusive interviews, and eyewitness accounts, Nobodies takes you inside three illegal workplaces where employees are virtually or literally enslaved..."
- Description of book: "Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy,"  by John Bowe, 9/2007.

Corporate Watch
Counters corporate-led globalization
through education & activism. Works
to foster democratic control over
corporations by building grassroots
globalization--a diverse movement for
human rights, labor rights &  environmental

David Suzuki Foundation
Explores human impacts on the environment,
with an emphasis on finding solutions.

F William Engdahl

Profound and often shocking commentary on
a issues such as oil, GMO, war, financial
crisis, etc.

Global Exchange
International human rights organization
dedicated to promoting social, economic &
environmental justice around the world.

Global Justice Movement
The overall mission of this Global Justice
Movement initiative has been succinctly
summed up by Buckminister Fuller as
follows:" To make the world work for 100%
of humanity in the shortest possible time,
through spontaneous cooperation, without
ecological offense or the disadvantage of

The Globalism Project
Research objectives are to 1) evaluate the
sustainability of neo-liberal globalism in
the ecological, economic, political &
socio-cultural spheres, 2) map the political
direction of globalism's challengers in their
efforts to re-democratize the locality, the
nation & the international realms and 3)
examine the exciting development of new
ways of thinking about how to better live
together as alternatives to the globalism model.

Global Economics, Politics & the

One can not underestimate the powerful
relationship between environmental issues
and the global economic/political system.
Solutions to our environmental crisis must
stem from systematic changes to this system.

Global Research
Independent research and media group of
writers, scholars, journalists and activists.

Independent Media Center
Collective of independent media
organizations & hundreds of journalists
offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage.
Stories come from the hearts & minds of
people on the frontlines of the struggle for
justice against tyranny. Indymedia has grown
into a network of nearly 100 Independent
Media Centers (IMCs) all over the world by
means of a commitment to equality,
decentralization & autonomy.

Institute for Local Self Reliance
"A small organization with a track record fo
 breaking new ground in promoting sustainable
communities. In 1978 RAIN magazine
described ILSR as an organization that "puts
hard numbers on soft dreams".

International Forum on Globalization
Research & educational institution composed
of leading activists, economists, scholars,
& researchers providing analyses & critiques
on the cultural, social, political, &
environmental impacts of economic

Mariposa- Community of Butterflies
Located in the Napo province in eastern Ecuador,
in a region known as the Oriente, is the small city
of Tena with a population of 22,000. Slightly north
of Tena is the smaller town of Archidona. A short
distance from Archidona is the Comunidad Lushian
Mariposa, home to the Napo Runa Mamallacta family.
The head of this family is the eighth generation
shaman/healer Don Casimiro. Casimiro's family
includes his wife Margarita & sons Elias & Ramon.

We must preserve those cultures that still have a
connection with land & spirit & wish to preserve their
way of life. Such are the Napo Runa & other indigenous
people of the Amazon. Impinging on their cultures is
the greed of the wealthy elites, petrochemical
companies and perhaps most dangerous- the spiritual
emptiness of a world that has forgotten truth &
replaced it with the marketplace. - Lowell Greenberg

Mobilization for Global Justice

Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist,
syndicated columnist and author of the New
York Times & international bestseller,
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster

Participatory Economics
Type of economy proposed as an alternative
to contemporary capitalism. The underlying
values are equity, solidarity, diversity, &
participatory self management. The main
institutions are workers and consumers councils
utilizing self managed decision making,
balanced job complexes, remuneration
according to effort & sacrifice, &
participatory planning.

The Rukus Society
Provides environmental, human rights, & social
justice organizers with the tools, training, &
support needed to achieve their goals.

Sweatshop Watch
Serves low-wage workers nationally & globally,
with a focus on eliminating sweatshop
exploitation in California's garment industry.
Believes that workers should earn a living wage
in a safe, decent work environment, and that
those responsible for the exploitation of
sweatshop workers must be held accountable.

Transnational Institute
Worldwide fellowship of committed scholar-activists.
Seeks to create & promote international
co-operation in analysing & finding possible
solutions to such global problems as militarism &
conflict, poverty & marginalisation, social injustice
& environmental degradation.

"Citizens' portal on brands & corporations".
You can search for the profile of one of over
9,500 companies in the transnationale data-
base. Profiles list the subsidiaries or parent
companies of the brand, their social &
environmental records, the numbers of jobs
they have cut & their human rights abuses.

Articles from over 2,000 alternative media
sources bringing the reader ideas &
trends emerging in our culture.


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