Is there honour among franchisors? Franchisees?

March 31, 2010

Honor?Honour?

Whenever I hear a franchisor tell a franchisee he’s disappointed in him and he should act on his honour, I smile.

Sure I’m the one that self-identified as a boy scout here but that was after Rich Mimick taught us at Ivey that “If it doesn’t jingle, It doesn’t count.”

Scouts Canada pledge

On my honour
I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and the Queen
To help other people at all times,
And to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law.

A proud 1st Midhurst cub & scout troop alumni.

Scout Canada Law

A Scout is:

  • Helpful and trustworthy,
  • Kind and cheerful,
  • Considerate and clean,
  • And wise in the use of all resources.

Wise in the use of all resources.


Endless consultation and fact-finding, No action

February 9, 2010

One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there’s a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system.

As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, then you can have a debate.

— Chronicles of Dissent, Noam Chomsky


Why I will never write a non-ficiton franchise book

January 11, 2010

Marshall McLuhan said that every new book cannot be more be than 10% new material for the reading public.

The overwhelming public opinion is that franchising is in the sheep-shearing business rather than in the lamb-chop making business.

The former was true before: they created wealth for all stakeholders. Today, buying a new franchise is the later: It’s a different technology.

Any message repeated a million times can create the illusion of reality.

Ads seem to work on the very advanced principle that a small pellet or pattern in a noisy, redundant barrage of repetition will gradually assert itself. Ads push the principle of noise all the way to the plateau of persuasion. They are quite in accord with the procedures of brain-washing. This depth principle of onslaught on the unconscious may be the reason why.


Fiducia virorum in sinistra non in dextra est: A dead language for a dead legal specialty

September 7, 2009

ChimpanzeeAttorneyA McDonald’s USA CEO once described Micky D’s as a “real estate company with an interest in fast food”.

Being a lawyer within the franchise bar is 1 per cent law and 99% cash flow.

They are profit maximizing agents with marketing masks called: franchisor or franchisee. Technically, the franchise bar is a credence good group service providers which act in a coordinated manner to guard their monopoly on this self-defined subspecialty.

Litigation in franchising is a joke. A play.

A psychodrama for the newly aware. Graduate degree in post-modern amoral cynicism.

Franchisors pay 95% of all legal fees in the franchise industry.

The idea of a fighting chance (or fair dinkum as my AUS friends would say) is a farce.

farce n. 1 a a coarsely comic dramatic work based on ludicrously improbable events. b this branch of drama. 2 absurdly futile proceedings; pretense, mockery. [French, originally = stuffing, from Old French farsir from Latin, farcire, to stuff, used metaphorically of interludes, etc.] Oxford Canadian Dictionary

I watched up-close for 11 years these “titans of industry”.  They are very charming and knowledgeable and while good individuals by any measure, collectively are the greatest brake on any true industry reform because the cash flow:work combustion ratio is, in the short term, so rich.

They quote latin because their communication is meant to intimidate and close off understanding.

I don’t seem to have any commercial relationships with even the ones that insist that they are the Original White Knight franchisee lawyers. No shared clients. No emails. No free lunches. No fee sharing.

Not even Christmas cards anymore.

— Latin Proverb: Real men don’t attack


Health care reform “debate”: More industry Canada Goose-stepping

August 20, 2009

USFascism

Go ahead: Blame Canada

I’ve held off commenting on the current U.S. health care reform debate.

Until now.

This “debate” is structurally identical to what passes for communication in the franchise industry today.

Propaganda, pure and simple (biased influence)

Unmistakeably, evil if judged by historical wisdom authors. Still corrupting even to most docile sheeple.

Some of it bordering on Große Lüge (The Big Lie), analogous to Big Tobacco defense style, Nineteen Eighty-Four,  modern PR, corporatism…

I think today’s Toronto Star op ed is a good summary of how most Canadians I know feel about our system versus the U.S.’s. In Why I’d rather be sick here than in U.S., Bob Hepburn writes:

For weeks, Americans have been told that Canada pushes its sickest and weakest to the bottom of wait lists, that our health care is inferior, that it’s the government that decides who lives and who dies.

Despite these attacks, the reality is that the overall quality of health care experienced in Canada is far better than in the United States.

If you have any doubt, just ask yourself this simple question:

Would you rather be sick here or in the U. S.?

For me, the answer is obvious.

I have worked and studied in the U.S. for a total of 10 years and, although I have received good care from American doctors and clinics, I’d much rather be sick here.

Some inconvenient data:

  1. 87% of Canadians beleive our health care system is better than the U.S. (EKOS survey),
  2. +90% happy with quality of care they received,
  3. 100% of Canadians have been covered since 1967 while 50 million U.S. have zero coverage,
  4. zero Canadians have gone bankrupt because of an health care expenses,
  5. zero Canadians have had coverage reduced because of being at a higher risk, and
  6. 10% Canadian GDP on health care (16% in U.S., highest in world).

We have problems, absolutely. Were lots of problems when I was hit by a automobile as a kid in 1968. But I know one Canadian family that was not bankrupted by hospital invoices. I went on to work at Royal Victoria Hospital, St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital and Victoria Hospital as a staff administrator.

Our first question is: How can we help? (not How will you pay?)

Ours is not a 100% government-owned, monolithic system. Many of the elements are privately owned and for-profit. It is wide-ranging but does not cover all health needs.

That said, even the most libertarian politicians know it is political suicide to even hint at tinkering with the founding principles of the Canada Health Act:

  1. administration,
  2. comprehensiveness,
  3. universality,
  4. portability and
  5. accessibility.

The debate, like in franchising, would normally be seen as just plain silly if it weren’t for the toxic effects on families and communities with these thought reform methods.

By its operating software, antithetical to a sustainable physical, spiritual and mental healthy human life. Machines running man.

Similar to many modern corporate technologies.


To the Grail Castle: Just down the road a little way, turn left and just over the drawbridge

April 29, 2009

fisherkingThe Fisher King.

I recommend the movie and the myth.

The King provides directions for everyone’s healing:

…a place of comfort and safety is not far away. The specific instructions are to go down the road – whatever road one is involved with at the moment – turn left, which is to say go toward the unconscious or the world of imagination an fantasy, cross the drawbridge – the division between our conscious world and the inner world of imagination – and one will be in the Grail castle, the miraculous place of healing…

A detail of the story is encouraging: Parsifal need only ask the question; he is not required to answer it. Once the question is asked the answer comes from a source greater than his store of personal wisdom.

You get to visit the Castle every night when you sleep.

– – The Fisher King & the Handless Maiden: Understanding the Wounded Feeling Function in Masculine and Feminine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson


Vonnegut: A failed Saab dealer

April 14, 2009

vonnegutlady

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was a lousy franchisee with a fairly dark sense of humour.

He could string a few words together, though.

What is the purpose of life? —— To be the eyes, and ears, and conscience of the creator of the universe; you fool.

The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

So it goes.


The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected.

Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.

Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?

Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful.

Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.

I used to be funny, and perhaps I’m not anymore. It may be that I have become rather grumpy because I’ve seen so many things that have offended me that I cannot deal with in terms of laughter.

Vietnam was an exercise in mistaken idealism; Iraq in cynical money-making. And there’s no optimism or idealism now — Americans are tired of knowledge. Our leaders, the C-students from Yale, know this. We’re proud of being ignorant; that leaves virtue at our core. We aren’t frazzled by knowledge like foreigners, so we can be trusted.

I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled “Science Fiction” . . . and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.

The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.

Human beings are about 1,000 times dumber and meaner than they think they are.

Find a subject you care about and which you feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.

Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast.  They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement.  Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.


Franchisees are revolting, but in a new way this time

April 11, 2009

wolfgrandmaPredatory franchisors and those that continue to profit from their action give the distinct impression that franchisees are a lower form of life. They are:

  1. Slow.
  2. Greedy.
  3. Lazy.

This part-economic, -social and -cultural discrimination performs several very important functions for the elite but most immediately it provides the intellectual grounding for:

…”liberating” franchisees’ life savings by any means possible.

This liberation helps the economy because franchisees’ life savings (by this perspective) are inefficiently husbanded by stupid people. They prove franchisees’ passivity and idiocy every day when they hawk the latest loser business model.

Franchisees deserve what they get because they are a lower form of life.

They have, in modern secular and economic terms, a life unworthy of life (lebensunwertes leben). Everyone in the mob sleeps well because they are simply slaughtering subhumans’ capital heritage for the “common economic good”. The predators are society benefactors: genetic soldiers in the inevitable sacrifice of the weak being trussed-up to feed the strong.

  • This is how the wolf sees himself: improving free enterprise by killing the weak, lame, stupid, slow,  infirm or elderly.

Some, however, are starting to see this Walter Mittyesque view differently. They see modern franchising as a:

bastardization of valid biological natural selection theory mixed in with an infantile parroting of a 4th rate intellectual “stew” of eugenics, laissez-faire dogmatism, propaganda, piracy and mind-numbing self-interest.

Don Sniegowski at Blue MauMau reports today that Over a Thousand Franchisees Demand to See Televised UPS Store Trial.

LOS ANGELES – Against opposition by United Parcel Service, Inc., some 1,400 franchise owners have requested that the Los Angeles Superior Court allow them to see on closed circuit television a class action lawsuit of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees going up against their franchisor.

Further down in the comments, the “How-to-Contribute” is helpfully presented.

Before any valid re-ordering, chaos must reign. This seems to be the way it always happens. It starts in the city of angels but that’s not where it will end.

The cowards have always relied on the fixer but from now on, it’s beyond his reach. Memory, witness and narrative seem to have awoken from a form of spell.

upsstore, mailboxesetc, Peter Thomas

It’s over.


No franchise law: New Zealand as a Tier 2 economy

February 2, 2009

greenacreslogo1Humans have evolved a large brain to help in our survival.

It does a very good job but sometimes  it get tricked up in seemingly simple differences.

One of these is the difference between the words rent and own.

  • You rent a franchise.
  • You own a non-franchised business.

Understand? You own no thing/nothing when you rent a logo. Don’t look for equity: It does not exist in franchising.

Modern franchise law defines two terms:

  1. A franchisee is the end consumer or licensee.
  2. A franchisor is the owner and any of his “associates” (sub-contractor, selling agent, etc.)

Franchise law defines what a franchisor is very widely and a franchisee very narrowly for a very good reason: franchisors will try to wiggle out of their responsibilities by pointing to someone else in the selling chain when it hits the fan.

They are as bi-polar as U.S. bankers: laissez-faire in good times, socialists in bad.

A recent New Zealand Herald article shows this:

Auckland, Feb 2 NZPA – An Auckland man charged with fraudulently obtaining $3.5 million from people he granted Green Acres sub-franchises to, has re-appeared in court.

Keith Lapham faced three fraud charges alleging he obtained money by deception from 172 people while he was a master franchisee for Green Acres from March to December 2007.

Lapham was remanded on bail to a pre-depositions hearing in April when he appeared in Auckland District Court today.

His lawyer Peter Davey said an extra two months was needed to examine more than 30,000 documents disclosed by the Serious Fraud Office.

Lapham was an independent contractor and the Green Acres company was not the subject of any investigation.

There are only two terms: franchisees and franchisors & their associates in any jurisdiction with a half-assed franchise-specific law. Can’t really fault the Herald:

New Zealand is a Tier 2 economy in refusing to pass a specific-franchise law.

This government inaction is called enabling consumer fraud.

Questions

  1. Is it any wonder that Mark Bryers, a lawyer, structured the Blue Chip fraud as a franchise?
  2. With lots of people like Mark Bryers, being attracted to franchising, what’s the probability that it’ll happen again?
  3. Is it reasonable for Kiwis to expect more backbone from their government than having Minister Dalziel making her announcements on franchise regulation from the franchisor-only trade shows?

In contrast to almost all of the G20 countries that have a franchise law, it must seem that it’s like shooting fish in a barrel in running a franchise scheme in New Zealand.


Writers: Making language work for the reader

January 15, 2009

voltaire2VOLTAIRE

“That nasty man who did so much good.”

Paul Valéry

Is it because Voltaire wasn’t afraid to be nasty that he did so much good? Almost certainly. There is no convincing evidence that writers can do their job by being nice.

And why should they be nice? To be asked to dinner? To be part of a corporation of writers, which like all corporate groups rewards discretion? To be rewarded with money, prizes and titles?

Nice writers are usually working for someone or senile or in the wrong business. Those who have done the most good, as Voltaire pointed out, have “mostly been persecuted.” The nasty sort continue to be persecuted in most countries. In the West they have to deal with more sophisticated assaults such as bankrupting lawsuits and job loss. Worst of all – in this society of expensive communication systems – they are threatened with irrelevance.

What about their messy lives, their greed, their jealousies, their hypocrisy? Who cares? Voltaire himself had a more than average number of flaws and contradictions. He still created the language which ended a regime…

Their only job is to make language work for the reader. That is the basis for free speech. Whatever the vested interests of the day may be, they invariably favour an obscure language of insider’s dialects and received wisdom. So the writer turns nasty. It’s a public service.

— excerpt from The Doubtger’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, John Ralston Saul

The franchise industry has made me a writer. For better or worse, I am that: I can do nothing other than type. And no one is more surprised than me.

I consider what I do to be a public service. I have created an index method for a U.S. $1 trillion per year industry, created an institutional memory of any published article and broken the back of those that enable this modern tyranny.

By any measure I have paid the price and more. I am indebted to no one. I am a free man and choose to associate with others who value freedom.

The time of reckoning coming quickly.

😉


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