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Michael Sansolo’s column on Tuesday, which talked about the importance of technology as a communications tool, touched on the recent revelation that Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who is running to be the next president of the United States, is only just learning how to get on the Internet. The column got a lot of response, and it was all over the map. Some examples…

MNB user Pat Nicolino wrote:

Each week I thoroughly enjoy Tuesday with Michael. Today I find myself actually at my own desk instead of racing through an airport or changing conference rooms the way others change their minds about what to have for lunch. The luxury of time to work quietly coupled with time to think deeply about...

• the impact of technology on nation-building
• the opportunities to build rapport and affiliation with shoppers
• the impact of one person's passionate determination to speak of the human condition at its most spare and noble source

...ahhh, what a glorious morning you have given me with your column today.

MNB user Gary Stephenson wrote:

Interesting view on FDR, Reagan & McCain. In my mind we're talking about using a medium to present ideas -- let me clarify. FDR, I expect was working off a prepared script for his radio sessions & I've no doubt Reagan did the exact same thing in his 'prepared' TV speeches. I'm also assuming that McCain (or in fact all 3) will use the web as the vehicle for the content.

Frankly, having a President sit down & do interactive 'blogging is a scary thought!

Another MNB user wrote:

Isn't it refreshing to know that there is someone out there that does not have his head replaced with a computer? They have their place, but are far over done.

I’m not sure that knowing how to get on the Internet and use a computer is the same thing as having one’s head replaced by one. I could be wrong about this, but I think I’m smarter and better-informed because of my computer…and I have a lot more access to a broader range of opinions and views.

And I thought that’s what we wanted in our leaders.

One MNB user wrote:

Adaptability in a rapidly changing world will need to be an essential trait of the next president. The obvious immediacy of the internet as a world resource has to be a tool that is well understood and employed. It is difficult to imagine someone leading the most powerful nation in the world, let alone directing the global economy/marketplace, doing otherwise.

Another MNB user wrote:

To me this says more about his style of learning and evolving. Either a person, company, country or world is learning and growing or they are devolving. Could this mean he is out of touch?

I don't think McCain is any more out of touch with the real world than Barack Obama. I just think they view the world differently.

I will say that I view this issue a little differently than Michael does. I won’t make my choice in November based on whether or not someone knows how to use a computer, but I do think that being conversant with this technology is important…and says something about mindset.

BTW…I was interested to read in the new Vanity Fair an article by Gail Sheehy about the failed Hillary Clinton campaign that Bill Clinton does not use email and does not know how to use a Blackberry.

Which only tells us that technological ignorance exists on both sides of the aisle.

Got a number of emails this week responding to the stories about Whole Foods’ quarterly earnings, which were 30 percent lower than during the same period a year ago. Many of them were along the lines of a short note written by MNB user Bob Reynolds:

It is gratifying to see arrogance so richly rewarded.

In a piece about identity theft at the nation’s gas pumps, I made a comment about how now people have to worry about two kinds of thieves when pumping gas – identity thieves and oil company executives.

MNB user Bill Auld wrote:

Your comment about Oil Companies "reaping huge profits on the backs of our citizens" is not justified. The Oil Companies, like all other US Businesses, including Grocery Store Chains are in business to make a profit. The oil companies you cite are making about a 10% margin. Google makes about a 25% margin. I don't hear you claiming that Google is making too much money??!!

Also, the biggest benefactor of Oil profits? Look no further than the US Government.

• Exxon/Mobile - Last Quarter Profits: $11 Billion
• US Taxes Paid by Exxon/Mobile: $32 Billion

MNB user Kevin Tryon wrote:

Give it a rest. Blame the oil company execs if you will, OR buy some shares and enjoy reaping record profits on the backs of US citizens yourself. It’s called a market economy.

I don't know. I think if I have to choose sides these days, I’m very comfortable being antagonistic toward the major oil companies.

Responding to yesterday’s piece about the indictments of 11 people for stealing more than 41 million credit and debit card numbers – with the accused coming from places such as Estonia, the Ukraine, China and Belarus, as well as the US – one MNB user wrote:

This is the price we pay for globalizing and opening up the worldwide web….I expect more of this in the future, especially if the Democrats gain the White House….My grandma was right to keep all her money in her mattress….

I should point out here that the MNB user who wrote this email was not, in fact, named John McCain.


KC's View: