Monday, December 28, 2009

A good time to look ahead, not back.

This is a time when many news organizations present end of the year stories, or in this case, end of the decade.

I remember as a kid looking forward to the new century. Back then the year 2000 seemed so far away.

There have been some rough, make that awful, times since the big ball in Times Square dropped, not the least of which was 9/11. Then the economic crash. We’re at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many around the world, and sadly some here at home, are writing off this nation. Our time on the world stage is over, they say.

I don’t buy any of that for a minute. The United States of America was, is and will remain the most powerful, prosperous and—most importantly—generous nation in the world.

Truth be known, we remain the envy of most of the world.

Can we do better? You bet. It can begin with our own government, where votes might as well be sold on eBay®. Bitter and petty partisanship must end. Immediately if not sooner.

Ultimately, it’s us who live along Main Street, USA who will carry on. We remain a nation of great people and problem solvers.

Just a few weeks ago we teamed up with a group of parents, educators and businesses to provide 130 computers and Video Professor lessons to deserving kids in Brooklyn, New York. As a result, kids who would have been on the wrong side of the digital divide are sitting at home with computers, learning and communicating. We didn’t need the government to help us make it happen, just the willingness to work together to make a difference.

So I remain optimistic about this nation’s future. Look back at our history. Seismic events throughout our history have simply made us stronger, as people and as a nation.

It’s with that spirit that I wish each and every one of you a most prosperous and happy new year.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Santa real? I have proof!

There always seems to be some discussion this time of year about whether or not there is a Santa. The naysayers tend to be Grinch-like personalities.

So I did some checking to set the record straight once and for all.

I didn’t have to go any further than the Newseum in Washington, D.C. It’s a great place that honors the best traditions of journalism and those who did, and continue, to practice them. If it’s in the Newseum, it’s fact. Period.

They list an article that, to me, is absolute proof that Santa does exist. It all started when a young girl named Virginia wrote into New York's The Sun back in 1897. Apparently, some of her friends had been telling her there was no such person as Santa Claus. Concerned, she wrote a letter to the editor, and this was the response she received:

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Francis Pharcellus Church
The Sun

So there you have it, proof directly from the Newseum itself. Santa does exist. (Was there ever any doubt?)

Ho Ho Ho!

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Monday, December 14, 2009

NASA can learn from NASCAR.

I’ve been reading about entrepreneur extraordinaire Richard Branson who, along with engineer extraordinaire Burt Rutan, is building a commercial space facility in New Mexico.

Starting as early as 2011, you’ll be able to take a short suborbital hop for $200,000. Hundreds of folks have already placed deposits for a flight 70 miles above the earth and five minutes of zero-G.

The Russians will take you up to the International Space Station for $20 million.

All these prices are out of reach for most of us, but the bottom line is … the bottom line. Making money off space travel.

This leads me to wonder why NASA hasn’t gotten on the bandwagon. Theirs is a constant fight with Congress for budgeting. As they said in the movie "The Right Stuff," “No bucks, no Buck Rogers.”

There are ads on everything these days from busses to stadiums to race cars. Why not the space shuttle, or whatever next generation rocket comes along? Can you imagine what some companies would pay to have their brand on the side of a spaceship? Or on space suits?

Hey, it works just fine for NASCAR, so why not NASA?

Space exploration is important. It’s in our nature to want to explore to see what’s over the next hill or the next planet.

Why not earn a little advertising revenue along the way? Or would that make too much sense? Tax dollars are hard to come by these days and the voters are getting restless.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Monday, December 07, 2009

Dec. 7, 1941. A day that still lives in infamy.

Sixty-eight years ago, Pearl Harbor was attacked. A sneak attack by the Empire of Japan. The Pacific Fleet was essentially wiped out. Thousands died.

America was at war.

It all ended in Tokyo Harbor aboard the USS Missouri in 1945. The fighting in between, both in the Pacific and Europe, was horrendous and the cost enormous.

American didn’t start it, but they finished it with victory.

Should your travels allow, visit Pearl Harbor and tour the USS Missouri and USS Arizona. In Europe, visit the beaches of Normandy. Feel the history; embrace the sacrifice.

Back then, battle lines were clearly defined, as was the enemy. They flew flags and wore uniforms.

Today we’re at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We wear uniforms. Our enemies don’t. There are no battle lines, and often those we fight come in from other countries then escape back over some border to regroup and fight again.

As with all wars, the cost is high. Too high. But we pay it.

Like World War II, we didn’t start this war either. But we will finish it. With honor.

How victory will be measured is something entirely different.

After winning World War II we re-built Japan and Europe. What was once the enemy is now an ally.

It’s much different now.

But on this day, let’s remember what happened over the skies of Pearl Harbor those many years ago. Let’s remember that there are people in this world who want to destroy us and everything we stand for. They are dangerous and not to be taken for granted.

Let us remember this day and every day that it’s brave men and women who step up to finish the fight someone else started.

Let’s never, ever apologize for doing so.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Tiger’s Tale

Golf fans, (which include me) and non-golf fans alike were stunned to hear the news that golfer Tiger Woods was “seriously injured” in an early morning car accident outside his home.

A short time later we heard he had been treated and released from the hospital and returned home. End of story? Nope.

As for the accident itself, police reports say it involved him leaving his home early in the morning, hitting a fire hydrant, then a tree. He suffered some facial injuries as a result. Police found him lying on the ground, his wife with him saying she used a golf club to break out the windows of the car to help Tiger get out of the car.

Then the Rumor Express left the station.

I won’t repeat any of them because I don’t know if they’re true. Stuff posted on blogs and other websites, were quoted by “traditional” news outlets. Stories began with the word “Rumor.”

Winston Churchill wrote years ago that, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Now the call is for Tiger to come clean. He did make a statement about the issue on his website. But almost everyone feels he should make a full and open public statement.

All that the law requires is he show his driver’s license and proof of insurance. He did that.

Personally, I think whatever Tiger says, or doesn’t say, simply fuels the fires of the blogosphere. Because of his celebrity, all bets are off about what is written or said about him.

Tiger is in a rough spot. If he says something, many will run with it and have a field day. If he leaves it with his website statement, many will run with it and have a field day.

Darned if he does, darned if he doesn’t.

Churchill nailed it.


John W. Scherer

John Scherer is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can e-mail him at