Category Archives: Money

Larry Ellison’s 10-Point Plan: How Oracle Will Beat Amazon In The Cloud

Simplify IT, Drive Innovation

BY Bob Evans – Oracle
Eager to help Oracle customers around the globe innovate and grow, founder Larry Ellison says his company’s surging efforts in Oracle ERP Cloud applications and cloud infrastructure have reshaped the competitive dynamics of the industry such that Oracle’s top two competitors are now Workday and Amazon Web Services.

Oracle can provide its customers the maximum possible benefit in the ERP cloud space—including financials, procurement, performance management, project management, and much more—Ellison says, because this application affects so many business processes. Workday has become Oracle’s only viable competitor in this space, given SAP’s obsession with building HANA, a new database platform. Oracle contends its ERP Cloud business is already much larger than Workday’s and is growing significantly more rapidly.














Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison

At Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison explained Oracle’s strategy for surpassing Amazon in the cloud.

In the first quarter, which ended August 31, Oracle added 344 new ERP and EPM (enterprise performance management) cloud customers, CEO Mark Hurd said on Oracle’s September 15 earnings call. “That’s more ERP customers than Workday has sold to in the history of their company,” Hurd added.

However, over in the cloud infrastructure sector, the competitive dynamics are reversed as Amazon Web Services claimed first-mover status in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and has a significant lead over Oracle in IaaS revenue.

But it’s abundantly clear that Ellison is relishing—yet again—the role of underdog, a role he and Oracle have played successfully over the company’s history in database, middleware, applications, high-end business systems, and, more recently, in the two other major portions of the cloud business: SaaS (applications) and PaaS (platform as a service, including database, middleware, and programming languages).

During the annual Oracle OpenWorld mega-event in San Francisco late last month, Ellison laid out Oracle’s strategy for surpassing Amazon in the cloud, detailing an extensive set of capabilities, assets, and experiences that Oracle possesses and Amazon lacks for meeting the end-to-end needs of enterprise computing in the cloud. At the same time, Ellison went out of his way to freely acknowledge Amazon’s success and achievements here in the still-early days of the enterprise cloud. Ellison—always the master of the long game—constructed his core arguments around a few major themes:

For 40 years, Oracle’s one and only business has been enterprise computing, and that focus is only accelerating as Oracle completes its pivot to being a cloud-first company.
Companies that have run their businesses on on-premises systems and software for the past 30 to 40 years are not going to shift everything to the cloud in one year or five years or perhaps even 10 years—so, enterprise cloud vendors need to have expertise in both types of computing.
Oracle has not only the desire but the proven and hard-earned ability to compete at global enterprise scale in all three established layers of the cloud—SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS—plus the emerging fourth layer, data as a service.

So, pulled from Ellison’s remarks during Oracle OpenWorld, as well as during a Q&A with financial analysts, here is Ellison’s 10-point plan for beating Amazon in the cloud.

1. Customer Choice for a Decade of Coexistence. As noted above, almost all businesses and large organizations today are operating significant on-premises estates of hardware, software, middleware, networks, and more. So while they’ll look to move to the cloud as quickly and securely as possible, the inescapable fact is that it’s going to take awhile to get to their desired state, and until then they’ll create and refine a blended “coexistence” model of on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud. So in the meantime, which enterprise-cloud vendors can meet those needs? While Amazon surely cannot, Ellison says Oracle’s unmatched technology and experience will help lead customers through this challenging period by making it possible for them to have “your data center and your cloud services used interchangeably at the touch of a button.”

2. Lower Acquisition Price and TCO and Better Performance. Ellison says Oracle will be able to offer cloud infrastructure that not only outperforms Amazon’s, but comes with a lower acquisition price and lower cost of ownership over time. This is possible, Ellison explains, for a few reasons unique to Oracle:

a) Oracle plays at all three layers of the cloud, and Amazon doesn’t—so Oracle’s end-to-end cloud services and technologies give customers the choice of avoiding the costly, time-consuming, and highly complex integrations that cannot be avoided with Amazon.

b) Oracle’s huge R&D investments are generating world-class data-center technologies and expertise that Amazon can’t hope to match, says Ellison. The new “Generation 2” data centers that Ellison and President Thomas Kurian announced at Oracle OpenWorld will have big competitive advantages over what Amazon IaaS can offer: 2X as many cores as AWS, 10X I/O capacity, *plus* 20% less cost to businesses. “Gen 2 means you build a fundamentally simpler, cheaper, more reliable, more secure, and more-powerful data center where we have significant advantages. In some cases, our costs are multiple times lower than Amazon’s…and we deliver better performance,” Ellison said.

c) Oracle’s massive installed base of enterprise-scale workloads: “Our big customers haven’t really started moving much [of these big workloads] to the cloud yet. That’s a huge opportunity for us.”

3. Software Chops that Amazon Lacks. For all of Amazon’s early successes in offering compute and storage services, Ellison said, it simply doesn’t have the breadth and depth of enterprise-class R&D to compete at all levels of enterprise cloud computing—not just IaaS but also PaaS and SaaS. That multilayer expertise, Ellison said, is essential in the enterprise cloud for optimal performance, security, reliability, and price. (For a detailed discussion of Oracle’s Gen 2 data centers and overall IaaS and PaaS strategy, see this extensive interview with Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian.)

Ellison went on to make the argument that four—and only four—tech companies have the deep software expertise and data-center expertise to compete at all layers of the cloud: Oracle, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook (with the caveat of “if they want to” for Google and Facebook). “One of Facebook’s core competencies is data centers,” Ellison told the analysts. “A Facebook data center is better than a Google data center and it’s better than an Amazon data center, and let me tell you why: they’re newer, and they use newer technology.”

On top of data center competency, he said, success across the enterprise cloud will be wholly dependent on breadth and depth of enterprise-software expertise: “We are still the largest enterprise software company in the world. Microsoft is the largest software company in the world.…You look at a and you look at an Amazon and they’re both called ‘big cloud companies’ and yet they have nothing to do with one another. They don’t do the same thing at all. So my belief is that in order to compete broadly in the cloud at the SaaS layer and the infrastructure layer and the PaaS layer, you have to be a pretty big software company. And I would argue, Amazon’s not a real big software company. Don’t get me wrong—I have a lot of respect for Amazon—I really do. I think they’ve done an incredible job. But I don’t think of them as a really big software company in the way I think of Microsoft as a big software company, or in the way I think of Oracle as a big software company.”

4. Unique, Unparalleled Security. At his opening-night keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld last month, Ellison proclaimed, “If you don’t think data security is a big thing and getting bigger every day, you are mistaken!” And he used much of not only that presentation but also his second keynote address to hammer home the huge investments Oracle is making in security from the chip level through databases to applications and networks and virtualization. And security is core to the design of Oracle’s next-gen data centers, which Ellison described in some detail during his Q&A with financial analysts: “And I think you’ll see a lot of emphasis on the network because in these cloud data centers, your limitations in performance are largely the network. Your risks and security are largely the network. So we spent a lot of time re-architecting this and building this virtualized network in our Gen 2 data centers. It allows us to give you much better security as messages move around the network. Not only is everything encrypted in motion, it’s encrypted at rest—in storage. It’s encrypted in motion on a network, but because it’s virtualized, each message is encapsulated with virtual addresses. It’s almost impossible for people to interpret these messages as they’re flying around.”

Likewise, Oracle does its software-defined networking in network processors off-box with no access to the public internet. “So you can’t break in—there is no door! So, we did it very, very differently than everyone else did it,” Ellison said. “…The big difference in our infrastructure as a service is our network and how we do virtualization.”

5. Unleash Tremendous Business Value. Oracle’s massive end-to-end R&D investments in all three layers of the cloud let customers move more low-value manual IT work over to Oracle, which in turn enables those customers to redeploy huge chunks of their IT budgets to customer-facing initiatives focused on innovation and growth. In his meeting with financial analysts, Ellison focused on the huge competitive advantages those investments are delivering in the mission-critical areas of database and analytics/AI:

Database: Ellison expects more and more customers will discover the new features and functions of Oracle Database 12c Release 2 via the cloud, not by loading it on on-premises boxes. Oracle’s new Exadata Express Cloud Service starts at $175 a month. “I think it’s extremely attractive for everything from an MIT graduate student who’s starting her own company to a large corporation like General Electric with thousands and thousands of developers who can develop on our cloud rather than develop in their data center,” he said. “So, I think the opportunity for 12.2 is gigantic.”

Database and analytics/AI: “Do you know who the last big purchaser of our analytics software was? It’s a really big retail company: Amazon,” Ellison said with a smile. “So, how good is the opportunity for analytics? Well, Amazon is buying our analytics. Amazon runs most of their retail stuff on the Oracle Database, and they’re buying our analytics. We think the opportunity for analytics is enormous, and we’re selling analytics to our big database customers.”

6. Lift and Shift Enterprise Workloads. Oracle’s newest data centers give customers a powerful new option: To lift and shift entire workloads—even an entire data center’s worth of workloads—into Oracle Cloud, complete with IP addresses and virtualization software. Oracle offers IaaS using Oracle Linux and Xen-based virtualization software (based on open source projects that Oracle contributes to), which it has optimized for cloud infrastructure. But Oracle’s Bare Metal IaaS gives customers the choice of using their existing architecture without rewriting apps, so that a company running a workload on Red Hat Linux and VMware virtualization can move that as is to Oracle’s Bare Metal infrastructure.

“That is a very big deal,” Ellison said. “Right now, people are moving kind of an application at a time, and they have to partially rewrite, at least reconfigure the application, retest it on the new OS, change the I/O. They have to do a lot of things to move an existing application to a data center. You have to retrain your people over—there’s a bunch of things you have to do, not so with our new Bare Metal experience. It’s just, take your existing network, your existing network definitions with your existing range of IP addresses, your existing operating system, your existing hypervisor, your existing database, your existing apps, your existing everything, move it over, and it just runs. No one else can do that. We think that’s very, very important.”

7. Fast, Easy Purchasing via Oracle’s Accelerated Buying Experience. Ellison recalled when the Oracle leadership team decided it needed to become the easiest enterprise-cloud company to do business with. “I give credit to Amazon,” Ellison said. “The company we were looking at and studying was Amazon.” If Oracle hadn’t changed how it sells cloud, that would’ve been a huge impediment to growth, Ellison said. But it did change. Today, Oracle has neutralized that AWS advantage by totally rewiring how it sells cloud services, creating what it calls the Accelerated Buying Experience to automate much of the process of configuring and quoting a cloud service and to offer a click-to-accept option to purchase.

“We decided to redo our contracts to make them human-readable, to make them easy,” Ellison said. “…It eliminated a lot of the friction and heat inside of companies who wanted to consume our services.” Almost 70% of Oracle Cloud deals used the Accelerated Buying Experience in the past quarter, and Ellison said he expects that percentage to keep growing. “I think it’s the way customers want to buy.”

8. No Hotel California, which “You Can Never Leave.” Unlike Oracle’s unconditional commitment to industry standards, AWS has two cloud databases and *both* are closed—“more closed than an IBM mainframe,” Ellison said, noting that, even in the mainframe’s heyday, companies could move their IBM workloads to other mainframe makers’ hardware. Ellison added that, while Amazon’s Aurora and Redshift databases are based on open source projects (MySQL and Postgres), they aren’t open source code that companies could choose to run on their own infrastructure; they run only on Amazon’s IaaS. By comparison, companies can run Oracle Database on premises, in AWS, in Oracle Cloud, or anywhere they want. And, Oracle’s benchmark tests show Oracle Database runs faster on Oracle Cloud than on AWS, and that Oracle Database on Oracle Cloud ran 105 times faster than Aurora and 35 times faster than Redshift on AWS.

9. Public Cloud and Private Cloud and Cloud at Customer. While Amazon offers only public cloud, Oracle offers public *and* private clouds, in all combinations customers might need or want during their decade of coexistence between on premises and the cloud. For example, a company can run its development and testing on Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service, and then move that workload for production to its own on-premises data center, using an identical cloud environment based on Oracle Exadata. And in another perfect alignment of on-premises data center operations with the cloud, Oracle’s Cloud at Customer offering lets customers deploy within their data centers the same systems—hardware and software—that run Oracle Cloud. And, they can pay for these systems on the same subscription, usage basis as the same service in Oracle Cloud.

10. Win over ISVs. Ellison acknowledged Amazon has done a good job getting startup independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-dependent businesses like Netflix to run workloads on AWS, on alternative databases such as Mongo DB. That said, Netflix isn’t an enterprise workload that would’ve ever been a candidate for Oracle Database, Ellison said. But now, a new wave of true enterprise ISV apps are ready to move to the cloud, many of which are built on Oracle Database. “It doesn’t make sense to me for very many SaaS companies to run their own infrastructure or, for that matter, run their own database,” Ellison said. “…We should be able to save them money, get better performance, better security, better reliability, all of those things.” Helping ISVs run in the cloud, and run more efficiently, is a “gigantic” opportunity for Oracle, Ellison said. “I think that’s one thing that no one is expecting.”

At the end of the day, Oracle’s market opportunities in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are symbiotic with Oracle’s customers’ needs. In today’s tumultuous business world, where disruption is everywhere and customers are calling the shots, companies that cannot aggressively fund customer-centric business innovation will die. Those innovations can only come from the efficient use of cloud services, and Oracle is becoming the only tried-and-true business technology provider that can offer those efficiencies.

Turning around traditional vendor-customer relationships where vendors won at the customer’s expense, Oracle Cloud is becoming that true unicorn where Oracle and its customers can both win.

Bob Evans is senior vice president and chief communications officer for Oracle.


Safe Harbor Disclaimer The preceding is intended to outline Oracle’s general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.


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From the desk of Larry Baer


Dear Stephen:

I hoped we would still be playing right now. We all did. Tuesday’s loss was about as tough as it gets in baseball. Yet I find myself thinking about how proud I am of this team who — despite the ups and downs of the second half – battled their way into a wild card berth and were among the four National League teams still playing in October. That says a lot about the character of our players, coaches, front office and, of course, our fans.

Though we exited the playoffs earlier than we hoped, I’m proud that once again our team, led by future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy, never stopped fighting. If anything illustrates what Bochy calls “champion blood in their DNA,” it is their success in do-or-die games. Their streak of 10 straight victories in elimination games is the longest in Major League history. In all of sports, only the Boston Celtics have more.

And we head into the off season in a much stronger position than we were at this time last year. Our needs are clear, which I’ll get to in a moment. But our strengths are also clear — namely a foundation of talented, battle-tested, mostly homegrown players and an elite starting rotation.

The final weeks of the season encapsulated so many of the reasons we’re energized about diving into the work of putting another playoff caliber team on the field in 2017. There were enough gritty, inspiring performances to fill a highlight reel.

There was Matt Moore, who arrived in a mid-season trade, coming within one out of throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers in late August and then staring down the Cubs for eight innings in the National League Division Series Tuesday night, giving up just two hits.

There was Conor Gillaspie emerging as yet another example of the Giants summoning surprise performances from players up and down the lineup. With the team battling for a Wild Card berth, Conor dove into a photographer’s well, flipped over a television camera and popped up with the foul ball in his glove. He was our hottest hitter during the final week of the regular season and batted .421 with six RBI during the postseason. Against the Mets in the Wild Card game, he broke the 0-0 tie in the ninth with a three-run homer to win the game. He came through again with a two-run triple off Aroldis Chapman on the way to winning Game 3 against the Cubs.

There was rookie Ty Blach making a strong case for a spot in the 2017 rotation. He pitched eight shutout innings against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in that final weekend and was an inspiration to us all. Then — stepping into the frying pan of Monday’s tense Game 3 – he coolly threw two scoreless innings to earn the win in the 13th inning.

There was Derek Law, with a 2.13 ERA in his rookie season, shutting down the Cubs for two innings Monday night then cheering wildly and waving a rally towel in the dugout like a kid in the bleacher seats.

There was Joe Panik, hampered by injuries for much of the season, batting .462 in the postseason. Denard Span set the table during the NLDS with some critical and timely hits.

Our starting pitching features All-Stars Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto at the top of the rotation. Bumgarner recorded more than 200 strikeouts for the third straight season, joining Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, Amos Rusie and Tim Lincecum as the only Giants ever to do so. Cueto finished third in innings pitched (219.2), tied for third in wins (18), fifth in ERA (2.79) and sixth in strikeouts (198). Jeff Samardzija posted a 2.45 ERA in his last 10 starts, lowering the starting staff’s ERA to 3.71 for the season, the fifth best in the big leagues.

Our defense was outstanding in 2016, the best in baseball. Led by All-Stars Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey in the infield, and our inspirational leader Hunter Pence in right, the Giants defense had the highest fielding percentage (.988) in all of baseball. They set the longest errorless streak in National League history with a late-summer stretch of 17 consecutive games.

The primary and obvious focus in the off-season is to fortify the bullpen. As we were reminded this week, no team can win without a strong, reliable bullpen. Under the outstanding leadership of Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans, we will actively pursue options, whether through free agency or trades, to add to our young arms.

In short, we will pursue every opportunity and commit the necessary resources to field the best possible team to get back to the playoffs in 2017.

When the historic streak came to an end this week, we were reminded that champion’s blood is, more than anything, about character. We saw it in the clubhouse after Tuesday’s defeat. There was no retreat from addressing the media, no finger-pointing. The players faced their disappointment with grace, reflection and resolve. They said they would double-down on preparation, that they’d never forget how awful this felt. They hugged and consoled and thanked one another. As always, they had each other’s backs.

And as always, you had theirs. Despite the ups and downs of the season, they could look up into the stands and see wave upon wave of orange and black. A full house every game. You make it clear: We’re all in this together. Every player is so grateful to play in front of the best fans in baseball.

Thank you for another incredible season and I am already counting the days til pitchers and catchers report.


Laurence M. Baer
President & CEO


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What Do Current Economic Trends Mean for Property Management?









There are times where we throw caution to the wind and go “all in.” There are other times to pause and carefully ponder the realities of what may be “coming around the bend.” Perhaps, after nearly 8 years of low interest rates and endless economic stimulants, we are now in the “carefully ponder” stage of economic realities. Now is a good time for property managers to be cautious. Notice I didn’t say “scared” and I never propose “indolence” (an excellent word to know about). With patience and keen observations come immediate results. It’s the power of doing almost nothing.

Recently we learned that the U.S. economy added only 151,000 jobs during August, giving the reluctant Fed justification to delay an interest rate hike until December. That’s the most likely scenario. This familiar posture for the Fed was exacerbated by the Chinese economic scare, plunging oil prices and spooked equity markets in early 2016. Then Brexit hit leading into the summer meetings and now the uncertainty of the upcoming U.S. elections.

“Lower-for-longer,” interest rates now look like “lower forever” unless the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) surprises and proceeds with normalizing monetary policy. This appears unlikely. Low interest rates benefit borrowers, including single-family rental investors. At today’s rates, investors will be able to leverage investment assets at historically low rates.

Meanwhile auto sales are turning south. After rising for 66 straight months, retail car sales have now fallen four out of the last six months. My sources say that this trend is likely to continue.

This and other factors suggest the making of a new economic trend and not just for the auto sector. The entire economy is beginning to show unmistakable signs of slowing.

When people are overwhelmed with financial uncertainty they buy fewer cars and take fewer vacations. They’re going to eat out less and cut back on noncritical spending and purchases.

In other words, the big drop-off in car sales could mean U.S. consumers are already cutting back. That’s probably why U.S. manufacturing is weakening as we begin the 4th quarter.

Last month, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported that its Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 52.6 in July to 49.6 in August. This index measures the strength of the U.S. manufacturing sector. When the index dips below 50, it signals recession. More importantly, the services and manufacturing sectors are now weakening at the same time. It’s significant that both indices would weaken so much at the same time.

The manufacturing index dropped to 49.4% from 52.6% in August and the ISM services metric slipped to 51.4% from 55.5%. The combined reading was also the weakest in six years. Look out below!
Here’s my takeaway: Now’s a good time to upgrade and streamline your property management business. Have the best most efficient technology and software available to navigate your operations.

Develop a “wait and see” strategy that takes into consideration the perspectives and preferences of your clients. Take the time to know what they are and invite their feedback now, not later.

Doing “almost nothing” incorporates prudence, calm and careful analysis. It doesn’t invite procrastination and should empower you to prioritize your work for the months and year ahead.


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Cubs show Giants early exit following one last bullpen demise


In fitting fashion, the 2016 San Francisco Giants exited their latest even-year postseason run earlier than they had anticipated thanks to a bullpen meltdown.

Starter Matt Moore was nothing short of spectacular against the powerhouse Cubs, holding the NL’s (statistically) second-best offense to two runs on two hits over eight strong innings. Unfortunately for the Giants and their fans, he didn’t make it to the mound for the ninth.

Derek Law saw the first opportunity to close the door on the Cubs, before Bochy yanked the young reliever following likely NL-MVP Kris Bryant’s lead-off single past a diving Brandon Crawford. Next up was lefty-specialist Javy Lopez to face the likely NL-MVP runner-up in Anthony Rizzo. After stretching the count full, Rizzo managed to walk, bringing the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist to the plate and forcing recently reinstated closer Sergio Romo into the game.

Romo, however,  didn’t experience the same success he’d been enjoying for the latter part of the second half of the season.

Ben Zobrist doubled off Romo right away, setting up a two-score game with runners on second and third and nobody yet out. After a cat-and-mouse game between managers to try and grab the advantage in the hitter-pitcher matchup, it was young catcher Willson Contreras who tied the game with a single to center field off Will Smith.

One Javy-Baez single to center field later, and the Giants’ attempt at four titles in six seasons was effectively over.

Looking to the future, the Giants have to love what they received from their mid-season acquisition in Matt Moore. His 10 strikeouts were a career postseason high for the 27-year old lefty, who was making his third career start in the playoffs. His two hits allowed were the least he’d given up since that recent, magical night in L.A. when he nearly no-hit the Dodgers. Combine his last two outings (he also clinched a playoff spot for the Giants on October 2 when he easily handled the Dodgers) with the three years left on his contract (a contract over which the Giants have heavy control) and Giants’ fans have to be optimistic that they have a solid third starter in the rotation for a few years to come.

On a positive not, if there is one, the Giants offense looked like itself again: scrappy and effective, churning out consecutive base hits and cycling runners around the bases in lieu of a true power bat. Tied at one run apiece, Conor Gillaspie continued his postseason surge, spearheading a three-hit fourth-inning with a sharp single to right field. Panik found the big hole between first and second base created by Gillaspie’s being on first and moved Gillaspie over to third with a slicing ground ball to left field. After Gregor Blanco walked to load the bases, Matt Moore helped his cause with a single through that same hole on the right side, before Denard Span sacrificed home one more run to give the Giants a 3-1 cushion.

Without question the best player for the Cubs all night was the up-and-coming Javier Baez, who, whether in left field or at second base, seems to significantly impact every game in which he’s playing. Playing second base in Game 4, the young 5-tool player recorded the game-winning hit, knocking home Jason Heyward from second base. He also managed to get all the way to third on a Brandon Crawford error in the top of the fifth inning, before David Ross recorded his second RBI with a sacrifice line out to Hunter Pence.

It was the Giants offense, however, that, before the top of the ninth inning, gave fans false reason to believe in another elongated, even-year journey through the postseason. For a team lacking serious power and playing in one of the biggest outfields in M.L.B., the Giants enjoyed seeing 11 hits on the scoreboard, bringing their total up to 24 hits over the last two games, more than the 17 they were able to manage through the first three.

In the end, it wasn’t to be for the 2016 Giants. A roller-coaster season with as high of highs and low of lows ended in expected fashion: death by bullpen. No doubt it will be an offseason full of moves involving relief pitching and power bats if the Giants wants a better chance at World-Series contention in 2017.

Up next for the Cubs, the winner of tomorrow’s Nationals-Dodgers Game-5 clash in Washington.


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Giants stare down elimination and rediscover the magic

dt-common-streams-streamserverby Lowell Cohn –

SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants still have the magic. File it away. The magic lives. And so do the Giants. They beat the Cubs 6-5 in a game that lasted a year and ended just before Monday midnight.

It seemed like the magic had gone away. That thing the Giants do in the postseason when they’re at death’s door but Madison Bumgarner, the hero, rushes in to save them. To let them play another day.

He pitched five innings Monday night in Game 3 of this Division Series, an elimination game for the Giants. They have faced down so many elimination games in the past. Are legendary for being elimination-proof.

But Bumgarner labored and scuffled and, in the second inning, he gave up a three-run homer to pitcher Jake Arrieta, putting the Cubs up 3-0. So ironic that home run. Bumgarner is the big-hitting pitcher who wounds other pitchers and now Arrieta had wounded him. Bumgarner lasted only five innings and, for once, was not the story.

And it all seemed lost. The magic and the Giants’ life. Although the Giants scratched out two runs and made the score 3-2, everything was going the Cubs’ way. The Giants were about to be eliminated. And in case you don’t know, the word “eliminate” comes from Latin and it literally means “turned out of doors.” And, metaphorically, it comes down to being “driven out.” And this would be the Giants driven out of their own home.

But in the top of the eighth, they did what they do when they do things well. They found the magic just in time and they made the unflappable Cubs tremble. Got the tying and go-ahead runs on base. And drove them home. And the Giants refused to go away. And it was all there for them, all over again.

It was 2012 when the Giants faced three elimination games against the Reds in Cincinnati and lived. Refused to be driven out, and then won the World Series. The Giants making the other team crack. Always making the other team crack. And crack the Cubs did. Twice. The Cubs known as the best team in baseball. And they cracked.
And this you should know. Cubs manager Joe Maddon did everything to win Game 3. Played the game like it was Game 7 of the World Series. Because you don’t give a team like the Giants life. A team with a pedigree of three world championships starting in 2010, a team that knows how to overcome the worst, and has overcome the worst, a team that will make you suffer. A team that won’t go out the door.

Maddon got so nervous in the eighth, he brought in closer Aroldis Chapman, asked him — pleaded with him — to get a six-out save. Unprecedented. And Chapman couldn’t do it. Wasn’t up to it against the Giants who have something indefinable about them at times like this.

Chapman, the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball, gave up a two-run triple to Conor Gillaspie, a shot to the deep dark part of the yard, and all those Giants running around the bases and the Giants going ahead 4-3. And then Brandon Crawford driving in Gillaspie. And then Crawford stealing second and the Cubs catcher throwing the ball into center field. And Crawford taking third. And then another bad throw and Panik taking second. And the Giants scoring three improbable runs in the bottom of the eighth and going ahead 5-3.

And the Cubs’ world in an uproar. The Cubs cracking. The way the Giants made the Rockies and Dodgers crack to end the regular season and secure a wild-card spot. The Cubs cracking up before our eyes because all season things had come so easily to them and they were not used to this playoff pressure, this stomach-tightening, gullet-closing pressure. Baseball becoming hard. the world out of order.
And then Maddon yanked Chapman from the game. He had failed. The most feared closer in baseball couldn’t close and that means the Giants have instilled fear in the Cubs, exposed their power pitcher.

And even after Sergio Romo gave up a two-run homer in the ninth and the game was tied and went into extra innings — the Giants don’t have a closer — well, even after that, the Giants hung in and hung in. And made the Cubs crack yet again. Demolished Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery in the bottom of the 13th — consecutive doubles by Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik for the win. You cannot eliminate these Giants.
Giants stay alive on Panik’s RBI double in 13th inning

The Giants served notice this series isn’t over by a long shot. Maddon and the Cubs wanted Game 3 as the end of things. As a period, not a semicolon. And now they have Game 4 on Tuesday night. A game they didn’t need and never wished for. And if the Giants win Game 3 — Matt Moore will pitch and he is slick and elusive — well, if the Giants win Game 3, this thing goes back to Chicago, do or die for both teams. You can bet the Cubs never thought that could be possible.

And for the Giants there’s a sense of the world righting itself. The Giants not going away quietly, the Giants not going away at all.

Before the game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy talked about elimination games — specifically his team facing elimination games. “It makes it a little bit easier for them to realize that this can be done,” he said. “It’s not as big an uphill climb as you think, because it’s been done. So it just gives them that sense of belief that, you know what? This can be done. But it starts with tonight. You have to win tonight.”

And you know what? The Giants won tonight, which by now is last night — barely. The door remains open wide for them. No getting driven out. Not now. Maybe not ever.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at


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Here is the list of Republicans who are not supporting Trump


Donald Trump is under fire after a video from 2005 surfaced in which he can be heard making lewd comments about women.

Republicans across the country have condemned Donald Trump’s comments about women following the release of a 2005 tape that shows the real estate mogul speaking in graphic terms about groping women. Some are going further, whether it’s pulling their support or, in some cases, calling on Trump to step aside, including a few who never backed the GOP nominee to begin with.

Here’s a look at some of the many prominent Republicans speaking out:

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash

Character matters. @realDonaldTrump has been saying outrageous, offensive things the whole time. He should have stepped aside long ago.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley

“I certainly won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump,” Bentley said in a statement Saturday.

Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne

Byrne said Trump was “not fit” to be president, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

The senator said in a statement: “As a woman, a mother, and a grandmother to three young girls, I am deeply offended by Mr. Trump’s remarks, and there is no excuse for the disgusting and demeaning language. Women have worked hard to gain the dignity and respect we deserve. The appropriate next step may be for him to reexamine his candidacy.”

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz

In an interview with Utah’s Fox 13 News, Chaffetz said: “I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine,”

Asked about the prospect of Trump withdrawing, Chaffetz added: “I wished Mike Pence was at the top of the ticket and we’re going to have to figure that out at the — in the coming days and weeks, but it is tragic the way it is right now.”

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman

“For the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump should step aside. His defeat at this point seems almost certain and four years of Hillary Clinton is not what is best for this country. Mr. Trump should put the country first and do the right thing,” Coffman said in a statement, according to 9News.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock

Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him..I cannot in good conscience vote for Trump. 

Photo published for Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia urges Trump to drop out of race

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia urges Trump to drop out of race

Comstock said the party should replace Trump with Pence or another Republican

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Enough is enough. Donald Trump should withdraw in favor of Governor Mike Pence. This election is too important.

Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis

My statement on Donald Trump and the presidential election —>

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent

“The chairman of the R.N.C. must look out for the good of the party as a whole, so he should be working to get (Trump) to step down,” Dent told The New York Times. “If he can’t, then he should step down.”

Rob Engstrom, U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president

On Friday night, he called on Trump to “step down immediately” and hand the nomination to Pence.

Trump, meanwhile, has no plans to withdraw, telling The Washington Post: “I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life … No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”

Trump says he plans to take part in Sunday’s debate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. It is unclear how, or if, Trump could withdraw even if he were inclined. States have already already printed ballots with Trump’s name on them, and some have begun early voting.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake

.@realDonaldTrump is wrong about his level of support. He needs to withdraw from the race. 

Photo published for Amid growing calls to drop out, Trump vows to ‘never withdraw’

Amid growing calls to drop out, Trump vows to ‘never withdraw’

In an interview, Trump said he can weather controversy over his lewd comments.

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina

Fiorina, who lost to Trump in the Republican primaries, said the Republican National Committee should replace Trump with Mike Pence. “Donald Trump does not represent me or my party,” Fiorina said in a Facebook post. “I understand the responsibility of Republicans to support their nominee. Our nominee has weighty responsibilities as well. Donald Trump has manifestly failed in these responsibilities.”

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer

The comments made by Mr. Trump were disgusting and totally unacceptable under any circumstance. (1/2)

It would be wise for him to step aside and allow Mike Pence to serve as our party’s nominee. (2/2)

Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry

“As Americans we are faced with two strikingly bad choices: Donald Trump, who has abused women, and Hillary Clinton who has enabled the abuse of women. It’s all wrong. For my part, I ask that Donald Trump step aside and allow Mike Pence to become the Republican nominee,” Fortenberry said in a statement, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner

If Donald Trump wishes to defeat Hillary Clinton, he should do the only thing that will allow us to do so – step aside. My full statement:

Texas Rep. Kay Granger

“We have heard rumors about the insensitive and vulgar things Mr. Trump says about women. But watching that video is disgusting. Mr. Trump should remove himself from consideration as Commander in Chief,” Granger said in a statement.

New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett

“I am appalled that he would brag about violating a woman’s physical boundaries. As a husband and father of two daughters, I denounce his comments and the behavior that it incites,” Garrett said in a statement, according to The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record. “I believe that Mike Pence would be the best nominee for the Republican Party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Nevada Rep. Cresent Hardy

“I will no longer support the guy at the head of the ticket for the Republican nominee,” Hardy said at a Saturday rally, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

“I want to emphasize that character in our leaders does matter. None of us in elected office are perfect, but the decisions that are made in the Oval Office have too many consequences to ignore the behavior we have seen,” Haslam said Sunday, according toThe Tennessean.

Nevada Rep. Joe Heck

“I believe any candidate for President of the United States should campaign with common ethical and moral values and decency. I accept that none of us are perfect. However, I can no longer look past this pattern of behavior and inappropriate comments from Donald Trump. Therefore, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support him nor can I vote for Hillary Clinton,” Heck said at a rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. “I believe our only option is to formally ask Mr. Trump to step down and allow Republicans the opportunity to elect someone who will provide us with the strong leadership so desperately needed and one that Americans deserve.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

Donald Trump’s statements are beyond offensive & despicable. While I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Trump.

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

“For months I’ve left the door open for Donald Trump to earn my vote. That door has now slammed shut,” Herrera Beutler said Saturday, according to The Columbian. She will write in a vote for Paul Ryan, according to the newspaper.

Radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt

For the benefit of the country, the party and his family, and for his own good, @realDonaldTrump should withdraw. More and worse oppo coming

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman

“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Texas Rep. Will Hurd

“I never endorsed Trump and I cannot in good conscience support or vote for a man who degrades women, insults minorities and has no clear path to keep our country safe,” Hurd said in a text message to the El Paso Times. “He should step aside for a true conservative to beat Hillary Clinton.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich

I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president. He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.

New York Rep. John Katko

“I am certainly not going to vote for him,” Katko told on Saturday. “It’s clear to me that he has not been able to get better at this, and now there’s absolutely no way I can support him. I want to make it clear that from the beginning I haven’t supported him.”

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk

California Rep. Steve Knight

“While I’ve never before endorsed a Presidential candidate, I’ve felt compelled to strongly condemn many of Mr. Trump’s previous outrageous remarks. And after serious consideration, I have decided that I cannot support either candidate for President,” Knight said in a statement, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee

Donald Trump is a distraction. Time for him to step aside so we can focus on winning ideas that will carry Republicans to a victory in Nov.

New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo

“I have repeatedly and strongly spoken out against Mr. Trump when he degrades and insults women, minority groups and Gold Star military families. I will not vote for a candidate who boasts of sexual assault. It is my conclusion that Mr. Trump is unfit to be President,” LoBiondo said in a statement Saturday. “I cannot support and will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States. I will write in Governor Mike Pence for President.”

Utah Rep. Mia Love

In a Facebook post, Love wrote: “For the good of the party, and the country, he should step aside. I will not vote for Hillary Clinton who has her own trouble with the truth, has a major integrity deficit and seems to hold a disdain for hard-working Americans. With such uncertainty the role of Congress as a check and balance to the executive branch is more important than ever. It is vital for Republicans to maintain leadership of the House and for me to continue to represent and raise Utah’s voice in Washington.”

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez

“Unfortunately, there is a pattern of disturbing conduct and offensive rhetoric that raises serious questions about his fitness to be president,” Martinez said in a statement, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. “That’s why I have withheld my support from the very beginning, and will not support him now.”

Arizona Sen. John McCain

“In addition to my well known differences with Donald Trump on public policy issues, I have raised questions about his character after his comments on Prisoners of War, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women. Just this week, he made outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five case.

“As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.

“I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference.

“But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this.

“Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.”

Statement from John McCain withdrawing support of Donald Trump. 



I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by…

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski

I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president. He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.

Former New York governor George Pataki

I’m horrified by news. @realDonaldTrumpcampaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry & ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down.

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen

“For months I have said Donald Trump has not earned my vote. The disgusting statements revealed last night make it clear he cannot. I will not be voting for him,” Paulsen said in a statement, according to KARE 11.

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty

In a statement, Pawlenty said Trump “is unwilling or unable to demonstrate even the most basic level of discipline, character and judgment” to lead the country, according to KARE 11.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman

While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him. Read my statement: 

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice

“Enough! Donald Trump should not be President,” the former Secretary of State said in a Facebook posting late Saturday, “He should withdraw.”

Rice did not endorse Hillary Clinton, however, saying on that “as a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.”

The Clinton camp has been courting potential Republican supporters for months, especially in the foreign policy arena, and Rice has been considered a major target.

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby

Donald Trump’s behavior makes him unacceptable as a candidate for president, and I won’t vote for him.

Full statement:

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney

“As the father of three young sons, I don’t want my boys growing up in a world where the President of the United States is allowed to speak or treat women the way Donald Trump has,” Rooney said in a statement Saturday, according to the Palm Beach Post. “My greatest responsibility in life is to try and be a good husband and father. If I support him for President, I will be telling my boys that I think it’s okay to treat women like objects — and I’ll have failed as a dad. Therefore, I can no longer support Donald Trump for President and will not be voting for him or Hillary Clinton.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval

“This video exposed not just words, but now an established pattern which I find to be repulsive and unacceptable for a candidate for President of the United States,” Sandoval said in a statement, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I cannot support him as my party’s nominee.”

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse

Character matters.@realDonaldTrump is obviously not going to win.
But he can still make an honorable move:
Step aside & let Mike Pence try.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else – American. My full statement:

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart

Stewart called for Trump to drop out and for Pence “to lead our party,” according to theDeseret News.

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan

Twitter | @sendansullivan

SenDanSullivan on Twitter

South Dakota Sen. John Thune

Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton

“These degrading and dangerous comments are utterly indefensible.” Read Fred’s full statement below.

Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner


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Despite the added spending… are we safer than we were a decade or 2 ago?

635501157613460008-homeland-security-43483471                Since the mid to late 90s spending on security has increased by several million dollars. After 9-11, it increased faster and at an exponential rate because of the technology aspect of it. But the question we have to ask ourselves is quite simple and because it is so simplistic it will be ignored or glossed over by most.

That question is this; are we safer than we were a decade or 2 ago? My answer for this is an absolute no. We are not safer, although we have convinced most of the general population that we have made ourselves that way. We as security professionals can point to alarms, fences, officers, software and the like to quantify this as well.

But usually it is the politicians who will spout that “I did it…I made us safer…I passed this bill…I introduced…” and so on and so on. Of course it’s not only politicians. Security professionals, software engineers, sales people (of all stripes), and innumerable others will saturate you with the platitudes about how well and impregnable their products will make our facilities. And absolutely none of it is true.

As security professionals we have to think like the criminal, terrorist, or hacker. If you do that then you can easily see how our facilities are not impregnable and how easily they can be breached. The facility can, and probably will be breached, no matter how much money we throw at the problem.

One of the worst things we can do after we upgrade to newer ‘more secure’ appliances, equipment, or software is make the declaration. When the state of Connecticut spouted that the new, and improved, Sandy Hook Elementary was the most secure school around it made me cringe. Before the 30 second news cast was over with I had already thought of 3 ways to get into the school and cause havoc and chaos as well as kill dozens. This despite that the school was secure.

They spent more than
$10 million on the new school. And while it may be true it may be safer than the previous version it’s not the most secure and impregnable. Those words are spoken to calm the fears of parents and groups who want our kids safe and secure and none of it is true. But as I said earlier. No matter the amount of money you throw at the problem it can’t be solved that way.

What we have to do as security professionals is temper the flattery and feel good words that flow out the mouths of salesmen, consultants, and our own management/C-suite. We can never be 100% safe and secure. We can’t even assure than we can be even 60% sure.

The best we can hope for is a stalemate between those who wish to do us harm and our efforts to protect our charges. Whether those charges be people, assets, property, or products doesn’t matter. We have to be constantly on the lookout for the next threat.

That threat is just around the corner, despite what anyone wants to think or what they will say to employees, the public, politicians, or whoever. Do you remember the cliché from the 70s television show ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’? “Bigger, stronger, and faster.”

That is what we face. There is always someone out there who is bigger, better, stronger, and faster to get their threats into production to injure, kill, maim, and traumatize people. From terrorists, workplace violence, theft, fraud, computer hacking and the stealing of secrets, to military conquest.

That is where we, as security professionals, need to be aware and think like a criminal, terrorist, or hooligan. We need to stay a step ahead and the only way to do that is to think like them. We know we can’t out spend their brains but we can try to out think them. Sometimes those thoughts are definitely old school and considered, at least in this digital world, out-of-the-box and weird but…

Just because you spend an extra $10,000 for a voice activated/interactive vehicle doesn’t mean it will work to perfection. Spend money on IT consultants who will tell you that it will be easy to upgrade to the newest and hottest newfangled computer software. and does it work as well as they promised? Usually it takes months, if not years, to work out all the bugs and kinks.

So just because we throw money at the problem of security has it made us any safer? No, it hasn’t. There are ways to circumvent any security system you have, even drones, there are ways to evade detection and get around them. Dogs can be compromised by food. Officers can be compromised by money or a beautiful and sexy member of the opposite sex. And alarms, including CCVS & computers, can be compromised by innumerable methods.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.


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