I Am Radio Marti

I Am Radio Marti


Leonard Zwelling

         Since the Reagan Era, radio and now TV broadcasts from
Florida, aimed at the people of Cuba in a fashion analogous to Radio Free
Europe, have been summarily jammed by the Cubans. The jammed transmissions come from Radio Marti and the jamming goes on to this day. Perhaps as the ice melts in the US-Cuban relationship,
so will the jamming. For now, it is a vestige of Cold War relationships between
the island nation 90 miles away and the propaganda of the US.

         I have joined the ranks of the jammed right here in Houston.

         Today I was informed by at least 3 different faculty members
that they could not access my blog from within the MD Anderson firewall. The
blog has been deemed a prohibited and restricted site that is not in compliance with
MD Anderson IS policy. I assume it is too subversive to be tolerated. It
appears my blog undermines MD Anderson’s business objectives. I am not sure how
that is the case, but nonetheless my blog is off-limits from within the big
tent in which all of your IS-purchased computers fall.

         This is the greatest compliment I have ever received for my
writing. In bloggerhood, this is equivalent to the National Book Award for
being a revealer of embarrassing truths is kind of the whole point. The email I
posted yesterday from a faculty member does this better than I ever could. He
or she may well be the first public follower of this blog. To understand the
critical nature of the first follower to any important movement, I give you
this TED talk from Derek Sivers that illustrates how movements are more dependent
on first followers than they are on original leaders. Thus, I am very grateful
to the faculty member who showed the courage to write me and become my first
demonstrable follower.


         It seems beyond question now that I have gotten under the
skin of the leadership in Pickens. Good. That’s the idea—to make them think
about how poorly they are doing their jobs and how easy it would be to do them
well simply by listening to the help around them. I’m to The Ronald like The
Carly is to The Donald. Are we both poking the lion with a stick and trying to
bell that very large cat? You bet. Are we both, Carly and me, being despised
and ridiculed by some powerful forces. Indeed, we are. But Churchill never
stood as tall as when he stood against the Nazis. In many ways, you are
measured by the opponent you take on. That may be what is tripping up the
Jebber. He has been ineffective in his engagements with Trump. He better be ready
to bell that blonde-comb over mountain lion on Wednesday.

         It is amazing to me that the IS Department at Anderson would
spend even a minute working on blocking my site instead of facilitating the
work of the faculty, but surely I jest! 
The Brownian motion that is MD Anderson IS is easily demonstrable in the
many failed attempts to introduce modern systems to help in research finance
and protocol management. Hell, I think they are using the same systems I
established with my team almost 20 years ago.

         I choose to consider this latest attempt to shut me up a
real blessing for it only goes to show the level of desperation to which the
leadership has sunk in its efforts to control the uncontrollable—people’s

         My blog has already had almost 600,000 page views. Each post
averages about 400 views although some receive 4 times that level. You keep
reading. I will keep writing and just to make everything easy, I will post the
contents of the blog in each email I send out to alert you to a new posting.
This may cut down my page view numbers, but my statistics are not the point.

         This has always been about the faculty and staff of the MD
Anderson community and the outrageous leadership they have had to endure for
the past 15 or so years. Scandal, conflicts of interest, self-dealing, nepotism,
corporate shenanigans and friends in orange jumpsuits have been a part of the
MD Anderson Presidency since Enron broke like a tsunami over the city and it
has not stopped since.

         I am not surprised at the latest attempt by the Pickens
crowd to shut me down and shut me up. It won’t work any more now than it did
when I worked for them. You can embarrass me. You can reduce my pay. You can
cancel my tenure. You can virtually run me out of town on a rail. None of this
affects the fact that you have done your job poorly and, as Leonard Cohen tells
us, “Everybody Knows.”

         Even the Cubans, if they are listening in.

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