Archive for September, 2014

Do you use twitter or facebook? If you answered yes search for  #UmbrellaRevolution and you will read about the non violent tidy protests in Hong Kong. But. what is it all about?

It is basically all about democracy. Hong Kong has been part of the republic of China since 1997 and not a democracy. The rule of a communist state seems to be just to much in Hong Kong. What is it then that makes this protest happen? I like to think it is economic inequality, which creates a mad dash for resources like food and no voice in the dividing up of resources.

I am certain there are many more elements to this protest and what has caused it to take place. As time goes on I hope that the Chinese government will not be able to cover up the protest and we will learn more.

I live in the United States of America and our country’s government is a parliamentary style republic democracy.  I am a huge patriot and fan of my country. I really feel that a democracy where everyone has a voice with respect to human rights even of the minority is the way to go with government structure. Despite our truly wonderful system, the United States is still experiencing one of the largest income gaps in the history of the countries inception.

Am I ready to sit down in the streets of the financial district yet? No, but I am ready to look to the ballot box for some change in leadership, at all levels of government.

I have always been a fan of the word cronyism. It sounds funny but it is not funny at all and it is going on in the United States. It is through cronyism that many in power now in the United States have created policies to directly benefit the super rich.  You can debate the laurels of career politicians all you want but I often remember the words of the great Shakespeare drama Macbeth

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

I have seen in my short life the powerful men and women, through cronyism create dynasties that bridge the gap between politics and business.

I encourage all members of the world who live in countries that participate in  democracies to vote and take it a step more and vote for members of a party that is currently not in power.

It seems a shame that democracy in the United States may not be working in that the income gap is growing at a rapid rate. It seems more of a shame that this process could work if more citizens used the ballot box to voice their complaint against the ruling class.  This action has to be done though with a proper understanding of the political parties and system and gaining this understanding can become a terrible ordeal.

Even with this terrible ordeal it is important to remember the words of Plato

So keep your head up, press on learn and vote.

 Margaret Thatcher quotes 

peace

john3c

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For the Children

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

In 1997 an egg was fertilized with the DNA of three donors. The result were at last count at least 17 babies, that technically had 3 biological parents. There was some outrage in the scientific and religious communities. You don’t need a degree in mathematics to know that, the three parent children are now entering their senior year of high school. The identities of these children has been and I feel should be unknown.  The protection provided by the anonymity of the children’s origins is, based on the outcry is needed.

While many did not accept or acknowledge these miracles, the babies were born and now have grown up. The acceptance or denial of the children did nothing to stop the miracle of life from happening. While much of the outcry was over whether or not this should be done and what it could mean for the future of man kind few were focused on why it was done.images (5)

This was primarily done to prevent mothers from passing on genetic diseases to their children. What can amount to a death sentence for some,  genetic diseases have plagued and continue to plague generation after generation. This fertilization and genetic modifications can help stop the spread of genetic diseases. The promise for the future of man is bright!

I am not sure what it is that makes men and women cry out against progress, maybe a lack of education and fear does it? I think though that fear can be relieved through an education, and an education can be ascertained through questions.

Some of the questions are big ones like; what is life? Are the teenagers, with three parents, just as alive as an teenager with two parents?  Of course the answer to the second question is yes. With the yes answer I would ask one more. Who are we to stand in the way of life and more importantly, life without genetic diseases.

peace

john3c

 

 

So do you have children? Maybe a niece or a nephew, a child you found on the street who now lives in your house (kidding). But if you have children you may have already learned or may be learning know that there homework becomes our homework. Yeah, you will not be doing the homework but you will be supervising checking and rechecking the homework and as they get older you will do some more supervising. As the child gets older you will have the wonderful college education that becomes your homework.

Yesterday I posted a blog about my oldest son and his upcoming college years. In case you didn’t read the post (don’t worry if you didn’t I am so not offended for real no offense taken. I have already concluded that my posts exist in the ether as fodders for the mythical), but in case you missed it he is going to graduate next year and what I like to call, the college courting season, has begun.

 

So, because his homework is now our homework I have been reading about colleges and I have found some things.

1. most colleges are expensive in the United States. Yes there is always financial aid and  scholarships and grants but the college tuition is very high.

2. Some colleges are better than others at helping students deal with these expenses. Some offer a lot of help with financial aid and scholarship options and some go above and beyond that…

 

Alice Lloyd College, Pippa Passes, Ky.

Undergraduates:  598
Tuition: $4,460
The school covers tuition for students from 108 counties in central Appalachia. Students are expected to work 10 hours a week in campus jobs that include cutting grass, serving as lifeguards and staffing the on-campus day care. Students from outside the no-tuition zone can make up to $1,160 in campus jobs to offset their tuition bills.

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Isn’t that cool? See I love what this school is doing to address a social problem, which is very high college tuition. This solution took some innovative thinking and work and they did it.

This colleges solution gives me hope and I hope that policy makers look at examples like this for ideas to our problems. When you take on social problems it can seem at times impossible to reach a good solution but this school did it.

You may have some problems now at work or home but you can do it. Look for examples of success, take note and be hopeful.

peace

john3c

 

I almost typed, “take the time to smell the roses”. My son Kyle is in 11th grade he gets great marks in high school and is being courted by various colleges. I am excited for him and also have some anxiety about this next “step” in his life. I can only imagine how he is feeling. I mean I am a little older than Kyle and like to think of myself as a well rounded and grounded person but Kyle is a 17 year old boy full of nerves and I am sure he is incredibly anxious. I also think the anxiety is not going to subside anymore until his tenure in the academic world is over.

I am not sure if you can tell but I really feel like education is an adventure and tool and should be fun and enlightening but modern education does not seem to be this way. I just finished reading an article in the New York Times titled “Stressed for Success”.  The article is a wonderful read and I encourage everyone to read it when they get the chance.

In the article there is a wonderful line and I will quote it here: “If you have done all these things and you are still an interesting person, congratulations, because the system has been trying to whittle you down into a bland, complaisant achievement machine.” This line came at a point in the article after describing the current academic culture in the western world.

The top students from Ivy league universities make up the leadership of the world and the last two decades of modern leadership have been single minded under developed selfish men and women.  Instead of educating academia has and is training our children to become cookie cutter pieces of a machine.

 

I want Kyle to be a success now doubt but I would define success not in financial or even in leadership means,  but success as being happy.

 

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon

 

I am a big John Lennon fan. His music with and without the Beatles was incredible and this quote is one of my favorite.  If I could offer my son any advice with his academic career and it would be this. “Remember that your academic career is only a facet of who you are it should not define the whole. Enjoy life and this part of life learn about everything you can even if it doesn’t seem like it will help your career. A well rounded education will contribute far more important to your happiness than a single minded education. When you get out of college you may not be rewarded with the executive level position or you may be rewarded with that executive level position but no matter what level position you have at work you will be enlightened and that will make you happy. Enlightened people are happy and they make others happy when they are around them. Be more than just an achievement machine be a real live person and when you are that you will be really happy.  KY-Nailing-Machine images (3)

peace

 

The canary

Posted: September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Deep underground miners work and toil. They slam their pick axes into the the earth and she brings up in response Anthracite. The coal will fuel trains warm homes and offices and move the generators that will power the electrical grid in the United States for almost the entire century. There in the mine with the workers is a cage and in it a canary.  It is not so much a pet or mascot more like an alarm. The canary in the coal mine serves as a warning system for the coal mine workers. As the toxic  fumes would accumulate in the mine the canary would get more and more sick and the sicker the canary the more dire the shaft would be for mine workers. If the canary died everyone should immediately leave the shaft.  A crude and brutal system but efficient. Mine safety has come far and today there are modern detection devices that work much like the canary but better.

When I imagine the canary in the coal mine I always think of detection devices and what they do. They alert users to dangerous conditions. I think that we are privy to many detection devices in our lives. Many canaries in the coal mine, if you will, but we are not aware of our situation enough to heed the warnings from the canaries.

Look around you. What do you see? Are there some canaries indicating some upcoming trends in your life? Some may indicate as a dead or sick canary did a dire situation that will manifest itself in the near future. The accumulation of debt in short periods of time may be a warning sign to a consumer. He needs to change something. A better paying job or a different life style may be needed to stave off economic ruin. That is one canary in a coal mine.

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It is easy and human to see the dead canary and grieve but I implore you to see why the canary has died. In case you missed it I am not referring to a literal canary at all, I am using the canary as an illustration. The canary in the case of the economic ruin scenario would be all the bills in the mail box. It can be easy to get a bill fret over paying or in some cases not paying it than moving on unchanged but if we recognize the bills as a canary we can take heed and make changes and come out of life all the better. I don’t know what is happening in your life right now but often things that seem to happen all of a sudden have a build up of dead birds along the way. We just have to be alert

peace

john3c

 

The history of travel is an amazing one and the future is looking more and more incredible! I just skimmed over an article in which it seems that Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX and Paypal, is going to be producing a “space taxi”. To shuttle folks in and out of space! See isn’t travel amazing.

One thing that I find incredible about travel is how it affects so much more than just those doing the traveling and how despite all efforts to maintain a caste system (i.e. first class, business class economy) travel in the aggregate at least, tends to make us all equals. Do you know what the H1 watch is? If you do than do you know this watches origin?

See this is an incredible story.   British Sailors where having, a devil of a time, determining longitude while at sea. There were no markers and the skies where not always clear. There is a way to set a course longitudinally an stay on it with a proper time keeping device but all devices at the time of our story were far from accurate and could not withstand the rigors of ocean travel. So what did Great Britain do? Well, they had a contest of course.

All types of scientists and astronomers entered the contest. One man won. He was not a scientist or an astronomer but a watch maker and his invention was the H1 time keeping piece. His name was John Harrison and today the movements of our watches can be traced back to his design.

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See the thing about man and woman kind is this.. When everyone works together no matter what talents they think they have or lack, great things can and do happen. The opposite can be said though when man and woman kind do not work together. When we try to keep people out because they are not the right IQ level or religion or race we are only harming the entire human race.  Everyone has something to offer to everyone else and until what they have to offer is provided no one knows what lies within someones potential.

To keep someone from getting the chance to perform should be criminal. It can be easy to take a look at someone and the way they carry themselves and think “they have nothing to teach or offer me” but doing this can only harm you.

Let us all keep an open line and respect one another.

btw did I mention that John Harrison was self educated?

peace

john3c

 

So we didn’t order the movie on Amazon Prime this weekend instead we opted for a comedy. The movie we thought about ordering was “Occulous”. Not sure if I spelled the movie right but it is if I understand correctly a horror movie about an evil mirror. Me and my girlfriend are big fans of the actress who stars in the movie and my girlfriend is kind of a horror movie fan. I am not so much, but I watch them.

If I am correct the movie Occulous is a horror movie about a haunted mirror.  I began to think when we were considering watching the movie how the mirror has been and is being used in literature and movies.

The mirror is a powerful tool for writers. I think this is because it provides an allusion to an introspective look on someone. There is also of course the vanity of looking in the mirror too, but I am challenging everyone out there to look in the mirror.

I absolutely love the Michael Jackson song “man in the mirror” He nails the power you can harness when you look inward.  The lyrics of the song say it all!! Want to see changes start with yourself be honest and real change can happen. The world can be better too. Let us all start looking inward this Monday and see a week of change.

peace

john3c

 

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I’m Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On My
Favourite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin’ My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street,
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See
Their Needs
A Summer’s Disregard,
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man’s Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya’ Know
‘Cause They Got Nowhere
To Go
That’s Why I Want You To
Know

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change)
(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,
Na Nah)

I’ve Been A Victim Of A Selfish
Kind Of Love
It’s Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No
Home, Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me,
Pretending That They’re Not
Alone?

A Widow Deeply Scarred,
Somebody’s Broken Heart
And A Washed-Out Dream
(Washed-Out Dream)
They Follow The Pattern Of
The Wind, Ya’ See
Cause They Got No Place
To Be
That’s Why I’m Starting With
Me
(Starting With Me!)

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
(Ooh!)
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change)

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m Asking Him To Change His
Ways
(Change His Ways-Ooh!)
And No Message Could’ve
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make That . . .
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make That . . .)
Change!

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror,
(Man In The Mirror-Oh
Yeah!)
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
(Better Change!)
No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make The Change)
(You Gotta Get It Right, While
You Got The Time)
(‘Cause When You Close Your
Heart)
You Can’t Close Your . . .Your
Mind!
(Then You Close Your . . .
Mind!)
That Man, That Man, That
Man, That Man
With That Man In The Mirror
(Man In The Mirror, Oh Yeah!)
That Man, That Man, That Man
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
(Better Change!)
You Know . . .That Man
No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,
Na Nah
(Oh Yeah!)
Gonna Feel Real Good Now!
Yeah Yeah! Yeah Yeah!
Yeah Yeah!
Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,
Na Nah
(Ooooh . . .)
Oh No, No No . . .
I’m Gonna Make A Change
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good!
Come On!
(Change . . .)
Just Lift Yourself
You Know
You’ve Got To Stop It.
Yourself!
(Yeah!-Make That Change!)
I’ve Got To Make That Change,
Today!
Hoo!
(Man In The Mirror)
You Got To
You Got To Not Let Yourself . . .
Brother . . .
Hoo!
(Yeah!-Make That Change!)
You Know-I’ve Got To Get
That Man, That Man . . .
(Man In The Mirror)
You’ve Got To
You’ve Got To Move! Come
On! Come On!
You Got To . . .
Stand Up! Stand Up!
Stand Up!
(Yeah-Make That Change)
Stand Up And Lift
Yourself, Now!
(Man In The Mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aaow!
(Yeah-Make That Change)
Gonna Make That Change . . .
Come On!
(Man In The Mirror)
You Know It!
You Know It!
You Know It!
You Know . . .
(Change . . .)
Make That Change.