Saturday, February 28, 2009

Leukemia & Lympoma Society's Team in Training

Please click on the title or the link below to go to the website to donate.

I think it is one of the positives that one can use this forum to help out a good cause and a charitable function that was brought to my attention. Below is an excerpt from the website. Remember, it is 100% tax deductible. Please donate! Thanks.

Racing to Save Lives
Welcome to my Team In Training Fundraising home page.
I am training to participate in the Miami Duathlon this May as a member of
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am challenging myself to complete this event in honor of Andrea Oliva, and others like her. These people are the real heroes on our team, and I need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In
Training and help advance LLS's mission.
I hope you will visit my web site often and tell others to do so. Be sure to check back and see how I'm progressing throughout my training. Thanks for your support!
Zulimar Taborda
Last Edited on: 02/27/2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Letter to the President

I have never done this before, writing to the president of the United States and I thought I would share it with you.


Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 5:42 AM
Subject: Ethics
I certainly hope that this is the dawn of a government of integrity and ethical conduct. One that can rise above the ashes of the former administration and shine in the light of day and show the word that we are the leader that we say we are. One that can be compassionate to the weak and show, but not use indiscriminately our strength.

A couple of quotes that I hold dear follow;
Albert Einstein
" The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

" The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

I know that your office is inundated with many thoughts and wishes and this is but a grain of sand in the mix of e-mails that have been sent, but I felt compelled to write for the first time. It all starts at the top with the selection of the ones who will carry out your agenda to repair and rebuild this great country and take it to higher heights than ever before imagined. This country has been lost in the darkness of despair, shown to be a paper tiger to the world. We need to again be proud to be Americans, not to feel the need to apologize for being a citizen.
Thank you for your time.

Thank you for reading this email.

Will Afganastan Become the New Vietnam for the United States?

Please click on title to get to Wikipedia for more facts.

The old saw of learning history so you will not repeat it has never been more important than today. A great example is when Napoleon invaded mother Russia and lost when they got bogged down trying to win and lost out to the treacherous winters. Where it was so cold, the starving soldiers would cut flesh from the walking horses and the horses, freezing to death, wouldn't notice. Hundreds of thousands of troops died in a miserable attempt to take Russia. Not to be outdone, the Germans did the same thing with the same results. Do leaders ever learn? Not then and not now. The egos involved always think it will be different this time. Which brings us to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has been one of those countries which has been invaded many times over the centuries. Russia was the latest to fall for what appeared to be easy pickings to take them over." Beginning on August 7, 1978 and ending on February 15, 1989. It has been referred as the USA equivalent to the Vietnam War and it worked just as well. "

It is mostly mountains and desert, just not a fun place to be, like California without all the beaches. And we are getting sucked deeper and deeper into a military abyss. This is on top of eight plus years of Iraq.

Countries like this, unfortunately are used to the fighting, tired of it of course, but never the less have been through it for generation after generation. Is this our fate, to chase shadows for years to come, unable to get away from this unquenchable force which threatens our chance of peace and prosperity in our lifetime?

We have trouble winning wars, we do not pick the winning side too often. We waste the lives of brave men and women for what purpose?

The defense of our country should be our mission, helping the weak and less fortunate, and not wandering in the deserts of the world where it will still be the same after we leave.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

If I Don't Succeed You Must Fail

How often have you seen this in your lifetime? Whether in school or sports or in the workplace, someone is hoping that you fail. You can see how difficult it is to get a group to harness all the energy and effort to reach a common goal.....success! Lack of effort, jealousy, conflict of interest, greed, make your own list, that can result in the downfall of the group.

Politics is a great example. What is happening in Washington D.C. right now with the economy running aground, the petty bickering and decisiveness trying to enable the downfall of the rescue of the economy and the country is being fostered upon the public by the Republicans.

The planning for the resurrection of one's political party at the expense of others is a common tactic. Some have said they will not take money to help their own states. They also have said they will hold their breath until they get their way.

People as a rule don't like change even if what they are doing doesn't work.

Remember the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Our Education System is Designed to Fail!

Click on title to go to the link on the web site.
Do you ever wonder how come our education system is designed the way it is? Why the government pays for the kindergarten to 12th grade and a college education is so expensive and not affordable to all? It was meant to be that way. We were not taught to become smarter and successful, nope, we were trained for the workforce. That is all.

The following article is taken from a website The Memory

At the end of this article more information on the subject is available and all credit is given its due to the author and citations.
The article begins below. Read it and weep.

The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile
It's no secret that the US educational system doesn't do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America's schoolkids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can't find the US on an unmarked map of the world or who don't know who Abraham Lincoln was.
Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling system—overcrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can't pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why? Because they were designed to.
How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America's public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America's formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing.
Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schools—the way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America's educational system.
In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee's report stated, "We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes."
By the turn of the century, America's new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn't to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:
Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.
In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."
The next year, the Rockefeller Education Board—which funded the creation of numerous public schools—issued a statement which read in part:
In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.
At the same time, William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:
Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.
In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:
The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.
Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:
We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.
Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"
While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."
In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population—mainly the children of the captains of industry and government—to rise to the level where they could continue running things.
This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren't often publicly expressed, they're apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:
I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn't have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, "They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work world…that the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world."
John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto's Website, which now contains the entire book online for free.
The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine's excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).

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posted 17 July 2003 updated 24 Jan 2006copyright 2003/6 Russ Kick

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kiva: Loans that Change Lives

Click on title to go to web site.

Did you always want to do something good for someone, didn't trust a charity or government to do the right thing?

Did you think that being philanthropic meant that you had to be rich like Gates or Buffett to make a difference?

The answer is to become a member of Kiva, an international organization that makes micro loans to people who are business minded and want to get ahead in life and to make their community a better place because of their efforts.

What does it cost? What big investment do you have to make?
$25.00 Yep that's it! I first read about Kiva in the Wall Street Journal back in May of 2007. Soon afterward I made my first loan. It doesn't take much, a pay-pal account and away you go.

You read the stories about the people, their dreams and select whom you want to get your money. Many people make up the funding for each loan so you are not alone. The Following is an excerpt from the mission statement page of Kiva.

"What Is Kiva?
We Let You Loan to the Working Poor
Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community.

Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

Kiva partners with existing expert microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, our partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. When you do, not only do you get a unique experience connecting to a specific entrepreneur on the other side of the planet, but our microfinance partners can do more of what they do, more efficiently".

I have made seven loans so far by rollng over into new loans whenever I am paid back. I encourage everyone to explore the possibilities and do something to help your fellow man. This is not a handout, it's a handup.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Microsoft to Open Retail Stores!

Please click on title to link to article on MSNBC.

This story kind of leaves one breathless. The wiz kids expanding, direct touch with the consumer, cutting edge technology. Wait you say, another story about Apple? Nope, the latest attempt on Microsoft's part to become relevant with the youth of today, the saviest customer out there. Windows is the backbone of computers everywhere, a huge undenialble fact. But they are more like a staple on the dinner table, like bread and butter rather than a delicious mouthwatering desert.

This latest attempt looks like more of a "We better do something and it better be soon, like yesterday!" With few exceptions, like X-Box, Microsoft is not that creative. Why, because big companies are not nimble, not quick. Their very size makes them immobile, lethargic, unwilling to take chances. Many of their new applications are slow, cumbersome and unwieldy. This is a far cry from the heydays of 1995 with the advent of Windows 95, people waiting in line to buy the new operating system.

The hiring of "David Porter, formerly of Wal-Mart(25 years) and lately the head of worldwide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. since 2007",is a safe way not to fail. I predict that they will throw money at this latest venture for a few years and close shop, citing unfavorable retail market conditions. Another blip on the retail radar.

They are a one trick pony hoping to stumble upon another winner.

Microsoft, good luck, you will need it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wellington Man likes it in Threes

click on title to article about the golfer Jay Mann in the Palm Beach Post.

Now that I have your attention, a local guy has shot a hole-in-one three times in one year. What are the odds in getting a hole in one you might ask? The following link to Golf Digest from March, 2000 will provide some answers. For the record, no, I have not shot one yet. Hope springs eternal.
The odds on making a hole-in-one - Brief Article
Golf Digest , March, 2000
Email Print
GOLF DIGEST has been the source for acer odds since the 1950s. To update them for the 21st century, we gave the latest numbers for rounds played each year (528 million) and estimated aces (100,000) to Francis Scheid, Ph.D., retired chairman of the mathematics department at Boston University. "It's simple arithmetic," Scheid says for the following scenarios, which assume four par 3s of varying lengths in an 18-hole round.

A player making an ace in a given round: 5,000 to 1

Two players, same foursome, acing same hole: 17 million to 1

Acing a designated hole in a single round: 20,000 to 1

Two players in a field of 200 acing same hole in a single round: 5,000 to 1

Acing the same hole more than once in 1,000 rounds: 1 in 200

Two aces in a single round, same player: 67 million to 1

Getting an ace in a 1,000-round career: 1 in 5

Three aces in a single round, same player: 2 trillion to 1

Getting an ace in a 5,000-round career: Almost a sure thing

COPYRIGHT 2000 New York Times Company Magazine Group, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rick Santelli's Speech to the People

Click on the title to see the video. Rick's follow up on the mortgage fix. Must see TV. My next post will be back to business as usual!

Realty Check: Housing Plan Impact on Lenders

Is the mortgage plan right or wrong? You decide! Click on title to get to video on CNBC.

Tiger is Back!

Click on title to go to ESPN article.

You may not play golf, you may not like golf, but most people know Tiger Woods. It has been many years since he burst onto the scene and turned the golfing community on its ear. His reknown golfing ability, steely determination, and will to win had not been seen since the likes of Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, Player, and Trevino roamed the links.

But he is 33 years old now, father of two, business man and the owner of a body that continues to break down. His gritty win last year in the US Open, which he won on one leg was one for the ages. His swing, which has been timed at 130 miles per hour,(weekend golfer swing in the 90's)is his strenghth and weakness, as it puts a lot of strain on his newly repaired knee.

His quest for the majors record of 18, owned by Nicklaus,(Tiger has 14 at this writing) is within range. How much longer he will play, no one knows. A large void will be formed when he leaves the game.

It makes one wonder how one man or woman can have such an impact on the world stage.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tipping Point for GM?

Make no mistake, GM's problems have been growing over the last 30-40 years. There is plenty of ineptitude to go around. A number of things led to their downfall, but America's love affair with big SUVs has to be one of the biggest. People love to super size everything, including cars. Carmakers as a rule make more money on large vehicles than small. Lots more. Some used small cars as loss leaders. Until now.

What changed? The price of oil, the price of gas of course. With the price of $4.00 a gallon, people said enough is enough. A fill-up was no longer an option for alot of people. The sudden impact of America's shut down on the highways was a knife in the heart for all of the auto industry's bottom line.

Could the now lower price help in the future? Most would say no, that demand will soon ramp up as the world economy gets back in gear in due time.

Even the worlds most efficient carmakers such as Toyota and Honda are suffering the worst losses in their history.

All this shows that one can not continue to lose money and make it up in volume.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Republicans side with Obama!

The economy makes one choose strange bedfellows when it comes to using the stimulus package to keep the states financially solvent. Follow link to article click on title.

Republican governor's from Schwarzenegger to Christ realize they need the money to help out their own states, contrary to the popular opinion of the Republicans in Congress.

When one is drowning, any hand reaching out to help is very welcome regardless of the source or the intent. Each state had leveraged its strengths during the tremendous economic growth spurt which in turn became the Achilles heel of their respected economies.

The economy continues in the down cycle and will not get better until the perception (which is realality)of the people and the business climate declare we are on the road to recovery.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

One Day of Peace

An idea was born in the year 2008, along with a friend of mine, Gary Kent, that we might make a difference. I contacted every governor in the United States to sponsor a proclamation on "One Day of Peace", a day of do no harm. We were not successful, but we did not fail. Here is the end result.

A Day of

“Do No Harm to Your Fellow Man”

November 5, 2008

Remember, remember the 5th of November, 2008, (yes, borrowed from V for Vendetta, the Movie), the day the humankind did not intentionally do any harm to one another. The day the earth literally stood still and did not cause any suffering to one and other.

Some would say I am terribly naive to expect this to happen, jousting at windmills Don Quixote’ but I have to try. There has to be hope for mankind, a glimmer of hope for a day. Is that to much to ask?

Listening to the Neil Rogers show one day,, he talked about religion, he said he would name his church “The Church of Do No Harm” and the idea was planted in my mind. How to make this real?

The mayhem I watch and read about on a daily basis, on TV, in the newspapers, on the web, reported at breakneck speed is staggering. The most cruel and unimaginable acts are repeated everyday.

People are being slaughtered as we speak, murdered on a whim, raped, tortured, starving, and so on. If it bleeds, it leads on the news tonight. And when you hear about this, one might say (”tsk, tsk, isn’t that terrible, what’s the world coming to?”), and move on. Until it hits home, it might be you next!

Sometimes people are the cause by doing, some people are the cause by ignoring what goes on.

We are not the best that planet has to offer, but we are the most destructive. Some cultures have lived in harmony with nature, but at their own peril. History shows many are gone. Conquered. Wiped out.

Millions of deaths have been caused by religion, politics, greed, desiring of what a neighboring

country has, whatever the reason, it has continued. The War Machine. Fear. Exploitation. Blame others for your misfortunes. The easy way out. Politicians count on this to stay in office. Blame immigration on job losses….jobs that go unfilled everyday. Give them to some one willing to work for the opportunity, the chance to be someone.

Eisenhower warned in his final days in office, as president, that the growing presence of war profiteers needed war to continue to increase business. Make up an excuse, start a war, people die, it’s profitable. And so it goes.

The most wonderful country in the world is crumbling, unable to feed its entire people, treat the sick, and educate the people who then can contribute to society. If you can keep someone down, don’t let them thrive, does that make you feel better? Superior? To some this works just fine.

The strong are supposed to protect the weak, not exploit them, or kill them.

I need you help to spread the word that for one day all politicians, all religious leaders, all business leaders, all leaders of all countries, the United Nations, tyrants, rulers, good and evil, whatever and wherever, to make this happen.

I need presidential candidates to make this happen. I need all governments to make this happen. Executions postponed for a day. Killers don’t kill for a day. No robberies, no rapes, don’t beat children or animals. Feel good about yourself for one day. Shut everything down for one day, except for vital services. Don’t drive, don’t shop… no harm….for one day. No wars…one day a truce!

The web is the Gutenberg press spreading like wildfire all of these things I have talked about. Some will not because they can. I challenge them the most. Do you have the courage, the heart to go against your normal convictions? Many will help; many will try to spread the word. Make it your cause…become a big part of this…write to others…talk to others.

This will spread to the small towns and villages that have no Internet. The back roads of every nook and cranny across the world must be touched. Mankind is crying out in terror and pain. If this can happen, anything can happen; no obstacle is too large or too small.

Please help. Thank you.

By Raymond J Denzel

Show Photos of War Dead ?

Click on title to go to Palm Beach Post.

For anyone who grew up in the Vietnam War era, one can remember the video on the network news and the photos of the dead and dying of the soldiers and civilians in the local newspapers on an almost daily basis. It took away the heroic perspective of the Hollywood movies and movie stars depiction and showed the reality of the real blood and guts and lives being lost on the battlefield. It was one of the sparks used to start the protest the war by students and all those against it and the destruction of a country halfway around the world. See the article source of this blog.

This was well noted by the Bush administration who sought, under the guise of taking care of the families involved,to keep quiet anything that might inflame public opinion and cause a change in its policy. Pictures are to be considered evidence and could possibly show a side not often viewed. Please go to the following link to see pictures obtained in 2003.

We will continue to watch how the current administration rights the wrongs.


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