5/24/2015

Sunday Funnies

TOP 50 JOKES OF ALL TIME
Part II  (#6 - #50)

26. I cleaned the attic with the wife the other day. Now I can't get the cobwebs out of her hair.

27. Went to the paper shop - it had blown away.


28. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. ''But why?'' they asked, as they moved off. ''because,'' he said ''I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.''


29. I was in Tesco's and I saw this man and woman wrapped in a barcode. I said, ''Are you two an item?''


30. I'm in great mood tonight because the other day I entered a competition and I won a years supply of Marmite......... one jar.


31.So I went to the Chinese restaurant and this duck came up to me with a red rose and says ''Your eyes sparkle like diamonds''. I said, ''Waiter, I asked for a-ROMATIC duck''.


32. Four fonts walk into a bar the barman says ''Oi - get out! We don't want your type in here''


33. I was having dinner with Garry Kasporov (world chess champion) and there was a check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.


34.There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest.. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.


35. I went down the local supermarket, I said, ''I want to make a complaint, this vinegar's got lumps in it'', he said, "Those are pickled onions''.


36.I backed a horse last week at ten to one. It came in at quarter past four.


37. I swear, the other day I bought a packet of peanuts, and on the packet it said ''may contain nuts.'' Well, YES! That's what I bought the buggers for! You'd be annoyed if you opened it and a socket set fell out!''


38. A lorry-load of tortoises crashed into a trainload of terrapins, What a turtle disaste


39. My phone will ring at 2 in the morning, and my wife'll look at me and go, ''Who's that calling at this time?' ''I don't know! If I knew that we wouldn't need the bloody phone!''


40. I said to this train driver ''I want to go to Paris". He said ''Eurostar?'' I said, ''I've been on telly but I'm no Dean Martin''.


41.Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. But when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it.


42. I've got a friend who's fallen in love with two school bags, he's bisatchel.


43. You see my next-door neighbour worships exhaust pipes, he's a catholic converter.


44. A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: ''I'm looking for the man who shot my paw.''


45.I tried water polo but my horse drowned.


46. I'll tell you what I love doing more than anything: trying to pack myself in a small suitcase. I can hardly contain myself.


47.So I met this gangster who pulls up the back of people's pants, it was Wedgie Kray.


48.Went to the corner shop - bought 4 corners.


49.A seal walks into a club...


50.I went to the Doctors the other day, and he said, 'Go to Bournemouth, it's great for flu'. So I went and I got it.

5/23/2015

5/22/2015

On Being Whatever...


Let's get right down to it... shall we?

According to the website, What Christians Want to Know, 10 personality traits of Jesus have been published that this website believes we should emulate, they are:
  • Compassion
  • Servant
  • Loving
  • Forgiving
  • Committed
  • Prayerful
  • Gentleness
  • Patience
  • Self-Control
  • Humble

However, on another website regarding what characteristics American males should possess is the following:
  • Physical
  • Functional
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual
  • Interpersonal
  • Other

Ya know... and, maybe it is just me, but I have always thought the category of other was a useless as teats on a bore hog; and yet, there it is.
And, on another website, there is a list of Traits For a Real Man.
  • A real man can defend himself
  • A real man keeps his house in order
  • A real man takes care of his appearance
  • A real man makes his own fortune
  • A real man strives to be a role model
  • A real man's word is his bond
  • A real man doesn't gossip
  • A real man is focused
On a personal note, is it not amazing what one can find on the internet?

How are males supposed to find their way in life this kind of contradictory advice? Doesn't it make you want to have a sex change operation?

And, my comment would be... no, not at all...



We have spent too much time trying to figure out what advice is credible and what advice is not and whose advice to follow, when we should just simply decide for ourselves... I mean... we are men, right? And... men... don't ask for directions when they are driving... right? So, why should we men ask for directions on how to act like men?



This is rather pointlessly silly, isn't it? And yet, here we are...



I think most males follow their fathers whether they want to or realize what they are doing. For instance, my Dad did not hunt or fish so neither of those activities have ever really been of any interest to me. Additionally, my Dad did not play golf and neither did I but my brother is currently playing golf... so, this idea must not work for all males in a family.


On the other side of the coin, my father was never what you call “rich or wealthy,” and yet, my brother is... so, maybe that is why he took up this “so-called” sport called golf... it being a wealthy thing to do.



So, males take this identity confusion into schools, into colleges, into the military, into marriages, and into the workforce... expecting other males (also experiencing identity confusion) to manage them and tell them what they should do and how they should do it... while resenting that instruction and being told what to do as if they were a child and could not think for themselves... which, most of them cannot...
But, this is neither here nor there is it... because men are who they are... men... right?



No wonder all most men want is sex because that is relatively easy to understand and easy to pursue with very little instruction... but, it gives the wrong impression, does it not, of who we, as men, really are... and, for that matter, are not?



So, how should males really be?



Now, I know this is confusing for some so let me make this perfectly clear, males can be macho or they can be submissive or perhaps somewhere in between although that balance is rather difficult to maintain all the time.



I would suspect that those who are macho are involved in sport and I would relate them to the early caveman or later to the Roman Gladiator or to the Greek and/or Viking Warriors.



And, I would suspect that those who are not macho could, would, and should, be everyone else. And, the ones that try to maintain a balance between the two extremes are our actors and musicians who say what they want to say or need to say with the words that someone else has written. But, this characterization is over-simplified and there is much more to it than this? Perhaps... but, maybe there is not anymore to it than this.



What I have discovered in my 67 years of life is that very few males want to be like or live a life like Jesus lived, although many claim to be like him in many ways; the truth of the matter is that they are actually farther apart than similar.



Boy, I betcha that ruffled some feathers...



For instance:
  • Very few have long hair like Jesus had
  • Very few wear clothes like Jesus wore
  • Very few do no work like Jesus did
  • Very few people know the Bible like Jesus did
  • Very few people pray like Jesus did or as often
  • Very few traveled around the country preaching like Jesus did
  • Very few do not marry and not have children like Jesus did
  • Very few people are willing to live in the same land that Jesus lived in
  • Very few people are willing to drink the same water or eat the same food as Jesus did
  • Very few people are willing to go without sanitation like Jesus did
  • Very few people are willing to speak the same language that Jesus spoke
  • Very few people are willing to be as humble and submissive as Jesus was






And yet, all of the people say that they want to emulate Jesus... but only partially I suppose... not 100% which is true emulation.



Well, Jesus would be different, if he lived today... No, I don't think so because that would defeat the purpose if he did that.



Knowing all of this... how do you suppose we act as parents as soon as we know we are going to have a male child?
  • Do we think about him becoming a ballet dancer?
  • Do we think about him becoming an artist?
  • Do we think about him becoming a drug addict?
  • Do we think about him becoming a fireman or policeman?
No, I don't think that we any of those ideas on our minds at all... because, this is what we think about, him becoming:
  • A professional football player
  • A professional basketball player
  • A profession baseball player
  • A respected lawyer or doctor



And, we certainly do not give any consideration at all to him ever becoming like Jesus...



But, all-in-all, it was never our decision to make... it was and always will be our son's decision and our son can be whatever he wants to be... and should do that regardless of what we, as parents, think.

5/21/2015

Ruight to Work


A "right-to-work" law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees' membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.

Right-to-work laws do not aim to provide general guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather are a government regulation of the contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevents them from excluding non-union workers, or requiring employees to pay a fee to unions that have negotiated the labor contract all the employees work under.

The following states are right-to-work states:
  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Idaho
  7. Indiana
  8. Iowa
  9. Kansas
  10. Louisiana
  11. Michigan
  12. Mississippi
  13. Nebraska
  14. Nevada
  15. North Carolina
  16. North Dakota
  17. Oklahoma
  18. South Carolina
  19. South Dakota
  20. Tennessee
  21. Texas
  22. Utah
  23. Virginia
  24. Wyoming--> as of 2012, Michigan and Indiana have been added to the list.
Business interests represented by the Chamber of Commerce have lobbied extensively to pass right-to-work legislation. Such laws are allowed under the 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act which outlawed the closed shop. The union shop rule, which required all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after their hire, is illegal in right-to-work states.

A similar arrangement to the union shop is the agency shop, under which employees must pay the equivalent of union dues, but need not formally join such union.

For the most part, Right-to-work States have lower wage jurisdictions that the other States and are very attractive to companies who are trying to avoid having to pay high union wages.


At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning.

When an employee is acknowledged as being hired "at will", courts deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal. The rule is justified by its proponents on the basis that an employee may be similarly entitled to leave his or her job without reason or warning. In contrast, the practice is seen as unjust by those who view the employment relationship as characterized by inequality of bargaining power.

At-will employment gradually became the default rule under the common law of the employment contract in most states during the late 19th century, and was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Lochner era, when members of the U.S. judiciary consciously sought to prevent government regulation of labor markets.

Over the 20th century, many states modified the rule by adding an increasing number of exceptions, or by changing the default expectations in the employment contract altogether. In workplaces with a trade union recognized for purposes of collective bargaining, and in many public sector jobs, the normal standard for dismissal is that the employer must have a "just cause".

Otherwise, subject to statutory rights (particularly the discrimination prohibitions under the Civil Rights Act), most states adhere to the general principle that employer and employee may contract for the dismissal protection they choose.

At-will employment remains controversial, and remains a central topic of debate in the study of law and economics, especially with regard to the macroeconomic efficiency of allowing employers to summarily and arbitrarily terminate employees.

I personally have been involved in 4 AT WILL terminations, one of which came at the hands of a Christian University which could not provide any evidence to support their termination of me.
For your information, all states recognize at-will employment.

Those States that have both Employee at Will and Right to Work laws on the books have clearly put the employee in an AT RISK situation who work within their boarders.

So, what can these employees do to protect themselves and their families and their careers?

On the surface, there does not seem like much can be done but there is power collectively. That is not to say that I am endorsing or suggesting Unions as a possible solution.

But, they tend to protect the employee while acquiring higher salaries and/or wages. However, my take on Unions is that they breakdown the work so incrementally that I can foresee needing a union man to turn on and off an office light switch and then at least one more standing by making sure that switch flipper did it correctly and with the correct finger on the correct hand. LOL

Seriously, I talked with an electrician who was in a union (down south) who told me that on every job that required working on a power box, that another union electrician had to be standing by watching not just to make sure it was done correctly but also in case there were problems.

This person also told me that whenever he was watched, it was always done by done who was senior to him in tenure where the wage the watcher was receiving could be twice as high as his. Plus, he informed me that there was not really any need for this person and oftentimes this person would disappear after he started the job and not return until it was almost time to quit for the day.

I asked him why not report these people. He smiled and said that if he reported it, he would not be given any work from that point on, so he wanted to work and kept his mouth shut.

Both the worker and the watcher got paid union wages no matter how long that particular task lasted.
I went to graduate school with an Executive from a top utility company who said that it was very difficult to terminate a union employee and that everyone that he tried to terminate took him a file box full of paper documentation in order to satisfy Union requirements. He speculated that Unions intentionally made it difficult to deter management from moving in this direction.

He shared with me that his college educated linemen were all union and they made that they (the employee) and they (the employer) followed the guidelines exactly and would oftentimes quote word-for-word what they could or could not do with every particular job which would typically cut their daily productivity by 50%.

Bear in mind that when people share union stories, they typically share only those that are not normal or that fall into the category of 20% of the time, knowing that 80% of the time, there are no problems other than having to pay higher wages.

Situation like this or simply higher union wages put employers and businesses who must employ union workers in situations where those costs could put the company in jeopardy of being domestically and globally competitively.

Either way companies want to proceed with their work getting done that is to say hire union workers or have employees at will, a canyon of separation will always exist between management and labor as a result of this decision, and that canyon will inevitably lead to animosity, discontent, and contempt in the minds of the survivors on both sides: management and labor.

5/20/2015

With Fear of Consequence



Caveat emptor is Latin for "Let the buyer beware"



Generally, caveat emptor is the contract law principle that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing, but may also apply to sales of other goods.



Defects in the good or service may be hidden from the buyer, and only known to the seller. Thus, the buyer should beware. This is called information asymmetry.



In contract theory and economics, information asymmetry deals with the study of decisions in transactions where one party has more or better information than the other.



This creates an imbalance of power in transactions, which can sometimes cause the transactions to go awry, a kind of market failure in the worst case.



Examples of this problem are adverse selection, moral hazard, and information monopoly.



Most commonly, information asymmetries are studied in the context of principal–agent problems. Information asymmetry causes misinforming and is essential in every communication process.



Perfect information (which is the opposite of information asymmetry), is one of the key assumption that is made when explaining a neo-classical theory of economics.



In 2001 the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to George Akerlof, Michael Spence, and Joseph E. Stiglitz for their "analysis of markets with asymmetric information".



So, if these 3 economists won this prize in 2001, then it logically stands to reason, that the data around which they made their discoveries must have come before 2001 but how far back did they go... or, should we go in our investigation to see where this lopsided concept may have originated?



And, does that investigation really matter as long as we know that this theory develop in the minds of Americans?



And, that in the minds of those Americans, there was absolutely no desire to tell the truth, at least to the buyer. But, if a person lies in one area, can we assume that they will in other areas or they they will eventually lie in other areas?



And, if that assumption can be proved as true then what influence does this have on people around them like:
  • bosses
  • subordinates
  • spouse
  • children
  • friends


I know that I stated that it does not really matter how far back we go prior to 2001 but I would suspect that these economists found very little intentional evidence earlier than 1950 and I base that conjecture on the fact that 1950 is when the economic tidal wave of growth began on which my father rode throughout his 40 year career.



And, it was in those formative years of mine that I began to notice the following teaching example:



DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO



Those of you who are in your 60's or older probably know exactly what I am writing about and if you do, no doubt share my thoughts, concerns, and reluctant anger; but, why am I writing about this concept?



Yesterday, I got a phone call from Best Buy about my ASUS computer that I had left there a couple of weeks ago to get repaired.



But, before I delve into that story let me give you some background information.



A couple of years ago, I purchased a Dell Inspiron from Best Buy and 4 days past the last day to return the laptop for full refund or replacement, my computer CRAPED OUT... that is to say it would freeze up and the only way to get out of it was to perform a hard reboot because a soft reboot would not work.



After arguing with Dell on the phone about replacement, they sent a technician out to the house no less than 6 times to work on this computer with no positive results. In addition, I returned the computer to factory service 3 times where it was worked on and returned a month or two later with no positive results. Numerous parts were replaced with no positive results, so, I just put the computer aside and purchased another one, but not a DELL.



This time, I purchased an ASUS and got that “bad boy” fully loaded to make sure that I had myself a good machine. However, 2 years later, this machine started freezing up and would not hold onto installations of software that I installed which was, in essence, plug and play, to operate an external mouse.



Sometime around this time, my wife was looking for new kitchen appliances and found the best price at Best Buy. While there, she took the initiative to set up a computer repair contract for 12 months with the Geek Squad which would cover 3 computers.



So, I took my Dell into the Geek Squad and less than 5 days later, they call and said my Dell was ready for pickup. At the Geek Squad counter, I asked them what they had done and they indicated that they just reloaded the operating system after running diagnostics.



I have used this Dell steady now for over 2 months without the slightest issue... Surely, this problem was not this simple? But, if it was this simple, then why did I have to go through all this other stuff with Dell's Customer Service?



One would think that replacement would have been cheaper on Dell in the long run.



So, now we are back to the ASUS... and, because I got positive results with the Dell, I took my ASUS to the Best Buy Geek Squad for the same diagnostic tests and reloading of software, but unfortunately, the results were not the same.



My hard disk drive was damaged and no doubt had been bad from the getgo and was not discovered before being shipped out to Best Buy and a buyer like me who knew less than they did.



When I worked at ITT Technical Institute, I remember our IT guy would re-image all the computers in the labs all at once at the end of each quarter and right before the beginning of the next quarter. He performed this re-imaging process because he could re-install the operating system on 30 computers in the same amount of time it took to do it for 1 computer.



This is the same concept that companies like DELL and ASUS use on their factories, except they might re-image 100 at a time rather than 30 or it could be even more than that. Re-imaging is supposed to make a perfect copy or replication of an image but there are always some of these (statistically) that will not be done correctly.



In fact, if this re-imaging process is done with 99.7% accuracy, then there will be 2,600 bad images for every 1,000,000 performed.



So, I had to buy a new hard disk drive which was not bad but when the Geek Squad at Best Buy tried to reinstall the operating system, it had been corrupted from the getgo.


 Now, I have to call ASUS this morning, requesting a replacement re-image disk and will no doubt have to pay for that replacement even though it was not my fault.


So far, it has cost me about another $150 because of this asymmetric information concept that seems to be perpetrated on the buying public randomly and at will and without fear of consequence.



Ya know... maybe this is just me... but, this kinda shit just pisses me off...









5/19/2015

Moving Towards Perfection

Almost 30 years ago today, an Episcopalian Priest had visited several places in India and came back with the following concept that he shared with me. Our lives go through 4 stages of an awareness of sorts that he described in the following manner:

  • When we are born we are unconsciously perfect
  • During adolescence we realize we are unconsciously imperfect
  • During early adulthood we realize we are consciously imperfect
  • At the end of our lives we transition into unconscious perfection

Obviously, at least obvious to me, there could be an infinite levels of progression and/or digression within each stage or level of our development with this type of scenario. And, while we may see or perceive ourselves as imperfect that does not necessarily mean that we are.

However, if we were to compare ourselves to Jesus at each one of these stages there is absolutely no doubt or should be no doubt in our minds as to how we compare, but, is this the right comparison to make, even for Christians?

We are born (from the getgo) with all the trappings of Original Sin brought about by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden or so our Religious/Spiritual teachings tell us. ALL MYTHOLOGIES are predicated upon and have taken root in TRUTH; and, it would be relatively easy to conclude that the Garden of Eden mythology is no exception.

So, man is sinful from the beginning because of the misdeeds of another even though that first breath is the pure breath of innocence... a fact which cannot be denied. So, is it their innocence that puts them into this category of perfection?

While we are mentally wondering and debating inside ourselves about this innocent - baby – perfect concept, let me relate the 4 stages to a 4 sided pyramid, similar to one located on the plains of Gaza just outside of Cario, Egypt.
  • We have 4 stages and 4 sides
  • We have 4 sides and Birth-Life-Death-Infinity
  • We have 4 stages/sides and Man-God-Jesus-Holy Spirit

And, if you were draw out your imagination and creativity a little further, you could see that each face of the 4 sided pyramid is itself a 3 dimensional Pyramid with the edge directly across from the flat face constructed at a right angle and shared by the other 3 dimensional pyramids which are also 3 in number.

As each of the 3 dimensional pyramids slide into place in order to complete the 4 sided pyramid, they not only share the back angle and side in common but they share both of their sides as well. And, just as they are joined inextricably together, so too is man with the Holy Trinity and Infinity with the journey of man.

I would submit to you that the center line from the base to the pointed apex which is shared by all four 3 dimensional pyramid can and should be seen as the conduit of prayer that acts as glue holding it all together both spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Our journey through life is like building this 4 sided pyramid from the ground up and it really does not matter on which side that you start or whether or not you place that first stone in the center or at one of the outer edges; although, I am sure that some would argue that placement of that first stone is critical.

However, that first stone is our first breath of innocence and will not have the strength that it needs until the entire squared base floor has been completed.

Does this mean that I am suggesting some kind of alien presence with this pyramid idea as some kind of heavenly and universe guidepost and map for the development of mankind?

Absolutely not.

They symbol of the pyramid just seemed to fit and became a relevant image and analogy for my idea to give it some kind of balance and harmony that is automatically visually exhibited when viewing the pyramid.

However, by continuing with this pyramid structure, imagine yourself walking around the perimeter of the pyramid's base and after you have made one complete revolution, you realize that you have been on an incline and as you continue to go around that incline increases with each revolution. Someone, who is a teenage or in their 20's or 30's would be below the middle whereas someone who is in their 60's or 70's would be close to the top where all 4 side join to make a peak.

Therefore, as our life's journey unfolds, our pyramid is gradually constructed and we can always look back and see what we have done and perhaps realize why, but we can never look forward with accuracy although the closer we get to the top the close we can get to making some reasonably certain conclusions... hence, a movement towards perfection which was implied by the stages first shared by our Episcopal Priest.

Since we live in a 3 dimensional world, our journey has to be 3 dimensional and any image that we use to symbolize life's journey must be 3 dimensional as well.

However, we actually live in a 4 dimensional world or: height, width, depth, and time. We had not left time out at all as we just had not completely addressed it until now outside of the comment that we could look back in time but not forward. We never see what is above where we are until we get there and while that may seem amazingly simplistic, it is true... even second by second or millisecond by millisecond.... we can only see our future as it is unfolding.

Ok... this is all fine and good but how does it relate to these new ideas being generated by scientists that we might be living in a universe with multiple dimensions. And, what actually does that mean?

Well, as I understand the theory behind multiple dimensions... these dimensions are simply look-alike worlds to what we are experiencing where we are right now. In other words, if I am sitting on the couch, typing on a laptop, if one were to believe in multiple dimensions then they could be a similar me sitting in a different type of couch typing on something a little different. I cannot see this other person and this other person cannot see me because our energy is vibrating as different speeds and frequencies.

Whoa Nelly Whoa!!!! what does this mean?

Think of what I just said as someone blowing a basketball referee's whistle. Once this is done, everyone near by can hear it clearly. Now, let's suppose that this same person was blowing a dog whistle. The dog could hear it but you and I could not because of the speed and frequency of the sound. Now, suppose someone is blowing a device that was above the dog whistle... not even the dog could hear that one.

Simply replace sight with sound and that is why we cannot see these other dimensions.

So, if there were in fact other dimensions, nothing would change at all with my idea because each dimension would be experiencing building the pyramid a little differently than the other dimensions but they would be experiencing it as well as the passage of time.

Moving towards perfection is not life's goal per se nor is it life's purpose... it is just what we do and where life takes us.

5/18/2015

Why... Why not... Because?


I was going to start this article off by drawing the readers attention to the planting, farming, and harvesting of poppy fields in Afghanistan that eventually lead to the GLOBAL consumption of illegal heroin on which users spend millions of dollars annually; but, that is only a symptom of the real problem which is US (not United States) but you and I in a worldwide sense.

Everyday due to my health, I must walk as fast as I can around the neighborhood for an hour and to take my mind off the boredom of that task and off the pain of what walking up steep inclines does to my body, I think about the content of the articles I want to write. Today, was no exception and as I started my walk, I was focused on the first paragraph and as I ended my walk, I became focused on this second paragraph which leads to all the rest of this article.

So, let's continue with “we” being the problem. Let this roll around in your mind while I take a little detour.

Have you ever wondered why all these Caucasian and African American athletes that have become very wealthy do not contribute hardly any money at all (on average) to eliminating poverty or hunger or all the ghettos in our big cities?

I am not one of these athletes, so all I can do is speculate but I suspect it is because most of them considered themselves to be self-made through discipline and hard work and if they can do it so can everyone else. I have heard other successful people make this comment to me, so perhaps it is applicable here. And, maybe this is true, but...

...there has got to be more doesn't it? I mean what about natural talent? What about parental guidance and influence? What about the culture in which one was born? What about one's personality or DNA structure where some switches are turned on while others are turned off?

Let's get back to “we” being the problem.

I would suspect on an annual basis that a million or more updates (some of which include images) are posted for the viewer on this forum. I would also suspect that most users on this forum belong to the global middle class within their respective countries and/or locations. Some of us are not doubt upper middle class whereas others of us are lower middle class, again respectively.

I would also suspect that many of us are religious to deeply religious while others of us are spiritual or philosophical but have complete respect for other people's beliefs.

I would also suspect that many of us are politically, socially, and emotionally conservative in our beliefs and values and expect all users and EXPECT those who are liberal in their thinking to acquiesce to the conservative points-of-view.

With that said, let me now explain why I think “we” are the problem.

More often than not, updates on this social media forum are upbeat and positive in nature with inspirational, timeless quotes and comments that leaders and famous people have previously stated. On any given day, I read hundreds of these “uplifting” messages... and, there is nothing wrong with any of these at all but... we are preaching to the choir, aren't we? It is not us who should be or need to be reinforced by these messages but those who are socioeconomically beneath us.

Once we post these positive messages, we pat ourselves on the back for posting them in the first place which seems rather silly in a way.

We do not tolerate images or thoughts on this forum that are obscene or vulgar and there is nothing wrong with wanting to have that banned but are we not overlooking the problem?

I would bet that 80% of the global population is not like us at all. They have no beliefs, no faith, no hope, no money, no future and no one seems to care about them... for all intents and purposes they are ignored... why?

Because, we are too busy reinforcing our own beliefs and all those others who think like us. It is exactly and precisely for this reason that I think “we” are the problem.

Since we all know the power of positive thinking, why are we not posting photos of the hungry or photos of those in poverty or dead bodies lying around due to some form of uncontrolled violence. Why are we not posting photos of drug addicts and those who are sick and dying of AIDS? Why are we not posting photos of ISIS and all of their atrocities like the beheading of journalists?

If we post enough of these distasteful photographs maybe our global middle class will actually care enough about these people and instead of posting inspirational photos will start posting solutions to these global problems.

I am sure that this post is going to offend some, readers and no doubt, emails will be sent to have my profile deleted, but I call it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. And, it may be a waste of time for me to say these things like spitting into the wind but again that is just who I am.

So, why not?

NOTE: The title for this posting came from a final exam I took in an upper lever Philosophy course in college. The only grade was the final exam and there was one question on the final exam which was why? In the 60's exams had to written in Blue Books and as I looked around the classroom, I saw everyone writing frantically. I thought for a moment and then wrote: Why Not and then because, turned my Blue Book in and left the room. I got an “A” for the course.

5/17/2015

Sunday Funnies

TOP 50 JOKES OF ALL TIME
PART I  (#1 - #25)



1.A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: ''Ugh, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen!'' The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: ''The driver just insulted me!'' The man says: ''You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I'll hold your monkey for you.''


2.''I went to the zoo the other day, there was only one dog in it, it was a shitzu.''


3. ''Dyslexic man walks into a bra''


4. A young blonde woman is distraught because she fears her husband is having an affair, so she goes to a gun shop and buys a handgun. The next day she comes home to find her husband in bed with a beautiful redhead. She grabs the gun and holds it to her own head. The husband jumps out of bed, begging and pleading with her not to shoot herself. Hysterically the blonde responds to the husband, ''Shut up...you're next!''


5.A classic Tommy Cooper gag ''I said to the Gym instructor "Can you teach me to do the splits?'' He said, ''How flexible are you?'' I said, ''I can't make Tuesdays'', was fifth.


6. Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one - and let the other one off.


7. Two aerials meet on a roof - fall in love - get married. The ceremony was rubbish - but the reception was brilliant.


8.Another one was: Doc, I can't stop singing the 'Green Green Grass of Home'. He said: 'That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome'. 'Is it common?'I asked. 'It's not unusual' he replied.


9. I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost three days already.


10. A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says: ''Pint please, and one for the road.''


11.I went to the doctors the other day and I said, 'Have you got anything for wind?' So he gave me a kite.


12. My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed, I never knew they worked.


13. I saw this bloke chatting up a cheetah; I thought, ''He's trying to pull a fast one''.


14.A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named 'Amal.' The other goes to a family in Spain, they name him Juan'. Years later; Juan sends a picture of himself to his mum. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, ''But they are twins. If you've seen Juan, you've seen Amal.''


15. There's two fish in a tank, and one says ''How do you drive this thing?''


16. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.


17. When Susan's boyfriend proposed marriage to her she said: ''I love the simple things in life, but I don't want one of them for my husband''


18. ''My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that.''


19. I rang up British Telecom, I said, ''I want to report a nuisance caller'', he said ''Not you again''.


20. I met a Dutch girl with inflatable shoes last week, phoned her up to arrange a date but unfortunately she'd popped her clogs.


21. A jump-lead walks into a bar. The barman says ''I'll serve you, but don't start anything''


22.Slept like a log last night........ Woke up in the fireplace.


23. A priest, a rabbi and a vicar walk into a bar. The barman says, ''Is this some kind of joke?''


24. A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says ''Sorry we don't serve food in here''


25. The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow. I rang her up, I said ''Did you get my drift?''.




5/15/2015

Property of the Intellect


Intellectual Property or IP is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. The ownership of intellectual property inherently creates a limited monopoly in the protected property. Intellectual property is traditionally comprised of four categories:
  • patent
  • copyright
  • trademark
  • trade secrets
The products of the human intellect that comprise the subject matter of intellectual property are typically characterized as non-rivalrous public goods, or the same product may be used by more than one person without diminishing the availability of that product for use by others.

In the words of Thomas Jefferson:
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

The law of intellectual property can be seen as analogous to the law of tangible property in that both consist of a bundle of rights conferred upon the property owner. However, the law of intellectual property is separate and distinct from the law of tangible property. Where the right of exclusive possession is at the core of the bundle of rights protecting real and personal property, land and chattels, the same can not be said of intellectual property. The law of intellectual property is commonly understood as providing an incentive to authors and inventors to produce works for the benefit of the public by regulating the public's use of such works in order to ensure that authors and inventors are compensated for their efforts.


It all seems very simple in that, if I were an inventor and created a new type of wheel for instance, I could apply for a patent and if granted then my idea on how to create this new type of wheel cannot be used with my permission; and, the same situation would hold true for a copyright although it might be a little different because instead of an idea on how to build something, I have created a story which cannot be then duplicated in part or in total without my permission since I have a copyright.


Similarly, a trademark or a design representing a specific company makes sense as well. For instance, everyone knows that the red open umbrella belongs to The Travelers and to no one else and if you use that same type of umbrella you are infringing upon the rights of those who own the umbrella trademark and like too is against the law.


The McDonald's Clown is a trademark for the McDonalds company and they certainly would not want that associated with Chicken for instance.

And while all of this seems relatively clear and simply, it can be very complicated in terms of who actually owns the IP at the time of its creation?

Interesting question, is it not?

Suppose I am working for a company and my work hours are 9-5 and I develop an idea sometime during the day or between 9-5 then that IP would appear (at least on the surface) to belong to the company. But, what if that idea had nothing to do with the company at all... who owns it then?

Or, maybe an idea was developed after work or on the weekends and while you were not working you were still employed by this company so could all your ideas whether at work or on your own time belong to the company that is paying your salary?

And, how would you prove that I had this idea while I was at work or at home or after I left the company? In other words, you cannot prove that you did and you cannot prove that you did not... and yet, there could be a lot of money surrounding whoever is proven to be in actual possession of that IP.

Edward Snowden stole the Top Secret Intellectual Property of the United States and then started sharing that information with others... Snowden is not claiming that these thoughts are his... no, not at all... but, he is claiming that Americans and the rest of the world have the right to know about the type of Intellectual Property (secrets) that are being collected without our knowledge.

So, can the Government or should the Government have the legal right to collect your pieces of Intellectual Property and keep them for as long as they so desire or until they decided that they want to return it to you?

And, if we as Americans, look into what is going on in different foreign countries all over the world, we will come to realize very quickly that very few if any of these foreign countries actually honor our:
  • Patents
  • Copyrights
  • Trademarks
  • Trade Secrets
Is it worth going to war with China, Russia, or some other country because this country stole a patent and is now using that patent to produce a new type of wheel and once manufactured will be sold in the US and no money will ever be paid to the person who actually had the original idea for that new type of wheel and received a patent to protect his design...

I don't suppose that this idea is going to fly very high but should not all knowledge be free regardless of whether that knowledge was first discovered in America or in China?

The idea for gunpowder was first discovered in China... and it resulted from Chinese Alchemists around 850 AD who were experimenting with life expanding elixirs... so, it was actually their intellectual property to begin with from which the rest of the world borrowed the concept but when off in their own direction.

I don't think that Intellectual Property would stop being thought simply because our government stopped offering patents, copyrights, and trademarks and I doubt that the theft of IP will ever stop either because once we know the foundations of something we can always find a way to make it better... and, in so doing, no one should actually own any IP at all...

5/14/2015

Teaching My First College Class After Retiring


I remember teaching my first class for Carson-Newman University (it was College then) like it happened yesterday. 

 It was the Fall 2011 and the class was upstairs in Ted Russell Hall (The Business School) and the class was The Essentials of Management and Leadership and was a 300 level course so it was targeting Junior and Seniors although I had a suspicion that some Sophomores would be put into this class by their Advisers because there were no prerequisites.

I arrived to the classroom early (15 minutes or so) like I always do and made sure all the lights were on and all the window blinds fully opened to let in as much light as possible and the while board was cleaned by the previous instructor which it had not been, so my next task was to wipe it clean. I recall that I also had to raise the projector screen that the previous instructor had left down as well. And, my first thought was, whoever he or she was, they were using Powerpoints which meant their lecturing was no doubt boring... and, then I thought how cocky it was of me to think like that.

Before this “gig,” I had been Director of Eduction for a Proprietary School and one of my pet peeves was making sure the white boards were cleaned in between classes by the previous instructors which 9 times out of 10, those guys and gals did not perform that task either... so, I made of point of asking for a little money to pay some work study students to clean ALL the classrooms between classes.

I wanted to create the impression in the minds of all students that they were just as important as the class before them by respecting them enough to have the white board clean, all the lights on and blinds up, and the instructor waiting at the door greeting all the students as they arrived.

My classroom was like a rectangle in shape with the podium (which I hardly ever use) off to the left side which intentionally ignores the students on the left side of the room. I had 6 rows of seats with 10 seats in each row and a large aisle down the middle... for a total of 60 seats but my roll indicated that only 38 students had signed up for this class.

A few of my students arrived early and a few of my students arrived right on time, but a vast majority of my student sauntered into the class room 12 minutes after the class was scheduled to start and I intentionally waited until all my students were there... with assurance to myself that when 30 arrived, I would start the class regardless.

I printed my name on the white board and the name of the class and turned to face my students... all of whom I had previously greeted as they had arrived.

I did not smile and looked from side to side slowly and intentionally.

And then...

I walked to the back of the room and very loudly spoke my name and the name of the class and stated that if anyone was not supposed to be in this class that they needed to get out right now!!!

While standing in the back of the room, I noticed that all of my students except those that I could count on 1 hand were sitting in rows 4, 5, and 6.

I returned to the front of the room and asked the entire class how many of them actually wanted to make an “A” in this class. All of them raised their hands.

I asked them if they were sure and they all said yes.

I asked them if they were in this class to learn or to just make an “A?” And, they all said both.

I asked them if they knew what it would take to make an “A” in this class... in my class? Most were unsure how to answer that question... so, I got my roll and began calling out names and some responded and some shook their heads in a negative way, but there was this one girl, who happened to be sitting in the front of the class, and whose name I had not yet called who raised her and when I indicated to her that she could respond said, “we are waiting for you to tell us.”

Without thinking or blinking an eye, I got down on my knees and outstretched my arms above my head like a diver on a diving board might do... and, bowed down like I was bowing down to some sort of religious icon... then stood up and smiling very bravely said... “Perfect answer!”

Looking at the class I asked if they all felt this way? And, they all responded that they did.

Ok, this is what I want for starters:

I want everyone to arrive early to class because I would rather start early and leave early than start late. And, when it is time to start this class by my watch and not the clock on the wall, I will shut and lock that door and the only way that I will open it back up to let you in is if you have a permission slip for me to do so, signed by the Dean.

I want everyone to read the chapter we are going to discuss before class and be prepared to discuss. If the class is not prepared to do this, I will walk out of the class but will still hold you responsible for all the contents of that Chapter... and if and when that does happen I will make myself a note that as far as this particular Chapter is concerned that for the test, I will find something really obscure on which to test your knowledge... making it really hard to get an “A.”

I want those who really want to get an “A” to be sitting in the first 2 rows for the next class. And in row 3, I want those who want a “B” and row 4 those for a “C”, row 5 those wanting only a “D”, and in the last row those seats will be those who have a keen desire to repeat this class next semester and pay the school more tuition money.

In fact, if you think about it, it makes good business sense to flunk as many students as I can because you will have to pay tuition for this class again, and I can help the school increase its revenues which in turn may result in an increase of my salary.

Lastly, I am not a PhD so do not call me doctor or even think about calling me doctor and if anyone one of you screws up and calls me doctor because you were not listening to me now, then I will make sure that you flunk this class even if I have to change a grade or 2 to make that happen.

Are we clear?

Do you understand what I am saying and have said?

Do I need to clarify or repeat anything?

Do you have any questions?


My next order of business was to tell them a little about myself and why the school thought I should be here in this classroom teaching this subject to them. That took about 12-15 minutes and I made sure that along the way with anything that I was saying that I frequently asked for questions.

I told them that I don't do lectures and don't distribute lecture notes and that I don't do powerpoints that my classes are “hands on” and that we will learn by doing or learn by discussing and when we discuss we will drill down way below the surface unless you want this class to be taught like high school.

I shared with them that all my tests are essay and that I expect more than just a sentence or two if you want to receive an “A” and that I have no problem with you bring in examples from any other class or real world experience that you have had in order to help explain you point or idea.

And, I have no doubt that there was a lot more going on in that classroom than this little bit that I recall but I will tell you this... at the next class, all my students arrived there either before the class started or right on time, many of them (but not half of them) were prepared, and they ALL sat in the first 3 rows.

By the time that 2-3 weeks of class had passed most everyone was prepared, most everyone arrived early and most everyone participated even though all their other instructors simply wanted them to listen.

5/13/2015

To Protect & Serve


In ALL STATES, law enforcement is tasked with the responsibility (among others, let's be fair) of enforcement of all traffic laws including speed limits. 

This responsibility extends both inside and outside of city limits or into counties and highways and on our interstate highways. 

 Law enforcement personnel that typically patrol our interstates are referred to as: Highway Patrolmen or State Troopers or just plain Trooper.

Enforcement of these speed limit laws, I would presume is done for the following 3 reasons:
  1. To protect the driver from accident and injury
  2. To protect other motorists from accidents and injury
  3. To enforce the law

Hence the slogan: To Protect and Serve. However, I would like to suggest that enforcement of the laws is of primary concern to them. Of course, there is no hard data to support that speculation, but under The Freedom of Information Act (passed in 1966), we could request that data be supplied to us and analyze the data for emerging patterns. But, that will not be necessary either as most of us already know the truth, don't we?

When I working for the Community College System, I prepared re-certification training for the fire departments, EMS, and law enforcement agencies within my service areas. I recall during one law enforcement training program, I listened to 2 State Troopers joke about how many miles were they going to allow over the speed limit tonight...

This just could have been “jaw talk” or “flapping gums” but it also could have been indicative of the way it actually was for them. If so, my question to them would be: What gives you the right or the power to make those kinds of calls?” Granted those decisions could benefit speeding motorist but the law is the law and it should be enforced as it is written, even if it is only 1 mile faster than the speed limit... or, the law should be written so that the motorist has a range of permissible speeds before excess speed tickets are awarded.

Interestingly, in conversations with attorneys who handle speeding ticket violations, I am told that 90% of those tickets given could be “beaten” in court on some technicality. WOW, that is a very high percentage and my first thought is: Why is law enforcement who is suppose to be upholding the law (protecting and serving as it were) knowingly circumvents the law by writing and issuing false claims of speeding?

Not only does this undermine their authority but it reduces the respect that most motorists have for them in the first place. That disrespect carries into our cities and ghettos as we can see other examples of police abusing their power and control.

Most of the time but not all of the time, speeding tickets are given to out-of-state motorists as they are the least likely to return to that State and defend themselves in courts of law. However, as soon as only a few days after a speeding ticket is given, local attorneys send letters to those same motorists offering their services.

While America is the Land of Opportunity, this tastes like a SCAM to me. The speeding ticket itself for 15 miles over is about $30 but motorists have to pay court costs whether or not they actually go to court and they can range from $200 to $500. Now, are you beginning to see the scam? If you contract with a lawyer, that could cost you $90-150/hour for their time and you know that they are going to spend at least 5 hours or more. On the ticket it says appearance in court between 8:30 and 11:30 well there is 3 hours that the lawyer can bill you for just waiting.

Now, let me propose this: A level fine of $1,500 shall be imposed on the motorist who drives 15 miles over any speed limit.

Boy, would that slow potential speeders down... in a New York minute I suspect.

Did you know that in many States it is against the law to text on a cell phone while driving? How do our Super Duper Troopers detect that, pray tell?

Troopers would have to be side-by-side a vehicle in order to properly see inside and most side windows are tinted which serves only to obscure the view. Troopers would have to be standing in front of the vehicle, looking through the front windshield in order to catch someone texting...

...unless they are soon going to have new technology that will allow them to detect texting from a distance like radar guns which by the way diffuse with distance. So, if you are in a group of cars it is virtually impossible to ascertain which one of those vehicles were actually exceeding the speed limit.

FOOTNOTE: I would also suspect that law enforcement personnel to not give speeding tickets to spouse, family member, or relatives either or to each other for that matter. And, if and only if that is the case, then they are not equally enforcing the law and that undermines their credibility as well.

Our country is better than most but still this is not right just to collect additional city revenues.

POST SCRIPT: One would think that our Oil Companies and Refineries would encourage motorists to speed. Why would I think that, you ask? Because, any speed over 55 miles per hour, our automobile engines burns gasoline inefficiently and drains the tank faster, requiring more frequent stops for additional gasoline. Big Oil Money should trump the need for increased city revenues typically brought about by speed traps.

Speed Traps are those areas on the highways where the posted speed limit drops substantially (15-20 miles) and even though the new speed limit is posted, it is not easily seen by motorists especially when they have gotten used to a higher speed for a couple of hours or more.

To Protect and Serve is a farce.

5/12/2015

Executive Placement

In case you were wondering, the average amount of time that a recruiter spends looking at a resume is 6.25 seconds. Human Resource Managers tend to spend a little longer, maybe 10-12 seconds because they are looking for something special, a skill that has been requested by a Department Head.


The conventional way to look for employment when one is unemployed is through the classified postings in the newspaper or at online websites. But, 80% of those jobs at the Executive level and sometimes below have already been filled, the company is simply posting to be EEOC compliant.

So, what does one do, given these scenarios?

These days, it is not easy looking for employment at least not like it was 20-30 years ago when you could leave one place of employment and walk down the street to another place and be hired on the spot.

My first suggestion to you is to start looking for your new job, the day after you get your current new job because that first day is spent filling out paperwork.

It is easier, much easier to find a new job while you are working at your present job and these types of jobs are discovered by talking with one's suppliers and customers on a regular basis. But, never ask your questions when you are around other people or even on the telephone as some companies record employees phone calls.

With that said, do not look for employment on your office computer because most IT Departments have software that can identify keystocks. Even ipads and tablets will be monitored if you connect to the company's wifi.

You can purchase a portable wifi connection for about $25/month which is well worth the expense to keep from being terminated prematurely.

A company can typically expand operation through either horizontal integration or vertical intetration. Horizontal integration is when one merges or acquires another similar company. Vertical integration is when a company acquires one of their suppliers or customers.

There are both written and unwritten rules against poaching employees from horizontal companies but nothing really exists between vertical companies which leaves the door(s) wide open for employees to brouse.

Let me also suggest that you join professional organizations and attend their monthly meetings with regularity and sign up for committees and get involved there as well as attend their national conventions.

When attending these meetings it is imperative that you dress successful as well as act successful as anything less than this because you want to feel comfortable (like wearing jeans) will influence how others perceive you.

So, you have done all this but one day you find that you have been downsized which is a huge blow to your ego and self-esteem not to mention your pocketbook.
What do you do?

Over the course of my 45 year career, I have been downsized 3 times so I know how one feels when that happens and believe me, the first week is the hardest emotionally.

But then, it is time to get down to business and looking for work should be treated just like you are going to work.

Determine 3 people that you know and make an appointment to see them. Have copies of your resume if they ask but that is not the intent of this meeting.

Tell them that you are not asking them for a job nor to help find you a job; all you want from them is to give you the names of 3 people who would be in a position to point you in the right direction.

After each of those 3 meetings send them a hand written thank you letter within 24-72 hours of that meeting.

After these meetings, you should be armed with 9 people. Make appointments and do exactly the same thing with them, making sure to send them hand written thank you cards as well.

This second round will give you 27 meetings to arrange and the next round will give you 81 and that round will give you 243 potential meetings to arrange. And, as you no doubt have realized, doing all of this is going to take time.

Be sure to do research on the person you are meeting with so you will have some guaranteed conversation starters and all you want to know is who they know who is in a position to point you in the right direction.

Along the way of this process, referred to by Executive Placement Firms as NETWORKING, one of these people will be so impressed with you that they will offer you a job where sometimes no current job exists. When you talked a little about yourself to help him determine which 3 people to select, it will dawn on him/her that you are a perfect fit for that idea he/she has been rolling around in the back of their mind.

The short of it is that you do not need to hire an Executive Placement Firm when you are smart enough to do this yourself.

Companies do not hire you because of all the “A's” you made in college or the degree(s) you have earned or the experience you have had; they hire you pure and simply because they perceive that you can add value to the company and secondly because they perceive you will be a good “fit” with the rest of their employees.

It is just this simple.