Of Stakeholders or Shareholders

In South Africa’s Fabled Wine Country, White and Black Battle Over

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Breaking Up Tech Giants Like Amazon and Facebook

Two articles this morning remind us of the challenge of our time. The same challenge of past times. The concentration of wealth and power has and remains why class struggle and revolution often time follow the concentration, which to often is the flaw of capitalize.

When one class can separate itself from another. Those who have the ability to achieve this isolation, forget the pain of those on the bottom.

Stakeholders – the people, clients, customers and workers deserve the same respect and chance for a comfortable life as the shareholders

The Pledge Of Allegiance

Recently I was drawn to learn about the American Pledge of Allegiance and found this timeline expressing the changes that occurred to the pledge as this nation evolved.

From Wikipedia

The Pledge of Allegiance, as it exists in its current form, was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist,[12][13] and the cousin of socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).  There did exist a previous version created by Captain George T. Balch, a veteran of the Civil War, who later became auditor of the New York Board of Education. Balch’s pledge, which existed contemporaneously with the Bellamy version until the 1923 National Flag Conference, read:

We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!

1892 (first version)[1]

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1892 to 1923 (early revision by Bellamy)[2]

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1923 to 1924[3]

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1924 to 1954[3]

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1954 (current version, per 4 U.S.C. §4)[4]

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall

NYTimes: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants https://nyti.ms/2GqnbC9

As I read this article my mind asked the question what drives an organization and its American employees to forget they are American citizen’s with responsibilities to protect this nation from the acts of our enemies.

Excess profits, what other motivation could there be. The one motivation which is and will remain the greatest threat to society, the environment and our grandchildrens’ future.

Be it the concentration of power which drives excess profits or the reduction of quality, weight, volume or size, simply to maintain price and margin the shareholder will be served after senior management take its plenty. Stakeholders – client and employees come second, after the key executive and strategic shareholders are rewarded.

Russian’s and our other enemies will find our weaknesses and take advantage deluding us with propaganda and lies, all to achieve their aims.

Disruption or the Reality of Legacy

Often times people speak of disruption as this traumatic thing being imposed upon them, their industry or society. Yet, if we look under the covers disruption more than likely is all about a competitor, not locked into a legacy approach, approaching the market with different tools.

The world of payments, as so many others, have implemented technology then gone on to enhance or update multiple times. Each time, someone or some group of people, had to adapt therefore invest to keep up. More often than not, a community would decide to hold on to what they built, sometime ago, hoping no one tried to disrupt the status quo.

With payment the need to embrace more effective approaches parallels the robustness and frequency of transactions. It also parallels the desire of sellers to do business with anonymous buyers. A lack of trust and a need to reduce the amount of cash we carry drove, markets to promissory notes. These promissory notes further evolved, as trusted intermediaries entered the market and created more efficient methods of providing that guarantee of payment.

Not wanting to duplicate what is already written about the history of money and payments we can jump forward through the paper phase to where we are in North America: Cash, cards, some checks and electronic debits & credits.

If we look inside the evolution of legacy.  We find what we have, is a stumbling block, holding innovation back.  We need to decide to adapt what exists or remove and replace.

What happened

Reading about the history of the NRA I was surprised and pleased to learn of the original purpose of the NRA, Marksmanship.  It was all about assuring the effective use of firearms. As I continued to read I was further impressed when I read the following from:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association

Karl Frederick, NRA President in 1934, during congressional NFA hearings testified “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” Four years later, the NRA backed the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.

As I read the second amendment, the NRA President seems to embrace the first clause.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The NRA focus seems to have been on making sure those who bear arms are properly trained. Clearly a principal roll of a regulated militia is the training of its members.

A key word in the initial phrase of the Second amendment is “regulated”.  This word means:

control or supervise (something, especially a company or business activity) by means of rules and regulations.

Reading more about the history of this organization there was a unfortunate strategic shift.

Until the middle 1970s, the NRA mainly focused on sportsmen, hunters and target shooters, and downplayed gun control issues. However, passage of the GCA galvanized a growing number of NRA gun rights activists, including Harlon Carter. In 1975, it began to focus more on politics and established its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), with Carter as director. The next year, its political action committee (PAC), the Political Victory Fund, was created in time for the 1976 elections. The 1977 annual convention was a defining moment for the organization and came to be known as “The Cincinnati Revolution”. Leadership planned to relocate NRA headquarters to Colorado and to build a $30 million recreational facility in New Mexico, but activists within the organization whose central concern was Second Amendment rights defeated the incumbents and elected Carter as executive director and Neal Knox as head of the NRA-ILA. Insurgents including Harlon and Knox had demanded new leadership in part because they blamed incumbent leaders for existing gun control legislation like the GCA and believed that no compromise should be made

The question – why this shift away from Marksmanship, hunting and sportsmen?
How do gun manufactures play into this shift? How does the desire for profit, stimulate a shift to advocating gun ownership?

I then read a bit of Harlon Carter’s history. Convicted of murder and one can sense a racist attitude. Maybe the manufacturers came later and the white supremacist came first.

We America need to take politics out of the discussion and commission a panel of professional English language grammar scholars.  We should  ask them to carefully read the language of the second amendment and provide clarity as to what people, at the time it was written, meant if there is a strict interpretation of the Grammar. This thought led to a search for some previously prepared analysis of the construction of the second amendment.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment

guns and grammer
The_Commonplace_Second_Amendment

Clearly there are multiple interpretations, ranging from the objective of “Maintain a well regulated militia” to the objective of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”.

I personally am of the view that what one of these articles described as the “Collective Rights Approach”

Given these multiple interpretations, we the people as the majority of the people should vote and decide which we seek to be the appropriate interpretation.

The State of Our Nation

The three of you represent my interests as members of the legislative branch of our country. I have written to each of you at various moments in time expressing my concerns on specific issues. On this Thanksgiving Day I write not of one issue but of many.

I worry about:

• The cost and state of our Healthcare system
• Safety of our citizens be they at school, temple, church, out for the evening or at work.
• The inability to properly manage immigration be it legal or illegal
• The new trade wars that are emanating from these tariffs we are imposing on our trading partners.
• The need to preserve and protect the members of the fourth estate and to make sure they have the ability to, as appropriate and with the right level of decorum, forcefully question our appointed and elected leaders.
• The vicious and untampered attacks on the judicial and legislative branches of our government by the leader of the third branch of our government.
• The continued erosion of our position as a world leader.
• The loose of respect we are sustaining around the globe, especially with our friends and allies.
• The lack of confidence verbally expressed in the work and working of our dedicated intelligence services.
• The inability to express our disappointment when the leader of Saudi Arabia orders the killing of a US Resident.
Yes, I understand the implications and recognize this should be limited to a slap on the wrist not all out sanctions, they should understand our disapproval and national disappointment in their willful act.
• The continued warfare happening on this planet and the continued animosity, religious intolerance, tribal hatred, racial hatred, and economic inequities of our global economy.
• The concentration of wealth & power.
• The reduction in competition and belief in excess profit at the expense the employees and citizens.
I could continue and I am sure all three of you are fully aware of and can add items to this list I could not even imagine.

Our two-party system was designed in such a manner that consensus would be the result and that our government would seek to address the will of the majority. Unfortunately, the way our system has evolved: the will of the minority, the company with the loudest voice, the affiliations with the most money to contribute to the reelection of you are your colleagues and those who work as lawyers and lobbyist dominate the halls of our capital and the results of your deliberations.

I implore the three of you to work collectively to bring order, respect and decorum to the workings of our government and make sure that the freedoms, liberties and rights our constitution established are respected and maintained.

CC:
Senator Purdue
Senator Isakson
Representative Scott

The only absolute truth is God is all and in all

“Beware that no one leads you astray.” This biblical statement belies the reality of the perspective of one is only a perspective. The truth is the sum of all and the simplicity in the teaching of many not a few.

There is more faith in honest doubt than all the truths people will profess.

God sent – inspired – Jesus, to share with us the need to love each other and to recognize that God is in each and everyone of us.

We must remember God is everything. God is not a body, God is the body and we are simply part of the body.

God touches all, in a manner consistent with where they were and are, at and in their time of life.

Acceptance of each others’ belief is key

The following is an actual question given on a University of Liverpool chemistry final exam.

The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues via the Internet, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s law that gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that, if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell. Because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay constant, the volume of Hell must expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities:

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Sandra during my freshman year, that “it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,” and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is endothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is extinct … leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being – which explains why, last night, Sandra kept shouting “Oh my God.”

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A”.

The Good and Evil

Sunday, these two text were sent to me, to us when speaking to the two ministers at Church that morning.

Tell Ashly. Pls what a selfish person I am.

Tell Brian. What a selfish person I am.

Am I the selfish person or, are we all selfish? Each to themselves!, Each focused on their own interests! I like the author of these messages accept my selfishness and can only pray to become more selfless. Clearly a struggle in this world and country we live in today

That morning, we studied John 11:32-44 and discussed how the resulting reaction to the miracle demonstrates the division which existed then and still today.

Why is there evil in this world? As I consider God and Satan and I think of the difference between those that see God as part of each of us and those that see God as someone above us, I wonder.

I read a bit from Carl Jung and heard someone speak of how Saints are selfless and have overcome the selfishness of the EGO.

Infinite truth – In this universe, the only thing which does not change, while everything else is, is “Light”.

A letter to the legislative Representatives of our Government – be they Local, State or Federal

First an ask to all those who read this. Please share. I will start a personal campaign to send this to my senators and representatives through their contact page. Maybe even a few by snail mail.


To those that are empowered as the representatives of the “We the People”. As I write these three words I immediately think I need to hold true to what originalists would expect. This said I hope we can all agree that in the Declaration of Independence one word is out of place.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.”

The word “men”. This word I hope you all would agree should instead be “people”, “male or female” or “men and women”. I would also hope that when we think people or “men and women” we mean all entities that can be called Homo Sapiens,

no matter, their color

, place of birth, sexual orientation, age, religion or other descriptive variable.

If we are suggesting that we must read this literally! Then we have a major issue and this would explain why some of you explicitly exclude women from much of the deliberations. I do hope I am wrong, in writing this last statement!

The declaration then goes on to argue why we needed to declare our independence.

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

We are at a time in the history of this great nation when one must wonder if we should seriously considering altering the nature of our Government. The 45th President has no interest in representing “We The People”. He panders to his base, not the majority as demonstrated by the populate vote and the results of multiple polls since he took office.. You, the legislative branch of our government have divided yourselves divisively into two tribes and as have demonstrated an inability to to work together as one body. This might suggest a need to alter how our government operates.

I would plead with all of you to find a bipartisan way to restore the dignity of the various legislative bodies you are a member of.

This country stands divided and if it cannot restore unity it is at great risk. It is incumbent on all members of the legislative branches of our governments to restore balance, as one set of bodies and not as multiple sets of tribes and parties.

From Nothing is there Something

Recently I was reading a blog and ran into an interesting statement

“In the beginning, there was nothing, and there was something.”

The blog goes on to talk about the binary construct or what we know as the world of computers.  Three basic concepts are the foundation of all that a computer can do:

The most basic logic functions are the NOT, AND and OR gates.

IF something is FALSE, then it is NOT TRUE.
IF some OR another value is TRUE, the result is TRUE.
IF some AND another value is TRUE, the result is TRUE.

I immediately reflected back on a course in the Apologetics and remember the lecturer speaking the idea that SOMETHING cannot come from NOTHING.  Somewhere between these two discussions is a rift.  In that simple statement “In the Beginning” we immediately are drawn to think of the BEGINNING and the unimaginable be it “The Almighty” – “The Creator” – “God”.  For the apologetic his argument is that something, our universe cannot emerge from the nothingness of nothing.  There was something before call it the creator.  Like the Big Bang what was before it? a previous universe that had collapsed into a Black hole.

We then think about Binary logic.  It is built on the idea there is either nothing A Zero or there is Something A One.

There is something inherently missing from this

 

 

Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car

A man is being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard.  Suddenly, the light turns yellow, just in front of him.  He does the honest thing, and stops at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.   The tailgating woman hits the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the intersection with him. As she is still in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very serious police officer.  The officer orders her to exit her car with her hands up.

He takes her to the police station where she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects.

He says, “I’m very sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. ”

“I noticed the “Choose Life” license plate holder,
the “What Would Jesus  Do” bumper sticker,
the “Follow Me to Sunday School” bumper sticker,
the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. “

“Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car”.

Legacy the American disease

When we look at what this market have done my own journey parrallels.

The adoption of something new it is a human process influenced by culture.

1976 first programming job and exposure to OCR and timeshare

1978 cash management, electronic money transfer, ACH & Wire

1982 Digital, video and voice integration.

What happened to Marginal Satisfaction?

1986 fiber across the Atlantic

The wall

1994 Stir EMV, drive WWW payments, cryptography, MFA

1996 Convergence of leather and technology

2001

2003 EMV in Canada

2008 Lehman went bankrupt

2015 US EMV Liability Shift

2018 WebauthN Web payments Web of things

Now we think next. What next?

Sunday Sermon July 8

Ashley stood before us.

The life of a small town, 2000 plus the 1500 students attending the University 9 months of the year, sets a scene for a conversation.
A conversation about community and who we are.

Do those that knew us then, know us now?
The issue of going back is hard.
There is clearly a difference between those that have roots and those like me without.
Who, save family, do I still know from then?
Who knows me, where?

The story of Jesus Mark 6:1-6 as he emerges and his mission becomes clear this passage reminds us.
When he went home he was ridiculed by many,
People who had known him then did not appreciating who he had become.

The story teaches us that we simply need to  stand up and go forth.
As he did we simply must continue forward.
The power of Jesus, therefore what each of us must do, is exemplified in the next section mark 6-7-12.
He simply instructs his disciples out to go out into the world and share in the glory of God.

Do we fit in a box because others think so?
Or, do we like Jesus simply continue in the direction?

Constantly moving forward?

We all belong, yet where is it we belong?

Who is God calling us to be?
Is it who we know we are?
No, it is who we are here to be.
Who is God calling each of us to be?
Who is God calling me to be?

It is the discernment I struggle with.

Who Am I

Letter to the American President

President Donald John Trump
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
United States of America

July 6, 2018 Ref. Mine thoughts and Those of My Canadian Friend

Dear Mr. President, Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mr. President as an American who had the opportunity to work in five states (NYC, NJ, Georgia, MN, & NC), four countries (USA, UK, Belgium and Canada), two super cities & three major cities (Manhattan, London, Brussels, Toronto and Atlanta); I have had the chance to see and hear about our great country from multiple angles and perspectives.

August of 2008, after 23 years away, I returned home, after spending 7 years in Toronto; in a 35-foot motor home. Parked across the river from the town of my birth, near Liberty State Park and with the Statue of Liberty as my morning view. I learned about and had to accept the misfortunate of the recession. A recession resulting from the creation of those mortgage backed derivatives. Compounded by the devious behavior and the greed of the speculators, I brand “Wall Street”.

I will remember September 15th 2008, the day Dick Fuld, who I had worked with while with Shearson Lehman, made that fateful announcement. Newly returned to the United States, I had to learn about what 8 years of Republican control of the Executive branch of our country had achieved, what the heightened religious fault lines across this country were and the anxiety of the terror emanating from the middle east had done to this nation. Like 9/11, we were swept into another spiral of despair and anger.

We have been a great nation; for most of my life, we were seen as the great white hope. A country willing to stand up to tyrants, bullies, jihadists and anarchists. A great nation capable of reaching any part of the world. Strength built on the military and diplomatic respect we established with both our enemies and most importantly our allies and friends. I will admit I am an urban dweller. I have lived a good life. I found success in the world of Financial Services and the application of technology. I do not appreciate the struggle those in the manufacturing and agricultural economy feel.

Words like labor arbitrate, outshore resources and outsourcing are familiar. What stands behind these words has much to do with the state of our nation and the situation in most of the developed world. It is the result of these actions so many people in middle America feel left behind.

In 1982, when I first began to build a Wall Street trading room for Bankers Trust, I saw how Shareholder value not Stakeholder value, had become the most important factor within our capitalistic system.

People, be they customers or employees, no longer mattered. What I learned and frankly was disheartened by is that the only thing that matters anymore is the returns, as seen from the superrich executives, the shareholders’ and the financial analysts’ perspective. We had become a nation focused on the balance sheet and the quarterly report.

Yes, I have my views and recommendation as to the state of this nation and what we need to do to make sure we remain the great nation we live and believe in.

If I think about the economy. We do not need to bring the manufacturing or restart coal mining. We need to embrace the fact that our nations wealth is now in our service economy. A national of American healthcare works taking care of the sick and wounded, American call center operators serving Americans, American programmers developing systems for our digital world, American innovators creating for all and American business leaders is what we need. Yes, we need to rebuild our infrastructure and address public transportation. Yes, since 2010 our economy is growing, I hope we can sustain that growth and assure the people good wages, good jobs and a bright future.

If I think about healthcare. I felt the most exposed when I returned to the USA and discovered I did not have healthcare. I was unemployed and did not have the funds to simply go out and buy an individual healthcare plan. Healthcare was a big topic on the news as Washington worked through what ended up being a terrible mess of a healthcare plan. In my immediately family there are 5 Doctors. four practicing and one just finishing med school. As you can imagine it has been a topic of conversation since I was very young. Now the conversation is about how broken our system is. I take the view of someone who has lived within multiple national health programs. It bothers me that this great nation cannot figure out how to assure the health of every American, affordably.

If I think about education. We as a nation should make sure that every person living in this country is WELL EDUCATED. There should be no excuses. There should be no bias. Property taxes tend to pay for primary schools. It is primary education we must make the best in the world. Unfortunately, the way our system works the poor get poor schools – the rich have great schools. We need to figure out how to assure everyone an equal chance with a GREAT PRIMARY EDUCATION. Your idea of apprentice programs is exactly what our primary education system should assure exist. Everyone should be able to walk into the world with a set of skills at age 18. Graduating from primary school everyone should be able to go our and find a job, join an apprentice program, join the military or decide to invest in higher education. A college degree should not be required to succeed. A University education should be there to allow those who are gifted the ability to excel.

If we think about the environment. Please listen to the majority of scientist who know we are affecting the environment. It is the pollution we create and the materials we inject into our environment that is responsible for the state of our environment. We the people and our corporations are responsible for all the islands of floating plastic, all the Carbon, Sulphur or who knows what we inject into the atmosphere and all those chemicals we pour into our rivers and oceans. We must continue the good work, you and I saw, when we cleaned up the rivers around Manhattan. Environmental work making it possible to breath the air in central park, swim in the Hudson river or taking a cruise from the East 23rd street mooring, you used all those years ago.

If we think about our military and our role as the defender of peace. We need a strong and well-funded military. Not too much and not too little. We need to make sure we have strong alliances. Frankly, Mr. President, I would hope we would discourage other country form investing in military hardware. Our goal should be to have the best. Our goal should be to watch and gain as the cost of maintaining the peace and avoiding war and conflict falls to zero.

If we think of our role as a global leader. What more is there to say. We need to be diplomatic. We need to pursue the growth of democratic societies. We need to focus on quelling violence and protecting human rights. We need to be the partner everyone wants to have on their side and the enemy those who seek to do us harm; do not want to enter into a conflict with the United States of America, because they know they will lose, before they start.

If we think about the Statue of Liberty. She stands proud in the harbor of New York beaconing people to our shores. Yes, we need to manage the flow of immigrates into this great nation. We must remember those that come seek the opportunity this nation promotes. We need to accept all with kindness, grace and dignity. When necessary only then should we return those, who have not followed the published policy, back from where they came, gently.

We must also remember they come because they know they can find work. As long as employers can hire people who do not have the right to work in this nation they will come. Stop American companies from hiring illegal immigrants and they will stop coming. Simple economics – reduce the demand will eliminate the supply.

If we think of our nation and its people. You must lead by example. You are the President of all of us. Whatever our color, race, religious views, social position, economic situation or sexual preferences you are the President and you must be an example for our children and our nation.

We do not want our children to believe lying is OK. We do not want our children to believe bullying is ok. We do not want our children to shun someone because they are different. It is your role to bring the parties together, to lead the left and the right back to the middle ground and restore civil discourse.

On these next pages is the note my Canadian friend wrote.

Given you are into social media I will also post this via Twitter, Facebook and on my own website.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Andreae


Dear Mr. President:

I am writing you as an outsider, someone who has always loved your country for the values it represents and has fought for.

I was going to write you to express my appreciation for your efforts to dial down the risk of nuclear war by meeting with Kim Jong-Un and initiating a peace process which should make life less stressful for our Asian neighbours as well as for us here in North America.

But the euphoria didn’t last long, only because of the children. The ones separated from their parents at the US/Mexico border. You see them on either the front pages of the major newspapers or on the various media outlets and you know, this is not going away.

Children are ever the fly in the ointment which disturb our individual and collective conscience. Riding in the back seat of a car downtown on any New York or Toronto street and they are the ones asking, ‘Why is that man sleeping on the sidewalk?’ or ‘See that military vet begging in front of Dunkin Donuts? Is that the way we treat our soldiers?’

The children are invariably the ones who ask how did we let our world become so uncaring that we confine the elderly to institutions where nobody visits them, or send our street youths to jail when they had no opportunity to succeed?

And now they are congregating at the border asking ‘why are we being separated from our parents?’ ‘Is that how America treats its most vulnerable people?” ‘Isn’t this the land of the free, the land of opportunity, the land who has inscribed on its Statue of Liberty:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

However, it has occurred that there are now over 2000 children separated from their parents along your southern border, you are the one person who can fix this. It doesn’t mean you have to allow them all in – which would be my preference – or decide to send them all back home.

That’s not the issue. The issue here is the trauma your administration and by extension, all freedom loving grown-ups, are foisting on innocent children for which there are lifelong implications.

That is the issue which you alone can change.

Unzero the Zero in Attorney General Session’s Tolerance Policy, so the one thing that isn’t being tolerated is the confinement of children in cages and gymnasiums separated from the people who love them and who have risked everything, in the hope of a better life here.

Again, whoever is to be blamed for things ending up the way they are now is not the issue. The issue is – what is happening now is wrong, and you are the one person who can make it right.

I know as someone who relies on Christians of sincere conviction to help shape the bigger decisions one has to make in life, the one thing devout Christians all agree on is that God so loved the world, not that we would put our children in cages, but love them in such a way that regardless of who they are or where they are from, our treatment and care for them would reflect God’s thinking about them, that ’theirs in the kingdom of God.’

I can assure you, that kingdom does not include a cage. Nor should ours.

Thanks for hearing me out on this.

Sincerely,

John Deacon

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings?

In a NYTIMES article “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” the following statistic jumped out

Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.

The article then goes on to show that most of the assumed contributor to why America has such a high rate of mass shooting. after demonstrating how none of these can be identifed as the contributor it makes th following statement

Rather, they found, in data that has since been repeatedly confirmed, that American crime is simply more lethal. A New Yorker is just as likely to be robbed as a Londoner, for instance, but the New Yorker is 54 times more likely to be killed in the process.

Our love of guns seems to be the major contributor.

More gun ownership corresponds with more gun murders across virtually every axis: among developed countries, among American states, among American towns and cities and when controlling for crime rates. And gun control legislation tends to reduce gun murders, according to a recent analysis of 130 studies from 10 countries.

The article relies on data to establish its argument. The net result, America is a culture unlike any other with a second amendment right, which one can argue, is the reason we are such a dangerous country to live in.

After Britain had a mass shooting in 1987, the country instituted strict gun control laws. So did Australia after a 1996 shooting. But the United States has repeatedly faced the same calculus and determined that relatively unregulated gun ownership is worth the cost to society.

The article concludes with the following statement that cause one to wonder who are we this country called the United States of America

“In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

A message unsubscribing to https://act.moveon.org

I agree with the actions you are all taking, yet. I am not a democrat nor a republican. Constantly begging me for a donation creates friction.

When a party emerges that is in the middle and represents

  • The fiscal values by focusing on the PEOPLE not the lobbyist, billionaires and companies with deep pocket.
  • The social responsibilities including but not limited to universal healthcare, the economy, equal education and the environment.

When these values which I hold dear become the focus on a party, then maybe.

All I see today is Greed, Pride getting in the way of common sense and mutual respect. All I hear is ugly noise from both parties. I see a city frozen. The election of President Obama created a racial divide. Washington now smelling like a cesspit, not just the swamp Trump spoke of.

We, through our electoral system, elected Donald Trump.

Am I happy

  • With the mess he has created with taxes, the economy, tariffs, immigration, the courts
  • With how he is treating Canada, Europe, Mexico and so many others
  • With what he has done to international treaties and trade
  • With his denial that humans have and do effect the planets environment climate Change is real

No!

Does it bother me that:

  • He is coddling the strong men of this world like Kim, Putin …?
  • The consequences of tariffs on Global trade are not part of the dialogue?
  • We do not understand the USA is no longer a manufacturer
    • We are a place where innovation drives invention.
    • We are a service economy and must focus on keeping these jobs here.

YES

Let him get on with doing his job. Yes the legislator must do its job and make sure we have a check and a balance. We must restore order and civil discourse.

That said, the press needs to spend less time talking about him. Yes, the press must do its job and be allowed and pushed to continue to do its job. They should highlight what is being done and what some think. But hours of talk only makes the divide wider. Today for any sensible individual to understand the reality one must watch BBC, CNN, FOX, CBS, PBS, NBC, and how many others to filter truth from spin.

We must restore respectful dialogue.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

is this what it is really all about

June 25, 2018 I read this opinion piece –

White Extinction Anxietyhttps://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/24/opinion/america-white-extinction.html

And I reflected on the CBS News article my colleague sent me The message “86-ing” Sarah Sanders sent to conservativeshttps://apple.news/AFUXCTyw5RS668F_2_ElK0A

When he and I we spoke earlier today, the following statement created the impetuous to write. He said the Sanders incident was “the step to far” I would argue it is simply another step in the wrong direction. Have we stepped over the line? Maybe yet all we have to do is read @realDonaldTrump tweets to wonder where the line is. I then think about:

  • The incident in Colorado, due to a difference in religious beliefs.
  • What happened as a result of white supremacists marching in Charlotte last year.
  • What is happening in restaurants in the DC area.
  • What is happening along our southern and northern borders.
  • What has happened to our legislator and our two-party system.
  • Trump and other conspirators issue over Obama and his place of Birth.
  • Pro-life versus woman’s rights.
  • The puritan right versus the socialist left.
  • Urban versus rural dwellers
  • Globalists versus nationalists
  • The issues of Palestine, Jerusalem and the Sunni Shite divide.
  • Pakistan, Israel, India, North Korea, Libya, Iran and all those others who sought, acquired or are seeking the power of the Atomic bomb.
  • Capitalism gone terribly wrong, with off-shore labor arbitrate killing American Jobs.

Adam Smith, I think, spoke in respect to a village economy. What I will call a closed system. Yes, this village can be free market. It is the ability to separate and push, that which is not part of our village, out; that defeats the equity built into that village.

This is further complicated by the divide between the rich and the poor, between the haves and have not and now between the Republicans and the Democrats. I could have spoken of race: Angle Saxon versus African versus Asia versus Japanese or Chinese and I am sure we could add a myriad of other point of contention. The issue is we are becoming less divided not more

It feels like we have devolved into a world that thinks – “If you are not one of us you are not my neighbor. How then do we find and restore balance? How do we merge these two Christian thoughts into one?

“The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

“How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come.”

Earlier I was going to use the word Jihad. When I looked to the definition I had to hold that thoughts and use it in a different and more informed way. If I look at the two definitions 1. is what I planned to speak of. While 2. is what all of this is about.

Definition of jihad

  1. a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also:
    a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline
  2. a crusade for a principle or belief

When Obama came into office our legislators found every reason not to work together. The Tea party emerged. The left drifted farther left.

Hillary divided this nation. There were those not willing to see the Clinton dynasty survive. There were those who wanted to turn inward, a protectionist state. There were those afraid of the future and the implications of the Fourth Revolution. There were those who did not believe in any form of social welfare, be it universal health, education or wealth.

All of this leaves me adrift.