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What you Possess — The Thing

What you Are — You

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— Secrets

My Certificates









Seven Words

World Wide Web Consortium

FIDO Alliance

Global Platform

The Trusted Computing Group

Future interests

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  • Nature Language Interface
  • Predictive Analytics

Review of the IMF The rise of Digital Money

While reading the recent document produced by the IMF I am compelled to wonder.

What is the difference between what they call Bank Deposits and e-money.  My first question, ignoring the words bank deposit.  Both are electronic accounts of value, recorded in someone’s ledger.  These two diagrams extracted from a BIS paper offer a perspective.  

They then speak to four attributed to the “means of payment”

  1. The Type, be it a claim or an object.
  2. The value, be it fixed or variable.
  3. If it is a claim who is liable?
  4. The technology, be it centralized or decentralized

They then speak to the five ‘Means of payment”.


  1. Central Bank Money (cash)
  2. Crypto-currency (non-Bank Issued)

As we think of the evolution of these object-based means of payment, we need to reflect on a new term “Central Bank Digital Currency” CBDC.

As a historian, I then wonder where things like Digi-cash and Mondex fit into the classification.  The value was originated and then distributed into a personal and secure storage device (Wallet).  Redemption or better said the guarantee, was provided by a party.  Maybe not a bank or the central bank, yet, easily embraced by such an institution.  Somehow history seems to lose sight of the origins of money and assumes the existence of a central bank.  Here in the USA, the formation of a Central bank was one of many areas of political discourse.


  1. b-money (Bank issued)
  2. e-money (Privately issued)
  3. i-money (Investment funds)

The magic word behind all of these discussions is “Liquidity”.  The bottom line does the receiver of the money appreciate the value of the unit of measure and is the receiver confident they will be able to convert that money into another form, of their preference



Blockchain made simple

Let’s start at the beginning, the transaction, the distributed ledger entry. Think about the content of the transaction as the payload. Next think of the payload as land deed, cryptocurrency value, record of ownership, journal entry, smart contract … marriage contract. Either two or more people seek to exchange and record. Another way to think about all of this is as a block of data, code or other digital representation of something duplicated in every participant’s copy of the current ledger. No matter what happens, a secure system must be established for a smooth cryptocurrency transaction to take place. Maybe look for the best vpn for crypto trading? Could be an option, but only in the later stages when the initial nitty-gritty of the process is established.

A governance model is required

What is essential, before anyone can do anything.

The parties seeking to exploit a distributed ledger must define how it will work.

It is what the community or parties seek to represent and manage, using distributed ledger technology, agree.

The whole process of defining the payload begins when the community agrees to and sets off to publish the processes, procedures, rules, functions, and purpose of their application. It is this act of governance we use to define how and what will be conveyed in the payload to be stored and recorded on a blockchain. Which blockchain, protocol, and cryptographic processes; obviously it is a decision of the community.

We need to be clear before we can do anything with the payload. Ourselves and ultimately others will have initially and subsequently defined the mechanics and processes designed to assure the integrity of the blockchain itself.

A Transaction is appended to the chain

There are two parties to each event recorded within these transactions. The agreed events, transactions and smart contracts are ultimately included in a block and properly extended onto the chain for everyone to see and read. More about Confidentiality in another post.

Once governance is established
People can now interact

Each party has an address and then addresses unique to each asset e.g. coin. The address, in most cases, is simply an asymmetric cryptographic public key.

    • The individual, as is always the case with cryptography, has their own private key(s); they must retain, never lose and keep secret.

When the two parties decide to record an event; the sale or transfer of the title to a car.

    • A formal record of a property, a transaction, ledger entry is created.
    • The basic data.
      • The seller’s public key
      • the buyers public key
      • the payload
      • a hash
      • the signature created by the seller using their private key.

The transactions are broadcast to the network, buying and selling included. These transactions can take place through various methods; for instance, digital currencies could be purchased online, whereas to sell, you may have to use Bitcoin ATM and other ideas, which you can learn on Coin Cloud or similar company blogs.

The nodes or miners continuously work to assemble a defined number of transactions and create the next block.

The chain’s role is to record the providence of an asset and the immutability of all the associated transactions.

    • Each active node or miner is attempting to create the next block.
    • The mathematics involved and the use of hashes to bind this new block to the existing blocks in the chain is beyond the scope of this blog.
    • Let us simply assume the mathematicians and cryptographers define as part of the original design of each chain an infallible solution to the issues of economics, security, integrity, and immutability.
    • These specifications will define the hash game and how one adds the next block to the chain retaining the immutability of the present and the past

By being the first to calculate the cryptographic nonce

The winner receives a reward.

    • Hopefully proportional to the cost of work or other discernable and agreed method of reward.
    • The other active nodes then test to see if they agree the first got it right.
    • If consensus is reached the new block is appended to the chain.
    • This all assumes 51% or more of the miners or nodes reach consensus on the winner’s answer. And no one can control 51% or anything closer than 33%.

Around and around the game continues, as transactions are added and immutably recorded on the chain.

This whole process fundamentally assures history cannot be altered.

Chains split and fun things happen

If the process is not elegantly managed in full sight of all the participants.

Biometrics – Do we end up in a surveillance state




As we think about the world we are living in and the world we want to live in. We must balance friction and convenience against the potential risks which will emerge as technology blossoms and expands to touch ever part of our lives. This morning I got a text informing me of the 200 million cameras the Chinese had watching their citizens. I immediately remember the CATV system in London and

CCTV Camera technology on screen display

what parts of the City it covers. Its goal record everyone’s movements to protect against terrorists. Airlines are talking about ticketless travel and some are speaking of passport-less and ticketless airports. We wonder if Alexa is recording our every word and we know our PC, Tablet, Baby monitor & mobile phone cameras and microphones can be used by: who knows who, to watch who knows what, whenever they so please?

Is this the world we want to live in? Or would we prefer our cities to enact laws like those recently enacted in San Francisco. This law is meant to ban the use of these various cameras and listening devices from being used to identify everyone they see or hear.

This conversation then immediately bleeds into the question of our right to privacy. With all that the internet offers for free and what all these devices are capable of sharing; we’ve given our privacy away.

How often do you wonder why the ads you see seem to attempt to sell you exactly what you recent read about? How often do you wonder why you no longer can easily find the site you are looking for? Instead you have to filter through the search list to get past all the ads. How many of us even understand the information people can glean from what we do and were we are; when we use or carry our devices around?

On one side of the discussion is reality. As has been the case for as long as I can remember.  TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, browser, social media, much web content and mobile app are funded by advertising dollars. Spent by those who want to convince some of us to buy what is on offer. It is these advertising dollars which pays for the content and ultimately decides what will survive the test of time. On the other side are the politicians, regulators, lobbyist and corporations who are focused on one thing. Helping people prosper or worse protecting some so they can continue to prosper.

The acquisition of wealth, the construction of infrastructure, the destruction of our enemies or the support for those without; is all about money.

If we seek to protect our privacy and be assured, we will not live in a surveillance state. We must be willing to read the fine print and be ready to pay for what is now free.  We must be ready and willing to take the extra time to pull out our passport, enter our user name, present our boarding pass. We must insist on the necessary friction to protect our identity and our freedoms.

If convenience is what we insist on.  Be assured, companies will happily build solutions to remove friction. Beware, removing friction, when it comes to  your identity or privacy, means you will allow people and organizations to collect and store everything they can about you/  Their goal to identity you and without friction, with the purpose of serving you or better said profiting from your actions.

All of this is more than the Uber experience.  Uber recognizes your phone and account not you.

This will be a world where the system behind the camera will see you, compare your face to all the faces on file and determines it is you. Therefore, knowing who you are, it can do what it is told to do; because it is you.

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. If you are still a little in the dark about what these are, you can Google questions such as “what is a promissory note?” “What are the elements of a promissory note?”, etc. so you are fully up-to-date with the information that you need.

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.”


guns and grammer

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.

Senator Purdue
Senator Isakson
Representative Scott

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.

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.


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.”

What scares me most

Tonight while preparing to listen to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra play a bit of Beethoven I have a moment to reflect on the Worldview.

Once upon a time one could turn on the news and get a glimpse of what is happening at home and round the world. One could pick up a newspaper and think this will provide me a glimpse of the truth.

Then! In emerged the capabilities of communications and the capacity to write and distribute anything to a vast number of individuals. Otherwise called the Internet.

Yet, what is different? In the past books were burned, history was rewritten and lies were told. The challenge,today we can manipulate what people believe, on a global scale, in realtime. We can spread disinformation and drive the masses to believe anything people with a voice and the power to thrill want to convince them to believe.

Starting in 2016 who would become the American President proved this to be possible. The media demonstrated that they can spin the truth in whatever direction they so desire.

This week the story is about how the DOJ and the FBI obtained warrants from one of the strictest courts in the land. Every 90 days bringing new information, they convinced the FISA court to allow them to continue to investigate the potential actions of our enemy, Russia, or, what was the USSR. What the Russians did was evil and manipulative. I somehow doubt the GOP’s version of the trutb.

Vindicated! Donald thinks he is. Yet, for those who take the minutes to read, one can only wonder what does this incomplete review of the facts actually prove? Nothing!

I wonder why I waste so much of my time listening, reading and worrying. Is there truly a risk? Are we so divided that it matters. Maybe!

Part of the challenge, many think President Trump is doing good. They accept his narcissistic personality and read his tweets with a simply, oh please stop. The rest of us cringe and worry. We consider the risks. We watch our leaders splinter and the divide expand, and we hope for a better day tomorrow.

Fir thise that seek out the truth, we explore and we become aware of the elements that are driving us into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It causes us to wonder what can we do to bring the masses, those unskilled workers, who have been marginalized by intelligent robots, programmers, engineers and managers out of desolate. We work to reduce the numbers of workers and expand productivity all while ignoring the realities of the human repercussion ahead.

When I started this note, the thinking was about those who do not accept science, believe the world is flat and maybe 9,000 years old. They do not accept, we human kind, are responsible for the wrath of our planet’s climate. They do not appreciate the dangers ahead, as we change the balance of our atmosphere and pollute the lands and oceans that sustain us.

What next?

China, socialism and the world of electronic health records.

Today during a most enlightened networking meeting, beyond what someone in transition normally speaks of, we got into a most interesting and thought provoking conversation.

Electronic Health Care Records

Somehow we got into a discussion of the evolution and problems involved in developing the electronic patient record.  The gentleman, who will remain nameless, remembered a conversation he had with a man who was involved with the United Kingdom’s work on the exploration of space.  This knighted individual apparently suggested the key issue with developing the electronic health record was the issue of creating the patient’s electronic history from the previous pencil and pen records.

His approach to solving this problem was to use prisoners as the codifiers.  Of course such an idea immediately causes one to worry about privacy and the threat to the patient and doctors when these prisoners were freed.

As we talked an interesting thought occurred.  How often is a patient’s history relevant?  How often is the doctor quite happy to meet with a patient and simply focus on the symptoms described during that  persons visit?

As we reflected, we both realized that often the patient’s history will never be pertinent to a future diagnosis.  In those situations where the history is relevant, let’s say 10%, then there is value to the effort of codifying historic medical records, charts and the like.  The doctor and his office staff can find the time to organize the codification of the relevant data.  Clearly such an approach with the reduction is the cost of establishing the basic health record, is connected with the value a complete electronic health record will have in reducing the cost of long term care, something insurance companies and public health authorities can understand.

For that 90%, after the doctor has become automated and is part of a system designed to capture and retain the Patient Health Record, at the next appointment the doctor in conjunction with the patient can record important facts such as allergies, reactions to drugs, existing conditions and any pertinent operations or procedures the patient can remember.

Only when this basic profile indicates conditions that will have future implications, is there a need to go through the effort of backtracking through the records and recording any pertinent information.

China and Socialism

I asked my companion what he was up to.  He talked about the five companies he was working with in China and the various trips he had taken to remote parts of that great country.  He said three things that stuck in my mind.

  1. He remembered a bus trip where he asked about unemployment.  His Chinese companions asked him to look out the window and tell them what he saw.  His response “everyone is working”, “there are no beggars on the street”.  They smiled and he was reminded that in this socialist environment one of the fundamentals is that everyone has work however menial it may be.
  2. We then spoke of the economic divide that is emerging and like in all countries this is a reality that will always exist unless we can evolve to that social utopia described as the purest form of socialism.  A society where every man works to his ability and everyone shares equally. He then reflected on the reality that mobile phones, TVs and other luxuries were everywhere and the age old work ethic that is China, will drive these people to want more, therefore, work harder to get more.  It is this work ethic that is China’s strength and will be the issue we will have to address as the world moves forward in time.  If we in the west continue to expand our leisure time and the Chinese continue to follow their nature and continue to focus on work.  Who will win?  I think the answer is evident.  Those that work  will be the ones who win.
  3. He then spoke of issues within the industrial complex where mine accident occurred or dangerous products are released.  The interesting comment was that those in power, the top three managers, are shot when such things happen.  Of course this form of behaviour is abhorrent and clearly a violation of Christian thinking or western thoughts of punishment.

Yet what is interesting, assuming they learn to balance the punishment (100 dead in a mine cave do to poor conditions and insufficient safety standards) to the crime, is that those ultimately responsible are ones that are punished.

I then reflected on what happens in our society.  The executives always seem to go unscathed.  They successfully push the blame down to the supervisors and little people who work and manage the place where the disaster occurred.

If we were to dig deep enough I am sure we would find that they did all they could do with the tools and budget they were provided.  Budgets and tools authorized by executives sitting in big offices taking down big salaries and only getting worried when shareholders not employees come screaming for justice.

Assuming that China is going to continue to evolve.  That they are going to embrace compassionate forms of punishment.  While at the same time maintaining their work ethic and maintaining the premise that responsibility is top down not middle down.  They will become not only an economic power to deal with, but a country with a strong moral sense of responsibility and thus a threat to the soft life that has become the western dream.

A dream that balances not working more than 40 hours a week with demands for more and more vacation.  China will be a country where hard work is rewarded, pleasures are sought and people have a moral sense of responsibility to each other.

We in the west need to be mindful and learn from those countries that take the goodness of socialism, merge it with the power of capitalism and the forces of the global economy.