Family is where it is!!!!!

Family is where it is!!!!!
Christmas in Disney
Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if there are topics I should be spouting                                   off on.  

Remember that "Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly,                love fully and laugh uncontrollably....."


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Software update :-) (posted on and copied from EONS)

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0. I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6
I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn't work on Wife 1.0. Please help!

A Troubled User

Monday, January 19, 2009

Farewell, President (Martin Marty)

These remarks are taken from the end of a paper Martin Marty just released on the eve of a new President taking over. What struck me is the suggestion or even the mandate that the success of a Presidency depends in some part on you and me. 

What kind of people do we want to be with a new president who has such lofty ideas about what he wants to be? A sermon: We might do better if we aspire to be good rather than claim to be good; if we become a self-claimed godly people who serve God more than we boast about our goodness; if we spend less time fighting over who prays when and where and how, and let the intrinsic value of praying speak for itself. 

What kind of people do we want to be? It would be good to see us as a people weary of "culture wars" in which God gets used, and ready for armistice and truces so we can fight the political battles that must be fought in pursuit of justice; a self-claimed godly people that stops legitimating torture of humans; a less litigious people who concerns itself with building trust; a people that will turn down the shouting on talk-radio, cable television, and the internet, so that we can hear each other.

What kind of people do we want to be? A people not paralyzed by fear and insecurity in the face of fearful threats; a people more dedicated than before to the education of all and health care for all; a people concerned with the environment given - many of us say - by a generous Creator; a people concerned for the rights of others. In four or eight years we hope to bid our now-new president farewell upon his retirement: "Farewell. Your and our record is mixed, but there is good in it. And you and we and the people we affect can live with that."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What would Martin Luther King want from us today? by Thad Williamson

FACING SOUTH - Online Magazine of the Institute for Southern StudiesSubscribe to RSS
VOICES: What would King want from us today?

The following is based on a speech given by Prof. Thad Williamson of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, for a teach-in on Martin Luther King, Jr. on the school's campus this week.

By Thad Williamson

What would Martin Luther King want from us today?

You might be expecting to hear one of a couple different answers to that question. The first kind of answer would be one rooted in equivocation, stressing that we can't know how King would assess the many changes that have taken place in American society since 1968 and that we should not put words in his mouth.

The second of answer, perhaps more familiar, would consist of the following litany: King would stress how far we have to go as a society, and remind us of the importance of values such as equality and justice. He would call for us to be more engaged, and less selfish. But he would also take pride in the progress we have made and, especially with the election of Barack Obama, say it's okay for us to pat ourselves on the back and reflect on how far we've come as a society and how morally superior we are to previous generations.

Both those answers, I think, are wrong. If we look historically at what King had to say about American society in the final year of his life, a society that in many crucial respects was not so different than the one we inhabit today, I think it become quite clear what King would demand of us today. The real question is whether we are prepared to truly hear and heed those demands.

Most fundamentally, what King would demand of us, here and now, is a complete re-thinking of our own lives as individuals and our own way of life as a nation. In particular, he would demand that Americans fundamentally reexamine and alter the way we, the most militarily powerful country, related with the rest of the world.

In a series of sermons and speeches in 1967 or 1968, as well as his final book Chaos or Community: Where Do We Go From Here? , King called for a "radical revolution of values," which would entail a "shift from a `thing-oriented' society to a 'person-oriented' society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

I want to focus here in particular on King's critique of militarism, since this is the aspect of King's though that is so often brushed aside or forgotten. But let me first add a note on King's philosophy of nonviolence, which underpinned his entire mode of thought, and second a note on historical context, before getting to the specifics of what he had to say in 1967 and 1968 and how it relates to today.

The Gandhian philosophy of nonviolence upon which King drew is based on a simple insight: none of us have a monopoly on truth and justice. This may seem like a simple point, but for Gandhi it carried the following implications: since none of us can be sure that our partial truths are the whole truth, none of us have the right to impose our conception of truth on others by violence. Instead we must seek to convince others first by reason. But because reason often fails, particularly in the case of an oppressed group trying to persuade their oppressors of the justice of their demands, sometimes further action is required. This action should take the form of nonviolent disobedience, in which those disobeying authority attempt to convince both their antagonists and "neutral" observers of the truth of their view by demonstrating their willingness to endure suffering on behalf of that truth. While we do not have the right to inflict suffering on others to advance our views, we do have the right to endure suffering ourselves in witness of our truth and on behalf of our cause.

Now subscribing to this philosophy did not necessarily make King (or for that matter Gandhi) a pacifist in all situations. But King was certainly convinced of the futility of war in changing human hearts. He argued that it was a fallacy to believe to talk of peace as an objective that could be achieved by war--after all he noted, even history's most noted aggressors, people like Napoleon and even Hitler, claimed they were acting in the name of a future peace. Instead, peace must be seen both as a means and an end. Using war as a means to peace is a contradiction in terms, for war induces a never-ending cycle of resentment and violence.

Now to the historical context. By 1967 King had become absolutely convinced that the American course of action in Vietnam was not just a "mistake" but a positive evil, reflecting and spreading a sickness in the American soul. So he began to speak out in vociferous terms against the war, recounting in detail the long history of American involvement in Vietnam, our support for a corrupt military regime, our use of Napalm, our destruction of villages and families. He called on Americans to view our own actions as they were seen by ordinary Vietnamese. Vietnamese peasants, he said, "watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as they bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They must wander into the hospitals, with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have a killed a million of them--mostly children. They wander into town and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers."

With words like these, King broke three big taboos. First he criticized a president of the United States--Lyndon Johnson--widely believed to be a friend to African-Americans, the man who signed the Civil Rights Act, who declared a War on Poverty, who unequivocally sided with the civil rights movement and moved King to tears by stating in a presidential address "we shall overcome." Second, he criticized the American military as an institution. And thirdly, he questioned the justice of American actions.

But this was not all. King juxtaposed the American course of action in Vietnam both with unmet human needs at home and the reality of a world in which the majority of humanity still has not overcome the battle against poverty. He called for "affirmative action to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity and injustice," and decried the fact that so often the United States sided not with the world's masses, and had in fact opposed (by force) social change. Instead, he claimed, "our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal opposition to poverty, racism, and militarism."

Let us fast forward forty years. Although Soviet-style communism has collapsed and the world has experienced many other changes, I do not think King's basic framework of analysis would be much different than the views he expressed in 1967 and 1968. A major theme of these speeches, for instance, was his stress on the interconnection of the world's peoples by commerce and communication, and his conviction that the fate of the world's peoples are inextricably intertwined. The subsequent development of telecommunications as well as the reality of global warming only reinforce the truth of those propositions.

More specifically, just as U.S. foreign policy in the 1960s was aimed at combating communism, today the unifying framework is fighting terrorism. I think there can be no doubt whatsoever that King would have insisted on the futility of military intimidation as a way to prevent the long-term threat of terrorism. He would point out that we are now spending over $500 billion a year on the military, over three times as much as the estimated annual cost of a comprehensive plan to eradicate global poverty, in addition to passing nearly a trillion dollar bailout for powerful corporations, and say that our priorities are seriously out of order--more seriously than any of our politicians (including the just elected President) care to admit.

And while there is no doubt he would have been extremely critical of our military enterprise in Iraq, he would have gone far beyond the usual parameters of discussion. Today it is socially acceptable to favor withdrawal in Iraq because of the American lives have been lost, the financial cost of the war, because all that can be accomplished has been accomplished, or because the war in Iraq represents a strategic mistake. It is less socially acceptable, however, to talk about our practice of torture during interrogations or the abominations at Abu Ghraib. And very rarely at all do we hear attention paid to the fact that, by some estimates, some 1.3 million Iraqis--overwhelmingly civilians--have died as a consequence of our invasion in 2003, or serious media attention the many attempts to document alleged war crimes committed by American troops in Iraq such as the targeting of civilians and use of illegal weapons.

In short, despite all that has happened, we remain disinclined to scrutinize seriously the justice of our own actions and our own motivations, and to make a serious attempt to view ourselves as the rest of the world sees us. But that act of moral imagination is precisely that King's revolution of values requires. And King thought that when we become aware of the fact that our country, great as it is, is but a small slice of humanity, amidst a world in which thousands of children die everyday from malnutrition and billions of people live on just $2 day, we would find ourselves moved by the conviction that we in America can not "stand by idly and not be concerned."

Yet while King insisted that we open our eyes to the overwhelming disparities in the world around us, he steadfastly refused to let realism become an excuse for cynicism or a descent into bitter anger. King believed that the moral arc of the universe bent towards justice, a belief rooted in his theological convictions and his particular conception of human dignity. Put another way, stripping ourselves of the happy myths we tell ourselves about our country does not mean stripping ourselves of hope and determination to act on behalf of justice and on behalf of our highest aspirations.

There is still one final wrinkle that needs to be added. In answering the question what would Dr. King want from us, we need to think very specifically about who "us" is--that is us here and now at the University of Richmond. In 1967 King wrote that "One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great period of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolution."

Historically it is probably not unfair to state that the University of Richmond more often than not has been one of the protectors of the status quo, housing "fraternities of the indifferent." But King certainly believed we are not and cannot be bound by our history. So I think he would want to know, who here in this institution of privilege, who here whose adult life stretches ahead of them, who here is willing to devote themselves and their life energies to pursuing justice, not just as an internship or something one does on the side, but as a principal calling, and as an organizing principle for one's life. King would ask that question of each one of us, not only because the vineyard of justice always needs more workers but because academic training and the opportunity to become both intellectually and personally disciplined, while not sufficient in themselves in the absence of practical experience, have a crucial contribution to make in the formation of leaders.

So he would want to know who amongst us is ready to take advantage of the opportunities this place affords to begin to mold one's self into a lifelong worker and fighter for justice?

In King's view then, and I am quite certain now, the future depended on the answer. For as he rightly insisted, "Our hope for creative living in this world house that we have inherited lies in our ability to reestablish the moral ends of our lives in personal character and social justice. Without this spiritual and moral awakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Golf anyone? (author unknown)

In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.

By It's Size I Could Not Guess,
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I've Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.

My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same,
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End,
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.

It Has Made Me Yell, Curse And Cry,
I Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises A Thing Called Par,
If I Can Hit It Straight And Far.

To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.

It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Even Disappears Before My E yes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or ! Take A Swim.

With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.

It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hillary Clinton speaks out about violence against women

While not a Hilary champion to date, I found this piece by Nicholas Kristof encouragiing to say the least. Read on:


During Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearings this morning, she was asked by Barbara Boxer about violence against women. Senator Boxer referred to my column on acid attacks in Pakistan and the column about the Cambodian teenager whose eye was gouged out by a brothel owner, and then declared: “No woman or girl should ever have to live in fear or face persecution for being born female, and Senator, I know how deeply you feel about this. So I wanted you to take a little more time to talk about your commitment to this particular issue. And obviously I would be so pleased if you would commit to help us work on legislation to fight this immorality.” Senator Clinton responded:

"I want to pledge to you that as Secretary of State, I view these issues as central to our foreign policy. Not as adjunct or auxiliary, or in any way lesser than all of the other issues we have to confront…And it will be my hope to persuade more governments…that we cannot have a free, prosperous, peaceful, progressive world, if women are treated in such a discriminatory and violent way. I’ve also read closely Nick Kristof’s articles, in the last months and especially the last weeks, the young women that he has both rescued from prostitution, and met, who have been enslaved and abused, tortured in every way– physically, emotionally, morally– and I take very seriously the function of the State department to lead our government through the Office on Human Trafficking, to do all that we can to end this modern form of slavery. We have sex slavery, we have wage slavery, and it is primarily a slavery of girls and women. So I look also forward, Senator, to reviewing your legislation and working with you as a continuing partnership on behalf of these issues we care so much about.

So we’re going to have a very active office on trafficking, we’re going to be speaking out consistently and strongly against discrimination and oppression of women, and slavery in particular. Because I think that is not only in keeping with American values, as we all recognize, but American national security interests as well."

Senator Clinton has indeed been far-sighted on this issue, and I think she gets it. Rumor has it that she’s going to appoint a senior aide for these matters to sit on the seventh floor along with her. One of the problems in the State Department has been that the serious issues are perceived as those relating to nuclear warheads, trade or Middle East peace, and the rest is fluff. In fact, we’re seeing the rise of a new foreign policy agenda — side by side with the old one — consisting of issues like human trafficking, the environment, genocide. They are every bit as important as the traditional agenda, and I write about them a good deal partly because I want to help shape how they’re perceived and partly because I want to help legitimate them as “serious” matters.

If Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state embraces this new agenda (without, of course, dumping the old one), then I’ll take off my hat and cheer.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

History truly will be made this week.

Think of the incredible symbolism that will occur with Martin Luther Kings's birthday & Obama's Inaugural occurring 2 days a part. This truly is a historic moment and one I certainly will take pride in. We have come so far in embracing diversity. We have a long way to go but this is certainly a time for yelling hallelujah.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Generation Y is Taking Over by Sarah Perez (Read, Write and Web)

Gen Y is taking over. The generation of young adults that's composed of the children of Boomers, Generation Jones, and even some Gen X'ers, is the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers and three times the size of Gen X. As the Boomers fade into retirement and Gen Y takes root in the workplace, we're going to see some big changes ahead, not just at work, but on the web as a whole.

There's some contention over where exactly Gen Y starts and stops - some say those born 1983-1997, others think 1982-1997. In this week's Entertainment Weekly, Gen Y is defined as "current 13 to 31 year-olds" and BusinessWeek says they can be as young as five. Regardless, we know who they are - they're the young kids of today, the most digitally active generation yet, having been born plugged in.

How They're Different
They're Plugged In: The term "digital native" applies to most Gen Y'ers. Those in Gen Y grew up around computers, the Internet, mobile phones, video games, and mp3 players. They are web savvy multitaskers, able watch TV, surf the web, listen to music, and talk or text on their phones, often performing several of these things at the same time.

TV Isn't King: Although you'll find some Gen Y'ers obsessing over the latest episode of "The Hills," and other shows, they aren't watching TV as much as other generations do. Instead, Gen Y'ers spend more time surfing the net and using other devices, like iPods and Xboxes, even when it cuts into TV viewing. For them, TV is often just "background noise."

They Don't Care About Your Ad, They Care What Their Friends Think: Because they are immersed in media, both online and off, Gen Y'ers are marketed to left and right. But when it comes to making decisions, Gen Y tends to rely on their network of friends and their recommendations, not traditional ads. "Ads that push a slogan, an image, and a feeling, the younger consumer is not going to go for,'' says James R. Palczynski, retail analyst for Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Instead, they respond to "humor, irony, and the unvarnished truth." They're also somewhat distrusting of ads, which is why grassroots efforts can also work. However, don't get too comfortable, Gen Y doesn't have brand loyalty - they're quick to move the next big thing.

Work Isn't Their Whole World: Sure, they're going to go to work, but it had better be fun. For Gen Y, work isn't their identity. It's just a place. Gen Y sees no reason why a company can't be more accommodating, offering benefits like the ability to work from anywhere, flex-time, a culture that supports team communication, and a "fun" work environment. They're also not going to blindly follow orders just because you're the boss. Sometimes dubbed "Generation Why?" they need to "buy in" as to why something is being done. Old school bosses may find their questioning insubordinate behavior, but they would be best to just change their management techniques and adapt. Gen Y hasn't known much unemployment and they're not going to put up with being treated poorly just for sake of a paycheck. (Bosses, your survival guide is here).

They're Socially Conscious: Gen Y cares about the world. They pay attention to politics, the economy, social causes, and environmental issues. They think they're a force to be reckoned with in elections and follow the candidates online on social networks. They read the news, but not in newspaper format, which is is going to hurt that industry even more as time goes by.

Gen Y & Technology
Since Gen Y grew up on the web, they're going to be the driving force behind the way the web of the future is shaped. What Gen Y wants from the web will be the web.

Internet TV: Although watching TV online is something that few Boomers do, Gen Y is perfectly comfortable with this. They time-shift content all the time, not only on the web but via portable devices and mp3 players, too. When it comes to TV on the web, a recent study showed Gen Y leading the way when it comes to internet TV viewing:

Generation Y (33%) and Generation X (27%) led early Baby Boomers (19%) in use of official TV program web sites.
Gen Y (62%) users are much more likely to have watched a full episode on the program site than Gen X (41%) or younger Boomers (32%).
Socializing Rules...But They Want to Control It: Gen Y thinks a truly "private" life is a crock. 54% have used MySpace, Facebook, or some other social network. Most of Gen Y had to learn the hard way about the perils of posting everything online. As they've aged, they realized blogging their every thought and posting those embarrassing pictures might have hurt their jobs prospects at times, so now some of them are interested in more privacy on their social networks. They're happy to continue over-sharing with friends, but also learning how to protect their updates and set their profiles to private. They're also wary of old folks, like their boss, trying to "friend" them in their social space, especially if they're tragically un-hip wannabes.

But that's not to say their over-sharing is going to stop - Gen Y is getting into lifestreaming too, streaming live video via services like Yahoo! Live. In their own world, they're celebrities. Says Jason Barg, a 2004 graduate of Penn State University and founder of an online real estate company, notoriety is more about standing out from the crowd. "A primary goal of people my age is not necessarily to become famous but to become distinctive," he says.

Marketing Has To Change: Because Gen Y is media savvy and conscious of being marketed to, brands that succeed in the future will be those that open a dialog with their customers, admit their mistakes, and essentially become more transparent (save one notable exception, apparently). Companies' web sites that want to attract GenY'ers will become more like today's Web 2.0 sites. Social networking will be just a feature. Blogs will be standard ways for companies to reach their customers. Customer service won't just be a phone call away, it will be available via non-traditional means, too. Today, savvy companies might be using Twitter, but that could change at any time if Gen Y moves on. Companies will have to keep up with Gen Y and not get too comfortable using any one format. (Oh, and you can stop calling everything "viral" - that's lame.)

Work Tools Need to Mirror Web Tools: Gen Y will drive adoption of "Enterprise 2.0" products and services. Gen Y in the workplace will not just want, but expect their company to provide them with tools that mirror those they use in their personal lives. If socializing on Facebook helps them get a sale, then they're not going to understand why they can't use it at work. For more buckled down companies, if workers aren't provided with the tools they want, they're going to be savvy enough to go around I.T.'s back and get their own.

Companies wondering how Gen Y wants to use these tools at work should take a look at this - Sacha Chua's Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work (made for IBM):

| View | Upload your own
Web Sites Will Need to Cater to Shorter Attention Spans: No more long boring text! Thanks to constant media input, Gen Y has shorter attention spans and their "grasshopper minds" leap quickly from topic to topic. (They also didn't read this whole article...too long!)

Mobile Web? Yes Please!: Gen Y will be happy to adopt the mobile web - they are practically glued to their phones. Currently, Gen Y is using the mobile web to socialize, not search. Steve Ives, Taptu CEO, in a company whitepaper, Making search social: Unleashing search for the mobile generation, concludes that "...Generation Y, who sees the mobile as a social device first and an information device second, is not using today's mobile search as much as expected. But Generation Y is using mobile phones to access social networks."

Ignoring the voices of Gen Y is something you should do at your own peril, especially if you're a business looking to hire, a company selling a product, or an advertising firm trying to reach the

Friday, January 2, 2009

Feeling old/young. Remember this:

"A person is as young as their dreams and as old as their cynicism." Tony Campolo


Hope is the thing with feathers---
That perches in the soul---
And sings the tunes without the words---
And never stops- at all. Emily Dickinson

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years quotes

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
--T.S. Eliot,

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
(Oprah Winfrey)

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." Ben Franklin

"Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn't it, of a long line of proven criminals?"
Ogden Nash

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
Bill Vaughan

"The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows."
George William Curtis

“A new year is unfolding – like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within."