All posts by admin

Spike Lee Lights Up Dark Irony

Spike Lee restores Meaning to Media!

His new movie, BlacKkKlansman, respins a true story from an autobiography of Colorado Springs’ first African American police officer, Ron Stallworth, and a Jewish detective, Flip Zimmerman, who worked undercover to infiltrate the local Colorado chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in 1979.

Stallworth really liked making Duke look like a fool.

On more than one occasion, Stallworth undercuts the image of Grand Wizard David Duke as a fearsome figure. According to the detective, he talked to Duke weekly or bi-weekly, and in one conversation Duke told Stallworth, again a black man, “I can always tell when I’m talking to a n——-. Take you for example. I can tell that you’re a pure Aryan white man by the way you talk, the way you pronounce certain words and letters.”

He goes on to claim, “N——-s do not have the same intelligence as the white man to properly speak English the way it was meant to be spoken.”

See full book review at The Daily Beast and at Amazon.

The KKK wasn’t his only target.

A good portion of the book also focuses on his undercover work with anti-KKK groups, most notably the Progressive Labor Party.

However, the most fascinating bit outside of his KKK work might have been his very first undercover gig, at the age of 21. Stokely Carmichael, the honorary prime minister of the Black Panther Party, was coming to town, so the police department had its only black officer, Stallworth, go undercover to discover what kind of trouble Carmichael had planned. Ironically, Stallworth found himself caught up in Carmichael’s speech and ending up cheering at various points.

Your own “i-Kaizen”

Excerpt from author Dr. Loren Ekroth of Conversation Matters and other Resources he provides..

How to Make Personal Change Effectively

A real possibility for change is to take small steps. Here’s a great resource: One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way. By Robert Maurer, Ph.D. (2014) Also available as audio book.

This is the Japanese method for getting better [continuous improvement] …

Practical examples are in high quality automobiles like Toyota and computing hardware and software. …

Personal example of Kaizen: Practical tips for shedding weight:

1. Take small steps, perhaps 1-2 pounds per week for 5 weeks.

2. Have an accountability buddy, someone close you report to regularly.

3. Focus on the present: What’s one thing you can do today toward your goal? Example: Eliminate a high calorie drink like soda, beer, or wine. For example, a glass of red wine contains 300 calories, 2100 per week, 8,500 per month. I quit red wine and easily shed 30 pounds in a few months

Visit Conversation Matters for a rich library of practical business-savvy and success-centric ideas, ice breakers and clever solutions…


Feel free to use any part of this as a template, but for maximum effectiveness, (and if you wish to be taken seriously) please:
1. “sign it” at bottom with your name and email address per old fashioned letter protocol …
2. use your recipient’s correct title

Dear President Trump,

RE: proposed FCC changes to net neutrality schedule December 2017

Please re-consider the negative consequences of the steps under consideration, ostensibly to enhance services.

These proposed changes will monetize and add opportunity for future administrations and non-voting entities to MANIPULATE what is has been a very even playing field.

Current “net neutrality“ is the closest we have to a “Free Market” environment where worldwide popularity will test and “make-or-break” a website or business or New Idea.

The decision before you is analogous to giving “MORE free speech” to some – and thereby “LESS free speech” to others: contradicting the meaning of “free speech”.

There is nothing broken here to fix – only the temptation to tax, divide and break an engine that has already provided unparalleled revenue.

They already have and currently use their ability to increase bandwidth by subscription “paywalls”.


1. Reject these proposed changes

2. Enact laws that will ENSURE net neutrality and shield it from future attempts to change it directly and indirectly.

Respectfully yours,

Lincoln’s Thanks and Today’s Blame

What a happy surprise to find President Abraham Lincoln’sPortrait Abraham Lincoln, 16th President Thanksgiving  Proclamation 106 of 1863 has NOT been expunged from the University of Santa Barbara .

Question 1:  Is his couplet below about SIN and MERCY ever heard, or allowed from the political dais?  Or in your own  church or synagogue ?
…They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

Question 2:  Addressed to  professing Christians jumping on the bandwagon of “disgracing the American flag”

  • How is the litany of crimes alleged against that symbol of cloth flown over the White House or given a moment’s reflection in our Sports Venues
    • any different than the crimes of which the Lord Jesus and YOU and YOUR congregation are accused of today by those who gleefully associate Him and YOU with the KKK, Crusades, and  bitterly clinging to time-tested family values?

By contrast, please notice how Abraham Lincoln skipped the opportunity to denigrate his country, arguably  “guilty” of an unparalleled civil war,  and the mud-slinging questionable politics that gave his new party and himself a fatal election:

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, … order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict… …

Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

 It’s not enough to quietly censor this from our schools’ history classes,  but now the siren song of media attention has lured ostensibly “Moral Leaders” to join the chorus, broadcasting guilt and shame with the result that censorship is doubled by parody and mockery.

Why not instead take the high road, as even your Bible does … contrasting a long track record of humanity’s  unvarnished foibles alongside God’s unapologetic Judgement and Mercy, and His ultimate personal solution?

Full transcript of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity,  which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans. mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.


What did you ASK for?

…Steve Jobs identified what Separates Achievers From Those Who don’t …

Excerpt from Full article at INC Magazine

Steve Jobs believed in the power of asking.

I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me […] if I asked them for help …

I called up Bill Hewlett when I was 12 years old. “Hi, I’m Steve Jobs. I’m 12 years old. I’m a student in high school. I want to build a frequency counter, and I was wondering if you have any spare parts I could have.” He laughed, and he gave me the spare parts, and he gave me a job that summer at Hewlett-Packard … and I was in heaven.

I’ve never found anyone who said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. And when people ask me, I try to be responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.

Granted, it’s often not easy to ask for help. Asking can make you feel insecure. Asking can make you feel vulnerable.

You show respect.

..You’ve said, “You can do what I can’t.” You’ve said, …

You show trust. …

… you implicitly … that you trust the other person with that knowledge.

You show you’re willing to listen….

You get more — a lot more.

And so do other people, because they gain a true sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from being shown the respect and trust they – and everyone – deserve…

Kim’s Heartfelt Probe of North Korea

Last Year’s News Resurfaced in August 2017 with Nuclear Brinkmanship… a timely “must read” news item from North Korea

Without You, There Is No Us”:

My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim

Random House:

Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang

National Public Radio

Kim’s reporting turned into the book Without You, There Is No Us, which — much to her dismay — was marketed as a memoir. She wrote in The New Republic recently that the book was not only miscategorized as a North Korean Eat, Pray, Love — a memoir of self-discovery by the writer Elizabeth Gilbert — but it was also trivialized. Kim argued that her investigative reporting would not have been confused for a personal narrative account were she not Korean or a woman.

Continue reading Kim’s Heartfelt Probe of North Korea

Esther Afua Ocloo from Ghana

Mental Floss Excerpt

Google Doodle celebrates what would have been the 98th birthday of Esther Afua Ocloo.

…[W]ho was this groundbreaking businesswoman who was known to so many as “Auntie Ocloo”?

[Here are] five fast facts about her life and legacy.

1. SHE STARTED HER FIRST BUSINESS WITH LESS THAN A DOLLAR. Ocloo recalled in an interview years later. “With six shillings I bought the ingredients to make marmalade, …
… I was ridiculed by all my classmates, who saw me hawking marmalade on the street like an uneducated street vendor. …. “They were so impressed with how successful my business was, they began reserving a percentage of my profits to save money for me to go to England for further training.” ….

…. She also took classes in food science, technology, preservation, nutrition, and agriculture at Bristol University.
…. ”You know what we found? We found that a woman selling rice and stew on the side of the street is making more money than most women in office jobs—but they are not taken …. Ocloo helped to found eight nonprofit organizations, including the Sustainable End of Hunger Foundation and Women’s World Banking, a micro-lending organization that gives small loans to female business owners who are unable to secure traditional bank loans. The organization operates in more than two dozen countries.

>… True to form, Ocloo reinvested much of her prize money in the women she fought so hard to empower….,

… when Ocloo’s children once complained to her about how all that training was only helping her competitors, Ocloo responded …, “I don’t listen. My main goal is to help my fellow women. If they make better marmalade than me, I deserve the competition.… .

After gaining success, Ocloo passed her business knowledge on to other Ghanaians, founding the Women’s World Banking organization in 1979 to help low-income women create businesses.

Wikipedia Excerpt
Afua Nkulenu was born in the Volta Region to George Nkulenu, a blacksmith, and his wife Georgina, a potter and farmer. Sent by her grandmother to a Presbyterian primary school, she proceeded to a coeducational boarding school at Peki Blengo. Because of poverty, she traveled weekly from home to the school, taking food supplies which she cooked for herself to avoid expenses. When she won a scholarship to Achimota School, her aunt provided her with money to travel to the school. She studied there from 1936 to 1941, when she obtained the Cambridge School Certificate.:
Nkulenu was the first person to start a formal food processing business in the Gold Coast; she built up a business supplying marmalade and orange juice to Achimota School and the RWAFF. Institute in London and to take the post-graduate Food Preservation Course at… Bristol University


We laughed with June for a season

Ah Youth! Idealism! Laughter and Hope in a simpler time?

June and Television brought warm laughter into our Cold War homes.

An Emmy winner at 95, she quietly gave us her swan song last week at 99 !

Extolled by National Public Radio on multiple occasions we learned:

June Foray is gone, leaving an absence, an ache, a cloud of whirling bobby pins in her wake.
The voice of many beloved animated characters, including the plucky Rocky the Flying Squirrel, the sinister spy Natasha Fatale, the tow-headed moppet Cindy-Lou Who and — most delightfully, to my mind — the girlishly ghoulish Witch Hazel, Foray died Thursday at the age of 99.
She was called the Queen of Animation for a reason — she was a passionate lifelong advocate for the form, and for recognizing the efforts of those who work in it.
Variety's obit goes deep on her role in founding the Annie Awards, and in establishing the Oscar's Animated Feature category.).


  • Tweety’s Granny
  • Villainess of Riki Tiki Tavi with
  • Orson Wells
  • Natasha Badenov
  • Rocket J. Squirrel,
  • Witch Hazel jocular nemesis of Bugs B
  • Cindy-Lou Wh alongside The Grinch
  • MuLan's Grandmother Fa

Only on the Rocky and Bullwinkle segment "Fractured Fairy Tales" did Foray really get to show her comedy chops, as the anthology format called for a rotating roster of tough cookies: independent-minded princesses and tart-tongued witches. Proscribed gender roles, yes — but each one different, and recognizably Foray['s].

She got a bit more room to play when she tackled villains like Witch Hazel, who tangled with Bugs Bunny on several occasions. The vain, coquettish hag always held her own, and took an infectious amount of joy in her work. She laughed at her own jokes — and invited you to join in.

Teenage Girl Kills Anthrax

Teenage girl Sarit Sternberg’s little friends are tiny yet powerful viral killers of anthrax…

Sarit Sternberg
“It was wonderful, I was really, really happy. I was literally jumping up and down, it was amazing,” she said.

Researcher Sarit Sternberg

Sarit Sternberg

Israeli student Sarit Sternberg has made a significant scientific discovery – finding a virus that can kill anthrax, all at the age of 16.

Sternberg is part of the Alpha program for gifted high school students in Israel and is in Australia to talk about her discovery.

Antibiotics are usually used to treat anthrax, but certain bacteria are building resistance.

Sternberg has been looking at bacteria-killing viruses called phages, and she found one that can kill anthrax.

Anthrax: The target

Chancellor to Censor Racist Algebra?

A July 19, 2017 NPR  interview attributes this logic to  (California community college) Chancellor  Eloy Ortiz Oakley:

Algebra .. is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you’re not a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math), why even study algebra?

The Chancellor later uses Bob Moses’ success as an excuse to remove intermediate “absract” algebra as an requirement – an illogical step which is the OPPOSITE of Moses’ path. Bob Moses , the civil rights activist, started the Algebra Project, teaching concepts of algebra to black students in the South. He saw the teaching of math as a continuation of the civil rights struggle.

The Chancellor continued:

Rates of failure in algebra are higher for minority groups than they are for white students. Why do you think that is? Do you think a different curriculum would have less disparate results by ethnic or racial group?

First of all, we’ve seen in the data from many of the pilots across the country that are using alternative math pathways — that are just as rigorous as an algebra course — we’ve seen much greater success for students because many of these students can relate to these different kinds of math depending on which program of study they’re in. They can see how it works in their daily life and how it’s going to work in their career.

In the next paragraph the chancellor, almost as an aside, correctly identifies that statistics also exists for poorer non-minorities… Which suggests he may be just throwing up incendiary verbiage to attract some media frenzy to his campaign.

The second thing I’d say is yes, this is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans. If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.

An eruption in social media followed, in which  an agitated near-nanogenarian critic opined:

Is Racist Algebra the only culprit? Are Evil grammar, diabolical Debate and Elitest Rhetoric in the same hit list?

Algebra is a very structured, even “simplified” form of language-like (read as “English-like” for American students) communication. Hence the dreaded “story problems”. If this eraser-head Academic has his way, then grammar will be the next neo-racist culprit to be banned from education.
This fellow is the “big bad wolf**” of RACISM disguised as a “loving grandma” when he spouts “minorities can’t do math”.

(does he or his favorite minority know what a **metaphor is? I don’t. I get them mixed up with similes and allegories. Then should these abstractions  also be ripped from textbooks as federal hate crime concepts?)

I wonder what Benjamin Banneker, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, Katherine Johnson or Angie Jones would say to this?

Didn’t even Rev Jessie Jackson1 resist similar LOGIC that argued relevant Ebonics should replace elitest and obsolete English in minority classrooms?

The racial statistics the Chancellor sites exposes failure to recruit quality teachers to low pay in dangerous neighborhoods – NOT their students’ ability to learn

LinkedIn example of a young (minority) industrial-expert who teaches people of all races and age groups

This is not the first time Academics Patrons have demonstrated their “noblesse oblige” to carve out safe space (scholastic ghetto?) for their pet constituents:  1Jesse Jackson and Maya Angelou   both resisted this temptation to cull English that the chancellor seems to embrace for Algebra.

Oakland Scratches Plan To Teach Black English –
The poet Maya Angelou said ”the very idea that African-American language is a language separate and apart” could encourage young black students not to learn standard English. The Rev. Jesse Jackson warned initially that the plan could undermine efforts to preserve the opportunities available to black men and women in affirmative-action programs.

Community colleges help people specialize in intermediate middle-class careers.

The Chancellor stumbles over, yet completely misses the wonderful idea to turn advanced abstract algebra into workable solutions for every class. Instead of making classic and  “alternative [math] pathways” into enemies, he should bolster and encourage an academic standard.

Intermediate algebra” is obviously an intermediate and very necessary step. Therefore the Alternate and the Standard should not be politically divisive, nor mutually exclusive – just as  “abstract” Axioms and practical “story problems” are side-by-side  in every High School algebra textbook.


“REAL-to-REEL” compares Reality with the Script