Society

Includes Social Commentary and Ed Bagley's Blog Articles

Society:

A Social Essay on "The Dealth of Guilt" by Judy Bachrach

You Want Some Really Bad News, Punk? Skip Maricopa County in Arizona – You Will Get What You Deserve

You Must Be 40+ to Read and Understand the Answer to the Question "No Cell Phones?"

Just Wondering - Is America on a Suicide Track? Could Our Quest for Diversity and Self-Expression Be Destroying Our Sense of Unity as Americans?

Is Facebook Promoting Itself at the Expense of Its Social Networking Users? It's Your Call

People are into socializing, but only in an online environment that is secure. Facebook, the nation's top social networking site, is giving greater access to everyone's information; many think it is an invasion of privacy. This guest article is by Amber MacArthur.

Hippies Today and 40 Years Ago - A Look Backward

Be Aware of a New Traffic Law That Is Not Well Known

If you suddenly get a ticket one day, this may be the reason why.

The Millennial Generation's Most Distinguishing Traits: They Are the Most Educated, and the Least Employed

America is not only the world's greatest nation, and the world's greatest melting pot; it is also home to the world's most recognizable generations. Each generation of Americans develops characteristics that distinguish them from other generations. Find out what makes the Millennial Generation special.

It Is Hard to Believe, But There Are Still Places in America That Can Manage Just Fine Without Government Help - Like  Michigan's Upper Peninsula

A friend of mine sent me this. I was interested in reading it for no other reason than the fact that I was born and raised in Michigan. I remember how tough those Michigan winters could be in the Lower Peninsula; winters in the Upper Peninsula were a lot tougher.

The Gripping, Human Psychological Drama That Cost the Lives of Anne Frank, Her Family and Millions of Other Innocent People - Last Human Link Dies at 100

This article by Monica Hesse first appeared in the Washington Post. I am not Jewish, but the year I was born (1944) happened to be the year the Franks were discovered in hiding and sent to concentration camps. The Holocaust was one of the saddest atrocities of our time and should be remembered as an evil work by an insane, evil leader. The story of Anne Frank and her family reminds us that—whatever our cultural heritage and background—we are all connected on planet Earth. It is a pity that even today, both nations and people cannot get along in peace.

Our Changing Culture - 25 Things That Are About to Become Extinct in America

When I was born in 1944, there was no penicillin, no television, no microwave ovens, no pagers, no fax machines, no television, no cable with 150 channels, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet, no chat rooms, no iPods, no BlackBerries, no PlayStations, no Nintendos, and no X-boxes. For the record, Pfizer opened the first commercial plant for large-scale production of penicillin in Brooklyn, New York on March 1, 1944. The widespread use of penicillin would jump-start the use of antibiotics to cure disease in the world. Now the world is changing radically again, according to this article floating around the Internet.

Despite Their Sordid Treatment, the Nisqually Indian Tribe Continues to Maintain Its Cultural Heritage

There are many things that the United States of America has little to be proud about, and one is the treatment of the native American Indians who occupied the land before the white settlers arrived. The treatment of the Nisqually Tribe is just one example. If you thought the foreign settlers had it tough, read a little history about the Nisqually Tribe.

American Comedian Robin Williams Has a Plan for the People Who Do Not Like Us

Robin Williams, among the best known comedians in America, has entertained and been supportive of our military troops in harm's way. He also has pretty much reached his limit of tolerance with the lack of gratitude shown over our willingness to help people and nations around the world in the name of peace and progress. In a speech in New York, he made his feelings known while wearing a shirt that said "I Love New York" in Arabic.

Canada, Like America, Is a Melting Pot, Not a Place to Create Your Own Dish

America and Great Britain have all of the immigration problems they want, and more than they can apparently handle at the moment. This article has one Canadian weighing in on its issues as well. America has become the greatest nation on Earth, at least up till now, because it forced immigrants to become part of a melting pot—to literally learn our culture, customs and English language when they arrived.

An Offer to Kill an American Generates a Response for an Australian Dentist

You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that apparently someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what is an American. Here is his response.

50 Years Can Make a Lot of Difference in How We Handle Everyday Problems

Those of us who are 65 and older can remember what it was like in the 1950s. Here is an interesting comparison between how we react to "problems" now as opposed to back then. If you think we are handling "problems" better now, you perhaps have no idea there is another way to deal with children, parents, teachers, schools and administrators. Here is a high school comparison between 1957 and 2008.

Just How Far Would You Go as an American to Protect Your Freedoms?

This Internet article is proof positive that freedom is not free. Before you get all self-righteous and snotty about all of your freedoms as an American citizen, or as an illegal alien in the United States, answer this question: Have you ever served in the United States military in a foreign country during wartime? A lot of your fellow Americans died for your precious rights, and don't you ever forget it. Our American soldiers are still dying today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Count your blessings, especially if you have never done squat as an American to protect the rights you enjoy.

Happy Birthday America

This guest salute to the country was posted in thethreetomatoes' newsletter and sent to me by Celeste Champagne, my editor in Connecticut. Celeste is a subscriber to The Three Tomatoes newsletter, which originates in the Big Apple.

A Look Back at What America Was Like 100 Years Ago in 1909

This article has been floating around the Internet. I cleaned it up a bit, and post it here because it is interesting to take a look back in time and see how America stacked up in 1909.

Unlikely Miscreants? Or Could It Be That the Majority Have Not Yet Been Caught?

Hardly a week goes by when some pro football or pro basketball player is not the hot news story of the moment for some indiscretion they have committed. Many of these athletes make millions on the field and then become brain dead off the field. Think of Michael Vick and dogs and losing probably $100 million in future income. Let me share with you the profile of an organization and see if you can guess which organization it is—the National Basketball Association or the National Football League?

If You Are Going to Get in Trouble with the Law, Skip Maricopa County in Arizona

These facts from an email about a county sheriff in Arizona are flat amazing in today's world of law enforcement, where criminals are sometimes treated like victims in the legal process. Meanwhile, their actual victims and their families are quickly pushed aside so tolerant liberals can show their compassion and launch rehabilitation programs that rarely, if ever, work.

How Clever Thieves Are Stealing Cars Without Even Breaking into Your Car

A lot of advice—some good and some not so good—travels around the Internet by well meaning (in most cases) users. Here is a tidbit that is valuable enough to notice about how thieves are now beginning to steal vehicles.

Teddy Roosevelt's Thoughts on Immigrants Who Become Americans

"News and Comment" is a new on-going series that features shorter articles with analysis and commentary. Part 1—the first installment—gives Teddy Roosevelt's thoughts about being an immigrant and being an American, and takes a look at a new law in Massachusetts mandating health insurance coverage for all residents.

How You Can Create a Sweet Fragrance for Your Garden

Looking for that special herb to give your garden an even sweeter fragrance on a hot summer night? Think lavender.  Lavender really touches our senses. People gravitate toward its sweet fragrance and multiple uses.  Lavender can be used for cooking, crafts and medicinal purposes or simply as a beautiful, easy-care landscape plant. Lavender gives you a lot of choices as well as 28 species and some 400 varieties.

Daisy Ouye's Social Commentary:

Beloved Peace Activist Raid Elsolh Hmad, Dead at 55, Becomes Another Victim of Our Nation's "War on Terror"

This article is by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A), a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington. D. K. Ouye is her husband.

Iraqi-War Veterans Speak Out Against the Use of Depleted Uranium in Bullets Used in Battle - The Effects Can Be Devastating

This article is by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A), a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington.

Book Review - Meet Bernie Meyer and His Book, "The American Gandhi - My Truth Seeking With Humanity at the Crossroads"

This guest book review is by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A), a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington.

Remembering and Recognizing Injustice Today: Topaz Beckons a Call to Freedom

This guest article by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A) about the treatment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II reminds us that what happened once could happen again to other American citizens with different derivations. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Daisy is a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington who does not let these kinds of misdeeds go unnoticed. You can check out Daisy's web site at daisyotinyhome.blogspot.com

The Inadequate Health Care Support for Our Active and Returning Troops Is Unconscionable

Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A) is a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington who does not let misdeeds go unnoticed. You can check out Daisy's web site at daisyotinyhome.blogspot.com)

You May Have Missed MCS Month, But You Will Not Miss the Scent

This guest article about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A) certainly caught my attention. When I walk into either Lowe's or The Home Depot and wander into the Gardening Department, within 30 seconds I am very uncomfortable and immediately start getting a headache. The strength of the chemicals in the fertilizer and weed killer compounds just knocks me over. Daisy is a smart cookie and a local activist who does not let the scents around her remain unnoticed and unidentified. She deserves a lot of credit for bringing attention to this common occurrence that many of us put up with. For the record, "smart cookie" is a Midwest expression for someone who is personable, bright and inquisitive.

Between the Evergreens:

New Column Offers Up Some Musings

I am starting a new column called "Between the Evergreens" which will appear occasionally on my web site. I will pick up bits and pieces of items that interest me and, like picking up pine cones that fall between the evergreen trees in the Great Pacific Northwest, bring them home to share with you. Following is the first installment with sports items. All rankings are taken from the Top 25 Coaches' Poll.

Ed's Bagley's Blog:

Editor's Note: All of the following articles detail changes and improvements on Ed Bagley's Blog and its evolution:

So What's the Story on Why Ed Bagley Has Not Been Posting to His Blog?

A Reader Writes: "(Your Blog) Is By Far The Best I Have Seen"

Trying to Find a Place in the Internet World, and Getting Noticed, Is Much Harder Than You Might Think (12-13-10)

So You Are Sick and Tired of Quotes by Warren Buffett for 115 Straight Days? Too Bad. Why I Did It (5-27-10)

Everything Looks Easy Until You Have to Do It Without Help or Knowledge (6-7-09)

An Update on Ed Bagley's Blog (10-5-08)

A New Milestone: 450 Original Articles (7-17-08)

An Open Letter to My Frequent Readers About New Changes to Ed Bagley's Blog (6-14-08)

A Reader in Nigeria Writes: "I Love Your Articles and Quotations, But I Have a Little Issue to Raise"

Getting emails from readers of my blog is always a joy for me, especially when they come from another continent. The Internet brings people around the world together and that is what makes it such a powerful medium. There are more than 700 million web sites on the Internet today, and Oluwatoyin Bibitayo Ajao-Dowodu in Lagos, Nigeria is one of them. Oluwatoyin is also known as (aka) Toyin Ajao and Standtall. Read what she had to say.

There Are 358 Articles Here on Movie Reviews, Sports, Lessons in Life, Jobs and Careers, and Internet Marketing (12-2-07)

After 5+ Months Ed's Blog Has 218 Original Articles, and Another 124 Articles in 1 Online Article Directory

After 5+ months of publishing Ed Bagley's Blog I now have written, posted and published 218 fresh, original Internet articles (as of April 17, 2007). People can fuss about whether they like my Internet articles or not, but it is clear that I am prolific and published and gaining in popularity worldwide, as evidenced by the fact that currently 22% of my readership comes from the United States and 78% from other countries and territories. It is clear what is happening here: the fresh, original article content on my Blog continues to grow as the world becomes smaller to this writer from the Great Pacific Northwest in the United States.

Halfway Around the World a Reader Responds To My Request Asking Why People Read My Blog

Yesterday I wondered aloud in my Blog why readers from halfway around the world read Ed Bagley's Blog. I was stunned to learn that 19% of my readership comes from China, 14% from Indonesia, 12% from the Palestinian Territory and 9% from Iran. This morning my email had this response from Connie in Guam.  Learn why the Internet has had such a positive effect on my life by reading Connie's email and my reply.

I Understood that the Internet Is Global, I Just Did Not Think that It Was Worldwide (4-10-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Expands into Blogger, Creates Six More Individual Web Sites (4-7-07)

To My Mystery Woman: All I Ask of You Is Forever to Remember Me As Loving You (2-28-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Readers Can Now Place Resume Product Orders Online (2-26-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Continues Its Quest to Become the Very Best Article Site (2-24-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Adds New Main Section for Sports and Recreation (2-13-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Adds a Contact Page and Resume Product Samples (2-6-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Is 98 Days Old, Article Count for Ed's Blog Is 153 (2-1-07)

Blog Reader Sounds Off on Request for Input on Michelle Robinson's Poem (1-29-07)

Blog Reader Wonders If the myEcon Opportunity Would Work in Australia (1-27-07)

Ed Bagley's Blog Undergoes Major Changes to Speed Up Navigation (1-25-07)

Reader Wonders If WealthToolbox Opportunity Is Really the Next Scam (1-24-07)

Reader Cannot Figure Out What I Am Selling on Ed Bagley's Blog (1-22-07)

A Loyal Ed Bagley Blog Reader Wonders If Her Poem Has Merit (1-21-07)

Ed Goes Brain Dead Writing Yesterday's Blog (12-19-06)

Analysis Reveals Ed  Bagley's Most Popular Blog Article (12-18-06)

Better Linking and Indexing Improves Ed Bagley's Blog (12-11-06)

Hey, You Made Changes.  Well, Yes I Did.  The Headers Are Different (11-25-06)

What?  Changes Already?  Well, Yes, Ed Bagley's Blog Is on the Move! (11-8-06)

Today Is the First Day of Blogging for the Rest of My Natural Life (10-27-06)

Society:

August 8, 2010

Our Changing World

A Social Essay on "The Dealth of Guilt" by Judy Bachrach

(Ed's Note: Following this essay, it was learned that Levi Johnston had been using some of his spare time away from Bristol Palin to "socialize" with other young women – so it turns out that Bristol has put her immediate future with Levi on hold, the wedding that is, not the apparent extracurricular activities of Levi.)

By Judy Bachrach

The question of moral culpability, usually confined in our national culture to the pages of ladies' magazines (GUILT-FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE! GUILT-FREE FOURSOMES!) has once again made headlines.

All sorts of big headlines, but not about guilty pleasures. No. These days the top stories reflect the death of guilt. It's gone. It has no place in polite society. It's as dumb and useless as -- gee, I don't know -- maybe a Levi Johnston nude centerfold.

Speaking of which: We hear from Bristol Palin, and not for the first time either, about her strenuous relationship with Levi (father of her child), which has once again, in defiance of all the odds, been reignited.

It turns out that all the ugly stuff Levi regularly did and said -- how would-be president Sarah Palin, who is Bristol's mother, really doesn't go hunting or fishing ("I've never seen her touch a fishing pole!" an aghast Levi told Vanity Fair) and really doesn't go to church much, and really can't cook -- was the result not of calculated malice designed to alienate Sarah from her core support of rabid grizzlies but instead of light-hearted youthful indiscretion.

And Bristol, bless her heart, no longer holds Levi accountable. Why?

Because he texted her.

"I miss u. I love u," Levi tapped out. Next thing you know, Bristol was checking out the Caroline Herrera wedding gowns. (Yes, she is the last of the great traditionalists.) "Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness," noted her appalled mother, "to a degree most of us struggle to put into practice in our daily lives."

Why should Bristol be the only one to hold a grudge? On Thursday, Goldman Sachs, probably the largest collection of rascals ever housed under one New York roof, learned that all it had to do to wipe away fraud charges was cough up $550 million. This is supposedly a lot of money -- until you read old articles on the subject, which apparently the SEC doesn't.

As it turns out, the institutions defrauded, mainly European banks, lost over $1 billion by putting their trust in Goldman. So Goldman, you could argue, made crime pay . Goldman. (My advice: Next time, make Goldman answerable not to the avuncular, soft-hearted SEC but to the IRS, which, whenever it feels seriously unhappy with malfeasants, makes them pay lots of interest and/or throws them into the can).

And finally, while we're on the subject of crime, let's examine the latest on Roamin' -- I mean Roman -- Polanski, child rapist, director, and talented fugitive, who is now, thanks to the happy intercession of the Swiss ministry of justice, permitted to leave chalet-arrest.

Adieu to ankle bracelets, plump cows, execrable fondue and the pricey tedium of Alpine resorts. Polanski may, in other words, go wherever he pleases, unless the U.S. gets lucky. Which so far it hasn't.

Over three decades ago, as the Swiss well know, Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl at the house of the actor Jack Nicholson.

The director was quite aware, as he would later tell the court, of exactly how young the girl was. But all the evidence suggests that he felt not a scrap of remorse for his actions, which his young victim claimed she tried in vain to repulse.

That, however, was not how Polanski recalled the experience, which it was clear he filed in the category of a fabulous one-night-stand. Sex with the child, Polanski recalled for the benefit of probation officers, "was very spontaneous." Within a year of uttering that singular review, the filmmaker fled custody and plopped back down in France.

And what do we hear from the French on the subject? "Sinister," says French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner. He is not, I should emphasize, describing the rape of a young girl with this adjective. No. Kouchner thinks U.S. zeal to call Polanski to account falls under the "sinister" category.

After all, says the founder of Doctors Without Borders, "A man of such talent, recognized in the entire world, recognized especially in the country that arrested him -- all this just isn't nice."

Fame means you never have to say you're sorry.

August 5, 2010

You Will Get What You Deserve

You Want Some Really Bad News, Punk? Skip Maricopa County in Arizona

(Ed's Note: You perhaps remember Sheriff Joe Arpaino of Arizona. He is an absolute hoot! If reading about Sheriff Joe does not make your day (like, Make my day, punk), you are beyond help as a person. Check out my News & Comment Section under Society for an article on Joe titled "If You Are Going to Get in Trouble with the Law, Skip Maricopa County in Arizona". That should prepare you for this article about Sheriff Joe.)

Sheriff Joe Arpaino of Maricopa County in Arizona is at it again. Sheriff Joe is an absolute folk hero, and this article gives another reason why he is so popular and effective – he doesn't let much stand in the way of real progress. To wit:

Maricopa County, Arizona was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay.

The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior.

They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.

The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million.

Here is one example of the service provided—a citizen adopted a Weimaraner from the Maricopa County shelter. The dog was neutered and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day he was adopted. The new dog owner's total cost was $78.

The prisoners apparently get 28 cents an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand.

He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the holidays and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the prison.

Yup, he was re-elected last year with 83% of the vote.

Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's kind of a 'Git-R Dun' kind of Sheriff.

So why is Sheriff Joe so popular that he continually gets elected again and again. Here are just a few of the reasons:

It was Sheriff Joe Arpaio who created the 'Tent City Jail'.

He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails.

Took away their weights.

Cut off all but 'G' rated movies.

He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.

Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails, so he hooked up the cable TV again, but only let in the Disney channel and the Weather channel.

When asked why the weather channel, he replied, "So they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs."

He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't The Ritz/Carlton . . . if you don't like it, don't come back."

More good stuff on Sheriff Joe:

With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees, just set a new record), the Associated Press reported that about 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week before.

Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their PINK SOCKS.

"It feels like we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the TENTS for 1 year. "It's inhumane." Apparently criminals who are generally made to feel like victims in society do not get any respect whatsoever ever from Sheriff Joe at the Maricopa County Jail.

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink and eating bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic.

He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates, "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths!"

It's hard not to like Sheriff Joe.

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers' money and enjoy things some taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.

June 16, 2010

You Must Be 40+ to Read and Understand the Answer to the Question "No Cell Phones?"

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were, when they were growing up -- what with walking 3 miles to school every morning, uphill, barefoot, both ways.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of tripe like that on my kids about how hard I had it, and how easy they have it!

But now that I am over the ripe old age of 40, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but kids today don't know how good they've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!

2) There was no email. We had to actually write someone a letter -- with a pen! Then you had to walk across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there. Stamps were 10 cents!

3) Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our butts! Nowhere was safe.

4) There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself.

5) Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then sometimes the tape would come undone, rendering it useless.

6) We didn't have fancy features like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal.

7) There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". Think of the horror of not being in touch with someone 24/7. And then there's TEXTING. You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

8) And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent, you just didn't know. You had to pick it up, answer, and suffer the consequences.

9) We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had the Atari 2600. With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square. You actually had to use your imagination. And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen. And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died. Kinda like life.

10) You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on. You were screwed when it came to channel surfing. You had to get off your heinie and walk over to the TV to change the channel. There were no remotes.

11) There was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons.

12) And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove.

13) And our parents told us to stay outside and play, all day long. No electronic toys to soothe and comfort our tortured souls. And if you came back inside, you were faced with doing the chores. We were expected to be home by 6 p.m. for dinner, and we were.

And car seats. Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place.

The writer of this piece was born 40+ years ago.

An Editor's Note from Ed Bagley:

For those of us born 60+ years ago, our take might be a little different. As one who is 66, with the benefit of further reflection, I would say that each generation has its own environment to deal with, and everyone, regardless of the time they live in, has to learn how to entertain yourself, and how to survive.

All of the toys and conveniences may be a curse, but they may also be a blessing when used as learning devices.

And the world was a good deal safer in my day. Yes, we went out and played all day too, but no one was ever kidnapped by a sexual predator, and we did not have to deal with the presence of drugs on the street. When we got into fights, they were fistfights; there were no guns and no one was killed.

June 14, 2010

Just Wondering

Is America on a Suicide Track? Could Our Quest for Diversity and Self-Expression Be Destroying Our Sense of Unity as Americans?

We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Recently there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of American's finest minds and leaders.

A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Davis Hansen talked about his latest book, Mexifornia, explaining how immigration -- both legal and illegal -- was destroying California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of "The American Dream".

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. Many in the audience sat spellbound as he described 8 methods for the destruction of the United States.

He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let us destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time.

"Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide'."

"Here is how they do it," Lamm said:

"First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country." History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures.

It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: "The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy."

"Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture.

"I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds."

Third, "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity.

As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: "The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together."

Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

"Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

"My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

"My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities.

"Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other -- that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together.

"Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell."

"E. Pluribus Unum -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus'. Instead of the 'Unum,' we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century -- that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate.

"Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws.

"I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed.

Finally he said, "Lastly, I would censor Victor Davis Hanson's book, Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above the attendees at the conference. Many Americans in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today.

Discussion is being suppressed. More than 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate "diversity".

American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America -- take note of California and other states -- to date, 10 million illegal aliens and growing fast.

It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book, 1984. In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace" "Freedom is slavery" and "Ignorance is strength".

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on many at the conference that the future of our great nation is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped quickly, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

May 18, 2010

It's Your Call

Is Facebook Promoting Itself at the Expense of Its Social Networking Users?

(Ed's Note: People are into socializing, but only in an online environment that is secure. Facebook, the nation's top social networking site, is giving greater access to everyone's information; many think it is an invasion of privacy. This guest article is by Amber MacArthur.)

By Amber MacArthur

The latest trend in the tech world doesn't involve sharing what you buy on Blippy or lining up in the rain for the iPad. It involves Facebook. No, not hanging out on Facebook, but kicking it to the curb.

Tech guru Leo Laporte, a good friend of mine, recently ditched the world's number one social networking site with a live audience cheering him on.

Laporte and a small group of prominent Internet celebs are choosing to leave Facebook after a number of security issues, such as a recent hole in chat functionality that let your friends view your conversations.

The company has gained a reputation -- fairly or not -- for showing a lack of concern for
users' personal info. If you think it's easy to delete your account, Facebook actually makes it tough to go all the way (in other words, you can easily deactivate your profile, but that only temporarily hides your info).

Here's the link to the WikiHow page: How to Permanently Delete a Facebook Account <http://www.wikihow.com/Permanently-Delete-a-Facebook-Account>

This digital crowd isn't abandoning Facebook without a back-up plan. A new social networking project called Diaspora, which aims to put users in control of their own personal data, is getting significant online and financial support. The group of NYU students behind this initiative recently announced that they've raised more than $100,000 to fund their start-up, more than 10 times what they initially requested.

With more than 400 million users, it's not a total surprise that Facebook is experiencing some backlash. As many successful tech companies rise to the top, early adopters often band together to find a new ship to sail. What's unique with the Facebook situation is the widespread privacy concerns.

To manage what Facebook information you want public and what you want private takes a lot of time, effort, and knowledge.

However, I don't think I'll be quitting Facebook any time soon, mostly because I never assume that anything online is completely private in the first place. I don't think you should post anything on the web that you're worried about someone else seeing, whether you're on Facebook or another social site.

Also, sharing your phone number, home address, and e-mail address should be something you keep out of your online networks altogether. As for photos, again, protected or not, it's easy for pictures to end up all over the Internet, so don't share them in the first place if you're at all concerned about them going public.

I do agree that Facebook should make it easier within their account settings to protect your privacy and security, but users also have to take some responsibility and educate themselves about such Internet risks. As much as Facebook is at the centre of this controversy, there are many other examples of privacy issues on the web.

Case in point, a simple search on our official WhitePages site allows anyone who knows your name to find your home address. A reverse phone number look-up reveals the same info. In other words, ditching Facebook isn't going to save your privacy.

As sad as it is, privacy might is a bit of a pipe dream on the web, and I can't see things getting better any time soon.

May 11, 2010

Hippies Today and 40 Years Ago – A Look Backward

(Ed's Note: Two years—1968 and 2008—show what a long ride down a road can bring.)

1968: Long hair
2008: Longing for hair

1968: KEG
2008: EKG

1968 : Acid rock
2008: Acid reflux

1968: Moving to California because it's cool
2008: Moving to Arizona because it's warm

1968: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2008: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1968: Seeds and stems
2008: Roughage

1968: Hoping for a BMW
2008: Hoping for a BM

1968: Going to a new, hip joint
2008: Receiving a new hip joint

1968: Rolling Stones
2008: Kidney Stones

1968: Screw the system
2008: Upgrade the system

1968: Disco
2008: Costco

1968: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2008: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1968: Passing the drivers' test
2008: Passing the vision test

1968: Whatever
2008: Depends

Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change things. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshmen. Here's this year's list:

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1992.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

The CD was introduced the year before they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: "Where's the Beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, Boss, de plane.."

They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter. They have no clue what carbon paper is.

The times? Guess what, they still are a changing.

April 5, 2010

Be Aware of a New Traffic Law That Is Not Well Known

(Ed's Note: If you suddenly get a ticket one day, this may be the reason why.)

A new traffic law has been passed that is not yet well known. To wit: If a patrol car is pulled over to the side of the road, you have to change to the next lane (away from the stopped vehicle) or slow down by 20 mph. Every state except Hawaii and Maryland and D.C. has adopted this law now.

In Washington, the "Move-Over" law became operative on January 1 of 2010.

A friend's son got a ticket for this recently. A police car (turned out it was 2 police cars) was on the side of the road giving a ticket to someone else. He slowed down to pass but did not move into the other lane. The second police car immediately pulled him over and gave him a ticket. He had never heard of the law.

It is a fairly new law that states if any emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, if you are able, you are to move into the far lane. The cost of the ticket was $147, with 3 points on your license and a mandatory court appearance.

March 11, 2010

Where Do You Fit In?

The Millennnial Generation's Most Distinguishing Traits: They Are the Most Educated, and the Least Employed

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

America is not only the world's greatest nation, and the world's greatest melting pot; it is also home to the world's most recognizable generations. Each generation of Americans develops characteristics that distinguish them from other generations.

The generations of Americans are commonly categorized into the following groups:

The Lost Generation – Those who fought in World War I.

The Interbellum Generation – Those born at the end of the 19th Century and continuing up to 1915.

The Greatest Generation – Those born from 1916 to the mid-1920's, coming of age during the Great Depression, and those who fought in World War II.

The Silent Generation – Those born from 1926 to 1938 who were too young to fight in World War II, and generally recognized as children of the Great Depression.

The Baby Boom Generation – Those born during World War II and up to the 1960's, a time when there was a marked increase in the birth rate. They were part of the counterculture during their high school and college years. They re-shaped American society and culture by retaining their values that included gender equality, racial equality and environmental stewardship. Many, like myself, also served in the Vietnam Conflict, and many of those who did not were protesting against the war in Vietnam.

Generation X – Those born from 1961 to 1981. "Gen X" included a lot of rebels against societal norms.

Generation Y (also known as the Millennial Generation) – Those born from 1982 to 1999.

Generation Z – Those born during the decade 2000 to 2009, and too young to categorize at this point in time.

The following article by Sharon Jayson of USA Today takes a demographic look at the 50 million Americans in the Millennial Generation (18 to 29 year olds).

By Sharon Jayson

The most detailed study to date of the 18- to 29-year-old Millennial generation finds this group probably will be the most educated in American history. But the 50 million Millennials also have the highest share who are unemployed or out of the workforce in almost 4 decades, according to the study, released today by the Pew Research Center.

"It's a very consequential generation," says Pew's Paul Taylor, the report's co-editor. "It has made its mark in some fairly dramatic ways."

Pew's analysis includes its own data, such as a new survey of 2,020 adults, including 830 Millennials, conducted by landline and cell phone last month. It also analyzes data from other sources, such as the Census, which shows 40% of those 18-24 were in college in 2008, a higher percentage than any previous generation at those ages.

Pew's report also includes comparisons of Millennials with other generations, based on more than 2 decades of Pew surveys.

David Morrison of Twentysomething Inc., a Philadelphia-based consulting and research firm, says Pew's data are important because so much research on Millennials is market-based. "Pew's data is not just the gold standard but is also quite unusual in that it's willingly shared," he says. "Most (research on Millennials) is company-driven and proprietary to the organization."

Overall, Pew says, Millennials are confident, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than their elders and also less religious. Although there is no one-size-fits-all description of the individuals within a generation, Pew says its findings show clear, distinctive traits for this group, particularly in certain areas.

Political and social. In 2008, 66% of Millennials voted for Barack Obama for president,
compared with 50% of those 30 and older. That is the largest disparity between younger and older voters in 4 decades of exit polling.

"Millennials, compared to Generation X and prior to that, vote at a rate higher than other generations at their age," says David Smith of the non-profit National Conference on Citizenship. He adds that they volunteer at higher rates than previous generations, too.
"Civic trends have always risen with age. This generation is now emerging as being much more involved at a much younger age," he says. Generation rolls up its sleeves in record numbers.

Lifestyles and technology. From the way they were raised to their views on marriage, Pew found, Millennials are a world apart from their elders. For example, 61% grew up in a two-parent household, a smaller percentage than the 3 previous generations. And just 21% are married (half the percentage of their parents' generation at the same ages) and 34% are parents.

Among other findings:

38% have a tattoo (and half of those with tattoos have 2 to 5; 18% have 6 or more). But 72% say their tattoos are hidden by clothing.

41% use only a cell phone and have no landline.

"In terms of technology, social values, political values and behavior, they have made quite a mark at such young age," Taylor says.

(End of Sharon Jayson's article.)

With 50 million people in the Generation Y or Millennial Generation, there is no question in my mind that their votes helped elect Barack Obama president. I also find it interesting that 21% are married but 34% have children.

Extrapolating the numbers, that might mean that 10.5 million of them are married, and 17 million of them have children. The difference—6.5 million—is a pretty big number of Millennials with children that are not married.

Considering the fact that they are the least employed generation, that might mean an inordinate number of them are already on social welfare programs. It might also raise the question of how many of them are still living at home with their parents, not to mention the question as to whether they might feel too educated to work just any job available.

Both of my children were part of Generation X. Both my son and my daughter are married (first marriage for each), both have children, both have responsible positions (my daughter has a job and my son is self-employed), and both have done well financially in relation to their Gen X peer group.

Where Do I Fit In?

If you think you do not really fit into one of the categories I described above, welcome to the club. I was born in 1944 and my wife was born in 1943, so we are both World War II babies that should be part of the Baby Boom Generation, but we are not Baby Boomers in any way, shape or form.

When we graduated from college, there were no good paying jobs. The average adult wage was $110 a week gross; I made $125 a week gross as editor of a weekly newspaper. We were hardly cutting a fat hog. The average adult salary was around $6,000 a year in the Midwest. Some regular folks (not physicians or associated people with professional degrees) were making $12,000 a year and doing much better in a technical trade.

Baby Boomers born after 1946 are closer to Baby Boomers in my life experience. You might think that the world could not change much in two years, and you would be dead wrong.

For example, prior to the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the world was different. After the assassination of JFK, the world virtually exploded.

On the East Coast, students took over parts of Columbia University during the 1968 riots. On the West Coast in San Francisco, the 1960s ushered in the flower-power, incense-burning, acid-dropping, tie-dye-wearing, peace-and-love-vibing era of the hippies. Life, the United States, and the world, would never be the same. Gone was the Kennedy mystique and the era of Camelot. It was a whole new world.

I graduated from high school in 1962 and from Michigan State University in 1966. The biggest thing going on at Michigan State in 1996 was one protest by a bunch of nerds over too few books in the library, keggers (beer-drinking parties) and sex in interesting places. Their was virtually no drug usage. You took a keg of beer and went out into the wooded campus. This was hardly a Baby Boomer environment.

Heck, the big deal in the Journalism Department on campus was having an electric typewriter. Kids like me who did not come from rich families used an old Underwood typewriter. There were no computers, no cell phones, no iphones, no ipods and all the other techno goodies. There was virtually no technology as we know it today. That would come later.

We were too late for the Silent Generation and too early for the Baby Boomer Generation. In a real sense, we were lost without a lot of opportunity at the time when people were not making the bucks out of school that the Baby Boomers would enjoy. We got on, nevertheless, doing good works without the same compensation.

January 25, 2010

Like Michigan's Upper Peninsula

It Is Hard to Believe, But There Are Still Places in America That Can Manage Just Fine Without Government Help

(Ed's Note: A friend of mine sent me this. I was interested in reading it for no other reason than the fact that I was born and raised in Michigan. I remember how tough those Michigan winters could be in the Lower Peninsula; winters in the Upper Peninsula were a lot tougher.)

This text from The Mining Journal in Marquette (MI) is from a county emergency manager in the western part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula after a severe snow storm:

WEATHER BULLETIN

"Up here in the Northern part of Michigan we just recovered from an Historic event—may I even say a Weather Event of Biblical Proportions—with an historic blizzard of up to 44 inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities, and cut power to tens of thousands."

How did the folks in this area of Michigan handle the historic event? No one outside of the blizzard area knows because of how it was handled:

Obama did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV.

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit to protest any mistreatment of African Americans in the area.

The mayors of the affected areas did not blame Obama or anyone else.

The Governor did not blame Obama or anyone else either.

CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox did not visit—or even report on the category-5 snowstorm.

Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards for relief help.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

There was no Larry King, no Bill O'Rielly, no Oprah, no Chris Matthews and no Geraldo
Rivera.

There was no Shaun Penn, no Barbara Striesand, no Brad Pitt, or any other Hollywood types to be found.

No political hacks, shills or ideological morons showed up to blame the former Bush Administration for personally causing the Category 5 snowstorm.

Nobody—and I mean nobody—demanded that the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything.

Nope, they just melted the snow for water. Imagine that.

They sent out caravans of SUVs to pluck people out of snow-engulfed cars, like the Good Shepherd who goes out to find his one lost sheep.

Truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and did not ask for a penny—no fat cat corporate CEOs were given millions in bonuses of our tax money for screwing us over and managing failed businesses.

Local restaurants made food, and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snow-bound families.

Families took in the stranded people--total strangers, just like community organizations take in and feed the homeless.

They fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns, or Coleman lanterns.

They did not stay stranded for long—they put on an extra layers of clothes and went back to work because up there it is "Work or Die".

They did not wait for some affirmative action government agency to get them out of a mess created by being immobilized by government give-away programs that trade votes for "sittin' at home" checks.

Even though a Category 5 blizzard of this scale is not usual, they knew it can happen and how to deal with it without outside help.

It happened because Michigan is in the Midwest, the heartland of the country. There are still a few areas of the United States that are self-reliant, with people that take personal responsibility for their situation, that have values, morals, ethics, and the gumption to do something about their situation without government help. Gumption is a word that millions of dissatisfied Americans should look up in the dictionary.

No wonder the people in Michigan's Upper Peninsula say that the world does not owe you a living.

January 17, 2010

Last Human Link Dies at 100

The Gripping, Human Psychological Drama That Cost the Lives of Anne Frank, Her Family and Millions of Other Innocent People

(Ed's Note: This article by Monica Hesse first appeared in the Washington Post. I am not Jewish, but the year I was born (1944) happened to be the year the Franks were discovered in hiding and sent to concentration camps. The Holocaust was one of the saddest atrocities of our time and should be remembered as an evil work by an insane, evil leader. The story of Anne Frank and her family reminds us that—whatever our cultural heritage and background—we are all connected on planet Earth. It is a pity that, even today, both nations and people cannot get along in peace.)

By Monica Hesse

Miep Gies died on Monday (1-10-2010), and another chapter in Anne Frank's legacy has ended. (Gies was 100 years old.)

"I read ["The Diary of Anne Frank"] in fourth grade," remembers Krista Francis, a human resources director in Kensington. "It was the first grown-up book that I read," back in the 1970s. "She was feisty, and I was feisty, and she loved to write, and I loved to write." Thirty years later, Francis remembers the experience. Most of Anne's fans remember their first experience and the ways it changed them.

"It was my parents' book—black, hardback, without a picture," remembers author Sandi Wisenberg, who first read the book in 1964 and whose deep fixation with Anne Frank would ultimately lead her to write her own memoir, called "Holocaust Girls."

Prompted by Anne's hiding, "I had an escape bag—a little plastic overnight bag—and I kept it near my bed." One night the air conditioning went out in her family's Houston home, and she lay in her dark, hot bedroom, listening in terror to every noise that came through the open windows. "I thought," she says, "that it was the Nazis."

The girls who loved Anne Frank wanted to understand what she went through, in whatever small ways they could. They were prone to melancholy and morbidity; they couldn't believe the atrocities that had happened in their parents' or grandparents' lifetimes.

My own fixation came early and stayed late. In high school I begged my father to take me to Germany, to a conference he was attending where the keynote speaker was Gies, one of the women who protected the Frank family during their two years of hiding in the annex of an Amsterdam spice factory. I don't remember much of what she said. I just remember thinking that she knew Anne Frank, and that we were in the same room.

The Austrian-born Gies never became what you might consider a household name, but a historical footnote for what she did more than six decades ago—bringing the eight residents of the annex supplies during their hiding, and rescuing Anne's diary when the Franks were discovered and sent to concentration camps in 1944.

She was the last living protector; other annex helpers died long ago. Her passing represented the loss of the only connection that Anne had to the present world, and that her fans, in turn, had to her. As years passed, and the Holocaust became something that happened a generation ago, then two, then three, Gies alone was our tie.

"Anne Frank and Miep Gies have in them the entire range of human behavior," says Francine Prose, author of the recent "Anne Frank: the Book, the Life, the Afterlife." "You have the unbelievable evil that was going on just outside of the attic, and then you have Anne and Miep exemplifying the greatest decency and courage and humanity that could possibly exist."

In researching her book, Prose was repeatedly surprised by the depth of feeling that people felt for Anne, for how personal they viewed the relationship to be.

"I was in sixth grade, and my language arts teacher did a quarter-long project on the Holocaust," remembers Melanie Karlins, a 20-something who works for George Mason University. "I stole the book. I didn't give it back to the library. I read it over and over again, every six months, all the way through high school."

In the beginning she read it for the story of Anne, for her schoolgirl concerns about boys and parents and homework. As Karlins got older, she realized that she no longer identified with the Frank sisters, but with their protectors, who were confronted daily with choices of self-preservation vs. altruism and fear vs. bravery.

Gies "was the last remaining person who was part of the story, and she was such a big part of the story," Karlins says.

"People who read the diary understand that she was an average, normal person with limited means," says Sara Bloomfeld, the director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. "And in an extraordinary moment she did what she felt was the right thing."

As the girls who loved Anne Frank grew up, they became women who loved Miep Gies, and who hoped that they would do what she did, if ever they were asked to.

December 29, 2009

Our Changing Culture

25 Things That Are About to Become Extinct in America

(Ed's Note: When I was born in 1944, there was no penicillin, no television, no microwave ovens, no pagers, no fax machines, no television, no cable with 150 channels, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet, no chat rooms, no iPods, no BlackBerries, no PlayStations, no Nintendos, and no X-boxes. For the record, Pfizer opened the first commercial plant for large-scale production of penicillin in Brooklyn, New York on March 1, 1944. The widespread use of penicillin would jump-start the use of antibiotics to cure disease in the world. Now the world is changing radically again, according to this article floating around the Internet.)

25) The United States Postal Service
They are pricing themselves out of existence. With e-mail and online services, the USPS is becoming a relic of the past. For more evidence, see No. 9 below.

24) The Yellow Pages
This year will be pivotal for the global Yellow Pages industry. Much like newspapers, print Yellow Pages will continue to bleed dollars to their various digital counterparts, from Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), to local search engines and combination search/listing services like Reach Local and Yodel Factors. An acceleration of the print 'fade rate' and the looming recession will contribute to the onslaught. One research firm predicts the falloff in usage of newspapers and print Yellow Pages could even reach 10% this year—much higher than the 2%-3% fade rate seen in past years.

23) Classified Ads
The Internet has made so many things obsolete that newspaper classified ads might sound like just another trivial item on a long list. The argument is that if newspaper classifieds are replaced by free online listings at Internet sites, then newspapers are not far behind them.

22) Movie Rental Stores
Even the dullest knife in the drawer can see this one coming. While Netflix is looking up at the moment, Blockbuster keeps closing store locations by the hundreds. It still has about 6,000 left across the world, but those keep dwindling and the stock is down considerably in 2008, especially since the company gave up a quest of Circuit City. Movie Gallery, which owned the Hollywood Video brand, closed up shop earlier this year. Countless small video chains and mom-and-pop stores have given up the ghost
already.

21) Dial-up Internet Access
Dial-up connections have fallen from 40% in 2001 to 10% in 2008. The combination of an infrastructure to accommodate affordable high speed Internet connections and the disappearing home phone have all but pounded the final nail in the coffin of dial-up Internet access. Anyone who invested in this is now sucking Louisiana pond water.

20) Phone Land Lines
According to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, at the end of 2007, nearly 1 in 6 homes was cell-only and, of those homes that had land lines, 1 in 8 only received calls on their cells.

19) Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
Maryland's icon, the blue crab, has been fading away in Chesapeake Bay. Last year Maryland saw the lowest harvest (22 million pounds) since 1945. Just four decades ago the bay produced 96 million pounds. The population is down 70% since 1990, when they first did a formal count. There are only about 120 million crabs in the bay and they think they need 200 million for a sustainable population. Over-fishing, pollution, invasive species and global warming get the blame.

18) VCRs
For the better part of three decades, the VCR was a best-seller and staple in every American household until being completely decimated by the DVD, and now the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). In fact, the only remnants of the VHS age at your local Wal-Mart or Radio Shack are blank VHS tapes these days. Pre-recorded VHS tapes are largely gone and VHS decks are practically nowhere to be found. They served us so well, but, again, they are now history from a by-gone era.

17) Ash Trees
In the late 1990's, a pretty, iridescent green species of beetle, now known as the emerald ash borer, hitched a ride to North America with ash wood products imported from eastern Asia. In less than a decade, its larvae have killed millions of trees in the Midwest, and continue to spread. They've killed more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in Ohio and Indiana. More than 7.5 billion ash trees are currently at risk.

16) Ham Radio
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory. However, proliferation of the Internet and its popularity among youth has caused the decline of amateur radio. In the past 5 years alone, the number of people holding active ham radio licenses has dropped by 50,000, even though Morse Code is no longer a requirement.

15) The Swimming Hole
Thanks to our litigious society, swimming holes are becoming a thing of the past. "20/20" reports that swimming hole owners, like Robert Every in High Falls (NY), are shutting them down out of worry that if someone gets hurt they will sue. And that is exactly what happened in Seattle. The City of Bellingham was sued by Katie Hofstetter who was paralyzed in a fall at a popular swimming hole in Whatcom Falls Park. As injuries occur and lawsuits follow, expect more swimming holes to post "Keep Out!" signs.

14) Answering Machines
The increasing disappearance of answering machines is directly tied to our list with the decline of landlines. According to USA Today, the number of homes that only use cell phones jumped 159% between 2004 and 2007. It has been particularly bad in New York; since 2000, landline usage has dropped 55%. It is logical that as cell phones rise, many of them replacing 20 traditional landlines, that there will be fewer answering machines.

13) Cameras That Use Film
It does not require a statistician to prove the rapid disappearance of the film camera in America. Just look to companies like Nikon, the professional's choice for quality camera equipment. In 2006, it announced that it would stop making film cameras, pointing to the shrinking market—only 3% of its sales in 2005, compared to 75% of sales from digital cameras and equipment.

12) Incandescent Bulbs
It was not that long ago that the standard 60-watt (or, yikes, 100-watt) bulb was the mainstay of every U.S. home. With the green movement and all-things-sustainable-energy crowd, the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb (CFL) is largely replacing the older, Edison-era incandescent bulb. The EPA reports that 2007 sales for Energy Star CFLs nearly doubled from 2006, and these sales accounted for approximately 20 percent of the U.S. light bulb market. And according to USA Today, a new energy bill plans to phase out incandescent bulbs in the next 4 to 12 years.

11) Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys
Apparently there are still 60 million Americans who bowl at least once a year, but many are not bowling in stand-alone bowling alleys. Today, most new bowling alleys are part of facilities for all types or recreation, including laser tag, go-karts, bumper cars, video game arcades, climbing walls and miniature golf courses. Bowling lanes also have been added to many non-traditional venues such as adult communities, hotels and resorts, and gambling casinos.

10) The Milkman
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1950, more than half of the milk delivered was to the home in quart bottles. By 1963, it was about a third and by 2001, it represented less than 1%. Nowadays, most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon jugs. The steady decline in home-delivered milk is blamed, of course, on the rise of the supermarket, better home refrigeration and longer-lasting milk. Although some milkmen still make the rounds in pockets of the U.S., they are certainly a dying breed.

9) Handwritten Letters
In 2006, the Radicati Group estimated that, worldwide, 183 billion e-mails were sent each day, or 2 million each second. By November of 2007, an estimated 3.3 billion Earthlings owned cell phones, and 80% of the world's population had access to cell phone coverage. In 2004, half-a-trillion text messages were sent, and the number has no doubt increased exponentially since then. So where amongst this gorge of gabble is there room for the elegant, polite, handwritten letter?

8) Wild Horses
It is estimated that 100 years ago, as many as 2 million horses were roaming free within the United States. In 2001, National Geographic News estimated that the wild horse population has decreased to about 50,000 head. Currently, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory board states that there are 32,000 free roaming horses in 10 Western states, with half of them residing in Nevada.

7) Personal Checks
According to an American Bankers Association report, a net 23% of consumers plan to decrease their use of checks over the next 2 years, while a net 14% plan to increase their use of PIN debit. Bill payment remains the last stronghold of paper-based payments—for the time being. Checks continue to be the most commonly used bill payment method, with 71% of consumers paying at least one recurring bill per month by writing a check. However, when considering the payment of all bills, checks account for only 49% of consumers' recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in 2003).

6) Drive-in Theaters
During the peak in 1958, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in this country, but in 2007 only 405 drive-ins were still operating. Exactly zero new drive-ins have been built since 2005. Only one reopened in 2005 and 5 reopened in 2006, so there is not much of a movement toward reviving the closed ones.

5) Mumps and Measles
Despite what has been in the news lately, the measles and mumps are actually disappearing from the United States. In 1964, 212,000 cases of mumps were reported in the U.S. By 1983, this figure had dropped to 3,000, thanks to a vigorous vaccination program. Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccine, approximately half a million cases of measles were reported in the U.S. annually, resulting in 450 deaths. In 2005, only 66 cases were recorded nationwide.

4) Honey Bees
Perhaps nothing on our list of disappearing America is so dire, is plummeting so enormously; and is so necessary to the survival of our food supply as the honey bee. This is very scary. "Colony Collapse Disorder", or CCD, has spread throughout the U.S. and Europe over the past few years, wiping out 50% to 90% of the colonies of many beekeepers—and along with it, their livelihood.

3) News Magazines and TV News
While the TV evening newscasts have not gone anywhere over the last several decades, their audiences have. In 1984, in a story about the diminishing returns of the evening news, The New York Times reported that all three network evening-news programs combined had only 40.9 million viewers. Fast forward to 2008, and what they have today is half that.

2) Analog TV
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 85% of homes in the U.S. get their television programming through cable or satellite providers. For the remaining 15% --or 13 million individuals—who are using rabbit ears or a large outdoor antenna to get their local stations, change is in the air. If you are one of these people you will need to get a new TV or a converter box in order to get the new stations which will only be broadcast
in digital.

1) The Family Farm
Since the 1930's, the number of family farms has been declining rapidly. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 5.3 million farms dotted the nation in 1950, but this number had declined to 2.1 million by the 2003 farm census (data from the 2007 census is just now being published). Ninety-one percent of the remaining U.S. farms are still small family farms.

All of these changes in how we live and communicate are both interesting and, in some cases, saddening at the same time. Our American culture continues to change. The only question is: Are we changing with it?

December 27, 2009

Alive and Well

Despite Their Sordid Treatment, the Nisqually Indian Tribe Continues to Maintain Its Cultural Heritage Today

(Ed's Note: There are many things that the United States of America has little to be proud about, and one is the treatment of the native American Indians who occupied the land before the white settlers arrived. The treatment of the Nisqually Tribe is just one example. If you thought the foreign settlers had it tough, read a little history about the Nisqually Tribe.)

The Nisqually Tribe is an American Indian nation in Western Washington. The tribe resides on a reservation in the Nisqually River valley near the river delta. The reservation is adjacent to the Fort Lewis Military Reserve and situated on the lower Nisqually River east of Olympia, the state capital of Washington State.

The Lushootseed language, which is the traditional tongue of the Nisqually and neighboring tribes, is a subgroup of the Salishan family of Native American languages.

For millennia, the traditional territory of the Nisqually bands was the Nisqually River drainage. Their forebears ranged from the waters of Puget Sound, (Whulge) to the woodlands of Mount Rainier (Tacobet).

A legend holds that precursors of the present-day Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Squalli-absch, which means "people of the grass country," trekked north from the Great Basin and traversed the Cascade Mountains. They founded a settlement in a hollow presently called Skate Creek, outside the southern boundary of the Nisqually River watershed.

Nisqually culture was based on the natural environment, in particular species of salmon and the red cedar. They harvested shellfish from the sound, dug the starchy camas root, gathered berries, grasses and bark on the prairies between Whulge and Tacobet. They also hunted, and raised horses. The Nisqually Indians reverenced living things in ceremonies and rituals.

Land-hungry settlers began to encroach upon the area in the 1840s. In ensuing years their numbers increased, which created tension between the cultures. However, the Nisqually remained peaceful. When other Western Washington tribes advocated a war against the growing number of white settlers, Nisqually tribal leaders dismissed the notion.

In 1853, Washington territorial governor and Indian agent Isaac Stevens terminated Indian land rights, leaving only reserved land that was held in common by extended families. Under coercion, area tribes relinquished nearly all of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula — some 2,240,000 acres — to the government according to terms of Treaty of Medicine Creek of 1854.

Nisqually chiefs Leschi, and his brother Quiemuth, declined to ink the treaty because of its meager provisions. While American settlers were being issued 160 acres of land per person, Stevens' treaty gave Indians roughly four acres per individual. He also assigned the Nisqually to a small parcel of scrubland at a considerable distance from their life-giving river.

The Puget Sound Indian War, in which Nisqually warriors participated, erupted in 1855. The Indians fought courageously, but they ran short of supplies and were heavily outnumbered. They gave up the fight in 1856. Quiemuth was apprehended by white soldiers and stabbed to death under custody. Leschi was hanged in 1858.

Some blame the war partly on Stevens' policies. U.S. government authorities were persuaded that he had botched the state of affairs and saw to it that the natives were provided more suitable reservation acreage. Stevens was relieved of his duties as the Indian agent. Consequently, the Nisqually were assigned a new reservation on the river, which was three times the dimensions of the original parcel.

However, survival became a bitter struggle for South Sound Indians. Restricted to their reservations, they were deprived of outside resources to fend for themselves. This became especially true for the Nisqually in 1917, when the U.S. military confiscated 3,370 acres of their reservation to create the Fort Lewis Military Reserve.

Tribal members began to cut themselves off from their cultural roots and seek homes elsewhere.

In the early 1900s and up to the 1940s, the U.S. government forbade the tribes from controlling their children's formal education. Youngsters were packed off to boarding schools, where Indian languages were proscribed in a domineering spirit of assimilating them into the dominant society.

The Nisqually Tribe adopted a constitution in 1946, according to provisions of the relatively liberal 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. By the 1950s, however, only a few hardy families, whose homes lacked electricity and plumbing, subsisted on the Nisqually reservation.

The 1960s and 1970s ushered in a change when tribal members began to press for their fishing rights as stipulated in the 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty. The treaty had guaranteed that Indians could continue to hunt and fish in their traditional tribal areas, no matter if those areas were off reservation lands. However, modern Indians were being harassed and apprehended for fishing off their reservations.

Highly publicized "fish-ins" won the Nisqually and Puyallup tribes national notoriety, and the federal government took legal action against the State of Washington for ignoring its own treaty. In 1974, federal judge George Boldt handed down a decision stating that Washington tribes were entitled to half the salmon and steelhead from their traditional fishing grounds.

The ruling led to legal rights, resources, and revenue for the tribes that had been lacking for 120 years.

Today the Nisqually Indian Tribal members, who make up the American Indian nation, continue to grow and compete in an economic, social and cultural environment that has just recently come to appreciate their many contributions to the good fortune that the State of Washington enjoys among the 50 states.

October 30, 2009

Guest Article:

American Comedian Robin Williams Has a Plan for the People Who Do Not Like Us

(Ed's Note: Robin Williams, among the best known comedians in America, has entertained and been supportive of our military troops in harm's way. He also has pretty much reached his limit of tolerance with the lack of gratitude shown over our willingness to help people and nations around the world in the name of peace and progress. In a speech in New York, he made his feelings known while wearing a shirt that said "I Love New York" in Arabic.)

By Robin Williams

"I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan."

1) The U.S. will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past and present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, and the rest of those "good 'ole' boys", we will never "interfere" again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea, the Middle East, and the Philippines. They don't want us there! We would station troops at our borders. No one allowed sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days, the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of whom or where they are. They're illegal. France will welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation will be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.

5) No foreign "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home baby.

6) The U.S. will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy-wise. This will include developing nonpolluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere". They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island someplace. We don't need the spies and fair-weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer. The language we speak is English, learn it, or leave. Now, isn't that a winner of a plan?

The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, "You want a piece of me?"

September 22, 2009

Guest Article:

Canada, Like America, Is a Melting Pot, Not a Place to Create Your Own Dish

(Ed's Note: America and Great Britain have all of the immigration problems they want, and more than they can apparently handle at the moment. This article has one Canadian weighing in on its issues as well. America has become the greatest nation on Earth, at least up till now, because it forced immigrants to become part of a melting pot—to literally learn our culture, customs and English language when they arrived.)

Bruce Allen is on the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee and new Canadians (specifically Hindi's/Indian's) want him fired for his recent comments outlined below:

I am sorry, but after hearing they want to sing the National Anthem in Hindi at the 2010 Olympics—enough is enough. Nowhere or at no other time in our Nation's history, did they sing it in Italian, Japanese, Polish, Irish (Celtic), German, Portuguese, Greek, or any other language because of immigration.

It was written in English, adapted into French, and should be sung word for word the way it was written. The news broadcasts even gave the Hindi version translation—which was not even close to our National Anthem. I am not the least bit sorry if this offends anyone.

This is my country. My Granddad served in the military, other family members also served; my wife and I served a combined total of 56 years between us. We made many sacrifices for our country, and do not feel we should feel obligated to allow invited people we have welcomed with open arms to influence and change our society to better resemble the one they chose to leave to come here!

July 27, 2009

An Offer to Kill an American Generates a Response from an Australian Dentist

(Ed's Note: You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that apparently someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what is an American. Here is his response.)

"An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

"An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

"An American is Christian , or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan . The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

"An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

"An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.

"The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

"An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return....

"When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

"As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. The national symbol of America—The Statue of Liberty—welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

"Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It has been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

"So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself . Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American."

July 7, 2009

50 Years Can Make a Lot of Difference in How We Handle Everyday Problems

(Ed's Note: Those of us who are 65 and older can remember what it was like in the 1950s. Here is an interesting comparison between how we react to "problems" now as opposed to back then. If you think we are handling "problems" better now, you perhaps have no idea there is another way to deal with children, parents, teachers, schools and administrators. Here is a high school comparison between 1957 and 2008.)

Scenario 1: Jack goes quail hunting before school, and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his new shotgun to show Jack.

2008 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and eventually end up as buddies.

2008 - Police called and SWAT team arrives, arresting both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car, and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college
and becomes a successful businessman.

2008 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care, and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist, and gets pregnant.

Scenario 4: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the playground.

2008 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons, and he is forced into drug rehabilitation training.

Scenario 5: Pedro fails high school English.

1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2008 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state, and every flaming left-wing liberal between New York and San Francisco. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. The ACLU files a class action lawsuit against the state school system, and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from the core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English. Eventually, Pedro is run over by a piece of lawn maintenance equipment because he cannot read the safety instructions in English on how to operate the machine. The manufacturer of the equipment in then sued by the ACLU for not having the safety instructions in all languages to accommodate every diverse population in the every state and country where the equipment is sold. The ACLU wins the suit on appeal, the manufacturer goes bankrupt and several hundred employees lose their jobs.

Scenario 6: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts
them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957 – The red ants die.

2008 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents—and all siblings are removed from their home, and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again. Johnny's mother has a nervous breakdown, and becomes a ward of the state.

Scenario 7: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is
found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2008 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in state prison, and the loss of her teaching credential. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy, and ends up being married and divorced 4 times because of relationship issues as an adult.

(Ed's Note: With progress like this in 2008, there is no telling how smart we will be by 2058. Who knows? Maybe we will elect an ACLU lawyer to be President of the United States. But don't you worry. We have the answer to every problem, just ask a bureaucrat or a politician; they all have the answers to everything.)

July 5, 2009

Just How Far Would You Go as an American to Protect Your Freedoms?

(Ed's Note: This Internet article is proof positive that freedom is not free. Before you get all self-righteous and snotty about all of your freedoms as an American citizen, or as an illegal alien in the United States, answer this question: Have you ever served in the United States military in a foreign country during wartime? A lot of your fellow Americans died for your precious rights, and don't you ever forget it. Our American soldiers are still dying today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Count your blessings, especially if you have never done squat as an American to protect the rights you enjoy.)

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and were tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed, and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers and large plantation owners. All were men of means and well educated, yet they signed the Declaration of Independence, knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the United States Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward for serving his country and being dedicated to independence from Britain.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying every 4th of July holiday to silently thank these patriots. It is not much to ask for the price they paid. After all, freedom is not free, even though too many Americans feel they do not have to do anything but criticize those who actually preserve the freedoms they enjoy.

July 4 - Second Article

Happy Birthday America

(Ed's Note: This guest salute to our country was posted in thethreetomatoes' newsletter and sent to me by Celeste Champagne, my editor in Connecticut. Celeste is a subscriber to The Three Tomatoes newsletter, which originates in the Big Apple.)

Unemployment is still up. Stocks are still down. Albany seems broken. And Governor's cheat. It's almost enough to make you forget how blessed we actually are to live in this glorious country called the United States of America.

A country where we have the freedom to vote.

Where woman are allowed to be educated, allowed to speak their minds, allowed to be leaders, and protected by law from violence. A country where children have schools to attend and clean water to drink. A country that allows dissonant voices to be heard.

A country where a black man of modest means, raised by a single mother can grow up and become President of the United States of America. A country where a handful of men who were brave enough to fight injustices envisioned a democracy that's served us well for 233 years.

And a country that has 1,000s of young people who are willing to put their lives on the line every day to preserve those truths we hold evident: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We may be far from perfect, but we're still the best there is.

So this Fourth of July, as you're celebrating with cookouts and fireworks, raise a toast of gratitude to all that is good about the USA and promise to help change the things that aren't.

May 23, 2009

A Look Back at What America Was Like 100 Years Ago in 1909

(Ed's Note: This article has been floating around the Internet. I cleaned it up a bit, and post it here because it is interesting to take a look back in time and see how America stacked up in 1909.)

The following facts and observations from 100 years ago shows what American life and culture was like in 1909:

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

The average wage was 22 cents per hour, and the average worker earned between $200 and $400 a year (not a month, but a year).

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 a year, a dentist $2,500, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 (animals were more important to production 100 years ago), and a mechanical engineer $5,000.

Only 14% of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8% of homes had a telephone.

More than 95% of all births took place at home (remember that 86% of homes had no bathtub and another 92% did not have a telephone, cell phone, or Internet connection for emails and texting). Compounding these home births was the fact that 90% of all medical doctors in 1909 had no college education.

One out of 5 adults (20%) could not read or write, and only 6% of all Americans had even graduated from high school.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic helper.

Sugar cost 4 cents a pound, eggs 14 cents a dozen, and coffee was 15 cents a pound.

The 5 leading causes of death were 1) pneumonia and influenza, 2) tuberculosis, 3) diarrhea, 4) heart disease, and 5) stroke.

The total population of Las Vegas (NV) was 30 people.

The American flag had only 45 stars rather than the 50 stars we have today.

There were only 8,000 cars in the entire nation, and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 miles per hour.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire United States of America in 1909. There were more than 16,000 homicides in America in 2005.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea had yet to be invented.

July 31, 2008

Social Commentary:

Unlikely Miscreants? Or Could It Be That the Majority Have Not Yet Been Caught?

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Hardly a week goes by when some pro football or pro basketball player is not the hot news story of the moment for some indiscretion they have committed.

Normally it is driving while intoxicated and speeding, or causing an accident that injures an innocent driver. Too often it involves slapping around or punching out a woman that happens to be their wife, girlfriend or the single mother of their children. They may be caught possessing or using drugs. When they are a retired pro, they may be selling drugs, or getting involved in some financial wrongdoing. No matter.

Many of these athletes make millions on the field and then become brain dead off the field. Think of Michael Vick and dogs and losing probably $100 million in future income.

Let me share with you the profile of an organization and see if you can guess which organization it is—the National Basketball Association or the National Football League?

Here is the profile:

36 of them have been accused of spousal abuse.

7 have been arrested for fraud.

19 have been accused of writing bad checks.

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses.

3 have done time for assault.

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit.

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges.

8 have been arrested for shoplifting.

21 currently are defendants in lawsuits.

84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year.

So who is it? NBA players or NFL players?

If you answered either one, you are wrong.

The perpetrators of these behaviors are none other than the 435 members of your United States Congress in Washington, DC. They are either members of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

They are the same group of people who create dozens of new laws each year to keep the rest of us in line. Now, before you get too uppity about this state of affairs, remember we elected them to office, and sometimes we re-elect them when they return to politics after serving time in jail.

Read some of my controversial articles on Business in America (because they are good) on other hot topics, including:

"So Why Should I Subsidize Any Banks Because of Their Greed and Incompetence?"

"If USA Families Ran Finances Like Their Government, They Would Go Bankrupt"

"ISP Providers Decide to Do the Right Thing Rather Than Stuff Their Pockets With Money

"Washington's Hottest Political Issue Pits PI Attorneys and the Insurance Industry"

"Too Many Overpaid CEOs Are Really Smooth Operators Who Produce Little"

July 6, 2008

Not Tolerant of Criminals

    If You Are Going to Get in Trouble with
    the Law, Skip Maricopa County in Arizona

(Editor's Note: These facts from an email about a county sheriff in Arizona are flat amazing in today's world of law enforcement, where criminals are sometimes treated like victims in the legal process. Meanwhile, their actual victims and their families are quickly pushed aside so tolerant liberals can show their compassion and launch rehabilitation programs that rarely, if ever, work.)

You may not be familiar with Joe Arpaio, the sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona who runs the 4th largest sheriff's office in the nation, but you can bet his prisoners know Arpaio all too well. Here are some reasons why:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio created a "tent city jail" to save Arizona taxpayers from spending millions of dollars on another expensive prison complex.

He has jail meals down to 20 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He banned smoking and pornographic magazines in the jails, took away the inmate's weightlifting equipment, and cut off all but 'G' movies. Sheriff Arpaio said "They're in jail to pay a debt to society, not to build muscles so they can assault innocent people when they leave.'"

He started chain gangs to use the inmates to do free work on county and city projects and save taxpayer's money. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again, but only allows the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why the weather channel, he replied: "So these morons will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs."

He cut off coffee because it has zero nutritional value and is therefore a waste of taxpayer money. When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back."

He also bought the Newt Gingrich lecture series on United States history that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series that actually tells the truth for a change would be welcome, and that it might even explain why 95% of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record for June 2, 2007), the Associated Press reported that about 2,000 inmates living in a barbed wire surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On a recent day, hundreds of men wearing pink boxer shorts were overheard chatting in the tents, where temperatures reached 128 degrees. "This is hell. It feels like we live in a furnace," said one inmate of 2 years with 10 more years to serve. "It's inhumane."

Joe Arpaio, who makes his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. "Criminals should be punished for their crimes—not live in luxury until it's time for parole, only to go out and commit more crimes so they can come back in to live on taxpayer's money and enjoy things many taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves."

The same day he told all the inmates who were complaining of the heat in the tents that 'It's between 120 to 130 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to walk all day in the sun, wearing full battle gear and get shot at, and they have not committed any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!"

Is it any wonder that Sheriff Joe Arpaio gets reelected again and again?

February 21, 2008

News and Comment:

        How Clever Thieves Are Stealing Cars
        Without Even Breaking into Your Car

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

(Editor's Note: A lot of advice—some good and some not so good—travels around the Internet by well meaning (in most cases) users. Here is a tidbit that is valuable enough to notice about how thieves are now beginning to steal vehicles.)

Car thieves are beginning to peer through the windshield of your car or truck, write down the VIN # from the label on the dash, go to the local car dealership and request a duplicate key based on the VIN #.

I didn't believe this e-mail, so I called Chrysler-Dodge and pretended I had lost my keys They told me to just bring in the VIN #, and they would cut me one on the spot, and I could order the keyless device if I wanted.

The Car Dealer's Parts Department will make a duplicate key from the VIN #, and collect payment from the thief who will return to your car. He does not have to break into your car or truck, do any damage to the vehicle, or draw attention to himself.

All he has to do is walk up to your car, insert the key and off he goes to a local Chop Shop with your vehicle. You don't believe it? It IS that easy.

To prevent this from happening to you, simply put some tape (electrical tape, duct tape or medical tape) across the VIN Metal Label located on the dashboard. By law, you cannot remove the VIN, but you CAN cover it so it cannot be viewed through the windshield by a car thief.

Read my other articles on football, including "Famous Quotes by Vince Lombardi, Knute Rockne and Lou Holtz During Football's Annual Bowl Season", "How to Predict When Teams Are Overrated and Due for an Unexpected Loss", "The Sagarin Ratings: What They Are, How to Read Them and What to Do With Them" and my 14 consecutive weekly wrap-up articles on the 2007 College Football Season as well as wrap-up articles on all 32 College Bowl Games.

July 30, 2007

A Continuing Series:

        Teddy Roosevelt's Thoughts on
        Immigrants Who Become Americans

Ed Bagley's Blog:

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Here is a statement written in 1907 (exactly 100 years ago) from Theodore Roosevelt on his thoughts about being an immigrant and being an American:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

"But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.

"We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

(Editor's Note: It seems clear that Teddy Roosevelt would not have tolerated immigrants calling themselves Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Polish-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or African-Americans. It also seems clear that he would not have allowed our national language to be anything but English as opposed to Spanish, ebonics or any other formal or informal language.)

Massachusetts Mandates Health Insurance Coverage

In a move that has riveted the eyes of the insurance industry on Massachusetts, legislators from one of the most liberal states in the nation have created the first law requiring people to have health insurance.

The question is now whether 375,000 or so uninsured residents will comply by buying health insurance policies.

Massachusetts, if memory serves me correctly, was the first state to have a no-fault divorce law.

The idea apparently is to get the young and healthy to buy health insurance they may not feel they need so premiums are spread out over more policyholders, thereby reducing premium increases in the future.

Increasing health insurance premiums is not only a Massachusetts problem as the nation's growing number of uninsured is now estimated at 44.8 million.

The health insurance industry is watching what happens so closely it may need eye strain care for its executives.

The reason is 44.8 million potential checks coming in each month for coverage that does not now exist if—and it is a big if—the idea started in Massachusetts catches on and spreads nationally.

(Note: "News and Comment" is a new on-going series in Ed Bagley's Blog. This is the first installment of a new subsection, which features shorter articles with analysis and commentary.)

August 7, 2007

A Continuing Series:

How You Can Create a Sweet Fragrance for Your Garden

Ed Bagley's Blog:

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Looking for that special herb to give your garden an even sweeter fragrance on a hot summer night? Think lavender.

Lavender really touches our senses. People gravitate toward its sweet fragrance and multiple uses, according to a report in The News Tribune (6-30-07), the dominant daily newspaper in Tacoma, WA.

Lavender can be used for cooking, crafts and medicinal purposes or simply as a beautiful, easy-care landscape plant. Lavender gives you a lot of choices as well as 28 species and some 400 varieties.

Most commonly grown in Western Washington are Spanish lavender, English lavender, lavandins and lanatas; each type has a different fragrance and look.

To learn more about lavender, check out these helpful lavender farm web sites:

www.lostmountaininlavender.com

www.purplehazelavender.com

www.mountainviewlavender.com

www.olympiclavender.com

Do You Know What the Word "Family" Means?

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family, an unwise investment indeed. Here is one view of what the word "F-A-M-I-L-Y" means:

(F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU

A Prayer for Monday Night

(Editor's Note: Every now and then I am moved to recognize a power greater than humankind of planet Earth: my God and my Savior Jesus Christ. Even if you are not of the Christian faith, you may find some meaning is this prayer I wrote. Ed Bagley.)

I Trust in God with All My Heart

I cannot change the past, and do not know what tomorrow may bring.
Let me enjoy today and live in this moment.
I count my many blessings, and order my life as God would direct me.
Let me praise God and be thankful to Him for all he has done for me.
Let me do for others what God has done for me.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Note: Read my movie reviews on Broadway musicals: "Camelot", "Chicago", "Fiddler on the Roof" and "The Phantom of the Opera". These are all excellent films.

Daisy Ouye's Articles:

May 6, 2010

An Activist Speaks Out

Beloved Peace Activist Riad Elsolh Hamad, Dead at 55, Becomes Another Victim of Our Nation's "War on Terror"

(Ed's Note: This article is by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A), a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington. D. K. Ouye is her husband.)

By Daisy Ouye and D. K. Ouye

Long-time peace activist Riad Hamad, who chaired an organization called Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund (PCWF) that has raised millions of dollars for Palestinian children, was found dead just before 2 p.m. on April 16, 2007.

His family had reported him as a missing person when he did not return from a trip to a local pharmacy two days prior, telling police he was suicidal.

I (Daisy) spoke with Paul Larudee, a close friend to Riad, by phone. Paul was recently in Olympia (WA) as co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, and replaced Riad as chair of PCWF just before he died.

He explained that Riad was methodical in turning over the bank account password, storage unit combination, and responsibilities . He said that those closest to Riad were also "worried for his state of mind in general" and that he was under tremendous pressure due to years of harassment from authorities.

Mr. Hamad was a Lebanese American who immigrated (to the United States) in the 1970’s. He had multiple master's degrees and was a middle school teacher. Riad sponsored 2 families in Palestine who had no means of income.

He raised funds for medicine and books and ran the PCWF, which collects donations and sells Palestinian arts and crafts to help the children of Palestinian refugee camps; children who have been displaced by Israeli occupation.

In a statement released through their lawyer, his family described him as "admired by many members of the local, as well as international community." He was beloved for his kindness, generosity, dedication and sense of humor. He was also an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.

Hamad was put under FBI surveillance in 2003, when a shipment of several boxes of books and used clothing that he tried to send to Israel for a group inclusive of Palestinian and Israeli children, was rejected. In a video on Free Speech TV, he opened some of the boxes that weren’t already opened and searched by the government. He joked, "You found me out, here’s your weapons of mass destruction, you got me," as he revealed the books and clothes.

The pressure on this tireless peace activist increased with years of constant interference in the operation of the charitable organization he ran from his home. His neighbors and co-workers were questioned and asked to spy on him, which none would agree to.

The implications of the FBI surveillance suggest they were trying to connect him to a terrorist group. Riad’s family was interrogated and watched, his home was raided by the FBI, and packages he sent were opened.

When asked why he continued, he said, "This is about basic civil rights. No child should go hungry." Always clear on spending, with donors listed on the PCWF web site, Riad called himself "an open book."

Still, on Feb. 27th, 2007 the FBI again raided his home, confiscating 40 boxes of tax related paperwork, other documents, books, flags, CDs, etc. Special agents said they had probable cause for money laundering, wire fraud, and bank fraud.

"There’s actually a very low threshold for judges to grant warrants and perform seizures," Larudee explained. According to the Progressive Independent Forum, the search warrant was issued by Robert Pittman, "Known for hostility to Arabs and Palestinians [and] with whom Riad had previous experience."

Larudee explained that they also seized Riad's passport, froze his bank account and were asking for documents dating back 15 years. He said Riad did not expect fair play from them, and referred to Sami Al-Arian, Palestinian professor and also an outspoken activist.

Sami Al-Arian was arrested in Feb. 2003 for an alleged connection to terrorism, based on secret evidence. He took a plea bargain and has been held a year past his release date. He was in the 34th week of a hunger strike to protest his unjust imprisonment when Riad died.

Larudee told me that Riad had said repeatedly "I’m not worried about what happens to me, but I worry for my family’s future." Hopelessness about the future is an even stronger predictor than depression in those who might take their own lives.

There has been a great deal of speculation about the circumstances surrounding Raid’s death because of the condition of his body when he was found. He was found in Lady Bird Lake, near his home in Austin, Texas, bound. His car was parked nearby.

The police statement said the placement of the bindings were "consistent with Hamad having done this to himself." This matter-of-fact explanation of such an awful scene has been difficult for his friends and supporters to accept.

After talking with Larudee, a beloved and tireless activist himself, I am convinced that Riad took his own life. He explained to me that he felt Riad may have chosen this method to draw scrutiny and suspicion to a situation that warrants it.

When I called Larudee, it was to discuss Texas state law and to ensure the police had followed procedure. He assured me that the police had treated his case as a homicide and that it was, indeed, the family who urged them to believe Riad was at high-risk for suicide because of his intensely affective state with the FBI raid just over a month before.

Media reports included statements in which the police referred to "stressors" in Riad’s life. Since most of the authorities of government were the stressors, their reports meant little.

"Mr. Hamada’s family and friends are obviously devastated over their loss" a statement from the family reads.

The current administration has targeted several charitable organizations benefiting Palestinian children: Kinder USA, Middle East Children Alliance, Holy Land Foundation and PCWF. It has been costly, disruptive and there have been no convictions for any crime.

With the future of PCWF in Larudee’s hands now, we asked him if he feared government interference. He replied with a deep breath that sounded like conviction, "We are prepared. We will build on their experience. We are keeping very careful records and have two very good lawyers."

Rest in peace, Riad.

(Ed's Note: There is no apparent connection between Riad Hamad and Sami Al-Arian, and none should be implied. Here are the facts about Sami Al-Arian as I understand them:

Dr. Sami Amin Al-Arian (born January 14, 1958, in Kuwait, to Palestinian parents), is a former resident of Temple Terrace (FL), now living in Northern Virginia, who is a Muslim activist, and former University of South Florida professor of computer engineering.

He pled guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to contribute services to or for the benefit of the Palestine Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist organization.

He was indicted in 2003 on multiple counts related to supporting international terrorism. At trial he was acquitted on 8 of 17 counts, and the jury deadlocked on the remaining 9 counts.

Al-Arian then pleaded guilty in 2006, pursuant to a plea agreement, to conspiracy to help a "specially designated terrorist" organization, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison, given credit for time served, and ordered deported following his prison term.

He was to serve the balance of 19 months. In November 2006, because he refused to testify before a federal grand jury after the court held that he had no legal basis for his refusal, he was held in civil contempt and imprisoned for his contempt of court by a Virginia district court judge.

He served 13 months in prison for his civil contempt, until the court lifted its contempt order in December 2007.

In 2007 and 2008, the United States Department of Justice subpeonaed Al-Arian to testify before a grand jury. He again refused to testify, and prosecutors charged him with criminal contempt in June 2008. In September 2008, Al-Arian was released from detention on bond. Sami Al-Arian remains under house arrest, as he awaits a trial on criminal contempt charges.)

April 19, 2010

The Effects Can Be Devastating

Iraqi-War Veterans Speak Out Against the Use of Depleted Uranium in Bullets Used in Battle

(Ed's Note: This article is by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A), a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington.)

Copyright © 2010 Daisy Ouye

OLYMPIA, WA - In the 1991 invasion of Iraq, the United States went in with weapons made from radioactive material called depleted uranium (DU).

Internationally recognized scientists say DU, or so-called "depleted" uranium, has caused, and continues to cause a wide range of health problems in areas where these weapons are manufactured, tested and used in warfare.

Last year 5 members of Iraq Veterans Against the War–Olympia Chapter took truth on tour. They spoke about their own boots-on-the-ground experiences and circumstances surrounding the current occupation of Iraq. The subject of radioactive weaponry, still in use, was a major talking point.

Thom Cassidy was in Iraq from 2003–05. He told audiences of concerned citizens, "In the first Gulf War the level of radiation was 300 times what is considered normal. In this invasion we used even more DU bullets. The effects are horrible."

Indeed, U.S. strategic command admits to using more than 2,000 tons of DU in this invasion. The effects in Iraq since the first invasion continue to worsen. There are 5 times more leukemia sufferers, a 10-fold increase in cancer, and a 600 percent increase in children born with devastating defects, if alive at all. Compounded by sanctions, DU weaponry has truly caused millions of deaths.

Joe Hatcher, who was in Iraq from February 2004 until March 2005 with the 4th Cavalry Brigade, talked about the invasion of Basra, a city with a population of 2.5 million.

"I got a call from Bravo team, who was on the other side of town" Hatcher explained. "They said ‘Stop firing, the DU bullets are coming through at us!’"

When DU explodes, it disperses into microscopic dust that can be breathed in. It can remain airborne or settle on soil and equipment. It contaminates the entire environment, food and water supply.

Hatcher describes further exposure to DU: "Before I went home on my last tour of duty, I was assigned to clean the trucks that we had used. As they were, they wouldn’t pass environmental standards to come into Germany because of the microscopic dust (radiation) that had settled on the vehicle and equipment. I tell this to folks here in America, and often times they’ll freak out, but back there it was just normal, just another assignment." 

According to the Royal Society (Britain’s pre eminent science organization), DU’s behavior in the body is identical to uranium. It has been known for decades that uranium targets DNA. Through private testing, 5 soldiers have found they suffered extensive genetic damage.

While U.S. officials maintain inhaling small amounts is not dangerous, Dr. Rosalle Bertell, the foremost voice in the field of radiation, says the opposite is true.

Sparse distribution heightens the probability of free radicals reaching and reacting to the cell wall. The resulting health effects include respiratory damage, urinary tract damage, reproductive problems, brain lesions, depleted immune systems and cancers of the organs and skin.

Many of these ailments begin with symptoms like extreme fatigue, brain dysfunction, a cough, or pain. Soldiers are often misdiagnosed or scantily compensated for what officials call undiagnosed illness.

The U.S. spent $52 million on DU weapons in one month. Officials say it’s used in weapons for its penetrability and because it’s cheap. IVAW has joined scientists and activists across the globe in raising awareness of the true human cost of DU weapon use.

April 18, 2010

Book Review:

Meet Bernie Meyer and His Book, "The American Gandhi – My Truth Seeking With Humanity at the Crossroads"

(Ed's Note: This guest book review is by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A), a personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington.)

Copyright © 2010 Daisy Ouye

OLYMPIA, WA - "I couldn’t have planned this," Bernie laughed. In fact, it wasn’t even his idea. This hometown hero gone global had to be coaxed into his first portrayal of the Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi. He reveals a wonderfully rich life of contemplation and courage, as he tells his story in his new book The American Gandhi - My Truth Seeking With Humanity at the Crossroads.

His approachable nature left him open to Chris Dull's unusual request. Both are members of the National Council of Fellowship of Reconciliation. Two directors on the council were doing work relating to Gandhi’s teachings. Bernie’s portrayal would be a gift to them, and consequently, the world.

His strikingly similar looks and historically accurate portrayal were warmly received. He was encouraged and enlisted to continue, speaking for colleges, schools, Indian cultural groups, libraries, peace gatherings, and listed with Humanities Washington.

It was after Bernie accepted an invitation to do his portrayal in India that he was approvingly adorned with a new name, a sandalwood garland around his neck, and a weighty responsibility. Now dubbed "The American Gandhi", he was told in the name of the Association of World Citizens, "it is your calling to take Gandhi to the world."

Bernie Meyer’s sense of duty began early on in his 70 years. He achieved his boyhood call to be ordained as a Catholic priest in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bernie states in his book that his participation in the Urban Ministry Program "provided the posture that formed my entire life from that point on." It was there that he learned you must go to the roots of injustices affecting people. He has lived his life honoring that principle. He may not be the "Mahatma" but he is truly a "Great Soul."

In 2006 the American Gandhi led a Salt Walk in Olympia, Washington in reflection of Gandhi’s Salt March in 1930 held in India. Bernie called on "Truth Seekers" to join him. He believes that the Truth is in all of us, and that Love is being faithful to the Truth, to all that is. He spoke about major issues calling for modern Gandhian solutions.

The 1930 Salt March was a coordinated act of civil disobedience to repressive British law. The result was called the first true act of "peaceful militancy", and a Round Table Conference in London took place to discuss law reform. The talks were "inconclusive" but the achievement, historic.

The American Gandhi’s 2006 Salt Walk would challenge worldwide repression on a grassroots level.

Doctor Vishwanath D. Karad, president of the World Peace Centre in Pune, India instructs that with humanity at the crossroads the answers that will bring harmony lie in science and spirituality alone.

Bernie Meyer, the American Gandhi, was among other scholars, philosophers, scientists and Nobel Laureates speaking at a modern day Round Table Conference in Pune at the request of Dr. Karad. The speeches given at the prestigious event were compiled into a publication that was submitted to world leaders in science, spirituality and politics.

The American Gandhi described a "triple threat" to human existence as: global climate change, nuclear weaponry and industrial society’s dependence upon the depleting resources of liquid fossil fuel and water.

He further explained that though we must study so we can act now, "humanity can use its wisdom to apply science to overcome this."

The insights shared in his book are a culmination of in-depth study into the roots of human violence, and over four decades of activism, making a clear case for nonviolence.

He weaves his own experiences and poetry with various scriptural text and quotes and ideas of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Alice Walker, Arundahti Roy, and other influences.

The American Gandhi - My Truth Seeking With Humanity at the Crossroads by Bernie Meyer is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble online.

October 23, 2009

Guest Article:

Remembering and Recognizing Injustice Today: Topaz Beckons a Call to Freedom

Ed's Note: This guest article by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A) about the treatment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II reminds us that what happened once could happen again to other American citizens with different derivations. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Daisy is personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington who does not let these kinds of misdeeds go unnoticed. You can check out Daisy's web site at daisyotinyhome.blogspot.com

Copyright © 2009 Daisy Ouye

October marks 64 years since the closing of Topaz Internment Camp. The site was recognized this year as a National Historic Landmark thanks to the diligence of the Topaz Museum Board and other supporters. They believe it is important that we remember the strength of the people interned, as well as injustices of former actions of the U. S. federal government.

In central Utah, Topaz held more than 8,000 of the 110,000 Japanese Americans unconstitutionally detained during WWII. Japanese Americans who lived along the West Coast were treated as a threat to national security. Entire families were stripped of their land, homes, all belongings (except one suitcase), and the freedom that America promises.

Eleven of my partner’s family members were detained at Topaz. We got the opportunity to interview two of them at a family reunion last year. They were on their way to a movie when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place. The two 19-year-old girls, Hatsue and Margaret, along with another friend, had the car radio on. "Japan just bombed the United States . . .We gotta go home," Margaret said as they relived the moment.

Hatsue added, "That’s what we did and we pulled the shades down."

I asked them why, and Margaret said, "We were afraid because of the discrimination. They never considered us American citizens." She casually imitated the kind of slurs they’d become used to: "There goes another Jap."

Anti-Japanese government propaganda created a backdrop of fear and hate that permeated society. It was this atmosphere that made these detention camps possible.

Under Executive Order 9066, "All persons of Japanese Ancestry" were instructed to report to so-called ‘civil stations’. "My family and Hatsue’s family, we all went on the same bus to the Tanforan Racetrack. That was our first home," confided Margaret, who turned 86 this year and is wonderfully good-natured.

She told us that "Families of four or less lived in horse stalls, and of course some families would write ‘Seabiscuit’ above the door," she laughed with Hatsue. "And Hats," she joked, "She was lucky. She had a big family. She had the honor of sleeping in the tar paper barracks. The floors were wide boards. I remember grass would grow between the boards. They’d be mowing the floors." They laughed at the absurdity of it all.

Hatsue Ouye and Margaret Ouye were childhood friends, who married my partner, DK Ouye’s great uncles, Seigo and Joe. They giggled like schoolgirls and we were enthralled. Then the mood changed when Hatsue said, "I had a scholarship to go to school, but the war just ended everything."

After six months at Tanforan, they were taken on a train to Delta where most of them would stay for the remainder of the war. They truly made homes of the windowless tarpaper barracks that stood in rows behind barbed wire. With armed guards in towers watching, they carried on with life, making gardens, art, and their own newspaper and school, all under a common philosophy of "Shikata Ga Nai" or "It cannot be helped."

In February of 1943, the Army’s loyalty registration and recruitment program required detainees over the age of 17 to answer a series of questions. The two that stood out asked them if they would swear allegiance to America and denounce Japan, and if they would serve in the U. S. military anywhere they were ordered to.

"On the questionnaire—28 and 29," Margaret said. "I feel I’m an American citizen. I gotta do whatever my government says. My whole family said yes. And now they talk about this no/no and the yes/yes people. They were considered no/no dogs—sent to Tule Lake. We were the yes/yes. We were supposed to be the better citizens."

Hatsue’s family members also answered yes. "I guess, in a way, the war completely disrupted our family," she said. That was an understatement.

Many of those who responded to the questions did so with a qualified yes—if their civil rights were restored. The War Department replied that only mutual confidence and cooperation could restore loyal Japanese Americans to their civil rights. The present program was not complete rehabilitation but the first step in that direction.

The U. S. government maintained that it had evidenced its faith in loyal Japanese Americans by giving them the opportunity to serve their country . . . to demonstrate to the American people that they have faith in America.

As a result, one third of the no responses changed to yes, including the answer given by my partner’s great uncle, Tomatsu Ouye. We are fortunate to have obtained a recorded interview from 1983 done by a high school student with Tomatsu. He was detained at Topaz when he was drafted into the Army.

"If none of us had fought in the war we . . .would have been in the same shoe as before the war started. We would work for peanuts," Tomatsu said.

They wanted to prove loyalty, gain release for their parents, or just have the ability to assimilate. They would become part of the 442nd, the most decorated unit in U. S. history.

"Roosevelt wanted one regiment, or division if he could get it, all of one race: Japanese. So he didn’t care whether we got exterminated or lived. He didn’t care. But it turned out the other way."

This segregated unit was sent on the most dangerous of missions, including the rescue of the "Lost Battalion." They suffered 800 casualties to rescue 211 men. The regiment from Texas named them "honorary Texans."

Tomatsu received seven citations for bravery and made it home to his family. More than half of the 18,000 Japanese Americans who served as the 442nd died, literally, fighting for their freedom.

We visited Topaz a few years ago for the dedication of a new site marker and a Veteran’s Memorial that would bear Tomatsu’s name. The previous marker was used for target practice and the vast acreage was used as an unofficial garbage dump and place for underage drinking parties. Small signs marked locations of the library, metal shop, and where some of the other buildings were on what is now a National Historic Site.

The Topaz Museum Board, now with federal backing and protection, will continue archaeology work, curation of artifacts, recording of oral history, and plans to offer guided tours at the site.

We asked Hatsue and Margaret if they saw similarities between the government’s actions of the 40’s and those of today.

Margaret said, "Now it’s all come out about the no/no and the yes/yes. I read the Japanese newspaper and that keeps coming out. This new Lieutenant Watada. He said he’s not gonna go fight in Iraq. He said that’s not a real war. Now the yes/yes seem to say your government paid to send you to school you gotta do whatever they say. The no/nos say he’s brave and he’ll do anything else, just not fight in Iraq, so that evens it out. He’s speaking his opinion," she summed up with a smile.

Margaret was born Masako and that is the name on her birth certificate, but she has gone by the name Margaret since she was a girl and a teacher said her name was "too Japanesey, too hard to remember. As of today, you’re Margaret," a name her mother had trouble pronouncing.

After consideration, Hatsue told us, "One thing I can say, they kept it a secret. The people back East didn’t know what was happening to us."

There are many parallels today. Anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hostility, and black sites for unlawful detainment that includes torture are today’s backdrops. New memorials honoring veterans will be built. Remembering and understanding the realities of this history is truly important. But it is not enough just to remember. We must learn to recognize, speak out, and take action against the injustices of today.

October 17, 2009 - 2nd Article

Guest Article:

The Inadequate Health Care Support for Our Active and Returning Troops Is Unconscionable

Ed's Note: This guest article about caring for our veterans by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A) is very disturbing. Daisy is personable, bright, inquisitive local activist in Western Washington who does not let these kinds of misdeeds go unnoticed. You can check out Daisy's web site at daisyotinyhome.blogspot.com

Copyright © 2009 Daisy Ouye

Poor conditions discovered at Walter Reed Army Medical Center made headlines last year, spurring media attention and prompting investigations of U. S. Army health care facilities nationwide.

Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis in Washington State was no exception, turning up some serious problems that needed to be addressed in regard to safety, medical treatment, living conditions and availability of care for those suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a variant of a concussion, has been called "the signature wound of the war on terror." Screening at Madigan Army Medical Center has improved for TBI, which in turn has improved access to appropriate treatment.

But with depression being a side effect of TBI, 43% of soldiers returning with mental health problems, and little discussion in the mainstream about the health effects of radioactive depleted uranium (DU) munitions, the true "signature wound" is yet to be revealed.

DU is a byproduct of nuclear power production. Truly safe nuclear weapon deployment is impossible—through the explosion of this weaponry, waste is ground into nanoparticles and dispersed into the air that our troops breathe. It is no coincidence that the problems covered heavily by mainstream news, such as TBI, get addressed, while other killers like DU remain unknown to the masses, including doctors and many of those affected.

General Electric, which produces nuclear fuel (and waste), is the parent company of NBC. The health problems which are caused by "terrorists" are widely discussed, but the health problems created by American corporations are largely overlooked; this is the way of the corporate mainstream media.

Staff Sergeant Matt Bumpus died after exposure to radiation and chemicals in Iraq, a two-year battle with leukemia, and eight proud years of service to his country in the U. S. Army. He and his family had previously been denied coverage for his illness. The file of this Fort Lewis soldier was just reopened.

Bumpus urged troops, through his web site, to get what is called a Gulf War Exam, which he discovered too late to save his own health. It is the right of any soldier, but it must be requested. It may help with diagnosis and treatment for exposures to contaminants. Recent U. S. acknowledgment of "Gulf War Syndrome" as a legitimate illness may also help veterans get better coverage.

Pyridostigmine bromide (PB), a pill to protect against nerve agents, and pesticide exposure were cited as the cause of a number of health problems that fall under the label Gulf War Syndrome or GWS. The acknowledgment does not cite exposure to DU as a contributor, and has not been applied to soldiers suffering the same illnesses from the current invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rosalie Bertel, Doug Rokke and Asaf Duracowicz are among the nuclear scientists who have studied DU and proven the dangers of its use. Exposure can cause health problems ranging from headaches, digestive problems and kidney stones, to muscular sclerosis, cancers and birth defects in offspring (obviously passing contamination and health problems to sexual partners).

Depleted Uranium (DU) is the Agent Orange of today, and if our media truly informed the public, the use of DU and the damage it causes would be front-page news.

The psychological costs of war run long and deep. The nature of the so-called "War on Terror" is that troops never get to leave the front lines of what seems to be an open-ended conflict.

An active duty soldier recently informed me that troops are directed to "Hand out lead, not bread," and they do not always know who they are fighting. The father of one Iraq vet told me his son went AWOL because he was having trouble coping with his participation in home raids, and was especially haunted by memories involving children.

I have had the opportunity to meet many active duty soldiers. When they tell me they have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, I ask them what they would like us to know about what is happening. I get mixed reactions to this question. Some are taken aback by it, and want some time to think it over. Some just shrug, maybe because they do not want to think about it at all. Others tell me their stories.

One of the last soldiers I spoke to was anxiously awaiting discharge after serving three tours in Iraq. Without hesitation he said, "There's a lot of corruption, trash everywhere and people being blown up. Dead bodies. I saw a lot of dead bodies." I could not only see but feel the pain in his eyes.

Then there is Chris, "E-4 Specialist." He was discharged but still in uniform, adorned with his own non-issue patches. He was proud of his skill, and his courage. But he felt completely betrayed by the Army. Chris received a dishonorable discharge. He explained that he did not pass a physical due to a knee injury he sustained when reprimanded by a superior from another unit. "There's a lot of fighting amongst the ranks," he said, "It's like being in prison, only in prison you get showers."

He was upset about putting out oil fires when he does not even have a car. He was well-informed and thought others should be. He wondered how he could be sent to war for his country, find out it was all based on lies, and then be left with nothing. Chris is one of half a million homeless vets. That is 25% of the homeless population in America.

Mainstream media covered the infamous story of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, but failed to uncover the real story. There is insurmountable evidence of widespread systematic torture, ordered from the highest ranks. This is a far cry from the image sold to young recruits. It all amounts to the U. S. government asking things of our troops that go far beyond what they signed up for.

The inadequate mental health support for our active and returning troops is unconscionable.

The types of injuries and mental scars troops suffer, along with difficulty pursuing treatment, pose many challenges, including that of suicide risk. A CBS investigation on veteran suicide and a pending class action lawsuit filed by a coalition of Iraq War Vets against the Department of Veteran Affairs, have brought mental health care to the forefront.

The investigation reported that the Department of Defense was claiming there were 2,200 veteran suicide deaths between 1995 and 2007, a 12-year span. Evidence CBS obtained from the Department of Veteran's Affairs gathered from a total of 45 states proved that the number of veterans whose lives were lost to suicide, was 6,256 in 2005 alone. The lawsuit cites long waits and inadequate care as the cause.

Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Modern Warfare are also filing suit against the VA over "unacceptable delays." They say "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."

Like all of our Army and VA facilities, improvements are being made at Madigan Army Medical Center. Nevertheless, the facility is extremely understaffed, as more doctors are deploying and, as one Madigan staff member explained, others are just "burning out."

There is a growing concern there about how the highly addictive drug oxycontin and others like it that are being prescribed to injured troops. While doctors often recognize signs of addiction, sometimes shared by the spouse, they fear backlash for not providing care when a soldier comes in asking for something.

Raising red flags nationwide, prescriptions for narcotic painkillers have gone from 30,000 per month before the Iraq invasion, to 50,000 per month today, along with a rise in the number of people seeking drug abuse treatment.

One veteran testified before Congress at the Winter Soldier hearings that in Iraq they hand out pain medicines "like candy." In the absence of psychological care, these narcotics are commonly used to escape mental, as well as physical pain. The combination of depression and substance abuse puts these combat vets in the highest risk group for taking their own lives.

If we listen to veterans, young and old, they are trying to tell us their truths in the cafes, on the streets, at the ports and in the courtrooms. Resoundingly, they bring into question the appropriateness of the actions of this "Global War on Terror" and why it continues without better care for its warriors.

President Barack Obama has vowed to take care of our veterans. We all need to help hold him to it.

June 28, 2009

You May Have Missed MCS Month, But You Will Not Miss the Scent

(Ed's Note: This guest article about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) by Daisy Ouye (Day-zee O-A) certainly caught my attention. When I walk into either Lowe's or The Home Depot and wander into the Gardening Department, within 30 seconds I am very uncomfortable and immediately start getting a headache. The strength of the chemicals in the fertilizer and weed killer compounds just knocks me over. Daisy is a smart cookie and a local activist who does not let the scents around her remain unnoticed and unidentified. She deserves a lot of credit for bringing attention to this common occurrence that many of us put up with. For the record, "smart cookie" is a Midwest expression for someone who is personable, bright and inquisitive.)

Copyright © 2009 Daisy Ouye

So, what IS that scent you are wearing? There are no laws requiring the manufacturers of perfumes and other scented products to inform you of their ingredients. When byproducts form by combining them, they don’t have to tell consumers that either.

The word "fragrance" can be up to 200 undisclosed chemicals that do not have to be tested for safety. In fact, many of them are known to cause health problems.

It is no wonder that 30% of Americans have noticeable, sometimes debilitating reactions to such products. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or MCS, is a disability that causes individuals to react to even the lowest levels of toxins because of previous chemical exposure.

Reactions can range from burning eyes after your husband sprayed that so-called "air freshener" this morning; sinus irritation from your neighbor’s dryer sheets; a sudden migraine from single whiff of granny’s cologne or cigarette; to becoming life-threatening because of the pesticide your apartment manager did not tell you about.

Inundated with pollutants, it is difficult, if not impossible for those affected to carry on their lives as usual. Pollen, mold, and even some natural products, like orange oil, can trigger reaction.

Those who develop this lowered tolerance are often industrial workers, occupants in "tight" buildings, residents from contaminated communities, war veterans and individuals with personal exposures to chemicals in a world growing more toxic.

My Story

When I was young my neighborhood was sprayed with pesticides to control mosquitos. My health problems began in those early years although my awareness of MCS occurred only somewhat recently.

I began researching the pesticides that "fogged" the residential area in Michigan where I had lived. Among other health problems, I had sinus complications, earaches, leg and foot cramps, and migraine headaches.

I noticed my sensitivity when I began to remove chemicals from my environment. This state of constant existence within chemical environments can "mask" the condition. There’s no denying it now. I keep an air ionizer/purifier at home and wear a small one while working. There is no chemical free place so I wear a mask when I have to go out.

A clinical detoxification called an "unmasking" would place the patient in a room completely chemical free down to the adhesives used to hold the room together. The patient would then be held for several days before their reactions to chemicals were tested.

What You Can Do

Currently there are no such facilities. Coupled with the fact that only a small percentage of doctors in the United States are familiar with environmental illnesses like MCS, patients often elude diagnosis or are treated with pharmaceuticals (chemicals) for their symptoms.

Treatment should consist largely of avoidance of chemicals, immune system support and detoxification. Funding is needed on the federal and state levels for public awareness campaigns and support for individuals already suffering.

May was MCS Awareness Month, but anytime is a good time to start checking labels for harmful chemicals. A study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that half of infant products contain cancer-causing carcinogens such as formaldehyde. It can be a challenge but healthy chemical free replacements are out there.

Consider using an organic fertilizer on your lawn this year, or go "fragrance free"—it is possible! These small changes promote a healthy life for you and your family, and they will make a world of difference to the "masked" MCS sufferers in your life.

September 12, 2009

Between the Evergreens

New Column Offers Up Some Musings

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

(Ed's Note: I am starting a new column called "Between the Evergreens" which will appear occasionally on my web site. I will pick up bits and pieces of items that interest me and, like picking up pine cones that fall between the evergreen trees in the Great Pacific Northwest, bring them home to share with you. Following is the first installment with sports items. All rankings are taken from the Top 25 Coaches' Poll.)

Tomorrow is the second Saturday of the college football season and several key games interest me.

Top on the list is the No. 7-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes who will host the No. 3-ranked Southern California Trojans. USC is favored by 7, and I expect them to win and cover the spread even though Sagarin would rate USC as only a 2-point favorite.

Other games I will be watching closely are Pittsburgh at Buffalo, Texas at Wyoming, Notre Dame at Michigan, Idaho State at Oklahoma, and Illinois State at Illinois. Buffalo will let us know if Pittsburgh is for real. Texas must stomp Wyoming silly. Notre Dame must win at Michigan. Oklahoma has to win big without Sam Bradford. Illinois must win against in-state rival, 1-AA Illinois State. Already the stakes are high for these 5 contenders.

Perfect in Which Way?

Do you know which 14 teams had perfect home records last year? I didn't either, until I did some research. They are:

Alabama, Penn State, Texas, Texas Tech and California (all 7-0 at home), Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Brigham Young, Texas Christian, Utah, Boise State, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati and Rice (all 6-0).

If you were a betting man, you might think any of these 14 teams are a lock to win and cover, and you would be dead wrong. Only 2 of the 14 unbeaten teams at home had perfect records against the spread as a home favorite: California won 7 and covered all 7; Texas Christian (TCU) won 6 and covered all 5 as a home favorite.

Here are some teams with perfect home records last year that were passable against the spread (ATS): Oklahoma and Rice (both 4-1). Wow, that was a SHORT list.

So just how bad can it get? This bad: Alabama (4-3), Penn State (4-2), Texas (5-2), Southern Cal (4-1-1), Brigham Young (2-3), Utah (2-2), Boise State (2-3), Virginia Tech (1-4), Texas Tech (1-3), and Cincinnati (2-2).

Before you bet in your office pool, do not assume that just because your favorite team was unbeaten at home last year that it covered the spread on the way to victory.

Here are two other teams that are real stinkers against the spread—Ohio State was 6-1 as a home favorite, but 1-4 ATS, and Georgia was 4-2 as a home favorite and 1-4 ATS.

2 Guys Who Deserve It

Randy Johnson, better known as the "Big Unit", especially during his time with Seattle Mariners, won his 300th game this year with the San Francisco Giants. Johnson, who is 45, became only the 24th pitcher in Major League Baseball to win 300 games during his career.

Among the 24 pitchers to accomplish the feat, Johnson—who at 6-foot-10 is by far the tallest—is also only the 6th left-hander to do so. He is not the oldest. Phil Niekro was 46 when he won his 300th game with the New York Yankees in 1985.

The Big Unit has pitched for 7 major league teams. He is a living legend in Seattle, where he went 130-74 (63.7% win percentage) for the Mariners.

Another former Seattle Mariner, Jamie Moyer, won his 250th game this season with the Philadelphia Phillies. Moyer, who is 44, is pitching his 23rd season this year, and has played with 7 different teams as well.

Man, They Were Tired, But Happy

Speaking of the Seattle Mariners, one game has really stood out this season. It happened on Sunday, May 3, at home against one of their arch-rivals, the Oakland Athletics. Check out these numbers:

The game lasted 5 hours and 2 minutes. Total pitches thrown—524. Total pitchers used—13. Total hits—30. Total number of runners left on base—29. Total plate appearances—131.

And? Seattle won 8-7 in the 15th inning on a game–winning pop to shallow center field by Jose Lopez that was misplayed by Rajai Davis, allowing Franklin Gutierrez to score from third with the bases loaded.

You might say the Seattle fans got their money's worth that day.

Ed's Blog Entries:

April 20, 2011

What's Really Going On

So What's the Story on Why Ed Bagley's Has Not Been Posting to His Blog?

Copyright © 2011 Ed Bagley

Discerning readers of Ed Bagley's Blog have long ago figured out that this website is not a blog.

Savvy surfers know that a blog is most often about the personal thoughts, feelings and activities of the primary personality involved.

A blog is also usually focused on one specific topic, such as a hate Bush website, or a hate Obama website, or search engine optimization (SEO), or man's best friend – dogs.

Ed Bagley's Blog is about none of that. My blog is really an articles directory about topics of interest to me. Currently I have 880 original articles on this site covering 50 different subjects, and another 482 guest articles for a total of 1,362 articles.

Enough articles to keep you reading for awhile, with an estimated 69,000 pages of reading on your monitor.

When it comes to the quality and scope of the articles, Ed Bagley's Blog is one of the best-kept secrets on the Internet. Started in the last 4 days of September 2006, my website in 2.5 years grew to 723,000+ hits and 99,000+ visits during the month of April 2009. From March 2009 through February 2010, it pulled 5.1 million hits in a year.

Blogs are like children. If you don't feed them, they don't grow.

Currently, the readership on my website is down because I have not been feeding it with fresh articles every day. I have been re-running articles to concentrate on creating a new website with a single focus – putting America back to work.

We have 25 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed. I aim to decrease that number in a significant way, and will use my new website (under construction) to do exactly that.

Ed Bagley's Blog is not going away. I will go back to writing more new material for this site when my new site is launched.

So I have been busy, not writing articles for my Blog, but creating a new website. Stay plugged into Ed Bagley's Blog. I will let you know when I start promoting my new online business and webstie.

December 17, 2010

A Reader Writes:

"(Your Blog) Is By Far The Best I Have Seen"

Dear Mr. Bagley;

I accidentally stumbled on your blog and then onto "Articles on Lessons in Life". I must compliment you on your writing prowess. I am 73 years old and have been exposed to a lot of writers and blogs, but yours is by far the best I have seen thus far.

I will keep looking and if I ever find anyone better than you, I'll let you know. I couldn't find a place to comment on any of your "Articles on Lessons in Life" so I chose to write you an email. I wasn't able to read every thing there tonight but I will be back.

Thanks for being a serious Blogger.

James

(Ed's Note: James wrote his kind comments just as I was creating 17 new pages for my blog, which now has more than 1,290 articles and more than 69,000 pages. The "Articles on Lessons in Life" Section that James is referring to has now become separate sections with the same material categorized under single topics, such as Family, Faith, Humor, Health, Jobs, Finances, Business, Marketing, Politics and Society.)

December 13, 2010

Competition Is Fierce

Trying to Find a Place in the Internet World, and Getting Noticed, Is Much Harder Than You Might Think

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

When I started my web site two years ago, I only wanted to write stories about the world I had lived in for more than 6 decades. Here are a few things I quickly found out (whether I wanted to know or not):

1) The "place" I had been living in was really a cave compared to what was going on in the world around me. In other words, I was really out of touch. Heck, I wasn't even really on the same planet because more was going on above the Earth than on the Earth.

2) There was an entire other world in cyberspace. Technology had risen from the planet and taken up an additional residence in outer space. We no longer needed a spaceship to explore outer space, we were using it in real time – messages, unseen by the naked eye, were being sent through the air by the millions every second.

If you had a computer (and who didn't?), you didn't even need to plug it in to have a power source to use it – it was wireless. People who lived in the most populated, worst of slums of Calcutta in India to the most remote places in the 3.5-million-mile Sahara Desert in Africa, and who lived without virtually any modern conveniences, had cell phones.

3) Baseball parks at local elementary schools sat empty on Saturday mornings as the kids in the second generation behind me (my grandchildren) sat totally occupied for hours in front of a handheld device and destroyed monsters and enemies on a digital screen.

4) Young people had all but stopped reading traditional books, painting with oils and sculpting with metal as parts of our culture were slipping away to be replaced by iPads, iPhones and Kindles.

5) It was not just spaceships that were moving at warp speed, it was the Internet – news could travel around the world in less than 10 seconds. The instant gratification that had become such a part of the Baby Boomer generation that followed me had now become instant communication – there was no more need for stupid land lines, even email was now passé because twitter was moving gibberish faster than you could read it.

Many young adults could write in a computer programming language, but could not speak or write a complete sentence in English, the language of their parents and grandparents.

6) Even the two-word phrase "web site" had become "website" and was commonly used by anyone and anything connected to the Internet. Soon it will arrive in the most literate dictionaries in the world as this is how language is developed over a period of constant usage.

7) The Internet world had become more focused in single subject areas, such as search engine optimization (SEO), and computer terms flew around in the world even faster than emails. The most popular subjects focused on a single, specific area and milked it for all it was worth.

8) I started out writing stories that now were articles, Internet articles. I wrote hundreds (833 at last count) of articles on 49 different subjects, which has to be overwhelming to the younger generation. Their whole life can revolve around one computer procedure. Soon I realized I was writing articles without the ability to market them to a reader base that did not want to buy them.

9) This is the year that Gen Y (that would be Generation Y) will outnumber Baby Boomers, and 96% of them have joined a social network (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace).

10) Social media has overtaken porn as the No. 1 activity on the Web. It used to be the only things that made money online were book sales and porn. Now you can buy virtually anything on the Web that is not heavy or has an expensive shipping cost.

11) 1 in 8 couples who married last year met via social media – now that could be scary.

12) It takes radio 38 years to reach 50 millions users, television 13 years, the Internet 4 years and iPod 3 years – this is now the speed of wireless communication. Where would you place your advertising dollars?

13) Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months, and now has 500+ million users. If Facebook were a country, it would now be the world's 3rd largest between the United States (301 million population) and India (1.1 billion). China, the largest, has 1.3 billion people.

14) If that is not mind-boggling enough, try these statistics: In 2009, more than 90 trillion emails were sent, and average of 247 billion a day. There were 1.4 billion email users worldwide, there were 234 million web sites, and 1.73 billion Internet users.

15) OK, so there are 234 million web sites, and I am trying to get viewers to come to my web site. It is all pretty incredible that anyone reads my web site at all – they have 234 million options to occupy their time. The odds of winning the big prize in a single-state lottery normally run about 18 million to 1, so I am 13 times more likely to win the big prize in my state lottery than someone coming to my web site by chance.

If all of this information has not bored you to tears by now, you are an exception. Imagine my consternation as the writer of the articles you are reading. This is my place in the cyber world, and also a part of my life in real time.

So, what about all these changes to my site?

Well, it starts with the name change back to Ed Bagley's Blog (where it started) from Ed Bagley's Articles. The common sense part of me says my blog is not really a blog. A blog is really someone's ramblings about any subject, but primarily concentrates on one subject.

Since I have written on 49 different subjects, I could hardly call myself a blog with a straight face. The problem is, no one cares about straight faces in this world. If you want to get noticed, you have to be in a category that gets noticed.

Did you know that the word "blog" pulls 83+ million global searches monthly, and almost a billion (996 million) annually? The word "articles" pulls 9+ million global searches monthly, and the phrase "Internet articles" only pulls 27,000 searches monthly. No wonder the search engines which drive readers to my site cannot find me.

So, it is nothing more or less than the fact that blog pulls more readers than articles that I move back to where I started, thus Ed Bagley's Blog.

I also have really pushed the Lessons in Life theme in my blog for its first 4 years. It has become a problem in that I had articles on "family" under both the Lessons in Life and News & Comment Sections of my blog.

There are too many articles for readers to fuss around with, so I have dropped the Lessons in Life theme (the message and lessons are the same), but put the subjects in hopefully easier to find categories, like Movies, Family, Faith, Humor, Health, Jobs, Resumes, Finances, Business, Marketing, Politics and Society.

I have written more than 400 sports articles, so if I lump all of the college football into one section, it takes too long to load (come up on your monitor) so readers go elsewhere because we live in a now world.

Thus the change to separate sections for college football by the year. If your favorite team wins the national championship in a certain year, or has a great season, you can now go to that year and not have to sift through hundreds of articles you are not interested in.

I am a staff of one in maintaining my web site, and the web site is not paying its overheads – I am feeding it every month to keep it going. This has caused me to launch a business initiative to generate capital to subsidize this site. In other words, I am going to have to make money another way online to keep these articles coming on this site.

That makes it a lot more work and less time to do it.

I would love to make this site a membership only site (you pay to read what I write), but I do not believe enough readers out there would pay, say $10 a month, to read my site – it simply does not appear to be economically feasible, even though I would only need 200 paid readers.

I enjoy what I do and think I am good at what I do. The truth is, I enjoy writing these articles more than you do reading them. If I stopped writing articles, there are about 234 million web sites that could occupy your interest.

That said, I intend to continue to do what I am doing because I enjoy it. I just am going to have less time to devote to it because I now have a job to do – making money online.

I want you to know that I appreciate your interest in my articles, and cannot thank you enough for your interest. Heck, I would do this if I only had 23 readers rather than 23, 000.

Like an artist with his oils and paintings that do not sell, I have my words and what few readers are left to enjoy what I write.

It reminds me of Edwin Arlington Robinson's character Miniver Cheevy. I was probably born 100 years too late – the heyday of newspapers, journalism and great writers was already over when I graduated from Michigan State University in 1966. We just didn't know it.

Trust me when I say that newspaper publishers today know it. They get it, but they are too late. The Internet was here before they put out their next edition. We will not see it again in my lifetime. We will be the subjects of history past.

May 27, 2010

Why I Did It

So You Are Sick and Tired of Quotes by Warren Buffett for 115 Straight Days? Too Bad

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

Today marks the end of 115 straight days (almost 4 months) of quotes by Warren Buffet, the most successful stock market investor in history, and one of the great financial minds of our time.

Every day since I started "Ed Bagley's Articles" near the end of September in 2006, I have run a "Thought for the Day" at the top of my home page. I just decided that this would be a neat thing to do. If a reader was not interested in my main article of the day, or another article above the fold, at least they could be entertained, informed or educated by a Thought of the Day.

Some followers of Ed Bagley's Articles have told me that the first thing they do when my home page comes up is to read my Thought for the Day. I have always tried to mix up the topic in Thought for the Day, and, only on rare occasions, has the Thought for the Day related to my main article.

During Christmas, I generally run about a week's worth of quotes germane to the holiday season. This is mainly because I am a Christian. I believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

I figure if readers cannot handle that during the holiday season, they can take a flying leap off of a short pier. I do not begrudge them their beliefs, and I expect them to allow me to have mine. I am not out to convert anyone to Christianity; whatever anyone wants to believe is their business, not mine.

I am a huge fan of Warren Buffett because he is smart, successful, savvy and succinct. I have read and studied Mary Buffett and David Clark's book "The Tao of Warren Buffett". In early February, I decided to condense the quotes from the book and run them as Thoughts for the Day.

This was a selfish and self-directed decision on my part. All of the quotes that appear on my home page every day get shuffled inside to the Famous Quotes section inside my website. As of today, there are 1,517 Famous Quotes in my inside section.

I reasoned that if I could get all of the Warren Buffet quotes in order, then I could download them and use them to read, re-read and study as I worked out on the treadmill at the YMCA. I can read and walk or jog at the same time. Some people cannot.

During the 115-day period when Warren Buffet dominated the quotes on my site, investors had to be excited about reading the best advice they will ever receive on investing in the stock market.

Those readers who could care less about investing had to be disappointed day after day as the Warren Buffet quotes kept coming, and coming and coming. Alas, it is now over.

If you are one of my quote readers every day, read some of Buffet's advice, and did not get a single thing out of it, then you are simply too damn stupid to appreciate and understand what he has to say. That is your problem, not mine. I benefit greatly from Warren Buffet's advice.

If you did get something out of reading Buffet, you can quickly appreciate and understand why I would share his investing ideas. Unless you have made a billion dollars investing in the stock market, it would be impossible for you to not learn something if you were paying attention and willing to change your investing habits.

Science has proven that it takes 21 days to form a habit, whether it is a good habit or a bad habit. If you did nothing more than read, retain and apply Warren Buffet's advice for 21 days, you would have benefited greatly—that was the point.

Here's the deal: If you lack the will for change, there is no one who can show you the way. Not even Jesus Christ. And, when you blame others, you give up your power to change.

I hope you enjoyed my little exercise involving Warren Buffet. If you did not, take heart because tomorrow I will be back to normal in offering quotes on a variety of topics.

June 8, 2009

Everything Looks Easy Until You Have to Do It Without Help and Knowledge

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

It has been said that hell has no fury like a scorned woman. I fear that dabbling in technical matters with my web site on the Internet is a close second. The truth is, everything looks easy until you have to do it without help and knowledge. Such is my plight at the moment.

I recently tried to create some inline frames on my web site, which was built using FrontPage 2003. The result, due to my inexperience and lack of technical knowledge, was a disaster. At one point I was in dread fear of losing my entire web site, which is now more than 600+ original articles and 2+ years of time, effort and money to create.

I am in serious need of someone who knows FrontPage 2003 inside and out, and HTML code inside and out. Perhaps some unemployed techie looking for some side income will contact me.

Thankfully, my web site has stabilized at the moment, and I hope it stays that way. However, changes are brewing and I must make another run at getting some things accomplished.

I appreciate your continued readership, patience and support as I work through my challenges.

October 5, 2008

500+ Original Articles

        An Update on Ed Bagley's Blog

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Every week is a busy week for me, but I did not want to let last week end without acknowledging the creation and posting of my 500th original article on my blog that I now title "Ed Bagley's Articles". This is a huge accomplishment for me as I do not buy or sell articles, and I have accomplished this feat in 2 years.

I decided some time ago that I am not really a traditional Internet blog because I am not hyping some over-exaggerated product or service for sale at your expense, and I am not promoting some special interest, such as SEO (search engine optimization).

While I understand that computer and Internet users are crazy interested in technical capabilities, I could care less. I do not have a cell phone, or pager, or iPod or BlackBerry, and I do not plan on purchasing or using any of these popular items anytime soon.

I am 64 years old, have been married to the same woman for 35 years, have 2 children and 3 grandchildren, all of whom know more than I do and none of whom share my interest in writing.

One of the blessings of becoming older is that you do not need to know everything or have the answer to every problem to be quiet, confident, competent, creative and happy with your life. It is OK if life passes you by while you are enjoying the simple things in life. I learned this from my grandparents.

I was raised by my maternal grandparents the first 5 years of my life, and everything good about life and any goodness in my life comes from them. I loved my grandparents. I admired my grandfather, Edward Louis Baker, because he was a self-taught man of integrity, decency and honesty who lived his life as a happy man, secure in his final destiny.

He would smile if he could see how uncomplicated my life is today. Every day is a fantastic day for me because I plan my life that way.

I write articles so you can read them. In addition to my 500+ original articles here, I also have 360+ duplicate articles on EzineArticles.com, the largest articles directory on the Internet with 100,000+ authors and probably 1.5 million articles. There are probably 30 other article directories on the Internet that also carry my articles.

My interests are wide ranging. My 360+ articles on EzineArticles.com cover 44 different subjects.

In September my articles drew 520,000+ hits to my site with 93,000+ visitors. Hits mean people came to my site, visits means they stayed awhile. My average daily visitors exceeded 3,100.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for reading my articles. Writing has become a lost art for some in the generations that have followed me, and reading may not be far behind as more youngsters are glued to video games and associated electronic gadgets.

I do not write for the younger generation. They have not lived long enough to understand and appreciate some of what I have to say. When these youngsters do read my articles and then celebrate their 50th birthday, it may dawn on them that what they read was useful or relevant. It is my fond wish that you already understand that.

Make yourself a great day. Refuse to be burdened by life's trials and tribulations. After all, life is not a resting place, but a testing place. May God bless you, and have mercy on us all.

July 17, 2008

Ed Bagley's Blog:

    A New Milestone: 450 Original Articles

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Today marks a milestone for my blog. My review of "A Fistful of Dollars" becomes the 450th original article on my blog. With the posting of A Fistful of Dollars, there were 488 total articles on my blog, the difference being articles that have come by email and I thought worthy of sharing with you.

Among the 488 total articles, there are 153 Movie Reviews, 139 Sports articles, 80 articles on Lessons in Life, 28 articles on Jobs & Careers, 63 articles on News & Comment and 25 articles on Internet Marketing. I would write more stuff on Internet Marketing but right now it bores me to death.

My site is really for readers who have lived long enough to have grandchildren and are successful with their lives. They understand that readers are succeeders and that virtually all successful people are voracious readers.

June 14, 2008

Where I Am Headed and Why

    An Open Letter to My Frequent Readers
    About New Changes to Ed Bagley's Blog

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

There once was a grave in a cemetery that said this on its headstone: Thanks for stopping by.

This observation kind of describes how I feel. I have no comment function on my web site so readers cannot immediately react with their thoughts after reading one of my articles, thus I get very little feedback on anything I write, so sometimes I wonder how many people read my articles.

Some folks read my articles on EzineArticles.com, the largest articles directory on the Internet, featuring 85,000+ authors and more than 1 million articles on dozens of topics.
I personally have 300+ of my articles posted on EzineArticles that have been read 100,000+ times and published 9,700+ times.

According to statistics tracked by my Internet host provider—Host 4Profit—I learned that in April at least 6,000 eyes a day were reading my site, since the blog totaled almost 420,000 (419,607) hits and 92,000+ visits, an average of almost 14,000 (13,986) hits daily and exactly 3,070 visits daily.

It is kind of like being a weekly newspaper in a small community with 3,000+ paid subscribers, only my visitors read for free. Thank you, all 419,000 of you in April for coming to my site, and all 92,000+ of you for hanging around.

After posting 435 original articles on my blog, I am not sure Ed Bagley's Blog is a blog (an abridgement of the term web log). There are personal blogs, corporate blogs, media blogs, device blogs and genre blogs. I do not consider myself part of any of these categories.

That being said, I have no intention of changing the name of my blog, it will remain Ed Bagley's Blog because the last time I checked, I had 21,880 back links. That is a lot of back links but my articles appear in dozens of article directories and have been published many times by each of them, 9,700+ times in only one directory.

I have decided I am not a blog. I am really a writer with a wide range of interests, including sports, movie reviews, jobs and careers, social commentary, internet marketing, lessons in life, and news and comment. Therefore, I am changing the name of my blog to "Ed Bagley's Articles" when you arrive at the site. This more accurately describes what I am about.

I need to methodically convert my movie reviews inside back to the format as they originally appeared. I originally lumped them into large one large paragraph inside thinking it would save space, but, to tell you the truth, I do not believe people are as apt to read them in the more difficult format I have now.

I also want to create another entire separate listing of all movie reviews by genre. Currently they only appear alphabetically.

Another thing I need to do is hire a technical support person because I would rather write than learn the ins and outs of online presence, html and other assorted necessities that keep a blog like mine growing.

Thanks again for reading what I write. Your comments and suggestions are welcome at >edbagley@comcast.net<

April 22, 2008

A Reader in Nigeria Writes:

        "I Love Your Articles and Quotations,
        But I Have a Little Issue to Raise"

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Getting emails from readers of my blog is always a joy for me, especially when they come from another continent. The Internet brings people around the world together and that is what makes it such a powerful medium.

There are more than 700 million web sites on the Internet today, and Oluwatoyin Bibitayo Ajao-Dowodu in Lagos, Nigeria is one of them. Oluwatoyin is also known as (aka) Toyin Ajao and Standtall.

Toyin Ajao calls herself "The Activist (Rebel-Damsel)" and I believe her. Under her title of The Activist is this statement: "I am an Activist and I am a Rebel-Damsel. That's why I am never being forced, cajoled (or) coerced to conform with outdated traditions, views and beliefs! I am wise, I see things clearly and logically."

A woman who sees things clearly and logically is a woman after my own heart.

Wow! I am impressed, not only with her command of the English language, but with her independence of thought. I instantly believed Toyin Ajao to be a woman of substance, and therefore wished to share some of her issues so that you—my other faithful readers around the world—can appreciate her activist nature.

You can find Toyin Ajao's web site at: http://genderandme.blogspot.com

Toyin Ajao also refers to herself as Standtall. I like the name Standtall. I believe a small part of me is Indian. I think this because I have been a lifelong runner with an almost perfect running stride that allows me to sneak up on my competitors without my footsteps being heard.

Only a runner and competitor can appreciate what an advantage this is in racing. When you do not hear someone coming behind you, you are totally taken by surprise and can seldom react quickly enough to avoid being passed. This happenstance is very disconcerting to quality runners at all levels.

Having shared this tidbit with you, I shall hereafter refer to Toyin Ajao as Standtall.

Lagos, Nigeria is not unknown to me. I believe I have clients in Lagos as the school system there has a teacher exchange program with the Tacoma School District in Tacoma, Washington, where my professional writing practice is located.

When Standtall discovered my blog, she read the lead article of the day, a 3-part series on "Secrets Men Don' t Want Women to Know". In the first part of the series I said this:

"I choose to celebrate women as a necessary and wonderful addition to a man's world and would rate women as the third most important gift from my maker God, who happens to be a man and not a woman.

"Women are God's Third most important gift, following the gift of life and the gift of free will.

"Without the gift of life all would be null and void and this explanation meaningless.

"Without the gift of free will a man would not be able to make choices and decisions and thus would be rendered useless both to him and her."

Standtall took umbrage at my statement, saying that she believes that "God transcends sex or gender," pointing out that God made both man and woman, so he can be both or much more than both genders. "He can be anything he chooses to be," said Standtall. Here is my reply:

Dear Standtall,

I choose not to argue with you about such matters, recognizing that God is more important to both of us regardless of how we perceive our God.

Let me say simply that I believe in a supreme being I choose to call God. I understand that while the Bible tells of God and God's plan for our life, God did not write the Bible. It is my understanding that the Bible was written by prophets who were at the time men, and hence I find nothing unnatural about referring to God as the prophets referred to God, as a man.

This is why, Standtall, I say in my article that "I choose not to be confused by women who insist that God is a woman and not a man; their lack of perception on this matter is entirely their problem and shall remain so."

If you think God is a woman or can be a woman as well as a man that is fine with me. It does not affect how I think or feel about God. I am just thankful that I have a God. What you think about me is none of my business. What is most important is what do I think about myself. I believe you can appreciate the power of what I am sharing with you.

Always remember that no matter what anyone is saying to you from the outside, the most important conversation is the one you are having with yourself on the inside. Be at peace with yourself and God will always be with you.

You also asked me, Standtall, that "If women happen to be the third most important gift from God, what number do we put men at?"

I would say, Standtall, that if you are as smart as I think you are, you would put men at number 3 in importance.

If I were a woman doing the same article, I would say that I choose to celebrate men as a necessary and wonderful addition to a woman's world and would rate men as the third most important gift from my maker God. I would still believe that God's gift of life is No. 1, God's gift of choice is No. 2, and God's gift of man or woman is No. 3.

You also asked me, Standtall, if I believe in the equality of woman and man. I do. I believe men and women to be equal in God's eyes as both men and women are God's children. Everything good that God could put into his children he did. No one was cheated. If we are less so as we walk through life, then it is our burden to bear.

I believe any man or woman can develop and possess the best traits we commonly recognize in all of us. God gives us the strength, talent and ability to accomplish great things and we should be rewarded equally for our efforts. We all have gifts from God that we can develop to his greater glory.

I choose not to be a fool to my God. In Biblical terms, the term "fool" does not mean stupid but rather someone who orders his or her life as if there is no God. I am thankful that you recognize that there is a God who loves us and has a plan for our lives.

Thank you, Standtall, for your kind words of encouragement about my blog.

Postscript: You asked me if you could add me to your blog roll. Whatever that means, the answer is yes. I signed up for blog roll yesterday and have not a clue what it all means. I got to the preferences part of the sign-up process and immediately stalled, as they asked a bunch of questions about which I understood nothing, and they (the creators of blog roll) did not explain the implications of answering one way or another. This is a pet peeve of mine. So many Internet offerings assume the prospects know everything that they know.

December 3, 2007

Ed Bagley's Blog

    There Are 358 Articles Here on Movie
    Reviews, Sports, Lessons in Life, Jobs
    and Careers, and Internet Marketing

Ed Bagley's Blog:

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

As of Sunday (12-2-07), there are exactly 358 articles on my blog, including 138 movie reviews, 81 sports articles, 55 lessons in life articles, 18 jobs and careers articles, 26 Internet marketing articles, 40 news and comment articles, and 616 famous quotes by people smarter than me.

If you are a reader and enjoy reading, then this is the place for you. If you are not a reader and want to play video games instead, this is not the place for you.

I write because I like to write, and because I have something to say on a lot of different subjects.

April 18, 2007

When You Want Original, Read Ed:

    After 5+ Months Ed's Blog Has 218 Original Articles,
    and Another 124 Articles in 1 Online Article Directory

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

It is amazing that when you are growing up you are constantly being reminded by your parents not to toot your own horn.

Most of us have heard it before: "Don't be talking about yourself. Nobody wants to listen to a blowhard. Let someone else be your advocate, like grandma and grandpa."

If we are lucky someone does sing our praises when we do well. Who could not use some positive reinforcement and encouragement growing up? We all need it whether we realize it or not.

Then, when we graduate from high school or college and go out into the big, bad world to compete with everyone else, almost every one of us have not been taught how to advocate for ourselves.
Your parents and grandparents are not around, and some people around us could care less if we were to drop dead tomorrow.

This phenomenon is a huge problem for people who are shy, lack confidence or self-esteem. Too often they work themselves to death and are taken advantage of by their employers, friends and even their relatives.

I have realized that few of us have enough advocates to do us any good, so if we do not advocate for ourselves we fail to get ahead in the world.

Here is an example of how I advocate for myself:

After 5+ months of publishing Ed Bagley's Blog I now have written, posted and published 218 fresh, original Internet articles (as of April 17, 2007). Here is the breakdown on this site:

47 articles on Lessons in Life.

26 articles on Internet Marketing.

17 articles on Jobs and Careers.

15 articles on Sports and Recreation.

113 articles on Movie Reviews.

What is unusual about this production is the fact that it is original. I do not buy and sell articles. Many Internet Marketers buy articles with reprint rights so a lot of unoriginal articles appear on the Internet as the same articles are sold over and over and appear as if the author actually wrote the article when in fact he or she bought it.

And then there are thousands of other Internet Marketers who buy article software that takes an article they have bought and rearranges 30% of the article content and publishes the same story content five different ways to make it look like one article is five original articles.

Yes, folks, we live in the age of technology, not writing creativity and writing talent.

These Internet Marketers who cannot write or are too lazy to write, combined with the article software specialists who trick you into thinking they can write and want to write, are my competitors for your attention and readership on this site.

When you read anything I write it is truly fresh, original and in a class of its own.

In addition to my output on Ed Bagley's Blog I have also published 124 Internet articles that appear in many article directories online. The biggest and best article directory—EzineArticles—has posted 124 of my articles.

My 124 articles have been read by thousands of viewers on my Blog, and on the EzineArticles directory site only, another 33,000+ viewers have read those 124 articles, another 8,100+ have published the articles in newsletters and similar publications around the world, and another 4,600+ viewers have rated my articles though EzineArticles.

Many of my articles have also appeared in ArticleBiz.com and IdeaViewer.com among others.

People can fuss about whether they like my Internet articles or not, but it is clear that I am prolific and published and gaining in popularity worldwide, as evidenced by the fact that currently 22% of my readership comes from the United States and 78% from other countries and territories.

The top 18 foreign countries and territories include English-speaking readers in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Then from Europe are Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey and Belarus. From the Middle East are Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran and the Palestinian Territory.
From Asia are China, Singapore, India and Indonesia. From South America is Argentina, and from Africa is Egypt.

Perhaps many of these readers are military assigned to these parts of the world. Others may well be Americans at work overseas for our government and major companies like Mircosoft with a presence around the world.

I believe some readers count English as their second or third language.

It is clear what is happening here: the fresh, original article content on my Blog continues to grow as the world becomes smaller to this writer from the Great Pacific Northwest in the United States.

April 11, 2007

A Special Email from Guam:

        Halfway Around the World a Reader Responds
        To My Request Asking Why People Read My Blog

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

(Editor's Note: Yesterday I wondered aloud in my Blog why readers from halfway around the world read Ed Bagley's Blog. I was stunned to learn that 19% of my readership comes from China, 14% from Indonesia, 12% from the Palestinian Territory and 9% from Iran. This morning my email had this response from Connie in Guam.)

Dear Ed,

While reading your blog recently I noticed you asked for someone halfway around the world to email you and tell you why people from as far away as China and other places are reading your blog.

I am from Guam, just about exactly halfway around the world from you. Guam is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, "pass Gilligan's Island and hang a left!" About 143 degrees by 13.

Although I can't get into several sites because the webmasters think Guam is in China or is a minor country not on their lists (I have been accused of such), Guam is actually part of America, ceded to the United States in 1898.

Although my address is Dededo, Guam USA 96912, Guam is known as "Where America's Day Begins" because of its time zone,

I'm a veteran of the United States Air Force enlisted here, and we have a representative in Congress, yet I'm still asked by webmasters why I put the U.S. as my country when my IP is from Guam, as if I could possibly enter any other country on the forms.

Oh, sorry for venting there, back to your question.

I first noticed your site when I clicked on the paid-to-read link on FreeShares.com. So many people from the Asian region are members of such sites, hoping for a way to make a little money in their online payment accounts because life in such areas dictates that you need to find every way possible of making extra money when you can. Especially here.

Since members will click the link every day to earn about $0.000001, that and other sites where you are promoting the blog are a big reason for such a high rating. Not to burst your bubble, but with such sites most people are interested in the view timers and clicking the next link blindly rather than actually reading.

But I have to tell you, your writing is topnotch, interesting and informative, and often leaves me reading and thinking for so long I forget to click to the next link : ).

And this once, I just had to drop my busy site checking schedule and reply. I can't believe that too many people would visit your sites without being lost in them. Keep up the good work!
Your friend halfway around the world,

Connie Rosario

(Editor's Note: Here is my reply.)

Hi Connie,

I was delighted to receive your reply to my request, and know that I have a new friend in Guam.

Your informative reply was very helpful, and I appreciate your kind words of encouragement and inspiration.

As a writer I know that there is great power in words that are strung together so well that they can touch the heart and mind of someone on the other side of planet Earth.

I am thrilled when someone like yourself takes the time and effort to let me know that I have been able to connect with you emotionally and to make your day more a tad more interesting or significant during your routine obligations and commitments.

It saddens me when I realize that fewer and fewer of our young people are reading today. So many are playing a video game, or watching a music video, or taking their cue from reality shows on television.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with any of these activities. However, reading is not one of them.

Having spent 20 years in the newspaper business, I know and understand the significance of a letter to the editor, which, in effect, is your email.

As a former publisher and media property owner, I always believed that a single letter to the editor was representative of the views of at least 40 readers who felt the same but could not or would not take the time and effort to write.

That is why your thoughtful email is so special, Connie. That you would take time out of your busy day to respond when there is no real reward for your effort.

How people respond to us is a critical measure of how well we are connecting with them.

I would often go to my Circulation Department and do their job of talking calls from upset readers who did not receive their paper on time, or did not receive their paper at all.

When a reader said that I did not get the paper today I would cringe and realize we had a serious problem when we were getting too many of these calls.

When a reader said that I did not get my paper today I was distressed because they did not receive their paper, but I was happy because they said "my" paper, which told me they felt ownership of the paper because it was speaking to them at an emotional level.

The difference between not getting "the" paper and not getting "my" paper was huge, and I worked hard to let our circulation people know how important their mission was to get our newspaper delivered on time and in condition to read.

Running a media property is not an easy task because it is time sensitive, labor intensive and riddled with a million details that have to happen on cue for a daily newspaper to be delivered timely.

We used carriers to deliver the paper, and it was not uncommon to get a call from city employees who would find a bundle of papers that had been dumped by a carrier in a trash bin. It may have been only 1 of 150 carriers, but it mattered because every reader and every person is important in the greater scheme of things.

Too often we think we do not matter when we always matter. The loss of one reader or one person is a human tragedy to someone somewhere, and to everyone everywhere.

Never, ever think that you are not important or that your life, however mundane or seemingly unimportant, does not matter.

You are a gift to be treasured, and are much more important than you think to someone you have never met or seen. Always remember that it is never too soon to do an act of kindness because you never know when too soon will be too late.

You are a blessing, Connie Rosario. Think of the Earth as round and consider it a Round Table. As such, I hereby break with tradition and knight you as a discriminating reader of the Round Table who is a thinking and considerate person, and the first woman ever to be knighted.

Be a well, give water for people to drink and your well will never run dry.

April 10, 2007

Would You Believe?

        I Understood that the Internet Is Global,
        I Just Did Not Think that It Was Worldwide

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

I know the header to this article sounds stupid and confusing, but it certainly describes where I am at the moment.

Sometimes I think I understand a concept, recognize it and accept it as a fact. Then something happens and I realize I really did not understand it at all, and still do not.

Because I have been working at developing readership on my site, I have been able to lower my Alexa rating from a 3-month average of 4,313,696 the day I started my Blog to its current 3-month average of 118,981.

Alexa ranks all web sites around the world in order of their traffic rank, the lower the rank the greater the traffic to the site. Pundits tell me that if your traffic rank is lower than 100,000 it is a big deal.

The 3-month average always lags behind my 1-week average and my yesterday average.

Currently my 1-week average is 102, 276 and has been as low as 82,711. The yesterday average does not always show up in my Alexa ranking but it has been as low as 49,279.

I recently celebrated the 5-month anniversary of Ed Bagley's Blog and feel pretty good about what I have been able to accomplish given my knowledge level and nontechnical nature. I am a writer and not a tech head.

Included in the Alexa report is also some mind-boggling statistics about the makeup of my Blog readership.

My Blog originates in Lacey, Washington in the United States of America. I would figure that the majority of my readership would be from the USA, and I would be dead wrong.

Would you believe that only 25% of my current readership is from my own country? This fact just blows me away. You could knock me over with a feather.

I find it incredible that 19% of my readership comes from China, 14% from Indonesia, 12% from the Palestinian Territory and 9% from Iran.

My Blog is in English and I have to believe that the 54% of readers in China, Indonesia, the Palestinian Territory and Iran—these four countries or territories alone—must have English as their second, third or even fourth language.

What is it about the writing of my Blog that attracts these readers from these far away places?

I have not a clue.

I surmise that these readers must be among the educated, literate and affluent in their culture.

Considering that best estimates put the current number of web sites worldwide at 700 million, one can only imagine how many people have email addresses and do not yet have a web site, but it has to be even a far greater number.

Truly the Internet is bringing everyone in the world closer. Readers in China may as well be in the rec room at my home; they certainly are tuned into what my mind is putting on the Internet.

I do not consider my writing to be controversial, at least not in the sense of hundreds of other bloggers on the Internet who spew out lighting rod material constantly.

I also find it incredible that I am currently the 5,509th most popular site in Indonesia, or the 64,201st most popular site in China, a nation of 1-billion-plus people.

How could I be the 9,823rd most popular site in Iran when I do not even write about Iran, or the Middle East? I do virtually no commentary on the Iraqi War, and talk very little about politics. Of the more than 214 articles I have written and published in 4 months, only 2 are about politics.

My current Alexa ranking in the United States is 39,953 but comes up as 118,981 because the latter is a worldwide ranking.

The world is truly getting smaller, and my mind is getting larger every day.

I do not have any adequate words to describe the impact of the Internet on my life. Perhaps a reader from halfway around the world will email me and tell me why they are faithfully reading my Blog. In that moment, both of our worlds will become closer.

 April 7, 2007

My Mantra: Become Relentless

        Ed Bagley's Blog Expands into Blogger,
        Creates Six More Individual Web Sites

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

There are those people who say I am crazy, but if that is so, then I am crazy like a fox that finds his way into the hen house.

As if maintaining Ed Bagley's Blog is not enough for The Hardest Working Writer of Original Articles on the Internet (I give myself that title because, well, I am), I have launched six new web sites to expand my distribution network.

The six new sites were all created on Blogger.com, Google's creation.

For those of you who are curious:

Check Out These Related Links to Other Ed Bagley Web Sites on the Internet:

Ed Bagley's Blog: http://edbagleyblog.blogspot.com

Ed's Movie Reviews: http://eds-movie-reviews.blogspot.com

Ed's Lessons in Life: http://eds-lessons-in-life.blogspot.com

Ed's Jobs and Careers: http://eds-jobs-and-careers.blogspot.com

Ed's Sports Corner: http://eds-sports-corner.blogspot.com

Ed's Internet Marketing Corner: http://eds-internet-marketing-corner.blogspot.com

Now, why would I do this? Two reasons.

1) Because >http://www.edbagelyblog.com< is costing me money to maintain as it has no advertising revenue to pay the overheads.

2) I was cruising the Internet and found that many (and I mean many) Internet Marketers were running my fresh, original articles gratis and surrounding the article with advertising. They do not have the talent, experience and willingness to do the work that I do so they are borrowing my articles and making money off of me.

You might call them pimps except I am not a prostitute. I am not getting paid for them to use my articles. They can use my articles if they include a resource box with it that includes a link back to my web site.

So I created more blogs using my own articles and have put advertising on the new Blogger web sites. The advantage to my readers is that if they are only interested in sports, they can go to the new blog and read only sports articles.

I reserve this blog to write about whatever tickles my fancy. I have a lot of interests. The majority of articles that appear here also are published in the Internet Article Directories online. I have 120 articles on Ezine Articles alone (http://www.ezinearticles.com).

My published Internet articles include a wide range of topics: writing articles, book reviews, movie reviews, careers, employment, change management, entrepreneurialism, credit, loans, parenting, relationships, spirituality, affiliate revenue, email marketing, Internet marketing, search engine optimization, economics, weather, baseball, football, basketball, running, track and field, cross-country and sports apparel.

If I can think of 50 more topics to write about, I will because I can.

I have hesitated to put advertising on this site simply because it is great to read without advertising competing for your attention.

In the meantime, I am going to generate some income on the Blogger sites hosted by >blogspot.com<.

February 28, 2007

A Short Blog Entry:

        To My Mystery Woman: All I Ask of You Is
        Forever to Remember Me As Loving You

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Be nice and tell your friends, relatives and neighbors about Ed Bagley's Blog.  There are so many things you could tell them and be in a hoop of trouble, telling them about my Blog puts you at little risk and makes you look more literate, after all, readers are succeeders, and virtually all successful people are voracious readers.

And to my Mystery Woman out there, wherever you are: All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.

February 26, 2007

More Improvements:

        Ed Bagley's Blog Readers Can Now
        Place Resume Project Orders Online

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Always remember that if you do not have a strong purpose or reason for what you do, then anything in life is hard.

I hope you are pleased to meet me because I am a plow horse about to blossom where I am planted, right in the middle of Ed Bagley's Blog and loving it.

After more than three months readers can now go to my Quality Resumes by Ed Bagley main page and place an order for a resume project online. Finally, and hopefully, I am totally automated in this simple process.

Up till now, folks who wanted to hire me to do their resume product had to call me directly to place an order with a credit card. Now, when you make the same decision you can do it online live. My Blog gets better, day by day and week by week.

Soon I will be marketing additional products and services for your consideration.

I was going to create a big pitch in this article about why you should retain me to do your resume product, then I realized I could save a lot of time and creative energy by simply printing written comments I have received from some of my 5,400+ clients.

Clients, you are on (speak clearly and smile a lot, people like smiles):

"The response I received to your well-prepared resume was literally overwhelming. I had responses from practically every company I sent a resume to . . ."

"Not only was I able to change careers but I also did not have to take less salary or perks . . ."

"Ed is an understanding and compassionate man who helped me define my goals . . ."

"Over three decades of experience has put Ed at the top of his field . . ."

"I was hired after distributing only one resume . . ."

"(Ed's advice) worked out extremely well for me in one particular interview that led to a job offer!"

"Ed's advice seemed insignificant (to me) at the time, but I now believe it contributed to a polished and professional interview presence . . ."

"The resume Ed prepared for me got me an interview every time!"

" . . . they always mentioned how impressed they were with my resume."

"I was extremely impressed with the work Ed did on my resume . . ."

"Along with my standard qualifications, it included many noteworthy accomplishments that qualified me even more for the position . . ."

"Ed Bagley did the one task I absolutely dreaded--got me started . . ."

"Ed's view of my worth to prospective employers was honest and exhaustive, but more important, gave me a resume I felt comfortable to present . . ."

Thanks, guys and gals, that was a great job. I really appreciate it. Drinks all around, everything from liquor, wine, beer, champagne, fruit juice and water. Everyone has a preference, even in who does his or her resume.

Go ahead, cruise on over to the Quality Resumes by Ed Bagley link.

February 24, 2007

Change Is Painful:

        Ed Bagley's Blog Continues Its Quest
        to Become the Very Best Article Site

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Man, change is painful.

I hurt just thinking about it, but it has to be done if my Blog is to become the very best site available for fresh, original articles on the Internet.

I have learned a few things about my competition.

For one thing, they are scared to death because they can see me coming. I am being watched like our government would track a possible intruder. They are putting together a dossier on me that would fill a file cabinet at the CIA office in Washington, DC.

I am the new kid on the block and they (my competition for your reader attention) are not sure if they should put a price on my head, send out one of their own hit men, or just hope I will get run over by a Mac truck on the freeway.

In your dreams, guru boy.

I will be silently sneaking up on you and when you least expect it, I will be in your face as you turn around when you do not hear a sound but feel a presence.

I just may be part Native American. I am also a runner, not a sprinter who is one and done but a distance guy who will go on and on and on, inexorably coming after you and those who do your bidding (you know, the affiliates who have not figured it out yet).

I have a perfect running stride that is so natural and so silent that a person on a treadmill next to me cannot hear. He hears only his own feet go clunkity clunk, slamming down flat footed on the moving tread, and then becomes aware that I am moving much faster and he cannot hear my feet at all.

It absolutely freaks him out; he wants to get off the treadmill because he can only hear himself making noise and is suddenly embarrassed.

Yes, there is plenty of reason to be concerned. Who else do you know that has single-handedly written and posted 177 fresh, original articles in 121 days (my site is still not 4 months old).

I am building a silent army of loyal readers who have been taken one too many times by the Internet's "relieve and dump" marketing system, as in relieve you of your money and then dump you.

My Alexa rating started at 4,313,696 when I was as dumb as a rock. Still not terrible considering there are more than 700 million web sites on the Internet. Now it is 179,255 and continues to drop.

My 3-month gain was up (as in positive) 4,750%; the raw number was 4,216,145. That is 4-million-plus web sites that did not see me go by, they just saw a pair of taillights after I passed.

I have created 5,060 back links in less than 4 months by simply writing outstanding articles and posting them on the world's best article directory, Ezine Articles. My 92 articles have received more than 25,000+ views and been published 7,600+ times.

My competition cannot even figure out what I am selling. That would be because I have not been really selling anything since I started. Heck, I am so non-technical I have not even figured out a delivery system should I sell something.

But do not get too fired up about it because I will figure it out, and I am going to be selling on my site.

My competitors have been laughing at me. They have taken my articles off of the directories, build quickie web sites around my articles and filled up the rest of their site with advertising. They are laughing at me on their way to the bank.

My articles are selling their ads and they are pulling in the dough.

No matter. I know something they do not know, but I am not telling. I figure turn about is fair play. Some gurus led me to the water but did not allow me to drink. It was not about me, none of their affiliates were allowed to drink.

I just got thirsty and decided I was going to drink. Now they will have to wonder what I am about to do.

All of those fancy search engines and SEO types do not even know I exist, but they will. It is just a matter of time. I might be slow but I am like an elephant with a memory that never forgets, size to be reckoned with, and moving very slowly but inexorably toward my prey.

When I arrive, I just might open up a can of whup ass.

February 13, 2007

More Improvements:

        Ed Bagley's Blog Adds New Main
        Section for Sports and Recreation

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

It was almost inevitable that sooner of later I would start writing sports articles even though my focus has been on Internet Marketing, Jobs and Careers, Movie Reviews and Lessons in Life.

As a 20-year veteran of the newspaper business earlier in life, I have developed interests in many different activities. As a former sports editor for a daily newspaper and as an athlete in high school, college and even now in master's (40+) and seniors (60+) competition, I have been a lifelong follower of sports.

I have also been a reporter, an investigative reporter, an editor or managing editor of 7 weekly newspapers, a managing editor of a daily and the owner of a community publishing company.
When you are involved you are involved forever. You can get out of the business but you cannot get the business out of you.

No matter. I have no intention of restricting what I might write about.

After writing and publishing 9 sports articles on my blog and placing them in the Lessons in Life Section, I figured I needed to get with it and create a Sports and Recreation Articles Section. Voila, done. Check it out, the sports articles will not bite you.

I am quickly getting dozens and dozens of pages of fresh, original articles on my site. As of yesterday, there were 166 articles in less than 4 months (my 4-month anniversary will be February 27).

So there are now 24 articles of analysis and commentary about Internet Marketing; 11 articles about Jobs and Careers that could get you interviews, offers, jobs and promotions; 24 articles about thinking that provide Lessons in Life; 9 articles about Sports and Recreation; and 98 Movie Reviews.

A veritable smorgasbord of information if you know what to do with it, and even if you do not, it is great reading for people who like to read.

Soon the flow of information to readers on my mailing lists is going to accelerate. I am preparing a lot of goodies to share with you. Have a great day, and keep reading.

February 6, 2007

Things Are Improving

        Ed Bagley's Blog Adds a Contact
        Page and Resume Product Samples

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

My son Eric checked out my Blog the other day and informed me that I needed a contact page so readers could more easily e-mail me or call me with their comments.

So I have a new "Contact Us" link in all of the headers on my pages, and when you go to the page and click on my e-mail address you can write me an e-mail telling me what you think about whatever.

He also said to lose the counters I had on every page. Heck, I had the counters there because I was trying to determine which sections and pages were being read more than others.

He brought it up because he went to my "Quality Resumes" main page and found that the counter said 18. He let me know that he would not retain me to write a resume for him if only 18 readers had been on the page since I started the Blog 3 months ago.

The counters became a problem because when I got rid of my frames pages and buttons for links, and uploaded a redesigned Blog, apparently I broke the links in the counters and they went to zero.

I figured it was no big deal because the Microsoft FrontPage 2003 software I used to build my site from scratch had counters that supposedly you could set at any number you wanted, and you could also choose how many digits you wanted on the counters.

I set my page counters at 10 digits and started at zero on October 27, 2006.

When I tried to re-set the counters to pick up the prior traffic, FrontPage would not let me and put the counters back to zero (so much for all of the fancy features Microsoft offers). Microsoft software programs are not exactly fool proof and mistake proof (oh, you noticed that too).

I chalk up my inability to re-set the counters as inexperience and lack of technical expertise. I decided to delete all of the counters except the one on my home page, and I still do not have that one corrected.

My home page counter shows a total of 11,396 visits today when in fact (according to my host) I have actually had 101,147 visits in just over 3 months, and a total of 2,336,717 hits. It is just a tad off.  I will probably just get rid of the main page counter because I cannot re-set it using FrontPage and it is just annoying to be concerned about such unimportant issues.

I am supposed to be writing fresh, original articles daily on Internet Marketing, Jobs and Careers, Movie Reviews and Lessons in Life intended to delight, inform, educate and motivate you, the reader.  Your job is to read what I write and respond accordingly.

My best guess is there are probably about 100 tech heads and technical wizards on the Internet to 1 writer who can do what I can do. We just are not all made to be peanuts, sometimes a cashew gets mixed in and hopefully does not become a real nut.

There is a difference, albeit slight in some minds. A see the difference as huge.

Peanuts are the oval seed of a South American plant, widely roasted and salted and eaten as a snack. Now that is well said.

Cashews are an edible kidney-shaped nut, rich in oil and protein. They are roasted and shelled before they can be eaten. That is the good part.

The bad part is that oil is extracted from the shells and used as a lubricant and insecticide and in the production of plastics. Yuk! It is a good thing I am not eating the shells when I eat cashews.

I figure that there are 100 peanuts in cyberspace for every cashew. If I have to be a nut, I think I would rather be a cashew than a peanut.

As a writer I am no stranger to eccentricity. In fact, I embrace it. While others are conforming to standards, sucking up and generally becoming unbecoming, I might tell someone to take a flying leap off of a short pier.

I once worked for a company for about 18 months before I came to my senses and quit to go on my own. That was back in 1971, and I have been self-employed ever since. I used to have employees in my businesses but I got rid of all of them in about 1980.

I like people and dealing with people. I just have no use for employees. I will hire some independent contractors, but not employees.

Anyway, more changes are afoot on this Blog.

I am writing an e-book to be released as soon as I can figure out a decent delivery system for my readers. It will be about getting hired and promoted, information my high-end resume clientele would pay hundreds to know and use.

I think I might charge $19.95 so some peanuts can grow up to be cashews like me, then I will have some playmates and we can go play during the week when no one is around rather than fighting the crowds on the weekends (the only time real working people are able to go).

My Quality Resumes main page now has some resume samples available.

Time to "hit the hay," that was an expression my grandfather always used when talking to my grandmother. I miss both of them a lot. They were such good people, simple and solid, values driven, full of integrity and faith, always helpful, accepting, approving and loving.

I hope God appreciates them as much as I do.

Do not feel obligated to contact me about any of these matters; I will be faithfully creating fresh, original writing for you every day because it is what I do. Your job is to read what I write.

Oh, one more thing: Be nice and tell you friends, relatives and neighbors about Ed Bagley's Blog. There are so many things you could tell them and be in a hoop of trouble, telling them about my blog puts you at little risk and makes you look more literate, after all, readers are succeeders, and virtually all successful people are voracious readers.

And to my Mystery Woman out there, wherever you are: All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.

February 1, 2007

Readers Are Succeeders

        Ed Bagley's Blog Is 98 Days Old,
        Article Count for Ed's Blog Is 153

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

See it, read it and believe it.

My Blog is 98 days old today, and there are 153 fresh, original articles for you to read.

Get with it, will ya? Readers are succeeders, and virtually all successful people are voracious readers. This is why readers of my Blog are educated and literate, smart and (as Captain Jack Sparrow would say) savvy, or simply bright and bodacious.

After all of the recycled tripe that floats around the Internet (these are articles marketers buy with reprint rights because they cannot write or are too lazy to write), it is a sure joy to come to my site and read fresh, original articles.

It is so boring to see the same article printed over and over with a different name each time, like the person's name on the article actually wrote it.

I do not buy or sell articles.

I do not need to buy articles because I have the gift and the gumption to write them. And yes, I do use words that require some people to develop a case of the Webster's trots; they wear out their flooring as they move from their reading spot to the dictionary.

I do not need to sell articles to pay the rent. Just as it was said at one time that all roads led to Rome, so it is that all fresh, original writing leads to my Blog. If you want original, you come to Ed. Go elsewhere and you just might get pure, obscene hype while they are fleecing you pocket.

You do not read dumbed down articles at my site, you can get that juvenile, arcane and bovine crap at almost any Internet Marketers' site on the 'Net.  If you do not know the word, look it up, you might learn something. My articles are meant to delight, inform, educate and motivate you, the reader.

So how many fresh, original articles are there after 98 days at this site? That's right. 153. Go count them rather than sheep.

There are 92 movie reviews, everything from A Christmas Story to What Women Want.

There are 24 Internet Marketing articles, including such gems as:
Financial Predators: Vermin, Rodents and Other Insect Pests
Shopping Online = Caveat Emptor (Latin for Let the Buyer Beware)
Forced Matrix Opportunities: A Slippery World of Sinkholes
Mailing Lists: If You Must Err, Then Err on the Side of Caution
How Online Surveys Prey on New and Unaware Marketers
Reader Wonders If Wealth Toolbox Opportunity Is Really the Next Scam

There are 11 Jobs and Careers Articles, including helpful information such as:
Six Power Secrets of Getting Hired and Promoted
Job Interview Answers to 15 Tough Questions
Career Fairs Best Serve Everyone But the Jobless
There Is Not Huge Correlation Between Education and Income and Here Is Why

There are 26 Lessons in Life Articles, including such useful and emotional copy as:
Why Lenders Are Not Your Friends
Become a Parent and Witness a Miracle
Who Has Had the Greatest Influence on Your Life, and Why?
On Cars, Baseball and the Halcyon Days of Summer
Man's Biggest Love Affair May Be With His Car
The Real Heroes of Our Time Are Those Who Serve Others

Go ahead, read all 153 of them, I dare ya!
(Heck, I double dog dare ya!)

As Telly Savalas used to say on his popular TV series Kojak: "Who loves ya, baby?" Believe it or not, this rhetorical question was ranked #18 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 20 Top Catchphrases."

I am doing just what I want to do in life right now. Ain't life great? (If you want formal, read a doctoral dissertation.)

January 29, 2007

Call It a Vanishing Art:

        Blog Reader Sounds Off on Request
        for Input on Michelle Robinson's Poem

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Apparently my readership has at least one fan of poetry.

A friend of mine once said that he and I are only 2 of 10 readers left west of the Mississippi River who still actually scan newspapers cover to cover every day. He may be right. Many folks are no longer getting their news from newspapers or television; they simply go online and pick up the major headlines in the morning.

There are even far fewer people reading poetry these days, accounting for the primary reason that poetry books are not selling off the bookshelves and basically unprofitable to market.

However, I would like to believe that readers of Ed Bagley's Blog are not your average readers. I suspect my readers are better educated, enjoy fine writing and appreciate poetry as a higher form of communication.

At least one hearty soul has weighed in with an opinion on the poem I published by Michelle Robinson. Michelle's poem was titled "Trails End," and appeared as the lead blog entry on Sunday, January 21. You can find it in the Lessons in Life Articles section titled "A Loyal Ed Bagley Blog Reader Wonders If Her Poem Has Merit."

I received an e-mail from Michelle's sister Renee the very next day (good, exciting news travels fast among families). Renee said this:

"She is so amazing with her poetry, there are more from her as well. I would like to share with you a couple. One is from me, and here is another one from my sister that I do love. I hope she doesn't get mad, but I think this poem is genius . . . beyond genius.

Here is Renee's contribution on this thread about the art of poetry in America today:

Time

I'd like to be like time, it doesn't stop it keeps on tickin'
You can break the clock in half, and it would still keep kickin'.

Time does not put on the breaks when pushed ahead an hour
It does it whether beggars, kings, or anything will scowler.

It moves on like a freight train, sounding its horn each day
Running over anyone who dares get in its way.

I'd like to be like time, yet just a lot more kind.
I want to have its bravery, and dauntless frame of mind.

Copyright © 2007 Renee Robinson

Here is Michelle's poem that Renee sent to me (printed with Michelle's permission):

Falling in

You, with your dancing dragons and hypnotic veins.
You called to me. Into red fields I floated, out of this world and into yours.
Black, warm, sticky.
Filling my belly and oozing your roots into my mind.
You grow with me and become me and leave me.
I starve for the blossom of your face but am fed the bones of a walking dead.
Scraping madness fills my nostrils with your scent, a nebulous glory exuded by limbic demons. Snaking out to fill my vacant eyes with visions of heaven not there.

Copyright © 2007 Michelle Robinson
 

And here is another of Michelle's poems written as a student at The Evergreen State College:

Rain

Tyranny

Dams crack and crumble
Floods gush through cities
Screams turn to gurgles
Rain cheering on.

Tenderness

Water moves
Past slurping roots
The rive mirrors upwards
Cattle sip
Then watch the ripples
Childrens' faces reflect back

Tears

The nation wails and trembles
At the sob of a small child
Sorrows of the human nation
Reflected in the clouds.

Copyright © 2007 Michelle Robinson

January 27, 2007

Liz Writes from Down Under:

        Blog Reader Wonders If the myEcon
        Opportunity Would Work in Australia

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Ed Bagley Blog readers are some of the smartest people in the world. I know this because they keep writing to me with great questions and comments that deserve great answers.

There is a synergy going on here that has now stretched from Lacey, Washington in the United States to Down Under in Australia.

Could it be possible that when enough dots are connected around the world through the Internet that we will create a giant web that looks like a road map for individual and collective success?

Here is Liz's recent e-mail message:

"I read and enjoy your blog. I have been looking at this myEcon opportunity and want to know if it would be of any benefit to me given that I reside in Australia?

"I know that our taxation system is completely different from the American system, and so I wonder if I could gain any benefit from the information and support provided.

"I do recognize that the basic principles of debt management I have seen so far on the site are no doubt beneficial to anyone, anywhere, but I would probably be looking for something that I could apply to our system of doing things here.

"Is the information generic enough to do this?"

I love your interest and your question, Liz, and am pleased that you asked. I have some good news and some less good news for you.

First, the good news: You are quite correct that the basic principles of debt management and even financial management are the same around the world.

Second, the less good news: the myEcon opportunity has not spread overseas yet so the opportunity for you to join myEcon is not yet available at this time. But all is not lost because you have a conduit for the information that matters: me. I am experienced, accomplished and full of good information.

Unlike some sources that are a fountain of misinformation, I am a fountain of good information, and will design and market a product that will essentially bring you much of the information included in the myEcon opportunity.

You Liz, as the inspiration for this new project, will receive the first available copy of my work gratis because I already like you even though I have not had the pleasure of knowing you.

Most of the information in the myEcon opportunity is unusual because you will not find it anywhere else today in the Internet Marketing industry. Most so-called "money making" opportunities are a misnomer.

The reality is that 1 in 100 participants in network marketing opportunities net real money ($5,000 to $50,000 a month after all expenses and any taxes).

Another 15 in 100 cover their overheads (expenses to participate) and make a few hundred a month while putting on a brave face and acting like they are stepping in high cotton (an apparent Southern expression for raking in the big bucks).

The other 84 in 100 are only covering their overheads or losing money every month they are involved.

Participants in these kinds of opportunities only hang around because of two reasons: they are making money or they still think they are somehow going to magically make money; otherwise, they eventually quit.

Most networking participants would be surprised to learn that 75% of people involved in these opportunities quit within the first year, therefore, your turnover rate is 75 in every 100 that you bring in every year. Now you understand why people grow tired of sponsoring very quickly.

Show me virtually any networking opportunity and I will show you an emphasis on sponsoring in people and selling products or services. These are businesses after all, so no one should be surprised this is the case.

For those that figure it out and work it is a good deal. That would be the 1 in 100.

For the other 99 in 100 it is just a matter of time before they bite the dust.

What makes the myEcon opportunity important at this moment in history is that myEcon teaches you how to survive financially while you are trying to arrive where you want to be.

The leaders of myEcon know that you are never going to really make it if you are saddled with burdensome debt. They know your chances of making it are not good if you have to feed your new part-time business to keep it operating.

They know you are not going to make it if you are so broke you cannot see straight, on the verge of divorce or already involved in a divorce, have been in a horrific accident, or if you have a terminal disease.

Networking opportunities are not designed for people who cannot pay their bills on time; stupid people or people with the personality of an ashtray. If is far better to be ignorant than stupid; ignorant people do not know any better, when they know better they can do better by applying what they learn.

The bottom line is you will either get with it or be left behind to die alone.

Networking opportunities are designed for prospects (participants) who have full time jobs with a decent income, have stable marriages or relationships, are not dead broke and living paycheck to paycheck, and who understand that few things in life are ever accomplished without a high interest level, hard work and determination.

That is how they got where they are before they became involved in a networking opportunity.

The 5-step plan offered by myEcon is designed to get you financially stable first and then concentrates on trying to build a successful, profitable part-time business. MyEcon leaders teach you:

How to start a part-time, home-based business which allows you to turn your expenses into legal tax deductions.

How to use your legal tax deductions to reduce your net taxable income from your full time day job, saving you thousands of dollars annually in taxes that you used to have to pay because you were not in business.

How to minimize your expenses to create seed money for your new business, allowing you to finance your business without increasing your family budget or reallocating the budget items you already have in place.

How to eliminate your debt faster by becoming financially savvy about how you created your burdensome debt, and then doing something about it to ultimately become debt free before you die.

How to invest the money you have created through your business and begin building a contingency fund for emergencies, accelerate savings for your retirement years, and create income-producing assets so you can stop working your job and start living a fuller and more productive life.

I can teach you every one of these steps. It is always (repeat, always) a good idea to seek advice from those who are competent through their own experience and success to give it.

Why bother becoming involved in myEcon or becoming financially successful? W. Somerset Maugham said it best: Money is like a sixth sense without which we cannot make a complete use of the other five.

There are only two possible outcomes to your financial future: results or excuses. Some people are not comfortable in life without excuses for their failures. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best when it comes to excuses: This time, like all times, is a very good one, when we know what to do with it.

If you do not know what to do with it (your life), you need myEcon a lot more than myEcon needs you, and you need me a lot more than you need yourself.

If you are not living the life you want to live the way you want to live it, you either do not know how to do it, you chose not to apply the strategies of how to do it, or you are just plain lazy. It takes no talent to be a failure; it takes a lot of talent and initiative to be a success.

I have made my choice, you are stuck with yours.

You want help, call me (1-800-965-6484) or e-mail me (edbagley@comcast.net) and get into the myEcon opportunity now, and ultimately thank Liz in Australia for what I am about to create that will help Liz (who cannot join myEcon from Australia) and you in the United States (who will be able to learn some valuable financial lessons).

It is 1:09 a.m. in the morning. I have had 4 hours of sleep each of the last two nights. I am tired and I am going to bed debt free and successful. You, on the other hand, have a decision to make. We are not talking about anything important here, just your future.

January 25, 2007

Thank Peter Stolmar

        Ed Bagley's Blog Undergoes Major
        Changes to Speed Up Navigation

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Ed Bagley's Blog was launched on October 27, 2006 without any significant fanfare since I am a writer and not a techie when it comes to the Internet. I did not really know diddly-squat when I started.

All I knew for sure was that I did not want a business-in-a-box, one of those deals where some guru creates a web site for you and you just sit back, dumb and happy, and promote the guru's web site and his business at your expense.

I had figured out that this is an excellent way to go nowhere at about a 1,000 miles an hour. The less you know and the less you have to do, the longer you will be trapped into thinking that you can do nothing and get rich because you have been told that your web site and your business is automated. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your guru will not tell you this so I am telling you.

I got sick of it in a hurry, and I did not want to use a template by Microsoft FrontPage 2003 to create my own web site, so I chose to do it from scratch. This was very difficult because I did not know, and still do not know, HTML. The advantage of FrontPage 2003 was that it would write the HTML code for you as you created your web site.

It took me about two months to get it together (I told you I did not know much).

Twelve days after my launch, on November 8, 2006 I added another section page titled Lessons in Life because I was writing articles that did not fit into my original three articles pages on Internet Marketing, Quality Resumes and Movie Reviews.

Fifteen days after my launch, on November 11, 2006 I discovered Alexa, which rates web sites for their traffic rank. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that my site was ranked 1,160,771. I did not feel good about this until I learned that there are currently 7 million web sites on the Internet.

I told myself it could have been a lot worse, and chalked up any progress I had made to the fact that from day one I was writing nearly an Internet article a day and getting it published on EzineArticles.
The folks at EzineArticles are top notch, very professional and looking for quality.

As of today (1-24-07), 74 days later my Alexa 3-Month Average Traffic Rank is 275,839 (from 1,160,771), my 1-Week Average is 155,016 and my Today's Rank is 93,312.

EzineArticles made me an Expert Writer almost immediately and 3 days after I started my new site I earned a Platinum Membership. EzineArticles said "this is a status that can not be bought and can only be earned by sending in quality articles." The Platinum status can also be taken away if your quality articles become less so.

Perhaps even more important was the fact that Platinum Membership meant you could have unlimited article submissions, so I went to work and less than 3 months later have 74 articles on their site alone.

These 74 articles have resulted in 21,492 page views thus far and have been published 7,552 times (technically this means "the EzinePublisher link has been followed for your articles").

The articles are in fact getting published in newsletters and other Internet vehicles because I discovered on December 6, 2006 another cool little tool called LinkPopularity, which told me I had created 415 links in 40 days.

As of today (1-24-07) LinkPopularity tells me my articles have created 3,492 links in less than 3 months (Ed Bagley's Blog celebrates its 3-month birthday in 3 days).

If you think you cannot build a site using only Internet Articles as a tool, you are dead wrong.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

On November 25, 2006 I changed my headers on key pages. The subhead on my Home Page which was "A Professional Writer's Guide to Successful Living My Way" sounded pretentious and not informative, so I changed it to "Ed's Articles on Internet Marketing, Careers, Movies and Life."

The subhead on my Internet Marketing Articles Page which was "A Professional Writer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet" sounded like I knew something I did not know, so I changed it to "A Guide to Separating the Best from the Worst on the Internet" and it became my opinion rather than my knowledge.

On December 11, 2006 I finally figured out how to collect all of the article titles and articles on one page (all right, stop that laughing immediately) and link them properly to expedite and enhance my visitor's experience. Heck, I had probably driven away more people at that point in time than I had gotten to come back for another visit.

I still do not really know what I am doing. I just know that what I am doing is working, and I have no intention of stopping my progress, however slow it may be.

That is why I was so pleased to get an e-mail on December 11, 2006 from Peter Stolmar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has a web site at: http://www.theinternetincomesystem.com

Peter does not know me from Adam, however, he said this:

"I stumbled upon your blog after reading an informative Internet Marketing article. I really like the content on your blog, and would like to link to your Internet Marketing articles page if possible. Also, as a 'techie'—I was a computer professional before I started the Internet Marketing thing—I would like to offer a few tips to improve your site."

Peter then wrote me a 3-page "heads up" on how to improve my site to make it easier on you, the reader. Would you put out this kind of effort for a total stranger? Peter Stolmar did.

In essence, he said "get rid of the frames" (I had build my web site in frames because I did not know any better, and was not knowledgeable enough to do otherwise without knowing HTML). Man, he was right, the frames thing forced readers to use more that one scroll bar to navigate around the page.

He also pointed out my poor linking structure (readers could not link to any page in my site from the page they were on, I had some links to other pages but the linking was incomplete).

He nixed the idea of using buttons for links, pointing out that search engines look at buttons and think images first and text second. Peter suggested using text for links rather than buttons with text.

And finally he went to work on my keywords, pointing out that I did not have any keywords worth talking about (I was using single words that would never attract search engine attention given the stiff competition, and should have been using less popular multiple phrases that would attract more attention and better placement for my web site).

Today I replaced my original live site with its improvements and substituted a total remake of my site, dropping the frames pages, changing the links to a text format, and making sure you can access any other page in my site from the same page.  Can you believe it has taken me 45 days to implement just two of Peter's three main suggestions?  Talk about slow; I must be distantly related to a turtle.

The business of meta tags and using better text for my page properties comes next.

So Peter Stolmar, I want to publicly thank you for your interest in my success. You asked to be linked to my web site on my Internet Marketing Articles page (which continues to grow with outstanding articles, insights and humor) and so you shall.

Now, Peter, it is my turn to help you, and help you I shall. Look for a personal e-mail from me soon. I flat reward people who help me, especially when they are not even asked to do so. Maybe Peter can help you, my loyal readers. You can e-mail him at: admin@theinternetincomesystem.com

January 24, 2007

Here Is My Analysis:

        Reader Wonders If WealthToolbox
        Opportunity Is Really the Next Scam

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Recently Ann Chase, one of my Blog readers, became concerned about an opportunity she joined. Here is Ann's e-mail:

"I get a feeling you do not like scams (or) scammers. I have reason to believe a fairly new one with a different twist is going around. Have you heard of http://wealthtoolbox.com? It sets up an account for you with $50 and offers $50 for each one who joins under you. They get the same each time someone joins under them.

"I had accumulated $3,382 in my account from people joining under me. However, when I checked my account this morning (1-18-07) it showed no account by that sign-in or it had not been activated. It suggested a new account be opened so I tried a new account . . . and never got anything from them. Scam? Can you shed any light on them?"

Ann, you score big points in my book by simply searching for some better information and answers when things do not seem right.

If something about this apparently new opportunity gave you cause to ponder, then it is very likely that many other Internet Marketers have had the same experience and thoughts.

I did check out WealthToolbox as best I could, and here are some comments and thoughts about your situation:

First, something very similar happened to me. I am involved in the Success University opportunity and one of the things I really respected about the program was that it avoids "flushing" when computing commissions for affiliates.

When I first encountered the word flushing I immediately thought of a toilet, which is a real negative; however, in this case, flushing (when honored) is a very good thing.

It means that when a Success University affiliate has great growth in his (or her) organization yet does not yet qualify for the commission generated, the potential commission stays in place until he qualifies to receive it.

In almost every other opportunity you lose potential commissions when you do not qualify during a specified time period. I had the potential to earn $4,000 a month when I could build out the other side of my organization and still appreciate the fact that some of those commissions remain when I do so.

I too checked my commissions one day as you did, and the commission holding was missing from my account. I was devastated, but had enough presence of mind to call the company and ask about the situation.

The answer I received made a lot of sense when explained. When companies figure commissions on a monthly basis (or whenever they come due) they have to remove the figures to tally up what's due and then adjust each active account accordingly. I was told to wait a few days and that the figures would re-appear.

This is exactly what happened, and also happened in your case.

Ann wrote me a second e-mail three days later (on 1-21-07) and said this: "Showed back up this morning. No explanation. Now I wonder if it is a scam."

In the meantime, I went about the business of learning more about WealthToolbox, and here are my observations:

1) There is apparently no fee to join the WealthToolbox opportunity. The pitch says you can earn money, which implies real money. The company apparently funds your account.

I wonder how many people see what Ann saw (her account growing to $3,382) and mistakenly think that at some point they will be able to withdraw $3,382 in U. S. dollars from their account. You must understand that this makes no sense whatsover.

Without actually saying so, I think WealthToolbox is considering any money they put in your account as a "credit," as in you now have $3,382 in credit toward purchase of their products. You must understand that they cannot create money in thin air, give it away because you are a nice person, and stay in business.

This is not made clear in the opportunity pitch, and should be made crystal clear.

In most situations like this, the company "credit" and the products offered are recycled, all but useless garbage being passed off as something of value.

The key to this assumption of mine comes from their statement that "our focus is helping you learn to make money on the Internet. We believe that the more you learn, the more you'll earn."

2) WealthToolbox is not saying that you will earn money because they have created an account and put money into it for you.

The information on WealthToolbox is incomplete and their intentions are unclear, and I expect so on purpose. If people who signed on actually knew what really was going on, I suspect very few would sign up.

3) Why would WealthToolbox even bother offering this opportunity? Simple, WealthToolBox and its promoters are probably trying to do nothing more than collect names to build a mailing list.

They could even sell these names at a later date as "hungry, really interested, Internet marketing prospects." It goes without saying that they would be interested in developing a trusting relationship with prospects such as yourself Ann.

4) When you read the WealthToolbox Terms of Service very carefully you will find that they are responsible for absolutely nothing, promise nothing, and can change the deal at any moment.

I had not been exposed to this opportunity until Ann e-mailed me. If I had been exposed and checked it out, I would not join but run away as fast as I could.

You will notice that nowhere in their pitch does it identify the company involved, the individuals involved, any phone number to call to get information, or any e-mail where you could get more and better information about this opportunity before you get involved.

This is a big red flag. This is not a good opportunity for any long-term marketer who enjoys wearing his shirt while it is still on his back.

5) People who are up front and trustworthy identify themselves and where to find them. You found me Ann, will you be able to do the same with WealthToolbox when you have no one to e-mail, no one to call and no place to go?

Thanks for your interest in identifying a possible scam, Ann. My best advice to you should you continue to believe in this opportunity is good luck and God speed, you will need both and then some.

January 22, 2007

Here's the Scoop:

        Reader Cannot Figure Out What
        I Am Selling on Ed Bagley's Blog

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

A reader wrote me an e-mail on January 8 and asked this question:

"What exactly are you selling.  Membership to myecon? (sic)"  I replied to ask if I could use their name in my Blog and received no reply, so they shall remain nameless, however, it is a very good and attentive question, and this is my answer:

Dear Nameless,

You ask a really great question that deserves a really great answer.

First, let me congratulate you on spending your valuable time surfing Ed Bagley's Blog. I have a lot of material, and in order for you to find any real or imagined sales pitch for an opportunity is a task not many readers would put up with.

I say this because I am inundated with at least 40 opportunity offers every day; even when I opt out of offers different offers keep coming from the same source.

People who surf the Internet, and especially those who have Internet Marketing businesses, are constantly exposed to offers. It does seem strange when you visit a site and the site owner is not trying to sell you something, whether you are interested or not.

The whole idea among 99% of all Internet Marketers is too get your money now before someone else does. This is the idea behind the advertising that touts "this offer may expire tomorrow" or "this is a one-time offer for today only."

I love this last one because I know if I go to the site tomorrow, the same offer and the same urge to buy will be present again.

The short answer to your question, nameless, is that I am not really trying to sell anything at the moment, and have not really tried to sell anything since I started. My Blog is less than 3 months old today. At the moment I am just having fun.

I will tell you that I am a business associate with the myEcon opportunity and also with the Success University opportunity.

I am not promoting the Success University opportunity right now, but I am paying my $50 monthly tuition fee because I have a vested interest in staying qualified. You see, I have 1,038 people in my business as of today, 1,029 people on my left side and 9 on my right side.

There is just a slight problem with how my business is built at the moment. If they were all active I would still be receiving checks monthly. I was sitting on a potential income of $4,000+ monthly, but missed my opportunity to cash in because I did not know how to sponsor people online.

I started with explosive growth only because Stone Evans of PIP (Plug-In Profit) fame was good enough to include me in his initial push in Success University, putting approximately 300 people down my left side which quickly grew to 600+ when he stopped. I put some folks down my right side and began to get commission checks.

However, I could not figure out how he was doing it. Later, when Stone Evans stopped feeding people into my business and a lot of other businesses, he told us how he did it. Apparently it was by using what are called solo ads in his mailing lists as well as others.

Many people, including myself, starting pumping money into solo ads just like he did. The only problem, and it was a huge one, was Stone Evans forgot to tell us that he had already milked that cow until it could not stand up.

When hundreds of down line members of his organization starting doing the same thing, they quickly discovered the method had been more than saturated, it was bone dry before we started. The 2 or 3 members we picked up did not do us squat.

The tragedy of all of this was that I was willing to pump more cash into this exercise but simply did not know what would work at that point in time.

This is the valuable lesson learned: people who make money in Internet Marketing never, repeat NEVER, really tell you the successful thing they are doing. They know if they did, the market would quickly be diluted and their profits much harder to generate.

When Stone Evans announced how he had done it, it is my considered judgment that what he was doing was more than on the way out, and while his down line was trying unsuccessfully to repeat his success, he was off doing something else entirely different so fewer people would be involved and his success would continue.

Said simply, gurus lead you to the water, but you are not allowed to drink.

If you think this is an unfair comment to make about Stone Evans or any other guru, then answer me this question: Why didn't Stone Evans reveal what he was doing while he was building his huge Success University organization?

A little thought does clarify this situation instantly.

My current mission is to learn, on my own without the help of any big-time guru, what they have discovered and are loath to tell you. They give you just enough information to keep you on board and their commissions active, but then the information flow stops abruptly to preserve their good fortune. Greed is one awesome motivator.

Now, on the matter of myEcon, I am not really promoting that opportunity at the moment either. I am running a page telling about how myEcon helped me financially and personally, but frankly, I am convinced no one really gives a crap about how myEcon has helped me.

I say this because I have never really earned any significant money from my affiliation in myEcon. I know you are not supposed to say these kinds of things publicly because it hurts your perceived image as a successful marketer. You only do what I have done if you are truthful and have integrity.

I could care less what you think about me. What you think about me is none of my business. What is most important is what I think about myself.

I try to always remember that no matter what anyone is saying to me from the outside, the most important conversation is the one I am having with myself on the inside.

There is a page on Ed Bagley's Blog with this headline: What Two Sentences in a Book Led Ed Bagley to Retire $269,000 and Become Debt Free? This page is not heavily advertised on my web site, and I am not paying for advertising to drive traffic to it. You really have to be reading stories on my site to even find a reference to it.

So what's the deal? Just this: Nobody reading my page on myEcon wants to hear about how some opportunity reduced my personal debt by $269,000 by using the success principles that myEcon led me to when I investigated the opportunity.

Why? Simple, what I did requires discipline and also a difficult little four-letter word people do not want to hear. It is called work. (Shame of you for even thinking that!)

Trust me when I say my discipline and effort (also known as consistent, persistent work) has left me at least $269,000 richer by not having to pay interest on the $269,000 in debt, and actually more than $500,000.

Do you really appreciate how much interest you pay on your debt every month? Most average folks (singles making $60,000+ a year or couples making $100,000+ a year) are paying anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 a month just in interest.

I know this is boring reading for you. No matter. You need to understand how the financial services industry is silently and methodically killing you with their interest-bearing contracts.

Do you understand that one stupid credit card with an outstanding balance of $10,000 at 18% interest takes 40 years (yes, 40 years) to pay off if you make only the minimum payment of 2% per month? And that is even if you charged nothing else on the card for 40 years.

Do you know that the default rate on many credit cards has now risen to 29%? There is no end to the swine in the financial services industry, there are hogs everywhere who are willing to loan you money you should not be given, and then squeeze you with rising interest rates until you blow up. They love it, that is why they are pigs.

At 62 I would be dead long before the debt was paid off if I owed even $10,000 on a credit card. Thank goodness I have the good sense to no longer have or use credit cards. I do not need credit or credit cards, I pay cash for everything and like it that way.

Think about how much you pay in interest on your mortgage payment every month, on your car loans, on your credit cards (I know, just because you have 12 credit cards does not mean you do not pay your bills on time), on your student loans, and on every other debt you have, including your late payment charges on living expenses like your heating bill, telephone bill, cable hook-up bill, etc.

Do not try to deceive me. I have been there. If you will lie to yourself about this you will lie about other things, and I do not want to hear your lies. There are only two possible outcomes to your situation: results or excuses.

Anyway, people do not want to hear about reducing their debt $269,000. I could care less what people do not want to hear. I am not paying a single cent in interest every month. I am debt free and happy to remain so.

People want to hear about how they can make $269,000 in a year with this great new opportunity, whatever it is. It does not matter, just so they think if they get in, it will happen for them. So they are taken advantage of all the time.

It happened to me many times before I wised up and began to recognize how to become successful rather than join opportunities with the hope I would become financially successful.

I was stung by my experience in Success University. I now realize I cannot rely on a guru for anything, I will have to become a guru on my own. No one will be able to do for me what I can do for myself.

The bottom line for me in myEcon and Success University is this: I am not pushing these opportunities on anybody because anybody will not do what I am willing to do to become successful.

When I figure out how to sponsor people online, effectively and consistently, then I am going to bring my friends and associates with me in making a lot of money.

Right now I have people involved who are willing to pay for advertising to sponsor people for themselves and their down line, on both sides in the case of Success University, not just one side.

I will not take their money and encourage their participation until I spend my money and learn how to sponsor effectively and consistently online. These are good people (many of them are the salt of the Earth) with good attitudes and intentions, and I do not intend to let them down.

There is money enough for all to prosper; let us raise the bar so all can benefit rather than just a few.

You cannot do a financial service for others too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late (and that includes your wife and family).

So nameless, I understand your frustration in trying to figure out what exactly I am selling. You come to my site in good faith and find some very helpful, great articles without any charge. You find no real high pressure pitch to buy products and services you may not want or need.

You are bombarded with so many high pressure sales pitches that you feel like a boat in the harbor without an anchor when you are not inundated with them.

All I can tell you is that it is coming, but not until I am satisfied that I have something worthy to offer for your hard-earned money.

To take your money without giving you something of real value would cast me as no more than a common criminal, robbing you at the point of a weapon with no real purpose other than to relieve you of your money so I could stuff my pockets at your expense.

It is called integrity and I guard mine very closely.

January 21, 2007

You Be the Judge:

                  A Loyal Ed Bagley Blog Reader
        Wonders If Her Poem Has Merit

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Keep those e-mails coming folks. Cards and letters are welcome too. The latest comes from Michelle Robinson, a loyal Ed Bagley Blog reader (I claim so anyway), who wonders if her poem has "publishing possibilities?"

Following is my answer to Michelle. I invite any reader to send me an e-mail and rate Michelle's poem as good, average or bad and tell me why you think so, also tell me if I can use your name and response in this blog if I so choose. I doubt many guys are going to respond so you gals need to be supportive of your "sister" here.

My e-mail is: edbagley@comcast.net

Dear Michelle,

Before I share your poem with my readers I want you to know up front that there is really no commercial market for poetry in America today. Most publishers run away as fast as they can when they see someone coming with a poem.

It is not because they do not like poetry, it is just that people who buy books are not buying a whole lot of poetry books, and publishers can go broke trying to convince readers to buy poetry books.

I am not sure that there is any great appreciation of poetry among the masses today. Heck, with e-mail, text messaging, cell phones and pagers, we live in an over communicated world. The reality is that only 25% of people in American even buy books, a lesser figure actually reads them.

I personally believe poetry to be one of the two highest forms of communication in today's world, the other being advertising. As a published author I know this belief may not endear me to my fellow authors.

The greatest poetry written is arguably understood by the vast majority of readers, and speaks to them on many levels.

As a legal publisher worldwide with my own publishing company (another business of mine), I am publishing your poem here and now for all to see. By doing so, I am also claiming legal copyright privileges for you (you will notice that any articles I write are also copyrighted).

Please, readers, give me your response to Michelle's creative effort:

Trails End

I walked through life in search of one,
A soul in whom my heart would love.
Among the earth's most noble men,
A soul my love was worthy of.
But when their wills went up to mine,
My love of self was satisfied.

I walked yet still in search of one,
A soul my heart would mend in love.
Amongst the sick, the jailed and down,
A soul in lowly need of love.
But as I gave I only found,
I loved myself for loving ‘round.

I walked through life in bitterness,
A soul like mine I soon would loath.
Among all men dwells selfishness,
A soul will love because it’s loved.
But searching in my hopelessness,
I found someone unlike the rest.

I walk a path of life laid by the best,
A soul now cut from my flesh of death.
Among the low the high and all the rest,
A perfect love is shown in life and death.

Copyright © 2007 Michelle Robinson

December 19, 2006

A Tired Mistake

        Ed Goes Brain Dead
        Writing Yesterday's Blog

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

The midnight oil must surely be smoking my gray cells.

Yesterday I shared with you my most popular blog article. Unfortunately, I inadvertently gave you my second most popular article. There were actually 11 articles that were in the running for the honor.

Consider this entry a retraction to set the record straight because it is the right thing to do, and I am watching the numbers. Here then is the most popular article:

        Put These 5 Films Together
        and Spell Terrible 5 Times

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Here are five more movies you think would be really better than they are, unfortunately for the films, the scripts, the direction, and the actors, they are not.

Love Letters – 1 Star (Terrible)

Love Letters is a terrible, terrible, terrible film. One of the five worst films every made among those that give a pretense of actually being good while being awful, compared to those films you know are bad and do not disappoint.

This stupid story line has two adults reading letters they sent to each other over their entire life, sitting on tall furniture, gazing down as the past action unfolds.

Love Letters is beyond bad. It butchers a possibly good story line, has poor direction, poor production, poor acting, poor everything. There is not a redeeming quality in this piece of garbage, not even the opening, or credit lines.

The film does not even introduce itself, it takes 5 minutes to realize how bad the film really is; after 10 minutes I put Love Letters on fast forward, and it did not get any better in fast forward. Even the dialogue is bad to awful.

The only worse movie I can think of ever seeing is "Pat" (the androgynous character on Saturday Night Live), and that movie I expected to be terrible, and it was. The acting performances in Love Letters were absolutely juvenile, with no depth, no character development, and no delivery worth talking about. These were not 2nd and 3rd rate actors but 8th and 9th rate actors.

What a piece of nothing this turned out to be; I was beyond disappointed. I expected a decent attempt at a relationship movie and could not have been more let down.

Monster-in-Law – 1 Star (Terrible)

Monster-in-Law has a lower class girl (Jennifer Lopez) meeting a rich family doctor (Michael Vartan), and a future mother-in-law (Jane Fonda) who decides to drive away the bride, only to do herself in, discovering that the bride has as much backbone as she does.

This film is strictly entertainment and humor; there really is no story line as you know who is getting together at the end, and it will all work itself out when the comedy skits are over. I have seen Lopez do a better job in better films, such as Maid in Manhattan.

The Fast Runner – 1 Star (Terrible)

The Fast Runner, a foreign film in the Inuktitut language with English subtitles, is about Eskimo life and culture on the tundra in Alaska. I promise you this is not filmmakings' crowning achievement. It may not even be Eskimo filmmakers' crowning achievement; if it is, Eskimo filmmaking is in serious trouble.

The Fast Runner, also known by the title Atanarjuat, goes on and on for 172 minutes (call it 3 hours), which is about 1½ hours too long.

Myths and Logic of Shaolin Kung Fu – 1 Star (Terrible)

This film lets you know early on that the best Kung Fu fighting style—Shaolin—comes from the monks in China. The Myths and Logic of Shaolin Kung Fu is a sketchy, historical account of how the monks train and learn to simultaneously become a religious as well as a deadly fighting machine.

These future monks begin before age 10 and never really end a lifelong quest to become a master in this fighting style; dividing their time equally between spiritual development and physical prowess. You will be amazed at the physical skills of these boys before they are 10 years old.

Myra Breckenridge – 1 Star (Terrible)

This is Gore Vidal’s then (1970) controversial film about Myron Breckenridge, a man who goes to Europe for a sex change operation and comes back as Myra Breckenridge (played by Raquel Welch, who I did not like in the movie), a man-hating woman.

It is not clear in the movie if Myra still retains her male parts, not that it is important to the movie, because this film is garbage with no script flow, no message, no acting and an even worse presentation. Myra Breckenridge had a chance to deliver some information and a message about its theme, but failed miserably.

I cannot even begin to imagine what Gore must have been doing when he attempted to write this script. Film efforts like Vidal’s do not increase understanding, but encourage prejudice and ignorance about a controversial topic. This is one bad example of filmmaking, and deserves to die a slow death.

Editor's Note:  I stopped writing abruptly Sunday night (12-11-06) because my 28-year-old son, who had been on an out-of-town snowboarding trip, broke his leg and fell on his head while trying to negotiate a mogul that sent him airborne and totally out of control. After a surgery with six pins in his lower leg, he finally made it back home today thanks to his wife, who spent two days in the hospital with him. I had mentioned that he was getting an MRI (the first report) when in fact he had a CAT scan to check for damage to his neck and spine. He seems to be OK except for the leg and a lot of pain. Life can be a tough mistress when we flirt with danger and excitement. Some lessons you just have to learn the hard way to become a true believer. He is a good man, a good father and a good provider for his family. Hopefully, his recovery will be near 100%, however, his left leg will never be the same. He will be a different person 6 months from now, and hopefully better for the experience.

December 18, 2006

He Missed His Guess

        Analysis Reveals Ed Bagley's
        Most Popular Blog Article

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Today marks the 53rd consecutive day of Ed Bagely's Blog. Each day has had fresh, original writing intended to delight, inform, educate and motivate you, the reader.

Many readers may not know that the vast majority of articles I write on my blog go to Submit YOUR Article, a submission service which automatically sends my articles to many directories on the Internet.

The biggest and best of these article directories is Ezine Articles, which posts the work of 37,000 authors worldwide. I am one of those authors and Ezine Articles has more than 50 of my articles posted in its directory.

Editors and publishers from thousands of newsletters around the globe are able to visit Ezine Articles, check out its inventory and download articles for publication in their newsletters. There is no charge for using my article as long as the newsletters also publish the signature box at the end of the article.

The signature box contains a little information on me and my URL so people reading my articles can find their way back to my blog web site: http://www.edbagleyblog.com

Ezine Articles is a tremendous resource for authors because their statistical database captures virtually all the pertinent information about the number of views the articles in the directory get, how many times the articles are published (which generally means an article file transferred for publication by a newsletter or media product), and even counts the number of votes and type of rating an article receives.

Readers who go to Ezine Articles (http://www.ezinearticles.com) can plug in my name (they are alphabetized by first name rather than by last name), bring up all of my articles in the directory, find and read my articles, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and cast a vote (you have a choice of 5 ratings, 5 being the best).

All of this vital information allows writers like myself to know and appreciate how well their work is received. Study of the latest information on my articles has led me to determine a number of interesting facts, all of which are vital and interesting to me and may or may not be interesting to you.

Here are some of the facts that I have discovered:


To date, more than 11,000 readers have read my 50+ articles in the Ezine Articles directory, my articles have been downloaded for publication more than 3,000 times and nearly 1,000 readers have cast votes on my work.

I have been able to learn that my most popular article to date is not about Internet Marketing, Careers or Life issues (all topics I write about), but a movie review that has been viewed 309 times and published 192 times.

I never would have guessed that a movie review would be the most read article that I have published.
If you are wondering, here it is for those of you who may have missed its original appearance:

        2 Movies About Young Adults That
        Prove Their Integrity and Substance

Pretty in Pink – 2 Stars (Average)

Pretty in Pink is a classic high school story of first love and prom night, starring Molly Ringwald as Andie, a girl from the wrong side of tracks who falls for Blaine (Andrew McCarthy), a rich preppie.

For people who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks (this group includes your movie reviewer), Pretty in Pink strikes some emotional chords, such as looking at the homes of rich people, wondering what it would be like inside, and realizing you will never know; or, being asked to the prom and then being dumped by your date.

I give this movie two stars because of one story line item: after being dumped by her prom date Blaine, Andie decides to go to the prom alone; that requires not only courage but integrity, the idea that the date you had is not going to control your life.

Pretty in Pink falls apart psychologically in two critical ways. One, we are led to believe that Andie does not know that her best friend from childhood, Duckie, is crazy in love with her; and two, there is no real explanation why her date, Blaine, decided not to take her to the prom.

We are led to believe that it is because his rich parents and friends turned on him for dating a girl from the wrong social class, yet Blaine makes a case that it was something else; we are never told what that something else is, or the story line does not make it clear, either way, it fails to communicate properly.

Andie proves to be a girl of truth, courage and integrity. I give some props to John Hughes, the writer who chooses to make Andie a budding woman of substance rather than a push over. I believe that Andie, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, will live a better life than Blaine, who must overcome his social position to discover himself.

This movie is better done than so much slop of the same genre. I reserve the right to raise my rating on this film at a later date, and just might.

Saint Ralph – 2 Stars (Average)

Saint Ralph is the story of Ralph Walker (Adam Butcher), a 14-year-old boy who is raised by his single mother. He grows up without his father who died a war hero. His mother then gets ill and falls into a comma while he ends up living in his home alone telling school authorities he is living with his grandparents.

As if his life is not troubled enough, he is picked on and put down continually by his Catholic school classmates.

When he realizes he is bound for an orphanage if his mother dies, he has an epiphany that tells him if he accomplishes the miracle of winning the Boston Marathon his mother will come out of her comma and recover.

You will have to see the movie to discover if he wins the Boston Marathon. Despite some technical issues and weak acting, Saint Ralph is a movie worth the time and effort to see because of the values that it teaches, including having a dream, believing in your dream, being focused on your dream, and being determined to accomplish your dream.

This is a good film with a good message that falls short of a great film. There are audio problems which experience and knowledge could solve. Ralph has a diction problem which maturity and experience could resolve.

The title (Saint Ralph) does nothing to lift this good film to a great one. Miracle in the Making would have been a better title than setting up poor Ralph with the task of becoming a saint. The story line is really too much of a stretch, but at least the movie will touch your heart and moisten your eyes.

I would love to give this movie a 3-star rating, because it deserves it, but it just does not get it done.

(End Article)

For the record, I have reviewed 75 movies thus far in my blog. I use a rating system of 1 Star (Terrible), 2 Stars (Average), 3 Stars (Good) and 4 Stars (Excellent).

Among the first 75 movies that I have reviewed I have given 51% (38) a Terrible rating, 28% (21) an Average rating, 12% (9) a Good rating, and 9% (7) an Excellent rating.

The 7 films that have received my Excellent rating include A Man for All Seasons, The Chorus,
Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, The Phantom of the Opera, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and Secondhand Lions.

Among those I have given a Terrible rating (some of which are real eye openers) include About Schmidt, Before Sunset, Cocktail, Gods and Generals, It Runs in the Family, Miracle, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, The Notebook, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and Pride and Prejudice.

Why? Read the Movie Review section of my blog. It is all there, plain as day for all to see. There is a reason why my reviews have already been published more than 2,600 times in newsletters and associated publications around the world.

December 11, 2006

Lessons in Life:

        Better Linking and Indexing
        Improves Ed Bagley's Blog

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

There is nothing quite like being a newcomer to Internet Marketing.  It is possible, without trying, to create more humor than a stand-up comic, and I am the proof.

I built this website from scratch without any help using FrontPage 2003 and XP Home for my operating language. It was not easy for me because I know nothing about HTML and these software programs are not really designed for people to actually turn out a website from scratch.

I know this because I bought the Dummies book by Asha Dornfest for FrontPage 2003 and could write at least three more chapters for her book on everything she left out that you need to know if you are building a site from scratch. Microsoft really expects you to use their templates.

I understand that gurus and tech heads may have looked at my site and fallen off their chairs laughing. I can only point out that I did it without them, and without their must buy software programs, secrets, new discoveries and whatever else they are selling today.

My blog has been live since October 27, 2006. In six weeks my blog has generated 773,000+ hits and 41,000+ visits and anyone visiting my site has quickly figured out that my website construction skills are somewhat lacking.

While I did a good job linking pages it was only today that I learned how to collect all of the article titles and articles on one page and link them properly to expedite and enhance my visitor's experience. Heck, I have probably driven away more people than I have gotten to come back for another visit.

While I did a good job setting up a separate index for my articles it was only today that I learned how to bring them together on one page. I am pretty pleased with my humble progress despite it taking so long to get it done.

I view my main job as writing interesting, informative, educational and motivational articles that also sometimes produce entertaining and delightful material. I have no real idea how readers feel about my blog since they do not write me e-mails.

If anyone is moved by anything I have written thus far I would not know. I remain undaunted, however, in my efforts. I am going to continue turning out articles whether readers communicate with me or not. It really is my job to communicate with the readers.

Revisit the main area pages in my blog and check out my handiwork linking and indexing articles.

Gosh, I was going to continue writing but have just received word that my 28-year-old son has broken his leg on an out-of-town snowboarding trip and the hospital staff in Yakima (WA) is going to give him an MRI since he also fell on his head. Given the seriousness of this I will sign off and resurface tomorrow. I need to make some calls.

November 25, 2006

Hey, You Made Changes

        Well, Yes I Did. The
        Headers Are Different

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Now, do not get all upset. I understand most of us do not like sudden changes (me included), but I need a little understanding here.

Let me, for a moment, speak to the heart of a woman: Madam, if you spent 4 years looking at the same window treatment in your home, would you not be dying for some new curtains, blinds or draperies? I rest my case for change.

It is true that Ed Bagley's Blog only celebrated its one-month birthday yesterday, and continues in its infancy; however, changing and improving it is so in keeping with my mission to delight, inform, educate and motivate you, my dear reader, that I feel an urgent need to better explain what Ed Bagley's Blog is all about.

I have received several congratulatory e-mails from people that I love about my new lease on life (the creativity of a blog is mind-boggling), and no one has panned my headers, which I proudly proclaimed (surely you remember). The header on this home page included this tag line:

A Professional Writer's Guide to Successful Living My Way

It got me thinking two things:

1) Who cares if I am a professional writer? I mean, really, what am I trying to do, impress myself?

2) Who cares what I think about successful living? And especially my way, since readers have their own about idea about what successful living is because they are living it every day.

So the new, replacement tag line, appearing today, is:

Ed's Articles on Internet Marketing, Careers, Movies and Life

This gives a much faster, better description of what my blog is about (don't you agree?).

Since I have gotten over the need for change, I am looking for more improvements, and I have already found some.

My Internet Marketing inside main area page, which was titled Internet Marketing Northwest (the official name of my limited liability company—LLC—business structure), will be renamed Internet Marketing Articles. This more accurately describes my main connection to Internet Marketing.

The tag line on the Internet Marketing Northwest page was:

A Professional Writer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet (ditto, all of the above)

The new, replacement tag line, appearing today, is:

A Guide to Separating the Best from the Worst on the Internet

Does anyone else love this change as much as I do, or am I just amusing myself because I can? I mean, really, this new name hits the nail on the head, as I have been gently tapping some Internet Marketers on the head with a Wiffle bat, trying to bring their attention to the idiotic, smarmy advertising they have floating around the Internet, masquerading as an opportunity in disguise.

The Quality Resumes by Ed Bagley inside main area page needs to be spiffed up as well. The tag line for this area was:

A Professional Writer's Guide to Getting Interviews and Offers

The new, replacement tag line, appearing today, is:

A Career Guide to Getting Interviews, Offers and Promotions (that's much better, right?).

And finally, the Lessons in Life inside main area page needs a remake. The tag line for this area was:

A Professional Writer's Guide to the Joys and Challenges of Daily Life

Not to outdo myself, I also had this line near the top of the same page:

Coming to Grips with the Great Gift of Life while Recognizing Our Great Blessings and Opportunities

Perhaps all of this is just a tad out of control, and over the top.

The new, replacement tag line, appearing today, is:

Ed's Experiences in the Joys and Challenges of Daily Living

This should be enough. The second line I had on the same page is going to take a permanent hike, not to return. (All right, all ready now, enough cheering, we get it.)

If you understand why writers cannot let any written word stand without trying to improve it, you get it.
This need to polish and improve is an occupational hazard of being a writer. Only Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could apparently write a musical score without correction or improvement; the rest of us are mere mortals.

Editor's Note: Feel free to comment on my changes, especially if you are one of my 49.5 loyal readers (I have gained 10 more loyal readers since my last count). E-mail me at: edbagley@comcast.net

November 19, 2006

Internet Marketing:

    Welcome to Ed Bagley's Blog:

    You Must Be Visitor Number 29,116

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Ed Bagley's Blog is barely 3 weeks old.  Infancy is sure a fragile thing.  If you are a mother or a father, you will remember how precious and helpless your newborn was at 3 weeks old.

Most of what I remember is that our 3-week-old daughter and son required constant attention, feeding, bathing, changing diapers, holding, soothing, and a steady dose of love and thankfulness. That is how I am feeling with my 3-week-old baby in cyberspace.

This blog is requiring a lot of my time, and I am loving it as much as I do my children. Well, that is an exaggeration for effect, but you get the idea.

My fun is in writing great copy. Your fun should be in reading great copy. The intention is to delight, inform, educate and motivate you to achieve your own great potential.

Therefore, I want to personally welcome you, my 29,116th visitor since I launched this site on October 27, 2006. Would you believe that it has taken 452,699 hits to reach you, the 29,116th visitor.  If all of this statistical talk confuses you, do not feel like The Lone Stranger.

Hits represent the total number of requests made to my site during a given time period (in this case, barely 3 weeks since the site was announced on the Internet).

Visits occur when some remote site (that is your computer) makes a request for a page on my site for the first time. If you hang around, read stories, and explore Ed Bagley's Blog for more than 30 minutes, then a new visit is recorded. When you return to my site the next day, another visit is recorded.

All of this does not amount to a hill of beans if you do not enjoy my writing, my mission and my blog.
Remember, my mission is to give you fresh, original writing daily that will delight, inform, educate and motivate you.

I certainly hope I am doing that, and I hope you, my 29,116th visitor in barely 3 weeks, agrees.

November 8, 2006

Time Out: Can I Catch My Breath?

    What? Changes Already? Well, Yes,
    Ed Bagley's Blog Is on the Move!

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

I launched Ed Bagley's Blog (http://www.edbagleyblog.com) on Friday, October 27, 2006, approximately 12 days ago. My mission is to provide fresh, original writing every day that will delight, inform, educate and motivate you, my loyal readers. I think I am doing that, but your feedback has been a little scant.

I doubt I have been listed in any search engines yet, but I have received 90,000+ hits and 7,200+ visits in 11 days. I am not sure what this means, if anything, but my web host provider (Host4Profit) does keep these statistics for me, and I can access them through the back room of my site.

If I seem a little naïve and transparent to you about Internet Marketing and blogs, I am. I do not know zip about the technical side of the Internet and, to tell you the truth, I have been having so much fun doing this I do not want to stop and learn a whole lot of technical stuff.

Near as I can tell (by the statistics and a good guess) I have exactly 39.5 loyal readers as of tonight. The figure was 39 but there was this woman in Virginia who swears her cat reads my blog every day with her, so I put it at 39.5.

I want to personally thank all 39.5 of you at this time for having the audacity to come back every day and read more of what I am dishing out. I believe you are smart, clever people who enjoy good writing; there are some folks who think differently about my writing and I am trying to ignore them since I do not want them to sully my honest effort.

I admit I am a little controversial (OK, I am a lot controversial), but it is how I honestly feel and react. When I rub you the wrong way, please use the supermarket approach, take what you like and enjoy how my words are strung together, and when you do not like it, leave it on the shelf for another reader to enjoy.

It is a big world, and everyone should be entitled to their opinion. I just hope to humor you a little along the way, gently poking a little fun at the egotistical pomposity of many of the sales page offerings by Internet Marketers so full of themselves they can hardly breath without exploding.

Virtually all of my fresh, original material appears here first, and then is moved inside to my appropriate three main area pages for Internet Marketing, Quality Resumes (my writing service) or Movie Reviews.

Twelve days ago I said in my original announcement that all material not directly related to Internet Marketing, Quality Resumes or Movie Reviews will remain here unless I feel a need for another main area page of interest. That day has come.

As of today, I have added a fourth main area page titled "Lessons in Life," mostly because I have a lot interests besides Internet Marketing, Quality Resumes and Movie Reviews.

Lessons in Life is "A Professional Writer's Guide to the Joys and Challenges of Daily Life" and "Coming to Grips with the Great Gift of Life while Recognizing Our Great Blessings and Opportunities."

This change was driven by the fact that I wrote a piece titled "Man's Biggest Love Affair May Be With His Car" and plopped it over in Internet Marketing when it really had to do with a much more serious challenge--saving you marriage--ergo, Lessons in Life was born.

Then someone whispered in my ear that I should be linking if I ever hoped to develop a readership, and so I created another main page titled "Popular Learning Links" wherein I help people build their business by promoting them as well as myself. Don't ya just hate it when someone whispers in your ear? Usually it means a lot more work, and it was, and is.

So there you have it: Twelve days and I have outgrown my self-created confines.

Do not feel obligated to contact me about any of these matters; I will be faithfully creating fresh, original writing for you every day because it is what I do. Your job is to read what I write.

Oh, one more thing: Be nice and tell you friends, relatives and neighbors about Ed Bagley's Blog. There are so many things you could tell them and be in a hoop of trouble, telling them about my blog puts you at little risk and makes you look more literate, after all, readers are succeeders, and virtually all successful people are voracious readers.

And to my Mystery Woman out there, wherever you are: All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.

About the Author:  Ed Bagley started writing for money at 16 and in the next 45+ years was an Investigative Reporter, Sports Editor and Managing Editor for daily newspapers, newspaper publishing company owner, niche book publishing company owner, Personal Marketing Specialist, and now is a mentor, consultant, confidant and an Internet Marketer. 

October 27, 2006

Announcement:

Today Is the First Day of Blogging for the Rest of My Natural Life

Today is the first day of Ed Bagley's Blog, which will publish fresh, original writing on a daily basis intended to delight,  inform, educate and motivate you the reader on the art of writing and internet marketing.  Ed Bagley's Blog will be the home page with three main area pages inside covering Internet Marketing, Quality Resumes (Ed's Writing Service) and Movie Reviews.

This will not be work for me as I am a professional writer.  I began writing for money at age 16 and have now been at it for 46 years.  More than 6 decades of successful living on this planet has blessed me with a good woman, 2 children and 3 grandchildren, none of whom will likely spend 5 seconds reading anything in my blog as they have their own interests to keep them occupied. 

You and I, on the other hand, may well have some mutual interests, especially if you have ever:

  • had a job and needed a resume and cover letter to find a better job.

  • gone to an interview, hoping to get an offer so you could  have a better job.

  • been turned down for a promotion and wondered why.

  • been stuck in a job going nowhere because you are already topped out.

  • started an internet marketing business, or an affiliate marketing business.

  • invested a lot of money in an online business and never really made a dime.

  • been frustrated to death trying to figure out how to succeed in internet marketing.

  • tried to talk to someone, anyone, in person or on the phone, about an internet marketing problem, and no one would give you 10 minutes of their time to help you solve your problem.

  • answered an ad and then been bombarded by an auto responder with e-mail sales pitches to sign up every other day for 400 days, and especially after you have already signed up for the program months ago, in other words, they have you money and now you are literally on your own.

  • wanted an analysis and personal experience input about an internet marketing or affiliate marketing program before you decided to sign up for something you did not really understand.

  • read an exaggerated claim about an internet marketing or affiliate program, and wondered if the source of the claim was accurately representing how easy it would be to profit from your investment.

  • wondered if you can really make money in totally automated programs where there is no selling, no cold calling, no talking to family and friends, no asking for money, no answering questions, no speaking to prospects, no marketing and no telephone calls.

  • wondered if you can invest $6 one time and eventually enjoy a $6 million dollar return on your investment for doing nothing.

  • enjoyed movies, and wanted to know what other people thought about the film you just saw.

  • wanted a man-on-the-street reaction to a movie before deciding to spend your hard-earned money on a ticket.

I will be tackling and writing about all of these circumstances and more as I analyze and reveal my personal experiences with you.  I plan on doing extensive and informative investigative analysis on internet marketing opportunities.  I hope to be a beacon of light in a sea of darkness known as internet marketing.  Hopefully, we will both learn something of value in the process.  I fully intend to have fun as I write and edit this blog with you in mind, and I hope you will join me often as a faithful reader who can appreciate and learn from the experience.  The date of origination will be posted on each entry in my blog.

That said, then let the fun begin.

  ANSWERS:

1) The third. Lions that have not eaten in three years are dead.

2) The woman is a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry.

3) Charcoal.

4) Sure you can: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!

5) The letter "e" - the most common letter in the English language is missing from the entire paragraph!

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