Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My Opinion on Pinterest Doing Away with Maps

Pinterest is doing away with maps on place boards. The above image is a map. It serves a purpose. Therefore, what good is a place board on Pinterest without a map? Maps on place boards on Pinterest allow users to know where the place the pins are from is located. Without the maps, folks are forced to go to another site to learn a place's location. That could become tedious and tiresome. If you want Pinterest to reverse its decision on maps, send them feedback at the link below. Make sure to mention in the comments section you want to keep maps.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tM6FuPvedkBVFdRR92atiTX702F512OqgTBHKEpkzpE/viewform

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Real Problem With The 2016 Presidential Race

To all you folks saying Bernie does not understand economics. Stop fooling yourselves into thinking any of the Presidential candidates do. None of the candidates understand how economics work. The Republicans and Hilary think they can keep giving money to the rich in hopes that in their benevolence they will create jobs. Bernie thinks he can improve the economy by giving money to the poor and increasing consumer spending.
None of them seem to realize it is the Middle Class that create jobs with their small businesses, and that it is the Middle Class that does the most spending in this country for consumer goods. Until the status of the Middle Class is improved, this country will suffer. That means low interest business loans, tax cuts for the Middle Class (but not the rich), and bringing Middle Class wages back in line with cost of living. That means making it so small businesses here can compete with the big corporations, and that we are not giving big corporations tax breaks and subsidies smaller companies cannot get.
No one is talking stuff like that though. Instead, they want to give money to companies that ship jobs overseas, place money in tax havens, and otherwise work to hurt this nation's economy to make a buck. Or they talk social programs instead of workfare when workfare is what this country needs. We need to tax the hell out of companies that send jobs overseas, give tax breaks to those that keep them here, and place tariffs on goods made overseas. We need to create social programs where folks that cannot find a job work to rebuild the infrastructure. We need to do that all the while while giving the Middle Class a chance, and incentive to create their own jobs, and not hope the big corporations do. Both Reaganomics and wrong minded Socialist programs that did not create jobs hurt this county. It is time we get try something different. Unfortunately, no candidate is bold enough to do that. They want to stand by failed policies of the past.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Noblesse oblige and the American Dream

Noblesse oblige is an old notion that those of privilege have certain responsibilities to those of lesser station. The idea first came about in the Middle Ages, and was the idea that the nobility were obliged or obligated to behave in a certain manner i.e. morally upright, distinguished, noble. To serve as an example to the lower classes.This noble behavior included generosity towards those that have less, and especially to those that placed them where they were. One could after all not rule without the people's consent. The pesants in return owed the nobility certain obligations. It was based on earlier tribal ideas among the Germanic and Celtic tribes that leaders of war bands had certain obligations towards their warriors in return for the warriors' fighting for them.  Thus early kings of such early Northern European states as the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were called "ring givers" as part of those obligations were to share the wealth gotten from raids with the warriors who helped earn it with their own sweat and blood. Other obligations included a war band leader seeking revenge for a warrior's loss of life due to murder, and taking care of the warrior's widow should the warrior be killed in battle. By the time noblesse oblige came about these obligations extended to anyone under one's protection whether a serf or a lesser noble. The obligations naturally changed, but the idea was the same. One in a position of power owed that power to those under him or her, and therefore the one in power had an obligation to them.

The idea was passed down even to the early citizens of the United States. At some point though, this idea got tossed aside in the 19th century in America  just when the idea of the American Dream was being formed. The general idea that took noblesse oblige's place was that one was in the position of power he or she were in largely due to his or her own hard work. And since one was in the position he or she was in via his or her own hard work he or she had the right to keep whatever one earned. The idea that one owed his or her position to anyone else be they favors done one by others, or due to the diligent work done by one's workers became alien. It was somehow as if people thought folks magically got into the position of power they were without any help from anyone else. A CEO got where he or she was not because someone of a higher station saw promise in him or her when he or she first started out, or because of the diligence of the workers that served under him or her, but because of the CEO's own hard work, done with his or hers own hands. Therefore, as the CEO had done it all on his or her own, the CEO owed nothing to no one. Thus the very idea of noblesse oblige became an absurd concept. One spoken only by malcontents looking back on less civilized times.  The American Dream was one got ahead by hard work, and once one had achieved his or her goals, one was under no obligation to anyone.

Now, this would not be so bad, but the idea that workers had obligations towards their employers never went away. Indeed, when one has a job he or she is supposed to be grateful as the employer is giving them a job, The employer is doing them a favor. To speak against one's employer or the wealthy in general is seen to be being ungrateful. The idea is that the worker owes his or her position to the employer, and not the other way around. Few have ever accused in the last 20 years a corporation of being ungrateful to its employees despite any form of maltreatment be it bad working conditions or low pay. To even demand fair pay or a living wage or safe working conditions is frowned upon. Somehow instead of the well to do owing those of lesser station for the position they are in, those of lesser station owe the well to do for whatever it is folks assume they do (creating jobs, boosting the economy, investing in the infrastructure). This is made even worse in the fact that with no concept of noblesse oblige, the well to do actually do very little for those that are less fortunate other than what they would be doing anyway to make more money.  

It was the American Dream that killed noblesse oblige. The American Dream is based on the strong individual who needs no one else to get wherever it is he or she is going. One makes his or her own way by working hard and the only reward one is to expect is money. Money which allows one to buy a car, a house, and support a family. One makes one's own way. It does not matter what conditions one has to endure, the possible loss of health, the chance one could go hungry despite working, nothing matters as hard work will eventually reap its rewards. This idea of the self reliant individual has further killed the idea of noblesse oblige. The well to do do not owe their positions to the people of the United States of America as there is no such thing. No, our nation is a collection of individuals not expected to rely on anyone else. And with no unity, no idea of a society, there are no societal obligations of the wealthy either. There is no society for them to give back to, no society which put them in the positions they are in.

This leads us though to some facts. First, no one in a position of power got where he or she is via his or her own hard work. There had to be someone there to promote him or her up through the ranks. Once promoted, one had to have good workers to make one look good to get further promotions. If one is selling a product, one has to have people to buy one's product. Which leads us to the conclusion, the wealthy owe those who put them where they are because without the work and help of others they would not be in the position they are in. Unless one strikes gold and works the mine all by his or her lonesome, everyone in power owes that power to someone else. And that is why we need to modify the American Dream to include noblesse oblige,  Everyone is obliged to someone else. We do not live in a vacuum. The sooner we admit that, the sooner America will return to its former glories.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Truly Divided Nation in More Ways than One

The events at Mizzou over the past few weeks have revealed many different issues in our nation. On one hand, it would appear to be just more examples of racism in action. On the other hand it appears that other problems are revealing themselves as well. All taken together, it shows not just the State of Missouri, but the nation are truly divided in ways no one may have imagined.

This all started with a purported racial slur being thrown off campus in Columbia, Missouri, home of the main campus in the University of Missouri system at an African American student. The student was Payton Head, the Student Body president at Mizzou. Later, others had claimed racial slurs were said to them on campus. A swastika drawn in poop was found in the men's bathroom of one of the university's residence halls although photo or video evidence does not seem to exist. It all seems to have snowballed from there until it accumulated in this week's protests. In the weeks leading up to the protests, MU student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike demanding the president of the university, Tim Wolfe resign for not acting on taking care of instances of racism at the University. Members of the football team then went on strike with the same demand. Wolfe resigned this week as did Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

Taken together it would all seem to be some sort of victory for those fighting racism. Attention had been brought to acts of racism in Columbia, Missouri, and administrators of MU whom people had thought had done little about them had resigned. That acts of racism had taken place at Mizzou cannot be questioned as there are as many cases that can be documented as  those that cannot. In March 2010 cotton balls were placed in front of Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on the Mizzou campus. In February 2011 racist graffiti was written on a residence hall. At the Homecoming Parade on October 10th of this year folks chanted "Mizzou" to drown out chants done by protesters. Therefore, Wolfe's resignation seemed a great victory.

Then, stories of actions by the protesters begin to come out in a big way. The media was blocked from the group Concerned Student 1950's protest on public property, property on which everyone so long as they are not doing something illegal are permitted, Student reporter Tim Tai, himself a minority, was even harassed by student protesters and threatened by two university professors who were also protesting. Most of the students harassing him were white, as were both professors, and all of it was caught on video. Then Student Body President Payton Head falsely reported the KKK was on the university campus on social media. People have begun to question whether racial slurs were even yelled at African Americans in and around the university campus. All folks had to go on was the word of those claiming the slurs were ever said. Even the existence of the swastika drawn in poop is being questioned as no photo evidence seems to exists. What now amounts to what seems to be race baiting in reverse has put a different spin on the issue for many Missourians.

Missouri is a state suffering from the events at Ferguson, Missouri. There were actions at Ferguson, Missouri, and in the protests that followed that were clear cut acts of racism. A march for justice organized by the NAACP going from Ferguson to the state capitol in Jefferson City was met on the way with displays of Confederate flags, water melons, and fried chicken. Racial slurs were yelled at the marchers, and at one point a bullet went through the back of the window of one of the buses. All of this was documented by the media with photos and video. Racism is alive and well it would appear in Missouri, and Missourians like myself were ashamed of some citizens of our state. It is no doubt then that the national media would home in on the protests at the University of Missouri. Missouri after all had revealed itself to be a racist state.

The problem now is that the protesters at Mizzou themselves have shown themselves to be intolerant. First, they excluded the media from the protests, and then they organized a "black only healing space"  where whites were not allowed. This vagrant act of segregation along with the actions against a student reporter who is himself a minority has liberal Missourians perplexed. Until now it had been felt that to fight racism, we must be all inclusive. We cannot afford to segregate ourselves, What has liberal Missourians even more perplexed is how all of this could take place in what is admittedly the most liberal city in the state on a college campus whose Student Body President is a gay black man. If racism existed in Missouri, certainly Columbia would be a bastion of anti-racism, a safe zone  for those of all races. Two men, Connor Stottlemyre and Hunter Park were arrested for making threats of violence against blacks protesting on the MU campus. Even then, neither of the men lived in Columbia or had any real connection to the University campus in Columbia. Yes, racist incidents had taken place on the UMC campus, but just exactly is going on now?

All of this has left Missourians confused. Were the events this year leading up to the protests a sham? Did two high ranking university administrators resign for what amounted to incidents that did not take place? Or did these incidents actually take place, but were isolated ones? And what about the student protest group Concerned Student 1950's own acts of intolerance with the harassment of a minority student reporter and the deliberate segregation of protesters? It has us confused and perplexed. I, for one do not know what to think. In many ways, one has to wonder if the protests have not actually set the state back 40 years on the issue of civil rights instead of making progress. Instead of the protests uniting us, in my opinion, they have served to divide us further, and racists will no doubt argue that events at the protests justify their position.

This is not the end of it though. Columbia, Missouri is being tagged as a racist town, a place where minorities live in fear for their lives. Even if racial slurs were hurtled at black men, even if a poop swastika was drawn in a university bathroom, are these examples of racism being rampant in Columbia? Is Columbia just as racist as the rest of  the state? Or are these the acts of outsiders, people not from Columbia, perhaps not even the State of Missouri? Are these merely isolated incidents in a city that is truly all inclusive? Is there just some group of rednecks out there wanting to stir up racial tensions? Or is MU a cesspool of racists and closet racists? Missourians are now faced with almost too many questions to be answered, and no dialogue has been started to answer them. We cannot at this point get answers, and will not until a dialogue is started that includes people of all the races.

This would not be so hurtful to Missourians though if  clear cut acts of racism elsewhere were being ignored. Women at the door of a Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat party at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut were told, “No, we’re only looking for white girls,” Headlines about the incident begin with words like, "purported," or contained words like, "accused." The stories on the incident contained words like, "claimed" in relation to the women's testimony about the incident. There were questions even in liberal media whether the incidents really happened despite many women testifying to them.

Unlike the incidents at Mizzou which were immediately reported as fact, and no one doubted the accusations of racism, the accusations of a "white women only" party at Yale University were cast as being doubtful. It was like folks were stating, "There is no way something like this could happen in a Northern state at a prestigious school like Yale." Meanwhile, no one doubted the accusations of racism at the University of Missouri. Somehow, it is easy to believe a Midwestern university with Southern roots consisting of Middle Class students could be a haven of racism, but almost impossible to believe the same of a New England school that caters to the Upper Class. It threw us back to the '70s when the Boston public schools were desegregated and a myriad excuses were given for white parents' outrage, none of them dealing with race. Somehow, the narrative was white parents were upset that their children were being sent to schools in poor neighborhoods. No one wanted to state the truth that Boston is known as one of the most racist cities in the United States, and the riots over desegregation in Boston had everything to do with race.

It all comes down to this, this is not just Missouri's problem. It is a problem for the entire nation. We cannot ignore instances of racism in northern universities based on the false idea that the North is not racist. We cannot automatically assume isolated incidents at a Southern or Midwestern university makes it a haven for racism. I am ashamed of our nation's media for making the events at Mizzou a top of the page headline, while sweeping events at Yale under the rug and putting stories about it on page two. I resent supposed incidents at the University of Missouri being passed off as fact while incidents at Yale University are reported with words like, "purported," "accused," and "claimed." Yes, a racist culture probably does exist at University of Missouri Columbia, but I am betting one exists at Yale University too. Regardless of what really happened at Mizzou or Yale, and no one seems to be able to get to the truth, it has been shown not just racism divides this nation, but also classism and regionalism. How else would you explain the difference in coverage between incidents at Mizzou and those at Yale? And  acts of classism and regionalism need to be acted on just as much as racism. This nation has no room for bigotry of any kind. As of now we are truly a nation divided in more ways than one.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Respecting Each Others' Rights

The past couple of years have seen protests the likes that have not been seen since the 1960s. They are happening for good reasons. This nation has big issues with equal rights for all.  People wanting to keep gays from marrying, African Americans not wanting to be harassed and killed by law enforcement, and countless other issues have shown this nation has some serious issues. And with the protests our deep seated self interests have reared their ugly heads. Many feel because their rights have been violated that gives them the right to get their message out by any means possible even if that means violating the rights of others. This attitude cuts across the political spectrum both right and left. Many Conservatives feel county clerks should have the right to violate the right of gay couples to be married because, well, it violates their religious freedom. More liberal protesters feel they have the right to violate the rights of commuters to get to work on time by blocking highways to highlight how African American men are being killed by police. There are numerous examples of how people have in trying to get the point across their "rights" are being violated by violating the rights of others. And the media is not innocent either. Reporters get pushy in trying to cover protests. They refuse to respect people's right not to talk to them.

Recently a video surfaced on YouTube of student protesters and a professor trying to block a student journalist's access to a protest on the University of Missouri campus. You can watch it below:

 

The protesters had declared the area a safe zone were no media was allowed. They wanted to control the narrative of the protest and not have the media twisting what they wanted said. There was one problem with this. This protest was on public property owned by the people of the State of Missouri. Everyone has a right to be there. No one has a right to exclude others from being on that piece of land. They had no right to try to take over what is owned by every citizen of the State of Missouri. It would be like me, going to our courthouse square where I live, and trying to dictate who could and could not walk across the lawn. This is basically what the group Concerned Student 1950 did to the point of student reporter Tim Tai being threatened by Professor Melissa Click. In essence, while protesting to point out how the rights of minorities are being violated at the University of Missouri, they violated the rights of a student reporter (who happens to be a minority himself) to be present, and all other members of the media. The actions of the protest group Concerned Student 1950 showed they were just as intolerant as the actions of the people they were protesting.I am not saying this to detract from their message that there is racial bigotry at the University of Missouri, but to point out that we as Americans place our own self interests above those of others.  In essence, what Concerned Student 1950 was saying is, "People's rights have been violated so we have a right to violate your rights to get our point across."

At the same time Concerned Student 1950 was protesting, many members of the media did not respect the personal space of members of Concerned Student 1950. They felt that they were protected by freedom of the press and therefore did not have to respect the privacy of the protesters. There were instances of reporters trying to get in areas where people were changing clothes, and reporters not respecting people's right to say no to interviews. Again, this is a case of people thinking their rights are more important than the rights of someone else. We think our rights should supersede the rights of everyone else. In essence, what what was being said by the media was, "We have a right to do this so that gives us a right to violate your rights to exercise our rights."

The cases above are a prime example of one group thinking their "rights" trump the rights of others. There are other examples. And of course, when there is outrage over these violation of rights by protesters we are told people are trying to detract from the protesters' messages. In truth, it is not the people's outrage over the protesters' violating the rights of others that is detracting from the message people are trying to get across by protesting, but the very actions of the protesters themselves. Had members of the group Concerned Student 1950 respected the rights of others, they may have gotten their message across, but by trying to dismiss the rights of others, by saying their rights are more important, their messages are seen as just another example of intolerance.

The same is true of the media. When the media refuses to respect people's personal space, they are violating others' rights, and seen not as reporters of the news, but as bullies just out to get a story. While the media has freedom of the press on their side, that does not give them the right to demand people talk to them, or to intrude in areas where they clearly are not wanted. Getting in protesters' way, pushing people aside to get a shot with a camera, arguing with people that do not want to be interviewed, all these things violate the rights of others.

Until we, as Americans can learn to respect the rights of others we will not heal this nation. Until we realize my rights, or your rights, or his rights, or her rights are no more important than the rights of others we will get nowhere. Simply because I have a right to do something, simply because my rights are protected by the Constitution does not give me a right to violate the rights of others to exercise my rights.

When I was a youth and a protester, we tried to respect the rights of others. We did not exclude the media. We even allowed counter protests to take place. And we knew there was a place and time to protest. We did not disrupt public ceremonies, block traffic, barge in on private meetings, or do any other stunts to attract attention. We merely gathered together, chanted, sang, displayed our signs, and talked to anyone willing to hear our message. We tried to be respectful of others' rights because we felt if we were not, it would take away from what we were trying to accomplish. Our aim was equal rights for all, and that is how it should be. I should not violate your rights just to point out how mine have been violated.

At the same time, I have been on the media's side too. And I have seen how some reporters can be pushy and overbearing. Myself when I was a student reporter, I tried to respect people's boundaries. You have to. You are not going to get a story by trying to force people to talk to you. There was bad behavior both from the media and the protesters, and it could all have been avoided had they respected each others' rights. No one's rights ever trump those of another despite whatever wrongs may have been done. And I feel we need to learn that as a nation if we want to move forward.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Common Courtesy: A Way to Prevent Mass Shootings?

With latest mass shooting, the one that happened in Oregon yesterday, the two usual solutions were proposed:
  • better gun control laws. 
  • better mental healthcare.
However, something different was brought up by people this time. It is not that this topic had not come up before, but that people had not really discussed it at length before. At least that was the case with my social circles. The conclusion was that better gun control is unrealistic. Most of these mass shooters have a mental illness, and while it is easy to say background checks should screen for mental illnesses, screening gun applicants for mental illnesses is not that simple. Mental health records are like all medical records, private and confidential. There is no way for the government to even be aware mental health records exist, much less be able to check them if a person has never committed a serious crime. Personal interviews by a law enforcement officer would not even help in screening for mental illnesses. Many with illnesses as serious as paranoid schizophrenia. can pass as "normal" when on medication.  So that leaves us with two options. First, make all medical records public, and second create a database of all individuals that have suffered a mental illness even if is something as common as depression. Privacy advocates are going to balk at the first, and rightly so. No one wants to be passed up for a job because he or she seriously hurt his or her right knee in third grade, and the potential employer assumes that he or she is a medical risk. The second one, privacy advocates are going to balk at more. The idea of collecting any database of individuals that could be used against them is unappealing as we are not but 70 years from Nazi Germany when Jews and other minorities were collected in concentration camps and killed.

As for better mental healthcare, few would argue against that. But in order for people to get better mental health care would mean a total overhaul of our healthcare system. People would have to be taught to spot mental illnesses, and how to convince mentally ill individuals to seek treatment. Even then we could not use any sort of "force" to make people seek treatment. If we start making people seek treatment against their will, esp. if they have committed no crime, it is going to be decried as a human rights violation. Then medical costs such as therapy, doctor visits, and medication would have to be kept cheap enough that all individuals be able to afford them. Improving ways of spotting mental illness will do no good if one does not have a way to afford treatment. Short of going to a one payer system or price controls or something else that will not happen. The American healthcare system is a capitalist system made for profit by corporations. Without some sort of intervention they will  not lower their goods and services even for the benefit of society. This means many Americans with mental illnesses even if they want treatment, may go untreated because they cannot afford it.

Therefore, gun control and better mental healthcare are not as simple as they may seem. And besides, focusing on those two things is overlooking the bigger problem in my opinion. Other countries have guns, a lot of guns, maybe not as many as the United States, but they do not have the gun crime we do. It is true they may have better gun control laws, but we all know if someone is willing to kill people they will obtain a gun illegally regardless of the country they are in. Similarly, other countries have the same percentage of mentally ill individuals in their population. Yet those mentally ill individuals do not go out and shoot a room full of people. Yes, they may have a better healthcare system, but even then that would not explain why people with mental illnesses that have gotten treatment in the USA are killing people. No there is a deeper problem than guns and mental illness at work in the United States of America when it comes to these mass shootings.

People in the United States of America, in general, do not view other individuals as humans. Instead they view them as objects. This lack of empathy towards other humans, the ability to understand their feelings, to share in their joys and sorrows has lead to a lack of compassion on the part of the American citizen. Perhaps, this is a gross generalization, and the majority of individuals are not that way, but I feel enough are that it is showing an impact on our society, and has for many years. Add to this inability to have compassion for others the excessive self-centeredness of many Americans and you have a society that is bound to have a great deal of crime. After all if one views other humans as mere objects to be used, and places his or her own well being over that of all others, what is to keep him or her from killing just to have his or her way?

This lack of empathy and compassion is even reflected in our politics. The Republican Party regularly complains about money spent on social programs such as food stamps, and even cut aid to military veterans that served in wars they started to make profits for their friends. The Democratic Party is no better focusing on such liberal issues as helping illegal aliens while largely ignoring the plight of American citizens in just as much need. But again our politics are symptomatic of our entire culture. People are only there to be used to further our own means. For the Republican Party opposing social programs gains them support from Americans who being self-centered do not want their tax money spent on anything that does not benefit themselves personally. For the Democrats helping illegal aliens allows them to feel good about themselves without ever having to put a bigger investment in the much larger population of American citizens who are in need of better roads and schools. 

It all goes deeper than just attitudes though, and it can be seen in the everyday interactions of people in America. How often do you hear, "please" and "thank you" anymore? When was the last time you saw someone allow an elderly person to go ahead of him or her in line at the store so the elderly person would not have to wait as long on his or her feet? How often have you seen a pregnant lady be forced to stand because no one will offer her a seat on the train? We have forgotten common courtesy, and I think therein rests the sickness of America. We are not taught to be kind to other people. Somewhere after preschool we cease being taught to be loving and caring. Instead we are taught to do for ourselves in accordance with whatever the establishment tells us we should be doing, and we expect others to do the same. Somewhere after preschool we forget how to share, how to say "please" and "thank you," to wait our turn in line. 

I think the way to prevent more mass shootings and killings is to again ingrain in Americans so it is second nature the ideas of courtesy and politeness. Teach people to be kind to other people, to do acts of kindness. Perhaps, in time folks could learn to love their fellow man, Being kind, doing the right thing, helping others is so unusual that it sometimes makes national news. Recently, some college football players came into a store that unbeknowst to them was closed. The system that locked the place up and turned off the lights had failed. They shouted for a worker, and looked for them, and finding none they got the items they needed, walked to the counter, waved at the security camera, and left the exact amount of money on the counter including the tax for the items they purchased. Had this happened 70 years ago no one would have thought it an unusual occurrence. Now it makes national news. 

Our country's citizens have become so used to people doing the wrong thing that doing the right thing is unusual. And how we treat people is no different. It is little wonder then that mass shooters feel misunderstood, lonely, and under appreciated. The latest shooter in his manifesto complained about having no friends, and having no girl friend. These shooters have, as all of us in America have, been met with unkindness at every turn. People cut us off in traffic, people butt in line at the convenience store, someone forgets to say "thank you," the cashier at the store ignores us. Each one of these things can make us angry. Now imagine you had a mental illness and had no way to shut that anger off, and it built up and built up with no relief. That exactly is how mass shooters are created. No one has been kind to them. No one has given them a way to feel good about themselves. No one has given them a way to let go of that anger. But if we dismissed no one's feelings of loneliness, if we sought to help even a little those in a bad situation, perhaps then that person who has a mental illness will not become the next mass shooter.

Research shows random acts of kindness improves one's mental and physical health as well as the health of the person one is being kind to. The only way to end these mass shootings is to change the entire mindset of our culture, to make Americans value the lives of others. It will take years to do so, but if we start today, encouraging folks to be kind to others, to place others above oneself, then perhaps there will be a day in America when mass shootings are as rare as they are in Europe or other places in the world. There is no short term solution to the problem. If guns were banned tomorrow and as many confiscated as possible there would probably be another mass shooting. If every person with a mental illness got treatment in America there would still be one that went rogue and shoots up a school because they feel lonely and unappreciated. No, we need a long term solution, and that solution is in how we view and treat other human beings. The solution to me is for people to treat each other with kindness, to show common courtesy, and go even beyond that to greater acts of kindness.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Promoting Central Missouri Events

One of the problems in promoting a fair or festival or any local event these days is where to publicize it. Most groups cannot afford TV and radio ads, and even promoting a post on Facebook or other social media does not mean one will get wide coverage. Even posters are expensive, and then there comes the problem of where to post them. It is no longer as simple as making press releases to the newspaper or radio.  Where once that is all one had to do, many folks no longer listen to the radio or subscribe to a newspaper. People now get their news and information from a wide variety of sources, and while one information source will reach one person, it may not reach another. Too, people often plan which events they plan to attend well in advance which means event planners must get information out early. This is not always easy to do with newspapers, radio, and TV as those news sources may not see the event as being relevant until only a few weeks before it takes place.

This is where Event Calendars come in. An event can generally be posted on these calendars months in advance. There are those that are in print and on the internet, and then those that are just on the internet. The ones in print often will not come out until the month or week of the event, but the ones on the internet may have listings as far out as a year before. The following list was made specifically for Central Missouri and is focused on Randolph County. Some are statewide however. If you are in another area of Missouri it is a simple matter of doing a Google search for the name of your town, county or region, and "event calendar." Most all of these listings are free. Perhaps the most important one is the Missouri Division of Tourism's Travel Guide as your listing will be both in print and on the internet months in advance of the event.

Print and Internet

Missouri Division of Tourism Travel Guide: http://www.visitmo.com
Missouri Life: http://www.missourilife.com/events/submit.html
Moberly Chamber of Commerce Calendar of Events: http://www.moberlychamber.com/calendar/

Internet and/or Other

Columbia Daily Tribune Events Calendar: http://www.columbiatribune.com/users/admin/calendar/event/
FairsandFestivals.net: http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/states/MO/
KMIZ Event Calendar: http://events.abc17news.com/
KOMU Community Calendar: http://www.komu.com/community-calendar/
KWIX/KRES Event Calendar: http://www.centralmoinfo.com/events/community/add
MidMoToday: http://www.midmotoday.com/submit-event/
VOX Magazine Events Calendar: http://www.voxmagazine.com/events/