|May 02, 2007|
|Selling Our Future|
Posted at 01:41 PM by Will Marre
It appears that many shortsighted business leaders and political leaders who embrace ?creative destruction? when it eliminates your job vigorously oppose it when it threatens theirs. Creative destruction is a term coined to describe having old businesses evaporate to be replaced by new ones due to new technologies or offshore labor. It?s healthy ?weeding? of our economic garden. Right?
Well, the people that brought us $3/gallon gasoline, $200,000 college educations and 47 million medically uninsured are at it again. This time they want to change the facts and conclusions of a worldwide study of the impact of greenhouse gases on climate change endorsed by 119 governments (?US. China Seek to Alter Impact on Climate Change.? USA Today, May 2007). While the report calls for a large, sustained world wide investment in new clean energy technologies currently under development, the folks that make more money on oil and coal burning want no change. They claim the cost of new technology is too high, too impractical for a phantom threat that only might create catastrophic consequences of water and food shortages, resource wars, and new levels of poverty ("One Fight in Bangkok." www.grist.org).
But is this the time for our leaders to stifle the emergence of clean, renewable energy as they continue to subsidize oil and coal? Or is the destruction of a fossil fuel economy the most ?creative? opportunity our generation has to create a legacy for our children? There is no shortage of solutions, only a famine of will.
To view the article in pdf form, click here Selling our Future blog.pdf
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|April 27, 2007|
|American Idol or American Idle?|
Posted at 11:11 PM by Will Marre
American Dream Project on Moral Imagination.pdf
This week American Idol gave back. Nearly 30 million American?s watched stories of poverty and disease and heard a plea for help. Yes, there were the stories of unbelievable suffering in Africa, but did you see the incredible poverty and pain related through stories of crime ridden ?trailer ghettos? filled with Hurricane Katrina victims, illiterate mothers and obese children in Kentucky, and a single mom working three jobs in Los Angeles only to have her 8-year old weep from the stress of getting the bills paid?
What I?ve learned from talking to thousands of Americans is that what goes through viewers? minds when seeing these stories varies from compassion to blame. It seems most of us think this way: if something bad is happening to a family member, a friend, or us it is a crisis. If it is happening to some one like us, it?s a problem. If it?s happening to someone we view as unlike us, it?s his or her fault. Deal with it.
After Katrina, I was blogging about the sorry state of leadership when lots of angry people replied that most of the victims were lazy, no damn-good whiners who should know how to take care of themselves. This was not the view of a few. Is this what our culture has become?
In our personal quest for more and the competitive energy of our economy, have we lost our moral imagination? We don?t have to.
Click Here to read the entire article: American Dream Project on Moral Imagination.pdf
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|April 21, 2007|
|Want to be Happy?....Change the World|
Posted at 06:04 PM by Will Marre
Want to be Happy?.....Change the World
I just read a review of Ghetto Nation, a new book about how the worst of the hip-hop culture is sweeping through teenage America. It seems that many suburban, middle class teens are embracing the language of gansta-rap, the obsession of flashy materialism, a disdain of education, and trashy disrespect of women. Underneath the vulgarity is a rapidly growing quest for meaning found in recent social research among American?s youth. In study after study, today?s high school and college students reveal themselves as America?s most idealistic generation in fifty years. If you visit our latest home page you?ll see recent video interviews of random students talking about their dreams and concerns. What you?ll see and hear is astonishing. They already know how to pursue happiness. Perhaps it?s time to help them and at the same time help all of us.
Perhaps it?s time to institute a mandatory national service requirement for at least 12 months during everyone?s 18th year. The range of service could be broad from preschool teaching, to the military, National Park restoration to city beautification, inner city tutoring, or reading to the aged. The year would be also one of personal growth and coming to self-knowledge. Every 18-year-old could take talent, interest, and trait assessments, do life-planning, receive training in leadership, time management, goal achievement, relationships, conflict resolution, decision making, financial literacy, and budgeting, as well as the responsibilities of citizenship in our 21st century democracy. This is a life-changing, society-renewing vision. We don?t need to create a huge new bureaucracy to do this. We can link together a vast network of existing for-profit and non-profit institutions to provide training and service opportunities offering real accountability and tangible results. Collecting current delinquent taxes could pay for it. There are 2.75 million Americans turning 18 every year. There really is no excuse. Can you imagine what an impact universal service would have on our society in a decade? What would happen if every young American had a genuine experience and the deep satisfaction of meaningful service? All we have to do is decide. It might just increase all of our happiness.
What do you think? Is it time to put this squarely on the national agenda? To view the video click here.
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|April 10, 2007|
|Iraq? I Wreck? I Run?|
Posted at 07:53 PM by Will Marre
Please read the whole blog! Iraq has got us all emotionally fried. Every time I write or speak about it, people want to yell at me, tell me I am wrong. I?m okay with that if they?ve taken the time to understand what I am suggesting. Often I find that the person who is yelling at me the loudest for being a dim wit agrees with me the most. They just haven?t taken the time to listen. Besides, my goal is not to be right. It?s to get us all thinking more creatively. To get us all to take the time to listen to each other?s point of view. To consider something different. It?s a ?Both + And? world. Instead of trying to be right, we need to ?plus? each other to get to a whole new level of solutions.
?As of Monday, April 9, 2007, at least 3,281 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,641 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.? (USA Today) And 27,000 more American men and women soldiers have been wounded. Often causing amputations or permanent brain trauma. Military psychologists estimate as many as 100,000 of our soldiers suffer from posttraumatic stress.
Human sacrifice is all a part of war. But for what? Iraq is a ?liberated? but devastated country. Freedom without safety or security is anarchy and chaos. As one army medic recently said, ?We are all patriotic. We believe in duty and doing our jobs. But these powerful inner motivations are easy to exploit. I wonder if we?ve been manipulated by our leaders.? (thepurplecouch.com)
WHAT ARE WE THINKING?
Many historians have observed that an open democracy will not tolerate prolonged wars with ambiguous, unrealistic goals. The horrors of war are too great to bear except for cases of clear, direct threats. When a free society wages war, its outcome must be speedy, decisive, and worthwhile.
We are in a mess, not because we are tough on terror, but because we are not tough enough. It now seems clear that we should have spent our energy fighting the direct source of terrorism, Al-Qaeda. But that target was too shadowy, so we attacked one easier to see. We wanted to make a statement. Even that might have worked, but we lacked the wisdom to build peace from temporary conquest. We needed to secure Iraq?s borders. Establish law and order. Rebuild water systems, the electrical grid, hospitals and schools and provide an international interim government that allowed free democratic institutions to have a chance. We knew all of this. But instead, we conducted this ?war? as if we could liberate Detroit by hanging the mayor, firing the police, destroying the schools, hospitals and businesses and turning it over to gang leaders to fight it out. It wouldn?t work in Detroit, and it?s not working in Baghdad. It?s too late now. We made a mistake and we missed our redemption. Now there is hell to pay.
The vast majority of people in the world want peace, safety, education, fresh water, electricity, and a chance to give their children a better life. Some of us don?t believe that. Some of us think most Muslims want Jihad. That?s exactly what terrorists want us to think. They want to scare us into thinking every Arab or every follower of Islam is a violent enemy. As long as we think that, the terrorists exaggerate their power and polarize the world. It?s an old, old trick, and we have fallen for it.
What if we had tried something different? What if we had used all the powerful human energy of the Twin Towers tragedy to respond in wisdom instead of fear and revenge? This isn?t sissy talk. Suppose we had marshaled all of our military resources on capturing or killing the terrorists that mattered. At the same time, what if we had committed our hundreds of billions of dollars toward expediting the technology for renewable energy so that we would no longer need Middle Eastern oil? What if we spent another hundred billion on helping create secular free schools in the Middle East and actually modeled the moral high ground we claim? We will only win this war if we win the war of ideals.
Of course there will always be terrorists. We had a chance to isolate the world?s most radical terrorists in mountain caves. We had the whole world on our side. Instead we let the lunatics of the Middle East bait us into a war they only have to survive to win. They cannot beat us, to be sure, but they can outlast us. And that?s all they need to do. They blindsided us and taunted us, and we responded exactly the way they wanted us to. Like suckers on a playground.
Fighting a bad idea only gives it more strength, more resistance. Pouring energy into better ideas starves the bad idea out and causes it to wither and die.
You may think I am na?ve. Perhaps. But what is most na?ve is to think what we are doing is working. We need to reduce the level of terrorism to the fewest possible crazies and work on positively changing the minds of the rest. Most of all ? and this is a giant Duh - we need to minimize our economic dependence on their resources. This will not be achieved with small ideas. It requires entirely new thinking. Decisively eliminating real threats and pouring new solutions into the root causes.
To find out more about the war, visit Iraq War pros and cons.
Where do you stand? What are your ideas to solve this problem?
Let us know. We want to hear your voice.
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|April 05, 2007|
|Make Your Difference Everyday|
Posted at 12:28 PM by Will Marre
After spending the past three years giving speeches throughout our country, I have a powerful conviction that, deep down, we know we have the solutions to our own confusion. Answers seem to be on the tips of our tongues, like a memory that has just slipped our mind. The answers we seek are already embedded in our spiritual wiring; we are merely fumbling in the dark for the switch to turn the lights on.
Amidst the darkness of the evening news, the never-ending war on terror, the decline of the middle class, the tidal wave of national debt, and the corruption of our institutions, there is another voice calling out. A voice calling for a rebirth of vision. A vision in which the greatest good for each and all is once again the ideal. It?s a new model of governing without the corruption of special interest and financial favors. A new model of sustainable enterprise that aims for the Greatest Total Value for all. A new model of free education focused on lifelong learning without the crippling costs of bureaucracy. A new model of personal action based on understanding our own unique design and our most noble human desires.
This is all more than a dream. It is The Dream.
The genuine American Dream. Our research of over 12,000 Americans reveals that the exhausted refugees of Boomer World and our meaning-hungry children find themselves longing for the same five things.
We want enduring relationships and families that work.
Love, loyalty and intimacy are our greatest needs because that?s what has been missing. It?s time for a re-commitment to commitment. For us and our children.
We want a lifestyle we both value and enjoy.
We want to live in a safe, attractive place we can afford. We want to do things that feed our soul and engage our emotions. We want community, meaning and sanity. For us and our children.
We want a career that embodies our Dream.
We want real work with real meaning and real rewards. We want to make a meaningful contribution, express our talents and follow our interests. For us and our children.
We want growth.
We want the tools to reinvent ourselves as often as we choose to in this constantly changing world. We want to learn whatever we need in order to excel at our priorities. We want affordable, efficient, stimulating education and access to enriching experiences. We want genuine spiritual growth. For us and our children.
We want real leadership.
We demand truth, not spin or hype. We want leadership of vision, substance and honesty. In our homes, factories, stores, schools, banks and churches?everywhere. For us and our children.
The change levers of the 4th American Revolution. The first four dimensions of Relationships, Lifestyle, Career and Growth are the make-or-break factors in living the life of our dreams. The 5th factor, Leadership, is the X factor.
We are that X factor.
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|March 26, 2007|
|Why Healthcare is Killing Us|
Posted at 09:04 PM by Will Marre
"Seven Democratic candidates for president promised Saturday to
(About half of American bankruptcies are caused by stratospheric medical bills not covered by insurance. That?s right; lots of us have health insurance and still go bankrupt.)
Second, this is absolutely nuts. We live in the only first world country in the world where full time, hard working people have to beg for money to take care of their children?s medical needs. We all see it. Homemade donation canisters for uncovered medical expenses are on store counters in every town in America. Think about it. The only countries where people have to beg for money to be cared for is us and countries run by thieving dictators who don?t care about their citizens. Too strong? You might not think so if you were trying to raise money for your child. Or you
So now, every politician is talking about universal health care. Talk is cheap. What?s outrageous is the cost. Empty promises mean nothing. The solution isn?t schemes to make it illegal not to own health insurance or new programs to cover prescription drugs which will cost presently uncalculated hundreds of billions of ours and our children?s tax dollars a year. Of course access to quality healthcare is essential to 21st century civilization. That?s a given. But it?s the wildly escalating costs of healthcare that must be stopped. The healthcare system is a crazy hodgepodge of old processes, individualistic doctors, inefficient hospitals, financially driven insurance and drug companies, non-sensical regulations, and bewildered, frightened and frustrated patients all competing in a jungle of self-interests. The result is not efficiency and quality predicted by a free market of voluntary exchange but the opposite. We lead the developed world in cost and in death by medical errors. The American Medical Association estimates over 800 people a day die in American hospitals due to avoidable mistakes. That is more than an ?oops.?
We can fix healthcare and create universal access with the right leadership. But if government subsidizing the current system with our tax dollars is the only solution, heaven help us. Because we?ll all be broke and dying sooner than we need to.
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|February 19, 2007|
|Lawmakers, Lobbyists, and Loopholes...Oh My!!!|
Posted at 12:00 PM by ADP ADMIN
Lawmakers, Lobbyists, and Loopholes? Oh my!!!
There was an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune by David D. Kirkpatrick of the New York Times News Service, in regards to the new limits on lobbying. ?The 110th Congress opened with the new rules intended to curb the influence of lobbyists by prohibiting them from treating lawmakers to meals, trips, stadium box seats, or the discounted use of private jets.? But, you guessed it; it didn?t take long for our elected lawmakers to find loopholes in their own policies that allow them to keep the same perks while lobbyists pick up the tab. ?In just the past two months, lawmakers invited lobbyists to help pay for a catalog of outings: lavish birthday parties at $1,000 a lobbyist, hunting and fishing trips at $5,000 a piece, weekend golf tournaments at $2,500 and up, concerts by The Who or Bob Seger at 2 for $2,500,? and the list goes on. So how do the lawmakers keep their very exclusive VIP passes, follow new policies with keeping lobbyists at more of a distance, still allow the lobbyists to pick up the hefty tabs, and keep their consciences clear? Unfortunately, ethics and lawmakers aren?t a combination of words that we see appear very often. It?s all very simple, you see? ?Instead of lobbyists picking up the tabs directly, lobbyists pay a political fund raising committee and, in turn, the committee pays the lawmaker?s way.? ?By barring lobbyists from mingling with lawmakers or his staff for the cost of a steak dinner, the restrictions have stirred new demand for pricier tickets to social fundraising events.? Translation? Now only the wealthiest lobbyists have access to the people we elect. The ethics rules restrict personal gifts, but not political contributions. ?Personal use? restrictions apply to lawmakers? re-election campaigns, but not to their political action committees which can spend money on almost anything. Do we want the people running our government to be masters of deception, keeping our eyes and ears focused on words and appearances while waiting for them to pull a white rabbit out of a top-hat? This is corruption in its worst form and we are allowing it to continue. We need to see through the sanctimonious smoke being blown, and break up the loud, lavish party being thrown at the big white house in
(By: Nick Francis, 24)
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