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Archive for category Helping lead the Country

A fabulous use of technology for a community…

When we were growing up, the ability to “get around” provided the freedom in life. It was transportation. The ability to get around beyond your own feet!

It quickly moved from horse, to wagon and train. In Pasadena, CA Henry Huntington brought us the Pacific Electric streetcar in the 1930’s that revolutionized Southern California.

Our last visit through Dallas airport gave us a chance to ride the SkyLink. It was such a great use of transportation and a way to link a community. I wanted to share photos so you could envision the future with me! Our Universities and educational facilities are the core fabric of America. They are an asset and an economic force.  We need to use them to help our cities and states.  Could a municipality become self sustaining with revenue and resources?  What if the retirement community like a Leisure World was owned within the retirement fund?  Real estate is an excellent long term investment because people do need a place to live! 

Who would invest in those bonds?  Baby boomers come to mind, and a generation of people that grew up with good music and liked fun and toys.  And the generation right behind them too!

It is the modern day version of the village!

The SkyLink at Dallas airport

Moving people around with ease.

Where you have a healthy local economy families thrive.  Small business continues to be the fabric of America, but people need to be able to get around.  Is there another alternative to everyone owning their own car and being all spread out?  The villages of Europe were the original communities, and all the artists worked together to create their economy.

It helped a lot when we added clean water and sewers to society.  Electricity really brought us along too.  We take it all for granted these days, but 60 years ago life wasn’t as automated as it is today.

We wanted a lifestyle that looked like the Jetsons, and the handheld technology we have is just about there!  When you add a SkyLink type technology to your local economy, you create opportunity.

We love the idea of high speed trains, but a great healthy local economy between Orange County California and San Diego , CA could be brilliant.  Monorail service to Palm Springs and back could be a wonderful economy to encourage.  Even all the way to Las Vegas is within reach.  Highway 395 is the Mother Road of California, and a route they favor for the train from North to South in the state.

Retirement communities and recreational playgrounds are the gift that California offers the baby boomer generation.  We may have been part of the 1960’s movement, and we will be part of the 2060 solution too.

Adding the long term vision to our planning process makes the decisions we face today clearer.

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We need to listen to the great mind of Thomas Jefferson.

Wisdom comes with age. Knowledge alone is not enough.
There is a talent to leading and seeing what the future should look like. Understanding what isn’t working, and course correcting. The long range vision is what should lead a country. For me, “Willing to Thrive in 2025!” became my own mantra. I’ll be 65 then, and I can see it already.

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, took three years to revise Virginias legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States .

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation’s size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello .

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams

Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff.

A voice from the past to lead us in the future:
John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

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The 2020 Initiative

It’s easy to see the retirement of the baby boomers in the decade ahead, and how Social Security and Retirement Income all come together in “lifestyle” and then ultimately death.  That’s right.  You won’t get out of life alive.  In the end, there is an end.  And for some, then comes eternity.  An interesting thought for sure.

If you had a Great Park to look at, with a 2050 time horizon, how would you build it out brighter, smarter, more thoughtful to energy and water and even transportation?  Do we have the creative minds to do it?  You bet.  California has been built around engineering, transportation and business.  We do know something about oil, concrete and steel too.  We are bright creative fun people living in delightful weather.  How can we cash that check and help our State come up with better solutions that don’t discourage business and growth with too much regulations and taxation. 

They promised us the Jetsons!  How can we use monorail technology in and around Southern California?  How can we have a system between LA and San Diego, and include Palm Springs and Las Vegas.  We have the airlines, and they should be doing great.  Travel and Lifestyle is always a number one goal for people, after they have security, food and the basics.  Why have we made travel so “not fun?”

In my days in Europe in the 70’s traveling on an American Passport was like having “the gold card.”  Americans had control of their people, and their data base, and they were a good country.  Their currancy was solid, and the Americans were fun, smart and kind.

We could use that Patriot Card again now in our American Passport.  The background check is a formal part of that process.  It’s like applying for FAFSA and getting a PIN number so you can get financial aid for college kids.  You are in the system already. 

Now, do we all agree that beheadings are bad?  What went on in Alcapolco was not good.  Mexico suffers with a new kind of bully.  We have had our own American experience with that kind of behavior, and we agree it is unacceptable.  There actually is a LINE for behavior, and it is always up to debate.  That’s why we have a Constitution, the Amendments, and The Bill of Rights and the Court System.

America has a wonderful INFRASTRUCTURE.  1950 was the year of my parents marriage.  They had 5 kids during the next decade.  We had wonderful Grandparents on both sides with a broad storke of European DNA.  We were the “white” on the forms.  Now we are the EuroAmericans, and you know who we are.

Social Security was designed in the 1930’s to be a safety net for society.  In all honesty, you shouldn’t pull your benefit until age 65 at a time when life expectancy was 62.  It was a pass thru funded system based on taxation of wages.  I have my grandfathers original paperwork from 1937 in my office.  It was like your “insurance policy” with America.

You pay in while you are young, and take back benefits when you are old, or disabled, or you die we have survivor benefits.  They never dreamed we would have so many wives, and children, and live so long!  We should be able to BANK hours of service to charitable causes while we are young, and then be able to draw from that same “charitable bank of hours” as an old person to be able to remain healthy and independent.  Old people need good housing and good communities within which to live.  Not die.  But death is actually part of that whole process, and it can be planned for too.

Are you willing to look back and see where we were in 1900 with the Pacific Electric Trains, the growth of LA and suburbia and the opportunity to find “leasure time at the beach.”  In the 1850’s we were trying to get to CA and survive too!  By the 1950’s my parents were married in a nice back yard ceremony with an opportunity to make a life for themselves.  In 2000 they had arrived at 50 years of marriage looking really good, with their kids in good order, their health holding up and enough money to have a great lifestyle.  They had arrived.

By 2050 they will be gone, but their 5 kids produced 13 grandchildren, and the great grandchild count is nearing 10.  They paid into the system and they left a whole string of others to pay into it too.

When we let the “immigrants” into the Social Security system, we undermined it because their lack of premiums through wages into the system put a huge drag on the system. 

The other mistake we have made is in having Social Security be a pass thru system without actually holding the assets.  If it held the bonds that funded the retirement villages we would live in some day, around a lifestyle that encouraged education, the arts, productivity and recreation, then we would have a society that boomers and others would want to be a part of.  Baby Boomers would buy into a retirement story like that.  Just look at how many people enjoy Mammoth area.  Can we harvest that geothermal energy up there and use it for a retirement community?  How can we be creative and come up with new ideas for our State of California?  Highway 395 is the Motherroad, and the mining story all along there is great history from the 1850’s era. 

Does a municipality really need to always run in the red?  How could a city be profitable, and even own some retirement real estate for the community it represents?  Can we have a layer of local social services that help take care of the “people” before the government steps in?  How can we run our books smarter, and work to be profitable and accumulate assets, with all our education, creativity, technology and systems we already have in place?  We can. 

The 2020 Initiative is simply that.  A “can do” attitude of America.

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Advice from Ben Franklin…

Initially, the infrastructure needs to work.
Lights, sewers, garbage and water all matter first.

Then look at Transportation.
How do people get around?
What can they accomplish during their day?

Where can they relax, enjoy the arts and have a family life? That is your community foundation.
Work that economy locally.
Have integrity in your leaders, work together and check their work. Have a long term vision first, and help create the future.

What do you need to work with? Start with the real estate. Make room for the charity and good of the people to take care of the people.

Have a place for retirement and older Americans. Respect what they know and what they can still give back. Utilize your assets and let them pay for themselves. Keep taxes in check. Let the people have their values and their families.

Your social security system could own the Bonds that fund the Retirement of future generations.  They could help invest in America and reap rewards too, in the future.  We know somethings about creating lifestyle in America.

We don’t mind investing in America.  We just don’t want to throw away our money.  Let us help invest in our communities and help our schools, universities be part of our fabric of America.  Create the monorail around your community to help people get around and lead an active life full of opportunity.  We used to have villages, with feet, horse and wagons.  We moved at 3 to 5 miles an hour.  The world moves faster these days, and the world has gotten smaller!

Use what you have learned in the last 200 years to focus on the future and build the right future.  The foundation is already laid.  Let’s consider it the 2020 Initiative and build the new America!

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It is only the price of One Penny.

Pick up a penny and the American punchline is apparent.
The likeness of Abraham Lincoln and the words “In God We Trust.”

Faith to trust is American. Having the rights of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a beautiful thing. America should be a Nation of bright, creative, kind people. We should try to be “Man Kind.” It comes from within and manifests in others. We take care of our family, our community, our State and our Country.

Here was a story I liked about a wealthy man who knew the value of a penny.

You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I’ve ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the home of her husband’s employer.

My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. Her husband’s employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant one evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband..
He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure.
How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

“Look at it,” he said.. “Read what it says.”
She read the words, ” United States of America .”

“No, not that. Read further.”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

“Yes!”

“And?. . .”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him. Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray. I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!”

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. “Yes, God, I get the message!”

It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient.

Photo (cc) by dawnzy58

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Mom could fix this!

Okay! I just figured out what we need to do to fix this mess we are in. I stand by my advice I gave in October 2008 when I wrote the Teddy Roosevelt article and posted it at http://allamericanmom.org/civics/teddy-roosevelt/ Congress needs to go home, get in touch with their state and come back the middle of January for the New Go World model.  The real solution is found at local levels with Mayors, Communities and local economies.   We hit the top in 2000. America had done a good job building the democracy we desired. People could own land here. The artists and small business people could abound. Families could be built and nurtured. You could be proud of your heritage, and what I like to call your DNA.

It’s important to travel, be exposed to new ideas and things. You can’t legislate integrity. Character and values do matter. Your signature does count for something. When John Hancock took that big stroke, he knew he was taking a risk. He was willing to live and die for his signature, and what that stood for.  So were the rest of those men that signed along with them. But they all had wives, and we helped our mates make this country great. We actually know how to fix it now too.

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