My name is David - thanks for visiting. Over the years I've done a lot of things, from electronics to property management. But the one thing I love to do is help people BECOME something in Life.

I was taught that my life is not just about me; it's about helping others. So yeah, if you want to sell real estate fast and/or make money with it, well - I can do that.

On the other hand, if you want to GO, DO, and BECOME something in this life, you're in the right place! This is our "Human Charter," to GO, DO and Become. It's why this blog exists. So get started!

24 April 2011

About the Birth Certificate

About the Birth Certificate

30 January 2011

UPDATE: I’ve been following the events in the Mid-East.

The ones I really feel for in all these places are the men and women being made patsies of. Few coups in the Middle East are followed by benevolent regimes, as a rule. In the Mid-East, it is about sectarian rule. Your group holds the rope... or you are on the end with the noose. It's pretty much cut and dried that way.

Only in the rarest circumstances is a leader there working for kindness or "unity for all."

In these times, though, I see a somewhat different struggle going on. It used to be one thug-ass tribal boss slugging it out with another. The people, the subjects, were just stuck on the sidelines, trying to stay out of the way. When the shooting stopped, it was back to the same old camel crap for them.

This time, though, there is a cry from the hearts and minds of the people themselves. Something we have a hard time with is that it only occasionally involves us. We haven't orchestrated it, and we aren't controlling it. It is springing up like a flower in the sand.

Yes, a few hard-line sects want to see us burned as infidels. We'd be idiots if we fail to face that threat. But an entirely different faction within Islam wants to Muslims to come into the rest of the world, somehow. And they are doing this on their own.

They see us in the U.S.A., and others in the developed world, sitting around big screen TV’s, in hot tubs, living a good life and they want in. They want a voice and they want to know they can improve themselves, instead of being dominated and making little more than a whimper as they are shot in the streets.

It is proof that the experiment our forefathers started here in America has merit. Sometimes we forget that. Yeah, I reckon we need to help them.


18 January 2011

Yesterday was Martin Luther King day in this country, where we remember the life and achievements of that great civil rights leader. At one point a young lady, a teenager, was asked what she thought of Doctor King and she said she really didn't know who he was or what he did. We sometimes for get that he died in 1968, the victim of a disgruntled assassin. That was 43 years ago. Hard to believe, isn't it?

But how could this young girl NOT know Martin Luther King?

Well, it dawns on me when I reflect that history is only rarely made, accepted or understood by youth. Today's youth don't have any more expectations put on them than to be 'unique', to "hang out" with their friends and pass school *somehow.* We, as a society, simply don't imbue them with a greater sense of duty and purpose. It's no wonder then, that those who sacrificed, fought and died for the rights of others are not held in high esteem. It isn't just MLK, either. Ask a young person if they've heard of people like Frederick Douglas, Mahatma Ghandi or Hubert Humphrey sometime....

Having traveled the globe, widely, I remain convinced that America's singular experiment in the "Rule of the People" is a landmark moment in time.
Given this, and maybe in spite of it, we tend to have a rather centric view of events in this country. We tend to think that the American experience is particularly noteworthy.

Well, we are not perfect; we don't always remember that we didn't get here by magic. Many sacrifices, often of blood and life, were part of our makeup. This is seen in our own civil rights movement, the culmination of two centuries of neglect for the displaced Africans that became a part of our nations people. Robbed of their homes and dignity, they were brought here unwillingly to serve the economic needs of a nation - then left to languish as second class citizens.

But, Alan Keyes, one of my favorite political activists said it best... "We may have gotten here on different ships - but were ALL rowing the same boat, now."

My point is that the history of human rights and, specifically, that of self-sacrifice for those down trodden, wasn't written in this country alone. There have been many great and wondrous things done to succor those in need - all over the world, in all times....
But in all cases, those offering the aid were giving themselves over to a greater power. They forgot themselves so as to aid their fellow man.

So I am left to wonder if we are teaching the next generation that such sacrifice is the greatest form of heroism? It isn't that Dr. King was black; some will make that assumption. It is that he died caring about a nation and it's people - that they might come together, at last, to form a greater whole. He, in fact died, focused upon that.

So, are we impressing THAT upon today's youth? Are we telling them that their highest purpose is not to live for themselves, nor to pile up riches or appear in the newest viral YouTube video? But, rather, that it is to GO and DO something worthwhile, to ACT in ways that make a difference for the betterment of all?

"I am of mixed heritage and so is my husband. But I love the fact that I am of one race, the human race.
" - Lynn Higgenbotham Beasley

19 December 2010

Poinsettia, A Floral Nice Guy. Mistletoe - Not So.

Todays update is another trek down the path of things we assume, but may not really know about. I threw this together, when I did a little reading about that Holiday plant we all know and love, the Poinsettia...

The story goes like this: The perennial holiday favorite, the poinsettia, is a deadly plant fit only to look at. One bite of its lovely leaf and the unlucky eater of it will succumb to a hideous, excruciating death.
Well... something like that.

70 percent of people polled were certain the poinsettia is poisonous, anyway. But, as it turns out, this is just another urban myth.

The Poinsettia, [i](Euphorbia pulcherrima[/i]), is a species of flowering plant indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It's name is derived from one Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico. The good minister introduced the plant into the US in 1828, where it was hitherto unknown. It's connection to Christmas comes from a 16th Century Mexican tradition; in Mexico it is called "Noche Buena," the Christmas Eve Plant.

But the tale of it's lethality started back in the early 20th century when the young child of a U.S. Army officer was thought to have died from eating a
poinsettia leaf -- a story which was later retracted. But, as these things have a habit of doing, the toxic nature of the poinsettia took on a life of its own.
After all, who needs the truth when a good story is to be had?

But you urban pundits take note: According to the American Medical Association, ingesting poinsettia produces little to no ill effect. It may be mildly irritating to the skin or stomach and may sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting if eaten. But you can say that about most of the plants and bushes in your own front yard.

Many other experts take sides with the plant, too.

- An American Journal of Emergency Medicine study of 22,793 cases showed no fatalities, and furthermore that a strong majority of poinsettia exposures are accidental, involve children, and usually do not result in any type of medical treatment at all.
- POISINDEX, a major source for poison control data, says a 50 lb child would have to eat 500 bracts (leaves) to have any kind of reaction at all.
- The Society of American Florists has also weighed in. They worked with Ohio State University to thoroughly test all parts of the poinsettia and concluded there are no adverse effects, even in large doses.
- In 1975, the United States Consumer Product's Safety Commission denied the requirement for warning labels for poinsettia plants.

As for your pets, the American Veterinary Medicine Association of America does not include poinsettias on its list of plants that are a threat to animals. The ASPCA likewise states that ingestion of poinsettias may cause mild gastrointestinal tract irritation, including drooling, vomiting, and/or diarrhea -- but nothing severe or fatal.

Mistletoe, another holiday favorite, is not so innocent. Mistletoe can do more than inspire the lovelorn to smooch beneath it. This parasitic plant, found in hardwood trees, can cause gastrointestinal distress, a slowed heartbeat, and other reactions if ingested. It's primary chemical constituents are known as 'viscotoxins' and although not thought to be generally fatal, it can cause severe reactions in humans.

In pets, mistletoe may cause gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular collapse, dyspnea, bradycardia, erratic behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure. Yikes!

So the Poinsettia gets a bum rap... who knew? Because it is in the spurge family of plants, those sensitive to latex may suffer an allergic reaction to it. But overall, the old standby holiday decoration is pretty benign and can be enjoyed without much worry. So, make sure the mistletoe stays tightly fastened above your door, but fear the poinsettia no more.

17 December 2010

Niagra Falls Teaches A Lesson?

I was looking at some pics of Niagara Falls yesterday, from back when it was dammed in 1969. To be precise, the overflow that leads to the American side falls has a very narrow inlet, spanning only a few hundred yards. It was blocked up back in '69 to assess its condition and allow for work to be done along the banks.

It turns out that this part of the falls is actually a small side flow of the greater Niagara River. Its shallow and more of an overflow eddy alongside the more familiar Canadian falls. And in fact there are THREE falls... Bridal Veil, Horseshoe (Canadian) and American.

We normally see the image of rushing water flowing over the Canadian falls, a small boat full of intrepid tourists at it's feet and boom! - that is what we think of. But Niagara Falls is far more than this. It is actually a tight bend, a diversion, in the course of a river flowing NORTH (did you know that?), with side flows, rapids, eddys and whirlpools.

Below the falls is a huge mass of rocks and boulders, normally hidden by the cascading water. These have been deposited by eons of erosion, completely hidden from view. So, not only are there things we normally don't see above the surface, there is something grand happening beneath the water, too. Finally, it is all located smack dab in the middle of a built up, urban landscape. It isn't far removed from civilization at all. In other words, it is far more than our popular image leads us to believe.

Anybody familiar with this place probably knows all this, but Ive never been there.
So when I learned all this, I wondered: How many things have I taken for granted with only a small bit of information to go on?
I mean, here is one of the greatest wonders of the natural world and I know so little about it that I have mostly a wrong impression of it.

Worse yet, how many people, friends, cultural notions and a million other things am I not getting the whole picture on? It just boggles the mind.