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Wild West show at Annie Oakley Festival to feature local performers

In Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, history, Holiday, National News, Sports News, Uncategorized on July 16, 2018 at 7:19 am

 

Greenville, OH – Jamestown whip artist Gery L. Deer and Xenia thrown weapons expert, Kirk Bass, will lead a full troupe of whip artists, trick ropers, knife throwers and other Wild West arts experts during the 2018 American Western Arts Showcase during Annie Oakley Festival, July 27 and 28, at the Darke County Fairground in Greenville, Ohio. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented in the spirit of the stage-style Wild West shows of the late 19th Century, each production will include some detailed history about how these arts came to be and who still practices them today. In addition to performing, Gery Deer is also the show’s producer and chief backer.

“This is a one-of-a-kind show in this region,” Deer says. “We have some of the best Wild West arts entertainment anywhere in the Midwest with real practitioners of each skill,” says Deer, who started the event in Jamestown, Ohio, in 2002. “These are talented performers with genuine ability, no fakery, no tricks. Everything you see in our show is real and all of our shows are in 3-D and high definition!”

Champion knife thrower Kirk Bass, of Xenia, Ohio, is co-producer of the event. He and his daring wife Melodee are among the performers to take the open-air stage for two shows on Saturday, July 28 beginning at 1 p.m. with a series of western arts perform the suspenseful Bass Blades impalement show, and much more.

Whip marksmanship competitions headline the afternoon show beginning with the National Whip Speed and Accuracy Exhibition Competition, the world’s only Bullwhip Fast Draw contest. Plus, there is a brand new contest taken straight from the big screen.

AOF_3_GLD

In 1981, a fedora-wearing, leather-clad archaeologist threw the crack heard round the world when he “whipped” a pistol from the hand of a jungle guide. At the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana Jones demonstrated his skills with the holstered fast-draw of a 10-foot bullwhip, all while having to spin around to take aim first.

In the spirit of Dr. Jones’ proficiency, this year’s Showcase competition will include a special “blind fast draw,” where whip artists must mimic the move used in the film to turn, draw their holstered whip and shoot at a target with speed and accuracy.

“With the popularity of Indiana Jones among western performers, particularly whip artists, it’s odd this hasn’t been done before,” says Deer, who holds multiple, national whip speed and accuracy titles and is the director of The Whip Artistry Studio, the only permanent whip training facility in America. Contests begin at 1 p.m., followed immediately by a matinee performance at 2:30.

At 5:00p.m., visitors to the festival will see the Grand Western Showcase hosted by AOF_5_GLDthe music and comedy of Greene County’s own, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show. “We pull out all the stops on Saturday evening,” says Deer. “The Brothers & Co. Variety Show is an Americana-styled musical variety show from a by-gone era, full of comedy, magic, and some of the best four-part music on stage today. There will be nothing else like this anywhere at the festival!”

The event is sponsored by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, and the Annie Oakley Festival Committee. All performances are family friendly and presented on the grounds of the Annie Oakley Festival. For links to the festival and sneak previews of the performers plus more information go online to ohiowesternarts.org.

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EF Hutton To Host Internet User Rights Conference, June 25

In Business, finances, Local News, National News, Politics, sociology, Technology, Uncategorized on June 20, 2018 at 8:45 am

EF Hutton, Inc., headquartered in Springfield, Ohio, has announced open registration for the first in an ongoing series of professional conferences focused on a broad spectrum of national issues. The “EF Hutton Talks Conference Series” inaugural event will cover issues surrounding the rights of users in social networking. Slated for June 25, 2018, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the primary site will be at the Courtyard by Marriott, in Springfield, Ohio, with simultaneous satellite locations to be announced.

Featured speaker for the EF Hutton Talks Conference will be Martin Luther King III, son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

The fallout from the Facebook – Cambridge Analytics data breach left even Congress scratching their collective heads about how to better regulate the industry to protect users. Additionally, massive social networking companies are capitalizing on user data and providing nothing in return. This conference will address the issues of data privacy, individual user compensation and more.

The “EF Hutton Talks Conference Series” is designed to shed a national spotlight on specific issues in a wide range of topics affecting Americans. The overall goal is to bring together thought leaders and business executives from industries like social networking, data security and personal finance to define and discuss problems and potential solutions to issues like user rights, privacy, the U.S. savings crisis, and more. Each conference will address topics through panel discussions, keynote speakers and breakout sessions

The featured speaker will be the son of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., human rights activist, Martin Luther King III. Mr. King will be speaking on the value of the individual in a world where consumers are used for their digital information, go uncompensated and left vulnerable. Other presenters for the event include the following:

Sara H. Jodka, CIPP-US / Of Counsel at Dickinson Wright. Jodka is an attorney whose areas of practice include data privacy and cybersecurity issues, including preparing for and remedying data breaches; and litigation risks.

Dr. Vanessa Enoch, Public Policy expert, a business development and policy consultant/ business owner, and a trained community organizer, who is passionate about Social Justice and Human Rights causes.  Dr. Enoch is also the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 8th District.

Other presenters include Springfield City Commissioner, Ms. Joyce Chilton, and Atlanta attorney Theodore F. Claypoole, and EF Hutton CEO, Christopher Daniels. In addition to individual presentations, some presenters will participate in a roundtable discussion covering several issues related to the user rights topic. Other speakers to be announced.

“As an industry, we have a responsibility to the public to address issues of Internet user rights, not because we are compelled to do so by congressional subpoena, but because it’s the right thing to do,” said Gery Deer, EF Hutton Vice President of Communications and Public Relations. “This conference series is designed to help educate people about how they are being taken advantage of by starting a national dialogue to explore ways to help defend the rights of all internet users.”

Premier Sponsors for the event are EF Hutton, and HUTN, Inc., with other considerations provided by Megga, Inc. Registration is free but seating is limited. To register and for full details including a complete schedule of the sessions in this exclusive conference, visit conference.efhutton.com.

July 4th Proclaimed “National User Freedom Day,” $1 Million Prize

In Business, Economy, finances, Local News, Media, National News, News Media, Technology, Uncategorized on May 2, 2018 at 9:36 am

50+ Million Users Can Gain from Social Capital – Registration is Free

User Revolution led by meggalife.com, the Social Network that Pays Users.

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, May 1, 2018 – Independence Day will have even more meaning this July 4th as Megga, Inc. declares it “National User Freedom Day” and offers users the opportunity to win $1 million. All you have to do is register on the social network and invite your friends to join you.

DECLARATION OF USER INDEPENDENCE

The user with the most friends on Meggalife.com by midnight on July 3rd will win the prize or a share of it should there be a tie.  The winner will be announced at 5 p.m. on July 4, 2018. The contest is open to everyone and the prize will be awarded on August first or when meggalife.com has over 1 million users earning points. Click here for full details.

With meggalife.com, everyone is already a winner because 100% of its net advertising revenue is transferred to an independent trust which is later distributed to all participating users. The cash amount you eventually receive is based on the number of meggapoints a user accumulates relative to the aggregate points of all other users. You can redeem when you have 20 million meggapoints.

Megga, Inc., has arranged to provide a Solo 401k account to hold the meggapoints and the resulting cash and offers 4 plans to choose from. Active users that start early can gain tens of thousands from using the meggalife.com apps and online tools, even as much as $75,000.

HOW MUCH COULD YOU EARN? CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR POINT CALCULATOR

 Social Networks for People, Not Profit.

We know that people are angry that social media has been hijacked by big corporations who misuse their personal data and compromise privacy. It’s time to take back control of your social networking. Go to meggalife.com right now and register, it’s free and it takes only a few minutes.  Meggalife.com is a public Beta-test version now and it is being enhanced every day with more functions and apps.

We’re not asking that users make any life-long commitment, you don’t even have to delete your current social media accounts.  Just register with meggalife.com, try out the apps and invite your friends to as well.  Users have nothing to lose and a lot to gain, including a possible $1 million prize! See the website for full details. Plus, we want your input! We’re in Beta so you might even suggest ways we can improve.  And remember, we don’t allow third-party access to user data, so your privacy is secured.

Social Capital by Users, For Users

Half of all Americans have less than $5,000 in savings. Are you one of them, or do you know someone who is? Imagine the benefit to Americans if the billions of dollars collected by social media companies went to users instead of owners and shareholders. Together, we can support a solution to this savings crisis.

Sign up now on meggalife.com and encourage friends and family to join you. By registering you’re helping to fund the Trust and to help others, even if the points or the funding don’t matter to you because you’re already financially secure. To make this work we need everyone across the country to sign up.  The Trust is funded by advertising and advertisers are attracted by large groups.  So we really have to work together as a community and as a country to create benefits for all.

42% of people say they want a social network to pay them. 

Click here to see the survey sponsored by the Washington Post.

Yale and Chicago professor and researchers advocate the meggalife.com model of enabling users to monetize their data and gain value from the social internet as described in the article published by the Wall Street Journal, click here for a link to the article.

Invest in Positive Change

Users who want to support the Megga, Inc., mission of creating social capital from the social internet can purchase stock in our parent company, trading under the symbol HUTN. Accredited investors are invited to contact the company to discuss a direct purchase.

About Megga

Meggalife is an online platform that benefits users and protects their data privacy. The platform includes social networks, internet search, Apps and communications services and more.  It is offered by Megga, Inc., a subsidiary of HUTN Inc. Meggalife has been under development for two years and was funded by EF Hutton, an affiliated leader in digital finance and investment services. For more information, visit http://www.meggalife.com.

Plastic and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In Economy, Environment, Health, history, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, Science on April 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

Did you know that somewhere in the Pacific Ocean there is a gigantic patch of garbage that’s been growing for decades? According to a three-year study reported in Scientific Reports this month, it has grown to approximately 1.6 million square kilometers, 16 times larger than previous estimates. To put that in more familiar terms, it’s more than twice the size of the State of Texas.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Photo courtesy http://www.critfc.org/

Scientists used a variety of methods to measure the patch including aircraft outfitted with special sensors, crisscrossing more than 300 square kilometers of the ocean’s surface. Surveys estimate that half of the so-called, “Trash Isle” is made up of discarded, or “ghost,” fishing nets. About 20% of it is debris from the Japan tsunami of 2011, and the bulk of the trash is made up of large, plastic objects.

That’s a lot of garbage. For most people, it’s an incomprehensible scale and it’s just floating around out there. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been on the radar of scientists and environmentalists since the 1970s.

Plastic is one of the lightest and most versatile manufacturing materials ever created. To say that it’s durable could be an understatement. But, while that can be an advantage when considering consumer products, it’s a detriment once the product is discarded.

For example, in the ocean, it can take more than two decades for a plastic shopping bag to decompose. Those disposable plastic water bottles everyone carries around are estimated to take 450 years to degrade, and the fishing line could be out there for more than six centuries. It could actually take a lot longer. The fact is, there is no way to know for certain. Click to watch the NBC News story.

What is certain, however, is that the world’s tenants need to do something to reduce the amount of plastic dumped into Earth’s oceans and slow the growth of these trash isles. Otherwise, they’re just going to keep getting bigger.

Managing the trash not only helps to protect the environment and marine life but the economy of regions affected by its presence. Fishing is more hazardous in these areas and tourism can be dramatically affected – who wants to go to a beach where this junk is regularly washing ashore? For some areas in the Pacific, tourism accounts for the bulk of their income.

While politicians, diplomats, and environmentalists debate toward no useful resolution, there are things that individuals can do to help reduce the problem. Plastic straws, grocery bags, and one-use water bottles are reportedly some of the items most frequently tossed in the garbage can.

Recycle plastic products whenever possible. Instead of dropping a water bottle in the trash, use recycling receptacles marked for plastic and other consumer packaging.

First, water bottles. Nothing’s worse than a flat of those thin, flimsy discount store water bottles. So, why use them? If every person in every gym in America chose a reusable water bottle instead of a throw-away, just one time, there would be thousands less plastic bottles in the landfills and tossed into the ocean.

Reusable water bottles are inexpensive, as little as $2.00, and can last for years. Hint – go with a metal bottle instead of plastic but avoid ceramic-lined thermal bottles for daily hydration. They’re heavy and break easily if dropped.

Next, when a store offers the option between paper and plastic shopping bags, choose paper. If plastic is preferred, keep them and reuse them as many times as possible. Try to avoid using them as trash bags, however, because they can slow the decomposition of their contents.

A better option is reusable cloth or nylon shopping bags. It might take some planning to get into the habit of reusing them, but they are much stronger than their plastic counterparts and they’re washable.

Lastly, drinking straws. Strange as it may sound, some cities in America are banning the use of plastic straws; Malibu, Seattle, Fort Myers, and Miami Beach, to name a few. Paper straws are inexpensive and decompose easily. One downside, most don’t bend, so if that’s a required feature, reusable silicone straws might be a better option.

None of these will totally solve the plastic waste problem. But it can certainly make a difference if everyone does his or her part.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at deerinheadlines.com.

 Innovative Social Network Pays Ad Revenue to Users and Protects Their Data

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, National News, News Media, Technology, Uncategorized on April 3, 2018 at 8:47 am

FACEBOOK ALTERNATIVE DOES NOT ALLOW THIRD-PARTY ACCESS TO USER DATA, HELPS USERS SAVE MONEY

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, April 2, 2018  – Megga, Inc., a unit of HUTN, Inc. (OTC: HUTN), announced today the launch of meggalifeTM, a digital platform of social media applications and online tools that transfers 100% of net advertising revenue to its users.  Meggalife pays users for activities they already do online while helping to solve America’s long-term savings problem.

The U.S. savings rate is ranked just 136th in the world and without improvement, Americans face a dire future. Realistically, it is hard for most working people to build up long-term savings and retirement funds but by using meggalife’s online applications, which aim to provide comparable functionality to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Search, users accrue points called, “meggapoints.”

Watch the Meggalife (tm) commercial from EF Hutton

Just by online activity, meggapoints accumulate over time and are convertible into a cash distribution through an investment savings account. This new model is a private-sector solution to America’s savings and retirement crisis that all parties can embrace, as it enables people to save and accumulate a long-term asset.

Megga, Inc. Spokesperson Katalina Remusat explained, “Our launch coincides with the growing sentiment of consumers frustrated by big internet companies monetizing personal data on top of the billions in advertising revenue they generate from users online activity. Now, Meggalife.com enables users to benefit from their online activity, accumulating meggapoints, which will help provide a more secure financial future.”

Net advertising revenue generated from meggalife digital platform is invested in an independent trust which is ultimately shared with all participating meggalife users. The cash amount a user receives is based upon the number of meggapoints a user accumulates relative to the aggregate points of all other users.

Users also have a say in how funds are invested.  The trust invests funds based on the preferences of the investment club members – essentially crowdsourcing the portfolio allocation.  Based on anticipated user growth, HUTN expects the Trust to grow into the billions and EF Hutton, HUTN’s investment firm subsidiary, is the advisor to the trust.

To participate and have input on the allocation of funds, users need to join Beanstalk Club, a free investment club.  Then all you need is an investment account to start collecting points. Every user is treated as the owner of their own business and generating value from their online activity.

“One way to think of it is this – imagine getting paid to mow your own lawn – it would be like free money because you’re going to mow it anyway,” Remusat continued.  “In this case, you’re going to go online to use social networks and online services anyway – you may as well get paid for it.”  It is, essentially, a form of crowdfunding where everyone gets paid. There is a catch, however.

Meggalife needs to have a large number of registered users to attract major advertisers.  Given the value it provides users, company officials expect millions of registered during the first year based on partnerships and affiliate programs underway.

“It’s a compelling value proposition,” said Remusat.  “Registration is free and crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe have already proven that everyone wants free money.  We are also confident that advertisers will prefer this platform due to its patriotic mission to enhance the financial security of all Americans and that users will favor our advertisers.”

“Meggalife is a user revolution,” said Chris Daniels, president of Megga Inc. “Users increasingly recognize that their data, time and online activity have significant value, and yet they’re not receiving a dime for their efforts.  Social media applications and online tools generate hundreds of billions annually in advertising revenue and users should expect to receive their fair share.”

Users do not want to give up social networking, they just want a network that benefits them and cares about their needs and online security. Meggalife boldly challenges the current models with a user-centric option, leading an online rebellion and the next iteration of online activity – Web 3.0.  Meggalife’s value is compelling because users can immediately begin accumulating assets with just a few hours per week of online activity.

Meggalife’s initial offering includes social networking, email, search, news and entertainment services.  More than a dozen additional applications are already in development and scheduled for release in the near future, including mobile phone services, music and file sharing, communications, dating and employment tools.  Users can register for free at www.meggalife.com.

As a user-focused platform, meggalife.com takes user interests and concerns to heart and does not allow any third-party direct access to its user data and user accounts. Furthermore, meggalife.com is also combatting the problem of “fake news” by avoiding news filters that other social networks impose on users.  In contrast, meggalife.com allows users to customize their news feed.  See the website for full details on the point system and funds distribution.

In addition to individual savings opportunities, schools, bloggers and other groups have opportunities to earn money just by helping to grow the meggalife user base. A series of challenges have been set up that offer monetary and point rewards based on the number of users added as a result of the organization’s efforts. Currently, there are challenges for colleges, high schools, bloggers, and organizations of faith, non-profits and even families. The desktop version of meggalife is launching in Beta now with mobile apps soon to follow.

About Megga
Meggalife is an online platform that benefits users and protects their data privacy.  It is offered by Megga, Inc., a subsidiary of HUTN Inc. Meggalife has been under development for two years and funded by EF Hutton, an affiliate and leader in digital finance and investment services. For a more information, visit www.meggalife.com.

 

 

Remote work builds community, grows revenue

In Business, Economy, Education, finances, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on February 26, 2018 at 10:22 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

As an entrepreneur, I have founded and grown three businesses over the last two decades. Each of them was started from my home office and eventually moved to another building, but still on my home properly.

When I first became an independent professional and started my own company, there was a stigma attached to “working from home.” For some reason, what we now refer to as remote workers were seen as less professional than our cubicle-bound counterparts.

Today, remote work, whether it’s from home or your favorite café, is becoming more common and better accepted by the business world. Remote workers are found in a variety of industries from journalism and finance to business coaching to insurance.

For all of that, however, there are essentially just two categories of remote worker. The first type, we used to call “telecommuters,” or people who are employed by a company which allows them to work from home or other off-site location.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 43 percent of all American employees work remotely at least some of the time. The survey found that workers who spent up to 80 percent of time outside the office had the highest rates of engagement. They were more productive and reported greater job satisfaction.

The remote work support informational website, Remote.com, noted also that remote workers exhibit lower stress and better morale. It also noted a lower rate of absenteeism.

The second type of remote worker is the independent professional, or what most people would commonly refer to as a freelancer. Many freelancers, like myself and other writers or consultants, are almost totally nomadic, needing only a computer and a Wi-Fi connection to be productive.

In the past, most “freelancers” were expected to be writers, photographers, artists, and the like. But today, independent, remote workers come from a variety of market sectors. Coding, for example, is more commonly a remote job. Coders develop websites, create apps, and work in areas like cybersecurity.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of remote work, either to a corporate employer or a freelancer, is significantly reduced overhead. For a freelancer, setting up an office could be impractical, operationally and financially. Large companies with off-site staff can save millions of dollars a year in real estate, utilities, and other overhead costs.

Another benefit to working outside the corporate maze is potential interaction with a larger business community and the collaboration that can result from those connections. Many independents and corporate remotes are getting together at co-working meetup events, giving them the opportunity to network and collaborate.

As much social as it is professional, the experience allows those workers who might spend a great deal of the time working alone to build a community. Plus, there are also opportunities for a more formalized co-working environment.

Co-share workspaces have cropped up around the country offering remote workers a member-based workspace and the chance to exchange ideas and projects with others. These spaces charge memberships that come with various amenities that could be as little as a desk space or multi-employee workspaces, with many different types of independent professional under one roof.

If you’re a business owner with jobs to fill that don’t necessarily require the employee to be on-site all the time, consider hiring a remote worker. Remote and independent professionals are the ideal self-starter, typically efficient time managers, and are less likely to contribute to high turnover.

You won’t be sorry, and it’s the future of work. Embracing it now and developing policies and procedures will put your business light-years ahead of everyone else. Flexibility can greatly encourage productivity and increase profits.

For remote professionals looking for a co-working community, just visit Meetup.com and search on “Dayton co-working.” Most of the activities are free of charge, except for whatever refreshments you might purchase on your own. Or visit deerinheadlines.com for some links to local co-working activities scheduled throughout the area.

 

REMOTE WORK RESOURCES:

Co-Working Meetup / Yellow Springs: https://www.meetup.com/Creative-Pros-Collaborative/

Job Postings: https://weworkremotely.com/

Working Remotely (Twitter): https://twitter.com/workingrem

Resources for Full-Time Freelancers: https://www.themuse.com/advice/every-resource-a-fulltime-freelancer-could-ever-need-plus-some

Business Consulting / Coaching for Remote Workers & Freelancers: http://www.gldenterprises.net

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at gerydeer.com

The needs of the many

In Charities, Education, history, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, Uncategorized on December 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

There is a quote from the Star Trek science fiction franchise that has been repeated often throughout the various television series and movies, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” The phrase was first spoken by Leonard Nimoy’s character of Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as he tries to reassure his Admiral Kirk about a command decision.

It might be a fictional source, but the sentiment carries a great deal of merit, especially in today’s self-gratification-focused society. The concept is based on a logical determination wherein decisions are made to favor the needs over those of a large population of just a few individuals or even a single person.

Much of the time decisions are made from a very personal, emotional point of view. And there are people out there who simply live in their own little reality, completely oblivious to how their own behavior affects others, so logical thinking just isn’t within their comprehension. But there are three areas where people can make a difference in affecting the lives of far more than themselves and the few who might immediately benefit from a single decision.

First, the needs of the many should be the primary concern of government officials – always. At the state and federal levels, members of legislature seem far less concerned with helping their whole citizen constituency but rather filling their own coffers and lining the pockets of their big donors.

The local level seems to be more about ego, people who want to have their name on everything and be the big fish in the small pond. If those who are sent to represent “the people” would actually do that for a change, the country would be in a far better state.

In business, the idea is to make a buck and show a profit, and those aren’t bad things because they mean jobs and a growing economy. But when business benefits from bad practice, like unregulated pollution or any other activity that could cause harm either physically or economically to an outside population.

Commerce can be community-minded and still make money, the two needn’t be mutually exclusive. Everyone will benefit when a business focuses on the needs of the many, instead of the needs of the stockholder or management chasing the next bonus, whatever the cost.

Individually, each person can make a difference by just taking a moment to consider the consequences of every decision. When people consider the larger picture and understand how their choices affect those around them, the outcome can be far more appealing to everyone affected.

The first thing that comes to mind is intoxicated or distracted driving. Waiting to send that next text or check Twitter, calling a cab or Uber after a particularly “loaded” holiday bash could literally save lives.

What hasn’t been revealed here is that, at some point, the needs of the few, or the one, outweigh the needs of the many. Not because of logic, but because we are human, and we make illogical, emotional decisions and sometimes that’s a good thing.

As a family caregiver for a special needs child or an elderly parent, for example, you might need to adjust your day-to-day activity to accommodate your charge. One person, who requires that the world adjusts to them sometimes. And no one is perfect. But, most people will put the needs of that individual first, weighing how everyday decisions affect everyone involved.

Sadly, it is impossible to change some people and altering the “me” mindset of a culture could very well take generations. Plus, there will always be power-hungry politicians, self-absorbed celebrities, and that one neighbor who continually throws her dog droppings over the fence into the next yard.

In the end, the problem is all about people; illogical, unpredictable, impulsive, self-driven people. It would be great, though, if we, as a society, could start thinking in a more logical manner, something incredibly unlikely given the current state of entitlement and gluttony that has overrun America. Maybe with a little effort on the part of each individual, everyone might eventually, Live Long, and Prosper. See what I did there?

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at gldenterprises.net.

In Entertainment, history, National News, News Media, Opinion, Politics, Religion, sociology on November 20, 2017 at 9:10 am

Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks was just honored with the National Archives Foundation Records of Achievement award. During the presentation event, he commented on the current state of American politics.

“People are upset about what’s going on today. They’re furious, they’re frustrated, they’re worked up,” Hanks said. “If you’re concerned about what’s going on today, read history and figure out what to do because it’s all right there,” Hanks spoke with hope for our country’s future and noted that what is needed today is dialogue, not destruction.

It’s unlikely anyone to the right will ever listen to a “Hollywood” type, but what Hanks said is absolutely accurate. The solutions to today’s problems may very well be found in the conflicts of the past. Often, history simply repeats itself in a different time and location. Every situation that has every arisen throughout human history has one common denominator – people.

Most social, religious and political conflicts in America are caused by a lack of knowledge, an ignorance that is either innate or self-imposed. Without an understanding of the person standing next to you, his trials and tribulations, his background and motivation, it is impossible to identify with him and that leads to conflict.

Taking the time to compare today’s issues with similar situations in the past might help better manage current conflicts and find possible solutions because we know how they were finally resolved. Obviously, we should be investigating any negative outcomes, like war or civil unrest, to see how they can be avoided.

How many times do people say, “Wow, if I’d only known then what I know now?” An insight apparently lacking in President Donald Trump’s character. If he would look backward he’d learn that there were several other presidents that faced the same kinds of situations and resistance. Herbert Hoover, for example, was, like Trump, a terrible communicator.

A closeup of the word HISTORY engraved on a war memorial.

President on the eve of the Great Depression, Hoover was seen by many as mean and uncaring as the economy collapsed because of his rigid adherence to conservative principals. While he made efforts to lower taxes and create public works projects that would help with jobs, he refused any sort of outright relief programs.

As a result, the economy sank even deeper into depression and the shanty towns where people were forced to live after losing everything were nicknamed Hoovervilles, in his “honor.” Hoover is largely regarded, though often not by his conservative disciples, as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. And Trump is on the road to the same end if he doesn’t learn from the past. Then again, it doesn’t seem like anyone who leans to the right these days is interested in facts unless they directly refute a democrat.

Trying to enact policy just because it defies the opposition seems to be how politics on both sides of the aisle runs today. At this point, no one at the legislative level cares about those of us down here in the real world, this kind of historical ignorance is simply ego and one-upsmanship.

You hear it every day in the news media. Some politician on the left will say something and everyone on the right refutes it, just because it came from the other side.

Imagine this exchange one sunny afternoon on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. “The sky is blue,” declares a Republican senator one day, stating a fact – something kind of new to him. While across the aisle, his Democrat opponent pops up from her seat and defiantly exclaims, “That’s a lie! It’s green!”

And it continues indefinitely, back and forth, with charts, graphs, testimony from non-blue-sky believers, and on and on. But neither will ever back down because to do so is weak, and the ego must remain intact, regardless of how idiotic they sound. Just resisting any other ideas but your party line is not only ignorant but potentially destructive.

The point is that we could solve a great many problems in modern politics if we just consider how history shows we dealt with some of the same kinds of people and issues. As poet and philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at gerydeer.com.

Sexual assault is a societal problem.

In Crime, Entertainment, Health, National News, Opinion, psychology, Religion, sociology, Uncategorized on November 6, 2017 at 8:29 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

The continued exposure of alleged sexual assault and mistreatment of women within the entertainment industry have shaken some pillars of the Hollywood elite. But exactly what good will come from the heightened media attention? More to the point, since nothing about this problem seems much of a secret, why aren’t we addressing this issue in other industries with as much vigor?

A couple of weeks ago I was involved in a discussion about the idea that Hollywood’s misogynistic, casting-couch culture will likely never change. In case you’re not aware, the term “casting couch” refers to the practice whereby actors or actresses are awarded a part in a production in return for granting sexual favors to whoever is in charge. That could be a producer, casting director, agent, whatever the situation.

Harvey Weinstein has become the poster boy for Hollywood’s misogynistic culture. But he is certainly not alone.
(Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images courtesy Variety)

Because the entertainment industry is, even now, dominated by men, this despicable practice has largely been perpetrated on women. These men promise stardom, fame, and prey on lifelong dreams for a few minutes of repugnant self-gratification.

Cultural change within an organization, or an industry, is not so much different from that of a society. There is a status quo that has developed over time, fueled largely by the ambitions of people hoping to succeed and by those already at the top who abuse their power for nefarious gain.

It’s a struggle between the powerless, trying to achieve some level of status, and the powerful, who already have it and may not have achieved it solely on merit, but by largely more devious means. As the floodgates of these allegations began to break down, more women – and men – came forward.

Although this issue should be about decency and civil rights, it has, of course, also turned political. Many of the women coming forward have been labeled publicity hounds and opportunists, primarily by conservative media. While there is certainly some measure of that going on, who can say what is real and what is unscrupulous? Only by investigating each situation can the truth come out and to not do so would be an incredible injustice.

Additionally, the entertainment industry is certainly not the only one where this kind of atmosphere is prominent. Every business has its unspoken norms, with the same stigmas attached to coming forward.

Mistreatment of women is a society-wide problem, with no isolated industry or socioeconomic group. And, while these issues tend to involve women being the subject of the abuse or misconduct, it can happen between anyone in a position of power and a subordinate or a person who feels they are required to accept such behavior because of their status. Unfortunately, we may never know the broad-reaching effects of this issue, especially when so much goes unreported or unprosecuted.

Very few of the well-documented cases within the Catholic church over the years have seen justice. It’s sickening to think that the church has so much power as to avoid the prosecution of potentially hundreds of priests who have spent years sexually abusing young boys. You’d think that the faithful would want to end abuse of any kind, but religion often plays a major role in perpetuating the oppression of women.

Many faiths persist in the subjugation of women to lower status than men, keeping them in positions of service. Young girls are taught to be fruitful and multiply and have as many children as possible to increase the congregation to better serve their god. It is one of the prime duties under the doctrine of their beliefs.

This is a disgusting level of abuse that no one seems to even want to discuss, let alone change. And, because this speaks directly to ignorance and misogyny so prevalent within the Bible-belt following of the conservative right, nothing will be done while they are in power.

Sexual assault and harassment are known and accepted practices in virtually every industry throughout the country. From entertainment to sports and government to big business, the exploitation and mistreatment of women (or others in a subordinate position) is a national, social problem. Society, as a whole, must work to end the stigma surrounding this issue and provide support and justice for those who come forward.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at deerinheadlines.com

 

 

Avoid Election Misdirection

In Education, history, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on October 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

With an election coming up, it’s important to keep focused on what’s going on here at home rather than be distracted by the childish circus that has become Washington. Do you know what local governmental seats are up for grabs or the effect the next school levy might have on you if it fails?

Most of the time, we focus our attention on big stories from national news sources and lose sight of the things that really matter. Sometimes, that’s exactly what the politicians, pundits, and issue-pushers want to happen. Politics might seem, on the surface, about an open debate between candidates or issues, but it’s mostly about misdirection.

In the 2016 presidential election, the Trump camp used misdirection and the divided state of the Democratic base to push their message. While people who could greatly alter the outcome of the election were busy with the chaos on the left, Trump’s people had more opportunity to manipulate the right and win over some middle-of-the-road and undecided voters. The same thing happens on a much smaller scale right in your own backyard.

Most local candidates, regardless of whether they are incumbent, hope that simple name recognition will do the trick. Buying a few local newspaper ads and planting hundreds of signs everywhere can give them just that, not so much recognition but a hope that people can’t remember the names of the others.

Think about it. When you step into a voting booth and there’s a seat open for township trustee (and you barely know what a trustee is, much less any of their names), you’re going to pick the name you remember. In the back of your mind, you’ve seen the signs and ads everywhere of the guy who spent the most at the print shop so you touch the screen on his name and that’s that.

Then there’s some human services levy up for a vote and you have no idea what the fine print says, but it’s for the hospital, or children’s services issue right? What kind of person would you be if you say no to that, so what if you have no idea that it’s going to double your property tax for the next five years? This might seem exaggerated but the point is clear – learn about these candidates and issues before that Tuesday in November.

In this year’s election, the state issue that stands out as most confusing to people seems to be Ohio Issue 2, the drug price standards initiative. Both sides have spent a fortune in print, digital, direct mail, and broadcast advertising trying to sway your vote one way or the other, and it’s only going to increase.

We won’t spend any time on the issue here, but suffice to say that it’s controversial because it involves Medicare drug pricing agreements between the state government and pharma companies. Talk about an unholy alliance. Can you think of any two organizations that have proven to care less about the plight of the average citizen? That’s why it’s so confusing to people.

But, you’re going to have to go look up the exact wording, but take your lawyer with you. Actually, that may not help, because the language of these proposals is made overly complicated for a reason – so you can’t understand them. That’s no accident. The more complex the wording, the more confusing it is to the voter. Mission accomplished.

Remember that the local elections mean far more than the national ones in the grand scheme of things. Pay as close attention as possible to these smaller ballots because the outcomes have a far more immediate effect on your day-to-day life.

Most of these candidates have little or no money to spend on advertising so you may not even see their names until you get to your polling place. You’ll have to do some digging. Your county elections board has all the information you need to get started understanding these issues before it comes time to punch a chad, pull a lever, or tap a screen.

Take the time to know for whom and what you’re voting. It’s up to you to make the best choice for yourself and your community.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at deerinheadlines.com