April 28, 2009
Iraq is Gone
Two interesting shorts on Iraq.
From Baghdad to San Jose. Haitham Jasim and his wife, Jamila Ghanm, arrived in San Jose from Iraq in July. This is their story.
The second one is called Iraq is gone.
March 21, 2009
June Arunga on Western Attitudes Towards Business in Africa
March 17, 2009
Jurors Tweet, Blog, Research & Send Updates from Courtroom
NY Times today reports a shock in jury behavior. Will private ever be private again?
A juror had reportedly posted something about the case online in real-time but by the time the judge found out about it, they also learned that eight other jurors were doing the same thing. Mistrial. Egads, what were they thinking? Didn't they get the memo?
Says John Schwartz in the piece, "the use of BlackBerrys and iPhones by jurors gathering and sending out information about cases is wreaking havoc on trials around the country, upending deliberations and infuriating judges."
Good thing they don't operate in Silicon Valley. When you're used to a world which is private, the rules, as you once knew them change whether you've modified the law or not. We live in an always-on culture that twitters more often than eating or going to the bathroom.
One juror in another case was sending out updates via Twitter during a civil trial. Just because we have a new means to communicate and its faster and more instant than ever before, do we have to use it everywhere? Would you do the same thing during the middle of a private conversation with a friend when there was supposedly a mutual understanding that the discussion was in fact private?
Or, does the Twitter generation no longer believe that anything should be private? The JustinTV and Lonely Girl phenomena wowed us, and America seems to eat up reality TV. Some people really get into watching some stranger they've never met sleep, go to the bathroom or have sex.
The same applies to reading Twitter and Facebook updates from 1,000+ people you follow to be sure you learn exactly when someone left for the airport, read an article, drank their morning coffee, or dropped off their little girl for daycare.
These are phenomenal new tools people - can we not be smarter about how we use them? I'd love 'smarter' and 'fewer' updates from people I think have something inspiring to say, which includes a handful of friends and colleagues as well as people I don't know but might want to learn more about. I'm ironically now connected to Andre Agassi and hell yes, I'm intrigued but it doesn't mean I'm interested in what every celeb has to say. Same goes for CEOs I've worked with or want to, or VCs in the same category.
Or, is this deemed the wrong question in an always-on world? I went to a social wine and cheese taste in someone's house recently and found my mug online the next day with people I didn't know the names of. Welcome to the new world.
We're so used to it in Silicon Valley that its almost foreign to raise a hand and say hey, can we set some respectful boundaries here? And equally foreign to assume that everyone might like to have a nice 'quiet, offline' conversation with a friend from time-to-time. We're moving into a more public eye whether we want it or not, and now it is moving into courtrooms.
Says Olin Guy Wellborn III, a University of Texas law professor on the topic, "the rules of evidence, developed over hundreds of years of jurisprudence, are there to ensure that the facts that go before a jury have been subjected to scrutiny and challenge from both sides."
The current law is that jurors are not supposed to seek advice or information outside of the courtroom. The idea is to come to an unbias verdict based on the facts inside the courtroom. Yet when people's phones are now iPhones and during a smoking break, they can get data instantly on their mobile browser, is it really possible to control anymore?
Above photo edited from a TeacherDude photo set
November 18, 2008
Allen Hurff on Obama's Victory: 1st of a Series
Below is the first of a dozen interviews I did with technology entrepreneurs at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. The responses are people's views of Obama's victory, particularly relevant and fresh in people's minds since the conference started on November 5th. Allen was also a speaker at the conference.
Allen Hurff of MySpace speaks up about how he felt the day after Election Day
November 10, 2008
What Obama's Victory Really Means
Obama's victory last night was more than just a victory against Bush politics and everything that went wrong over the past eight years. And, it wasn't just about the declining economy that some Americans feel won't get resolved inside a McCain Administration. What Obama brings to the table is more than just the hope that every network and newspaper talks about. And, more than change.
Obama allows us for the first time in a very long time to feel again. He stirs up passion in all of us, even those who fear him, whether it's the color of his skin, or that they actually believe he's an Arab terrorist or the Anti-Christ.
It is passion, drive, the entrepreneurial spirit and the belief that anything is possible that made America what it was for our pioneering forefathers and is for us, today. Leaving a known world behind and trekking half way across the world to a new land was not for the fearful. The fearful never left. Those who made the decision had strength, endurance, passion, spirit and yes, faith. Their belief system was different than those they left behind; they created rather than merely lived the life they were given. They decided to create their future; not doing so would be internal death.
Creation. Passion. Living in a world driven by hope, faith, spirit and unity rather than fear, mistrust and greed - isn't that the way we are all fundamentally designed at our core? In a world untouched by external forces (i.e., The Gods Must be Crazy), and if not faced with the need to survive, isn't life so much more rewarding when we share, reach out, give something of ourselves to another person, another world?
But 2008 isn't 1776 and America is indeed a different place. Today, America's melting pot is much more than a chicken broth soup made up of northern Europeans. It's vast and diverse with one subculture on top of another. Many fear each other and in other pockets, people embrace each other, try to learn from one another, and move forward in their lives in a positive way as a result of each encounter.
In this vast diverse new world, we meet Asian faces with southern accents, black faces with hybrid German/American accents, elderly Mexicans and Chinese who don't speak a word of English and rely on their children for translation, first generation Indians who were heads of their class at Stanford and Yale, twenty year old Koreans running profitable companies -- all of it here in this big country we call America.
The American family is no longer "Leave it to Beaver" or "The Lucy Show," in black and white, nor is it the Katherine Hepburn looking mom with the floral apron she got from her mother which was passed down from her own. The average American mom doesn't have time to bake cookies several times a week and the Shake-and-Bake boxes from the 1970s that were a godsend for busy moms have transitioned into a lifestyle that has become all about efficiency.
That efficient lifestyle paved the way for higher productivity, with two parents working and innovation moving at a pace we might be proud of, yet now, some of us are starting to ask ourselves: what's the trade off? How do we keep up? Perhaps the Singularity really is upon us. Who can be sure? One thing is for sure. People around me are not just fed up with a declining economy or uncertain about what we're doing in Iraq, but they're overwhelmed with the lifestyle that the new America has created through our need to innovate and work ten hour days. All for the lifestyle of the American dream. As my international pals say: Americans live to work and we work to live.
Now it seems as if we are merely trying to keep up and make sense of it all.
For years, we tried to keep up with rising home prices, prices that even a higher than average wage cannot afford. We're trying to keep up with rising medical insurance costs. As a healthy young woman I pay more than $7K a year in premiums with a $1K deductible on top of that and 30% co-pay after that's done and they still try to get out of paying when they should. Do the math for a family of four or six.
We're trying to make sense of the fact that we've been making tremendous innovations in technology over the past two decades, and yet most people I know spend more time trying to fix an electronic device, a cell phone or a computer. People spend hours on the phone with tech support with no resolution at the end of it or simply more time in front of a computer trying to manage the information overload that clutters their inbox or the multiple social networking accounts that they keep getting invites to.
Are these the things that truly make our lives richer and more meaningful? Where's the physical human component? There seems to be less time for it because we're so busy merely trying to keep up and make sense of it all. What about the kind of energy and gratitude you feel when you hug a small child or help a friend home after having her wisdom teeth removed because she can barely walk?
It feels as if our over-developed world has lost its balance along its journey to perfection. Innovation comes at a price. Working 15 hour days to make more money to afford that child's college tuition because the costs are almost beyond each or to pay a mortgage you can barely afford, comes at a price.
The Republicans cling to this notion that somehow in a Democrat world, their American freedoms will be taken away, somewhere along the way, and government control will slow down their progress and successes. We as a nation will become socialist and taxes will go up.
During the transition between the old America and the new America, something happened. Along the way, many people stopped "feeling," the kind of feeling you get when you experience life changing moments or the rain on your face and it somehow marks you for life. Your life is different because of it.
Every time I travel, Europeans and others around the world tell me about this emptiness they see in America, and those conversations have happened nearly everywhere in the world. This void. This void has come from too many years of consumerism and government feeding off people's fears. We all know that the Republicans play on fear time and time again, so no surprise that they took the victory in the last election.
It's 2008, and we are so worn from the lies and unhealthy decisions time and time again, the fact that we can't keep up and make sense of it all, pushes us the other way. We NEED to hear the word hope again or what's the point of going on?
In the past few months, countless people have asked me: "where will you go if McCain/Palin win?" assuming no other option but to leave the country if the result was anything other than what it was Tuesday night.
In the shower this morning after finishing another one of Andre Brink's South African novels, I had a vision that threw Americans in different buckets. One bucket was the one we'll call the FEAR bucket. The second bucket is the HOPE bucket, the third bucket the MONEY bucket and the fourth we'll call the SECURITY bucket.
In the first bucket, I saw a bunch of Republicans running around. There were smart ones, those who have an affiliation to Israel and yet were fearful that somehow Obama would simply align with Iran and leave America and Israel unsafe rather than make an appropriately aggressive military move if needed. Other smart ones had different agendas: they weren't racist or pro-life but they made a lot of money and siding with Obama somehow meant they'd have to share some of their wealth.
They feared we'd somehow become what Russia was a hundred years ago. "This is America. How can you vote a socialist in?" they'd ask me. Or something worse. In the same bucket are the born again Christians, the Mormons and the southern Baptists. The gun lovers, the rednecks, the cowboys and the farmers who live in the wide open plains of Wyoming and Texas. All of them blinded by the fact that our ability to breathe freely and "feel" are diminishing in a world of cookie-cutter Bush clones and "sameness" businessmen who think strip malls, fast food chains and Walmarts are the only way to go. These are the icons we'll be remembered by because these are the icons that are starting to dominate, above our innovation, our passion and our hope.
In the HOPE bucket are where the creators have been forced to go because we really only have two parties to choose from. In this bucket are Americans who have been unfairly treated, they may be an underdog, a rebel, or of a different skin color.
There are those who may not be able to pay their bills anymore because of the way our economy has been managed for the past decade. There are serial entrepreneurs who can't live another day watching Bush politics. They can't live another day watching what is happening in Iraq and where our money is going.
They can't live another day traveling to other parts of the world and watching our respect as a nation decline. In this bucket are devout Democrats as well as people who refuse to have their decisions and their behavior driven by fear. Then there are those who are starving to feel again because its been so long and they want to remember the experience. They ache to be proud of America again.
In the MONEY bucket are those who may vote either way, but their lives are defined by DRIVE and SUCCESS, success defined largely in an external world, whether it be a title, the letters they can put next to their names, the amount of money they have in the bank, the amount of power and influence they can command over another and so on. Some people in this bucket have remembered how to feel but most have set feeling aside to make money or the next new patent or invention. It's a higher priority and therefore their primary driver.
In the SECURITY bucket are those who just want to be left alone. For the most part, they're non-participants. They don't really care about politics one way or another as long as it doesn't affect them. They want a simple life, to mainly be unseen rather than seen, and to simply have enough to care for themselves and their family. These people don't want to speak up or out and would rather the buzz behind the election itself simply go away completely. Obviously these are over simplified generalizations and people clearly live in more than one bucket, but in this election, these buckets felt more defined somehow and people gravitated to what they knew or they voted for hope.
Who knows what percentage of the country today are remnants of the pioneers of yesterday, our forefathers, the people who need to create and feel or suffer an internal death. They still exist, but a different America evolved along the way. A small percentage sits in the SECURITY and MONEY buckets and everyone else who is not in the HOPE bucket is driven by and live their lives in fear. Some hide behind those fears by shopping, others use violence, drugs, overeating and alcohol.
Another group hides behind puritanical or religious beliefs that may not even make sense to them, but they cling to those beliefs because they know no other way of being and these beliefs have become their identity and often the community's identity they have subscribed to along the way. Leaving those beliefs behind forces them to take a step above and beyond where they've ever lived, a place they never dared to touch. That place haunts them. It feels lonely, secluded, confusing, and isolated and requires too much of them.....so they think. And so they too have stopped feeling but many don't even realize it.
And now Obama. He represents hope, passion, energy, and for the first time in a long time, action. In a way, we feel as if we have voted for a leader that lets us return to the America our forefathers knew. A return to our primal selves. A client who was volunteering for Obama in Nevada said that they saw groups of people running as fast as they could at 6:30 pm on election night to make sure they made it to the polls in time. Others showed up who have never voted in their lifetime because they didn't feel it would make a difference or they never believed in any of the candidates.
The journey ahead. I'm looking forward to the return to our primal selves. It's the sort of thing I experience when I travel outside the country. I go on "walkabouts" when I feel suffocated by the workaholics, the over commercialism and me-ism that America has become so fixated on. Perhaps Obama can help us all return to our primal selves, the self that puts gratitude, respect, hard work, passion, giving and action at the core. Many of us hope so. It's time to believe again and remember that we live in a country where everything is possible. That, my friends, is the country Americans want back.
November 09, 2008
A Chat with Al Gore
John Battelle and Tim O'Reilly interview Al Gore in the last session of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco this week. Batelle shakes Gore's hand as they sit down for a fireside-like chat following Gore's talk about the election, politics in the new world where Web 2.0 plays a key role and the environment.
He's emotional and slightly unsettled when he approaches the podium. He wipes his brow and says, "wow, what a week," recounting that there were far too many emotional moments to go into. He talked about how many opportunities there are on the Web today and how these have revolutionized every aspect of running for President.
He says, "The electrifying redemption of America's revolutionary declaration that all human beings are created equal would not have been possible without the additional empowerment of individuals to use information as power that has come with the Internet."
He thinks that one of the main reasons our political system has not been operating well until this election is the current state of television. He goes into crowd sourcing, how it started in Europe in more primitive ways before the Constitution was written. there was a primitive Crowd Source with what we're trying to figure out based on the information we had, that was followed by the constitution.
"So," he says, "the Internet comes in and democratizes information again. Its no accident that all the change movements have jumped on the Internet to communicate their cause. TV still dampens it." As a way to plug Current TV, one of his babies, he asks, "what about inviting people to make and edit their own television?"
He tells us an amusing story about the first time his family got a puppy. One of the reporters he was working with at the time who was also an expert on dogs came out to the farm and asked them, 'what's the puppy's purpose? Is it a watchdog, is it going to play with the kids, is it going to bring in the paper?' "We had to really think about this," he said. "It's something that always stuck with me. Web 2.0 has to have a purpose. We have to have a purpose."
He adds, "the purpose is to bring about a higher level of consciousness about this planet because of the rapid transformation between humans and the earth. We have an opportunity to save it, reduce our national security risk, and save the planet. The only way this is going to be solved is by addressing the democracy crisis. We have to take this issue and raise it in the awareness of everyone."
Batelle asks Gore, "do you worry about the movement losing steam?" Gore thinks not because of the fact that the movement is very much in its infancy. He says, "It's barely beginning. The social activism that is made possible by these new tools is just beginning to take off."
But O'Reilly wants to know, "don't we lose time because of what is front and center right now?"
Gore says, "I've heard more people say that the climate crisis provides a way to help offset the economic crisis. Economists across the spectrum, left, right and center, say that the ideal way to stimulate the economy is with a larger program. We need to build a unified central smart grid that has two sets of characteristics. We need a national retrofit program to insulate homes. When you extend money to fix buildings, you can save the homeowner money. We can create ten million new jobs very very quickly. We also need increase incentives and electrify the automobile fleet."
Gore goes back to purpose and our mission. He says, "young people who have been so inspired by Obama's campaign have a purpose. When we hear things about the environment, we react but then it goes away. There's a big connection going from the fear center to the reasoning process but only a little coming back. It needs to be stored in the cloud, we need to have this inconvenient truth stored in the cloud so people don't have to rely on the process, so people can respond to it collectively." (positive clapping response from the audience)
And in response from a question from the audience on what kind of role the government should have in the Internet?" Very little says Gore. Very little.
November 08, 2008
Politics and Web 2.0 Discussion
One of the more interesting sessions at this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco was the panel on the Web and Politics with New York Magazine's John Heilemann moderating. The discussion was with Arianna Huffington, San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Joe Trippi, who we mainly remember from the Howard Dean campaign. Be sure to read Trippi's amusing blog post: Rush Limbaugh doesn't get it: No wonder the right has lost their way.
Newsom says of the latest election, "I'm much more interested in how this election is going to change people's lives.....the sensibilities people are feeling and a real connection to this cause, not just this candidate. There's an incredible empowerment feeling to all of this but what does it mean in terms of change in this country for campaigning and governing?"
Arianna pipes in: "If it were not for the Internet, Obama wouldn't have been a democratic nominee nor would he be President. He won it in an incredibly sophisticated way. In contrast, the McCain campaign didn't have a clue. It wasn't the age of the candidate, it was the age of the ideas. In 2004, the only reason that Bush got re-elected was because people were grappled with fear. It didn't happen in 2008.
Those of us in the blogosphere and online suffer from an obsessive compulsive order so we stick with things and dig deeper to find the truth. Remember Sarah Palin, I call her the Trojan Moose of the Republican Campaign. (laughter from the audience) They tried using fear by connecting Obama to his Arab name and terrorism but it didn't work this time around."
John talks about the changes that have occurred between 2004 and 2008 and how the left blogosphere seemed to rise during that time, Arianna an instrumental part of it. He says, "it seemed like a counter narrative got established."
Arianna responds: "the truth doesn't always lie in the middle. The key thing is to stop looking at politics in this way. Sometimes it really is on the left or on the right. Left wing positions are not where the country is at the moment. Obama represents the center. We need to embody new journalists. When the truth isn't being told, we need to step up as a journalist or blogger and call them on it rather than sit back and be impartial."
Trippi adds, "mainstream media does a lot of he said, she said. The Republicans say the glass is empty, Democrats say the glass is full. The media just reports what they see and the blogosphere says 'look at the damn glass.' Numbers do matter. The White House is "our" White House." He talks about his mywhitehouse.gov idea and how Rush Limbaugh didn't "get it."
He continues, "this is going to change more than our politics. It's going to change government. We complain that the Presidency had too much power but I think we're going to see a President with more power and Congress with less. Congress is going to be stuck in between a rock and a hard place. There's an incredible connectivity now."
Trippi says, "a lot of this isn't the campaign, its Web 2.0. We have tools now that we didn't have on such a massive scale four years ago. Obama won every single state that mattered, Iowa included and he did it because of those tools. And we have a huge victory because of it. Volunteers used those tools to organize locally. He pushed in North Carolina and Indiana using those same tools. On both of those fronts, the Republicans are in deep trouble. They showed no ability or willingness to use those tools."
The question of new journalism versus old journalism was raised. Arianna refers to this divide as those who are "on-the-bus" versus "off-the-bus." Those "on-the-bus" are sent out to cover stories by establishment. To truly understand what is happening in the blogosphere, its important to note that bloggers send themselves out into the field and bring back what they learn.
Says Arianna, "the way we consume news and information has dramatically changed. In the TV era, you sat on a couch and watched. Now, you're actually engaged. It's interactive." When the Republicans were using their attack strategies and linking Obama to Reverand Wright, it helped that people were able to see the other side online."
Gavin talked about the people who are not engaged, who don't have Internet or the tools. He says, "this is meaningless for people who don't have these tools. It's incumbent on us to reconcile that. The only social media these people are getting is the TV set in front of them and perhaps a cable box if they can actually afford it. This needs to be part of the equation for people in power, to get people who don't have those tools involved and empowered."
Trippi talks about the Dean campaign and what happened in Austin Texas when they showed up expecting a few hundred or so people to show up from their 431 person email list. 431 people spread the word. he says, "People walked through the the Latin America parts of Austin and got others to come. Suddenly we had 2,000 people show up. People with online access motivated people who were not connected.
People communicated and pulled people in who didn't have the access we're talking about. As Web 2.0 and cell phones merge, almost everyone will have access." He reminds us that even in Nigeria, they have 1.6 million landlines but more than 66 million cell phones. Even in small poor villages in Nigeria, there is one cell phone and they share it.
John talks about fundraising. "I can easily see Obama targeting districts of Republicans and Democrats with advertising. He can use his web medium to drive his agenda in a way that no one else has before." He asks the panel - "what does all that mean for governance and for the two party system?"
Arianna goes back to her left versus right argument: "we're so used to talking about politics in terms of right versus left. That is not what is happening right now. You can't use right versus left - its a lazy way to talk. These should be forbidden words - we need to force ourselves not to think of American politics in that context. If we can, we'll be a lot closer to where the Obama Administration needs to go. If you want to really transform these devisions, we need to break through the conventional way we do politics.
Gavin says, "if you don't want to be part of the Republican or Democrat party, you need to be part of "get it done" party and motivate people, engage people, and empower people to push things along."
Trippi ends with this thought: "Remember that 47% of the country didn't vote for this guy. Leading them and getting them to understand this is the way we're going to go. Obama has to sit in the middle. It will be very interesting to see how he plays that."
ZeroBoy Gives Election Meaning
With his permission, below is a story that comedian Zero Boy shared about this year's election. Some of you may have seen him perform at PopTech, in New York or other industry conferences. His touching story below:
"When President Elect Obama spoke it hit me. We have made history here in this country. Yes we can. A positive message in rough times. A little personal history. My dad left his job and security to work at The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in Roxbury Mass. He took the job as PR man for an Afro American school in the formerly Jewish Neighborhood he grew up in. My brothers and I were the only white kids in an all black school that was now a ghetto. I still have images of the blight that existed outside the school. I lived in Brookline. An elite liberal town with one of the top public schools in the United States.
Every day after school my mother drove us to The Elma Lewis School through the wrecked streets of 60's Boston. We started going when I was five years old every day until I was 12. Elma Lewis was an impressive woman. She commanded the respect of everyone, and as child we all feared her wrath. I never saw it, but that was her way. She was one of my heroes. At that school I studied ballet, piano, violin, African dance, drama, sewing, and learned drums from Baba Olatunji. I made numerous friends and was treated with respect and love. I sat with over five hundred people for six hours for a discussion of the word Nigger, and what it meant to that community.
One of the more inspiring colloquy's I have ever heard. I was lucky and privileged to have been there. This was in 1969. I witnessed bussing in Boston and it was not easy. However, in the whole time I was there I never felt threatened and had only one instance of being called a Honkey. The girl who said it on the stairs, was overwhelmed by other kids as they defended me and tore her a new one. There was a lot of tension during those years.
I had an insiders view at a young age. I would go back to my town and realized that not everyone I went to school in Brookline was on the same page. Some of the kids from Elma Lewis were bussed into my town and were my classmates as part of the Metco program. My friends in Brookline were black, asian, white and nerds.
During this time, my father sat us down and told me and my brothers his reasoning for what he was doing. The gist was, that although the man who pumped gas made money, that person was probably not doing what they wanted to do in life. The person who did what they wanted to do might be happier, but that they may not have money. We felt it. There was the gas crisis. I remember the electricity going off for a couple of days.
"What the hell are you going to do?" My grandfather Al, the gas station owner, berated my dad. Still my dad was the white guy who did the PR for the school and he was happy. My mom supported him, and she too was doing her part in her campaigning for democrats in black ghetto's, canvassing door to door.
The people were amazed at her apparent lack of fear. 'What was she thinking?' the black folks of the school wondered. If you are passionate about something I guess you dont see the danger. I was the only white kid in the choir called The children of Black Persuasion.
It was a great time for me. I dont know how my family managed to stay in Brookline with the financial difficulties that arose from that. My father left The Elma Lewis School to pursue other things in the mid-seventies and for almost ten years he had a hard time getting hired.
One day a friend of his told him why. "Larry you pissed a lot of people off with the work you did for that school." He was blackballed, no pun intended. As my friend. who grew up in New York Damion told me years ago. "We call Boston, Up South."
When President Elect Obama spoke this week, I thought of Larry and JoAnna and the millions of other people who sacrificed when they did not have too. I in some way understand what black people must feel. I know how much it makes me feel that in some way my dad and mom were small nails in the coffin of death of racism. They, like many others decided that they had to do something about this, and so they did. It was no easy road.
In a society that values money these kind of things seemed suicidal and stupid. This week, that attitude was shattered. It did not end. There are still many people who would disagree and take the safe road. I am a product of that kind of thinking and wish I had more money. My friend Damaris told me her dad who is 85, thought he would never see this day. He is black, her mother is white. He was happy to have seen it. Damion told me that he had been brought up in this country to believe you can be what ever you want. His parents and grandparents never felt that way. They are black. Last night he was shown that it was not an empty promise.
Here's a few paragraphs my dad sent me from a eulogy that he wrote about John Ross. The choir director and one of my mentors.
'When the Children of Black Persuasion were formed my 9 year-old son Joel along with my other two sons were a students at the Elma Lewis School. It was one way for me to see my children. Joel is as light skinned as I am. Another white guy. On his own Joel auditioned and won a spot in the Children of Black Persuasion.
In fact, Joel was the only very noticeable different, blue-eyed, blond hair spot in the Children of Black Persuasion. After a public performance a few of the darker skinned children approached John to complain about Joel singing Young Gifted and Black because he wasn't black. They also had a problem with a white kid being a member of the
Children of Black Persuasion.
John Ross pulled the entire adult and children choruses together except for Joel. He explained to the choruses you are singing about yourself, your brothers and your sisters. You don?t have to be black to sing the song. Joel is singing about you. Joel is recognizing and celebrating your gifts. He is recognizing you as brothers and sisters. By the fact that Joel is student of the Elma Lewis School he is of black persuasion and part of the black culture.
That issue never came up again.'
Thats the America, the World I want to live in. If you voted for him or not, you have to recognize that it meant something. John McCain did. I hope that someday we can all look at racism as a historical blunder. I am not naive.
Its just what I want. Thanks Larry, thanks JoAnn. Thanks to those who do the right thing.
Obama O's for a Healthy Morning Start
A funny need-to-share moment. Dave McClure walks into the OATV party last week with a box of Obama O's, courtesy of AirBreadandBreakfast.
Tim O'Reilly with Dave below and their almighty Obama O's cereal for a healthy morning start.
Election Night Snapshots
A few snapshots from the O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures party on Election night, an emotional moment for us all.