Tag Archive: blogs


Obama Care

“Nothing is more fatal to health care than an over care of it” – Benjamin Franklin

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In many parts of the world, health care is operated by the government. Such countries include: Cuba, Canada and UK among others. Although they are advantages and disadvantages of universal health care the government will end up playing a huge role in the health care those citizens receive.

There is a health care debate rather war raging on in the USA. Politicians of course on issues like this all take their sides with some not contemplating or refuse to negotiate on the issue. Even the government’s party that is expected to support an issue like this even find disagreements to squabble over. All citizens deserve a proper and quality health care system. Quality health care systems will determine the expected life for citizens in a country.

Many will agree that the American system is expensive for some. With over 40 million uninsured persons the government has a right to tackle health care reform. They need to tackle health care reform because equity should permeate in a society. It cannot be that only the rich, working class or the educated are allowed to proper health care treatments. It is absurd and changes must be made, I think all can agree on that.

However, covering that many people is the problem. Where will the funds come from? Someone has to pay for a system like that. Universal health care is a great idea. Those viewing the issue from a Utilitarian point of view will forever think that this is the best thing to do. Obama’s plan is constantly changing since debates are currently going on and the quest to please as many people remains the viable option.

We all know the benefits of having universal health care but what about the cons. We have heard of the Canadian and UK experience where patients take forever to get proper care. In one area in Canada the nurse shakes a box and picks out four names. Those four names will be able to see the doctor. I do not think that this is the way to run a health care system for all. You will have people dying because of lack of treatment when the purpose of the program was to provide that needed health care for all.

Another disadvantage we hear of is the quality patients will receive. The quality may not be an issue since hospitals in the USA provide a good service. It is also good to note that health care treatment and drugs will also be rationed by the government. Can you imagine this?

Patient information will never be private as the government will control all the information. We all know that when private information is in a database, it will be compromised. I already see media houses, tabloids having spies to search the database exposing people’s private information. It is crazy what can happen with Universal health care.

The story gets better. There are advantages having a universal health care plan. The most popular is that those who could not afford health care will now be covered. Patients with pre-existing conditions are also covered. Along with this a database is created to make things work efficiently.

I believe in a universal health care plan. I do not believe in a one time roll out plan as this can damage a country. One has to take into consideration the costs. If America puts in place this plan their taxes will be increased and the debt will rise.

I prefer a system where the government takes steps in rolling out Universal health care. For example, prepare legislation to cover a segment of society – children. This will make the opposing parties have fewer disagreements. The advantage of taking on universal health care in stages is that the effect covering all would have on the economy is different than just taking on a segment. That’s the approach I would take. Since I’m not Obama lets have one go at this, one shot. We should not be in a rush to pass health care reform when most of the legislators will never read the bill in its entirety or inform the public of what changes will be made.

As the debate roars on people will constantly be divided. As republicans, they believe that there should be less of government and more of private sector. The democrats believe in providing health care for all. Years ago, health care reform was stalled as the debate didn’t materialize in a bill to be passed. The President came out saying that a bill should be on his desk by August. Legislators told him bravely no bill till September. Will there be any other delay? It appears this time around that a bill will be passed. A bill to cover all – called Universal health care plan.

Leadership

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter F. Drucker

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Universities and work places are trail blazers in regards to team work. Many companies have teamwork as a pillar of success in their organizational structure. One cannot leave undergraduate school or any school at all these days without taking part in teamwork activities. I have been on many teams in and since leaving university. Working with others can be a hard deal for some people. This happens because a team member may want to complete all the tasks and not share the duties to accomplish the goal. Teams can be misguided and can lose focus on the end result. That’s where leaders come in. They take charge and lead the team in delegating roles and duties and ensure that deadlines are met. If budgets are involved, a leader is critical to ensure that funds are allocated to specific areas and that spending isn’t out of hand.

The absence a real leader can be felt by those who know the purpose of one. When a leader is not on a project the team members are left to their own discretions. This can be fatal to the success of a project. There is a fundamental gap that a leader fills. When a leader is present, his/her presence is felt and if the leader is effective, the project will be successful. But not all leaders are effective. This drives the discussion whether a leader is born or made. I cannot decide because leaders are born with characteristics that makes them great leaders while proper leadership skills can be taught. Education plays a critical role and education changes attitude and people’s lives.

In the life of any project, there is a period known as ‘crunch time.’ Crunch time is that period where all the different aspects should now be coming together to make one, to achieve that one objective. At this point, no mistakes can be made. If mistakes are made and are hard to be corrected then it puts the purpose, the project in limbo, great jeopardy. Projects sometimes face this critical moment and having a leader is important. That one person who can remain calm when the storm is at its peak, that level headed individual who can call the shots and ensure team members remain focused on the gaol. It isn’t easy as a leader because at this moment you can lose it and become angry at team members who are slack and are not pulling their weight. There is a thin line to tread because leaders should know how to communicate to team members so that team morale isn’t lost and the synergy remains at its highest point.

The attitude a leader shows to the success of the project speaks volume. Team members want to know that the same passion they have for the success of the project the leader has that or even more. There is a popular phrase that says, attitude determines your altitude. That is relevant for a team because the attitude, that drive, the positive energies shown towards the project by the leader and some team members will inspire those who haven’t got the idea that hey I should be working hard to make this a success. Within the attitude of team members there is an important variable called personality.

Each team member is different and must be treated differently. Team members all show different qualities; some are shy, introverts, extroverts, creative etc. A leader should be able to create that balance that will allow the group to feel like one team. The leader’s role is very crucial as the team member who is shy should be able to express him/herself so that the team can benefit. Who knows? That shy individual could have a creative mind that will make the concept amazing. The leader cannot isolate persons because of his/her attitude. That may turn people away or restrain them from playing a positive role. Conflict resolution is an aspect of teamwork that is a pain. Members of the group should not always have conflicts but apparently if conflicts don’t arise there is no group. Traditionally, we have come to expect that at certain moments team members will be upset with each other. Leaders should never have to comment on every conflict that arises but those that will develop into bigger issues must be tackled from the start and resolved.

Using the best talents on a project can be an equation for failure. But leaders should be able to use these resources at their advantage to create a wonderful outcome. If the project is to perform, produce a presentation etc the final output must be flawless. Group work is designed to get the best out of more. Majority of persons will admit working in a group is certainly better than working on your own. However, a group can be a disaster. Groups must believe that achieving perfection is important.

Leadership isn’t for anyone. It takes a great deal of work to be good at it. Your communications ability, organizational skills, leadership, analytical skills are all tested to produce a product that all can be proud of. The best leaders for sure are those that are able to take directions. If your attitude is always against those in charge, leadership may not be for you. If your attitude is to see things run in order, achieve perfection you may want to improve on your skills to make outputs greater.

This article was inspired based on prior experience working with people on various projects. It is not easy and can be very difficult. Team members all have a role to play in a project. But one cannot isolate the effectiveness or the relevance of having an effective leader.

Sweet Communism

Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English” – George Bernard Shaw

Communism according to Wikipedia is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.

We have come to know some countries that still practice communism in today’s world. Most democratic countries look down upon regions in the world that still practice this form of government. People’s Republic of China, Republic of Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Lao Peoples Democratic Republic all practice communism. What is interesting about these countries is that they all have good attributes those developing and first world countries all envy. There are so many lessons democratic countries can learn from communist countries.

China

China’s ability to manufacture products globally has made the country profitable with many countries owing them millions in trade. Trading is critical for the success and growth of any country. China is able to do this because of the low wages they remunerate staff with. First world countries refer to their ability to sustain large number of employment with cheap labour. China is also advancing with huge developments in technology. Most technological firms are based there. This drives their innovativeness which the western countries gravitate. China was on show for the Olympics in 2008. They used the opportunity to host the world at this event. Most people will never forget the Opening Ceremony at the summer games, as the country went all out to display the very best. A clip will follow this paragraph of the article showing my favourite piece from the performance. The clip will only show a snap shot of what took place in Beijing, China. I have never seen anything like that done before and a point to note; I do not know if London can outperform China in 2012. It’s a wait and see game right now.

Cuba

While most are wildly debating health care reform in America those in Cuba are relishing in one of the best health care system in the world. History will always remind us of the economic sanctions that Cuba has; but with all these factors against the country they are able to provide the best health care system. Cuba is not only able to provide a quality health care system but they are able to provide an education system that rivals many countries with huge investments. Cuba presently exports more than 20,000 doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil. The country is set to become the premiere destination to study medicine.

North Korea

I love seeing the army on display in North Korea. The precision, unity, timing and power they show when they march is enviable. Countries aim to defend themselves in times of wars; investing in resources that will defend the country when the moment arises, which they never can tell. World powers like the US always have a problem when countries go the limit to defend themselves. One example of this is North Korea using nuclear weapons. The potential danger and threat that this can cause can be devastating. I am in no way sanctioning what North Korea does but the investments made to secure the country are admirable.

I want a country that has all these qualities. Wouldn’t you? A country with the best health care system, quality standards in education and a security system that will always protect from forces outside. There is a flip side to a country practicing this form of government though. The freedom of speech we have come to respect and enjoy will all go away. The government will own everything, all the businesses and properties. The government even decides on what the people can have, rather than what they want. It can be sad transitioning from a democratic state to a communist one.

However, there is one lesson that I will always take from a communist state. There are certainly some things in life we think we can’t live without but in the end, we definitely can.

I have been to many weddings in my lifetime but I haven’t seen any like this. This bridal party entry was over the top and it worked. It worked because the bridal party was not goofy. They all could dance and have fun with it. It is true that when you are having fun doing something that energy is transferred to your audience. Viewers who sit and enjoy this video will love it because the dancers are. The entrance is pretty unique done to one of Chris Brown’s hit.

I have been in charge of music for wedding before and if I had brought this song I am definitely positive it would not have been approved. What was amazing to find out is that the church gave the approval for the song. Well, the churches I know would be not be so liberal.

The bride and groom rocked the church. The bride’s entrance was lovely giving her all the attention. I wonder what happened to the parents though. It would have been lovely to see them getting in on the action.

Watch the video and enjoy. Could this be a new trend? Good bye traditional wedding.

All my life I have always loved newscasts. I am intrigued by the delivery and how great anchors can adlib even without a teleprompter. I even thought about becoming a journalist when I was younger.

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Since I had access to cable networks and all that mess I have been in love with CNN. The whole gang of presenters I liked. At that time I would always dabble and watch some FOX and MSNBC. My least favourite was MSNBC, because I hated their production then.

Months ago, I decided I would keep a track of their ratings and I was shocked. All along I was hammered with CNN’s advertisement claiming which segments and times they were number one. Which when I researched was a lie. They were not the leaders at those times. I began to lose faith in them and watch as they became old fashioned in their style of presenting news. You saw the same things every hour, OLD NEWS.

The election campaign rolled along and boy I was interested. I was dubbed a politics ‘teh-teh-‘. I cannot tell you what means but I didn’t mind being called someone who was crazy about information and learning. In the election cycle I was a fan of Hillary. I wanted her to win the Democratic Nomination. I could not have favoured Obama who lacked experience and even with the many scandals that could have potentially ended his run, it didn’t because the media was in love with him and oh how he knows great marketing. I was upset because you would get a bias report and I thought at that time FOX NEWS presented a newscast that provided some balance.

I could not get why my friend would be upset when I tuned into FOX NEWS. Why would someone hate this network so much? I was confused. But, I have found out that many black Americans hate the network because they think the network is not pro-black. I however, do not get that feeling. Anytime I find FOX NEWS expressing hate towards people of different races then I will tune them out.

The ratings of the cable networks have been getting lots of attention these days because FOX NEWS who is hated for not providing ‘professional journalism’ is leading the market. I find it amazing that FOX NEWS is able to lead the market and do so convincingly. I love their presenters and the quality product.
Fox_&_FriendsFOX NEWS is doing their research unlike some other networks. We are currently in a market that is very open. People are not obligated to tune into one source for all information anymore. There are blogs, newspapers, different newscasts nationally, radio stations, social networks etc. People are tuning in now for the entertainment quality. They do not need to find out what Obama said last night. They are able to find it first in the media they choose to get that information. What they are going to come to your media house for commentary. Tell the public what heath care under the Obama administration means, etc. They want opinions, a discussion. FOX NEWS understands this and their programming are designed for this type of news.

To be honest, I have not been watching much of CNN these days. They have become boring, and insipid. I am crazy over FOX now. I love it. What makes me feel even better is that the network I depend on for information and quality commentary is the most watched network in the USA. That makes it even more special.

Rock on FOX NEWS.

Breaking News

Now this piece will shock some people, especially black folks and some whites. My opinion even shocked me. So before we do anything, let us get the facts.

Background

h_l_gates_jr_medHenry Louis Gates is a competent scholar and primarily known for his work at Harvard University and the fact that he is black. He is all over the media, hosting shows, commenting on issues, even being listed in the Time Magazine among the 25 most influential Americans. This guy is huge at 58 years. At the time of this incident he was on a trip from China where he is filming a documentary.

So, Gates arrives at his rental home in a limo and attempts to open his door. The key turns the lock but doesn’t open the door, it is jammed. There are conflicting reports here, some say he had a key others he didn’t. It doesn’t matter. Apparently this wasn’t the first time. To solve the issue he heads to the back of the home and enters through the door turning off his house alarm system. He then heads to the front door and with the help of his driver they get the door open. In getting the door open, the driver has to wedge his shoulder in the door as is he is trying to force entry to get in. Meanwhile, a passerby who knows there have been increases in break-ins in the area calls the police and mentions what is taking place. At this time Gates is on the phone reporting this matter to the managers of the home.

In no time, American style, police shows up.

Sgt. James Crowley

Sgt. James Crowley

Now, if I were Gates, I would be so nervous police shows up at my house. I am innocent this is my home. After hearing what the police is there for I would be eager to explain the situation, gently not causing any alarm. I haven’t done anything wrong.

No, Mr. Harvard goes in a tirade, yelling and accusing the police officer Sgt. James Crowley of racial bias. The officer recognizes what he is dealing with and asks for identification. Gates said “No, I will not.” Of course, every officer should know his face; he is a diva professor at Harvard. How could you not know who you are talking to?

Gates goes on to say ‘this is what happens to black men in America.’ Now this situation is getting out of hand. Racial issues are brought up. The officer attempts to calm Gates down to no avail. Gates heats up declaring to the officer ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with”. At no point in the official report does it say the officer is rude, uncouth, harsh, or disrespectful to Gates. The report details the vicious verbal attack of Gates against this law enforcement officer.

So he is locked up, mug shot all over the internet, charges dropped later and we all have our opinions.

Now an officer is charged with the duty to serve and to protect. An honest call was made to the dispatcher about a possibly break-in. This officer within his limits has to ensure that this is not a criminal in a home. He must also use his judgement. I would not want to imagine what would happen to this officer if he allowed a thief to get away. He would have looked silly.

Henry Louis Gates is the real racist in this matter. He is battling his own issues of being black. He is the first to draw the racist card and does so in a violent way, having a tantrum with the officer, even though he is innocent. Gates is also wrong for not willingly identifying himself. Dude, you are INNOCENT, YOU ARE IN YOUR HOME. Gates was not arrested for showing proof he lived at the house. I would think that he was arrested on disorderly conduct because of his nasty attitude and racial comments. That is the real issue. His hissy fit gave him an arrest although the police may have been in the wrong. By the way, the police actions are consistent with his traning.

Henry Gates should be ashamed of himself. This matter could have been handled by him much better. But in his quest to stand up for every black man in America, and sell more books he now looks stupid. Of course for many, this is racial profiling. White police officers should not accost black men, because all of a sudden you will be accused of being a racist. Black people should stand up and blame themselves for packaging themselves wrong. They have a terrible history of breaking the law and being cheeky.

Barack Obama was then asked recently in his press conference about his thoughts on the issue. He didn’t minced words to call the police men of the area actions stupid clearly pandering on the thoughts of many black Americans who cry race. The president is wrong here. He normally is credited for his language and oratory skills; on this issue I do not think he handled it well.

Lesson here, cooperate with the police. It may safe you some PR work if your this popular.

Below is the Police Record of what happened.

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We all know the background to the Rihanna – Chris Brown saga. There is something that is not cool about it that I have not commented on. It is not cool to abuse someone physically. I am outraged and annoyed each time I hear of people abusing others. Many children are abused in their childhood and they are affected by it, most times seeking professional help.

Rihanna

Rihanna

When two adults agree to enter a relationship they did not in anyway agree to abuse even in disagreements or otherwise. I couldn’t care less what the issues are surrounding ones anger but putting your hand on someone is not right. That is why the law is also there to protect persons who have been hurt innocently in anyway.

Back to the drama of the Rihanna – Chris Brown saga. We know that they had a confrontation and Rihanna’s face was marred by the vicious attack of Chris Brown. The matter was brought to the court. But there is a bigger issue; both are celebrities with huge careers in the entertainment industry.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Recently, Chris Brown released a video expressing his regret to the situation and vowing not to hurt anyone again. There is no doubt in my mind that this guy needs anger management. He is obsessed with the limelight and even in his quest to be sorry he wasn’t. I do not buy his message; he was in no way sincere and regretful of his heinous actions toward a woman.

I am alarmed that women would even support a man abusing a woman. How did we get here? How can a woman in their right mind agree with a man battering, bruising a woman? I have heard this saying by many ‘If a man doesn’t beat me, he doesn’t love me.’ I am shocked but the myriad of events that are happening now doesn’t alarm me one bit.

But what is one the line here is Chris Brown’s career. Rihanna has moved on and he thinks it is his time as well. The media has given Brown a free ride with his actions; I am not alarmed by that. The media patronizes actions that are not healthy for any society. All I want Brown to do is just go away. He refers to himself as a role model. It baffles me to think who would bestow such a title like that to him. Celebrities today are in no way role models. If we should follow, look up to these stars, we would lead ourselves down a destructive road and our lives would be a misery.

The Work Environment

Fantasy:

Closeup portrait of happy business group

I want to work in an organization where everyone is one big happy family.

Is that too much to ask for?

Many people will end up working in organizations all functioning in different roles to improve the company’s bottom line – profit or to achieve an objective. Having employee synergy in businesses and teams are critical to the success of the business and the team. But what happens when a team member’s focus is clearly not on the final result, what do you do?

Students

Students

University students will tell many experiences where they had team members who did not participate on projects. Most times committed team members are burdened with the task of doubling up on duties to ensure the job is completed. It is horrible to think that these same individuals will be joining huge organizations. Only if management knew the background of the persons they were hiring. It is important to note that these are the same individuals who have all the links and networks to land them good jobs after graduation.

Most times in school I do not know how but I ended up being the project leader on many projects. I am not a confrontational person, so it is interesting to note that a person like this would lead groups with these issues. There is something very critical in team leadership and that is communication. How you say things out loud, your non-verbal actions are critical in communication. Communicating to delinquent team members that their participation on team projects are critical can be traumatic but doing so must be done carefully to ensure that the team member although being reprimanded still feels important and apart of the team.

Present Project

SuperStock_1487R-54847I happen to be working on a project with a team and it has shown me that communicating can be the biggest challenge for most people. When team members make disparaging comments on the workplace and you know they are making references to you, do you comment automatically?  I wouldn’t and I will tell you why. I do not believe in damaging the work environment. Responding to an employee’s insensitive and stupid comment will only lower you to their standard. I would advise to walk the high road and just ignore and avoid having any confrontation with employees/team members whose aim is bent on making other team members upset. It is a pity they live a sad life and I would not advise anyone to respond to employees who exert behaviours like this. Live your life happy and I’m sure they will fade away when they become obsolete.

Each employee/team member has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the workplace environment is healthy and productive. Anytime the work environment is degraded and becomes unhealthy and unproductive then more conflicts will arise. Management primarily must ensure that employees who are set in their ways to disrupt the work environment must be managed and supervised to ensure that unnecessary attention are not focused on these culprits.

Brand Management

I enjoy the finer things in life, can I say fabulous. I enjoy these things because I appreciate the concept of marketing. Marketing is integral to every business and any entity, person, thing that can incorporate basic marketing concepts will be successful. I studied marketing in university and this is an area that I am passionate about but it’s an area that is highly underestimated by so many.

Every product you see out there needs management. Most managers who manage them are called Brand Managers. The role of these managers is simply to apply the concepts of marketing, to increase the product’s perceived value to the customer, brand equity and most of all to remain profitable.

This form of management is not only relevant to products it transcends in all areas. More than ever entertainers are using marketing to build an image for their market and to improve on the appeal they have. I am passionate about this area simply because when the concepts are applied it works miraculously.

Beyonce

Beyonce

I appreciate artistes like Beyonce because her management clearly understands that she is a brand and everything her management does is in line with this. I am not a great fan of the music but you cannot ignore the powerhouse that she is. From the clothing, to the performance, to her persona and image on stage everything must be right. Entertainers who grasp this will always be successful knowing that they produce creative, great music. The music industry is a challenging one with so many players in it. The challenge to top performances and create music that people will listen to is understandably remarkable. If you look at Beyonce’s performance each time, everything is done live, with amazing lighting, back-up dancers, singers, clothing. Everything ties in to create the person we know today as Beyonce.

D'Angel

D'Angel

I live in a developing island, Jamaica and this is the birth place of reggae and dancehall music. Some artistes here understand marketing. Sean Paul and Beenie Man are just two that understands what it is to have that full package. If artistes here understand the power of having an image of quality, and ensuring the music has quality and is current, they can be huge stars. They may not be a MJ, U2 but they will have a following that will always plummet them to huge successes in the music industry. You may say funding and having the money is important. This is critical but this is not a limitation because entertainers today more than ever are making it. Therefore, put in the investment and you will see the returns. The world will be at your fingertips.

D’angel image forms part of this blog because I think she is the only current dancehall artistes who shows she is understanding the concept of marketing. She is featured on many shows locally and internally. Kudos to her. Keep up the good work. She will tell you she has not reached where she wants to go but clearly if she keeps focus on her image and production of quality music the sky is the limit.