Tag Archive: me


Water Cooler Ed. 3

Welcome to the third edition in the series of the Water Cooler. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion. Here we go.

Politics

Last week politics in the USA was great for a news story. I mean Jimmy Carter – the gift that keeps on giving, the Rep. Joe Wilson story got a run and Obama not granting FOX NEWS an interview. Oops how could we ignore ACORN?

Jimmy Carter

Carter’s presidency is no way to be admired. He ended his political career with one of the lowest approval rates in jimmy_carter_believe_barack_obama_shistory and has not been admired by many even after leaving office. His statement on Obama may have some truth to it but is not entirely what Obama wants to be hearing at this moment. If you recall, Obama did a speech on racism earlier in his presidency – which he got high points for doing, well executed. After months of that speech, Obama wants to think that his race is behind him. The fact is racism will always be present. We cannot ignore the colour of ones skin although we would want to think that we are going to start judging people by their heart and not their skin. Even Obama is wary to agree with Carter on this issue. The fact is Obama is pursuing political ideologies that are unpopular with republicans. They have deemed it fit to express themselves with tea parties etc. However, when you have a wide scale opposition march on Obama it makes people riled up and we have seen the various racial images that are present at these rallies.

The media is so driven by sensationalism that these images allow us to discuss and major in the minority ignoring the elephant in the room. The major issue that republicans and others are having is that the president wants government to take over health care. No matter what Obama does, he will have opposition. It is nonsensical to think that those who will not side with Obama are racist and have racial thoughts. Sorry Jimmy Carter we would rather agree with you on another issue, not this one.

ACORN

So if you lived on Mars for last week you would have missed the ACORN story driven by the most trusted name in news CNN. Oops if you were tuned in to CNN you would most likely have missed the story of the week but thanks to fair and balanced FOX NEWS they drove the story home when the other networks didn’t see it fit to cover it. This story is huge because of many reasons and most democrats are not seeing the significance of it. ACORN is a group that is supported by the government – taxpayers monies and provide homes for the less fortunate. A pretending thug and a prostitute went into the offices of ACORN across the USA to peddle a child prostitution ring and instead of being challenged by the ACORN employees; they opted to give these undercover journalists tips on how to carry out their illegal activities. If this isn’t news tell me what is. I try to be objective and when I see a wrong I call it by its name. News networks who claim they are charged to deliver what is important to people must refocus their organizations. Hint – CNN.

Obama TV

Obama’s presidency is currently lukewarm. He is bent on being popular but will pay the price for appearing so many times on television. The position of being President is by no means an easy task especially when you want to pass health obama_tvcare reform. Today, September 20, 2009 Obama is appearing on 5 networks to push his health care reform except the top rated network FOX NEWS. The FOX network isn’t taking the snub likely and went after Obama calling his administration “cry baby” and “petty.”

Obama certainly had a choice of where he wanted to place his message but opting to cut FOX and including an unrated network was brave. Obama at this moment needs to be convincing the same people he is snubbing, those who follow FOX News. A recent poll showed that FOX has a more balanced viewership than CNN etc. Obama snubbing FOX is huge; it might be interpreted to be snubbing the American people.

I think Obama needs to relax a bit. He is so focused on being the face of the administration which he is but it will begin to affect him. He needs to send Gibbs and VP Biden etc to do talk shows. When he sells himself so cheaply people will not care to tune in when he needs them most.

Love & Relationship

Couples today have to juggle work and creating a balance at home in their relationships. The Water Cooler this week is suggesting an idea that will have both partners engaging in effective communication while rekindling that love at home. Most working couples find it hard after a long day at work to arrive at home to cook dinner and do all the home chores that one needs to do.

couple-cooking-kitchenIt is true, couples need to spend quality time with each other. One way they can achieve this is by cooking together. This is simple, easy and shares the stress of fixing the evening’s meal. Sharing the duties in the kitchen will enable both partners to become aware of what happened in their individual days and allow them to share experiences. You will be so surprised how far this discussion will take you. It will also get you to know things about your partner that will allow your bonding and relationship to grow.

Inspiration of the week

The weekend is already over and wow aren’t we ready for the week? Do you ever have a perfect day? Well most of us don’t. Something are always off and sometimes things go pretty well. For this week try your best to keep a positive thought. Activities and duties may not be perfect, a supervisor may get on your nerves and you may be pressed to 2072865350015798315S500x500Q85meet that deadline. Think about the positive in the situation – you are blessed with life, a job and a home – not to mention lunch.  The moment you break away from your momentum other things will get off. You may begin to give a little attitude to your co-workers which may never be a good thing. I am not saying you will never face reality and notice the file isn’t opening or the report you thought you had finished is incomplete but hey, think of a solution and move on. Are you going to be stuck on the file not opening or beat yourself up for not finishing the report?

To view others in the series:

Water Cooler Ed. 2

Water Cooler

Listening to newscasts day in and day out makes you immune to the weirdest or ridiculous news stories. One thing I have found interesting all the time are murder cases. I find them so interesting because most times close friends or relatives do not even know that the person was capable of committing such an inhumane act. It is not surprising that these accused however can lead such a double life with those who are closest to them – clueless they could act in such ways.

Accused of killing Annie Le

Accused of killing Annie Le

I find it baffling though that people who lead normal lives – have a job, join the latest social websites, enjoy going out, attend family events, church etc can turn around in a split second and hold an airplane hostage or kill someone and stuff their body in a wall. How gross?

I would not want to know that one of my closest friends killed someone. I would be shocked, saddened, flabbergasted and just confused as to how I didn’t see the complete picture. How could I miss that my friend was able to maim and kill someone? This is the reality that many people face in their lives as their friends are accused and later charged for killing or committing heinous acts of violence. I do not judge people and would not encourage people to do so. I usually am naïve when it comes to putting the whole picture together. I usually wait for the person to show their real colours. I do not have the guts or the ability to see things before they do happen; some of my friends can by the way.

The major stress in all of this is coping with the fact that your friend lied to you all along. The fact that they have kept their double life a secret pains you even more because you do not want to see this person suffer especially in prison where they will end up. This ridiculous situation makes you look stupid because here you are willing to put your life on the line for the person when they are able behind your back ready to kill, rape or abuse someone.

The cases are then dragged through the court system which makes the pain even harder to bear because most friends and relatives are called upon to be apart of the defence. The defence typically proves that the accused lived a normal life and was a great individual with a bright future. Sometimes it is hard to prove your innocence because of the overwhelming case of the prosecution; but the defence’s arguments may be used to lessen the time behind bars or allow you to walk free.

It doesn’t help that people nowadays have crazy turn-ons. Whether it is sexual, visual etc the weirdest thing turns them on making them into addicts. More than ever it appears that being abused – emotionally or physically is a trend. This horrible cycle affects all parties. This encourages the abuser to continue especially when s/he is able to hide their double life’s activities. Revealing it to the world is furthest from their minds and so they do everything to keep it private; whether they are going to be alone or seek ways to entertain their negative ways – online or with a group.

I hope people who are close to these accused men and women will begin to see warning signs from early on to help them get over their issues. We have tendencies to overlook these instances where they mention something crazy, or we witness them doing something which could in the end lead to their own detriment. It is time we take a stand for our friends and relatives and ensure that we do whatever we can to help when we see warning signs glaring in our eyes.

Growing up too slow or too fast!

My parents constantly reminds me of their childhood experiences reminiscing how wonderful, peaceful and meek it was. Many children played and some are still playing with dolls. There are many lessons however that can be learnt from playing with dolls. Technology has advanced tremendously. Dolls are not only soft baby-like toys they have taken on other roles. We have seen dolls talk, show emotions and respond to the children that use them. But are we ready for children to breastfeed these toys?

It is a sad day in our history when inventors can develop a doll that has the ability to respond to breastfeeding by small children. Nothing in the world can justify this kind of technology. The Spanish manufacturer Berjuan must pull this product from the market immediately and people especially parents must begin to stand up and make their voices heard. We cannot allow a profit making entity who does not care about the future of their own society misguide the rest of us. We must allow our children to enjoy their childhood. They are being robbed daily of their childhoods by what we allow them to watch on television, the music that is so widespread and degrading. We have robbed them of their innocence, abusing their bodies and now we want to teach them to act like adults. It is not right. I hope countries like globally will never accept this product in their markets. We blame so many other people and factors for how our children are behaving and when we see the real reason pointing back at us, we appear to be blind.

I do not have a problem with our children playing with dolls, I endorse it. I believe there are so many lessons that our young ones can learn by embracing a doll. They learn that they are not alone in this world and people need love and affection and they learn how to communicate; some even love teaching from playing with dolls. I do not believe young kids think of having sex when they play with dolls. They don’t. They think of being kind to others and ensuring the dolls are safe by protecting it.

What lessons do we really want our children to get? Do we want them to grow up fast and add to the myriad of problems the adults have caused? Can you imagine a young child breastfeeding a doll? That child’s psychology immediately changes and they begin to think and feel like they are adults. I do believe that these are some of the things we have forced on our kids and have caused us not able to really control them. I have worked with children on projects before and some feel they can speak and behave anyway in public disrespecting leaders and undermining those in charge. These kids who will play with ‘Bebe Gloton’ or ‘greedy baby’ will be affected in some way negatively. We have sexualised this world so much that young kids today are engaging more in sexual activities and we are divided on how to solve these problems which we created. We have forced them to act like adults in a child’s body and it confuses them so much.

There should be a ban on this product now. When will this cycle end? I can’t wait till a business develops a doll that will have sexual intercourse with the female doll. Would our eyes be opened then? Oh I hear the defence already….They need to know!

Have you ever been in an enclosed area and smell the fumes from someone smoking? Doesn’t it annoy you? It must be weird being annoyed by a smell. I am upset, agitated, and infuriated when I smell a smoker and the smoke from their activities. I cannot fathom why someone would smoke their way to their death beds. We have heard of the many side-effects and ramifications for smoking cigarettes. For crying out loud go far far away and kill yourself with the fumes. Why make the rest of the world suffer in your unhealthy agony? I cannot imagine what goes on in the lungs and inside the body as they inject those crazy chemicals in.

Obama the Savior

Obama the Savior

My heart goes out though to all of the many addicts to smoking. I really blame them for their conditions and addiction to cigarettes and wish that they would change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Many families are being separated by those family members who smoke for a lifetime and end up dying from complications. There are however, solutions and many alternatives smokers can make to live their lives better.

In America alone 46 million people light a cigar. We have heard many times of the disadvantages for smoking but the information does not move smokers to stop killing themselves silently. They are addicted and so drawn and warped into smoking that they cannot and sometimes find it hard to end a life addicted to its contents. One would think businesses would stop making cigarettes so harmful to the body. No. They are manufactured and marketed to entice the innocent. Many young people are becoming addicted to smoking and the trend must be stopped. How many young people should die because of this addictive substance? Worldwide between 80,000 and 100,000 kids will start smoking everyday. No public service announcement can save those kids. Parents should become involved in parenting once again and ensure that their young children are not being killed early.

I have not felt the urge to smoke, never. I wonder what would prompt someone to light a cigar then. Of course, we can blame society, the culture and all the other factors that motivate our actions. I think our culture has a lot to do with this nasty trend. In Jamaica and many other parts of the world it is acceptable if a teen smokes in public. He/She is seen as unique, special, cool, fun, exciting the list goes on. What if we had generated a culture where we speak out against killing our hearts and our bodies? The price we pay to provide health care to these lunatics who are walking dead bodies waiting to happen must end now.

Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

  • Tobacco contributes to many cancers.
  • Smoking causes heart disease.
  • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which lead to heart attack.
  • Smoking is a slow way to die.
  • Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes.
  • Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
  • Causes impotence in men.

The list goes on but I decided just to highlight those.

I want people to realize the dangers of smoking and their lives. We are having a heated discussion on health care reform in the US. The fact is people must take personal responsibility for their lives and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle. In 1998 alone, USA spent $72.7 billion on people with health care problems associated with smoking. We are in 2009 that cost would never be decreased but increased. We are setting up ourselves for a huge problem with heart issues and strokes hitting younger people if we create a culture where smoking is accepted. I agree when any government that comes down hard on smokers. They must be taxed to the point where they cannot afford the product. Then we will see this horrendous habit by millions changed.

Can someone tell Obama to make this a teachable moment? He is for crying out loud, spewing fumes into the White house on a regular basis. He must be confronted and a team used to stop his addiction to smoking. If he doesn’t……..Oh my God!

Blackberry Etiquette

Everywhere you go today people are constantly on blackberries, I-phones and all these top gadgets. You just cannot miss them! It is this new craze that is taking on traction in society. No longer is it that holders of blackberries would be corporate employees. Please. Any and everyone today appear to be walking with one, except me of course. I guess the time will come when something else has taken off. In marketing they call us laggards.

PCO1693

In a bid to be constantly communicating, these gadgets fill this gap. It allows users to be always connected and always accessible. I cannot bear to see blackberry users ignore protocol and disturb the environment. To this end, users of these high gadgets think it is a right to use their phones anytime. It is not a right. There is no way you should be using your phone in a meeting for personal entertainment. I can understand that at some point along the way you will be needed urgently by someone. However, it is the constant deliberate attempt to undermine those leading and other factors. Normally you would think that if you’re going to disturb a meeting hide and do it, secretly. No, users of blackberries must be seen and heard. It is sickening. Until they are in leadership roles and need that attention and feedback in a discussion that they will understand that it is really not cool to be using the phone in certain settings.

Clearly, this distracts you from the real purpose at hand and does not allow you to be productive, contributing to the tasks at hand. I have a friend who has a blackberry and he made the comment that until I have a blackberry then I will understand why users are constantly on them, even becoming distracted. I appreciate technology and the ability to communicate. I do not welcome people disrespecting others in a professional setting with the excuse of a cell-phone. Those that are trying to reach you most times are secondary, they won’t die, the economy won’t crash, and the world will still orbit the sun. Show some respect and know when to be on that cellular technology.

Some tips.

  1. Ensure phone is set to Silent/Vibrate before entering a meeting.
  2. If your phone happens to ring, allow the person to leave a message and record the person’s name and number so you can return their call AFTER the meeting NOT during.
  3. If your phone happens to rings aloud, apologize and tell the person on the line you will get back to them.
  4. Develop a habit of placing phone on silent/vibration. You are going to enter a meeting with others who are sacrificing time, be respectful for their time.

Marketing for any business operating in today’s harsh business world isn’t easy. Getting the right campaign to the target market is a huge task. Hitting the nail on the head can be a massive gamble. Companies who use the services of marketing/advertising agencies most times are not in control of what the agencies produce. Somehow, companies even accept anything that the agency produces without contesting or even make suggestions to improve on the advertisement. It is sad when companies have to withdraw ads that offend a segment of the target market even sometimes offending the society. Advertisements are not only produced for the intended market. Because they are viewed in the mass media, extending the reach of the ad, the advert may be offensive. Companies however have a huge role in ensuring that the ads that the company has on television, radio, print etc are comfortable and not offensive.

Recently, KGB a company that answers questions that they receive by text messaging released an ad that some people find offensive. Some even want the ad to be pulled. The ad portrays black females in a salon getting their hair done. A female talent in the ad asked the other ‘What kind of hair is this?’ The response of the hairstylists says natural. The discussion there continues with the quest to find out what natural hair means by sending a text message to KBG for the answer.

From the advertising agency and company’s point of view they have achieved their objectives. They produced an ad reflecting the company’s proposition (product), and they used talents which reflected in some way their intended target audience. Success huh?

But the issue is bigger than that. The issue is the portrayal of black people. Culturally, the black race is known for their sense of humour, survival, hardworking attitude, breaking the law etc. Generally in advertisements the black talent would always deliver that punch line of a joke, or be seen eating unhealthy foods like chicken (not that chicken is bad). There are both positive and negative images that are embedded in ads today. These images can be offending; some can be flattering while others can be motivating.

There is certainly nothing wrong with the advertisement of this company. People will find issue with the ad that most of the actors were black. Normally, companies with a huge target market would show diversity in the ad to show that all races accept their product. This advertisement borderlines offensive because it appears to be saying that only black people wear weaves and emphasizes the fact that they cannot explain where it comes from. The believe that black people wear the most weaves may be a lie, but this ad does not make it appealing.

But how did we get here? There are issues within the black community and it is sad that this company is highlighting that flaw to sell their brand. Majority of people believe that black people use weave as a way to change who they really are. They use all the hair products and chemicals to look like someone else. Weaves do compliment and enhance a woman’s features. There is nothing wrong with wearing a weave. There might be a problem when weave identifies your race.

Beer Summit 2009

The President made some less than flattering comments on the Gates/Crowley controversy. Today, or a mere minutes ago the Beer Summit – Let’s talk moment ended. Obama wanted this matter to become a teachable moment. Did this summit achieve that? I am not positive the president achieved this but he achieved lots of bad PR and will not have ended how stupid this whole drama is.

Beer Summit Photo

Beer Summit Photo

I personally do not think that the president of the free world should have used a beer summit to solve this issue. If he had wanted this to become a teachable moment, does he really think sitting and drinking beers would achieve this? This man is so obsessed with being cool that he has taken it to the level where he looks rather un-cool.

The president should have invited these men to a discussion on race relations. That’s what he wanted. This action by the president would prompt millions of Americans to have a serious sit-down talk on this issue. Instead we are forced to see the leader of the free world get down drinking beers making him look immature. Sgt Crowley commented that the discussions were about the future. I am sorry sitting around beers on the brink of getting drunk is not having that teachable moment.

So the lesson from this is, when you have disagreements with people on this topic, could drinking beers the solution. I am no thrilled about how the president acted but this was not a happy moment. The Obama we know from the campaign who articulated a new message on race, I want that Obama back. I want to see Obama articulate and lead on this issue of race relations. Obama got one thing correct; his team changed it from a childish picnic table to a white table top surrounded with chair for four.

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

obama1

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

leadership-risesmart

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.