Colorado voted to keep the Slavery Act in the Colorado Constitution in the 2016 Election

Incarceration Front Door Statistics, Vera Institute for Justice

Stephen Bannon and the people he promotes in Breitbart want to bring the Nazi Era back

Slave labor was celebrated by the Nazi’s and the US prison system is already overloaded.  The Colorado support for Slavery, literally and legally, is a bad omen.

To simply assume that “Labor Prison Camps” can’t happen in the US is the easy way out, since there are already exist today and have since forever.  For instance, in a CNN Money report we found that Barrett, 36, sued the Florida Department of Corrections for negligence after an mentally ill prison mate gouged out one of his eyes.  The department responded with a “cost of incarceration lien” of $54,750 — the total cost of Barrett’s 1,095 day stay in the prison at $50 a day.  “They charged me for me being in prison,” Barrett said. “Yeah I was surprised.”  Dee Taylor, was released after serving a three-year bid in various Florida prisons, he also got a bill for around $55,000 from the Florida Department of Corrections.  A recent report from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law found that these types of fees, where inmates can be charged for room and board, have been authorized in at least 43 states. In 2014, for example, an appellate court in Illinois ruled that a Chicago inmate named Johnnie Melton would have to pay nearly $20,000 to the Illinois Department of Corrections for the cost of his incarceration.

In Arizona, an inmate’s friends and family can be charged $25 just to visit them. In 35 states, facilities can charge inmates for medical services. Some of these charges can be taken directly out of a prisoner’s commissary account while the person is still incarcerated. In some cases, the commissary account itself is subject to fees. CNN

Why should we care?

Currently prisoners in Colorado work for 60 cents a day, clearly way below the minimum wage.  This is legal in Colorado, in fact they could work for no pay, since slavery inside a prison is still legal in Colorado, and confirmed in the November 2016 election.

This is breaking families apart because some children have to pay $1/minute to talk to an incarcerated parent. Why? Because prisons and jails profit by granting monopoly telephone contracts to the company that will charge families the most. In Colorado for $55 a night, the wives, mothers and children of Prison Valley inmates often stay at the Riviera motel in Florence. Dabrowska is a gentle house mother to families in need — for women like one named Joy, who for years came to visit Kaczynski until she died of cancer.  Prisons are big business for instance in a security advertisement by Securus it is stated that investing in Prison Services is great business.  Echelon was founded in 1996 started in the first year with $0.1 profit and when public in 2006 with a profit of $41 Million.  This telephone company that overcharged the poorest of the poor – namely the families that are left behind by prisoners was sold in 2007 for $708 Million dollars. Not bad for 10 years of work. Now Robert E. Pickens is expanding his reach as president of Securus.   Securus has 2,600 customers (prisons) in 46 states.  They recruit investors by explaining that they are in a recession proof $78 Billion dollar industry.  They explain that their EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) grew by 274% from 2007 to 20014.  Amazing growth or earnings indeed!  They promise that they will experience organic growth through numerous initiatives that are already underway.

From a press release from Securus from April 30, 2014 we learn:

“Richard A. (“Rick”) Smith, current President and Chief Executive Officer announced today the promotion of Robert E. Pickens, Chief Operating Officer to President of Securus Technologies effective May 1, 2014.  Mr. Smith will retain the Chief Executive Officer title.  “I have worked with Mr. Pickens for over 15 years – in the telecommunications, telecom systems, and high tech government services sectors and he possesses the positive attributes of commitment to the firm, a high level of business integrity, business intellect, and the ability to get results over long periods of time,” said Smith. Mr. Smith continued, “At Securus, Mr. Pickens held the positions of Vice President of Marketing and Chief Operating Officer, and also held these same positions at the previous company Eschelon Telecom, Inc. – a Minneapolis, Minnesota competitive local exchange carrier where he and I worked together for approximately nine (9) years.  Because of our tenure working together, I am sure that Mr. Pickens will continue to deliver good results as a higher level executive.  “We have completed nine (9) strategic acquisitions of assets, patents, technologies, and companies over the last twenty-four (24) months – and Mr. Pickens represents a perfect match for effectively managing this expanded set of entities and assets along with his classic Securus responsibilities.”  Securus Technologies, Inc. is one of the largest providers of detainee communications, parolee tracking, and government information management solutions, serving approximately 2,600 correctional facilities in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico, and more than 1,000,000 inmates. A recognized leader in providing comprehensive, innovative technical solutions and responsive customer service, Securus’ sole focus is the specialized needs of the corrections and law enforcement communities. Securus is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, including four regional offices in the Dallas metro area as well as one in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information please visit the Securus website at

Peter Wagner an expert on the prison system tells us:  “There are 3,283 jails in America, yet jails receive scant attention. The legislative, judicial and executive decisions that have fueled the explosion of our state prison populations are becoming well-known; but the myriad of subtle policy decisions that have sent our jail populations upwards are off the public’s radar.

For instance do you know that capturing innocent people, keeping them in jail for a while before giving them a hearing, after which they are released is BIG, BIG business?  In the U.S., which has the largest pretrial detention population in the world, 20 percent of detainees eventually had their case dismissed or were acquitted. According to American Quarterly.  Being imprisoned often comes with a very high price.  The U.S. has estimated that at least 13 percent of inmates have been sexually assaulted.  Too often, jails and prisons across the Americas have become warehouses for individuals who are undereducated, unemployed, addicted to controlled substances, and/or have medical or mental health needs.

Racial Bias in the Prison System is now computerized

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 was introduced in the United States Congress and both Republican and Democratic senators backed the ambitious bill.  A proposed program instructs the U.S. attorney general to establish what the bill calls a “post-sentencing risk- and needs-assessment system” for federal prisoners, which would assign inmates a low, moderate, or high score based on their likelihood of recidivism. “Dynamic risk factors”—including “indicators of progress and improvement, and of regression, including newly acquired skills, attitude, and behavior changes over time”—would determine the ratings.  The language of the bill indicates that an inmate’s score will affect housing assignments, telephone and visitation privileges, and be consulted in making assignments to anti-recidivism programs like vocational training, faith-based programming, and drug- and alcohol-recovery classes.  Those who are considered low-risk inmates are eligible for reduced sentences would receive 10-days credit for every 30 days of successful participation, while other “high-risk” inmates receive only 5 days credit.

The very concept of predicting crime challenges the presumption of innocence, a central tenet of the American criminal-justice system.

Police still patrol streets and knock on doors, but computers, rather than humans, decide which streets and which doors. Essentially, this is crime forecasting: Police are trying to stay ahead of potential criminals, who may or may not be about to violate the law.

The trouble with this bill is that it has racial bias built into a system that is sure to create the proof of this racial bias. “The categorical exclusion of over half the prison population is unwarranted, and would have a disparate impact on African American and Native American inmates. Risk factors correlate with socioeconomic class and race, and studies show that African Americans are more likely to be misclassified as high risk than White or Hispanic offenders. The exclusion is also contrary to the goal of increasing public safety. Many of the excluded inmates have the greatest need to participate in programming, but would have no meaningful incentive to do so. With or without time credits, they will serve lengthy sentences and then be released. By failing to encourage them to participate in programs shown to reduce recidivism before releasing them to the community, S. 467 fails to promote the stated goal of enhancing public safety. ” Federal Defender Analysis Report   Source: Atlantic Monthly

If you can’t afford bail you will be rated worse than if you can, even if you are innocent.

Incarceration Front Door Statistics, Vera Institute for Justice
Incarceration Front Door Statistics, Vera Institute for Justice
Prisoners who are let go due to the fact that they are innocent still get charged the cost of incarceration fee.

Currently 3 out of every 5 people in jail are unconvicted and are presumed innocent, they are there because they are too poor to post bail while they await their trial.

The Prison and Labor Camp Industry is thriving

The LA Times reported in 2015 that in the place known as Prison Valley, Colorado is home to 11 state and federal lockups, more than 7,500 inmates do time near two communities that have the feel of college towns — an odd coupling that can create tension and conflict perhaps found nowhere else in America.  Fremont County (population 46,000) has Colorado’s biggest per capita population of prison inmates, a rate that’s also one of the nation’s highest.

The United States Holocaust Museum tells us:

From its rise to power in 1933, the Nazi regime built a series of detention facilities to imprison and eliminate so-called “enemies of the state.” Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of “asocial” or socially deviant behavior. These facilities were called “concentration camps” because those imprisoned there were physically “concentrated” in one location.

Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 40,000 camps and other incarceration sites. The perpetrators used these sites for a range of purposes, including forced labor, detention of people thought to be enemies of the state, and mass murder. The total number of sites is based upon ongoing research in the perpetrators’ own records.

Millions of people were imprisoned and abused in the various types of Nazi camps. Under SS management, the Germans and their collaborators murdered more than three million Jews in the killing centers alone. Only a small fraction of those imprisoned in Nazi camps survived.

Isn’t it time that we start paying attention?



FBI tips against Cyber Crime that work. During the Holidays Cyber Crime is at an all time high and it affects everyone.

We live in a new world so learn the basics about cyber attacks.
We live in a new world so learn the basics about cyber attacks.
Here are examples of cyber criminals favor schemes to defraud the public.
To good to be true schemes

Advanced Fee Schemes:  Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract. Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.  They use lawyers and it will be very, very difficult to proof that they are frauds, since you don’t know where they are located and you signed the agreement.

So be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address. Also be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.

So don’t trust strangers even if they are on the internet with flowers and hearts.  Especially then.  Remember what Reagan said:  “Trust but Verify“.   Make a habit of visiting the FBI’s website for tips.  They keep up to date for us on the latest tricks and tax payers pay good money for that service. However unless we use their knowledge it is wasted on us, for all the tips visit. FBI Advance Fee Tips

Business Fraud

Unless you know the company don’t buy from them.  Even if you do know the company you should check, google the company and the product and check out how many complaints come up. Read reports online about them.

Purchase merchandise from reputable dealers or establishments. Before you make a buy, obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working, check if their email is working.

Many business scams happen that you pay and they never ship the product, or you get a large refund from an Eastern Block country, that gets returned for overpayment, and then it turns out the original payment was fake, but your repayment was not fake – money gone.  This even happens with fake non profit companies or fake copies of legitimate companies. Watch out and beware.  Especially seniors are targeted by Cyber Criminals who often hide in “legitimate” business.

Joan Serioux-Forde, 72, thought that she couldn’t feel more devastated after her husband, Christopher, died last year. Then, roughly a month after the funeral, she received a letter from Generation Mortgage, a reverse mortgage lender, informing her that unless she paid $293,000, she would lose her home in San Bernardino, Calif. Ms. Forde said she was never informed that if she wasn’t on the reverse mortgage deed, she would have virtually no right to stay in her home unless she bought it outright. “It’s a nightmare,” she said. Generation Mortgage declined to comment.NYT

Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related companies to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the fraudsters in stealing equity from a flipped property. For the other numerous tips on how not to fall victim to fraud scan the FBI popular fraud schemes.

Protect your Kids

Drug dealers put on parties, human traffickers kidnap kids and sell them to child molesters, kids are recruited by gangs, and kids are bullied.

Gwen, the product of a broken home (her mom, caught up in an abusive relationship, did not allow her to know her father) in a lily-white Vermont village, had met Paris in an irregular fashion. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she had been sold to him, for $1,200, in a package deal with her best friend, Alicia. The vendor was Brian Forbes, a six-foot-five-inch, 40-year-old bodybuilder, whom local law enforcement understood to be employed in the bail-bond business.
Dennis Paris remitted Forbes $1,200, and the girls, court documents show, were his. Buying girls like livestock is not unusual. Cheryl, a gems girl, at about 14 was sold by one pimp, “Love,” to another pimp, “Junior,” for $600. The New York City Police detective Wayne Taylor—convicted in July 2008 for the attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old—purchased his thrall for $500 from a Brooklyn “pimp partner.” In fact, the price for an adolescent female slave is far lower than it was in the mid–19th century, when, adjusted to today’s dollar, the going rate was roughly $40,000, the price of a car.
Full article Vanity Fair
Most importantly, be aware and involved with your kids and stay educated together with them.
  • Monitor your children’s use of the Internet; keep your Internet computer in an open, common room of the house.
  • Tell your kids why it’s so important not to disclose personal information online.
  • Check your kids’ profiles and what they post online.
  • Read and follow the safety tips provided on the sites.
  • Report inappropriate activity to the website or law enforcement immediately.
  • Explain to your kids that once images are posted online they lose control of them and can never get them back.
  • Only allow your kids to post photos or any type of personally identifying information on websites with your knowledge and consent.
  • Instruct your kids to use privacy settings to restrict access to profiles so only the individuals on their contact lists are able to view their profiles.
  • Remind kids to only add people they know in real life to their contact lists.
  • Encourage kids to choose appropriate screen names or nicknames.
  • Talk to your kids about creating strong passwords.
  • Visit social networking websites with your kids, and exchange ideas about acceptable versus potentially risky websites.
  • Ask your kids about the people they are communicating with online.
  • Make it a rule with your kids that they can never give out personal information or meet anyone in person without your prior knowledge and consent. If you agree to a meeting between your child and someone they met online, talk to the parents/guardians of the other individual first and accompany your kids to the meeting in a public place.
  • Encourage your kids to consider whether a message is harmful, dangerous, hurtful, or rude before posting or sending it online, and teach your kids not to respond to any rude or harassing remarks or messages that make them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused and to show you the messages instead.
  • Educate yourself on the websites, software, and apps that your child uses.
  • Don’t forget cell phones! They often have almost all the functionality of a computer.

Get your kids to join you to regularly visit the FBI website and together stay up to date on what could happen to avoid it from happening.  FBI Protect your Kids.

Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family, without the trauma of falling victim to cyber crime.


Global Warming, to be or not to be

Making America Great Again
Coal Powered Power Plant
Coal Powered Power Plant

Trump has recently decided that a number Global Warming skeptics and people hostile to protecting the environment should be part of his new “Making America Great Again” administration.  Just great!

The Plan is to Shut Up all the People who care

Scientific American wrote about Jeff Sessions the Alabama politicians that wants to join the “Making America Great Again” team.

“Sessions has also sought to restrict the Justice Department’s investigations of people who oppose the mainstream science on climate change. In May, he signed a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch along with four other Republican senators—Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, David Perdue of Georgia and David Vitter of Louisiana—arguing that inquiries into private companies about climate change violate First Amendment rights to free speech.”  Article

This is downright funny in its audacity.

The Missoulan reported that corporations in Montana have a long history of being supported by the state to pollute as much as they wish.  It sais: “Certainly Montana has a long record of doing so – excusing industries while they’re operating and bending over backwards to keep the jobs going. But then, as with Smurfit-Stone, a corporate board makes a decision to shut down the operation and Montanans are left with the toxic mess and the inevitably expensive cleanups which may or may not actually clean up the sites.  For the good of future generations, it’s time to quit listening to corporate polluters and stop the damage before it happens. Either we realistically regulate polluting industries or, as at Smurfit-Stone, the EPA will step in after the fact and use its Superfund authority to try and remediate our ongoing environmental disasters.” Article

What does Myron Ebel stand for?

Trump chose Myron Ebel to head up the certain ruination of our environment. Myron Ebel has devoted decades to fight legitimate efforts to hold corporate polluters accountable.  He is director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition, which comprises representatives from more than two dozen non-profit organizations based in the United States and abroad that challenge global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies.  He proudly defended the Automotive Industry’s right to pollute.   He believes that the public land belongs to rangers and should be able to use it in anyway they see fit without any concern for the public and their right to have endangered species of plants, birds and animals protected.  Ebel’s organization CEI also proudly states on its website:  “Yesterday CEI filed a lawsuit against New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman for refusing to disclose the legal agreements his office made with other state attorneys general and environmental activists as part of his “AGs United for Clean Power” campaign against climate skeptics.”

Myron Ebel is know to say:  “Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant. It’s a plant food, and it doesn’t really harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases,” he said in a 2015 hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee, where he mocked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.   The links above will allow you to read Myron Ebel’s attitudes in his own words and those of his hirelings at CEI.

The earth is still here for the moment and not all is lost

The Economist frames their reaction by stating: “Even if Mr Trump honors America’s commitment to the Paris accord, it is unlikely that his administration will galvanize action. Many in the Republican establishment think that climate deals are examples of global regulatory over-reach. The world has relied on American Leadership for too long.  China’s carbon emissions may already have peaked. Improvements in cars’ fuel efficiency cut oil consumption by 2.3m barrels a day in 2015, even when petrol was cheap. China, India, the European Union, Canada and others have strong incentives to embrace cleaner technologies. If they work together they can make a difference—with or without the United States.”  Economist Full Article

Not all countries around the world have sold their soul to the “Mighty Mammon” the way so many US politicians and US corporations have over the past 30 years.  In case you don’t remember what that means. It originated in England in the 19th Century where in various publications it is described as: “An intense spirit of selfishness that pervade the entire system of society.” or “Every man for himself and the devil may take the hindmost.” or as in the Cambridge and Oxford Review:  “But Mammon had penetrated the country side, where cottage destroying land lords denied that they were their brother’s keepers.

So hopefully The Economist is correct and as the US will go through a few years of decadent self loathing and irresponsibility the rest of the world will pick up the slack.

To read Myron Ebel’s latest musings and misbegotten “Mighty Mammon” rationalizations that there aren’t any environmental problems and that to say so would take coal out of the bathrooms of poor people you can read it in his own words. click here.



Do you remember how exciting it was to listen to Peter and the Wolf the first time?

Kids inspired by Music - Music Appreciations is a gift for the entire lifetime of a child.
Kids inspired by Music – Music Appreciations is a gift for the entire lifetime of a child.

Music is one of the genuine joys in life

Learning about music early in life will bring a lifetime of joy.  Developing a taste for dramatic stories, lovely music, the sound of such a variety of instruments allows kids to literally develop their brain.  So it is enjoyable and it is healthy.  Music enhances the quality of our lives.  This Black Friday Educents has an amazing offer of the top  musical stories for kids. All of them including:

  • Peter & the Wolf
  • The Nutcracker
  • Merry Pranks of Master Till
  • Carnival of the Animals
  • The Tortoise and the Hare
  • The Story of Swan Lake
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
  • My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Casey at the Bat
  • The Soldier’s Tale
  • Juanita the Spanish Lobster

You and the kids, the grandkids will enjoy this collection for many years to come.  Or, you can donate the collection to your favorite teacher.

Consider giving gifts that matter.
Consider giving gifts that matter.

Maestro Classics music recordings are of the highest audio quality of any children’s music product available.  In addition to the title track, each music CD contains tons of extras including guest artists performing in different musical genres, the title track with and without narration and educational tracks with information on the composer, piece and musical score designed to increase listening skills in children and also adults. With the purchase a Free curriculum guides in math, science, music, art, language arts, history and geography accompany each CD and are available.
Check out the best sellers for the Black Friday Sale NOW!


What is the Trump phenomena about? do rural blue color workers and rural college educated people love Trump?

The Guardian’s Thomas Frank, pointed out on March 7, 2016:  “..what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump? I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook.” Full Article

The Atlantic Monthly received letters from a range of people who support Trump for president in August 2015.  The reasons they quote are similar:

A self proclaimed Liberal who voted for Obama wrote: “Rather, I genuinely believe that Trump feels the need to fight for the country he loves. There once was a time when people could actually feel proud to be Americans, and Trump comes from a generation that experienced that feeling. Now, many are embarrassed to be associated with this country. Jobs are being outsourced with reckless abandon and this country is literally being hollowed out. Economic statistics do no justice to this reality, and the average American knows this to be true.”

An undecided voter writes: “..the preeminence of political correctness among the culture class indicates a momentous shift away from formerly prominent middle-class cultural values and towards something entirely different. Even if Donald Trump were to accomplish little in his presidency, I think there is a hope that were he president, he could in some way alter that prevailing Washington/media culture and set a new cultural tone. Many would probably question why, of all people, a decadent, rude, and pompous billionaire should be trusted to meddle with American culture? I think it comes down to a perception that America has already drowned in a post-modernist nightmare of moral relativism, from which extreme political correctness and protest culture stem. Trump, on the other hand, is all absolutes.”  Full Article

Kathy Kramer shared with Kevin Drum in an interview for Mother Jones, November 8, 2016, that her political science study showed this:

“What I was hearing was this general sense of being on the short end of the stick. Rural people felt like they not getting their fair share. That feeling is primarily composed of three things. First, people felt that they were not getting their fair share of decision-making power….Second, people would complain that they weren’t getting their fair share of stuff….And third, people felt that they weren’t getting respect….So it’s all three of these things — the power, the money, the respect. People are feeling like they’re not getting their fair share of any of that.” Full Article

So let’s take a close look and let’s see if what they feel is true.

The Brookings Institute states that Republican States have more entrenched poverty than Democratic States. Republican districts have more poor residents overall: 25.1 million poor people lived in red districts in 2010-14 compared with 22.7 million in blue districts.

Between 2000 and 2010-14, the poor population grew faster in red districts than blue. The number of people living below the poverty line (e.g., $24,230 for a family of four in 2014) in Republican districts climbed by 49 percent between 2000 and 2010-14 compared with a 33 percent increase in Democratic districts. As a result, Republican districts accounted for 60 percent of the increase in the nation’s poor population during that time. At the same time, poverty rates rose by similar margins in both red and blue districts (3.3 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively).

Table 1. Congressional Districts with the Fastest Growth in Poor Population, 2000 to 2010-14

Party State District Representative Percentage Change in Poor Population   Share of Poor in Suburbs
R NV 3 Heck, Joseph J. 268.4% 51.0%
R GA 7 Woodall, Rob 223.6% 100.0%
D GA 13 Scott, David 213.1% 100.0%
R AZ 8 Franks, Trent 188.5% 93.5%
R AZ 5 Salmon, Matt 177.7% 50.4%

Source: Brookings Institution analysis of decennial census and American Community Survey data

Hunger in Rural Communities is higher than Urban

According to the United States Department of Agriculture report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2014, 14% of U.S. households were food insecure at least some time during the year. The prevalence of food insecurity was higher in rural areas than metropolitan areas.

Food Insecure Households

Source: Household Food Security in the United States in 2015, page 14.

The Digital Divide created by lack of Internet Access

55 percent of people living in rural areas have access to the speeds that currently qualify as broadband, while 94 percent of the urban population does. As of 2015, 74 percent of households in urban areas of the U.S. had residential broadband connections, compared with only 64 percent of rural households. This gap has persisted over time. Research reveals that  adoption can help improve the economy in these rural areas (including increasing income, lowering unemployment rates and creating jobs). In addition, we know that roughly 40 percent of the rural-urban adoption gap is because rural areas don't have the same level of broadband access. This is because large providers are not interested in serving these communities and in some instances have refused Federal Subsidies to get rural communities connected. 


Suicides in Rural Areas are double of those than in Cities

A study by the JAMA states that Suicide is a serious public health problem. For youths between the ages of 10 and 24 years, suicide was the third leading cause of death in 2010 behind only unintentional injuries and homicide.1 Males are at higher risk, accounting for 81% of suicide deaths in the 10- to 24-year age group. Suicide risk increases with age, with 6% occurring in individuals younger than 15 years, 34% in those between 15 and 19 years, and 60% in young adults aged 20 to 24 years.1

Rates of suicide also vary by rural-urban residence, with higher rates in rural compared with urban areas. Suicide rates among rural men were higher than those of urban men, with rural-urban differences widening over time. Higher rates of suicide attempts have also been reported8 among rural compared with urban adolescents. The studies conclusion stated Although low population density per se may be operative, efforts to improve access to mental health services and offer social support at the local level could narrow the gap in risk for youths in rural as opposed to urban settings. Additional study is warranted and of potentially great public health significance. Full Article

Rural communities as our research shows are genuinely struggling with problems that are not adequately addressed by neither the major political parties nor the major media outlets.  It seems that one of Trump’s appeal is that at least give this audience the feeling they are seen and heard. While this does not qualify him to do anything about the issues he has succeeded in mobilizing millions of Americans to vote for him to “stick it to the elite.”  Rural people are angry for having been ignored as their lives have grown ever more depressing. Trump has pulled them out of this feeling of helplessness and he has unleashed their anger.

Next we will investigate why a supposedly educated people would vote for Trump.


Dec. 3rd, Joyce Gordon Gallery holds special X-mas Family and Professional Portrait Event with Jim Dennis, Photographers for the Stars

Pete Escovedo Family Portrait by Jim Dennis
Pete Escovedo Family Portrait by Jim Dennis

Question: What does Pete Escovedo, the Dalai Lama, Joyce Gordon and you have in common?
Answer: A portrait by Jim Dennis.

Well, you will if you attend the Saturday, December 3rd Joyce Gordon Gallery opportunity to have your professional portrait taken by the internationally renown artist Jim Dennis. This summer, Jim Dennis celebrated his illustrious 50th anniversary of his photography career. Joyce Gordon asked him then to offer portraits to her loyal art fans at a stark discount. There was so much demand for this special treat that Joyce Gordon and Jim Dennis decided to select Saturday, December 3rd to offer this special Holiday Treat to you, again.

Go have your portrait taken by Jim Dennis and enjoy the current Joyce Gordon Gallery show.

Right now the Joyce Gordon Gallery presents “The Art of Aziz Diagne” a collection of Theissoise paintings and multimedia works by Senegal born artist, Aziz Diagne.


Theissoise, reversed painting on glass, is a process that involves applying color to the glass in the exact reverse process involved when painting on any other surface. The process is a detailed and a painstaking method as each color is applied separately. Brushes and various other tools are used to give continuity, contrast and texture to the finished work. Rich in symbolism, the artist’s work captures the spirit and ambiance of the universal experience. Aziz Diagne is a multi-media artist from Senegal, West Africa. He grew up in the city of Thies, amid the traditional art forms of his homeland. These art forms include rock carving, ceramic and wood sculpture, murals, tapestry, and Thiesoise (reverse painting on glass). Aziz, a self-taught painter, through his unique and dynamic talents, quickly established himself as one of the premiere contemporary glass painters. Before coming to the United States, Aziz studied in Dakar and Thies, Senegal. He then pursued art for several years in neighboring countries Mauritania and Morocco. Aziz traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, and South America, absorbing the art and cultures of diverse environments. These experiences have greatly enhanced the artist’s seemingly limitless repertoire and creative energy.

About the Gallery

Joyce Gordon has long been hailed as the heart of Oakland’s vibrant arts community. Ms. Gordon is all about making art accessible to everyone, from the New York collector flying in for a $25,000 piece to the curious teenager peeking in the front door.  Some of those artists participated in Gordon’s inaugural exhibition in 2003, a star-studded event with actor Robert Redford, a longtime friend of Gordon’s, kicking off the festivities. Since then, the gallery has been the scene of international photo competitions and exhibits by emerging local artists, book signings, poetry readings, music and film events. There’s been a tribute to Michelle Obama, giant trampoline sculptures that took up the whole gallery floor and a look back at the Occupy movement. Join us in celebrating art, portraits, and kick in the holiday season in style.  Create a long term memory you and your loved ones will cherish for many years to come.

Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 Fourteenth St. Downtown Oakland, CA 94612 


Dealing With Difficult People and Problems

The election has shown us that there are very difficult people in the world.

Whether in politics, at work, or in a health care situation, often you frankly have no choice about who you work with.  So how do you deal with difficult and challenging people?   The good news is that powerful negotiation skills can be learned.

Difficult negotiation partners
Difficult negotiation partners
Become a More Effective Negotiator

Great leaders are great negotiators. By equipping you with the innovative negotiation strategies you need to excel at the bargaining table, Negotiation and Leadership will help you:

  • Improve working relationships and resolve seemingly intractable disputes.
  • Understand your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) to gain a better understanding of your options.
  • Evaluate your personal tendencies in the face of conflict and learn to manage your bargaining strengths and weaknesses.
  • Recognize the most common manipulative negotiation tactics used by difficult people —and ways to neutralize their effects.
  • Win, not by defeating the other side, but by winning them over.

Negotiation and Leadership distills cutting-edge research and real-world examples into three days of targeted executive education negotiation training. At Negotiation and Leadership, you will test your beliefs and assumptions, overcome emotional and rational biases, examine complex negotiation scenarios, and discover a range of competitive and cooperative, integrative negotiation strategies.

Register Now for the Spring 2017 classes. Click
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Enjoy our quick glance video about effective methods
About the program

Widely recognized as the preeminent leader in the field of negotiation, negotiation research, and dispute resolution, the Program on Negotiation (PON) is an interdisciplinary multi-university consortium based at Harvard Law School. Since its founding in 1983, PON has established itself as one of the world’s outstanding executive education negotiation training institutions.