Friday, August 1, 2014


Children our Future
When the idea of this group started I had no real idea as to what its primary purpose would be. I knew I wanted to help children and that’s about it. The inspiration for starting the group came at thanksgiving 2013. 
I was at a thanksgiving party with my ex-wife. The hostess June had invited us both as the only none family members of what was a special family get together. The people at the party were very nice, everyone was relaxed and having a really nice time  Some guests had brought babies and children which made the evening even more relaxed and a family celebration. Before we began to eat, June started by asking us to join hands and say what we were thankful for. This may well be a tradition that happens at thanksgiving celebrations, but in my 10 years in the US it was the first time I’d been asked that question.
I really didn't know what to say and looked around the table, then I realized what I was thankful for“children, because they’re our future”. That started what has become So then I thought about what can the group could achieve?  What was its purpose? We had/have zero resources, I’d just lost my job, I had some connections on LinkedIn and Facebook, so why not start a group on LinkedIn. I already had a small group I founded on LinkedIn called “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” a quote used by Richard Branson years ago that had become something of a mantra for me.

So I started our group, still wondering, what is our purpose. What is our mission? I wanted it to be a new tool and not simply add to the already huge resources helping kid’s but being of some use, and not just some sort of ego trip for me. There are indeed many organizations out there, and lots of resources all over the world. Some of the Buddhist principles I so greatly admire and support are being made available on the internet but how do you get to them? I thought maybe we can build a network of links for kids, parents, teachers and counselors so they are able to look and see what's happening with kids in different parts of the world (So take a parents situation, my child has ADHD I’ve checked out everything in the US, I wonder what they’re doing about it in say Ireland or India or the UK).
This exchange of information should grow exponentially so we can access other alternatives and read success stores, decide for ourselves how to help our kids, home schooling? Who knows, but the links “the bricks” would be there.

So why bricks? Anyone who knows the story of Pink Floyd's “The Wall” will know it’s about childhood, it’s about the effect others can have on the “development” of a child. The bricks are built around the child during its life (in this case Roger Waters). Our bricks hopefully represent  the answer to your questions, and over time when “the content” gets better then it will be the place where we can check out for help, and in many cases that would be help for parents who are at the end of their tether, they need help.

I’m a very proud father and grandfather and great grandfather and I love to see kids happy, Children our Future needs to be in the hands of someone who can make sure its mission will continue whatever happens to me and I will always welcome ideas as to how we can ensure that happens. We have a website  OK well I did pay for that, and now we have a mission.

 “A resource for those wanting to Support, Advise, Validate Encourage our children, our own or the worlds.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Free Speech

Free Speech. A much used word and very much under threat. 
So what does the US bill of rights say about it?"Congress cannot make a law that favors the establishment of one particular religion; that prohibits the free exercise of religion; or that restricts freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people to gather and engage in peaceful demonstrations and to petition the government for redress of their grievances".
It can certainly be argued that efforts have been made by governments and institutions around the worlds to suppress this first tenet of the US bill of rights. In this world of open and accessible information, information is available at your fingertips. We may argue that certain information should not be in the public domain WHY? People will say National Security etc. But when you think about it, isn’t it in our interest that all should be held accountable for their actions, and besides if more than one person knows a “secret” the chances of it remaining a secret are greatly reduced.
WikiLeaks is a prime example. Julian Assange can only do what he does because there are people out there that want the truth to be heard and anyway it’s in our interest to know what it is that our “enemies” are being told, in the old days we had no idea that they knew what they knew, so at the very least this has put the occupation of spying out of business.
Secrets make you sick, a phrase used in these parts. I believe strongly that honesty is the best policy in everything, it makes for a much easier life, no need to try and remember what your spin was on a particular subject and there’s less likelihood of starting conflicts if everyone is completely open about the issues.
Right now I’m involved in a civil rights case, I was asked to sign a “Confidentiality Agreement” I really didn’t see the point. Frankly as witnesses will be called and more than one person is involved, when the word does get out who will be blamed? My case involves discrimination against me, although it involved others and has/had the potential of becoming a “class action” something that my adversaries certainly want to avoid. It’s been going on for 8 months now and many people would have walked away in frustration. The impact on my life is immeasurable, and maybe with hindsight I should never have started the case, but started it has and as “no win no fee” attorneys refused to take me on I was left handling everything myself which opened up a Pandora’s box of things I’d never really considered in the past.
It’s been a long, exhausting and on many levels sad journey, in 4 days’ time I may be bankrupt and homeless or I may be able to live my life in comfort and security and continue to write my blogs  But whatever happens the story will get out there, and not due to me necessarily but because of all these factors involved in Free Speech.
Our Bill of Rights is worth protecting, when you look and study it its only then that you realize that its in danger, perhaps each item in the bill should become a topic for future “blogs”, preferably I’d prefer others to do that.

Because a well-regulated militia is necessary to national security, the right of the people to keep and bear arms may not be infringed.

No soldier may be quartered in any house during a time of peace without the owner's consent, or in a time of war except as prescribed by law.

People have the right to be free, in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrants may issue without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and specifically describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

No person may be tried for a capital or other "infamous crime" unless he or she has first been indicted by a grand jury, except in military cases. No person may be made to answer for the same offense twice (double jeopardy); be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in a criminal case; or be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Nor may private property be taken for public use without fair compensation (eminent domain).

Whenever someone is on trial for committing a crime, he or she has the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district where the crime was committed, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to confront the witnesses against him or her, to be able to compel the testimony of witnesses in his or her favor, and to the assistance of defense counsel.

Whenever the amount at issue in a lawsuit is over twenty dollars, the parties have the right to a jury trial, and no jury verdict may be overturned except according to the strict rules of the justice system.

There can be no excessive bail or fines, nor cruel and unusual punishment.

This list of rights should not be read to limit in any way any other rights of the people.

The powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people

Thursday, July 17, 2014


There are few things in life that are more difficult to break and those are the bonds between family and friends. Then there are the ones in the middle, ex-wives, ex children and grandchildren how do you break those bonds? I have experienced a great deal of this conundrum of late. My blood family, well whatever they say or do there is a bond there that I can certainly not break, friend’s well that’s hard but it can be done. The ones in the middle now that’s the test.

How can a person be expected to turn away from the well-being of someone who they used to call their best friend? If anyone out there knows pray tell me the secret. BONDS are important they hold us together (united we stand, divided we fall). But it’s more much more than this. In my 63 years I’ve learnt a little, some of the lessons have been hard but it all goes towards helping my understanding of this thing we call BOND.

If I ever had the time or inclination to write a book (not that anyone would be interested) it would serve as a good guide as to how to chart your course through life.

My Dad used to read me the poem “IF” by Rudyard Kipling, unbeknown to me that had such a big impression on my life that unknowingly I’ve tried to live up to his expectations. I may have gone off track many times but always I get back on message “then you’ll be a man my son”. I despair at what my friends are doing to themselves and being impotent in trying to help them is so very sad. I’m told they (she) has to hit rock bottom before doing anything about it. But when you get a cry for help and you missed the opportunity to help, what do you do?

So I read the thoughts of Buddha, I do what I can, but I hate standing by when I see anyone whoever it is destroying their lives. My sisters all say, time is a great healer, well I have a system of boxes. When I have a heartbreaking experience I put it in a box and stick it in the back of my mind. The only problem is that this box keeps coming open. When it’s shut for good who knows but maybe then I can get on with my own life and not keep opening up a box that should be sealed forever.


The importance of long term relationships can't be understated. It’s important from the start you know everything good and bad about each other. You enjoy each other, and each other’s company. You have no fantasies of another type of partner.  Live life in the now not in the past or the future. I believe if you both feel that way, it will form a long term relationship.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

World Wide Web

Someone once said to me that www was another way of saying 666 (the sign of the devil) I laughed at the time, let’s face it without the web we couldn’t survive, we the human race are dependent on it.  I got this from Wikipedia which ironically is only available on the web
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA, DFBCS (born 8 June 1955), also known as "TimBL", is a British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989,[4] and he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet sometime around mid November.[5][6][7][8][9]
Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web's continued development. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, and is a senior researcher and holder of the Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).[10] He is a director of the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI),[11] and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.[12][13]
In 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work.[14] In April 2009, he was elected a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.[15][16] He was honoured as the "Inventor of the World Wide Web" during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, in which he appeared in person, working with a vintage NeXT Computer at the London Olympic Stadium.[17] He tweeted "This is for everyone",[18] which instantly was spelled out in LCD lights attached to the chairs of the 80,000 people in the audience.[17]

I’m going to try closing up my laptop for a week to see how that affects me. I’ll have to make sure I’ve paid all my bills before then as bill payment online is essential for me.

Friday, May 9, 2014


It’s been some time since I wrote a blog, things happen to distract us from what we should be doing. This morning I woke up to a post by a friend on Facebook and it brought back so many bad memories I just had to respond When I was in Pakistan in ’92 the same thing was happening there, women couldn’t walk alone at night for fear of being raped, and if they were they couldn’t say anything because it was such a stigma. I was there looking for someone I loved, I wasn’t successful and to this day I don’t know if she’s even alive. I saw many bad things and came home exhausted and probably suffering from PTSS, now I’m living in comparative luxury from what I found there and yes I have a toilet with running water.

The weak v the strong, this was the subject of another blog I wrote David and Goliath. Right now I’m involved in a civil rights case, I can’t say anything about it as I’ve signed a “confidentiality Agreement” I’ve also had to give the other party access to my medical history (what’s the point of the HIPA act) and access to my LinkedIn and Facebook pages (and contacts). I’m an open book I have no secrets, secrets make you sick as they say here, but maybe some of my contacts/connections don’t want their lives being put under the microscope.

I guess I should start working on my time bomb (my book) now that really would set the cat amongst the pigeons and with a little bit of editing like name changes I wouldn’t be breaking any agreements. I may win some money from my case, I may not make a dime, but one things for sure if I do a lot of kids will benefit and nothing will give me more pleasure. I’ve often said money isn’t everything, money can’t buy you love etc. etc., but it can if used wisely be used for good.
I had the pleasure of being at one of Richard Branson’s parties the other night, he gave away $54k to help kids, a fine gesture and yes I’m sure it’s just loose change for him, but he did it. 

There are so many bad things happening in our world and most of us don’t have the time to do anything about it, as they say on Virgin when you get the usual safety information, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. And quite right, we’re no good dead to anyone, but once it’s on scramble to help the others less capable of helping themselves, our children. You know I know when I’m talking from my heart because the words just flow and I have difficulty as a 2 finger typist keeping up.

So before I retire for the day, not my life I just want to say one thing, read the article above and see if you don’t get “riled up” 
John aka The Crazy Brit.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Why do people read blog’s and never comment on them? Am I doing something wrong? I know many people who have said they have read my blogs but never a word of comment good or bad. I’m very new to the blogging scene, it’s never a case of ego boosting as I’m sure some are but more one of social comment and encouragement. I’ve had messages from all over the world saying they have read my blog (including family) yet never a word of comment. I’m going to try a new approach (which I highly recommend) as we all know what happens if you do the same thing over and over and expect to get a different result. Many times I’ve woken up in the night with a thought and put it down on paper for a blog and I’ve been asked to teach how to blog, clearly that would be a case of the blind leading the blind.
Maybe it’s too much content either way I’d be happy for a professional blogger to give me some advice.

I’m keeping this post short hopefully someone will be prepared to offer that advice. Any taker’s? 

Monday, March 3, 2014



When people mention plagiarism we automatically think they are referring to cheats taking the easy way out, just copying others work. I have to admit to plagiarism! I quote other peoples wise words all off the time (I even cut and paste). Where is the line between these two standpoints? Take a student who is reprimanded for using other peoples work, nowadays everyone is encouraged to Google so maybe it’s the best Google’s that should win the prize. In fact Google is very active in education check out Audacity a free online university from Google.
We certainly need creative writers and thinkers but not everyone is born with these 2 qualities. Even so by using the internet and its resources children have access to amazing amounts of information which will only add to their education.
Now there’s a word EDUCATION. Education in the traditional form is in a mess. Education has and always will be a political football which governments use during election time remember Maggie Thatcher Our 3 guiding principles are Education, Education, and Education. She’s not on her own every government takes the same attitude but when they’re elected nothing seems to happen. I happen to be from the UK but have lived and worked in the US for over 10 years. 8 years of this was spent in US Education.

I can say categorically that education is not only being used as a political football, but is ineffective (for the majority) Corrupt (and I’ll go into that later) and is one of the most costly industries in the US today. Charter schools for example were hoped to be the laboratory for finding new more effective ways to educate our children and now the pressure is on them to conform or close.
So INEFFECTIVE. There is so much evidence out there to show that our children are less educated and that the snowball effect will be that we no longer have a workforce that is qualified to do the jobs we need in the future. This has happened before though. Think how many nurses we have to bring in from overseas because we don’t have enough here, the exact same happens in the UK. It’s already happening in the high technology jobs. If we don’t get this right very soon not just our kids but our whole society is in dire risk.

CORRUPT: - I could fill several books with this evidence some of which I’d get away with and some which I’d get sued over. So I have to tread carefully here. Everyone in the system is on the take (apart from the teacher in the classroom for who I have a great deal of admiration for). They are the ones who are out there trying to teach what they don’t want to teach and in a way they know is not effective. Let’s examine this brave statement. We are all beginning to recognize we have too many tests, kids spend all of their time just preparing for these tests. The tests are to prescribed formulas so who decides what the formula is? Maybe its big business or government who want our children brainwashed to their way of thinking. It’s happened before many times Germany, China, and Russia etc. Are we so naive that we think it’s not happening here and today? Yes of course it is. The nation’s biggest provider of text books (whose name will remain anonymous to protect myself) they have teams of lobbyists plying politicians with all sorts of rewards to have them supply the system. The executives of these companies are making a fortune (and we’re paying for it).
Unfortunately we then start to think about the motives of some of our philanthropic figures who we all know so well. Why not donate millions to schools when after all they will need to buy my computers? Why not donate to schools when they need to use my computer programs? Why not donate to our schools when they need my company to build them?
One could say this is how capitalism works (more like the other c) corruption to me.Sometimes I wish I was back in the British countryside running through the gate down to the dell, if you know what I mean.
The other interesting thing is that many of the companies involved in this have become so large, with so many executives that not even the founders know its happening.
C moves very nicely onto Charter Schools (the last great hope for education today). We started with what was and still could be a hope of getting back to the real roots of education. Education should be broadening the child’s mind, all this other stuff is available on the web at the touch of a button on their iPhone. Calculators have been around for years, very few people (I’m one of the few), use their brains to work out simple Math. I knew one CFO who used their calculator to work out 6+4+7= OK for those turning to their calculators the answers 18 or was it 17 it’s always good to double check.
Charters are doing well elsewhere, in the UK over 25% of students are attending “Academies” the “new” experiment.  
If you check out Wikipedia on Charter schools you’ll find straightforward information on what happens in other countries but masses of alternative explanations about what’s happening in the US (to be honest confusion).   
Like everything in education. For his proposed budget for 2006, President George Bush asked for $219 million dollars in grants for 1,200 new and existing charter schools. He also asked for $50 million for a Choice Incentive Fund. Bush also asked for $37 million to help charter schools obtain the needed credit to renovate, lease, or buy school facilities. While charter schools receive state and local money to help with operations, they do not receive money for their facilities and they still don’t.

So Charters are doing very well elsewhere, and some are doing very well in the US but with the opposition particularly in some states, times are getting tougher. Statistics show how successful they are, but that’s just statistics.
I was recently at a dinner party, the hostess asked everyone around the table what they felt blessed with, I hadn't even thought about it so off the top of my head I said “our children because they are our future” that opened me up to a whole new world.

Well I've strayed well off from my original subject of plagiarism, but that’s what happens when your mind is allowed to roam in places you never expected. I’d be very happy and honored if anyone felt my words were important enough to quote or cut and paste. How about you?