Category Archives: Simple thoughts from this blogger

Great Cultural Perforamances for All

THIS POST IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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Exposure to, understanding of, participation in/with Great Culture is enriching.  It expands our minds, gives us depth, expands our world view, makes us smarter and more compassionate, elevates our station, allows transcendence over grief and banality, gives us a reason to strive for something better.

Even though my family of 4 is what many in this country would consider well off, the price of tickets to cultural events like plays, musicals, and ballets gives me great pause.  I just purchased tickets to see a show, with a dinner reservation at the theater for my friend and I and the total bill was $220.  That is a lot of money.  We could certainly not afford that kind of theatre going very often, and this is being written by a person who got a university degree in the dramatic arts, spent a number of years as a professional singer/actor in plays and musicals, and has spent the rest of my life participating in the arts in one way or another.

Being a performer, I intimately understand that creating a production of any kind is expensive and requires the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of many.  Creating a new work of art is a gift to the ages, as Stephen Sondheim wrote in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, “Look, I made a hat…Where there never was a hat.”  And the people who do this creative work, deserve to be paid well for it.

But the cost of going to the see a play or musical, ballet or symphony is exorbitant.   The thought of taking the whole family to see a show makes us consider what else we could possibly give up that same month.

This begs the question:  WHO IS THEATER FOR?  Shouldn’t grand culture be for everyone? Most of society is starved for cultural experience and cannot afford it.  Individuals benefit greatly from exposure to great culture, yet it can only be regularly consumed by a select few.   The benefits of an individual’s cultural literacy extends to the larger society.  Filled with people who have an appreciation of fine art, theater, music, and dance are more likely to expect more from life.  If only great cultural experiences could be delivered and consumed in an affordable way!

We live in an era of technology.

If live performance is too expensive to be consumed in person, it can be recorded and electronically delivered.  Kids get so much from experiencing live performance live and in person.  Btu they can sitll get a lot from watching a recording of it.  If it is not AS good, it is still pretty close.

Can’t more venues record the performances so kids can see them at home or at school?

If there is not a budget to take children to the great museums of the world, schools can and should make an effort to go online and help kids discover the art as it is available online.

I sing to kids in schools.  Some of these schools are designated as Title 1, meaning

These children NEED and deserve exposure to cultural experiences just as much as anyone.

Human capital must be recognized, understood and appreciated, nurtured and cultivated.

Everybody matters.  Everyone should reach their potential, their Divine Design.

The world NEEDs every person to achieve his or her Divine Design.

Exposure to Great Culture is an essential element in allowing this to happen, for the transcendental treasures it gives.

On the other side of the coin, however, I recently bought tickets to see

Recording of live performances could be shown in movie theaters (like some opera events are currently being shown), libraries, school multi-purpose rooms, church basements and community centers.  If people can’t get to the theater, bring the theater to the people.

Some opera performances are being live broadcast to movie theaters, but this could be done with recordings and on a much larger scale to include Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End, Ballet, Cabaret, Regional Theater…all of it.

Artists and arts professionals would flourish by the wider audience and culturally under served audiences would flourish from their exposure to the art.  It is win-win.

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Big Idea: Support Groups for Chronic Pain Sufferers

This issue is close to my heart since someone very close to me is a sufferer of chronic pain.

Chronic Pain Sufferers will be refereed to as CPS.

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My Big Idea is for:

Support groups to inform, empower and support CPS.

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Why a support group is needed:
The Health Care Catch-22.  Our society ties health care to a job benefit.  It is hard to excel and succeed in a job as a CPS .  It is hard to keep a job as a CPS.  Yet CPS need health care more than anyone.

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Topic to discuss at support group meetings:

  • How to behave as a chronic pain sufferer.  People who suffer from chronic pain can learn modes of behavior so they can be more successful in their jobs
  • What are CPS disability rights? Understanding one’s rights according to and protections provided by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EOEC) imperative and The Americans with Liabilities Act (ADA)
  • How to take advantage of protections afforded by EOEC and ADA without employer backlash
  • How to obtain effective and affordable health care
  • How to get pain medications without humiliation and accusations of drug seeking
  • How to solve the Health Care Catch-22 of CPS needing health care that is tied to a job that is hard to keep because of CP.

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Descriptive Ideas for the Support Group

  • Alcoholics Anonymous and Weigh Watchers have support systems for their members, so should CPS
  • A place to get support, information, help, resources and empowerment
  • A place to find a way to create a plan and achieve benchmarks to success
  • A place to access to counselors (job, career, psychological, emotional), life coaches, resource managers, ADA or EOEC officers, Affordable Health Care advisers, etc.
  • A place for members to exchange ideas.
  • A place for member to develop strategies and catalog best practices (maybe a website or blog to catalog, archive and convey all the findings, information, best practices, resources, ideas, etc.)

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RESOURCES &/OR RESOURCE LEADS

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Americans with Disabilities Act homepage:
http://www.ada.gov/

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Americans with Disabilities Act (described on Understood.org)
https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/your-childs-rights/basics-about-childs-rights/ada-protecting-your-childs-civil-rights

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ADA Facts on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website:
http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-ada.cfm

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Better Help Online Counseling
Support and guidance from a professional counselor has been shown to make big changes.
https://www.betterhelp.com/faq/

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Disability.gov
https://www.disability.gov/

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Discrimination at Work: Understanding Your Child’s Rights
https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/choosing-changing-schools/leaving-high-school/discrimination-at-work-understanding-your-childs-rights

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Emotional Fitness Training Blog:
http://emotionalfitnesstraining.com/2015/02/18/betrayed-how-to-hold-on-to-the-good/

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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
http://www.eeoc.gov/index.cfm

Cut/Paste from EEOC Website

Overview
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

Jobs and Internships at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
EEOC hires in many locations around the country for investigators, mediators, attorneys and administrative and clerical positions. listed at USAJOBS See USAJobs.Gov for a list of current vacancies.

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US General Services Administration: Resources for Americans with Disabilities webpage:
http://gsa.gov/portal/content/193773

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Understood.org (for learning and attention issues)
A website for parent who have children that have learning issues, but this site has a lot of great info on it:
https://www.understood.org/en

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United States Office of Personnel Management Disability Employment Hiring webpage:
http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/hiring/

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Related Posts

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Resources Found So Far (ADA, Disability Resources and Migraine) All in One Place
https://migraineepicandaction.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/resources-found-so-far-ada-disability-resources-and-migraine-all-in-one-place/

Category: Guns and Gun Culture

Collection of  posts and information to explore the topic of American Gun Culture

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THIS BLOG’S POSTS

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SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND GUN CULTURE IN AMERICA
Smart Thinking about the Second Amendment and the Gun Culture in America:
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/smart-thinking-from-smart-people-about-the-second-amendment-and-the-gun-culture-in-america/

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GUN CULTURE IN AMERICA AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
Smart Thinking about the Second Amendment and the Gun Culture in America:
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/smart-thinking-from-smart-people-about-the-second-amendment-and-the-gun-culture-in-america/

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DO GUNS MAKE US SAFER? SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SAYS NO.
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/do-guns-make-us-safer-scientific-research-says-no/

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JEFFREY TOOBIN’S ARTICLE ON THE 2ND AMENDMENT
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/my-two-cents-jeffrey-toobins-blog-about-second-amendment/

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The More Guns the More Dangerous the Climate for Living
The states with most lax gun laws have the most gun violence.  More guns equals more violence, equals more danger (not less as gun proponents would like to think).
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/13/24-7-wall-st-states-most-gun-violence/71003050/?hootPostID=8d4fbb1a0aa32a8df1a2eece630e9ad9

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LINKS AND INFORMATION

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Related Posts and Pages

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SMART THINKING CATEGORIES
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/categories/

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SMART THINKING PHILOSOPHY

A Nice Philosophy: Simple Formula and Simple Rules, Do the Smart and Good Thing

To learn and thrive in life and get through difficult situations, I am going to try a simple formula:

Step A:  Do the Smart and Good Thing (see Rules 1 & 2 below)

Step B:  If the first Smart and Good Thing does not work, try the next Smart and Good Thing (and keep going until life is better or the problem is solved)

The idea for the Smart and Good Thing comes from a conversation I had with my son after  a young person who lives near us did something terrible.  It was clear that this terrible thing arose from a series of bad decisions, and, if any young person is not careful, something like this can easily happen with anyone.

We came up with two rules (though crudely put below) to guide one’s decision making and to help one live a good life:

Rule 1:  Don’t be an Idiot (in other words, Do the Smart Thing)

Rule 2:  Don’t be and asshole (in other words, Do the Good Thing)

In gathering information and the thoughts of smart people  and trying to understand tough issues of our day, I pledge to do my best to do the Smart and Good Thing.

My Two Cents: Jeffrey Toobin’s Blog about Second Amendment

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SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE SECOND AMENDMENT?
By Jeffrey Toobin
DECEMBER 18, 2012
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/jeffrey-toobin-second-amendment.html

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The “right” hanging so desperately on to their 2nd Amendment “rights” might really be all wrong and not what the Founding Fathers had in mind at all…it’s all political (and a FRAUD) and many people are dying each year as a result.

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The 2nd Amendment does not need to be repealed. But we do need to put some common sense, safety, intelligent thought, and responsible and considerate behavior back into its current interpretation. Its current interpretation, the one making all that reprehensible behavior possible (and the source of many deaths in this country), is recent and political. The way the 2nd Amendment is currently being read is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.

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Civilians who carry guns in public violate RULES 1 AND 2 of the DO THE SMART AND GOOD THING formula

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Related Posts

Smart Thinking from Smart People about the Second Amendment and the Gun Culture in America

Though always under construction, this is the Smart Thinking from Smart People that I’ve gathered on the subject of the Second Amendment and the Gun Culture in America so far:

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Say No to ‘The New Normal’ — Five Things You Can Do About Gun Violence
By Cliff Schecter, June 13, 2014
http://billmoyers.com/2014/06/13/say-no-to-the-new-normal-five-things-you-can-do-about-gun-violence/

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2nd amendment a biography
The Second Amendment, a Biography
By Michael Waldman

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Politico Magazine: How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment
The Founders never intended to create an unregulated individual right to a gun. Today, millions believe they did. Here’s how it happened.
By MICHAEL WALDMAN, May 19, 2014
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856_full.html?print

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Salon: NRA’S CONSTITUTIONAL FRAUD
MONDAY, JUN 2, 2014
http://www.salon.com/2014/06/02/nras_constitutional_fraud_the_truth_behind_the_right_to_bear_arms/

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NY Daily News (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, June 15, 2014)
Stasi: The NRA has twisted the right to bear arms into the right to kill kids:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/stasi-gunning-peace-schools-article-1.1830478#ixzz34ojKt3ez

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SALON, TUESDAY, JUN 10, 2014
Gun extremists finally go too far: What will make the NRA realize they’ve lost America? By PAUL ROSENBERG
http://www.salon.com/2014/06/10/gun_extremists_finally_go_too_far_what_will_make_the_nra_realize_theyve_lost_america/

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MIKE WALDMAN talks with NPR about his book THE SECOND AMENDMENT: A BIOGRAPHY
Author: 2nd Amendment’s Only Sentence Generates Recurrent Debate
http://www.npr.org/2014/06/10/320575201/second-amendment-s-only-sentence-generates-recurrent-debate

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Mike Waldman talks about his book on Simon & Schuster
http://on.aol.com/video/what-does-the-second-amendment-actually-mean–518255283

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Excellent review of Mike Waldman’s book THE SECOND AMENDMENT A BIOGRAPHY, here:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-13/features/chi-second-amendment-biography-michael-waldman-20140613_1_second-amendment-printers-row-journal-state-militias

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From Parents Against Gun Violence’s FB page:
A popular gun meme suggests that Wyoming has the fewest gun regulations and (consequently) no mass shootings. They got that half right.
gun support meme was wrong facts got it right

“Wyoming has a higher per-capita gun murder rate than Wisconsin, Washington, Vermont, Utah, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Oregon, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Montana, Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Idaho, Hawaii, and Colorado, despite all those states having denser populations and stronger gun laws.”

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Post written by young person Sarah Clements who is a daughter of a survivor of the Sandy Hook Massacre
https://medium.com/@sfclem/what-to-say-this-time-947630fe2bfd

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SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE SECOND AMENDMENT?
By Jeffrey Toobin
DECEMBER 18, 2012
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/jeffrey-toobin-second-amendment.html

My Two Cents
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/my-two-cents-jeffrey-toobins-blog-about-second-amendment/

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Bill Maher on the Open Carry Gun Culture in America (June 2014),

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NPR’s Wade Goodwyn blogs a report about the Open Carry efforts in Texas
One comment calls the Open Carry practitioners, “a Gang of Thugs” and I agree.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/06/05/318536707/open-carry-gun-laws-spark-texas-backlash

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Dave Letterman discusses the gun situation with Anderson Cooper on Late Night 6/5/2014

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NRA (May 30, 2014),
Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners.

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Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
On Open Carry Movement
6/5/2014 – 2

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Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
On Open Carry Movement
6/5/2014 – 1

Full transcript on Daily Koz
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/06/1304851/-MUST-SEE-Jon-Stewart-blasts-the-Open-Carry-Texas-movement

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  • Civilians who carry guns in public violate RULES 1 AND 2 of the DO THE SMART AND GOOD THING formula
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
  • The habit of civilians carrying guns around in public is dangerous to others
  • The habit of civilians carrying guns around in public is impolite and inconsiderate to others
  • The gun culture in the United States is dangerous and often uncivil, crass, vile, crude, uncultured…
  • How can others know if someone carrying a gun is skilled or intelligent enough to use it correctly (and use it correctly under tremendous pressure)
  • If a person is carrying a gun, how can others know if that person a “good guy” unless that person is a uniformed member of the military or law enforcement.  Is it safe or even intelligent to assume?
  • In other places, one knows who the bad guys are because they are the ones carrying or trying to get the guns.

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Related Posts

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SMART THINKING CATEGORIES
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/categories/

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SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND GUN CULTURE IN AMERICA
Smart Thinking about the Second Amendment and the Gun Culture in America:
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/smart-thinking-from-smart-people-about-the-second-amendment-and-the-gun-culture-in-america/

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GUN CULTURE IN AMERICA AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
Smart Thinking about the Second Amendment and the Gun Culture in America:
https://smartthinkingfromsmartpeople.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/smart-thinking-from-smart-people-about-the-second-amendment-and-the-gun-culture-in-america/