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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The State of Friendship in Modern Society.

I spent half of a century in my life working in public service both as a professional and as a volunteer. For decades, I was actively engaged in civic, community, charitable, labor, political, and professional organizations and activities. Many people referred to me as "friend" until, that is, I was no longer in a position to help them.

Nowadays, it seems that everyone leads such a busy life that they have little or no time to have real life, up front and personal visits with "friends" all the while they seemingly have hours on end each and every day to spend on their electronic devices connected to the internet and a wide variety of electronic social media sites. That is the reality of "The State of Friendship in Modern Society" or so it would seem.

How many people can relate to this photo meme statement about when one person really matters to another person?

Here is a quote to consider - and you may use it with others, if you so choose:
“Friends always have time for friends. Busy friends make time for friends. Regardless of how busy a person may be, a true friend is never too busy for another friend.” – Roland Louis Hansen

If you are of a mind to, you may open the following embedded link to read more of my thoughts on the topic of Real Friends.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Roland Louis Hansen: Blatant Self-Promotion!

Roland Louis Hansen (that's me)
Blatant (adjective) - done openly and unashamedly.
Self-Promotion (noun) - the action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one's activities.

Is your nonprofit organization seeking a new CEO or other people to fill positions in the supervisory/management/administrative team? If so, you need to take the necessary time needed to hire the very best possible candidate. Meanwhile, as the recruitment process is underway, the organization needs to have a caretaker who continues to make sure the mission of the NPO is being accomplished on a daily basis. That is where I come in.

Take a look at the article I wrote:
In Need Of A NonProfit Managerial/Administrative Stop Gap Measure?

Okay, so now take a look at:
Roland Hansen, MPA (on LinkedIn)

Steve Tobak (Author and Managing Partner, Invisor Consulting) wrote the article:
Why Self-Promotion Is a Terrible Idea
BUT, I don't see Mr. Tobak (not to be confused with Tuvok) doing much in the way of "politics; current events; community involvement; citizen participation; consumer advocacy; and governmental responsibility, responsiveness, and accountability"as I have done -- So, what does he know?!!
Harumph!

That all being put out there for all to see, who wants to retain my services?

Friday, April 22, 2016

"The King is dead, long live The King!" Prince is dead, long live Prince. "Who will cry for me?"

"The King is dead, long live The King!"

Prince is dead, long live Prince.

I see all the people crying over the death of Prince. I fully understand that. It is not much different than when any celebrity has died. Nor, is it unusual for people to express their grief when anyone close to them passes away.

I have often spoken and have often written on my Roland's Ramblings blog as well as elsewhere on the internet in regards to the topic of the responses to the death of someone close to us and of the importance of maintaining contact with family and friends.

How many times do people think or actually say “I’ll call 'so and so' tomorrow” or “I’ll see 'so and so' tomorrow” or “We’ll get together soon” or any other number of things like that? And then, nothing more happens. Then, all of a sudden, 'so and so' dies.

When the shock of the death of 'so and so' sets in, many people (if not most people) will think about all this, reflect upon it, and pledge to change their daily perspective of putting family and friends off to another day – That will last for about 5 minutes and then most of those people will return to their same old ways. Unfortunate, but true. How sad, how very sad indeed!

Like many people in the final years of life, I often think about the fact that contact and visits with family and friends is not as frequent as I would wish. Over my lifetime, I honestly believe that I have initiated contact with family and friends more than they have with me; and, I believe that I have been the one who has attempted to renew close contacts with family and friends, but, more often than not, nothing much has resulted from my attempts. I try to remind myself that everyone has busy lives with many things to do and that they have better things to do than to coddle an old man like me. I do believe that we 'old folks' get depressed easily, often, and at the drop of a hat.

So, here I am now, thinking over all this stuff because Prince has died and I see many people reacting to his death and commemorating his life. Of those doing so, I see quite a few people who are my family and my friends, many of whom rarely, if ever, take the time to visit me, let alone speak with me on the telephone, or send me an e-mail, or letter, or even a simple greeting card.

Well, while this latest tremendous outpouring of public grief and crying over the death of Prince is playing out, I cannot help but wear my heart on my sleeve and cry myself when I wonder: Who will cry for me when I die?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The American Tax System Is Taxing My Patience!

I have been preparing my own tax returns for or over 50 years. I have found that filing both Federal and State of Ohio tax returns has been made more and more difficult each and every year. Not only are the regulations becoming more complex, but the ease in which to obtain hard copies of the necessary forms and booklets in order to file non-electronically on your own has all but been eliminated.

This year is the latest in the tax season that I have ever filed. All because neither the national nor the state government routinely mail out the needed materials as they once did, nor do those governmental entities, i.e. the IRS and the Ohio Department of Taxation, make printed copies of the required and needed materials readily available for personal pick up at government offices.

I find the lack of taxpayer service by the taxing authorities to be totally unacceptable. There is no excuse for the national and state governments to put the onus on the taxpayer for obtaining the required and needed materials in order to be in compliance of submitting tax returns. I should not have to run in circles to get the materials I need. Nor, should I have to pay out of my pocket (in addition to the taxes I have already paid) to have those materials printed.

The IRS and the Ohio Department of Taxation are taxing my patience!

Unlike most people I know, I really do not mind paying taxes, I really don't. HOWEVER, it is way past time for a new simplified tax system to be adopted and implemented.

ADDENDUM

"Tax preparation is BIG business – there were 300k people employed at 109k firms in 2012 - generating $9 billion in revenue in 2012. The industry grew over 2% from 2010-2015, and is expected to speed up the pace of growth. Revenues of $11 billion are forecast for 2018. Tax preparation is unusual in that it provides a service to assist with a process that legally every American is required to do: submit an income tax return."

"Intuit is the maker of the top-selling tax preparation program, TurboTax, which retails for as much as $100. H&R Block distributes the second-ranking program under its own name. Both have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress on goals that include quashing initiatives to promote nearly effortless tax filing."

"... there is growing bipartisan agreement that the tax code is too complicated, burdensome, and uncompetitive, and is undermining our economic potential.
The goal of tax reform is not just to design a simpler tax code but a code that promotes economic growth and ultimately raises the standard of living for every American. However, for many in Washington, tax reform is a mechanical process, not an aspirational one. To the lawyers on the tax writing committees, tax reform is about rearranging subsections of the Internal Revenue Code. To the scorekeepers at Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, it’s about seeing if the numbers add up. To Members of Congress, it’s about balancing the needs of some interest groups over others. Instead, it should be about helping the American people grow the economy.
What is missing from the process is a real sense of who the people behind the tax returns really are. ..."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jewish History. Syrian Refugees. Muslims. Donald Trump.

The following excerpts from several articles provide only a very small part of a much, much bigger picture of Jewish history. Open the embedded links for the cited articles to read them in their entirety.
In the year 1741 BCE, Abraham began his long journey from Haran to Canaan - a journey which would change the history of the world and have a profound effect on the development of most major religions.
(This website provides Year by Year History of the Jewish people 
with many embedded page links to read more information and 
also includes links to indices of names, entries, and places.)

The people of Israel (also called the "Jewish People") trace their origin to Abraham, who established the belief that there is only one God, the creator of the universe (see Torah). Abraham, his son Yitshak (Isaac), and grandson Jacob (Israel), are referred to as the patriarchs of the Israelites. All three patriarchs lived in the Land of Canaan, that later came to be known as the Land of Israel. They and their wives are buried in the Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron (Genesis Chapter 23).

The concept of segregating Jews involuntarily behind walls was developed in ancient times, but it was not actually implemented as a policy until 1462 in Frankfurt, Germany......At one time or another, all Jews were expelled from England (1290), France (1306 and 1394), Austria (1420), and Spain (1492). There were local expulsions throughout Europe including those in Germany.

The extremely long history of Jewish people (who have long been in the "minority" of peoples throughout the world) is one of many trials, tribulations, turbulence, perseverance, and survival against many obstacles that include prejudice, discrimination, xenophobia all hiding under the guise of protecting non-Jewish people from those "dirty Jews" as they have been called by the "majority" who profess they are only acting to protect themselves.

Oh, gentle reader, you are probably wondering where the Syrian Refugees, Muslims, and Donald Trump part of the title of this Roland Hansen Commentary comes in. It's really quite simple.

People have been fleeing Syria by the millions to escape the horrors of the violent Syrian civil war and from the terrorist organization called the Islamic State. In their life or death flight, these men, women, and children have sought refuge throughout Europe and North America, including the United States of America.

However, many countries have refused to accept the Syrian refugees, some countries have limited their numbers; some countries have required the refugees to reside within a certain specified geographical area; and many people are calling for the refugees to be clearly identified, cataloged, and tracked.

There is an unfathomable number of people who have a firmly held opinion that all Syrian refugees are Muslims and/or that there are many Muslim terrorists in disguise of refugees. These politically conservative people are of the opinion that the Syrian refugees should be treated as the Jewish people have been treated throughout much of history. -- Keep them isolated, keep them away; keep them out of the country --- all for "our" own protection (of course) because "they" are murderous heathens who only want to kill Christians and Jews and take over the world. Oh, the horror! (Oh, the shades of thoughts of the Crusades waged by Christians, the Inquisitions conducted by Christians, and the Holocaust executed by Nazi German Christians.)

Well, I got news for those Conservative-minded self-avowed saviors of Western society, aka Western culture, aka Western culture. Not all these refugees are Muslim, certainly many are Muslim but not all. More news: Just as there are many denominations of Christianity and just as there are many denominations of Judaism, there are various denominations of Islam, aka Muslims. Yes, there are many terrorists who are Muslim but when examined as a percentage of the millions of Muslims in the world the terrorists are in no way close to be a large percentage of the entire Muslim population. There are many terrorists who call themselves Christian, but there is no movement in the Western world to ban or limit Christians.

I could go on and on, but I also realize those persons who are anti-Syrian Refugee and/or anti-Muslim will just come up with their own arguments to point out what they perceive to be the fallacy of my perspective, just as I perceive the fallacy of their perspective.

Now, Donald Trump! Tell you what -- rather than me writing about him on this topic, I suggest you just read these articles to which I have placed an embedded link:

Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, "By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."
Germany's Catholics were proud as peacocks to count their Fuerher as one of their own ... it was extremely important in a country where 98% of the population viewed themselves as Christian, that Hitler persuade the masses that he was one of them, i.e. Christian
The population of Germany in 1933 was around 60 million. Almost all Germans were Christian, belonging either to the Roman Catholic (ca. 20 million members) or the Protestant (ca. 40 million members) churches. The Jewish community in Germany in 1933 was less than 1% of the total population of the country.How did Christians and their churches in Germany respond to the Nazi regime and its laws, particularly to the persecution of the Jews? The racialized anti-Jewish Nazi ideology converged with antisemitism that was historically widespread throughout Europe at the time and had deep roots in Christian history. For all too many Christians, traditional interpretations of religious scriptures seemed to support these prejudices.

Is it any wonder that on January 21, 2016, I posted the Roland Hansen Commentary:
Is Donald Trump the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Is Donald Trump an Advocate of Violence and Lawlessness?

Here are some excerpts from an article I read online:
"It is a sad, sad commentary on the state of political affairs that, after Donald Trump's answer to questions about violence at his campaign events, reasonable people in both parties had reason to be afraid."
"This was the actual employment of language and logic used to justify cross-burnings, lynchings and all manner of illegal, extra-judicial and inhumane behavior in U.S. history. This is what has been said to support attempted genocides, ethnic expulsions and some of the most shameful political acts around the globe. This is the actual route by which bigotry has, in the course of human history, become accepted practice and policy. This is the way that entire groups have been terrorized, demonized and oppressed."
"Trump's racially charged, primitively coded answers to Tapper's questions amount to a strong Exhibit A. The unmistakable frequency with which black and Latino protesters at Trump events are singled out for violent or at least certainly hands-on attacks and rally removals are Exhibits B-Z. Consider the evidence with care."
"Trump said more than once during the debate that his voters are driven by love."
Over the years that I have been blogging, I have learned that it is not uncommon for some web sites or some web pages to which I have linked to have been removed by the originating source or for the link itself to no longer work. Indeed, many news sources seem to remove their stories after some time has passed. That being stated, I wish to direct you to the following embedded link to read the entire story from which I copied and pasted the above excerpts, Incidentally, the article also contains some very good video. I hope this article and my link to it continue to function long after I publish this Roland Hansen Commentary. Okay, here is the story (embedded within its title) from The Washington Post you really should read:


Saturday, March 5, 2016

I like Bernie Sanders.

PREFACE: More often than not, I try to give a bit of thought to the wording I use in my entries to Roland Hansen Commentary. This one is one of the exceptions in which I have just written what came to mind as I placed fingers to the keyboard.
I am tired of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. I am tired of big business thriving on the sweat of low paid workers. I am tired of supplementing private business enterprises with my tax dollars. I am tired of corporate welfare. I am tired of multi-millionaires paying zero income taxes.I am tired of the USA fighting wars on behalf of despots. I am tired of having to fight for adequate health care all the while the health care industry and the insurance industry are profiting by withholding needed medical care and exorbitant premiums, deductibles, and co pays. I am tired of prescription drugs in the USA being more expensive than those exact same meds in Canada. I am tired of breathing polluted air because big industry wants to take shortcuts in order to enhance their profit margin. I am tired of the military - industrial complex disregarding basic human rights. I am tired of the oligarchy that permeates our political and social structure. And, there is so much more.

All that brings me to making the statement:

I like Bernie Sanders. 
Now that I have expressed my initial thoughts, I continue on with a more thought out, not so spur of the moment writing.
For those who wonder what brought this about, I am sick and tired of the same ol' same ol' in American politics. The political games that have played out over the past four American Presidential terms have been disgusting. However, the debacle that has been occurring over the past several months in the American political scene as it relates to the various candidates seeking to become the next President of The United States of America are absolutely disgusting and deplorable.

FYI: Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. He is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election.

In my humble opinion, every candidate seeking to become the next President of the United States, except for, Bernie Sanders is of questionable character. Special interest groups representing narrow self-interests are pushing each of the contestants. Again, IMHO, only Bernie Sanders, who has been called The Populist Prophet, stands out as a champion for the average person.

If you have an inquisitive mind about how Bernie Sanders stands on issues, I suggest you read and explore the following:
2016 Presidential Candidates, Bernie Sanders On the issues

There are a couple Twiitter accounts for Bernie Sanders.
  • One is: Bernie Sanders @SenSanders, Sen. Bernie Sanders is the longest serving independent in congressional history. Tweets ending in -B are from Bernie, and all others are from a staffer.
  • And the other is: Bernie Sanders @BernieSanders, Join our campaign for president at http://berniesanders.com . Tweets by staff.

And, there is also a Bernie Sanders YouTube Channel.

So, now that I wrote all that, and included some very useful embedded links, I might add, --- Does anyone care to know how I truly feel?

I like Bernie Sanders.