ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

This is from June in Africa

Africa: Who’s to Blame?

First transmission - 23 July 2005

In Africa: Who’s to Blame? Jerry Rawlings, ex President of Ghana joins June Arunga, a Kenyan law student, on a journey through Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Along the way they focus on key issues like slavery, colonialism, globalisation and leadership, debating whether external or internal factors have had the greatest influence in Africa.

Hope you catch it on BBC World.


A. June Arunga

Telephone: 0790-6291-960

Monday, May 30, 2005

This is fun - and looking for suggestions

I'm having so much fun with my blog. I love your comments and hope that over time this will become an exciting and dynamic exchange of ideas. Please do respond, and pass the address onto anyone you think might be interested in exchanging interesting ideas.

I am writing an article on "A Reasonable Approach to Sexual Harassment Training and Investigation" and am looking for ideas that pertain to government agencies and their policies, prevention methods, sanctions, and investigations. I am hoping that Reason Magazine will publish it, but since they appeal to an audience interested in public policy, I need to find some relevant examples. HELP

More about Africa

So many of us take our freedom for granted. We are so busy complaining about what is wrong with our country, or government officials, that we fail to remember how wonderful this country is and how great our lives compared to others in other countries.

Listening to June about Africa reminded me of some other information I have about the corruption of the government and services in South Africa. When I was on my cruise to Alaska, I met a South African couple. He was a director in a gold mine and they had come to the United States to attend a wedding. While here they did a lot of shopping and mentioned one evening that there stateroom suite was so full they could hardly move around. I asked why they didn't have the stuff they bought shipped and they laughed responding that the postal system was so corrupt that the odds were very high they would never receive their merchandise.

My neighbors are from South Africa too and Michelle told me the same thing. She said that regular mail is opened and cash or even checks are taken.

When Paula and I were in China we saw first hand what communism does to a people - they are afraid. They are spied upon. They are arrested and severly punished for minor infractions - and killed or seriously maimed for major ones.

We are here. We are free (in spite of Homeland Security) and we have freedom of speech, freedom to go and do what we wish, freedom to move, to change jobs, to travel - and yes, even to insult our President. Be grateful. Cherish, protect and preserve those freedoms by always speaking out.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

June Arunga - in Africa

When I was at the Reason Foundation weekend, I met June and saw snippets of her film, The Devil's Footpath" about her journey throughout Africa. The other night I viewed the film with friends, John & Donna Dubois. We were all in agreement that June is brilliant, charming, and brings to life the troubles and humanity of the people throughout Africa.

She makes many important points, including the importance of freedom - and freedom of speech. In Egypt, and other parts of Africa, people are punished severly if they question or criticize the government. June says a people can not be free if they can not be free to disagree.

She talks also of the corruption of the governments and how our humanitarian help is actually hurting because it is not enabling or encouraging people to work themselves. Africa is enormously rich in natural resources - yet most of the people are starving poor.

Oil and gold are plentiful - as are diamonds - but corrupt goverments take all the profit and give nothing back to the people. This film is worth seeing. June is worth hearing. Anyone wanting more information - please contact me and I will give you the contact information for purchasing the dvd. By the way, June did this film for the BBC.

Can we disagree without destroying relationships?

Why is it that people don't separate the disagreement from the person? It seems to me that it is perfectly OK to have different opinions, and to express them, without having to discontinue relationships. For me, someone has to betray me, hurt me deeply repeatedly - or deliberately, and/or behave very immorally before I write them off.

I remember back in the old Ayn Rand days, people were "excommunicated" merely for disagreeing. I didn't agree with that practice then - and I don't agree with it now.

People of goodwill, honor and integrity can - and do - disagree. So why can't we?

How voring life would be if everyone agreed with everything.

I think it is important to voice your opinion about important things. Currently, my townhouse association is revising the CC&Rs - and I don't think they are going about it correctly. They are trying to get us to voite on a number of controversial issues, without allowing us to see them in advance and to decide issue by issue. I think they made a number of serious mistakes because they are heavily influenced by someone I regard as giving them very bad advice. Because I sent an e-mail out to the members of the complex,for whom I have an e-mail, members of the board are no longer talking to me. Indeed, they are now shunning me!

Doesn't this remind you of Junior High School - when girls took sides based on who they liked, not what they believed?

When I train boards, teams, committees, etc., I always talk about the importance of separating issues from people - and the importance of being able to disagree without insulting. If we all "go along to get along" the evil bullies of this world will indeed take over.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Thanks for Signing in

Although I haven't seen any comments on the blog itself, a few people called, came over and/or e-mailed me that they had visited my new blog. Thanks. Please feel free to offer comments.

Today, I want to start with something that is very important to me. All of my life I have been willing to speak up for what I believe is right. Most of the time, many others agree with me - but are reluctant to come forward, believing that they have to "go along to get along." As a Jew, I strongly object to that passive stance, because that's what happened in Germany Everyone let Hitler get away with it - and he acquired more and more power - and look what happened.

There is a famous quote, from Pastor Neimeyer, a Protestant Minister, which goes something like: They came for the Jews, and since I wasn't one, I didn't protest.
They came for the Homosexuals and since I wasn't one, I didn't protest, [next several other examples] - and then they came for me, and there was no one left who could protest. If anyone has the exact quote, I'd love for them to post it here.

Bob Finnochio, Professor of Business at the University of Santa Clara and I are writing an article, entitled "The Tyranny of Pleasantness". Bob makes the point that in the corporate world many bad decisions are made because people are afraid to offer constructive criticism, thinking they need to be "team players" and accept consensus, no matter how bad it is.

John Adams, our Second President, wrote about the importance of protecting the minority - against the majority.

Some would think Don Quixote was crazy - recently, the property manager working with our townhouse suggested I was crazy, because I disagreed with some of the decisions being made by the board - with his influence. He called me to vilify me for not being a team player. Were the Germans all "team players"?

Monday, May 23, 2005

ArLyne's New Blog -

Today is Monday, May 23, 2005 and finally, after three years of wanting to do this, I have my own blog. I haven't a clue yet as to how to let you know about it - nor do I have anything vitally important to say today - except HELLO. We've started!

This past weekend I met some of the most incredible free-market thinkers - at a party Saturday night. It was wonderful to be with a group of bright interesting like minded people. Hopefully, over time you will come to think the same of the tidbits you read here.

I would like this blog to be a reflection of my values and experience - I want to share my thoughts with you about contemporary issues, workplace issues, and whatever else comes to mind.

I will gladly answer questions on workplace relations, philosophy, psychology, negotiation, persuasion, mediation and other topics I might know something about.

For those of you who might not already know, my book: Training Your Board of Directors can be purchased from my publisher: Not only is this book good for boards of all kinds, (including corporate, government, association, religious and non-profit)a number of people are already using it for team building in the corporate world as well as for employee development in small professional practices and retail stores.

I am now working on my Fund-Raising for Non-Profits book and hope to have it finished in a few months.

It's late now and I want to end this for tonight. I'm hoping lots of my friends, clients, and colleagues find time to read my blog and share their comments with me.