June 23rd, 2007 by De Onion

On Thursday I joined a number of other youngish Bermudians in a lecture hall at Bermuda College to see Stedman Graham speak… the gazette reporter got better quotes than I did (since I’m sure her short hand is better than mine).

Here are my notes, apologies in advance for not putting this behind a cut… and apologies also for any grammatical or other errors, my secretary was busy not existing so I had to transcribe for myself.

Sweep streets like Michaelangelo painted pictures

Here lived a great sweet sweeper – if you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill then be a scrub in the valley then be the best scrub you can be.

Can’t be a highway, just be a trail.

Be the best of whatever you are. So the question of today is how to become the best of what you area

You first have to be free – what is freedom. We talk about it all the time, but how much? Sweet land of liberty and the pilgrims. Let freedom ring
People talk about it, but the question is how we are free?

regular week – wake up, go to work, come home, watch tv, wash, rinse, repeat, each day. Work, etc.
If you do the same thing yesterday as you do today and what you will do tomorrow then you will have done nothing. Doing it for 30 years with the same schedule. I have no more in the end than I had in the beginning
The missing piece is that most people forget to think.
You’re young, you don’t know who you are – they education system teaches you to remember, regurgitate, get a grade. The question is how can we grow if we don’t think? We may get older but we may not grow mentally because we never get a chance to engage the brain.

So the world defines you buy your house, your care, your family, your money, your job, your religion, your race.

You are put into a box ad are defined by a box. Whoever defines you will always define you as less than them. You can never turn anyone else the potential to define your potential as a human being

How do you take your power back?
How do you own your own self – your own mind
If you don’t own your mind then you are still a slave
A slave follows everyone else, and is waiting for everyone else to tell them what to do .
Followers are looking for leaders, and leaders are not looking for followers – they are looking for other leaders.
Can you be authentic in yourself – can you keep it real? If you can’t engage the world with your mind then you are going through the motions every day doing nothing

Who are you? If you don’t get this then you will be average
There is a process, it’s not a product of wanting to be successful, or to be someone, or because you wen to Wharton or Harvard, or because someone special because your parents have a lot of money, it happens because someone teaches you how. If you don’t get it then you’ll do fine, but you will always be average. You’ll get 2 weeks vacation, but you will still be a slave to the world.

How do you get out of that box? How do you break the cycle? How do you get the program? Break what you have learned in the house.

What do your parent s have to do with you? Nothing.

If you don’t know that the world has unlimited wealth and resources, but we always move in our own small circles because of our fears. The challenge is to change the way we feel and thing about ourselves every single day. Can I be better today than I was yesterday? How do I grow beyond my current circumstances.

If I get stuck in myself then I am going to be the same. The idea of moving beyond yourself and beyond your history and moving into your imagination and moving into the 21st century.

Put your clothes on, an act like you are somebody and don’t have a clue of your possibilities as a human being. When you understand this freedom stuff then that’s where the power is. It’s being the same person when you’re talking to a homeless person or the president of the United States. You know who you are and can be the same personal the time. You never have to apologize for who you are because you just exist. And you are good enough just like you are. Nobody else controls your mind and who you are. You can control your own life and your own destiny.

Knowledge is power.

Worked in the prison system for 5 years, but would have been a prisoner himself if he hadn’t been a basketball player.

All of us have defining moments. His was when he was 13 or 14. there was one store in his town and they used to play pinball and shoot pool and one Saturday he was there an d his buddies. Mr. TA owned the store and he went up to him and told the owner that he was going to college. Mr. TA said, you’re not going to college – your family is too stupid and you’re too dumb. Get hurt and you get mad. So he got mad an d then showed Mr. TA and went to college and got his degree to show Mr. TA that he is somebody. Had to show him that he was somebody. Got his degree, not sure if he learned anything. Then said “I’m not finished with Mr. TA so he went back and got this master’s degree and moved to Chicago and met a woman. Named Oprah, who has a talk show. Who reaches 20 million every day. Very hard thing to be in a relationship with a woman who is very powerful . Needs to prove his value outside that box of that relationship

Freedom is on the inside. People are looking for the freedom in the outside. They are being defined by external things. Watching TV that says “this is who you are”. realized that this i show it works – drew diagram, of him in the centre. We need to say world, we stop working for you….
make the world work for us.

All you have to do is Build the foundation and work on that every single day and only think that you are on the outside. All the inside will come if you work on the foundation of who you are and build it every day. To a 14 year old: You have 80 years to work on yourself every day. Continuous quality improvement.

Bill gates started at age 7 and has been working on improving the process his whole life. He rows to improve every day . If you don’t grow then you will stay the same so you need to change your thinking . This is what makes us all equal. Everyone has 24 hours in a day to do everything. Same 24 hours that bill gates has.. The question is what do you do with your 24 hours? What do people do with their 24 hours.. Some people watch TV.

Things do not happen, things are made to happen – JFK

Control your own destiny. Success means different thinks to different people. Money is a tool.

You can make lots of money easily. Progressive with your vision in what you are doing always trying support parents to be the best that they can be.
What will bring you joy? What makes you feel good about yourself. Check your feelings, how do you feel about the world and your work. When you are able to develop the strength to enhance your feelings so you feel good every single day. Have a good day, 7 days, good week 4 weeks, good month 12 good months, then you have had a good year, 70 good years and you have had a good life. What are your habits and to they make you feel good about yourself.. They are long-term success, they work toward the back end and then work on the back end to get the things on the front end. He has worked all these years to be able to come to Bermuda and play golf all day and have a nice dinner buffet. He gets a chance to stay at Cambridge Beaches. Want it on the back end, work toward something.. Get to be 70 or 80 and you don’t want to have to go back to work and start all over because you didn’t understand front and back end. Success is living a fully engaged life in which all of your gifts and talents are developed and put to their highest uses.
101 is just out of the woods, will cuss, will steal, will lie, will cheat, want everything right now. 102 103 104 – they are like understanding how it works. 105s are running the world. What is possible for you?

Stages of life.

If you cannot read, then you will fail. If you don’t graduate from high school then you will make minimum wage. I f you don’t have those stages then your life is bad. If you miss anyone then you are in a tough place.

Staying school so you can create value so you can take care of yourself
The nine step success, process is a systematic approach to organizing and achieving life goals and ambitions. It’s the how.

Nobody taught me how to think.

Break down a step by step process for how things work. See a lot of people with dead eyes. They are not in the game. See a lot of people who have no goals and no aspirations. They are walking around and they think that they are tough. They can swing to the music. People dance to the music, but when do they stop dancing. There’s more to life than dancing.

Nine steps if implemented consistently then I will build personal and career effectiveness, Help build internal capacity, people respond to value. Create value. Can you add value? If you can then you can create value. How much value can you create. The value you give yourself is directly related to the value that other people give you. Note to self: Not backed up by research. At all. People see you as you see yourself. Have to move our eyes from walking looking down to walking like you’re looking up.

You are a brand and you are the one that creates that value by how you build value for yourself. The world picks you out and says you are not like everyone else. 88 percent are looking for thinkers and leaders. Looking for smart talented people who you don’t have to supervise every single day because you are losing money if you are supervising. Are you hungry, do you want it. We get comfortable and don’t get happy. Then we do nothing and lose huger because we are fat dumb and happy. Never get comfortable. We want the whole world, not just Bermuda.

You teach people how to treat you, much of it is from style or class.

In Bermuda we are taught class. The world relates to the law of the jungle and only the strong survive. How do you create strength in your life. Men and boys programs who have los t their strength . When you are a lion and you lose your strength then you can’t survive in the jungle and as soon as people see your weakness they exploit it. They leave the strong alone,

1. Know yourself. Check your ID

Love is the most powerful. Opposite is hate, and you have o power when negative because that is weakness.

Stay on the positive side and do what is right. Then powerful layers and accumulation of things that are good. If you do not get the first step then you will be a follower and you will never be above average.

What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses? MJ going to basketball.
What are your patterns of behaviour?
– What are your passions?
– What do you love to do?
– How do I connect the dots if you are not altering your patterns.
Many people are stuck doing the same thing.

Past, present, and future – sometimes the biggest obstacles to success are those that we unconsciously put in our own paths.
– Past hurts and negative attitudes hold you back
– Bring the good things from your past forward
– Learn from the bad things and let them go.
The future is clear and is what we are clear. Our present is what we have right now. If every time then we can taint the present and future if we bring our past forward.
The key is to disconnect yourself from your history. Your past can hold you captive, abuse, bad family situation, your friends, etc. Sometimes you need to disconnect from your friends and your circumstances who are trying to pull you down and put you in that box. When you try and be a leader people will pull you down. Who will try and take you out first. What space can you get in that is going to help you crate opportunity, Create fertile ground in which you can grow. If you are in an environment where you can’t grow then you need to get out.

I can be my possibilities, I don’t have to be my parents. I had to disconnect myself from my parent’s thinking. They did the best they could. He had to remove himself from that thinking and it’s how you think that will determine your thinking and your social standard.

Step 2 create your vision. Your life’s destination. Your outlook on life. Where you are going and what you want to get. Vision is your dreams and your hope.

Most people are in the present and the past and not vision in the future. Create opportunities based on what you see that is possible and build backward. Figuring what is possible from e and organizing the things that he can do every day. What do you care about, who do you I want to become, what’s my vision for myself. What is going to give me value. He plays golf. Golf is his culture around golf and he organized how he would actualize his passion. – Golf instructor, – Information around golf – equipment – relationships – travel with golf
– look on the internet. real estate around golf. Golf is one thing that allows him to perfect, build, and enjoy. Grow your game if you did this with everything you love then 24 hours to work it. His day. How can he take that day and make it work for him. when he goes to bed the day is over. Vision is moving beyond your bills. Why are you struggling with money?… because you have no vision of what is possible. Builds hundreds of relationships and can pick u the phone. Best way to predict your future is to create it.

Realistic, meaningful, well-defined.
personal business plan. Need to research and become clear how ou are going to do it.

Step 3 – develop your travel plan.

Planning saves time. Plan – look at the plan. Get input when it’s on paper, creates focus.

Personal branding.
Build your own life brand. – book by Stedman.

Note to self; create pie chart of how to spend your day.

Branding is the image created in the minds of people when they see or hear a particular name, product, or logo.

Strong brands offer long term promises and performance. They demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and value.

Bermuda Now

June 20th, 2007 by De Onion

…in my last post I challenged others to step up to the plate… and Bermuda Now took me up on it… so welcome to the scene.

In the Bermuda Sun Thao Dill was quoted as saying that “The middle class are smart enough not to obsess, they wish it wasn’t out in the air being discussed, but largely, they’re just getting on with their lives. They see it as something for people with axes to grind to discuss.”

Are you kidding? Really? $8 million was stolen, apparently by senior elected officials (to say nothing of the hundreds of millions that hasn’t been properly accounted for), that’s potentially thousands of dollars for each working Bermudian! We should be obsessing, this is our country, our reputation, our jobs, our future, our money!

Avoiding the pitfalls of reality…

June 20th, 2007 by De Onion

Since there happens to be plenty of evidence coming to light that should change people’s beliefs but in many cases won’t, here’s a nifty article on cognitive dissonance.

BHC Scandal – Coverup

June 19th, 2007 by De Onion

I said I wouldn’t be blogging for a few weeks, but the BHC scandal and resulting cover-up attempts are too great to ignore.

Quite simply, this is so far beyond the everyday incompetence, posturing, and petty bickering that we’ve come to expect from our governments.

I want to do my part for the subversive movement. Enough people know who I am to make posting things on this blog too risky, but if anyone wants to set up an anonymous blog for themselves or a friend to use to post anything they want to say or get out there then go to and get posting.

…blogging on Bermuda time…

June 14th, 2007 by De Onion

Blogging will continue to be light for the next 2 weeks as real life kicks my ass. Also, there are far more interesting and important things for Bermuda’s future happening at the moment than I could possibly write about.

If they don’t deny it and don’t sue then it’s probably true…


June 7th, 2007 by De Onion

Read this post… then check out the responses to evidence of corruption.

…there are two systems at work in motivated reasoning: a cold system, that works to come to an accurate conclusion given the input from the environment and memory, and a hot system, driven by emotion, that seeks to come to a desired conclusion (and thus “maximize positive affect and minimize negative affect”) by biasing the input and interpretation of information from the environment and memory with which the cold system can work.

The study is concerned specifically with how political partisans, people who are committed to one political party, and specifically to one candidate, utilize the “hot” and “cold” systems in reasoning when presented with “threatening” information about that candidate. Utilizing imaging work like that of Goel and Dolan (discussed in yesterday’s post), Westen et al. predict that when partisans are presented with threatening information about their candidate, they will see increased activation in areas associated with “hot” cognition, specifically the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex (an area associatwiththe emotion and reward), along with suppression of activity in areas associated with “cold” cognition, such as the lateral prefrontal cortex.

For seniors?

June 7th, 2007 by De Onion

The elimination of car registration fees for senior citizens, as with many policies is one that on the surface may appear to be all roses and cupcakes, but when considered fully for its implications is perhaps not really what it seems.

Q: Who can afford cars?
A: Seniors who are not completely broke.

Q: Who can drive a car?
A: Seniors who are healthy.

The intent may have been good the execution just means that we’ve given a $1000 a year tax break to people who are rich enough to afford a car, old enough to qualify, and healthy enough to drive… which is probably the per capita wealthiest group in Bermuda. So in reality these changes will not have a bottom-up effect on really improving the lives of the people who actually need it – which is the fraction of the population who are living really crappy lives because they weren’t able to make it into the future with sufficient savings to sustain a comfortable lifestyle and/or are not healthy and are financially struggling because of healthcare. Essentially therefore we have tax cut for the richest people in Bermuda, and increased taxes for everyone else who is young or old, rich or poor, because the lost revenue is made up somewhere.

The lesson here is that in a competent well intentioned government, when looking at making a change in tax law it’s necessary to look at who pays the taxes and their ability to pay. In this case the majority of the people paying these taxes are people who can afford to pay them, while the people who are really struggling at the very bottom of society who need real help (because they have insufficient savings/assets to have a good retirement) are not getting anything because they can’t afford cars in the first place. Eliminating car license fees does nothing for Mr. Brangman who lives in the Salvation Army Shelter and buys food with his Social Insurance pension, but it does give Louise Jackson a discount on her class E station wagon.

Links for the day:

Thoughts for the day…

June 6th, 2007 by De Onion

...Avalance 2007

Bun down d system

June 4th, 2007 by De Onion

C’Daynger called it.

I want to write about corruption, violence, incompetence, arrogance, foreign exchange flows, localized inflation, reputation, the mathematics of social mobility, fiduciary responsibility, cognitive bias, the Stanford Prison Experiment, ethical obligations, conflicts of interest, executive compensation, linguistic framing, financial motivations, freedom of the press, investment returns, inter-generational assets, balance of power, the rule of law, and how nice it was to be able to go for a walk on the beach at sunset with a cute brunette and not have to worry about the future.

Instead I’m going to go listen to some funky reggae and drink some Cuban rum.

You know what really scares me? When reality becomes partisan. We saw it in America when anyone who pointed out that Bush & Co. were a bunch of incompetent liars was attacked and shouted down for being a liberal un-American… and now America is a trillion dollars in the hole (or more), in poor economic shape, the middle class is fucked, and they’re stuck in a war that has lasted longer than WWII… all while the Vice President owns stock options in a military contractor. It’s all starting to sound terrifyingly familiar…


June 3rd, 2007 by De Onion

Chewstick open mic night at Champions was awesome tonight. It’s every other Sunday in the winter, every Sunday in the summer. If you don’t go then start.

Excellent vibe, good music, good people.

Politics is by nature divisive and attracts partisans and forces us to pick sides. Chewstick is about not picking a side, about coming together, speaking personal truths. In some cases these are personal and divisive and hurtful, but the bottom line is where we should be aiming… So, we have this good vibe, good honesty, love, and truth… now all it needs is to be able to move that forward into action – so politicians listen up, here is the question: What are your principles? Not your bullshit. Oh yeah, and it seems we need better anti-corruption legislation and resignation of a dozen MPs… but that’s another story and I’ll leave that to history to judge.

Respect. Freedom. Love. Truth