Individuality and Community Self-Reliance

There is an awakening happening. 

The awakening is happening through social media networking and individual investigation into truth.  The conjectures behind conspiracy theories are being eliminated through substantive factual evidence.  More and more people are venturing into alternative sources of information while realizing the main street media is controlled and scripted and not reflective of actuality.  For instance, our own logic  in reviewing videos of 9/11 tells us that two planes could never have brought down the World Trade Center, and certainly not the third building, nor devastated 1400 cars some of which were not even in the vicinity (notice missing vehicle parts like door handles which can only be accounted for by DEW technology).

Quietly, more and more are realizing our two-party corporate dictatorship is merely a mask of democracy fronting the New World Order being perpetrated through secret societies such as the Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, Bilderberg Group, etc., which is really fascism in their intent and most likely in violation of the Logan Act, a federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.  Quietly, we as individuals are looking to become self-reliant and looking at ways to protect ourselves and our families from this onslaught of pathocracy.  This is not a class war.  It is not just about plutocracy or oligarchy.  It is being inflicted upon us by those without conscience having no remorse, nor empathy, for the manipulative consequences of their greed.  The unfortunate reality of this war between the unconscionable and those of conscience is rampant in many nations that are involved in this complicity.

People are looking now at increasing their garden size or joining garden cooperatives.  They are looking at raising chickens and any other alternatives to become more self-reliant.  This individual effort can become strengthened through community awareness and the community taking immediate and directed action on becoming self-reliant.  This website is dedicated to creating that process or methodology to coordinate individual efforts for the common good of the community through cooperative endeavors, true democracy.

One thing that you need to be concerned about from a community perspective is that the same psyche of the individuals that take us from one economic crisis and war to another exists in our own communities, quite often hidden behind a mask of Mother Teresa.  Do you not think that Reverend Jim Jones was not charismatic enough and psychotic enough to lead his congregation to commit one of the largest murder/suicide in U.S. history?  Don’t be fooled by the Kool-Aid.


Background Perspective on Community Empowerment

I thought that I would give you insight into why and how I got into this endeavor, and why I believe cooperatives are a fundamental necessity to community empowerment through broadband endeavors.

My career background commenced with a degree in mathematics and computer science and working for Control Data in the 70s on their mainframes.  It was Control Data that introduced me to communications and the ARPANet, the forerunner to the Internet.  Since then I’ve worked for a number of major corporations such as Storage Technology, Memorex, Paradyne, etc.  In 1993 I decided to venture out on my own and contracted my expertise.  Several years ago I was asked to investigate under Canada’s BRAND (Broadband for Regional And Northern Development) initiative communications for some of the First Nations on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  I had the privilege of visiting many remote communities, many only accessible by helicopter, seaplane or boat.  It quickly became apparent to me that broadband connectivity wasn’t really the issue.  The issue was not only in preserving native culture and language, but ensuring self sustainability.  Consequently, I investigated alternative solutions to empower the region with their own resources with technology.  Clearly what I use to call timesharing, which is now referred to as cloud computing, would not work as satellite backhaul was too expensive, and the only other backhaul to the region was quite often wiped out by logging trucks, avalanches and severe storms.   So I looked to server technology being placed within the region to form a community media center with radio broadcast capability and a wireless network to do all the local hosting, e-mail, voice, etc., and thereby mitigate backhaul reliance through a sophisticated caching server. 

Interesting enough in the course of my investigations, I determined that 80% of communications were within the region so this further substantiated my solution.  In addition, I discovered another interesting aspect in working with the First Nations and that was when you are born into a tribe and become of age you have a vote for the band’s council.  This is similar to a cooperative, one person, one vote.  In addition, several of the enterprises in the region were owned and controlled by the native council with minority equity share offerings to facilitate acquiring resources and incentivizing expertise not available in the region.  A cooperative model began unfolding to me as a solution to community empowerment, basically a tribal model using the cooperative philosophy.  The venture never went much further as we never got the BRAND funding necessary to realize the business plan.  I suspect that this was in part due to the solution contravening the incumbent ILEC’s perspective in that everything should be switched and hosted on their premises hundreds of miles away.  This was substantiated some years later when I was informed that the solution proposed was deemed “disruptive technology” by the incumbent ILEC’s board of directors because it contravened their legacy systems and approach.

Well, after almost two decades I’m still promoting the same solution.  As I mention elsewhere, if DaaS (Distribution as a Solution) were embraced by corporations through cloud dispersion technology, that is, having cloud technology and applications within a community, the benefits would be overwhelming for everyone. 

With respect to the company behind this, several years ago a friend asked me for business assistance with his company, Virtual Networking Services Inc., a community WISP, that is, Wireless Internet Service Provider.  He wanted me to bring in our solution and the corresponding wireless networking and back office technology that I was involved with into Maple Valley, Washington, in order to empower the community more.  John and I had known each other through mutual interests, wireless communications, and asked me to give a presentation to his customer, the City of Maple Valley, on wireless communications in 2003.  When he subsequently asked my fourteen year-old computer enamored son to work with him and his business partner one summer we became the best of friends whether John liked it or not. 

When John asked for assistance he had been diagnosed with cancer for the third time, this time renal cancer, and he told me that he had two years to live and that was late in 2006.  This began a story second to none and quite worthy of book and movie rights, at least a separate blog.  What really was needed was far more than business assistance, as his mother who was suffering from dementia lived in a rambler up behind John’s home from which he ran his business. 

John’s life had not been easy despite being gifted with an extraordinary technical capability.   A few years earlier, Washington State put an expressway through which disrupted the business to the extent that John sued and was awarded something like $75,000.  The State appealed and won leaving John with legal expenses and substantial out-of-pocket expenses and business losses.  If that wasn’t enough, King County went after John for having an RV business for which the area was not zoned despite being next to an expressway and across from a hydro substation.  The RVs were still there when John asked for my assistance.  I went before King County council regarding the duress that they had not only put John under, but his mother as well who was so frightfully worried for her son that it seemingly aggravated the dementia.  It was to no avail, so it was up to us to look at other ways to use the property, another story here as well.

John liked to verbally joust, and it was always in great spirit and fun, and a much-needed distraction from his health.  He was an avid reader belonging to two book clubs and was never without a novel in hand.  He was intimidating, not only because of his knowledge and ability to pick up things readily, but also because he stood 6’4″ and went 350 lbs.  He knew just about everything and anything, and he would gladly debate on a whim.  Most times I was able to stand my ground against him, mostly due to the fact that I chose my battles carefully, and he would take as much delight and pleasure in losing as winning.  Losing to him was a learning experience, as it should be.

There was an instance, actually several, but one in particular was in regard to a fridge that John was having installed, as his deluxe fridge had died on him.  Well, John bought the best that he could as he enjoyed food and cooking despite being a diabetic.  I never thought that you could spend $8,000 on a fridge before.  Anyway, the fridge was to be installed on a Saturday and about 10:00am in the morning I got a call from John to come over right away before he got into a fight with the delivery people.  At the time we lived in Fairwood about 10 minutes away, so I rushed over.  Sure enough when I got there and entered through the back door to the kitchen John was standing in the doorway from the hallway fuming, with two delivery men just about as agitated.  I suggested to John that he go to his office and that I would take care of everything.  Well, it took a few minutes to settle the workers down to the point where they were willing to finish the installation.  Apparently John was trying to tell them what and how to do it.  When they finally installed the fridge they tested the water supply dispenser on the front of the fridge and told me that it was hot water coming in.  Knowing that John had acted as general contractor for his home, I pretty much guessed what had happened.  I told the installers that I would take care of it and they left.  When John reappeared I asked him, ” by any chance did you piss off the plumber when he did your house”.  John said, “yes, why?”.  When I told him about the hot water he just laughed.  I arranged for the plumbing to be changed.

Gratefully we have an extended family but I digress; but there is so much to relate for the benefit of many.  Anyway, the company Virtual Networking Services Inc., formerly a WISP, is now an integrator having acquired the intellectual property, me, of Cardinal Technology Inc..  The transition has been needlessly an inordinately difficult one, and consequently a separate, costly and painfully educating story in itself, rivaling any soap opera.  The company is basically the sponsor for this website and the test bed for technology as well as the methodology, the Community Development Cooperative, hence the “Donate” button as suggested by a reader.

The Community Walled Garden

A walled garden for the purposes of a Community Development Cooperative’s Community Media Center is a website, a community portal, that is the central depository of information regarding a community such as restaurants, automotive services, events, associations, institutions, local news, community blogs, real estate, classified ads, business directory etc.  More importantly, it is the reference point from which to find needed local resources.  Access to the walled garden should be free to accommodate tourists and visitors or anyone looking for local community information.

To facilitate communications when first establishing a Community Development Cooperative, I would suggest developing the walled garden website to act as a demonstration and reference point for local communications and scheduling of meetings.  There are a number of companies that offer turnkey solutions and I will detail these resources separately.  In your community there may be no infrastructure or resources to serve your website locally and ideally it should be hosted somewhere secure perhaps at a collocation facility.  My community, Maple Valley, Washington, is unique in that it is a bedroom community to Seattle, and as such doesn’t care to grasp the significance of what broadband is to local economic development.  You can discover more about my plight in this regard on a blog that I was asked to create by a local and regional newspaper, the Maple Valley Reporter.  My blog is entitled “A Musing Community Perspective” and is reflective of my exasperation in creating purpose, opportunity, and direction more than anything else.   The walled garden may look like the Maple Valley Reporter’s or that of another local community paper, the Voice of the Valley, or perhaps like one that we established, Maple Valley Online,  as an available resource tool which any community can acquire and host locally or at a collocation facility initially as we have done.  Our walled garden is not yet fully developed as you can see but all the rudiments that are necessary for community are there and I would be happy to direct you accordingly to our supplier.

The walled garden is a revenue resource made possible through advertisements.  You might also think of the walled garden as being the community’s online newspaper.  Certainly if there is a local printed newspaper already it could become a resource for it and there are a number of ways to get into a mutually beneficial relationship.  If there is no local print paper the community might want to explore printing out a double-sided newsprint reflective of the online information perhaps on a weekly basis.  This in itself can generate more advertising revenue.  The walled garden could be tied to digital signage viewed in local restaurants and other public places in the community which could also facilitate amber alerts.

If users wanted to go outside of the walled garden, say for instance, a tourist wanted to get his e-mail which isn’t hosted locally, then they would be forced through a captive portal.  This captive portal forces users to a special page that would capture the necessary information like billing to facilitate access beyond the walled garden – revenue.  An added incentive for local buying might be local currency or some coupon granted as a result of local purchases to also facilitate access outside of the walled garden.  Of course all websites of business members of the Community Development Cooperative would be accessible free of charge thereby fostering those businesses.

Really, does it make any sense to be hosting this information, including local websites outside of the community.  Think of those rural communities whose only access to the Internet, that is, backhaul, may be an expensive satellite feed subject to weather issues.  This is just another reason for cloud dispersion technology, that is, having cloud technology and applications based in the community and empowering the community.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Community Media Center

Call them what you will – centers of excellence, business incubators, community media centers, ICT (Information Communication and Technology) centers, micro-utilites, ICE (Internet Community Exchange) centers, SEED (Sustainability Education & Economic Development) centers, etc. – it all amounts to the same – empowering the community, especially from the broadband and Internet perspective.  By provisioning the community and the community development cooperative with technology, it becomes more attune and self-reliant; connectivity becomes less of an issue and more of a necessity.

The Community Media Center should be in a safe and secure local facility ideally used on a regular basis by the residents of the community.  It should have meeting facilities as well as a safe and secure room to host and support the back office infrastructure for the community.  Hopefully there are at least two Internet backhauls for redundancy and loadsharing.  Ideally one might be wireless, either terrestrial or satellite, to mitigate the infrastructure damage due to earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.   Backup power in the form of a generator as well as other auxiliary power sources such as wind and solar could make the center more ideal for purposes of centralizing emergency communications as well as broadening the expertise of the community for other local purposes.

Basically, the server or servers in the community media center will facilitate the local convergence of voice, video, data, and mobility.  The center will provide local hosting and switching services for this convergence and in doing so becomes an Internet Exchange or NAP (Network Access Point).  It then provides local switching not only to multiple backhauls to the Internet, but mitigates though local switching the expense of that backhaul.  Why should local business websites, especially those targeting local residents, businesses, associations and institutions be hosted outside of the community.  The websites hosted on the local servers might be mirrored at another location to mitigate backhaul costs primarily for those businesses doing business outside of the community.

By centralizing  local Internet services the center becomes a community business incubator taking advantage of local resources.

Furthermore, the center would act as a central point for the community’s walled garden and shared software, for example software for local silent auctions.  The center would be the community’s focal point and could support radio broadcasting and video streaming.  How about every Saturday morning on local Internet radio, “Buy and Sell”, with local advertising?  I like cloud computing and applications, such as those associated with social media networking like Facebook, Yelp and Twitter, as long as there is cloud dispersion technology as an option, meaning being able to run similar applications locally using community based resources to foster and nurture local businesses. With companies like Microsoft, Apple, and IBM moving monopolistically, and bullying you towards cloud based applications and services, a phenomenal opportunity is actually opening up for companies to provide applications through distributed services, DaaS, Distribution as a Service.  To make the point clear let me exaggerate – I don’t think most people want their wallets and purses being carried and stored by someone else and having to rely on their accessibility through this 3rd party which may be in another country.  The Internet was established on the basis of having no single point of failure and the move towards cloud computing  just caters to those globalists, the New World Order, to centrally control information and your life through fascism.

So, SaaS applications would be hosted locally, and perhaps even developed and supported locally.  Community’s don’t necessarily have to go along to get along.   What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community.

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