reimagining akkaya valley

Reimagining Akkaya Valley

The ‘O’ Club

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Open: 9 AM to 12 AM
  • Arts & Crafts, Meeting, Classrooms
  • Akkaya Valley Toastmasters Club
  • Gavel Bilingual Club
  • French Grocery Café
  • Full Service Bar

Akkaya Valley Kruger Park Theme Inspiration

1″ Scale Live Steam Model Railroad
Goat Dairy Tutorial Ten Nannies Optimal Herd Size for Artisinal Cheese

Raw Kefir Unprohibited

Retail Raw Dairy Kefir is now legal nationwide, thanks to Organic Pastures, Fresno, California.

Raw Dairy Cooked Since 1912

Teddy Roosevelt 1858 Born at 28 East 20th Street, New York City, screwed up the milk supply while still in his mid-life transition 1903 – 1913. Created FDA

In Judeo-Christian America, we always try to help God out with counterproductive regulations, mis-guided guidelines and government sponsored solutions. We have done such a good job that no matter what your faith over-the-counter ‘Real’ EGGS, MILK, CHEESE, BUTTER and MEAT do not exist in your local grocery store.

The Prohibition of Real Milk, Cheese and Butter began around 1900 when Nathan Straus (1848-1931) founder of Macy’s dedicated some thirty years of his life to championing the pasteurization of the milk supply in New York and other cities throughout America and Europe.

Straus found an important ally when his insistence on the dangers of raw milk led President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 to order a thorough study of the milk problem by the Public Health Service. Twenty government “experts” made the investigation and reported publicly in 1908 that raw milk posed a danger. They further stated as fact that pasteurization does not change the chemical composition, taste, digestibility or nutritive qualities of milk. These “facts” have been repeated for nearly one hundred years and persist in government and medical literature about raw milk to this day, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Excerpted from “The Untold Story of Milk”, by Ron Schmid, ND,

A fourth generation farmer, Mark Mcafee is the CEO and Founder of Organic Pastures Dairy (the 4th largest raw dairy farm in the U.S.) located in Fresno, CA. Mark is an internationally recognized expert in raw milk safety and production, and has spoken in more than 25 states and three countries on his area of expertise. e also sits on the National Board for Dairy Policy as the delegate for California.

Mark Mcafee the Anti-Teddy Roosevelt


Coming soon to all Sprouts Farmers Market store locations, USA
Pasteurized Milk Kefir contains 33 dead bacteria.

Thanks to superhero Mark MacAfee the real deal is now available coast to coast in the USA.

If You’ve Seen One Cultural Revolution, You’ve Seen…

After Mao’s death and the arrest of the Gang of Four in 1976, reformers led by Deng Xiaoping gradually began to dismantle the Maoist policies associated with the Cultural Revolution. In 1981, the Party declared that the Cultural Revolution was “responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the country, and the people since the founding of the People’s Republic”.[1]

1st Turning The HIGH (1943-1963)

The Great Leap Forward of the People’s Republic of China was an economic and social campaign led by the Chinese Communist Party from 1958 to 1962. Chairman Mao Zedong launched the campaign to reconstruct the country from an agrarian economy into a communist society through the formation of people’s communes.

2nd Turning the AWAKENING (1963-1983)

The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement that took place in the People’s from 1966 until 1976.

Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated goal was to preserve ‘true’ Communist ideology in the country by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Maoist thought as the dominant ideology within the Party.

  • Gang of Four
  • Nixon & Zhou Enlai
  • Deng Xiaoping

3rd Turning the UNRAVELING (1984-2007)

In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre (Chinese: 天安门大屠杀; pinyinTiān’ānmén dà túshā), troops armed with assault rifles and accompanied by tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military’s advance into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded
  • Tinamin Square
  • Clinton WTO

4th Turning A Crisis (2008-2026)

The Chinese concept of “face” (aka 面子 or miànzi) refers to a cultural understanding of respect, honor and social standing. Actions or words that are disrespectful may cause somebody to “lose face” while gifts, awards and other respect-giving actions may “give face”.

The Cultural Wars

History is just a collection of four-generation length movies that take 80 years to make. George and Tom played leading roles in the classic documentary, ‘The American Revolution.’

The second flick, ‘the Civil War’ took only 71 years to produce because Abe was shot before completion.

Following this tragic-drama, Teddy foreshadowed America’s leap on to the world stage in ‘the Great Wars of WWI & WWII.’

Our movie, our very own contribution to the fabled glory of the Generational Time Continuum, began in 1943, with in theater viewing scheduled no later than the summer of 2026. ‘Millennial’ was the generic title given, however, after Trump won in 2016, ‘Apocalypse Soon’ has been suggested.

Having a front row seat since September 1943, I am going with The Cultural Wars as my title for this 4th and possibly last Turning flick.

 1st Turning The HIGH (1943-1963)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945

The PROPHET: Churchill 1874, Stalin 1878, Harry Truman 1884, Mao Tse-tung 1893, Ho Chi Minh 1890, Chiang Kai-shek 1887, Charles de Gaulle 1890, Nikita Khrushchev 1894, David Dwight Eisenhower 1890

Every great movie spills out in four stages, what Neil Howe in his book, Fourth Turning, calls turnings. The first act, in Howe lingo the 1st turning, (1943-1963) opens with the situation, where we are, at that point in time.

Marion, aka my father, ditched his slide rule and retired to Altamonte Springs, Florida circa 1978. Three years later D.H. Baldwin Cincinnati home of Baldwin Piano & Organ had shipped all manufacturing to the Sunbelt, diversified into financial services and gone bankrupt.
  • Bretton Woods Conference 1944
  • The Bomb 1945
  • Korean War 1950
  • Cuban Missle Crisis 1962

2nd Turning the AWAKENING (1963-1986)

Ruby Shoots Oswald November 24, 1963

The NOMAD: Reagan 1911, JFK 1917, Nixon 1913, LBJ 1908, MLK 1929
In the sequence of things, the next act belongs to the NOMAD, the pot stirrers, the men of action, the go-to-guys that get the show on the road for the 2nd turning referred to as the Awakening  (1963-1986)

Nixon’s 1972 visit to China , a handshake from Mao and a noodle lwsson by Zhou Enlai.

3rd Turning the UNRAVELING (1984-2008)

The HERO: Bill Clinton 1946, George ‘W’ 1964, Obama 1961, Putin 1952, Merkel 1954
The 3rd turning is always called the Unravelling  where history gets out of hand and the super HERO is born.  (1984-2008)

World Trade Center 11 September 2001

4th Turning A Crisis (2008-2026)

January 2020 COVID 19 arrives.

The ARTIST: Trump 1946, Xi Jinping 1953, Putin 1952. Obama 1961
At last we get to the uncut action scenes with real and unrehearsed special effects, the 4th turning A Crisis (2008-2026). The tension keeps building until the climax, followed by the resolution. This is always the best part of any story.

 As an investor from China once told me, “When the donkey and elephant make war upon each other, few in your country benefit.” The bitter partisan divide in America today is a strategic liability. This division will affect the trade, economic, technology, and space policies of this country—at a time when consistency and bipartisan leadership is needed in all these areas. Until we recognize China’s threat and rally as one nation, America’s surrender to China in the new cold war is assured.


“If, money was no object, I’d be on a jet plane to Kathmandu.”

An architect can part with his money before the best fool has had a chance to think about it. Within one year I had spent all the proceeds from the sale of our farm, bought a $300,000 house with a Liar Loan (stated income) from Citibank, whose mortgage payments matched my combined Social Security and pension checks. My timing was superb, I closed on January 9, 2008. What was I thinking? A 64-year-old geezer in Eugene, OR with no income – after my direct deposit to Citi Mortgage – trying to go-up against 40,000 ‘barista’ college kids. You can only give blood up to age 65 and my iron level petered out before I got that far.

$305,000 ‘liar loan‘ purchase 2008 – ‘short sale’ in 2012 for $256,000

Now, in Eugene you do not pray about these things, you meditate and drink locally brewed coffee. If they find you in Starbucks, you must be from out of town. Taking action meant going to the library and scrolling through Craig’s List. Fortunately, my higher power knew that Craig and I were fellow alums from Case Western Reserve University and on the third day there appeared, “Teach ESL in China.” A month later, on the 28th of August 2008, I arrived in Zhengzhou (jung jo). At that time, life for old geezers in China extended to age 65 (since dropped to 60) so, I had to think fast because my birthday was a couple of weeks away.

Eugene Lifestyle: walk to New Frontier organic market to top up on Quinoa, vegitarian approved edibles and a fresh brewed coffee. Left Texas lifestyle weighing 235, proudly wearing my Houston Post sweatshirt only to exit one-year later 65lbs. and several hundred dollars poorer.

This August, I began my 7th Mainland China year in Yantai, Shandong, which is akin to Norfolk, Virginia where Zhengzhou is more like St. Louis a big inland prairie city on a river while Yantai is a small touristy seaport city. Changing locales, arguably for a better lifestyle, got me thinking over my original three wishes – or the bullet points of my self-introduction to my ESL students and Toastmasters club audience. Ever the optimist architect, I left out the real reason – I had no place else to go. “I came to China because ….”

“I came to China because ….”

  •         I want to make all 950 million Chinese farmers rich
  •         I want to establish 1,000 Toastmasters clubs in Henan Province
  •         I want to find a Chinese lady over 40 who can speak English

In retrospect, I might have been a little overly ambitious: 

  •       The average annual farm income has gone from $150 to $450 but 500 million farmers left their farms for life in the city. Caching, Marx, Groucho Marx that is, “tegory, we farmers are not so sure we want to take financial advice from a homeless guy from Eugene.”
  •         There are three Toastmasters clubs in Henan, albeit, 2 more than upon my arrival but still 997 shy of my enthusiastic forecast.
  •         I found her at a Toastmasters speech contest in 2011, she was over forty, a native English speaker, but she was not Chinese, but, but more importantly she said yes.
Zhengzhou Sofitel Hotel “Middle Kingdom” Toastmasters speech contest.

As a devoted trailing spouse, I followed her to Yantai, thus ending my six year sabbatical in Zhengzhou. The move gifted me with the time to reflect – she goes to work and I reflect – after doing the dishes, making the bed, and posting the day’s ‘iT’s in the Cards’ on

Jane Marie Kennedy at Hangzhou District Toastmasters Conference

It was in one of these reflective moments, not quite near an epiphany, that I felt the expat “Seven Year Itch.” After my sixth miserable winter in Cleveland, Ohio, it did not take much of a nudge, to get me to move to Atlanta. After seven years as an undergraduate, they gave me a diploma based solely on my attendance record. However, even a longsuffering Virgo has limits to goal achievement, especially when I found myself trying to reinvent the Toastmasters wheel in Shandong Province.

Jane Marie and I alternated 90-day Visa renewals visits to Seoul, Korea and stayed at the Serbian owned Itaewon Hostel

 Then there was the Korea thing, the cheapest place to exit the mainland at this latitude – an every 90 day requirement for tourist visa holders – was Seoul; instead of Zhengzhou to Hong Kong. I did not have the hot’s to live in Korea, like my old ‘wouldn’t it be nice to live on Lantau Island in Hong Kong.’ Howsomever, a 36-hour stay in the Itaewon Hostel was in Deng Xiaoping’s word, exhilarating. Africans, French, Italian, Azerbaijani, Afghani, Egyptian, Serbian and a Berber all hanging out in the cheap seats.

I asked this wooly haired guy, “Where are you from?”

“The Netherlands.”

“You don’t look Dutch.”

“Well I’m originally from Morocco.”

“Oh, good I can blather some of my 300 words of Arabic with you.”

“Not really, I’m a Berber and I don’t speak Arabic.”

“Wow, a Berber, I only know Berber carpets are expensive, are Berbers like Bedouins?” I will have to Google it later.

My breakfast interview with the Afghani put everything in my expat heart’s perspective. “China is boring,” he said, all knowingly. I thought that was an interesting comment coming from an Afghani, maybe compared to the perpetual war zone of Afghanistan, any place outside of Syria might appear dull. Then I took him to mean, that after you have seen one Chinese temple, you have seen them all. I never wanted to visit the temples in China, after watching Po labor pushing his cart up the temple steps in ‘Kung Fu Panda.” The culture makes living in China exciting. They did not get the “inscrutable” rap for nothing.

USMC graduation OBS Quantico May 1969 “the uniform makes the man”

 Until, Tricky Dick sent me to Vietnam, I knew first-hand absolutely nothing about the outside world. Yes, I could name the seven continents or the capitals of North and South America but before, my all expenses paid tour of the South Pacific, I had no “when I” stories. You know, when I was in… If, I made it back from Vietnam, I planned to tout my ‘Red Badge of Courage’ to anyone who would or would not listen. Fortunately, my higher power protects children, drunks and architects so, he gave me a “Get Out of Combat Duty” Blue Badge instead.

My view of Mt. Fuji aboard an LST, before off-loading our Echo Battery 2nd Battalion 12th Marines. ‘Skipper, you know people would pay good money for a cruise like this?” “war is hell Lieutenant!”

I have no complaints, or even room to complain, because Nixon pulled the plug on Vietnam six months before I got to Okinawa. First impressions are good but when you are with a military tour group you don’t stay in any one place long enough to form an opinion. Yes, I had a good time in Hong Kong and the Philippines, a so-so time on Mt. Fuji and Japan, and my behavior in Taiwan was so bad, they asked me to leave. However, not hanging around more than a month or two in any location afforded me nothing but snapshots of what life was like in a foreign country.

Edificio Bretagne, 949 Avenida Higenionopolis, Sao Paulo, Brasil 1975

Nixon let me go in 1971, they let him go in 1974, he went to San Clemente and I went for an extended stay in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This time I lived in a hi-rise apartment building, took the bus to work and got the inside scoop from my Brazilian, Uruguayan, Argentinian and Bolivian workmates. Linguistic studies show that in every culture at least 65% of societal conversation consists of gossip. The Portuguese speaking Brazilians, surrounded by nine Spanish-speaking states were masters of fofoca.

Seventh year exit from Mainland China to start a new expat adventure in Antalya, Turkey.

Other than Argentinians, I never met anyone who did not like Brazil or the Brazilians. Maybe it had something to do with their “world’s sexiest women” title but my impression was that their “God is a Brazilian” attitude, gave every individual, regardless of status, a light-hearted nationalist spirit. Compare that with our, “home of the free,” “In God we trust,” or “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Or, what I had always heard about China, “the Chinese are inscrutable” and “pretty clever those Chinese.”

My Karma Kefir Diet

Do you know the person who discovered cancer was Doctor Otto Heinrich Warburg?

He was a German Physiologist as well as a medical doctor, but something which gave him great fame was being the man whose research found the causes of cancer. Emil Warburg, his father, was a famous physicist. In First World War, Otto served as an officer, and he was also awarded with the Iron Cross for his acts of bravery. Since his family was Jewish that’s why he couldn’t serve in Second World War.

Amazingly Hitler let Otto work on his cancer research. In 1931, he won the Nobel Prize, and he would be a 47-time nominee for the same award in the years to follow!

Most of us know the above things about his life, but one specific side of his life is still hidden from many of us, and no one really talks about it too. Where people know him as a person who found the causes of cancer, similarly he wrote a book on its cure, named “Cancer: Its Cause and Its Cure.”

So the question is why didn’t we hear about this before?

Actually, his main theory related to cure had to do with alkaline environments. He found that cancer cells cannot thrive nor exist in alkaline environments and the more harmful, acidic things you put in your body, the more pleasing environment you have created for cancer to flourish.

“Cancerous tissues are acidic, whereas healthy tissues are alkaline. Water splits into H+ and OH- ions, if there is an excess of H+, it is acidic; if there is an excess of OH- ions, then it is alkaline.”

 “All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen – a rule without exception. “Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.”

According to him, the root cause of cancer is usually the deficiency of oxygen. An acidic state will be formed in the human body with a lack of oxygen, thus allowing cancer to thrive. Then the main thing is oxygen.

Mohamed Packed Kefir

Tariq Aziz, Sadam Hussein’s Minister of Disinformation and Kefir lover

I met a lot of very interesting people in the goat business. One such character was Tarak Tucan, A full scholarship student at Rice University, son of a Norwegian mother and Jordanian father, raised in a prep school environment, and into Nutra-ceuticals. Tarak visited his family in Jordan this August and smuggled real live Kefir grains through Boston’s Logan Airport in his backpack thermos bottle. He was keeping the Kefir in distilled water at his Houston apartment and came sixty miles out to our farm because he needed our raw goat’s milk to complete the fermentation process.

Kefir grains grow faster in cow milk. After the grains are fat and sassy raw goat milk kefir is smoother, more digestible and powerful.

The grain, more like a mushroom, resembles spongy cauliflower buds or wet popcorn turns the milk into a 1-2% alcohol champagne fizzy yogurt like drink. This 5,000-year-old Kefir culture originated in the Caucus Mountains of Russia. Mohamed in 600AD never traveled anywhere without his Kefir. I sensed an opportunity in this Kefir stuff. If we could get everybody hooked on drinking Kefir, they would have to buy a lot more of our raw goat’s milk.

Kefir Oxygen Cancer Connection

I just finished reading Klaus Kaufman’s “Kefir Rediscovered”, available from, it has as much info as Dom’s website with a different perspective. Most informative to me is his comparison of yogurt to kefir. Analogous to grapes and wine, yogurt is wine and kefir is champagne. The health benefits are all in favor of kefir, while yogurt is simply a more digestible form of milk. Kaufman’s reasoning for this is the mirrored molecular composition of kefir and yogurt.

The yogurt good ship “Enterprise” rotates left or counter-clockwise, while kefir goes right in a clockwise direction. They are both lactic acid cultures comprised of the same number of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen elements only mirror opposites. Kefir acts like a door latch, locking into the cells to deliver oxygen for curative benefits as well as nutritional ones. The Russians use kefir for cancer treatment because the runaway cancer cells are starving the body of oxygen. The primary reasons for drinking a pint of kefir a day are

Kay our Kiwi ESL teacher friend enjoying my homemade raw goat’s milk kefir in Yantai, China.

1) Transient Yogurt – Kefir sticks to your immune system 
Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products but they employ different methods to deliver their cargo of beneficial bacteria. The digestive enzymes in yogurt help digest the yogurt and only the yogurt. Kefir comes with a load of excess enzymes that attach themselves to the walls of the colon. The yogurt nutrient express is gone in 24 hours, while kefir’s stay is indefinite. A healthy immune system is at least 70% dependent on a healthy intestinal tract.

2) 30 plus good bugs for Kefir – a mere handful in Yogurt Kefir contains 30 – 35 major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetbacter species, Streptococus species. Kefir is a turbo charged energy-anti-biotic-colonic cleanser drink. Yogurt is a mild nutrient rich drink that pre-digests the lactose helping the body better assimilate the good stuff and if it’s raw it’s all good.

I kefired pancakes, mashed potatos, cream cheese in order to have acidic cake and eat it too.

3) It’s the Yeast – it puts the fizz in Kefir It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir, Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites. The lady got into kefir because the friendly candida yeast in kefir destroys candida albicans the yeast infection culprit.

4) Digestion – If Kefir Can’t Digest It – Forget It! Kefir’s active yeast, good bacteria and excess digestive enzymes provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods you eat. Constipation is a thing of the past. If you drink Kefir at night no acid reflux and insomnia.

Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders”.

The Kefir you buy at “Whole Foods” or health foods grocers is by law made with pasteurized milk, most often cow’s milk. I have made Kefir with fresh from the cow milk, homogenized store bought milk, skim milk and of course our fresh, raw goat’s milk. There is no comparison – anybody can taste the difference. Kefiring pasteurized milk helps make the milk digestible but it can’t reincarnate cooked carrier enzymes. Kefir helps you assimilate the remaining active ingredients of retail milk. This is the reason why you can’t kefir Ultra-Pasteurized milk, there are no active ingredients.

Where the Karma Comes From

Shilling Chinese Viagra like I was a Dr. Fauci ‘laowai’ expert.
Marketing Raw Goat’s Mik Kefir at eight Houston farmers’ markets a week, as the greatest cure-all since the coming of Mohammed.

Dharma and the 4th Turning

The Karmic Life Path spans seven 13-year periods from Childhood → Young adult → Midlife → Elderhood.
Neil Howe’s 4th Turning in the United States: The authors describe each turning as lasting about 20–22 years. Four turnings make up a full cycle of about 80 to 90 years, which the authors term a saeculum, after the Latin word meaning both “a long human life” and “a natural century”. The previous saeculums were New World, Revolutonary, Civil War, and Great Power. The current Millennial saeculum began in 1943 and Howe now expects it to last until 2030.


ATTACHMENT STAGE (0-18 months) 
The Avoider:
  Minimizer, Rigid Boundaries
Basic Fear (Wound): Contact may lead to emotional and physical rejection, loss of self through contact with partner (parent) Growth ChallengeClaim right to be; initiate emotional and physical contact; express feelings; increase body awareness and sensory contact with environment 

Esther took me to the Society of Friends meeting house to watch the neighboring Quaker ladies do their thing. At age five I was quick to get back to playing cowboys and Indians with my cap pistol. Although there were only 70 citizens in Valley Mills, Indiana the quilting bee gathering was an example of Tocqueville’s definition of America’s success: “associations of like-minded individuals.”

I Was Born An Orphan

  • There are three kinds of orphans – fictional like Santa Claus, Batman, Spiderman and of course Cinderella
  • Then there are regular, orphan orphans like Nelson Mandela, Marilyn Monroe and Steve Jobs
  • I am the third type, an emotional orphan like both Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama, and 35% of the US population.

Emotional Geek to Chic Geezer

I do not know why you are in China, maybe you were born here or something. I told anybody and everybody, that I came here looking for a Chinese lady, over forty who could speak English. The truth is I am looking for my mianzi. I believe that every person loses their mianzi in childhood, then spends the rest of their life looking for it, in their relationships with others. My friend from the US remarked after her visit to China, “what’s with all you old guys, walking hand in hand with these young Chinese chicks?”
Well, I cannot speak for all ‘laowai’ guys but as for me I lost my confidence, my mianzi in my very first year of high school. I was a short, skinny, little blond, blue eyed boy. This was cute and cool in primary school but when I went off to the 2,000 student 7th thru 12th college preparatory high school, I felt like one of those math geniuses entering university at the age of 12.  
High School Social Geek: emotionally insecure I had my first date in the 5th grade and my second in my third year of college. Swim class did me in. Back in the 50’s the boys went naked to swim class. Every Tuesday and Thursday 29 teenage monster boys with pubic hair and one little me, who would not shave until the 21st century. The thought of asking a girl for a date to the prom, or even talking to any female other than the teacher, was terrifying. It was not until my third year in college, after I had armored myself with Chic Geek clothes, cars and clubs, that I dared ask a ‘her,’ a ‘she’ out.
 Joe College Greek  Geek: Sigma Chi Fraternity brothers at the University of Cincinnati. “If, you can’t go Greek, go Teke.”
 G.I. Joe Geek: Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, California, Panama, Rio de Janeiro.

Quilt By Association

Marion, aka my father, became the wizard of Thompson Road when he brought home this monster metal box with a 7 inch TV screen and the whole neighborhood watched the 1948 Indianapolis 500. Child wise there was Nancy, Bud, Sis, Sue and me playing cowboys and Indians as seen on 7 inch TV.  Easter egg hunt and Halloween at the Society of Friends and sled riding down the only slope in the road. The quilting bee ladies added that Norman Rockwell ambiance to my childhood until June 1950 when Marion announced that we were all moving to the big city, Cincinnati.

Tocqueville believed that associations operating outside the sphere of government and economic life—what we now refer to as civil society—were essential bulwarks against any incipient democratic decay and despotism.


Alexis and his buddy Beaumont arrived by steamship on a cold as hell 24th of November 1831. They talked with Cincinnati lawyer Salmon P. Chase, who was to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice McLean and Dr. Drake. Alexis tried to test their faith in democracy. Chase, the fly in the ointment of Abe’s cabinet, was the Hillary Clinton elitist snob of his day and declared the deplorables messed with his rule of the righteous.

McLean however, saw  Andrew Jackson’s campaign against the Second Bank of the United States as the best example of the ordinary population defending itself against a privileged elite.

Cincinnati was, as Damrosch writes, what Tocqueville had been waiting for: “A city with hardly any past, in dizzying transition, inventing itself with ferocious energy.” Tocqueville himself spoke of encountering “a democracy devoid of limits and measures.” “What we encountered there,” he wrote, “is all the good and bad of American society set out in bold relief.”

Alexis was impressed with the industriousness of the city and asked why there was nothing but trees on the Kentucky side? Chase, the elite, McLean, the populist and Dr. Drake were in complete agreement that the Ohio River, the Mason-Dixon Line, clearly illustrated the differences in the South’s slave economy versus the North’s free enterprise system.

Woodward High School opened in 1831 just before Tocqueville’s arrival in Cincinnati.


Alexis got back on the boat to Louisville declaring that Democracy in America had shown him that the middle classes can govern the state and he regarded Cincinnati (pop. 25,000) as a place of ‘absolute social equality.’

While among us, government meddles in everything, here there is not, or appears not to be any government at all. Alike the virtues and defects of centralization are seemingly unknown; there is no mainspring regulating the machine’s moving parts.

One such association, known as the Grange, after the end of the Civil War in 1867, helped the farmer get his fresh start after the two centuries of unintended consequences, caused by the slavery form of agricultural subsidies. 


Ever since Lincoln was shot, America’s farmers, manufacturers and merchants have tried to curry favor with the emperor and his entourage, by organizing themselves in associations. Alexis de Tocqueville, in 1835, came to the then 25 States, interviewed 200 business and political leaders, went back home and wrote his seminal work, “Democracy in America.” Tocqueville attributed America’s success in creating a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, to 1) associations of like-minded individuals, 2) a fresh start in the new world and 3) no interference from a powerful church. The United States and Mexico both were start-up constitutional democracies The Catholic Church divided the power with their colonial governments, whether they were democracies or dictatorships. Karl Rove’s Christian coalition is an example of the damage that can be done when religion is used to win an election. However, the power behind the Yankees, was their need to form associations of individuals united in a common cause. These networks of local citizens were then able to speak with one voice, on issues that were important to their members.

The farmers, after WWI, started abandoning the countryside for jobs in the cities, and formed associations of merchants and manufacturers, like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and Toastmasters. The first three organizations were formed to help the individual business man succeed through the contacts and social relationships formed while performing community service projects. Toastmasters started out as a self-improvement (public speaking) offering of the Anaheim, CA, YMCA.


At age fifty, following my mid-life crisis I joined Kiwanis, Lions, Toastmasters, and the late ‘30’s self-help group Alcoholics Anonymous. The Follett Lions Club was the Chamber of Commerce and the only non-denominational group in population 459, Follett, TX. ‘Vernie’ Schoenhals was the only farmer member and he was retired. We had the Texas A&M, PhD economist – I billed him as ‘the Alan Greenspan of the Prairie” – do an analysis on what the community could do to save itself from extinction. His well thought out answer was that we had a good transportation system – we could leave town by US 15 or hop a freight train. I could have called in a priest to give us ‘last rights’ but the Baptist majority wouldn’t have gone for it.

Youth retention is the number one problem in rural America. After high school graduation they all run away to Dallas, Omaha, St.Louis, Amarillo, Kansas City or Denver in hopes of finding a living wage.


Shelby Brown and her husband Teg Gregory admit to being former yuppies who gave up high-income careers — Brown as a systems analyst and Gregory as an architect — for life on the farm. Married for almost nine years, Brown, 48, and Gregory, 59, are owners of Anala Goat Co. in Beasley. The company is named after Brown’s nanny, Anala Hebert. They live without satellite television and cell phones in a trailer on 18 acres.

I joined Sugar Speaker Toastmasters when Shelby returned us back to Houston, to practice my, “why you should drive fifty miles out in the country for a $12 gallon of goat’s milk.” Maybe I should have joined the Optimist Club but as it turned out, talking out loud to your friends and fellow members has similar benefits to AA and group therapy that Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions and the Optimists can’t provide. Around midway in my stay at Sugar Speakers, Toastmasters International, began promoting itself as the world leader in both communications and leadership skills training.


My Toastmasters experience in China is different, no raised eyebrows, just a “what did he say look,” no matter what topic I was pontificating on at the time. But real leadership training, I got because I was the only Yankee Toastmaster in the club. The Marine Corps only taught me the dance steps but Toastmasters China I got to practice dancing in front of a live audience.

In China, I was not self-conscious about my dancing, communication and leadership skills because nobody from my cultural group was watching. There are 300 million young adults (80 percent women, average age 24) who hunger and thirst for the Toastmasters oral English communications and leadership opportunity. Why? So they can get a good job, make money and see the world.

Toastmasters China has grown from 10 clubs in 2006 to more than 500 today

The Grange Society is dead, domestically Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary are, ‘on the ropes’ only AA (recovery of self) and Toastmasters (self realization) are growing at home and abroad. At Sugar Speakers, the membership is comprised of merchants of service (engineers, consultants, accountants, insurance, etc.), while the membership of Beijing Advanced, Yellow River, On The Way and Middle Kingdom is primarily merchants of educational services and manufacturers of technology hardware and software.

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) allowed Toastmasters to thrive and survive because of the Four Secular No’s. No Sex, No Race, No Religion & No Politics.

Tocqueville attributed America’s success in creating a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, to 1) associations of like-minded individuals, 2) a fresh start in the new world and 3) no interference from a powerful church.

China Toastmasters brought Tocqueville’s American success story to 1) 300 million like-minded individuals who wanted to communicate in English, 2) a fresh start in a 1.4 billion communist country with no Civil Society. 3) no interference from a powerful church of any kind.