During the last fifteen years of my work life, I was a strong believer and fervent practitioner of Continuous Improvement as a business strategy. So earlier this year when I suggested to my friend John Hoyle that he consider using CI to make http://JustOneOpinion.com, a news Blog that we co-edit, a more informative, entertaining experience, and to offer a broader range of topics to its readers, he figured he had no choice in the matter and agreed to try it.
While it’s true that I made the initial suggestion and recommendations on how to accomplish this goal, I had no idea how excited and energized John would become with the process of CI. Ever since that discussion he has been a human dynamo in implementing new ideas and testing new techniques. Now, after several months of trial and error, we are prepared to share our improvement plan with our readers.
Our first and most important move will be to add four, or possibly five, additional contributors to our writing staff. These men and women are all published authors who share a down-to-earth, common sense view of life. Our common goal will be to share well-thought-out opinions on a broad range of interesting, relevant, and timely topics that each of us feel passionate about.
One important goal for JustOneOpinion.com will be to share “Blue Sky Ideas,” totally outside-the-box suggestions, about how we could make our world a better place to live now and far into the future. Just imagine how we could take totally fresh approaches to utilizing energy from a wide variety of resources, improving easily accessible health care, and converting to non-polluting electric vehicles – all subjects for future articles.
We will also take a critical look at the current administration of criminal law, the lack of public transportation, economic theory and practice, and the lack of ethics in government - as well as beaurocratic “environmental protection” that ignores common sense and wastes taxpayer money.
We will track what President-elect Obama and the Democrats promised to do before the election. We will report the results of their progress by highlighting universal health care, stem cell research, the economy, a new energy policy, and middle-class tax relief.
We will include feature articles on different countries, cultures, and their key factions. We will tackle the issues of religion and science and their proper place in a modern democracy. We will promote civility at every level of political discourse while encouraging rigorous debate. We will review and recommend books, movies and other media that might make a difference in our lives. We will often take differing views as we debate the effects of “global warming” and offer suggestions as to what, if anything, needs to be done to alleviate its effects.
Our goal will not be to bring you the “TRUTH”, as my mother insisted her view of world events and her interpretation of the Bible were. Instead we want to focus JustOneOpinion’s articles in a way that will help our readers in their “search for the truth.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to religion or politics, we realize that “true believers” are often unable to participate in constructive dialogue. But for those people who consider themselves “open-minded,” our goal will be to help them discard “those things that they know that ain’t so,” as Will Roger’s called them, and to expand their body of knowledge about important issues of the day.
We hope that our approach will provide people with additional ideas, concepts, and new strategies to improve the quality of our life today and for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. To assist us in our learning curve, JOO welcomes the additional insights of four new writers. They are Craig Bieber, Chi Newman, and Bob and Claire Rogers. Let me introduce them:
CRAIG L. BIEBER
published his first book, Saylor’s Triangle, in January 2008. His book is available at Amazon.com or from his website SaylorsTriangle.com. Craig was born, raised, and educated in a small ranching town in western South Dakota where imagination, dreams, and literature were his windows to the world. Before he retired, Craig spent forty adventurous years in Alaska, working in the oil industry. He and his wife Claudia now spend six months a year in Anchorage and six months in Tucson, Arizona. Find out more about Craig by visiting his website. And you will not want to miss his first post on JOO entitled, “White Hats and Black Hats.”
grew up in Beijing, China, amid manicured courtyards, servants, powerful friends, and lavish entertainments. She attended an exclusive convent school where she learned to speak French and English. At the age of thirteen, Chi’s world turned upside down. To escape the Communists, her parents gave her a small suitcase and put her on a plane to Nanjing. What followed was a fifty-year journey she could not possibly have imagined. Read her story in Farewell, My Beijing: The Long Journey from China to Tucson (available from Amazon.com) or at Chi-Newman.com.
writes about the environment, literacy, astronomy, history, adventure travel, sports and fitness, recreational vehicles, and personality profiles. She also writes book and product reviews. Claire recently received a commendation from the Lake County Astronomical Society for an article that appeared in the nationally distributed magazine Geico Direct. Her other publishing credits include the Desert Leaf, the Arizona Daily Star, Highways, and MotorHome and Trailer Life. She enjoys hiking, biking, adventure travel and good times with friends and family.
Robert “Bob” Rogers
(Claire’s husband), worked as a television reporter during undergraduate school before earning an MFA in visual arts at Ohio University. His photojournalism skills led to a popular daily essay in the Athens Messenger. He was published in Et Cetera literary magazine and won two first prizes for short stories in the “Tidepools” literary competition. His first book, a novel titled The Return of No. 44, will be published early in 2009. His earlier work, Tandem, An American Love Story, was represented by the Claudia Menza Agency in 1997. He is working on a second novel while teaming with his wife on a book proposal about sharing their methods for achieving an adventurous lifestyle and financial independence. Bob and Claire are world travelers, including China, Australia, Iceland, and Canada, much of the time on a tandem bicycle, 39,000 miles and counting. They have also spent four months sailing in the South Pacific plus over 60,000 miles of motor home travel in North America. You can read more about Claire and Bob in his own eloquent words at New Bohemians.net. And you will not want to miss Bob’s most recent post on JOO entitled, “The New Homeless.”
In addition to these new contributors, we are hopeful that other interested readers of http://JustOneOpinion.com will contribute their opinions or submit articles about specific topics that are important to them.