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When will the owls cease to be Watchers?

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Owls have been known to perch among the branches—and have been accused of watching the world go by. While Truth has it that owls have been long sought out as birds of wisdom, so too does it tell that owls are tremendous observers.

And that the watchers of society need to heed the wisdom inherent in owls. For, although it is granted that owls do indeed see everything, they tend to be pictured as aloof—above the fray. And yet, in a turmoil-boiled world, comfort can be derived from the fact that owls are designated to observe, comment, and inspire.

Maybe, it’s not the owls’ aloofness that bothers watchers. But rather the owls’ ability to transform a moment of silence to a flutter of activity within a once tranquil sea of conformity.

Or maybe, it is the unknown quality behind those pictures of owls that seem to frighten people.

There seems to be a power gathering beneath the owls’ surface which will eventually be released—when the owls cease to be Watchers.

We are all Entrepreneurs

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Work vs Life
Work vs Life

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a business executive, we are all running a small business, which is called our life.

Oprah Winfrey to be Keynote Speaker at U.S. Book Show

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Oprah Winfrey
Photo Credit: Harpo, Inc. Chris Craymer

Oprah Winfrey will be the opening keynote speaker at the U.S. Book Show, the virtual book publishing trade show presented by Publishers Weekly.

Oprah Winfrey will give the opening keynote speech on May 25, 2021 at 10:45 a.m. EDT. She will discuss her newest book, What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing, co-written with Bruce D. Perry, a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist. The book, released by Flatiron on April 27, discusses how people’s earliest personal experiences shape their entire lives. The book offers a new way to understand the way people behave. Winfrey, one of the biggest supporters of all members of the book industry, will also offer comments on her love for books and authors and offer her appreciation and encouragement for all those who support them.

CES is Back – World’s Most Influential Tech Event 

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Las Vegas, NV — Jan 05, 2023CES® 2023 opened today with innovative product launches that will help to solve global challenges. Companies are demonstrating how technology can conserve energy and increase power generation, address food shortages, create more sustainable agricultural systems, power smart cities, support access to clean water and more. CES 2023 is more than 70% larger than last year’s show, with over 3200 exhibiting companies, including 1000 startups, featuring the latest technologies. That includes innovations in transportation and mobility, accessibility technologies, electric vehicles, digital health, sustainability, Web3, metaverse and beyond. 

“CES is back! The halls are buzzing with energy and excitement – attendees, exhibitors and media from around the world are passionate about gathering together and advancing our industry,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. During CTA’s State of the Industry Address Thursday morning, Shapiro noted, “At CES 2023, new innovations promise to change our world for the better. Companies big and small are showcasing innovations in mobility, digital health, artificial intelligence, robotics, food tech, smart home, digital assets and more.” 

Joining Shapiro on stage were John T. Kelley, vice president and acting show director, CES, and Kinsey Fabrizio, SVP, membership, sales and marketing at CTA to provide updates on expected trends and sessions at the show. 

Dr. Carmichael Roberts, chairman of CTA’s Executive Board and founder of SOURCE, joined Shapiro on stage to discuss how SOURCE is providing access to clean water through Hydropanel technology and renewable resources, powered by the sun. 

Shapiro also announced the second edition of CTA’s International Innovation Scorecard, an assessment of policies and practices around the world that fuel tech innovation or stand in the way of progress. A record 24 countries earned the highest ranking of “Innovation Champion”: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, as well as the European Union (EU). 

While the CES exhibit show floor opened today, the full week of innovation kicked off on Tuesday and Wednesday with Media Days press conferences, CTA’s 2023 Tech Trends to Watch presentation, CES Unveiled Las Vegas and keynotes from AMD, BMW and John Deere.

God Will Lead You Home

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The $5.00 Airline Ticket

There is no more important principle to learn as an entrepreneur than that God will lead you. In all my years of traveling and pursuing my dreams, that is the only constant I can communicate to you.

It is really not an overwhelming principle, but one learned by taking small steps, seemingly insignificant steps when you feel you should. We have all heard about that wee little voice in our head which seems to nudge us at the right time to make the right decision. Who knows how it all works. But work it does if you let it. 

I relay this story to you not so much so I can brag how wonderful I am. How faithful I am. Because I am not. I am just like everyone else who constantly seems to fall short of what we know we are capable of. And yet, I have found hope in those small accomplishments when I have listened to the small prompting which tells me that I need to act. Yes, act.

While God’s world is about listening, it is really more importantly about acting. Taking action. When we act on our nudges, we endorse the presence of God within us. We acknowledge that those promptings have a significance to our lives.

Once again, I relate this story so you might see some similarities within your life. That you might re-evaluate the promptings you have had in the past . . . and failed to act on. That you in the future might, just might, give them a chance by acting on them.

And here is the key: this is a process. There is no magic formula to learning to listen, to discern. Rather it is a process where you act on certain impulses and observe their outcomes. The more you are willing to act on the small nudges, the greater God will communicate the bigger ones to you. So simple, yet so complex.

For you see, life is there for the asking. God is there to help you. But He cannot do it alone. He needs you to be His accomplice. So, He can lead you to the life that He wants you to lead. The life that deep down within yourself you know you want. That is the nature of God.

So, as I try to relate this story to you, I will try to acknowledge my shortcomings, but if it sounds so wonderful to you, don’t forget it all started with a $5.00 airline trip.

******

Every year there was a BookExpo which was the largest booksellers’ event in North America. I had been attending the convention since 1999 when I began to think about expanding into book publishing after thirteen years of publishing my Owl Media Guide’s Nevada Media Directory reference book. That year BookExpo was in Los Angeles, and I attended. In 2004, it was to be held in Chicago. At the time, I lived in Las Vegas. I knew I needed to attend, but the previous month had not been financially rewarding. I kept wondering when I would be able to have enough money to make a reservation . . . and to go. Three weeks before the event I still had not made a reservation.

During this time, I had been monitoring a megachurch’s website in the Chicago area called Willow Creek to see if and when my former Senior Pastor was going to be teaching. He had left our Las Vegas church nearly a year before. He had been a strong influence on bringing me back to church and inspired me to becoming a better person by being an authentic person himself. I checked daily for weeks . . . imagining what it would be like to fit in church and the BookExpo. More on that later.

Well, the BookExpo ran from Wednesday night through Sunday the week right after Memorial Day. I was coming closer to losing the best chance at an airfare. I constantly played out scenarios in my mind about how to get there and the cheapest possible way to spend time there.

On a Friday night about two weeks before the show, I was sitting in my living room in Las Vegas. I still had no money. I kept thinking that I was not going to be able to go. And then it hit me . . . rather it nudged me.

Go check out reward travel . . . tonight.

Well, I did not have enough reward miles to get a ticket . . . I was 150 miles short for an AmericaWest airline ticket. I wasn’t even close for a United ticket . . . 8,000 miles short. I knew I could buy miles to make it over the edge, but even that would cost me $50.00 for the reward ticket.

“God if I only had $150.00, I could buy a ticket and save my miles. Yeah right, I am going to get a ticket. What kind of ticket could I get for the $7.00 I have in my bank account,”I said.

Nudge. Go online and look.

So, after procrastinating for awhile, I went to my computer and went to the AmericaWest site. I punched in my reward number and selected flights. I got to the point I selected some tickets which would at least get me to Chicago and a shot at seeing my pastor on Wednesday night before the Book Expo started. 

Hmmm, maybe this was going to work.

I went all the way to checkout. I thought I outconned the system. I was going to get my ticket to Chicago.

Then the dreaded screen came up.

YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MILES FOR A REWARD TICKET. 

YOU CAN PURCHASE MILES FOR $50.00.

I no longer was king. My lack of miles had been discovered. They had tantalized me to the point I thought I was going to get away with it. And then the door shut in my face.

“But I don’t have $50.00. Make an exception. I am so close. I won’t tell anyone.”

The screen did not magically change and grant my wish. Maybe, God had forgot to tell them it was OK to give me the ticket.

I closed out the browser and started over again. Afterall, AmericaWest should have another chance at giving me the ticket. A fresh chance.

So yes, I started all over again. That’s right. I logged back into the site, punched in the dates and city, selected the flights, and pushed Order Tickets. I knew God had enough time to communicate with them. He is omnipotent. Click.

I was horrified by what I saw on the screen next.

YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MILES FOR A REWARD TICKET. 

YOU CAN PURCHASE MILES FOR $50.00.

“Huh. Didn’t you get the memo from God? He sent me one while I was on the couch to get my tickets.”

The screen did not flicker. The infamous blue screen from Microsoft did not overcome my computer.

I did what any sane person who do. I haughtily got up from my chair, walked over to the couch, sat down, and turned on the television. But my mind kept saying:

“God, what’s the deal? Are you testing me? Well, I passed. I went over to the computer and tried. But God you didn’t do so hot. I got no tickets. Omniscience. I thought you knew the mileage requirements for a reward ticket. At least now you do. Thanks a lot.”

“Or is the Devil teasing me?”

Who cares? Let’s get back to watching the boob tube. Enough of this nonsense. And that is where I left it for the next hour.

“Go get your ticket.”

Yeah, right. I continued watching TV. I would tell you what I was watching, but I don’t remember. Time marched on.

“Go get your ticket.”

In defiance, I stood up. Sure, makes sense. I am sure the rules have changed in the last hour. What was I thinking? They say insanity is marked by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I was being mocked. Well, I am going to do this. And show the world. I went to the computer.

Guess what. AmericaWest’s site worked very well and, on the screen, came:

YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MILES FOR A REWARD TICKET. 

YOU CAN PURCHASE MILES FOR $50.00.

Third time is the charm. Duh. Well, life is not always the way we want it to be. Call the white jackets. I am ready to be admitted. Not really, but I was feeling melodramatic. Self-pity flooded me.

“Go get your ticket.”

I can’t say why I did it. But when insanity has been declared, you look for different answers. I decided to let United Airlines mock me too.

I punched in my ticket request knowing I did not have enough miles . . . about 8,000 miles short to be more precise.

I went through the routine of picking days and times . . . trying to see my pastor and get to the BookExpo and out of town as fast as possible. I tried the red-eye on Tuesday and the 6 a.m. on Wednesday so I could get into Chicago for church and leave late Sunday after the show. Four days in a hotel max.

Having crafted my timetable of efficiency and expediency, I hit enter.

Rejection is never a pleasant experience. United was not buying this itinerary. I added a day at a time trying to get a ticket.

“No thank you,” said United. “Try again.”

I had the church’s website in one window. United in another. BookExpo in another.

I must have played with it for fifteen minutes trying to get something to qualify for a ticket . . . I would have even been satisfied for a reasonable ticket, even though I had no money to buy it. Some small victory at least.

“Go get your ticket.”

At this point in trying, I was at the Saturday before the BookExpo opened (5 days in advance) and the Tuesday after BookExpo (2 days after the event closed). Ten (10) hotel nights. Ten (10) days of car rental.

Yeah, this is smart. This is going to work. Oh, what the hell! 

Click.

I don’t recall what actually happened next. It was either “Select Your Seats” or “Confirm to Continue.” Or something. It was one of those moments that time stands still. You can’t believe your eyes. You wander if you are hallucinating. But there it was.

“As a way of introducing Ted, our new airlines, this United Airline’s special promotion requires only 15,000 miles.”

Miles Used: 15,000.

Total Amount Due: $5.00.

$5.00. Five Dollars. 

Where is that decimal point? Count the zeroes. Breathe. Don’t touch the keyboard. Remain calm.

I had 18,000 miles in my account. 

And then my mind turned a new way. Yes, I will be honest with you that the following occurred. I am not proud of it, but I do acknowledge it.

“Well, that’s great God. $5.00 for a ticket. Such a deal. Ten days in a hotel. Ten days in a rental car. That $5.00 is going to cost another $1,000.00 to pull off. I have $7.00 if I combine both of my bank accounts. I think I am going to be short.”

All this to the God of the Universe. The provider of all things.”

“Go get your ticket.”

Well, I really have nothing to lose . . . except for $5.00. I opened another window and logged into my bank. I transferred $4.00 from one account to the other. I now have $6.72 in my business account.

I enter my business debit card information in United Airlines site. I click Order and hold my breath.

The hourglass appears. My blood pressure is rising. Tension is in the air. After what seemed an eternity:

Congratulations! Here is your Confirmation Order number and Itinerary.

I am going to Chicago.

“Got your ticket?”

I inwardly smile.

“Yeah, I’ve got my ticket.”

I was just looking in the wrong place. Not exploring all the possibilities. Doubting myself. Limiting the God of the Universe.

And yet, setting all my self-doubts aside, I tried. I acted.

******

Several weeks later, I sat in Willow Creek Church on Sunday morning.

Faithfulness was the topic. How faithfulness was a quality of a follower of God. How we need to be faithful to our word. Faithful to our family and friends. Faithful to God.

Tears filled my eyes. My heart swelled with emotion. I thanked God.

All this because of a $5.00 ticket.

CES Opens January 5-8, 2023

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CES®, the world’s most influential tech event, is back in Las Vegas on Jan. 5-8. With more to see than ever, the show footprint will be over 70 percent larger than CES 2022. 

For the first time, CES has a theme: how technology is addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The Consumer Technology Association® (CTA), in partnership with the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, will support the global campaign Human Security for All (HS4A).  

“CES is the world’s most exciting technology event, from startups in Eureka Park to global brands on the main stages. We are thrilled to spotlight thousands of innovative companies at this year’s show,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Tech advances are helping to solve the world’s greatest challenges, and CES 2023 will set the agenda for the year ahead.” 

In the Beginning. . .

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After years of working towards becoming a research scientist and a medical doctor, in 1971 I left the hallowed halls of science at a major university medical school in Chicago to start a talent agency specializing in the music business. 

Described by Billboard Magazine on June 23, 1973, as an Entrepreneur, a rare term at the time, I had expanded the talent agency to briefly include a rock club down the street from the famous The Second City comedy club. Eventually I became a rock promoter. Living in a penthouse on the Gold Coast of Chicago, I was leading the hedonistically inspired Playboy dream of single men in the early 1970s. All the perks of sex, drugs, and rock n roll surrounded me. As I gazed out the windows on the 52nd floor, I felt I had made it. I was a success.

On June 21, 1974, I was greeted with tornado warnings and ominous storm clouds as we prepared what would be my last concert . . . and yes, at the time, I knew nothing about Summer Solstice. Thankfully, the kids ignored the dire warnings from the television weathermen and were lined up waiting to get in. The groups performing were Styx and Kansas. I was at the top of my game in the music business.

And yet that night, just as the last encore started, a small voice inside me said that tonight would be my last concert.

It was just a strange thought in my head because everything had turned out so perfect. I could not fathom never experiencing again the joy of giving such a wonderful night of entertainment to people. My Mom and Dad were there helping. My business associates and partners were congratulating me on a wonderful night. The audience loved it.

Deciding to skip the after-parties, I rode the elevator alone to my penthouse. Somewhere inside me, I knew this chapter of my life was ending. While I had dreamed of returning to the joy of promoting concerts that I had experienced years before as chairman of the Dance Committee at the University of Illinois Chicago, I really did not have a vision beyond my return to what I loved. At that moment on the night of the concert, I had accomplished my goal. I had achieved my dream.

Little did I know at the time that my Soul had a dream. A Vision. And that I was about to embark on a forty-year journey of discovering my innermost Being

On December 12, 1978, I was living in a small house in the desert in Joshua Tree, California, after a turbulent, life-changing seven years. From the hallowed halls of science to the music business to founding a national manufacturing business, I had experienced the reality of making my dreams come true as an Entrepreneur. 

After a few months of isolation in the desert, I wanted to share my thoughts, beliefs, and knowledge with others on how to become an Entrepreneur who could turn their dreams into reality. I had only previously written a brief published note on the challenges of college from a high school senior’s perspective. Educated in college to be a scientist, writing was never a priority, let alone a class I took. 

And yet, on that night, I sat staring at a blank yellow legal pad with a deep desire to express my thoughts in a logical manner. However, I was soon surprised to find that I was not in control of the words as they flowed onto the paper.

What I had imagined was writing a manual on how to manifest your dreams, then give it to people who would ask me for advice, in the hope they would leave me alone. I envisioned it as similar to a plan for a science experiment. Follow these steps. Observe the results. Try several different approaches. Notarize the results. Done.

That is not what happened with me and that yellow legal pad that night. Nor from that point onward.

Instead I found myself in a different state and words just flowed onto the paper. It was like I was detached from the experience because I was surprised by the thoughts I would write. 

Where did this come from? Where’s my manual? Where is the do-it-yourself approach to manifesting your dreams as an Entrepreneur? 

I was not prepared for the approach that I wrote. I fully agreed with it after writing the thoughts down. I just did not have the conscious capacity to write those thoughts down on my own. While I had intended to write a manual, for lack of a better word, I was in the process of writing a life map where you were the center of the universe and your life. Where you were the vehicle that dreams flowed through. Where you were also the roadblock to manifesting the life you wanted to lead.

The Revelation was in your Being. Your Spirit

I began to understand why I had been led to the desert. I had come to understand myself. To Know Thyself

In my pursuit of these varied ventures in business, I had learned how to turn my dreams into reality. That was easy. 

What I had not investigated was who was doing the manifesting.

Who was I? 

What lurked in the shadows that I had failed to acknowledge? 

What was the nature of my true self? 

Was there more to the world than what I had perceived? 

And how did this all relate to being an Entrepreneur?

And so, I was welcomed into a place I never dreamed of . . . at least consciously. And some would say that was because I was unconscious. And they are probably right. I had been using the real world as my test tube, my laboratory. I never thought I would end up discovering who I really was with the knowledge and steps necessary to match the everyday world with the inner world that I was just about to discover.

In this first section called Conception, I have included the original forty-three pages I wrote during the first writing sessions, although I have added some fomatting for emphasis. I have placed the dates of the writing to show when they were written originally. 

After the first writing on 12/12/1978, I was taken aback. Those words haunted me. Especially, the part that said:

If every person desiring to make a statement. 

Any statement. 

Would.

Who is to judge the value of a Dream? 

Who is to say yours is no good? 

Who has the right to say you should not try?

From these first pages, my life began to change. While I was surprised by the nature of the writing, I soon realized that it was exactly what I needed to write to explore and explain my initial years of being an Entrepreneur.

And to prepare me for the new life adventure I was embarking on.

Welcome to Dreamland in Reality.

The Invitation

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Every day God leaves an invitation
for you on your pillow.
Its contents are for you alone.

Each day God invites you to share
your life with Him and the World

Each day God provides the Guidance
you need to move in the right direction.

And when the day is over—
and you have made your choices—
He prepares another invitation for you.

And He leaves it upon your pillow
For the next day.

Until He calls you 
Home.

Bound by Battle and Blood

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Bound by Battle and Blood
L-R: Don Zimmer, Rich Dorsey, Larry Taylor, Jon “Snag” Johnson, Jack Jeter, Tim Trainer*, Jerry Gast, Jim Eckel, Jesse Groves)

That unforgettable day is approaching.  No, it isn’t a milestone birthday or a wedding anniversary.  It isn’t the birthday of a first-born child.  It’s that other day.  The day Jack Jeter arrived in Vietnam fifty-four years ago in late September 1968.  He’s leaving on a jet plane, flying from Dallas to Chicago to spend a few days with guys he served with in his squad, his platoon.  They were in a rifle company.  They were grunts.  He’s going to spend a few days with guys who were and still are family albeit a different type of family.  He, like the others at this mini-reunion, was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (B2-7).

Circumstances dictated that they become family.  These warriors were together 24/7.  They spent their days together walking in the heat and humidity of the jungles, they ate combat rations, they dug holes together at night, and they bathed together if the opportunity presented itself after days or weeks without doing so.  And, when necessary, they fought together to keep each other alive.  They bandaged each other’s wounds.  They carried each other to medivac helicopters.

When their tours of duty were done, whether because of wounds that required an early exit from the war zone or the end of the year-long tour of duty, they scattered around the United States.  The years immediately after discharge were about work and new, young families.  Most wanted to forget the war and the public’s reaction to the war, and its warriors were not conducive to talking about their part in the war.

Jack and several others began reuniting occasionally forty years ago.  As the years passed, these reunions became annual events.  Those that started the mini-reunions began hunting down their brothers in arms.  Eventually, computers and the internet made the search easier. 

The annual summer get-togethers were rudely interrupted by the Covid pandemic.  Since the suspension of reunions, the company-size reunion and the annual summer mini-reunions have been suspended. 

Getting together in 2022 is special.  There’s an understated urgency to meeting face-to-face.  The list of surviving men of B2-7 who fought together during the latter half of 1968 and into 1969 has decreased.  The combination of age and ill-health are beginning to take their toll.  All who have passed away are special to these B2-7 troopers.  Those who have passed away include Jack “Squirt” Miller, in December 2019.  Squirt was blinded by his wounds in March 1969, and for the rest of his life, his body expelled hundreds of pieces of shrapnel.  April 2020 saw the passing of the company’s First Sergeant who, despite being the oldest member of the company, was often along side his young troops in the jungle.

The hats worn represent pride of service and sacrifice.  This is a special family with special bonds and with the passage of time. Each year’s reunion becomes ever more precious.  And, as the years pass, it becomes even more important to see more of the surviving B2-7 troopers attend.        

Bound by Battle and Blood

Though I did not serve in Vietnam with these warriors, it is a privilege to be able to spend time with these B2-7 soldiers.  They contributed mightily to my father’s survival and return home from his second combat tour of duty in Vietnam.  Every opportunity to be here with them and other B2-7 troopers is a gift.

More Pictures from the Reunion

Trainer, Groves, Dorsey, Gast
Taylor, Trainer, Eckel
Jesse, Jack, Fred Reunion

Timothy Trainer did not serve in Vietnam with those pictured.  He served in the Army from July 1972-July 1975.  He authored The Fortunate Son: Top, Through the Eyes of Others, published in 2017 (Joshua Tree Publishing).  His father fought in Korea and was wounded in January 1951 and continued his Army career, serving two combat tours in Vietnam. 

The China Factor

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Relationship conflict between USA and China

The New York Times published a guest essay on September 14, 2022, entitled “China is Running Covert Operations That Could Seriously Overwhelm Us.”  The essay addresses the challenges presented by China’s covert intelligence collection efforts to obtain military and national security related information.  This should not surprise anyone who has been involved with China in recent years.

Whether militarily or economically, China’s industrial capacity, combined with its advantageous numbers in population, are enough to raise concerns for any country.  It is best to look at and consider China’s covert activities through a wide lens.  Aside from the size and capabilities of its military, China has become the second largest economy in the world in a relatively short period of time. 

One aspect of U.S.-China competition is commercial trade.  Within the commercial trade context, U.S. industry has been confronted by the eagerness of creative Chinese entrepreneurs to steal U.S. intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, patents, designs, and trade secrets).  Once U.S. companies moved production to China, imaginative Chinese entrepreneurs began churning out inexpensive fake and substandard versions of the real thing.  It became much easier to access authentic products to replicate and copy when the original product is made either down the road or in a neighboring town instead of traveling long distances.

In the 1990s, U.S. companies complained to the U.S. Government about counterfeit auto parts, batteries, electrical products as well as the usual fake items found on big-city streets.  The tension arising from China’s production of counterfeit goods resulted in U.S. threats of trade sanctions in the mid-1990s until China committed to taking steps to reduce production of counterfeit items and protect U.S. owned intellectual property that was protectible in China.

The years of official statements, written agreements, and increased enforcement have not translated into a major decrease in production of counterfeit (fake) goods that are exported to the United States and the rest of the world.  One might observe that China’s efforts to access U.S. intellectual property simply moved up the food chain to obtain more advanced technologies.

While the Times essay focuses on China’s military and national security espionage activity, we should not ignore the challenges posed by economic espionage.  There have been numerous documented efforts describing economic espionage activities in the U.S.  Specifically, there have been FBI investigations and other government investigations that have resulted in successful U.S. criminal prosecutions and imprisonment of Chinese nationals.  Those caught and prosecuted for engaging in trade secrets theft, i.e., economic espionage, have attempted to steal secrets across a wide spectrum of industries such as circuit board designs for autonomous vehicles, agricultural seeds, aviation technology, and cancer fighting pharmaceutical products.

In addition to criminal prosecution under U.S. law, the U.S. Government has worked to impose obligations on trading partners to enact stronger legal protections to protect trade secrets.  The 2020 U.S.-China Economic and Trade Agreement included commitments for raising the level of protection for trade secrets in China.  The “new” NAFTA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement) that went into force in 2020 included requirements for the protection of trade secrets, which was not covered in the original NAFTA.  The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that the U.S. helped negotiate but did not become a party to, also includes trade secrets protections.

Imposing trade secret protection and enforcement in trade agreements are a step forward.  The existence of these obligations in a trade agreement is separate and apart from actual steps being taken to enforce and protect trade secrets.  Once enacted into law in foreign countries, the relevant police, prosecutors, and courts must be committed to implementing the law.

Ultimately, preventing trade secrets theft requires government agencies, business enterprises, research, and other institutions to adopt strict protocols for protecting trade secrets.  Strict protocols, however, are meaningless without a commitment to enforce government, business, institutional protocols to protect valuable trade secret assets. 

In the end, it will be up to the entities that develop and own the trade secrets to be vigilant in protecting these economic assets.  The owners of these secrets are the first line of defense by adopting and implementing strict access procedures, working with law enforcement, and ensuring that our trading partners are living up to their obligations to provide trade secret protection to deter and prevent theft.   

U.S. businesses that develop new technologies must be committed to protecting their advantages regardless of where they operate in the world.  Economic espionage has always existed.  Efforts to protect trade secrets have trailed the pace of increased protection and enforcement of trademarks, copyrights, and patents.  Given the economic potential of trade secrets and the impetus for growth they can have, greater attention to preventing their theft is critical to success.

Timothy Trainer has participated in U.S.-China bilateral intellectual property consultations as a federal government attorney.  As a private sector attorney, he has conducted training for Chinese customs officials and represented clients in intellectual property disputes.

A Moment in Time: Cherish It

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Moments in Time
Credit vectorpocket Adobe Stock

We all have moments in time that we can pull from our memories instantly. Those moments of extreme emotions that range from pure joy to devastating loss.

I bought a sign a few years ago that reads, “We remember moments, not days.” It’s a common sign at gift shops and online as well. We say it in conversations when we’re at events or talking of the past.

It has turned out to be a true statement. The mundane order of days on end of work, school, chores, whatever it is that drives your daily routine, can all blend in. Until there is a “moment.”

Whatever that Moment is, we log it in our memory bank and look back at those moments that pivot our lives in different directions. Whether it’s “good” or “bad.”

Sometimes we reach for those memories of Moments when we are feeling lonely and sad. Moments that brought happiness and laughter that help lift our spirits again.

Other times, the Moments that we recall, can have us blistering in frustration and anger. Moments where we have felt wronged, hurt, betrayed, or unheard. Those Moments can have 20/20 hindsight with “coulda,” “shoulda,” “woulda” replays. How is it in a serious discussion, you come up with better responses long after it’s over!

Many times, we don’t realize a moment is a Moment, until it’s gone from our grasp and over. Remembering them later, we then learn to cherish them in our hearts.

Lately in my family, we have had Moments with our daughter Rachel. Her past four years of college have flown by, as they do.

Two weeks ago, she graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in the field of Philanthropic Studies. There were several Moments that scattered memories of her past graduations and school years across my mind. The years have slid by so quickly, and yet, her journey to help the world in the nonprofit sector is just beginning.

This is the season of graduation from preschool to college. I know so many of us have children, or even ourselves, who are graduating from schools of all kinds. Be sure in the hustle to get to the ceremonies on time, dressed in the appropriate robe, mortarboards on correctly, to look around. Take in the joy the other families are experiencing with their loved one who’s marching up the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance, or whatever music might be playing. Smile at everyone around you. Congratulate and clap for each individual who has achieved this difficult goal. School is challenging to us all on one level or another. Be respectful and proud of those who are making the world a better place.

Last weekend was filled again with once in a lifetime Moments for our family when Rachel married her one and only, Kyle Hettinger. I looked forward with anticipation of the joining of their lives. I was excited for the moments of the ceremony, the first dance, and all the details that have been so carefully planned. I hope to LIVE in all the Moments and not rush it too quickly!

There is much reflection and savored memories that richly frame my life. There are Moments in the every day, and I implore you to seek them out, so when there are bigger Moments, you’ll recognize them.

Congratulations to all those who are graduating now in 2022! Follow your goals and live your lives to the fullest.

Author Victoria Kamar Olivett North Chicago Library 9/17/22

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Author Victoria Kamar Olivett will be participating in a Local Author’s Book Fair September 17, 2022, at North Chicago Library located at 2100 Argonne Drive North Chicago, Illinois. 60064. It is from 10:30 until 3 p.m. For more information, go to:

Authors Lisa & Hans Scheller at South Bend Chocolate Café 9/16/22

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To all those that are struggling or have struggled through alcoholism. We were you, and we know God has you covered with his own plan. Our family is so thankful to our community of family and friends who have walked our journey with us. Those who were there without judgment or expectations, who loved us unconditionally and gave us grace.