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Bringing New Authors to the Digital World. If you are an Independent Author with a project that needs that last push to get it onto the market, contact me at icrewdigital@gmail.com or visit icrewdigitalpublishing.com

Last evening, I received a chain email from a friend. It was the one that accused President Obama of dissing the troops and saying that they are whiners and should pay for their own health care. I copied about a sentence of it and googled it. Politifact popped up and debunked the email as a ridiculous lie.

Explain to me how people who are normally reasonable can look at something that is so obviously false and just believe it. Worse, they pass it on to their friends and colleagues as factual information.

There are many issues with which the opposition could respectfully disagree with the Obama Administration, some that I disagree with as well. Opponents might make telling points on his handling of the economy, the debt, foreign policy and social programs. While many pundits endeavor to form legitimate, logical attacks on these issues, many find this too difficult and ineffective. So, they make stuff up. They use radical forms or rhetoric and argument. They pull many different cards from the deck including race, Hitler, communism, socialism, Christian Muslim, birther and many more.

In this current climate, the Truth has a Liberal Bias. The political right understands this but couches it in terms that their constituency will more effectively understand. Terms that describe the mainstream media as having a liberal bias like Lamestream Media. They create villains like Rachel Maddow. She’s gay, liberal, single, outspoken, and sarcastic at times. That is why that it is obvious that she is bad but they never seem to argue effectively that she is wrong. The reason for this is that she and other effective commentators like Jon Stewart are so effective at allowing the right to state their case in their own words, in context and on camera. We all understand the moral of The Emperor’s New Clothes but the political right wants us to believe that the child who points out the Emperor’s lack of textiles is the villain who should be scorned for pointing out the obvious.

Our great freedoms in this country give us the right to have any opinion that we want and the further freedom to stand in the square and shout it at the top of our lungs. Our citizenship, though, assigns us the responsibility to make sure that those opinions are based on rational facts and that they serve the needs of our country and her citizens and are not self-serving and designed to disdain our opponents. Obama campaign aide Robert Gibbs said it most effectively on ABC’s “This Week”, “I think it’s time in our politics that we get rid of this mindset that if we disagree, we have to disqualify each other”

If you receive an email that has questionable veracity, highlight about 10 words and google it. You will quickly receive a number of links that either support the fact or debunk the lie. Quickly respond to the sender and appeal to reason and right and ask the sender to withdraw or qualify the message. It probably won’t happen but at least you did the right thing. For yourself. For your friends. For your country.


By William Barrons

This is the first in his four-novel (and more coming) series about the San Diego Police Homicide Detail and featuring Sergeant Jack Leslie; much revised from the original, published as “The .22 Caliber Killings.








Second novel in his series about the San Diego Police Homicide Detail and featuring Lieutenant Jack Leslie; much revised from the original, published as “Cops Can’t Cry.”








Third novel in his series about the San Diego Police
Homicide Detail and featuring Detective Paddy O’Dean.







Fourth novel in his series about the San Diego Police Homicide Detail and featuring Sergeant Kevin Williams.


There was only one time in the recorded history of America where refugees came to our country, killed Americans and destroyed the culture. It was such an important event that we celebrate it each year with a major holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

A presentation of iCrew Digital Productions.  Produced and Photographed by Rick Lakin.  Photographed by Rick Lakin


Produced by Rick Lakin

Photographed by William Bretthauer

No, I am not going to tell you who the best team is.  That is going to be answered on the field.  Or is it?

In every other team sport in college or pro sports, the answer to the question, “Who is the best team?” is clearly, ” The team who wins the last game of the season.”   In College Football among the teams in the division called the Football Bowl System the champion has often been called Mythical and in this author’s opinion, that adjective still applies.

In past years, there have been as many as three or four teams who won their last game of the season and could lay legitimate claims to the National Championship.  The BCS game pairing the two best teams was supposed to solve this problem but in 2003, LSU won the BCS and USC won the AP vote.  Both teams celebrated the National Championship legitimately and without qualification.

That brings us to 2014 and the dawn of the college playoff era.  Today at 12:30 PM ET, a committee of college football notables including an avid fan who happens to be a former Secretary of State and who also happens to be female, will name the four teams in the college football playoff.   They list a number of criteria for selection but basically, they are hoping beyond hope that they get it right and that the team who emerges with two wins will be the best team in college football. They will probably select the best team as one of the four and they will probably get it right.  But this year, there will not be a 100% certainty that the best team in college football will be the winner of the last game.  There are clearly 6 teams that could win two more games and be the champion.

According to fivethirtyeight.com, the four playoff teams will be Alabama, Oregon, TCU and Florida State.  That means two teams will be left out and will probably win their last game unless they schedule Baylor vs. Ohio State in a bowl game.  Alabama, Oregon and Florida State are clear and correct choices. TCU, Ohio State and Baylor are essentially equal but only one will be selected.  That means two potential champions are left out of the playoff.  It makes for argument and controversy for years to come.   The question, “Who is the best college football team of 2014?” will not have a clear unequivocal answer.  Until…

So how do they fix it so that the answer to the pertinent question is, “The winner of the last game.”  Here is an answer that I gave to a journalist who works with the Mountain West Conference and that the MWC submitted as the solution.

Scrap the Conference Championships.  Seed the top 16 teams in college football and play at the home of the higher seed.  Two teams each from the power conferences based on Division Championships.  Six at large bids with at least two going to the two top rated mid-major champions.   Winners go to the four major New Year’s Bowls.   Losers go back to the bowl selection committee for assignment.  Then play a semifinal and a final for a true college football champion. There would still be whining and bickering about who was left out but none of those teams would be legitimate contenders for a national championship.

Iosu_logo old attended The Ohio State University and my loyalties lie with the Buckeyes.  They legitimately deserve a shot but they lost to the wrong team and that loss will give the committee an excuse to exclude them from the playoff.  Beers and tears will be drunk and shed over this issue for many years to come until College Football creates a playoff system that includes all of the legitimate contenders.

New Stuff – February 4, 2017


WordPress for Toastmasters

Just found this morning  Very good site by David Carr


Here is a collection of information that might be valuable to members of Toastmasters International who are Vice President of Public Relations(VPPR) for their clubs.

 Additional Resources

Let the World Know (Item 1140)

M/PR Newsletter

Media Center

PR Corner

All About Toastmasters (Item 124)

Distinguished Club Program and Club Success Plan (1111)

Brand Portal 

Marketing Resources


VPPR General

Toastmasters link for VPPR resources

Toastmasters Marketing VPPR Newsletters

Handbook for VPPR Training.  This contains the outline from which this training session originates.

Brand Portal.  This link contains downloads for logos and graphics for fliers, business cards, letterhead, newsletter templates and any material that you might use to promote your club.  Scroll down to Create Your Club or District Website to learn more about setting up the website.

PR Handout  This is a list of links that tell you everything about VPPR.  It covers much, much more than you ever need.  A one stop link list.

Mondo Times.  Interesting external link that helps you find media outlets to which you might send information to publicize your events.

When you promote it, it They Will Come. Article by Craig Harrison, DTM

VPPR Information.

Google Toastmasters VPPR. These are the result of the google search.  There is a lot of information out there.

Club Training Materials.  This page contains the guides and powerpoints from which I build this presentation.

Toastmasters Websites

Use of Web Pages.  Toastmasters starting page for building a website.

Brand Portal.    Scroll down to Create Your Club or District Website to learn more about setting up the website.

Toastmastersclubs.org. This is the starting point to build your club website.

Toastmasters Website Wiki. Here is a compendium of links to club and district websites, the good, the bad and the bland.  Creativity is plagiarism from multiple sources.

District 40 Website.

WordPress.com.  Visit here to build a Club website hosted by WordPress.

WordPress.org.  This is the site to visit if you are hosting your site through a website host on your own.

Other Websites

Six Minutes Website by Andrew Dlugan

District 36 VPPR training.  Some good ideas

 Toastmasters Videos

Toastmasters promo from District 5 Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Introduction and login instructions to toastmastersclubs.org


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iCrew Digital Productions was proud to provide WordPress web design and hosting services to Emily Wichmann and Bob “Camo” Gleisberg, the top two candidates in the election for Oceanside Unified School District Trustees.





BobGleisberg Website

Emily Wichmann Website










HOS Front Cover


iCrew Digital provides WordPress website design services tailored to the needs of individual clients and small organizations.   The iCrew Digital Productionsimprint is an independent publisher of ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks including  Peach Cobbler for Breakfast by Sheila Dobbie, The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins, and The Apes of Eden – Book 4 – The House of Solomon, both by Jon P. Gunn.    iCrew Digital Productions produces multi-camera videos some of which can be seen at vimeo.com.

Rick Lakin, CEO of iCrew Digital Productions is the founder and director of iCrew Digital Productions, a Community of Young Media Professionals. A former Navy Nuclear Reactor Operator and a retired math teacher, Rick currently publishes books, designs WordPress Websites, produces multi-camera videos, is a member of the 1000 Club of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers, is an Advanced Communicator Silver in Toastmasters, International and acts as Statistician for Broadcast Sports Television.   He can be contacted a icrewdigital@gmail.com