Straight Talk: Part 3

We are sowing seeds of the 21st century renaissance:
Opening #TeamRenaissance’s Mailbag

One of my goals for this year is to be better connected to our community. This mailbag is an experiment to strengthen that connection. Straight Talk consists of social media posts (in bold) from my facebook and twitter feeds, followed by your questions & comments. I pick content I believe to be the most interesting and respond the best I can.

Please write to my inbox at, tweet at me with #TeamRenaissance, or post a facebook comment under one of my posts.


DR Facebook: Have you ever Facebook-commented, tweeted, or written an email to me? “Straight Talk” consists of my direct responses to your comments and questions. Let me know what you think #TeamRenaissance 

Gerry Straatemeier: I tend to agree with your approach, DR, I believe change is happening rapidly, under the MSM radar, at a community and social media level. More and more people are coming to understand they must be the change they wish to see in the world. More and more of us are growing our own food or eating organically. More and more of us are seeking solutions to energy and peace, instead of trying to change the power structure from the outside. Albert Einstein told us we cannot solve a problem at the level of consciousness that created it.

DR: Mr. Staatemeier, yes!

Phyllis Pennington: I recently finished formal training to become a certified master gardener and am now starting my community service hours to complete my certification. This program is offered through our county extension offices. The Master Gardeners are all about community outreach, education and becoming more sustainable and self-reliant. This is how I’m choosing to ‘join your renaissance’, Dylan. I agree that spending time, money and energy on what we really want instead of on a ‘no-win’ war of dinosaurs is the only way to proceed!

DR: Congratulations, Ms. Pennington, on not just talking about it, but actually doing it. One of the key attributes of #TeamRenaissance is not just talking but doing.


DR Twitter: Why should we care so much about Planet Earth? You tell me #TeamRenaissance


Ty Baunmann: George Carlin used to say not to worry about the earth. It’ll be fine. We are like a flea on the earth’s back. If mankind becomes too big of a problem, the earth will just shake us off…So what we need to keep in mind is we need the earth, the earth doesn’t need us…And in the end we don’t call the shots.

DR: Mr. Baumann, why not love ourselves enough to be in harmony with everything around us?


DR Twitter: Let’s support our veterans. #TeamRenaissance vets2checks

RcStilwell: It’s a good effort…but the private sector has not produced full veteran employment, ever. I was a Vietnam veteran activist for a few years, and tried (in vain) to encourage local business to take advantage of various incentives to hire vets. They all said all the right words, but actual hiring was scarce. I’ve come to believe that when the private sector doesn’t provide, the public sector should. Won’t happen, of course, but wouldn’t real full employment be nice? Good luck in this endeavor.

DR: Mr. Stilwell, your observations regarding veteran unemployment are well founded. My research has revealed that some of the barriers are structural and others are cultural. The key structural issue is the inability to access data about transitioning service personnel; specifically, what interests they have, where they want to live, and what training they need. To that end, I have partnered with Major General Mel Spiese and a small group of private sector executives including to conceive of a resolution to this structural problem.

The second issue is cultural. We are at a unique moment in world history when our combat veterans are delivering a message and leadership that states the only path to global security is technical solutions to global resource management. Changing the resource profile of every building in the world is an immense task sure to create millions of jobs for veterans and non-veterans alike.

As an increasingly wide portion of our culture becomes aware of the emerging 21st century renaissance both the vast opportunity for work and the infinite potential that this transition represents is breathtaking and is our best chance of changing the culture of hero-worship and pity that has surrounded our veterans for centuries.


DR Facebook: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon


April Ritchey: Our true nature is bliss…we just have to erase the programing..

DR: Ms. Ritchey, my recent experience and spiritual practice has taught me that it is only through the process of shedding my anxiety, fear, and attachment to others that my own internal vibration can elevate.


DR Twitter: Read about my last 18 months and share your thoughts! #TeamRenaissance

Chris Brown: You need to talk with us @growingveterans. Been in the game for only a year and already producing tangible outcomes!

DR: Mr. Brown, congratulations on your success and thank you for your leadership. #TeamRenaissance


DR Facebook: Scotland embarrasses USA: We need to catch up!

Travis Toborg: Scotland doesn’t have near the population and growth… nor did they have the technology like we had BEFORE the “green” thing started happening…that’s like saying the US is behind because it doesn’t have as many round-a-bouts as Dubai… duh… they just started building streets in the first place… of course they will have ONLY the latest technology…

DR: Mr. Toborg, it seems you are referring to a phenomenon known as technological leap-frogging, where emerging economies are able to deploy 21st century best practices for their infrastructure. The risk for large legacy economies in Europe and the United States is our refusal to invest in keeping up. Small examples like Scotland are critical to dispel those who say it can’t be done. It is important to distinguish between a mission being impossible and being challenging.


DR Facebook: Bruce Lee’s unique approach

bruce lee

Daniel Ashby: Ratigan posting Bruce. My worlds have collided. Love it!!

DR: Thankfully, your worlds are colliding and not me with Mr. Lee.


DR Facebook: An interesting approach to educating our youth #TeamRenaissance What do you think?
yoga kids

Robert Knox: Sounds demonic to me.

Nancy Russo: Wonderful way to teach children to be peaceful, calm and focus. I’m all for it! Unfortunately, when I tried to do simple yoga stretches with a down syndrome student, her parents stopped me and told me that I was not to teach her THAT religion. People need to be educated on this. The child had stomach aches ever day. Simple stretches, not even meditation helped her! OY!

Carol Russel: Great idea. Meditation & yoga are a proven practice, we need to pay better attention to it.

Scott Bickford: This is great for all. Focus the mind and it works much better. The flow of energy stimulates the body to function smoothly.

Matt Lesing: No religion in schools!

DR: Mr. Lesing, I have only been doing yoga regularly for a little over a month and I find the only impact it is having on me is that my flexibility is increasing and my breathing is calmer and more consistent. The religious connotation with yoga confuses me. Being more connected to my body makes me more connected to everything else in my life. Stretching and clearing your mind would be a healthy approach to any religious belief system.


DR Facebook: Tiny Tip: GO VEGETARIAN ONCE A WEEK #TeamRenaissance One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed.

Karen Calley: Meatless Monday!

DR: Ms. Calley, growing up, my Italian grandmother would cook fish on Fridays, so I don’t see how we could go wrong with Meatless Monday. I will give it a try. #TeamRenaissance


DR Instagram: Cold air making big city’s bright lights brighter

winter night

Chris Gadarowski: Cold air holds less particulates and moisture, both of which make the air less transparent.

DR: Mr. Gadarowski, this is why engineers are central to our future. Frequently, what appears to be magic can be explained through a simple explanation of the laws of physics. Thanks for this week’s lesson.


DR: Instagram: Hailing a cab on Columbus with my favorite Brit @martinbashir


Patsy Scott: Two great men to watch and learn with! You are missed.

DR:  Ms. Scott, we all learn from each other, that’s why it’s so important for #TeamRenaissance to stay connected.


Facebook Post:Tiny Tip for #TeamRenaissance: WASH IN COLD OR WARM If all the households in the U.S. switched from hot-hot cycle to warm-cold, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day. Only launder when you have a full load.

Anthony Pilato: Not to be overly preachy, but I think in order to share information such as this, people have to not only recognize their effect on the environment and have the passion to pursue solutions, but they have to recognize that sometimes the solutions are very pragmatic and not too difficult, at least on an individual basis. Sometimes something as simple as not using hot-hot cycles can make a big difference.

DR: Mr. Pilato, the genius of these Tiny Tips is how remarkably simple and non-invasive they are.


DR Facebook: What exactly is sustainable manufacturing? We must be informed, #TeamRenaissance

Mark Schmit: Dylan in all seriousness, why don’t you go after the fast-food restaurant industry? They pollute and are the only growth-industry in this laughingstock economy…

DR: Mr. Schmidt, if you haven’t been following my efforts that last couple of years, I have been devoting my energy to be “for things” rather than “against”, thus my advocacy for housing, food, fuel, water, education, and orchestral biology for veteran-led energy positive housing. Channeling negative energy, even from a morally righteous position, is still generating negative energy. I have done more than enough of it to this point in my life.

DR Twitter: Too many of us form opinions without doing the research first. Let’s inform ourselves ‪#TeamRenaissance

Dylan Raines: Let’s also share our research findings w/one another, which I think is quite different than sharing opinions (in my opinion).

DR: Mr. Raines, amen.

DR has been relaunched, feel free to give it a look and email me directly to share any ideas for #TeamRenaissance

Marjoire Maguire: Challenge to all interested in developing the 21st Century Renaissance– not every idea has to be ultra-progressive or world shaking. There are lots of little things each and all can do. Post your commitment, however large or small, to developing a saner life. For myself, I am shedding myself of a number of luxury items, including a large portion of clothing no longer appropriate to the simple life I am attempting to create: turning off the TV, reading and thinking. I will use some of that saved time to connect with people by the old fashioned method of a hand written letter. (How many people still know how to write apposed to printing or using the computer?) Slowing down in order to go farther and longer. Onward, HO!

DR: Ms. Maguire, your words capture the spirit of #TeamRenaissance more so than anything we have read so far. Connecting with your own truth is the first step. Thank you.